Character Interview With Maddie Monroe From The “Love And” Series

Graphic.Ramblings.from.a.Chaotic.Mind.Aug22.MK.Kopec

A Character Interview:

Maddie Monroe: Hacker Extraordinaire, Wrangler of Muscle Bound Men

Interview by: Hollie Holloway, guest correspondent for Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind

I arrive at Secure Technologies Incorporated, a rather stoic looking 3 stories, concrete and windows structure standing decisively in the well-manicured but unadorned landscape, backlit by brilliant blue skies on this pleasantly hot summer day in Idaho Falls. There’s not a cloud in the sky, and the breeze is just right.

As I reach for the door, it swings wide, and I’m met by a very vibrant and exuberant Maddie Monroe. Her smile is cheerfully wide and welcoming. Dressed in dark indigo skinny jeans, a pristine white tee, and well-worn runners, her rich brown hair bounces playfully in a high-arching ponytail.

We exchange hellos, and she escorts me to a smaller conference room, elegant business issue that seats eight. The dark cherry tabletop is embellished with a splendid fresh fruit and cheese tray, and indicating a seat, Maddie readily offers me coffee, tea, or water.

I take a tall glass of water, and she sits in the high-backed, black leather chair across from me, appearing friendly and confident. Ever since meeting Maddie Monroe at a Reese Foundation fundraiser, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this interview. She’s the only woman working in this security firm surrounded by nearly 40 super-hot, heavily muscled, save-the-world types. From my perspective—sounds like heaven. But we’ll see how she feels about it.

HH: Hi, Maddie. Thanks for having me. (She smiles giving me the green light to continue.) So I know STI is a security firm specializing in private security. What’s your role in the day-to-day operations?

MM: I am the primary Operations Controller for all missions. Devon, Buzzer, and Seamus are the guys in charge. They decide which clients we take on. I do all the background research. They do all the prep to determine the necessary security measures that need to be put in place. And when a team deploys into the field, I am their primary point of contact at STI.

It’s all about tactical and strategic analysis and readiness. I coordinate. Get information. And the guys get the job done.

(Devon Monroe is Maddie’s brother.)

HH: Wow. That sounds kind of heavy. Like it could get intense. How do you cope?

MM: (laughs) Lots of yoga and smoothies!

HH: You’re obviously fit. Is that a job requirement?

MM: I’m rarely in the field, but when I am, I am expected to be able to perform safely and as a member of the team. We have a gym here, and I train with some of the guys.

HH: Have you received any specialized training to do your job?

MM: Well, I have my college education, and that covers all the things I do inside STI. To be out in the field, I’ve been firearms trained to marksman level. And in addition to a monthly refresher on the military grade confidence course, I maintain training in self-defense.

HH: And you drink smoothies. (I smile.)

MM: Yep. Love ‘em.

HH: Do you have a favorite?

MM: Hands down, my Tropical Sunrise.

HH: Can I have the recipe?

MM: Absolutely!

HH: So you mentioned your college education. What did you major in?

MM: My undergraduate degrees are in Informatics and Org. Studies. And I have an M.B.A. and a Master’s in Computer Science.

HH: It sounds like you specifically went to school to work here. Was that your plan?

MM: Well, that’s a bit more complicated than just a yes or no.

My mom and dad divorced when I was graduating from high school, and my mom moved to Florida and remarried. I stayed with Devon and my dad, so I could go to Boise State. I pursued my own interests, but as I was getting close to finishing up, Devon told me he was going to start up his own security business. He wanted to know if I was interested in helping with the business end of things. I told him I’d get my Masters degrees, if I could have more responsibilities. We kinda worked out the details as we went. But here I am, and I love it.

HH: I hear you’re really good with computers. Ever meet a firewall you couldn’t break through?

MM: (grins big for her answer)

HH: You mentioned a “military grade confidence course.” Is it as hard as it sounds?

MM: (chuckles) Harder. It’s grueling. It sucks! But I’m addicted to the challenge now. I haven’t beaten any of the guys yet, but I keep trying. I swear, the better I get, the harder they work not to let me beat them. I don’t think any of them want the dubious title of being beaten by a girl. But someday. Someday!

HH: Okay. (I grin big.) I’ve held off as long as I can. So… What’s it like working with a bunch of muscle-bound, ex-Special Forces guys? It must be dreamy.

MM: (laughs out loud) I don’t know if I’d call it dreamy. It’s a lot of testosterone and determination that’s for sure. And being the only girl can be a bit tough at times. I have to make sure I don’t come off soft. Or weak. I had to earn their trust. And that wasn’t easy.

Devon and I decided right from the beginning that the best thing for me to do was to be one of the guys, but always be professional. So on the job, I always keep my game face on and stay focused. But sometimes, when the bullets start flying and our guys are in jeopardy … that can be hard.

I learned early on—be a reliable, not-weak, one-of-the-guys type, but win them over with smiles and smoothies. Especially after hard ops. When the stress is high for them, I’ll take to the kitchen and make up big meals and lots of smoothies. So it’s been hard, but I’ve found a way to fit in. And really, now, it’s like we’re all one big family. We’ve got each other’s backs.

HH: So they’re more like brothers than fun muscles to play with.

MM: Yep.

HH: So then, you’ve never dated anyone from work?

MM: I didn’t say that.

HH: What happened?

MM: It got complicated. Now I’m trying to date outside of work. And that’s even more complicated.

HH: Final questions. Are you happy in your work? And will you introduce me to some of the single guys here?

MM: (chuckles) These guys can be a handful, but if you’re up for that, sure. As for my job. I love it! This was the best choice for me. I get to do what I love and be with people who care about me and rely on me. It’s the best!

Correspondent note: This interview took place prior to the events documented in her brother’s new real life docu-drama, tell-all, Love AND Revenge. Knowing Maddie Monroe as I do now, I can only tell you, there’s more danger involved in her job than she let on. I’ve had a chance to read it, and it’s a gripping story. And although she may love her job, I know it’s one I could never do!

Thank you for your visit!

Love and Series Banner 851 x 315 (1)

 

 

Mary Kate Kopec creates steamy character driven stories of hopeful love. She thinks love and life are worth fighting for and that at times both are filled with hard bits and messy emotions. She likes a good mystery, lots of action, and a heavy dollop of humor to lighten the mood. She writes what she loves and wishes you great enjoyment in everything you read.

Website: http://www.marykatekopec.com  

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marykate.kopec  

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4353265.Mary_Kate_Kopec  

 

All my books are available at Amazon in both print and ebook versions.

Happy Reading to you always,

Mary Kate Kopec

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ImageLove AND Bullets Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/MTrON4X1yl0

Three years ago Giffin Reese fell for the man of her dreams. But it wasn’t meant to be. She was already married to a good man. A man who believed in her. Needed her. Loved her. Sometimes in life we do what it calls upon us to do.

It wasn’t your everyday protection detail of a Senator plus trophy wife. First, she was no trophy. She came with brains and an attitude. Just what he liked. And two, the case was all kinds of screwed up. A threat with no name on it. Maybe even a leak. And it all turned to hell when the Senator got taken down by a sniper shot.

Devon Monroe still doesn’t know what the hell went wrong that day. But he’s not going to let it happen again. Someone’s serious with an itchy trigger finger, and this time the target is squarely pointed at a certain Senator’s beautiful widow. But not if he can help it. It’ll take everything he has to set things right, clear his conscience, and prove himself to her. Even if it means dying, trying.

Love and Bullets is an action packed steamroller of mystery, suspense, and rekindled desire. Come join Devon and Giffin as they race against the clock, explore their hearts, and dodge bullets in this story of secrets, deception, betrayal, and love.

Sparks fly and so do the bullets!

 

ImageLove AND Leaving Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/QpzL4FJwSWY

Emma June Carter’s life is as normal as can be. All except the part where once upon a time she was Miss Michigan and a finalist for the Miss American Sunshine pageant. She’s a baker and a co-owner of Delectable Delights, a sweet treats bakery that she loves. She has good friends. A best friend. And it was all going so well – until her boyfriend dumped her. The boyfriend that had hinted at love and a life together – and then disappeared.

Detective Jack Haley is good at his job, likes life, and knows how to laugh. Poker and his luxury ride with perfect performance and buttery soft leather seats take the edge off of the grit and grime of his work in property crimes.

For them, it was any other day. Until he got the call. And she went out for one last drink to shake off the breakup. A chance meeting in a bar, and neither gets what they came for. They get so much more. Neither know it, but danger is trailing Emma’s footsteps, and her life is about to go from normal to hell in six seconds, flat. It doesn’t take long before their paths cross again, and this time it won’t be so easy leaving.

Love and Leaving is a story about nothing being safe, but in life, having everything to gain . . . at a cost. Jack and Emma will have to decide what is worth it and what isn’t.

He’s coming, and she’s leaving!

 

ImageLove AND Revenge Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/dZ-vxUx3qlU

Maddie Monroe has had better days. And made better choices. When she wakes up kidnapped–used for bait–and in more danger than she could have ever imagined, it’s all she can do to hope that she’ll live to regret telling Seamus no.

Ex-Navy Seal Seamus Kincaid knows that the only easy day was yesterday. And in his line of work, enemies happen. He just never thought anyone would use Maddie to get to him. And now her life is on the line.

Maddie’s dimples bring hard men to their knees, and her smoothies make them beg for more. She’s smart, funny, and just one of the guys. She wields a computer like Seamus wields a knife. And she’s a spunky ray of sunshine in skinny jeans and a bop-tail who gives his serious, get-it-done attitude the adjustment it needs. She’s happiness in his life, until he scares the hell out of her on a mission gone bad, and she can’t deal. Letting her go won’t be easy, but losing her forever is unacceptable

Love and Revenge is a story about facing your fears, fighting for what’s important, and learning that you can’t control life–you can only decide which life you want to live.

Fight for love – die for revenge!

 

**Tour Wide Giveaway** 

5 copies- winner’s choice of ebook or print for any of the 3 books  

1 goody bag full of swag.  Open to US shipping.

To enter simply click the Rafflecopter link directly below:

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Bewitching Book Tours

Shelter Me by Catherine Mann (Second Chance Ranch #1)

20645291Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Nestled in the sunny fields of Tennessee lies the McDaniel family’s Second Chance Ranch Animal Rescue. Two new arrivals are on their way, but only one is the four-legged kind. Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski wants only one thing after he gets home from Iraq: to sleep in a king-sized bed with clean sheets. But first, he has to hand off his fallen commander’s dog, Trooper, to his family without handing off his heart to Sierra…

Sierra McDaniel needs a break. Her family life is crazy, and when she’s not mucking out kennels, she’s slogging through grad school. Sierra certainly doesn’t want another dog, especially one that reminds her of her father. And she definitely doesn’t want to see Mike with that charming smile of his… But Trooper has a mission of his own. Before too long Mike is moving to the ranch to lend a hand—and hoping for his own second chance with Sierra. Shelter Me is a great start to a new series that takes us on an emotional ride as we are introduced to Trooper, a dog that lived on a military base in Iraq and is now coming to the U.S. to live with Colonel McDaniel’s family and help them heal.

Sierra McDaniel helps her mom run the Second Chance Ranch Animal Rescue in Tennessee. She thought she would be on her own by now, going to college to get her graduate degree, but she is needed at home and studies at the local college. Her father recently died in Iraq which has caused heartache for the family.

Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski is on his way to the only place he has called home and he is bringing Trooper. Mike was there when Sierra’s father was killed and he knew that the Colonel wanted Trooper with his family if anything ever happened to him. Mike and Sierra have history together; they were in a relationship that lasted until Mike left for his most recent deployment, he is the one that broke it off because he knew that Sierra did not want the military life. Coming back to the McDaniel family is hard, his plans are to drop Trooper off and head toward his next assignment, unfortunately the family seems to need him and Trooper has his own ideas.

A nice start to this series, I was not sure I would enjoy the POV of Trooper, I started the book and then put it down to read another, but I kept thinking about it so I picked it up again and thoroughly enjoyed it. Trooper’s voice is not overwhelming and I like his thoughts at the beginning of each chapter.

There is so much emotion going on in this book, not only is Sierra and Mike trying to piece together a friendship from a broken romance (and then back to a romance) but Sierra’s mom Lacey has a lot to deal with. Her grief from her husband’s death, her depressed son, Nathan, her father-in-law’s Alzheimer’s and the neighbors who do not want the animal shelter near their homes. It is no wonder she can’t sleep at night and enjoys a glass or two of wine. I like Lacey she is strong and knows she is on the edge but she is still there for her family and the animals. Many times this story seems to be more about the family with the romance of Sierra and Mike (which does steam up many scenes) on the side; it works because everyone plays pivotal roles.

Other secondary characters are engaging and round out the story well, Nathan is your typical surly teenager only with the added burden of depression about his father and Sierra’s grandfather is a proud but confused man that tries to help. I like Ray, the Veterinarian who helps Lacey with the animals and has feelings for her, and Mary who is Sierra’s friend; she will be featured in the next book. Of course Trooper is cute and fun with quite the sense of humor that helps lighten things up and I chuckled at many of his quotes.

The pace of the story is perfect as we watch Sierra’s and Mike’s relationship grow from a tentative friendship to lust to love, and we watch a family go through several crisis’. There is added drama with the neighbor’s continued fight against the shelter but I enjoyed how people came to help. Overall, this is an emotional story that finds a family adjusting after their father’s death and how they move successfully forward after many tears. I will definitely be picking up the next book.

I give Shelter Me by Catherine Mann 4 stars!

What A Duke Dares by Anna Campbell (Sons of Sin #3)

What A Duke Dares by Anna CampbellAvailable: August 26, 2014 Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children-and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.

Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.

The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed-until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins . . .

Anna Campbell is a master storyteller. Her recipe for writing a romance contains just the right amounts of back story, dialogue, action and passion. While this book didn’t have as much intrigue as some of her others, I enjoyed it all the more because the entire focus was on the romantic relationship. What a Duke Dares is the third installment in her Sons of Sin series. I adored the first book with its dark, wounded hero, and was entertained by the second – a totally lighthearted romp. I hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed with this one, and I wasn’t. The story of Cam and Pen had all of the angst of the first book and the humor and snappy dialogue of the second.

Penelope Thorne has known the Duke of Sedgemoor for most of her life, and she has loved him almost that long. As a child known for getting into all kinds of scrapes, Penelope learned quickly that Cam was someone she could count on. As her older brother’s friend, he was always around and always treated Penelope with kindness and respect. Her childhood adoration transforms into a young woman’s affection and she knows there could be no other man for her. Despite that, she shocks even herself when she rejects his marriage proposal.

Camden Rothermere has spent his life trying to repair the damage done to his family’s name by his parents’ indiscretions. He grew up a firsthand witness to what passion and betrayal can do to a marriage, and swears he’ll never succumb to his emotions like that. He is friendly and affable, a loyal friend and a respectable duke. Cam knows that a good match with a genteel bride will help protect everything his proper behavior has achieved. When he first proposes to Penelope, he does so banking on the fact that they share a friendly regard for one another and she knows how important it is to him to avoid scandal. His pride is wounded and his feelings are beyond hurt when Pen refuses. Her rejection and then her leaving only help him shore up the walls around his heart even more.

Penelope and Camden are reunited nine years later when her dying brother asks Cam to fetch her back to England. Penelope has spent almost a decade living abroad, relishing her independence and avoiding one Duke of Sedgemoor. Her fondest wish, now and nine years ago, is to be with Cam, but she knows the marriage would be a disaster. Her family is almost as mired in scandal as his, and she would be anything but a prim, biddable bride. Not only that, it would be torture to spend her life side by side with him, loving him and knowing he would never return that love. Unfortunately, she doesn’t count on Cam reappearing in her life, or being coerced into marriage with him to avoid scandal upon their return to London.

Penelope and Camden were both flawed characters. Their chemistry was combustible, but while their nights were pure marital bliss, their days were spent in polite misery. They both played the same game – wanting more from the other without revealing their own vulnerabilities. Pen refused to open her heart to Cam, knowing she would die a little inside every time he looked at her with those shuttered eyes. Cam had feelings for Pen. No other woman had the power to incite his passion, jealousy and even affection like she did. After so many years of hiding his emotions behind the walls he methodically built, he refused to acknowledge, and maybe wasn’t even aware, that Pen already owned his heart.

I thought Pen and Cam were perfect for each other. He would have been bored to tears with a demure, conformable wife. Penelope was plucky and outspoken and funny and passionate, and she was exactly what he needed in a duchess. The road they had to take to reach their happy ever after was long and difficult, but Anna Campbell’s writing made me enjoy every step of the way. She knows how to be descriptive without being wordy, and the interaction between her characters is delightful. I don’t usually quote books in my reviews, but there was one sentence that stuck with me.

“[He] felt like significance weighted every moment.”

In the story, this sentence refers to Harry, Penelope’s brother, and the secondary romance between him and Sophie (which I didn’t love simply because it distracted me from Pen & Cam). However, to me, those words apply to this entire book. I felt like every single sentence was significant and I savored every word.

I give What a Duke Dares by Anna Campbell 5 stars!

Interview With Debut Author Emmy Curtis

Dangerous Territory by Emmy CurtisAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Forever 

Find Emmy: Website/Goodreads/Twitter

A SEXY STRANGER

Flirting with danger is reporter Grace Grainger’s modus operandi. But she’s learned the hard way not to grow attached to the soldiers she’s embedded with in Afghanistan. To escape from her pain and loneliness, she fantasizes about the hot night she spent with a gorgeous stranger three years before in D.C. Grace never thought she’d see him again—let alone need him to rescue her . . .

AN EXPLOSIVE NIGHT

Air Force Master Sergeant Josh Travers knows journalists are nothing but trouble. So when he has to risk his team’s lives to save some reporter who’s been separated from her patrol, he’s not happy—until he recognizes her stunning eyes and delicious curves. Josh has never wanted a woman like he wants Grace. He needs her—even in an Afghan cave with a sandstorm and enemy troops closing in. This might be the end for both of them—or one hell of a beginning.

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Q&A With Emmy

Tell me about your road to publication. Was this years in the making or did it happen fairly fast?

A little of both, I guess. I had written two Young Adult novels before I started writing Romance, one of which I hope to revisit at some stage. The first one was pretty awful and the second one I could tell was better. I kept practicing and rewriting. Then I started editing romances, and I was hooked. I tried writing a novella, and got an agent and a deal with Hachette within about a month. I was as surprised as the next person, trust me! And since then it’s been a rollercoaster of ups (someone gave it a good review!) and downs (Amazon took all my pre-order buttons down? *wails*)!

Where did you get the idea for your debut book/series?

My husband has a combat role in the United States Air Force and I wondered why people never wrote books about those regular people in the Army and Air Force who went into combat every day. A lot of books are about SEALs and Marines, and I didn’t feel the other branches of service were getting enough page-time…so I decided to write my own.

Tell me about your hero and heroine in your novella, Dangerous Territory. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Senior Master Sergeant Josh Travers is an Air Force Pararescuer, which means he rescues people from impossible places. A sunken boat? Yup. The middle of a fire-fight in Afghanistan? Yup. An earthquake? You name it, he’s been there saving lives and takin’ names! He’s a rules guy, because in his line of work you have to be, and he has very set ideas and opinions about things.

Grace Grainger is a ballsy Pulitzer Prize-winning war reporter who’s made her career, and whole life, about covering the people affected by the war—both the troops and the locals. Did I mention that Josh hates reporters and thinks they have no place in a war zone? To say he was pissed when he found that he had to put his team’s life on the line to rescue a reporter would be a huge understatement! It doesn’t help when Grace does nothing to dispel his notion that she’s a blood-sucking gossip-monger…after all why should she when it’s clear his mind is as closed as a lockdown at Fort Knox?

If you could visit any place that you’ve wrote about would you? Where would you go?

My three books are largely set in Afghanistan, Washington D.C., and Iraq. Before the recent hostilities in Iraq, I would have loved to go there. An archaeologist by the name of Dr. Jane Moon writes about her excavations in Iraq on the Facebook page Tell Khaiber, and she makes Iraq sound so interesting and the local people so open and friendly. Now I guess I’d have to settle for the Four Seasons hotel in Washington D.C., where the hero and heroine in DANGEROUS TERRITORY first meet. It’s a sexy and glamorous hotel, with a kick-ass spa!

Tell me about one instance where you overcame writer’s block and how you did it?

I’m not sure I’ve ever truly had writers block where I’ve been unable to write anything. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of days where I forced it and basically wrote crap that had to be re-written, but I’ve never stared at a blank page and been unable to write. But maybe that’s because I don’t allow myself to. Usually I plot out my books before I write them, that way if I’m not really feeling a chapter, I can skip it and come back to it later. Sometimes I just bullet point my way down the page until I reach a place that I feel I can write something! Also, I think it’s important to remember that you need to build up your creativity. If you’re having problems writing, or even thinking of the next thing to write, re-stock your creativity by reading outside your usual genres, going to see movies that you would normally avoid, read a newspaper you haven’t read in ages: basically open your well of creativity to things that aren’t a part of your normal every-day world. That’s when you might find a spark of creativity from an unexpected source that will carry you through the tricky times.

Tell me one thing about you that not many people know.

I’ve been on a Royal Navy aircraft carrier while it was doing combat exercises. To this day, I will never forget the roar of Harrier Jump Jets booking it overhead, and the piercing scream as they throttled back to hover over the ship before landing. Man, I’d love to fly in one of those.

 

Emmy CurtisAbout Emmy Curtis

Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference…well, she already considers you kin.

Unbroken by Maisey Yates (Silver Creek #3)

18077255Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Amber Johnson has always thought of her best friend Cade as an older brother. A really hot older brother. But growing up in foster care, she learned to rely only on herself. As much as she likes stealing glances at Cade’s chiseled jaw and painted-on jeans, she resents the way he swoops in like a superhero to fix things for her.

When former rodeo rival Jim Davis starts harassing Amber to sell her grandfather’s failing ranch, Cade swoops in once again. To send Jim on his way, Cade pretends to be Amber’s boyfriend, moving in to help fix the place up. With her grandfather behind the idea, Amber and Cade have to keep the charade going—whether she likes it or not.

But as their make-believe romance starts to heat up, maybe Cade and Amber will learn to admit that they both could use a little saving…

Unbroken is the third in the Silver Creek series and my favorite. This has several of the tropes that I love, an injured hero, a heroine who is his best friend, and an attraction that grows until they both can no longer deny it.

Amber Jameson moved to Silver Creek when she was an angry teen, and lived with her grandparents. She tested their patience but grew into a loving granddaughter and now takes care of her grandfather. She currently is working as a waitress while trying to figure out the finances of the family ranch that no longer is revenue producing.

Cade Mitchell has lived in the area forever on Elk Haven, his family is currently turning it into a guest ranch but Cade has been feeling out of place. He was injured several years ago in a rodeo accident and he can’t contribute to the ranch financially the way he used to and to add to his feelings of uselessness his brother shoots down any ideas he has to help with the ranch. Cade also finds his relationship with his best friend changing and is not sure what to do about it but when former rodeo rival Jim Davis causes problems with Amber, Cade is only too willing to help.

I have enjoyed each of the books in the series; a small town setting with cowboys is a win with me. The Mitchell family has been holding things together since they father died and they found out the type of person he really was. Unfortunately Cade was privy to the information about their father’s secret life for many years, before the others in the family and he feels the weight of that burden even today.

I adore Cade he is trying to move on with his life, but there are things that have kept him in the same place for several years. His injury keeps him from doing the job he loves and his brother keeps him from using new ideas for the ranch so when Amber needs help he jumps at the chance, because that is what he has been doing since he met her when she was fourteen. The two are magic together; they are the best of friends who talk about everything, many times with hilarious observations yet they find things are changing and are surprised by their new attraction, but the chemistry between them is off the charts. I like how they sort of fall into the living arraignment that drifts into being engaged and ends with setting a date, all lies for the sake of keeping Davis away, but very humorous and entertaining.

The story progresses well and there are several plots going on simultaneously such as the relationship between Cade and Amber, the mystery of Jim Davis and what he wants, Nicole’s visit to find out about her family and still the question of who injured Cade, not to mention Cade’s growth and his need to move on and become his own person without his brother and the family ranch. Whew – Oh the problems with family!

Since this is the third in the series and the setting is small town, characters from previous books are very significant to the story, and although the author has created each book to be a standalone as each story is complete, it is enjoyable to see what previous couples are doing in their lives. There is an overall story arc that ran through the story, their father and his secret life and who injured Cade, and I like how the author handles both in the end. Overall this is an engaging story and I recommend it to all those that enjoy small towns, ranch life and cowboys! I am looking forward to more from this author.

I give Unbroken by Maisey Yates 4.25 stars!

Better Date Than Never Box Set #1-6 by Susan Hatler

Better Date than Never CoverAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Hatco, Inc

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

This book bundle includes six contemporary romance novellas from the bestselling series, Better Date than Never. Dating is so much easier when you have good friends to lean on. . . .

(Love at First Date, Book #1) Ellen may not believe in storybook love, but it’s about to rewrite her life. . . . (Truth or Date, Book #2) Truth or Dare is all fun and games until a spontaneous dare has Gina falling for the office playboy. (My Last Blind Date, Book #3) Should Rachel risk another dating disaster by trying yet again for love? (Save the Date, Book #4) Kristen swears off men, but temptation swoops in when her sexy friend Ethan starts flirting with her. (A Twist of Date, Book #5) Will Melanie have to follow her best friend’s narrow dating rules in order to find lasting love? (License to Date, Book #6) Kaitlin agrees to five dates in five days only to fall for the mysterious bartender who’s there to witness them all, neither realized their hearts are part of the bargain…

All these are cute short stories filled with sweet romance. It is delightful to see characters frequently appearing in each of the stories making this a very cohesive and engaging collection as we watch the progress of previous relationships.

Love at First Date – Ellen decides she wants to know everything about the next person she dates, so she signs up for Detailed Dating, an online service, only to find love does not always follow the rules. When she takes her friend’s dog to obedience class, she meets Henry, an extremely sexy man she knows nothing about. This is a good start to the series, as we meet Ellen who had some bad luck with dating, she wants to meet the right person but he must fit her model and be ready to settle down. Henry is perfect for her but she continues to look for someone special not realizing he is right in front of her.

Truth of Date – Gina is finally ready to move on; she wasted enough time on George who has never wanted a commitment. Her friend Kristen and new roommate tries to set her up, but maybe her perfect man is right before her, a co-worker named Chris. This is a cute story and I like Chris, he dates many women only because he is looking for the right one, whom he suspects is Gina. When Gina is finally free he puts all his energy into pursuing her but she only looks at his history which seems jaded. They go through several miss-steps before they finally get together.

My Last Blind Date – Rachel is looking at spending Valentine’s Day alone, not by choice but because she is not dating anyone and so far her friend Ellen is not having any luck setting her up. When the new VP at the office finds out about her dating experiences, he finds a way to be her last blind date. I really liked this one, Noah is the sexy new guy, someone who Rachel would never think would look twice at her, but then he goes out of his way to make Valentine’s Day special and they click. So romantic.

Save the Date – Kristen is a Marriage and Family Counselor who doubts her ability to counsel as she did not see the signs when her fiancé cheated on her. Her confidence is gone so when others ask her questions, she gives negative advice, causing havoc for friends and family. When she reconnects with her friend Ethan, she does not trust her feelings. This is the only one I had problems with connecting to the heroine, Kristen is difficult to like and I wanted to throttle her a couple of times, but I really like Ethan and was cheering them on through the miscommunications and distrust. Kristen did redeem herself in the end and I enjoyed seeing her find her HEA with Ethan.

A Twist of a Date – Melanie is a fitness instructor at the local gym, she believes she has found the right man for the rest of her life and dismisses her flirty co-worker Matt. But when she talks about her feelings to Brad, he is out the door so fast and she is devastated. This one had a lot of drama in it, several other characters are featured and their lives are interwoven into this story, it is a good one to catch up on and also feeds into the next story and even though Matt and Mel’s story is cute and romantic it seems to get buried with the drama of others.

License to Date – After having broken off her wedding because of a cheating ex, she has sworn off dating. Her friends are not buying it and bribe her with home improvement help if she will go on five dates. She reluctantly agrees only to find the man she is attracted to is the sexy bartender who works at the place she frequents with her dates. This is my favorite in the series, the heroine is smart and funny and the hero is thoughtful, sexy and enigmatic. There is a bit of drama when she finds out who he really is but they get through it quickly and the ending works well.

Each romance is sweet with a few complications that are solved quickly, be aware that the sex is nonexistent as most stories end with the promise of more. The stories are short and well written with fun and engaging characters that reappear throughout the series, it is fun to see them again and see how their romance is advancing. All in all this is a recommended series for those that enjoy cute romances without the heat.

I give Better Date than Never by Susan Hatler 4 stars!

Feature: The Lover’s Secret by JC Reed (No Exceptions #1)

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Release date: August 5th, 2014

Genre: Mature New Adult/ Adult Contemporary Romance
Recommended for ages 18 and up.

Full Length Novel

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When a sexy encounter comes like a dream and leaves like a nightmare…

Brooke Stewart thinks she’s finally safe. After witnessing the crime of a killer, she can move on from her past. But after one night at the Trio Hotel and meeting the sexy stranger with the green eyes that can steal one’s soul, her life is changed forever. Passions run deep. The game is supposed to be for one night with no strings attached.

What she doesn’t know is that the sexy stranger has an agenda of his own. Brooke Stewart has something he desperately wants, something he can’t admit to the woman he tries to get to surrender. A secret so deep it would upend her life if she found out too soon. He’s almost reached his goal, and then she gets a letter she was not meant to read. Suddenly, secrets get a completely new meaning.

Is the past really ever the past?

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Available on August 5th, 2014:  worldwide, print and ebook
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