Tag Archives: mystery

Cover Reveal: Their Special Agent by Mel Gough

Their Special Agent | Mel Gough

Thistle Hearts #1

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber Designs

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

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Blurb

A murder. Three gorgeous men. One choice – Do your job, or follow your heart?

On the eve of the Thistle Hearts reunion tour, the rock band’s manager is found murdered. When Special Agent Carrie McDonald arrives to assist with the investigation, the band has mixed emotions about the involvement of the FBI. Jay, Lou and Corey have everything riding on a successful comeback, and their manager’s violent death has thrown them into turmoil. The last thing they need is the wrong kind of press.

As Carrie delves into the case, the band’s complex history of desire and tragedy emerges. Their shared passion intrigues and excites her, and gradually, the men open up and draw her into their ménage.

But a killer is on the loose, and he’s not yet done with Thistle Hearts.

Can Carrie prevent another brutal crime and protect the men who offer her a future beyond her wildest dreams?

About the Author

Mel Gough loves writing about love – but with a twist. Nominated for the 2019 Selfies Awards, her bisexual romantic suspense novel He is Mine is a typical Mel Gough story. She needs her HEA fix, but on the way there will be thorns and fire, and sometimes brimstone. All right, that might be over the top, especially since her stories are firmly based in the real world – though not always in the here and now.

Born in Germany, exploring other realities has been Mel’s siren call since she was young. Books opened up a plethora of worlds, and soon gave her a strong love of the English language. After an MA in Anthropology, field work in the middle of nowhere seemed like one adventure too far, so Mel settled in London, which, to misquote Dr. Johnson, she will never tire of.

Mel loves to bend genres – her romances are gritty and dark, and sometimes there’s a dead body. She’s been told that her prose is beautiful yet disturbingly real. She’s curious about bygone times, and hopes to speculate about the future in one of her next books.

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Review Tour: Escape by Annabelle Jacobs

Escape | Annabelle Jacobs

Rebellion #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 74,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

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Blurb

This isn’t the life Cole dreamt of, but what choice does he have?

With his twenty-third birthday behind him, Cole Moreton now faces the shifter compatibility test which will decide his future. Testing positive means joining a pack and eventually taking the bite. Unfortunately, with enviable skills in self-defence and hand-to-hand combat, the kind of packs interested in him aren’t any he’d want to join.

Logan has been a member of the McKillan pack for most of his life. Pack is family and loyalty is everything, but when the shifter government turns out to be no better than the oppressive humans before them, he questions everything.

Right from their first meeting, Logan knows that a life with the McKillan pack isn’t right for Cole, but with his alpha taking a keen interest in Cole’s skills, Logan’s hands are tied. Mutual attraction builds between them, but acting on it is futile—helping Cole will put their lives at risk and an end to any future they could’ve had.

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About The Author

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Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories.

They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Social Media

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction

Website – www.annabellejacobs.com

Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

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Release Blitz: Escape by Annabelle Jacobs

Escape | Annabelle Jacobs

Rebellion #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 74,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Escape-AJ-f.jpg

Blurb

This isn’t the life Cole dreamt of, but what choice does he have?

With his twenty-third birthday behind him, Cole Moreton now faces the shifter compatibility test which will decide his future. Testing positive means joining a pack and eventually taking the bite. Unfortunately, with enviable skills in self-defence and hand-to-hand combat, the kind of packs interested in him aren’t any he’d want to join.

Logan has been a member of the McKillan pack for most of his life. Pack is family and loyalty is everything, but when the shifter government turns out to be no better than the oppressive humans before them, he questions everything.

Right from their first meeting, Logan knows that a life with the McKillan pack isn’t right for Cole, but with his alpha taking a keen interest in Cole’s skills, Logan’s hands are tied. Mutual attraction builds between them, but acting on it is futile—helping Cole will put their lives at risk and an end to any future they could’ve had.

About The Author

Copy of Copy of Annabelle_edited-1.jpg

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories.

They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Social Media

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction

Website – www.annabellejacobs.com

Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

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Charlie’s new romantic suspense is an absolute riot

Kept in the Dark (Locke and Keyes Agency, #1)Kept in the Dark by Charlie Cochet

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an absolute riot from start to finish packed with just what I like to read in my romantic suspense stories.

It has two distinct and likeable MCs, a good tight-paced plot, lots of humour, great side characters you want to know more about, the element of mystery which drives a series and explosive chemistry between Caiden and D.

The ultimate villain of the piece was, for me anyway, I think a little bit obvious once a particular comment was made, but even so, the narrative still drives an excellent tension through to the conclusion.

There are loads of laughs in this one too, it’s perhaps not up to Ace’s level of joking from Charlie’s Love in Spades but it’s still very funny at times. It’s also super steamy, Cade and D burn up the sheets and there are lots of totally delicious jealous on both sides as they go undercover for their mission.

This new series promises all sorts of fun going forward and I can’t wait for Si’s story next. As a PS, I absolutely LOVE that the whole black ops team is named after stars in the Orion constellation 😁

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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New Release Blitz: Stray by Nancy J. Hedin

Stray | Nancy J. Hedin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: August 12, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 65,800

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Blurb

Lorraine Tyler should be in vet school, but she stayed behind in her home town of Bend, Minnesota to care for her nephew, spend time with her lover, Charity, and give her momma a chance to complete nursing school.

Lorraine is content until her momma brings home a steady stream of bachelors to straighten her out. Charity is out of town more and more, and Lorraine’s brother-in-law is looking for a new mom for Little Man. To make matters worse there’re new people in town. A politician is drumming up fear and hate, a social worker is flirting with Lorraine, and Lorraine’s new friend, Ricky, is beaten into a coma.

Lorraine suspects Ricky was beaten because of being gay. Lorraine is determined to find out who did it, protect Ricky from the hater who might try to finish the job, and she’s worried she might be next on the hater’s list.

Stray is a story of politics fueling hate, competing romantic interests, and regular people examining their hearts, souls, and hormones. Will the people of Bend harbor the fear-rattled haters of some, or will they provide sanctuary for all?

Excerpt

Stray
Nancy J. Hedin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
It was supper time on a weeknight and there were two vehicles I didn’t recognize and a hearse parked next to our farmhouse. It wasn’t really a hearse, it was Pastor Grind’s tan Toyota, but any visit from him meant bad news. God how I hoped Momma had started a book club or extorted people to attend a Tupperware party. More likely she was bringing me a parade of potential husbands. She wanted to straighten out her queer daughter, me. I didn’t know if she was acting alone or if she’d again claim she had God on her side. Maybe she got Pastor Grind to agree to marry me to one of those men on the spot.

“Lorraine, Lorraine!” Momma came rumbling out of the house onto the open front porch, waving her arms. “Don’t change out of your college clothes. We have guests for dinner.”

It’s not like I routinely changed clothes in the yard. I parked my truck in between Dad’s beat-up pickup and Momma’s dented station wagon. Momma had parked on half the pink flamingo pair of lawn ornaments Dad had installed the day before.

“We’re having chicken. Ricky wants to learn to make my gravy.” Momma wiped her hands on her denim apron.

Before I could ask her who Ricky was—like I didn’t already know he’s some guy she found at college and deems him a good husband for me—the only requirement being a penis in his pants—she put her hands on her wide hips like she had more to say. “That Charity girl is here too, but she’s not staying.” Momma swiveled around and marched to the house.

My girlfriend, Charity, was there. Finally, some good news. At least it meant she was driving her dad’s car and he wasn’t with her. There was no way that holier-than-god man would come to the queer’s house and have his daughter with him.

Dad and my three-year-old nephew, Little Man, came out of the barn with the dogs, Sniff, Pants, and Satan. Dad was telling Little Man some damn animal story—something about what they can tell from smelling another dog’s pee. Little Man and the dogs came running to me. “Raine, Raine, we’ve been throwing balls for the dogs.”

Most days I took care of Little Man, but Tuesday was a school day for me at the junior college where I had enrolled in as many math and science classes as I could manage until I left for Grayson School of Veterinary Science in Duluth. Grayson wasn’t a top ten veterinary school, but it was my first choice because I didn’t have to have a bachelor’s degree before entering their program. That was good for me since I had already delayed my college entrance by a couple of years because of the needs of my family.

Grayson accepted two years of college level science and math and allowed degree candidates to take summer classes for the entire four years of pre-veterinary science programs. It floated my boat, but what really got me excited was if I was short on the college level courses, which I was, they’d let me take skills and knowledge testing which would count toward coursework. All those things I’d learned from helping Twitch with his vet business could be parlayed for course credits. Sweet.

Little Man hugged my legs. When I looked at him and Momma and Dad, I had a hollow ache in my chest for who was missing. My twin sister, Becky, was dead. She left behind a dope of a husband and the sweetest little boy I could imagine existed in the world. My brother-in-law Kenny’s truck was gone. He must have still been at work at the lumber yard.

I scooped up Little Man. He wore the matching blue and white T-shirt and pants I’d put him in early in the morning, but he was filthy from playing. As I kissed his doughy neck, I sniffed him to know what he’d done while I was away. I detected the scent of outdoors, dogs, dirt, and snickerdoodle cookies, an average day.

I dropped him off in the mudroom. He climbed the green plastic, frog-faced step stool so he could reach the mudroom sink to wash his hands, and I looked for Charity. Charity leaned against the kitchen counter. Damn she looks good. I forgot all about supper. My whole body hungered for her touch and the sweet things she always said to me. I wanted to wrap my arms around Charity and kiss her until my lips fell off.

No kissing for me. Momma came back in the kitchen looking like she owned and ran the place, which she did. Momma and Charity were as far apart from each other as possible in the room and despite the temperature outside being near eighty degrees, the air temperature between them was colder than a well-digger’s lunch, as my dad would say.

“Hi.” I touched Charity’s shoulder. “I’m glad to see you. Why are you driving your dad’s car? You about scared me to death.”

She smiled and squeezed my hand quick, her eyes glued on Momma. “Dad needed my truck to help somebody move some boxes or something.”

I smelled her shampoo and she’d just put on some lip gloss I wanted to methodically taste and remove.

Momma gave the queer girls only cursory attention. I almost snuck a kiss, but I realized half a man twitched and kicked on the kitchen floor. The other half of him was tucked in the cabinet under the sink. When the top of him emerged I about lost my mind.

Christ, she’s at it again. This time the man was old enough to have possibly signed the Declaration of Independence, or at least the Constitution.

“Momma, I hope you haven’t been trying to find a date for me again.” Next, I addressed the fossil under the sink. “Ricky, I’m sorry you come all this way for nothing but a busted sink.”

Just then Little Man came in the kitchen. Momma’s face brightened as she whisked Little Man into her arms. He dried his wet hands on the front of Momma’s good apron—the full-length one with chickens embroidered on it and pockets on both sides of the skirt. Next Momma pulled me into the utility room with her and Little Man. “Excuse us.” She slid the accordion door closed.

Oh Christ, she’s going to murder me. No. She wouldn’t murder me in front of Little Man and so many witnesses in the house, but there was a fair chance she was going to lecture me and possibly brain me with one of her sacred books. She appreciated the Old Testament shock and awe. She didn’t much go for the patient tolerance of God’s later work or “the mushy parts,” as she called them. However, she did like the way her slim New Testament fit in the oversized pockets of her denim apron, and she liked the way it fit nicely in her hand when she wanted to swat someone, usually me. But she didn’t hit me. Instead, she reminded me of the way her mind worked and how she got everything done with speed and efficiency.

“That’s not Ricky. It’s Harold. Has it ever occurred to you, Lorraine, that we needed the sink replaced?”

That’s Momma for you. She could probably kill more than two birds with one stone. She weaseled getting our sink fixed and paraded a bachelor for my appraisal. She was so efficient, I was surprised there were any birds left.

Momma continued, “Besides, you can’t marry Harold. He’s already engaged to a gal from the square-dancing club.”

“Square dancing,” Little Man said.

Little Man, at three years old, needed an interpreter. I caught most everything he said because I listened to him most days. He had acquired a new habit of repeating parts of whatever he’d heard somebody else say.

“Well, do-si-do and an allemande right if I’m not relieved.”

“Smarty pants,” Momma said. “Behave yourself. It wouldn’t hurt you to try to make friends with our guests. Supper is almost ready.”

“Great. I want to sit by Charity.”

“She’s not staying.”

What? Hadn’t we made any ground at all? Couldn’t my girlfriend at least enjoy a meal at our house? It’s not like we would make out at the dinner table.

Momma pushed me out of the utility room, put Little Man down with half a cookie, and helped Harold get up off the kitchen floor.

“Can’t you stay for supper?” I asked Charity.

Charity glanced at Momma. Then she looked at her feet and bit her lip.

Those lips. I knew how pillowy soft and warm they were. The first time she ever kissed me it felt like I had known her mouth forever.

Charity turned her back on Momma and she half whispered and half gasped, “Lorraine, are you ever leaving for college? This is too small, too much.”

“How can something be both too small and too much?” I tried to joke, but Charity wasn’t having it.

“I don’t know, but Bend is and you need to decide. I’m going home.” Charity headed to the door.

I wanted to remind her I was moving as fast as circumstances would allow. I’d enrolled in as many science classes as the junior college offered while I worked with Twitch…and I minded Little Man. But I didn’t speak up for myself.

“Are you still coming over tomorrow?” I whispered. “Little Man has some new plastic animals. I’m thinking of decorating the kitchen like an African safari.” My scheme kept Little Man busy and allowed me to study animal physiology and anatomy at the same time.

“See you tomorrow.” Charity called over her shoulder with very little enthusiasm.

I watched Charity through the window walking away. My heart raced. I almost ran after her, but then Momma grabbed me and harped at me to go sit in the dining room and talk to the guests. Why is everybody so mad at me? Why is everyone pressuring me to move faster or be different? Momma wanted me to not be queer and marry a man. Charity wanted me to leave Bend before I had Little Man settled. I took deep breaths and prepared to enter the dining room.

About the Author

Nancy Hedin, a Minnesota writer, has been a pastor and bartender (at the same time). She has been a stand-up comic and a mental health crisis worker (at the same time). She wants readers to know that every story she writes begins with her hearing voices.

In 2018 Nancy’s debut novel, Bend was named one of twenty-five books to read for Pride Month by Barnes and Noble and was named Debut Novel of the Year by Golden Crown Literary Society and Foreword Indies Honorable Mention for GLBT Adult Novel of the Year.

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Release Blitz: Past Sins by Thomas Grant Bruso

Past Sins | Thomas Grant Bruso

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

JMS Books | Universal Link

Length: 29,389 words

Publisher: JMS Books

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Blurb

Officer Jack Ballinger receives a phone call from the chief of police in the early morning hours regarding a dead body at an apartment building in a quiet neighborhood in the small upstate New York town of Black Falls.

A female student lies in a pentagram outlined in her own blood, clutching a rosary. Ballinger and his former partner Officer Cory Ryan interview tenants in the building about the girl’s death, but are met with more questions than answers.

When another body is found in the same apartment building a few hours later, Jack knows something is wrong. As he ciphers through a patchwork of unexplainable clues, the investigation detours when Ryan disappears from the case and cannot be found.

With his future as an officer in question, will Ballinger be able to deal with the truth of these crimes once he discovers everything he thought he knew was a lie?

Excerpt

I’ve been sitting in the dark for an hour in front of the rain-streaked balcony window on a rattan armchair I found at a yard sale a few months ago.

An old relic is somebody else’s fortune, my mother once told me. It’s got a couple more good years left, I surmise, as I pour three fingers of vodka into a tumbler half filled with melting ice and take a slow sip, chips of broken ice sliding down my throat like shards of glass.

This is the only time I am by myself, a cosmic stillness, to think and rationalize.

Staring out at lines of rain crisscrossing down the sliding glass doors, I see a young dead girl lying in her own blood, clutching a rosary, her face distorted and covered in blood from a deep knife wound.

What does it mean? I wonder, tipping the glass and emptying the vodka in one long pull.

I refill, wishing I had bought two bottles, when a single soft knock at the door rattles me, and I lose my grip on the bottle and glass.

My drink spills across the scattered rug, and the edge of the glass smashes against the armchair at a ninety-degree angle, slivers of glass splintering across the floor.

“Fucking-A.”

There’s another knock, harder, more urgent.

I stand, wiping beads of alcohol off my hand and arm, and turn, staring at the closed door.

The time on the microwave reads 3:36.

Nobody visits this early in the morning. I wait and listen, hoping whoever it is will go away. 

Five seconds. Ten. Fifteen.

Then …

Two raps, hard, forceful and demanding to be answered.

I shudder, and my heartbeat rages in my ears.

As if paralyzed, fear traps me in place, and my hands are trembling and clammy and cold.

But I conjure up enough strength to yell, “Hello?”

I hear mumbling, but the words are unclear.

I swallow hard and step over broken glass, walking in the semi-darkness to the edge of the mini kitchen, inching closer to the door.

“Hello?” I say again, reaching for my gun on the counter and cocking the hammer.

There is no answer. 

I skulk to the edge of the door and lean up against the peephole, straining to glimpse a tall lean shadow stretching across the far wall in the hallway.

Stepping back, I aim the gun at the closed door, hearing my neighbor’s voice in my head.

Tall. Thin. Ghostly.

“Who is it?” I yell.

No answer.

I am buzzed from the booze, my head swimming with unpleasant thoughts. I step towards the door and unlock the chains, my hand hovering on the handle.

I look out through the peephole; the hall is empty.

I aim the gun out in front of me as I turn the bottom lock counterclockwise and pull the door open slightly, the chain link lock still affixed, clattering in place.

Staring out the crack, I don’t see anybody. “Hello?”

But there is no response.

I close the door and step out into the hallway, slowly, cautiously, looking left to right. Right to left, aiming the gun in every direction.

At the far end of the corridor, near the stairwell exit, I see a figure, masked in a dark hoodie, staring out the window to the tenant parking lot below.

“Hello?” I yell.

The figure turns in slow-motion, and I catch a glimpse of his long face in the bright moonlight spilling in from the high window.

The end of the whole dilemma eight months ago resurfaces like a nightmare that won’t stay dead, as I glare into the face of my past sins.

About The Author

Thomas Grant Bruso graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in theatre performance and English writing. He knew at an early age he wanted to be a writer.

He has been a voracious reader of genre fiction since he was a kid. His literary inspirations are Dean Koontz, Karin Fossum, Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, and John Connolly. He loves animals, book-reading, writing fiction, and prefers Sudoku to crossword puzzles.

He writes book reviews for his hometown newspaper, The Press Republican. He lives in Plattsburgh with his husband, Paul, and their miniature pincher diva, Riley.

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Release Blitz: King Slayer by Layla Reyne

King Slayer | Layla Reyne

Fog City #2

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Release Date (Print & Ebook): August 5, 2019 (E-book & Print)

Length (Print & Ebook): Approx. 51,000 words

Universal Link: https://amzn.to/2LUTkDP

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Blurb

Never fall for a mark. Mission fail.

Christopher Perri—a.k.a. Dante Perry—infiltrated the Madigan organization with one goal: vengeance for his murdered partner.

Falling for the assassin at the head of the table wasn’t part of the plan, but Hawes Madigan is not the cold, untouchable Prince of Killers Chris expected. Everything about the newly crowned king is hot, and every inch of him eminently touchable… and off-limits once Chris’s cover is blown.

Exposure couldn’t come at a worse time. Hawes’s throne is threatened, and Chris suspects the same person who killed his partner is behind the coup. Working with Hawes benefits them both, but Chris’s employer has other ideas. Dismantling criminal organizations is what Chris does best, and his boss expects the King Slayer to deliver.

But Hawes is taking the Madigans in a new direction, one Chris can get behind, and the two men form a shaky alliance strengthened by the irresistible attraction between them… until Chris learns who killed his partner. Once he knows the truth, the King Slayer is unleashed, and Chris will stop at nothing to destroy those who betrayed him, including the king who stole his heart.

Twists and turns—and cliffhangers—continue in book two of the Fog City Trilogy. Read at your own risk!

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Excerpt

Never fall for a mark.

Undercover 101. Hell, avid reader 101. As many assignments as Chris had worked, as many books as he’d read, he fucking knew better. He should’ve recognized the signs and thrown up a wall sooner.

Would it have mattered?

Looking down at Hawes Madigan, naked and handcuffed to the headboard—his trim, hard body coiled for a fight, his blue eyes liquid fire, his cock still half-hard, and his sharp mind no doubt working overtime—Chris figured probably not. No amount of training, no amount of reading, no amount of proper carriage, hair ties, or weaponry would change the fact that the place he most wanted to be right then was in that bed—with the enemy.

With the Prince of Killers.

No, the king.

Fuck.

***

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About The Author

RITA Finalist Layla Reyne is the author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey, Trouble Brewing, and Changing Lanes series.

A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. Layla is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

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