I’m thrilled to have my story, Clari’s Hero, included in this anthology of sweet-to-sensual western historical romances with a Christmas setting. Joining me are Lorrie Farrelly, Gail L. Jenner, Sarah McNeal, and Livia J. Washburn. Christmas is on the way and our western heroines are in search of the perfect PRESENT FOR A COWBOY! Livia J. Washburn’s TINSELTOWN kicks off this exciting holiday collection. Set in the “Roaring ’20’s” in Hollywood, western movie actor Pecos must rescue a young woman in danger—and finds love in the bargain. The rescue of a young, abused boy in Gail L. Jenner’s JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS opens the door to love for a young woman and a loner who has sworn off relationships. Linda Carroll-Bradd’s CLARI’S HERO features a man who views himself as anything but a hero—and a woman who shows him otherwise, and Lorrie Farrelly’s CHRISTMAS TREASURE is an unexpected gift that can’t be measured in gold. In Sarah J. McNeal’s story, a lonely widow’s perceived indiscretion may cost her and her cowboy their happiness WHEN LOVE COMES KNOCKING. Blurb for Clari’s Hero Relocating to Texas has alleviated Clari Rochester’s health problems, and she yearns for adventure. And she spots it outside her relative’s mercantile when a quiet, but compelling, cowboy rescues a small child. Trevor Driscoll is the type of hero she’s come to admire through her love of books, and the type of man she secretly pens in her dime novels. But they’ve never had a real conversation. Trevor knows the logging accident that left him with only eight fingers limits his options, but he’s learned to manage. Until he rescues a fine lady from a runaway horse, spends the afternoon transporting her to safety, and gets a glimpse of what he’s always wanted. How will he respond to the unique present this special woman bestows? BUY LINKS Amazon Smashwords ENTER the rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win one of two ecopies of this anthology. Contest open through midnight, November 30th. Prizes to be announced and awarded on Monday, December 1st.
Rogue’s Son by Darcy Flynn on sale for $.99 through 11/28/14
Tough, driven Kit Kendall replaced her frills and dresses with no-nonsense haircuts and wranglers, years ago. As owner of Sage Brush, the once-thriving west Texas bed and breakfast ranch, she now struggles daily to keep her business afloat. Since McCabe Resort Lodge reopened next door as a multi-million dollar hotel, her financial difficulties compound, as she suffers one cancellation after another.
Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kit’s childhood sweetheart-turned-nemesis returns as the new owner of the resort that’s now putting her out of business, resurrecting memories she thought she’d buried long ago.
Cowboy- entrepreneur Sam Dawson has returned to Sugar Creek, Texas after six years of exile with a secret that could destroy Kit’s happiness. He left town because of it and for the past two years has secretly tried to make it right. Having failed, he now returns to make one last attempt to undo the tangled web created by his father.
Set in motion by his father’s Last Will and Testament and with the clock ticking, Sam has only weeks to convince Kit to sell him her ranch, or reveal the truth that will break her heart.
Sam could tell she was spitting mad. He watched her jerk the seatbelt over her chest several times before he reached over to click it into place.
He straightened up and glanced at her as he turned into the street. “Is that steam I see coming from your ears?”
Kit responded by snapping her arms across her chest.
He heaved a sigh and shook his head. “She told you, didn’t she?”
Kit didn’t say a word she just stared out the window.
“I’m sorry you had to find out that way. I was going to stop by tonight and tell you myself.”
“How thoughtful of you. So. What do you want?”
“For access to the land. Otherwise my guests have no place to hunt or fish.”
“Sell me the road frontage I need.” He’d deliberately forced her hand and hated himself for it. But far better for her to part with a few measly acres than lose everything. And if she ended up hating him in the process then so be it. He cursed both their fathers under his breath.
Kit’s mouth fell open and she slowly turned to face him, hoarse laughter tumbling from her lips.
“You’ve got to be kidding. After this stunt, do you really think I’d sell an inch of my property to you? One Kendall made the mistake of caving to a Dawson’s blackmail, but let me assure you, this one won’t.”
He hated what he was about to do. Hated to force her hand, but she gave him no choice. When did she become so stubborn? Gritting his teeth, he continued.
“Then I won’t allow you to use the Lowman property for access. You’ll be forced to shut down. Sage Brush will close. You’ll be through. You’ll lose your property to the bank when they foreclose. Then it’ll only be a matter of time before I have it all anyway. Is that really what you want?”
“Why you no good, conniving, lowlife.”
“Look at it this way, if I get the road frontage I need, then you get to stay in business. It’s a win-win.”
They slowed to a stop outside of her house.
Kit opened the truck door then turned to face him.
“You would actually do that? You’d put Trip and Jake out of work? And what about Maggie? Have you even thought of her?”
“I told you, you wouldn’t like it.”
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DarcyFlynnAuthor
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Today I’m highlighting indie author Tracy Reed and her debut novel, Generational Curse, that will be releasing soon.
What happens when a celibate Christian Man befriends a woman involved with a married man? Will he run in the other direction or continue the relationship? Or will he abandon his Christian beliefs for a taste of the forbidden? Or will she learn being with a married man isn’t the fantasy life the generations of women in her family made it appear?
Sean Prescott and Kyla James are business associates playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse, hoping the other will give in. But in this high stakes game is there really a winner or will both be losers.
EXCERPT [PART OF CHAPTER ONE]
Kyla promised herself she would never be like the other women in her family, dating a married man and settling for the pennies he doled out.
She’d always felt she was worth more. She met Eric at a fundraiser. He smiled, she smiled and after the cocktail hour, they found themselves seated next to each other. During dinner they talked and flirted and once the evening was over, he asked for her number. She declined and while getting ready for bed, she reached into her bag for her phone and noticed that she also had someone else’s phone.
She called the last number dialed and a vaguely familiar voice said, “I’ve been waiting for your call. So what time do you want to meet for breakfast so I can get my phone?”They both laughed.
They agreed to meet the following morning for breakfast. Two days later, they met again and included an extra slot for “therapy.”
Making love in the morning seemed so decadent. She didn’t think anything of it until she received her first black envelope a month later.
Eric said, “I’m tired of hotels. Rent a place and fix it up for us and keep whatever is left.”
“I’m not a hooker.”
“I didn’t mean any disrespect. I want to keep seeing you, but my neighbors are nosey.”
“Oh, you’re married.”
“No, I’m not. I just like my privacy. I like being with you, but—”
“I understand.”She dropped her head and quickly began getting dressed. “I don’t think this is—”
He noticed the change in her behavior and rushed to reassure her. “I don’t want you to think I’m ashamed of you, but I also don’t want you to think I’m monopolizing your time. You need your space and so do I. When we get together, it should be on neutral, comfortable ground and not some cold hotel room or a place filled with memories of past lovers.”
He wrapped his arms around her pulling her to him, gently stroking her hair, inhaling her neck and gently placing a kiss on her soft shoulder. She turned around trying to read the expression on his face. Looking into his eyes, she wondered how many more love nests he had scattered around the city. She pulled his face close to hers and covering his mouth with hers, kissed him passionately. She slipped her hands inside the front of his pants while sliding her tongue inside his mouth, exciting him to the point of arousal.
She pulled back and whispered, “Once more before we have to go?”
He couldn’t resist her. The soft seductive tone of her voice and the gentle touch of her hand, made him weak and willing to do anything she asked. Kyla knew if there were anyone else, they would have a hard time competing with her.
She got her education in how to manipulate a man by eavesdropping on her aunts’conversations. They were all experts when it came to being with and manipulating married men. She learned how to kiss from her high school boyfriend. And her college boyfriend, her biology professor, schooled her in anatomy and how to physically please a man.
Before getting involved with Eric, she had dated, but she only had two other semi serious relationships. Neither was fulfilling. The first was Thomas Smith. He was cute, but he lacked the drive to satisfy her physically. When they were together she found herself fantasizing about other men. Intellectually he was a genius, but no one really makes love to a person’s brain. It was the other part of his body that needed more educating and she knew she wasn’t a school teacher.
Then there was Alister Humphrey. The name alone intrigued her. She had never met a black man with such a stuffy name. In the beginning he seemed like the complete package. Model good looks, intelligence and his skills in bed were unbelievable. The first time they made love, the intensity of his being inside her brought tears to her eyes. Not because it was painful, but because she had never felt such pleasure. Alister knew exactly how to read her body. A skill that was the result of his blindness. What he lacked in vision, he more than compensated for in his other senses. But, he was a man and as they all do, he began making demands and that’s when she called it quits. Mind blowing sex aside, Kyla was gone.
Her aunts always said, “Don’t allow a man to make demands on you. You make the demands on him. Use what you have and any man can be controlled with the sway of your hips and the wink of your eye. And, showing a little cleavage wouldn’t hurt either.”
If she were going to marry, it would be to Eric. He was everything she wanted. Handsome, well educated, focused, rich and eager to please in and out of bed. But she also learned from her aunts, the wife always got the leftovers and Kyla didn’t like leftovers or sloppy seconds. When Eric suggested the apartment, at first she thought, he was ashamed of her. But Eric’s response to her kiss and touch convinced her, she was his priority.
She knew she was in charge. She eased her hand further down his pants pleading, “Baby, please make me sing again before sending me off to start the day.”
She kissed his neck before dropping the sheet that was caressing her body and walked into the bathroom. He stood still contemplating the repercussions of being late to the office, when he heard the shower running. He looked at his watch and texted his assistant he would be late. He put his phone on the desk, striped, walked into the steam filled bathroom and opened the shower door to a wet and soapy Kyla, smiling.
I’m a single Christian Woman who loves God, Fashion and Cute Guys. I live in California, but consider myself a partial New Yorker because of the two and half years I lived there. I own www.thepinkduchess.com, a lingerie site for curvy women. GENERATIONAL CURSE is my debut novel.
Here’s a spotlight on Rachel Brimble’s latest release, Christmas At the Cove from Harlequin Superromance.
More family for Christmas?
Scott Walker doesn’t have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news.
Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he’s not one to shirk responsibility. Scott’s issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.
She glanced around the garage. “I’m sorry to turn up unannounced like this, but I’m here and we need to talk.”
He stared at her in disbelief as questions, demands and weaknesses hurtled around inside him, battling with the intense sexual frustration storming through his body. “Just like that, you turn up and say, ‘We need to talk’?” He shook his head and turned away from her, lest he get caught in the snare of her wide, impossibly gorgeous eyes. “Go away.”
Keeping his back to her, he uncrossed his arms and planted his hands on his hips. He tipped his head back and smiled as insanity rushed his bloodstream. He wanted to grab her, shake her, kiss her and make love to her. God, he wanted to drop to his damn knees in front of her and beg her to tell him where she’d been and now she was back, was she back for good?
He closed his eyes, barely resisting the urge to cover his ears with his hands and block out her tempting voice, achingly laced with the unmistakable sound of a plea. “Whether you want to see me or not, I have to talk to you, and I won’t leave the Cove until you hear me out.”
Her heels clicked closer and his body tensed, waiting for what came next. The dangerous, musky scent of her perfume wafted under his nostrils and he inhaled. She approached the bench beside him and put down a business card. “My number’s on there. I’m staying at the Christie. Call me when you’re ready to talk. It’s important or I wouldn’t have come.”
He glanced at the card. Carrie Jameson. Producer.
She turned and walked away. He let her go, feeling like a smashed up car after a hurricane, tossed and turned through the air before being spewed crudely across the highway, left to rust and burn.
He picked up the card. His hand shook and the rare sting of tears shamed him. What the hell was he supposed to do now? Carrie was back and his libido told him only too clearly there was no way in hell he wouldn’t go to her. How was he supposed to let her go a second time when he’d lived the last three years regretting he didn’t stop her the first time?
Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington–her debut was released in April 2013, followed by a second in January 2014 and the third is released Jan 2015.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
Release Date: October 31, 2014
Bewitching Gypsy by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Garden of Souls by Michelle Ziegler
If This Be Madness by Echo Shea
Encantado by Havva Murat
Do You Believe in Ghosts by Anne Higa
Ghost of a Chance by Lily Carlyle
Where Angels Tread by Christy Thomas
Spooky Hollow Café by Lisa A. Adams
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.
Spotlighting another selection from the Hauntings From The Garden series released by The Wild Rose Press. This one is Shriek Week, a cozy mystery by Anne Kol.
It’s hard to fit in when you’re suspected of murder. It’s even harder to lay past ghosts to rest.
Events organiser Maggie Ballater has a new career, a new Island home and a new life and intends to make the most of it. But two things stand in her way. One is the dangerously attractive guitarist who brings back past memories she’d rather forget. The other is the inexplicable murder of the lead actor in her ShriekWeek pageant.
Bram Jenkins wants to clear his name after being imprisoned for a crime he swears he did not commit. He has no time to be distracted by an opinionated woman he suspects of working for his enemy.
Solving the ShriekWeek murder means they both have to face up to the past before they can lay their ghosts to rest and find out whether they have a future.
She felt rather than saw someone watching her.
Breath caught in her throat, but there was nothing to be frightened of. Bram leant propped on the door jamb, his right ankle crossed slackly over the left.
“Sorry I’m late finishing.” She hated how teenage she sounded. “Are you waiting to set up class in here?”
“Just came to see you.” He wandered in, picked up worksheets and laid them down again, stopped at the dominoes and started matching the words to the pictures.
She had to apologize. She had rehearsed what she was going to say often enough. She cleared her throat, suddenly thick with nerves. “I wanted to say sorry about last night. I didn’t mean—”
He waved a hand dismissively. “No worries. Forgotten.” But his eyes when she looked were shuttered and told a different story.
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Rafflecopter contest ending November 1st for $25 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press
Tag Line: Kick up your heels in the local honky tonk for Halloween…but beware the devil in red cowboy boots…
Blurb: A chance meeting in a honky tonk on Halloween finds Luke in the arms of a brown-haired beauty. But if the stories he overhears are true, she may be far more than she seems…and he’s more than ready to find out.
He adjusted his Stetson and sidled up to the bar, tossing a leg over the stool next to the buxom beauty. A heady breeze of cheap perfume plumed around him as she turned and graced him with a perfectly wicked smile.
Looks like my lucky nigh—
“I wouldn’t if I were you.”
Luke glanced over his shoulder to find a pair of deep brown eyes laughing at him beneath a smooth raised brow.
“You’re the sixth guy she’s hit on since I’ve been sitting here.”
He frowned and turned back to the blonde he’d had his sights on…except her sights were now on a Captain Jack Sparrow wannabe.
“Thanks a lot,” he grumbled, swiveling to face the bar.
“You’re very welcome.”
To Contact Stacy
Rafflecopter contest ending November 1st for $25 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press
Ten sweet romance writers have combined their efforts to bring you Autumn’s Kiss, a collection of love stories set in the fall. Whether you enjoy contemporary, historical, or paranormal romance, you’re sure to find something you like in this anthology! Here are the stories included:
AUTUMN VOWS. Patricia Kiyono. Contemporary
For 30 years, busy wife and mother Yolanda Murray pushed aside her career for family. With the kids grown now, it’s her turn. But her husband Craig needs surgery, and his worries extend far beyond his health issues. Will this couple survive the changes in the autumn of their lives?
CAROUSEL MAGIC. LaVerne St. George. Contemporary.
For Thomas Martin, feelings don’t get in the way of business. As the new owner of an amusement park, he’s determined to replace the old carousel with video games. Mayor Ginger Fairchild is equally determined to save the vintage carousel. Can the carousel’s magic touch two more hearts?
THE FALL APPLES AND MR. CRAIGSON. Kathy Bosman. Contemporary
Trina knows most men are out for her money, so a fantasy rich husband acts as her shield. She hires attractive Seth Craigson to cut down unwanted trees, certain he won’t discover her secret. As Trina’s heart leans toward Seth, he sees past her lie. Does he accept her for herself or see only her wealth?
FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN. Beth Barany. Paranormal/Time Travel
Sexy Medieval stonemason Julien relies on his fiancée Rose to adapt to 21st century life and struggles to find his place in modern times. Holding down two jobs to support her and Julien in expensive San Francisco, software expert Rose has no time for romance. A weekend getaway may provide just the spark these time-crossed lovers need.
A HARVEST OF HOPE. Debby Lee. Historical
After putting away a crooked bootlegger, Meggie and Luke Preston set out for California, hoping for a second chance at life. When their past catches up with them, Meggie must find the courage to face the issues that have driven a wedge into her marriage… or she may lose everything.
THE LONELY SHOPKEEPER. Cindy Flores Martinez. Contemporary
Lately, Judy has been too busy for love. Running a small business in her hometown occupies all of her time. When she meets Graham, a visitor from Scotland, it’s chemistry at first sight–and impossible. He’s not here to stay. She’s not willing to move. What will happen when they fall in love?
RUNAWAY LOVE. Nicole Zoltack. Historical
After harvesting his crops, the last thing Corin Jannings expects is rescuing a woman tossed from a runaway horse. A woman who can’t remember who she is. She’s highborn, obviously, so it’s only a matter of time before someone comes for her. And since she’s a lady, Corin cannot dare risk falling for her.
SOFT BURGUNDY NIGHTS. Ruth Roberts. Contemporary
For the first time since she was abandoned, Jessica Rayne has a real home and her dream job as manager of Marchetti Vineyard. After ten years, Rafaele Marchetti has returned from New York, still bitter over his father’s mistakes. Rafaele may take away everything Jessica’s worked for… or make her dreams of love come true.
VIKING FOR HIRE. Jo Grafford. Historical.
Branwyn O’Tyre is convinced her estranged brother plans to arrest her for witchcraft, so she drinks a protection potion before he arrives. A Viking sea captain, living under a curse, witnesses her magic and offers her an escape if only she will help him. The hitch? If she fails, Branwyn’s heart will be his forever.
THE WITCHING WELL. KristyTate. Time Travel
Celia Quinn holds Jason West responsible for the demise of her grandmother’s dress shop, so when she takes a sip of water from the witching well and is transported back to Regency England, Jason West is the last person she wants to see–or kiss.
Autumn’s Kiss is available now on Amazon.
The title featured today is The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia by Rachel A. James, a medieval romance published by Prism Book Group.
It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.
Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it.
616 AD, The Kingdom of Elmetia
Teagen scrambled under the table as the first fire-drenched arrow shot through the sky. Within seconds, thatched rooftops blazed and smoke bellowed throughout the palace. Frantic screams replaced the joyful music playing moments before.
“Princess,” Teagen’s nurse hissed from behind a wooden bench. “Are ye injured?”
“Nay.” She cast a wary glance as the battle unfolded before her. “What’s happening? Is it Saxons?”
Her nurse stretched her arm over and stroked her hair. “Aye, princess. Seems to be. Now stay put here while I find yer brother.”
Teagen flinched. “Don’t leave me Dera, please—Niall will be with Papa, they’ll be safe.”
Dera’s face paled. “I hope not, lassie, for yer brother’s sake, I pray he’s not.”
What could she mean? Was Papa in trouble?
She jumped out from her hiding place. “Then I’ll come with ye—”
Dera pushed her down firmly. “Nay, ‘tis not safe. Whatever ye do, do not let them capture ye, understand?”
She nodded, dumbfounded as Dera disappeared.
Grabbing the bottom of her long silk dress, she covered her face in an attempt to subdue the nausea that welled within. She wouldn’t look. She couldn’t. Where was Papa? She needed him right now, to hold her, and keep her safe.
A wave of relief washed over her. “Papa!” Teagen ran toward him, tears threatening her eyes.
“Shhh, lassie.” Her father scooped her up and headed for the kitchen just off the Great Hall. He opened a small stone cupboard and placed her inside.
“Stay in here, do ye understand? Do not come out until yer brother gets ye.”
“Please don’t leave me, Papa. Everyone keeps leaving me.” She tasted the salty tears that streamed her face.
Her father stroked her cheek. “Oh, lassie, I love ye so much. Ye know this, don’t ye?”
“Now be a brave girl and stay put.”
She gave her father a lingering hug and breathed in his comforting musky scent, her eyes averting his blood stained tunic. As he shut the cupboard door, the sound of the latch closing sent shivers through her body. The darkness did not mask the coldness of the damp stone walls, or the stale air which stifled her breathing. A sob lodged in her throat. I need to be brave for Papa.
Muffled sounds from outside grew louder—the clash of iron on iron, the collapse of buildings, and cries for help.
“King Ceretic is dead!”
Teagen stopped breathing. It could not be true.
“And what of the rest of the family?”
“Not yet found.”
“We do not leave until they are dead. Burn everything, and gather the survivors—we’ll take them to the slave market.”
She squeezed her eyes together, shutting out the fuzzy sensation that threatened to overtake her.Please, God. Nay. There surely must be some mistake.
Teagen could wait no longer. Despite her father’s strict instructions, she pushed open the door and fell on the kitchen floor. She gasped in a huge breath of air and scrambled to the doorway. Soldiers littered the outside, and in the centre, stood the Saxon King—Edwin the Tyrant. Her stomach lurched as she saw the remains of her father’s body.
Oh, Heavenly Father.
She collapsed to the ground. If her father was dead, it meant her brother Niall would likely be too. She studied the hem of her fine tunic and caressed the intricate beading Dera had sewn on the day before.
She stiffened. If they discovered her true identity as the king’s daughter, she too would be slain. She had to get out of these clothes. Her eyes rested on the dead bodies piled up outside the kitchen entrance and her heart broke as she spotted one of her friends lying on the ground. She kept low, reached out and pulled her friend further inside the kitchen.
“I’m sorry, Hilda,” she whispered to the girl, “but I’m going to need yer clothes. Ye won’t have use for them anymore.” She closed the girl’s eyelids, said a quick prayer, and removed the simple tunic and redressed her young friend in her own grand attire.
She ran out of the kitchen and toward the oak tree at the top of the hill, knowing she would be seen. She perched under a sloping branch and gazed out—her entire world ablaze. Soldiers rummaged through the dead bodies looking for valuables to keep for themselves. Teagen covered her ears as cries penetrated the night. Curling herself into a ball, she cradled her arms around her knees and rocked herself back and forth watching her kingdom fall. They were coming for her, it was simply a matter of time. To survive this night, her identity would have to be forgotten.
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Rachel grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms.
Born and bred in England, Rachel writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor’s wife, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She’s also captivated by romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten! Find her at www.rachelajames.com for more information.
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Here’s another selection from The Wild Rose Press’s Haunting In the Garden series.
Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost by Alicia Dean
A year after her husband’s death, Emily Tillman is ready to start dating again, and hopefully, find what she’s always wanted—marriage and children. But the man who broke her heart five years ago is back. And he’s anything but the marrying kind. Confirmed bachelor Reese Caster is perfectly content with his life—and he’s finally over Emily, the one woman who almost made him commit. Now, his world is rocked when her dead husband shows up, demanding that Reese pursue Emily to keep her out of the clutches of her latest suitor—a jerk who is only after her money. Being around Emily again has made Reese reconsider his bachelor life style. But now that the threat of the other man is gone, the pesky ghost wants Reese to break things off. Can he and Emily find the love they were denied, or will the ghost of her dead husband destroy their chances?
“Emily is the kind of woman you have to take things slowly with.”
“Sure, if this was real. But you have to step it up, turn on the charm. You need to show you care, that you know her, buy her things that she loves. Her favorite flowers are white roses, she loves dark chocolate, and her favorite wine is Merlot. You need to move in on her, hard.”
Caster gave a humorless laugh and shook his head. “Do you hear yourself? You were her husband, for God’s sake. Have some respect.”
Joey’s face flushed. “I do respect her. That’s why I don’t want this asshole putting one over on her. She deserves to find someone who will truly love her and give her the things I couldn’t.”
A note of pain in his voice almost made Caster feel sorry for him. But not as sorry as he felt for the family who lost a loved one less than half an hour ago. “Listen, I’ve performed back to back surgeries today, and had my night capped off by an emergency surgery that ended with a young girl’s death. So, you’ll understand why I’m not in the mood for this right now.”
“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about that. My concern is with Emily. And I need you to follow through with your end of the deal.”
“Deal, my ass. You blackmailed me into going along with this bullshit. Well, I’m out. I’ll finish the haunted forest thing, but no more of this romancing Emily crap. I can’t use her like that, I can’t break her heart again.”
“Break her heart? You sound pretty sure she’ll fall for you. My, my. Someone’s full of himself.”
Caster stood and stalked to the door. “Look, I don’t know if she will or not, I just know I can’t do this any longer. You can destroy everything I own, keep me up every night for the rest of my life, but I’m done.”
He put his hand on the door, but Joey’s voice stopped him. “I’ll tell her.”
Caster paused and turned to face him. “You’ll what?”
“Not only will I continue to screw with you, even on the job, but I’ll appear to Emily, tell her about our little scheme. What do you think she’ll think of you then?”
“You’re bluffing. You wouldn’t hurt her like that.”
Joey shook his head and closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were suspiciously damp. “I don’t want to. But I’ll do anything to keep her from making the biggest mistake of her life.”
Caster let out a resigned sigh and shook his head. “Nah, getting mixed up with the two of us was the biggest mistake of her life.”
Wild Rose Press: