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Fiona is a finicky fairy who only only prefers what she pleases. She favors french fries, fireflies and frolickling in the forget-me-nots but figs and tadpoles – forget it! However after a Friday afternoon with Father Frog, she learns that trying new things is terrific!
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French-speaking father and English-speaking mother. She has three younger
sisters. Jackie has always loved reading her mother’s romance books. After
moving to Montreal, she worked as a customer service representative. But her
love for writing romances has never stopped.
English and French languages. When she’s not writing her next great romance,
she enjoys watching movies, listening to music, and of course promoting her
know that sending a loved one off to war is one of the hardest things in life
to do and the only hope you can have is that they will return safely. In A
Soldier’s Vow by Jackie M. Smith, we travel with the couple (whose names to me
are so unique as I have never read a book before containing these names so I’ll
keep those a surprise) on a journey of passion, love, honor and an everlasting
right throughout the book so intensely that it truly does feel like you are the
heroine waiting on your hero to come home. I cried, I laughed, and I rejoiced
in this stunning novel. Jackie you have truly outdone yourself. And to those of
you who have ever had the illusion that a war related romance novel is too much
emotion or just not your style, I can tell you you’re missing out for with A
Soldier’s Vow you cannot go wrong and you will want to share it with the world
afterwards it is a true romantics dream.
M. Smith’s story, Forever Yours, tells the stories of two lovers torn apart by
war. The heroine is unique, as she is a pilot for the Royal Air Force, and her
lover, Philip, is a childhood friend who falls in love with her as they head
into battle. Unsure of whether she will return to his arms, Philip holds fast
to his love as the reader holds fast to the hope that the two will reunite. Romantic
Alice Malone dreams of one day being a
writer, but her pending engagement to a childhood friend puts a damper
on her dreams and her future. When she meets Ryan Quinn during the
construction of Titanic, their attraction is immediate. With him, true
love could exist despite the difference in their social standings.
The moment Ryan laid eyes upon Alice, he
knew she was the woman of his dreams. He loves her courage and
determination, but he fears another rejection and the possibility her
engagement might take her away from him.
Can their love survive and help them find a way to each other?
raked a hand through his hair and bent his head in prayer for her life. Panic
and fear knotted his gut. Staring at Alice’s pale face, he knew bullet wounds
could cause infection when not treated in time. Blood soaked her jacket and
blouse. What the hell happened?
lifted her head. “You need to tell my father where I am so he doesn’t worry.”
kissed her fingers. “Isabel is telling him now. You must rest.”
closed her eyes. Ryan stared at her while the doctor placed more bandages
against her wound.
wife will be fine.”
know,” Ryan decided to say. This wasn’t the time or the place to correct the
doctor. Alice would make a wonderful wife, he mused. The idea of marrying her
did appeal to him, but he wasn’t ready for marriage— not yet. Before he thought
of marriage again, he wanted to know more about her. Since they met, he’d
thought of her often and dreamed of her. Somehow, she’d managed to erase the
horrible memories of his last relationship—almost.
get her into surgery before she loses more blood,” the doctor said, breaking
into Ryan’s daydreaming as they arrived at the hospital.
kissed Alice’s chilled fingers. “I’ll be here when you wake,” he murmured in
her ear before pressing his lips against her cheek.
have a sit, sir. We’ll come for you shortly,” the doctor said with a reassuring
once more at Alice, he released her small hand and sat on one of the chairs
lining the wall. Placing his hands across his face, he prayed in silence. Keep her safe. With all the blood
seeping from her wound, he worried. She was too young to die. He rose and
walked to the window. Staring outside, he looked at the rainy horizon and hoped
to see Alice soon. Thanks to the doctor and nurse caring for her, she was in
good hands, but he didn’t like seeing her in such a frail condition.
the doctor spoke behind him.
turned, holding a breath. “How’s Alice?”
bullet went through her shoulder. She will be up and about in a few days. We
expect a full recovery.”
blew out the air in his lungs. “Thank you. May I see her?”
course but only for a while. She lost a lot of blood and is resting now. Follow
every step he took down the long white corridor, Ryan felt his gut knot a bit
more. Screams from the grand recovery room reached his ears. He thanked the
doctor in silence for placing Alice in a private room, away from all the
suffering. When they reached the end of the corridor, tall windows on each side
of the bed illuminated a small room. Ryan froze and brought a hand against his
mouth. Alice’s pale face frightened him to his core. The doctor had reassured
him, but until she recovered he feared for her life. He pulled out the chair
and placed it beside the bed. Taking her small hand between his, he brought her
fingers to his lips.
be all right in no time,” he said with confidence.
memories of his mother in a hospital bed resurfaced. He had almost lost her
when he was a child and since then thanked the stars above for sparing her
life. With the back of his hand, he touched Alice’s cheek, feeling the
coolness. Thick bandages covered her shoulder. Her long auburn hair fanned out
on the pillow. An angel slept. His angel on Earth. For the longest time, he had
dreamed of the same woman. Yet, Ryan had never been able to see her face. All
he saw was the Ethereal light around her, shining, guiding him toward her. Was
he seeing Alice? Before he met this enchanting woman, he stopped believed in
love after his relationship with Ashley. Now, he wondered if a chance at love
smiled upon him.
Ryan watched Alice sleep, a smile formed on his lips. His trousers tightened
with thoughts of her sweet lips. Desire for her grew with each passing day. He
knew madness played a role in his clouded judgment, but he didn’t care. He had
one life to live, and he wanted to know more about Alice. Her courage and
strength called out to him. The way she kissed him back the other day told him
no other man claimed her heart. But he wanted—needed—certainty before he took a
chance. Bringing her fingers against his mouth, he pressed a gentle kiss,
feeling the coolness of her skin. Who
hurt you, Alice? He wanted to know. Anger rose within him.
town, he heard about women marching for voting rights and the police officers
watching them, but he never thought someone would use their firearms. Women had
their reasons and had as much as rights as men when it came to voting. They had
their say. What happened today for the constables to shoot at a peaceful march?
No matter. Next time, he would accompany Alice and Isabel. That way, they would
have someone to protect them. The need to be there for Alice overtook reason.
He knew they barely knew each other, but the times they spent together working
and talking, Ryan grew to appreciate her and like her more every day.
now, they kept their relationship on a professional level. Yet, he couldn’t
deny his strong attraction for her.
great care, he smoothed a strand of hair. Her lips beckoned him. He wanted to
taste her again.
brow. “I’m here, Alice. I’ll be here for as long as you need me.”
It is the spring of 1622. Soldiers are arriving at the port
of Seville from a gruelling war in the Netherlands. Amongst them Don Iago
Borja, heir to the Estates of the Villa Sant’Angelo near the village of Cullera
in the province of Valencia in eastern Spain. After a five year absence Iago is
anxious to return home.
He is pleased to find his uncle’s ship the Santa
Theresa in the harbor and more so when he is told he is sailing for
Valencia. As the ship departs, Iago is delighted on discovering his uncle’s
beautiful daughter, Elena, is also aboard.
However the scars of battle and a mental conflict of
loyalty with his uncle have Iago wondering if love with Elena is possible?
Will Iago’s inner demons prove to be too large an obstacle
or will he be able to overcome his feelings of guilt?
Louise Roberts was born in Alexandria, Egypt in August 1951
to British parents by Maltese descent. Following the Suez Crisis in November
1956 her parents were compelled to abandon their assets and home, and leave the
country as political refugees. Louise grew up and was educated in London,
England and has always held a passion for history and English Literature.
In 1988 she immigrated to Sydney, Australia and presently
lives with her family in the northern bushland suburb of Berowra, which is
located just south of the Hawkesbury River.
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music emerged from various tavernas which were scattered along the
waterfront, but to her, the sounds seemed muted as she slipped in and out of
her own private thoughts. She wondered about the future and what her Valencian
family was like. She had heard about them from her father, and now she longed
to meet them, especially Dorotea who was of similar age.
noise made her turn around. The crew had begun to make the ship ready for their
departure at midnight when high tide was expected. Men were running up the
ratlines to the yards. The Bosun was calling out instructions, as men ran
barefoot for ‘ad and aft carrying bits of nautical equipment. Provisions were
being brought up from the quay in large nets and were lowered into the hold by men
pulling ropes which had been strung up through pulleys suspended from mast
jibs. There were barrels of fresh water and casks of wine, barrels of salted
fish, sacks of flour and grain, boxes of fruit and vegetables.
slowly becoming dizzy by all the activity, and although she wished to return to
the safety of her cabin, she did not dare to move for fear of being knocked
over by any of the mariners who were rushing about. If only her father would
rescue her, as captain of the ship however he was far too busy somewhere else.
She turned back to face the town, at least psychologically, it provided her
with a temporary sanctuary from the hectic madness about her. She had been
aboard since late afternoon when her grandparents had accompanied their granddaughter
to their son-in-law’s vessel. Don Gregario had arrived a mere two days
previously to arrange for his daughter, Elena, to accompany him to their
family’s property in Cullera in the province of Valencia.
stared into the darkness she could see two men who appeared to be arguing. One
of them seemed relatively young, perhaps not much older than herself. She could
vaguely make out that he was well attired, and looked like one of the soldiers
she and her grandfather had seen in the port a few days before. From what she
could make out he appeared tall though of a stocky muscular build. The other
man was much older and more rugged. He was looking over the young man’s horse.
She surmised they must be arguing over a price for the animal.
after a great deal of gesticulations on the part of the older man the
transaction seemed to conclude. The young man rubbed the horse’s nose as if to
say farewell. After removing the saddle and bags from its back, he swung them
over his own shoulder, his distinct posture buckling from their weight.
rugged man moved away leading his new acquisition, she saw the younger man
trudge up the gang plank onto the ship. Curiosity and unexpected excitement
gripped her, making her heart race. She edged forward, leaning over the
guardrail enabling her to glance amidships. Elena followed his progress as he
stepped on board. Light from several lanterns which had been secured to the
main mast shone onto the stranger.
Bosun stop momentarily from his duties and walk over to him. They seemed
genuinely pleased to meet as they wrapped their arms about each other in a
friendly hug. Another old mariner also approached his voice loud amongst the
bustle of surrounding sounds to offer a welcome and to assist the young man
with his baggage. Their exchanges were jovial and Elena could hear them
laughing at some inaudible comment. She watched the Bosun shake the young man’s
hand before he returned to his duties.
as the stranger and the old sailor walked toward where she was standing. As
they approached, she could now see that she had been right in her assessment of
his height and build, but now she could also make out he had certain handsome
features. Her eyes remained fixed on him as they came nearer to the doorway
which led to the cabins beneath the stern quarterdeck. Although she had thought
he had not seen her, when they arrived at the entrance, he stopped, looked up
at her, removed his hat in a sweeping motion, and bowed low.
it was just a mere instant that their eyes had met in the dim light, she could
feel a strong sensuality about him which sent ripples of pleasure through her
skin and her nipples hardened. Her breathing became shallower. She felt a warm
wetness between her thighs and her pulse quickened when she saw his face
clearly in the light of the doorway lantern. Although he was smiling at her,
she sensed something was not quite what it seemed. The uncertainty of her
earlier carnal reaction made her shiver as though cold, making her long for the
warmth of her cabin. Elena downcast her eyes and made a simple short curtsey in
response. When she looked up again, he was gone.
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gardens of the Alcazaba, a Moorish word describing a citadel, were delightful
with a vivid display of flowering shrubs and fruit trees amid the stone walls
of the ancient fortress. It had been built by the Moors in the eleventh century
on the remnants of a Roman structure. Its position at the top of a hill
commanded magnificent views of the town and the sea. At its base a Roman
theatre added charisma to an already magnificent structure.
and Elena had walked leisurely to it with Magdalena acting as chaperon at a
discreet distance. Although within view, so as not to be vulnerable to unwanted
attention and with the protection of her mistress’s companion.
sun had risen just after seven that morning and it was promising to be another
warm day. A light scattering of white soft clouds added welcomed shadows from
time to time, keeping the heat at bay. As they viewed the impressive buildings,
fountains and palaces, her arm held through his absent-mindedly whilst talking
about their aspirations.
will you do when you return home?” Elena asked sincerely.
this stage I am uncertain. Your father has always wished I would take command
of the Santa Theresa as I believe he wishes to retire, but I too am
tired of adventures.”
father would retire? I find this hard to believe.” Elena responded in an amused
tone. “He knows nothing of the word. As long as I have known him he has always
been at sea.”
perhaps it is why he wishes to give it up and enjoy his daughter’s company for
his remaining ancient years.”
is not that ancient, Iago. Don’t let him hear you describe him such.”
have no intention of saying it to his face. I respect him far too much to
dishonor him so, but the truth of it cannot escape him or us.”
you would captain the Santa Theresa?”
was a time I had considered it but that was before I met you. I will wait until
I can assess my options at home. As I said to you before I need to see what
awaits me before I can make a decision on my future.”
hope I will be part of that future?” Elena said longingly, pulling him close to
stopped walking and turned to face her. He lowered his head as she looked up at
him and kissed her gently on the lips. Their eyes open, staring deep into each
other’s souls he answered “Nothing in this world would be able to tear me away
from your company.” And as the words left his mouth he was overcome with a
burning urge to make love to her there and then. He looked about and espied a
seemingly deserted alcove. He then glanced around searching for Magdalena.
Comfortable that she was a safe distance, he guided Elena to the private
sanctuary, and then holding her tightly to his person let his hands explore her
was delighted at the risqué venture her cousin was plying and she
eagerly encouraged him by gripping his hand and placing it between her legs. He
needed no further persuasion to lift up her skirts and stroke her swollen vulva
through her soft curls. She fumbled at his lacings, undoing his breeches,
exposing his very hard and erect penis. Iago gasped, drunk by the pleasure of
the moment, as she guided him to her. His hands moved to her buttocks lifting
her to level his height so that she could position herself onto him. She
wrapped her legs about his waist for support and drew him closer. Her arms
about his shoulders pulling him in as far as she could, whilst all the time
their lips were locked in a never-ending embrace. The excitement and the
passion of their love-making and the ambiance of their surroundings, all
intermingled into a climatic ecstasy. They held each other for what seemed an
eternity. The urgency of their love-making had left them exhausted and
perspiring. Their kissing subsided becoming gentler, taking a moment or two to
compose themselves before stumbling from the shadows laughing at their madness.
From the immortal kingdom of the Samurai, Imperial Leader Yokami Sukani and his wife Tomoe Gazen yearn for the child they know they will never birth. Tomoe’s Katana keens bereft, for the next Daughter of the Sword. Meanwhile, Bishamon, the God of War, and his Katana, wreak havoc in his endless pursuit of pain and suffering.
Bishamon’s Sword of War must disappear, forever.
The battle of Culloden Moor is forty-eight hours away. Epona, Goddess of horses, dogs, healing springs and crops, prays for the coming of the girl child prophesized to be born with the Sight for the magnificent Friesian horses.
Yokami’s Katana recognises Marie MacDonald.
A bargain is struck.
In modern Australia, the awaited one, Connor MacDonald is birthed, awakening the ancient Scottish Horsemen from their three-century slumber.
Brutality finds her.
Bishamon, mad with rage, hunts for his blade.
Will he regain his instrument of destruction?
Born of the blood of the ancient Scots, named Daughter by the immortal Samurai, doubly blessed or doubly cursed, will Connor MacDonald be Bishamon’s instrument of revenge?
14 April, 1746
The morning was cold when Yokami materialized on the Highland soil of the Scots. Cutting, frigid wind buffeted his imperial robes as he walked toward a giant monolith split almost in two by the force of an ancient earthquake. The downpour of rain shrouded the early morning sunshine. Snow-capped mountains appeared grey and hostile in the fog and the cloudburst. His thoughts were of Bishamon and whatever chaos he was creating back at the Imperial palace.
In the distance, a tall woman dressed in a long drab homespun dress walked through the heather, seemingly oblivious to the rain and the cold. Over her arm, she carried a basket. Her long blonde hair was wound up in a bun from which tendrils had escaped to curl around her face. The bite of the chill wind made her cheeks the colour of roses. Praise to the Masters, she was beautiful.
Fading to invisibility, he tucked the Sword of War, wrapped in ceremonial silk wraps as befitting its importance, under his arm. The blade was warm against his side. The woman bent over to pick some plants and added them to her basket, when the purr of his Katana vibrated along his back, signalling its welcome. The woman’s head shot up abruptly, then she stared in his direction. Although she could not see him, she squinted like someone trying to peer through peasoup fog. Shaking her head, she shrugged and returned to gathering the plants.
Footfalls nearby summoned the Katana from the scabbard to his open palm. He flicked his wrist and extended the blade. The Sword of War tingled and vibrated through the silk wraps pressed against the side of his chest.
A tinkling voice laced with laughter came from behind him. Looking over his shoulder, he took a couple of seconds to recognise and take in the sight that was Epona, the Scottish Goddess of horses, dogs, healing springs, and crops. He smiled and relaxed as the Katana returned to the scabbard. Seated on a sidesaddle, positioned on the back of a black Friesian mare, she extended her hand. “Well met, Lord of the blade. To what do the Celtic Gods owe the pleasure of your visit?”
Lowering the sword, he bowed his head onto her outstretched fingers. “Well met, my Lady.”
The smile died on her face when her gaze tracked to the wrap of silk under his arm. The mare pranced as agitation overcame her mistress. Glaring at him, she hissed, “You would dare to bring the blade of treachery to our lands? Why? The Sword of War has no place here.”
Yokami nodded and acknowledged her concern. “You are correct. This sword is an instrument of death and destruction. It has taken many lives. Too many souls have already been lost, because of its love of bloodshed and power.”
Her eyes lingered on the wrapped sword, then she stared unblinking at him and nodded. “It is right that you would rid yourself of such a weapon, but why bring it here to the Scottish Highlands? Do we not have enough strife already with the wretched English and their greed for our land?”
Joining both hands palm against palm just under his chin, he bowed his head in reverence. “I mean you and your race no harm, Lady. My intention was to hide the sword here in the past, in a place hidden for all eternity. I intended to drop it down the crater and let the Earth take it back to base metals.”
The corded muscles in his back and neck relaxed slightly when a small smile lifted the corners of her lips. Confused, he cocked his head to the side and frowned. “Have I amused you, Goddess?”
“I was watching you before you realized I was near.” She inclined her head in the direction of the blonde woman. “I see you are a man who appreciates beauty.”
He nodded and followed her gaze. “She is indeed beautiful—a puzzle, but beautiful”
Epona’s brow wrinkled. “A puzzle? What do you mean?”
The sword in the scabbard sang as it flew to his palm. Lifting the blade, he raised it slowly to the outstretched position. “Watch.”
The audible purr from the Katana caused Epona to gasp as she flinched and startled her mare, who danced on the spot. Stroking the long black neck in soothing lines, Epona looked to Yokami and frowned. “The sword recognizes Marie MacDonald?”
Lowering the blade, he returned it to the scabbard, then placed a hand on the forehead of the beautiful black mare. “So it would seem. What do you know of her?”
Epona returned her gaze to the young woman, who was now making her way back down the hillside. The purple heather seemed to stroke her ankles as it swayed in her wake.
“Angus, her husband, is of the blood of our ancient Horsemen. His clan has bred and grown Friesians for eons. The breed was a gift to Scotland from our Gods. It is our greatest hope that his genes will pass to a girl child, a daughter of the Highland horsemen. You see, for the Scots, it is only female children who are born with the Sight. We hope for a daughter who not only hears and talks and is one with our Friesian bloodline, but who also has the skill and courage to promote them as the best this world has ever seen. As our Gods intended—the pride of Scotland.”
She tapped her index finger lightly on the side of her mouth, as if deep in thought. “Perhaps your sword recognizes Marie because she is of pure warrior blood. Her clan is fearsome and undefeated in battle. Each child born to this clan is practically birthed with a broadsword in their fist.”
Yokami flinched, as adrenaline surged at her words. His jackhammering heart seemed to be trying to erupt from his body. He swallowed the quaver he knew was in his voice, then spoke. “She is warrior born? Of the sword?”
I smell rain before clouds gather across the sky. I feel the dawn before the sun paints my world the colours of the earth. It is the flit of gossamer wings above my head as I walk through the garden that warms my soul and makes me glad that faeries exist. The universe is my mistress and my strength. Things that growl in the shadows or snap at my ankles in the night are my dark friends—the source of my creativity. I, am Kathrine Leannan
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he got the added reward of coming to Vegas. He’d scored at a few blackjack
tables while he waited for the club to open and, with some luck, maybe he’d
score tonight with one of these near-naked waitresses coming by.
been following him over the past few months hadn’t yet gone away. Granger
couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that trouble was on its way and now sitting
in this club, the shadow clinging to him with a deeper fervor, he knew it could
all come back to Sadie. After all, it had all started with her. This feeling
began the day he’d rescued her.
and got comfortable in the plush booth, ready for the sweetest surveillance
he’d ever done. If Sadie were here, he’d find her. There was no missing the
hellfire with flaming red curls. He’d seen her through his scope when doing
parameter watches during her sister’s Pronouncements, but had never seen her as
up close and personal until the day of her rescue. Only then, she’d been a
mess. He suspected she’d be more presentable in this little club tonight.
mission orders though. Hands off the merchandise. Granger was to inform Sadie
of the latest risks and do what it took to bring her back to the compound. That
man was no fun since he was mated.
stage lights went on. Granger watched as at least a dozen women filed out onto
the stage in tight corsets and tiny panties accented by heavy snow boots,
fingerless mittens, and fuzzy hats. Apparently, someone had the wrong idea
about winter apparel, but who was he to complain when the view was this
spectacular? Granger surveyed the line of women on stage. His eyes moved back
and forth twice before they locked on those blue eyes he remembered. Instead of
sallow and tired, they were vibrant and bright. Her skin that had been caked
with mud and grime was now like porcelain, so clear she could’ve been a
mannequin. He blinked and looked away as a rush of that same anxiousness washed
through him. What the fuck?
the stage, Sadie was in the front line coming down the stairs. He was certain
music was playing and that these women were dancing, but he’d developed tunnel
vision. All he saw was his mate—without any doubt, it was his mate—with her
bright flaming red hair now fringing her face, the hat she once wore on the
floor, and the scarf no longer hiding her breasts. She stood before him in a
shiny silver shelf bra that left nothing to the imagination of these men
sitting around him.
going to parade around like that for all these men to see. His muscles shifted,
his adrenaline surged as he determined the best course of action. He knew he
shouldn’t cause a disruption. He needed to approach this as he would a mission.
Yet every nerve in his body screamed at him to get up, grab his mate, throw her
over his shoulder, and get the hell out of there.
as he watched Sadie, his eyes never leaving her. Then despite the fact he was
hidden away in a corner booth, her rich ocean blue eyes landed on him. They
grew wide and he saw her breath catch. Oh yes, she recognized him as her mate
too. That’s right, beautiful, you are all mine, Grander thought as he adjusted
himself again. Damn jeans weren’t giving him any room for comfort now.
the other dancers, her tiny hips gyrating to the music just as she’d be doing
to him as soon as he could get them the fuck out of here. She drifted across
the room in erotically choreographed movements that would’ve been fantastic if
it wasn’t that his mate was dancing in nearly nothing in a room full of men.
with his drink, Granger asked how long the performance lasted and was relieved
to hear there would be an intermission after only a half hour. He could wait
that long. Then he’d take her and split. They had something to take care of
before he brought her back to the compound. He took sips of his bourbon and
then more deep breaths to calm his nerves. His hands itched to touch her, to
feel those springy curls in his fingers as he kissed her lush pink lips. Well
shit, this line of thinking wasn’t doing him any good. Maybe he should shoot
TEU a text to check in and let them know he’d located her.
message than the response came.
shook his head, feeling like he’d just been set up.
phone, shaking his head, when he looked up again to see Sadie standing right in
front of his table, her hips swaying side to side with her torso bent back. She
wasn’t watching him, but she most certainly had to know what she was doing to
him. The damn woman before him now was nothing like the woman he’d rescued, nor
did she look like the simple beauty he’d seen through his scope on a few
occasions. Didn’t her file say her soul sin was sloth?
length of her body against him even as he felt the unmistakable link solidify
between them. His cock lengthened and tightened the pants he desperately needed
to get out of. Enough was enough. Why was he holding back? This was fate. What
would happen next was inevitable.
you standing up.” Granger’s husky words pushed abruptly through his gritted
long before moving so Granger swung her into his arms and stomped to the
bedroom at the other end of the suite. Dropping her on the bed, he removed his
clothes with a single thought.
my flesh to touch your flesh, with no barriers,” he explained. The blush on her
cheeks was absolutely delightful.
took one of her legs into his hand and kissed each tiny, delicate painted toe.
She gasped when he sucked on her big toe, pulling into his mouth just as he
planned to do to her nipples. Releasing it, he gave the same treatment to her
other foot, her other toes. By the time he worked his way up her thighs, Sadie
was flushed and heavy-lidded with desire. She was putty in his hands.
below him, Granger drank in the sight. He leaned down, kneeling over the edge
of the bed, and breathed in her scent. It was musky, but held the subtle
undertone of something sweet. Clean-shaven and with just a mere scrap along her
center, he could see the pink, swollen folds as they grew wet. He blew out a
breath and watched her muscles tense and relax. Then when he’d had enough, or
when he needed more, he bit down into the fabric of her panties and pulled
until he heard the threads snap.
separated Sadie’s legs further and ran his nose along her core. He inhaled her
scent and knew it would forever be his undoing. Then he tasted. With a single
lick from back to front, he scooped up the moisture and drank it in. It was a
feast for his soul as he felt something inside him shift. What the fuck?
distraction, he drew himself deeper into her, curling his tongue and using it
to feel along her opening and inside the channel he’d soon fill. He lapped over
and over until her folds were puffy and dark pink. Then he honed in on her
clit, the tiny bundle of nerves protruding from the small hood at the top of
mouth, Granger heard Sadie grow louder, heard her praying to the Goddess, but
he wouldn’t let anything distract him. He was a man on a mission and he planned
to have blast off any second now. Suck. Pull. Nibble. Moving his tongue and
lips until he felt the tightening of her thighs and heard the scream she could
no longer hold back.
pleased her, Granger moved above Sadie to kiss her. They shared the flavor of
her satisfaction on his tongue and lips. She eagerly lapped up the juices
remaining on his face and despite believing his cock couldn’t get harder, it
l’oca! I am crazy for this. Ho un
debole per te.” Granger panted out the words as he flipped Sadie onto her
stomach, lifted her ass in the air, and pressed his swollen cockhead against
her moist folds.
and there was no hope of delaying any further. Once he felt her relax into the
feel of him so close to her, her back bow under his touch, Granger pushed
forward. Slowly, ever-so-damn-slowly, he entered his mate. Each and every
ripple, soft tissue, hard muscle, heated cream—Granger felt everything. It
burned him, not just his dick, but something inside of him warmed. He felt
tight, as if his skin was suddenly shrunk and too small to fit his body. He strained
against the sensation and felt as if he’d burst. Holding still, fully seated
inside Sadie, Granger’s arms held him completely above her so he could feel his
chest on her back.
please.” Sadie’s plea snapped every synapse in Granger’s body to attention.
pivoted his hips. Fast and furious, Granger took his mate. The heat and slide,
the sounds of their cores connecting with each thrust, propelled him. He wasn’t
being gentle. And while he hoped he was giving, right now his only thoughts
were on taking. Taking his mate. Making his claim.
apart. One man. One Woman. Between them, a precious child whose future they hold
in their hands.
true. Born in a barn, the bastard son of
a drunken whore, he’s got nothing to offer, and any dreams he might have are as
far away as the distant snow-capped Rockies — and probably as unattainable.
He’s long had his eye on pretty Lucille McIntyre, but that’s just one more
prettiest and most popular girl in Sunset, but her father’s sudden death has
left her shaken and sad. Now, life seems to be passing her by.
deliver a squalling 3-month-old infant to Tom, his life and Lucille’s both
change. His decision to keep the baby girl sets off a firestorm among the good
ladies in town who don’t consider him fit to raise a child.
their struggle for keeping Faith.
Christensen turned and opened the door of the coach, the sound grew louder.
Louder, clearer, and too distinct to be mistaken for anything but what it was.
Henderson. She left behind a beautiful little girl.”
join him. She’d heard every word, he suspected. Together they peered past the
somber spinster, straining to get a glimpse of the infant.
over with an appraising glance as well, then turned and carefully removed the
little blanket-wrapped bundle from the coach. Tom smiled, noting the wicker
basket in which his little niece—his niece!—had made the journey from Denver to
the child up for Tom’s inspection, “that you’re the only family she has.”
he should ask any of them.
father? Where is he?” She reached out to touch the baby’s cheek.
as if offering a silent prayer. When she opened them again, she turned to face
Tom. “The child’s father took his own life, I’m afraid. Grief sometimes makes
dismay. Tom felt it, too, but no sound came out when he opened his mouth. Too
much bad news was coming at him all at once.
explained. “The father, your sister’s husband,” Miss Christensen added,
“brought the child to our doorstep, left her there, then disappeared. Although
we tracked him down…” Her voice trailed off.
crooning sounds came from his throat.
he pointed out. The thought that this innocent babe was nothing more than baby
girl to the people who cared for her brought a surge of emotion so
powerful it frightened him.
infant, his movements so swift and sudden, the protective woman had no chance
to put up a defense. “She deserves a name. Every baby deserves a name.”
decide what to call her.” A stricken look appeared on her face. Obviously she
didn’t trust Tom with her precious responsibility. He understood, but he was
kin. Nobody needed to adopt her. She had family.
“Do they know about his daughter?”
woman sniffed again, then held out her arms. “I’ll take her now, Mr.
tightly. “She’s got an uncle.” He looked up and smiled. “She’s got a
grandmother, too.” Ordinarily he wouldn’t go around calling any attention to
his mother’s existence, but this was far from an ordinary event.
After all the hardships, all the horrors, all the sufferings and shames of
Charlotte Henderson’s life, this one singular moment could change everything.
What was that crazy story Ma used to tell him, about some bird rising up out of
the fire? As a boy, he never understood it, but suddenly its meaning came clear
in his mind. Bad things happened, but good things could still come of it. Instead
of wallowing in ashes, you could look up, see the sky and choose to fly.
you’ve got no way to provide for your niece. I suppose I should have taken time
to make the trip on my own to assess the conditions, but I was hopeful you’d be
in a position to take her. Optimism is one of my weaknesses, I daresay.”
He couldn’t imagine her ever having a positive outlook about anything.
bright blue skies and sunny days. She deserved butterflies and flowers, and the
sweet promise of spring. Not some strait-laced, tightly-corseted old biddy who
thought of her as nothing more than baby girl.
his arms. So tiny, yet so perfect. He marveled over the little fingers,
touching each one by one. When the baby’s hand closed around his big thumb, he
felt a tugging at his heart so real, so undeniable, he suddenly couldn’t find
Christensen’s nasally voice grated on Tom’s nerves. “I have to leave now. It’s
a long trip back to Denver. You need to give me the child.”
little time with her.” He stroked one soft, pink cheek and was rewarded with a
gurgling, cooing smile. “She likes me,” he said, glancing toward Lucille.
This precious life wrapped in a thick gray blanket was kin. Not his own child,
but a child who shared his blood, all the same. She was Sally’s daughter, and
Sally was gone now. This sweet, nameless angel was all that was left to him of
his sister’s kindness, her goodness, her own innocence.
Sally, could have helped her and given her all she needed, but he’d failed her.
Too young, too mixed-up, and too bitter about his own life, Tom hadn’t been
able to save Sally from the wretched evils of their childhood.
voice. “I’m going to keep her.”
scribbled a few figures on the page. “It’s three pennies a yard. That means it
would be about twelve cents, total.”
coins out. As she reached to wrap the ribbons in tissue, he put his hand on
hers. “No need. They’re yours.”
foolishness if I’ve ever heard it. I don’t need you buying hair ribbons for me,
Tom. Or doing anything else for me.” She bustled out from behind the sales
counter and pointed to the door. “Really, you need to go. This is a dressmaking
shop, and I don’t think you have much use for fancy skirts.” She eyed him up
certain part of his anatomy. He liked the hungry way she looked at him, and he
took a step closer.
out of here, and I think I know why.”
single syllable. “Scared of what? You? Not in the least.”
you’re feeling right now.”
stroked her cheek with the back of his hand. “You know, your skin’s as smooth
and soft as that velvet ribbon, and every bit as pretty.”
You’re afraid of all those crazy feelings stirring inside you right now. Afraid
that if you don’t get me out of here real quick, you might do something crazy,
something you might later regret.”
her eyes and an invitation on her lips.
hers. The pleasure of her hot mouth was almost too much for him to bear. His
arms closed around her and she moved easily into his embrace. Waves of desire
undulated through him. He tightened his hold, and her body responded at once,
yielding to him, pressing against him. Tom groaned. He wanted to hold Lucille
forever, to make her part of his world, part of his life, part of his future.
stronger. When she showed kindness, it made him proud. With Lucille at his
side, he could be a good man, a wise man, a man whose life was
truly worth living.
against his sent quivers down his spine, rippling through his muscles and
tore away, her breathing ragged. “Please, stop.” With her hand pressed to her
mouth, Lucille staggered away from him. Shaking her head back and forth, she
gasped. “Tom, we mustn’t do this.”
fought to regain control. “It’s only complicated because that’s how you’re making
it. Why don’t you just admit the truth?”
Lucille. I know you do.”
soft glow. “Oh, all right. Yes, I like it when you kiss me.” A sigh fluttered
from her lips. She moved closer and held her hands out to him. “I like it a
lot. Maybe you’re right. I am scared, Tom.”
grandfather who patiently held her on his lap and taught her to read. He also
told her stories of his own childhood and stirred her imagination with scenes
from days gone by. From him, she developed not only a love of words and
story-telling, but a deep appreciation for history and a longing to learn more
about the past.
sharing her own stories about men and women and the romance of an earlier time.
online and in print, and she’s also published inspirational pieces, poetry, and
life, and lives a simple, uncomplicated life in a small mid-western town.
novels by Christina Cole
demanding boss, a lost child and two stray dogs are only the beginning…
rescued by a mysterious stranger who then disappears, leaving no way for her to
thank him. The man haunts her memory. At twenty-two, Shelby is trying to
understand why she attracts men who don’t respect her. Her traumatic
adolescence has left scars. How can she become assertive and find a loving
again. Nathan Monroe, a country veterinarian, has reluctantly moved with his
four-year-old daughter Caity to the city. He needs to begin life again after a
for Caity, she is hopeful. Might she even build a life with this enigmatic man,
his daughter, and the two stray dogs that need a home? Shelby must make a
confronting choice. It is time to claim her personal strength, and face her
worst fear of all.
parked his mud-splattered Nissan Patrol on the cliff top overlooking the beach
and sat looking down at the turmoil of whitecaps and hissing surf. The wild,
lonely vista matched his mood. The past came with you, however far you
out into the rain and stood facing the icy southerly. The wind whipped his
brown hair as he strode to the cliff edge. Legs planted apart, arms hugging his
chest, he was a dark, unapproachable figure, defiant in his stance. At the end
of the beach, spray geysered high as waves smashed onto the rocks. Lashing
rain, almost horizontal, stung his face and he pulled up the black hood. His
vision was blurred as he squinted, peering downwards. Had he imagined movement
on the beach? A vague shape
interrupted the otherwise deserted vista. Large logs, washed up and
rolled about by the ferocity of the current? Surely not a swimmer on such a
day? An uneasy premonition gripped him. Instinctively he began to run downhill,
digging the heels of his boots into the steep track to gain purchase as his
help and saw the horse half-buried in black mud. The smeared rider, also caught
in the sinkhole, was supporting the terrified animal’s neck above the
encroaching waves. The tide was coming in.
the perimeter of the sand and the boy waved frantically. “Get back! If you get
caught, we’ll all…”
Would he? Time was critical. Stay calm. His trained veterinary mind went into
analytical mode. The Nissan’s towing capacity would easily handle a horse
weighing around four or five hundred kilograms. Fortunately he had heavy ropes.
He’d even tossed his stun gun in with his vet case before driving down from
Roma for the interview. He must get the four wheel drive down to the beach, get
the horse roped, free the rider then use the vehicle to ease the horse free.
not to panic. Talk to your horse. Keep him calm if possible. I’m bringing
terror at the prospect of being left alone. He was only a teenager, as far as
Nathan could judge. The waves were already creeping closer. Would he have time
to carry out a rescue? The thought of the boy and his horse vanishing from
sight was too horrible to bear.
towards the steep track. Was it the only vehicle access? He’d be at a forty
five degree angle, and he had no time to consider tire pressure. Compelled by
the plea of the trapped boy, he had to stop calculating and simply do it.
Panting, he arrived at the Nissan, engaged the low range gear and took an
involuntary deep breath as he went over the edge and the horizon disappeared.
angled sharply, on the verge of rolling. Nathan forced that image out of his
head and concentrated on reaching the beach below. The tires slipped and
skidded, the body swaying from side to side and lurching horribly as it hit
buried logs and debris. Miraculously, he was on the beach, desperately seeking
traction in the sand.
though they’d sunk further into the treacherous pit. He could see the muddy arm
flail, waving to him. Poor kid! This must be what pure terror felt like. As he
came closer, he could see the whites of the horse’s eyes as it struggled to
patter of words he’d so often used to calm a birthing cow or a sheep tangled in
a barbed wire fence, Nathan grabbed the heaviest ropes.
New Year’s Eve
is hot and sultry—in more ways than one, when the tall, handsome Prince of
Lochac fixes the newest lady in his court with his magnetic gaze, and crosses
the hall to bow to her.
to a prince? Especially a charmer like Will Bradshaw? Caitlin has to wonder,
when people mention his reputation.
wondering too. It’s been seven years since his divorce. Has he found the woman
he can place on a pedestal, high above the hurts of the past?
of problems. What if the one ill-judged mistake of Caitlin’s past happens to be
the one fault he can’t accept? Can he overcome his emotional conflict, and can
Caitlin deal with her lack of trust, surging up as jealousy and fear that she’s
about to lose the love of her life?
note: Margaret is a New Zealand author who lives in
Australia. She has written modern and historical fiction, a book for children
and several short story collections.Her earlier novels and short stories have
won several major prizes including a New Zealand Scholarship in Letters and two
Australia Council awards. Her latest books are warm-hearted romances with dogs expressing
their personalities in the stories. Margaret’s website is at www.margaretsutherland.com
her skirt above the summer dust, Caitlin followed Heather and the girls toward
the entrance of an unimpressive hall. The paint was flaking and the building
looked like the site of a scout meeting or country dance.
involuntary gasp. The change was miraculous. Candles sent fluttering shadows
through the twilight, burnishing the metallic shields and suits of armor of two
attendants who waited to receive new arrivals. Silken banners embroidered in
fantastic designs swayed in the gentle breeze blowing through open windows. Men
and women in gorgeous-hued dress stood in groups or glided among tables set
with platters, goblets, old-fashioned spoons and large forks.
easily believe in time travel. Strolling players wove among the groups, making
music with recorders, flutes and other instruments she was unfamiliar with;
perhaps lutes or viola da gamba. She was greeted and introduced with courtly bows
and gracious phrases of welcome that somehow inspired similar responses to trip
from her tongue as though she’d been groomed for just such occasions. The
atmosphere seemed to mask something significant; some important event that was
about to touch and even change her. Alert, she sat quietly next to Heather on
the wooden bench and drew her two nieces to sit on either side of her like
small golden shields.
content to sit and stare at the activity, as members set up a mock throne and
unfurled a roll of ruby carpet. Apparently the coronation was about to begin.
to be crowned?” she whispered, and her nieces stared around.
Jackie sounded awestruck. She was pointing to a tall figure, resplendent in
royal purple cape, who had just entered from a side door. Looking every inch a
man who could carry a crown, he stood quietly, scanning the room. Draped cuffs
fell gracefully over long hands as he gestured to various friends. Masculine
boots set off muscular legs, confirming his strength and regal appearance.
Will Bradshaw,” murmured Heather. “I think he’s seen the new lady in his