FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS LEGACY: The Inheritance by Debra Salonen #BlackHillsRendezvous

 BLACK HILLS LEGACY – The Inheritance

Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 10

 

Black Hills Legacy (The Inheritance)

Nothing like an unconscious doppelgänger to ruin a perfectly good day at the Mystery Spot.

Robyn Craine has two loves: her Harley and the Mystery Spot, the Black Hills tourist attraction she bought with funds from her late mother’s estate, an inheritance that included a generous gift from billionaire Harold Hopewell. With a chance-of-a-lifetime expansion in the works, Robyn doesn’t have time to babysit the handsome Sentinel Passtime actor who shows up to do “research”–especially when she figures out his connection to the wealthy businessman/politician trying to sabotage her new project. 

Liam Temple has no intention of falling for a Black Hills local. His agent has Liam’s breakout, big budget movie deal lined up. Even though Liam likes his current Sentinel Passtime gig, he promised his late sister he’d win a Golden Globe by thirty-five. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a feisty, Harley-riding tourist trap owner caught in Liam’s father’s crosshairs for buying a hunk of land Richard Marston thinks belongs to him. But when Robyn’s lookalike stunt double is attacked, Liam recognizes his father’s MO and Liam makes keeping Robyn safe his first priority.

FIRST KISS Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

Her grin brought her face to life in a way that grabbed him by the heart. Her lips, reddened from the cold and from licking a dab of chocolate from the raisins, were totally kissable. Inviting. His mouth watered and his fingers tingled from wanting to touch her.

Uh-oh. Not cool. No kissing.

He got up and brushed off the seat of his pants with far more theater than needed. Feeling her puzzled gaze on him, he grabbed the first distraction he could find. “Sun’s out. Wow. That was fast.”

She pulled out her phone. “Do you want me to take a shot of you?”

“Let’s do a selfie.”

She made a face. “I’m really bad at those.”

“I’ve done a million. Give me your phone.”

He took his time positioning her to give them the best backdrop then sidled up close and put his free arm around her shoulders. He liked the way she fit against him. He liked the strong, firm muscles he felt tense beneath his arm. She wasn’t completely comfortable with this closeness, he could tell, but he liked it a lot. Too much.

He extended his right arm, camera ready to go. “Okay. Smile for the masses.”

He pictured her rolling her eyes at that so he snapped a couple of extra. When she started to move away, he tightened his grip. “Wait. One more for me, only.”

He turned his head, leaned down and kissed her obviously unsuspecting lips. The electric spark that connected the instant their lips touched nearly made him drop the phone, but somehow he remembered to click the exposure before she pushed him away.

“What was that for? Blackmail?”

“How can I blackmail you? It’s your phone.”

“Oh. Right.” Her cheeks flushed red and he fell a little deeper in love. Not real love, but the real in-this-moment sort. The kind he manufactured effortlessly for the big and small screen.

“But I’d really appreciate it if you’d send me a copy. Will you?”

She grabbed the phone and stuffed it in her pocket. “Maybe. I’m not comfortable kissing strangers.”

“We’re not strangers. We know each other’s life stories. I told you about my sister and I never talk about her in interviews.”

“Why?”

Because it hurts too much.

Because I blame myself for not doing more.

Because, deep down, I’m glad she’s gone.

~~~

BLACK HILLS LEGACY: The Inheritance is available at all vendors: books2read.com/u/m2XARk


 Legacy review Jenny F


The final book is here-

Billionaire Harold Hopewell traveled the world, encountering people and letting their stories touch him. In death, he is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests to the people he met along the way. Read the Inheritance Series, and let their stories touch you.

I hope you love this story as much as I do. And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY – BLACK HILLS BILLIONAIRE by Debra Salonen #BlackHillsRendezvous

 BLACK HILLS BILLIONAIRE, Black Hills Rendezvous Book 2

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Meet Shane and Jenna. Two lost souls who came soooo close to meeting, falling in love and living a fabulous life until something unthinkable happened, until a dark force ruined everything.

Now, they’ve been given a second chance–if Shane can get past the guilt he carries from a deathbed promise he made.

So, when is a first kiss not a kiss? When you’re in the Mystery Spot.

“As you can see, this was the bedroom. We’ve removed the furniture to avoid injury, but just imagine what a nightmare it must have been to sleep in a room that seems to be constantly shifting from side to side. We call this the dizzy room for a reason, so don’t be surprised if a stranger is suddenly holding on to you for balance.”

She took a deep breath and walked straight to the middle of the room. Almost instantly, her equilibrium went haywire. She stepped on what looked like a level surface and felt her foot drop a quarter of an inch. Just enough to throw her balance off. She staggered, which prompted Shane to dash into the room.

“Watch out,” she warned.

He weaved to the left like a drunk after a long night at a bar. “Holy crap,” he muttered. “What the he–?”

She grabbed his arm and pulled him closer to the wall. He looked slightly dazed. “Wow. What is it?”

“You’d have to ask my dad. Unfortunately, I think the secret went to the grave with him. All I know is it’s very effective. I’ve seen people bob and weave all the way back to their car. I’ve done this tour so often I barely feel it unless I’m in the middle of the room.”

He put a hand to his forehead. “I’ve got the spinners. Like those nights in college when you drank too much then lay down in bed and the ceiling was going around in circles.”

College.

He looked at her so intently she realized she must have said the word aloud.

“Sorry. Wrong thing to say.”

She shook her head. “It was a long time ago. Shall we finish the tour? There’s an exit through the back, but since I have to lock up, I think we should go out the way we came in.”

His usual serious look was back on his face. He nodded and pushed off from the wall to lead the way. He only made it a few steps before listing sideways, like the Titanic after meeting the iceberg. She tried to keep him upright, but his momentum was too great. They both staggered a few steps then crashed into the wall. The wall with the drawing of a four-poster with a patchwork quilt on it, and they landed smack dab in the middle of the one-dimensional mattress.

“This was your plan all along, right?” Shane asked, wrapping his arms around her to keep steady. “To get me in bed?”

She laughed to keep her panic at bay, but to her surprise she didn’t feel the usual fear that came when someone got too close, too fast. In fact, she liked the feeling of being in his arms. Warm. Secure. Protected.

“I’ve seen the same thing happen to other people. Perfect strangers. Dad used to say it was all about a person’s polarity-–positive and negative.”

His eyes were such a deep, yummy brown. Like chocolate syrup. “Does that mean one of us is a magnet and the other iron filings?”

She knew which she’d be. “Maybe we’re both iron filings being drawn to the giant magnet in the wall.”

He arched his neck to look over his shoulder, his skepticism clearly back in place. Laughing, she put her hands flat against his chest and pushed back. She waited for her balance to return, the way it usually did, but if anything, she was even loopier. Her hands wouldn’t leave his shirt. Her breath was shallow and shaky. Because she knew he was going to kiss her.

Kiss. His mouth touching her mouth. No. She didn’t kiss. Or touch. Or… But no words of protest made it out before his lips touched hers.

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Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS STRANGER by Debra Salonen #BlackHillsRendezvous

 BLACK HILLS STRANGER, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 9

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His last resort.

Jonas Galloway’s daughter is missing. He returned from active duty in Afghanistan to find his ex-wife had joined a cult and taken their seven-year-old with her. The group disappeared off the grid and Jonas has exhausted all leads. His only hope is to convince his old high school flame, Remy Bouchard, to use her “gift” to find Birdie. Remy may doubt her abilities, but Jonas never has. After all, she found him once and saved his life. He’s praying she can do the same for Birdie.

Her so-called gift.

Remy’s only back in Louisiana to close up her old family home and say goodbye to the past. She plans to reinvent herself in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and nothing Jonas, the ex-love-of-her-life, says is going to change that. Until he shows her a photo of his daughter. A little girl who looks like the child in her dream. A desperate soul on the verge of giving up. But if what Remy’s late mother said is true, then Remy could be the biggest mistake of Jonas’s life.

FIRST KISS Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

“Take me with you.”

“No. If the cops decide to treat this as a kidnapping, they won’t even want me involved in the investigation. Trust me, police and civilian investigators don’t mix.”

She crossed her arms and shrugged. “Maybe I’ll wander downtown and let some handsome tourist buy me a hurricane.” She named the highest-octane alcoholic abomination she could think of. She’d tried one once and got disgustingly sick. She drummed her fingers on one cheek, theatrically. “Yes, it’s true that an excess of alcohol can interfere with the brain’s usual nighttime activities such as dreaming, but…” She let the implication hang.

“We’re arguing about going to a place you may or may not dream about.” He let out a snarky hoot. “Is it just me? Or does that strike you as nuts?”

“Are suggesting I’m crazy?”

“Absolutely not. I know crazy. But you are slightly cracked.”

She couldn’t say for certain whose scowl gave way to a smile first, but a second later they were both laughing. And a second after that, kissing.

She wanted to blame the Kraken—or the intensity of the situation—but she wasn’t a liar. She’d been thinking about kissing him from the moment he showed up on her doorstep.

He broke it off, first. “Damn. I promised myself I wasn’t going to do that.”

“Me, too,” she said, touching her fingers to her lips. She’d kissed a dozen boys and men over the years but not a single one had left the sort of impression on her mouth as Jonas Galloway.

He sighed weightily. “Jessie was right. The lust between us is like our invisible pet elephant–it takes up all this space and we waste a mountain of energy trying to ignore it.”

“Well said. I couldn’t agree more. The damn thing went on every date I ever had, too, after we broke up. Voyeuristic beast,” she muttered under her breath. “You think three in one bed is crowded, you should try it with an invisible elephant.”

Oops. TMI. Too much information.

~~~

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Happy reading! I hope you love this story as much as I do. And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS RANCHER by Debra Salonen #BlackHillsRendezvous

 BLACK HILLS RANCHER, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 8

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The last thing Cade Garrity expected when he went to Sentinel Pass to meet Jessie Bouchard—a prospective, short-term tenant willing to trade a little childcare in return for a discounted rent—was to save her life. But the video her twin sister, Remy, shot doesn’t lie. And the fact that the nutcase who booby-trapped Jessie’s stunt is still on the loose makes it impossible for Cade to turn his back on her. But Cade married a woman who put satisfying her need for excitement ahead of her family–ahead of him–and it killed her. He’s not going down that road again no matter how much he desires Jessie Bouchard.

Despite what people think, Jessie does not have a death wish. She learned at a young age the only way to handle pain and fear was to face it head on. That’s what she does. And she’s convinced herself that living for the moment is enough–until she meets Cade and his daughter, Shiloh. There may be more to life than that next death-defying stunt, but does she deserve the kind of life Cade has to offer? She isn’t sure, and unless she finds the person who is trying to kill her, she won’t get a chance to answer that question.


FIRST KISS Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

 

She stopped moving away from him. “I’m not easy.” She blanched and added quickly, “I don’t mean sexually. I mean, in general. But you have a daughter and I…I have my career.”

“So, we keep those things separate.”

He reached out to touch the side of her face. “Neither of those excuses is good enough to keep me from kissing you. Got any better ones?”

He looked into her eyes and waited, watching for his answer. Her lips parted…and smiled. “Not really.”

“Good.” Then he leaned over to press his lips to hers. Soft and warm. Nice. Very nice. But salty.

As if reading his mind, she pulled back and licked her lips. “You taste like sea water.”

Which, apparently, wasn’t a bad thing because she moved closer and kissed him again, lips parted this time, welcoming his tongue to explore and parry. The deeper he explored, the sweeter she tasted. Root beer and ice cream sweet. Jessie Bouchard sweet.

He broke it off because his body started telling him it was more than happy to take things to the next level. Whoa. Not so fast, he silently cautioned. One step at a time. He didn’t know for certain he could pull off a casual, summer fling, no strings attached. But he sure as heck wanted to consider the option.

“Nice,” he said taking a step back.

“It was.” She sounded surprised. “You’re a good kisser. And here you gave me the impression you were out of practice.”

He could tell she was teasing, but he definitely didn’t want to talk about his dating disasters of late. He hadn’t gone out with anyone since arriving in South Dakota. In part, because he’d come to the conclusion that single fathers of a certain age should never let their friends or family set them up on blind dates.

“I haven’t roped for ten years, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how.”

~~~

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Happy reading! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS OUTCAST by Debra Salonen #BlackHillsRendezvous

 BLACK HILLS OUTCAST, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 6 

 Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

“Are you an actor?”

He made a scoffing sound. “Good grief, no. I stay as far away from the Sentinel Passtime people as possible. I’m sure they’re nice enough, but their energy is enervating.”

Books. Art. Silk. Vocabulary words. She searched his face but nothing came to her. His beard was starting to fluff out again as it dried. His hair had filled in around his face covering his ears. He was starting to look more like the Rufus she knew.

“Listen, Rachel, I’m sorry about the peep show. I didn’t expect you for a couple of hours. I needed to think, and I do my best thinking in a bath. The house design didn’t lend itself to an indoor tub and I don’t like the cold well enough to sit in one outside in the winter, so I had the copper tub made. I call it my Saturday night special,” he said, a sort of self-deprecating humor in his tone.

She knew he bathed more often than once a week. “Today’s Tuesday.”

“I know. Like I said, I needed to think.”

Now, the humor was gone and something faintly foreboding seemed to linger in the air. “You’re pulling the plug on your Web site, aren’t you?”

“Not the sales part, but everything else,” he admitted.

She’d sensed his growing disenchantment with the whole online-community concept, but she’d ignored his concerns in favor of what she thought best for him. Shades of Mom, Jack would have said.

“Then, I guess we’re done here,” she said, trying to salvage a scrap of pride. She started toward where he was standing, intending to leave. He didn’t need her. No one did. Not really.

“Rachel,” he said, his voice low and conflicted. He stepped to the left to block her way. His large, warm hand closed around her forearm when she tried to push him aside. “You’re wrong about that.”

Then he pulled her to him, his arms enclosing her in a cocoon of warmth that made her think she might be in the middle of one of his Dreamhouses. Safe and secure.

His kiss was not at all what she was expecting. Soft, gentle and far too proper—at first. When she tilted her head and leaned into him, his reaction matched hers. Their tongues got involved. Their breathing changed. Her hands were touching—or were they gripping?—his massive shoulders.

She’d wanted to do that since day one. As wrong as it was, she’d never experienced anything that felt so right—even the odd, cushiony texture of his beard. She wanted more. Everything. Every inch of that gorgeous body she’d seen in the water.

At what price, Rachel? Her mother’s voice. You mixed business and pleasure once before and look how well that turned out.

black-hills-outcast-1

Black Hills Outcast available here:

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Happy reading! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS RANCHER by Debra Salonen

 BLACK HILLS RANCHER, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 8

Black-Hills-Rancher-Kobo

The last thing Cade Garrity expected when he went to Sentinel Pass to meet Jessie Bouchard—a prospective, short-term tenant willing to trade a little childcare in return for a discounted rent—was to save her life. But the video her twin sister, Remy, shot doesn’t lie. And the fact that the nutcase who booby-trapped Jessie’s stunt is still on the loose makes it impossible for Cade to turn his back on her. But Cade married a woman who put satisfying her need for excitement ahead of her family–ahead of him–and it killed her. He’s not going down that road again no matter how much he desires Jessie Bouchard.

Despite what people think, Jessie does not have a death wish. She learned at a young age the only way to handle pain and fear was to face it head on. That’s what she does. And she’s convinced herself that living for the moment is enough–until she meets Cade and his daughter, Shiloh. There may be more to life than that next death-defying stunt, but does she deserve the kind of life Cade has to offer? She isn’t sure, and unless she finds the person who is trying to kill her, she won’t get a chance to answer that question.


FIRST KISS Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

 

She stopped moving away from him. “I’m not easy.” She blanched and added quickly, “I don’t mean sexually. I mean, in general. But you have a daughter and I…I have my career.”

“So, we keep those things separate.”

He reached out to touch the side of her face. “Neither of those excuses is good enough to keep me from kissing you. Got any better ones?”

He looked into her eyes and waited, watching for his answer. Her lips parted…and smiled. “Not really.”

“Good.” Then he leaned over to press his lips to hers. Soft and warm. Nice. Very nice. But salty.

As if reading his mind, she pulled back and licked her lips. “You taste like sea water.”

Which, apparently, wasn’t a bad thing because she moved closer and kissed him again, lips parted this time, welcoming his tongue to explore and parry. The deeper he explored, the sweeter she tasted. Root beer and ice cream sweet. Jessie Bouchard sweet.

He broke it off because his body started telling him it was more than happy to take things to the next level. Whoa. Not so fast, he silently cautioned. One step at a time. He didn’t know for certain he could pull off a casual, summer fling, no strings attached. But he sure as heck wanted to consider the option.

“Nice,” he said taking a step back.

“It was.” She sounded surprised. “You’re a good kisser. And here you gave me the impression you were out of practice.”

He could tell she was teasing, but he definitely didn’t want to talk about his dating disasters of late. He hadn’t gone out with anyone since arriving in South Dakota. In part, because he’d come to the conclusion that single fathers of a certain age should never let their friends or family set them up on blind dates.

“I haven’t roped for ten years, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how.”

~~~

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 Tomorrow I have a wonderful promo with Robin Reads for BLACK HILLS BABY. If you’re a recipient of that excellent newsletter and have the chance to share the news, I’d be so grateful.

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Happy reading! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS WHITE KNIGHT by Debra Salonen

 BLACK HILLS WHITE KNIGHT, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 6

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 Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

“I’m glad you came here tonight, Daria. I like you. I enjoyed talking with you. You’re probably the most honest, self-attuned, real person I know.”

“What about Libby?”

“She’s spoken for.”

And I’m not, she thought with a bright, glittery burst of joy. I’m free. Available. Sort of.

She looked at his lips. His perfect, masculine, desirable lips. “You know the baggage we brought with us on your plane is only part of the package, right?”

William put his arms around her and carefully eased her closer, as if expecting her to bolt. Which she should have. Would have, if she’d been listening to the sensible advice she’d read in a dozen or so women’s magazines over the past few months. But those writers’ voices were drowned out by the girlish thrill of sharing a first kiss with the handsomest man she’d ever known.

And why the heck shouldn’t I? He’s flying away in the morning. I’ll probably never see him again. If not now, when?

The last justification—a popular slogan adopted by several politicians she knew—made her smile. William seemed to take that as yes. With one hand he lifted her chin as he slowly lowered his head.

His lips were soft and warm, gentle but persistent, coaxing her to respond. Hormones, pheromones, whatevermones flooded her desert-dry senses. She not only kissed him back, she leaned into him, pressing close enough to feel every button on his shirt, the well-formed shape of his chest, and the ribs, sinew and muscle under his skin.

She opened her mouth and touched her tongue to his. Doing so felt bold, impulsive and gratifying beyond words. He tasted like the honey he’d added to his tea. He tasted new and novel and very, very good.

His tongue made tentative inquiries at first but quickly left politeness behind and explored her mouth as only a stranger would. A stranger. That’s what he was.

She jerked back with a gasp. “Oh! That was so not supposed to happen.” She swallowed hard, still tasting his sweetness. “In fact, it didn’t happen. It was a dream. Dreams aren’t real.”

He placed both hands on her shoulders, more to steady her than hold her in place. “I’ve been working in Hollywood for half my adult life, and believe me, I know the difference between make-believe and reality. That kiss was real.”

She turned sideways to dislodge his hands. “I’ve never even been to Hollywood.”

He seemed amused by her non sequitur. “I also have a fair knowledge of timing, and this was not well-scripted. For that I apologize. Not for the kiss, mind you. That was quite lovely, and I shall treasure it always.”

She couldn’t decide if he was being gallant or joking around. That was the problem with kissing a stranger, she decided, as he escorted her to her grandfather’s old sedan—you have no barometer to go by.

“Sleep well, Daria,” he said, dropping a friendly peck near the corner of her lips. “I’ll run the tape back to you in the morning unless you need me before then. You have my number.”

He remained standing in the driveway the entire time she backed up and slowly maneuvered her way between the snow banks. He was still there when she turned onto the street and stepped on the gas. The guy didn’t have a jacket on. That made him either crazy or inured to the cold weather.

Her bet was on the former. After all, he’d kissed her, hadn’t he? A not-quite-divorced divorcée with two kids, no alimony, no job, no nothing.

The man was interesting. Intriguing. Sexy as hell, and a great kisser. But he was right about their timing. It sucked big time, as Miranda would have said. And that’s all there was to it.

~~~

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Happy reading! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS OUTCAST by Debra Salonen

 BLACK HILLS OUTCAST, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 5

Black-Hills-Outcast-Kindle

 Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

Rachel stood in the doorway of the kitchen and sipped her glass of water as she watched Rufus charm his miniature audience. He’d removed his tie an hour or so earlier and opened his pristine white shirt collar a few buttons. She didn’t understand why she found that glimpse of flesh so provocative, but she did. So much so, in fact, she’d made up an excuse about needing a drink of water simply to give herself some breathing space.

“Your date seems to like children,” a voice observed. Rachel started. Her mom-radar must have malfunctioned.

“They seem to like him, too,” Rachel returned cautiously, wondering where this conversation would lead. Nowhere good, she was sure.

“I wonder why that is,” Mom said. “Perhaps because he’s a bit…simple?”

Rachel put the glass to her mouth and forced herself to drink. It was that or scream. And she couldn’t scream because her father never would have allowed it. The man worshipped his wife and let her get away with all sorts of small cruelties.

“You’re basing your judgment on what? A two-second conversation?”

“I asked around. People who drop out of society, as he did, usually do so for a reason, Rachel. Do you know what that reason is?”

No. “He’s my client, Mom. I’m on a need-to-know basis, and his personal life is something I don’t need to know—as long as he pays my bill. I invited him tonight because I thought his business would benefit from the local exposure.”

Rachel was pleased by how logical and composed she sounded. For a minute, she thought her mother bought it.

Mom shook her perfectly coifed head. “Don’t kid yourself, Rachel. You’re attracted to him. And, with good reason. He’s quite handsome. But I thought you told me you’d learned your lesson where handsome men were concerned? I believe your exact words included hook nose and bald.”

Rachel set her glass on an antique sideboard then crossed her arms. “I may have said something to that effect, but, Mother, surely you’re not labeling all handsome men as cheating scoundrels who can’t keep their dicks in their pants. I could point out half a dozen hunks in this room—including your son—and each one is a faithful, trustworthy and decent human being who loves his wife and knows how to honor his marriage vows.”

“There’s no reason to be crude, Rachel. All I’m saying is you need to look beyond the superficial. You have a tendency to jump in to everything with both feet. In a relationship, by the time you discover how shallow the man is, something’s broken.”

Rachel gave her mother credit for creating an apropos metaphor. She’d been fighting an attraction toward this man since that first day. But what did she know about him? She hadn’t known he was drop-dead gorgeous. Or good with kids. Or even that he owned a suit.

“There you are,” a deep voice said, taking both women by surprise. Rufus leaned in and brushed a quick, micro-kiss on Rachel’s lips. “Sorry. Those kids are great. Jordie reminds me of my little brother when he was that age.”

Rachel had to fight to keep from touching the spot he’d kissed. “N…no problem,” she stuttered. “Mom and I were catching up. She’s just returned from Florida.”

“Florida…,” he said, reaching up to touch his ear. “I used to own a condo in Miami.”

His obviously unconscious gesture made her realize something was different between his right ear and his left. She didn’t have time to dwell on the fact because she could tell by her mother’s skeptical snort that Mom didn’t believe him.

Escape, her brain cried. They needed to leave now before Mom said something really humiliating. “Rufus, if you want, we could take off.”

He smiled at her warmly, then lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. She was almost certain her knees weren’t going to hold her, but then he turned to Mom and said, “Not yet. I haven’t had a chance to talk to your mother. I spotted a quiet nook near the stairs…”

There was a hint of “I dare you” in his tone, and Rachel had never known her mother to walk away from a challenge.

Mom passed Rachel her highball glass—Jack Daniels neat. “Very well.”

As polite as any gentleman she’d ever met, Rufus escorted her mother out of sight. Rachel took a sip of the booze in her mother’s glass, despite the fact she hated whiskey.

“What’s going on?”

Coughing slightly, she glanced to her left to find her brother and future sister-in-law peering out of the kitchen. “I don’t know. Mom and Rufus are talking. I’m pretty sure neither is armed, but you might want to put your finger on 9-1-1 speed dial just in case.”

~~~

Black Hills Outcast available here:

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 And, in case you missed it, BLACK HILLS BABY is #FREE.

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Happy reading! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS BACHELOR by Debra Salonen

 BLACK HILLS BACHELOR, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 4

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Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

 

“How many days will they be filming here?”

He thought a moment. “Well…I really don’t know. I haven’t seen the script. I don’t know if this is the part where I leave Cooper in the dark or—”

“You what?”

He held up one finger. “Wait here. I’ll show you.”

She didn’t move, but she didn’t take her eyes off him, either. She wasn’t ready to be left alone in this place, even if she did have a safety light on her helmet.

He wasn’t more than ten feet away when he reached overhead and suddenly there was no light. She blinked twice, three times, but all she could see were the tiny flashes that floated past her eyelids when she closed her eyes. “Oh, my lord. So, this is dark.”

She heard him moving toward her, but her senses weren’t acute enough to judge distance. She cocked her head and strained to listen. Crunch. Shuffle. A muffled curse.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes. Damn it. I forgot I had Megan here the other day. She likes to stack rocks in little piles. She calls them rock people and gives them names.” He hesitated. “I think I just murdered the Slocum family.”

Morgan’s laugh brought a strange kind of release. In the dark, she was free to giggle at silly comments and joke back. “Oh, dear. Not the Slocums. They were friends of mine. Jessie, Peter and little Lu-Lu.”

His deep chuckle sent shivers down her spine. He was close. She could sense his body heat—or thought she could. Was that possible? The sound of his breathing was nearby, but the tunnel created an echo effect. She didn’t know for sure what was real and what was imagination.

But she’d never been accused of lacking an imagination. In her mind’s eye she pictured him standing mere inches from her. Leaning in to inhale her perfume. Their male and female auras overlapping.

He cleared his throat before asking, “H…how well did you know them? Did you know they had rocks for brains? Anyone who would live in a mine shaft—”

Was he talking about himself, now? Was he trying to talk himself out of doing something he might regret later? Something they both might regret?

“I can’t speak for the Slocums, but it’s easy to see how this kind of place might grow on you. Never having to see the judgmental looks in people’s eyes. No cameras clicking. No reporters trying to nibble off some spare pound of flesh. I think the darkness is very…liberating. You can do anything you want and no one would ever know.”

She waited to see what his reaction to her obvious come-on would be. Would the lights flick back on? Would he hightail it and give her time to come to her senses before he rescued her from herself?

“I never thought of it like that before,” he said. She’d already decided that Mac’s voice was one she’d never forget. She could recall it perfectly when he wasn’t there. There was truth and humility and strength in his tone. And in the dark, all of those things wrapped around her like a security blanket.

She felt safe. Safe enough to reach out and do what she’d wanted to do for days. Even sightless, she found him, unerringly. Her fingers touched the crisp material of his buttoned shirt. An unobtrusive, plaid cotton shirt that he wore tucked in. No extra roll around Mac’s middle that he had to hide. He was one of the most fit specimens of forty-year old men she’d ever seen.

“It’s possible the Slocums chose to live here because of the view,” she said, seeing with her imagination. Her fingers inched upward. She felt his sharp inhale when she reached the open V of his neckline. Bare skin right beyond the edge of fabric.

“Maybe they’re crazy,” he said, reaching out to pull her close—as efficiently as a sighted man in daylight.

His lips found hers just as easily and she answered without hesitation. In the light of day she would have stopped, thought, turned and run, but where could she go in the dark? The blackness felt like a cool, silk net suspending them in a cocoon.

The absence of outer stimuli made her more sensitive to specialized stimuli. Taste. His tongue slipped between her lips. Wet, slippery, strong, basil. The words actually flashed in her mind. Not something she could ever remember happening when she kissed someone.

Basil. The word lingered and brought with it images she’d have preferred to keep at bay. Cal’s garden. The fresh tomatoes. Mac’s grandmother’s hospital bed where she would probably die. Sooner rather than later. Will I even be here?

The question gave her pause. She pulled back and closed her eyes. The reaction, she knew, made no sense.

Mac’s arms relaxed their hold but didn’t fall away. Neither spoke. Probably because they were both breathing hard. In the dark, that reality was very audible.

“Well, I didn’t see that coming.”

~~~

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Black Hills Bachelor will be live tomorrow, but you can grab a preorder copy from:

Amazon      BN      KOBO     iBooks

 


 And, in case you missed it, BLACK HILLS BABY is #FREE.

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                Amazon         iBooks             BN           KOBO

Happy reading! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS BAD BOY by Debra Salonen

 BLACK HILLS BAD BOY, Black Hills Rendezvous Book 3

BLACK HILLS BAD BOY

Does your idea of March Madness mean reading till your eyes cross?

Mine, too.

So, if you’re ready to binge on my Black Hills Rendezvous series, prepare yourself to travel back in time…sorta.

Sometimes dreams take you to places your Harley can't go.

 Their “first kiss”…but which hero/heroine is doing the kissing? Kat and Jack circa 2016 or their 1880s counterparts: Katherine and Mad Jack?

“You shouldn’t be here,” she said, as teacherly as possible.

“I know. But I find I’m powerless to make myself leave. Until today I hadn’t realized how beautiful you are. And strong-minded. You didn’t approve of how Seth and I handled the situation with that body, did you?”

“I did not. You treated the deceased with less respect than most people would have given a dead dog. Your attitude has made me reconsider my place here. If the town’s elected officials—-”

“Nobody elected me to nothin’,” he said, his voice rising. “We saw to the body as best we could. Did we wring our hands and mutter a prayer for his soul? No. Because, frankly, that body is the fifteenth I’ve helped Seth deal with since I got here. Old. Young. Sick. Gunshot. Murdered. Hung. Run down by a wagon. Every death—-friend or stranger—-adds another layer between you and fear. It’s the only way to keep the blackness at bay.”

Strangely, she understood. She’d cried when her mother passed. After giving birth five times, Mama’s body had been the most worn down and susceptible to the fever. But as the others succumbed, Katherine had slipped a sort of fine kid glove over her heart. Layer by layer until she didn’t feel any pain. Or anything at all.

She couldn’t say how it happened, but wordlessly, she rose and went into his arms. Strong, sinewy arms barely cloaked by the coarse material of his coat. He smelled of snow and smoke. He smelled like a man. It had been so long since she’d inhaled those scents up close. They carried with them powerful memories. Her father washing up after a day of working the earth. Her brother sneaking in after courting his beloved Isabeth. Her mother handing her the baby to dry off after he tumbled in the creek behind their home.

She’d missed the touch of these strange male creatures. Her father’s hand of support on her shoulder. Her brothers’ hugs. Men had courted her, at times. She’d held hands with one or two and danced her share of reels. She’d even kissed Jeremiah Conroy before he headed west to seek his fortune. But she’d never felt drawn like this—a horse to the proverbial water. And she knew, deep down, that she would drink as much as she could take in.

“You are soft in all the right places,” Jack told her, his hands taking liberties no man had taken before.

“And you are not. But I sense a softness in your heart that I expect very few people see.”

His low chuckle made a shiver course through her body, opening wells of feeling she’d never known existed. Her mind, thankfully, had stopped thinking about all the bad things that could–and probably would–come of this encounter. Propriety and honor were words that lived outside this moment, outside this room.

What mattered now was the roughness of his beard against her palms as she framed his face with her hands. He’d shaved that morning. She could tell. But the outline of stubble told her he was the kind of man who could grow a beard in a week, if he were so inclined.

“How is that you don’t favor a beard in winter?” She brought her cheek to his. She rubbed back and forth, enjoying the sharp but soft bristles.

“I do when I’m away from camp, but barberin’ seems right when you’re seeking the company of a lady.” He reached behind her, his fingers skimming lightly over the pins that held her tightly twisted bun. “May I?”

She nodded. The only answer possible and one that seemed silly, given how many rules she’d already broken. But the moment his fingers scraped upward, loosening the heavy mane from its braid, her fate was sealed. The pleasure was instant and overwhelming. She put her lips to his. Primly. Puckered. The way she’d learned that one other time.

His answering touch was so different, so powerful and invasive her heart stopped as his tongue parted her lips and entered her mouth. Was this normal? But the question barely had time to cross her mind before she answered back, her tongue seeking, tasting, exploring.

She was so preoccupied with the sensations she was experiencing in this new and strange arena, she didn’t notice at first that he’d managed to remove her outer jacket and was working on undoing the buttons of her shirtwaist. “Oh,” she said with a small gasp. “Of course.”

He looked at her with a dangerously handsome slant to his mouth. Did he expect her to push him away? That would be the smart choice, but it was not her intention.

“My mother explained that when a man and woman had physical relations, men often preferred the woman to disrobe.”

He threw back his head and let out a roar of laughter that both pleased and mortified her. She felt the heat that had been in other places flood her cheeks. She turned away, but he caught her shoulders and made her face him. “You are the most honest, forthright woman I have ever met, Katherine. You don’t belong with a man like me, and I’ve spent every day since you arrived in this godforsaken place trying to stay away from you. But we’re here now, and I want you to know that you can trust me.

“I might not have much in the way of land or goods, but I have my honor. My reputation. I don’t cheat at cards. I don’t shoot men in the back. And I don’t lie to women.”

“You didn’t laugh because I’m naïve and unworldly?”

“No, ma’am. I laughed because you are real and good—two things I never expected to find in this godless land, much less touch.”

~~~

Buy links will be added to my webpage: HERE. Or you can grab a copy from: Amazon  iBooks or KOBO


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Next up…BLACK HILLS BACHELOR should be ready for pre-sale next week. Here’s a sneak peek of the cover.

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Again, I’m more than happy to send a review copy for free to any of my faithful readers. Please email me.

Happy reading,

Deb