SPOTLIGHT: Bentley (Summon a Bad Boy) by Megan Slayer #sportsromance #PNR @MeganSlayer

I call on the fates to bring my love to me. As I will it, so mote it be

Natalie Harvey wants a guy who not only understands baseball, but supports her love of the game. When she meets bad-boy first baseman for the Cougars, Bentley Turner, she can’t help but fall for him. He’s sexy, strong, athletic and irresistible. He’s her perfect man, but what if he’s not interested? The spark is there, and she decides to invoke the spell. Why not?

She’s ready to summon her very own bad boy and try her luck with love.

Available Today at Changeling Press
or Preorder for June 17 at online booksellers


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Megan Slayer

“I’d like someone to take me to the ballpark and not expect me to pay to get them in or get them up close to the team. Just to watch a game with me,” Natalie Harvey said. “I thought I’d find someone by now.” She glared at her friend Sarah. Sarah could be loyal and sweet, unless Sarah wanted something.

“I can’t help it that you’re hard to please.” Sarah fiddled with her watch. “You’re too picky.”

“I am?” She scoffed. “I don’t want to be used.”

“Well… don’t have a job that entitles you to special treatment and think men won’t try to get in on said special treatment,” Sarah said. “And I don’t want to go to yet another baseball game. I mean, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But right now, I’m testing something.”

“You’re…” Sometimes she wondered why she even tried. Sarah could be rather self-centered at times. “I happen to like baseball.” She liked all different sports.

“You’re the only one.”

“I doubt that.” The minor-league games attracted quite a few fans, because the games were just as exciting as the major league ones. Every player was hungry to show his skills, and every play mattered because it could prove the player’s worth to the next level teams. If the front offices or coaches saw potential, the player would ascend to the next level. Plus, the games were entertaining. Spectators were close to the field, the food was inexpensive as were the tickets, and the food was better than some restaurants.

“You have to pay attention to the various scores, players, transitions and all that for your work. Why would you want to go to a baseball game on your day off?” Sarah asked

“You mean transactions,” Natalie said. “Because I like baseball.” Yes, she worked weekends on the sports team for Channel 7, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t like sports outside of work. She’d scored tickets to the game and should be pumped to go — except she didn’t want to go alone.

“Transactions, transitions… they’re moving back and forth.” Sarah waved her hand. “You knew what I meant.”

“I did.” She watched Sarah tap her phone. “By the way, what are you testing? The spell? It works. Karey got it to work and so did Mandy. It’s not a fluke.” Why didn’t Sarah see that?

“We haven’t gotten it to work in three months,” Sarah snapped. “There’s something wrong.”

“Yeah. Us.” She hated to be blunt, but Sarah needed the truth. “We keep picking up guys we know are shit. I didn’t try too hard with Dwayne and ta-da! He didn’t work. Nikki didn’t really like Callum, and that’s why that didn’t pan out. We’ve simply tried to keep you happy and have used the spell, but we’re not exactly finding our Prince Charmings because we’re not looking hard enough.”

Sarah’s glare could’ve cut through Natalie. “Excuse me?”

She’d gone this far and might as well finish. Sarah wouldn’t get the hint until someone spoke straight with her. “You’re so busy trying to get us hooked up, but you’re ignoring the choice for you. Why can’t we let this happen more organically?” Natalie asked. “Or give us the time and freedom to find our guy?”

“We have had success and will again, but I’m concerned it’s taking too long,” Sarah said and shook her head. “But there is no good choice for me.”

“No?” Natalie could think of at least one good guy. “Kurt means nothing to you? He’d give his right arm, leg and nutsack for you.”

“Right,” Sarah said. “He’s an annoyance, and he’s not that invested.”

“I suppose you’re right. He does have a girlfriend now,” Natalie said, intentionally annoying Sarah. “I saw them together two nights ago.” He’d been out with his sister, but Natalie wasn’t about to tell Sarah that.

“What?” Sarah paled. After a moment, she regained her color and smiled. “Good. He should move on.”

“Uh-huh.” Sarah still loved him, but her pride prevented her from giving him another chance. One day Natalie would ask what Kurt had done to make Sarah turn on him, but that day wasn’t today.

“This isn’t about me. It’s about you and Nikki. How about instead of going to the game, you come to the bar with us?” Sarah asked.

“I already have tickets, and I’m not wasting them.” At least not wasting one of them.

Sarah rolled her eyes. “You get tickets for free because of your job.”

“So?” That didn’t mean she should waste the chance to go. “I do have to keep tabs on the players.”

“Would you happen to be looking to hook up with one of those players?” Sarah folded her arms. “Some of those soccer players are pretty hot.”

“Baseball players are, too.” She shouldn’t have said that. “But they’re like other guys. They find out I’m a sportscaster and want things from me that I can’t give them. I don’t seem to find any decent guys. I meet athletes who want to get noticed and drunks who spill things and also want to get noticed.” She’d been kissed three times because she’d been caught on the kiss camera. Why did the person running the camera insist on putting her on the spot? The guys who’d kissed her weren’t attractive and none had her permission.

“I need to find someone for you for the spell,” Sarah said. “There has to be someone.”

She hadn’t heard a word Natalie had said.

“I need to go. Nikki’s waiting on me.” Sarah left the table and strode away.

“Thanks.” Natalie sighed. She’d been left at the table and with the bill… again. Next time, she’d tell Sarah to shove it instead of meeting her for lunch.

Natalie waved down the waiter who returned a moment later with the bill. She paid, then finished her tea. Fine. She’d go to the game by herself. It wasn’t like she’d never done it before. Most of the time, she tried to get in on the spectator play afterward. She’d played softball, soccer, basketball and run track in high school, then run track and played softball in college. She knew what she was doing on the sports field.

She walked out of the bistro, and her thoughts turned to Sarah’s dismissal. The spell. Sarah swore she’d hook up every member of their friend circle with their perfect guy because of the magic. The spell worked for two of the women, but they weren’t going to find high-class men by hanging out at a bar.

She shook her head as she started her car then drove across town to the baseball stadium. Of the many things she liked about having a minor league team so close was the ample parking. She never had to walk more than a few hundred yards, and the lot was well-lit. She locked her car and hustled up to the ticket window. Once she showed her credentials and ticket, she gained entrance to the facility.

Natalie strode over to the first-base side and located her seat. When she was on the clock, she liked to sit right at the edge of the field to better take in the action. Since she wasn’t working, she’d sit four rows up and simply enjoy the game.

She loved the atmosphere of a ballgame. The sounds of the crowd, the smell of the food, the excitement in the air. The Cougars scored quickly in the second inning, and she made a few notes on her phone. The sensation at second base, Dalton Cohn, had made three great catches and even managed two double plays with the first baseman, Bentley Turner.

Natalie watched Bentley Turner in action and couldn’t help but sigh. He had a temper at times, looked like he’d stepped out of a bar, and could swear a blue streak, but he moved with grace and had skills on the field. If he hadn’t injured his shoulder defending first base last season, he’d still be in the majors and probably racking up good stats. Instead, he’d been relegated to the minor leagues to rehab. She’d spoken to him a few times and loved the deep blue of his eyes and his easy smile. He could be cocky and pushy. Rumor had it he’d bedded women in every city and left a string of broken hearts in his wake. It could all be rumors, but…


Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

SPOTLIGHT: Dead Butterflies by Lacee Hightower #darkromance @LaceeHightower

From Lacee Hightower comes a new serial killer dark romance novel!

My God, my forgiving God, why have you deserted this man who is so loving, so caring, and so generous? Why have you abandoned, betrayed, destroyed, and left him broken, bitter, and riddled with guilt? Grant mercy to this beautiful, tormented soul. Release him from this resentment and vengeance. Free his heart to love again. Forgive his sins of blood and lead him from the pathway of the forsaken. 

This connection between us was instant, eerily so. He set my body on fire, devoured me with his dark pleasures, and led me into a chilling territory of evil wrongdoings and burning passion. He had the power to seduce me, control me, and chew up my heart and spit it right back out at my feet without an ounce of remorse.

I should have loathed Derek Kinnard and his vile, unforgivable, forbidden acts. Thoughts of any future with this vengeful man were preposterous, unethical, and against everything I’d ever believed in. When he claimed that we were nothing more than an insurmountable disaster, I should have run and never looked back. But I couldn’t stay away. He was my addiction. He triggered parts of me that I’d kept locked and hidden, and taught me a whole new side to passion, love, and life. When the two of us were together, we were driven by our need and my heart didn’t seem to care about what he’d done in the past.

True love is taking the good with the bad, the darkness with the light, the dirty with the untainted, and never forsaking those who mean the most. The more Derek Kinnard tells me to walk away, the more I seem to persevere.

Some risks are worth taking, and some secrets simply worth keeping hidden…

Buy Links:

Amazon | Other Retailers


“Who are they?” I spit out. “The men in the pictures?”

“Not your concern.”

“And why does it smell like something was just burning in here?”

“I don’t smell a damn thing.”

My belly twists and turns as he glowers at me with a cold, empty expression that looks like a death stare. I attempt a step forward, but before I manage, his hands are around my neck and he’s pushed me against the wall with such a force that one of the family portraits falls to the ground and shatters.

“I could snap this beautiful neck in the blink of a goddamned second,” he says in a tone laced with pure evil. “Paralyze you, or worse.” He releases the firm hold around my throat but keeps his body against mine.

“You’re insane,” I say shakily, while fear prickles through my body. “One minute you’re touching me and the next you’re threatening me. You aren’t right in the head, Derek. Clearly.”

“My sanity isn’t any concern of yours, and you’re correct. I owe you an apology for taking this somewhere I shouldn’t have. Now do yourself a favor and go home. Forget you met me. And if you’re as smart as you come across, then you will forget everything you just saw.”

Panting, I push at his chest. “Gladly. Just move and I’ll be gone.” I take a step toward the open door, then stop for another second. “And you know what? To hell with you! I don’t know what kind of evildoing you’re involved in, but I’m certain of one thing. You’re no different than you were back then.”

He glares at me with an unyielding coldness, like I’m the antichrist while he willingly holds the door open.

“Silence is always golden, Ms. Hunt. And one is smarter to remain mum than to risk being a victim.”


Lacee Hightower is an American writer and romance novelist who loves all books dark and dirty and refers to her style as dark sexy romance. Living in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, she describes herself as a foodie that can’t cook, a large lover of fashion and SHOES, and an enormous hopeless romantic.  Since she was old enough to know what the word meant, she loved the whole concept of romance and happy endings. Even though she has always enjoyed writing, life got in the way, and she never really thought of pursuing it seriously until she decided to write her first book after both her children were grown in 2017. Since that time, she has won two Readers’ Choice Awards from Evernight Publishing and had three books hit the best seller list. Now with a nice glass of wine in hand, or not, she is learning to love bringing the characters in her head to life on paper for those who enjoy peeking into another world.

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and for information on new releases, books on sales, and other news.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Instsagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | BookBub

SPOTLIGHT: Embrace the Choice by Ellie Yarde #YoungAdult #ContemporaryRomance #YARomance #OneHourRead @readingalnight

Embrace the Choice

Series: (The Choice Series, Book 2)

Author: Ellie Yarde

Publication Date: 12th April 2022

Publisher: Independently Published

Page Length: 47 Pages

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary Romance

How do you deal with choices when you don’t know how?

Lena has always been a quiet and private person, who only talks to people she knows and doesn’t stray outside of her comfort zone. She refuses to admit to anyone but herself that she has a crush on Tyler, the roommate of a friend’s boyfriend.

When Tyler starts making excuses to spend time with her, she can’t help but like the attention, however awkward she may find social interaction. The problem is, Lena knows next to nothing about dating. Everything she knows has come from a romance book, and she is too socially inept to be able to act like the women in her books. Will she be able to summon the courage in order to go on the date she so desperately desires?

A quick read filled with friendship, love, and trashy romance books.

Buy Links:

Available on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Links:

Escape the Choice (Book 1):

Embrace the Choice (Book 2):

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

About the Author

Ellie Yarde is primarily a reader and blogger. She writes short stories, which are published on her blog, Reading All Night, where she also shares her reviews.

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Amazon Author Page:

SPOTLIGHT: Unshattered by Elena Kincaid #contemporaryromance @elenakincaid1

UNSHATTERED (Silver Cliff #1) 

Available NOW! UNSHATTERED: Silver Cliff #1

***Their pull was undeniable, like fireworks on top of flaming bonfires.***

Book Trailer:

After Anna James loses nearly everyone she loves and is betrayed by those she trusted, she sets out in search of a place that would bring her peace.  She knew she had found it when she arrived in a sleepy little town called Silver Cliff and she vows to never trust anyone with her heart again, especially a man she fears would not only break her heart, he’d incinerate it.

Nathan Kent has dealt with his own heartache and demons from getting off the path he was meant to be on. He decides to return to his home town to rebuild his life and the last thing he needs is to fall in love with a snarky girl who keeps her past under lock and key. He realizes quickly, though, that she is girl worth risking it all for and vows to make her his.

Their pull was undeniable, like fireworks on top of flaming bonfires. But Anna can’t help wonder if she and Nathan are strong enough to survive a past that keeps resurfacing or if fate will keep shattering the world around her.


With Nathan, there wasn’t just a spark. There were fireworks…fireworks on top of flaming bonfires added to all the burners on the stove going at once and mixed with all the chemicals overreacting to each other in a lab. She was sure she could come up with even more metaphors, but she’d already made her brain hurt from overthinking things. Nathan did not just have the potential to break her heart, he could incinerate it.

This wasn’t a date, she told herself again. It was a group outing. That would be her mantra tonight.

She changed her clothes several times, made sure her makeup—though she didn’t wear much—looked flawless, and she wondered if Nathan preferred her hair up or down.

Not a date. Not a date. Not. A. Date.

Okay, so maybe it really wasn’t a date, but a huge part of her wished that it was. She liked him…much more than she wanted to. How could I let this happen? She removed the clip from her hair, letting her silken locks fall straight past her shoulders. She sat on her bed with her head in her hands, berating herself for allowing these feelings. As if I had a choice. He somehow barreled into her life out of nowhere, demanding she reveal all of herself to him, and the worst part was that she wanted to. And here she was just minutes ago, wondering which way she thought he would prefer her hair to be styled.

 “Crap!” She flung herself backward onto the bed, slamming her palms down on the mattress.

The doorbell rang. “Down it is,” she said, referring to her hair. When she opened the door, Nathan stood there wearing a cocky grin.


“Um…hello.” Anna barely recognized her own voice. It came out as a sort of breathy squeak. She tried to peer past Nathan, into his car, but there was no one else with him.

Nathan turned his head to look behind him. When he turned back to face her, confusion marred his features. “Are you looking for something?”

“Where’s Ruby?” Ruby was supposed to be the one picking her up, Carla was meeting them at the restaurant right after her shift, and she wasn’t sure how Josh was getting to the restaurant.

“Ruby had a few last-minute errands, so I offered to pick you up.”

Anna finally realized she was being rude by not inviting him in, so she gestured him inside. “I’ll just go grab my bag.”

“My bag,” he mimicked in an exaggerated New York accent, making Anna laugh.

“Right, you guys say purse. You lived in the city. You should be used to it by now.”

“Mostly everyone I knew were transplants just like me, but I did get my daily dose of New Yawk City speak.”

“Oh shut it,” she said playfully. “We know there’s an ‘r’ in there. I’ll just go grab my little ole purse.”

“No rush,” she heard him say on the way to her bedroom. There was still a trace of humor in his voice.

Something had just occurred to her. Bag forgotten, she walked back out into the living room.

“Wait, are we being set up again?” She was going to kill Carla. This was surely her doing.

Nathan looked confused, or annoyed, at the possibility. She couldn’t tell which. “No. As far as I know, both Carla and Ruby are still coming, and you and I are going to go grab Josh from the station.”

Well that won’t be awkward at all, she thought.

“Would that be so bad? Us going on a date?”

She went back into her room to grab her purse, and after locking up, they walked back to his car in silence.

About the Author

Elena Kincaid is an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author. She writes Paranormal and Contemporary Romances with alpha males who stop at nothing to protect their women, heroines who are anything but damsels in distress, and stories where the only love worth fighting for is the forever kind of love.

She was born in Ukraine and raised in New York, where she currently lives with her daughter. Her desk is constantly cluttered with journals, sticky notes, and torn-out pieces of paper full of ideas. When not working, Elena loves to spend time with her family, travel the globe, curl up with a good book, and catch up on her soaps.






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SPOTLIGHT: The Layover by Gale Stanley #ContemporaryRomance #LGBTQ @GaleStanley @changelingpress

Inside the cockpit, Captain Paul Miller is always in control. But on the ground, he constantly feels adrift. His marriage is crumbling, and life has become much too complicated.

Jamey Conley has worked hard to make his café in the Frisco airport a successful venture. He loves his work – and especially the airport scenery. He goes gaga over guys in uniform, but when he meets Paul, sparks really fly. Too bad his ideal man is married — and straight.

Now Available — Only $3.39 at Changeling Press

or Preorder for April 1st at your favorite retailers


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Gale Stanley

Captain Paul Miller made a descending turn over San Francisco, and configured the airplane for a landing. Despite the wind and turbulence, he nailed a perfect touchdown. Switching to ground control, he taxied to the gate, and then stood at the flight deck door to bid farewell to the passengers.

Some pilots skipped the goodbyes, but not Paul. For the last five hours, these strangers had put themselves in Paul’s hands, trusting him to transport them through some pretty crappy weather, six miles above the earth. The least he could do was show them the face behind the voice on the speaker.

Several travelers congratulated Paul on the landing. Their relief at being on the ground never ceased to amaze Paul even though he knew fear of flying was a common phobia. Flying was hardwired in his DNA, and he couldn’t wait to be up in the clouds again. Inside the cockpit, Paul was in control. On the ground, he felt adrift. Life was complicated.

Paul smiled and nodded so many times he felt like a bobble head. Ah, finally, the last passenger. “Enjoy your stay in San Francisco.”

The young man stopped and held out his hand. “Thank you, Captain.”

Paul responded automatically and shook it. A scrap of paper passed between them. The man winked, then he was gone, leaving behind a scrawled phone number. Paul stared at it.

“Looks like you have an admirer.”

The copilot’s smirk pissed him off. Frowning, Paul made a big deal of tearing up the paper and tossing it. “Don’t you have some checklists to check?”

Sully chuckled and headed back inside the cockpit, giving Paul a chance to escape on his own. Paul was new on the Frisco run, but he’d already heard plenty of gossip about his thrice-divorced copilot. The flight attendants called him a dog who went after anything in a skirt. Paul intended to keep his distance. Happily married, well, married anyway, Paul didn’t want his reputation tarnished by a player who couldn’t keep it in his pants.

Paul’s stomach growled and his thoughts turned to breakfast and a mug of strong coffee. Airport and good food didn’t belong in the same sentence, but Paul’s hunger pangs demanded attention. The Layover café across from gate seven looked promising, but it had a long line at the door. Paul was about to pass it by, when the door opened and the rich smell of brewing coffee stopped him in his tracks. He joined the queue, and fortunately, the line moved quickly. No sooner did Paul get through the door, than a kid with caramel hair came running up, and shoved something into his hand.

“Sorry for the wait, Captain. This will…” The rest of his words were lost as the boy hurried off.

Paul stared at his hand, now clutching a pastry wrapped in waxy paper. What the —

An elbow to his arm jarred Paul back to reality. Another customer was ogling his pastry.

“Hey Cap, you gonna eat that? If you don’t want it, I’ll take it off your hands.”

Paul took a quick bite to stake his claim, and an exquisite taste exploded delightfully in his mouth. The turnover was tender, flaky, and filled with real apples. Paul licked the last crumbs from his lips as a woman with a gray bun, beckoned him to a small bistro table in the back. She pulled out one of the wrought iron chairs for him.

This woman knows how to run a restaurant. Impressed by the restaurateur, Paul smiled. “Thank you, ma’am.”

“The name’s Emma.” She pointed to her ample bosom, where a tag covered most of the logo on her white polo shirt.

“Thank you, Emma. For the chair, and the pastry.”

“You can thank Jamey for that.” Emma pulled a menu from a pocket on her navy bistro apron. She handed it to Paul, and then leaned in and lowered her voice. “We take care of our flyboys. Order the egg, potato, cheese and bacon burrito. It’ll fill you up till dinner.”

Paul’s lips twitched with amusement, but he took her advice. “Done. And coffee, please.”

The meal not only satisfied Paul’s hunger, but his taste buds as well. He pushed away his empty plate, just as the pastry-boy came out of the kitchen with a coffeepot. The name Jamey was embroidered under the logo on his white polo shirt.

“Refill, Captain?”

“Yes, please. And thanks for the pastry, Jamey.”

“Was everything okay?” Jamey asked, as he poured. “Can I get you anything else?”

“It was more than okay. I would have licked the plate if I wasn’t so full. I don’t think I’ll eat again this week.” Paul stirred sugar into his coffee. “My compliments to the chef. Oh, and tell your boss this is now my go-to stop whenever I fly to Frisco.”

Jamey’s mouth twitched with amusement. “I’ll do that.”

The boy’s smirk hinted at hidden secrets. Intrigued, Paul wanted to continue the conversation, but Jamey raised the pot in a salute. “Till we meet again.”

The door barely swung shut behind him when Emma appeared with the check. “I’ll just leave this here, Captain.”

“Thanks for everything, Emma. Your café is tops in my book.”

“Well, thank you, but it’s not my café. Jamey is the owner.”

It took a second or two for Emma’s words to sink it. Paul’s smile vanished, wiped away by astonishment. He felt like an ass. His feelings must have shown on his face.

“Don’t worry, Captain. Lots of people make that mistake.”

“I’d like to see Jamey before I leave.”

“Sure, I’ll tell him.”

Paul expected Jamey to ignore his request, but a moment later, Jamey appeared at his table.


Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.

Some things never change.

Find Gale Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

SPOTLIGHT: Lawdawg (Black Reign MC) by Marteeka Karland #mcromance #agegap @marteekakarland @changelingpress

Eden: The first time I saw Grady Bassett was when Samson brought Charlotte home. Turned out my brother’s woman is Grady’s daughter. Naturally, the man’s focus wasn’t on some camgirl at a MC he had no desire to be around. When he finally does notice me, he can’t see me for my position within the club — a woman who has sex on camera for strangers. But I noticed him… and I’m a woman who knows what she wants.

Lawdawg: Eden’s the most naturally sexy woman I’ve ever seen. Sure, I’d been worried sick about my daughter, but the second the danger to her was past, I became obsessed with Eden. I even downloaded every one of her videos. Which meant I binge watched. I gave Samson hell for wanting my daughter when he’s so much older, but now I’m in the same position. I need to let her go, to be the better man. But now I know Eden has an online stalker. He knows where she lives and who her friends are. Black Reign is compromised, so I reached out Cain at Bones MC. She might be young enough to be my daughter, but she’s still mine. No one will ever harm her. This stalker will have to go through me to even get close.

Available Now at Changeling Press

Preorder at retailers for March 25, 2022


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Marteeka Karland

“Do me a solid, will you?”

“Anything, sweetheart.”

“Don’t tell Samson. He’s got enough to worry about. I’m sure he’ll find out at some point, but I think he likes this girl he went after, and I don’t want him to concentrate on anything but her.”

“Can’t promise that, sweetheart, but I’ll give it a few days. Maybe we’ll get lucky, and Shotgun will nail this fucker.”

“OK.” It wasn’t the answer I wanted, but it was all I was getting. I was lucky Hardcase agreed to wait any length of time. And I knew Samson would have a shit fit when he found out. Then a thought struck me. “Maybe I need to lay low on the camming for a while.”

Hardcase sighed. “It might not be a bad idea. I didn’t want to suggest it, but…”

“Yeah. I get it. Let me think about it, but don’t put me on the schedule.”

“OK. We can talk about it later if you want to. I’ll see if Shotgun was able to find anything from this round.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I said, dressing before facing the two of them again. “I’m really sorry about this.”

“Not your fault, baby,” Iron said, sitting up. “We’ll get this bastard.”

I smiled. “I know.” Then I was off to see our guests. I shot Samson a text, making sure he’d taken the woman to Fury’s clinic. I hoped this was the woman for Samson. Lord knew he needed a good woman in his life. He was a good man. Any woman would be lucky to have someone so protective. As much as I loved my big brother, he needed someone to obsess over besides me. He tried to stay out of my life, but he was a little intense sometimes.

I jogged to the back entrance where I could hear the various vehicles and bikes rolling in. That’s where I’d find this woman’s father.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was expecting, but the man who jumped out of the big-ass F-450 wasn’t it. He was older — maybe mid to late forties. Though he had a large frame, it looked like it was all muscle and sinew. Not an ounce of fat. He was dressed in faded jeans and a black T-shirt that looked like it might give under the strain of his muscles.

And he looked pissed as fuck.

The Black Reign men who’d pulled in ahead of this man were headed off on their own. This guy looked around, clearly frustrated to be left with no direction. He got a determined look on his face that said he was about to tear this place apart. So I ran up to him. Out of sorts and still trembling from the appearance of my stalker, I tried my best to look like I wanted to be there helping him.

“Hey!” I called, running up to him.

“I don’t have time for this horse shit,” he muttered before turning to me with an exasperated expression. “What do you want?” He sounded as angry as he looked, and it kind of pissed me off because I knew exactly what he was getting at. I was a club girl — therefore I was looking to fuck the new fish.

“Not what you think or what you’ll be begging for later,” I snapped. “But I will take you to your daughter. Of course, I’m just assuming you’re the father of the woman my brother and his men risked their lives rescuing.”

Instantly the man’s full attention was on me, those glacier-green eyes boring into me like daggers. “You’re Samson’s sister.” It wasn’t a question.

“I am. Do you want to see your daughter or not?”

He gave me a once-over, his gaze drifting from my face down my body before returning to meet my eyes once more. “Yeah. You know where she is?”

I held up my phone. “We youngsters have a thing called text messaging nowadays.”

His scowl deepened. “Just get the fuck on with it.”

“My, my, my. So touchy.” But I headed off in the direction of Fury’s clinic. The walk was short, but I jogged in that direction, just to piss off the big guy. He kept pace with me easily, his long strides eating up the ground better than mine.

When we reached the clinic, I paused outside. He looked like he’d rather just burst in, but I stood in front of him, blocking his path. “You don’t go into Fury’s clinic without knocking unless you’re recently missing a limb. Even then it’s not a good idea.”

“If my daughter’s in there, I could give a good Goddamn,” he snapped, trying to get around me again.

“Just hold up! It costs you nothing to be polite and barging inside like a bat out of hell might make whatever is going on in there worse. Just chill!”

He might have just pushed past me if Noelle, Fury’s ol’ lady, hadn’t opened the door. She glanced at the guy before looking at me. “Your brother’s fine, Eden.” She looked up at our guest. “So’s Charlotte, Sheriff Bassett.” She stepped away from the door and motioned for us to enter. “Try not to make any loud noises or sudden movements. She’s a bit traumatized.”

“Sheriff, huh?” I chuckled. “Lawdawg.”


Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

SPOTLIGHT: Driven to the Limit by Alice Gaines #DarkFantasy #Shapeshifters @AliceGaines @changelingpress

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Renee George
Genres/Themes: Second Chance Romance, Dark Fantasy, Shapeshifters

Get it Now at Changeling Press
Preorder at Online Retailers for March 18th

After rehab, Lauren King returns to the only home she has… a rock star’s compound everyone calls The Pit. She also returns to her only friend… an antique German motorcycle she’s nicknamed Jake.

Little does she know that the cycles Klaus Mannhof made have the ability to shift into human men. Mannhof designed Jake especially for Lauren. Using his special brand of magic, Jake’s going to teach her to love him — and to love herself as well.

Praise for Driven to the Limit (Mannhof 2)

“A surprisingly poignant story about what happens when people lose themselves and get involved with the wrong people….Alice Gaines has written a wonderful addition to her series about Klaus Mannhof and his creations and I can’t wait to read more books in this series!”— 4.5 from Kerin, TwoLips Reviews

“I am not walking, but running to get the first one to read. I loved how different this story was from the usual. The author took a woman that was kind of broken and gave her a man that showed her that she was worth so much more than what she thought she was. It was very well written and I look forward to reading more by this author.”— Nicole Harvey,


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Alice Gaines
An Authorized Excerpt

After rehab, Lauren King went right back into The Pit.

Kid Dagger’s ranch and recording compound had a huge main house, three guest cottages, a recording studio, tennis courts, a state-of-the-art gym, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. But everyone who worked there called it The Pit. The nickname fit Dagger’s personality, which on a good day bordered on psychotic. Bad days didn’t bear thinking about.

Still, Lauren had called the place home for over ten years. Her job was here. Frankly, she had nowhere else to go.

As soon as she dropped her suitcase in her room, she went out to her only safe place — the small garage behind the larger one where Dagger kept his collectible cars.

She flicked on the light and looked at the closest thing she had for a friend — the antique German motorcycle. The Mannhof. “Hi, Jake.”

The bike never answered, of course. Still, she felt a link to it. The Mannhof resisted all of Dagger’s attempts to control it, something she’d never managed.

She walked to the bike and ran a hand over the leather seat. “What’s a nice machine like you doing in a place like this?”

“You decided to come back.”

Dagger’s voice. She turned and found him standing the doorway. “Did I have any choice?”

“We all have choices.” He dangled a baggie with a quarter of an inch of white powder in it. “Want some?”

She stared at him. Only Dagger would offer cocaine to someone just back from rehab. “I gave up poison for Lent.”

Anger flashed in his small, brown eyes for a minute, and then he gave her one of his phony smiles. “Okay, then, how about a quick fuck?”

“Like I said. I gave up poison for Lent.”

“Your loss.” He crossed his arms over his bare chest and leaned against the doorframe. Without the elaborate stage make-up and the costume that gave him a huge crotch bulge, Dagger, whose real name was Craig, looked like everyone’s little brother’s creepy friend. The one who kept trying to set puppies’ tails on fire. Somehow, millions of girls found him sexy. Lauren had once, but then she’d gotten to know him. She’d also seen him flipped out on various substances. Someday, he’d hurt someone — badly.

He stared at her for a minute, as if expecting her to change her mind and jump his bones. Finally, he pushed away from the wall. “Get back to work. Media bookings went to hell while you were gone.”

She sighed. “In a few minutes.”

“You going to stay out here with that hunk of junk?”

“It’s one of the finest motorcycles ever built. You paid half-a-mil for it.”

“It doesn’t run.”

True, the Mannhof had refused to start ever since the auction house had delivered it. No mechanic had ever managed to fix it, either. Hopelessly broken, just like herself. No wonder they’d become friends.

“Junk.” Dagger waved a hand at the bike. “Someday, I’m going to melt it down into a paperweight.”

“Have I told you lately that you suck?”

“Yeah, fuck you too.” He turned and left the garage.

She looked down at the bike, her friend, Jake. “Don’t worry. As long as I’m around, no one’s going to turn you into a paperweight.”

She walked to the door, switched off the light, and turned to go into the house.

Why do you put up with him?

Huh? “Who said that?”

She flipped the switch again and looked around. The room was empty except for herself and the bike. Come to think of it, the words had formed in her brain rather than coming in through her ears.

I’m glad you’re home, Schatzie. I missed you.

Her eyes widened as she stared at the Mannhof. “Did you say that?”

The air shifted around the bike, seeming to turn liquid. Currents shimmered around the tires, the gas tank, the handlebars. She rubbed her eyes, but the image didn’t get any clearer.

Holy shit. Was this some kind of withdrawal-induced hallucination? She hadn’t even done that in rehab. Rough nights, yes. Air you could swim through, no.

She backed up until her rump hit the wall and stood there on weakening knees. In the middle of the room, a light radiated from the Mannhof, making the bike’s image even harder to see. She squinted, staring into the waves of light and air around Jake. Something was happening in there. Some kind of changes taking place. The tires seemed to melt and change color from rubber to a pale tone that looked for all the world like human flesh.

Oh, no. Too weird. Too fucking weird. Some kind of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in reverse. After all she’d gone through, her mind had snapped. The counselors should have warned her.

Now useless, her legs gave way, and she slid down the wall until she sat on her butt, hugging herself.

The changes in the middle of the room continued. The form shrunk, curling into a ball of what looked like human flesh. A person. A man, lying on the floor in a fetal position without a stitch of clothing on his body. The glow disappeared, and the air went clear again, leaving only the man — powerful legs pulled up against his body with the ankles crossed. An adult-sized human baby.

A voice whimpered in fear. Her own voice. Her heart hammered in her chest, and her throat constricted. If she could get any strength in her legs, she could get up and run like hell. Still, as spooky as the whole experience was, it was pretty cool in a Hollywood, special effects way.

The person moved finally, sitting up. Buck naked, the man had pale skin and platinum hair that hung around his face to the jaw line. His eyes opened, revealing irises so crystal blue they almost seemed transparent. He smiled, his face taking on an innocent look of delight, like a baby who’d just learned to smile. He took a deep breath, or rather, the air around him went into his chest in a whoosh. Then, he opened his mouth and a sound came out — the deep roar of a motorcycle engine revving.

The sound plastered her against the wall, stealing her own breath. She sat there paralyzed for a moment, staring at him. He made no move toward her but gave her the most beautiful smile she’d ever seen on a man’s face.

“Holy shit,” she whispered. “Who are you?”


USA Today bestselling author Alice Gaines has published several sensuous and erotic works. She prefers stories that stretch the imagination, highlighting the power of love and sex. Alice has a Ph.D. in psychology from U. C. Berkeley and lives in Oakland, California, with her collection of orchids and her pet corn snake, Casper.

PREORDER: Souped Up by the Alien Vampire Mechanic by Crymsyn Hart #SciFiRomance @crymsynhart @changelingpress

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Art by Karen Fox
Genres/Themes: SciFi Romance, Alien Encounters, Vampires

Preorder for March 18th

Pulled from her life on Earth, all Melony Pike wants is to return home. Instead, she’s on a distant planet with her sister, Abigail, and Abigail’s alien mate. She knows they can’t return to Earth — she’d be hunted down and experimented on for the alien technology implanted in her neck. But even with other human women on the planet, she still feels out of place. She sure isn’t looking for a green alien mate.

Brax is a fixer, an alien mechanic. He’s been alone for a long time and he’s not looking for anyone. Then he meets Melony and his world shifts. However, a looming invasion threatens the one thing he wants. He will do anything to cement the relationship between him and Melony and will stop anyone from getting to her.


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Crymsyn Hart

Melony trailed her fingers through the fine black sand, as smooth as the contents of an hourglass broken open and standing still. The vastness of the beach made her feel as frozen as time did in this place. Turquoise ocean waves lapped at the shoreline, pulling back the sand as the tide went out. With each wave, it felt like more of her previous life washed out into the foreign ocean. The sulfuric tang of the air stuck to her tongue. She let out a long sigh.

While the picturesque landscape reminded her of a Caribbean island, the sky’s slightly purple sheen and the three moons hovering above her reminded her daily she was on a planet called Tilleron, ten light years away from Earth. All because her sister, Abigail, had fallen in love with a green alien who sucked blood and was obsessed with plants. Jaril had brought the sisters to his planet to save their lives. The Earth’s military had been about to experiment on her sister because they wanted the technology implanted in her neck.

The cool breeze fluffed her auburn hair and her stomach grumbled. The sun glinted off a silver spaceship as it descended from the sky. It sailed over her head and landed somewhere close by. It resembled the ship which Jaril had used to whisk them away, but her green-skinned brother-in-law and her sister were both on the planet enjoying mated bliss. Three months had passed since Melony had last had a decent meal. All the weird fruit and meat from this planet didn’t taste bad, but it wasn’t an Italian sausage and mushroom pizza. Lord, she missed peanut butter.

“There you are. We haven’t seen you all day.” Abigail’s voice came from behind her.

Melony curled her fingers into the sand and took a deep breath. She had argued with her sister on many occasions about returning home. Melony counted to ten before turning around and forcing a smile. “Just needed some space. You two are worse than teenagers when you get all moon-eyed over each other.”

Abigail sat next to her and rubbed her knee. The quick flash of red on Abigail’s cheeks reminded Melony how much Abs loved her alien mate. “You don’t have to run away every time you see us kissing. I know Jaril’s not the easiest person to get along with. He gets on my nerves when he starts on a tangent about his plants — I have to remind him I’m in the room. But he means well.”

“Don’t you want to go back to Earth and have a relationship with a human?” The words slipped out, but Melony already knew the answer to this particular argument. They couldn’t go back.

Her sister squeezed her thigh. “I’ve already told you how it works with them. Once he heard me moan, he knew I was his mate. He’s my other half. This place is different, but you’ve always been about unique experiences. It doesn’t matter to me he’s not human. Why do you hate them? Think about all the sucky boyfriends you’ve had.”

“They were all dead ends, like my jobs. If you recall, the reason I moved to California was to get a fresh start. I don’t hate Jaril or the rest of them. I’m just… This wasn’t what I had planned.” Abigail wasn’t wrong. Melony had ended up with some strange guys. The ones with too many tattoos who had a weird fetish and wanted her to pee on them. Mel shivered when she thought of Nicolas. Then there had been Edvard. Everything had been fine for the first couple of months until their date fell on a full moon. He confessed he was a werewolf. She’d had another who yearned to suck on her nose. Melony could rattle off a list of strange men as long as her arm.

The same with her jobs. She’d worked in a bakery and pulled taffy in a sweet shop, and waitressed on roller skates at an old-fashioned diner. Mel had a great resume of life experiences, but it wasn’t until she moved to California that she’d had a chance to put her skills together to use with a national chain of sweet shops. It was going great until the military rolled up in a black Hummer and pulled her out of a meeting saying her sister was in trouble. She still had nightmares about them not telling her anything about what was going on with Abigail. Hell, it had been even worse than when her sister had disappeared for several days the year before that. They had been on their last camping trip into the mountains before she departed for California. The panic she’d felt when her sister disappeared replayed in her dreams. Then Abs had reappeared talking about a green man who’d saved her…


Crymsyn Hart is a National Bestselling author of over eighty paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic and ghostly encounters have given her a lot of material to use in her books. Vampires, grim reapers, shifters, and other paranormal creatures tend to end up in her books no matter how hard she tries to keep them away.

She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn, check out her website on:

SPOTLIGHT: Weekends with Sexy by Treva Harte #RomCom #dogs #NewAdult @HarteTreva @changelingpress

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Kirk lives in a cabin in the woods and takes care of rescue dogs. The more he can avoid people, the better. The two exceptions to his rule are his friends Zoe and her fiancé, Gordon.

When Sandy, Gordon’s cousin, is asked to take care of Sexy, the foster-fail dachshund, Zoe and Gordon tell her to ask Kirk for help whenever she needs to. Dachshunds are outside of her skill set. So is Kirk. But somehow, they all keep ending up together. Will the humans’ insecurities get in the way or can Sexy keep them in line?

Available TODAY at Changeling Press

Preorder at retailers for March 11, 2022:


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Treva Harte

Kirk looked up at the sky, hands laced behind his head, trying to figure out constellations. He never could, but that didn’t mean he didn’t like trying. And just looking up into the night. It had been a hell of a day. Probably most folks wouldn’t think so. He was sure Zoe had no problems with greeting adopters and delivering a furry bundle of joy to them. Well, she might be a little teary afterward because she got attached, but she didn’t have any problems talking to the adopters and making sure they had signed their papers and answered the new owner’s questions and that kind of shit.

He was exhausted. The new adopters looked okay, and their references had checked out and all that. But talking was exhausting. He kept having to do it. Having a team meant talking to people. And paperwork. It was smart of Zoe and her new man to create an actual rescue organization instead of just what he and Zoe had done before. He wouldn’t argue against that. It helped more dogs than he could alone, that was for real, but… damn. Organizations meant many words — written, in person, on the computer. So many…

A cold nose sniffed at his hand, and he scratched a coonhound’s ear. What he needed was more stars and dogs and a lot less dealing with humans.

* * *

Sandy rubbed her neck when she paused at the stoplight. It was almost ten p.m., and she was getting home from the office. That made it an earlier night than usual this week but that didn’t make it right.

Work wasn’t as absorbing as usual. It wasn’t bad or anything, but it wasn’t giving her that old thrill. She remembered the text she got at five, when crazy people left work, reminding her about her involuntary volunteer job.

There was no way in hell she could pull this off and do her real work. Why had she said yes?

Because Zoe, and Sandy’s favorite cousin, Gordon, had ganged up on her, that’s why. They had tag teaming down to an art. You didn’t say no, even if you were a great negotiator. Sandy knew she could win a deal when she had all the facts and expenses in line. But arguing against emotional blackmail wasn’t her strength.

It’s our honeymoon. Sexy doesn’t like boarding or other dogs, and it’s just for a long weekend. It’s the only honeymoon time we could find all year. Please, Sandy.

It was not like she was against honeymoons or marriage — for other people — although she wouldn’t have recommended getting married as young as Gordon or his bride-to-be, even if they seemed to be doing all right. She wasn’t against responsible dog ownership, or not taking a pet on a honeymoon either. Even if the honeymoon was coming before they announced the wedding date.

But there was still no way she would’ve ever agreed until they added the kicker — We’ll find someone to walk and feed him when you can’t make it back on time. He just needs a place to chill.

Somehow, she’d been strong-armed into it. That didn’t happen to her often.

Sandy pulled into a parking lot to text her new dog walker before she forgot and woke up to a whining dachshund who hadn’t been fed the day before. She could walk him before she left. She started off strong in the mornings. Things tended to fall apart around noon under a barrage of emails and calls.

And the damned dog was showing up early tomorrow morning and throwing her off her game already.

* * *

Zoe burst into Sandy’s condo first. Maybe not actually burst, since the door was open and she was lugging a pet carrier, but Zoe always figuratively burst in. She was short and her curly dark hair took up as much room as her body did. She wore colorful clothes and said what she was thinking, no matter how inappropriate.

She was nothing like anyone in Sandy and Gordon’s family and bless her for that. Sandy’s quiet, slightly shy and stiff cousin needed that. But Sandy was probably the only member of the Allbrit family to appreciate Zoe. Well, except for Gordon, of course.

The way he was looking at her as he followed, lugging a medium-sized duffel bag, meant he did a little more active appreciation than Sandy was up for, which was fine. They were engaged, after all.

“Here’s Sexy,” Zoe said, entirely unnecessarily. “I wrote a schedule and phone numbers in case of problems. Since he’s a grump and tends to dislike changes in routine, there may be problems. Gotta be honest about that. But it’s just for a long weekend.”

“I can handle it,” Sandy said. Probably. I can handle mergers and potential embezzlement and cybersecurity. A miniature dachshund should be a piece of cake.

Gordon looked at her. He knew what she was thinking. “Kirk can handle anything Sexy can dish out. Call him first.”

Sexy strolled out of his carrier and looked around. He sniffed. Sandy wasn’t sure if the dog’s expression meant “It’s is a dump here,” or “I want to take a dump here,” but she knew it was going to be a long weekend.

Thank God the carpeting was beige, not white.

“Have a great time. Make sure I’m your best woman at the wedding, when you get around to having one,” Sandy said. “You’ll owe me.”

“I already owe you,” Gordon told her and startled her with a quick, awkward hug. Allbrits didn’t hug. “Bye. We’re leaving before you or Zoe change your mind and say Sexy is going to come with us. I have plans.”

Zoe was really good for him. Sandy knew she could suck it up for a long weekend for her cousin. And if she couldn’t, she had a list of phone numbers. She waved as they left, then she opened the duffel bag full of bedding, food, dishes and toys. Many piddle pads.

Sandy wondered how soon it would be before she had to cave and beg that weird friend of Zoe’s for help and advice. Kirk was impossible to talk to — she’d tried the one time she saw him long enough. But he was a genius with dogs.

Almost before the happy pre-wedding honeymooners had left the floor of her condo, Sexy began to bark. Sandy jumped. The dog had a huge, deep bark for such a small dog.

And one that didn’t let up.

About twenty minutes in, Sandy was thinking about the neighbors and noise ordinances and sedatives for her and the dog. A place for him to chill. Right. She’d forgotten and Zoe hadn’t reminded her that Sexy only chilled if he was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted.

After a half hour, she thought about taking a long drive away. By herself.

Forty-five minutes. “Hey, Kirk?” she yelled into the phone, over the crescendo of barks. “Dude, could use some help –”


Treva Harte has always been an overachiever. She also collects things. First it was degrees. First a B.A. in English, then she decided to go back for a Master’s degree. Not content with that, she added a J.D. Since then she’s added a husband, also an attorney, and two children to her collection. She’s continuing her ways as an overachiever, writing her wonderfully offbeat tales of passion and possibilities — in her spare time.

Visit her website at

SPOTLIGHT: The Devil’s Demigod by Alexa Piper #LGBTQ #darkfantasy #BDSM @prowlingpiper @changelingpress

The Devil’s Demigod by Alexa Piper

Published by Changeling Press

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Not long ago, necromancer Lionel didn’t know who his parents were or why they abandoned him. He’s starting to think that ignorance was bliss as the fact he has a death goddess for a mother is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. That his father is a murderous magic user comes as an even darker revelation.

Lucifer is well aware that his boyfriend and powerful necromancer Lionel is not the easiest person to love, but Lucifer is the Devil, and he doesn’t lie, not even to himself. He’ll take Lionel any way he can get him, and Lucifer will do whatever it takes to keep Lionel safe. It’s turning into a fulltime occupation with Lionel’s penchant for attracting murderous individuals.

Lionel will have to come to grips with his own still unfamiliar demigod magic before the past can catch up with him, but he also needs to figure out if and how he can love the Devil. Lucifer cannot wait for his long game to tame his stubborn necromancer to bear fruit, but before the Devil can savor his prize, he might have to rescue Lionel yet again, this time from getting lost in the labyrinth of the past.

Available TODAY at Changeling Press


All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Alexa Piper


I stood in the too-high snow outside of the dragon mother’s house, leaning on the shovel and staring at my phone.

Sleeping in your arms was nice, Nelly had texted. Well, if it really was the PTSD getting him to soften up finally, I approved.

I love holding you, babe, I texted back. I’ll do it whenever you need me to.

He didn’t immediately respond to that, so I cleared away some snow, which was a damn workout. Across the street, one of the dragon mother’s neighbors was watching me unsubtly from a window. I ran a gloved hand through my hair and hoped it made them gasp.

After five minutes, Nelly hadn’t texted back, and I leaned the shovel against the dragon mother’s house.

“You are not done,” she said from where she looked down on me from a window on the second floor.

“Tiamat, I am the Devil, and I am taking a break,” I said, trying to use lack of candor to circumvent the truth.

“Dodging your chores is how even the Devil gets a permanent bad-hair-day curse, Lucy.”

Well, to hell went the circumnavigation of truth. “Nelly didn’t text me back, so I need to go check on him. I’ll get my chores done, Tiamat.”

“Ah, the tribulations of young love. You’ll need the good hair, then,” she said and closed the window back up again. What I wouldn’t give to know what was going on in her head sometimes. And I was more than my perfect hair. I had character. And he loved my wings.

I teleported to the station, to right outside Nelly’s office, which was basically a broom closet. The door was closed, and I heard wet noises from inside that made me burst straight in.

Marc Deacon, instead of doing what I knew he wanted to with my boyfriend, was sitting in a cheap folding chair and crying. Good for him. I’d have given him a genuine reason for tears if I’d found him fondling Nelly, like a missing tongue or twisted testicles.

“What? I didn’t think you’d be the gloating type,” the unskilled necromancer said.


“Meaning Lionel picked you.” He shook his head and rubbed at his swollen eyes. “He’s too good for you. I don’t care if you turn my bones to jelly, but Lionel is smart and shy and sexy and really funny when he opens up, and you don’t deserve to use him for your own amusement and cheat on him while you do it.” He looked back up at me, but even my hellpoodle had a more intimidating glare. “You could have anyone, I’m sure. Several anyones. Let him go, please. He just — he just deserves something real, and I can give that to him. I want to.”

When had my charm ever failed me so massively? With Marc Deacon, I understood, a little, because he wanted my boyfriend, and badly. Still, he didn’t even have a little crush on me, hadn’t even fantasized a little about a threesome? And Christine was a mystery of a different order. I had to find out about whether she liked poker or not already.

“You have no idea what Nelly wants and definitely don’t know what he needs. You’d do better finding another man to pine after,” I told Marc Deacon and closed the door behind me. Necromancers. They all came with issues, apparently.

Before I could look around and locate my once again errant boyfriend, I felt the sharp sting of one of the defense spells built into his necklace activate. It was close, so I ran rather than teleported, and good thing, because it allowed me to feel the magic that was being hurled at him, even as I cracked open the office door behind which I could sense the necklace’s protective spell flare bright and hot.

This was siphon magic. It wasn’t so common that I knew it well, although I’d felt Sephy use it when I’d visited her and Hades.

This siphon magic was something else entirely, and just from the strength of it, from the elegance with which the siphon wove its magic, from the sheer, irrefutable force of it, I could tell the immensity of power the person who’d made it had access to. And since I had no doubt at all that the maker of this siphon was Ariadne, I knew where Nelly got his brutish power. Once he learned to really own and use it, refine it rather than just go smash with it, my boyfriend would be magnificent, something to behold. I’d take him even if he weren’t. But the more powerful he was, the more I would flaunt him, of course.

I pulled the office door open all the way. Several equally concerning things made up the scene ahead of me, and all of it was so dramatically crafted by the terrors of the real world that it should have been a painting set in oil rather than happening.

If reality were a painting, it would be called something to invoke hubris, like The Reclamation of the Prodigal Son, because the man on my left, beautiful like Nelly was, but darker in every aspect of his features and with cruel lines around his mouth and eyes, was without a doubt the man who wanted to be a bull, the beast trapped in a labyrinth by the goddess he had loved or lured into loving him.

I could guess what the Minotaur wanted with Nelly.


Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Alexa loves writing stories that make her readers laugh and fall in love with the characters in them. Connect with Alexa on Facebook or Instagram, follow her on Twitter or TikTok, and subscribe to her newsletter!

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