An antique ivory locket catapults Aimee Reynolds back to the year 1847. Alone in St. Louis, Missouri, she has to find a way to get home to present day Seattle. She needs a suitable male willing to marry her or be left behind when the emigrant train departs for the Oregon Territory.
Jake Marshall, scout for the Markham Party, is the perfect, if unwilling choice. Undaunted by his overt rudeness, Aimee entices Jake to the alter, promising her diamond earrings as payment for a marriage of convenience. Properly wed, she secures passage on the wagon train, and discovers her future may be in the past.
Aimee flew through the air, hitting the ground with a solid thump. Groaning in pain, she opened her eyes, and then rolled away in panic as a team of horses almost ran her over. The driver cursed, snapping the reins as the wagon careened around her. The ignorant ass was a maniac!
“If you roll one more time,” an amused voice drawled, “your face’ll end up in that pile of horseshit.”
Her head tilted to the side. Sure enough, one more roll and she would have landed in a stinking pile of horse poop. Scrambling to her feet, she looked down. Her favorite outfit was covered in black mud. Filth caked her arms and legs, and she could only guess what her face looked like. Rubbing her hands down, she tried to dislodge some of the disgusting sludge, but it stuck like glue.
“If I were you, the next time one of my customers threw me out into the street, I’d make sure I was wearing more than just my petticoat,” The amused voice commented again.
“Excuse me?” Turning, she caught sight of the voice’s owner.
Kicked-back in a wooden rocker, his feet propped on a railing, the man regarded her from eyes the startling shade of Brazilian aquamarine, rimmed by black lashes so long and thick, she groaned with envy. Tanned by years of exposure to the sun, laugh lines accentuated his firm sensuous lips, while several days' growth of beard shadowed his chiseled jaw. A low-brimmed cowboy hat, tilted back, covered longish jet-black hair.
Jake Marshall leaned back in his chair, studiously admiring the little tart. She was a tempting little piece! He scratched his chin. What he couldn't figure out is where she came from. Seems like she just appeared, rolling in the mud and cussing a blue streak. No matter. He was enjoying the show. His eyes dropped, perusing her from the tips of her feet to the top of her thick mop of curling red-gold hair. Wide eyes the color of old amber flashed sparks, and even the frown she now wore couldn't disguise the perfection of her full lush lips. Slimmer than he generally liked, the muddied petticoat hid few of her charms – and he'd bet his bottom dollar she had nothing on under the thin chemise. Whores like her didn't usually get this far west. He'd seen some nice ones in the east and even a few in New Orleans, but never here. His groin tightened, reminding him it'd been awhile since he'd last had a woman. He wondered what she’d feel like beneath him as he ground against her, screaming as she climaxed.
He flashed her a wide smile, full of the Marshall charm. “If you’re finished with your last customer, I might be interested.”
She flipped her hair back, curling her lips in a sneer. “Customer? What customer? And why are you talking to me?”
Sassy, too! He liked sassy! He wondered if her skin tasted like peaches and cream. His mouth watered as his eyes rested on her pert breasts, visualizing his lips suckling the pebbled nipples. He shifted, easing the swelling in the front of his trousers. “Well, the goods you’re selling appear to be prime, and I’m not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth.”
“I still have no idea what you’re talking about, and I could care less, anyway.”
"I'll give you double what the last man paid."
Aimee’s Locket is the kind of book I love to snuggle up with for hours. Aimee is a spitfire, especially for the year 1847. When she’s ripped away from her sister and ends up in the past, her confusion, irritation and terror come across the page, as does her heartbreak as she realizes just where she’s ended up. A strong woman, Aimee doesn’t give up. Her and Jake’s interaction is filled with friction that’s too yummy to put the book down—he’s not exactly the gentleman of old. I love how she just can’t keep from stirring him up.
“Why are you helping me?”
He shrugged. “Guess it’s because I’m a gentleman at heart.”
“Are you?” she asked. “Are you a gentleman?”
Her unexpected question made him smile. “I can be when I need to.”
This is a story that will reach out and envelope you in a pioneer adventure that encompasses the good, bad and unexpected on the way to the Oregon Territory.
One of my favorite quotes:
The aching need to possess her was destroying his tightly held control.
Sassy, delightful, satisfying read that will leave you missing the characters after you reach the end.
Connect with P. L. Parker
Purchase Aimee's Locket here
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She was outrageous—with her ponytail, her jar of semen, and her T-shirt that proclaimed, "Midwife at Your Cervix."
Layla's trip to Behruz is meant to be one last adventure before she joins her dreamboat fiance in Texas. But Behruz casts a spell on her. Her knowledge as a midwife is needed there. Serving women's health in a country where no one talks about "such things" is a challenge.
Majid, an American-trained doctor, is ready to settle down, but because of an old family bias, American women are forbidden to him. That's no problem until Layla walks into his clinic with a sassy smile, a jar of semen, and a blond fiance back home.
“Okay, okay you win. I see the word penis is important in your vocabulary. And do you use words like that when you talk to your American fiancé?”
“Hmmm. No.” She twisted a tendril of hair that had come loose from her pony tail. “I don’t suppose I do. He uses a wide assortment of words to refer to the male reproductive organ, but I think he’d be a bit uncomfortable if I started talking about penises.”
“I’m glad to hear that. It makes me feel less backward.”
He straightened a stack of papers on his desk. “I’m aware that people in your culture are more open than we are about matters related to sexuality. People of my culture must seem quite inhibited to you.”
“No, not to me. I don’t think inhibited is the word I'd use. I think people of your culture are more respectful of sexuality. I imagine more of the mystery and sensuality of sex has been retained.”
Mystery and sensuality. That brought rather disturbing images to his mind. He saw a seduction scene as she might imagine it, a scene in which his culture was exotic and mysterious. And sensual—with incense and brooding music and silken robes—maybe in the desert in a sheik’s tent, with rugs and cushions and clusters of grapes.
A dreamy fever clouded her eyes and a fresh bloom crept across her cheeks. Was she imagining that same scene? Was he in it?
Midwife in Behruz by Judy Meadows is a heart-melting romance. The characters drew me in; Layla with her spunk and caring, and Majid, who walks a thin line between taboo and honor. If you like to go deep with characters, these two will take you there as they battle their own desires to remain respectful of one another, the culture of Behruz (a fictional country) and those they care for. But it’s so fun when they do put a toe over the line!
One of my favorite lines: “The dark eyes that regarded her from across the desk made her feel feminine and appreciated and, for some reason, confused about the course of her life.”
I deeply enjoyed immersing myself in another culture that’s similar to a real one, and learning about their beliefs (where arranged marriages are common and people don’t talk about sex—not even to their doctor). And following along as Layla searched within that world for what was missing from her life. Judy incorporates some wonderful humor into the stiff culture that had me hooting.
Midwife in Behruz is a lovely, satisfying read that took me deep into a foreign world, and restored my faith that loyalty and lifelong love really do still exist.
How can you not love this book with lines like this: “He had the hands of a surgeon, of an artist. Or a lover.”
Connect with Judy Meadows
Website - www.judymeadows.com
Twitter - @judymeadows44
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16631373.Judy_Meadows
Facebook - (Judy Meadows Romance Writer) - https://www.facebook.com/Judy-Meadows-Romance-Writer-1556763401023522/
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Desperate for an escape, Jae Copeland takes a solo kayaking trip into the lush wilderness of the Smoky Mountains. When she ends up stranded and soggy, she makes camp and hopes to avoid dangerous, wild animals. She should have been more worried about dangerous, wild humans, but she's both alarmed and thrilled when Hanson Sykes, a fellow kayaker, happens upon her. He's an experienced mountain man…and sexy as hell.
The sparks between them light up the uninhabited darkness, because survival in the mountains isn't his only talent. He knows exactly how to touch her in ways that make her burn.
I knew by its title that Lyrical Embrace was going to be melodious and full of yummy connections. Amber Daulton does a fabulous job of recreating the town and inn—Deerbourne Inn—in this series that is a collaboration by authors and set in the small fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont. The setting is a bonus, giving it a vacation vibe even as real-life drama is going on. This undertaking is a challenge in itself, one that Amber met with brilliance, in my opinion.
Right away, Amber’s writing pulls me into the car with her character, Erica Timberly. I’m hooked as she sprinkles tidbits about the past Erica is escaping. The vivid imagery has me standing next to Erica in the dark, broken down on the side of the road. And I shiver as I read, “The taillights lit up the tall, broadshouldered figure like a demon coming out of the storm.”
Luckily, the tall figure is Dylan Haynes, sexy former drummer of Erica’s favorite indie rock band. “Raindrops dripped slowly, almost sensually down the defined muscles of his forearms.” But is he a good guy? Are there still good guys left?
Erica is a full-blown character who jumps off the page, strong-willed and sassy. She can handle herself. Even though she ends up in trouble and needs rescuing in the moment, she only allows it in an independent, badass woman sort of way. Dylan is trustworthy—a music teacher by day, who moonlights as a volunteer firefighter. He is also droolworthy, because not only is he hot, he sees straight through Erica’s BS to the point that their connection makes me get goose bumps.
This is one of my favorite quotes from Lyrical Embrace:
“As she chuckled, he flashed her an arrogant, knee-weakening grin. ‘I should warn you, Erica. I’m going to kiss you again tonight.’”
Erica didn’t swoon as I might have expected, instead, she came right back with a comeback of her own. You’ll have to read to find out what it was 😊
Dylan is overwhelmed by what he’s feeling, and sees Erica in a way all of us romantics long for. “The moon shone from behind her, darkening her front half, but lit strands of her blonde hair to a silvery-gold.” He thinks she’s beautiful, no matter what.
Erica and Dylan’s story portrays the doubts that rise up in a new relationship after experiencing an abusive one—the angst of leaving, the painful steps of healing. Healthy love still has conflict, which sparks real conversations between the characters, adding just enough tension in all the right places. “A part of me thinks we’re moving too fast, but another part says to jump in with both feet.” The buildup of suspense sparks some deep soul healing, all as the story twines perfectly into the setting of Deerbourne Inn. The author paints a picture of the inn and town using all five senses, so well that I’m transported there. Add the lush Vermont landscape to the depth of the characters, with their past heartaches and future dreams, and you have a five-star read.
I highly recommend this sexy, suspenseful book that will transport you straight to Vermont and the sleepy town of Willow Springs. And thanks to Amber Daulton, I really do believe that gentlemen do still exist.
About the Author
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at:
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