Brink of Passion by Sondrae Bennett

Brink of Passion by Sondrae Bennett

Profile_pictureHi! Thanks for having me today. My name is Sondrae Bennett, and I write paranormal romance.

When I wrote my first book, Arctic Winds, five years ago, I never imagined the scope of the journey I’d began. How could I have known that a little novella about two people finding love would develop into a six book series (with more on the way). But the ideas wouldn’t stop flooding in. As soon as a new character was introduced, they began demanding their own story.

Then one character entered the picture who was unique in her own way. The heroes sister, Laurie. She never demanded her own tale, but always stood in the background…waiting. We both knew her time would come, but were both prepared to wait for the perfect time and the perfect man.

From the very beginning I loved her. She exhibits so much of who I wish I could be. Confident, clever, carefree, yet with a strong sense of responsibility and loyalty. Not to mention, a wicked sense of humor. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants. And she’s not afraid to roll the dice on the chance to have it all.

In Brink of Passion, the latest installment in the Alpine Woods Shifter series, she does just that. After meeting Max, the man her wolf has chosen as their mate, she decides to leave the home town she’s lived in her whole life and jump into the unknown. She knows it’s a risk, that her and Max might not be as perfect together as their shifter sides believe. Theirs isn’t an instant love mating, but the attraction between them won’t be denied. It’s a risk, but one she knows is worth taking. She pushes through her fear and anxiety about the decision and does what she needs to in striving for her happily ever after.

In a lot of ways, writing Brink of Passion has helped me grow as a person. It’s given me the courage to go outside my comfort zone and seek out new challenges and opportunities. Would you risk everything for love? Have you?

Brink of Passion coverExcerpt:

“Are you hungry?” he asked.

She shook her head.

“Drinks then?” Although he’d phrased it as a question, he had no intention of letting her refuse. Now that he’d found her, there was no way he’d let her go. He couldn’t. The beast inside him wouldn’t stand for it.

Taking her arm, he steered her toward the front of the hotel. Sure, he could have taken her to the hotel bar. It would have been faster, and more convenient. But the bar was no doubt packed full of shifters, and he wanted more privacy than that. He didn’t need a bunch of strangers, who would no doubt sense what was happening, staring and whispering while they were getting to know each other. Earlier, he’d seen a pub around the corner from the hotel that seemed promising. He pointed toward the hotel entrance as they walked and she nodded before moving ahead of him to maneuver through the crowd.

His fingers still tingled from touching her skin, and every nerve in his body thrummed with awareness. His gaze strayed downward to the swing of her hips as she walked, and he bit his lip to hold in a groan. No doubt the two of them together would burn up the sheets once he got her into his bed.

Soon. They both knew they’d end up there. Why deny themselves the pleasure?

She hesitated a moment, looking over her shoulder, as they walked out of the hotel, making him wonder if she were in fact with a man. If so, he admired her loyalty, even if it was no longer relevant. The poor shmuck would have to find someone else. He grabbed her hand, almost groaning at the pleasure merely touching her gave him, and led her down the street.

She had to feel the connection between them. The inexplicable pull toward each other. He’d never felt so certain of anything before in his life. Suddenly he understood the possessiveness other men displayed toward their mates. A part of him had always sneered at men who found their mates and ignored everything else. The ones who became so enamored that they professed undying devotion to someone they barely knew. He’d always thought those men weak-willed, or somehow kidding themselves. But now he knew differently.

No, he wasn’t in love with Laurie—he didn’t even know her—but he was completely and utterly captivated by everything about her. Love would grow. What they had between them was more intense and consuming than that.

As they walked down the street, more men stared at her, some shifters in town for the convention, but plenty of full humans as well. Annoyance grew at every eye he caught looking at her with interest. Laurie appeared either oblivious to the attention, or used to it. The thought of the latter irritated him further. Was she looked at so often that she’d become immune to it? Even women’s eyes were drawn to her.

When they got to the pub, Max pulled Laurie away from everyone else and into a secluded circular booth. Away from prying eyes. He scooted into the booth until they were seated together in the back.

Her scent drove him wild, and he couldn’t resist rubbing the tip of her hair between his fingers. Her eyes tracked his movements, her mouth opening as if she wanted to protest, but after a moment, she closed it. Pleasure filled him. Before the end of the night, Laurie would be his.

The smile vanished from his face as a waiter came to take their orders. The man’s eyes were riveted on his mate. A low growl rumbled in his throat.

Pure male satisfaction filled him when the waiter’s eyes widened in fear. He left so fast after taking their drink orders, Max was surprised he didn’t leave skid marks.

“Are you always this friendly, or do I bring out the best in you?” Sarcasm dripped from the words. He’d admit it, watching other men ogle his mate was awakening his beast.

“Doesn’t it bother you?” Because it sure as hell was bothering him.

“The growling? Nah, I have three brothers, so your ultra alpha-ness doesn’t scare me.”

Alpha-ness? Was that even a word?

“Not me. You. Doesn’t it bother you to have so many people making eyes at you?”

“Making eyes? What are you, eighty?” She laughed and the sound swept through him, punched through his frustration and brought a steady burn of lust in his gut. Low, with a hint of roughness that sent chills down his spine.

Desire burned in the back of his throat and pooled in his belly until thoughts of Laurie took over his entire being. With another growl, this time one of pure need, Max leaned forward and nipped the top of Laurie’s ear. Her laughter ceased, breath catching on a quickly indrawn gasp. Fingers dug into his thigh, right above his knee, until he released her ear, soothing it with a small lick before pulling back.

“I’m being serious.”

Her eyes stared at him in confusion, lust still clouding their depths. He’d be lying if he said the sight of her desire didn’t fill him with pride and no small amount of excitement for the night ahead.

After a minute, she shook her head. He could almost see her scattering droplets of bewilderment just as a dog shakes off water after a bath. The image broke through the tension from frustration and lust. He could be patient, because tonight would be the start of forever.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

She didn’t know. He could see it in her face. She wasn’t trying to be cute, or pretend innocence. She really didn’t see the way everyone stared at her. Somehow, that only made her more attractive.

Unable to resist, he tangled his fingers with hers and leaned his other arm along the back of the booth so that he could play with her hair. Then he began to get to know her in earnest.

Blurb:

He’ll do anything to protect his mate.

The last thing Laurie expects when she bumps into Max at the shifter convention is finding her mate. Certainly not that her mate can shift into a leopard. Wolves and leopards mix about as well as water and oil. Or should she say, dogs and cats. Mating him means leaving her family, her town, and the only home she’s ever known. But the possibility of a happily ever after is worth the risk, right?

Max couldn’t be happier with his brazen, feisty wolf, but returning home isn’t the welcoming affair he’d expected. In his absence, his brother has been attacked within the leap complex. Something must to be seriously wrong. Could someone be using his loved ones to get to him? When his worst fears prove true, his protective instinct goes into overdrive. Will keeping Laurie mean putting her in danger?

Brink of Passion will be available February 25th (tomorrow!) and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon

Find out more about me or my books at www.sondraebennett.com, on Facebook, or Twitter.

In the Spotlight: Sacred by Max Ellendale

Sacred_200x300Some decisions are easy to make, especially when it comes to the well-being of your mate. Even if the decision means ending the life of another…

Just when Shawnee thought her life would finally settle down, an unexpected visit from Vanessa’s family sparks an unraveling of a different sort. The visitors bring news that the Pride is in trouble. Dugan, a weretiger who relentlessly bullies the most vulnerable members, threatens to take over. Shawnee returns with Vanessa to her homeland and, with the help of Xany and an unsuspecting submissive, works to bring down Dugan before he dismembers the Pride. Can Vanessa stand up to her nemesis and restore the Pride to safety? Will she break under the pressure, or can Shawnee protect her mate from the torment? Shawnee quickly learns to draw on the strength of her pack family and with a keen bit of luck, may very well be the key to saving the Pride and her mate.

***

Max grew up just outside of New York City, spending most of her formative years outdoors creating wild ghost hunts with neighborhood kids, setting booby-traps to capture unwitting family members, and building clubhouses on top of ten-foot walls. Max wrote her first story at the age of twelve and titled it Circles of Friendship. Through the years, Max has written several short-stories and poems, all of which met the wrath of the “Not Good Enough” monster and ended in fiery demise.

Max regained her confidence when she began writing scholarly articles and research theses on her first trip through graduate school. It took several years for her to break the habit of the formal writing that marred her creativity. An additional Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing was Max’s biggest support in this. Max writes primarily sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal romance, and Young Adult stories.

Find Max Ellendale on Amazon

For more information visit: www.maxellendale.com

***

Excerpt

Chapter One

“Doctor Twofeathers?” The charge nurse called my name as I stood on the desk, reaching for a book on the highest shelf of the medical library.

“Yes?”

“There’s someone here to see you,” she said, her lips pursed in a way that tried to stifle a small smile.

“Is it a walk-in?” I hopped down from the desk and straightened my lab coat. It wasn’t everyday that I got caught climbing for answers. The look on the nurse’s face told me I hadn’t played it off as coolly as I’d hoped.

“You…could say that.” A wry grin lifted the corners of her mouth. “A very handsome walk-in.”

Could it be Mal? A rush of excitement shot through me as the nurse nodded toward the door. I followed her to the nurses’ station by the entrance of Stormhill Hospital Center’s emergency room. I’d worked here for a few weeks, part-time at the request of my pack. Despite the hospital administrator urging me to work full-time, it just wasn’t in my best interest. Ultimately, it was my decision. I knew that spending too much time away wouldn’t be the best approach to strengthening our new bonds. Even though I only spent less than twenty-four hours a week out of the house, it seemed like a lot more. The part-time position afforded me the opportunity to work on building up a private practice at the cabin. This made Vanessa happy and soothed by the fact that my work outside the house was temporary.

Waiting for me by the front desk was my mate, Mal. I tried my best to keep the surprise from my doctorly poker face, but I couldn’t help it, really. He greeted me with a casual hug, then held up the brown paper bag he carried.

“I thought we’d have dinner together tonight. I bribed Beth into telling me when you were taking your break,” he said, shooting a glance at the young brunette receptionist.

“Bribed her with what?” I laughed.

Beth turned in her chair, a cheeky smile plastered across her face. She held out her hands and Mal tossed her a giant wrapped sandwich.

“With food.” A grin spread across his lips, lending light to the stark curve of his jaw. The overwhelming desire to kiss him was hard to suppress.

“Thanks, handsome boyfriend of Doctor T,” Beth’s voice carried on a light chuckle as she set her dinner on the desk.

“She’s the best.” I smiled at Beth before waving at Mal to follow me. “We can eat in my office.”

My office at the hospital was a cozy space tucked into the corner of the first floor. The windows looked out into the parking lot and the trees beyond it. It was the first time that Mal had visited me, and I wanted to show him everything. He looked around at the charts and graphs on the walls, then lifted an eyebrow at the chalkboard someone had used for a game of hangman.

“The residents sometimes share the office,” I explained through a laugh. His expression lightened as I nudged the door closed behind me.

“Is it usually this quiet here?”

“Only after midnight,” I said as he set the bag of food down on the desk. Mal turned around to lean against it and smiled at me. His eyes wandered over me from head to toe.

“What?” I asked and followed his gaze, wondering if some sort of ER goo or hospital stench covered me.

“You really do look like a doctor,” he said, voice laced with surprise as his eyebrows flicked upward.

“I am a doctor.” I laughed and made my way over to wrap my arms around his neck. He gave a light tug to the stethoscope that dangled along my chest then used it to pull me closer.

“You sure are,” he said, and in an instant, his lips pressed to mine.

Relief flooded me as the soothing mate bond thrummed happily between us like an invisible strand connecting our souls. The heat between our bodies was wonderfully unbearable. He let go of the stethoscope, then slipped his hands under my lab coat to rest on my waist.

“How are things at home?” My voice seemed to sigh.

“Vanessa is driving Xany crazy.” He laughed as his fingers stroked along the waistband of my scrubs, igniting the familiar ache of desire in my belly. “When she tries to start a conversation or ask her a question, Vanessa’s responses are just totally weird.”

“Poor Xany.” I couldn’t help grinning at the notion. Vanessa’s responses were peculiar on a regular basis, and during heat time, they were practically unfathomable.

“I think Xany and Ana went to Imogene’s this afternoon to escape for a while. It’s been strange for everyone hanging around a feral weretiger that’s in heat.” His hands came to rest on the small of my back. The heat of him swallowed me whole.

“I don’t usually notice until she completely stops speaking in full sentences.” I shook my head. “Is Mom okay?” I asked, and toyed with the collar of his shirt. I couldn’t bring myself to query any further. My mother had been back in my life for barely a month before I started working again and, I had to admit, I wasn’t putting in my best effort to reconnect with her. What would she think when she discovered all of my secrets?

“She’s the most patient wolf I’ve ever seen.” He smiled.

“I know.” I closed my eyes. His chin pressed against my forehead. “Thank you for coming to see me tonight.”

“My pleasure.” With a grin that seemed malevolent at best, his hands dipped into my pants and cupped my rear. I gave his ponytail a firm tug when his hardness pressed against me.

“Is it?” I smiled. If my werewolf had taught me anything, he’d taught me how to play. And to take the bait.

Sensually Snowbound with Lindsay Evans

Sensually Snowbound with Lindsay Evans

Sex and snow have always seemed to belong together. Not necessarily two or more people rolling around in the cold white stuff (although I’ve written about that before) but being snug and warm behind closed doors with snow falling outside the windows, a fire getting the room nice and hot while an equally hot man tended to fires of an entirely different kind. That image was the catalyst for my latest novel, Snowy Mountain Nights. The story is hot, its hero even hotter, and the heroine overdue for a nice long blast of heat. Intrigued? Come with me on this journey.

9780373863952_SMPSnowy Mountain Nights by Lindsay Evans

On a much-needed ski getaway with her girlfriends, the last person Reyna Allen wants to run into is the lawyer who ruined her life. The tattoo artist’s bitter divorce left her with nothing, and she blames her ex-husband’s attorney, Garrison Richards. Now firelight dinners, winter walks in the Adirondacks, and toe-curling chemistry are daring her to give in to the one man she refuses to ever trust.

Garrison is good at his job—and where Reyna’s concerned, he may have been a little too good. He regrets the role he played in her divorce, and intends to show Reyna that he’s found his moral compass since then. But as their mutual heat thaws her resolve, will doubts put the freeze on their relationship—before he can convince her that they’re the ones meant for happily ever after?

Buy: Snowy Mountain Nights (Harlequin Kimani Romance)

5538_1382030788676096_1777985550_nBio:

Born in Jamaica, Lindsay Evans currently lives and writes in Atlanta, GA. She loves good food and romance and would happily travel to the ends of the earth for both. She writes sensual love stories for Harlequin Kimani. Find out more at www.LindsayEvansWrites.com.

Contact Lindsay at:

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Snowy Mountain Nights Excerpt: 

Garrison stared after the woman while his secretary’s words on the other end of the line fell away from him in a garble of sound. She was the same one he had been watching from before. Now that he’d seen her face, she was breathtaking; an Amazon with a hauntingly beautiful face and body. He drew a quiet breath, hypnotized by the sway of her hips under the green dress as she walked away. Halfway down the train, she sat down with her three friends, never once glancing back at him.

“Garrison, are you still there?”

It took him a few seconds to realize Anthea was trying to get his attention. He mentally shook himself.

“My apologies, Anthea. I’m right here.”

He finished going over the particulars of the Reichman divorce, yet another rich client with children who didn’t want to financially support his offspring, then went back to his seat. He could hear the muted strains of the woman and her friends’ conversation from where he sat. And he wasn’t the only man glancing in their direction. Annoyed with himself for his uncharacteristic fascination, Garrison opened a folder for a case still in arbitration, but couldn’t concentrate on a single word.

The woman’s eyes haunted him. They were black and intense, her gaze as regal and unflinching as a queen. He drew a swift breath of surprise as he abruptly recalled who she was and how he knew her.

Reyna. Reyna Barbieri.

He’d handled her divorce from her actor husband nearly five years before. From the look on her face, she had undoubtedly known who he was on sight. And she hadn’t been happy to see him.

Garrison remembered the first time he saw her. Ian Barbieri, a client of his whose ship had come in the form of a syndicated crime drama, was a few years into the TV show when he filed for divorce. Every fall, his face was up on billboards all over New York City, advertising the new installment of his show.

With his star burning bright through the network TV sky, Barbieri had breezed into Garrison’s office wanting a quick and surgical separation from his wife of nearly nine years. Garrison hadn’t been surprised. Although Ian Barbieri was a relatively small fish in the show business pond in New York, the rumor had been going around for months (with pictures included) that he was cheating on his high school sweetheart. That he left her to keep the home fires burning while he had sex with nearly every wannabe starlet and groupie in the city. What had surprised Garrison was that Barbieri’s wife hadn’t hired a lawyer of her own. Neither had she objected to any of the terms of the divorce that her ex proposed.

Garrison drafted the documents with the stipulations Barbieri wanted and arranged a meeting with the wife thinking that, since the divorce was uncontested, it would be an easy and quick process. Barbieri wanted to keep just about everything he’d made and acquired since the marriage, leaving his wife with nothing but her wedding ring. She hadn’t protested.

Then Reyna Barbieri walked into the conference room. Given Barbieri’s movie star looks, Garrison had been prepared for a similar creature, perfectly quaffed and artificial, the New York version of Hollywood. But Reyna had that wholesome loveliness that came from a life lived apart from show business. The air in his lungs stuttered at her natural, long-legged beauty. And the misery in her face.

Her shoulders were slumped. The floral, summer dress and light sweater were too insubstantial for the fall weather and too big for her body. The wounded and defenseless look of her made him want to protect her. Garrison wanted to pull her into his arms and shelter her from everything that he knew was to come.

His heart thumped viciously at the unusual wave of feeling. He sat in his chair staring at Reyna as if she was the only person in the room. Garrison was surprised that everyone else hadn’t stared at him for his blatantly fatuous and unprofessional behavior.

He realized then that despite her husband’s flagrant cheating, she had not wanted to end the marriage. And that her husband had hurt her in ways that she had never expected and would probably never recover from. Garrison remembered pulling out a chair for Reyna. He also remembered her flinching from him. Her reaction had hurt, twisted him with guilt even though he knew he’d done nothing wrong. At least not technically.

In hindsight, Garrison should have insisted that Barbieri provide for her even though she had pressed for nothing on her own behalf and seemed to be waiting on the man she’d spent nearly half her life with to treat her fairly. Garrison’s inaction, and Reyna’s sadness, had haunted him ever since.

But the Reyna who had confronted him outside the bathrooms was not the same sad woman he’d met five years before. Not at all. This Reyna Barbieri was stunning for a completely different reason.

She wore her confidence like a royal cloak. And her snapping black eyes had challenged him the moment she realized who he was. Her chin-length curls were tight and thick, inviting him to sink his hands into them and pull her closer. And her body. Christ almighty…

The long and tight sweater hugged a figure that came straight from his dreams, a slender but curvaceous body he could easily imagine taking into his arms and making love to all night. Because of her, he was powerfully aware of every masculine part of him, aware that he wanted to be intimately joined to every feminine part of her.

Buy: Snowy Mountain Nights (Harlequin Kimani Romance)

Excerpt & Giveaway: Caught in the Act by Kim Law

kim-headshot

BIO:

As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and then worked as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, has been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and has served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

CONTACT LINKS:

www.kimlaw.com

twitter.com/kim_law

facebook.com/kimlawauthor

pinterest.com/kimlawauthor/

LawKim-CaughtInTheAct-CoverArtCAUGHT IN THE ACT

The Davenports, Book Two

Montlake Romance, Contemporary

January 27, 2015

Paperback & Kindle

Catherine Davenport Carlton needs a break. After dedicating her life to her political-minded family, shocking scandals from the past have shaken her to her core. Summer in the quiet town of Dyersport, Maine, is just what she needs, especially with a super-hot neighbor right next door…who’s none other than Brody Hollister, the boy she fell in love with as a teen. Cat wants nothing more than to pick up right where they left off eighteen years ago, but she’s still haunted by a terrible secret that could devastate Brody.

Brody Hollister spent years pining over Cat Davenport. They met young and loved passionately—until she disappeared from his life. Now she’s back, as spirited and beautiful as ever. But while Brody is determined to help Cat free herself from her family’s drama, his own family may be hiding something that could ruin their rekindled romance for good.

In Book Two of the Davenports romance series, sex and politics collide…with passionate results.

Buy: Caught in the Act (The Davenports Book 2)

EXCERPT:

“I . . . uh . . .” Louisa’s stumbling words caught his attention. She was looking back and forth between them, confusion marring her face. “I guess you two know each other?” she finally asked.

Brody’s gaze met Cat’s. They nodded simultaneously.

“We know each other,” he said. “Though it’s been a long time.”

Cat nodded again, the anger he’d seen flash across her face softening back into surprise. “Long time,” she muttered.

And then her gaze skittered away.

Her lack of eye contact intrigued him, and he took the moment to study her appearance. Her makeup was just right: applied with a light hand but enough to come across as professional. Her hair, with its wide band perfectly matching her top and shoes, didn’t have a single flyaway strand.

And her stance screamed that she was important—only not so much as to not fit in with the locals. She wore her Davenport air, and from everything he’d seen over the last two decades, she should be standing there with a high level of confidence.

However, she was still focusing on anything other than him.

And then he got it. She hadn’t been spying on him for the last five days. She’d been ogling.

Him.

This brought a broad grin to his face. It had been nineteen years since he’d seen her. And yeah, he knew that people checked him out. He took care of himself. According to gossip at the college, he was a “hottie.” But to have Cat think so. After all this time. The very idea sent a rush of hot pleasure through his body.

And he could see it on her face when she peeked up at him once more. Her chin tilted stubbornly in the air. Catherine Davenport had just figured out that the guy she had the hots for was the very boy who’d once fumbled his way into her panties.

And she lived right next door to him.

The summer suddenly looked a whole lot brighter.

“Mr. Hollister,” a high-pitched voice said at his side. A small hand yanked on his belt loop, and in the next instant, multiple hands yanked on multiple belt loops, with additional “Mr. Hollisters” thrown in.

Brody looked down. He was surrounded by every kid who’d been sitting perfectly quiet only two minutes earlier. Not that he couldn’t handle them when they weren’t sitting quietly, they’d just caught him off guard. It would be only a matter of getting everyone calmed back down, and things would be fine.

He pried Amy’s tiny hand off his jeans while ignoring Cat still standing in the doorway. “What can I do for you, Amy?”

“Can the woman stay?” the girl asked.

“Yeah!” Fourteen other kids shouted the word in unison and began bouncing up and down, almost as one entity. “Let the woman stay,” they chanted. “Let the woman stay.”

A soft chime sounded overhead, and Louisa mumbled something about the front door. She was gone before Brody could ask for help.

Amy tugged on his belt loop again. “Mr. Hollister.”

“Yes, Amy?” Once again, he pried small fingers from the denim.

“I need to pee.”

Oh geez.

Brody looked around, panicked, feeling suddenly out of control. He did not want to ask Cat for help. There was a certainty in him that if he let her in, even a millimeter, she would quickly become more than a pretty neighbor to secretly fixate on.

He shoved the thought from his mind. She may be next door, and he may still want her—no matter how they’d ended—but it didn’t mean he had to act on it. Even if one glance at her in close proximity had him thinking that he wanted to peel that innocent-looking white skirt from her body and see what she looked like in a teeny-tiny pair of bikinis.

It had nothing to do with her personally. It had simply been a while.

And men had needs.

“How about we all make a bathroom run?” he suggested. He stood tall and swept his gaze over the children. “Line up.” He motioned with his arms, each drawing out a line the kids should step to. “Boys on one side, girls on the other.”

Cat entered the room.

She reached out a hand for Amy’s. “I’ll take the girls.”

“There’s no need,” Brody started. He grabbed Amy’s hand before Cat could. “I can handle it.”

Sculpted blonde eyebrows rose before him. “So can I.”

She stared at him, and it was as if nineteen years slipped away into nothing.

Something had happened that summer that he’d never been able to replicate with another woman. Not even the one he’d been engaged to.

And it seemed to be happening again whether he liked it or not.

All of a sudden, he felt like the geeky teenager he’d once been. She’d been so out of his league. A Davenport. A year older. She’d had a license, for Christ’s sake.

Yet she’d been drawn to him, too. She’d become his best friend during those weeks. He would have followed her anywhere.

Fine. He silently relented. He narrowed his eyes at her as he released Amy’s hand. But I didn’t ask for your help.

Shocker.

He’d been proud even then. No father, a single, struggling mother. He’d needed to be on top of his game for the scholarships he sought.

Cat had needed to be pristine for her family’s reputation.

All of that had disappeared on their last day together.

Cat pasted on her fake, public smile now and proceeded to ignore him. She glowed down at the line of waiting girls. Each of them tittered in front of her as if in the presence of a princess. “Let’s make it a game,” she suggested in a secretive voice. “I’ll be the mama duck, and each of you are my ducklings. That means you have to hold on to your duckling sister in front of you.” She showed them how with one arm outstretched toward Amy’s shoulder. “And stay in a single-file line.”

The girls solemnly nodded and then assembled behind their leader, each with one hand on the girl in front of her. As they filed out of the room, the occasional soft quack could be heard coming from the hallway. Brody couldn’t help but smile.

When the last one disappeared out the door, he realized that he stood in the middle of five silent boys. All of them—including him—had fallen under Cat’s spell and were now staring awestruck in the direction she’d gone, tongues practically lolling out of their mouths.

Terrific. Nothing had changed. She had a way about her.

He looked down at Dylan, the oldest of the boys, who had lifted his head and was studying Brody intently. A quizzical expression was etched on the boy’s face.

“She’s pretty,” Dylan said innocently.

Brody nodded. “Yes, she is.” She had only gotten prettier since he’d last seen her.

“I like her,” the boy stated.

It didn’t take long to figure that out about Cat. Everyone liked her. Dread settled in Brody’s gut. He may have been only fifteen before, but she’d broken his heart in two.

I like her, too.

Buy: Caught in the Act (The Davenports Book 2)

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Excerpt: Going Against Type by Sharon Black

Sometimes finding the right word is easier than finding the right manBLURB: Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV. Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women. Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but is soon drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just whom the opponent is… When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake, than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings. When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?’

Buy: Going Against Type

EXCERPT:

Helen clapped her hands delightedly. ‘Oh Charlotte! Derry Cullinane? Don’t tell me you don’t know his by-line. I thought all you journalists knew each other.’

Charlotte looked bemused. ‘How do you know him?’

‘Well I always read his mid-week fashion feature. He’s a terrific writer…what?’

‘You read him, but you never read me?’

Helen smiled a little sheepishly. ‘Hey, nothing personal. Sport just doesn’t do it for me…’

‘Anyway, Fiona was obviously playing matchmaker,’ Charlotte continued, ‘but I’m not sure about him…’
Helen frowned.

‘What’s he like? His picture looks really hot! Oh God, please don’t tell me it’s airbrushed! Is he a troll? Oh wait, is he gay? He does write about fashion…’

Charlotte rolled her eyes. ‘That would make the matchmaking a bit pointless. No, he’s definitely not gay.’

‘So, what…three ex-wives? Does he still live with his mother?’

Charlotte bit her lip thoughtfully. ‘It’s nothing like that. We’re just very different. We have nothing in common.’

Helen nodded sagely. ‘No chemistry?’

‘Um well, no. I think there probably was.’

Helen started to laugh. ‘Charlotte, you’re blushing! Let me get this straight: the guy is gorgeous, available and you’ve got the hots for him.’

Charlotte shrugged. ‘It doesn’t matter. I don’t think I’m his type at all.’

‘So you turned him down?’ Helen looked disappointed.

‘He hasn’t even asked me out.’

‘Not yet.’

Charlotte shook her head. ‘Not ever. He’s Saville Row. I’m Wrangler jeans. He wouldn’t be interested. One of the other women there said he has a new, stunner of a girlfriend every time she meets him.’

‘Yeah, you wouldn’t stand a chance,’ Helen teased.

‘Well seriously, why would he be interested? I spend half my life out on the side of some football pitch or racetrack…’

‘Charlotte Regan, you have an exciting job,’ Helen interrupted sternly.

‘…and in my down time I do the kind of stuff most men prefer to do with their mates. The most expensive thing Iown is a wetsuit. He complimented me on your dress, by the way, he actually recognised the designer! I’d no idea.’ Charlotte paused. ‘How have I reached twenty nine without owning one designer dress?’

‘But there was a spark?’ Helen said, as if Charlotte hadn’t spoken. Charlotte rolled her eyes again.
‘Maybe. So what? This guy won’t stray from his comfort zone: women as deep as their cosmetics!’

SHARON BLACK Biography.

SHARON Black grew up in Dublin. She studied history and politics at University College Dublin and then did post-graduate in journalism at Dublin City University. She has worked for national newspapers, including The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner. She had short stories published in U Magazine and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. When she is not writing, she reads, walks and sees friends. She co-founded a local book club 14 years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, science fiction and good stand-up comedy. She lives in a coastal village in Dublin, with her husband and their three children.

Buy: Going Against Type

Casting the Spotlight on Liana Brooks

Liana Brooks  Liana Brooks would like to SCUBA dive Europa (that moon around Jupiter), but with the NASA shuttle program shut down she’s resorted to writing science fiction instead. She likes southern beaches, warm weather, sharks, and striped socks. Her superhero romance series started with Evan Villains Fall in Love and continues with Even Villains Go to the Movies. For those who prefer their romance without a side order of spandex she’s written Prime Sensations (part of the Tales From the SFR Brigades anthology) and Fey Lights.

You can find Liana on the web at www.lianabrooks.com, on Twitter as @LianaBrooks, or on Facebook under the same name.

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EvenVillansMoviesPRfront_200x300When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.

Angela Smith has superpowers—nothing that will ever make her comic-book famous—but her ability to psychically sense and manipulate the emotions of people around her has drawn unwanted government attention. Forced to choose between her quiet life as a teacher under constant surveillance or the life of a rogue, she chooses the latter. She plans to hide out in sunny Los Angeles where being a blue-eyed blonde won’t make anyone bat a false eyelash.

Silver screen star by day, superhero by night, Arktos is a triple-threat. He can fly, freeze anything, and see glimpses of the future, all of which he needs to keep the city of Los Angeles safe, but which does nothing for his social life. When a frightening vision of an explosion leads him to rescue a damsel in distress, he finds himself trading Shakespearean insults with a rogue.

Angela knows just how dangerous well-intentioned superheroes can be: one tried to kill her family when she was young. Arktos knows he should hand the rogue over to Company justice; it’s not safe for someone like her to be in the middle of a fight.

But they can’t seem to stay apart. And together, they just might be able to melt all the obstacles standing between true love for a hero and a villain.

Buy: Even Villains Go To The Movies (Heroes and Villains Book 2)

***

Angela tossed the red curls of her wig and parked Luiz’s bike in the alley behind the conference center. She hadn’t put on her Rage getup since arriving in L.A., but tonight the mental screams of terror echoing from the center warranted the kind of investigation that would attract questionable attention.

Tight black jeans, a bright red tank top that matched her hair, and a leather duster that was too heavy for the L.A. heat were a start. She’d added a black domino mask that obscured the shape of her nose and cheekbones when she’d moved to New York, because no one needed to see their favorite school teacher beating down the local thugs. The heart and star pendant around her neck— a little invention of her Daddy’s that would shield her from most things—completed the outfit.

The “most” still worried her some days.

Terror radiated from the building, escalating until the headache tearing into her brain was a living fire. Whatever was happening, she would hit back. Hard.

Checking to make sure the alley was empty, Angela sauntered toward the back door and hoped someone inside had been kind enough to leave it open. More often than not the people hired to cater at these places would stick a rock in the door to keep it from locking every time they slipped out for fresh air.

If not she could always pick the lock. Angela sighed. The whole point of moving away from her sisters was to avoid a life filled with crime and superheroes.

Angela reached for the door and someone hit her. A breeze ruffled her wig and she found herself on her back in the alleyway, staring up at a masked man. No hate tainted the aura around him, nothing that suggested that he was dangerous except that he was bigger than her.

She raised an eyebrow. “Hello?”

The man took a deep breath. “Hi.” He smelled like mint.

“I’m new to the area, so I’m not familiar with the protocol when you’re jumped by a masked man in an alleyway. Is there a secret handshake or something?” she asked, sarcastically.

“I’m here to save your life.”

Angela looked around for signs of danger. The man was the only thing in the alley, and he was cradling her, hand cushioning her head, muscular arms suspending him in a pushup so his body weight wasn’t resting on her.

“Right. What danger am I in, exactly?”

“The door is going to explode and kill you,” he said in a very serious tone.

She lifted her head to peer over his shoulder at the door. It was a mistake. The movement meant gyrating under him in his spandex suit, and she caught a whiff of cologne, soap, and clean sweat. His emotions shifted, becoming tinged with desire and arousal.

Angela cleared her throat and lay back down, trying to put space between herself and her captor. “Mm hmm. Tell you what, let me up and I’ll help you find your doctor. I bet someone is very worried about you missing your medicine.”

Buy: Even Villains Go To The Movies (Heroes and Villains Book 2)

Excerpt and Giveaway: Deadly Force by Misty Evans

DF CoverBook Summary: 

Some secrets can kill…

NSA agent Bianca Marx is determined to save her marriage, even if it kills her…which it just might do since she knows a secret about her estranged husband’s last mission that has put a target on her back. A highly-skilled assassin is hot on her trail and the only man who can keep her safe doesn’t want anything to do with her.
She’ll be dead in 24 hours…unless he can save her.

After his marriage failed, Navy SEAL Callan Reese threw himself into his work. On his last black ops mission, three of his men—three good men who counted on him—were killed. Now PTSD and a military investigation have sidelined him…until Bianca shows up. She claims someone high up in the US government wants her dead, and the assassin after her is also after him.

The couple that spies together, dies together…

On the run from the very government they serve, Bianca and Cal only have each other. When they uncover a deadly scandal threatening the nation, they’ll have one chance to save the day…and one last chance at love. 

Find Misty Evans on Amazon

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Misty Evans PhotoAbout the Author

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Find Misty Evans on Amazon

Connect with Misty:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter / Pinterest

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Excerpt from DEADLY FORCE

Bianca found a pair of binoculars on the bridge. As she stood hidden behind the navigation controls, wishing she’d worn more sea-worthy clothes, she watched Cal running back to the boat.

As per normal, he was in his element—water. He’d been a gifted swimmer even as a kid and had competed nationally in high school.

She’d never learned to swim. The best she could do was dog-paddle and even that was a struggle. Open water made her feel claustrophobic—the opposite of most people. Being in water over her head sent her into a full-fledged panic.

We really couldn’t be more opposite. But opposites did attract. In their case, that was both good and bad. From the day they’d met, she and Cal had come together, broken up, and come together again. First as friends, then as more.

Even now, she couldn’t deny the sexual chemistry between them. Her pulse jumped at the sight of him, every part of her body tingled when he looked at her. If only there weren’t so much bad stuff between them. She wished they could lay all the ugliness down, get out from under it for a few hours, and enjoy coming together once more.

Not just for the physical stuff. For the friendship. Cal had been her best friend since elementary school. She missed him.

While rain pelted the bridge’s windows, Bianca stood transfixed, unable to take her eyes off him. He ran with such ease, his tan face turned up to the rain as his long, sure strides ate up the distance between them. Her parts tingled and her heart beat erratically in her chest.

God, I love you.

She understood the science behind what she was feeling—the chemical releases going on in her brain. Cal was familiar. Cal was safe. Her most precious memories were tied to him. Her happiest times were rooted in him.

He may have been her polar opposite, but since the day he’d picked a shy girl up off the playground asphalt, brushed pieces of the sharp cinders from her knees, and raised his fists to the school bully who’d made her life hell, Cal had been her hero.

Even when he’d broken her heart.

Now it was time for her to repay the favor. This time the bully was the government she and Cal had sworn to serve. Standing up to that bully would cost her everything…her job, the quiet existence she enjoyed, and quite possibly her life. But the government had already taken the one thing she held most dear—Cal. She wouldn’t let them destroy him as well.

The dog ran by his side, completely soaked and tongue lolling from the side of its mouth. They hit the boardwalk and slowed to a jog. She was sure the dog was smiling.

Through the binoculars, Bianca could see the animal was missing vital male parts, so it must be female. That might explain the adoration in the dog’s eyes. Bianca had never met a female yet who could resist the absolute alpha male prowess Cal exuded.

Hell, she’d been at restaurants with him where the male waiters hit on him.

The thing none of them realized was that he was a very dangerous man. A weapon the US had trained and given specialized skills. When she told him about Senator Halston, Cal would want to use those skills on the man.

What to do? Could she keep her husband away from the senator until the worst of Cal’s anger subsided and she could convince him to go along with her rational, logical plan? Cal would be out for blood, and if he went after the senator his way—with violence—she’d be forced to rein him in.

She lowered the binoculars as Cal and the dog came aboard and headed down the stairs, oblivious to her in her hidden vantage point.

“B?” he called over the noisy rain, and his deep voice made her pulse jump. There was the usual irritated edge to his voice, but something else as well. “Where are you?”

Worry? Was that what she heard in his voice? Sure had been a hell of a long time since he’d worried about her.

She had to do this. She had to tell him. What happened after that would be up to him.

Leaving the binoculars behind, she flipped on the tiny camera she’d installed by the boat’s windshield so she could keep an eye on the marina’s entrance. Grabbing the handrail, she steadied herself. The storm might buy her an hour or two—keep Cal from going anywhere and slow down anyone searching for her—but she needed to figure out a way to keep him sequestered, and her ass out of the line of fire until she could find physical evidence against the senator she could take to the Justice Department. They wouldn’t bring him up on charges over hearsay.

And hearsay was all she had.

Bianca sighed. After what she’d put Cal through already, he was more likely to toss her overboard than become her bodyguard.

Find Misty Evans on Amazon

* * *

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Tour-wide giveaway includes a $25.00 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and a Digital or Print copy of Deadly Pursuit. Just fill out the Rafflecopter Form below to enter!

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Excerpt: The Marshal by Adrienne Giordano

The Marshal CoverBook Summary:

His painful past is their present danger.  The last thing US Marshal Brent Thompson needs is distraction from his work. But distraction—in the form of a sexy Chicago investigator—is exactly what he gets. Jenna Hayward is as alluring as she is determined, driven to help apprehend the murderer who killed Brent’s mother twenty-three years ago. With a shared mission—and a steadily rising attraction that jeopardizes Brent’s resolve to stay unattached—the pair must work together to get answers…before the murderer makes them his next victims.

Buy: The Marshal (Harlequin Intrigue)

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Chapter One from The Marshal

This was a switch.

Deputy U.S. marshal Brent Thompson stood in a Chicago hotel ballroom among a throng of impeccably dressed political big shots that, for once, he didn’t have to protect.

Tonight, he was a guest.

Whether that made him happy or not was anyone’s guess. But he’d stay another hour for Judge Kline, a woman he’d spent two years watching over after her husband and children were murdered by some nut who’d been on the losing end of a ruling. Judge Kline had ordered him to pay a $1,200 fine and somehow he was mad enough to wipe out her entire family, leaving her to deal with guilt and rage and heartache.

Crazy.

Sometimes—sometimes? Really?—Brent didn’t understand people. Or maybe it was their motivations he didn’t understand, but the human race baffled him.

Tonight Judge Kline, who’d refused to allow her life to collapse under grief, was smiling. A welcome sight since her eighty-five-year-old mother had decided to throw one hell of a shindig for the judge’s sixtieth birthday.

“Brent?”

Brent turned and found the ever-polished Gerald Hennings, Chicago’s highest-profile defense attorney, weaving through the crowd. Accompanying him was a petite blonde in a floor-length bright blue gown. She had to be over fifty, but may have had a little work done to preserve her extraordinary looks. Her perfect cheekbones, the big blue eyes and sculpted nose were duplicates of the ones Brent recognized from Hennings’s daughter, Penny. Didn’t take a genius to figure out this woman was Mrs. Hennings. Brent held his hand out. “Mr. Hennings. Nice to see you.”

Five months earlier, Brent had been assigned to protect Penny Hennings after yet another nut—plenty of nuts in his world—had attempted to kill her on the steps of a federal courthouse. Penny had nearly put Brent into a psych ward with her relentless mouthiness and aggressive attitude, but he’d formed a bond with her. A kinship. And, much like Judge Kline, they’d remained friends after his assignment had ended. For whatever reason, emotionally speaking, he couldn’t let either one of them go. The fact that they’d all experienced tragedy might be the common denominator, but he chose not to think too hard about it. What was the point? None of them would ever fully recover from their individual experiences. All they could do was move on.

Hennings turned to the woman at his side. “I don’t think you’ve met my wife, Pamela. Pam, this is Marshal Brent Thompson. He was the marshal.”

She smiled and—yep—he was looking at Penny in twenty-five years.

“I know,” Mrs. Hennings said. She stepped forward and gripped both of his arms. “Thank you.”

The gesture, so direct and heartfelt, caught him sideways and he stiffened. Freak that he was he’d never gotten comfortable with strange women touching him. Most guys would love it. Brent? He liked his space being his.

But he stood there, allowing Penny’s mother to thank him in probably the only way she knew how. He could go on about how he’d just been doing his job, which was all true, but even he understood that he’d worked a little harder for Penny. She reminded him too much of his younger sister, Camille, and he hadn’t been able to help himself. “You’re welcome. Your daughter has become a good friend. And if I ever need legal advice, I know who to call.”

Mrs. Hennings laughed.

Mr. Hennings swooped his finger in the air. “You’re not working tonight?”

“No, sir. Judge Kline is a friend.”

“How nice,” Mrs. Hennings said.

“Yes, ma’am. I worked with her for two years. She would always tell me if my tie didn’t match. That happened a lot.”

“As the mother of two sons, I’m sure your mother appreciates that.”

Mother.

Mr. Hennings cleared his throat and, in Brent’s mind, the room fell silent. He glanced around, looking for…what? Confirmation that the room at large wasn’t listening to his conversation?

Maybe.

All around people gabbed and mingled and pretty much ignored Brent. Imagined it. He exhaled and once again the orchestra music—something classical—replaced the fog in his brain.

He’d fielded comments about his mother almost his entire life. It should have been easier by now.

Except for the nagging.

Twenty-three years of gut-twisting, anger-fueled obsession that kept him prisoner. “My mother died when I was seven, ma’am.”

Social pro that she must have been, considering her husband’s wizardry with the press, Mrs. Hennings barely reacted. “I’m so sorry.” She turned to Gerald, shooting him the stink-eye. “I didn’t know.”

Moments like these, a guy had to step up and help his brother-in-arms. “No need to apologize. I think about her every day.” And knowing how this conversation would go, the curiosity that came with why and how such a young woman had died, Brent let it fly. “She was murdered.”

Social pro or not, Mrs. Hennings gasped. “How horrible.”

Brent sipped his club soda, gave the room another glance and came back to Mrs. Hennings. “My sister and I adjusted. We have a supportive family.”

“I hope they caught the person who did this.”

“No ma’am. It’s still an open case.”

A case that lived and breathed with him and had driven him into law enforcement. If the Carlisle sheriff’s office couldn’t find his mother’s killer, he’d do it himself.

“Are the police still looking into it?”

Brent shrugged. “If they get a tip or some new information. I work it on my downtime, but downtime is short.”

Mrs. Hennings, obviously still embarrassed by bringing up the subject of his dead mother, turned to her husband. “Can’t one of your investigators help? You do all sorts of pro bono work for clients. Why not this?”

“Pam, those are cases where we’re defending people. This is different.”

Brent held up his hand As much as he’d like help, he didn’t want a domestic war started over it. “Mrs. Hennings, it’s okay. But thank you.”

Still, down deep, Brent wanted to find the person who’d wrecked his family and had saddled him with a level of responsibility—and guilt—no seven-year-old should have known. Every day, the questions haunted him. Could he have helped her? Should he have done something when he first heard noise? Was he a crummy investigator because all these years later he still couldn’t give his mother justice?

At this point, if he couldn’t find this monster on his own, he’d take whatever help available. Ego aside, justice for his mother was what mattered.

Mrs. Hennings kept her gaze on her husband. “You were just complaining that Jenna is bored with her current assignments. After what Brent did for Penny, give Jenna his mother’s case to investigate. It’ll challenge her and keep her out of your hair. Where’s the problem?”

Hennings pressed his lips together and a minuscule, seriously minuscule, part of Brent pitied the man. If he didn’t agree with his wife, his life would be a pile of manure.

Mrs. Hennings shot her husband a meat cleaver of a look, then turned back to Brent. “My husband will call you about this tomorrow. How’s that?”

With limited options, and being more than a little afraid to argue because, hey, he was no dummy either, he grinned at Mr. Hennings. “That’d be great. Thank you.”

*

Jenna slid onto one of the worn black vinyl bar stools at Freddie’s Tap House, a mostly empty shot-and-a-beer joint on the North Side of Chicago.

How the place stayed in business, she had no idea. On this Wednesday night the sports bar down the block was packed, while the only people patronizing Freddie’s were an elderly man sitting at the bar and a couple huddled at a table in the back.

The bartender glanced down the bar at her and wandered over. “Evening. Get you something?”

You sure can.

“Whatever’s on tap. Thanks.”

He nodded and scooped a glass from behind the bar, pouring a draft as he eyed her black blazer and the plunging neckline on her cashmere sweater. “Haven’t seen you in here before. New in town?”

As much as she’d tried to dress down with jeans, she hadn’t been able to resist the sweater. When dealing with men, a little help from her feminine wiles—also known as her boobs—never hurt. “Nope. New in here though.”

“You look more Tiffany’s than Freddie’s.”

Already Jenna liked him. “Are you Freddie?”

“Junior.”

“Sorry?”

“Freddie Junior. My dad is Freddie. I took over when he retired.”

He slid the beer in front of Jenna. Once more she looked around, took in the polished, worn wood of the bar, the six tables along the wall and the line of empty bar stools.

“Slow night,” Freddie said.

Lucky me. She opened her purse, pulled out a fifty and set it on the bar. Next came the photo taken the week prior by a patron in this very bar. He glanced down at the fifty, then at the photo.

“I’m not a cop,” Jenna said. “I’m an investigator working for a law firm.”

“Okay.”

She pointed at the photo of two men with a woman in the background. Jenna needed to find that woman. “Have you seen her in here?”

He picked up the photo and studied it. “Yeah. Couple of times. When a woman like that walks into a beer joint, there’s generally a reason. Kinda like you.”

Figuring it was time to put her cleavage to work, Jenna inched forward, gave him a view of the girls beneath that V-neck and smiled. Most women would love the idea that a fifteen-pound weight gain had gone straight to their chest. Jenna supposed it hadn’t hurt her ability to claw information from men—and maybe she used it to her advantage. But she also wanted to be recognized for extracting the information and not for the way she’d done it.

Did that even make sense? She wasn’t sure anymore. All she knew was her need for positive reinforcement had led her to using her looks to achieve her goals. That meant wearing clingy, revealing clothing. Such a cliché. But the thing about clichés was they worked.

“Any idea what her reason for being here was?”

Freddie took the boob-bait and leaned in. “No. Both times she met someone. Why?”

All Jenna could hope was he’d gotten the woman’s name. “My client is being held on a robbery charge. He says he was in here the night of the robbery and he met this woman. Her name is Robin.”

“Where’d you get the picture?”

“Friends of my client.”

He dropped the picture on the bar and tapped it. “Birthday party, right?”

“Yes. My client and six of his friends. Any idea where I can find her?”

“Nah.”

“Did she pay by credit card?”

If she paid by credit card, there would be a record of the transaction, and Jenna would dig into the Hennings & Solomon coffers and pay Freddie a highly negotiated sum for a look at his credit card receipts. From there, she’d get a name and two calls later would have an address for Robin-the-mystery-woman.

“Cash.”

Shoot.

Freddie may have been lying. Jenna studied him, took in his direct gaze. Not lying. At least she didn’t think so. Again with the wavering? Didn’t she have a good sense about these things? Yes, she did. For that reason she’d go with the theory that Freddie seemed to be a small-business owner who wanted to stay out of trouble while trying to make a living. She dug her card and a pen out of her purse, wrote her cell number on the card and placed it next to the fifty on the bar.

“How about I leave you my card? If she comes in again and you call me, there’s a hundred bucks in it for you.”

Freddie glanced at the card. After a moment, he half shrugged. “Sure. If I see her.”

Jenna took one last sip of her beer, slid off the stool and hitched her purse onto her shoulder. “Thanks.” She nodded toward the fifty. “Keep the change.”

Buy: The Marshal (Harlequin Intrigue)

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Giordano Author PhotoAbout the Author

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne:  Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

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Blog Tour Stops

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