Wednesday, November 30, 2016

With her white-gold hair and azure eyes, Lainie MacPherson is as wild and untamed as the rugged Scottish Highlands where she was raised. HIGHLAND SONG FREE ON KU

Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

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With her white-gold hair and azure eyes, Lainie MacPherson is as wild and untamed as the rugged Scottish Highlands where she was raised. Lainie vowed to avenge her rape. Recklessly, she defies English laws and the man who raped her puts a bounty on her head. The man who is sent to bring her to Edinburgh sets a dangerous trap. With nothing left to live for the beautiful Scottish spy steals the sealed documents the English soldier has tempted her with.

When the exquisite temptress takes the bait and runs off with not only the forged documents but the purses of the men in the tavern, Aaron Slade vows to hunt her down and bring her to justice, never dreaming she will tame his jaded soul. When Aaron discovers the truth about the tempestuous woman who stirs his passion to the point of madness, he dares not love her, but desires her with all his soul.

Ayr, Scotland

Lainie MacPherson let the crumpled wanted poster drop to the ground. Her stomach knotted and fear snaked down her spine. Beneath the shadows of the hooded cape she wore, Lainie searched the room for her enemies.

Every man here fit that description.

Forced into a trap of her own making, out of courage, friendless, and terrified Lainie did the only thing she could think of to bring the pig Bertram to his knees.

She would steal the temptingly displayed secret papers that were on the table in front of her. Papers she hoped showed troop movements--papers stamped with the King's seal--papers she could hand over to her brother, Hawke.

First Lainie made sure the shadows in the tavern hid her from view, shrinking into the dark interior, hiding her face with the hood of her cape. She tried not to stare at the dark-haired stranger who had absent-mindedly set his jacket and satchel on a table with the documents she sought poking out almost as if they challenged her with a secret invitation. The man’s dangerous, dark looks sent a strange sensation of heat coursing down her spine.

English soldiers like Jericho Manning and Rory Slater were more dangerous and more terrifying than any highland lass should have to deal with. To make the situation worse, she didn’t need a dark-haired stranger to make her fingers shake and her insides quake.

Lainie inhaled a deep steadying breath. Easy, she told herself. Go nice and slow. The stranger looks half-drunk and the tavern maid sitting on his lap has all his attention.

"What’s in it for me?" Rory asked Jericho, his haggard features lighting up with anticipation and snagging Lainie’s attention.

"Only what Bertram wants to give you himself." The dark stranger looked at the
English officer. The fingers on one hand tapping the oaken table top impatiently.

Rory’s toothless grin sent a shiver of fear down Lainie’s spine.

"Jericho always gives me his left-overs," Rory said. “You going to give me this one?”

Rory’s diabolical laughter sealed the darkness in her heart.

Jericho nodded then leaned forward. "I want the lass. And I’ll have her before I give her over to Bertram. She’s only a whore."

Lainie nearly gasped but stopped herself. Courage, Lainie, you’ve been in tighter spots than this. It was not her plan to give herself away to these men.

She inhaled a long, deep breath once more and reached for the satchel beneath the soldier's jacket. A few more seconds and all would be hers. A few more seconds and she would hand the papers over to a friend. Someone who would carry them to the Scottish King.

She committed no treason here.

She was Scottish to the core.

This was for the good of her country--not England. Besides she’d already been labeled a traitor by the crown of England. She had nothing to lose.

If Bertram suffered a set back, his lack of attention caused the problem.

Aaron Slade let his hands slide up and down the arms of the lass sitting on his lap while his steely gaze seemed to be riveted on Lainie MacPherson.

He knew what the young woman was up to before she’d committed herself to stealing. He had read the determination in the girl's posture when she backed into the shadow-filled corner of the tavern, pulling her dark cloak around her slender frame and letting her hood shadow her face. The combination of steady eyes and slightly trembling fingers had given her away.

He would make sure neither Jericho nor Bertram could get their sweaty hands on the girl. He’d heard stories. He believed them--every word.

Jericho didn’t even realize the girl he sought stood in the corner. Moreover, Slade didn't mean to tell Jericho. Slade had his orders. He was to find her and bring her to Edinburgh where she would be tried for high treason. The charges were lame. Now that he watched her stealing the phony papers he’d planted in the pocket of his jacket, he wasn’t quite so sure.
The rumors had it that a lot of men had wanted the lass, but none had gotten her. He’d thought all along Bertram had been one of those men. A cynical smile shifted the line of Aaron’s black mustache. There was nothing new in that particular game. Teasing and promising men something they wouldn’t give was a primal game played by every woman ever born.

But there was something very different about this woman.

An air of sadness and vulnerability emanated from her. Aaron methodically lowered his lids when he glanced from the girl who sat in his lap to the woman whose fingers were closing over the sealed documents. He couldn't help but stare at her. The woman's eyes were a clear, uncanny blue that matched the color of the sky on a bright summer day. The few strands of hair escaping her hood were so blond they were nearly white. The cloak she wore was plain, but did nothing to hide the lush fullness of her figure beneath the cloth. The vision he imagined set him to thinking about what it would be like to unfasten the cloak, strip away all the other fabric covering her and touch the luminous skin that lay beneath the tattered cloak.

Aaron was irritated at the direction his thoughts went. He was certainly experienced and old enough to keep sexual need away from his mission. He had been taught and teased by the most expert females on this earth. He’d learned more than one lesson at their hands.

Looking at Aaron, Jericho swirled the contents of his tankard.

"I don’t figure I can trust any man. Who’s to say that if you find the girl, you won’t want to keep her for yourself," he said to Aaron. "She might be worth a damn sight more than what old Bertie is paying you to bring her to him."

The devil you say," Rory retorted with a smug grin. "I have it on good authority and knowing old Bertie for years, he likes nothing better than to share soiled goods. We both know he’s the only one who can save the girl from a conviction of treason."

Jericho looked coldly at Aaron but didn’t refute Rory’s statement.

Aaron urged the tavern wench from his lap and kept his eye lids lowered slightly. He watched the girl, and if he was right, she was about to dip her hand into the pocket of another man. She had moved from her spot near his table, using the shadows in the tavern to hide herself. She brought up a fat purse and slipped it inside a different sack than the one she’d put the papers she’d stolen from his satchel.

The stories about her were intriguing enough, but it was the rumors of Lainie MacPherson’s spying that held his interest. To him any one who could spy on his country was a traitor. But Lainie MacPherson, if she was anything like her brothers, was Scottish bone deep. To Lainie, what she did here would not be treasonous because she would be loyal only to the Scottish King James. In addition, the rumor--the ones of Lainie prostituting herself for information--didn’t bother him. Women did what they had to do to survive. And if the rumors were true, he would find a way to enjoy her charms while he took her to Edinburgh for trial. To him women’s flesh was sweet and soft, but women were as fickle as newborn kittens. They were far too easily corrupted, and so many times they turned out to be less than they seemed. He never let any woman touch his heart.

Silently, Aaron measured the distance between the door and the MacPherson wench and wondered at the innocence, or was it guilt, he saw flash in her eyes for one brief moment when she met his glance. From what he’d heard, the Scottish cause was everything to the MacPhersons. This would not be the first time they pitted their clan against the English crown.

But this time it was the most foolhardy.

The smile he gave Lainie made her look away. He watched as her shoulders quivered, and she shrank back into the shadows. He felt a wave of nausea sweep through him when he thought of Lainie being at the mercy of a man like Bertie for even a single night, much less until Bertie grew bored with her and gave her to Jericho and Rory.

Silently, he told himself he would never let her fall into Bertie’s hands, because he meant to bring her straight to the authorities in charge. If she were guilty of treason, she would be prosecuted. If she were not guilty, he would see she was set free and he would personally escort her home.

For the first time, he felt justified in his mission and the exorbitant pay he would receive for handing the girl over. If anything, there was a certain justice in cheating Bertie out of his spoils. He acknowledged that once he caught Lainie, he would have not only Rory and Jericho after him, most likely the MacPherson brothers would be on his tail as well.

A man bumped into Lainie near the door. Aaron thought he would see her pick this man’s pocket too. The movement was quick. Except for the slight of hand and Aaron’s vigilance, he would have never seen the exchange of the satchel from Lainie’s hand to the man's. The document Lainie just handed over was worthless, but the stolen goods were not. They would find out soon enough he had baited her, set the trap, and she’d fallen for it. Would he have Lainie in his possession when that was accomplished? Or would Jericho?

Aaron shifted slightly, not wanting to give Jericho and Rory any indication that he meant to leave. His hand was on the hilt of his sword. Silently, he measured the catlike elegance of the girl with the determined posture and long back. It would not be much longer when Jericho and Rory discovered their own missing goods.

He rose and walked toward the door, barring her way if she meant to flee yet he was not sure he would stop her. "You sure you wouldn’t want to stay a while and keep me company, Miss…what was the name again?" Aaron asked, though he knew very well.

"’Tis naught your business," she said softly, lowering her dark sooty lashes as if she meant to flirt. "A gentleman would not ask a lady he didn’t know."

Lainie MacPherson’s voice sounded calm and controlled. Nevertheless, he knew she’d been in this position often enough, that she knew how to handle herself and no longer hesitated, knowing full well the consequences if she did. In any case, her compliance was not a part of his plan for her abduction.

Aaron’s instincts kept whispering that this woman was somehow different from women like Sarah and Anna, unfeeling women who cared nothing about anyone save themselves and the fortune and titles that could be gained from marrying into the right families. At the same time, he had no doubt Lainie MacPherson could kill a man.

"You should take heed," Aaron said softly, ignoring the other man who had now slipped quietly out the door.

"Remove your hand. sir," she told him indignantly.

Aaron shrugged, outwardly indifferent, his fingers settling once more on the hilt of his sword, ever wary of the girl and her next move.

The tavern’s hush changed into a humming of male voices as people left their drinks and focused on the pair standing so close to the door where unbeknownst to them an unspoken challenge had just been issued by both parties.

The stakes revolved around a woman named Lainie MacPherson and release from the commission he’d bought so many years ago he couldn’t remember. As for the bounty, Aaron Slade didn’t care a damn about it.

Aaron was certain he would end up the winner in this cat-and-mouse game. Besides the obvious, he wondered how the woman with trembling mouth and steady blue eyes had ended up on a wanted list issued by King Henry himself and standing in one of Scotland’s most infamous taverns. So intrigued by her he would move heaven and earth to learn her story.

"I know what you handed over to your companion," Aaron said with a bit of impatience, trying not to give away his purpose before it was necessary.

"I don’t know what you mean," she said softly with a sardonic smile gracing her intriguing mouth.

"You stole something that was mine. I mean to get it back. You need to remember that England rules this land--all of it." He inhaled deeply the soft scent of her that seemed to be hers alone. It seemed to possess all his senses.

Her shoulders stiffened as her gaze raked over him. "I’m Scottish, and loyal to James," she said, her voice wavering. "Henry doesn’t rule me or my kin."

"Slade," Jericho said, stepping forward, "what’s--"

The wolfish smile Aaron gave Jericho stopped him cold in his tracks.

"Who’s the girl?" Jericho asked pointedly. "You the sharin’ kind, Slade?"

"No one of interest," Aaron said smoothly lying to Jericho.

Aaron moved in front of Lainie, blocking the men from seeing her face and her hair. He didn’t know if they’d recognize her but something Rory had said earlier made him think Rory at least had met her. Given a choice, he would have taken her by the arm and escorted her away from these two cutthroats. Now he didn’t have a choice. He would have to let her go and hope he could catch up to her.

Lainie could melt into the forest if given a chance. She knew these lands better than most. And her companions were sure to be waiting for her a safe distance from the tavern. If her friend wasn’t waiting for her, where would she go? A sudden and unmistakable sickening feeling swept through him. Fear for this slip of a woman clouded his judgment.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TELL TALE TUESDAY: Fed up with men, but wanting a baby, Storm Wellington decides to take matters into her own hands. THE PURRFECT PLAN BY ANGELA CASTLE

Series: Australian Shifters book 1
Author: Angel Castle
Genre: Erotic Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5


Fed up with men, but wanting a baby, Storm Wellington decides to take matters into her own hands, randomly selecting an obscure little town to find an unknowing sperm donor. Unknowingly, Storm walks into a town run and owned by big cat shifters. River Black, Alpha of Blacktown can’t believe his luck, finding his mate in his own town, even better, the lovely lush woman is more than eager. After a passionate night, Storm disappears without a trace, leaving River desperate to find her. Finally, tracking her down, River discovers the evidence of her single parenthood plans and is now pregnant with his cubs. River persuades Storm to return to Blacktown with him, but another has her eye on River and is determined to rid the town of any rival. In the sweltering heat of the Australian Summer, River must convince Storm to be his mate and protect her or risk losing her forever.

Chapter One

Storm Wellington wanted a baby more than anything. It was why she stood outside a bar in an obscure little place called Black Town.

Still, her desire did little to calm her apprehension, making her stomach twist almost painfully. With a firm grip on the door handle of the bar, she pushed it open, taking a few steps inside. The wafting smell of beer and cigarette smoke hit her. The low pounding beat of heavy rock music thumped in time with her frantically hammering heart. Work, damn you feet. She moved further into the dim interior, her gaze landing on the long black bar.

The plan was simple: to find a man, any man, willing to have no-strings-attached sex with her. She understood men well enough to know free pussy wasn't something they would easily refuse.

Hell, it didn't have to be a one-night stand; she would be well on her way once the deed was done. If you counted the removal of clothes into the equation, what, a whole five to ten minutes?

Be strong. Be confident, you can do this. She'd been chanting this same mantra since she'd left home. She chose this particular spot at random, by placing her hand over her eyes, then circling her finger before jabbing it at the map on her desk. Fate had decided to take her to Black Town after a quick internet search, finding it contained just what she needed; an out of the way bar and a motel room surrounded by native Australian Forest. It was a three hour drive, but the further away the place, the better. She plotted various seduction scenarios, along with timing her visit during the peak of her fertility cycle.

Storm quickly scanned the interior, noticing an empty stage at the back of the room with a small space where scattered round black tables were nicely complemented by sturdy looking silver and black metallic chairs. She spotted the cricket bat mounted on the wall behind the bar. With a boldly printed score chart: Bat- eleven: Bar patrons- zero. Did they get a lot of bar fights?

Her gaze roamed over the dozen or so bar patrons who stopped their low chatter to turn and stare at her. She saw why the place featured solid bar furniture. Each and every man in the bar displayed strong broad shoulders, thick firm necks, chiseled, handsome features and solid muscle. A mix of awe and wonder hit her as she realized none of them would weigh in at less than a hundred and eighty pounds. Wow! She'd struck genetic gold! As for the few women littered amongst them clothed in only simple jeans and t-shirts, they were, without exception, slim, bright eyed and cover-model gorgeous.

Storm drew comfort from the fact the men outnumbered the women. Panic threatened to rise. What if none of the men found her attractive enough? Not allowing herself to back pedal, she made her way to the bar.

Even if she was a far cry from the apparent beauties now surrounding her and clearly challenged in the height department, being only five foot three, her grandmother always taught her being neat and clean easily made up for her plain features.

She ran her hands down her skirt to smooth out the wrinkles. It didn't matter how she looked, because now was certainly not the time to be second-guessing herself. No doubts, just forward and onward, to do what she came here to do then get the hell out.

She moved away from the door. On reaching the bar, she smiled at the bartender and noticed him watching her with a curious expression.

"Can I have a coke, please?"

He arched an orange eyebrow. "Just a Coke?"

Alcohol was not on the cards tonight, even if she did desperately want something to calm her nerves and loosen the tension making nearly every muscle in her body ache.

"Yes, just a Coke."

The man reached under the counter, pulled out the trademark bottle and plonked it firmly on the counter before reaching for a glass and setting it next to her chosen beverage. Storm glanced down, digging around in her purse to pay for her drink.

"This one's on me, sugar."

Storm looked up, startled, not having heard the man approach. Remember what you're here for. Storm plastered on a friendly smile.

"Um, thank you."

Exotic dark chocolate eyes regarded her with interest; his rich brown hair haphazardly stuck out on his head as though he used his hand for a comb. Handsome, like every man in the bar, he would do nicely.

"I'll have a Coke too, Ted, just add a touch of hair in mine," he said with an impish smile. "So what's a lovely little lady like you doing in a place like this?"

Smooth. A touch cheesy, but sweet.

"Just travelling through. I've got a room at the motel for the night before heading home tomorrow. As the signs on the highway say, drowsy drivers die." Her pre-prepared lie came out easily.

"Well, I'm sure glad you stopped in, sugar." His grin was seductive.

Storm giggled and felt herself blush; maybe this wouldn't be so difficult after all.

"I'm Storm."

"Storm, I like that. Hamish Brown, at your service, little lady." He offered his hand.

Storm allowed her smile to widen before slipping her hand into his warm one. Yes, his services would do nicely.

Monday, November 28, 2016

MYSTERY MONDAY: In the heat of the Australian Summer, Tinder Munro has been sent to an obscure little town, in the Australian bushland, to uncover its secrets. THE PURRFECT PICTURE BY ANGELA CASTLE

Author: Angel Castle

Genre: Paranormal/Erotic Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5

Buy at:, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance ebooks

In the heat of the Australian Summer, Tinder Munro has been sent to an obscure little town, in the Australian bushland, to uncover its secrets. What she never expects to discover, is the devastatingly sexy Hawk Black, who seems very intent on embedding himself into Tinder’s body mind and soul.

Hawk, Panther shifter and beta of Black Town, volunteered to baby sit a Photojournalist, only to discover the feisty red head his is true mate.

Now nothing will stop Hawk from getting into Tinder’s life, and keeping her just were she belongs, with him, in his arms. But when others discover the truth behind Black town, they decide to make Hawk and Tinder pay a high price, in more ways than one.

Hawk races against time to save Tinder, and keep the secret of Black Town secure.


Pictures speak more than a thousand words; Tinder Munro's mother, the artist, drilled the words into her head at an early age. So, what was the picture before her trying to say? It was odd and out of place. No way, this couldn't be real; someone was playing a prank on her.
She didn't care. Even pranks which kept her mind off her current situation were better than sitting around stewing over things she couldn't change.
She sighed, needing to get closer. Blackened, scorched ground crackled as she lowered herself to her knees, inhaling the still-smoky air of the surrounding bushland. It was a few weeks since the devastating fires ripped through this part of the Black National Park.
Her current, and temporary, employer sent her up into the New South Wales Mountain region to an obscure little town to investigate.
It was good to get out of the city. When this job was done, she would like to find a smallish town with a little newspaper. She hoped someone would employ her and buy some of the many photos she had collected over the years as a photojournalist.
She had nothing to go back to. What little she did have was stuffed in the boot of her beat up old car. Black Town Motel would be her home until she finished this job, got the rest of her money, and moved on.
Tinder ran over the odd conversation in her head a few times, trying to figure out what the Sydney money tycoon, Felix Roads, wanted exactly.
'I want anything and everything suspicious reported. There is something not right with those Black brothers, and I want to know what it is.'
'Are you sure you want to use me, Mr. Roads? I'm a photojournalist not a private detective.' She stood in front of his six-foot wide, polished mahogany desk, in the tall fifty-five story building in the Sydney business district, overlooking Sydney Harbour bay and the Opera house.
'No, you're exactly what I need. I want picture evidence of whatever they're up to. There is something odd with those Black Town people. I think you would do better than any detective…someone they wouldn't suspect as much.'
'Just what do you expect me to find in Black Town?'
'I want any dirty secrets which can discredit them from the contract they stole from me.'
Basically, she was being sent in as a spy. But how could she object when Mr. Roads handed her a three-thousand-dollar check?
'Half now, half when you bring me evidence of what I need to get my contract back.'
This is money she desperately needed to start over. She would do her job to the best of her ability; if it was secrets Mr. Roads wanted, then secrets he would get.
After doing a little background digging on Black Town, via the internet, she kept coming across rumour after rumour of big cat sightings in the area. Tinder contacted the local park ranger to obtain permission to have a look around.
During her travels through Africa, she had photographed many majestic big cats, and had seen their paw prints in those counties, just like the ones she now studied.
Leaning closer to study the odd paw prints in the scorched earth, she saw the solid evidence those cat rumours were true.
She sat back on her heels and reached for her tan canvas equipment bag, riffling around to find her tape measure. Leaning back over, she placed it along the side of the print, careful not to disturb the ground. She lifted her digital camera, placing it over her right eye and closing the left as the automatic focus adjusted.
Her trigger finger pressed gently to snap a few shots.
"This has to be too good to be true." Her got voice lost in the soft whistling of the warm summer wind in the burnt trees.
Tinder climbed to her feet, bent over to follow the print trail. She peered over a fallen, two-foot log, where this cat obviously leapt, leaving lovely, deep prints.
Her excitement bubbled; oh yes, big cat indeed. If she could be the one to capture it on film, would this be what Mr. Roads wanted? She shook her head; at this stage she didn't care. Maybe she could earn some more money by finally proving there is a big cat living around Black Town Forest.
Her clothes were now probably streaked with soot, but it didn't matter as her finger pressed down on the trigger again.
"Holy shit!"
The sudden deep masculine voice from right behind her jumpstarted her heart into a junkie's, high adrenaline spike. Her scream pierced the tranquil air and she spun around, only to lose balance and fall backwards onto her large arse.
She stared up into a pair of striking, pond-blue eyes. He looked just as startled, his handsome face twisted down into a fierce frown, making her scramble back further.