Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1

Maggie is the complete opposite of Michael’s usual type.
So why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Brilliant Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan has his life arranged exactly the way he likes it. As a founding partner at the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he can let his underlings do the legwork on the high profile defense cases his exclusive 50th-floor division handles. He prefers to simply breeze in and do what he does best: dazzle juries and charm the press.

His private life is well-ordered, too. Michael doesn’t have the time or the patience for relationships. Instead, he has a contact list of hot blondes who meet his needs at any given moment, whether it’s a date to a gallery opening or an awards show. Or he just wants to get laid.

Some people would call him shallow. But they’re just envious.

Maggie Flynn has her life mapped out as well. After she graduates from law school, she plans to take a job with the Prosecutor’s Office where she interned. But when she attends a job fair and meets Michael Rannigan, her plans change. She’s studied his cases, even heard him speak once. He’s smart and sexy, and she can’t resist interviewing with him.

Michael hires Maggie and has her assigned to his elite 50th-floor team. He knows smart when he sees it. He also sees the spark in her eyes. She wants him. And having her nearby strokes his ego. It’s not like anything will come of it, she’s so far from his type. But there’s something unsettling about Mary Margaret Flynn, like she can see through his bullshit in a way no one else ever bothered to do.

Maggie realizes that her crush on Michael is all but hopeless. He’s a self-absorbed womanizer. But beneath that cool exterior, she’s seen the man he can be, and she’s sure that love can bring that out. In the meantime, she’s content to work with him.

What would happen if they ever crossed that line?

RESISTING RISK is the first book of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy. It regularly bobs around the top of several Amazon charts, and it’s available FREE, exclusively at Amazon. In this scene, Michael and Maggie come perilously close to the line.

“Mags,” she heard out of the shifting fog. “We’re back in town. I need you to tell us where to go.”

She opened her eyes and realized that she’d fallen asleep with her head on Michael’s shoulder. “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.” She sat up abruptly. “I didn’t realize… I wish you’d awakened me.”

“No worries. But we need to know exactly where to take Ben and where your place is.”

Maggie could see the driver watching her in the rearview mirror. “My place. Right.” She gave the address, and the driver thanked her, the partition whooshing back into place. “Ben can sleep it off on my couch. It won’t be the first time.”

The car came to a stop in front of Maggie’s apartment. “Nice building, Mags. Is the whole thing yours?”

She fairly snorted. “In my dreams! One day when I’m rich and famous, I’ll have my own brownstone. For now, I’m happy with a tiny part of the second floor.” She smiled gratefully. “Thanks again for the ride. You are a lifesaver.” She moved to open the door, but the driver was there first.

“Let me help you get him inside,” Michael offered. They both glanced at Ben, who hadn’t so much as shifted during the entire ride.

She looked back at Michael. “Probably a good idea. I won’t be able to get him up the stairs by myself.” They roused Ben enough for him to put his arms around their shoulders and they moved him to the sidewalk.

Michael spoke quietly to the driver, who nodded before returning to the driver’s seat and slowly driving away. Maggie looked at him questioningly. “I told him to find a place to park. I’ll call him after we get your date settled.”

They managed the stairs, and Michael leaned Ben between himself and the wall as Maggie unlocked the door and let them into her apartment. “Let’s just lay him on the couch,” she said, cocking her head in the direction of a large grey velvet sofa with navy blue accent pillows.

They worked together to get the unconscious and snoring Ben safely onto the couch. Michael studiously ignored the way his jacket gapped open, inviting views of Maggie’s breasts as she leaned over to place a pillow under Ben’s head.

“Thank you so much, Michael,” she said as she removed his jacket and held it uncertainly. “Can I offer you a beer or coffee or something? Or do you need to go?”

“Coffee sounds good,” he answered.

Maggie smiled brightly as she gently placed his jacket over the back of a kitchen chair and set about making coffee. Michael wandered around the living room area to the bay window and looked out over the street. He turned back around to take in the view of the room. It was small, of course, but nice in a quirky sort of way. She’d left on a dim lamp near the window that gave enough light to the space without being intrusive. “This is a nice place,” he commented.

She smiled at him from the kitchen counter. “Thanks. And again, I really appreciate your giving us a ride.”

“Mags, you’ve thanked me about a thousand times,” he said gently.

She blushed slightly. “Well, I didn’t want to forget,” she said sheepishly.

He watched her as she worked in the kitchen, measuring out coffee into a French press, putting a kettle of water on the stove, little mundane domestic tasks. His mind skipped to flashes of her from throughout the night. Slowly it dawned on him what it was about Maggie that made him uncomfortable.

She’s real. She has no hidden agenda. She isn’t playing some game; she doesn’t want anything from me. He sighed deeply. She’s the kind of girl who could make you forget your own rules.

Michael slowly crossed the room and stood by the kitchen counter. “Can I help with something?”

“No, it’s all done. We’re just waiting for the water to boil.” She leaned back, resting her hand on the counter.

He gently placed his hand on hers. “You…are very dangerous,” he whispered, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it softly, his deep brown eyes peering into hers. Her brow furrowed, perplexed.

Gently, he tilted up her chin with his fingers and leaned down, meeting her lips with his own, lightly at first and then more urgently. He ran his other hand down the smooth fabric of the back of her dress, coming to rest on her firm ass as he probed her mouth with his tongue, seeking hers.

Maggie responded, matching the heat of his kiss, reaching up, tangling her fingers in the hair behind his ear, and giving herself over to his embrace. Michael’s hand left her ass and smoothed its way back up to her side, her ribs, stopping just under her breast. Reluctantly he pulled himself away.

Maggie breathlessly gazed up at him. He smiled gently. “We’re both a little drunk,” he said. “Which is why I’d better go.” Tenderly, he kissed her once again and walked out the door.

RESISTING RISK by Pandora Spocks

Amazon #1 Bestselling RESISTING RISK is FREE
exclusively at Amazon.

Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA

It was the job of a lifetime.

Strong-willed ginger Bella Grant is a take-charge television journalist with an appetite for adventure. Handsome and sexy Luke McGillicutty is a world-weary photographer coaxed out of premature retirement with the promise of traveling the world with a smart, spunky redhead. They’ve been paired up to create a new brand of television travel program.

Traveling to romantic destinations, staying in first-class hotels, finding adventure at every turn, it’s not surprising that the two fall in love. Luke is stunned to realize that Bella is the woman he’s looked for his whole life. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and courageous.

The only thing is, Luke hasn’t been completely up front with her. He hasn’t told her that he’s into BDSM. He could play it safe, keep the relationship going exactly the way it is. But Luke wants more. As a Dominant, he craves the intimacy that a Dom/sub relationship provides. And he knows without a doubt that Bella is the perfect submissive. How will she react if he approaches her about submitting to him as a Dominant? Maybe she’d be intrigued by the idea. On the other hand, he could lose her forever.

Life on the road working with Bella is great. Nights spent in Bella’s arms are amazing. Should Luke just be satisfied with the way things are?

Or should he risk everything on the chance that they could have it all?

Read Chapter 1 of LUKE & BELLA.

Bella Grant checked her trunk again.  Three months was a long time. 

What have I forgotten?  She frowned. Don’t be stupid.  You can get anything you need.  You aren’t going to the Amazon rainforest.

After calling down to the front desk for bell service, she made one last tour of the suite to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything.  Hearing the knock, she opened the door to find the bellman waiting in the hallway.  She stepped back and admitted him to the suite.  “It’s just these,” waving her hand to indicate her trunk, cosmetic case, and camera bag.

The bellman hesitated when he saw the trunk.  Inwardly, Bella smiled.  It was huge, a vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk that had once belonged to her grandfather.  She jokingly referred to it as her ‘big-ass Louis.’  Fortunately, the bellman was too well-trained to complain, and he managed to get her things on the cart.

Bella didn’t wait but went ahead and took the elevator to the lobby.  Stopping at the desk, she returned her key and checked out.  The bill was covered, of course, by the network.  Her new employer.

She’d been in television for the last fifteen years, always in local news as a reporter in several places, but most recently as a morning show anchor in Akron.  She’d hated Ohio but had taken the job in order to add ‘Anchor’ to her resume.  But this was different.

When she’d seen the posting in the trade magazine, she knew this was the opportunity she’d been waiting for.  She’d be hosting a new travel show for TLC.  According to the executive producer, Charlie, who’d hired her, she would have carte blanche to do what she wanted.  He’d tell her where to go, and the rest would be up to her.  Fill the time.  Make it interesting.  Make it unique.  Which was just what she intended to do.

The bellman loaded her things into the cab.  She thanked him and gave him a generous tip before stepping into the back of the taxi.  Her thoughts raced as they made their way through thick Manhattan traffic toward the airport.  She didn’t even know where her first assignment would take her.  They would find out at the ticket counter.

They.  She’d meet her photog at the airport.  Her mind wandered there.  She didn’t even know his name.  What would he be like?  Young?  Old?  Experienced?  She was sure Charlie wouldn’t hire someone with no experience.

A small smile played across her face.  It wouldn’t suck too badly if he were attractive.  Her social life was virtually nonexistent.  Who had the time?  Still…

Her thoughts came back to the present as the taxi pulled into the Departures lane of the airport. 

“Which airline, miss?” the driver asked. 

“Virgin Atlantic,” she replied. 

He stopped at the appropriate curb.  Skycaps jumped into motion unloading her bags.  “I’d like them stored, please.  I need to go to the ticket counter,” she told them.  One man handed Bella the luggage receipts, and she walked into the terminal.

LUKE & BELLA by Pandora Spocks

LUKE & BELLA is available
at your favorite online bookseller.

Weekend Excerpt–Broken Harts

Two weddings.
One Valentine’s Day.
And hearts will be broken.

A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s beyond cliché.
But it’s what Ali Hart’s niece Shannon wants. So Ali will wear the pink tulle bridesmaid’s dress, carry the rose and eucalyptus bouquet down the aisle, and keep her opinion to herself.

Ali is back in New York to get ready for the wedding, but her older sister and brother seize on her visit as the perfect time for Ali to make arrangements for their elderly father, who can no longer independently care for himself.

A navigational error puts Ali on a collision course with destiny. Now what?

A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s perfect.
Unless you’re not positive that she’s the one for you.

In the dark recesses of his heart, Logan Pryce knows that Catherine von Hollen isn’t the love of his life. The daughter of his father’s business partner, they’ve known each other for years. She’s blonde, gorgeous, and everyone loves her. On paper, it’s perfect. On paper.

A chance encounter with a nameless redhead on a crowded subway platform causes Logan to question everything he thought his life was going to be. Will he stay with the safe bet, or will he take a chance on something more?

If you love your romance with a little heat and plenty of heart, you’re going to love Broken Harts!

In this scene from BROKEN HARTS, Logan and Ali spend a cold rainy afternoon in a Manhattan coffee shop getting better acquainted.

Logan produced his smartphone. “Ali Hart,” he murmured aloud as he cued up his search engine.

“I write as Alison Hart,” she murmured, sipping her tea.

“Alison Hart.” Logan frowned at his screen, using his finger to scroll down. Then a satisfied smile stretched his lips. “Here you are. Alison Hart…Pepper Twine Mysteries…Wow, you do have a lot of books here. And there are the Fulton Family books…”

He looked up with a grin. “Here’s your official bio.”

Alison Hart was writing stories before she could speak. To date, she has published more than twenty-five novels for preteens, and more are on the way. She says she owes her love of the written word to her father, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jackson Hart–

He broke off and looked up at her, his eyes wide. “Your father is Jackson Hart?”

Ali wrinkled her nose. “Wait! It says that?” She snatched his phone and scanned the bio. “Son of a…”

She handed his phone back. “I try to keep that quiet. I guess my publicist thought it might sell more books.”

“Why keep it quiet?” he wondered as he clicked off the device and returned it to the inner pocket of his suit jacket.

“Just…well…lots of reasons,” Ali shrugged, idly stirring her tea. When Logan waited for her to say more, she exhaled sharply and rolled her eyes.

“Okay, for one reason, I don’t want to feel like I didn’t earn my way into publishing. I don’t want people to think I just rode in on my father’s coattails. And second,” she stalled, sipping her drink.

“When people find out,” she cut him a glance, “when men find out, I generally get one of two responses.”

Logan suppressed a grin. “Which are?”

Ali gestured with her right hand. “Either A, they want me to introduce them to my father, maybe get him to autograph a book, or B,” her left hand waved, “they have no idea who he is, in which case I completely lose all respect for them, because for Pete’s sake, how culturally illiterate can you be?”

Leaning toward her on his elbow, Logan laughed out loud. “Life is rough, is it?”

“Seriously, though,” Ali protested, “imagine that the entire planet was required to read your father’s work in high school. I had to read it in my junior year. And then come to class and discuss it. It’s…I don’t know…weird.”

Logan settled back in his chair again and chuckled. “I read Lessons from the Fog in high school. I think I was one of the few who actually enjoyed it.”

Ali slid him a sideways glance, and he laughed again.

“No, seriously, I liked that one. To me, it sort of encapsulates the way society shifted from the fifties to the sixties and beyond, but in an allegorical way. I really did like it, honest. I would never just say something and not mean it.”

Searching his eyes, Ali only found sincerity, and she smiled reflexively. “Yeah, that’s always been Dad. He likes to tell a story that for him has one meaning, but it’s always open to interpretation.”

Logan sipped his coffee and watched her thoughtfully. “It must have been something growing up with such a famous father.”

Ali shrugged, privately proud of her father’s accomplishments. “He’s brilliant, actually, but I don’t know that he was always the best father, especially if you’re asking my half-sister and brother. In his younger days, he was gone a lot, always protesting one thing or another. He was even a Communist for a while,” she chuckled softly. “but I think that was mostly for the shock value.”

She sipped her tea and glanced at Logan, wondering if he had heard enough. He still watched her in fascination, so she opted to continue. “My mother was his third wife. He was never big on fidelity. Megan and Brendan, my half-siblings from his first marriage, were in their twenties when I came along. By then, Dad had settled down a little. I have great memories of spending time with him. He loved that I wrote from an early age.”

Ali sighed, thinking of her sister and brother. “Megs and Bren always kind of resented me, but you know, as a kid, you don’t realize things like that.”

She looked at Logan and shivered slightly. “Anyway, you didn’t need to know all that Hart family history.”

Logan shook his head. “I want to know anything you want to tell me. Are your parents still together?”

Ali chuckled. “No. Dad could never say no to his wandering eye. During my senior year in high school, my mom finally had enough. She moved to the south of France. I stayed here with Dad, finished up school, then went to university in the UK. Which was kind of nice because sometimes, on holidays, I took the train to Provence to visit Mom.”

“Then after college, you came back here?” Logan asked.

“Nope,” Ali grinned, “I was tired of cold, grey winters. One spring break, I went with some girlfriends to south Florida, and I was hooked. Sunshine and 80 degrees in March, are you kidding me? I have a condo on the beach.”

Brow furrowed, Logan swiped a thumb across his lips. “So, you don’t live here in New York?”

Ali shook her head. “I just flew in last week. I’m staying with Dad. He still lives in the apartment where I grew up.”

Logan nodded. “And you’re here for Thanksgiving?”

“And Christmas. Plus, I figured I would stay at least through the middle of February. I mean, I can do my thing from anywhere, right? So, I’m checking on Dad, plus the holidays, plus…” Ali rolled her eyes.

He grinned encouragingly. “Plus?”

“My niece. Who is only two years younger than me.” She frowned. “I think twenty-three is too young to get married if you want to know the truth, but nobody asked my opinion. Anyway, Shannon’s getting married on Valentine’s Day, for Pete’s sake, and she asked me to be a bridesmaid. It’s cheesy as hell, but how can I say no?”

As he leaned back in his chair, a slightly guarded look settled on Logan’s face. His tone was light, though. “What’s cheesy about it?”

Ali gestured with her right hand. “Well, getting married on Valentine’s Day, for one thing. I mean, don’t you think? How original is that?” She snorted derisively.

“Plus, you wouldn’t believe the bridesmaid’s dress she’s making me wear. It’s all frothy pink tulle from head to toe. Just…” She shook her head piteously.

“So, you wouldn’t choose Valentine’s Day for your wedding? Or frilly pink dresses for your bridesmaids?” Elbows resting on the arms of his chair, Logan steepled his fingers in front of his chest. His lips twitched as though they held back an amused grin.

Ali raised a red eyebrow. “I wouldn’t choose to have a big wedding, period. From where I sit, it’s kind of a losing proposition.”

“Ouch,” Logan chuckled lightly. “That’s just a tad cynical, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know that it’s cynical, exactly,” she lifted a shoulder, “I’m just realistic. What are the stats about divorce? My dad was divorced three times. And had countless affairs that all ended badly.” She looked at him pointedly. “Are your parents still together?”

The corners of his mouth turned up slightly as he nodded. “They are. They have been together for the last thirty-three years. And not to sound all pie-in-the-sky, but they’re happy. I’ve never known them to argue.”

Ali raised her eyebrows as she scanned the coffee shop. “Good for them. And you, for that matter. Maybe they’re the exception that proves the rule,” she said softly.

Logan leaned toward her again, amusement sparkling in his eyes. “So, you’re staunchly anti-marriage?”

“I wouldn’t say that,” she frowned. “I just don’t see spending an unholy amount of money for some huge shindig. I think it sets up unrealistic expectations. It can all be done much more simply.”

She raised a finger. “If I were going to get married, and admittedly, that’s a big if, I’d do it on a much smaller scale. I certainly wouldn’t force anyone to wear pink tulle, that’s for damn sure.”

She shifted a glance in his direction. “They have weddings on the beach by my condo all the time. I mean, I see them down there, all hopes and dreams and happily ever after. But how realistic is that? I always wonder how long they end up staying together. But I suppose if I were going to take the plunge, so to speak, that’s the way I’d do it.”

BROKEN HARTS by Pandora Spocks

BROKEN HARTS is available
at your favorite online bookseller.


They say desperate times call for desperate measures.
Charley Weatherly is about to realize that it’s true.

Life isn’t working out exactly the way Charley Weatherly imagined it might when she walked away from her steady paycheck as a copywriter to start her own business. But as it turns out, not everyone in town is knocking down the door of her tiny independent bookshop. She has lost money every quarter since she opened.

Now, with her grandmother in need of more care than Charley can provide, some difficult decisions have to be made. The rest of her 401k plus the proceeds from selling the bookstore might keep Nana in Pacifico Manor for about a year. That would give Charley time to figure out her next move.

But when that money is irretrievably lost, Charley is faced with an impossible decision. Being a gestational surrogate for a couple who can’t have a baby on their own will bring in the kind of cash she needs. Can she really follow through?

Between trying to keep her small business afloat and caring for her grandmother, Charley’s personal life has been nonexistent. But when she moves to the city for a few months, she finds she enjoys the freedom of her part-time gig at Bravo Java. She especially enjoys chatting up the handsome local artist who spends his mornings there. Now that her life is taking an unexpected turn, has she finally met the right man at the wrong time?

Artist Ben Campbell has had his fair share of romantic disasters. For the time being, he’s content to follow his self-imposed schedule: gym, coffee, work, repeat.

But the new barista at his favorite coffee shop piques his interest. In fact, if he’s honest with himself, she looks a lot like the elusive redhead who haunts his dreams.

She seems to be attracted to him, too. So why does Charley insist on keeping him at arm’s length?

Prefer your romance with plenty of heat and tons of heart?
You’ll love The Girl in the Guesthouse!

In this brand-new, never-before-shared excerpt from THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE, the desperation to provide care for her ailing grandmother leads Charley to consider an outlandish idea.

“I understand, thank you.”  Numbly, Charley ended the call and set her phone on the counter.  Using a short, yellow pencil textured with gnaw marks, she drew a line through the last phone number at the bottom of a piece of notepaper.  Across the shop, Celeste relaxed in a leather chair and thumbed through a gardening book, unaware of her granddaughter’s growing despair.

The call had been to the final law firm on Charley’s list.  Although all of them had been sympathetic to her plight, each would require a hefty up-front retainer to take on the task of getting the money back from the television ministry. 

“What are we going to do, Nana?” Charley murmured.


That night, long after Celeste had gone to bed, Charley sat curled up on the sofa in front of the television.  As exhausted as she was, she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep, and she dreaded staring at the ceiling all night.  She considered sleeping late the following day, opening the shop late, if at all.  It wasn’t like anyone would be knocking down the door, desperate for a copy of Sense and Sensibility

One late-night talk show faded into another, but she really wasn’t paying attention.  Half-buzzed on tequila, she mentally rehearsed what she planned to say when she called a commercial realtor in the morning to discuss selling the bookstore.  She needed enough money to pay off her debts and still have some to replace what her grandmother had given away. 

But what about when that money ran out?  Even assuming she could get what she needed from the sale of the shop and its contents, the money would only go so far.  What then?

Knowing it was irrational, Charley worked hard to tamp down the irritation she felt toward her grandmother.  Celeste hadn’t intentionally set out to ruin everything.  In so many ways, she was like a child. 

Why does everything have to be so goddamn hard? Charley wondered miserably.

She picked up her glass and swirled the remaining tequila before taking another swig.  On television, a studio audience broke into applause as a famous actress stepped out from behind a blue curtain, took a bow, and crossed to a host who waited on a raised platform.  After greeting the actress with a hug, the man gestured to a chair before taking his place behind a large desk.

“How are you?  It’s been a while since the last time you were here.”

“I know,” the actress nodded.  “I’ve been keeping busy, for sure.”

“I understand life has changed quite a bit recently.”  The host leaned forward with a knowing smile.

“It has, it really has.”  The actress looked out at the studio audience with a giddy smile.  “I’m a mom!”

In the quiet of her darkened living room, Charley smiled.  While for her, life might be heading straight into the shitter, it was sort of nice to know that good things still happened for other people.  She was just buzzed enough to hope that maybe something might eventually turn around for her and Nana as well.

“Tell us about that,” the host prompted.

“Well,” the actress said, tucking a long leg beneath her, “we’d been trying to have a baby for a long time, but we had one heartbreak after the next.  Then someone told us about a surrogacy center called Ohana.  We were matched with a wonderful young woman who carried our baby for us.”

Behind the actress, a screen lit up with a photo of a tiny red-faced newborn swaddled in a fluffy white blanket and wearing a soft pink headband, and the audience applauded.

“She is adorable,” the host commented.  “What’s her name?”

Beaming, the actress glanced over her shoulder at the image on the screen.  “This is Natalie Grace, and she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us.”

The audience cheered again.

“I know we’re very blessed,” the actress continued.  “Not everyone has access to surrogacy services.  It’s a costly process.  But, I mean, the woman had a baby for us, for God’s sake.  She earned every penny.  Just look at that little face!”

As the audience applauded, Charley blinked at the television.  Surrogacy. 

She shook her head.  It’s crazy.  Crazy to even think about it. 

Absently, she chewed the corner of her thumbnail.  How much do you suppose…

The talk show went to commercial as Charley typed s-u-r-r-o-g-a-c-y into the search window of her phone.  Scrolling through the results, she found the question she had in mind.

How much money do gestational surrogates earn?

Charley clicked the link and waited as the page loaded.  When she found the information she was looking for, her eyes widened.  Even on the low end of the scale, the money would be enough to keep Nana in Pacifico Manor for a year without having to sell the bookstore.  If Charley sold the business, they might be able to stretch it to a year and a half, by which time she would no doubt be out of debt and gainfully employed, with a salary that would solve all their problems.

She resolved to research the Ohana Surrogacy Center in the morning.


at your favorite online bookseller.