Monday, August 3, 2020

Wild Cowboy Country

With: Erin Marsh

Giveaway Alert!

Who has more right to the land?

Park ranger Lacey Montgomery and rancher Clay Stevens are on opposite sides of a thorny issue. Lacey has spent her career reintroducing wolves to Rocky Ridge National Park and now oversees the welfare of the pack. Clay has struggled for years to make a success of the historic ranch he inherited and is tired of losing his calves to predators.

When Clay’s teenage nephew and his friends carelessly endanger a wild wolf and her pups, Clay and Lacey’s lives collide. They shouldn’t be so attracted to each other—she’s a hometown girl beloved in the community, while he’s still regarded as a city-slicker interloper. But Clay’s piercing blue eyes make Lacey’s pulse race, and her sweet face and kissable lips are drawing him under her spell, much as he tries to resist…

Opposites attract, but the terrain between them is awfully rough…

Two-time Golden Heart® Finalist Erin Marsh credits her childhood family road trips in her grandparents’ Grand Marquis with opening her imagination and exposing her to the wonders of the United States. The lessons she learned then still impact her writing today. She lives with her husband and daughter near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Purchase Links:

Wiping his hands on a towel, Clay turned to her, his smile both hesitant and undeniably charming. “I’d offer an after-dinner walk along the river, but…”
The words hung uncompleted, neither wanting to finish the sentence and admit to the difficulties surrounding their new relationship. Instead, Lacey reached for Clay’s hand, wrapping her fingers around his. “I don’t need moonlit strolls.”
His blue eyes softened into warm pools as he lifted their intertwined hands and kissed the back of her knuckles. He released her fingers, only to gently cup her face instead. “I’d still like to take you on them though.”
A burst of joy ricocheted through Lacey, settling in her heart. She ran her fingers through his hair, and his expression turned so intense that she swore she felt a tug deep in her soul.
“Then why don’t you tell me about it.” She paused a beat before adding, “In your bedroom.”
He kissed her, his lips hot and demanding. She met his hunger with her own. His hands slipped from her face, skimming lightly down her sides until they settled at her waist. He pulled her close, and her body, already liquid from the warm heat spreading through her, molded against his. The kiss deepened. The more they indulged, the more they craved.
Clay lifted his lips from hers. They stood under the overhead kitchen light, each breathing hard. This time, it was Clay who extended his hand. Lacey immediately took it and allowed him to lead her.
“First, we’d walk through the scrub to get to the river,” Clay said, his voice low and soft. It seemed to have a current all its own, both peaceful and raging at the same time. “We’d hold hands just like this, and I’d rub my thumb over your skin.”
A shiver ran through Lacey at the gentle brush of flesh against flesh. “I like this stroll.”
He laughed, the sound a deep, rolling rumble. “So do I.”
They reached the first landing, and he paused by a window. Moonlight bathed them, and his blond hair almost appeared silver. He drew her close, his lips mere inches from hers. She could feel the puff of his breath, but he didn’t dip his head. Instead, he spoke in a husky whisper, this time using the present tense instead of what-ifs. “The water is below us now. It’s like a glowing ribbon cutting through the land.”
“I can hear it,” Lacey said. “A rushing babble breaking the night’s stillness.”
Clay’s mouth pressed against hers. A butterfly kiss. Then another. The next one landed on the corner of her mouth as he slowly worked his way across her cheek and jaw. When he reached her ear, he told her quietly, “We stop for a bit, enchanted by the beauty. But we don’t stay. We head for the grove of cottonwoods. Normally, we’d hear Steller’s jays scolding us, but they’re asleep at this hour.”
Clay stepped back and led her up the steps and down a hallway. They moved swiftly now, their breathing labored as if they’d actually taken a long hike. He paused at the end of the corridor. When he pushed open the door, Lacey said, “We startle a mountain cottontail.”
Clay chuckled. “I can just make out a faint rustle as he hops away.”
They entered his bedroom. He’d pulled the curtain nearly shut, but he’d left a big enough gap to allow bright moonlight to seep into the room. They walked inside, still hand in hand. The old wooden floorboards creaked beneath their feet.
“There’s the splash of an otter fishing in the creek,” Lacey said.
Clay stopped at the foot of the bed. “I lay out one of the old family quilts for us.”
This time, their narration wasn’t completely make-believe. A coverlet with a log-cabin design adorned the massive, mission-style bed. The room itself was bigger than most bedrooms for the time period of the house, but it had been designed after an English manor. It made for a cavernous space. Aside from a rope rug and basic furniture, Clay hadn’t done much decorating. Nothing hung on the walls, except for a single, unembellished mirror and a couple of photos of the ranch, which she assumed he’d taken. The emptiness momentarily sucked away some of Lacey’s joy, but she hid it. Clay hadn’t brought her into his private space for sympathy, and offering any would do more harm than good.
Instead, she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him long and deep. He groaned against her mouth, the sound guttural. He picked her up, and she wrapped her legs around his torso. Without breaking their embrace, he carried her over to the bed. They tumbled onto the mattress, their lips locked, their limbs tangled. A desperate, urgent edge now drove their lovemaking. Lacey’s blood thundered through her like a galloping mustang, wild and unfettered. She reached for Clay’s Western shirt, her fingers fumbling at the buttons. His mouth moved from hers, trailing across her chin and then down her throat. When he hit a sensitive spot, she gasped. He paused, applying a gentle suction before his tongue darted out. Intense pleasure shot through her. She arched, yanking on the button still between her fingers. It ripped loose, and she felt his lips curve against her flesh.
“Why, Miss Montgomery, are you tearing off my clothes?”
“I’ll sew it back on,” she promised.
“I have more shirts. Feel free to continue. I want your hands on me. All of me.”
A landslide of need collided in her. Without taking time to think, Lacey bunched the fabric in both hands and pulled sharply. The buttons flew off with satisfying pops.
Clay lifted his head to stare down at her. The moonlight glinted off the golden strands in his arched brow. “You are surprisingly good at that.”
She smiled and ran her fingers over his defined pecs. “Beginner’s luck and plenty of motivation. I’ve been wanting to touch you for weeks.”
Clay responded with a long, hard kiss. “You’re making it very hard to take it slow.”
“Sorry,” she said with a surprising giggle. Even as a teenager, she’d rarely tittered. If she was going to laugh, it was going to be a full one. But now. In this moment. The lighthearted sound seemed right, a delightful echo of the buoyancy Clay made her feel.
His fingers grazed the bottom of her T-shirt. “May I?”
She nodded. “I’ve been fantasizing about that too.”
He chuckled, the sound a little raw. “Not nearly as much as I have.”
Excerpted from Wild Cowboy Country by Erin Marsh. © 2020 by Erin Marsh. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 30, 2020


Giveaway Alert!

He’s got one last chance
To make things right

Billy King may be smiling under his black Stetson, but the plain truth is this cowboy-turned-racer is hurting: for his horse back in Memphis, for his girl with one boot out the door, and for his faltering career thanks to an injury that’s not getting any better. The moment he’s free from the press circuit, Billy bolts home—resolved to heal, and ready to win Taryn’s heart a second time.

Hopefully, before the love of his life is gone for good.

Taryn Ledell never wanted to fall for sweet blue eyes and a deep southern drawl. As a World Superbike racer, she had plans, and none of them involved playing second fiddle to any man. But now he’s back, and she’s forced to make some hard choices. With her sponsors eager for a decision, Taryn finds herself tangled in all the lines they’ve drawn in the sand. But broken bones and broken hearts don’t heal overnight, and the cost of forgiveness can be sky high: unless Billy can prove that his heart never left the ranch…or her.

Katie Golding writes high-octane romance about complicated people always searching for the next thrill ride. She lives in Austin, Texas with her beloved husband and son.

Purchase Links:

My whole heart was thumping strong in my chest while everything in me begged to kiss him. But I couldn’t bring myself to make the first move—I wanted Billy to go for it. To step up and take the risk and feel all the elation of me rewarding it with full-on acceptance because for once, what a guy wanted was exactly what I wanted, too.
He let out a deep sigh that was almost more of a groan, sinking my hopes. “You’re not making this easy on me at all, are you?”
“Making what easy?”
He looked away, unable to hide his smile. “Nothing.”
It was too much fun; I couldn’t resist. The way he was, the way he made me feel. “You want to kiss me, Billy?”
He grinned at the ground. Probably, I was pushing too hard, too fast, but I didn’t really know any other way to go. Not when I wanted him to kiss me that damn bad.
When he lifted his head, there was no fear in his blue eyes. Just a pure kind of acceptance that he wasn’t going to be happy until he got what he wanted. “Yes, ma’am. I do.”
My heartbeat took off as Billy stepped closer, his hat hiding both of us from the February moon. The rich scent of him was too tempting: I pulled it deep into my lungs, drowning in the masculinity rippling off him. But he still wasn’t touching me, no matter how much I wanted him to.
“Would that be all right?” he whispered.
I don’t remember nodding or breathing, just beaming at him and praying my self-restraint could hold on a little bit longer. “I’ll answer that in a minute.”
Billy smiled, and then I finally got everything I’d been craving. He brushed his fingertips over my cheek with a touch softer than the wishing petals of a dandelion, hooking a knuckle under my chin and tilting my lips up to his. My eyelashes fluttered closed, my pulse thundering through my veins as I waited and waited, desperate for the first crash of his mouth against mine.
All I felt was space between us, growing longer and wider until it just wasn’t anymore—the first brush of his lips so soft, I wasn’t even sure that I’d felt him. But Billy was there, his kiss as slow as his drawl, careful and gentle, and little more than a sip of an ocean I was eager to disappear into.
I took his jaw between my palms, prickly with stubble but sculptured and strong. Drawing him down to me, I quickly melted into the shocking plumpness of what I’d considered to be thin lips but now felt rich and deep, and a whole new shade of delicious. Then he moaned, his hands squeezing my waist and pressing me up into him. It was like embracing iron, rippled and smooth, the bite of his buckle scraping my belly, and my hips pressing hungrily toward the long, thick swell growing behind his zipper.
He took a needy gasp for air, and I hugged him closer, slipping my tongue into his mouth. A growl churned from low in his throat as the kiss turned dirtier, the strike of his tongue and bite of his lips getting wonderfully sharp. But not sharp enough for what I wanted when my body was catching fire everywhere he touched me: his wide palm secure on my lower back, his other hand buried in my hair and massaging my scalp.
He felt so good, too good. And he hadn’t grabbed my ass once.
“You know”—I leaned back, my hand on his chest and Billy breathing hard, blinking at me with his hands suspended in place—“you don’t kiss like a bull rider.”
His brow furrowed, the slightest spark of suspicion in his eyes. “How many bull riders you kissing?”
“Hopefully none.”
He half rolled his eyes, but he was smiling again as he settled his hands on my waist, his thumbs petting the space leading to my hips. All trace of jealousy totally and completely gone, thank God. “All right, what do you got against bull riders?”
I did my best to calm my libido—which wasn’t helped by tapping his rock-solid chest with a single finger. But I wanted to set the record straight before we stumbled into a problem. I was never going back to that life, not when I had waited nine hours for Travis to wake up and not when I had been more terrified than I knew a person could be when Jace was airlifted. “You put your bull above everything else. And I’m telling you right now, Billy King, no eight-second bull ride is ever going to come before me.”
Billy didn’t groan, didn’t flinch, didn’t blink. He just nodded. “Okay.”
“I’m serious.”
Serious as Bonnie Landry’s black funeral dress and the poem she brokenly read over Beau’s glistening coffin.
“Yeah?” Billy drawled, but his smile was clearly teasing as his hands slid from my waist to lock somewhere over my lower back. He pulled me closer until I was nearly gasping from the tease of his erection against my hip, straining his zipper and parching my mouth. His eyebrow arched in the picture of confidence, then he leaned down close enough to kiss me again, whispering against my lips, “Good thing I’m not a bull rider no more…”
Good thing indeed.

Excerpted from Fearless by Katie Golding. © 2020 by Katie Golding. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Come Home To Deep River

Giveaway Alert!

Coming home was the easy part. Facing her will take everything he’s got…

Silas Quinn hasn’t been back to Deep River, Alaska, in years, not since he joined the army. He left behind the best friend he’d ever had. But he knew Hope Dawson was meant for bigger things than Deep River—and he—had to offer. What he didn’t know was that when he left, he took Hope’s dreams right along with him…

Then tragedy strikes and sends Silas home, and the entire town is thrown into chaos when they learn what brought him back—he’s inherited ownership of the town and the newly discovered oil reserves under it!

Hope gave up on ever getting out of Deep River. Her mom needed her, then her grandfather died and left her the local hangout to run. Now Si is back in town, stirring up old feelings—including her anger at being left behind. His return brings Hope an offer that can change her life. Love, or adventure, are almost within reach—but she can’t have both…

Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. She used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Purchase Links:

Flying into Deep River, Alaska, took a special kind of grit. The airstrip was a narrow bit of gravel to the side of soaring mountains, with a river running along one edge, and there was always some kind of crosswind happening that would challenge even the most experienced pilot.
It wasn’t a forgiving landing, and there was no room for error.
Luckily, Silas Quinn hadn’t made an error in all the time he’d spent flying around the wilds of the Alaskan backcountry, and he wasn’t about to make one now.
Particularly not when he was flying into the hometown he’d left thirteen years earlier and hadn’t been back to since.
Especially not when he was coming back to what would probably turn out to be the most hostile reception since Mike Flint had once said at a town meeting that he thought the idea of a luxury motel on the side of the Deep River would be good and why didn’t they build one.
Considering the reason Si was here was fifty million times worse than the idea of a luxury motel, the response he was likely to get once he’d broken the news would probably be more than the one month of cold-shouldering that Mike had gotten.
Si would be lucky if the town didn’t kill him.
That was if this damn airstrip didn’t kill him first.
The clouds were lowering, and the rain was coming down hard, and the wind was a problem, but with his friend Caleb’s death still fresh, Si was in no mood to let the elements have their way with him.
He’d survived three tours in Afghanistan.
He’d survive this, even if it killed him.
He kept his nerve and brought the tiny plane down, the wheels bouncing on the gravel as he rolled up just shy of the lone hangar that housed Deep River’s entire aviation industry.
As the spin of the Cessna’s propellers began to wind down, Si sat in the cockpit trying to handle the rush of emotions that he had known would grip him the second he touched down. The usual mixture of grief, anger, and longing that Deep River always instilled whenever he thought of his hometown.
There was a special poignancy to it today though. Because Caleb was only a few weeks dead and the shock of the will was still ringing through Si’s entire being like a hammer strike.
Deep River was an anomaly. The entire town was privately owned and had been since the gold rush days, when town founder Jacob West had bought up all the land around the Deep River and declared it a haven for the misfits and rogues who didn’t fit in anywhere in normal society. He’d leased out the land to anyone who wanted to join him, getting them to pay him whatever they could afford in terms of a nominal rent, and in return, they could have a plot of land to call their own and do whatever they wanted with it.
The People’s Republic of Deep River, some called it.
Most just called it home.
Even over a hundred years later, the town was still owned by the Wests.
And that was the difficulty. Caleb was the oldest West and had inherited the town after his father, Jared West, had died five years earlier. And he’d ran the place since then—or at least he had until his unexpected death in a plane crash while running supplies up to a remote settlement in the north.
But that hadn’t been the end to the shocks that Si and his two other friends, Damon and Zeke, had had to endure in the past few weeks.
First, there had been finding out that Caleb had left the entire town to them in his will. And second, oil had been discovered within Deep River’s city limits—oil that the town had no idea was underneath their land.
Oil that, once they knew about it, was going to turn the entire place upside down.
Heavy stuff for three ex-military guys who had nothing to their names but a small company doing adventure tours for tourists, transport runs for hunters, and supply runs for everyone else in the Alaskan bush.
Si stared out at the rain beyond the windshield of the plane.
It hid everything from view, which was probably just as well. He hadn’t wanted to come back here, not considering what he’d been trying to leave behind, but it hadn’t made any sense for either Damon or Zeke to be the advance party.
This was his hometown. He was the one who knew Deep River and the people in it. And he was the one who’d been closest to Caleb.
Therefore, it made sense for him to be the one to break the happy news that firstly, the fact that he, Damon, and Zeke were the new owners. And secondly, there was oil in them thar hills.
Some men might have kept the oil a secret and kept all the riches for themselves too, but Si wasn’t that kind of man, and neither were his friends.
He’d been brought up in Deep River, an extreme environment where everyone learned to rely on each other since that could be all that stood between you and a very uncomfortable death. There was no time for petty grievances—though to be fair, there were a lot of those as well. But when push came to shove, the town pulled together. Because fundamentally, they were all the same. They’d all come here because they didn’t fit anywhere else, because they were escaping something, because they liked the quiet and the isolation and the return to nature.
Because they just plain old liked it.
Si let out a breath.
And now he was going to give them news that was going to blow it all apart.
Excerpted from Come Home to Deep River by Jackie Ashenden. © 2020 by Jackie Ashenden. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 27, 2020

Riley’s Rescue (Last Chance #6)

With: Lexi Post

Army veteran, Riley O’Hare, is a loner for a reason—it’s safe, and it keeps her sane. After calling animal welfare on her last boss, she accepted the position of a ranch hand for the Last Chance Ranch. But things have become almost too comfortable. The only reason she’s stayed so long is she works alone…a lot.
Garrett Walker is a former Hot Shot, part of a special breed of firefighters who battle wildfires. At loose ends, he becomes the rescue horse hauler for Last Chance Ranch. When he meets the tough, distant Riley, he finds his usual aptitude for sizing up a person is completely useless. Either she’s as odd as she appears or her layers run deep.
It’s only after a freak accident throws them into close proximity for days that he uncovers more about her, inadvertently revealing his own weakness. A need to keep her in his life grows too strong to ignore. Their occupational scars may be impossible to overcome, but he was a Hot Shot for a reason. Jumping into fires has been his specialty…and his downfall.

Buy Links
Amazon (other):


Garrett halted. “You and Dog came from the left. Did you see anything down there?”
She hadn’t exactly stopped to smell the roses. She’d had one thing on her mind, get Dog and get out. She stifled a snort. Look how well that turned out. “Nothing that I noticed while searching for this mutt.”
“Then let’s go to the right.”
She nodded, marveling at how calm she was. Maybe now that her worst fears had been realized, she had nothing left to fear. Except starvation, dehydration, and being shot when she exited. She shook her head to get rid of her poisoned thoughts.
“Yes or no?” Garrett stared at her, his brows lowered. He was either confused or thought she was crazy.
She’d put her money on crazy. “Yes, let’s go to the right. I just had Dog’s hair in my face.”
“Okay.” From the sound of his voice, he didn’t believe her, but he turned around and started down the mine tunnel.
A smile threatened. The man had no clue that she was the last person he wanted to be stuck in a cave with. Mine! She was in a mine. An old copper mine. F**king-A, Riley get your shit together. This is not a cave. The ceilings are too low, there are rails on the ground, and there’s only two tunnels.
Right. She knew that. The cave outside Chora, which had at first been an escape, had become her tomb when the bastards had blown the entrance to bury her inside. The destruction at the wide opening had been complete, the debris yards deep. This was a simple cave-in.
But it was the same. She was buried alive, again. The calm she’d recognized only minutes earlier evaporated as her gaze swept the sidewalls, instinctually searching for the small hole she’d squeezed through as the Taliban scoured the cave. It had to be here. She must be close. She’d only run for a hundred yards or so. Or did it just feel like that? She listened for sounds of pursuit, but the only sound was her own footsteps and those in front of her.
She halted, but the footsteps continued, taking her light with them. Quickly, she ran forward again, desperate to find the hole. Excited arguing sounded in her ears, back toward the entrance. Maybe they would shoot each other. It had happened before.
Suddenly, a flash of light reflected off the cave walls, and she dove to the ground, covering her dog, protecting it.
Dog? She blinked as the animal licked at her face.
“Are you okay?”
The male voice above her sounded concerned. That wasn’t the voice she’d heard behind her. Releasing the dog, she rolled over to get her face out of the dirt. Quickly, she shaded her eyes from the bright light. “Who?”
A man crouched down next to her. “It’s me, Garrett. Are you hurt? Did you trip?”

Author bio
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she's read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi's first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

SATURDAY IN SERENDIPITY Three Stories of Love Rediscovered

Congratulations to "Taurus", the winner in Margo's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!


SATURDAY IN SERENDIPITY is on sale for just $.99 until July 27TH. Stories of three couples who rediscover love at a Twenty Year High School Reunion. 

A twenty-year high school reunion in Serendipity, Vermont
changes the lives of former classmates and leads to unexpected futures.


Blurb: Barry Carlson had it all, a successful pro baseball career and the adoration of any woman he wanted. Except one, Amanda Marsh. Twenty years ago, in high school, Barry won Amanda’s love only to crush her heart. Forced to retire in his prime, he’s back in their hometown of Serendipity, Vermont determined to earn a second chance. Recently divorced, Amanda is happily single until Barry slides back into her life. She isn’t interested in a repeat performance. Turning him down should be easy, if only he wasn’t still the love of her life. Barry and Amanda must put aside old wounds and new misunderstandings to find their forever love.


Blane Weston’s construction company needs the venture capital Matt Durand is more than willing to provide. But with his reputation for hostile business takeovers, she makes it clear she wants no part of what he has to offer. Especially when he shows up at one of her building sites, unannounced and early, to negotiate terms. Besides, Blane has other plans for the next few days. Alone and single for far too long, she’s ready to hook up with a former flame at her high school reunion in Serendipity, Vermont. Not used to being denied, Matt follows her only to find her destination holds memories and unfinished business for him. How can Blane possible enjoy a journey back to her past when Matt is determined to dictate her future?


His twentieth high school reunion in Serendipity, Vermont leaves hospital CEO Jake Holbrook feeling lonely and alone. So when a special woman from his past tumbles back into his life—and his bed—he’s determined to keep her there. Family practice physician Bethany Thomas knows it’s a bad idea to sleep with her late husband’s best friend—even if he is the only man she ever loved. After years of marriage to the wrong man, she isn’t looking for an entanglement with her future boss. Clashing philosophies on patient care lead Bethany to betray Jake. As the holidays approach, his job is on the line. Can Bethany and Jake overcome their lack of trust to find their own Christmas miracle?

Barry and Miranda, Matt and Blane, Jake and Bethany. Three stories of Love Rediscovered.

Reader’s Choice GIVEAWAY: In addition to the $.99 special, I’m pleased to offer one commenter a format of choice, e-book or print copy of SATURDAY IN SERENDIPITY (Print book available in the US only.)

Please visit me at these locations as well. Thanks for stopping by.

FaceBook     Twitter     Goodreads     Amazon Author Page

Bio: Award winning author Margo Hoornstra writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense, always providing that happily ever after for her characters. A big city girl turned country woman, Margo enjoys hiking and walking around the wide-open spaces near her home, especially in the fall, hates to cook and loves to read.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 24th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Goodbye Guy

Congratulations to "Bn100", the winner in Natasha's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

Enemies become lovers in The Goodbye Guy, book three in my Men of Lakeside series. Rachel and Beckett need to come to realize they are no longer the spoiled country club princess and cocky bad boy they knew in high school before they can work together to save her interior design show and his fire-station-turned-bar. This excerpt is from the first time they see each other in over 20 years.
Excerpt of The Goodbye Guy:
She turned toward the open staircase and there it was. The pole. The pole the firemen used to slide down to get to the trucks quickly. She stepped up to it and ran her hand down the smooth metal. It seemed thicker, taller, than in her memories. She glanced up at the hole through the upstairs floor. Had she actually slid down from there?

That hadn’t been part of the dare.

There’d been a rumor that Valerie Green had forgotten her locket upstairs when she went up there to fool around with Brad Washington. And because Rachel had been sure if she’d chosen Truth her friends would have wanted the latest scoop on her crush on…Brad Washington, she’d chosen Dare

She climbed the stairs now, remembering the way she’d dashed up them that night. In and out, then back to Lucy’s house, had been the plan. The walls of the empty space were painted white now, but the floor was still the old scuffed vinyl. The big sofa that used to be along the back wall was gone.

She’d found the locket that night underneath the sofa and slid it over her head before she took the plunge down the pole. What had she been thinking? She couldn’t even remember, except it had felt like a little burst of freedom.

Rachel sauntered over to the pole now. She leaned forward and grabbed onto it with both hands. Leaning over, she could see the floor below. The notes of “The Stripper” bounced through her brain as it had that night. She’d never done anything like it before, had never rebelled. But it had given her the first taste. Could she still slide down that pole without killing herself?

What the hell.

She’d already taken the leap and wrapped her legs around the pole when she heard the sound of the back door slamming. Gravity took over. She shot down to the first floor and lost all the grace she might have had. When she landed, her knees buckled and her smooth-soled sandals slipped out from under her. She ended up spread-eagled on the floor, her skirt up around her hips, at the feet of the one man she’d never wanted to see again.

She looked up at him and swallowed. “You.” As he stared at her, she realized she should have thought about what she was wearing before she decided to slide down the pole in the first place.

Rachel closed her mouth before the “Whoa” leaked out. Beckett Colburn’s thick brown hair no longer skimmed his collar, and the trimmed beard and broad shoulders screamed man loud and clear. His body had filled out nicely since his lanky youth. He’d obviously come from a jobsite because his jeans were dusty, as was the black Colburn and Sons Salvage T-shirt that hugged his toned upper body. His tanned biceps bulged impressively. And holy shit. Tattoo sleeves, hot and sexy, covered both arms. A colorful dragon coiled sinuously around one muscular arm from his wrist until it disappeared under his shirtsleeve. The ink on the other arm appeared to be mostly tribal or Celtic, with some words, maybe a name, and a picture or two as well. She’d need a closer look. She wanted to stretch out her fingers and trace the designs on his skin, discover what they felt like.

No, she didn’t.

But right now she was sprawled in front of him, her hands still clutching the pole. Before she could begin to scramble to her feet, Beckett crossed his arms over his broad chest and looked down at her with a self-satisfied expression. “Well, look who came crawling back to Lakeside.”

Natasha will be giving away one digital copy of The Goodbye Guy (The Men of Lakeside book 3).

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 22nd. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Her Second Chance Cowboy

I’m Makenna Lee, and I’m so happy to be here! I write contemporary romance set in fictional small towns in the Texas Hill Country. I also live in this area of Texas with my real-life hero and our twenty-three-year old son who has Down Syndrome. You will see his influence in all of my books. He participates in weekly therapeutic horseback riding, and the hero in my debut book, Her Second Chance Cowboy, starts an equine therapy program for special needs children.
When an ambitious photographer returns to the Texas Hill Country to secure her world-traveling dream job, a fling with the tied-to-the-land cowboy who broke her heart years ago is the worst thing that can happen…and the best.

“Would you look at that. My fortune cookie was right. This really is a day filled with creative inspiration.”
From her spot inside a thick copse of cedar trees, Reese Turner focused her camera on the shirtless cowboy working on the roof of what had once been her grandparents’ cottage. When he turned in her direction, her mouth dropped open, and her finger froze.
Oh, my holy hotness on steroids.
Warmth—that was not from the weather—swirled inside her. The back of him had been a nice view, but the front was worthy of being in the firefighter calendar her BFF had given her last Christmas. Sun-bronzed muscles bulged across a broad, bare chest. A mystery face lay hidden in the shade of a cowboy hat.
With the most terrible timing imaginable, her memory card reached capacity. “Really? Now?” From the bag across her shoulder, she grabbed a new one and switched it out, but when she refocused on the white cottage, the cowboy was gone. “Oh man. Guess my luck ran out.” But it was for the best. Taking photos of a half-dressed cowboy without permission was a bad idea and not why she’d returned to Celts Creek.
The warm Texas breeze lifted her long hair, and Reese breathed in the scent of summer grasses heated by the sun. This beautiful place held her favorite childhood memories, and being back filled her with a nostalgic longing to wildcraft herbs with her grandmother. A sweet ache fluttered in her heart.
She lifted the camera to her eye and captured shots of birds in flight and the morning sun streaking into the clouds above the roofline.
“You’re trespassing.”
“AAAH,” Reese yelped while performing a jump and spin maneuver that left her facing her missing photo subject.
No. It can’t be.
She released a quick breath, camera clutched against her drumming heart as it made a fluttering descent back into place. A familiar face stared out from under the brim of a tan cowboy hat, dark stubble emphasizing his jawline and framing full lips. “James?”
“Hey, Reese.” He shoved his hands into his back pockets and grinned.
Not only had she been caught trespassing, but she’d been discovered by James MacLachlan. The guy who’d shared her first kiss, made false promises, and then broken her heart. Now, a man, full grown, standing a few feet away, more handsome than she remembered. A trickle of sweat slid down the center of his body toward his belly button.
Blood whooshed in her ears and some elusive shift in the air stole her next breath, replacing it with sensations reminiscent of teenage infatuation. Rapid, throbbing pulse. Tight, fluttering stomach. Why did he have to look so tempting with his long legs encased in perfectly fitted denim? His whole appearance screamed of a man who could carry you up a flight of stairs…to bed.
He cleared his throat. “It’s been a while.”
OMG! Stop staring, Reese. “You scared the crap out of me. Did you lose your shirt?”
His deep laugh startled a bird from the branch above, and he folded his arms across his chest. “My farmer’s tan needed to be evened out. And I didn’t know I’d have an audience.”
Forcing herself not to check for any remaining tan lines, Reese busied herself putting the lens cap on her camera. “What are you doing here?”
“That’s what I should be asking you.”
“I’m working on a photography project.” Details of the last few minutes fell into place, and she glanced between him and the cottage. “Wait…is this your property? Do you own my grandparents’ farm?”


Wealthy cowboy, James MacLachlan, is content running his massive family ranch and starting an equine therapy program for special needs children. After his mother died in childbirth, and witnessing his father’s destruction at the loss of true love, James sticks to casual affairs. Marriage and children are risks he won’t take.

Reese Turner visits Cypress Creek, Texas, to complete a photo assignment for National Geographic and buy back her grandparents’ cottage. After disastrous romances, she’s sworn off men to focus on her career. Marriage and the babies she longs for can wait. When she runs into an old flame, she decides she can live out a fantasy, then leave town to pursue her dreams.

But love doesn’t play by the rules...

Sign up for the JCR newsletter!