Thursday, June 30, 2016

Netgalley ARC Review - Waking Eden by Rhenna Morgan!


The only hope for saving their race is to surrender their hearts. 

With a long foretold and annoyingly vague prophecy warning of immense change for Eden, Ramsay Shantos is forced to hunt words and legends instead of rebels. For a man of action, it’s the worst kind of agony. Until he encounters a sexy librarian who bears the fated prophecy’s mark. A mark no human should possess.

Tortured by her mixed heritage, Trinity Blair has enjoyed little human touch in her life, let alone intimacy. Even the most innocent contact fills her mind with a person’s deepest, darkest secrets—except for Ramsay. Her immunity to his thoughts sparks a fragile hope that she might finally experience the passion of her Dark Spiritu brethren…unless he’s the dangerous crossroads her father predicted.

When knowledge of Eden goes viral in the human realm, Trinity is Ramsay’s only hope for quelling mass panic. Can he risk revealing the secrets of his race to the guileless ray of sunshine? Or is she the unknown source of Eden’s destruction?


Damn, what a hot, magical, seductive read! Waking Eden is full of magic and things with that delightful paranormal twist I enjoy. I loved the characters. Fun, saucy, mysterious, and wonderful. Twists around every corner and a plot that seems to thicken with a turn of the page, and passion so HOT you need a bucket of ice to cool off....mmmm give me more.

Some of the witty things the characters say made me giggle. I loved their banter and the mystery and danger that shrouded them. It was a great read with everything I could of longed for in a romance.

Waking Eden gets a MAGICALLY SEDUCTIVE FOUR SHOOTING STARS! Its full of magic and sexy warriors and mouth-watering passion. Give. Me. More.

ARC Review - Slater's Enchanted Mate by Elle Boon!


Wounded and hidden for years, LeeLee had found acceptance within her wolf. She learned firsthand the harsh reality of never being loved, and vowed to protect her heart, and body from suffering the same pain ever again. 

Never one to back down, Slater O’Neil loves life. When he meets his mate in wolf form, he never thought claiming her would be quite so hard. Yet he'll gladly battle an unknown evil more sinister than the horror movies he enjoys. After finally finding the other half of his soul, he’ll pay any price to protect the woman meant to be his. 

True love doesn’t always come easy, and for these two shifters, they’ll need more than just love to make it work. LeeLee was just a child when she witnessed a horror no child should, but revisiting old hurts don’t always heal old wounds. 

When you stir a hornet’s nest, you should always be prepared for what might come out. In LeeLee and Slater’s case, they are totally unprepared to step into a whole different reality. One where the ones who should love and protect, are the ones out to kill for their own gain. 


OH. MY. AWESOMENESS. Mystic Wolves, Iron Wolves, SmokeJumpers, many great characters from Elle's series in ONE story...that was incredible! This is Slater and LeeLee's story and I. FREAKING. LOVED. IT. LeeLee is a gorgeous, sweet, leery of affection, and had been dealt a rough hand. Slater is sexy, tough, caring, protective and wonderful. I loved how he treated LeeLee. She really deserved the sweetness and patience Slater seemed to have for her, especially the way she grew up.

Slater's Enchanted Mate had so many great feels. I cried for LeeLee and sighed with Slater. Their romance was sweet, passionate, sexy, and oh so yummy! I couldn't get enough of this book. And we get a bigger glimpse in the realm of the Fey and meet a few more of them as well. Their powers are incredible and I giggled over some of the things that came out of their mouths. And the surprises that were thrown at us was a real eye opener and had my mouth hanging open. Elle Boon just doesn't disappoint. She always writes a story that is both enchanting, full of twists only a great author can come up with, and is full of delectable romance. 

Slater's Enchanted Mate gets an EXPLOSIVE FIVE SHOOTING STARS! Its magical, sexy, action-packed and one of the sweetest romances in this series yet. Worth every star and MORE!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Netgalley ARC Review - Packin' Heat by Ashley Bostock!


Hot as Hell and twice as bad… 
At least that’s the first impression nanny Brandi Parker gets about the new bodyguard hired by the family to ‘oversee’ her and the children’s protection. She loves her job but living day and night —God, especially the nights — in close quarters with a sex on a stick know-it-all is wearing thin on her nerves. She can handle four little kids with running noses, screaming tantrums and broken toys, but she did not sign up for constant sexual arousal from some arrogant, tattooed hard-ass. 

Some like ‘em hot. Red hot… 
But not Blaze Bryant. Particularly the flaming hot red-head testing his patience. He’d given up women a long time ago after one mistake proved he wasn’t worthy of anyone’s love.  Or trust. So the last thing he needs is this aching attraction to Brandi. No, he knows this is just another job and as soon as he finishes, he’s gone. He’ll never see her again. So why does that thought gnaw at his gut? 

Lust filled days and heated nights… 
As the nights drag on, Brandi and Blaze can’t fight the passion sparking between them. But when doubts arise and secrets surface is passion enough to hold them together? Or will they be forever separated by a scheme even bigger than Blaze realized, a mistake that might cost Brandi her life. 


Now this was a saucy, sweet, sexy book! Fun, passionate, and totally mouth-watering, Packin' Heat is full of well, heat! And one HOT AS SIN bodyguard and a sassy nanny brings all sorts of sparks to the story. The nights sure are spicy and sweet and left me in total misery..the kind that had me flush, fanning myself, and squirming. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The god the characters are AMAZING! Totally friendly, intriguing and full of life, these characters burn up the pages with their smokin' hot chemistry! The plot...mmmhmm...delicious! A definite worthy story.

Packin' Heat gets a SINFULLY GOOD FOUR SHOOTING STARS! A MUST HAVE BOOK this book brings heat, passion, and plenty of fun.

Full Heat by Carla Swafford Netgalley ARC Review!


From the author of Hidden Heat (“Filled with action, deception, and emotional and sexual tension.”—Publishers Weekly), the Brothers of Mayhem MC rides again in an explosive novel of wounded hearts and undeniable heat.
Forget shining armor. Motorcycle shop owner Mary Jane Parker could use a knight in black leather right about now. A local gang has been extorting her for protection money, and standing her ground would be a lot easier with the Brothers of Mayhem at her back. She just needs to convince the club’s new president to take the job. The powerful, brooding biker claims he’s not interested—but if his version of tough love is supposed to be punishment, Mary Jane would gladly misbehave for the rest of her life.
Storm Ryder has no interest in rescuing anyone but himself. He spent three agonizing years in prison, and there’s no way in hell he’s going back, not over a spoiled rich girl who’s flirting with trouble. So why does he find himself craving Mary Jane’s lips—and holding her close when he should be pushing her away? Deep down in his tortured soul, Storm knows she’ll be there for him. And when Mary Jane needs him most, he’ll find the courage to give her everything he’s got.


So truthfully, this book did not do it for me like I thought it would. I mean, it had a great storyline and interesting enough characters and was even a good read. But I felt like I read this story before even though I technically didn't. Same type of plot, MC type of book, it just left me feeling blah about the whole thing.

Now don't get me wrong, the story itself was good. It didn't lack much except with how it made me feel. I don't know if I read so many MC books before that maybe I just got a bit burned out or if I just had an off moment or two with this book, but it didn't really stand out too much. The author did a great job too! The writing is more then good, it was really fascinating as well as the plot. I just think I over did it with so many MC books in the past. I still recommend this book because I know that many other readers will L-O-V-E it even if I didn't. So go ahead, grab the book and don't take what I had to say in this review too harshly. The characters, plot, writing, and romance will leave most readers breathless. I just need to lay off the MC books so I can hopefully find more joy in the next book. 

Full Heat gets only a TWO AND A HALF STARS! Just because this story didn't whet my whistle, I know this will entertain and delight MC romance fans everywhere. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bound By Blood Cover Reveal!

Bound by Blood CR Banner



Captive and bound by the one person who vowed to cause her harm since her very first breath, Kylee Parker finds herself facing the demons of her past. Lost among the shadows, she struggles to maintain her sanity in hopes of surviving. In the clutches of the underground mafia, she fights to find an escape from the person who gave her life.
Alexander Grant’s sole focus has been his work: serving his country and taking down the bad guys. While leading an elite group of soldiers on a highly classified mission in South Korea, he finds himself thrust into the throes of passion with the woman who changed everything. But when danger comes calling and she is kidnapped, he must choose between his heart and his job.
Will he jeopardize the career he is bound to . . . or risk it all to save her?


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00028]


Close up Attractive Young Bare Muscular Young Man Taking Shower, Looking Down




Former Director for a major corporation, Victoria has spent most of her life inside of a book. When she wasn’t reading, she was busy scribbling down stories of her own. Meeting her husband while he was in the United States Army, Victoria quickly adapted and learned the role of the military spouse.
After finishing her Business Management Degree in college, she spent years working in the corporate world where her writing quickly fell to the wayside. Finally, taking time away from the corporate world, Victoria has been able to dive into her stories and create a whole new world for you to live in.
She now resides in the sunny Tampa, Florida area with her husband, son, and two amazing boxers. When she isn’t writing, you can find her on the beach or hiking. Maybe even writing on the beach . . .


Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti ARC Review!


Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Kennedy was the FBI’s best profiler. The bacteria got her anyway. But she survived. She recovered. And when she woke up from a drug-nightmare of captivity, her skills as a hunter of men had gone from merely brilliant to full-on uncanny. Her mysterious rescuer wants her to put them to the test. But no matter how tempting he is, with his angel’s eyes and devil’s tongue, Vinnie knows she shouldn’t trust him.

If the FBI were still around they would rate Raze Shadow as one of the bad guys. His military training can’t wipe out his association with the Mercenaries, the most feared gang in a thousand miles. His loyalties are compromised. He won’t even tell Vinnie his real name. But there’s no FBI in the new America of fear and firepower, only instinct and risk. 

And the way his arms wrap around Vinnie tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .


After reading Shadow Falling I knew I had to take a couple days to think about my feelings for this book. I obviously LOVED it, there is no doubt about that. But there is more to it then that and I hope I can find someway to express it. 

First off, This fantastic Scorpius Syndrome series by Rebecca Zanetti is dark, edgy, sexy, and completely AWE-MAZING! The characters are intense and wonderfully intriguing and are both intelligent, fun, tough, caring, and are  irresistible. They are the kind of characters I would be excited to know in real life, but they are intimidating enough (especially the men) to where I would be stuttering and shy around them. And the descriptions from Scorpius and the science behind a possible cure, to the way the men protect and go on missions is really something. Everything seems so realistic that once I put the book down, it took a few minutes to realize that that world is fiction. I really loved that feeling. 

The romance...oh my god the romance and sex, are both sizzling! The post apocalypse brought out the barbarian in our hero and to be honest, it was brilliant and sexy, and just the right amount of dark. Its hard to resist a man that will do anything to protect the woman he falls for, even if it means tying her up to keep her safe. Raze is strong, commanding, all-consuming and full of sexiness! Vinnie is sweet, surprisingly strong after everything she endured, and determined to belong and help those that need it. I loved her bit of craziness and her loyalty and love of Raze. This book is just one stunner after another. 

Shadow Falling gets a SIZZLING FIVE SHOOTING STARS! Its a dark, tempting, action packed ride that will leave readers hearts pounding and their knees weak. A MUST MUST READ!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Vampire In Geek's Clothing Release Blitz Pit Stop with Giveaway!



Title: Vampire in Geek's Clothing
Series: Psy-Vamp (Book 6)
Author: Cassandra Lawson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 27


She is a hunter being hunted by her own kind.
Never tell anyone who you are. Never tell anyone what you are. Those have been the rules Phoenix has lived by for the last five years, and breaking them could get her killed. That has meant living alone and avoiding getting attached to anyone. Isaiah makes her long for a normal life, but when she discovers he has secrets of his own, Phoenix is left wondering if a future with Isaiah is even possible.
He is a vampire who will do anything to protect her.
Isaiah has never been tempted to have more than one night with any woman, but that all changes when he meets a beautiful barista who makes him wonder if he’s inherited the Draksel family stalker gene. Even when he learns that everything she’s told him is a lie, he finds himself unable to walk away from Phoenix. Isaiah has no clue how he’s going to convince her to trust him, but now that he’s found a woman who finds his nerdy ways sexy, he has no intention of letting her go.
She is a hunter being hunted by her own kind.
Never tell anyone who you are. Never tell anyone what you are. Those have been the rules Phoenix has lived by for the last five years, and breaking them could get her killed. That has meant living alone and avoiding getting attached to anyone. Isaiah makes her long for a normal life, but when she discovers he has secrets of his own, Phoenix is left wondering if a future with Isaiah is even possible.
He is a vampire who will do anything to protect her.
Isaiah has never been tempted to have more than one night with any woman, but that all changes when he meets a beautiful barista who makes him wonder if he’s inherited the Draksel family stalker gene. Even when he learns that everything she’s told him is a lie, he finds himself unable to walk away from Phoenix. Isaiah has no clue how he’s going to convince her to trust him, but now that he’s found a woman who finds his nerdy ways sexy, he has no intention of letting her go.

Vampire in Geek's Clothing Teaser 2

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Buy Links


Vampire in Geek's Clothing Teaser 3


About the Author

Cassandra Lawson lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and her two youngest children. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, or curling up with a good book.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

ARC Review - Embracing Her Lion by Lyra Valentine!


It should have been a match made in heaven. 

Jessa Atkins is a nurse capable of fixing everyone but herself. Sam Levesque, powerful mogul and the Alpha’s second, has scars he works hard to keep hidden. Sam can’t ignore the fated connection he feels with Jessa, but she’s stubborn as a mule and plays a mean game of keep away. 

There’s no denying he’s blisteringly sexy, or that he wants to sink his fangs into her lush curves. Jessa has one, giant problem. She’s a cursed shifter, and can’t make heads or tails of the instincts telling her to mark him as hers. 

Her game of avoidance is going peachy keen until the warlock that cursed Jessa comes looking for her. Cenek Cipris, warlock extraordinaire, offers to help track down the hunters threatening Jessa and the pride. But his appearance promises to disturb the delicate balance in Jessa’s life and make Sam question his desire to claim her as his mate. 

Caught between the man her furry side says to love and the man who put that side there in the first place, can Jessa find peace with her inner animal and survive the blasted hunter attacks?


More spicy, more seductive, and more consuming then the first book, Embracing Her Lion by Lyra Valentine is mouthwatering delicious! I enjoyed this story and loved all the complex themes and steamy connection with our characters. I love a paranormal romance that can have me sighing in contentment and smiling throughout the story. 

Add in the danger, and this story was a WINNER!. Just WOW! This book is too tempting NOT to read. And the series is just as scrumptious. I am already excited for the next one.

Embracing Her Lion gets a SINFUL FIVE SHOOTING STARS!  

Netgalley ARC Review - The Devil In Disguise by Cynthia Eden!


Don’t make the devil angry… 

Luke Thorne loves having one hell of a good time. As the ruler of every dark creature to walk the earth, he certainly has more than a bit of a bad side. He lives for danger and isn’t the type to lose his heart—mostly because he doesn’t have one. Then she walks into his life. 

Mina James is seduction in the flesh, a perfect temptation that the devil himself couldn’t pass up. Too late, Luke realizes he’s let a real siren into his life, a woman who is bent on using his dark powers to free herself from hidden enemies. Since Luke isn’t the type of man to be used, he should walk away from her, but…something about Mina draws him close. 

Soon he’s realizing that she isn’t who she appears to be. Not dark and cold, but burning red hot. Mina is a woman fighting for her life—and the Lord of the Dark suddenly finds himself in an unlikely role…hero. Luke isn’t going to let her enemies destroy Mina. He will fight heaven and hell to keep her. But in the end, the secrets they both carry may just rip apart a love that should never have been… 

There are Bad Things in the world…very, very bad. Are you ready for them? 


This book was AMAZING! I mean so AMAZING It was glorious, intense, powerfully written with a plot twist I didn't see coming! This new book in Cynthia Eden's new series will no doubt be a MEGA hit. I fell in absolute love with Luke our sexy Lord of the Dark. He was one heck of a hero I did not see coming. Masculine, bad, yet tender, caring, and had a heart of gold for our wonderfully sweet heroine, Mina. 

I was entranced from the first few sentences of this book. Completely engrossing, I devoured this book in less than 24 hrs and I immediately craved the next book! I have now found a BRAND NEW SERIES I will DIE to have. I love how The Devil In Disguise was written. It was compelling, utterly surprising, dark, a bit edgy, and full of magic, danger, and incredible passion! This book feels like it could make one heck of a awesome TV show. It was THAT good.

Devil In Disguise by Cynthia Eden will have you craving the next one long before the story ends. I am fascinated, intrigued, and LOVING the elements and the many paranormals that I found in this new series. TRULY FANTASTIC! This incredible story gets a POWERFUL FIVE SHOOTING STARS!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dirty Sexy Cuffed Review/Excerpt Tour Stop with ARC Review! June 22nd

Dirty Sexy Cuffed by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

Date of Publication: June 21, 2016


As a cop, Levi Kincaid is all about discipline and control . . .in the bedroom, and out of it, and he's always been very careful about choosing women who abide by his rules. Hot sex and intense pleasure? No problem. Emotional commitment and forever promises? No way. But he never anticipates falling for a blue eyed angel who makes him want to cuff her to his bed and do dirty, sexy things to her. And that control of his? It doesn't stand a chance against Sarah Robins, the one woman he can't resist . . .


Dirty Sexy Cuffed was and is the BEST book in this series! Its seriously sexy and perfectly kinky with one SUPER STUD of a hero and a sweet, caring heroine who needed the type of guidance and protection sexy Levi provided. 

I fell fast and hard with Levi from the first book in this series. I loved how mysterious and almost brooding he seemed and I knew he hid some serious sensual delight. And DANG...those delights had me nibbling my lip and fanning myself a good portion of the book. And his protectivness with Sarah had me practically swooning. God, this story both burned me up and had my heart melting. I freaking enjoyed this book and I already plan on doing a reread within the week!

Dirty Sexy Cuffed is a breathtaking, sensual, heart-warming ride that gets a SINFUL FIVE SHOOTING STARS! It has passion, it has HOT sex and a beautifully written romance that will just have you sighing long after you read it. A DEFINITE MUST HAVE STORY!!

Available From

About Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

***About Carly Phillips***
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at
***About Erika Wilde***
Erika Wilde is the author of the sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she's not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit website at

Find Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde Online

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Netgalley ARC Review - Gone Too Deep by Katie Ruggle!


In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

George Holloway has spent his life alone, exploring the treacherous beauty of the Colorado Rockies. He's the best survival expert Search and Rescue has, which makes him the obvious choice to lead Ellie Price through deadly terrain to find her missing father. There's just one problem-Ellie's everything George isn't. She's a city girl, charming, gregarious, delicate, small. And when she looks up at him with those big, dark eyes, he swears he would tear the world apart to keep her safe.

With a killer on the loose, he may have no choice.

Ellie's determined to find her father no matter the cost. But as she and her gorgeous mountain of a guide fight their way through an unforgiving wilderness, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a dangerous man in search of revenge. And they are now his prey... 


Exciting, thrilling, super delicious romance with nail-biting suspense, Going Too Deep by Katie Ruggle is one of the most exciting books I have read in a while. I loved the RED HOT Chemistry and the non-stop suspense. I never knew what was going to come at me next in this book and I loved it!

George and Ellie warmed up my ereader with their romance and chemistry. And the danger that plagued them...WOW! I was always on the edge of my seat. Its a great story with a wonderfully written plot. 

Going Too Deep gets a HEART-POUNDING FOUR SHOOTING STARS! From cover to cover, this book is one of a kind and everything I enjoy in a great romance. Its thrilling and seductive and oh so sizzling.

Shopping For a CEO's Fiancee by Julia Kent Blog Tour stop with ARC Review!

SFACEO high res ebook


We skipped right over the whole fiancée thing and went straight from girlfriend to wife.
At least, I think that’s what happened. I woke up after my brother’s Vegas wedding reception with my luscious girlfriend in bed with me. We’re both wearing wedding rings. So is her coworker, Josh. And our Vegas chauffeur, Geordi. Who the hell am I married to? Unraveling this mystery will be as difficult as figuring out why Amanda and I are having panic attacks over the thought of being husband and wife. Or, whoever we’re actually married to. Oh, ^%$#. It’s true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, with one exception: If she’s my wife, we’ll make it work. If she’s not? I’ll make it happen. Get the 9th book in Julia Kent's New York Times bestselling romantic comedy series as Andrew and Amanda sort out their wild Vegas night...and the rest of their lives.

Add SHOPPING FOR A CEO'S FIANCEE to Goodreads here!
Get your hands on SHOPPING FOR A CEO'S FIANCEE now:

Want to catch up on the series?

Grab the first installment, Shopping for a Billionaire: The Collection, now:


Outrageously fun...I mean the kind that had me laughing constantly, Shopping For a CEO's Fiancee had me in a constant state of giggles! I am pretty sure I nearly wet myself a time or two. I freaking loved the characters! Fun, witty, charming, sexy, and amusing as all get out, these characters have to be the most fun I have read in a while. 

This story had more then great laughs though. I sighed a plenty too. The sex was SMOKING and the HOTNESS level was pretty high. The god the chemistry was phenomenal! Who knew an author could have me squirming and laughing all in one shot? I wasn't expecting so much fun in one story. And the fact that there is more coming has me clapping in delight! 

Shopping For A CEO's Fiancee gets a LAUGH YOUR PANTIES OFF FIVE SHOOTING STARS! You will laugh, you will sigh, you will want to read it again...IMMEDIATELY! This is a written romantic comedy at its VERY BEST. Come join the won't regret it! 


About Julia Kent

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Netgalley ARC Review - Wicked Ride ( The Wicked Horse #4) by Sawyer Bennett!


I think this woman may be the death of me. A dire prediction, but probably true.
Probably true because she’s not mine to have and I’ll probably take her, even at the risk to my own safety. So many men slobbering to get a taste of her and only one, sweet, virginal girl to go around.
That’s right.
She’s a virgin.
Looking like a porcelain china doll that would break if not handled carefully. But I also know she’s stronger than she looks.
She’s a contradiction.
She’s most likely my downfall.
Like I said, she’ll probably be the death of me, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

**Warning: this book has sex in it. Lots of sex. Dirty sex. The Wicked Horse Series is a bit different than what Sawyer Bennett normally writes. While you’ll still enjoy fabulous characters, a suspenseful story, some witty banter and an epic romance, there’s just… a lot of sex. You’ve been warned.


Wicked Ride is the fourth delicious story in Sawyer Bennett's wickedly tempting Wicked Horse Series and is Logan's story. First off, the one thing that always amazes me with this series is how exciting, and fulfilling, sexy and irresistible all the sex is. I love the different explorations of the types of sex I, as a reader, can find in the stories. Logan's was touching, ULTRA hot and had me sighing and squirming all in one shot! 

Logan's story was not what I hoped for..It. Was. More.  From how it started to how it finished, to say I was satisfied is just putting it lightly. I ADORED, LOVED, ACHED,...EVERYTHING about it. It was beautiful, super HOT, utterly sexy, and worth every single moment I spent reading this book! I am EAGER for another book. Truly!

Wicked Ride gets a EASY SPECTACULAR FIVE SHOOTING STARS! I would give it a ten in a heartbeat if I could. God, I LOVE these Wicked Horse books! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Netgalley ARC Review - Tainted Love ( A LoveStruck Novella) by Lane Hart!


Finding love just got a little easier…

What if I told you there’s a magic potion that could lead you to the man of your dreams?

Would you drink it?

Josie Carter swore that there was no such thing as a “love potion” and that the crazy lady selling it at the hippie festival was a complete sham.

But a tiny little thread of hope is what made her try a sip.

A sip that caused a series of unfortunate events to unfold, wreaking havoc in her life but leading her to a man who just might be everything she’s been missing.

Before time runs out she’ll have to figure out if it’s true love, or if it’s all just too good to be true.


Magical, sexy, sassy, and fun, Tainted Love was one of those romances that will have you asking if magic really does exist and if love potions can really work! I loved Josie. Fun, sweet, lonely, looking for someone to love, she buys a love potion ans soon events unfold that have her questioning if it really worked. I loved the chemistry and the sexy HOT sex, and the romance is truly delightful.

Tainted Love is just a novella but it excited me like a full sized novel would. It was fulfilling and didn't miss a thing. And there wasn't one dull second! This novella has whetted my appetite for the next book in the LoveStruck series, that;s for sure.

Tainted Love gets a MAGICAL FOUR AND A HALF SHOOTING STARS! Its worth reading again...and maybe one more after that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Susan Stoker Rescuing Emily Chapter 1 Blog Hop!

Rescuing Emily (Delta Force Heroes Book 2) by Susan Stoker

Date of Publication: July 19, 2016


Renting out the apartment over his garage shouldn't be a life-changing decision, but when Delta soldier Cormac "Fletch" Fletcher meets Emily Grant, he feels an instant connection. He can't stand the thought of Emily and her young daughter living anywhere unsafe. Offering cheap rent is a small price to pay for their safety…and Fletch's peace of mind.

Being a single mother is difficult at best, but renting the extremely affordable space from Fletch makes Emily's life a lot easier…until it doesn't. Suddenly all the money she's saving thanks to Fletch's generosity is going into the hands of a blackmailer. And what little food Emily can afford goes to her daughter Annie, so the girl doesn't go to bed hungry…leaving Emily weaker and weaker.

When miscommunication has Emily assuming Fletch is in on the blackmail, he not only has to gain her trust, but also deal with a man holding a grudge against Fletch and his entire Delta Force team. A task made more difficult when the dangerous man gets his hands on Emily and Annie...

** Rescuing Emily is the 2nd book in the Delta Force Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

Rescuing Emily

Unsung Heroes: Delta Force
Book 2

by Susan Stoker

Renting out the apartment over his garage shouldn’t be a life-changing decision, but when Delta soldier Cormac “Fletch” Fletcher meets Emily Grant, he feels an instant connection. He can’t stand the thought of Emily and her young daughter living anywhere unsafe. Offering cheap rent is a small price to pay for their safety…and Fletch’s peace of mind.

Being a single mother is difficult at best, but renting the extremely affordable space from Fletch makes Emily’s life a lot easier…until it doesn’t. Suddenly all the money she’s saving thanks to Fletch’s generosity is going into the hands of a blackmailer. And what little food Emily can afford goes to her daughter Annie, so the girl doesn’t go to bed hungry…leaving Emily weaker and weaker.
When miscommunication has Emily assuming Fletch is in on the blackmail, he not only has to gain her trust, but also deal with a man holding a grudge against Fletch and his entire Delta Force team. A task made more difficult when the dangerous man gets his hands on Emily and Annie...
**Shelter for Emily is the 2nd book in the Unsung Heroes: Delta Force Series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s recommended you read the books in order to get maximum enjoyment out of the series.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 by Susan Stoker
No part of this work may be used, stored, reproduced or transmitted without written permission from the publisher except for brief quotations for review purposes as permitted by law.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please purchase your own copy.
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Cover Design by Chris Mackey, AURA Design Group
Cover Photographer: Darren Birks
Cover Model: Chris Connolly
Edited by Kelli Collins & Missy Borucki
Manufactured in the United States

Table of Contents


To the real Mrs. Ogliaruso, you were the best second grade teacher Gilbert Linkous Elementary School in Blacksburg, VA, ever had. You had a huge impact on my life, and I will always be thankful for that.
For Shannel. The best day in Oliver’s life was when you signed up to be his foster mom. From foster to adoption, you’re my hero.

Danee, thank you for telling me the story about your bedtime ritual of reading. It was perfect for this story!


Slamming his apartment door behind him and shaking the entire wall, swearing loud and long, he threw his hat across the room, not satisfied at all when it fluttered to the ground a few feet away. He paced, knowing he’d never forget the humiliation he’d felt while standing in front of the colonel, seeing the disgust in the officer’s eyes.
His squad had been excited to be picked to go through the special training, sure they’d be able to get through the makeshift city undetected. They were infantry soldiers; they’d trained for hours—no, years—in order to be stealthy in urban situations. The thirty days they’d spent at the National Training Center out at Fort Irwin in California had taught them everything they needed to know.
But somehow their entire plan had fallen apart within five minutes of the whistle being blown. Instead of being able to sneak through the city and get to the rendezvous point unscathed, every single one of his squad had been “killed,” hit with a laser from specially designed nonlethal weapons, before they’d made it even halfway through the training scenario.
Remembering how nonchalantly the other unit had been after “killing” them all had felt like salt poured into an open wound. They’d acted as if they hadn’t just ruined his career, his reputation. Sure, the colonel had said it was just an exercise. Had said that his squad had done well, but he’d been lying.
They hadn’t done well.
And it sure as hell wasn’t just an exercise.
He’d seen the colonel laughing with another officer about how fast they’d been “killed.” And the team that had beat them were acting as if what had happened wasn’t a big deal. They’d patted each other on the back and given each other high-fives. To add insult to injury, their team didn’t even have one casualty. Not one. They’d taken out his entire squad as if it was child’s play.
He went into the small bathroom in his apartment and stared at himself in the mirror for a long moment. His entire life he hadn’t been good enough.
Because you’re pathetic.
He shook his head at the voice in his head. He wasn’t. It was them. They were pathetic. And it was up to him to show the colonel that he was just as good as the other team.
Nodding as if he’d made a momentous decision, he started planning in his head. He and his friends had a lot of work to do, but by the time they were done, the other unit would regret their casual treatment of him and his squad on the simulated battlefield and he’d redeem himself with the general in charge of the post.
Knowing your enemy was the first rule in battle, and he vowed to himself then and there that he’d find a weakness in the other group of soldiers and exploit it to his advantage. The asshole soldiers wouldn’t know what hit them. By the time he was done with them, they’d regret their cocky attitude and their brush-off of his squad. He might have been beaten today, but the battle wasn’t over.
He would take them down. No matter who he had to use to do it.

Chapter One

Cormac “Fletch” Fletcher looked at the monitor sitting on the kitchen counter at the woman standing at his front door. His security cameras caught every inch of his property, starting from just outside the garage to around the back of the yard. He could tell who was driving up his driveway and who was at his door without leaving his house. Hell, he could even log into the app and check the tapes when he was thousands of miles away on a mission. All he needed was a Wi-Fi connection.
The woman at his door was probably five-nine, taller than the women he was typically attracted to. It was hard to guess her age because she looked tired. Her brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Fletch couldn’t tell what color her eyes were as she kept them downcast, never looking up at the door to be captured by the camera hidden in the ornate door knocker he’d placed there.
He’d received several messages about the rental apartment over his garage, and Fletch had a few interviews lined up with people who had inquired about it. The apartment really wasn’t anything special. It had a single bathroom with a shower/bath combo, one bedroom, and a small kitchen. There were a couple pieces of furniture in the apartment: a double bed, a refrigerator, and an old couch and coffee table. It wasn’t fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was clean, and safer than anyone probably knew, considering who he was and what he did for a living.
He didn’t have a lot of enemies, but there were always people who were jealous of him being in Delta Force. It wasn’t widely known, in fact, not many people knew at all, but there was some suspicion that he and his team were more than simple soldiers. They were damn good at what they did and didn’t seem to have any trouble attracting the ladies. The combination had spelled trouble for some of the other Deltas in the past, even without anyone knowing about their Special Forces background. Renting the apartment would mean there would be someone on his property to keep an eye on it when he was away on a mission.
Fletch wiped his hands dry after rinsing the last dish in his sink, and turned off the security monitor. Not advertising the fact that he had such intensive security was key in catching anyone dumb enough to try to rob or vandalize his property. He walked to the door and opened it wide. The woman standing there looked up with a gasp and took a step backwards after seeing him.
Fletch knew he could be scary. He was six feet two inches tall and muscular. He’d spent much of his life making sure he was in shape and that no one would mistake him for anything other than what he was…dangerous.
He had tattoos on his forearms and biceps. They were bright and somewhat gaudy. He looked like a stereotypical sailor. Some of the tattoos he’d gotten when he was young and dumb. He probably wouldn’t have chosen them if he had to make the decision again, but what was done was done. Fletch knew when people who didn’t know him caught a glimpse of him, they were weary. He was big and knew how to use that to his advantage to intimidate people. But the woman on his doorstep wasn’t someone he wanted to scare away. He pasted a smile on his face as he greeted her.
“Hi, you’re Emily Grant? Here about renting the apartment?” Fletch asked, trying to put the woman at ease.
Emily looked up at the man standing in the doorway. If she hadn’t been so desperate, she probably would’ve turned around and gotten right back into her 1998 Honda Civic and driven away. She wasn’t sure what she’d expected out of the man who’d invited her to come check out the apartment, but it wasn’t someone who, while only a few inches taller, could easily bench press her.
His tattoos were also a surprise. She’d seen lots of tattoos on the soldiers on the base, but they were usually more subdued. Black tribal designs or something similar. Instead, the very masculine man had what looked like cartoon characters on his forearms. He was wearing a plaid shirt, open at the throat—enough for her to realize he didn’t have a carpet of fur on his chest—and with the sleeves rolled back to his elbows. She didn’t get an in-depth look at the tattoos, knowing it would be rude to stare, but they still surprised her. Somehow, however, they worked for him.
Putting thoughts of his tattoos and whether he had any others aside, Emily brought her gaze up to the man’s. She needed this apartment. It was one of the only places she could find that was close enough to her work and the school, and was within her small budget.
She took a deep breath. “Yeah. I’m Emily. I appreciate you meeting with me today.” She bravely held out her hand in greeting.
Fletch smiled at the woman. He could see right through her bravado and knew she was scared to death of him. But he gave her points for not backing farther away and for reaching out to shake his hand.
He took her hand in his, careful not to squeeze it too hard. “Nice to meet you. Come on in, we can talk about the particulars, then I’ll show you the apartment.”
Emily nodded and gripped her purse hanging off her shoulder tightly as she followed him into his house. Fletch saw her looking around as if trying to figure out more about him. He knew what image the house projected: not a bachelor. It was neat as a pin, with not one item out of place…exactly how he liked it.
They walked into a small dining room off of a kitchen that could’ve been featured in any cooking magazine. Fletch pulled a chair out from the dark mahogany table and helped her scoot in once she sat.
“Would you like something to drink? Water? Iced tea?”
“No, thank you,” Emily told him, knowing she’d be stupid to take something to drink from a man she didn’t know. It would be easy to drug a glass of tea or water. Especially when she was inside his house. He could render her unconscious before she realized what was happening. She normally wasn’t a paranoid person, but lately, when she couldn’t sleep, she’d been watching too many forensics and crime shows.
Fletch could practically see the woman’s brain churning. She sat uncomfortably in the chair at his table. Her purse was in her lap and she was holding it as if she thought he’d reach across the table and snatch it from her. He wasn’t offended, far from it, he was impressed she was being as cautious as she was. He made sure to sit across from her, keeping the table between them to give her space.
“Do I know you?” Fletch thought the woman looked familiar, but he couldn’t quite place her.
She shrugged. “I work at the PX. You might have seen me there.”
Fletch nodded. Now that she mentioned it, he did remember seeing her there a time or two.  “That must be it. My name is Cormac Fletcher, but everyone calls me Fletch. I own the house and live here by myself. I work on base and am called away on trips somewhat frequently. I’m discreet and won’t get in your business, and I expect anyone who rents from me to do the same. I’m past the point in my life where I need or want late-night parties. I like to live quietly and I’d like for anyone who lives on my property to be the same.” He paused, gauging her reaction to his words. Emily sat still, giving him her complete attention.
When she didn’t immediately protest or even show any emotion other than curiosity, he continued, relieved. “The apartment isn’t fancy, I’ve had two people look at it recently and wrinkle their noses and decide it wasn’t for them. Rent includes all utilities. It’s too much of a pain in the ass for me to separate out how much electricity you use versus what I use. All I ask is that you don’t get a wild hair to grow marijuana or something that would make the bills spike every month.”
“No marijuana, check,” Emily mumbled under her breath as she nodded.
Fletch wanted to smile, but he controlled it and went on with his rehearsed speech. “You can use one side of the garage for your car, but any boxes of other stuff you want to store will have to be either in the apartment or you’ll have to rent a storage unit. There’s simply no room in there for more. I usually park next to the side of my house, so don’t worry about taking the empty spot inside the garage for your own vehicle.
“When I’m gone, I’d appreciate it if you could get my mail and look after the place, but if that’s outside anything you want to do, it’s not a deal breaker for renting. Rent’s due in the first week of the month, whichever day works best for you. Any questions?”
Emily tried not to fidget under Fletch’s direct gaze. His eyes were ice blue, and had her pinned in place. His hair was longer than she thought anyone in the Army was allowed to have, and it looked like he hadn’t shaved in a couple of days. He was good looking, but even though she was attracted to him, Emily wasn’t looking for any kind of relationship at the moment. She had enough on her plate. Knowing there was one thing he had to understand before she could accept the apartment with any good conscience, she cleared her throat.
“You should know, I have a kid. Her dad’s not in the picture. She’s six and in the first grade. I didn’t know if that would be a deal breaker for you or not. I didn’t see anything in the ad that said whether or not kids were allowed or not.”
“Does she scream all day?”
“Steal? Draw all over the walls? Destroy property?”
“No!” Emily sat up straighter, getting irritated. “She’s six. She’s not a thug. She doesn’t hang out on the street corner with her homies every night. She plays with her toys. She reads books and watches cartoons.”
“Then I don’t think we’ll have a problem,” Fletch said with a smile, amused at how easy it was to rile the woman sitting in front of him.
Emily chewed on her lip, as if contemplating her next words. Fletch saw the moment she worked up the nerve to tell him what was bothering her.
“She can be very inquisitive though. She asks questions…lots of questions. Some people have gotten annoyed with her in the past.”
“Annoyed?” Fletch asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah, annoyed. The thing is, Annie’s smart. Really smart. I try to keep her busy and find things to help stimulate her, but she has an unrelenting need to learn. Some of my neighbors in the past have gotten irritated with her asking them questions all the time. But she doesn’t do it to be annoying, she just likes to figure stuff out.”
“Of course she does. She’s a kid. I have no problem with questions, Emily.”
“Okay, but—”
“Is she gonna break into my house and come up to my room in the middle of the night and interrogate me about how the garage door opener works?”
Emily giggled. “Maybe not in the middle of the night, but I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that sooner or later she’s gonna want to know. And, as far as I know, no one has taught her how to pick a lock…yet.”
“Good to know,” Fletch said with a grin.
“I just…some people don’t like kids and I don’t want to live anywhere again where she’s made to feel like a freak.”
“Again?” Fletch asked in a low pissed-off voice. “You lived somewhere where someone made her feel like a freak? A six-year-old kid?”
“She was four, and yes.” Emily’s answer was succinct and she didn’t offer any other details.
“I haven’t been around kids all that much, but anyone who sees the thirst for knowledge as anything but a good thing, is an asshole, and you’re better off not being around them, and having your daughter around them.”
“Yeah. Thanks,” Emily said softly.
Fletch tried to relax his shoulders. It pissed him off that someone would be cruel to a kid. Growing up, he’d also been smarter than his classmates, and he’d experienced some of what Emily was describing himself. Probably not to the extent of her daughter though, if Emily’s protectiveness was anything to go by. “Want to see the apartment?”
“Yeah, but…uh…can I ask how much the security deposit will be? There’s no use in me seeing it if I can’t afford it.”
Fletch tilted his head as he looked at Emily. Really examined her. He hadn’t taken the time before because he wasn’t sure if he’d be renting to her or not. But he liked what he’d heard so far.
She was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. She had an old pair of sneakers on her feet. She looked casual, but Fletch could see something he hadn’t seen in any of the other people he’d interviewed so far—desperation. He saw it all the time at work at the missions they went on. People frequently put on a front all the time, but he could see that this woman needed this apartment. He didn’t know her story, but recognized that for whatever reason, renting the little space above his garage was vitally important to her.
Fletch was also impressed with her candidness about her daughter. He’d interviewed someone just that morning who he knew had been hiding something from him. Given time, he would’ve figured out exactly what, but he didn’t feel like going through the hassle. He didn’t get good vibes from the man, and it wasn’t worth the effort to find out something that would make him want to turn the man down when his intuition was telling him to do so from the get-go.
But Emily laid it out there, making sure he knew not only that she had a young child, but that she was gifted, and that others had found her annoying in the past.
He made a quick decision and cut a couple hundred dollars off of what he’d planned to rent the apartment for; he didn’t need the money anyway. He’d prefer to have someone reliable and responsible living on his property to keep an eye on it when he wasn’t around.
“I haven’t had good luck in renting it so far,” Fletch told her in a nonchalant tone, “so if you’re willing to help out with the house when I’m away, I’ll rent it to you for five hundred a month with only half that for the security deposit.”
Emily gaped at the man. Five hundred dollars? And only two-fifty for a deposit? Was he kidding? “Is that a joke?” She couldn’t stop her incredulous question.
Fletch smiled at the disbelief on Emily’s face. He didn’t blame her; he knew he could probably get double that if he pushed. But it was obvious she needed a break. “No joke. You interested in seeing it? Don’t agree until you check it out. It’s only got one bedroom, so you’d have to share with your daughter. It’s nothing special, you might hate it.”
“I won’t hate it,” Emily whispered, still in shock at her luck. She’d taken the day off work, knowing that even though the missed hours would hurt her budget, she needed to find a better place to live for her and Annie. The landlord at the seedy apartment complex they were currently staying at had gotten more aggressive in his pursuit of her, and Emily knew it wasn’t because he was interested in her—but because of Annie.
Her daughter was beautiful. Yes, she was only six, but she was tall for her age and slender. She had long, beautiful blonde hair that she’d inherited from her father. She had blue eyes and never met a stranger. Annie was friendly and bubbly and Emily knew the landlord, damn him, had a sick interest in her daughter.
Money was always an issue. Ever since Annie’s father had left while Emily had still been pregnant, she’d fought to provide Annie with a safe and happy life. She worked at Fort Hood in the PX, the Post Exchange. It was the general store on base. She wasn’t able to work full time, because she didn’t have the money to pay for child care for Annie. She’d relied on neighbors to look after her daughter before she’d started kindergarten full time, but now that Annie was in the first grade, and in class all day, Emily could work a full six hours every day. She dropped Annie off at the elementary school at seven-thirty, and was able to get to work by eight. She worked until two, without a lunch break, then picked Annie up around two-thirty.
Emily had no health insurance and no retirement plan, but Annie was loved and happy. It was worth it. But to be offered a reliable, secure, and quiet place to live for only five hundred dollars a month? It was as if Emily had hit the lottery.
Even before seeing the ad in the paper for this apartment, she’d planned on leaving the scummy place she lived in before the month was up, even if she had to live in her car. She’d done that when she’d been pregnant, and had sworn to herself that Annie would never know that kind of life. But Emily had been losing hope of finding anything appropriate.
The cheapest apartment she’d been able to find had been eight hundred a month, and it looked scarier than where she was now. Since the building was close to the Army base, Emily had thought she’d feel safe living with other soldiers, as the landlord had told her most of the other occupants were single men and women who worked at Fort Hood, but unfortunately, that hadn’t been the case.
Annie’s father had taught her in more ways than one that just because someone was a soldier, it didn’t mean they were a good person. While she’d thought they were starting their lives together, he’d apparently just been in it to get laid. Somehow he’d arranged to get transferred to another base not too long after she’d happily told him she was pregnant with his baby, and informed her that he didn’t want her following him.
Emily knew she could probably go to the Army and do a paternity test and force him to pay child support, but she didn’t want that for Annie, or herself. Years of relying on someone else to send her money made her stomach churn.
She and Annie had been okay so far, and Emily knew she’d continue to do whatever it took to keep her daughter safe and happy…without help.
Nodding at Emily, Fletch stood up. “All right, let’s go and check it out, then if you like it, we can come back here and do the paperwork, okay?”
Ten short minutes later they were back at the dining room table in Fletch’s house. Emily had immediately said the small space was perfect, even though it was obvious Fletch told her there were all sorts of things he should probably do to upgrade it.
“I’ll need to make a copy of your ID,” Fletch told Emily, being as nonchalant as he could. He didn’t really need it for her to sign the lease, but there was no way he’d let anyone live on his property, no matter how fragile and lovely she seemed, without doing a background check. It wasn’t completely legal, but his friend, Tex, was discrete and could have it done within an hour.
Tex was a medically retired SEAL living out in Pennsylvania. He used to live in Virginia, but had moved his entire operation after meeting a beautiful woman named Melody on the Internet. Tex was the eyes and ears behind the scenes for their Delta Force team, and several other Special Forces groups. The man was pure genius with a computer and could find information that someone would swear was locked up tighter than the money at Fort Knox. No one ever questioned how he was able to pull off some of the things he did, they were just grateful he was on their side.
Fletch watched as Emily bent her head and pulled her wallet out of her purse. She handed her license over to him, saying, “If you laugh at my first name, I’ll have to hurt you.”
Emily watched as Fletch looked down at the small plastic card she’d handed him and he tried to hold back his smile. His lips twitched, but he looked up and said with a mostly straight face, “Miracle?”
Emily sighed, obviously used to telling the story about her given name. “Yeah. My parents were older. They’d always wanted kids and when I was born, they called me their little miracle.”
“But you go by Emily?”
She nodded. “Yeah. Definitely.”
“Miracle is a pretty name.”
Emily made a face. “Maybe, but memories of being made fun of throughout my elementary and middle school years made it not so pretty after a while.”
“Kids are cruel.”
“Your parents still around?”
Emily didn’t really want to get into this with Fletch. He was still a stranger after all—but she didn’t want to be rude either. “Unfortunately, no. They died when I was in college.”
That was the understatement of the year, but she merely said, “Yeah.”
Fletch carried Emily’s driver’s license to the small printer he had off to the side of the room and made a copy.
“So, you’re not married?” Emily asked, deciding if he could be nosy, so could she.
Emily waited and when he didn’t elaborate, she pushed. “This place looks like you’re married.”
Fletch barked out a laugh. “It does, doesn’t it? I actually hired someone to decorate it. I didn’t give her much assistance, and this is what I got when she was done.”
“She did a good job,” Emily observed, looking around.
“Yeah. Apparently it’s fun to spend someone else’s money.”
Emily didn’t smile, but continued to run her eyes over every inch of the room she could see. “I bet it is.”
Fletch leaned against the wall next to the printer and watched Emily check out his house. He wondered what she saw. He looked around to try to see it from her eyes. He had two leather couches that looked stiff and formal, but when you sat in them, you melted into the cushions. He had a large flat-screen television on the wall and a coffee table that looked perfectly normal, but had a secret compartment under it that currently held a Sig Sauer 40 caliber handgun. He was always prepared for the unknown. But thinking about the various weapons lying around the house made him realize that he needed to make sure they were all secure. If there was going to be a child in his house, he wanted to be sure to protect her.
Not that her daughter would be hanging out with him, but if she came over with her mom to bring in the mail, the last thing he wanted was for her to find one of his weapons and accidentally set it off. He shuddered at the thought, and vowed to move them all way above kid-level as soon as Emily left.
There was a pair of boots lying on the floor next to one of the couches; he’d left them there the day before when he’d gotten back from the base. Other than that, everything else was in its place and there were no stray papers or magazines or any kind of “stuff” that could be seen.
“I’m a bit of a neat freak,” Fletch told Emily unnecessarily as he came back to the table to sit next to her.
“Yeah, I can see that,” she laughed, turning her eyes back to him. “But it’s nice. She did a good job. It’s formal without being fancy. Comfortable without being stuffy. I hope you don’t expect mine to look like this,” she teased. “Annie and I are not neat freaks.”
Fletch laughed and handed her license back to her. “No, I don’t give a shit what your place looks like, as long as there aren’t mice and cockroaches.”
Emily shuddered. “Oh no. We might not be neat, but we’re clean.”
“Then we’re good.”
They smiled at each other. Fletch pushed the lease papers over to her. “Take these home. Read them over, get them looked at by a lawyer if you want, but I want to make sure you completely understand everything and agree before you sign.”
Emily looked at him in confusion. “Did you hide anything weird in here?”
“Yeah, weird.”
“Weird how?” Fletch asked.
“I don’t know. Like my car only gets four-point-two feet of space in the garage and if I violate it, I’m out. Or weird like if you see Annie after four in the afternoon, I owe more on the rent, or weird if I’m late one day on giving you the rent money, I’m gone.”
Fletch started out smiling at her, but was frowning by the end of her comments. “Fuck no. Look, Emily, I’m a lot of things, but I’m not an asshole. If you’re having issues paying the rent, just talk to me and we’ll figure something out. I already told you that I don’t care if your daughter is around. I might get upset if she plays with something inappropriate in the garage, but only because it could hurt her, not because I care about anything out there. It’s all just stuff. Stuff that can be replaced. The lease is a simple one, I printed it off the damn Internet. There’s nothing weird in there.”
“Okay. Thank you.” Emily’s voice was low, but she didn’t break eye contact. “I just wanted to be sure.”
“Good. Look it over, make sure it’s amenable to you. Bring it back and you can move in whenever you’re ready. Today’s the twentieth, if you want to move in before the first, feel free. I won’t charge you for this month, consider it a gift.” Fletch narrowed his eyes and leaned toward her. “If someone is giving Annie a hard time for asking questions, I’m okay with you getting out of there and moving in here now. No kid should have to feel bad for being herself.”
“Again, thank you.” Emily had no idea how she’d gotten so lucky, but she’d never been so glad in all her life that she’d seen the ad in the paper about the apartment. She’d been actively looking, but had found the Sunday paper in the recycle bin behind her current apartment. She usually looked over the paper at work, but since she wasn’t working that Sunday, she’d rummaged in the recycles for the paper.
“Can I drop this by after work tomorrow?” Emily wanted to have her boss at the PX look it over. She couldn’t afford to take it to a lawyer, but Jimmy liked her and he’d be able to tell her if it looked okay or not.
“Of course. I’ll leave a key under the mat by the stairs that go up to the apartment.”
“Uh, you know that’s the first place burglars would look for a spare key, don’t you?”
Fletch barked out a laugh. If someone did manage to somehow get on to his property undetected, his face would be recorded from so many different angles, he’d be caught before he could get too far away. “I think it’ll be okay for a day or so, Em.”
Emily smiled shyly back at Fletch, teasing him, “Okay, but if I come back and someone has stolen the couch up there, I’ll expect you to replace it.”
“Deal.” Fletch smiled. Maybe having a renter wouldn’t be so bad after all. He’d make sure Tex got the background check done on one Miracle Emily Grant before she returned the signed lease the next day. It’d be child’s play for the man.
Fletch would sign it after making sure she was everything she seemed to be. He didn’t think he had anything to worry about. The woman seemed open and honest, and relieved to have a place for her and her daughter to live, even if it was a small, barely furnished, hole in the wall.
Being safe trumped material things, and he understood that in a way not a lot of other men would. He’d seen too much in his ten years in the Army, and five years in Delta Force. People would lie, cheat, steal, and kill to feel safe. He’d seen it over and over. Mothers who did whatever the local terrorists and bullies ordered them to, simply to protect their children. Kids who joined gangs, just to feed their families. The horrors of the world went on and on.
But Fletch could tell that the woman sitting in front of him now was a completely different woman than the one he’d invited into his home thirty minutes ago. She was more relaxed and at ease, whereas before she was tense, cautious, and suspicious. Simply because she’d been offered a safe place to live for her and her daughter.
Fletch liked that he could give that to her. It felt good. He’d helped too many people to count in his lifetime, but he could feel the relief emanating from the woman all the way to his gut. “Go tell Annie she has a new home and I’ll see you when I see you. Yeah?”
Emily nodded. “Yeah.”
They stood up and Fletch walked her to his door. He stood in the entryway with one arm braced on the doorjamb and watched as Emily walked toward her car. She stopped when she was halfway there and turned to him. “Thank you, Fletch. I know you’re totally giving me a break on the security deposit and rent, and I appreciate it. I’ll do what I can to help around here, you just need to let me know what you want me to do. I can rake, mow, sweep and—not that it looks like you need any help—I can even clean your house if you wanted me to.”
“You’re welcome, Emily. But I didn’t hire you to be my maid or groundskeeper. I’m actually getting as much out of this arrangement as you are. I have a responsible tenant who isn’t interested in robbing me blind or throwing crazy parties, living on my property. It’s a win-win situation. I’ll see you later.”
Fletch mentally rolled his eyes at her offer. It was sweet, but there was no way he’d ask her to do anything manual. She could look after his house when he was on a mission, but other than that, there wasn’t much that needed to be done that he couldn’t do himself.
“Okay. See you later.”
Fletch closed his front door and heard her car start up, complete with the muffler backfiring. After turning on the security monitor, he watched as her car backed out of his driveway and disappeared onto the road next to his house. He picked up the piece of paper with Emily’s information on it and called Tex. He was ninety-nine-point-nine percent sure Emily was just who she said she was, and what she looked like—a woman who was down on her luck and wanted a quiet place for her and her daughter to live.
Suddenly, he was looking forward to meeting her daughter. From what little Emily had said, she sounded precocious and fun. Fletch hadn’t ever really thought about having children, or even been around many, but it occurred to him that it might be fun to teach a child things like how a garage door opener worked.
As far as he was concerned, the sooner Emily and Annie moved in, the better he’d feel. They’d be safe in the small apartment above his garage. He’d make sure of it.

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About Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She's married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.
She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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