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Trouble for whom?

The Lady is Trouble Book Cover The Lady is Trouble
(League of Lords)#1
by Tracy Sumner, Holly Ingraham,
Fiction, Historical, Victorian
Independent
– 10 Mar. 2021

After three years of waiting for Julian Alexander to realize they are destined to be together, Lady Piper Scott takes matters into her own hands. Because her gift as a healer has never done anything but distance her from the most principled man in England. A meaningless diversion as a medium, all done to gain a certain wandering viscount’s attention, backfires. As most endeavors have for a woman known in the ton as Scandalous Scott.

 

 

What’s a reluctant viscount to do when the woman he can’t have becomes the woman he can’t live without?

 

Julian Alexander, Lord Beauchamp, battled his way from the lowliest slum to assume his title. He carries not only a turbulent past but a mystical psychic gift that separates him from society. Honorable to his core, he is committed to protecting a community of outcasts with abilities like his own. He has no time, no place, for love. Or repeatedly rescuing the most outrageous, beguiling woman he’s ever known. Even if she needs his protection most—and he desires her above all others.

Seduction, intrigue and desire lead to an explosive passion…

 

Julian vowed to shield Piper from the deadly foes seeking to possess her powerful gift. Although he needs her help in controlling his own, the mix could be deadly. Soon what was once a simple agreement to work together becomes enchantingly complex as they surrender to a timeless love…

This was a free ARC for Tracy Sumner team.

Overall it was a nice story but I thought a little long for the content.

Some interesting use of vocabulary – I liked the use of ‘antique’ words within a modern phrasing.

Clues were left for the next books in the series – so who was the boy they couldn’t save? And why did Flynn take it so hard? Flynn’s book is coming next .

Harbingdon is nice idea as a harbour but also perhaps the harbinger – foreteller – of a potential future – a sign of what is to come, both are hidden in the name – was this deliberate?

POF location 700. mention of a cardinal bird – in the UK. almost certainly not as they are extremely rare visitors, and the twitchers would be going mad. if it was one it would be an escapee from captivity. wouldn’t last long in the wild in UK.

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Ohh a Kidnap? tbc may12th

Catnapped Book Cover Catnapped
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #14)
R.J. Blain
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: May 11th 2021

When someone steals Diana’s cat, a former lab animal rescued from death’s door, she calls on one of the most dangerous beings in the universe for help. Cutting a deal with the devil isn’t the smartest move, but there’s no way in hell she’ll abandon Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent to his fate.

Teaming up with the son of a demon, an angel, and one hell of a woman might push Diana to the limits of her courage and sanity. Unless she wants to sell her soul to the devil, she must cope with her new partner, make the most of a bad situation, and find out who stole her cat and why.

What she learns will forever change humanity–and lead to a battle destined to forever change the heavens and the devil’s many hells.

Answers from the Author!

Thank you so much for hosting me!

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

Like many of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) novels, I usually take a theme or a trope that I’m interested in writing, and I run with it. I really enjoy writing about shenanigans involving cats, so I rolled with it. And a catnapping featuring a crazy-cat lady?

There is just so much fun to be had there.

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

It really depends. Some books, I will spend 2-3 weeks just planning and outlining. The more complex the concept, the longer it takes to prepare. Catnapped took all of five minutes, as it is a ‘go and have fun’ sort of book. Now, there is complexity in this one, but I would stop and work out the kinks as I wrote the book and went back and fix anything I broke… rather than go in fully prepared.

It really depends on the book. I do whatever is needed to get the book finished.

How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

It really depends on the book. Catnapped needed very little research because I had already done the research for it on other books. I did have to brush up on some mythology and lore from a few religions, but it only took a few minutes with Google because I knew what I was looking for.

What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Once again, it really depends on the book. If Wikipedia has what I need, I cross-check references and use that. If I need something more thorough, I contact someone who knows what they’re doing in their field, or I hit up the library for resources.

If you need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance, do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?

All of the above, really! Everything I research often needs a different approach. I’ve done interviews in the past, but I find interviews to be less useful for urban fantasy/paranormal than visiting locations and doing book studying. But I do what’s needed to get the book written.

Research can be a major time-waste if you don’t set up a plan and research with the goal of getting specific data. My suggestion for anyone who needs to research is to learn to pull to plug on researching, else all you do is research rather than write.

Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Yes, I earn enough from my writing to live on. It took five years from my first self-published book to when I started making a living wage. I became fairly aggressive about advertising three years in, which made a huge difference.

What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I’ve had a lot of that lately, unfortunately! We just moved, and my allergies/asthma have been really bad, so there has been a lot of staying in bed while whining. Honestly… I re-read my own books because I wasn’t up for reading anything new. I was too sick!

What is your favourite genre?

Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance. I just love stepping out of the real world for a while. Bonus points if the books contain humour and non-abusive male leads.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

I have two cats! One is a tortie, and one is a calico. They are both terror goblins.

And what are they called?

Zazzle the Beguiling Tyrant is the calico, and Princess the Understudy is the tortie.

Do they help you write?

Absolutely. They are paid in treats. They refuse to work for free.

What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing?

Once… I was preparing a book for publication. It was in the final formatting stages. Princess got onto my keyboard and helpfully insert some characters, which made it into the live version. Fortunately, readers were really kind about it, because rando stray characters is not the norm in my books. It definitely caught their attention, though.

Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A? [please add a separate file, not embedded into document]

Please see the attached picture(s)!

Who is your favourite pirate and why?

I’m going with Edward Teach/Blackbeard. The guy was a freaking genius of a lunatic. Everything about his exploits were phenomenal. He definitely wasn’t a good guy. Most pirates simply weren’t, but there was a lot to learn about Teach’s exploits and the golden age of piracy.

Drake was also a really interesting privateer/pirate, but Teach’s exploits sparked a special sort of magic, especially for us.

Do you enjoy sailing? On a lake or the sea? And what about tall masted ships- are they better than engines or?

I absolutely adore sailing. Both lake and sea. In school, we got to sail the Lady Baltimore, which was just a fantastic experience. Ever since, Ships of the Line have captivated me. (For those who aren’t into naval history, a Ship of the Line is a sailed battle ship used during the golden age of sail for naval combat. They would battle in lines. A First-rate Ship of the Line is the first ships to engaged, and are considered to be the best of the best.)

My husband and I watch a lot of naval history documentaries.

Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?

The pandemic has been so hard. But yes, it absolutely has inspired books… and it has forced me to step back on some books because of too many people embracing hate. (The Jesse Alexander series and the Seeking the Zodiacs series are both on hold due to the pandemic; I’m hoping I can return to writing them in 2022, but we shall see.)

When I was picking my birthday book for this year (Which is Catnapped), the pandemic was just starting to roll through, so I decided I wanted something that was more fun than anything else. We all need fun right now.

The hardest part of the pandemic, for me, is the awareness that a lot of people are reading to escape right now, and I want to make sure my readers have a wonderful time getting lost in a book.

We all need to get a little lost right now.

Do you prefer doctors or nurses as your hero/heroine? Why?

Nurses. Without nurses, doctors can’t operate, they can’t keep patients alive… really, medical care is a joint effort. Nurses are often neglected because they don’t have the label of ‘doctor’, but it’s not the doctors who are there every hour making sure the patients get through the tough spots. It’s the nurses. They’re the ones inserting the IV lines, monitoring the equipment, and making it so the doctors can do their jobs.

Doctors are important, but nobody is getting out of an operation alive without the hard work of the nurses.

What about ‘snark’? is it good or bad?

I love it, as long as it isn’t malicious. Snark that’s malicious is just another jerk, and we have enough jerks… snark needs to be moderated. There’s a time and a place for malicious snark in fiction, though. So, it really depends on the skill of the author writing the snark.

Is it easy to write humour?

Nope. Just nope. It’s a lot of fine lines to dance through, over, and on. And every joke has the potential of doing more harm than good. With time and practice, it’s ‘easy’ to write, in that it’s a learned and practice skill.

That said, I love writing humour. It’s a good challenge.

How many of the accidents – funny or otherwise, or bad experiences in your stories are based on your own experiences? Or those of your friends?

Honestly, very few. Sometimes, I lift something particularly amusing. A character in a book I wrote under a pen name had salmonella poisoning that went into her bloodstream from a raw chicken nuggets from a fast-food establishment.

No research necessary. I’d lived that one. It’s definitely not an experience I’d like to repeat!

To Purchase:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/catnapped-9

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/catnapped/id1513416935

About the Author

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

Author links:

https://www.thesneakykittycritic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rjblain.author/

https://www.instagram.com/rj.blain/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7190903.R_J_Blain

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Date? Not Me: Book Blitz

Definitely Not Dating
(Love Lottery #2)
Christi Barth
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Tule Publishing
Publication date: May 4th 2021

It’s a chance to start over for both of them… Everleigh Girard always dates the wrong men at the worst times. The last debacle cost her a job and an apartment. But thanks to a crazy lottery win, she and her friends have a fresh start restoring a historic inn. Determined to make it a success, Everleigh swears off the dangers of dating entirely. Except…the town’s police chief is distractingly hot. So how much trouble could friends with benefits really cause? Police chief Matt Halliday always puts protecting his town first. He’s blindsided when his house mysteriously burns down, and grateful his friends rent him a room at their inn while they finish renovations. It’s a great deal. Mostly. It’s hard to resist the very beautiful Everleigh. Love is permanently off the table for him—but lust is definitely on. After their first red-hot kiss, keeping it casual is impossible. Can Everleigh teach Matt to trust again—especially when he’s keeping a secret that may put him and his new friends at risk?  

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DefinitelyNotDatingBlitzBanner.png

Excerpt:

Matt could tell she’d keep filling the silence with rambling unless he stopped her. Did he make her nervous? Or was she just second-guessing one of the nicest freaking things that anyone had ever done for him?

He put a hand on her upper arm. Tried with all his might to keep it more of a casual tap, and not let it turn into a squeeze or caress. “Sorry. You caught me off guard. I didn’t know what to say. ‘Thank you’ isn’t enough. This is all way beyond thoughtful.”

Her cheeks pinked up. The flush was adorable.

It made him wonder what else could make her flush like that. And then Matt cursed his one-track mind.

“Oh, it was no big deal.” Everleigh shrugged both shoulders.

No. He couldn’t let her dismiss such a meaningful gesture. Or not understand what an impact it’d made on him.

So Matt stroked his hand up to her shoulder. Did the same on the other side, as well, to prevent her from another shrug. And if his thumbs made contact with creamy skin due to the wide neck of her tee, well, he didn’t regret it.

“Stop. It was unnecessary. Took time and effort from your packed day. It was considerate. And I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. You made me feel like this really is a place I belong. That’s exactly what I need right now. Somewhere I can feel anchored.”

“Well, good. I’m relieved. I just wish there was more I could do.” Everleigh licked her lips. “To make you comfortable.”

Matt was a lot of things. A police officer. Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard Reserve. Son. Boss. Friend.

But he wasn’t a saint.

It had been a hell of a rough week. And it was only Wednesday. A drop-dead gorgeous woman was at 11 out of 10 on the flirt scale. If Everleigh wanted to make him feel better, what kind of a chump would he be to resist?

“Oh, I’m plenty comfortable.” Matt moved his hands up the sides of her neck until they framed her heart-shaped face. “Let’s see if the two of us can move that needle up to something way better than comfortable. For both of us.”

It wasn’t as far down to her lips as expected, because Everleigh stood on tiptoe to meet him halfway. This was no tentative first peck. No cautious easing into things.

Matt knew what he wanted. And Everleigh seemed just as eager.

They skipped over all the first kiss slowness. They skipped about five minutes ahead. Matt took her mouth like it was already his. Because she offered it so willingly. Because she molded her tight, lithe body against his.

Everleigh tasted faintly of…strawberry ice cream. And an inherent sweetness that was all her. There was warmth. Pliable softness, yet also a firmness as she returned his kiss. Equal want, equal giving. Which made it the perfect kiss.

They were swaying in tandem, almost like an unheard melody played. Or maybe it was just their pulses syncing up.

Matt tilted her head to the side a bit more. Then he unleashed the desire he’d been working so hard to ignore since their first meeting.

His tongue swept into her mouth. Immediately, hers danced and twined around his. Teasing, just like Everleigh herself. Fun, sweet, but with a backdraft of heat. Like one of those jalapeño margaritas with a kick that made you crave more.

Matt wanted so much more.

Author Bio

USA TODAY bestseller Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi lives in Maryland with her husband.

Author links:

http://www.christibarth.com/

https://www.facebook.com/christibarthauthor

https://www.instagram.com/christibarth/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3272041.Christi_Barth

https://www.pinterest.ca/christibarth/

https://www.christibarth.com/home/newsletter/

Purchase

Apple: https://apple.co/3ewPJYj

Google: https://bit.ly/32N6p8s

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/definitely-not-dating

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/definitelynotdating/

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And the snake rattles?

Rattlesnake Road Book Cover Rattlesnake Road
(A Small Town Mystery Romance)
Amanda McKinney
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publication date: May 4th 2021

Everyone hits rock bottom, only the brave escape.

Welcome to 1314 Rattlesnake Road.

A quaint two-bedroom log cabin nestled deep in the woods of the small, southern town of Berry Springs—the perfect hideaway to escape your past.

Tucked inside thick, mahogany walls lay mysterious letters, forgotten and untouched for decades. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame breathtaking views of jagged cliffs, deep valleys, and endless lies. Mature oak trees, tall enough to touch the clouds, carry the whispers of the haunted, of stories untold.

Inside sits Grey Dalton, emotionally battered and bruised, her only wish to pick up the broken pieces of her life. But outside, await two men, one a tattooed cowboy, the other a dashing businessman.

One will steal her heart, the other, her soul. 

Rattlesnake Road is a standalone mystery romance about love, loss, hitting rock bottom, and clawing your way to the other side.

Your escape awaits…

(Due to serious subject matter and mature content, please be aware that this book might be an emotional trigger for some readers.)

Excerpt

Wiping the motor oil from his hands, the mechanic looked over my shoulder to the BMW in the parking lot, then refocused on me. “You lost?”

Lost? The man had no idea.

“My car is smoking.”

The corner of his lip quirked. Something about me amused him.

“In that case, let me grab a beer and switch over to Marley.”

I rolled my eyes. My time, and patience, with this small-town country-boy was rapidly waning. “I meant—the hood is smoking. Under it, the engine, whatever, and trust me, I’m not laughing about it.”

“No, I can see that. Did you hit something? Run over anything?”

“Aside from the handful of potholes in this Godforsaken road?” I gestured past the trees to the red dirt road.

“Where exactly?”

“The middle.”

“Where in the middle of the road?”

“I don’t know.”

“What were you doing down Rattlesnake Road?”

“Driving.”

“Ma’am, I can do this all day.” Unfazed by my impatience, the man sauntered over to a rolling toolbox and picked up a Coke. Sniffing at it, he scowled and set it aside—but not in the trash can. He picked up another and sniffed with the same result. Then he grabbed a bottle of water, opened it, and chugged.

“Home.” I fisted my hands on my hips, annoyed with not only his aloofness, but also how unaffected he was by me. “I was driving home.”

The man lowered the bottle from his lips. It was the first time I saw a flicker of something other than amusement behind his blue eyes. “You live down Rattlesnake Road?”

“Yes.”

“Since when?”

“Since not long ago.”

“Alone?”

“I’m not sure that’s your business. Can you help me or not? This is a mechanic shop, right?”

He gestured to the dismantled cars.

“Then why don’t you have a sign out front?” Careful not to bring attention to my foot that was still stuck to the cement floor, I curled my toe around the thong of my flip-flop and tried to lift it from whatever the hell had stuck it in place. No luck.

“Don’t need a sign.”

“All businesses need signs. People don’t realize it’s a mechanic shop.”

“You did.”

“What’s your name?”

“Declan. What’s yours?”

“Are you a mechanic?”

“Where are you from?”

“What does that matter?” I asked. “You gouge prices on tourists?”

He took another sip of water, eyeing me over the rim. A thin trail trickled from his chin, wetting his T-shirt. He didn’t bother wiping it.

“How do you know I’m not from around here?” I asked.

“Because a local would’ve already unwedged themselves from the gum that’s got you stuck in place.”

“This is no ordinary gum.”

“You’re right. It’s watermelon Bubblicious.”

“I didn’t know six-year-olds worked on cars.”

He grinned. “You’re a Yankee, aren’t you?”

“As much as I’m enjoying this little tit-for-tat, can you help me or not?”

“I don’t know.” Declan downed the rest of his water, then tossed the plastic bottle into an overflowing recycle bin in the corner. “Oil leak, yep, I can fix, but it depends on what else I find under that hood.”

“Look now.”

His eyes narrowed with the first sign of disapproval of my attitude. He picked up a towel and wiped his hands, then grabbed a handful of paper towels from a roll sitting next to a tin cup oozing with something. He strode toward me, his gaze on mine.

The man truly was massive. My instinct was to back up, but thanks to the damn gum, I was stuck in place. My stomach tickled as he knelt at my feet. A waft of air enveloped me, scented with fresh soap and that musky scent of man, with a motor oil finish.

The tickle turned to butterflies.

A strong grip slipped my ankle from my shoe, sending a wave of tingles over my skin. After sliding the paper towel under the shoe, Declan pried my flip-flop from the floor, then twisted the gum and rolled it into the paper towel.

As I balanced on one foot, he carried the shoe to one of the many sinks and dabbed a towel in something that resembled nuclear waste. After a few scrapes of the bottom of my shoe, he returned, kneeling again to grab my ankle and slip my gum-free flip-flop back onto my foot.

I felt like a redneck Cinderella.

Heat mixed with the tingles this time—followed by total humiliation when I remembered I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week.

“My, uh, razor’s . . . broken.”

He pushed to his feet. “I’ve got a bush hog out back.”

My jaw dropped.

He grinned widely. “All right. Let’s have a look-see at this smoking silver car of yours.”

“I can’t believe you just said that.”

Winking, Declan strode past me and I got the feeling I’d just met my match.

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Oh please! Blitz

Falling for Another Darcy P
Love Manor, #3
Kate O’Keeffe
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Women’s Fiction
May 5th 2021

Don’t miss this laugh-out-loud, heart-warming final instalment in the Love Manor romantic comedy series for fans of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, Sinéad Moriarty, and Bridget Jones’s Diary.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. Right?

That’s the way the song goes, anyway. For Emma Brady, marrying her Mr. Darcy was a road to happiness that is about to take a sharp turn to trouble. Creating a tiny Mr. Darcy isn’t exactly proving to be easy. Sure, being newly-weds mean they’re more than happy to give it a good shot, but as time ticks along, Emma and Sebastian’s efforts come to nothing.

It’s time to call in the big guns.

For Emma, that means mood swings, hot flashes, ovulation kits, and more needles than a haystack. Add that to an increasingly-disapproving granny, and Sebastian and Emma’s love is being put to the test in a way they never saw coming.

Will they get the family they so desperately want? And will their love survive? Or will Emma’s fairy tale ending with her Mr. Darcy slip between her fingers?

Excerpt 1

“You looked so sexy in those wellies,” he murmurs, referring to my rubber boots. “Do you think I could get a private viewing of you in those and…let’s say nothing else?”

“Nothing else? Sebastian Huntington-Ross, I am deeply outraged.”

“Are you now?” he asks with a laugh that rumbles through me.

“I didn’t know you’ve got a thing for gardeners.”

“Actually,” he says with another kiss that has my head spinning, “I’ve got a thing for my hot Texan wife.”

“I’m guessing you’ll want me to team a ten-gallon hat with those wellies, huh?”

“Now we’re talking.”

As he reaches under my top and slides his hands up my bare back, sending a jolt of anticipation through me, I hear the creak of the door and look up in surprise to see not only Sebastian’s mom, but his granny with disapproving look on her lined face.

Not that this is anything new. The day that woman gives me a look that’s not disapproving I think I might faint from shock.

I instantly dismount Sebastian and readjust my top in an attempt not to appear as though we were about to engage in, well, marital activity. We might be a newly married couple who do what newly married couples do, but getting caught out by my mother-in-law and judgmental grandmother-in-law still puts a halt to proceedings pretty quick. As you would expect.

“Mother, Granny,” Sebastian says in a surprisingly steady voice as he rises to his feet. I’ve had to get used to that here. Sebastian always stands whenever his mom or grandmother enter a room. It’s super formal and weird to me. Where I’m from, you only got up to go fetch another Coke.

“Don’t let us interrupt, you two,” Jemima trills in an unnaturally high voice. She must be feeling about as comfortable as I am right now. “Come, Geraldine. Let’s, err…go for a stroll in the garden.”

Geraldine scoffs. “Jemima, it’s after nine at night and it’s raining cats and dogs out there. Have you gone completely mad?” She clunks her way across the room with the aid of her cane and sits down carefully on one of the seats facing us. “It’s fortuitous that we found you in such a position.”

I blink at her in disbelief. It is?

Jemima is still hovering by the door, clearly uncomfortable. “What about the library, Geraldine? There’s a book collection I thought you might be interested in. I only came across it a few weeks ago, and I think you’ll find it quite fascinating. It’s about the history of bridges in the British Isles, which is a thoroughly enthralling topic—”

“Oh, Jemima,” she scolds. “I haven’t got the least interest in bridges. Take a seat, will you?”

“But—”

“Now.”

Defeated, Jemima replies, “All right.” She slinks into another one of the armchairs and shoots us an apologetic smile.

“We thought you were both out for the evening,” Sebastian begins.

“We’re back,” Geraldine replies, pointing out the obvious.

“How are you this evening, ma’am?” I say to Geraldine as she steadily lowers herself into a seat by the fire with the aid of her cane. It has a brass handle in the shape of a wolf, which appropriately casts her as a Bond villain. All that’s missing is the hairless cat.

“I’ve told you before, Emma. In England ‘ma’am’ is what we call the Queen. Please remember to call me ‘Granny’ now that you’re family. You’re no longer on your Texas ranch here.”

I open my mouth to reply and shut it again. Having grown up in a modest house in inner-city Houston, the only time I’ve been on a Texas ranch was when I was filming Dating Mr. Darcy. “I forgot…Granny. Habit, I guess. You can take the girl out of Texas, as they say.”

Geraldine purses her lips in obvious distaste. “Quite. Now. I have something I must say to you both.”

Must she?

“It’s gratifying to see you’re still engaging in what is characteristically considered the honeymoon phase of a marriage.”

Sebastian’s eyes find mine briefly before he replies, “Thank you?” Because what do you say to that? Yes, we’re at it whenever we get the chance. Can’t get enough of it, actually. We’re at it like the proverbial rabbits. Our room, the living room, the garden, even your room when you’re out at the opera (okay, we’ve never actually done it in Geraldine’s room, and nor do we plan to, but you get the picture).

She steeples her fingers, fixing us with her glare. “An heir. That’s what we need.”

“An heir?” I swallow. She’s already made it abundantly clear that as Lady Martinston, it’s my duty to provide the family with the next generation. The first time she mentioned it, in fact, we’d literally been married less than three minutes. You’ve got to admire the old girl’s tenacity, I guess.

“Yes,” she snaps, “an heir. How often are you engaging in marital relations?”

“Mummy, I hardly think—” Jemima protests as Sebastian’s eyes widen at me.

“Let them answer, Jemima,” she quips. “It’s been a year and still not even a sign. You’re not getting any younger, you know, Emma. I’m certain your fertility has already begun to wane. When I was your age, I’d finished having my children.”

I offer her a weak smile. That was because it was the 1800s and there was no TV.

“Granny, we haven’t even had that conversation yet,” Sebastian says. “Give us a chance, please.”

“What’s the delay? You’re clearly raring to go if that little display earlier is anything to go by. Make it mean something, my dear boy.”

I suck in air, every part of me cringing. The mood has gone from sexy rubber boot fun to creating an “heir” in two minutes flat.

Could this get any more awkward?

“Thank you for your concern, Granny, but when Emma and I decide we’re ready to start a family, we will be sure not to tell you until we actually have something to tell you.”

“Does that mean you’re already trying?” Jemima asks, a healthy dollop of hope in her voice. “Because we can leave right now and let you get on with it if you like.”

Oh, no. Awkward!

Jemima rises to her feet. “Can’t we, Geraldine?”

“I suppose,” Geraldine grumps.

I squeeze my eyes shut, fantasizing that I’m not in the living room with my mother- and grandmother-in-law, my clothes and hair disheveled next to my husband as they discuss our sex life.

“Good-bye, you two,” Sebastian says with a tone of finality in his voice.

Jemima bustles over to the door, clearly keen to get far away from this whole thing as quickly as possible, while Geraldine rises from her seat onto her creaky bones as though she’s an arthritic sloth in no hurry to get anywhere.

It takes forever, stretching the awkwardness out to a breaking point.

Eventually, she reaches the door and turns back to us. “Missionary position. That’s the best for procreation. That’s all your grandfather and I ever did, and we had all the children we wanted.”

Why did she have to put that image into my head. Why?

“Good-bye, Granny,” Sebastian says firmly, and thankfully, she leaves the room, closing the door after her.

Alone once more in the cavernous room, we catch one another’s eyes and instantly dissolve into peals of embarrassed laughter. Catching his breath, Sebastian says, “I’m so sorry about that, Brady. The word awkward doesn’t even begin to describe that exchange.”

“Missionary position?”

Sebastian’s shoulders shake as he laughs. “Granny can be very direct when she wants to be.”

I think of the way in which she announced that I wasn’t good enough for her grandson and that I would be doing everyone a big favor if I just simply disappeared. “Ah, yes. That’s very true.”

He laces his fingers in mine and claims my lips with a kiss. “Brady, I have an idea. How about we grab those wellies of yours and head up to our bedroom away from any prying eyes.”

“And lock the door?” I ask.

His eyes sparkle as his face pulls into his sexy grin. “Lock it, bolt it, and hide the key.”

AUTHOR BIO:

Visit kateokeeffe.com and sign up to her newsletter so you never miss out on new releases and great book deals again! Follow her on Bookbub to learn about deals on her books. Just cut and paste this link into your browser: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kate-o-keeffe

Kate O’Keeffe is a bestselling author of fun, feel-good romantic comedies. She lives and loves in beautiful Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand with her family, two scruffy dogs, and a cat who thinks he’s a scruffy dog too. He’s not: he’s a cat. When she’s not penning her latest story, Kate can be found hiking up hills (slowly), traveling to different countries, and eating chocolate. A lot of it.

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