“Down to the Bone” by Nicole Kimberling

Thanksgiving

The victim lay on the table and the bright lights shining down on the body allowed the Dr. Peter Fontaine to examine the injuries in great detail. The rich, flawless brown skin appeared to be nearly perfect except for the very clear presence of bite marks on the lower left leg.

Who could have taken such a depraved step? Who, seeing this perfect beauty would savagely tear into her with their teeth alone?

Peter adjusted the lights and leaned in to examine the wound more closely, photographing the jagged edges in detail.

They would need to get a forensic dentist in—to make a mold of the teeth for further identification.

Then a long shadow fell across the subject. Looking up he saw Lt. Olson standing, arms crossed over his chest observing him.

Are you finished?” he asked.

I think I need a couple more minutes to document this to narrow down the suspects,” Peter mumbled.

Suspects?” Nick moved around the table to get a clearer view of the injury that had captured Peter’s attention. “To me this seems like an open and shut case.”

Peter glanced up to see the corner of Nick’s mouth twist up in a quirky half-smile. Now that he’d fully broken the surface of his TV coroner fantasy the real world swirled in around him. He felt the heat of the kitchen and heard the music drifting up from where their guests sat in the living room.

Yet Nick stood there frowning down at the turkey like the best crime-scene re-enactor around.

“I found a resident of the house behaving suspiciously and, on a hunch, processed her coat for trace evidence,” Nick went on. “I found evidence of butter, sage and parsley.”

“What do you mean the behaving suspiciously?” Peter asked. He couldn’t believe that Nick was playing along with this. Or that he had somehow known exactly what had been going on in Peter’s head.

Had he been talking to himself out loud? Granted, that sometimes happened but usually only when he was drunk and he hadn’t had even cracked open a single Thanksgiving beer yet.

“The subject was observed standing in a corner licking her chops in an exaggerated manner.” Nick pointed to the corner of the kitchen where their cat, Gigi sat. Her long pink tongue flicked out and around her muzzle as though it was an independent creature. “I don’t think we’ll get a confession out of her, but I think if we subject her to a sniff test we’ll get a whiff of poultry. I’m pretty sure we can get a conviction.”

“But look at her.” Peter whirled around, clutching at Nick’s shirtfront. He seemed slightly taken aback but then resolved himself back into her role of sardonic detective. Peter wound his fingers harder in Nick’s sweater. “She’s clearly starving.”

They both paused to take in the decidedly round torso of their fluffy feline—nearly both broke down into laughter but somehow maintained.

“But the evidence is right there. Anyone looking at it will know there has been a crime.” Nick pointed to the molested turkey leg. “It’s out of our hands.”

“But what if we take it apart,” Peter whispered.

“You mean destroy evidence of cat lips?”

“Birds get carved all the time. All we have to do is take these legs off, slice the breast and put it on a platter.”

“Dismembering the body, huh?” Nick gave a low whistle. This attracted Gigi, who started circling his leg. “It could work.”

“No one needs to know about the cat lips.” Peter drew nearer. “The bird was already dead anyway.”

“But we know where those lips have been,” Nick pointed out. “Dark places. Nasty places.”

“We can just cut that part off,” Peter persisted. “If I leave it on the floor I’m pretty sure the remaining evidence will vanish.”

Their course decided, they set to the carcass quickly.

It was greasy work. More than once, Peter’s fingers plunged into stuffing, but in the end the bones were picked clean and the slices artfully arranged on a platter.

Nick bore the grand dish into the dining room. Peter followed behind, holding a gravy boat.

Both heard the tiny sound of cat lips smacking behind them, but neither said a word.

 

 

Nicole Kimberling lives in Bellingham, Washington with her wife, Dawn Kimberling, two bad cats as well as a wide and diverse variety of invasive and noxious weeds. Her first novel, Turnskin, won the Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. She is also the author of the Bellingham Mystery Series.

The Bellingham Mystery Series is available here. I cannot recommend this series enough. READ IT!!! No, really. Go get these books and read them.

Hers to Heal (Black Eagle Ops #2)

Author: Vonnie Davis 

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon 

Type: Novel in Series 

Provided by Publisher 

 

Blurb: In this powerful, sensual romance from the author of Her Survivor, a broken woman meets a shattered warrior—and discovers a passion strong enough to heal each other’s deepest wounds.

Navy SEAL Reece Browning sacrificed body and soul in the line of duty. He survived torture at the hands of America’s enemies, but lost his career and his voice in the process. Traumatized and desperate to get his PTSD under control, Reece escapes to Eagle Ridge Ranch. Under the big Texas sky, he finds peace, a renewed sense of purpose—and a woman who makes him feel like a man again. Her smile lights up his dark days, and her caress helps him forget the night terrors. 

Ex-Marine Gina Wilson also bears painful scars: emotional wounds inflicted by men she once trusted with her life. She has fought hard to overcome her demons and build a good life for her daughter, and Reece is too intense, too damaged, too raw to let into her heart. Yet she’s drawn irresistibly to his steely gaze and heated embrace. No one else understands what it’s like to suffer in silence. And when Gina’s daughter is threatened, it’s Reece who risks everything to save the day. Continue reading Hers to Heal (Black Eagle Ops #2)

The Straight Boyfriend (Loving You #3)

Author: Renae Kaye

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Rating:  4 stars

Buy Links: DSP & Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  Aaron Hall has never been able to remain faithful to a single woman, and for most of his life, he’s dated two women at once. Recently his girlfriend tracked him down and knocked on his door—and his live-in girlfriend answered. Now he has no girlfriend and a mortgage he can’t pay by himself.

Vinnie Rosello needs to change his life—get a better job, stop drinking all his money away, find himself a serious boyfriend… and move out of his parents’ house. Aaron needs help with his expenses, so they become housemates.

Even though Aaron harbors some misconceptions about gay men and Vinnie misses his large Italian family, both men find comfort in their friendship. It’s a good arrangement until everything between them changes

Vinnie falls in love with Aaron, and Aaron is shocked to realize he feels the same. There’s only one problem—he’s still straight. He’ll have to overcome his fear of labels in order to love the man who’s captured his heart.

Continue reading The Straight Boyfriend (Loving You #3)

The Devil Lancer Thanksgiving by Astrid Amara

Thanksgiving

December 7, 1865 – San Francisco, California

Thanksgiving had been an official holiday in the United States since President Lincoln had declared it so in 1863. In California, however, it had been celebrated during the turbulence of the Gold Rush in 1849, so Elliott Parrish had enjoyed many such festive meals prior to this one. Continue reading The Devil Lancer Thanksgiving by Astrid Amara

Guest Post and Giveaway: Bonfire by Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt

A Hindu for Christmas

BONFIRE

By Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

Release Date: November 15, 2016

 

I’m so happy to be here today to talk about Bonfire.

Honestly, Liv doesn’t coax me out of my hermit cave to do these posts very often. Y’all will have to bear with me if I’m a little rusty.

So, yeah. This is a post about our fun Christmas novella with the vampire, the scary swamp lights, and the Hindu main character.

Or it was supposed to be.

As I write this, America has just elected to the presidency a man who has actively stoked bigotry and xenophobia in this country. I just finish watching Hasan Minhaj, one of my inspirations for Sara, explain that his mother, a U.S. citizen, is worried about being allowed back into the country. (Go ahead and click, y’all. It’s a comedy sketch. Really!) Continue reading Guest Post and Giveaway: Bonfire by Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt

Why I Love Geeks (Why I Love… #1)

Author: TA Chase

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Rating:  3 stars

Buy Links: DSP & Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  New York City Homicide Detective Chuck Davidson is a guy’s guy. He likes sports, beer, and classic cars—fancy gadgets, not so much. When yet another high-tech phone goes on the fritz, he knows he needs help, and he meets a man who loves technology as much as he hates it—cute but awkward biochemist Herbert Pommerset.

Herb’s never been with a man—not even on a date. He hides behind his research, daydreaming about what it might be like to find someone special. A malfunctioning phone causes his path to cross with a sexy older detective, and Herb wishes he’d spent less time studying science and more learning how to flirt, because he can think of some experiments he’d like to conduct with Chuck. None of his considerable intelligence is helping him express his desires to the other man.

Just when it seems they might overcome their differences, Herb’s research puts him in danger. He’s made a discovery that could cost him his life, and Chuck must use his very different talents to rescue the geek he’s coming to love. Continue reading Why I Love Geeks (Why I Love… #1)

“Thanksgiving Marshmallows” by Rhys Ford

Thanksgiving

HKThanksgiving

It was going to be her most favourite holiday, Deacon decided. Sure, Christmas would always hold a special place in Zig’s heart and he’d done his damned best on her birthday but Thanksgiving—this Thanksgiving—was going to break all expectations.

Because for the first time in Zig’s short, tumultuous hard life, she was in a place she called home and was elbow deep into the cavity of a thawed out twenty-pound turkey, shoving balls of Portuguese-sausage-and-mushroom stuffing into its cavernous hollow. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Marshmallows” by Rhys Ford

Top Shelf (Aces Hockey #4)

Author: Kelly Jamieson 

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon 

Type: Novel in Series 

Provided by Publisher

 

Blurb: Whether it’s a clutch goal or a cocktail, nothing beats “top shelf.” In this novel from the bestselling author of the Heller Brothers Hockey series, a fun-loving jock and an ambitious career woman mix business with pleasure. 

Not only is Jared Rupp one of the stars of the NHL’s Chicago Aces, he’s also the owner of the Sin Bin, the after-hours hot spot where the whole team hangs out. Lately, Jared can’t take his eyes off the woman he’s hired to give the Bin a more modern feel: a sexy, sophisticated consultant who has carved out a niche updating drink menus. She’s as passionate about her career as Jared is about hockey—and yet he can’t help wondering what kind of cocktail she really wants.

In her line of work, Sidney Frayne is used to guys hitting on her in bars, but Jared gets her hot enough to burst into flames. When he’s wining and dining her, he’s sophisticated as hell; on the rink, he’s a testosterone-fueled powerhouse. Still, Sidney’s bitter divorce taught her to keep her emotions on ice. With her busy schedule—and Jared’s playboy reputation—she’s not sure she’s ready for a fling. Because if she lets Jared into her bed, she just may have to let him into her heart. Continue reading Top Shelf (Aces Hockey #4)

Tied to His Betrayal (Dirty Little Secrets #2)

Author: Stacey Kennedy

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Amazon 

Type: Novel in Series 

Provided by Publisher 

 

Blurb: In a dazzling novel of passion and power from the bestselling author of Bound Beneath His Pain and the Club Sin series, a commanding man gives up his most prized possession to win back the one that got away.

Darius Bennett can’t live without supreme control. A self-made billionaire, he’s rich enough to get anything—and any woman—he wants, yet he’s still haunted by a broken relationship. Five years ago, Darius let Taylor Erikson go because he knew he could never give her what she truly wanted: his heart. But the moment Taylor walks back into his life, bruised and beaten, Darius blames himself. To make good on his betrayal, he vows to help her heal—in and out of the sheets. 

Once upon a time, Darius was Taylor’s world. Now his fierce embrace is exactly what she needs to get back on her feet. But Taylor pays a heavy price for her sizzling nights with Darius. As the emotional ties become stronger than ever and the paparazzi hunt her down for their next juicy story, Taylor must face some hard truths. They can’t go back. And to move forward, the key to loving Darius isn’t about keeping his secrets—it’s about exposing them. Continue reading Tied to His Betrayal (Dirty Little Secrets #2)