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Moon Swept

By: Willa Bradley
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: ©2018 by Blushing Books® and Willa Bradley
63,000 words
Heat Level:
4.7 Out Of 5 (4.7 on 7)   |  Write a review
Price:
$3.99

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Savannah’s sister, Augusta, has been murdered. Savannah returns home for the funeral and to find the person responsible.

Augusta was Bryan Sullivan's best friend. Sully believed Augusta's plan to combine their wineries was good business. He thought her plan to marry him off to her little sister was a harmless fantasy.

When Sully meets the fiery redhead he begins to believe that Augusta may have been right about everything... including the idea that Savannah needs to spend some time over his knee for some old-fashioned discipline.

Savannah and Sully work together to bring Augusta's killer to justice and bring her plans for the future to fruition.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy romance contains elements of power exchange.

 

Chapter 1

Savannah would never be able to recall whether she was awakened by the insistent hammering on the front door to her cottage or Scout’s distinctive basset hound baying in response thereto. What she knew at the time was that it had been the first decent night’s sleep she’d had since Vince walked out on their sixteen-year relationship nine months before. It had occurred to her the previous evening that the death of the last of her feelings for him had taken the same amount of time as it had for his child bride to deliver their first offspring.

Neither the insistent pounding nor Scout’s loud bark seemed to be abating. “Argh!” she said, swinging her legs to the floor as she sat up on the edge of the bed. The spinning room and throbbing head immediately reminded her why she’d been able to sleep through the night. Vince may have been able to force her to part with the vineyard as part of the settlement, but Savannah would be damned if he and his new trophy wife were going to get the best bottles of wine.

Savannah could hear Scout leaving the front door and heading back to the bedroom. “I know, baby, I know. Mama’s coming.” She grabbed a pair of sweat pants and pulled them on to go with the t-shirt in which she had slept. Opening the small window in the front door, she was a bit shocked to see Ben Hastings, the local police chief and ex-friend. Vince had taken him in the settlement as well.

She opened the door. “What the hell do you want, Hastings? I don’t have to be out until the end of the month. Tell your buddy that he and his new wife and baby will just have to wait until my time is up. Now go away.” Without waiting for a reply, she slammed the door. Scout jumped up on his mistress’ legs and wagged his tail for all it was worth. “Yes, I know. I’m up and that means you get breakfast.” She started towards the kitchen when the knocking on her door started again. Whirling around, she threw open the door. “What?” she asked angrily.

Ben at least had the good grace to appear a bit sheepish. “It’s not about Vince or about you leaving. I have to tell you something. It’s not good, Savannah. Please, can I come in?”

“Whatever,” she mumbled as she headed to the kitchen. “You’ll have to wait until I get Scout his breakfast. Just sit down and I’ll be with you in a minute.”

Ben did as he was told and Savannah proceeded to take her time getting Scout’s breakfast put down and making a single cup of coffee for herself. She leaned against the door jamb between the kitchen and the living space. “So, what is so important it couldn’t wait until a decent hour to come and disturb my peaceful existence?”

“Any chance I could get a cup of that coffee? Sure smells good.”

“Not a snowball’s chance in hell. Next?” Savannah knew she was being a bitch, but didn’t much care. That’s what happens when you and the popular county prosecutor break up—he gets the land and all the friends. She had to remind herself that she got what was most important to her—Scout and her goats and then what was most important to Vince—most of the furniture, artwork and cash.

“You know, Savannah, you don’t have to be quite so—”

She interrupted him, “Oh, but I do. Well, I guess technically I don’t have to be, but frankly I can’t seem to find a reason not to be. Now are you going to tell me what it is you want or am I going to have to involve the state police again?”

All of the color left Ben’s face. He knew she wasn’t bluffing. He also knew there would be serious repercussions if she followed through. “I’m here in an official capacity.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Hastings, spit it out.”

“Geesh, no wonder he left you. Chloe is always so nice and sweet to everybody.”

“That would be because while Chloe was going to grade school, I was working my ass off building a life and this vineyard for Vince and me. Now, she gets most everything I built and I have to find a place to move seventy-five goats that will also support a new vineyard that I will have to build. So you’ll forgive me, or you won’t, when I say that being ‘sweet’ to everyone who turned a blind eye to his cheating and their backs on me when he had to ‘find himself’ with the bimbo is not a top priority for me. Now, either tell me why you’re here or get the hell out and prepare for a visit from the State cops again.”

“There’s no easy way to say this, but I got word from the North Carolina State Police that your sister was found dead yesterday morning.”

Hastings started to get up as Savannah stumbled from the doorway. She waved him off and pulled out one of the dining room chairs and sat down. Scout, sensing her disquiet, joined her putting his front feet in her lap and rubbing his head against her. Savannah put down the coffee mug and rubbed Scout’s long ears as much to comfort herself as him.

“Augusta is dead?”

“Yeah. I’m afraid so.”

“What happened? Did she fall? Have a heart attack? What do you know? Tell me.”

“We don’t know much, but it looks like she was murdered.”

Savannah felt as though someone had punched her in the stomach. The pain Vince’s betrayal had caused her was nothing compared to the blow of losing her sister and hearing she’d been the victim of foul play. “How? Do they know who?”

“She was killed in the wine vault. Looks like someone put a cork screw through her jugular vein. At this time there are no real suspects, but it’s early in the game.”

“You’re calling my sister’s death a game? A woman is murdered, and you think this is a game? You are one sick bastard, you know that?”

“Jesus, Savannah. I didn’t mean it that way. You know me better than that. I just meant it’s too early to focus on anybody or to rule anybody out.”

“Who do I call to get more information?”

“I have a number. I can give them a call.”

“I don’t need or want anything else from you. Just give me the name and number and I’ll take care of it. I don’t trust you, Hastings, and if I never have to talk to you again, that’ll be just dandy with me. Now give me the information I requested. And then get the hell off my property.”

“Okay. I’ve got the detective’s name and number written down. I’ll leave it here on the coffee table.” Hastings got up to leave. He opened the door and then stopped and turned to look at her. “Whatever you may think of me, I really am sorry to hear about your sister. And if I can help in any way, I hope you’ll let me.” He closed the door quietly behind him.

Savannah snorted. “That’ll be a cold day in hell.” She got up and headed back to the kitchen. Pulling on her barn boots she headed out to her goats. There was some comfort to be found in the routine of normal things. After she’d finished feeding the goats, she opened up the barn into the pastures so the goats could forage and enjoy the mild California climate.

She headed back into the house and called the name and number Hastings had left behind. Detective Miller wasn’t in but the dispatcher offered to put her through. Savannah was somewhat surprised when a woman’s voice answered. “Detective Miller? This is Savannah James. I understand you’re heading up my sister’s murder investigation.”

“Let me first express my sincere condolences to you. Augusta talked about you frequently. I want you to know that even though we weren’t close, I won’t rest until I bring her killer to justice. I hope Chief Hastings let you know that other than the unofficial cause of death, we don’t know much at this point. Will you be coming back to arrange her funeral?”

Savannah smiled. Not only was their comfort in normal routines but in normal social conventions—especially in the hills of North Carolina. “I really hadn’t thought that far, detective.”

“Please, call me Rebecca, or Becky, or Becca. I answer to most anything.”

“What do you prefer?”

“Rebecca. I’ve never liked it when people just shortened my name. It was something your sister and I had in common.”

“Yeah, she never much liked being called Gus or Gussie, but who can blame her. Rebecca it is, and please call me Savannah. I suppose I should come. Is there any kind of time limits? I’m sorry I don’t really know much. Augusta handled the arrangements when our folks died.”

“Not really. And we can’t release the body until we’re much further along in our investigation. I hope that won’t cause you too much distress.”

“Not at all. My sister is gone. What’s left is just a shell—her mortal coil if you will.”

Rebecca Miller decided she liked Savannah James. She liked her no-nonsense, practical way of looking at things which was much like her own. “I promise shell or not, we’ll take good care of her.”

“I appreciate that. I suppose I’d best arrange for dog and goat care and then head your way.”

“Do you think you’ll be here tomorrow? Why don’t you give me a call when you get in and we can meet and I’ll bring you up-to-date.”

“Sounds good. Thank you, Rebecca. I feel better having talked to you.”

“I’m glad I could be of any consolation. See you tomorrow.”

Savannah hung up and arranged for a flight first thing the next morning and called her best friend, Holly, to come and stay at the vineyard to take care of the goats and Scout Then she went into her bathroom and threw up.

 

Lalaland on 09/05/2018 06:12am
I really liked this book by Ms Bradley. Savannah James has been treated very badly by her partner of many years Vince who has cheated and then traded her in for a young bimbo and hurt her very badly. He is now forcing her to move from her home in California where she runs a successful winery and has rare breed goats from which she manufactures craft cheeses, he has managed to acquire the property in the settlement of their joint assets. As if she isn't suffering enough she receives word that her sister Augusta, who lives in North Carolina, has been murdered. Savannah returns home to NC to bury her sister and settle her family estate. Her sister ran a winery which was an inherited family business. Savannah wants to stay long enough to assist the police to catch the murderer and wind-up the company and sell the property which was her childhood home. When she arrives she is introduced to Sully (Bryan Sullivan) who was Augusta's next door neighbour and best friend. When Augusta was alive she had plans to introduce Savannah to Sully who was a retired renown fine dining chef from New York who now lives in NC producing wine. Augusta had planned to persuade Savannah to return to NC permanently and get together with Sully to wed and then combine their properties. Sully had always thought it was rather a joke but when he meets Savannah the chemistry between them is explosive. Sully is very strict and holds Savannah to behave and Savannah is very headstrong, together they are volatile. This is a very entertaining story, it has mystery, intrigue, hot, off the charts erotic scenes and eye watering domestic discipline punishments, what more can you want from a mystery spanking romance except a HEA and it has one of those too. I really enjoyed it. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy
Redrabbitt on 09/03/2018 09:37pm
I enjoyed this mystery romantic suspense page-turner. What a shock to have the police show up early in the morning with the news that your sister has been found murdered. That is what happens to Savannah, and she will leave California and return to North Carolina. The story has a great cast of characters, plenty of angst, anger, and emotions as the police are working to try and discover who killed Augusta and why. Now Savannah must make decisions for her future. Has fate played a role in her plans for her future?

Savannah James lived with Vince for over fifteen years, but they never married. She had a vineyard, made excellent wines, raised goats and made her own cheese. Vince was a scumbag who cheated and then leaves her for a girl half his age, especially when pregnancy is involved. Due to their long-standing, his political connections, he will get the vineyard in settlement of their assets.

The plot will have Savannah coming back to North Carolina to deal with the funeral of her sister, and to learn that she is the sole heir of the vineyard that originally had been their parents. Why did someone kill Augusta? With the aid of Augusta%u2019s best friend and neighbor, Bryan Sullivan, aka Sully, he will help Savannah with arrangements and be there to offer her comfort, support, guidance and even discipline.

Augusta had been married and lost the love of her life who was killed while serving overseas. Having neighbor Sully was strictly a platonic best friend, but a man that she always felt was perfect for her baby sister, Savannah. She made no bones about what she wanted to happen, that Savannah would move back to North Carolina, she and Sully would be together, and even had started making future plans for the two vineyard to join together, turn the Victorian home of Sully%u2019s into a bed and breakfast, and have Savannah%u2019s goat cheese to add to the wine tasting events. Augusta had concrete plans in writing that was solvent and would benefit everyone involved. But her biggest desire was to see her sister and her best friend together as a couple. Will Sully and Savannah make Augusta%u2019s wishes come true?

The story has an evil enemy who feels entitles and cheated and determined to get his part of the Wind Swept. He didn%u2019t plan to kill Augusta, but he couldn%u2019t allow her to stand in his way. Now he has another sister to contend with and must plan how to get into the home and find a critical piece of evidence.

The story has several key characters besides Sully and Savannah, Detective Rebecca Miller who is the lead on the case becomes good friends with Savannah. Savannah%u2019s trusted best friend in California, Holly and the Chief of Police, Colby Jennings. There will be two new relationships that will be formed from tragedy, with dominant take charge men and feisty troublemaking women.

The story includes instant chemistry and attraction between Sully and Savannah, even if she tries to fight it, and he has to spank her when she does. She has been hurt so bad by Vince that her level of trust is very low. Sully and Savannah both knew of Augusta%u2019s matchmaking plans for them, and as the story progresses, more of those details will be revealed. There are kinship and comfort with strong sexual attraction between them. Just as Augusta had told Sully about Savannah, she needs a strong man who won%u2019t let her sabotage their relationship, will stand up to her, hold her accountable, spanking her often and love her even more. Sully is just the man to accept that challenge. The tale is full of spankings and explicit sex scenes. While it has sadness, with the murder of Augusta, it has joy with the newfound relationship of Sully and Savannah. Best of all, it has a happy ending.
Redrabbitt on 09/03/2018 09:37pm
I enjoyed this mystery romantic suspense page-turner. What a shock to have the police show up early in the morning with the news that your sister has been found murdered. That is what happens to Savannah, and she will leave California and return to North Carolina. The story has a great cast of characters, plenty of angst, anger, and emotions as the police are working to try and discover who killed Augusta and why. Now Savannah must make decisions for her future. Has fate played a role in her plans for her future?

Savannah James lived with Vince for over fifteen years, but they never married. She had a vineyard, made excellent wines, raised goats and made her own cheese. Vince was a scumbag who cheated and then leaves her for a girl half his age, especially when pregnancy is involved. Due to their long-standing, his political connections, he will get the vineyard in settlement of their assets.

The plot will have Savannah coming back to North Carolina to deal with the funeral of her sister, and to learn that she is the sole heir of the vineyard that originally had been their parents. Why did someone kill Augusta? With the aid of Augusta%u2019s best friend and neighbor, Bryan Sullivan, aka Sully, he will help Savannah with arrangements and be there to offer her comfort, support, guidance and even discipline.

Augusta had been married and lost the love of her life who was killed while serving overseas. Having neighbor Sully was strictly a platonic best friend, but a man that she always felt was perfect for her baby sister, Savannah. She made no bones about what she wanted to happen, that Savannah would move back to North Carolina, she and Sully would be together, and even had started making future plans for the two vineyard to join together, turn the Victorian home of Sully%u2019s into a bed and breakfast, and have Savannah%u2019s goat cheese to add to the wine tasting events. Augusta had concrete plans in writing that was solvent and would benefit everyone involved. But her biggest desire was to see her sister and her best friend together as a couple. Will Sully and Savannah make Augusta%u2019s wishes come true?

The story has an evil enemy who feels entitles and cheated and determined to get his part of the Wind Swept. He didn%u2019t plan to kill Augusta, but he couldn%u2019t allow her to stand in his way. Now he has another sister to contend with and must plan how to get into the home and find a critical piece of evidence.

The story has several key characters besides Sully and Savannah, Detective Rebecca Miller who is the lead on the case becomes good friends with Savannah. Savannah%u2019s trusted best friend in California, Holly and the Chief of Police, Colby Jennings. There will be two new relationships that will be formed from tragedy, with dominant take charge men and feisty troublemaking women.

The story includes instant chemistry and attraction between Sully and Savannah, even if she tries to fight it, and he has to spank her when she does. She has been hurt so bad by Vince that her level of trust is very low. Sully and Savannah both knew of Augusta%u2019s matchmaking plans for them, and as the story progresses, more of those details will be revealed. There are kinship and comfort with strong sexual attraction between them. Just as Augusta had told Sully about Savannah, she needs a strong man who won%u2019t let her sabotage their relationship, will stand up to her, hold her accountable, spanking her often and love her even more. Sully is just the man to accept that challenge. The tale is full of spankings and explicit sex scenes. While it has sadness, with the murder of Augusta, it has joy with the newfound relationship of Sully and Savannah. Best of all, it has a happy ending.
John Lindow on 09/02/2018 08:55pm
I loved this book by Willa Bradley that combined a murder mystery with a romance with a comedy and with some domestic discipline thrown in just to spice things up. And speaking of spicing things up, OMFG, the sex and more sex reminded me of rabbits mating, as the main characters go through their adjustments to each other, with the young ladies learning that their men come with hard hands that they are not afraid to apply to their bare bottom repeatedly, and then the sexual "comforting" that follows is simply super deliciously described by Ms Bradley. This is a voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Blushing Books.
Ajjmb on 09/02/2018 02:01pm
Moon Swept is an almost magical story. Savannah comes back to her childhood home because of the tragic murder of her sister Augusta. Once home she meets Sully and is swept off her feet in a passionate romance. Augusta has told him for years that Savannah would be perfect for him but he would need to keep her well spanked and happy in bed. This dominant man has no problem rising to the challenge. The one big problem is the mystery of who would kill the well liked Augusta. The murder mystery is carried to the end of the book and another couple, Holly and the chief of police are introduced. I do hope we get to see the rest of their story at some point. The entire book is hot, hot, hot. I love this author. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
Nancy Hughes on 09/01/2018 10:42pm
This is about Savannah and Sully%u2019s relationship, with a mystery of who murdered Augusta. Lots of spankings and explicit sex. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Stats23 on 08/30/2018 11:22am
Throughout my reading of this book the phrase %u201Cfirst rate%u201D kept coming to mind. This is a first rate murder mystery wrapped around a first rate spanking romance. The character development, the dialogue and the banter (some delicious one liners and snappy comebacks) between the protagonists were all equally first rate. There was intrigue, angst and animosity. There was deep rooted family love, tempered by the murder of Savannah%u2019s devoted sister Augusta, and newly discovered neighborly love with Sully. Oh, and there were spankings (lots and lots of spankings) and sex (lots and lots of erotic sex). My only disappointments were that the sex was rather vanilla in nature and the spankings were somewhat moderate (though Savvy might take issue with that statement). A very good 4 Star read but with a little more kink in the sex and a little more variety in the discipline this could have easily been 5 Stars.

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