The Ashton Grove Werewolves

A BookStrand.com BestSeller!

 

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30-Day BestSeller in 3 categories!

Moonlight Protector – Ashton Grove Werewolves, Book 1

Cole Andrews, biologist by trade and werewolf by blood, is tired of being alone. He and his two brothers live in the large Victorian home that had belonged to their parents. He’s always wanted to find his mate and start a family. Now that he’s in his thirties, he’s starting to give up hope. He’s already seen all of the women available in his small town of Ashton Grove and so far none of them are “the one.”

Marin Thomas is fleeing for her life. After being abducted and held hostage, she is determined to escape the maniac once and for all. Stealing his car, she travels as far and as fast as she can – until a car accident lands her in some woods near Ashton Grove, Georgia. Fighting for her very life, she finds herself begging a wolf for help.

Is Marin the mate that Cole has been waiting for? Or will she end up with one of his brothers? One sniff tells him that she belongs to his pack. The only question that remains is who will win her heart?

Moonlight Hero – Ashton Grove Werewolves, Book 2

Alpha werewolf Gabriel Andrews is stunned when his mate comes bursting through the door of his garage. Running from a ravenous vampire, Kiera is happy to see the hot mechanic. A confrontation between the couple and the vampire forces Gabriel to announce Kiera as his mate. When the vampire throws down the gauntlett, demanding that Gabriel and Kiera marry in order to prove that she’s really the alpha’s mate, Gabriel is only too happy to agree. Kiera on the other hand has her doubts. Coming from a small town in Tennessee where werewolves do not assocaite with other shifters, the little werefox can’t believe that Gabriel could really want her in his life.

Will these two have a happily ever after? Or will Kiera’s past life and an angry vampire keep them apart?

Moonlight Guardian – Ashton Grove Werewolves, Book 3

Michael Andrews is the last of his brothers to find his mate. He’s played it tough, trying to convince his family that a mate is the last thing he wants, that he enjoys having a different woman every week. In reality, he’s afraid. He wants to find his mate and thinks he may already have, but what if he won’t be a good husband? Maybe he just isn’t made to love someone.

Chloe Stevens is on her last leg. She found a guy she thought was great, only to end up pregnant and have the guy vanish into thin air. Then she lost her job and consequently, her car. Now she’s facing eviction. Five months pregnant, no job, no car, and now no home have forced Chloe to do the one thing she swore she wouldn’t… contact the father of her baby. She may have just been a fling to Michael, but their few days together had meant more to her.

When a pregnant Chloe shows up looking for Michael, he’s stunned to find out that he’s going to be a father. It appears that fate is determined to put the woman in his path. But is Michael willing to fight for Chloe when another werewolf decides to claim her?

Moonlight Champion – Ashton Grove Werewolves, Book 4

The last thing Connor Tierney expected was to have his mate dumped in his lap – literaly! After a hard day at work, Connor is relaxing when Aislinn Walsh materializes in a ray of light. Seeing at once that she’s injured, he does all he can to help her.

Aislinn has been married to an abusive husband for the past year. When she finds out she’s in Aston Grove, she finds it unbelievable. Even more unbelievable is the handsome man taking care of her. Claiming to be her mate, does she date trust him with her heart? She’s been waiting a long time for a knight in shining armor. Little did she realize it would be a night in furry armor!

 

Purchase this set today for $8.99 and save $6! Be sure to check out the prequel to the series if you like ghostly romances.

An Interview with Bane

Today we have Bane with us, visiting from Entwined, an Intergalactic Loyalties novella.

Tell us a little about yourself, Bane.

Well, I’m an inventor on the planet Keshpa. Or rather, that’s what my neat, organized, ordinary, boring life was like for the longest time. Recent events have changed things a bit.

Do you prefer books or movies? Do you have a favorite?

We don’t have movies on Kespha, but we do have books. Not anything you’d be familiar with, of course. However, I do have a selection of Earth titles I’ve picked up for the love of my life. I wasn’t really sure what she would prefer, so I decided to play it safe and pick up a variety of things. I’d have to say I’m rather partial to the romances and the mysteries.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’ve always been more of a lover than a fighter, more of a scientist than a warrior. When my love’s life became endangered, I wanted to rush off and save her, but I was ill equipped for the job. Didn’t stop me from going after her, just the same, but I wish I’d had some training.

What is your relationship with your family like?

I’ve always been close with my brothers. My parents are no longer with us so we’ve had to rely on each other for a while. It wasn’t until this past year that I ever coveted something one of them had, but when Arko purchased Ari I was so envious, so jealous I couldn’t see straight. The moment I laid eyes on Ariana, I knew that she was special, that she was the one woman I wanted to have in my life, permanently. It didn’t matter that slaves couldn’t be bonded to us – that’s your version of marriage – all I knew was that I had to have her. I think I hid it well though, as Arko asked me to escort her around town on many an occasion. I tried to keep things friendly with my brother and not show him my feelings about the situation, but I don’t know if I succeeded or not.

What do you like best about Ariana?

What isn’t there to like? Her hair reminds me of a sunset, the deep coppery tresses tumbling down her back in waves. Skin so soft, you’d think you were touching satin, and such a beautiful shade of ivory. And she’s sweet! I’ve never met a sweeter woman. But I guess if I had to choose just one thing, it would be her heart. Ari has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. She’s kind, forgiving, and loving. Not to mention selfless.

What would make you happier than you are right now?

Starting a family with Ariana. I can’t think of anything I’d love than to see her swollen with our child, perhaps a precious daughter with her beautiful green eyes, or a son with her coppery locks. I wouldn’t care as long as Ari was the mother.

Well, thank you for joining us today, Bane.

If you want to hear more about Bane and Ariana, be sure to check out Entwined (Intergalactic Loyalties #1) from Changeling Press!

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She’s his everything, and he’s nothing without her.

Bane has wanted Ariana since the first moment he met her, except she belongs to his brother Arko. When a tragedy happens, Bane steps forward to claim Ariana as his own, but Keshpan law states a slave can never be a bonded mate. That isn’t going to stop Bane from loving her every day for the rest of his life, though.

When Ariana is kidnapped by space pirates, Bane is determined to rescue her, no matter the cost. But things are getting bad back home on Keshpa. A political storm is brewing that just may rip Ariana from his arms the moment he returns with her. Bane will walk away from everything he knows to have the woman he loves by his side.

My Writing Process

I was tagged by author Ashlynn Monroe to talk about my writing process.

Currently, I’m working on two projects, and they are as different as night and day. A cowboy menage and a sci-fi erotic romance. The cowboy story doesn’t have a home yet, but the sci-fi piece is being written for Changeling Press and will be #2 in my Intergalactic Loyalties series. I’m having a blast writing both and hope to have them finished by the end of the month, first week of March at the latest.

I was asked how my work differs from others in this genre (or genres), and I’m honestly not sure. I write from the heart, but then most authors do. I try to write romance with a dash of suspense and a bit of action, regardless of the genre. I’ve been known to write anything from a damsel in distress to a kick ass heroine who didn’t need anyone to take care of her – the hero had to work very hard to win her over in Not My Shifter.

Why do I write what I write? Well, I generally write what I like to read. And I read just about all genres of romance and erotic romance. You have to feel passionate about your work, I think that’s the main key. If you don’t love what you do, others will know and your story will fall flat and lack that sparkle that draws readers in.

My writing process is simple. Get a million ideas in my head, select one, and pull up a fresh word document. The words and images just start coming to me, and sometimes my fingers can’t keep up with my brain, but I do my best. I’m a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of writer, which means I never plot. All right, I won’t say never. There was that one time, but it didn’t end so well. After chapter one, I threw the plot out the window and just went with my instincts as the story began to unfold. My characters usually have a mind of their own, so while I may think they’re going to follow path A, they opt for path B – which is uncharted and they end up going down a road with no clear destination in sight. Some say that isn’t a good way to write, but it seems to be working for me so far. Obviously I know there’s a happily-ever-after at the end, but aside from that, I just let my Muse guide me – which means I have to feed her lots of coffee and sugar! Otherwise, she revolts and I go days without writing a word. I hate those days.

Well, I was supposed to tag three more people, but the one author I talk to fairly often that I know has a blog is the one who tagged me… so I won’t be tagging anyone. But feel free to check out Ashlynn Monroe on Facebook. I’m sure she’d love for you to visit.

For Now and Always – the final chapter

Chapter One was posted February 17th

Chapter Two was posted February 18th

Chapter Three was posted February 19th

Epilogue

A year later

 

Jenny and Alex had been married for six months.  It seemed like a lifetime ago that he had come to her apartment to apologize to her.  After they had finally come up for air, Alex had asked her to marry him… and Jenny had accepted.

As she put dinner on the table, she glanced at the clock again.  Where was Alex?  He should have already been home.

Jenny picked up the phone to call and check on him when she heard the front door open.  Rushing through the house, she smiled when she saw him.

“I was getting worried.”

He grinned at her. “I’m sorry.  Traffic was horrible.  I should have called, but I was in a hurry to get home.”

Alex walked over and pulled Jenny into his arms, kissing her.  If he lived to be a thousand, he would never tire of his wife.  Every day with her was special, filled with love, laughter and smiles.

“Why don’t you come to the kitchen for dinner?  I just put everything on the table.”

Following his delectable spouse to the back of the house, he was surprised.  There were candles lit around the kitchen, giving it a cozy romantic feel.

“Everything looks wonderful, honey.  What’s the special occasion?”

Jenny slowly walked to him and placed her hands on his chest.  “I went to the doctor today.”

His brow furrowed and he looked at her in concern.  “Are you okay?  I know you haven’t been feeling well, but I thought it was just a flu bug.”

Jenny shook her head.  “Not exactly.”

Alex was starting to get worried.  What was wrong with her?

“Jenny, please tell me what’s wrong.”

She gave him a hesitant smile.  “I’m pregnant.  You’re going to be a daddy.”

Alex stared down at his wife in shock.  Pregnant?  She was having his baby?

A huge smile broke across his face and he picked her up and swung her around.  Laughing, he smiled down at her and kissed her soundly.

Jenny laughed. “I take it that you’re pleased?”

“Very much so,” he murmured against her lips.  Alex kissed her until they were both gasping for air.

“I love you, Jenny.  I’ve loved you since I first met you.  I’ll love you for now and always.”

 

Thank you for reading For Now and Always. You can download the story in it’s entirety here for free!

For Now and Always – Chapter Three

Chapter One was posted February 17th

Chapter Two was posted February 18th

Chapter Three

 

Two weeks later

 

Jenny hadn’t left her apartment for anything other than going to the office to pick up her laptop and to get some groceries from the store.  She holed up in her apartment, worked from home, and ate a ton of junk food.

Seth and Alex had both called, apologizing for what had happened.  She had ignored the phone both times.  That had been a week ago, and Jenny still hadn’t called either of them back. What would she say?

Wearing a pair of threadbare holey jeans and a tee shirt that one was one size too small; Jenny had her hair up in a pony tail and hadn’t bothered with make-up in days.  If she had walked out on the street, someone would have mistaken her for a bum.

Startled, Jenny heard a knock on her apartment door.  Who on earth could it be?

Looking through the peep hole, all she saw were flowers.  Thinking it must be a delivery guy at the wrong address, she opened the door.  Shocked, she couldn’t move or speak.

“Hi Jenny,” Alex said in a quiet voice.  He had dark circles under his eyes from lack of sleep.  His voice was thick with emotion. “Can I come in for just a minute?”

Jenny backed up to allow him into her tiny apartment.  She felt conflicted.  Part of her was happy to see her best friend, the other part was confused over how she should feel.

“What are you doing here, Alex?”

He sighed. “Since you wouldn’t take my call, I wanted to come and apologize in person.  I brought you these,” he said, handing her the mixed bouquet.

The flowers were beautiful.  Jenny sniffed them and went into the kitchen to put them in some water.

“Thank you for the flowers.  Alex, I didn’t call because I didn’t know what to say.”

He held up a hand to stop her. “I know and I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to make things weird between us.”

Jenny shook her head.  “It isn’t that.”

He tentatively stepped closer to her.  “Then what is it?”

Jenny looked up into his warm brown eyes, filled with concern and uncertainty.  What could she say to him?  That she didn’t know what to think or how to feel?

“I don’t know, Alex.  I don’t know anything right now.  It’s why I haven’t called.”

He reached out, wanting to pull her into his arms, but not sure if he should.  He had made such a mess of things!

“I’ll go.  Again, I’m really sorry, Jenny.”

She watched him walk to the front door.  “Alex, wait.”

He turned, curious.

Jenny quickly walked over to him.  She wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him.  Alex returned her hug.

“It’s okay, Alex.  I know you didn’t mean for things to end the way they did.”

He swallowed.  “I think part of me did know it would end that way.  I think I wanted him to leave that day.”

Jenny looked into his eyes and saw love shining down on her.  How had she never seen it before?  Alex loved her!

“Maybe it was for the best.  I wasn’t comfortable in Seth’s world.  How could we have ever had a working relationship?”

Alex felt hope.  Was she saying what he thought she was?

“I’m still sorry Jenny.”

Jenny placed her fingers over his lips.  Feeling their warm, firm, soft texture, she was overcome with the need to feel his lips against hers.  Pushing up on her tip toes, she pulled his head down and kissed him.

Alex was surprised.  He tightened his embrace and kissed her back.  Kissing Jenny was every bit as wonderful as he had thought it would be.

Jenny gave herself up to the kiss.  Never had she felt anything like it.  She had been with guys before, but kissing Alex was better than anything she had ever felt before.

Breaking the kiss, she looked into his eyes.  “I love you, Alex.”

His eyes widened in surprise.  “Say that again.”

She smiled. “I love you.  I think I have for a long time and just didn’t realize it.”

He tenderly smiled back at her, caressing her cheek.  “I love you too.”

Pressing herself closer to him, she kissed him again.

 

 

For Now and Always – Chapter Two

Be sure to read Chapter One first (posted February 17th)

Chapter Two

 

A few hours later

 

Jenny was seated across from one of her best friends, Alex.  She had met him the first week she had moved to California about six years ago.  Actually, she had literally run into him.  As she had walked out of a store in Venice Beach, Alex had been walking down the sidewalk.  Jenny had barreled out of the store, not paying attention to where she was going, and had found herself face to chest with Alex.

Jenny and Alex had never dated.  They had been too afraid of spoiling their friendship, but Jenny would be lying if she said he wasn’t attractive.  Alex was six feet five inches tall, which put him a foot taller than Jenny.  He had dark wavy hair and warm brown eyes.  He worked out in the same gym as Jenny so she knew for a fact that he was well built.

The day was so beautiful they had decided to eat their lunch out on the patio.  Alex had talked her into meeting him in Huntington Beach.  He lived nearby so Jenny was fairly certain he would end up talking her into a swim at his place.

Alex owned a small white stucco home with an in-ground pool in the landscaped backyard.  There had been many a day that Jenny had spent time by Alex’s pool, sunning herself and swimming in the nice cool water.

“So,  how’s work?” Alex asked.

“It’s good.  The business is starting to grow so I’ve been making more and more covers.  I think we’re up to twenty submissions per day now.”

“That’s great!”

Jenny nodded. “What about you?”

Alex shrugged. “It’s okay I guess.  I had to let a few people go last week so I’ve been doing more of the work myself.  I don’t mind being outside, but I’ve gotten spoiled and I prefer having more free time.”

Alex owned his own landscaping business.  He’d built it up from scratch about five years ago at Jenny’s insistence.  Once she had seen what he could do, she had urged him to make a career out of it. Now, he had twenty employees and a steady stream of customers.  He was usually booked for three months solid.

When they finished their lunch, the waitress left the check for them.  Jenny and Alex reached for it at the same time, their hands brushing each other.

Alex smiled at her. “You know I’m not about to let you buy your own lunch.”

Jenny rolled her eyes.  It was an old argument. “As if I can’t afford a bowl of pasta and a soda!”

Alex laughed.  “I know you can, but I asked you to come out here for lunch so I’m paying.”

Jenny sighed. She knew better than to argue.  Alex always got his way. “Fine, I know better than to try and dissuade you.”

Alex paid for their meal and walked Jenny outside.  He wasn’t ready for the day to end just yet.  He knew they were just friends and that she had been seeing someone, but there were times he wished he would have asked her out on a real date.

“How about going to my place for a swim and some dessert?”

Jenny laughed.  Alex was so predictable. “I think I can swing that.  Actually, my whole day is free.”

Alex gave her a huge grin. “Great! I’ll meet you there.  I’m just going to make a quick stop on the way home.  Do you have your key?”

“Yes.  I’ll probably be out by the pool.”

“Of course, where else would I find a water nymph?”

Jenny laughed.  She had always been able to swim like a fish and had loved the water since birth.

They went their separate ways.  What they didn’t realize was that they were being watched.  Across the street, Seth sat in his car.  He hadn’t meant to spy on Jenny, but he had been in the area and had spotted her having lunch with another guy.

Jenny had told him she was meeting a friend for lunch.  Was this the friend?  Why hadn’t she told him she was meeting a guy?  Every time he saw her smile at the other man, his gut clenched.  Without realizing what he was doing, he began following her when she drove off in her little green bug.

He was surprised when she stopped outside of a small house two miles from the restaurant.  Was she visiting someone else now?  Maybe she hadn’t been lying and she really had just met the guy for lunch as friends.

Seth watched Jenny walk up the small walkway to the front door.  After fumbling with her key ring a moment, she unlocked the door.  What was going on?  Why did she have a key to this place and who lived here?

Sliding down in his seat, Seth decided to wait and see what happened.  He felt horrible for spying on her, but he couldn’t seem to help himself.  He was crazy about her, wanted to marry her, and now she was acting suspicious.  Surely she wasn’t cheating on him!

Fifteen minutes later, another car pulled into the driveway.  The same man from the restaurant climbed out of the black truck and walked up to the door.  Opening the door, he went inside and disappeared from Seth’s view.

Seth felt sick and hurt.  How could Jenny do this to him?  She had just been in his arms last night and now she was meeting another guy? How long had this been going on?

Rolling down his window, he breathed in the fresh air.  They weren’t too far from the ocean and he could smell the salt in the air.

Seth sat there for thirty minutes or so.  As he was about to start his car, he heard Jenny squeal.  The air rushed from his lungs.  The only time she made that sound was when she was truly having a good time.

Before he knew what he was doing, Seth was out of the car and walking toward the gate at the back of the property.  Amazingly enough, the gate was unlocked.  As he pushed it open quietly, he stepped into the lush backyard.  The landscaping was amazing.  Even more amazing was the sight in front of him.

Jenny was in a pool in a two piece bathing suit with another man’s arms around her.  As he swung her around in the water, she squealed with glee.  She looked so happy!  Seth had a hard time breathing.

Oblivious to the man standing in his yard, Alex tightened his arms around Jenny in a bear hug.  Her back was to him and he rested his stubbly chin on her shoulder, which made her squirm even more.

“Alex, cut it out!” Jenny giggled.  He knew that her neck was sensitive and the silly man was rubbing his five o’clock shadow against her sensitive skin.

He grinned and kissed her neck before releasing her. “Your wish is my command.”

Jenny turned and splashed him. “You’re such a doofus sometimes.”

Alex laughed.  “Only you can get away with calling me that.”

“Oh yeah?  And what would happen to someone else?”

Alex got a calculating look in his eye.  Uh-oh.  Too late, Jenny realized she had issued a challenge without meaning to.

“No, Alex!  I didn’t mean it!  Alex!”

Jenny shrieked and tried to swim away, but Alex caught her.  Pinning her to the side of the pool, he tickled her mercilessly.  She was laughing so hard she was crying.  As she wiped the tears from her eyes, she spotted Seth standing near the gate.

Pushing against Alex’s chest, Jenny swam to the other end of the pool.

“Seth, what are you doing here?”

Seth glanced between her and Alex.  He wasn’t sure what to say or what to do.  Part of him wanted to turn tail and run, pretend he hadn’t seen her with another man.  The other part, wanted to confront her.

“I was driving through the area and saw you enter the house.  When I heard you in the backyard, I thought I would surprise you and meet one of your friends.”

Jenny smiled at him, unaware that anything was wrong. “Well, come on.”

Seth was startled. She actually wanted him to meet her other boyfriend?  Was she trying to rip out his heart?

Alex had slowly swum up behind Jenny.  Assessing Seth, he knew exactly what the man was thinking.  He knew he should correct the situation immediately, but the little devil on his shoulder wouldn’t let him.

Turning, Jenny bumped into Alex.  She laughed up at him.  “Alex, this is my boyfriend Seth.  Seth, this is my friend Alex.”

Seth walked closer, nodding to Alex.  “It’s nice to meet you.”

Alex forced a grin. “You too.”

Finally sensing the tension, Jenny glanced between the two uncertainly.

“What’s going on?”

Seth shook his head. Was she really that naïve?  “I come in here and see you in the arms of another man.  What am I suppose to think Jenny?”

Jenny stepped closer to him. “Seth, please don’t feel that way.  Really, Alex and I are just friends.  I’ve known him since I moved out here.”

Seth looked at Alex.  He could tell the man liked her as more than just a friend.  The question was, did Jenny know?

“And you, can you honestly tell me that the two of you are just friends,” Seth asked Alex.

Alex shrugged.  “If you’re asking if I’ve ever kissed her, nothing more than a brief peck under the mistletoe.”

Seth knew he should just accept that answer and walk away, but he couldn’t.  “Why do I get the feeling you wouldn’t mind it being more than that?”

Jenny was getting angry, something that didn’t happen often. “What’s wrong with you Seth?  How dare you come in here and question me and my friend!”

Stalking out of the pool and over to her towel, she wrapped it around herself. “You obviously don’t trust me.  Maybe you should just leave.”

Seth opened his mouth to respond, but Jenny had already turned and marched into the house.  His anger deflated immediately.  What had he done?  Why had he pushed?  He should have just accepted her answer, smiled, and left them to have fun.  But no, he couldn’t do that.  Instead, he had to drive away the one person who could make him smile, the only woman he loved.

Before he could make an even bigger ass of himself, he turned and left the backyard.  Walking to his car, he decided to give Jenny some space. He’d call her in a day or two and try to make it up to her.

***

Alex watched Seth go.  He should say something; try to patch things up between the couple.  Instead, he didn’t move until after the gate had swung shut.  Climbing out of the pool, he grabbed his towel and went to check on Jenny.

Stepping into the cool kitchen, he found her sitting at the table, crying.  He swallowed, felt like hell for being the cause of her tears.  Walking over to her, he placed a hand on her shoulder.

Jenny looked up with tears streaming down her cheeks.  She stood and wrapped her arms around Alex, burying her face against his smooth tan chest.  She didn’t understand how Seth could be so cruel.  Where was the funny, light-hearted man she had come to care so much about?

“I’m sorry, Jenny.  Please don’t cry.”

She sniffled.  “Why are you sorry?”

“I should have said something, done something… made him stay so you could talk things out.  Instead, I let him leave, knowing he had hurt you, knowing that I had done nothing to stop it.”

“It isn’t your fault, Alex.  You and I both told him we were just friends.  It isn’t your fault that he was suspicious and didn’t believe us.”

Alex sighed.  He briefly tightened his arms around Jenny, knowing he was about to screw up their friendship. “It’s more complicated than that Jenny.”

She looked up at him. “What do you mean?”

Alex backed away, ran a hand through his hair, and tried to figure out what to say.  “We may have both told Seth that we were just friends, but…”

“But what?  Just tell me Alex.”

He looked at her, wondering if it would be for the last time.  “We said everything the right way, but there was one thing that I couldn’t help.”

“Alex, you’re killing me.  Please just tell me what’s going on.”

“The one that I couldn’t help was the way I look at you.”

Jenny was confused.  “The way you look at me?”

Alex looked tortured. How could he tell her that he was the reason her boyfriend had left?

“Don’t you know what an amazing woman you are?  You’re funny, beautiful, talented!  Seth said the things he did, because he realized that I have feelings for you that go beyond friendship.”

“What?” Jenny was shocked. She slowly sank into her chair.  Alex had feelings for her? More than friendship type feelings?  This was too much!  She didn’t know what to think or what to feel.

“I think it’s best if I leave for now,” she whispered, getting up and heading to the guest room to change her clothes.

Jenny dressed and drove home.  Out of habit, she left her bathing suit in the bathroom hamper along with her wet towel.  She wasn’t sure if she would be back or not. There was a lot to think about right now.

 

For Now and Always – Chapter One

Chapter One

 

Present Day – Anaheim Hills, California

Jenny flipped her hair out of her face and glanced at the man lying in bed next to her.  She’d only been seeing Seth for a few months, but she knew he was different than the others.  She sighed and looked at the clock.  It was only seven o’clock on a Saturday morning.  While she could stay in bed longer, there wasn’t much point since she was awake already.

Rolling to the edge of the bed, she sat up.  Stretching, she stood and walked to the bathroom.  Flipping on the light, she closed the door so she wouldn’t wake up Seth.  Jenny pulled her hair out of her face and quickly washed her face and brushed her teeth.  Brushing out her long blonde hair, she pulled it into a pony tail.

Turning off the light, she walked back into the bedroom.  Seth was still sleeping soundly.  Walking over to the bed, she watched him for a few minutes.  He was tall, well over six feet, with sandy hair, blue eyes, and an athletic build.  She could look at him all day and never grow tired of his seeing his face.

Jenny turned to the dresser and pulled out a pair of yoga pants and an aqua tee shirt.  Grabbing a bra and panties out of another drawer, she quickly dressed and slipped out of the bedroom.  Deciding to let Seth sleep a little longer, she went to the kitchen to figure out something for breakfast.

***

In the other room, Seth slowly woke up.  Reaching out beside him, he searched for Jenny.  Opening his eyes, he saw that the bed was empty.  He grabbed her pillow and buried his face in it, inhaling her sweet scent.  Jenny was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Before he met Jenny, he had just been drifting through life from one day to the next.  Seth’s parents had been independently wealthy.  When they passed away in a boating accident, he had inherited all of their money and the family business.  You would think that he would be happy, but money wasn’t enough.

Stretching, he rolled out of bed.  Quickly pulling on some clothes, we went in search of Jenny.  Seth spotted her the moment he left the bedroom.  Her small living room opened into her even smaller kitchen. Jenny was standing at the stove making breakfast.

Careful not to alert her to his presence, Seth stood quietly – watching her.  Even doing mundane tasks, Jenny had a grace and elegance most women would envy.  Jenny wasn’t tall, but she wasn’t exactly small either.  Standing at five feet five inches, she had long straight blonde hair, sky blue eyes, and a lithe dancer’s form.

Jenny was everything a man could hope to find.  She was bubbly, energetic, and always ready to explore the unknown.  She also had a heart as big as the sea.  Whenever someone was sick, Jenny was the first one to show up with homemade soup and some magazines.

Clearing his throat, Seth decided to make his presence known.  Otherwise, he would stand there all day watching her, wanting her, loving her.  He’d known for a little over a month that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.  Seth just wasn’t sure how Jenny would react if he asked her to marry him.  His wealth had a tendency to unnerve her, which is why he was usually at her place instead of the mansion he owned in Malibu.

Hearing Seth, Jenny turned, smiling as she saw him.  From the first moment she had seen him, he had had the ability to steal her breath away.  He was well-to-do, too good looking for words, and for some inexplicable reason, he wanted to be with her.

“Good morning,” she said.

He smiled. “Morning.  You should have woken me.”

Jenny shook her head.  “I figured you needed your rest.”

She blushed remembering the previous night.  They had gone to a movie and dinner.  When Seth had brought her home, she’d invited him in for a glass of wine.  One thing had led to another and they had spent the entire night making love.

“I was thinking about going to the Santa Monica Pier today.  Would you like to go with me?”

“I’d like that, but I’m supposed to have lunch with a friend today.”

Seth nodded, he was disappointed, but he didn’t want her to break her plans.  He knew that Jenny didn’t have many friends and it wasn’t often that she did anything fun with them.  He wasn’t going to begrudge her having lunch with one of them just so he could spend more time with her.

“Maybe we can go next weekend,” he replied.

Jenny smiled. “That would be great.”

Fixing their plates, Jenny placed them on the small bistro table that dominated her tiny breakfast nook.  Her entire condo was less than a thousand square feet.  Since she was single and didn’t have any pets or kids, she hadn’t seen the need for a lot of space.

They ate their breakfast and discussed their plans for the week.  Seth’s business pretty much ran itself, but he still liked to pop in from time to time.  Jenny worked for a small publishing company designing book covers.  She could probably work from home a few days a week if she really wanted to, but Jenny kind of liked going in to the office.

My favorite authors…

 

readingowl

I’ve been asked, quite often, who my favorite authors are. There are so many talented authors out there that I’m always reading something new, and I’ve discovered quite a few new authors (to me) just in this past year alone. It would take forever to list all of my favorite authors, but there are a few that I read on a regular basis. The minute a new release comes out, I’m downloading it to my Kindle or Nook.

I’d have to say that, lately, my number favorite author has been Laurann Dohner. She has several series that I enjoy immensely (New Species, Cyborg Seductions, and Riding the Raines). I’ve read a few others of hers, but those three are ones that I will download the moment they become available, and usually have them read that same day.

My second favorite is probably Eve Langlais. Again, there are  multiple series that I read (Freakn’ Shifters, Alien Mate, F.U.C., Welcome to Hell, and Cyborgs: More than Machines). I’ve found that once I start a series of hers, I can’t stop until I’ve devoured every book that’s currently published. Then I sit and wait, very impatiently, for the next one to come out.

And lastly, my third favorite author is Celia Kyle. I’ve enjoyed her Ridgeville series, but recently downloaded the first book in her Greer series and fell in love. But then, what isn’t there to love about shapeshifting bears? I’ve also read quite a few of her books that don’t fall into either of those series, such as Were What?, Hedging His Bets, and Battered Not Broken (just to name a few).

Well, as you can see I read romance but cover a wide range of sub-genres. Anything from sci-fi to cowboys to paranormal. Not that my reading material fits neatly into one of those three categories, but those are the big ones.

Recently, I’ve also read: Cheyenne McCray, Emma Jay, Eliza Gayle, Zenina Masters, Vanessa Devereaux, Dana Marie Bell, and Hazel Gower.

A Red Hot Valentine story

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Sweet Sizzle, a Red Hot Valentine story.

Valentine’s Day—the bane of Rory Sinclair’s existence. Hard to forgive the one holiday responsible for the single most moronic decision of her life. If it was up to her, she’d skip anything to do with cupid, but with her business partner home sick with the flu, she’s stuck delivering a bunch of cookie bouquets to a local firehouse. Who knows, maybe she’ll cure her Valentine’s Day neurosis and heat up the mattress with a hunky firefighter. Her plan of donning some edible undies and getting her freak on goes up in flames though the instant she steps through the doors of Station 5 and spots Bennet Jackson—the man responsible for her decade long Valentine’s Day boycott.

No matter how hard he’s tried, Ben has never gotten over the innocent girl he foolishly let slip between his fingers. When Rory unexpectedly crashes back into his world, he figures it’s his only shot at righting the wrongs of his past and getting her back in his bed and his life. For good. Unfortunately, she has other plans. Ones that don’t include him. He’s well aware that she has every reason to despise him, but if there’s one thing he’s up for, it’s a challenge. Because there’s no way in hell he’s losing the woman of his dreams again. And this time he’s prepared to pull out every dirty, sexy, and hotter-than-sin trick to convince her to stay.

Excerpt

She stepped through the doorway, and resisted the urge to do an about-face when she spotted Bennet standing in the middle of the room, looking devastatingly gorgeous in a navy sport coat and khakis. Pulse thumping in double time, she took in the bouquet of roses and the suspicious heart-shaped box he held. “What do you think you’re doing?” She wasn’t entirely surprised at him showing up. She knew damn well how persistent Ben could be when he wanted something badly enough.

Too bad he hadn’t wanted her that much ten years ago. He wouldn’t have to resort to overpriced flowers and chocolate.

“I couldn’t let it end like that between us, Ro. I’m not giving up on you so easily.”

“You’re wasting your time.”

“Wrong. When it comes to you, there’s no such thing. I’ll wait forever for you if that’s what it takes.”

An undesired sting pricked at her eyelids. Damn it, she wouldn’t cry. It didn’t matter if the tears were ones of anger and frustration. She’d shed every kind imaginable over Ben. No more.

He closed the distance between them. A familiar sweet essence drifted to her nose, and she dropped her focus to the cellophane-wrapped flowers. Tucked amongst the red roses were dainty cotton candy pink freesia. She blinked, her vision blurring. The lump in her throat was almost worse than the threat of tears. Crying was a form of release, at least. This heaviness paralyzing her vocal chords was a mute bully gleefully suffocating her with her own emotions.

So he’d remembered about the freesia. It meant nothing. And it sure as hell didn’t make up for the endless hurt he’d put her through. She jerked her gaze back to his. “I want you to leave, Ben. There’s nothing here for you anymore.”

He shook his head. “You’re here.”

“I was speaking metaphorically. And besides, technically I’m not going to be around much longer anyway. I was about to close up shop before you came in.”

“It doesn’t smell like it to me.”

Damn those butterscotch scones for ratting her out. “This is a bakery. It always smells like that.”

“Nope. There’s something in the oven. I’d stake twenty bucks on it.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He cocked an eyebrow in challenge. “Don’t suppose you’d mind me going and checking it out first hand then, would ya?” Before she could respond, he sidled past her and strode into the kitchen.

Closing her eyes, she sucked in a steadying breath and counted to ten. By eight it was pretty freakin’ clear her patience had decided to skip out for the night. Grinding her molars, she followed after Bennet. She found him hunched in front of the oven, door wide open while he appreciatively whiffed at the scones inside.

“Damn it, shut that door.”

He did as directed, his teeth a bright flash of white highlighting his obnoxious grin. “Looks like someone owes me twenty bucks.”

“I never said I’d take your bet, smart ass.”

He rose to his feet and settled the flowers and chocolate on the prep station. “Admit it, Ro. You had no intention of seeing someone else tonight.”

“No, I did. I mean I do. Once those scones are finished, I’m going to meet my date for dinner.” Praying Ben would buy that load of bull, she crossed her fingers behind her back.

“Uh huh.” He took a step closer; forcing her to angle her head back enough to meet his gaze full on. “I guaran-damn-tee ya he’d be a waste of your time. Because no way in hell he feels a fraction of what I do for you.”

The persuasion in his whiskey baritone combined with the softness in his eyes provided a double whammy in the battle against her defenses. He was giving her no choice but to play dirty. Gripping the edge of the worktable behind her, she steeled herself and blurted out the biggest lie she’d ever uttered. “I feel nothing for you, Ben. Now please leave.”

Rather than slink out of the kitchen like she’d vainly hoped he would, Ben leaned closer, boxing her against the table. “You were never good at lying, Ro. Even if I didn’t have proof from your response to me earlier when I kissed the daylights out of you at the station, there’s still the small fact that your pretty nipples are waving a salute at me right now.”

She didn’t need to look down to verify he was telling the truth. The traitorous offenders had pebbled into hard peaks the moment he’d invaded her personal space. Every breath she dragged in came with the excruciating side effect of rubbing the lace of her bra against her sensitized flesh. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

“No?” He slid his hands around her waist and coasted them upward until he came to her breasts. Stalling there, he lazily grazed his knuckles back and forth, following the underside of her bra. “I’ll make you a deal. Allow me one kiss. If you still think it means nothing, I’ll leave. For good.”

Oh God. What hope did she have of pretending he left her unaffected if she went along with this? She probably had better odds of hitting the lottery and getting struck by lightning. Simultaneously. But what choice did she have? It was either agree to his insane proposal or spend the rest of the night arguing with him.

Just one kiss. Surely she had enough willpower not to get carried away. The butterflies in her stomach laughing uproariously at that delusional statement, she acquiesced with a resigned nod. “I have your word you’ll leave when I win this bet?”

The confident set of his jaw spoke volumes regarding his faith in being the victor in this round. “Absolutely.”

“Fine. Then give it your best shot, Casanova.” Oh Lord. Why did she tack on that provocation? She might as well wave a red flag at a bull and charge the beast head on. Ben’s nostrils flared, adding to the overall impression. Half certain he was about to paw the floor with his wingtips, she waited for the inevitable pounce. He surprised her by moving in slowly, his hands roving outward along the swells of her breasts. He inched infinitesimally closer, his mouth a hairsbreadth away from hers. She stared into his eyes, her heart drumming. Time stretched into an eternity. The intimacy of their almost kiss straddled the line of unbearable. He was teasing her. Making her long for that first taste. She licked her lips and watched the responding flare of heat in his irises.

But still the tormenting son of a bitch refused to make the next move. Growling under her breath, she gripped the lapels of his jacket. “Kiss me, damn it.”

His mouth crooked into a half smile. “Thought you’d never ask.” Slipping his arms around her, he cradled the back of her head and closed the scant distance separating their lips. The kiss mirrored his leisurely approach to initiating it in the first place, igniting with a slow burn that steadily built into a consuming flame. He tunneled his fingers through her hair, his lips coaxing. She submitted with a shuddery moan and wrapped her arms around his middle, her legs suddenly too wobbly to hold her upright. Ever the gentleman, he scooped her up by the butt and planted her on the edge of the worktable, all the while never ceasing his kisses. Hooking her legs around his waist, he sent a sliding kiss along the slope of her neck, unerringly locating the sweet spot beneath her ear that always did her in. She gasped, arching against him. He gently tugged on her hair, exposing more of her neck for his feasting. Shivers of pleasure chased after his descending mouth. His teeth scraped and nipped, prodding a whimper to escape her. He chuckled, the dark, smoky sound like velvet over her flushed skin.

Bastard knew she was at his mercy. Well, if she was going down hard she was damn well taking him along with her.

 

Sweet Sizzle is available at these online retailers:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Sizzle-Red-Valentine-Story-ebook/dp/B00HVJN8PM

B&N  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-sizzle-jodi-redford/1118063782

ARe  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sweetsizzle-1396631-149.html

Itunes  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sweet-sizzle-red-hot-valentine/id805199519

Check out the rest of the Red Hot Valentines at https://www.facebook.com/RedHotValentine

 

At the ripe age of seven, Jodi Redford penned her first epic, complete with stick figure illustrations. Sadly, her drawing skills haven’t improved much, but her love of fantasy worlds never went away. These days she writes about fairies, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures, only with considerably more heat.

She has won numerous contests, including The Golden Pen and Launching a Star. When not writing or working the day job, she enjoys gardening and way too many reality television shows.

She loves to hear from readers. You can email her at jodiredford@jodiredford.com and visit her online at www.jodiredford.com and her blog www.jodiredford.blogspot.com . You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Throwback Thursday — Vicus Luna

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The town of Windsor, Georgia lives in fear of the Vicus Luna, the local werewolf pack. Each month the pack comes out and abducts a woman, someone to do their bidding, little more than a slave. It’s on one of these nights that Cady Whitmore finds herself cornered by the Vicus Luna. Terrified, she faces three werewolves who wish to claim her as their own. When the alpha decides to claim her, Cady is horrified. From what she’s heard, the alpha is a womanizing, chauvinistic, cruel man… When Marshall drags her off to a secluded cabin, she worries for her safety and her life.

As Cady struggles with my challenges thrown her way, she finds herself caught in a difficult spot. While marshall may not love her, he isn’t ready to let her go. Marhshall’s friend and fellow pack member, Brendan, knows that Cady is speciall and will stop at nothing to make sure she’s safe, even if it means going against his brother, Eric, to keep her.

In the end, the best werewolf will win…

EXCERPT

Brendan gave in to her kiss, but pulled back when he felt her hand rub against the hard length of his erection. “Cady, we shouldn’t.”

“Why not?” she asked, pulling him back down.

“Because … I promised I would give you time,” he answered, wondering if he was an idiot for telling her no.

“You said I could choose the time. I’m choosing,” she said as she lifted her hips, teasing him.

“You aren’t going to make this easy, are you?” he asked.

She shook her head and rubbed herself against him again. Taking his hand, she guided it between her legs. Even with the barrier of her panties, Brendan could feel how hot and wet she was; she was swollen and ready for him.

Feeling brave, Cady reached down and slipped her hand inside of Brendan’s boxers. Her fingers skimmed along his skin, feeling his shaft. Grasping him in her hand, she rubbed up and down, enjoying the feel of him in her hand.

Brendan groaned. “Cady, you’re killing me.”

Pulling him free of his boxers, she rubbed herself against him again.

“Take my panties off,” she whispered.

Brendan shook his head. “I really don’t think this is a good idea.”

With every stroke she made, Brendan lost more and more of his self-control. Slipping his thumb under her panties, he felt her swollen nub. Even if he didn’t take her right now, there was no reason she shouldn’t find her release.

As Brendan stroked her, Cady arched her body. The only thing that would have made her feel better would have been having him inside of her.

Reaching between their bodies, she pulled her panties aside, her fingers brushing the back of his hand as he pleasured her. Grasping his thick length in her hand, she lifted her hips. She felt the head of his cock against her opening and whimpered, wanting more.

Brendan gritted his teeth. Feeling her wet heat and knowing that with just the slightest shift of his hips he could be inside of her was driving him mad. But he had promised to win her trust and that’s what he was going to do… even if it killed him.

Brendan flicked his thumb over her sensitive nub over and over. The closer Cady got to an orgasm the wilder she became. With a quick jerk of her hips, she managed to draw him part-way into her.

Brendan sucked in a breath and held still. He watched as Cady tossed her head from side to side. Her hips shifted so that he slid in and out of her body, causing just enough friction to send her over the edge. She thrust her hips one last time and cried out her release.

Spent, she collapsed onto the bed, her breath coming out in heavy pants.

Brendan allowed himself to slide from her body. He knew he’d have to go to the bathroom and take care of himself, but it wouldn’t be the same. He was still wet from her juices and so turned on he thought he might explode.

“Why didn’t you take me?” she asked.

“Because it wasn’t the right time,” he answered.

Cady reached for him, but Brendan drew back.

“If you touch me right now, I won’t be able to control myself,” he said. He bent down and kissed her before rolling out of the bed. Tucking his cock back into his boxers, he grabbed some clean clothes and beat a hasty retreat to the bathroom.

Vicus Luna

by Jessica Coulter Smith