Counts of Eight
(The Four Families, #1)
Publication date: May 31st 2020
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Romance
All of my choices had been stripped from me except for one. Dance or die.
Three years ago, I was taken, stolen away, far from the world I knew, far from civilization. I became a slave, forced to serve one of the four families with my talent.
I’d been abused, battered, tortured in isolation. My Master brought me men, partners for performance, but they failed to live up to the high standard of dance my Master required.
Until one day, he brought me a new man. A blonde-haired, green-eyed, dreamy new man who had no idea what was coming.
The men before him had disappeared. I presumed they were dead. I couldn’t afford myself the luxury of hoping they’d made it out alive because that would give me hope that I might someday do the same.
Hope was a dangerous thing and this new man’s spirit still thrummed with that electric spark of lightness. I would be the woman to strip that hope from him piece by tiny piece until he had none left. Only then could I control him, use him. Only then could I even consider the possibility of a predictable, complacent survival in this nightmare life.
And until that time came, I would make the only choice I was given the liberty of making.
Dance or die.
CONTENT WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual content, violence, and mature themes including scenes where consent is not sought or given. The author in no way condones such heinous acts, but rather seeks to immerse the reader in the true horror of the characters’ experience. This is your trigger warning – reader discretion is advised.
This woman wishes to own me, to do me harm, for what reason, I still don’t know. But the sight of her talent in motion gives me goosebumps, makes my heart thump and my thigh muscles twitch to be in motion with her on the dance floor.
A dancer always dances.
The song comes to an end and so does her movement. Her eyes immediately lock onto mine and again comes the glacier from the icy blue, scraping slowly but steadily across the space between us.
She strides across the floor toward me with all the poise of a dancer exiting the stage after a performance.
She sighs. “I wasn’t expecting you today. You’ve interrupted my rehearsal.”
“I hate to break it to you, princess, but this has interrupted my whole life. So why don’t we just cut ties now and get out of each other’s hair?”
“No one leaves once they’re brought here.” Her eyes shift away, then back to pierce mine again.
I let my tired head fall over onto my arm. “Please spare me the cryptic bull crap. What am I doing here?”
“You’re here to dance.”
“I require a partner for our annual performance. My last didn’t live up to my master’s expectations…” She steps closer, invading my personal space. “That partner is gone now, and you are here to replace him.”
“Yes, that’s what I said. Why do you keep repeating me? My English is excellent, can you not understand me through my accent? I lived in New York since I was eleven. Perhaps I’ve developed another accent that you have trouble understanding.” She tilts her head as her words drip with sarcasm.
The side of my mouth curls up. I might have found her interesting if it weren’t for the circumstances.
Brynn Ford is an independent author of romance in all of its beautiful and sensually taboo forms. She is a lover of the dark, twisted, and playful and strives to bring the unmentionable aspects of passionate romance into her stories.
Brynn resides in the Midwest with her husband and sons, whom she expects will someday be embarrassed by their mom’s books. When she isn’t obsessively writing, you may find her binge watching favorite shows while eating far too much junk food or fanatically reading, always seeking to lose herself in the emotional roller coaster of a damn good story.
She is quite the idealist, despite her fascination with the wicked and warped aspects of humanity. Some of her stories may run out of words before a happily ever after, but she’s a firm believer that her characters continue to live on outside the pages in the minds of her readers. Stories don’t end just because there aren’t anymore pages to turn.
Title: A Face without a Heart
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Paranormal Horror, LGBTQIA+, photographer, drag queen, dancer, addiction, drug use, dark, suspense
A modern-day and thought-provoking retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that esteemed horror magazine Fangoria called “…a book that is brutally honest with its reader and doesn’t flinch in the areas where Wilde had to look away…. A rarity: a really well-done update that’s as good as its source material.”
A beautiful young man bargains his soul away to remain young and handsome forever, while his holographic portrait mirrors his aging and decay and reflects every sin and each nightmarish step deeper into depravity… even cold-blooded murder. Prepare yourself for a compelling tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction, and violence.
A Face without a Heart
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved
There is blood on my hands. I look down at a body, a body that’s become a thing—monstrous, ugly, inanimate. It could be a sculpture, a figure formed from wax or porcelain. The soul inside is gone, leaving a shell. I wipe a line of sweat from my forehead with a trembling hand, trying to tell myself these things, trying to believe that what lies at my feet is nothing more than an object, something to be reviled, something not worthy of further consideration.
It’s not easy to believe. Although the corpse does not have a twinkle in its eye or the simple rise and fall of a chest, it’s hard to remove myself from the plain fact that the body possessed those movements, those simple signs of life, just minutes ago. Distance, for now, seems more a matter of location than of feeling. The body at my feet wears the badges of its untimely demise—a dented face, a split-open skull, blood and grayish-pink matter seeping out. The bruises have already begun to rise, ugly yellow-pink things all over the body.
I stoop, plunge my fingers into the deepest hole, the one on the belly, to feel the warmth and the entrails. Amazed that the breathing has stopped. Amazed that I have such power.
I lift a finger to my mouth and slowly run it over my lips, the blackish liquid warm and viscous, metallic to the taste. I recall the vampire films I loved as a youth, never really believing such a thing could exist.
Now I do.
I have stolen a life so that my own might continue. There is something vampiric in that, isn’t there? Because without this theft of a beating heart and an expanding and contracting pair of lungs, I would be unable to live.
Isn’t that the real essence of the vampire?
It seems too quiet here, deep in the basement of a high-rise. A dull clanging is my only accompaniment, pipes bringing warmth and water to tenants above, whose lives continue, ignorant, untouched by my murderous hand. And that’s the amazing thing, the thing that causes my breath, when drawn inward, to quiver.
Life goes on, in spite of this monumental act, just a quick, surprised scream and a heartbeat away.
There is blood on the walls, spattered Jackson Pollock-style. Who can say what is art and what is murder?
This so-called victim who now lies in final repose on a cold concrete floor, staring vacantly at nothing or perhaps at the hell that will one day consume me, can no longer chastise me, can no longer beg me to drop to my knees with him and pray, pray for forgiveness, imploring Jesus to lead me down the path of the righteous.
It’s not too late, he said before I brought the mallet down on his skull, cracking it open like a walnut, slamming it into his windpipe, his gut, an eye socket, his shoulders as he fell, anywhere the mallet would ruin, destroying, sucking life.
He was wrong. The final irony of his existence, I suppose, is that he thought he had the power to do anything, to change another person, whom, I must admit, he cared very deeply about.
No, that power rests in my hand, the death-dealing claw that changed him. And people whine about how change never really lasts when it comes to others, how they always unfortunately revert to their old ways, the ways you don’t want them to be. Anyone who has ever tried to change another knows this to be true. Oh certainly, the change may last a week, a month, even a year. But soon the real person comes back, the one who has been waiting in the wings for just the right cue, the one that will allow him to say “Ah fuck it, I’ve had enough.”
But the change I’ve wrought in my friend can never be undone. He is dead and always will be. I have a power of which psychiatrists and psychologists can only dream. And I accomplished my transformation in a matter of seconds, behind a red-tinged curtain of rage.
Pretty sly, eh? For a man who’s spent most of his life doing nothing but looking after his own selfish needs and pursuing his own pleasures, it’s a pretty accomplished thing. Decisive. For once, a man of action.
I nudge him with my foot and am amazed at the heaviness my friend has taken on in death. His body doesn’t want to give, to roll; it has become a body at rest…forever.
I turn and head back upstairs. There are matters to attend to…clothes to be burned, an alibi to be concocted. People will want answers. And conveniently, I will have none. Knowledge is a dangerous thing. What was it my other friend once told me? “The only people worth knowing are the ones who know everything and the ones who know nothing.”
I know nothing about this. And now I must go back into the realm of the living to ensure my ignorance remains secure.
But alone, I know that ignorance is one of the few luxuries I can no longer afford. Alone, I have only the luxury of time to contemplate how it all began.
Real Men. True Love.
Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at http://www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.
What better way for Harley to celebrate her birthday than with a book release?
Cover Art by Bryan Keller
Lilian — I may have survived my time with the Colombian cartel, but it nearly broke me. Even now, I can’t stand to be touched by men. But there’s one man who makes me feel safe. Dragon. He’s intrigued me for so long. I never counted on things getting heated between us, or me ending up pregnant. He made it clear he doesn’t want me, or a baby, so I ran. I thought I’d found sanctuary with the Reckless Kings, but it only put me in the crosshairs of a lunatic intent on revenge.
Dragon — I knew Lilian was still skittish with men. When she asked for my help in learning self-defense, I’d been surprised. I never counted on those lessons bringing us closer together, or that she’d ask the unthinkable of me. Now she’s carrying my kid, and I f***ed up six ways to Sunday. When she’s kidnapped, I realize it’s time to bring her home. My home. Whatever it takes, I’ll make sure Lilian knows she’s mine. Even if I have to grovel a little.
WARNING: This is a romance with darker themes that may trigger some readers. It has strong language and graphic violence, a heroine who is tougher than she realizes, and an alpha hero who will stop at nothing to make her his. If you’ve read this author’s work before, please be advised Dragon is more violent than the previous books. Guaranteed HEA and no cliffhanger!
preorder for May 8th at retailers
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Harley Wylde
I was exhausted, but I didn’t want to use what little money was in my account to stop at a motel. I pulled over for another break and used my phone to look up the Reckless Kings, hoping there would be some mention of exactly where they were located, or at least which town. When my phone rang, I nearly dropped it. Outlaw.
Oh hell. Did that mean he knew where I was? Would he tell my dad? Of course he would. Outlaw was nothing if not loyal to the club, which meant he was loyal to Grizzly. I answered, dread filling me.
“Lilian, you are in so much fucking trouble right now. Why the fuck are you in Tennessee?”
I did drop the phone that time, and scrambled to pick it back up. “What? I-I’m not.”
“Yeah, darlin’, you are. I can trace your phone and your car. Didn’t tell anyone shit just yet, though. Needed to talk to you and make sure you were okay. Want to tell me what’s going on?” he asked.
“I’m pregnant, Outlaw. Shella told Dad and I could hear through the phone how pissed he was. I left because I didn’t want…” I stopped, not knowing if everyone knew about Dragon now.
“You didn’t want Dragon to get into trouble with the Pres?” he asked.
“Too late. Griz ripped him a new one, then started pounding on him, until he discovered you were missing. When Shella called to tell him you’d taken off, it scared the piss out of him. Everyone’s been out searching. Told them you must have shut off your phone because I couldn’t find you. No one knows I can track your car except me, or that I lied about your phone being off.”
I swallowed the knot in my throat. “How angry is Dragon?”
“I’m not sure angry is the word. He yelled something about a morning after pill to Griz, and then your dad hit him. I think he’s more shocked than anything.” Outlaw sighed. “Look, I get it. Running seemed like the best option, but you need to come home. Grizzly is losing his damn mind.”
“Please don’t tell him where I am, Outlaw. I need some time. I was trying to find the Reckless Kings, hoping they’d let me stay there a few days at least. Maybe my dad will cool off by then, and it will give Dragon time to…” I wasn’t sure what it would give him time to do. He’d told me to get that pill. I’d known he didn’t want me to end up pregnant, even when I’d said I didn’t think I could. Well, it seemed that I could and I did. If he didn’t want kids, then I wouldn’t force him to be part of my child’s life, but I wouldn’t give up my baby.
“You’re putting me in a sticky spot, Lilian.”
“I know, and I’m sorry. I’m not ready to face either of them. I know my dad is mad because Shella made it seem like Dragon forced himself on me, but he didn’t. When he gets angry, he doesn’t always listen, and I need him to hear me when I talk to him.” Or I could just keep running and never go back.
“I’ll text you the location of the Reckless Kings, but their Pres is probably going to call Griz the second you get there. I’m not sure how much of a safe haven it will be for you.”
“Thank you, Outlaw.”
Praise for Dragon – What are ARC readers saying?
“I’ve got a girl crush! Lil is just amazing, sweet, fierce, and strong! She is by far my favorite so far. Harley Wylde always leaves me wishing she could write even faster. This is definitely in the reread pile…”
— 5 Stars from Korivee, BookBub Review
“I absolutely loved this book. While it was a little darker then the rest of the books. I loved that. Sometimes darker is a good thing. It gives you a different way of the story. I loved Dragon but at the same time I wanted to smack some sense into him. I loved Lilian and Dragon for each other. I totally recommend this book for all to read.”
— Recommended by gretchencalder, BookBub Review
CALL ME SUGAR: AN MMF MENAGE
(Sugar & Sin Book 1)
By Lacee Hightower
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Keywords: MMF, Dark Romance, Contemporary, Bi-Sexual, Cowboy Romance, Suspense, HEA
Warning: This title contains explicit sex scenes, BDSM, and anal sex
A romance forbidden…
A lifestyle frowned upon and considered sin and damnation…
My name is Keith Ryker. I’m a cattle rancher and sole owner to Ryker Ranch in Springhill, Texas. For fifteen years, I’ve loved a man, but longed for a woman. I’ve broken every rule imaginable, acted out reprehensible, frowned upon, unmentionable wrong-doings that people in these parts of West Texas would look down upon as sin and damnation. But by all that is holy and hallowed, in all truth, I don’t give a damn. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2WLNV6K
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2wDCyD6
Books2read(Universal link): https://books2read.com/u/49ZOEd
About the Author:
Lacee Hightower is an American writer and romance novelist, referring to her style as dark, contemporary romance with a nice big pinch of kink. 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. 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.
Ex-boxer Mike Logan struggles to put a brutal past behind and make ends meet as a bus driver. When a young runaway settles for an all-night ride, he seizes the chance to do a good deed—get her home safely. But first, they’ll drive around and talk.
What he doesn’t anticipate is that this broken night angel is also a sexy little minx needing a lot more…and not just the gentle kind.
**This is an expanded edition of the story previously featured in the anthology Passion, Pleasure, Pain in 2019**
#Dark #Erotic #Romance
Put the book on your to-read shelf on Goodreads
She gives me a long, languorous look. I think I know what it means: She’s interested by my wild side. Dark attracts dark. She believes she’s found the same kind of fallen angel as she is, a soul mate.
Wrong, kiddo. What you need is someone good, not broken like me.
She reaches over the table to pat my chest. “So hard. Jesus. You definitely work out.”
Her touch sends electric sparks to my groin. My cock pulses. I push her hand away. “Don’t do that.”
I sigh. “I’m thirty-two, you’re what?”
“Nineteen, that’s very young. I could easily be accused of taking advantage of you. Did you see how the waitress treated me?”
She crosses her arms underneath her boobs. “But I’m an adult, and I have boyfriends.”
“You have boyfriends.”
“Yeah.” She holds my gaze.
I don’t know why I had to make a deal of that.
She continues, “So, it’s not like I’d let anybody touch me if I didn’t want them to.”
“Well, I don’t want you to touch me. Let’s go.”
Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After a deep dive on the unforgiving world of gangsters with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between romantic suspenses, dark erotic romances, and crime thrillers.
Meet Lea Bronsen on
Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Meiling — All I’ve ever known is pain. My life has been far from a fairy tale. No parents. No friends. Just an endless nightmare that I can’t wake from. Until the day a man offered me his hand and promised to keep me safe. I’ve never trusted anyone before, but there’s something about him. Maybe it’s insane, but I know he won’t hurt me, and when he puts his arms around me, for the first time in my life I feel loved.
Dingo — I’ve always had a soft spot for women and kids in trouble. One look at Meiling, and I knew I had to protect her at any cost. The beautiful girl with the wounded soul. After all she’s suffered, all I want is to make her smile, make her feel secure, and give her a chance to find happiness. But first, I need to take out the men and women responsible for hurting her. It might get ugly, and messy, but they don’t call me Dingo for nothing. I’m a crazy bastard, and I won’t stop until she’s safe. I just didn’t count on falling for her along the way.
Publishers warning: Meiling’s past isn’t pretty. Dingo and Meiling’s story deals with issues of human trafficking, bureaucratic corruption, and vigilante justice. This book contains darker themes that may trigger some readers.
or pre-order for February 14th at online retailers
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Harley Wylde
I slipped Dingo’s shirt over my head, smoothing it as it fell to my knees. Even though I didn’t have on panties underneath, it was still the most covered I’d been for as long as I could remember. I didn’t see a hamper so I tossed the towels over the top of the shower so they would dry, then cautiously opened the bathroom door. I could hear the TV going and saw a pair of booted feet propped on the coffee table, even though I couldn’t see the rest of him. Scurrying into my room, I shut the door, then stared in amazement.
Sacks. Lots of sacks. They were just from one of those twenty-four-hour stores, but as I peeked into each one, I saw clothes, shoes, and other things that had to be for me. They were all in my size, and Dingo hadn’t mentioned his sister would be visiting. Since they were in the room he’d said I could use, it had to mean they were mine, right? Tears gathered in my eyes. I ripped into the package of panties and slipped on a pair, loving the way they actually covered my ass. The only two pair I owned were thongs and I hated them. The bras were a soft material that wasn’t the least bit transparent, and the clothes…
A sob built in my throat, but I tried so hard to hold it in. Jeans, modest-looking shirts, and shoes that were made for comfort and not to entice men. I lost the battle and tears streaked my cheeks as I cried so hard my throat and chest hurt. Booted steps came running toward the room, and Dingo must have slid to a stop just outside. He didn’t barge in, at least not right away. As my cries grew louder, he pushed the door open and rushed inside.
“Mei? Honey, what’s wrong?” He dropped to his knees next to me.
“I-I-I…” I couldn’t even tell him why I was crying. I just gestured to the bags, then threw my arms around him and held on.
Dingo held me, letting me soak his shirt with my tears, and he gently rubbed my back. Eventually, I got myself under control and took a few shuddering breaths. He rested his cheek on the top of my head, just holding me. Not once did his hands try to roam somewhere inappropriate. Beau was the last person to hold me like this, and I’d only been fourteen. I hadn’t realized until now just how much I missed it. My foster dad’s version of affection was vastly different.
“When’s the last time someone bought something for you?” he asked.
“My foster parents gave me only what they were required to purchase, and the clothes were never like this. No one’s ever been this nice to me.”
“They aren’t much, Mei, but I wanted to make sure you had enough clothes to get by for at least a few days. You’re welcome to use the washer and dryer off the kitchen whenever you need to, and we can always get a few more outfits.”
I fisted his shirt and lifted my head. The concern in his eyes, the gentle way he held me, it was all overwhelming. Men had taken what they wanted from me ever since I’d hit puberty. Not once had I ever kissed someone just because I wanted to, but right now, this very moment, I wanted to kiss Dingo. Before I could second-guess myself, I pressed my lips to his. He tensed and drew back, his gaze searching.
“Mei, you don’t have to do that.”
“I know,” I said. “I did it because I wanted to.”
There was a moment of hesitation in the way he held himself, the look in his eyes, and then he leaned toward me. This time he kissed me. Dingo threaded his fingers into my hair and held me as his mouth devoured mine. I melted against him, feeling desired for the first time in my life. Cherished. Men had wanted me before, but they’d wanted to take not give.
Dingo broke the kiss with a groan and pulled away.
ABOUT HARLEY WYLDE
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Cerys: Blind since birth, I’ve learned the hard way I can’t rely on my father. When he gets in too deep with the wrong sort of people, I find myself the property of Viktor. I’ve heard whispers of the mob and what they’re capable of and know I should be terrified, but it doesn’t take much for me to fall for Viktor. I see a side of him he seems to show only to me. His kisses make my knees weak, and just one touch makes me dream of forever. He makes me feel… special. Precious. Important. But what would a man like him want with collateral damage? He can have any woman he wants, and probably has. I don’t see a happily-ever-after in our future, no matter how much I might want one.
Viktor: Death and destruction cling to me, blood and violence just a way of life. I didn’t climb my way toward the top of the Bratva by being a saint. I may be gruff and dangerous, take what I want when I want, but when it comes to Cerys, I find that I can’t be harsh with her. She’s gentle. Sweet. An angel. My myshka. She’s the light to my darkness. Now that I have her, I know that I can’t let her go. I’ll make her mine in every way possible. Only one problem. Artur Orlov. He wants me to marry his daughter, but I won’t. I didn’t count on him retaliating by taking my myshka from me. I’ll get her back, and if she’s been harmed in any way, I won’t stop until every last man responsible has breathed their last.
WARNING: This story contains adult content, including language and violence that some may find objectionable.
Available TODAY at Changeling Press
or pre-order at retailers for November 29th
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Harley Wylde & Paige Warren
I could hear my heart thundering in my ears as I strained to listen to my father’s conversation. The men had forced their way into our home, and I’d heard the crash of furniture. At first, I’d been terrified because I’d thought we were being robbed. Now I knew different. I’d known my father was in trouble, but I didn’t realize how much. Money had been tight for a while, since Mom died several years ago. Things had been getting better, or so I’d thought. I never realized the reason we suddenly had money, or rather my father suddenly did, was because of some shady dealings he’d had with the wrong men. He’d claimed he’d been working, and I thought things were going well. Had he lied to me? Why did he always have to control me? Everything he did seemed to be designed for the express purpose of keeping me under his rule, and miserable.
“Please, Maksim. I just need more time,” my father begged.
I didn’t know a Maksim. The Russian accent of the men in our living room sent a shiver down my spine. In our neighborhood, the only Russians I knew were an elderly couple, or people who belonged to the mafia. I’d heard it called the Bratva, but it meant the same thing. The men sequestered with my father did horrible, evil things. Every last one of them had blood on their hands. I could only imagine what they’d ask of him, or the ultimatum they would give.
“You’ve had time,” said a deep voice I assumed belonged to Maksim.
“You don’t understand. I’ve moved as much product as I can, but I don’t have enough connections. I can get them! I just need… a month? Yes, give me another month.”
I heard the rustle of clothing and it sounded like something was being screwed onto something. I strained, needing to know what was happening. The door I hid behind was cracked open a bit, but it didn’t do my sightless eyes a bit of good. I’d relied on my other senses from birth, but sometimes it wasn’t enough.
“Nikolai, tie up the loose ends,” the man said.
No! I knew what that meant. I now understood the sound I’d heard. A silencer. At least, that’s what they were called in books and movies. They were going to shoot my father. Kill him. He might not be the best dad, but he was all I had. What would happen to me if he were gone? I shoved the door open and stumbled into the room.
“Don’t!” I fell to my knees and pushed myself up, but I’d lost my bearings and as I stood, I stretched my arms out, feeling for any furniture or people. I didn’t know how the room had changed after they’d barged in and started throwing things around. “Please. Don’t kill him.”
“And who is this?” Maksim asked.
“My daughter. Cerys. Don’t hurt her. She’s blind and can’t recognize any of you. I beg of you. Let her go,” my father said.
Now he was going to act like a loving parent? Maybe we should have invited these men over sooner. Not that they’d received an invitation now.
A hand grasped mine, rough and large. I was pulled against a firm chest and a tantalizing scent teased my nose. I couldn’t help but lean in a little closer. It was stupid, and maybe the stress of the situation was skewing my logic, but I used my hands to explore the body holding me, inching up toward the man’s face. My fingers scraped across a close-cropped beard and up to a strong nose. I didn’t feel wrinkles, only firm smooth skin. I couldn’t guess his age, other than he was likely under forty and over twenty.
“Who are you?” I asked.
The man gently grasped my hand and pulled it away from his face. I felt an odd sense of loss. Again, I wasn’t reacting like a normal person. Not that I’d ever been considered normal, but this was out of the ordinary even for me.
“Viktor, you seem intrigued by the young woman,” Maksim said. “Perhaps we can make a deal, Mr. Humes? Your daughter in exchange for the debt you owe.”
“What!” I heard my father struggling. “No! You can’t do this! Cerys is blind. Please, don’t hurt her.”
I wanted to snort and roll my eyes. The man had never given a damn whether or not I was hurt. He’d actually enjoyed moving pieces of furniture on occasion just to watch me trip over them. Then the bastard would laugh. I’d had to learn how to fend for myself after my mother died. If it weren’t for the elderly couple down the street, I’d have never gotten as far in school as I did. After my mother died, Mrs. Popov had ensured that I continued with my education. I’d been a few months from graduating, when my father pulled me from school completely. Somehow, he’d gotten forms signed saying I was dropping out of the homeschool program, and out of school all together. He’d heard me tell Mrs. Popov about my excitement over graduation, and had decided to ruin it like everything else in my life.
The fact he was acting like a loving, concerned parent, made me wonder exactly what he was up to because I knew he’d never loved me. Not since he’d discovered I was blind. He wanted them to think I was important to him, and in a way, I was. Without me, the house would be completely trashed and he’d probably starve to death. The man would certainly never go fetch his own beer, that was for damn sure.
“Who said anything about hurting her?” Maksim said. “I doubt very much that Viktor plans to cause her any harm. In fact, he’ll likely have her screaming in pleasure.”
The men chuckled and the breath froze in my lungs. He couldn’t mean what I thought he did. The man holding me tightened his grip around my waist and I felt the evidence of his arousal. My cheeks warmed and I stared at what I assumed was his chest. I’d never been with a man, never been kissed. Truthfully, I’d thought I would die a virgin, alone.
“She’s barely eighteen!” I heard my father struggling again, and assumed they were holding him back.
I knew the only reason he was trying to talk them out of it was due to the fact he’d lose his servant. Me. Even though I couldn’t see, I’d learned how to keep our home clean, and I managed to cook microwave meals. Each box was marked in a way that I knew what it was, and my father had me memorize the heat settings and cook time for each one. The lazy bastard couldn’t even be bothered to pop a frozen lasagna in the microwave.
“Barely?” Maksim asked.
“Yes. She just turned eighteen two days ago. She’s a child, Maksim!”
I felt someone run their hands down the length of my hair, then squeeze my ass. From the direction, I knew it wasn’t Viktor. I squeaked and pressed closer to the man holding me. Someone laughed before harshly grabbing my breast. I whimpered and my hands fisted on the material of Viktor’s shirt.
“Enough, Feliks.” I could feel the rumble under my fingers and knew Viktor had spoken. His voice was deep and rich with a hint of roughness. “Touch her again and I’ll remove your hands.”
“You’ll tire of her. Then I’ll have a turn. We all will.” The man laughed. I assumed it was Feliks and a shiver raked my spine. Was that my fate if I went with them? To be their whore?
“You can’t do this,” my father said. “Surely, you can’t condone this, Maksim. You have daughters. What if someone took one of them?”
“I always pay my debts,” Maksim said. “And no one would dare come for my family, unless they wanted to die. I’m sorry, Mr. Humes, but my terms are simple. Either you give your daughter to Viktor, or I’m afraid we’ll have to use you as an example to others who owe us.”
Someone laughed. “And then we’ll take your daughter anyway.”
Viktor’s arm tightened around me again until I worried I wouldn’t be able to breathe. I felt his body shift, then his lips brushed my ear.
“Do not fear, myshka.”
Praise for Collateral Damage (Owned By the Mob 1)
“Whoa, this one was intense! Cerys is blind but she isn’t weak. I am a total sucker for disabled heroes or heroines in books so I snapped this one right up. I loved that she did speak up, feeling she didn’t have much to lose. [Victor] defends her, caring for her in his way. I couldn’t put this one down… Can’t wait for more mob stories from the amazing Harley Wylde!”
— 5 Stars from Leslee’s Reviews, Goodreads
Paige Warren is a contemporary romance author who believes in happily-ever-after for everyone. Sexy, steamy stories about mobsters, cowboys, inked bad boys, and interracial couples… sometimes with a bit of kink. If you like alpha heroes and strong heroines, then you’re in the right place! No matter the odds, in a Paige Warren book, true love conquers all. Watch for Paige’s new MC Romance series Reckless Kings MC with International Bestselling Author Harley Wylde.
When her husband, children, and furbabies aren’t demanding her attention, she’s typically either writing or reading. Paige enjoys reading a variety of genres from young adult books, to general fiction, and of course, romances! But when it comes to movies, she’s a big-time horror fan — especially the ‘80s slasher flicks. That being said, ghostly movies are her favorite regardless of when they were made, like Rose Red or The Amityville Horror.
You can also find Harley on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/harley-wylde
In the hedonistic wonderland of Cabaret-era Berlin…
…where money can buy you anything you desire…
…and love comes with a pink rose and a practiced smile…
The year is 1923, the Great War is over, and Berlin has become the manic playground of Europe’s elite. Against a glittering background of nightclubs and hot jazz, a sensual American heiress, a wounded playboy, and a desperate German army officer forge a decadent pact of pleasure. But their nights of uninhibited passion soon lead to a forbidden emotional connection, one that will threaten their future … and their lives.
Kat followed her men, feeling incredibly relaxed and happy. All of her worries about Schoengraff, the wedding, and her future at Tracy Electric felt like they had been trapped behind a thick, clear wall. She knew they were still there, of course, but they didn’t plague her at all.
And seeing both Friedrich and Sam’s trousers bulging from the kissing and canoodling in the hubble-bubble den was doing wonderful things to her own desire. As soon as the car started moving Sam fell on the colonel like a hungry beast, mashing their mouths together and driving his tongue between Friedrich’s lips. His hand snaked down, cupping the German’s undoubtedly aching cock and squeezing it.
It seemed only right to join in. She leaned closer to Friedrich, pressing her breast against his arm as she nibbled and sucked on his earlobe, whispering filthy things into his ear. He gave Sam a last kiss and turned to her, groaning as she undid a button on his shirt and slid her fingers inside to caress the skin there.
Sam moved back in, biting at Friedrich’s neck then soothing the sting with a lick. A fleeting thought crossed Kat’s mind, a wish to have both of her beautiful men naked and in bed with her. All three of them creating a tangle of bodies and limbs, so close that no one could tell where one ended and another began, and to hell if it shocked all of Bridgeport and its stuffy, stodgy society.
At some point the car stopped and the door opened, Horst looming in the opening. The next thing Kat knew they were up in the suite. How, she had no idea, but she was absolutely delighted by it. She led her men into her bedroom, kicking off her shoes as she went.
Laughing, Friedrich fell on Sam, pushing him into the bed and kissing him greedily, opening his mouth to the American’s. “You feel so good,” he said softly, dropping soft kisses over the other man’s chin, cheeks, nose. “Why do you feel so damned good?”
“I don’t know, but I’m glad I do,” Sam murmured. “You feel even better, angel.”
“Mmm.” Friedrich writhed, rubbing against Sam’s lean body. “Too many clothes.”
“I can help with that,” Kat said. She started unbuttoning his shirt, laughing as her fingers fumbled on the tiny mother of pearl discs.
Friedrich stared up at her, naked adoration on his face. He lifted a hand, brushing her cheek with a tender finger that sent shivers down her spine. “You’re so beautiful, Kätzchen. So strong, like a goddess.”
Kätzchen—kitten. Tonight, she would accept that once-hated nickname, especially since he finished up by calling her a goddess. “Clothes, colonel. Let’s get you out of them.”
She quickly stripped him, leaving him naked and gorgeous on the fine sheets while Sam fumbled with his own clothes. Friedrich looked down at his magnificent cock, already hard and pearling a drop of pleasure at the tip, and laughed at it. Sam joined in, and Kat followed. Everything felt wonderful.
The men rolled into each other’s arms and started kissing again, hands roaming muscular bodies and caressing, squeezing, stroking as she watched. It was wickedly delicious, the sight of these two beautiful creatures pleasuring each other. She stripped slowly, reveling in the heightened sensation of her skin as it was exposed to the room’s cool air. She dropped her chemise, then her corselet to the carpet, peeling off the fine silk stockings last and draping them around her neck like a stole. They caught on the chain there. Mustn’t snag the stockings. There were things she could do with them, wonderfully dark and heady things.
She unhooked the chain and tossed it and the key onto the bedside table. Crawling onto the bed, she gently pushed Friedrich onto his back and away from Sam, slithering down into his arms. “My turn,” she purred.
His eyes were thin rings of blue around wide black centers, the eyes of a child on Christmas morning who had just seem the mountain of presents awaiting him. “So beautiful. You’re so beautiful.”
She stroked his cheek, feeling the fine prickle of his beard. “So are you, my colonel. The most beautiful man, isn’t he, Sam?”
“Oh, yes,” Sam said thickly, kissing his way down Friedrich’s chest. “Absolutely gorgeous.”
She wanted to kiss Friedrich again, taste his mouth, feel his tongue dancing slickly around hers as they shared breath and heat. A faint voice in the back of her head murmured something in a warning tone, something about discipline and too much indulgence. She didn’t care. She wanted this beautiful man, and she was going to have him.
Not all romances are sweet and fluffy.
Pounding music and writhing bodies fill the dance floor at Night Moves. A small, very elite group of friends called The Bad Boys Club use the place as their personal hunting grounds. Spoilt, powerful, and totally amoral, they use men without thought for the consequences of their actions. But each of these predators harbors a secret desire, a passion, that drives him.
And it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Three dangerous paranormals on the prowl for a mate stalk the humans. Dark and deadly desires are their calling cards. A demon prince, an ancient vampire, and one of the deadliest werewolves to exist have their sights on The Bad Boys Club and their sensual secrets. Love comes in all forms, even for unscrupulous humans and lethal paranormals.
Publisher’s Note: Bad Boy’s Club contains the previously published novellas Lust and Ice, Into the Darkness, and Haunting the Night.
Copyright ©2015 M.A. Church
Excerpt from Lust and Ice
Kain, AKA Ice, moved through the Friday night crowd on the dance floor of Night Moves, a trendy upscale bar. For VIPs, the club had a decadent, kinky side. The second level was members only and membership was awarded on the basis of money, power, and prestige. The second level was where other jaded predators like Kain roamed.
The bottom level — the dance floor — was where the fresh meat was kept. After all, every predator needed prey.
Kain avoided the teasing hands that reached for him. No one caught his eye, but the night was young. He nodded to the bouncer guarding the secured entrance to the second level. Of course he wasn’t stopped. He was well known at the club.
Across the way he saw his childhood friends sitting at their usual table and made his way to them. Throwing his leather jacket on the back of his chair, he picked up the drink they had waiting for him. “Sorry I’m late. The old man was on my ass again.”
“What about this time?” Jordan asked.
“Some kid yelling I hit his car on the way home a couple of nights ago. He threatened to call the cops — claimed I left the scene of the accident.” Kain shrugged as his eyes scanned the dance floor. “More like a mercy killing. My damn watch costs more than that heap he was driving, but he carried on like a bitch in heat over it. The old man calmed him down, as always.”
“Meaning your dad had his lawyer pay him off.” Allen rolled his eyes. “What’s someone like that doing over here in our part of town?”
“What else,” Hugh said. “Looking for a way to make easy money. Those kinds of people shouldn’t be allowed over here.”
“I never said it happened on our turf. I was slumming.” Kain turned back to the group with a cold, emotionless grin. Actually, he’d been mindlessly screwing some nameless guy in the hopes of losing himself, if only for a little while. “If you know what I mean.”
“Well, you know what they say. If you lie down with dogs…” Hugh shrugged. “On another note, boys, you owe me five thousand apiece. That sweet little thing, Chris? Yeah, I popped his cherry last night. Told you I would. Only took me two weeks, too, to convince him that we were meant to be.”
“You have the devil’s own luck,” Jordan groaned.
“Actually, that’s Kain. I’m still behind him by two virgins.”
“How do you find these guys?” Allen complained. “I’ve only managed to find two!”
“Oh shut up. You’re one ahead of me.” Jordan rolled his eyes.
“Back on subject, fellows. Did I mention how sweetly he cried?” Hugh smirked. “And get this… he’s thinks I’m going to keep calling him now, be his boyfriend. Seems like he was waiting for that special someone, the love of his life.”
“Yeah, right. What a loser.” Allen sneered. “How often did you have to tell him you loved him?”
“Too many times.” Hugh’s disgust was clear as he raised his glass and winked. “Like I’d be caught dead outside of a bedroom with someone like that.”
“Goes without saying.” Kain sprawled in his chair. “So, how’s it looking down there? Fill me in.”
“Jordan and I have a bet going about who’s going to do that redhead on the dance floor first,” Allen said. “He’s the one with the green shirt, there in the middle.”
“Why not do him together?” Hugh asked.
“We plan to.” Allen winked. “I said I’d do him first. We’ll tag team him later. Been awhile since Jordan and I got to do a double penetration.”
Kain’s hearty laugh boomed out, drawing attention from those around them. “I almost feel sorry for the guy.” Kain glanced around the group; several pairs of disbelieving eyes stared back at him. “Okay, no I don’t.”
“The legendary Ice feels sorry?” Hugh’s lips twisted. “That’ll be a cold day in hell.”
“Hell wouldn’t have me.”
“Oh yeah, it would. Personally, I think we’d end up ruling hell.” Allen smirked at Kain.
“Ah, someone has that position, remember?” Jordan shrugged.
“We could be kings, or lords.”
“There’s supposed to be seven princes of hell. One for each deadly sin.” Hugh rolled his eyes as his friends stared at him. “What?”
M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.
But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.
By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.
Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/ma.church3
Twitter: @nomoretears00 Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5141393.M_A_Church