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A Quick and Dirty overview of The Quick Billionaires Series

I can remember the exact moment I thought up the idea of Quick & Dirty.

I was walking my dog up Rainbow Road on the south facing slope of Christmas Hill in Victoria and texting with some friends asking for heroine name suggestions.

One of them suggested Parker Ryan and I absolutely loved it.quick and dirty, billionaire romance, romantic comedy, hot sex, dirty sex, romantic holiday, holiday romance, erotic romance, amazon, kindle unlimited, whitley cox

I also knew that I wanted the tagline to be The best way to get over a millionaire is to get over a billionaire. 

I’d already “created” Tate McAllister, mysterious billionaire philanthropist and introduced him to the “world” in Hot & Filthy, but I hadn’t really planned to give him his own love story, let alone turn it all into a series.

I joined a boxed set and needed a story to contribute, so I “whipped up” Quick & Dirty as mydark and damaged hearts, billionaire romance, romantic comedy, hot sex, dirty sex, romantic holiday, holiday romance, erotic romance, amazon, kindle unlimited, whitley cox contribution. However, I never felt like I had truly “finished” the story arc of how Tate got his seed money to buy the resort. Too much was left unanswered about Tate’s dead, estranged father.

The world needed more answers. I needed more answers. 

Quick & Easy was written more on a dare than anything else. Two of my very close friends, who also happen to be incredibly talented authors (Jeanne St. James and Erica Lynn) used to tease me over the fact that all my books were long, and just kept getting longer. Meanwhile, they had no problem whipping up 20-45K word novellas. But I just couldn’t do anything under 50K.

quick and dirty, billionaire romance, romantic comedy, hot sex, dirty sex, romantic holiday, holiday romance, erotic romance, amazon, kindle unlimited, quick and easy, whitley coxSo to prove them that I in fact COULD write a novella, I set aside two weeks to write Quick & Easy. I wanted to outdo my own challenge and said I would keep Quick & Easy at 20K words. Well, of course, you know I did it!

But that just fed the flames of this series even more and I needed to add more brothers. More billionaires. The mystery behind the rich deadbeat dad still burned inside of me.

Quick & Reckless came about because I wanted to challenge myself once again. I wanted to write two tropes I’d never attempted before: secret baby and step-sibling. quick and reckless, quick and dirty, billionaire romance, romantic comedy, hot sex, dirty sex, romantic holiday, holiday romance, erotic romance, amazon, kindle unlimited, whitley cox

I get a little squirmy at the idea of hooking up with a step-sibling, to be honest. I don’t have any step-siblings, but if its someone you’ve grown up with and in any way shape or form have called “a brother” or “a sister” it just feels too taboo for me to write. No judgement if you write or love to read step romance. I don’t judge. I just didn’t want to write too far out of my comfort zone, otherwise you as the reader would have known and felt that lack of sincerity and the characters and story would have been wooden.

So I put a twist on the step romance. A twist that didn’t have me stepping too far out of my comfort zone, but enough so that my toes got wet and I’d like to think I can now add that trope to my list of “I’ve gone there” tropes.

But of course, three books wasn’t enough. I still hadn’t answered the mystery of the dad.

We needed a sister.

quick and dangerous, romantic suspense, quick and dirty, billionaire romance, romantic comedy, hot sex, dirty sex, romantic holiday, holiday romance, erotic romance, amazon, kindle unlimited, whitley coxCue, Skyler and her story, Quick & Dangerous. We met Roberto “Rob” Cahill in Lust Abroad, and a lot of readers asked me if he was going to get his own story, since they loved him in Lust Abroad. So I figured, why not give him his HEA and pair him up with the fiery Skyler who is running from the mafia? A match made in romantic suspense heaven.

I honestly can’t tell you WHY I decided to make mention of a fifth sibling at the very end of Quick & Dangerous, but I did. It was my subconscious telling me that I wasn’t done with this series. That I needed to delve deeper into the mystery of Randall McAllister–

…deadbeat dad extraordinaire–and introduce one more McAllister sibling into the mix.

But, of course, I also wanted to bring us back to Canada and give the family a big, noisy, snowy Christmas.

I’m loving the direction that Quick & Snowy is going. It’s a slower burn than the rest of the books, and the heroine (Brier), although strong and brilliant, also suffers from crippling social anxiety and is terrified to meet her intimidating, billionaire siblings. Barnes is a former SEAL and an amputee, and he’s been tasked with finding Brier. Only when he finds her in sunny, beachy and beautiful Albufeira, Portugal she’s not exactly hopping on the next plane to go and meet her family.

He has a bit of a challenge on his hands, convincing her to leave with him. Because if there is anything this former SEAL does is finish the job he started. christmas romance, snowy romance, SEAL romance, quick and dirty, billionaire romance, romantic comedy, hot sex, dirty sex, romantic holiday, holiday romance, erotic romance, amazon, kindle unlimited, whitley cox

I can’t wait for you to read this book and let me know what you think. I plan to wrap up all loose ends and any unsolved mystery pieces. This will be the FINAL Quick Billionaires book. I have way too many other things planned and on the TBW (to be written) pile to think about working another Quick Billionaire book into the mix.

But I think the reason why I did keep adding more books to the series is because just like the Hart family (The Harty Boys Series) I just love this family and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

COMING NOVEMBER 13, 2021

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER

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Here’s an excerpt of Quick & Snowy for you.

“You’re welcome to tickle my nuts and sniff my ass crack, but I know damn well I don’t have to remove my leg. Try again …” Barnes Wark leaned forward over the rolling belt in airport security and squinted at the nametag on the baby-faced TSA agent.

Oden.

He resisted the urge to sneer at the name since he, too, had an unusual name that often garnered some quirked eyebrows. Instead, he felt half an ounce of sympathy for the kid.

But it wasn’t enough o save him from Barnes’s impatience. Oh no.

The barely-legal kid’s Adam’s apple bobbed hard in his throat and his brown eyes shifted from Barnes’s to his supervisor who was standing in the corner.

“Don’t look at her, look at me,” Barnes continued. “I’m the person you’re dealing with right now. You saw my prosthetic after I took off my shoes and thought, hey, let’s make the cripple take off his leg. I’ve never seen that before.”

The kid’s face was turning the shade of an over ripe tomato. He shook his head as if Barnes hadn’t just dived into his sick subconscious and read his mind.

Barnes ignored the man’s silent, but colorful denial. “And you’re not going to see it today. But I am going to give you a second chance to speak to me like human being with the same rights as every other person in here. So tell me again exactly what I need to remove.”

The kid’s eyes found Barnes’s once more, he swallowed again and nodded. “Belt, shoes, all electronics, all liquids and anything metal. But I don’t need you to remove your prosthetic, sir. A pat-down will be necessary, though.”

Barnes nodded and chucked his wallet, watch, belt and carryon into the bin, then walked to wait for another TSA agent to wave him through the metal-detector. Of course, it beeped.

He always forgot his dog tags. They were an extension of who he was—just like his leg—so it skipped his mind that they would need to be removed before proceeding through the detector.

Stepping back through, he lifted his tags out from under his black T-shirt and tossed them in with his belt and wallet.

The moment they were off, he felt exposed. Vulnerable.

A piece of himself was missing.

He needed them back.

Calmly, with a hard swallow, he stepped back through the detector.

It beeped again.

He rolled his eyes. It would beep until the day he died.

He’d been through this scenario hundreds possibly thousands of times. But once in a while he encountered a wet-behind the ears greenhorn who had either skipped the page on amputees in the TSA training handbook, or had some secret fetish or overwhelming curiosity that made them break protocol.

He NEVER indulged them.

Sure, he didn’t give two shits that one of his legs was made of titanium. He’d come to terms with that part long ago. But he did give two shits, probably more than just two about being made a spectacle or having his rights violated.

He was waved over to the side where two male TSA agents approached him.

He didn’t say a word. Just spread his legs and let them do their thing.

They wouldn’t find anything.

He was one of the good guys.

Or at least he tried to be.

The TSA agent who was sliding his hands up Barnes’s thigh was busy explaining what he was doing and why. Barnes tuned him out. The other agent had Barnes’s passport. He glanced into the bin of Barnes’s stuff and his brows lifted.

Barnes waited.

Five …

Four …

Three …

Two …

One …

“Thank you for your service, sir.”

As predictable as the tides.

“My father served as well. We appreciate everything you’ve done to keep our country safe.”

Barnes nodded at the man and accepted his passport back. If only this thirty-something guy with the wedding band and baby spit up on his collar knew the kinds of things Barnes had done to keep this man and his family safe.

It would give the average person nightmares.

Fuck, it gave Barnes nightmares.

“Thank you for your cooperation,” the other man said, standing back up.

Barnes grunted, then continued on to gather his stuff.

He was almost home.

One more flight, Houston to Portland and then he could hunker down until the new year.

With his dog tags securely back in place, he released the breath that had been burning his lungs. He finished putting on his belt and shoes, slung his rucksack over his back and headed toward his gate.

His sister had offered for him to come and spend Christmas with her family in Maine. His nieces and nephew were dying to see their uncle Barney, but he just didn’t have it in him to do the big family Christmas thing.

COMING NOVEMBER 13, 2021

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Why I wrote a romance after marriage story (it’s also 99cents)

I don’t talk about this series much, but I should.

Have you read The Dark and Damaged Hearts?

The first romance book I ever started writing was Sex, Heat and Hunger (James and Emma’s story). I started writing it after our six-month, twelve-country backpack trip. I’d really gotten into reading romance while we traveled, and I read some great books, and some really not great books. However, it was those really not great books that prompted me to think, “I could do this. I could do better than this.”

I know what you’re probably thinking, “how arrogant!”

And in a way it was. But it was also what led to me to go back to my one true passion which was writing, so however terrible some of those books may have been, I will be forever grateful to them for helping me get back to what I love. And no, it doesn’t matter what the names of those terrible books were, that’s not the point. It’s also just fuel for an argument, because I KNOW a lot of people LOVED those books, so I’m not going to go there. Some people don’t like my books, and that is 100% okay. That’s the beauty of romance books, there is something out there for everyone!

James and Emma’s story took me over a year and a half to write. Mostly because I was just doing it in the evenings after work and wasn’t really serious about it. I just had a story in my head and needed to get the words down. There was no plan to publish or anything like that. Then, I finished their book and decided I wanted to give Justin and Kendra their own story. Only, since Justin and Kendra were already married in James and Emma’s book, I needed to go back five years and dig into their beginning which is why their book, Love, Passion and Power is book 1 and 2 in The Dark and Damaged Hearts Series.

I was almost finished Justin and Kendra’s story by the time I had my first daughter. And it was her birth and the complete and total upheaval of my life that prompted me to start writing Amy and Garrett’s story, True, Deep and Forever. Only, instead of going back even further in time to their beginning, I wanted to write about what happened after they said “I do.” Because life doesn’t end when you get married. The drama and dilemmas, the arguments and frustrations don’t immediately stop the moment you kiss at the altar and are declared “husband and wife.”  If anything, all the trials and tribulations of being “bound” to someone else for the rest of your life, are just getting started when you slide on those rings.

It’s easy to see how much Garrett and Amy love each other. Their romance was intense from the very beginning. She was a bit of a wildling and he was clean-cut and trying to make a name for himself in the architectural world. Together, they grew up, got married and started a family.

But they don’t call it the “seven-year itch” for nothing. 

Nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Or what goes on behind a closed bedroom door. 

So, I wanted to take a stab at writing a “beyond the happily ever after moment”

To show you the nitty gritty, the ups and downs of marriage and how kids, work and daily stressors can impact a couple.

Now, in no way is this a glimpse into my marriage. Not at all.

But I will say some of the conversations, the one-liners are similar to those I’ve had with my husband. And the way Amy thinks about herself, and some of the things she experienced as a new mother are reflective of how I was feeling at the time when I wrote it. The insecurities, the dark thoughts, the total disorganization and slow loss of self. This books was more than just a story for me. It was therapy.

Becoming a new mom is really fucking hard and if you know me and my writing, I don’t sugarcoat crap.

I actually had to tone things down, and cut a bunch of stuff, because in the end, I went too deep. But I still have those scenes, and they were still the therapy I needed.

You’d be surprised how much ends up on the “cutting room floor” or in the author world we call it “killing our darlings.” A lot of stuff gets cut because it ends up bogging down the story, not making sense, or not working well within the tone of the scene or book. But often those scenes or lines that get cut are some of our very best work. Our darlings. So have I them tucked away in a file, because in some ways they were like a journal for me. A way to express how I was feeling in an indirect way. It was almost like Amy was my safety veil, my nursing cover, or big baggy T-shirt to hide my mummy tummy. I’m not Amy, but I sure understand how she was feeling.

Like all the books in The Dark and Damaged Hearts series, True, Deep and Forever is a duet. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t split them into duets, but live and learn. They originally hadn’t been separate books, but advice for various people and word-length had me tweaking the books and cutting them in half. Oh well. What’s done is done. I’m still really proud of them.

Anyway, here is a small excerpt of True, Deep and Forever: Part 1. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Excerpt

“What are you doing down here in the middle of the night … eating ice cream?” Garret asked, lazily sauntering into the kitchen and pulling out the chair next to me, knuckling sleep from his eyes. He wasn’t wearing anything besides his Fruit of the Loom boxers, and there was a healthy prickling of hair on his chin and scalp. Pillow creases ran across one side of his face, and the half-pitched tent in his pants told me he’d been having a racy dream.

“I couldn’t sleep,” I muttered, shoveling another spoonful of Turtles ice cream into my mouth, cringing immediately from the brain freeze.

Why’d I have to make my bites so bloody big?

“I’ve just got a lot on my mind.”

More like a ton on my mind. Most of that was Daxon van Camp, but a bit of it was also Christopher Weston and the thought of possibly running my own gallery. Could I do it? Since Christopher had offered me the job, I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it. What would I name it? How would I run it? How would I decorate it? What artists would I approach? The idea of running my own gallery, or running a gallery for someone, kept sleep on the run, so instead, like any person with an addiction, I turned to my vice.

Garret nodded methodically, a half-smile turning up at the corner of his mouth when he realized there was no way in hell I was going to offer him a spoon or give him mine. We might be teaching Henry to share, but I was a grown-up, and grown-ups don’t always have to share. “Is that good ice cream?” he asked. “I can’t decide if I like the Turtles or the Rollo better.”

“Turtles all the way!” I scoffed. “The pecans are what makes it. Plus, the chocolate is better quality.”

“I seem to remember other ways, besides gorging ourselves on chocolate, at”—he leaned over to check the clock on the microwave—“two-thirty in the morning that we spent our time. And we usually always fell asleep right after. That rush of dopamine, ain’t nothing better.”

I smirked and snorted a laugh through my nose. “I’m sorry, but as much fun as being thrown down on the table and ravished right now sounds, I just can’t.”

He dropped to his knees and brought his chair around, grabbing my leg and placing my foot on the seat. “No, you can’t. But I can. It doesn’t always have to be fifty-fifty. Sometimes you can just spread your legs and let me lick your clit until you scream.” He grinned like the devil. “Let me, Ames.” His eyes lifted as he hiked up my nightshirt to my waist. “Let me make my wife feel good.”

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BLURB

Eight years ago, Garret Banks swept me clear off my feet, catching me before I fell on my ass.
Our love was instantaneous, all-consuming and intense. We never thought the flame would die down, let alone extinguish.
We have everything we’ve ever wanted. Successful careers, a beautiful son and a rock-solid marriage. We’re living the dream. Right?
But how quickly dreams can turn into nightmares. Garret’s job is taking its toll on him, my whole world seems to be in shambles, and now I’ve got to deal with a blast from my past I thought I’d long buried. And that past wants answers—answers I’m not willing to give.
We grab quick and dirty sex when we can, but that just doesn’t seem to be enough and our marriage feels more tested and strained than ever before.
I was sure that I’d found my knight in shining armor, my happily ever after, my forever, but my marriage is being forced to bend more than it should—more than it can. So much so that I’m afraid it might just snap.

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Your next single dad romance audiobook!

It’s here! It’s finally here!

Dancing with the Single Dad audiobook is finally live.

I’m probably going to say this about each audiobook when it comes out, but I’m honestly so in love with the way Gregory Salinas and Erin Bateman brought Adam and Violet to life. Gregory nailed the slight southern twang, and gave Adam the perfect blend of shy but quiet alpha qualities I was going for. And Erin truly brought everything I envisioned Violet to be completely to life.

I’ll also admit that since this is only book two in The Single Dads of Seattle and I wrote it back in early 2019, it was like revisiting old friends when I listened to the whole story. There were scenes I forgot about, hilarious one-liners I forgot I’d wrote. In a lot of ways it was like reading a brand new book (well, not brand new, but darn close). I’ve written a lot of books since writing Dancing with the Single Dads, and since I’ve written SO MANY single dads it can be tough to keep track of them. I caught myself laughing a lot. I’d even say under my breath, “I’m fucking hilarious.” The dog would then turn around to look at me like I was crazy. I’d tell him to keep moving and finally crap somewhere.

I also forgot about how deeply emotional this book was. Violet deals with the loss of Jean-Phillipe and her father, and Adam is dealing with the end of his marriage. It’s some heavy shit. And those sex scenes!!! Again, I forgot about a lot of this book, including that college professor office scene. I’m sure my cheeks were bright red if anybody passed me while I was walking. Hopefully they just assumed I was flushed from exercise and the warm weather, and not the dirty words I’d written.

BUY THE AUDIOBOOK 

Here’s a sample!

I loved Gregory as Adam so much that I’ve decided to cast him again. I’m confident that he will do an awesome job as Aaron Steele in Living with the Single Dad, Book 4 of The Single Dads of Seattle. I’ve also decided to cast Zachary Johnson (Mark from Hired by the Single Dad) as Zak for Christmas with the Single Dad, Book 5 of the The Single Dads of Seattle.

I can’t wait to hear what you guys think about the newest audiobook. I hope you love the narrators as much as I do.

The narrators for Saved by the Single Dad are hard at work bringing Paige and Mitch to life, so hopefully that audiobook can go live this fall.

BUY THE AUDIOBOOK 

 

This single dad romance is one Audiobook deal you won’t want to miss!

Dancing with the Single Dad (The Single Dads of Seattle Book 2) by Whitley Cox 

Narrated by Erin Bateman and Gregory Salinas

Produced & Published by Pink Flamingo Productions

⚠️Get the E-Book for $3.99 (or free in KU!!!) and Add Audio Whispersync for $7.49! 

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Haven’t read book 1 in The Single Dads of Seattle Series?  If you like single dads who take charge, this book is for you!

⚠️Get the E-Book for $3.99 (or free in KU!!!) and Add Audio Whispersync for $7.49!

Hired by the Single Dad (The Single Dads of Seattle Book 1) by Whitley Cox

Narrated by Allyson Voller and Zachary Johnson

Produced & Published by Pink Flamingo Productions

Amazon US BUY THE EBOOK

Audible US   🎧 BUY THE AUDIOBOOK

 Dancing with the Single Dad Blurb: 

Hanging up your dancing shoes isn’t so easy when you can’t let go of your former dance partner.

Welcome to Seattle, the Emerald City and home to the Single Dads of Seattle. Ten sexy, single fathers who play poker every Saturday night, have each other’s backs, love their children without quarter, and hope to one day find love again.

This is Adam’s story….

Single dad of Seattle Adam Eastwood knows that dance school is just the thing for his precocious daughter, Mira. She already spends most days twirling around the house in a tutu and tiara, why not pay a professional to teach her how to do it properly? Only Adam didn’t account for that professional to be the Violet Benson from a very famous New York ballet company. Not only is Violet a natural beauty who floats more than she dances, but she’s the kind of woman Adam’s been searching for all his life.

Grieving the loss of her dance partner and boyfriend, Violet is done with performing on stage. How can she go on when the love of her life is no longer there to catch her? Deciding a change is best, she moves back home to Seattle, determined to fulfill their dream of opening up a dance school. It’s not until she’s asked to dance for Art in the Park that she realizes maybe she’s not quite ready to hang up her dance shoes. Would it be wrong to take the stage one last time? It must be wrong to feel what she feels when she’s dancing with Mira’s handsome father.

Adam’s wounds are still fresh from his divorce, and Violet’s dealing with a loss of her own, but somehow they keep winding up in each other’s arms with neither of them willing to let go. But it’s never easy to conquer the past. Will Violet let fear and grief keep her from her dreams? Or will Adam convince her that the show must go on and dancing with the single dad might just be the way for her to find her happily ever after?

Note: This book can be listened to as a stand-alone. It includes lots of steamy scenes, cursing, and, of course, as with all my books, this has an HEA and no cliff-hanger or cheating. If you like single dads who take charge, this book is for you.

 

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Why I’m writing a Christmas story in ten POVs

Hey there my fabulously filthy friend,

If you’re wondering where I’ve been the last few days and why the radio silence, it was because I took the little humans camping.

Well, not JUST camping. Last weekend, we finally got to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday (which was April 14th).  But because of COVID restrictions, we were forced to reschedule until now. My brother and his fiancee flew out from Canmore, Alberta, we booked a professional photographer and did a big family photo session. Then my brother, his fiancee, my husband and I all cooked all weekend long so that “the mothership” as we affectionately call her didn’t have to lift a finger. We went to the beach, sat around reminiscing, picked berries in the backyard, went for a hike, and just spent time together as a family. It was wonderful. Now, we impatiently wait as our brilliant photographer edits the photos. As an artist myself, I know that brilliance can’t be rushed (I’m totally saying all of this about myself sarcastically), but not getting to see the photos is legit driving my mom mental.

After the fun-filled family weekend, I packed up the girls and we went to Miracle Beach provincial park for two days of camping “fun.” I’m not a fan of sleeping on the ground. Never have been . Not even in my partying days where we drank until we were numb and passed out on the nearest flat surface. Even then, the ground was not my jam. But, it’s not all about me, so I pulled up my big girl panties, packed the RAV until it was close to bursting and set out for two days of dirty feet and sand everywhere.

 WAY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!

Let’s just leave it at that. I’ve done the dirty hobo backpacker thing where you stink for days, your nails all break and no matter what you just can’t get your feet clean. Been there, done that, got the photos to back it up. But I’m also over it. I’m not twenty-five anymore. I threw my upper back and shoulder out using two computer screens for work.  I want a little bit of luxury in my life. Like a bed. And a shower. And four sturdy walls around me that don’t flap in the breeze. I’m not asking for much. And, chastise me for saying this if you must, I’m also not a huge fan of sleeping with my children.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling them, hugging them and showering them with all the love. But now that they’re not babies, they’re really fucking annoying to share a bed with. They’re movers, and the oldest one is like 90% limbs. Meanwhile, for some reason, even while sleeping, the Tiny Human just knows I’m there and wraps her arm around my neck like I’m a stuffed animal. Maybe she can sleep like that, but the Mama Bear sure as hell can’t.

And of course, what inaugural camping trip wouldn’t be complete without a popped air mattress? Certainly not ours. And on the first night, too! The three of us ended up rolling in toward the middle, piling up on each other. Thinking back on it all, it was hilarious and something we’ll be able to laugh about for years. But at time, I was a grumbling mess. How on earth could my three year old sleep through her sister crushing her while she simultaneously crushed me?

Anyway, we survived. They had fun, which was what it was all about, and now I know I need to make myself a “to pack” list and include butter/oil on it. Along with backup blow up mattresses.

But I went WAAAAAAY out of my comfort zone, that’s what I’m getting at here.

Kudos to those of you who love to camp, but you’re not my spirit animal and I think we can still be friends. Just don’t expect me to nod until my neck snaps if you suggest we go on a trip with tents into the back country. I’ll wave you off, give you a can of bear spray and say, “see you when you get back.”

At this point (if you’re still reading) you’re probably wondering where on earth is she going with this diatribe and how is going to circle it back to writing a Christmas story with ten POVs. Well, I am, just wait.

If you remember, a few years ago, I wrote Snowed In & Set Up. It was the first Christmas story I ever wrote, as well as the first third person POV story I ever wrote. Up until then all my stories were first person and ONLY in the POV of the heroine. Quick and Dirty, Lust Abroad, all of the Dark and Damaged Hearts.

Well, I got it in my head that this story needed to have six POVs. All three couples deserved equal “screen time” and the book just wouldn’t work from only a few POVs. So I dove headfirst into the murky stream of my own consciousness, completely unsure if I’d hit the bottom or glide right out into clearer water.

I took the plunge.

I took the leap.

And you know what?

It worked.

Loads of reviews indicate that readers were unsure how six POVs was going to work, but they were surprised and delighted that it did. Hey, if George R.R. Martin can bounce around in everybody’s brain, why can’t I? I am NOT comparing myself to the all powerful George, but I’m just saying, if he can do it, why can’t I try?

It was from that book on that I started writing all my books in third person with alternating POV. And I love it. I could never go back to singular POV and only if you twisted my arm (like my co-writing partner did) go back to first person POV.

So, when I got the idea to write the fifth and final Harty Boys book, I knew that I wanted to try my hand (or fingers) at another multi-POV story. And I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do it. Yes, of course, I want Joy to have screen time, as well as her hunk of burning love, Grant. But since Full Hart is meant to take place a couple of years after Dark Hart ended, I also wanted to give you real updates on all the Harty Boys and their families. So much has happened to this family over the years, that they each deserve to reflect on how far they’ve come in their own POVs.

So yes, Full Hart will be told from the point of view of ten different people. Brock and Krista, Chase and Stacey, Rex and Lydia, Heath and Pasha, and Joy and Grant. It will be jam-packed with funny moments, one-liners, sexy times, holiday cheer, angst, frustration and even a little bit of sadness. If you know me and my books, you know I keep things real. People die, women lose babies, men cry and the world keeps turning through it all.

You can definitely expect fun, sexy times in Full Hart, but be prepared for shit to also get real.

I’m taking the plunge with this book. Going way out of my comfort zone once again. I’ve gone from six POVs in Snowed In & Set Up to ten POVs. I didn’t stop in the middle at eight. Go big or go home, right?

Just like I did with camping on the ground with my children (because our mattress popped and we legit were ON THE GROUND) I’m trying something new. It might work, it might not. But at least I’m going to give it a go.

PREORDER FULL HART HERE

Coming October 9, 2021

Here’s an excerpt of Full Hart for you.

Even now, with her gone, that smile was what kept him getting up each morning and continuing with his life.

That smile … and the woman who had just shut her car door outside and was making her way up the path to his house.

Joy.

Could she have been named any more perfectly?

Because she certainly sparked joy in him.

She rekindled flames inside him he’d thought had long been extinguished, had long turned to nothing more than cold, damp coal.

Smiling, he glanced at Daphne’s photo. “You like her, don’t you?”

Daphne just showed him those blinding white teeth, dimples, and rosy cheeks.

She would have liked Joy.

He picked up both wine glasses and booked it to the front door, opening it just as she was lifting her little fist to knock.

Her smile winded him and her eyes twinkled. “I forget sometimes that you’re one of those kinds of men.”

“One of what kind?” he asked playfully, taking her overnight bag from her and handing her the stemless wine glass.

“Military trained with impeccable hearing, instincts, and senses. You probably knew I was in the neighborhood before I even parked my car.” She took a sip of the wine and made a sexy little humming sound in delight.

“Not quite, but I did hear you shut your car door.” He set her bag down on the arm of the couch, took her wine glass from her, and set both their glasses on the table beside Daphne’s photo. Then he wrapped his arms around her small frame, and she did the same to him.

He was over a foot taller than her, standing at six-one—he’d been six-three at his tallest, but age was causing him to shrink—and she was only four-eleven, but her personality made her appear so much taller.

With twinkling blue eyes, her ballerina bun tucked up on her crown with not a hair out of place, and fresh glossy lipstick, she tilted her head up to look at him. “Smells good. And I don’t just mean dinner.”

His chuckle came out raspy since his throat had suddenly gone dry as he mentally prepared himself for what he wanted to say.

“You smell good, too,” he said, ducking down and taking her mouth for a moment.

She hummed against his lips, parting hers so he could sweep his tongue inside. Her grip around his neck tightened and she pulled him down, pressing her hips against his.

Joy Hart was a passionate woman. She also knew her way around a man’s body and had taught Grant a thing or two about his own pleasure.

He’d been reluctant at first—even a little scared—but she was gentle and patient with him, and showed him just how much more he could enjoy sex with a little bit of imagination.

He’d felt like a bit of a chump when they first got together. Although he’d had ample sex in his life with Daphne, he’d only ever had sex with one woman. Joy was a lot more experienced than he was, and the fact that she was a sex and relationship therapist—specializing in sexuality—meant she was a lot more comfortable discussing things than he or Daphne had ever been.

Joy had even ironically nicknamed him Wild Man, not only because his last name was Wild, but because he wasn’t exactly “adventurous” or “worldly” in the bedroom.

The nickname had kind of stuck.

PREORDER FULL HART HERE

Coming October 9, 2021

 

 

Grab my latest military romance! It’s release day today and Heath is one dirty talking bad ass you definitely want to crawl into bed with

Title: Dark Hart
Series: The Harty Boys, Book 4
Author: Whitley Cox
Genre: Steamy/Contemporary/Suspense/Thriller/Alpha Male
Release Date: July 10, 2021 

 

She’s the light this dark Hart needs to survive.
Pediatrician Dr. Pasha Young likes her routine, busy life. Her job is meaningful and she’s good at it. But when Heath enters her world—all long blond hair and midnight blue eyes—she realizes everything she’s been missing.
Former special operative and now security specialist, Heath Hart has never met a woman quite like Pasha. She helped his family when they needed it the most. Their attraction was instant. Electric. She’s also okay with his no-strings rule. Because he can’t go back down the love rabbit hole. Not after what happened last time.
She understands what drives him. She was there when Dakota Creed got away, and Heath’s need to find Creed and end his reign of terror is all-consuming. Nobody else deserves to get hurt, and Heath will stop at nothing to finish the job once and for all.
But what happens when the hunter becomes the hunted? The devil he’s chasing is now chasing him—chasing them. When Heath’s need to find Creed turns into an obsession, and he begins to slip into the dark, can Pasha muster the strength to pull him back into the light in time? Or will he give himself over to the chase, causing her to lose her heart, and her Hart, to the darkness once and for all?

 

 
 
 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“The book gets wildly intense and had me biting my nails! The suspense was killing me. They way this book ends is absolutely perfect. This author never fails to amaze me. Another bestseller!” (Nora Houston ~ Amazon Reviewer)

 

“The things he’s done, the things he’s seen, who wouldn’t have a dark heart. Betrayed by someone you loved will make you darker. Can Heath find the light or will the dark just get darker? A read that will keep you on the edge.” (Vickie Komarek, Amazon Reviewer)

 

“A few laugh out loud moments, more than a few suspenseful times and a lot of hot times. What more could you ask for?.” (Sue Hancock~ Goodreads Reviewer)

 

 
She headed to her en suite bathroom, tossing a look at him over her shoulder. A look that made him wish his phone was within reach because he’d make that image his wallpaper. “You coming?” she asked.

“Hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go,” he said standing up and following her into the bathroom.

She turned on the water for the shower and let it heat up, then she went about wrapping up her bandaged finger with cellophane. Once she was done, she looped her arms over his shoulders and lifted up onto her tiptoes so they were more at eye level.

He thought she was going to say something. A tease or a joke about the sex they’d just had, but she didn’t.

She stood there, breathing in his breath and staring into his eyes.

What was she looking for?

Did she want more from him?

More of him?

She couldn’t have it.

Nobody could.

He had nothing more to give her.

Christina had stripped him of everything else he could possibly give a woman. Taken his trust, his love, his belief in happily ever after.

He gave Pasha everything he had left. Everything he could, and if she asked for more, then he’d have to say no and watch the disappointment fill her eyes.

And the thought of doing that gutted him.

After a moment of uncertainly, waiting for her to say something, he growled and cupped the back of her head, taking her mouth in a need-driven kiss. He needed to get things back to where they’d been, not to where he feared they were headed, which was her asking him for more.
 
 

 

 

 

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The top five reasons why military romances are awesome!

We all have our favorite romance tropes. And even more of us have MANY favorites. And evenhard hart, military romance, romantic suspense, harty boys series, surprise pregnancy more, even more of us probably can’t pick a favorite because there are just too many awesome tropes to choose from and we don’t want to make any tropes feel sad (as if they are living breathing things WITH feelings … *whispers: “because they are.”*)

But, as much as I like my PNR romances with vampires, witches, demons and shifters getting immortally jiggy with it, and my highland romances with bare-chested heroes with lilts that won’t quit … I have to say, I REALLY like my military romances.

My love of military romances started with Cindy Gerard’s Black Ops Series. If you haven’t read it,cindy gerard, whisper no lies, military romance you should. It probably wasn’t the best idea that the first book I picked up from this author was about human trafficking in Indonesia, particularly since two months later I MOVED to Indonesia to teach English, but the book was THAT good, and the hero that swoony and heroic that it didn’t stop me from jumping on a plane and heading across the sea.

 

Jeanne St. James, Ryder, Guts and Glory, military romanceI also really love Jeanne St. James’s Guts and Glory Series. Again, if you haven’t read it, you should. It’s dark, gritty and fabulous. #teamryderforever

Now, if you don’t know, I’m in Canada. And we don’t have Navy SEALs. Our equivalent of the SEALs is Joint Task Force 2. So, because my Harty Boys are Canadian, hailing from Victoria, BC, Home of the Pacific Naval Fleet, I had my men belong to Joint Task Force 2.

They’re retired from the navy and special forces however, moving back home after their time served and working together in the security and surveillance company: Harty Boys Security.

Why wouldn’t men with very special sets of skills continue to use those skills for good? It justhard hart, military romance, romantic suspense, harty boys series, surprise pregnancy makes sense, right?

So even though they’re “technically” retired, they’re still bringing all that training, all that alpha goodness and protector instinct with them no matter the job.

And if I haven’t convinced you yet why military romances are awesome, here are my top five reasons!

TOP FIVE REASONS (Plus a bonus reason) why military romances are awesome and one of my favorite tropes!

1.) Who doesn’t like a man who will do anything to protect the woman he’s falling for? These guys are protectors and heroes through and through. It’s part of their DNA and in my opinion, that’s damn sexy.
2.) The abs. The body. These guys, take care of themselves. Enough said.
3.) The stamina. Going back to reason number 2, they take care of themselves and workout, so they have stamina. *wink wink*No two-pump chumps here.
4.) They’re competitive. Find me any man or woman for that matter who has served and tell me they don’t have a noticeable-from-space competitive streak. And as much as competitiveness can be frustrating at times, in the bedroom, they’re all about beating their last “best”. That means, they want to give their heroine more orgasms, better orgasms and the next “best sex of her life.” I don’t know about you, but that’s a competitive streak I can get on board with.
5.)they’re all about brotherhood and family. they’re close with their team and have their six no matter what. that means they’re loyal and family-oriented. they don’t trust easily, but Once you’re in their “fold” they’ll go to the ends of earth to take care of who they love.

BONUS REASON: Usually a military romance is also a romantic suspense. And I happen to love to not only to read, but to write, edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-throat, nail-bitingromantic suspense. the mystery, the intrigue, the danger. it’s a different kind of high that I get when I read those kinds of scenes, and when they’re peppered in among the steamy scenes, that there is my kind of perfect read!


Comment below or shoot me a message with military romance recommendations. Because as well all know, a TBR is never too full!

right now, in preparation for the release of dark hart next week, i have dropped the price of hard hart to …

free!

Yes! Book 1 in the Harty Boys Series is totally free from July 3-7!

hard hart, military romance, romantic suspense, harty boys series, surprise pregnancy

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Exclusive excerpt

He was just drifting off to sleep when a fist landed square in the center of his back.

Groaning, he rolled over, coming face-to-face with an angry angel. “What the fuck was that for?”

“You’re taking up over half the fucking bed.” She growled.

He inched over just a bit. “Better?”

She glared at him in the dark, her little button nose wrinkling. “No. You’re enormous. Easily taking up seventy percent of the bed and probably eighty percent of the covers.”

Brock rolled his eyes. He was too tired for this shit. But he also didn’t want her to go. “What do you want from me?”

“To give me space. You’re a furnace, too.”

“Do you want me to go to the other room?”

He didn’t want to, but he would. For her. For sleep.

She grew awfully quiet. “No.”

Grunting, he sat up, scooted over to the edge. Half his ass cheek was hanging off, but hopefully that would appease the mother bear in his bed. “Better?”

She nodded. “You just need to be more considerate while you’re sleeping.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, woman, how can I be more considerate while I’m sleeping? I’m sleeping. I have no idea what I’m doing!” Grumbling and swearing under his breath, he pulled a bunch of covers off his side and draped them over her. “There! Better?”

She grinned. “Yes.”

That sassy little smile. Fuck. It got him every time. Even when she was being an irrational, hormonal, back-punching nut job, he wanted her. He always wanted her. Never one to care about having anyone to kiss at midnight, he’d hated the idea of Krista sitting home alone the other night, ringing in the new year by herself.

“How’d it go?” she asked, rolling over onto her side and propping her hand under her head.

He grunted. “How’d what go?”

“Your job?”

He lifted one shoulder. “Everyone’s safe.”

Her lips twisted, and she drew circles on the bottom sheet of the bed with her finger. Her eyes followed her finger. “Maybe next time you could call me when you go out on a job.” She lifted her head just a touch, her eyes pinning on him. “Let me know you’re safe. I worry about you too, you know.”

Brock’s chest tightened, and his throat felt raw. Here he’d been giving her shit for not behaving responsibly enough, meanwhile he could be doing more, too. He nodded stiffly. “Okay.”

Her smile was small but triumphant.

He gave her the side-eye. He needed a distraction, and the way her breasts squished together when she was on her side like that was doing a hell of a job. “Well, now that we’re awake, you want to bang?”

Her eyes brightened, and her smile grew.  She scooted across the bed, tossing his pillow to the floor, and looped her leg over his hip. “What did you have in mind?”

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hard hart, military romance, romantic suspense, harty boys series, surprise pregnancy

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How getting robbed in Peru inspired me to write this romantic suspense.

Last night I went to do the stairs at Blueback Beach here in Nanaimo like I always do. Sometimes I do them in the morning, sometimes the evening, it really depends on how much work I have to do that day, and of course, the weather. Because if there is one thing a west coast baby like me knows, if you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes. And today is no different. Ten minutes ago it was a torrential downpour and now the sun is peeking out behind light gray clouds and the powerlines look like they’ve been Bedazzled with diamonds.

 

 

But last night, when I went to do the stairs (FYI, it’s a set of 295 stairs down to the beach at a 40degree incline and I do them multiple times with and without weights and with and without resistance bands. I love this new workout and my husband has even commented on how nice my butt looks. I think it might be the Tik Tok leggings I bought, but he doesn’t agree.) Anyway, back to my point, last night while I was climbing the stairs, it started to rain, while the sun was still shining.

And it

W A S

M A G I C A L.

You have to walk down the stairs through the trees, so when I was under the canopy I barely got hit with drops, but as soon as I broke free from the cover, or landed on the beach I was drenched. The wind off the water was balmy and refreshing and the rain hitting my heated skin was instantly cooling. I caught myself smiling and laughing so many times as I listened to my dirty hip hop music and ’90s boybands. Yeah, that’s what get’s my ass moving. Pitbull and The Backstreet Boys. But as I climbed and panted, wiping the sweat and rain from my brow, I was transported back to 2012 when my husband and I went on our six-month, twelve-country honeymoon backpack trip.

We’d just been robbed in Miraflores, Peru, then he caught a horrible gastrointestinal bug in Cusco (two days before we planned to go to Machu Picchu), but because I married a thrifty bugger, he refused to spend the money on the bus ride up to Machu Picchu and insisted we hike up the 1500 stairs. Well, as you can image, being the Andes and the jungle, it started to rain while we hiked. But neither of us grimaced. Rather, we embraced it. It was magical. Warm and tropical. Is there really anything more relaxing, more brilliant than the sound of rain hitting leaves? Of Mother Nature feeding herself?

I took our experience traveling in Peru and the major roller coaster of events and emotions we experienced and cathartically turned it into a romance novel. Now, obviously, some events have been changed, names have been changed and we certainly weren’t pursued by drug traffickers, but so many of the emotions are spot on. We also met wonderful people who helped us along the way named Matt and Elissa (they’re in the book!)

Look at how young, innocent and fresh-faced we were. Not yet hardened and aged by having wild children with even wilder hair.

But, even after being robbed, the hubby getting sick and me nearly getting arrested because I let my temper flare a little too brightly when I went back to speak with the receptionist at the hostel where we were robbed, our bond, our love, and our obsession with each other never waivered. In our entire six-months, we only fought once. And it wasn’t even so much of a fight as it was him getting frustrated and telling me to stop sulking about being robbed and ruining the good parts of our trip, and instead just be grateful we weren’t robbed at gunpoint or killed. He was right, and I stopped my pity party (eventually).

Now, the scene excerpt below DID NOT happen in real life. He was recovering from his gastro infection and we know better than to drift off the path (we live in a place with a lot of ticks), but the emotions are all real. The love is all real.

The hero in Lust Abroad is named Derrick — my husband’s name is Eric. But my husband wasn’t recovering from brain surgery, and he’s not a photo journalist, he’s a research biologist in aquaculture. The best way to describe what he does is Ancestry. com for fish, or Maury for fish (you are the father … you are NOT the father, get it?)

Please enjoy this super steamy, sex in the rain up against a tree in the Peruvian Andes excerpt of LUST ABROAD. Inspired by true events, true emotions and true love.

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Lust Abroad, erotic romance, travel romance, BDSM, sexy romance, steamy romance,

Excerpt

Derrick’s eyes caught mine as I blinked the water off my lashes, licking my lips while brushing my hair from my face. His shirt clung to him, defining each pec and ab, while the skin on his arms and neck glistened like polished bronze.

“Okay?” he asked. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to die.”

My lip trembled, while tears stung the back of my eyes. I couldn’t lose him. He reached for me, pulling me hard against his chest. Absorbing my fear. His hands drove into my hair, holding my face inches from him. “I’m not going anywhere, okay? You believe me?”

I nodded again, a sudden shiver racing down my spine.

His eyes shifted across my face, studying me as the rain continued to hammer down and around us. And then his mouth smashed against mine, obliterating any thought besides yes from my mind. Devouring me, savoring me, possessing me. He wasn’t going anywhere, because I wouldn’t let him.

I returned the kiss in kind and grappled at him, leaping up onto his hips as heLust Abroad, romantic suspense, BDSM, second chance romance, travel romance ploughed us off the path and through the woods a few yards. He tossed my pack to the ground and then my back was slammed up against a tree, his hands roaming my body and caressing my breasts, pushing into me, showing me with his body how he felt.

I was hot for him. This needed to happen. I needed him now like I needed to breathe. I started to work his belt, and then the zipper on his shorts. His bags fell to the ground as he let his hands slide up my tank top, like he was desperate to have skin to skin. Everything was wet and slippery, and the way his hands skimmed across my body and up under my bra made me quiver with longing.

His teeth grazed my jaw. “Yes,” I panted, letting my head fall back against the tree, my eyes and mouth opening up and welcoming the falling sky.

My shorts were next, and within seconds they were off and dangled by an ankle, his cock poised at my entrance and ready to thrust. Moving my thong to the side, he drew his hand up between my folds, making sure I was good and wet for him, ready. And I was, I was so ready.

“Please…” I begged. Knowing he loved it when I begged, but also truly feeling the need to plead with him for my life. “Please.”
Pure masculine triumph smiled back at me, and then he bit my lip, lifted my hips and drove home.

I grunted from the impact. “Oh, God.” My back slammed into the tree, rough bark damp against my skin. “More… harder.”

He bared his teeth and started to pick up speed, slamming into me. Dominating me, taking me, captivating me. My whole body was trembling from the savagery of his passion, the brutality of his need. I wanted bruises, I wanted bite marks, and I wanted them to be from Derrick. I raked my teeth down his neck, followed by my tongue. Feeling the pulsing vein that ran beneath his salty skin.

I felt alive. On fire and so damned good. Every draw of his cock left me greedy for more, while my whole body sighed and submitted each time he filled me, welcoming him home, pulling him in. Derrick brought his hand between us again and started rubbing rough and erratic circles around my clit. His digits slipped easily through my slick folds, feeling them swell as my need for release grew. I felt the warmth of the orgasm begin to bloom deep in my belly, threatening to unleash and overthrow my entire being.

“Derrick,” I mewled, not sure I’d be able to hold on much longer, and not sure if I wanted to. It was all becoming too much to handle. I needed to let go.

“Piper…” he said. “Come for me.” And then once again, maybe because he loved it, or perhaps because he knew I did, either way the vampire re-emerged, and he clamped down on my shoulder, snarling as he came.

I broke with a sharp cry as the climax blossomed and unfurled inside of me, spearing through me and rocking my very soul. I panted and sighed as the sensation washed over me, feeling him pulse as I contracted around him, milking him, claiming him, taking everything he had to give me.

A slippery wet forehead fell to mine while his body started to shake. I opened my eyes, rain blurring my vision. He was laughing.

I wasn’t even sure what was funny, but I started to laugh, too. “What’s so funny?” Our bodies were still connected.

He continued to chuckle, rubbing his nose against mine while our lips softly slid across one another. “Just how maniacal you make me. Since first seeing you in the airport, a flurry of gypsy skirts and mermaid hair, I’ve been consumed with this need to take you, hard and often. And hell, if I’m not trying my damnedest to do that.” He shook his head. “You’re driving me crazy.”

I blinked up at him. I’d felt the same way. I’d wanted him the moment I saw him, too. Thought about his body covering mine. His tongue between my legs, his hands on my breasts. And since that first day in Miraflores, I hadn’t been able to get enough. The man was a drug.

I flicked my tongue out and grazed it against his bottom lip. “Crazy’s just fine when the sex is as hot as this.”

He growled low and feral in his throat. “You’re going to ruin me, Piper.”

“Ruin you, or reinvent you?” I snagged his lip between my teeth and pulled.

Another growl rumbled, this time deep in his chest, and I felt him begin to grow again inside of me. The man was absolutely insatiable.

“Oh, little Piper…” He bucked up into me while a wily grin caught on his mouth as he took in my sudden wide eyes from how hard he already was again. “I think the word we’re looking for here is resurrect.” He started to slam into me again. “Because, baby, before I met you… I was damn near dead.”

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Lust Abroad, erotic romance, exotic romance, travel romance, BDSM, romantic suspense

Piper Valentine knows all too well that life is short. Off to Peru to heal after a grievous loss, she finds more than solace in the hot, charismatic travel journalist sitting across from her on the airplane. Derrick King’s had a brush with death, too, but he has no idea that he’ll face it again—and again—after giving in to his instant attraction to Piper. Their journey to the top of the world, filled with parties, humor, and fun, is turned topsy-turvy as they’re pursued by mysterious gunmen.

Determined to reach Machu Picchu and fulfill her promise to her dead husband, Piper finds that having Derrick along makes her feel safer, even as his lust for her endangers her heart. She’s never found another man so sensual, and with danger on their trail, they keep ending up in each other’s arms. Derrick’s a man with needs—and secrets. Will Piper find strength in surrender? And can Derrick find a way to believe in a future—for both of them?

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Read Chapter One of Torn Hart, a Super-Sexy Military Romantic Suspense

tHINGS HEAT UP FAST IN THIS NEIGHBORS TO LOVERS ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/THRILLER. rEX, THE fORMER MILITARY SPECIAL OPERATIVE GETS KNOCKED TO HIS KNEES BY THE SASSY, THIN-FILTERED LYDIA.

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS WILD RIDE OF A ROMANCE?

Hey there my Fabulously Filthy Friend!

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve moved my blog over from Blogger to my WordPress website. It’s just easier to have everything in one place. I’m going to be giving you way more content, excerpts, deals and an inside look at the process of how I come up with ideas for each of my books. I’ll post cover reveals here, preorder announcements and more, so stay tuned.

Book 3 of my Harty Boys –my military romantic suspense series– came out May 15th and I am loving all the love that everyone has for Rex and Lydia. He might have no hair, and muscles to spare on the outside, but inside our sexy Rexy is just a big ol’ teddy bear nerd and we love him to bits. Sure, he makes some mistakes along the way and struggles to listen to reason or his gut, but deep down this Hart has a heart of gold and we love him all the more for it. All these buff, military men are easy to love, but also easy to get on your nerves when their protector-mode comes out. But how can you not fall for a man who rescues a Pitbull puppy, has a penchant for puzzles and could snap a man’s neck with just a flick of his pinky finger? I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little flushed just remembering all the hotness I put into this sexy military romantic suspense

Here’s all of Chapter One for you. Just to give you a tasty, mouth-watering sample of Rex and Lydia and their hilarious, sexy banter that make the sparks quickly morph into a full-on inferno.

military romantic suspense, neighbors to lovers, romantic thriller, gaslighting

 

TORN HART

Book 3, The Harty Boys

CHAPTER ONE

Fuck, sweet and sour pork was goddamn delicious. Particularly when he didn’t have to share his six-person combo meal with anyone.

Rex’s stomach grumbled, demanding to be filled.

Every last bite was for him, and he was more than okay with that.

Was there anything better than the smell of Chinese food wafting up from the back of your vehicle?

He sure as fuck didn’t think so.

Well, maybe the smell of Chinese food wafting up from the back of your vehicle while a woman’s head bobbed in your lap in the front seat.

But he only had one of those things currently, and his angry belly was winning out over his full balls and lonely dick.

Especially after a long fucking day at work—he’d been up since four and on the job by five—followed by an hour at the gym hitting the punching bag. He’d earned every damn carb that he intended to consume tonight and then some.

He’d have to make do with his fist tonight. He was too tired to send out messages to women he knew would be interested in a little no-strings fun.

Maybe tomorrow night.

With enough Chinese food to feed a family of six, and a six-pack of beer from a local microbrew in the back seat of his truck, he was gearing up for a satisfying evening alone.

It was late Wednesday afternoon, but considering he started work before the sun was up, he’d put in a full day and then some. He was going to head up to his apartment, grab his dog, Diesel, and take him for a quick piss outside. After Diesel did his thing, they’d head back inside, he’d feed his dog, strip down, have a shower and nut one out. Then, finally, at long last, he’d sit in his incredibly expensive recliner, put his feet up and eat a fuck-ton of chow mein and sweet and sour pork, drink his beer and watch a riveting documentary on the Discovery Channel while his dog snored and farted at his feet.

Was there a better plan out there?military romantic suspense, neighbors to lovers, romantic thriller, gaslighting

There sure as fuck wasn’t.

Unless of course, while he did all of that, a beautiful woman’s head bobbed in his lap.

Again, tonight he’d settle for the chow mein and beer, followed by his fist.

With his belly continuing to grumble like an angry bear woken up mid-hibernation, Rex pulled his big, black Chevy into his parking spot behind his apartment building and turned off the engine.

Thank fuck the weather was starting to get better.

Spring had arrived and with it, longer days, warmer weather and the heady and sweet scent of blossoms on the air.

Always on the alert, even when he wasn’t on the job, he scanned the parking lot as he climbed out of his truck, slammed the door, then opened the back cab to grab his beer and dinner.

He’d been in his apartment for nearly two years, and so far, nothing weird or nefarious stood out to him. It was a decent neighborhood, not too far from the University of Victoria, and the building was only about five years old. The majority of his neighbors were students, but nobody was rude, loud or obnoxious. And the odd party he heard didn’t affect his sleep at all.

He’d been to hell and back during his time with Joint Task Force 2 and the special operative team he and his brothers joined after their stint in the Canadian Navy. He could sleep on a concrete floor next to a mosquito-infested swamp while ten other men farted and snored around him.

If he was tired, he could sleep.

He tossed his coat over his arm, grabbed his gym duffle bag, and heaved the Chinese food and beer out of the back seat of his truck, his keys in his teeth as he struggled and juggled all his shit before finally getting to the lobby door. He’d done this over a hundred times, this exact same scenario. You’d think he’d have figured out a more productive and effective way to carry all his shit.

He was just checking his mail when the sound of sobs and sniffling drifted down the hall, followed by the sweetest smell of wild strawberries and summer sunshine.

He’d always had the nose of a bloodhound.

As a kid, he could usually guess what his mother was making for dinner simply by how she smelled when she picked up him and his brothers from school.

He glanced up from where he was scrutinizing a misaddressed letter only to come face-to-face with a beautiful woman with tear-stained cheeks and red-rimmed eyes.

She was stunning, tall and lithe, with feminine curves, long auburn hair that coiled down just past her shoulders and wide, deep-set hazel eyes. Eyes that were filled with sadness as tears continued to fall. She looked up at him, her nose red, while her cheeks held a rosy glow.

Rex had never met this woman, but he’d seen her around the building—only from a distance, however. She liked to run on the weekends, and he liked to watch her leave. She pulled off Lulu Lemons like no woman he’d ever met.

He instantly felt the need to protect and find out what or who made her cry and make them pay.

He wasn’t sure how he could fix her, but he really wanted to try. Those weren’t just tears from a sad movie or seeing a three-legged dog on the side of the road. Those were tears of pain. Heartbreak. Devastation.

Protect those who are unable to protect themselves.

And although that often meant “protect the weak” he didn’t see this woman as weak; he just saw her as sad. Hurt.

Either way, he wanted to help.

It was just how he and his brothers had been raised.

If someone was in trouble or needed help, you helped them. Simple as that.

And right now this woman looked like she needed help.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

She shook her head, her breath catching as she struggled for words. “N-no.”

“Is … is there something I can do to help? Do you need me to beat up an ex-boyfriend or something?”

She snorted a small laugh and wiped the tears from her cheeks and beneath her eyes. “Unless you’re willing to kick the shit out of a twenty-six-year-old, hundred-and-thirty-pound chick, I don’t think your muscles are needed.”

“Uh …” He scratched the back of his neck. “Ex-girlfriend?”

“No.” She sniffed loudly. “I was fired!” And then before he knew it, she flung herself at him, collapsing against his chest and wailing.

He’d dropped everything in his hands to check his mail, so he was able to comfort her now. His hand gently fell to her back, her small body feeling like a child’s in his giant palms. Then he found himself petting her back and shushing her like he did his nieces and nephews when they fell and hurt themselves. “It’s okay,” he hummed. “It’ll be okay.”

He shifted her under his arm and with his free hand grabbed his dinner, coat, gym bag and lastly—and most importantly—his beer, and he ushered her toward the elevator.

“Which floor are you on?” he asked softly. She didn’t say anything but hit the number three. They rode in silence, and then when the door opened, he figured she’d take off, leaving him to his Chinese and microbrew, but he suddenly found himself inside this stranger’s apartment, watching her take off her shoes and then slump onto her couch, clutching tissues to her nose.

“You know I’ve never met a nice girl named Odette?” She sneered. “Not that I’ve met a ton or anything, but the few I’ve come across have been the biggest bitches ever. The one I went to grade school with was a mean girl—even two years younger than me, she was still just a little witch—and this cow was no different. I worked there for one month. Did EVERYTHING right, went in early, stayed late, bought my own supplies, took work home with me. I spent three hours of my own time at home sewing up the holes in the canvas parachute and the big stuffed alligator that sits in the reading corner. I never asked for money for doing it. Never even told them I did it. I just did it. I was an exemplary employee, and she waltzes in as the new manager, is there for less than a week and she fires me because she thinks I’m after her job.”

Rex watched her reach into her purse and pull out a brown paper bag, the neck of a booze bottle sticking out. She took a swig, then made a face, only to take another sip before offering it up to him.

“No, thanks.” He grimaced. “I have beer.”

She shrugged. “More for me.” She tipped the bottle up and took another drink. “Have you ever met a nice Odette?” She caught a rather dainty burp with the back of her hand before offering him a crooked, slightly embarrassed smile.

He snorted. “Can’t say I’ve ever met one. But I did date an Odessa briefly. She dumped me.”

“Why?” Another cute little burp, followed by a hiccup.

“Ah, you know, same old story … she complained that my penis was too big.” He grinned wide, hoping his joke made her smile.

Her sweet little rosebud mouth hung open for the briefest of seconds before she shot him a skeptical look, hiccuped again and then burst out laughing.

Good. His joke did the trick.

He widened his smile. She had a really adorable laugh, and at least for the moment, he’d managed to take her mind off her problems. Little did she know that it was actually a true story. Odessa had dumped him because she said his cock was too big. If he remembered correctly, she’d called him Godzilla dick, said he nearly split her in half and then tossed him out of her apartment in nothing but his boxers and his work boots.

military romantic suspense, neighbors to lovers, romantic thriller, gaslighting

Good thing she hadn’t tried to sleep with his brother Heath. He might be the baby of the family, but he was also the biggest. She’d probably chase him down the hallway—at a cowboy waddle—claiming he was part horse.

He snorted hard at that thought.

He lifted his shoulder. “So … uh, can’t you just get another job? What did you do?”

She mimicked his shrug before taking another sip from her brown paper bag of secrecy. “I was working full-time at this day care and loving it. I got the job midyear because another teacher went on maternity leave. It was perfect. Monday to Friday, eight until five. Then they hired a new program manager. She’s younger than me and doesn’t have near the experience with kids that I do. I’ve been babysitting since I was thirteen, then I nannied and babysat all through college. I got my preschool teacher certification as soon as I finished my teaching degree because I knew that I wanted to teach little kids. I’m also certified to teach Montessori and special-needs kids.

“But preschools aren’t open as long as day cares and the money isn’t as good—unless you’re at a full-day Montessori or a Waldorf or some fancy private preschool. And I applied to those, but they had no available positions—or they said I was overqualified and they couldn’t afford me. So I found this job. It’s the best of both worlds. A preschool in the morning, then day care for the rest of the day. I still get to teach—sorry, I still got to teach, past tense and all since I was canned.” She sighed. “Canned from the perfect job by the biggest bitch on the west coast.”

“Did you try telling them this?”

Pfft,” she scoffed. “I was still within my three-month probation period. They could fire me for having a hangnail if they wanted to.”

He looked around her apartment, unsure what to say next. Her place wasn’t quite the carbon copy of his, but it was close. Small but open concept. A big bedroom, small but homey living room and kitchen, new stainless appliances and cramped bathroom.

Or maybe everything just felt cramped and small to Rex, but to an average-size person, it was all completely normal. She’d decorated her place in a very feminine way, with soft oranges and light blues. A white overstuffed leather couch faced the television with a slew of throw pillows on it, while paintings of seashells and flowers in black plastic frames hung behind the couch. He saw very few photo frames or pictures of people, except for a small black and white photo of what he could only assume was her as a little girl, maybe six or eight, at the beach with a man and woman who he would guess were her parents.

“So what’s your name?” she slurred, appearing to be bored or perhaps just too upset to want to continue talking about her job or lack thereof. “I’ve seen you around the building a bit. You have the big black truck and the pit bull puppy, right?”

He nodded. “My name is Rex. What’s your name?”

“Lydia.” She yawned. “Rex, eh? Like T. rex.”

He rolled his eyes. “I suppose.”

“Is it short for anything? Like Rexworth, Rexwell or Rexington … Rexthalomew?”

“Rexthalomew?”

She shrugged again. “Rexly?”

He simply snorted and smiled, ignoring the grumble of his belly. Man, she was drunk. “It’s not short for anything.”

She shrugged again. “Do you have any siblings?”

“Three brothers.”

“And do they all have weird names too?”

“I personally don’t think Rex is weird, but no, they don’t. We all have one-syllable names, though. Brock, Chase, and Heath. And our dad was Zane, and our mother is Joy.”

She made an interested pout. “And what’s your middle name?”

“You looking to steal my identity? Want my social insurance number next?”

She stuck her tongue out at him.

He grinned. “My middle name is Barry.”

That had her nose wrinkling like a cute little bunny. “Why Barry?”

“What’s wrong with Barry?”

She shrugged, and her eyes lost focus for a moment, reminding him of her inebriation. “Nothing. But why? Is it like a family name or something?”

He exhaled through his nose. “My parents—in their infinite wisdom—thought it would be fun to give my brothers and I the middle name corresponding to the artist they were listening to while we were conceived.”

“Gross.”

“Indeed.”

“So you’re Rex Barry after … Manilow?”

“White. You know, ‘Let’s Get It On …’” He made sure to drop his voice to baritone level when he sang that little bit.

She nodded in understanding. “And your brothers?”

“Brock Lionel, Chase Marvin and Heath Leppard.”

“Leppard?”

“‘Pour Some—’”

“‘Sugar On Me’!” she finished with a wide smile. “That’s hilarious.”

“At least it’s our middle names and not our first names.”

“True enough. What’s your last name?”

“Hart.”

She rolled his name around on her little pink tongue like foreplay. “Rex Hart … Rex Barry Hart,” she murmured, cocking her head to the side and giving him a once-over. “I like it.” He continued to watch her, wondering when the bottle of whatever spirit she’d chosen to numb the pain was going to hit her like the freight train it inevitably was and send her rushing to the bathroom to go and vomit.

“What’s your full name?” he asked. “Fair is fair, right?”

“Lydia Andréa Sullivan.” She tipped back her booze bottle, then frowned when she realized it was empty. She set it down on her coffee table, and her eyes darted to his case of beer. “So … sexy Rexy, how are you going to make me forget about my jobless woes?”

He searched her face for a moment.

His belly grumbled again.

He needed to go let Diesel out.

He needed to shower.

He needed to fucking eat.

His bald head was covered by a black knit cap, but he pulled it off and ran his hand over his bare scalp. “I’m not in the habit of taking advantage of drunk women,” he said slowly, choosing his words carefully. “So I can offer you some dinner—got enough Chinese food here to feed a family of six—but as far as sexy Rexy goes, I’m afraid I’m going to have to say no.”

Her face fell. “How old are you?”

Well, that was a random and abrupt subject change. Though, he was grateful for it none-the-less.

“Thirty-six. How old are you?”’

“Twenty-eight.” She pursed her lips. “So you reject me but then you offer me food. What the fuck?” Her anger was building, and without thinking, his gaze flitted to the door. She saw him, and he watched heat and embarrassment creep up her neck and into her cheeks.military romantic suspense, neighbors to lovers, romantic thriller, gaslighting

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Rex took a deep breath. Despite his hunger and how drunk this woman was, he could already tell she was a good person. Anyone who wanted to work with kids usually was. He’d already come up with a few ways that he might be able to help her. “What kind of qualifications do you have?”

“I told you. I have a degree in education and preschool teacher certification and a Montessori teaching certification. I’ve also taken courses to work with children with special needs and kids who are on the autism spectrum. I have my first aid certificate, a clear criminal record and a clean driving record. Why? Do you have kids that need watching?” She took a hard swallow before standing up and heading to her kitchen, where she ran the tap in the sink and filled a small tumbler of water.

“I don’t have kids. But I know a lot of people who do, and they are looking for childcare. It might not be completely full-time, but it will probably be close. Unless this is just you licking your wounds and allowing your ego to heal and you could go out and get another similar job tomorrow. Seems to me you’re crazy-qualified and people would be champing at the bit to hire you.”

Her eyes formed thin slits as she stood in her kitchen, her hip cocked against the counter as she sipped her water. “It’s hard to get hired in March for anything school-related. I lucked out with covering that maternity leave. And I was looking everywhere before I got that job. It’s slim pickings. And I don’t want to teach older kids.” She huffed. “Even if I did, the on-call teacher list is a mile long, and the school districts have put a moratorium on hiring new substitute teachers.”

Well, that was shitty.

His gaze drifted to the fur ball that had wandered into the living room from the bedroom. A calico cat with bright yellow eyes sauntered toward him and rubbed its back up against his leg. His mind immediately flew to Diesel upstairs, and he knew that he had to get to him and take him out for a walk. Poor guy was probably pacing the living room with a full bladder.

He made to stand up, but the intense look in her eyes had him pausing where he sat.

“I can’t figure you out, Rex Barry Hart. You turn me down for sex, then you offer me food, and now you might have a job for me? What’s your deal, dude?” Her words were only slightly slurred for someone who should be struggling to remain vertical if she’d consumed that entire mickey like he figured she had.

Relaxing his shoulders, he stood up, reached for his duffle bag, beer, coat and dinner. “I’m in unit four-eleven if you want to come up and have some dinner. I need to get my dog out first. But I’m more than happy to share my food with you.”

She stumbled back into the living room and squinted at him. She was either on the verge of passing out or puking. And even though he normally found drunk chicks to be nearly as intolerable as two cats mating at midnight, Lydia was a cute drunk. “What’s your angle … Rexly?”

Rexly? Oh lord.

His head shook. “No angle. Just a nice guy. Give me twenty minutes. I need to get Diesel out and then have a shower. I was just at the gym.”

Her eyes struggled to roam his body in a new way—a way of appreciation—but she finally smiled. “Maybe.”

He was not one for head games. If she didn’t come up, then so be it. More food for him. But if she was going to come up for dinner, she needed to get there before he ate it all.

His stomach made another noise of impatience and desperation. If he didn’t get something in it soon, it was going to start consuming him from the inside out.

“Am I not pretty enough?”

Oh, good lord.

This was one of the things he hated most about drunk chicks. The self-deprecation and melodrama.

However, Lydia was an unusual case. She wasn’t drunk simply to party. She was nursing a wound. She’d been fired out of the blue from a job she loved. She deserved to wallow for a night with whatever spirit was her vice, and he needed to cut her some slack.

“Lydia, you’re fucking gorgeous, and you know it. Let’s not play that game. But you’re also drunk as fuck, and I don’t fuck drunk chicks.” He paused for a moment. “Unless we’re already together and it’s a consensual thing, but you know what I mean. But I’m turning you down for sex because we just met, you’re drunk off your cute little ass, and you’re sad. The only kind of man who would tap you in that state is not a man worth knowing. If we have sex, I want you sober and knowing what you’re agreeing to. If I fuck you, it’ll be until you’re damn near cross-eyed, and forgive a guy for wanting the chick awake and aware for something like that.” He headed to her door and rested his hand on the knob. “I’m upstairs in four-eleven if you’re hungry for Chinese food and want to know more about the job.”

He went to open the door, but her voice had him pausing again. “I know what I want,” she slurred.

He highly doubted that.

She tossed her feet up onto the couch and slid down into a horizontal position, her eyes closing like a vintage doll when her head hit the orangey-pink checkered throw pillow. His mother would probably call that color coral.

Turning the knob, he opened the door but glanced back into her apartment. “Well, if you still want it tomorrow when you’re sober, you know where to find me.”

But she didn’t reply. A low and very unladylike snore rumbled up from the sad little drunk woman on the couch, while her cat hopped up and snuggled up next to her leg.

Rex took a deep breath, closed the door again and stepped back into Lydia’s apartment. The glass she’d been drinking water from was empty on her counter, so he filled it again. Then he opened up a couple of kitchen cupboards until he found a bottle of Advil. He shook out two tablets and carried them and the water over to her coffee table.

Reaching for the baby-blue knitted blanket off the back of her couch, he draped it over her, making sure not to disturb the cat. “I hardly know you, but I don’t like how sad you are. I’d like to help,” he whispered.

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ARE YOU STALKING ME, YET?

           

And of course, don’t forget about the BONUS epilogue that you can download for free!

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Get it HERE!

Checkout Books 1 and 2 Here

Torn Hart is available NOW! The steamy, romantic suspense thriller that will keep you guessing until the bitter end.

 

Title: Torn Hart
Series: The Harty Boys #3
Author: Whitley Cox
Genre: Steamy, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic thriller, neighbors to lovers, friends to lovers, military, alpha male
Release Date: May 15, 2021

 

A torn Hart can only be mended by the right woman.
Fired from her dream job, Lydia Sullivan loses hope. How else do you drown your sorrows than in a cheap bottle of rum? Seems like a good plan until she runs smack into the hard chest of her dreamy neighbor Rex. Despite her not-so-adorable drunkenness, they strike up a friendship that quickly turns into more. But just when Lydia’s life is starting to look up—she’s got the job, the great guy with deep dimples, and the sun is shining—weird things begin to happen that make her question whether she’s losing her mind … or someone is out to get her.
Retired special operative and now security specialist Rex Hart normally falls in love with a new woman every night, but not this time. His neighbor with the hazel eyes and thin filter has him under her spell. He’d like to think she’s the one, but the way she’s acting has him torn between his heart and his head. He wants to believe she’s innocent, but instinct has him questioning everything—including his feelings.
Is Lydia who she claims to be? Is she the one … or the one he needs to turn loose?

 

 

“So what’s your name?” she slurred, appearing to be bored or perhaps just too upset to want to continue talking about her job or lack thereof. “I’ve seen you around the building a bit. You have the big black truck and the pit bull puppy, right?”

He nodded. “My name is Rex. What’s your name?”

“Lydia.” She yawned. “Rex, eh? Like T. rex.”

He rolled his eyes. “I suppose.”

“Is it short for anything? Like Rexworth, Rexwell or Rexington … Rexthalomew?”

“Rexthalomew?”

She shrugged again. “Rexly?”

He simply snorted and smiled, ignoring the grumble of his belly. Man, she was drunk. “It’s not short for anything.”

She shrugged again. “Do you have any siblings?”

“Three brothers.”

“And do they all have weird names too?”

“I personally don’t think Rex is weird, but no, they don’t. We all have one-syllable names, though. Brock, Chase, and Heath. And our dad was Zane, and our mother is Joy.”

She made an interested pout. “And what’s your middle name?”

“You looking to steal my identity? Want my social insurance number next?”

She stuck her tongue out at him.

He grinned. “My middle name is Barry.”

That had her nose wrinkling like a cute little bunny. “Why Barry?”

“What’s wrong with Barry?”

She shrugged, and her eyes lost focus for a moment, reminding him of her inebriation. “Nothing. But why? Is it like a family name or something?”

He exhaled through his nose. “My parents—in their infinite wisdom—thought it would be fun to give my brothers and I the middle name corresponding to the artist they were listening to while we were conceived.”

“Gross.”

“Indeed.”

“So you’re Rex Barry after … Manilow?”

“White. You know, ‘Let’s Get It On …’” He made sure to drop his voice to baritone level when he sang that little bit.

She nodded in understanding. “And your brothers?”

“Brock Lionel, Chase Marvin and Heath Leppard.”

“Leppard?”

“‘Pour Some—’”

“‘Sugar On Me’!” she finished with a wide smile. “That’s hilarious.”

“At least it’s our middle names and not our first names.”

“True enough. What’s your last name?”

“Hart.”

She rolled his name around on her little pink tongue like foreplay. “Rex Hart … Rex Barry Hart,” she murmured, cocking her head to the side and giving him a once-over. “I like it.” He continued to watch her, wondering when the bottle of whatever spirit she’d chosen to numb the pain was going to hit her like the freight train it inevitably was and send her rushing to the bathroom to go and vomit.

“What’s your full name?” he asked. “Fair is fair, right?”

“Lydia Andréa Sullivan.” She tipped back her booze bottle, then frowned when she realized it was empty. She set it down on her coffee table, and her eyes darted to his case of beer. “So … sexy Rexy, how are you going to make me forget about my jobless woes?”

 

 

 

 
 
A Canadian West Coast baby born and raised, Whitley is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have two beautiful daughters and a fluffy dog. She spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn’t end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes, and it’s not quite wine o’clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.
 
A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of everyday life into her stories. With single dads, firefighters, Navy SEALs, mommy wars, body issues, threesomes, bondage and role-playing, Whitley’s books have all the funny and fabulously filthy words you could hope for.
 

 

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