Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I've been binge reading again.....

Last week and over the weekend I have been reading... A LOT!  But I haven't stopped to blog. So I am going to list my books and just rate them on goodreads.

1. A Taste of Power  by Cassia Leo
2. River Road by JoAnn Ross
3. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover  5 stars!!
4. Personal Protection by Leah Braemel
5. Long Hard Ride by Lorelei James #1
6. Rode Hard, Put Up Wet by Lorelei James #2
7. Cowgirl Up and Ride by Lorelei James #3
8. Tied Up, Tied Down by Lorelei James #4
9. Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei James #5
10. Branded as Trouble by Lorelei James #6
11. Strong Silent Type by Lorelei James #6.5
12. Shoulda Been a Cowboy by Lorelei James #7
13. All Jacked Up by Lorelei James #8
14. Raising Kane by Lorelei James #9
15. Slow Ride by Lorelei James #9.5
16. Cowgirls Don't Cry by Lorelei James #10
17. Chasin' Eight by Lorelei James #11
18. Cowboy Casanova by Lorelei James #12

Tormented by Elle Charles

Fractured #2
This book picks up with Kara in the hospital. Deacon had her for 4 days. Sam managed to get her out. She is trying to trust Sloan again after his actions. But she cannot resist him. He is the one for her. They try very hard to be together. Kara is trying to recover her memories. But she discovers some of the secrets that he has been keeping and she is devastated. I don't know how they can ever be together after what happens next.

I could not stop reading this book. I love Kara! She is a fighter and survivor. I don't understand Sloan's thinking sometimes. I NEED book three!

Here's my review of Aftermath (Fractured 2.5) by Elle Charles on goodreads.

From goodreads:
Kara Petersen has lived through more than most.

The horrors of her past had shaped her, forcing her to walk through this life relatively alone. Untrusting and guarded, seeking solace in the shadows, she thought she could survive anything that life threw at her.

And she did...

Until him…

Sloan Foster.

He brought her out of the darkness and into the light. He gave her a life she could never have imagined. She fell in love with him, but when faced with controversy, just like everyone else, he let her down.

He broke her heart.

She was complacent.

She was foolish.

Except, it wasn’t her love for him that was foolish, it was believing she could escape pain.

In a bid to end her suffering for one night only, she unknowingly walked into the path of evil.

Enduring the devastation of having to remember the night of her abduction, she must decide if she is willing to risk possibly having her heart broken again in order to find out the truth.

Can she really give all her love to a man who has the ability to obliterate her completely?

Taking a leap of faith, she vows to trust him, regardless of how imprudent it may transpire be.

Falling further into his outwardly perfect world for a second time, Kara is, once again, treading a path she fears will eventually destroy her.

As truths finally unfold and decade old secrets are revealed, it’s clear the past has never been too far behind and binds her to others in ways unimaginable.

Together, she discovers their love is tormented.

Warning:
Please note, this is a dark erotic romance. It contains descriptive sexual scenes, violence and other serious adult content. It is suitable for readers aged 18 and over only. Due to the subject matter of this novel, it is not recommended for those who are easily offended or of a sensitive disposition.
 



Read a preview here.

Pages: 358
Published: 2014

Fractured by Elle Charles

Fractured #1
Free on Amazon. I LOVED this book. I read it in a few hours and had to buy the next in the series.

Kara grew up hard. Something bad happened on her 15th birthday. She was rescued by a man who made her feel safe for the first time in her short life. After she left the hospital she ran off to London.

Eight years later, she is living in a crappy apartment with a roommate that is hooking for cash. Her father starts hounding her for money. But her roommate spent the rent money on drugs. Samantha gets herself in some trouble one night and calls Kara for help. She runs to rescue Sam and meets Sloan. There was something about the man. He asks her out for dinner. She felt so good around him but she is scared. But she is more worried about Sam. He gets his driver to take them home. He also fixes her beat up car.
She runs into him again when she is working a party when she is filling in for Sam. She and Sam work for Marie, the woman that found Kara and gave her a place to live and a job eight years ago. Kara cannot resist him and she agrees to date him.
They become a couple but they have problems because each of them is keeping secrets - which is normal because they don't know each other long enough to trust. But Sam and her pimp, Deacon, cause problems for them. Why?
Sloan needs to tell his secrets but he doesn't. Kara is having a hard time because she has never had a relationship before and she is trying to deal with her memories from her childhood are coming back.

From goodreads:
How do you learn to remember, when you have forced yourself to forget? 

How do you learn to trust, when those who should have protected you failed? 

How do you learn to live, when you have spent almost a decade alone? 

How do you learn to love, when your heart has been shattered beyond repair? 

Eight years ago an act of violence destroyed a young woman’s faith in love and trust. 

Now she depends on no-one but herself. 

Kara Petersen’s life is virtually non-existent. Haunted by memories of the past, and events she can’t accurately remember, she’s living half a life inside a world she has created to keep herself safe from pain. 

Kara is invisible. 

A single phone call one fateful night changes everything. 

She meets Sloan Foster. 

Inexplicably drawn to the handsome, enigmatic and mysterious business man, who doesn’t like being told no, Kara not only finds herself fighting against the emotions he is invoking inside her, but also against her own better judgement. 

Forced to learn to love and trust again, in the face of uncertainty of the past, Kara is finding out more about herself than she ever thought possible, from a man who knows more than he should…. 


Read a preview here.

Pages: 325
Published: 2014

Blue Bayou by JoAnn Ross

The Callahan Brothers #1
 I loved this one!

From the author:
Danielle Dupree, daughter of a prominent judge, was the closest thing to a princess that the sleepy Louisiana town of Blue Bayou ever had. Her passionate teenage love affair with Jack Callahan was cut short for reasons that were never clear to Dani -- but were all too obvious to Jack, the sexy bad-boy son of Judge Dupree's housekeeper.

Thirteen years later, Dani, a widow with a son, comes home to start a new life and is surprised that Jack, too, has moved back to the bayou. A former DEA agent who is now a bestselling author, Jack has bought Dani's childhood home, Beau Soleil. But even as their passion reignites, Dani and Jack know that secrets hang in the air
. . . and that the past may ruin their second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love. 



Excerpt:
Chapter One                                                                                                           



The sky was darkening, the only visible light a band of purple clouds low on the western horizon. Dani had forgotten how quickly night came to the bayou. As she steered the rented boat through the maze-like labyrinth of waterways, fireflies lit up the waning twilight while nutria and muskrats paddled along, furry shadows in waters as dark and murky as Cajun coffee.

Bullfrogs began to croak; cicadas buzzed; blue herons glided among the ancient cypress which stood like silent, moss-bearded sentinels over their watery world.

The boat's light barely cut through the warm mist falling from low-hanging clouds; when the ridged and knobby head of an alligator appeared in the stuttering glow, looking like a wet brown rock amidst the lily pads, Dani's nerves, which were already as tattered as a Confederate soldier's gray uniform, screeched.

"This is nuts."

If she had any sense at all, she'd cut her losses now and return to town. But she'd already come this far, and unless both her internal homing device and the boat's G.P.S. system had gone entirely on the blink, she couldn't be that far from Beau Soleil.

She checked her watch. Despite the way the isolation and deepening shadows had seemed to slow time, she'd been out on the water for less than half an hour.


"Five more minutes," she decided. If she hadn't reached Beau Soleil by then, she'd turn back.

A moment later she came around a corner, and there, right in front of her, was the Greek Revival antebellum mansion. Dani was glad she'd undertaken the nerve-racking trip tonight; as bad as the plantation house appeared, it would have been far worse to first see it again after all these years in the hard, unforgiving glare of southern sunlight.

The double front entrance harkened back to a time when if a suitor happened to catch a glimpse of a girl's ankles, he was duty bound to marry her. In a typically southern blend of practicality and romance, the house had been designed with dual sets of front steps - one for hoop-skirted belles, the other for gentlemen escorts. The ladies' staircase had crumbled nearly to dust; the other was scarcely better, held up as it was with a complex design of erector-set-style metal braces.

Beau Soleil had survived being set on fire by the British in the War of 1812, cannonballed, then occupied by Yankee soldiers - and their horses - during the War Between the States. It had also stalwartly stood up to numerous hurricanes over its more than two centuries. Seeing the once noble plantation house looking like an aging whore from some seedy south Louisiana brothel made Dani want to weep.

It had belatedly dawned on her, after she'd left town, that her plan to catch Jack unaware could backfire if she came all the way out here only to find the house dark and deserted. But she'd been so frustrated that she'd acted without really thinking things through.

The light in the upstairs windows of the once stately house was an encouraging sign and she eased the boat up to the dock that was still, thankfully, standing. It appeared to be the same dock her father had paid Jack to build the summer of her seventeenth birthday, the summer her carefree, youthful world had spun out of control.

With a long-ago learned skill some distant part of her mind had retained, she tied up the boat behind an old pirogue and then studied the house. Amazingly, most of the centuries-old oak trees had survived time and the ravages of storms; silvery Spanish moss draped over their limbs like discarded feather boas left behind by ghostly belles.

She lifted her gaze to a darkened window on the second floor and envisioned the reckless teenager she'd once been, climbing out that window to meet her lover. Her skin, beneath her white T-shirt, burned with the memory of Jack's dark, work-roughened fingers encircling her waist to lift her down from that last low-hanging limb.

"A smart fille like yourself should know better than to sneak up on someone at night in this part of the country," a deep, painfully familiar voice offered from the blackness surrounding her.

Dani yelped. Then hated herself for displaying any weakness. Splaying a palm against her chest to slow her tripping heart, she turned slowly toward the gallerie .

He was hidden in the shadows, like a ghost from the past, with only the red flare of a cigarette revealing his location.

"You could have said something. Instead of scaring me half to death."

"If I figured you and I had anything to say to each other, I would have returned your calls." His voice was even huskier than Dani remembered. Huskier and decidedly uninviting.

"So you did get my messages."


Read more here.

Pages: 384
Published: 2002

April 2015 Word Search

From WACKY READING CHALLENGES on goodreads.

April 2015 Word Search link
April 1, 2015 - April 13, 2015

 photo caitlinmoran-2_zpstrto0uhx.jpg

This month's word search is inspired by our March Group Read: How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Important Rule: You CANNOT use this book when looking for the words. That would be just too easy.

Below is the list of words to find. They can only be found within the text of the book - no covers, titles or authors, please. For each word you find, provide the book title, page or location, and the sentence containing the word. You can use one book to find all the words, or as many as you like. 

***And if you don't find all the words this month, you are welcome to carry them over to next month's word search challenge.*** 

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, include the author's name, and the date you finished reading the book. 

To add a book title link: Click the "add book/author" link located above the message box. Type in the name of your book, click 'search', then click 'add' next to the title you would like to add.

Have fun!

List of Words

1. feminist Magnolia Moon by JoAnn Ross p. 136 ... most outspoken, card-carrying feminist ...

2. modern Amber Eyes by Maya Banks p. 31 The cabin was surprisingly modern despite it's remote location.

3. hormones Short Rides by Lorelei James p. 10 ... out-of-whack hormones.

4. empower Bound by Lorelei James p. 48 He's empowering me to ask for what I want.

5. upstairs Gone Country by Lorelei James p. 18 Or see you creeping upstairs from my bedroom.

6. downstairs Gone Country by Lorelei James p. 25 Should I trot my little self downstairs?

7. sexism/sexist Redneck Romeo by Lorelei James  p. 35 ... foul-tempered, big-mouthed, sexist, ageist, ...

8. flirting Cowboy Take Me Away by Lorelei James  p. 58 You've been flirtin' with me for forty-one years.

9. shave Gone Country by Lorelei James p. 6 He's already forgetting to shave.

10. normal Cowboy Take Me Away by Lorelei James p. 23 I don't have experience with this so I don't know if it's ..... normal.

11. liberation Wrangled and Tangled by Lorelei James p. 19 ..., she'd felt ...liberated.

12. mirror Gone Country by Lorelei James p. 14 She checked herself in the mirror.

13. intervention Bound by Lorelei James p. 45 So, besties, why does this feel like an intervention?

14. choice Gone Country by Lorelei James p. 23 Your choice.

15. polite  Magnolia Moon by JoAnn Ross p. 371 Other than a polite official letter ...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Historical Landmarks Of New Hampshire

From WACKY READING CHALLENGES on goodreads.

HISTORICAL LANDMARKS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE  link
2ND QUARTER, 2015
DATE: 04/01/15 – 06/30/15


description


It’s time for our second quarter task challenge for 2015. This time we will focus on historical landmarks of New Hampshire.

To complete the challenge, read a book that fits just one of the options for each of the landmarks below – 10 books total.

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, make mention of the author's name, and note the date you finished reading the book.

1. Canterbury Shaker Village: Located in Canterbury, New Hampshire, the Canterbury Shaker Village is one of a number of Shaker communities founded in the 19th century. It was established in 1792.

☀ Read  a Series #1. Corralled by Lorelei James 

2. Mount Washington Hotel: The Mount Washington Hotel was constructed from 1900-1902 by Joseph Stickney at a cost of $1.7 million (at that time). Stickney brought in 250 Italian artisans to build it.

☀ Read  a Series #2. Saddled and Spurned by Lorelei James

3. John Paul Jones House: Built in 1758, this is the only known structure associated with John Paul Jones – an American Revolutionary War naval hero. Jones resided here from 1781 to 1782.

☀ Read a Series #3. Wrangled and Tangled by Lorelei James

4. Dalton Covered Bridge: This historic covered bridge is located in Warner, New Hampshire. The name was a reference to a nearby resident at the time of construction (Mrs. Dalton, and later Widow Dalton). It was built in 1853 by Joshua Sanborn.

☀ Read a book in which the first letter of every word in the title can be found in DALTONBRIDGE, and a Series #4. One Night Rodeo by Lorelei James

5. Alton Bay Railroad Station: This historic railroad station was built in 1907 by the Boston and Maine Railroad.

☀ Read  a Series #5. Turn and Burn by Lorelei James

6. District No. 9 Schoolhouse: This historic schoolhouse is located in Gilford, New Hampshire. It was built in 1815, and served as a schoolhouse until 1935.

☀ Read a Series #6. Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James

7. Swallow Boathouse: The Swallow Boathouse is located on a cove of Moultonborough Neck on Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire. It is a wooden structure mounted on eight stone piers set in approximately 10 feet of water. It was designed by Harry J. Carlson, and is 80 feet long, 37 feet wide.

☀ Read a book by an author whose first  initial can be found in SWALLOW Redneck Romeo by Lorelei James 

8. Sawyer Tavern: The Sawyer Tavern is a historical building located in Keene, New Hampshire. Built sometime between 1803 and 1906, it served as a tavern in both the 19th and 20th centuries. It was built by American Revolutionary War veteran Abraham Wheeler, Jr. His son-in-law Josiah Sawyer later took over the business.

☀ Read a book with a bar or tavern in the story Cowboy Take Me Away by Lorelei James 

9. Brick Store: Located in Bath, New Hampshire, the Brick Store claims to be the oldest continuously operating general store in the US.
☀ Read a book in which the main character own’s his/her own business. Gone Country by Lorelei James

10. Robert Frost Farm: The Robert Frost Farm is located in Derry, New Hampshire and was the home of poet Robert Frost from 1900 to 1911.

☀ Read  a book in which the main character is a writer When You Dare by Lori Foster

Cookie Baking 101

From

Crazy Challenge Connection on goodreads.

COOKIE BAKING 101  link
Who doesn't enjoy a fresh-baked cookie -- or two or three -- from time to time? Baking cookies is one of our favorite mother-daughter things to do, so when Daughter suggested a cookie-baking challenge, this is what I came up with :) 


1 - The first step in baking cookies is always deciding which recipe to use. Will you make an old favorite, or try something new? 
♥ Read a book that was recommended by a friend or family member.  When You Dare by Lori Foster

2 - Next, you need to shop for the required ingredients. Using fresh ingredients is always best, and sometimes a recipe calls for something you don't normally keep on hand. 
♥ Read a book whose title begins with a letter in SHOP Saddled and Spurned by Lorelei James

3 - When you're ready to begin, almost every recipe starts with creaming together butter and sugar, then mixing in any other wet ingredients like eggs and flavorings. 
♥ Read  a book #5 or lower from a series Corralled by Lorelei James  #1

4 - Next is combining the dry ingredients -- flour, leavening and sometimes cocoa powder -- then blending everything together into one smooth dough.
♥ Read  a book that combines two or more genres (paranormal  romance)  Amber Eyes by Maya Banks

5 - Now for the fun part: shaping your cookies. Depending on the recipe, you can roll the dough into balls, drop it by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets or cut it out with cookie cutters.
♥ Read a book whose cover shows a geometric shape that you would find on a cookie platter - Circle (rope circle)  Wrangled and Tangled by Lorelei James



6 - Most cookies bake at a medium heat for a short time, but it's still hard to wait for them to finish baking.
♥ Read  a new release you've been looking forward to for a long time Hero by Samantha Young

7 - To avoid burning yourself, it's best to wait till the cookies cool (at least a little!) before you eat and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
♥ Read  a book with E, A and T in the title, not necessarily in order  Cowboy Take Me Away by Lorelei James

OPTIONAL:
Post your favorite cookie recipe in the Cookie folder in the CCC Recipe Collection and post the link here with your challenge books :)


CHALLENGE RULES: :
♦ If you want to participate in this challenge, please sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses. 

♦ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long; graphic novels must be at least 300 pages long. Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged :) Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not simply skim through it.

♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title, and indicate the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, please make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item on the cover, include a link to the book cover.* If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task. 
    * If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here:Add a link to the book title, book cover and/or author 

♦ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you’ve read :) If you do this while you still have the Edit window open, it will copy all of your formatting, etc. too. We don’t have time to scroll back through the entire thread looking for "message #15," or to follow links back to an original post. If you don’t repost your list, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge. 

New Hampshire Spell Challenge

From WACKY READING CHALLENGES on goodreads.

NEW HAMPSHIRE SPELL CHALLENGE  link
2ND QUARTER, 2015
DATE: 04/01/15 - 05/19/15


description

Our second quarter spell challenge is based on the US state of New Hampshire. You may choose to spell out NEW HAMPSHIRE or anything significant to you regarding New Hampshire, or you may use one of the historical landmarks listed below.

To do the spell out, you may use the first letter of a book title, or the first letter of the author's first or last name.

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, make mention of the author's name, and note the date you finished reading the book.

1. Canterbury Shaker Village
2. Mount Washington Hotel
3. John Paul Jones House
4. Dalton Covered Bridge
5. Alton Bay Railroad Station
6. District No. 9 Schoolhouse
7. Swallow Boathouse
8. Sawyer Tavern
9. Brick Store
10. Robert Frost Farm 

Cowboy Take Me Away by Lorelei James
Amber Eyes by Maya Banks
Night After Night by Lauren Blakely
Turn and Burn by Lorelei James
Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young
Redneck Romeo by Lorelei James
Bound by Lorelei James
Unwound by Lorelei James
Run the Risk by Lori Foster
The Young and the Submissive by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl

Saddled and Spurned by Lorelei James
Hero by Samantha Young
Addicted To You by Krista and Becca Ritchie
Kissin' Tell by Lorelei James
Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones
Ricochet by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Love Is A Battlefield by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
Infinite Possibilities by Lisa Renee Jones
 Lick by Kylie Scott
Lead by Kylie Scott
Addicted For Now by Krista and Becca Ritchie
Gone Country by Lorelei James
Enticed by His Forgotten Lover by Maya Banks

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tangled Past by Leah Braemel


Tangled #2

Sarah's "father' sold her horse and some cattle to some men, Jackson and Nate. She is angry. He is a bad man. She overhears her brother, father and a ranch hand speaking about attacking the men and getting the horse and cattle back. She sneaks out to the barn and intends on telling the men what she heard but she catches them together. The creepy ranch hand tells her father that he saw Sarah go out to the barn. He catches them - thinking that Sarah is having relations with both men. He marries her off to Jackson. Before they leave she tells Jackson and Nate what she heard. They arrange for the Rangers to catch them.

Jackson thinks Sarah is pretty and doesn't mind being married to her. He knows that he cannot continue his relationship with Nate now that he is a married man. But they live with Nate until they can afford to get a place. Nate loves how his house is now a home with Sarah living there. Jackson and Sarah get a long very well until Nate gets hurt and almost dies. Jackson pleads with Nate not to die and stay with him.

Will Sarah leave the men so they can be together? What happens when her father is caught?

I really liked this story. Sarah is an unusual woman.

From the author:
Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she’ll finally find the love and acceptance she’s always craved. But her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can’t change—her husband’s love for another man.
Jackson Kellar’s determined to do right by his bride, yet he’s torn between his newfound love for Sarah and his still-burning desire for Nate.
Ranch owner Nate Campbell loves them both. He hates to see Jackson’s loyalties so divided, and doesn’t want Sarah hurt either. But how can they fix the tangled mess they find themselves in? Nate suggests a possible solution – a permanent threesome.
With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’s solution their path to happiness? Or will others destroy what they’ve found together?
Read a preview here.

Pages: 184
Published: 2011

Texas Tangle by Leah Braemel

Tangled #1
Nikki is almost home from rescuing a horse. She has been driving for hours and her truck breaks down. No one will stop to help. She's just about given up when Dillon sees her and stops. She has always had a thing for Dillon. But he never asked her out and she ended up marrying a divorcing someone else. She has had some bad times. He calls for a tow truck and takes her and the horse home only to find that her crappy brother stole everything she had and took off. He even took her clothes.

Dillon takes her home and gets what he always wanted - her. There's a good story there. But his foster brother is also staying at his house. Brett has a thing for Nikki too. He's a cop and would sometimes get called to the house when her husband was acting out. He would check on her after the divorce but never let her know that he was interested. Nikki always liked Brett too.
Now she must choose.....

From the author:
Thanks to her cheating ex-husband and her thieving brother, all horse breeder Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an over-drawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his brooding foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued…and a little gun-shy.
Dillon and Brett have a history; back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle over Nikki. Now, ten years later, Brett still longs to be the man in Nikki’s life, but he’s determined to stand back and let Dillon win Nikki’s heart.
Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is Nikki strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?
Excerpt:
Chapter One
No, no, no!” With steam billowing from the hood of her truck, Nikki maneuvered blindly easing the vehicle to the side of the road, making sure the horse trailer she was towing wasn’t blocking traffic. “You can’t die here. We’re so close to home.”
With a sigh, she killed the engine, climbed from the cab and kicked the front tire. “You couldn’t have held on for another three miles, could you? No-o-o, you had to blow out the rad here, you piece of shit.”
She waited in the inky black night for ten minutes before a vehicle crested the hill, its high beams blinding her until the driver dimmed the lights. She moved to the side as the Jeep zipped past, not even slowing to see if she needed help. A half-dozen cars zoomed by over the next half hour without a single one slowing. She was starting to consider unloading her newest horse and riding him home when a familiar white pick-up slowed then parked in front of her truck.
First a long, booted leg, then the rest of the driver’s body unfolded as he clambered down. Dillon Barnett jammed a dusty black cowboy hat on his head before he ambled over. “Hey, Nik. Need some help?”
“Yeah, my truck’s overheated.” Trying to ignore the shivery feeling that had her nipples hardening every time she set eyes on her neighbor, Nikki reached for the hood release.
Dillon caught her wrist and stopped her. “Whoa, don’t touch that yet. Let it cool down a while longer, or I’ll be hauling you off to the burn unit.”
Before she could stop herself, she leaned in and filled her lungs with his scent, detecting only a hint of the aftershave he’d used that morning behind a heaping of good honest sweat. Mostly he smelled of machine oil, sawdust and…mesquite? She scrunched up her nose and took another sniff. “You been at a barbecue?”
Dillon chuckled, a dark delicious sound that reminded her of humid summer evenings eating barbecued ribs and drinking cool beer. Of star-filled nights that promised long sessions of hot, sweaty sex.
Where had that come from? Maybe because she hadn’t been with a guy and had hot, sweaty sex in a couple of years?
“We’ve been cuttin’ down some mesquites out back of the old Pritchert place. New owners are plannin’ on putting in a pool and hired me to do the landscaping around it. I figured I might as well get started in there with my machinery.”
When he released her, she took a step back, stopping her sigh before it could escape. Stop with the fantasies, NikIf Dillon was interested in you, he’d have made some move after Wade moved out. Oh, he was always over checking on her, helping her fix the fences the horses or weather knocked down, but not once had he given her any indication he was interested in her.
No, Dillon just did those things because he’d been raised to be a good neighbor, willing to help the struggling divorcee with the measly forty acres of scrub behind his spread of two hundred and fifty. Still, a girl could fantasize. Oh. My. The fantasies she’d been having about him lately.
But had she imagined the way he’d held her after pulling her against him? Or the way his hand stroked the small of her back? That couldn’t have been accidental. Could it?

Pages: 196
Published: 2010

Slow Ride Home by Leah Braemel

The Grady Legacy #1

I loved this book. Allie is a lawyer and she works for a title insurance agency in Houston. She has to go home to the ranch she and her father were thrown off of 15 years ago and help the owners save it. Someone has sold half of the ranch but the owners Ben and Jake Grady said they did not sell any of it.  Allie has to figure out what is going on and save the ranch.

She still has feelings for Ben who she loved when she was 18. They had plans to go to Texas A&M together that fall. But she lost her scholarship when they lost their home on the ranch. Ben emailed and wrote letters to Allie and never got an answer back. Why? He never forgot her.

Ben tries to work with Allie to find this supposed son of his grandfather's who sold the land to a former employee who was caught stealing. But he stills wants her and pursues her, not that it takes much because she wants him too.

Will they save the ranch and live happily ever after?

From the author:
Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.
Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…
Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.
Excerpt:
If someone had told Allie O’Keefe fifteen years ago that she’d set even one toe on Bull’s Hollow Ranch again, she’d have cussed them out. After she’d decked them. Which explained why Allie jammed her foot on the brake when she reached the ranch’s wrought-iron gate. Or maybe she stopped because of the man talking to a group of ranch hands in front of the ranch’s trailer office. It wasn’t just his weathered brown Stetson that stood out from the standard baseball caps the others wore. After a casual glance in her direction, he resumed talking.
Even from this far away she could tell who he was—Ben Grady, the first man she’d ever loved. Just as he had back in high school, he still managed to set butterflies fluttering in her stomach, although right now they felt more like boulders tumbling in a spin dryer.
Ben Grady was the quintessential cowboy, from the way he stood with his thumbs hooked through a belt loop, leaving his fingers to drum on the worn leather of his chaps, right down to his dust-covered boots. He could step back in the 1800s and live in the Wild West with no problems. The only thing missing was the six-shooter at his hip.
He hasn’t seen you yet. You could still turn around. Plead with her boss once again to have someone else assigned to the case. Although all her previous attempts had earned her was a “suck it up, buttercup” comment from her boss.
Two of his men strutted over to ATVs parked neatly in a row by the bar while the other took the reins of the bay horse. Finally freed of whatever responsibility had been keeping his attention, Ben faced her.
One look at that straight nose and angular jaw and bam, her body softened.
Not good, not good, not good, she repeated. You’re not eighteen years old anymore. And you didn’t do anything wrong.
Right. She could do this.
Taking a shaky breath, she parked her car beside the mud-crusted white pickup, its dual rear wheels dwarfing her small sedan. Tucking her case beneath her arm, she picked her way across the gravel-strewn yard. She really shouldn’t have worn her heels today, but her pride wanted to show off that she’d traded in her work boots for kick-ass stilettos that stopped traffic. Her not-so-subtle see what you missed out onstatement. Which would be lost if she twisted her ankle.
His gaze locked on her, Ben leaned against the stair railing in his oh-so-casual way. When they’d dated, she’d loved how he’d stop to watch her approach. Now she felt like a gazelle being stalked by a lion. No, not such a proud animal. The Gradys were scavengers. Vultures, ready to pick the flesh from the bones of anyone who got in their way.
He’d filled out from the rangy teenager she’d known. He’d always been strong, but his muscles were more defined, the light cotton shirt tight across his chest and wide shoulders. His biceps bulged as he gripped the stair railing, hinting at the strength to lift and haul both hay bales and stray calves.
Ben tipped his hat up with one finger and shot her a lazy grin that melted her a little inside. His gaze swept down her body, blazing a path even hotter than the sun, then returned to meet hers. The lines at the corners of his sky-blue eyes gave him a distinguished air.
“You’re early. I wasn’t expecting you for another half hour.”
His voice still had the low roughness that had driven her crazy, especially when they were lying skin-to-skin. Damn it, she’d gotten over him, so why was the ache in her chest back? She took a deep breath but the anguish didn’t ease.
Clutching her case tight under her arm, she stopped in front of him and shielded her eyes from the morning sun. “Hello, Ben.”
His eyes widened in shock. “Allie? What are you doing here?”
Her breath rushed out at the realization he hadn’t recognized her. 

Read more here.

Pages: 216
Published: 2013