When a beautiful brunette driver meets Nashville Slammers catcher, Sawyer McBain, at the airport, he figures it’s his lucky day. Sure, he’s usually pretty guarded around people, especially after what happened with his ex, but he can definitely enjoy the car ride. Until she passes his apartment…and keeps driving. All of a sudden the woman seems a lot less like romance material and a lot more like a kidnapper. What gives?
Slammers executive Addison Carlisle needs one little favor. Sure, she may have kinda maybe kidnapped one of her professional baseball players, but it’s for a really good cause. She desperately needs someone high-profile to auction off that night for the multiple sclerosis society she’s chairing, but he insists he wants a favor in return.
Soon Addie and Sawyer are trading completely ridiculous I.O.U.s, like being his plus-one to his grandmother’s poker game or keeping each other company at the driving range. But when their agreement goes from flirty to fiery, neither is ready to let their guard down for a shot at love.
I’m a mom and wife first and many things after. I’m a best friend and a regular friend. A daughter, sister, auntie, and teacher. I am a book lover, a shopper, a pajama-wearer, movie-watcher, worrier, over-thinker, and a wanna-be-good-Samaritan. I’m a Gemini, a nervous talker, and an emotional writer. I am represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel.
TMaisie thinks of herself as a tough, resourceful woman, and that’s about to be put to the test. After leaving her abusive husband and making off with all the cash she can carry, her only goal is to stay out of sight and survive. Then she learns her husband is six feet under. She should be able to relax, only she fears she will be blamed for his murder. So she hops a train and finds herself as a Bridal Train Bride.
Henry Cartwright loves tending the land, growing crops and raising animals for market, though it’s a lonely life. When his family urges him to take a wife, he can’t think of anything he has to offer a female besides hard work, but he settles on a Bridal Train Bride. Maisie is soft-spoken and reserved, leaving Henry thinking of her as a frightened animal, and he longs to set her at ease.
With newfound freedom and peace in her heart at long last, Maisie begins to wonder if she was wrong about all men being the same. Maybe this one deserves a chance—and a bit of the kindness he doles out to her so easily. When problems arise on the farm, they’re forced to work together and fight for the life they share. It just might be time for Maisie to dig up that satchel full of money she buried out back.
He caught her staring—again. From the shade of his hat, his blue eyes settled over hers. “Would you like to help me refresh the horses, Maisie?”
His deep voice was gentle, but that could just be for his horses’ sakes, keeping them from bolting across the prairie without a driver in the seat. Now that her imagination had taken that turn, she could not fathom what she would do if such a thing happened. She had no clue how to drive a pair of horses, let alone hooked to the cart.
After a second of consideration, she gave a nod. When she started to climb to the ground, Henry was there with his big palm open to help her down.
This time, her stomach did not hurt as much about touching a strange man, and she only paused a heartbeat before allowing him to assist her down. Once her boots touched the ground, she pulled away and looked around.
“What do you think of the Kansas countryside?” he asked as he moved to the horses.
“It’s odd how I have been staring at it for over an hour but from here, standing here on the plains, makes me see it in a different light.”
The corner of his mouth quirked up, and he ducked his head as he tended the animals. “I know the feeling. Like when you walk a road you truly know it. All the dips and rises, the rocks you wouldn’t see while riding along.”
She nodded, surprised at how easily he put her thoughts into words, when she could not begin to do that for herself.
Easing forward, she watched him check leather straps and forelegs before straightening. He pierced her in his solid stare. The blue of his eyes did not have a sinister light, but were a deep, clear blue like the sky above.
“Can you reach into the back of the cart?” he asked.
She nodded. “What am I searching for?”
“A grain sack. I like to encourage my horses when they tire, give them a taste of the treat they’ll get once they’re at home and tucked up in the barn.”
She felt a pull of her lips and was shocked it was a reaction to the picture he painted with his words… and it was almost a smile.
When had she last smiled? Years.
Moving to the back of the cart, she stood on tiptoe to reach over the side. When she located the sack he spoke of, she withdrew it and carried it back to Henry. As she neared, she found his words about the road were true. She had traveled all this time with the man and had never noticed the way he smelled before now…
Like grass and the grains he dumped onto a broad palm for the horses to nose. Henry also had a bit of a leathery man smell that was not unpleasant.
As one horse nudged most of the grains off his hand, Maisie gave a small giggle.
His head snapped up, and she could not be more stunned that the sound had come from herself. If she had no cause to smile, she certainly had not heard herself laugh in… well, too long.
To cover the sound and dispel her nervousness, she began to chatter. “That horse is a bit of a pig. He is in such a hurry to eat that he pushed it all off your hand. One time, I saw a dog like that. After he discovered the dish was empty, he pushed the bits all around the room, into the corner even.”
Henry stared at her with a pleasant, open expression on his face.
A nice-looking face, she saw now. If they had children, they would not be terribly unfortunate in the looks department.
The notion in her mind slapped a hot flush across her cheeks. She felt her face scorch and a sweat bead on her nape. Why had children come to mind? That only led to how one created children.
About Emberly Hart
Emberly Hart has been in love with characters from the rough and tumble West since the moment she picked up her first romance novel. Her historical heroines are smart and sassy in a time when women were expected to use their sewing skills rather than their wits, and her dashing heroes are the stuff romances are made of. Emberly will bring you sweeter, tamer tales from times past along with the gripping characters you will fall for. Look for her at emberlyhart.com.
Dustin is a convicted murderer.
He’s mournful, bitter, drowning in a sea of self-pity with nothing left to lose.
The church has sent me to bring him into the fold.
Bound by my namesake, Saint Odilia,
I should be defending my spirituality and morality with my life.
It only took a few letters to change everything.
HE FOUND INNOCENCE
Odilia saved my life and gave me her heart.
But I’m still mournful, bitter and drowning in self-pity.
Only now I have something to lose… her.
Gaining my freedom was supposed to be the hard part, but it’s going to take much more for me to be worthy of a saint.
LOVE WILL BE FREED
About Misty Walker
Misty Walker has been writing stories, articles, and poems since junior high. Preferring to stay behind the scenes until now, she has been an avid romance reader, a blogger, and an audiobook proofer for the last fifteen years. Growing up in a nomadic household, Misty has lived all up and down the western USA, but recently settled in Reno, Nevada. Misty is a mom to two kids who are slowly trying to kill her, but they are cute, so she will keep them. She just celebrated her sixteen-year anniversary with her computer geek husband and has two dogs, Dunkin and Dutch, that are her constant companions while she happily reads and writes her life away.
He never imagined he’d be the man he was born to be, or that one woman’s faith in him would change his life forever…
When Carlton Guthrie, the Scoundrel of St. Giles, encounters a runaway bride, he offers to help her. Not out of kindness, but because she’s the Earl of Hedgewick’s daughter. Using Regina to exact his revenge on her father seems like the perfect plan. Until Carlton starts to fall for the innocent beauty.
Seeking refuge with a notorious crime lord, was never part of Regina’s plan. But in her blind attempt to escape the fate her parents have planned for her, options are limited. What she doesn’t expect, is to pull aside Carlton’s facade, and to find a tormented man who makes her feel safe and cherished – a man she could easily love, if he’ll let her.
About Sophie Barnes
Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world.
She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.
While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.
When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family. She currently lives on the East Coast.
Brandon: Sabrina was my childhood friend. My first crush. My first mistake was leaving her behind. I had crushed her heart, unaware of the feelings she harbored for me. And twenty years is a long time to hold onto that grief. Now I’m back in Seattle and like fate has it, we meet again.
She might not have been my first kiss or love but I want her to be my soul-mate. My life partner.I might never be able to get over my first love, but I want Sabrina to complete me and be my new beginning.
I wish to be her knight in shining armor, saving her from the shackles of a broken marriage. A real father for her daughter, Clara.
But I have fucked up too many times in the past. She won’t trust me with her heart again. I can come close to being her friend but nothing more….
When have I ever given up, though? I try not to play unfair this time, but with Linden guiding me with his twisted antics (He stole my first love – My Gem from me or maybe it was me who first tried to snatch her from him – either way Gem is his now and he’s just returning the favor), I might actually make Sabrina fall for me.
As Brandon, I can just be her best friend, but as ‘Scott’ (Her anonymous on-line friend), I will gain her trust and woo her. No matter whom she chooses, she will end up with me and I will be everything she wants and asks for.
Twisted Connections is a Spin-Off of Love Connection Series. Every book in Twisted Connections can be read as a standalone. (It’s NOT necessary to read Love Connection Series before reading this book)
Standing right in front of me, he grins and throws his arms around me, taking me in for a hug. I expect to flinch by his touch, but I don’t. I’m as still as a statue. His closeness comforts me in ways I can’t even express, but I don’t want it to. After ditching me all those years ago, he doesn’t get to come back and expect things to fall right back into place. I won’t ever let that happen. He doesn’t deserve that chance and I don’t deserve another heartbreak.
“I missed you, Rina. I really did,” He tells against my hair.
For one whole second, I let my emotions slip, and smile against his chest. But the very next second when I’m about to push him back, he beats me to it.
“Your hair color sucks.” I gasp and shove him hard.
He retreats, still grinning from ear to ear.
“You can’t be serious,” I exclaim.
“I am,” he tells very seriously, a frown lining his face. “Strawberry blonde, really? You were a brunette, Rina. No wonder I couldn’t recognize you.”
“Stop making excuses.” He throws me a challenging stare, waiting for my answer. “My husband wanted me to try this color and he loved it.” I absentmindedly run my hands along my hair. Though it’s a very nice color, I always liked my natural color. But after getting used to this, I didn’t feel like changing at all.
He doesn’t flinch at the mention of my husband, but he continues to regard me with a scowl. “I’m not sorry to say this but your husband is definitely blind.”
“Beauty lies in beholders’ eye, Brandon. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make him blind,” I rebuke.
He pinches the bridge of his nose, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “It’s not about beauty. He’s blind to not see that this is not what you want. He was blind to not have seen how much you liked your natural hair.”
How can he be so ignorant and yet so right? He saw right through me in a single minute whereas even after many years of living together with James, he couldn’t understand such a simple thing.
“Ex-husband,” I admit in a small voice.
His lips upturn and a bright smile adorns his face.
“So, is your current husband blind too?” he asks with a frown.
“I don’t have one,” I snap, and his face actually glows now.
“Then it’s high time you fix an appointment with the parlor,” he orders.
I bite back a witty response and just walk past him. Talking to him more will either infuriate me or make me like him more and I don’t want to feel either of the two emotions.
ABOUT MEGHANA SARATHY
Meghana Sarathy is from Bangalore, India. She is an avid reader and also a writer. She writes Adult and New Adult romance, as well as dark and psychological thrillers. She especially loves reading and writing love triangles, taboo romance, and angst filled stories that are quite complex and unconventional. Her books tend to involve protagonists who are flawed, far from perfect, and as real as they can get. Her all-time favorite characters are her very own characters- Jennifer, Brandon and Linden. She tends to fall hard for boys who are either cocky, bossy or good flirts and total charmers.
She spends most of her free time reading, writing or watching anime. Depending on her mood, she tends to write two to three books at a time. She is a crazy fan of Dragonball Z and can be seen watching the episodes in repeat. Vegeta is her all-time favorite anime character.