Friday, 28 February 2014

Author Hot Seat Welcomes - Erika Almond

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of today's popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into sections - getting started, about your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering—still, they all answer.

Today we welcome Erika Almond to the blog, doing the interview and highlighting her Steamy Love Series. Let's see what Erika has to say.

Getting Started:

Tell us about your latest book. What was your inspiration for writing it, is it part of an ongoing series, the characters, the genre etc?

The Steamy Love Scenes series started off with a short story, “Enjoy the Show.” Ellora’s Cave liked it so much they offered me a three-title contract! “Intermission” and “Double Feature” continue the adventures of Josie, a hotheaded artist; Miles, the actor she meets and, um, has a good time with in the balcony of the local movie palace; and Riley, Josie’s good-hearted bad boy best friend and ex. It’s such a fun series that really fits the EC “romantica” feeling. There are a lot of emotions in the books – growing romance, friendship, daring to be what you want – along with lots of hot sexy times J

About your writing:

How many books have you written during your career so far and which is your favorite?

I’ve been writing for years, but the Steamy Love Scenes series launched my erotic romance writing career. Ellora’s Cave is publishing another story, Soulgasm, soon. Of these four, picking a favorite…is impossible! Okay, I’ll say “Double Feature,” because it’s told in part from Riley’s point of view. He’s one of my favorite characters ever. His heart’s in the right place, but another part of his body is in a lot of other places. One of the best descriptions I ever heard about Riley was when a reviewer called him “charmingly immoral.”

Have any of your books received negative reviews and how did you handle the situation?

No, thank goodness, and I’m knocking on wood as I say it.

Do you believe in writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?

I’ve never experienced it, and I’m knocking furiously on wood again. I believe there are things that may keep us from writing, but that’s why Julia Cameron gave us THE ARTIST’S WAY. That book is a writer’s block bulldozer.

What is the one genre you would never write and why?

I don’t usually choose my stories – they choose me, so “never” is tough to say. I’ll contradict myself here and say probably not historical romance, chiefly because they require a ton of detailed research, from big events down to small shoe buttons, and that’s not my thing. Nor are men wearing hose and wigs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Have you ever written a book that you’ve regretted publishing and why?

The only books I regret are the ones I don’t write. Doubt is the greatest enemy of any writer. Suckerpunch doubt and get to the keyboard.

If a reader said they wanted to write a book, what advice would you give them? 

See above, “Suckerpunch doubt and get to the keyboard.” It’s a variation on Nora Roberts’s timeless explanation of how she’s written hundreds of books: “Ass in chair.”

About you:

Tell us what a typical day in your life is like?

I used to think being a successful author required sitting at the computer and typing thousands of words like a madwoman. Then a friend said, “Life doesn’t happen behind a computer screen.” You have to get out and see things, talk to people, have experiences. Ideas never come to me when I’m at the computer. I make sure I go outside, get together with friends, hear new things. Then I come home with inspiration and write. On writing days I work anywhere from four to six hours, typing like a madwoman.

What sort of things put you in a bad mood?

Thinking too much about the future. It’s great to plan what can be planned, but there’s a lot that’s out of my control, like how a book is going to do. Hanging out in the present moment keeps me in a great mood!

Do you have a bucket list and what’s one thing you still want to do that you haven’t done?

No bucket list – a lot of time can go by just compiling that! When there’s something I want to do I jump in. I’m very impulsive – that’s how all my books have been written. Thank goodness my husband is practical or I’d likely be writing to you from Las Vegas, broke but with a ton of great stories.

What makes you laugh?

The HBO series Girls. The bromance between Kirk and Spock in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Sherlock. Cat videos. The amount of time I spend worrying.

What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?

I wonder which is more embarrassing, the margarita-soaked episodes or the fact that I can’t remember them. 

Do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?

Reading for me is like eating. Go too long without and I get very grumpy! One of the things I love about erotic romance is that you can have anything from the snack of a short story, a meal of a novella, or a feast of a novel – all rather inexpensively! I’m a fan of the buffet, so I read a few books at once. Right now it’s Cara McKenna’s exquisite Curio series, Hope Tarr’s sweet OPERATION CINDERELLA, and Lisa Renee Jones’ “His Secrets” novella.

If you couldn’t write anymore, what would you do instead?

It took a full five minutes to answer this question because the thought scared the censored out of me. I’d find a way to write. I don’t have a Plan B.

Fun Stuff:

If you could go out with one famous person who would it be and why?

Ooh!! I’d really fancy a lunch date with Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead to talk about his photography.

Do you have a habit that drives your partner/friends/family nuts and what is it?

I asked my husband this question. He said, “If you had a bad habit that drove me nuts I’d tell you immediately so you could stop it.” He also tells me when I look fat in a dress, but he always blames the dress. He’s a dream, adorable and so supportive J

In your opinion, what makes a person attractive?

Kindness and wit that doesn’t depend on sarcasm. Also dark-haired pretty boys with full lips a la Tom Welling, formerly of Smallville, and Cillian Murphy. But I’ve recently developed more than a casual interest in blonds thanks to Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Hunnam.

What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

I don’t know if this is considered strange, but I don’t understand cuisine that needs to be artfully plated and is so tiny that the description of it on the menu is larger than the actual portion. That tends to inspire depression and a raging food bummer.

Would you rather have a classic 1969 convertible Mustang or have the use of a beach side condo any time you want?

I would rather drive the Mustang to the beachside condo. I live with an “and” mindset, rather than “either/or.”

And finally:

Would you rather survive an apocalyptic event (yes, even a zombie apocalypse) or die instantly without knowing what happened to your family and friends?

I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead, so I know the company you keep has a lot to do with this choice. If I could be with Daryl Dixon, I’ll pick survival.

Steamy Love Scenes 1: Enjoy the Show
After finding out her boyfriend’s been unfaithful, Josie heads to her town’s movie theater to cool off from the summer’s heat and her blazing temper. She has no idea how steamy things are about to get. When hot and handsome actor Miles sits next to her in the empty balcony, he and Josie make their own X-rated film. But more than clothing is shed during their risqué matinee, and Josie may find her drama being re-scripted as a love story—if she’ll let Miles be her new leading man.

Steamy Love Scenes 2: Intermission
Josie’s still rocked by her risqué matinee with hot movie star Miles but her no-account ex Riley is causing her grief. Once she squares him away, Josie arranges for a special midnight show with Miles before he leaves for Hollywood. But Miles isn’t ready to cut Josie out of his picture just yet. He enlists her to help him pick out his next script and the two act out a very sexy scene of their own. Josie might just be a good time in the intermission between movie projects for Miles but she wonders if she’d like to be the star of his show.

Steamy Love Scenes 3: Double Feature
Josie’s sexy ex Riley is back, this time with his heart (and other parts of his body) set on winning the only woman who can match his skill and desires in the bedroom. But hot movie star Miles wants to convince Josie to be his leading lady with an elaborate claiming ritual guaranteed to get a triple-X rating. Secrets playing out behind the scenes could have Josie strutting a red carpet to true love—or falling back into the arms of the man who first rocked her world.

Buy Links:
Steamy Love Scenes 1: Enjoy the Show

Steamy Love Scenes 2: Intermission

Steamy Love Scenes 3: Double Feature

About the Author:
Erika Almond is a nice lady who writes naughty stories. In her past lives she was a bartender and a rock journalist, sometimes simultaneously. Her life as an author of erotic romance is definitely more fun now.
Twitter: @ErikaAlmond

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

New Release Sneaky Peek - Barely Undercover by Sarah Castille


With passion at full throttle, there’s no turning back.

When private investigator Lana Parker follows a dangerous biker into an underground sex club, James Hunter is the last man she expects to see. But there he is, all dark looks and chiseled charms, ready to break her heart all over again.

Danger is the name of the game for an undercover cop. And the last thing James wants is for the fiery beauty to come anywhere near the notorious biker gang he’s trying to take down. Yet Lana has no intention of giving up her case, which means he’ll have to keep her close to keep her safe. A risky proposition—especially when their blazing sexual chemistry reignites an unforgettable passion.

But when a dark terror emerges from the past, Lana goes on the run…and James gives up everything to save her. Backed into a corner, Lana must face her fears, including the one thing that frightens her most…her overwhelming feelings for the man whose searing glance sparks her most hidden desires, the man she should not trust, but cannot resist.

Warning: The book contains violence, explicit sex, light BDSM, heavy swearing, motorcycle sexytimes, bad-ass biker naughtytimes, and an exceptionally hot hero who will get down and dirty anywhere but under the covers.

“Must Read Erotic Romance of the Year 2013” – Sneak Peek Reader’s Choice Contest


Kindle UK

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. She writes erotic contemporary romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

Twitter (@sarah_castille): http://www.twitter/

Sunday, 23 February 2014

New Release Sneaky Peek - Married to the Job by Cynthia Racette

Dr. Miranda Perry is a workaholic whose job is everything to her. When sexy, smart, and suave Dr. Russell Rogers visits Palomar to give a seminar, he blows her world apart. 

It’s love at first sight for Russ, and he uses every trick in his arsenal to convince Miranda to go out with him. In the short time they have together, sparks fly and sexual attraction burns up the sheets. 

After Russ returns to his job in Boston, the two arrange hectic, emotion- and sex-filled moments, but the liaisons in the Midwest don’t cut it and a choice must be made. With each of them committed to prestigious jobs on opposite sides of the country, will they let the fire burn out because each is married to the job? 

Reviews for Married to the Job say…
·     I am not a fan of science so I thought this book would be a little boring since the lead characters were both Scientists. Wow, I was wrong.  If you have ever been in [a long distance relationship] you can relate to Miranda's and Russ' dilemma. If you haven't, then you can ask yourself these far is too far to travel for love & what would you give up to finally be with the person who is the love of your life? Read Married to the Job and find out how far Miranda & Russ will go.
·       I was a little leery at first because of the professions and was slightly worried that I wouldn't like it because of that. Boy, I was wrong. I loved this story. I loved how Miranda and Russ had to work through distance and jobs in order to make their relationship work.
·       The story is an interesting read on how workaholics manage a long distance relationship. This isn't a typical fluffy romance. Cynthia Racette is very detailed with the main characters jobs and on how the long distance relationship worked. Some might find this boring but I found it fascinating. I really enjoyed this romance. The author's writing style is easy to read. The plot was unique from stories I've read lately. It was nice to read about scientist geeks for a change instead of alpha rich guys. Definitely recommend.
Buy Links:


“I know we just met, but I want to kiss you,” he murmured, his nose in her hair. “There’s a dark corner over there. Come on.”
She shivered at his words, eager to feel his lips on hers. It seemed as if she’d waited forever for that touch even though it had only been a few hours since they met.
He led her across the floor to a dim space around the end of the bar. Pressing her into the corner, he brought his mouth down to hers, gently at first and then with more firmness. His arms closed around her waist and pulled her to him. Her body responded to the pressure of his, contouring itself around his shape. He nibbled on her neck for a few moments and then he brought his lips back to hers, insistently persuading hers to open widely in passion. Soon, they were both plunging their tongues into each other’s mouths, angling their heads for better access, frantic to get as close to each other as they could.
Heavy breathing filled the small space, and it emanated from both sides. This is so not good. She wanted to eat him alive, but they were in a public restaurant, and, if they didn’t restrain themselves soon, people would start to notice. If they hadn’t already. She stepped back, breaking his hold, and hating to lose his warmth, but they she knew they had to stop.
Slowly, as she dragged her lips from his, then leaned her forehead against his chest, she tried to calm her breathing and her heart. His lips touched her hair and then he set his cheek on top of her head. Finally, their breathing almost back to normal, they broke apart and drifted back to their chairs. She glanced around. No one appeared to be looking at them. She didn’t really care what other people thought, but still, she didn’t want to create a spectacle.
“I suppose I should apologize for that,” he said quietly as he pulled his chair in. “Except I’m not sorry about what happened at all.

And for a little something extra - Excerpt Two

They were both ready to come together when Miranda panicked. “Wait, Russ. I’m not sure we should be doing this. I’m not into one-night stands. I don’t do that sort of thing.”
“I don’t either.” Along with the heat and passion, his face showed determination.
“You’re leaving tomorrow. How can it be anything other than a one-night stand?”
“I may be leaving, but I’m not getting on that plane until I’ve made utter and complete love to you. And, whether I leave tomorrow or not, we’re not severing this relationship. Not if I have anything to say about it.”
She lay for a moment, staring up at him, stunned. He could tell no one had ever said anything like that to her. He didn't want to let her go. Did that mean he wanted something permanent? Geez. He was afraid to go there yet, but just as much, he was afraid not to.
His heart fluttered and hot zings flew through his body. He watched Miranda simmer and burn, feelings settling at her center, where warmth and moistness and firing nerve endings invited him to explore.
Their gazes met and hers blazed with intense fire, like a conflagration started by two suns colliding.

About the Author - Cynthia Racette

I have been writing most of my life. My husband and I are newly retired, and have moved to a suburb of Buffalo in order to be closer to our children and grandchildren. We really enjoy being near our granddaughters and wee grandson and love them to pieces. If my fingers are not on my laptop keyboard, they are around my wee girls' tiny fingers taking them to the zoo or a local festival.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Cover Reveal - Kemberlee Shortland's, Irish Pride Trilogy


Irish Pride series, book one
Kemberlee Shortland

Cover design by Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs --


Artist Representative, Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career so that other women could have a fair chance at having their music heard. Having suffered rejection from callous men in the industry, she thought she would get away from ‘casting couch’ mentality. But when she finds herself in the office of Fergus Manley, all bets are off. Disgusted by his continual come-ons and lewd invitations, Eilis is looking for ‘the one’ who will take her career to the next level, getting out from under Fergus’s controlling thumb.

Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.

When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.

Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.

Will Kieran be able to protect her?


Dublin's Northside looked far different by day than it did at night. Last night’s storm had been one of the season’s worst. Huge puddles hampered traffic, and trash had collected in the corners of doorways and blocked the gutters. The lingering breeze was still crisp and signaled the imminent winter. Wisps of dark clouds streaked the pale blue sky but remained reminiscent of last night’s tempest.

As the taxi drove through Dublin’s inner city, a blur of tacky euro shops, shoddy newsagents and off-licenses, all with shop fronts that had seen better days, flashed by.

Finglas wasn’t noted as one of Dublin’s prime locations. This was a large blue collar suburb in a rapidly expanding city. Lack in a pride of ownership was evident, as residents struggled to make ends meet, which gave the area a rough underbelly. The Little Man Pub was a perfect example of both.

Eilis wrapped her arms around her middle, instinctively protective. Was this the compromise she must face to get where she wanted?

When the taxi slowed at a junction, she pressed herself back in her seat. A group of out-of-work young men sipping something from a paper bag spun their heads and looked at her.

Just this once, just this once, she chanted to herself.

Just this one trip to find Kieran Vaughan and that would be it. She’d never have to come back to this place ever again. She could stay safely tucked away in her D2 house for the rest of her days. She’d worked hard for that house. She deserved it. She deserved it all the more now by putting herself through this.

Long ago, Eilis had vowed never to set foot in the Northside again. But if it took this one last visit to get what she needed, it would be worth it.

The taxi pulled around the corner and the now familiar entrance to The Little Man Pub came into view. Nicotine-stained curtains were pulled across windows, reflecting the unkempt street. The façade’s red and black paint was weather-faded to pink and gray. The ‘M’ on the sign hung askew and swung in the breeze, and the ‘P’ was missing altogether. Had she not been here last night she would have thought the place was shut.

She pulled some money from her purse to hand to the driver. “I’ll wait fer ye, luv,” he said, waving her money away. “Taxis can be hard to come by ‘round here.”

Eilis was suitably taken aback. “Thank you. I won’t be a moment.”

She swallowed hard, got out of the taxi then entered the pub.

Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dark room. The few men sitting around the bar turned their gazes in her direction. Understandably. A well-groomed businesswoman in the pub was surely a novelty. These men were long since retired, or long since employed. Their stubbled faces meant they hadn’t shaved in several days, or possibly weeks. The dim light hid the worst of their unkempt appearances, but nothing could disguise their unwashed clothes. A pong in the room wafted into her nostrils, causing her stomach to lurch again.

Shoulders back, she strode to the bar.

The same man from last night stood behind the counter. He was short and pudgy with missing front teeth. His disheveled appearance made him look like one of his patrons. Had he not been behind the counter she wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.

His striped brown and white shirt had frayed cuffs and was open to mid-chest, showing a sweat-stained t-shirt underneath. His brown trousers had seen much better days and were held together not with a button or belt, but with a bit of twine looping between his belt loops, his round belly spilling over. The only thing holding up the trousers was his equally round bum. It seemed to push the waistband up in the back as his belly pushed it down in the front. The sight would have been funny if her stomach hadn’t been flip-flopping.

Her voice cracked when she first spoke, but it picked up strength in her determination to make something of this horrid trek. “A-are you the proprietor?”

A broad gap-toothed grin creased the man’s face and, loud enough for his patrons to hear, he said, “I’ll be who ever ye want me to be, luv.”

His friends burst into laughter. Eilis felt the flush rise in her cheeks. Not because she was embarrassed, but from frustration. She just wanted to get this meeting over with and she wasn’t in the mood to spar.

She stood her ground. “I’m looking for the man who played guitar here last night. Kieran Vaughan. We have business. Will you please tell me where I can find him?” She looked the man in the eye, much as she could, considering she stood a good half-foot taller than him, even without her heels.

“No, miss, I doubt you have any business with himself. ‘Speshly a fine lass such as yerself. Now, if ye were to come home with a real man like meself, well . . .” He left the rest unsaid, the insinuation hanging in the air.

Her gaze never wavered as she stared the little man in the eye.

“Sir,” she smiled sweetly, honey dripping from her words. She leaned over the bar just enough to give him a glimpse of the swell of her breast through the opening of her blouse. “I doubt you have anything I would be interested in. Besides, you don’t really want me to find out why this place is called The Little Man, do you?”

This earned the publican long oohs and sniggers from the patrons, who were now on the edges of their seats waiting to hear the disagreeable little man's response.

Obviously taken aback by such a brazen retort, the man stood gaping and red-faced at her for a moment before he got his wits about him. He winked at the men around the bar. “Oy does like me birds feisty!” That only encouraged more laughter.

Eilis could have enjoyed the banter if only the man wasn’t so repulsive. All she wanted to do was meet Kieran Vaughan and get out of Finglas as quickly as possible.

When the laughing stopped, Eilis’s gaze never wavered as she said, “Well?”

“Well what, loov?” he asked, wiping the tears from his eyes with a dirty bar towel.

“Are you going to tell me where to find Kieran Vaughan?” He was trying her patience, but she did her best to keep the frustration out of her voice.

Then she sensed someone step up behind her and straightened instantly. Somehow she knew it was Kieran. The feral scent of him permeated her senses and quickened her pulse. Butterflies replaced the strange ache in her stomach that had been there just moments before.

She slowly turned and looked up at the most handsome man she’d ever seen in her life. She found herself instantly speechless.

She'd seen him on stage the night before and knew he was handsome. But this close up . . . Never before had she seen such blue eyes. As she gazed into them, they changed from the light steel blue to the color of storm clouds heavily ringed with gunmetal. That he had dark brows and thick lashes only made his gaze seem more intense.

“Ye’ve found him, loov,” said the little man, taunting her. “Now what are ye goin’ ta do with him?”

The hammering of her heart and the pulsing blood in her temples blocked out the noise in the room as she looked into Kieran Vaughan’s eyes. To her dismay, her knees actually quivered.

Something in the pit of her belly ached. No, something else. It was like warm melting honey running through her marrow. In that moment she longed to touch him, to brush the unruly wave of his dark hair away from his face, to feel his lips against the pads of her fingers, to . . .

When he spoke she almost didn’t hear him.

“Like the man said, now that you’ve found me, what are you going to do with me?” His eyes sparkled with unabashed mischief.

“Anything you want me to.”


Irish Pride series, book two
Kemberlee Shortland.

Cover design by Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs --


Mick and Kate thought they were falling in love. Kate hadn't been just the girl next door. She'd been Mick's life, and he hers. When an unforeseen force draws them apart they're left with wounds that refuse to heal. Now, ten years on, Mick's father's will should have been straightforward, except his addendum was like ice water in Mick's face.

It's essential that Mick and Kate work together to save his family's farm. Mick doesn't count on his new manager being accused of murder, and Kate doesn't expect a dangerously seductive woman from Dublin to claim Mick is the father of her child.

Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again; however this newest revelation is too much for her. She is determined to finally say goodbye to her childhood sweetheart forever, but Mick has other plans for Kate's future. And none of them involve goodbye.


“What are you doing here?”

“Nice to see you too, Mick.” She opened one eye to look at him.

He stood just inside the solicitor’s office door. He’d expected Kate at the funeral service yesterday, but he couldn’t see any reason for her to be here today.

He scowled in her direction, then strode to reception. The clerk behind the desk turned a harried glance his way, continuing to sort folders beside her computer. “Can I help you?” she asked, not bothering to stop what she was doing.

“Michael Spillane to see Tighe Lynch,” he grumbled.

Finally looking up, the clerk said, “He’s expecting you. I’ll let him know you’re here.”

As the clerk reached for the intercom, he turned back to Kate. If this hadn’t been his father’s solicitor’s office and if today hadn’t been the reading of his father’s will, he would have appreciated the sight of her in her smart dark blue suit, white blouse with the Irish lace trim, and matching blue pumps. She sat calmly, her head against the wall behind her, eyes closed. She bent her shapely legs under her and crossed them at the ankle, her hands folded in her lap.

Her emerald eyes hid beneath lids edged with thick dark lashes. He knew the exact shade of them since he’d looked into them so often in the past. They were eyes no man could forget.

Her normally unruly black hair was pulled back in a twist and away from her heart shaped face.

When they were kids he used to love it when she left her hair down. The tight curls of it bounced over her shoulders like springs when she ran. He’d seen her like that once last year when he’d been home for a couple days during Christmas.

They’d been invited to join the Conneelys, but he’d convinced his father not to go. He couldn’t bear being in the same room with her for so long, but she’d delivered food and he’d suffered anyway.

He recalled how he’d stiffened just watching her walk across the farmyard. As he did now. He mentally shook himself. This wasn’t the time or place to get an erection. The business at hand was the will and what she was doing here now. Not the fact that just looking at her could make him stiff.

Clearing his throat, he repeated, “You didn’t answer my question. What are you doing here?”

Her eyes fluttered open. The look she gave him made his heart skip a beat. His groin tightened again watching her tongue smooth its way over her lips. She had no idea just how erotic that simple act was. She was about to speak when a door opened behind him. Both of them spun to face Tighe Lynch.

“Mickleen,” Tighe exclaimed, using the common endearment and thrusting his hand into his. “Welcome home, lad. I just wish it were under different circumstances. I can’t tell you how much Donal will be missed.”

Mick could only tip his head at the man’s kindness. Words were still too hard to come by.

Tighe grasped Kate by her shoulders as she stood to greet him and kissed her on both cheeks. “Kate. Lovely as ever. Won’t you both step into my office?”

Not one to stand on ceremony, Mick strode through the door ahead of Kate and Tighe and went right into the solicitor’s office. He knew where it was. Was it really only a little more than two years ago he’d been here to discuss his mother’s will?

His scowl deepened when Kate walked through the office door ahead of Tighe. He got the perfect look at her shapely bum as she was forced to step between him and the desk to the seat beside him. He shifted in his seat, crossing his legs and pulling his coat around him to hide his erection. He kept his mind on wondering why she was at the reading of his father’s will to keep his libido under control.

Surely, she’d earned a regular wage for the time she spent cleaning his father’s house and cooking his meals. She was hired help and would have been paid accordingly. So there should be no reason why she should be here today. Unless there was something the solicitor knew and wasn’t telling them. Yet.

“I thought this was just a formality, Tighe. Why is she here?” He couldn’t even use her name. Just the feel of it in his mouth would leave him tongue-tied.

Tighe stopped him with an upheld hand. “If you’ll both bear with me, I will explain.” The solicitor turned to a folder on his desk and opened it, extracting two documents. Holding one before him, he said, “This is your father’s will, Michael. It’s all very straight forward. In it, the farm, the stock, the land—almost everything is left to you.”


“We’ll get to that, lad,” Tighe said.

Tighe looked at Kate and held up the second document.

“This is the addendum to the will.”

“Addendum?” she asked.

“An addendum means that instead of making up a whole new will, Dad just changed it.” Mick, not looking at her, directed his statement to the solicitor and waited for the shoe to drop.

Leave it to his father to make this more difficult on him than it already was. Wasn’t it bad enough he couldn’t get rid of the tremendous feeling of guilt for not spending more time with him? He never wanted to believe—or admit—his father was that sick. Sure, Kate called him regularly with updates. He heard everything she’d said, but why the hell hadn’t he listened to her!

“Changed the will?” she asked. “Is that right, Mr. Lynch?”

“In a manner of speaking,” Tighe replied. “It means he added something into the original will.”

“When was this?” Mick asked.

“If you’ll allow me, I’ll read what Donal has bequeathed. If you have any questions we can go from there. Right?”

Both Mick and Kate nodded agreement. Tighe read the will as it stood and then the addendum. Mick couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “That bastard!” he muttered. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the wide glares both Kate and Tighe gave him at the curse.

“Mr. Lynch.” Kate’s voice came on a whisper. “What does this mean? I don’t understand it.” Her eyes were big as she clutched the arms of her chair now, knuckles as white as her face. Gone was the cool Kate he’d seen in the waiting room. In a matter of minutes she’d gone from radiant to ashen. He was sure he wasn’t looking too good right about now either.

“Yes, can you explain it in plain English?” he asked. Why do will readings always have to be so damn dramatic?

“In plain English, your father left everything to you, Michael. However, the addendum states if you try to sell the farm, I have instructions to give everything to Kate.”


Irish Pride series, book three
Kemberlee Shortland. 

Cover design by Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs --


Gráinne has moved back to Dublin to get her life straightened out. She dreams of college and a better life. She’s working for her brother, Kieran, in his newly reopened pub, The Blues Tavern, but the money isn’t enough to support herself and pay tuition. Moonlighting at The Klub! as an exotic dancer seems to be her answer fast money.

John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.

When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.

Over the next couple hours JD tread lightly around Gráinne and peace settled between them. He hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to her again with the evening prep, but as he looked at his watch he knew her shift ended soon.

He’d tried almost every tactic he could think of to get her to reveal more about herself and he was getting anxious at her continued aloofness. He didn’t want to have to resort to seducing her. While the idea of getting her into bed was appealing, he just preferred to do it under other circumstances. He fancied her like hell, but he couldn’t let his libido get in the way of his job. She was his best hope at getting the information he desperately needed. So he’d have to resort to another tactic if he was going to get her to talk. Blackmail was one he was loath to use, but at this stage in the game, he had little choice.

There was a lull in the pub now that the afternoon crowds were gone and the evening prep had been done. If he was going to confront her, he had to do it now.

Gráinne stood at the end of the bar flipping through a magazine. The twinkling Christmas lights over the back bar shone on her dark hair. As she moved, the highlights reflected like electric current through the strands curling around her face. His heart thumped a little harder looking at her.

He reminded himself he wasn’t here to bartend. He was here to gather information. His future depended on it. He couldn’t afford another wasted day so it was now or never.

His pounding heart made it suddenly hard to breathe. He hated having to do this to her.

“Gráinne, can we talk?”

“Talk?” She put her magazine aside. “About what?”

“I think you know.” He locked gazes with her. He could tell she was nervous by the way she started fidgeting.

Then she turned away, refusing to look at him for longer than a millisecond. “My love life is none of your concern,” she told him, reminding him unnecessarily of their previous discussion.

“That’s not what I’m talking about.”

“Then I don’t know what you mean.” She spun on her heel, intent on leaving the bar area.

He grasped her arm. To his surprise, she didn’t struggle. But something odd happened as he loosened his grasp. He felt something powerful pass between them. His fingers tingled as he touched her. It radiated up his arm and shot through his body.

For the second time today, he felt himself stiffen, and wished that circumstances were different, that she was naked beneath him and gazing up at him with eyes he knew would undo him.

She glanced over her shoulder, but not directly at him. “Let me go.” Her barely audible words shook him back to the moment. It wasn’t a command, but he couldn’t help noticing her words were tinged with pleading.

“Will you stay to talk with me? I think this is important.” His own voice was softer now. When she relaxed he reluctantly released his hold. She kept her gaze averted, her arms folded protectively in front of her, refusing to look at him. He knew she was waiting for something, anything, to draw her away.

Reaching under the bar, he extracted the black plastic sack he’d brought in with him today. He knew the item inside would shatter any peace he hoped to make with her.
He looked at the sack for a moment, thinking about what could never be between them. There was a job to be done and it didn’t include getting emotionally involved. He hoped the more he reminded himself of this fact he’d eventually come to believe it.

Sighing, he extracted a black velvet bra and held it up for her inspection. She only cast it a side-glance.

“I take it you know where I got this.”

“Anne Summers?”


“Well then, I have no idea.”

He saw her swallow hard then move over to the taps to pour herself a cola. She swallowed deeply from the glass.

“I think you do. Let’s not . . . dance . . . around the subject, Gráinne. We both know where I got this, and I’d lay odds at Paddy Powers your brother doesn’t know what you’ve been up to.”

His heart ached as he forced himself to goad her.

The look she shot him would have incinerated the average man, but he wasn’t average. He was a man with a mission, and Gráinne was the only one who could help him.

“By that look, I’d say I’ve hit the nail on the head.”

“So, what of it.”

“Why haven’t you told Kieran?” he asked, trying to keep his voice calm.

“I somehow doubt he’d understand why I’m . . . moonlighting.”

JD chuckled lightly. “Moonlighting? Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

“Just stop. What do you want from me? Not that it’s any of your business what I do on my own time.”

“I need your help.”

A single brow arched over her eye. “With what? Wait, let me guess,” she seethed, throwing her hands on her hips. “You want a private show. Or you want me to entertain some friends. And you’re going to use this,” she fingered the bra he still held in his hand, “as a bribe to get me to do it for free.”

“Not quite. While I wouldn’t mind a private show, it’s not entertainment I’m looking for.”

“What’s this?” Kieran suddenly appeared behind the bar, startling them both. JD saw Gráinne’s face go pale, and thought she would faint then and there.