Audiobook Release: Master of Seduction by Angela Knight #darkfantasy #vampires @AngelaKnight

Master of Seduction (Merlin's Legacy Audio 1)

All her life, Sheriff’s Deputy Rachel Kent has dreamed of becoming one of the immortal Magekind witches who protect humanity from itself. But first she must prove herself to the handsome vampire whose job is to decide whether she’ll become a danger to those she’s supposed to save.

Nathaniel Allard is a Court Seducer who has been sent to trigger Rachel’s witchy transformation by making love to her three times. The problem is, gaining such incredible powers may drive Rachel insane and force Nathaniel to kill her. Otherwise she may kill him — and anyone else who gets in her way.

Nate vows he’ll only agree to complete Rachel’s transformation if she proves she can be trusted with the powers she’ll gain. But as he tests her — and makes love to her with every test she passes — mutual lust becomes something more. Will love be enough to save Rachel’s sanity?

Get it at: Audible | Amazon | Apple Books

Listen to a sample at Audible

Narrated by Ada Sinclair

Duration: 3 hours 51 minutes

What are Audible listeners saying?

“Rachel is a police officer on leave after a justified shooting. Nathan is the court seducer who will decide if she will be gifted with her magic. The two of them strike sparks of all kinds. Throw in a giant man eating chicken and you’ve got an entertaining story. This story focuses on Rachel’s testing and transformation without any larger storyline. It was nice spending time on the actual process and getting to know both characters.” – Rachel, 5-stars

About Angela Knight

New York Times best-selling author Angela Knight’s first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. A few years later, she read The Wolf and the Dove and fell in love with romance. In addition to her fiction work, Angela’s publishing career includes a stint as a comic book writer and ten years as a newspaper reporter. Several of her stories have won South Carolina Press Association awards. Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a detective with the Spartanburg PD.

Stalk Angela Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

New Release: Fae Schooled by Emily Carrington #fantasyromance #lgbtq @CarringtonEmily

Fae Schooled (Box Set) (Fae Schooled 1)

Three couples. Three deadly secrets. Who will survive?

Secret Identity: Half-Fae Brett and his human lover Adam thought they were prepared for the next step in their lives, until Brett’s gifts endanger everything. Will Adam’s need for independence and Brett’s overprotective streak drive the two apart, or can their love survive?

Secret Hunger: When Fionn seduced Kwaku into his bed, he didn’t realize there was a shadow hanging over his would-be lover’s head. Will Fionn be able to stop the dark forces from draining the man he loves before it’s too late?

Secret Keeping: A disabled Fae, Patrick finds a new zest for life when he leaves for college. With secrets swirling around them and the Fae Purge on the horizon, will Patrick and his lover escape with their lives and their love?

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Emily Carrington
Excerpt from Secret Identity

“When things aren’t resolved, bed becomes a battleground.” Brett didn’t remember where he heard that, but it seemed true as he stared across the small dormitory room at his half naked lover. But looking at Adam, with his tawny hair and gold-kissed brown eyes made Brett want to forget what he’d brought his lover here for.

To break up with him.

He crossed to Adam, unable to resist his allure. It wasn’t all that strange that he was spellbound by Adam’s good looks and probably by his innocence as well. Whatever it was, and surely part of his sudden reluctance was his own weakness, Brett couldn’t end things right now.

He touched the human’s cheek and felt the small amount of stubble. Adam had shaved before the Beltane dance. Brett liked that about him. Adam had a sense of clean-cut, hometown boy about him that nothing could change. Even after living in Washington, DC, in an off-campus apartment for almost two years, he was still a farm boy. In the best possible way, Brett thought as his palm against Adam’s cheek grew warm. He smiled into his boyfriend’s eyes and wondered how Adam beguiled him just by standing there.

Of course, tonight had been all about seduction. Brett had been planning to romance Adam one last time, have something wonderful to remember, and then cut ties. Not because he wasn’t over the moon in love but because others would take advantage of that love. As others had taken advantage of the humans and other confined magical creatures back in February.

Did that mean he’d have to go without love? Brett thought that was probably true, unless he could find something powerful that could protect itself.

Thinking of the attack that had been perpetrated against SearchLight’s DC campus, against over fifty students from the second and third floors of the main dormitory, Brett’s ardor cooled a little. He’d been on one of those floors, captured and forced to wear a metal and leather collar that had repressed his visionist powers.

“What’s wrong?”

Brett cursed silently as Adam’s gaze drew the truth from him. Or at least as much as he could find it in him to confess. “I was thinking about those damn grand Fae and bloodsucking vamps.”

“What brought that on?”

“Nothing, I guess.” He didn’t quite dare to explain. “Except I was thinking how the annual Valentine’s/Frost Thaw dance was cancelled because of those dangerous idiots.” He smiled a little to dispel the sense of impending doom. “I could have seen you dancing like tonight months ago.”

Adam flushed. His cheeks were a striking pink, showing just two acne scars from his adolescence, which was only a year gone.

Brett remembered how others at school had teased Adam for being so slender and slight with “so many zits.” If they could see how Adam was filling out, developing muscles where he’d had few before, the girls and those guys courageous enough to admit their gayness or bisexuality would be all over him. Adam had discovered swimming, and although he’d never had a chance to learn in corn-fed Kansas, he’d taken to it like a baby seal, making tons of mistakes at first but being miserable until he’d learned to embrace the water. He had lean muscles in his arms and legs, and a six pack was well on the way to forming beneath the baggy T-shirts he almost always wore.

“Now where did you go?” Adam asked, stroking the side of Brett’s face with two fingers.

“Lost in staring at you,” Brett confessed. Then he spoiled it by laughing. “Corny, right?”

“I like it,” Adam said softly and he kissed Brett’s parted lips.

The kiss was nothing like the tentative pecks they’d exchanged when they first became interested in each other back in high school. This was instantly hot. Brett surrendered before Adam’s passion, loving the way Adam dominated many of their kisses. The shy, fumbling guitar player had given way to a confident painter and sketch artist who knew what he wanted. In some ways, Brett missed the cautious young man he’d fallen for when they were both seventeen. Because that version of Adam would have given Brett up. Not willingly but he’d have been too shy and restrained to express how he really felt.

And, damn, that was selfish.

“Wherever you keep going, get back here,” Adam whispered fiercely.

About Emily Carrington

Emily Carrington is a multipublished author of male/male and transgender erotica. Seeking a world made of equality, she created SearchLight to live out her dreams. But even SearchLight has its problems, and Emily is looking forward to working all of these out with a host of characters from dragons and genies to psychic vampires.

Stalk Emily Online: Facebook | Twitter

New Release: Conspiracy of Fear by Mikala Ash #steampunk #scifiromance @ash_mikala

Conspiracy of Fear (Elizabeth Hunter-Payne Steampunk Adventures 3)

There’s a bloody serial killer on the loose in foggy London, and music hall singer, The Songbird of Surrey, fears her best friend has fallen victim to the fiend. When her own fiancé, who she sent out to find her friend, goes missing as well, she seeks the professional help of the EHP Investigation Bureau to solve the mystery.

Intrepid crime fighter Elizabeth Hunter-Payne ventures into the dangerous streets of London’s East End and explores the seamy side of adult entertainment to confront the Collector, the terror of Whitechapel. His elusive puppet master, Vladimir the Mesmerist, is pulling the strings of conspiracy, and threatens the very foundations of the empire.

Elizabeth meets the ultimate automaton, Hercules, but what service can a metal man of cogs and gears perform? Guns, knives, and half-bricks come into play as Elizabeth fights for survival, and her sanity, in another thrilling steampunk adventure.

Author’s Note: Cliffhanger ending. Elizabeth’s story continues in Elizabeth Hunter-Payne Steampunk Adventures 4!

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Mikala Ash

After my adventure on the airship Imperative, I decided to chronicle my now numerous adventures on behalf of her Majesty’s government. Due to the sensitivity of my activities I have instructed my solicitors to withhold them from publication until a century after my death. I suspect it is a form of vanity, an act of self-aggrandisement, another of my personal failings. I do intend to give an honest account, and because memory is at best an untrustworthy source and at worst an outright liar, I take copious notes at every opportunity to ensure my recollections of events are as accurate as possible. This tedious habit became particularly important to me given the strange case on which I was about to embark.

Following the deadly conclusion of the Torbernite Imperative my small household had undergone a substantial upheaval. I’d taken a monstrous risk to my reputation by installing the unmarried Felix Rider in the bedroom next to mine. On the surface my act is clearly one of charity, for Felix is an operative of my investigation bureau, and he had been wounded in the line of duty aboard the airship Imperative. During a life-and-death struggle he sustained a gunshot wound, a concussion, two broken ribs, a twisted knee, as well as cut and swollen knuckles.

It was a risk I was honour bound to take, for he had saved my life.

However there was another co-placating factor at play. In addition to his investigative duties Felix had agreed to be my tutor in matters pertaining to erotic satisfaction, a step I’d taken to reawaken my sensuality following many years of celibacy after the death of my dear husband, Jonathan. Felix was an able and inventive teacher. The palpable risk I took was that my physical attraction to Felix coupled with his proximity, would be my undoing, and that I would do something indiscreet, and be exposed as the laughable wanton widow so popular on the music hall stage. Embarrassed and ashamed, I would inevitably become an outcast of society, a fate, if I am to be honest, that was losing its power over me every day.

I placed him under the round the clock charge of two nurses, a cheerful buxom young blonde named Bramble, and the senior of the two, the authoritative and statuesque Hazleton. They were supervised by my family physician, the reputable Dr. Horace Wamburton.

As I have related elsewhere, Archie, my late husband’s batman, also shared my house. I considered him the son Jonathan and I were destined never to have. I’d unofficially adopted him after he had been seriously wounded in the Crimean battle that had killed Jonathan. Since the Torbernite affair he had been laid up in bed with a serious chill he’d earned while carrying out surveillance work in torrential rain. That left the responsibility of running the EHP Investigation Bureau to me. Every day after breakfast spent with Felix, chatting about anything and everything, and resisting the powerful urge to climb into bed with him, I’d go to the office feeling highly aroused and frustrated.

My body’s propensity to lust, or libido as my old Latin dictionary calls it, had never been higher in my life, and inevitably I succumbed to it. It was the eighth morning after returning from Edinburgh that I went to Felix’s room to wish him a good morning that my resistance fell. I entered as Nurse Bramble, the pretty young blonde was leaving the sick room, and we bumped into each other. As we performed a little dance to get out of each other’s way without disarranging my crinolines too badly I noted her creamy complexion was flushed, and though she wore her habitual smile, she uncharacteristically avoided my gaze.

Nurse Hazleton, the older and more sensible of the two, bade me good morning.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, indicating with my gaze the departing back of Nurse Bramble.

“It’s nothing, Mrs. Hunter-Payne. We nurses have seen it all. We don’t embarrass easy.”

“What do you mean?”

In turn I followed her gaze to Felix’s bed. He was still asleep. His handsome face, despite the bandages that covered the minor cuts on the left side of his head, appeared relaxed and untroubled. Then, with a sharp intake of breath, I noted that lower down the sheet was tented with a morning erection. I couldn’t help but put my hand to my mouth.

About Mikala Ash

Aussie Mikala Ash used to be a mild-mannered training & development consultant by day, and a wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by night. Now she is a brazen full-time writer and nature photographer who is concentrating on having among other things, “… bags, and bags of fun!” Mikala can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

BOOK REVIEW: Thorn (Salvation’s Bane MC) by Marteeka Karland #ContemporaryRomance #RomanticSuspense @MarteekaKarland

About the book

Mariana — If it weren’t for bad luck… Yeah. That’s me. I found myself stranded on the side of the road after my boyfriend threw me out. My mother, bless her heart, thinks I’m dragging her to the pits of hell because I got myself knocked up.

All of which I could deal with. What nearly put me in a panic was the big, muscle-bound, tattooed biker who pulled up behind me, ordering me to “pop the hood.” I was scared, but, God, the man was smoking hot! Had I not been hot, tired, and pregnant, I might have gotten on my knees and begged him to take me. Instead, I kept that part of myself tightly under control. Sort of.

Thorn — Ana isn’t like anyone I’ve ever come across. If there’s a woman in this world who needs pampering, it’s her. She’s half starved, on the verge of heat stroke, and I steamrolled my way into her life.

But I wasn’t prepared for the call I got from the hospital or the sight of her broken body. I’m all about vengeance, and someone is going to pay for this. Dearly. And my little Ana is going to have to learn to take on a man like me. Because somewhere around the very first time I saw her, I might have gone and fallen in love with her.

WARNING (Spoiler Alert): Traumatic pregnancy loss and explicit violence which could be triggers for some readers. As always, you can expect a HEA with no cheating.

Buy a copy from Changeling Press

My review…

5 stars

Do you love an alpha hero with a soft heart when it comes to his woman? Want a heroine who ends up being stronger than she realized? Then look no further!

Thorn is the third installment in the Salvation’s Bane MC series and it will keep you hungering for more. Not only is our hero a complete badass who will do anything it takes to protect those he loves, but he knows when to stand aside and let his woman handle matters herself. Thorn and Marianna were perfect for one another.

Be warned, there are scenes of abuse that could trigger some readers, but it wouldn’t be an MC book without those! They aren’t over the top by any means. I think the author gave us just the right amount of violence mixed with hot sex and a dirty-talking biker.

Five stars. Two thumbs up. Bring on book 4!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

#NewRelease – The Shadow Zone by Isabella Jordan #DarkFantasy @isyjordanauthor

The Shadow Zone (Duet) (The Shadow Zone 3)Earth 2069. War, disease, and global warming have caused a significant decline of the Human race. The Human world has become a Shadow Zone where people mysteriously disappear and infertility among those of age to have children has grown at an alarming rate.

The vampire race monitors the Human world, whose decline is forcing them to find other ways to obtain the blood they need. They also watch the werewolves who consider the vampires a threat.

Taking Julia (The Shadow Zone 1): The werewolves have sent Julia, a scout, out into the Shadow Zone in search of the key to immortality which both sides believe the humans have unearthed. No female has been able to challenge or seduce Rick in ages. Yet Julia is one luscious little werewolf who definitely makes him feel alive and more than anything, he wants to make her his. No matter how he does it…

Winning Madeline (The Shadow Zone 2): While tailing a Lycan soldier through the Shadow Zone, Maddox finds himself falling for the frail, beautiful prostitute his subject visits. Maddox can deal with cold-blooded killers and the deep and seedy underworld of the Shadow Zone. But he has no clue how to win Madeline’s heart.

 

Now Available at Changeling Press

 

SNEAK PEEK:

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Isabella Jordan
Excerpt from Taking Julia

“What do you want, deadhead?”

It was bad enough that Julia Lennox had been captured and almost killed on this miserable fucking mission. She was tired and her body ached with each step as she made her way through the ruins on foot. Running into a vampire now when she was just about to make it home had the potential to really piss her off.

And he wasn’t just any vampire. Oh, no. What fun would that be? It was the vampire known as Rick, rumored to be one of the oldest of his kind, who stood leaning against the ruined metal stalk that had once been a street light. Her pack’s leader had pointed him out to her once when they were on a stake out. The legends about him were enough to curl the fur on any werewolf. Julia had heard he’d been a Spanish soldier hundreds of years ago during the time of King Philip II. For such an old guy, she had to admit he was one of the most captivating creatures she’d ever seen.

Still, she’d have to be pretty fucking careful with this one. With the dying rays of the evening sun gleaming off the brown silk of his hair and reflecting in his sinfully dark eyes, it would be so easy to forget the danger he posed. His mouth was sexy beyond words, his skin preternaturally fair. His long, hard body was encased in black leather and the pose he struck gave him the appearance of someone relaxed and enjoying the sunset.

That he could tolerate any level of sunlight spoke volumes about how indestructible he really was.

Did he think to put her at ease with his body language? Just act casual? Right.

Fatigue dropped from her like a heavy coat. Her situation had gone from tired and grumpy to holy shit in about sixty seconds. Rick posed a greater threat than any she’d faced so far in her life and she knew it.

He stood watching her with an unnatural stillness, his stare unblinking and intense. Facing this particular vampire was like nothing Julia had ever experienced before. On one hand, she felt like a small animal immobilized by its fear of a terrifying predator. On the other hand, she stood staring at him like a drooling idiot, mesmerized by the sheer beauty of him.

Fear had its uses and Rick was definitely someone to be afraid of. For all she knew he could read her thoughts. Many of his kind could read minds.

Julia had to get a grip, control her thoughts and her feelings.

Folding her arms across her chest, she decided to go for bored and impatient instead of get me the hell out of here which was how she really felt.

“How are you tonight? Julia, isn’t it?” The way he said her name with his Spanish accent brushed her with unexpected warmth. The fact that he even knew her name took her off guard. From his point of view, she was pretty new to the game. She’d been a shadow chaser for three years now, but to someone like him that probably seemed like a matter of minutes.

“I’m trying to get home. Rick, isn’t it?”

Grinning at her, he nodded. Damn, he had a nice smile.

Perfect teeth. How did they keep their choppers in such good shape for thousands of years?

“Home from where?” Pulling away from what was left of the metal post, he gracefully moved over the jagged pieces of asphalt like he was weightless. He came to a stop in front of her, so tall she was forced to look up to meet his gaze. “What have you been up to, Julia?”

Arrogant asshole. Vampires were so self-important. Just because they were immortal they thought they knew more than anyone else. Well, living hundreds of years didn’t mean you knew fucking everything. They also thought they had license to get into everyone else’s business.

They were sorely mistaken if they thought they could push the werewolves, her kind, around. Very soon the vampires would find out they weren’t alone in their immortality and Julia couldn’t wait for that day. That dream was the reason she put her life on the line with each mission that sent her into the Shadow Zone where a mysterious group of humans had unearthed a dark pathway to unending life. The werewolves would obtain that secret one way or another. Then they’d be on even footing with the vampires and be able to truly defend themselves. It was only a matter of time.

“Don’t worry about what I’ve been up to,” she told him, trying to keep the tremor out of her voice. “Don’t you have bigger things to be concerned about? Like what you guys are going to do for blood when the humans are done destroying themselves?”

“I’m very interested in what you’ve been up to.” His fingers brushed her chin, but she yanked her head away from his touch. His gaze moved over her face.

What was up with this? Rick stood there gazing down at her like an attentive lover. Yet beneath that handsome façade, Julia could sense his determination. To do what, she had no idea. It couldn’t be good.

“You have too much free time on your hands, don’t you?” Julia marched around him, and he let her. She felt his gaze on her the entire time but she didn’t look back. Maybe he’d just let her go.

“Take it easy,” she threw back at him and kept on walking. Damn it all anyway that her motorcycle had been destroyed. If she hadn’t been on foot, maybe she wouldn’t have run into the bloodsucker in the first place.

“Julia.”

Shit. She should have known he wouldn’t make it easy for her.

She came to a startled stop when she spotted him now sitting on the twisted, blackened metal of what had once been a car several feet ahead of her. Only a damned vampire could vanish and materialize like that. His elbows rested on his knees and he sat there watching her with all the ease of someone innocently waiting on his girlfriend.

Yet there was nothing harmless about him. His underlying power was unmistakable.

Julia came from a strong bloodline among her kind and she was a well-trained killer. She wasn’t, however, stupid enough to think she could take this guy in hand-to-hand combat. Most vampires, yes. Not this one. Rick was too strong. If all the stories she’d heard about him were true, he could probably rip her to shreds with his mental powers and not even lay a hand on her.

If she was going to get out of this alive, she had to use her wits. “My business is not your business. I’m asking that you let me go about it.”

“Your business is my business. I know what you’re looking for out there.”

The direct approach. She liked that. Only she wasn’t naïve enough to play little vampire mind games. Try to keep your mind clear. Some of her kind were trained specifically to deal with vampires and could recognize their individual powers easily.

Her area of expertise, however, was humans. She knew only the basics with vampires.

“If you know what I’m doing, then we have nothing else to talk about, right?”

“We have much to talk about, Julia.” Rick laced the fingers of his hands before him. “I want to know if you’ve found what you’re looking for.”

“What’s it to you?”

“I just need to know. It’s very important to both of us, isn’t it?”

Well, yeah. The vampires had to know that a large number of humans had achieved immortality somehow. Weren’t they supposed to know everything? Yet in their superiority, they probably just figured out that her kind knew about the human discovery too. They had to realize that the next step for the werewolves was discovering how to achieve immortality themselves.

With the human population diminishing at an alarming rate, the vampires would have to feed on something to sustain their kind. Werewolf blood was living blood and apparently many vampires already considered them a viable substitute. Werewolf, the other red cell. Random murders among her kind increased every day. All of the victims were suspiciously drained of their blood. Just like predators in the wild, vampires preyed on the most vulnerable — the elderly, women. It had everyone in her pack on red alert. The only chance the werewolves had to survive now was to become immortal as the vampires were. Their current numbers were nowhere near what the human population had been twenty years ago. The vampires could deplete the werewolves in a single decade unless they took action and stopped them. Besides, the humans had discovered a better way to live forever than vampirism and the whole dead deal. A way that simply stopped one from getting ill or growing older. A living solution.

“What do you want?” Julia was blunt. “You want me for a snack? You want me to tell you what I know? Either way I’m fucked, huh?”

The amusement faded from his expression as he sat watching her. “You’re not fucked, Julia. You’d never believe me if I told you that I just wanted to help you, now would you?” “Fuck no.” Was he kidding? Help her to what? Find her jugular vein?

“I do want to help you.” He was so slick in keeping his voice low and calm. “All I’m asking you to do is tell me if you found what you were looking for.”

“And why would I do that?” He’d just have to kill her. She wouldn’t betray her mission by telling him anything. Crap, this could be bad.

“So I can help you.”

Oh, no. He couldn’t just toss that casual smile at her and expect her to bend to his will. No way. Amazing the effect that smile had on her though… “If you know my name, you know what I am.”

Rick nodded.

“And if you know what I am, you know there’s no way in hell I can tell you what I’m up to. So do what you’ve got to do.” She couldn’t stop him after all.

Like a vision from a nightmare, only the guy was hot, he rose from the car and approached slowly, determinedly. Yes, she could have run but she wouldn’t have escaped. Better to show a little courage and face her fate. Werewolves were made of tougher stuff than the vampires gave them credit for.

“I was afraid you wouldn’t cooperate.”

Sucking in her breath at the calm way he said that, Julia steeled herself for whatever was coming.

Rick waved his hand directly in front of her eyes once he reached her and Julia’s world went black.

 

About the Author:

Isabella Jordan is the alter ego of an otherwise stressed out web designer, programmer, and internet junkie. When she’s not trying to perfect her own personal caffeine IV drip, she enjoys spending time with her family, doing volunteer work, and writing. She loves creating new stories of all kinds and chatting with readers and friends.

Isabella would love to hear from her readers!

Stalk Isabella Online: Changeling Press | Website

 

#NewRelease – How Not to Date a Bear by Stephanie Burke #shifters @FlashyCat

How Not to Date a Bear (How Not To 5)Declan Batalova is a bear unlike any other. After brokering a deal that will keep his people safe in their new country, the Russian shifter goes for relaxation in a new club that caters to bears.

Cosmetologist Gillian Leekey is a woman on a mission. She loves big, muscular, hairy men, and Declan is perfect in every way.

But after one night of passion, the Bear Shifter Mafia is declaring war at her front door! When did life get so complicated? But that’s what happens when you decide to date a bear.

Now Available at Changeling Press

 

 

SNEAK PEEK:

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Stephanie Burke

“I’m a bear.”

“You most certainly are.” Gillian licked her lips as she stared at one of the most impossibly huge men she had ever seen. Imposing was too weak a word to describe this mountain of perfection. And the slight accent was just the icing on the cake. “But I have to see more to be sure.”

He quirked one eyebrow, but then smiled at her, showing off dazzlingly white smile teeth. Oh, yeah, this man was perfect. And he was a man, not a boy like so many of the posers — or should she call them cubs? — in this club. Either way, this man stood head and shoulders above the rest of them.

His hair was cropped short. Not military short, but short enough to be respectable and still show a little curl. He had a five o’clock shadow that was looking more like ten o’clock shadow, it was so heavy. But it definitely wasn’t a beard, just a thick growth of daily facial hair. His shoulders were broad to the point of straining the seams of his custom-made charcoal silk dress shirt. It had to be custom. Nothing she’d seen on the rack of any big and tall men’s shop was broad enough to fit his body so perfectly. Even his pleated black dress pants had to be tailored, his thighs were so thick and well developed.

He was visibly not as young as most of the other bears in the Bear With Me club. It was her first time here, and if there were more like him, she would go home and beat her head against a wall for missing out on this place’s delights for so long.

Gillian was an unabashed bear lover. There was no shame in her game. So long as her lover didn’t have an excess of back hair, she was so there. Of course, personality had a lot to do with her selection of a partner, but the first thing she noticed was the build of the man and the amount and type of hair he sported.

God, she loved a hairy chest. And contrary to popular belief, it could be too curly or too long. Chest hair had to be soft and plentiful, not too thick and not too invasive. She loved hair, but she did not rejoice in picking it out of her teeth. A thick mat of pubic hair was a major no-no in her book. Ferreting through a curly forest of the stuff to find her tasty treats was not her idea of a good time.

The more mature the man, the better. She’d had her fill of young idiots wasting her time. She wanted a man — a real man, a hairy man — and the one standing before her with one dark eyebrow quirked more than fit the bill. “More?”

“The shirt, Doll-Face,” she all but purred, nearly dancing in anticipation.

“You want to see me without my shirt?” He looked more amused than offended, his bright green eyes sparkling.

“Yes, please.” She batted her eyelashes. “I really do.”

“And if I show you?” His voice had dropped to a husky growl that made her toes tingle. She could get off on that voice alone.

“If you have the right to call yourself a bear, I will know.”

“And then?” he asked, definitely amused now. His eyes, a beautiful green sparking with gold highlights, crinkled at the corners. “If I really am a bear like I claim?”

“Then I’m going to take you home.” She moved closer to him, close enough to feel the heat wafting off his body, close enough to inhale the musky scent of him that smelled, oddly enough, of vanilla and sugar. “And then I am going to do unspeakable things to your body.” She had no idea what was wrong with her. She had never felt this hot for anyone before. There was something special about him.

“Unspeakable?” His voice sent rumbling vibrations from the bottom of her feet to the top of her head. She suddenly found it hard to breathe as he loomed over her.

“Oh, yeah.” She resisted the urge to rub her thighs together as her body reacted to his closeness in a gush of wet heat in her panties. “Unspeakable.”

“Then by all means.” He smirked as his large, rough-looking hands with their long fingers deftly unbuttoned his shirt and let the smooth silk slide down his arms, catching at his wrists.

“Oh, sweet mercy,” Gillian breathed, her eyes filling with heat she could not hide as she took in the broad expanse of hairy chest right before her eyes.

 

About the Author:

Stephanie is a USA Today Best Selling, multi published, multi award-winning author, Master Costumer, handicapped, wife and mother of two.

From sex-shifting, shape-shifting dragons to undersea worlds, sexually confused elemental Fey and homo-erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel-challenged urban sprites, Stephanie has done it all, and hopes to do more.

Stephanie is an orator on her favorite subjects of writing and world-building, a sometime teacher when you feed her enough tea and donuts, an anime nut, a costumer, and a frequent guest of various sci-fi and writing cons where she can be found leading panel discussions or researching varied legends and theories to improve her writing skills.

Stephanie is known for her love of the outrageous, strong female characters, believable worlds, male characters filled with depth, and multi-cultural stories that make the reader sit up and take notice.

Stalk Stephanie Online: Changeling Press | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

#NewRelease – Bloodbloom by Kate Kill #ParanormalRomance @katehillromance

Bloodbloom (Confessions 2)Lance Bloodbloom: For years I’ve served as an agent for the Sovereign Vampire of the USA. Since the demon occupation, I’ve fought on the side of the rebellion. Now I’ve been reassigned to the Savage Sage Club, which is also a safe house for refugees. My dilemma is Cupid — a former prostitute who now runs the club. From the moment I freed him from a sadistic flesh peddler, he stole my heart, but in my line of work, one can’t have a heart. Despite this, when I finally see Cupid again, I doubt I can control my passion for him.

Cupid: The night Lance rescued me from the dungeon where I’d been forcibly turned into a vampire and mercilessly used for blood and sex, I knew I would love him forever. He sent me away, though, to a place where I could recover and build a new life, and I have. I’m no longer a prostitute, and I run a club that is also a haven for members of the rebellion. Lance Bloodbloom is back, and I want him more than ever, so I’ll need to convince him that love is possible, even for a centuries-old warrior.

 

Now Available at Changeling Press

 

Sneak Peek:

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Kate Hill

I stop my car outside of the Savage Sage club and glance at the gray brick building made in the image of a medieval tower. My sigh is more a snort of indignation. Here I am — one of the finest warriors in the rebel army, reduced to nursing his wounds while managing a modern-day brothel.

I can’t keep the wicked smile from my lips. If Lucas heard that thought, we’d probably end up dueling. My bitterness isn’t directed at this place. Not really. It’s just that I’m already restless, and right now my pride stings more than my healing wound.

I received this almost lethal injury while protecting Blaxton, the Sovereign Vampire of the USA. I suppose he thinks he’s being kind, removing me temporarily from his personal guard, or more likely, he can’t have a half-healed soldier by his side. Can’t blame him there, not in this demon-infested world, and not when he’s such an important part of the rebellion.

Fortunately, this is more than a mere brothel. It’s to be a checkpoint in an underground rescue mission that guides the most vulnerable of Earth’s creatures — human and otherwise — to a place called Beaver Bay in New England. It’s only recently that the evacuations have started in the northeast, because until just a short time ago, Beaver Bay was nothing more than a hideaway like most others. Then things changed. Angels now work with the witches of Beaver Bay. Anyone who travels there is whisked away to a refugee camp guarded by angels, where they can safely await the end of the war against the demon occupation here on Earth. Blaxton sent me here to evaluate the club, to make sure everything is as safe as possible. In a few days, an angel, Tad, will arrive to meet with rebel leaders in Baltimore, and I’m to report to them.

It’s been a long trip from Indiana, where the Sovereign Vampire had a meeting with a coven of witches — also part of the rebellion. Demons attacked, and —

And the rest I don’t want to think about, even though the twinge in my chest is an irritating reminder.

I drive into the parking garage attached to the club. A tall Indian man with a shaved head and a long, raven beard approaches. I peer at him over the rims of my dark glasses and offer him my identification.

He inclines his head. “Welcome, Mr. Bloodbloom. Your personal parking spot is over there.”

I nod and he raises the gate so that I can drive in.

By the time I park and approach the private entrance nearby, a nondescript young man in a club uniform approaches my car to take my luggage. The assistant manager and my main contact here waits by the open door.

Cupid. He’s as beautiful as ever. Six feet tall, broad-shouldered and slim, he’s smooth shaven and youthful — not surprising since he was made a vampire at the human age of twenty-two.

I nearly smile. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other. I’d arranged for him to come here a little over five years ago. He’s like a different person now — so poised — not like the timid boy I’d found chained and bleeding in a house of horrors.

“Hello and welcome, Mr. Bloodbloom.” He offers a little bow, but his angelic brown eyes hold my gaze with confidence. When we first met, he rarely met anyone’s gaze.

“Hello, Cupid.” I pause in front of him and he continues staring. His heartbeat quickens and there’s something in his scent — something that mingles with his mint cologne and natural musk that takes me aback.

That scent is familiar, but unwanted for our present situation. The last thing I need right now is complications from this beautiful boy. I can only hope that Lucas has trained him well enough to know his place.

“I’ll show you to your room, sir, and then give you a tour of the club. I’m told it’s changed since your last visit.”

Although that visit wasn’t too long ago by vampire standards, it’s more than enough for significant changes, especially considering all that’s happened since the demon occupation.

“That will be fine.”

He motions for me to follow him inside. We stroll down a dark hallway to an elevator. While we wait, I stare at the door, lost in thought. Blaxton didn’t merely send me here to recover, but to see that this place stays safe and operational in Lucas’s absence. He’s currently undercover. While Cupid is quite capable of running the club — and has been for several weeks — he’s not ready to lead a full-on battle against demonic intruders. Yes, the club’s security team is competent, but even they lack my experience.

With Lucas in the front lines at Beaver Bay, it’s not inconceivable that demons discover his connection to them. If he becomes a target, so will everything he holds dear — including the Savage Sage and all who shelter here.

That means Cupid, too.

 

About the Author:

 

Kate Hill (Also writing as Saloni Quinby)

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, I started writing over twenty years ago. My first story was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then I’ve written over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels. I love to blend genres. I also love horror and a happily ever after, so if you’re looking for romance with witches, aliens, vampires, angels, demons, shapeshifters and more, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to your taste here.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, watching horror and action movies, working out and spending time with my family and pets.  I love hearing from readers, so feel free to leave a comment at my blog or connect with me on Twitter.

Stalk Kate Online: Changeling Press | Blog | Twitter

 

 

Witches and Demons by Saloni Quinby #paranormalromance @katehillromance

Witches and Demons (Witches and Demons 4)

Ghosts, demons, curses, and a passion that may destroy them all…

Dark Before Dawn (Witches and Demons 1): In one night two strangers share a lifetime of passion. Once a year, evil haunts the woods on Sam’s ancestral land. Sam uses his magic to keep it under control, but this year he’s recovering from an accident and his magic is weak. His powers can be strengthened through sex, but his partner has abandoned him. Only with Aaron’s help can they survive the dark before dawn.

Accursed (Witches and Demons 2): The first-born sons in actor Ian Northhill’s family have all died on their thirty-fourth birthday, and Ian’s is just around the corner. The problem is, he doesn’t believe in ghosts, demons or curses. When Ian and Medium Maxim Thomas meet, they’re overwhelmed by lust. Will Ian trust Maxim enough to allow his lover to save him from the family curse?

Warriors of Sir Guy (Witches and Demons 3): For eight hundred years The Warriors of Sir Guy have tracked the half-demon child of their founder, vowing not to rest until the creature is destroyed. Only Robin sees the good in him. When he warns Robin that demons have infiltrated the Warriors of Sir Guy, the lovers are thrust into a battle that might destroy them.

 

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Excerpt

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Saloni Quinby
Excerpt from Dark Before Dawn

Night fell upon the longest stretch of lonely road Aaron had ever traveled. He’d stopped about an hour ago to ask directions from an elderly man walking a wolf-dog. Aaron generally wasn’t afraid of animals, but the way this canine had snarled and growled, its eyes blazing and fangs flashing, Aaron had been wary. Unfortunately the old man hadn’t been much friendlier than the dog, but he’d given Aaron curt directions to the nearest highway. At least he’d told Aaron it was the fastest route. About ten minutes ago he’d turned down a dirt road, past an iron gate the old man had described. Now he wasn’t so sure the directions were accurate. Maybe the old dude had decided to play a trick on an obvious city guy. Aaron looked like he belonged deep in the country about as much as the wolf-dog belonged in a city park.

The night grew darker and Aaron started to worry. He was nearly out of gas and the car was making a strange grating sound, not to mention the check engine light had turned on seconds ago. He’d been driving since six o’clock in the morning and that was after a measly four hours of sleep. If the car didn’t die first, Aaron might end up falling asleep behind the wheel. He was torn between pulling over to get some rest and continuing a little farther to see if the turnoff for the highway was nearby after all. Then fate made the decision for him. The damn car choked and died.

Cursing, Aaron tried to start it, but it refused to move. Finally he sighed, folded his arms on the wheel and rested his head on them. He closed his eyes.

“I’ll only relax for a minute,” he said. He’d just started zoning out when he jumped awake.

Was he crazy?

He couldn’t sit here in the middle of a dark road. If someone happened to drive by, they’d crash into him.

Groaning, he stepped out of the car and pushed it to a safer position along the side of the road. By now it was so dark that his hazards were the only light in the area. He wished he’d charged his cell phone battery before leaving the hotel. At least then he could call for help. Before leaving on his business trip, he’d accidentally left his car phone charger in his second vehicle. An hour into his journey he realized he’d forgotten it, but he’d decided not to turn back for it. Now he wished he had. An hour of inconvenience would have saved him hours, maybe even a night, in the woods of northeast USA. Even better, why hadn’t he simply flown?

Seated behind the wheel, he set his chair to a full recline position and, using his black sports jacket as a blanket, settled down to rest.

Aaron felt like he’d just drifted off when banging on his window roused him.

He jumped up, his heart pounding, and stared at a slim, dark-haired man standing near his car.

“Hey,” the guy shouted, his voice muffled through the closed window. “You can’t stay here.”

His brow furrowed, Aaron opened the window partway and said, “I don’t have much choice. My car died and my cell is out of batteries. Do you have a phone by any chance?”

The guy closed his eyes and shook his head. “I don’t believe this. This is private property.”

“You own the road?” Aaron asked, raising a suspicious eyebrow.

“Road? Mister, this is my driveway. Didn’t you see the gate at the end?”

“Yeah.”

“So you just opened it and drove on through?” the guy asked, a harsh edge to his voice.

Curling his lip, Aaron said, “No. It was wide open.”

“Open?”

“Yeah, so I didn’t realize it was private property.” Aaron sighed and shook his head. “Besides the old guy with the wolf dog said this would take me to the highway.”

“Old guy with the wolf dog? That’s Mr. Seymour. He’s a little nuts. I wouldn’t doubt it if he opened the damn gate.”

“I’m sorry for trespassing, but –“

“Any other time I wouldn’t care if you parked all night. Just not tonight.”

“I told you –“

“I know. I know. Well, you can’t stay here. It’s not safe.”

Now Aaron became suspicious. What was this guy up to? “Why?” he asked.

“There’s a private hunting party going on. You might get hurt and I don’t want to be responsible.”

“Then how about either letting me use a phone or calling a ride for me?”

The man stared at him for a long moment. The flashing hazard lights cast eerie shadows on his face, but he seemed to be quite handsome with fabulous cheekbones, a long, slender nose and wide set eyes. Aaron couldn’t tell exactly what color they were, but they looked light.

“All right,” the guy said. “My cabin isn’t far. You can come with me.”

 

About Saloni Quinby

Saloni Quinby (Also writing as (Kate Hill)

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, I started writing over twenty years ago. My first story was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then I’ve written over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels. I love to blend genres. I also love horror and a happily ever after, so if you’re looking for romance with witches, aliens, vampires, angels, demons, shapeshifters and more, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to your taste here.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, watching horror and action movies, working out and spending time with my family and pets.  I love hearing from readers, so feel free to leave a comment at my blog or connect with me on Twitter.

Saloni at Changeling Press | Saloni’s Website | Twitter

 

 

 

Her Strong Force (Jordan Brothers) by Megan Slayer #Mafia #ContemporaryRomance @MeganSlayer

Her Strong Force (Jordan Brothers 8)

Heather McGraw doesn’t want to strip forever. She has plans for her life and stripping seems like the right choice to make enough money to pay off her debts. She’s not looking for love, but what if love finds her?

Mario Black can’t take his eyes off Heather. The young woman isn’t a natural on the stage, but she’s got a certain innocence and she captivates him. He wants her. When he’s given the chance to protect her while she moves from the stage to the Jordan family inner circle, he’s thrilled.

A demon from her past wants to ruin her future. Can Mario give her the protection, devotion and love she wants while protecting her heart?

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Megan Slayer

“Positive. I want you to design other costumes for the girls. Your design is better than anything they’re coming up with, and if you’re the creator, then the outfits will be exclusive to this club,” Christy said. “I saw your sketches and suggestions. You’re good, and I want your exclusive stuff.”

“If they hate me for being new and pushy, then they won’t allow me to design for them. I’m the butt of jokes,” Heather said.

“I know, and I’ve got a plan. You don’t deserve to be the butt any longer.” Christy chuckled. “I’m assigning you a bodyguard and a better wage. You should be designing, not dancing.”

“A raise?” She sighed and shook her head. “Are you sure?” A job and a bodyguard? “Why do I need protecting? So the bodyguard can ward off insults?”

“Not exactly, but I like your style. I want him to keep the girls away so you can create, and when it’s time to dole out your costumes, then they won’t turn them down,” Christy said. “Plus, when the girls see what you can do, they’ll all want your attention. Promise.”

“They aren’t exactly my fans,” Heather said. “They’re more likely to kick my ass than like my costumes. They’ll be happy to see me go, and if they see I’ve gone with a bodyguard… it’ll get worse.”

Christy crinkled her nose. “Are you sure?”

“I am.”

“Why don’t you take the night and think about it?” Christy patted the table. “While you’re thinking, I want you to meet Mario. I’m telling you, you’ll want him around. Tall, dark, handsome, muscles… he’s sin on legs.”

A man, the one Heather supposed was Mario, joined them in the box. He said nothing and folded his hands.

Heather fought the urge to squirm under Mario’s inspection. She wished she weren’t wearing a corset with her chest spilling out of the cups. She felt so revealed. He looked a bit familiar, but not much. Had he been working there the whole time?

Christy stood. “Mario, take Heather to the dressing room and help her collect her things. Once you’re done, take her to the house. Get her whatever art supplies she requires.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Mario held his hand out to Heather. “Let’s go.”

“Yeah,” she said and allowed him to direct her through the club. “Sorry.”

Mario rested his hand at the small of her back. A couple of the dancers waited backstage. Heather swore she heard one of them say she was being escorted out. Embarrassment swept over Heather. The dancer wasn’t wrong.

“Ignore them,” Mario said. “They don’t know.”

She stopped at her makeup table. “They do.” She shoved her things into her bag, then cleaned out the drawers. Instead of dressing, she donned a long coat. Tears burned at the corners of her eyes, but she swore she wouldn’t crack. No way. The girls had seen enough.

Mario helped her into the coat. As she bent into him, he murmured, “Play along.”

She wasn’t sure what he meant, but she’d trust him. She wasn’t sure why she should, since she didn’t know him, but whatever. She’d have to trust him if he was going to guard her.

Mario tucked her to his side and carried her bag. “Got everything, babe?”

Babe? She fought the urge to roll her eyes. She had to trust him. “One more thing.” She pulled her nametag off the mirror. The poor thing looked so barren and sad. “Yeah.”

Carla, one of the popular dancers, a tall, raven-haired beauty, sauntered up to Mario. “I haven’t seen you here in forever, baby.” She nudged Heather aside and embraced Mario. “Want a private dance?”

“I can’t.” He smiled, then disengaged from her. “I’m escorting my girlfriend out. I decided I don’t want to share her.”

Carla narrowed her eyes. “Her?”

“Yes.” He threaded his arm around Heather. “Is that an issue?”

“Duh. You can do better,” Carla snapped. “I did you better. All she’s got are big boobs.”

Heather’s ears burned and her cheeks heated. She wanted to leave. “Mario?”

“Yes.” He sighed and smiled. “We need to get home. I’m tired and want to relax.” He nodded. “Good night, Carla. Heather?” He nudged her forward to the door.

Heather didn’t look back. She had to act confident. She tucked into Mario and basked in the sweetness of being held. She liked the way he smelled and the strength in his body. If nothing else, he gave the impression she was someone special. She hadn’t been that in a long time.

Mario directed her out to the parking garage to a black car. “Here we go.”

“You don’t have to take me home.” Heather pulled her car keys out. “I have my own ride.”

“I wasn’t aware,” Mario said. “Then let me drive.”

“Uh, no.” She shook her head. “You don’t have to do this. I’m fine.”

“Why don’t you let me drive? I’ll explain Christy’s decision and take you to the compound.” Mario widened his stance. “It’ll make more sense if we talk.”

“I have an apartment and my cat. I won’t relinquish them.” She shook her head. “It’s fine. I’ll just go home.”

“You can’t.”

 

About Megan Slayer

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.

Megan at Changeling Press | Megan’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Data (Bones MC) by Marteeka Karland #ContemporaryRomance #marteekakarland

Data (Bones MC 8)Zora: I live a life of wealth and luxury. There isn’t anything I can’t have. Except my freedom. So I turned to the computer for friendship. And that’s where I met my match. More than my match And when my life suddenly falls apart, he’s the one to find me. But he’ll also be the one to rip my heart in two.

Data: I’m not good with people. It’s why I stick to my computers. When my online partner and friend ends up in trouble, there’s no way I’m letting her go it alone. I was expecting a mature woman when I pulled up in front of her house. But the girl is barely eighteen.

And I friggin’ want her. To make matters worse, she’s been targeted by elite members of global organized crime. I’m confident I can keep her safe from that danger. I’m less sure I can keep her safe from me. She’s already had one unwanted relationship with an older man. She doesn’t need a man like me. One who will rule her to make her mine. And kill anyone in my way to keep her safe.

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Marteeka Karland

One by one, the riders shut off the bikes but didn’t get off them. Only one man took off his helmet and approached the house, a horrible scowl on his bearded face. Zora quickly jumped up and went inside. She tried to close the door, but the man was on her already. He didn’t grab her but shoved his foot inside the door so she couldn’t shut it.

She squealed, shoving her weight against the door. Like that was going to help if the man really wanted in. She was so slight there wasn’t enough of her to deter him.

“Zora, stop,” he barked.

She was so shocked he knew her name, she obeyed. Then she blinked several times. “D?”

“Data,” he corrected. “And you are in so much trouble, you can’t even conceive.” As angry as he sounded, Zora thought he’d pull her outside, but he didn’t. He held open the screen door and stepped back so she could come back outside the house. When she didn’t readily comply, he raised an eyebrow. “I will carry you if you don’t come out on your own.”

She swallowed but did as he said. Why, she had no idea. Of all the ways she’d envisioned meeting her online friend, this wasn’t it. And what was with all the bikes? She’d also thought he was closer to her age. Sure, the remark about spending time with his daughter had registered, but she’d just assumed his daughter was a child. She hadn’t asked and he hadn’t volunteered, but when she’d imagined what he might look like, it was as a college guy. Maybe slightly older. The reality couldn’t have been further from the truth.

This man — Data — was in his forties, bearded, and heavily muscled. He towered over her. She was only five foot three, so she guessed he was at least six-three or -four. Looking at the men behind him on their bikes, talking amongst themselves, she noticed they glanced toward Zora and Data occasionally. They were all just as big and just as strong. Just as intimidating.

Date gestured for her to go back to her perch on the swing where she’d been before, and he took one of the chairs next to her. For long, long moments, he sat looking at her, his forearms resting on his thighs, fingers laced together.

“Um,” she cleared her throat. “You, uh, want some tea? I’ve got soda, too.”

Nothing.

“I’d offer beer, but I don’t –”

“Why the fuck didn’t you do what I told you to?” He didn’t raise his voice, but the message was the same. Data wasn’t happy with her. At fucking all. “Where’s your phone?”

“I left it at back at Gordon’s house,” she squeaked.

“And the burner I told you to buy? You know, the one you were supposed to use to text me with your location so I knew where you were and had a way to contact you?”

“I forgot it, OK?” Her voice was firm and a little irritated. There. She’d found her spine. Finally. Mostly.

“Do you have your computer?”

“Yeah. But I’ve been so busy trying to get myself set up here, I haven’t been online.”

“Believe me, I’m fully aware. I’ve had our private chat open for days. I had the program set to notify my cell if you came online. My phone has been by my side or in my fuckin’ pocket constantly.” The more he talked, the louder he got, his anger obviously building. He didn’t shout at her, but his frustration with her was more than obvious. Finally, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath before continuing. “I was fuckin’ worried sick.”

She blinked several times. “What? Why would you worry about me? I can take care of myself.”

“I’m aware. Doesn’t change the fact I like knowin’ you’re good.” There was silence between them. An uncomfortable one where she fidgeted and he just stared at her, his expression unreadable but intense. “Did it ever occur to you I might care about your wellbeing?”

Of course. She got it now. Just like everyone else in her life, he worried about her abilities being taken away from him. And be Goddamned, it hurt. “I’m sure you could find any number of hackers willing and able to help when you need it,” she said, unable to keep the pain from her voice no matter how much she wanted to act like it didn’t bother her. “Hell, you’re much better than I ever thought about being. It’s not like I put you in a bind.”

He sat up straight. “What the fuck did you just say to me?”

She shrank back. This wasn’t her D. This man was scary. And an asshole, but she wasn’t saying that out loud. “I said it wasn’t like I put you in a bind.”

“Data!” One of the men called warningly from his bike in her driveway. “Simmer the fuck down, brother.” That was surprising, but not unwelcome.

Data scrubbed a hand over his face before stroking the front of his beard-covered chin with a couple of fingers. “Look,” he said. “Did it ever occur to you I might be worried about more than your abilities with a computer? Maybe I was concerned about my friend. Ever fuckin’ think of that?”

“I… Your… friend?”

“Yeah. My friend.” Data shoved himself out of the chair and held out his hand for her. “Come here, cutie.”

It was that nickname that made her stupid hand land in his and her body allow him to pull her to her feet. The next thing she knew, he’d wrapped her up in those strong arms and hugged her tightly. She was so much shorter than him, he just picked her straight up, her legs dangling in the air.

 

About Marteeka Karland

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.

Marteeka at Changeling Press | Marteeka’s Website | Facebook | BookBub