Isn’t this fun. Harlequin made a video of THE TEXAN TAKES A WIFE!
Isn’t this fun. Harlequin made a video of THE TEXAN TAKES A WIFE!
Falling out of love with Colby Ryan wasn’t working…
There hasn’t been a woman who’s held Colby Ryan’s heart for long, not since his teenage love went awry twelve years ago. Now, all of a sudden, Dakota Jennings, his longtime family friend and trusted wrangler on the Circle R ranch, is catching his eye. For Dakota’s sake, Colby won’t ever give in to the temptation she poses.
Dakota has been secretly in love with Colby since the age of ten, but his sense of honor and the Texas code he lives by won’t allow her permanence in his heart. Up until this point, he’d never hinted at romance between them and yet, falling out of love with him just plain isn’t working.
Colby has always protected Dakota, and he isn’t about to stop now. If he gives in to his desire, she stands to lose far too much. Colby doesn’t deserve her love, he’s already ruined one life, but the binds that tie them are strong. Can Dakota be the woman to redeem his broken soul?
AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER and you can have it in your hands on AUG 14th!
READ ALL THREE:
I am so glad to finally bring Jack and Jillian’s story to you. He’s the sheriff, she’s the ex who left him heartbroken and now she’s back in town to stir up trouble unintentionally. Here’s a sneak peek at the first scene!
Gravel crunched under Sheriff Jack Walker’s boots as he exited his patrol car and headed for the cherry red sports car parked alongside the road just outside of Hope Wells. The Texas night sky twinkled above with bright stars, but on the ground his flashlight was his guide. Years of wearing a badge made him ready for anything and he knew better than to think he’d find a driver in that car, not with Wishing Wells, the town’s natural flowing hot pool just fifty feet away. Lovers and others often frequented the waters past closing time, past curfew, sometimes breaking other Texas statutes as well. His mouth cocked up at the notion. He’d broken a law or two at the wells in his younger days. But Jack didn’t rightly recognize the car and that put him on alert.
He crossed the road where gravel became wildflowers and then headed down the familiar path. As he came upon the gate, the chain link didn’t appear to be jimmied, but that didn’t mean much since the gate was more than climbable. There’d never been a need to secure Wishing Wells with anything more than a strong link fence, Hope Wells being a peaceable town for the most part.
The honeyed sweet scent of star jasmine flavored the air as he drew closer. His ears perked at a disturbance in the wells, a quiet swishing that only occurred when someone was upsetting the soothing waters.
“Who’s there? You’re trespassing at this hour. This is Sheriff Jack Walker.” Giving fair enough warning for a trespasser, he climbed over the gate. He hoped like hell he wouldn’t find two lovers going at it hot and heavy.
His flashlight illuminated the springs with a blast of brightness. Nope not two lovers at all, but one scantily clad woman.
A woman he recognized.
His eyes burned hot and his senses blurred.
He shined the light just below the soulful, baby blue eyes of the trespasser.
What was she doing here? He didn’t think he’d ever see her again. It’d been years since Jillian had washed her hands of Hope Wells… and of him. He was over her, but cool and casual wasn’t what pounded in his chest now. Instant disappointment at his reaction to her sent him back eleven years.
Her soft sultry voice filled him up with memories. “I see you’re still breaking laws, Jillian.”
A smile surfaced and the baby blues that had once done incredible things to him, seemed just as potent now. She had charm and grace to spare, a trait he’d once thought was exclusive only to him. He’d thought he’d known her mind too, but she’d proved him wrong in the end and his grief had lasted too long to admit, even to himself.
“As I recall, you helped me break more than a few, Jack.”
The moonlit waters flowed freely around Jillian’s bare shoulders. What in hell was the famous lingerie designer wearing underneath all that pooling water? A bikini? A thong? The woman ran a successful million-dollar company aptly named Barely There. Maybe Jillian wore next to nothing.
Jack drew a deep breath reminding him that Jillian wasn’t the girl from the wrong side of the tracks anymore. She wasn’t that poor misunderstood wild child that had once touched his heart and made him want to protect and cherish her. But seeing her at the wells again, unguarded, smiling up at him with a gleam in her eyes and that come-here look on her face, had him stumbling for a comeback.
She had moved on. So had he. Both had made something of themselves. It was best to let it alone. “Now. I protect the law, Jillian.”
She looked away, staring out into the darkness. “And the fine people of Hope Wells.”
“One in the same.”
She stroked the water, her hands playing over the pooling liquid like a delicate instrument. “You were meant to be sheriff. It suits you.”
“Don’t see as I could be anything else, what with my father and his father before him, being sheriff. It’s in our blood, I suppose.”
“It’s a good thing, Jack. I understand you saved a little boy’s life. You’re the town hero.”
“I’m no hero, Jillian.”
His gut twisted. Visions of that fateful day tormented him still. That winter night six months ago, rain had poured down so heavily the banks couldn’t hold and the river overflowed in large gulps. The blinding deluge and a set of bad tires had the driver of a sedan skidding off the road and plunging into the raging water. Trapped inside the car was a family of three, a young boy and his parents. Jack had seen it all happen from his patrol car and hadn’t hesitated to jump into the river. Frantically, he’d searched for the passengers, hoping to help, hoping to save everyone. And then he’d seen it, the small arms of the boy flailing wildly from inside the car, his parents offering up the boy through the darkness as if to say, take him. Take him. Their faces strained in panic as they realized their fate. Jack would never forget that scene, as the swift current carried the car and the boy’s parents under and away. There wasn’t anything Jack could do for them but bring the boy to safety.
“I did what any other man would do in that situation.”
“Not every man, Jack.”
A breeze blew by and Jillian trembled. She’d been in the water too long. Typical Jillian. “I think it’s time you got out.”
“You mean I can’t make a wish in the wells?”
“Is that what you’re doing, wishing?”
She gave her head a tilt. “Maybe.”
“It’s cold tonight. You should get out.”
“Is that an order, sheriff?” A teasing smile played on her lips.
“It’s a firm suggestion.”
“Will you hand me that towel over there?”
Jack reached for the towel hanging over a tree branch and walked closer to the wells as Jillian stepped out of the waters. Dewey droplets cascaded down her body adding a glimmering sheen on tanned, healthy-looking skin. He held the towel open, dipping his gaze to take a peek of frilly black silk covering her near naked body. Male fantasy wet silk.
“Thanks,” she said, tucking herself into the towel.
“It’s late. You’d best get to wherever you’re going.” He kept his focus on her face and off the tempting swells pushing the barriers of her towel.
“I’ve already been there,” she said breathlessly, running a hand through wet hair, “and the Winslows weren’t home.”
Jack arched a brow, ignoring how the honey blonde strands fell against her bare shoulders. “You’re staying at the Winslow place?”
“Yes. They said I’m welcome anytime.”
Jack twisted his lips and shook his head. He had a thousand questions for her, but only one pounded hard in his head repeatedly. Why was she here? What brought her back to Hope Wells after all this time? “Damn, Jillian. As far as I know, they’re gone for the weekend. Won’t be back until Monday.”
Jillian shrugged. “That’s okay. I’ll get a room at the motel or something.”
Jack took his hat off and ran a hand through his hair. Leave it to Jillian not to see things through. She’d always been the impulsive one, the make-love-to-me now and damn the consequences, kind of girl. Jack had been the one to hold back, to want to wait, to do right by her. Jillian had been a temptation from the start, a girl he’d wanted above all else, but he’d been the responsible one. Sometimes, he hated that about himself.
“Doubtful. The rodeo’s in town this weekend. You won’t find a room anywhere.”
Her face fell. “Oh.”
She chewed on her lower lip and Jack’s temperature rose watching her tongue dart in and out of her mouth as she contemplated her next move. He dragged his gaze off her mouth and glanced at his watch. It was almost eleven–too late for her to go traipsing along the highway looking for a place to stay. Jack doubted she’d find a vacancy for fifty miles or so.
Another breeze blew by and she shivered. Goosebumps erupted on her arms as she hugged the towel tighter. Ah, hell. “Follow my patrol car. I know a place you can stay.”
A nervous little laugh erupted and she shook her head. “No way, Jack. I’m not staying at the jail.”
Jack didn’t hide a wicked grin. “You don’t have too many options, now do you? Get dressed. I’ll wait for you by your car.”
You can find LOVING THE TEXAS LAWMAN on all online venues!
And if you’re not already signed up for Charlene’s News, Subscribe Now in the Upper Right Hand Box and be entered to win this fabulous prize. Drawing is random and will be announced on May 30th to one lucky participant. (Because of international laws, this is for US residents only.)
Did you know that I LOVE giving away prizes. It’s something instilled in me by my father. He was a fun-loving Super Dad who always made a game out of everything! One time, back in Brooklyn, where my sister and I grew up, my dad tossed a ball up in the air and told my sister, if you catch this ball, you’ll win $328 dollars and 27 cents.
That was my dad, all right. That ball went so high up in the air, that no little 10 year old girl could ever catch it. I watched in wonder as my sis positioned herself, kept her eye on the ball up in the clouds, and finally plummet down to land in her outstretched hands. It was the catch of the century! No one was more surprised than she was, except maybe my dad! We jumped for joy and laughed our heads off, and you know what? My dad, kept good on his promise. He gave her the money. Yes, all of it. She’d earned it and it was just a good thing, dad didn’t spout out a number like 28,017 and 39 cents. At least the three hundred dollar figure was doable!
So a very big part of me has that spirit. I LOVE holding giveaways for fun! And today my giveaway is to celebrate the first book in the Forever Texan Series, Taming the Texas Cowboy! (If you read The Cowboy Contract, then you’ve read this book, minus the new tweaks I made) The book is already garnering some great reviews!
The Celebrate The Cowboy Giveaway will land on my Facebook page and my FB Author Page from Feb 24-Feb 28th. If you’re not on FB, not to worry, simply leave me a comment here and your name will be entered!
Here’s a list of fun items included:
A Tule Bookbag suitable for books or beach-going!
The Audio CD of Carrying the Rancher’s Heir by Charlene Sands!
A Signed Copy of Robin Bielman’s awesome book, Once Upon a Royal Christmas!
A Book Girl’s Rule tank top!
Orchid and Amber Body Lotion
Scrumptious dark chocolates!
Pens, magnets and other swag!
And if you’re so inclined, take a peek at Taming the Texas Cowboy!
Trey Walker – Hot-headed, hot-blooded, and heart-melting!
After a disaster destroyed nearly everything Maddie Brooks owned, Trey Walker offered the petite redhead shelter at 2 Hope Ranch. A veterinarian, Maddie was smart, sexy, and good with animals… Impossible to resist, yet Trey is convinced he is cursed when it comes to women.
The temporary arrangement Maddie made with Trey was supposed to be strictly business. Easy, since Maddie had tried and failed to catch the handsome cowboy’s eye for a year. She thought she was so over him…until he kissed her.
Hi Everyone and Happy New Year!
I have to confess I’ve heard about the Barbara Vey Romance Reader Events for years, but never attended one. And this March will be my first time — I’ll be a Reader Event virgin. So what is it actually? Basically, it’s an event to connect readers with authors. Imagine a room filled with 60 authors! I’ll be hosting a table of eight readers at this event with awesome Harlequin Special Edition author, Christy Jeffries and here’s how she explains the event:
This is how it works: You buy a $5 ticket ahead of time to reserve your spot and pick the author you want to sit with for the event. It’s like an exclusive, backstage pass to Romancelandia. Then, you will get a $5 voucher for the onsite bookstore (so really, you’re ticket is FREE), fun tote bags with FREE swag and books, plus a FREE raffle ticket for some amazing gift baskets. Did you catch the “free” part? You’ll also get to schmooze with all the authors at the book signing.
Christy and I have themed our gift bag prizes as a pampering experience, GIRLS NIGHT IN! Everyone at our table gets one!
I’ll also be signing two books, including Book One in my Forever Texan series titled, Taming the Texas Cowboy from Tule Publishing (cover to be revealed soon) and my Harlequin Desire, The Texan’s One-Night Standoff. I can’t wait to meet the readers at my table as well as the many other readers and writers attending. That’s it in a nutshell. Will I see you there?
“And here he comes, right on schedule.” Evette Marigold’s best pal Phillip pointed to the guy making his way through the sand to her tiny beachfront thatched roof café, Shore Enough. Ian Sterling, of the cropped blonde hair and bone-melting blue-eyed hunk variety, stepped into her place, gracing her with his presence.
“Great, Phil. Just what I need today,” she mumbled.
“Hmm, today and every day, babe.” Phil backed away from the counter he’d been scrubbing, giving her a playful wink.
She glared at her BFF and number one employee. None of this was funny. She smacked the button on the blender and the machine roared to life. Mango, pineapple, berries with a twist of lime and ice pulsed together in a whirl that matched her muddled mind and drowned out the rapid beats of her heart. She had no use for Ian. Not that the man could take a hint.
He walked right up to the counter and took a seat. Her place only held a good thirty people during the rush and six of those seats were designated at the counter. Unfortunately those rushes were fewer and farther between. She wiped her hands on her apron and approached him, the only lunch customer in her place. Sure, she’d take his money, since he was hell-bent on destroying her only source of income.
“What’ll it be, Mr. Sterling?”
He removed his Ray-Bans, folded them and set them on the counter, which left her stunned by the brilliance of his bluer-than-blue eyes. “Mr. Sterling? That’s a new one, Evie.”
She refused to let the deep timbre of his voice get to her. The fit of his blue jeans and the classically wrinkled white linen shirt hanging off his shoulders were doing enough damage. The guy had surfer dude written all over him, but he was far from that.
“Yep, it’s a new one.” She focused on her notepad. “What’ll it be?”
“Same as I have every day. I want the Shore Thing. And I like it spicy.”
Heat crawled up her neck. Underneath her dark hair, she began to sweat as memories flashed. She’d given in to her ego, believing he’d been coming to Shore Enough every day to see her, be with her. And she’d foolishly been his sure thing for one hot and spectacularly spicy night in the not-so-distant past. Goodness, she’d actually associated him with thoughts of the L word and gotten swoony and giddy when he’d come around. Until she found out his real intent.
“Spicy, right.” She pretended to write it down.
“I’ll have whatever it is you just mixed up in the blender too.”
“One Mango Tango. To go?”
He shook his head. “Not to go, Evette. You can’t get rid of me that easily. I’m not the devil.”
Could’ve fooled her. She stashed the pen in her apron pocket and leaned over the counter, facing him dead on. His eyes dipped down for a flicker of a second, fixing on the neon pink tank stretched across her healthy chest. Appreciation shone in his eyes. If only she wasn’t turned on by that look.
“You may not be the devil, Ian. But I’m not going to play Meg Ryan to your Tom Hanks.”
He blinked, his brows gathering. “What in hell does that mean?”
“Ever see You’ve Got Mail?”
He appeared totally clueless. “Is that a chick flick or something?”
“It’s the story of you and me, with an entirely different ending, buddy.”
Then she turned and sauntered away, sensing Ian’s gaze on her butt and wishing she hadn’t worn her denim cut-off shorts today.
YOU CAN GET YOUR COPY TODAY from LARA!
Wednesday April 13th!
|The Lusty Literate|
|Read Your Writes Book Reviews|
|Tantos Livros Tão Pouco Tempo|
|Outrageous Heroes of Romance|
|Thursday April 14th|
|Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind|
|The Reading Cafe|
|pretty sassy cool|
|The Romance Dish|
|Romance Reviews Today Blog|
|Debbie’s World of Books|
|Friday April 15th|
|Short and Sassy Book Blurbs|
|Eclectic Passions Reviews|
|Short and Sassy Book Blurbs|
|True Story Book Blog|
|Red hot books|
|Becky on Books|
If you love books of any kind, you would’ve loved this Book Fest! Held on the beautiful campus of USC, the threat of rain didn’t scare off the die hard book fans. They came out in droves to listen to speaker panels, browse the hundreds of booths, treat themselves to a delicious food truck meal, listen to live music, watch interviews of their favorite authors and simply take in everything that is books! I was lucky enough to be asked to sign my latest Harlequin Desire, One Secret Night, One Secret Baby at The Southern California Chapters of Romance Writers of America booth. Here’s a few pictures I’d love to share with you.
Harlequin was very generous in sending this stack of books for me to sign and give away. I also gave away book cover magnets and pens to my readers and friends!
Part of the time I sat next to the fabulous and talented Brenda Novak!
My good friend, talented writer and plot buddy, Lynne Marshall stopped by to say hello and lend support!
Here are some of the talented authors I signed with today. From Left to Right, Sylvie Fox, Linda Rice, Yours Truly and Mia Hopkins. And Fabio made another appearance too! One thing can be said, writers are a rare breed that share the same obsession, passion, chaos and extreme hard work of putting our hearts out there, words on the page and praying to the book gods that readers will love our work!
Afterward, my wonderful hubby playing the role of my assistant today, brought me a wonderful Lobster Roll sandwich from Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck. (I had to support them, they were on Shark Tank, one of my favorite shows!) It was a wonderful way to end the day and the sandwich was delish!