Heart of Desire by Jenna Jaxon

Excerpt

The music had a lively air and Miss Katherine Locke would’ve thought herself fortunate to be out again in Society after a long, cold, dull winter in Somerset save that her partner, Lord Haversham, was the rudest man in London. Well, his lordship was about to discover that Kate Locke was not one to suffer fools lightly.

“So you refuse to allow your sister to waltz, yet you are quite willing to stand up with me and dance this, according to you, most scandalous of dances.” Kate smiled into the odious wretch’s face. “My lord, I should say that smacks of hypocrisy.”

“Indeed.” Lord Haversham turned them skillfully at the end of the floor. “I would say it showed a want of character in your brother for allowing you to dance it with me. The waltz should be danced by married couples and no one else.” He pulled her close against him, so their bodies almost touched.

She gasped at her proximity to the rogue. How dare he make a spectacle of them on this crowded dance floor?

“You see?” he whispered, peering into her face, his gaze intent upon her mouth.

All she could see were his cool gray eyes, as the crisp scent of his sandalwood cologne filled her nose.

“Ainsley should be horsewhipped for allowing it.”

“I’ll see to it he horsewhips you if you don’t let me go.” Kate gave a hopping step and smashed her foot down on top of his.

Lord Haversham lurched forward, actually falling onto her.

For the briefest moment, they stood pressed together in a warm embrace that made Kate tingle all over. Then outrage swept through her, and she pushed him away. “How dare you,” she seethed, trying to pull away from him.

“That was your fault, and you know it. And if you make a scene that results in me having to marry you, I swear I will lock you in the tower at my grandfather’s castle and throw away the key.” Lord Haversham righted himself and smiled at her with clenched teeth.

HEART OF DESIRE

HEART OF DESIRE by Jenna Jaxon

Handful of Hearts #2

Heart of Desire

Follow your heart to find your desire

Miss Katherine Locke is irked to start her third season dancing with the disagreeable Lord Haversham, her brother’s friend and her own arch enemy. After three years out, however, she’s finally interested in the dashing Lord Finley—only to find out her cousin has set her cap for him too. To make the man jealous, Kate feigns interest in Lord Haversham, only to be shocked to find the handsome lord apparently falling for her. With time running out, should she accept his suit and risk falling in love despite herself?

Marcus, Lord Haversham, is in a tight pinch. His estates are failing and worse, he’s just lost three thousand pounds to his best friend, Lord Ainsley. Ainsley’s solution: have Marcus marry his shrewish sister and he’ll cancel his gambling debt plus give him ten thousand more pounds for her dowry. With nowhere to turn, Marcus agrees, praying he can keep word of the wager from Miss Locke long enough to charm her into marrying him. But can he avoid falling in love himself?

Romance Historical [Author Self-Published, On Sale: August 20, 2016, e-Book, / ]

About Jenna Jaxon

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She is currently finishing revisions to her fifth full length novel, To Woo A Wicked Widow, set in Regency England and the first book in her five part series, The Widow’s Club.

Only Marriage Will Do, second book in her Georgian House of Pleasure series is with the editor. Her medieval trilogy, Time Enough to Love, is being published by Rising Phoenix Publications. Book 1, Betrothal is currently available. Book 2, Betrayal, will be available later this fall.

Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

https://jennajaxon.wordpress.com/

Chatting with Susan Wiggs on 8/25 — TwitterTakeover

Fresh Fiction is moderating a tweet chat with Susan Wiggs on Thursday, August 25th from 2pm to 3pm ET (11am to noon PT) and we’d love you to join us!

It’s easy, simply use the hashtag: #FamilyTreeBook and post your questions or comments. Susan will be on @HarperCollins account and answering.

Prizes and other goodies await!

family-tree-susan-wiggs

Monica Murphy | Summertime Romance

Ah, summer. It’s a time that’s ripe for romance, don’t you think? I love it when weather places a central part in the story. Sounds kind of crazy but hey, if it’s cold outside, don’t you want to snuggle up with a big, warm man under a cozy blanket? Or stare at that gorgeous guy wearing only swim trunks as he struts around the pool on a hot summer day?

Yeah. Me too.

Currently in central California (where I live), we are in the depths of summer. We’re talking it’s bone melting hot. Add smoke from nearby fires and the air quality is awful. This doesn’t make me feel very romantic. It just makes me wish for cooler temperatures and pumpkin spice lattes…

But I digress. What I do adore is a fun summer romance novel. There are so many out there, I can’t name them all, and yeah, I’ve read too many to count. Jill Shalvis is my go to for a solid, sexy contemporary romance—and she uses weather in her stories almost like a secondary character. I love that!

I like to lose myself in the summery details. The characters are hanging out by the pool or the beach. Or maybe they’re on a boat out on the lake. They’re barbecuing hamburgers and eating potato salad and saving room for dessert because they’re having homemade ice cream. The stars are bright in the sky, the breeze is warm and the green, green grass is soft…

Well, that last part is a total lie. Grass can be pretty sharp and itchy if you don’t watch it.

Yet again, I digress. Back to romances.I took the summer theme a step further in my new YA novel DARING THE BAD BOY. The entire story takes place at a summer camp for kids and teens. I knew when my editor put out the submission call for summer camp-themed YA romances, that I had to write it. Sounds like fun, I told her. But hey, guess what?

I’ve never been to summer camp before!

My editor reassured me that I could handle it. I read a couple of cute romances featuring summer camps. I watched the movie Wet Hot American Summer (hilarious and crazy). I reached into the far depths of my brain to pull up memories of my week at ecology camp in the sixth grade…

That was the closest I ever got to going to summer camp. We spent five days and four nights at a camp near Whiskeytown Lake in Redding, California (where I grew up) in the springtime. I was with my sixth grade class along with a few others from nearby schools. Our counselors were teenagers from the local high schools, and I adored them. We went on a night hike and explored a cave while knee deep in water. We mined for gold (of course, I found nothing), we told ghost stories, we put together skits for the talent show—it was everything I could’ve ever wanted from camp!

My friends and I cried on the bus ride back to school where our parents were waiting to pick us up. We didn’t want to go home, we wanted to stay at the magical camp where all of our dreams came true! Where we flirted with cute boys and played tricks on each other and gossiped about the weird adults who ran the place and ate awful food. It was wonderful and exciting, the complete opposite of what our lives were usually like at home.

But I never had a romance while at camp. I was barely twelve when I went in the sixth grade, and not totally interested in boys yet, so I guess that was no surprise. As I got older though, I started to wonder what might’ve happened if I could’ve gone to summer camp and had a romance with a cute boy. How much fun would that have been? Ah, teenage me would’ve been in swoon city.

This is the great thing about being a romance writer. Yeah, maybe I didn’t get to experience that summer romance while at camp, but guess what? I could write about one, create my characters and let them have the dreamy, swoony romance that I never could. And that’s exactly what I did with Annie and Jake in DARING THE BAD BOY. I hope you enjoy their sweet summer romance as much as I enjoyed writing it!

DARING THE BAD BOY by Monica Murphy

Daring the Bad Boy

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drinking, sexual situations, adult language, and an intense bad boy hero who will melt your heart.

Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself—gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she’s already set her sights on über-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.

Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.

Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions…but there’s more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake’s headed straight to juvie, but Annie’s more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.

New Adult | Young Adult [Entangled Crush, On Sale: August 22, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781682812716 / eISBN: 9781633757219]

Sharon Hamilton | Stealing Hearts, Making Music And Producing Audio Books

Jameson Animated GIFWe are finishing up the audio book this week for Nashville SEAL: Jameson. This will be the 25th audio book I have done with the same narrator, J.D. Hart. Mr. Hart himself was a country western star in Nashville as a younger man, and played world-wide on tour. He then went on to a successful acting career, as well as being a voice-over talent, and now audio book narrator.

I didn’t know J.D. at all when we first started, but over the course of the past two plus years, we’ve gotten to be best friends. I quizzed him about his earlier days, and his stories inspired my Nashville SEALs series with Jameson Daniels, as my hero. J.D. graciously allowed me to infuse some of his stories into the books.

So now that we’ve completed Nashville SEALs, and are nearly completed with Nashville SEALs: Jameson, we’ve come full circle. The stories he’s told me have become my stories, and now he’s telling them back through my words and imagination. As best friends, we work so seamlessly together, it’s just amazing.

Here’s my blurb for Book 2, which is a continuation of the story in Book 1, the novella. For a brief time, I’ve enclosed the novella as back matter to Jameson’s book, just as a bonus. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing, and will enjoy the audio book to come in about 2-3 weeks.

About Book 2

Jameson and Lizzie’s story begins with their beautiful wine country wedding, and the journey to becoming a new family with Charlotte. Now a Navy SEAL, an elite member of Kyle Lansdowne’s legendary SEAL Team 3, Jameson’s final farewell to Nashville and his singing career nearly topple everything with the appearance of an old girlfriend. Lizzie has to weather the long good-bye when Jameson deploys for his first dangerous mission. But there is perhaps greater danger at home for the SEAL families while the men are away.

This story takes place in San Diego and Sonoma County Wine Country, as well as overseas.

Nashville SEAL: Jameson

History ReFRESHed | A RETURN TO “INDIAN SUMMERS”

With the lush PBS Masterpiece series “Indian Summers” soon to begin Season Two, it’s time to look at another round of novels that explore the exotic, complex world of the British Raj in India and the struggles for Indian independence.

Beginning with the earliest-set book, we have THE LINNET BIRD by Linda Holeman. Born Linny Gow in the slums of Liverpool in the early 1800’s, forced into prostitution at age eleven by her stepfather, the tenacious and enterprising Linny manages to escape that life, reinventing herself as a seemingly respectable middle-class young lady. Her friendship with a merchant’s daughter puts her into position to accompany the girl to India as part of the “fishing fleet,” young women of good birth but no fortune who sail to the subcontinent in search of husbands. With the threat of discovery always looming over her, Linny snares wealthy British officer Somers Ingram as a husband, only to discover that violence and danger can lurk in other places besides the back alleys of Liverpool. But Linny hasn’t traveled this far to yield to unpleasant circumstance; using all her inventiveness and tenacity, she will find a way to claim the freedom—and love—she’s always wanted.

THE LINNET BIRD by Linda Holeman

The Linnet Bird

In the claustrophobic, mannered world of British India, Linny Ingram seems the perfect society wife: pretty, gracious, subservient. But appearances can be deceptive. Linny Ingram was born Linny Gow, an orphan raised in the gray slums of Liverpool. Sold into prostitution by her stepfather when she was only eleven, Linny clung to the belief that she was meant for something more, something better, than life on the cold, dangerous streets.

A stroke of luck granted Linny the chance to re-create herself as a proper middle-class young lady, allowing her to join “the fishing fleet”—young women of good birth who sailed to India in search of husbands. India, with its exotic colors, sights, and smells, is a world away from the cold back alleys of Linny’s childhood. But even there, she is haunted by her past, and by the constant threat of discovery. Soon she finds that respectability and marriage bring a new kind of imprisonment. But having come so far, Linny is not about to surrender easily. In the lush tropics of India she finds not only the means of rebellion . . . she finds that she may be capable of feeling love and freedom after all.

Historical [Broadway Books, On Sale: January 1, 2006, Paperback / e-Book (reprint), ISBN: 9781400097401 / eISBN: 9780307238481]

Next along the timeline is VEIL OF ILLUSION by Rebecca Ryman. This sequel to the love story OLIVIA AND JAI focuses more on the culture and prejudices of Anglo-Indian society. In 1870’s Calcutta, widowed Olivia Raventhorne fights to clear the name of her Eurasian husband Jai, who was accused of involvement in the horrific Bibighar massacre in which more than 200 English women and children were slaughtered. Interwoven with her story is the romantic entanglement of another Eurasian-British couple, Olivia’s beautiful daughter Maya and Christian Pendlebury, the son of a wealthy English official. Though the idealistic Christian hopes he can work to benefit all, both Indian society and the British colonials scorn those of mixed heritage, even a family as wealthy and established as the Raventhornes. With the author’s intimate knowledge of India and the history of this period, she creates a vivid backdrop to the dramatic and often heart-breaking events in the lives of her characters.

Another tale featuring the “fishing fleet” is Julia Gregson’s EAST OF THE SUN. It’s the fall of 1928 when chaperone Viva Holloway shepherds her three charges aboard the vessel that will take them to Bombay. Viva plans to deliver her charges, recover a trunk full of a relative’s possessions, and return to England. Beautiful, naïve Rose goes to marry a man she’s met only a handful of times, while her good friend and bridesmaid Tor wants to escape the strictures of England and find a compatible husband. After their arrival, Viva’s mission to return home is complicated by her third charge, sixteen-year-old Guy Glover, who had been expelled from school in England for reasons that become more and more disturbingly apparent. Rose finds the reality of marriage starkly different from her romantic daydreams, and Tor struggles to find a place in an environment both totally different from—and much too similarly restricted as—the England she’s left behind. From the wealth and glamor of the Bombay Yacht Club to the poverty of the mean Bombay streets, the women’s stories are set against the background of an increasingly restive India, where Gandhi’s independence movement is gaining force, threatening the very society they have come to join.

EAST OF THE SUN by Julia Gregson

East Of The Sun

As the Kaisar-i-Hind weighs anchor for Bombay in the autumn of 1928, its passengers ponder their fate in a distant land. They are part of the “Fishing Fleet” — the name given to the legions of Englishwomen who sail to India each year in search of husbands, heedless of the life that awaits them. The inexperienced chaperone Viva Holloway has been entrusted to watch over three unsettling charges.

There’s Rose, as beautiful as she is naïve, who plans to marry a cavalry officer she has met a mere handful of times. Her bridesmaid, Victoria, is hell-bent on losing her virginity en route before finding a husband of her own. And shadowing them all is the malevolent presence of a disturbed schoolboy named Guy Glover.

From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites to the poverty of Tamarind Street, from the sooty streets of London to the genteel conversation of the Bombay Yacht Club, EAST OF THE SUN is graced with lavish detail and a penetrating sensitivity — historical fiction at its greatest.

Historical | Romance Historical [Touchstone, On Sale: June 2, 2009, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781439101124 / eISBN: 9781439117804]

We end with two novels that employ the flashback technique. THE SPLENDOR OF SILENCE by Indu Sundaresan opens in 1963, as Sam Hawthorne’s daughter Olivia opens a trunk from India that includes a letter revealing the mysteries of her childhood. The story then shifts to four days in 1945, when U.S. Army captain Sam Hawthorne, recovering from wounds suffered fighting in Burma, arrives in Rudrakot, hunting for his missing brother. But his intention to discover what he can and then leave is compromised when he falls in love with Mila, daughter of his host, the local political agent. The intended bride of a Prince, Mila struggles against her attraction to this foreigner, finding herself trapped between love for Sam and loyalty to her family. Complicating the issue, Mila’s younger brother identifies with the dissident Indians eager for independence, while his elder brother trusts the good will of the Raj. Sundaresan’s mastery of detail and character brings out the full poignancy of their situation, caught in a web of racial prejudice and the instability of a nation stampeding toward freedom from British rule.

THE SPLENDOR OF SILENCE by Indu Sundaresan

The Splendor of Silence

Set in India during four searing pre-monsoon days in May 1942, The Splendor of Silence is internationally bestselling author Indu Sundaresan’s most unforgettable accomplishment yet, merging her Indian and American backgrounds into a heartrending tale of love and clashing cultures in a time of war.

Sam Hawthorne, a twenty-five-year-old U.S. Army captain, arrives at the princely state of Rudrakot in search of his missing brother, Mike, carrying with him wounds from combat in Burma and several secrets. But Sam’s mission is soon threatened by the unlikeliest of sources — he falls hopelessly in love with Mila, daughter of the local political agent. Mila, unexpectedly attracted to Sam, nurtures a secret of her own and finds herself torn between loyalty to her family and Sam.

The Splendor of Silence opens twenty-one years later with Olivia, Sam’s daughter, receiving a trunk of treasures from India, along with a letter from an unknown narrator that finally fills all the silences of her childhood — telling her the story of her parents’ passionate and enduring love for each other that throws them in the path of racial prejudice, nationalist intrigue, and the explosive circumstances of a country and a society on the brink of independence from British rule.

Sweeping and poignant, reminiscent of Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet novels, The Splendor of Silence will draw a host of devoted new fans to this hugely gifted storyteller.

Historical | Romance Historical [Atria, On Sale: September 12, 2006, Paperback / e-Book (reprint), ISBN: 9780743283687 / eISBN: 9780743293815]

Our last selection, THE SANDALWOOD TREE by Elle Newmark, is set in the same locale as the PBS series—Simla. Newmark’s tale begins in 1947, when American anthropologist Martin Mitchell wins a Fulbright Fellowship to study in India and brings his family to this small village in the Himalayas. For wife Evie, it is both a chance for adventure and a last desperate attempt to mend her marriage to the husband who returned from World War II broken and troubled. During a frenzy of cleaning in their colonial bungalow, Evie finds a packet of letters describing the lives of two English girls who lived in the house in 1857. Captivated by their story, which provides an escape from the difficulties of her own life, Evie is drawn to discover what the letters left out, a journey that takes her from bazaars and temples to the heart of the crumbling society that was the British Raj. Set against the violent backdrop of an India on the verge of independence from British rule, the dark secrets she uncovers come to threaten her world, forcing her to surmount betrayal and embrace the healing offered by acceptance, forgiveness and love.

THE SANDALWOOD TREE by Elle Newmark

The Sandalwood Tree

From incredible storyteller and nationally bestselling author Elle Newmark comes a rich, sweeping novel that brings to life two love stories, ninety years apart, set against the backdrop of war-torn India.

In 1947, an American anthropologist named Martin Mitchell wins a Fulbright Fellowship to study in India. He travels there with his wife, Evie, and his son, determined to start a new chapter in their lives. Upon the family’s arrival, though, they are forced to stay in a small village due to violence surrounding Britain’s imminent departure from India. It is there, hidden behind a brick wall in their colonial bungalow, that Evie discovers a packet of old letters that tell a strange and compelling story of love and war involving two young Englishwomen who lived in the very same house in 1857.

Drawn to their story, Evie embarks on a mission to uncover what the letters didn’t explain. Her search leads her through the bazaars and temples of India as well as the dying society of the British Raj. Along the way, a dark secret is exposed, and this new and disturbing knowledge creates a wedge between Evie and her husband. Bursting with lavish detail and vivid imagery of Bombay and beyond, The Sandalwood Tree is a powerful story about betrayal, forgiveness, fate, and love.

Historical [Atria, On Sale: April 5, 2011, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781416590606 / eISBN: 9781416597933]

Ready for another taste of the exotic? Grab any of these selections for a good read as you anticipate the return of PBS’s mesmerizing series, “Indian Summers!”

MASTERPIECE Indian Summers, Season 2 Premieres Sunday, September 11, 2016 on PBS EPISODE 1 Shown from left to right: Jemima West as Alice Whelan and Nikesh Patel as Aafrin Dalal (C) New Pictures for Channel 4 and MASTERPIECE in association with All3MediaInternational
MASTERPIECE
Indian Summers, Season 2
Premieres Sunday, September 11, 2016 on PBS
EPISODE 1
Shown from left to right: Jemima West as Alice Whelan and Nikesh Patel as Aafrin Dalal
(C) New Pictures for Channel 4 and MASTERPIECE in association with All3MediaInternational
MASTERPIECE Indian Summers, Season 2 Premieres Sunday, September 11, 2016 on PBS EPISODE 1 Shown from left to right: Blake Ritson as Charlie Havistock and  Jemima West as Alice Whelan (C) New Pictures for Channel 4 and MASTERPIECE in association with All3MediaInternational
MASTERPIECE
Indian Summers, Season 2
Premieres Sunday, September 11, 2016 on PBS
EPISODE 1
Shown from left to right: Blake Ritson as Charlie Havistock and Jemima West as Alice Whelan
(C) New Pictures for Channel 4 and MASTERPIECE in association with All3MediaInternational

Indian Summers 2_Signature

About Julia Justiss

Julia Justiss

Real, intense, passionate historical romance

After twelve years as a vagabond Navy wife, an adventure that took her from Virginia Beach, VA, to Monterrey, CA, to Tunis, Tunisia to Oslo, Norway and back, Julia Justiss followed her husband to his family’s East Texas homeland. On a hill above a pond with a view of pasture land, they built an English Georgian-style home. Sitting at her desk there, if she ignores the summer heat, she can almost imagine herself in Jane Austen’s Regency England.

In between teaching high school French and making jaunts to visit her three children (a Seabee in Gulfport, MS, a clothing buyer in Houston and a mechanical engineer in Austin, TX) she pursues her first love—writing historical fiction.

Series: Regency Silk & Scandal | Hadley’s Hellions | Ransleigh Rogues

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | BLOG

About FORBIDDEN NIGHTS WITH THE VISCOUNT

Forbidden Nights With The Viscount

Leader of Hadley’s Hellions, a group of outsiders who bond together at Oxford vowing to reform Society, Giles Hadley wants nothing to do with the earl, his father who banished him, or his stepbrother George, who is the bane of his existence. But he’s curious about the woman rumor says George is to marry, daughter and political hostess of prominent Tory Lord Witlow.

For her part, Lady Maggie finds angry rebel Giles far more fascinating than George—so fascinating, that though she has no intention of risking her heart after losing her beloved husband, she might just be tempted into an affair…

Buy FORBIDDEN NIGHTS WITH THE VISCOUNT: Amazon.com | Kindle| BN.com| iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

Free for only 3 Days – CHOSEN by Nina Croft

Nina Croft’s, CHOSEN, book 1 in the Laws of Segregation, is free for three days only: 23 – 25th August 2016

On the world of Arroway, witches have been persecuted for a thousand years. Now, Tallon, Enforcer for The Order of Warlocks has been sent to hunt and destroy Shayla, a powerful, young witch. But when he sees her, she awakens something inside him—some connection forgotten in the years of persecution. And when he starts his spell, she counters with magic so strong it rips them from their own world and into a new one—Earth.

Drawn together as unlikely allies in this strange new world, Tallon and Shayla must work as partners to find a way home. They relearn the bond that long ago tied witches and warlocks as one, and in doing so discover that not only is their future at stake, but the future of their whole world.

Download from Amazon

Codi Gary | HERO OF MINE

Dani pointed to the far wall of cages, oblivious to his disgruntlement. “Those are all the dogs whose time here expires. Feel free to take them out into the holding room”—she indicated a white door that had a sign reading holding room— “and do whatever you gotta do.”

Turning her back on him, she squatted down in front of a large cage and opened it. Tyler bent down to see a massive gray dog with black spots and stripes. The dog lifted his head slightly, his floppy ears pricking as she cooed.

“Hey, Fugly, how you doing, bud?” Dani’s hand glided over the dog’s head and neck, and he relaxed back on his side with a whimper.

“What happened to him?” Tyler asked.

“Someone hit him with their car. A yard crew behind them stopped and picked him up, brought him here, but there’s only so much I can do. The X-rays show he needs leg surgery, but my regular doctor is off today, and the prick subbing for him won’t do a damn thing to help.”

Tyler came closer, squatting behind her. The dog lifted his head and met Tyler’s gaze with soft green-gray eyes. Rex’s eyes had been a dark brown, nearly black, but the expression in this dog’s eyes was still the same—filled with trust. This dog wasn’t afraid of humans; he expected them to help him, to ease his pain.

Tyler’s chest clenched. Although he’d trained several dogs since Rex, he hadn’t experienced this pull, this kinship. This big, gray dog was calling to him, and he couldn’t ignore it, no matter how crazy it seemed.

“Release him to me.”

Dani spun his way so fast, she nearly knocked him back. “What?”

“Release him to me, and I’ll run him down to my veterinarian. They’ll go over the extent of his injuries and let me know what he needs.”

Dani stared at him, her gaze wary. “Why would you do that? And what about the dogs you’re supposed to evaluate?”

What the hell was he doing? He wasn’t even sure the dog was trainable, let alone what his injuries were.

But he could still remember Rex’s body as it cooled and stiffened in his arms. There had been nothing he could do to help Rex, but he could help this dog.

“If you will run interference for me with that guy, I’ll drive . . .” Tyler hesitated to call the dog the bullshit name. “I’m sorry; he needs a better name than Fugly.”

Dani laughed, but her voice shook a bit as though she might cry. “The workers that brought him in were calling him that.”

“Not anymore. Whatever his name is, I’ll drive him up there, drop him off, and come back here. If his owners show up, you can give me a call.”

“I don’t have your number.” She closed the cage door and stood up.

“The front desk has it, but do you have your phone on you?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’ll go get it.” She left the room, and Tyler studied the dog. He was probably a good hundred and fifty pounds, which wouldn’t be a problem to carry, but if he had more injuries they couldn’t see, Tyler was concerned about jostling him around and doing more damage. He’d ask Dani if they had a stretcher when she got back.

She came back through the doors and handed him her phone. “Here.”

Tyler stood up, staring at the screen saver of a smiling toddler with his arms wrapped around Dani’s neck. Well, shit, that sent whatever attraction he’d had crashing to the ground. He had three rules for hooking up: Be honest from the get-go, no sleeping over, and definitely no repeats within the same week. And then there were the types of women he steered clear from.

No crazies. No attached or married women. And definitely no single moms.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it. He had watched his own mom get screwed over enough times to know that if you weren’t ready, just stay far away.

Clearing his throat, he swiped his thumb over to her contacts and put in his information. “Cute kid.”

“Thank you.”

“He yours?” he asked.

“Yes, he’s mine.”

Was it just him, or did she sound defensive?

“How old is he?” Tyler handed the phone back to her, disappointed that she was off limits.

“He’s almost two.” Dani slipped her phone into her pocket. Her curt responses told him she didn’t want to discuss her child with a complete stranger, and he couldn’t blame her.

Apparently, he was just a nosy, interfering bastard today.

“About Fugly. I was going to just carry him out, but I’m afraid of causing more damage.”

“He doesn’t have internal bleeding, at least not that showed up on the X-rays. Most of the impact from the car occurred on his back end. Plus, I gave him a dose of pain meds when he first came in, and it should last him a while.”

“Okay then, you get the door, and I’ll get the dog.”

Dani unlocked the cage again and unhooked the dog’s IV, wrapping the tubing over the mobile pole by the cage. As gently as he could, Tyler reached in and picked up the dog, who tried to thrash for half a second before Tyler spoke firmly. “Stay.”

The dog stilled, and Tyler stood up with him in his arms. “It’s gonna be okay, boy.”

Dani opened the doors as they went, but once they got to the lobby, Lab Coat Guy spotted them and spluttered, “What do you think you’re doing?”

Dani puffed up. “He’s taking the dog to his vet, since you won’t do anything to help him.”

Tyler had to admire the set of balls on Dani as every eye in the room swung on Lab Coat, pinning him with accusation.

“I didn’t say anything like that. I told you his prognosis wasn’t good and he was suffering.”

“And I wanted a second opinion, so we’re getting one.”

Tyler grinned, following Dani out the door. Pausing for half a second, Tyler gave Lab Coat a warning look. “I haven’t had a chance to evaluate the dogs yet. They’d better all be there when I get back.”

Lab Coat swallowed hard, and as she closed the door, Dani laughed. “I think he just pissed himself.”

Tyler liked her laugh, light and tinkling, like Christmas bells. “You’re pretty terrifying yourself.”

“I don’t let bullies push me around,” she said. “Where are your keys?”

“Right pocket.”

When the warmth of her hand pushed into his pocket and grabbed his keys, he couldn’t help his physical reaction. It was just too close to the groin, and the way she pressed with seeking fingers against him was enough to give him a semi. Despite it being October, it was still in the mideighties in Sacramento, and Tyler could feel beads of sweat dribbling down the sides of his face as she continued her search; he told himself it was just the heat getting to him.

Luckily, she hadn’t seemed to notice, and once she found the keys, she unlocked the doors and pulled open the back door of the Alpha Dog van.

“Hang on.” She ran back inside while Tyler waited, the dog’s weight making his arms burn.

Suddenly, she was back and climbing past him into the backseat of the van.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m coming with you. You’re going to need someone to hold onto him while you drive, and besides,” she said, her expression a soft mask of worry, “I don’t want him to be alone and scared.”

Tyler nodded, knowing exactly what she meant. He’d been rescuing dogs his whole life, much to his parents’ exasperation. He remembered the first dog he’d brought home at nine, a skinny black dog with matted fur and a rank odor. When his mom had told him he couldn’t bring the dog inside, he’d teared up and told her, “But, Mom, he’s so hungry and scared.” His mom had caved like a big old softy, and his dad left, coming back with food, bowls, and a collar and leash. He’d named the dog Barney, and he’d been the start of Tyler’s love of dogs.

The fact that Dani appeared to have the same passion made him like her more. Cute, funny, didn’t take shit from anyone? Plus, he’d bet his last dollar she was great in bed.

But the tiny, smiling little boy on her phone screen was like a big fat stop sign. He didn’t do single moms—at least, not when he knew about the kid.

Laying the dog gently into the back, he watched her settle his head in her lap and begin stroking his gray coat. Suddenly, she looked up at Tyler, those green eyes filled with gratitude and . . . Hell, he had no idea, but it was a first for him.

“Thank you.”

Tyler slammed the door to the van without responding, grabbing the keys out of the passenger door.

Tyler Best, bleeding-heart dog rescuer.

He climbed up into the driver’s seat, preparing to take off.

“Really, why are you doing this?” she asked from behind him.

Adjusting the mirror so he could see her, he gave the only answer that made sense. “Why not?”

HERO OF MINE by Codi Gary

The Men in Uniform Series

Hero of Mine

The men of Alpha Dog, a second chance program for at-risk teens, work hard and play hard. And when it comes to protecting the women they love . . . nothing stands in their way.

Danielle Hill used to live on the wild side, until a surprise pregnancy forced her to get her act together. Now her whole life revolves around her young son, and she will do anything to keep Noah’s heart protected, even if it means avoiding the Marine who makes her want to be oh so bad . . .

Tyler Best loves his family, his friends, and his life, and he plans on living it to the fullest after nearly losing it. But Tyler didn’t bank on running into a beautiful blond with blazing green eyes and temper to match his. Tyler always thought he wasn’t ready to settle down, but Dani and Noah make him rethink his playboy ways . . .

Only just as these two start to build something, a shadow from Dani’s past comes back to haunt them. But Tyler will do anything to keep her and Noah safe . . . anything.

Romance Military | Romance Contemporary [Avon Impulse, On Sale: August 16, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9780062372291 / eISBN: 9780062372284]

About Codi Gary

Codi Gary

An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

Men In Uniform

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Conor Corderoy | A Fight Against Love

There is a contradiction at the heart of the HEAT series, and in particular A LOVE TO KILL FOR. Sex, violence, wry humour, conspiracy and intrigue – and love. The whole theme – the whole point – of Heat is that Liam Murdoch, the quintessential male archetype, is fighting against love to preserve his most valued possession. His independence.

Liam Murdoch is your mother’s worst nightmare. He has a degree in calculating the odds, and a major in lock picking, from the University of the Mean Streets of LA. He owes nothing to anybody, and when he sees something – or somebody – he wants, he plays the odds and takes it – or her. He is unattached and likes it that way. His one passion is his freedom and playing the odds in life. In his book, all women are bad news, and the one thing he does not need, is love. He is the hunter, the predator. Love is a weakness, and he is anything but weak.

And then he meets Catherine Howard, the ultimate, archetypal woman, embodying every contradiction under the sun. She is cold as ice, calculating and ruthless, yet at the same time she is hot and passionate. In his words, she is vulnerable and lethal. She is honest and sincere, and yet everything that surrounds her is a web of lies built upon lies.

This juxtaposition of opposites, of total male and total female, is irresistible, and he is drawn deep into her dark search. A search for a stolen object, in a sleek black box, that nobody is prepared to name. Soon he realizes that everybody is searching for this same mysterious, unnamed chimera. Mary-Jane Carter, the beautiful southern belle who vanished without a trace, taking the box with her, Rupert Medici who wants Mary Jane – the love of his life – back in his arms, Serafino del Roble, the suave Spanish priest, emissary of the Opus Dei and the Vatican, and the smiling, lethal assassin, Rinpoche. Each and every one of them prepared to go to any lengths, and pay Murdoch any sum of money, to get hold of the box. Or rather what it contains – a mystery as powerful and as lethal as love itself.

Murdoch’s search takes him to a Spain that is disintegrating. With the Basques and the Catalans seceding, and Andalusia demanding independence having found oil in Almeria, civil war is inevitable in the south. Like a shadowy reflection of his own inner fight against the chains of love, in this dark, isolated world, torn between anarchy and martial law, Murdoch finds a lot more than he bargains for.

He finds a strange and dangerous cult, the brotherhood of the Goat, whose members reach high up into the corridors of European and world power. He finds the mysterious Sinéad Tiernan who reveals to him the fantastical origin of the box – and its contents – and he finds Maria. And the last thing on Earth that he wanted to find – that cruel mistress, love.

With the Andalusian army hunting him, the deadly Brotherhood hot on his heels, and Catherine Howard offering herself to him unconditionally, Murdoch must make the most difficult choice of his life. The contents of the box can give him unlimited power and wealth, and the most beautiful, sexually irresistible woman he has ever met –but at what price?

The paradox – the apparent contradiction of the theme resolves itself when the contents of the box I revealed. And Murdoch tries to make his impossible choice – freedom and power, or love?

A LOVE TO KILL FOR by Conor Corderoy

HEAT #1

A Love to Kill For

For Murdoch, women are bad news. Trying to stay alive in war-torn Andalusia, tracking a vanishing femme fatal, hunted by The Brotherhood, the last thing he needs is love…

In Liam Murdoch’s world there is no room for love, only the thrill of the game and the fast buck. So when a fascinating client persuades him to be the bagman in a blackmail payoff and he winds up with a bag full of fifty grand in cash and a box whose contents are worth more than that, Murdoch smells the chance to make a stash.

As Europe slides into bloody chaos, Murdoch must travel to war-torn Andalusia in search of the elusive Mary-Jane Carter and the even more mysterious Sinead Tiernan. He must get the answers only they can provide about the box and the sinister Brotherhood of the Goat, who are hunting for it. But once there, what Liam finds is the last thing he needs—love—and his world turns upside down. Instead of chasing cash, he’s fighting to save the life of the woman he loves.

Suddenly nothing and nobody is what they seem to be, and Liam finds himself fighting not only a mysterious enemy he cannot understand, but also his own turbulent feelings. He must battle to save a priceless treasure for humanity and the woman he’s learned to love from a fate far worse than death.

Reader Advisory: This book contains
scenes involving explicit violence.

Thriller | Romance Suspense [Totally Bound Publishing, On Sale: August 30, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781786510730 / eISBN: 9781786510730]

About Conor Corderoy

Conor Corderoy

Conor Corderoy was born in England in 1957. He spent his childhood on Formentera, the smallest of the Balearic Islands among intellectuals, artists and writers. He had no formal schooling, though he had a governess for four years who became an alcoholic and disappeared when he was twelve. He spent his teens in Cordoba, southern Spain, where he got his first job aged sixteen, breaking in wild horses. He has since done more jobs than he can remember, including free-lance writing, law, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. He now divides his time between England and Spain. He is an Incorporated Linguists, a barrister, a psychologist and a Master Practitioner of NLP. He is the author of Dark Rain, described by James Lovelock as ‘compulsive and believable,’ the Eden Cypher and Albion Rising.

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Callie Hutton | So Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

That is a common question I’m asked when I introduce myself to someone as an author. And, although it sounds vague when I answer “everywhere,” that is the truth of the matter.

I started making up stories in my head when I was a young girl. Long road trips (no iPads, iPhones, or portable DVD players in those days) were the perfect place to imagine myself in all sorts of interesting situations. I also used that same method when I was falling asleep at night. I would climb into bed and refresh my memory on where the story stopped the previous night, then pick it up from there. Much to my parents’ amazement, some nights I was anxious to go to bed, just so I could continue my story.

Years later, when I worked in Manhattan, I took a train from my home in New Jersey, and most times the same people would be on the train each day. To amuse myself, I made up stories about them. I had a lengthy story going one time that covered weeks, concerning the woman next to me, who had a husband—sitting on my other side, who was cheating on her, with the woman in the seat across from us, and the man’s mother, sitting two rows over, knew about it and didn’t know what to do.

That was fun, and then one day on my lunch hour, while I wandered the streets of New York city I saw the woman with the (pretend) cheating husband and almost asked her (with a great deal of sympathy) how she was getting on. I had to pull myself up short with a reminder that I had made that story up. What trouble that would have caused!

As you can see, I get my ideas from everywhere. In line at the bank, when I hear words from a song, scenes from a TV show, or movie. In fact, my book, THE ELUSIVE WIFE, came about from a church service. The pew in front of me held a family of five. The youngest child, a little girl in a ruffled dress, white stockings, patent leather shoes, and a pretty ribbon in her curly hair, crawled away from her mother in the pew. The mother whispered, “Olivia, come back here.”

Once that name popped into my head, I envisioned a Regency woman named Olivia, and her story came to me. Scribbling on the back of a blank check, I outlined the entire book. I also asked God’s forgiveness for not listening to the sermon—which I’m sure was wonderful, uplifting, and soul-saving.

I’m a people watcher. Everywhere I go I observe how they interact with each other, and how they conduct themselves. Restaurants are my favorite place, but now with everyone’s eyes glued to their cell phones, I don’t get as much material as I used to. Malls are great, too.

Another way I get ideas is by asking questions. While that drives my daughter crazy—“mom is the inquisition over yet?”—I learn a lot about people, how they live, where they go, what type of work they do, and what their dreams are. All fodder for my next book. And it helps pass the time on airplane flights, too.

As you can see, it turns out the answer to that question is simple—living is what gives me my ideas.

Giveaway

What was the highlight of your summer? One reader will get a signed printed copy of any of the Marriage Mart Mayhem books (USA addresses or ebook for international addresses), the reader’s choice. Just leave your answer below!

About Callie Hutton

Callie Hutton

USA Today best selling author of THE ELUSIVE WIFE, Callie Hutton writes both Western Historical and Regency romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). She also pens an occasional contemporary or two. Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, two adult children, and daughter-in-law (thankfully all not in the same house), and her top cheerleader husband of thirty-eight years. She also recently welcomed twin grandsons to her ever expanding family. Callie loves to hear from readers, and would welcome you as a “friend” on Facebook. You can contact her through her website.

If you would like to keep informed on sales, contests and new releases, sign up for her newsletter or join her street team, Callie’s Cohorts, where fun, gossip, contests, and general mayhem lives and flourishes.

Marriage Mart Mayhem | Oklahoma Lovers

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THE EARL’S RETURN by Callie Hutton

Marriage Mart Mayhem #7

The Earl's Return

London, 1819. Four years ago, Darius, the Earl of Redgrave fled London two weeks before his wedding to Lady Mary’s sister and married another woman. Now a widower, he has returned to seek a new wife.

One woman catches his eye . . .

At first, Lady Mary doesn’t recognize the handsome lord as the cad who ran out on her sister. After giving him the cut direct in a London ballroom, she finds herself running into him everywhere she goes, and fighting a forbidden attraction. Not only has Mary sworn off men, Redgrave is so very wrong for her. But she cannot stop thinking of his kisses. Redgrave means to stay away from Mary but it is impossible. Passion between two people who can never be together is a dangerous game.

Romance Historical [Entangled Scandalous, On Sale: August 22, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781633757400 / eISBN: 9781633757400]

Marriage Mart Mayhem

THE ELUSIVE WIFE
The Elusive Wife
#1
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THE DUKE'S QUANDARY
The Duke’s Quandary
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THE LADY'S DISGRACE
The Lady’s Disgrace
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THE BARON'S BETRAYAL
The Baron’s Betrayal
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THE HIGHLANDER'S CHOICE
The Highlander’s Choice
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THE HIGHLANDER'S ACCIDENTAL MARRIAGE
The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage
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THE EARL'S RETURN
The Earl’s Return
#7
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Lindsay McKenna | HOLD ON wasn’t planned, but….

When I began to write FORGED IN FIRE, book 3 of the Delos series it was to introduce Matt Culver, one of the three Culver children who would eventually take over and run Artemis Security. It would be a Delos charity secret, in-house firm created to lend security to the 1,800 charities they had around the world.

The more I got into FORGED IN FIRE, Beau Gardner, a West Virginia hill boy, who was a sergeant in Delta Force and in Matt’s unit at Bagram, just kind of took a more important part in the over all plot.

As always, I have a plot, but when I sit down in the morning to start another chapter, I may have a vague idea of what’s going to happen, but not “exactly” what will emerge in the plot.

Beau Gardner was that kind of secondary hero, in the background, but he emerged later in the book to take on a far more important part in it. And by the end of Matt’s book, I knew I had to write Beau’s book, and his story of escape with Callie McKinley, Dara’s sister.

Their story was no less intense, cliff-hanging, filled with danger and with life-and-death situations than Matt and Dara’s escape from the Taliban in Afghanistan was. But it was a different story and unique to the characters themselves. When Dara and Callie go to an Afghan village to render medical aid, Matt Culver and Beau Gardner go along as their security escort. Little do they know that the Taliban is going to attack them before they can get there.

In a hail of bullets, Matt and Beau get the women out of the vehicle and run. But they run different directions, Matt and Dara to the mountains, and Beau with Callie, to the plains and river. They split up, hoping to split the Taliban force so they have a better chance of surviving this assault. FORGED IN FIRE is how Matt and Dara survived. HOLD ON is how Beau and Callie survived. Two stories with two very different twists, turns, surprises and challenges.

You see, Callie and Dara McKinley were sisters from Butte, Montana. Raised on the Eagle Feather Ranch where they grew up being independent, hard working young women. Dara went on to become a pediatric physician. Callie went on to work with Hope Charity, usually spending six months out of every year in Kabul, Afghanistan. There, she worked with Maggie, the American owner, caring for fifty Afghan orphaned boys and girls.

Callie loved her service work, loved children and defied the danger that was all around them when she worked overseas to help orphaned children.

In HOLD ON, you will get to see Callie and Beau (who play a nice part in FORGED IN FIRE), in a different and direct light. Because it is their story. I loved creating this title because that’s exactly what it was….you were, as a reader holding on for dear life, wondering what could happen next.

If you have not read FORGED IN FIRE? I’d suggest you do it first because it will give the nuances even more importance in HOLD ON. They are a two-book sequel and while they can be read individually, as stand-alone books? You will see things from a different perspective if you’ve read FORGED IN FIRE first.

I hope you enjoy the sequel, HOLD ON! My model I chose for it was Jason Aaron Baca. He had the look of Beau Gardner: that intense warrior that he could become when things turned violent and dangerous.

The background for the book cover? The thunderstorm? That is a photo I took of a monsoon thunderstorm coming our way where we live in the Verde Valley of Arizona in 2006. Really cool to meld these elements together! There’s more tidbits coming about this book. So, HOLD ON ;-)!!!!

HOLD ON by Lindsay McKenna

Delos #5

Hold On

Callie McKinley has been burned by love before, and has learned to carefully guard her heart. Especially from smooth-talking alpha males like Sgt. Beau Gardner. Callie is wary of the Army Delta Force operator, but she is soon taken in by his slow West Virginia drawl, his honesty and his surprising gentleness. Could Beau be worth risking her bruised heart for?

Being black ops, Beau Gardner isn’t afraid of a challenge. And beautiful Callie McKinley is a big one. He has wanted the beautiful redhead in his bed since he first saw her belly dancing at the annual holiday show at Bagram. But once he begins to break through Callie’s defenses and get to know the woman inside, he realizes he wants more than her body. He wants her heart.

To get closer to Callie, Beau volunteers to provide security for her and her sister while they work at a local orphanage. But when a routine visit to a Afghan village results in a Taliban ambush, Callie and Beau find themselves on the run. And it will take every bit of training Beau possesses to keep them alive. Can he get Callie to safety so that they can explore their growing love or not?

Romance Military [Blue Turtle Publishing, On Sale: August 3, 2016, e-Book, / eISBN: 9781929977314]