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The Pick-Up Wife #MFRWhooks

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Leo Shepard has few regrets, but leaving his wife Symmone to pursue his career was a catastrophic mistake. Now that he’s achieved his every dream and is about to make partner at Greene and Banks Architects, he lacks one thing, a wife. But Leo doesn’t want just any wife, he wants the woman he left behind.

From the moment she laid eyes on Leo, Symmone knew she would have her happily ever after. The last thing she expected was a divorce and a broken heart. Devastated by the end of her marriage, she has no choice but to quit school and pick up the pieces of her life.

Working two jobs to support herself and her children, Symmone has little room in her life for romance and even less for her pulsating attraction to her ex-husband. When Leo strolls into the cafe where she works, bent on reconciliation, the chemistry between them is more powerful than ever. Yet she won't give in to his soft words and expensive gifts. More than just her heart is at stake, her children are, as well.

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Excerpt

She squared her shoulders. But why was he here? There was no reason for him to even seek her out. They were divorced, good and proper. She hadn’t asked him for anything in the ensuing years, even going so far as to return the monthly support payments. She didn’t want or need his guilt money. Besides, ten years was a long time to carry a torch for anyone, and she had too much going on in her life to waste her time with teenage fantasies and lovelorn dreams. And certainly not on Leo Sheppard.

Quickly she mopped up the errant coffee and did her best to avoid Amanda’s wave and point.

“You have a customer. And he asked for you,” Amanda said, slapping a stack of menus on the counter.

“I was really hoping to…”

“C’mon, Symmone. He’s absolutely gorgeous and he’s wearing this really great cologne.” Amanda swept her gaze over Symmone from head to toe and just barely wrinkled her nose. “Why he would ask for you I have no idea.”

Disdain from the snotty hostess was a given, and Symmone could ignore the cattiness; what she couldn’t ignore was the hot, bitter emotion roiling in her stomach. For a second it felt a lot like jealousy. Ten years and she was jealous? Unbelievable.

With an eye roll, Symmone picked up the glass of water and approached the table where Leo sat. Thankfully he had his back to her and she had time to gather her thoughts. Why was he here? She couldn’t seem to get past that question.

Her footsteps slowed as she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the windowpane. She paused long enough to straighten her dark ponytail. With a huff of disgust she dropped her hand from her ebony tresses and shook her head. She couldn’t believe she was primping for her ex. Primping!

She set the glass on the table with a thump. He looked up with a tentative smile, and she was lost. She opened her mouth to speak and not a single word came out. God, he was even more handsome than the last time she’d seen him. Gone was the youthful softness of his face. Now he had a man’s face, a jaw that spoke of strength and maturity. His brown eyes, while bright and intelligent, seemed to hold a tinge of sadness, but what drew her attention most was his mouth. How many hours had she fantasized about the taste and shape of his mouth, about the firm press of his lips against hers or the butterfly kisses he used to flutter over her skin.

His smile widened. “You’re speechless.”

The warm rasp of his rich baritone danced over her, opening wounds she thought long since healed and igniting a desire she’d hoped long dead. He couldn’t come in here, to her place of employment, and upset everything she’d ever worked for with just two words.

Everything came back in an aching, throbbing fireball, and she clenched her hands at her sides.

“What do you want?” She didn’t bother to hide the annoyance or anger in her voice.

He blinked, and his smile drooped a bit, but he managed to maintain it. “I came to see you.”

“You haven’t given a damn about me in ten years. What’s so special about now? Are you dying? Or have you come to assuage some misplaced sense of guilt? Either way, the café has very good takeout I believe you would enjoy.”

He chuckled, and it produced an ache in areas she didn’t want to acknowledge. “I suppose I deserve that, but you’re wrong, Symmone. I’ve never stopped thinking about you.” His quiet admission stayed her irritation. “And I was wrong to do what I did.”

Tears burned and clogged the back of her throat. Somehow he’d stolen all of her righteous indignation with a few short sentences. “Well, I’m glad to hear you admit it. So is this what makes amends for anyone you’ve wronged? Fine. You’re forgiven. You may go.” She spun on her heel, would’ve made a clean getaway, except he grabbed her wrist. The chair scraped across the floor, and a moment later the hard line of his body met her back.

Need slammed through her system, sparking little used nerves and sending her pulse into overdrive. The heady scent of his cologne, a little pine and sage, promised slow, sensual seduction.

She whirled around and snapped her gaze to his face. Molten desire shone in the depths of Leo’s milk chocolate eyes. Her breath caught in her throat. She never expected to see such passion on his face, not after all this time. Biting her lip against the answering wave of desire pulsing through her veins, she snatched her hand away.

“Don’t touch me again!”

He backed up, hands raised. “Okay. I’m sorry. I just”—he inhaled—“I want to talk to you, Symmone. I meant what I said. There has been no one else since you and, well, I would really like to take you out to dinner tonight.”

Dinner? She pierced him with an icy stare and savored a small victory when he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I’m. Busy.”

Nodding, he reached inside his jacket pocket, pulled out a card, and laid it on the table. “If you change your mind, my cell is at the bottom and my hotel is on the back.” His gaze lingered on her a moment. “If I don’t hear from you, I will be back every day until you agree to see me.”

He brushed past and she stared after him, dumbfounded. What game was he playing now?

 

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Seducing His Wife #LynnChantale #MFRWhooks

Seducing His Wife by Lynn Chantale

Haunted by nightmares, Sheridan Sinclair just wants to get through one night without reliving the terrible accident that led to her miscarriage. And she longs for the arms of the man who betrayed her. Matthew Sinclair has always loved his wife, but when she refuses to speak to him after her accident, he's left to wonder what went wrong. When a stolen kiss ignites their forgotten passion, he'll use their love as a means to get her home and in his bed again.

 

Will a husband’s plan of seduction be enough to heal a wife’s broken heart?

 

"Indulge Your Inner Romantic"

Excerpt

Sheridan laid her needlepoint on her lap and picked up the phone on the second ring. “Hello?”

 

“Did I wake you?” The rich timbre of Matthew’s baritone voice sent tingles down her spine.

 

She wiggled her toes in excitement. He actually called. “No. I couldn’t sleep.”

 

“You have a moment?”

 

“Yeah.” She picked up her needlepoint again, cradling the phone between her shoulder and ear.

 

“I’m working on a presentation, and I haven’t found my attention-getter.”

 

“What’s it about?”

 

“Employee turnover.”

 

“Start with the amount of money a company loses each time they have to train someone who doesn’t stay for more than ninety days.”

 

He chuckled. “That’s not really why I called.”

 

“I know. You’ve had your presentation done for weeks, but I’m glad you called, anyway.”

 

“Really?”

 

She swallowed hard. She hadn’t meant to admit she was glad to hear from him, but the words had already been said, and she wasn’t prepared to lie to him. “Yes.” She cleared her throat. “I’ve made my decision.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“I’ll do what you ask on one condition.”

 

“I’m listening.”

 

“Don’t ever ask me why I left.”

 

He remained silent for so long she pulled the phone from her ear and checked the display screen to make sure he hadn’t disconnected the call.

 

“But…” He fell silent again. “Fine. I’ll agree if you share the same bed with me. We’re not doing separate rooms and all that crap.”

 

She almost laughed. “What is this, quid pro quo?”

 

“I get what I want, and you get what you want. What’s the harm in that?”

 

At the moment, she couldn’t see any harm. All that mattered was he not ask her again why she left. “None, I guess. What time?”

 

“Does tomorrow afternoon work for you?”

 

“All right.”

 

“I’ll drop the keys off at the store before I go to work. What time will you be there?”

 

“Any time after six. I have inventory,” she responded.

 

“So early? And here I am keeping you awake. I’m sorry.”

 

“Don’t be.” She would’ve been up anyway, and she enjoyed talking to him, despite everything. “I’ll see you in the morning. Goodnight.”

 

“Goodnight. Oh, and Sheridan?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Thanks.”

 

The line went dead. Sheridan slowly returned the phone to the cradle and turned the ringer off. The soft smile she wore moments ago faded. She was going back home. She clasped a hand over her pounding heart. What had she agreed to? Panic seized her and shook her hard. She and Matthew would be in the same bed. Had she lost her mind? She breathed deep.

 

The situation wasn’t permanent. She was merely helping Carolyn so she could get Sean back as quickly as possible. The thought steadied her. And speaking of Carolyn…

 

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A Perfect Getaway by Lynn Chantale

A Perfect Getaway #MFRWhooks

A Perfect Getaway by Lynn Chantale

Hoping to rekindle the sizzle in their marriage, Harmony Evans plans a romantic getaway. A secluded cabin at Juniper Lake resort is the perfect place to seduce his wife and if he can get in a little ghost hunting, even better.

Jade is more than happy to spend the weekend getting reacquainted with Harmony, without the ghosts, but when their cabin appears haunted and the spectral inhabitants shoves their belongings to the door, she figures it’s time to leave.

No one told them Juniper Lake had a sordid past complete with a serial killer and its own host of earthbound spirits. When the other guests begin to die, the best they can hope for is to survive the night. With a sadistic killer on the loose and bodies piling up, romance will take a backseat to murder.

Excerpt

The hair at the nape of her neck lifted and Jade paused in chopping the stalk of celery for soup. She had the sensation of someone standing behind her. Breath, warm and a little wet, fluttered her hair.

Floorboards creaked and something brushed her shoulder. She gripped the knife handle tighter and whirled, brandishing the blade in front of her.

Nothing.

Her heart raced and she sucked in a breath to steady her rapid pulse. She scanned the room. Nothing was in the area that she could see, but she felt something.

She’d have dismissed her feelings as ridiculous if strange things didn’t keep happening. Like this morning, her bathrobe had been draped at the foot of her bed, but she found the garment hanging neatly in the closet along with her husband’s and he hadn’t placed it there.

Crash!

She jumped. Someone was in the cabin with her. Her hands shook.

“Harmony?” Maybe he was playing a little trick on her. He knew she didn’t care for his hobby of ghost hunting, which was one reason they were in this little cabin tucked in the woods. The other reason was so they could spend time together. And he was off fishing or chasing a rabbit in the forest, while she was being...haunted.

With knife in hand she checked every room of the cabin, which didn’t take long. The cabin had open architecture, the living room flowed into the dining room and kitchen so she could stand in the living room and look into both rooms. The bedroom door stood open and if she leaned just so she could see into the bathroom. Nothing.

So why did she get the impression that someone was watching her?

She peered out of the corner of her eye, hoping to catch a glimpse of what wasn’t there. A flash of light. She whipped her head to the left. Nothing.

Snap. Thud. Fingers swept down the side of her cheek while muted laughter wafted through the air.

“This isn’t funny,” she said to the empty room.

Metal scraped against metal. She hit the light switch, plunging the room in darkness. Jade fastened her gaze on the doorknob and clutched the butcher knife to her chest. She backed away, feeling for the wall with her free hand. If she had to, she could jump out the bathroom window.

A rumble of thunder rolled overhead. And that was another thing, their romantic weekend was turning into a soggy nightmare. She just wanted to go home and leave this place to its spectral inhabitants, if it was indeed haunted.

Wind shook the windows, rattling the glass in the panes. She tensed and bit back a shriek as her back brushed the wall. The fibers of the rough hewn walls grabbed at her shirt in an attempt to hold her in place. Damn Harmony and his quest to find the supernatural. Now would be the perfect time for him to be around to tell her there was no such thing as spooks.

Click clack.

Her heart thudded against her ribs so loud she feared it would jump from her chest. This wasn’t the romantic weekend her husband promised her and now he wasn’t even here. Cursing the day Harmony ever brought her to this hellhole, she flexed her fingers.

The door wobbled. She sucked in a breath. Hinges creaked. Her back hit the wall.

Sweat slicked her palms. A shadow fell across the threshold.

She raised the knife.

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