Release Blitz: Basic Witch by Kate Hunter #eroticromance #paranormal @totally_bound @firstforromance

Basic Witch by Katy Hunter

Book 1 in the Half Blood series

General Release Date: 12th October 2021

Word Count: 15,310
Book Length: SHORT STORY
Pages: 68
Heat Rating: Sizzling

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS
PARANORMAL

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Book Description

Sometimes being an angel can be devilish…

Cal has problems…man problems. A torrid affair with Travis, a six-foot sex demon, has the celestial beings in a tizzy and she has been forced to make amends.

That’s the issue with having an angel for a dad. There are certain expectations—not to mention the fact that she’s also sharing her bed with a rather delicious warlock, Max. All she has to do is round up a few troublesome vampires and a rotten demon here or there and her work is done.

Or so she thinks…

Reader advisory: This book contains a brief scene of violence.

Excerpt

He slammed my slender wrists against the cold, hard wall, closely followed by my back. “You like it rough, huh?” I growled. “Me too.”

Lifting my legs into the air, I wrapped them around his impressive waist, gripping on as tight as I could and thrusting his crotch into mine. The guy is already hard? This was going to be easier than I thought.

“I like it quiet.” It was the first time his voice had even given a hint of who—or rather what—I was dealing with. It offered a tinge of menace, a heavy serving of control. We were definitely in demon territory.

He slammed his lips onto mine, the familiar feeling of a forked tongue snaking its way into my mouth.

He raised my wrists above my head, so he could hold them with one hand, and he started to undo his belt with the other.

I relaxed my grip around his waist and pulled my mouth away from his. This was going way faster than I’d thought. I wasn’t averse to a little demon dick, but my own personal demon was quite against me sleeping with his brothers.

“Not yet.” What would work? He could take me right here, right now, but I needed just a couple of more minutes. “Uh, I want to be punished. Punish me first.”

His fiery red eyes lit up and I swear the cock that was pushing into my pelvis grew another five inches. “Have you been very, very bad?”

“So bad.” Like you wouldn’t believe.

Swinging me around, he flung me onto the bed and grabbed his backpack. Lord, don’t let it be teeth. I could handle whipping, pinching, slapping—even the odd candle burn didn’t break me—but oh God, I hated it when they went for the teeth.

He pulled out a leather three-tiered paddle. Oh, bless him. He must be new at this. I put on my most innocent face. “It won’t hurt too much, will it? I know I’ve been naughty, but I’ve never done anything like this before.” Where are the boys? If that thing hit my butt in just the right spot, I’d be coming in seconds and begging for more.

I hadn’t actually planned on sleeping with this guy, but he was pushing all my buttons. It would be too hard to resist.

He rolled me over onto my stomach, brushed his hand up my thigh, grazing my stockings, and pushed up my skirt. Swirling his hand around my butt—preparing it for action—he slid his finger slowly under the gusset of my thong, brushing my clit.

“You like that?” His voice was tender, almost gentle.

Fuck. This big old hulking hellboy was actually a bit of a romantic. Now I knew his lineage for sure.

“Not yet… I don’t want to come yet. I don’t deserve it.” I was really working the naughty voice tonight. A shiver of disgust went down my spine. When I was at someone’s mercy, it was generally on my terms, not theirs.

Not that I was complaining… There were worse missions than getting a little action with a sex demon.

He grabbed a pair of handcuffs from his bag, the familiar clinking sending a jolt of excitement up my pussy. When did I get so hot just at the idea of a little bondage? It wasn’t like my sex life was in any way boring. Quite the contrary. Maybe I was craving simpler times.

He leaned forward, attached my hands to the iron headboard and hovered over my body, the bulk of his cock rubbing against my naked butt.

The sound of hulking footsteps approached the door. I braced myself. A loud boom knocked the door straight through. The gang was finally here.

Travis grabbed hellboy by the throat and pushed him against the wall. He muttered a Latin word or two and, within seconds, the infernal fires had reclaimed their runaway.

A warm, smooth hand slid between my legs and a finger entered my pussy.

“What the hell, Cal? You’re wet enough for me to take you right now,” said Max, still breathless from charging into the room.

“Max, sweetheart, be a dear. Take your fingers out of me and undo these cuffs before you fuck me.”

Travis muttered something about being the only one who did any work and sauntered out of the room.

The cuffs unlocked themselves and I rolled over to face my beautiful Max, my Mediterranean magic man. He fluttered those long, dark eyelashes at me and bent down to peck me on the lips.

“You took your time,” I mumbled through his kiss.

“You’re on a fucking yacht, Cal, in St. Tropez.”

“What?” How the hell did I get here?

He closed his eyes and shook his head in despair. “You know how Trav gets in small boats. I had to row us here myself.”

“We really need to teach that man to teleport.”

He grinned, maliciously. “We need to get ourselves a decent demon.”

“You’re just jealous.”

“Not right now, I’m not.” He clasped my thighs. A few mumbled magic words and my thong was gone. “Right now, I’m about to finish what some other demon started.”

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About the Author

Katherine E Hunt

Katy Hunter lives on a mountain in France with her husband, kids and two dogs.

When she’s not writing you can find her curled up in front of the fire, book in one hand and a glass of chardonnay in the other.

Follow Katy on Instagram and sign up to her Facebook reader’s group. You can also find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter

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Release Blitz: The Game Changer by Jacqueline Snowe #friendstolovers #eroticromance @totally_bound @firstforromance

The Game Changer by Jaqueline Snowe

Book 2 in the Cleat Chasers series

Word Count: 76,673
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 298

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FAKE RELATIONSHIPS
FRIENDS TO LOVERS
SPORTS

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Book Description

Pretending to date your best friend is always a good idea…right? Wrong.

Greta Aske has a lot on her mind, and a string of bad dates has her giving up on men, at least for the time being. Her life contains a little too much drama, meaning she needs a break and to save money and get good grades. The perfect solution presents itself—pretend to date the campus playboy. That’ll keep the guys away for sure.

Aaron Hill is desperate to save his baseball career because, with his dad fighting cancer, he damn well knows he can’t ask for a single penny from his parents. Baseball is his past, present and future, so when a scandal threatens his chance in the MLB, he turns to his best friend for help. A fake relationship will keep him out of trouble. It’s perfect, really. Greta’s taking a break from dating and Aaron needs to focus on training.

Nothing could go wrong…as long as neither falls for the other. But when lines are crossed, what’s real and fake blurs and the two are forced to face their fears. Could Greta be the game changer Aaron needs?

Reader advisory: This book was previously released by Finch Books.

Excerpt

Action movies are full of shit, feeding us fake information our entire lives. For instance, when a fight breaks out in a bar, there’s no Mark Wahlberg look-a-like to rescue the damsel in distress. Second the sound of flesh hitting flesh is repulsive and meaty. There are no wooshes or bangs or ka-pows. Nope. It’s just disgusting.

I cringed at the smack and crashing of a fist meeting the face of my date. That’s right. I always picked the best of the best when it came to dating and tonight was no different. Todd, who had blood dripping down his eye, chin and nose, had made the bold decision to ask me out. I’d accepted, like a fool, and would live to regret this night for all eternity.

“Where is my money, Todd?” The broad-shouldered man with a beard longer than my hair pummeled his meaty fists into my date’s face. “Where the feck you keepin’ it?”

No response. Burly Guy didn’t like that. He grunted, swung his arm back past the table and hit Todd square in the nose. What happened in my past life for me to witness this?

No one got up to help. No one moved. They all watched with half-smiles on their faces and I knew in the pit of my stomach I needed to get the hell out. Like, ten minutes ago. I slowly slid my trembling hand into my purse to find my phone, but Mr. Burly heard me. He whipped his face toward mine, the terrifying glint to his eyes making me gasp. I gulped, the fear suddenly very real.

“You know this fecking asshole?” he barked at me. Countless gazes followed his voice and now stared at me. They wanted a show and I was so not the person for the role. My chin trembled as I shook my head.

“N-n-no. I j-just met him tonight.” I clutched my phone to my chest. I would use it as a weapon if necessary, although I had no fucking clue what damage I could do on this beast of a man.

He ran his fat tongue over his lips and studied me. I stood stock-still, my spine straight as a rod. “I think it’s time for you to go, doll. My boss ain’t gunna like me lettin’ ya leave, but your blonde hair don’t fit in here. Get the feck out and don’t come back.”

I nodded, glancing one more time at Todd. My gut screamed to get out, but I had been raised Catholic. Do I leave my epic failure of a date to get killed? Do I call the cops?

Mr. Burly thought I took too long and put his grimy fingers around my wrist. I squealed, yanking it out of his touch.

“Get gone, girl.” He kicked open the door and threw me outside. I stood on a rundown street with one streetlight working correctly. The others flashed and made a high-pitched buzzing sound that sent chills down my spine. “Fuck. Fucking. Fuck.”

I called my best friend with shaking fingers and snot running down my face. Oh, did I mention I had blood on me that wasn’t my own? I gagged, looking at the splatters. The phone rang and rang again. I loved Callie to death, but if that bitch didn’t answer right then, I would get her for it. Big-time. Because what the fuck? It appeared the downward spiral my life had begun a month ago still had a way to go before hitting pure rock bottom. Nothing topped this story, as long as I got home alive.

“Give me my fecking money!” A booming voice traveled through the closed door. My longtime sixth sense had sent warning after warning all day and I’d chosen to ignore it. This is my own damn fault.

I gripped my phone tighter and took a deep breath. Count to eight. Make a box with your breathing. It did me no good and my fingers still shook. After three failed calls to Callie, I called the other number I knew by heart. Aaron Hill answered after the first ring with his obnoxious and playful voice.

“G-spot, what’s crackin’? Finally calling me for a booty call?” His voice had the power to make me smile and roll my eyes simultaneously. This was not that time.

“I need you to come get me.” My voice shook as the shouting picked up. Why had I let Todd convince me this place was cool and a ‘real biker bar’? Standing alone on the dark country road made it feel more like a place where girls went missing than a legit biker hangout. I fell for it. Dumbass.

“Where the hell are you?” His good-natured tone shifted and I imagined his steel eyes going dark. “It’s past midnight. Shit, G, are you alone?”

“Uh, pretty much.” I sent him the address while still on the phone. “I texted you the place. I’m calling in my favor.”

“Jesus, Greta.” He let out a string of cuss words. “Why the fuck are you all the way out there?”

“A date gone bad.” Shame filled my chest, regret chasing it. The feelings had my throat closing. Tears weren’t far behind.

“Goddamn it. I’m on my way. Stay on the phone with me. I swear, I’m going to wring your neck. I hate this shit.” A door slammed—he’d just gotten into his car. After a minute of silence, he sucked in a breath. “Are you at Dirty Matt’s? Please say no. Tell me no, right now, Greta.”

The neon signed mocked me, Dirty Matt’s, blinking over and over. “I’m at Dirty Matt’s.”

“Jesus Christ.” His deep voice got so low, so calm, I made a vow to end all my plans for dating. His anger and disappointment in me were well deserved.

I gulped. Ever since my childhood best friend Callie had found love the year before, I’d wanted to try it. She’d fought it, but seeing how damn happy she had been all year and how she’d grown into herself had motivated me. I was damn happy for her and in no way jealous. I just yearned to have the closeness she had with her boyfriend, Zade.

Okay, so all the longing and searching had led me to a series of bad, awful and miserable dates. Not one had clicked. Not one had ended with the promise for more. And, not one has ended with a guy acting like a gentleman. Apparently, I had a stamp on my head that read, I tend to date losers. And, now, I could add I dated felons. It was the only explanation I could muster why Todd had brought me here, and why they’d beaten the shit out of him.

“I’m twenty minutes out and I’m beyond pissed at you. You know the rep this place has? Do you?” His deep voice held nothing but rage and worry. I closed my eyes and leaned against the wall. I had known about the reputation, but I’d wanted an adventure. Todd rode a motorcycle. He had tattoos and looked as good as sin. I wanted, even an inkling if possible, of the happiness Callie felt. Is that so bad?

Yes. I shivered.

Aaron’s shaking voice pulled me from my self-pitying thoughts. “Greta! Did you know and still go there?”

Shit. He was past mad. “Yeah.”

“Why? Tell me why. I know shit hasn’t been great for you recently, but stop with this self-destruction crap. I can’t watch you do this.”

The squealing tires informed me he was close. His dark SUV sped down the road on a mission, the headlights showcasing how wretched this place looked. He pulled up to the spot right in front of Dirty Matt’s and threw open his door. He stormed out, his anger evident on his handsome face.

“Aaron, look—”

“You asshole,” he said, yanking me into his arms. “You worried the hell out of me. I lost ten pounds on the drive here.”

“Aaron,” I managed to squeak out before he pressed my face into his chest. “I’m okay.”

“Just, let me be.”

So, we stood like that for at least three minutes. His ridiculously large frame towered over me, but not in the way Mr. Burly back there had. Aaron was different. His body was sculpted from hours and hours in the gym. My arms barely fit around his middle, but I tried anyway. He squeezed me one last time and broke our hug. His gray eyes still held on to some anger, but relief took over. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, G.” His lips turned white while he glanced at the sign. “Now, get in the car.”

I obeyed, not foolish enough to piss him off even more. He opened the passenger door and glared at me until I buckled myself in. Without a word, he shut it and pinched his nose walking to the driver’s side. His cologne clouded the car, the pleasant aroma of wood and leather comforting my nerves.

My body shook, the adrenaline wearing off. Aaron must’ve seen, because he turned on the heat despite the high July temperatures. I understood him well enough to let him stew. We had been close for over two years, but last year things were different. His dad being diagnosed with cancer had made the Aaron we all knew and loved change and we had grown closer and closer. Callie was my girl for life, but I couldn’t envision a future without knowing Aaron would be there. He understood me, respected me and pushed me to be better. He was allergic to feelings and emotions while I was forever giving up on men. Our friendship worked.

He drove the silent, dark path back to campus, one hand on the wheel and the other repeatedly making a fist. I blamed myself for his anger. He had enough to worry about and now picking me up… Remorse filled my chest and my eyes stung. “I’m fucking sorry. I’m an idiot. I don’t know why I went there. I wanted to have an adventure or something.”

He nibbled on his bottom lip, keeping his expression blank. Shit. Instead of remaining silent and letting him deal with it, I’d decided to ramble. Rambling was a favorite sport of mine and I couldn’t stop.

“He had a motorcycle…”

“I thought he would be a winner…”

“I want what Callie and Zade have…”

“I didn’t realize he was a felon or something and would get the shit beat out of him…”

“I had no fucking clue I would get manhandled…”

“Excuse me. What did you just say?” His jaw tightened.

“I didn’t have a clue—”

“No. You said manhandled. Someone hurt you?” His grip on the wheel tightened and I swallowed, loudly.

“Not hurt, no.” I tucked my arms further into myself. A bruise had already formed and Aaron was in no state to know that. “Forget I said anything.”

“I swear to God, Greta.” He pulled off the road and stopped the car. He shook, his large frame tight with pent-up rage. I wanted to crawl into a hole. Pissed-off Aaron could scare the boogeyman into retirement. “Don’t fucking lie to me. Are you hurt?”

Buy Links

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First For Romance

About the Author

Jaqueline Snowe

Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the ‘dry heat’ really isn’t that bad. She enjoys making lists with colorful Post-it notes and sipping coffee all day. She has been a custodian, a waitress, a landscaper, a coach and a teacher. Her life revolves around binge-watching Netflix, her two dogs who don’t realize they aren’t humans and her wonderful baseball-loving husband.

You can take a look at Jaqueline’s Website and Blog and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Release Blitz: A Song for His Heart by M.C. Roth #eroticromance #gay #multiplepartners @firstforromance @pridepublishing

A Song for His Heart by M.C. Roth

General Release Date: 28th September 2021

Word Count: 78,359
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 264

Genres:

BONDAGE AND BDSM
CELEBRITIES
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS

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Book Description

It only takes one rock star to crash the perfect honeymoon, but it might take two to save it.

Ian and Trent’s honeymoon is supposed to be perfect, but before they even make it to Miami, Mac—Ian’s manager and best friend—is already interfering. As soon as the plane lands, Ian starts to drift away from Trent, falling back into his closeted habits and disappearing for days to record a new album, leaving Trent alone in an unfamiliar country.

Trent is at his breaking point when Ian tries to disappear again after three days away. He can’t be the househusband Ian obviously needs. Trent is ready to collect his bags and head back to the airport when he overhears Mac’s secret, which threatens to turn his life upside down.

Reader advisory: This book contains a fistfight precipitated by sexual assault/forced kiss, MMM relationships, alcohol consumption/intoxication and mentions of past alcohol abuse. It is best read as the sequel to The Drumbeat of His Heart.

Excerpt

The roar of the twin turbofan engines burst against Trent’s ears like a koala calling for a mate. The sound was unexpected, coming from such a beautiful thing that seemed so innocent and sluggish. And while the plane was a lethargic beast on the ground, one that could hardly make a turn on its own without falling off the thick tarmac, it transformed into a serpent the moment the engines came to life.

Trent rocked back into the padded seat and clutched the armrest in a tight grip as his stomach dropped to the vicinity of his ankles. It was like the worst kind of roller coaster—one that he would ride fearlessly as a kid, only realizing later that its rusted parts were held together by bits of chewing gum.

He could hardly breathe as his ears pressurized, then popped, only to pressurize again. His mouth was dry, and his tongue was stiff with the need to hurl his light dinner all over the back of the seat that was tight against his knees. But the food couldn’t make it past his throat with his stomach so low to the floor.

He glanced at the view through the tiny oval window that looked much too flimsy to handle the same forces that were battering his ears. There were two panes, and one had an actual hole in the bottom as if it were already prepared for the doom that awaited the passengers, himself included.

It was beautiful, though. The blinking lights of the city looked so similar to the stars, and they had started to meld together into one sphere of never-ending sky. The buildings that had looked so tall while standing on the ground now looked no higher than a sheet of Bristol board. The lake was lost, as were the stream of cars along blurred highways.

The moon was barely a sliver of light, but it was so bright that he had to blink to clear the spots from his vision. The silver beams illuminated a white fluff of clouds as they fluttered over the gleaming wing.

“See? It’s not so bad,” said Ian from the seat next to him. He moved his hand, so warm and comforting, to soothe Trent’s. “That was a good take-off too. Nice and smooth.” His smile was completely at ease and his grip soft as the plane trembled around them.

“I think I’m gonna puke.” Trent gripped his stomach as the wing dipped again and they loomed sideways over the city of lights. How are we even in the air at this angle? He waited for gravity to grip them in a lasso and tear them back down to the earth.

“Smile,” said Ian urgently as he leaned forward to rifle through the seat pouch. There were a few magazines that had probably been touched by hundreds of hands, as well as the day’s newspaper, in the small elastic compartment. Ian found a slim white bag between the pages of one of the magazines.

“What?” Trent breathed deeply through his nose and forced his mouth shut as he slid his eyes closed. His mind whirled at the same speed as the plane as it continued to climb. Were they still sideways right now and slipping down to their doom? Maybe if they climbed high enough, he wouldn’t feel it when they hit the inevitable bottom.

“T, baby, take a deep breath for me and smile,” said Ian as he pressed his hand gently to Trent’s chest at the level of his heart. It was enough to ground Trent into taking another breath, even as he quivered beneath the touch.

“If you smile, you can’t gag, so you won’t puke. Here.” There was a shiver of sound as something slid beside him.

When he opened his eyes again with a forced grin on his face, the window shutter was thankfully closed. Without the dark blankness looking back at him, he could almost imagine being on a bus and not a massive plane that was soaring precariously in the sky. He could imagine that the tiny bumps were little potholes along the road, and the roar was a never-ending layer of slow strips carved into the asphalt.

Ian was right there, smiling and rubbing his chest until his warm palm rested over Trent’s stomach. Ian’s blue eyes were bright in the low light and his full lips were pulled back into a smile as he held the sick bag out to Trent. The ink carved into Ian’s skull was blocked by the black baseball cap that he had insisted on wearing to the airport. The sight of Ian, so beautiful and familiar, settled something deep within Trent.

Trent grabbed the sick bag and slipped it back into the pouch between the layers of magazines, leaving a corner out so it would still be in reach if his stomach started to turn. When he leaned back, it lined his lips up perfectly with his new husband’s, and he felt the steady tug that drew him in. Ian pulled back in surprise before their lips could meet, his gaze darting around the large compartment of passengers.

There was a child in the next row who was repeatedly kicking the seat ahead of him while playing with the touch screen that was built into the back of the headrest. It was a great idea to pass the time, but the way the child was hacking away at it was obviously driving the person in front insane. They looked back a few times, glancing at the father, who had his phone in his hand as he played what appeared to be a repetitive assassin game, while managing to stay completely oblivious to his son. There were others looking out of their windows or resting with their heads back with their eyes closed.

“Sorry.” Trent smiled, not sorry at all. “I know you don’t like PDA, but it’s our honeymoon.” Saying Ian didn’t like it was an understatement. The man was simultaneously terrified and repulsed with the idea of PDA. It blew Trent’s mind that this was the same man who had an exhibitionist streak that was larger than the aeroplane they were on.

“I love you. You know that,” said Ian as he stumbled over his quiet words. “But when I kiss you, I want to do it right. I can’t do it right with a kid staring at me.” Ian cut his focus over to the little boy, who had given up smacking the touch screen and had started pushing the armrest up and down, his feet never stopping once.

“It didn’t stop you in a public pool,” said Trent with a smirk. “Or in the back seat of your rental when we parked at the baseball diamond.” After renting a Hyundai on his first visit, Ian had learned his lesson and had stuck to large vehicles after that. It had taken a lot of convincing before Trent had found himself on his hands and knees in the back seat of a jeep.

“That was different.” Ian crossed his arms before he leaned back in his chair. His long legs bumped the seat, so he splayed them wide, with one knee spilling out into the aisle and the other taking up a third of Trent’s minimal space. “Why didn’t you let me treat you to first class again? The leg room back here is atrocious.”

Trent shifted in his seat and let Ian change the subject. His own knees were very firmly pressed into a cushioned backrest, while still being off to the side. It was a tight fit for him, and even worse for Ian, but there was no way that he could have allowed them to spend an extra two thousand dollars to get first-class tickets.

“If I really had my way, we would have driven. I may not own a car, but I can drive,” said Trent as he tried again to get comfortable.

“And if I had my way, we would’ve done this months ago…before we got married,” said Ian as he fiddled with the gold band on his finger. The metal was smooth and sleek, and it fit him perfectly. Trent had overestimated the size when he had bought it, and it had barely stayed on Ian’s thumb without falling off. When Trent had found out that Ian had resized it, he had pretended to be furious, telling Ian that it was supposed to be a cock ring, not one for his finger.

“Are you excited?” asked Ian, turning in his seat as much as he could. He bounced one leg in the aisle and had started a steady beat against his thigh. His ring flashed in the artificial light with every movement.

“Yes, of course,” said Trent as he swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat. “I’m super excited.” Luckily, he managed to keep most of the terror out of his voice. Miami was huge, hot, hip and expensive. It was also everything that Trent wasn’t.

He fiddled with his ring that matched Ian’s. The skin under the band was faded and pale from months of being shaded from the sun. It had stayed on his finger from the day before Christmas, when Ian had proposed, until the morning of their wedding on August eighteenth. By then, he’d had to soap up his finger to even get the band to budge.

The wedding had been a small affair, with only Trent’s closest family and his best friend, Candace. Ian had refused to invite anyone from his family, and Trent had wholeheartedly agreed to keep that rock buried as long as possible. It would have been next to impossible to get in touch with Ian’s mother anyway, as she lived entirely off the grid. He had been a little bit surprised when Ian had refused to invite his fellow band members, but he’d explained that he didn’t want them all to feel obligated to fly in for it. Trent’s tiny town probably wouldn’t have been able to handle them anyway.

The ceremony had been short and sweet, which had made it absolutely perfect in Trent’s eyes. There was nothing worse than sitting through a two-hour wedding service that included an actual communion. There had been no speeches, no fancy photographer and no dancing afterwards, just a simple dinner at home. Ian had still insisted on carrying Trent over the threshold like some kind of creamy-thighed bridezilla, though.

“What is your house like?” Trent asked as he trailed his fingers along the arm rest. He’d seen pictures on Ian’s phone of some of the different rooms, but it had compounded into a disarticulated checkerboard in his imagination.

Ian had talked about the house a lot, but his stories usually revolved around the infinity pool in the back yard, leading Trent to believe that the man spent most of his time in Miami swimming. Now that they were married, Ian was spending most of his time off work at Trent’s, but the moment Trent had secured some vacation time for his honeymoon, they’d booked the flight.

“You are going to love it,” said Ian, taking a deep breath before he dove in. “It’s about four thousand square feet, I think, with three bedrooms and five bathrooms. There is a drum room in the basement that’s pretty epic, and a theatre room for rainy days. I think you’ll like the pool the best, though, and maybe the hot tub.” A nostalgic look crossed Ian’s face as he spoke about the house.

“Three bedrooms sounds like two bedrooms too many—or do you pick a different one to sleep in every other night?” Trent asked. The seatbelt sign clicked off above their heads, but the no smoking sign stayed glowing red and orange. He kept his belt pulled tight, even as Ian undid his and adjusted his seat back a few scant centimetres.

“Nah,” said Ian as he looked up and down the aisle. “I hope they bring out drinks soon.” He looked back to Trent and settled his hand over Trent’s clenched one. “I’ve only slept in the one bedroom, actually, but I converted another into an office and the third into a library.”

“But you don’t read. I could hardly get you to sit still long enough to get through that magazine, and it was about cars.” Trent crossed his arms and played with his wedding ring, spinning it endlessly.

“Not books, T…records. I told you about my record collection.” Ian looked away as the hostess interrupted them, handing them two drinks after Ian’s quick request. Trent took the cold plastic cup gratefully and sipped at the ginger ale. The bubbles flowed over his tongue and down his throat, making his mouth momentarily numb. He glanced at Ian’s cup, hoping the same liquid was inside.

“Just cola, plain cola,” said Ian as he caught the look. He tilted the cup back and gulped it down in three swallows. “I’m so thirsty, though. I should’ve finished that water before customs, but I got distracted pointing everything out to you.” He placed the empty cup on the small plastic tray that folded down from the seat in front.

“I just couldn’t figure it out.” Trent shook his head. “Why would someone buy that many cigarettes and that much overpriced booze, just to take on a plane? Head to the closest box store and you’ll pay half the price, and you still won’t pay duty if you limit yourself.” Although, strangely enough, after looking at the same neatly organized cigarette cartons for three hours, they had started to look downright delicious.

“A lot can happen if you get stuck in the airport for eighteen hours,” said Ian as he waved down the stewardess for another drink, finishing that one too. “The first time I got stuck, there was a ten-hour layover. It was with the band, and I still drank back then. We just drank the entire time, and I got so wasted that I don’t even remember the flight at all. I just fell asleep in Arizona and woke up in Buffalo.” He slipped the newly emptied cup into the first one so that they were stacked neatly in the small circle on the tray.

“Then there was the England flight,” Ian continued. “We spent a whole day in the airport because the plane had to be repaired. Twenty-four hours of sitting in a plastic chair and getting hit on by this random chick was enough to make me want to turn straight, just so I could fuck her and get her to shut up.” He shuddered. “Man, I’m still thirsty. Maybe they can just give me a two-litre?”

Trent laughed, shaking his head as Ian caught the attention of the hostess for the third time. Her bright smile hadn’t dimmed and a shimmer of recognition had floated over her face. Trent had seen the look before when someone realized who Ian was. Their eyes would widen just a fraction, and he would see the gears turning in their heads before they decided that yep, that was somebody famous.

Ian slipped her an American twenty, and she passed him a few cans without a second thought. She was about to step away when she paused and leaned back in.

“There are a few spots in first class that are open if you are interested in moving up. I’ll see if there are two seats together.” Her smile widened as Ian nodded more times than was strictly necessary.

“Yes, please get me out of these tiny seats,” said Ian. “It’s his fault anyway. He insisted on economy to get the full experience.” He pointed an accusing thumb at Trent. Trent wilted in his chair as the stewardess chuckled.

“And how are you enjoying the experience?” Her smile lifted at one side, revealing her perfect white teeth. Trent took a second look at her, from her broad form to her strawberry hair that was pulled back into a perfect bun.

“It’s, um…cosy.” Trent tried to shrug, but his shoulders were pressed so close to Ian’s that the movement hardly registered. He shifted in the seat, but his knee came up and struck the small plastic tray, sending the cups to the floor.

She laughed, a high tittering sound that sent a shiver down Trent’s spine with how familiar it was. “I’ll be right back.” She disappeared up the aisle and ducked behind the grey curtain near the front of the plane.

A rumble of turbulence shook the plane with a burst of vibration and sound. Trent peered over Ian’s shoulder to the window at the other side of the plane as he tried to see what could cause such a terrible noise on such a large bird. Through the thin pane of glass, he watched the wing bow and flex in a way that couldn’t be natural for metal.

“Oh God,” said Trent as he gripped the armrest hard. Ian held Trent’s hand and pulled it to his chest. It was hard and hot and Trent could feel the slow and steady beat of Ian’s heart under his palm. Trent’s gaze snapped back to the magazines, where the corner of the bag was still visible. The bubbles from the ginger ale didn’t feel so great in the pit of his stomach anymore.

“You’re fine.” Ian’s low rumble was calm and soothing, but it did little to quench Trent’s terror. “Clouds aren’t as fluffy as they look, and the plane just has to work a little harder to get above them. Once we stop going up, it will be a lot smoother.”

“We’re still going up?” Trent looked around the cabin, but the rows looked totally flat to him. His stomach wasn’t dropping anymore, and his ears had stopped popping, leaving his head filled with a steady pressure like he had a mild cold.

“Not for much longer. It will smooth out in a bit, I promise. I’ve taken this flight loads of times, and I’m always fine. You will be too.” He brought Trent’s hand to his lips in an uncharacteristic display of public affection.

The stewardess reappeared at the curtain and bustled over to them with a smile before she leaned close again. “Here… Just follow me. I’ll grab your bags after we get you moved so no one will get jealous.” Her voice was quiet enough that only they could hear.

Ian slipped out of his seat with a slight stagger as he tried to release his pinned left leg that had probably gone numb sometime during the ascent. Trent tried to follow, his arms flailing, only to realize that he still had his seatbelt strapped around his waist. He flushed as Ian smirked and the hostess let out a small laugh hidden behind her palm.

He grabbed Ian’s soda cans that were between his legs, then pulled the buckle open and shimmied to his feet. His knees were completely numb and felt similar to the consistency of thick rice pudding that didn’t have the bonus cinnamon. He took a step and nearly tumbled into Ian, who caught him with a hand on his elbow.

“It’s like walking on a boat,” said Ian as he let his hand fall so he could follow the stewardess, who was waiting at the curtain.

The floor was moving under Trent’s feet in an alarming way. It wasn’t anything like the gentle rock of his uncle’s boat as the four-stroke engine cut through the waves of the Great Lakes on a calm day. This was more like walking in the back of a hay wagon as it tumbled along a weaving country road.

He braced his hand on the nearest seat and took a tentative step, pleasantly surprised when he didn’t fall flat on his face. He made it down the aisle and through the curtain, barely, to where the other two were waiting behind the grandest set of plane seats that Trent could have imagined. They must’ve landed and gotten on another plane, because as the curtain slid shut behind him, he seemingly entered a whole new world.

This area was so much better, with enough leg room for two people, and seats that had extra padding and slid completely flat for anyone who wanted a nap. The built-in screens were bigger, and there was a bottle of champagne waiting for them in a bucket of ice. There were pillows, actual pillows, and not the ones that went flat the moment his head hit them.

“Here.” Ian grabbed the bottle as he slid into his seat. He pulled a bill out of his pocket and presented it with the champagne to the stewardess. She took both with a slight nod of thanks.

“Just let me know if you need anything,” she said as Trent slid the soda cans into the now-empty bucket of ice. She smoothed a hair back that had managed to slip away from her bun and turned away.

“Wait!” Trent called out, probably louder than he should’ve by the glance that was directed his way from across the expansive aisle.

“Yes?” The hostess looked back at him with a shy smile and a slight blush on her cheeks.

“Um, can I have your number?” Trent asked in a low voice. Ian spluttered beside him, choking on another cup of pop, and Trent flushed even hotter than the stewardess.

“It’s not for me. It’s for my friend. I just thought, if you were available, you two would get along.” He sat back in his chair, suddenly wanting nothing more than to be right beside the flexing wing that might break off at any moment. Ian was still gasping and choking beside him, drawing every eye in first class.

The stewardess took a step back, and a bright flush passed over her cheeks as she chewed on her lower lip. She looked from Trent to Ian, then back to Trent.

“Oh, it’s not for him. He’s mine,” said Trent, shaking his head as he pointed to Ian. Ian spluttered again, losing a second mouthful of pop as he tried to clear his throat. “It’s for my friend Candace. Or I could give you her number and let her know that you might text her.”

“I could take her number,” said the stewardess as she nodded shyly and looked up and down the aisle, “if you show me a picture first.”

Trent whipped out his phone and brought up the first picture of Candace that he had saved. It was a selfie of the two of them at Trent’s wedding. She had been dressed beautifully, as always, in a strappy purple dress that left very little to the imagination, and her hair had been done up in a swirling up-do. She had smiled at the camera as if there had been no place in the world that she would’ve rather been.

At the stewardess’s nod, Trent ripped off a corner of the newspaper in the seat pouch and used the pen she passed him to write down his friend’s name and number. She slipped the paper into the pocket on her blouse before she nodded one last time and disappeared on the other side of the curtain.

“What the hell was that?” Ian hissed quietly. “I thought you were setting up a threesome—and don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered, but we’re gonna be tired after this flight.” Ian let out a little laugh. “I definitely wouldn’t mind. Not that I wouldn’t prefer your ass, but I haven’t been with a woman in so long—and it would be interesting to try with you.”

“Not happening. I just have to keep up my reputation.” Trent shook his head. He was still fascinatingly disgusted by breasts. “I have always been, and will always be, the best wingman ever.”

A ding broke Ian’s laughter, and the man fumbled with his pant pockets with a move that would not have been possible in the economy seats.

“Shit. I thought I’d turned this thing off. You can get in a lot of trouble for having your phone turned on in a plane.” Ian flicked the screen open with a quick press of his fingertip to the back. His smile died and his brows drew together as he read whatever was on the glowing screen.

“Who is it?” asked Trent as he fluffed the pillow behind his head and reclined the chair a few degrees farther. It wasn’t as good as his couch at home, but it was a definite improvement over the economy chairs.

“Mac wants to record the new tracks this week,” said Ian as he clicked his phone off and shoved it back into his pocket. The seams strained as he nearly pushed the phone straight through the fabric.

“But it’s our honeymoon,” said Trent, unable to keep the whine of disbelief from his voice. He would support Ian’s career in any way he could, but this crossed a few lines. He was so ready to get fucked through at least nine lives, and nothing was going to get in the way of that, not even Ian’s best friend and manager.

“I’ll take care of it, T,” said Ian with a forced smile on his face as he reached for Trent’s hand that had settled between them. “So, tell me again why we can’t have a threesome?”

Trent snorted and turned away, squeezing Ian’s hand once. This was going to be the best vacation of his life.

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About the Author

M.C. Roth

M.C. Roth lives in Canada and loves every season, even the dreaded Canadian winter. She graduated with honours from the Associate Diploma Program in Veterinary Technology at the University of Guelph before choosing a different career path.

Between caring for her young son, spending time with her husband, and feeding treats to her menagerie of animals, she still spends every spare second devoted to her passion for writing.

She loves growing peppers that are hot enough to make grown men cry, but she doesn’t like spicy food herself. Her favourite thing, other than writing of course, is to find a quiet place in the wilderness and listen to the birds while dreaming about the gorgeous men in her head.

Find out more about M.C. Roth at her website.

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Release Blitz: Saving the World and Other Bad Ideas by Jayce Carter #reverseharem #paranormalromance #eroticromance @firstforromance @totally_bound

Saving the World and Other Bad Ideas
by Jayce Carter

Book 3 in the Grave Concerns series

Word Count: 74,724
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 279

GENRES:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
PARANORMAL
REVERSE HAREM

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Book Description


I finally get four hot men and the world’s going to end. Typical.

I’ve gone to hell, I’ve faced off against the devil and I’ve lost someone who meant the world to me. That’s usually the end of the story, but it seems the universe isn’t quite done with me yet.

Lilith is still out there, the end of the world is getting closer and only I can hope to stop it. The more I discover, the deeper I dig into the mystery of Lilith’s past and my own powers, the less sure I am that I can actually defeat her.

Still by my side are the four men I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with—leave it to me to get my romantic life in order just as the world falls apart. With all the questions, there are only two things I know for certain—I will face Lilith, and only one of us will walk away from it.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, bloodshed and death. There are mentions of child abuse, inadequate parenting and bestiality.

Excerpt

“I could tear your soul right out of your stupid, entitled body!”

The man I’d yelled at stared at me as if I were crazy, but that didn’t even slow my tirade. He might think I was a nutjob—and maybe I was—but that didn’t mean I wasn’t fully capable of doing exactly what I’d threatened.

“You’re insane,” the man said.

“You’re the one who’s attacking that poor woman who works here.”

“She made my drink wrong.”

“So?” I set my hands on my hips, giving him my best melt him into the ground right where he stands look. “You think you’re entitled to everything you want? You think the world revolves around you?”

There beside us stood the barista we were arguing over, her dark eyes wide. In fact, she looked far more concerned about our interaction than about him acting like a spoiled brat. When I had been standing by the bar, waiting for mine, he’d brought his back to tell them they’d made it wrong.

“It really is okay,” the barista told me. “It’s not a big deal. I can just remake it.”

“No,” I responded. “It’s not okay. People can’t just expect others to be perfect, to have it all together all the time. He needs to be understanding.”

“I don’t expect perfect,” the man said. “I asked for iced and she made a hot drink. That’s it.”

“So? She’s trying, damn it. She’s the one working, so you should just say thank you and move on. What makes you so special that you think you’ll get whatever you want?”

His mouth hung open, like he’d never dealt with someone telling him off before. “I wasn’t even rude,” he argued. “All I did was ask her to remake it.”

“She’s doing her best,” I repeated for what had to be the tenth time, that same thing that stuck in my head. “She’s just human, and maybe she’s having a bad day. Maybe she recently lost someone she cares about. Maybe she went to hell and is now in some sort of existential crisis because she doesn’t know how to bring the person responsible to justice. Did you ever think about that, or did you just decide to criticize her?”

The chime above the door rang, and when I turned, I realized maybe I’d gone just a little overboard.

Troy walked in, and I doubted he was there as my friendly neighborhood werewolf just making the rounds.

Which meant someone had called the police on me.

For what? A little disagreement?

Or maybe because I told him I’d rip his soul out of his body…

“Finally,” the man said as if Troy were his saving grace.

“You called the police?” I muttered pussy under my breath, low enough that Troy wouldn’t catch it.

The sharp look in his silver eyes said he had. Stupid werewolf hearing.

“You are going to get arrested,” the man said in the mocking, self-assured voice of a kid who had tattled to Mom on his sibling.

“I doubt that.” I leaned in and kept my voice low. “Because I’m fucking the detective.”

Then, just when I was pretty sure my childish behavior couldn’t sink anymore, I stuck out my tongue at him.

At least he looked shocked.

My high horse didn’t last long, however, not when Troy wrapped his large hand around my upper arm. In a different, sexier moment, I might have even liked his macho bullshit. “I’m very sorry,” he said to the man as he pulled me toward the door. “I’ll handle her.”

Handle me?

I would have told Troy exactly what I thought about that, but he lowered his voice to all but snarl into my ear, “You should probably keep quiet.”

The rumbled reprimand shocked me into silence. Troy never used that tone of voice with me. He was typically soft-spoken and the most likely of the men in my life to let me get away with…well…everything.

So his commanding tone kept me quiet until he opened the passenger-side door of his car and tossed me in. By the time he came around and got into the driver’s side, my brain had started working again and I realized—I didn’t let anyone talk to me like that, not even my sort of boyfriend who turned into some sort of wolf creature and had plenty of weird emotional hang-ups.

“Don’t you manhandle me,” I snapped.

“What was that?”

“What was what? I was protecting the staff against a male Karen. That’s called being a good person. Not my fault you don’t recognize it.”

“You were arguing with a stranger so aggressively that the staff called us about you.”

I crossed my arms and sat back. “He was getting mad at her over one little mistake and she was trying her best.”

He let out a long sigh, as if my words had been more telling than I’d meant them to be. The damn man was far too observant. “I know it’s frustrating to have no leads.”

Frustrating didn’t even start to explain it. After Lilith had killed Gran, after I’d sworn she would pay for it, everything had stalled out. Swearing revenge like that was supposed to be some sort of catapult to action, to lead almost immediately to a big showdown where things got resolved. People didn’t swear to make someone pay then spend six weeks doing absolutely nothing about it.

It was said revenge was a dish best served cold, but it turned out I lacked the patience to let it cool.

It didn’t matter how much I wanted to rain hell down on Lilith—I had no idea where she even was, and neither did anyone else.

The only thing I’d been able to do was help out the werewolves and vampires by removing Lilith’s influence from infected immortals. Doing that felt like a tiny jab back at her, a way to give her the middle finger, but it just wasn’t enough. I could only do it so often, and many of the afflicted had to be killed before anyone could capture them, so it didn’t feel like much of a win.

“I thought we’d have something by now,” I admitted, letting my head fall back against the seat.

Troy set his hand on my thigh, the weight of it reassuring even when I didn’t want it to be. Something about him having my back never failed to make me feel a bit more optimistic. “Ava, you survived hell. You faced off against Lucifer. You destroyed a reaper. You’ll get through this, too. It just may not be as fast as you’d like.”

“Hell was easy. We knew which way we had to go. This, though? I’ve got no idea where to even start.”

He squeezed my leg. “You look exhausted. Are you not sleeping well?”

“I’ve got enough horrible things going on in my life when I’m awake. Why should I sleep? Just so I can dream about the mist there?” Just saying it made me shudder.

I’d had those nightmares all my life, but since going to hell, they’d gotten worse. I woke up choking, coughing, gagging as I clawed at my throat with the memory of that damn mist. Even after I could breathe, I couldn’t shake the horrible drowning feeling.

“You can always sleep at my house,” he offered, his voice having lost its sharp edge, having quieted as if coaxing me to agree. This was the sweet man I was used to.

“You might be able to scare away most things, but I’m afraid you aren’t the best dream catcher.” Despite what I said, he had a point. Even if he couldn’t keep the damn dreams away, no doubt it would be better to wake up next to him than alone.

But I wasn’t that girl, the one who threw away everything for a man—or four of them. I’d survived those dreams my whole life, so I could deal with them alone now.

“What if Grant gets some ambrosia? You slept and didn’t dream when you took it before,” Troy pointed out.

“I’m not ever touching that stuff again. I saw it grown in body parts—I almost was the body some was grown in—and that made it lose its magic. No thanks.”

I kept to myself the fact that I hadn’t actually seen Grant. He and Hunter had both all but disappeared upon our return.

It stung.

After everything, they had just dropped off the face of the earth—or hell, whatever—without a word.

Was it because of what I was? Maybe the reality of sleeping with a reaper was a turn-off they couldn’t ignore anymore. Fucking the cute, eccentric girl who talked to ghosts was one thing—getting naked with a reaper must have been a hard limit.

Cowards.

“What’s wrong?” Troy asked, probably having caught my expression.

“Nothing.”

He sighed, the sound telling me he knew I was lying. “Ava…”

I turned to face him. “It’s just more of not knowing where to go, of not having a plan, of being totally and completely stuck. You know, same old, same old.”

He pressed his lips together, as if he knew there was more I wouldn’t say, but he shook his head. “Why don’t I drive you home?”

“What, no handcuffs?”

That glow in his eyes started, the one that said he really wanted to do just that.

Not that I’d gone without…

In the six weeks since we’d returned from hell, I’d ended up in bed with Troy countless times. Always at his place, and usually because I went there, because I craved his scent, his taste, the feeling of his strong hands on me.

It made me wonder if there wasn’t something to this whole mate thing, some bond that drew me to him, that made me need him like I hadn’t before.

Or maybe I was just addicted to his stupid knot.

That was very possible.

He inhaled, slowly, the glow of his eyes brightening. Right. He could smell me, always knew when I was thinking such things. There weren’t a lot of secrets in a relationship with a werewolf.

He leaned forward, as if drawn by the smell of my desire, driven by the need to satisfy me.

I put my hand up and over his face, stopping him before he could kiss me. “No time.”

His groan was muffled by my palm. “I can be quick.”

“No, you can’t.”

Normally, that would have been a wonderful compliment, because the reality was that I never left Troy’s bed unsatisfied. In fact, I usually fell asleep there because I couldn’t stay awake another moment, not after he’d had his way with me, some wild part of his wolf needing to turn me boneless, as if laying a claim.

He nipped my palm before sitting back. “Will you at least promise to stop harassing strangers? I don’t want to get called out on you again.”

“I wasn’t harassing anyone.” At his lifted eyebrow, I blew out a long breath. “Okay, so I may have threatened to rip his soul out of his body.”

Disapproval flooded his expression.

Which I guess was fair.

Maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing I’d done recently. Or maybe it was. It hadn’t been a very good six weeks.

“I know you’re frustrated, Ava. I know you want to find Lilith, that you want to handle this, but going off the rails isn’t going to make it happen any faster. If you end up in jail or rushing into trouble, it isn’t going to help. You need to relax.”

“How am I supposed to do that? Yoga? Meditation? Tea?”

“I have tomorrow night off. What if we go out?”

I paused at the offer, which had taken me off track. “Like…a date?”

He nodded. “We’re involved, aren’t we? Let me take my mate out, have dinner, act like any normal couple.”

“I don’t think you get to use the word ‘normal’, not when we went to hell, had a threesome with a vampire and your penis gets stuck inside me when we have sex.”

He let out a rough laugh. “You’re impossible, you know that?”

“I’ve heard that before, yeah. So, you’re not going to arrest me?”

“Not today.” He caught my arm as if calling me on how I hadn’t actually agreed to the date. “Dinner tomorrow?”

Maybe trying to date like some happy couple wasn’t the best idea in the middle of everything else, or maybe that was exactly why I needed it right then.

“Okay,” I said, inexplicably nervous. Then again, when was the last time I’d had a real date planned?

Maybe never? Certainly never with someone I actually loved.

I went to get out of the car, but he didn’t let me go. Troy shifted his hand to the front of my shirt, then tugged me in until he could take my lips in a possessive kiss, one that screamed mine in a way that melted me.

Whether it was him or his wolf leaving a mark on me, I didn’t know, and honestly, I didn’t really care.

Being claimed by both of them was fine by me, and one of the few things going exactly right in my life.

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About the Author

Jayce Carter

Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing. You can learn more about her at her website.

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Release Blitz & Review: In Deep by Bailey Bradford #LGBTQ #eroticromance #paranormal @firstforromance @pridepublishing

In Deep by Bailey Bradford

Book 1 in the Hooked on You series

Word Count: 57,279
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 257

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
PARANORMAL

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Book Description

Titus wanted a summer fling—then he wanted more…

Titus Eisenhower loves his job as an elementary school teacher in a small Texas town. Sure, he has to be careful, but not being out is fine with him since he’s not interested in dating another man after his last relationship went so badly. But now he’s got the career he’s always wanted, a safe place to be and friends. Isn’t that everything he’s dreamed of?

But when he meets a man he can’t resist, Titus realizes he’s stifled a part of himself…and a part of his dream. He can’t trust another man ever again, but he can manage a little summer fling, right? Wrong—everything about the mysterious Draven calls to him, and the two share a connection Titus has never dreamed of.

That’s already mind-blowing, but learning the truth about Draven is world-shattering. With evil threatening, and old enemies closing in, Titus will have to believe in things he didn’t know were possible if he and Draven are to stand a chance…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of fighting, reference to murder and abusive relationships and arson.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published as Across the Tides. It has been revised and reedited for publication with Pride Publishing.

Excerpt

“Come on, kids, let’s see if we can find any shells!” Titus Eisenhower nodded to the parent volunteers forming a human wall between the Pre-K children and the ocean, keeping the kids from getting in past their ankles. The annual field trip to the beach was one of the highlights of the school year for the kids and teachers alike.

Seeing the children’s faces lit up with joy, hearing their shrieks of—mostly—laughter, watching them run and splash in the bit of water they could reach…it made his heart swell every single time he got to take part in this trip, and this was his fifth with one of his classes.

The other teachers were at his sides, vigilant, but when it came to children and water, all parents, all adults, needed to be watching the whole group.

This year’s parents were great. He’d only had one pissed-off dad who had refused to let his child go since he couldn’t just hang out with his kid. Other than that, there’d been plenty of parent volunteers, and, wonder of wonders, they got on well, too. Last year, two of the dads had gotten into a fist fight over some perceived insult. That had been a disaster.

“God, I bet we don’t ever get such a great group of parents again,” said Stacy Evans, his best friend and colleague. She’d been hired the same year he had, and they’d become fast friends. Stacy’s bright-orange hair was all over the place as the beach breeze whipped it about. She shoved uselessly at several flapping strands. “Why, oh why don’t hair ties work for me?”

“Honey, that hair can’t be tamed any more than you can,” quipped Michelle Ochoa. She was older than Titus and Stacy, but not by too many years. “You’re as wild and powerful as the wind.”

Michelle was also Stacy’s girlfriend, though no one but Titus knew that.

Stacy laughed. “Whatever. When I’m blinded by my own hair, then what’ll I do?”

“Mr. Eisenhowew, I finded a shell!” Little Bobby Garza hopped in place as he waved a sandy glob in the air. “Wook!”

Titus grinned and jogged over to Bobby before squatting so he could be eye to eye with the boy. “Hey, you did! That’s awesome! Want to dip it in the next wave and see if we can get the sand off?”

“Yes!” Bobby’s delighted shriek made Titus’ ears ache, but the rest of him filled with sheer wonder and delight. He loved his job, and he loved the kids, loved seeing them grow and learn. It made him less cynical every time he saw the world shine in a child’s eyes.

“Then let’s do it.”

Titus got the other kids to show their treasures. A couple were upset that they didn’t find good shells, but, overall, everything was going surprisingly well.

After they’d got the kids lined up—and allowed the parent volunteers to take their kids home in their own vehicles, rather than making them ride the buses—Titus took a moment to look back at the ocean. The waves were slight, which was normal for this area of the coast. It was only one-thirty in the afternoon, so the sun was high and bright, the reflection on the water exquisite in its beauty.

“Just think…next weekend, we’re going to be here in our own beachfront condo, partying—or relaxing, more likely—for a whole seven days,” Stacy said, her soft voice breaking into Titus’ quiet appreciation of the view.

Not that he minded. He grinned at Stacy. “You and me and some margaritas,” he promised.

Stacy nodded. “Darn right. I’m so looking forward to it.”

“Me, too.” Titus and Stacy had started their beach tradition their first year at the school. Michelle and Stacy hadn’t been dating then. They’d fallen for each other a little over two years ago, but Michelle didn’t come to the beach vacations. She had prior commitments with her family in Michigan that took her away.

Titus privately thought Michelle didn’t want to intrude, and he had mixed feelings about that. He didn’t want to be a third wheel, but he hated to think Stacy might regret Michelle not being there.

“Stop brooding,” Stacy said, poking his arm. “You’re going to get wrinkles all over your forehead and around your eyes before you hit thirty if you keep doing that.”

“I wasn’t brooding,” Titus protested, immediately trying to smooth out his features.

“Yeah? Then what were you frowning at?” Stacy asked.

“Y’all need to hurry up—we have to get on the road,” Michelle called out to them.

“Oops, we’re holding everyone up.” Titus grinned, relieved at being saved from having to answer Stacy’s question.

“I’ll keep bugging you until you answer me,” Stacy promised as they rushed to the buses.

Titus could have protested, but he knew better. Besides, all he had to do was tell Stacy the truth—he didn’t want her to feel like Michelle wasn’t welcome.

But he’d keep the other truth to himself—that he was lonely, and when he’d looked out over the water, that sense of loneliness had permeated his happiness, and now, melancholy lingered in the place where joy had been. Yes, I’ll definitely keep that secret.

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Shifters, Demi-gods, an abusive ex, and a human… this book has a bit of everything, and it’s perfectly blended.

Titus isn’t out of the closet, for fear of losing his job, but when a summer fling turns into something more he has to decide which is more important… his job or the shifter he’s fallen for.

The book has tons of hot, sexy scenes, a bit of drama, some action, and an unexpected twist! I thoroughly enjoyed In Deep and hope we get to read more about Draven’s family in upcoming books. Both Titus and Draven were a mix of soft hearted and ready to kill to protect those they love. I thought the characters were well balanced and their instant attraction worked well for a fantasy romance.

Can’t wait to see what happens in book two!

About the Author

Bailey Bradford

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn’t happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey’s brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey’s office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey’s presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

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Release Blitz: Must Love Cats by Angela Addams #paranormalromance #eroticromance #reverseharem @totally_bound @firstforromance

Must Love Cats by Angela Addams

Word Count: 68,373
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 268

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
EROTIC ROMANCE
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS
PARANORMAL
REVERSE HAREM
WERESHIFTERS

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Book Description

Four fiercely protective shifters. A curse and a ghost town. A bunch of wily cats and one woman who can save them all.

Lucki Collins has landed the job of a lifetime—Cat Keeper of Lady Clover’s Cat House in Weeping Falls, Alaska.

Lucki discovers early on that Weeping Falls is cursed and that the cats she’s there to care for are the townspeople, who must abide by the cycle of the sun and moon—taking cat form during the day and human form at night. They are magical creatures known as ‘familiars’, who can enhance the powers of a witch considerably, the very thing that puts them in danger.

Lucki meets her protectors—Reuben, a bear shifter, Wren, a wolf shifter, Ben, a hawk shifter, and Julian, a lion shifter—who must not only keep her and the cats safe, but also somehow convince her to bond with them. Their magical bond is the only thing that will give Lucki control over her powers, which are necessary to defeat Angelica, a sorceress who wants to capture all the cats and use them for her evil goals. Lucki hasn’t had the best experience with love, but rather than leave the men hopeless, she offers to help them break the curse by another means.

Things don’t go according to plan, and Lucki is left with the challenge of overcoming her past and setting aside her fears. If she can believe in herself and put her faith in love once again, she might just be able to triumph over evil and save the people she has come to deeply care about in Weeping Falls.

Reader advisory: This book contains a scene of public sex, references to emotionally/psychologically abusive sex, the death of a parent from cancer, graphic and gory violence, the death of a major character and murder of animals.

Excerpt

Cat Keeper of Weeping Falls. It sounds like a joke, right? Cat Keeper… What the hell kind of job is that?

“The best job in the mothereff”—burp—“ing world!” Lucki Collins raised her almost empty pint of beer and cheered the crowd of rowdy townspeople who were seated all around her. The burn of too much booze heated her cheeks, and the ache from so much laughing had her cradling her side. She was being treated like a queen and didn’t care if she was making an ass of herself.

“Cheers to our new Cat Keeper. May your time here be ever filled with joy.” Mr. Rose an elderly man with a bright red nose and long white whiskers, raised his glass, which was filled with…milk. It was the only thing he’d been drinking all night.

Lucki figured it had to be mixed with bourbon or something. The man was way too cheerful to be sober. They’re all way too cheerful. The entire town of Weeping Falls, a population of a hundred at most, had welcomed her with open arms the second she’d cleared the town line—and hadn’t stopped welcoming her.

“To our blessed Cat Keeper!” Everyone cheered, raising their glasses, thumping on the tables, laughing, singing.

They were in the tavern, a throwback to the old West, complete with its swinging doors and long curved bar, plank wood floors that were scuffed and dented and an old-time piano that one of the residents had been playing since Lucki had gotten there. Everyone was dressed in the fashion of the time too—from the cowboy hats to the heel spurs, corsets and billowing skirts. Lucki truly felt like she’d stepped into the olden days—and she loved it.

Weeping Falls had been an actual mining town back in the day. Now it was barely hanging on as a ghost town tourist attraction—the Wild West in Alaska. There wasn’t much in the way of bookings, from what she’d gathered. The only visitor was her, and she was soon to be a resident too. She’d be Lady Clover’s Cat Keeper, responsible for tending to a massive cat colony who’d been bequeathed a mansion and a trust fund and who called Weeping Falls home.

When she’d been offered the job, she’d thought she’d heard wrong.

“Cat keeper? What kind of job is that?”

Scout, the man who’d found her, had answered her simply and honestly. “We can’t afford a trained vet to come. You have almost all the requirements and a lot of experience working with animals. You’ll do.”

Lucki had been working at shelters her whole life. Always a tender heart around those injured or in need of love, she’d solely manned a cat sanctuary in her hometown until a fire had taken out the entire colony the past summer. It had nearly destroyed her heart to lose all those precious lives.

Scout had come knocking on her door one morning, claiming he’d heard about her compassion toward the felines and had wanted to offer her a new job as Cat Keeper for Lady Clover’s Cat House in Weeping Falls, Alaska.

It had seemed like a good idea at the time—a windfall, actually. Everyone knew she was destined to be a crazy cat lady anyway, and now she was going to be paid to fulfill that dream. It sounded pretty freakin’ perfect to her.

Besides, she had another reason to leave home—a big, six-foot-two, built-like-a-brick-house reason whom she wanted no reminder of ever again. He’d be in jail for another year at least, and by the time he got out, he’d find no trace of her. That gave her some measure of peace.

Her heart had been crushed, battered and beaten enough over the last ten years. She needed this escape, and Scout’s offer had come at the perfect moment. Time would heal all wounds—or so she’d heard—but cuddling with a bunch of cats would make that time sweeter.

And there hadn’t been a moment of regret—not one. She’d spent more than a day on the road with only a brief stop to rest, travelling all the way from her hometown in northern British Columbia.

It was a long way to come for a bunch of cats.

Best decision ever!

She downed what was left of her beer then snorted in the most unladylike way when another full pint slid in front of her.

“Oh boy, no way!” She laughed. “You people are going to get me totally wasted.”

“Aww, lass, no harm,” Andy Crawlie drawled. “We’re just happy yer finally here. We’ve been waitin’ on ya fer a vera long time.”

That had been what it had been like the entire night. They’d fed her delicious food until she was stuffed, then they’d started pouring the beer, keeping her glass full while they sang and laughed and told stories. There were enough people in the tavern that she lost track of all the names and keeping everyone straight. But she had plenty of time to learn them.

Lucki giggled but pushed the glass away. “Thank you for all your generosity, everyone.” She had to raise her voice to be heard over the music playing. “I think I should head back to Lady Clover’s, though. It’s late… Wait! How late is it?” Her phone had stopped working at some point during the night. She imagined that cell service was spotty at best around here anyway. She made a mental note to ask someone about it in the morning when her thoughts were clearer.

“Oh, it’s hardly after midnight, dear,” Sandy Evernight said as she picked up Lucki’s beer and took a sip for herself. “But if you must go, we’ll send you with an escort, to make sure you get back to the house in one piece.”

“An escort?” Lucki pushed her chair back. The wood feet thudded across the floor, giving Lucki a bit of a fight to stand.

“It’s always a good idea around here.” Sandy shrugged, her cheeks bright. She had a glint in her eyes that made Lucki question if there was a punchline coming. “‘Cause of the wild animals and such.”

“Wild animals?” Lucki frowned, her good mood taken down a notch. Not a joke, then. Right, because you’re in the middle of freakin’ Alaska! Spring is coming. Of course there are animals roaming around.

“Och, Sandy, quit scaring the girl. You want her to pick up and leave before she’s even settled in?” Mr. Rose said. “Rueben’s out there watchin’ for her. He’ll make sure she gets home safe.”

“Oh, Reuben’s around?” Sandy winked, aiming another sly smile at Lucki. “Didn’t know. Hadn’t seen him.”

“Don’t be daft, woman.” Andy tsked.

“You’ll be fine, Lucki,” Mr. Rose said with a reassuring pat on her arm. “Just be sure to put your coat on. The nights are still bitter cold around here.”

Someone handed Lucki her giant parka as she stood on wobbly legs, the beers rushing through her system worse than she’d first thought. “Thanks.” She slipped herself inside the warm down coat and instantly shivered as the heat embraced her. It would soon be too hot to be wearing inside the tavern. That was for sure. “I’ll see you all in the morning.”

Everyone mumbled something at her in response, but as she moved toward the door, she realized they just as soon returned to their drinking and joking, seeming to forget all about her. Looking over her shoulder at the group, she smiled once again. Such a fun bunch of folks. Unusual, sure, but also warm and embracing. Their unquestioning friendliness was like a comfort blanket around her heart. And that was something she really, really needed.

She pushed through the doors and blinked against the cold bite of the air. Icy wind shot up her nose and stung her brain. Sandy had said it was spring and she wasn’t wrong, calendar wise, but the weather up here was not any kind of spring that Lucki had ever experienced. Even in Canada, where the winters could get brutal, May usually came with milder temperatures, even at night.

But today was only May first, she reminded herself. Beltane. The familiar stir of longing rattled through her. In years past, Beltane was always a night she’d enjoyed with others. With him. Marking the coming of spring, Beltane was a celebration of new growth and fertility, and usually involved a night of ritual, song and dance, bonfires and, in her adult life, a lot of sexual exploration. This was the first time in many years that she would be alone.

But the past is the past, and it’s better to be alone and happy than with someone and miserable.

“Blessed be,” she said with a sigh.

She let her eyes adjust to the night then looked up at the impossibly bright stars overhead. She’d never seen so many in her life. She scanned the sky, hoping to see the Northern Lights, which she’d read about when she had been trying to research what to expect in Alaska, but the only light was from the stars and the moon, which was near full. Beautiful. She took in a deep breath, ignoring the burn of the cold air as it ripped up her nose again, freezing her nostrils. Refreshing, sure, but also painful. She chuckled to herself then took a few steps off the porch.

The gritty earth crunched under her feet. It was a strangely comforting sound that broke up the silence of the night and gave Lucki something to focus on other than the shadowed buildings.

The town consisted of a main strip with all the old ghost-town amenities—a barbershop with its candy-cane stripe, a hotel down the road, grocery store, shoemaker, blacksmith and even a church. There was a carriage without its horses and bundles of hay off to the side. It was so old-world and yet not. There were modern amenities as well—like the streetlamps, which were a little too far apart for Lucki’s liking, and a few cars parked here and there.

She flipped up her hood, suddenly feeling the cold worse as it whipped down the back of her neck, making her shiver right to her bones. Lady Clover’s Cat House was at the other end of the strip. The lights of the mansion shone from almost every window, a guiding beacon, so it would be impossible to not find her way there.

My new home. Hard to really fathom. It was three stories of old-world charm. Painted yellow like the sun, it had stained-glass multicolored windows with white shutters to frame them and a wraparound porch that could fit a hundred people with no problem. There was even a swinging chair there for her to lounge on in the warmer months, and she so looked forward to reading a few books out there with some cats on her lap. It was a house she could only dream of living in one day, and here she was walking down a dirt road, on her way to spending her first night in a castle of cats. Bliss.

Although this particular bliss included a pretty frosty walk. The cold bit at her cheeks and stung her eyes, so she walked faster. The noise from the partiers dimmed behind her. The silence of Alaska greeted her with each step she took toward her new home. She could fall in love with a place like this. It was so peaceful. So simple. She didn’t miss the buzzing white noise that she’d grown accustomed to back home or the constant urgency to check her phone for messages. She was unplugged. Calm. At peace.

“Meow.”

Lucki stopped in her tracks. Ohhhhhhh, one of the cats? She hadn’t met any of them yet, but she was eager to.

“Kitty?”

“Meeeeeow.”

She shifted her hood so she could look all around. “Here, kitty. Come here, kitty. Let me see you!” She felt no shame in her excitement over meeting the cats. She looked forward to bonding with each of them. She’d been warned it was quite a large colony, a hundred at least. “Here, kitty!”

“Meow!”

She felt a nudge against her boot and shifted her hood to look down. The coat was so bulky that she could hardly see her own feet.

“Mr. Whiskers?” she said, as she swooped down to pick up her own cat. “What are you doing out here all alone, baby?” The only cat to have survived the fire was one of her favorites, a mangy brown tabby she called Mr. Whiskers. She’d brought him with her to Alaska but had left him safe and sound in the house—or so she’d thought. “How’d you get out here?”

“Muuuuurrrrow!” He purred like an engine and nuzzled into her arms as she stroked him.

“Well, you silly boy, let’s get you back inside where it’s warm.”

She walked, the crunch of her feet on the gravelly dirt road a distraction again. She pulled her attention from the ground and scanned the buildings around her.

“It’s awfully dark.” In between the streetlights was pitch black, and unusual shadows had collected in those places, keeping just out of reach from the lights. In each of those in-between spaces were alleys that were so opaque that they were impenetrable without a flashlight.

Creepy. The sobering reality of being completely alone in the middle of a town where she didn’t really know anyone slithered down her spine. If she called out, would anyone hear her?

The faint sound of music from the tavern drifted toward her. Nope…probably not.

She also kind of felt like she was being watched. Paranoia? Maybe. The tickling at the back of her neck had her scrunching her shoulders, and she picked up her pace all the same.

“Where’s this Reuben guy everyone is talking about?” she whispered to Mr. Whiskers, but he didn’t say anything back. He just purred in his contented kitty way. No fucks given.

The cat house was only about thirty feet ahead, if that. The urge to bolt the rest of the way poked her from all sides, but she was scared that if she did that, she’d drop the cat or freak him out enough to make him claw his way over her face.

Just one more alley to cross. She moved a little to the center of the street, putting some distance between her and the black maw of nothing on her left.

As she crossed the alley, she heard a noise. Low and quiet at first, it was a rumble of sound that she didn’t know quite how to place. It froze her in her tracks, though. There was definitely a menacing tone to it, like a warning. A growl.

“Do you hear that, Mr. Whiskers?” She couldn’t keep the quiver out of her voice. Keep walking.

Mr. Whiskers stopped purring. In fact, he stopped moving and was frozen in her arms, his body rigid as he stared down the alley, a murmur of a hiss growing in his belly.

The growling from the alley came again. It was definitely not friendly. Oooooh nooooo…

Something dazzled, a blink of light, then twin orbs of blue appeared to be floating in the darkness. So pretty. The slow grind of gravel under foot, deliberate careful movements, didn’t bring Lucki any comfort. “What is that?”

She unlocked her knees then took a step back. Then another. The sound got louder. The growl grew in strength with each step toward her until it was a warning she couldn’t ignore. She moved back quickly, almost stumbling on her own feet. Out of the shadows came a giant dog, its teeth bared, eyes menacing.

No, not a dog.

A wolf!

“H-h-holy shit,” Lucki stammered.

The wolf crouched, ready to pounce.

I’m going to die.

Mr. Whiskers hissed a growl of his own then leaped from her arms and she, the stupid fool, chased after him—right up to the wolf, within feet of the menacing beast. Mr. Whiskers stood between them, his fur fluffed out and back arched. He gave a hiss of warning with a paw raised, ready to strike.

“Mr. Whiskers, are you nuts?” Her voice was barely loud enough for anyone to hear. It was a croak instead of a scream. No one would come to her rescue. “Help!” Her voice failed her once again, coming out as a half whisper, strangled by her fear. The wolf watched her, its eyes searing deep inside. It ignored the cat completely.

What is the right move? Why didn’t I research this?

What to do if a wolf stalks you…yeah…that.

The wolf took a menacing step in her direction, its predator glare never wavering. Lucki’s legs shook with an alarming sway. Her knees were literally knocking together. If she tried to run, she’d fall flat on her face for sure.

Running with a predator giving chase was probably not a great idea anyway.

The cat launched itself, jumping toward the wolf.

Her voice unlocked. “Mr. Whiskers, no!”

But it was too late. The cat struck a clawed paw against the wolf’s muzzle, causing it to growl and lower its head. Lucki thought for sure Mr. Whiskers was gonna lose all nine lives in one go, but Mr. Whiskers didn’t get the memo on that. He struck again, quick and determined, a claw swipe against the wolf’s nose.

Lucki quickly calculated the odds of snatching the cat up as she ran. It didn’t look good. She was not that coordinated.

She sucked in a deep breath, then opened her mouth to scream.

The wolf took a step back, its head bowed…in…submission?

What the…? Her scream died on her tongue.

Mr. Whiskers, still all puffed out, still defending his human, was no longer on the attack. He even seemed to have a smug grin as he tossed a glance in Lucki’s direction. The wolf stayed down, muzzle lowered to the ground, its eyes blinking rapidly.

“Get outta here if you aren’t going to be civilized,” a booming voice said from behind.

The wolf flicked its eyes up, looked behind Lucki for a moment, then it bolted away into the darkness of the alley.

“Sorry, hon. Got caught up in a conversation and didn’t realize you were leaving so soon.”

Lucki glanced behind her, then did a double take. A huge, burly man stomped toward her. He had to be at least six-five, six-six. He wasn’t wearing a coat, just a blue lumberjack shirt, rolled up at the sleeves, that showed some impressively muscled forearms. His brown hair was parted to the side and his soft eyes crinkled with what kind of looked like amusement. The lower half of his face was covered with a beard, close cropped and well kept. This guy was a bear—a huge, lumberjack bear. He had an easy smile and a dimple, and he was so disarming that Lucki smiled back, that and her panties melted right then and there.

“I’m Reuben.” His voice had the kind of husky depth that stroked her soul.

Her legs quivered.

She cleared her throat to get the lusty lump of drool out of the way. “There’s a wolf…” She turned her head to the alley, but the wolf was definitely gone. Mr. Whiskers nudged her to be picked up.

“Yeah, I saw.” Reuben radiated heat. It literally steamed off him. He came up next to her then placed a firm hand on her back, which instantly steadied her legs. “Let’s get you to the house before you freeze to death.”

“A wolf, though…” She turned her head from side to side, scanning the area as she bent down to pick up the cat.

“He’s gone now. Don’t worry about him.” Reuben’s voice was so sure, so confident, so soothing. “Happy to finally meet you,” he added.

“Was that real?” The adrenaline that had coursed through her body crashed out of her in a whoosh. She took a step but her legs crumbled out from under her.

“Whoa there!” Reuben swooped in and held her upright. “They been pouring drinks into you? Those beasts don’t ever learn.”

Her head was clear. Any buzz she’d had from the booze had burned through her. It had to be shock that was making her dizzy and disoriented now. She could have died. Mr. Whiskers had done his best, but really, that wolf could have eaten her in a few bites.

“I got ya.” Reuben picked her up then cradled her and the cat in his arms.

She gasped, more to herself, as she looked up at him. “You’re a big guy.” She was in the arms of a mountain.

He chuckled. “I am.” He hitched her up higher. “Let’s get you home, shall we? Then we can properly introduce ourselves. It’s Beltane, you know, a good night for introductions.” He smiled, his dimple popping and his eyes glistening.

His wink to follow undid her completely.

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About the Author

Angela Addams

Angela Addams is an author of many naughty things. She believes that the written word is an amazing tool for crafting the most erotic of scenarios and likes telling stories about normal people getting down and dirty and falling in love. Enthralled by the paranormal at an early age, Angela also spends a lot of her time thinking up new story ideas that involve supernatural creatures in everyday situations.

She is an avid tattoo collector, a total book hoarder, and loves anything covered in chocolate…except for bugs.

She lives in Ontario, Canada in an old, creaky house, with her husband, children and four moody cats.

Sign up to Angela’s newsletter and check out her blog and website. You can follow Angela on Instagram and Pinterest, and find her at Amazon, Bookbub and Books & Main.

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Release Blitz: Hex and the Single Girl by Alexis Fleming #paranormalromance #eroticromance @totally_bound @firstforromance

Hex and the Single Girl by Alexis Fleming

Book 3 in the Lucifer Inc! series

Word Count: 25,039
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 99

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FAKE RELATIONSHIPS
PARANORMAL
SECOND CHANCE

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Book Description


How’s a hexy chick gonna get laid if even breathing is an adventure sport?

Sabrina—Sabby to her friends—is a hex, a pariah. Even Lucifer crosses the road to avoid her. Everyone avoids her…except the sex-mad humpomaniac imps, that is. Chaos demons are known for…well, chaos. And for Sabrina, chaos equals misery, until she’s dragged to Earth by literary historian Jude Morrisey. Human, good-looking and definitely sex on legs, Jude is enough to set her libido on high alert. Now if she can just keep her chaos magic from ripping his life apart, things might be looking up.

When Jude accidentally summons a demon, his staid bachelor world erupts into an unholy mess. Someone’s sabotaging his career and his job’s almost down the gurgler. Sex-crazed imps invade his house and hump his appliances. The biggest shock of all is the sexy Calamity Jane who appears in his attic insisting she’s his jinx.

Harmony, peace and his staid life are out of the attic window, but here’s the thing… Can he keep his hands off the delectable walking disaster long enough to work out what’s going on?

Anarchy, bedlam, chaos… It’s all in a day’s work for a hexy chick.

Reader advisory: This book contains a brief scene of violence and attempted murder.

Excerpt

“Now that’s just plain tacky, girl. I hope you don’t plan to wear that outside. Oh, and I have to tell you… Those high heels just don’t go with that outfit.”

Sabrina—Sabby to her friends—spun about and stared at the woman who’d appeared without so much as a peep in the dark recesses of the library. She instinctively raised her arms and tried to cover her breasts, but this stupid costume didn’t have enough fabric to even manage that. Forget the rest of her body. It just wasn’t going to work.

“I don’t plan on wearing it anywhere, Aunt Luce,” she responded before directing a dark frown at the other occupant of the room. “Brel-ez figured he’d try to talk me into wearing it for the imps’ party tonight. I only tried it on to show him how ridiculous it was. And by the way, a little sonic boom or some hellfire or something to announce your imminent arrival might have been nice.”

“I am Lucifer, Supreme Ruler of Hell. I go where I please, how I please.” She drew herself up to her full height, her eyes flashing red sparks.

It took all Sabby’s willpower to keep a straight face. It wouldn’t do to annoy her Lordship by laughing at her, even if it was funny. Aunt Luce wasn’t much more than five feet three inches tall, but what she lacked in stature, she made up for with presence. As the ruler of Hell, she was a formidable lady and a dangerous opponent.

“Sorry, Aunt Luce. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m just a tad embarrassed to be caught wearing this.” She gestured to the outrageous outfit.

“I would think so. It’s nothing short of disastrous. Human or demon, no woman should be seen in this.”

Lucifer frowned as she walked a circle around Sabby, her high heels clacking on the flag tiles that made up the floor of the dungeon-library. She shuddered when she stood in front of Sabby again.

“Leopard print is so out now, and that itty-bitty G-string is…” She broke off and shuddered again. “Doesn’t it hurt your girly bits, pulled up between your butt cheeks like that? And the rest of it… A flimsy scrap of material over a bra that barely covers your boobies and nothing but transparent scarves attached to a band around your waist. What is this? The dance of the seven veils? If you want to change your image, girl, you’d do better to emulate me.”

Sabby had to fight to control her emotions again. There was no doubt that Aunt Luce had a distinctive style. She looked like everyone’s idea of a cuddly grandmother. Slightly chubby—although Sabby would never tell her that—she mostly favored twin sets and pearls teamed with a tweed skirt. Her hair was a snowy-white halo that curled around her face. She did, on occasion, tip the ends with vibrant reds and purples to match whatever-color shoes she had on. Sporting long nails—or more correctly ‘talons’—she matched her shoes with her nail polish. And those shoes? Nothing but three-inch-high stilettos in bright colors for Aunt Luce. Today’s color was scarlet.

Before Sabby felt forced to comment on Lucifer’s suggestion, Brel-ez decided to get in on the conversation.

“Your most magnificent Lordship, please tell Sabby she must attend our fancy-dress party tonight. She has to be there. She’s our queen.”

Lucifer rounded on him. “Queen? There is no queen but me. King. Queen. Lord. I am Supreme Ruler. I am all of them—and don’t you forget it.”

Brel-ez, captain of Lucifer’s Herald and head imp, shrank down, which was pretty difficult, given that he was only three feet tall. His little pointy red horns actually quivered as he tried to abase himself before Lucifer.

“So sorry, your Lordship. So sorry, but I found a prophesy in an old book and I’m sure it refers to Sabby.”

“I told him it’s all rubbish, but he won’t believe me,” Sabby chipped in.

“What prophesy?” Lucifer’s voice thundered throughout the library.

Holy Hell, Aunt Luce is really getting angry. Sabby just prayed that Brel-ez could extricate himself from this before Lucifer zapped him out of annoyance.

Brel-ez quickly retrieved a slip of paper from the pocket of his red-and-gold uniform and read it out loud.

“When the small stand up and fight against the law,

When the hungry hold out their hands asking for more,

When the greedy profit to improve their lot in life,

Unconcerned that their everlasting legacy is strife,

When pandemonium erupts and floods the world above,

Then the queen of chaos reigns—and the winner is love.”

Brel-ez shoved the paper back into his pocket and held out his hands to Lucifer. “See? Sabby’s a chaos demon, the only one living down here in the first level of Hell. It must be her.”

Lucifer burst out laughing, all her anger appearing forgotten. “Oh, you silly imp. That’s no prophesy. Bet you found that in an old diary buried here in the library, yes?”

Brel-ez nodded.

“My great-great-great grandfather fancied himself a poet. That’s one of his—and not a prophesy at all. And I’m the queen of chaos. You got that?”

Brel-ez nodded again and opened his mouth to speak. Before he could, Lucifer held up one finger.

“Is it important?”

“Definitely, your Lordship.”

He nodded so hard that Sabby was certain he was about to lose his head. And he would if he didn’t watch what he said to Lucifer.

Aunt Luce sighed. “Get on with it, Brel-ez.”

“Sabby has to come to the party. Otherwise, how else can she get la—?”

“Brel-ez,” Sabby shouted. Damn it, can’t that imp keep his mouth shut for once?

Now Lucifer turned her attention back to Sabby, her eyebrows raised in question. There was no way she’d back down if she didn’t get an answer straight away.

“She wants to get laid,” Brel-ez shouted.

“Way to keep a secret, imp.” She scowled at the little captain with the cocky grin spreading across his face. She turned to Lucifer. “I’m a twenty-five-year-old almost-virgin. Why shouldn’t I get laid before I bury myself down here in your damp dungeon?”

“It might have been a dungeon in the past, but it’s my library now. And I’ll have you know that there’s no dampness down here. It would ruin the books.” Lucifer frowned as she stared at Sabby. “Well, I guess there’s nothing wrong with going to Brel-ez’s party, but I’d choose another costume if I were you. One deep breath and those boobies of yours will pop over the top of that scrap of a bra.”

Brel-ez burst out laughing. “Hey, Sabby, that will sure get you a lover for the night.”

“Oh, be quiet, Brel-ez,” Sabby snapped, holding her hand over her chest as she dragged in a choppy breath. “It just so happens that I don’t want a demon to teach me all about the joys of sex.”

“Just because you look human and can’t change shape or form, you’re still a demon, my girl. What’s wrong with a demon lover?” Lucifer demanded.

“I’d rather practice on a human man—a real one. I screwed up every relationship I ever tried when I lived above. I want to give it one last shot, to see if I can make it work. Hopefully, now that I’m older, I won’t create as much of a mess as I’ve done in the past.”

Lucifer snorted. “You’re a chaos demon, girl. Of course you’re going to leave behind disorder and mayhem. And you know why? Your parents never got around to teaching you how to control your powers. Instead, they just shipped you off to me when it looked like your uncontrolled magic would expose them as demons. No thought for you at all. If your mother wasn’t one of my best friends…”

Sabby winced as Lucifer actually growled. She couldn’t really blame Aunt Luce. She’d been a trial for her parents from the time she’d been born. By the time she’d hit puberty and started to notice the opposite sex, the problems had simply gotten worse. Everything she’d tried her hand at, whether it had been jobs or relationships, had ended in disaster. Now here she was, buried in this dark library where she couldn’t cause any problems.

She sighed. “I’m sorry, Aunt Luce. I know I’m a misfit, but I do try. In fact, I think I am doing better. The library has run without a hitch for a couple of years now. I just want this last shot. If I screw it up, I promise I’ll come back here and never complain again.”

Her heels clacking on the flagstone floor, Lucifer moved close enough to give Sabby a hug. “Sabrina, you’re one of my goddaughters. I want you to be happy.” She grimaced. “I don’t apologize often, but I am sorry I parked you down here in this dark old dungeon. I should have taken you in hand and taught you how to use your magic, but I took the easiest way out.”

She released her hold on Sabby and strode across the room before turning to face her again. “You think this will make you happy? Getting down and dirty with a human male?”

Sabby chuckled at Aunt Luce’s turn of phrase. “I’d like to at least give it a go.”

“Hmm-m,” Lucifer mused. “Anyone in mind? It has to be someone who pushes your buttons.”

Someone who pushes my buttons?

Oh yeah! There was one person who came immediately to mind. When Sabby had been a kid, her best friend and neighbor had been a girl called Brianna. They’d been more like sisters than friends. They’d done everything together, and Sabby had loved spending time at Brianna’s home—but not just because Brianna had been her best mate.

Brianna had an older brother. He was eleven years older than she was, but he was oh-so-sexy. Sabby had hero-worshiped him, but as time had gone on, that had morphed into the biggest of crushes. By the time Sabby had reached her later teens, he had moved out, but Sabby had hung on his every word whenever he’d come to visit his parents.

Brianna’s folks had been terrific. Never once had they chastised her for her klutzy behavior. They’d just kept telling her she’d grow out of it eventually. And when Brianna’s brother came to visit, Sabby had followed him about like a bad smell, falling over her feet to keep up with him. Heck, even falling over his feet.

She smiled at the memories, wondering for a moment what had happened to him. Heat suddenly invaded her mind. Sabby frowned. For a moment there she could have sworn that invisible fingers had done a quick tour through her memories, one after the other—like someone—or something—hastily flicking through the pages of a book. Weird.

Sabby shook her head. Then, with a determined effort, she buried all thoughts of her juvenile crush in the back of her mind. Nothing had come of it and never would. It was time she settled for whatever she could get.

“No, no one special, Aunt Luce. I’d just like to go back above for one last time.”

“Well, in that case—”

“Nooo,” Brel-ez broke in. “Sabby has to come to our party. What am I going to tell the demons I’ve lined up to scr—er, romance her?”

“Brel-ez, you didn’t…? I don’t believe you’d do that to me,” Sabby said.

“I was just trying to help,” the little demon whined.

This time Lucifer cut him off. “I’m the one who makes the decisions here in Hell. You don’t get to say what happens in my domain.” She flicked out her hand and a spear of white-hot light erupted from the tip of one finger. It zeroed in on Brel-ez and zapped him on the rear end. The imp let out a yelp and smacked at the smoldering fabric of his pants.

Lucifer turned back to Sabby. “And you, missy. Is this really what you want?”

Sabby nodded, unable to say a word in case her godmother changed her mind.

“Then so be it. I’ll give you a month. After that, regardless of what happens, you come back here. Okay?”

Before Sabby could nod, a sonic boom resounded throughout the library. Pungent smoke swirled about Sabby and caught in her throat. She started to shake. First there were vibrations deep in her belly. Then they spread out to totally encompass her whole body. There was time for one last thought before Sabby disintegrated into a stream of airborne atoms.

Yeah, baby, let’s get to the sex part.

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About the Author

Alexis Fleming

Alexis Fleming writes stories dominated by sassy women and sexy macho men, by mouthy shifters and the odd delicious demon. You’ll experience crazy, laugh-out-loud moments as you live vicariously through the antics of her characters. The magic of the paranormal and the suspense of a mystery to solve will tantalize all the way until the end.
Based in north Queensland, Australia, when Alexis is not interfering in the lives of her imaginary friends, she’s happy to get caught up with family and help her daughter, author Kelly Ethan, plot her next murderous adventure for her stories.

Nothing like keeping it in the family.

You can find Alexis at her website.

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Release Blitz & Review: The Depths of Time by Lori Fayre #timetravel #eroticromance #LGBTQ @firstforromance @pridepublishing

The Depths of Time by Lori Fayre

Word Count: 44,191
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 172

Genres:

EROTIC ROMANCE
FANTASY
GAY
GLBTQI
HISTORICAL
THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE
TIMETRAVEL

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Book Description

An obsession with the past becomes his love story.

Obsessed with RMS Titanic from a young age, Lucas Thompson has spent his life studying the shipwreck and turning his passion into a career in marine archeology. But, on the one-hundred-year anniversary of the voyage, he’s drawn to the ship’s resting place by a strange sonar ripple that hurtles him back in time. Luke wakes in the year 1912 as a passenger on the grandest ship in the world.

It’s there that he meets Quinton Hawthorne, the man who sacrificed himself to save passengers during the sinking, including Luke’s great-grandmother. He also comes face-to-face with Lucinda Hughes, the very woman who raised him on her stories of the ship. With his inside knowledge of the impending disaster, Luke feels a responsibility to change history and develops a plan to save the doomed ship and its passengers.

Things quickly fall apart as Luke begins to fall for Quinton, knowing that it can only end in heartbreak. Though he’s determined to save Quinton, he’s also faced with a dilemma. Should he save the ship or allow destiny to play out?

Excerpt

April 11, 2012 4:27 pm

Lucas Thompson took a deep breath, allowing the salty sea air to penetrate every inch of his being. As the ship bobbed gently along the waves, Luke knew that this was where he was meant to be. He closed his eyes and stretched out his arms to let the fine spray mist over his face and soak into his dark gray T-shirt.

“Reliving a movie moment, are we?” a voice said behind him. He turned to see Kyle Stanton, Master of the Vessel, standing there with his hands stuffed into his coat pockets. Kyle was an average-looking man, with his dark-brown beard and constantly mussed hair. He wasn’t very tall, but he was strong and seemed to take every opportunity he could to prove so.

“Just taking in the air,” Luke replied. Kyle raised an eyebrow at him.

“Do you mean the nearly forty-degree air?” He began shrugging off his thick jacket. “Come on, Luke. You know better. I can’t have the head man getting sick on me.” Luke rolled his eyes but welcomed the warmth when Kyle placed his coat over Luke’s shoulders. The amount of cologne lingering in the fabric nearly choked him, but he endured it, if only to save Kyle’s feelings.

“Being out here clears my mind. Besides, there’s a whole team of people, and any one of them could take my place on Alice if they needed to. They’ve all been properly trained.” Kyle wrapped an arm around Luke and began to lead him down into the ship. He stopped at the base of the steps and turned to look at Luke.

“This is your expedition,” he said sincerely. He reached up, almost as if he wanted to touch Luke, but stopped himself. “You’re the heart and soul of this trip. You and this crew have been good to me over the past couple of years, you know. I’d follow you anywhere.”

“And what better opportunity to prove that than this wild goose chase?” Luke laughed and handed Kyle his jacket. “Thank you. I’m really glad the gang’s with me on this.” He turned to go to his room, the grin never leaving his face.

Luke pushed the door to his quarters open, shoving at it with his shoulder to widen the entrance. He’d been having to slip in and out of the narrow opening due to the stacks of boxes piled all around the room. Scrolls of maps and schematics littered every surface and boxes of records were stacked so high that Luke feared a paper avalanche might happen at any minute. Even the bed was buried somewhere under the journals and books. As much as he would like to excuse the mess as part of the expedition, both he and his friends knew better.

This was Luke’s collection, formed over the last eighteen years. It was his life’s work, which had started when he was only eight years old. Luke crossed the room and looked over his belongings, eventually coming to stand in front of the culmination of it all—his maritime archeology degree. He smiled sadly.

“This one’s for you, Gam.” Next to the degree hung an old black-and-white photograph of his great-grandmother, Lucinda Hughes. It had been taken back in the thirties and showed Lucinda posing on the beach, a soft breeze lifting her curls and a dazzling smile lighting up the camera. Luke touched the frame, then backed away. He had a lot of work to do before they reached the site.

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

For fans of the unsinkable ship and time travel romance, The Depths of Time is a must-read. It’s an emotional, page-turning story full of hope, loss, and love.

When Luke finds himself on board the Titanic, he’s lost and confused. Until he meets Quinton. The man has always fascinated him, but meeting Quinton in person has a much bigger impact on Luke. Falling in love wasn’t part of Luke’s plan. Once he falls for Quinton, he knows he can’t leave the man to die.

The Titanic has always been a fascination of mine. I can’t think about the horror of that night without wanting to cry for all the lives lost. In Lori Fayre’s The Depths of Time, the story of Titanic gets a somewhat happy ending.

About the Author

Lori Fayre

Lori Fayre was born and raised in a small South Georgia town. Her debut novel, “The Devil’s Maverick”, was a novel nearly six years in the making. An obsessive consumer of romance, Lori knew it was the only genre for her. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, drawing, or binging Hulu with her husband and Yorkie.

You can find Lori on Twitter and at her website here.

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Release Blitz: Serving the Wicked by Wendi Zwaduk #eroticromance #vampires @firstforromance @totally_bound

Serving the Wicked by Wendi Zwaduk

Book 3 in the The Refuge series

Word Count: 26,027
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 109
Heat Rating: Sizzling
Sexometer: 2

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FANTASY
PARANORMAL
VAMPIRES

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Book Description


A scared human plus a vampire with a secret. Things could be better, but they could be a lot worse.

Raine can’t remember time before the darkness. She’s a human in a paranormal world where humans are a commodity, not people, and she’s been abused by the vampires. When she ends up at the slave auction, she fears her nightmare will never end.

Enter Casey. He’s part vampire, part Fae, dangerous and only has eyes for Raine. He saw her at the BDSM club before she entered the vampire slave world and he swore he’d rescue her. He buys her the instant he sees her on the stage. The innocence in her eyes, combined with the sweetness in her soul calls to him. He wants her to serve him in the bedroom and be his partner everywhere.

She’s been hurt, and he’s a born protector. Can they make the attraction last and turn it into something eternal or will the fear win out?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, fighting and death, as well as references to forced sex and feeding from humans.

Excerpt

“Line up,” the man shouted. “I don’t want to have to sell you again.” He tapped his cane on the floor. “Go. I hate trying to resell used merch.”

Raine winced. She wasn’t merch. She was a human being. The vampires didn’t see her as anyone but a thing. All they wanted to do was drain humans and kill Fae. She clutched the open side of her dress to retain a bit of her modesty. Once on the stage, she’d have to strip so the buyers could look her over. She averted her gaze. Humans had no choice but to be sold to the highest bidder.

“Go.” The man whacked her on the ass with the cane.

She crept onto the stage and gritted her teeth. She couldn’t look into the audience. One girl had been hauled off and killed for doing so. The buyers were all seated in the dark, and she’d be in the bright spotlight.

Another man, one with a spray can, walked up to her. He painted the number three on her bare chest.

She winced again. It’d taken her two days to remove the paint the last time she’d been up for sale, and her skin had been raw from the scrubbing. Worst of all? She hadn’t been sold.

The first two girls were described, and Raine fought the instinct to shiver. Her turn was next.

“Look at number three. She’s a little thicker than most humans. It means she’s got juicy thick blood. She’s trained. Won’t speak out,” the announcer said.

She flattened her palms on her thighs. God. She wasn’t a person any longer.

The announcer grabbed the front of her dress, tearing it the rest of the way open. She couldn’t help the shudder.

“Enough, girl.” The announcer slapped her. “No one wants to buy a wimp.”

Someone grunted, and the announcer closed her dress. “How much? She’s been here before, so she’s got miles on her.”

Her stomach churned. Miles… No one shouted out numbers. She clutched the front of her dress. God. Would someone give a price? Anything? The silence deafened her. All she wanted to do was get out of the spotlight.

“I’ll give you five thousand for number three.” A dark-haired man strode up to the stage. His hair glinted in the light. “Cash.”

She shouldn’t have looked up, but he’d given a price. He did have nice hair—as much of it as she could see.

“Number three?” the announcer asked. “Don’t you want to wait for number four or take number two? For so much money?”

Did the announcer have to be such a jerk? Someone wanted her. Why was that so bad or hard to understand?

“Three,” the man said. He offered the money, then held his hand out to her.

Raine froze. Was she supposed to go with him? She’d never been sold like this. Her first vampire had plucked her out of a crowd of scared, lost humans. The second vampire had killed him and stolen her from a club.

“Go.” The announcer nudged her. “If this fool wants you, then you’d better go before he changes his mind.”

The dark-haired man helped her off the stage. He held her by her waist until her feet touched the cold tiles.

She averted her gaze. The rules stated she couldn’t look at him until she’d left the building. Hopefully, he hadn’t seen her steal a glance at him earlier.

The man draped his suit jacket around her shoulders and guided her out of the sales arena. “My car is over here.”

She shivered again, despite the warmth of the jacket. The scent of him lingered in the rich fabric. She knew that aroma—vampire.

What luck! Three vampires. Her first owner had been a dick, the second one abusive…would this one be the charm? Or the worst of the lot?

He opened the car door. “Sit, please?”

Please? Vampires didn’t say such things. They demanded. She hesitated and found her courage to speak. “Sir?”

“So you do talk?” He laughed. “Please, sit. I want to take you home.”

Raine settled on the passenger side of the car. He closed the door for her and rounded the hood. When he sat beside her, he hit the locks, preventing her from escaping.

She trembled. “Trying to keep me in?” She didn’t look up from her hands. “I won’t run.”

“No one said you would,” he replied. “You’re different from what I expected.”

“Not good enough.” She folded her hands on her lap.

“No.” He brushed her hair from her face. She flinched as he tucked the lock behind her ear. “You’re afraid of me,” he said. “Because I’m a vampire?”

She couldn’t lie. If he wanted to, he could peer into her mind and read her thoughts or he could glamour her to draw the truth out. “Yes.”

“I’m a nasty piece of work, but I’m not like anyone else.” He didn’t turn the engine on or raise his voice. He simply shifted around in his seat. “Look at me.”

“I can’t.” She was human and considered fourth class to vampires.

“You can with me.” He curled his fingers under her chin. “Please?”

She couldn’t comply. Vampires demanded respect, and she needed to give it. No question. She didn’t even know his name.

“I paid a lot of money for you.” He caressed her cheek. “Please look at me and tell me your name.”

“You own me. You can call me whatever you want.” She wasn’t being snippy. He held all the power and the more he reminded her of her cost, the more she wanted to be sick.

“I could,” he said. “But I want to know your name.” He toyed with the lock of her hair. “We need to set some rules.”

Ah. Now he’d show his true colors. She braced herself for his answer. “Okay.”

“First, look at me.” He continued to toy with her hair. “I might have purchased you, but I didn’t do it to own you. I wanted to get you out of that horrible auction.”

She finally looked at him. Fine lines had been etched at the corners of his eyes. Flecks of silver colored his day-old whiskers and at his temples. His dark eyes sparkled, and the muscle in his jaw twitched. If he hadn’t been a vampire, she might have considered him sexy. Who was she kidding? He was sexy.

But he was a vampire and vamps insisted on hurting her.

“What are you going to do with me?” she murmured.

“Take you home, get you some proper clothes, a shower, some food and let you rest,” he said. “When was the last time you slept?”

“I don’t.” She had to keep one eye open in case the vampires attacked.

“You can now. I’ll keep you safe.” He brushed his knuckles across her cheek. “I promise.”

“You’re a vampire.” She frowned. “You could kill me.”

“I could.”

“You said you’re a nasty piece of work.” She trembled but didn’t pull away from him. His touch oddly comforted her. He could destroy her or lull her into complacency and devour her, but he hadn’t—yet.

“I am.” His eyes flashed. “I could kill you right now, but I won’t.”

“Why?” she blurted. “I’m sorry. I spoke out of turn.” She’d said too much for a slave. Any other vampire would’ve hit her by now for being so bold.

“First, I saw you at the club. The night Lomax took you from Isaac. I watched you. I never thought Isaac deserved you, but he had the rights, and I didn’t.” He brushed his thumb across her bottom lip. “You came alive when you played with those masters. The bindings made you happy.”

She shivered. He was right. She enjoyed being at the BDSM club. None of the masters fucked her, but they did spank her and play all sorts of delicious games with her. Wax, spankings, bindings and exhibiting her for all to see. But those games were by mutual consent—not the auction where she’d been forced up there against her will.

“I watched you, entranced.” He smiled. “I wanted you.”

“You did?” She wished she’d known that. He might not have been any better than Isaac, but he had to be a damn lot better than Lomax.

“Lomax beat me to you. He saw you as food. I wanted to play.”

She froze. He’d wanted her? And Lomax had screwed the situation up for them? Of course he had.

He tipped his head, meeting her gaze. “I won’t kill you and I won’t lie to you, either. I want to protect you.”

She didn’t know his name or that he’d seen her before, but he sounded more sincere with every word. She wanted to believe him. He’d purchased her and could do what he wanted, but a tiny shred of her trusted him.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Raine.”

Raine? He liked the sound of her moniker more than the colorless number three. The name fit her—sad and pretty at the same time. Case rejoiced in the progress he’d made with her.

Raine tugged his suit coat tighter around her. She said nothing, but fear radiated from her.

Casey wanted to know what Lomax had done to her. The girl he’d seen at the club had been more open and free. She’d been happy.

If he’d had a heart, it would’ve ached for her. He remembered the number painted on her chest. Those fucking idiots would paint the girls. He flicked his fingers, removing the paint with his magic. No one should have spray paint on their body.

“Aren’t you going to ask my name?” Casey wanted to tug her into his arms and hold her until she relaxed.

“No.” She didn’t move. “You’re my sir. I should address you as such.”

“Will you call me by my name? I’d prefer it,” he said. “You’re not my slave.”

Her eyes widened.

“I didn’t pay for you to put you to work.” He engaged the engine. A ripple of knowing shot through him. No one would hurt her with him around, but that didn’t mean he wanted to draw attention to them by hanging out in the parking lot.

The vampires had destroyed so much land and with the world plunged into darkness, few felt safe. He possessed means and a safe vehicle, but he didn’t want to lag about.

Raine didn’t relax, but when another car passed his, she clutched his hand.

“You’ll be okay.” He wanted to explain why, but what if she were repulsed by him being part Fae? He’d been ostracized by most of the vampires because of his lineage. The only reason he’d gained entry to the auction was his money. They’d take his cash and ignore his undesirable family line.

She ducked down in the seat. “Will he come looking for me?”

“No.” If Casey had to destroy Lomax and eviscerate him, he would. He’d enhanced the magic around his property to keep anyone from seeing he still had some magic within him. He tapped a button on the gate leading to his home and when the gate parted, he drove inside. The wards around his home provided some protection, but he insisted on the iron gate and a surveillance system as well as his shifter friend, Atell, as a guard dog.

The gate closed, and he drove into the garage. Once the door had shut, Casey parked and turned off the engine. “Let me take you inside. You can eat and bathe.”

She stayed in her seat. “What am I to you?”

“Let’s talk inside. I can hear your stomach growling.” He left the vehicle and rounded the trunk to her side. She took his hand and allowed him to lead her into the house.

“Whoa.” She gasped. “This is your house?”

He needed darkness to sleep, but preferred light. He also loved nice things. He’d decorated his home to reflect his tastes. “This is mine.”

“I’m going to be your cleaning lady, right?” She shied away from him. “Yes?”

“No. I want a companion.” He deposited his keys and phone on the counter. “Cleaning isn’t a problem.” He opened the refrigerator, then gestured to the bar. “Sit. What would you like to eat? Anything. Just name it.”

She stared at him. “Anything?”

“Just tell me.” He withdrew a bottle of wine from the rack. “Drink?”

“Will you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

Did she have simple tastes or was she testing him? He poured a glass of wine for her, and a glass of water to go along with it. “Here.” He opened the fridge and created the sandwich with his magic. “And here.”

Raine’s lips parted. She reached for the water glass, then hesitated. “Thank you.”

“Welcome.” He smiled and sat beside her. “Call me Casey.”

She downed the water in one long swallow before gobbling the sandwich.

He gritted his teeth. Damn. She was a curvy girl, but she hadn’t been fed. What kind of asshole would do that to another being? “When was the last time you ate?”

“Are you going to monitor how much I eat?” she asked.

“No.” He’d bet had, though.

“Two days ago.”

“You’re serious?”

“They don’t feed us every day unless we allow them to feed from us.” She tucked into herself. “Sorry.”

“For what?” She hadn’t done anything to be sorry for.

“Rushing.”

“Don’t be.” He flattened his palms on the counter. He no longer felt the chill of the granite. He’d rather hold her than touch cold stone. Her warmth could save some piece of his destroyed soul.

She stared at him. “You’re being nice to me because you feel guilty.”

“I am.” He did feel guilt at not having protecting her when he’d had the chance. But he liked her and wanted to shower her with affection. “But there’s a little more to it.”

“You don’t have to be nice,” she said. “I appreciate it. I haven’t had any dignity in four years—since…” She picked at the sleeve of his jacket. “Anyway, I know my place.”

“Why don’t you have a shower? You deserve to be warm, clean and dry.” He brushed her hair back. “Yes? Then we’ll talk.”

She narrowed her eyes, then sighed. “And I call you Casey?”

“Please?”

“You’re an odd vampire. Most every other one I’ve known wants me for dinner. Either you don’t because you’re weird or you’re lulling me into liking you so I’ll give in. If you are, you don’t have to make me like you. I’ll give in. I know the rules because you bought me. Remember?”

“Why don’t you shower and maybe get some sleep? I won’t kill or drain you.” He wanted her to trust him, but he didn’t want compliancy. Not yet and not outside of the bedroom. He liked her fire and the spunk he’d seen at the club.

“I don’t have much of a choice,” she said. “May I have this?”

“The wine? Of course.” He poured himself a glass of merlot. “Let’s drink to your freedom and new home.”

She stared at him, and he couldn’t read her expression. Wary? Confused? He wasn’t sure.

Casey sipped his wine. “Feel free to use whatever’s in the bathroom. I have no secrets from you.” Not many.

Her eyes widened again, and her lips parted. “You scare me.” She drank the wine in one gulp, then coughed.

Good merlot should be sipped—not gulped. But he hadn’t gone two days without food. “Why do I scare you?”

She shrugged out of his coat. “Because I can’t tell what you’re thinking or what you want from me.”

“Oh?” His previous girl had said he’d telegraphed every move.

“I don’t know what you want and I can’t figure out if you’re telling me the truth.” She left the stool. “I’d like that shower, though, please?”

He kept getting her right to the edge of opening up when she shut down again. Soon, he’d know her secrets, and she’d know his. He led her to the set of rooms along the back of the house. “In here. I’ve got towels, soap and anything you need in the drawers.”

“Even a flat iron?”

She’d volleyed a challenge. Nice. He liked her spirit. “If you want.” He turned the water on in the open stall. “I’ll leave you to your shower.”

“You can watch. I haven’t showered in ages.” She removed her filthy dress. “I used to have guards so I wouldn’t run away. I don’t know what it’s like to have privacy.”

Lomax used guards? Interesting. Casey spied the lines on her back. Lashings? “Were you whipped?”

She shuddered and didn’t turn around “I was told I deserved it.”

He touched the silvery scars. He remembered when he’d seen her at the club, she’d gotten off on being flogged, but not to the point of bloodletting. What she’d been through was abuse. She flinched when he touched her again.

“I’m sorry.” He pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “I’ll never do anything like this to you ever.”

She tensed, but didn’t pull away. “Uh-huh.”

Soon, she’d give him her trust, and he’d prove not all vampires were evil. He wasn’t a nice man—more a son of a bitch—but not with her. She could be his salvation, and he refused to screw that up.

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About the Author

Wendi Zwaduk

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 BDSM and LGBTQ 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 the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and the former AllRomance Ebooks. She also writes under the name of Megan Slayer.

When she’s not writing, she 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.

You can find out more about Wendi on her website or on her blog. You can also find her on Instagram, Bookbub and Amazon.

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Release Blitz: Tomorrow’s Hero by Thom Collins #LGBTQ #sportsromance #eroticromance @pridepublishing @firstforromance

Tomorrow’s Hero by Thom Collins

Word Count: 32,214
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 127

Genres:

CELEBRITIES
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
SPORTS

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Book Description

 

A professional footballer with a secret. Can love conquer a lifetime of fear?

On the surface, international football star Fernando Inglesias has the perfect life—his dream career, fame, wealth and a beautiful girlfriend on his arm. At twenty-nine, Fernando has it all, but success is fragile, and one mistake could destroy everything. Fernando has a secret he will never share, something that could destroy everything he’s worked hard to achieve. There are no openly gay male footballers in the professional league, and he has no intention of becoming the first.

Ibiza…the party playground of Europe—a hedonistic island where anything is possible. On a weekend trip with the boys, love is the last thing Fernando expects to find. A chance meeting with Joshua, a handsome English visitor, changes it all. For the first time, he finds himself interested in more than sex from another guy. As Fernando and Joshua grow closer, the stakes are high on both sides as they struggle to overcome their personal differences.

Can Fernando risk his career for the sake of loving another man?

Reader advisory: This book contains themes of homophobia, a mention of suicide and references to parental neglect and abuse.

Excerpt

By eleven p.m. on Friday night, the stag party had been hard at it for thirty-eight straight hours. Since they’d arrived at the airport yesterday morning, they’d been on a relentless mission to get wasted, knocking back beers with vodka chasers before boarding the flight. Now Marc, the groom, had his hand up the skirt and his tongue down the throat of a girl he’d met less than an hour before. The best man had another woman pressed against the wall, while the tell-tale jerk of her shoulder made it clear she was giving him an over-the-trouser hand job.

Fernando Inglesias watched the tawdry display going on all around him and wondered, not for the first time that day, what the hell he was doing there. He barely knew Marc Jenner, and from what he’d seen of the groom so far, he intended to keep it that way. The rest of the group were just as bad—entitled, overgrown schoolboys behaving like this was their first trip away from home. Fernando had come along for the sake of his friend and teammate Robson, the only guy on this trip he gave a stuff about. Now Robson had his arm around the shoulder of a woman in a transparent dress. There was no need for Robson to stare so obviously at her enhanced breasts when everyone in the place could see them.

And now the women—a large hen-party they’d met in the previous bar—had tagged along and made themselves a permanent fixture. Lured by the promise of free drinks and VIP club access, it was obvious they would stick with the guys for the rest of the night, perhaps even the weekend.

Fernando knew before the flight had left London that he’d made a mistake in accepting the invitation. It had been pure hell from the start. He would make sure he was unavailable for the wedding, whenever that was.

He flinched as one of the women from the hen party made a grab for his crotch. He ducked his hips just in time to keep her from getting a good handful.

“Aww, don’t be a spoilsport,” she said, pressing her breasts against him and thrusting her knee up the inside of his thigh. “I only wanna see what all the fuss is about. Know what I mean?” Her screechy laugh cut above the unrelenting beat of generic house music.

Fernando tried to pull away, but the woman would not be shaken. She put an arm around his waist and pushed her body tight against his. She reeked of cloying, overbearing perfume and gin. Fernando turned his head to avoid the worst of the smell. Like all drunks, she had no concept of how loud she was being.

“Wass-a-matter with ya?” she shouted in his ear. “You’re in Ibiza, ain’t ya? Everyone comes here to party. Don’t be so stuck up.”

She ground her body against him almost in time with the music. Fernando looked around for help, for someone to save him from this awful woman, but all the other men in his party were enthralled by the girls. They probably thought he was having a great time.

Fernando groaned. He didn’t fit in with anyone here. Even Robson had turned into a different person since hooking up with these idiots. They had been drinking since they’d surfaced around noon and made no attempt to hide it when they took a hit of cocaine to revive their flagging spirits. He’d avoided them for much of the day, working out in the hotel gym before catching some quiet time around the pool in the afternoon, but there had been no getting out of joining them this evening. When they’d finally hit the town, Fernando had been the only sober member of the group.

“They call me Becca,” the woman hollered, fluttering her false eyelashes. She licked her lips, gazing at him lasciviously. “I know who you are. I’ve seen you in the magazines—gossip sites and all that. Always thought you was hot, but man, those pictures don’t do you justice.” She giggled, an obvious attempt at coyness. “You are so much sexier in the flesh.”

Fernando clenched his teeth. This was exactly what he didn’t want—being recognised from the trashy celebrity magazines his girlfriend paraded them through, rather than as the international striker he was. Those mags were devoured by people like Becca, who seemed to believe every word they read.

“It’s not true, is it?” she persisted. “That you’re getting married to that Pritti Parlow?”

“No,” he said, looking for an escape. The bar was packed, and he’d somehow got hemmed into the corner. He saw several camera phones trained on him and Becca. Great. A photo like that could be used to support any bullshit story the gossip sites cared to invent.

“Good,” Becca said, pressing closer. “Cause you can do much better than her. Know what I’m saying? I don’t think she’s all that special. You see her everywhere, but I don’t even think she’s that pretty, which is funny considering her name. It’s all false, ain’t it? Her tits, her hair, lips… None of it’s real. I mean, no offence and all that, but I just say what I see.”

Fernando raised his eyebrows. With her frozen forehead and the duck-like shape of her mouth, Becca’s own brand of beauty was far from natural. “I have to go. Excuse me.”

Becca gripped him tighter. “I’m a model,” she continued, undeterred. “Glamour, corporate entertaining, you know the kind of thing. I’m a friend of the bride.” She gave a dismissive wave in the direction of a woman in a pink tutu and veil. “Sort of. More a friend of a friend, but who’s gonna turn down a trip to Ibiza? It’s fucking insane, ain’t it? I love it here. Don’t you, hon?”

Fernando yanked his arm out of her grip. “It was nice meeting you,” he said without conviction. “I have to go now.”

She appeared panicked, reaching for him again, but he shrugged her off. “Why don’t I come with you? How does that sound? You and me? We could go somewhere nice and quiet. Maybe your hotel.”

“No thanks.”

“I give the best blow jobs,” she shouted, spraying him with spittle. “All the guys love it. I can suck your balls dry and make your toes curl. And that’s just for starters. First night anal. I’m that kind of girl. I guarantee a good time—the best you’ll find this weekend.”

“You know I have a girlfriend.”

“But she ain’t here, is she? What she don’t know about won’t hurt her. Besides, if it’s only a blowie, like, it hardly counts as anything, does it? An’ in Ibiza at that.”

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About the Author

Thom Collins

Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, with Pride Publishing. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and promptly confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonkbusters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but since taking his first cruise in 2013 he realized that sailing is the way to go.

You can take a look at Thom’s Blog and follow him on Twitter.

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