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Archive for 'romantic suspense'



Desiree Holt: Protecting is what real men do! (Contest)
Thursday, September 17th, 2020

The winners are…Candi Kandelas, Colleen C, and Amanda Zook!
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Protect: keep safe from harm or injury; what real men do

I guess I have a hero complex because my favorite stories are the ones with strong heroes who have a soft spot and who also will do anything they can to protect women, especially those they love. Protecting Maddie kicked off a series for me in  Susan Stoker’s Special Forces World, and brought to life Hawkeye St. John, one of my favorite heroes. Readers loved the story so much I was urged to keep it going. Well, of course! Writing about real heroes is one of the best things to do. And Maddie’s success brought readers to the other stories.

So here, for you, is a taste of all five books in the series:

Leave a comment for your choice of one of these books!

Get all the links here: desireeholt.com

Protecting Maddie

When Maddie Winslow talked a student out of his gun in her classroom, she never figured it would set off a chain of events that put her life in grave danger, and the lives of her parents.

Hiding in WitSec for thirty years, her parents thought they had beaten the odds—until the image of Maddie, an identical replica of her mother—hits the television airwaves and the people who have been seeking revenge all these years find her. Intent on learning where her mother is hiding, they break into her home and then try to kidnap her. Frightened, she goes to her friend, Zee, who once dated someone in Delta Force. She calls him to explain her friend’s situation, but he’s prepping for a mission and can’t leave the base.

Hunter “Hawkeye” St. John, a Delta Force team member, is on medical leave recuperating in Tampa and chafing for some action. When the he and Maddie meet, the sparks flying between them sizzle the air. But if Hawkeye wants to move forward with Maddie he first has to keep her safe and then eliminate the bad guys.

Protecting Cassie

Injured and discharged, he is lost…

Sam Alvarez is newly discharged from SEALs that had been his entire life. Without the Team he is lost, but a bad injury to his left arm ended his career. His rehab is slow and he resents everything. The tiny isolated cabin in Maine former SEAL John “Tex” Keenan found for him is just what he wants.

Frightened and in hiding…

Physical therapist Cassie Malone had a job she loved, great friends and a man in her life she thought was Prince Charming. Until by accident she discovered he’s one of Boston’s drug kingpins. Now she’s hiding out in tiny Castile and scared he’ll find her.

When Fate throws Cassie and Sam together, it’s a battle for him to let her help him relearn everything. His surliness is in high gear and she’s always looking over her shoulder. But neither of them counted on or expected the hot, hot attraction blazing between them.

When drug smugglers show up and put everyone in danger, including Cassie, it’s up to Sam to use his skills to take them down and save the woman he’s come to love. But can he do it before it’s too late?

Protecting Amy

She thought her past was firmly behind her…

Amy Ressler was a vivacious, outgoing person, looking forward to her first job after graduating college. Until the night her stepbrother slaughtered her entire family and thought she was dead, too. For ten years she’d been living under an assumed name in a house in Tampa with security guards and a security system. Her agoraphobia keeps her a prisoner in the house where she designs sought after video games.

Quinn Molloy couldn’t seem to find a place for himself when he left the SEALS…

He has been part of the teams for eighteen years and suddenly an injury left him with no place to go, except to visit his friends Melody and Tex Keenan. Where they introduce him online to KitCat, Amy in her online disguise, a terrified woman who needs a bodyguard.

The killer is loose…

When Matthew Baker escapes from jail the hunt is on, led by the US Marshals. But with Amy helpless in her self-imposed prison, Quinn accepts the job as her personal bodyguard, and they discover that what starts online can explode n the bedroom. As long as he can keep her alive.

Protecting Arizona

She wasn’t a no-name sex kind of woman but stress had gotten the better of her…

She’d never see him again so she could indulge every need and desire she had with this hot, sexy, intense, troubled man. Now she has to put it out of her mind as the DEA task force she’s on prepares to take down dangerous drug kingpin Luca Vasquez, coincidentally her brother-in-law. When her sister is murdered and her niece disappears, se leaves he task force to find her.

He couldn’t get the memories of the woman out of his mind…

Being a SEAL was the only thing Clint “Razor” DaCosta had known for twenty years until a disastrous mission ended his career. Now dreams of the raw sex with the passionate redhead are the only things that keep the nightmares of that mission at bay. He’s still trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life when a phone call from a friend brings him to a shocking meeting.

Passion…danger…murder…a lethal combination

No one is more shocked than Razor and Arizona when he answers her call for help. The heat is still there and it’s hard to put aside the memories of their scorching sex. But first, they must find her niece and avenge her sister’s murder. And hope they both don’t get killed in the takedown.

And the newest…

Protecting Terra

 

When Terra Oenning and Griffin Dunne were paired in a Department of Homeland Security Op, neither of them expected the heat that exploded between them like the cabin they were surveilling. Personal relationships have no place in their lives. Ever. Period. That’s it. Except the night the cabin blows up so does their restraint, the sex between them so hot it sets fire to the sheets.

When the trail they are following takes them to the frozen north of Maine, even that isn’t enough to cool them down, but like experienced DHS agents, they never take their eyes off their assignment. Terrorists, computer hackers and the Croatian Mafia are combining to destroy the United States and Terra and must focus on destroying them. No problem. Despite the addictive, off-the-charts sex, they are trained agents who do their job, surveilling key players and helping to set up the takedown.

But when it goes awry and Terra is caught in the crosshairs, it will be up to Griffin to rescue her, a wake-up call for both of them that maybe, just maybe, what they have between them is real.

Reina Torres: WEDNESDAYS (Contest)
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

During Facebook parties to celebrate book releases, I sometimes ask the readers, “What do you want to know about Hawaii?” As someone who was born and raised here in the islands, I know a few things…

I thought it might be fun to turn it into a weekly thing that I post in my reader group on Facebook each Wednesday and call it Wiki Wednesdays.

“Wiki” in Hawaiian means “Quick” — at the airport, the shuttle buses are called the Wiki Wiki shuttles…

So, I’m thinking it would be short little snippets of information or a short answer to a hopefully short question…

I’d love to know what questions you have about Hawaii…and what topics you might like to see covered on a Wiki Wednesday post!?

The suggestion/question picked from your comments to be the FIRST WIKI WEDNESDAY post will win an ebook of their choice from my backlist on Amazon.com.

Reina Torres: Some Help from a Friend (Contest)
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

First responders aren’t isolated when it comes to the heart of their jobs. They interact with citizens and other first responders to provide services and aid.

Authors can sometimes seem/feel alone. Writing is somewhat of a singular enterprise. When you’re sitting at the computer, tap-tap-tapping away, it’s just you and those keys.

Part of the reason I enjoyed my local NANOWRIMO group was because it was the chance to share some of my lonely challenges and successes.

Now, with such a thriving online romance community, I have the opportunity to work with others from time to time.

Like today! I sent up a Hail Mary message to Delilah Devlin. I was stuck like an ill-fitting cork in a bottle. For a few precious minutes, we went back and forth with ideas and POP! Yes! Woohoo! Happy Dance! There it was…the answer!

So…I’d like to give away an ebook copy of my next release. To enter, tell me about a time that you had the help of a friend!

Check it out!

Tell me a story… (Puzzle-Contest)
Friday, August 21st, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Colleen C!
*~*~*

I know! A second puzzle inside a week. I really do make you work hard for your prizes!

I hope that in between playing games, you’ve been reading (*cough*), and hopefully, it’s my latest release, Cage! I can’t wait to hear whether you’re ready for more fun happenings in Dead Horse, Montana!

On to the puzzle! And be sure to check the list of open contests below!

Puzzle-Contest

Solve the puzzle—then tell me a story for a chance
to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

These offers are still open! Enter to win!!

  1. Diana Cosby: Nature Through The Lens – A Creative Outlet (Contest)Ends soon! Win a free book!
  2. Cage is out! (Puzzle-Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
Cage is out! (Puzzle-Contest)
Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Courtney Kinder!
*~*~*

My new book, BOOK #1 for the new spin-off series for the Montana Bounty Hunters, is here! The first book is important. It introduces you to the town and introduces the first hunters who will inhabit the Dead Horse office. From here, who knows where the series will go!

If you have a chance to read it, please consider leaving a review on your favorite website. Reviews really do help an author!

Get your copy here!
It’s FREE in KU!
Cage

Puzzle-Contest

I had fun naming businesses in my town of Dead Horse, Montana. The townsfolk went a little nuts with the “dead theme”. There’s the Dead Easy Saloon, the Dead Horse Walk-in (get it?) Diner, etc.

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, either try to work on the “dead” theme to help me with some more groan-worthy “deadly” names, or if your well of wit is dry, tell me if you’ll be visiting Dead Horse, MT anytime soon!

Welcome to Dead Horse, Montana! CAGE, coming after midnight tonight! (Excerpt)
Monday, August 17th, 2020

I’ve been writing now for a number of years in multiple genres. I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun than I have writing about my Montana Bounty Hunters. So, when I was approaching the last story of the last hunter in the series, I thought hard about what I wanted to do next. The solution was pretty easy.

I’d write more. However, the MBH agency in Bear Lodge, MT was chock full of hunters. I needed my bounty hunter agency to expand, so I chose another location in Montana, fictional again, of course, so I could have more fun with a new set of hunters, and this time, use the town itself as a new “character” in my story. So, welcome to Dead Horse!

The book will be available solely through Amazon, at first. I want as many folks who want to get it through Kindle Unlimited for FREE as possible. I already have the print version uploaded, too. That link will come soon. In the meantime, meet the first hunter in the series…Cage.

Cage

A former SEAL and MMA fighter, and now, newly minted bounty hunter, has to hunt down his first skip…his ex-wife.

Former SEAL Cage Morgan thinks he doesn’t need anyone. As a rising MMA fighter, he makes enough to do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone.

Then an old friend sends an emissary, Reaper Stenberg from the Montana Bounty Hunters, to offer him a job. He agrees to meet him, but he has no intention of becoming a bounty hunter…until he hears who Reaper needs his special skill set to take down—his ex-wife.

Elaine Morgan is facing jail time due to her chosen line of work. She runs an illegal, underground fight club with her brother. Up until now, she’s always run clean, fair fights, but her brother owes money to the wrong people. As she prepares to the take the rap for his poor judgment, she misses her court date—that’s just one more stressor to add to the pile, and she doesn’t have time to worry about the consequences.

Until the night of the fight that will free her brother of his dangerous debt. Only her ex-husband shows up there, telling her he’s taking her in, and he has the friends with him to get the job done. The hunters’ poor timing sets off a chain of events that has the Montana Bounty Hunters staging a daring rescue.

All the while, Cage and Elaine revisit their past love, finding that the time apart put their problems in a better perspective. As their connection grows, they both fear an uncertain future.

Pre-order here!

Opening scene from Cage

As he approached the front door to the Dead Easy Saloon, Cage Morgan flexed his hands, wincing as he did so due to the deep bruising on his knuckles. Still, sore knuckles felt like a small price to pay considering the size of the purse he’d won the previous night at the MMA bout in Bozeman.

Thinking about the $36,000 deposit he’d made at the bank that morning, he wondered why the hell he’d agreed to this meeting in the first place. Cage’s needs were simple, and the purse would pay his bills for the next four to six months until he accepted the next match.

However, he owed Fetch Winter the courtesy of meeting with his representative to talk about the possibility of a job. He didn’t owe him a “yes,” but he had agreed to listen. Fetch had led the unit that had pulled his ass out of a firefight which had killed several of his SEAL teammates back in Afghanistan a lifetime ago.

From the outside, the meeting place was like any other roadhouse bar. Wood plank siding, a tin roof, and a red neon “Open” sign. He climbed the three steps to the porch then opened the door. Music played on a jukebox, customers lined a well-polished counter, and in the rear, the crack of striking balls and groans sounded from the pool tables.

As he passed the bar, the bartender’s gaze narrowed on him, and then a broad smile spread. He lifted his chin to Cage. “Great fight last night.”

Cage lifted his eyebrows and gave him a little salute but didn’t stop. He made his way to a small round table tucked into a corner of the main room and took a seat.

A waitress with dirty blonde hair so straight it had to have been ironed paused beside his table. “What can I get ya, hon?”

Her smile was flirtatious, and while she was kind of cute for a middle-aged woman in a skin-tight tank with the bar’s logo on the front and short blue-jean shorts, he wasn’t interested in encouraging her to linger. “Whatever beer’s on tap will do,” he said and pulled a twenty from his wallet.

She smiled and moved away, her skinny hips wagging.

She was back inside a minute with a foamy beer and handed back his twenty. “Kip, the bartender, says it’s on the house. He won a pile of money last night on your fight.”

He pushed back the twenty. “You keep it then, and thank Kip.”

Just then, a commotion sounded at the entrance of the bar. “Damn, are you Reaper, that dude on TV?” asked a man who was holding onto the arm of a large man wearing a ballcap who was trying to get through the doorway.

Cage watched as the man who looked like he belonged on a Viking longboat shook the man off his arm.

Cage couldn’t make out what he said to the smaller man, but the guy held up his hands and backed away, grinning. As soon as the big man’s attention left him, he scurried to the bar, leaning over the counter to talk to Kip, whose gaze shot to the big man.

He watched the man in the ballcap grimace then step deeper inside the bar, his eyes narrowing as he searched the counter and then the tables. Cage knew the second when his gaze came to rest on Cage, because the other man tipped his chin before striding his way.

As the man approached, Cage assessed him like he always did, sizing him up as a possible opponent in the ring. They were of a similar height and weight. His arms and chest looked powerful. However, Cage could tell by the way the man moved that he wouldn’t have his same speed. Not that he was planning to fight this guy, but old habits died hard.

The big man stopped in front of his table. “You Cage Morgan?”

Cage nodded.

The man sat and whipped off his cap. “Thought the hat would work.”

Cage’s mouth twitched. “That was supposed to be some kind of disguise?”

The other man made a sound a bear might make just before it took a bite. “Fetch sent me.”

“I figured.”

“Said I was to try to schmooze you into taking a job.”

“I’ve been wondering why he isn’t here to do it himself.”

The other man raked a hand through his long blond hair. “I’m here to set up the satellite office. He’d have come, but he said we didn’t need the big guns. That you’d want this job once you heard what it was all about.”

Cage grunted and sat back in his chair. “You’re the guy in that reality TV show.”

Reaper gave him a dead-eyed look. “If I wasn’t makin’ bank, I’d take exception to your tone, dude.”

Cage snapped his fingers. “What’s it called?” He pretended the name escaped him.

Bounty Hunters of the Northwest,” the other man said, sounding bored.

“Right!” Cage grinned. “I liked the episode when that wild man chased the bear.”

“His name’s Animal.”

Cage chuckled. “Fits.” He picked up his beer and drew on it, not knowing exactly why he was trying to rile the other man. Maybe it was because he viewed him as a competitor, and his instinct was to start the psych-out before a fight. Or maybe it was because he wanted to make sure the man didn’t waste a lot of time trying to convince him to take a damn job he didn’t want. “Can’t remember your name, though,” he lied.

“Reaper. Reaper Stenberg,” the big man said, his words a little garbled like he was grinding his teeth.

“Right,” Cage said. He took another swallow and waited for Reaper to give his pitch, but the waitress sauntered over again.

Her gaze went from Cage to Reaper, and Cage knew what was on her mind. Too bad for her, he knew Reaper was married, and he flat didn’t get into bed with another man, even if their dicks never touched.

“He’ll have the same as I’m having,” Cage said to hurry her away.

She was back inside a minute and set a beer in front of Reaper. He handed her a twenty.

“No, Kip said it’s free. He watches your show,” the woman said, sounding out of breath.

“Keep the tip,” Reaper said than turned his attention back to Cage.

The woman’s mouth tightened, but she moved along to another table.

“Saw you fight in Bozeman last night,” he said, his gaze direct.

Cage curled his fists and grimaced at the throbbing ache. “McMann gave me a run for my money.”

“You fight well. Heard you came to MMA through less than legal fights.”

Cage gave him a hard stare. “That was a long time ago.”

“Three years.” He took a sip of his beer. “Least, that’s what I hear. Bareknuckle stuff’s not for sissies.”

Cage almost smiled at the grudging compliment. “No, it’s not, but it’s hard on the body.”

“We could use someone like you. Fetch says you were a SEAL.”

Cage straightened in his chair. “I was.”

“Marine,” Reaper said, pointing at his chest with his glass.

“Won’t hold it against you.”

Reaper’s mouth twitched. “We’re building an office here. Broke ground last week. We hope to hire on eight to ten hunters to cover southwest Montana and into Wyoming and Idaho.”

“Sounds ambitious. From your TV show, it looks like you guys are sweeping up all the trash. Sure you’re leaving enough work for another agency?” Cage didn’t know why he asked. He still wasn’t interested, but he was curious about what Fetch was hoping to accomplish.

“America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Long as that doesn’t change, we’ll have plenty of bounties to go around. And it’s not just bounties on folks skipping their court dates or mandatory drug testing. We help find prison escapees, pitch in on law enforcement manhunts—anywhere our particular talents are needed. Our Bear Lodge office helped bring in a terrorist who was recruiting anti-government whackos intent on building an army here in Montana.”

“That all sounds fine and dandy for someone who wants to be a bounty hunter. I don’t.”

“Well, Fetch thinks you might change your mind when you hear who we’re hunting. He needs someone with your skills to get close enough to make the takedown.”

Cage narrowed his eyes. “My skills?”

“Your experience in those illegal fight clubs. You’ve got connections that can get you inside.”

Cage shook his head. He hadn’t been a part of that world in years. “Not interested.”

“Ask me who we’re hunting,” Reaper said, his expression neutral, his stare boring into Cage’s.

Cage was curious all right, but he didn’t want to ask. Didn’t want to know. He’d left that world and never looked back. Had the scars and the tattoo, thank you very much.

“Fetch explained how the money works, right? What a hunter gets as a percentage of the bond.”

“He did. And I still told him no.” Hunting people was something he’d done when he’d been in the Navy, and he’d been damn good at it. However, hunting Americans wasn’t something he had the stomach for.

“Ask me,” Reaper said, his voice lowering.

Cage wanted to tell him to go to hell. But he also wanted to know, because the hairs on the back of his neck were rising. Deep inside, he was still that man, the one who always found his target and always took him out. A cool dread washed over him, and he drew a deep breath. “Okay, I’ll bite. Who are you hunting?”

Reaper’s mouth curved. “Your wife.”

Desiree Holt: Wet Heat (Contest & Excerpt)
Sunday, August 16th, 2020

Take home a SEAL for just 99 cents!
Through August 31, WET HEAT will be on sale for ONLY 99 cents in my bookstore.
Just input the code: wsaugust to receive the discount at checkout!
https://booksbydesiree.com/product/wet-heat/
And check out the other deals in Books by Desiree!
Booksbydesiree.net

Wet Heat

It was supposed to be a month in a cottage by the lake in Maine. For Peyton Gerard it was time to recover from not one but three disastrous breakups and try to find her muse again. A successful romance novelist needed to believe in romance to write about it believably, and Peyton had lost her faith in it.

For Dixon “Dix” Amendola it was supposed to be time to rehab his injured thigh from a SEALs mission that fell apart, to mourn the two team members who were killed and to deal with his guilt. Learning the mission had been compromised did nothing to ease the burden of blame he carried.

The problem: the cottage had been rented to both of them by accident.

Put two stubborn people in close quarters—a hot SEAL and an appealing author, add in moonlit nights by the lake, and suddenly they don’t mind sharing. But then reality intrudes, Dix returns to lead a repeat of the mission and all Peyton can do is pray it will be successful and that when he returns, he’ll come back to her.

Excerpt from Wet Heat

He rounded a curve in the dirt road just as his GPS announced, “Your destination is on the left.” The outside of the place was exactly as he’d seen it in the photo online. The boat Eileen had told him about was already tied up at the little, short dock. The soft breeze drifting in through his open window carried the fresh scents and sounds of the area, instantly soothing him.

What was jarring was the car parked on the so-called grass next to the cottage. What the fuck? He hoped it wasn’t a nosy neighbor just waiting to give him an eager welcome. Socializing wasn’t on his to-do list. He pulled in next to the vehicle and grumpily opened the door and got out. He was just looking around to see where the owner of the car might be when the side door opened and a woman popped out.

Okay, maybe woman was too mild a term. She looked like a miniature lush goddess. If he’d been the least bit interested in female companionship, he’d think maybe his day was looking up. This one couldn’t be more than five foot five, with hair in a rich shade of red framing a heart-shaped face. Her hair bounced around her head in wild curls, in time, he noticed with her breasts that bounced beneath her T-shirt. The strap of a cross-body purse lay in the valley between those breasts, emphasizing their roundness. Shorts accentuated nicely rounded hips, and when she turned to pull the door shut tightly behind her, he got a view of an ass his hands itched to cup.

Whoa there, mister. This is a no-sex time out. Reconditioning, not relaxation. Maybe he should tell that to his cock that suddenly wanted to make its own appearance and deliver a greeting. It was sending him a very painful message which took all his famous discipline to control.

“Are you the housekeeper?” He didn’t even know if Eileen had told him there’d be one, but who else would be here, and with a key?

“Housekeeper?” She stared at him. “Not quite. Who are you?”

He took a moment to note that her face was free of makeup, and he doubted it needed any to enhance it. Emerald-green eyes peered out from beneath lashes thicker than any manufacturer could produce. Her cheeks held a faint rosy tinge and a smattering of freckles. And that mouth—

Yup. Good thing he was on a no-sex diet. He had one goal to accomplish here, and he couldn’t afford to be distracted.

“I’m the tenant. I rented this place for the next month.”

“No. Wrong answer.” She shook her head vehemently. “You must be in the wrong place. I rented this place for the next month.”

A little bubble of anger tried to work its way up through his system. He did not need this. He wanted to get settled in, go for a run, take a swim, and contemplate his future.

“I’m sorry. You must have gotten the address wrong.” He stepped forward, figuring if he crowded her space, she’d retreat. She was nearly a foot shorter than he was.

“Address wrong?” she repeated. Then she held up the ring with two keys on it, jingling it in front of him. “Then exactly how would I have these keys?”

“Don’t know and don’t care. You have to leave.” He glared at her. “Now.”

She stared at him for a long moment then shocked him by breaking into laughter.

“Does that work for you often?” she asked, grinning. “I mean, that whole alpha thing? Get out? Be gone?” She burst into laughter again.

Dix ground his teeth together. What the hell was going on here?

“We have to get this straightened out. Right now.”

“Fine by me.” The woman tugged a cell phone out of her pocket and scrolled through the numbers.

Dix held his own cell up. “I’ll call the rental agent myself,” he told her.

She frowned. “You don’t trust me?”

“There’s obviously some mix-up, and I want to hear the answer for myself. We’ll get the agent to settle it, and then you can just pack up and get out of here.”

“Fine. Then you can just get in your truck and head on out of here.”