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Five Stars for The Merry Widow #NewReview #MFRWAuthor #RomanticSuspense

I hope you are safe and well in this perilous time. If you or your loved ones have been directly affected by the Covid 19 virus, our hearts go out to you. Our son has lost a friend who lived in New York City, and a former co-worker with whom I was very close has just been diagnosed positive. We are hoping for the best.

I’m sure many of you, like us, are staying at home, except for essentials like obtaining groceries. We take long walks, take turns doing our core workouts on our living room floor, and of course continue writing.

Whatever you’re doing – home schooling children, working on the front lines as a healthcare provider, delivering groceries and supplies for those who cannot shop for themselves, working from home in a job you can do from your computer – I hope you’re also caring for yourself, following safe practices, and of course finding time for reading.

We love this fun graphic, created by N. N. Light. To us, it looks like Merry herself, opening the French doors that lead from her bedroom to her back patio and her beloved gardens. I suspect in our current crisis, living as she does in a north Chicago suburb, she would be able to spend time outside in those gardens, though it might be a tad chilly or even snowy. But our artist caught her in a moment where she’s going back to bed to read, and we hope you do, too!

REVIEW

Wow, what an incredible book! Not only is this a gripping romantic suspense, but the heat level is hotter than Death Valley. Merry exploration adds a scorching depth to the story but it’s very well done. Merry’s pleasure journey is more about her rediscovering herself after years in solitude than having all kinds of sex. The emotions are firmly entrenched and that is what makes The Merry Widow such a wonderful romance. The characters leap off the page with their own set of insecurities and hang-ups. The plot moves at a quick pace with a balance between the erotic romance and the suspense. The ending took me by surprise and I was a little sad to see it end. I grew attached to the characters and wanted to stay in their world a little bit longer. The Merry Widow will be on my keeper shelf and one I will be re-reading again and again. Highly recommend! N. N. Light

The millennium arrived with such promise—will it deliver for recently widowed Merry Delaney?

BLURB

So much for all the anticipation about the new millennium. Merry Delaney’s life is still in a rut and shows no signs of changing. Sex? A fading memory, gone long before her husband actually died. Excitement? Hardly the hallmark of an accountant’s life. At forty-two, what can she look forward to?

Until her best friend takes Merry’s predicament into her practiced hands. One passionate kiss unleashes possibilities Merry never dreamed of—and she wants to sample them all. Men? Women? Young? Old? Ménage? Toys? Yes, to all, to pleasure, to making up for lost time.

Enter Chicago Detective Jim Barnes, who solicits Merry’s help with a mob funds-skimming case. Can the scorching passion that soon smolders between Merry and Jim survive the escalating mob threats of exposure? Having discovered a zest for sex, will Merry ever again be satisfied with one man?

BUY LINKS

Amazon   Kobo   Barnes & Noble   Extasy Books  

Goodreads     BookBub

 

Why Willow? #Giveaway #MFRWauthor #BookHooks

Our monthly autographed print book giveaway for January is Willow Smoke (Riders Up, Book Three). Contest details at the end of the post, and of course, Willow Smoke is always free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Be sure to check out the rest of this week’s Book Hooks authors!

Why Willow?

When we lived in northern Minnesota, our forty acres included a small marshy area that grew willow shrubs. I always cut some branches each spring and set them in a vase inside to open as pussy willows, usually the first blossoms of the year. My husband dabbled in wood carving while we lived there, and gnarled willow sticks made inviting projects to carve, sand, and stain.

Enter Daisy Matthews, the waif Cassie rescued through her Chicago group home job in Riders Up, Book One. By Book Three, Daisy is tall and lanky and holding her own as an assistant trainer at Chicago’s Arlington Park.

We did not have a title when we began writing this book, but we did know our characters. The much older Nick Underwood has left the stock market, where he made a killing, and he now runs a small company crafting handmade wooden canoes. When he first encounters Daisy in the Arlington Park track barn, he doesn’t know her name, but he’s struck by her smoky eyes and her tall willowy frame. He decides to call her Willow. Our title was born, but we had no idea how important this small shrub genus would become in our story.

As the story gradually made its way onto the page, we sent Nick and Daisy on a canoeing trip to northern Minnesota’s boundary waters, which we so often enjoyed ourselves. On their way home, he stops at a friend’s home (forty acres and a farmhouse, imagine that!). Daisy has often watched Nick working the wood at his shop, and his friend finds an appropriate willow stick and talks her into getting started with it.

We won’t give away the story’s ending here – I’ll just say that Daisy’s willow stick plays an important role when the chips are down.

When the chips are down, there’s nobody there.

BLURB

Willowy blonde Daisy Matthews has survived the Chicago streets with this mantra, but she’s unprepared for the much older Nick Underwood’s urgent pursuit.  The wealthy businessman receives a thoroughbred in payment for a bad debt and is thrust into Daisy’s world.  She teaches him about horse racing; he teaches her about love.  When Daisy’s seamy brother-in-law threatens Nick’s safety, she doggedly tries to stop him by herself, but flees to the familiar streets when he attacks. Can Nick find her in time – and if he does, will she still want him?

REVIEWS

Five stars at Amazon “Adriana Kraft has created memorable characters that linger long after the story has ended and I’ve closed the book. She has done what an author should – brought me into the book’s world and made me care about the characters so that my world will not be the same as before their foray into it.” Sheila G.

Five stars at Goodreads “Suspenseful, intriguing and truly romantic! What a fabulous story of the blending of two worlds… the plot twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat and the pages turning.” Risha C “…dreams can become reality, love can transcend age… Exciting, engaging and very entertaining story. The character interplay is spot on and the story is extremely well written.” Donna H.

EXCERPT

Here’s the opening scene:

“I won’t let anything hurt you.” Daisy Matthews finished wrapping the ankles of the chestnut mare and sat back on her haunches to evaluate her work. The mare’s ankles were cooler than they’d been two hours earlier.

It wasn’t easy to convince a horse to stand in buckets of ice, but after three years of being a groom and an exercise rider, she could do it about as well as anybody at Arlington Park. At least that was what her boss said when he promoted her to assistant trainer.

Daisy grinned. There wasn’t much prestige associated with being an assistant trainer for a fellow with a string of only twenty-some claimers and allowance horses, but it was something, particularly for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

RainbowBlaze took a step forward.

“I know.” Daisy groaned. “Step one: pay attention. Sorry, I got lost daydreaming. You’re right. Taking care of you is an important job.” She chuckled. “I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.”

“Hey kid, do you always talk to horses?”

The horse reared and pawed.

“It’s okay, girl.” Daisy kept her voice soft and ran her hand slowly along the mare’s neck.

When the mare had stopped trembling, Daisy stepped out of the stall, shaded her eyes from the sun and faced the interloper. She scowled at the man’s new sneakers, monogrammed shirt and neatly pressed slacks. He looked like he’d be more at home on a sailboat than in a barn.

The man peered over wire-rimmed glasses like he knew something she didn’t. Or was he appraising her? Why? His dark hair set off a chiseled face; it was hard to guess his age, but she could see a few gray hairs at his temples. He was money. Understated, but money. Probably the stock market. What was he doing in her barn?

She thrust her jaw at him. “So who the hell are you? Don’t you know better than to sneak up on someone who’s working with a horse?”

BUY LINK

Willow Smoke is available on Amazon as a print book or an e-book, and is always free to read at Kindle Unlimited:

CONTEST

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

#FREE Nov. 7-10 ~ Bediviled, by Madison Michael #MFRWAuthor

Bedeviled
The Beguiling Bachelors, Book 3
By Madison Michael
♥♥♥ ~ Free November 7th – November 10th Only ~ ♥♥♥

About Bedeviled:

If You Build Your Love on Lies, You Better Run Faster than the Truth

Newly appointed Finance Director, Charlotte Roche escaped dangers lurking in Boston by moving to Chicago. A new name, a new beginning – all built on lies. Believing she is safe, Charlotte drops her guard and sets her sights on her ruggedly handsome and wildly sexy running partner, Alexander Gaines. Can she advance their relationship from the track to the bedroom and still maintain her charade? or will Alex’s probing questions pierce her carefully rehearsed story?

Alex, with unrevealed secrets of his own, struggles to hold the irresistible Charlotte at arm’s length. But when Charlotte sustains a suspicious injury, Alex seizes the opportunity to cuddle up to the sassy beauty. Does he dare risk his reputation, his fortune, his friends, and his heart by letting her get close?

How can they build a bond with deceit on both sides? With exposure imminent, their freshly forged relationship is in jeopardy and so are their lives. Can their love survive or are they bedeviled?

Join Alex and Charlotte, in this steamy romance, the third in the five-star rated Beguiling Bachelor series. The suspense builds as the characters you’ve met and loved in “Bedazzled” and “Beholden” help tackle the maze of half-truths and cover-ups threatening the lovers.

ASIN: B06WLQL2FT
Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/321d24H

Excerpt from Bedeviled:

Keeping his mind on the topic always took all of Alex’s effort anyway. When Charlotte sat hip-to-hip with him as she had today, he felt the heat of her skin, saw the long length of thigh exposed in front of him, heard her heavy post-run breathing until he was in sensory overload. She smelled so good, not stinky and sweaty like he must. She smelled classy and expensive with all those clean, floral scents. She smelled like a woman he could trust.
More like a woman I want to trust.
Thinking back, Alex recognized that she had been hiding something all along. When he wasn’t lost in a sensual fog, he was able to zero in on where the conversations lagged, when she got testy with his probing or tried to change the subject. It had something to do with her life in Boston before she moved to Chicago and it was something that had been going on for a while. She was practiced at her excuses by the time she used them on him. She was making too many trips back East for ‘Harvard stuff.’ She had met Regan Howe through this same ‘Harvard stuff’ yet Regan went back to her alma mater only once or twice a year, if that.
Oh yeah, Charlotte is definitely up to something and I intend to find out what. I have been patient long enough.
Sitting waiting now for Charlotte to arrive at Starbucks, Alex promised himself that he would get to the bottom of this or walk away.
Since she had declined his offer of a ride, Alex currently sat at a shady outside table enjoying the last of summer, waiting for her to walk over and speculating on her possible secrets. He was planning his subtle interrogation during the few minutes Charlotte would need to make her way across the park,
Stubborn. She should have just accepted the ride.
You driving over or walking?” she had asked him, once they caught their breath.
“I have the car if you want a ride?” When she hesitated, he tried tempting her. “I have the new car.”
Alex was the proud owner of a brand new Mercedes AMG. The sleek, luxury sports car suited him despite most people’s image of him as logical, conservative and staid. The need for speed was actually deep in his blood. “You will love it, tight on the curves, fast and quiet. She purrs,” he had bragged.
Charlotte hesitated on his last remark and Alex had been sure she would accept. “The new car, huh?” she sounded intrigued. “I am excited to see it at last, Alex. You have certainly been talking about it long enough.”
“I need to walk off this tight hamstring, so I’ll have to pass this time,” she had replied reluctantly. “Meet you there in five.” Of course, Charlotte had been Charlotte, and that included being unpredictable.
Charlotte, leaving Alex standing there, had taken off across the park without a backward glance. Alex stood dumbfounded a moment, watching her slow jog-walk toward the trail across the grassy lawns of Lincoln Park. She was heading directly toward their usual post-run Starbucks and if he didn’t get moving, she would be there first.
Still he stood, willing her to look back and flash him that smile that changed her whole face. She didn’t, of course, and Alex was left standing there, admiring her lithe figure and the smooth bunch and release of her muscles in those tiny running shorts as she moved into the distance. Reminding himself to close his gaping mouth, Alex jogged to the parking lot, trading an extra moment of admiring a beautiful woman for a few short moments admiring his beautiful new car.
Arriving at the coffee shop several minutes before Charlotte, Alex was forced to cool his heels. He spent the time piecing together anything he could think of to uncover Charlotte’s deep, dark, secret. Admittedly, he needed the ten-minute head start away from her to give his overheated blood a little cooling time too. He kept envisioning the two of them in that sweet ride, sitting close with their sweat-slicked bodies. The image had intensified the jolts of.electricity already coursing through his veins from running beside her scantily clothed body.
Too bad she turned me down. One of these days we will be in tight quarters, all alone, and I will make my move. I have resisted too long already.
Since the mention of her tight hamstring, all Alex could think about was massaging her leg, and moving up from there. Did the woman not understand what she was doing to him? After all, he was a healthy red-blooded man. How long was he supposed to watch her round little ass wiggle in front of him, or the glide of muscles in those incredible legs – or OMG – her breasts bob up and down in those little running tops. The woman was killing him. He wanted her so badly he could taste it.
He chided himself to stop thinking of her that way, as he always did when he lusted after her. He would catch himself wanting her and repress the overwhelming sexual response that had plagued him since the beginning. She was so much more than just beautiful and sexy. She was a brilliant woman, funny, witty, complex and delightful. She considered him a running partner, and a friend…
…but that body, oh, that body. Stop it!
Alex determined to stay focused on what she might be trying to cover up and got his desire under control. He reviewed the signs – when she changed topics or failed to make eye contact. He carefully dissected her words while he waited for her to arrive. He knew she was being intentionally elusive. Alex resolved again that today would be the day he found out what she was concealing, beginning as soon as she arrived.
Speaking of arriving, Charlotte should have shown up long before now. She would have, unless something had happened. How long had he been sitting, pondering? How much time had passed?
Heart racing like a freight train, Alex ran into the park. Unsure why, he was terrified of what he might find.
 

About Madison Michael:

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links:
Website: http://madisonmichael.net/
Maddy’s Romance Madness: https://www.madisonmichael.net/maddys-romance-madness/
Maddy’s Blog: https://www.madisonmichael.net/maddys-blog/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/madisonmichaelromance
Twitter: http://twitter.com/madisonmichael_
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/Madison-Michael/e/B01EVUGG6G/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/madisonmichaelromance
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madisonmichaelromance/

 
© 2020 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.
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