Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Taking Control: Rick's Story by Morgan Malone

Taking Control: Rick's Story by Morgan Malone, Contemporary Romance, 170 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)


Author: Morgan Malone

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 170

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some
solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming
out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous
looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in
distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing
is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer
at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her
heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the
military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s
one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years
in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up
control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even
after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and
finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy
the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let
go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from
more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their
hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?



stood before the French doors to the deck, with a large mug of steaming black
brew cradled in his hands, letting its warmth take away some of the chill that
had surrounded him for the last several months. I’m freezing. And it’s not the air-conditioning. It’s my damn frozen
. Rick pushed the doors open, letting the heat of the sun and the
smell of the ocean sweep into his house. He stepped outside, breathing deep,
relaxing just a little. Yeah. This is
what I need. A summer at the Shore, a few projects, and plenty of quiet—then
I’ll be back to my old self.
Chuckling as he mentally reminded himself of
just how “old” his self was, Rick raised the cup to take a long sip of coffee.

saw the figure emerging from the waves almost directly in front of his cottage
at the same moment he heard the loud barking of a nearby dog.

What the hell?

was a modern-day Botticelli’s Venus,
with the waves foaming around her legs. Long, long legs, lean and tan,
disappeared into a bright blue bikini bottom, just visible under the blue and
white swim T-shirt that covered a long, muscular torso. Her arms were raised,
her hands brushed back sodden strands of platinum blond hair. A swim mask
dangled from her left elbow, dropping down into her hand as she lowered her
arms. When she stepped from the surf, the woman gave an all-over body shake,
drops of ocean water flying off her, glistening for an instant like diamonds in
the early morning sun. Then she dropped to her knees so suddenly that Rick
lurched forward, splashing coffee as he looked down for a place to leave the
heavy mug before he rushed to her aid.

needn’t have bothered. From the deck of the cottage to his left, a huge yellow
dog was bounding down the wooden stairs two at a time in a mad dash to the
woman. She stretched out her arms to the animal just before the happy hound
collided into her, rolling her into the sand. The woman’s laugh floated on the
ocean breeze. Rick straightened, still grasping his cup of coffee and stepped
back into the shadows cast over his deck by the second-floor balcony. From his
vantage point, he watched the woman ruffle the dog’s fur, the animal prancing
and shaking in spasms of pure pleasure. When had he ever experienced such
unfettered joy? Rick couldn’t remember. A long, long time ago…maybe.

Who was she? The owners of the cottage
next door were an older couple who spent half the year in Florida
and half the year on the Shore. Could she
be a granddaughter or niece? Or had the couple decided to rent this year?
made a mental note to contact his property manager who handled many of the
shore homes and make inquiries. He had not planned on having to deal with a
stranger; he just wanted some peace and quiet.

The woman and dog were walking up
from the water’s edge. Rick eased toward the open doors of his living room,
thinking to disappear into the shadows. He just didn’t feel like an early
morning encounter with anyone, certainly not the mermaid with those incredible
legs who was ambling slowly in his general direction. He stopped suddenly when
something caught the corner of his eye. A glint of sunlight on metal. He
reached for his pistol, but his waistband was empty. Damn. What is that woman
doing with a diving knife strapped to her right bicep?
Who the hell is she?

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her
judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance,
which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s
first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett
Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met
the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed
even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab.
She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local
hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and
the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance,
history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she
retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her
pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.



Interview with Morgan Malone

How did you come up with name of this book?

I’m terrible with titles for books. But, this one was fairly easy because it is part of what has become my Love in Control series. I need to have “control” in the title. The first book in the series, Out of Control: Kat’s Story, features the main character’s name. This book brings back Rick Sheridan, a favorite from the first book, so the title had to be Taking Control: Rick’s Story. But the questions remain: who is taking control in this story and will there be a third book?

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I’m an avid reader. The stack of books on my nightstand is about to topple over and all my bookshelves are double-stacked. My favorite genre is romance. I stole my mother’s copy of Gone With the Wind when I was in the sixth grade and I’ve been reading romance ever since. I love historical romances, steamy contemporary romances and romantic suspense. I prefer romances with main characters who are more mature, characters in their late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, because that is what I write.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I write to music. I pick the music to match the story I am trying to tell. For my Barefoot Bay books, it was Jimmy Buffett. For my country singer romance, Unanswered Prayers, it was Garth Brooks. When I write romantic memoir, the music comes from the time period I am writing about. For my latest book, Taking Control: Rick’s Story, which is set on the Jersey Shore, I played only Springsteen!

What do you feel you can accomplish with this book?

This book is a great end-of-summer read. It begins on the Fourth of July on the Jersey Shore and ends in September. It’s racy, romantic, has some humor and a gregarious yellow Labrador Retriever. So, I hope readers will be entertained by this story. But, the book has a greater purpose than to entertain. My main characters, Rick and Britt, are battle-scarred veterans. They are both on the Shore to lick their wounds and heal. After and almost immediate attraction, they dodge and dance around each other for 59 pages! But I couldn’t get them to move forward, they had too much baggage. As I thought about how I could help them overcome their fears about commitment, I came across an organization that is almost in my backyard that gave me my answer. Saratoga WarHorse Foundation is an amazing program that matches veterans suffering from PTSD with retired thoroughbred race horses. The Foundation has given hope and the tools to deal with PTSD to almost 1000 veterans who participate in their three-day program, free of charge. What I hope to accomplish with Taking Control: Rick’s Story is to let at least one veteran or one friend or family member of a veteran suffering with PTSD know that there is hope and help. I also want to support the Foundation so I have pledged to donate 25% of my proceeds from the sale of Taking Control: Rick’s Story to continue their remarkable work in rescuing vets and race horses.

What is your next project?

I just finished editing The Dance, a romantic memoir about my late husband who died after a tragic accident and 32 days in the ICU. It was cathartic to write as this year is the thirtieth anniversary of his death. I based the memoir on the letters I had written to him every night he was in the hospital, letters I unexpectedly found after not touching them for over 25 years.

And I just started writing about pirates. I have always loved pirate romances. I’m writing a series about three different pirates who have all captained the same ship over the course of 30 years, following the American Revolution. Each captain is looking to get out of the pirate business- retire with their spoils and settle down. Right now, I am working on a novella that is set in the present day that will be the prologue to the series. I’ve been researching these books for over two years and I am so excited to finally be putting words on the computer screen.

Thank you so much for letting me join you. I hope you all enjoy Taking Control: Rick’s Story! And remember: Love, like wine, gets better with age!

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