Book Releases

Barely Breathing (A Colorado High Country Novel) — Look for the first book in my new Colorado High Country series on May 10! This new contemporary series is set in the small mountain community of Scarlet Springs and focuses on the lives and adventures of members of an alpine search and rescue team. It will be available in print and ebook, with audiobook coming sometime this fall.


Soul Deep out in audiobook! — Jack West, widower, rancher and former Army Ranger, gets his own love story in this special I-Team novella, which was picked by readers at Grave Tells as the Best Contemporary Romance of 2015. It will be out in audiobook any day now.


Seduction Game is out in paperback, (I-Team #7) — Holly and Nick’s story is out in all formats — ebook, audiobook, and paperback. Look for it in Wal-Mart, the Kroger chain of stores, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookseller.


Dead By Midnight: An I-Team Christmas is out! — The grand finale of the I-Team series finds all the couples you love brought together when terrorists attack holiday festivities at a historica hotel in downtown Denver. It’s bad news for the terrorists. They have no clue what they’ve done when they take Marc Hunter and his friends hostage. Featuring cameos by the men of New York Times bestselling author Kaylea Cross’s Hostage Rescue Team series. Available in ebook and paperback.

About Me

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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Monday, February 20, 2017

FALLING HARD is out! CONTEST


FALLING HARD is out! 

I am so excited to share this story with you. It has all the deep emotion of an I-Team story but it’s set in Scarlet Springs, where people take care of each other and there are no election politics.

It is availble at Amazon:

Kindle US
Kindle UK
Kindle AU
Kindle CA


You can also find it at Barnes & Noble.

Nook

And, of course, it’s out in iBooks.

iTunes

You can also find it in all ebook formats at Smashword.

Smashwords

Watch for it to pop up soon on Kobo.

It will be out in paperback probably by March 10.

Here is the blurb on the back of the book:


A Gold Star wife alone…

Ellie Meeks promised her pilot husband that if he was killed in combat, she would live her life to the fullest. Three years later, she is still alone, raising the twins he never met. She has no interest in dating or meeting men—until one snowy night when a stranger helps her get her sick kids safely home. That stranger turns out to be a former Army Ranger and a member of the elite Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He’s also tall, rugged… and irresistibly sexy. 

All it takes is one kiss…

Jesse Moretti came to Colorado to get Iraq out of his head, using the adrenaline of extreme sports and high-risk mountain rescues to keep his mind off the past. But getting involved with Ellie might be the riskiest thing he’s ever done. It’s not just their explosive chemistry. There’s something about Ellie that gets inside him, opening him to feelings he’s tried hard to ignore. 

When passion ignites…

Ellie feels alive in Jesse’s arms and happier than she ever thought she’d feel again. But their relationship comes at a price for him, and soon Ellie sees that she must help Jesse fight the demons of his past to protect the love of a lifetime—and save the heart of a hero.



If you haven’t tried the series yet, Barely Breathing, the first book is only 99 cents at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords. Slow Burn is available for $4.99, also at at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo and Smashwords. Both books are also available in paperback online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound.

Let’s celebrate with a contest!

Comment on my blog for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of SLOW BURN, Eric Hawke’s book (book 2).

In the meantime, sharing is caring. Thanks in advance for helping to spread the word on social media and in the real world. You’re the best!






Saturday, February 18, 2017

COVER REVEAL — Falling Hard cover & back blurb



I’ve been so busy finishing edits and everything else for the release of FALLING HARD that I hadn’t had time to write the back blurb or share the super-sexy cover with you.

Now, here they are! The cover was done once again by Seductive Designs/Carrie Divine, who did a fabulous job in a small amount of time.

Meet Jesse Moretti. I think you’ll like him.

The book will be out on Tuesday, Feb. 21, if not a day or two before. There aren’t pre-order links because the book will be out as soon as we can get it to you.

For an excerpt, read the post prior to this one.

Moretti’s story has I-Team levels of emotional intensity, though no suspense. I hope you come to love him and Ellie as much as I do.

Also, sharing is caring! Thanks in advance for helping me to get the word out on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and in your readers groups. You are the best!

Here’s the back blurb:


A war widow alone…

Ellie Meeks promised her pilot husband that if he was killed in combat, she would live her life to the fullest. Three years later, she is still alone, raising the twins he never met. She has no interest in dating or meeting men—until one snowy night when a stranger helps her get her sick kids safely home. That stranger turns out to be a former Army Ranger and a member of the elite Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He’s also tall, rugged… and irresistibly sexy.

All it takes is one kiss…

Jesse Moretti came to Colorado to get Iraq out of his head, using the adrenaline of extreme sports and high-risk mountain rescues to keep his mind off the past. But getting involved with Ellie might be the riskiest thing he’s ever done. It’s not just their explosive chemistry. There’s something about Ellie that gets inside him, opening him to feelings he’s tried hard to ignore.

When passion ignites…

Ellie feels alive in Jesse’s arms and happier than she ever thought she’d feel again. But their relationship comes at a price for him, and soon Ellie sees that she must help Jesse fight the demons of his past to protect the love of a lifetime—and save the heart of a hero.


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

EXCERPT — Colorado High Country #3, Moretti's story



Hey! Remember me?

Sorry it’s been so long since I wrote a new post. It seems most people are on Facebook and Twitter anyway. I’m not really sure who reads this blog these days.

In the past few months, I’ve been very busy with guests and grandkids and holidays. I’ve also been doing some writing.

Jesse Moretti’s book (Colorado High Country, Book 3) is almost done. It will be out in ebook format on Feb. 21 and in paperback about a week after that.

That’s right. The next book in the Scarlet Springs series will be out in just two weeks.

I don’t have a title yet. I told myself I wouldn’t go to bed tonight without one, but I’ve written more than 4,000 words today. That’s all the words for today. There are no words left.

I will have a cover reveal by next Monday, and by then, yes, a title, too.

So what is this story about?

It’s a military romance tucked into a straight contemporary mountain adventure romance. It tells the story of a combat veteran who meets war widow with little twins.

Jesse Moretti is a member of the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He came to Colorado after serving in the Army Rangers during ten years of sustained combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He needed to get the war out of his head and fell in love with Colorado’s mountains. He learned to ski and climb and landed a coveted spot as a primary member on the Team. He works for ski patrol in the winter and a trails crew in the summer.

Ellie Meeks is mentioned in Barely Breathing (Book 1). She’s called Ellen Meeks. We learn that she had twins six months after her pilot husband was killed in Iraq. She’s a registered nurse with two almost-three-year-old twins — Daniel and Daisy —who is trying to get through life despite terrible loss and grief.

Jesse and Ellie are neighbors who finally connect one snowy night when Ellie and Daniel are sick and Ellie’s car won’t start. What happens next? Well, it’s a good thing that strep throat is contageous.

The two are on a long road to discovering that life sometimes does give people seond chances.

This story is not romantic suspense — I’ve tried so hard to let I-Team readers know that these books are not romantic suspense. but rather straight contemporary romance — but it is more emotionally intense than the first two books in the series. I like all of my books to be unique, based on the characters they’re about and not some kind of format that must be followed.

Is the story sexy? Yes. Absolutely. It has some humor, too, and it has some deep emotions. We’re talking about people who work in the life-saving business who have both suffered their share of loss. The chapter I wrote tonight made me cry my eyes out.

But this is a love story, and love triumphs in the end.

I thought I would share an excerpt — the very first glimpse I’ve offered of this book.

If you haven’t tried the Colorado High Country series, now is the perfect time to catch up. The first book, Barely Breathing, is only 99 cents. The second book, Slow Burn, came out in September and is $4.99. Both are available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Smashwords. You can also order them in print via Amazon or Indiebound.

And without further ado, let me introduce Jesse and Ellie....

* * *

Jesse had turned off the water in the shower when his cell phone rang. He reached for a towel, strode naked into the living room, and grabbed the phone off the coffee table. His heart gave a hard knock when he saw the name on the display.

Ellen Meeks.

He answered. “Moretti.”

There was a moment of silence.

“Hi, Jesse. It’s Ellie. I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“It’s not quite my bedtime yet.” That wasn’t strictly true. He was filling in for Travis tomorrow, his normal day off, and had to get up at 4 a.m. 

“I wanted to thank you for helping me and my sister this afternoon.” The nervousness in her voice told him this was not why she’d called.

“I was happy to do it.”

“Also, I appreciated your honesty. I know it’s not easy sometimes—you know, communication and relationships. Not that you and I are in a relationship or anything. I didn’t mean to suggest that.”

Okay, this was funny. “I understood.”

“Anyway, I’m grateful we had a chance to talk today.”

“Yeah. Me, too.” 

Another pause.

“I wondered whether you’d like to come over for a glass of wine. The kids are asleep. I have some scotch if you don’t like wine. I could make tea or coffee if you don’t drink alcohol. I just thought maybe we could ... get to know each other. You know, talk. And, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting anything else.”

So fucking was probably out. “Got it.”

“Would you like to come over?”

Hell, yes, he would. “Give me ten minutes to get dressed, and I’ll walk down. You caught me getting out of the shower.”

“Oh! Oh. Okay.” She cleared her throat. “See you in ten minutes.”

He ended the call and walked back to the bathroom, feeling a foot taller and energized. He towel-dried his hair, then slathered his face with shaving cream, and shaved away two days’ growth of beard.

Was it the kiss that had gotten to her? Had she been thinking about it all day the way he had?


You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you, dumbshit?

Forget kissing anyway. She’d said just talking.

Yeah, okay. He could respect that.

He finished shaving, rinsed his face, and walked off to his bedroom to get dressed. He stared into his closet at the broad assortment of battered blue jeans, T-shirts, flannel shirts, sweaters, and climbing clothes he owned, and he found himself wondering what a classy woman like Ellie Meeks would like to see on a man.

She was married to an army pilot, remember?

Okay, right. She wouldn’t be expecting a skinny tie or pleated slacks. Besides, he didn’t own anything like that anyway.

He pulled on a black T-shirt and slipped a gray flannel shirt on top of that. A clean pair of boxer briefs, some jeans without holes, and a pair of wool socks, and he was good to go. Just to be on the safe side, he tucked a condom into his pocket. 

Yes, he’d heard what she’d said. Yes, he would respect her limits. But sometimes sex just happened. If it did, he wanted to be ready.

He slipped into his parka, grabbed his keys, and stepped out into the night.


# # #

Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!

Ellie stared at her mirror in horror. She had invited a man over to her house—and not just any man, but a sexy man who had kissed her today, her freaking neighbor!

What in God’s name was she supposed to wear? 

Unable to decide, she scurried from her bedroom to bathroom, brushed her hair, washed her face, and put on mascara. She was ready from the neck up, at least.

She hurried back to her bedroom and stared into her closet. Casual. She should keep it casual. It was nine o'clock on a weeknight, and they were getting together in her living room. What could be more casual than that?

She put on a clean pair of panties and her sexiest, pushiest push-up bra, then yanked her skinny black jeans off their hanger, put on a lace camisole, and pulled her heather blue V-neck cashmere sweater over her head. She’d just smoothed her hair back into place when a knock came at the back door.

Shit!

She gave herself a quick once-over in the mirror—and froze. Dan had given her this sweater for Christmas one year.

Panic shot through her.

What the hell had she been thinking to invite Jesse over like this?

Another knock.

It was too late to change her clothes—too late to change what she’d set in motion.

She flicked off her bedroom light, hurried to the back door, and opened it. Every thought in her head vanished.

He smiled down at her, clean shaven and smelling of shampoo and fresh air, snow clinging to his jeans up to his knees. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She might have stood there staring at him if the air hadn't been freezing cold. She stepped aside to make room for him. “Please, come in."

He did his best to stomp the snow off his boots outside, then stepped inside onto the little doormat. “The snow was a little deeper than I thought.”

While he took off his boots, she grabbed a dish towel. “You can probably brush most of it off with this.”

“Thanks.” He set the dish towel on the table and slipped out of his parka, revealing a blue flannel shirt layered on top of a black T-shirt that stretched across the muscles of his chest. 

You’re staring.

She retrieved two red wine glasses from the cupboard, set them on the counter, and chose a bottle of shiraz from her little wine rack, her mind racing for something conversational to say. “Did the rest of your day go well?”

She was amazed by how calm and collected she sounded. She hadn’t felt this nervous around a man since … well, she didn’t know when.

She glanced over her shoulder, saw he was brushing snow off his jeans.

 “A kid hit a tree.”

What was he talking about? Oh, yes. She’d asked him a question.

 “Ouch,” she managed to say. “Was he okay?”

She reached into the drawer where she kept the wine opener.

“Head injury. We evacuated him via helicopter.”

She turned around, wine and corkscrew in hand, to find him standing a few feet away, his gaze fixed on her. Her pulse skipped. “I forgot how big you are.” 

An image of the bulge in his boxer briefs flashed into her mind. 

Her cheeks burned. “Tall… I mean, tall. You’re very tall.”

Without breaking eye contact, he took the wine from her. “Let me.”


# # #

“Why did you join the Rangers?”

Jesse sat on one side of the sofa, while Ellie sat on the other, looking good enough to eat, her jeans and that fuzzy sweater hugging sweet curves, pink polish on her toenails, her hair hanging thick and blond to her shoulders. Until tonight, he really hadn’t seen her without a bulky winter coat. He certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Wine had taken the rough edge off her nerves. She’d been so edgy when he’d arrived that he’d made extra sure to keep his distance. And so here they were, on opposite ends of the sofa, just talking.

Not that he was complaining...

 “I grew up in a tiny town in Louisiana. My grandfather, my uncles, my dad— they either worked on fishing boats or in the refineries. I just couldn’t do that. I wanted to get away, see the world, be a part of something bigger. I’d always been stronger and faster than the other boys, so I figured I’d join the army, try for my Ranger tab, and kick some terrorist ass for Uncle Sam.”

It was the truth, though not the whole truth.

“How did your family take that?”

“My mom yelled and cried and threatened to shoot me in the knee cap. Her son was not going to go overseas and die in some stupid war. My father took it as a rejection. He and I have never been close.” The truth was darker than that, but he didn’t want to ruin the mood. “I haven’t talked to him since I moved to Colorado.”

She smiled, shook her head, giggled.

“What?”

“You wanted to escape from your small town—and you ended up in Scarlet.”
He could see the irony in that. “Except that Scarlet is the gateway to the mountains, and there’s nothing small about them.”

She took a sip of her wine. “What brought you to Colorado in the first place?”

“After I left the Rangers, I went to New Orleans to live near my sister, but I had a hard time getting back in to the swing of civilian life.” That was an understatement. He’d come back with a head full of death and grief and rage and started drinking. He’d tried to get help at the VA, but the wait times had lasted longer than his patience. “I’d seen pictures of the Rockies and came out to Colorado to try to get Afghanistan and Iraq out of my head. I fell in love with the mountains at first sight.” 

He could still remember that moment when he’d caught his first glimpse of the high peaks with their glittering white summits. “I got my first climbing lesson a couple of days after seeing climbers in Eldorado Canyon State Park, and I was hooked.”

Climbing cleared his mind, cut through the wall that seemed to have grown up around his emotions, made him feel whole and human again.

Ellie gaped at him. “You’ve only been climbing for a couple of years—and you made the Team?”

He nodded. “It was hard work. I climbed every day, no matter the weather. When I realized I needed a job if I wanted to stay, I took a job on the trails crew at Ski Scarlet and then learned to ski that fall, hoping to land a spot on ski patrol.”

She stared at him through wide eyes. “You must be a natural athlete.”

“I guess we all have to be good at something.” Jesse was tired of talking about himself. “Why did you become a nurse?”

She shrugged. “Growing up with a father who was a doctor gave me an interest in the medical field. I didn’t want to go through years of med school and all of that, so I decided to be a nurse. I worked as a surgical nurse until … ”

A shadow passed over her face.

“It’s okay, Ellie. You can talk about him.”

“I was a surgical nurse until Dan was killed. I had just learned that I was carrying twins. He was so excited. I was happy and a little scared. We talked about names over Skype. He liked Otis for a boy’s name and Daisy for a girl. I told him no way could I name a child Otis.” She laughed at this. “The Internet connection was lousy, but he had to go anyway. And then a few days later ... he was gone. Just like that.”

Jesse knew the crushing weight of grief, knew how deeply it cut. And it occurred to him that this was why he’d kept his distance from her all this time. He’d had his own grief to bear and had been certain he couldn’t shoulder any part of hers. 

But now, sitting close to her like this and seeing the pain on her sweet face, it seemed as simple as reaching out and taking her hand.


# # #

“It must have been really hard.” Jesse’s voice was soothing, his hand warm.

Ellie twined her fingers with his and held on. “I just drifted for a while. I took leave from work. Claire came out to stay with me. If it hadn’t been for her…”

She hadn’t meant to talk about this. She didn’t’ want to dump this on Jesse. But now that she had started, she couldn’t stop. “I had him buried at Arlington. I felt he deserved that honor. My sister helped me sell our house and move back to Scarlet. I knew I would need help during my pregnancy and after the twins were born. But nothing felt real to me, not even the babies. I would go to my prenatal appointments, listen to their little heartbeats, and it all felt…”

“Like it was happening to someone else,” Jesse finished for her.

Her gaze snapped to his in surprise. “Exactly.”

It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him that he was empathetic for a man, but even with the two glasses of wine she’d had, she knew that sounded wrong.

“When I reached thirty-six weeks, I started having contractions. I chose a C-section. I was so afraid something might go wrong. I couldn’t lose them, too. One minute I had a huge belly, and the next there were two crying babies. Daniel looked so much like his father. I wish Dan had lived to see them.” Her throat went tight, and she blinked back tears. “Sorry. I didn’t mean … ”

Jesse leaned forward, wiped a tear off her cheek. “Hey, don’t apologize.”

She looked up, saw the concern in his eyes—and slid into his embrace.

For a time, he just held her, his strong body a refuge, one big hand caressing her hair. Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was his scent. Maybe it was the feel of him. Ellie couldn’t say. Slowly her grief faded, replaced by an altogether different emotion.

She looked up, ran her thumb over the fullness of his lower lip. From there it was so easy. She leaned forward and lifted her lips to his.

He sucked in a quick breath, but he didn’t pull away. “Ellie. You said talk only.”

“I changed my mind. Kiss me.”

He drew back, and for a moment she thought he was leaving. Instead, he took the wine glass from her hand and set it beside his on the coffee table. Then he was back, his eyes looking into hers, so serious. He cupped her cheek. “Are you sure?”

Hell, yes, she was sure. “Kiss me.”

Before she could draw another breath, his lips claimed hers, the fingers of one big hand sliding into her hair, his other arm hauling her against his chest.

Oh. God!

At first contact, her senses reeled, arousal jolting through, making her instantly wet. She was overwhelmed by him—the burn of his lips on hers, the hard feel of his body, the spice of his skin. This is what it felt like to be held by a strong man.

It had been so long, so long.

He caught her lower lip between his, teased it with his tongue, then released it, his mouth covering hers again. When his tongue sought entry, she yielded, his tongue teasing hers with slick strokes she felt all the way to her womb. She stole control of the kiss from him, nipping first his upper and then his lower lip. He moaned, reclaiming his dominance, kissing her deeper and harder, the fingers in her hair clenching into a fist. Then, the kiss grew gentler, until he broke contact and started to pull away.

She caught his face between her palms, her words a whispered plea. “Please don’t stop … unless… unless you want to.”

“Are you kidding?” In a blink, he had her on her back, his weight pinning her to the sofa. “I could kiss you all night.”

Copyright (c) Pamela Clare 2017
All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sweat, Saguaros and What's Next for Scarlet Springs


First, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who grabbed a copy of Slow Burn. You pushed it into the top 100 for sports romance and contemporary romance on Amazon. Thanks, too, for all the terrific reviews. Word of mouth is everything to an author.

The book is available in paperback through Amazon now, too.

In the meantime, I thought I’d catch you all up on what’s been going on at Casa Clare.

My younger son, Benjamin, just got back from a five-day trip to Phoenix, where he competed in the Western CMP Games — a rifle marksmanship competition. We drove down in a single day — something we will never, ever do again.

The cool thing about the drive was that it took us through so many different ecosystems, from the distinct Front Range ecosystem to the high mountains to the canyons and arid area around Grand Junction to Moab through red canyon lands to the mountains near Flagstaff and then into the Sonoran Desert. There is such a diversity of landscape here in the U.S.



We talked the entire way. I was so tired outside Phoenix that some of my comments were sort of dreamlike train of consciousness. Benjamin laughed and asked, “What does that even mean?” I had no idea. We arrived (finally!) at 3:30 a.m. I spent the next day recovering from that, while Benjamin got registered for the competition.

He entered four different matches, shooting his as-issued M1 Garand battle rifle, which dates to WWII and saw service during that war. And, very long story short, he won four medals — two bronzes and two silvers.



It was a super hard-fought competition for him. He shot an absolutely perfect first round of slow-fire prone — 100 2x — but ran into trouble in the slow-fire standing when a wind storm blew in and pelted all of us with sand, making it impossible to fire and forcing him to rush his shots. Twice he came within a few points of a gold medal.

The next day, his sights came loose, and he had to adjust and tighten them, losing precious time. (All of the courses of fire are timed.) I sat there watching with my heart in my throat, wondering if he'd even have time to get off all 10 shots in that round. He did — and he got the silver. That is grace under pressure.

About Phoenix: It was hotter than shit. I don't know how people live there.

Also, there were signs up warning us about tarantulas, scorpions and rattlesnakes on the range. We discovered these flying monstrosities called tarantual wasps on our own. Arizona, you can keep those.



We took time to meet with my cousin Daniel and his wife Jennifer, which was a real treat. We’re already making plans to get together again.

We changed our plans to drive home in one shot and booked a hotel room in Grand Junction. We arrived there at 1:30 a.m., not quite as dull-witted as we’d been rolling into Phoenix. Again, we were struck by the amazing landscapes all the way home. America the beautiful, indeed.



On the way back, Benjamin let me talk through what I know about Jesse Moretti’s story so far. Ellen Meeks (mentioned in Barely Breathing), a war widow with little twins, is going to be his heroin. No hints at this point what the story is about. But I do hope to have it to you before the New Year.

Today, I have guests arriving from Denmark. One of my very best friends, a woman I’ve known since I was 17, is coming with her younger daughter and her boyfriend. I’ve been scrambling to get unpacked and get the house straightened up. This house is going to be full of exhausted people tonight — including me and Benjamin.

Have a good rest of your week!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SLOW BURN is out! EXCERPT



SLOW BURN is out!

iBooks
Nook
Kindle US
Kindle UK
Kindle AU
Kindle CA
Smashwords (all formats, international) 
All Romance eBooks
Kobo
Paperback: In about 10 days—we’re working hard!

We were up till 3 a.m. working to keep my promise to you that the book would be out on Sept. 20, and we did it. We’re still waiting for the book to go live on Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and I will update those links as soon as they’re available.

Thanks to all of you who were waiting early this morning and snapped the book up before I was even out of bed. Your support means so much! I hope you enjoy Lexi and Austin’s somewhat unconventional wedding and the week of craziness that leads up to it — followed by another HEA.

So what do I think you’ll love about this book? That’s easy: 1. Firefighter hero 2. Sexy, hot, funny 3. Lexi and Austin's wedding 4. The HEA.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

Victoria Woodley is done with men. Fresh off a dating nightmare, she flies from her home in Chicago to Scarlet Springs to take part in her best friend’s wedding. Who picks her up at the airport? Eric Hawke. Of course. She made a fool of herself over him last time she was here. He’s cocky, charming, and sexy as sin. But the fact that she’s attracted to him is all the proof she needs that he’s bad news. She would ignore him if she could. But he’s the best man, and she’s the maid of honor. She can’t just tell him to jump in a lake—especially not when her lips are locked with his.

Eric isn’t looking for a relationship. Between running the firehouse and volunteering for the county’s search and rescue team, he has enough on his plate. He doesn’t need to get tangled up with a woman from the big city, especially one whose idea of roughing it is going without designer coffee. Yet from the moment he looks into Victoria’s big brown eyes, the attraction he feels is too strong to deny. Faster than he can imagine, the spark of desire that has smoldered between them since the first day they met will flare into full-blown passion. 

But can Eric convince Victoria to set aside her doubts and trust him with her heart before their time together runs out?

How about one last excerpt? Hey, it’s my party, and I can share if I want to.




From SLOW BURN

Eric drove from his cabin to the inn fidgeting with his damned bow tie. He knew he hadn’t gotten it right, but then he’d never worn a bow tie before. He was into jeans and T-shirts, not Ralph Lauren. But if Lexi and Austin wanted to play Casino Royale and blow a bunch of money on food, booze, and gaming, he would dress up and go with them—and he wouldn’t complain.

He pulled into the inn’s long driveway, parking in the area reserved for family and friends, double checking to make sure the condom case was in his trouser pocket. Rose and Kendra sat together at a table on the back porch, the two of them bent over Rose’s tarot cards, a bottle of wine and two glasses sitting between them. They stopped talking when they saw him, smiles on their faces.

Rose wolf-whistled at him. “Victoria won’t be able to resist you.”

“Don’t you look pretty?” Kendra teased.

Bob opened the back door, rubbing a hand over his bare, hairy chest, a beer mug in his hand. “I thought the wedding was Saturday. Should I get dressed?”

“Hey, Bob.”

Bob pointed with his thumb. “They’re all waiting by the guest elevator.”

Eric walked through the house and out the door that led to the main entrance hall, and stared. “Damn. You lot clean up nice. Moretti, I almost don’t recognize you. Lexi, Britta, Win—you look gorgeous.”

Lexi was living up to her nickname—Sexy Lexi—her red hair in a fancy updo, her body sheathed in a short, silky dress of white with silver beading. Britta wore a dress of shimmering purple, her hair swept up in a twist, while Winona looked amazing in a long spaghetti strap dress of dark green satin, her shoulder-length dark hair pulled into a stylishly messy bun. But something was wrong.

Eric looked down at himself, then at Taylor, Moretti, and Belcourt. “Why is my tuxedo jacket white and yours are black? I’m not the bride.”

“Thank God.” Taylor shrugged. “Some kind of mix-up, I guess.”

“Where’s Victoria?”

“She texted to say she’ll be down in a minute,” Lexi said.

Eric made his way over to Taylor and gave him an update, keeping his voice low. “I called the head of security at the casino and explained our concerns. He told me that any man who accosted her would be escorted out. We’re supposed to check in when we get there. I’d like to do it without Vicki knowing.”

Taylor arched a brow. “So it’s Vicki now?”

Belcourt walked over. “Is Victoria in some kind of trouble? Does she have a stalker or something?”

Shit. He’d overheard.

“Or something,” Eric answered.

 But Moretti had heard Belcourt. “Vic has a stalker?”

“What about Vic?” Britta asked.

Lexi glared at Eric and Taylor. “Don’t say anything, okay? Just watch out for her. After what happened in Buena Vista, she wasn’t going to come tonight, but Eric and Austin changed her mind.”

Moretti’s gaze went hard. “Any man who tries to fuck with her is going to have to go through us.”

Winona looked out the window. “The limo’s here. Wow. It’s huge.”

Then the elevator car began to move, heading up.

For some reason, Lexi looked over at Eric, a little smile on her lips.

“Do you know something I don’t?” he asked.

She got a wide-eyed innocent look. “Me?”

The elevator was moving again, coming down this time. It reached the ground floor, the doors sliding open with a ding.

Victoria stepped out.

Eric’s heart knocked against his breastbone, and he stared. “Jesus.”

She was wearing it, that dress—the tiny black one he’d seen in her closet—and damned if she didn’t look good enough to eat.

“Wow.” That was Moretti.

From behind him, he heard Belcourt. “Hoka hey.”

The dress wasn’t low cut, and it wasn’t any shorter than Lexi’s or Britta’s. It even had long sleeves. It just wasn’t really there.

Made of whisper-light translucent fabric scattered with black beading, it looked as if it were painted on, a sheer, shimmering second skin. He could see her belly button, the curve of her hips, the dark line of her cleavage. The beading was dense enough over her breasts and those lovely female parts between her legs to conceal them from view, but his mind was happy to fill in the blanks.

“You are beautiful.” He held out a hand to her.

“Thanks. You look pretty amazing yourself.”

It was only then he noticed the loose curls in her hair, the strappy three-inch heels on her feet, and the vulnerability in her eyes.

“That looks so good on you. I love it!” Lexi motioned with her finger for Victoria to turn around. “I want to see the back.”

Victoria did a slow turn, and Eric felt the ground shift beneath his feet. The back was very low cut, exposing silky skin, thick beading hiding her amazing ass.

God in heaven.

She frowned at him. “What’s wrong with your tie?”

Eric had forgotten he was even wearing a tie. “I’m not very good with these.”

“I emailed instructions,” Lexi said.

“Obviously, I didn’t read them.”

While Victoria re-tied Eric’s tie, the others walked out to the limo. “I thought firemen were supposed to be good with knots.”

“I’m better with hoses.”

“Is that supposed to be sexy?” She pretended his lame joke hadn’t almost made her laugh, a smile tugging at her glossy lips.

He shrugged. “Those hoses are big and hard and tough to handle.”

“Speaking of tough to handle, I want to show you something.” She stepped out of the view of the open door, Eric helpless to do anything but follow.

Then she lifted the gown to reveal …

No panties.

“Holy shit.” The breath left his lungs, blood rushing straight to his groin.

How in God’s name was he supposed to survive the next few hours?

~ ~ ~

So there you are. I hope you enjoy the story. There is so much family history in the outdoors portions of this book that my younger son Benjamin was laughing his butt off while he was reading it.

Sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win a signed print copy of Barely Breathing, an iBooks or Amazon gift card, and a box of the original Taffy Shop salt water taffy from Estes Park.  (Be sure to watch for a confirmation email in your spam folder or Inbox!)



I’m thinking Jesse Moretti’s book is next. Some things happened to him in this story that make him good hero fodder for the next book. I hope you’ll be as excited about his books as I am.

Thanks for reading and following along!

Copyright (c) 2016 Pamela Clare


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"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

"I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day."
—James Joyce

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
—Jane Austen

"Writers are those for whom writing is more difficult that it is for others."
—Ernest Hemingway

"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
—Kurt Vonnegut

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar is the test of their power."
—Toni Morrison

"No tears in the author, no tears in the reader."
—Robert Frost.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
—the character of Chaucer in
A Knight's Tale