#ARC Review of A Cowboy to Keep by Karen Rock w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @karenrock5

Can’t stop running from the past 

Dani Crawford has a secret…and if bounty hunter Jackson Cade finds out, he could ruin everything. The scarred yet handsome cowboy has tracked a dangerous criminal to the dude ranch Dani manages, and to get rid of Jack she’ll have to help him catch his man. But the closer they get to cornering their quarry the more Dani wants Jack to stay. Spending time with him is making her long for things she can never have thanks to a past mistake. And if the truth comes out she may be spending her future behind bars rather than safe in her cowboy’s arms…

A COWBOY TO KEEP is the prequel to my upcoming Harlequin Heartwarming ROCKY MOUNTAIN COWBOYS series.

  • Series: Harlequin Heartwarming
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming (February 7, 2017)

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EXCERPT:

Without warning, Jack laid his thumb on Dani’s lips, as if seeing whether she would pull away. She didn’t. He leaned closer. She wanted to drop her gaze from his but couldn’t. Before, Jack had just been a threat to her secret. Her security. The safe life she’d constructed in this hiding spot. Now all Dani could see were his big dark eyes, the palms of his strong hands, the way his torso shifted under his T-shirt.

Her mind swerved in unexpected directions. She wondered, briefly, what it would feel like if he were to kiss her. She made a small, involuntary sound at the thought.

His lids lowered and he leaned his head into hers. When their lips were almost touching, he cupped the side of her face, the caress achingly tender, and slid his fingers into her hair.

He angled her face upward and brushed his mouth against hers, softly at first, then he lifted her chin and deepened his kiss so that her body trembled. She kissed him back—tentatively and then with a fierce passion, her hand stealing up his neck, her eyes closing. She could feel his heart drum through his shirt, the rush of his breath mingling with hers, the strength of his body as he drew her closer still until she clung to him, her head spinning.

His lips traveled along her jaw and she dug her fingers into his shoulders, needing his strength because her muscles were suddenly limp. Never in her life had a kiss—or a man—affected her this way.

Jack’s hands dropped to her waist and tightened there. In the still air, their breathing was the only sound. Blood throbbed in her veins, pulsed at the base of her throat. She buried her face in his neck and inhaled the clean male scent of his skin. It reminded her of a forest after a storm, strong and pure and good.

Yet he’d denied Dakota’s claim that he was a good man. And the sadness she glimpsed in the corners of his eyes suggested there was more to Jack than an ex-rancher turned tough guy bounty hunter. One she might never get to know.

“You take care of yourself,” he said softly into her hair. Then he pulled back.

Her heart beat erratically as she watched him stride away. She touched her lips, remembering the firm pressure of his. When she’d looked into his sorrowful eyes, a door in her heart had blown open. And when they’d kissed, she’d seen that on the other side of that door was the sky.

The more time she spent with him, the harder it became to hold in her secrets. He made her want to be open and vulnerable. To earn his appreciation honestly, as the person she was, not who he imagined her to be: someone with a spotless past.

Was there a chance he would understand, accept her, care for her, just the way she was?

If he found her picture in his composite sketchbook database, or her warrant, the choice to reveal all would be taken from her.

And so might the man who’d captured her heart.

I have to tell on Ms. Rock.  For some reason when she contacted me to review her latest release, she was a bit timid (I’d say) in regards to whether I’d review it or not.  Really?  If anyone knows, I’m in love with Harlequin Heartwarming line.  Like I told her, it’s better than the Harlequin Romance line.  Heartwarming stories have more depth to them, the romance is slower to build and when you are finished, you have the satisfaction that you have just read an awesome contemporary romance.  It’s clean, emotional and deals with real life situations that anyone can relate to.

Dani and Jack are two flawed characters (at least in their eyes) that meet in the funniest way.  Guns are involved and it’s actually funny.  You get to see what Dani is made of from the get-go and Jack is just out of his league when it comes to Dani.  Just not in the way you think.  Dani is hiding from her past but has built a better life for herself.  Jack is still beating himself up for something that happened to him over two years ago and he has the physical scar to prove it.

What really got me about their story was the mystery/suspense element that I really, really enjoyed.  This is something that Ms. Rock doesn’t write enough of this sub-genre but after reading this, she definitely has a future.  I loved how the cast of characters involved were real players in the mystery and how the present collided with Jack’s past.  Beautifully written, even when it became painful for Jack and Dani.  The climax of the book is just great.  It made Jack realize that Dani is the woman for him but does it push her further away?

Their romance is slow to build but once they realize that it’s there, Ms. Rock writes it sweet but with some hot kisses.  It is Heartwarming, after all.  I can’t wait to see how their relationship continues for the remainder of the series.  Oh yes, this is a prequel to the series featuring the rest of Jack’s family and his ranch.

If you have never read a Heartwarming book, you are missing out.  If you haven’t read Ms. Rock…SHAME on you.  I’ve been reading her for years and she is one of my favorite authors to read.    *drops mic*

 

A print book to a US or CA winner you choose or an eBook to an INT winner.

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Sweet Texas Secrets: The Complete Series by Monica Tillery, Nicole Flockton & Robyn Neeley w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @monicatillery @NicoleFlockton @RobynNeeley #99cents @MTWPromotions

Series: Sweet Texas Secrets: The Complete Series
Author: Monica Tillery, Nicole Flockton & Robyn Neeley
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: July 4, 2016
Published by: Crimson Romance
Small town. Big secrets. Welcome to Sweet Ridge.

The Cooper brothers receive the shock of their lives when their deceased father, owner of the lucrative Guac Olé company, wills away their inheritances to three random women, leaving them each only a mysterious object and a riddle to solve. You don’t want to miss a sexy minute of their search for answers—and love.


Title: Sweet Texas Kiss (Sweet Texas Secrets #1)
Author: Monica Tillery
Published: April 4, 2016
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The Cooper brothers receive the shock of their lives when their deceased father, owner of the lucrative Guac Olé company, wills away their inheritances to three random women.No one’s more surprised when Jack Cooper leaves the family estate to music superstar Macy Young than his oldest son. Seeing his childhood memories being handed over to his high school rival—the first woman to break his heart—stings, especially when Gavin is left only a pair of old reading glasses and a cryptic note. Luckily, Macy can’t sell the house for one year—plenty of time for Gavin to find a way to get it back.

Living in the harsh spotlight of country music fame has cost Macy, and a little hometown peace and quiet just might heal her soul. But giving up and giving back Gavin’s greatest prize may not be the tune she plans to sing.

Can a country star and a country veterinarian find a way to bury their animosity and rediscover their first love in the process?

Monica Tillery lives in Texas with her own real-life romance hero and two wonderful sons. When she’s not reading and writing romance, Monica can be found enjoying her family, hanging out and playing games with friends, and wasting time online.

Title: Sweet Texas Fire (Sweet Texas Secrets #2)
Author: Nicole Flockton
Published: April 11, 2016
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Gage Cooper has always wanted the family cabin. Not only for the oil on the property, but as a way to prove to his father that Gage’s past doesn’t define his future. When his dad wills the land to stranger Charlotte Wilkinson and all Gage gets is a mysterious key, he’s determined to do anything to get his rightful inheritance back.Charlotte Wilkinson never expected to inherit a piece of property in Sweet Ridge, Texas—the Aussie businesswoman is focused on building an environmental analyst career here in the States. But the moment arrogant oil-man Gage Cooper walks into her office accusing her of seducing his father, all plans for selling the property to him fly out the window.

Then fate threatens to send her back to Australia and the dueling duo are forced to accept a fake marriage to keep their dreams alive. But as they discover common ground and a surprising chemistry together, suddenly Gage must decide what’s worth more: the land he’s always coveted or a future with Charlotte.

Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.

On her first school report her teacher noted “Nicole likes to tell her own stories”. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first child and after having fun on a romance community forum that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.


Title: Sweet Texas Charm (Sweet Texas Secrets #3)
Author: Robyn Neeley
Published: April 18, 2016
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Becca Nash has no idea why kind, old Jack Cooper left her half of his company since she never had more than a few polite conversations with the guy. Neither does Grayson Cooper, Guac Olé’s CEO, who is seething over the strawberry-shaped charm his dad willed him. He goes undercover boss to find out how he can steal back those shares, but surprisingly loses his heart to Becca instead. What he does discover is a secret that could blow apart not only Becca’s world but his whole family. Now Grayson must determine whether it’s better to follow his head or his heart.
Robyn Neeley is an east coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can’t live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a chocolate chip cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know. Visit her at www.robynneeley.com.

Readers can find me on social media on Facebook and Twitter. I also send out a quarterly e-newsletter with updates and exclusive subscriber giveaways. One regular feature is a small business spotlight where I interview one of my amazing friends who sells jewelry, gourmet products, wine, you name it! They always come with a fun giveaway. Readers can sign up for my e-newsletter at www.robynneeley.com.

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Excerpt from Lacey Wolfe’s Virgin Cowboy (Carver Ranch #3) w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

 


Genre: Contemporary Romance

Virgin Cowboy by Lacey Wolfe

Carver Ranch Series, Book 3

This cowboy lands the girl of his dreams, but he’s got one little secret…

Courtney Johnson, single mom and bar owner, hasn’t had much luck in the dating department. That all changes one evening when Braden Carver asks her out, and she decides to take a chance with him, even though she’s ten years older than him.

Braden’s always felt like he lived in the shadows of his two older brothers, never really being noticed. Before he knows it, he’s on the dance floor with the girl he’s liked for years, calling her ‘sweetheart’. Finally, life is looking up for him. However, his mother isn’t pleased when she finds out he’s seeing Courtney.

As their relationship heats up, one thing still lingers—Braden’s a virgin. How will Courtney react when she learns of his innocence? Will it be enough to make her walk away, especially with his disapproving mother?

Content Warning: contains adult language and sexual situations

~Excerpt~
Braden was quiet as he closed her door then went around to the driver’s side. He ran his hands along his thighs, and Courtney suspected his palms were as moist as hers. Thinking back to what Dana had said about him not dating much, she thought this was probably harder for him than her. Together they would do this.

“What’s the plan for tonight?” she asked as he backed out of the driveway.

“Well, I hope you don’t find it corny, but I knew we’d have limited time. So, I…uh, packed a picnic and loaded a movie on my tablet. I figured we’d park someone on the ranch, eat, and watch a movie in the truck bed.”

She chuckled, and regretted it when he blushed. “I think it’s a cute idea.”

“You do?” He glanced at her.

“I do. Much better than sitting in a theater. At least we can talk and get to know each other better.”

A grin crossed his sexy face, but he was still quiet on the short ride to Carver Ranch. He turned down a private dirt road that was wooded with tall pine trees. A few minutes later, he parked his truck in a clearing where little lights of sun shone through.

“It’s pretty here.” She opened her door and climbed out.

“There are a few special places on the property.”

“How many girls have you brought here?” She cocked her head as he pulled a comforter from the truck and placed it on the bed of the vehicle.

“None, to be honest.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

He rolled the blanket out. “I haven’t dated much.”

She sauntered up to him, placing a hand on his shoulder. There was something so innocent about him that excited her, but also raised a red flag. She had no idea what to do with a sensitive man who wore his feelings on his sleeve. Now that she was alone with Braden, something stirred inside her. A need to find out more about him and why he was the way he was.

Maybe a sweet boy was what she needed. The complete opposite of her father, who never let any emotion show on his face.

He froze as she moved her hand up his neck and pulled him to her. The effect she had on him flattered her. Licking her lips, she lifted up on her toes and placed her mouth just inches from his as she stared into his eyes.

“Courtney,” he whispered.

“Yes.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m going to kiss you.”

With their gazes locked on each others, he asked, “Are you sure about this?”

“I am.”

She brought her mouth to his, needing to see if the charge that seemed to pull between them would ignite the way she thought it would when they kissed. It did. Something rushed through her, giving her a primal need for more.

She thrust herself against him, holding both sides of his face. Braden groaned and wrapped his arms around her waist, snuggling her into him.

Oh my, if she’d know kissing him was going to be like this—so earth-shattering, world-stopping good—she wouldn’t have resisted for so long. She had no idea the quiet cowboy would have this much effect on her.

She pulled back, breaking the connection. Braden’s blue eyes were dark with need.

Clearing her throat, she said, “Sorry, I just wanted to get that out of the way.”

 
Buy Links: Beachwalk Press


~About the Author~

Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

 

Author Links: Site        Twitter        Facebook

~Giveaway~ 

Lacey is giving away 3 eCopies of Counting Cowboys during her tour.
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.