Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

Coming Soon!
JENNY’S VOICE
Redheads & Ranchers Book 1

Redheads & Ranchers is my new three-book series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels, each featuring a sexy redhead and a hot rancher they can’t resist.

First up is JENNY’S VOICE. It’s the story of Jenny Stone, a young woman in a world of trouble, and Cole Caldwell, a horse trainer with a heart of gold who wants nothing more than to protect her.

Upon returning to his ranch after picking up a new client’s horse, gifted horse trainer Cole Caldwell is shocked to find a terrified young woman hiding in his horse trailer. She’s been beaten, and beneath his old barn jacket, she’s barely dressed. She’s not even wearing shoes.

Mute since the violent day she was taken, Jenny Stone saw her chance to escape the thugs who’ve been holding her for the past two years, and she took it. Hiding in the horse trailer seemed like her only option.

Now, how can she explain to Cole that dangerous criminals will be out there looking for her? How long can she hide at his horse ranch? And can she ever recover her voice?

Here’s a teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.


By three o’clock that afternoon, Caldwell Ranch had been restored to normal.  Jenny helped Cole untack the horses and put everything away in the barn. The canopies and coolers were returned to their proper places as well.

As they worked together, Cole was uncomfortably aware of the conversation he needed to have with Jenny.  He wondered if he could put it off. It had already been a huge day for her. She’d faced her fear of being seen and he was proud of her, so proud.  But this was one of those conversations best had sooner rather than later.

He cleared his throat.  “You know, I feel kind of sorry for Apollo and Dahlia.  Everybody else got a nice workout today. They must be feeling a little left out.”

Jenny chuckled, hooking a thumb at Jade.

“Well, Jade, too.  But I’ve been working her hard, so she probably appreciated the day off.”  He stepped toward Jenny.

“Maybe we could take Apollo and Dahlia for a trail ride.  There’s a ridge toward the back of the property, overlooks the whole ranch and it has a nice view of the sunset.  What do you say?”

An hour later, they neared the ridge he’d told her about.  Perched atop Dahlia, Jenny had easily made the transition from riding in the ring to trail riding.  It seemed the more she rode, the more comfortable she was. Again, he worried about the time when Dahlia would have to go back home with Meredith.

I’ll just buy Jenny another horse, he decided.

As the trail grew steeper, Cole moved ahead on Apollo, leading the way up the ridge.  He glanced back at Jenny.

“How are you doing?”

She smiled and gave him a thumbs-up, her small whiteboard hanging at her side from a cross-body shoulder strap he’d fashioned for her.

He nodded with satisfaction.  “You’re doing great, we’re almost there.”

At the top of the rise, the ground leveled off in a grassy area dominated by a huge old oak tree.  Cole slid out of his saddle, gave Apollo’s nose an affectionate rub, and left the horse to graze as he headed to help Jenny down.
With both horses munching contentedly on grass, Cole and Jenny retreated to the shade of the giant tree.  Cole patted the trunk.

“This was one of my favorite places growing up.  When I needed a minute to myself, I could come up here and just be.”  He eyed the upper branches with a wry grin.  “Used to be a pretty good climber, too. I could sit way up there and look out all over the valley.  I also got out of a lot of chores that way.” He winked, and Jenny smiled.

The late March afternoon wasn’t inordinately warm, but it was as dry as ever.  From the small backpack he’d worn, Cole retrieved a pair of bottled waters, handing one to Jenny.  She unscrewed the cap and sipped thirstily as she stood at the edge of the rise looking out over the ranch below.

Recapping her water, she tucked it under her arm and scribbled on her board.  I had no idea how big the ranch is.

Cole nodded.  “Yep. It’s quite a spread.  Back in the day, my folks ran a much larger operation with a bunch of ranch hands helping out.  Later, they pared it back a little, then when I took over, I made it just about horse training. It’s what makes me happiest, and I’m able to make a good living, so it works out.”

Jenny nodded, wandering around the perimeter of the clearing as she took in the 360-degree view.  Occasionally, her gaze flitted in Cole’s direction and he wondered if he imagined a cautious glint in her green eyes.

Scrubbing a hand over his mouth, he decided to plunge ahead.  “You know, Jenny, I wanted to talk to you about something.” He sighed heavily, and she froze in her circuit of the clearing, her eyes now locked on him.

“Last night after you went to bed, I remembered that I needed to order some medicine for Minnie’s hoof.  I went online and pulled up my history to find where I looked at the medicine the other day, and that’s when I noticed some tabs I didn’t recognize.”

Jenny’s jaw tightened noticeably, and she crossed her arms protectively as she stared at a spot beyond him.

“You know you’re welcome to use the computer or anything else at the house,” he said quickly.  “You can consider my home as your own. And I didn’t mean to pry into your business, I really didn’t.”

Sweeping his hat from his head, he took a step toward Jenny.  “I read the article about Jennifer Stone from Boulder.”

Jenny cut her gaze away, but not before he saw the pain that flashed in her green eyes.

“Jenny,” his voice soft as he took another step toward her, “someone killed your parents?”

She drew a ragged breath and nodded brusquely without making eye contact.

“Damn it,” he swore softly.  “Were you there when it happened?”

She clapped her right hand over her mouth as large tears rolled down her cheeks, and again, she nodded.

Cole took another step closer.  “And then they took you?”

Jenny’s eyes squeezed shut as she sobbed silently.  Cole dropped his hat and went to her, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her to himself.  She was stiff in his arms, but he pulled her close, murmuring softly against the top of her head.

Eventually, she relaxed, leaning into his embrace, sobbing into the front of his shirt.  He held her like that for a long time before she quieted. Easing his hold, he peered down at her.  “Jenny, I’m so sorry that happened to you. And I’m so sorry about the way I found out about it.”

He exhaled loudly, shaking his head.  “But once I knew about it, I had to tell you.  I don’t play those games, those ‘keeping things secret’ kinds of things.  I believe in being honest, always. The thing is,” he took her hand in his, “now that I know, you don’t carry this burden by yourself.  I carry it with you.”

Tentatively, she looked up at him.  Cole saw the fear and suspicion in her eyes, willed her to see the sincerity in his own.  “I care about you, Jenny. And I’ll be…”

He cut off, infuriated at the idea of someone harming Jenny.  Deliberately softening his voice, he continued. “I’ll be damned if I’ll let anyone hurt you, ever again.

JENNY’S VOICE, Pandora Spocks

JENNY’S VOICE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 1, is due out in February. Keep watching here for the official cover reveal and the release date.

Weekend Excerpt–CHASING ORDINARY

Because who doesn’t love an award-winning, 5 STAR
modern-day adult fairy tale?

Sculptor Petey Cavanaugh has no idea the handsome businessman she’s falling for is actually Europe’s most eligible prince.

Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary. And everything he ever wanted. If he doesn’t blow it.

Here’s a teaser from CHASING ORDINARY.

“We’re going for a fancy early dinner, but we have to wear ski clothes?” Petey asked.  “Are we going skiing?”
               “No, we aren’t going skiing, and I’m not telling you any more than that,” Nik replied, eyes twinkling with mischief. 
               They’d spent the remainder of the morning and early afternoon relaxing in the tower sitting room of Nik’s apartment.  Jorgen had popped in briefly to catch Nik up on some business or other.  Petey enjoyed reading near the window, occasionally watching the snow sparkle in the brilliant sunlight.
               Now, both dressed for the slopes, they headed to the main entry hall and out the front door.  Ada held open the back door of a black Mercedes.  “Good evening, sir, ma’am,” she greeted them.
               “Hello, Ada,” Petey responded.  “Do you know where we’re going?”
               The agent suppressed a smile.  “Yes, ma’am.”
               “And you’re not going to tell me.”
               “No, ma’am.”
               Petey sighed dramatically, then giggled as she stepped into the car and scooted over to allow Nik to get in.  Once in the car, she pulled down the fur-trimmed hood of her hot pink ski parka.  She liked the effect of the coat paired with the blinding-white stretch ski pants.
               Nik looked sexy in all black, but then, Nik looked sexy in anything.  Or nothing, come to that.  She smiled to herself, and he watched her curiously, but said nothing.
               Lars drove them out to the main highway and headed in the opposite direction than the one they’d come from the capital.  So we aren’t going to a fancy restaurant in the city.  Well, duh.  Ski clothes.  We must be going to a resort.  We’ll just kind of blend in.
               After about fifteen minutes, Lars turned off the highway, driving another ten minutes before they ended up at a small air field.  Petey glanced at Nik, who smiled enigmatically.
               A smiling man met them as they got out of the car.  “Welcome, Your Highness.  We’re honored to have you with us today.”
               Nik nodded politely.  “Thank you.  May I present Ms. Petey Cavanaugh?”
               Petey thought of the beautiful engagement ring, currently hidden beneath white leather gloves.  Their engagement would be officially announced at the gala on New Year’s Eve, so now it was still very hush-hush.
               The man reached to shake her hand.  “Ms. Cavanaugh, enchanted.  We’re pleased to have you dining with us this evening.”
               Dining?  Petey glanced around, seeing only a handful of small private planes and a red helicopter.
               “If you’ll step this way, we’ll be ready to go.”  The man led them to the helicopter, which struck Petey as not unlike the one they’d flown in that night in Manhattan. 
               Petey climbed aboard, sliding over to allow Nik to climb in beside her.  She buckled her seatbelt and picked up a set of headphones.  “A helicopter?”  She arched an eyebrow.
               “It’s a very exclusive restaurant,” Nik quipped, putting on his own headphones.
               The engine roared to life and the rotors began spinning.  They lifted off the ground, and soon, Lars, Ada, and the car looked like toys far below.  Excited, Petey reached for Nik’s hand as they rose.  The ground below was covered in a layer of snow, making the farms and forests look like a winter wonderland. 
               “That’s Ansgar,” Nik pointed out as they flew over the castle.  Petey could just make out her workshop and the barn with the brand new stable behind it.  She leaned over to give Nik a kiss.  He smiled with pleasure.
               After they flew over the estate, they banked left and headed toward the mountains.  The rolling farmland faded away as jagged granite mountains rose before them.  In the space between two peaks, Petey saw a vast open space covered in what looked to be deep snow.  Something clearly manmade marred the pristine snowfield, but Petey couldn’t tell what it was. 
               The helicopter circled around and landed at the edge of the snowfield.  Petey could now see that the rectangular anomaly was a dining table carved out of the snow.  Flanking it on either side were benches, also carved out of the snow.  While the table was set for a formal dinner, the benches were covered with red blankets, and each seat was defined by a thick white fur. 
               The pilot opened the helicopter door and let Nik out.  Nik, in turn, reached out for Petey’s hand, helping her climb down.
               He smiled down at her.  “See why we needed ski clothes?”
               She nodded, eyes shining.  “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”
               “Good.  Let’s have dinner, shall we?”
               They chatted quietly over fresh seafood and champagne.  The only other people were the pilot and the two servers, who remained discreetly at a distance unless they were needed.  Warm enough with a blanket pulled over her lap, Petey gazed out across the valley to the snow-capped peaks in the distance. 
               When she looked back, Nik was smiling at her.  “Do you like it?”
               She couldn’t stop the grin.  “I love it.  You know it isn’t necessary, though.  All this,” she rolled her eyes, “fancy stuff.”
               He smiled at her tenderly.  “I know.  That’s why I wanted to do it.”
               Together, they toasted the sunset as the receding light painted the sky purple, rose, and orange.

CHASING ORDINARY, Pandora Spocks

CHASING ORDINARY is the
2018 New Apple Summer eBook Awards Solo Medalist
in Literary Erotica.
One-click your copy today!
books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

Love FREE Books?

Of course you do, who doesn’t?

Emmanuelle de Maupassant, one of my all-time favorites (if you haven’t read her erotic novel, The Gentlemen’s Club, drop what you’re doing and read it now) has a brand new book out, and from August 13-17, it’s FREE!
After that, it moves to 99p/99c through until the end of the month, and then $2.99/£2.99 in September.
What’s it all about?  I’m glad you asked.
Against the ancient blood-rituals of Ostara night, dark forces stir within the forest. Can Elswyth resist Jarl Gunnolf’s wicked seductions and the devious schemes of her enemies? Filled with action, mystery, and searing passion, ‘Viking Wolf’ is a full-length dark romance. Prepare for scorching scenes and hard-muscled warriors!
Here’s the official blurb…

Enter a world of burning desire and brutal passion;
a world threatened by ambition, jealousy and revenge.

He is bound by duty…
Eirik has shed his blood on the battlefield; now, he’s commanded to marry a woman he’s never met. Will his sense of honour part him from Elswyth forever?

She is as brave as any man…
Elswyth is at the mercy of Jarl Gunnolf’s darkest seductions. Against the ancient blood-rituals of Ostara night, someone will stop at nothing to claim what’s most desired. Dark forces stir within the forest and Elswyth’s life is in peril. Will she fall prey to the devious schemes of her enemies?

Surrender to suspense, mystery and forbidden passion – in ‘Viking Wolf’.

Heat level: volcanic

Viking Wolf is the second in the Viking Warriors series : a full-length historical romance, with some steamy scenes.

Intrigued?  I just downloaded mine.

Here’s the link so you can get your FREE copy:
http://viewbook.at/VikingWolf

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Lost & Bound promo new1

My Dream Dominant Collection is a series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring hot Alpha males, strong red-haired women, and light BDSM themes.  LOST & BOUND is the second book in the collection.

In LOST & BOUND, following a brush with the law, actress Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario.  It’s there that she meets ruggedly handsome Blake Walker, an experienced bush pilot who helps run his family’s remote guest lodge on Lake Miranda.

Initially, Blake’s not too impressed with the lodge’s sole VIP guest.  But as he spends time with her, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world.  Could it be that Shasta Pyke is the baby girl this Daddy Dom has been looking for?

Here’s an excerpt from LOST & BOUND.

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.

***

               They didn’t speak during the ten-minute ride across the water to the small island in the middle of Lake Miranda.  It would have been difficult over the roar of the small outboard motor, even had she been facing him.

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 is available at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/LostandBound

I’m currently hard at work on WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.  Although it’s a stand-alone novel, it’s a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

I’m planning on a summer release.  Keep watching for the reveal of the gorgeous cover, designed by the ever-sexy and talented Linzi Basset.

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

RUNNING ROGUE is Book Two of Rannigan’s Redemption, a ‘spicy vanilla’ three-novel erotic romance law drama.   Rannigan’s Redemption is the story of the complicated relationship between bad boy Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hires to join his prestigious firm.

Michael is a rogue, an inveterate player with a stable of surgically-enhanced bottle-blondes at his beck and call.  Maggie’s smart and capable, maybe even a better lawyer than Michael, if he stops to think about it.  She’s too smart for his sexual tastes, definitely not his type.  So why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Maggie has been in love with him from the beginning.  She knows how he operates, and that the situation is all but hopeless.  But she sees the man he could be.  For now, she’s content to work with him.

If the first book, RESISTING RISK, sets up the story, RUNNING ROGUE is all about change.  Just when you think you know where the story’s going, it all blows up.  In this book, Michael and Maggie are going their separate ways, each making questionable decisions in their personal and professional lives.  Then one day, Michael receives news that shakes him to his core.

Here’s a snippet from RUNNING ROGUE.  **Warning–Spoilers abound.**

Michael?” Maggie asked into the intercom.

“Hey, Mags.”  His voice sounded tinny over the ancient device.  “I know it’s late.  I’m sorry.  But when I saw your light on, I mean…  Can I come up?”

Maggie hesitated, her finger hovering over the button.  “What do you want, Michael?”

“Mags, I just…I just want to talk.”

She shook her head, checking the time again.  What the hell?  And he’s probably drunk.  Standing out there in the rain like he’s got absolutely no sense. 

She pressed the door buzzer.  “Don’t wake my neighbors,” she admonished him.

Maggie pulled the wooly cream colored robe tighter around herself, tying the belt securely and she stalked to the door, opening it to wait for Michael.  She watched him coming up the stairs, his soaked hair matted to his head.  His wet shoes squeaked softly with each footfall.  She started to say something snippy but noticed the haunted look in his eyes, so she simply stepped back and let him into the apartment.  She closed the door behind him and walked to the kitchen counter where she leaned back, crossing her arms, head cocked at him expectantly.

Michael stood just inside the doorway, rainwater pooling all around his feet.  He looked ill at ease and uncertain.

“Well?” she finally said.

He ran his fingers through his wet hair and sighed deeply.

“Oh for God’s sake, Michael!”  She left him standing there and returned with a large blue towel.  “You’re soaked.”

She took his jacket from him and hung it over the back of a kitchen chair.  As he used the towel to dry his face and hair, she couldn’t help herself.  “Are you drunk?”

He frowned and shook his head.  “I’m not drunk.  I had some bourbon.  I might be drunk.  A little.”

Maggie rolled her eyes.  “Sit down.  I’m making you some coffee so we can send you home.  Have you eaten lately?”

“I don’t know.”  Michael sank onto a chair at the kitchen table.  He glanced around as Maggie busied herself putting a kettle of water on the stove and taking a French press from a cupboard.

“I hope I’m not causing a problem with your fiancé.  Husband?  Whatever.”

Maggie paused to look at him, her lips forming a grim line.  “Yeah, well, that didn’t work out so…no worries.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

She worked in silence breaking eggs into a bowl and putting strips of bacon into a skillet as Michael sat at the table and occasionally used the towel to swipe at his face.   On the stove, the bacon began to sizzle as the kettle whistled.  Maggie poured the boiling water into the press and let it stand for a moment as she chopped a small onion and part of a green pepper.

“Did you know Stan Hodges died?” Michael finally asked.

Maggie arched an eyebrow.  “I was at the funeral.  Where were you?”

“I don’t know,” he answered vaguely.  He watched her grate cheddar into the eggs.  Then she pressed the plunger on the coffee and poured some into a cornflower blue mug with a white script ‘M’ on the side.

M for Maggie. Or Michael.  He shook his head to dismiss the inane thought.  Looking around the small apartment, he asked, “Why are you still here?”

Maggie glanced over her shoulder.  “What, I should move uptown into one of your glass and steel monstrosities?”

“I was just thinking that you could afford a bigger place, that’s all.”

“This may be a tiny apartment but this building has soul.  Once upon a time, a family called this place home.  Maybe I can’t afford to own a whole townhouse but at least I can rent a small part of it.”

Michael watched her for a moment.  “You could have bought your own townhouse if you’d stayed with the firm.”

Maggie turned around and leaned against the counter, crossing her arms.  “If I’d stayed, I’d have been out of a job along with everyone else.  You really tanked everyone, you know that, right?”

He looked down at his hands.  “I wouldn’t have pursued the television thing if you’d still been there.”

She snorted, returning to her cutting board.  “Bullshit.  Being on the news every night is exactly your thing.  You can’t put that off on me.”

She set the coffee in front of him.  “What are you doing here, Michael?”

He stalled, sipping the steaming hazelnut blend.  “This isn’t where I meant to be.  I went out and ended up down here in the Village.  I was at the Blue Note until they kicked everybody out.  I got a little lost and then realized I was across the street from your apartment.”

Maggie turned back to her omelet, stirring in the vegetables.  The bacon had quieted down and she turned over the strips, causing them to erupt into loud sizzling once again.  “Why are you here?” she asked again.

“I’m sick,” he said quietly.

“I don’t doubt it.  It’s forty degrees outside and you’re soaked.  It’s a wonder you don’t have pneumonia.”

“It’s cancer.”

Maggie froze mid-stir.  “What?”  Slowly, she turned around.

“Cancer.”

“Shit.”  She crossed to the table and sank onto the chair across from him, gaping at him wide-eyed.

“There was this spot.  And then they found out it was melanoma.”  Michael’s face twisted.  “Mags, you wouldn’t believe the chunk they cut out of my shoulder.”

“Well, they got it then,” she said.  “Good.  That’s good, right?”

“Bacon’s burning,” Michael said quietly.

“Fuck!”  She jumped up and took the pan off the burner.

“I like it that way,” he offered as she set the strips of bacon on a paper towel to drain and poured the omelet into the pan.

“So after they took the hunk out of my arm they did a biopsy.  It was melanoma, just like the doctor said.  Then they had me get a PET scan.  Said they needed to see if it had spread.”

Maggie worked mechanically at the egg mixture in the pan, listening intently as he spoke.  “And?” she asked as she slid the omelet onto a blue ceramic plate.  She placed it in front of him and sat down again.

“And they called this afternoon to say they have the results.  The doctor wouldn’t discuss it over the phone.  He wants me to come in tomorrow.”  He looked down at the plate.  “He said I should have someone with me.”

“Oh my God.  Michael.”

He nodded.  “I started making phone calls.  That’s how I found out about Stan.  Which was after I called Murph and then Jimbo.  They pretty much told me to go fuck myself.”

Maggie watched him grimly.  I imagine they did. 

“I called some of the women I go out with.  I guess everybody has a lot going on.”  He sighed.  “I thought about calling you.  But, I don’t know.  I’ve been an asshole.  Plus I figured you were busy with getting married and stuff.”  He met her eyes.  “I didn’t mean to come here, honest to God.”

She watched him pick at the omelet.  “My agent’s pissed at me because I bailed on some appearances.  Asking her to come with me is out of the question.  She’s probably not in town anyway.”

Michael shook his head.  “I don’t know why they’re insisting that someone comes with me to that appointment tomorrow.  I should just go and find out what the scan shows, figure out where to go from there.  It’s just…”  His voice broke.  “Mags, I’m scared shitless.”  He put down the fork and held his head in his hands.

Maggie could never have imagined a scenario in which S. Michael Rannigan would break down sobbing at her kitchen table.  She felt as though her heart would break.

“Michael,” she said softly, standing beside him, placing her hand on his shoulder.  His body shook as he let loose the emotions that had been building since the day the nightmare had started.  “It’s okay,” she murmured.  “It’s okay, everything’s going to be alright.”  She waited for him to quiet down.  “What time is your appointment?”

Michael sat up, sniffing and using the towel to wipe his face.  “Shit.”  He coughed and took a sip of coffee.  “I have to be there at 1:30.”

Maggie looked over to where her files still sat scattered in the living room.  She knew they probably represented ten hours of work for the following day and sighed heavily.  “Where is the doctor’s office?”

“It’s on E. 80th between 2nd and 3rd.”

She nodded.  “Okay.  I’ll tell Rance that I have to leave at lunch.  I’ll meet you there.”

“I can’t ask you to do that,” Michael said quickly, but he looked at her with such gratitude she felt the sting of tears in her eyes and a huge lump formed in her throat.

She coughed lightly.  “You didn’t ask, although you seem to have asked everyone else in your Contacts, and I’m going to try not to take that personally,” she said.  “I’m offering.  Take it or leave it.”

Michael smiled thinly.  “I’ve missed your smartass.  I’d be so glad to have you with me.”

Maggie nodded.  “Done.  But if for some reason I’m running late, you go on in.  I’ll be there.  I promise.”  She took his plate and warmed it in the microwave before placing it in front of him again.  “Now finish this up.  I’m calling you a cab and sending you on your way.”

Use this link to get your copy of RUNNING ROGUE
at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/RunningRogue

Or start at the beginning with
RESISTING RISK: books2read.com/ResistingRisk

Sexy Summer Snippet–JUST ONE NIGHT Anniversary

JON new-updated June 2018

Just in time for the second anniversary of its publication, JUST ONE NIGHT, my naughty little summer novella, has a brand new look!

In the story, teacher Katie Parker is on her annual Girls’ Getaway vacation cruise in the Caribbean with her besties from high school.  This year, she’s determined to find a handsome stranger to help her forget about her latest romantic disaster.  All she wants is a night of anonymous passion.

Mac Coleman, traveling to Mexico for his brother’s wedding, is more than happy to go along with Katie’s plan.  But now, can he convince her that what they’ve found is worth more than just one night?

Here’s a steamy little snippet.

Dressed in fluffy white bathrobes emblazoned with the crest of the cruise line, Mac and Katie took their glasses out onto the veranda.  The full moon was setting on the horizon as a light tropical breeze ruffled their hair.

Mac watched her thoughtfully.  “This is revenge sex, isn’t it?  Somebody did you wrong.”

Katie returned his gaze but said nothing.

“I don’t mean to pry.  I know you said no personal information.  But you don’t strike me as the kind of woman who does this kind of thing all the time.”

She sighed.  “I don’t.  Like I said, this is a ‘one night only’ event.  Besides,” she looked away, “he wouldn’t care anyway.”

“Then he’s a damn fool.”

Katie laughed humorlessly.  “Be that as it may…”

Mac gazed out over the water.  “I haven’t had the best luck myself.  My last relationship ended in a restraining order.”  Katie looked at him sharply.  “I mean, I had to take out a restraining order after I broke up with her and she started stalking me.  I’m moving to get away from her.”

Unable to resist, Katie blurted her question.  “You’re moving to get away from a woman?”

“Well, it’s also a good opportunity.  A promotion and a raise and all.  But mostly, I don’t want to have to deal with her anymore.  A new town, a new job…all waiting for me when I get back.”

Katie sipped her wine thoughtfully.  “I suppose all in all, it worked out for you.

“I suppose.”  They stood in companionable silence, appreciating the soft Caribbean breeze caressing their faces and the quiet rumble of the ship’s engines tickling their feet.

Mac turned to Katie.  “I’m wondering if there’s any chance of us getting together tomorrow night.”

She smiled sadly.  “That would be breaking the rules.  Just one night, remember?”

“You sort of have this school teacher thing about rules, don’t you?”

Again, Katie looked at him sharply and didn’t respond.

Mac reached to grasp a lock of her red hair and twisted it around his finger.  “Well, seeing as how we have just this one night, I’d like very much to take you back to bed and make love to you one more time.”

Back inside the cabin, he gently helped her off with her robe and into bed, before dropping his own and climbing in beside her.  Head propped on one elbow, he gazed down at her, lightly tracing his finger along her body.  “You’re so pretty,” he murmured, leaning down to capture her lips with his own.  Katie responded, wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders, kissing him passionately.

In contrast to their earlier frenzied and frenetic fucking, this time was unhurried and deliberate.  Mac placed himself between her legs, nudging them further apart with his own, and he held himself over her.  Katie gripped his shoulders as he slid himself home, fresh condom in place, and began pumping himself slowly in and out of her battered sex.  The pair kept their eyes locked on each other as once again, their moments built, Katie raising her knees to allow him to penetrate her as deeply as possible.  She shattered as she came this time, crying out unintelligibly and he followed after her, pausing to plant a chaste kiss on her lips before collapsing on the bed beside her.

At only 99¢, JUST ONE NIGHT is the cheapest vacation you ever loved.

Use this link to get your copy: books2read.com/JustOneNight

Weekend Excerpt–What’s NEW For Rannigan’s Redemption?

Rannigan’s Redemption, a sexy law drama in three parts, has been out for a few years now, but there’s exciting news: All three books have brand new covers, and they’re finally all available in paperback for the first time!

Rannigan’s Redemption, my three-novel spicy vanilla law drama, is the story of the complicated relationship between bad boy Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hires to join his prestigious firm.

Michael is a rogue, an inveterate player with a stable of surgically-enhanced bottle-blondes at his beck and call.  Maggie’s smart and capable, maybe even a better lawyer than Michael, if he stops to think about it.  She’s too smart for his sexual tastes, definitely not his type.  So why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Maggie has been in love with him from the beginning.  She knows how he operates, and that the situation is all but hopeless.  But she sees the man he could be.  For now, she’s content to work with him.

What would happen if they crossed that line?

Here’s a little teaser from the first book, RESISTING RISK.

With the concert over, the dj was back in position and guests were taking advantage of the dance floor situated at the opposite end of the dinner tent from Michael’s table.  Michael and Maggie dodged enthusiastic dancers as they headed back to check on Ben.

White candles on the tables and white paper lanterns hung along the sides of the tent washed the scene in soft light.  Nearby trees had been strung with tiny sparkling lights and with nightfall the place took on the appearance of a fairyland.

Ben was asleep with his head on the table when Michael and Maggie returned.  The Murphys and the Methenys arrived at the table just behind them and their return caused Ben to stir slightly.

“Did you see Diamond Dave?” Pam gushed excitedly.  “He’s still so hot!”

“I didn’t see him but I heard him.  He sounds great,” Maggie commented.

“Michael, we’re going to be heading out.  We still have to get back to the city and pay the babysitters while we can still afford it,” Brian laughed and he moved around the table to shake Michael’s hand.  Pam and Renee gathered their purses and wraps.

“Did you guys share a car?” Michael asked.  “I didn’t realize.  Well, hey, I’m glad you made it out tonight.  We should go out together more often.”  He shook Jim’s hand and pecked Pam and Renee on the cheeks.

“Maggie, it was lovely meeting you,” Renee said.  “We’ll all get together for lunch or something.”

“That sounds great.  It was nice meeting you as well.  Safe travels,” Maggie said.  They stood and watched the foursome leave.

Maggie looked down at Ben, who was still asleep.  “I’m so sorry, Michael.  I never dreamed he’d be like this.”

Michael waved off the apology.  “Never apologize for someone else.  At least he’s quiet.”  They both laughed lightly.

“I should probably try to get him moving so we can go,” Maggie said.  “Ben, wake up.  Come on, seriously, we should be going.”

Michael watched her attempt to wake the sleeping Ben.  As she leaned forward over the table her tits came precariously close to spilling out of the deep v neckline and Michael was mesmerized, feeling himself become aroused.

“Hey Mags, let him sleep.  I’m stuck waiting here until my car returns.  Let’s hang out and you two can ride back with me.  Besides, they’re supposed to have fireworks in about an hour.”

“Really?”  Maggie gave a relieved smile.  “I wasn’t sure how I was going to get him home on the train.  I sort of pictured tossing him over my shoulder firefighter style.”

They both laughed as Michael removed his jacket and loosened his tie, placing the jacket on the back of the chair beside him.  He flagged down a waiter and quietly said something Maggie didn’t catch.  The waiter nodded.  “I’ll be right back, sir.”

Michael motioned to a chair beside him.  “Come, relax.”  As Maggie moved to Michael’s side of the table, the waiter returned with a bottle of wine and two glasses.  He opened the wine and offered it to Michael.

“That’s fine, thanks, I’ll take it from here,” he said, handing the man a generous tip.  Michael poured as Maggie sat beside him, their chairs facing each other.

She leaned an elbow on the table.  “That’s some service,” she commented.

He shrugged.  “You just have to ask nicely,” he said.  “Too many people behave like assholes.  Everybody likes to be treated with courtesy.”

They sipped without speaking for a while, enjoying the music from the other end of the tent.  Maggie spoke up.  “The Murphys and the Methenys were very charming.  I liked Pam and Renee.”

Michael nodded.  “Yeah, they’re good people.  Although the girls looked like bored house fraus out for a night on the town.”

Maggie let out a surprised laugh and playfully slapped his arm.  “They did not, they were lovely!”

“Just calling them like I see them,” Michael chuckled.

“Well I thought they were sweet.  And it’s sweet they had to get home to their kids.  They’re such nice families.”

Michael rolled his eyes.  “Don’t tell me.  Mary Margaret Flynn aspires to be a member of the Dowdy House Frau Club.  Ah, yes, the white picket fence, the 2.3 kids, the cocker spaniel.  You’d give up your career and move to the suburbs?”

Maggie blinked and spluttered, “The what?  I don’t…I mean you can’t just…”

He laughed heartily.  “Okay, Mags, don’t blow a gasket.  I’m just pulling your chain.”

“I’m not talking about giving up my career or moving.  People raise families in the city.  They do it all the time.  Don’t you want all that?  You know, a home, a wife, kids.  I mean, sometime, not now.  But seriously, Michael.  You mock all that like it’s pointless.”

He shook his head gravely.  “No.  I absolutely do not want that.  I like my life just as it is.  I come and go as I please.  I spend my money as I please.  If I want to go out, I do.  Otherwise I stay in alone.”

She regarded him seriously.  “But you don’t want to grow old alone.  Don’t you want someone to be there for you when life gets difficult?”

“I would think you of all people would get it,” Michael said, draining his wine and pouring another glass.  “People let you down.  They leave you and you have to fend for yourself.  It’s just easier this way.  You know what you’re getting.”

“Being alone in the world was never my choice.  And I hope to find someone to build a life with, to create a family with, if only to do better than what I had growing up,” she replied passionately.

“Your date tonight is an unconscious gay guy.  And how are you doing on that family thing?” he asked darkly.

Maggie swigged the rest of her wine.  “Well, it’s easier said than done,” she acknowledged quietly.

They drank in silence for a while, the mood between them soured.

“You know, Dan likes you,” Michael offered.

Maggie laughed.  “He doesn’t.”

“He does.  He told me so.  Asked me if it would be breaking firm policy to ask you out.”

“I wouldn’t go out with him,” Maggie said firmly.

“Why not?” Michael wondered.  “He’s a nice guy.”

“He’s a very nice guy.  I’m just not attracted to him.  It wouldn’t be right,” she answered.

Michael shook his head, bewildered.  They settled into quietly listening to the music as they sipped their wine.

Recognizing the intro to the next song, Maggie cried out, “Oh! Moon Dance!  I love Van Morrison.”

Michael gave her a sideways glance and held out his hand.  “Come on, Mags.  Dance with me.”

She took his hand as he helped her to her feet and she giggled self-consciously, her several glasses of wine causing her to wobble a little as they walked to the dance floor.  He turned to face her, placing his right hand on the small of her back and holding up her right hand in his left.

Maggie giggled again.  “So formal, Mr. Rannigan,” she smiled up at him.

He crooked an eyebrow at her.  “I’ve had lessons, Ms. Flynn.”  They began moving around the dance floor, swaying to the beat of the music.  Michael crooned along and made Maggie laugh by spinning her several times then pulling her close.  At one point he suddenly dipped her backwards, causing her to whoop in surprise.  Nearby dancers applauded as he pulled her back up and held her to him.  He could feel her heart pounding as she caught her breath.

“God, you smell good,” she whispered against his neck.

“That, Ms. Flynn,” he teased, “is because I showered and put on clean clothes today.”  His wit was rewarded by Maggie’s laughter.

Van Morrison finished moondancing and he was replaced by Eric Clapton singing about a woman who looks wonderful tonight.  Maggie stopped dancing and stepped back from Michael.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

She shook her head.  “I don’t know, Michael, it’s a slow song.” Maggie gazed up at him sheepishly, the self-conscious look back in place.

His soft brown eyes burned into hers.  “I’m not done.  And you do, you know.  You look wonderful tonight.”

Without waiting for her to reply, he once again pulled her close to himself with one hand on the small of her back, the other gripping her right hand and pulling it in to his collar bone, brushing it across his lips in the process.  He could feel her breath against his neck, then she sighed quietly and rested her head on his shoulder.  He hummed the rest of the song and when it was over, he continued holding her close.

A loud whistle followed by an explosion jarred them both as the fireworks display began over the water.  Michael released her and she stepped back.  “That was…” Maggie looked up into his face, eyes shining, “nice.”

He grinned down at her.  “Yes, it was.  Shall we go watch the fireworks?”

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

The very first chapter introduces you to Michael Rannigan.  In this trailer, I read it to you.