So, I ask you— What woman wouldn’t love a man in uniform, especially a policeman? They are the true heroes in our everyday lives.
And what better hero than a policeman could assist my heroine in Wild in Whispering Cove to overcome the demons haunting her. Brody McGrath is all you envision in a sheriff of a small coastal town and so much more. Add that he has been in love with Andie since childhood and fireworks spark when they come together.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Wild in Whispering Cove. Pay special attention to Brody's brother, Reece, because you will see him again in Bold. The younger McGrath brother can do things with his tools and hands that will amaze you. <g>
Enjoy this excerpt from
(Whispering Cove Anthology)
Copyright © 2012 Mackenzie McKade
All rights reserved ~ a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication.
Andrea found herself feeling peaceful, happy. “I’d almost forgotten—” She snapped her mouth shut.
“What, Andie?” Brody grabbed her hand and they slid across his jeans as they walked.
“What did you almost forget?”
The instinct to pull away was strong, but she ignored it. “How much I loved this market.”
Andrea had openly admitted it. She missed Whispering Cove. She missed Brody. She missed her grandfather most of all. A whisper of trepidation slid across her skin. Dammit. She had to—
A sign with a familiar green icon caught her attention. “Oh my God. You have a Starbucks?”
“Yes. Even Whispering Cove has coffee.”
Laughter rose and she swatted Brody’s shoulder, feeling the strong muscles beneath his T-shirt. Last night there had been no barriers. Memories of her caressing every inch of his body rose, sending a shiver through her. If they hadn’t been interrupted this morning she would have done it over and over.
This is bad, so bad. Andrea was falling all over again.
“Well, if it isn’t trouble herself.” A strange male voice spun her around.
When she saw the young man who looked almost identical to Brody, except his hair was a chestnut brown instead of black, her jaw dropped. “Reece?”
“Yeah, darlin’. It’s me.” After he gave Andrea a big hug, he slapped Brody on the back.
“Hey, bro. Stopped by your house last night, but you didn’t answer.” With an appreciative gaze, he scanned Andrea from head to toe and back again. “Now I know why.” Reece had the same drop-dead, lady-killer smile that Brody had—the little devil.
“Mom said to make sure you bring Andie by before she skips town.”
Andrea remembered Hannah McGrath as five-foot-nothing, a small woman, who ruled the roost with a wooden spoon. With a single flick of her wrist she could ricochet the utensil off of Brody hitting Reece. Strong and demanding, but she cherished her boys and they loved her too.
“How’s your mother?”
Brody and Reece had lost their father due to stomach cancer when they were young boys. It had been a horrible time of adjustment. They had struggled to survive. Both boys had stepped forward and taken odds jobs to help out.
"Mean as a crab and twice as ornery, but then again I remember you the same way.” Reece had the McGrath’s hazel eyes and they sparkled with mischief.
“Lies. All lies,” she chuckled.
Reece was four years younger than she and Brody, and they had always run away when he had tried to follow them. Now the man was taller than both of them and she’d lay a bet faster, too.
“Heading into the Seaside Pub?” Brody asked, eyeing his brother.
“Yeah. I’m meeting up with Hauk to chat about some repairs.”
If she recalled, Hauk Michaelsen was the proprietor of the pub. “Are you in construction?”
“Reece has an Architect degree and a Master’s in Construction Management.” Pride rose in Brody’s voice.
“And you live in Whispering Cove?” Dammit. Andrea didn’t miss Brody’s cringe or just how snooty she sounded.
Reece only shrugged. “What can I say? Whispering Cove is in my blood.” He glanced at his wristwatch. “I’ve got to go. Andie, it was good seeing you again. Bro.” With a wink in Andrea’s direction and a nod in Brody’s, Reece turned and walked away.
She watched him disappear inside the establishment. “He looks good, happy.”
Brody captured her hand in his. “He is, but Mom is riding both of our asses to settle down, get married and have her some grandchildren.”
Heat exploded up Andrea’s neck, spreading like wildfire across her cheeks. Just the thought of another woman sharing Brody’s bed, his life, made her see red.
Mine, whispered through her mind.
As much as she tried to reason with herself, it did no good. It wasn’t fair to keep him dangling like a fish on a hook. No. She had to let him go, because she didn’t deserve him or any semblance of happiness.
She should have never returned to Whispering Cove.
“Hey, are you hungry? The Seafarer still serves their famous lobster rolls.” He waggled his brows. “You remember, big chunks of lobster meat on a freshly baked roll with lettuce and lemon. And Katy’s back for the reunion.”
Her appetite had died with his previous comment about marriage and babies, but she wouldn’t deny Brody. “Katy?”
Her once best friend Katy Wilson’s parents owned the Seafarer, but Andrea doubted that was what the fuss was about. Katy had become a big-time celebrity, a master chef with her own television show.
Andrea and Brody turned the corner and the restaurant came into view.
The salty air was hard on buildings along the coast. The wooden planks of the Seafarer were chipped and worn as if the slats could use a wire brush and coat of paint. Still, the weathered look gave the place a certain charm, homey and welcoming.
Instead of entering through the front door, Brody led her around the back. “Let’s eat out on the patio.”
As they took a seat, seagulls squawked above them. Some of the birds skimmed the surface of the ocean looking for food. A cool, salty and somewhat fishy breeze disturbed the white butcher paper atop the tables. Memories of scribbling Andie loves Brody all over the paper with red crayon rose to make her heart flutter. He reached for the tin of colors and wrote Brody loves Andie in big red letters.
Tears welled in her eyes and she had to look away.
They shared the memory.
She choked back uninvited emotion, swallowed hard, and turned to face him. “Lots of memories here.” Her smile felt strained, forced. “Bring on the lobster rolls.”
A young waitress approached the table, saving her from Brody’s scrutiny. The teenage girl giggled. “What will it be, Sheriff?” Her cheeks blushed.
Poor girl. She had it bad for Brody and Andrea couldn’t blame her. The man was gorgeous. Time had been more than good to him. Like a fine wine, his looks had gotten better with age.
“Hey, Tish. How about a lobster roll and a beer.”
“Chips or coleslaw?”
“Make that two. Extra melted butter,” Andrea added, remembering how much Brody enjoyed butter on his lobster.
As Tish walked away, Brody’s face softened. “You remembered.” Reaching across the table, he squeezed her hand.
Andrea tore her gaze away from him and stared toward the ocean. Each whitecap reminded her of what she’d lost. Why she couldn’t embrace the love Brody offered.
There was no fairness in love. The Goddess of Love wasn’t like Lady Justice. No. She wasn’t blind. Nor did she give a shit who she hurt.
So for those of you who know me, you know I have a huge attraction to firefighters. What is it I love about them, you wonder. Oh, let’s just say...everything. They’re big, strong, courageous, and, on a daily basis, are willing to put themselves in danger to help others. These guys are risk takers, and I’m completely attracted to their confidence and their take charge attitudes. These guys wield dangerous weapons and cut their way into burning buildings, and honestly, isn’t there something sexy about a rugged man who uses his hands...and knows how to toss you over his shoulders. J
When the idea for the Wild Wet and Wicked in Whispering Cove anthology came up and I started thinking about the kind of hero who would live in a small coastal town, my mind immediately went to the fire department. That’s when Trent Parker was born. But Trent needed a friend, a comrade, a confidant, and when Adam Collins stepped onto the scene, I knew he had to have his own story too!
I’ll leave you with this excerpt from Wet in Whispering Cove. Here you meet Trent, the hero from Wet, and Adam the hero from Brazen. I hope you fall in love with these guys as much as I have!
Enjoy this excerpt from
(Whispering Cove Anthology)
Copyright © 2012 Cathryn Fox
All rights reserved ~ a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication.
Trent Parker didn’t want to think about the plates of half-eaten food sitting on the long oaken table before him. Nor did he want to think about the pot of congealed spaghetti sauce waiting to be scrubbed. And he certainly didn’t want to think about the suspicious fire up at Dresden Bluff that had caused them all to bolt from the firehouse late last night without finishing the meal he’d spent hours preparing.
But what he really, really didn’t want to think about was that Katy Wilson was back in town, or the fact that he’d spotted her coming in under the cover of darkness, hoping to avoid any sort of run-in with him, he presumed.
A scraping sound behind him pulled his attention, and when he turned to see Adam Collins, his best friend and Whispering Cove’s most sought-after bachelor, push open the swinging door and step into the kitchen, he shook his head to clear it.
“Hey, Trent, did you hear Katy’s back in town?” Adam asked, as he sauntered across the room to grab a soda from the fridge.
Trent rolled his shoulder, hoping for casual, but the hitch in his voice belied his emotions when he said, “Yeah. So?”
Never one to be subtle, Adam added, “I hear she looks as good as ever.”
Adam heard wrong. Katy didn’t look as good as ever. She looked better than ever. He’d gotten a good look at her when she’d stopped her SUV at the corner of Main and Little. He was on the sidewalk next to the vehicle, and the overhead lamppost gave sufficient light for him to see her big blue eyes, dark wavy hair, creamy skin and plump lips that had his cock rising up for a front-row seat.
“I wouldn’t know, and don’t much care.”
“So you think she’s back for the reunion?”
“What part of I wouldn’t know, and don’t much care didn’t you get?”
“The don’t much care part.” Adam tossed him a wry grin, and it pissed Trent off that his childhood friend and fellow firefighter could read him like an open book. Adam was as quick as a brush fire sweeping through the white pines. His bright intelligence, good looks and dazzling charm attracted women quicker than a shiny lure attracted fish.
“Is that right?” Adam probed. “You really don’t care?”‘
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Adam twisted the cap off his soda and leaned against the table. He got quiet for a moment, a rarity for him since he always had an opinion on everything, then said, “I wonder if I can get her autograph.”
Trent shrugged and walked to the sink, turning his back to his friend and their conversation, not wanting to talk or even think about Katy anymore. He flicked on the chrome tap and poured a generous amount of soap into the basin.
“You think she’ll give it to me?” Adam pressed, refusing to give up on the subject.
“I’m sure she’ll give it to you if you just ask,” Trent finally said, hoping to put an end to the discussion. He gestured with a nod. “Grab a cloth and dry.”
Adam didn’t move. Instead he said, “I wonder what else she’ll give up if I just ask…”
Trent spun around. Fire rushed through his bloodstream and raised his anger from simmer to boil, but when he caught the cocky, knowing grin on his friend’s face and realized Adam was simply baiting him, he grinned back and shook his head. “Fuck off, Adam.”
Adam pushed off the table and clapped Trent on the back. “Come on, Trent. You want her now as much as you always have. Admit it.”
“I don’t want her.” Trent thought about all the girls he’d bedded down with since Katy had left. “I moved on, remember?”
“What I remember is that you fucked nearly every single woman in town after Katy kicked your ass to the curb, yet here you are still pining over her like some lovesick schoolboy. It’s pathetic, pal. Just pathetic.”
“Look, why don’t you try fucking her? Fucking all those other girls didn’t help so maybe fucking Katy Wilson is the only way you’re going to get her out of your system once and for all.”
“Unlike you, I don’t think fucking solves everything.”
Adam grinned. “Well it doesn’t hurt.”
Trent gave an impatient sigh. “Look, I’m not going to fuck her, Adam. I’m not going to do anything with her. I probably won’t even see her or talk to her when she’s here, so drop it, okay?”
“Fine, if you don’t want to fuck her, I will.”
“Like hell you will.” The words flew from his mouth before he could stop them.
Adam laughed and gave a slow shake of his head. “Yeah, Trent. It’s real clear that you’ve moved on.”
Since we started playing in Whispering Cove I seem to have taken the role of renegade. What I mean is that so far Mac and Cathryn have heroes who are either in law enforcement or are firefighters. I’ll admit, a man in uniform is sexy. What’s not sexy about a man’s hard conviction to rules and the daring willingness to risk himself for someone? But what about a man OUT of uniform?
As a writer it’s great fun to twist up the hero, making his life hell. As a peace offering it’s also fun to give him a friend who can listen and understand and give those virtual hugs that we women want for real. Though I guess those man hugs are verbal and not quite as gentle. All the more reason it’s fun.
So, here’s an introduction to my heroes in the Whispering Cove anthology who are OUT of uniform.
Enjoy this excerpt from
He was halfway back up the stairs before he stopped himself. Snuggling up to Danica wasn’t safe. She wasn’t his style, or rather her permanence wasn’t, so he shook off the sentimentality and turned back downstairs.
Fifteen minutes later, he walked into the Seaside Pub. With its back wall of shutter doors open and offering an unobstructed view of the bay, the dark wood floors and teak bar with the brass foot rail before the backless wooden stools, the place was masculine.
Softer touches were added in the buttercream-colored paint—which reminded Braydon of the icing Grandma Ruth used to put on his birthday cakes—covering the top half of the paneled walls and muted lighting to set a romantic mood. If romance could be found in a beer-scented place with scarred tables and red-and-green dome lights dangling over the pool tables.
Apparently it could after the noise died down. A few couples snuggled in cozy corners wrapped in the solitude of companionship. He’d been cozy in Danica’s bed. Could still be.
“Well hell!” Hauk Michaelsen tossed a rag in the bar sink and grinned. “If it isn’t Sail-away Mitchell. Wondered if you’d show your face here.”
Hauk’d never been to Norway for more than brief visits to his grandparents, aunts and uncles, but the dialect of the cities lived rich in his voice.
“Well, if it isn’t Landlocked Michaelsen.” Grateful for a new train of thought, Braydon crossed to the bar and clasped Hauk’s hand. “How’ve you been?”
“Same old routine.” His grin hadn’t changed since high school. Broad and warm, showing off the chipped tooth he’d gotten from an out-of-bounds ball and a wayward elbow during a junior varsity game. They’d both gotten better at football.
“Don’t you get tired of the same thing day in and day out?” Braydon slipped onto the nearest stool.
Hauk poured him a beer and leaned on the counter. “Don’t you get tired of being alone on that boat of yours?”
“Who said I was alone?”
“The entire town. Well, at least those not talking about you and the lovely Dr. Dani.”
What could people be saying? They’d only been in public for the lunch with Granddad. Everything else had been private. Well, mostly everything. He had been ready to strip her above deck on the boat.
“There’s nothing between us.” Braydon worked the angered lie from his tone. “She’s Granddad’s doctor.”
Hauk leaned closer and gave an exaggerated bloodhound sniff around Braydon. “Try that bullshit when you don’t smell like her.”
The appreciation and familiarity slurring Hauk’s voice drilled through Braydon and had his fists clenching. “You don’t know shit. She’s Granddad’s doctor.”
He repeated the last bit slowly, hoping it would penetrate the layer of beer foam clouding Hauk’s brain. Still, questions nagged.
How did Hauk know Danica’s scent so well? How familiar were they? And damn it, why should he care?
“She may be your granddad’s doc, but that doesn’t make men blind to her any more than you can claim women don’t pursue you because of your no-roots life.”
Braydon shrugged. “I like my life. Have no interest in being stuck in a go-nowhere town with no ambition and kids to support.”
Hauk’s eyes narrowed to sharp pricks. Defensiveness hardened his jaw and would no doubt snap in his tone. Braydon knew he’d misstepped.
He’d just described the life Hauk had always wanted to avoid. The life people said he’d been unable to escape.
“There are worse things than raising a kid in this town. And ambition is different for everyone.”
Yep. Hauk’s tone was clipped and void of the camaraderie they’d been sharing.
“Shit. Hauk. I didn’t mean… Sorry.”
“Don’t mention it.”
Everyone remotely connected to Whispering Cove had heard about Hauk’s wife washing ashore with a note in her pocket detailing her life’s regrets. She’d never gotten the escape she wanted, but she’d compounded her impact by voicing her regrets at having married Hauk right out of school and having their daughter.
“She was wrong, Hauk.”
“And so are you. A good life balanced with family and ambitions are attainable here.” Hauk walked away and left Braydon with the thought that Hauk had accepted good. Then again, Braydon reluctantly admitted to himself, his perception of a Whispering Cove life, of Hauk, could be skewed.
Several of their classmates seemed perfectly happy with the lives they’d created in Whispering Cove. Many were as successful in different careers as Braydon was in his. So what was his hang-up?
Simple. It was fear. Fear of regretting life choices like his parents had.
Braydon’s spine itched with the uncomfortable truth. He washed it away with a long draw of his beer. He wasn’t thinking about what he was afraid of—Danica, a taunting voice in his head whispered.
No. He couldn’t possibly be afraid of Danica Kent or the impossible idea of them having a real relationship.
Cathryn's favorite drink recipe!
1 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries
1 cup brandy-based orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
3/4 cup gold tequila
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
Place the raspberries, brandy-based orange liqueur, tequila, lemon juice, and sugar in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve in glasses over ice cubes
It was just a sexy game. Then things went south] Taylor Dayton has been holding back a secret from her best friend, firefighter Christian Bain: hes the only man who can douse the flames inside her. Its time he noticed her as more than an ice cream and movie pal. What better way to melt the blinders from his eyes than propose an irresistibly sexy grooming session? Christian can hardly believe the woman from his erotic dreams has just issued a siren call no red-blooded male can resist. Hell give her what she wants, and when hes done with her, shell need more than a fire hose to cool her down. When their little game leads them to discover their secret fetishes and fantasies, they realize that this sexy seduction is no longer just a game. This time, its for keeps. Warning: Hot sex in creative places, may leave reader salivating for more