Archived – The Heart of the Hunter by Natalie-Nicole Bates

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This page serves as the Start blog for the hunt and you can always return here if you miss any of the key words.


~ About the Book ~


The Heart of the Hunter

Title: The Heart of the Hunter

Author: Natalie-Nicole Bates

Published: December 2013

Word Count: 54,000

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Content Warning: Contains heavy adult situations and themes

Recommended Age: 18+


~ Synopsis ~


After a devastating accident, Barret Atkins has accepted a quiet, solitary existence. His life is turned upside down, when he finds the badly injured Kansas Smith, left for dead in a case of mistaken identity. As Kansas begins to recover, Barret must face some deep scars of his own. When the couple begin to fall for each other, their lives spin into a revival of past hurts, jealousies, and betrayals, causing Barret to put a halt to their budding relationship.

Barret’s hesitation causes his best friend-turned vicious rival, Duncan Craig, to pursue a friendship with Kansas. Where will this leave Barret? Can they all hold on long enough to escape Kansas’s attacker, and will they ever conquer their own inner demons intent on keeping them apart?


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads


~ About the Author ~


Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.

Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.

She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.


Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog


Now on to the scavenger hunt! A special excerpt has been written exclusively for this event and can’t be found anywhere other than participating blogs. This excerpt has had twenty words removed and it’s up to you to find these key words on the blogs taking part.


~ Where can the key words be found? ~


One key word is located on each participating blog in green text. Some will jump right out at you with ease while others will be a litter harder as you search for the cleverly hidden words.


~ When will the posts go up for the hunt? ~


There are 6 to 7 stops a day from January 29th – 31st. If you miss a word or get turned around while searching, below is the entire schedule so you can pick up where you left off. I will be updating it with the direct link to the hunt posts once they are live to make things a little easier.


~ Hunt Schedule ~


The Heart of the Hunter by Natalie-Nicole Bates:


~ Excerpt ~


“So, what’s it like to be married to a rock star?”

Kansas heard this question so many times during her ten year marriage to Quinn that it now caused her head to ache. She didn’t want to talk about her ex-husband with Barret. Still, she knew a lot of people were _______ about marriage to a celebrity.

“Ex, Barret, ex. Quinn isn’t my husband any longer. But to answer your question, Barret, I’ve known Quinn since I was ten years old. When he was Sean Marshall, an ________ person, long before he ever became Quinn Michaels.”

The resentment was evident in her voice. She didn’t want him to think she lived some fairy tale existence with Quinn. In the end, Quinn was just a man with many foibles who was admired by millions _______ of a pretty face and a beautiful voice. Attributes that Quinn took full _________ of.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry. It’s just…I’ve wondered why…” he hesitated.

She knew what he was getting at. “______ not prying, Barret. If you want to know why Quinn and I are no longer married, just ask.”

“Kansas,” he touched her cheek, “you are the sweetest, most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, and after his ________ visit here, I can tell Quinn still loves you.”

There was such a soft look in his blue eyes, and once again, Kansas couldn’t __________ why Barret thought nothing more of her than just a surrogate little sister. Didn’t he realize how good they could be together?

“Be that as it may, Barret, Quinn and I will never again be a couple,” she said firmly. “Once a cheater, always a cheater. I __________ the articles in the weekly rags, and the chatter on the internet for a very long time. But when Lynsey Reznor came into his life, I knew I had to get out with what little dignity I still had.”

He cocked his head. “Lynsey Reznor? That name is so familiar.”

“She’s a very __________ true-crime writer from Miami. You can’t walk past a bookstore or watch the Crime Central channel without seeing her.”

Barret averted his eyes. “Oh, that Lynsey Reznor.”

“I can’t hate her too much, though. Apparently she was as ________ to my existence, as I was to hers. She dumped Quinn when she _____ out he was married.”

He shook his head. “Men like your ex-husband give all men a bad name. If we were married, you never would have to worry that I would give a woman a ______ look. I’m loyal to a fault.”

If only, she thought.

“Well, if anything came out of it, you must be pretty well financially set after your divorce.”

For a ______, she considered lying to him, pretend to be a broken little divorcee. But in an instant, she knew she wanted to keep her relationship with Barret honest.

“My financial settlement with Quinn is public knowledge. For ten years, I receive a certain percentage of his previous year’s earnings. If I remarry, all financial support ends.”

Barret let out a low whistle _____ his breath. “I guess you won’t be getting remarried anytime soon—not for the next years, at least.”

Anger sparked inside her. “Do you really think I’m that shallow? That all I’m _________ with is a never ending tap of cash?” she snapped. “Contrary to your belief, I look _______ to marrying a man who doesn’t need mass love to feed his enormous ego. I want a home in the suburbs and a garden full of children.

_______, even if I was all about the money, one of these days Quinn will fall out of favor with his fans, and the money will dry up.”

She felt the need to not mention that even if she never saw another penny from Quinn, she would never be poor.

Kansas didn’t want to talk any more about money. To her, it didn’t matter what either of them had, if they were only ________. Even though his kisses were frequent, and his touches lingered longer on her skin, it was becoming clearer to Kansas with each passing day that she was deluding herself with the belief that she and Barret would have a _______ ever after together. Still, she would stubbornly cling to the small ____ until Barret once and for all, told her to her face that there would never be anything more between them than good friends.


~ How do I enter the giveaway? ~


Just visit each participating blog and find the word in green. Then submit that word to the Rafflecopter widget on the entry option that matches the blog on which you found the key word. Each word you find and submit will earn you an entry into the giveaway.


~ Want to earn extra entries into the giveaway? ~


Place the key words into the excerpt into the correct places and submit it to us for verification and earn extra entries into the giveaway!


 ~ How do I submit my completed excerpt? ~


The last key word can be found on Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews on January 31st. On Laurie’s blog there is a form where you can submit your completed excerpt. Simply copy the excerpt into a word document, fill in the key words that you’ve found into the places you believe they belong, copy the excerpt in its entirety, and paste it into the form.


~ When is the deadline to have the excerpt submitted? ~


All excerpts must be submitted before 11:59PM EST on February 5th to be eligible for the giveaway.


~ Prizes ~


One GRAND prize winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter to WIN a $20 Amazon gift card! In addition, a first and second runner-up will each win a $5 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is international.


~ Giveaway~


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stay You & Happy Reading,



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