Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

Michael Rannigan sees the writing on the wall.
And he’s determined to find redemption.

He knows he’s spent his life keeping everyone at arm’s length. He’s burned bridges and destroyed friendships, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. But he thinks he’s found a way to make things right. At least for the one person who’s never given up on him.

Maggie Flynn’s life is changing quickly. Just when she’s decided make work her focus and to be content with being single, she has a new man in her life. Thanks to Michael and his interference, anyway.
Bobby is almost too good to be true, with his tall good looks, his sexy Cajun accent, and his irresistible lop-sided smile. He’s head over heels for Maggie. She knows she’s found the real thing.

Together, can they face the biggest challenge they’ve ever endured.

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is the third and final book of fan-favorite 5-Star reviewed Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.

Here’s a teaser.

Michael sat back in his chair at the large oak conference table and relished the feeling of being in control.  It had been too long since he’d done real casework.  He’d forgotten how it felt, the rush of knowing that he held all the right cards.  His charcoal grey suit hung a little loose due to the weight he’d lost, but he still knew how to project a confident presence.  Figuring it would negatively impact his intimidation factor, he’d left his oxygen in the rental car.

 Bobby sat quietly beside him, tension radiating from his body.  Michael had thoroughly prepped him.  “Don’t say anything.  If they speak to you, look at me.  Above all, don’t let them bait you.”

Across the table, Deanna in her white blouse and navy blue knee-length skirt with her honey blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail, looked more the sad abandoned single mother than the scheming opportunistic gold-digger that she was.  Her gaze flitted nervously between Michael and Bobby.  Beside her sat her attorney, a stocky middle-aged man with a sad brown comb-over who tried and failed to stare down Michael. 

Oh, you poor uninformed little man.  I used to eat guys like you for breakfast.  Michael slid his benign poker face into place.

On the other side of Deanna sat Gary Olsen, formerly a Rangers outfielder, now headed to Seattle.  He wore an aqua polo shirt with jeans, and he radiated anger as he absently cracked his knuckles, his eyes drilling into Bobby with unconcealed hostility.

“Well,” said Michael, “Mr. Beaulieu and I have come an awfully long way to just sit here and look at each other.  Let’s get down to business.”  He let his gaze drift across the three seated on the other side of the table.  “I know we can settle this thing today, without some prolonged trial.  Here’s the deal; we don’t want full custody just for now, just until you change your mind.” 

He spoke directly to Deanna as he slid her a set of documents.  “If you walk away now, it’s for good.  My client is ready to give you a very generous settlement in exchange for your giving up full parental rights in perpetuity.  You’ll also be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, obviously.”

The other attorney cleared his throat.  “I’m not sure that’s what Mrs. Beaulieu has in mind.”

Deanna shook her head, her ponytail swinging at odds with her head.  “No way.  We want to go to court.  He owes me more money than that.”

Michael smiled coldly.  “I’m reasonably certain that Mrs. Beaulieu would prefer to avoid a prolonged trial.  I’ve done a little research.”  He removed a file from his briefcase. 

“You know a Mrs. Silvia Avelar, right?  Isn’t she your housekeeper?  We have a sworn affidavit by Mrs. Avelar stating that on more than one occasion she heard you and Mr. Olsen arguing about Savannah.  According to Mrs. Avelar, you both referred to the child as…” he pretended to scan the document, “a brat.”  He looked back up at Deanna.  “And this was in the presence of the child.”

“What I said was,” interjected Gary, “I’m not going to be suckered into raising this fucker’s brat offspring.”  He pointed at Bobby emphatically.

Michael saw Bobby look down at the table, his jaw shifting tightly.  The other lawyer cautioned Gary to be quiet.  Michael turned his gaze back to Deanna. 

“I have another sworn statement by Gloria Stevenson who says that you once arranged for her to babysit Savannah for the evening and that you failed to return home that night, instead calling her the next day from Mexico?”  He allowed an amused twinkle in his eyes.  “Wow.  That’s not exactly responsible parenting, is it?” 

Michael started to put the paper down but immediately picked it up again.  “Oh, and it was Mrs. Stevenson who came to pick up Savannah when you were arrested under suspicion of DUI and the little girl was in the car with you.”

Bobby’s head jerked up and he looked from Deanna to Michael and back again.  Michael chewed his lip to keep from smiling.  Sam Mainor had discovered a wealth of information that even Bobby didn’t know.  His priceless reaction helped shepherd Deanna where they needed her to go.

“We’re not here to beat up on Mrs. Beaulieu.  She just wants to make sure that she’s not cheated in this process,” the other lawyer said.

Michael smirked.  Finally this guy jumps in. 

“Unbelievable,” Bobby muttered, his gaze returning to the grain of the table.

“Really?  You’re going to judge me?”  Her face twisted with anger.  “Let me tell you something.  I thought if I married you, I’d be happy, and we’d have a fabulous life.  I wasn’t ready to be a mother.  I got pregnant on purpose because I didn’t think there was any other way.”

Bobby slowly raised his eyes and spoke softly.  “I always knew that.  I didn’t care.  I loved you and I love my child.  I won’t stand for you to mistreat her.  Walk away, Deanna.”

“Now, you have our terms, which I think you’ll find are more than generous,” Michael said.  “Understand, it’s a limited time offer.  If you refuse to sign today, the offer is off the table, and we take it to court.” 

He smiled sympathetically.  “In court, I present all this testimony, plus some more I didn’t bother with today.  You lose Savannah, and you lose the settlement we’re offering.  Hell, you’ll end up paying my client child support.”

***************      

At the airport, Michael and Bobby were greeted by a few photographers snapping their pictures and shouting questions.  “Beau!  Why do you want sole custody of your daughter?”

Mirrored aviators in place, Bobby kept his head down and followed Michael to the first-class lounge.  There they found a quiet corner and sank gratefully into a pair of large leather chairs.  Casually, Michael turned on his small oxygen tank and placed the cannula in his nose, inhaling deeply.

“How did those reporters know to be at the airport?” Bobby asked, his voice resigned.

Michael shrugged slightly.  “Somebody always talks.  I doubt it was Deanna.  She has too much to lose.”  He glanced up at Bobby.  “Listen, you may want to take Maggie and Savannah away for a few days until people lose interest.”

Bobby looked grim.  “Maybe you’re right.  We could go sailing around the Keys for the rest of the week.  God knows I could use a vacation after all this.”

Michael nodded.  “Call Mags.  Get her to meet you at the airport.  I’ll make some arrangements for you while you do that.”

Taking his phone from the pocket of his jacket, Bobby called Maggie.  “It’s over.  She signed the papers.”  He sounded tired.

“Good,” Maggie said.  “I’m glad it’s done.  How are you doing?”

He sighed.  All he could think of was being in Maggie’s arms.  “I just want to be where you are.  I need you.”

“I’m here for you, babe.  Come on home.”

“There’s a change of plans.  I want you to pack enough things for a few days and bring Savannah to the airport.”

“What?  Why?” she asked.

“Because even though we had Deanna sign a nondisclosure, somehow the word has gotten out.  There were reporters here at the airport.”

Maggie blew out a long breath.  He could hear her anxiety.  “I suppose Rance will understand.  What about your work?”

“They’ll get it.  They don’t need this publicity any more than I do.  When we get back I’ll just have to make it up to the people who cover for me.”

“Okay, then.  We’ll see you at the airport.”

“I can’t wait.  And Maggie,” he added, “pack tropical.”

RANSOMING REDEMPTION by Pandora Spocks

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RansomingRedemption



Weekend Excerpt–BROKEN HARTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In this steamy scene, Logan realizes that it’s time for him to make a choice.

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–RUNNING ROGUE, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 2

One night of passion tore them apart.
Desperation will bring them back together.

Michael Rannigan is running rogue. Since Maggie’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?

In this scene from RUNNING ROGUE, the proverbial shit hits the fan. Where can Michael and Maggie go from here?

*Warning: SPOILERS*

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

But you might want to start at the beginning,
RESISTING RISK, Book 1.
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

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 LOST & BOUND, the second Dream Dominant book, protagonist Blake Walker’s sister Jackie meets Scott, Blake’s best friend and mentor in the BDSM lifestyle. Naturally, Scott and Jackie find an instant attraction, but Jackie’s a strong, independent single mom. No way is she about to cede power to anyone, let alone a handsome Dominant outdoorsman.

WARRIOR MINE came about when readers of LOST & BOUND demanded to know the rest of Scott and Jackie’s story. Here’s a little teaser from that follow-up novel.

“It’s a gorgeous day,” Scott commented.

“It really is. I haven’t been out in the woods like this in a long time.”

Scott watched Jackie appraisingly. “Are you much of a camper?”

“I can hold my own.” She lifted her chin, and he saw a glint of challenge in her eye.

“I imagine you can,” he smiled to himself.

He watched her dig the toe of her boot into the soft black earth and push it into a small heap. “So let’s talk, Jackie.”

She exhaled loudly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw her grip her hands so tightly together, her knuckles were white.

“This makes you nervous,” he observed.

“Well, yeah! You’re over here wanting me to agree to be some kind of…I don’t know what…slave, I guess. That’s so not me.”

“You’re right, it’s not. I see in you a submissive soul, but a slave is not remotely what I have in mind. Jackie,” he straddled the log to face her, “you’re a strong, smart, sexy lady. I admire the hell out of you.”

“So why do you want me to give all that up?”

“I don’t want you to give anything up. I love all those things about you.” He laughed softly. “I love that you challenge me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Jackie’s expression was dubious. “I don’t understand what you want from me. Am I supposed to run and jump into your arms like Amy does Blake?” She rolled her eyes.

Scott had to laugh. “You’re not a slave, and you’re definitely not a baby girl like Amy, either.” He gave her a side-long glance. “Amy’s a sweet girl, but she’d drive me nuts. A Daddy Dom I am not.”

“Good, because there’s no way I’m calling you Daddy.”

“Our dynamic would be more King and Princess. You’d call me Sire.”

He was pleased when he saw her reluctant smile. “All I want is for you to let go and allow me to lead you, to help you be free to be your true self. You can depend on me, Jackie.”

Restlessly, Jackie got up and paced back and forth. “It’s not like it’s just me, Scott. I’m a mother. I have two kids to care for, and they have to be my priority. I can’t decide I’m going to just go off and do whatever I want. Plus, there’s the business…”

She stopped pacing and faced him. “I’m a whole ‘package deal’. You don’t need all that. You should be out meeting women who aren’t so tied down.”

Scott couldn’t stop the smirk as the image of a nude Jackie tied to the posts of a bed flashed through his mind. She must have realized it, because she blushed bright red. “I’ve met my share of women, Jackie. Women who don’t mind being tied down.” He chuckled. “I’ve done the club scene, and I’m tired of casual sex. When Blake told me he’d found someone, I have to admit, I felt envious. I took a hard look at my life and I realized it was time to make a change. I had no idea I’d meet someone so quickly.”

He considered going to her, but changed his mind, allowing her space. “I’m attracted to you, Jackie, in a way I haven’t been to anyone else. You have no idea how hard it was for me to resist you that night you came to my room. Hell, to resist you last night. You’re beautiful, Jackie, in case no one’s told you in a while. That one perfect exposed breast? I’ve had dreams about that.”

Jackie blushed, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Together we have an explosive chemistry. I know you feel it, too. I’m dying to take you to the next level.”

Arms still crossed, she shrugged. “Yeah, we have physical chemistry. Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time for me, I don’t know. And I appreciate the things you’ve done, like taking care of things when Emma was sick, and Jesus, you saved Grant’s life.”

She started pacing again. “And you washed my hair. I couldn’t believe you did that. So when you say, Now be my submissive,” she deepened her voice to imitate Scott, “it’s like I owe you.”

“You don’t owe me, Jackie. I washed your hair because it was what you needed. That’s what a Dom does.” He gazed out through the woods and exhaled sharply. “I think you’ve read too many so-called BDSM books about sadist Dominants. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about safe, sane, and consensual. Always.” He looked back to her. “You can depend on me, Jackie. I’ve got you.”

She walked to the edge of the clearing, her back to him. Her voice was small. “What if I depend on you, and you leave? I don’t think I could survive that. Better to be on my own and know what I’m getting.”

“Jackie, I’m not him. I’m not that guy.” Scott approached her, tentatively reaching out to touch her shoulder. “I’m this guy, right here, asking you to let me share your burden, to lighten your load, and set you free.”

She reached up to put her hand on his. Her voice was small. “I don’t know if I can do that.”

Leaning down, he kissed her hand. “Fair enough.” Ignoring the ache in his heart, he cleared his throat. “Are you about ready to go?”

Jackie nodded. Scott returned to the log to retrieve his backpack and together, they headed along where the trail continued beyond the clearing.

Almost immediately, the path led downward, although not as steeply as the way up had done. Before long, the forest ended at a rocky bluff about thirty feet above the lake.

“Is this where the trail ends?” Jackie asked.

Scott nodded. “I saw it on the map. It seemed like a good possibility for some of my more advanced clients, so I wanted to check it out. I figured we’d rappel down to the lake.”

Jackie’s eyes widened. “What?”

“Have you done any rappelling?” Scott already knew the answer, having asked Blake about it earlier.

“No, I haven’t done any rappelling.” Jackie eased forward and peered over the edge. “Would you seriously send your students here?”

“Only those with the right kind of experience.” He set down the backpack and removed a coil of black nylon rope. Watching Jackie out of the corner of his eye, he uncoiled the rope and loosely wrapped the center of it around the base of a sturdy young spruce not far from the edge of the bluff. He released the ends over the drop-off. Peering over the edge, he realized the rope was several feet too short.

“Okay, Princess, it’s not optimal, but we’re going to make this work. Watch how I do it.”

Scott stepped between the two sides of the rope and wrapped them behind his waist, bringing them forward and stepping through them to create a temporary harness. He had Jackie practice it, too, until she was able to do it herself.

“I’ll go down first, then it will be your turn.”

Scott rigged himself again and back stepped to the edge. “Now when you go, just lean back and start walking.” He leaned back and began letting himself down the bluff. About twenty feet down, he came to the end of the rope.

He looked up to Jackie who lay on her stomach peering down over the edge. “The rope’s a little short. For the last few feet you’re going to have to fall.”

Before Jackie could respond, he released the rope and dropped the final eight feet, landing on his feet. “Okay, Jackie, it’s your turn.”

“This is crazy.”

“Like I said, it’s not optimal, but it’s not so bad. Go ahead and get the rope situated. I’ve got you.”

Jackie worked the rope liked she’d practiced and backed to the cliff’s edge. “This is crazy,” she repeated.

“You’ve got this, Jackie,” Scott encouraged.

Slowly, Jackie leaned back like she’d seen Scott do, and she took a faltering step backwards. Her foot slipped, and she banged against the granite.

“It’s okay, just get your footing and keep coming.”

From below, he heard her huff, but she set her feet and leaned back again, taking a step at a time until she was about eight feet above his head.

“Now Jackie, this is where you’ll let go and drop the rest of the way.”

She froze on the cliff face. “I can’t do it. I’m going to fall.”

“I’ve got you, don’t worry.”

He watched as she debated with herself. She finally shook her head. “I can’t. I’m terrified.”

“You know, Jackie, sometimes you just have to let go and fall. But I promise I’ll catch you.” Watching her carefully, he stood on the shoreline below, arms outstretched.

He heard her huff again. “You’ll catch me?”

“I promise. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Okay. Here goes.” With that, Jackie released her grip on the ropes and plunged into Scott’s waiting arms. Automatically, he hugged her tightly as they sank onto a boulder on the shoreline. He felt her heart pounding.

“Admit it,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck, “it was kind of a rush.”

“Oh, my God, I thought I was going to die. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

“Would you do it again?”

Jackie peered up at him and smiled reluctantly. “Maybe.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

In this teaser from MIDNIGHT COVE, Bree learns that she’s not the first to notice something paranormal in the cottage by the lake.

Glancing around, Bree saw that the island was larger than it looked from her place. The pair of oak trees were much larger and much older than she’d realized, and both were strewn with Spanish moss just like the oaks that lined her drive and dotted her front lawn. Scrubby low shrubs clustered here and there, but the rest of the ground was a mix of soil and sand, and Bree wondered if the summer traffic simply trampled any other vegetation that might have the temerity to spring up.

At the crest of the island, the ground leveled off. A half-dozen chairs similar to hers stood scattered around a giant stone fire ring, their owners opting to stand around in small groups for the time being. The large fire crackled and popped, its light augmenting the fading sunset.

Jake set his cooler beside two others, then returned to Bree, handing her the red chair. He set up his own blue chair, then placed hers beside it.

“Everybody, this is Bree. She’s renting old man Meyer’s cottage for a while. Bree, this is everybody.”

Conversations stopped and Bree felt every eye on her as waved shyly. “Hi, everyone.”

She was greeted with smiles and friendly welcomes, but she suddenly felt out of place. She wondered if it was too soon to ask Jake to take her back.

When she looked up, Jake was watching her, his bright blue eyes filled with understanding. “How about a drink?” he asked.

She nodded. “Yes, please.” Following him to the cooler, she handed him the corkscrew from her bag. Deftly he popped open the wine and poured some into a plastic cup. Then he replaced the wine in the cooler, pausing to grab a brown bottle of beer for himself before he closed the lid again.

Jake gently placed his hand on the small of her back. “Want to take a little tour of the island while it’s still light enough to see?”

“Sure,” she laughed, deciding that it couldn’t possibly take very long. The tiny spit of land was so small, it would be like taking a tour of a studio apartment. Still, wine in hand, she followed him away from the fire. A trio of dogs brushed past them with Murphy trailing along behind, tail wagging happily.

“He’s having a good time,” Jake observed.

Bree laughed softly. “He’ll sleep like a log tonight.”

They came to the water’s edge on the opposite side of the island. “Here on the west side,” Jake explained, “the water’s deeper. A few feet out, the bottom just drops off and in those reeds over there, you can catch some serious bass.” He glanced at Bree. “Do you like to fish?”

She shrugged slightly. “I like to hold the fishing rod. I don’t like to mess with bait, or heaven forbid, I catch something, I don’t want to have to take it off the hook.”

He laughed lightly, his eyes sparkling. “Fishing is kind of my therapy. I love to stand still and watch the water and just listen to the quiet.”

Imagining the peace he described, Bree sighed. “That does sound nice.”

Jake quirked a dark eyebrow. “You could come over sometime and give it a try. I promise, I’ll take care of all the messy parts. You can just hold the rod. Of course, you’d need a license. Wouldn’t want to get in trouble with the police.” He winked and she felt herself blush.

“Pro tip: Get the annual license. It’s $20. The license for a week is $25.”

“Uh! Why is that?”

He laughed. “Because tourists on vacation for the week don’t question it. They just go back home and show everyone photos of the lunkers they caught.”

“Wow!” Bree shook her head and sipped her wine.

“How long until you go back home?” he wondered softly.

Rolling her eyes slightly, she took a large swig of wine. “I’m renting the cabin until the middle of November, but I’m not going back.”

Brow knitted in the fading light, Jake watched her expectantly.

Bree huffled softly. “I came here from Clearwater, Florida, but I’m not going back there.” She shook her head dismissively. “Suffice it to say, it’s a bad situation. But I’m not sure where I’m going when I leave here. I write,” she shrugged, “so I can do it anywhere. I was thinking maybe I’d go to New York. My publisher is there, so…”

She trailed off and glanced up to find him watching her intently.

“I’m sorry about the bad situation.” His eyes radiated sincerity. “Would you like to sit?” he asked quietly.

Smiling gratefully, Bree nodded, and they made their way back around to the campfire, where clusters of people, beer in hand, stood talking together. A young couple stood near the fire roasting marshmallows.

Together, Bree and Jake sank into their camping chairs. “I suppose this crowd can be a little overwhelming,” Jake said quietly, “but they’re really nice. You’ll see.”

Bree sipped her wine and watched as people shared embraces like long-lost friends, chatting and laughing as they did.

The whine of outboard motors announced that another couple of boats had pulled up onto the beach. Bree recognized the cashier from the market among the new arrivals. Despite the cool fall evening, the young woman wore denim cut-offs so short, her ass cheeks hung out. In the thin white camisole she wore, her pronounced nipples attuned everyone to the fact that she was cold.

Immediately, she zeroed in on Jake. “Hey, there,” she drawled, eyes locked on his. “I’m glad you made it.”

“Hi, Darlene,” he answered, his tone friendly. Bree watched him carefully, but he didn’t seem impressed by Darlene’s obvious display. “You remember Bree from the other day.”

The woman flicked her gaze in Bree’s direction, her lips pressed together in contempt. “Oh, yeah, hi.”

“Hello.” Bree tried for friendly, but she felt her irritation rising. It was the second time she’d met this Darlene, and the second time the woman had both dismissed her and fawned all over Jake. It was sickening.

“There’s plenty of beer over there,” Jake nodded toward the collection of coolers. “Help yourself.”

“In the Publix bag, there’s everything you need for s’mores if you like,” Bree offered helpfully, smiling.

Darlene looked at Bree for a second then returned her attention to Jake. “I believe I will have a beer. Talk to you later.”

During the exchange with Darlene, another boat had arrived. Dragging their own chairs and a cooler, a ragtag assortment of people approached the others. Bree recognized the young woman from the bookstore.

Her smile was friendly. “Hey, how are you? I’m Whitley, from the Peacock. How’s the book?”

“Yes, I recognized you. I’m great, thanks, and I’m loving the book.”

Space around the fire was filling in, and Whitley slid her chair into a small gap at about Bree’s three o’clock. “It’s one of her best, if you ask me,” Whitley said. “How do you know Jake?”

Eyes wide, Bree looked to her left at Jake.

“We’re neighbors,” Jake said quickly. “Bree’s a writer. She’s renting old man Meyer’s place for a couple months.”

“Wait!” Whitley leaned forward in her chair and squinted in Bree’s direction. “You’re not Bree Blaylock, are you?”

Bree nodded. “I am, actually.”

“Holy shit!” Whitley squeaked. “Bree Blaylock! I should have recognized you the other day. I mean, your red hair should have given it away. Holy shit! I loved your book!”

Blushing, Bree glanced over to see Jake watching her. “Wow, thanks so much. I’m really glad you liked it.”

“No, seriously, Nothing Much, are you kidding me? It was life-changing. I read it three times.”

Aware that conversation around the fire had paused as Whitley gushed on and on, Bree felt herself blush even deeper. “That’s really nice of you to say.”

“Oh!” Whitley popped up out of her chair, waving her hands expressively. “We should do a book signing! My bosses are always looking for ways to get more customers in the door. A signing with Bree Blaylock! That would be amazing.”

Sheepishly, the young woman looked to Bree and sank back into her seat. “If you were interested in doing it, of course.”

Bree smiled warmly. “I’d be happy to do a book signing, if the owners of the store wanted to do it.”

Whitley grinned from ear to ear. “They’d love it. I’ll ask them as soon as they come back.”

“So, Bree Blaylock, what’s it like staying in a haunted house?” The disdainful drawl came from directly across the fire ring.

“Come on, Darlene,” Jake objected softly.

Darlene dismissed him with a wave of the Budweiser her hand. “We’ve all heard the stories. There’s a ghost in that cottage. How many summer renters have come running out of that place like a bat out of hell, never even bothering to look back?”

Determined not to let the woman get the best of her, Bree leaned back in her chair and smiled. “I’m very comfortable in Mr. Meyer’s house. It’s nice and quiet, and I’m able to get a lot of writing done.”

Eyes wide, Whitley leaned forward. “Have you seen a ghost?”

“Oh, come on,” Jake objected. “You two can’t be serious.”

“There are stories, Jake,” Rusty commented. “Years ago, they supposedly found a dead girl out here floating near the island. They say they never caught her killer.”

“Every summer, a handful of Meyer’s renters leave before their week is up,” someone else added. “They tell some weird stories.”

“That’s what it is,” Darlene purred, narrowing her eyes at Bree. “It’s the ghost of the murdered girl, looking for revenge on the one who killed her.”

Picturing Steven, Bree tried to suppress a smile. “Again, I’m very happy at the house. And by mid-November, I’ll be finished with my book and out of your hair.”

Determined, she held Darlene’s stare until the other girl finally dropped her gaze. Keeping her outward expression neutral, inside, Bree rejoiced. You’re being ridiculous, she chided herself. You just won a staring contest with a local grocery clerk.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK

Maggie is nothing like Michael’s usual taste in women.
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?

RESISTING RISK is the first book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy. In this excerpt, Michael and Maggie meet for the first time. They have no idea that their lives are forever changed from that moment on.

Michael Rannigan dry gulped three ibuprofen tablets as the car from the service weaved its way through mid-day Manhattan traffic. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a hangover. The previous night had been exceptional. At an art gallery opening, he’d met twin flight attendants who matched him drink for drink before going home with him for an extended threesome adventure.

I’m getting too old for this shit. Should have called in sick today.

As a partner at Murphy, Rannigan, there was no one to question his absence. But it was his turn representing the firm at the job fair at NYU. Brian Murphy was out of the country on vacation. And James Metheny was recovering from surgery. Tonsils or some shit, Michael mused. Didn’t everyone have their tonsils out when they were five?

Sure, the firm needed new talent. But why did he need to be there? He knew exactly why. Without his presence, John Hemphill would be the senior man there, and that couldn’t happen. Hemphill’s an idiot, he thought.

The car dropped him at the entrance to Vanderbilt Hall. He knew it well. After all, NYU was his alma mater. He took a moment to straighten his tie before entering the building. As expected, the hall was full of fresh young faces, soon-to-graduate litigators who needed jobs. Unconsciously his eye roved, looking for nubile young female candidates. Not necessarily for the firm, mind you. He was always on the lookout for his next conquest. He passed a group of girls who giggled as he walked by.

“Ladies,” he greeted them, flashing his megawatt smile. Just get this over with, he begged as he zeroed in on the Murphy, Rannigan table.

Already seated at the table were John Hemphill, Stan Hodges, and Ellen Standifer. The trio were associates from the elite 50th floor of Murphy, Rannigan. They were good enough at what they did, which was mostly research and legwork, with the occasional foray into the courtroom when necessity called. Each had a laptop and on the table was a spreadsheet they’d worked out back at the office. Of course, they’d vetted possible candidates before they ever set foot at the university. Preparation saves time in the long run, they knew.

Michael took a bottled water from the table and sipped, standing behind the three and continuing to scan the room. “What’ve we got?” he asked.

Hemphill gave him a brief rundown. “We’ve interviewed five candidates so far, five of the ones we were interested in. We’ve turned away about a dozen others that didn’t meet our standards,” he related in his adenoidal drone that so grated on Michael.

“You’re turning away interviewees who aren’t on your candidate list?” Michael snapped. “How sure are you that your list is accurate? Paper and data don’t always tell the story.” Hemphill reddened a bit.

“Well, I…” the man floundered.

Michael grinned to himself. It’s the little pleasures in life that make it all worthwhile, he thought. He watched as a young woman crossed the floor, seeming to make a beeline for their table. She was petite, with red hair, and she was wearing a grey suit paired with a green silk blouse. What have we here, he wondered.

“Hello,” said the young woman. “I’d like to interview with your firm.” She reached across the table to shake hands with the attorneys seated there.

“And you are?” Michael asked, still standing behind the others.

“Oh, sorry,” she said, clearly flustered. She opened her folio to remove copies of her resume and several slipped out, sailing across the floor. Michael watched in amusement as she scrambled to gather them up again. “Sorry,” she repeated, as she handed a document to each of them.

“Mary Margaret Flynn,” Michael read from the top line of the resume.

“Um, Maggie, actually,” the young woman corrected.

“Have a seat, Ms. Flynn,” Hemphill directed as they read over her resume. Standifer pulled up Mary Margaret Flynn on their database and Hodges located her name on their spreadsheet. There were two stars beside her name. How have we not spoken with this one yet?

Michael took a seat directly across from her. He was impressed with the resume, and he’d found her name on the spreadsheet before

Hodges had. He looked from the document back up to her face. Her green eyes were wide and as she sat, she fidgeted nervously with the atrocious vinyl folio containing her resumes.

“So Ms. Flynn, your resume is impressive. It says that you interned with Rance Stockwell at the DA’s office. I’m surprised he hasn’t offered you a job.”

“Oh, he has,” Maggie replied. “I just haven’t accepted yet.”

“Looking for better offers, are you?” Michael asked, arching an eyebrow.

“I have a great deal of student loan debt,” she confessed. “It makes sense to me to look around and find my best options.”

Michael leaned back in his chair. “Are you familiar with our firm?” he asked.

“Yes, actually,” Maggie answered. “I heard you speak once at a charity luncheon. You said that everyone is entitled to the best defense possible, regardless of the circumstances of their charges.”

Michael tried to suppress a smile. “I said that, did I?” The others at the table snickered.

Maggie’s face reddened a bit as she glanced down the line of lawyers. “It really resonated with me,” she said quietly. “I also tried one of your cases as a mock trial project.”

“Which case did you choose?” asked Michael.

“People v. Lawson.”

The other three snickered louder and Michael looked down at his notes, suppressing another grin. “Well, Ms. Flynn, if you were going to try one of my cases, you might have chosen one I actually won.”

Maggie glared indignantly at the panel. “I, well, I tweaked it a little. I uncovered evidence that you overlooked.” Michael sat up straight; she had his undivided attention. “Testimony in the deposition was contradicted on the witness stand. The victim stated in the deposition that she’d met the defendant two weeks prior to the incident. On the stand, she said she’d just met him that night. It was enough doubt for the mock jury. I won your case.”

Michael looked at the other three. If someone had dropped the ball on the case, he or she was currently seated at the table. They all looked down, suddenly intensely interested in their notes.

He cleared his throat. “It seems, Ms. Flynn, we have everything we need. We’ll make a decision by the end of the week and let you know.”

Maggie stood and reached out her hand. “Thank you for your time.”

“Thank you,” Michael nodded, shaking her hand. He watched her walk back across the room and disappear into the crowd.

RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1, by Pandora Spocks

RESISTING RISK is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

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!

Why not read a steamy little teaser from ANNA’S HEART?

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–Bonus Scene!

A traumatized young woman held hostage for years.
The rancher who comes to her rescue.
The crime boss who will kill them both if he finds them.

JENNY’S VOICE is Book 1 in the Redheads & Ranchers Series.
Sexy redheads and the ranchers they can’t resist.

Jenny Stone’s voice was silenced the horrific day ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin executed her parents in cold blood and took her as his personal good luck charm. Now she’s his pet, at his mercy when he summons her to warm his bed. Or the beds of his more esteemed business associates.

When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, hitching a ride with an unsuspecting cowboy, horse trainer Cole Caldwell. Cole’s stunned to find the terrified young redhead hiding in his horse trailer. She’s as skittish as some of the horses he works with, and she’s apparently mute. But the nurturer in him wants to shelter her, to protect her. He’ll do his best to ignore the attraction he feels, content to help her know she’s safe with him.

When Jenny first escaped, her only thought was to get away. But now she’s worried. She’s put Cole in unspeakable danger. Should she leave before Victor finds them? Could it already be too late?

If you like your romance filled with hot cowboys, suspense, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love JENNY’S VOICE.

Here’s a special bonus scene from JENNY’S VOICE.

What am I going to do?  

The question hasn’t stopped swirling through my head for the last few hours.  Not since I arrived back at the ranch with my new client’s horse and found her hiding in my trailer.

Jenny.  

At least that’s what she tells me her name is.  Maybe tells isn’t the right word.  Because apparently, Jenny doesn’t speak.  

She won’t write, either.  I found that out quickly enough when I tried to get her to jot down her name on a notepad I found in the kitchen drawer.  

Somebody has scared the utter shit out of this girl, that much is clear enough.  Maybe the same asshole who gave her the black eye and the busted lip. The one I’ll kill if I ever get the chance.  I may be out of the Marines now, but I know how to handle myself.

Hell, I undoubtedly scared the shit out of her when I snatched her up off the floor of the trailer.  All covered up in my old barn jacket like she was, I couldn’t tell who’d stowed away in the empty stall beside Dahlia.  When I grabbed the front of the jacket and slammed her against the wall, it felt like lifting up a bag of nothing.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget my first glimpse of her face, with her left eye all purple and swelled shut, her lips battered and split.  Her good eye was the clearest green I’ve ever seen, and she stared at me with a terror that pierced my soul. 

She was shaking like a leaf, but whether it was from the cold or from fear, I couldn’t say.  Her legs and feet were bare, and I had to wonder if she wore anything at all under my old jacket.  

I didn’t even hesitate.  I scooped her up and carried her to the cab of the truck where I put the heat on blast.  At least she could warm up a bit while I got Dahlia sorted out in the barn.  

It gave me a little time to think, too.  How did this girl get in my trailer? And when?  I only made two stops. Once to pick up the horse, and once to grab lunch at the truck stop.

That has to be it.  The truck stop. She ran away from whoever was hurting her.  That’s the only thing that makes sense.  

With Dahlia squared away, I drove us to the house.  Blue greeted us at the door, and he took to the girl right away.  She seemed to like him, too, so that’s a good thing, I figure.

When she slid the hood down, I was surprised to see that her hair was long and red.  In the light of the kitchen, her bruises were more obvious, too. I didn’t want her to feel self-conscious about it, so I tried to keep things light.  After a while, it became clear that she doesn’t talk. It was a hell of a realization.  

Two thoughts hit me at once: one, that makes things more complicated communication-wise, and two, what the hell happens to a girl that takes away her ability to speak?  I’ve seen combat veterans who have been through hell on earth, but they could all speak.

When I offered her the chance to take a hot shower while I heated up some leftover beef stew, she jumped at it.  She went upstairs with me and waited with Blue outside the hallway bathroom while I went to my room to try to find something for her to put on.  I grabbed some old sweats and my softest flannel shirt, along with a pair of grey wool socks.

I handed her the clothes, and it nearly broke my heart when she tried to smile and her lip split again.  She set the clothes on the bathroom counter and slid off my old jacket.  

Underneath, she was indeed clothed, but only in the most basic sense of the word.  The dress she wore was a skimpy club dress made out of some shiny kind of material.  It left little to the imagination, and I deliberately looked away.  

But when she turned to go into the bathroom, I caught something on the back of her shoulder.  It was a raised circular mark about the size of a silver dollar. A second or two ticked by before my brain caught up.

Somebody has branded her.

Downstairs, I stirred the pot of stew and did some deep breathing exercises trying to tamp down the rage I felt.  Somebody motherfuckin’ branded that girl!  

When she came back downstairs, she seemed pleased to be clean and warm.  I was shocked to see that she’d cut her hair. When I left her, it had hung all the way down her back.  Now, it just brushed her shoulders, and despite her battered face, she was a pretty girl.  

Now that’s the kind of thought that can just go back where it came from.

Favoring her busted lip, she carefully devoured her bowl of stew like she hadn’t eaten in weeks. 

When she’d finished,  I took her up to my sister’s old bedroom.  It’s nothing special. In a lot of ways, it’s kind of a time capsule to back when Beth was in high school, but she seemed to like it.  I said goodnight and went to close the door, but she wasn’t having it. Without words, she made it clear to me that she wanted the door left open.  

I called Blue to come, but he’d already curled up on the rug beside the bed, so I figure that’s a good thing.  I think he senses her brokenness and has appointed himself to be her canine guardian.  

Now, downstairs in my office, I swirl the bourbon in my glass and wonder what comes next.  When I mentioned calling the police, the stark terror in her good eye returned. So I guess that’s out.  For now. Maybe as I gain her trust…

I wonder where she came from and who hurt her.  I have a million questions.  But I guess the most immediately pressing was her name.

Standing there in the kitchen, dressed in an old pair of my sweats and a faded plaid flannel shirt that swallows her whole, she finally trusted me enough to trace the letters with her finger on the kitchen counter.  

J-e-n-n-y.

It’s progress, right?  I suppose it is. But now what?

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

JENNY’S VOICE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/JennysVoice

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.

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. It turns out that 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 business 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 choice. 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? And has she finally met the right man at the wrong time?

Here’s a little (unedited) teaser from THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE.

Outside, Ben sat lost in thought. A glance down at the table showed that he’d taken his pencils and sketchbook out of his bag, but he had no recollection of having done so. His mind was still back on the redhead inside.

She’d appeared out of nowhere, just like the woman in his dreams, only this time, she’d turned around. He’d immediately found himself lost in her deep brown eyes. She’d seemed a bit surprised, but then he’d been staring right at her. How could he not? She was the girl he’d seen countless times, only now in the flesh.

Every once in a while, he risked a glance over his shoulder back into the coffee shop, as though she’d disappear like she always did in his dreams. But this was no dream. This was real life. And his last glance showed that she was on her way with a tray.

A new customer arrived at the door at the same time she did, holding open the door for her as she came out. “Thanks,” Ben heard her say. Then she was at his table.

“Your usual,” she said pleasantly. “Sorry it took so long. I’m new here.”

The huge blue mug she placed in front of him reeked of pumpkin and featured a mountain of whipped cream that doubled its size. Ben frowned at the drink and looked back up at the redhead. Then he glanced over his shoulder and saw Gina doubled over with laughter behind the counter.Smiling softly, he nodded at the latte. “I think they played a joke on you.”

Her red eyebrows were knit in confusion. “This isn’t your usual?”

“My usual is just plain black coffee.”

Plump pink lips pressed together tightly as she shot a look inside. “I’m sorry. I’ll take care of it right away.

”A wicked idea crept into his mind. “Thanks. Be sure and tell Gina that I’m highly allergic to pumpkin.”

The woman’s eyes widened with alarm. “Holy shit, I am so sorry!” She immediately snatched up the mug. “I’ll be right back with your coffee.”

Suppressing the urge to laugh, Ben watched her scurry back into the shop and gesture animatedly as she spoke to her co-workers. Gina’s face shifted from amusement to stark terror as she looked his way.

For his part, Ben shifted a judgmental eyebrow her way before turning around and laughing to himself. A moment later, the redhead came back out, this time with a regular-sized cup of coffee on her tray.

“I am so sorry about that,” she gushed. “My new friend in there apparently thought she was being hilarious. It’s all fun and games until someone gets rushed to the hospital with anaphylactic shock, right?”

“Confession…” Ben’s lips twisted sheepishly. “I’m not actually allergic to pumpkin. I’m just not a fan.”

The redhead crossed her arms and her lips formed a large O.

“But,” Ben hurriedly added, “we don’t have to tell Gina that, do we?”

After a beat, a huge smile spread across her face and she chuckled. “I love it! She’s in there feeling terrible. I think I’ll let her swing in the breeze for a while.”

Her smile outshone the sun that inched its way overhead, and Ben felt bathed in warmth. He reached out his right hand. “I’m Ben.”

Still smiling, she took his large hand in her own petite one. “I’m Charley. It’s nice to meet you, Ben.”

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE, coming soon from Pandora Spocks

Stay tuned for the official cover reveal and a release date for THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE.

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!

Here’s a steamy little teaser from 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