September 2022 Wrap Up

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It has been a while since I have done a monthly wrap-up. Usually, I am pressed for time (between the kids, their activities, and other life issues), and I choose not to do one. But I am making a change starting with this month. I will do a monthly wrap-up (even if it is only a couple of things).

So, here is what I read/posted in the month of September.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.


Books I Read:


Books I got from NetGalley


Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers


Books Reviewed

The Diseased by S.M. Thomas (review here)

Shadowed Spirits by Reily Garrett (review here)

First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts by Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Sylvia Nay, Katie Klein, Michael di Gesu, Templeton Moss, S.E. White, Denise Covey, Sammi, Spizziri (review here)

Last Place Seen by Alessandra Harris (review here)

Love Secrets Lies by Teresa Vale (review here)

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith (review here)

Owl Manor: The Dawning by Zita Harrison (review here)

Owl Manor: Abigail by Zita Harrison (review here)

Owl Manor: The Final Stroke by Zita Harrison (review here)

Bookish Travels—September 2022 Destinations

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I saw this meme on It’s All About Books and thought, I like this!! So, I decided to do it once a month also. Many thanks to Yvonne for originally posting this!!

This post is what it says: Places I travel to in books each month. Books are wonderful and take you to places you would never get a chance to go. That includes places of fantasy too!!

So….enjoy!! Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas (other than the fantasy….lol).


Here’s where I traveled in September:

United States:

Jackson County, somewhere in the Midwest or South/Portland, Oregon/Chicago, Illinois/ Louisiana/ Midwest
San Jose/Napa, California
Danville Heights/Sandry Lake, Unknown state
Denver, Colorado/Chicago, Illinois/Morganton, North Carolina
Denver, Colorado/NYC, New York
Denver, Colorado
Emerald Springs, Historical West (maybe Montana??)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Shadow Geirolf Pack Land, unknown state
Harleyville, unknown state
Seaton Falls, Michigan
Los Angeles, California
New York City, New York/Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Greece

Greek Islands, Santorini

Mozambique

Lourenco Marques

Portugal

Libson, Madeira

South Africa

Johannesburg, Durban

United Kingdom

London, England
St. Pirran’s Island, Cornwall, England
London/Chelsea, England

France

Marseille
Paris

North Atlantic Ocean

The Bermuda Triangle

Zargothia

Little Zargothia

Russia


Persian Gulf/Pacific Ocean

USS Abraham Lincoln, aircraft carrier

Grattiara

City State of Grattiara

Sea

Durazzo Sea

Giva

Last Place Seen by Alessandra Harris

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Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Date of publication: September 6th, 2022

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | Powells | IndieBound | Indigo | BetterWorldBooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the aftermath of her husband’s life-altering mistake, Tiana Williams grapples with lingering resentment while working full-time and raising their toddler. But when Jay becomes a person of interest in the kidnapping of ten-year-old Zoe Miller, Tiana is torn between trusting her husband and believing the growing pile of evidence. After she gets dragged further into the mystery and discovers her connection to the missing girl, the shaky ground beneath her crumbles.

With the odds stacked against him, Jay does everything in his power to prove his innocence. Racing against the clock, he must uncover the truth about Zoe’s kidnapping before he loses everything he loves—including his freedom.

During a sweltering heat wave and a raging California wildfire, Tiana and Jay will stop at nothing to find Zoe, even if it means tearing apart their marriage and risking their own lives in the process.


First Line:

A familiar ache gripped Tiana’s chest.

Last Place Seen by Alessandra Harris

When I read Last Place Seen’s blurb, I knew I needed to read it. A mystery/thriller/suspense set in California during a heat wave and with a wildfire going on? Sign me up to read it. I am glad I did because I couldn’t put this book down.

The Last Place Seen had a fascinating plotline. It starts with a 10-year-old girl getting kidnapped at a local Walmart. The missing child investigation focuses on Jay, who happened to be there at the same time the girl went missing. Jay, desperate to prove his innocence, scrambles to find evidence to show he didn’t kidnap her. The book then zooms in on the life of Tiana and Jay, a married couple going through hard times.

On the other hand, Tiana has her world blown when long-held secrets are exposed, and her marriage to Jay crumbles. Will the girl be found? Will Jay be able to hold onto his family and his freedom? And will Tiana make the right choice?

The Last Place Seen had a fast plotline that alternated between Jay and Tiana. The author didn’t slow down for a second during the book. I loved it!!

There were several twists in the plotline that I did see coming. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading or lessen any anxiety I felt while reading.

I liked Jay a lot. He was a convicted felon struggling to find work, which made him feel awful. He did help out around the house and watched Marcus (Tiana and his son) while Tiana worked. He had his issues (some major ones that were detailed in the book). I got mad on his behalf quite often while reading. The author touched a nerve with me when Jay was taken in for questioning. I got angry and then felt sadness because you know that this same scenario plays out in police departments around the United States. I was rooting for Jay the entire book, and I felt he got his comeuppance at the end.

I liked Tiana, but she annoyed me. I get that she was still low-key upset with Jay over his incarceration. But I wouldn’t say I liked seeing her being petty about it. Also, I wouldn’t say I liked that she immediately ran to Devon once things started to blow up (Jay being brought in for questioning, the two huge bombshells dropped on her). Also, I didn’t particularly appreciate that she didn’t believe Jay when he said he was innocent. All because of what Devon was saying (which, by the way, I saw right through). There were other instances where she annoyed me too. Like at the rally, when she saw her father and was loud about what she found out (not the time or the place). But, towards the end, I felt she got served a piece of humble pie. She got to feel what Jay went through when he was arrested, and she was forced to interact with her dad/her dad’s mistress.

The suspense angle of Last Place Seen kept me reading. I was wondering when everything would come together. I also wondered if/when Zoe (the missing girl) would be found. The author did a fantastic job with that.

As I mentioned above, I did figure out most of the mystery angles reasonably early in the book. A couple of them were just good guesses on my end, and I was surprised when I was right. Still, figuring them out early didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading the book.

The thriller angle of the book was great. Like the suspense angle, it kept me glued to the book.

The end of Last Place Seen was one of the best I have ever read. Not only did the author keep me guessing if Jay would ever find the evidence to exonerate himself, but I wondered if Tiana would figure out what was going on. She eventually did but not before being served a piece of humble pie (as I stated above). The last chapter was very bittersweet but showed Tiana’s growth as a character.

I would recommend Last Place Seen to anyone over 21. There is violence and language but no sexual situations.

WWW Wednesday: September 7th, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

  • The bus saga continues. It hasn’t shown up at all since last week. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel here. I emailed the transportation director, expressed my frustration, and asked for insight. She told me that a new driver had been hired (Yay!!) and the route will return to normal shortly.
  • We have settled into our school schedule very nicely. Miss R is a little put off because (drum roll please) she will have math and reading homework Monday-Thursday. She will also have a project a month. This month’s project is called About Me, which is pretty self-explanatory. We have already sketched out (on posterboard) what she is going to include. Tonight, we start work on it.
  • The horse show gave Miss R a huge boost in confidence, which she needed. She was trotting with one hand and doing a great job controlling her horse (who was being naughty) at her last lesson. She could almost do everything to tack and untack the horse by herself.
  • I don’t know if I mentioned it, but we had adopted (or so we thought) another kitten from the local shelter. I say we thought because I skipped his neutering appointment yesterday (we were going to go through our vet). BK was listed as the contact; they called and gave him an earful. They said we were fostering (never explained when we got him) and that we were supposed to go through their vet, not ours. They were pretty rude about it. So, I had to cancel Tony’s appointment today, and we’re taking him in next week for his neutering. Then he will be ours. I was pretty upset. They never explained that it was a foster-to-adopt situation (which we would have been fine with), sent us home with zero instructions (again, they didn’t tell us), and sent us home with a very sick kitten (he was on antibiotics for a URI for over a week).
  • I haven’t worked on updating posts since last week. I was pretty tired. I didn’t even play my Planet Zoo game and fell asleep during LivePD on Friday. That’s how tired I was. I am planning on getting to it at some point this week. I’m just not sure when.

So that’s the major things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Paradise is no more. She’s a stranger in her new home…

… as she sails the choppy waters of teen life. Teresa longs for picture-perfect love, but in the real world you often have to say “No”, even if it breaks your heart.

From tropical Mozambique to drab, 1970s Lisbon, from the golden beaches of Durban to five-star holidays in verdant, mountainous Madeira, and even the Moroccan kasbah, follow Teresa as she stumbles and falls and picks herself up again.

Will Teresa’s grandparents let her out of their sight for a minute? Can she forge her own path in a country that struggles to emerge from fear and taboo? Will she find true love, or is she forever fated to navigate an ocean of boys who demand more than she is willing to give?


What I am currently reading:

In the aftermath of her husband’s life-altering mistake, Tiana Williams grapples with lingering resentment while working full-time and raising their toddler. But when Jay becomes a person of interest in the kidnapping of ten-year-old Zoe Miller, Tiana is torn between trusting her husband and believing the growing pile of evidence. After she gets dragged further into the mystery and discovers her connection to the missing girl, the shaky ground beneath her crumbles.

With the odds stacked against him, Jay does everything in his power to prove his innocence. Racing against the clock, he must uncover the truth about Zoe’s kidnapping before he loses everything he loves—including his freedom.

During a sweltering heat wave and a raging California wildfire, Tiana and Jay will stop at nothing to find Zoe, even if it means tearing apart their marriage and risking their own lives in the process


What books I think I’ll read next:

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.
“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer
A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, can the boys defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

A tale of unspeakable murder, a doomed alliance, and retribution from the beyond
Sometimes the tide sweeps us into a fog where dark forces are at work…suddenly good and evil become blurred. Powerless and defenseless, we swim toward it, and wonder if we’re going mad.

Eva is born in the wrong era. In 1800s America, women are required to obey their husbands without question and to submit to their presumed superiority. But Eva wants more. Willful and ambitious, she considers herself equal to men. But the times are unrelenting, and it is her curse to remain unheard.

Rafe is a misogynist. Born of a demented mother who shattered his childhood and family, he is forever tormented by a scathing mistrust of women.

The tide brings them together at Owl Manor, a place shrouded in darkness, forsaken by the sun. A place where owls breathe in the very fabric of the walls, and shadows wander the passages. Where good and evil blur.

Will Eva make the right choice?

Owl Manor – the Dawning, the first in a trilogy of Gothic suspense novels, is inspired by authors such as Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn), Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Shadow of the Wind), Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House).

14 years ago, Owl Manor trembled with echoes of madness, mysterious deaths and marauding owls.

In 1870, Abigail fled the horror of Owl Manor with her fiancé, Peter. But she carried with her the terrible notion that she is unworthy of love, instilled by her reluctant mother. If her own mother could not love her, how would anyone else?

She trusts no one and keeps herself buried in a crypt of churning emotions, away from the world. Deep inside, her soul screams at the thought of dying alone and unloved.

Now she is back. Abandoned at the altar, and with nowhere to go, she returns to Owl Manor. Thus begin the nightmares of violent rage and destruction, ghostly images.

What really happened 14 years ago?

Enter Victor, the complete opposite of Peter, yet frighteningly familiar at times.

And the owls circle the sky once again.

Inspired by authors such as Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven), Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn), Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Shadow of the Wind), Owl Manor – Abigail is the second in the Owl Manor trilogy of Gothic suspense novels, and follows Owl Manor – the Dawning.

For a quarter of a century, the horrors at Owl Manor have been buried under dust and decay, forgotten and unheard.

Then Dolores hears the whispers.

Dolores, a young artist, feels the pain all around her. It is the subject of her paintings. Strangely, once the pain is on her canvas, it diminishes.

A fated encounter takes her and her two best friends to Owl Manor in the Rocky Mountains. Ignoring the rumors of a gruesome past and ghosts, they take up residence. What’s the worst that could happen?

But it is the past that has summoned Dolores.

The owls begin to circle the sky again. The whispers get louder, seeping into each of their souls. And Dolores, besieged by the pain of brutal murders in the manor’s history, has no choice but to paint.

For the lives of those close to her hang in the balance.

Inspired by authors like Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven), Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn), and Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House), Owl Manor – the Final Stroke is the third and final book in the Owl Manor trilogy of Gothic Suspense novels. It follows Owl Manor – the Dawning and Owl Manor – Abigail.

September 2022 TBR

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August seemed to fly by. It was busy for me, though, even if it was just getting the kids ready for back to school. We are on the 4th day, and everything seems to be going well (keeping my fingers crossed!!). I am enjoying the downtime.

So, here’s this month’s TBR list. Let me know if you have read any of them!!


I normally don’t read or review anthologies. But this is a new publisher, and I accepted the invite before reading the full blurb. I am sure that I am going to like it (romance is always a hit with me)

I have reviewed this author in the past, and I have enjoyed her books. I am looking forward to reading this book based on the synopsis (you have to go to Amazon to read it; it’s not on Goodreads).

A new to me author who was very sweet in her request email. I can’t wait to read this!!

I am curious about this book. It is different (the five senses used to save the world??).

WWW Wednesday: August 31st, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

  • Miss R went to her 1st horse show on Sunday. It was a very casual show (no dress code for riders) and it was also a fundraiser. A barn mom got seriously hurt in an accident and her insurance wouldn’t cover the surgery. So, the barn held the show. Miss R showed in leadline walk and leadline walk/trot. She came in 1st place for the walk and 3rd in the walk/trot. She also participated in the games (lipstick race, red light green light, and egg on a spoon). She got 1st place for red light green light and 3rd for the other two.
  • The kids went back to school on Monday. Miss R loves her teacher. Mr. Z and Miss B are enjoying their classes, for the most part. Mr. Z is not liking intermediate orchestra and wants to drop it. We’re making him stick with it. Mainly because we told him NOT to take orchestra when he was signing up for classes. Also because the school isn’t allowing the kids to drop classes.
  • Speaking of back to school, but we have a bus driver shortage in our school district and most drivers have double routes. I drive Miss R to school and pick up, so it doesn’t affect her. But Mr. Z and Miss B it does. Their bus is supposed to pick them up at 7:34am. So, I sent them down to the bus stop at around 7:20/25 each morning. They have waited until 8am each day and the bus hasn’t shown. I ended up driving them to school (which is no biggie because their high school is a 5 min drive from the elementary school). It is the afternoon I had an issue with. Monday, the bus didn’t show up until 5pm and they didn’t get home until 6pm (the school lets out at 4, with the bus picking up around 15 mins later and Miss B usually got home around 5pm). Yesterday, it didn’t show at all. I had already picked them up at that point. Mr. Z has friends on the bus and they couldn’t get home. So, the irritation is real but I am being patient and I am hoping everything gets ironed out soon.
  • I have been making progress on updating my posts. But I decided to take a small break when school started (I have to get used to be up at 6:15am). I am hoping to get back to updating by next week (once I am used to this schedule)

So that’s the major things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

As one of the Embraced—one born with magical powers—the beautiful, innocent Luciana escaped certain death after her father hid her away on the Isle of Moon. Now, nineteen years later, her father has returned with a frightening request. He will be executed unless Luciana returns to the mainland and marries a man feared throughout the land: a terrifying brute known as the Beast.

Luciana accepts her fate and agrees to wed the Beast—Lord Leo—in order to save her father. Soon she learns that her betrothed is also one of the Embraced. With the ability to wield lightning, Leo’s immense power strikes fear into the hearts of men. . .and his mere touch can put an end to a woman’s life. But Luciana cannot deny the passion that burns between them. How can she resist the man who scorches her soul and makes her feel intoxicated with desire—even if surrendering to him could destroy them both?


What I am currently reading:

In Darkest Flame by Donna Grant, the Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But one of the most powerful warriors of his kind will be put to the ultimate test. Is he strong enough to resist his greatest temptations? Or will he be forced to surrender—body and soul?

HER BEAUTY IS A WEAPON.

Denae Lacroix is a beautiful MI5 agent on a deadly mission. Sent to the Scottish Highlands to spy on the mysterious Dreagan Industries, she discovers too late that she’s been set up—as human bait. She is an irresistible lure for a man who has not seen or touched a woman for centuries. He is a man with a destiny—and a desire—that could destroy them both…

HIS PASSION IS A CURSE…

It’s been twelve hundred years since Kellan has walked among humans—and there’s no denying the erotically charged attraction he feels for Denae. But as a Dragon King, he is sworn to protect his secrets. Yet the closer he gets to this smart, ravishing woman, the more her life is in danger. All it takes is one reckless kiss to unleash a flood of desire, the fury of dragons… and the fiercest enemy of all.


What books I think I’ll read next:

The sweetness of first love…

Could a fiercely independent cop’s heart be stolen by the guy who makes her favorite doughnuts? Will a maid who used deceit to snare a mail-order husband get a dose of her own medicine? Can her handsome neighbor rescue a modern-day “princess” from a tenacious ex-boyfriend? Can two strangers in a rideshare be honest enough to fall in love for real? Can you remember your first love? How about your second? Third? Fourth?

Featuring the talents of Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Michael Di Gesu, Sylvia Ney, Katie Klein, Kim Elliott, Templeton Moss, S.E. White, Denise Covey, and Sammi Spizziri. Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will touch your heart and rekindle lost feelings. Prepare to return to that first love…

In the aftermath of her husband’s life-altering mistake, Tiana Williams grapples with lingering resentment while working full-time and raising their toddler. But when Jay becomes a person of interest in the kidnapping of ten-year-old Zoe Miller, Tiana is torn between trusting her husband and believing the growing pile of evidence. After she gets dragged further into the mystery and discovers her connection to the missing girl, the shaky ground beneath her crumbles.

With the odds stacked against him, Jay does everything in his power to prove his innocence. Racing against the clock, he must uncover the truth about Zoe’s kidnapping before he loses everything he loves—including his freedom.

During a sweltering heat wave and a raging California wildfire, Tiana and Jay will stop at nothing to find Zoe, even if it means tearing apart their marriage and risking their own lives in the process.

Paradise is no more. She’s a stranger in her new home…

… as she sails the choppy waters of teen life. Teresa longs for picture-perfect love, but in the real world you often have to say “No”, even if it breaks your heart.

From tropical Mozambique to drab, 1970s Lisbon, from the golden beaches of Durban to five-star holidays in verdant, mountainous Madeira, and even the Moroccan kasbah, follow Teresa as she stumbles and falls and picks herself up again.

Will Teresa’s grandparents let her out of their sight for a minute? Can she forge her own path in a country that struggles to emerge from fear and taboo? Will she find true love, or is she forever fated to navigate an ocean of boys who demand more than she is willing to give?

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.
“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer
A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, can the boys defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

WWW Wednesday: August 24th, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

  • Miss R had been having confidence issues with her riding over the past month. It didn’t help that she got thrown before her surgery, had 3 weeks off (her surgery), got thrown on her 1st lesson, and then had a pony who was hard to control. She was seriously considering leaving until I had a long talk with her after that lesson. She also watched an equestrian YouTuber who had gone through similar experiences that she did. That helped her make up her mind to keep riding. And guess what? She was put on the pony that was hard to control and killed it last Friday. Not only did she control the pony, but she also got her to trot and stay trotting. She was so proud of herself.
  • Mr. Z had his freshman orientation yesterday. It was the first orientation that was without Covid protocols (Miss B’s were scheduled and only had 10 people per session). The cafe (aka the cafeteria) was packed. We met all of his teachers and got the school supply lists.
  • Miss R has her Open House today. We got her teacher assignment a couple of weeks ago, and I wasn’t surprised with who it was. We find out who’s in her class. She is praying that the girl that was bullying her is in another class or was taken out of the school (the mother threatened after the girl was caught stealing from the teacher). I don’t need to buy school supplies for her either. The school had the option of prebuying supplies at the end of last school year—which I did.
  • I have been going through and updating my posts. And what I mean by that is formatting my posts the same way, fixing links, updating covers, updating blurbs, and fixing any grammatical issues I missed the first time.

So that’s the major things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

One man’s curse is another man’s weapon.

Genetic engineer Neah Haversham thought unlocking the code to her psychic gift would ease the way to blocking it, something she’d wanted since puberty.
Unable to turn off heightened senses means experiencing life on a different level. Shiya, her golden retriever, is the only companion tolerated.
Within months of finishing her studies, she learns the life she planned has vanished with the rescue of a sarcastic, hardheaded teen with an unprecedented ability.
Ouray Bernard is a healer and warrior, a Native American who uses his skills to train other uniquely talented individuals. When called to help the woman invading his dreams, he can’t refuse.
Loyalties collide as each defends their position in the battle against a secret society determined to dominate them all.


What I am currently reading:

Bestselling author Vanessa Kelly returns with an enthralling new series about the men of the Kendrick clan—and the women who claim their hearts . . .
 
Lady Ainsley Matthews, heiress and darling of the ton, was expected to make a magnificent match. Instead she’s hiding on a remote Scottish estate, terrified that her vicious former fiancé will use her pregnancy to force her into marriage. One man can help her—Royal Kendrick, son of a distinguished Highland clan. Though a mistake drove them apart long ago, Royal is the only person Ainsley trusts to protect her baby—even if that means agreeing to never see either of them again . . .
 
Scarred in body and soul by war, Royal suddenly has a purpose—caring for an innocent babe and thereby helping the woman he can’t stop loving. But when Ainsley ultimately returns to Scotland, determined to be a real mother to her child in spite of the risk, there’s only one solution: marriage. And only one likely outcome: surrendering to the desire that’s simmered between them for so long, no matter how dangerous it may be . . .


What books I think I’ll read next:

The sweetness of first love…

Could a fiercely independent cop’s heart be stolen by the guy who makes her favorite doughnuts? Will a maid who used deceit to snare a mail-order husband get a dose of her own medicine? Can her handsome neighbor rescue a modern-day “princess” from a tenacious ex-boyfriend? Can two strangers in a rideshare be honest enough to fall in love for real? Can you remember your first love? How about your second? Third? Fourth?

Featuring the talents of Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Michael Di Gesu, Sylvia Ney, Katie Klein, Kim Elliott, Templeton Moss, S.E. White, Denise Covey, and Sammi Spizziri. Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will touch your heart and rekindle lost feelings. Prepare to return to that first love…

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy—and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

In Darkest Flame by Donna Grant, the Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But one of the most powerful warriors of his kind will be put to the ultimate test. Is he strong enough to resist his greatest temptations? Or will he be forced to surrender—body and soul?

HER BEAUTY IS A WEAPON.
Denae Lacroix is a beautiful MI5 agent on a deadly mission. Sent to the Scottish Highlands to spy on the mysterious Dreagan Industries, she discovers too late that she’s been set up—as human bait. She is an irresistible lure for a man who has not seen or touched a woman for centuries. He is a man with a destiny—and a desire—that could destroy them both…

HIS PASSION IS A CURSE…
It’s been twelve hundred years since Kellan has walked among humans—and there’s no denying the erotically charged attraction he feels for Denae. But as a Dragon King, he is sworn to protect his secrets. Yet the closer he gets to this smart, ravishing woman, the more her life is in danger. All it takes is one reckless kiss to unleash a flood of desire, the fury of dragons…and the fiercest enemy of all.

In the aftermath of her husband’s life-altering mistake, Tiana Williams grapples with lingering resentment while working full-time and raising their toddler. But when Jay becomes a person of interest in the kidnapping of ten-year-old Zoe Miller, Tiana is torn between trusting her husband and believing the growing pile of evidence. After she gets dragged further into the mystery and discovers her connection to the missing girl, the shaky ground beneath her crumbles.

With the odds stacked against him, Jay does everything in his power to prove his innocence. Racing against the clock, he must uncover the truth about Zoe’s kidnapping before he loses everything he loves—including his freedom.

During a sweltering heat wave and a raging California wildfire, Tiana and Jay will stop at nothing to find Zoe, even if it means tearing apart their marriage and risking their own lives in the process.

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