Hi Delilah Fans! I’ve got an exciting new read for you, Her Pirate Adventure. Based on a story I wrote for Pirates, Delilah’s last edition of the Boys Behaving Badly collections, I’ve created a novella full of sexy fun perfect for your vacation reading.
Right now, this can be yours for only 99¢ or FREE if you’re on Kindle Unlimited. What I’m hoping is that you’ll like it sooo much that you’ll nab it and write a review! Have I ever asked for much?
Her Pirate Adventure
Thoroughly disappointed with her expensive cruise ship vacation, Burgess Carter has one night left to find the adventure she craves. She looks up from her dinner at a seaside restaurant to see someone who might make her dreams come true. A man stands at the prow of his sailing sloop as it glides up to a nearby pier. A man like she’s never seen before, tall, dark, gorgeous and maybe a pirate. A man she absolutely has to meet.
Morgan Rand has a lot on his mind. Tomorrow will be the last day of a massive project that he and his crew have been working on for months. With any luck, he’s about to become incredibly rich. He’s nervous, exhilarated and exhausted, but not too far gone to catch the stare of an enchanting female watching him from the deck railing of his favorite restaurant. Good thing he plans to eat there. He’ll make his move on this intriguing lady and discover if she’s up for his dare.
What happens when Burgess decides to stow away and see if this pirate is real? When he decides to blow up her entire concept of adventure?
With every sense piqued to the limit, Burgess tried to make a reasoned decision. She had never wanted a man like this, had never even met someone this amazing. She’d also never brazened such an outrageous maneuver. Yes, he’d been friendly. But this was his personal space. Would he be upset?
Tall, tanned, and scandalously good looking, he had actually come up to her, recognized her, talked to her. Invited her to his table, for God’s sake. Was it like she was really intruding here when a person took all that into consideration?
Anyway, even if he was upset, what would he do? It’s not like he’d beat on her or throw her overboard. At the worst, he might say she had to leave. She lifted her chin. This was her chance and she wasn’t going to chicken out now.
The boat rocked gently as she slipped further into the shadowy room. After a moment’s hesitation, she stripped off her clothes, tossed them to the floor, and climbed into the bed. Snuggling deep into the covers, she punched the pillow and propped her head so she’d see anyone entering the room.
“Umm.” Burgess was having the most incredible dream. Big rough hands caressed her breasts. A warm mouth suckled the tight nipples and kissed the hollow of her throat. “Oh,” she moaned.
If only dreams could be real. This one felt perfect. Heat radiated from his skin. He smelled of bay rum and salty air.
“Are you awake?”
A generous deep voice rumbled in her ear, so incredibly masculine. She arched toward him, urging the dream to continue. His hand slid down her belly, brushed over her damp center, then traced a light circle around her stiff clitoris sending gooseflesh down her legs.
“Oh, please,” she moaned.
The sound of his chuckle startled her awake. Light from the galley met her barely opened eyes. A dark room. A man…
Lizzie Ashworth lives in the wilds of the Ozark Mountains with three cats, two hound dogs, and too many deer in her yard. She’s been writing her entire life and wants her readers to know how much she enjoys sharing her naughty stories.
Molly Ivers thinks she is falling for the opposite of Prince Charming, and she knows she should give him up, but, oh, the temptation.
WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR
Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, but without a devilishly sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker Evan Castle.
Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who hasn’t given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.
Molly laughed while she told her what had happened last night, though at the moment, she wasn’t sure it was a joke. She sighed and left the computer to go make scrambled eggs. Nell followed her to the kitchen.
“So, should I call you ‘Number One’ now?”
She could never keep a straight face with Nell. Molly speared a peach slice with a fork and nibbled the end of it. Sweetness filled her mouth. “‘Make it so.’ No, nerd. He seems pretty cool. I mean, if I check it out, this may turn out to be a positive change. At the least, he’ll get me in shape for Paris. His bio says he’s from Giverny, and he’s a retired civil-rights attorney. His website says that when he retired, he decided to change his objective to improving people’s lives, which is why he’s a life coach. Pretty impressive.”
“So, you’re going through with it?”
“Going through with what?” They both looked into the living room, where a bemused Evan stood half naked and barefoot in a pair of black pajama bottoms. Molly licked nectar off the peach on the end of her fork to save it from dropping to the floor. Evan’s jaw tightened, and his eyes gleamed as he zeroed in on her. He cleared his throat and lifted an empty half gallon of milk. “Sorry, you left the door cracked open. I came to borrow milk.”
“Jesus, Evan! Knock next time, or at least text. I’m in my panties.” Nell smacked him on the arm and tugged down her nightshirt as she ran past him into her bedroom.
“Sorry,” he said, but he seemed distracted as he strode toward Molly, eyes glued to her lips. She sucked the rest of her peach slice into her mouth and wiped at a little of the nectar at the corner of her lips. Her cheeks blazed at the hungry longing in his eyes. She turned away to open the fridge to get the milk. It wasn’t uncommon for them to borrow food from one another, and he always watched out for them. He had a comforting, protective nature she’d gotten used to.
She grew painfully aware of her night shorts, which had a tendency to ride up her butt and cut off at mid-thigh, and her thin white tank top. Could he see her nipples? And jeez, Louise, why did they have to harden every time he came near her?
She pushed hair out of her face and poured the milk into his empty half gallon. “Help yourself to the fruit in the bowl there. Nell had leftovers. How much milk do you want?”
“Enough for a bowl of cereal, please. I’ll get some at the store later.” His voice only dropped that low and husky during sex. She stopped after she poured enough milk, then gave him extra.
Evan reached over her to open a nearby drawer. He took out a fork, inserted it into the flesh of a peach slice, and brought it to his lips.
“Forbidden fruit, hmm?”
He teased the fruit around his lips with a wicked smirk. He winked at her and sank his teeth into half the peach as he watched her, licking it. Her mouth went dry. Oh, he knew what he was doing.
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About the Author
Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.
Thanks for letting me visit with you, Delilah! I thought it would be fun to share the story behind the story with your readers. Let me back up a minute. The first question usually starts: Where do authors get their ideas?
Someone told me they think an author’s brain is a scary place! We do constantly ask, “What if…?”
Sometimes a daydream offers a story start, but ideas and inspiration can show up in the strangest places. My husband and I were in eastern Washington state, hiking along the Snake River in a game management area called Big Flats (which happens to feature in So About The Money, the first book in the Holly Price Mystery series). We had to push through some tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer whose mind really can go strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn’t this be a great place to find a body?”
Fortunately, he laughed.
That germ of an idea—a body in the middle of nowhere—kept growing. Why would the heroine be at Big Flats to stumble over the body? How did the body end up beside the river in the first place?
The idea for In It For The Money (Book 4 in the series) came while I was chatting with a friend’s nephew at a party. He was all excited about designing some bizarre machine called a Rockcrawler. I had no clue what he was talking about, but I picked up on his passion. And my writer’s brain went, Hmmm… Rockcrawlers… That’s different.
Let me explain Rockcrawling—or rather, here’s how Holly described the sport to her friend, Laurie Gordon, after Holly dragged Laurie to the opening day events:
“Two guys were sitting on their back porch, drinking.” Holly raised her wine glass and Laurie clicked the rim. “One polished off his beer, belched, and popped open another can. He pointed at the vacant lot next door and said, ‘Betcha I can drive my truck over those rocks.'”
“You’re lying.” Laurie narrowed her eyes.
“Swear to God.” Holly raised her right hand. “And since God takes care of idiots and drunks, the first one made it over—alive—and his friend and all their friends had to try. And their friends…” She waved at the scene before them.
Continuing that excerpt…
Beyond the last vendor booth, Holly saw another jacked-up truck rumble toward the enormous pile of boulders that marked the start of the rockcrawler course. The crowd shifted, watching the truck’s progress up the torturous 45-degree angle.
Just past a short series of tented seating—the sponsors’ section and some “premium seats”—an array of parked pickup trucks overflowed the designated parking area. Men—and a few women—stood in the beds for an elevated view. More than one person had climbed onto the top of the truck’s cab. The coolers and grills gave new meaning to the term “tailgate party.”
Holly waved a hand at the crowded areas beside the course. She wasn’t sure what to call the space. The stands? Infield? Peanut gallery? “Trucks climbing over rocks may be nuts, but this is fun. It’s like a big party.”
“Clearly, you don’t get out enough,” Laurie said dryly.
“’Course, when you told me rockcrawling was a big deal, I about laughed my ass off. I mean, seriously? Rockcrawlers? I still can’t believe they drive trucks over big piles of rocks.” Laurie worked in admin at the local hospital. The Boulder Bounders sporting event wasn’t exactly her scene, either. “I’ve never seen so much alcohol and testosterone in the same place. It’s like a slow-mo NASCAR race with giant wheels.”
“And rocks. Don’t forget the rocks,” Holly said. For a moment, she longingly watched the partying instead of the competing truck. She needed to, make that wanted to, invite friends over for a cookout at her house—if she could find an open afternoon in her overcrowded schedule.
Yeah, good luck with that.
IN IT FOR THE MONEY
Holly Price traded professional goals for personal plans when she agreed to leave her high-flying position with the Seattle Mergers and Acquisition team and take over the family accounting practice. Reunited with JC Dimitrak, her former fiancé, she’s already questioning whether she’s ready to flip her condo for marriage and a house in the ‘burbs.
When her cousin Tate needs investors for his innovative car suspension, Holly works her business matchmaking skills and connects him with a client. The Rockcrawler showcasing the new part crashes at its debut event, however, and the driver dies. Framed for the sabotage, Tate turns to Holly when the local cops—including JC—are ready to haul him to jail. Holly soon finds her cousin and client embroiled in multiple criminal schemes. She’s drawn into the investigation, a position that threatens her life, her family and her already shaky relationship with JC.
Cathy Perkins started writing when recurring characters and dialogue populated her day job commuting daydreams. Fortunately, that first novel lives under the bed, but she was hooked on the joy of creating stories. When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website or follow her on BookBub for new release announcements.
I love my Uncharted SEALs series. All have rugged, alpha heroes. All have strong heroines. Humor. Action. All the ingredients that make the stories fun for me to write, and hopefully, fun for you as well.
With Uncharted SEALs, I experimented a bit. For the first time, I did sequels with the same characters—for the simple reason I couldn’t say goodbye to them. I wanted to see inside their Happy Ever Afters. Through Her Eyes and Between a SEAL and a Hard Place share the same main characters, as do Dream of Me and Heart of a SEAL. Big Sky SEAL gave birth to my Montana Bounty Hunters, introducing Jamie and Reaper, who as a result of their work in Big Sky earned their own satellite office of MBH.
A fun theme I used in two of the stories was a cruise ship. Both Before We Kiss and Hard SEAL to Love are set on the same ship, and have the same supporting characters. You’ll meet the old guys in the scene below. Hope you enjoy it!
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Win your choice of one of my Uncharted SEALs stories! There will be 3 winners! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…
If you could go anywhere in the world, what would be your cruise destination?
Before We Kiss
Navy SEAL, William “Wiley” Coyote, should have known his “piece of cake” assignment would go sideways in a hurry. But he’d been lured by the promise of an all-expenses-paid cruise. A nice “fluffy” assignment after the last one spent escorting freighters through pirate-infested waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
A general’s daughter, Poppy Shackleford, wasn’t some spoiled daughter of a man made famous for defeating insurgent forces. She’d endured her own tragedies—the loss of her mother when she was young and her father stationed in Afghanistan, and the loss of her fiancé after he’d sustained wounds in Iraq—not from the physical wounds that had claimed his two legs—he’d taken his own life. His death was why Poppy was involved in Soldiers’ Sanctuary, a non-profit that helped disabled soldiers adjust to their new circumstances. Her mission in life is to see that no veteran of war would ever feel so alone, so hopeless he’d choose her dead fiancé’s path. Which was why, despite the current threats against her father, she was on this cruise, assessing the ship’s ability to accommodate the soldiers rather than sending a surrogate.
However, the first threat doesn’t come from terrorists with an axe to grind. Mexican banditos stop her tour bus heading toward Mayan ruins to shake down the passengers for their money and belongings. When one snaps a picture of her, he soon figures out there’s a much bigger payday. She knows she’s going to be kidnapped, but she didn’t know someone was on that same tour bus who had her back.
Wiley’s unconventional takedown of her would-be kidnappers exposes the fact her father didn’t honor her wishes to fly under the radar. And now that the cat’s out of the bag, Wiley’s made it clear he’s moving into her suite for the rest of their time at sea to keep her out of harm’s way.
Excerpt from Before We Kiss…
William “Wiley” Coyote should have known the “piece of cake” assignment his team leader, Deke Warrick, offered him would go sideways in a hurry. But he’d been lured by the promise of an all-expenses-paid cruise. A nice “fluffy” assignment after the last one spent escorting freighters through pirate-infested waters in the Strait of Hormuz. He was due a vacation, and he’d envisioned slipping into a chaise on the cruise ship’s deck while his target sunbathed nearby. Something his team leader had warned him might not be in the cards. After all, Deke’d had a similar, simple assignment when he’d been tasked with protecting a girl. And look what it had gotten his buddy. Shot at. Then married. Happily, it seemed.
Not that Wiley had marriage on his mind. No, sir. Not him. Everything he owned was stuffed into a duffle bag. He lived in hotel rooms, tents, and, now, a cruise boat cabin. No, he had nothing to offer a bride. Marriage wasn’t something in his cards. And certainly not to some celebutante who couldn’t keep her picture off multiple social media sites on a daily basis. That sort of exposure, even by association, would be deadly in his line of business.
He’d listened intently when Deke outlined his assignment, determined to keep this job all business, despite the photos that had spilled from the envelope during his initial briefing.
“Every time she steps out of her suite, the room attendant will buzz you. You keep on her tail, but not close enough she notices. Her daddy said she’d raise hell if she knew he’d hired security after she refused a special detail.” At that point, Deke had grinned. “I think he’s a little afraid of her.”
Wiley hadn’t smiled. Instead, he’d grunted. General Shackleford wasn’t any lightweight desk-jockey. He’d seen his share of action.
The ship had barely left the Port of Miami before Wiley understood. The woman never stopped moving. Or talking. Sometimes loudly, if she didn’t like what she heard. If he could have worn earplugs, possibly his first impressions of her would have been very different.
Poppy Shackleford was a pretty little thing. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, lightly tanned, curves in all the right places. And maybe five-foot-two in her espadrille sandals. He’d had a girlfriend charge two pairs to his credit card years ago, so he knew darn well what they were and how much the cork-heeled things cost. Although he could appreciate the sexy curves the three-inch heels gave her toned calves, he wasn’t risking getting any closer. So far, he’d managed to operate under the radar. He had no doubts she’d know exactly what he was there to do if she got one good look at him. Nothing escaped her attention. Not the too-steep ramps leading onto the ship when they’d embarked. Nor the undercooked steak she’d been served last night in the dining room.
He’d begun to think she was deaf because she talked so loudly, but then he’d realized her complaints were on behalf of her fellow passengers, and this cruise had been billed as senior-themed. Most of the thousand passengers on board were over seventy. The dinner conversation surrounding him last night consisted of tracking blood sugar levels as his companions pricked their fingertips and fed droplets of blood into their readers. Afterwards, their conversation drifted to the best fiber to promote healthy bowels and where the captain would store their bodies if they happened to pass during the night.
“No kidding?” Deke had said after Wiley’s status update early that morning.
Wiley’s jaw ground shut at the snickering no hand over a receiver could muffle. “The Countess cruise line’s security seems pretty tight. Someone is always nearby, although they’re better at blending in than I am.”
“You mean you didn’t pack any Hawaiian shirts?”
“Don’t own one,” he’d gritted out.
“How are you keeping from blowing your cover?”
Wiley grunted. “I haven’t shaved, and I have on my cowboy hat and boots.”
“So you’re sticking out like a sore thumb.”
“She won’t expect a security detail to blend in quite like I do.”
Deke grunted. “Just remember you have people positioned around the ship. Channel two if you need them.”
Which would be great if his assignment was actually aboard the ship. The farther into the jungle their tour bus drove, the deeper his concern grew. They were on an excursion to view Mayan ruins. Anywhere along their route would be a great place for an ambush. The two security people provided by the cruise line to accompany his target were in good shape, but he could tell neither was armed. Conventional weapons were impossible to smuggle aboard the ship, and the weapons kept under lock and key aboard the vessel wouldn’t have been permitted for this little jaunt.
And why were they out here? If he remembered right, the pyramids weren’t exactly wheelchair-friendly. But he knew Poppy was thorough, that she took her tour coordinator job seriously. No stone would be left unturned. No tour unvetted, personally, by her.
He’d read the dossier Charter Group had put together. Poppy Shackleford, daughter of Lieutenant General Randall Shackleford, wasn’t some spoiled daughter of a famous man. She’d endured her own tragedies—the loss of her mother when she was young and her father stationed in Afghanistan, the loss of her fiancé after he’d sustained wounds in Iraq, although not from the physical wounds that had claimed both his legs. Frank Sutton, who’d been despondent over the loss, had killed himself.
His death was why Poppy was involved in Soldiers’ Sanctuary, a non-profit that helped disabled soldiers adjust to their new circumstances, whether supporting wounded vets with additional therapies the VA was slow or unable to provide, or seeking the latest in prosthetics and mobility devices. And the organization provided mentorship, one wounded soldier to another, to ensure no veteran of war would feel so alone, so hopeless, they’d choose Frank Sutton’s path.
Wiley understood and admired her for not simply crying then moving on, but embracing a cause that might help others. However, today he wished she wasn’t quite so determined to make it impossible for him to protect her. Not that she had a clue he was there. If she’d glanced toward the back of the air-conditioned bus, all she might have noted was one dark head amid a sea of white, gray, and blue.
The fellow seated next to him gave another narrow-eyed, flinty glance.
Wiley aimed a frown his way, hoping the old guy would mind his own business. The man was burly, surprisingly muscled for an old dude.
He leaned sideways in his seat and whispered, “Name’s Joseph Olinsky, but you can call me Joe. I’m a Marine.” He nodded toward the head of the bus where Poppy stood beside the tour guide, asking questions. “She someone important?”
Not as invisible as I thought. Wiley blinked. “No, sir. I think she’s just another passenger. A noisy one.”
Shaking his head, Joe grunted. “She has a detail. That guy with a clipboard ain’t a cruise director. I’d say he’s ex-Navy, probably a SEAL. Has a trident tattoo on his upper arm. Saw it when he was stowing her backpack into the overhead.”
Knowing there was no use convincing Joe he was just a guy on a trip to see a pyramid, Wiley gave him another look. He recognized the type—his dad had been the same steady, patriotic sort. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Maybe he did need backup, should shit go sideways. “You’re right,” he murmured. “The cruise line provided her security.”
“What about you?” his gray-haired companion asked.
“Name’s Wiley, and I was Navy.”
“A SEAL,” he said, nodding. “Can’t hide that look. Everyone else, besides her, has been taking a nap. Not you. You’ve been watching the road ahead. Expect trouble?”
“Not expecting, but prepared.”
Joe nodded. “Don’t get along as well as I used to,” he said, patting his right knee. “But I can be another set of eyes. And I do know who she is, son. She’s the daughter of that general ISIS wants taken out. They had his face and his daughter’s plastered all over Facebook faster than Homeland and the FBI could take down the pages.”
Wiley almost smiled at how in tune the old guy was. “Nothing much gets past you, does it?”
Joe lifted his chin toward two older gentlemen seated across the aisle from them.
Wiley glanced over to find both old codgers staring back.
“We were in the same division, the 3rd, during Vietnam. We’re all that’s left of our company. Try to take a trip every couple of years. Went to Nam five years back. There were eight of us then.”
Wiley nodded his understanding.
“That’s Morty,” he said, pointing at the thin one with a round belly. “The other one’s Sly.”
Sly gave him a grin that displayed unnaturally white teeth.
Wiley gave both men a nod then turned his attention back to the front of the bus.
“She know you’re tailing her?”
How had the old guys figured out he was there for Poppy? He remembered how the old men had jostled him, cutting him from the rest of the group when they’d boarded the bus. He’d thought it unintentional, but now knew they’d meant to be seated beside him. Admiring their cunning, he shook his head. “She doesn’t know. Not yet, anyway.”
“Need a better cover,” Joe said, eyeing his boots and the scruff on his chin. “Could tell folks you’re my grandson.”
Wiley chuckled. Sounded like a better plan than the one he’d started with. “Just don’t get in the way. If things go down…”
“You could use another set of eyes—between the three of us, we might just make one good pair.” Joe tilted his head toward his buddies.
This time, Wiley laughed.
Joe grinned and gave a slow nod to his companions, who settled back in their seats and now directed their attention to the job at hand—and the woman wearing the pretty blue dress at the front of the bus.
Suddenly, the bus shuddered and slowed. Cries arose from those seated near the front.
“Fat’s in the fire now,” Morty said, pointing forward.
Wiley cussed. A pickup was parked sideways in the middle of the road. He began to rise, but then he noted the four men standing in front of the truck. All dark, but with features that were clearly Mestizo. So, bandits rather than terrorists. He settled back in his seat. He’d let this play out a bit before he gave himself away. As long as no one was hurt, he’d keep his cover.
I’m addicted to Historical romances. In fact, the very first romance book that I ever read was an Amanda Quick novel. I was hooked from the first sentence and haven’t stopped reading the genre since. There are so many great eras to write and read in — Regency, Medieval, Victorian, WWI and WWII, and let’s not forget Ancient times — give me a hunky Roman legionary any day 😊.
So, it made perfect sense to me when one of my favorite authors, Carole Mortimer, suggested we do an anthology together. I love Carole’s books!
But Ms. Mortimer’s generous offer did make me think. I started wondering what it is in general that I love about romance books and what keeps me writing them. Yes, of course there is the romance. Who doesn’t love a happy ever after ending? I know I’m guaranteed a HEA in any romance that I read, and yet still, I get tense reading my favorite books, rooting for the main couple and hoping they overcome the obstacles tossed their way so they do end up together on the last page. But I was thinking more about the characters — heroes specifically. And then it dawned on me, I love Cinderella books. No matter what I write — Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary, even Reverse Harem, I write heroes who are princes. Maybe not necessarily always the conventional prince with a crown and castle (though I do write a lot of those, even Princes of Hell), but what I love best about a good hero, is that he’s a prince at heart. He loves his soulmate. He’s caring, he’ll go to great extents to do what is right for her, even going so far as giving her up so she can have a better life. Of course then his sidekick has to always step in and hit him over the head with a good dose of sense and make him realize he is what is best for the lady in his world.
And that is what I hope I accomplish with every book I write — a happy ever after ending for a couple who truly love each other. Or in the case of my Reverse Harem books, a HEA for a heroine and her three heroes 😊. But even in RH books, my heroes are always devoted to their girl.
Long live the Romance!
A REGENCY DUO
By USA Today Bestselling Author Carole Mortimer and Angelique Armae
An excerpt from PRINCE OF SCANDAL by Angelique Armae:
He smiled to himself. Eliza was a real spitfire, if nothing else. Though he was starting to see she was a lot more. In fact, she was everything he was missing in his life—kindness, beauty, humor, selflessness. He could go on all night about Eliza’s good qualities. He really should have never let her go. “I may be a cad and God knows what else, but I am not going to steal the bed from you. Now get in and get a good night’s sleep.”
“Really, it’s fine. I’m too sore to move.”
“You’ll be stiffer in the morning spending the night in a chair.”
He’d be stiffer spending the night in bed with her. “I’m afraid it must be as nothing can entice me to move at this point.”
“You really are difficult, Your Royal Highness.”
He quirked an eyebrow.
Eliza responded with a lick of her luscious, plump lips.
The woman had no idea the misery she caused him. “If it weren’t for my damn wound, you’d be very sorry for having just done that.”
National best-selling author Angelique Armae / J. C. Makk is a native New Yorker who loves all things royal, can trace her Irish roots back to the Scottish Highlands, is half Italian, and is owned by a long-haired Tuxedo feline. As a child her favorite toy was Emerald The Witch, a small doll with green eyes, green hair and purple skin. She spends most days writing, unless her cat deems otherwise.
Meet Titus – the Soon to be Alpha of the Rock Prowler Pack when interviewed by one of his pack’s cubs.
“You want something, Sammy? An interview for your school magazine? Well… I suppose it couldn’t hurt.”
Sammy giggled and opened up his writing book. “So, T. what’s your nickname.”
Titus: “Never had one. Not unless T. counts. You started something the first time you called me that. Now the whole pack uses it.”
Sammy blushed. “It suits you. But I said Big T first, what with you being so big and all. Anyway. Where did you go to school?”
Titus:“I planned to head to earth and do some serious study”—he shook his head—“but things went so far south it never happened. Some witch kidnapped my true-mate and I spent almost a century trying to free her.” The wolf’s shoulders slumped as he stared into the distance. After a deep breath, he added. “Not that she wants anything to do with me or the pack. I guess you can say I graduated from the school of Hard Knocks.”
Too young to understand Titus’s pain, Sammy shook his head. “Girls suck.”
Titus:“Only when you’re a cub. Give it a few years and you might say different. My best dream was to bond with my true-mate but she wouldn’t even look at me. Now I don’t have any dreams left.”
Sammy carefully wrote Titus’s every word in his notebook. “What would you do if you became rich overnight.
Titus:(growls softly). “I can’t see my luck changing now. No, don’t write that bit down. Let’s just say I’m not hurting financially and I don’t need more money.”
Sammy broke off to sharpen his pencil. “And what’s your favorite food?”
Titus:Nothing tastes good anymore except whisky. No, don’t write that down either. Just put that I don’t have much appetite. I hunt and I eat whatever I can find. That’s it, Sammy. Interview over.”
Titus stood and beckoned a group of cubs over.“Time for your tracking lesson. Give me a two-minute head start, and if you find me, I’ll shout the lot of you an ice-cream.”
To Seduce an Omega
The Rock Prowler alpha condemns Viola for her inability to shift. Forced into poverty and isolation, she ekes out a meager existence as a healer. As the pack omega with a crippled knee, she’s forbidden to mate. Her first heat beckons, but no wolf will dare to bed her.
Titus, a wolf rejected by his true mate, overflows with violence and anger. The Lykae King sends him to take over the Rock Prowler pack. He condemns Viola for wanting payment before she treats her patients and threatens to bring in a new pack healer. With her crippled knee and no other income, she’d starve.
She-wolves from families who disagree with the alpha have vanished. When Titus investigates, the alpha’s allies imprison both him and Viola. To escape, he must seduce Viola—the she-wolf he insulted and reviled. If that’s not bad enough, she despises him for his seeming allegiance to the alpha. As he gets to know her, she steals his heart, but after all that’s happened, how can she accept him when even his fated mate refused him?
“Heal her.” The stranger scowled and thrust the injured woman at Viola.
She blinked and stepped back so quickly she almost overbalanced. After taking a moment to stand up as straight as her crippled leg allowed, she donned her professional healer persona. “For a price. Cash. Up front.”
Viola lied, of course. Leaving anyone in pain was beyond her, but the man with the broad chest and gold-flecked eyes didn’t need to know that. Besides, unless she got hold of some cash soon, she might never eat meat again.
The low growl that rumbled from his throat and the way his eyes narrowed made her wish she’d stayed silent. He bared his fangs, and although she wanted to retreat, she stubbornly held her ground.
His lip curled. “Do it. I’m good for your fees. Just get a move on.”
His deep, angry rumble made her think of a volcano ready to erupt. And damn, when she stared up him, he looked as tall as the mountains that trapped her in Rock Prowler territory. Out here in the midst of the forest, miles from the nearest settlement, she should be wary. This stranger emanated strength, protection, and…flat-out fury. At her.
His jaw clamped as he shoved past her into the hut. She followed, mentally triaging her patient. Tansy’s clothes hung off her in tatters, and an arrow stuck out of her leg. Deep scratches, the sort only a murder thorn could inflict, covered her torso. The woman’s breathing came in fast, shallow pants. Her skin looked as though it had been touched with frost, and rivers of dried blood stained her leg.
Absently, Viola wondered what the other woman been up to that involved tangling with a bush renowned for shredding skin. Not running from Mr. Fix-It here, I hope. Ignoring her concerns and her attraction to a newcomer with the short hair and bad attitude, she reached out to stroke Tansy’s hair. Rather than gather her supplies, Viola hardened her heart and met the stranger’s gaze.
With his torn ear and bent nose, Mr. Fix-It looked ready to tear out her throat. Her stomach clenched as though he’d punched her, and his disgusted look promised a reckoning once she’d tended Tansy’s wounds. Viola’s tender heart went out to the woman in his arms. Despite her bold words, she’d never let Tansy suffer, but she needed to bargain to survive.
As the pack’s omega wolf, she expected nothing from anyone—except insults, of course. Chin high, spine stiff, she kept her hands at her side. “Perhaps you shouldn’t have chased her into a murder thorn in the first place. Of course, I’ll help her once we’ve agreed on a price.”
The stranger’s furious growl cut to her heart, but unless she demanded her cash in advance, she’d starve.
About Kryssie Fortune
Kryssie’s imagination runs wild. She loves dragons, sensual Fae, and sensual vampires. Show her a dominant Lykae male and her toes curl. Feel free to visit her website or check out her blog. She can also be found on Facebook or Twitter.
Next week, the fourth book in the Montana Bounty Hunters series hits Amazon! Cochise is more of what readers have been loving—a hot as hell bounty hunter who doesn’t like rules, a strong heroine worthy of our hero, and an action-packed story! Oh, and there are plenty of sexy times, too! Read the opening of the story below. Then be sure to catch up on books one through three! Get ready for a wild ride!
Former Army sniper, Cochise Mercier, left Denver SWAT under a cloud of controversy, which was why he ended up back home in Montana, and where he heard about the Montana Bounty Hunters. The “cloud” didn’t seem to bother his new boss, so he’s all in and finding he enjoys hunting down fugitives for bounties, encumbered by fewer rules.
Sammy McCallister is a by-the-book sheriff’s deputy, who has a beef with bounty hunters. Forced to stand by with her gun in her holster, while hunters take down scumbags, she’s particularly irked by the new guy in town. Cochise, with his long black hair and thousand-yard-stare makes her uncomfortable, itchy in ways she’s never felt before. When she finds herself needing his help, the reason for her irritation becomes all too clear. She wants him. But first, they have to make it out of the mountains alive…
Cochise Mercier, the new hire at Montana Bounty Hunters, took a deep breath to force his heart to slow its pace. A trick he’d learned as an Army sniper to make sure a jerking breath didn’t mess up a shot. The trick worked in most situations when he needed his mind to slow and for his focus to home in on a target or a situation. Clearing his mind meant he was able to take in more of what was happening around him and enabled him to discard the things that weren’t important—like the way the wind beat a tree branch against the side of the house, a steady thump that sounded almost like clomping footsteps. Instead, he concentrated on the way the light, beaming through the tall arched windows at the front of the house, flickered whenever his target paced left or right, telling him where their mark was. An important fact, because in seconds, he’d have to breach the oak front door and be ready to take him down—with his weapon or his body, depending on whether Randy Pinter was armed. A fact Cochise would have to ascertain in a split second.
“Can’t see any movement in the back rooms,” came Jamie Burke’s voice through his earpiece. “I think he’s alone.”
He still wasn’t used to hearing a woman’s voice on the comms. He’d never had a female as part of any of his missions on the ground with the Army, and Denver’s SWAT had, at the time, been all male. That voice interrupted his calm. His instinct was to protect women and children, but she was a part of this team—and his boss—so again, he drew a deep breath, pushed aside his concern, and concentrated on his target. Pinter was pacing in front of the window to the right of the front door.
“Girlfriend’s car isn’t in the garage,” came Sky Reynold’s deep voice. “Must have gone for takeout. I’m moving around to the front.”
“Deputies just arrived,” Lacey Jones’s too perky voice sounded. “I’ll go brief them about what’s about to go down. Make sure they know we have the owner’s permission to be here.”
Cochise could hear the excitement in her higher pitch. Thank God, she was back at the road with the vehicles. The thought of her cotton-candy sweetness being anywhere near Pinter made him shudder. The girl might have qualified with her weapon and might be doing well with her self-defense classes, but she had no real experience going head-on with bad dudes. He didn’t want to be around the first time she was truly tested.
“You call it, Cochise,” Jamie said.
With his heart as slow as when he slept, he felt the familiar ice-water chill flow over him. “Ready,” he whispered and then stepped away from the bushes beside the porch. “Moving toward the door… On three. One…two…three.”
He pounded three times on the door. “Federal Recovery Agent! Get down on the floor!”
Then, just as they’d rehearsed, Sky popped up, used a short cudgel to break the right front window, and tossed a flashbang grenade through the opening he’d made.
Cochise turned his back and crouched beside the door. A split second later, he heard the explosion and a muffled shout. He stood and swung the battering ram against the thick front door. The frame around the door splintered. He tossed the ram and kicked the thick oak, waiting as it slammed forward against dark wood flooring. Then pulling his weapon from its holster, he stepped onto the door into the foyer.
Inside, he saw no sign of Pinter. “Not in foyer. Moving to living room.”
“I’m coming your way,” Jamie said, and then a moment later, “Mudroom, clear. I’ll check the garage.”
Sky stepped to the right. “I’ll take the kitchen.”
Cochise headed through the living room. “Living room clear.” Then he moved toward the room farther to the left—a study he’d peered inside earlier. He shoved open the door, stepped to the side, then quickly darted through the opening, bending low as he entered. He glanced behind a sofa, opened the closet. “Clear.”
“Clear in the kitchen,” said Sky. “Moving toward the stairs.”
Cochise cleared the downstairs bathroom, another hallway closet, and then ran up the stairs. Just as he reached the darkened landing, he saw Sky back out of a bedroom and shake his head. Cochise signaled that he’d head right toward what he suspected was the master bedroom, while Sky took a smaller bedroom at the other end of the hallway. Cochise unclipped his Maglite from his web belt and shone it down the darkened hallway.
“Garage clear,” Jamie said.
“Make sure the bastard didn’t circle around to the backyard.” Lacey and Dagger had the road and yard fence line covered, and both were quiet.
Just as he reached out to turn the door handle for the master bedroom, Sky whispered, “Clear.” Cochise tensed. Last possible place.
Pinter must have shot up the steps the second the window was broken. Slippery bastard. Something they’d learned talking to the cops who’d arrested him for a home invasion. The fact the judge had awarded him bail after he’d led the police on a three-mile foot race through backyards, over fences, and through busy intersections, where he’d nearly lost the cops, had the entire team shaking their heads. The $500,000 bail must have seemed an impossible goal for a two-time loser, but the prosecutor hadn’t looked closely enough at the family to raise an argument. They hadn’t known the grandfather doted on the prick. He’d willingly used his ranch to secure the bond.
Why Pinter had chosen a life of crime was beyond Cochise. He came from money, dated money, and now, he was facing decades in jail after beating up a couple he’d robbed at gunpoint for a measly sixty dollars and a wedding ring.
Sky came up beside him, a shotgun loaded with beanbag rounds raised, with the stock against his shoulder, and cupping a flashlight against the barrel. He gave Cochise a nod.
Cochise quietly turned the knob then shoved it open. Sky preceded him through the door, turning his body to the left then the right.
Cochise went to the bed and flipped the mattress off the frame. Nobody huddled under it. He quietly slid open the nightstand drawer, the place where Mr. Anderson said he kept a handgun. Shining the light inside the drawer, Cochise noted it was empty, except for a bag of cough drops and loose change. Catching Sky’s glance, he shook his head.
He moved to the bathroom door while Sky sped to the walk-in closet.
As he turned the handle, he heard the scuff of a foot and froze. Withdrawing his hand, he signaled to Sky, who quickly edged to the opposite side of the door.
Pinter had plenty of warning they were there. He had no place left to hide. Likely had the gun. Cochise’s best route would be to get him to surrender.
“Randy,” Cochise called out, “you’re not getting out of this house. We’re bounty hunters, and we’ve been tracking you for days. A whole goddamn team to take down your sorry ass. We have deputies in the road out front in case you decide to be stupid. You’re not going to be stupid, are you?”
Sky moved a step backward. “We think we have him cornered in the upstairs bathroom,” he whispered to the team. “Get eyes on the side of the house beneath the window.”
“Already there,” Dagger said.
Sky moved closer.
“Buddy,” Cochise said, keeping an even tone. “Your best move is to come out with your hands up where we can see them.”
Ten seconds passed. Not a sound came from behind the closed door.
Again, Cochise reached out and gripped the knob. It was locked. Stepping in front of the door, he raised a foot.
But he heard a click and pitched to the side. An explosion ripped through the door.
On his back on the floor, Cochise stared at a circle with splintered edges right where he’d been standing a second earlier. He rolled to his feet, his weapon aimed at the hole.
“What the fuck?” Jamie shouted in his ear. “Coming up the stairs.”
“Deputies are running for the house,” Lacey said sounding breathless, like she was running, too.
In the distance, he heard several sets of footsteps stomping quickly up the stairs. No way was he letting the women anywhere near this vicious pig. He aimed at the door. “Better get on the ground, Pinter.” Then he fired two shots, just to make sure the dirtbag was taking cover, and kicked in the door.
Inside the room, he made out the glint of metal coming from around the side of the shower stall. He ducked into the stall as a shot fired. Then he darted out again, reaching out his left hand as the handgun appeared around the corner. With his back to Pinter, he gripped the weapon, shoving it, and the hand that held it, to the side. A shot hit the toilet, shattering porcelain. Water spilled out onto the floor.
A punch landed against his ribs, knocking the breath from his lungs, but Cochise didn’t let go of the gun, he spun and shoved the hand holding the gun against the edge of the stall.
The gun clattered away.
More punches hit his sides—much good that did, because his Kevlar vest took the blows—but Cochise couldn’t end this while all he held was Pinter’s hand. He jerked Pinter forward then backed him into the shower stall, crushing him against the tile with his body, unable to turn because he still held his own weapon outstretched. With his elbow, he beat backwards, catching Pinter in his sides.
Searing pain in the corner of his shoulder sucked away what was left of his breath. “Motherfucker, did you bite me?”
He beat back his elbow and aimed a backward kick at a knee.
The lights to the bathroom flashed on.
Sky filled the doorway, his glance taking in the gun on the floor. He moved forward and reached out. Gladly, Cochise gave him his weapon, and then turned and pummeled Pinter, clipping him in the jaw, the ribs, then giving him another punch to the jaw.
As Randy Pinter sagged toward the gray stone floor of the shower, Cochise kept his fists balled. But Pinter’s eyelids lowered, and his jaw relaxed.
A clap against his shoulder made him wince. “Think we have him,” Sky said.
Cochise lowered his eyebrows. “We?”
Sky grinned. “Hey, I freed your hand.”
“Tell me that wasn’t satisfying.”
Just then, Jamie rounded the corner, two deputies crowding in behind her. One tall, burly male and a female with scraped back hair and angry eyes.
Suddenly, the spacious bathroom was too crowded.
“Do we have to call an ambulance?” Jamie asked.
Sky leaned over Pinter and ran his hands over his body, doing a quick search for weapons. When he straightened, he aimed a kick at his hip.
Pinter stirred and moaned.
“Nope, he’s conscious,” Sky said, his mouth curving into a smirk. “Jail’s just fifteen minutes away. They can take him to the ER to be checked out.”
Cochise bent and rested his hands on his knees, dragging in deep breaths to clear his head of the anger still pounding through him.
Jamie came up beside him and plucked at the neck of his tee. “Too bad he didn’t get a mouthful of Kevlar. That has to hurt. Buddy, you might need stiches. Sky and I will make sure this one gets to jail. Your vehicle’s still back at the office; I can have Lacey take you to the ER.”
Cochise straightened, inwardly cursing the fact his truck was back at the agency parking lot. He’d ridden with Sky and Jamie on the way over.
“I’d love to,” Lacey said, her blonde head peering around the corner, “but I can’t wait on you. Dagger and I have to drive to Whitefish to meet up with Reaper. He texted that he’s found Wallace’s hideout.” She gave a hundred-watt smile. “We’re riding into the mountains on horseback.”
Jamie groaned. “Good Lord. Last time Reaper was on horseback, he nearly drowned in a stock pond.”
“You can drop me at my truck. I can get myself to the ER,” Cochise said, and warmed to the idea. Anything to avoid listening to Dagger give Bounty Hunter Barbie another long lesson about how not to get killed doing her job. “You two need to get on the road, or you won’t get any rest.”
A throat cleared to his right. The female deputy’s frown was fierce, but she lifted her chin. “I can drop you, but I won’t wait around.”
He nodded. From her expression, she was about as thrilled with the idea as he was. She’d dump him at the entrance, and he’d be on his own. The way he liked it. “Suits me fine. And I appreciate it.”