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Mountain Blaze by @DebbyGrahl is a Western Romance Event pick #westernromance #western #giveaway
Title: Mountain Blaze
Author: Debby Grahl
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Disillusioned by his wife’s betrayal, rodeo star Dillon McCoy comes home to the mountains of North Carolina to lick his wounds. When he agrees to take over the family ranch, the Lazy M, he’s unaware danger waits.
Diana Thompson is having doubts about her engagement to Trent Sawyer. She agrees to leave Chapel Hill and spend Thanksgiving with her friend Jenn at the Lazy M. When Diana and Dillon meet, neither can deny their attraction, but both must resolve past relationships while fighting their growing desire.
After Dillon turns down an anonymous offer to purchase the ranch, attempts are made on his life. When a body is found, Dillon sets out to discover who wants the McCoy land enough to commit murder.
Diana nodded and Flora fell into step behind Flame. They passed the last cabin, and the meadow spread out before them. Dillon drew Flame to a halt and motioned for her to quietly come next to him. When she did so, he pointed to three deer standing near some pine trees, and in the distance were the snow-crested ridges of the Smoky Mountains.
Diana caught her breath. “It’s magnificent,” she whispered.
“I never get tired of this view. Because of this.” He indicated their surroundings. “The last cabin we passed is another favorite of our guests.”
“It all reminds me of a Christmas card.” Diana patted her pockets. “Damn,” she murmured. “I don’t have my phone to take a picture.”
Dillon gestured. “They’re leaving anyway.”
For a minute, the deer stared at them, their ears alert, then bounded off into the woods. “Oh, I must have made too much noise,” Diana exclaimed.
“You didn’t do anything. They could smell us. I’m surprised they stayed as long as they did. If it wasn’t so slippery, we could go out onto that outcropping of rocks.” Diana glanced to where he pointed and shuddered.
“It’s smooth on top, and you can see the stream that runs through the valley below,” he continued.
She shook her head. “I don’t mind heights if I’m a safe distance away. Out there, I’d go into a full-blown panic attack. In fact, that’s why I never learned to ski. You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming onto one of those chair lifts.”
Dillon smiled and Diana thought it the sexiest smile she’d ever seen. There was a slight cleft in his chin, and fine lines formed at the corners of his eyes. Diana inwardly groaned. The butterflies were back.
“I’d hold onto you. I wouldn’t let you fall,” he softly said.
With his slow southern accent, the words sounded like warm honey rolling off his tongue. The depth of his eyes and the sound of his voice mesmerized her.
The horses stood side by side. Her and Dillon’s legs touched. He leaned toward her, and the light aroma of wood smoke, hay, and his spicy cologne filled her nostrils. Diana knew what he was about to do but had no willpower to stop him. He cupped her cheek and their lips met.
Gentle at first, his lips glided over hers. He increased the pressure until she opened her mouth and his tongue slipped in. Diana moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck. His arms around her waist, he deepened the kiss. Before she realized what he was doing, without breaking their kiss Dillon lifted her from Flora and placed her across his lap.
Cradled in his arms, Diana clung to him, delicious sensations filling her. Her body came alive in a way that surprised her. The only thing that mattered was this man and this moment.
Flame moved, bringing her back to reality. Diana’s eyes fluttered open, and she stared into Dillon’s, deep with passion and need.
Oh, dear God, what was she doing? She barely knew Dillon, and there she lay sprawled across his lap. What would he think of her? “Dillon, I…”
He placed a gloved finger over her lips. When he spoke, his voice was low and husky. “It’s not your fault. You’re engaged, and I shouldn’t have done that.
She swallowed hard and touched his cheek. “I’m just as guilty.” She should tell him about Trent, and why she was here, but now wasn’t the moment. She needed to be alone, where she could process what just happened.
“You don’t have to explain.” He glanced away, then back. “I should promise that won’t happen again, but I can’t. All I can promise is I’ll try to behave.”
She gave him a slight smile. “We’re adults. We should be able to control ourselves.”
Dillon cleared his throat and easily set her back on her saddle. “Whatever you say.”
As they made their way back through the woods, Diana’s guilt threatened to consume her. Not only did she enjoy every second of his kiss, she didn’t want him to stop. One terrible truth she had no doubt about—if they hadn’t been sitting on a horse, she’d be in his bed. What a complicated mess her life had become. If she had her own car, she’d make some excuse and leave, but she couldn’t do that to Jenn. Until she could make sense of her emotions, she’d try her best not to be alone with Dillon.
“Do other riders use this trail?”
“No. This is all McCoy land. Our closest neighbor, the Duffys’ property, is in that direction. They have a few cabins, and it’s possible one of their guests wandered over here by mistake.”
“Isn’t the ranch surrounded by fence?”
“No. Only the areas that border public land.” Still frowning, Dillon resumed riding toward the barn. When they were almost there, once again Dillon stopped. “There’s someone ahead of us.”
“I don’t think so. If it were her, she’d come to meet us.” He started forward. “Stay behind me.”
The trail widened, and in the distance a man in a parka stood. “I don’t think there’s a problem,” Dillon said. “But stay back a little way.”
Curious, Diana nodded.
The snow muffled the sound of Flame’s hooves as Dillon pressed him forward. When he got within thirty feet of the man, he called, “Hello, can I help you?”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon Author Page -- https://www.amazon.com/Debby-Grahl/e/B00B34HM26
B&N -- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Debby+Grahl?_requestid=5525094
Bookbub -- https://www.bookbub.com/search/authors?search=debby%20grahl
What makes your featured book a must-read?
The “average” review scores 4.8 out of five on Amazon. Here is a typical one:
“How can I tell you how much I loved this book without gushing? Nope…I’m going to gush. IT WAS FREAKING FABULOUS!
It has three-dimensional characters, foibles and all. They can practically walk off the page and pour themselves a cup of coffee. They occasionally make mistakes and, now and then, display messy emotions. They’ve got interesting backstories and baggage to get rid of.
The story flows without interruption. The red-herrings will drive you crazy. Once you start, you won’t find any place to put it down.
This Romantic/Suspense is truly 50/50. You get as much danger and intrigue as you do hot, sweaty, love scenes…or vice-versa.
The author says this is the first in a series and I’m thrilled. I need more than 5 stars for this one.”
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Award-winning author Debby Grahl writes contemporary romance with elements of suspense, and sometimes ghosts or witches. She lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David. Besides writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach, and a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida, the Cotswolds of England, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and, of course, romance.
Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books. Her latest book, Mountain Blaze, was released November 2, 2020. She is working on Island Heat, the second book in her Carolina series. Her other books are Mountain Blaze, His Magic Touch, Decorated to Death, Rue Toulouse, and The Silver Crescent. Debby also has stories in several anthologies.
Social Media Links:
Website -- www.debbygrahl.com Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/debbygrahlauthor?ref=br_rs
Twitter -- https://twitter.com/DebbyGrahl