Pages

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spotlight: Mistletoe Fantasies by Stacy Eaton




Author: Stacy Eaton
Date of publication: November 2017

Reba St. James would prefer to serve the drinks or play hostess to the businessmen and their guests at Pleasure Your Fantasies, the gentlemen’s club where she’s employed. Unfortunately, when she needs extra money to pay off an urgent debt, the only position that pays her enough is dancing on stage with barely anything on.

Wallie has been a body guard at the club since it opened four years ago, and over the last year he’s developed quite a crush on Ms. Reba. He might have thought he had a chance with her, except the club has a strict rule: No dating between guards and dancers.

When the attraction between Wallie and Reba reaches undeniable levels, Reba is ready to walk away from dancing altogether and try to find another way to help pay the bills, but when a final notice shows up, she’s forced to go from part-time dancing to full-time, and any chance of a relationship between them is put on hold.

Everything changes on Christmas Eve when Reba and another dancer get into a fight, and Reba is let go from the club. Will Reba lose everything, or will Reba and Wallie get more for the holidays than just their Mistletoe Fantasies?

Mistletoe Fantasies is the first book in the six book Pleasure Your Fantasies Series that spins off of The Celebration Series.


My toes tingled and I dug around in my console until I found two breath mints and shoved them into my mouth. I peered into my rearview mirror and realized that I probably looked a mess, but it was too late now.

Wallie took a few more turns, but it was only a few miles before he pulled into a neighborhood with single family homes. I wished that it was daylight so I could see them, but I did enjoy the few holiday light arrangements that I saw along the way. Wallie pulled into the driveway of a two-story house after making two more turns, and I parked beside him.

Before I got out, I took a moment to try and calm my racing heart. I could leave. I could back out of the driveway and pretend I was never here. I knew that Wallie would understand. He would get it, I knew he would.

“You want this, Reba,” I said to myself softly and, boy, did I ever want it. I grabbed my purse and pushed open my door. When I walked around Wallie’s truck, I found him approaching the steps to his front porch. The light wasn’t on, and I was both glad and disappointed. It was hard to tell much about the house other than it was a two-story and appeared to have stone on the front of it, but, in the darkness, Wallie couldn’t see how nervous I was, or vice versa.

I paused a few feet behind him. He unlocked the door but didn’t open it. He turned to me. “If you leave now, nothing will change, Reba. We can keep things the way they are, and it will be fine, but I guarantee that if you step through this door, things are going to change, so make sure you’re ready for that.”

“What’s going to change, Wallie?”

“You, me—us.” His voice was so deep that chills raced down my spine.

“There will be an us?”

I felt the heat of his stare even with the two feet between us. “The moment you step through that door, Reba, there is only an us.”

I wasn’t sure if that was the hottest thing I had ever heard or the scariest, but I did know that there was no way I was going to walk away now.

I stepped toward him, but instead of stopping in front of him, I skirted him, opened the door, and crossed the threshold, stopping in the center of the foyer. The house alarm began to beep a warning that I didn’t care to heed, and a moment later, the door closed, then five keys were depressed on his alarm pad before the beeping stopped. A muffled sound filled my ears that sounded a lot like his leather jacket hitting the floor. A second later, his hands were on my shoulders and he was turning me. I was pulling my arms from my jacket as he was yanking it from my shoulders.






Mistletoe Fantasies is a Spin off of The Celebration Series



Stacy Eaton is a USA Today Best Selling author and began her writing career in October of 2010. Stacy took an early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service in 2016, with her last three years in investigations and crime scene investigation to write full time.

Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter who is working toward her second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and on the choral and cheerleading squads at school. She also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy.

Stacy is very involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years.

Be sure to visit her website for updates and more information on her books.

Sign up for all the latest information on Stacy’s Newsletter!

Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Amazon ✯ Facebook ✯ Goodreads ✯ Pinterest ✯ Youtube ✯ Newsletter

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Spotlight: Curveball Baby by J.M. Maurer



Author: J.M. Maurer
Date of publication: November 2017

Most of Addison’s days start the same. She walks to work, brushes off the townsfolks’ disapproval, and fixes any-and-all local catastrophes. But there’s not a single resident in Willow Run who doesn’t know that’s all about to change.

For MLB pitching phenom Ben Peterson, returning to Willow Run is like stepping into another world. Back in town, he’s poised to do more than merely get his head on straight. For the last six months, his thoughts have been centered around one thing—the beautiful small-town girl who taught him there’s more to life than hurling a baseball.







ADDISON
I laugh, feeling my body warming under the sun, and decide it’s time to slip off a layer of clothing. Waddling back to the boxes, I toss my jacket to the top of one of the columns and hear Rusty shoot me an order.

“Hey, while you’re back there, grab a dozen thins.”

I snatch up what I can and, since the noodles are fragile, take some extra precautions. Twisting back toward the table, I immediately heat up even further, my body threatening to melt into an unrecognizable puddle of liquid Addison all over the sidewalk.

Gasping, I halt mid-stride. Stunned by what I’m seeing, I let Mrs. Tinley’s noodles and the scholarship money they’d provide slip though my sweaty palms. I can’t help it. I’m pinned in my spot, captivated once again by a slate-blue stare that’s just as sultry as it is unforgettable.

Staring ahead, I hear a crunching noise and can only assume it’s from the multiple bags of Mrs. Tinley’s noodles. I imagine they’ve spilled into quite a large mess at my feet, but I’m too shocked by his presence to give the noodles another thought. Noodles? Who cares about noodles? I’ve now got nothing on my mind but the tall, blue-eyed Adonis standing before me.

So much so, I feel my heart pound hard against my chest. My mouth goes slack. And a sudden tingling under my lip balm is driving me nuts. It’s all I can do to refrain from leaning in and reacquainting my lips with his. But I know better than to do such a thing, and instead, stay in my spot, thinking, Ben, is that really you?

I don’t dare close my eyes. If I do, I fear when opening them I’ll realize he’s merely an illusion. But he’s not a mirage. My head’s just fine and my eyes aren’t playing tricks on my heart. I open my mouth to say hello, like I always do when I meet someone, but when his sly grin slides clean off his face, I bite my lower lip and swallow back my greeting.

With his gaze cast down, he takes a long moment, appearing to stare almost unseeingly at my midsection. He doesn’t blink. He doesn’t move. He doesn’t even seem to be breathing.

I don’t know what he’s thinking. His expression is rather frozen. But judging by his furrowed brows, he’s most likely come to one major conclusion.






J.M. Maurer started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber. She loves to write about strong characters and their struggles in life. When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.jmmaurer.com.

If you’d like to know about my new releases and special offers, you can sign up for my newsletter.

Amazon ✯ Website ✯ Facebook ✯ Goodreads ✯ Twitter

Friday, November 17, 2017

Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis

Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Avon Pulse
Date of publication: November 2017

When Sean O’Riley shows up at the Hartford Bed & Breakfast for his older brother’s bachelor weekend, he’s just hoping to make it through the weekend. What he’s not expecting is to come face to face with the woman he lost his virginity to a decade ago—a woman he’s never really forgotten.

The last time Lotti Hartford saw Sean, she told him she loved him while he said nothing. Now, ten years later, she’s just looking for a good time. For once, she wants to be the wild and free one, and Sean – the good time guy – is the perfect candidate.

But as the weekend continues, Sean realizes that after a lifetime of being the hook-up king, he’s ready to find happily-ever-after, and he wants it with Lotti. But will she open her heart to him again? As Christmas sweeps through the little B&B, he can only hope love and magic are in the air.

Holiday Wishes is the second holiday novella in the Heartbreaker Bay series.  This is Sean's story.  I did like last year's novella a bit more than this one. Probably because I felt like I got to know the characters more in-depth in that short story.  Sean is Finn's younger brother and partner in their pub. He has been tasked with planning the bachelor/bachelorette weekend for Fiin and his fiance.  To make up for a lot of his past, Sean doesn't want to mess things up.  Things get really interesting when he finds out his first love owns and manages the inn.

I did enjoy his one, but I wish it had been a longer story with a better ending.  I never felt like I got to know Lotti all that well.  So, there was a bit of a disconnect with the romance.  Since it's a HFN ending, I felt a little unsatisfied.  The rest of the characters from the previous books are involved in the story, so that was a bonus.,  I would have liked to see more of the ceremony though.  That is my biggest issue with novellas, I always want more.  Still this is a good addition to the series.  Look forward to Kylie and Joe's book next.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Spotight: Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Author: Maisey Yates
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publication: October 2017

It’s Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped… 

Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery’s new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?

Thirteen years ago, Liam’s boss at the winery offered him a bribe—leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn’t good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he’s back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together…

Purchase Links


About Maisey Yates


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

Connect with Maisey

Maisey Yates’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 6th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, November 7th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt/spotlight
Wednesday, November 8th: Crystal Blogs Books
Tuesday, November 14th: A Fortress of Books
Wednesday, November 15th: Thoughts of a Blonde
Thursday, November 16th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, November 17th: Stranded in Chaos
Monday, November 20th: A Splendid Messy Life
Tuesday, November 21st: Book Nerd
Wednesday, November 22nd: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, November 24th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Monday, November 27th: Becca the Bibliophile
Tuesday, November 28th: OMG Reads
Wednesday, November 29th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, November 30th: The Romance Dish
Friday, December 1st: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Monday, December 4th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, December 5th: Cara’s Book Boudoir
Wednesday, December 6th: Written Love Reviews


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

Author: Erica Spindler
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date of publication: August 2017

Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 14 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.

The Other Girl is the latest stand alone from Erica Spindler.   For the most part I enjoyed this mystery.  I thought I had it figured out but I was wrong in most of my theory about what was going on.  In fact, the reveal was fairly surprising.  The story waffles between the investigation now and the events of her abduction when she was fifteen.    The mystery was the strongest and most engaging part of the story.

What I didn't care for was Miranda herself.  She made a lot of dumb decisions throughout the investigation that ended up getting her into more trouble.  I'm not sure she is a character I would want to read more about in the future. I also could have done without the romance.  It fell flat for me and really wasn't too necessary. I don't feel like the story would have suffered without it.  It's a fairly quick read, so I recommend giving it a try.  It wasn't as strong as The Fist Wife (which I loved).  But, it's still worth picking up.   

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Blog Tour: Review and Excerpt of He Loves Me ...Knot by RC Boldt



Author: RC Boldt
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: RC Boldt Publishing, LLC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 76K
Format: Print and digital

Synopsis:
Sometimes love needs a second chance…
I never looked back after skipping out on my own wedding, even if it did leave me estranged from most of my family. Eight years later, I have the life I’ve always wanted. As an advertising account executive, my world is damn near perfect.

Until I come face-to-face with my past. With the man I once loved. The man who holds my future in his hands. The man who’s hell-bent on getting even with me for leaving him at the altar.
Even with all the unfinished business between us, I still love Knox Montgomery. The only problem?
He loves me…KNOT.

Find out more at: 

My thoughts:

He Loves Me Knot is the latest stand alone from RC Boldt.  It is also among my favorite books of hers that I have read so far.  This is Knox and Emma Jane's second chance story.  What can I say about this book other than it is sweet, fun and a must read for second chance romance lovers?  From the first page, I was quickly drawn into their story and stayed up really late to finish.  But it was worth it. 

Emma Jane ran away from her wedding eight years before.  She has been able to hide from her past until now...Knox is her new boss.  Knox never got over the girl that broke his heart.  As I said, I loved their story.  We are treated to flashbacks showing how the couple met and what went wrong.  Let this be a lesson...communication is key!  I was really rooting for these two to work out their unfinished business and get a second chance.    I highly recommend this one.  I was excited to see Becket is getting his own story next year.  I can't wait to read it.


HE LOVES ME…KNOT Excerpt
Copyright © 2017 RC Boldt

Barely a minute passes before the din of light conversation ebbs to complete silence when a man enters the room and heads straight for the opposite end of the table. I can only see the back of him as he takes long, powerful strides, one hand grasping a thick binder. Something seems so familiar about him... My eyes track his movements, and my forehead creases as I try to place him.
His suit is well tailored and it’s evident the man works out because even beneath the black pinstriped dress pants, his backside is firm, the fabric doing nothing to mask his powerful, muscled thighs. When he moves to set the binder down, his suit jacket shifts and hints at a firm, flat stomach beneath the button-down shirt. My appraisal continues down to his hands when he draws one hand back from the binder.
An odd sensation overtakes me, and a rousing awareness crackles within the air, causing me to immediately grow still.
Then he turns, fully facing everyone in the room, and it’s in this moment my breath is completely robbed from me.
As if in shock, my mind refuses to operate on all cylinders, acting sluggish. I continue to take in the sight before me, cataloguing my observations. The square jawline that used to remain clean-shaven now has a short, neatly trimmed beard of the same dark shade of brown as his hair. My eyes skim over the straight nose that has the faintest bump on the bridge from the time when he was five and fel—
Sweet Lord, no.
As the man’s identity dawns on me, my eyes flicker over my coworkers seated around the large table before I return my panicked gaze to the individual who’s garnering attention with his commanding presence.
He surveys everyone in attendance and those piercing green eyes, framed by dark lashes, scan each person and slowly travel around the table. My heart skips a beat when his eyes lands on me. If I weren’t scrutinizing so intently, I wouldn’t have caught the slight pause, the faint shift in depth of his gaze, as it grows frigid before he continues his perusal of the remainder of the staff members.
My throat grows dry and I immediately wish I’d brought my water bottle along. A stick of gum, even. Anything.
I should’ve known better than to think my past wouldn’t catch up to me at some point.
In my case, however, it seems my past is the new owner of my place of employment.
Knox Montgomery. The man I left at the altar.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and (3) Digital Copies of RC Boldt’s Backlist Titles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:


RC Boldt currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you're in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can't recall the lyrics to a particular 80's song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she's your girl.

Follow RC:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter |

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cover Reveal: Shelter and Escape by Jay Crownover


From New York Times Bestselling author Jay Crownover comes the next two standalone titles in her Getaway series, SHELTER and ESCAPE! And that’s not all! RETREAT, the first standalone title in the Getaway series, is on sale for the first time ever! You can grab your copy for just $.99 for a limited time only. So check out the amazing covers below, and order your copies today!


Cover Design by Hang Le
About SHELTER (Coming 12/26/17):

His life is chaos and confusion. It’s a storm of uncertainty and raging emotion.
Sutton Warner is a mess. Everything in his life feels like it’s unraveling.
He’s let a lot of people down lately, including his daughter. Sutton always promised his little girl he would never disappoint her and that he would always be there when she needed him. Until he wasn’t.
The truth is, he’s used to disappointing the women in his life. First was his mother who couldn’t find a reason to stick around when he was growing up. Then there’s his ex. The woman who takes unbridled delight in making his life incredibly complicated. Luckily, his daughter is still young enough to believe her old man is some kind of hero. But, he knows the day is coming when she realizes the truth, that he’s just a man with some serious flaws and a list of ever-growing weaknesses.
Finally, there’s the woman he’s desperately trying to forget with every shot tossed back and each pill popped.
He more than disappointed Emrys…he almost got her killed.
Her love is steady and sure. It’s a shelter shaped by conviction and silent assurance.
Emrys Santos is lost. Everything in her life feels pointless and futile.
She’s been busy running away from her feelings and all the people who love her the most—including her best friend, the one person who knows exactly what she’s been through. They promised to always stick together and to lean on one another. It was a promise Em had to break so she could lick her wounds and figure out her next move. For once, there is no easy way out of the tangled web of emotions she’s caught up in, and right now, she recognizes that all roads lead back to Wyoming…and back to Sutton.
The man she nearly got killed.

Shelter is a standalone novel, the second book in the Getaway series, which features the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women who dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

PREORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!






About ESCAPE (Coming 1/30/18):
Cover Design by Hang Le

Everything inside of him is screaming that he needs to run, he needs to go, he needs to escape.

Lane Warner is used to being overshadowed and overlooked.

After all, he’s the youngest brother and the most laid back one in the family. He’s the one known for going with the flow and not making waves, even when things seem to be at their worst.

Very few things in life have had the ability to rile Lane up and get under his skin. At the top of that list is his childhood friend Brynn Fox…no…Brynn Warner. The fact that they share a last name was the one thing that has the power to light him up and spin him out of control like no other. There was no calm, cool and collected when it comes to all the reasons why Brynn had to become part of his family.

It’s slowly killing him to keep wanting what he can’t have, so Lane sees only one way to stop himself from doing something they’ll both regret…he has to leave.

Everything inside of her is calling out to find him, to follow, to bring him home. 

Brynn Warner is used to being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After all, she’s the daughter of an unrepentant gold-digger who never once blinked at being the cause of her daughter’s pain and suffering.

Very few things in her life have ever brought happiness and a sense of security. At the very top of that list is Lane Warner. She has unwaveringly loved the youngest Warner since the first minute she laid eyes on him. He was everything Brynn ever wanted and everything she knew she could never have.

Sometimes the right choice is the one that hurts the most and Brynn’s had to make a few that felt like they might be the end of her.

When Lane takes off, one thing is clear, the only choice Brynn has is to go after him.

She’s going to bring her wayward cowboy home….whatever it takes.

Escape is a standalone novel, the third book in the Getaway series, which features the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women who dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.


PREORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!



And don’t miss the first standalone novel in the Getaway series, RETREAT, on sale for just $.99! Grab your copy today! 
RETREAT on Amazon http://amzn.to/2iOD0DB
RETREAT on Other Retailers https://www.jaycrownover.com/thegetawayseries
About Jay Crownover:


Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.



Sunday, November 12, 2017

Spotlight: The Unwilling Recruit by John Evans


Author: John Evans
Publisher: Topshelf Publishing
Date of publication:  July 2017

Journalist John Hunt is known for taking any risk necessary to get the story. That is until his careless ambition leads to a hefty price. Reporting in Syria, John leads his cameraman Andrew three miles out of the safe zone. An explosion strikes. No one should have survived. But John did. After six months of rehabilitation, John is finally out of the hospital, he’s also out of work, and a horrific disfigurement is a constant reminder of that day. Already skating the edge of sanity, he is pushed further when his deceased cameraman pays him a visit. Both men should have died that day, yet one survived. Why, and to what end?




Hunt fearfully watched as Carl proceeded to withdraw a long, straight blade from within the folds of his jacket. It had twin edges which glinted wickedly in the pale light that came into the alley and it’s total length was a little more than a foot, easily enough for the job in hand. Carl’s face clearly showed what he intended to do next, however, he never got the chance.

Without warning Hunt heard a strangled grunt from the assailant holding him. The mans’ grip released and Hunt dropped, surprised, to one knee while the big bruiser collapsed like a felled tree, flailing futilely at his own neck.

Hunt had no time to ponder this development as, before he could move, he felt, rather than saw, a figure pass swiftly over his head, rebounding lightly off the wall where he had been restrained. Before he could look up Hunt heard three more grunts of pain swiftly followed by heavy thumps. By the time he could view his surroundings there was only one of his attackers left standing. Carl was in a fighting stance, his blade held low in his right hand, face firmly fixed on the figure facing him.

It was this figure that also drew Hunts’ attention, it belonged to a female. She was crouched low in a wide fighting stance with most of her weight balanced onto her right leg. Dressed in a figure hugging, one-piece black cat-suit which zipped up the front, calf-length military style boots and black leather gloves she looked both incredibly sexy while at the same time being extremely dangerous. She held a small curved blade in her left hand which reminded Hunt of an eagles’ talon. Hunt was transfixed. He knew this woman, he’d met her once before under very different circumstances. The jet black, waist length hair, the strong, prominent cheekbones and aquiline nose. This was Jane, his nurse from the hospital.

Carl and Jane were facing each other with respectful wariness, both poised like coiled springs. Hunt held his breath in rapt fascination. In the end it was Jane who moved first. She lunged forward, obviously hoping to catch Carl off guard, but he had been expecting this and immediately moved to parry with his own blade, only realizing too late that the entire move had been a subtle feint. At the last moment Jane ducked to the side and spun on one foot, bringing her tiny blade in a wide arc towards Carl’s now exposed side. With a speed that belied his bulk Carl altered his direction just enough to bring his blade around and block the strike, but now he was off balance, and he knew it.

A breathtaking flurry of strike and counter strikes erupted as Jane inexorably forced the larger, slower man back, their blades igniting sparks as they connected.

Carl cried out in pain, his blade slipping from nerveless fingers to clatter uselessly on the cobbled ground. Carl grabbed at his right forearm and Hunt could see blood flowing freely to the ground from his hand. Realizing he had lost this battle Carl cast a last, hateful glance towards Hunt, before turning and fleeing. Jane followed him as far as the entrance to the side alley before stopping to watch him make his getaway.

Hunt sat in silence, his back against the wall of the alley as he watched Jane return, her movements now casual and relaxed. She reached the first of the four prone figures and placed two fingers to his neck, checking for any signs of life. Satisfied, she wiped her blade on his shirt and placed it back in her scabbard, then moved quickly to the next figure. The silence in the alleyway was quickly becoming oppressive.

“Are they…….?” Hunt couldn’t muster the word.

“Dead?” Jane finished.

Hunt nodded.

Jane took a hard look at Hunt. “They were here to kill you. This seemed like a better option to me.”







Having spent ten years working as an actor and film-maker John was forced to give that career up five years ago in order to look after his mother following a debilitating stroke.

Today, John works from his home in Northern England, exploring new ways to bring out his creative nature. The Unwilling Recruit begins a long running series of novels that John hopes will keep readers entertained for many years.

Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Goodreads ✯ Amazon ✯ Twitter