A Russian kingpin wants her dead… the only one who can stop it is the man sent to murder her.
Toni Flores loved her dream job working for a respected US senator until he raped her. She’s determined to bring him to justice, no matter the cost.
For years, Dimitri Valesky, head of a Russian crime family in America, has bought off those in government. Just like the senator responsible for Toni’s assault. When she won’t keep quiet about it and risks Dimitri’s business, he orders his stepson Michael to kill her.
Michael’s a lobbyist not a mafia enforcer. He refuses the insane demand, but Dimitri insists. The power he holds over Michael and his brothers is absolute… or so he believes.
Rather than murder Toni, Michael intends to romance her. Once he convinces her to keep quiet about the Senator, she won’t be a target any longer and Dimitri will back off on the hit. The plan falls apart and now they are dodging mafia enforcers, bullets, and Dimitri’s outrage.
Michael and Toni fight to stay alive and save those dearest to them as they also fall hopelessly in love.
This is book one in the Valesky Crime Family series and has an HEA.
Publisher’s Note: This contemporary dark mafia romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, action, adventure, adult themes, and possible triggers for some readers.
Tina’s an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.
On a less serious note: she’s an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, brakes for Mexican restaurants, and has been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally while wolfing down tostadas. She’s flown a single-engine airplane (freaking scary), rewired an old house using an ‘electricity for dummies’ book, and is horribly shy despite the hot romances she writes.
Ellen Cahill’s financial future rides on the success of her new pastry shop. A bruising divorce has drained her bank account, along with her spirit. A man enters her life promising love, but Ellen, haunted by the past, questions whether she can pull off this new beginning.
College student Rosa Escamilla has her own culinary dreams—and a difficult mother who’s dead set against them. Rosa won’t be deterred. She scrapes up the money to enroll at a prestigious culinary school, setting out to prove everyone wrong.
When hidden betrayals by the people they love most surface for both Ellen and Rosa, can they overcome the blows they never saw coming on the road to where they want to go?
The light was dying in Arborview. Ellen had to get going, but she wasn’t ready. Descending the ladder meant reentering her life. The time she spent here, suspended among the branches, did not banish the uncertainty that crept back when her feet hit the ground, but it did give her reprieve.
The stillness, the silence, slowed her mind. Be still and know that I am God. She used to love that old Psalm. This must have been what it meant. Her thoughts unraveled in Arborview, exposed in a cool, piercing light, a calm glow giving her hope.
It had been a week since she’d heard from Alice, and the memory of her guilty laundry-room face lingered. Perhaps Ellen had been too harsh, too judgmental. That was a big thing today, wasn’t it? Judging. Nothing was supposed to be off limits, nothing truly wrong, or shameful. Ellen had broken down and left a voicemail, but Alice had not returned the call.
The warm impression William had left in her bed, the faint whiff of his cologne on the pillows, had stayed with Ellen, too. He was coming to take her to dinner in an hour.
William had struck a chord with his pastry shop idea. It had taken root and grown all week within Ellen, its tendrils reaching into her heart. She could see it: a little storefront place, a jingling bell on the door, cakes and pies in the window, a soft wash of light on the gleaming display cases inside.
Excerpt #2 from Arborview
That was how she had come to think of herself: a divorced person. She disliked ”divorcee,” which Alice liked to throw about suggestively. The word had the faint stink of misogyny, of finger-pointing, the whisper of failure—more so a woman’s than a man’s. Why was that? Men were simply “divorced,” a neutral proclamation. No cutesy name had been invented to designate their failed-marriage status.
In truth though, if Ellen had failed anyone, she had failed herself. That stinging little insight had come to her Arborview, lying in dappled sunlight, where she was free to look at things, to test them out, and creep near the truth. The truth was she had fallen like a stone to the earth after all these years, and the voice that she had learned to ignore had only grown louder. God, forgive me. She had abandoned, or at least shelved, herself, long before Zach worked up the courage to do it.
She really should tell Rosa this: Don’t worry about what your mother thinks, or your brother, or anyone else. Choose, or the world will do it for you. That was what the girl needed to hear.
About the Author
Karen Guzman is a fiction writer and essayist. Her new novel, Arborview, will be published on September 29 by The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Homing Instincts, was published by Fiction Attic Press in 2014. Karen’s short fiction has appeared in a number of literary magazines, and her story collection, Pilgrims, was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award.
Karen is a regular contributor to the Collegeville Institute’s Bearings Online magazine. She is the recipient of a 2021 writing fellowship at the Collegeville Institute.
Single dad Ben Greyson wants only to retain custody of his two stepdaughters. A dysfunctional childhood has made family the most important thing in his life. When his late wife’s parents sue for custody, a desperate Ben is left with two choices – run away with his girls or marry his next-door neighbor.
Jamie Garven wants to be a mother. She’s intrigued by her handsome new neighbor and falls in love with his little girls. Then Ben is faced with losing his children, and Jamie agrees to marry him for a chance at motherhood. They’re determined to show the world, and the girls’ grandparents, two loving parents.
Their marriage of convenience turns into unexpected love. But Ben interprets Jamie’s efforts to save their family as betrayal—they could lose everything, including each other.
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Garrett Saunders’ world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.
Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett’s rescue horse and he’ll help with repairs around her farm.
Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she’s hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett’s love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?
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Is Lauren’s love for Cole stronger than her fear of scandal in her hometown?
Lauren didn’t intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband’s funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she’s not sorry. Cole’s given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He’s been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she’s afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn’t his.
Cole’s been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother’s. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren’s heart ever be his?
Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com
When a rash of unsolved murders leaves two of Chloe’s classmates dead, she begins to suffer from disturbing hallucinations that build to the horrifying image of Trent as a murderous vampire. To make it worse, he’s cursed—no Halstead will ever know true love–and he’s desperate to find a way to break the curse. Could Chloe be the key?
Forced to move to California with her father, Chloe is once again starting over. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she has this gnawing sensation that she’s forgetting something important. And then Trent Halstead crashes back into her life, bringing with him everything she’s forgotten and the devastating news that there’s a coven of witches after her, and no one knows why.
Chloe is in a fight for her life. Literally. Held prisoner by the Rose Coven, they are desperate for her to break the curse and restore the magical balance, but Chloe adamantly refuses—until a nearly starved Jax Halstead is tossed in the room with her. Now, hanging on to her humanity might be next to impossible.
Having an unbreakable bond with Jax is hard enough, but fighting it will most certainly drive her mad. Until an unlikely source offers them a solution to their problem. There’s just one catch—in order to fully break the bond, Trent’s immortal life will be linked to her mortal one. Is the promise of eternal love is enough to make Chloe risk Trent’s life?
When a mysterious rogue witch arrives in town and starts causing trouble, Chloe ends up in the hospital, and it becomes clear that the Zoya are getting desperate. But are they really the ones behind the attack?
Kara Leigh Miller is a multi-genre published author and an avid reader with eclectic tastes that range from the tame to the taboo. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband, four (of five) kids, three pit bulls, and six cats. When she’s not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she’s spending time with her family, working out, or binge watching Netflix. And sometimes, she’ll even play golf with her husband, even though she totally sucks at it.
A Collection of Small-Town, Heartwarming, HEA Christmas Romances
with stories by Joanne Jaytanie, Jacquolyn McMurray, Grace Augustine, Lexa Fisher
Seven unforgettable hometown holiday stories brimming with heartwarming heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, new and old traditions that sparkle like tinsel in this peppermint-kissed Christmas boxset.
Christmas Reflections by Joanne Jaytanie
She’s come home to open her own business. He’s on the quest to advance his career. Neither will achieve their goals if they refuse to work together.
Juliet is a hometown girl, and Colton is a big city guy. Will he squash her dream of turning the 100-year old Christmas tree farm into a year-round destination? Or risk his career by revealing a family secret that could save Forever Christmas tree farm.
Christmas Ivy by Joanne Jaytanie
She’s a survivor. He’s a bone-weary surgeon. Can this damaged artistic soul and frazzled do-gooder find serenity together in a small town?
Ivy’s struggled to succeed her entire life. Mason is a surgeon who can’t say no. Their fast-paced lives are eroding their spirits. And both are searching for a place to call home. Worlds apart, will they discover the love they seek in Glenville?
Christmas Chemistry by Joanne Jaytanie
Chemistry and Christmas draw them together, but family loyalty could keep them on opposing sides.
It’s nothing but an old tavern. But to the Jamersons and Brocks, it’s a treasured history, a precious legacy. Can Gina Jamerson and Owen Brock meet in the middle or will their families ruin any chance of compromise?
Aloha Café by Jacquolyn McMurray
A heroine fixated on Christmas lawn decorations and a hero oblivious to his wife’s shenanigans.
When Noelani’s obsession to defeat her nemesis for the “Best Christmas Lawn Display” trophy steals her holiday joy, the most unlikely person offers to assist her—her rival’s husband. Will that partnership help or hinder Noelani’s efforts to recover her joy?
Always on Christmas by Jacquolyn McMurray
If you like uplifting holiday stories, fiercely independent single moms, and kind-hearted cowboys, then you’ll love this inspirational romance.
When Emma Sanchez inherits a cabin in Hawai’i, it’s a fresh start for her young daughter and herself. Determined to raise Ally without a man, Emma’s resolve is tested when disaster strikes, and a generous cowboy offers support.
Second Chances by Grace Augustine
If you like the strength of family, the bond of friendship, and second chances, you’ll love Grace Augustine’s romance.
Single fatherhood was not his life’s plan. A generation later, his daughter vows to not repeat her mother’s mistakes. Can father and daughter let go of the past and open their hearts to love?
Counting on Christmas by Lexa Fisher
She’s resolved to conquer the ghost of Christmas past. He’s dreading another lonely Christmas. Can they trust enough to make the holidays shine brightly?
Mary Ellis faces a cold holiday without a furnace repairman. Chris Storey has what it takes to warm her hearth and heart. Will surprise visits by her corrupt nemesis and his drunk ex-wife leave them both out in the cold this holiday season?
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USA TODAY and Amazon Bestselling Author. Joanne writes romantic suspense, suspense/thriller, paranormal, and supernatural suspense. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, in both real-life and within the pages of the current book she’s reading. She is active in multiple writing organizations and loves to get together with her fellow author friends for retreats. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Jacquolyn McMurray writes both contemporary and historical romance. She and her husband live on a macadamia nut farm on Hawaiʻi Island where they feed a clowder of cats and a flock of hodgepodge chickens. Jacquolyn is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Greater Seattle Romance Writers, and the American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not writing, Jacquolyn enjoys time with her family, reading, sewing and solving crossword puzzles. In her past life, she was an elementary school teacher.
Editor and award winning novelist, Grace Augustine, grew up in Montana. Her work career has taken her from title and abstracting to administrative assistant church work to co-owning a small town weekly newspaper to her current profession as a floral designer/jewelry designer/writer.
Grace thinks of herself as a “Jill” of most trades and is not afraid to learn new things. “If you can’t learn something new each day, there’s something wrong,” she says.