The Fix

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: May 30, 2017
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The lake town of Maisonville was better known as Renaissance Lake and most who moved there were looking to begin again.
Sydney Bell was no exception. Recovering from a divorce she needed to pick up the pieces of her life and start over.
Unfortunately, in her new town the handsome Ryan Gentry next door and Sydney are already butting heads.
When the real reason she moved to the lake is revealed, she’s reminded that a small town can heal your soul, sparring with an arrogant neighbor can build self-esteem, and true friendship has the ability to make you a better person.
EXCERPT
RYAN GENTRY SLOWLY DROVE the winding road   around Maison-Lafitte Lake, taking in the cypress trees and live oaks that shaded the drive. These trees, with their knobby roots, called knees, and the ones with large winding branches, gave the area character and helped set the small water town apart from other vacation destinations nearby.
The small town of Maisonville had virtually gone unnoticed until the late sixties when a group of young professionals from the city started buying property and settling their wives and children there for the summer months. Some remodeled old homes, but many tore down existing structures and built houses to fit their needs.
It was then that Maisonville had its largest population, and covenants were quickly established to keep the town from growing any larger.  Currently, there were four hundred permanent residents, many who spent their childhood vacations at the lake and then later brought their children for the summer months. The town was enjoying a sort of renaissance.
A large group of retirees lived there year round, and they were a social group, getting together as often as possible, which gave a boost to the downtown shops and restaurant. Most the retirees used the nickname Renaissance Lake for the area because living there felt like a new beginning. Things had never looked better as they refurbished their homes and spent endless hours perfecting their lawns and flower beds.
It was turning into a retirement haven, but that quaint and peaceful town also lured young adults looking for the same type of paradise, which was why Ryan Gentry called it home. Unlike other towns in the area and the large city on the other side of the lake, Maisonville only opened itself up by hosting a few distinct festivals and by allowing rentals exclusively during the months of June and July.
Maisonville was a beloved area, and outsiders were always curious to get a peek inside the extraordinary town.
It was rare for homes to be sold because they were passed down to family members or relatives of friends. Therefore, property was usually at a premium with newer homes and condominiums on the east side of town and older homes in need of restoration on the west side, split in half by a perfect little downtown. Running north and south was the large lake and the famous bridge that ran twenty miles over water into the bright lights of the city.
Ryan lived and worked on the west side of town.  He owned a small company that specialized in old home rehabilitation, and after repairing a few places for others, he began slowly acquiring homes himself. He was becoming well known in town for single-handedly rebuilding Westside, the name given to the area by locals.
He loved Westside and spent most of his vacations there as a kid with his sister and their Uncle.  They swam and played water sports all summer long, and he’d hoped he would end up living here.
He was especially happy at the moment because he’d finally talked the owner of his favorite property into selling to him. Tracey McHenry had inherited the large white house at the bend of the lake thirty years ago, but he left Louisiana after college to live in Maine and never returned. He swore he couldn’t take the heat, but he wouldn’t budge on the property until Ryan kept at him.
Ryan sent pictures of the pier falling into the water along with the vines that had overtaken the solarium. It was one of the oldest homes in town, and he dreamed of restoring it to its original stature. He couldn’t believe it was finally going to be his.
Well, it would be his when he sold his latest project house so that he could afford the steep asking price. He couldn’t wait to see the look on his sister’s face when he told her.  Reagan had encouraged him to start his own company and had invested a considerable amount to get him started. He was excited to pay her investment off, several months ago, but understood his working capital was strapped until he sold another property. He needed a buyer to fall out of the sky that week so he could buy the house.
He was in the middle of the steepest curve around the lake when he suddenly slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting a car that had stopped on the road. It was late afternoon, and with the tree cover, the old beige colored Subaru wagon was difficult to see. He quickly turned on his flashers and ran back behind his truck to throw down three orange cones and a flashing light.
Damn tourists were going to get someone killed with their site-seeing.
“What the hell are you doing, stopped here in the middle of the road?” he yelled, trying to locate the driver.
“Just looking around,” said a woman standing on the other side of the car.
“A ninety-degree turn is a great spot to stop your car. I almost hit you,” he said sarcastically as he rounded the car to see a pretty redhead wearing a sleeveless blue sundress and sandals. She was peering over the slight drop off at the edge of the road. When she turned around, he could see she had black marks on her forehead and cheek where she must have wiped her dirty hands.
She blinked her brown eyes several times, and he immediately could see she was trying not to cry. He then noticed she had a flat tire and when he looked over the side of the road, he could see her spare tire had somehow rolled down the steep hill several feet.
“Stay here. I’ll be right back,” Ryan said and jumped down the incline to rescue her roll away spare. Without talking to her, he returned and began to change the tire.
“Thank you, but I know how to change a tire,” she said, and he stopped and stared at her. She stepped toward him, and he held up his hand.
“I got it,” he said.
He had it done in ten minutes and then when he lowered the car with the jack, her spare went flat, too. He shook his head and walked back to his truck to get an air compressor. “When you have your oil changed, you should always have them check the spare tire for air.”
“I just bought it, okay?”
“The tire?”
“The car, genius.”
He looked at her and then at the car. He may not be a genius, but they didn’t match. She was wearing sandals that cost a fortune, and there was a purse on the seat of her car that cost more than the car. He knew because Reagan had the same bag and brand of shoes.
He held his hands up and then nodded at her. “You’re good to go now. I wouldn’t drive too far on that spare. It looks pretty old.”
She avoided his eyes but nodded as she headed for the driver’s door. She whispered “Thanks” before she got in and sped off.
City girl.
He hated the city.
***
Sydney Bell hurried into the driveway of the small real estate office. It was just off the downtown area, and she was thankful it was easy to find. She shook her head and wiped the black soot off her face and hands. Of course, she would have a flat tire since she was already running late for the real estate agent.
Houses here didn’t last long, and she knew she might not get another chance for a place here for quite some time. Four months ago there had been a condo on the lake that went up for sale, but there was a bidding war, and she lost out to another buyer.
The house she was seeing today wasn’t on the market officially—yet. She’d been driving around the area and stopped in at a small diner for some coffee and overheard a waitress there talking about it. She didn’t care what it looked like but hoped she could afford it. She desperately needed out of the city and hoped to find a place in Maisonville. She’d sold her late father’s house and then her luxury car, the only thing she got in the divorce, and was ready.
Now she just needed to talk these people into selling to her.
She smoothed down her dress and plastered a smile on her face as she walked into the office to meet Will Fontenot.
It didn’t take long for her to win Will over. He was a nice older man and a sucker for a pretty face with a sob story. She’d told him that her father had passed away before he was able to retire in Maisonville, but it had always been his dream.
She was going to hell for lying and for using her dead father as a reason to earn sympathy. Then again, she was desperate and if she could have asked her father, she was certain he would have given her permission to do it.
She wiped her eyes lightly with a tissue as Will drove her around the lake and toward Oak Cove. “I know the owner personally. His uncle and I were best friends, and I’m certain he would approve of you,” Will said, making her smile.
The drive on the west side of the lake was mesmerizing. It was curvy like the other side, but the road was closer to the water. A canopy of beautiful trees with moss shaded the area while the rippling water sparkled nearby.
Will appeared just as excited to show Sydney the house as she was to see it.
“You should have seen the place before it was redone. It hadn’t been lived in for over twenty years, and had the same décor that it did when it was built in the early fifties,” Will explained, talking the entire way over to the house.
Sydney was getting nervous as she listened to him talk about how old the property was and how terrible it looked. She wasn’t sure she would be able to afford the place already, but if she had to hire someone to do repairs, she would be in a lot more trouble.
They pulled onto the street, and she noticed a giant tree growing right in the middle of where the road should be, but instead, the road adjusted around it. Then at the end of the street, there was a circle, with two houses side by side. There was plenty of land on either side of the houses for more homes, but there were perfectly spaced trees everywhere.  There was also a fountain on one side, and the grounds were enclosed by a white picket fence. It looked like a private park. She wrung her hands as she realized both of the houses looked very nice and really expensive.
“Are you sure that’s it?” Sydney asked as they pulled into the driveway on the left.
Will looked disappointed. “You don’t like it?”
“It’s beautiful, Mr. Fontenot. I just don’t think I can afford this place,” she said.
“The porches and garage make it look bigger. Come on. You’ll see. Besides, we can make a lower offer. You never know.”
Will turned off his car, and she followed behind him as he went to the front door and opened it. She paused to look at the details of the porch. It was beautiful. Someone had taken their time and hadn’t pinched pennies there. The spindles were painted white while the hand railing had been rubbed in a black stain to match the wide boards on the decking. It was stunning against the white house.
When she stepped inside, there was a small mud room with shelves to the left and a bench underneath. She slipped off her sandals and followed behind Will. Immediately, she noticed the open floor plan. She was standing in the kitchen but could see the dining room, then the living room, and large glass doors that looked out onto a beautiful deck, pier and the lake.
No way could she afford that house.
She exhaled and then bit her lip so she wouldn’t cry. All the time she spent worrying about the house selling too fast before she got there or it being in complete disrepair was a waste.  She should have known that it would be out of her league. Most people wanted to live there. It’s why Drake insisted they spend their summer vacations at Maison-Lafitte Lake: it was expensive and exclusive.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Fontenot. I’ve wasted your time,” she said, walking toward the front door.
He gently held out his hand to stop her. “Don’t you want to see the upstairs or go out on the back porch? It has an amazing view of the lake.” He smiled at her and gently led her to the staircase. “The owner is motivated and wants to sell this quickly.”
Sydney nodded and walked upstairs to see the spare bedroom with bathroom, laundry room and then the master bedroom with an attached bath. There was a smaller version of the downstairs glass doors on one side of the master bedroom, and it led out to a wide second story balcony.
Without speaking, she looked at the closets and checked out the attic, knowing the house was too much for her.
When they walked back downstairs, she followed Will out onto the deck and then pier and looked over to see the large boathouse next door. The house was for families, and she didn’t have one of those anymore. She wiped her eyes with tissue again, and this time the tears were for real. She turned her head so Will wouldn’t see her and was startled when he spoke standing closely behind her.
“Come now, Miss Bell. Let me go inside and make a call.”
She nodded and then watched as Will walked inside already on the phone with someone. He was gone for thirty minutes, and Sydney sat on the end of the pier with her feet hanging over the water. It was a beautiful place. If her boys could be here, they would already be in the lake, swimming and laughing. She wiped her face quickly and swallowed back the emotion. She shouldn’t have tears left, but she did. She had to toughen up and make a go of things. She was on her own. It was time. She had a plan, and she would find a way to make it happen.
She heard Will clear his throat, and she jumped up to meet him at the glass door. He had a strange look on his face, and she couldn’t tell if he was angry or sad. Something was wrong.
“You okay, Mr. Fontenot?” she asked, nervously.
He slapped a smile on his face and nodded at her. “He’s a hard-headed bastard.”
“The owner?” Sydney asked.
Will kept grinning, but she knew he was mad. “Yes. He’s home but won’t come meet you. He said to send him an offer.”
“Is that bad?”
“He does usually meet the prospective buyers, but don’t let that get to you. We’ll go straight to my office and see how eager he is to sell.”
2
THE DELUGE OF RAIN WAITED until the moving truck was scheduled to arrive and then drowned any hope Sydney had of a smooth move in day.
She’d paid a little extra for them to arrive that morning; that way she’d be finished by the time Ryan returned home next door.
He was the jerk who had helped change her tire the first day she came to town and the owner who reluctantly sold her the house. She wasn’t certain how Will talked him into it, but Will said he was a family friend and that must have mattered to Ryan. Of course, he could have simply been motivated by the cash offer. It took the money she had from the sale of her father’s large home and the sale of her Mercedes wagon for her to afford the beautiful cottage. It was more than she should have spent but way less than the place was worth.
Ryan shook his head during the closing, avoiding looking at her the entire time. Will said he was perpetually grouchy, but she knew he was unhappy about selling to her specifically. She acted sweet and told him how much she loved the house and promised to be a quiet neighbor. However, during the hour-long meeting, Ryan didn’t say more than a few words to her, but he managed to slip the word “genius” into the conversation at least five times.
She couldn’t help it, sometimes words popped out of her mouth before she could stop them. She’d wished she hadn’t been snarky and called Ryan a genius that day on the roadside, especially after he changed her tire, but she couldn’t take it back.
It didn’t matter. He didn’t have to like her. She would prove she could be a good neighbor and ignore him back.
As the moving truck turned onto her twisted street, she realized the truck was much bigger than she remembered.  Most of her belongings had been from her father’s estate and picked up from a large storage building where there was plenty of room to maneuver. There was a lot less room on her new street that had large oak trees that had taken up residence a hundred years before the houses were built.
Ryan had made sure these incredible trees, along with the one that partially divided their driveways, weren’t disturbed during the remodeling of their houses. Instead, they were showcased in the landscape with up lighting.
As the rain pummeled down, Sydney ran to motion the truck in front of her house, hoping she could keep them from driving on Ryan’s perfect grass. More importantly, she had to protect the tree limbs that dipped down to the ground before twisting back up to the sky.
She was wearing shorts and a t-shirt but thankfully thought to throw on her green rain boots and matching raincoat before she ran out there, waving her arms.  She shook her head as she considered how mad Ryan had acted toward her already, and she’d just gotten here.  She had to protect that tree.
The truck barely made the turn around the tree in the middle of the street and then ran partially into Ryan’s yard before making the sharp left into hers.  Sydney suddenly realized they didn’t see her and she was narrowly missed by the truck as she ran up the stairs onto her porch.
Screeching the brakes as they hit the wooden steps, Sydney braced herself as the entire porch groaned and shook.  The driver then reversed a few feet before throwing the truck into park and sliding out of the driver’s side door to look at her.
The rain slowed down but didn’t stop. Sydney cut her eyes at the driver when she realized his truck not only blocked her driveway but was stretched precariously across the street and Ryan’s drive, too. The driver had completely trapped her in and the rest of the world out.
“Who put those steps there?” The driver laughed and then lowered his eyes at her, daring her to say anything.
Sydney didn’t care how he looked at her.  She wasn’t going to accept his behavior.  “Look at my steps!  Look at my porch!  No one would take that turn at forty miles an hour in clear weather.  What were you thinking?” she yelled.
The scruffy man’s eyes turned to slits.  “Look, lady, I have three deliveries today.  Either you want your furniture, or you don’t. Let’s get on with it, or I’m going to take care of my other customers, and you can get your stuff tomorrow.”
He thought he’d made a good point. After all, what could she do?  He had her stuff, and she needed help to unload it.  She was alone, and he could make things easier or harder for her. He gave her his most arrogant grin and watched her walk to the truck door and climb partially inside the cab before she jumped back out. She then walked past him, and he watched her curiously as she strutted up the steps to the porch and into her house, slamming the door.
The other man in the truck stuck his head out.  “Chuck?  Um, she took the keys.”
“She what?”  Chuck asked.
“Keys to the truck.  She took ‘em.”
Chuck made a sound like an animal snarling.  “Why the hell didn’t ya stop her, Alan?”
“Why didn’t you stop her?” Alan mumbled, as he sat back down to keep dry and slammed the door shut.
Sydney returned holding her cell phone.  “Are you going to call Mr. O’Malley or am I?” she asked, ignoring the growling sounds he made and his red face.
She clearly had no regard for her own safety.  Chuck marched right up to her and glared into her eyes.  “Now why the hell would I call my dad?”
Sydney was on her tiptoes trying to appear bigger as she argued with the driver.
“You know why, and –.”
They were interrupted by a loud pickup truck horn blaring on the other side of the moving truck.
“No,” Sydney muttered. It was Ryan.  What was he doing home?
The driver turned to look as Ryan walked around the front of the truck and toward Sydney’s porch.  Ryan gave a short wave to Alan and then slowly walked over to the steps where Sydney and Chuck looked like they were about to brawl.
“Ms. Bell,” he said, and nodded his head her way.  “What have you done this time?”
“I haven’t done anything, and this is none of your business,” she said defensively.
The driver grinned. “We were having a little chat, and she took the keys out of my truck.”
Ryan looked at the bowed porch and crooked steps and nodded his head.  The driver added, “I may have bumped her steps when I made the turn, but it was raining like hell.”
Ryan looked closely at the steps and then walked up on the porch.  “No reason to cry over spilled milk.  I can patch that up in no time.” Ryan smiled at the driver.  “Need some help with that furniture?”
“No.  I, uh, wait, Ryan.  I need to call his boss.”  Sydney stammered as Ryan stepped in to take over.
“No need to call Mr. O.  Right, men?”  Ryan asked the movers as they opened up the back of the truck and got ready to hand down furniture.
“But–.”  Sydney wanted to disagree, but the look Ryan gave her made her stop.
“You direct traffic, and we’ll haul things inside,” Ryan said and nodded his head until Sydney gave up and nodded back.
It didn’t take long for them to unload her furniture and boxes.  Then Ryan thanked them and walked them out of the house to their truck.  Sydney’s anger had calmed down through the rain, sweat, and tears of moving her belongings into the house. It was clear she no longer had a family and certainly no kids by looking at her things. She sat down on the couch, thinking about her boys.
Before she could get misty eyed over them, Ryan walked back in the front door without knocking.
Sydney stood up and looked at him. “Thank you,” she said, but as she barely got the words out of her mouth, Ryan was in her space.
“What the hell were you thinking?” he scolded her.
She wanted to yell back at him, but she was exhausted and more than a little shocked at his behavior. She avoided his eyes as she whispered, “What?”
“I drive up and, of course, there is a moving truck blocking the entire street and my driveway.  You’re standing there in your little girl rain boots and coat, about to start World War III with two ex-cons! Are you looking for trouble?”
Before she could answer, he threw his hands up in the air.
“Or maybe you just don’t understand the concept of peace and quiet.  You certainly don’t know how to keep the peace.  Don’t tell me you don’t know that O’Malley’s movers are ex-cons recently let out on parole, including Mr. O’Malley’s oldest son, Chuck.  Hell, some of the guys he hires just have day passes from jail to work and then return at night.”  Ryan eyed her.  “Surely you knew that was the reason they were so much cheaper than everyone else.  Besides, did you get a good look at that Alan guy?  I’m pretty sure he was on America’s Most Wanted a few years back.”
Sydney held back the tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks.  She’d spent most of her money buying the house and was simply grateful to have found an inexpensive moving company.  There was no question about O’Malley’s because they were her only option.
She refused to admit she didn’t know about the workers being ex-cons. She was having a hard enough time keeping her wits and not looking foolish around Ryan. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept more than a few hours.  The lack of sleep coupled with the stress of moving, how much she missed her boys and now for the umpteenth time, the disapproving words of her only neighbor, she found herself without words. That didn’t happen often.
Ryan stopped and stared at her, probably disappointed that she wouldn’t fight with him.  He seemed like a man who liked to argue.  He then turned, grabbed his rain jacket and stalked out her back door.
She watched as he stormed across her back deck and jumped across to his side and then into his house.  As soon as he was out of sight, she slumped back down to the couch where she let her tears take over.  She sobbed over missing her children. No matter what Drake had said in court, they were her kids.  She cried over the end of her marriage and the idea of being alone.  She then cried over her new lake house and how she could ever afford to live here by herself.  Then she finally cried because she was just so flipping tired.
Ryan slammed the door as he stomped into his house. What the hell was he thinking? He wanted to buy that great property around the bend, but he could have waited a few more weeks to get his list price and a different buyer. How did he allow Uncle Trey’s best friend, Will, talk him into selling at such a deeply discounted price? He shouldn’t have listened when Will told him she was alone and needed help as a single woman who was recently divorced. It was business and not personal.
Ryan had rules, and when he stuck to them things were fine.  In fact, the only time he ever had a problem was when he skirted around these rules.  Now, instead of a nice quiet retired couple that might invite him over for a beer every now and again, he was stuck with her.
He slammed his hand down on the counter.  He didn’t have anything against Sydney for being a woman. His sister was his closest friend. He loved women. He enjoyed the way they smelled, their soft skin, sweet voices and especially how they felt in his bed, but he couldn’t handle the complicated ones. His life was simple, peaceful and quiet. He fixed houses, not people.
Ryan walked to his fridge and grabbed a cold beer.  It was ten in the morning. He paused, looking at the clock and then put the beer back into the refrigerator. He went into his garage and picked up the drill and charger that he’d forgotten that morning and then went back to work.
Driving back toward his current project house, he calmed down, and then his mind went back to her.  Sydney Bell. So, she was going through a breakup.  Everyone had been there.  It was tough, but you do what you have to do and move on. It had been ten years since he’d dated anyone seriously. His girlfriend had sent him a Dear John letter while he was overseas, and he simply went on with his life.
He shook his head and smirked.  He’d moved on as often as he could without getting labeled a womanizer. Now in Maisonville, he was considered a confirmed bachelor, and life was good.  Women wanted to reform him, and some just wanted a notch on their own bedpost.
Sydney would get over the whole thing easier if she would simply find someone to come home with her. There were plenty of men who would take one look at her and step up to the challenge.  In fact, Ryan had helped more than a few divorcees in town.  He ran his hands through his hair and tightened his jaw. He had a weakness for redheads, but she was not his type.
First of all, she was his next door neighbor, and he believed in the rule, don’t screw your neighbor.  No, she was not going to happen.  He was going to have to stop coming to her rescue. She either was helpless or had the worst luck of anyone he’d met, and he’d made the mistake of jumping in three times already.  That was just stupid. He should have made a U-turn and avoided their street until that moving truck was gone, but O’Malley’s movers were from the next town over and had a reputation.  He’d had a fight with Mr. O’Malley’s son, Chuck, some time ago and understood wherever Chuck went, there was trouble.  Then he saw her standing on her tiptoes, arguing with that mouth-breather.
It was a wonder the bastard hadn’t taken a swing at her or worse.  Ryan couldn’t let that happen even if she had let her mouth overrun her ass.  He had to step in.  He couldn’t just let the freaking animal at her.  Besides, the creep would have just come back later to make her pay for causing him trouble with his old man.
Not on his watch.
That was his neighborhood, and he wasn’t going to let anything disturb the quiet nirvana he’d created at the lake.  Ryan reached up and squeezed the bridge of his nose as he parked his truck.  He would make sure Sydney Bell understood the rules again. He’d torn that house down to the bones and built it back up to the perfection it was today so that he could have an exquisite neighborhood.  She wasn’t going to ruin that, and he was going to set her straight.
He wasn’t there to watch over her. Her tears had made him queasy, and he had to bolt before he offered to help her with anything else.  She could learn a thing or two from him about healing herself with alcohol, women or a nice loyal dog. He laughed.  Maybe not women.
Ryan spent the rest of his day working, but he didn’t have the stamina that he’d started with earlier. He couldn’t get his new neighbor off his mind. He was going to have to go out tonight so that he could avoid her. He needed female company to get that woman out of his head.
It was late when he returned home. He dropped his things into the garage before he walked into the kitchen and grabbed a beer. He barely made it before the sunset and hurried to sit outside on his large deck. It was his evening routine. Before dinner, he would sit outside and watch the sun go down over the lake with his feet propped up.  It was his form of meditation, which his therapist had ordered, and it helped his stress slip away.
Tonight he couldn’t get Sydney off his brain.  He should go back and give her a piece of his mind, but he remembered the look she had given him when he left.  Instead, he paced the deck a few times and then leaned back on the railing, where he realized he could see into her great room.
There she was on that tiny sofa of hers.  Ryan saw her body shaking as she cried uncontrollably.
He set his beer down and turned to pace the deck again. He was an asshole. He was a straight shooter, and he knew that sometimes it came off rude.
Not sometimes.
He shouldn’t have yelled at her.  He should have just walked away after those movers left, but that bastard Chuck had said some crap about her before he got into the truck, and it got him worked up.  She needed to be careful.  A woman living alone had to be more aware of the vibe she gave off around men like that.
Ryan walked back over to look in on her.  She appeared to be sleeping now, must have cried herself to sleep. He wiped his face and finally had a seat on one of his outdoor chairs, propping his feet up.
He had fallen for the lake the first time he came here to visit his uncle.
Uncle Trey was married for a few years, but eventually divorced and didn’t remarry. He loved to fish, play cards and tell jokes. He was the perfect uncle.  Ryan’s sister would talk their mother into letting them spend most of the summer with Uncle Trey.  It was during those summers that Reagan learned how to play poker and used the skill to pay her way through college and law school.  She was ridiculously smart and sort of his hero.
She lived in the city, but getting together once a month for dinner was the most she could manage with her work schedule.  He wanted her to share the house their uncle had left to them, but she refused and signed the deed over to Ryan.  She then turned around and bought the first house he rehabbed before anyone else had a chance to buy it.
Reagan had told him that was what he was born to do.  She supported his military service but was the only one who saw the damage it had done to his soul. They rarely spoke of it, but when he returned from his final tour of duty overseas, she hired a therapist and sent a car each week to make sure he went.
He did it for her.  At least, in the beginning, that was true, but by the end of three months when he felt like a normal person again, he realized he had done it to heal himself.  He’d been up close to some of the earth’s most despicable criminals that put not only his life in danger but sacrificed their wives and children in order to protect themselves.  His unit had prevented more than a dozen large-scale attacks on the U.S. and three allied countries.  It took eliminating entire families to stop many of these events, and for a long time, he couldn’t process any of it.
Reagan saved his life with that therapist, and he wasn’t sure she understood that, even today.
He stood up. He couldn’t think of any of that right now. It was dark, and he was starving.  Tonight Miss Lynn’s Diner served meatloaf, and he’d planned to eat out, but now he didn’t want to be around anyone else.  Instead, he went out and picked up a pizza to eat at home alone.
He was drinking another beer and eating two slices at a time from the box as he sat on his porch when he saw the light turn on next door.
He slid his chair into a dark corner, pretending he hadn’t been watching for her.  Then he settled back to continue eating.
Sydney was up
About the Author
Lisa Herrington is a Women’s Fiction and YA novelist, blogger and speaker. A former medical sales rep, she currently manages the largest Meet-Up writing group in the New Orleans area, The Bayou Writer’s Club. She was born and raised in Louisiana, attended college at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi and accepts that in New Orleans we never hide our crazy but instead parade it around on the front porch and give it a cocktail. It’s certainly why she has so many stories to tell today. When she’s not writing, and spending time with her husband and three children, she spends time reading, watching old movies or planning something new and exciting with her writer’s group.
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Split Second

 

Biographies and Memoirs
Date Published: April 4, 2017
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When does the American Dream turn into a trap?
What does it mean to succeed?
What really gives meaning to our lives?
 Kelli Miller never had to worry about it – she had it all: a family, a career, a sprawling home, even an executive title.  She thought she’d escaped her Midwestern roots and was sailing towards a golden future.  Then, in a pivotal moment, confronted with the shadow of death, she found herself suddenly awake to the grim reality:  the dream had consumed her life, and left her lost and alone.
In Split Second, Kelli tells the story of how she set herself free, and recommitted herself to the most important pieces of her life:  family, community, and a new openness to experience.  It is the story of one woman’s journey to find out what really matters and where her happiness ultimately lay.
About the Author

Kelli Miller is a business executive specializing in Information Technology.  Her career includes thirty years working for some of the largest, most successful companies in America.  Kelli recently returned to her roots, farming her family’s farm with her husband, while continuing her technology career with a local mid-size manufacturing firm. Kelli is the mother of three. She loves to travel, hike and spend time in the simplicity and raw beauty of nature.
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Deity’s Soulmate

YA Fantasy and Adventure
Date Published: April 1, 2017
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From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.
A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to  witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself.  Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.
Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete.  But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice.  She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.
Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries.  For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!
Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way.  The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri.  Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more…
Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance.  What’s a young goddess to do?  Flight or fight?

 

 
Review
I liked how universal this novel was. It is a great theme and setting and manages to appeal to both adults and young adults.

There were many surprises and the way that Angelina Kerner was able to keep the pacing just right really helps everything flow naturally.

Get ready to be immersed in the world and captivated by the characters she has created.
About the Author

Angelina Kerner, a Pisces, was born during the Chinese astrological year of the Snake, which she absolutely adores. Angelina loves snakes, and was once allowed to feed one a rat. That was an experience of a lifetime.
She moved around during her young years from Novosibirsk to Kaluga in Russia. Finally settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, her teenage years were spent dancing in troupes and performing on stage. The dances ranged from waltz to tango, from Jewish to Russian, and finally belly dance. She was accepted into six out of seven universities, and decided to stay close to her family. Angelina pursued a psychology degree until she saw graduates working for Starbucks and then decided to pursue another career path in the department of Social Sciences. The difficult coursework, her job, and finding her life partner inspired her to turn to writing which, at the time, wasn’t so much a hobby as a way to escape daily routine.
She worked on countless stories, never really finishing them, but came to understand that flash fiction wasn’t for her. After finding an online community where she met her best friend, her writing flourished, making publication a possible next step. She is now the author of one published novel for both young adults and adults, and aspires to publish her other fantasy and crime fiction works soon. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful phoenix. That novel will, hopefully, make its debut in 2017 or 2018. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, and a lot of cats.
Visit her website at www.kernerangelina.live
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Sanctuary

 

Inspirational romance
Date Published: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Random Moon Books (indie)
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Hardworking, successful lawyer Nora Ramsey, was at the height of her career. Now, she’s questioning everything in Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina.
When she accepts her aunt’s dilapidated estate as her inheritance, Nora is plagued with misgivings and doubt. When one of her newly inherited horses takes ill, she prays for guidance and receives it in the form of veterinarian Shaw Flynn.
Dedicated and rugged, he assists Nora through the trying time. In Shaw, she sees someone gentle, caring and deeply devoted to God. The more she’s with him, the more he inspires her to embrace her own faith. And as their relationship blossoms into a something real and beautiful—like the coastal sunsets of Murrell’s Inlet—Nora stumbles upon Shaw’s deepest secret. Her trust is destroyed and the wisdom of her life-changing decision shaken as the future she envisioned is threatened.
As the truth becomes clear, can she find forgiveness within the sanctuary of her heart or will his betrayal destroy her faith in him once and for all?
Review
This novel was different than I expected. It really walks the line between a few different genre’s but I really liked that factor. I loved the ultimate lesson we learn by reading this novel. It is an emotional journey and I believe that we learn things about the characters and ourselves along the way. I am a huge fan of Laurie Larsen and her writing style. The way she weaves her tales is really inspiring. You’re not just reading to escape, you’re reading to feel!
About the Author

Award-winning author Laurie Larsen leads a double life.  During the day she’s a respected Project Manager in the fast-paced world of Information Technology.  After dinner and a glass of wine, she becomes a multi-published author of Christian fiction grounded in today’s modern world.
Laurie’s been published for 17 years, but feels she finally found her writing “niche” in 2009 when her first inspirational romance, Preacher Man was published.  It won fans, accolades, and the prestigious EPIC Award for the Best Spiritual Romance of 2010.  From then on, her path was clear.  She was put on this earth (in part) to tell love stories combined with a strong message of faith.  Her Pawleys Island Paradise series is a much beloved, at times best-selling series of six books following Leslie and Hank, and the Harrison clan, as they face the daily challenges of life while trying to include prayer and praise.  Reviewers say the books are heartwarming, life-changing and an example to follow for including God in your life.
Laurie loves the beach (obvious to anyone who’s read the Pawleys Island Paradise series) and she’s fondly looking forward to a day (not too far away) where she can retire from the demanding day job, and spend her days living at the beach and writing novels.  Until then, she travels back and forth between Illinois and South Carolina just as often as possible.
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Everything I’ve Dreamed Of

Everything I’ve Dreamed About by Norah Bennett
Contemporary Romance
Love in Lakes Crossing, 2
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Kate Willowbrook dreamed of a life filled with beauty –– a man who loves her, friends, and a home. At eighteen, Kate’s dreams were replaced by nightmares when she witnessed a crime. Kate fled, never settling down and never trusting anyone until at the age of the thirty, she discovers the small town of Lakes Crossing and CEO, Noah Reed.
When Noah’s wife was killed in an accident, his world exploded. Noah settled for an empty, loveless life until the day he met Kate. When he learns about Kate’s past and finds she is still in danger, Noah takes over, becoming over-protective—to the point Kate feels stifled and controlled.
As Noah and Kate struggle to put the past behind them and find a balance that fulfills both their needs, they learn that there are no guarantees in life, but in Lakes Crossing they have been given a second chance at love.
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Excerpt
Kate pierced him with her green eyes. “I’m certain there’s no shortage of women who would be happy to go out with you. Why me?”
Noah’s cocky grin faded into a soft smile that stole her breath. His eyes darkened as he focused on her. She could feel the heat creeping up her cheeks again, and she couldn’t believe she’d asked him that question. She didn’t even know why she had, except that she wanted to hear his answer. If she let herself fall for this beautiful man with the killer smile and the softest brown eyes in the world, she’d fall hard and fast. If she were just a toy to him, one that he got bored of and discarded after a while, she’d be devastated. She had lost so much already and survived, but Kate wasn’t sure she could survive his games. If she allowed herself to hope and dream of a life with Noah but then lost it all, she’d crumble, and no amount of superglue would put her back together.
 Kate waited for his answer, her eyes locked with his, and he didn’t let her down.
“Yes, I won’t deny that I’ve dated other women and there are those who wouldn’t turn me down for a date, but they’re not you.”
Noah reached for her hand, and she let him feel the tremble that ran through her as he engulfed her small hand in his. He raised her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers, never taking his gaze off her.
“You say you’re not special to anyone, but that’s not true. I see something special, someone special. I know we don’t know each other very well, but if you give us a chance to change that, together, we may be something special. We won’t know unless we try.”
Kate’s breath hitched, and her heart squeezed. Jesus, the man had a way with words. How did he know what she needed to hear? Now she understood what Roberta Flack meant when she sang “Killing Me Softly.” He was clawing at the door to her heart, and she didn’t think she was strong enough to resist him, even knowing that she may get shredded if she let him in.
Kate dropped her gaze again as her eyes began to fill. Her breathing was ragged, and her heart broke its confines and was on the run. Whether it wanted to be caught by Noah or not, Kate wasn’t certain.
Special.
Kate had waited thirty-one years to hear someone call her special. She struggled to rein in her emotions and push back the tears that threatened to roll down her cheeks. She wanted to go out with Noah so badly it hurt. She wanted to get to know him and to be a part of his world, but she was terrified. Good visited her very few times in her life. The instant it arrived, she began preparing for its departure. Good was a temporary visitor, and a fickle one at that.
“Come on, Kate. I can sense you’re afraid. I swear I’m a nice guy. I’ll do my damnedest not to disappoint or hurt you. Take a chance. Take a chance on me.”
 Kate heard the vulnerability in Noah’s voice. She explored his handsome face, a face she was sure she would never tire of admiring. All traces of his earlier cockiness vanished. Instead, it was replaced by a rawness, an earnestness, a tenderness she’d never seen before. That was the look Kate would remember for a lifetime. Years from now, she would say that was the exact moment she knew, if Noah Reed asked her, she would be his for a lifetime.
Kate let out a slow breath and with a soft smile, she whispered, “Okay, Noah Reed. I’ll take a chance…a chance on you. I’ll go out with you.”

A.K.A.

 
Title: A.K.A
Author: TL Alexander 
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 31, 2017

Vote Today!

A.K.A a romantic suspense from the author of the smexy Layers Series, TL Alexander.
A.K.A. has been chosen by Kindle Scout. Yahoo!
What is Kindle Scout? It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive a 5-year contract.
So dear readers, I’m asking for your help. Go to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1KRK9HLHAD43Q.
Read the book introduction and the excerpt. If you like what you see, please nominate A.K.A.
After you nominate, don’t forget to add your name to my newsletter http://www.tlalexanderauthor.com/newsletter for a chance at winning a signed copy of A.K.A. and a $25 Amazon gift card.
Hurry campaign ends July 10 2017.
Thanks for your support! TL Alexander

VOTE FOR A.K.A. TODAY!

 

A false reality of murder and love.
Morgan Steel is a rising-star ADA from LA. When her half sister is brutally murdered her world spins off course, tilts off its axis. Seeking justice, she commits the unthinkable and finds herself no longer living in a world of right or wrong, black or white. She finds herself living in a reality within a false reality of love, lust, betrayal and murder.
 

 

 

 

Hey, girlfriends and guyfriends…
So…what about me? Well…I live in the good old USA, the Pacific Northwest, to be more specific. Everything here is green and soggy, but it’s grown on me like…moss and slugs.
I love to read and write. I read mostly romance, but I love a good mystery or biography. I love to laugh myself to pee-my-pants, and do so whenever possible ( own lots of undies). I possess a very imaginative way with words (potty-mouth), and I can’t get enough of DIY words…linguistatard, gaywadest…the list is never ending.
When not writing or reading, I’m driving my family friggin’ ass-crazy. And when not doing that…I garden, do projects (got to have a project) and travel—whenever possible (never enough).
Layers, is my first self-published romance series—but far from my last. I’ve got lots more to write about when Alexia, Jaxson, Jules and the gaywads, are written off into the sunset. I’m excited about my next series—Girlfriends Goddesses and Barflies—it’s going to be fun!
A special shout-out to my fans…I love you! I love your—“you go girlfriends,” your DIY words, and your potty mouths. Potty mouths unite! Potty-mouths rule! Potty-mouths take over the world! Damn fucking straight! Thank you for taking a chance on a new author and for all your wonderful (colorful) words of encouragement and wisdom.
Make sure to check out my site often for updates and other fun stuff. Leave me a hey you, or even a review…what the hell! I’d love to hear from you. ( that friggin’ rhymes) Contact me on my contact page tlalexanderauthor.com
Potty-mouths…rule the universe—and beyond!!

Vote Today!!

Snifter of Death

Title: Snifter of Death

Author: Chris Karlsen 

Genre: Historical Suspense (With Romantic Elements)

Release Date: May 16, 2017

Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC. 

The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner.
They had a sexual pervert loose. The man didn’t actually harm women but threatened them at knife point, fondling them, and ultimately stealing their stockings.
Far more serious were the murders of influential men, which appeared random other than they were all killed by arsenic poison. Never had he and his partner had cases with so little workable evidence.
Also, the rivalry between him and his detective nemesis at London’s other police department was intensifying. That nemesis was the boxing champion of their department and looking to challenge Rudyard, who never trained as a boxer.
Besides Rudyard’s pride being at stake, and the pride of his station, his nemesis also had in his possession a photograph of the woman Rudyard cares very much for. The new lady in Rudyard’s life had captured his heart and he’d fight the devil himself to save her reputation.

 

 

 

 

 

The autopsy report and test results on the contents of the decanters were returned by midmorning the next day. Skinner had died of arsenic poisoning. The claret in the decanter was the same as in his stomach and both contained arsenic. The port did not.

“What the deuce kind of maniac do we have on our hands now?” Archie lamented.

“A strange one indeed.” And Ruddy meant it. “Shall we give Jameson the bad news?”

“Let’s get it over with.”

Jameson listened with a pained expression. The crease between his eyes deepened with each named similarity. When Ruddy finished, the Superintendent looked from Ruddy to Archie and back to Ruddy. “Is there no other way to look at these cases other than as connected?”

“We could. We can always take a different approach. Follow a different course of investigation but I think sooner or later we’d have to pursue this theory. If nothing else, to eliminate the possibility they’re related,” Ruddy said.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. The idea we may have a demented looney on the loose poisoning well-to-do businessmen curdles in me.” He fixed hard eyes on Ruddy as he made his objection known.

Ruddy had a response sitting on the tip of his tongue. He’d love to tell the Superintendent the nature of the case didn’t exactly set him doing a jig either.

“I’m beginning to think there’s something about you Bloodstone, that attracts these cases involving influential people. Somehow, someway while investigating the case I just know you’re going to overturn a rock and an ugly frog of information will pop out that has another influential person screaming like a banshee.” Jameson pointed a finger in Ruddy’s face. “I believe that. I truly do.” He turned to Archie. “I can feel it. The two of you. Get out.”

Back at their desks, Ruddy snatched his coat from the stand where he had carefully hung it. “I hope we do discover some toff involved up to his wealthy neck in these cases,” he said without bothering to lower his voice. “I hope it turns into a carbuncle on Jameson’s bum.”

“Shh,” Archie raised a finger to get Ruddy to quiet down. He’d drawn the attention of the other detectives who were listening with interest to the tirade.

“Let’s talk to Cross’s staff first. His residence is closest and on the way to Belgrave Square. If they don’t recognize Skinner as a friend or associate, we’ll move on and speak to Skinner’s family,” Ruddy said, changing the subject and putting on his coat.

“Good idea. I’m happy to get out of here for a while,” Archie said with a quick glance toward Jameson’s closed door.

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.
My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.

Nowhere is Home Since You Left

 

Death, Grief, Bereavement
Date Published: 1-6-2017
Publisher: Cygnet Publications, Cygnet Media Group Inc.
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When her beloved soul friend husband, Gerald, passed away a few years ago, and her friends and sons moved to distant cities, she found herself alone for the first time in her life.
Gerald, a professional artist, had his studio in their home. Their home was always filled with family life, art, music, joy and playfulness in the garden.
After his passing, the silence was loud. The joy was gone — her paradise — a lost paradise.
She had two choices, either to fall apart or to get on with life.  She chose the latter and traveled to find a home, a community — however – nowhere was home – since he left.
In writing Nowhere Is Home … Since You Left, Madeleine Zeldin shares her insights, emotions, and true life experiences as she journeys solo throughout the years following the sorrowful death of her soul mate, internationally renowned artist, Gerald Zeldin. She presents years of storytelling based on travel journals she wrote while traveling to countries such as Mexico, Philippines, Ecuador, France, Spain, and California, U.S.A.  Zeldin also reveals the intensity of the pain and sorrow experienced in her grief, along with the fulfillment, satisfaction and logistics of international travel. In her travels she volunteered in the medical field and gave help where help was needed. She brings inspiration to those of her generation, the 60’s, who find themselves alone.
Through her evocative tales of adventure, Zeldin reveals this life-changing knowledge to the world!
But ultimately where is Home?
EXCERPT
Finding Your Path
“Do not go where the path may lead.
   Go instead where there is no path
And leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
When i travel to faraway places, i like to experience the local flavour … and often write a ‘sketch’ of my experiences …
My purpose in writing these travel journals … these ‘sketches’ …
is to share with you my adventures and cultural experiences of these places … the road less travelled …
saw two lovers on the beach this evening …
they were gentle and sweet …
one walked up to a bag of garbage that someone thoughtlessly left on the beach …
he tore the bag apart and started licking some juice
from the juice box …
the female slowly walked over to her friend … and coyly looked at him … as if to say …
may i share … they both started licking, then stopped …
they looked at each other and rubbed noses …
as their lips gently touched …
their slender grey proud bodies strolled away graciously
when the dogs came to chase
these donkeys away …
as we were looking down at the clear ocean from the high cliffs …
we saw the outline of a shark …
swimming around the shoreline far below … just where we were going to go snorkelling …
so the tour guides … all young ecuadorians with a sense of humor…
said they would keep us safe and took us to another spot …
but not far off …
around the other side of this small island …
not sure whether to quite trust these young men …
as we were swimming in the deep waters way out in the pacific …
i asked one to watch out for sharks …
he said not to worry …
the only shark i would have to watch out for… was him …
last night i tripped and broke my toenail
and did not want to cut it off …
so bought some crazy glue … for fifty cents …
and glued my nail together …
the only problem … i glued the tip of my finger to my toenail …
was almost impossible to pull it away …
so now my finger tip is part of my toenail …
About the Author
Professionally, Ms. Zeldin has been engaged in nursing and teaching. She has successfully advocated for changes in the medical field, along with homebirth and Midwifery. In her travels to out of the way places, she has been a keen observer of people and distant cultures, often writing a ‘sketch’ of her experience.
Madeleine is an advocate of advocacy.
Madeleine believes we can all make a difference.
Throughout her adult life she has successfully advocated for change. When she felt change was needed, she rallied. She lobbied. She started a group or joined a group.
In the late ’70’s, when her town council was considering tearing down old heritage properties in the name of ‘Progress’, she helped start a group of interested citizens in order to save these heritage properties. ‘Progress’ was stopped and many heritage buildings were saved due to the group’s diligence.
Again in the early ’80’s, Madeleine herself changed local hospital policy to allow midwives to accompany couples in the birthing room, after the hospital refused to allow her midwife to enter.
She belonged to a group of informed parents who advocated for changes in the policies for vaccinations.
Madeleine volunteered at the local Health Center and advocated for improved health care for refugees. Improvements were made.
She successfully advocated for her soul-friend, late husband Gerald’s medical care throughout their six year battle with cancer. Many important changes were implemented in our medical system due to her persistence.
Madeleine has been ahead of her time in her generation. She had many professions throughout her life including social worker, teacher, registered nurse. She also joined a group of midwives and again successfully advocated for choices in childbirth.
However, she considers her most important achievement as being a mother and grandmother. She has instilled in her family a sense of love and empathy and has taught them to love the earth and its people.
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The Trainee Undercover

 

YA Suspense/Thriller
Date Published:  April 2017
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The Trainee Undercover is a mystery, action, and thriller novel written by Brenda Shaw.
Paul Collier, a high level executive, in a pharma company gets threatened into silence by an unknown force. In despair, he decides to send his family away to protect them.
Alex, a happy-go-lucky teenager, is all set to enjoy his summer vacation with his friends.
But fate has other plans in store! They get entangled with a murder case.
Alex and his friends are now committed to pursue criminals.
They desperately want to help Paul! But, will they fall prey into the hands of the criminals?
It’s a gripping adventure where they have to race against time and winning is everything!
The teenagers’ amateurish skills will have to compete with professional criminals.
Will they be a victim or victorious? Read the novel to find out…

About the Author

Brenda Shaw is a author based in UK and writes under a pen name.
Since childhood, she has been a very keen and voracious reader of adventure, suspense, mystery, detective, legal and science fiction books.
After completing her post-graduation in biological sciences, she worked for the pharmaceutical industry for nearly two decades. She decided to leave her career and pursue her childhood passion of writing fiction books.
Brenda Shaw is the author of the suspense action-packed thriller, ‘The Trainee Undercover’.
Being a travel lover, she has been travelling to various cities in Europe, America and Asia. She is very keen to explore and understand the varied customs and colorful cultures that exists around the world.
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Hero Undercover

 
Title: Hero Undercover
Author: Anthology 
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: June 27, 2017
 
SUMMER IS COOLER WHEN YOU STAY UNDERCOVER!
25 New York Times, USA Today, and award-winning best-selling romance authors offer this sizzling compilation of panty-melting undercover bad boys, from swoon-worthy cowboys and alpha military men to deliciously decadent dominants. This smoking-hot collection features a wide array of stories including dark fantasies, seductive sci-fi, and erotic BDSM, all with the sweet happily-ever-afters you crave!
Hundreds of pages for one unbeatable price. Turn up the AC, lie back, and escape into these brand new, red hot riveting reads.
Authors include: Annabel Joseph, Addison Cain, Renee Rose, Maggie Ryan, Maddie Taylor, Emily Tilton, Trent Evans, Jennifer Bene, Sophie Kisker, Megan Michaels, Katherine Deane, Maggie Carpenter, Jane Henry, Maisy Archer, Alyssa Bailey, Claire Conrad, Stevie MacFarlane, Piper Stone, Anya Summers, Lucy Wild, BJ Wane, A.C. Rose, April Hill, Amelia Smarts, Meredith O’Reilly

 

 
Alyssa Bailey
International Bestselling author Alyssa Bailey is the author of eighteen books including the Chase Abbey historical series and the O’Connors rancher series. As a Texan living in Alaska, she has plenty of material for her spanking and power exchange stories, all complete with happily ever afters that make you feel good.
Amelia Smarts
Amelia Smarts is a #1 Amazon bestselling author of domestic discipline/spanking romances, usually involving a cowboy, always involving a firm hand and a scorched ass.
Maisy Archer
Maisy is a romance-loving book-nerd. She writes bestselling contemporary tales about hot, unapologetically-kinky, alpha heroes and the crazy stuff that happens when they fall in love.
Stevie MacFarlane
Best-Selling author Stevie MacFarlane has been writing in her spare time for more than twenty years. While most of her stories are on the sweet side, she never fails to add just enough kink and humor to keep her loyal fans clamoring for more.
Maddie Taylor
USA Today Bestselling Author Maddie Taylor is a multi-genre author with over 30 published titles, with #1’s in the U.S. and Internationally in Erotica, Western, Historical Romance, BDSM, Time Travel, and most recently SciFi. She works with two well-known eBook and print publishers and has had success in self-publishing under her own brand, Breathless Romance.
Sophie Kisker
Sophie Kisker writes erotic romance that sometimes travels a dark and uncomfortable path, before arriving at a happily ever after. She lives in the American Midwest with her husband, son, and the cat, who is really the one in charge.
Emily Tilton
USA Today bestselling author Emily Tilton, whose books have hit number one on Amazon in six different erotica categories, is a married professor who lives in New England and has two wonderful children. Her stories are what she wishes her real sex-life could be.
Katherine Deane
USA Today bestselling author Katherine Deane is a multi-published, top 100 romantic and BDSM author and romantic at heart. She loves cheese, red wine, chocolate, and snuggling up with her daughters’ kittens while reading a good book.
BJ Wane
I live in the Midwest with my hubby of ‘too many years to count’, enjoy spending time with my daughter, love dogs and working any kind of puzzle. I’ve been writing spanking erotic romances for 10 years, the last two with a touch of suspense added.
Lucy Wild
Lucy Wild is a contemporary romance author who specialises in dark romances. She lives on the Yorkshire coast with her partner and their border collie in a house full of books, sweets, and more books.
Maggie Carpenter
Award-winning and best-selling author Maggie Carpenter has published over fifty romance novels spanning a variety of genres. Her readers describe her work as steamy, funny, suspenseful, beyond a five-star read, and exciting unpredictable romance.
Renee Rose
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RENEE ROSE is a naughty wordsmith who writes kinky BDSM novels. Named Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author in 2013, she has also won The Romance Reviews Best Historical Romance, and Spanking Romance Reviews’ Best Sci-fi, Paranormal, Historical, Erotic, Ageplay and favorite couple and author.
Megan Michaels
#1 Amazon Bestseller in Erotic Western & Erotic Historical, Megan Michaels writes BDSM Romance that is Contemporary, Western Historical, Sci-Fi, and Victorian. Her books delve into Domestic Discipline, Dominance/submission, and all of them have elements of BDSM.
Trent Evans
A USA Today bestselling author, Trent Evans specializes in several flavors of BDSM erotic romance and erotica.
A long-time resident of the Pacific Northwest, he tends to use his long hours cooped up inside spinning yarns about things he’ll never see or experience — such as sunshine.
A.C. Rose
A.C. Rose is a sex and love journalist who also writes very steamy romance books. As a former editor of an iconic women’s magazine, sexy stories and beautiful men have long been her beat.
Jane Henry
Jane is a bestselling erotic romance author in multiple genres, including contemporary, historical, sci-fi, and fantasy. She pens stern but loving alpha heroes, feisty heroines, and emotion-driven happily ever afters.
Maggie Ryan
USA Today Best Selling and award winning author Maggie Ryan brings you stories that you can disappear into, to experience what might have been or what may be to come. She invites you to curl up in your favorite chair and take a journey and wishes you happy reading.
Annabel Joseph
Annabel Joseph is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of emotionally intense BDSM and erotic romance. She writes mainly contemporary romance, although she’s been known to dabble in the medieval and Regency eras.
Jennifer Bene
Jennifer Bene is the international bestselling author of the Thalia series, and other dark and devious romance and erotica in a variety of genres.
Anya Summers
Anya Summers is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family.
Addison Cain
Pitch black suits Addison Cain’s tastes just right. Driven to push her characters beyond the pale, Addison’s books are not for the faint of heart.
April Hill
April Hill is a best-selling author of women’s romance, known for her wry humor, sensitive character development and of course, the love.
Claire Conrad
Claire Conrad is a full time writer and chocolate enthusiast who writes sexy alpha males, hot aliens, fantasy lovers and anything else her muse thinks might be fun (or a little naughty). She loves a good red wine, traveling just about anywhere, coffee and is absolutely addicted to a hot read with a happily-ever-after.
Piper Stone
Piper Stone writes in several genres including thrillers, erotic romance, dark erotic, Domestic Discipline, spanking, Domination and submission and traditional romance. She has a love of the non-traditional, preferring to create worlds that defy the imagination. Wine and sous vide cooking are only second to her love of golden retrievers and you might find all three nestled in the pages of a book or two.
Meredith O’Reilly
Meredith O’Reilly is an erotic romance author. She’s full of energy, is obsessed with polka dots, and loves writing sweet stories with a sexy twist!