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Brenda Margriet: STRICTLY BY THE BOOK – New Release!
Friday, April 14th, 2023

The fourth steamy seasoned romance in Brenda’s Silverberry Seduction Series released yesterday.

Here are what early reviewers are saying:

5 stars
“I loved this book! It is very well written and the characters are fully developed and relatable. Highly recommend!”
Reading by Deb

4 stars
“This author…has a way of telling a story that pulls me in.”
Karie G. on Goodreads

5 stars
“Brenda Margriet’s writing is skillful, leading to a great (and steamy) reading experience!”
Marie on Goodreads

Want to know more? Here’s the description…

Strictly by the Book

An adventurous, go-with-the-flow historian…a scrupulous, stick-to-the-rules scientist…an attraction so wrong it’s absolutely right.

Natalie Minton’s cheerful exterior hides desperation. She’s been out of work for months when her estranged sister appears on her doorstep pleading for help. An offer to write the biography of a local political legend couldn’t come at a better time.

Rafe Talbot rejected family tradition and chose medicine over politics. When he stumbles upon evidence of a hidden scandal, his only recourse is to work alongside—and stay one step ahead of—the vivacious scholar hired to chronicle his mother’s career.

Natalie’s exuberance strikes sparks off Rafe’s steely severity, luring them to ignore the secrets shadowing their pasts…until the glare of the present exposes intolerable truths.

Are you a member of a book club? I have to confess…I never have been. Is that odd for an author who is also a voracious reader? I don’t know!

When I set out to write a series centered around the members of a book club, I knew it wouldn’t be an ordinary club. While getting together with friends for wine and appies while you discuss your latest read sounds like something I would love to do, I wasn’t so sure readers would enjoy too many scenes like that. It sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it – to read about people reading?

So in Secrets Under the Covers (Book One, which is always available free here we see the Silverberry Book Club exactly as you would expect at the beginning of the story. But by the end, they have put aside their books and are enjoying a hot summer evening paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming at a lake. In Book Two, they paint pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). In Book Three they hike up a mountain and take a mixology class. In Book Five (which I am currently writing and will release Fall 2023) they learn to ride motorcycles.

In Book Four, Strictly by the Book, they participate in indoor rock climbing. Natalie (36) convinces Rafe (42) to join them. Guests are always welcome at Silverberry activities!

Here’s an excerpt from that scene…

The hour-long introductory session had eased the worst of Rafe’s worries. Watching Natalie swarm up the wall like a Lycra-clad gecko, though, had brought back his insecurities. He never tried anything new until he was one hundred percent certain he’d be good at it.

He didn’t have that luxury at the moment. It was either climb or flee.

After wiping sweaty fingers on his thighs, he gripped a green knob an arm’s length above his head. Placing the opposing foot into a tiny notch, he pushed up, leaving the safety and security of the floor behind.

He focused solely on the next hold for his fingers and toes—and the next and the next—resolutely refusing to calculate how high he was climbing. His intellect knew he wasn’t in real danger, that Benjamin would stop him if he fell, that despite the risks involved, this was a safe activity performed by children. His gut told him he was insane to do this just to impress a woman.

He gritted his teeth and kept on going, afraid if he stopped for an instant he would never get started again.

“Well, hello there.”

Blinking sweat out of his eyes, he realized his nose was level with a slim ankle protruding from a pair of worn climbing shoes. Lifting his chin, his gaze trailed up a smooth calf, along a strong thigh encased in form-fitting bicycle shorts, past a fuchsia athletic top snuggling rounded breasts, and ended on a pair of glittering, amused brown eyes unprotected by their usual glasses.

“Hello there.” His voice was hoarse with a mixture of exertion and fear.

“You might as well come all the way, since you made it this far.”

He worked his way up the last few feet until his face was the same level as Natalie’s. Chest heaving, he laid his forehead against the concrete wall and closed his eyes.

“Well done.” The sincerity in her tone was a surprise. She was so much better than he was. Having her compliment him meant something. “You did excellently. I knew you would though, given your muscle tone.”

He opened his eyes. The memory of exactly how she knew about his muscle tone was no longer as disconcerting as it had been, possibly trumped by the fact he was stuck to a wall like a petrified spider. “Thanks.”

“How do you feel?”

She asked as if she really cared, so he did her the courtesy of a thorough self-examination before answering.

And was surprised to find a sense of exhilaration overpowering any lingering anxiety.

“Good. Great, actually. I don’t know if I’m ready for the Matterhorn, but I’d try this again.”

Her lips curved, teeth flashing. Her left lateral incisor slightly overlapped its neighbour in an irritatingly charming fashion. “I’m glad. That’s what being a Silverberry is all about.”

He wasn’t sure he qualified for Silverberry status yet, but was pleased she thought he’d earned the title. His pulse, which had started to settle, kicked up again when she licked her upper lip. The shouts and laughter of other climbers echoed in the cavernous space, but at this moment he and Natalie were in their own private aerie.

Her gaze dropped to his mouth. Her tongue flicked out again, wetting her lips. His cock tightened against the restrictions of the harness and athletic shorts. He shifted slightly on his toes, leaning toward her…

…and slipped off his precarious perch.


Rafe let out a startled bellow as his feet shot out from underneath him.

Natalie stretched out a hand to steady him. “It’s all good. Benjamin’s got you. Just get another hold. You can do it.” She kept her voice low and soothing.

He scrambled for purchase, kicking and swinging. His fingertips, gripping a protrusion right at her eye level, were bloodless with tension. It was only seconds before he was secure again, but she knew exactly how terrifying it felt to free fall even a few inches when you weren’t expecting it.

Almost as terrifying as knowing he’d been about to kiss her only moments before. Her heart still pounded in her throat.

His shoulder was granite under her fingertips, rock-hard with fear. She patted it and then drew her hand away. “Okay now? That can be scary.” He stared at her, speechless, the whites of his eyes showing around the almost black irises. “Do you want Benjamin to belay you?”

“No.” His reply was sharp and definite. He sucked in a breath, held it, and then let it out slowly. “I made it up under my own power. And I’ll make it down, too. See you at the bottom.”

She gave him a head start, and then followed using a slightly different route. She took her time, not wanting to rush him, and reached the bottom a few moments after.

It took her a little while to recognize the starburst shining in her chest. Pride. She could see how much the climb had taxed him, knew how much willpower it had taken to risk this new adventure. Yet, he hadn’t let it conquer him.

She flung her arms around him. He staggered back against the wall, his hands clamping on her waist. “Well done. Congratulations!” She lifted on tiptoe and pressed a quick kiss on his sweaty cheek, tasting salt, his short whiskers tickling her lips.

His embrace tightened as he stared down at her. He was so much taller that the top of her head barely reached his chin. She had the sudden urge to press her nose into the hollow at the base of his throat and bask in his essence.

Mouth dry, she hurriedly released him. As soon as her arms dropped, his hold slackened, and she stepped to a safer distance.

“There’s a pub next door. We’re all going for dinner and drinks. You should come.” She was babbling, his continued silence only increasing her nervousness. “Or not. Whatever you like. I’m going to go shower now.”

She escaped.

Want to read more? Strictly by the Book is available at major retailers for a special release price.

Or, if you’d like to start the series for free, Book One Secrets Under the Covers is available here!

About the Author

Brenda Margriet writes savvy, slow burn, contemporary romances with ordinarily amazing characters. In her own ordinarily amazing life, she had a successful career in radio and television production before deciding to pilfer from her retirement plan to support her writing compulsion.

Readers have called her stories “poignant,” “explicit and steamy,” “interesting, intriguing and entertaining,” and “unlike any romance you’ve read before” (she assumes the latter was meant in a good way).

Connect with Brenda here!
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