Sunday, May 01, 2016

ROMANCE SUNDAY: From the moment Jay Prescott meets his new employee Lillian Ross, she turns his orderly life upside down. A Wife for Jay Prescott by Rosemary Indra

Author: Rosemary Indra

Genre: contemporary romance
Excerpt Heat Level:
Book Heat Level: 1

Buy at: Buy at Amazon: Buy at Barnes & Noble: 

From the moment Jay Prescott meets his new employee Lillian Ross, she turns his orderly life upside down. He’s captivated by her take charge attitude and shapely legs. To improve his grandmother’s morale after breaking her hip, he asks Lilli to pretend to be his girlfriend for two weeks. Their friendship grows and he realizes he wants a life long relationship with Lilli.

Lillian is attracted to her handsome boss despite his unsettled lifestyle. Remembering her own loving grandmother, she agrees to portray his girlfriend. Her attraction turns to love and she longs for Jay to see their relationship in a new light. When Lilli tells his grandmother the truth she has her own plans for Jay and Lilli.


The moment Jay Prescott opened the executive rest room door he encountered a delicate wild rose fragrance. The men’s room at the architectural firm of Prescott and Wilkes had on occasion smelled of his partner’s favorite green cigars or expensive aftershave, but never roses. Jay stepped back, double-checking the sign on the partially opened door. Written in white letters was the word "Men."

He breathed in the faint aroma which reminded him of a walk in a rose garden. Jay shook his head and walked farther into the carpeted lounge.

Obviously, he still suffered from jet lag if he allowed something this trivial to distract him. After a grueling three-week schedule in New York, where he’d battled record snowfall and frigid temperatures, Jay wasn’t sure which he’d looked forward to more -- returning to his regular schedule or to Oregon’s misty sunshine.

He looked around the corner expecting to see someone by the row of sinks. At first, the rest room appeared vacant; then the rustling sound of a paper bag caught his attention.

"Steve, is that you?" Jay called out to his partner.

"I thought I locked the door."

The voice from the last stall was muffled, but it was definitely a woman’s voice.  He moved closer and noticed the nylon-covered ankles, well-turned ankles, the best-looking ankles he’d seen in some time. Mesmerized, he watched her kick off one black pump. Before he could ask her why she was in the men’s room, he heard the sound of a zipper. Jay froze. Proper etiquette would call for him to leave, but he couldn’t tear his gaze off her wiggling toes as they celebrated their freedom.

"I’m sorry. No one was in here and I thought I’d be finished before anyone noticed. I’ll be out in just a minute."

Jay tried to recognize her voice, but she sounded as if she held something between her teeth. "Why are you changing in the men’s room?"

"I went jogging this morning."

"That doesn’t explain why you’re here." Jay crossed his arms in front of his chest.

"Oh. The door to the women’s was locked with two "Out of Order" signs on it, and I have a meeting in less than ten minutes."

Ten minutes. With a glance at his watch, Jay swore under his breath--he also had a meeting.

Could the mysterious woman be the one Steve Wilkes hired while Jay was in New York? His partner had been evasive on the phone--something about a fresh new face and how she’d be good for the company.

Unable to curtail his curiosity any longer, Jay asked, "Are you the new personnel director?"

"Umm-hmm. I’ve only been here two weeks, and already I’m giving a presentation--Steve insisted."

Jay watched as she slipped her foot back into her shoe. He wondered how old she was. Judging from her light, breathless voice, she sounded rather young.

What an unusual way to meet an employee for the first time, behind a closed door in the men’s room no less! Although he hadn’t interviewed her, Jay didn’t doubt her qualifications. Steve had an uncanny feel for people. He had a reputation for hiring the right person for the right job.

Apparently she didn’t allow small obstacles to stand in her way, or she wouldn’t be changing in the men’s room. Instead she found solutions to her problems--he liked that trait. "I’m sure you’ll do fine."

"Sorry to keep you waiting."

The stall door opened, startling Jay. He stepped back so fast his feet started to slip out from under him. To prevent himself from falling he jerked back hitting his head on the wall. Tilting his head down, he rubbed the painful spot.

"That must hurt. Are you all right?" She moved closer.

His gaze traveled up the ankles he had secretly admired moments ago to her beige linen skirt and a white silk blouse. Not even her loose fitting blouse could hide her trim figure.  Her hand fiddling with her pearl necklace drew his attention. She had a good overall professional appearance--another plus for her. He watched her push back the thick spectacles that started to slide halfway down her nose. Her gray hair was stylishly short.

Gray hair? Heavy wrinkles flanked her mouth and creased her forehead. Stunned, Jay simply stared at her. He’d been admiring the legs of a woman who appeared to be as old as his grandmother.

"There’s a small button on the top of my blouse that I can’t reach. Would you fasten it for me?" She turned her back to him. "These old hands don’t cooperate like they used to," she explained.

He considered her request unusual, yet it didn’t surprise him. Nothing about their first meeting had been ordinary. Jay shrugged his shoulders and moved closer. He fumbled with the tiny button before it slipped through the loop. When his knuckles brushed against the soft skin at the nape of her neck, Jay jerked his hands back. He’d admired not only the older woman’s legs but also her silky skin.

"See that wasn’t so bad, now was it." She slipped on her suit jacket then retrieved a shopping bag and burgundy briefcase from the stall. A mischievous smile played across her lips. "You’re a good-looking young man. I bet you’ve helped a few women get dressed." She elbowed him in the side.

Amazed at her outspokenness, he continued to stare. So much for secretly admiring her. Jay’s mouth felt dry. He muttered something he hoped sounded acceptable.

He’d become so engrossed in their conversation he hadn’t given her lack of privacy a second thought. Or how she’d feel about it. Feeling guilty, Jay was at a loss for words to explain his inconsiderate behavior.

"Have a nice day," she said.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

SCI/FI FANTASY SATURDAY: The night elves on the hill aren't happy without their magic. They concoct a plan to punish those who were involved in the act that rendered them almost human. Defying the Odds by C. L. Kraemer

Author: C. L. Kraemer

Genre: Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2


The night elves on the hill aren't happy without their magic. They concoct a plan to punish those who were involved in the act that rendered them almost human. Meanwhile, Uther, the rogue night elf, has returned to woo the Librarian to be his eternal mate.


In a meadow east of Eugene, Oregon

Bram ambled up the roughly hewn stairs to the willow lounge chair located at the front of his home. He pulled the scrimshawed pipe from his pocket and filled the bowl with his favorite blend of black cherry tobacco. The paced routine of loading the ivory bowl with fragrant leaves and tamping them firmly into place was one of his favorite after dinner rituals. Withdrawing a matchstick from the inner pocket of his vest, he struck the sulfured end against a river rock he'd placed on the root of the towering oak that served as his home.
The fading evening sky showered the mountains in hues of gold and red. Pushing away the light, a blanket of dark blue velvet sprinkled with luminous star points soon prevailed. Bram puffed smoke rings at the darkening heavens.
"Evenin'." A scruffy black and tan terrier mix meandered up and, after circling three times, lay next to the chubby gnome.
"Evening, Silas. How's the family?"
"Well, thank you. Daisy announced we're expecting--again."
Bram chuckled into his beard. "Congratulations."
"Humph. I'll be glad when we're both too old to care. I came over to ask if there are any jobs in sight. I'll need to be working as much as I can now."
It seemed he got one batch of kids out of the house and another was on the way.
Silence stretched between the business partners. Bram pulled deep draughts on his pipe, blowing the smoke away from his friend. His eyes were drawn to the large block of light spilling from the picture window of the behemoth on the hill. The Saun clan, night elves whose callous actions nearly destroyed the fae population of the meadow and surrounding forests, owned the out of place monstrosity.
Bram squinted his eyes to focus his vision on the methodical movement that broke the beam of light. He could just make out a figure pacing rhythmically in front of the casement. Unable to ascertain which of the night elves was engaged in the determined striding, Bram was sure of only one thing…if the night elves were restless and unhappy, the rest of the valley was in trouble.

~ * ~

Gitty paced in front of the picture window, ignoring the expansive view of the green valley below. The thick carpet covering the hand selected hardwood floors muffled the angry stompings of her boots. At the end of each turn, she jabbed the air with her finger.
"Think you can take away my magic, do you?" She spun on the ball of her foot and stamped to the other side of the room. "We'll see about that!" Jab, jab.
Morgan, the younger of the two siblings, stretched his limbs languidly across the fine leather couch, watching the angry display being played out in the living room, a smirk residing on his lips.
"What has your knickers in a twist?" His leg, hanging over the arm of the couch, swung slowly back and forth.
Gitty broke her tirade for a moment. "I'm surprised yours aren't. How can you tolerate not having magic to use?"
"Because, dear sister, I don't need magic to get my way. I have my," he waved a hand up and down his body, "obvious attributes."
Gitty grimaced. "Please. Don't make me sick."
Pulling to an upright position, Morgan stretched his long legs in front of him, tucking his hands behind his head.
"You're just jealous."
"Then what's your problem?"
"I don't fancy living my life in pubs among the scum of the valley sponging off the pity of strangers. My plans include owning all I see."
Morgan rose from the couch and faced his sister.
"Good luck with that. Even the Others are wise to your quest for power. I'm going out. See you later." He moseyed out of the living room and down the hall.
Gitty gritted her teeth. Morgan might be her brother, but he was useless when it came to thinking beyond his next good time.
She glared at the source of the fingers of light stretching over the meadow. The owner of the Lending Library was an Other the local fae had embraced with open arms. Even Uther, the one-time leader of the night elves and her uncle, had taken a personal interest in the older female.
"Must be losing his sanity."
She spotted a pinpoint of red light glowing in the far distance. As hard as she tried, she couldn't sense the origin of the light.
"I hate not having my magic!" She smacked the wall with her hand, immediately regretting the action. Bolts of pain shot up her arm.
"Damn it!"
Turning on her heel, she tramped out of the room.

Friday, April 29, 2016

FRIDAY'S FEATURED TITLE: A tomboy captain must guard a roguish prince during wartime. Can they save their country from invasion while learning to lead--and falling in love? Her Heart's Liege by Olivia Fields

Author: Olivia Fields
ISBN: 978-1-62420-119-6

Genre: Historical Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


A tomboy captain must guard a roguish prince during wartime. Can they save their country from invasion while learning to lead--and falling in love?


Tomboy Alex Bonham has fought her male peers tooth and nail to prove herself worthy to become captain of the king’s guard. When her country is invaded by Danes, she is ordered to take the king’s younger son, a charming but irresponsible rake, away from the front lines for safekeeping.

Alex walks a difficult line, trying to balance her growing attraction to Prince Holden with her dedication to duty and her responsibility to keep him safe from robbers, Danes...and even himself. But when they are drawn into the struggle to defend East Anglia from occupation, both the prince and his captain must grow. Can spoiled Prince Holden evolve into a good man who could lead the kingdom--one Alex can trust with her heart?


She and the prince were easier with one another after their day in town. They continued their sparring matches at regular intervals, varying tandem sword training with hand to hand. The craft of unarmed combat continued to prove frustrating for the prince, especially when defending against her attacks.
“Impossible,” Holden lamented one afternoon as she put him on his face in the dirt for the umpteenth time, effortlessly seating herself atop his back. “You can’t have done that. Again.”
“I’m not using strength.” She wound up his arm a bit more to demonstrate. “This is leverage.”
“I concede.” He went limp, and she sat on him for a moment longer, liking their position rather more than she strictly should. She made herself move before the moment stretched too long, heaving off him, and offered him a hand up.
He reached for her, and gave her no warning whatsoever before yanking hard. Off-balance, she toppled helplessly onto him. He rolled her under his body, pinning her arms with his hands, his waist sinking between her thighs.
“There,” he said with satisfaction. “Escape this.”
She clenched her fists in exasperation, trying breathlessly to ignore the sensation of his body weighing down on her, pushing her thighs apart and pressing against the center of her. “I haven’t showed you everything I know. Not yet.”
She bucked her hips up sharply and kicked her heels against the ground, unseating him. They rolled, trading advantage back and forth. He couldn’t pin her, but neither could she escape without hurting him. They thrashed about wildly, kicking up dust, dirt, and bracken as they struggled. He clutched her tightly against his chest. He was laughing, and she realized she was too. They abruptly fetched up against one of the log segments surrounding the fire ring, and she found herself lying on top of him, her face a few inches from his.
They froze there, and their laughter faded. He did not try to dislodge her again. His eyes grew warm and deep. He was still smiling, his lips parted slightly. She lost herself in his gaze, wavering on the verge of sinking down to taste his mouth.
She felt his hands settling slowly on her waist, anticipating her kiss. He was smeared with dirt. Bits of dried fern stuck to the sweat on his face and body, tangled in his untidy hair. He looked so good he almost seemed edible. Hypnotized, she was tempted to bend her head and lick a droplet of perspiration right off his cheek.
Carl was watching them, she knew.
“You’re a mess,” she observed, hearing the breathlessness in her voice. “Get up and wash that dirt off. Carl almost has the supper ready.”
The spell was broken.
She climbed off him, briskly dusting all the twigs and bracken off her clothes, using her fingers to pluck what she could out of her hair. It was so bad she’d have to get out her comb and re-weave her braid.
The prince went to splash in the pond, and she disciplined herself not to watch. Carl looked up as she went to the wagon for her comb and returned to the fire.
“One of these days he’ll weary of you rubbing his nose in the dirt and give you a right good thrashing,” he said amiably.
“On the day he can, I’ll be proud of him.” She slouched by the fire and began to unravel her braid, all but exhausted. She rubbed her neck, which was covered with grit and dust. That was too damned close for comfort. She’d have to see to it there was no more light horseplay of that sort.
“Ohhh, will you look at him,” Carl muttered, gazing past her toward the pond, and Alex barely managed to stop herself before she obeyed.
“Look at what?”
“The results of your handiwork.”
She snorted. The prince’s idea of modesty still left much to be desired. “Flaunting himself again, is he?” She began combing at the bottom of her hair, slowly working her way up as the tangles came out.
“You might say that.” Carl turned the spit where a pheasant the prince had managed to shoot was roasting, dripping juices on the fire and producing a mouthwatering smell. “He would be if anyone were looking, at any rate.”
“Well, I’m not.” She didn’t bother to keep the tartness from her voice. “I wonder why you are.”
“Purely to keep you informed, of course.” Carl chuckled. “It’s the least I can do.”
“Let me guess. He has two arms, two legs, and a cock he’s rather more than reasonably proud of. Just like any man.” She re-wove the braid briskly and tied it with a bit of leather.
“He’s sprouted a good bit more muscle than he had in Norwich. I’d have thought you’d appreciate a chance to enjoy examining your handiwork.” Carl wasn’t at all perturbed by her frank speech. “I believe he’s grown a bit more courtesy, as well.”
“If he had an ounce of politeness, he wouldn’t strip naked and wash in the presence of a lady.” She thought of making a mint infusion, then reached for their jug of ale instead and poured herself a mug.
“Well, mayhap if you want to be treated more like a lady, you could act more like one.” Carl glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, calculating how angry he was making her. “Instead of like a sergeant at the drill.”

“I act like what I am,” she muttered.