Tag Archive: June Spotlight


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 Lucy Gilmore

Publication Date: 6/30/2020

These adorable service puppies are matchmakers in the making…

Dawn Vasquez never takes life too seriously. But when she rescues a golden retriever named Gigi, Dawn begins to imagine what it’d be like to settle down and let someone rely on her for a change. Unfortunately, Adam Dearborn—a handsome, hopelessly buttoned-up cattle rancher in need of a guide dog—has also fallen in love with the little ball of fluff and stubbornly insists that no other animal will do.

Adam isn’t sure what drives him to fight to keep Gigi for himself, but he suspects it has something to do with his growing—and unfortunate—attachment to Dawn. Her whirlwind spirit and sunny disposition might make her a delight to be around, but they also make her unsuited for the difficult life of a rancher. He should be able to put her out of his head. But what’s a love-struck cowboy to do when what he wants and what he needs have never seemed so far apart? And can he allow himself to take a chance on everything Dawn has to offer: puppy kisses, puppy love…and her.

Lucy Gilmore is a contemporary romance author with a love of puppies, rainbows, and happily ever afters. She began her reading (and writing) career as an English literature major and ended as a die-hard fan of romance in all forms. When she’s not rolling around with her two Akitas, she can be found hiking, biking, or with her nose buried in a book. Visit her online at http://lucygilmore.com. She lives in the Spokane, WA area.

Author Website: http://lucygilmore.com.

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Excerpt: 

Mentioning her lips had to have been some kind of tactic. Just the word—lips—had him remembering their shape and size, the way the bottom one was so much plumper than the top, how good they felt when pressed against his bare skin. She always warned him to scrub hard before he met up with any other women, since she left a trail of lipstick all over his body.

He wasn’t seeing any other women, but there was no way he was telling her that. She already had him under her spell. He didn’t need to be under her power as well.

“Thank you for the offer,” he said tightly. “But I already like—”

“—the one you can’t have,” Dawn finished for him. She was definitely closer now, the unmistakable nonscent of her mixing with the hay and dirt to whirl his senses. “That seems to be a sort of thing with you, doesn’t it?”

He ran his hands through his hair, since it seemed suddenly important that he do something with them. It was also important to do something with this situation. If he let her continue like this, unchecked and uninhibited, there was good chance neither one of them was getting any work done today.

“As I recall, I’ve had you plenty of times already,” he said, a challenge in his voice. “In fact, I bet I could have you right here and now.”

Adam didn’t know if he was the one who’d drawn closer to her or if she’d stepped up to him, but there was no longer anything between them. Not a puppy, not air, definitely not common sense. The jut of her breasts pressed softly against his chest, the toes of her shoes touching the tips of his work boots.

His hands suddenly decided they had minds of their own. Moving forward to clasp her around the waist, they touched silky fabric and heat and a patch of skin where her shirt didn’t quite reach her waistband. That alone should have been enough to stop him—what kind of a person wore a tiny, silken shirt to a working ranch?—but of course he didn’t. That touch of skin set off something inexplicable inside him.

It always did. That was the problem. Words could be ignored and the sound of her laughter pressed deep down inside him, but one graze of his fingertips on her body and he was lost.

“I’ve always wanted to have sex on a pile of hay,” Dawn said, calling his bluff. She arched into his touch, allowing his hand to slide up her back. He encountered nothing but soft skin and the gentle curve of her spine, both of which promised more of the same, should he give in and really cop a feel. Which was tempting for a lot of reasons, including the fact that Dawn was stacked in ways that seemed wholly against nature. “Surely there must be one or two of those in the barn we could try?”

“There are.” He brought his lips close to her ear, though he was careful not to press against the gently pounding pulse below it. The moment the kissing started, all other bets were off—including the one that had a Great Dane puppy at their feet and a golden retriever puppy napping under Phoebe’s desk. That was the one thing he knew for sure. Dawn had come out here with the sole intention of luring him into lowering his defenses, in using her incredible body and the promise of what it could do to get her own way. She wanted Methuselah, and she’d stop at nothing to get her.

Well, two could play that way. In fact, he was becoming something of an expert at this particular game.

“We could slip in there right now, and no one would know where we are,” he murmured. Dawn arched her neck to give him better access, but he didn’t kiss, didn’t touch. Only teased. “I could throw you into the biggest stack of hay and rip this tiny scrap of a shirt from your body.”

A slight, guttural sound indicated how much she liked the direction this conversation was going. Typical. With Dawn, the anticipation, the clandestine nature of their meetings, was half the fun.

Who was he kidding? Where that woman was concerned, it was probably all the fun.

“No one will think to look for us for hours,” he added, still in that low, crooning voice. “It’ll just be me and you, our bodies slick with sweat.”

Dawn’s hips pressed against his, her arms coiling around his neck so that her entire body could melt against him. This was how she always struck, coiled and soft and yielding.

So he struck back.

“Well, that and the snakes.”

Instead of pulling back, Dawn only laughed and clasped her hands tighter around his neck. “Good thing I happen to like snakes,” she said. Her mouth brushed lightly against his, fluttering like a pair of butterfly wings. “Like the alligators, they make such nice shoes. Purses too.”

Even though Adam’s body thrummed with anticipation, burning hot in all the places it touched hers, he kept his tone level. “We also get the occasional badger, even though they’re pretty rare in these parts. Rats are almost a certainty.”

“Why, Adam Dearborn, are you trying to sweet-talk me?”

No, dammit. He was trying to do the exact opposite. Why did this woman refuse to act like a normal human being? She should run at the mention of rats, not press her hips against his until he ached.

“I’m just making sure you know what you’re getting into, that’s all,” he said. His voice sounded strained to his own ears. “Things can get pretty nasty out here in the wilderness.”

“That’s funny,” she purred. “So can I.”

***

Excerpted from Puppy Kisses by Lucy Gilmore. © 2020 by Lucy Gilmore. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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