FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from HER FOREVER COWBOY by Debra Salonen #westcoastHEA

HER FOREVER COWBOY

West Coast Happily-Ever-After, Book 1

 

FIRST KISS © Loner Llama Press

“Why is it so important to be number one?”

He shrugged. “No doubt Dr. Freud would say it’s wrapped up in my dad dying. People have told me he might have won Best All-Around Cowboy the year he died. My folks were on their way home from a rodeo when their truck rolled and went into a ditch.”

In an effort to brush away the sadness in her eyes, he said, “Or, as your mother liked to say, it could be cussed orneriness. She said I inherited that from my grandfather. Bull riding is what I do.”

“Even if it kills you?”

Will startled. Did she know about his doctor’s report? He knew rumors had been circulating when he left, but surely Anne couldn’t have heard anything. “What’s that mean?”

“You’re getting older. Your body isn’t as malleable as a young kid’s. You could land wrong and break your neck.”

He released the breath he’d been holding. “Actually, I may not look it, but I’m in better shape today than I was fifteen years ago. I lift weights and run. And my timing is sharper.”

She took a deep breath. “I wasn’t casting any aspersions on your body.” The compliment seemed to loom between them and she quickly added, “So, you’re planning on going back to the circuit this fall.” It wasn’t a question.

“Definitely.”

She rose to her knees and started to gather up their mess. “And, I’m taking a new job, too–a promotion that’s long overdue. It sounds like we have our futures all lined up and ready to go. To get involved on an emotional level would be terribly foolish, don’t you agree?”

“When you put it like that…but–“

She didn’t let him finish. “We’re adults, Will, not kids. Proximity and unresolved lust just aren’t good enough reasons to risk involvement.”

Will agreed on an intellectual level, but the shimmer on her lips was speaking to him at a different level altogether. “So, we won’t get involved, but one kiss every fifteen years isn’t going to kill us.”

She started to disagree, but Will knew a proven way to distract a woman. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her.

Anne gave a token resistance–a mumbled uh-uh that almost immediately turned to uh-huh. There was a small clattering sound as the colored pens scattered on the floor. Her arms encircled his shoulders, her body flattened against his as her mouth opened.

She tasted salty and sweet. Popcorn and soda, plus an intangible quality that made him groan. And as their tongues met, Will knew he’d made a serious mistake. Fifteen years hadn’t been enough to make him forget, and now, he had nowhere to run.

~~~

HER FOREVER COWBOY is available at these vendors:

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Happy reading!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from CAPTURED BY CHOCOLATE by STEENA HOLMES #WHATLOVETASTESLIKE

CAPTURED BY CHOCOLATE

Love at the Chocolate Shop, Book 11

Holmes-CapturedChocolate-LARGE

Radio DJ Dylan Morgan enjoys small town life in Marietta. Unlike his longtime girlfriend and globetrotting photojournalist Casey Michaels, he’s never been tempted to spread his wings. Until an east coast job offer at a major radio station catches his eye. He considers taking the position, but then Casey calls… She’s coming home.

After years of wandering the globe, Casey Michaels is tired and needs a break and while she didn’t plan on coming home for good, the idea is starting to grow on her. All she wants to do is spend time with her forever boyfriend, Dylan. But all she meets is suspicion as everyone waits for her to pack up her suitcase once again. To convince Dylan she’s home for good, she plans a grand gesture–a photography show celebrating Marietta life. And then, the phone rings. She’s needed in London…

 ~~~

FIRST KISS snippet © Tule Publishing

Everything should have been perfect.

And yet, it wasn’t.

He broke the silence between them. “Don’t you think it’s time to tell me what happened?”

Casey didn’t move, yet her body stiffened at his words. He refused to release his hold, not ready to have her pull away from him.

From the moment she’d walked through his door, she’d been a little off. Her smile too bright, her gestures too forced, her laughter too fake. He’d watched as she barely touched her steak, played with the food on her plate, pushing it around until it was a big ole’ mesh of potatoes and fixings.

He filled her in on things that had been going on around Marietta, sharing stories in order to hear her laughter, and then asked her about Nepal.

Dylan couldn’t wait to see the photos she’d taken, to hear her stories of the life she’d lived while there. He loved how excited she became, the way her eyes lit up, how her body came alive as she shared everything with him.

Except, she’d brought no photos this time. She’d lost her phone and hadn’t bothered to bring her computer, saying she wanted to focus on only him for the night.

Any other time, he’d be a happy man.

But…for some reason, this didn’t seem like any other time. This time was different.

She was different.

Maybe they were different.

Regardless, something was wrong. Something had happened. Something she’d been keeping from him, and that wasn’t okay with him.

Casey looked up and shook her head at his question.

“Not tonight. Is that okay? I’d rather just sit here and just…be…then bring all that up right now.” Her voice was quiet, full of sadness and heartache.

“How can I make it better?” He wanted to take her pain away, to replace that sad smile with one full of life and love.

Right now, in this moment, if she were to tell him she was home to stay, that she realized it was time to put them first, he’d be the happiest man in the world.

It was what he decided to focus on.

Tomorrow was another day.

She stared at him before reaching up and gently cupping his cheek with the palm of her hand.

“Just kiss me.” The words flowed off her lips and into his soul.

When his lips touched hers, it was as if time stood still just for them. A personal birthday gift from the universe.

He welcomed her home with his kiss. Told her how much he missed her, loved her, worried about her as he breathed her in.

This was where she belonged, with him, and he told her that and more as his lips moved over hers with tenderness and need.

Until she pulled away.

Dylan searched her face, noticing the tears that trailed down her cheeks. He tried to find the words that would make it all better.

Instead, all he could do was be there for her until she was ready to open up. As much as it killed him.

~~~

CAPTURED BY CHOCOLATE is available at these vendors:

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 #10 & #11Happy reading!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from SWEET SUMMER’S KISS by Debra Salonen #whatlovetasteslike

SWEET SUMMER’S KISS

Love at the Chocolate Shop, Book 10

 Salonen2-ChocolateShop-Debra-Salonen

A storybook kiss on New Year’s Eve at the Big Sky Mavericks Masked Ball in Marietta, Montana should have been the beginning of a grand romance for Gretchen Zabrinski and Daniel Andrews. But when Gretchen overhears a phone call from Daniel to his brother about what he really wants from a woman, she takes off…without leaving so much as a glass slipper behind.

Daniel wants a family. Gretchen will never be able to give him that. So why does fate keep throwing them together so cruelly? First, at a Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop Speed Dating event, then when he’s hired to open a new division at her PR firm. But competing, shoulder-to-shoulder, to sell the most exotic chocolate kisses for charity really is the last straw.

Is love a cosmic connection or a karmic joke? Sometimes, the answer reveals itself in a kiss—a sweet kiss shared beneath a warm Montana summer sky. 

~~~

FIRST KISS snippet © Tule Publishing

“How did you become such a wonderful dancer?”

“Lessons. My parents are both teachers. They don’t believe in leaving anything to chance—and given my father’s terrible lack of rhythm, Mom refused to inflict that on any woman in case two left feet was a dominant gene.”

“Please tell her I owe her a debt of gratitude.”

“You can tell her yourself. Dad called this morning. They’re starting home in the morning. My sister is ready to deal with her new reality alone. She might move back to Montana at some point, but for now, she doesn’t want to uproot the kids on top of adjusting to losing their dad.”

He’d alluded to a sad mystery surrounding his late brother-in-law’s death, but there were too many getting-to-know-each-other topics to get into any one conversation too deeply. Including her reason for dropping out of college and moving to Montana.

That would come out later. After the music ended. After the countdown began. After their kiss. After a night of unimaginable bliss in each other’s arms.

She crossed her fingers and stopped thinking. Tonight was about feeling. About taking risks and experiencing life to the fullest.

Moments later, the DJ played an Ed Sheeran song Makayla had shared with her earlier that week. Perfect. A shiver ran down the length of her spine.

She’d immediately downloaded the song and added the video to her playlist. She imagined the love story he sang about was her love story—the one that never happened. She squeezed her eyes tight, wishing she still wore a mask.

Daniel’s hold tightened a tiny bit, then he kissed a bare spot where her neck and shoulder met. “Nice song. I’ve never heard it before, but you truly do look perfect tonight.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Thank you. I love my Cinderella dress. Krista’s sister has great taste.” He pulled back, a questioning look in his eyes. Did he think she was pretending to show false modesty or fishing for compliments? She blurted out a question she’d meant to ask earlier. “So, do you always take a tux with you when you travel to a dog-sitting gig?”

“My best friend has a key to my condo. He took it to a shipper I use all the time.” He looked down. “Luckily, he remembered my Ferragamos. Dancing wouldn’t be quite the same in snow boots.”

She recognized the designer’s name even if she hadn’t recognized the brand on his feet. My first time is going to be with a guy who can afford designer shoes.

In what felt like a blink, Austen returned to the stage, carrying a large digital clock and a microphone. “We are fast approaching the bewitching hour, my friends. A new year is about to begin. On behalf of the Big Sky Mavericks Charitable Group, thank you all for coming. We promise to put your generosity to beneficial use locally, and we’ll see you next year.”

On cue, people started shouting, “Ten…nine…eight…”

Gretchen turned in Daniel’s arms so their fronts were pressed together. Reaching up, she slipped her fingers under the rim of his mask and pulled it free. They looked into each other’s eyes as what she hoped was an unspoken understanding passed between them.

She looped her arms across his shoulders and brought her face closer to his. “Two…one…Happy New Year!”

His lips were warmer than she’d expected. And softer. And when she gave a little “Oh,” his tongue slipped inside her mouth. Curious, friendly, interested. His taste was hers. His smell? Completely his own and something she’d forever identify as Daniel Andrews.

She melted against him, needing to touch as much of her body to his as possible. Gretchen wanted him to be the one. Her first. From what she’d learned about him on social media, he was a fun-loving go-getter who didn’t seem the least bit interested in settling down.

Perfect.

When it came to women, he was…um…experienced. Perhaps a bit of a player.

Works for me.

She wanted to be with someone who would treat her with gentle finesse…or maybe not-so-gentle finesse. How would she know what she liked until she tried it?

An unnatural buzzing sensation near her breast made her startle.

Daniel groaned and pulled his phone from his inside jacket pocket. “My brother. Do you mind? He and Krista are in California. Different time zone.”

“Not at all. We wouldn’t be here if not for them. Please.”

“They’re on FaceTime. With all the noise, we won’t be able to hear a thing. Oh, well.”

He touched a button. A second later, two faces appeared on the screen. Krista let out a squeal of glee. “Oh, Gretchen, you look fabulous. Show me the dress, Daniel. Show me the dress.”

Daniel rolled his eyes, but he took one step back. He lowered and raised the phone as Gretchen did a spin. Then, he pulled her in close again.

Krista blinked as if to keep away tears. “I absolutely love it. You look like a fairy-tale princess. Are you having fun?”

“It’s been magical. Daniel hired a limo, and he dances like a dream. He’s been a perfect gentleman.” Until later, I hope. She bumped her nose against his cheek. “Thank you so, so much for making this happen.”

“No thanks necessary. Jonah and I are having a wonderful time, too. We only called to wish you Happy New Year.”

Jonah squeezed in. “We’re an hour behind you, so we get to make out in public twice. But hey, Daniel, quickly, did you leave the TV on for the dogs? In case someone starts shooting off guns? You are in Marietta, Montana, after all.”

Gretchen missed Daniel’s reply when Sarah Zabrinski walked up to them. “Aunt” Sarah was Gretchen’s father’s first cousin by marriage, but because of their age difference, people forgot they were part of the same generation.

She gave Gretchen a quick hug. “You two are just the cutest couple. We really enjoyed meeting Daniel. I hope you bring him tomorrow.”

Tomorrow. Since she’d never spent the night with a man, she didn’t know what to expect from the morning after.

Gretchen made what she hoped was a noncommittal reply and waved goodbye as the crowd swept Sarah away.

She turned back to Daniel. She reached out to touch his shoulder but stopped when she heard him say in a low, confidential tone, “I never thought I’d say this, brother, but I think I just kissed the mother of my future children.”

She sucked in an involuntary gasp when a pain as sharp and gut wrenching as the one she’d felt in her doctor’s office the day he’d explained the ramifications of her diagnosis made her knees wobble. Panic hit a second later.

No. No. It’s not supposed to be like this. Tonight is mutual fun, no commitment. No future. Period. Anything else wouldn’t be fair.

Especially to Daniel.

But she couldn’t speak those words aloud because then he’d ask why…and she hadn’t said those words to anyone. Not yet.

Intent on disappearing, she turned and melted into the crowd exiting the party. She grabbed her jacket from the coatroom, grateful her tiny purse held her cell phone. Her Uber app showed one driver in her area. Three minutes later, she was on the road back to Paradise. Her sister and niece might not be expecting her, but Sam would understand. And that was all Gretchen wanted. Someone who wouldn’t ask for something she couldn’t give.

~~~

SWEET SUMMER’S KISS is available at these vendors:

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 Kiss Reviews Shelagh

 

Happy reading!

Deb

FIRST KISS TUESDAY: Black Hills Native Son by Debra Salonen

 BLACK HILLS NATIVE SON, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 5

nativeson_3dbook-1

His journey of discovery brings more than he ever hoped—a son, and the woman he was meant to love.

Eli Robideaux’s vision quest takes him down a road he never wanted to walk—to the past. His mistakes—even the ones he made for the right reasons—have come back to haunt him. He doesn’t understand why, but stumbling across Char Jones feels like grabbing on to a lifeline that might keep him from falling into the bone-deep despair that had been his father’s ruin.

No one is more surprised than Char when the unrequited love of her life walks into her Black Hills store, looking for the missing pieces of himself. She holds the key to one of those pieces—the son Eli never knew they had, the baby she put up for adoption. But is she brave enough to let go of her guilt and lead them on a journey that could hold love and hope…or almost certain heartbreak?

 


Eli has just learned that he had sex with underage Char the night before his wedding. He has no memory of the event because he’d been partying hard when he got in a fight with his cousin and may have suffered a concussion. Char took care of him at her aunt’s “kitchen” clinic. Since she’d been in love with Eli for as long as she could remember, she felt fate had given her a once-in-lifetime opportunity to live out her fantasy. As with many fantasies, there were repercussions—in Char’s case a pregnancy.

 

FIRST KISS Excerpt © Debra Salonen:

 

“Where’d we do it?”

She shook her head, as if she’d been expecting the question. “Pam saw patients in a small room off the kitchen. It was a screened porch when my grandparents lived there. She bought a used examination table from an old clinic. The back was raised about like this.” She held her hand horizontally between them then made the fingers tilt upward to a sixty-degree angle. “I thought it would better to keep your head elevated.”

He could have said something coarse but he managed to bite his tongue. “You were on top?”

“Yeah. It seemed safer—concussion wise.”

He turned to look at her, but it took too much effort to keep his gaze off her chest so he slumped down again and closed his eyes. “Do you really expect me to believe that a virgin would climb on top of an injured guy in her aunt’s make-shift E.R. where anybody could walk in?”

He heard her take in a deep breath, but he willed his eyes to remain closed. No leering.

“It didn’t take all that long, Eli. I put my hand down there and you were instantly hard. The smart thing would have been to give you a blow job, but I didn’t know how.”

His eyes popped open. “What do you mean you didn’t know how? That’s a no-brainer.”

The car made another unscheduled jog back and forth across the middle divider as she tossed up her hands on the steering wheel. “I’m sure I could have figured it out, but at the time, I didn’t want to look like a novice. Everyone said Bobbi was the best in school when it came to giving bj’s, and since you were marrying her the next day…”

He groaned, wishing he’d never asked. His soon-to-be ex-wife was a topic he had no intention of discussing. “So you got naked and hopped on top of me?”

“You wish,” she sputtered tapping the brakes to round a curve in the road. “Like you said, anybody could have walked in. As it happened, when Robert brought you in, it was past midnight. I’d already changed into my nightgown.”

Nightgown? A tingle of something he didn’t want to acknowledge shot down his spine. He gulped loudly. “Pink flannel?”

Her shoulders lifted and fell. “I don’t know. Maybe. Yeah, actually, I think it was. We had a warm spring, then, suddenly in early June, the weather turned cold. I remember someone saying if it snowed on her wedding, Bobbi was going to make the weatherman pay.”

He muttered a string of words he’d have busted his son’s chops for using. He’d had a dream for years that he secretly called his guilty pedophile dream. Only now he knew it wasn’t a dream, it was a memory.

Neither said anything for several miles. They were approaching the intersection of the main highway—he knew because he could see the cross-members of her white teepee—when he worked up the nerve to ask, “So, you had an abortion, huh?”

“What?”

Her shriek made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. She stomped on the brakes so hard he had to brace his hands on the dash, despite the safety belt that cut into his chest. The rebound slammed him against the seat.

The car slid sideways to a stop in the gravel driveway they’d left an hour or so earlier. “Get out. You’re not the man I thought you were. Back then or now. Go. Take the money I gave you and leave. Now.”

She reached across him to open the passenger door. Her body touched him—that is, her wool jacket pressed against his grubby thermal sweatshirt, which covered a couple of other layers. There was nothing sexual in the touch. Nothing sexual between them. Only anger and hurt on her part, and confusion and desperation on his. No reason in the freaking world for him to kiss her.

But he did. Hard, fast, deep, hot. And what flared to life like a fire carefully banked in a stark, barren hearth made less sense than anything that had happened so far. But, Lord God, it felt good. It felt real. Like a lifeline that would keep him from falling into the bone deep despair that had been his father’s ruin.

The last thing in the world Char had expected was for Eli to kiss her. Not a mushy Thank-God-I-finally-found-you kiss. Things like that only happened in romance novels. No. His lips were icy-cold, despite the heat blasting from the defroster, which she’d forgotten to turn off. His breath was surprisingly pleasant—as if he’d just sucked on a candy cane, but his several-days-old stubble felt like tiny wires piercing her skin.

It should have been the kiss from hell.

Should have been.

Instead of freaking out—was the car completely off the road? She couldn’t say for certain—she actually leaned in and made a little sighing sound that she couldn’t believe came from her lips. She was embarrassed, but not enough to push him away.

Even the fury she’d initially felt when he suggested that she might have had an abortion disappeared like air escaping from a punctured balloon the moment he pulled her again him. She wasn’t herself. She was… Oh, God, I’ve turned into my mother.

 

~~~

Black Hills Native Son, Book 5 in the Black Hills Rendezvous series, is available as pre-order on all channels and will be live tomorrow (Wed, Sept. 14)

Amazon / Nook / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

 

Thanks for reading! Your positive reviews are greatly appreciated!!

Deb

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from Judy Does Christmas by Debra Salonen

First Kiss= TUESDAY

Debra Salonen-4358-Color-Sm

Good Tuesday, my lovelies!

Can you believe it’s December? Where has the year gone?  I hope yours was filled with wonderful books and hot, steamy kisses! 

I want to apologize in advance. FIRST KISS: TUESDAY has run into the time crunch we’re all so familiar with–too much to do and not enough time to extra stuff…like blogs. I can only share what others have shared with me and, alas, the well is looking a bit dry at the moment. But don’t despair, I’ve put out the call and hope to have more wonderful FIRST KISS excerpts to share with you soon.

In the meantime, I may re-visit some oldies but goodies, starting with my dear friend Judy Banger. She’s a naughty one, Miss Judy, but she’s got a big heart and she truly earns her happily-ever-after in JUDY UNCENSORED…but then comes the holidays! Eek!

Judy Does xmas

FIRST KISS excerpt:

As much as she wanted to blame the mid-day wine for her fatigue–aggravated by the hard cider she’d had with her pizza–in truth, she hadn’t been her usual perky self for weeks. Some mornings, she had to drag herself to the gym. Normally, she could count on an endorphin high after a workout, but not tonight. Even the promise of delicious sex with the man she loved more than life wasn’t enough to keep her eyes open.

“Damn holiday stress,” she muttered, hoping to grab a quick catnap…fully dressed…on their bed until Wiley got home.

She must have dozed off because the next thing she heard was Wiley’s voice calling out her name as he walked down the hallway.

“Judy? Honey? Are you okay? Don’t you want to get undressed?”

The effort it took to open her eyes made the process feel like slow motion. “Are my eyelids glued shut?”

Two soft lips kissed her cheekbones. “Nope. You’re just tired. I know how much you hate to shop for clothes. And it is the holidays.”

She held out a hand for his help sitting up. Her feet hit the thick carpet like bags of cement. Thunk. Thunk. “Remind me to make an appointment to see your doctor. I’d hoped to wait till our new marriage warranty expired before somebody confirmed my long list of flaws, but if I don’t perk up, you’ll trade me in for a new model anyway.”

He sat and looped one strong, reassuring arm around her shoulders. “You goof. Life doesn’t come with any guarantees.”

“You already had one sick wife…”

He nuzzled her neck. “Different circumstances completely. Apples and oranges.” His lips felt warm against her cool skin. “Your life has changed in a hundred different ways over the past few months. By all means, get a check-up. Maybe a B-12 shot. But the holidays wear everybody down.”

She took a deep breath, ignoring the voice in her head that sounded a lot like Alvin and the Chipmunks singing, “Hurry, Christmas, don’t be late.” The damn season couldn’t get over fast enough to satisfy her.

She turned into him and hugged him fiercely. “Have I told you today that I love you?”

“Once or twice. But I never get tired of hearing it.” He kissed her lips. “By the way, I got a text from Carla as I was leaving the gym. She asked if you liked everything.”

Judy tensed. She couldn’t help herself. “What did you say?”

“I told her you thought the place looked great, and because we’re both tied up with other interests, we trusted her to handle the details for the party.”

She rubbed her forehead against the hollow of his cheek. “Tied up, huh? Are you suggesting something kinky?”

“Maybe. Shall we discuss our options in the shower?”

Judy took a deep breath and got to her feet. A dozen or more tiny silver dots danced across her vision for a moment, but they quickly disappeared. She grabbed his hand. “Great idea. Turn the steam generator on, too. I’m thinking hot and heavy. And, no, that’s not a reference to my weight.”

He backed her up until she was pinned to the wall. “Your weight is perfect. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

A million and two. Just enough to make up for hearing people call me fat most of my life. “I’ll let the doctor be the judge of that, Judge. Come on. Let’s get naked, steamy and slippery.”

(You can read the entire first chapter for free at my website: http://littl.ink/+bebd)

~~~~

Buy links:  AMAZON    Barnes & Noble   iTunes Store   KOBO

~~~~

 

Have a marvelous week, everyone!  Happy reading!!

Deb

And for those of you celebrating Hanukkah, my wishes for a most joyful celebration!

Happy Hanukkah

First Kiss Tuesday: Mr. March by Ann Roth

First Kiss= TUESDAY

Ann Roth Cover

Mr. March is the third in my Heroes of Rogue Valley: Calendar Guys series. Twelve months, 12 gorgeous firefighter heroes and the women who sneak into their hearts and forever change their lives.

In Mr. March, firefighter Gus Viggio needs to convince the stubborn great aunt who raised him and recently suffered a stroke to give up the house that has become too much for her. When she refuses, Gus enlists help from her flamboyant hairstylist, Wanda Lippman. The two women get along well, and Gus’s great aunt just might listen to her. Wanda and Gus have each been hurt by love, and neither is ready to venture back into those dangerous waters anytime soon. But sometimes the heart knows best….

 ~~~~~

Excerpt: Mr. March Book #3 of the Heroes of Rogue Valley:  Calendar Guys Series

If anyone could get Aunt Polly to think seriously about moving, Wanda could. Hopeful for the first time in weeks, Gus slipped on his Ray-Bans and escorted her out of the Coffee Shack.

As the door shut behind them, she stiffened. “That’s Betty Randall,” she muttered, nodding at the gray-haired woman exiting a Ford. “Aka gossip central, and Carole Sue’s mainline to other people’s business. God only knows what she’ll say about running into us, together out here.”

She donned her own shades–as if that could mask her identity.

Gus had seen Betty in action on the day Sam’s son, William, had gone missing. As concerned and caring as she’d been that afternoon, she’d wasted no time spreading the news of Adam and Sam’s romance. The last thing he wanted was for her to speculate all over town about him and Wanda.

“C’mon.” He took Wanda’s arm and steered her around the building, out of the blabbermouth’s sight range.

Hurrying to keep up, Wanda giggled for the first time today, a tinkling sound he enjoyed.

“You’re clever,” she said, sounding breathless.

He grinned. “That goes without saying.”

They dashed around the corner to the back, where they were less likely to be noticed. Wanting to see her eyes, he slid his sunglasses to the top of his head and removed hers.

“Hey,” she said, as he pocketed them. “What did you do that for?”

“We’re on the shaded side where we don’t need them. Don’t worry, you’ll get them back. What do you think she’s doing so far out of town?”

“Gathering intel? This place is really close to Guff’s Lake, where a lot of romantic stuff happens. I’ll bet she stops by for coffee and gossip.”

“Are you referring to the old myth that when a couple kisses under the big ash tree at the lake, they’ll find true and lasting love?” Gus snorted.

“You don’t believe it?” Wanda’s purple lips pursed a fraction.

Mesmerized, he shook his head. “It’s just a story invented to bring lovers out here, in hopes they spend money.”

“What a cynical thing to say.”

“Don’t tell me you believe the hype.”

“I’ve never kissed anyone there, and no one I know has, either, but I like the romance of it.” She gave him a dirty look. “You’re doing it again. Staring at my mouth.”

“It’s a very sexy mouth, even when you frown.”

Her widened eyes as if she hadn’t expected this. “It is?”

He nodded. “I like you better when you smile.” With his fingers, he gently prodded the corners upward, but as soon as he dropped his hand, they flattened out again. “Have it your way. FYI, you look amazing without fake lashes and colored contact lenses.”

“Don’t lie to me, Gus. My natural eye color is dull as dirt, and my lashes are too short.”

“I wouldn’t lie. Brown eyes, with green and gold flecks…very attractive.”

“Attractive,” she repeated, sounding skeptical.

She didn’t seem to think much of her looks, but he was too distracted to wonder at that.

“Uh-huh.” Hands on either side of her head, he leaned in nice and close. “You smell like summer flowers.”

“It’s the lavender shampoo.” Furrows lined her normally-smooth forehead. “What are you doing, Gus?”

“Getting ready to kiss you.”

She raised her chin, no doubt to tell him to knock it off. He smiled into those eyes and they lost their back-off spark.

Seconds later, her eyelids dropped to half-mast in a clear go ahead. So he did.

One brief brush of his mouth over those soft, welcoming lips wasn’t enough. Cupping her face he went in for more, this time sliding his tongue along the seam of her mouth. She let him in. He tasted coffee, blueberry scone and something all her own.

She slid her palms up his chest and…. Shoved him away?

“Don’t, Gus.”

Hands up, he stepped back.

“I’m taking a break from men,” she said.

“That’s right. After Larry.” Gus silently cursed the bastard for fouling up what he wanted more of. “What did he do, anyway?”

“He was just the latest in a long string of bad relationships. I don’t have much luck with men, and I need to figure out why.”

Gus nodded. “You’re preaching to the choir here.”

“Have you figured out the reason it keeps happening?”

“Things don’t work out,” he said, shrugging. “What more is there to know?”

“If you figure out the why of your problems with women, you might have better luck next time. Hand over my sunglasses. I have to go.”

As soon as Wanda slid her shades into place, she headed at a brisk clip around the building. Gus stayed right with her.

“You don’t need to run,” he said. “I won’t bite.”

“I’m trying to arrive at the salon ahead of my noon appointme–

They almost collided with Betty Randall.

The woman had been making her way to the door all this time? Damn. She moved slower than Aunt Polly.

She stopped smack in their path. “Well, hello, Wanda and Gus.”

Judging by her wily grin, she was already making up a story to broadcast. He gave a curt nod. “Hey, Betty.”

“Hi,” Wanda chimed in.

“Fancy running into you two all the way out here. One would think you didn’t want people to see you together. If that’s the case, you ought to wipe that purple lipstick off your face, Gus.”

Wanda’s eyebrow shot up. She touched the corner of her lip with her little finger. Gus rubbed the corresponding place on his mouth with his knuckle, and she gave a covert nod.

“We had a meeting,” she explained to Betty.

“It seems to have been very productive. Bye, you two.” Looking like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary, she broke speed limits getting through the front door, proving she could move quickly when she wanted.

Wanda groaned. “She already has her cell phone in hand.”

This was not good. “She’s right about one thing. I asked to meet out here because I wanted to avoid running into people I know. I don’t want Aunt Polly to find out you and I talked about her, or to get any cockeyed ideas about us.”

“If she does, I’ll set her and everyone else straight. I don’t want people thinking my break from men is over.”

With most of the purple gone from her lips and her hair on the messy side, she looked the opposite–thoroughly kissed. Red-blooded male that he was, he considered going in for more.

But Betty Randall was probably watching from the window. Gus shoved his hands in his jeans pockets. “Then why did you kiss me?”

You kissed me.

Like that explained her warm response.

“We have to make sure everyone knows this morning was strictly a friend thing,” she went on.

With Aunt Polly in mind, Gus agreed. “One friend helping another.” He scratched his head. “What are we helping each other with?”

“Polly, remember? But you don’t want her to find out, so we won’t mention that. I know–our problems with the opposite sex.” She checked the screen on her phone and frowned. “If I don’t leave immediately, I’ll be late for my twelve o’clock. Thanks for the scone and coffee.”

“Thanks for agreeing to help. And for those kisses,” he added.

She blushed. “Bye, Gus.”

She almost ran toward her car, as if she couldn’t get away from him fast enough.

*


Purchase at these fine retailers:

 Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

KOBO

  ~~~~

 

Ann Roth

Award-winning author Ann Roth lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband. After earning an MBA, she worked as a banker and corporate trainer. She gave up the corporate life to write, and if they awarded PhDs in writing happily-ever-after stories, she’d have one. Ann has traditionally published numerous romance and women’s fiction novels, novellas, a serialized online romance and many short stories. She is now indie publishing and having a ball with her Heroes of Rogue Valley: Calendar Guys series. Twelve months, 12 gorgeous firefighter heroes and the women who steal into their hearts and forever change their lives.

Ann enjoys interacting with readers.

Visit her author Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AnnRothAuthorPage.

Find her on Twitter at @Ann_Roth

Stop by her website at www.annroth.net.

 

Hugs and kisses,

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Once Upon A Duke by Sandra Masters)

First Kiss= TUESDAY

once upon a duke

sandra head shotPlease help me welcome my Yosemite Romance Writers friend — and newly published author — Sandra Masters to FIRST KISS: TUESDAY. Sandra is living proof that dreams do come true if you keep pursuing them. Her newly released regency romance from Wild Rose Press is: ONCE UPON A DUKE.

From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC, and a fantastic career for a broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She left her corporate world behind and never looked back.

Sandra hopes you’ll like her voice and passion for writing. “I’ve never created a Duke I didn’t fall in love with.” Sandra says becoming a published author is nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed.


ONCE UPON A DUKE

         Serena, an artist and widow, has no desire for another husband. When she meets Geoffrey Austen, attraction sizzles to a scorch. Stolen days and nights ignite forbidden passion. Geoffrey asks Serena to be his mistress, but she wants commitment, love and marriage, not an affair with a notorious rake.

         Geoffrey realizes Serena might be the one woman who can care for his tortured soul, and maybe release his demons. The magic they shared is shattered when he learns she has been forced into an engagement with another. He vows to save her even at the cost of his own life.

        Will Geoffrey’s gallantry prove he truly loves Serena?

        If he survives, will Serena surrender all to him?


First Kiss:

 

Serena noted the twinkle in his blue eyes, as his full dimpled smile emerged. She had a sudden desire to touch that arrogant face. What was it about this man? Her gaze centered on a straight scar down his right cheek. It intrigued her.

“Allow me to explain,” Lord Austen postured. “You see, I am considered quite unsuitable for marriage to most respectable ladies. My reputation precedes me, in part because I allow it. The rest is a fabrication of gossip I refuse to dispel.”

“You are a true rogue? Should I be worried? Are you good at your craft? I am told that a man with a rake’s soul can be a dangerous excitement.”

“So many questions, my lady, which require a thoughtful response. Let me say I have had no complaints.”

“It grieves me to wound you, but since I have not heard about you or your notoriety, could it be possible we do not travel in the same social circles? Should I swoon and fall at your feet? Perhaps I do not find you irresistible?”

Her stomach tightened when he strode toward her in lightning-fast motion. Her breath quickened. His arms uprooted her from the seat, his finger rested under her chin with just enough pressure to tilt it upward.

“Have you not been unattached long enough? Do you desire a man in your bed? If so, I could be persuaded.”

“Perhaps I am the one who needs persuasion.” Against the warning bell in her head, she opened to him when his lips claimed hers. Their tongues teased and the kiss lingered, laced with intimacy. Her body swayed, and made Serena aware of her heartbeat against his chest.

She traced the scar at his cheek, curious how he’d sustained such an injury. Perhaps her heated fingertips would erase the memory of pain to fade away. Serena knew too much about such marks. Her uncharacteristic response, in spite of her fear, confused her. His allure difficult to resist.

She embraced him, pressed her breasts against his chest and experienced a pleasurable frisson which warmed her, his spice and clove cologne an additional attraction. Serena again enjoyed how his mouth plundered and tasted her lips. His skillful tongue flicked in erotic foreplay, something she had heard of, but never experienced. She quivered when he pulled his mouth from hers.

“My reckless lady, your kisses are the sweetest I have tasted. I must have more.”

He again crushed her against him. Seeking. Tasting. Wanting. Taking. Demanding.

Lord Austen set her body afire as he explored, tantalized. An odd sensation stirred within her and caused a warm tingle in her lower body. Strange, to her it had no name, but it delighted.

He untied her hair ribbon, released the untamed dark curls that fell free against her shoulders. The red band lay unheeded on the pine-needled ground.

“I like you this way,” he whispered, his breath warm against her ear. “Do my lips satisfy your desire, my lady? You look wild and wanton, an eager beauty I must possess.”

“I am no man’s possession.”

She reeled from Lord Austen’s sensual assault. His blatant arousal pressed against her and rather than desire, filled her with fear. His nearness too intimate. His touch too hot. His desire too obvious.

A sinful leer crossed his face. He took her hand and placed her palm against his hardened manhood. “This is the kind of rake I am.”

She yanked away from him, and sent a hard slap to his face. “You assume too much. I do not play this game.”

“I think you are well-practiced in such games, dear lady.”

“How dare you tarnish me so? You go too far.” She chastised herself for her role in fanning the flames, but she’d never admit it to him. Serena raised her chin in defiance, looked away, and pointed an accusing finger toward the fall of his breeches. “A mild flirtation does not cause that. I suggest you swim in the cool lake water to ease your discomfort.”

She reached for her large canvas bag of art supplies, marched straight to her horse, and attached the bag to the special custom-made leather strap on her saddle. She mounted Sheba and reined her horse to face the man who stood with his mouth agape. “Do not visit this place again if I am here. This is not a request, Lord Austen. If you do not abide my wishes, I will report your transgression to my brother. Do I make myself clear?”

Lady Serena lightly touched her horse’s rump with her whip and cantered off without a backward glance.

Lord Austen rubbed his cheek, ran his finger down the welt that would soon bruise.

He spoke to Solomon. “I will survive this assault, but the damage done begs retribution. His laughter echoed through the sunlit trees as he recaptured his esteem. Geoffrey found Serena a refreshing change from the ladies who paraded in front of him with marriage on their minds. Still, a decadent thought invaded his head. He wished the yards of fabric which separated him from the softness of her body had dissolved when she was pressed against his hardness. The wanton lady had halted his seduction before it had barely started. “I think I have a coquette on my hands.” How he loved the chase.

The ribbon he pulled from her hair lay on the ground. Geoffrey picked it up and inhaled its lemony fragrance. He pressed it to his lips, and then placed the pretty scarlet band in a pocket. It would be a remembrance until next they met. Perhaps he would tie one of her hands to the bed post? No. He wanted those beautiful fingers free to stroke his body, while he explored hers.

He recalled the pleasure when her generous breasts pressed against his chest and he’d envisioned his body above hers. In his mind, he saw her writhe in ecstasy beneath him. She would beg him to make her his own.

Lord Austen closed his eyes and imagined the pleasure of touching her most intimately, inch by inch, and time and time again, until they were both exhausted and sated. He would wager she would not slap him then.

He mounted his stallion and gave another hearty laugh. “Solomon, I am tempted to place a bet in the White’s Club books that she will be mine by week’s end, perhaps even sooner.” He guided his horse along the well-worn path to the large manor house of his host and whistled a bawdy tune.

~~~~

Buy links:

AMAZON  

BN

KOBO

GOODREADS

Wild Rose Press

 


Oh, my! I’d forgotten how much fun a good romp with fast-paced dialogue and beautiful language could be. I look forward to reading your book, Sandra. Thanks letting me share your marvelous new book. Congrats, my friend!

Deb


PS: if you’re curious about Sandra, here’s her contact info:

http://www.sandramastersauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/SandraMastersAuthor

http://www.havetoloveromance.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/sandramasters10

http:/sandramastersauthor@gmail.com

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Laguna Nights by Kaira Rouda)

First Kiss= TUESDAY

kaira cover

Please welcome Kaira Rouda, an Amazon #1 bestselling, multiple award-winning author of three women’s fiction novels including HERE, HOME, kairaHOPE; ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER’S DAY. Kaira’s work has won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. Her books have been widely reviewed and featured in leading magazines.

 

Laguna Nights is Kaira’s new release, and, personally, I can’t wait to read it.

Madison Alcott left her Laguna Beach childhood in the past as soon as she could, never imagining she’d be forced to return. Caring for her ill mother and holding down a high-pressure position at the best resort in town, Madison’s life is as good as it could ever be in Laguna Beach. And blissfully, nobody knows her as Holly anymore, the name she used on television. Everything changes when her high school boyfriend appears in the lobby. He was the reason she’d left Laguna in the first place when he humiliated her on national television.

Josh Welsh’s star has been dimming ever since he shot to fame as the high school heartthrob on the reality TV series Laguna Nights. Hoping to reignite his career, he agreed to host a travel show, with the first episode shooting in his old hometown of Laguna Beach. Of all the negative scenarios associated with filming in Laguna, Josh hadn’t calculated a run-in with Madison, or that the same deep connection he felt for her in high school would still be there.

Madison and Josh’s reality TV relationship exploded years ago but when the new series forces them together, they must face Laguna Nights past and present.


First Kiss:

Madison, who went by Holly in high school, and her high school boyfriend, Josh, were cast in one of the first ever reality TV shows, back when they attended Laguna Beach High School. But the pressures of the show caused a painful breakup, and they hadn’t seen each other for almost fifteen years….until a new reality TV show brings them together, back in Laguna Beach. When they see each other again, the attraction is instant, as is Madison’s anger at her past humiliation. She reluctantly agrees to have coffee with Josh – he’s staying at the resort where she works – and then this:

    “I’ve got to go, Josh,” she said as he stood next to her. She could feel his breath on the side of her face as he wrapped his arms around her waist. She kept her own hands at her side even though she could feel her own heart melting, her resolve slipping.

    “Come have dinner with me,” he said softly, whispering in her right ear as his hand brushed her hair away from her eyes. A chill ran down her spine and her heart was beating wildly. “I’m not who you think I am, Holls. I never was that guy. They made me him, for the show.” Josh pulled her closer, wrapping his strong arms around her. He stared into her eyes and said, “Kiss me.”

    “Josh, no,” she said, struggling to pull free. “This is crazy.” But even as she was telling him no, she imagined doing just as he had asked. She licked her lips, her heart beating wildly.

    “Kiss me,” he said again, and as the world fell away he brushed his lips against hers and she felt her knees sway.

    “I’ve missed you,” Josh said, as he deepened the kiss in response to her rogue lips, lips that had parted welcoming his tongue as she heard herself sigh. Her senses were in overload, her center deep inside coming alive. She felt his hands moving up and down her spine, pushing their bodies together, a perfect fit. As his kiss dropped to her neck she felt herself arching her back and a moan escaped her lips. And they’d never had a chance to make love, her heart reminded her, as she felt his erection growing between them. It was going to be special, and then Laura. . . .

    Finally her brain kicked in. She couldn’t believe how she’d responded to his touch, how much she wanted him to kiss her. She was losing her mind.

    This is Josh Welsh you are kissing, her mind screamed. He humiliated you on national television. Stop this now.

    “Josh, we can’t do this,” she said, breaking their kiss and touching her lips with her fingertips even as he still held her tight. He loosened his grip, his blue eyes were dark.

    “Yes, we can. Because we’re right together, Holls, made for each other. Always have been. I know you feel what’s going on, too. God you’re beautiful,” he said.

      Madison could feel his heart beating in his chest. She looked up into his eyes, wanting to believe in him again, enjoying the warmth of his arms around her, clouding the deeply held anger towards him. But, as much as her body wanted him, and she was still dizzy from their kiss, her mind was racing, playing back every image of Josh and Laura together.

~~~~

Buy links:

AMAZON    

 B&N 

iTunes Store

Goodreads

KOBO


Happy reading!

XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Judy Does Christmas by Debra Salonen)

First Kiss= TUESDAY

Christmas in July-DS

Debra Salonen-4358-Color-SmAll year long, I look forward to the fun and sun of summer. Through the brutal winter months, I dream of relaxing on the beach and smiling as the summer sun shines down. That’s why it’s so strange that when summer is in full swing, I’m thinking of winter. Not just winter, but the month of December and all of the warmth and comfort of the holiday season.

 Christmas time bring out the best in people. It’s a time of kindness, joy and the occasional Christmas miracle. If that’s what you’re looking for, look no further. You can find all of those things right now, while avoiding the cold, the snow, and the shopping.

I was lucky enough to be invited to join 10 other fabulous (rock star!) authors in a month-long promotion called Christmas in July! I’ll share their titles and links at the end of this post, but first, here’s a first kiss snippet from my contribution:

Judy Does Christmas

The Judy Chronicles, Book 2 –

“Old enough to know better, still too young to care!” 

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As much as she wanted to blame the mid-day wine for her fatigue–aggravated by the hard cider she’d had with her pizza–in truth, she hadn’t been her usual perky self for weeks. Some mornings, she had to drag herself to the gym. Normally, she could count on an endorphin high after a workout, but not tonight. Even the promise of delicious sex with the man she loved more than life wasn’t enough to keep her eyes open.

“Damn holiday stress,” she muttered, hoping to grab a quick catnap…fully dressed…on their bed until Wiley got home.

She must have dozed off because the next thing she heard was Wiley’s voice calling out her name as he walked down the hallway.

“Judy? Honey? Are you okay? Don’t you want to get undressed?”

The effort it took to open her eyes made the process feel like slow motion. “Are my eyelids glued shut?”

Two soft lips kissed her cheekbones. “Nope. You’re just tired. I know how much you hate to shop for clothes. And it is the holidays.”

She held out a hand for his help sitting up. Her feet hit the thick carpet like bags of cement. Thunk. Thunk. “Remind me to make an appointment to see your doctor. I’d hoped to wait till our new marriage warranty expired before somebody confirmed my long list of flaws, but if I don’t perk up, you’ll trade me in for a new model anyway.”

He sat and looped one strong, reassuring arm around her shoulders. “You goof. Life doesn’t come with any guarantees.”

“You already had one sick wife…”

He nuzzled her neck. “Different circumstances completely. Apples and oranges.” His lips felt warm against her cool skin. “Your life has changed in a hundred different ways over the past few months. By all means, get a check-up. Maybe a B-12 shot. But the holidays wear everybody down.”

She took a deep breath, ignoring the voice in her head that sounded a lot like Alvin and the Chipmunks singing, “Hurry, Christmas, don’t be late.” The damn season couldn’t get over fast enough to satisfy her.

She turned into him and hugged him fiercely. “Have I told you today that I love you?”

“Once or twice. But I never get tired of hearing it.” He kissed her lips. “By the way, I got a text from Carla as I was leaving the gym. She asked if you liked everything.”

Judy tensed. She couldn’t help herself. “What did you say?”

“I told her you thought the place looked great, and because we’re both tied up with other interests, we trusted her to handle the details for the party.”

She rubbed her forehead against the hollow of his cheek. “Tied up, huh? Are you suggesting something kinky?”

“Maybe. Shall we discuss our options in the shower?”

Judy took a deep breath and got to her feet. A dozen or more tiny silver dots danced across her vision for a moment, but they quickly disappeared. She grabbed his hand. “Great idea. Turn the steam generator on, too. I’m thinking hot and heavy. And, no, that’s not a reference to my weight.”

He backed her up until she was pinned to the wall. “Your weight is perfect. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

A million and two. Just enough to make up for hearing people call me fat most of my life. “I’ll let the doctor be the judge of that, Judge. Come on. Let’s get naked, steamy and slippery.”

~~~~

Buy links:  AMAZON    Barnes & Noble   iTunes Store   KOBO


And don’t miss any of these SURE-TO-BE holiday faves:

514fsz6DpZL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A Mommy for Christmas by Maggie Shayne

Originally released in 2005 and titled, Feels Like Home, A MOMMY FOR CHRISTMAS has been substantially revised and contains brand new scenes never before published.

All Tyler wants for Christmas is a Mommy.

Not to walk without his crutches, or to skip his next surgery. Just a mommy.

 His father, Chicago Cop Jimmy Corona is determined to find him one in his hometown of Big Falls Oklahoma. But trouble follows him there, trouble that could get them both killed.

 Once shy and awkward, Kara Brand has blossomed into a graceful beauty with the biggest heart in the state of Oklahoma. Jimmy thinks she’s the perfect mommy-candidate, and she falls in love with little Ty at first sight.

 Jimmy plans to win her and wed her, not to love her. But he never intended for her to get caught in between a murderous criminal and his little boy.

A heartwarming, tear-inducing, holiday miracle kind of story you’ll never forget…
Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Kobo


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Angel Be Good by Kathy Carmichael

“Heartwarming, Sexy and Fun”

Billionaire CEO Nat Danvers has good looks, money, power, prestige—everything—except the one thing he really needs. But only in the loneliest corners of his frozen heart is he aware something is missing. Christmas Eve arrives to find Nat alone in his penthouse office, filling out layoff notices while his employees unknowingly celebrate at the office holiday party. In breezes the most incredibly beautiful woman he’s ever seen. Daphne, part angel, part human, has been sent by the Angelic Council to teach Nat some tough lessons in the hope his hardened heart will melt. She has only one night in which to help him.

With the clock ticking before she must go, can love find a way to touch them both?

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


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Christmas With The McRaes by Teresa Hill

Spend Christmas with the McRaes, Books 1, 2 and 3 in the series plus a brand new, bonus novella: Welcome Lizzie

TWELVE DAYS — Book 1

EDGE OF HEAVEN — Book 2

BED OF LIES — Book 3

BONUS NOVELLA ONLY AVAILABLE IN THIS BOX SET:  WELCOME LIZZIE

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes


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Comfort & Joy by Judith Arnold

In the season of miracles, the greatest miracle of all is love.

For Robin Greer, Christmas is about tradition and family. After her army-brat childhood, she wants nothing more than to plant solid roots and create a stable, permanent home for her young son, Philip. Christmas is a time to celebrate that home, and she and Philip celebrate in style, decorating their house, baking treats and listening to holiday music.

Jesse Lawson’s view of the holiday is quite the opposite. Growing up in an oppressively pious family, he has rejected religion. To him, Christmas is about hypocrisy and commercialism. A legal aid attorney, he can’t enjoy the spirit of the season when his inner-city clients are facing eviction in the middle of a cold New England winter.

 Yet he can’t resist Robin and her open-hearted embrace of all things Christmas. And she can’t resist this thoughtful, questioning, complex man who seems to understand the true meaning of the holiday better than she does.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


 

510q6OLnNwL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Dakota Wedding by Lisa Mondello

If you’re a fan of western romance, contemporary romance, stories full of angst and emotion, and sexy cowboy and military heroes, then you’ll enjoy the Dakota Hearts.

Ian McKinnon was just getting steady on his feet, looking forward to the opening of the Wounded Veterans Center and a big McKinnon wedding celebration, when tragedy struck again. The soldier who’d saved his life while in the military has died. He’s charged with his most important mission: find his friend Carlos’s family in Mexico or become guardian and raise Carlos’s children. The only mandatory stipulation of his friend’s will was that Ian live under the same roof with Abby Townsend, a firefighter from Carlos’s firehouse. Abby knew the kids well and she could help ease them all through the transition of becoming a family. Okay, so Ian may not be daddy material, but he’d grown up with a whole lot of McKinnons running around. He could handle the kids just fine. The beautiful Abby Townsend was another story.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


 51vvjQ94T7L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Home for Christmas by Kathryn Shay

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was formerly published as A CHRISTMAS LEGACY, part of a series for Harlequin. The book has been revised to be a stand alone novel in its own right.

When Jacob Steele returned home after fifteen years, it wasn’t to reconnect with the town that loved him. Instead, his motivation was purely financial. He needed capital and he wasn’t above claiming the inheritance bequeathed to him by the father whom he felt betrayed him. Unfortunately for the man who now calls himself Jay Lawrence, the inheritance comes with conditions. These conditions will keep Jay in Riverbend for a month working in the family bookstore. If he decides not to fulfill the terms, the bookstore and the farmhouse he used to cherish, go to the manager, Kate McMann. Jay isn’t about to let a woman, whose ambiguous relationship with his father is questionable, get her hands on his inheritance. He sets out to confront her never knowing that she and her twin daughters would change his plans, not to mention his life, forever.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


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Still of the Night By Dee Davis

In the still of the night…

Christmas is coming and Jenny Fitzgerald couldn’t care less. She’s getting divorced, and her life is in tatters. And just when she’s thinking it couldn’t possibly be worse, her husband is killed on the job, an undercover operation gone bad. In the midst of her grief, Jenny is confronted with a killer. A hunter who will stop at nothing to see her dead…

Award winning author Dee Davis’s holiday romantic suspense novella is re-released with a new epilogue!

 Amazon Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


51oncdjib0L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Texas Christmas Bride by Jean Brashear
From New York Times and USAToday bestselling Texas romance author Jean Brashear.

It’s the first Christmas in Sweetgrass Springs, Texas for several newcomers who have found a real home for the first time—or found home again. As Jackson Gallagher works to save his hometown from withering away by relocating his business empire there, the only gift he really wants is to marry the teenage sweetheart he thought he’d lost forever—but Veronica Patton Butler has other hearts to care for, however much she loves Jackson.

Come join the fun…In eccentric, lovable, unforgettable Sweetgrass Springs…where hope never fades and love never dies.

HOLIDAY COOKIE RECIPES INCLUDED!
Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


51X7fdNmr1L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Games by Patricia McLinn

Medals can be won, careers can be made, hearts can be lost.

From the pomp of Opening Ceremonies to the good-byes of Closing Ceremonies, join three remarkable women during the Winter Olympics. Tessa Rutledge, once an Olympic champion figure skater, returns as a coach, encountering her first love – and heartbreak – and testing her ability to forgive. Alpine skier Kyle Armstrong has made a mistake that could cost her Olympic gold and any hope of reconciling with the man she loves. Biathlete Rikki Lodge is just happy to be at the Games, until she meets a hockey player who demands that she puts everything on the line

Let The Games begin!

 Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


51Q83Y8G5uL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Christmas Princess by Patricia McLinn

A Princess for a few weeks …

The coming Christmas season isn’t looking great for April Gareaux. Her job is uninspiring, her engagement is off, and she has nowhere to live.

Then comes an extraordinary offer – spend the holidays in Washington, D.C., with King Jozef of Bariavak as his possible long-lost granddaughter. Even more extraordinary is the man behind the offer and the one who will be beside her through the coming weeks, Hunter Pierce.

King Jozef has known tragedy in his life. Now, comes this lovely young woman bringing joy to his holidays. How can he resist dabbling in some royal matchmaking. Wouldn’t it be delightful if he could give April a Christmas gift she will never forget… Her Prince for a Lifetime

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo


And a special treat…
61+5iEmbiwL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Wyoming Wildflowers – The Beginning by Patricia McLinn

One look, a passionate love . . . and then they part . . . Forever?

Before the bestselling and award-winning Wyoming Wildflowers saga began, there was another love story, one that laid the foundation for all those that came after. A love between a cowboy and an unexpected woman. A love at first sight … Ed Currick’s and Donna Roberts’ worlds couldn’t have been any more different – a rancher from Wyoming and an up-and-coming Broadway musical actress on a national tour. What could have been a momentary encounter sparks desire . . . and more. But can there be anything but heartbreak ahead when they have only days before their dreams pull them apart?

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  ITunes  Kobo

and

Enjoy Patricia’s entire Wyoming Wildflowers collection
Wyoming Wildflowers: The Beginning (Snowberry) – prequel
Almost a Bride (Indian Paintbrush)
Match Made in Wyoming (Fireweed)
My Heart Remembers (Bur Marigold)
Jack’s Heart (Yellow Monkeyflower), new release in 2015

Merry reading, my friends!

Deb

Just made this meme–so fitting, don’t you think?

HEA Judy Does Christmas

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from One Night With The Cowboy by Eve Gaddy)

First Kiss= TUESDAY

Eve cover cowboy

eve gaddy first kissPlease enjoy an excerpt from author EVE GADDY’s extraordinary ” One Night With The Cowboy”.

Meet the Kellys of Whiskey River, Texas, men who have always gone through life, and women, with their father’s legendary charm.

Trey Kelly has it all. Eldest son of Boots Kelly, Trey runs the Kelly ranch, and Trey’s heart is with his “babies”, Kelly’s Champs, the World Champion cutting horses he breeds and sells. Women love Trey and he loves women, but he’s never met the one he wanted for keeps. Until . . .

Reclusive Ariana Wright’s lavender farm sits next door to the Kelly spread. Ariana is a smart, ambitious chemist and after the car accident that left her scarred, the success of her new line of lavender-based beauty products is all Ariana is interested in.

Convincing Ariana to take a chance on love is a task that takes all Trey’s cowboy determination. But can Ariana let go of the wounds of the past and give herself more than one night with the cowboy?

 


 

First Kiss:

After dinner, which was delicious, Ariana brought out a crème brûlée and set about trying to caramelize the sugar. Trying being the operative word. Fascinated, Trey watched as she concentrated fiercely on lighting the torch and then running it over the top of the dessert. He restrained himself from offering to help, since he didn’t think she’d appreciate the implication, however true it was, that she didn’t know what she was doing.

Ariana finished, offering him the second dish since the first looked a bit like a funeral pyre. She sat, looking very pleased with herself. Until she tasted her own dessert. Frowning, she pushed it away, waiting expectantly for Trey to taste his own.

He took a bite. “It’s good,” he told her, a little surprised considering she’d taken one bite of her own and abandoned it.

“Are you sure? You’re not just being polite?”

“No. Here, taste for yourself.” He put a bite on his spoon and offered it to her. Gingerly, she tasted it.

“Oh, thank God,” she said, heaving a sigh of relief. “I was afraid yours would be bad too.”

“No, mine’s good. I’ll share.”

She argued with him, finally giving in and helping him finish it. He enjoyed watching her eat the dessert. Dainty but you could tell she liked it. “So, are you going to show me your lab?”

“You really want to see it?”

“Sure.” What he really wanted to do was kiss her. He’d been wanting to all night, but he honestly couldn’t tell if she wanted the same thing. Which was a novelty to him. Most of his dates were very clear about what they wanted. Which had always been fine with him. In the past.

“Can I ask you something?” she said, stopping in the kitchen on her way out the back door.

“Okay. What?”

“Did you ask me to dinner because you wanted to convince me to let you buy the Parker place?”

“Why would you think that?” Was she that insecure? He wouldn’t have thought so.

“It’s a reasonable assumption. You’ve never asked me out before.”

“I’ve never asked you out because until the other day I hadn’t set eyes on you since we were both kids.” She simply shrugged, so he continued. “Do you want to know the real reason I asked you out?”

“Yes.” She put up her chin as if bracing for the worst.

He grinned, cupped her chin in his hand and kissed her.

Shock held her still at first. His lips moved over hers, firmly but gently. He didn’t force her mouth open, but teased it, his tongue slipping inside and touching hers, playing with it, inviting. His hand dropped from her chin and his arms came around her, drawing her closer, deepening the kiss.

Oh, wow. Ariana hadn’t kissed anyone in quite a while, but Trey Kelly was just the man to break that dry spell. She put her arms around his neck and gave in, returning the kiss with her tongue dancing the same tune as his.

She tried to think but it was impossible. Somehow kissing Trey was short-circuiting her brain. Just as she was about to melt into a puddle of lust, a noise penetrated the sensual spell.

Barking. Of course. Barking.

Reluctantly, Ariana pulled back. “Um, dogs.” Mesmerized by gorgeous blue eyes, she stared at him, unable to make herself form the words. Finally she spit out, “I have to let the dogs out.”

~~~~

Buy links:

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WTAWKARTHINE G COVER


Oh. Sweet and yummy–just like my hubby’s favorite dessert! Can’t wait to read the rest of the book, Eve! Don’t forget the connected books in this great series: Where There’s A Will and One Night With the Tycoon

XOXO,

Deb