Come on a journey.
The town of Jack's Bay, in northern Ontario, Canada, straddles cottage country and city living, and does it well.
But more importantly, it's a strong community. Home to a group of men that have served together in the army reserve. Brothers, with an unbreakable bond, as well as determined women.
Friends and army reserve brothers to these men of Jack's Bay are the men of Golden, British Columbia. A fictional town, with quirky characters set in the Rocky Mountain trench, life is different in the mountains. Yet family, brotherhood and love...are the same.
Come meet the cowboy, the ex-hockey player, the dark-net computer genius, and the band of Canadian military reservists who served together, and the strong women they fall in love with.
Real Men Book 5
by Susan Saxx
Genre: Small Town Military Dark Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: February 7, 2018
Too many secrets. Too many dangers. And he's got a mission to accomplish.
Eli Austin is going off the grid. Too long in the underground employ of men he'd sooner spit on than obey, his master plan for breaking free is intact. But before he goes, he has to appease his heart and soul one last time. He's got to see the house he and his high school sweetheart, Tish, almost bought. Relive the Christmas they never had, before he walked out on her, into the dark night without a word, so many years ago.
Tish Taylor's been through it all. After that horrendous Christmas, she moved on, married. But the rebound is over, and she's newly divorced. She's going back to where she had it all - once - to spend a solitary evening in the abandoned house where three years ago, they were going to start their new life. The sweet old house that called to them, the life that was theirs. She's got to reclaim the woman she was then - full of dreams, and promises. So she can move on, once and for all.
So they both set out to that old house, now in the worst part of town.
But neither of them counted on what they'd find...
She allowed her gaze to spill over him. She couldn't stop, for the life of her. She scanned him up and down slowly, the bulk of him, a dark shape in the already dark hallway. It was already filling with his presence, the molecules of air rearranging themselves as if he'd never left her side. Not like he'd been gone for three long years of her life. When she spoke again, she spoke slowly, as if in a dream. "I do. Not you, or any other man." A wisp of a smile slid over those handsome lips. Ah, those lips. Once they had signaled so much for her. Delight, worlds of pleasure. Then trouble. Pain. All of that in a pair of lips. But that was the past. He scrutinized her as he stepped forward, and a slash of jagged light from the streetlight outside, prismed by the frosted glass, lit his face. She watched, saw his gaze soften as he looked at her, then crossed the landing in two long strides. His big hands gripped her just above the elbows, squeezed, and her heart thumped in her throat. And suddenly, she couldn’t move. He towered above her, unmoving as well. Then the spell was broken. He yanked her close, crushed her against him. Eli. The scent of him. Heat, something clean. Masculine. Cold winter air flooded the entryway, but underneath it, there was that trace of him. Eli. Only him. But her body warred with her. Part of it was frozen numb. Part of it, already starting to thaw, softened. To mold itself to him. To fit back where she’d always belonged. And as she did, something distasteful traveled through her, made her stomach literally quell. This wasn't right. Yanking herself out of his arms abruptly, she stuttered back a couple of steps. Her heart was still hammering like mad, but at least his heat was no longer seeping into her pores. There was the pain again. Harsher. Slicing now, even though she'd pushed it down to a dull, almost-forgotten ache the last couple of years. He moved toward her, seemingly unaware of what his body was doing to her. His hands were again on her upper arms, fingers curling around them as if nothing had changed ... As if he had the right? Her palms landed flat against the rough material of his jacket and she pushed hard against his solid chest. "Don't touch me!" She saw the surprise, then the confusion, cross his face. Then—and she saw that too—the resignation. But he covered it an instant, as someone long used to schooling emotions. "Sorry. I’m being an idiot. But what are you doing here? This isn't safe. You know the area." Her eyes widened, and she couldn't stop incredulity from seeping into her expression. Um…yeah? This was the house they were going to buy. She kinda did know the area? He had the decency to catch himself, look embarrassed, then apologetic. "Well yeah, I know you know it. I've been back myself for a couple of days, just wrapping up some business, so I decided to drive by the old house." He shrugged as he took up residence a full foot and a half away from her. Thank god—she was safe. For the moment. "But it's changed. It's worse. While I was out there, I saw a couple of carloads of dope-heads go by. It’s not safe.” She spun an angry gaze at him. "Why did you come in here?"
It Started With a Candy Cane
Real Men Book 6
Genre: Sweet Romance
Publication Date: December 15, 2017
She's city. The more designer and fluffier, the better.
He's a closed-off butcher in a small northern Canadian town.
Emily Gates is hip. If a bag's got more than three zeros in its price tag - she's in. Cream is her favorite color. And her new role as junior city planner in the city of Toronto has her excited beyond all reason. For the gal with the troubled past - something she carefully keeps a secret - it's all about building community now. Even though she loves working and living in the upscale, trendy area just east of Bloor and Yonge.
Rufus Richardson isn't fancy and his job is dirty. And he's always trying to slay the damn dragons, even when no one wants him to. He should settle for a local gal, one who's used to country and mosquitos and wild animals poking around the family homestead. Instead, the moment he sees the vivacious city beauty, his heart tumbles, and his warrior's sword appears. But she doesn't need him to slay any dragons, and lets him know in no uncertain terms.
But when the life she's carefully curated falls apart suddenly and she goes off into the dark northern night alone searching for the meaning that's always eluded her, they find themselves thrown together, the night before Christmas Eve. On Ruf's annual infamous northern Candy Cane Run, and...
And this Christmas, it all started with a candy cane.
Rufus turned off the highway, and soon they were travelling down a pitted, narrow expanse of frozen dirt and packed down snow that was jokingly called a road. The undercarriage rattled and the chassis bobbed up and down as tree branches scraped the side of the truck. Emily leaned forward, gazed out the windshield, and peered up as high as she could see. A dark sky greeted her, the luminescent moon a welcome sight. “Wondering where the heck we are?” “You could tell me and I wouldn’t have a clue.” “Starlight Lake. First entrance north of Blue Moose Bay.” “Well, that tells me a lot,” she grinned. The truck burst onto a clearing with an old house sitting toward the front of it, and Rufus parked. “Grab that bag for me, will you? And about ten of those candy canes? But be careful with the bag, it’s breakable.” He rounded the truck to the back of it, popped the hatchback and started unloading boxes. She jumped out and shivered with the slap of cold, but something about it made her feel alive too. “I’m not coming in, you know,” she said, half as a statement and half as a question. “Of course you are! We’ll be less than ten minutes but I’d rather not leave you out here.” She stared at the big coat she was wearing. Yes, it was fantastically warm. But it was also bore the scars of many manly, rough, dirty endeavors and was ripped at the bottom, the stuffing peeking out, also dirty. “I can’t meet people like this!” “Claude’s eyesight is failing. He’ll get off on your voice. Sexy as hell. “ He winked. “And Hannah won’t care.” That was that, apparently. She watched as he balanced a square box on top of another one. “I’ll come back for the third.” “Wait, I can grab that.” She slipped the handles of the plastic bag over her coat sleeve, grabbed the last box, grunted with its weight. “Smythe. I can remember that.” He gave her a quick smile and they trudged up to the front door, their breath coming in frosty puffs of fog. Rufus strode into the closed-in porch, placed the boxes on an old wooden drop-leaf table resting on the side. Then he banged on the door firmly, announcing their arrival. An old woman, thin, appeared at the door, waved them in. “Come on in, for land’s sake! Get out of that cold!” Once inside, Emily watched as he bent to her, and she raised her frail arms and looped them around his neck. The old woman broke the embrace, and slapped him on his cheek. “You’re looking good, kid!” Rufus beamed. “I owe it all to your preserves.” He grabbed the bag from her. “And this is my friend, Emily. She’s along for the ride tonight. Keeping me company.” The old woman’s eyes skimmed over her expertly. Well, she must have passed the preliminary test because she saw approval. Hannah reached her hand out to grasp Emily’s. “Friend?” she asked, with a touch of disbelief. “Friend.” Rufus said firmly. “She’s been safeguarding the jars. Here they are. All of them.” They clattered and clinked in the bag. “And here are your replacements.” Hannah’s face came to life as she pointed to a box on the counter, a big red ribbon scrawled on the side of the cardboard in magic marker with Merry Christmas and endless exclamation marks written after it. “Mustard beans—we had a heck of a crop this year. Strawberry jam,” —she watched his face in anticipation and was very obviously gratified by the whoop that broke from him— “and some of that borscht you like so much. A few other things. It’ll all keep, as long as you want it to.” He bent to her again, gave her another big, resounding hug. “Hannah, I don’t know what I’d do without you or your stuff. Whenever I’m bored of, well, you know,” he grinned “meat, or take-out, I just go to the pantry and grab one of your jars. And I’m happy. Spreading that jam on thick sliced bread...” His face broke out into what she could only call a paroxysm of glee. “But enough about that and all the goodies ahead of me. Here’s your Christmas present, Hannah. From me and my friend Emily, to you and Claude. Emily?” The old woman tossed her a glance, and her cheeks rounded in an anticipatory smile. “Yes?” “Those candy canes for my special friends, if you please?” And somehow, just the way he said it, with the pride in his voice, she felt like she was distributing gold. She smiled at the old woman as she handed her the spray of ten, tiny candy canes. “Here.” “Thank you, honey. We love these, and Rufus knows it.” She placed them carefully onto a plate on the counter, yellowed, with a tiny drawing of pine trees and red sleighs boughed with snow in the middle of it, old. “And here. I’ve got something for you too.” A tiny little spot in her chest started to glow, but she stamped it out quick. The woman didn’t even know her. She was being polite. “Now, I knew he’d want it,” she said with a tip of her head toward Rufus, “but I deliberately kept it out of his box. And I also saved it from Claude. No way either one of them was getting this. I just knew I’d need an extra jar for someone special that might come along during the holidays.``” Emily found herself smiling, and it was genuine. The old woman picked up the treasured item from the very corner of her counter space and brought the jar over to her, cradling it in two hands. The red of the berries was summer’s red, luminescent. Full of the sunshine and green fields, the baked dirt producing a bounty of plump fruit and sweetness. “Strawberry?” “This one is special. It has a tad extra sugar, but I like to experiment. I also put a bit of organic lemon in it. Claude loved it—told me that’s all he wants next year. I hope you enjoy it.” She gave her a once over. “You look to me like the type that likes it tart.” “I do! But how did you know?” The old woman brushed her hands on her worn slacks. “It’s a look. You like everything neat and tidy, and in its place, but then you like to mess it all up, without warning.” She turned to Rufus. “You better watch this one. I think you’ve met your match.”
Real Temptation/ Special Delivery
Real Men Book 7
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publication Date: May 11, 2018
She's high society. He's blue collar.
And he's only got one night to prove to her... blue collar is better.
WARNING: Graphic language, swearing, and frank sexual descriptions.
Oh. And chocolate truffles, velcro'd bondage straps, Manolos, and a bit of grime.
She wears a delivery uniform, but it won't be for long. Alex Jordan is determined. She'll work hard - do anything - to get her family back to its former wealth and standing in Toronto society. Once a solid member of the tennis club set, everything fell apart when her father was convicted of white collar crime. Life is harsh now, but Intimate Deliveries, her small company and brainchild of a delivery service is the vehicle to restore their lives. She'll build her brand, work her fingers to the bone, and she knows she'll achieve her goal. Eventually. She has to.
But she's also got her eye on rich and handsome Montreal playboy Luc Etalier. If she scores the heartthrob as a husband, her dreams will be realized all the faster. She'll get them all back to their former glory and ease of life - including her father, once he's released - one way or another.
He's blue collar, has sworn off alcohol, and she's lit his dreams of something more. Rand Peters has watched - and salivated - every time the brash young woman has come in to their machine shop to work the account. She's fueled his sexual fantasies for over a year, but she's also inspired him to go back to university part-time and work on that business degree. If she can go for what she wants, a former rich girl now in the trenches with the rest of them, so can he. And he's also seen something in her - working so hard in a life that's foreign to her - that touches his heart.
But a relationship? She'd never go for him - though something eggs him on to try. First real chance he gets, he will. He has to.
Now it's New Year's Eve, and he's there alone. Alex comes in with a delivery, ready to do her job and then run to her glamorous NYE party with old friends. But miracle of miracles - it's the wrong part. They'll have to wait for the new one. Together...
A New Year's Eve Erotic Romance
He stood there, eyes liquid, melting like…bronze. Like something captured in the depths of a blaze. Controlled, but…barely. And it hit her. Oh. My. Goodness. Had that been him? A couple of months ago, on a rainy Toronto day, late afternoon, just before the dinner hour. Sheets of rain had ascended suddenly from the cloudy skies, pelting the sidewalks. Inundating the brave or hapless souls determined to carry on, enroute to where they were going, in spite of the torrential downpour. She hadn't been one of them. Wearing a new suit, freshly dry cleaned, her raincoat on her arm and a briefcase full of files, she’d decided that instead of struggling in the rainstorm to get home to a cold tin of tuna waiting for her in her cupboards, she’d duck into a trendy coffee bistro that breathed life and warmth instead on Queen Street. She’d slipped her butt onto one of the tall vinyl stools in the storefront’s eating area, hooked her heels onto the crosspiece and ordered the daily soup, her mind on what she could get done while someone else did the cooking, serving, and cleaning up. Yanking her business plan out of her beat-up leather briefcase, her elbow had roundly bumped the occupant of the stool beside her, and she’d murmured an apology. She’d mentally catalogued him, of course—she was a Torontonian. And she’d seen a working-guy type of stiff with rumpled clothes. He’d been young. Dirty blond hair, with the vestiges of a beard growing. Kinda cute, actually. But work had been on her agenda. The growth and momentum of her fledgling business. Calls to her friend, a banker, discussing projections for the coming fiscal year was planned. She’d rattled on for half an hour. After a bit, she’d noticed the guy’s attention wasn’t on a noisy conversation between a couple of teenage girls. Young women whose breasts were almost tumbling out of their spandex low cuts, his ear was tipped, instead, toward her. Toward her conversation. She remembered being surprised, then annoyed, but through it all she was struck with how different it felt to be around someone who…listened to her. Intently. He was sitting there with what she could only describe as a reverential awe. And then her banker friend had brought up something else she needed to consider to get the additional loan she was requesting, and she was back to tending her business. She’d thrown around some terms just to impress listening-guy, the feeling of being taken seriously was that good, but then she’d almost forgotten him until the papers had slipped from her fingers onto the floor and their heads bumped as he jumped to retrieve them for her from the dirt-spackled black-and-white tile. She’d noted the twinkle in his eye, the welcoming expression. He’d quickly murmured ‘Allow me’ and when she did, he wiped his greasy hands carefully on his overalls, bent down chivalrously, and handed her the forecast sandwiched in a clean napkin. It was the same guy. Momentarily off guard, she hastened to pull a retort from the reserve of smart ass remarks she always had in waiting. Anything to break the weird spell that lay over her in his presence, in this deserted back room of a sprawling plant. She glanced at his face. His gaze was still just as intent on her, and in it she read something new. Lust. Along with the same glimmer she’d seen in the coffee shop months ago—full out admiration. And now, with that ‘tude? And what he’d just done? She was shaky. All he had to do was press her against that table, put those hands on her, and he could have his way with her. She was alone with him and the industrial district was all but deserted by now. She’d have no way to fight him off, if that was his intent. And she was shaky too, realizing how the thought of messing with him, of feeling those firm lips on hers and the press of that hard body against her was not entirely off-putting. Perhaps the fact that he was quiet now, but with a guarded intensity, added to the appeal. Her and Luc were on a break, kinda. Weren’t they? Even though it had been the last thing she’d wanted, and she’d protested. And this guy was offering to do something for her that up until right now, she hadn’t realized she wanted. Or…needed. And hell. She did need something.
Real Men Book 9
Genre: Hot Contemporary Sports Romance
Publication Date: December 20, 2019
He’s adored by women–and men–all over the world. The raw, gritty NHL player, Dante Knight.
But life changed abruptly, a year ago. Now Dante’s no longer interested in the limelight, or in the panties strewn on the ice. With the same focus he applied to his stunning NHL career, he’s interested in only one woman….
Kelley Dunham. The girl who loved him, way back when.
It’ll be easy, though. She’s crazy for him, right?
Puppy love for the moody Dante consumed Kelly Dunham’s formative years. But she unravelled when the NHL hopeful abruptly left their tiny Canadian mountain town, after their first—and only—night together. She moved on, soul flaming from the shock. Worse, everyone knew.
Time for a change.
Now she’s ready for the playgirl life. Stupid Dante had the right idea, and she’s going to adopt his credo. Sex for nothin’ and her guys for free.
But when Dante reappears in a blizzard and they’re snowed in, and he’s finally ready to be the man she always knew he could be…
She stands firm. Nothing’s changing her new-found mission.
Let the games begin.
Thank goodness for the intense rehab routine he'd been involved in for the last few months. It totally saved him from an embarrassing face plant in the snow, right now, under Kelley's ass. Though if he had to be anywhere, he had to admit, that would actually be one of his favorite spots to linger. She'd helped him out of the car, then as soon as he mumbled he was fine, she'd tossed him another look and told him to follow her. More like ordered. She'd whirled away from him, and head down, marched resolutely up the hill, her little dog running wildly ahead of her, the steep degree not winding her in the least. Now he was lagging behind, lugging his gear bag, the incline something he had to adjust to. Good grief. Before, he would have sprinted ahead of her, grabbed her and play-wrestled her to the snowy ground. Obviously stronger, lightning-quick. Miles ahead of anyone else in this town. Hell, in Colorado, where his team, the Colorado Avalanches, were stationed. Anywhere. Oh well. Another dose of humility. He'd learned to take instructions from orderlies that were younger than he was and lived to envy guys sweeping the floor in the ward he'd lived in for almost a year--the type of menial job he swore he'd never do. Another brilliant, slashing life lesson across his formerly trendy existence. And this one—working to keep up with a girl—was another one.
A Real Man
Real Men Book 1
Real Men Book 2
It Started on a Back Road
Real Men Book 3
Real Men Book 4
Real Men Book 8
Hi there! I'm SO glad we've connected!
I write books set in the small towns and big cities of Canada. Right now I'm writing the Real Men series - first installment set in Jack's Bay, northern Ontario - a place I <3 so much!
My heroes and heroines haven't had an easy time of it. But they take what life dishes out, and somehow, with grit, determination and heart - especially heart - they transform it into gold. Their gold.
Their stories - like life! - range from sweet to sexy, contemporary to suspenseful.
Want to know when there's a new Susan Saxx book released? Click the yellow "FOLLOW" button above.
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Interaction your thing? Come hang with me at Saxxy Reads, on FB. I promise - the water's always fine!
And welcome...to Jack's Bay, northern Ontario, to the upcoming sister series in B.C., and to the rancher (#1), the tormented dark-net genius (#5), the 'hit rock-bottom' ex-Seal (#4), and the ex-star hockey player (Coming Dec. 2018) - all military reservists, and the passionate, heroic women they fall for.
REAL MEN is the series - get to know them all at www.susansaxx.com.
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What kind of Christmas food do you love?
I’m a sucker for roast turkey. Oh, so much. And other than the delicious crispy brown skin on the turkey breast, I'm a dark meat lover.
My mom used to make a delicious stuffing out of primarily rye bread, with Italian parsley in it. Some friends added liver to this, or sweetbreads. I liked my mom’s best, and tolerated the others. :)
We had stuffing, and lots of it. With turkey drippings.
More on turkey drippings?
Oh dayum. I can talk about food all day. Next best thing to eating it, LOL.
Anyway, I grew up with a love for all the stuff that's left in the pan. When I was a kid, with an obviously already-formed sense of humor, I used to say that I love burned food…because I grew up with it. I thought it was a great joke. *rolling eyes*
However, aside from the tease, that wasn't putting my mom's cooking down. Back in the day when if you wanted to eat, you cooked (or went hungry), she cooked—all the time. And there wasn't always time to watch everything carefully because life was happening around you at the same time. So things did get ‘well-done’ at times, and stuff did get stuck to the bottom of pans, often. Especially in the oven.
Well, some of that ‘stuff’—is the best.
To this day, I absolutely love taking a fork, and scraping up whatever’s there. The flavors are intense, and the best. And that includes turkey drippings, and burnt-on stuff. It’s a rare gift for those who’re in the kitchen after, and have to wash pans and stuff, right?
And if someone pours water into the pan without excavating all that lovely stuff—I cry.
End of story, LOL.
How about sweets?
Oh, so many sweets. I’m actually not crazy about most traditional Christmas cookies, though. They’re just okay. Though I'll make a definite exception for shortbread.
Years ago, chocolate chip shortbread wasn't a thing. I remember thinking-hey. Shortbread would taste awesome with chocolate chips in it, so I baked some traditional shortbread, and added dark, semisweet chocolate. It was cutting-edge when I did it, and I’d thought of it myself. And boy, was it GOOD.
Anyway, it must've been the phenomenon where everybody thinks of the same thing at the same time, because yes, it did start appearing elsewhere. And none of those people knew me, LOL.
Real shortbread is the best. With the whole rice flour thing.
(FYI—I’ve included my mom’s stuffing recipe and my recipe for Jack’s Bay Moose-poo Shortbread as bonuses in my Christmas book: It Started With A Candy Cane. :)
Any other sweets?
I love panettone. (The Italian holiday sweet bread, not the color coding system, lol). Anything egg-bready, with hot chocolate, or tea with lemon in it. Or coffee. With real butter. Did I mention, real? *swoons*
And another sweet that I love, in any season, but rarely have anymore cause yes, I’m always, at least, TRYING to watch what I eat, is a chocolate chip pan cookie that I make. The dough mixes up fast in my ancient Phillips food processor (and is highly edible uncooked, which is a good excuse for baking, right?) Then I hand-mix in dark semi-sweet chocolate chips, and press it into an 8 x 8 pan. They’re okay hot, but I especially love when they cool and have been in the fridge for a while. Then when I bite into the homemade cookie dough, I love being greeted with the hard, dark chocolate chips.
Maybe we should get off food now LOL, and on to diets.
Or I’ll be hauling out the old Phillips again. :)
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