Friday, August 30, 2013

Coming Attractions

The weather in the Northern Hemisphere remains hot, hot, hot, and we vow to keep it the same here at the blog! We have a great guest schedule set for September, along with our regular monthly blogs, reviews, and more! So without further ado, here’s what we have in store for you next month at The Romance Dish!

We start the month off in style when historical author Theresa Romain dishes with us on Tuesday, September 3rd!  It Takes Two to Tangle, the first book in her new Regency trilogy, releases the same day!

PJ interviews Romance Bandit and debut author Anna Sugden on Wednesday, September 4th. Anna’s exciting debut, A Perfect Distraction, is being published by Harlequin Superromance and hits shelves September 1st!

Grab a pen and paper to jot down your favorite September books from Andrea’s New Releases list on Thursday, September 5th!

On Friday, September 6th, join us for a blog tour event as we spotlight a legend in historical romance with Janga's guest review of The Arrangement by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Mary Balogh.   The Arrangement, which is part of Balogh's Survivors’ Club series, is on shelves now!

New York Times best-selling contemporary author Susan Mallery is in the spotlight on Monday, September 9th! Her newest release is Fool’s Gold Cookbook, which you can find a coupon for on her website. Do stop by because there will be a giveaway!

The always lovely and talented Trish Milburn is back this month and will catch us up on all the latest news in YA in her Teen Menu on Tuesday, September 10th.

Make Your Reservations on Thursday, September 12th, as we let you know which books we are most looking forward to in October.

On Monday, September 16th, we are thrilled to have the always witty and hilariously funny Karen Hawkins dish with us! The New York Times best-selling author’s latest book, How to Entice an Enchantress, book three in her popular Duchess Diaries series, releases the next day, September 17th!

The dynamic writing duo, V.K. Sykes, will be our very special guest on Tuesday, September 17th! V.K. will surely tell us all about their newest gripping romantic suspense release, Lethal Confessions!

Continuing our week of fantastic authors, on Wednesday, September 18th, we throw open the doors for Avon historical romance author Jennifer McQuiston.  Jennifer takes us on the road to Brighton with her second book, Summer is for Lovers.  If you like smart, quirky heroines and sexy, emotionally conflicted heroes, you'll want to be here for Jennifer's visit!   

The always sassy and super talented Bandita Tawny Weber joins us Thursday, September 19th! The USA Today best-seller’s latest book, Fearless, is a Cosmo Red-Hot Read from Harlequin that releases September 15th!

Do make plans to stop by on Friday, September 20th, to catch PJ’s blog and to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  (PJ, sneaking in to say there just might be a giveaway...or two!)

We welcome romantic women’s fiction author Tracy Solheim to the Dish on Monday, September 23rd! Tracy’s debut, Game On, is on shelves now! (What a hot cover!)

The uber witty and always glamorous Anna Campbell will bring us her Second Helping of a book or books that we may have missed the first time around on Tuesday, September 24th!

Please join us on Wednesday, September 25th, when we welcome USA Today best-selling author B.J. Daniels! Her upcoming release, Forsaken, is the third book in her Beartooth, Montana series and releases September 24th!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Anna Campbell Winner

The winner of a copy of 
A RAKE'S MIDNIGHT KISS by Anna Campbell 
THE KNIGHT'S TEMPTRESS by Amanda Scott is:

Lucy Waterhouse

Congratulations, Lucy!  Please send your full name and postal mailing address to us at
theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today's Special - - Kat Martin

Today, we welcome back a Dish favorite, Romantic Suspense author Kat Martin!

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History.   Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker.  During that time she met her husband, L.J. Martin, author of thirty western, non-fiction, historical, and suspense novels.  A resident of Missoula, Montana, Kat and her husband spend their winters in Ventura, California.  She is a currently writing her next Romantic Suspense.

With fifty five novels to her credit and more than fifteen million copies of her books in print, Ms. Martin has been published in twenty-one foreign countries including France, Japan, Greece, Argentina, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, China, and Spain.


For AGAINST THE MARK, my newest Romantic Suspense, out the end of August, my husband and I headed for Los Angeles, more specifically to Marina Del Rey.  That’s where the heroine, Haley Warren’s father is killed in a power boat explosion.  Though we live in Montana, we spend our winters on the California coast so we didn’t have far to travel. 

In the story, private investigator Tyler Brodie--you met Ty in AGAINST THE NIGHT with Johnnie Riggs, and also in AGAINST THE EDGE with Ben Slocum.  When Ty agrees to help hot little blond Haley Warren find out the truth about her father’s death, he doesn’t realize the danger he and Haley are going to find themselves in.

After all, tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen art is plenty of motive for murder. Besides a trip to the marina, which is surrounded by condos, restaurants, businesses, and shopping, we also drove the Miracle Mile, also known as Gallery Row, the location of the L.A. County Museum of Art and a number of other wonderful art galleries. 

Investigating the settings, going to the galleries, restaurants, and staying in hotels in the area, makes the book feel more real--and hey, it’s also a lot of fun.

I hope you’ll watch for Ty and Haley in AGAINST THE MARK, the ninth book in the series.  And that next year, you’ll look for Ty’s cousins’s, the Brodie brothers, starting with Dylan Brodie in AGAINST THE WILD.

Tell me, what is your favorite LA hot spot?  If you've never been to LA, tell us about a favorite hot spot / hangout where you live!

Till then happy reading and have a great summer.   Kat 

Kat is giving away one copy of AGAINST THE MARK to a randomly chosen person who leaves a comment today.  (U.S. address only)   

P.S. Visit my website Or join my Facebook page.  

The perfect murder is a work of art ...

In one catastrophic instant, Haley Warren's estranged father was taken from her. She never got the chance to reconnect with him, so now she's doing it the only way she's got left: by proving the explosion that killed him was no accident.

When Tyler Brodie, the provocative and handsome P.I. hired by Haley, discovers that her father was investigating a suspected art theft, he knows his death is no coincidence. After all, tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen art could motivate a thief to go to any lengths including getting rid of anyone poking around where they don't belong.

As Haley and Ty get closer to the truth, the truth gets ugly: Did Haley's dad know too much …or was he in on the take? And although Ty's a consummate professional, he's having trouble focusing on the facts of the case, and not the figure of his gorgeous client. The two are determined to get to the bottom of the case, even if it means they die trying.

Excerpt #1
Against the Mark, by Kat Martin

“I’ve got another client for you.  Tyler Brodie, I’d like you to meet my grandniece, Haley Warren.  Haley’s out here from Chicago.  Her grandmother was my sister.”
Just to regain a little of his dignity, Ty let his gaze roam over her, starting at the frosted-pink toenails peeking out of strappy high-heeled, open-toed sandals, sliding up a pair of long legs in snug fitting jeans, across that bare midriff with its glittering bellybutton ring over a set of nicely rounded breasts to a pretty face framed by long, softly curling honey blond hair. 
She had big blue eyes, and an Angelina Jolie mouth that made him think of dirty sex.  Maybe she read his thoughts for a faint blush rose in her cheeks.
Good.  A little payback only seemed fair. 
Besides, she was a real pleasure to look at.  Not beautiful in the classic sense like some of the women he knew, but with those dimples and big blue eyes, she was way beyond cute.
“Nice to meet you, Ms. Warren.”
The smile was gone and she assessed him coolly.  “Aunt Ellie tells me you’re a friend, as well as an investigator.”
“I like to think that’s true.”
“Of course it’s true,” Ellie said.  “That’s why I know we can count on Ty to help us.”
Wariness slid through him.  Ellie had a way of bringing him clients who were nothing but trouble.  “How’s that?”
“Well, you see, three months ago Haley’s father died when his power boat exploded.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he said to her.
Grief flashed in her eyes an instant before she glanced away.  “Thank you.”   
“At the time everyone thought it was an accident,” Ellie continued, “a gas leak of some kind that turned deadly.  Haley’s stepmother doesn’t believe it.  About a month ago, Betty Jean started emailing Haley, trying to convince her to come to Los Angeles and help her find out the truth.”
Ty focused on the leggy blonde.  “And you think she’s right because...?”
“I don’t know if she’s right or not.  I’ve never met her.  Before he died, my father and I had been estranged for nearly five years, ever since he left my mother and ran off with another woman.”
“Betty Jean,” he said, just to make sure he was getting this straight.
“That’s right.  After he moved to L.A., Dad tried to mend our relationship, but I just...I couldn’t get past his desertion.”  She glanced down and her eyes misted.  “Now my father’s gone.”
Ty nodded, beginning to get the picture.  “So your dad’s dead and you regret not mending your fences.”
“Yes, I do.  Very much.  But the thing is, some of the things Betty Jean says make sense.  I owe it to my father to find out what really happened.”
He flicked a glance at Ellie, whose features looked a little too bland to suit him.  “I take it you’re here to convince me to help her.”
“That’s right.  You know how good you are at these things, Tyler.  Johnnie’s out of town on some case or other.  And Haley will be helping you.  That’ll save you from having to do everything by yourself.”
Haley would be helping him.  He could think of any number of things he’d like her to do for him, but none of them had anything to do with business.  The fact was Haley Warren was Ellie’s niece.  Seducing her probably wasn’t a good idea.
“Have you talked to the police?”
“Betty Jean has,” Haley answered.  “The police said there was nothing to indicate any sort of foul play.  But my stepmother isn’t convinced and if she’s right--“
“I’ll tell you what.  I’ll look into the circumstances of the accident, see if anything looks suspicious.  I’ve got friends in the department.  If something’s not right, I’ll talk to them myself.”
Haley reached over and caught his arm.  He felt a little zing of awareness and figured she must have felt it too since she stepped back as if she’d been burned. 
She glanced away, took a deep breath and forced her eyes back to his face.  “I want to be involved in this, Mr. Brodie.  I need to find out for myself.  I owe it to my father to find out the truth.”

Monday, August 26, 2013

Today's Special - - Anna Campbell

She's back!  It's always a pleasure to have Anna hanging out with us here at The Romance Dish.  Usually, she drops by to talk about someone else's book but today we're spotlighting Anna's newest historical romance, A Rake's Midnight Kiss.  It's the second book in her Sons of Sin series and it's awesome!

5 Unexpected Facts Behind A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS!

Hi PJ! Hi Andrea! Thanks for having me as your guest to talk about my new Grand Central Forever release, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, which is out in North America tomorrow.

Goodness me, I feel like I only just stepped out of the stylish Romance Dish premises and here I am back again for another delicious visit!  For those who don't know, on the 24 th of every month, I review a classic romance or a more recent one that perhaps slipped under the radar. Check out my review of new Harlequin SuperRomance author Jennifer Lohmann’s books from last Saturday. (click here for Anna's review)

Today I thought it might be fun to give you five random factoids that contributed to writing book 2 of my Sons of Sin series. This story is lighter than usual – I think of it as a sorbet to freshen the palate between the big roast dinners of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED and Cam’s story which I’m currently writing.

So here go the 5 fun facts:

  1. With Rake, I took a leaf out of the book of one of the greatest directors ever, Alfred Hitchcock. As anyone familiar with his films knows, many of his plots center on a THING that everyone wants. It doesn’t much matter what it is, whether it’s a reel of microfilm or a rare jewel or a dead body or a secret message. But the THING needs to get the characters excited and interacting and chasing madly after it. It creates the stakes in the story. Hitchcock called it a MacGuffin. There’s an extensive article about the term in Wikipedia: Including an explanation of the name’s origin that is so bizarre it just has to be true! In A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, the THING everyone wants is the Harmsworth Jewel.
  2. I’ve nursed the idea of using something like the Harmsworth Jewel in a story for a few years. I’m a devotee of BBC history and culture programs, and I remember seeing the Alfred Jewel, an ancient and very beautiful gold and enamel book pointer currently in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, in THE SEVEN AGES OF BRITAIN. If you picture the Alfred Jewel when you read about the Harmsworth Jewel, you’ve got the right idea. Again, I turn to my good friends at Wikipedia:
  3. Scholarly Genevieve’s academic pursuits and eventual fame were inspired by a real Regency woman. Mary Somerville was a remarkable popularizer of the Regency scientific revolution. One of her books stayed in print for over 40 years until 1877! Somerville College in Oxford is named after her – ironic given at the time it as founded, women weren’t admitted! If you’d like to find out more about this Regency prodigy, turn again to my friends at Wikipedia:
  4. When I came up with the idea for Rake, I wanted to write about a man who becomes a hero in spite of himself. I pictured someone golden and spectacularly handsome who hides his inner turmoil behind an elegant manner and a nonchalant wit. The Scarlet Pimpernel immediately sprang to mind (although Sir Percy is pretty heroic all the way through!) so if you want to know what Richard looks like, check out gorgeous Anthony Andrews in the 1980s telemovie. 
  5. Let’s go full circle and return to Alfred Hitchcock. Another inspiration for A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS is the sexy and fun thriller from 1955, TO CATCH A THIEF. That stars another spectacularly handsome man, Cary Grant, and a young Grace Kelly sporting a breathtaking wardrobe. For Genevieve Barrett, the heroine of A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, I wanted that quality of outer coolness over a volcano of sensuality. Like GK’s character in TCAT, Genevieve isn’t nearly the naïve ingénue the hero expects to run rings around. In fact, the person with most of the answers in both Rake and TCAT is the heroine! Love that dynamic when Mr. Cool finds himself all at sea with a woman who’s smart enough to guess his game.
So in honor of Alfred and Grace and Cary (and Anthony!), let’s talk old-time movies. Do you have a favorite actress from the Golden Years of Hollywood? I must admit to a penchant for Audrey Hepburn. I think she was just magic on the screen. Are you a Hitchcock fan? What’s your favorite of his films? 

Grand Central  is offering a copy of A RAKE'S MIDNIGHT KISS to one randomly chosen person leaving a comment on today's blog and, as a bonus, they will also include a copy of THE KNIGHT'S TEMPTRESS by Amanda Scott.  (Open to U.S., Canadian and Australian addresses only.  Please indicate in your comment if you live in one of these countries.)  


Brilliant scholar Genevieve Barrett's secret identity as the author of her father's articles is her greatest deception-until her father's handsome new student arrives on their doorstep. Genevieve recognizes him as the masked intruder who earlier tried to steal a priceless gem from their home. Keeping the seductive stranger's identity hidden is a risk, but she's got secrets of her own to keep.


Sir Richard Harmsworth fakes a rakish facade to show society that he doesn't care about his bastard status. Yet haunted by his unknown father's identity, Richard believes the Harmsworth Jewel will prove he's the rightful heir. Intent on seducing the stone away from its owner, Richard finds himself face-to-face with a beauty more breathtaking than any jewel. But even as she steals Richard's heart, Genevieve will be in greater danger than her coveted treasure . . . 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Absolute Vicky Bliss!

by Anna Campbell

On the 9th August, I saw the sad news that Elizabeth Peters had passed away at the age of 85 at her home in Maryland. Her Amelia Peabody books have become a real favorite in the last few years and now I'm addicted to the Vicky Bliss books. This review was originally scheduled for next month, but I've put it up today as a tribute to a marvelous writer who has provided me with many hours of wonderful entertainment.  She will be missed.

As many of you know, I've long (well, the last few years - nobody has ever accused me of being au courant, as they say in the best Regencies!) been a huge fan of Elizabeth Peters's Amelia Peabody books, featuring a headstrong and managing Victorian woman and her curmudgeonly but lovable husband Emerson, as well as assorted eccentric (and in the case of Ramses, their son, extremely sexy!) family and friends. But until very recently, I hadn't ventured further into EP territory.

Enter my lovely critique partner Annie West who lent me the first two Vicky Bliss mysteries.

Vicky Bliss is a unique character. She's gorgeous - I keep thinking of bosomy blonde Anita Ekberg from LA DOLCE VITA. In case you don't know her, that's a picture on the right. You can see what I mean about blonde and bosomy! But Vicky also has a brain like a steel trap.

Naturally, her film star/call girl looks get in the way of the respect people pay her brain, both to her advantage and not. In her career as an art historian, she wants to be taken seriously, but the dumb blonde act really helps when she's out solving mysteries (yes, this is another mystery/romance series - I seem to be addicted to them at the moment).

In these earlier books in the series, the casual sexism that Vicky encounters was probably funnier when the stories were written starting in the 70s, but there's still enough sexism around (more than enough, sadly!) for the jokes to retain their point. The books are written in first person and Vicky's voice is great - smart and snarky.

There's a link between the Peabody and Bliss series - a kind of sly joke about academic practice. Vicky Bliss is credited as the editor of the Amelia Peabody papers from which the earlier stories supposedly come.

The first book is fun - one of the great things about all the Elizabeth Peters books is their wonderful acerbic humor, sometimes tumbling over into uproarious slapstick. BORROWER OF THE NIGHT was released in 1973 and introduces Vicky who at this stage is a penniless history lecturer looking for something to keep her in the lifestyle to which she'd like to become accustomed. When she stumbles across a clue to the whereabouts of a priceless 15th century German shrine, she sets out in search of the discovery that she believes will make her reputation.

Unfortunately, assorted bad guys have also twigged to the shrine's possible whereabouts, so a host of potential villains descend upon Rothenburg in Germany. Not to mention the family who originally owned/stole the shrine want to get in on the act too to restore their sadly decayed fortunes. Mayhem and hijinks ensue (actually I could basically just write this review as "Vicky Bliss books - mayhem and hijinks ensue"!). Be prepared for skullduggery, ghosts, false identities, danger, suspense, laughs, silliness, romantic intrigue. Pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle. A quick and entertaining read that makes a great introduction to the series. And you'll learn a bit about German medieval/renaissance history in a painless fashion.

Then we come to book 2, STREET OF THE FIVE MOONS (1978). This one's a completely different kettle of fish. The world is still fun and mysterious and dangerous. But there's the added zing of sexual tension when Vicky's quest to uncover a gang of brilliant jewelry forgers places her in the path of charming but nefarious thief Sir John Smythe.

Sir John is a breed of hero I adore (think Raffles or the Scarlet Pimpernel, if the SP was purloining the jewelry belonging to the people he rescues from the guillotine). Aristocratic. Witty. Outwardy uncaring and selfish, but concealing the heart of a hero, much as he wishes he doesn't. On a personal note, Sir Richard Harmsworth from my next release A RAKE'S MIDNIGHT KISS is of this ilk! Love a hero in spite of himself!

Vicky is pretty smart-mouthed in her sassy American way and Sir John is bitingly witty in that brittle English upper-class way. You'll find yourself laughing when you read their prickly exchanges, even though it's perfectly clear to the (romance) reader that these two are made for each other. But how can a rising academic hitch her wagon to a conman/drifter/criminal? No matter how gorgeous he is! Sigh.

The third book SILHOUETTE IN SCARLET (1983) places Vicky in the land of her ancestors, Sweden, and on the trail of a priceless Viking treasure. Speaking of which, don't you just love the cover of this one? Valkyrie Vicky in very Viking pose (and that sentence was brought to you by the letter 'V').

As you've probably gathered by now, various bad guys are also on the hunt, including her sneaky and cheeky lover Sir John. There's the usual great mixture of adventure and laughs and romance and again, some nice info about Viking history. A spoonful of sugar makes the history go down in the most delightful way!  

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. Hurry up, Annie, and send them to me! If you like beautifully rendered exotic settings, brilliant humor, a nice bit of romance and a clever and resourceful heroine, not to mention an intriguing mystery, I highly recommend these.

So do you enjoy romantic mysteries? Any favorites? Do you like books where the romantic subplot continues over several stories without being resolved in the actual story? I really love the exotic settings of these. Has any exotic setting in a book ever prompted you to travel somewhere?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Guest Review - - The Knight's Temptress

Today, Andrea and I are doubly delighted to welcome Santa as our newest guest reviewer.  Please give her a warm Romance Dish welcome!  

The Knight's Temptress
By Amanda Scott
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: August 27, 2013


Greetings everyone! This is my debut review here at The Romance Dish. I'd like to thank PJ and
Andrea for inviting me to post reviews here from time to time.

My first review is of Amanda Scott's THE KNIGHT'S TEMPTRESS, the second book of her
Lairds of Loch series. The novel takes place in medieval times. The prologue gives a quick
introduction to the background of the series and the rather large array of lairds, ladies, heroes
and villains introduced, I am sure, in great detail in the first book of the series.

In this book Lady Lachina (Lina) is kidnapped along with her impulsive companion Lizzie by the
primary villain Dougal MacFralan who seeks to gain more lands and influence for his father and
for the rebel King.

Enter newly knighted Sir Ian Colquhoun who, true to his vocation, seeks to rescue Lady Lina who
he knew as a young girl. Dougal continues to be true to his villainous nature as he seeks to ruin
Lady Lina's reputation by threatening to spread rumors of what happened while she was in

Here the story takes on one of my favorite types of romance: the marriage of convience. Sir Ian
marries Lady Lina in order to protect her reputation before Dougal can cause any real damage.  At this point you would think the story ends but we are treated to the growing passion and love between Ian and Lina, their stubborn wills and Dougal's treachery in trying to obtain his ends with whatever means necessary. In a word, delicious.

I have to say that I did enjoy the book. I would have preferred the prologue to have summarized the background and characters as vast as the craigs and valleys of Scotland where the story takes place rather than a quick set up of the chapter that followed. I am looking forward to the third book in the series as I find myself vested in everyone already.


Santa Byrnes has been in love with the written word for as long as she can remember. Romances provide reaffirmation that love is for anyone who opens themselves up to their own happily ever after. Santa lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in New York along with her marvelous husband and three amazing teens. An aspiring romance writer, she is ever grateful to have found her own happily ever after.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spotlight on Catherine Bybee

It's my pleasure to spotlight New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Catherine Bybee and her latest release, Fiancé by Friday! From her bio: Catherine was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned novels Wife by Wednesday, Married by Monday, and Not Quite Dating. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

Please welcome Catherine as she joins us on her Fiancé by Friday blog tour!


The Weekday Bride Series, Book Three

Montlake Romance, Contemporary

August 13, 2013, First Edition

Paperback & Kindle


The beautiful high-born daughter of an English duke came to America to take over her sister-in-law’s matchmaking business. But just because she’s the boss doesn’t mean she can’t fantasize about making her own perfect match with bodyguard Neil MacBain. Will the enigmatic man who haunts her dreams cost her more than she bargained for?


The retired Marine can’t deny the effect blue-blooded Gwen has on his troubled soul or his battle-hardened body. Bus as a client, Gwen is off-limits—until a threat from Neil’s past returns… and Gwen is caught in the crossfire. Now to keep her safe he will risk it all: his career, his life… and his heart.


“The hero and heroine come to life with each flip of the page

 and will linger  long after readers cross the finish line.


“Bybee takes an elegant titled lady, a dark emotionally guarded hero, a menacing stalker,

and a cast of distinctive characters mixing it all up into an unusual courtship tale

full of danger an sexual tension.”


“The hottest love on mainstream paper…

Ms. Bybee does not disappoint.”




BLOG TOUR CONTEST!  For a chance to win one of Catherine's blog tour giveaways -a Kindle Fire or Amazon gift cards - complete the Rafflecopter form below.  

a Rafflecoptergiveaway


Eliza flagged down a waitress and ordered a martini. “I see not a lot has changed,” she said after the waitress left. 

“What do you mean?” Gwen asked. 

“We’re sitting in a bar and your giant shadow is lurking in the back of the building.” Eliza tossed a peanut in her mouth. 

“My shadow?” 

Eliza looked o the right of the bar. “Yeah. The man who acts like you’re a job but can’t seem to leave you alone. If it was anyone other than Neil I’d be afraid he was a stalker.” 

Gwen twisted around in her chair. Sure enough, perched at the edge of a seat on the far side of the bar, sat Neil. 

“What’s he doing here?” 

His eyes found hers for a brief moment before she looked away. 

“I think that’s obvious.” 

Her back teeth started to grind. “I don’t’ need a babysitter.” 

“I don’t know, Gwen. The last time we sat in a bar I remember a certain someone getting drunk and a couple of other someone's getting into a fight.” 

She’d never live that down. Gwen and Eliza went to blow off steam in a Texas bar. The cowboys were full of “yes, ma’am” and “howdy, darlin’.” They danced and carried on…and yes, she drank a little too much. When one of the cowboys mistakenly took her smile as an invitation for intimacy, Neil erupted form the bar to teach the cowboy the meaning of the word no. 

It was the first time Neil had defended her honor, and though she hated to admit it, she got a kick out of how ticked off he became when another man looked at her. “That was last year.” 

“What’s changed since then?” 

Nothing! It didn’t matter how much she flirted with the man, or how obvious she was about her attraction Neil didn’t bite. 

“Everything.” Gwen stood, ready to put Neil I his place. “If you’ll both excuse me for a minute.” 

She pushed her way through the crowd as if on a collision course with Neil. He kept his lips in a thin line as she approached and gripped the longneck bottle at his side. Slipping between the woman on the stool next to him and Neil’s massive frame, Gwen slapped a hand on her hip and growled. “What are you doing here?” 

He blinked, once and picked up his beer. “Having a drink.” 

She wanted to scream. “Having a drink,” she repeated. 

He tilted the bottle back, took a swig. 

“I know what you’re doing, Neil. And I don’t like it. I don’t want or need a bodyguard.” 

“That’s debatable.” 

If stomping her foot would knock some sense into him, she’d stomp better than a farm girl in a vineyard. 

Poking a finger into his chest, she moved closer. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to have a love life with a tow-hundred-thirty-pound bodybuilder standing in my way?” 

A muscle in his jaw tightened. “Two hundred and fifty.” 

“Ahhh!” She did scream now. 

He lifted his beer again, but before he could take a swig, Gwen grabbed it from his fingers and tilted it back herself. 

In a move that would make Eliza and Karen proud, she pushed the empty beer bottle back into his hand and slid between his thighs. 

His jaw twitched again. 

The strong musky scent that was pure Neil invaded her senses. She dropped one hand to his thigh and left it there. “This is how I see it, Neil. You have two choices. Either back off or step up.”
Gwen squeezed his thigh before vacating his personal space and marching back to the girls. A satisfied smile stretched over her face.



So, dear readers, doesn't this sound like a great contemporary romance?? Who doesn't love a good bodyguard story? Have you read Catherine's books before? If so, what's your favorite? If not, what is your favorite bodyguard romance? And please check this one out if you get the chance!