September 27, 2016

The Mistaken Escort's Pleasure: A Liaison Novel by Valerie Ullmer #Contemporary Romance

The Mistaken Escort’s Pleasure:  A Liaison Novel

Valerie Ullmer 

Genre:  Contemporary Romance 

Lucian Cole was the exact copy of a successful businessman. From his custom-tailored suits to his dedication to his tech company, he lived for work. But lately, a restlessness had come over him, and it had been driving him to find someone to share his life with. 

Easier said than done. 

The women he dated were more interested in his money and his position in life than getting to know him, and he started to think that he would never find the right woman. Seeing his sister’s happiness with his best friend had given him hope that something might change, but after years of choosing work over dating, he might had to admit to himself that he missed the one woman he was meant to be with. 

Ellie Roth loved color, art, and design, and it permeated every part of her life. She had settled into her career over the years, finding that she managed projects more than she designed, and each day she found that she missed letting her creative side shine through. Although her life hadn’t gone exactly the way she planned, she’s stunned when she receives a wedding invitation from her ex-boyfriend and her old roommate. And now she needs a date, the sooner the better. 

At her friend Nina's suggestion, Ellie made an appointment with Rebecca Kane at Liaison to ask for the slim chance that one of her escorts could pretend to be her boyfriend. What she hadn’t counted on was meeting Lucian Cole and her instant attraction to the man. But with his expensive suit, his perfectly combed hair, and his gorgeous face, she knew that he wasn’t meant for her. 

After presenting her request to Rebecca, Lucian quickly offers to pose as her boyfriend. Pushing aside her attraction, she knew that nothing could come from her interest to Lucian and scoffed at the idea. They were complete opposites. But the more she refused, the more he charmed his way into her life, until she found herself agreeing to the preposterous plan.

Ellie moaned aloud as the edges of her dream faded away at the sound of light knocking on her front door.  She threw an arm over her eyes and ignored whoever wanted her attention so early on a Saturday morning.

She wanted the vivid dream to continue, where Lucian took his time running his hands over her body as he kissed her breathless.  Her body felt like a raw nerve exposed as she squirmed on the sheets of her queen-sized bed.  She tried to hold onto the images for a while longer.

Another knock came, louder this time, and her dream faded into blackness.  Her eyes popped open, and she turned her head to glance at her alarm clock.

She growled and whipped the blankets aside.  As she sat up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, she wondered whether she could ignore the intrusion.  But her mind reached for all the possibilities of catastrophe that could have happened last night after her friends headed home, and she rushed to the door, fumbling with the locks.  Another knock jolted her as she tried to get her fingers to respond to her brain’s command to open the door.

“Hold on a minute,” she grumbled.

A triumphant smile broke across her face as she unlocked the fourth, and final, lock.  As she opened the door, she wondered whether she was still dreaming, because on the other side of her door stood Lucian.

“Holy crap, I’m still dreaming,” she mumbled.

His eyes crinkled in amusement; when he smiled at her, her breath hitched in her throat.  She clenched her fists to stop herself from reaching for him and rolled her shoulders instead.  Several moments later, she was relaxed and drew a few deep breaths as her eyes wandered over him.

He was dressed in jeans and a sweater; a white collar of a dress shirt peeked up from his neck.  Even in casual clothes, he looked extraordinary.

“No, love, not a dream.”

She gazed down as the aroma of coffee assailed her, and smiled when she spotted the handles of the bag in his hand.  She opened her mouth to ask him what was in the bag, but a strangled sound came from his throat.  She noticed that his eyes widened and traveled down her body, taking his time, but when he realized the front door was wide open for all to see in, his mouth drew into a straight line and his face was a mask of anger.

When he lifted his head and glanced at her, his moss-green eyes flared to life.  She could have sworn she heard a growl erupt from deep in his chest.  Before she could figure out why, he stalked toward her as she scrambled back into her apartment.  She stopped a few feet away from the door, and watched him in surprise as he slammed the door and locked it before he set the bag and coffee on the side table by the door.

“Why are you mad at me?” she asked.

“What are you wearing?” he growled.

She looked down at herself and blushed.  When she went to bed the night before, she had on a pair of pajama bottoms along with the white tank top she was wearing.  Sometime in the middle of the night, she must have shed the bottoms, because she stood in front of Lucian in a pair of boy shorts and a tank top that left little to the imagination.

Her head jerked up at the sound of his loud steps on her hardwood floor.  Her first reaction was to back away from him, but as her mind replayed the conversation with her friends last night, and remembered the vivid dreams that she had awoken from, she tensed her body and waited to see what he would do.  When he reached her, his hands cupped her shoulders and squeezed for a moment before he rubbed his hands up and down her arms.

“I won’t hurt you, love.  You surprised me when you answered the door wearing practically nothing.”  His growl was back.

Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She's addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.

September 24, 2016

My Sexy Saturday - Sexy Has Its Way #MySexySaturday #MSS160 #Tarzan #romancenovels

Dear Readers,

In a few weeks, FOREVER MY JANE, the second vine-swinging book in my Jungle Island series, will be available. There's a whole lot more of sexy Tarzan and Jane to come!

Meanwhile, kickback and enjoy these seven paragraphs from Lord of the Jungle.

       The frightened female had mashed herself to his body and no matter how hard Tarzan tried, he hadn’t dislodged her. Like an infant gorilla, she’d ended up clinging to the front of his body.

A fact that hadn’t gone unnoticed by his mating tool.

Her arms wrapped behind his neck while her ankles locked above his butt. Her light colored hair separated into sections and blew a strand across her mouth. He wondered if her hair, so different from his own, would feel as soft as it looked. A lock fluttered in the breeze, then wedged in the seam of her lips. He imagined the same sunshine-filled locks dragging up his thighs to caress between his legs.

Caught like a willing rabbit in her snare, Tarzan froze as desire flared in a burst of hot pulsing need. Beneath the protection of his animal skin cover, his male part rose as it grew in size and width. Soon, his tool would make its demands known.

“You have amazing eyes.” The female’s thighs loosened their grip and her breasts slid down his chest.


“And your’re so strong.”

Whatever she’d said, Tarzan wanted to hear more. The sound of her soft voice stirred a thrumming sensation inside him.


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Crushing on Love - A release tour for Melissa Foster #contemporaryromance

The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor
New York Times & USA Today bestseller Melissa Foster

September 15, 2016

Dance or Die by Liza O'Connor #RomanticComedy #ContemporaryRomance

At the end of book 2, Steel declares his love to Tess and pulls a family heirloom ring from his hand and gives it to her. The questions is: Is this a sincere gift?

Here’s the moment:

“Tess Campbell, will you marry me sometime in the future when we get all this nonsense behind us?”

Her face lit up in pure joy. “Yes!”  She then tested it on all her fingers. The ring was too large for even her thumb.

“I’ll buy you a proper ring later,” he promised. “Just wear it as a necklace right now. We don’t want anyone else seeing it. Not even Dan.” Nor her father, nor his parents, nor the men who worked for him. “But you need to know I’m truly in love with you. That’s a family heirloom that has been passed down for countless generations. It’s important to me, but you are even more so. I love you, Tess, with all my heart.”

Sounds sweet doesn’t it? But does he actually mean it? Or is he creating a situation to use to his advantage in the future? At the end of Book 2, he truly seems to love Tess. But does Steel even know how to love? Yes, he’s very happy to have Tess working for him, but then she is doing the work he was hired to do, plus she is creating the work plans that are required by the state. That’s his responsibility as well, only Steel has no clue how to create the documents required. Nor does he have any wish to. He’s been greatly relieved that Tess took on the task. 

Only matters have changed in book 3 and Steel, from his hospital bed, lobs an accusation that would land Tess in prison for twenty years if it were believed. Did he always plan to do this? Or has his recent misfortunes put him on this path? Read the excerpt below and you decide. 

By Liza O’Connor

Contemporary Suspense/Romance


Tess Campbell, mafia princess, has fallen in love with a British prince, who is protected by a Secret Service agent during his stay in America. Two weeks into their budding romance, Tess’s father, a psycho mafia don, kidnaps and nearly kills the prince and his Secret Service agent, believing she has taken both as her lovers. The brutal assault reveals the true character of each man and Tess must face some hard truths, even as she takes control of her destiny to build the finest state park in the country.  

Excerpt for Dance or Die

“Steel is much the same as he was yesterday,” Sheriff Cobbs snapped. “He’s insisting you stole a valuable ring from his hand while he was being beaten by Benito.”
“Why would he say that?” Tess asked.
“Then you don’t possess a ring of his?”
“I do, but he gave it to me.” She reached in her shirt and pulled the chain holding his ring out so the sheriff could see it.” She focused on Sheriff Cobbs as he studied the ring. “When exactly did he give this to you?”
“Four or five days ago. I had begged him to make love to me, but when he discovered I was a virgin, he refused, saying we’d be safer if I remained untouched. I thought he was backing off, but to prove he wasn’t, he pulled this ring from his finger and gave it to me as he asked me to marry him sometime in the future. I threw my arms around him and said I would. He asked me not to show it to anyone. So I wore it on a chain beneath my clothes.”
“Unfortunately, he now claims you stole it. Any chance anyone else overheard any of this?”
“No. It was just the two of us.”
The old sheriff sighed heavily.
“I would never steal from him. I love him! Why would he accuse me of stealing from him?”
“He’s claiming it’s an heirloom worth half a million.”
Tess pulled the chain over her head and handed it to Sheriff Cobb. “I had no idea it was so valuable. Why would he give me something like that?”
“It might be because he loved you at the time, or he might have been setting you up from the first. I’ve no idea.” He removed the ring from the chain and handed it back to her. “The chain is yours, right?”
She nodded.
“I believe matters went down just as you claimed. However, that’s going to get you thrown into prison for grand larceny.”
Tess opened her mouth to protest, but the gravity of the situation left her mute.
He held up the ring. “So I’m going to return to the barn and find this ring near the post Steel was tied to. Then nobody can be falsely accused of anything. It’s just a lost and found priceless ring.”
“But Steel knows he gave it to me.”
The sheriff grinned. “I’m sure he does. But the only way he could prove you stole it was if I found you wearing it. Which I haven’t. I will find his ring at the barn, so to my perspective, it must have fallen off his finger while he was being battered.” He then eyed Tess. “But you can never talk about this to anyone. You understand?”
Tess nodded. “He really hates me…”
“He’s full of rage and you should stay far away from him. Had he succeeded with this trick, you’d be in prison for twenty years. And God only knows what would become of your forest by the time you got out.”
God! Steel truly hated her.
“Just put this all in your past and move on.”
“Can I hug you?”
“No, you can’t, but only because I was never here.”
He tipped his hat and hurried outside, rather like a reverse Santa who carries away gifts that would ruin her life.
She sat down in her Grams’ chair, shaking at how close she had come to losing everything dear to her over a ring that had been given to her in a moment of love.
Had Steel ever loved her or was this just a clever way of securing control of her forest? She had no doubt that the governor could and would remove her permanently if she had a criminal record. 

Book 1
Book 2

About the Author

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. 

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September 9, 2016

Friday Flames Welcomes Viviana MacKade!

Welcome to Friday Flames, where literary heat will warm your senses!

Today I welcome Viviana MacKade!

From a rich bedroom, a murder is ordered.

She had to die. Yoga instructor Ann Holloway’s sunny life is wrecked when a group of men break into her apartment and kill her sister. A rough, broody stranger snatches her from the killers’ jaw, but she has no clue about who these people were or the reasons behind the attack.

He was too scarred to really live. Burned-out former Marine and leader of the Team, Mark Carson thought he was doing a teammate an easy favor by picking up a couple of girls. How wrong. When his friend is killed, shadows build over the Team’s loyalty, and Ann’s life starts meaning more than his own, Mark is thrown into a different game. Now it’s personal.

From NY to sunny Miami, Ann and Mark run into a maze of lie, betrayal, and death, where love is the only, terrifying certainty.

And when truth unravels, they will risk all to survive.

THE AIR WAS SOAKED with heat. The few particles of oxygen that didn’t drown didn’t quite reach the bottom of Ann’s lungs. It was thick and sultry.
The sky, clean and huge, supervised Miami with its merciless blue stare; underneath, cream and red beach chairs hemmed the topaz water of the pool; further on, a white rail closed the world away.
Sitting on the poolside, Ann inhaled all that summer mugginess like the most refined smell. As her feet splashed the perfectly cool water, she closed her eyes, tasting the freedom. It wasn’t real, but lying for few moments would help keep her sanity. She needed to pretend it was just a vacation.
“I give you ten minutes before you’re burned,” Mark said, standing at the poolside. He hadn’t changed from jeans and t-shirt, but didn’t seem too bothered about the implacable heat. “I can bring the umbrella closer if you want.”
“Don’t worry, I’m okay. Unless it’s too hot for you, and you want some shade. I mean, you’re fully dressed.”
He sat at her side, took off his shoes and rolled his jeans; for a second, Ann saw him young and carefree, getting ready for some fun. “I was born in this sun,” he said. “I don’t burn. I don’t get too hot.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Florida.”
She didn’t see it coming. She felt his hand on the small of her back, a steadfast shove and then sassy cool water everywhere. The quivering shape of Mark chased away the leftover of black memories. The last time she was under water, it hadn’t been of her own will. But he was up there, and she was safe.
Ann let herself drawn in the pleasure of the wet, muffled world around her. When she touched the bottom of the pool, her mood was flying high. So much so, that she thought his pushing her into the pool deserved retribution.
She met the air with thrashes and messy pushes, up and down the surface, gurgling words and spitting water. “Can’t... swim.”
A splash, and Mark’s arms were around her. He pulled her up, tight against his chest as his worried eyes inspected her. “Are you all right?” he rushed. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know, I’m sorry.”
As mean as it was, laughter bubbled in her throat; she tried to contain it by pressing her face against his shoulder.
“What?” he asked, even more worried than before. “Talk to me, Ann.”
She let it free, a full, rounded laugh, shaking her from head to toes. She clung onto him as it wore off, feeling guilty and giggling when she met his even face.
He ran a hand over his eyes to wipe away rivulets of water dripping from his hair, his face, his neck. Did he know how good he looked right now?
Under her palms, he was solid as a rock, all tough muscles and warm flesh. His heart beat fast and strong. She scrambled closer against him, wrapping her legs around his waist. “Do you really think I can’t swim?” she asked, her throat suddenly tight.
 “Would I take the chance?”
His lips were beautiful, their hard line calling to be smoothed, seduced into a smile or a kiss.
“I’m completely dressed,” he scolded.
She lifted her chin, the laugh still in her eyes. “Well, next time think twice before pushing me into a pool.”
He tightened his hold on her waist. “That’s very mean.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Okay. But you started it.”
“I did.”

“I’m glad,” she said, looking down at his mouth.Mark didn’t fight. He didn’t want to. Not with the heat of the sun rubbing his back and her cool fingers skimming up and down from his neck to his short hair. He was tired of holding back, tired of wanting her and denying himself the salvation hidden in her arms.
She surrounded his brain like the mist of a dream, a sinful fairy wet and smiling. And strong and delicate like the words of a spell, she surrounded his body. Her hard nipples rubbed against the thin fabric of his t-shirt. Her lips were parted, and when she licked a bead of water he stopped breathing.
His palm found the small of her back, slid down to grab her and press her hard against his aching crotch. Her sharp intake of breath punched on his brain.
He knew that danger lurked over them, knew that he would be ashamed of letting his desires run him, but in that moment, everything he needed surrounded him. The heat, the rocking of cool water, and Ann.

Kissing her wasn’t the only thing he could do. It wasn’t the right thing to do, either. But if he didn’t do it, he might as well get out of the water and put a bullet into his head. So he kissed her.
She didn’t hesitate, but grabbed his hair and pulled him in. The taste of her, the way she answered to his mouth, the dance of her hips against his seized upon his control, upon his better judgment.

Wild with need, he pushed her back against the pool wall. Both hands ran down her sides, squeezing her waist, losing willpower, losing himself as she rubbed against him.
Her breathing was a war cry; her legs the sweetest torture; her hands weapons whose feather touch hit him hard and low.
Thoughts were far away, so were the reasons why he believed he shouldn’t take her. He only had to unzip his jeans, push the tiny bikini aside and he would be inside her, where he belonged.
He hit the wall of reality with a crush at the noise of the door crashing open.
His mind stripped down to icy clarity, his body switched to combat mode. He turned, pushed her behind him to shield her and face whoever had walked in.
Three girls, armed with big beach bags. They looked at them, and left for the chairs, giggling and whispering.
As the adrenaline wore off, Mark looked for Ann’s face and his heart nearly drowned for what he saw. Her eyes never lied. It wasn’t gratitude, and it wasn’t just sex. It was something beautiful.
Shitless scared, his heart drummed a hymn of joy.Gently, he sat her on the poolside. “I need to change.”He pushed himself out of the water.

“Mark,” she called, but it was too late.His eyes shunned away from hers as he handed her a towel. Without a word, he walked away.

Club Lighthouse Publishing, available as e-book and paperback
Amazon, available as e-book and paper on demand.

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