Tag Archives: military

Author Showcase – CJ Matthew (Survival Reboot: The Paladin Group, Book 2)

Survival is still her #1 mission

Sara Gallagher escaped the memories of a painfully shy childhood and her hopeless crush on the boy next door by joining the USAF where Senior Airman Gallagher excelled as a SERE- Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape instructor. But when a training accident leaves Sara scarred and deaf in one ear, she returns home to join the Paladin Group.

Chris Braxton was Peachwood’s golden boy, a rookie major league pitcher, until a drunk driver shattered his shoulder and his dreams. Now entrepreneur Chris’ upscale sporting goods company is negotiating a nationwide expansion. Enroute to a crucial meeting, he overhears the details of a planned felony. When Chris and his family are threatened, he turns to the Paladin Group.

 

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Chapter 1

 

“Stay quiet,” Sara Gallagher whispered across the bedroom to her wide-eyed young client. “Slide under the bed.” In the dim light, she watched the teen roll silently off the far side of the mattress and disappear from sight. Good girl. There was another faint sound outside. Sara crept to the edge of the French door. Drawing her weapon, she pressed her back to the wall. And waited. By climbing onto the condo’s second-story balcony, the stalker was trespassing. Let’s go for B&E. Sara angled her head to the left, straining to hear. The wood casing of the lock creaked. Bingo. Gripping her weapon with both hands, Sara kept the barrel pointed to the ceiling. Heart thundering, she inhaled slow, controlled breaths as the frame cracked, glass shattered. What remained of the door slowly swung open. A booted foot crunched in the glass on the bedroom floor. There we have it—breaking and entering. Sara adjusted her stance. From neck to toes, the intruder was encased in black leather. A black knitted ski mask concealed his head. In one gloved hand, he gripped a metal rod.

Shit. The stalker came armed. Sara curled a finger over the trigger of her Browning. The rest of the intruder’s burly profile eased into the room. “Drop the weapon. Hands up,” Sara shouted. Pivoting, she aimed for his chest. “Drop it now. I will shoot.” The stalker spun around. And took a wild swing with the large crowbar. Sara leapt back. The instant the metal rod cleared her, she yelled, “Stop.” “Bitch…” He growled. “I’ll…” He loomed over her. Gripping the crowbar with both hands, he reared back for another swing. Sara aimed and fired. The 9mm slug tore through the black leather and into the stalker’s shoulder. He let out a wailing scream and dropped the crowbar. It clattered to the hardwood as he staggered back. Grabbing for his bleeding shoulder, the intruder tripped over his own feet. Landed hard on his butt. “Down flat,” Sara snarled. Her fear drained. She was damned angry. Much as the jerk deserved it, she hated shooting anyone. “On your back.” She kicked the crowbar across the floor. “Do it. Or the next bullet goes down your throat.” Eyeing his uninjured legs, she kept a safe distance from his boots. With a mighty groan, the stalker eased back until he was prone. “Police,” a deep voice shouted from the front area of the condo. “Back bedroom,” Sara answered. “I’m armed. Stalker is down and wounded. Needs an EMT.” She raised both her hands. As two uniformed police appeared, she remained frozen in place. Bad idea to be armed and in motion when law enforcement arrived on scene.  

“Stay put,” the taller policeman instructed. Then to his partner, “Secure her weapon. And that crowbar.” He radioed for medics. Then he turned to Sara. “What happened here?” “I’m Sara Gallagher, the PI who reported the break-in,” Sara explained, surrendering her Browning. “I’m working with Detective Morgan…” “The detective’s right behind us.” “Excellent. My client is not armed. Ms. Stewart is under the bed.” On cue, the teen peeked over the edge of the duvet. Scrambling to her feet, she took one look at the stalker, the blood, and burst into hysterical tears. “It’s okay,” Sara reassured the sobbing college student. “It’s all over.” The room filled with new arrivals. Another uniformed officer entered from the hall, followed by two EMTs. Her client cried harder. And louder. Sara stepped back to give the paramedics more space, then breathed a silent sigh when the Denver detective assigned to Ms. Stewart’s case appeared. After a quick scan of the room, he met her gaze. “Sergeant Gallagher. You okay?” Shit. The police officer sealing her weapon in an evidence bag and one of the medics looked up at the mention of her former military rank. “I’m fine, Detective. But Miss Stewart—” “This is the guy?” Morgan asked. “Your stalker?” “Yes, I’m certain,” she said with a curt nod. “He climbed to the balcony. Pried open the French door. When he stepped inside, I ordered him to stop. He took a swing at me with the crowbar. After another warning, he kept coming. I had to shoot him.” “Good work, Gallagher.” The detective moved closer to question one of the paramedics working on the stalker. “You’re transporting him?” “Yeah. He’s stable. Going to Denver Hospital Main Campus.” Glancing up, Morgan finally became aware of the distraught teen. “Want a paramedic to look at Miss Stewart?” “Good idea,” Sara said. “Thanks.” The handsome medic managed to quiet the hysterical young woman. But when he suggested Sara’s client go the ER, she intervened. Moving around the bed, she held Lori gently by the elbows and pierced the young woman with a steely look. “Tell the truth,” she whispered. “Are you physically hurt anywhere?” Lori Stewart hiccupped. “No.” “You’ve been very strong, did everything right tonight. Are you positive you need to go to the hospital?” “Maybe not.” Lori shook her head. “That’s a brave woman.” Sara handed her a tissue. “Now blow your nose.” Her spoiled young client had grown up quite a bit over the past week. “Can I talk to Daddy?” “Absolutely. We’ll call now. You can tell him it’s all over. And I’ll tell him what a fantastic job you did.” Sara retrieved her phone and handed it to Lori. “Remember— we still need to go to the station with Detective Morgan, give our statements. He’ll be the one to tell us when you’ll be allowed to go home.”

Lori spoke to her father as the room began to clear. Detective Morgan was on a call of his own when Lori looked up. “Ms. Gallagher? Daddy wants to thank you. And…can we drop you back in Atlanta? The Lear will be here in a couple hours.” Lori handed over the phone. “Well done, Sara,” Mr. Stewart said, his deep voice booming through the cell. Her client’s hard-boiled executive parent was obviously relieved and pleased with the outcome. “I’ll wait to read your version in the final report. Meanwhile, thank you. As if saving my daughter’s life wasn’t enough, it seems you’ve managed to crack that layer of selfish disdain she learned from her aunt.” Sara gave a silent nod. “Lori’s a smart, capable young woman.” The personal danger had helped bring out the young woman’s naturally cooperative nature. “Your example was the best thing for her. I’ll have my people handle the condo and your rental car. May I offer you a lift to Atlanta?” “I’d appreciate a ride home. Can I confirm after I check in with Paladin Group?” “Just call from the police station when you two are finished. I’ll arrange for a car to pick you up there. The corporate jet will be waiting at Denver airport.” “Thank you, sir.” As she disconnected the call, Sara glanced up. Lori had her duffel open on the bed and was tossing clothes into it. “Ms. Gallagher…Sara, could I have a minute?” Detective Morgan asked.

She gave him a nod, and he turned to Lori. “When you’re ready to go, we’ll be in the next room.” He led the way into the second bedroom. Now what? Crossing her arms, Sara faced the detective. He leaned his hip against the dresser. “You were right all along about the stalker.” “Am I going to have trouble with the shooting?” “I’ll have someone from the prosecutor’s office sit in on tonight’s interview. But from where I stand, it looks clear cut.” “Mr. Stewart offered me a lift home on his corporate jet. Will I be free to go?” “Umm, yes. What’s the rush?” He frowned. “I was hoping we could…have dinner tomorrow night?” Sara tried to ignore the familiar tension in her stomach. Why was this handsome man interested in her? Why did he want to take her out? She turned and pulled her suitcase from the closet. As she transferred carefully folded sweaters to her bag, he straightened and stepped closer. Couldn’t they keep things professional? “You’re an amazing woman. I want to get to know you better,” Morgan said.

 

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ALSO AVAILABLE!

 

Still risking their lives…The Paladin Group.

Ginger Odom has sworn to become self-reliant…Until she is arrested in a small town and framed for the murder of a police officer. Seems everyone in the community wants her behind bars, regardless of the truth, so her aunt enlists the help of the Paladin Group. A team of wounded former military men and women, now civilian lawyers and investigators, they rescue people in serious trouble.

Hale Peters is determined to ignore his knee injury…The former Air Force Pararescueman, wounded during a rocket attack on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, accepts his first reboot for Paladin. His mission—keep Ginger safe until he can prove her innocence—becomes a bigger challenge than expected when he and Ginger clash over who’s in charge.

The Devil Dogs just want to help…The group of older veterans steps up to assist, but when Ginger’s life is threatened by the real killer, Hale and Ginger need to work together if they hope to stay alive.

 

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CJ MATTHEW grew up in an Air Force family living all over the US and around the world. It proved to be the perfect experience for gathering ideas and material for future books. And for meeting real life heroes and heroines in uniforms and flight-suits. She spent her high school and university years in California, which inspired her love of marine life, and the Pacific Ocean.

As a young girl, she loved books and reading. Arriving at each new duty station, the Colonel’s eldest daughter’s first priority was to locate the base library and befriend the librarians.

As an adult, CJ divided her time between the joys of raising a son and a daughter and a career in medical sales, marketing, and medical practice management. Then in 2007, CJ began her romance novel writing career. Fascinated with vampires and shapeshifters, her first stories form a unique dolphin shapeshifter series based in Santa Barbara, California. According to CJ, a huge attraction to writing paranormal romance is the ability to do serious world-building and to set your own rules. CJ spent the next several years honing her craft, acquiring a literary agent, and continuing to write while the agent pitched the dolphins to NY publishers.

In spring of 2015, CJ gave up on New York. From August to October she self-published the first three of the Dolphin Shore Shifter series. In 2016 she released two additional dolphin books and debuted her romantic suspense series: Paladin Group. The Paladin books are set in a small southern town, and star wounded air force veterans, men and women warriors turned civilian lawyers and investigators determined to continue their rescue work.

In October of 2016, CJ is introducing A Major Seduction, book 1 of the Colonel’s Daughters contemporary romance quintet.

A member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and Kiss of Death, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta. When she isn’t writing or reading romances, CJ spends time with her two grown children, their spouses, a brilliant grandson and a feisty cat named Max.

Schedule permitting, CJ loves to travel, to discover new favorite places as well as meeting new reader/friends in both the US and around the world. Her books have sold in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the UK.

Max flatly refuses to travel.

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Author Showcase – Laura Kaye (Ride Wild: A Raven Riders Novel)

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders… 

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her… 

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feeltoo much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

It was just the two of them. Standing nearly chest to chest in a downpour. Not speaking. Not moving. And Cora felt torn between the desire to hug him for coming after her and hit him for provoking the anxiety she managed to keep battened down tight ninety-nine percent of the time.

“I was a dick,” he said.

“Yep,” she agreed.

He stared at her for another long moment. “I’m kinda fucked up over here, Cora.”

Her lips almost twitched in humor, but she bit back the impulse, because those seven words were quite possibly the most honest, personal thing he’d said to her in three months of working for him. And it felt . . . important, like some wall had come down between them. Or, at least, started to. “I know, but on some level, aren’t we all?”

He didn’t answer, but what he did say still hit her square in the chest. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to my boys in years. I don’t want to mess that up for them. I’m sorry if I have.”

“You haven’t,” she said, shaking her head, rain catching on her eyelashes as she peered up at him. “But don’t do it again.”

Slider gave a single nod, then leaned forward, his face coming close and then pausing a hairsbreadth away. For a moment, Cora was sure he was going to kiss her, but then he grasped the handle and yanked opened the squeaking door. “Now get in.”

Shaking a little—from the chilly rain, she told herself—she climbed onto the old bench seat. The rain had plastered Slider’s T-shirt to his chest, giving her a pretty clear view of the lean, muscular frame beneath. And she found herself wondering what kissing him might’ve been like. How hard his body would be against hers. How far she’d have to tilt back her head to meet his mouth. How ticklish his whiskers would be against her lips.

The wondering made her shiver.

He slammed his door and frowned at her. “You okay?”

“I’m wet, cold, and irritated, but sure. I’m great,” she said defensively. Because she was still a little miffed at him for making her freak out—and for making her feel curious about kissing him.

Just a little curious. Hardly at all, really.

Damnit.

The corner of his mouth lifted. Not much, but the movement was there. And it made Cora stare. Because the change in his face, small and fleeting though it had been, made the corner of his eye crinkle a little, too. “Well, I think I can help with two of those,” he said, putting the truck in gear and swinging a hard U-turn.

“Wait, where are we going? The clubhouse is the other way.”

“Uh-huh,” he said, slanting her another glance. All the amusement was gone this time, though, and in its place was something intense she couldn’t name. “I’m taking you home.”

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New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over thirty books in romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Among her many awards, she won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 for Hard As You Can. A former college history professor, Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura also writes historical fiction under the name Laura Kamoie, also a Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestseller.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers.

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Review of “Haunted Souls” – Kathryn Knight

~One of the Top 3 Best Books of 2016 at Read Freely~


Four years ago, Emily Shea and Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds agreed to part with no strings attached. Sparks flew during their brief affair, but fate intervened, sending Brett overseas. When an unexpected pregnancy derailed Emily’s own plans, her attempts to locate Brett were soon overwhelmed by the challenges of single motherhood. Now, Brett has returned home, and Emily is forced to share her secret.

Despite feeling betrayed, Brett is determined to forge a relationship with their son, Tyler. As the former lovers battle both their inner demons and their mutual desire, another presence enters their lives—Tyler’s imaginary friend. Soon, however, the chilling evidence points to a different conclusion: a ghost has formed a dangerous connection with their son. Emily’s attempts to help both a lost soul and a friend in need spiral toward a deadly confrontation, and Brett must race to save Emily before he loses her again—forever.

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 ~~ Old Jail, Cape Cod ~~

 

 EXCERPT ONE

 

“Ma’am, he’s not allowed to be in the cells.”

Emily spun around, scanning the room for Tyler. The guide pointed around the corner and she rushed past him, mumbling apologies.

Sure enough, there was a rope hanging across the open entrances to each of the three tiny cells. It hadn’t been enough to deter Tyler, apparently. He was turned away from her, standing near the shadowy back corner. His head was tilted at an angle, as though he was listening to something intently.

An icy shiver traveled up her spine. “Tyler, you can’t be in there. Come on out, honey.”

“Coming, Mommy,” he called without turning around. He nodded toward the wall, speaking in a low voice.

What on earth was he doing? Sweat pooled under the heavy ponytail at the base of her neck even as another chill washed over her. She called him again, glancing nervously at the guide. She didn’t want to break the rules further by following her son into the restricted area.

“Now,” she commanded, leaning over the rope. “One. Two…”

Tyler backed toward her, and she caught the words “I’m sure” before he turned around and ran across the long, narrow floor of the cell. Emily bent, thrusting her hands under his arms and yanking him over the rope. She held him tight, cradling him against her heaving chest. It was too hot in here, too claustrophobic. And yet, a ribbon of cold air curled around her ankles as she carried him back toward the front entrance.

 

EXCERPT TWO

“No, Emily. I don’t want anything to happen to you.” The words slipped out, but they were true. Not much scared him, but a thread of fear trickled through his veins at the thought of her dangerous plans. Brett suddenly realized he’d do anything to protect her, at all costs.

She cocked her head, lifting her eyebrows. “Really? I find that hard to believe.”

“Stop.” Damn it. She was like some kind of gravitational force, pulling him toward her. He closed the distance between them in three long strides. “You know I care about you.”

She stood, looking up at him, her eyes flashing with challenge. “As Tyler’s mom, you mean.” The old clock on her desk ticked off the seconds as they faced off, the heat growing between them.

He pushed at the chair with a savage thrust, and it rolled away quietly on its wheels. Backing her toward the desk, he grabbed her shoulders. “As Emily,” he growled, now angry with himself. But there was no resisting it. He crushed his lips over hers, allowing his desire to take control. His body needed her—it was as simple as that.

 

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Cobb’s Hill Cemetery, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

I’m not sure if I truly believe in ghosts, the paranormal world; however, I admit stories concerning experiences with the other side fascinate me. Maybe I am like so many others in the world; I get a slight thrill out of being frightened regarding the possibility death isn’t the end for us all. In any rate, ghosts were real for Tyler, Emily and Brett. One lonely ghost, Josiah, made contact with Tyler during a trip to the Old Jailhouse in Cape Cod. Through Josiah’s journey to be reunited with his “lost” mother, we get firsthand knowledge of the hardships faced in the 1700’s. Poor Josiah, his story was just as touching as Brett’s backstory and his was extremely moving.

Many soldiers battle PTSD every day and live in fear of hurting the ones around them. Their battle aboard might be over but the internal war rages on. For Brett, he was not only facing life out of the combat zone but he was acclimating to the fact he had a son. I’m impressed how well Kathryn depicted the struggle for a soldier to keep the wartime demons at bay while rejoining life on US soil.  

Now, though PTSD and ghosts are sensitive subjects, Kathryn didn’t falter on the sensual moments. As Brett integrated himself into his son’s life, and as Josiah moved closer to his reunion with his mom, Brett and Emily couldn’t deny the fire between them never burnt out. As a parent, I can remember those days when the kid is finally asleep and mom/dad hustle to spend some alone time together. *wink wink*  

As you can see, I thoroughly loved Haunted Souls. It touched on a multitude of emotions: fear (as a parent), fear (as a soldier), love, sorrow, and joy. It was a beautiful story about being reunited with a loved one and achieving internal peace. HEA! 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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~ Passionate Romance with a Paranormal Twist ~

 

 

Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Kindle bestsellers and RomCon Reader Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets. 

 

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Review of “Rescue Me: Escape From Reality series” – Sara Schoen

Mia Daniels is running away.

She’s leaving her family, her job, and her life behind, all to get away from her past. With no plan, she packed her suitcase and took off for a town where she thought she’d be safe. She should have known she wouldn’t be safe anywhere…

Gage Greystone is running from his family name.

His family has owned the town for generations, but he doesn’t plan to take it over from his father. He has a dream to save others; from the treacherous hiking trails or from themselves. Maybe that’s why he’s so attracted to the newest resident of Escape, Mia. She seems to be silently begging to be rescued. From what, he doesn’t know, but he’ll do anything to rescue her.

But this rescue may be impossible for the decorated emergency serviceman…

 

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As I traveled through the camping ground and the wellness camp, I could see what Lottie meant by a slow start to summer. There was room for well over one hundred and fifty hikers, and that didn’t include the trailers I’m sure drove through occasionally, at the camp site. The wellness camp had about ten cabins with what seemed like only one being used and a lot of open space.

I made a point to travel through the wellness camp slowly so I could possibly find Kelsey and see if she wanted her bike back, but I only saw a few girls who looked to be about fifteen. They were lacing up their hiking boots while others were preparing for a swim. A few waved at me as I passed, others seemed shy and looked away from me. I tried not to be offended. To them I was an outsider, someone they should stay away from. Just like he had taught me to do. I waved back regardless and continued my ride over Faith Bridge. I could see the town crowning over the hill to my right, but the well-defined hiking trail to my left beckoned me.

Lottie can wait a little longer, I decided with a smile. Turning my front tire toward the dirt path, I took off with the girl’s excited laughter and shrieks from entering the cold-water echoing around me. Their voices faded behind me as trees thickened around me, wrapping me in a cool, shadowy blanket, shielding me from the sun, and silencing everything around me until I was left with only my thoughts.

A few months ago, leaving me to my thoughts would have been dangerous. Maybe even suicidal. In the past few years, I had gone through more turmoil than I thought possible, and it seemed like the pain was never-ending. No matter what I did, I couldn’t escape bad news.

I thought I had found the one, the person I was meant to be with, the one who’s supposed to be by my side for the rest of my life, but then it all fell apart. “It’s over, Mia.” I had been trying to fix a broken relationship; cheating, fighting, and abusive, manipulative behavior. I should have known it couldn’t be fixed, but I didn’t want to give up on him. I thought we loved each other, but it turns out that had been one sided too. “Mia, stop. You’re embarrassing me and you’re embarrassing yourself. It’s over, Mia. I don’t love you, I don’t think I ever did. You’re someone I settled for, you’re nothing. It’s your fault this happened, not mine. Now it’s time to move on. I have, and you should too.”

Trees moved past me in a flash as I peddled faster, taking my memories with them. But once those were gone, I was left with a harsh reality. The same ex who had told me I wasn’t worth anything and would never amount to anything is chasing me to ruin the life I had created without him. I shook my head as the path took a turn. Stop thinking about it. It’s over now. The small flickers of sunlight through the leaves and the light at the end of the tunnel of trees echoed my thoughts; a new life, one without him.

I broke free of the trees and came out on a stunning overlook. The path settled against the edge of one of the mountains, giving me a great view of Peak View, a small town the bus had stopped in for a short time, and the surrounding landscape. It reminded me a lot of Escape, but with more shopping, a high school, a military base, and more homes. It’s going to be packed in the upcoming months. Not that I could blame anyone for wanting to visit. I had been here only a few days and I already loved the little town. Even as I looked over the lush green landscape, I didn’t feel as far from my family as I had when it came to Wes. For the first time, in a long time, I genuinely felt at home. I didn’t feel the need to look over my shoulder. This is the place for me. This is where I can finally heal and move on. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Taking a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, I realized I couldn’t wait to move on. I’d dive in head first, even if it meant accepting another gift I didn’t deserve from Lottie. If this is what they do, then I should accept it. It’s time to move on. Whether he wants me to or not. Turning my bike around to head back to town, I took one last glance at the overlook. The sun hanging over Peak View, the mountains keeping us concealed, and everything in me was screaming for me to take a leap of faith. And that’s just what I’ll do. I pushed away from Mountain Side Height lookout and headed toward town, thanks to the helpful signs on Morning Glory’s trail. I left feeling the best I had in years…I’d return when my life turned to shit again. As it inevitably would.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Every day, every minute, people are starting their lives over. Some choose to build a new life in a town close to home while others move out of state or even out of their country. Any move, no matter the distance, can be nerve-racking; however, relocating because you’re hiding from an abusive ex takes the stress of the situation to a whole other level. Abuse, in any form, can reek havoc on your mental state. I am not surprised Mia was skittish with dating again. She’s literally running from the past, trying to stay one step ahead of Wes.

While embarking on a new life in Escape, Colorado, Mia let her guard down and formed relationships. In this small picturesque town, she found support, acceptance, friendship….. a home. The quaint town had accepted this “outsider” as one their own. I know a lot about little towns so I can relate to a small community banding together. They do help each other out and secrets are few and far between.

Sara painted small town living to a tee. She also created a hidden treasure many vacationers would love to unwind at for days, week, or longer: breathtaking mountain view, tranquil lake, numerous hiking trails, caves to explore, etc. It’s a nature lovers dream destination. 

It was Mia’s dream come true, too, until her past caught up with her. After three months on the run, Wes did find her. For me, I thought their confrontation would’ve been more nail biting. Everything was leading up to their monumental moment so this was Mia’s time to shine. Now was the time for Mia to take the bull by the horns and make her stand. Unfortunately, she didn’t and I felt disappointed by her lack of action. I wanted her to take the power away from him. In the end, it all worked out but not in the way I was foresaw. But hey, she still got her happily ever after and that’s what matters at the end of the day. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

 

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Sara Schoen is a Biology major at James Madison University who was born and raised in Northern Virginia. She has been an adamant writer since she was young, and now enjoys reading, ghost hunting, and traveling. She hopes to have readers find solace in the worlds and characters she creates and in some cases provide a cautionary tale. Sara plans to continue writing and explore various genres in the future.

 

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Book Release / Review / CONTEST: “A Major Seduction: The Colonel’s Daughters” – CJ Matthew

Happy Release Day, CJ Matthew!!! 

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Kari Phillips has sworn off alpha men, thanks to a childhood spent raising four sisters while her dad served in the air force and her mom was unable to cope with his deployments. Vowing never to follow in her mom’s footsteps, Kari has become a driven, successful attorney. On her way to Tokyo to rescue her best friend’s wedding, she meets a cocky F-15 pilot headed to the same ceremony. When he finagles a seat next to her on the flight, she vows if he gives her any grief, she’ll shove him out of the emergency exit without a parachute.

Major Steve Shorner, a patriotic warrior fulfilling his lifelong dream as a fighter pilot, is finding it tough to live down a couple of practical jokes. Before he heads to Tokyo to be his buddy’s best man, Steve’s commander assigns him to a no-win project in Japan, and links the outcome to Steve’s tryout for the Thunderbirds, the AF’s elite demo team. But after a chance meeting with a beautiful redhead at the airport, Steve acquires a new goal—convince the sexy, workaholic lawyer to bend her rule against military men.

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As the airport security line slowed, Kari’s cell phone rang somewhere deep in an out-of-reach pocket. The tote bag shoulder strap took another dive and abruptly stopped its fall with a heavy jolt on her elbow. What was it with this bag? Now, with every movement, the bulky monster bumped into her knee.

Kari stopped. Bending over to dig for her phone, she followed the “New York, New York” ringtone. “Damn it,” she whispered.

“Need some help?” A deep voice rumbled from somewhere close. She glanced up. Way up. And stared. The man…gorgeous. A magazine model? Maybe not with that blond hair cut extremely short. Uh-oh. Possibly the first strike against him. He looked military.

As an air force brat, she knew how frequently men with domineering and controlling traits joined the service. Her own mother had been hard-pressed to cope with her dad, the Colonel’s, overpowering personality. Since Kari was determined not to follow in Mom’s footsteps, she simply avoided men in uniform.

Still, she had to admire the man’s strong chin and classically handsome features. Her gaze slid down to broad shoulders, trim waist, then stalled. Darted back up. Whoa, his eyes were the exact color of warm chocolate.

Wait…here was half a strike. His eyes were framed by impossibly long lashes. Unfair, wasted on a male.

He met her gaze, smiled, and said, “Could I help with the bag while you find your phone?”

Her heart cart-wheeled. As his smile grew, a deep dimple appeared in each cheek, punctuating his full lips. Wow, a tall, helpful man with sexy dimples. Her phone quit ringing. Kari felt the telltale warmth of a blush spread across her neck and up her face.

Locating her cell, she shook her head at her tall neighbor. “Thanks. I’ve got it now.” Seeing the picture of her baby sister, Deborah, on the screen, Kari punched Recall.

Since the hunk behind her only scored one and a half strikes, she surreptitiously completed her inventory and reached her verdict: the man was a total hottie. But what about the drastic buzz cut? If it wasn’t military, he might be law enforcement. Not worth the risk.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Kari and I had one thing in common, we are both former Air Force brats. I remember some fun times on the military bases when I was a kid. Memories I will always cherish. As I was reading “A Major Seduction”, I began to think back on those days and found myself smiling. Thank you for that, CJ. 

Also like Kari, we both had a father who was a very dominant man. The Colonel liked things his way, a bit controlling, and I could relate. After dealing with the Colonel and her ex-husband commanding ways, she became quite touchy and would turn to anger rather swiftly. That’s were we part ways. I don’t react that way and I assumed Kari, as a lawyer, would be better at schooling her reactions/emotions. As a top notch lawyer, going for partner, she should be able to handle uncomfortable situations better. She reacted harshly on more than one occasion when it came to Steve. She misread his actions/intentions on more than one occasion and overreacted accordingly. I’m thinking she might benefit from a bit of therapy because I don’t see this issue resolving without some sort of assistance. 

Now lets discuss Steve….. He had a marvelous sense of humor. Him reciting the preflight checklist so he could “last longer” was very humorous. Whatever works to hold off the BIG O! He also had a sweet romantic side which he demonstrated on many occasions. (Chapter 41 and Chapter 43, for sure)

I can’t end this review without touching on the reason why their path’s crossed in the first place –  the wedding. Between the bachelorette dinner/party, florist, baker, caterer, chapel coordinator, musician , rehearsal dinner, and fixing scheduling conflicts, I can’t believe anyone had time to shag. But if anyone needed and deserved coitus it was these two. He was on a foreign base dealing with issues to reinforce his role as a prime candidate for the Thunderbirds. And Kari, she was juggling wedding duties, trying to make partner, and having to deal with Momzilla and the groom’s vile older sister. Now, Momzilla did find tolerable thanks to General Robert Harlson. He charmed the pants off her and the wedding party couldn’t have been happier. 

As for Kari and Steve, they did get their happily ever after but it required compromises, which any great relationship will have many of. And, to avoid spoilers, I won’t tell you what those compromises were. Read the book and find out for yourself. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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As a thank you for taking the time to read the sneak peek/review of A Major Seduction: The Colonel’s Daughters (book one), CJ is offering ONE LUCKY person a chance to win a SIGNED COPY. A great prize to keep for yourself or to surprise your spouse, lover, best friend, or any bookworm in your life.

To be eligible for a chance to WIN THIS PRIZE, all you have to do is leave a comment below. It’s really that simple! Contest is open from now until Saturday, midnight (central time).

Winner will be posted below (on a comment) Sunday (10/16) morning so don’t forget to follow the posting through your email and to come back and see if YOU ARE OUR LUCKY WINNER!! 

 

Best of luck to you all!! 

 

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CJ Matthew grew up in an Air Force family traveling and living all over the US and around the world. It proved to be the perfect experience for gathering ideas for future books. And for meeting real life heroes and heroines in uniforms and flight-suits. She spent her high school and university years in California, which inspired her love of marine life, and the Pacific Ocean.

A Major Seduction is the first book in CJ’s contemporary romance quintet titled The Colonel’s Daughters. Each book features one of the five sister’s story. Born in different countries around the world, when each of the daughters happens to return to her country of birth, she’s meets her true love, and is forced to confront her destiny.

In CJ’s paranormal romantic suspense series Dolphin Shore Shifters, the most current release, Toxic Tide is book 5. The series features a pod of dolphins living in the Santa Barbara channel off the coast of California, who are capable of shifting to human form. While posing as real humans, the dolphins work, through their oceanic conservation corporation, Save Blue Water, to protect their oceans at any cost.

Her romantic suspense series, The Paladin Group, launched with Deadly Reboot. The books are set in a small southern town, and star wounded air force veterans, men and women warriors turned civilian attorneys and investigators determined to continue their rescue work.

A member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and Kiss of Death, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta. When she isn’t writing or reading romances, CJ spends time with her two grown children, their spouses, a brilliant grandson and a feisty cat named Max.

Schedule permitting, CJ loves to travel, to discover new favorite places and to meet new friends in both the US and around the world.

Max flatly refuses to travel.

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