Archive for the ‘December 2013’ Category



wins digital books by Gretchen Chambers



wins 7 Minutes in Heaven by Rhian Cahill



wins Kissing Her Scrooge by Kinley Cade


Tammy M.

wins Tinsel My Hear by Christi Barth


Congrats! To claim your prize, please email lillie80 @ gmail.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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CARINA_1213_9781426897559_TinselMyHeartBecca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Player’s over-the-top Christmas pageant for ten years. The beloved Minneapolis tradition is the theatre’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is almost canceled when their director disappears into rehab at the last minute. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped the Twin Cities off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working side-by-side with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other’s dreams come true. But will doing so destroy their chance at a happily-ever-after together?


One of my favorite guest posts to write for every release blog tour is the research post. Yes, I’m a contemporary romantic comedy author. I write about people living in today’s world, with today’s clothes and smart phones and bar food. Sounds uncomplicated, compared to my ever-toiling historical author friends, right? Well, we contemporary authors have to do research, too.

Some of my research is quite serious. Every book has a conflict. In my latest release Tinsel My Heart (which I promise is entirely lighthearted, funny and sexy!), the hero’s best friend and partner just got sent to rehab. I had to research how long an initial stay is supposed to be, what sort of contact with friends and family is allowed, if at all, and after how much time has elapsed. The entirety of that knowledge probably takes up three paragraphs, at most. But it is too important not to spend the time to get right.

Then there’s the research I do just for the sake of a punch line. Given the style of books I write, that probably accounts for ninety percent of my research. But when you write funny books, even the throwaway lines have to ring true. Here’s a long-winded example of why I had to research the different Defcon levels:

“Sweetheart, I’m about to start rehearsing a cast of amateurs, kids and goats. I’m gonna do nothing but worry for the next ten days.”

Three hours later, Jack was considering changing his tune. Oh, he’d still worry. Any director worth a damn maintained a certain level of rampant panic over every last second of stagecraft right up until the first curtain. Worry that the actors might forget their lines. Forget their blocking. Hell, this show was a musical, so that brought in a whole other level of problems. No dancing—not a lot of polka numbers in the old King James version—so that was good. But the microphones might crap out. The recorded orchestra track might blip. And yes, for the first time, Jack actually had to worry about a goat taking a dump in the middle of the stage. That was a new one.

But his worry wouldn’t be at Defcon Ten. Threat Level Midnight. Code Red. Whatever. Turned out that this ragtag bunch of rank amateurs actually knew their shit.

Yup. Talk about a tossed-off line. Inner monologue, no less! But I still took the time to make sure it was accurate. Here’s one more example of my painstaking research. This one was to pin down a fancy and famous shopping district in Italy…and to be able to describe it to my readers:

Jack picked up his clipboard, then twisted in the seat to look for her. And had to grip the armrest to keep from launching into the aisle when he saw a man swaggering toward him. A man in those stupid, skinny-cut pants that screamed Eurotrash paired with a freaking bolo tie and a leather duster that matched Jack’s.

He remembered the day they’d bought the coats in a little shop on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. They’d been celebrating their win the day before of the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It had been a surreal feeling, strolling along the ancient bridge with his best friend and the new phenomenon of a shitload of cash in his pocket.
The whole book takes place in Minneapolis. Do my readers have to know what it feels like to shop in Italy? Technically, no. Was it intrinsically important to the plot? Heck, no. But if I want them to thoroughly experience the point of view of the hero, a mega-star of a director who jets from movie sets to red carpet premieres, then yes, I do have to show them details like that. I have to immerse them in the life of the hero. All of it. Ultimately, I do the research to make the best book possible. And if it quirks somebody’s lips up in an extra smile for a couple of seconds, it’s worth it!

Purchase at * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Carina Press

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |Facebook

Bio: Christi Barth earned a Master’s degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.  A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance.  She is the award-winning author of the Aisle Bound series. Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.


For the chance to win a digital copy of Tinsel My Heart, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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kissing-her-scrooge-coverEvery Christmas, Hannah Jones makes it her mission to give her hometown the perfect pageant. Even malfunctioning inflatable Santas and lost students can’t stop the self-proclaimed Miss Holiday. But the teacher may have met her mismatch in sexy but antisocial tree farmer Griff Green. Hannah’s been lusting after her new neighbor for months—and she’s determined to melt his heart by being naughty as well as nice…

He may sell trees, but Griff doesn’t do Christmas. He’s known as the town humbug—and he likes it that way. Which is why he’s been avoiding Hannah, despite the sexy visions of her that have been dancing through his head. When a surprise visit leads to a passionate kiss, he can’t deny the attraction any longer.

When Hannah discovers Griff isn’t the Scrooge he pretends to be—and she exposes his secret to the whole town—it may take a holiday miracle for their budding relationship to survive into the new year.


When the holidays are hilarious


I finished holiday shopping for my husband and my parents and I probably went about it wrong. Mostly because I giggled the whole time. And there might have been the occasional cackle.


It started out innocently enough, but it quickly went downhill. I started by searching for something simple, but then it would show an example of other things I might want and it was totally me looking at the picture and thinking, YES! That is much better.


That’s hilarious and I have to get it! *insert cackle*


My husband basically watched me the whole time I was doing this because he was at his desk and we were in the same room.


He would just give me that look. He has this look he gives me that goes beyond the realm of words. He doesn’t need to say anything. He just needs to look. It perfectly summarizes his feelings which are basically, You’re crazy/How did I end up here?/Why is this happening to me?


With love, of course. Don’t forget the love.


I really wish I could share how I managed to take something completely appropriate and make it full of innuendo, but on the off chance my husband reads this blog, I don’t want to spoil the surprise.


He honestly is ridiculous when it comes to guessing presents. I’ll make one offhand comment and he’ll be like, “Seahawks’ pool cue.” I will be like… how did you even…?


I mean that is a very specific guess. Maybe I’m super obvious. That wouldn’t surprise me. But if you want to know what I got after the holiday season, there’s no way I won’t be blogging about it at http://kinleybaker.wordpress.com.


Then my husband had the sobering reminder that went something like, “Your mom better be as amused as you by these presents.”


And I got to thinking… They won’t possibly be as amused as I am. Maybe I did this whole gift buying thing wrong.


But I do think they will like their presents! They’re just going to have a little patience and remember that they chose me.
Well, my parents, bless their hearts, didn’t choose me but I constantly have to remind my husband he chose to be here experiencing this moment which is inspiring the look.


Relationships are so strange to me and the dynamics have always intrigued me. You basically choose someone who you will be with (in theory) everyday of your life. It’s kind of like forcing two people who don’t know each other to share a room in college.


If you really thinking about it, it’s bizarre. But that’s why I love romance and exploring just why two people could possibly want to be together.


I’m a romantic and happy endings are a necessity. Writing contemporary romance has really given me an appreciation of the power of a relationship.


Even if at the end of the day, all you’re left with is the look. I admit I am amused by the look.


Don’t tell him though. It will be our secret.


Have you ever bought a gift for someone else that amused you? It worked out well, right…?




Kinley Cade has a terminally tender heart and an inconvenient sense of humor. She loves puppies and cries at celebrity weddings. Kinley believes “happy ever after” isn’t only for the normal. Kinley Cade’s contemporaries are known for their sexy heroes, resilient heroines and memorable characters, however, she also writes sexy paranormal heroes, resilient heroines and memorable characters as Kinley Baker. To learn more about her contemporary romances please feel free to peruse http://www.kinleycade.com. To check out her paranormal romances visit www.kinleybaker.com. And for just Kinley you can visit her at her blog kinleybaker.wordpress.com or on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kinleycade. Find out more about her latest release, Kissing Her Scrooge, on her website.


For a chance to win Kissing Her Scrooge, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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I’ve always loved reading series books. There’s just something about getting to go back and visit with favorite characters while on the journey with a new set. I guess that’s why I seem to end up writing series stories. My latest is a spin-off of another series I wrote and revolves around a company called Are You Game? They’ve got a game for every occasion. 😉

Today marks the release of the first book in the series, 7 Minutes In Heaven, and I’m so excited to finally see Cassie and Luc step out in the big wide world. 🙂 And to help celebrate I’m sharing an exclusive snippet and one lucky reader who comments will win a digital copy of 7 Minutes In Heaven.




Excerpt –


He flattened his hands on the wall beside her head so he wouldn’t give in to the temptation of grabbing her and dragging her into the bed she’d offered him. He’d be a fool to rush her. She’d never let him get closer if he used their sexual chemistry to win her over. How he knew that he wasn’t sure, but he did. If he wanted to get to know Cassie, spend time with her, he’d have to tread carefully—needed to produce some of his legendary control and back away.

Only that wasn’t so easy when her mouth ate at his like she couldn’t get enough. When she gripped the back of his shirt like it was a lifeline. Or when she came up on her toes, arched into him and rubbed against his straining flesh. With a growl, he tore his lips from hers.

“Fuck.” Luc laid his forehead on Cassie’s and tried to catch his breath. Pleased to note her breathing came in ragged gasps as well. “Damn, you’re potent.”

“Me?” She fisted her hands in his shirt and he couldn’t recall when she’d moved them from his back to his chest.

“Yeah, you.” He raised his head a few inches and met her gaze. “You scramble my brains without trying.”

Cassie laughed and pushed him away. “Pot, meet Kettle.”

Luc grinned. He liked that she wasn’t playing coy or using his reactions to her against him. She was a breath of fresh air and Luc couldn’t wait to saturate his blood with her. But not yet. Tonight they needed to get their balance, regain some sanity and think about where this was leading. Well, at least he did. “So, is there anything you want me to do? Unpack the van?”

Her smile faltered. “Ah, no. We’ll do that in the morning when we get to the warehouse.” She ducked her head, but before she could sneak under his outstretched arm and escape, he slid his hands lower down the wall, effectively trapping her.

“Look at me, Cass.” He waited long seconds for her to comply. When she finally did, he could see the uncertainty swirling her eyes. “Make no mistake that I want you in that bed.” Luc tipped his head to indicate the room beside them. “But I want far more than a quick tumble, and if you’re honest I think you’ll admit you do too.”

She started to shake her head, but he stopped her by gripping her chin in his hand.

“You can lie to me, but don’t lie to yourself, Cass.” He brushed his thumb over her bottom lip and watched it tremble under his touch.

“I don’t have time to get involved. Don’t want to,” she whispered.

Luc could understand her hesitancy, but he wasn’t about to ignore the intense attraction between them. And it was between them, her body told him she was as equally affected even if her mouth didn’t. “I’m not sure what exactly it is between us but it’s far more than one night of pleasure, and I’m willing to wait because I know we’ll end up in that bed eventually.”

A burst of air fanned over his thumb when she gasped, and a shudder rolled through him as he thought about how her warm breath might feel on other more sensitive parts of his body. Leaning forward, he planted a quick, hard kiss on her lips before he stepped back and broke all contact.

It was the hardest thing he’d done in recent memory, but Luc smiled and said, “See you in the morning.” He strode into the bedroom and closed the door behind him before he could change his mind and take her against the wall.


Available from

Samhain Publishing ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo


Rhian Cahill

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


To be in the running for a chance to win a digital copy of 7 Minutes In Heaven just tell me in the comments what’s a childhood game you remember playing. Easy-peasy. 🙂



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Mira Avalon is a witch without power, burning silently for her handsome and mysterious colleague, Sol Ribero Santos.

When Mira happens upon an ancient amulet, her powers come to life, and things between her and Sol start to heat up. With her new powers come new dangers, however, and the force that brought her and Sol together now threatens to consume them both… unless Mira can tame the fire within herself.


I never set out to write a romance novel.

Or an erotic novel.

Or any type of novel at all, really.

After all, I’m a cellist! (A semi-retired one now.) I went to music school! The last time I had to write anything over five pages was… a long, long time ago.

But my love affair with reading started when I was four, and discovered picture books about mermaids. As a child, I was amazed at the plethora of worlds I could just jump into. Picture books about mermaids led me to chapter books about spunky girls, which led me to series about teenage wizards, which led me to… well…. everything else. When I was sad, when I was lonely, when I was deliriously happy, when I didn’t want to practice my cello… I always had a book with me. Sometimes, the experiences of certain characters seemed more real — or more important — than the actual events unfolding before me. Always, books were a source of entertainment, of pleasure, of delight.

I’ve read everything from high fantasy to pulpy thrillers to YA dystopias to non-fiction. Always, there is a common theme in the books I most treasure. The characters feel alive, the setting is arresting, and the heroine — and there is always a heroine — isn’t completely brainless. If there is ethnic or religious diversity, so much the better — we don’t live in a monochromatic world! And, of course, there is romance — always, always, romance. A novel without a hint of romance is like bread without yeast — flat and heavy and just not as good. (I’m a novice baker. It’s been a good year for acquiring hobbies.)

I was recovering from an unpleasant Life Surprise earlier this year — the kind that comes out of nowhere and tries its damndest to make you angry and sad — and found myself with a lot more time on my hands than I had had before. Time to think critically about the things I loved and the things that made me happy. I took stock of my life and the choices I had made, and somehow, what started as me sitting down to write a list of Things I Would Like to Change suddenly turned into Me Scribbling Into the Night As My Husband Tried Fruitlessly to Get Me to Go to Bed. I was haunted by this question — what do we do when everything around us, everything in our lives, turns sour and dark and miserable? How do we deal? How do we move on?

Through this process, I was was haunted by an image of a girl — dark-haired, like me; a little unsure of her place in the world, like me — who found herself at a sudden crossroads, who had to make a choice.

Thus Mira Avalon was born.

The characters in Consumed are flawed. My heroine, Mira, is in way over her head. She discovers an ancient amulet that unleashes powers she didn’t realize she had, and her attempts to tame her new magic are often dangerous, foolhardy, and self-destructive. She’s mostly alone, scarred by trauma and isolation, and must relearn how to trust, how to navigate a world that has shifted around her overnight.

And on top of that, she must renegotiate a relationship with the man she’s desired for years.

On her journey, she encounters dark magic, dangerous characters, and self- destructive situations. She learns how to be a friend. How to be a lover. How to be her own person. (And, perhaps most importantly, how to rock a super-tacky amulet that clashes with everything.)

Mira’s problems aren’t my problems, and Mira isn’t me. (For one, I am a lot less… uh… uninhibited.) I made her journey both completely fantastical and exceptionally erotic, partially for my own amusement and partially because so often, fantasy books are total sausage-fests. I wanted to inject the fantasy genre with a little sass, a little pizzaz… a little sex appeal.

Consumed was my first novel. It isn’t perfect, but it represents the first step in a journey of discovery — for me as well as for Mira Avalon.

I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you find a little of yourself within its pages.



I am always happy to continue the conversation on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, or my blog. (I have a Facebook, but I rarely use it.) And I love comments and reviews — honest, constructive feedback helps me produce better work.



For a chance to win Gretchen’s four short stories plus Consumed, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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Stephanie F.

wins a swag pack and a digital book from Carrie Ann Ryan’s backlist


AlisonBliss, Susan Rice, Janina, theresafortier, Michelle Curry, and Karen

wins Christmas Curveball by Shari Mikels



wins a book from Leah Braemel’s backlist


Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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The Marchioness of Wick is about to get a second chance at life…whether she wants it or not. After twenty years in a loveless marriage to a duplicitous British aristocrat, Claire Heyworth Barnes finds herself broke and alone. Encouraged by her dynamic American sisters-in-law, the shy royal decides to start over in New York City. When she lands a job with a famous interior designer, Claire accidentally reconnects with the first—and only—man she ever loved.


Benjamin Hayek has never forgiven Claire for the heartless way she left him when they were teenagers in the south of France. And even if he could, Claire’s not sure she has the courage to contend with how he makes her feel. Can they build a new love from an old flame? Or will a bitter history and a complicated future stand in their way?

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes



Dear Lillie,


Thanks so much for having me here at Romance Readers at Heart! Being asked to write “on any topic” is particularly vexing for me and when I am vexed (or happy or sad or breathing) I turn to Twitter. So I asked The Great Twitter what I should write for your blog and Ann Marie Gamble asked:


Is it tough to read recreationally these days?


Her question took me back to my last month in college. I remember, when I was about to graduate, I had a “to do list” that consisted of at least five ten-page papers and myriad final exams and group projects and moving out of my college apartment and getting a job and All The Things. Of course, I chose that moment to start reading Marjorie Morningstar.


I just couldn’t put it down. There I was in the midst of the most pressing academic responsibilities, at the most pivotal crossroads of my young life, and instead of looking harder for a real job or trying harder for the A instead of the reliable B, I followed the exploits of a rather unlikeable protagonist through her rather unlikeable exploits right through all Seven Hundred And Sixty Two pages to her VERY unlikeable end.


The irony is: I finished all of those final exams; I wrote all of those final papers; I graduated from university; I did all that. And do I remember anything from my Japanese Civ final (other than the fact the professor used the word hegemonic on the final and none of us knew what it meant)? No. But I remember so much about Marjorie. About her obsession with Noel. About (what I saw as) her capitulation to normalcy. About how bittersweet it is to give up obsessions. When are obsessions dreams worth pursuing? When should we give them up? When are they healthy motivations to achievement? When are they destructive paths to self-loathing?


And what is more germane today, Japanese Civ or Marjorie? You guessed it. Marjorie.


The happiest people I know eventually do what they love: their recreation becomes their occupation. So it is with my writing. So it is with Claire Heyworth, the heroine of my newest book, IN LOVE AGAIN. (See how I did that?) All Claire ever wanted was to have a loving family in a beautiful home—dreams that seemed modest to her young, privileged mind. But her first husband basically made her feel like those were shitty dreams.


So when she starts over in New York City and she is able to get a job working at an interior design firm—getting paid to do what she loves—it is a twofold victory. Not only is she earning her own living for the first time in her life, but her interests are being validated by everyone around her. Then she reconnects with a man who is also eager to start a family—a part of her own dreams that she had been forced to abandon years before. What can I say? Claire had a hard go of it so I thought she deserved the glamorous job and the hot, loving hero. So sue me.


I think when we put our dreams out there—dreams like I want to write books! Or I’m 38 and I want to have another baby!—sometimes they really can come true. A lot of that dream-coming-true-business has to do with that recreational bit. The loving bit. I think they’re related.


I’d love to hear your blog visitors’ thoughts about dreams versus obsessions, recreation versus occupation. When is it time to dig in? When is it time to move on?


Thanks so much for having me!




Megan Mulry writes sexy, stylish, romantic fiction. Her first book, A Royal Pain, was an NPR Best Book of 2012 and USA Today bestseller. Before discovering her passion for romance novels, she worked in magazine publishing and finance. After many years in New York, Boston, London, and Chicago, she now lives with her husband and children in Florida. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or on her website.



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Blade to the Keep, book 2 in the Rowan Summerwaite urban fantasy series, releases on December 9th and I was lucky enough to get an early peek at it. IT WAS AWESOME!! When I contacted Lauren Dane to ask if I could share one of my favorite scenes, not only did she say yes but she offered to give away a mass market copy of book 1, Goddess With a Blade. More awesomeness!!

This scene is from Clive’s (Rowan’s love interest) point of view when he comes upon her as she is being confronted by one of her coworkers who isn’t a fan of her association with the vampires.

“Stupid whore. You got a little taste of Vampire cock and you think you’re clever.” He grabbed her upper arm and before Clive could move to intervene, she’d spun, broken his hold and pushed him against the door face first, his arm bent high enough to pull the shoulder out of the socket if she pushed much more.

She pressed her mouth to his ear and the weight of her body kept him in place. “This little girl will fuck your shit up if you ever touch me again. Understand something, weakling. You have no ability to take me on. I am stronger than you. I am smarter than you. I have more power from places you could not begin to imagine. I will crush you before you register I was coming for you. My lot has been cast since my birth. I don’t have a side, I have a path. Do you understand what that means?”

His face grew redder as she continued to hold him there.

“Working at Hunter Corp is a job to you. You gather your petty little ducks and think that makes you powerful. This isn’t just a job. This is my fucking destiny and you have nothing, no amount of power or influence that can sway me from that. I pity you that you could ever entertain that you could threaten me.”

She pushed herself away from him, letting go, her face registering disgust as he sputtered and coughed, flexing his shoulder.

“I’ll report you for this!”

“You have fun with that.”

She turned her back and Clive held back a hiss. To turn your back in the middle of an altercation was the lowest insult. She didn’t fear anything this male could muster.

Her power shone around her body, golden. Magnificent in its brutality and darkness. He fisted his hands to keep from reaching for her. Desire so sharp and overwhelming it seemed to drown his senses filled him up to nearly overflow. She was perfection.


Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. She’s smart and strong and with the power of an ancient goddess in her belly, she’s the perfect candidate to re-negotiate the fragile Treaty keeping the peace between the Vampire Nation and the last line of defense for humanity, The Hunter Corporation. A meeting of the Joint Tribunal, and Rowan’s new status as Liaison sends her straight to the last place on earth she wants to be—The Keep.

Raised at the knee of The First, honed into a weapon by the Hunter Corporation, wielding ancient knowledge from the Goddess within, Rowan must navigate around bloodthirsty opposition among Vampires and Hunters alike to avoid an all out war that puts humanity in the crosshairs.

And she’s got to do it as she attempts to manage a politically awkward romantic relationship with Scion Clive Stewart during a trip back to a place she escaped nearly fifteen years before. No pressure.

Walking the path between her two lives has already made Rowan a pariah. If she leaves it to become something even more Other, she may lose even the shreds of home she has left.



For the chance to win a print copy of Goddess With a Blade, book 1 in this series, just leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn on Sunday.



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Larissa Ione shared her new cover of REAVER on her Facebook page today. Woot woot! 🙂



Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he’s agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before . . . to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.


Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she’s doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan’s lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld’s darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel’s blood . . .

December 17, 2013


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Maya Banks has shared the cover for After the Storm, book 8 in the KGI series. Donovan!


Over the years, Donovan Kelly has fought relentlessly for justice, women and children always holding a special place in his heart. Working side by side with his brothers, Donovan has witnessed firsthand the toll it’s taken—physically, mentally, and emotionally—on his loved ones, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire. What he never expects is for his next mission to happen right on his home turf—or for it to take a very personal turn.

Picturesque Kentucky Lake is the perfect place for a soul in search of safe harbor. A beautiful stranger has arrived—desperate, breathless, and on the run from a dark past closing in on her and the younger siblings she has vowed to protect. Donovan must now draw on every resource at his disposal—if he wants to save a woman and the children who may prove to be his destiny.


December 31, 2013


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