A chance meeting will change their lives forever…
From the moment he entered the dark taproom, Caleb Hunt found himself drawn to the handsome man who sat alone at the end of the bar, away from the crowd. His interest in the dark-haired, muscled adonis took him by surprise, not remembering when he’d felt such hunger from a simple glimpse. Unable to stay away, he quickly found an open seat next to him and slid into it. When Ronan turned his ice-blue eyes to Caleb and introduced himself, his warm hand sent shivers of desire through his body and he was enthralled.
Ronan Scott’s boring Friday night had taken a turn for the better when Caleb took the seat next to him. Over the next few hours, he found Caleb easy to talk to and at the same time, he found that he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the beautiful man. Caleb captured his attention in a way that no other had for as long as he could remember. Taking a chance, he leaned forward and captured Caleb’s lips with his. And with the simple kiss, Ronan understood that Caleb would become an essential part of his life.
As Ronan and Caleb explore their new relationship and integrate their lives together, they realize that not everything will be so seamless…
That’s when he spotted him and everything stopped.
His breathing hitched in his chest and his heart thudded once, hard, and even the music seemed to fade as his gaze landed on a dark-haired man who sat by himself at the bar. As Caleb’s eyes slid down the man’s body of their own accord, he noted the fitted black tee that emphasized the muscles of his arms, back, and shoulders, before his gaze dropped lower to his legs encased in denim.
When he lifted a beer to his mouth and swallowed, Caleb felt his own throat tighten. A shiver of desire passed over him. Never had he felt this way about a man or woman in his life.
Before he could analyze his actions or talk himself out of his stupid plan, he walked toward the man. Part of him wanted to see if the man was as stunning as he believed from across the bar or if he’d been alone for so long that his mind had conjured the perfect man.
Before Caleb could reach the stool next to him, a beautiful blonde glided up to him, running her hand down his chest. Her smile flirty and sensual. Although Caleb had never been propositioned in any way close to resembling what he witnessed, he knew that she offered the man a brazen invitation to get to know her better.
Disappointment flooded Caleb’s chest.
In the next moment, however, she frowned and backed away from him as quickly as she arrived, leaving an empty chair.
Not questioning his good luck, Caleb hurried over and shed his coat, dropping it over the back. He flagged down the bartender and indicated the beer he wanted.
He sensed the man’s eyes on him, but for the moment, he wasn’t brave enough to turn and catch his gaze. Not when his breath had stuck in his throat, and he didn’t know if he could speak without sounding choked.
As soon as the bartender handed him his mug, the man turned his body toward him and leaned over to speak, close to his ear.
“Are you here alone?”
Caleb had to bite the inside of his lip in order not to moan out loud at the sexy, deep voice. Remembering the question, he shook his head and pointed toward Dylan and Garrett across the room. Dylan, of course, had a woman on his lap and was tracing a finger down her neck, before he leaned toward her and his mouth followed the same trail.
Garrett was looking down at his phone. The shy woman he’d been talking to had disappeared, much to Caleb’s disappointment, and another was trying, unsuccessfully, to get his attention. She looked drunk and very loud by the way he flinched every time she spoke.
“Dylan, the one on the right with a woman on his lap, is the biggest flirt in the world. He’s never serious about any woman he takes home. Garrett is his best friend, the complete opposite of Dylan, but he’s loyal.”
The man laughed and Caleb couldn’t help the lift of his lips at the sound. It was deep, rich, and addictive. But when the man turned his ice-blue eyes on him, something unidentifiable swelled in his chest. He could sense that he should speak, to keep this gorgeous man talking for as long as possible. “Are you here alone?”
Smart, Caleb. Just parrot the same question back.
The man smiled before he nodded over to his group of friends. Some were flirting, but others were enjoying the company of their friends on a Friday night.
“The ginger is Hawk; he’s a divorce lawyer who is handling Ryan’s divorce. That’s why they’re hunched over their beers. Ryan’s wife apparently hadn’t been faithful during their entire four-year marriage, and he found out when he came home early from a business trip. Jack is the one who is flirting with the group of women; he’s like Dylan in that way, never serious. He’s a CEO of a tech company and he could have any woman with his looks and the power he exudes, but he’s never been in a serious relationship. Sam is my second-in-command, the one who looks faintly sick, because Adam is a forensic scientist who loves talking about his work.”
Caleb found himself smiling at the group of friends. When he glanced at the man, who had turned back to Caleb after pointing out his friends, he snagged Caleb’s gaze. “So, do you have a girlfriend at home?”
“No. I can’t remember the last time I had a date, much less a successful one. You?”
Caleb breathed a sigh of relief when he shook his head.
“I’m Ronan Scott.” He held his hand out.
Even the man’s name is sexy.
He had to clear his throat before he reached out and grasped Ronan’s large, warm hand in his. “Caleb Hunt.”
Something inside Caleb warmed in increments until fireworks exploded behind his skin, all from a simple touch.
Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She's addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.
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I believe that Love is Love, no matter what race, religion, color, or gender. Love is Love.
Ghost #BookHugs #Tirgearrpublishing #RomanticSuspense Unholy Alliance and message about friendship @RowlandKathleen
Kathleen believes a friend is kind to another’s dreams. Everyone struggles, and a friend who tries to understand is priceless. When things go well, a friend shares the joy.
Blurb, Unholy Alliance:
The worst happened. Her cousin is still missing. Just released from jail for a murder she didn’t commit, thanks to attorney, Grady Fletcher. Tori has no clues. No destination. Just fear for the cousin she believes is held captive by an Irish mob boss, Seamus McGinn.
What if Tori were to park a food truck in the seedy waterfront neighborhood where the mob operates and hunt for this sadistic killer? Grady must protect the strong woman he’s come to adore. With emotions on a knife edge, Tori runs on instinct, on the desperation of affection between cousins. With adrenaline pumping, this is it. Tori identifies an island hideout, but Grady warns her to anticipate who her cousin is now.
Excerpt for Unholy Alliance-- takes place when her attorney, Grady, visits Tori’s food truck, Deep Fried to Taste, for the first time.
She’d walked out of the Gladstone Prison a decade before she’d walked in. After ten years she was free. Free because of Grady. The effects of imprisonment scarred her but also strengthened her resolve. Her heart swelled with gratitude for freedom.
She had a home in her food truck and proved in one day she could make money. She had friends who worked within two blocks of the lot. Her former cellmate embalmed at a funeral home. Down the street, Grady appealed cases of the wrongly accused, and his detective, Maeve, not only found evidence to support his efforts, but she also wanted to know if her cousin was living in terror or dead and at peace. Earlier from her office desk Maeve texted her the link for MissingWomen25to30.com. Friends Amy and Finn were a phone call away. Her parents disappeared on the day of her conviction and bought a house in Carlow, Ireland. She trusted they longed for her as she did them. She mourned the loss of her brother but worried nonstop over Vivienne.
A gaping hole in her heart ached to find her. When she did, she’d take a full breath. Her search began where it left off. Seamus McGinn, the thug who’d framed her.
What did Viv look like now? Was she using the new last name, Valentine? Fairy tale beautiful with waves of blonde hair and a rosebud mouth, her flair for adventure sometimes led to trouble with wild boys.
Grady double-arm waved at her. It was as if he were a two-dimensional character in a dream. Handsome. As upstanding as any man could be. Her legs gave way. The figure in the distance did that, and she grabbed the counter. Dizzy and short of breath, she chastised herself for holding on to the romantic notions she fantasized about a hundred times a day. She stuck her head out the window. “I’m coming out.”
Grady met her on the stairs and offered a hand. The closer he got, the harder it was to concentrate on stepping down. His killer smile showed off two sexy dimples when he said, “It’s noon.”
“Good noon to you.” She gulped. Readying herself for conversation, she took his hand, rose on her toes, and sniffed. “Hmmm, what is that? Shaving lotion? Man perfume?”
He chuckled, and a weird electric awareness went off in her chest. In slow motion, it cracked open slowly, sent out sparkly runners to forgotten girl parts, and pulsed there.
She pulled her shoulders back and lifted her chin. Their gazes locked. Her hair loosened from her bandana. “Drat, I’m a chef. Hair is supposed to stay put.” She took it off, placed the center of the bandana on the nape of her neck and tied a knot on the top of her head.
He reached to help tuck the ends under. “You’re so darn cute.”
“Oooo, that scent. Are you going to tell me what it is?”
“Eau des Baux Eau.” The warm, deep sound of his voice sent more sensations of want right through her. Behind him, the sun stretched a bit higher and seemed to shine just on him. “You like it?”
“I sure do. Vanilla. You smell like a cookie.” Her heart thudded harder than it should.
“Do you like cookies?” He bent his head for a kiss.
She kissed Mr. Good Noon with the wavy reddish-brown hair and body made to lose sleep over. Her breath hitched, and she took a step back from heartbreak. No reason to set sights on a man way out of her league. The glow dimmed, and the warmth backed off. “Care to look at my menu?” She stepped closer to the blackboard.
“Now you’re speaking my language. I’m starving.” He raised his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth lifted. “Pimento cheeseburger corn dog.”
“That’s my great food mash-up.”
“I can see why. It blends two favorites, the cheeseburger, and the corn dog.”
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Meet the author, Kathleen Rowland, and her dark and dangerous world of romantic suspense.
Award-winning author Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Writing a romantic suspense series for Tirgearr Publishing, Deadly Alliance is followed by Unholy Alliance. Bittersweet Alliance in the works. Keep an icy drink handy while reading these sizzling romantic thrillers.
Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write. If you’d enjoy secrets behind books, signup for Kathleen’s newsletter on her website:
I normally send out Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to professional reviewers three weeks in advance of my release dates. It occurred to me that maybe I should send my ARCs to readers who would really appreciate them. In return for a free copy you would be expected to post a review on release day.
Books are given in return for an honest review. You would be under no obligation.
Copies are limited so the Advanced Reading Team would be a small group.
What would you get from being on the team?
A free eBook, and you’d get to read my latest release ahead of everyone else.
If you’re interested in becoming a member email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget membership is limited. Once the list is full I will ask if you want to be placed on the waitlist.