Iron Canuck

Sharing my love of reading and hope to help authors by promoting books I enjoy.

New Releases!!! Several books by several authors I adore out today.

 

 

In her youth, Grace Stratton, the Duchess of Abernathy, gave her heart to Lewis Duffield, an American plantation owner. Family duty tore them apart as she was required to wed another man. After years of being widowed, Grace finds herself alone with Lewis and their old flames rekindle, but can they recapture the all consuming love they once shared?

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Scandalous-Liaison-Ladies-Scoundrels-Book-ebook/dp/B07JN583NT/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scandalous-liaison-amanda-mariel/1129773508?ean=2940156117000

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/scandalous-liaison-1

 

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The best part of a happy ending... finding out it's actually just the beginning. Having someone promise to be by your side, to chase dreams with, whisper troubles to, it's more than I could have imagined. 

But after three seasons of Jace playing pro ball in Ohio, three long seasons, with him on the road, and me training all over the world, I’m questioning if we can really have it all. Harsh criticism of our relationship is all too familiar and uncovers old wounds. I only ever wanted to run and to be with Jace, and finding the perfect balance proves to be my greatest trial yet. 

We vowed not to let our love deter each other's athletic goals, but I miss him. I miss us.


Jace: 

The demands of our careers have us running in opposite directions, when we should be putting down roots, together. But escalating fame and an overbearing agent have me fumbling everything I hold dear, including Pepper. 

After years of dedication and sacrifice, I'm finally in a position to trade to my hometown team. Moving back to Colorado could be the answer to all our problems, but just when I think we're finally on the right track, we're sacked with news that turns everything upside down. News that rattles me and sends Pepper into a tailspin. It's time for me to remind the girl that I fell in love with how to fight. 

Until she's ready, I'll fight hard enough for the both of us. For better or for worse.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Pepped-Wilder-Pepper-Jones-Book-ebook/dp/B07L9DGC31/

 

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A wallflower and a rake

Lady Amelia Chase is a wallflower and a bluestocking. William Maddox would never show interest in the likes of her. So why is he being so attentive? There must be a catch.

It began as a friendly wager. But the more time he spends with the beautifully shy Amelia, the more he wishes it hadn’t. He can’t take it back now, and the thought of telling her makes his chest tighten. But should she find out… 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Christmas-Wallflower-Dukes-Heart-ebook/dp/B07J4W6T75/

 

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To face her future, she’ll need to forget her past.

Most go to Memory Ranch because they can’t remember. Brenna Barry goes because she can’t forget. When her abusive father dies, she seizes her opportunity to flee to Anchorage in hopes that the majestic horses and caring staff at the ranch can help her overcome a past filled with abuse and neglect. 

But as Brenna starts her new life, complete with a new identity, she finds she can’t outrun her pain. Not even with the help of a charming local named Matt, who's faced his own demons and won. He wants to help Brenna conquer hers as well, but opening up to friendship--and possibly love--is the scariest thing she's had to face yet.

Will Brenna find the strength to move forward and forgive those in her past who turned a blind eye to her helplessness? And when at last she strips all the hurt away, will there be any part of her left?

Find out in this moving tale filled with faith, horses, and the unyielding power of love. Get your copy and start reading today!

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Memories-Healing-Memory-Ranch-Romances-ebook/dp/B07HHH7G97/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memories-of-healing-melissa-storm/1129541195?ean=2940156091348

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/memories-of-healing

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Melissa_Storm_Memories_of_Healing?id=UmtuDwAAQBAJ&hl=en

 

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The new novel from the bestselling author of Lone Rider.
 
For some, love is the only medicine . . .

After a harrowing tour of duty in Afghanistan, Army nurse Lily Thompson escapes to Wind River Ranch to find herself once more. Working as a caregiver to foreman Jake Murdoch’s elderly mother, Lily almost feels at peace—except for the unsettling presence of Jake, a tight-lipped, intimidating man everyone calls Bear. But one look in the powerful ex-Marine’s eyes and Lily glimpses a vulnerability that shakes her soul: a hurt she understands all too well—and longs to heal . . .

Jake is ready to rail at the fates when Lily moves into his home. Everything about this captivating woman calls to him, demanding that he abandon his solitary stance and start to live again. But Jake is a man who knows that no one can save him from the past that stalks his heart and mind. Not even sweet, achingly beautiful Lily. Still, that doesn’t stop his longing to pull her into his arms—and keep her there forever. Will time, and patience, bring them the courage to make their connection real? . . .

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Home-Wind-River-Book-ebook/dp/B07BVGCH94/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/home-to-wind-river-lindsay-mckenna/1128297308?ean=9781420147506#/

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/home-to-wind-river

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lindsay_McKenna_Home_to_Wind_River?id=5SRTDwAAQBAJ

 

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He’s entirely the wrong sort of man. That’s what makes him so utterly right.

After a horrific marriage, widow Everleigh Chatterton is cynical and leery of men. She rarely ventures into society, and when she must, she barely speaks to them. Her one regret for refusing to marry again is that she’ll never bear children. As a favor to a friend, she reluctantly agrees to attend a Christmas house-party. Unfortunately, Griffin, Duke of Sheffield is also in attendance. Even though Everleigh has previously snubbed him, she can’t deny her attraction to the confident, darkly handsome duke. 

For almost a year, Griffin has searched for the perfect duchess to help care for the orphan he’s taken on. He sets his sights on the exquisite, but unapproachable widow after her sweet interactions with the child impress him. Everleigh vows she’s not interested in him or any other man. But Griffin is convinced he can thaw her icy exterior and free the warm, passionate woman lurking behind the arctic facade. Only, as he pursues her, it’s his heart that’s transformed. 

Can Everleigh learn to trust and love again? Will Griffin get his Christmas wish and make her his bride? Or, has he underestimated her wounds and fears and be forced to let her go? 

This book is part of a series but it can be read as a stand-alone. 
Get this romantic heart-warming Regency Yuletide story you’ll want to read in one sitting.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/December-Duke-Regency-Seductive-Scoundrels-ebook/dp/B07L5266HS/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-december-with-a-duke-collette-cameron/1129978572?ean=2940156306220

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-december-with-a-duke

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Collette_Cameron_A_December_with_a_Duke?id=PW99DwAAQBAJ

 

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Lexi Knight has always been the sister everyone protects, and she’s never been so fed up with it. She knows her brothers are keeping something important from her, and she has news for them too—their sixth man on their special ops team Rocko has finally given in and confessed his feelings for her. If she can only find him so they can tell the family together, that is.

Matthew Rock, aka Rocko, has his life together. Or at least he did. Then he had to go and step in that mine and blow himself up, severing his arm so badly it’s not savable and ripping away his hopes and dreams of laying claim to Lexi Knight. It’s hard enough that the Knights will never see him as good enough for their little sister, but now that he’s only partially a man, there’s no way he can ask for her hand.

They say there’s no hell like a woman scorned, and Lexi is livid. Hot on the trail of the man who loved her and left her, she’s determined to make him see that she’s worth fighting her family for. And then she sees her lover’s real reason for taking off… Lexi has too much on her to bear alone, and Rocko can’t allow her to take on his issues too. Does he have enough strength left to fight back?

Other Books in the Knight Ops Series
All Knighter
Heat of the Knight
Hot Louisiana Knight
After MidKnight
Knight Shift
O’ Christmas Knight

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Angel-Knight-Ops-Book-ebook/dp/B07HLFRWD8/

 

Release Boost: Coyote Lee by Jessie Cooke

 

Coyote Lee
Series: SKULLS - The Early Years #2

by Jessie Cooke


Genre: MC Romance


Release: December 15, 2018


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43163540-coyote-lee

 

Blurb:


The night Xander Lee found himself half-drowned, flat on his back and looking up into the blue eyes of his savior, everything changed. Going from lost boy to hardcore biker overnight definitely had its advantages. But could a guy with no social skills and the burden of a guilt he couldn't shed, ever really fit in? Called Coyote by his brothers and friends, he struggled to do his best, but falling in love with his president's old lady might just be his fatal mistake. That mistake would see him banished to another coast, alone, afraid and expected to fail.


With the weight of a soul that ached constantly and an almost nonexistent sense of self, Coyote found enough of a spark inside him to get things started...and from there he would blaze a path that no one saw coming. Not just any man could take one brick and build an empire...but despite his own misgivings, Coyote Lee was no ordinary man. Even life at the top didn't come without a heavy price however. The love/hate relationship he had with the man who gave him a second chance at life, lay at the core of almost everything he did. The secrets he kept to himself for so many years gnawed at his soul.

The whiskey he tried to drown the pain with was never enough, and the women and children who loved him would only get a glimpse of who the man inside really was.


Could Coyote ever measure up to the late, great Doc Marshall? Or would he die trying? Take a ride with us through the Central Valley of California and across the all the hearts that Coyote touched in this life and decide for yourself, but hang on tight and be careful what you say and do...because someone is always watching!


* * *


Book 2 in the SKULLS - The Early Years MC Series.


This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from this story, will appear in future books in the series and many have appeared in the previous series of Southside Skulls and Westside Skulls.


No cliffhanger.


Intended for Mature Readers.


* * *


Skulls - The Early Years MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates.

 

Buy Links: Kindle Unlimited
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ppgr6T


Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2PqtlBl


Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2PqtyV9


Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2Pq0vRQ

 

Praise for the novel:


“This is a beautifully written story, which is heartbreaking and emotional, all which had me totally captivated throughout this addictive page turner.” ~ Wendy’s Book Blog

 

“Coyote Lee is a story about love, loss, life, mistakes, courage, betrayal and addiction wrapped up in a captivating story that I couldn't put down.” ~ KDRBCK

 

 

Author Bio:


Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.

 

Social Media Links:


Website: http://jscooke.blogspot.com


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJSCooke/


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14228485.J_S_Cooke


Amazon: http://amzn.to/2quE45g

 

In the Series


Doc Marshall
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2RmYuXR


Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RlhDcC


Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2yFzjIX


Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2JqnlHm

 

 

Excerpt:


He surprised himself. That didn’t even sound like him. It sounded like Doc. He had been paying even more attention than he thought he had. He was still shaking inside, and the voices in his head still wanted to tell him he couldn’t do this. He had been failing at everything since he was fifteen years old. No way could he build an empire the way that Doc Marshall had. For the first time however, Coyote shut those voices down...with the truth. Doc Marshall hadn’t come by that patch on his chest honestly, that was a fact.

Sure, he’d worked his ass off for it once he did get it, and he earned everything he had accumulated since, including the respect of his men. But when Doc “stole” that patch he now wore for over a decade, it came with connections, and bank accounts. It was like having a house with a frame and a foundation whereas Coyote would be starting with less than nothing...hell, he would literally have to level the dirt upon which he would build his empire. But something inside of him was awakened suddenly...a spark that he’d never felt before. He was tired of only surviving. He wanted to thrive. He didn’t want to be Doc Marshall. He wanted to be Coyote fucking Lee...and long after he was gone, he wanted people to remember his name.



New Release!!! The Bride Chooses a Highlander by Adrienne Basso

 

Blurb:

 

The unconventional Lady Katherine McKenna has been granted a rare privilege: the right to choose her own husband. It’s a more difficult task than she expected. When at last she agrees to a betrothal, it quickly goes awry, leaving Katherine alone in the wilds . . . and rescued by Laird Lachlan MacTavish. She’s captivated by the proud, brooding chief who shows her such tender care. But with their clans on the brink of war, the honorable Lachlan resists his attraction—until Katherine proclaims to her family that they will wed.
 
Though stunned by her boldness, Lachlan is intrigued by Katherine’s beauty and spirit, and the MacTavishes will benefit from an alliance with the powerful McKennas. But with family discord, treachery, and deceit in their midst, can they save a marriage that is destined to blossom into incomparable love?

 

Find it at:
Amazon -https://amzn.to/2AZCwVq
Barnes & Noble -https://bit.ly/2Fgku5o
KensingtonBooks -https://bit.ly/2S7FCNk
Hudson Booksellers - https://bit.ly/2QySOxS
Target - https://bit.ly/2BsmqCT
BAM - https://bit.ly/2QXypSG
IndieBound - https://bit.ly/2EC1XzF
Walmart - https://bit.ly/2QT8vQ7

Review Tour: Midnight Girl by Nora LeDuc

 

Midnight Girl
by Nora LeDuc

 

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GENRE: Mystery/Romantic Suspense

 

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BLURB:

 

When a teenager mysteriously disappears in Hawick Falls, New Hampshire, Lisa Raynes fears her kidnapper, who recently escaped from prison, is hunting girls again. She also believes he’s targeted her for his next victim when she receives a threatening message. To add to her problems, her ex-boyfriend Travis Bodell, nephew of her captor, shows up in town. Five years ago, he promised to love Lisa forever, but he left her to start a new life. Trusting him was a mistake she will never repeat.

 

Bad boy Travis Bodell has a history of run-ins with the law. The police suspect he came back to aid his uncle, not to warn Lisa she’s in danger. With the investigation going nowhere, Travis focuses on Lisa who identifies with the missing teen and wants to find her. To keep Lisa safe, he offers to help her search. She refuses until loving memories of their past surface, and she finally accepts his proposal. Working together arouses strong feelings of attraction that neither will admit.

 

As time runs out for the kidnap victim, disturbing threats against Midnight Girl, Lisa’s online name, grow. She realizes the only way to stay alive is to open her heart and put her faith in Travis, but can she let go of her doubts and lingering hurt? Can the couple join forces and win against a cunning criminal fueled by hate?

 

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EXCERPT:

 

She walked out of the house. The spotlight flicked on and caught the creeping fog. Her footsteps scuffed over the grass. Dampness chilled her legs and arms. The recent email replayed in her thoughts. Payback is a bitch.

 

“Lisa?”

 

She spotted him. Too late. She gasped as his fingers wrapped around her forearm. She lifted up the poker and swung.

 

“Stop. Stop.” He ducked and shot his hands over his head while backing up. “It’s me, Travis. Take it easy.”

 

She paused with the fire iron in the air. “I know who you are. That’s why I’m trying to hit you.”

 

Travis Bodell, the boy she went to meet the night she was kidnapped. Was it him? She examined his face for traces of the person she’d loved.

 

The teenage Travis had preferred to hide his eyes and thoughts under his tousled dark hair. This dude wore a shorter cut, but his style was long enough to look uncombed and gave her a clear view of his features. His tan suggested he’d spent hours in the sun. Travis always loved the outdoors. She swept her gaze over his bristled chin, wide mouth, and the u-shaped scar on his left cheek. It was him! She lowered her arm with the iron.

 

Why in the name of purgatory was he here? They’d broken up a month after graduation.

Her anger resurfaced. “Hold still so I can at least punch you.” She raised her fist.

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Nora grew up in rural New England and still lives here. She has enjoyed combining my love of true crime shows with her imagination to produce romantic suspense and mysteries that you keep you guessing.

 

You can find Nora on her website: NoraLeDuc.com,


Facebook: Nora LeDuc-author,


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nora-LeDuc/e/B001KI084O

 

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GIVEAWAY 

 

Nora LeDuc will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

RAFFLECOPTER:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2874/

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC 

 

Link to my review on Iron Canuck:

 

http://christinewoinich.booklikes.com/post/1819285/interesting-story-kept-me-reading

 

Book Blast: What a Widow Wants by Jenna Jaxon

 

WHAT A WIDOW WANTS
by Jenna Jaxon

 

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GENRE: Historical Romance

 

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BLURB:

 

Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park are returning to London society—with their futures in their own hands . . .

 

The widowed Lady Stephen Tarkington, Fanny to her friends, has finished mourning her cad of a husband and is ready to enjoy her freedom. The kind of freedom neither a gently bred miss nor a close-watched wife is permitted: dressing up as Aphrodite for a masquerade, drawing gentlemen away from the party, and hinting at late-night assignations with her dance partners. All is going pleasurably according to plan—until the Roman god Fanny kisses during a masquerade turns out to be Matthew, Lord Lathbury, whose proposal she refused years ago . . .

 

Lathbury is charming, passionate, inventive, everything Fanny wants in a lover—but unfortunately, he’s on the hunt for a wife. He’s more than willing to use all his wicked skills to persuade her back to the altar, but he can’t wait forever. And now Fanny’s position is more precarious than she once thought. If the tongues of the ton set to wagging, it’s possible no offer in the world will save her from ruin. But does she want to be saved? . . .

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

Leaning into him, she whispered, “We can renew our acquaintance in all ways that count.”

 

“So you’ll agree to bed me but not wed me?”

 

“For the moment.” She tapped her fingers lightly on his chest. “Would that be such a hardship on you?”

 

Sighing, he pulled a face. “I suppose not.” A flash of his boyish grin made her stomach drop. “May I woo you properly, at least?”

 

“Improperly would be more to my taste.” Fanny returned his smile with one of her own, as sultry and seductive as she could make it. “But I suppose some decorous behavior wouldn’t kill me either.”

 

“Good.” He took her hands and raised them to his lips. “I leave for Brighton at the end of the week. I’d hoped you’d be accompanying me as my wife, but that—”

 

“As your wife?” How arrogant of him to think she’d fall into his arms at the snap of his fingers.

 

“Well? Will you meet me in Brighton?” Matthew’s eager voice brought her back to the dim room now filled with possibilities.

 

“I will be happy to journey to Brighton, my lord. If I find you there, I do hope you will attend me most earnestly.” In a heart’s beat she slipped her hands from his, pulled his lips down to hers, and sealed the pact with a kiss so warm and sweet her resolve slipped a notch. “And now if you’ll excuse me?” Turning swiftly on her toes, Fanny raced for the door. As she grasped the handle, she glanced back at him.

 

The victorious grin on his face sent a shiver down her spine. She pulled the door open and fled into the corridor before she could change her mind.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical romance in all time periods because, she says, “passion is timeless.” She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Gloucester, Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats and one silent one.

 

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as an active member of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has four series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France, and The Widows’ Club series, also set in Regency England and available from Kensington Publishing in both print and digital.

 

She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.

 

Find Jenna Jaxon online:

BLOG: https://jennajaxon.wordpress.com/

 

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Jenna_Jaxon

 

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Jaxon/146857578723570

 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Jaxon/e/B005CHPBD2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1

 

Buy the book at

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1516103297/

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-widow-wants-jenna-jaxon/1128297334

 

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GIVEAWAY

 

The author will be giving away a $20 Amazon/BN GC

 

Rafflecopter:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2888/

 

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC

Review Tour: Learning to Love by Jennifer Wilck

 

Learning to Love
by Jennifer Wilck

 

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

 

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BLURB:

 

Dina Jacobs is a single librarian who has never fit in due to her off-the-charts intelligence, frizzy hair and rounder-than-socially-acceptable figure. She left her past behind until she receives an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion, and all her insecurities return.

 

Adam Mandel is a single corporate attorney who just missed his third deadline at his father's law firm, the law firm where he is up for junior partner. With his reputation on the line, Adam needs all the help he can get to convince his father that he deserves the promotion.

 

When Dina and Adam run into each other on a deserted road, Dina thinks Mr. Flashypants can't possibly be interested in someone like her. Adam thinks Dina is just the person to help him improve his reputation. Lies and insecurities force them to take a look at themselves. Can they trust each other to look beyond the surface?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT:

 

 

“Cold?” Adam turned and stopped in front of her.

 

She nodded, and he adjusted her scarf, the backs of his fingers caressing her cheeks and jaw. His warm breath tickled her nose and up close, she could see flecks of silver and brown in his eyes. A small scar marked the top of his cheekbone, beneath his eye, and without thinking, she touched it.

 

He froze, a sharp intake of breath making Dina realize she’d actually made contact. As if the texture of his skin beneath the tip of her finger wasn’t enough evidence.

 

“I’m sorry,” she said, drawing her hand away.

 

“No, it’s okay.” He took her hand and held it against his cheek. She could see his pupils dilate, feel the rasp of stubble beneath her palm.

 

“How did you get it?” she asked.

 

“A fight in the third grade. Tommy D teased me for talking to the girl everyone used to make fun of in class. So I decked him. He got me back and we both got detention.”

 

Dina couldn’t help smiling. “Aw, you were her knight in shining armor.”

 

He reddened. “You’re the only one who thinks I was.”

 

“Not true. She probably thinks so as well. Since I know who my competition is, I’ll have to give you my ribbon to carry or something.”

 

At his look of confusion, she continued. “In medieval times, a lady gave her knight a favor, such as a ribbon, and he’d joust for her.”

 

Taking her hand from his cheek, he raised it to his lips and kissed the backs of her fingers. “So you want me to fight for you?”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

 

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

 

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and The Wild Rose Press.

 

Buy links:

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jennifer+wilck


Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/jennifer+wilck?_requestid=1969656


The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=jennifer+wilck&submit_search=

 


She can be reached at www.jenniferwilck.com

or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wilck/201342863240160.

She tweets at @JWilck.

Her blog (Fried Oreos) is www.jenniferwilck.blogspot.com and she contributes to Heroine With Hearts blog monthly http://www.heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com.


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GIVEAWAY:

 

Jennifer Wilck will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Rafflecopter:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2854/

 

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC 

 

Link to my review on Iron Canuck:

 

http://christinewoinich.booklikes.com/post/1819278/good-story-conquering-past-experience-to-find-happiness

 

Interesting story, kept me reading.

Midnight Girl - Nora LeDuc

This story held me from the beginning. Lisa wanted to protect Travis, and Travis wanted to protect Lisa, but neither truly relied on each other in the beginning. Doubts about their past relationship stood between them. The journey to the end was fraught with ups and downs, and was worth the read.

I received an ARC through Goddess Fish Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

Good story, conquering past experience to find happiness.

Learning to Love - Jennifer Wilck

I liked this story even though it took me a bit to warm up to Adam. His past experiences shaped him, but I felt that he hung on too long to those feelings. I loved the instant heat between Dina and Adam, and how things worked out for them.

I received an ARC of this story through Goddess Fish Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

Interested in another place to share reviews? Check this out.

 

https://AuthorsXP.com/

 

 

 

Sale: A Lady's Escape by

 

A Lady's Escape is on sale for .99 cents. You may want to tell your friends.

 

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search…
https://www.amazon.com/…/pro…/B078VVDQY4/ref=series_rw_dp_sw
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-ladys-escape…/1127779687…

 

Blurb:

 

The perfect match may be closer than they imagine . . .
 
Despite her disastrous London debut, Millicent Edgebrook has proven skilled at securing matches—for every young lady but herself. Resigned to spinsterhood, and eager to gain independence from her lovable but eccentric uncle, Millie joins the Everton Domestic Society. Her first assignment: find a bride for Preston Knowles, Duke of Middleton. How difficult can it be to secure a match for a handsome, eligible aristocrat? As difficult, it seems, as resisting her own attraction to the duke…
 
Preston has promised himself not to be ruined by love. After being rebuffed by two perfectly respectable candidates, he’d rather remain happily single for the rest of his life...if only his mother would let him. Yet suddenly, he’s fantasizing about the lovely matchmaker she’s hired—the least suitable bride imaginable. Millie’s past is shrouded in scandal, and the Everton Society forbids relations between employees and clients. But even with so many obstacles against them, Preston longs to convince the woman he adores that love trumps rules every time…

Preorder up!!! His Three-Day Duchess by Laurie Benson

 

It's an enemies-to-lovers, road trip Regency romance that includes a pretend marriage with a heroine that knows a thing or two about sword fighting. Pre-order your copy today!


Amazon: getbook.at/threeday
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2OWSJ1V
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2NfsDa5
iBooks: https://apple.co/2PvHBtU
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2OZQtqu

 

Don't forget that you can mark it as a "want to read" on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/…/…/40776201-his-three-day-duchess

 

Blurb

 

He’s claimed his title. Could he inherit a bride, too?

Part of The Sommersby Brides.

The Duchess of Skeffington retreats to the estate that was her refuge during her cruel marriage. She’s shocked to come face-to-face with the distant heir, now newly inherited duke, adventurous Simon Alexander. 

When Elizabeth is robbed, it’s up to them both to find the thief. But traveling together would attract too much gossip… Unless they pose as husband and wife!

Release Blitz: Faith by Andy Jaxon and AJ Alexander

 

Faith
Series: SEAL’ed #5
by Andi Jaxon & AJ Alexander


Genre: Contemporary Romance/Military Romance


Release Date: December 12, 2018


Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SEALedBook5

 

Blurb:


Justin


I originally joined the Navy as an escape, to become more than a country farm boy. Being a Navy SEAL turned me into a man, but one without a life outside the military. I thought that was all I needed. Until everyone around began to find their Happily Ever Afters’. I realized my life was missing love, something I've been longing for. All it took was one simple letter from home to remind me that everything I ever needed was right there waiting for me.

 

Becca


Losing the love of your life before he was able to meet his child was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through. I tried to move on with my life, and find a new sense of normalcy with my daughter and myself. One simple holiday act of kindness has set my carefully choreographed life into a tailspin. I could never have guessed writing a simple letter to a deployed sailor would bring us to a place we can finally call ‘Home’ again.

 

Can these two trust in the things they can not see to find true happiness?

 

 

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2zPWTUg


Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2B9ZY1j


Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2UyZYAI


Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2QrQskz

 

 

In the Series:
Honor (AVAILABLE NOW) http://smarturl.it/SEALed1


Love (AVAILABLE NOW) http://smarturl.it/SEALed2


Fate (AVAILABLE NOW) http://smarturl.it/SEALed3


Power (AVAILABLE NOW) http://smarturl.it/SEALed4

 

 

Andi Jaxon Bio:


Raised all over the country, I'm a interesting mix of East Coast meets West Coast with a little bit of Southern thrown in, just for good measure. I married a sexy man in uniform who let me spawn and am now raising a mutinous army of hell raisers that I created myself, all while he defends our country. I drink too much coffee until it's late enough to drink too much wine and am sexually frustrated for your freedom. If you see me online, I'm probably sitting in a closet, hiding from my kids.

 

Want to know more about Andi Jaxon? Follow her on social media or subscribe to her mailing list to receive the latest information on new releases, sales, and more!

 

Social Media Links:


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/andijaxon


BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/andi-jaxon


Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/andijaxon


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/andijaxonauthor


Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/andijaxon


Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/authorandijaxon


Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorandijaxon


Website: http://www.andijaxon.com

 

AJ Alexander Bio:


AJ Alexander is a wanna be psychologist, writer, and author of the recently completed, SEAL’ed Series. AJ’s passion is writing angst filled, happily ever afters that have to be earned by her characters. Women with no backbone need not apply. AJ uses sarcasm and an unlimited supply of song lyrics to bring her romance novels to life.

 

AJ lives in the angst capital of the world, Seattle Washington with her own personal knight in shining armour and her two beautiful girls.

 

Social Media Links:


Amazon: http://bit.ly/AJAlexanderAmazon


Bookbub: http://bit.ly/AJAlexanderBookBub


Facebook: http://bit.ly/AJAlexanderFacebook


Goodreads: http://bit.ly/AJAlexanderGoodreads


Instagram: http://bit.ly/AJAlexanderInsta


Newsletter: http://bit.ly/AJAlexanderSubscribe


Website: http://bit.ly/AJAlexanderWebsite

 

 

Giveaway:


https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ff2b38014

 

 

Excerpt:


JUSTIN

 

It’s just another day over here, sitting and waiting for something interesting to happen. It has been about a month since we got here, and I still haven’t heard anything from the pen pal services I signed up for. I’m guess that I must be a little to boring for someone to write a letter too.

 

No matter keeping these knuckle heads in line and out of trouble is a full-time job when we are on mission. Just as I am about to hop in my bunk, I head the call for mail sound from the chow hall.


“Hey LT, aren’t you coming?” Cowboy asks as he hops of his bunk and heads in that direction


“What’s the point? There ain’t nothing in there for me, besides there the makings of a sandstorm brewing out there. I don’t want to be caught in that.” I grumble as I lay back, placing my hands behind my head.


“Aww no lady friends pinning after you old man? More than enough of me to go around I guess.” Hard-on responds as he claps Logan on the back before heading out the bunkhouse.


“Maybe I need to call the girls and let them know about all the ladies writing you
letters?” I hope off my bunk and follow them, it wouldn’t hurt just to see if maybe I got lucky and someone sent me something. There is always hope, right?


“Fuck you LT! You know I am a one woman, I mean two-woman kind of man.” Hard-On shouts over his shoulder. However, the panicked look on his face is priceless! I have never seen a man more in love with anyone that Charlie is with Avery and Amber. Who would have thought that it would take two women to tame that one.


Once we enter the Chow Hall, I notice Brass and head his way. It was a close call on whether he would be making this mission or not, with his motorcycle accident and all. I think in part of his new-found back bone and that stubborn as hell woman of his he was pronounced fit for duty just in time.


“Hey Brass, waiting on something from that lady of yours?” I ask, taking the seat next to him.

 

Don’t you mean his Mama?” Hard-On plops down on the other side of him, barely missing the right hook Brass throws his way.


“Layla always sends me something, never know what it is going to be. So, I’m here impatiently waiting just like the rest of you assholes” He grows. I guess Hard-on is till giving him a hard time about his relationship with his girl. I don’t know much about what’s going but I do know it’s not the norm. As long as it isn’t illegal, he can do whatever the hell he wants.


Brass sudden becomes fixated on the door, “Hey Newb, where’s my shit?”
The newest member of our team, Brady, is headed our way. Now that Brass has finally lost the title of Newb he has taken to giving of Brady here a hard time. I can’t say that I blame him, it is a rite of passage in the SEALs. Although it took him longer than most, he is a better SEAL and man for it.


“What shit are you talking about, Brass?” Newb responds


“My laundry you ass. Ain’t nobody got time to be doing their own laundry. That’s what we have you for.”


“Brass, last time I checked you had a Mama for that shit. I ain’t your Mama. Do your own fucking laundry.” Newb says before turning to head out. Guess seeing if he had any mail wasn’t that important.


“Damn! Now I know why you asses gave me such a hard time. That shit feels good as fuck!” Brass says, and we all begin to chuckle. Suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder, turning to see who it is. “Sorry to bother your sir, but there is a letter here for you.” I don’t even register who is speaking before I take the letter and rip it open. The pages smell like a warm spring day and are covered with elegant handwriting that can only come from a woman,

 

Dear Lieutenant McMillon,

 

With the holidays approaching much faster than I would like, I wanted to write you a letter to thank you for volunteering to defend our country. Military service is often a thankless job; under paid and over worked. Deployed for months at a time, taken away from friends, family, and loved ones.


I am a CNA at one of the local hospitals and all of us on my shift decided to volunteer to bring happiness to someone else’s life. I am a Marine Corp widow, my late husband always said that mail call the highlight of everyone’s day. Just knowing that someone was thinking about them on the other side of the world made things a little better.


I’ve never been overseas or even on an airplane. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a different country for months at a time, especially some place as dangerous as an active war zone.


I hope you’re as safe as you can be. The only thing I’ve done is move from Texas to California.


Do you have family or loved ones that write to you or is that why you joined this
program? Do you enjoy being in the Navy?


I have a little girl who is three going on thirteen. I can’t imagine being away from her for months at a time. I barley like going to work every day, time is precious, and we must spend every minute as if it is our last.


I’m not sure what to say except thank you. Thank you for keeping me safe. Thank you for everything that you do, all the things that people not in the military don’t know you do.


Sincerely,
Becca


I can’t help but smile. Just this simple letter had changed my outlooking on the day. I’m going to write her back, just to say thank you of course. I’m not expecting anything to come of this, but just knowing that Becca took the time to write me is enough. Maybe she will want to correspond further after this? This definitely gives me something to look forward too, which is a godsend around here.

 

Link to my review on Iron Canuck:

 

http://christinewoinich.booklikes.com/post/1818337/another-emotional-read-for-me-long-distance-love-military-romance

 

 

Another emotional read for me. Long distance love, military romance.

Faith - Andi Jaxon, A. J. (Alexander John) Scott

An emotional journey for me. Most of the story was fine until the last third. My heart ached for two lonely souls, one who did not want to be hurt again. Having experienced love long distance myself, I knew it was possible for Becca and Justin to make it, but their own emotional struggles had me crying. This is the first story in this series that I have read, and it does indeed stand on its own. I enjoyed the secondary characters and their quirkiness as well.

I received an ARC of this story through Enticing Journey Book Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

New Release!!! To Redeem a Highland Rake by Collette Cameron

 

One forbidden kiss sets them on a path from which there’s no return.

In a desperate final attempt to force her cruel betrothed to call off their arranged marriage, Arieen Fleming deliberately creates a public scandal. Aware she’ll likely be shunned by Society and remain unmarried, she kisses a dashing swashbuckler at a masked ball. What she doesn’t anticipate is her powerful fascination and sensual reaction to Coburn Wallace. And she most certainly doesn’t foresee her father casting her out as a result of her madcap scheme.

Coburn Wallace is a man who enjoys life and women to the fullest. As cousin and second-in-command to a laird, he has no need or desire to marry and produce an heir. When a beautiful female pirate demands he kiss her, who is he to refuse such an unexpected gift? Upon learning Arieen’s been disowned and is destitute, he’s seized with an inexplicable urge to protect her even as his honor demands he marry Arieen for his unwitting contribution to her ruination.

Arieen has no choice but to accept Coburn’s offer, and though they can’t deny their overwhelming, mutual attraction, dare they hope for more? Can attraction blossom into love in a marriage neither wanted?

For an enthralling, emotional Scottish Highland adventure you won't want to put down, read this second book in the Heart of a Scot Series.

Though this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

 

Buy links:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Redeem-Highland-Rake-Historical-Scottish-ebook/dp/B07KKZG295/

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-redeem-a-highland-rake-collette-cameron/1129901756?ean=2940156258857

 

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-redeem-a-highland-rake

 

About Collette Cameron

USA Today Bestselling Author
Amazon All-Star Author
Amazon Top 100 Historical Author
Award-Winning Author

USA Today Bestselling author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals, featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them. 

Blessed with fantastic fans as well as a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won't stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she lives in Oregon with her mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time. 

You'll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances®. 
 
 
 
 

For me, a page turner with wonderful characters. I enjoy this series.

Valentine's Vow - Adele Clee

This story kept me turning pages! I did not want to stop reading. I loved the instant love between Ava and Lucius, Ava's daring, challenging spirit and open heart, and Lucius' sense of protectiveness when it came to Ava. They worked through their pasts and moved toward happiness while dealing with the danger and thievery happening around them. The entire story captivated me, and I highly recommend this story.

I received an ARC as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

Release Tour: Coyote Lee by Jessie Cooke

 

Coyote Lee
Series: SKULLS - The Early Years #2
by Jessie Cooke


Genre: MC Romance


Release: December 15, 2018


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43163540-coyote-lee

 

Blurb:


The night Xander Lee found himself half-drowned, flat on his back and looking up into the blue eyes of his savior, everything changed. Going from lost boy to hardcore biker overnight definitely had its advantages. But could a guy with no social skills and the burden of a guilt he couldn't shed, ever really fit in? Called Coyote by his brothers and friends, he struggled to do his best, but falling in love with his president's old lady might just be his fatal mistake. That mistake would see him banished to another coast, alone, afraid and expected to fail.


With the weight of a soul that ached constantly and an almost nonexistent sense of self, Coyote found enough of a spark inside him to get things started...and from there he would blaze a path that no one saw coming. Not just any man could take one brick and build an empire...but despite his own misgivings, Coyote Lee was no ordinary man. Even life at the top didn't come without a heavy price however. The love/hate relationship he had with the man who gave him a second chance at life, lay at the core of almost everything he did. The secrets he kept to himself for so many years gnawed at his soul. The whiskey he tried to drown the pain with was never enough, and the women and children who loved him would only get a glimpse of who the man inside really was.


Could Coyote ever measure up to the late, great Doc Marshall? Or would he die trying? Take a ride with us through the Central Valley of California and across the all the hearts that Coyote touched in this life and decide for yourself, but hang on tight and be careful what you say and do...because someone is always watching!


* * *


Book 2 in the SKULLS - The Early Years MC Series.


This is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from this story, will appear in future books in the series and many have appeared in the previous series of Southside Skulls and Westside Skulls.


No cliffhanger.


Intended for Mature Readers.


* * *


Skulls - The Early Years MC Series is about members of the MC club, their friends and associates.

 

Buy Links: Kindle Unlimited
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ppgr6T


Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2PqtlBl


Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2PqtyV9


Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2Pq0vRQ

 

 

Author Bio:


Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.

 

Social Media Links:


Website: http://jscooke.blogspot.com


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJSCooke/


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14228485.J_S_Cooke


Amazon: http://amzn.to/2quE45g

 

In the Series


Doc Marshall
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2RmYuXR


Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RlhDcC


Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2yFzjIX


Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2JqnlHm

 

 

Excerpt:


Prologue


Texas 2002


“What’s that you’ve got there?” The social worker had gotten the call early that morning.

She had been doing this for almost twenty years, and these calls still rattled her to her very core. She recently moved from California to Texas, somehow hoping that things wouldn’t be so dark there. She’d seen things that she had to suppress and they only came out now in her nightmares. Texas wasn’t any different; at least that’s what her first call of the day today was about to teach her. She sat on the dirty couch next to the little boy. If the cop who called her hadn’t told her he was a boy, she wouldn’t have been able to tell. He had his head bowed and tons of matted, dark hair hanging down over his face. It looked like his hair had been braided at one time, but they were dreads now. She wasn’t sure if that was intended or not. “Hey, the officer told me your name is Adan. I’m Trinity.” She held out her hand, close to where she knew he could see it under all that hair, but he remained focused on what he was holding in his lap. “Can I see this?” She touched it and suddenly the mute, still little boy became like a wild animal. He clutched the leather bundle to his chest and scooted back on the couch, peering out at her through an opening in his hair. Trinity gasped when she saw his face. She hadn’t meant to...but his skin was so dark, and so was his hair, yet staring out at her were the bluest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. “Adan...” she said, again.


“Adam!” The sound that came out of the small boy’s mouth startled her at first.


“I’m sorry, I thought it was Adan...”


His blue eyes cut toward the bedroom. The woman that had been there was gone. Trinity had watched them load the black bag that bore her body into the ambulance when she first got here. The first light of morning was just showing over the horizon then, but now the sun was climbing and Texas was waking up. She looked at the little boy sadly. Her compassion for human beings had drawn her to this job, but her empathy might well destroy her someday. “She called me that,” he said. “I don’t want to be called that anymore. My name is Adam. Adam Marshall.”


“Marshall?” she asked, confused.


The little boy slowly opened up his arms to reveal the vest that he was holding so tightly. It had a big, round patch on the back that said, “Southside Skulls, Boston Chapter.” He turned it over and Trinity saw what was stitched on the front of it. “Doc Marshall, Prez.” Well, maybe at least this poor little baby with eyes like sapphires wouldn’t spend the rest of his life alone...


* * *


Boston


Spring 2002


Coyote sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the wall. He’d been staring at the same spot for fifteen minutes. The door to the bathroom opened and Colleen stepped out. Coyote shifted his focus and his eyes roamed his wife’s sexy body. “Is it bad that I’m horny again?” They had made love the night before—it had been passionate and heated—then again that morning when they woke up, but considering what day it was, it had been slower...sweeter. Colleen could always sense his moods and she always knew when he needed her.


She laughed at that and picked his tie up off the dresser. Standing in front of him, she draped it over his neck and moved his long, thick hair so she could slip it underneath. “We don’t have time.”


“Let’s not go,” he said, while she worked on the tie. He lifted his arms and put them on her hips. She had wide, sexy hips. He loved them.


Colleen smiled down at him softly and said, “If I thought you meant that, I’d stay right here with you. But I know you wouldn’t let them lay him to rest without you being there.”


Coyote sighed. “I fucking hate this. We’ve been to way too many funerals lately. I hate funerals. But this one...fuck, babe, this one is the worst.”


She stopped fooling with his tie and bent down so she could press her lips to his forehead. “I know, love. It’s always hard to say goodbye...but when it was so unexpected...”


Coyote chuckled and said, “I honestly believed he would live forever.”


Colleen sat next to him on the bed and took his hand. “He will,” she said. She ran her free hand down his back, over the patch on the kutte he was wearing with his button-down shirt and tie. “Because of this,” she said, and then she moved her hand around front and put it against his chest, over his heart. “And this,” she said. “Because of men like you, who will carry on his legacy. He’ll live forever, baby, and so will you.”


Coyote chuckled again, mostly to fight back the tears that were pressing hard, trying to get out. “I’ll never leave a legacy like he did.”


“Hmm,” she said, “we’ll see. Now stand up and let me do your tie.” Colleen was his biggest fan. Coyote had never been overly confident. His childhood was shit and his early adult years hadn’t been much better. Meeting Doc Marshall had changed his life in so many ways. Who would have thought that falling in love with the man’s wife would have pushed him into the greatest opportunity of his life? Doc banished him to California and for a hot minute, Coyote thought that was it for him. But somewhere he found the resolve he needed to get things started out there...and somehow, things had taken off like one of the wildfires that burn every year in the foothills above the valley that he now called home. He’d met Colleen, and they’d had a son. His son was grown now...and he was a fine young man. Coyote had made so many mistakes along the way, though. He had secrets, even from his wife, that ate away at him daily. He made decisions that ended lives. He walked around in his kutte that said “Coyote, Prez, Westside Skulls” on it, like he owned it. But sometimes deep down in his gut, he felt like he was still faking it.

“There,” Colleen said, finally getting the tie all tied up. Coyote pushed the knot up and had to take a deep breath to fill his lungs. He hated wearing the fucking things, but if anyone ever commanded enough respect to deserve one worn at his funeral...it was the man he was going to say goodbye to today.


“Alright,” he said, reluctantly, “I guess we should do this.” They walked out of the room and down the stairs hand in hand. The ranch had changed a lot over the years, but it always did Coyote’s heart good to see the pictures on the wall of the great room when he reached the landing. They had been added to, but none had ever been deleted. He knew there was a lot of talk about taking Hawk’s picture down. The Skulls had been searching for him for three years, but so far, not a trace. One could only hope that the man who betrayed his best friend, and the man they all loved and respected, was dead in a ditch somewhere south of the border.


Coyote’s eyes landed on the very first photograph in line on the wall. It was in black and white, but if you looked closely enough, you could still see that his eyes were unlike anyone else’s.


“Hey, Coyote.” Coyote turned toward the voice and had to quickly correct himself. Doc Marshall’s eyes were looking at him, but not from Doc’s face.


“Dax, I’m sorry I missed you last night, we got in late. You remember Colleen?” Dax Marshall was almost the spitting image of his father...but Coyote could see Dallas there, especially in his smile. His heart still ached when he thought about her. He’d never stopped loving her. He felt guilty about that for a lot of years. But one thing he had learned was that there were different kinds of love, and different levels of it. His love for Dallas had been on a level all its own.


“Of course,” Dax said, taking Colleen’s hand first. “Thank you for coming.” He shook Coyote’s hand then and Coyote, not caring what anyone thought, pulled the boy in for a hug. He knew that an almost twenty-two-year-old Dax would object to being called a boy. But Coyote could vividly remember the day he drove his mother to the hospital to give birth to him. It seemed like only yesterday. Dax stiffened slightly, but he hugged Coyote back. Coyote let him go and said:


“I’m sorry. This is just...surreal, I guess.”


Dax nodded. “Yeah, it is for all of us. The SUVs are outside and ready to go, if y’all want to catch a ride. Otherwise, you can ride out with those of us who are riding.” Coyote looked at the mass of bodies behind Dax. He doubted that a single man who had ridden with the one they were going to bury would dare step into an SUV on a day like today. He looked at Colleen and with her powers of perception, she smiled and said:
“I’ll ride in one of the SUVs and see you there.”


Coyote smiled and kissed her cheek. He looked back up at Dax as she left and said, “You have no idea how much I loved him.”


Dax smiled and said, “You loved him enough that although you wanted his old lady, you never did anything about that. He banished you to the middle of nowhere and you loved him so much that you built an empire...in his name. You loved him so much that you drove my mother to the hospital the day she gave birth to me. I think if I shook this building and all the men who loved and were loyal to my father fell out...you would be on top.”


One of the tears Coyote had been holding back slid out of his eye and began to roll slowly down his cheek. He brought his hand up to wipe it away and he said, “Fuck, Dax...what are we going to do without him?”


Dax looked around the room again, letting his eyes linger on the photos on the wall, and said, “He’ll always be there for men like you and me, Coyote. Any time we want to give up, or we want to settle, he’ll be there, mentally kicking our ass. Anytime I think I’ve just had it...that I’m done…I picture his face when I was five years old and he made me slide down a water slide. I was terrified, but to this day I can’t remember a better feeling than facing that fear and watching the pride on his face as I did. That’s what Doc Marshall was all about. Fears exist...we have to face them, if not for ourselves, then for him and all he did for us. We better get going.”


Coyote nodded. He followed Dax and the crowd of bikers out the door of the Skulls clubhouse. They all stood on ceremony as Dax climbed on the back of Doc’s Harley for one last ride. After the memorial service, it would be retired to the meeting room and another part of Doc Marshall would live forever, in infamy.

 

Chapter One


New York


July 1975


Sweat, and the smoke of dozens of cigarettes and just as many joints, hung like a sticky fog in the air as Coyote was led down the empty stone hallway toward the room where the fight would take place. His fights were always in a different warehouse and he was picked up at his dumpy little apartment in the Bronx and driven to wherever it would take place by one of Slinko’s men. Sometimes the drive took hours and sometimes only minutes. Coyote was always disoriented when he got wherever they were going, no matter how long it took, thanks to the blindfold they handed to him to put on each time before they left his driveway. You might think, instead of common thugs, that they were the fucking CIA.


Not that he really felt like he had any right to throw stones. Coyote had worked for Slinko now for almost a year. He was one of Slinko’s fighters, a lost kid he “found” on the streets, moved into a crappy apartment, and took ownership of. Coyote and the other fighters might as well have been machines for all Slinko cared. They ate what Slinko’s guys told them to eat. They worked out three hours a day at a gym that took over an hour to get to and back from each day...and come Saturday night, they fought...and they’d better fucking win. Coyote didn’t have any family, and Slinko made sure that all of his fighters stayed way too busy, tired, and isolated to have friends. All that mattered to Slinko in the end was that they won. He had invested a ton of money in them...or so he liked to say when he showed up with a “lecture”...or more like a threat…on a Saturday night. He expected a return for his investment and he only got that if they beat some other guy to a bloody pulp. Coyote had been the star of dozens of Slinko’s fights, and he hadn’t lost yet. He wasn’t sure what would happen if he did. Slinko never came right out and told him. But he wasn’t stupid. He could see that the men who lost their fights never showed back up for another. If Coyote worked for anyone but Slinko he might just think they’d been fired...once they healed, of course. But the truth he knew in his soul was that winning was saving his life.


Still, that wasn’t why he won. Coyote’s “life” consisted of Slinko’s orders and Slinko’s fights. He didn’t have family, he hadn’t been with a woman since he left California almost two years before...and as far as he knew, he had nothing to look forward to. Every so often he would have a dream, mostly at night while he was asleep and the ugliness around him was invisible. He would dream that he was a “real” fighter. He dreamed that he trained in a real gym with a real trainer and come Saturday night, his pick of music was played overhead while he bounced on his toes down the long hallway that would lead to thousands of adoring fans and the brightly lit, well-padded cage in the center of it all.


There was no cage where Coyote fought...just a circle made of bricks. He stood on cement in the center of that circle with his opponent, while the bloodthirsty onlookers made bets on who would still be standing when it was all over. At least the surface encouraged him to stay on his feet. His head had hit the floor so many times that he wasn’t sure his brain could take another concussion. He learned how to fall and he learned how to deal with the pain. It was his life...for what it was worth.


Slinko did pay them when they won...a little. The apartment he so “kindly” allowed Coyote to use had been completely unfurnished. He used his winnings to buy some furniture, dishes, and his most valuable possession...a console television set. It wasn’t one of those newfangled color TVs and there was no antenna on the building...so the picture was fuzzy most of the time and it only got two channels. But the voices of people that weren’t yelling at him…to hit someone, hurt someone, draw blood, or kick ass...soothed his aching soul. He watched things like The Brady Bunch and Leave It to Beaver and tried to imagine how different his life may have been if he’d been raised by Mike and Carol Brady, or Ward and June Cleaver...instead of his parents, God rest their souls.


It didn’t matter what he imagined, however. He knew what his reality was. Tonight, Slinko had met him in a small room in the back of the warehouse, and he’d told him that the opponent he was about to go up against would be his toughest yet. Slinko was being extra nice. He told Coyote that he had put him instead of one of the other guys up against Viper because he was the “best” and Slinko knew he could do this. He told him that he’d get a big bonus if he won this one...enough to buy a color television and a new antenna. At the end of Slinko’s long spiel, he had told Coyote to be sure and let him know if he didn’t think he was up to winning tonight. He had a lot of money riding on the fight, and if need be, Coyote could be “replaced.” Coyote knew what that meant. In his mind, anyway, it meant that he would be on his way to that seat in hell he was sure the devil had reserved for him, and Slinko’s life would go on...sans a few hundred thousand dollars, and down another fighter.


“I got this,” was all Coyote had said. Now as he walked toward the circle and got a glimpse of “Viper,” death almost sounded more inviting. He took his place on the other side of the circle and quickly, without pulling his head all the way up, he took stock of who was in the room. Coyote was not an educated man, by any means. But he wasn’t stupid, either. He did have one ace in the hole, just in case an opportunity to use it ever presented itself. Coyote had an almost photographic memory. He remembered every face he ever saw, and if there was a name to be put to it, he would remember that as well. These illegal fights that took place in the midst of an empty warehouse in the center of nowhere and under the cover of night were not a poor man’s paradise. Only rich men came here to play. These men were important men in the community. They were doctors and lawyers, cops and politicians. Most of them were married with children...but it was rare that the woman draped over their arm wore a wedding ring or went by the name of “Mommy.”


For those who came alone, Slinko offered a second service...just as lucrative for him as the first one. Slinko didn’t just pimp out fighters. He had a collection of women “robots” as well. Some of them looked way too young to Coyote...but he was barely in a position to speak up for himself, much less anyone else. But he watched and listened, and somewhere deep down inside he hoped that someday he’d have cause to use all that knowledge he’d gained. Slinko offered him a “girl” once as a bonus for winning a fight. Coyote turned down the offer, cursing himself the whole time. He’d only been with one woman in his life, and that was some older woman who gave him a ride on his way out East. He didn’t know what to do with a girl his own age, and he was scared to death that she’d tell Slinko if he did it wrong.


This night wasn’t much different than any other as far as Coyote could tell. The warehouse was packed, and noisy. Coyote was fighting in the second match of the night. The first one had been quick. Coyote wasn’t allowed to watch the other fights; he only knew when they were over and how they went, if the winner came back to the fighter’s room...or the loser hadn’t shown up before they came to call him out. He focused his attention back across the circle on his opponent, Viper. Viper looked like the kind of guy that grown men would cross the street to keep from passing. His neck, chest, and arms were covered in black and white and faded green tattoos that looked like they might have been carefully crafted in prison. Coyote was six-foot-two and this guy had to be at least two inches taller than that. Coyote was told by the “trainer”…the guy who escorted the fighters in and...if they could walk...out of the circle, that he weighed in at three-fifty pounds. He was wearing shorts and nothing else, and as far as Coyote could tell by looking at him, none of the three-fifty was fat. He was bouncing up and down on the balls of his bare feet and nothing was moving. He had scars on his face, a lot of them, and his nose looked like it had been broken more than once. The swastika tattooed on his bare scalp drew the picture together. Coyote knew how to fight, and he was good at it. He did it to survive, but it didn’t normally give him joy. He focused on the swastika now, however, and thought about looking at it on the ground when he took this racist son of a bitch to the floor, and it did feel good.


When the buzzer rang he tried to block out the cheers and jeers echoing off the walls and ceiling around him, and he focused on the giant in front of him. There were no referees, no real rules...the people just wanted to see a fight, preferably a long one, with lots of blood. With both eyes on Viper, waiting for him to make the first move, Coyote cracked his knuckles and his neck and cautiously moved forward until he was close enough to Viper that the other man took a swing. Viper swung hard, but Coyote dodged it, coming up with an uppercut to the other man’s chin. Viper barely flinched, but as soon as Coyote was upright, the man threw another punch...this time his right fist connected with the side of Coyote’s head. His fist felt like steel, and it hurt like a motherfucker, but Coyote didn’t go down. He shook off the ringing in his ears quickly enough to dodge the next blow and this time threw a punch at Viper’s ribs. He hit hard and fast and he heard something snap and Viper wince. He almost hoped that he’d cracked one and punctured a lung, so the fight could be over. No such luck, though. Viper managed to keep moving while he fought through the pain and caught his breath, and then he lunged toward Coyote and started throwing punches one right after the other. Coyote bobbed and weaved and managed to dodge a few of them...but it was a relentless barrage of left, right, left, right, head, shoulders, ribs, head...Viper was trying to wear him down...and doing a pretty good job of it so far.


Coyote’s body was screaming in pain. Viper was in close, using Coyote’s face like a speed bag. He couldn’t hear anything and it was getting hard to see thanks to the blood and sweat in his eyes. He had never wanted to go down so early in a fight before, but this guy was a killer, and if he was going to die anyway, he wondered if he shouldn’t just get it over with. About that time he either saw Slinko or imagined he did, out of the corner of his eye, and the idea of Viper winning wasn’t half as repugnant as the idea of Slinko getting to finish him off if Viper didn’t. Viper wasn’t good with his feet, but Coyote hadn’t been able to get his arms up past the other man’s bulk and he was pushed to the edge of the circle already. So, with all the strength he could muster, he spun his aching body around, lifted his leg, and let his foot connect with Viper’s neck. The big guy stumbled a few feet back. He didn’t fall, but it gave Coyote the room he needed to attack. He didn’t know where the burst of energy came from, but it propelled him forward and he began to pound every part of Viper’s rigid body that he could reach until he heard the sound of the buzzer, calling an end to the first round.


During the small break, the men were allowed to use a wet towel and a dry one to wipe the blood off their faces and bodies and get a drink of water. If anything was bleeding too profusely, one of the “trainers” would try and patch it up, to get them through the next round. Apparently, none of Coyote’s injuries qualified. He mopped the sweat and blood off his face and chest, drank the thermos of cold water, and while he waited for the next buzzer, once again, he soaked up the faces in the crowd.


Without any other fanfare, the buzzer sounded again and Coyote and Viper met in the middle. Viper didn’t waste any time, landing a right jab smack on Coyote’s nose. The pain radiated up through his sinuses and into his ears. It pissed him off...not at Viper, but at himself. Getting hit dead in the face like that was a rookie mistake. But the beating he had already taken made his reflexes slow and his judgment cloudy. That’s why, when he saw Viper rearing back to kick him...he made a fatal mistake. Coyote let his reflexes take over from his good sense, and he turned about ten degrees to the left and ducked his head. Viper’s right foot didn’t hit the target it was looking for. Instead, it sunk into the small of Coyote’s back, right over the top of one of his kidneys. Coyote heard himself scream, right before they turned out all the lights.


* * *


The next thing Coyote remembered was waking up with a pounding headache. Or maybe he wasn’t awake. He felt like he was floating, and then he realized he was suffocating. His head was pounding because his body had no oxygen...he couldn’t breathe. He opened his mouth and only when he sucked in air and got water instead, did he realize that he was drowning.


His body went into survival mode and his arms began to flail, looking for something to grab onto. The water was freezing but the cold at least made him too numb to concentrate on the pain. He needed to take a breath...if he didn’t, his lungs were going to explode. He opened his eyes as much as he could. It was dark, and dirty. He was probably in the Hudson River and if that was the case, fighting was a moot point, but he didn’t know how to not fight...he’d been doing it his entire life. Something kept drawing him toward the bottom of his dark, watery grave, but he fought toward the surface until one of his hands felt the cool air of the night. He sank again, but fought his way up, and then again, and the third time out just as he started his decent...probably for the final time…he felt a big, strong, cold hand clamp down around one of his wrists and then his body being hauled up out of the water, just as if he were no heavier than air.


Coughing, sputtering, choking, and trying to remember how to breathe, he looked up into a pair of eyes so blue that they shone in the night like a cat. Coyote said the first thing that came to his mind...


“God?”


“Close,” the man sporting the blue eyes said with a laugh. “Damned close.”

 

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