Category Archives: Desire

[REVIEW] TO TAME A COWBOY by Jules Bennett

TO TAME A COWBOY

by Jules Bennett
Published by Harlequin
On Sale November 5, 2013
Texas Cattleman’s Club Series

Desire Series #2264
ISBN-10: 0373732775
ISBN-13: 9780373732777


A Texas Cattleman’s Club tale of best friends falling in love


Royal, Texas, is the perfect place for rodeo star Ryan Grant to slow down and finally show Piper Kindred she’s the woman for him. When an accident sends Piper rushing to take care of him, her sexy bedside manner suggests to Ryan that seducing his best friend will be easier than he’d expected.

But Piper knows the lure of the rodeo circuit—and the risk of a broken heart, when Ryan realizes he’s not ready to hang up his saddle for good. She can’t let herself fall for a cowboy. If only her heart would listen!

 

 

 

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My Review
4.5 Star Review – To Tame A Cowboy (Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Missing Mogul #5)

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Jules.  This book includes passion, laughs, heartache, pain, and betrayal.

If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books first from “Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Missing Mogul” series.

Rumor Has It by Maureen Child
Deep in a Texan’s Heart by Sara Orwig
Something about the Boss by Yvonne Lindsay
The Lone Star Cinderella by Maureen Child

 

Piper Kindred (Red as Ryan calls her) and Ryan Grant first met in grade school when he accused her of lying about knowing about the rodeo and her father being a big name in the rodeo.  She in turn punched him in the face.  He got up and invited her to hang out and they have been best friends ever since.

Piper is now a paramedic who is called to an accident scene where she recognizes the car involved.  While looking for Ryan to verify he is okay she stumbles across a missing friend, Alex Santiago who was also in the accident.  He has been missing for months.  He does not know who he is or why he was with the others in the accident.  After sending him to the hospital she finally tracks down Ryan.

Ryan is a rodeo Cowboy so he is used to getting hurt.  She decides no matter what he said she is going to take care of him.  So she takes him home to do just that.

Ryan is home for good as he retired from the rodeo.  With him staying with Piper in such close quarters the sparks are flying.  He is determined to get her to see him in a new light as not just her best friend but also a man who wants her.  If he has to seduce her then so be it!

When she finally lets down her guard and starts to fall in love will a call from a rodeo buddy to help out shatter the entire relationship? 

So much chemistry between these two it might just combust this book…  Love the softer side of Ryan that comes out in the book.  Red is very confused throughout the book.  She should trust a relationship with Ryan as she knows the call of the rodeo is strong and will pull him in again.  She compares him to her father who left his family for the rodeo but should she know better?


Favorite Parts:

Ryan closed the bathroom door and turned around to…

Oh for the love…

Could he not catch a damn break? First he wasn’t steady on his feet because he’d hit his head, then he’d nearly kissed his best friend and now this? Come on.

Lingerie everywhere. Every damn where.

Red lace, yellow satin… Bras, thongs, silky-looking nightgowns. Of course she hung this up to dry. And of course laundry day was the day he had to stay with her.

Well played, Fate.

 

When she gripped the armrest on the door and put her foot on the running board, Ryan cupped his hands around her rear end.

“Need a spotter?” he asked.

Piper glanced over her shoulder to see him squatting, smirking and staring up at her. “Get your hands off my butt, Slick.”

“Just trying to help a friend.”

His hands remained until she swatted him. “You’re trying to cop a feel, pal.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Simply helping you get into the truck.”

Piper climbed in, by herself, and stared back at him. “I’ve climbed into this truck, and my own, for years. You’ve never offered to spot me before.”

“A guy can’t decide to just help without being ridiculed? I’m hurt.”

 

 
Look forward to the next books in this series listed below.

It Happened One Night by Kathie DeNosky– Due out in December

Beneath the Stetson by Janice Maynard
What a Rancher Wants by Sarah M. Anderson
The Texas Renegade Returns by Charlene Sands

Connect with Jules Bennett: Facebook | Twitter | Website
 

About Jules

American romance author, Jules Bennett, has been touching the hearts of thousands of readers since 2005. A former beauty salon owner, Jules juggled the demands of owning her own business, raising two small children and attempting to get home in time to cook her husband (also her high school sweetheart) dinner all while plotting the next scene in her head.
After twelve years of juggling the roles of beautician, wife, mother and romance writer, on very little sleep; Jules decided to hang up her shears and turn her part-time, late-night craving into her full-time passion.
Since beginning her writing career, Jules has had the pleasure of writing for The Wild Rose Press, Samhain Publishing, Berkley Publishing, and currently writes for Harlequin Desire.

Her first two books, HOME AGAIN and LOVE IN BLOOM with Wild Rose Press written in Jules’ sweet, sassy and sexy style started her path toward Harlequin Desire.
Jules was a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards and has also won writing awards such as the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, and the CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Award for one of her 2010 releases, FOR BUSINESS OR MARRIAGE?
Her books have been published all over the world in several different languages: German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Greek and many others. It still thrills Jules when she receives a foreign copy of one of her books.
A member of the Central Ohio Fiction Writer’s (COFW) a chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Jules participates in many conferences throughout the year. Jules also attends book signings to promote her books.

Her passion for writing romance has given Jules the drive to continue her dream and she has just contracted her 20th book! Her Hollywood series with Harlequin Desire has been a hit with readers and reviewers and in 2013 she will branch out with a new series from Samhain Publishing called “Scandalous.”
Jules loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her contact page and readers may like her fan page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all the happenings in Jules’ writing life

Excerpt

Piper Kindred did a double take at the black sports car. Her heart sank, bile rising in her throat. No, it couldn’t be.

Oh, sweet mercy. There was no way this massive accident would have no casualties. Wreckage lay crushed with mangled pieces across the median, shattered glass scattered along the stretch of highway, a black BMW on its top and a large tractor-trailer on its side, blocking both lanes of traffic.

As a paramedic, Piper had seen plenty of wrecks, fatalities and gut-wrenching scenes, but nothing settled fear as deep within her as seeing the familiar car that was so often in her driveway…the car that belonged to her best friend, Ryan Grant.

The ambulance barely came to a stop before Piper grabbed her heavy red medical bag, hopped out and hit the ground running. The warm November sun beat down on her back as she ran toward the chilling scene.

The medic in her couldn’t get to the victims fast enough. The woman in her feared what she’d uncover once she reached Ryan.

Once closer, she squatted in an attempt to see the inside of the vehicle. A wave of relief swept through her the second she realized the car was empty. Okay, so he wasn’t trapped, but what was the extent of his injuries?

Sirens blared in near surround sound between the police, ambulances and a fire truck trying to assist the wounded and clean up the mess.

Piper tried to keep her eye out for Ryan, hoping she’d see him sitting in the back of an ambulance with just an ice pack on his head. But her duty was to assist where needed…not to seek out those most important in her life.

As she moved closer to the tractor-trailer, where the majority of the cops seemed to be congregated, she noticed numerous Hispanic people huddled together. With disheveled clothes, scraggly beards and various cuts and bruises, Piper couldn’t help but wonder what they were all doing at the scene of an accident involving only one semi and the car of her best friend.

Piper ran to the group of obviously injured men and women. Some were crying, some had their heads dropped between their shoulders and some were shouting Spanish slang even she didn’t understand because of the rapid rate, but she could tell they were angry and scared.

As Piper passed two uniformed police officers she heard the words illegal and FBI. Yeah, this was so much more than an ill-fated accident. By the number of uniformed officers scouring the area, it looked as though these people were not here legally.

Moments later she heard other officers discussing how so many stowaways were hidden in such a small compartment in the back of that semi. This situation was beyond what Piper was used to. Her job right now was to assess and treat the victims, not to worry about the legalities of this mess.

“Where do you need me?” she asked another paramedic who was examining a man’s leg beneath his torn pants.

“The truck driver was pretty shaken,” the paramedic told her. “He’s sitting in the back of a squad car for questioning right now. No visible injuries, but his pupils were dilated and he did say his back was hurting. Seems he was driving this illegal group and he had no clue.”

Piper nodded, gripped her bag tighter and headed toward the squad car closest to the overturned semi. Sure enough a trooper had his forearm resting on the roof of the car as he leaned in and listened to whatever the man seated in the back was saying.

“I swear I had no clue what was in the back of my truck. Please, you’ve got to believe me,” the driver pleaded. “I was just trying to get into the other lane and that car came out of nowhere. I didn’t see him at all.”

According to the man’s story, he was completely innocent. This was a mess of epic proportions and not something a few questions would solve. But all Piper needed to do was to assess the man to see if he needed to go to the hospital or if he could continue being questioned.

“Officer, may I please check him out?” Piper asked. “I understand he has back pain.”

The officer stood to his full height and nodded, but didn’t move too far away. Often medics and cops worked together. Being a first responder required teamwork and so far she’d never had an issue with any cop getting in the way of her treating a patient at the scene.

Piper leaned in and saw a middle-aged man with a protruding belly hanging over his faded jeans, a dirty, bushy blond mustache with matching beard and nicotine-stained fingers.

“Sir, my name is Piper and I’m an EMT. I was told your back is hurting. Can you stand?”

He nodded and slid out of the car as Piper backed up. When he came to his full height, he winced, grabbing his lower back—whether for show to get the officer’s sympathy or because the pain was indeed real, she didn’t know. Yet again, not her place to judge.

“If you’ll come this way, we can set you in the back of an ambulance. You may want to go to the hospital just to make sure nothing else is wrong, but I can get your vitals over here.”

“I appreciate that, ma’am.”

As she led the man toward the nearest empty ambulance, her eyes scanned the crowd for Ryan. Had he already been taken to the E.R.? Were his injuries life-threatening? The unknowns were killing her.

She knew a life flight chopper hadn’t been dispatched to the scene, so that was a mild comfort. Not only for the fact Ryan didn’t need a medevac, but that none of the others involved in the accident did, either.

Another ambulance arrived on the scene as Piper assisted the truck driver into the back of a vacant one. When fresh paramedics hopped from their emergency vehicle and made their way toward the group of injured people, she jogged back over to assist.

But froze in her tracks as one head lifted and a familiar set of dark eyes met hers. He was amid a group of Mexicans, but this man… She knew this man.

Dear God. How could this… What the hell…?

“Alex?” she whispered to herself.

Piper took off at a dead run and stopped beside Alex Santiago. Her bag dropped at her feet as she held her breath.

Was she honest to God seeing the man who’d disappeared months ago without a trace? Could it truly be him?

The man glanced up at her, holding his hand over his eyes to block the glaring afternoon sun.

My God. It was him. The hair was a shaggy, unkempt mess and the scruff on his cheeks and chin indicated he hadn’t shaved in a few days or even weeks. But this was Alex. The man who’d been missing from Royal, Texas, for months.

The man most people assumed had become a victim of foul play, maybe even at his best friend’s hand. But here he was, living and breathing.

“Alex, what on earth are you doing here? Where have you been?” she asked, eyeing the knot on the side of his head.

He winced as she slid her fingertip over the swollen bump. “You must have me confused with someone else. My name isn’t Alex.”

Piper’s hand stilled above his head as she leaned down to look him in the eyes. She was pretty sure she knew what her friend looked like. Just because she hadn’t seen him in months didn’t mean she was clueless.

She looked closer. Um…yeah, this was Alex. If he didn’t think he was Alex, then he’d hit his head too hard in that crash. But at least he was alive.

“Your name is Alex Santiago,” she told him, making sure to keep her eyes locked on to his, waiting for a spark of recognition from his end.

His brows drew together and he slowly shook his head. “I’ve never heard that name.”

“Then what do people call you?” she asked, worry growing deeper with each passing moment.

Alex’s eyes searched hers; he opened his mouth, closed it and sighed. “I don’t…remember. That doesn’t make sense. How could I not know my own name?”

“You have a good bump here on your head,” she reminded him as her eyes traveled down to the wrist he cradled in his other hand. “Looks like you may have broken your wrist.”

He glanced down and simply nodded. Piper worried shock may be setting in. Between the accident and the apparent memory loss, she had no doubt Alex was shaken.

“Let’s get you to an ambulance and see what the doctors have to say once you get to the hospital,” she said gently. “I’m sure you’ll remember you’re Alex Santiago in no time. I’m Piper Kindred and we’ve been friends for a while. Can you at least tell me how you got into that truck?”

Piper lifted her duffel bag, helped Alex to his feet and held an arm around his waist when he started to sway. “Easy,” she told him. “No rush. We’re only going to that ambulance a few feet away. Think you can make it or should I bring a gurney?”

“No, I’m okay.”

She didn’t quite believe him so she kept him leaning against her side as she led him to the waiting ambulance.

“Go ahead and lie down on that cot,” she said as she assisted Alex into the back of the vehicle.

“Do you know where you are?”

His blank look added to the sickening feeling in her stomach.

“We ready to roll?”

Piper glanced at the other EMT on the scene. They might as well go without her because there was no way in hell she was leaving without at least seeing that Ryan was okay…and to tell him of miraculously discovering Alex.

“Go ahead and take him. He’s got some memory loss so he doesn’t know his name. Make sure the doctors are aware this is Alex Santiago and he’s been missing for months. I’ll go inform an officer because Alex was the subject of an ongoing investigation.”

Turning her attention back to Alex, Piper offered a warm smile. “You’re in good hands now, Alex. I know you’re confused, but I’ll be at the hospital as soon as I can to check on you.”

Continuing to hold on to his wrist, Alex leaned back on the gurney. Piper closed the doors and tapped the back to inform the driver he was good to go.

With several paramedics now on the scene, Piper felt comfortable going in search of Ryan.

After searching frantically, running through the chaos, she found him next to the road on the other side of the overturned semi. Her knees weakened with relief at the sight of Ryan whole and upright. He was a good bit from his car, so she had to assume the officer had taken him aside to get his statement.

But glancing at Ryan and actually talking to him were two different things. He looked fine, but looks, as she’d discovered numerous times over the years, could be deceiving. Internal injuries were nothing to mess around with and could prove fatal even when a patient looked perfectly fine.

Added to needing to know the extent of his injuries, she had to tell him about the mind-blowing discovery she’d just made.

Alex Santiago was alive. Their friend who had been missing for months was alive and on his way to Royal Memorial Hospital with an obvious broken wrist and some memory loss. But he was alive.

But, my God, what in the world had he been doing in the back of a semi-truck filled with illegal Mexicans? So many questions whirled around in her mind. She had no idea what the hell was going on, but she knew Alex was probably scared and confused.

As Piper moved closer, she noticed Ryan holding on to one of his sides. A trooper was jotting down notes and nodding as he took Ryan’s statement. Piper closed the gap, but stayed a few feet away, waiting for him to finish.

The sight of him with a slight bruise over his right brow and his hair even messier than usual made Piper want to throw her arms around his broad, muscular body and squeeze him to death for scaring her. But he’d probably laugh at her if she got all misty-eyed or mushy right now.

She’d seen this cowboy compete on the rodeo circuit countless times. She’d seen him get knocked around, bucked and nearly trampled, but nothing had terrified her more than the sight of his totaled car.

The trooper stepped away and Piper inched closer on still shaky legs.

Ryan caught her eye and offered that crooked smile. “Hey, Red.”

That smile could melt the panties off any woman, and it had according to rumor. But Ryan was her friend so her panties had stayed in place over the years. Though she wasn’t blind—her bestie was the sexiest cowboy she’d ever laid eyes on.

With that dark, messy hair usually hidden by a black Stetson and heavy-lidded baby blues, yeah, Ryan Grant was one very fine-looking cowboy and he did some mighty nice things to a pair of well-worn jeans.

“You need to be seen,” she informed him, raking her eyes over him to look for other visible injuries. “And I won’t take no for an answer.”

“I’m just sore and banged up a little, that’s all.” He reached out, grabbed one of her shaky hands and squeezed. “You look tense. I’m fine, Piper.”

“You will be checked out because you’ll want to come to the hospital anyway when I tell you who I saw.”

Ryan shrugged, hissing and grabbing his side again.

“Who?”

Piper’s eyes darted down to his ribs. “If they’re not broken, they’re bruised, so you’ll be going straight to X-ray when you get there, big boy.”

“Who did you see?” he insisted.

All joking aside, she leaned in and said, “Alex.”

“Alex?” he repeated. “Alex Santiago?”

Piper nodded. “He was in the back of that semi.”

“Piper…” He eyed her as though she was the one who’d hit her head. “Alex was in the truck?”

She merely nodded, crossing her arms and silently daring him to argue.

“How in the hell did he get there?” Ryan asked.

Piper nodded toward another ambulance and guided Ryan toward the open back. “He doesn’t remember.”

Ryan, still holding his side, put his foot on the back step. “He doesn’t remember how he got into the semi?”

“He doesn’t remember anything,” she whispered. “He didn’t even know his damn name was Alex when I was talking to him. He didn’t recognize me and he was totally clueless.”

“Damn it.” Ryan glanced around at the group of Mexicans being tended to by EMTs and talked to by the cops. “He has amnesia?”

Piper shrugged. “I honestly don’t know. He had a good-size knot on his head, but that could’ve happened from the accident. He’s on his way in the squad I came with, so we’ll catch a ride with another. Right now I think we both need to get to the hospital for multiple reasons.”

“I don’t need to get checked out, but I’ll appease you only because I want to see Alex for myself.”

Piper studied him, as if she could see beyond the surface and actually make an official diagnosis.

“You all right?” he asked. “You look a little pale.”

Piper caught his worried gaze and smiled. “I’m fine. And if the doctors give you the go-ahead and release you, I’m going to kick your rear end for worrying me to death when I saw your overturned car.”

Ryan’s wide, signature smile spread across his face. “There’s that Piper love. Come on. Let’s get to the hospital.”

“Oh, God, Ryan.” She held a hand on his arm before he could step into the back of the ambulance. “What about Cara? Someone needs to call her.”

Piper couldn’t even imagine what Alex’s fiancée, Cara Windsor, would think when she was told he was alive. Piper was stunned and thrilled, but she was worried about how extensive this memory loss was.

“Let’s get the facts from the doctor first,” Ryan suggested. “We can’t have her running all in there in hysterics and shock. We need to prepare her for this and have concrete information.”

Piper nodded. “I agree. Let’s get to the hospital. And while you’re getting checked out, I’ll find out Alex’s status.”

“Red—”

She held up a hand. “The fact my heart rate is still out of control after not knowing if you were okay or not gives me the right to override anything you say. Now get your butt in and let’s get to the hospital.”

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Filed under Desire, Excerpt, Harlequin, Jules Bennett, Review, Texas Cattleman's Club: The Missing Mogul

[Review] Yuletide Baby Surprise by Catherine Mann

Yuletide Baby Surprise  by Catherine Mann

Publication date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Desire

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Series: Billionaire and Babies
Series: The Alpha Brotherhood # 4
Pages: 185

Back of the book

 
In this Billionaires & Babies novel, USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine Mann gives new meaning to the words “Merry Christmas, Baby”

‘Tis the season to be jolly? It isn’t for Dr. Rowan Boothe when a princess on the run from the photo-hungry press invades his hotel room. He and Mariama Mandara had their professional clashes in the past, and Rowan has no desire to become involved in her latest predicament—until they discover an abandoned baby. Now he needs Mari’s help and soon discovers she’s no pampered royal but a desirable woman. Yet how long can their Christmas escape really last?
 



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My Review: 

4.5 Star Review – Yuletide Baby Surprise (Billionaires and Babies | The Alpha Brotherhood # 4 series)

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Catherine.  This book includes passion, laughs, heartache, and an abandoned baby.

If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books first from “The Alpha Brotherhood” series.

An Inconvenient Affair

All or Nothing

Playing for Keeps


Princess Dr. Mariama “Mari” Mandara is on the run from royal fans.  She needs to find a way to escape the fans and fast.  That is when she comes across a room service tray.  She decides to pretend to deliver the tray to the assigned room.

Dr. Rowan Boothe is in town for a conference and is awaiting his evening meal.  When his meal arrives he realizes that the delivery person is non-other than his professional nemesis Dr. Mandara. 

Under the room service cart they find an abandoned baby.  As Rowan has wanted Mari for a while he decides to keep her close any way he can.  His plan is they will take care of the baby together so she is not in the system and sent to a group home.  In order to care for the baby Mari should share his suite and they should take care of the baby as a couple.

Now they must learn to get along with each other without becoming attached to the baby.  As they try to track down the mother with the help of resources from friends and the Royal fans they learn more about each other and develop feelings for each other.    

Will they be able to set aside their work differences to come together and take care of this baby?  What is going to happen when the mother is found?  Where will that leave them?

The chemistry between these two is awesome.  Love both the characters was a little mad about how the baby situation ended up.  Rowan and Mari really draw you into the story. 


 
Look forward to the next book in this series.


For the Sake of Their SonDue out in January 2014

A few of my favorite parts:

 “Ah, you said ‘if.'” He flicked a loose strand of hair over her shoulder, just barely skimming his knuckles across her skin. “Princess, that means we’re already halfway to naked.”


“If you were a good friend you would let me continue with my denial.”


“Crush? Good God, man. I’m not in junior high.”


She dug her fingers into his amazing tush. “Could you quit being so damn admirable? I’m very clearly propositioning you. I am an adult, a very smart adult, totally sober, and completely turned on by you. If’s that not clear enough for you, then how about this? Take me to bed or to the couch, but take me now.”

Contact Info for Catherine Mann

 
                               
 
 

 

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About Catherine:


USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann resides on a sunny Florida beach with her military flyboy husband and their four children. Although after nine moves in twenty years, she hasn’t given away her winter gear! Now a RITA Award winner, Catherine writes action-packed military suspense for Berkley and Sourcebooks, and steamy romances for Harlequin Desire. With over two million books in print in more than twenty countries, she has also celebrated five RITA finals, three Maggie Award of Excellence finals and a Bookseller’s Best win. A former theater school director and university teacher, she holds a Master’s degree in Theater from UNC-Greensboro and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (with minors in both English and Education) from the College of Charleston. Catherine enjoys hearing from readers and chatting on her message board – thanks to the wonders of the wireless internet that allows her to cyber-network with her laptop by the water! Catherine and her family are also active volunteers in animal rescue, having fostered more than fifty puppies and special needs dogs for their local shelter. FMI on the latest news, upcoming releases and contests, check out her facebook page.

 

Read an Excerpt

Dr. Mariama Mandara had always been the last picked for a team in gym class. With good reason. Athletics? Not her thing. But when it came to spelling bees, debate squads and math competitions, she’d racked up requests by the dozens.

Too bad her academic skills couldn’t help her sprint faster down the posh hotel corridor.

More than ever, she needed speed to escape the royal watchers tracking her at the Cape Verde beachside resort off the coast of West Africa, which was like a North Atlantic Hawaii, a horseshoe grouping of ten islands. They were staying on the largest island, Santiago.

No matter where she hid, determined legions were all too eager for a photo with a princess. Why couldn’t they accept she was here for a business conference, not socializing?

Panting, Mari braced a hand against the wall as she stumbled past a potted areca silk palm strung with twinkling Christmas lights. Evading relentless pursuers wasn’t as easy as it appeared in the movies, especially if you weren’t inclined to blow things up or leap from windows. The nearest stairwell door was blocked by two tourists poring over some sightseeing pamphlet. A cleaning cart blocked another escape route. She could only keep moving forward.

Regaining her balance, she power-walked, since running would draw even more attention or send her tripping over her own feet. Her low-heeled pumps thud-thud-thudded along the plush carpet in time with a poly-rhythmic version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” wafting from the sound system. She just wanted to finish this medical conference and return to her research lab, where she could ride out the holiday madness in peace, crunching data rather than candy canes.
 
For most people, Christmas meant love, joy and family. But for her, the “season to be jolly” brought epic family battles even twenty years after her parents’ divorce. If her mom and dad had lived next door to each other—or even on the same continent—the holidays would not have been so painful. But they’d played transcontinental tug-of-war over their only child for decades. Growing up, she’d spent more time in the Atlanta airport and on planes with her nanny than actually celebrating by a fireside with cocoa. She’d even spent one Christmas in a hotel, her connecting flight canceled for snow.

The occasional cart in the hall now reminded her of that year’s room-service Christmas meal. Call her crazy, but once she had gained more control over her world, she preferred a simpler Christmas.

Although simple wasn’t always possible for someone born into royalty. Her mother had crumbled under the pressure of the constant spotlight, divorced her Prince Charming in Western Africa and returned to her Atlanta, Georgia, home. Mari, however, couldn’t divorce herself from her heritage.

If only her father and his subjects understood she could best serve their small region through her research at the university lab using her clinical brain, rather than smiling endlessly through the status quo of ribbon-cutting ceremonies. She craved her comfy, shapeless clothes, instead of worrying about keeping herself neat as a pin for photo ops.

Finally, she spotted an unguarded stairwell. Peering inside, she found it empty but for the echo of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” segueing into “Away in a Manger.” She just needed to make it from the ground level to her fifth-floor room, where she could hole up for the night before facing the rest of the week’s symposiums. Exhausted from a fourteen-hour day of presentations about her research on antiviral medications, she was a rumpled mess and just didn’t have it in her to smile pretty for the camera or field questions that would be captured on video phone. Especially since anything she said could gain a life of its own on the internet in seconds these days.

She grasped the rail and all but hauled herself up step after step. Urgency pumped her pulse in her ears. Gasping, she paused for a second at the third floor to catch her breath before trudging up the last flights. Shoving through the fifth-floor door, she almost slammed into a mother and teenage daughter leaving their room. The teen did a double take and Mari turned away quickly, adrenaline surging through her exhaustion and powering her down the hall. Except now she was going in the opposite direction, damn it.

Simply strolling back into the hall wasn’t an option until she could be sure the path was clear. But she couldn’t simply stand here indefinitely, either. If only she had a disguise, something to throw people off the scent. Head tucked down, she searched the hall through her eyelashes, taking in a brass luggage rack and monstrously big pots of African feather grass.

Her gaze landed on the perfect answer—a room-service cart. Apparently abandoned. She scanned for anyone in a hotel uniform, but saw only the retreating back of a woman walking away quickly, a cell phone pressed to her ear. Mari chewed her lip for half a second then sprinted forward and stopped just short of the cloth-draped trolley.

She peeked under the silver tray. The mouth-watering scent of saffron-braised karoo lamb made her stomach rumble. And the tiramisu particularly tempted her to find the nearest closet and feast after a long day of talking without a break for more than coffee and water. She shook off indulgent thoughts. The sooner she worked her way back to her room, the sooner she could end this crazy day with a hot shower, her own tray of food and a soft bed.

Delivering the room-service cart now offered her best means of disguise. A hotel jacket was even draped over the handle and a slip of paper clearly listed Suite 5A as the recipient.

The sound of the elevator doors opening spurred her into action.

Mari shrugged the voluminous forest-green jacket over her rumpled black suit. A red Father Christmas hat slipped from underneath the hotel uniform. All the better for extra camouflaging. She yanked on the hat over her upswept hair and started pushing the heavily laden cart toward the suite at the end of the hall, just as voices swelled behind her.

“Do you see her?” a female teen asked in Portuguese, her squeaky tones drifting down the corridor. “I thought you said she ran up the stairs to the fifth floor.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t the fourth?” another high-pitched girl answered.

“I’m certain,” a third voice snapped. “Get your phone ready. We can sell these for a fortune.”

Not a chance.

Mari shoved the cart. China rattled and the wheels creaked. Damn, this thing was heavier than it looked. She dug her heels in deeper and pushed harder. Step by step, past carved masks and a pottery elephant planter, she walked closer to suite 5A.

The conspiring trio drew closer. “Maybe we can ask that lady with the cart if she’s seen her…”

Apprehension lifted the hair on the back of Mari’s neck. The photos would be all the more mortifying if they caught her in this disguise. She needed to get inside suite 5A. Now. The numbered brass plaque told her she was at the right place.

Mari jabbed the buzzer, twice, fast.

“Room service,” she called, keeping her head low.
 
Seconds ticked by. The risk of stepping inside and hiding her identity from one person seemed far less daunting than hanging out here with the determined group and heaven only knew who else.
 
Just when she started to panic that time would run out, the door opened, thank God. She rushed past, her arms straining at the weight of the cart and her nose catching a whiff of manly soap. Her favorite scent—clean and crisp rather than cloying and obvious. Her feet tangled for a second.
 
Tripping over her own feet as she shoved the cart was far from dignified. But she’d always been too gangly to be a glamour girl. She was more of a cerebral type, a proud nerd, much to the frustration of her family’s press secretary, who expected her to present herself in a more dignified manner.
 
Still, even in her rush to get inside, curiosity nipped at her. What type of man would choose such a simple smell while staying in such opulence? But she didn’t dare risk a peek at him.
 
She eyed the suite for other occupants, even though the room-service cart only held one meal. One very weighty meal. She shoved the rattling cart past a teak lion. The room appeared empty, the lighting low. Fat leather sofas and a thick wooden table filled the main space. Floor-to-ceiling shutters had been slid aside to reveal the moonlit beach outside a panoramic window. Lights from stars and yachts dotted the horizon. Palms and fruit trees with lanterns illuminated the shore. On a distant islet, a stone church perched on a hill.
 
She cleared her throat and started toward the table by the window. “I’ll set everything up on the table for you.”
 
“Thanks,” rumbled a hauntingly familiar voice that froze her in her tracks. “But you can just leave it there by the fireplace.”
 
Her brain needed less than a second to identify those deep bass tones. Ice trickled down her spine as if snow had hit her African Christmas after all.
 
She didn’t have to turn around to confirm that fate was having a big laugh at her expense. She’d run from an irritation straight into a major frustration. Out of all the hotel suites she could have entered, somehow she’d landed in the room of Dr. Rowan Boothe. Her professional nemesis.
 
A physician whose inventions she’d all but ridiculed in public.
 
What the hell was he doing here? She’d reviewed the entire program of speakers and she could have sworn he wasn’t listed on the docket until the end of the week.
 
The door clicked shut behind her. The tread of his footsteps closed in, steady, deliberate, bringing the scent of him drifting her way. She kept her face down, studying his loafers and the well-washed hem of his faded jeans.
 
She held on to the hope that he wouldn’t recognize her. “I’ll leave your meal right here then,” she said softly. “Have a nice evening.”

His tall, solid body blocked her path. God, she was caught between a rock and a hard place. Her eyes skated to his chest.

A very hard, muscle-bound place encased in a white button-down with the sleeves rolled up and the tail untucked. She remembered well every muscular—annoying—inch of him.
 
She just prayed he wouldn’t recognize her from their last encounter five months ago at a conference in London. Already the heat of embarrassment flamed over her.
 
Even with her face averted, she didn’t need to look further to refresh her memory of that too handsome face of his. Weathered by the sun, his Brad Pitt-level good looks only increased. His sandy blond hair would have been too shaggy for any other medical professional to carry off. But somehow he simply appeared too immersed in philanthropic deeds to be bothered with anything as mundane as a trip to the barber.
 
The world thought he was Dr. Hot Perfection but she simply couldn’t condone the way he circumvented rules.
 
“Ma’am,” he said, ducking his head as if to catch her attention, “is there a problem?”
 
Just keep calm. There was no way for him to identify her from the back. She would rather brave a few pictures in the press than face this man while she wore a flipping Santa Claus hat.
 
A broad hand slid into view with cash folded over into a tip. “Merry Christmas.”
 
If she didn’t take the money, that would appear suspicious. She pinched the edge of the folded bills, doing her best to avoid touching him. She plucked the cash free and made a mental note to donate the tip to charity. “Thank you for your generosity.”
 
“You’re very welcome.” His smooth bass was too appealing coming from such an obnoxiously perfect man.
 
Exhaling hard, she angled past him. Almost home free. Her hand closed around the cool brass door handle.
 
“Dr. Mandara, are you really going so soon?” he asked with unmistakable sarcasm. He’d recognized her. Damn. He was probably smirking, too, the bastard.
 
He took a step closer, the heat of his breath caressing her cheek. “And here I thought you’d gone to all this trouble to sneak into my room so you could seduce me.”
 
Dr. Rowan Boothe waited for his words to sink in, the possibility of sparring with the sexy princess/ research scientist already pumping excitement through his veins. He didn’t know what it was about Mariama Mandara that turned him inside out, but he’d given up analyzing the why of it long ago. His attraction to Mari was simply a fact of life now.
 
Her disdain for him was an equally undeniable fact, and to be honest, it was quite possibly part of her allure.
 
He grew weary with the whole notion of the world painting him as some kind of saint just because he’d rejected the offer of a lucrative practice in North Carolina and opened a clinic in Africa. These days, he had money to burn after his invention of a computerized medical diagnostics program—a program Mari missed no opportunity to dismiss as faux, shortcut medicine. Funding the clinic hadn’t even put a dent in his portfolio so he didn’t see it as worthy of hoopla. Real philanthropy involved sacrifice. And he wasn’t particularly adept at denying himself things he wanted.
 
Right now, he wanted Mari.
 
Although from the look of horror on her face, his half-joking come-on line hadn’t struck gold.
 
She opened and closed her mouth twice, for once at a loss for words. Fine by him. He was cool with just soaking up the sight of her. He leaned back against the wet bar, taking in her long, elegant lines. Others might miss the fine-boned grace beneath the bulky clothes she wore, but he’d studied her often enough to catch the brush of every subtle curve. He could almost feel her, ached to peel her clothes away and taste every inch of her cafe-au-lait skin.
 
Some of the heat must have shown on his face because she snapped out of her shock. “You have got to be joking. You can’t honestly believe I would ever make a move on you, much less one so incredibly blatant.”
 
Damn, but her indignation was so sexy and yeah, even cute with the incongruity of that Santa hat perched on her head. He couldn’t stop himself from grinning.
 
She stomped her foot. “Don’t you dare laugh at me.”
 
He tapped his head lightly. “Nice hat.”
 
Growling, she flung aside the hat and shrugged out of the hotel jacket. “Believe me, if I’d known you were in here, I wouldn’t have chosen this room to hide out.”
 
“Hide out?” he said absently, half following her words.

As she pulled her arms free of the jacket to review a rumpled black suit, the tug of her white business shirt against her breasts sent an unwelcome surge of arousal through him. He’d been fighting a damned inconvenient arousal around this woman for more than two years, ever since she’d stepped behind a podium in front of an auditorium full of people and proceeded to shoot holes in his work. She thought his computerized diagnostics tool was too simplistic. She’d accused him of taking the human element out of medicine. His jaw flexed, any urge to smile fading.

If anyone was too impersonal, it was her. And, God, how he ached to rattle her composure, to see her tawny eyes go sleepy with all-consuming passion.
 
Crap.
 
He was five seconds away from an obvious erection. He reined himself in and faced the problem at hand—the woman—as a more likely reason for her arrival smoked through his brain. “Is this some sort of professional espionage?”
 
“What in the hell are you talking about?” She fidgeted with the loose waistband on her tweedy skirt.

Who would have thought tweed would turn him inside out? Yet he found himself fantasizing about pulling those practical clunky shoes off her feet. He would kiss his way up under her skirt, discover the silken inside of her calf… 
 

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Filed under 2013, Billionaire and Babies, Catherine Mann, Desire, Harlequin, October, Review, Romance, The Alpha Brotherhood

[Review] His Instant Heir by Katherine Garbera

His Instant Heir  by Katherine Garbera

Publication date: August 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Desire

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Baby Business # 1
Pages: 187

Back of the book

 
In her Baby Business trilogy, USA TODAY bestselling author Katherine Garbera starts with just one night…

Cari Chandler can’t forget Declan Montrose. Their baby is a living reminder. The baby she hasn’t told him about. The no-commitment billionaire—and her family’s sworn enemy—walked out of her life the morning after. But now he’s back…with a vengeance!

Taking over her company is the last step to victory in their families’ long feud. But Cari’s more than collateral damage to Dec. He wants—needs—to seduce her again and again. Until he finds out she’s hidden something more precious than her company. His son. And Dec intends to claim him… no matter the cost. 

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My Review: 

4.5 Star Review – His Instant Heir (Baby Business # 1 series)

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Katherine.  This book includes drama, passion, laughs, heartache, and betrayal.


Cari Chandler and Declan “Dec” Montrose had a one-night stand 18 months ago which resulted in a baby boy named DJ “Declan Junior”.  Cari decided not to tell Declan when she found out she was pregnant as he ran out on her after that one night and never contacted her. 

Dec was sent in by his cousins to get rid of the Chandlers and dismantle there company as they are the enemy of the Montrose from a long ago feud between the grandfathers of the two families. 

Dec has not stopped wanting Cari since he left her in the hotel so many months ago.  He decides he will have her and they can be together for the next 6 weeks that he is there. 

When Cari tells Dec he has a son things change.  He realizes that he wants his son and Cari too.  Now he must figure out how he can have them and also do what his cousins want him to do also.

Will he be able to make the right decision?  Will he have any family left in the end after he makes that choice?

You can feel the chemistry between the two throughout the book. 
You also feel Dec’s conflict as he is being pulled by family in a different direction then he wants to go with Cari.
 


 
Look forward to the next book in this series.


Coming Soon

Contact Info for Katherine Garbera

 

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About Katherine:

USA Today best-selling author with more than 3 million books in print, Katherine Garbera is a native Floridian who spent most of her childhood outside day-dreaming and making up stories to amuse her younger sisters.  Growing up on the edge of the Green Swamp with an orange grove for a playground fed her creative juices.

Katherine’s first published novel THE BACHELOR NEXT DOOR, sold to Silhouette Desire in 1996. The book immediately set the bar for the titles to follow since the editors selected her as a Woman to Watch.  Katherine hasn’t let them or her readers down, publishing more than 50 books since then.

She has broadened her writing skills to include writing for Harlequin Blaze, Harlequin NASCAR and the short-lived but much acclaimed Silhouette Bombshell (a series which featured strong heroines who both got the guy and saved the day).  She’s a two time winner of the prestigious Maggie Award for Excellence and multiple RT Bookclub award nominee.

Garbera started making up stories for her own benefit when she was on a competitive swim team in high school.  Though she went to State and usually medaled at swim meets, Katherine says her heart wasn’t in swimming but rather in the stories she created as she swam laps at practice.

She worked for The Walt Disney World Company for 15 years and did everything from being a hostess on It’s a Small World, to saving swimmers at the Grand Floridian Resort, to touring around VIPs such as Jack Valenti at the Disney-MGM Studios and being a production page on the New Mickey Mouse Club–yes, it might be possible that Britney, Justine and Christina owe her a nod of thanks for keeping all those kids who had to go to the bathroom from interrupting their performances.

In 2005 with the publication of BODY HEAT, Katherine made the jump to single-title romantic suspense  The nine books she wrote for Kensington Brava were known for their tight suspense, complex emotions and sultry sexuality. 

2007 saw the launch of her highly acclaimed mercenary series THE SAVAGE SEVEN.  THE PIRATE caught the attention of the editors at Cosmo and it was selected as a Red Hot Read in 2010. The story is ripped from the headlines and features a group of pirates who attack a tanker off the coast of Somalia.

Her books have been featured in magazines such as REDBOOK (11/98) and have even been displayed on the large JumboTron in Times Square, and excerpted in COSMO (7/10).

Writing is the chief focus of her time after her family and the only thing she likes more than working on her own books is reading other authors.  She is a frequent speaker at conferences and loves the opportunity to talk about writing with anyone who’ll listen.

Read an Excerpt

Cari Chandler paused in the doorway of the conference room. On the far wall was a portrait of her grandfather looking very young and very determined. Since he’d never been a “happy” man, she hardly noticed that he wasn’t smiling. He certainly wouldn’t be convivial at this moment when the grandson of his most-hated enemy was in his stronghold.

Since the late ’70s the Chandlers and the Montroses had been feuding and trying to cut each other out of the video-game market. Her grandfather had won that long-ago skirmish by making a deal with a Japanese company, cutting Thomas Montrose out, but none of that mattered today as the Montrose heirs and their Playtone Games had just delivered the feudending blow with their hostile takeover of Infinity Games. And leaving Cari and her sisters, Emma and Jessi, to pick up the wreckage and try to forge some sort of deal that would save their jobs and their legacy.

But Cari as COO was the one who’d been chosen to deal with Declan Montrose. It made sense, since operations were her area, but the secret she’d been harboring for too long suddenly felt like it had a choke hold on her, and she wished she’d confided in her sisters so that maybe she wouldn’t have to deal with Dec today.

The conference table was long and made of dark wood, and the chairs positioned around it were leather. She focused on the details of the room instead of the man she saw standing by the window. He hadn’t changed much in the eighteen months since she’d last seen him.

From the back she could see his reddish-brown hair was a little longer than it had been before, but was still thick and curly where it hit his collar. His shoulders were still as broad, tapering to a narrow waist and that whipcord-lean frame that she’d remembered pressed against her as he’d held her. A shiver of sensual awareness coursed through her.

Don’t. Don’t think of any of that, she warned herself. Focus on the takeover. One problem at a time.

“Dec.” She called his name. Her voice sounded strong, which pleased her since inside she was quaking. “I didn’t think I’d see you again.”

“I’m sure it’s a pleasant surprise,” he said with a sardonic grin as he left the window and walked over to stand not more than six inches from her.

The familiar smell of his spicy, outdoorsy aftershave surrounded her, and she closed her eyes as she remembered how strongly the scent had lingered on his skin right at the base of his neck. Then she forced herself to get it together, crossing her arms over her chest and remembering he was here for business. The knock at the door provided her with the distraction she needed. “Come in,” she called.

Ally, her assistant, entered with two Infinity Games logo mugs, handing one to Dec and giving the other to Cari. Cari walked around to the head of the table, already feeling more in control now that Dec was on the other side of it from her. She was aware of Ally asking if Dec needed anything in his coffee and him answering he took it black, and then Ally was gone.

“Please sit down,” she invited, gesturing to the chair across from hers.

“I don’t remember you being so formal,” he said as he pulled out a chair and took his seat.

She ignored that remark. Really, what could she say? From the moment she’d first seen him she’d been attracted to him. Even after she’d learned he was a Mon-trose and technically her family’s enemy, she’d still wanted him.

“I assume you’re here to talk about moving assets around in my company,” she said.

He nodded. “I’ll be spending the next six weeks doing an assessment of the assets in the company and on this campus here. I understand you have three different gaming divisions?”

Wow. She should have been prepared for it, but he’d just completely shut off his emotions and switched to business. She wanted to be able to do the same, but she’d never been that good at hiding what she felt. Cyborg, she’d heard him called. He lived up to that moniker today.

He looked over at her and she realized she was just staring at him. This wasn’t going to work. She’d call Emma, her oldest sister and the chief executive officer of Infinity, as soon as he left and tell her that she or Jessi would have to work with Dec. Though to be fair, as chief marketing officer, Jessi wasn’t really the one who should be handling Dec.

“Cari?”

“Sorry. Yes, they all report to me—online, console and mobile.”

“I will need to set up meetings with everyone in the company. The way this will work is that each person will be assessed and rated, and then I will give a presentation to our combined board of directors with my recommendations.”

“No problem. Emma mentioned you wanted to talk to the staff. Do you think you’ll just be here one or two days a week?” she asked, mentally crossing her fingers.

“No. I want to set up an office so I can be here in the thick of things,” he said, leaning forward. “Is that going to be a problem?”

“Not at all,” she said with the only smile she could muster. She’d rather not see him ever again, but that wasn’t going to happen and she was mature so she could deal with it. She knew her smile must have looked forced when he laughed.

“You were never good at hiding your feelings,” he said.

She shook her head. Though his statement was true, it wasn’t something that he could know from personal experience. They’d had a one-night stand, not a relationship. “Don’t say it like that. You don’t know me at all. We only had one date and one night together.”

“I think I got a fairly good impression of you,” he said.

“Really?” she asked. She told herself to let it go and just concentrate on the business end of things, but that was going to be impossible. “Then why’d you leave me alone in that hotel room?”

He leaned back in his chair and took a long swallow of his coffee before standing up to pace around the room to her side of the table. He leaned back against the table and stared down at her, and she was tempted to stand up so he wasn’t towering over her. But she didn’t want him to think he intimated her.

“I’m not really a man for attachments,” he said at last. “And though you think I don’t know you, Cari Chandler, I’d have to be a blind fool not to see that you care too much.”

She wanted to deny it, but the truth was she was the bleeding heart of the Chandler family. She volunteered, donated time and money to charities and causes and she’d fallen for more than one sob story at work. Emma had been furious at first, until she realized it made their employees loyal because they felt that the executive management cared.

“I wasn’t going to cling to you and profess undying love, Dec,” she said. She barely knew him after one sex-filled night. She might have been interested in seeing him again and getting to know him better, but she’d learned all she needed to know when he’d left her. “It was only one night.”

“It was a fabulous night, Cari,” he said, putting his hand on the back of her chair and spinning her around to face him. “Maybe I should remind you of how good we are together.”

She pushed the chair back, standing up. It was time for her to take control of this meeting. “Not necessary. While I remember the details of the night, it’s really the morning after that stuck with me.”

“That’s why I left,” he said in that wry way of his. “I’m not good at dealing with the aftermath.”

“Aftermath?” she asked.

“You know, the emotional stuff women usually bring up,” he said. “The clingy things.”

She shook her head. It was clear that a one-night stand was all that Dec intended for her to be. With her secret looming in her mind, she knew she had to say something about their night together, but for now she wasn’t going to. She would focus on the business and try to figure out a way to save her family’s legacy from being dismantled and destroyed.

Though she had to admit hearing Dec talk made her sad because she wanted better for herself. She had wanted to hear him say he wished he hadn’t left and that he’d thought of her every day… Probably what he would term emotionally clingy stuff.

“Disappointed?” he asked.

“I guess I know why an eligible billionaire like you is still single,” she said, trying not to be disenchanted that he was exactly like she’d thought he was. She’d hoped she’d just caught him on a bad day.

“Maybe the right girl just hasn’t tried hard enough to change me,” he said with a cocky half grin.

“Oh, you don’t seem like the sort of man who can be changed,” she said.

“Touche. I’m happy with my life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to appreciate a woman like you when our paths cross.”

She wanted to stay angry with him, but he was honest and she couldn’t fault him there. Even though she’d hoped for longer with Dec, she’d known from the moment they’d gone to dinner that all he wanted was an affair.

“I think I’d have more luck changing the direction of the Santa Ana winds,” she said.

“Have dinner with me and we can find out,” he said.

“Would you be willing to discuss Playtone Games being a silent partner in Infinity?”

He laughed. “Not happening.”

“Then neither is dinner.” No matter how much he cajoled she needed distance and a chance to really think before she just jumped back into something foolish with him.

“We have to work together, so I don’t think us spending time together outside the office would be wise,” she said at last. She used to be more impulsive, but wasn’t anymore. Her one-night stand with this man had reminded her there were consequences for acting without thinking.

“The Cari I know doesn’t make decisions with only her head.”

“I’ve changed,” she said bluntly. Maybe if she hadn’t fallen for his smooth-talking ways and blunt sexuality. What?

“I like it,” he said slickly.

Cari knew she had to face facts that the man she’d had a one-night stand with was back in town. And it was becoming abundantly clear that a corporate takeover was the least of her problems. She was going to have to tell him about her son…his son.

Their son.

And she had no idea how to do that.

Cari had changed. That was easy to see even for a guy who’d spent only one night in her company. Dec knew things between them had always seemed complicated. Never more so than now. Their families were hated enemies of each other and his cousin, Keller Montrose, the CEO of Playtone Games, wasn’t going to be happy unless Infinity was completely broken apart so that nothing of Gregory Chandler’s legacy remained.

And this pretty blonde woman standing before him was going to be nothing more than collateral damage.

Dec had never been able to see her as his hated enemy. From the first moment he’d laid eyes on her he’d wanted to know more about her—and not so he could figure out how to use that information to take over her company.

Being adopted, Dec never truly felt like a real Mon-trose and was always striving to prove he was as loyal as both Kell and their other cousin, Allan McKinney.

Being back in California, conveniently with Cari, seemed his chance to do his job and continue to prove his worth to the Montrose family, as well as hopefully reconnect with the woman he hadn’t been able to forget. With her thick blond hair that fell in smooth waves past her shoulders and her pretty cornflower-blue eyes, she’d haunted him. He couldn’t forget the way she’d looked up at him as he’d held her in his arms.

Now that he had the chance to get a proper look at her, he could see the year and a half they’d been apart had added a quiet confidence to her. He started at her tiny feet in those pretty brown two-inch heels and moved upward. Her ankles were still trim, but her calves seemed more muscular. The hem of her skirt kept him from seeing any more of her legs but her hips seemed fuller…more pronounced. Her waist was still impossibly small, he noted, as the button on her jacket flaunted. Her breasts—whoa, they were a lot larger. She’d been slim and small but she was much—

“Eyes up here, buddy,” she said, pointing to her baby blues.

He shrugged and then smiled at her. “I can see that you have changed a lot in the past year. Your figure is much fuller than before, but I like that.”

He walked toward her with a long, languid stride and she backed up until there was nowhere for her to go. She put her hand up to stop him, keeping him an arm’s length away. He stood there, staring down into her eyes, and had to admit there was something different about her. It was in her eyes. She watched him more closely than she had before.

She looked tired and he thought, well, duh, Playtone had finally gotten the upper hand on Infinity Games and she was more than likely worried about her job.

He backed away from her. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to come on too strong. I’m sure losing your company to us was a shock.”

“That’s a bit of an understatement.”

He smiled at the way she said it. “I’m a little jetlagged still.”

“Jet-lagged? I wasn’t aware that there was a time zone between the Infinity Games campus and the Play-tone offices,” she said.

She gave up nothing. And he wondered how he could have missed this side to Cari eighteen months ago. But then he’d been in full-on lust and it was safe to say his brain hadn’t been controlling him.

“I’ve been in Australia for a little over a year managing our takeover of Kanga Games.”

“You let them keep their corporate identity,” she said.

“They didn’t screw our grandfather over.”

“My sisters and I didn’t either. We’ve always dealt with you and your cousins fairly.”

“I’m afraid that doesn’t matter when it comes to revenge,” he said.

“Surely profit matters.”

“It does.”

She nodded and moved back to her chair. He sat down and so did she. She steepled her fingers together and he noticed she wore a ring on her right hand now that she hadn’t before. It was a platinum band of hearts with a row of diamonds in the center. It seemed the kind of ring a lover would have given her. Was she involved with someone now?

Maybe that was where her new confidence stemmed from. She had a lover now. Well, he could be happy for her. Even though he regretted that he might not ever get to kiss her again.

“When did you get back from Australia?” she asked as she toyed with the ring. Those little gestures seemed to indicate her nervousness, though the rest of her body language didn’t support that.

“Saturday, but I’m still adjusting. And seeing you again surprised me,” he admitted, reaching for his briefcase, which he’d stowed next to his chair, and putting it on the table. He had his computer and the files he’d already started studying on the takeover.

“How did it surprise you? I knew you’d be here this morning,” she said. “Didn’t you know it would be me?”

“Yes, Emma informed me via email,” he said. He wasn’t about to tell her that he’d never expected to react so strongly to her presence. Not now. He’d thought since they’d slept together all the chemistry would be gone…but he’d been wrong.

The mystery of her body had been revealed to him. There wasn’t an inch of it he didn’t remember, though he realized now, with the flesh-and-blood woman standing before him, that those memories were a pale imitation of the real thing. 

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Filed under 2013, August, Baby Business, Desire, Harlequin, Katherine Garbera, Review, Romance

[COVER REVEAL] TO TAME A COWBOY by Jules Bennett

TO TAME A COWBOY

by Jules Bennett
Published by Harlequin
On Sale November 5, 2013
Texas Cattleman’s Club Series

Desire Series #2264
ISBN-10: 0373732775
ISBN-13: 9780373732777


A Texas Cattleman’s Club tale of best friends falling in love

Royal, Texas, is the perfect place for rodeo star Ryan Grant to slow down and finally show Piper Kindred she’s the woman for him. When an accident sends Piper rushing to take care of him, her sexy bedside manner suggests to Ryan that seducing his best friend will be easier than he’d expected.

But Piper knows the lure of the rodeo circuit—and the risk of a broken heart, when Ryan realizes he’s not ready to hang up his saddle for good. She can’t let herself fall for a cowboy. If only her heart would listen!

 

 

 

Pre-Order: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble
Book Depository | Books-A-Million | IndieBound


Pre-Order eBook: Kindle | Nook



Connect with Jules Bennett: Facebook | Twitter | Website
 

About Jules

American romance author, Jules Bennett, has been touching the hearts of thousands of readers since 2005. A former beauty salon owner, Jules juggled the demands of owning her own business, raising two small children and attempting to get home in time to cook her husband (also her high school sweetheart) dinner all while plotting the next scene in her head.
After twelve years of juggling the roles of beautician, wife, mother and romance writer, on very little sleep; Jules decided to hang up her shears and turn her part-time, late-night craving into her full-time passion.
Since beginning her writing career, Jules has had the pleasure of writing for The Wild Rose Press, Samhain Publishing, Berkley Publishing, and currently writes for Harlequin Desire.

Her first two books, HOME AGAIN and LOVE IN BLOOM with Wild Rose Press written in Jules’ sweet, sassy and sexy style started her path toward Harlequin Desire.
Jules was a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards and has also won writing awards such as the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, and the CataRomance Reviewer’s Choice Award for one of her 2010 releases, FOR BUSINESS OR MARRIAGE?
Her books have been published all over the world in several different languages: German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Greek and many others. It still thrills Jules when she receives a foreign copy of one of her books.
A member of the Central Ohio Fiction Writer’s (COFW) a chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Jules participates in many conferences throughout the year. Jules also attends book signings to promote her books.

Her passion for writing romance has given Jules the drive to continue her dream and she has just contracted her 20th book! Her Hollywood series with Harlequin Desire has been a hit with readers and reviewers and in 2013 she will branch out with a new series from Samhain Publishing called “Scandalous.”
Jules loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her contact page and readers may like her fan page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all the happenings in Jules’ writing life

 

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Filed under 2013, Cover Reveal, Desire, Harlequin, Jules Bennett, November, Romance, Texas Cattleman's Club: The Missing Mogul

[Review] Something about the Boss… by Yvonne Lindsay

Something About The Boss…  by Yvonne Lindsay

Publication date: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Desire

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Missing Mogul # 3
Pages: 192

Back of the book

 
From USA TODAY bestselling author Yvonne Lindsay comes a Texas Cattleman’s Club tale of big business, seduction and betrayal.
Ever since Sophie Beldon’s boss vanished, she’s been working for Zach Lassiter. But Zach’s been acting mysteriously, and Sophie can’t help wondering what he’s hiding. Could he be involved in the disappearance?

The trouble is Sophie’s had a red-hot yearning for Zach from the moment they met. So when she decides to seduce him to uncover his secrets, perhaps she’s kidding herself about her reasons. Because the soul-searing passion she discovers in his arms has Sophie praying that her mistrust is unfounded.
 


My Review: 

4.0 Star Review – Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Missing Mogul # 3 series

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Yvonne. This book includes passion, betrayal and romance throughout the entire story.
If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books first.

Rumor Has It by Maureen Child

Deep in a Texan’s Heart by Sara Orwig

Sophie Beldon is personal assistant to a missing man.  Her boss is missing and no one knows what happened to him.  She continues to keep his office running in the hopes that he will come back. 

Since his best friend is missing Zach Lassiter has stepped in to keep all the projects his best friend is working on progressing.  So he is working in his office and she is helping him out it the business side of things.  Zach is desperately trying to help his ex-wife through a tough time and also help find out what happened to his best friend.  

When Zach starts shutting his laptop and placing calls on hold when Sophie comes into the office she starts to suspect that he might have had something to do with his friend being missing.  She decides she should seduce the answers out of him.  She is having trouble keeping it to just seducing him and getting answers to her questions and finding out if he has anything to do with his friend going missing.  She starts having feelings for him.

I enjoyed the chemistry between the two. They seemed to calm each other when they were together. I like Zach and was not put off by his take charge attitude with his ex-wife.  As I am with a lot of the male characters who want to take care of issues by forcing the woman to do what they want. You could tell he cared and was not just forcing her to obey his command.  He seemed to really want to help out Anna. Sophie is also a good person and she is very compassionate and understanding.  You can tell she is really worried about her boss and is trying to get to the bottom of where he is.   

To find out the answers to the below pick up the book:


 
When Zach finds out what she suspects of him how will he react?
What has “SHE” hired a PI for?

Who feels most betrayed by turn of the events?

What is Zach really hiding?

Who is Anna and why is she important to them both?

 

Look forward to the next books in this series listed below.

The Lone Star Cinderella by Maureen Child – Due out in October
To Tame a Cowboy by Jules Bennett – Due out in November

Contact Info for Yvonne Lindsay

 

Facebook
Twitter
Website
GoodReads


About Yvonne:

Always an avid reader, I was introduced to the joy of reading romance at the age of 13 by an elderly neighbour. Each week I’d visit her and we’d sort through bags and boxes of books – she didn’t know it then but she’d unleashed a monster! A wannabe romance writer monster. At the age of 15 and totally inspired by the books I’d read, I tried my hand at my first romance novel (an abysmal attempt which still remains shrouded in dust somewhere!) 
Many scribblings, many years, a slew of secretarial and sales repping jobs, marriage and two kids later I heard the wonderful Harlequin Mills & Boon author, Susan Napier, speak at a local writer’s group. She mentioned Romance Writers of New Zealand and its contact details. At first I couldn’t believe there was a group for people like me but after about a year I plucked up the courage to join RWNZ and spent several years working on their committee. The sheer bliss of meeting with other people with the same dreams and aspirations, was indescribable.

Eventually I learned that to really be a writer you had to actually finish a book, so I did and won a few awards along the way including Romance Writers of Australia’s 1999 Emma Darcy Award and Romance Writers of New Zealand’s 2004 Clendon Award. In 2005 I changed my target market from Mills & Boon in London and sold to Silhouette Desire, a line I’ve always loved to read and one I’m thrilled to be a part of. 
The morning I got The Call I was in the bathroom, getting ready for work, and just finishing putting on my make up. When my husband called me to the phone I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Silhouette wanted to buy my book. My first thought was, “OMG, this is really happening!” I’d always read other people’s call stories and thought about how I’d handle The Call (I had thirteen good long years to think about it ) I swore to myself I wouldn’t go all gushy. Guess what? I gushed. I cried. I told my editor it was the happiest day of my life. Once my family realized that I wasn’t crying because someone had died, they all lay on the bed watching me talk to my new editor, frantically taking notes on everything she said. The makeup, by the way, was a total wreck by the end of the call. After we finished talking, I quickly rang two of my best writing friends in Australia (they are two and two-and-a-half hours, respectively, behind me time-zone-wise). I woke both of them up but hey, it meant they could celebrate with me all day long. Then I had to head off to work (a half hour late but I wasn’t in any state to care – or work for that matter :-)).

It’s taken me a good many years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, but it’s been worth the wait and the support from my peers has been fantastic. If I can impart any wisdom about my journey so far it’s this – never give up. Ever! Keep your self-talk positive. Dream a big dream and be open to continually learning more about the craft of writing. Take ownership of what you do. Be proud of your writing. Tell people about it. If you hide your biggest passion from everyone how can you ever expect them to take you seriously. This last one is a really major soapbox issue of mine – I have had the snarky comments and putdowns about romance writing, the offers to help me with a chapter of my book, the sly winks and too loud laughter. But I’ve held firm. I believe in romance, I believe in what I’m doing and I firmly believe in the power of love in all walks of life and at all ages. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in that. Be involved in your organization. You’ll never regret the friendships and the wonderful contacts you make. And never give up! Ever!

 

Read an Excerpt
Sophie flew into the office five minutes later than usual. It drove her crazy to be late, for any reason. She’d woken way past her usual time and had had to forgo her morning coffee and bagel in an attempt to make up for it. With a vague wave at their receptionist and the skeleton staff already working at their stations in the open-plan office behind reception, Sophie went through to the executive office suite, smoothing her short blond bob with one hand.

She flung a glance at Zach’s office door–it was open. Darn. He was already here. Despite her best efforts, Zach Lassiter had beaten her into the office, again. Not good. Not when she was doing her best to keep everything running on an even keel, and certainly not when she needed to do some snooping in his office. He was hiding something, she just knew it.

She dropped her shoulder bag on the corner of her desk. The bag didn’t quite make it, though, and it slid off the surface to fall silently onto the thick carpeting, its contents spilling at her feet.

“Damn!” The curse slipped from her lips and even now, though she hadn’t lived under her mother’s roof in more than four years, she felt the quiet reproof of her mother’s gaze for dropping her standards so. They might have been poor, but her mother had always expected her to act like a lady.

She scrabbled to put everything back where it belonged–a place for everything and everything in its place; it had been her mantra for longer than she could remember. Her hand hovered over the photo she carried with her everywhere and she straightened with it still in her hand. They’d been so young, so innocent. Victims of circumstance.

Silently she renewed her vow to find her half-sister; Sophie owed it to them both. And she was getting closer. The latest report from the private investigator she’d hired to find her sister had listed a new possibility to explore. Thinking about it had kept her awake half the night, hence her sleeping past her alarm this morning.

A noise from behind her, from the kitchenette that she kept well stocked, sent a prickle of awareness tiptoeing between her shoulder blades.

“Cute kids.”

Zach gave one of his lazy, killer smiles that always managed to send a bolt of longing straight to her gut, as he handed her a coffee. Sophie fought to quell the tremor that threatened to make her hand shake as she accepted the mug. She’d tried to shore up her defenses against her crazy attraction to him, but even after eighteen months she still failed miserably. Working in the same office space with him had been taxing enough, but now working directly for him–well, that was a whole new kettle of fish altogether.

“I’m supposed to be the one bringing you coffee,” she said quietly. “Sorry I’m late.”

“No problem. I was getting myself one. Is that you?” he asked gesturing to the photo in her hand.

It was the kind of snapshot that most kids had taken at some stage in their lives. Siblings, oldest behind, youngest in front. Gap-toothed smiles fixed on their freckled faces, hair pulled back into identical pigtails, bangs straight across their eyebrows. Oldest staring dead ahead, youngest–still baby-faced at age four–with eyes unfocused, distracted by whatever it was that day. Sophie certainly couldn’t recall although she remembered well the sensation of her sister’s bony shoulder beneath her hand, the steady warmth of Susannah’s body standing close to hers, almost leaning into her in that way she did when she wasn’t entirely comfortable with a situation.

“Yes, me and my younger sister.”

“Are you guys close?”

“Not…

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Filed under 2013, Desire, Harlequin, Review, Romance, September, Texas Cattleman's Club: The Missing Mogul, Yvonne Lindsay