Wanted: Dead or Alive
By Faye Byrd
Nathan King was a gunslinging, second chance-giving, rule breaking (but rather charming} outlaw. No, he didn’t choose that way of life…the murder of his simple farming folks did. A crime that changed his path—err riding trail—for him. Simple storyline? No, not one bit, which was what pulled me in straight from the beginning.
Now if I thought that Nathan was a good guy gone bad, he had nothing on Josie, his feisty cowgirl. I learned that he wasn’t as bad as I thought once she entered the story. LOL He had a soft spot, but only for his little hellcat. Josie was a tough as any man in the Wild West with less patience than a toddler in a candy store. Here’s a look inside Josie’s head, when she was first introduced into the story:
“Some men are such fools.
Does he really think I won’t split him in two?
I hesitate a couple more seconds, giving him one more chance to stop his progress. And when he don’t, I squeeze the trigger. He dives, face first in the dirt from the force of the blow and never moves again.
Now I got to dig a hole.”
Their crazy love and pure devotion for one another, along with a bunch of unexpected laughs and great dialogue, kept me reading chapter after chapter, without wanting to stop.
Josie and Nathan (I put her name first or I know she’d shoot me) were protective of each other, to the point of being obsessed & not rational at times, but that was all a part of the charming outlaw life this author created. The characters were funny, protective, jealous, consistent, and real, and the supporting cast added to the storyline perfectly. Following them around the western U.S., committing crimes, killing the people who don’t listen to them, and their attempts to play fair, made me root for the bad guys. Problem I had was that I sometimes had to remind myself that they weren’t always on the wrong side of the law, even when they broke the law. I didn’t know if they were good people gone bad gone good? Or bad people gone good gone that were sometimes bad.
I’ll let you be the sheriff that decides their fate.
I must say I’d never read a romantic western story before, as they never appealed to me before, but this one done knocked me off my high horse. Give it a chance, before our Outlaw and Cowgirl decide where to dig your hole.
NUDES: A Hollywood romance standalone from
bestselling author Sarah Robinson!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2qbiIqc
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2qJdh4Q
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2r62Vxl
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2nuMBkd
Ben Lawson is making a comeback…
After a few tabloid headlines, they think they know me. They don’t know a damn thing. As CEO of a movie production company, I’ll show them who I really am when we hit it big at the box office. My ex thought her smear tactics would ruin me, but I’m unbreakable. Rising from the debris, I swore I’d never let a woman distract me like that again. But then, my leading actress walked on the set and changed everything.
Seductive, sexy, and unapologetic, Aria Rose could break me. I wanted to help her, protect her…love her. Instead, I destroyed her.
Aria Rose is baring it all….
I knew better. I knew not to trust another Hollywood heartthrob with a reputation like his. He was my boss and became my ruin. I should have stayed far away from him. Ben Lawson promised me the world. He even promised me his heart.
But he destroyed everything–my heart, my career, us.
“Aria?” A deep voice cut through the crisp nighttime air.
She turned to see Ben approaching her, the shadows from the upper deck of the yacht moving across his face as he came closer. “Oh. Hi, Mr. Lawson.”
“Please, like I said, call me Ben,” he reiterated, leaning against the railing next to her.
“Right. Ben. Sorry, the last exec wasn’t quite so…”
His lips curved into a smile. “So, what?”
She wasn’t sure what to say, because her honest answer was sexy. That didn’t seem like the best thing to a man who now funded and controlled her film. “Approachable?”
Ben laughed—a deep chuckle that she felt vibrate through her bones. “I hope that’s a good thing.”
“It definitely is,” she assured him, placing a hand on his arm. The moment she touched him, she pulled back, immediately embarrassed.
He. Is. My. Boss. Get it together, Aria.
He didn’t chide her, or look uncomfortable, which she took as a good sign.
Aria returned to her original position beside him, and they stared out at the darkened water lapping the sides of all the boats docked around.
“Want to hear something funny?” Aria finally broke the silence, but kept her voice low. So low, he had to lean in to hear her.
“My parents met in this very marina. She was a caterer and he was a deckhand—still teenagers. Barely old enough to know who they were, let alone what they wanted out of life. Still, they knew what love was when they stumbled upon it, and they knew enough to never let go.” Aria’s heart beat a little faster, warming at the memories.
“Wow. Are they still together?”
Aria nodded. “Barely spent a day apart since. My mother is actually my manager, and she works insanely hard for me, but my father always comes first. He’s the love of her life.”
“Love like that is special. Rare.”
“Is it?” Aria tilted her head to the side. “I’m not sure it’s as rare as it is a choice, a commitment, and the strength to follow through each and every day. There were times they could have given up—maybe lived an easier life with someone else—but they made a decision that this was the love they wanted, this was the life they wanted, and in that choice comes a confidence, a happiness, that most people deny themselves.”
Ben was quiet for a minute. Finally, he inhaled loudly, then blew it out in one long breath. “That’s really beautiful, Aria. Hits a bit close to home, I have to admit.”
“I’m sorry.” Aria frowned, turning to face him and just leaving one elbow on the railing. “I didn’t mean—”
He shook his head. “No, it’s fine. I just finished going through a divorce about six months ago, though we’d separated the year before that. I think you’re right—love is a choice. Making love work is a choice. And yet…if it’s not with the right person, then it’s the wrong choice.”
“Soul mates.” Aria raised one brow. “You believe in that?”
Ben stared at her for a moment…a long moment. The kind of moment that made her shift her weight from one leg to the other, her skin heating under his gaze. “Yes. I believe in soul mates.”
She tilted her chin up ever so slightly, going for lightheartedness. “Well, we all have our flaws. You couldn’t be entirely perfect.”
Ben laughed again. “Believing in soul mates is a flaw?”
“Buying what you’re selling is definitely a flaw. You’re a movie producer, so you sell fantasy to the world.”
“I think we can have the fantasy.” His eyes danced, but his smile was gone. “Don’t you want the fantasy?”
Aria turned back to the ocean, looking out at the waves. This was too much, too real, too soon with a man she barely knew. A man who was pretty much her boss. “Who wouldn’t want the fantasy?” she said dismissively. “Some would say I’m already living it.”
“That’s certainly true. Everyone on this yacht, everyone in this city…Hollywood. It’s all a fantasy of some sort.” Something in his tone sounded so…sad? A small ache pulled at her heart, and she felt like they’d opened the door to something different. Something different than studio exec and actress. Something more than strangers who just met today.
Her humanity connected to his, and they were just two people standing on a boat wishing it could float them away from their picture-perfect lives.
“Do you know why I love Scarlet’s Letters?” she said softly, her voice barely above the whistle of the wind around them.
He stepped closer, his elbow pressed against hers on the railing now. “Why?”
“It’s something I can be proud of. A story I’m proud to tell. The strength of a woman in wartime, a French woman saving innocent people during the Holocaust…a woman picking her truth over a man, over love. Have you read the script?”
Ben nodded. “I have. Two years ago, when it was making the rounds. It’s powerful, and from what I’ve seen, you do an amazing job in it.”
“Thank you. When I first saw this script—or rather, read the book it’s based on—I knew I had to play this part. No matter what I had to give up. This was mine.”
She’d never connected to anything more than she had this script. It was empowering, and taught courage in the toughest of circumstances. It was a tiny snapshot of a much larger scale event, showing the decisions and atrocities suffered at such a human, personal level. It was a woman denying her own privilege and luxury to help fellow humans who didn’t have that reach.
“The way you talk about it…I’m jealous,” Ben admitted.
That got Aria’s attention, and she turned to face him. “Jealous? Of what?”
He pushed off the railing, looking up at the stars before settling on her gaze. “Passion. Excitement. Purpose. You know what you want. You know who you are and what your goals are.”
“And you don’t?” He had to be nearly thirty, if not over. Striking and fresh faced, but his features still said experience. Aria was only in her twenties, but at times she felt decades older.
Ben shook his head. “I thought I did. I built a life. Got married. Worked my way up in Maguire Industries. Everything was mapped out. Everything was…easy.”
The ache from earlier was back, the sadness in his voice. Aria placed her hand on his forearm, a comforting gesture. Partly for him, but mostly for her. She needed a physical connection when they were connecting on so much more.
“What happened?” she pried, squeezing his arm ever so slightly.
Ben looked down at her hand, his eyes lingering. He didn’t move or pull away, and when he lifted his head to face her again, there was a need in his eyes that made her insides heat. “The woman I trusted with all my secrets? She sold them to the highest bidder the moment I wasn’t able to be a stepping stone for her career.”
Aria didn’t reply, sensing there was more.
“She used every connection she had to get me blacklisted. Took everything. Now Maguire Industries acquired Shepherd Films, expecting me to fail. Pushing me out.”
“Not many would call being the CEO of a film studio a demotion,” Aria pointed out.
“When you’re used to being the landscaper, it’s hard to become the rose.”
Aria laughed, letting go of his arm. “First, soul mates. Now, roses. You’re a poetic man, Ben Lawson. A true romantic.”
Suddenly, his fingers intertwined with hers, pulling her to him. Pressing her body to his, chest to chest, heartbeat to heartbeat. His eyes never left hers, and she watched him wrestle with something…doubt, uncertainty. As if he didn’t know why he’d just hugged her to him, but then need. Pure need darkened his eyes as something deeper pushed the rest away.
Her breath was lost as she concentrated on standing, her knees already threatening to buckle. She’d taken every second of the journey with him, and now she wanted more. Something about the way he smelled ignited every nerve ending in her body. The way he held her, one arm wrapped around her back, was so secure, so comfortable, so protective, so intimately. No one had ever held her like that in her entire life.
She didn’t want him to let go.
He was fire. She wanted to leap into his flames.
“And what are you, Aria Rose?” Ben’s fingers tipped her chin upward, her eyes finding his. “Who are you?”
The words rumbled in his chest, vibrating against him as he spoke. There was a genuineness to it that terrified her, unnerved her, and completely overwhelmed her. Their souls were laid bare and he was asking for more.
A perfect stranger. A moment of truth. An absolute mistake.
She couldn’t do it. Her walls shot up and she let go of him, fear coursing through her. “I’m an actress, Mr. Lawson. Just an actress.”
And just so much more.
About the Author
Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in clinical and forensic psychology. She is married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.
Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Susan’s Review: 4 stars
Wow! This was a great story! It was hot and had just enough angst for my liking.
I don’t want to say too much for fear that I’ll give away the whole story. Ben and Aria were perfect together until they let things get in the way. Will they work it out? Read it and find out 🙂
*thanks to Sarah Robinson and TRSOR for sharing a copy of this with me*
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken returns with a smoking-hot story about the satisfaction of plotting revenge on your ex—until he turns your world upside down again.
Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.
Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.
He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.
Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2r621AS
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/31MHqf
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/6IjjiJ
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Connect with the Author:
Rachel’s Rockin’ Readers: http://bit.ly/RachelsRockinReaders
Susan’s Review: 5 stars
I stayed up late last night to finish this because I was so wrapped up in Declan and Melissa and I was in tears and I had to know what would happen for them.
Declan and Melissa have a tenuous relationship. Their very first meeting was a complete disaster and every time they’ve seen each other since it’s been awkward and uncomfortable. I know, you’re thinking why don’t they just avoid being around each other? Well, they can’t because Declan is the ADA and his boss is Melissa’s dad. Don’t forget that Melissa works in tandem with the DAs office in the SACU. So naturally, they are bound to be in each other’s company, especially since Deck has been promoted to being in charge of the SACU.
This is when things start heating up between them. Deck can’t stop thinking of Melissa and the more she works with him and gets to know him, the harder she is falling for him. But Melissa isn’t one to fall easily. She had a horrible early childhood until she was adopted and the fact that she’s hearing impaired hasn’t made her life any easier. But Declan isn’t much better in accepting their relationship is more than it is either. He never expected to fall in love, marry and have a family. He’s been the one who has kept the family together…I loved Wren calling him a sheepdog, and Finnie’s explanation of her saying that was priceless! Things go south with Mel and Deck and we wonder if they can ever make it work. Yes, I’m leaving out TONS of stuff, but if I told you it would take away from the beauty and heartbreak of this story.
Despite the angst and tears with Declan and Melissa, there were some lighter moments. I LOVE when the whole O’Brien family gets together! They are a hoot! Honestly, I’m itching to get Angus’s book. Please tell me he gets one. I’m begging. I don’t know if I want him to find someone new or fall in love with Molly (you’d understand that if you read these books LOL). Curran and Tess are adorable and Wren still has no filter 🙂 They’ve all got a place in my heart.
I knew this would be amazing when I started it. Cecy Robson did not disappoint. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her, several are on my favorites list, including this one. The epilogue was perfect and had me in more tears 🙂 I can not wait for the next one!
*thanks to Tasty Book Tours for sharing a copy of this with me*
Hot Single Dad ALERT! Preorder Goaltending by Jami Davenport now!
WANTED: Single dad needs nanny–In more ways than one.
Martin “Brick” Bricker is living the good life. He’s playing the sport he loves, has all the women he can handle, and parties like a rock star. At twenty-six, he has no interest in slowing down or taking anything seriously–except hockey, of course.
Then a knock at his door changes everything.Suddenly he’s the single father to a five-year-old daughter he didn’t know he had, and he’s trading his playboy ways for Barbies.
Amelia Stacey struggles to make ends meet and juggles her day-care job with a full load of college classes. When she’s offered a temporary, two-week nanny position making more money than she imagines, she jumps at the chance. Before she knows it, she’s in over her head, not just with her five-year-old charge but with the girl’s hot single father.
Brick always goes after what he wants, and he wants Amelia. Only responsible Amelia doesn’t want anything to do with the party boy. Struggling with fatherhood and his unexplainable attraction to his nanny, Brick has to figure out where his daughter and Amelia fit into his life.If they fit at all.
But one thing’s for sure: Brick can’t block this shot straight to his heart.
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami’s new releases consistently rank in the top fifty on the sports romance and sports genre lists on Amazon, and she has hit the Amazon top hundred authors list in both contemporary romance and genre fiction multiple times. Jami ranked Number Seven on Kobo’s Top Ten Most Completed Authors, an honor bestowed on the year’s “most engaging” authors based on an average page completion rate by their readers.
Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare.
Jami works in IT for her day job and is a former high school business teacher. She’s a lifetime Seahawks and Mariners fan and is waiting for the day professional hockey comes to Seattle. An avid boater, Jami has spent countless hours in the San Juan Islands, a common setting in her books. In her opinion, it’s the most beautiful place on earth.
Connect with Jami!
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive a free novel and be notified of new releases, special sales, and contests: http://eepurl.com/LpfaL
Website Address: http://www.jamidavenport.com
Twitter Address: @jamidavenport
Facebook Address: http://www.facebook.com/jamidavenport
About Kristen Proby:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.
Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.
Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, loves history and romance and enjoys spending her time combining the two in her novels.
When Michelle’s not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and three very spoiled cats.
Susan’s Review: 3.5 stars
I love a good Highlander romance story. Guys in kilts are my weakness. You’ve seen the pics, you get what I’m talking about 😉 So, when I saw this up for review I knew I had to grab it.
The Campbell and MacGregor clans have been enemies for centuries and now that the MacGregors are back in favor with the King, he’s tired of the Campbells raiding their lands. Malcolm MacGregor, Laird of Glenlyon, goes to King Charles to have him put a stop to it. But the Laird of the Campbells is there too to try to do the same thing. King Charles orders Malcolm to marry Sorcha Campbell, figuring their marriage would put a stop to the feud. However, neither Malcolm nor Sorcha are happy about having to marry the other and vow to make each others lives as miserable as possible in an effort to put an end to the marriage.
Thankfully Sorcha was really a kind-hearted caring heroine or I wouldn’t have liked her at all LOL She was attracted to Malcolm but was a raving witch in hopes that he’d leave her. Then when he ignored her or left her at the keep to tend to his tenants, she was mad that he was doing exactly what she set out to do. It got on my nerves a bit. But she really was kind and good and her interactions with the people of Glenlyon was awesome! Watching her soften towards Malcolm and come to care for him was perfect.
Malcolm was kind and gruff and everything you’d expect from a Highland warrior. He had a bit of a sense of humor and was quick and easy to show his affection.
This was my first by Michelle McLean and won’t be my last 🙂
*thanks to Tasty Book Tours for sharing a copy of this with me*