Hi friends!!! Whee!!! We’re back on track for blogiversary with a giveaway and fun and YAY! … One of these years I’ll get it all right. And I’m so thrilled to welcome back Joely Sue Burkhart. She’s such a sweetheart and always a friend to ALBTALBS. Anyway, I know you’re not here to listen to me babble when there’s a giveaway on the line … 😉
Silver Haired Characters
I’ve been going gray since I was a freshman in high school. A boy named Troy used to sit behind me in science and daily count how many gray hairs he could see. Needless to say, I’ve colored my hair a LONG time!
So I’ve never written characters who might consider coloring their hair. It’s too close to reality for me.
But Virginia demanded her story be told. If you’ve read the other Connagher books, you’ve heard about Mama Connagher for a long time. She’s tough. She’s hard. She doesn’t take shit off anyone. She’s been alone for twelve years, ever since her beloved husband, Tyrell, passed away. She doesn’t need anyone. She doesn’t want anyone.
Dating is for young people.
She’s had her time in the sun. She had years and years of happiness and that time is long gone.
Even when her family FINALLY convinces her to date again, she can’t begin to envision the kind of man she’d consider. She doesn’t want a young man and she doesn’t have the patience to deal with trying to break in someone to suit her.
That’s exactly the tiny crack in her cold, stone-walled heart that her best friend of forty years has been waiting for.
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The Connaghers, Book 4
Virginia, Matriarch of the Texas Connaghers, has been alone twelve years since the great love of her life passed away. Tyrell loved her sadist’s heavy hand and the hard inner core she’s dared not show anyone since.
She lives in the past, clinging to all those memories except one. The one she’s determinedly blocked out of her heart and mind for nearly forty years. The one time she was almost unfaithful to her then-fiancé with her best friend, Jebadiah Garrett.
That was a long time ago. They both married and moved on. She has three adult children settling down with their own families. Besides, it was just a kiss. One kiss.
One unforgettable kiss that brought Jebadiah to his knees at her feet.
Now he’s back in town and determined to finally, once and for all, tell her how much he’s loved her all these years. Or, even better, show her by going to his knees once more. If she’ll only give him the chance.
Warning: Friends to lovers, older characters with a second chance at love, and a hard-as-nails matriarch who finally succumbs to a forty-year-old unrequited love
“Girls,” Miss Belle declared, “I’m charging you with a most solemn duty. You must find a man for your mama.”
Virginia jerked so hard she couldn’t stifle a moan at the grating pain in her busted arm. “What? Are you insane?”
Ignoring her, Miss Belle continued. “It’s high time Virginia starts dating again. I’m sure between the three of you brilliant young ladies you know a handsome, courageous man dumb enough to come wrestle with her.”
A speculative gleam shone in Vicki’s eyes.
“No,” Virginia said firmly. “Dating is something young people do. I’ve had my time.”
“Now who’s the fool?” Miss Belle snapped. “You’ve got half your life ahead of you still. It’s high time you start living it.”
Virginia could only stare at her mother, both moved and amused by her concern. Most people had feared her father, Colonel Healy, and yes, he’d been a tough old Marine who didn’t take shit off anyone. But it only took one look from Miss Belle and that man would have taken San Juan Hill singlehandedly or died trying. Miss Belle wore big hats and frivolous pink dresses, but when push came to shove, she was the one who ran the family with a gay laugh and her wickedly keen mind. She used to joke that God had known exactly what He was doing when He’d put her in a small female body, because if He’d made her a big strapping man, she’d have been one mean bully.
“I bet Mal will know someone,” Vicki said.
Virginia groaned. “Don’t get the Mistress of Dallas involved or I’ll never have any peace. You know very well what kind of man that woman would try to set me up with.”
Vicki laughed, a knowing chuckle that spoke volumes. “A good-looking boy willing to do anything you say for a chance to kiss your toes? What’s the harm in that? Although I suspect she’s involved with someone herself right now. I don’t know if she’s still got her finger on the pulse of Dallas’s submissive male scene or not.”
Rae stared at Virginia a moment with those big, startled eyes. “Oh. Oh.”
“Where do you think Victor and Conn got their hard side, Rae Lynn?” Miss Belle said.
“But that doesn’t mean I want some boy running around my house saying, ‘Yes, Mistress, how may I serve, Mistress?’” Virginia didn’t try to keep the disgust from her voice. “Good lord. I’ve got boys older than Mal. I sure don’t want her to set me up with anyone of that age.”
“Cougar,” Vicki said teasingly.
Virginia growled in response. “Grizzly bear is more like it, mean and nasty after getting woke up too early from hibernation.”
“And hungry,” her daughter replied, still teasing, but with a growing understanding in her eyes that made Virginia look away.
Hungry. They have no idea. She didn’t want them to know exactly how lonely she’d been. How many nights she’d paced and practiced with the whip or crop just to exhaust herself, or drank herself into a stupor just to find a few hours of peace.
“What do you want in a man?” Shiloh asked.
I want Tyrell. Virginia made herself shut the mental door on what she couldn’t have any longer, the fuzzy memories she’d clung to all these years. “If I were to date again, and that’s a big IF, he’d have to be older, more my age. A man my age would already be mature and confident. He’d know exactly what he wanted with the rest of his life and he’d do anything to get it. The same as me. He wouldn’t need coddling or teaching or patience, which I don’t have patience for! A man used to hard work, who’s probably already seen and done more than you children ever dreamed about. Someone who can stand up to me and tell me when I’m being a fool—” she said that with a smile for Miss Belle, “—and won’t get his ego bruised when I tell him the same.”
“Now that will be the challenge.” Laughing, Miss Belle stood and started herding everyone toward the door. “Even Tyrell got his ego bruised on occasion.”
“All men do.”
“Let’s finish up dinner so our patient can get some rest. I’ll see what we can do about your man, Virginia. You’ve placed a tall order.”
Virginia settled down deeper into the pillows, her eyes already heavy. She’d done hardly anything but sleep at the hospital, but there wasn’t anything like coming home to her own bed. Tall, she sighed, slipping into sleep. He should definitely be tall
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Joely Sue Burkhart has always loved heroes who hide behind a mask, the darker and more dangerous the better. Whether cool, sophisticated billionaire, brutal bloodthirsty assassin, or simply a man tortured by his own needs, they all wear masks to protect themselves. Once they finally give you a peek into the passionate, twisted secrets they’re hiding, they always fall hard and fast. Dare to look beneath the mask with delicious BDSM in a wide variety of genres with Joely on her website, Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to check out her free reads!
Whee!! Thanks so much Joely Sue! And everyone just guess how generous she is?! One of you will win a $10 gift certificate to any online book retailer and a copy (print or e) of Never Let You Down!