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!

Originally part of the Forever Yours Holiday Collection, BROKEN HARTS is a stand-alone holiday romance with plenty of heat and lots of heart. Here’s a little teaser.

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–LUKE & BELLA

They traveled the world searching for excitement.
But LOVE is the ultimate adventure.

LUKE & BELLA is the first book in the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of contemporary erotic romance novels featuring light BDSM themes. Each book is self-contained and can be read in any order.

But here are some fun facts you might not know.
1. It’s the first book I ever wrote and published. Now when I look it over, I see so many mistakes and things I wish I had done differently.
2. The story began as an online role-play.
3. It was originally published one chapter at a time on Tumblr, then later here on my website.
4. For about the first third of the book, I had a top-secret collaborator.
5. The places Luke and Bella visit and the hotels where they stay are real, actual places. I did a lot of research as I tried to make the story as authentic as possible.

Here’s the official book description:

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 upfront 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?

Here’s a little teaser from LUKE & BELLA.

As the cab drove from the airport and through town, Bella felt giddy, not at all like the sleek sophisticate she hoped to show to the world. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t traveled before. God knew, Nathan Epperson Grant, II, made sure he took his family to all the prestigious vacation spots—skiing at St. Moritz, Christmas in Paris, summers in the Caribbean… Couldn’t let the guys at the club outshine him. Her father had always had something of an inferiority complex. It only served to make her respect him less.

But this was different. She’d never been to Scotland before. More than that, though, was the idea that this was her job. She was about to create something new. Well, she and Luke. She glanced over at him.

He was looking out the window on his side of the car. A tuft of salt and pepper chest hair peeked out of his shirt where it was unbuttoned at the top. Bella felt a hitch in her chest, thinking to herself, Those twenty-something girls who want their guys all hairless are crazy. A woman wants a man, not a boy. Chest hair is sexy as hell.

As she shook her head slightly at the thought, she felt her nipples stiffen of their own volition. She tried to casually put her jacket back on before he noticed. Luke looked at her and she smiled. He winked, and her breath caught again.

The car stopped in front of the Balmoral Hotel, a large gray stone Victorian building resembling a castle, with a perfect view of Edinburgh Castle which was visible just beyond the hotel. They entered the hotel lobby, leaving the driver and doorman to arrange for their bags. Bella approached the front desk confidently.

“Reservations for Grant and McGillicutty,” she said to the clerk.

“Yes, Ms Grant, we have you in the Royal Suite,” he replied.

“Perfect. And how about Mr. McGillicutty?” she inquired.

“Yes, ma’am, you’re in the Royal Suite,” came the reply.

Bella frowned slightly. “Which of us is in the suite?” she asked.

The clerk pointed to his computer screen. “Ms Grant, Mr. McGillicutty, Royal Suite for the next four nights.”

“I’m sorry, maybe I’m jetlagged, but are you saying that we are sharing the suite?” Bella asked, her voice rising a notch. Luke watched with interest.

“Of course, Ms Grant. It’s a lovely suite, our very best,” the clerk assured her.

“I’m sure it is, thank you. I’m assuming the suite has two bedrooms?” she asked, regaining reasonability.

“One large bedroom, one bath. Of course there are the sitting area with a fireplace and a terrace with a view of the castle,” the man continued.

“Only one bedroom? That’s completely unacceptable. I’ll take a different room.” Looking to Luke, “You can have the suite, I don’t care, but obviously we need two rooms.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but the hotel is completely booked. The Royal Suite is the only available room.”

Bella blinked, shaking her head. “Completely unacceptable,” she repeated. To Luke, “I’m calling Charlie,” and she moved away from the desk.

“Sir, the suite comes with a complimentary couple’s massage,” the clerk informed Luke, helpfully.

Luke grinned and chuckled to himself. “Hey Bella, good news, the room comes with a complimentary couple’s massage!” From across the lobby, she covered the phone with her hand and shot him a death glare. He laughed again, enjoying the show.

A groggy voice answered the phone. “Um…hello?”

“Charlie, it’s Bella. We just got to Edinburgh and we have an issue,” she rapid-fired into the phone.

She had his attention. “What’s the problem?” he asked, concerned.

“Well, we’re ready to check in to the hotel and there’s a snag. Your office only reserved one room. Which wouldn’t be a problem, we could just get a second room, but they’re apparently booked solid and they don’t have any other rooms,” she finished breathlessly.

Silence. “Hello? Are you there?”

“Are you telling me that you woke me up for this?!” Charlie asked. “Seriously Bella?”

“I’m sorry to wake you, I forgot about the time,” she apologized, “but Charlie, really, this is unacceptable.”

“Knock it off and grow the fuck up, Bella. This is traveling for a living. Deal with it. Things happen,” he responded.

“But, Charlie,” she began, but he cut her off.

“Is this a deal-breaker, Bella? Are you saying you want out?” Charlie demanded grumpily.

Caught off guard, her eyes widened. “No, of course not, it’s just…Ok, Charlie, I’m sorry, I’ll deal with it,” she answered. “But next time, I’m making the reservations myself.”

“Fine, whatever,” he said before hanging up on her.

Bella sheepishly approached the front desk again. “Ok, well, I guess we’re in the Royal Suite, then. Thank you.”

Luke grinned and said nothing.

LUKE & BELLA by Pandora Spocks

LUKE & BELLA is available

at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/LukeAndBella1

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

Michael Rannigan is running rogue.

Since Maggie Flynn’s abrupt departure from the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he’s 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?

RUNNING ROGUE is Book 2 of Rannigan’s Redemption. Three novels. One sexy, emotional law romance. Warning: This story has twists and turns.

Here’s a snippet from RUNNING ROGUE.

On Friday afternoon, Michael took the elevator to the 50th floor. He’d ended his vacation a couple of days early. Two weeks is really too long to be gone, he reflected. He figured he’d check up on what had happened in his absence then join the gang at Docs. He had Maggie’s bracelet in his pocket, figuring on returning it to her.

The first person he saw when he stepped off the elevator was Stan. “Hey, good, you made it for Maggie’s party,” Stan said, smiling.

Michael frowned. “Maggie’s party? It’s not her birthday already, is it?” How did that sneak up on me?

Stan tilted his head. “Her going-away party. You came back for her last day, right? She’s going to the DA’s office?”

Michael’s mouth fell open. “Her last…” He glanced around. “What the fuck?!”

He strode purposefully toward Maggie’s open office door. She was behind her desk, her back to the door. “What the fuck, Mags?!”

Maggie whirled around, her eyes wide. “Michael!”

“Explain to me what’s going on here,” he demanded.

She opened and closed her mouth, her face flushed. “I, well I, uh… I gave Brian my two week notice. I took a job working for Rance.”

“You gave Brian your notice?!”

“You weren’t here,” she said reasonably.

Michael began to stalk back and forth in front of her desk. “What the fuck possessed you to take a new job? And you couldn’t wait for me to get back? I would have offered you a raise.”

Maggie shook her head. “It’s not about the money. I hated what I did to win the LeRoi case. You know that really ate away at me. I can’t do that anymore. I feel…dirty, like I need redemption. I have to do something different, something good.”

Michael stopped pacing and placed his hands on her desk, leaning closer and speaking in a low tone. “Is this about us? About the fact that we slept together?”

She crossed her arms and leaned against the credenza. “News flash, Michael. Not everything in the world is about you.”

He stood straight and nodded his head angrily. “So it’s like this, is it? You’re just going to leave the firm.”

“I’ve been here five years. It’s time to move on.” She hung her bag over her shoulder and picked up her box, walking around the desk.

“Let me call security,” Michael told her coolly. “They can escort you out and see that you don’t take any property belonging to the firm.”

Maggie’s eyes bulged. “Are you serious? You want to make sure I don’t steal anything?!” She walked back to the desk and put down the box. “Fuck it. I don’t need any of this shit.”

She glared at Michael. “You worried about my purse?” She unzipped the bag and upended it, dumping a wallet, three pens, loose change, hand lotion, a lipstick, and two tampons all over the floor before dropping the bag.

She snatched up the wallet. “If you don’t mind, I’ll need my ID and my Metro card.” She turned on her heel and stalked out into the hallway.

Michael interlaced his fingers on top of his head and sighed. “Wait, Mags, I was out of line,” he said, following her.

“Out of line? You were out of line?” she shrieked. “Fuck you, Michael!” She jabbed the elevator button and entered it as soon as the doors parted, pressing the close door button even before the car was all the way open.

Action on the 50th floor had ground to a halt at the sound of raised voices and as Maggie disappeared, people remained frozen, staring at Michael.

“Fuck!” he growled, and retreated to his office, slamming the door behind him.

RUNNING ROGUE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–CHASING ORDINARY

Petey is everything Nik ever wanted.
Is it possible that this gorgeous redhead
has no idea who he really is?

Red-haired Petey Cavanaugh is a sculptor who welds steel and glass creations. A young widow, she lives on her in-laws’ sheep ranch in Montana where she helps out during the day, working on her art at night.

Looking to raise money to expand the ranch’s business, she gratefully accepts her art school roommate’s offer of a gallery show in Manhattan. It’s been years since she was in the city, and she’s happy to visit her old friend.

Nik is in New York on business. He’s been traveling for nearly a month, enduring endless meetings, attending obligatory dinners, and battling jet lag. On his way to yet another business dinner, his world collides with Petey’s one rainy Manhattan night.

Their mutual attraction is immediate, but Nik’s skeptical. Could it possibly be that this gorgeous, enchanting artist has no idea that he’s Europe’s most eligible prince?

Spending time with Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary.
What will happen when she finds out the truth?

In this excerpt from CHASING ORDINARY, Nik and Petey get to know each other over coffee and apple pie.

Nik glanced around. “I take it you’ve been here before.”

“I have,” Petey grinned. “Jules and I practically lived here during art school. I place the blame for my ‘freshman fifteen’ squarely on the shoulders of Morelli’s.”

Nik smiled, too. Coffee and pie were delivered, and Petey watched carefully as Nik took his first bite.

“Oh, my God,” he moaned around the cinnamon-apple confection. “This is amazing.”

Pleased, Petey dug into her own dessert. “I know, right?”

Nik washed that bite down with a sip of coffee and regarded her curiously. “Now can you tell me a long story?”

She frowned. “A long story?”

“Your name. You said it was a long story.” His blue eyes sparkled and he suppressed a smile as he waited expectantly.

“Oh, that.” Petey rolled her eyes. “It was my grandfather, really. When I was born, my parents named me after my great-grandmother. But my grandfather hated the name. He ranted at them, ‘Call her anything. Call her Pete. Just don’t call her Cecilia.'” She gestured in imitation of her mother’s father.

She smiled at him ruefully. “Pete just kind of stuck. I’ve been Petey all my life.”

Nik brushed his fingers over his lips, obscuring his smile. “Cecilia’s not so bad. But you do seem like a Petey to me.”

He took another large bite of pie and Petey nibbled at hers. Then she cleared her throat. “So, you’re from England?”

Shaking his head, he finished chewing and swallowed. “No, I’m from Beruvia.”

“Oh,” she replied, eyes wide. “Just, well…your accent. I thought you sounded British.”

“I went to boarding school in England. That’s where I picked up the accent.”

“Boarding school?” She frowned deeply. “That’s horrible!”

Nik laughed out loud. “Why is that horrible? It was a very good education.”

Petey blushed furiously. “I don’t mean…I mean…well, I just felt so sad for a little boy being sent away from his family. It seems so lonely and cold. How old were you?”

In his eyes, there was a spark of something Petey couldn’t identify as he watched her for a moment. Then he smiled warmly. “Around eleven, I think. And I wasn’t all alone. My brother was there. Our parents came to visit us when they could, and of course, we went home for holidays. It’s a family tradition, actually. My father attended there, and his father before him. It wasn’t horrible, I promise.”

He took another bite of pie, and Petey smiled sheepishly. “Well, if you say so. God, I sound so judgmental! I didn’t mean it that way, really.”

“I didn’t take it that way,” he shook his head. “You have a kind heart.”

Petey blushed again and busied herself with another bite of pie. He watched for a moment, glancing down at his phone when it buzzed. Jorgen had sent a text message.

‘I’m taking a cab back to the hotel. Security detail is in place, and the car is across the street. Let Lars know when you’re ready to leave.’

Nik keyed in a short reply and looked back to Petey. “I noticed drawings on the walls beside the sculptures,” he encouraged.

She nodded, chewing quickly. “That was Jules’ idea. She thought people would be interested in my sketches. I don’t know.” She nodded at his phone. “Do you need to go?”

He smiled reassuringly. “No, not at all. You sketch your designs first?”

“Yes, I get an idea and I have to put it down before I forget it. Sometimes they come quickly, and other times they take a while. And then I think about the materials I have on hand, and the things I might need to gather from other places.” She quirked her head. “Sometimes I use ‘found’ materials. It just depends on the soul of the piece.”

“‘Found’ materials?” he wondered.

“Did you see the dinner forks I incorporated in the one I called Bear? I was at a flea market in Bozeman, and I came across this bunch of mismatched cutlery. I just loved the forks and figured I could use them sometime.”

Nik leaned forward on his forearms, smiling. “That’s fascinating. Where do you get your ideas?”

Petey launched into an explanation of her creative process, eyes alight with enthusiasm. As she did, Nik felt the tension of the day melting away.

Part of his fatigue was due, no doubt, to the fact that he felt immense pressure to perform his responsibilities in a dignified manner. After all, he represented not only himself, but his country, and indeed, the crown itself.

Somehow, sitting across from this gorgeous red-haired sculptor, he felt free to let down his guard, to simply enjoy her company. As she described working on her latest project, he felt his cheeks begin to ache from smiling.

She spoke without inhibition, without pretext. Perhaps the fact that he’d passed her little test had given her a sense of trust in his sincerity. The thought would have been encouraging but for one small detail.

She doesn’t know who I am.

That reality was stunning to him. Not that he thought he was particularly someone of note. His heritage had often seemed more a curse than a blessing, in more ways than he could count. But he couldn’t recall ever having met someone who didn’t already know his name, his title, his obligation.

He’d need to come clean, obviously.

Why would I have to do that? We’re having conversation over coffee. It’s nothing more than that.

He smiled at her as she continued to describe her work. He knew exactly why. This was the first woman who’s sparked his interest in as long as he could remember. He couldn’t let it end with one conversation over coffee. He wanted more.

–CHASING ORDINARY is the New Apple Summer eBook Awards Medalist in Literary Erotica.

CHASING ORDINARY by Pandora Spocks

CHASING ORDINARY is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

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