Monday, December 30, 2013


I have an announcement my lovely peoples!! Dawn Robertson has asked me to join her on an epic adventure of high proportions. We are co-authoring a book entitled, Uncomplicated! It's going to be amazeballs! Fantabulous!! It's going to rock your socks off!


Three days a week I work your everyday nine-to-five. The paperwork is never-ending. The pay is mediocre, and the office drama is simply intolerable. But the other four days a week, I am my own boss.

My name is Jennifer Sunshine and I am a Vegas Call Girl.
My clients range from frat boys on spring break to multimillionaire business men with stuffy wives and less than ideal equipment.

I don’t have a daddy-complex or some kind of sob story.
I don’t need the money, but it is nice.
The only thing I crave is the exhilarating feeling I get from being in control of something. Anything.

My life is uncomplicated, simple even.
That was until he paid for my services and turned my entire world upside down.

Add to your TBR list on goodreads now:

Without a Trace by Laurie White Cover Reveal


Magazine journalist Rachel Bennett has a reputation for getting to the heart of a story. However, when her sister disappears and is suspected of embezzling from her employer, the story has suddenly become personal. The last thing Rachel wants right now is the distraction of Sergeant Matt Romero, the detective assigned to the case. She wants a “safe” man…and Matt is anything but that.

Matt accepts the risk that goes with his job. Two years ago, his wife was murdered, a tragedy he blames himself for. He's vowed to protect his family and friends because he doesn't want to go through the pain of loss again. However, the lovely journalist soon begins breaking through the icy wall around his heart.

As Rachel and Matt search for answers in order to find her sister, they uncover a corruption that puts them both in danger – and a passion that puts both their hearts at risk.


When journalist Rachel Bennett’s sister disappears, the story becomes personal. The last thing she wants is the distraction of Sergeant Matt Romero.


Laurie White is the author of two published novels from Sweet Cravings Publishing. She loves writing sexy, suspenseful stories that feature strong heroines and troubled yet honorable heroes. In her other life, Laurie is a veterinary technician and proud momma of four cats. She lives in the hills of Tennessee.


WITHOUT A TRACE - Coming February 2014 from Sweet Cravings Publishing!
TWIST OF FATE - February 2013 from Sweet Cravings Publishing
DESERT HEAT - October 2012 from Sweet Cravings Publishing


Friday, December 27, 2013

I Thee Wed by Savannah Leigh Release Day

Drew and Lily sitting in a tree (or a church garden)
K-I-S-S-I-N-G (and then some)
First comes sex
Then comes marriage
Then, well, we’re just not sure what comes next.

Lily Kramer accepted Drew Hamilton’s marriage proposal but it wasn’t a traditional proposal. He wants her to marry him so his mother, who has dementia, will know that he got married. Lily, an over-thirty wedding planner, doesn’t see any other offers of marriage in her future so she accepts. Now she has to plan a wedding that looks and feels like a real wedding, but isn’t.  Drew doesn’t want a relationship, but he wants it to look like he and Lily are married, including living together, so that everyone believes.

Will they be able to pull it off? Will Drew’s mother succumb to the dementia before the wedding? Will Lily be able to shield her heart and still have the wedding of her dreams?

**This is the follow up novel to With This Ring.**

Buy Links: 
I Thee Wed

With This Ring

About the Author:
Savannah Leigh is a small-town girl with big city dreams. She has always had a love of romance novels and never thought she would actually be able to publish one of her own. Savannah is inspired by photos of shirtless men on the internet, hot actors in steamy scenes, and her own fantasies. A lover of wine and Bailey’s Irish Cream, Savannah enjoys spending time with friends and reading steamy novels.

Connect with Savannah:
Twitter: @savannahlbooks

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Spotlight Saturday's with S. Moose


*Contains Mature Adult Content*

Adam and Sophia were best friends but when tragedy strikes it's more than Adam can handle and he leaves Sophia alone in the dark.

Four years later, Adam and Sophia are reunited and the sparks between them return but is it too late?

Sophia is happy again and has let go of the darkness. She has great friends and a sweet boyfriend name Kyle. Now that Adam is back how will she be able to balance her boyfriend and her best friend?

The darkness always finds you again but will Adam be able to save her or leave her again?

Author Information:

My name is Saoching Moose, writing as S.Moose. My debut novel, Reaching Out For You, published on June 8, 2013. This novel is the first of the Never Letting Go Series. I am a self-published author and I love every moment. I have met some amazing people and am very excited about what's to come.

I live in Webster, NY with my husband. I enjoy being with my family and friends. I graduated from St. John Fisher College with my BA in 2011. I love writing and it's always been a dream of mine to publish my work. I'm an avid reader and love reading books with a happy ending-I'm a sucker for romance.

I want to inspire others with my words the way I have been inspired through countless works of literature. I think that everyone has a purpose in life, it just takes time to find it. 

Buy Links:

 Author Links:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Love Required by Melanie Codina Cover Reveal

Love Required, Book three in The Real Love Series

Jason Michaels knows second chances are very much a part of “happy ever after.” He’s seen it firsthand, more than once. So when will it be his turn? He has a great group of friends and family to share his life with, but he knows there is one thing still missing. Love isn’t something he’s been avoiding, he just hasn’t found it yet… or has he?
Tori Peterson has made mistakes in her life, but they all pale in comparison to her marriage. Luckily, she’s a woman who quickly learned from her mistakes. Doing everything in her power to escape the man who promised to cherish her, she builds herself a life she can be proud of. Never again will she be fooled into being with a man who she might love. She knows she has too much to lose. Her hope? That she will recognize real love when she finds it. Her fear? That her past will catch her before she has a chance to find the love she deserves, the love that is required … So what happens when her hopes and fears catch up to her at the same time?

Author Bio:

Melanie is an amazing mother of four, an awesome and tolerant wife to one, and nurse to many. If you don’t believe her, just ask anyone in her family, they know what to say. She is also a devoted chauffeur, the keeper of missing socks, a genius according to a six year old, the coolest soccer uniform coordinator according to a twelve year old, and the best damn ‘mac-n-cheese-with-cut-up-hot-dog maker in the whole world. Well that last title isn’t really official, but it’s still pretty cool to be called it.

When not being ordered around by any of the kids, you can find her with her nose in a book or on the sideline of a soccer game cheering on one team or another. But that’s mostly because she has a thing for the coach. When she is not doing all of the above, you can find her obsessed with a group of fictional characters all vying for a spot on the page of whatever she’s working on. It’s a fun and crazy life to lead, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

Author Links:


Twitter: @MelanieCodina


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kayden by Chelle Bliss Cover Reveal

Kayden Michaels has a past filled with sex, addiction, and heartache. A past that he’s avoided sharing with the love of his life, Sophia, and held close to his core not risking rejection. Needing to get his addictions in check and gain control of his life for the sake of his family, Kayden is forced to confront his past and make amends for the path he’s walked.

 Kayden must recount every carnal act and the betrayal from those he’s loved to identify the triggers that spur his addictions and overcome it all to be worthy of Sophia’s love – his sole reason to exist.

Release Date ~ January 2, 2014

Add to Goodreads:

Purchase Links for Untangle Me

Book 1 Amazon Link:
Book 1 Amazon UK:

Connect with Chelle Bliss:



Twitter: @ChelleBliss1

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cover and Blurb Reveal for Possessed by You by ME!!

I am proud to announce yet another cover reveal and this time I'm revealing the blurb as well. So excited for this book. Unfortunately I'm feeling a huge book hangover with this one and I really have no idea why. So enjoy! Add to your TBR list and bring on February 21st!!



Releasing control is relief…

I was warned about men like Brett Maclean.

He was dark and thrilling, intense and controlling. And he captivated me from the very start. He unleashed something inside of me like no other. His bad rep and troubled past drew me to him like gasoline feeding a flame.

With just one taste, I felt the danger in him, the uncontrollable power that left me breathless. The passion consumed me. Fast and hard.

Temptation couldn't guard my heart. I should have known a man of such raw and wild desires came with competition.

Release date: February 21, 2014!!!

Add to your TBR list now!

Take What You Want by Ann Lister Blog Tour

Take What You Want
The Rock Gods - Book 2
Ann Lister

Mega rock star, Alex “Zander” Metcalf is burned out after nearly two years touring with his band, as well as emotionally drained after his sexual preferences were exposed by the media. He is ready for a long sabbatical – alone, and retreats to the east coast island of Martha's Vineyard; leasing an oceanside estate.

Alex seeks the quiet lifestyle of a recluse to write new material for his band, only to meet the handsome estate manager, Chase, and his gorgeous fiancée, Danni, living in the guest house on his property. Alex's hope of solitude is soon forgotten when he discovers Chase has a repressed bi-sexual side that is aching to surface and Alex is more than happy to help him explore it.

What neither Alex or Chase expects is the emotional power of their chemistry expanding to involve the three of them when Danni becomes entangled in their passion. Alex believes he has finally found his perfect menage relationship with Chase and Danni.

Sometimes two isn't enough and it takes three to complete the union of a fulfilled love. But, will their new relationship be strong enough to survive when real life wants to punish them for their unconventional love? And, can they be confident in the strength of their love to take the 'happily ever after' they can only give each other?

“I love you,” Alex whispered. “With everything I am. Heart and soul.”

What they were offering was everything he'd always hoped he'd find with another man and a woman. It seemed surreal for that to be happening with the one couple he didn't want to live without – ever. He'd no longer be disposable. He'd belong to them equally, as they would belong to him. Three equal parts. And, he loved it.

Ann Lister is a native New Englander currently living on the island of Martha's Vineyard with her husband. She has pulled details from her years living in the New England area and uses many local settings and landmarks in her novels.
After graduating art school and raising two daughters, she established her own video production company. Her nearly two decades working in video production included work within the music industry and won her a coveted Telly Award. It was this 'behind-the-scenes' exposure to the music world that inspired many of her novels.
In 2013 she released Book One of her new rock star series: The Rock Gods. Book One is titled, Fall For Me. This novel is her first full-length gay, erotic romance and it is also a Finalist novel for the 2013 Rainbow Award.
Book Two in the Rock Gods series is titled, Take What You Want. This story is a m/m/f menage and released in early November 2013. Book Three, titled: Make You Mine, is expected to release in Spring of 2014.
When not writing, she enjoys reading, creating stained glass, and traveling.
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @AnnListerAuthor
Goodreads Author Page:

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nobody's Perfect by Kallypso Masters

Stop 3 Marc Introduces Damián to the World of Consensual Kink
Welcome to the third stop in Kallypso Master’s “How it Began” two-day blog tour. Thanks for having me, Jo-Anna Walker.
If you’re just joining in, you can get a list of the tour stops in order at my Ahh, Kallypso…the stories you tell blog page: 

Now for the next excerpt in the “How it Began” blog tour, Masters at Arms is very much a story about how three military men met and formed a bond. In this scene, Marc and Damián are about to deploy and after hearing Damián’s misconceptions about BDSM, Marc has decided to take him to a kink club.
For a little reality, of course, Marines have a code of ethics that states they are not to frequent such establishments. So they drive to Los Angeles from Camp Pendleton in order to avoid detection by the MPs. When Top Griz (a retired Master Sergeant and now one of my Marine experts), found me after my first three books were out, I asked him what Marc and Damián have done if they’d seen Adam Montague, their Master Sergeant, at the club. Top Griz said, “They’d have spit out their beer—or the redhead—and run.” You’ll have to read the entire scene to see what he’s referring to.
God love the Marines! Here they are at the club, waiting on one of the unattached submissives at the club to return from preparing for the scene they’ve negotiated. This is one of Marc’s favorite fantasies—the naughty schoolgirl—and it takes him no time at all to get into character.

Fifteen minutes later, as he polished off his beer, Marc looked toward the dressing-room entrance to see Bianca strutting toward them in a short, short plaid skirt and a schoolgirl’s white blouse. She held a wooden ruler between her breasts.
Holy shit!
Marc adjusted himself surreptitiously to keep from strangling his cock and stood up.
“You’re late, young lady. Mr. Jerry sent you to me for your punishment thirty minutes ago. What do you have to say for yourself?”
Her pupils dilated again as she caught her breath before she cast her eyes down to the floor. “I’m sorry, sir. I was with my friends and just lost track of time.”
Marc took the ruler from her and laid it on the table. He had raided Jerry’s private toy stash while Bianca was dressing and picked up one of the leopard-print cuffs lying beside the ruler. He handed it to Orlando, then picked up Bianca’s hand and extended it to the kid, whose hands shook as he wrapped the cuff around her wrist and tightened it.
“Is that too tight?” Orlando asked.
“No, Sir.”
The kid’s pants tented at the title. Marc grinned, then he turned her around and pulled her cuffed hand behind her back while he secured the right wrist and clipped the two together. She kept her head bowed, causing his cock to throb even more. He couldn’t wait to turn her over his knee. He picked up a borrowed necktie and blindfolded her.
Grabbing the ruler almost as an afterthought, he motioned for Orlando to take one arm and Marc took the other to keep her from running into any obstacles as they led her to a darkened corner. He pointed to the far end and Orlando sat down, then Marc lowered Bianca over the armrest at that end until her head rested in Orlando’s lap. He wouldn’t be able to smack her as hard with his left hand, but the ruler would sting enough.
Marc lifted her short skirt. Oh, yeah. No panties. Her round globes were white and begging for some color. “Tell me why you’ve been sent to the principal’s office, Bianca.”
“Because I was talking in class, Sir.”
Marc reached out and rubbed her ass cheeks vigorously to get the blood to the surface. Then he indicated for Orlando to do the same. The kid’s hand reached behind her to gently stroke her ass. Well, it was a start. At least he was touching her. He motioned Orlando’s hand away with the ruler.
She gasped in the most sensual way. His cock strained against his khakis. Her left cheek soon displayed the mark of the ruler, holes and all. “Tell me what your mouth should be used for instead.”
“Fucking, Sir.”
“Good answer.” She visibly relaxed.
Smack! The right cheek soon bore a matching welt.
Marc nodded to Orlando indicating her head. The kid moved his hand up past her cuffed hands and traced a path up her arm to her hair.
“Tell me how you want to please us with your mouth, pet.”
“By sucking your cocks, Sirs.”
“Oh!” The pain and frustration were evident in her scream. The last blow landed across her upper thighs, causing her to squirm. Enough of the damned ruler. He needed to feel his hand against her ass, between her legs.
“Stand!” With his and Orlando’s help, she was lifted onto her feet again. The disappointment written on her face told him she thought her discipline had ended.
Not even close, pet.
Marc led her to stand in front of the dividing center cushion, facing her toward the social area where they’d negotiated the scene. He sat down, then reached up and took Bianca by the arm, pulling her off balance.
“We have you,” Marc assured her. Yes, she definitely hadn’t expected more. Good. He liked to surprise subbies.
He wrapped his arm around her waist while motioning for Orlando to do the same in front of her thighs. Together they lowered her over both their laps, careful not to overstrain her arms. Bianca was positioned so that her abdomen was over Marc’s thighs and her ass lifted in the air, giving Orlando a perfect view. Her calves were across the kid’s lap and he reached out to stroke her legs with his right hand.
“How are you doing, pet?”
“Fine, Sir.” Her voice had gone up an octave to a high squeak.
“What’s your safeword?”
“Red, Sir.”
“Use it if you need to.” Not knowing how much pain she could take, it never hurt to remind her, before the spanking continued in earnest. Hoping to give Orlando and himself better access to her pussy—he reached down and put pressure against her right knee until she spread her legs for him with some hesitation.
He brought his right hand down hard against her pink lower right cheek.
Then the left.
Slap! Slap! Slap! Slap!

Free and Almost Free Books Available in the Rescue Me Series
For those wanting a free glimpse into the Rescue Me world, you can get started with the FREE introduction, Masters at Arms. This book introduces six characters who will go on to have happily ever after Romances shared about them. (Adam & Karla, Damián & Savannah, Marc, and in a small part here but with more to come later, Grant.)

But because I don’t want you to stop there, I’ve just released a new combination e-book download of the first TWO books in the series—Masters at Arms & Nobody’s Angel—for only 99 cents! You save $3 off the cost of purchasing Nobody’s Angel as a single. Nobody’s Angel introduces you to Angelina and shows her exploration into the world of BDSM, but Marc remained so closed off still in this book, it won’t be until the December release, Somebody’s Angel, that readers will come full circle with this couple. The paperback version of Masters at Arms & Nobody’s Angel is 467 pages long, so this is a bargain at 99 cents! You’ll find buy links to all of my books, which currently are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords, at my Ahh, Kallypso…the stories you tell blog page: 
Here also are the direct links to this new title at: 

Giveaway Time! Free eBook in the Rescue Me Series!
At each of the 15 stops, I’ll be gifting one randomly chosen reader a copy of a book in the Rescue Me Series (a $4.99 value), chosen from Nobody’s Hero, Nobody’s Perfect, or the soon-to-be-released Somebody’s Angel. Fill out the Rafflecopter for your chance(s) to win! As with all of my giveaways, this is open internationally. And we’ll also send through the mail some cool swag items, including this red Ka-thunk! pen, hand fan, a Masters Brat button, and other cool stuff! 

Next Stop!
Your next stop in this blog tour will be at Hooked on Books ( ) , the previous stop was . You also can get links to all of the blogs at my own Ahh, Kallypso…the stories you tell blog:  
By Friday, we’ll be sure to update with the direct links to each of the entries so you can follow easily and start gathering those answers to the 15 trivia questions!

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Sheik Retold by Victoria Vane and EM Hull

The wonderful Victoria Vane will be giving away an ebook copy of this fabulous book!!! Please comment and include your email. Check out the rest of the tour for more chances of winning. 

Book Blurb:

THE SHEIK RETOLD by Victoria Vane and E.M. Hull

The Desert Was Never Hotter!
Pride and passion vie for supremacy in this steamy retelling of E.M. Hull's romance classic.
A haughty young heiress for whom the world is a playground…
A savage son of the Sahara who knows no law but his own…
When pride and passion vie for supremacy... 
Blistering desert days are nothing compared to sizzling Sahara nights…

"There will be inquiries." I choked out. "I am not such a nonentity that nothing will be done when I am missed. You will pay for what you have done."

"Pay?" His amused look sent a cold feeling of dread through me. "I have already paid… in gold that matches your hair, my gazelle. Besides," he continued, "the French Government has no jurisdiction over me. There is no authority here above my own." 

My trepidation was growing every passing minute. "Why have you done this? Why brought me here?" 

"Why?" He repeated with a slow and heated appraisal that made me acutely, almost painfully, conscious of my sex. "Bon Dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?"

Teasers:  Please feel free to use a couple teasers if you would like but not allll the teasers ;)
Excerpt #1
(442 words/ PG rated)
"S'il vous plait." He waved me to a low Turkish divan. "Come and sit, mademoiselle. I shall call for coffee and then you shall recount to me all that is the cause of your great distress." He smiled and settled his girth into a large leather-covered chair. "I wish to know precisely how such a delicate English woman managed to survive alone for months in such inhospitable conditions."
"I am not so delicate, nor was I alone," I replied. "I was abducted and held captive."
"Were you indeed?" He lit a cigarette and then offered his case to me, but I didn't care for the scent of the cheap Gauloises tobacco, having become accustomed to the rich aroma of pure Turkish Murads.
"I suppose these savages demanded a ransom for your release?" he asked and took a long draw on his cigarette.
"No, he did not."
"He?" His brows rose as he blew a wispy cloud of grey smoke.
"Yes. My captor wanted nothing monetarily."
"Is that so?" He was silent for a long moment as his beady black gaze swept over me. The unspoken implication and his lascivious sent a profusion of heat to my face. Nevertheless, I forged on. "It is my belief, monsieur, that my own brother may have intended to kill me."
"You believe your own brother has intrigued against you? And where is he now, this brother?"
"He is in New York or perhaps Newport. He has a perfect alibi, of course, but I have evidence to support my suspicions."
He nodded slowly and then pursed his lips. "Then your abductor was an accomplice in this nefarious plot?"
"No. It is not as simple as that. As it turns out, my captor inadvertently saved my life."
"Alors! This is fascinating indeed. I wish to hear this tale en totalité, but first I shall  summon my scribe to record this story. After which, I intend to send an urgent dispatch to the British Embassy in Paris. I assure you, mademoiselle, justice will be served."
He stubbed out his cigarette. "As to your abductor, I shall deal with this heathen dog, this barbaric bâtard, personally." His gaze suddenly narrowed on me with a disconcerting intensity. "You must tell me now, Mademoiselle Mayo, who was the perpetrator of this…this… outrage to your person?"
And in that moment I knew.
 It was not the details of my intended murder that had captured his interest. No, he didn't care at all about me. He desired only to know what I knew—specifically, the name and location of the force behind the simmering unrest—my captor and my lover— Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan. 

Excerpt #2
(364 words/ PG rated)
"Diana, give up this insane trip."
"I will not."
"I've a thundering good mind to make you."
I gave an unladylike snort. "You can't," I said flatly. "I'm my own mistress now. You have no claim on me. We needn't make any further pretence about it, for I am not going to argue any more. I will not go back to Biskra."
"If you are afraid of being laughed at——"
"I am not afraid of being laughed at! Only cowards are afraid of that, and I am not a coward. I have said my last word, Aubrey. It is your own considerations and not mine that are at the bottom of your remonstrance. You do not deny it because it is true."
I knew exactly the grievance he had been nursing. Maybe he now suffered some small prickings of conscience on my upbringing, but I had no doubt that concern for his own comfort troubled him most. Aubrey always had been, and always would be, supremely selfish.
We stared each other down across the little table until his eyeglass fell with a little sharp tinkle against his waistcoat button. I watched his angry flush of color with an absurd wave of amusement. Although we were perilously close to degenerating into a vulgar quarrel, it was a true spectacle to rouse the lazy Aubrey to wrath.
"You're a damned obstinate little devil!" he exclaimed.
"I am what you have made me— as hard as yourself— so how can you quarrel with the result? It is illogical. This is your fault, not mine, but I don't want to wrangle with you any more. My life is now my own to deal with, and I will deal with it exactly as I wish. I will do what I choose when and how I choose, and I will never again obey any will but my own."
Aubrey's mouth hardened. His eyes narrowed. "Then I hope to Heaven that one day you will fall into the hands of a man who will make you obey."
I rose with a scornful laugh, flinging over my shoulder as I stormed back to my tent, "Then Heaven help him who tries!"

Jo-Anna's Review:

I will be the first to admit that I've never read a Sheik type story. At all. Well Angie J from Twinsie Talk Book Reviews told me that this story was really good and hot so I just had to see what she was going on about and boy am I glad I did.
We meet Diana, who of course is travelling and ends up getting kidnapped by the Sheik but let me tell you, I think this is a lot of women's dark dominating man, capturing you and giving you indescribable amounts of pleasure. Yes he may have held Diana against her first. 

I love these types of stories where the heroine starts off hating the hero but eventually falls in love with him and not after a couple of chapters either. Diana couldn't believe the attraction she felt towards the Sheik even though she knew it was wrong.

And now the Sheik...Ahmed...*swoon* Read the book to find out more about him.

The book also has some action where the Sheik saves Diana several times.

I also enjoyed the way the story was written. I really liked the way certain things were described. The author did a really good job and sucked me in right from the beginning. Thanx to this story, I'll probably read more and more Sheik type stories.

Author Information:

Victoria Vane is an award-winning romance novelist, cowboy addict and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. 
Look for Victoria's Contemporary Cowboy Series coming summer 2014 from Sourcebooks

Twitter: @authorvictoriav
Facebook: Author Victoria Vane

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dating a Cougar II by Donna McDonald Blog Tour

Banner Option II

DAC Cover
Firefighter and eco entrepreneur Walter Graham II is tired of dating beautiful, but unsettled women who don’t know what they want from life. He wants to date a woman who’s as smart as she is attractive—someone who can talk about interesting things—someone confident about her work. He wants to date Jane Fox, but the sexy older woman keeps coming up with logical reasons why a relationship could never work between them. Yet he has to keep trying because Jane is the only woman who has even turned on his body and his brain at the same time. If he could just get his reluctant ‘cougar’ into bed, Walter is sure he can give that smart mind of hers a lot more to consider than just their age difference. Man and Woman

What kind of woman could possibly feel sorry for herself on a day as beautiful as this one? The sun was shining. The breeze was warm. Someone else was going to feed her.
Ignoring the unreasonable urge to whine in spite of all that, Jane sighed heavily instead, not once but twice, virtually assuring the woman beside her would have no choice but notice. Was she really that desperate for attention?
“Jane? What’s the matter?” Lydia asked.
The softly offered question was laced with sympathy and had Jane sighing heavily for a third time, even though she smiled at the silver-haired beauty strolling through the park with her.
“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong really. I think I’ve just been bored trying to figure out what I’m going to do next. Flipping businesses is a passion for me, not just my work. Yet nothing has caught my interest since I sold North Winds to Walter. I’m glad you and Dad asked me to tag along on your picnic today. Obviously from all the sighing I’m doing, I needed to get out.”
“Oh dear. Given all that honesty you just rained on my head, I suppose I should do the honorable thing back. If JD gets a wild hair and shoots off, Morrie and I wanted a strong pair of legs along to help chase him down,” Lydia teased.
“You and Dad are physically fit enough to handle a measly toddler. Tell me the truth. Dad’s worried because I’m not working on anything new, isn’t he?” Jane asked.
Lydia shook her head. “No. If your father is worried about you, it’s about something other than work. He invited Walter to the picnic too, but our new entrepreneur was too busy to come. Just don’t tell your father I told you about him inviting Walter. He likes to think he’s clever. . .and not being obvious.”
Jane laughed at Lydia’s revelation, but shook her head over the information. It still surprised her that her father thought Walter Graham was a good match for her. It was probably the only time in her life her father had been wrong.
“Yes, Dad does like to think he’s smarter than everyone else. But don’t worry. . .I’m used to his sneaky manipulations. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that he would use my appreciation for your fried chicken and potato salad to get me here. The joke is on him though, I love watching JD under any circumstances. I keep telling Lauren and Jim to call me when they need a sitter.”
Lydia rolled her eyes. “It took a second baby on the way to get Lauren to turn loose of her firstborn at all. She still wants Nanny Martha to come to the house every day. I think he needs daycare and other children to play with so he can develop better social skills. I’m working on her overprotective mother leanings so she won’t turn out like me.”
Jane laughed at Lydia’s declaration, but felt a twinge of envy. And for the first time in many years, she seriously missed her mother. Of course, even if Evelyn Fox were still alive, there would be no grandchildren for her mother and father to argue over. Neither she nor her brother, Elijah, had gotten that far in their relationships. No—changing her non-mother status certainly wasn’t on the visible horizon as far as she could see. She would just have to remain envious of Lauren getting to expand her late life family.
“If she’s that concerned, I suppose it would be really hard for Lauren to trust an old single woman like me with her only child. She probably thinks I’m not the motherly type,” Jane said, shrugging at Lydia’s questioning gaze.
“What’s the motherly type these days? I don’t think Lauren saw herself as the motherly type until she discovered she was pregnant,” Lydia said, watching something that looked like hope flicker in Jane’s gaze, even though it faded quickly. “Do you want children, Jane?”
“Sure. Of course I do. Or at least, I did when I was younger. From the time I hit puberty, I always saw myself becoming a mother one day. You know—I thought about soccer, band practice, and a giant gas drinking van to haul that kind of life around. Maybe I missed my chance for that when I divorced my ex. I’m probably too old now.”
Lydia snorted and turned her head sideways. “Don’t think I don’t hear that wistfulness in your voice. Lauren was older than you when she had JD. I thank God every day that James Gallagher is his father. You’re smart to wait for the right man, but some take a long time to appear in your life. Just don’t let your eggs dry up while you’re waiting.”
Don’t let my eggs dry up?” Jane repeated dryly. “Gee, thanks for that helpful tip, Lydia. Maybe you should stop trying to make me feel better now.”
Lydia’s giggle at her response made Jane giggle in return. They were comfortable enough in each other’s company to tease without exchanging ugly reprisals. As stepmothers went, Lydia McCarthy Fox was turning out to be a pretty good one. Her father was certainly happy.
“JD! Get your butt back here, boy!”
Both women turned in the direction of the voice and laughed as they watched her silver-haired father chase off after the maniacal, squealing toddler scrambling away as fast as his sturdy legs would go. In JD’s case, his legs were exceptional, and his escapes well practiced. With a mother who had black belts in several martial arts almost no one could pronounce, Jane supposed the toddler’s physical prowess was genetically inevitable.
“Looks like the wild child is on the run,” Lydia announced tiredly, fisting a hand on one hip. “That boy. . .”
“No worries, ‘Gamma’. Just save me some chicken. I’m on it,” Jane said, chuckling as she passed the picnic blanket she carried to Lydia.
Then she took off running after her recently acquired step-nephew by marriage. Thankfully she’d worn her sneakers and shorts today. Her laughter carried on the breeze as she passed up her father. “It’s okay. I’ll catch him, Dad.”
Like a marathon runner passing the torch, Morrison Fox stopped and put his hands on his knees, gathering a breath. “What are they feeding that kid? I swear he’s getting faster.”
Her father’s look of relief made Jane laugh harder, which made it nearly impossible to keep up her speed. JD Gallagher was going to grow up to be a marathon runner. . .or maybe that superhero with lightning on his shirt. Yes, that was it. Super JD, Jane decided, giggling hard at the fact that she was barely catching up to the toddler herself.
She heard his wicked laughter as JD broke into an even faster sprint, zigging and zagging a path in front of her. Now who in blue blazes had shown him how to do that?
James Davis Gallagher. Stop running this instant,” Jane yelled, using the most commanding tone she possessed.
Up ahead, she saw JD slow only a fraction to look over his shoulder at his new pursuer. He grinned when he saw who it was. When he turned forward again, he hit and bounced off someone’s jean covered leg. He landed hard on his chubby butt in the grass, his pull-up diaper cushioning the landing.
Ah—oh,” Jane heard him say as she closed in at last. His understanding that he was caught and in trouble made her giggle again. She sincerely hoped she could stifle her amusement before she got to him. She had learned the hard way that being charmed by his rebellion only made JD more apt to repeat the wicked behavior.
“Darn skippy it’s ‘Ah—oh’,” Jane mimicked, between deep gulping breaths. Her dad was right. The little bugger was getting faster. “You are in serious trouble now, buddy. Thanks for stopping him Mr. . .oh.”
Her gaze raised from JD to Walter Graham’s laughing blue eyes. “Hi,” she said, her hello sounding breathless and giddy. Jane hoped it was because of the chase and not because of the sexy fireman slash entrepreneur’s sudden appearance out of nowhere to save the day. What was it about him that fascinated her so much? Her mind had not figured out the puzzle yet.
And why couldn’t Walter have been older than twenty-six? His name sounded older. If she hadn’t met Harrison first, she would have thought a guy named ‘Walter’ was someone’s grandfather. As a ‘II’, he was hereditarily numbered. Why hadn’t Walter chosen to be called Harry? Lots of younger men who looked as fantastic as he did were called Harry.
“Trouble keeping up with your toddler, lady? Good thing I decided to come by for lunch after all,” he said.
Walter’s smile deepened as he watched Jane’s breasts moving up and down with her out-of-breath panting. He promised himself that one day soon he’d be causing that reaction.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” Jane declared, staring into Walter’s dancing gaze while trying to ignore the way it kept dropping to her heaving chest. Unfortunately, her breasts loved the attention and decided to get all perky and happy to see him. She was going to have to have a serious talk with her girl parts about letting Walter affect them that way.
“Hi Jane. I’ve been missing you too,” Walter said, grinning when she covered her breasts with crossed arms. Even her sports bra and shirt couldn’t hide her whole reaction. Turning Jane on was never a problem. Getting her to admit he caused her arousal was the bigger challenge.
“I didn’t say I missed you, Walter. I said ‘hello’. You need to quit hanging around Harrison so much. He’s trying to pass along his delusions,” Jane said.
Distracted by the Greek god statue laughing at her with lust in his eyes, she had momentarily forgotten about the toddler climbing to his unsteady, but very fast feet. Fortunately Walter had a keen eye, and obviously the ability to think clearly despite his wicked gaze dropping to her breasts every few seconds. It was a split focus she evidently lacked where watching him was concerned. Walter snatched JD up mid-sprint just as the toddler tried to run again.
Whoa there. Your escape is foiled, dude,” Walter announced, deepening his voice as he tried not to laugh at JD’s squirming protests. He wondered if all kids were like this one. If so, he could see how they could be a lot of work.
“Hep, Gamma. Hep. He got me!” JD wailed, kicking his feet as he dangled in the air.
Jane turned to see Lydia walking calmly toward them, a toddler leash in her hand. “I be good. I be good,” JD pleaded dramatically when he saw what she held.
“You know the rules, young man. You run away. You get put on the leash,” Lydia said in her best scolding voice.
Walter laughed, then coughed, trying to cover it. Jane put a hand over her mouth as she giggled again. They exchanged guilty looks as they tried to hide their amusement from Lydia, but as usual the older woman was way too sharp.
“Wait until you have children of your own one day, and then we’ll see how much laughing you two do. Walter, hold JD out for me so I can fasten this on him,” Lydia ordered.
“Yes ma’am,” Walter said politely, biting his lip as he held a now subdued, sniffling JD out to his grandmother.
Lydia fastened the straps around JD’s chest, and then nodded for Walter to set him down on the ground. Once there, JD tugged against the restraint, wanting to run again, but Lydia held him back. “Not just yet, boy-o. Apologize to Jane first for making her chase after you.”
Orry,” JD said softly, still sniffling as he tugged against the leash.
Jane stooped down and smiled into JD’s pouty but charming face. “No worries, buddy. I just didn’t want you to get hurt.”
She was caught off-guard when JD hurled his whole body into her arms. His fierce hug almost toppled her backwards, and then he surprised her further with a loud, smacking kiss on her cheek before turning loose. All that male enthusiasm was certainly appealing, Jane thought as she hugged him back. Lauren was going to have her hands full when her son one day used that move on some unsuspecting female his own age.
“Okay. Okay. We’re good, JD. Let’s all go have some lunch now,” Jane said, petting the boy’s hair.
JD nodded in reply and turned to put his hand into his grandmother’s.
Standing again, Jane sighed as she watched Lydia and JD walk away. She heard Walter laughing softly beside her. Why did he have to be so masculine and appealing? His appeal was worse than JD’s, and his low laughter had her wondering if he possessed any moves that might surprise her. Curiosity was her major problem with him.
Despite the risk of her girl parts betraying her further, she studied Walter’s amused eyes, his smooth skin, and the way his hair fell perfectly into place. He seemed to have no awareness of how great he looked, no false bravado about the muscles bulging from his sleeves. Why couldn’t the younger man have just been a little bit older? Thirty-one or two would have been okay. She could have handled that. But he was only twenty-six. It would take him four more years to even become thirty. Pushing her regrets over their age difference aside, along with all her fantasies, she turned and started walking back.
“I’ve dubbed him Super JD in my head. Lauren and Jim have my utmost respect. I don’t think I could survive mothering a child like that,” she said.
“If it’s any consolation, I’m sure any child of ours would be much better behaved,” Walter replied, sliding a look sideways to watch Jane’s reaction to his comment. As he knew it would, her suspicious gaze came immediately to his. She gave him the same look she always did when he started talking about the life they should have together.
“I think my mothering years are behind me, Walter. I’ve decided to settle for being an aunt,” Jane said.
“Super JD’s aunt?” Walter asked, snickering as they walked. “I can see how being around a child like that for very long might tempt a woman to put a gag on her biological clock to keep it from ticking too loudly.”
Jane chuckled at his surprisingly astute statement, wishing she didn’t find him so likeable. “Yes, exactly. Plus, Super JD won’t necessarily be my only nephew. I have a younger brother, so more are possible. I haven’t seen Elijah in a while, but I get an email from him now and again. He’s at seminary.”
“Studying to be a priest?” Walter asked. “No. . .wait. . .that’s not right. A rabbi?”
Jane nodded as she smiled. “You’re at least in the right religion, but Elijah is not planning to become a rabbi. Dad was going to be one when he was young, but then he met Mom and changed his mind. He said having a family and pursuing that calling full time were too much for him to contemplate. And now that he has Lydia. . .”
She shrugged away the inference and the complication. Her dad hadn’t talked about being a rabbi in years anyway. “Life goals change, I guess. Elijah might be considering such a leadership role in our faith, but he hasn’t said.”
Walter nodded to let her know he had heard and was taking it all in. The ability to carry on a serious conversation was one of the things he liked most about Jane. Every moment with her counted, even if they were only talking about each other’s families. He wanted Jane Fox and he liked her. She was the combination of female traits that just completely worked for him. Now he just needed to find a way to convince her of that fact.
“So what is your brother studying at seminary, if not to become a rabbi?” Walter asked, hoping to distract himself from wanting to wrestle her arms down and find out what secrets her crossed arms were hiding from him.
Jane slowed her steps as she considered the question. “I think Elijah is trying to figure out how to get over his broken heart. His fiancée broke up with him around the same time my marriage ended. He left for seminary the week after and hasn’t been home since.”
“Tough break for both of you,” Walter said quietly, thinking about what he would do if Jane were to try to marry someone other than him. As much as he wanted her, it would probably be something that would get him arrested, or at the very least disowned by his conservative parents. Regardless, he would do whatever necessary to stop it from happening.
“Yes, it was a tough break. His breakup was worse than my divorce in some ways. Even though Mom and Dad set a good example for us, Eli and I just haven’t been as lucky in love as they were,” Jane said.
“Not lucky until now, you mean,” Walter corrected. “You’ve found the perfect pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with me, Jane. I’m going to make you a great husband.”
“Do you have any idea how much you sound like one of Harrison’s crazy schemes when you talk like that? Give it up, Walter. I haven’t gotten any younger since the last time you flirted so hard with me. There’s no audience for the joke, and we’ve had this discussion too many times,” Jane said wearily.
Sure, a few months ago she had joked with Lydia’s daughter and her friends about becoming a cougar, but inside. . .inside Jane knew she was not equipped to date someone as young as Walter. She just wasn’t the same kind of woman as Alexa Ranger. Her self-esteem wasn’t strong enough to deal with the difference in their ages. . . or their bodies.
Thirty-nine was around the corner. Turning forty next year was an even stronger motivation to keep her distance. She was already going soft in the waist. When the lines and wrinkles started owning the rest of her body’s real estate, she didn’t want to see pity in some younger man’s gaze every day. No matter how outstanding Walter might be as a sexy guy, she preferred to avoid the inevitable crash and burn that any smart older woman would see coming from involvement with someone as young as him.
Her ex had found her lacking when she was young and at her best—perpetually perky breasts included. Maybe Walter was a very different sort of man, but could a woman really tell with a man under thirty? Too bad she hadn’t met Walter before she had married Nathan. Things might have been different when she was still young and optimistic herself.
Well, except that Walter would have been a teenager and she’d have been put in jail for molesting a kid. Jane rolled her eyes and shook her head at that particularly awful thought.
Jane. . .” Walter said her name loudly, hoping to interrupt whatever thoughts were making her frown so hard. What the hell was it going to take to convince her that he had a serious admiration for her, as well as chronic lust? If the words existed, he hadn’t found them yet.
“No matter what you say Jane, I’m not giving up on us,” he insisted, despite hearing Jane sighing over his statement. Maybe it had not been the most erudite declaration he’d ever made to her, but at least the determination in his tone matched what he was feeling. Jane’s adamant rejections of his overtures always shook his faith a little, but not enough to quit.
“Walter, you need to stop teasing me,” Jane ordered.
“Oh, I am definitely not teasing. Have you found an older guy who turns you on as much as I do yet?” he asked.
Jane huffed out a breath. She wasn’t sexually stupid, and neither was the man beside her. Walter wanted her sexually. And there was plenty of chemistry between them to make that potentiality appealing to her too. He’d already gotten her to admit it once. Maybe if they weren’t practically living in each other’s pockets with their families so close. . .but no. She just couldn’t go there either. Not even in her imagination.
It was better to keep her relationship to Walter like it was. Innocent. Friendly. Familial.
“I’m hungry. Aren’t you? I think I’ll go help Lydia set up lunch,” she said, hoping she sounded casual and undisturbed, despite her rapid, excited pulse proving otherwise.
Picking up her pace, she headed toward the picnic table where a repentant, restrained JD played with his toys under his grandparents’ watchful eyes. It was always tough to turn her back on the attraction that drew her to the man following slowly behind her.
If her dating life didn’t start to improve soon, it was going to get much harder to do, especially if Walter kept talking about babies every time he saw her. Not that she wanted babies with Walter. Babies just made her think about how they were made, a process she would definitely like to explore with him.
 “I’m hungry too, Jane. Starved in fact,” Walter called loudly, not missing Jane’s stumble as she heard his words. It made him grin to see she hadn’t become immune to him yet, no matter how much his pursuit of her warred with her logic. Why was the woman fighting the attraction between them so hard? If he ever got her in bed, he was going to make sure that Jane stopped thinking of him as a kid.
Shaking his head over his carnal thoughts of how he could prove himself, Walter let his gaze follow Jane’s shapely rear to the picnic area. Her shorts showed off her muscular, attractive legs to perfection. Her streamlined thighs and toned calves offered convincing evidence that she worked out to achieve them. Admiration filled him, along with visions of Jane in a gym. She’d be sweaty, but her eyes would be twinkling. Her mouth would be firmed as she worked. Her seriousness was a constant challenge to him. It was also one of the things that turned him on most. Would he ever discover anything about the older woman that he didn’t like? Somehow he doubted it.
But obviously, he needed a better plan for finding out.

Fireman quote


Donna McDonald's idea of success is to be on an airplane and see a fellow passenger reading one of her books. If the person is laughing or smiling, she will consider it a bonus.
Her work history covers everything from housekeeper to business owner to college English instructor. It also includes an eighteen year stint as a technical writer, publications planner, and information architect in the corporate world. Her current career goal is to be a prolific, multi-published author for the rest of her life and write stories readers will love to read. She thinks a little travel and adventure would be nice, too.
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