Series: Arresting Onyx (book 1)
By Amber Daulton
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The Kentucky Derby is only five weeks away! From now at least through the Derby, we’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of the horse racing industry, the setting for our four-book romantic suspense series, Riders Up. Here’s a snippet from Book One, Cassie’s Hope:
Set-Up: Cassie’s agreed to come home to her dad’s horse farm in Northern Illinois for six months to train horses for him after his stroke. He has a plan…
“Only you can do this—I want you to take Cassie’s Hope to Wyoming Downs. They have a stakes race comin’ up May seventeenth—that’s sayin’ a lot more than it is—but it’s a decent race.”
“Wyoming Downs,” Cassie squeaked, her eyes rounding. “Where the hell is that?”
“It happens to be in Wyoming.”
“You want me to haul a horse half way across the country to find her confidence? Why not Prairie Meadows or Canterbury?”
Cassie saw the cagey glint dancing in her father’s eyes. Every horse trainer, every horse player had to have an angle, and she was about to hear one more.
“Altitude—if we train the filly in the mountains, she’ll have a tremendous edge when we run her back here.”
Cassie’s Hope is the first romance my husband and I ever wrote together – more years ago than I’d care to admit. What we finally published bears very little resemblance to that early manuscript. We had so much to learn! Even so, we got encouraging feedback from a few editors we submitted to (in the days when everything was hard copy)!
Because we love to celebrate the Kentucky Derby, starting next weekend and through Derby weekend May 5, we’ll be offering free downloads of each book in the series. If you follow our Author Page at Amazon, you’ll get an alert when each free promo begins. Enjoy!
High stakes, a fiery Irish redhead, her stunning racehorse, and a fiercely loyal rancher
What happens when a fiercely loyal widowed half-Ute cowboy meets a fiery redhead with an Irish temper to match? Cassidy O’Hanlon – Cassie, to her friends – has set aside her Chicago career for six months to train racehorses for her dad after his stroke.
Furious the interloper has shipped in a ringer from the Chicago circuit to his Wyoming turf, Rancher/trainer Clint Travers sets out to put her in her place. Sparks fly immediately, but after their rocky start, the two quickly forge a passionate relationship, and he follows her to Chicago.
When it becomes clear someone is drugging Cassie’s horse, Clint sets out to solve the mystery, but storms off in a cloud of wounded pride when suspicions turn to him.
Can love trump pride?
Riders Up, Book One
Novel: 71,000 words
Cover Artist: Rebecca Poole
Three flames: Explicit sex: M/F
REVIEW: Five Stars at Goodreads: “…I took their journey with them. I felt their pain, their sadness, their struggles, and most of all their love. And that is the mark of a truly good book.” Faith
E-Book, Paperback, and Kindle Unlimited:
Undercover in an English Country estate – confronted by her first love, and her first deception –
Jackson Halland has spent ten years running from a mistake that cost him everything, including Amory Parker, the woman he loved. With his gut wrenching response to her reappearance, he realises that if she will forgive him, then maybe, just maybe, he can forgive himself.
After ten years of working undercover, Amory agrees to one final mission. Vowing to get justice for the woman she promised, and failed, to protect, nothing will stand in her way, not the prolific criminal she’s determined to bring down and certainly not coming face to face with the man she fell in love with on her very first undercover assignment, even if he has no idea who she really is, or the part she played in his past.
Amory was so engrossed in her thoughts she didn’t hear the approaching sound of bare feet, padding on the smooth wooden floor, until a deep groan broke through them and she looked up to see Jackson. His mussed, dark blond hair was shot through with strands of gold in the overhead lighting.
The man was incredibly made. His arms stretching up and behind his head caused the bottom of his t-shirt to lift a few teasing inches, revealing a tantalizing glimpse of a tanned, rock-hard stomach. They weren’t the sculpted lines that came from the gym, but powerful, solid muscles. A fine trail of hair led the way to the top of his loose navy shorts. As he reached the bottom of the stairs, her gaze was transfixed.
His legs were long and thick, every muscle rippling as he moved down the stairs into the hallway. A rush of heat shot through her body, setting every nerve alight. Her stomach rolled as she absorbed the sight while a little lower everything tightened and tingled. She’d hoped that her memory had been flawed, tinted by the rose-colored lenses of what she had long since accepted was her first love. That clearly wasn’t the case. Rather than letting himself go he had become more impressive. The slenderness of youth had filled out, living up to the promise of overwhelming masculinity.
His lean muscles had broadened, and whilst the softness of youth had faded from his features, it had left a strong profile in its wake. Jackson had grown up all man. She gulped, heat flooding her.
The good feeling from her run was replaced by a more base desire to touch every inch of his perfect body. To pull it hard against her own and feel those muscular planes mold against her. She unconsciously licked her lips as she watched him.
As she met his eyes, the feeling of heat evaporated, replaced by a harsh chill of dread that sank through to her toes. His emotions were playing across his face and it was clear that, despite her DCI’s reassurances, Jackson had joined the dots and figured out who she was. The recognition clearly shocked him as his whole body jolted abruptly to a stop.
Unable to move, she stared helplessly as he began to walk toward her, his face a mix of unreadable emotions. As he reached out, her body began to respond to the heat that rolled off of him. The scent of his skin washed over her, but she moved back defensively. It was a tactical mistake, giving away that she knew who he was, that she had known all along.
“Amory?” he whispered, hope shining oddly through that one word.
Almost imperceptibly shaking her head, all her professionalism flew out the window, and with her heart sinking she managed a stuttered whisper, “N-n-no… No, you’re wrong. I’m Olivia.”
No amount of training was going to get her through this. Despite her only half-admitted hope that he’d see who she really was, Amory knew too much was at stake for this to happen, but it had. Now she had to endure the awful consequences of him recognizing her, the hatred that would follow this moment.
Tanya Jean Russell writes romantic suspense and lives in England. She is married to an amazing Elvis & Neil Diamond Tribute artist, thanks to whom she has a house full of jumpsuits & trophies. Something which is, of course, a source of much embarrassment to her two teenage children.
She is a little obsessive about books and has an embarrassingly huge (and ever growing) pile of things that she just ‘has’ to read next to her bed. Something that isn’t helped by being a part of the Romantic Novelist Association, or by being published by the amazing Evernight Publishing. With both organisations filled with talented writers, she keeps adding to her pile!
Tanya Jean squeezes her daydreaming … ahem … ‘writing’ around her family and her day job in HR, and is convinced that chocolate & diet coke should be considered a well-balanced diet.
Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.