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Anchored Hearts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pine Forest by Michelle Dare


One touch, one spark, two lives forever changed.
Pine and Azure. The war between the two kingdoms lasted far too long. Peace was finally established, but the survivors would never forget who fought on the front lines. Oliver Sage had a reputation for being a ruthless knight. He’d seen enough death to last a lifetime and worked on putting the past behind him, although not all would let him forget.
Addison was the only daughter of King and Queen Azure. With three brothers, she knew she’d always be protected, but she also wanted to learn how to take care of herself. She was strong, had a good heart, and wanted to be treated as an equal. Magical abilities ran in her family, and she had one no one knew of.
Oliver had given his heart to one princess, until the night he dreamed of another. Addison was the last woman he should desire, especially given who she was. However, what if she wanted him as well? They’d hated each other their entire lives, but suddenly couldn’t resist the desire which built between them. There were also those who didn’t think they should be together. Forbidden romance could only stay hidden for so long in the dark depths of the Pine Forest.


Elaine's Review:

Oh my what a book Michelle Dare is an outstanding author when it comes to the magical world. But with this book there was that I don't know what to feel because really who wouldn't want to have a love like this with one touch, one dream and that all consuming spark but in the end all coming true.



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Book One
Michelle Dare is a romance author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from new adult to fantasy. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all of the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.

Pieces of Heaven
















































I didn’t want this life.

But sometimes you’re forced to make the best of the crappy hand you’ve been dealt. I wanted to teach my daughter that. No matter what happens you face your problems head-on.

Never cower. Never give up.

Then someone took her and I had to put my faith in a system that had failed me, and my hope in a man I didn’t know.

Serve. Honor. Protect, are the only things I’ve ever cared about until her case was dropped on my desk. As we searched for her missing daughter, the last woman I thought I’d fall in love with became my reason for living.

Then the world came crashing down around us.

One secret would change everything, but I had one more hand to be dealt. And if I played my cards right, maybe, just maybe we’d get our piece of heaven.




















Chapter Eleven
Marissa

The bells over the door ring every single time someone walks in. I’ve been on edge ever since I got in this morning. Lucky for me it’s been non-stop people coming in, so my mind hasn’t been able to wander to Lori.

Now that it has been quiet and I’m filling the salt and pepper shakers, my mind wanders. It wanders to my baby girl, who is somewhere out there begging to come home. The sound of her voice plays in my head on repeat. My hands start to shake, so I close my eyes and sit down on a chair before my knees buckle.

I blink away the tears threatening to fall over, my heart starting to beat so fast I hear the echoes in my ears. A plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy is shoved in front of me. Phyllis’s eyes greet me when I look up.

“Eat that and then go home. You are done for the day. You’ve been here for fourteen hours.”
I look over at the clock hanging behind the counter that reads 8 p.m., realizing she’s right.

“I’m just going to finish filling the shakers then I’ll take off.” I know she’s about to argue with me when the bell over the door rings again, making us both look up.

His eyes find me right away. My heart that was starting to calm down is now speeding up. I focus on my meal, cutting a piece of meatloaf and dipping it in the gravy before popping it into my mouth. I try to ignore the heat of his stare, try to think of anything but him and that naked woman from last night. His girlfriend. I was so stupid to think that he would actually want me. I’m a used up stripper whose daughter ran away from home. I’m the opposite of what he wants or needs.

The chair in front of me is filled with his big frame. The scent of his aftershave, of cologne lingers around us. Musky, rich, and woodsy. It’s the smell that has seeped its way into my memory along with the way his lips felt on mine. The way that I just fit, like I was made for him. I blink away the memory, looking up at him.

“All the seats in this place are open and you sit in front of me?” I ask him before scooping up more food. I didn’t notice how hungry I was till I started eating.

“You didn’t text me back.” His voice is hard, his muscles tight, his jaw ticking.

I take out my phone. “Oh, I put the do not disturb on under your name. Maybe that’s why.”

My phone is snapped out of my hand in a blink of an eye. “What the fuck?” I see him touching the screen angrily and turning it off.

“You know you’re doing that for nothing since I can turn it on again?” I finish off my whole plate, making my stomach hurt since it’s the first thing I’ve eaten since last night.

“What if I had information on Lori?” Bulls-eye, hit straight through my heart. He must see the color drain from my face as I realize that I fucked up. I’m not going to admit it to him, though.

“I don’t have Jackson’s number blocked, and he would have called me.” I shrug my shoulders, picking up my plate to bring it to the gray bussing bin.

Walking over, I wipe down the table right when Phyllis comes out from the kitchen.
“There you are! I have your order ready. It’s being boxed up. Did you want dessert with that?”

His eyes never leave mine. “No, that’s okay. Thanks, Phyllis.”

I grab my phone from him, putting it in the front pocket of my waitress pouch. “I’m taking off. My feet are killing me. See you tomorrow, Phyllis.”

I don’t wait for her to say anything to me before I walk out the door to my car. Turning it on, I drive home, determined not to give Mick another minute of my thoughts. Just one problem with that plan, though. No one mentioned to my head that I wasn’t thinking about him because his eyes flash in my mind, the hard lines around them. The sorrow that is buried there, the sadness that he thinks no one sees but is there, if you look long enough.

I make my way into my apartment, taking my shoes off my throbbing feet at the door.

Walking into the kitchen, I take out the tips from my pocket and count them out. Three hundred and seventeen dollars. Two hundred of that is going to that damn debt that I’m still paying off. I can’t fucking wait till it’s over. I walk over to Lori’s room like I do every single night, turning on the light to see if maybe something has been misplaced or moved.

I’ve put scotch tape on the drawers to alert me if they’ve been opened, but it’s still intact. I’ve labeled her clothes hanging in the closet by number, and I count them, seeing that none have been taken either.

The bed is exactly how she left it. I crawl into her bed and grab her pillow, breathing in her scent. Tears run down my face, seeping into the pillow. This has become my nightly routine. I sleep here so I’m closer to her. I lie in this bed, talking to her. Telling her about my day, praying that she calls me again. I tell her stories about when she was small, about the day they placed her in my arms. The tears never stop. It’s like an endless river.

The soft knock at the door has me raising my head. Walking slowly to the door, I look through the peephole and see that Mick is in the hallway. His hands are braced against the doorframe, his head hanging down.

I place my forehead on the door, take a deep breath in, and open the door. His eyes land right on mine. The tears continue to roll down my cheeks, right off my chin on their way to the floor. He brings his thumb up to my chin, catching them.
“Marissa,” he whispers, and it’s all I can do before I collapse into his arms, sobbing. Begging. Pleading with him to bring her back to me.

He picks me up and carries me inside. Sitting on the couch with me curled into a ball in his lap, my tears soak his shirt. I’m so exhausted from the fear, stress, and worry. I’m just too tired to move.

“I’m a good mom,” I whisper to him. “I was tough on her only because I wanted better for her. Wanted her out of this life. Wanted her to be something.” My hand lies on his chest, the beat of his heart pounding against my palm.

“I know, baby, I know.”
I don’t say anything more. I just continue to soak up the feeling of his heart beating as it calms me. My eyes droop, and the exhaustion drags me under.

I don’t move from this position all night. I wake the next morning with the same heart beating against my hand.


























When her nose isn't buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she's in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It's a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn't listen to her...

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Viking





























She’ll be his greatest conquest.


INGRID

I should have been afraid of him, the brutal man with the violence covering him and blood on his face. But he’d saved me from a fate worse than death. He was a Viking, a man who took what he wanted because he could, because no one dared to cross him, to go against him.

And he claimed me.

I was his now, and I didn’t want to fight that.


GUNNAR

From the moment I saw Ingrid I knew I wanted her as mine, as my wife, the future mother of my children. I’ll go to any lengths to keep her by my side, to make her see I’m not letting her go. I may give her the option to leave, to find her own way, but the truth is I would follow her to the ends of the earth to keep her close.

I’m a Viking, a savage, dangerous and violent. I don’t give up when I see something I want. I’ve been searching for Ingrid my whole life; I just didn’t realize it until I looked into her blue eyes.

She will be mine. No matter what.


Warning: Hope you like your men filthy, brutal, and willing to slay for the woman he’s claimed, because in this story you’re getting it all and then some. It’s dirty, totally unbelievable, and probably holds no real historical facts, but it’s fun and hot and hits the right spot. It is what it is, so hang on and enjoy the ride.







The sound of a battle cry wrenched through the air. The men around me took a fighting stance. I searched the village, seeing nothing but flames and smoke. The shadows crept around where the flames didn’t lick.

A grunt.

A cry of pain.

The scent of blood in the air.

The feeling of my enemies life force covering me.

It all hit me suddenly, and I fell forward, bracing my hands in the dirt, my breathing labored. I could hear fighting all around me, and I expected any second that final blow that would end my life.

But it never came. And when the silence stretched on, I lifted my head and looked around. The Vikings who’d destroyed my village were around me, their bodies bloody and broken. My heart thundered, and my throat was dry. I couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t just the thick smoke that surrounded me like a cloak, but my fear of what was out there. Of who had killed my enemy.

And then I heard heavy footsteps coming closer, but the fire raged on, making it impossible to see anything. I tried to stand, but my legs didn’t want to work. I heard my heart thundering in my ears, felt the pulse at the base of my neck.

The man who came into view was not a savior, a hero that had saved the day. He might have killed the men who’d hurt me, but he was still a Viking. His short dark hair, the leather, fur, and blood from his enemies that he wore making it known he’d seen violence…he’d delivered it himself. But although he was the same as the ones who’d terrorized my village, he’d also killed them, stopped them before they could take from me what wasn’t freely offered.

And then I saw several more men step up behind him. It was clear they were with him, part of his clan, as their shields showed the same coloring, the same crest. Their focus was intense, their attention trained right on me. They conversed with each other in a dialect I wasn’t familiar with. When the Viking in front of me started speaking, this time to me, I could only shake my head. I didn’t know if they meant me harm, or if they were worse than the ones they’d killed.

“Please, I don’t understand. I don’t know what’s happening.” I lifted my dirt and blood covered hands, knowing they were shaking. These Vikings probably didn’t understand me either.

“You’re afraid of us.” The one I’d seen first spoke to me, his words clear and his accent thick. He knew my language.

“Yes,” I whispered. There wasn’t any point in lying. He could see how clear my fear was. It was written along my body, in telltale signs.

“You have nothing to fear from us.” He held his hand out to me, and although maybe I still should have been afraid, should have tried to outrun them, to escape, the truth was I did feel safe. I didn’t know if they were telling me the truth, but they’d killed the men who had destroyed my home, who had been about to do unspeakable things to me. They could have harmed me ten times over by now, but they didn’t, they hadn’t.

So I lifted my shaking hand and slipped it into his bigger one, his palm covered in blood, his strength clear.

He helped me to stand, and I had to crane my neck back to stare into his face. He was huge, his body wide, muscular. I could see his eyes, a bright blue that didn’t look soft. I could see the violence and danger reflected in them, staring right into my very being. I was aware of the destruction around us, of the bodies littering our feet. I could even feel the other two men watching us.

I knew I should say something, anything, but I was lost in this hazy feeling of confusion, slight fear and…warmth.

And then he leaned down slightly so we were eye to eye. He lifted his hand, cupped my cheek, and said in a voice so deep, so masculine I couldn’t help but shiver, “You’re mine, female.”

I didn’t know what my fate was, but at this point I had nothing else to lose.   














Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.



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Bound to Me by Christy Pastore





Title: Bound to Me
Series: The Harbour #1
Author: Christy Pastore
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 24, 2017



Blurb

We set the rules…

Well, I set the rules… he agreed.

I left before we could break them, or so I thought I had…

Ella Connolly is looking forward to starting a new adventure in her life. After putting her party girl, headline-grabbing tabloid exploits behind her, she has become a responsible and successful entrepreneur. Moving across the pond to Manhattan, she’s determined to make the dream for her boutique to become an international retail brand come true.

While in the States, her overprotective brother insists she have a full-time security detail. This complicates Ella’s plans in more ways than one.

Alex Robertsen’s life is in shambles. After losing the woman he loves to his brother, he’s been on a steady diet of booze and easy women in an effort to make himself numb. Things needed to change.

Change is good.

Good, that is, until Alex finds himself thrust into an all too familiar situation.

He’s obligated by a professional oath to protect Ella at all costs.

She’s vowed to not let distractions, even the ruggedly handsome ones, keep her from her goals.

But old habits die hard…

We’d broken the rules… more than once.

We were bound to… and we agreed it was worth the risk.

He left before it shattered us both… or so we thought.







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





Excerpt

The duo snogging didn’t bother to make room for us, leaving me no choice but to stand on the same side of the lift with Alex. With our arms brushed against one another, heat spread across my skin like a raging wildfire. The two of us snuggled close in a compact space. My hand still tingled from his touch. It was impossible to concentrate on anything other than him. He was here. Right next to me, looking gorgeous and smelling perfectly divine. All sense I had retreated from my brain as I stood there fantasizing about pushing him up against the wall and allowing him to shag . . . fuck the hell out of me.

Shut up, Ella, you dirty bird.

When the car reached the fifth floor, and the couple playing slap and tickle walked out, I stifled a moan of relief. Unsure if I was comforted due to the fact that they left or that I had Alex all to myself. I glanced at him, trying to get a sense of his thoughts. His mouth was pressed into a hard line, and his eyes remained forward, fixed on the numeric panel.

The lift came to a halt at the lobby and Alex stepped out, his head turned left and back to the right. The unrehearsed movement was fluid. He motioned for me to walk in front of him, but I had no clue where we were going.

“You lead the way.”

“All right, but keep your pace with mine,” he instructed. His voice was firm not angry.

I nodded, and did as I was instructed, keeping my stride with his as we passed through the spacious lobby. Something had changed his demeanor during the ride in the lift . . . elevator. Mentally I noted that I needed to brush up on my American English. If I intended to do business here, I should at least make the effort to know the proper terms.

Once outside, his hand reached inside his jacket pocket, pulling out his sunglasses. As we approached the valent stand, he put them on, shielding me from seeing his gorgeous eyes that reminded me of glowing golden sunlight sifting through deep green leaves.

Snap out of it, Ella. He’s your bodyguard.

Straightening my shoulders, I hauled my handbag higher onto my shoulder. I vowed to lock all my scandalous thoughts away.





Author Bio

Christy Pastore lives in the Midwest with her husband, two lovable dogs and their crazy cool cat. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Textiles, Apparel and Merchandising and Marketing. Writing has always been a part of her life. Her first writing gig was for a celebrity entertainment website. Later she went on to create her own blogazine and media company combining her love of writing with fashion and marketing.

When's she not writing flirty and dirty books or updating her celebrity fashion blog, she loves shopping online, binge watching her favorite shows and daydreaming.

She believes books, especially love stories are an escape from the real world.

A few of Christy's favorite things:

Bold Heroine's – Swoony Hero's with a Naughty Side— Guilty Pleasure Reads and TV Shows – Designer Handbags – Men In Suits – Black and White Photos— Sexy Accents— Snow— Pinterest – Twitter – Instagram— Wine— Champagne— Soy Latte's – Gummi Bears— Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Pickles—Popcorn— Sparkling Water— Eye Cream— Pedicures— Traveling— 80's Music— Musicals— Movie Trailers – Celebrity Red Carpet Interviews – Award Shows – Making Lists.



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