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Trapped at the Altar Jane Feather New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather introduces a sizzling new series that moves from the remote wilds of southwest England to the turbulent royal court, when a lovely young woman is forced into marriage in order to unite two families--and discovers a most unexpected passion. . . - See more at:
FOR HER SPY ONLY
by Robyn DeHart
Masquerading Mistresses Novella 2
When Winifred is rescued from her snow-stranded carriage by the notorious and reclusive Alistair, Marquess of Coventry, she is instantly drawn to him. Jilted by her betrothed and socially ruined by untrue rumors, Winifred is tired of paying for crimes she didn’t commit and decides to play the seductress London society claims she is. Thinking a night of passion shouldn’t leave any lasting effects, she instead finds her heart marked forever. Six years later, Alistair is working for the Regent as a spy. A search for Napoleon’s English supporters leads him to the beguiling Winifred, recently widowed with a young son. He hasn’t forgotten how the unconventional beauty warmed his bed, and the heat between them rekindles immediately. The spymaster is determined to uncover all of plucky Winifred’s secrets. Especially the one regarding her son…
Read an excerpt:
She eyed her unlikely travel companion. He wasn’t a friendly sort; formidable was more what she’d consider him. He was tall and lean and imposing, but younger than she had expected. She’d heard of the Marquess of Coventry, but had never before seen him. His reputation in London was notorious. He could not be more than thirty. His cane leaned against the bench next to him, and his gloved hand held onto the gold knob on top. An ugly scar slashed across his left cheek, leading up to his eye. He looked up from his reading as if he sensed her perusal. His eyes were a startling shade of green, like the first bloom of spring after a blistering winter.
“You know I am not afraid of you,” she said. Her mother used to chastise her about her chattiness, but Winifred had a tendency to talk when she was nervous. And the marquess’s silence had her quite addled. “I don’t think it’s very intelligent to believe everything you hear about a person.”
“I see,” he said, not bothering to look up from his book.
“Oh yes, people are quite spiteful with the rumors they spread.”
“What is it that people say about me?”
She studied him for a moment, trying to gauge if he was toying with her. He must know what people said. Even the servants gossiped about him.
He looked up at her and once again she was caught in those unusual eyes. His right brow rose expectedly.
She swallowed. “That you murdered your wife.” Her voice came out weak.
“But you do not believe that,” he said.
“No, I do not.” She shook her head. “You are obviously a responsible and kind gentleman.”
“You do not know me,” he said. He set his book aside. His glove gripped the gold knob on his cane.
“No, but you stopped to assist a stranded lady. That says volumes about your character, my lord,” she said, quite pleased with her logic.
He leaned forward, his eyes narrowed. “How do you know I’m not taking you to my castle to ravish you?
To learn more:
Ex-cop Kurt MacKinnon resents leaving his training stable to dive back into undercover work. He’s seen enough sordidness to last a lifetime. But when his former partner is murdered, Kurt ships his Thoroughbreds to the backwater track where his partner was last seen alive. He intends to make someone pay, even if the killer turns out to be a talented rider with a smoking hot body and a disarming smile.
Julie West is chasing a big win, struggling to boost her reputation and propel her into the elite jockey ranks. There’s no time for love, but she’d have to be blind and maybe dead not to notice the magnetic new trainer in town. With her talent for handling problem horses, she agrees to work for MacKinnon, never suspecting she’s already a person of interest—and it’s not because of her riding skills.
Kurt never expected his contrary colt to flourish under Julie’s feminine touch nor for his own cynical heart to soften. But when his investigation tightens around the truth, his deceit thrusts them squarely into the killing field.
Letter to Readers:
THANKS for all your letters and support over the past few years. I love writing these books and your feedback is extremely motivating. Ranches and racetracks provide rich background for my settings, but it’s your support that gives me the energy to put the words to paper.
Most of my stories are plotted from the back of a horse. It’s way more enjoyable to find ideas in the saddle than in the office, and trail rides are often spent imagining supicious activity, searching for that realistic thread of mystery to complement the intense romance.
Jockeys and Jewels was my first romantic novel and is close to my heart as it’s based in Alberta where I raced for many years. When it finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart and went on to win Reader’s Choice Best First Book, it inspired me to to continue writing about what I love,
I now have seven romantic mysteries available, Some of the characters pop up in other books but all the novels can be enjoyed as standalones. And many of the animals are based on real life. In fact, your response to the Name My Animal contest left me smiling and wiping my eyes, all at the same time.
Jockeys and Jewels is offered for only $0.99 this week so I hope you can grab a copy while it’s on sale. Enjoy your summer!
Book 1 Jockeys and Jewels
Book 2 Color My Horse
Book 3 Fillies and Females
Book 4 Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash
Book 5 Horses and Heroin
Book 6 Studs and Stilettos
Book 7 A Scandalous Husband
Read an Excerpt:
Excerpt from Jockeys and Jewels by Bev Pettersen
Julie’s eyes narrowed. “The last time Otto hauled a horse in, someone else died. So weird. Someone should ask him—”
Kurt planted a kiss on the top of her hair, hoping to distract her. “Give it time,” he murmured. But she felt so good in his arms, he lingered. Couldn’t resist dragging his mouth along her jaw and nuzzling her neck.
A second later she stiffened and jerked away. Stared at him, then at the bed, her thoughtful expression turning to disgust. “My God. You’ll use any situation to take advantage of the ladies.”
“No ladies here,” he said jokingly, deciding any topic that took her mind off the murder was probably a good one.
But she winced, clearly insulted. “I didn’t mean it that way,” he said quickly, appalled at his poor choice of words.
“Doesn’t matter. I’m obviously not a lady. You only needed one trail ride.” Her voice cracked, but she gave a dismissive shrug. “Everyone needs a little fun. However, the next time I have sex, I’ll do the choosing.”
“But you did choose the last time. You said ‘yes’, very clearly.” He stretched back on the bed, pretending her words didn’t hurt, but his face felt like it was carved in granite.
She jerked up and jammed her hands on her hips. “That kind of yes doesn’t count. We just ran into a mother grizzly. What happened afterwards was basic relief.”
“Ah, so those little noises you made were sighs of relief?” He watched as color flagged her cheeks. She wasn't a bit pale now.
“You're an unprincipled asshole who’d nail anything that moves.”
“Not lately,” he said.
He propped a pillow behind his head, watching through narrowed lids. She seemed to be moving stiffly but he wasn’t quite sure. “Walk out now and you’re not riding my horse tonight,” he said.
She’d already reached the door, but her hand dropped from the knob and she wheeled to face him. “Even you wouldn’t do that.”
“Sure I would.” But he couldn’t hold her gaze. “Sex is pretty important to unprincipled assholes like me,” he added.
She flushed with temper. Her cheeks were still stained with tears, but the signs of shock had vanished. A little more color, and she’d look completely normal.
“Just one kiss and you can ride Ace,” he said.
She shook her head in disbelief.
“A little more and you can ride Lazer,” he added, reassured by her reaction. If she really thought he was a complete asshole, she wouldn't look so shocked by his ridiculous proposal. His face didn’t feel so tight now. In fact, the side of his lip even started to twitch.
She stared intently, probably guessed he was joking. However, she continued to look beautifully indignant, and her anger was preferable to her helpless sadness that tore at his gut.
“A little more and I can ride Lazer?” She crossed her arms. “What do you mean? How much is a little more?”
“I don’t know. Whatever you feel like. Gotta hurry though.” The sides of his lips quivered, and he knew his stone face was cracking. He was just so damn relieved she was back to normal. Fresh, feisty and refreshingly honest.
“Just a minute,” she said. She swept into the bathroom and closed the door. The tap gurgled. Something clinked. Maybe she was brushing her teeth, always a good sign. The door inched open. “You have to close your eyes,” she said.
He obligingly closed them, listening to her steps as she approached the bed. “It has to be a good kiss, honey.” He'd only been joking, but he wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass. She had him balled in knots, and a kiss from her might keep him going for a week.
“Don’t worry. It’ll be good.” Her sultry voice purred above him. “And wet.”
Splash! A wall of cold water slammed like a gut punch, soaking his face, his shirt, the bed.
“Shit!” He scrambled up, splattering water like a dog, rivulets streaming down his face.
“You don’t look so smug now…honey.” She turned, carried the ice bucket back into the bathroom then tossed him a towel.
He snagged it with one hand and blotted his face, absorbing the water, his disappointment, his shock. “You’re full of surprises,” he said. “How did you know I wasn't serious?”
She gave a smug smile. “That definitely isn’t the way successful trainers pick their jockeys.”
“Depends how badly we want them.” He lunged. One squeal and he had her flat on her back, pinned to the bed. She stared, eyes incredulous, then started thrashing. “Hold still, or you’ll hurt yourself,” he said. “I want that shirt off. Now.”
Her eyes glittered with fury as he unbuttoned her shirt. He shoved it open and softly whistled.
“Ah hell, Julie.” Compassion roughened his voice when he saw why she’d flinched when he’d helped her step down from the truck. Why she’d been walking stiffly. Ugly bruises snaked from the top of her ribs to below the waistband of her jeans.
She understood now and lay still, staring up at him, vulnerable and exposed. “I’m okay to ride though. I’m really okay.”
by Kate Deveaux
ISBN 9781419903540 | Ellora's Cavepublished April 11, 2014
Reader Warning: Sizzling Scenes are for mature audiences.
Excerpts may be explicit with explicit language
Sometimes the best cure for cold feet is a hot Texan…
In one week Chloe will walk down the aisle. Yet she’s a bride who can’t stop spying on the weddings of total strangers. Desperate to catch a glimpse of what true love really looks like, she is having serious second thoughts about tying the knot.
Until she meets Wes — the sexy long lost father of her groom. The hunk from Texas confirms her worst fears. She is marrying the wrong man.
Battling her intense attraction for Wes, the flame between them burns too hot to resist. Chloe and Wes give into their scorching passion and struggle with the consequences of their love.
Ready for a SIZZLING SCENE?
The door opened and Chloe jumped.
“Chloe?” Wes said in surprise. He froze in the doorway, his jaw tight and his eyes dark.
“Wes, I had to come talk to you.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” He nervously glanced out into the hall. “I told you I’m sorry.” He stepped inside the room, leaving the door wide open.
He walked over to his desk and rested his fingers on the glass. “We really shouldn’t be together. I’m leaving today.”
“No, no, Wes.” She moved toward him. “It’s not your fault.”
Wes’ eyes changed from amber to dark espresso. “I have to get to a board meeting. Please go, Chloe.”
Her eyes searched his and she saw pain in his dark gaze. “I can’t.” She moved one step closer to him.
Wes shook his head. “I shouldn’t have come for the wedding. None of this would have happened.”
“Yes...yes, you should have.” A hint of desperation crept through her. “Well actually, there isn’t going to be a wedding, but that’s not your fault.” She searched for the right words. “I was having second thoughts before you ever arrived. I was going to churches and watching complete strangers get married. The wedding was doomed before you ever got here.” Her words tumbled out faster than she could think them.
Wes said nothing but his raised eyebrows and taut neck muscles told her she wasn’t getting through to him.
“I knew what Conner and I had wasn’t right, that there was something missing.” She knew she was babbling but she had to let him know how she felt. “I have feelings for you, Wes...feelings I can’t hide. You probably think I’m crazy, spying on strangers’ weddings, but it just wasn’t right, me and Conner. And when I met you I knew. The minute I met you.” Tears welled in her eyes.
Wes looked stunned, as if someone had punched him in the stomach. She thought he was going to bolt from the room. He stood there staring at her before striding quickly toward the open door.
Instead of leaving, he paused and looked back at her and then shut the door and deliberately pressed the lock button. He said nothing, just turned on his heels and walked back to his desk, placing his hand on the phone.
Shit, he was going to phone Conner. He was going to keep her there captive in his office and call Conner and tell him what a nut bar his fiancée was.
Immobile, she watched him as he picked up the phone.
“Marie. Cancel the board meeting.” He looked up at Chloe and they locked eyes. Chloe’s stomach flipped and she started to tremble as Wes spoke into the phone. “Some new information came and in and I need time to review it. Send them all back downstairs, will you?”
He hung up the phone and stood behind the desk, his posture tense. Chloe’s heart pounded in her chest.
“Chloe,” he said gently, coming around the front of the desk, but carefully keeping his distance from her.
“You might have cold feet. Everyone does. It’s natural.” His eyes softened to amber but she could see the tension in his taut neck muscles remained, belying his calm tone. “I didn’t mean to lead you on.”
Dammit. How dare he think he’d led her on? How dare he discount her feelings so casually and sound so condescending? She knew he felt it when they kissed. And he must be scared. She was too. His expression hardened and she braced for his rebuke.
Wes looked at her, but was silent.
“Wes, it’s not your fault.” She struggled to convince him. “But I can’t marry your son. I have feelings for you and I can’t ignore them. I don’t want to.” She stepped toward him, praying he didn’t push her away.
He didn’t move, just stood there stone-faced.
“Don’t tell me you don’t feel it too.” She gazed at his chiseled face, his strong jaw, the flicker of gold in his eyes making her melt inside as they turned tender.
“Chloe,” he said softly. “What am I going to do with you?”
“You feel it too, don’t you?” She narrowed the space between them until she could feel the heat off his body and the thrum of his pulse.
“F**k,” he cursed as he looked down at his cowboy boots and then slowly back up at her. He shook his head as if in defeat and pulled her to him. He pressed her body hard against his, jarring her with the impact, but loving the strength in his embrace.
His lips met hers and he kissed her, hard and demanding. “Chloe,” he murmured, wrapping his arms tightly around her and making her body hum with desire. “Yes, I feel it too.” One hand smoothed the hair from her face, the other cupped her ass firmly as he pulled her harder to him and parted her waiting lips with his tongue.
She welcomed his tongue eagerly as she grabbed his broad shoulders, running her hands along his strong back, feeling the muscles ripple under her fingers as he moved her across the room while kissing her.
The backs of her legs met the edge of the couch as he hovered over her, pushing her down as he kissed her lips hungrily, then down her neck, trailing his lips along her décolleté. It was if he was going to devour her and she ached for it.