Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Bride of Dreams by Linda Wisdom



We all know newcomer Caroline Benning’s got more than her share of secrets. And now Deputy Cooper Night Hawk’s making it his personal mission to find out who the woman really is…and what she’s doing in Tyler. But rumor has it, the new waitress has been dishing up more than good cooking to Cooper. Can delicious kisses and spicy nights break down our deputy? Not if Cooper can keep his mind on the law and his hands on his belt. Gun belt, that is!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

One Kiss, Two Kiss, Red Kiss, Now You Kiss by Linda Wisdom


Barnes & Noble

It Only Took One Kiss…

Writing children’s books as a team required imagination and concentration. For five years Jill Blake and Greg Richmond had worked together in a perfectly platonic partnership. But from the night Greg rushed Jill to the emergency room with appendicitis and then sat by her side displaying his most tender bedside manner, the team seemed to lose its sharp focus.

They knew mixing business and pleasure couldn’t possibly work. Greg had always had more women than he knew what to do with. And Jill never lacked for male attention. Except now neither had a significant other in the wings. Of course, logic was no help when their hearts kept insisting that love and work had found the perfect mix…

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Dancer in the Shadows by Linda Wisdom



Marry in haste, repent at leisure...and Valerie had plenty of time to repent...four long years. Her marriage to Sean Hunter had been deliriously happy until her desire to become a dancer had torn them apart. Her husband gone, Valerie lost her career as well when she bore Sean the son whose existence he never even suspected. Then Sean walked back into her life, and once he met Michael she knew he intended to have the any cost. How could she cope with a man who wanted her only for her son's sake--a man who was only marking time until he could put another in her place?

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Sometimes a Lady by Linda Wisdom




He dressed like a biker, talked like a thug, and looked like a ruffian. And he was the man assigned to protect her!

When Elise opened the door of her secluded California home to Detective Dean Cornell, she thought maybe she was safer without police protection.

Dean thought that moving in with the lady vet was a choice assignment–heck, there were worse jobs than guarding a sexy woman. But life in the Carpenter household was anything but normal. With three squabbling girls, two snoring tortoises, and a loudmouth macaw on his tail, Dean feared even he wasn't safe here.

Then, after long nights in close quarters, they discovered that the biggest threat wasn't from the killer on the loose at all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Sudden Impulse by Linda Wisdom



BEN -- Powerful, persistent, a modern-day pirate come to claim his woman...

He'd imagined the sea goddess who created the vivid fabric designs, the passionate wanton who wove her fiery fantasies into the cloth of dreams, but when Ben Wyatt flew to Treasure Cove to meet the real Kelly Andrews, he was shocked to encounter a cool businesswoman who'd chosen paradise as an escape! Drawn against her will to the devilish Aussie, Kelly felt her heart and inhibitions melt under his heated gaze.

A rugged adventurer who made her laugh.

Beguiled by the tawny-eyed designer who'd sworn off driven men wedded to their work, Ben sensed that beneath her silken surface was a fire he must taste, and gambled that Kelly yearned to be stroked, tantalized, teased until the volcano of desire inside her exploded with stunning force. Captivated by her beauty, enthralled by her sensuality, Ben challenged her to seize her chance at love, but did she dare?

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Hide in Plain Sight by Linda Wisdom




Former U.S. Marshal Riley Cooper had come back to protect her. Three years ago Jenna Welles had been forced to leave the man she loved to enter the witness protection program alone, but now the criminals had found her. And this time, Jenna vowed to entrust only her life to Riley—not her heart.

Riley had always known he and Jenna were totally wrong for each other. She viewed the world through rose-colored glasses; he saw it in black and white. But after seeing the strong beautiful woman she'd become, Riley was doing some rethinking. Because this time, he had no intention of saying goodbye again!

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Birds of a Feather by Linda Wisdom



A simple kiss! Compared to the kisses of other men, Ben Sinclair's kisses were like fireworks on the Fourth of July. And yet Jess Maddox had all but asked for it. Seventeen years ago he'd stood her up at her senior prom. Now, suddenly, he was back. The high school beauty was now a young widow with a name in California as a trainer of exotic birds. Ben had called for help with a murderous macaw. Jess had come expertly to the rescue. She had a knack for gentling any creature with beak or talon, but could she handle the passions Ben awakened? From the first, sparks and feathers flew. But she'd changed. No longer a young girl, she was a woman who cherished her career, her independence. Would Ben insist she give up everything for him, or was this a love that could take flight into the future?

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Through the Dark Mirror by Linda Wisdom




Fear. Heiress Dana Madison couldn't explain the disturbing things happening to her—dresses she didn't own appearing in her closet, strangers greeting her on the street. Was she being impersonated? Desperate, she hired a man to watch over her—day and night. P.I. John "Mac" McKenna—tough guy, loner…bodyguard.


A seemingly innocent beauty who didn't belong in his hard-edged world. The closer Mac got to the mystery that was Dana, the harder it was to keep his professional distance. He had to protect Dana and uncover her secrets—before the heat reflected in her eyes burned them both….

Thursday, July 27, 2023

A Man with Doubts by Linda Wisdom



In from the cold...

Tracey White had once been an actress, but in Scott Kingsly, her new employer, she found the first man ever to kindle in her the fires she had always pretended to feel. Slowly they learned to trust, to share a passion and an intimacy she had dreamed of but never found, creating between them a blaze strong enough to melt the Colorado snows and keep out the winter's chill.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Caution Man at Work by Linda Wisdom



Cole Bishop had appeared in her hour of need and she'd done it--hired him--a male housekeeper! Perhaps now, with her twin boys in his care, she could get back to her demanding career in advertising.

In no time her chaotic household was running smoothly. The boys were in heaven. But Kelly Connors hadn't counted on Cole insinuating himself into her life so passionately. Nor was she prepared for her ex-husband's intrusion on their newfound domestic bliss or his vicious threats to take the children from her. And when the boys suddenly vanished, Kelly was terrified, torn.

Had she asked too much, wanting her children, her career, her independence--and the man she loved? Could Cole--a journalist doing "undercover" research on house-husbanding--help her find both her boys and all the answers?

A Linda Wisdom classic contemporary romance, now a Joyride Books exclusive! 


An excellent reason to hire a housekeeper, even a good looking man.

The following week was quiet until Wednesday, when all hell broke loose.

It all started when Kelly was rudely awakened by Alfie's ear-splitting howls. Running to the bedroom window, all she could see were soapsuds spilling over from the spa into the swimming pool and an irate Alfie trying to scramble out of the spa.

"Grab his collar so we can get the soap off him!" As Kyle reached for the dog's collar, Alfie lumbered out of the spa and made a wet beeline for the open patio door.

The two boys stared at each other as Kevin said, "Boy, Kyle, are you gonna get it."

Just as Kelly leaned over to open the window she turned, having heard a noise on the stairs. In two leaps Alfie managed to jump across the pastel umber-striped silk comforter on Kelly's bed and knocked her to the floor.

"Alfie!" Kelly screamed, pushing at the wet dog. "Get off me!"

The soaked sheepdog whimpered his distress, pressing himself closer to her for protection.

"Get off!" she ordered through clenched, teeth, and gathering all her strength finally managed to push him away. As she rose to her knees she caught a glimpse of two sets of eyes, their expression so much like their father's, watching her warily.

"Mom—" Kevin began.

"I don't want to hear it, Kevin," she said in a deadly tone.

"But Mom—" Kyle pleaded.

"I have just had it with you two," she declared shrilly, advancing toward them. She grabbed each boy by the arm and none too gently propelled them toward the bed. Sitting down, she released Kyle while at the same time pulled Kevin over her knee. While paddling a howling Kevin she grimly assured him it was not hurting her more than it was him. Before Kyle could make his escape, she gave him the same treatment, then commanded the two sniffing boys to dry the dog, change their clothes, and sit until she told them otherwise. They scurried out of the room without a backward glance.

Kelly felt a cold, wet nose at the back of her neck. While she had been reprimanding the boys Alfie had cautiously climbed up on the bed behind her. She shot him a deadly glare.


He slithered off the bed with his tail between his legs, his eyes on her the entire time as he crept out of the room.

Then Kelly finally viewed the wet, muddy splotches on the silk comforter. It was undeniably ruined. Her eyes filled with angry tears. Refusing to give in to the temptation to cry, she slowly rose to her feet and headed for the shower.


Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Code of Silence by Linda Wisdom



For three years Anne Sinclair had been running from the charge of attempted murder of her brutal ex-husband and kidnapping her child from his custody. She changed her name, her appearance and her address whenever her senses felt it was time to move on.

What she couldn’t change was the fear that had followed her to Dunson, Montana.

A quiet friendly town, Dunson welcomed Anne and her young daughter, Nikki. But as Nikki made friends, especially, the town sheriff’s daughter, Anne still hoped she could continue to make a home for them. Even as her life started to shift her fear of her past being unveiled prevented her from trusting anyone – especially Dunson’s sheriff who was slowly stealing her heart.

Anne was attracted to single dad Sheriff Travis Hunter and that attraction could easily be her downfall if her past comes to light.

If only she can trust herself to trust that Travis will believe her and give her the help she so desperately needs.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

A Perilous Affair by Linda Wisdom



She had a new name, a new face, a new identity...even a new personality. For ex-agent Mari Chandler, the past was dead and gone. Only her love for Reid Morgan refused to die. She went back to Mexico determined to let that love go. What brought Reid to the same place at the same time with the same idea? He thought her a stranger, but soon there were the same burning kisses, the same deep, hungering needs. To surrender her secret would put them both in danger.

Once they'd been in mortal danger...danger that still lurked in the shadows. Mari knew their lives depended on her playing a cool game, but could she extinguish the blaze of love that ignited her heart?

Wednesday, June 28, 2023




Delaney's GROOMS

"You don't own a tux shop for forty years and not know a little something about romance."—Karl Delaney

You've Just Seen Your New Mommy!

Ring bearer Patrick O'Connor pulled that note out of his jacket right after he'd gazed out the tux shop window at a pretty lady. Patrick thought girls were icky, but he wanted to find a woman for his dad. Sure, they were best buds—but a kid needed a

Jack knew that his son was infatuated with Sandi Galloway—who could blame the kid for having good taste? She'd make a great nanny for Patrcik—heck, Jack wouldn't mind some good-night kisses himself! And when Jack was in danger of losing Patrick, Sandi made for a great "pretend" wife. But
Mrs. Jack O'Connor? Sandi didn't look like any mother Jack ever knew. Then again, maybe that's why Patrick asked her to marry them...for real.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Do You Take This Man... by Linda Wisdom



Where were you when the lights when out?

A funny thing happened on the way to the altar….

Dru St. James: In the limo, just minutes from the chapel and her waiting fiancé, she got a bride's biggest shock: a big fat run in her stocking, right below her garter!

Sam Winslow: He was on his way to introduce his three kids to his new fiancée when the greatest parenting crisis struck: his daughter's bra strap broke!

That was how they all ended up—wedding gown and all—trapped inside a department store when the West Coast's biggest blackout hit. When the lights came back on, there'd be only one bride and one groom saying "I do." Which would they be?

What some people will do in the dark!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Vegas Vows by Linda Wisdom




Come to the World of Weddings!

The Honorable Hannibal Jones, formerly of the Strip Drive-In Wedding Service and Mona’s Chapel of Love, is now presiding over the World of Weddings, leading all those dear men and women into blessed matrimony and providing them with special memories of their joining.

We can give you the fairytale wedding of your dreams. Whether you want your spiritual connection to be held in the Amazon jungle, complete with bird calls and native attendants, or on another planet with aliens of your choice, our advisors can arrange it.

Music, videos, photographs, flowers, special costumes and cake are available for an additional fee. Take advantage of our newest offering: your choice of an Elvis or Wayne Newton look-alike singing “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

If vows sadly disintegrate within six months we offer a 50% discount on your second glorious nuptials!
Vegas TV talk show host Robyn Sinclair hates the idea of a week of shows about weddings at the new make-your-fantasy-come-true chapel almost as much as she hates weddings in general. But as soon as chapel manager Matt Dylan meets Robyn, he can think of nothing else but tying the knot. With her! Sparks fly as these two professionals are forced to work together and pursue their own Vegas Vows.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Splendor at Dawn by Linda Wisdom



Hawaii...the ultimate escape. Evelyne Winters had chosen it in the wake of a devastating divorce. She'd have a fling, decide what to do with a life that was suddenly her own. But even for exquisite Evelyne--daughter of a legendary movie mogul, ex-wife of a starmaker--seduction wasn't simple. Certainly she hadn't expected to run into a man like Rhyder Stewart. Aloof, sophisticated, he'd appointed himself her protector...until passion engulfed them and he became the ultimate lover. The heat of his kisses put the past in a new light. In his arms the present was breathtaking. Was it an idyll that had to end? Would they go their separate ways, or were they on the brink of discovering a brilliant new future together?

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Small Town Secrets by Linda Wisdom



The sleepy little town in the California desert was supposed to be a sanctuary for Detective Bree Fitzpatrick—a place of refuge from the big-city crime that had left her a widow with three children to raise.

But something was wrong, terribly wrong, in Warm Springs. Nothing could have prepared even a hardened police officer like her for the dark mystery of this place—a mystery that had cost far too many people their lives. And nothing could have prepared her for Cole Becker, the devastatingly handsome newspaper reporter who was determined to help her uncover the truth—and show a grieving woman that she could have a second chance at love....

Thursday, May 18, 2023

No More Mister Nice Guy by Linda Wisdom



Jed Hawkins’ refusal to give the soul-deep commitment to the only woman he longed for meant losing her. His closed and shuttered heart wouldn’t let him open himself up to anyone – and neither would his deadly and dangerous secret life as a government agent…

Shelby Carlisle vowed to put Jed behind her and took off for a mountain getaway with her best friend. Little did she know, that relaxing vacation turned into a time of terror when men broke in and kidnapped her in the middle of the night. Now she’s in physical danger and fears for her life. It’s time for Jed to step up and make the ultimate commitment – putting his life on the line to save hers. And as he tracked her murderous kidnappers high into the mountains, he was coming to understand that he had always loved this woman more than life itself and once he had her back he’d never let her go. The kidnappers didn’t have a chance…

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Sins of the Past by Linda Wisdom



She'd thought it was all behind her...

When a string of robberies cast a suspicious light on Stacy Markham's house-sitting agency, Stacy's past came back with a vengeance. By a whimsical twist of fate, Detective Mac McConnell was assigned to the case. During her rebellious, troubled teens, Stacy and Mac had experienced more than a few run-ins. Back then, Stacy had fought Mac like a wildcat. Looks like she was still fighting him...battling her instinctive trust of Mac, who promised not to use her past against her. She was struggling against the attraction to her one-time foe, who held secrets of her past and the key to her future in the depths of his compassionate heart. But could she escape the sins of her past?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Single Kid Seeks Dad by Linda Wisdom



He's Getting In Trouble For All The Right Reasons!

For thirteen-year-old Nick Donner, it was worth getting into some trouble to match his mom, Lucy, with Judge Kincaid's son, Logan. Now Nick's doing community service at Logan's animal clinic, hoping he can bring the lovelorn loners together.

For Lucy, keeping her son as the only "man" in her life was safer for her fragile heart. And Logan had had his share of women who tried to change a man and drag him to the Land of Commitment and Fatherhood. Still, neither of them could deny that nagging attraction…and since fate had brought them together, what harm could come of a little fling?

Poor Lucy and Logan! They had no idea their matchmaker would leave nothing to chance…

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Pregnancy Countdown by Linda Wisdom




Years ago, Nora Summers and Mark Walker had been sweethearts, but circumstances had driven them apart. Nora wasn't ready to risk her heart again with a man as footloose and charming as Mark.


Yet now Nora had indulged in a night of wild passion with him. An unforgettable night together that had left both of them stunned. But it was only a one-night stand…right?


Could she actually be falling for Mark all over again? Could her commitment-phobic lover consider settling down? Nora hoped this was the case, because their steamy night together had not only left her yearning and hungry.

It had left her pregnant!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

In Memory's Shadow by Linda Wisdom



MISSING MEMORIES...Sam Barkley had promised to protect her. But Keely Harper was beginning to think she would never be safe again. Since she'd returned to Echo Ridge, the town of her birth, she'd been plagued by nightmares--not to mention that her new neighbors looked at her strangely.

Keely had been orphaned at five, and left with no memory of her early life. She'd come to Echo Ridge hoping to fill in some of the gaps, yet all she'd found were more questions. Her handsome lover seemed to know something he wasn't telling her. Could she trust the safety she felt in Sam's warm embrace? Or would her fragile serenity be destroyed by the devastating secret of her past.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

This Old House by Linda Wisdom




Devlin Grant and Megan Abernathy wed in a fever of passion. A short time later they divorced in a fit of fury. No one would have dared to bring them together again…

Except a woman who had an even more notorious past. When Megan and Devlin met at the run-down California Victorian they’d inherited from Devlin’s grandmother, it was anyone’s guess how the reunion would end.

But Devlin and Megan couldn’t have been more surprised when their hands-on renovation project unleashed the torrid flame of temptation. And just about the time they learned about the scandalous past of Gram’s house, it began to have an equally scandalous present…


Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Gentle Protector by Linda Wisdom



Keri Burke hadn't always been gun-shy around men. But pregnant and alone, the owner of K.B. Temps certainly wasn't ready to start learning how to trust again now. Why wouldn't Ryan Kincaid, ruggedly handsome business tycoon, take no for an answer? Somehow her failed marriage, her difficult pregnancy, and her one disastrous mistake didn't seem to matter. Keri knew that a man like Ryan was used to getting his way, and that spelled danger. The last thing she wanted was a keeper, especially one who could be so disarmingly gentle and so wickedly sensual at the same time. Against her own will he was bringing her back to life. He was kind and caring. Why was it so hard to believe that he was the man she could trust with her heart, her future, her life?

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Read an Excerpt from A Man for Mom by Linda Wisdom



Parenting a teenager was trouble enough, but when the teenager turned matchmaker, it added up to hormone overload. Chelsea Brennan was satisfied with her life as a single mom. Her days were spent in Hot Stuff, her shop of classy lingerie, and her nights...well, she liked sitcoms. Only the summer separated Chelsea's seventeen-year-old daughter from a college far from home. Three short months to set her mom up with Mr. Right. Enter Mark Harrison--via the back door at midnight. When he showed up on the doorstep with teen Colleen, Chelsea nearly blew a gasket. Of course this hunk was too old for her daughter, but was he the man for Mom?


"Okay, start talking.”

Her glare the picture of righteous motherly wrath, Chelsea Brennan regarded her errant daughter, Colleen, who stood on the front doorstep at 1:22 a.m. on Friday the thirteenth.

The girl's initial bravado was rapidly disappearing. Even in skimpy silk pajamas that barely covered her feminine curves, her mother looked intimidating as hell.

To the man who stood behind Colleen, however, the lady looked just plain sexy.

Colleen winced, ineffectually crossing her arms to conceal the black sequined dress that barely covered her to mid-thigh. "I have a feeling you won't like it."

Chelsea's gaze flickered from her daughter to her companion. Oh, Lord. The man was definitely too old for a seventeen year old girl. Besides, Colleen had supposedly gone to the movies with her friend, Elaine.

Colleen sighed, envisioning being grounded until she was thirty.

"I suggest you begin by explaining what you're doing with this... gentleman," Chelsea prompted her.

"It's not what you think," the man started to explain.

Chelsea's hazel eyes snapped to the left. "Exactly who are you, and what are you doing with my daughter?" An unsettling thought occurred to her. "Are you a police officer?" Her eyes flicked suspiciously over his attire. Did undercover policemen wear jeans that tight and sexy leather jackets and have rugged good looks that spelled male in capital letters?

"No, I'm not a cop. The name's Mark Harrison." In turn he looked her over with a thoroughness most inappropriate for the mother of the teenage girl he was so tastelessly escorting.

She spoke crisply to deflect his brazen gaze. "All right, Mr. Harrison, if it's not what I think, as you so quaintly put it, what exactly is it you're doing with my daughter?" And to think she'd complained about Colleen's last date because the boy had worn an earring!

"I brought Colleen home to keep her out of trouble," he explained, looking all too self-assured for Chelsea's peace of mind.

"Oh?" she said frostily, disbelief dripping from the single frozen syllable.

He rocked back and forth on his heels, his hands jammed in his pockets, his eyes blazing meaningfully into hers. "So you can't believe I was just being an all-around nice guy?"

"Not at all."

"Mom, I'm freezing," Colleen complained as she pushed past her mother and entered the house.

Chelsea opened her mouth to protest as the cradle-robber who called himself Mark Harrison boldly followed Colleen inside and closed the door. Too late. He was already in her living room. Well, she supposed she ought to hear his side of the story, too. She tightened the sash of her robe and marched after the twosome.

Mark prowled around her living room, touching a vase here, running a finger over a framed photograph there. Looking altogether too much at home, he sprawled loosely on the couch.

Chelsea pulled in a deep breath. "All right, will somebody please explain what the hell is going on here?"

Colleen winced. "Mom tends to get emotional about certain things," she explained to Mark as she sat in an easy chair, oblivious to the way her already short skirt rode up her slender thighs. Her mother noticed and was silently relieved that Mark didn't seem to pay the least attention to the exposed young flesh. Instead, he gazed up gravely in her direction.

"Well, you knew Elaine and I had plans for tonight," Colleen began.

"Yes, you told me you were going to the movies. Naturally, every teenage girl wears an eight hundred dollar dress to the mall multiplex."

Mark's deep brown eyes widened. "Eight hundred dollars for that little scrap of material?" He pointed at the strapless creation Colleen wore. "You're kidding, aren't you? I mean, no one pays eight hundred dollars for something like that, do they? I mean, she's only a kid. I wouldn't let my kid go out looking like that. Eight hundred bucks?" he repeated in outraged awe.

"A kid?" Colleen yelped, sitting forward.

Mark ignored her outburst and glared at Chelsea as if she were somehow to blame for his shock.

Chelsea spun on him. "All right, Mark Harrison, we've ascertained that you're not a cop, but you still haven't explained what you are. I'd like to know who I'm going to have arrested call it an idiosyncrasy of mine," she said sweetly.

"I told you, I'm Mark Harrison. I'm also your daughter's savior. I protected her endangered virtue from a drunk hassling her at the club," he explained. "For all the thanks I get," he added, grumbling.

Chelsea gasped. "Club? What club? What on earth happened?"

Colleen rolled her eyes in disgust. "Mom, it was no big deal. Mark just makes it sound like one. The other guy didn't touch me. Well, okay, he touched me, but not the way he wanted to. Well, what I mean is, he was drunk, and I doubt he could have done all that much in his condition, no matter what he thought."

Chelsea groaned, unsure whether to laugh hysterically or cry. Closing her eyes, she collapsed on the couch. "This is a nightmare. All I have to do is wake up and everything will be fine, right?"

Mark found his gaze riveted on the distraught mother of the adventurous minor. And why not? Talk about the kind of woman any man wouldn't mind having around late at night. Her honey brown hair was tousled, as if she'd just climbed out of bed. Considering what she was wearing, that was more than likely. Bed the perfect place for a woman like her. Her cinnamon silk robe had slipped open just enough to reveal a slippery camisole and matching boxer shorts. While some men wouldn't consider glasses sexy, the tortoiseshell specs perched atop her honey colored waves somehow added to her angry, offbeat allure.

Wait. If she'd been in bed reading, waiting up for her daughter, had she been alone? If so, where was Colleen's father who would be, dammit, Chelsea's husband and why wasn't he here ready to turn Mark into mincemeat?

"Mrs. Brennan ...” he began.

"Ms. Brennan," Colleen corrected smartly, then added, "Chelsea." Chelsea glared at her.

So, the lady was single, Mark reflected. The evening was looking up. The evening. He abruptly remembered why he was here. "Let me make a long story short, Ms. Brennan."

"Please do." Her sarcasm was palpable.

"Colleen was down at Rick's Cafe with a friend." He held up his hand when Chelsea snapped forward, looking ready to kill anyone in her path, him first. "Some guy'd had a bit too much to drink, and when Colleen refused to dance with him, he made a fuss. She was smart enough to leave, but he was stupid enough to follow her out to the parking lot. I saw what was going on and guessed there might be a bit of trouble. I went outside just in time to prevent the guy from losing his chance to father children as Colleen and Elaine defended themselves. Since he was still a lot larger than they were, I stepped in to even the odds."

He paused, glancing briefly at Colleen. "I followed Elaine's car to her house to make sure the guy wouldn't try to tail them,' then brought Colleen on home. She said she didn't think you'd be in yet, so I wanted to make sure she’d be all right."

Chelsea arched a disbelieving eyebrow. "Sure. And pigs fly."

He ignored the sarcastic remark. "Look, I didn't have to do this, but she seemed like a nice kid, and I didn't want to see her get hurt."

Chelsea stood. "That's true, you didn't have to do anything. After all, chivalry died ages ago, and men like you don't drive young girls home unless you feel certain said girl's parents aren't around and you'll have the opportunity to receive a proper thank you."

"Mom!" Colleen was shocked. "Are you kidding? He's old!"

"I don't have even one foot in the grave yet," he said wryly. "And as for you, Ms. Brennan, you're too cynical for your own good."

She stood her ground. He might be the best looking man she'd seen in a long while, but he had a healthy dose of arrogance to go with the attractive package. And she didn't like his telling her what was wrong with her. "Maybe I have good reason to be."

He got to his feet. "Maybe you do. So don't trouble yourself with a thank you. Besides, even with the heavy makeup and" he winced "eight hundred dollar dress, Colleen is underage and could have gotten the club owner into a lot of trouble, even though she did drink just club soda. Why she was at Rick's is no business of mine. I'd say that was more her mother's department. But Rick is a friend of mine, and Colleen seemed like an okay kid, and I just saw no reason for the situation to get any worse."

Chelsea's eyes remained icy cold. "How commendable."

Mark didn't flinch. He merely gazed suggestively at Chelsea's long, sexy legs peeking out from the folds of the robe. "Look, Ms. Brennan, how you raise your daughter is no concern of mine. I only came in to explain."

Stung, Chelsea straightened and dismissed him with a chilly, "Thank you for bringing Colleen home, Mr. Harrison."

He headed for the door. "Remember what I said, Colleen. You stay out of places like that until you're of age," he said over his shoulder.

"What, and deprive heroes like you of the chance to rescue the sweet young things?" Chelsea couldn't resist sniping as she followed him out.

He turned and faced her squarely. "I seldom explain myself to anyone, Ms. Brennan, but since you insist on being so wrongheaded about my supposed decadence, allow me to enlighten you. I don't hit on jailbait, and I don't hang out in singles' bars. But since Rick is a friend of mine and is rarely able to leave during operating hours, it's usually the only way I get to see him. If I were you, I'd be damn grateful that creep hadn't gotten his hands on Colleen. Otherwise, it would have been the police, not me, coming here to see you."

Chelsea watched the front door close behind Mark Harrison. She didn't move until she heard his car back down the driveway and roar off, unwilling to admit that his words had struck a painful chord deep inside her. Worry that something would happen to her precious daughter dogged her steps even more now that Colleen had suddenly reached the threshold of womanhood.

She took several deep breaths before turning back to her daughter. "Would you like to give me the whole story now?" she said with dangerous calm.

Colleen winced. "It's not what you think."

"Oh, really? What am I thinking?"

"You're thinking that Elaine and I went there to pick up guys."

"If you didn't go there to pick up guys, why did you go?"

Colleen shifted uneasily in her chair. "Would you believe to research a psychology report on the mating habits of today's singles?"

"Not a chance. School doesn't start until next week. How did you get the dress?"

"Elaine and I stopped by the shop. I'll pay for the lingerie," she hastened to add. "And I'll have the dress dry cleaned. After all, Mom, you never sell the samples. That's why I took this one. I figured you'd prefer my taking a sample than something off the rack."

Chelsea raked her hair with her fingers, dislodging her reading glasses, which tumbled, unheeded, to the carpet. "From the day you were born you never gave me a minute's trouble," she sighed. "You slept all night, suffered from colic only twice, and you didn't even go through the terrible twos that so many other mothers moaned about. Even puberty, with all those hormonal changes, was a breeze. Are you trying to make up for lost time now?" Her voice rose with her agitation.

Colleen stood up sensing she was going to need every advantage she could get. "We just wanted to see what Rick's was like. We weren't out for trouble."

Chelsea was unmoved. "Try again."

"Okay, Elaine and I made a mistake in going there. But we were curious. You know, to see if singles' places are like they show in the movies. That's all!" Colleen insisted.

Chelsea searched her daughter's features. She had always been grateful that Colleen never lied to her. She sincerely hoped the girl wasn't beginning now. "All right, go on up to bed," she said finally. "I'm not forgetting about this, though. From now until I say differently, you work at the shop every day until school starts to pay for what you took. When school starts next week, you can come in after school and on weekends.... And that doesn't mean your schoolwork slides, either. This year is too important for you to screw up."

Colleen's eyes widened at the extent of her punishment. "I have to pay for the dress, too?"

"The special dry cleaning alone won't be cheap, and, knowing your excellent taste" her sharp eyes took in the shimmering black silk stockings, and she imagined the remaining lingerie under the minuscule dress "you can forget any afterschool activities unless they have something to do with your education."

"Mom!" Colleen squeaked.

"My dear, you are well and truly grounded until further notice. If what Mr. Harrison said was true, you were very foolish and very lucky tonight." She stopped. "Now, do us both a favor and go upstairs before I lose my temper completely."

Colleen knew well enough to beat a hasty retreat. She scooted past Chelsea and hurried upstairs.

Chelsea bent down and picked up her glasses. What a day. First the bank had refused to extend her business loan. Then her business dinner had gone sour because the jerk of a manufacturer's rep refused to understand that she had absolutely no interest in going to bed with him. The shipment of silk camisoles due yesterday hadn't arrived and couldn't be traced. With the way her luck was going, they'd probably landed in Alaska.

"And now this," she muttered. She turned off the lights and headed wearily for the stairs.


"OH, NO, YOU MEAN your mom was already home? Did she talk to Mr. Harrison?" Elaine asked. Colleen had called her the moment she reached her room.

"He told her where we were," she groaned, flopping onto the bed, wrinkling the infamous dress. "As of now, I'm grounded for the rest of my life, and I have to work in the shop until I pay my debt to Mom and society. I guess I'm lucky she hasn't decided to lock me in my room for the next ten years." She adjusted the receiver against her shoulder and grimaced at the glittering sequins that were going to cost her so dearly. "Had your parents come home from their party yet?"

"No, it was cool," Elaine explained. "But, Colly, we're not going to be able to do this again. Next time, we might not be so lucky. If Mr. Harrison hadn't come outside when he did, I hate to think what might have happened to us. That guy was a real creep."

Colleen shuddered as she thought of the man, reeking of beer, who'd called her horrible names and told her he was going to show her just how grateful she should be he was paying attention to her. "Yeah, but I still haven't found anyone for Mom."

"What about Mr. Harrison? He's kinda cute."

"Yeah, he's cute for an old guy," she admitted grudgingly. "But he's so do the right thing," she complained. "He's probably one of those boring types who doesn't know how to have a good time. He kept talking about how to raise a daughter, and he called me a kid!" she insisted, bristling anew at the major insult.

"If he didn't know how to have a good time, he wouldn't have been in Rick's," Elaine argued. "It's one of the hottest clubs around."

"Yeah, but he said he was only there because Rick is a friend of his. Not because he was looking to have some fun. Oh, I know he's cute, but someone that straight can't be cool, right? I'll just have to keep looking."

"I'm not sure that was such a hot idea to begin with, Colly. I mean, your mom might want to look for a man on her own. And there's no guarantee that she'll fall in love with someone we find. Oh, why do I bother going along with your crazy ideas?" she wailed. "We always get in trouble. And tonight was too scary for me,"

"I just have to do some more thinking," Colleen said logically. "Look, El, we're entering our senior year, and then I'll be going off to college. I don't want Mom sitting around here all alone with just the shop for company then. She needs a man. She needs a sex life! After all, hard as it is to believe, according to all the magazine articles, she's in her sexual prime. She can't afford to let that important time of life pass her by."

"You'd better not let her hear you say that, or you'll never get to leave the house," Elaine warned.

"She won't. Uh--oh." Colleen looked up as the object of their conversation entered the room.

Chelsea plucked the receiver out of Colleen's hand. "Hello, Elaine. You two were very lucky tonight," she said. "So I'm sure you'll understand why I'll be talking to your mother first thing in the morning. If you're smart, you'll talk to her first."

"She'll kill me!" Elaine wailed.

"Don't worry, we'll make sure you two have adjoining graves, so you can continue to get into trouble in the afterlife. And now it's time to go. Good night, Elaine." Chelsea replaced the receiver and reached down behind the nightstand to pull the cord out of the jack. She carefully wound the cord around the phone and began walking out of the room with the phone in her hands.

"But, Mom!" Colleen protested with all the unearthly anguish of a telephone less teen.

"I suggest you take off that dress before you ruin it completely," Chelsea said sweetly.

Colleen's pained wails followed her down the hall and into her own bedroom. As she pulled off her robe, she glanced down and suddenly remembered the brazen way Mark Harrison had looked at her. If her robe had gaped open, he might have seen her cinnamon silk nightwear gleam against her lightly tanned skin. The thought unaccountably warmed her cheeks.

He was too old for Colleen, she reminded herself, recalling the man who was probably a good six inches taller than her own five foot six. And too young for her, she added firmly. He looked to be in his early thirties; she, on the other hand, was reaching forty sooner than she cared to admit. "And he was way too sure of himself," she muttered, scowling at the unwanted memory of his skintight jeans and buttery leather jacket.

Chelsea crawled into bed and pulled the covers over her head. "If I'm lucky, I'll wake up in the morning and learn this was all a bad dream."


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Murphy's Charm by Linda Wisdom



Years before, she'd left him to follow her passion: the dance. Charlotte "Charlie" Wells thought she'd kissed James Murphy goodbye until a knee injury forced her to take a stopgap job as activities director of New Eden. Charlie was shocked to discover that the manager of the community was James. The electricity--and the anger--were still there. He swore he'd teach the slate-eyed beauty a lesson in love before she left him again. She was swept away by his addictive embraces, his seductive charm. Now Charlie knew he was the man she loved, but how could she prove she was the woman he could trust, that this time she'd stay--for a lifetime?


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Terrene Magic: Witch Guardian Romance by Caryn Moya Block



Series Finale

The Amhurst Twins, Chelsea and Eileen, soon discover that life is more than being the daughters of the Speaker of the Witches’ Council and flirting with the good-looking Guardians that work for their father. They will need to pull on all of their magical reserves and talents in order to save their world from the Marwolaeth.

Seth MacDonald is the youngest member of the Witch Guardian Police Force, but being a Lycan gives him benefits that his fellow witch members don’t have. When he finds himself and his future mate, Chelsea, in another dimension, he will need every one of his Lycan gifts to keep them alive.

Curtis Brandt is the famous Librarian, Fire Wizard, and Curator of the Magical Library and Artifacts Repository. But when it comes to social situations, like finding his Destined One, he’s in the dark. When he realizes that Eileen is his Destined One, he must join her in protecting their world from the Marwolaeth, even if his magic could kill her.

For the most enjoyment, it is suggested that you read this series in order.

The Witch Guardian Romance Series
Destined Magic
Aerial Magic
Fiery Magic
Aqua Magic
Terrene Magic

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Review of Cupcakes and Cupid by Debora Dennis



Welcome to Starlight Hills! Mountain views, small town charm, and one little bake shop, where romance is always on the menu.

While the rest of the town celebrates Valentine's Day with flowers, chocolate, and the annual Cupid Ball, Katie Dixon plans to spend it like every other day…alone, in her nursing scrubs. With a broken engagement in her past, her dreams of cuddling by the fire with the love of her life now involve her cat, chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes, and a book. No lying, cheating men. No wilting flowers to throw away. No more broken heart.

Three years ago when Reed Dempsey left Starlight Hills, he thought he'd left his wounded heart behind too. In love with his best friend's fianceé, he took off to build his life in the city, far away from the ever prying eyes of his small hometown and constant reminders of Katie. Now he's back to get his grandparents' flower shop through Valentine's Day and ready to sell before he falls for Katie all over again.

This year Cupid might need a little help to get these two hearts to the ball. Fortunately, one bakeshop matchmaker might be baking up more than cupcakes! 


Debora Dennis writes some of the sweetest, heartwarming romance novellas I've ever read. Cupcakes and Cupid was such a sweet tale and perfect for the weekend of Valentine's Day. I love how Katie tries to remain so strong and wants nothing to do with Reed who helped cover for her ex-fiance's affairs, yet he manages to get under her skin. Soon she can't get Reed out of her mind and sparks begin to fly. I highly recommend this novella to anyone that loves romances that are tender and heart-felt.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Read an Excerpt from Twist of Fate by Linda Wisdom



Diner waitress Allie Walker dreamed of grandeur, but even she never fathomed of being switched into the body of Brianne Sinclair, the world's most beautiful heiress. Dreams come true? Not for long. For when Allie came to as Brianne, there was a dead fiance at her feet--and she was holding the smoking gun!

Only struggling private investigator Pete Hackette believed her innocence. As Allie, she'd had a fierce crush on him, and now, as Brianne, she'd finally made Pete fall in love with her. But which woman was he really in love with? And which woman would survive when the real murderer was finally revealed?




Allie tasted the coppery flavor of fear as she spied the knife in his hand. It seemed to move in slow mo­tion toward her. Before she could utter a word, she felt a sharp pain in her chest, then a cold feeling in­vade her body. Just as suddenly the cold disappeared and a damp warmth flooded her skin.

She looked down to see her blood flowing freely down her chest. She looked back up at Whit. She was too stunned to react. For a moment, his anger receded and fear took over. Just as rapidly, it disappeared.

"Now maybe you'll know I mean business," he said cockily, although white lines appeared at the edges of his mouth when he realized how serious her injury was.

"No!" she whispered as she saw her surroundings seem to grow foggy and eventually turn black.

This isn't fair! she raged as the darkness surrounded her. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. Please, don't let this happen!

As if her heartfelt plea had been heard, the darkness seemed to fade to a misty gray fog. She still couldn't see anything, but she sensed a presence with her.

Do you want another chance? the presence asked, the unisex voice seeming to come from inside her head.


You may have to take on a problem even greater than your own.

I don't care, she heard her own voice answer as an echo inside her head.

Then it shall be.


"Brianne. Brianne! My God, what have you done?"

When Allie opened her eyes, she instantly knew that something was very different Not just with her sur­roundings; her body felt different too.

First of all, she didn't feel any pain in her chest, only in her head, which ached abominably. Next she realized she was kneeling on a very soft carpet. That alone told her she wasn't in her apartment. The beau­tifully dressed woman standing next to her, wearing a shocked expression, wasn't anyone she knew. Then she felt cold metal in her hand and looked down. That was when she saw the lethal-looking handgun. She was not only holding a weapon, but lying at her feet was a man dressed in a tuxedo. What caught her at­tention was the bright blossom of red flowering on his chest. There was no doubt in her mind that the color wasn't there because he'd spilled catsup on himself.


Allie realized the woman was talking to her. She unsteadily rose to her feet, and when she turned, she saw a mirror on the wall behind the woman. The re­flection staring back at her was more than a surprise. It was a shock that shook her to her toes.

She felt like Allie. She thought like Allie. The trou­ble was, she didn't look like Allie.

Instead of glossy black curls flowing to her shoul­ders, ash blond hair was pulled back in a French twist, with tendrils straggling across her pale cheeks. A white-and-silver, strapless gown covered her slender body instead of a pink polyester waitress uniform that had seen better days. She was positive she could see her own reflection in the mirror, but it looked like a faint mem­ory in the background.

What the hell was going on?

"Brianne, what happened here?" The woman grabbed her arm and pulled her around. "What have you done?"


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Read an Excerpt from The Countess and the Cowboy by Linda Wisdom



Cowboys and Indians never fought like this!

When Letitia DeMarco took the deed, by gunpoint no less, to her
ex-fiance's Montana cattle ranch, she didn't know it came with a
negative cash flow -- and Tyler Barnes, a foreman with a state-size chip
on his shoulder. Before she could even unpack her designer boots, they
locked spurs and made the ranch the wildest honky-tonk in town.

Letitia was sultry, high society and Italian in every way but heritage.
Tyler was the soul of Montana's wide-open spaces. He had been born and
bred on a ranch: his easy chair was a horse's back. When they locked
horns, it was winner take all. And, come high noon, there would be only one winner in this showdown.


"Cara, have pity." His handsome liquid brown eyes and smooth Italian accent begged for understanding, but there was little hope of a reprieve. The beautiful woman’s furious aqua eyes told him not to expect such a thing even if hell froze over.

"Me, have pity? After what you did to me? Giancarlo, I should shoot you where you sit, you slimy snake, you sneaky underhanded worm, you conniving son of a..." She used both hands to brace the deadly weapon she aimed at him.

"Letitia, my darling, you are attracting attention." Giancarlo's gaze darted worriedly from right to left. He lowered his cultured voice to a confidential level. It began to show more than a hint of strain. But then, any man would feel some anxiety if he had a woman pointing a gun directly at his heart.

Letitia kept her eyes on the perspiring man seated at a cafe table on the shady patio. She was so focused on him, it was easy to ignore the mildly curious onlookers who had just walked off the golf course or the tennis courts in search of a cold drink. While the Southern California elite knew enough not to display vulgar interest in a woman standing on the clubhouse patio aiming a gun at one of the guests, many couldn't help but wonder who the pair was. When they joined the exclusive Bel Air club they had no idea such excitement was included in the exorbitant dues.

In the back of her mind, Letitia DeMarco realized this little incident would probably result in her guest privileges being revoked with no hope of ever being asked to join the club. Good thing such possibilities didn't upset her. Right now, she had more pressing matters to resolve. Mainly, Giancarlo,

“And to think I was almost fool enough to marry you," she snapped. "Tell me, Giancarlo, how many people have you duped over the years since your less than glorious retreat from Italy? Does anyone else know your family disinherited you because of a similar scandal with one of their friend's daughters? That they insisted you even drop your family name because they're so ashamed of you? Let me see."

She tapped her forefinger against her lips in exaggerated thought. Her one hand held the revolver with a steady grip. "Didn't it have something to do with getting your brother's fiancée pregnant and then refusing to-do the honorable thing by marrying her? Instead, you accepted a healthy settlement to stay away. And since then, you've proposed to dozens of women, as long as they're wealthy, of course. You'd get what money you could from them and take off for greener pastures. You have quite a little con game going on, don't you?"

Giancarlo Reynaldo, a.k.a. too many names to count, began to sweat under Letitia's deadly aim. The young woman he'd been romancing had fled the moment Letitia marched outside with the gun leveled at him. Letitia had smiled at the woman he was romancing as back up in case things didn’t work out with Letitia and suggested she might want to leave. The leggy blond didn't waste any time running into the bar screaming there was a crazy woman out there with her fiancé and someone should call the police. The club executives being the types who disliked any kind of publicity, much less the negative kind, opted to alert their private security staff to the problem on the patio. They all were familiar with Letitia DeMarco, whom they had considered a very lovely and very reasonable woman. Until now.

Letitia hadn't stopped to think this could be a bad idea or that she could even end up in jail for threatening a man with a gun. She only knew the man cowering in front of her, the man she'd thought she wanted to marry, turned out to be the worst kind of man a woman could have the misfortune to hook up with.

Giancarlo managed a smile and slowly stood up with his arms wide open as if to embrace her. "Cara, let us go somewhere and discuss this," he crooned. "You know I would never do anything to hurt you. I love you." He took a step forward.

"Stop right there!" Letitia lowered the barrel. "You take one more step and I will shoot off what you hold so valuable."

His eyes widened in alarm as he realized she was now aiming at his crotch. "Letitia, you would not do such a horrible thing."

"Watch me." Her deep aqua eyes narrowed in concentration. She could hear voices murmuring in the background and realized her time was limited. "You owe me one hundred and fifty thousand dollars and I want it now."

"If there is a problem we can meet at my bank tomorrow and I will do all I can to help you."

Her laughter held no humor. "Which bank, Giancarlo? The one you claim to have an account at or the one that states your balance is twenty-three dollars and forty-six cents?" She dropped the bomb with ladylike aplomb. "I had a fascinating talk with your father last evening. He is very unhappy with you, Giancarlo. So unhappy that he isn't going to send you this quarter's check. In fact, you are now cut off from all family funds."

Giancarlo's face turned a sickly gray as he listened to his true past thrown out to the rapidly growing audience. Then his handsome features just as quickly turned sharp. As a man who lived by his wits and charm, he could see which would work with Letitia.

"What do you want?"

Letitia smiled. "My money."

"I do not have it and you seem to already know that," he snapped.

She nodded her agreement. "You probably spent it on your next victim. But that won't get you off the hook, Giancarlo. I did some checking and you do have some property. A cattle ranch in Montana. All you have to do is sign this transfer of ownership and we'll be even." She reached inside her jacket pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper. "I'm sure Lawrence over there will be only too happy to witness it for us. Won't you, dear?" She flashed a brilliant smile at a silver haired man standing off to one side. Lawrence's answering smile was feeble. "I assume he'll agree to help just to get me off the property within the next five minutes."

"The property is worth much more than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars!" Giancarlo argued.

Her glorious eyes spat fire. "Either pay me the money or sign over the ranch. Those are your choices.

Unless you'd rather I call in the authorities. The first charge will be fraud, then all the others will fall neatly into place. I wonder how many victims I might be able to find who'd be delighted to testify against you."

Giancarlo looked around for any semblance of support. Each person he silently sought discreetly turned away.

"All right, give me the damn paper," he growled, snatching it out of her hand. He didn't bother to read it but merely scrawled his name by a red x.

"It also states if you step foot on the Montana property you will be shot on sight," she advised, using the gun to wave Lawrence over. "We just need two witnesses. Howard, my dear, would you mind? In fact, is there anyone here with a notary stamp?"

"Letitia, I never thought you were the type to make such a horrible scene," one bikini-clad brunette murmured from the sidelines. "There are other ways to handle such an impropriety."

"Oh please. Those ways take too long and the victim never wins, Buffy," she stated, stepping forward and keeping one eye on Giancarlo as she signed her name on the dotted line.

"This is not legal," Giancarlo argued, trying one last time. “You are forcing me to sign away my property.”

"Oh, it's very legal. I made sure of that," she assured him. "I had a very good lawyer draw up these papers. You just sold me your ranch and I have plenty of witnesses to attest to that." Her voice softened. "Face it, darling, you've lost your entree here. After today, invitations to parties will suddenly disappear, your calls won't be taken, you won't get a decent reservation at the 'right' restaurants and people will suddenly develop amnesia when they see you on the street. I suggest you look for new territory."

"Mrs. DeMarco, may I have the gun please?" One of the club's security officers approached her with caution when he thought she appeared more composed. And a lot less lethal.

She turned to hand it to him.

"It's probably empty anyway," Giancarlo sneered, finding his courage now that he felt her power was taken away from her. He lifted his drink to his lips.

Letitia spun around with the gun still in her hand. The loud report assaulted the viewers' ears just as Giancarlo's glass shattered in his hand, the liquid streaming down his silk-covered arm. His curse could have been a prayer as he stared wild-eyed at her.

"Mother's second husband believed women should shoot as well as men," she explained, handing the gun to the stunned security man, whose lips twitched with amusement and respect for a woman who knew how to make her point.

Letitia scanned the document and carefully tucked it in her purse. She flashed her winning smile at the on lookers who appeared as shocked as Giancarlo.

"I really hate to shoot and run," she told them. "You see, it's just this little quirk I have. I hate to be cheated and he was going to pay one way or another. Although, I am glad I didn't have to shoot him. Blood is so difficult to get out of silk.” She spared Giancarlo a quick glance as she was escorted out of the patio area with a security guard on each side. "Have a nice day."


"THAT SON OF A BITCH!" Tyler slapped the letter with the attorney's letterhead against his gloved palm.

"You seem a little upset, boy," JT drawled, taking the paper out of his hand and reading it. "So that Eyetalian bastard sold the ranch."

"He promised I would have first chance if he decided to sell," he growled, prowling the empty corral like a jungle cat who'd been caged. "And now he's sold it to a woman! Some flighty Italian socialite who probably doesn't know a damn thing about ranching or how I've had to run this place on a shoestring because he never came through with the funds we need so badly to keep this place going."

"If she’s some countess maybe she'll have the money to do what's necessary for the place. As for her not knowing anything, if she doesn't, show her."

The older man's quiet suggestion brought Tyler up short. "I will not work for a woman."

JT searched his pockets and brought out a pack of cigarettes, which Tyler immediately confiscated.

"You're not supposed to have these," he scolded. "Besides, we have a problem here."

"You have the problem, son. I’m just your trusty sidekick," JT grinned.

"I can see her now," Tyler grumbled. "Dark hair, brown eyes, sounding like someone in one of those foreign films, wears silk and lace. She'll take one look at this place and head back to Italy because there’s no fancy dress boutiques in town."

"This lawyer's office is in California," JT commented, looking at the letter.

"I don't give a damn where she goes back to, as long as she goes." Tyler's gray eyes turned cold. "Giancarlo was happy to keep his distance, although some contact would have been nice all the times I wrote to him about our problems. This place could be turned into a paying proposition if we just had the funds." Frustration laced his voice.

JT, who'd been ranch foreman until his retirement when Tyler took over, understood the younger man's frustration. "Then charm the money out of the lady," he joked.

Tyler looked at the letter again. "She's due to arrive next week." He looked off into the distance. "Some damn Italian countess. I give her less than twenty-four hours."

JT's eyes lit up. Minor gambling on the property was one of the men's favorite pastimes. "Sounds like the beginning of a pool here." He rubbed his hands with glee.

"Put me down for two hours," Tyler said grimly, before striding toward the rear part of the main house. "I guess I better give Myrna the bad news. I just hope she doesn't fly off the handle and bum dinner."

JT was on his way to the bunkhouse. "Guess I better start drawing up the pool. Once the other men hear, bets will go wild. Somebody is going to be making a lot of money on this."

"An Italian countess," Tyler groused. "Terrific."


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