Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Elizabeth Essex "Keeps Historical Fresh" and Giveaway of New Release, SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT

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The Spy Who Loved Her
Assuming a false identity as a prim and proper governess, the bold and beautiful Cat Rowan thinks she has finally escaped the wild misadventures of her past—and the wickedly handsome spy who seduced her in India. Imagine her surprise when her employer introduces his brother: the very same cad who destroyed her heart!

The One Who Got Away

The Honorable Thomas Jellicoe cannot believe his eyes when he sees his beloved Cat—the Scottish beauty who nearly jeopardized his mission in India. Disguised as a horse trader from the bazaars of the Punjab, the British spy risked his life for one night of passion in her arms. But here and now—breaking all rules of decorum—one heated kiss ignites a flurry of gunfire. For their enemies have followed them home. And love is the greatest danger of all…
The Lovely Elizabeth Essex is talking about
"Keeping Historical Romance Fresh"
Another duke. Another ballroom. Another young miss on the marriage mart. “I can’t remember if I read that one,” is a comment I’ve made to my historical reading friends more often than I like to admit.
Not that I don’t love Regency ballrooms. But some days it seems as if every historical romance plot has already been done before. And done better, by another writer with a more sparkling wit, or a better grasp of precedence and peerage, or ballroom decorum.
So how do I keep my reading, and especially my writing, of historical romance fresh? By exploring new horizons outside the ballrooms, and by finding other places and other times that spark my imagination.
In my first Reckless Brides novel, ALMOST A SCANDAL, I explored life on a Royal Navy warship during the Age of Fighting Sail and the era of Admiral Nelson. And then I took my second Reckless Bride out into the countryside during the period of the Corn Riots in A BREATH OF SCANDAL. But for my latest Reckless Bride, I have really pushed my boundaries, and taken her all the way across the high seas to pre-Raj India for SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT.
Having a new place, and a new-to-me period to research keeps me on my toes. For SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT I immersed myself in research about India, Anglo-Indian relations, and the history of the British East India Company. I surrounded myself with reproductions of 18th-century Mughal watercolors, and photographs of grand Mughal Palaces. I played recordings of traditional dance music. I put myself into a fever dream of pressing heat, and saturated color, and fragrant spices. I reawakened my senses.
And I tried to put all of those senses into SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT, so that my readers could experience India through the wide open eyes of Catriona Rowan, a young Scotswoman who has traveled to India in the hopes of a fresh start. To surround herself with all the excitement and pleasure of the exotic and unfamiliar. To reawaken her senses.
Another way I keep my historical reading fresh, and reawaken my love of historical romance, is by seeking out stories outside my own period. Some of my personal favorites include: Elizabeth Hoyt’s latest from the Maiden Lane series, LORD OF DARKNESS, which takes place in the stews of 1740’s London; Pamela Clare’s powerful and exciting McKinnon’s Rangers series, like the RITA-nominated DEFIANT, which chronicles one of my favorite periods in American history, the French & Indian Wars. (Think Last of the Mohicans); and the brilliant Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, the latest of which, THE HEIRESS EFFECT, is set in the Victorian period. For Scottish historicals, favorites include: Tracy Brogan’s HIGHLAND SURRENDER; and Margaret Mallory’s THE WARRIOR (which was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of excellence along with my ALMOST A SCANDAL). But for something COMPLETELY different, I recommend Jeannie Lin’s romances set in medieval China, the latest of which is SWORD DANCER.
Wishing you all many, many happy hours of uninterrupted historical romance reading!
Visit Elizabeth at
What is your FAVORITE "Storyline" to read?
What "Storyline" is kind of over-played?
Leave your comment with a Valid Email Address to Enter!!
(Thank you to St. Martins Press for the Giveaway)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TRT: WANTED WIFE by Lacey Wolfe #Giveaway @Tastybooktours

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Help Wanted: A Wife
Darcy White can't believe she's answering a help wanted ad from someone looking to hire a wife, but she's hit rock bottom and is on the verge of being evicted from her apartment. When she learns that the guy she had a crush on in high school is the one looking to hire, she'd be crazy not to live out her fantasy.
Steven McDonald needs a wife, or at least a fiancée, before his grandfather retires or else he won't inherit the family business. He knows not just any woman will do, and in a desperate attempt to find a solution, he places a help wanted ad in the local paper. The day Darcy White answers it, his dreams begin to come true.
As Darcy and Steven pretend they're engaged, they make a promise to keep things platonic. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is to keep their hands off one another. With his grandfather's retirement approaching, and the possible end to their fake engagement, can Steven and Darcy admit their feelings to not only themselves but each other?
Content Warning: contains adult language and sensual love scenes

Much more to the story than what you think!  Darcy and Steven, whom both had mutual crushes on each other in High School, meet again when Steven takes an ad out for a Wife (Fiance).  The story was light, sweet, with a touch of drama...just what I needed at the time.  Reminded me of a Hallmark Movie... without the commercials!
Lacey wolfe has the ability to keep you reading page after page, and before you know are at the end.  Darcy and Steven's relationship was fun to watch, between the crazy sexual tension to the bits of drama here and there which just kept them on their toes.  I loved the way Steven was by her side whenever she had to see her parents, who she hadn't spoken to in years.  I thought that showed true character on his part and I think it made me fall in love with him a little bit!!
If you are looking for a Contemporary Romance with a hint of Comedy...This ones for you!!
Sneak Peak

"I'm making coffee, want any?" Darcy called from the kitchen.

As Steven entered the kitchen he said, "I'd love a cup."

Steven leaned against the counter. Darcy poured water into the coffee maker and then scooped the coffee in. After she pressed the brew button, she turned and stared back at him.

"That wasn't so bad," he said.

She nodded. "Yeah, it was okay."

Steven laughed. "Your parents were kind." He reached his hand out toward her.

Darcy walked to him, taking his hand.

"Your dad gave us his blessing."

"I had no doubt he would. Your family is well known."

Steven wasn't sure what had come over him, maybe it was the scotch he'd shared with her dad, but he couldn't resist the beautiful woman in front of him. He tugged her to him, and her body molded against his perfectly. With his free hand, he pushed her hair behind her ear and then pressed his lips to hers. He expected resistance from her, but she opened up right away, wanting the kiss as much as he did.

Sliding his hand around her neck, he tilted her head so he could deepen the kiss. Her fingers danced around his waist and the little sensation went straight to his groin. Releasing her hand, he gripped her waist and pulled her into him. He was hard and it pressed into her and she didn't seem to mind. Damn this woman! She should be pushing away from him, reminding him they were to stay friends, but instead he kept hoping her hand would find its way lower.

Could they do this once and then pretend it never happened? His erection was telling him yes, but his brain was telling him no. He started to pull away from the kiss, but Darcy wouldn't let him.

God, he was turned on and wanted to touch her, taste her, explore her. He needed her!

"Stop, Darcy." He pushed her off him.

She stepped back, a shocked look on her face.

"I can't control myself. I want to take you to bed so bad."

"I want that too." She moved closer to him again and wrapped her arm around his neck and let her other hand dangle at his waistband. "Can't we have a little fun?"

Do it or not? Yes or no? His core ached and taunted him. Taking a deep breath, he decided to listen to the head below.

He lifted Darcy up and sat her on the counter. His lips were everywhere. Her neck, collarbone. His hands were greedy as they worked the buttons on her blouse. "Stop me now, Darcy."

She gazed into his eyes and then cupped his erection through his pants. "No."

"No turning back?"

"No turning back."

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Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

You can find Lacey at the following places:
Facebook / Facebook Page / Twitter


Release Day Tasty Book Blast for OUTSIDE THE LINES by Kimberly Kincaid

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As an ivy-league ER doctor who eats double shifts for breakfast (and lunch…and dinner), Blake Fisher has little appetite for anything other than work. Being on the staff at Brenstville Hospital means taking care of people, a need Blake understands all too well from losing his brother to cystic fibrosis eight years ago. When he’s asked to coordinate a carnival fundraiser for the cause, he jumps at the chance to help others with the disease…until it lands him side by side with the one woman he never thought he’d see again: his ex-fiancée.
Streetwise and rough around the edges, Jules Shaw is no stranger to earning a living through hard work. But when her job as the restaurant manager of Mac’s Diner puts her shoulder to really broad shoulder with Blake Fisher, she nearly balks. She’d rather dodge and deflect than admit the real reason she broke things off, but the catering contract for the carnival means big business for Mac’s, and feeding people is Jules’s lifeblood.
As Blake and Jules join reluctant forces, they quickly rediscover the spark between them. But the possibility of a future together hinges on coming clean about the past, with potentially devastating consequences. Can Blake and Jules overcome their drastically different backgrounds and learn to love again, or will they always be outside the lines?

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She has written two digital novellas, Love On The Line and Drawing The Line, about hot cops and sexy chefs, with a third novella, Outside The Lines, due this summer. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington this October. Kimberly’s first full-length novel, Turn Up the Heat, will follow in February 2014. She resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.
Visit her any time at or come check her out on Facebook ( and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).
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Monday, July 29, 2013

TVBT: THE PURPLE HEART by Christie A.C. Gucker, Hero Profile, @tastybooktours

Christie is hosting a Giveaway of a
Digital Copy of THE PURPLE HEART
Enter Below
When does hiding the truth become an outright lie?

As an Army psychologist, Sydney Porter has heard her share of horror stories. The battle-scarred, down-trodden, and guilt-ridden have come to her office, seeking her help. When a highly decorated soldier is referred to her, she feels confident she can help heal his wounds. The chemistry between herself and Sergeant Aiden Thane is instantaneous. Sparks ignite and against her friend’s advice, she opens both her home and her heart.

Torn between a voice of reason and her undeniable feelings, Sydney begins to question just what is hiding behind her lover’s decorated uniform. What secrets are hidden behind his Purple Heart?

And does she really want to know?
Hero Profile
(My opinion ONLY)

Name: Sergeant First Class Aiden Thane

Age: 28


Physical Description
Aiden has dark, messy hair, longer than it should be for someone
returning from a tour; sex hair is what I would call it, although others might refer to it as bed head. His face is squared and chiseled, and accentuated by a shadow of scruff. His eyes are piercing and a deep shade of blue. He is slender yet muscular and hovers at an impressive 6'3". The man is drop-dead gorgeous. 

Surfing and the beach. Love of his country.

Anyone who doesn't support soldiers for the sacrifices they make for others.

Relationship Status
Single, yet completely in love with Sydney Porter

Typical Friday Night
Grab a pizza and a good movie and cuddle on the couch with his love

Drink of Choice
An ice cold beer

Favorite Food
Anything Italian especially when it's homemade and chocolate

Choice of Transportation
A souped up muscle car like a GTO!

Boxers or Briefs
 Boker briefs during the day, commando at night

Best Memory to Date
The day he met Sydney Porter

Words to live by
Happiness is a matter of perception.
Meet Christie
Christie A.C. Gucker lives in NJ with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets. Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of her life. She has worked in the advertising industry for over 20 years as a degreed artist, but also works in the fine arts, especially sculpting out of stone or snapping photographs. Christie is also a singer and musician, and can be found singing on a few CDs.
What do you think about MY PICK for Aiden??
Leave a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS with your comment to enter
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: WEAK AT THE KNEES by Jo Kessel @tastybooktours

“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?

Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story about love, loss and relationships, set between London and the heart of the French Alps.

About Jo Kessel
Jo Kessel is a journalist, working for the BBC and reporting and presenting for ITV on holiday, consumer and current affairs programs. She writes for several national newspapers in the UK including the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Express and was the anonymous author of the Independent’s hit column: Diary of a Primary School Mum.
When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children. She loves traveling and since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tearjerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: CHASING MORGAN by Jennifer Ryan @AvonRomance

Chapter One
One year ago…
Morgan’s fingers flew across the laptop keyboard propped on her knees. She took a deep breath, cleared her mind, and looked out past her pink-painted toes propped on the railing and across her yard to the densely wooded area at the edge of her property. Her mind’s eye found her guest winding his way through the trees. She still had time before Jack stepped out of the woods separating her land from his. She couldn’t wait to meet him.
Images, knowings, they just came to her. She’d accepted that part of herself a long time ago. As she got older, she’d learned to use her gift to seek out answers.
She finished her buy and sell orders and switched from her day trading page to check her psychic website and read the questions submitted by customers. She answered several quickly, letting the others settle in her mind until the answers came to her.
One stood out. The innocuous question about getting a job held an eerie vibe.
The familiar strange pulsation came over her. The world disappeared like a door slamming on reality. The images came to her like hammer blows, one right after the other, and she took the onslaught, knowing something important needed to be seen and understood.
An older woman lying in a bed, hooked up to a machine feeding her medication. Frail and ill, she had translucent skin and dark circles marring her pain-filled eyes. Her pain washed over Morgan like a tsunami. 
The woman yelled at someone, her face contorted into something mean and hateful. An unhappy woman – one who’d spent her whole life blaming others and trying to make them as miserable as her.
A pristine white pillow floating down, inciting panic, amplified to terror when it covered the woman’s face, her frail body swallowed by the sheets.
Morgan had an overwhelming feeling of suffocating.
The woman tried desperately to suck in a breath, but couldn’t. Unable to move her lethargic limbs, she lay terrified and helpless under his unyielding hands. Lights flashed on her closed eyelids.
Death came calling.
A man stood next to the bed holding the pillow like a shield. His mouth opened on a contorted, evil, hysterical laugh that rang in her ears and made her skin crawl. She squeezed her eyes closed to blot out his malevolent image and thoughts.
The word rang in her head as the terrifying emotions overtook her.
Morgan threw up a wall in her mind, blocking the onslaught of disturbing pictures and feelings. She took several deep breaths and concentrated on the white roses growing in profusion just below the porch railing. Their sweet fragrance filled the air. With every breath, she centered herself and found her inner calm, pushing out the anger and rage left over from the vision. Her body felt like a lead weight, and lightened as her energy came back. The drowsiness faded with each new breath. She’d be fine in a few minutes.
The man on horseback emerged from the trees, coming toward her home. Her guest had arrived.
Focused on the computer screen, she slowly and meticulously typed her answer to the man who had asked about a job and inadvertently opened himself up to telling her who he really was at the heart.
She replied simply.
You’ll get the job, but you can’t hide from what you did.
You need help. Turn yourself in to the police.
None of her personal information appeared on the website, and she’d put a lot of time and effort into keeping her identity and location a secret for reasons of her own. He’d never find her.
A chill ran over her, despite the warm sun on her skin.
She put through the charge and tried to erase the vision from her mind. She’d told him to go to the police. Nothing more she could do. She didn’t have any proof a crime had been committed. You couldn’t make accusations against people based on a vision. Even if she went to the police with what she knew, they wouldn’t take her seriously. She’d learned that the hard way.
The help she provided Tyler and the FBI was different. Her unique link with Tyler allowed her to assist him with some of his cases. Tyler had nothing to do with this man. She could ask him to investigate, but why would he? He had a hard enough time believing what she told him about the cases he was working on. She didn’t want to have to convince him all over again that what she saw was real and true. It hurt to have to convince him every time, despite the ample proof she’d given him on multiple cases. After all this time, he should believe her - believe in her.
She didn’t want to think about Tyler right now. He’d be in Colorado today. Close. Their connection that much stronger, and the harder he’d ignore it and push her away. Maybe she should give in and go see him.
Why couldn’t he stay in San Francisco?
It wasn’t time for them to meet again. She sighed and tried to put him out of her mind. Not possible. They were connected on an elemental level, and had been for a long time.
Why did things between them have to be so complicated and difficult?
Dealing with her customers was simple. They went to her website and clicked on the link to ask a question. She charged fifteen dollars for requests she answered. If she couldn’t answer the question, or wouldn’t answer, she didn’t charge and sent a standard reply, telling the person she couldn’t help.
Either the person believed in her enough to pay the fifteen dollars, or they didn’t.
Sure, they had to accept her Terms and Conditions. After all, what she “saw“ was open to interpretation and the result may not be what the customer expected. In short, if they didn’t like the answer, they couldn’t shoot the messenger.
She specifically informed customers to beware what they ask, and how they ask it. You may get the answer to a question you hadn’t intended.
If you suspected your spouse of cheating on you, don’t be surprised if she confirmed it, and that the other person is your best friend. She wouldn’t lie, or tell you only what you wanted to hear. 
In a few cases, she simply refused to answer. People often wanted to know when they were going to die and how. Her opinion, this kind of information did more harm than good. It usually altered the course of a person’s life, and she didn’t want to be responsible for changing one’s fate and destiny.
One thing she knew for certain, life had a pattern. Mistakes are repeated until the lesson is learned. Knowing something ahead of time didn’t necessarily mean you could change the outcome. Some things were meant to be and nothing could stop them from ending the same way she saw them, even if the path that led to that end took a detour first. That wasn’t to say the course of the future couldn’t be altered. It could. She’d done it several times. For Tyler’s family, she’d do it again.

Monday, July 22, 2013

TRT: CATHERINE'S CROSS by Millie West #giveaway @tastybooktours

Five Autographed Copies of CATHERINE'S CROSS
Enter Below
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When Jenks Ellington experiences a sudden, alarming sense of panic about her identical twin sister Gigi, she has to wait until nearly midnight before learning the reason for her unease: Gigi has drowned while diving for artifacts in a Low Country river near Beaufort, South Carolina. Although Beaufort County detective Seth Mason is suspicious of Gigi’s diving partner, there is no evidence of foul play. But, when Gigi’s Port Royal home is broken into and ransacked, Jenks discovers two clues—one of which leads her to the home of a local Gullah medium.
In a painstaking search for answers, Jenks delves more deeply into her twin’s life. Along the way, her bond with Detective Mason reaches unexpected depths. And what secrets could medium Meta Jane be holding? Was Gigi’s death really an accident?
The story certainly starts out with a bang, and the mystery continues to build from there.  I enjoyed the spark between Jenks and Seth, and watching them fall for each other while trying to find her sister's murderer was fun.  The storyline had a nice plot and I think the author did a lovely job at making the reader feel as if they were sitting at a coffee shop on the corner, watching it all unfold. 
As a fan of Romance Suspense, I was able to enjoy CATHERINE'S CROSS because it had mystery, murder and some action.  I would have enjoyed a BIT more in the Romance Department, but for my women's fiction fans, who like a mystery, you will surely enjoy CATHERINE'S CROSS.  
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Meet Millie
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Millie West has a background in aviation, as well as in real estate, and has owned and been the broker of her own company. A licensed pilot, Millie was one of the first pilots hired by United Parcel Service when they started their flight crew department.
An artist in her own right and a collector of regional art—especially from Charleston—Millie is a supporter of charitable organizations, higher education, and the preservation of South Carolina’s historical treasures. A South Carolina history buff, Millie has spent countless hours exploring the rich historical vestiges of her home state. Her love of the fascinating, complex, and compelling history of the South is expressed in her writing.
Millie resides with her family near Columbia, South Carolina, and is an active participant in her local writer’s group, the Chapin Chapter of the South Carolina Writers Workshop.
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Release Day Tasty Book Blast: COLLARED FOR A NIGHT by Susan Arden #giveaway

Win a $25.00 Victoria's Secret Gift Card
Enter Below
All it takes is one mistake to be marked. One bite, she crosses a line...into forever.
Diana Hambre's body is blazing. For days this leopardess shifter has spun through a body-searing heat cycle. Alone. Her senses reel when Shawn Barclay, her boss, walks into her reserved room at the Downtown Den, a stud club for shifters. He gives Diana a choice: spend the evening with him, give into his every desire, and she'll find out what it means to quench her heat-crazed thirst—or try her luck with a stranger, one of the club bangers.

Shawn hates when his back is against the wall. One sip of Diana’s pheromone-laced scent is enough to force his alpha hand. The tables have turned and it's Diana's back he wants up against a wall or any other surface for that matter.

As the moon rises toward midnight, Shawn and Diana come to understand the difference between sex and bonding. For a night, neither of them resist their primal instincts, blindly giving into carnal desire. Her wild nature fights being subdued and she risks spontaneously shifting without warning.

Now, bearing Shawn's bite marks, she can’t simply walk away from him; not when he has the means to teach her to harness her leopardess nature. Shawn accepts the challenge of training Diana to control her untamed cravings. Employing every method available in and out of the bedroom, he discovers he's on the verge of ensnaring himself in the process.

Warning: Erotic scenes hot enough to peel paint

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Meet Susan
"I love to laugh. More than anything in the world, humor is food for the spirit."
Previously, a teacher in the field of special education and biology, now Susan pursues her dream of writing fiction with several releases this year. Crafting sweet and spicy tales, she writes hot love stories across romance genres including contemporary erotic, Western, and fantasy/paranormal. She also writes under the name of Susan D. Taylor. She currently lives in TN along with husband, two cattle dogs, two crazy cats, a gecko and a corn snake.
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Thursday, July 18, 2013


(Hosted by A Tasty Read)
Win a Digital Copy of WHEN I FIND YOU
Leave a comment below to Enter
Dixie Lee Brown continues her heart-racing Trust No One series with a sexy veteran determined to protect an innocent woman on the run.
As a former Marine, Walker could find a needle in a haystack. But when he's asked by the U.S. Marshals to track down a nanny fleeing from the mafia, he's sure she'll be more trouble than she's worth. Especially after the sexy little thing clubs him and leaves him for dead. Walker's stunned by her courage—and her curves—and can't help feeling drawn to this damsel trying to dig her way out of distress. He'll find her, and when he does, it'll take more than the mafia to tear him away.
Darcy Maddox never expected to be running for her life. But when it suddenly looks like foe may become friend, Darcy's faced with a choice: Go it alone or trust a man she just met—never mind the way his touch gets her heart pounding. The choice seems simple enough until she realizes it's not just her life at stake—it's her heart.
(My Opinion ONLY)
Name:  Walker
Age:  33
Occupation:  Former Marine turned…well, some might call me a merc, but I prefer the title government contractor.
Physical Description:  Tall, fit, Caucasian, shoulder length black hair usually tied back, gray eyes.
Likes:  I like the quiet, and the company of good friends, but sometimes I have an overwhelming urge to blow things up.
Dislikes:  Scumbags and liars—and creeps who hurt women really get my dander up.
Relationship Status:  Just met the girl of my dreams and looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Typical Friday Night:  None of my nights are what you might call typical, but here’s one I could get used to pretty easy. Darcy and I throw together a simple dinner, maybe barbeque a couple steaks and open a nice bottle of wine. After dinner, if it’s cool out, we’ll start a little bonfire outside my bungalow, just big enough to warm ourselves by, but not so warm that we won’t feel like cuddling. She’ll sit on my lap, and I’ll hold her close while we talk, until her eyelids start to fall shut. Then I’ll pick her up and carry her to bed.

Drink of Choice:  Now and then I like a little Crown, straight up.
Favorite Food:  Steak—just walk it past the grill!

Favorite Song:  I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice

Choice of Transportation:  I’m good with any form of transportation, as long as I’m the one behind the wheel. Guess you could say I have control issues.

Boxers or Briefs:  Briefs

Best Memory to Date:  Without a doubt, the first time I kissed Darcy in the kitchen at Joe’s house in Gold Beach.

Words to live by:  There’s no such thing as a former Marine.

She rested longer than she’d intended. A dry branch snapped somewhere close by, and she jerked to attention. Was that…? Don’t jump to conclusions. It was just a deer walking by or a squirrel dropping a pinecone from a tree. No need to panic. She drew a steadying breath.

Another crack—closer this time. Whatever it was, it moved toward her. She went still and strained to hear. Was it her imagination or had the birds and chipmunks scurried for cover as well? Frozen in place, she waited, listening. Nothing. There was no one there. She’d let her imagination get the best of her.

Then she heard his voice, deeper and gruffer than his obvious charade in the plane and in the car, and the sudden sensation he was right beside her, whispering in her ear, sent shivers up and down her spine.

“Darcy, it’s over. You could save us both a lot of trouble and show yourself. Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.”

What a load of crap! Did he think she was a fool? That she’d really fall for that? She’d been stupid to trust him, but she wouldn’t buy his hometown boy routine again. A wave of anger rolled over her. The next time she trusted a man, there’d be twenty feet of snow in hell—if she lived that long.

His words pinpointed his location. He was too close for her to make a run for it, and he moved toward the trees she hid behind. Don’t make it easy. The words screamed in her mind. She looked for something to use as a weapon and found a broken branch on the ground. Not too heavy. She could handle it even with one shoulder that throbbed like crazy. The limb clutched in her hand, she rose to her feet. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on hearing his approach. She gripped the branch like a baseball bat and stood ready.

A whisper of sound against the trunk of the large fir to her left snapped her eyes open as she pivoted. The next instant, she stepped toward the sound and brought the limb around in an arc toward the man who stepped into view. Gray eyes regarded her with surprise as he brought his arm up to block her swing. He didn’t have a chance. Her blow caught him on the side of his head and dropped him where he stood.

Blood ran from a gash above his eye. Sickened by what she’d done, Darcy dropped the tree branch and backed away. She shook uncontrollably as she stared at the man slumped against the trunk of the tree. His long black hair pulled back in a ponytail and tied with a leather strip, his close-cut beard, and his army green canvas jacket were easily recognizable. It was the man from the airport—the one who stared at her.

Damn. There were two of them hunting her. She backed away, and when she could no longer see the man slouched against the tree, she whirled and ran.

Meet Dixie
DIXIE LEE BROWN started writing romantic suspense nearly twenty years ago. Then life took a few unexpected turns, and the writing career was put on hold in favor of starting a new life and a new job. One’s passion is not easily forgotten, however. Two years ago, Dixie started writing again-a YA novel-but, before she could finish, another idea pushed to the forefront and wouldn’t go away until a full-fledged novel was completed.

That idea became All or Nothing, the first book in the Trust No One series. All or Nothing placed third in the 2011 TARA Contest (Tampa Area Romance Authors) in the romantic suspense category.

Dixie now lives in sunny Central Oregon with two small dogs and a cat for company while she writes the third book of the Trust No One series. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, movies and trips to the beach.
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