Thursday, June 9, 2022

Delighted by Lexi Blake Blog Tour

If they make it through the storm, love will just be the icing on the cake… Because family is the real prize.

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters & Mercenaries series…

Brian “Boomer” Ward believes in sheltering strays. After all, the men and women of McKay-Taggart made him family when he had none. So when the kid next door needs help one night, he thinks nothing of protecting her until her mom gets home. But when he meets Daphne Carlton, the thoughts hit him hard. She’s stunning and hardworking and obviously in need of someone to put her first. It doesn’t hurt that she’s as sweet as the cupcakes she bakes.

Daphne Carlton’s life revolves around two things—her kid and her business. Daphne’s Delights is her dream—to take the recipes of her childhood and share them with the world. Her daughter, Lou, is the best kid she could have hoped for. Lula’s got a genius-level intelligence and a heart of gold. But she also has two grandparents who control her access to private school and the fortune her father left behind. They’re impossible to please, and Daphne worries that one wrong move on her part could cost her daughter the life she deserves.

As Daphne and Boomer find themselves getting closer, outside forces put pressure on the new couple. But if they make it through the storm, love will just be the icing on the cake because family is the real prize.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Click HERE to peruse our reviews of other books in the Masters & Mercenaries series!


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Delighted by Lexi Blake

Book 24.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)




“It was a rough day. I could use a hug, if you don’t mind,” she said, trying to hold back tears. “The oven is going to die soon, and I don’t have the money to fix it, and I’m going to fail.”

His arms came around her, and she breathed him in. He smelled clean and crisp, like a spring wind. Her brain knew it had to be soap, but she associated the smell with him, and it soothed her.

“It’s okay.” He rocked her a little. “I’ve got a friend who is good with appliances. I can ask her to look at it. Don’t worry, Daph. It’s going to be all right. Lou’s good here. I promise. Lou’s good, and you’re going to be okay. I can’t let you go under or Big Tag would get mad at me. He really likes lemon cupcakes.”

They stood there for a moment, his warmth melting some of the ice that had built up over the last several years.

She tilted her head up, and that gorgeous man was staring down at her like he could eat her up, and warm was no longer the word she would use.

Hot. Desire flooded her system like a flash fire, and she wanted nothing more than to go up on her toes and kiss those magnificent lips of his.

Those lips belonged to another woman, and that woman was in the building. What the hell was she thinking? He was a nice man. He didn’t want to kiss her. He was being kind.

She stepped back, wiping her eyes. “Thank you, Boomer. And if you do have someone who can take a look at the oven, I would so appreciate it. You get all the cupcakes. What kind does MaeBe like? Would she be okay with the hugging thing?”

He frowned, like he was trying to figure something out. “I hug Mae a lot. At least I used to. She’s not so huggy these days. She likes anything chocolate.”

Boomer had looked sad when he’d said Mae didn’t hug him much anymore. She hated the thought of this big cuddly god of a man being in a cold relationship, but she wasn’t going to be the reason they broke up.

“Then I will make her something chocolate, and the lemon ones for your boss,” Daphne promised. She had to get these crazy urges under control or she would need to find Lou another place to stay, and she got the feeling Lou would object. “So where is the lounge? Or the gulag. That one kind of scares me.”

“Kala? Oh, that proves you have excellent instincts.” Boomer turned to walk back down the hall.

Those heads were back up above their cubicle walls, and she also noticed the doors to a whole bunch of offices were open.

“Is there a reason everyone is watching us?” She hurried down the hall to catch up with him.

“Because they’re all nosy bastards, and I can’t even complain,” Boomer replied. “I was a nosy bastard, too. We’re a weird family, and everyone is always in everyone else’s business, but it’s not a bad thing. The kind of people who would take advantage get weeded out very quickly around here. Big Tag takes care of them, and there’s usually a lawsuit, but that’s what Mitch is for. Hey, we also have a criminal defense attorney on call. Her name is Lea, and she’s really scary. Now if she had been working the reception desk when we invaded, we might have had trouble.”

She loved listening to him talk. His voice was deep, but every word was tinged with the humor he seemed to have for the world around him. The positive light he exuded was always there in his words.

If only the man weren’t attached…

She shoved aside the thought because he was totally out of her league. They weren’t even playing the same game.

But maybe they could be friends.



Nothing was going to taste as good as Daphne.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I love visiting the worlds of Masters & Mercenaries and Sanctum. Each time is so different, but you feel as if the same because there are so many of the same characters from previous books that it feels as if you stepped into a family reunion.

Brian “Boomer” Ward is the caregiver, he takes in strays. When the kid next door needed help one night, Boomer was all too happy to help until her mom got home. Needless to say, he fell head over heels in love with Daphne the minute he saw her.

While Boomer doesn't want to push her, Daphne thinks he has a girlfriend, she is content having him as a friend, something she doesn't have. When she finds out that MaeBe isn't his girlfriend, she is ready to take things to the next step.

As they get closer, it seems someone is out to get Daphne. But what the person or persons don't know is that they do not want to mess with the folks at McKay-Taggart. And Daphne knows what she wants and will not let anyone stand in the way of getting what is best for her and her daughter.

I loved this story and I think it might be my favorite so far. It is filled with fun, flirty, family, suspense, a talking bird, a genius 12-year-old, and an all-around great story. I look forward to the next book in the series.

This is identified as book 24.5 of the series – and yet you could read this fresh and enjoy every minute... but I defy you to not want to go back and enjoy the whole series!

Boomer is such a good guy, and yet his slowness at school has cast a long shadow over his life in terms of considering himself worthy. He is so innately intelligent, and such a good man, that it is incredibly frustrating and also unfair. I loved that he found someone who finally got him and gave him everything too. A truly heartwarming and engaging story, which I loved from the very beginning.

Daphne was just the perfect person to understand the value of what Boomer was offering, and her super bright daughter was completely on board with him being a precious addition to their family.

I loved catching up with the gang and once again we get insight into how the next generation are going to be able to offer us another run of fabulous stories... perfection!

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Romance

Boomer is a softy at heart. He wants everyone to be safe and cared for. He has a plethora of pets and now that his good friend is staying with him, he is also making sure she’s taken care of too. But when his neighbor’s daughter comes knocking on his door, he can’t turn her away either. Someone was following the young girl and despite her incredible intelligence, she was still nervous and sought him out.

Daphne is doing her best to run a successful business and raise an incredibly intelligent, smart, sweet child. Her daughter is her whole world. When she realizes that her very sexy neighbor has helped her daughter out, Daphne can’t help but swoon just a little. But with obligations breathing down her neck and in-laws who hold the purse strings for her daughter’s education, a romantic entanglement isn’t in the cards.

As Boomer watches how hard Daphne works and knows that he can ease her burden, at least a little, he has to gauge how involved to become since it seems that Daphne isn’t quite sure about him.

These two have to learn to trust and know that if either of them fall, the other one will catch them. It’s fun to watch Daphne blossom and gain confidence in her own abilities. Boomer has always been a fun character to watch. He’s quiet and confident too.

You’ll fall in love with this small family, and the extended family are still so much fun! You won’t be disappointed in these short stories that Blake has for this amazing set of characters.



He had an appetite for her. A big one that might take a lifetime to satisfy.


Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LEXI BLAKE lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. Since starting her publishing journey in 2010, she’s sold over three million copies of her books. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings.

Connect with Lexi Blake

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Boomer was too good to be true.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Delighted (Masters & Mercenaries #24.5; Sanctum Nights #13) by Lexi Blake to read and review.

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