This is the street I live on – after the first snowstorm of 2015. The street is actually plowed. The house you see is showing only the second story poking out of the snow. This is the middle of January.
One week later, a second storm arrives. I don’t even remember it. Here is my personal snow tunnel, aka, the front walk. The mailman uses it on the days they try to deliver mail.
Last week, a third storm arrives. Things are getting serious. Icicles are developing. Icicles lead to ice dams which lead to water leaking inside the house. My husband sets up elaborate systems to contain it. The sound of dripping is not music to my ears.
A few nights later, I’m home alone when I discover the lights in the kitchen, the garage and two bathrooms are not working. I’m no scientist, but I am pretty sure that water and electricity don’t play well together.
I call the Fire Department to ask if I should be concerned that I have water leaking into the house and my electricity is on the fritz. They insist on coming over, which they do in a large fire truck, complete with flashing lights. (I know I’ll be hearing from the neighbors soon.)
Two of the firefighters are Grade A Premium – well, let’s say two of them are hot and the third isn’t bad either. They troop all over my house, including the attic and the basement, causing me to conclude they were bored down at the station. They inform me that my problem is serious, but it’s nothing compared to what they’ve seen elsewhere. Small comfort, I guess. Really nice guys. They leave, lights still not working. (My neighbor calls.)
He’s on a 24 foot ladder, with a 17 foot rake, trying to get the snow off the roof. He reports that the ice on the roof is a solid foot thick. I hold the ladder, hand him his tools, and keep him company. Happy Valentine’s Day. Another foot of snow falls overnight.
I take all the screens out of the windows so I can stick a broom out and knock down whatever icicles I can reach. Hubby tells me to stop before I fall out the window. I discover that many of the windows are frozen shut, so the icicles just hang there and taunt me. “You can’t get me. Nah nah nah nah na.”
Several towns, including parts of Boston, give up the attempt to keep the streets at their normal width. There is simply no place to move the snow. They turn side streets into one-way streets. All streets going west go one way, east the other. I hope they’ve posted signs because I am directionally challenged. I have no idea whether a given street is going east or west or, for that matter, north or south.
We’ve had 96 inches of snow in four weeks. I’m tired.
Available Now! SEDUCTION, One Fortune at a Time
Who doesn’t want a fabulous fortune told – especially one featuring your dream hero?
Our new anthology features seven steamy novellas from seven acclaimed romance authors, guaranteed to bring good fortune (or at least a hot read) to any romance fan. There’s a seduction for everyone in this collection of never-before published stories that range from sensual to erotic.
My story in this anthology is Love Charm for Fiona. Here’s a blurb and an excerpt:
Blurb: When Fiona receives a fortuneteller’s love charm, she casts the spell to bring her dead fiancé back to life. But a love charm has its own magic, and what she gets is a surprise in the form of a Navy SEAL on “shore leave”.
Excerpt: In two minutes, Jack was back, hustling Fiona out of the car. “Come on. We’ve got the end unit.”
“Are you always in such a rush?” The motel was bringing everything into stark reality. She was standing here waiting to hook up strictly for the purposes of sex with a man she hadn’t known a week ago. How had this happened?
Then Jack grinned at her and said, “I’ll be slow where it counts.”
Her pulse sped up again, her body softened and she couldn’t do anything but take the hand he held out.
He closed the door behind them and Fiona stood there for a moment. The room had a quaint, old Cape Cod feel, with white painted furniture, light taupe walls, and a blue and taupe muted floral on the drapes and bedskirt. A snow white comforter covered the bed, which at first was the only thing she could see. Then she noticed she could see the ocean through the French doors on the far side of the room. That was a nice touch.
Jack’s eyes followed her gaze. “We probably should close the curtains,” he said.
“Just the sheers.” She crossed the room and pulled them shut, grateful for something to do so she didn’t have to think about the implication of his words. She knew why she was here and she didn’t want to be coy about it. Jack disappeared into the bathroom, surprising her, but he was back before she had a chance to think about it. He reached for her in the pale gray light of the room.
“Removing our clothes is something that can be done fast,” he said.
He reached for the hem of her cover-up and pulled it over her head. For a long moment, his gaze traveled up and down her body, as if he were savoring what was about to happen. He settled his hands on the straps of her swimsuit and pressed them over her shoulders. Her suit didn’t fall, held up by the support of the bra inside. He drew both hands over those cups, removing them as he caressed her revealed breasts.
She heard him suck in a sharp breath. “Perfect,” he said. Her suit fell to the ground. He gave a quick look down, but then returned to her breasts, stroking and fondling. Her nipples were already pointed with need, but he didn’t seem satisfied with that. He continued to caress her until her back was arched, and she was breathing as heavily as he was.
“Isn’t this the part that’s supposed to be fast?” she moaned. She wanted nothing more than to fall on the bed and have him plunge inside her. How had she waited five long years—or was it her whole life?—to feel like this? “Take off your clothes,” she begged. He was still fully dressed, in his damp swimming trunks and Blue Angels t-shirt.
“In a sec.” He propelled her toward the bed, finally picking her up and depositing her onto the poufy comforter. “I want to be sure you’re ready. I won’t last long once I’m naked.”
He came down on the bed next to her. “This is going to be a slow part.” He wrapped an arm around her, pulled her to her side, and closed his mouth over hers. He kissed her deliberately, licking her lips, licking inside her lips, holding her head with one hand, while his free hand drifted from her back to her breast, and began stroking fire through her.
His kisses moved down her neck, nipping and soothing, as tension built within her. When he reached her breast, she closed her eyes, finally giving up the attempt to reach under his shirt and touch his hot skin. He was pushing her onto her back again and when she was flat, her put his mouth over her nipple and licked her.
She almost shot off the bed. “Jack!” She clutched the back of his head.
He lifted his head for a moment. “Easy,” he said. “We’re still in the slow part.”
“I’ll give you slow.” She reached for his waistband.
Seduction is available:
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The first title in the Bachelors of British Nobility series.
Miranda’s father has left her inheritance under the trusteeship of a Duke of England? Miranda can scarcely comprehend what happened. Did her father not realize this is the twenty-first century? She is certainly capable of managing her own money. More importantly, she needs that money to start the hat business she’s always dreamed of, and to keep her family together.
Worst of all, the Duke of Devonwood is an imperious, modern-day tycoon who insists he can manage her money better than she can.
If Miranda can’t prove herself indispensable to her step-family, they will desert her when they complete their planned move to England. She can’t let that happen, not only because she loves them, but also because they are the only family she has.
Miranda is not about to sit home in New York City and let some arrogant Duke tell her what she can do with her own money. Luckily, she’s determined, hard-working, and maybe a touch devious. She vows to do whatever it takes to foil the Duke…
Which may include skinny-dipping, flirting with his half-brother, faking illness, and befriending his half-sisters.
Which can not include fallig in love.
The Duke of Devonwood doesn’t want more dependents. With an entire dukedom to run, plus his father’s second family to manage, he has more than enough people hanging on his coattails. But this headstrong American woman, Miranda, doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. In fact, she soon has most of his other dependents conniving with her—and against him.
He could handle the problem…if only she weren’t so enticing.
The Duke’s step-mother already has a bride picked out for him.
Someone may be stealing Miranda’s inheritance.
The Duke has his own secrets.
And the biggest problem they each face…is battling their own desires.
Disappointment knifed through Miranda. What kind of man walked away from an erection and a willing woman? Well, to be honest, she wasn’t willing to actually have sex with Devonwood, at least not right at this moment. Maybe he sensed that.
Or maybe the duke wasn’t attracted to her. The knife twisted deeper at that thought. A thought she didn’t want to examine too closely. She was doing this whole game just to get the money she and Sharmie needed to carry on with their lives. Money that was legally theirs. So it didn’t matter if he wasn’t interested in her. She just needed to bug him enough that he wanted to send them on their way.
Therefore, she couldn’t allow him to simply walk away from her. She pushed herself to her feet.
The duke frowned at Miranda from across the room, his black brows drawn together fiercely. “Damn it,” he said. “I’m not doing this.” But something else burned in the back of his gray eyes. Desire. She could work with that.
She sauntered across the room, rose to her tiptoes and pressed herself lightly against his whole frame. One brief touch and then she stepped away. “Your body’s not saying no.”
“My body doesn’t have as much sense as that piece of paper you’re holding,” he snapped.
Miranda smiled, though she could feel that the smile didn’t reach her eyes. She didn’t exactly enjoy pursuing a man whose interest was, at best, superficial. “You know how to get rid of me,” she purred. She reached out and ran a finger down his shirt front, starting at his collar bone, traveling over one nipple, and further down over his hard abdomen. She shivered, and her own nipples beaded tightly.
He grabbed her finger, and moved it off himself.
“Enough!” he barked. “I told you last night, I have no intention of hooking up with someone who is in a position of dependency on me. That offends every standard of civilized behavior.”
She didn’t dare to touch him again. His voice was cold, his eyes furious, and his entire body stiff and pulsing with something unnameable that crackled fiercely all around him—a potent mixture of desire and fury and frustration.
But she did lean subtly closer, inhaling his scent– all hot male. “It doesn’t offend me,” she said softly.
His nostrils flared, his hands jerked out of his pockets, and he grabbed her. He yanked her close, and then his mouth came down hard on hers.
She didn’t have time to breathe a sigh of relief. She didn’t have time to breathe at all.
Her head fell back and one of his hands clasped it to hold her still. His tongue filled her mouth instantly, probing and sucking and pulling her into a dizzying whirlpool of desire. She pressed up against him as tightly as she could get. When that wasn’t enough, she rubbed her whole body against his.
He groaned, a deep sound that registered dimly. But it meant that those higher pitched whimpers were coming from her. She couldn’t stop them. She felt the crispness of his cotton shirt under her fingers, and then the rough silkiness of his hair as she raised her arms to wrap them around his shoulders. She clutched him tighter.
The truly alarming thing was the sense of rightness she felt in his arms. Just like last night, the physical sensations were overwhelming. But they were only part of the story. She wanted to be right here, with him, regardless of the fact that they weren’t going to have sex. His arms gave her a sense of security, and she wanted to give him the same sense of ease and pleasure, aside from sex. If he had worries, she wanted to soothe them away. If he needed advice, she wanted to be a sounding board.
Oh, she hadn’t known what she was doing when she started this. But she couldn’t stop it. One of his hands was on her butt, cupping her, kneading her, until he finally flattened his hand against her and simply pressed her against him.
Faintly, in the back of her mind, she knew she had to call a halt. In a few more minutes, they’d be naked and rolling on the floor. But she needed just a bit more. She opened her mouth wider, all but begging him to move deeper into her.
He obliged, and it was his breath she heard panting when he lifted his head. He stepped back from her, dropping his hands as if they’d been scorched.
“Your little ploy isn’t going to work,” he said, his voice hoarse.
“Ploy?” She fought for self-control, determined not to let him see the effect he had on her. “Maybe I think you’re the hottest thing since fire was invented.”
He stared down at her, his gaze scorching her. “As it turns out, we are combustible together. Who knew?” He ran one hand through his hair, that she’d thoroughly mussed. She didn’t think he was quite as calm as he was pretending to be.
“I knew.” She cast about for some kind of explanation to give him. God forbid he should guess at the emotions she was battling. “Power is such an aphrodisiac,” she finally said. Let him think that was what her response was about.
He barked out a short laugh. “That’s blunt. Luckily, I’m well-hardened against the charming ways of women. But I’ll enjoy watching your efforts.”
“Why are you so angry?”
“I told you I wasn’t interested. But you’re continuing to push me.”
The piece of paper with the budget on it crackled under her feet as she stepped back. “You sound like a virgin in a Regency novel.”
He shook his head. “Learn how to accept no for an answer.” Snapping his fingers at the dogs, he opened the French doors, and strode out into the garden.
Miranda proceeded more slowly out of the office wing. She should have expected that the duke, experienced at fending off wannabe brides, would not fall into her clutches like a ripe peach. She wasn’t discouraged though. She’d just have to work harder, be bolder, take more risks. If she were perfectly honest with herself, she was hurt that he wasn’t as affected by their kisses as she was. However, since she wasn’t planning to actually have sex with him, it had to be good that he was willing to call a halt before their kisses went too far.
She could set her next trap without worrying that the situation would get out of hand.
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Little Red Riding Hood is a happy-go-lucky girl who enjoys having the attention of the boys in the village. Then a stranger comes to the forest, a man known only as Wolf. To the dismay of the village boys, he enters the rivalry for her favors.
Wolf has all the skills to make her want him. But does she have the strength to choose him in defiance of all her friends and family? Even more importantly, is he the right man for her?
And what she should do about Granny’s warnings?
Excerpt: A movement startled Little Red, as a pair of keen gray eyes flashed unexpectedly in the gloom of the forest. She clutched her basket, aware suddenly that she was all alone and a tall man she didn’t know was leaning against one of the few oak trees that had managed to establish its dominance in this northern evergreen forest. Even more alarming, the man’s eyes were caressing her in a bold manner that the boys from the village would never attempt. (Her father would speak to them sharply if they did.)
“Little Red,” he said, in a deep voice that woke up the forest, and buzzed over her skin.
Her skips faltered, and then stopped altogether, as if his voice alone had thrown a barrier across the path.
“Good morning,” she managed. She was always polite. (Her mother had raised her that way and besides, her life was such that good manners were easy.)
He smiled, and the smile spread warmth over her, as if she were suddenly standing in sunshine on a bright summer day, rather than in the middle of a dark forest. A few rays of real sunshine suddenly sparkled in the dark green rooftop above her, like hidden gold coins among the dense leaves.
She stepped closer to the man. “Who are you?”
“Are you traveling to grandma’s house?” he asked, still with that lazy smile.
“Then I am the big, bad wolf,” he declared. “Surely you’ve heard of me?”
She nodded, suddenly alert, but for some reason, not afraid. “Every girl knows your tale.”
He straightened casually and stepped away from the tree. “Then you’ve been warned,” he said. “Let’s move on from the nursery tale.”
“Move on?” She clutched her basket, but her heart thudded with delight. He smelled like fire looked – hot and sparkling and blazing with heat and hope. She sucked in a deep breath of wonder.
Wolf’s arm reached out and snagged her waist. “You’ll give me a kiss, won’t you? A kiss is nothing new to you, I’m sure.”
She giggled. “I don’t kiss and tell, naughty wolf.”
“That’s good.” He pulled her closer, his touch gentle. “You’ll never want to tell what we do together.”
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Love Charm for Brenna – Short Story in Love Charm Series
Blurb: Brenna casts her love charm at a ritzy Venetian masquerade ball. She knows exactly which guy she wants to win. But two intriguing men appear at the ball. Can she see beneath the disguises to her own true love, even if he’s the unexpected one?
Excerpt: Joe’s dark eyes glittered through the mask. “What are you doing, Brenna?”
“It’s not obvious?” She tried to lift his legs and swing them up on the couch, but they were heavy. “Lie down, Joe.” She laughed. “You said you wanted to make me happy.”
“This looks more like you making me happy.” But he lay down.
She wrestled down his pants. “I just need to get these out of the way.”
Joe’s breath was coming hard. “I want you naked.”
“Well—” She reached under her long dress and pulled off her panties. “I’ll give you something to wonder about.”
“Christ, Brenna.” He reached up and pulled her down on top of him.
Buy at Amazon
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♥ 4.5 star Review from Romance Junkies! Carly Carson has penned a delightfully sensuous and seductive romance that is perfect for your summer beach bag.♥
Blurb: To save her sister, a sexy businesswoman accepts a mysterious, high-paying job with a hot business tycoon, but he thinks he’s hired a new mistress.
Excerpt: Logan stilled, like a lion in the moment before he pounces on his prey. Watchful. Unmoving. Evaluating his victim. Then he changed direction. Like the clever predator he was, he adopted a new approach to get what he wanted. Even as Amanda recognized his methods, she was helpless before them.
“You’re right,” he said softly. “You are not most women.” He resumed unbuttoning his shirt, drawing it off and dropping his pants. He stood naked before her. “I shouldn’t have interrupted what you were trying to do. I shouldn’t have tried to take control.”
He strode toward his bed, gloriously unconcerned with his nudity. “I’m going to lie down here, and let you do exactly what you want.”
He stretched out on the bed. Amanda tried hard not to stare, though she feared she mostly failed. “What if I don’t want to do anything?”
“I’ll be disappointed,” he said, still in that calm, unthreatening voice. “But I’ll survive.” He even managed that half-smile that always undid her.
She took two steps toward the bed. “You’re diabolical. You know that?”
“I’m totally at your mercy. What more do you want?” He crossed his arms behind his head. “I’ll keep my hands right here. While hoping that you’re planning to start taking off those clothes. I feel horribly disadvantaged here.”
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Love Charm for Ashley
A lonely teacher casts her homemade love charm into the cold waters of Boston Harbor to win a “forever after” love. The hot Special Forces soldier who appears makes the world his stomping ground, and nothing lasts for more than a night. Does the love charm have enough power to create the magic of true love?
Excerpt: “You’re so sweet,” he said. He kissed her cheek, her brow, her lips with warm, tender kisses as he guided her back to the couch. They sank onto it, and his dark gaze drummed into her, his eyes half-lidded, his cheeks flushed. “I could kiss you all night,” he said. “But I want more, too.”
“Glen.” That’s all she could say. His name. She looked at their hands tangled together. How quickly she’d become accustomed to his touch. No matter how they moved, they naturally held onto each other. But she understood the danger. The more she enjoyed his company and felt that he was almost an extension of herself , the harder it would be to see him go.
“So sexy.” He leaned close, breathing deeply. “I love your lilac scent.”
“I got the lilacs this morning.” June, in Boston. The only time lilacs would bloom. “I needed them for my love charm.”
Slowly, knowing on some level deeper than thought, that he would follow her every move, she reached out and plucked one of the lilac sprigs from the glass vase on the coffee table. She lifted the blossoms to her nose, breathed in her favorite scent, and then drew the blossoms down over her throat. Slowly, down to the v in her blouse, and she watched him stare at her with his burning eyes. “You like this scent?” she asked, smiling in the way of a woman who knows she’s enchanted her man.
“Yeah.” He touched his nose to hers, and moved down to touch his lips to hers. Then, using his tongue and his lips, he followed the trail of the lilac blossoms. Licking and kissing her neck, her throat, he continued down.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Ha! Got your attention? I want that line to be the start of a novel some day, but it happens to also be the truth.
If you live in New England, you need to love the snow and the way to love it is to get outdoors and enjoy all the fun winter sports. Hence, in my family, we are all skiers, and part of that is being on ski teams. You attend the races, whether it’s snowing or 16 degrees below zero or whatever.
But you want to hear about the porn star, right? Okay, this is hubby’s story and I’m in no position to dispute it. This woman had been swanning around the Fort Lauderdale airport, and hubby said hordes of men were flocking behind her. (Really? Have you guys no dignity at all?) She was dressed in denim short shorts, a red tank top and high heels.
My husband went into a restaurant to eat lunch, and was joined by a stranger (a man) because the restaurant was very crowded. They chatted while eating, and then the porn star appeared, getting in line at the counter to get her meal. This stranger went right up to her and invited her back to their table (since she wasn’t going to find a seat in the packed restaurant, ahem). So they all ate lunch together. Hubby said she told them about how her family (somewhere in Asia) disapproved of her livelihood. But she seemed happy. The truth is, he often finds himself in odd situations with strangers, so none of this surprises me.
Also, I have the better story since I was flashed by a kilt-wearing Scotsman at Oktoberfest in Austria. So now I DO know what they wear under that kilt. And I tell all in The Naked Male Tour of Austria.
We’re all here to talk about romances between snowbound couples. What could be more romantic with the right person? A cozy fire, no interruptions, and lots of time to play. This is exactly what happens in my novella, Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Now Available!
This novella was nominated for Best Romance this year at eFestival of Words!
Jenna entices the man of her dreams into providing a haven for the weekend during a New York City blizzard. Her tools are her flirting skills dressed up with a bit of deception. She needs to make amends for the great wrong she did to him five years ago. Tricking him into having sex would only add to that wrong.
Though he’s never met Jenna before, Grant is immediately drawn to this blizzard-bopping beach babe. He’ll do her, but he doesn’t do deception. He thinks he’s spotted her minor trickery, but the big secret that blew up his life is waiting in the wings…
And things are about to heat up.
Grant watched Jenna shiver, despite the heat of the blaze that scorched his back. He didn’t know why she wasn’t warming up more quickly. Between the fire and the smoking hot woman in front of him, he might have to venture out into the blizzard himself to cool down. His stupid, clueless body didn’t care how lame her story was.
“How long have you known my sister?” His family was a subject that could kill his libido if anything could.
“Several years. I met Kate when I first moved to Florida. Recently, I took one of the classes she teaches at the community center.”
He nodded neutrally. He didn’t care about the damn classes.
“You shouldn’t blame Kate for anything I do,” Jenna added. “She doesn’t think I should be let out after dark without a keeper.”
Grant eyed her bedraggled state. “She might have a point—”
“Hey! I did not pop out of a cake! I am not your singing birthday telegram! So you can just stop eyeing me like I’m your playmate du jour.” She bolted upright and her feet hit the floor.
“Calm down.” He moved after her as she stood, and caught her arm. He was a little appalled at the sense of dismay that had whipped through him when she started to leave. “You can’t go. There’s a terrible storm out there.”
“I came in from that storm, and I can go right back out in it. I’m every bit as tough as I look.”
He couldn’t help laughing. “You don’t look tough at all.” Long, golden brown hair, curling a bit now that it was drying. Big brown eyes that managed to look both uncertain and inviting at the same time. And lips as full as Cupid’s arched bow. Just waiting to strike and slay a man.
She wrenched her arm from his hand. “And don’t patronize me.”
He held up a hand and pantomimed wiping the smile off his face. “Okay then. You are tougher than that ten line algorithm I’ve been working on over there.” He jerked his head towards his computer. “Lord knows it doesn’t talk back like you do.”
She stifled a giggle.
But he didn’t feel like laughing any more. Her arm had still been cold and, when he considered the state of her clothes, he couldn’t be surprised.
“There won’t be any cabs out there, anyway,” he reminded her.
“I got a cab to come here.” She edged away from him.
He grasped her arm again, surprised at his own determination to keep her. “That cab driver was real anxious to hit the road and get home. He said the only good thing about this weather was that the streets are deserted.”
“There’s the subway.”
“They have problems in bad weather, too. Besides, the way you’re dressed you can’t go anywhere.” His eyes strayed to her tits for the hundredth time since she’d appeared. Though he tried not to be obvious, a woman couldn’t dress like she did and not expect a man to look.
“You could lend me a sweatshirt.”
He eyed her sexy sandals. Aside from their complete inability to protect her from the snow, he damn well knew what the message was. As would any other man who saw her in them. “I can’t help you with your footwear. And a sweatshirt with your bare legs sticking out—” He shook his head. “Not safe for public viewing.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Are you kidding? You must know you have fabulous legs.”
“A leg man, are you?”
“Nope. More of a boobs and butts guy myself. Since you asked.” He couldn’t help grinning at her flustered face. “But I like anything and everything on the right woman.”
“I am not the right woman for—for whatever you might be implying.”
“Don’t be so defensive. You can’t go anywhere ’til you warm up.” He slung his arm around her shoulders. “I’ve got some body heat to share.” He tugged her to his side.
Wow, she smelled good. Snow and roses. A potent combination. Especially when combined with a barely-there outfit, a rack to die for, and those legs.
He tried to inhale discreetly. She was up to something more than what she’d told him. He knew that for a fact. But he’d been holed up in his apartment for days, working like the devil, and he could definitely use a break. Besides, he really couldn’t send her back out into the blizzard.”
He glanced out the window where the snow fell silently out of the dark sky, backlit by the lights of New York City. Its beauty didn’t hide its dangers. She had no money, no warm clothes, and nowhere to go, unless he chose to believe her story about the friend she could call. Which he didn’t.
But, even if she was a liar, what harm could she do him? He might as well take advantage of the opportunity fate had dropped into his lap. So to speak. Because his lap was the part insisting as loudly as possible that Jenna should stay at least until it got some relief.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside is hot, hot, hot…perfect for a snowy winter night or ANY night. I read this gem of a book in one sitting! ” (Teri on Amazon)
“This sexy short romance will warm you to your toes. I loved how the reader’s comprehension of the heroine’s initial situation kept changing as the hero discovered more about her. ” (Heather Hiestand on Amazon)