Weekend Excerpt–ANNA’S HEART

She’s a rancher with a heartbreaking secret.
He’s Hollywood royalty, poised to take a chance
that risks his reputation and his career.
Now that they’ve found each other, can he win her heart?

Anna Graves works hard helping to run her family’s Wyoming dude ranch. Still reeling from the tragic loss of her smokejumper fiancé in a horrific wildfire, she is content to hide from the world as she teaches horseback riding lessons to tourists by day and reads smutty romance novels by night.

When world-famous Scottish actor Angus McGregor needs to brush up his cowboy skills in preparation for his starring role in a new Western, he heads to Sweetwater Ranch in the boondocks of Wyoming. He is immediately fascinated by Anna, who won’t give him the time of day. Can he break down the self-protective wall she has built?

If you like hot cowboys, Scottish accents, and happily-ever-afters,
you’ll love ANNA’S HEART, the third book in the Redheads & Ranchers series!

As the last of the stragglers left the dining room, Anna left her mother and Simone to finish breakfast cleanup. A huge stockpot of hearty beef stew simmering on the stove would be ready for lunch in a few hours. Simone and Mrs. Graves would eventually make their way upstairs to join Lana in freshening up the handful of guestrooms located in the main lodge.

Anna would see to the cabins by herself, a job she’d insisted on as Simone and her baby bump had grown more and more unwieldy. Sweetwater Ranch wasn’t a hotel, really, so the day-to-day housekeeping was fairly light. While fresh sheets were available upon request, staff didn’t make beds or change the sheets on a daily basis.

On the other hand, between riding horses, working with cattle, and practicing outdoors skills, guests tended to get grubby as they participated in ranch activities, so daily fresh towels were a must. Anna also preferred to spot-clean the bathrooms and kitchens, straighten anything out of place, and remove the trash each day.

It was definitely easier when she split the duties with Simone, but over the past few months, Anna had worked out a routine that allowed her to finish her housekeeping duties in about an hour. And that left her plenty of time to make sure she was ready for her afternoon riding session before she headed back to the kitchen to help with lunch.

As usual, she started with Cabin 1 and worked her way back. The first five cabins, the newest of the bunch, were nearly always occupied for every session, summer and winter alike. When they had a larger-than-normal group of guests, the older cabins were used, beginning with number 6.

She herself occupied number 7, then numbers 8 and 9 were available to guests. Ross lived alone in Cabin 10. Andy and Simone had an apartment on the top floor of the main lodge, while Anna’s parents remained in the family quarters just off the lodge kitchen. It was where Anna and her brothers had grown up, and their father before them.

The newer cabins had been built when Anna was in high school. They were nicer than the older ones, but they were smaller. As she drove the golf cart from Cabin 5 to Cabin 6, she wondered what movie star Angus McGregor thought of his rustic accommodations. On the one hand, his cabin was larger than the others. But on the other hand, it was older. The amenities weren’t as new and the bathroom and kitchen hadn’t been updated.

Fresh towels folded over her arm, Anna snorted as she walked up the front steps of Cabin 6. Angus McGregor, cooking for himself in the little cabin kitchen!

Right! I’m still surprised he deigns to show up at mealtime, she thought to herself. Figured he’d call the front desk expecting room service.

Pausing at the door, she knocked lightly. “Housekeeping!” She knew that at that time of the morning, he was in Andy’s riding group. It was why she did these chores right after breakfast. Everyone had someplace to be, and it was a rare instance when someone was actually in their cabin.

Still, it was better to be on the safe side. She knocked again, then unlocked the door and let herself in. A quick scan showed the open living room/kitchen combination to be neat and tidy, save for a bunch of index cards spread all over the kitchen table.

She craned her neck to look at them briefly as she made her way to the kitchen trash can. Quickly, she removed the bag and replaced it with a fresh one, placing the old bag beside the front door. Everything else in the kitchen looked in order so she carried the fresh towels down the short hallway to the bathroom. Still envisioning the famous actor trying to cook something on the older-model gas stove, she smirked as she opened the bathroom door.

Clouds of steam rolled over her as a very naked Angus McGregor, towel in hand, froze stock-still.

“Anna?” Eyes wide, he moved the towel down to his waist, but not before Anna got an eyeful of a most impressive cock.

“Holy shit!” she gasped, stumbling backward into the hallway wall.

As she turned and rushed down the hallway, she heard his bare feet padding along behind her.

“I’m so sorry,” she offered without bothering to turn around. “You’re supposed to be riding right now.”

“Aye, about that,” he answered, “I switched to a different session.”

“I knocked, I swear I did.” Clutching the towels, she still faced the door. “I didn’t mean to just barge in on you.”

“I’m just back from a run. I didn’t hear ye over the shower. Anna?” His tone was soft.

Slowly, she turned around, willing her eyes to stay away from the bulge beneath the towel around his waist. She allowed her gaze to skim up his rippled abs to his muscular chest and wide shoulders. Water still dripped from his hair and he swiped a hand across his face.

Oh, yeah, that’s definitely better than staring at his package.

“It’s okay, really. Just a miscommunication is all. No worries.”

Utterly humiliated, Anna nodded mutely and turned back toward the door.

“Anna? Can I have the fresh towels?”

She rolled her eyes and turned back, handing over the towels. “Oh, yeah, of course. I just…well, I usually exchange them for the old towels.”

“Do ye want this one?” His grin was wry.

“No! Holy shit, no keep that on,” she squeezed her eyes shut and waved her hand. “I’ll get it tomorrow.”

She opened the door and let herself out onto the cabin’s covered porch, then stopped.

“Wait a second! You switched to what different riding session?” Turning back around, she placed her hands on her hips.

Lips pursed as though he were suppressing another grin, he leaned his shoulder on the doorway. “I’ve never ridden a horse before. I requested tae be placed in the Beginners’ group.”

“But that’s my group.”

“So I was told. I didn’t think ye’d mind.”

Anna worked her mouth, unable to come up with the proper words.

Blue eyes sparkling, he watched as though to see what she’d come up with.

Finally, her articulation skills gained traction. “But it’s a kids’ group. They’re all kids.”

He nodded. “Aye, I was told that, too. And they’re beginners, just like me.” He tilted his head thoughtfully. “If ye don’t want me in the group, just say so.”

“No, it’s not that, it’s just…” Anna’s heart pounded and she felt her head spinning. She willed herself to be anywhere except where she was. “Fine. It’s just fine. If you don’t mind riding with the kids, I’m sure they won’t mind.”

She hurried down the steps and got into the golf cart. “Well, again, sorry for…” She trailed off, feeling sheepish. The amusement sparkling in his eyes didn’t help at all.

“I’ll see ye at lunch,” Angus said, chuckling.

“See you,” Anna nodded, pressing the accelerator and speeding off down the trail.

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

ANNA’S HEART is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/AnnasHeart

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 the still of pre-dawn, Logan gazed up at the ceiling of Ali’s bedroom and sighed contentedly. Her head rested on his shoulder as his right arm cradled her. His left arm curled beneath his head on the pillow.

At the sound of her steady breathing, he smiled. When he’d invited her to lunch, he’d had no thought of ending up in her bed.

He shifted his lips thoughtfully. Well, to say no thought wasn’t entirely accurate. He’d allowed the occasional notion or two to blossom into full-blown fantasy, fodder for a private jerk-off session in the shower here and there. And there had been a stray thought or three when she’d shucked her coat at the restaurant earlier in the day, that form-fitting sweater dress clinging to every curve most deliciously. His cock had certainly taken notice.

He allowed himself a silent whistle.

Still, he would never have broached the subject. Not on a day like today, with the drama of her father being lost. It would have felt manipulative, somehow.

But it had been Ali who had brought it up, Ali with that heated gleam in her soulful brown eyes, and he’d been helpless to respond in any other way than he had.

There on the sofa in the den, they had made out like two starving souls, each practically clawing at the other, lips desperately seeking and finding, until Logan thought he’d explode right there. With a knowing smile, Ali had stood up and taken his hand, leading him to her bedroom, where she shut and locked the door behind them.

In the privacy afforded in her room, Logan had shed all pretense of self-control, hurriedly tugging first at her clothes and then his own until they stumbled toward the bed in a tangle of discarded garments. He scarcely waited for her to retrieve a condom from her bedside table before he plunged himself into her.

He closed his eyes and replayed the moment in his mind, relishing her gasp in his ear as he took her that first time. He hadn’t lasted long. He had known he wouldn’t. It had been a long time.

Catherine usually couldn’t be bothered, and when she acquiesced, he usually ended up feeling like he’d had to talk her into having sex with him. Which was why he hadn’t bothered in months, preferring his own hand and a vibrant fantasy life.

That first time on the bed had been followed up in the shower, where he and Ali had adjourned to clean up. The memory of her perky tits, water dripping from her luscious, imminently suckable nipples, her water-slick, shapely ass… Softly, he whistled again as his cock stiffened at the memory of taking her a second time against the marble wall of the shower.

The third time had been different, much slower and more sensual as he’d gradually brought her to climax twice, each time with Ali whimpering softly as she attempted to stifle her orgasm.

Note to self, he thought. Next time, we go to a hotel. The thought pleased him. He wanted to hear Ali’s pleasure unfettered by the presence of other people in the house.

Next time.

Pressing a light kiss to the top of her head, his thoughts strayed back to when they had first arrived at the Hart’s apartment. Taking care of Ali’s father had involved a flurry of activity. Logan had stayed in the background as much as possible, grateful when Mrs. Smith offered him warm, dry clothes in place of the damp, clammy ones he had worn in the snow. While changing in the hallway bathroom, he had taken the opportunity to call Catherine to apprise her of his missed flight.

She had taken it as he’d known she would, anger reducing her conversation to short, clipped responses. No doubt there would be hell to pay when he returned home.

Of another thing, there was no doubt, as well. Logan couldn’t marry Catherine. He didn’t love her; it was as simple as that.

Honoring their hair-brained pledge had been a bad idea from the get-go, but at that low point in his love life, it had seemed like a reasonable consolation.

A hell of a reason to get married, he chided himself.

Ali shifted slightly, sighing softly in her sleep. Logan gazed down at her and held her closely, appreciating the sense of warmth that flooded his soul.

No, he couldn’t marry Catherine. He didn’t love her. He loved Ali. He knew it as surely as he knew his own name. And if he were honest, he’d known it since he’d first seen her in the subway station. He was utterly in love with Ali Hart.

The only thing to do was to call off the engagement. Logan resolved to do it as soon as he got home.

BROKEN HARTS by Pandora Spocks

BROKEN HARTS is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/BrokenHarts

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Spoiled Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke
is used to getting her own way.
She’s met her match in
Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.

Blake Walker is no stranger to tragedy. Immediately following a horrific event years earlier, he was lost for a while until he embraced his Dominant nature and found his true calling. But things change and now he’s back where he started, helping to run his family’s secluded lake lodge.

When pampered Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks. There she meets sexy bush pilot Blake, who is tasked with seeing to her needs as the sole guest at the lodge.

Initially, Blake isn’t impressed with the spoiled actress, but he’s happy that her visit allows for his sister Jackie and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation. Try as he might, he can’t figure out what the hell Shasta Pyke is doing so far out of her element.

Shasta’s attracted to Blake’s obvious good looks, but there’s more to him than that. He sees through her armor to the vulnerable little girl she hides from the world. The Daddy Dominant in him craves to shelter her, to make her his own.

Is there any way Shasta will agree to submit to Blake’s Dominance?

If you like your romance with a little BDSM and a lot of heart, you’ll love LOST & BOUND.

In this teaser, Shasta begins to realize she might be in for more than she bargained for.

Blake expertly angled the small boat to rest beside the tiny dock and killed the motor, tying off his end before jumping out and tying the front end as well. Then he again offered his hand, helping Shasta climb out of the boat and onto the dock.

She stood taking in the view as he unloaded her things. The lodge was visible across the water, seemingly closer than it actually was, judging by the ten-minute ride. If she hadn’t been in such a foul mood, she would have found the place beautiful. The only sound she could hear was the wind in the tops of the countless pine trees covering the island. It would be a short climb up to the crest of the island where a log cabin sat. She could see a stone-surrounded fire pit flanked by a quartet of dark green wooden Adirondack chairs and further away, stretched between two large pines, was a white canvas hammock.

When all her things were on the dock, Blake turned to her. “Let me take you to the cabin. There are a few things I need to show you.”

He took off up the hill and Shasta teetered along behind him, carefully avoiding large rocks that were in the way. “Are you making it?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’ve got this, don’t worry about me,” she muttered.

Blake turned away and grinned to himself. He was waiting for her when she finally made it up the hill. “I hope you brought other shoes.”

Out of breath, Shasta put her hands on her hips and nodded.

He unlocked the door and held it open for her to enter the cabin. She stepped into an open room featuring a seating area in front of a fireplace immediately to her right. Further into the room, a kitchen was arranged in the back left quarter of the space with a cast iron stove on the back wall and a kitchen table pushed against the right wall down from the fireplace. Between the fireplace and the kitchen table was a small desk that held some sort of radio equipment. Shasta peered into an alcove to her left and saw that it was a tiny bedroom.

“Now,” Blake was saying, “the lights run on propane. You turn this little lever and you can light them with a lighter. The fridge and the cooktop also run on propane. Same thing, you turn the knob and then light it with the lighter. I already lit the pilot on the fridge and it should be fine.” He indicated a small metal box beneath the kitchen counter.

Wordlessly, Shasta followed him around the room, trying to take in all his instructions. “Now if you want to bake, or if you’re just cold, you can build a fire in the stove.” He showed her where to put the wood. “And there’s always the fireplace. Wood is stacked outside against the back of the cabin. I can always bring you more, too.”

He waved at the few kitchen cabinets. “We’ve stocked the cabinets and the refrigerator but if you need anything, just let me know.” He headed for the door. “Water comes from a spring near the front of the island.”

“Wait. What?”

“Water. You know, to drink?”

Desperately, Shasta searched the room, making a beeline to the sink. Instead of a faucet, there was a green-painted old-fashioned hand pump. She worked the handle a few times and a spurt of water came out. She looked back to him, bewildered.

“Well, you can’t drink that. Not without boiling it for about ten minutes. It comes straight out of the lake. Use it for dishes and things. You can drink the spring water right out of the ground.”

“Wait a second. Where’s the bathroom?”

“I was just going to show you. Follow me.”

Blake headed out the door and Shasta followed along behind him. He turned down the right side of the cabin, following a narrow trail through the trees. Shortly, the path opened onto a small clearing and to the right of the clearing was a tiny log structure. “Here’s your bathroom,” he pointed.

She began to shake her head. “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” she murmured. “There must be some mistake. I don’t do outhouses. Does Eddie know about this?” she demanded.

“Who’s Eddie?” Blake returned, picturing the smarmy suit guy.

“No. Absolutely not. This is completely unacceptable. Besides,” she breathed deeply, trying to regain her composure, “where is the shower?”

“Well, some guests bathe in the lake.” He took in her incredulous expression and continued. “On the other hand, we do have a solar shower. I’ll show you.”

Shasta followed him down the other side of the cabin, to the place where the tiny bedroom jutting out from the main cabin made a little sheltered corner. A post was situated in the corner with a pulley rigged to the top.

“This is a solar shower.” Blake held up a large flat rectangular vinyl pouch that was clear on one side and black on the other. The clear side had a large round valve and there was a handle on one end. The other end had clear tubing attached and at the end of the tubing was a tiny shower head.

“You fill this up with water, seal the valve, and lay it out in the sun. The dock is a good place.” He watched as Shasta held her forehead with the palm of one hand, gaping at him in disbelief. “Anyway, when you’re ready for a shower, you hang it up here,” he indicated the pulley, “and just shower away. The spruce trees right here make for privacy, although you shouldn’t have any folks out on the lake, seeing as how you’ve rented out the whole place.”

Wordlessly, Shasta turned and hobbled back to the front of the cabin, sinking into one of the Adirondack chairs. Blake followed, hands in his pockets, uncertain whether or not to continue the tour. She glanced up at him, deciding to change tacks.

“Listen,” she smoothed, “we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.” She pasted on her dazzling Shasta Pyke smile. “Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake.” Standing, she approached him, pushing her glasses back up onto her head and fixing him with soft brown eyes.

“Here’s the thing.” She reached out to stroke his arm, biting her lower lip provocatively. “I can’t stay here. And you don’t want me here, not really. The place is already paid for. Just,” she stepped closer, brushing her breasts against his arm, “maybe you could drive me someplace where I can get a cab or an Uber or something, and I’ll be out of your hair.” She wrinkled her nose and winked. “What do you say?”

A slow smile spread across Blake’s face. “What do I say?” He laughed lightly, shaking head. “I say, you’re a piece of work, lady.” With that, he turned. “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

“Wait!” she shouted after him. “You can’t just leave me here!”

He waved over his head and didn’t turn around.

“Come back here! You come back here right now!”

Wordlessly, he cast off from the dock and pushed the boat away from the shallow water.

“What about my bags? They need to be taken to the cabin!”

“And it will be dark soon. So you might want to get on that,” Blake chuckled.

Shasta was on the dock by now and she stomped her foot, fists balled at her sides. “Do you know who I am?” she screamed.

“You look to me like a little brat who needs her ass tanned,” he fired back.

She shrieked unintelligibly and threw a rock at the boat. She missed by a mile and the rock plonked harmlessly into the water.

Blake laughed again, started the engine, and headed back to the lodge.

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/LostandBound

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

A handsome rancher with a tragic past,
determined to hang on to his inheritance.
A spunky young corporate lawyer
ready to make her mark in the world.
A sinister plot against them both.

Hunter McFall is a fifth-generation Idaho cattle rancher. He’s been approached to sell a small fraction of his land to a big-city real estate developer. Something he has no intention of doing. He’s agreed to hear out the firm’s lawyer, but that’s the end of it. To his surprise, it’s just the beginning.

Red-haired Manhattan business attorney Poppy Chastain is determined to make the most of her first opportunity to show her bosses what she can do. Slade & Howell have sent her to the boondocks of Idaho to convince the hard-headed rancher to part with a tiny plot of his property. She didn’t count on the sizzling attraction between them.

Together, they find a passion they weren’t even looking for. But their love is threatened by a covert scheme to separate Hunter from his land by any means necessary. When he finds out, he’s sure Poppy has played him for a fool. Can she convince him otherwise, that what they’ve found is real?

If you love hot cowboys, sassy redheads, and steamy, romantic happily-ever-afters, you’ll love Hunter’s Pride.

In this first chapter, Hunter gets a lesson in making assumptions when he meets big-city lawyer P.K. Chastain for the first time.

Hunter McFall squinted his hazel eyes at the dust trail on the horizon and shook his head in annoyance. He didn’t have time for this. He had 1,500 head of cattle that needed moving to new pasture.

Not that it made this day any different from any other day. Cattle need to be rotated to fresh grazing land. The herd had spent yesterday down on the flood plain beside the bend of Deer Creek. Today he wanted them moved into the foothills.

But he had Rolly Stevens to head up moving the beeves. Rolly had been with the McFalls since before Hunter ever sat on a horse. And the younger hands listened to the old man, respected him.

And if Hunter was honest with himself, he didn’t mind a day off the trail too badly. Except he wasn’t looking forward to this appointment.

The dust trail was closer now. Hunter sighed deeply and nudged the bay beneath him, gently pulling the reins to the right.

“Let’s go, Cheyenne,” he muttered. The horse tossed her head and turned to the right, heading back toward the house.

P.K. Chastain. Just the name irritated him. The notion of a grown man going by his initials struck him as pretentious as fuck. The fact that P.K. Chastain was a lawyer representing Slade & Howell didn’t engender him to Hunter anymore than his name did.

He’d received the letters and emails from this Chastain fellow, the ones making all kinds of shiny promises on behalf of Slade & Howell. But Hunter didn’t care. He wasn’t interested in selling any McFall land to some developer who wanted to build a mountain resort. Keep that shit over by Sun Valley if that’s what you had in mind.

Here in Deer Creek Valley and the Boxroot Mountains, McFalls had raised cattle for five generations, and by God, he intended to continue the family legacy until his last breath.

A vehicle came around the bend just as Hunter loosely wrapped Cheyenne’s reins around a rail in the shade of a large cottonwood. From beneath his wide-brimmed hat, he glowered at the silver Range Rover as it pulled to a stop along the side of the gravel drive. City people always fancied themselves rugged outdoorsmen when they came out to this neck of Idaho. Yet another reason he wasn’t interested in having a luxury resort anywhere near McFall.

He set his mouth in a firm line and walked toward the SUV. The driver’s door opened, and a shiny black high-heeled pump emerged, followed by a shapely calf. Surprised, Hunter stopped, watching as a petite redhead stepped out of the car. Her hair was done up in one of those fancy, efficient updos with a few loose wisps around her face, which was obscured by large designer sunglasses. Hunter’s eyes zeroed in on sensuously shaped ruby-red lips.

The woman leaned back into the SUV, affording Hunter a view of a nicely rounded ass, neatly packaged in a black pencil skirt. She emerged a moment later holding a tan leather satchel. Closing the car door, she marched toward him.

“Mr. McFall?” She stuck out a well-manicured hand, her nails painted the same red as her lips. “I’m P.K. Chastain. We’ve emailed back and forth?”

Slowly, Hunter reached out and took her tiny hand in his own, suddenly aware of how rough and calloused ranch work made them.

“You’re P.K. Chastain?”

The redhead tilted her head and removed the sunglasses, revealing deep chestnut eyes in a shade he wasn’t sure he’d ever seen before. “You were expecting a man, I suppose.” Her tone was defensive.

“I guess when I heard that a lawyer was coming out here, I just assumed.”

P.K. Chastain narrowed her eyes at him. “Maybe the news didn’t make it this far out in the boondocks,” she said, one hand holding the satchel, the other a fist on her hip. “But it’s the 21st century now. Women get to vote and everything.”

Hunter suppressed a grin, his mustache shifting with the effort. “Seems I heard tell about something like that,” he drawled. “Maybe it was the fact that you go by your initials. What does P.K. stand for, anyway?”

He watched her cheeks color slightly as the woman squared her shoulders. “That’s neither here nor there. Is there someplace we can sit and discuss the generous offer being made to you by Slade & Howell?”

He pursed his lips and watched her for a moment. Then he nodded. “We can meet in my office.” He gestured toward the huge log home that had been in his family for generations. When he’d been a boy, his grandfather had added an extension to the north end of the house, creating an office from which to run ranch business.

“If we’re going to have a business, my boy, we’d better treat it like one,” the elder Hunter McFall had told his young namesake.

That Hunter McFall had been the first of his family to attend college, and his son and grandson had followed in his footsteps. They’d taken what had been a rough and tumble ranch and turned it into a successful cattle business, acquiring extra acreage along the way as some of their neighbors failed to keep up with the times.

P.K. Chastain, leather satchel in hand, clipped purposefully across the gravel drive and up the steps to the covered porch that ran the length of the front of the house and around the southern side. Hunter followed along behind, amused by the turn of events.

At the door, she stopped, allowing him to open it and usher her inside. Just inside the door, he paused to hang his black felt hat on a rack beside the door. His mother had always been firm: “No hats in the house.” He supposed that extended to the office as well.

Hunter imagined he could see the office from his guest’s point of view as he inhaled the familiar scent of leather and wood. Behind the huge reclaimed wood desk, antique branding irons hung in a row from an old board on the wall above a barnwood credenza. Opposite the desk were a pair of leather wingback chairs. The chairs matched twin oxblood leather chesterfield couches that flanked an antique trunk-turned-coffee table in the center of the room.

On the opposite end from his desk sat a long wood conference table surrounded by leather club chairs. Western art from his grandfather’s collection accented the walls and the entire space was crowned by an enormous iron chandelier hung from the peaked roof.

The lawyer glanced around appreciatively. “It’s lovely,” she murmured.

Hunter nodded. “Thank you. The original cabin is over a hundred years old, but it’s been added to over the years. My grandfather added this office extension when he took over the business over forty years ago.”

“Lovely,” she repeated. She gestured with her satchel. “Where would you like me to set up?”

Set up?

He shrugged slightly. “Anywhere you’re most comfortable is fine.”

He watched as the woman’s gaze flitted all around the room before it settled on the conference table.

“That looks good,” she said, and moved in that direction, her high heels clipping against the wide plank floor.

She placed the satchel on the table and opened it, rooting around until she found what she was looking for. She handed Hunter a glossy-covered booklet, a gorgeous shot of the Boxroot Mountains gracing the front with Boxroot Mountain Resort declared in bold, rustic letters.

“Please, have a seat,” she gestured to the chair at the head of the table.

Hunter suppressed a smirk at the city woman telling him where to sit in his own office. Curious to see where this was all leading, he sank into the chair and watched as she dug into the bag once again.

“If you’d like to flip through the prospectus while I get my presentation ready,” she said. “I won’t be long.” She looked up at him. “You do have wi-fi?”

He nodded. “Yes, ma’am,” he drawled. “All the way out here in the boondocks, we have wi-fi and the interwebs. Why, hell, we even have the dot com.”

She paused her movements to purse her lips at him. Then she went back to her digging, tucking a few stray red hairs behind her left ear. From her bag, she extracted a small black cube about the size of a baseball. This she set up on a small tripod on the table, then she went back to rooting around in the satchel.

Hunter tried unsuccessfully to look away from the way her wispy white blouse gapped in the front every time she leaned over the bag. Ms. Chastain had stellar cleavage. That paired with the nicely rounded ass he’d appreciated outside made her an intriguing distraction from the ordinary.

He didn’t look over the prospectus. He didn’t need to. He wasn’t interested in selling. But he’d hear her out. It beat the hell out of rounding up reluctant Herefords.

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/HuntersPride

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

Michael Rannigan is running rogue.

At the end of RESISTING RISK, Book 1 of Rannigan’s Redemption, Maggie Flynn abruptly left the law firm she joined right out of law school. Since Maggie’s abrupt departure from the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, Michael has been in a tailspin. As he limps along in the new normal, he misses her more than he ever imagined.

Maggie misses Michael as well. But she makes the best of her new job at the District Attorney’s office. Occasionally they cross paths in court, each assessing the other. Like Michael, she finds herself making questionable personal choices.

When opportunity knocks for Michael he leaps at it, maybe as much to avoid Maggie’s absence as anything else. The fact that his decision impacts everyone else at the firm doesn’t slow him down at all.

Then comes news that shakes him to his core. Now that he’s burned all his bridges, who will be there to help him pick up the pieces?

In this scene, Maggie gets a better glimpse into the character of her new love interest, retired MLB pitcher turned sports broadcaster Bobby “Beau” Beaulieu.

Bobby pulled away from the curb in front of Maggie’s apartment. He’d donned a pair of mirrored aviators when they’d gotten in the car. He glanced at her and, seeing her watching him, he winked. “We’ll just get this taken care of and be on our way.”

“Is this a work thing you have to do?” Maggie asked.

Bobby pursed his lips. “Sort of, I guess. There’s a family from Dallas, and they have a son with leukemia. They’ve been flown into town for the weekend to see all the sights and stuff. I believe they’re going to tonight’s exhibition game. Anyway, this is a kind of ‘meet and greet’ out at the stadium. I’ll hang out with the kid for a while, toss a ball around. It probably won’t take too long, I wouldn’t want to drag you to something that would take all day.”

Maggie frowned thoughtfully. “Is this a ‘Make-A-Wish’ kind of thing?”

Bobby nodded. “Um-hmm. The foundation made all the arrangements, sent me the letter from the dad. The boy’s name is Tyler, and apparently, he’s a big fan.”

Maggie smiled slowly, turning towards him. “You mean, out of all the things this boy could ask for, he wanted to meet you?”

He shrugged uncomfortably. “It’s a hell of a thing, isn’t it?”

“I think that’s pretty special,” Maggie said. “Have you ever done this before?”

Again, he tilted his head uncomfortably, eyes straight ahead, and he sighed. “I think this is my twelfth one.”

Maggie straightened back in her seat, smiling out the front window. “Pretty amazing.”

The guard at the stadium gate directed Bobby to the players’ parking area where they were met by a pretty young woman wearing a headset and carrying a clipboard.

“Hi, Beau, welcome. I’m Natalie, we’ve been chatting back and forth all week. I’ll be working to make today’s event smooth.”

“Thanks, Natalie,” he said, blasting her with his high-wattage grin, “This is Maggie. She’s kindly consented to tag along with me today.”

Maggie smiled and said hello. Bobby stepped closer to Natalie. “That thing we talked about? Did that stuff get delivered?”

Natalie smiled. “It did indeed. We’ve got you set up in the locker room.” She checked her watch. “Okay, now the family is supposed to arrive in about fifteen minutes. Do you want to go get changed?”

Bobby nodded. “Yeah, we’ll head in that direction. Thanks, Natalie.”

He led Maggie through a series of doors and passages and finally into a huge locker room. The first thing Maggie noticed was the navy carpet sprinkled with the white NY logo with a huge white NY in the center of the carpet. All around the perimeter of the room were stations comprised of honey oak cabinets, a low counter, and a clothing rack. In front of each station was a white cushioned folding chair, again featuring the NY logo.

At the far end of the room, Maggie saw a seating area made up of a large tan leather sofa flanked by a pair of matching leather armchairs. A low coffee table completed the seating group but it was draped in a navy blue cloth covering something on its top.

Maggie followed Bobby to the only station that seemed occupied. On the clothing rack hung a single uniform. “Here we go,” Bobby said. “I’ll just get changed.” He gripped the bottom of his sweater and pulled it over his head. Maggie stood clasping her hands, uncertain of what to do. Bobby grinned and unbuckled his belt and unbuttoned the fly of his jeans.

“Oh, hey now,” Maggie exclaimed, turning away from him. “I’ll just wander over here.” She heard Bobby’s low chuckle and felt her cheeks flush.

“Hey, what’s over here?” she asked, lifting the corner of the blue drape on the coffee table.

“What it should be,” replied Bobby as he pulled on his uniform pants, “is a bunch of Little League uniforms. Why don’t you take off the cloth so we can make sure?”

Maggie carefully lifted the drape from the table to reveal stacks of red child-sized jerseys and white baseball pants. There were also red socks and boxes of cleats. She noticed some cartons on the floor between the table and the sofa. “There are some boxes over here, too.”

Bobby came over, tucking in his blue jersey as he walked. “They look good,” he nodded approvingly. “And these,” he said, opening one of the cartons, “should be balls, bats, and gloves.” He frowned slightly, checking the other box. “Oh, and caps. Good, it’s all here.”

Maggie looked up to ask about the uniforms but found herself distracted. She was unable to stop what she knew was a goofy smile spreading across her face. Bobby grinned wryly. “What?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I’ve never seen you in a uniform before. It’s…” she stopped, blushing furiously. Bobby waited, eyes twinkling with amusement. “Well, I suddenly find myself strangely drawn to baseball,” she said, chewing absently on her thumbnail.

Bobby laughed. “We’ll make a convert of you yet.”

Maggie remembered her question. “What is all this for?”

“When I read the information about this kid, Tyler? The dad is the coach for his Little League team. He mentioned that most of the kids on the team come from single-parent families, the kind that don’t have the money for uniforms and stuff. I ordered a bunch of things for them. Figure we’ll have to ship it all back to Texas but I wanted to be able to give it to them today.”

Maggie gazed up at him in wonder. “You bought all this equipment and stuff?”

Bobby shrugged. “You can’t play baseball without the essentials. And uniforms mean a lot. I know they did when I was a kid. It was a small thing to do.”

“You are a good man,” she said simply, leaning up on her tiptoes to place a kiss on his cheek. He blushed uncomfortably and she laughed softly.

RUNNING ROGUE by Pandora Spocks

RUNNING ROGUE,
Book 2 of Rannigan’s Redemption,
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RunningRogue

Weekend Excerpt–THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE

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

I’m so excited that my new novel, THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE, is finally out! It’s been a long time coming, with one interruption after another, but hopefully, it’s worth the wait.

The idea for this book came from a news report I saw about a celebrity becoming a first-time parent via gestational surrogate. I began to wonder…

Who is this woman having a child for a stranger who can’t do it on their own? What is her motivation, her life situation? What are her hopes and dreams?

So I began to explore these notions by writing. This book is the result. Read the official blurb:

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!

Here’s a little teaser.

Looking around the room, Charley saw some of the paintings she had watched Ben working on in his loft. She took a few steps toward one, an abstract in bright colors. “This is amazing,” she whispered. “Look at this! All your work for people to see.”

“And buy, hopefully,” he laughed. “I’m always hoping to sell my pieces.”

He stepped toward her and took her hand. “There’s something I want to show you.”

Curious, Charley allowed him to lead her around a corner where another few paintings were hanging. Ben stood her in front of one and stepped back. “These are the ones I wanted to keep a surprise until today.”

Frowning slightly, Charley gazed at the vast canvas rectangle. The first thing she noticed was the riot of color. But unlike the abstracts she had seen in the main part of the room, this painting, and the ones beside it, were clearly representational, albeit more impressionistic than realistic.

In the first one, a hand reached out toward a form moving away from it. Looking closer, Charley saw that it was a woman. A woman with red hair. Frowning, she turned her head to look at Ben, who pursed his lips and waited for her reaction.

She moved to the next painting. In this one, the red-haired woman was closer, but her back was still turned. In the third piece, the woman was closer still, and now she looked over her shoulder at the viewer, a happy, impish expression on her face. Unconsciously, Charley reached up to touch her own face. “Is this me?” she asked quietly.

Ben stood beside her, draping his arm around her waist. “I had this dream so many times. You were always just out of my reach. Obviously, I didn’t know it was you. Until I did know it was you. And everything fell into place. This was a story I had to tell.”

Worry knit his brow as he looked down at her. “Do you hate it?”

“Of course, I don’t hate it. I love it! And I love you.” Even in her boots, she had to tiptoe to reach him to press a kiss to his lips. “It’s amazing, and I’m flattered beyond, well, anything.”

Ben exhaled loudly. “Thank God! I thought it was a great idea, and I kept it a surprise, but then, I started having second thoughts once it was up in here. What if you hated them? What if you were angry that I painted you?”

Charley chuckled. “You worry a lot. Who wouldn’t love this? I suppose that, in a way, it’s our story, right?”

“It is at that,” Ben agreed, drawing her to himself. “I am a lucky, lucky man.”

“Okay, the doors are opening!” someone shouted into the room. “Ready or not, here they come.”

“Hoo, boy. Here goes nothing,” Ben muttered.

“This is going to be great,” Charley reassured him.

**

And it was. The buzz about Ben’s work was highly positive, and several of the pieces sold in the first hour. Their friends Robin and Cam came, and Ben was glad Charley had someone to hang out with while he schmoozed potential buyers and chatted with old friends.

Drew and Alex popped in, purchasing a painting Drew said he planned to hang in his office.

Occasionally, Charley would flit by to bring him a drink or to squeeze his hand reassuringly. Ben’s heart ached at the pride he saw in her eyes. He was, indeed, a lucky man.

He was chatting with Charley when he heard a familiar voice.

“Great work, as usual. No surprise there. How are you, Ben?”

He turned to see Claire holding a glass of wine in salute and felt his eyes widen. “Claire?”

“I heard you had a show, and I wanted to see your new work.” Her words were for Ben, but her eyes were on Charley.

Belatedly, he realized he needed to introduce them. “Claire, meet Charley Weatherly. Charley, this is Claire.”

He didn’t miss the narrowing of Claire’s eyes. Or the way she was laser-focused on Charley’s baby bump. What surprised him was that Charley gave Claire the same look. He recognized Charley’s forced smile as she reached to shake the woman’s hand.

“Nice to meet you,” Charley murmured politely.

Claire nodded rather imperiously if he wasn’t reading too much into it. “Likewise.”

Charley lightly squeezed his arm. “I’m going to see if I can find Robin and Cam.” She looked at Claire. “Again, nice to meet you.” She scurried off without waiting for a reply. Which was just as well since there wasn’t one.

Instead, Claire crossed her arms and glared at him. “Wow, Ben, what have you been up to?”

Opting to ignore the real meaning of her question, he shrugged lightly. “Oh, you know, same old same old. I kind of busted a hump to get this show ready, but other than that, just the usual.”

“You know what I mean. You’re going to be a father?”

Ben glanced around to find Charley talking with Robin, whose eyes were shooting daggers Claire’s way. He had to suppress a smile.

“No,” he shook his head. “The babies aren’t mine.”

“Babies? As in plural?” Claire was aghast. “You’re dating a chick who is pregnant with someone else’s babies, plural?”

“They aren’t hers, either. Charley’s a surrogate. The twins are actually Alex and Drew’s, and they’re due in May.”

“Unbelievable,” Claire muttered, shaking her head. “You’ve reached a new low, do you know that?”

“I have no idea what you mean,” he answered, trying to tamp down his growing irritation.

“You’re dating a pregnant chick,” she hissed. “Do I really need to explain how pathetic that is? You’re a young, great-looking guy, and you can do way better. And you know it, too.”

“Hey!” Ben had had enough. “I love Charley. And she loves me. I know you, Claire. I know that genuine love is a foreign concept to you. For you, it’s all fun and games. But I’ve always been looking for the missing part of me.”

“Right,” Claire rolled her eyes. “And this Charley person is it.” Her tone was beyond sarcastic.

“Okay, Claire,” Ben said stiffly. “Thanks for coming by. I need to mingle with the other guests. See you later.” He tried to move off before she could say anything else.

“I was accepted into the residency. I’m going to Paris at the beginning of April.”

Ben paused. “Congrats!” he hurled over his shoulder. “I hope you enjoy it.”

“Have you heard from them yet?” Claire asked.

He shook his head. “Nope. Goodnight, Claire.”

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE by Pandora Spocks

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE
is now available at your favorite online bookseller!
books2read.com/TheGirlInTheGuesthouse

Weekend Excerpt–Trouble on New Year’s Eve

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!

From her perch on the 30th floor of the Intercontinental, Ali peered down at the masses of New Year’s Eve revelers packing the streets below. On the television that played quietly in the corner, a current top-ten pop artist gyrated through a lip-synched version of her most popular song. According to the tiny clock in the corner of the screen, the old year had about twenty minutes left before it faded with the new one’s arrival.

Ali glanced back over her shoulder to see Logan and Greg deeply engaged in a conversation about their picks for the NFL playoffs. She smiled to herself. She had been right when she’d told Logan that he’d hit it off with Shannon and her fiancé. When Ali had called her niece from Florida to suggest that the two couples hang out together for New Year’s Eve, Shannon had enthusiastically agreed.

They had started the evening with a casual dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant before adjourning to Logan’s corner room overlooking Times Square. For the past couple of hours, they had spent their time alternating between playing raucous hands of Cards Against Humanity and watching the New Year’s Eve crowd assembled outside. From Logan’s room, they would have a perfect view of the giant crystal ball as it dropped at midnight.

The bathroom door opened, and Shannon crossed to Ali at the window as the men continued to outline the virtues of this team over that team. She slipped an arm around her aunt, who was barely two years older than herself.

“I like Logan, Ali, I really do. Greg does, too, you can tell.” Shannon rested her head on Ali’s shoulder and gazed out the window.

“I like him, too. Maybe even more than like,” Ali confessed.

Shannon gave a soft, gleeful giggle. “I knew it! Anyone can see how you feel about him. Did you tell him yet?”

Ali shook her head. “No, I mean, I don’t know. I thought about it once or twice while we were in Florida. But that’s a big step. I’m not sure I’m ready to take that risk just yet.”

Another thought struck her, and her stomach sank. “What if Logan’s not ready? Maybe he doesn’t feel the same way.” It was a miserable thought, one that in her own private moments, Ali was able to push away.

“You’re out of your mind,” Shannon whispered. “That man is nuts about you. He has already agreed to be your plus one at the wedding. Which is fantastic. Weddings always seem to give a guy notions. My friend Jillian’s wedding is where Greg says he decided to propose.”

Ali risked a glance over her shoulder, and Logan gave her a wink. She couldn’t stop her smile.

A knock announced the arrival of the champagne they had ordered earlier. Logan headed to the door.

“Oh, good!” Shannon exclaimed. “It’s almost time, you guys!”

They gathered around as Logan popped the cork and poured the golden sparkling wine into four sparkling glass flutes. As the lighted crystal ball began its descent on television, they carried their champagne to the giant windows and watched the spectacle in real-time.

“Three, Two, One! Happy New Year!” they chorused, toasting each other and sipping the champagne.

Greg twirled Shannon away from the window as they improvised a slow dance in front of the television. Blue eyes shining, Logan took Ali’s glass and set it down beside his. Then he pulled her to himself, lowering his face to hers. “Happy New Year, babe,” he murmured just before their lips touched.

Closing her eyes, Ali gave herself over to his kiss, losing herself in his strong embrace. There was no maybe about it. She was in love. She knew it as surely as she knew her own name.

Logan gently moved away from her lips, instead applying soft kisses along her jawline and down the side of her neck, leaving goosebumps trailing across her body in the process.

“Happy New Year,” he murmured again, his lips just below her ear. “Ali Hart, I love you.”

Her eyes had been closed as she enjoyed his attentions. Now, they flew open, and she took a slight step back. He stood smiling that lop-sided grin she found beyond endearing, and he nodded.

“It’s true. I love you,” he repeated softly.

“But I,” she began, her voice barely a squeak. “I love you, too.”

Now, he grinned broadly. “Then it’s perfect. You and me, Ali. We’re perfect together.”

She nodded, too. “Perfect.”

Pulling her to himself, Logan once again captured her lips with his own, and Ali reveled in their relationship’s new status. They had done it. They’d each said the l-word. If that wasn’t taking things to the next level, she didn’t know what was.

“Hey,” called Shannon, reminding Ali that she and Logan weren’t alone. “Do you know what would be amazing right now? Chocolate cream pie from Hudson’s Diner around the corner from Granddad’s.”

Her face flushing red, Ali rested her forehead against Logan’s chin. “Sorry about that,” she whispered. “I almost forgot they were here.”

He pressed a kiss to her temple and chuckled. “Chocolate cream pie? You are definitely speaking my language. What do you say, we head uptown and enjoy a little New Years’ dessert before we go our separate ways?”

“Deal,” Shannon agreed. “Greg, call an Uber. We’re getting New Year’s pie.”

Arm around Ali’s waist, Logan whispered in her ear as they headed to the elevator. “Not actually the pie I was most looking forward to tonight,” he laughed, “but the New Year is young.”

Ali felt the heat go straight to her core. She suddenly couldn’t wait to be alone with Logan.

Uptown traffic was heavier than usual, especially for that late at night, and Ali assumed it was due to the holiday. As the Uber approached the block before her father’s apartment, she suggested that the driver drop them off and that they walk from there.

With Shannon and Greg leading the way, Ali and Logan walked hand in hand across the street. Instinctively, she glanced up at the windows of Jackson Hart’s home. Her thoughts strayed back to the day he had been lost, the day that Logan had helped her find him, and her stomach sank a bit. But she shook it off, knowing that beginning the day after Christmas, the home nursing agency had been sending potential candidates for her father’s permanent caregivers.

As if he knew what she was thinking, Logan looked down at her and gave her hand a squeeze.

“It’s just down the block and around the corner,” Shannon said over her shoulder.

As they passed the front awning of the apartment building, someone stepped out of the shadows.

“Well, well, this must be the infamous Alison Hart.” The tall blonde woman glared at Ali, a malicious gleam in her eye.

Frowning, Ali stopped. Ahead, Shannon and Greg turned around and walked back to where she and Logan stood.

“Catherine.” Logan’s voice was low.

The woman shifted her gaze to him. “Happy New Year, Logan. Have you missed me?”

“No, as a matter of fact. I haven’t missed you in the least.”

Glancing up at Logan, Ali saw an unfamiliar hard look on his face.

“Logan, who is this woman?” Ali asked softly.

“I’m his fiancée,” the blonde spat. “I’m shocked he hasn’t told you about me.”

Ex-fiancée,” Logan corrected. “What do you want, Catherine?”

“Wouldn’t you rather know how I found you? This isn’t actually your neighborhood, is it, Logan? You’d be amazed at how easy it is for a private investigator to track down a fiancé gone rogue.”

Ex-fiancé,” Logan growled. “I don’t answer to you anymore, Catherine. You have no business stalking me.”

Feeling panic rising, Ali tugged on Logan’s arm. “Logan, what’s going on. Is she really your fiancée?”

Tearing his eyes away from the blonde, Logan looked down at Ali. “She’s my ex-fiancée. I broke off the engagement.”

“Yes, you certainly did that,” the woman agreed calmly. “On Christmas Eve, no less, barely a week ago. Can you imagine? And with our wedding already planned for Valentine’s Day, too.”

“Dude,” Greg interjected, “You were getting married on Valentine’s Day? That’s our wedding day.”

Ali pulled her hand out of Logan’s and backed up a few steps, scrubbing a palm across her lips. “Christmas Eve? Logan, we met before Thanksgiving. You were engaged then?”

“Ali, I swear, I can explain everything.” He stepped toward her, the look in his eyes pleading.

The blonde crossed her arms in front of herself. “Well, please do that! I’m all ears. Please explain how you called off our wedding when you were apparently already fucking little Miss Redhead.”

Logan angrily whirled around. “Catherine, I swear to God–”

Ali’s pulse pounded in her ears, and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. “I have to go,” she blurted, darting toward the front door of her father’s apartment building.

“Ali, wait!” Logan called after her, but she ducked inside the lobby and bounded to the open elevator, jamming the button before anyone else could follow.

BROKEN HARTS by Pandora Spocks

BROKEN HARTS is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/BrokenHarts

Weekend Excerpt–Christmas on Lake Miranda

She is the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

Scott Nielsen and Jackie Walker
Their attraction is instant from the moment they meet.
But he’s Dominant. And no way is she submissive.
Is it a missed connection? Or a divine appointment?

Scott Nielsen is ready for change. He’s walked away from his career as a wilderness counselor, planning to start his own outdoor survival school. He looks up his old friend and former colleague Blake Walker, intent on leasing space at Blake’s family’s remote wilderness guest lodge. That’s where he meets Blake’s sister Jackie, who runs the lodge with her brother’s help. Her strength and independence intrigue Scott. A single mom, Jackie has no intention of being anyone’s submissive.

In his personal life, Scott is tired of casual sex in the BDSM club scene. Envious watching his buddy Blake fall head over heels for his own submissive, Scott thinks he might be ready to take the plunge himself. As he and Jackie spend time together, he’s enchanted with her inner Warrior Princess.

But Jackie’s been burned before. And she has two children who are her priority, not to mention the business to run. As independent as she is, she can’t see relinquishing her power to a man, not even one she’s falling for.

Scott’s heart aches at the idea of not having Jackie in his life. Can she take another chance on love, or will she insist on ignoring her submissive soul?

If you enjoyed LOST & BOUND, you’ll love this spin-off stand-alone story.

In this teaser, enjoy a little Christmas on Lake Miranda.

On Christmas Eve, after the kids had gone to bed, the adults gathered around the enormous festively-decorated white spruce. Light Christmas jazz played in the background, and outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, snow swirled lazily in the half moonlight.

Jackie handed Amy a mug of warm mulled cider and settled beside her on a leather sofa with a mug of her own. On the floor, Scott and Blake sat amid the scattered pieces of a pink Barbie house ‘Santa’ had found on sale months earlier and had put away until now.

Winking at Amy, Jackie suppressed a smile. “Did you guys read the instructions?”

“We don’t need the damn instructions,” Blake huffed, pushing a stray lock of dark hair out of his eyes. “We’re two intelligent, grown men. We can figure out how to put together a dollhouse.”

The women clinked their mugs and giggled gleefully.

Amy looked from Blake and Scott to the twinkling Christmas tree, and to Jackie. “I love this.” Her voice was soft, and though she smiled, a tear was in her eye. “This is the Christmas I always wanted.”

Jackie’s heart melted, and she reached for Amy’s hand. “I’m so happy you’re here.”

Blake pushed up from the floor and pressed a tender kiss to Amy’s temple. “This is our life, kitten. This is our family, your family. You belong here.”

Jackie smiled across the room at Scott, who winked at her, and she felt a familiar tummy flutter. She loved the man more than she’d thought humanly possible. And when summer came, she’d marry him.

After Blake and Amy retired to the guest room, Scott and Jackie went to bed, quietly making love, then holding each other until late into the night.

They awoke to a bright sunny day, the sky crystal cerulean, the sun reflecting brilliantly off the sparkling snow. Emma and Grant squealed excitedly as they saw the mountain of gifts under the tree. Scott sat at the end of the sofa and Jackie snuggled up beside him, each of them sipping steaming mugs of coffee. Blake and Amy sat opposite them on the sofa’s twin, smiling as they watched the children tearing into their gifts.

Once they were finished, the kids had fun delivering gifts to the adults. Finally, all the gifts were opened. Blake and Amy gave each other a conspiratorial look. “We have a few more gifts,” Amy said.

“More?” Jackie echoed, thinking of the extravagant handbag for her, and the top of the line boots for Scott. “You’ve done so much already, seriously.”

Blake reached behind the sofa and picked up four identical shirt boxes wrapped in metallic red paper. He glanced at the tags and handed one to each of the children and to Jackie and Scott.

Amy leaned forward excitedly. “You have to open them all together. Ready? One, two, three!”

With a bemused glance at Scott, Jackie carefully opened her box. Grant and Emma ripped theirs open. “It’s a shirt,” Emma said, holding up a pink t-shirt.

Grant peered into the box. “Thanks, Aunt Amy,” he said, making an effort to sound enthused about a shirt. “It sure is…pink.”

Scott tilted his head as he looked at his, then elbowed Jackie lightly. She looked at his, then gaped at hers. In sparkling letters across pink cotton, she read, World’s Greatest Aunt.

Jackie gasped. “I knew it! I knew you were pregnant! I’m so excited for you!” she squealed, rushing over to give Amy and Blake a big hug.

“We didn’t want to tell anyone until we knew everything was going to be okay,” Amy explained.

“Cool,” Grant said, pulling his new shirt over his head, “we’re going to be cousins!”

“Aunt Amy, are you having a boy baby or a girl baby?” Emma asked.

Blake grinned. “It’s a little girl. That’s why we gave you pink shirts.”

“Congratulations, man!” Scott grinned as Blake stood and the two embraced. “That’s great news.”

“I can’t believe it.” He shook his head. “I’m going to be a dad.”

Jackie sank onto the sofa beside Amy. “A little girl,” she shook her head smiling. “That’s fantastic.”

Amy nodded, eyes shining. “Do you want to see the ultrasound pictures?”

“I’ll get them,” Blake said, heading in the direction of the guest room.

Grant and Emma returned to their new toys. Scott perched on the arm of the sofa next to Jackie. “I’m so happy for you two,” he told Amy. She laughed happily.

From the direction of the guest room, they heard a tiny yip. Jackie frowned. “What was that?”

Eyes wide, Amy gave an exaggerated shrug. “I have no idea.”

“Uh oh,” Blake called from the guest room. “I think I found another present.”

Jackie looked up to see a shaggy black puppy with a huge red bow come running into the room. He ran straight to the kids, yipping excitedly.

“A puppy,” Emma squealed.

Grant squinted at the tag on the big red bow and gasped. “Mom! It’s for us, from Santa!”

Blake leaned against the doorway looking pleased with himself.

“From Santa, huh?”

“I think Grandma and Grandpa might have mentioned it to the big guy,” Blake grinned.

Oh, for f-” Jackie glanced up at Scott. “Did you know about this?”

He raised his hands in surrender. “I promise, I knew nothing about a puppy.”

“They love Bear so much, they need one of their own,” Amy said, smiling.

“So, what are you going to name him?” Blake asked.

Brow furrowed, Grant watched the Newfie puppy for a moment. “Max. He looks like a Max to me.”

Ruffling the puppy’s ears, Emma nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah. Max.”

Jackie shook her head. “He’s cute, I’ll give you that. But I still want to see those ultrasound pictures of my niece.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

WARRIOR MINE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/WarriorMine

Weekend Excerpt–2 Weeks Until Christmas

New lawyer Maggie Flynn is nothing like the women Michael Rannigan usually dates.
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 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?

In this scene, Maggie has an unexpected guest for Christmas.

After everyone ate as much as they could, the guys agreed to do all the clean-up. Maggie supervised returning the tables to their proper places then sank onto the sofa, resting her feet on the coffee table.

“What about the dessert, Flynn?” Ben asked when the leftovers were packed up.

“Let’s be informal. Grab some if you want some. I want to do presents,” Maggie said. Michael brought her a fresh glass of wine. She looked up at him, grinning in appreciation, and patted the space beside her.

“I’ll sit on the floor, I don’t mind,” he said, sliding to a spot beside her feet.

“Now the way this works is, everyone takes a number. We go in order starting at 1. Number 1 picks first. Number 2 can pick a new present or steal from Number 1. Everybody got it?” Ben asked. Maggie watched in amusement as some played shyly while others were cut-throat.

“What’s this?” Michael asked quietly. She looked down to see him holding an ornament from the tree. It was a small red glass ball held by a green paper cone. Her name was spelled out in glitter.

“I think I was about six when I made that,” she smiled. “The Christmas ornaments were some of the few things I took from my dad’s house.”

He grinned. “I like it.”

When the gifts were over, Maggie had a new hand-crocheted toilet-roll cover. Michael had a $10 gift card to Starbucks. “Guess somebody didn’t get the memo,” he quipped so that only Maggie heard, and she giggled softly.

He winked and leaned close. “Mags, I should be making my way to the airport.”

“Okay,” Maggie sighed. “I’ll walk you out.” She got her coat and hat while he said his goodbyes. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Casey as they headed out of the apartment. They walked down the stairs without chatting.

Once out on the sidewalk, Michael turned and faced her. “I had a great time, Mags. Thanks for inviting me.” He glanced up. “We have an audience, by the way.” He waved at the crowd gathered in Maggie’s front window.

She looked up at them, scowling. “Come on,” she said, turning right and heading down the sidewalk. She stopped just around the corner.

Michael smiled. “Thanks. I just wanted to say goodbye privately. I brought you a gift but I didn’t want to give it to you in there.” He pulled a small flat box from his pocket. It was light blue, tied with a white ribbon.

Maggie’s eyes widened. “Sean Michael Rannigan, you did not!”

“How did you know the S stands for Sean?

She shrugged. “Everyone knows it’s Sean. I can’t believe you went to Tiffany…” She stopped and looked up at him, smiling sadly. “This wasn’t for me. This is supposed to be for someone else.”

“No, Mags, this is for you,” he said earnestly. “I mean, to be honest, I went there yesterday looking for something for Jana.”

“What, Toys R Us and GapKids were closed?” Maggie quipped.

“Ah-hah-hah, you’re very funny. I found a little trinket to give to Jana, but then I turned and saw this. All I could think was that you should have it. It’s for you, Mags.”

Curious, Maggie slowly pulled the white ribbon and lifted the lid. In the box resting on light blue velvet was a delicate silver bracelet. It had a vintage look to it with large rectangular milky white cabochons alternating with trios of small round diamonds surrounded by platinum filigree. She looked back up at Michael, eyes wide.

“Those are moonstones,” he said proudly. “This was in the vintage case. It was made in 1915.” He gazed at the bracelet. “It’s graceful and classy, just like you.”

“I don’t know what to say, Michael. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Will you help me put it on?”

He lifted the bracelet from the box and as Maggie held out her left hand he fastened it around her wrist. She held it out and watched it catch the natural light. As she did, she noticed a tiny platinum tag hanging from the clasp. Peering closer she saw that it was engraved. To Maggie, From Michael.

“See? I told you it was for you.” She looked back up at him, eyes shining, and as she did, a gust of wind caught some stray hair, blowing it across her face. Michael gently moved the errant strands, tucking them behind her ear. Without planning it at all, he planted a tender kiss on her lips.

He moved back slightly as Maggie looked up at him, eyes shining with desire. He leaned into her again, the kiss this time all heat and passion. She brought her left hand up to cradle his right cheek, her desire matching his. When he stopped kissing her, he pulled her close, tucking her under his chin and they stood like that for a moment.

Finally, he gently set her back from him. She looked up, the sad glint once again in her eyes. After all, he was leaving her to go to someone else. “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

RESISTING RISK by Pandora Spocks

Amazon #1 Bestseller RESISTING RISK
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ResistingRisk
It also happens to be FREE at Amazon.

Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

A platonic Dom/sub relationship?
It’s a damn odd arrangement.

Golden Flogger Award Winner FOR SPARROW is the third book in the Dream Dominant series
of contemporary steamy romance books featuring a light BDSM theme.

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated. He’s the only man she’s ever loved. Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years. Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.

But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.

Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend. But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship. With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her. At her husband’s funeral.

A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking. But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.

Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi. She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies. In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive. But that’s simply ridiculous. He’s five years younger than she is. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her. Could he?

Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom. It’s perfect for the time being. Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?

And could it all end at the hands of a madman?

It was 9:30 on Saturday morning when Judd pulled up in front of Jessi’s house in his beat-up F-150. His main focus today was to fix the driveway gate that opened onto the street. It had apparently been rusted open for the last few years.

That was his main focus. Then there was the other thing. He rolled his eyes and tried to mentally prepare himself for Jessi’s reaction. He breathed out sharply. “Here goes nothing,” he muttered.

It was about half an hour later that Jessi glanced out her front window and noticed Judd on a ladder at the end of her driveway.

“What the…?” She marched out the front door and down the driveway.

“Excuse me,” she said, feeling like she was stuck in a time warp to the previous week. At least she hadn’t awakened on the pool deck. And a quick glance down confirmed that she was indeed dressed.

“Good morning, Jessi,” Judd answered, swinging down off the ladder. He couldn’t help noticing that she looked much more put together today, dressed in a green sleeveless top and jeans that fit oh, so right, her auburn hair shining in the sun. “It’s a beautiful day. You look nice, all dressed and everything.” He grinned at her.

“Yes, well, be that as it may,” she said blushing. “Is this supposed to be an ‘every Saturday’ kind of thing?”

“No, not every Saturday.” He shook his head. “I’m working next Saturday so I’ll be here on Friday next week.”

Jessi crossed her arms in front of her. “Look. Judd. I don’t mean to seem ungrateful. But I’m just not comfortable with you being over here, working on my property like this.”

He squinted at her thoughtfully. “Not comfortable. Why not?”

His question surprised her. “Well…just…because,” she spluttered.

His grin was accompanied by a twinkle of amusement in his brown eyes. “No worries, Jessi. I’ll be finished with your gate soon.” As he turned to climb the ladder again, there was a small yipping sound from around the hedge.

Curious, Jessi moved closer. In a small grey plastic corral made of some kind of toddler barrier, a brown and white puppy with long floppy ears looked up at Jessi, tail wagging furiously.

“Well, hello there, cutie,” she said. Glancing up at Judd she said, “You brought your dog?”

Judd climbed back down again. “It’s kind of complicated,” he said. He reached in and lifted the puppy out of the corral, cradling him in his arms. “Look at this face,” he cooed to the puppy.

He turned to Jessi. “A friend of mine called me from the animal shelter, said they had a litter of beagle puppies that needed homes. When I got down there, this little guy was the only one left. If I didn’t take him, they were going to have to put him down.”

Jessi looked at him, aghast. “I know,” he agreed to her silent protest. “I had to take him. The only thing is,” he looked at her with soft brown eyes, “I work twenty-four hour shifts at the station, sometimes back to back. I can’t take care of a puppy.”

“At the station?”

“Fire station. I’m a paramedic.”

“Oh. I didn’t know that.”

“Anyway, I was sort of hoping…” He looked at her meaningfully.

Jessi raised a hand in front of her. “Oh, no, no way. I can’t have a puppy.”

Friendly smile in place, he handed off the puppy to her quickly and went back up the ladder. “Why not?”

She hugged the dog to her chest and swayed as if he were an infant. “Well, just…I can’t, that’s all.”

“Why not? You work regular hours, right? You have enough room for him.” Judd glanced down at her. “If you can’t, I’ll have to take him back to the shelter and they’ll put him down.”

Jessi looked back down at the puppy and he licked her chin. “Well, nobody’s going to put you down. He can stay.” She looked back up at Judd. “For now. But remember, he’s yours. What’s his name, anyway?”

Judd grinned. “Buddy. His name is Buddy.”

“Well come on, Buddy. Let’s see if we can find you something to eat,” Jessi cooed as she made her way back into the house.

“I’ve got some puppy kibble in my truck. I’ll bring it to your door when I finish with the gate.” Out of the corner of his eye, he watched her walk away making baby talk to the puppy.

He laughed to himself. That was not as hard as I thought it would be.

–FOR SPARROW is the 2018 Golden Flogger Award Winner for Best BDSM Book (BDSM Light).

FOR SPARROW by Pandora Spocks

Award-winning FOR SPARROW
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ForSparrow