The steamy Chicago Rebels series returns with this racy and sassy tale of embittered hearts, second chances, and going for the goal—on and off the ice.
Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.
Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander…but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.
For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.
I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley for an honest review.
I love this series! Violet has survived breast cancer and is now portrayed as the Good time Party Girl. When all she is doing, is living her life to the fullest. In comes Bren. He had let Alcohol destroy his marriage. Now he is sober, and show his team that he is not screw up that he was when drunk. When his ex-wife has a break down and has to go in to a treatment center, he is now taking care of his daughter. How can he take care of her and concentrate on taking his team to winning the playoffs. In walks Violet the perfect solution to his problem. Only now he has another problem! Her, and his attraction to her. This was a fun book to read, and I loved the interaction of Bren’s daughter with Violet. The characters and storyline are always well-developed. I recommend this book and series to everyone. I give Hooked On You (The Chicago Rebels Series) 5/5 stars.
Top 5 Biggest Scandals in Bloom, Texas by Carolyn Brown
Welcome to Bloom, Texas, where the gossip is hotter’n than the peppers in Rick’s garden. Bloom is located just north of Sweetwater where the land is so flat that you can see all the way to where the earth curves. Well, maybe not that far but it goes out there for miles until it finally meets the sky. It always reminds me of a child’s drawing. He/she makes a line on their paper. Above it is sky with fluffy clouds. Below it is grass with wild flowers. The streets are wide and the bus comes through on the way to Sweetwater once a day.
If you want to hear the local gossip, just stop by the Main Street Café. You’ll love the burger baskets and sweet tea, but if you listen closely, you can learn who didn’t come to church on Sunday and why, who died, who had a baby and whether or not she was married. The list goes on and on, so don’t bypass the café as you wander up and down Main Street. Oh, and ask Elaine, the owner, to fix you up with a large sweet tea to go when you leave.
A couple of doors down, you’ll see a used book store. Go right on in and Amos will tell you the whole history of Bloom. If you have a seat on the sofa inside the front door, he’ll entertain you until all that sweet tea is gone with stories about the folks in town. Don’t be shy, now. He loves company.
As a stranger, you probably won’t be invited to one of the Sweetwater Belle’s club meetings, but even their exclusive meetings aren’t so secret in Bloom. After all everyone knows everything about everyone. They know what they did with whom, where it happened and what time they got home afterwards. Then they read The Bloom Daily News to see who got caught!
After all, gossip is the life blood of the community. It’s what drives the people to get out in the blistering hot sun and go to town. It’s what sets the phone lines to smoking, and why there’s more than one cell tower pretty close to the town.
There were, have been, are will be many scandals in Bloom. But five come to mind. First is the fact that Jennie Sue’s dad has been having affairs for years and every year the mistress gets younger and younger. He has his reasons but Jennie Sue doesn’t know them until she comes home. Second would be the fact that she arrives in town, right there on Main Street on a bus. Not in a rented car from an airport. Not even in her own little fancy sports vehicle, but a bus! That alone will put a strain on the phone company. Third is that she intends to be independent and since her father won’t give her a job in the oil company, she agrees to clean houses for two elderly sisters, Lettie and Nadine, who are the biggest gossips in Bloom, Texas. Fourth is that she’s seen with Rick, a local farmer, and even worse that she’s working on his farm for no money but for vegetables as pay. And number five that she has a baby buried in an unmarked grave at the Bloom cemetery. Now when that last one hits the gossip vine, it really will be hotter’n the peppers in Rick’s garden!
Excerpt: Small Town Rumors
“Well, well, well! Are you leaving us already? You only got here yesterday.” Lettie shoved the suitcase over and sat down across the table from Jennie Sue. Short, as round as Mabel, and sporting a kinky hairdo that had gone out of style years ago, Lettie hadn’t changed since Jennie Sue was a little girl.
“Yes, ma’am,” Jennie Sue answered. “How have you been, Miz Lettie?”
“Elaine, I’ll have a big stack of pancakes and two orders of bacon,” Lettie called out across the café.
“Got it,” Elaine yelled.
“So where are you going?” Lettie turned back to Jennie Sue.
“To find a job,” she answered.
“What kind of skills and experience do you have?”
Elaine crossed the floor and set Jennie Sue’s breakfast in front of her. “Millie will bring out your order shortly, Miz Lettie.”
“No rush. Just send me a cup of coffee, and I’ll be happy until it gets here.” Lettie waved her away with a flick of the wrist and turned back to Jennie Sue. “Now, you were about to tell me about your work experience.”
Jennie Sue picked up the saltshaker and applied an unhealthy dose to her eggs. “I have no experience, but I do have a business degree. The only thing I’m good at is keeping a clean house and organizing fund-raisers and parties.”
“Hmm.” Lettie pursed her lips. “So why didn’t you have a housekeeper up there in New York?”
“Percy was never pleased with the way they cleaned.”
“Was?” Lettie asked.
“Been divorced for over a year.”
“Oh, really?” Lettie cocked her head to one side.
“Me and my sister, Nadine, lost our housekeeper a couple of weeks ago. The lady that worked for us cleaned for me on Friday and Nadine on Thursday. You interested?”
Charlotte would probably go into cardiac arrest if Jennie Sue became nothing more than a maid for her archenemies. But hey, it was a job, and Jennie Sue damn sure knew how to clean a house so well that it would pass judgment in the courts of heaven.
“I might be interested if you could point me in the direction of an apartment or a rental house of some kind that wouldn’t be too expensive,” Jennie Sue answered.
“I got an apartment over my garage. It’s pretty small, but it’ll work for a single person. I’d be willing to rent it to you furnished. You’ll clean for me on Friday each week, but the last week in the month, you won’t get paid. That’ll be your rent,” Lettie said.
Jennie Sue could imagine Charlotte throwing whatever she could get her hands on at the wall when one of the Belles called her with that bit of news. Even if she was angry with her mother over trying to mold her into another Wilshire woman, she couldn’t do that to her mother—or could she? How else would she be independent?
She picked up a piece of crisp bacon with her fingers and took a bite while she thought about the offer. It was a job that she could do. It was a place for her to live. She didn’t have to live in a shelter or sleep on a park bench. However, her mother would never speak to her again, and the rumors would be so hot that they might burn down the whole town of Bloom.
About the Book
Title: Small Town Rumors
Author: Carolyn Brown
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Everyone is talking about Jennie Sue Baker and the mess she made of her life in New York. The former high school queen bee—and wealthy darling of Bloom, Texas—has returned home after all these years, riding on a common bus and bearing two bounced alimony checks. In a town that thrives on gossip, Jennie’s fall from grace has shamed her mother, set the town buzzing, and caused old, jealous enemies to whisper in delight. They say she’s taken a job as a housekeeper, gotten a garage apartment, and might be crushing on Rick Lawson, a simple farmer with modest dreams.
As romance starts to bud, Jennie relishes what it means to follow her heart, find real new friends, and finally be herself—regardless of all the lying town chatter. But fate has another twist in store. Rumor has it that Jennie now stands to lose what matters most . . . unless she can convince Rick of one true thing—and that’s love.
About the Author
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books, which include women’s fiction and historical, contemporary, and cowboys-and-country-music romance. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma—where everyone knows everyone else and knows what they’re doing and when—and they read the local newspaper on Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.
Series: Cajun Devils Book 1 Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Publisher: dba 7th House, Imprint of Andromeda LLC Publication Date: June 24, 2018
What would he do to get her back? Anything.
Ça va mal. Ça va pas bien.
New York Times bestselling author, Victoria Danann, begins a HOT new MC romance series spinning off SSMC. You’re gonna love it. For true!
Take a journey into the exotic culture of bayou country in Louisiana’s Lafayette and Acadia parishes. Cajun beauty, Angelique Bellefeuille, has had enough of bikers and their bullshit. Being put in danger because of her father’s motorcycle club makes that conclusion rock hard solid.
When she’s sent to an allied club for protection from a rival club, she’s reunited with her childhood friend, Just Batiste. Only he’s not the cute, fun, adventurous kid she remembers. He’s large, in charge, and menacing.
The last thing Batiste needs is a woman to interfere with the project giving his life purpose. But Fate has her own sense of timing. Angel is distraction and frustration walking around in the form of a little girl grown into a mind-numbing,curvy, blue-eyed devil.
Just when Batiste thinks he can’t get more frustrated with the little troublemaker, she’s kidnapped by the very people he’s supposed to be protecting her from. What will he do to get her back? Anything. He vows he’ll either have her returned or personally initiate Armageddon.
When Angie went back to her room she took a couple of bottled waters so she wouldn’t have to go hunting in the night.
Batiste hadn’t returned from whatever biker intrigue was occupying his time.
She supposed she was fortunate to have a room with an adjoining three quarter bath. She took a shower and towel dried her hair, but left it damp. She’d sleep cooler that way. Around eleven she turned off the lights, crawled on top of the cotton sheets and lay still listening to the night sounds of the swamp. After a few minutes a light rain added its voice to the lullaby of crickets, cicadas, and frogs and she felt herself drifting.
She was dosing when the door opened and someone came in. As she was sitting up, she heard Batiste and, was that nails on the floor?
“No worry, cher. It’s me. And dogs.”
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Takin’ care of you.”
Her eyes had adjusted to the low light so that she could see he was spreading a sleeping bag on the floor.
“You’re not sleeping on a wood floor.”
“Looks like I am.”
“You’re taking this protection thing kind of seriously.”
She heard the rustle of nylon as he lay down on top of the sleeping bag, but he didn’t answer. There was no more to say about that. Nothing was more serious than keeping Rou’s girl safe. He had two dogs trained by the SSMC, worth a fortune, and a loaded nine millimeter pistol loaded within easy reach. That, and the fact that he wasn’t likely to sleep too soundly on that floor, meant the woman couldn’t be safer if she was locked in Fort Knox.
It was hard knowing she was close enough to reach out and touch, but it was also the easiest feeling in the world, knowing she was close enough to reach out and touch. If he was sappy, he might have said it felt meant to be. He wasn’t sappy. Not at all.
At least that’s what he told himself as he robotically stroked Belle’s fur and stared toward the ceiling. The sound of the rain was comforting. Partly because that’s rain’s gift and partly because villains rarely get up to mischief in the rain. Maybe, he mused, they’re like that old wicked witch in Oz and don’t like getting wet.
About Victoria Danann
OVER ONE MILLION BOOKS SOLD
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Victoria Danann
Knights of Black Swan – BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
A Summoner’s Tale – BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVEL (2013)
Moonlight – BEST VAMPIRE/SHIFTER NOVEL (2013)
Solomon’s Sieve – BEST VAMPIRE NOVEL (2014)
Falcon – BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVEL (2016)
Simon Says – BEST SCIFI/FANTASY ROMANCE NOVEL (2017)
D.I.T. – BEST SCIFI/FANTASY ROMANCE SERIES (2017)
In addition to the brave and beautiful vampire hunting knights, Victoria writes other paranormal romances that often touch on scifi/fantasy along with contemporary bikers for those who love it when the bad boys are soooooo good.
Victoria co-hosts the popular ROMANCE BETWEEN THE PAGES podcast which can be found on itunes or at http://www.romancecast.com. She and co-host, Riley J. Ford, interview the biggest names in romance every week. Ever wonder about the personalities behind your favorite books? Some of them just might surprise you with their interests, wit, lifestyles, and sense of humor.
Victoria’s signature humor (“Everybody was staring at me because I was on the subway in fits of laughter and couldn’t stop!”) creeps into each and every book whether she intends it or not. But the heart of Victoria’s books is romance, the real kind that lasts and lingers like a charge in the air. Forever.
The rich characterizations and quirky personalities that readers so often comment about come from being a lifelong student of behavior – casually (love to people watch), and a serious student of behavior academically. She has also studied comparative religion, myths, and Dark Ages history.
Victoria lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.
Aside from writing romance, Elise’s passions are chocolate, Star Wars, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team — the Sharks! — are playing). She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice. Elise is the mom to two exuberant boys and is thoroughly addicted to Dancing With the Stars.
Beyond all else, Samira Foster wanted one thing: Elliot Dowling. He was her passion, her need. They were just kids but she knew it was real. The way he kissed her; the way he held her. Yet he’s the one thing that was denied her. The scion of a powerful and wealthy family, she’s now the head of Foster Acquisitions. But she doesn’t have it all. The pressure, the demands, the wolves. And she’s all alone. She needs someone. She needs him. And she’ll have him … even if it destroys her.
Elliot slowly began to realize that, despite the adrenaline flooding his system, nothing had truly changed since he had walked away years ago. He had to fight not to reminisce of the days they spent together, whether it was at the park, the lake or hiking the trails while the world waited back in the city. She was still the perfect girl, and now woman, that every man dreamed of, and he knew that she had no business slumming it with the likes of him. Samira’s eyes started to glow in the same way they used to when she looked at him. She could see deep into his soul, all of his feelings, and right now he wondered if she knew the truth.
“I almost gave up hope trying to find you,” she said. “It’s been years since you disappeared. I was beginning to think I would never see you again. Then the name Dowling Holdings came across my desk and I heard you’d returned. Why didn’t you reach out to me?”
“I thought about it, but there’s things…”
“I know.” Samira nodded. Her smile faded slightly, but she suppressed the frustration that Elliot knew she must’ve been feeling. “I had my investigators do a complete work up on Dowling Holdings. The only thing they can’t tell me is why you left. Was it because of what your father did?”
Elliot shook his head, he was certain there were things no one could know, and truthfully said, “My father’s actions might have held something over me at one point, but that doesn’t shadow my decisions anymore.”
Samira looked confused, then sad for a split second. “Was it me? Did you not reach out because of something that I did?”
Elliot once again shook his head. “God no, Sam, you’re amazing!”
He watched something click in her head, and even though he had never told her what happened that night, she figured it out.
“It was my dad then,” she said. “He never approved of us; even if he never told me, I knew that he hated the thought of us together. Did he threaten you? Forbid you from seeing me?”
Elliot could not look at her. Samira’s face flushed with anger as she continued, “Two and a half billion dollars in profit last year from a holding company that you built yourself. If you can’t see how impressive that is, I would be shocked! That was your hard work and determination! If my dad was even alive, he would not have a leg to stand on to keep us apart.”
“Sam, I wanted everything to be just right, or at least, cleaned up…”
Samira stood up. “No, Elliot. I don’t believe you. Everything you’ve gone through, everything you’ve built, doesn’t matter. You’ve let him stand between us for all these years. He was my father, and no matter what he said, I was never afraid of him or let him run my life. You could have everything you want now, but instead you just keep trying to prove yourself to a dead man.”
Samira got up, clearly upset, and headed for the door.
Every part of him wanted to run after her, and take her into his arms again, but where would they go from here? He saw now how crazy it was to bring her back into his dark world again.
About the Author
Marcella Swann has been putting words on paper for as long as she can remember. After working for years in the hard-edged world of journalism, she now devotes her time to writing contemporary romance stories of strong-willed women who win the men of their desires.
As passionate about love as the beauty of a story well told, Marcella is a complete romantic and believes everyone desires their happily ever after.
A small-town girl from Louisiana, Marcella now lives in New York City and starts each day walking her Yorkie in the park. She also swings a mean kettle bell at the gym and loves Karaoke nights with her friends.