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It always amazes me when authors/writers experiment different genres of storytelling with a mastery of writing and imagination, and succeeding in giving their readers the satisfaction of a book that would remain in memory.

As I follow the stunning series “Midnight In Manhattan” penned by Rachel Lacey, it wouldn’t be far from the fact that she definitely commanded this innate skill. 

And It’s In Her Kiss!!!! A simple love story, yet a natural lifestyle with a complex array of emotions, fears and insecurities. Meet two broadway actresses, Sophie Rendell and Julia Vega. Beautiful, hardworking, ambitious and caught on the opposite sides of a starry role. Auditions, conversations, drinks and friendships takes these two women on a roller coaster ride of facing truths, jealousies, disappointments and hardships. But the heart knows what the heart wants – love, trust, commitment and unconditional support, giving Sophie and Jules a chance to love each other, live with each other and make a future with each other.

And what a luscious cover!!! Kudos to Rachel Lacey…..

Received an ARC from the author for an honest review.

In Deep

by Blue Saffire

Publication Date: 8/4/2020

I’ll do anything to protect what’s mine…

The last thing I needed was a call from my old precinct letting me know my knucklehead nephew had been picked up for skipping class. Still, I figured it would be an in-and-out visit. Quick. Simple. But the moment I heard her voice, I should’ve known it would be anything but easy. 

I wasn’t expecting the feelings that came roaring back the moment I laid eyes on the saucy detective with the gorgeous smile, but I probably should’ve seen it coming. Our history is one for the books, and it’s a page-scorcher. And now here she is, standing in my way, and I can’t seem to remember why I ever let her leave my side.

It looks like the sparks between me and Detective Danita Moralez are as intense as ever, but she’s also more guarded than before. Two years ago, she walked out of my life because she wasn’t willing to reveal the dangerous truth about her undercover work. This time, she’s not going to get away so easily.  

ABOUT BLUE: As a young girl, Blue’s mother introduced her to the world of love and music through movies, but once she got her hands on books, an author was born. With more than thirty contemporary romance novels and novellas under her belt, she’s now an award-winning, bestselling author. She lives with her husband on Long Island.

Author Website: http://bluesaffire.com/

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Excerpt: 

“Man, we miss having you and Quinn around here,” Stevens says beside me.

I hear him, but I’m too busy following Moralez with my eyes. She’s gorgeous. Smart and sexy. I love it.

Cal talked about her bust the entire ride here. You would think he had some part in her victory. I don’t know what I was expecting, but the woman I’m staring at isn’t it.

Her tight blue jeans hug her hips with the affection of a long-time lover. Those sexy heels on her feet have me tilting my head to the side as I study her. Damn, the sway of her hips is perfection. I noticed earlier that she has a great pair beneath that T-shirt.

Her voice hit me in my gut from her first word. That smoky rasp is seductive in its own right. Soft, yet a bit hoarse.

Her warm, deep-brown skin is a rich espresso tone. Her eyes are the color of amber whiskey, quite the contrast to her skin. Her dark hair is pulled back in a tight bun.

I can’t help wondering what her locks look like down. Would they fall in her face as she looks at me beneath her? From the waves in the strands brushed from her face, I bet it’s wavy when it’s loose.

Her last name is Moralez, but she looks like she could be of mixed heritage. Not that I’m naive enough to think she couldn’t be fully Latinx. My trips to Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic alone have taught me better than to make that assumption. Which is why I want to get to know her better. I want to ask questions and find out all about her.

“You know that’s not going to happen, right?” 

I turn to Jennings, another of the good guys around here. “You think not?” I say with a grin. 

“I know not. She’s been around here for what? Two or three years. Not one guy, or girl for that matter, has been able to bag her. Forget it.”

“Just because you failed doesn’t mean I don’t have a shot.”

Stevens groans beside me. “I don’t know. I’m with Jennings on this one. You don’t stand a chance. At first, I thought it was a cop thing. You know, like she was against dating one of us. Then I thought it was a White, Black thing, but I’ve seen her turn down everyone. White, Black, Hispanic, male, female, cop, lawyer, bartender. She’s a closed case.”

“Are you assholes sure she’s single? I didn’t see a ring, but that means nothing,” I think out loud.

“I thought that too,” Jennings says. “We were partners for a little bit. Before I moved to the special unit. It’s just her and her dog. She’s single, single.”

I sit back and think on that. It’s not enough to deter me. I want her to tell me she’s not interested. From the vibe I got from her earlier, I don’t think I’m up for as big a challenge as these guys think.

“Good luck,” Stevens says.

“I got twenty that says he crashes and burns,” Jennings snorts, slapping a twenty on the table.

“What do you say, Kev? You think you can win me a twenty?” Stevens says to me.

“You should double the bet,” I say as I watch Moralez and all her sexy curves disappear into the ladies’ room.

***

Excerpted from In Deep by Blue Saffire. © 2020 by Blue Saffire. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Highland Gladiator

by Kathryn Le Veque

Publication Date: 8/25/2020

Gladiator meets Fight Club in the Scottish Highlands in a new romance from USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Le Veque

“The epic Medieval Romance is back—thanks to Kathryn Le Veque!” —Claire Delacroix, New York Times Bestselling author

When Lor Careston’s quiet Highland village was attacked and burned, he felt helpless against the raiders who destroyed his home. Seeking revenge, but lacking the fighting skills needed to execute his mission, he sets out to find the Ludus Caledonia—a mysterious fight guild that turns men into warriors.

Lor trains hard, proves himself in the ring, and earns a place within the very clan that decimated his home. He knows he can set his plan for revenge in motion from the inside. But his plan didn’t include Isabail Keith, a beautiful warrior lass who prefers broadswords to embroidery. Lor thought the Keiths were his enemies, but when Isabail is threatened, he’ll have to decide what he’s willing to risk for the woman who has captured his heart and the clan that has become his home.

Truth. Justice. Revenge. Behind these stands the Scotsman’s sword.

With over one hundred published novels, Kathryn Le Veque is a critically acclaimed USA Today bestselling author, a charter Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Contemporary Romance. She lives in California.

Author Website: https://kathrynleveque.com/

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Excerpt: 

The village of Brechin, Scottish Highlands

Year of Our Lord 1484

He’d seen her before.

Lor knew that the moment he looked up from the business he was conducting with his grandfather’s friend. In the midst of a busy marketplace on a glorious spring day, he caught sight of a woman he recognized, which wasn’t unusual in itself, but with this woman, it was.

Lor and the old man with the missing eye had been going over the purchase Lor was making of slag material for his grandfather’s blacksmith stall when he glanced up and saw her. In truth, he saw her only from the back; it was the hair that had his attention. In the sunlight, the red curls glistened like molten fire.

Everything about her caught his eye. She was dressed in a long tunic and braies from what he could see, unusual for a lass, but she’d marched down the road with her basket of skins in her arms in a cadence that seemed much more like a man’s than a woman’s.

Purposeful.

Confident.

He’d seen that walk once before.

“Lor?”

The old man next to him was trying to get his attention, but Lor couldn’t take his eyes from the woman as she walked down the dusty avenue. She was weaving in and out among the villagers on this busy market day, and Lor didn’t want to lose sight of her.

He put up a hand to the old man.

“Wait a moment,” he said. “I’ll return.”

He didn’t wait for a reply. Quickly, he headed out into the street while the old blacksmith watched him with some frustration.

“Where are ye going, lad?” he called after him. “If ye dunna come back, I’ll rob ye blind. I’ll tell yer grandfather that it’s yer fault he was cheated out of a good price for his iron!”

The old man meant it as a jest, hoping Lor would return, but the young blacksmith simply waved him off as if he didn’t believe him, which he didn’t. His grandfather, Nikolaus, and old Albe had been doing business since before Lor was born. He didn’t much believe anything the old liars said.

At the moment, he was on the hunt.

The red curls were up ahead, and he followed them like a cat tracking a mouse. There was something about the woman that he remembered from long ago, and as he politely stepped aside to let a woman and her children pass by, it began to occur to him just where he’d seen that hair.

Gleann Deamhain.

The Vale of Demons.

It was difficult to say why an incident from eight years ago suddenly stood out for him. It had been a fleeting moment as far as moments in time went. But it had stayed with him: the young lass who had practically saved him from a band of bloodthirsty cutthroats. Never mind that they were only children; Lor remembered being as afraid of them as if they’d been the mightiest army of men.

Gòrach, they’d called him.

He’d been stupid once, but he wasn’t going to be stupid again.

This time, he was going to be careful.

Lor continued to follow the lass. She finally came to a stop at a merchant who dealt in hides. As he hid back in the crowd, watching, Lor could see the lass holding up the fine pelts she’d brought, negotiating a price with an old man who seemed to be smiling at her too much. At one point, he reached out and pinched her cheek.

She slapped him.

Lor laughed softly.

***

Excerpted from Highland Gladiator by Kathryn Le Veque. © 2020 by Kathryn Le Veque. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

by Eliza Knight

Publication Date: 6/30/2020

Toran Fraser encounters a mysterious rebel, and he can’t resist being recruited to her cause…

Toran Fraser is hell-bent on taking down the Jacobites. On a late-night mission, he’s intercepted by a woman known only as “Mistress J,” who’s determined to put Prince Charlie back on the throne of Scotland. Toran can’t resist her appeal—especially with her pistol pointed at his heart—and suddenly finds himself joining the rebellion…

By day, highborn Jenny Mackintosh runs her estate in the Highlands. By night, she’s one of Prince Charlie’s Angels—a band of Jacobite rebels. Scoffing at mortal danger, she raises coin, delivers weapons, and recruits soldiers for the rebellion. When she encounters a handsome Highlander who is clearly on the run, she is more than a little intrigued. She isn’t expecting to be his enemy…

ELIZA KNIGHT is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty sizzling historical romances. Under the name E. Knight, she’s known for riveting tales that cross landscapes around the world. When not reading, writing, or researching, she chases after her three children. In her spare time she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, and visiting with family and friends. She lives in Maryland.

Author Website: http://www.elizaknight.com

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Excerpt:

Toran jerked around. Suddenly, figures melted out from the shadows. Scots, but in the dark and dressed as they were, he couldn’t make out what clan they hailed from. At the center of the five men stood a lass. Aye, she wore trews and had her hair up under a cap, wisps of golden strands peeking through, but there was no hiding the curves beneath her shirt and waistcoat. In the moonlight filtering through the trees, she looked bonnie—high, arching cheekbones, a mouth that puckered into a frown. But what struck him most was the spark of fire in her gaze. Her eyes reflected the light of the moon, almost making her look like she was glowing.

And the muzzle of her pistol was pointed right at him. Outlaws… Of all the bloody luck. He reached for his own pistol tucked into his belt.

“Dinna move,” the lass said. Her voice was throaty, sensual. “Else I put a bullet through your heart.”

A slow grin formed on Toran’s face. “What’s to say I won’t put a bullet in yours first?”

The lass looked down at Archie and then flicked her gaze back to his. “Ye’re outnumbered. Let’s say ye were willing to pull your weapon before I took my shot, and then ye were to waste your bullet, there’d be five more cutting through ye before ye were able to see the result.” Again, she looked at Archie. “And your friend doesna seem like he will be much help.”

“We’re verra close to the English garrison, lass. Any shot ye make will be a beacon to the dragoons lurking about. And trust me, there are hundreds of them headed this way as we speak.”

“Is that so?” She glanced at Archie once more. “A prison break? So ye two are rebels, aye?”

Toran didn’t answer. Let her come to her own conclusions.

“We have horses.” She kept her gaze on his, and he had the intense urge to draw closer. “Ye and your friend can have one when we return to my camp—for a price. Why not donate your coin to the cause and join us? We’ve a need for more rebels.”

Toran did not want to join her. Now, if she’d asked him to join her for some mutual warmth under a plaid, that would be another story. Then again, she had a point about the bullets. And he truly did not want to die.

“I’m guessing from your current circumstances ye are in need of a helping hand, sir.” Her voice was smooth, even melodic, but still filled with authority. And considering that she was the one speaking, she certainly gave the impression that she was the one in charge. Fascinating.

A group of men led by a woman? Not a common thing, and intensely intriguing. Whoever she was, she had ballocks as full of steel as his own. And if he weren’t trapped in the woods with her, a hundred redcoats on his tail, he might have asked her to join him for a dram.

“Who are ye?” Toran asked.

A soft laugh escaped her, and her hand waved dismissively. “Not yet, sir. Ye’ll have to prove yourself first.”

Prove himself? He gritted his teeth. “All right, we’ll join ye.” There really was no other choice. He and Archie needed a quick escape, and her horse would provide that. Just because he was taking her up on the offer now didn’t mean he had to stick it out. In fact, as soon as he could, he’d steal the horse and somehow get Archie back to Fraser lands where he could make certain the rest of his family was safe from Boyd.

“Good.” She nodded to Dirk. “Search them for weapons, and then help the wounded man onto your horse.”

Toran stood still for the inspection, gritting his teeth as his weapons were removed. “I’ve said we’d join ye. Why then are ye treating me like a prisoner?”

The lass cocked her head to the side, a slight grin curling her upper lip. “We must first see that ye are trustworthy.” With an added challenge echoing in her words, she said, “Ye can ride with me. And dinna try any tricks, else ye find yourself verra dead.”

The lass didn’t beat around the bush, and there was no hint of humor in her tone at all. She meant what she said.

Toran climbed onto the back of her horse, his cold, wet body flush to her warmer, dry back. Beneath the icy exterior was a lass full of lush curves. Mo chreach… Good heavens, but she felt good. Hesitantly, he placed an arm around her waist.

She shuddered. “Blast, but ye’re soaked,” she hissed. “Ye should have warned me. And ye smell like the devil’s own chamber pot.”

Toran chuckled. “A hazard of escape, lass.”

Mistress J? Why did that sound familiar?

Her back straightened, and she leaned forward, away from him. “Ye can call me Mistress J.”

“And ye are?” she urged.

“I’m called Toran,” he said slowly as realization struck him. The night had taken a very interesting turn. For he was holding onto the woman he suspected might be responsible for his mother’s death.

***

Excerpted from The Rebel Wears Plaid by Eliza Knight. © 2020 by Eliza Knight. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

by Kari Lynn Dell

Publication Date: 6/30/2020

There’s a reason they call this cowboy relentless

Gil Sanchez was once rodeo’s biggest and baddest hotshot. Now he’s thirteen years sober and finally free of the pain that ended his skyrocketing career. Given one last, near-miraculous shot to claw his way back to rodeo glory, he can’t let fantasies of happily-ever-after dull his razor edge…but Carmelita White Fox is every dream he’s never let himself have. 

And from the moment he saw the spark of challenge in her eyes, he hasn’t been able to look away. 

Carma may come from a Blackfeet family noted for its healing abilities, but even she knows better than to try to fix this scarred, cynical, and incredibly sexy cowboy. Yet she’s the only one who can reach past Gil’s jaded armor, and the fiercely loyal heart buried beneath the biting cynicism is impossible to resist. Gil needs Carma just as much as she needs him, but as the pressure builds and the spotlight intensifies, they’ll have to fight like hell to save the one thing neither can live without.

KARI LYNN DELL brings a lifetime of personal experience to writing western romance. She is a third generation rancher and rodeo competitor existing in a perpetual state of horse-induced poverty on the Blackfeet Nation of northern Montana, along with her husband, son and Max the Cowdog.

Author Website: http://www.karilynndell.com/

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Excerpt:

If following Carmelita was a bad idea, it was going to be one of the more interesting mistakes Gil had made. He didn’t just want her. He craved her…and that rarely boded well for him. But just this one time… 

When the back door of the bar thumped shut behind them, Carmelita stopped and dragged in a long, deep breath. Her words came out in puffs of vapor. “God, that was suffocating.” 

The closeness of the overcrowded bar? The argument with her cousin? The attention? “Why did you come?” 

“My grandmother volunteered my services. Fund-raisers are the worst, though. Everyone is so…” Her hands fluttered in a broad circle, encompassing the tearful outpourings of gratitude that marked benefits. 

“You’re used to being in the spotlight.” 

“I prefer an audience to a crowd,” she said flatly. And the difference was in the separation. She could walk off a stage without interacting with the masses. 

She tipped her head back to gaze into the heavens and her body language slowly shifted, as if she was drawing in the stillness. When she started off through the parking lot, she once again moved with fluid grace. Gil matched her stride, closing the space between them so his coat sleeve swished against hers. 

“Bing told me about you, and introduced me to your… friend,” she said. 

With that slight hesitation, she summed up Gil’s uncertainty about his relationship with Hank, past and future. “I’m his sponsor,” he corrected stiffly. 

“Mmm.” A sound that translated to if that’s what you want to tell yourself. “We lack many things up here on the rez, but we do not have a shortage of recovering addicts.” 

“I watched Hank grow up. I understand him.” 

She angled a searching glance beneath lowered lashes. “I see.” 

Yes, she did. There was something in the way she looked at him—through him—that made him want to both hide and move closer. He did neither. The breeze caught her hair, sending a strand fluttering and carrying the scent of pine needles and snow down from the mountains. He swung around to face her as they stopped beside the door to his truck, and when he looked into her eyes, he felt as if he was losing his balance, falling into one of the bottomless mountain lakes—only much warmer. He could just keep sinking and sinking… 

She caught him, pressing her hands flat against his chest, but her smile was tinged with regret. “I wish I could stay. You and I would be very good together, I think.” 

The image of Carmelita naked and lush under his hands sent heat shuddering through him. Then he registered what she was saying. 

“You’re leaving?” Gil frowned at her in disbelief. 

The hitch of her shoulder set the moonlight shimmering through her hair. “I can’t leave my grandparents with a sick baby.” 

“His mother didn’t seem overly concerned.” Gil’s voice was harsh, along with his judgment of her charming cousin. Even when he’d been regularly popping Vicodin like breath mints, he’d managed to stay clean on the weekends he’d had his son. 

Carmelita smoothed her palms over the front of his jacket. “Next time?” 

“I won’t be back.” 

She angled her head to give him another searching look, then nodded. “You’re taking Hank home. That explains it.” 

“What?” 

“This.” Her hand moved down, pressing with unerring accuracy over the clutch in his gut. She reached up with the other to brush cool fingers over the knot of tension in his forehead. “And this.” 

He wanted to lean into that touch—into her—and let her wipe his mind clean for a few hours. 

“I’m sorry I can’t do more.” She stroked a blissful circle on his temple. “But I can give you something for that headache.” 

“A fistful of ibuprofen?” 

“A promise.” Her eyes were steady, her tone certain. “Hank will be fine. He’s stronger than you think, and whatever you’re keeping from him, he’ll understand it was for the best. So will the others.” 

Gil jerked his head back. “I never said anything to Bing about that.” 

Her hands fell away and she angled her gaze upward, eyes going distant. In the Panhandle the stars were painted on the sky. Here it seemed as if they were standing among them. 

“I don’t know,” she said. “I just feel it. But I’m almost always right.” 

Without warning, she tipped onto her toes and pressed her mouth to his. Her lips were cool, but at the touch of her tongue the glowing embers they’d been gathering between them burst into flame, whooshing through him like a prairie fire. His thoughts, the last of his reservations, the ability to think at all were consumed by a wall of heat. He gripped the lapels of her coat to drag her hard against him, and she fisted her hands in the sides of his jacket, pressing even closer. Her tongue slid over his, the friction setting off more sparks. 

A palpable shudder ran through her. She braced her hands on his shoulders, slowly, inexorably separating her mouth from his. Then she smiled, a copper-skinned Madonna with fathomless eyes, and pressed a palm over his thundering heart. “You should get some rest, Gil Sanchez. You’ve got a long drive tomorrow.” 

***

Excerpted from Relentless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell. © 2020 by Kari Lynn Dell. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved

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