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Nikki's Book Nook

Changing the world…one book review at a time

Month

June 2018

Prince Chance by Xavier Neal

From international best selling author Xavier Neal, comes a BRAND NEW sweet and scorching standalone novel in the popular Prince of Tease series!

Find out why readers are letting this series heat up their summer….

Prince Chance (Cinderella) → https://amzn.to/2JFRaXR

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Feel free to check out the other tales, too!

Prince Arik (The Little Mermaid) → https://amzn.to/2kRU258

Prince Hunter (Sleeping Beauty) → https://amzn.to/2M4ZMF0

Prince Brock (Beauty & The Beast) → https://amzn.to/2JleYiT

*Available with Kindle Unlimited

Scripted Love by Karen Frances

 

KF SL BannerBook 2 in the Scripted Series

Release day: 28th June 2018

 BUY LINK: mybook.to/scriptedlove

Blurb

Do happy-ever-afters exist outside of a movie script?

 For Scottish actress Ella McGregor, this was a serious question. Left broken-hearted by a betrayal of trust, she is determined to pick up the pieces and move forward with her life. The problem is, her ex, Donovan Bell didn’t get the memo about her plans.

 Connor Andrews is a man in love, and he wants the whole world to know. The problem with declarations is that they have consequences that place him right in the spotlight, and a long-held secret threatens to rip his idyllic life apart.

 In this stunning conclusion to Ella and Connor’s story, can their love survive the challenges they face? Strap yourself in and find out if life is better when you go off script.

 KF SL Cover

Also available in the series:

Scripted Reality

Book 1 of the Scripted Series:   https://amzn.to/2sgHB64

 KF SL Teaser2

Author Information:

Karen Frances lives in Scotland with her husband of seventeen years and their five children. Her busy days include helping her husband manage their family business while coordinating their children’s sports and academic endeavours. She finds escape from the chaos of everyday life in good books, particularly stories of passionate romantic relationships. Her appreciation and passion for romance novels led her to write He’s Captured My Heart, a tale of contemporary erotic romance set in Scotland.

 

Author Links:

 

Amazon:      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Frances/e/B00S1BIH4G

Goodreads:    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9794684.Karen_Frances

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/karenfrancesauthor/

Website:    http://www.karenfrancesauthor.co.uk/

Charminator by Lavinia Urban

❃●❃#ReleaseBlitz❃●

Sam McCormack is a bit of a lady’s man. With lots of charm and devilishly good looks, he believes it is his God given duty to give every woman one night in heaven.
Many women have tried to tame the beast, that is Sam, but not realising that he gave his heart away a long time ago.
Follow Sam on his journey and see who finally brings him to his knees.

LU CHARM Cover

Also Available in this series:

Kevin – Always and Forever (The Guardian Shifters #3) by KM Lowe

*****RELEASE DAY*****
Kevin – Always and Forever (Book 3 of The Guardians Shifters)
 99p/99c until the end of release week
FREE on KU
release Day 29th June
Kevin Audio Cover-Profile Image
Kevin’s life has been one hurdle after another. When he stumbled across his half-sister a few weeks ago, his life spiralled into a direction he didn’t think was possible. Not only did he have to fight his biological father, he had to come to terms with pack life. For the first time, he had a family and friends who loved and cared for him. He didn’t think things could get any better, until Karina Carmichael entered his life.

When Kevin was sent to Canada with guardian Jasper, he was only there to help him defeat the threat rogue wolves were causing. He never imagined his wolf would drive him crazy, and at the end of the trail, he’d stumble across his injured mate.

His head is all over the place as he sits vigilant at her bedside for four weeks. He’s giving up hope that she’ll ever get over the abuse she faced. He thinks when she wakes up, everything will be easy, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Kevin and the pack have their work cut out for them, because getting Karina to trust her new pack is a mission on its own.

Will the power of soulmates heal the turmoil Karina is going through?

Will Kevin and Karina ever be the same again?

Only time will tell.

Author note – although this is a series I do believe you can read these books in a standalone fashion. However, if you want to get the full effect from the story you would need to start with Lisa (book 1)

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****Contact The Author****

Make Me Crave by Katee Robert

Pre-order_MMCHave you Pre-ordered MAKE ME CRAVE Yet?

 

In MAKE ME CRAVE by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert, Roman Bassani will do anything to close a deal. Even chase down Allie Landers on her Caribbean vacation to make an offer on her company.

Robert Make Me Crave

 

Pre-order MAKE ME CRAVE and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card or one of three (3) ebooks from Katee Robert’s backlist!

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 1, 2018

Publisher: Harlequin Dare

Series: Make Me

 

 

Synopsis:

 

“I crave you…”

Can their hunger be satisfied? 

Roman Bassani will do anything to close a deal. Even chase down Allie Landers on her Caribbean vacation to make an offer on her company. He expects a challenge—but not their immediate intense attraction. After an accidental one-night stand they agree to put business aside—for now. The island lulls them into a heated sexual journey…but what happens to their opposing interests when they return from paradise?

“Dare is Harlequin’s hottest line yet. Every book should come with a free fan. I dare you to try them!”

—Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author

 

Available at:  

 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/MakeMeCraveAmazon

B&N: http://bit.ly/MakeMeCraveBN

iTunes: http://bit.ly/MakeMeCraveiTunes

Kobo: http://bit.ly/MakeMeCraveKobo

 

Praise for Make Me Crave

“Make me Crave by Katee Robert is such an amazing and captivating read that you will not put it down. Sexy, fiesty, hotness, chemistry, laughter and love Make me Crave is a must read for all book lovers. This is hands down in my opinion the best book that I have ever read by Katee Roberts.”—Goodreads review

“Wow! I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved Make Me Crave (Make Me #2). It has sass, steam and great characters with loads of chemistry. Katee Robert is definitely an author on my ‘must read’ list.”—Goodreads review

“Hello Adonis! Roman is just…yeah. I mean, sex on a stick with a good heart (despite his past misdeeds), and a more than capable brain! Allie is his perfect match and their time together sets the pages on fire while making you root for them to get more than just the pleasure they find from each other on the island! A great book!”—Goodreads review

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card or one of three (3) ebooks from Katee Robert’s backlist!

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29539/?

 

Make Me Crave Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

 

Tomorrow would be soon enough for them to go exploring and try out the stand-up paddleboards Allie had eyed when she’d checked out the beach.

Her face heated at the fact she’d been caught topless sunbathing. Whoever that guy was, he’d been far off enough that she couldn’t clearly see his face. Those shoulders, though… Allie shivered. Even at a distance, she’d seen the cut of his muscles and how purposefully he’d maneuvered the kayak through the turquoise waters. The island must have already gone to her head, because she’d spent a truly insane moment hoping he’d come to shore so she could get a better look at him.

Maybe more than a better look.

Allie laughed at her fanciful thoughts. Vacation hookups were all well and good, but if that was what she’d wanted, she’d chosen the wrong place to go. Isolation and relaxation were the name of the game on West Island, which was exactly what she’d craved when she let Becka talk her into booking the trip. It was the exact opposite of New York and her life there.

But now she found herself wondering if maybe something slightly more chaotic would have been a better choice. The sun and sea had soaked into her blood and the heady feeling had her convinced anything was possible. It was only a week. The perfect length of time for a fling…

If she wasn’t on a private island in the middle of the ocean without a single man in sight.

She bypassed the little golf cart that was one of the main forms of transportation here. It felt good to walk after being cooped up on the plane and then lying prone while she sunned herself. She usually taught at least one class a day at Transcend—more if she needed to cover someone else’s schedule—so being inactive wasn’t natural for her. It was only a mile or two to the restaurant and the day had started to cool as the sun reached for the horizon. It’d be downright pleasant tonight.

She’d make sure to wake early and attend one of the yoga classes offered, and the rest of the day would be filled with activities that would keep restlessness from setting in. There was even scuba diving available, though Allie wasn’t sure she was feeling that adventurous. Snorkeling? Sure. Going deeper with only a tank and a few tubes between her and drowning? That would take a whole lot more convincing.

The path was cleared and well maintained to allow the carts to drive without problems, so she let her mind wander as she fell into a natural stride that ate up the distance without tiring her out. Every once in a while, the path would branch off in different directions, some heading toward other villas, some heading deeper inland. There was a small selection of hiking trails that offered tours of the history of the island.

She made it to the restaurant easily, and found it practically deserted. Allie paused in the doorway, wondering if she’d misunderstood the woman who’d checked them in. Maybe it was closed?

“Looks like it’s just you and me.”

She jumped and spun around. The man stood a respectable distance away, but his sheer size ate up the space and made her feel closed in. She froze. I’d recognize those shoulders anywhere. Confirming her suspicion, his gaze slid over her body as if he was reminding himself of what she looked like with nothing but what she’d worn on the beach. She tried to swallow past her suddenly dry throat. “You.”

“Me.” He finally looked her in the face, and she rocked back on her heels. The man was an Adonis. There was no other way to describe his blond perfection, from his hazel eyes to the square jaw to the cleft in his chin to the body that just wouldn’t quit. He might be wearing a shirt now, but the button-down did nothing to hide his muscle definition.

He held out a wide hand with equally perfect square fingers. “Let me buy you a drink?”

“We’re at an all-inclusive resort.”

His lips twitched, eyes twinkling. “Have a drink with me.”

Oh, he was good. Charm practically colored the air between them, and she had the inexplicable impulse to close the distance and stroke a finger along his jawline. To flick that cleft chin with her tongue.

Allie gave herself a shake. “Since we’re the only ones here, it’d be silly to sit apart.”

The look he gave her said he saw right through the excuse, and why not when it was pathetically flimsy? The truth was that this man was magnetic and she suspected she’d be drawn to him even in a room full of people. He waved a hand at the empty place. “Lady’s choice.”

“How magnanimous of you.”

“I try.”

She laughed and headed for the table in the middle of the small patio. There were half a dozen tables, and she picked a spot that put her back to the building and presented the best view of the ocean through a carefully curated gap in the foliage.

He eyed the view and then the chair on the other side of the table, and then he picked it up and set it adjacent to hers so they were sitting on a diagonal,  rather than directly across from each other. “Nice view.”

She turned to agree—and found him staring at her.

Allie wasn’t falsely modest. Life was too short to play games with body shaming and pretending she didn’t have access to a mirror. She was pretty—beautiful when she put some effort into it—but she’d given up being skinny or petite after the agony of high school, and she wasn’t athletically built like some of the women at her gym. Sure, she had muscle beneath her softness, and she could keep up with the best of them in her spin classes, but she loved food just as much as she loved to sweat, and her curves reflected that. Some guys had a problem with that, though she didn’t keep them around as soon as comments like “Should you really be eating that?” started.

This guy looked at her like he wanted to put her on the table and feast on her for dinner.

The desire stoked the flame inside her that had kindled the second she saw him. She leaned forward, checking his left hand. No ring. No tan lines, either. “What brings you to West Island?”

“It’s paradise, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to come here to get away from it all?”

That wasn’t quite an answer, but she was distracted by the intoxicating way his mouth moved when he spoke. Get ahold of yourself, Allie. You’re in danger of panting for him. She took a quick drink of water that did nothing to quell the heat rising with each minute she sat next to him.

Luckily, a waiter appeared to save her from saying something truly embarrassing. He outlined the menu for the night and took their drink orders, then disappeared as quickly as he’d come.

They were in the middle of one of the most beautiful places Allie had ever seen, and she couldn’t manage to tear her gaze away from this stranger. She licked her lips, every muscle in her body tensing when he followed the movement. She opened her mouth, but before she could speak, he took her hand, running his thumb over her knuckles.

The touch was innocent enough, but she felt that light movement in places that were most definitely not innocent. She didn’t have to look down to know her nipples now pressed against the thin fabric of her sundress.

His smile was slow and sinful and promised things she never would have had the gall to ask for. “This is going to sound unforgivably forward, but what do you say we get out of here and go back to my villa?”

It was crazy. More than crazy. She didn’t even know his name, and she sure as hell didn’t know anything more pertinent about him.

But there on the softly lit patio with the tropical scent of some flower she didn’t recognize and the soft shushing sound of the tide coming in, she didn’t feel like Allie, gym owner and mother hen, the responsible one who could never afford to do anything out of line or make a misstep because too many lives depended on her.

Here, she was just Allie, a woman. A woman who desperately wanted the man staring at her mouth as if he was doing everything in his power to keep from kissing her right then and there. She licked her lips again, secretly delighting in the way a muscle in his jaw jumped. “Yes.”

“Yes?”

“Yes, let’s get out of here.”

 

About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.”  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

 

Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram

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***Cover Reveal ***Love Under Siege Military Romance Suspense Collection

love under siege cover reveal FBLove Under Siege (A Military Romantic Suspense Collection)

Release Date: September 18, 2018

Hosted by:Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

Buy links:

iBooks: https://apple.co/2sVJkhx

Nook: http://bit.ly/2y00TCY

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kZqNNP

Books2Read:

https://books2read.com/LoveUnderSiege

LUS 2d Cover

Book Description:

Eight Brand NEW Sizzling Full-Length Novels featuring Military Heroes by acclaimed authors who know how to bring the Heat, Action and Suspense!

  • Tuff Enough by Samantha A. Cole While security operative Jason “Tuff” Tanner lives for dangerous assignments, he likes his downtime in his quiet neighborhood too. But that peacefulness is suddenly interrupted when his new next-door neighbor becomes a target for someone hell bent on revenge. Canine rescuer Concetta “Chet” Suarez brings all his protective instincts to the surface, along with feelings he’s never experienced with any other woman. Will he lose her before he ever gets a chance to make her his?
  • Never Forget by KaLyn Cooper Dreams or nightmares. Truth or lies. He can’t tell them apart after he sees the woman in his dreams. She is the key to his past, present, and future… She just buried her husband next to her fiancé who was killed in an explosion while they were on a mission together ten years ago. She doesn’t need another man in her life, until someone tries to kill her.
  • Ravished River by Lindsay Cross Hardened ex-FBI agent Adam Wise shielded himself from any weakness – until Tara slipped under his defenses and taught him to love. Past demons refused to remain dormant and Tara is caught in the crossfire of revenge – now Adam must risk everything to reclaim the woman he loves.
  • Lincoln by PJ Fiala Lincoln Winter is hired to bring in a criminal who is selling arms on the black market and he never misses a mark. That is until the sultry Skye Sommers crosses his path and unwittingly gets herself caught up in much more than she can handle. Can they stay alive long enough to find a killer, an arms dealer and love?
  • Mace by Maryann Jordan Mace Hanna’s security business keeps him busy…too busy for a relationship. When providing security for a single mom and her young son who has witnessed a murder, he vows to keep them safe…and finds love along the way.
  • Black Jack by MJ Nightingale Undercover FBI agent, Jackson Black doesn’t expect to find love while working deep undercover on a RICO case. But he can’t resist Dawn, the sexy accountant, who keeps crossing his path during the investigation putting both of their lives on the line.
  • Her Guarded Hero by Caitlyn O’Leary It’s been five years since his tragic loss and Navy SEAL, Dalton Sullivan heads to Lake Tahoe to be alone. The last thing he expects is horse trainer, Aurora Chance to literally fall at his feet. As danger and raw emotion churn around them, can Dalton be brought back into the light?
  • Not Quite Broken by Abbie Zanders Former POW Brian McCain is so busy fighting his demons, there’s not enough left over for anyone else – not even the one woman who has a way of shining light into his darkness. But when a serial killer turns his sights on her, Brian realizes he’s not quite as broken as he thinks he is.

Love Under Siege will only be available for a limited time, grab your copy now before it’s gone forever!

Goodreads book link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40375901-love-under-siege-a-limited-edition-military-romantic-suspense-collectio?ac=1&from_search=true

About the Authors:

Maryann Jordan has been a devoted romance reader since the late 1970’s!  After a career in adolescent counseling, she is thrilled to be a full-time romance author, writing military romantic suspense and small-town romance.  With one of her cats usually perched next to her laptop, she keeps her readers entertained with tales of sweet alphas and the independent heroines that catch their eyes.  Now a USA Today Bestselling Author, she always promises a Happily Ever After.  http://www.maryannjordanauthor.com

Caitlyn O’Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America, is a dream come true. She hopes her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape she has found from some of her favorite authors.  www.caitlynoleary.com

Abbie Zanders loves to read and write romance in all forms; she is quite obsessive, really. Her ultimate fantasy is to spend all of her free time doing both, preferably in a secluded mountain cabin overlooking a pristine lake, though a private beach on a lush tropical island works, too. Sharing her work with others of similar mind is a dream come true. She promises her readers two things: no cliffhangers, and there will always be a happy ending. Beyond that, you never know… https://abbiezandersromance.com

Samantha A. Cole is a retired policewoman and former paramedic, who is thrilled to add award-winning author to her list of exciting careers. After being gifted with a stack of romance novels from her grandmother, her love affair with the genre began in her teens. Many years later, she discovered her love for writing stories was just as strong. Taking her life experiences and training, she strives to find the perfect mix of suspense and romance for her readers to enjoy. http://www.samanthacoleauthor.com

PJ Fiala has toyed with many careers in her life, looking for that perfect fit. Finally, when her love for writing took root, a match was made. A lifelong reader of romance novels of all genres, she still reads her favorite authors and enjoys finding new authors to entertain her. An avid biker, she plots most of her stories while riding and enjoying new adventures with her husband, then bringing those adventures to her stories filled with steamy passion and love, and they always end with a happily ever after, ’cause who doesn’t love that? www.pjfiala.com

KaLyn Cooper writes military romantic suspense, often based in facts ripped from the headlines. Twenty-seven years as a military wife has shown her the world and the men and women who protect it every day. Thirty years in PR taught her fact can be stranger than fiction, but leaves it up to the reader to separate truth from imagination. All of her heroes, and many of her heroines, are active duty and veterans, all who find a happy ending. www.KaLynCooper.com

Lindsay Cross is the award-winning author of the Men of Mercy series. She is the fun loving mom of two beautiful daughters and one precocious Great Dane. Lindsay is happily married to the man of her dreams – a soldier and veteran. During one of her husband’s deployments from home, writing became her escape and motivation. An avid reader since childhood, reading and writing is in her blood. After years of reading, she discovered her true passion – writing. Her alpha military men are damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and determined to win the heart of the woman of their dreams.  www.lindsaycross.com

MJ Nightingale is the best-selling author of The Bounty Hunters: The Marino Bros. She is an avid reader of all things romantic and suspenseful. She is married to a wonderful loving husband and they have two fun and fabulous sons.  Going on road trips with her family provide the settings to many of her books.  Her leading men are bounty hunters, detectives or ex-military–but all are alphas with heart and heat. And the women are strong–the perfect match to all that testosterone. Her books will have you page-turning late into the night.  She surely brings the heat with stories that sizzle! http://www.mjnightingaleblog.com

buoni amici press

 

Broken Promise (Sons of Broad #3) by Tara Thomas

I have read all the books in this stunningly taut series and am so happy that they continue to go from strength to strength!

Benedict Brother could come across as posh, self entitled and privileged, but they have a strong sense of their place in the world, what they can do to enrich others and what good they can do with their vast wealth.

Charleston almost becomes another character in the book! I’ve never been to the USA and I found myself googling streets and other places so I could picture them more clearly in my head.

Alyssa is still coming to terms with how close she was to danger and the revelations of her former boyfriends entanglement in the plans of “The Gentleman”. Kipling, eldest of the Benedict brothers, manages to convinces her to include him in her investigation into TG and also the search for his alleged half-sister who managed to make herself missing once again.

The plot is tightly wound and the characters are put through the wringer emotionally and psychologically before the stunning conclusion. There are still a few red herrings to lead you astray!

Better Haunts & Garden Gnomes ((Un)Lucky Valley #1) by Michelle Pillow

Better Haunts & Garden Gnomes Release Blitz FB
Genre: Cosy Mystery Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 26th, 2018
Cover Designer: Alchemy Book Covers
Hosted by:Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JOfJ0U
iBooks: https://apple.co/2JWJZH1
B&N: https://bit.ly/2M0jSiP
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2yigi1H

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Book Description:

Welcome to Lucky Valley where nothing is quite what it seems.
Lily Goode wasn’t aware she had an inheritance waiting for her in the form of a huge Victorian house in Lucky Valley, Colorado. Life might finally be coming together for her. That is if you don’t count the endless home repairs, dealing with eccentric Aunt Polly who claims they’re both witches, and Nolan Dawson the handsome home inspector who seems to have it out for her, then, sure, life is grand. Oh and not to mention the strange hallucinations and garden gnomes who are far more than lawn ornaments.
If mysterious accidents don’t do her in, then the rebellious gnomes just might. With the help of Aunt Polly, it’s up to Lily to discover who’s sabotaging her new home and trying to drive the Goodes out of Lucky Valley once and for all.
From NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Michelle M. Pillow, a Cozy Mystery Paranormal Romantic Comedy.

Goodreads book link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39815385-better-haunts-and-garden-gnomes-happily-everlasting-world

 

About Michelle:

NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Michelle M. Pillow, is a Romance and Cozy Mystery Author with over a million books sold. Romance Writers of America has recognized her for publishing over 100 titles.
As long as she can remember, Michelle has had a strange fascination with anything supernatural and sci-fi. After discovering historical romance novels, it was only natural that the supernatural and love/romance elements should someday meet in her wonderland of a brain. She’s glad they did for their children have been pouring onto the computer screen ever since.
Michelle loves to travel and try new things, whether it’s a paranormal investigation of an old Vaudeville Theatre or climbing Mayan temples in Belize. She’s addicted to movies and used to drive her mother crazy while quoting random scenes with her brother. Though it has yet to happen, her dream is to be a zombie in a horror movie. (She came close as a refugee extra on SyFy’s Z Nation, Fall 2016!)
For the most part she can be found wearing pajama pants while writing in her office, and enjoying a cup of coffee.
Come say hello! She loves talking with readers on social media!

Social Media:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichellePillow
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichellePillow
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michellempillow/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Michelle_Pillow
Newsletter: https://michellepillow.com/newslettersignup/

“Cackles the Cowboy Ghost”

Excerpt from

(Un)Lucky Valley: Better Haunts and Garden Gnomes

A Cozy Mystery Paranormal Romantic Comedy

By NYT & USAT Bestselling Author Michelle M. Pillow

 

 

 

In the town of Lucky Valley, Colorado, nothing is quite what it seems. As Lily Goode is quickly finding out…

Thump.

Her hands trembled as she gripped the railing. Nolan briefly placed his hand over hers, as if to steady her. They crept toward the bedroom.

Thump. Thump. Rattle. Thump.

Lily and Nolan reached for the door at the same time and pushed it with the tips of their fingers. The wood creaked as it opened.

Crreeaak. Thump. Bang.

They tilted their heads to look in.

“Dam, blasted. I…”

The sound was faint, but Lily heard the muffled words as if they came from underwater.

“Where’d ya go ya wee varmit…”

“Who’s there?” Lily demanded.

Lily leaned closer to Nolan and tried not to make a sound as she stared at the room. A bed was in the middle next to a small dresser with a white porcelain bowl. The dresser slid an inch to the right and the foot of the bed lifted off the floor before thumping down.

Nolan again tried to push her behind him but she resisted and moved to see who was causing all the noise. The bed bounced in a steady rhythm. She slowly leaned to the side to peek along the hidden edge of the bed. The sound stopped. A gnome stood facing the corner like a punished child. Another gnome lay on the floor.

“I think Dante is right. It’s the creepy gnomes.” Lily stared at the little statues, watching for movement. A chill worked its way up her spine.

Nolan placed a hand on her arm. She jumped a little in surprise at the contact. He inhaled through his nose, and whispered, “Ghost.” The word came out on a white puff of breath.

The bed lifted higher than before and crashed down. When Lily turned her attention back to the gnomes, they had not moved, but there was a pair of transparent legs sticking out from under the bed. The ghost’s stained pants were frayed at the bottom hem and his boots were caked in dirt—if that was even possible.

“Uh, this house is not yours,” Lily said. “Go to the light. Begone spirit.”

“What are you doing?” Nolan whispered.

“Banishing him?” Lily shrugged. How the heck was she supposed to know what to do?

“How do you know it’s a him?”

She pointed at the floor. “I assumed from the pants and boots, but I guess it could be a girl.”

“All I see is a couple of gnomes.”

The ghost’s feet kicked, and the bed lifted up only to fall with a bang.

“Stop that!” she ordered.

The ghost cackled and wheezed and did it again. This time, he shimmied until his feet disappeared under the bed. All noises stopped.

“Is he gone?”

“Maybe?” She shrugged helplessly.

“Do you see him?”

Lily turned to Nolan and grabbed his upper arm. “Nolan, if I was really in a hospital with something in my brain making me hallucinate, you’d tell me, right? I mean, you’d tell me if I was insane or none of this was real, right?”

“Uh, Lily—”

“I’d be all right with that. Because, if you expect me to bend over to look under the bed to see if there are any big-bad scaries lurking beneath there, I’m telling you now that I don’t think I’m brave enough. I’ve seen how this horror movie ends. I’m not about to get sucked into a dark vortex by Cackles the Cowboy Clown.”

“Dark vortex?” He arched a brow.

“Every little kid knows about the dark vortex. It’s why we know not to go into closets or look under the bed.”

“I don’t think that’s a real—”

“It’s real.”

“Lily, do you want me to look under the bed for you?” Nolan asked, his tone aggravatingly calm and reasonable.

She nodded. “Yes.”

Nolan suppressed a grin. He lowered onto his hands and knees, threw the draped covers out of his way, and leaned close to the floor to look under the bed.

Lily felt a chill along her arm. She held her breath. Her eyes moved before her head turned. She came face to forehead with a ghost. He stood a couple inches from her face. When she glanced down, she saw his whiskers shift with a smile. “Boo!”

She gasped, jumping away from him.

The ghost crowed a high-pitched sound, holding his stomach and slapping his thigh as if it were the funniest thing in the world. “Oo-ee-ee-ee.”

“I don’t see anything,” Nolan said, still looking under the bed.

 

End Excerpt

Learn more about Better Haunts and Garden Gnomes at MichellePillow.com

buoni amici press

Built to Last (Black Knights Inc. #12) by Julie Ann Walker

Sonya has been sucked into the dark, murky underbelly of the Spider. Once a shining star with Interpol, she now acts as Spider’s arm candy and assistant. She is rocked to the core when the mannerisms of the newest “recruit” in Spider’s web of blackmailed minions reminds her of her lost love. But Mark is dead and has been for a decade.

Angel Jamin has inserted himself into Spider’s inner sanctum as part of the operation by BKI. He is unsure as to whether Sonya has actually gone to the dark side or if like his cover story she has been blackmailed. As the story moves from the UK to the Middle East and beyond, Angel and Sonya grow closer but Angel is never just himself around her, because then he would have to reveal that he was Mark and that he was “killed” in order to undertake a long term mission.

What a superb finale to the series! Mark/Angel is so conflicted – he wants to reveal himself but knows Sonya will hate him. He also wants her to love him for who he is now rather than the rose coloured memories of Mark. All my loose ends were tidied away and I truly enjoyed seeing Ace and Rusty interact and their love/hate in/out the closet relationship sizzle away.

I really want more from this series cos I love it so much but who knows what the future can bring??

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