In Too Deep
(Blue Spruce Lodge #3)
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The family he didn’t know he needed…
At her wit’s end with her twelve-year-old niece, Wren Snow takes the manager’s job at Blue Spruce Lodge so Sky can get to know her father, Trigg Johanssen—a tycoon snowboarder with a playboy reputation.
Gold-medalist Trigg Johanssen is furious she kept Sky a secret, but quits competition to focus on his newly discovered daughter only to have his chemistry with Wren complicate their attempts to co-parent.
When outside forces threaten the ski resort he’s rebuilding, a marriage of convenience seems like the answer. It would give his daughter the life she deserves, but is it too much for a heartbroken woman still nursing past hurts?
SETUP: Wren has just arrived at Blue Spruce Lodge with her niece, Skylar. Sky wanted to meet her father, Trigg—a man who had NO IDEA he was a father until Wren showed up a month ago and revealed her sister had kept his baby.
~ * ~
Wren drew a deep breath of the clean mountain air, closing her eyes and letting the sunshine bathe her face. Construction noises sounded in the distance. Birdsong overlaid it with the pulse of rap music and a sudden, sharp whistle.
She opened her eyes and Oh. She started to flush with self-conscious heat even before she fully registered that Trigg Johansson was coming out of the lane and walking toward her. Her brain said, Hot man alert, then she recognized him and a fresher, more startling rush of sexual awareness went through her.
Déjà vu all over again. Damn it.
When she had arrived here in May, he had been sitting in a small, open-topped ATV kind of vehicle right here where she was standing. He’d been talking to another man who’d given her a friendly nod.
She might have said, “Hi.” She honestly couldn’t remember because her brain had been exploding.
Trigg had given her a wolfish look that she had felt in the pit of her belly. She had recognized him, having stalked him online, but even as she had met his gaze with hysterical disbelief, her girl-parts had scanned the mouth-watering selection and ordered the full buffet.
That’s why she had chickened out on speaking to him directly. She had gone inside, ears ringing with her pounding heart. He’d been gone when she walked outside again.
By then, she had secured a tentative job offer and the knowledge that her life would never be the same.
She had dreaded seeing him after that. Not just because she’d seen firsthand that he was a player. Of course he was a player. He had knocked up her sister when he was seventeen. He probably had a whole flock of Skylars out there.
But who could blame Mandy or any of the women he’d conquered? He was built like a god and moved like a cat, as though he knew how to use each of his muscles exactly as intended. He wore jeans and a T-shirt today and had light stubble the same color as his dark brows. His hair had been in a man-bun the last time she saw him. Today it was shaved into business on the sides, rumpled bedhead on top. His eyes were a sharp, mountain-lake blue, his smile flat and tense. Forced.
That vaguely hostile, hard expression made her heart slip and judder while her limbs felt loose and lubricated.
The way he had smiled at her the first time had been very inviting and approving.
The second time, when they’d all met in a lawyer’s office for twenty minutes, he’d worn a suit and hadn’t smiled at all.
She wasn’t able to find a smile right now. She was standing here like a virgin on her wedding night, throat dry, waiting for him to come to her.
Something nudged her in the crotch, scaring the shit out of her.
“Oh my God!” She jerked back and clipped her hip on the driver’s side mirror. Pain streaked through her hip bone while she scrabbled for balance by grasping at the warm roof of the car.
“Murphy. Sit.” Trigg stopped behind her taillight and snapped his fingers by his thigh.
The dog let his haunches drop, but stayed in front of her, tail swirling like an electric beater, sweeping through bits of gravel on the concrete. His pink tongue lolled out of his black-lipped mouth and he cocked his head at her. His ears and face were black, but he had a white stripe that came down between his eyes. The stripe ended in speckles above his black nose. There were more speckles on his white chest and legs. Border collie and heeler maybe, with Labrador eyes that offered instant and eternal love.
“Quite the welcoming committee.” She smoothed her hand down the short, silky fur on his hard head.
“We usually charge extra for that, but since you’re a VIP…” Trigg shoved his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. She could tell they were curled into fists. The mask of tension across his face bore an eerie resemblance to the one stonewalling in the passenger seat of her car.
USA Today Bestselling author, winner of 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times Book Reviews
Before making my first sale to Harlequin Mills & Boon in 2012, I spent two decades writing and submitting to every publisher with a transom while holding down a day job and raising a family with my high school sweet heart. Since then, I’ve gone to contract on over thirty books.
While Harlequin Presents remains my first love, I also write romantic comedy, medieval fantasy romance, erotic romance, and small town contemporary romance for Tule Publishing’s Montana Born. In fact, I write just about anything, so long as it’s romance. P.S. I’m also Canadian.
(One Fond Embrace, #1)
Publication date: August 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Hawaiian rancher Alex Kahale needs a temporary wife to close a deal that’s vital to the welfare of his herd. Thankfully, he’s already married to a woman stole his heart in less than a week, even if that same wife filed for divorce a few days after they said their “I dos”.
Rising country music star Britney Moore had a wild fling with a cowboy in Las Vegas a year ago which ended in a drunken drive-through marriage. Once she returned to Nashville, she filed for divorce to save her squeaky clean image. Besides, spontaneous marriages never last, and she knows better than to risk her heart on Alex. But no matter how many requests she sends him, he refuses to sign the papers. Then he sends her an intriguing offer. Come to his ranch on Kauai and pretend to be his wife for two weeks for business purposes, and he’ll sign the papers.
As much as Britney tries to resist his charm, Alex manages to tear down her defenses one by one until she falls for him all over again. But when the press finds out about her secret husband, will their revived romance be killed by the tabloids?
Her suitcase slid into the baggage claim carousel and she reached down to grab it, only to have a man snatch it away from her.
“Allow me,” a deep, masculine voice said next to her.
Britney’s heart went still. Time had done nothing to chill the instant rush of desire that heated her blood. She didn’t need to turn her head to know Alex Kahale was standing next to her. She knew him from the sweet words he’d murmured while making love to her. She could also tell from the familiar scent that had driven her wild nearly a year ago. But she turned anyway. And when she looked into his handsome face, she forgot about everything else.
Even after all this time, he still managed to take her breath away. Alex had claimed he was descended from Hawaiian royalty, and she believed him. Raven-dark hair framed a beautifully sculpted tan face. Soulful brown eyes flecked with gold looked back at her with the same warmth and affection as they always had, and those sensual lips practically beckoned her to cover them with kisses. From the moment she’d met Alex at a rodeo event in Las Vegas, it had been love at first sight.
Correction. It had been lust at first sight. The love had come later in the week.
If it was even possible to fall in love with someone that quickly.
She closed her eyes and focused on her career, on the one thing she’d worked so hard to obtain, and how getting a divorce would be a good thing. Once she was free of the husband she barely knew, she could start dating in her own circle and perhaps become part of the next country music power couple. “Thank you, Alex.”
“So you do remember my name?”
She snapped her eyes open at the teasing tone of his voice. “Of course I remember you.” How could she forget him? The seductive memory of him making love to her time and time again still haunted her dreams, leaving her flushed with want and completely unsatisfied when she awoke. Alex was more than just great sex, although the nights she’d spent with him made her believe the man had superpowers. Yet no matter how hard she’d come, it was the gentle way he’d held her in his arms afterward that had endeared him to her heart.
Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.
Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.
She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.
Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.
And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)
To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage, www.cristamchugh.com.
The Devil to Pay
(Shayne Davies, #1)
Publication date: September 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
When it comes to talented new recruits at the Federal Underworld Agency, Nora Jacobs is only half the story. The Devil to Pay is the first book in a companion series to Nora Jacobs, set in the same urban fantasy Detroit, sharing several supporting characters (hello, Nick Gorgeous), but with a new main character, Shayne Davies. This series can be enjoyed on its own, but readers of the Nora Jacobs books will be more familiar with the world and its characters.
As a fox shifter, Shayne Davies gets no respect in an underworld run by the fearsome and powerful—werewolves and vampires, sorcerers, demons, and mythical faerie creatures. Even at home, Shayne is still treated like the brat of the pack. Her mom constantly nags; her intended (but unwanted) mate ensures plenty of awkward silences, and Shayne is even expected to act submissive to the pack’s future alpha…a six year old.
Yeah. Time for Plan B.
All Shayne wants is to prove that she’s got what it takes to run with the big dogs, not just to feel like she matters, but, more importantly, to give a big middle finger to anybody who ever doubted her. Which is why she is constantly hounding Nick Gorgeous to make her an agent at the “Double D”, the Detroit Division of the FUA. That’s an easy “No” for Gorgeous, who keeps a strict “No Shayne Davies” policy. Well, never say never. When mysterious underworld criminals steal a load of bomb materials, the FUA picks up a messy case nobody wants to touch. It’s bad enough that a demon horde is involved, but now the annoying FBI has sent out an agent to babysit the investigation. To make matters worse, notorious master vampire Henry Stadther has control of what may be the only key to breaking the case: a human detective with a beautiful man face, but a broken past.
The whole thing’s a hopeless disaster.
So guess what, Shayne? You’re hired!
Jackie May is a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)