Star Spangled Surprise, Holiday Hearts #3 ~ Available Now!

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All’s not fair in love or business…. When a one-night stand with a potential Mr. Right becomes a one-night stand with her new boss set on firing her, Jacqui retreats to Laurel Cove and the security of her family. Will she trust her intuition or will she ignore the signs and hide to keep her heart intact?

A civilian for the first time in twenty years, reconnecting with his family and acclimating to his new life was Ryan’s priority. He didn’t expect to find the perfect Mrs. Right in his hotel bar. And he didn’t expect to have to fire her when he sees her again. His new mission: find Jacqui and convince her to give him another chance.

Can the two go from lovers to in-love or will a surprise keep them from trying?

 Excerpt

“Cheers.” Angled toward her, he raised his glass with a half-smile and took another swallow. Shivers tickled her spine at the single word.

Jacqui tipped her own glass and took a sip, gaze never leaving his. His boy-next-door looks had an edge that made her heart jump a pace. Pale blue eyes, strong jaw, and generous mouth surrounded a not-so-straight nose, giving a hint he wasn’t as wholesome as his looks might have suggested.

“Thank you.” She blurted the sentiment out before she lost her nerve.

His eyebrows inched up and his eyes widened a blink before his smile grew from half to full.

“You’re welcome, I think. Mind telling me for what?”

“For being kind to the man outside, earlier. I saw you talking to a homeless vet. Most people would have walked by. Like me. In a hurry.” She shrugged and took another sip of her drink, willing the jitters shaking her voice to take a hike. “Anyway, thanks for doing what more of us should.” As far as conversation starters went, it wasn’t graceful but was manageable. The man’s intense aura was unnerving yet seductive, and she wanted to get closer. Maybe this is my lucky day. 

Sadness tightened his gaze, his smile not reaching beyond the show of it.

“At least you noticed. Don’t beat yourself up about it.”

“I’m Jacqui.” She scooted into the seat next to him and held out her hand.

He gripped it with casual attention, but didn’t let go right away.

“Ryan.” Palm to palm, heat burned a path up Jacqui’s arm and sent tiny electric shocks across her skin. A flash of awareness sparked as he slowly released his hold and his focus remained on her face. The energy surrounding them shifted with the knowing that came from a first caress and made her heart flip-flop and her body tighten with anticipation. Dear Lord. She almost giggled as lightheaded giddiness floated through her.

Heated interest replaced the sadness she’d seen. Maybe picking up a cute thing from a bar wasn’t a bad plan after all. Ryan—Good name—was full of pluses. No wedding ring, no bad gut feelings or ickiness factor and totally hot and irresistible. Not that she would jump his bones right there in the bar. Maybe he wouldn’t be interested. She’d take it a step at a time. But by the way he checked her out over the rim of his pint glass, she wasn’t alone in feeling the magic.

“Can I buy you another drink?” His soft question held every bit of the invitation she wanted him to give.

“Definitely.” Surprised at the breathiness of her answer, Jacqui tried to focus her attention on the present instead of the maybe later. “But I’m nursing this one until they bring out some food.”

“I’ve got all night.”

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / All Romance Ebooks 


Star Spangled Surprise, Cover Reveal!

Star Spangled Surprise, Holiday Hearts 3!

Release June 27, 2014

StarSpangledSurprise_LargeWithLogoAll’s not fair in love or business….

When a one-night stand with a potential Mr. Right becomes a one-night stand with her new boss set on firing her, Jacqui retreats to Laurel Cove and the security of her family. Will she trust her intuition or will she ignore the signs and hide to keep her heart intact?

A civilian for the first time in twenty years, reconnecting with his family and acclimating to his new life was Ryan’s priority. He didn’t expect to find the perfect Mrs. Right in his hotel bar. And he didn’t expect to have to fire her when he sees her again. His new mission: find Jacqui and convince her to give him another chance.

Can the two go from lovers to in-love or will a surprise keep them from trying?

 

 

 

 

~Excerpt

“Cheers.” Angled toward her, he raised his glass with a half-smile and took another swallow. Shivers tickled her spine at the single word.

Jacqui tipped her own glass and took a sip, gaze never leaving his. His boy-next-door looks had an edge that made her heart jump a pace. Pale blue eyes, strong jaw, and generous mouth surrounded a not-so-straight nose, giving a hint he wasn’t as wholesome as his looks might have suggested.

“Thank you.” She blurted the sentiment out before she lost her nerve.

His eyebrows inched up and his eyes widened a blink before his smile grew from half to full.

“You’re welcome, I think. Mind telling me for what?”

“For being kind to the man outside, earlier. I saw you talking to a homeless vet. Most people would have walked by. Like me. In a hurry.” She shrugged and took another sip of her drink, willing the jitters shaking her voice to take a hike. “Anyway, thanks for doing what more of us should.” As far as conversations starters went, it wasn’t graceful but was manageable. The man’s intense aura was unnerving yet seductive, and she wanted to get closer. Maybe this is my lucky day.

Sadness tightened his gaze, his smile not reaching beyond the show of it.

“At least you noticed. Don’t beat yourself up about it.”

“I’m Jacqui.” She scooted into the seat next to him and held out her hand.

He gripped it with casual attention, but didn’t let go right away.

“Ryan.” Palm to palm, heat burned a path up Jacqui’s arm and sent tiny electric shocks across her skin. A flash of awareness sparked as he slowly released his hold and his focus remained on her face. The energy surrounding them shifted with the knowing that came from a first caress and made her heart flip-flop and her body tighten with anticipation. Dear Lord. She almost giggled as lightheaded giddiness floated through her.

Heated interest replaced the sadness she’d seen. Maybe picking up a cute thing from a bar wasn’t a bad plan after all. Ryan—Good name—was full of pluses. No wedding ring, no bad gut feelings or ickiness factor and totally hot and irresistible. Not that she would jump his bones right there in the bar. Maybe he wouldn’t be interested. She’d take it a step at a time. But by the way he checked her out over the rim of his pint glass, she wasn’t alone in feeling the magic.

“Can I buy you another drink?” His soft question held every bit of the invitation she wanted him to give.

“Definitely.” Surprised at the breathiness of her answer, Jacqui tried to focus her attention on the present instead of the maybe later. “But I’m nursing this one until they bring out some food.”

“I’ve got all night.”

 


Hero Worship is out now!!

I’m so happy to announce that my sexy superhero romance, Hero Worship is out now! Check the blog tour schedule for a chance to win a $30 Gift Card!

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An Old Threat Returns….

After twenty years confinement on an island for crimes against humanity, the last thing disgraced H.E.R.O. Cole wants to hear is the world needs him. But the government’s sexy envoy peaks his interest and his honor.

Temptation….

Enhanced human and the government’s top negotiator, Caroline Sparks’ only mission is to bring in the last H.E.R.O. at any cost. When he asks for two months with her on his island when the mission is over, she can’t refuse even if it means exposing a secret he might kill her over.

Battle to save the world….

With disaster looming at every turn, Cole must choose between vengeance and duty. Can Caroline embrace her latent power and save her hero or will saving the world cost them both everything?

~Excerpt

“Look, princess, I don’t have a knight-in-shining-armor side. You need to get around to my real side.”

Caroline’s teeth clicked together at princess; her tongue barely escaped the sharp edges before she forced another breath through her nose.

“And what side would that be? Your, I-want-my-own-island-and-the-rest-of- the-world-can-rot, side? Or how about your, I-need-a-new-woman-every-couple- weeks, side? Which one of those should I appeal to?”

Her voice sounded strange to her ears, thick with frustration and on the brink of screeching. I never raise my voice. Pursing her lips against the tremble, she gripped the edge of her seat, doing her best to ignore his wide smirk. She needed this conversation under her control.

He leaned back and tilted his head to look beneath the table, eyeing her legs. She stiffened but didn’t move further at his perusal of her from head to chest and back. A negotiator couldn’t be easily offended.

“Definitely my I-need-a-new-woman-every-couple-weeks, side. You could be that woman.”

“What?” Incredulity tightened her throat and her words sputtered out in a breathy puff. “Are you insane?”

“Depends on who you ask.” He winked; a suggestive tilt broadened his smile.

No way in hell. She squashed the butterflies that flapped in her belly, determined to ignore the temptation of his sun-kissed shoulders and golden abs, each muscle defined like a sculpted masterpiece. A perfect Hero. Physically. Too bad, of all the Heroes, only he remained.

Caroline cleared her throat. “I’m here to negotiate your chance at freedom, not feed your lascivious appetites.”

“Okay. Tell the AG the offer is rejected.”

“Millions of lives are at risk. We can’t combat a cyborg army under the control of a terrorist on our own.”

“Not my problem.”?“You used to be a hero. Now you’re heartless and cruel—pathetic.”?Caroline searched his face for a reaction, anything to tell her she’d gotten to

him. He gave nothing but a shrug under a steady gaze. Her insults seemed to roll right off him.

“Your brethren would be ashamed.”

A flash of violence passed through his eyes as he thrust forward, shoulders raised, in a shift from nonchalant to coiled aggression, ready to strike at the next provocation. Here was the vengeance that cost a dozen citizens their lives and damages in the billions to government assets. She struggled not to react, but anger surged inside her, smothering her self-protective instincts.

Available now~ Amz / BN / Decadent / ARe

Cover art courtesy Tibbs Design


New Release! Cupid’s Promise for your Valentine’s Day Pleasure…

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Cupid’s Promise, Holiday Hearts Book 2, is out now! I’m so excited to now be a “multi-published” author. I hope you enjoy Lena’s story as much as Genny’s. I’m hard at work on Jacqui’s story, so stay tuned for more on that one soon! But for now, enjoy this blurb and excerpt for Cupid’s Promise!

Blurb:

Shot through the heart…

Cupid’s Secret promises to set Laurel Cove on its ear with a sexy new boutique that answers what a woman desires. When the owner ends up in the hospital it’s up to Lena Ridgeway to make sure this heart-stopping opening goes off without a hitch, but she finds her every idea challenged by a no-nonsense businessman.

Capitalizing on a feeling…

Marcus Blackwell is a bottom-line kind of guy and he knows that sex and hearts sell. When he arrives to find his latest venture in chaos, his partner injured, and a model- turned-manager in charge, he rolls up his sleeves and dives in. If only he could keep his mind-and hands – off the sultry model with her whimsical faith in a fake holiday.

Can’t fight this fortune…

Lena can’t help teasing the straight-laced, business-only boss who keeps sneaking into her dreams. One passionate kiss has her believing he may be the one she’s waited for all her life, but she’ll need every arrow in Cupid’s arsenal to prove she is his true Valentine….

Excerpt:

“You’re firing me because I didn’t sell enough chocolate?” Lena had never been fired before. She shouldn’t be so pissed. It wasn’t like she had wanted to be a clerk in the first place.

“No. I’m letting you know your obligation to your friend is fulfilled. We have a manager who can take over—one who’s interested in the bottom line and ready to do what it takes to make this store a success—therefore, you no longer need to inconvenience yourself with filling in.” If he could have been more condescending, she wasn’t sure how.

“But who will coordinate the seminars and special guests we have coming in next week? Julie can’t run the store and do that, too.” Why was she arguing? If the part owner said he didn’t need her, then he didn’t need her. She could get to her planned reunion with James.

“I’ll be coordinating the week of activities and specials. Like I said, everything is under control and you are free to go.” He began the closing routine as if there was no need for further discussion. She was, for the first time she could remember, speechless.

Lena paced through the shop to the florist counter where her purse was secured in a cabinet. Pulling the over-sized boho bag out, she bit her tongue before saying anything else. She had known her time there was temporary while they found other staff, but she had enjoyed the work and done well, despite what Marcus thought. Maybe she should take his dismissal as a sign to move on.

Turning, she almost swallowed her sore tongue. Holy heck. Boss from hell had loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar. Suddenly Mr. Tight Ass looked more bedroom than boardroom. He ran a hand over his face, pinched the bridge of his nose for a breath, then smoothed through his just-longer-than-short locks. The natural wave kept the tousled-yet-put-together style with ease. Transfixed, she couldn’t look away as his long fingers deftly and purposefully unbuttoned one sleeve and then the other before rolling them up to reveal the sun-kissed color of his hands also extended up strong forearms. Her lips closed around the soft pant of her breath. Her thoughts really needed to start flowing in a different direction.

His gaze caught hers and heat singed her cheeks at his cocky half-grin. “You don’t need to help close up. I can manage.”

Clearing her throat, she wiped at the handprint her heated skin had left on the glass counter. “Sure thing.” I need to get out of here before I do something stupid.

Lena wrestled one arm into her coat. Her palms itched to either smack him or caress him to see what he would do. Neither choice was in her best interest. He moved behind her to hold up her coat. His hand brushed her shoulder, turning her toward him. The small touch sent a thrill straight to her core. Peeking up at him, she searched for an answering attraction in the depths of his warm autumn flecked-green eyes but he moved away quickly. “Night, then. Good luck.” And once again, she’d been dismissed.

Stupid candy. From this night on, she never wanted to see chocolate again. Okay, maybe not until after Valentine’s.

And as a special release day celebration, I have a giveaway going on for the next week and I’ll be all over the place. Check here for details!

Amazon, Barnes&NobleAReDecadent Publishing


It’s Here! Her Wish Before Christmas is Available Now…

HerWishBeforeChristmas_mediumIt’s holiday time in Laurel Cove. Can the magic of the season and a little posthumous gypsy assistance help Connor become Genny’s wish before Christmas?

I’m so excited to announce that my debut holiday romance from Decadent Publishing, Her Wish Before Christmas, is finally available! Let me know what you think! I had so much fun writing it. I love, love, love Christmas. I’ll be blogging my buns off the next few weeks so look for me and chat! I have some awesome prizes I’ll be giving away at various places. Check my Facebook Page to see where I am.

 


Cover Reveal

Thank you to everyone who liked my Facebook page! I love the cover for my debut sweet contemporary holiday romance, Her WIsh Before Christmas. Stay tuned for a release date but for now- a short excerpt and the gorgeous cover.

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Cover art by Scott Carpenter.

Her Wish Before Christmas, Excerpt:

“I didn’t know you were in town.” She asked, proud she had kept the hysterical out of her voice.  

“I wasn’t. Until this week. I’m setting up a practice at the new clinic down the street.” He stood and helped her up from the floor.

Connor F’ing O’Rourke back in town and looking too delicious by half. She licked her lips and swallowed at the sudden dryness in her mouth. The hurt and anger returned with a swift jab to her heart rivaling the sting of glass in her foot. The feelings so fresh, like she was eighteen again and waiting for the proposal that never came. Don’t go there. You’re over him.

“Thanks, Doctor O’Rourke. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a mess to clean up.”

Genny slid the old lady house shoe on her foot and stood, refusing his outstretched hand. How could he waltz in here and expect to talk to her as if he hadn’t crushed her heart and made her hope he never returned to Laurel Cove?

“So, are you back for good or just visiting your grandmother?”

Genny held her hand up, tears stinging her eyes. The town gossip mill had spread the word for her and she hadn’t had to tell anyone what happened. What the hell were the gossips doing leaving him out of the loop?

“I meant to stop by earlier but got caught up at a meeting. I know she’ll have some ideas on what I could use to decorate the waiting room.”

“Nona passed away a few weeks ago.” She couldn’t get anything more around the lump in her throat. Saying the words brought the sorrow rushing to the surface and along with his surprise return, pummeled her already bruised soul. I am not going to cry in front of him.

She tried to push past him into the store, but he stepped in front of her, and she found herself embraced by strong arms before she could turn away. The feel of his broad chest against her cheek and the warm smell of cologne and the sheer compassion of his hug burst the dam. Small circles stroked on her back and a light kiss pressed to the top of her head were more comforting than she could resist and tears continued to fall against her will.

“I’m sorry, Genny. She’ll be missed.” His voice hitched.

Is he getting choked up about my grandmother? He can’t do this to me. She pushed away and took a step back. Clearing her throat, she brushed the palms of her hands over her face to dry her cheeks and tried to gather control.


Happy New Year to Me!

Recently I posted about my New Years resolutions over at Romancing The Naked Hero – Here. Yes, Happy New Year to me and to every other parent whose kids are headed back to school. My youngest starts next week…. I like to think I’ve done my duty as a mother and made sure both my boys are so ready to get back to school. They’re THAT bored with summer! :) It helps that we’ve been suffering with triple digit heat and even the pool is too hot. So playing outside is just brutal and even my video-game/ documentary obsessed 7yo can watch only so much T.V. We’ve worn out every board game in the house (I’m having Battleship dreams) and are down to the few things on our list that we haven’t managed to pack in yet. Bowling and roller skating. Two things the boys haven’t done yet. One week to go, two activities and then… Mommy Time! So I’m raising a glass (okay a mug of herbal tea) to all the parents out there and wishing you all a wonderful and productive Happy New Year!




My To-Be-Read Pile Runneth Over…

I have so many great books to get through this summer! I need a reading vacation. Ahhhh to go somewhere quiet, with no one needing anything from you and nothing to do but read and relax. Sounds like a dream… and it is. Not going to happen so it’s up to me to get “creative” with my need to read. Material in the bathroom- check.. I’m the only female in a house of four and it’s become my “quiet place”… In the car for those long waits at karate or gymnastics- check… bedside table and office, living room and kitchen- check and check and well you get the picture. When I figure out how to post a pic- I’ll show you just what I’ve got that’s NOT on my kindle!