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Secret Cravings Publishing 4th Anniversary Blog Hop

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Welcome everyone to the Secret Cravings Publishing 4th Anniversary Blog Hop!  I’m so glad you can join us!  I am so lucky to be a part of Secret Cravings Publishing – it’s my dream come true!

*I have prizes to give away!  Four lucky commenters below will win their choice of four of my e-books!  Just comment below with your e-mail.  I will draw on Sunday evening!*

Don’t forget to hop back to the Blog Hop to Visit More Incredible Blogs by Clicking Here!

Now, I would love to introduce you to each of my books but in an unique way – through excerpts!

BlackIrish_LRG

Find Black Irish Here!

Sloan watched from a distance as Aubrey fought to keep Abbey from dashing away, a frightened doe in the terrifying forest named New York. Apparently, up to this point, the vicious predators of the city hadn’t sent her fleeing home.

Until he entered her world, obviously.

Sloan had to admit something about her alarmed him too. He knew many women and had been with several. But none of them like her. Innocent. Naïve. True. Or so she seemed at first glance.

He couldn’t pull away from her wide-eyed, burning, hazel gaze. He wanted to free her shining, brown tresses from her ponytail and bury his fingers in the locks. He wanted to taste her plump, rose lips. He wanted to caress her curves, feel her warmth.

Sloan could hear Abbey beg for another illustrator. He heard Aubrey counter that there was none better. He was part of the deal, or there was no deal. She was ready to walk away from a contract worth potential millions over a fear of him.

He wouldn’t let her do that. He wouldn’t let her leave his life before she ever became a part of it.

Slowly approaching the two women at the end of the hall, Sloan asked, “Aubrey, can I have a moment please? Let us talk it out and see if we can come to an agreement.”

Aubrey looked uneasily from him to Abbey then nodded. “Sure.”

Sloan waited for Aubrey to return to the conference room. He shot a warning glare at the associates that had gathered to watch the scene unfold before turning his attention back to Abbey.

“What’s the matter, miss?” Sloan took Abbey’s hands in his as he smiled encouragingly.

“I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re very talented. But I don’t think I would be comfortable working with you,” she confessed.

“You don’t even know me.”

“I know. And I’m sure you are a perfect gentleman. But, you see, I don’t think Michael would be very happy with me working with a…gifted man such as yourself.”

“Michael?”

Abbey blushed. “My boyfriend.”

Ah. There it is. A boyfriend. Sloan silently berated himself. He should’ve known a woman so beautiful would have already given her heart to someone. He couldn’t, however, allow her to get away so quickly. Perhaps he couldn’t have her, but that didn’t mean he had to let her go.

Thinking quickly, Sloan pressed one of her hands to his lips. “No worries, luv. I’m no threat.”

“How can you say that?”

“I’m gay.”

Her face brightened with relief. “Really?”

“Yes, Abbey. Gay.”

She blushed pink. “I’m so embarrassed I overreacted. Please forgive me?”

“Of course I forgive you. Now, will you stay and undertake this project with me?”

Abbey beamed. “Of course. I would love to.”

Sloan motioned for her to precede him back to the conference room. He watched her walk before him, his gaze transfixed on her hips, her slim waist, and her luscious curves. A little white lie. She’ll never know.

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Find Heartland (Black Irish #2) Here!

Abbey stared at him with wide hazel eyes. “Yes? And you are? And more importantly—how did you get up here?”

The man extended his hand to her. “Nathan Paulson. I am Mr. O’Riley’s attorney. Bartholomew escorted me.”

Abbey breathed a silent sigh of relief. “I’m sorry, Mr. Paulson. Sloan is in San Francisco. I don’t know when he’ll be home.”

Nathan smiled at her. “I’m here to speak to you, Abigail.”

“Me? Why me?”

Nathan nodded to the interior of the apartment. “May I come in?”

Abbey stepped aside to open the glass door wider. Nathan brushed past her into the spacious, opulent penthouse grasping the handles of a bulging leather briefcase. Before she could offer him a seat, he sank into the chocolate brown leather armchair.

She wrinkled her nose in disgust. That was Sloan’s chair. It’s where he sat to watch SportsCenter and read the paper. They cuddled in that chair. They made love in that chair. Seeing another man sitting in it seemed wrong. Very, very wrong.

“Can I get you something to drink?” Her voice slightly betrayed her insincerity. She really wanted him to leave.

“No, thank you. Sit,” Nathan commanded. He reached across to the sofa and patted the cushion. “We have a lot of ground to cover, and I have another appointment in an hour.”

Abbey complied hesitantly. “If we need to do this another day…”

Nathan unzipped his briefcase and pulled free a stack of documents. The pile was easily over two inches thick. “No, we need to do this today. Sloan insisted.”

“Do what?”

Nathan carefully arranged the stack of paper into several neat piles. “Sloan called me the other day to have me draw up some additional contracts for San Francisco. He told me the news of your nuptials and the little one coming. I advised him that we strong arm you into a post pre-nup to protect his investments.” Nathan looked up at her from sorting. His glare gave Abbey the chills. “By the way, congratulations.”

Classy. Abbey fought the sneer from her face. “Thanks,” she responded sarcastically. “So, this is the pre-nup?”

“No. I barely got the word pre-nup out before Sloan laid into me. Hard. I’m glad he’s in San Francisco, or he would have torn me limb from limb. After calling me some very colorful names, he very distinctly and clearly ordered me to add you to his accounts. Immediately.”

“His accounts?”

“As his wife, you share in his assets—bank accounts, properties, car titles, etc. Billions of dollars’ worth of assets.”

Abbey’s eyes flew open wide. “B-b-billions?”

“You heard millions? When San Francisco took shape, Sloan went from a millionaire to a billionaire.”

She shook her head. “No, I can’t allow this to happen. Sloan worked too hard for that money.”

“That’s what I said,” Nathan agreed. He picked up a pen from amongst the stacks. “But Sloan disagrees with us. And he holds all the cards in this game. So, could you start signing so I’m not late for my next appointment?”

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Find The Troubles (Black Irish #3) Here!

Sloan stood at the glass wall of his bare, undecorated office, staring down at the streets of Zurich, Switzerland. The twilight moon lit the room in a cold, slate blue. He felt like a god overlooking the world below. He watched the headlights of the cars in the street, the people below scurry in and out of the rain. Rushing home to their loved ones, I suppose. Their families. I want mine.

Within a couple of weeks, he had established a firm foundation for Sloan Enterprises. He worked every minute of the day and expected his staff to do the same. He had already fired three assistants and four lawyers. He had purchased the property for two new complexes. He had slapped his name on the building he was standing in. None of it was a salve for what he had had to sacrifice.

He couldn’t stop thinking about Abigail. Nathan should have delivered the papers to her by now. He knew how much a divorce would hurt her. It’s killing me. The thought of letting her go destroyed him. I should have walked away from her in the beginning. I should have never let her in my heart. That wee woman brought me to my knee, and I no longer remember how to stand.

Sloan glanced back at his office. There were no reminders of home—no pictures of Abigail or Ame, no tokens, nothing. The black bookcases that lined the walls were empty except for a few decorative tomes. The steel and glass coffee table was adorned with only a couple copies of trade magazines. The pieces of art on the wall were simple colors. His desk was almost bare except for the phone and computer.

The room was cold. Prison cells had more warmth. He had to close that chapter in his life. He would find a way to move on, letting Abigail go, knowing she was alive. I have no choice. It would be the end of me if I held onto her, and she would be killed.

Then, he swallowed back a growl. Just because he could never be with another woman didn’t mean Abigail wouldn’t give her heart to another man. I can’t stop her. Or beat him within an inch of his life for touching her. The thought that Ame could call another man “Daddy. My daughter. Being his child. Another man making love to my Abigail. Another man making her his. Abigail carrying his child. Abigail telling another man she loves him. Not me. Him.

He felt his temper peak. He wanted blood. I don’t care who he is. I will make him regret it.

Sloan’s clenched his eyes closed. The pain of missing her was too much. He could call her. Just hearing her voice would be enough. He didn’t even have to talk. He could listen to her answer and hang up. It was admittedly immature, but the quick rush would be worth it. Maybe this whole situation was all an overreaction.

He opened his eyes and stepped to his desk. His breath caught in his throat as his eyes fell on the green silk box that sat beside the phone, the only decoration in his office. It didn’t reside here. It went everywhere with him. A constant reminder of what was at stake.

Letting go a deep sigh, he slumped into his chair. He ran his fingers hopelessly across the cold fabric, his eyes studying the gold embroidered, Oriental pattern. Picking it up, he opened it. He shuddered as his gaze fell on the contents inside, contents that made his stomach churn at the thought of the damage they could inflict.

He struggled to breathe as he shut the box and placed it beside the phone again. He ran his hand through his thick, black hair then rubbed his tired eyes.

It’ll be another sleepless night. I might as well get back to work. He turned to his computer and nudged the mouse to wake it. Seven signed contracts sat waiting in his inbox, along with the digital blueprints to both new complexes. He should be overjoyed. His company was going to be a success. His empire was growing.

My empire will never be complete without its queen. There is only one. One I can never have again. If I dwell on this much longer, I’m going to lose my mind. I’ve already lost my heart.

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Find Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4) Here!

Sloan stared out the window at the asphalt as the wheels of the jet skidded across the black surface. He was back.

His gaze took in the Belfast International Airport, flicking around, looking for military vehicles or platoons of troops ready to take him prisoner. All he found were flight crews darting about on baggage carts to prepare the next flight, and the occasional traveler peeking out the window of the terminal.

He let go a large sigh, his sensual, trademark smirk gracing his lips. I knew there was nothing to worry about. He glanced over to Gordon and Liam, meeting their scowls. They almost seem disappointed that Fitzgerald told me the truth.

His thoughts quickly returned to Abbey. He couldn’t shake her from his mind, his heart, since their lips had parted in Minneapolis. As soon as he checked into his hotel, he would call her and tell her he was safe. Then, he would send the jet back to get her, Maggie, Mary, and the children. In a day or two, she would be back in his arms, his face buried in the sweet curve of her neck, his hands roaming her body.

Once the celebratory lovemaking was over, he would take her to rediscover all the precious places of his childhood. He wanted nothing more than to share his past with the woman he loved, at least the parts of it that had been pleasant.

Once the jet had crept to a halt, the men rose and made their way to the door. They slowly descended the rolling staircase to the tarmac. Sloan’s grin widened. All was still good.

His smile faded when he heard the cock of a gun. He glanced to the side as over three dozen soldiers marched from around the aircraft, guns drawn and pointed at him.

“Well, well, well. Look who’s back,” a voice boomed over the crowd.

Sloan clenched his eyes shut. “Brown,” he growled.

The tall, balding man, dressed in his impeccable uniform, strode between the troops and stopped in front of Sloan. “I was hoping to get to say this again. Sloan O’Riley, you’re under arrest.”

“Go to hell.”

Sloan’s vision blurred as the butt of a rifle was slammed against his temple then into his rib cage. His knees buckled from the force. He fought to stay on his feet, to face his enemy standing tall and proud. He lost the battle as he crumpled to the ground. He grunted as his arms were wrenched behind him and cuffs were clamped on his wrists.

“Let him go!” Sloan could hear Gordon struggle against the men restraining him.

Fionainn, I suggest you let the men do their job.”

Sloan’s head snapped up. Through the still-lingering haze from the blow, he could see Fitzgerald standing over him, his gaunt face beaming. “Welcome home, boy.”

“You set me up.” Sloan’s voice was violent through clenched teeth. His eye became hot as it began to swell. “I completed every task you gave me, completed every order. And you turn me over to the enemy?”

Every task? Not everyone, Sloan.” Fitzgerald leaned into him, his hot breath inflaming Sloan’s ear. “I wanted blood, boy. Innocent, guilty…it didn’t matter. I wanted Northern Ireland in my grip. But you wouldn’t hit the targets I gave you. No. You set your sights on the military. Not the good, obedient soldier you thought you were.

“And then, you tried to leave. You met with those recruiters from the All Blacks that those imbeciles I let raise you invited to watch you play rugby. So, I fixed it so that you could never leave. I took one of your precious toys to London and left it there loaded with enough C4 to blow up say…a marketplace?”

For a moment, Sloan’s veins turned to ice as the revelation hit him like a shard of lightning. It had been Fitzgerald who had set him up, destroyed his life, and forced him to flee from his Ma and Maggie to save himself. It had been Fitzgerald who had murdered all those innocent people and pinned it on him.

Rage quickly replaced the chill within him. He rose in a lunge at Fitzgerald. Sloan was quickly brought back to his knees as the butt of another rifle cracked him across the skull.

Fitzgerald’s laugh echoed across the airfield as he strutted past Brown. “He’s all yours, Commander Brown. See to it that he is hanged, will you?”

“It’ll be my pleasure, Jack,” Commander Brown crooned.

Two soldiers roughly tore Sloan from the ground, dragging him to his feet. Sloan shook his head violently to clear the fog that had invaded his senses. His head throbbed. Fitzgerald’s confession echoed in his brain. Although Sloan knew the truth, it wouldn’t change a thing. His words meant nothing in a court of law. Here, he was a terrorist. A murderer. No amount of protesting would change anyone’s mind.

He looked up slowly, his eyes catching Liam and Gordon’s. Both men were restrained by at least three law enforcement officials apiece. Sloan ripped his gaze away from them. He couldn’t take the looks of horror on their faces. He knew what they meant.

He closed his eyes, clinging to the image of Abbey, Ame, and Ethan that he held in his heart. He had been a fool to leave them. Now, he would never see them again.

There’s no way out of this one. I’m as good as dead.

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Find Breaking the Cycle (Hard Drive Series #1) Here!

Max near snarled. He’d had enough. He rose to his feet, set his plate on the coffee table, and followed. When he was out of earshot and fully blocked the door, he crossed his arms over his broad chest and stood his ground. “Talk, Chloe,” he snarled. “I tried to do something for you. For your mom. How am I repaid? You won’t talk to me.”

“I didn’t realize you needed to be paid back,” Chloe murmured, her eyes trained to the floor. She leaned against the counter beside the sink. “I’ll pay you back whatever you spent.”

“I don’t want your money. I want to know what I did to you that was so wrong?”

Chloe looked away as tears pooled in her eyes. “My dad left when I was eight. Because of me. Because of this stupid thing I have. It broke Mom’s heart. She loved him so much. She has spent every day since loving him and hating him all at the same time. I don’t want to be like her. I don’t want to love and hate…” Her voice trailed off.

Max’s face softened. He took the few steps to her then tilted her chin so her eyes met his. “Don’t want to love and hate what, Chloe?”

She swallowed hard. “I don’t want to love and hate you at the same time for the rest of my life. So, I’m trying to not fall in love in the first place. But when you do such incredible things like you did today…”

A sweet smile spread across his face. “Hey, you can’t blame me for being charming.”

“Max.”

“Chloe. I would never hurt you. I promise you. Never.”

“You say that now.”

“I’ll say that forever.”

“Chloe! Max! What are you two doing in there?” Liz called from the other room.

“Just talking, Mom.” Chloe offered him a small smile as she slipped past him. Max turned and watched her go. She doesn’t want to love and hate me at the same time when I leave. The solution to that is simple. I’ll never leave.

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Find Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive Series #2) Here!

Rico sauntered to the counter, where a tall, lanky redhead waited to take his order. After paying for a cup of coffee, he stepped back, winking at a girl sipping on a glass of iced tea. His eyes raked over her as she giggled. He grinned then glanced up behind the counter again.

He lost his breath. He felt his pulse pick up a notch. The last thing on earth he believed in was love at first sight. But in this moment, he was a true convert.

The barista barely came to his chest. Her long, blonde hair wisped in curls around her shoulders. Her frame was small, with perfect curves in all the right places. Her lips were a soft, very kissable pink. And when she looked up at him to hand him his drink, her eyes glittered a clear, crystal blue. She smiled then turned to fulfill the next order.

She never said one word to him. Him. Rico Choate. MMA superstar Rico Choate. His picture was on posters, in magazines.

And she didn’t say one word.

He was baffled. He gripped the coffee and rushed out the door. It wasn’t until he parked his Jeep at Hard Drive that he realized he hadn’t gotten one number, not from any of the women in the shop.

He rubbed his forehead, puzzled. He didn’t want any number. He just wanted the barista’s. But for the first time in his life, a woman wasn’t interested in him. He was still shaking his head when he strode into gym and plopped the paper cup down in front of an equally perplexed Chloe. Before she could even utter a syllable, he stormed out of her office and onto the mats.

Rico spent the rest of the afternoon working the speed and punching bags, hoping for a little bit of relief from his memory of the barista. He couldn’t get her out of his head. After a couple of hours, he couldn’t take it anymore. He jogged up the steps two at a time then ducked his head into the office.

“Need another cup of coffee?” he volunteered.

Chloe lifted up the empty cup. “I just finished this one. I’m—”

“Another cup coming right up.” Before Chloe could object, he was down the stairs and out the door. He hopped in the front seat of the Jeep, fired it on, and sped away. He brushed his fingers through his thick, brown hair as he waited at the lone stop light that separated Hard Drive from the coffee shop. He glanced at his reflection in the rearview mirror.

Then, he checked again. Yes, he looked incredible. The barista may have been able to blow him off before. She certainly wouldn’t miss him this time.

Rico stepped inside the cool, dimly lit store and glanced around. There were fewer people lounging than there were earlier. A couple of girls that had been there before waved in his direction. He ignored them as he approached the counter, frowning as he did so. The redhead greeted him with a goofy grin. “Need another jolt of java, bro?”

“Ummm…yeah.” Rico scanned behind the counter as he paid for the coffee. “Where’s the blonde who was here earlier?”

The redhead shot him a puzzled look. “Avery? You know her?”

“Not yet. But I’d like to.”

“Her shift is over. She’s heading to class. She just left to wait for the bus.” The barista handed him a paper cup. “Hey, aren’t you that MMA guy? I think I’ve seen you fight.”

“Yeah, probably.” Rico grabbed the drink and raced outside, never looking at the girls who now were vying for his attention. He searched up and down the sidewalk for the blonde barista. He picked up his pace again as his eyes landed on her standing at the corner, still dressed in her white blouse and khakis from the restaurant. A large, sky blue backpack nearly bursting at the seams was slung over her shoulder. She checked her watch as the bus crawled to a stop before her.

“Hey! Hey!” Rico shouted as she stepped on. She never turned, never acknowledged him. The door closed behind her, and the large beast chugged on its journey, leaving a dumbfounded Rico behind.

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Find Queen of Savon Here!

Cassandra firmly capped the bottle of herbs with a cork and slipped the container in her bag. She marked her books, stacking one on top of the other. Glancing out the window, she watched as Matthew gently kissed Stephana before helping her into the carriage.

Sighing, she pulled herself away from the window to gather more herbs. She picked up her books and the bag of bottles. Then, she hobbled to the door and struggled to open it with her one free hand.

Cassandra jumped back, startled, as she discovered Matthew standing in the doorway. He clung to the doorframe as he stared at her.

“How may I serve, my lord?” she greeted as she awkwardly bowed to him.

“Where are you going?” he asked, barely audible.

“Home. I have much to do before I return in the morning and you leave for battle.”

Matthew paused. “I did not propose to Stephana.”

Cassandra set her items on a table nearby. “That was unwise, my lord.”

Matthew stared at her as he dug his fingernails into the wood of the frame. “Cassa, do not leave me like this.”

Cassandra swallowed as she heard the urgency in his voice. “Like what, my lord?”

“Like this—the formal address, the subservient nature. This.” Matthew stood up straight, taking a step to grip her arms in his hands.

“Tell me her name,” Matthew demanded.

“There is no one.”

“Tell me her name,” Matthew begged. “Tell me, and I will give her my heart and make her my bride. I swear this.”

Cassandra stared at him, tears filling her eyes. “What if she belongs to another man?” She looked away as the words she spoke seemed to crush him. He closed his eyes, fighting to defeat the truth, the truth he already must know. Capitalizing on his weakness, Cassandra pulled away. “I told you there is no one.”

He grasped her hand, pressing it to his heart. “No, my lady, I will win her. I will fight, and I will not stop until she is cradled in my arms. This I promise you. Do you hear me? This I promise you.”

Her tears burst their floodgates as she slipped her fingers from his. “I must go,” she stumbled out. “I have much to do. I must go.”

Cassandra scooped up her books then swept by Matthew and ran down the stairs. She cringed as she heard him call her name, his voice betraying his pain.

Cassandra could not sleep. She lay in her bed, staring at the ceiling of her room as the night passed by. As dawn brushed the sky, she pulled herself from her covers, dressed, and trudged her return to the palace.

In no time, she stood in the courtyard, the soldiers around her completely oblivious to her presence. She glanced up as Victor rode next to her. “Lock yourself in the tower. I will see you when I get back,” he instructed as he kissed her on the cheek.

“Stay safe,” she murmured.

Cassandra looked to the ground as Victor’s horse trotted away. Then, she raised her head as she heard hoof steps approach. Matthew wandered across the courtyard, leading his stallion behind him. His eyes, yearning and desperate, locked on her.

She shuddered as he approached, his stride determined as he wove his way around the soldiers scattered around the courtyard. He stopped, dropping the reins of his horse, when he reached her.

Without warning or care for decency, Matthew cupped Cassandra’s face in his hands drawing her lips to his and parting them in a soul-wrenching kiss. She clung to his arms as he tasted her, clearly searching for confession, answers—her love for him. As he pulled away, he whispered, “Lock yourself in. I could not live another day if anything happened to you.”

Matthew’s fingers caressed Cassandra’s skin once more before they slipped away to grasp his horse’s reins. He glanced at her over his shoulder before he disappeared behind the wall. Cassandra hugged herself tightly, her limbs shaking in uncertainty.

Collecting herself as much as possible, she wound her way to her tower blindly. Her thoughts were incoherent. Matthew? Victor? She rubbed her fingertips against her swollen lips. Both had made their feelings for her abundantly clear. And both were riding out to battle. Above all, the vows she had taken as a child dictated she could have neither of them.

Tears filled her eyes as she collapsed onto her cushion. The only thing she knew with clarity was that she needed to get her thoughts together. It wouldn’t be long before she would be joining them on the battlefield.

TheThirteenthKnight_LRG

Find The Thirteenth Knight Here!

Miranda swept silently down the dirt path beneath the lush, fragrant canopy of the towering pine trees. The light of the full moon above cast everything in an unearthly, pale glow. Her heart raced in anticipation. Although she had seen Thatcher several times in the past few days, the thought of his eyes gazing on her as Miranda, and not as Ewen, made her tremble in excitement.

A soft laugh escaped her throat. Count Brunon was disgusted that his betrothed seemed to have such a weak stomach. Miranda did not even have to fake it. Brunon craved meats and delicacies that made Miranda cringe. However, Brunon happily avoided his sick beloved in case her malady happened to be contagious, which made it easy for Ewen to appear and volunteer to gather firewood.

Miranda stopped short as the path reached the creek. Her breath caught in her throat as her eyes found Thatcher. He stood, his tall, chiseled, muscular frame draped in a linen shirt and chocolate brown trousers. He watched the moonlight glimmer off the water. He ran a strong, powerful hand through his short, black hair. Miranda sighed, hopelessly in love.

Thatcher’s head spun at Miranda’s whisper-soft sigh. In just a few long strides, she was caught in his strong arms, his sweet lips prying hers apart in a soul-wrenching kiss. “Miranda,” he breathed after they parted.

Miranda caressed Thatcher’s cheek, her fingers grazing the stumble there. “I cannot stay long.”

“I know, my love. Our forced separation will be brief. I will free you from Brunon.”

Miranda smiled gently. “I know.”

The emotion in his eyes became intense. “I will not let him wed you. I will die before that will happen.”

“I know, my love,” she assured him.

He chuckled. “I owe Ewen a debt of gratitude for bringing you to me. I wasn’t sure he would.”

“He shouldn’t have.”

“I am surprised he didn’t join you.”

She scrambled for an answer. “He is keeping watch at the edge of the forest. He wanted to give us privacy.”

“He is a good man. There is something about him.” Thatcher gazed at Miranda. “He has your beautiful eyes. Are you related to him?”

“Perhaps.” Miranda pulled Thatcher’s face to her. She bravely parted his lips with hers, kissing him deeply, possessively. The mystery of Ewen seemed to flee Thatcher’s mind as he held Miranda close.

Their time together was far too brief. Thatcher clung to her hand as she turned to go. It took all the will in Miranda’s heart to pull free. All she wanted was to run away with him and leave the kingdom behind. Tears burned her eyes as he disappeared from her sight.

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The NEW Breaking the Silence Trailer!

Check out the NEW Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive Series #2) Trailer!

Get your copy on Sweet Cravings Publishing, Amazon and All Romance E-books!

 

My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

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Welcome to My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop!  I am glad you have stopped by!  Thank you to Harper A. Brooks and TF Walsh for having me!

Lately I’ve had a problem.  My heart is torn in two.  For the past year my heart has been wholly devoted to my alpha hero from my Black Irish series, Sloan O’Riley.  Black hair, blue eyes, the body of a Greek god, my Irish millionaire has a bit of a dark past.  When he meets naïve children’s author Abbey Wright, he’ll do anything to keep her in New York City with him including lie by telling her he is gay.

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Abbey’s heart thundered in her chest. She was alone with Sloan. He betrayed her. Yet she couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was time for answers. Her stomach twisted at the thought of asking for them.

“I’m glad you’re here. I was running out of gift ideas,” Sloan crooned. “Does this visit mean you’ve accepted my offer?”

“I have some questions first.”

“Of course.” He motioned her forward.

She timidly stepped into the living area. Compared to the opulence of the space and its owner, she in her waitress uniform was certainly the thing that didn’t belong.

Taking a deep breath, she asked quietly, “Why did you lie to me?”

Sloan paused. “I couldn’t have you leave.”

“Why not?”

He didn’t answer.

“You said it wasn’t the money or the visa. Then why? Why couldn’t you let me leave?”

Sloan slowly crossed over to her. He gently caressed her cheek with his fingertips. “I needed to know if there could be something between us,” he answered softly.

Oh wow! Her knees turned to jelly. “And do you think there could be something between us?”

His mouth turned up in a sexy smile as he gazed into her warm, hazel eyes. “I’d like to think there could be.”

Oh, double wow. Abbey’s heart picked up its rapid pace. “Sloan, I’ve been wondering. Did you ever get to a lawyer? I mean, I didn’t. I didn’t have the money. Are we still…”

She felt his breath on her face as he leaned closer to her. “Married? Aye. We’re still married. I did not get an annulment.”

“You’re still my…” Her voice failed her again.

“Husband. Aye, luv, I am.”

“And I’m still your…”

“My beautiful, wee wife.”

We’ve had the perfect relationship – he antagonizes me, I get angry with him, he reminds me with that oh-so-sexy brogue who is really in charge (in full detail!) and then I write. 

Handsome shirtless young man with boxer's gloves

But then…he stepped into my life.  MMA Bad Boy Rico Choate.  Granted we had met before in the first book of my Hard Drive series, Breaking the Cycle.  He intrigued me then.  But now as I wrap up his book, Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive Series #2), I have fallen head over heals in love.  Cocky, confident, love ’em and leave ’em attitude just dying to be tamed.  I am totally smitten.  Please don’t tell Sloan.

The sun was low in the horizon when they finally stood to leave.  Avery beat him to the blanket, folding it neatly and tucking it in her arm before Rico could get a hand on it.  He picked up the basket then hand in hand they walked back to the Jeep.

They sat outside Avery’s house for several moments before Rico walked her to the door.  You will pick me up in the morning? she asked.

Of course I will.  I will do anything to spend time with you.

She blushed.  Rico grinned.  He’d do just about anything to tinge her cheeks pink like that.  What are you doing this week? he continued.

Studying.  I have some big tests coming this week.  What about you?

Working then the gym.  Like normal.  Want me to help you study?

She laughed.  You know as well as I do, Rico, if you try to help we will not be studying.

He chuckled with her.  True.  But I will be on my best behavior.  Just as long as you are on yours.

Avery gasped indignant as she slapped him on the arm.  I am always on my best behavior.

Really?  So you are saying I am the bad influence?

She giggled.  Yes.  I am.

It is good to know we are on the same page.

Avery giggled again.  Rico studied her face.  Lord, she was beautiful.  Her features were normally so cool and collected.  She used to be a Marine.  Not much fazed this woman.  It was one of the things he loved about this woman.

But right now her eyes held a wicked glimmer.  She slowly reached across his seat.  Her fingers weaved themselves in his hair.  The sensation alone sent his heart racing.  She pulled her to him and parted his lips with hers.  It didn’t take long before her tongue tangled with his.  Instinctively he pulled her tight against him.

Feeling her curves mold against his body, the taste of her on his lips set him on fire.  The old Rico, the one who couldn’t remember the names of half the women he slept with, started to creep to the surface.  He could take her back to his place.  One night with her would be incredible.

He looked into her eyes as the kiss broke.  She was perfect.  He couldn’t ruin what they had.  He didn’t want her for one night.  He wanted her forever.  He wanted to promise eternity to her.  He wanted to raise a family with her.  He couldn’t risk everything on one night.

He nuzzled his nose against hers and brushed another kiss against her lips.  He didn’t think before he talked.  The words just tumbled out.  “I love you.”

An amused smile graced her lips as she signed.  I love you too.  I guess I better go in.

I guess so.

He grabbed the picnic basket out of the back seat.  He wrapped his arm around her and tucked her close to him as he walked her to the house.  He could see Lindsay glaring at him through the window.  Rico didn’t care.  As they reached the front door he pulled Avery to him for one last, soft kiss.  She sighed as she took the basket from him and looped her arm through the handles.  See you in the morning?

Cannot wait.

Rico waved to Lindsay as he held the door open for Avery to pass through.  A grin spread across his face as he jogged down the steps.  The whistling started again.

Now that I have introduced you to my TWO book boyfriends (does that make me a book slut?), I would like to let you get to know them a little more intimately.  So, leave a comment below and I will award four commenters their choice of e-book in their choice of format.  You can choose of one of Sloan’s books – Black Irish, Heartland or the Troubles – or Rico’s current published book, Breaking the Cycle.  Which of my book boyfriends would you like to spend the night with?

Don’t forget to get your name in the Rafflecopter drawing for the grand prize! 

And click here to jump back to the Blog Hop!  Thanks for visiting!!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Being Irish, I love to celebrate this day.  I have since I was little.  I have my green on, my Irish Beef Stew is simmering in the crockpot and I am ready to celebrate!!

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The best way to celebrate is to give a present to YOU!  Comment below to win e-book copies of each of the Black Irish Series – Black Irish, Heartland and The Troubles!!  I will draw later on tonight.  Good luck!!

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If you want to hear me talk about the Black Irish Series and one of my favorite alpha males, Sloan O’Riley, tune in to The Hummingbird Place tonight at 6:00 pm CST.  We’ll be talking all books Irish!!  Join us!! http://blogtalkradio.com/hummingbirdplace

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For my readers over 21, I have an extra surprise for you.  When researching the name Black Irish on Google, I found movies, a band and an alcoholic drink!  My hubby and I have tweaked the recipe – here’s to a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Black Irish

2 shots Irish Whiskey (we like 2 Gingers)

1 shot Kahlua

1 cup coffee ice cream

1/2 cup ice cubes

Mix all the ingredients in a blender and combine until milkshake consistency  A word of warning – this is a VERY strong drink!!

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Secret Cravings Winter Wonderland Third Anniversary Blog Hop!!

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Welcome to the Secret Cravings Publishing Winter Wonderland Blog Event!  There are lots of prizes to win on both the main blog and each author’s blogs to celebrating our third anniversary.  How do you win on the Secret Cravings Publishing blog?  It’s very simple!  Find the missing letter on each author’s blog then e-mail your answers to reviewcoordinator@secretcravingspublishing.com for your chance to win!!

And how do you win on my blog?  Just comment below!!  And what could you win?  You could win a copy of either Black Irish (Black Irish #), Queen of Savon or Breaking the Cycle!!  I will be picking three lucky winners on the evening of January 30th!!

This is Secret Cravings Publishing’s third year of romance and this is my first year with them.  This has been the most incredible year.  I have published five books (soon to be six!), I have met fans and other Secret Craving’s authors.  I have been interviewed and have done some interviewing.  I have become a radio show host and an E-zine editor.  My dream since I was little was to be a writer.  Now I am leaving my dream times ten.  Let me give you a taste of what I have published this year.

BlackIrish_SMBlack Irish (Black Irish #1)
Released May 8, 2013
Find here on Sweet Cravings Publishing
Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?

Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?

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Queen of Savon
Released June 11, 2013
Find here on Secret Cravings Publishing
Cassandra is brought to the palace by her grandfather, the sorcerer Malicar, after her parents are brutally murdered.  After being presented to King Thomas she is raised alongside two boys – Thomas’s son, Matthew and Victor, the young man chosen to be Matthew’s commander of the army.

However her life in the royal palace comes at a price. She is vowed into a life of servitude Matthew’s advisor, forfeiting the dream of having a husband and children of her own.

As they mature into adults, childhood curiosities turn to jealousy and burning desire. Cassandra finds herself caught between the two men and forced to make a decision – to throw away her vows for the life she dreamt about with a man she does not love or to stay shackled to the promises she made as a child to be with the man she wants with her heart, body and soul but cannot have.

wpid-Heartland_MED.jpgHeartland (Black Irish #2)
Released August 6, 2013
Find here on Sweet Cravings Publishing
Sloan and Abbey move to Abbey’s hometown of Mount Vernon, Iowa, to start their new lives together away from the chaos of New York City.  And they are not alone – they are joined by Gordon, Maggie, and Bartholomew each looking for a fresh start and new love in the small rural town.

Their marriage is put to the test by the reappearance of Abbey’s father, bullies from her high school days, a business opportunity in Miami, and a new baby on the way.  When a person from their past comes back looking to make Abbey his own again, will he be able to tear Sloan and Abbey apart forever?

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The Troubles (Black Irish #3)TheTroubles_LRG
Released November 24, 2013
Find here at Sweet Cravings Publishing
While Sloan and Abbey are in Las Vegas to celebrate Gordon and Mary’s wedding,  a enemy from Sloan’s past nearly kills her.  Sloan is forced to do the unthinkable – he files for divorce.  He moves Sloan Enterprises to Switzerland far away from the woman he loves to save her.

Three years pass.  When Sloan invites Robert to Switzerland to celebrate his fortieth birthday, he learns shocking news – Robert is living with Abbey.  Refusing to lose Abbey, Sloan relocates the company to Minneapolis, Minnesota where Abbey is living and makes her the Chief Operating Officer.  He fights against his desire for her as he contends with her two new beaus, his own new girlfriend, her hostile family and Amelia, his four-year-old daughter.

When his enemy makes another attempt on Abbey’s life, will Sloan be able to save her – or is this a war he just can’t win?

btccoverpinklogoBreaking the Cycle
Released January 13, 2014
Find here at Sweet Cravings Publishing
Max is excited when Chloe, a girl that works for the same gym he does, agrees to go on a date with him.  He is disturbed, though, when she becomes violently ill after he kisses her.  Max can’t shake how he feels about her.  He sacrifices his job and does everything he can to find an answer to her illness.  But is it enough to save their relationship – and save her?

Chloe can’t believe Max Thomas, the hottest guy at Roadie’s Gym, wants to go out with her.  When their date is a disaster, she thinks she’ll never see him again.  She is stunned when he reappears in her life and tries to find the answer behind whatever has made her sick since she was a child.  However, will he stick around or abandon her like her father did?  Can she trust him enough to let him into her heart?

And coming in February 2014…TheThirteenthKnight_LRG
The Thirteenth Knight
Life is simple in the village when Thatcher and Miranda realize that their lifelong friendship has turned to love.  Their world is turned upside down when Miranda’s true identity is revealed – she is the niece of the kingdom and the next heir to the throne.  She is swept away to the palace giving Thatcher the only solution available to him.  He will become one of the King’s knights and therefore worthy of Miranda’s hand.

When dark magic strikes the kingdom, it is Thatcher’s bravery that saves the King and the kingdom.  Yet being a knight is not enough nobility to marry the woman he loves.  When the source of the dark magic captures the palace and vows to make Miranda his bride, both Miranda and Thatcher work to overthrow him.  Will it be enough to bring them together – or will dark magic and the King himself keep them apart?

Innocent 'til Proven Guilty CoverAnd we can’t forget my free serial read that is updated every Sunday on the Sweet Cravings Publishing site, Innocent ’til Proven Guilty!
Find here at Sweet Cravings Publishing
Livvy Randall won’t let anything stop her chance at a journalism career in Chicago.  That is until the passenger train she is riding in breaks down in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a town not much bigger than her home in Lincoln, Nebraska.  She acquires a room at the Hotel Montrose where she meets the devilishly handsome Frankie O’Carney, an Irish bad boy working in maintenance at the hotel.

When Frankie is accused of murdering the wealthy H.M. Goodrich, Livvy does everything she can to clear his name.  With danger at every turn, Livvy searches for answers to the questions plaguing her.  Is Frankie with the quiet, brooding Poppy?  Why, when the Irishman is near, does her heart beat out of control?  Will she get out of Cedar Rapids and back on the train to Chicago with her heart intact?  And – is Frankie really innocent…or is he guilty?

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.  Please make sure to stop by and check out the blogs of the other incredibly talented authors of Secret Cravings Publishing!  Click on the badge below to return to the main blog.

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Best of Tuesday Tales

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Welcome to another Tuesday Tales!  This week we are celebrating Thanksgiving with the Best of Tuesday Tales.  It was a difficult choice.  However, my current work in process made the choice for me.  And the choice was appropriate.  This Thanksgiving, this series is the center of one of things I am most thankful for.

What could it be?  Take a look… Thanksgiving Best of Tuesday Tales.

And don’t forget to stop by and see what the other very talented authors of Tuesday Tales has picked for their best!  Click the picture below to journey back to Tuesday Tales.

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The Cover Art for The Troubles (Black Irish #3) Is Here!

Here is the cover art of The Troubles (Black Irish #3) is here!!  I love it!  What do you think??

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Tuesday Tales – Hard, Rough and Dirty

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Hello, everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  The word prompts for today came from a challenge – could we use the words hard, rough and dirty together?  Preferably without it being about sex?  Challenge accepted! 

My excerpt comes from Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4).  This is hopefully the last excerpt from that tale.  Next week I hope to introduce you to a new hero, Gideon, as we take a step back to Victorian Steampunk England.

And please don’t forget to stop and enjoy the other excerpts from the very talented Tuesday Tale authors!!

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Abbey clenched the warm coffee mug in her hands as she pushed the back door of her parents’ house open with her hip and stepped out into the cool spring morning.  She roused Ame and Ethan out of bed specifically for this trip to Grandpa and Grandma’s.  It wasn’t anything earth shattering by any means.  But she wasn’t going to miss it for the world.

Sloan was not your typical man.  He intimidated anyone who came near him.  He was a Greek god with an Irish bent.  He played rugby.  He worked out.  He swam daily.  No one compared to him in creativity.  But she never actually saw him do any sort of manual labor.  Not that she doubted he could.  Sloan could do anything he set his mind to.  But, coming from a small rural town where manual labor was the norm, watching him actually work intrigued her.

She smiled slyly at the piles of lumber that were stacked across the back lawn.  The boys were all mulling around, a couple rather grumpily for being waken up so early on a Saturday morning.  They were all there to help Gordon build the deck that her Mom had wanted since they moved to Minneapolis.  Liam was even awake and ready to build.  Abbey giggled.  Bet he didn’t think he was doing this when he visited from Belfast.  Her brow knitted in confusion as Logan appeared from around the garage.  How’d he get roped into this?  The glare Logan shot Sloan answered that question.  Another chuckle erupted from her throat. 

 Sloan picked up a four by four in his large, gloved hands and inspected it.  “Hmm,” he hummed to himself as he slapped the wood against his palm, breaking free some of the residual dirt that clung to it. “Rough…Hard…Dirty.”  His gaze met hers, his ice blue eyes twinkling.  Abbey could read the message they said.  Her husband may have been talking about the board in his grip, but his thoughts were far from it.  She felt her face flush hot as her mouth went dry.

 “Don’t you need the boards to be clean?” she squeaked out in protest.

 Robert shot her a glare.  “It’s a footing, Abbey.  We’re about to sink it into concrete.  Plus it’s going to be exposed to the elements.  So, no.  Are you planning on playing supervisor this morning?  Where are your kids?”

“Maybe I am.  The kids are watching cartoons with their Grandma.  Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” Abbey quipped back.

 Robert snarled at her before he returned the pile of lumber he was sorting.  Abbey grinned as her husband winked at her in victory.  She settled into a lawn chair to watch construction begin. 

Don’t forget to check out the other excerpts from Tuesday Tales!!

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Tuesday Tales – Fall Scene

Badge for TT - very smallHey everyone!!  Welcome to Tuesday Tales!  We are working with the picture prompt below.  Today I am taking an avenue I haven’t so far on Tuesday Tales.  My excerpt isn’t from The Thirteenth Knight or Breaking the Cycle.  Today’s excerpt would be the first seen from the next in the Black Irish series I will be starting – Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4).  Incidentally, The Troubles (Black Irish #3) comes out in November 2013.

Please don’t forget to check out the incredible blogs of my very talented Tuesday Tales friends!

fall scene

Abbey wrapped her arms tight around herself as she walked along the plank-covered path alongside the lake.  She gazed at the wildfire of brilliant leaves that blazed along the path.  The vibrant crimsons, oranges and golds were beautiful.

She loved this path that circled the lake behind the house.  The neighbors all around the lake took full advantage of it.  For Abbey it was the rare retreat Sloan and she shared.  There weren’t too many occasions that they were without Ame and Ethan.  But when the chance came that someone else was watching their children, they would find their way to the trail.  They would walk the entirety of it, their fingers intertwined.  They wouldn’t talk much.  They would just enjoy being together.  Sloan would stop and pull her to him just to hold her in his arms.  Between their company and his past there was no such thing as peace.  Here there was at least the illusion of it.

She hugged herself tighter as she closed her eyes, her long brown hair blowing in the cool breeze.  She could feel Sloan’s presence wrapped around her – strong and warm.  She could feel his breath on her cheek, his lips pressed against her skin.  Even though he was thousands of miles away locked in a Belfast prison, she could still feel him there.

She jolted at the vibration of her cell phone.  “Hello?”

“Hello, lass,” Liam greeted.

“What have you found out, Liam?” Abbey begged.

“I think I have a plan.  But it requires you, lass, to be here in Belfast.  And for you to do some very questionable things.”

“Will it free my husband?”

“I believe so, yes.”

“Then consider it done.  When do you need me?”

“As soon as possible.  And bring Maggie and your mother.  You are going to need a team.”

“All right.  I’ll let you know when our flight will be.”

“Very good, lass.  See you soon.”

Abbey end the call on her phone.  With a sigh she jogged along the planks back to her house.

Don’t forget to check out the other excerpts from the Tuesday Tales writers!

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The 100th Sunday Snog!!

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Welcome to the 100th Sunday Snog!  I am very excited to be part of this blog hop – and who doesn’t love kissing??  I myself am a fan!!

**To celebrate The 100th Sunday Snog, I will be giving an e-book copy of both Black Irish and Heartland to one lucky commenter below!!**

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When thinking of kissing and all the characters I’ve written, one stood out above the rest.  That one would be the first kiss between Abbey Wright and Sloan O’Riley in Black Irish.  Why would this be so singular?  First it was their wedding day.  Second – well, the blurb for Black Irish explains it all…

the-hero-gets-the-girlBlurb for Black Irish:

Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?

Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?

Yep, Abbey thought her new husband was gay!  So how great could their first kiss really be?  She was in for a surprise…

danielstarkphotography-com-1Sloan led Abbey through the corridors of the courthouse, followed by Robert and Gordon. Pushing open a dark-stained door with a frosted glass window, he motioned her in.

Inside sat a man huddled over a stack of papers on a desk of the same dark-stained wood as the door. His salt and pepper hair was combed over his balding head. The freshly pressed robe he wore draped down from his shoulders. He looked up at them through the spectacles on his nose then smiled and stood to greet them.

The justice shook Sloan’s hand emphatically as he quipped about some recent city legislation they had both been part of—legislation that Sloan’s influence had swung in Judge Goldstein’s favor. Abbey stared at Sloan, puzzled. She knew he had money. She knew he had an immense artistic talent. But he has political power too? What deep, dark secrets does he have?

Judge Goldstein turned back to his desk to retrieve a book then turned and faced them again. Abbey’s heart caught in her throat. This was it—her wedding day. True, it wasn’t a real wedding with the big, white dress, the five-tiered cake, and hundreds of guests. In fact, her soon-to-be husband was gay. But at the end of this, she would be Mrs. Sloan O’Riley. She glanced around the cold chambers then back to Sloan.

Instead of her heart clenching in regret, it fluttered rapidly in excitement. She wrapped her arm around his, hugging it to her. He looked down to her, his ice blue eyes shining brightly as he beamed at her. Then, he softly nudged her, turning her attention to the justice.

“Ms. Wright?” Judge Goldstein questioned.

“Ummm…yes?”

”Do you take Mr. O’Riley as your husband?”

Abbey’s eyes shot from him to Sloan as she felt her face flush hot. She didn’t want to know what shade of red her cheeks now were. “I do.” she squeaked.

“And Sloan, do you take Ms. Wright as your wedded wife?”

Sloan’s gaze was soft and gentle. “Oh, yes. I absolutely do.”

“Do you have rings to exchange?”

Sloan reached into his slacks pocket. After a few moments of digging within the cloth, his hand returned with the simple gold bands. He gave the larger of the two to Abbey and kept the smaller for himself.

Abbey was oblivious to the justice’s words as she pushed the ring onto Sloan’s finger. She let go a tiny squeal of excitement as she watched him slide her band into place against one Michael had already given her. Sloan clasped her hand in his as he chuckled at her reaction.

“By the power invested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride,” Judge Goldstein announced.

Her eyes locked onto Sloan’s mouth as he gathered her into his arms. She felt an ache deep in every nerve to know what his kiss would feel like. A wave of disappointment hit her. It will only be a quick peck. He is gay after all.

As Sloan’s lips engulfed hers, Abbey quickly discovered how wrong she was. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she sank into his kiss. She let out a sigh as he pried her mouth apart and dove deeper. His warm breath, the softness of his lips, the sensation of his large, powerful hands holding her close—it all made her dizzy and giddy at the same time. She clung to him as they finally parted.

Steadying her, Sloan smiled, a sweet, seductive glimmer sparkling in his eyes. “Shall we go to lunch to celebrate, Mrs. O’Riley?”

Abbey giggled. “Of course.”

They paraded arm in arm through the courthouse all the way to the curb, where Gordon had the Hummer waiting. Sloan opened the car door, waving both Gordon and Robert away, then offered his hand to Abbey. Once she was settled in her seat, Sloan climbed in beside her. He took the hand smoothing the white satin of her skirt and held it tight in his as they pulled into the busy downtown traffic.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!  Don’t forget to comment below to enter to win e-books of Black Irish and Heartland.

And PLEASE remember to stop back at the 100th Sunday Snog Blog and check out the other amazing kisses from the other amazing blogs.  Click Here To Jump Back to the 100th Sunday Snog!