Matronly Duties by Melissa Kendall

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Release Date: May 21 , 2015

Genre:  FICTION / Romance / General / Science Fiction

ISBN e-book:    978-1-61213-369-0

Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH

~~SUMMARY~~

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Hundreds of years after an asteroid slammed into Earth and sent it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race lives on in underground sanctuaries. Now, as the bicentennial anniversary of the impact approaches, a new leader prepares to take her place at the head of the government. At least, that’s what she thinks.
Bethanie Greene’s life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, she’s spent the last twelve years training to become the next Matron of the underground nation of Oceania. But when Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking office, her world is turned upside down by the handsome stranger who rescues her.
Howard James’ life has been the polar opposite of Bethanie’s. Struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didn’t exist, he harbors a deep-seated resentment of the government and all its representatives. Together with his unconventional family, he shows Bethanie a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time, opening her eyes to the injustices of the government she is meant to lead.
But can she trust a stranger? And can a few days change everything she believes and desires? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if her heart and her duties can coexist.

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~~EXCERPT~~

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My body shakes at the thought of what could have happened to me yet again. I’ve heard stories about the slums, and I have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself.
“I was silly running away, I get it. I just couldn’t stay in your home any longer.”
Howard sighs. “Just because my parents raised us with traditionalist values doesn’t mean we are anything like the Trads. You accused us of being a drain on society, but you don’t even know us.”
“You’re right, I don’t. But you don’t know me either. If you did, you would understand why it’s hard for me to understand your way of life. It goes against every law, moral, and convention I’ve been taught. So I can’t be sorry for what I said, even if I’m sorry I ran out of the house.”
Howard takes a deep breath, then exhales long and slow. The expression on his face looks a bit like pity but with a dash of guilt mixed in. “Look, maybe I’ve judged you unfairly based on preconceived notions, but—”
A loud bang echoes outside. Howard glances at me with a panicked look on his face, and then pulls me off the crate onto the floor behind. I sit up, and turn to yell at him, but male voices outside keep my mouth closed. I instead huddle closer to Howard as he puts his hand around my shoulders. He pulls me in until I’m tucked against him.
“Did you see where she went?” a man’s voice asks.
“Nah, she just vanished.” The voice of this one sounds young.
“Damn, the boss isn’t going to be pleased about this.”
The crunch of shoes against pavement indicates they are on the move again. The sounds trail off until they’re no longer audible. I sigh in relief, all the tension fleeing my body.
“Are you okay?’ Howard asks, rubbing my shoulder.
I glance up, only then noticing how little space is between us. His blue eyes have flecks of grey in them, and there’s a smattering of freckles covering his nose and cheeks. His warm breath tickles my cheek almost like a caress, and his jaw has the barest hint of a five o’clock shadow. He really is captivating.
“I’m fine,” I eventually say, the words a mere whisper.
The butterflies in my stomach return with a vengeance. Howard licks his lips as they turn up ever so slightly in a smile.
“Good.”
I can’t stop the sigh that slips past my own lips. Howard leans forward a little, then moves closer still until his mouth is pressed against mine. I don’t dare move. A zing of something, I’m not sure whether it’s pleasure or fear, shoots through me. His lips are soft and wet, and the sensation is unlike anything I’ve felt before. I can’t even decide if I want him to continue or stop. When he pulls away though, a feeling of disappointment bubbles up inside me.
My first kiss.
Goosebumps cover me from head to toe, and unbidden, my fingers move to my lips. Glancing at Howard, he stares at me for a minute, then moves to sit further away.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
I shrug. “It’s okay.”
Howard frowns and then looks across the room.
Part of Matron training is learning not to form close relationships. It doesn’t mean it never happens. I’ve heard the odd story here and there from the other women, and I realise that’s probably what Gail was trying to tell me at breakfast the other day. But in all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I had real physical contact with anyone, above all with a man.
We sit in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes. Tension rolls off Howard in waves.
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Come on,” Howard whispers. “We need to get to the house before those guys come back.”
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~

Melissa Kendall
Melissa Kendall is an almost forty-year-old mother of two from Perth, Western Australia, the second-most isolated capital city in the world. Predominantly a stay-at-home mum, she works a few hours a week as a software support consultant. She has always loved to read and write, and spent most of her teens writing poetry and short stories. Over the years, daily life got in the way and she lost the passion for it, but after the birth of her first child, Melissa discovered e-books and her interest in writing rekindled. She is now the author of two published short stories. Matronly Duties is her first full-length novel.
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Closley Guarded Secret by Natalie Money

Many might envy Alixandra Quinn. She rubs shoulders with the rich and famous at glitzy society balls and fund-raisers as a photographer for a popular magazine. But, do the envious notice Ali always goes home alone? She has cut herself off from personal relationships and emotional entanglements. It’s a strategy to cope with her past, and for ten years, her strategy has worked.

That is, until she meets Bryce Steede, a young and bold Silicon Valley entrepreneur. When Ali becomes the center of his attention, suddenly her world gets turned upside-down. She may have convinced herself that life is fine the way it is, but he is determined to break down her carefully constructed walls, free her mind and body, and show her pleasures that she couldn’t have imagined.

As Ali navigates through this uncharted journey of self-discovery, she must find the balance between her head and her heart. Is Bryce just another heartache waiting to happen? Will a secret from her past come back to haunt her? Or will Ali make peace with her past and find true happiness . . .

I awaken with a jolt, thinking I’ve fallen out of my seat. As usual, when I fly, I end up scrunched all the way down on the seat as far as I can go. If I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt, I’d be on the floor. Did we hit something? Confused, I sit up, trying to assess the situation only to notice we’re in some awful turbulence. Angry, dark, purple to black rain clouds surround us. My heart starts pounding in my chest. The plane rocks side to side, bouncing us all over the sky. I pull out my earbuds hoping to hear the Captain’s voice saying everything’s okay.
Bryce pries my hand off the armrest and interlocks our fingers. I look over at him, my eyes wide with terror. He’s talking to me, trying to give me reassurance. The only thing going through my mind right now is how afraid I am.
“Shhh, it’s going to be okay, Ali.” He has such a soothing voice when he’s not being an ass. I try to say something, but I can’t speak. Nothing will come out of my mouth.
“Focus on me.” His thumb strokes the back of my hand. It’s serene and has an instant calming effect on me until we hit another pocket of air. Images of the Captain fighting for dominance over the weather and control of the plane against the storm flash through my mind. I know he’s doing all he can so we don’t spiral downward.
Other passengers cry out in panic. My head jerks back toward the window. I can barely breathe. I don’t want him to see me like this – raw emotions, so vulnerable. Weak.
He places his hand on my face, turning it towards him. “Don’t cry. I’ve got you. Just keep looking at me, okay?” He’s trying to calm me but the only thing I can do is nod. I tighten my grip on his hand and he lets me know it’s all right.
My heart is beating so fast, so hard, I can feel it in my ears and can hear each beat. Tears roll down my face and he gently wipes them away with his thumb. In this moment, as much as I despise him, I’m glad he’s here with me.
“I need you to take deep breaths. Can you do that? Do what I do, okay?” I watch his mouth and listen. We hit another pocket of air, but not as violent as the others. My eyes grow wider as more tears stream down my face.
“I’m here. I’m not going to let anything happen to you. Keep looking at me. Ali, I need you to focus on me and listen. Breathe with me.” All the while, he’s still stroking my hand.
When my breathing gets under control, he leans over the armrest wrapping me in a blanket of calm in the comfort of his arms. I collapse into him. My cries are silent as he holds me and strokes my hair. He inhales deeply, gripping me tighter.

Natalie Money is a former corporate travel agent, a wife, and a cat wrangler. As far back as she can recall, she has always loved to people watch and make up stories about their lives. After many years of creating and getting to know the characters and their stories in her mind, she has finally decided to bring them to life on paper in her first novel, Closely Guarded Secret.

With her husbands job, they’re known to relocate often, so when people ask where she lives, she describes herself as a World Citizen.

Red Nights by Shari J. Ryan

I’m Felicity Stone, a twenty-five-year-old with my whole life ahead of me. Well, until recently.

I didn’t do it. Why would they think I did? Why would I want my twin brother dead? Why is everyone looking at me like I’m a criminal?

Well, everyone except him… Hayes Peyton, the charmingly beautiful stranger I met in the park at midnight—a totally legitimate place to meet the man of my dreams. Plus, he knows I’m innocent.

Believing him is easy. So very easy. Maybe too easy?

But when you hear things like: ‘All good is laced with some bad, and everything you think is the truth—is nothing more than a blatant lie,’ it makes you question reality.

In Shari J. Ryan’s latest Romantic Suspense, Red Nights, you wonder how dark your world can get before all you see is red.




Shari J. Ryan is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author, a Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestselling author, and an iBookstore #1 Bestselling author. She hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates. When Shari isn’t writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.

To learn more, visit her at, www.sharijryan.com.

NO TIME LIKE NOW by Jennifer Young, #excerpt, #giveaway

Title: No Time Like Now
Author:
Jennifer Young
Release Date: October 2014
Publisher: Tigearr Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
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Hiding away from a disastrous past, Megan McLeod is getting along nicely in her job as housekeeper at a university field centre in Majorca. But the arrival of geological researcher, Tim Stone, throws everything into disarray — because Tim was the father of the baby she lost some years before and the two of them had parted very messily indeed.

As if having Tim on the scene wasn’t bad enough, he’s there with his new partner, Holly. But when in the course of his research he comes upon something extremely nasty along the cliffs of north Majorca, he’s forced to turn to Megan for help.

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Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden

Title: Pitch Imperfect
Author:
Elise Alden
Publisher: Carina Press 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Length: 489 KB / 225 Pages
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Once-famous singer Anjuli Carver has returned to tiny Heaverlock Village alone and nearly broke. She’s poured every last penny into a rambling Victorian manor, hoping to start over. Trouble is, her money pit is falling to pieces and the only restoration architect for miles is Rob Douglas…her ex-fiancé.

For eight years, Rob has regretted not telling Anjuli why he never answered her letters. Being left at the altar broke his heart, but being used for sex one night in London after the fact nearly drove him to the edge of sanity, and he’ll be damned if he allows Anjuli to wreak havoc on his life again. He’ll restore her manor, all right, and give her taste of her own medicine while he’s at it.

But how long can revenge last when memories of their shared past keep rushing to the surface?

Soon, Rob wants answers. Why did Anjuli leave the international spotlight to become a recluse in the Scottish Borderlands? And why does she refuse to sing? Anjuli wants nothing more than to be left alone with her grief, even as she struggles to keep her sexy fantasies about Rob in check. With gossipy villagers, interfering friends and more secrets between them than notes on a scale, Anjuli and Rob will need to find forgiveness in order to work together, then decide if they’re willing to risk it all on an encore performance.

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The Sins of a Few by Sarah Ballance

Title: The Sins of a Few
Author: Sarah Ballance 
Series:
a Sins of Salem novel
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous 
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Length: 1140 KB / 236 pages 
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Salem, 1692

The moment he steps off the boat and into his hometown of Salem, Nathanial Abbot knows the rumors about Salem are indeed true. For in the two years since he’s left Salem—disowned by his family and seeking a fortune of his own—the town has changed. It is dark with discord and suspicion… and accusations of witchcraft. Now all that remains for him is the woman he’s never forgotten.

But Faith Downing isn’t happy to see Nathanial. In his absence, his younger sisters have ignited the chain of hysteria that resulted in twenty deaths—including Faith’s aunt, to whom Nathanial owed his life. Yet through her acrimony, Faith can’t prevent herself from responding to the man Nathanial has become, handsome and kind. A man who kindles something in her that speaks of sin.

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The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak

Title: The Heart of Christmas 
Author: Brenda Novak
Series:
Whiskey Creek, #7
Publisher: Harlequin 
Genre: Holiday, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Length: 522 KB / 384 pages 
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Just call her Christmas Eve…

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B-and-B she manages and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

As Eve turns thirty-five, she’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. She’s dated all the eligible men in the area. There’s no one she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. Just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!

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MIKE’S WAY BACK by Amy Gregory, #Excerpt & #Review

Title: Mike’s Way Back
Author
: Amy Gregory
Series: Finding Perfect, #1
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Length: 485 kb
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Buy Links:
Amazon | B & N

When Detective Mike Sterling left the Chicago PD and returned to his hometown of Renlend Kansas, he tried to convince himself it was so his mother could stop worrying. The truth was, even Renlend wasn’t going to vanquish the dreams that tortured him at night.

When Taryn Watts landed in Renland Kansas to design a client’s new cooking school she intended to stay just long enough to do the job and then go right back to her life on the East Coast.

When Taryn and Mike found themselves sharing a booth, one thing was certain, neither one of them thought it was a good idea. Mike still wasn’t over his ex-wife’s betrayal, and when Taryn found out Mike was a cop she wanted to run all the way back to Connecticut and never look back, but she couldn’t… Sitting outside his home late at night she watches him fight against his demons. Demons she already had too much experience with firsthand.

When Mike finally admits there is no way to outrun his demons, Tayrn knows she’ll do anything, or be anything, to help Mike find his way back.

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DEMON TEMPTED by Nikki Prince

Title: Demon Tempted 
Author: Nikki Prince 
Publisher: Evernight Publishing 
Series: Karmic Lust, #2
Release Date: Feb 4th 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Erotic, Interracial, Romance
Heat Level: 4
Length: 50,630 words 
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Available At:
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Eva Jackson has had more than her share of lifetimes to play games with other people’s emotions. Now, demoted and devoid of her powers, she’s left with the feeling that there’s something more she’s missing.

Temptation was the one thing that always stood in the way.

Clay Quinones, her demon lover of old, is determined that Eva will walk the straight and narrow and learn the error of her ways. When danger looms, is it too late for these two star-crossed lovers to love one another again? Or will Eva’s past make it hard for a demon to be redeemed?

Be Warned: anal sex, m/m interaction

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