✯✯Pre-Order✯✯ SPIDER (Hades Abyss MC) by Harley Wylde #bikerbooks #MCromance #MayDecember #interracial #olderhero #preorder

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

Luciana — All I’ve known is pain and suffering at the hands of men — even from my father, a man who was supposed to love and protect me. I’ve survived, nothing less and nothing more. When I’m dropped off with a club of bikers, I figure it’s more of the same. I’ll do as I’m told, make sure I please them, and hope one day I’ll find a way to escape. There is only one thing that could ever break me, and I’m scared of what will happen when the club learns my secret. Will they return me to my father? Or will I be used to broker yet another deal?

It never occurred to me the President of Hades Abyss would be my salvation, or that I would fall in love with him. I never knew men could be honorable and kind. He’s all gruff and domineering, but under that rough exterior I can see the heart of gold he tries to hide.

Spider — Assassin Casper VanHorne, Picasso of wet work and pain in my ass, has asked my club to take in two Colombian princesses. Well, he didn’t use the term princesses, but I have no doubt they’ll be spoiled little bitches. The first time I see Luciana and her sister, I think I’ve got them pegged just right — until I look in Luciana’s eyes and see the fear she’s trying to hide. Something isn’t right. I know it deep in my gut.

I never once thought a woman nearly forty years younger than me could ever captivate me, but the more I get to know her, the more Luciana holds me spellbound. I didn’t want to fall in love, didn’t want a woman in my life… but sometimes the Fates know better than a mere mortal man, and Luciana is exactly what I need. When her father demands her return, I vow to keep her safe. No fucking way I’ll let the sick bastards who hurt her get their hands on her again. Now that she’s mine, I’ll march into hell if need be in order to keep her by my side.

WARNING: This book contains bad language, graphic sex, violence, a heroine who has been physically and sexually abused, and an alpha male who will get vengeance at any cost.

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Harley Wylde

Spider

“They say anything on the way here?” I asked.

“No. The younger one cried a lot. I’ve never questioned the club, or you, Pres, but this doesn’t feel right.”

“Something is strange with this deal for sure, but I don’t know what just yet. In the meantime, treat the girls like guests. Not like club whores. Spread the word to the other Prospects too. These two aren’t a damn thing like what I’d expected.”

He gave a quick nod, then rushed over to the SUV. Rocket led the way, and I sighed as I looked at my house. It had been a nice quiet sanctuary, and now there was a woman inside. A stranger. A girl I’d thought would be entitled and spoiled, but who seemed more scared than anything else. It made me wonder exactly what their father had told them. Or Casper for that matter. Did they have any idea why they were here?

I made my way inside and went straight to the kitchen. I shook my head as I looked at the damn fancy coffeemaker Laken had insisted on giving me this past Christmas. It had taken me weeks to figure the fucking thing out. If I hadn’t been worried about hurting her feelings, I’d have stashed it and just used my simple one with an on/off switch. Who needed all the bells and whistles on a coffeemaker? AlthoughI had to admit being able to set a timer was nice when I had a set schedule in the morning. I liked walking downstairs to a fresh pot of coffee.

I brewed a pot, then sat at the table to enjoy it. I had a feeling I might need something a lot stronger if I was going to tackle the issue of Luciana and Violeta. Had the third girl arrived at the Dixie Reapers’ compound yet? I wondered what Torch thought of all this. I could call and ask, or I could wait for Luciana and ask her myself what the fuck was going on. As fearful as Violeta seemed, and given her odd comment, it made me think things were about to go sideways with this deal.

I finished my cup and poured another. As I reclaimed my seat, Luciana came downstairs, her tread soft on the staircase. She froze in the kitchen doorway when she saw me. I waited, wondering if she’d run the other way or be brave enough to come closer. I had my answer a moment later when she came farther into the room and looked at the coffeepot with longing.

“You can have a cup. They’re in the cupboard over the coffeemaker. I don’t keep creamer, but there’s regular sugar in the canister on the counter and some milk in the fridge.”

She wordlessly walked to the coffeepot and got down a mug. She filled it, then opened the fridge and pulled out the milk, staring at it a moment. Her questioning gaze met mine. Had the kid never seen milk before? Or maybe it was the fact I had to use the watered-down shit.

“I’m an old man, darlin’. I can’t stomach whole milk anymore. Even the two percent is too rough, so I only stock one percent. If you’ll give me a list of things you need, I’ll have someone pick up a few groceries.”

She added the milk to her coffee and put the carton back in the fridge. After looking around the kitchen with confusion etched on her face, I pointed to the drawer next to the stove. She walked over and slid it open, pulling out a spoon. Luciana sat next to me and stirred her coffee.

“Guess it’s a little stressful and weird to leave your home and go somewhere new,” I said.

She just stared at her cup and didn’t say anything, but I noticed her lower lip trembled a bit.

“Your dad probably has a big mansion in Colombia. I know this place isn’t a palace, but hopefully you’ll be comfortable.”

I honestly hadn’t given a shit. Until now. The more I watched her, the more certain I became things weren’t as they seemed. That fucker! Casper hadn’t made a deal with Gomez for his own merit. He’d been trying to get these girls out of Colombia. I just didn’t know why, but I would. And soon. If shit was heading my way, I wanted to be ready.

Luciana sipped her at her coffee and still didn’t say a word. I noticed her body was tense, and her hand shook a little. The girl was scared. Was it because of being somewhere new? Leaving her only home? Or was it something else, something that would likely piss me the fuck off? I shouldn’t have offered to keep her here. Anyone else would have been a better option. Hell, the girls could have shared a room at Rocket’s place, or Luciana could have stayed with Shooter or Knox. Both were a fucking lot younger than me. Maybe she worried I’d try to take advantage? She’d likely be disgusted if I made a move on her, not that I planned on it.

“Luciana, I don’t know what you think of me, and I honestly don’t give a shit. But I can assure you that I don’t take unwilling women, so if you’re worried I’ll force myself on you while you’re here, you’d be wrong.”

She audibly swallowed, and the coffee sloshed over the rim of the mug and onto the table.

“You won’t have to force me. I know my place and what’s expected of me.”

What. The. Absolute. Fuck.

“Come again?” I asked.

She finally met my gaze and held it for longer than a few seconds. “I’ll do as you ask. Do you want me here?”

 

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ABOUT HARLEY WYLDE…

Jess 40th Bday

When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.

Harley’s Website  / Harley on Facebook  /  Harley on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angel Falls Volume 1 by Stephanie Burke #PNR #UrbanFantasy #interracial #gay #LGBT @changelingpress @Flashycat

Angel Falls Vol. 1 (Angel Falls 6)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Renee George
Genres/Themes: Box Set, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Bisexual and more,
Cougar, Elves Dragons and Magical Creatures, Gay, Interracial

 

With the town of Angel Falls, Maryland, on their side,
broken wings will learn to fly once more.

 

Most people avoid Angel Falls. They say it’s filled with crazy geeks and weirdoes. And they’re right. But Angel Falls has the best geeks and weirdoes anyone has ever met.

Broken Wings: Angel, foundling turned NFL star quarterback, and Klintic, a Fae warrior prince, have both been tested in the fires of torment and anguish and managed to survive to find each other. That the ex-footballer and the betrayed prince manage to discover each other is a miracle. With the town of Angel Falls on their side, broken wings will learn to fly once more.

Snake: Snake’s lived a good, long life and is comfortable doing tattoos and body modifications in her shop. But when young Ethan comes to her, he opens more than memories to her past. He unleashes a love she could never have anticipated. A May/December relationship will never work, but with a little magic and the secrets held in the town of Angel Falls, maybe together they can give love a second chance.

Sunspots: Bryan Adams finally has a date with the man of his dreams — Winston Macapthy, RN, descendant of a sun god and a caracal shifter to boot. Finally the geeks are going to come out on top. But if Bryan’s less-than-perfect physique doesn’t put off the handsome shifter, then kidnapping, torture, and running for their lives might.

Or it may just be another perfect weekend… perfect for the small Maryland town of Angel Falls.

Publisher’s Note: Angel Falls Vol. 1 contains the previously published novellas Broken Wings (M/M), Snake (M/F), and Sunspots (M/M).

 

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available in ebook and print

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Stephanie Burke
Excerpt from Broken Wings

“I’ll get back with you in a few days, Rich,” he finally said, cutting off his agent.

“Good.” Rich sighed, as if knowing Angel wasn’t invested in the conversation at all. “I’ll wait till I hear from you.”

“All right.” Angel started to disconnect the call, but Rich’s voice stopped him.

“There’s some reporter sniffing around about a ‘where are they now’ piece, Angel. I told him to fuck off, but I have a feeling he’s not going to give up so easily.”

Great, Angel thought, cursing mentally as he thought of being hounded once more by a media who felt they had a right to put his pain on display. Apparently the pseudonym hadn’t been enough to keep him under the radar. “Thanks for the heads up,” he nearly growled at the phone. “But I think I’m safe here.”

“It’s damn hard to find you in that twisted, crazy zone where you currently reside.” His agent laughed. “I’d keep my eye out just in case. The reporter’s name is Jonathon Greely.”

“Thanks, Rich. And goodbye.”

Angel disconnected the call and moved deeper into the woods. He braved the trails regularly in a bid to exercise his injured knee and clear his head.

It hadn’t been easy getting to the point where he could feel connected with life again, but the exercise and the fresh air helped, as did the acceptance of the people who lived here. They could care less about who he was or what had happened to him — they just accepted him as a shy recluse who fit into a town already half occupied by shy recluses.

It was great.

He was about to turn back home to stare at his computer screen again when he heard the screaming. It sounded like someone was stabbing a peacock with a pitchfork.

He turned toward the sound, his feet automatically moving him at a swift pace deeper into the woods, into a place he rarely visited. Before he reached its source, the screaming stopped.

“Damn,” he murmured, wondering what he would find when he got there. He had high hopes that whatever was attacking the poor creature had fled and that maybe the poor prey hadn’t died.

He’d just rounded a small copse of maple trees when he saw the body.

“Good God,” he gasped, looking around to see if whatever had savaged the poor man was still nearby.

And it was a man, wearing ripped pants and slashed boots. He was bare-chested save for a pair of ill-fitted costume wings attached to his back.

Moving around to the man’s head, Angel dropped to his knees and pulled what seemed like mountains of dyed hair out of his face, wondering what the green goo that covered him was. It was tacky, the consistency of drying paint, and it liberally splattered the poor man’s form.

But the man was breathing. When Angel pressed his fingers against his neck, he could feel the steady pulse beneath his soft, warm skin. The man wasn’t exactly pale. No, his skin tone was dusky with an olive tint. His body under the grime and fake wings was fit and muscular.

“Hey. Hey, buddy. Can you hear me?” Angel asked, tapping him on the face, not wanting to move him in case of injury. “Hey.”

He tapped the man again, looking around to find the cause of his injury. The ground wasn’t torn up as it would be if he’d been defending himself. The trees and even the grass in the small clearing remained undisturbed. Unless the man had been dropped out of a plane, Angel couldn’t see how he’d found his way onto his property wearing a set of wings…

“Wings,” he muttered, shaking his head. Maybe this was one of the citizens of Angel Falls. Maybe he was a geek who’d invented some kind of flying machine and had tried to test it, with disastrous results. It wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. A few years ago, an incident with a jet pack had torched a good half-acre of his land and the inventor, a fifteen-year-old boy who was way too young to be playing with jet fuel, broke a thumb on Angel’s property.

Angel reached for the wings and — “Damn it!” He quickly pulled his hand back as what felt like a hell of a lot of static electricity zapped his fingers.

Shaking his fingers, he again tried to get the man to respond. “Sir? Sir, can you hear me?”

He was about to give up on waking his avian visitor to call 911 when the man’s eyelids fluttered.

“Yeah,” Angel encouraged, speaking a little louder. “That’s it, buddy. Come on and open those eyes for me –“

The injured man’s eyes fluttered once more and then blinked open. His eyes — the color was shocking Angel nearly jumped back before he realized the solid black had to be contact lenses.

Calling himself all kinds of a fool, he moved in closer. “Hey? Buddy?”

Cosxgrturve exzline gzlk,” the man gasped, his tongue twisting the incomprehensible words.

“Slurred speech.” Angel spoke to himself, already reaching for his cell. This looked like it might be serious —

Cosxgrturve kzilei jemanzr!” the man said, his voice steadier.

“Calm down, buddy –” Angel rested a hand on the man’s shoulder when he suddenly lurched as if to get up. “Hey!” But the man braced a hand on Angel’s shoulder and fought to rise.

Not wanting him to hurt himself more — brain injuries could be tricky, as his year in the NFL had taught him — Angel braced the man as he lurched to his feet. Suddenly he was looking up into a dark-eyed visage that was staring back at him.

The man was big, and for Angel to say that was telling. Angel himself stood at six feet seven inches tall, a formidable height for a quarterback, but this man — he had to be about a foot taller than Angel.

And as Angel stared, his mouth open in shock, his cell dangling unused from his hand, the man arched his back and the wings fluttered. Then, as Angel tried to figure out how the massive things were attached, there was a zap that felt like a milder form of that earlier static electricity, and the wings began to glow faintly…

More from Stephanie Burke at Changeling Press…

 

Irish (Devil’s Boneyard MC) by Harley Wylde #MCromance #bikers #NewAdult #interraciallove #pregnancy #singleparent @HarleyW_Writer @changelingpress

 

Five years is a long time to think about someone.
Now she’s back, and I can’t let her walk away.

 

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Action Adventure, Dark Fantasy, New Adult, Silver Fox,
Contemporary, Interracial, Single Parent/Pregnancy Romance, MC Romance

 

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Janessa: I’ve been in love with Seamus since the day I met him, even though I’d been fourteen at the time. Now that I’m an adult, I’m ready to go claim my man. Maybe I was stupid thinking he’d wait for me, or maybe I just really wanted a fairytale ending. Seeing another woman in his arms hurt like hell, so I ran…straight into trouble.

Irish: I met a girl years ago one who had me spellbound despite her young age. I kept my distance, knowing it was so damn wrong to be attracted to her, but looking in her eyes I could tell she had an old soul. Now she’s back and all grown up, so what did I do? Something stupid. I kissed another woman. When I hear Janessa’s been attacked, it feels like someone has ripped out my heart. Whatever it takes, I’ll make it up to her, and I will get justice for her one way or another.

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Harley Wylde

Irish

Fuck me! I hadn’t seen Janessa Rodriguez in so damn long. It still blew my mind that she’d walked into the Devils’ clubhouse. I felt like a complete and utter shit for hurting her the way I had, but it was the right thing to do. If her dad even thought I’d looked at his little girl with any kind of interest, I’d be a dead man. Even though I’d kissed the slut sitting on my lap, after Janessa had walked out, I’d dumped the woman on the floor. I was disgusted with myself.

The years had been really fucking good to her. She still had a pretty olive complexion and dark hair that looked so damn soft. She’d sprouted breasts that were more than a handful since the last time I’d seen her, and hips that screamed she was definitely all woman now. All it had taken was one look and I’d been hard as hell, and not for the woman who had been in my lap.

Janessa had been gone a few hours now, and I figured she was back home where she belonged. I closed my eyes, trying to block out the image of her standing in the doorway, all those gorgeous curves. But it was the look of anguish in her eyes that would haunt me forever. I hadn’t been a saint a day in my life. After meeting the Reaper’s daughter, I’d felt like I was in a downward spiral. She’d been just a kid, a teenager, and my reaction to her had sickened me. So I’d started screwing any woman who offered. Now I was wishing I hadn’t done that.

I’d never counted on her showing up here in Devils’ territory. It had been five years, and I knew she was a grown-ass woman now, but I’d figured her daddy would have her locked up somewhere secure. Away from men like me. Hell, he might have even asked a Reaper to marry her just to keep her safe. Did he even know she’d come here? She had to have been looking for me. I just didn’t understand why. Yeah, she’d plagued my thoughts since the day I’d met her, but surely she hadn’t been waiting for me all this time. Had she? I’d known when she turned eighteen because my VP had made sure I was aware. Maybe he’d thought she’d be the one to tame me, or had just hoped for some sort of reaction. I hadn’t made it a secret that I didn’t plan to settle down. Even knowing she was legal, I’d not had the courage to go after her, though, and had kept my distance. Now I was second-guessing that decision.

The clubhouse doors flew open and Scratch came inside. He never showed up on party nights, not since settling down with his wife and kids. The look on his face told me something was seriously wrong, and all my brothers went on alert. But he ignored every last one of them and came to me. I just couldn’t tell if he wanted to hit me, or console me.

“We need to talk,” Scratch said. “Somewhere quiet.”

“Something wrong, VP?” I didn’t think I’d screwed up lately. Well, other than hurting Janessa.

“Church. Now.”

His tone demanded I obey. I followed Scratch to the back of the clubhouse and through the double doors at the end of the hall. I took a seat and Scratch leaned against the opposite wall, staring at me with his arms folded and a fierce look in his eyes.

“Did I do something?” I asked.

“There’s been an accident.”

I sat up straighter. “Clarity? The kids?”

The VP had an awesome wife and kids, and any one of us would lay down our lives for them. But if Clarity were in trouble, I didn’t think Scratch would be standing in front of me.

He shook his head. “My family is fine. This isn’t about me, son. It’s about you.”

“I don’t understand. You know I don’t have any family here, except the Devils. What’s going on?”

Scratch rubbed at his beard, then sat down in his usual seat. “A blue truck was found along the road heading out of town. It had gone off the road and crashed into a tree. The driver isn’t in good shape, but there are signs that something else happened.”

I still didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. I didn’t know anyone with a blue truck. I wished he’d just tell me what the hell was going on. The suspense was going to drive me crazy.

“The truck had a Harley Davidson sticker on the back. And Alabama plates,” he said.
My gut clenched and I gripped the table. The only person I knew who had been in this area with Alabama tags would have been Janessa.

“The Highway Patrol called Cinder, but he didn’t answer, so they tried me next. They thought maybe the driver was related to someone at the club. They found a wallet in a purse. What I want to know is what the fuck Janessa Rodriguez was doing in Devils territory unannounced, and why didn’t someone tell me she was here?”

Oh, God. It suddenly hurt to breathe.

“Janessa,” I said, my voice cracking. “Is she… will she be okay?”

“Someone beat that poor girl half to death, ripped up her clothes…”

I couldn’t help it. I leaned over and threw up.

“She wasn’t sexually assaulted,” Scratch said, “if that’s what you’re thinking. The assholes did piss on her, though. Cut her up, beat her all to hell. They’re hoping to run DNA and figure out who did this to her, but if they aren’t in the system, then it won’t do much good. In the meantime, they haven’t been able to contact her next of kin.”

My heart felt like someone was trying to rip it from my chest. I stood and pulled my keys from my pocket. “I’m going to see her,” I said.

“Son, the only reason I can think of for that little girl to be here at all was to come see you. What the fuck happened? Why was she on a road headed south and not going back home? Or an even better question, why the fuck wasn’t she with you?”

South? I didn’t know. I’d seen how devastated she was when she’d left, and it was my fault. I’d done that to her. I’d thought she’d go home, get on with her life and find some guy her dad would approve of, maybe go off to college or some shit.

“She came here,” I said. “I didn’t talk to her. I was… I was with someone. A club slut. She saw the two of us and she left.”

Scratch cursed and leaned back in his chair. “When Tex wants to remove your balls, I’m not standing in his way. That was a shitty thing to do, Irish, and you damn well know it. That girl was completely hung up on you from the moment she laid eyes on you. Hell, anytime I go see my daughter and grandkids, she still asks about you, even though you never went after her when she turned eighteen.”

I hadn’t known that. Yeah, he’d brought up Janessa from time to time, but I hadn’t known that she’d asked about me, still thought about me. I’d figured when she turned eighteen and I kept my distance that she’d move on. Scratch had only brought her up in passing after that point, almost as if he were feeling me out, but I hadn’t understood why. Until now.

“She’s at the county hospital. You know I have to call the Reapers, right?” he asked.

“Just… give me enough time to see her. Wait twenty minutes before you call. I know it’s a lot to ask, but I need to make things right with her. Is she awake?”

“No. She was unconscious when they found her, and when I got the call, she hadn’t woken yet. You need to prepare yourself. From what I hear, it’s pretty bad.”

I gave a quick nod, then stood up. I stared down at the puke on the floor but Scratch waved me off.

“I’ll have a Prospect clean that up. Go see your woman and hope you don’t have to say goodbye while you’re there,” he said. “And, Irish?”

I met his gaze.

“Despite what you think, that girl is your woman. Don’t fuck it up again.”

 

★COVER REVEAL★ Tex (Dixie Reapers MC) by @HarleyW_Writer #MCromance #bikerromance #NewAdult #SingleDadRomance #coverreveal @changelingpress

Ex-Soldier. Biker. Father. Husband? One look at Kalani and I know I’ll protect her at all costs.

 

Tex (Dixie Reapers MC #6) is coming August 2018 from Changeling Press, pre-order links coming soon. Tex is a sexy single dad, biker romance with over the top heat and a dash of suspense. There’s only one thing that will bring out the softer side of this hardened man… his daughter and the woman who has protected her for the last seven years.

 

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Themes: Interracial, Big Beautiful Woman, MC Romance, Men in Uniform, New Adult, Silver Fox (Older Hero)

#NewRelease – Tessa’s Hero by @AuthorPaigeW #interracialromance #RomanceBooks #newadult

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres: Interracial, New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Tessa Milner never had much, but when she lost her mom, she lost everything. Her dad became a mean drunk and lost his job. What little the high school dropout makes bussing tables helps keep the lights on and food in the fridge, but she has little hope of ever escaping. When her dad takes things too far, and Tessa ends up in the hospital, she finds a hero in an unlikely place. A man she’s had a crush on since she was a kid, someone she’s always idolized. And now he’s here, by her side, and doesn’t seem ready to leave anytime soon.

Dr. Morgan Hilliard has felt drawn to Tessa ever since he first noticed the woman she was becoming, with curves that begged to be touched. He’s wanted to ask her out more times than he can count, but because of their age difference, he’s tried to keep his distance. The small town of Blossom Creek might be accepting of an interracial couple, but their nearly twenty year age gap is sure to set tongues wagging. Now things are different. Tessa needs him, whether she’ll admit it or not, and Morgan will do anything to keep her safe — even something as crazy as marrying her.

BUY LINKS

Available Today at Changeling Press

Pre-Order for February 23rd at:
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EXCERPT

Tessa Milner slowly backed away from her dad as he swayed on his feet, a nearly empty bottle of whiskey clutched in his hand. Ben Milner was a mean ass drunk, and ever since Tessa’s mom had died a few years ago, the drinking had gotten worse. He’d once been a handsome man, his red hair thick and curly, his eyes bright and kind. Now his hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in weeks and his eyes were lifeless. When Nicole Milner died, her husband’s heart had died too. Her mom had been beautiful. A mocha goddess who’d smiled and laughed all the time, bringing out the best in everyone. But when her mom died, so did the laughter in the house, and the love. Tessa didn’t recognize the man in front of her anymore. The guy who’d carried her on his shoulders or played tag with her was long gone. A monster now resided in his body.

Her dad let the rusted screen door slam behind him as he staggered across the sagging front porch. His boots kicked up paint chips from the peeling boards under his feet. Peaches, their beagle, was resting on the top step.  A twisted smile crossed her dad’s face before he pulled back his booted foot and kicked Peaches off the top step, the dog yelping as she went airborne and tumbled to the ground below. Peaches whimpered and couldn’t seem to get up.

Tessa’s heart pounded as tears fell down her cheeks, and she wanted to rush to Peaches, but she knew better. Her dad nearly fell down the stairs as he came after her, and not for the first time, Tessa wished he’d fall and break his damn neck. Anything to end the torment. She couldn’t run because that would only make it worse when he did catch her, and he always caught her. For an uncoordinated drunk, he could move damn fast, and he was downright vicious on the best of days.

“Pretty girl like you could get us out of this mess,” her dad slurred.

She knew exactly what he was asking, and she wasn’t about to do it. Tessa shook her head and took a step back.

“Stan would treat you right,” her dad said.

Stan Trotter was nearly sixty, and he’d been eyeing Tessa since she’d turned fifteen. Sick perv. The man had always made her skin crawl, with his inappropriate touches and innuendo, and now her dad wanted to sell her to the man. They’d hatched some plan over drinks, twenty thousand dollars for Tessa to crawl into Trotter’s bed and obey his every command, but Tessa refused to go along with it. She wasn’t whoring herself out just so her dad could live a better life while she suffered at Stan’s hands.

“No, Daddy,” she said.

“You little bitch.” Her dad lurched forward, his hand a blur as he lashed out toward her.

Pain exploded across her cheek, but she remained upright. Her dad came at her again and caught her on the side of the head with his closed fist and she saw stars. Tessa swayed, but refused to go down. If he got her on the ground, the real torment would begin. A few more blows to her face and ribs, and he seemed to lose interest in her, the fight draining out of him. He tipped up his nearly empty bottle, draining it dry, then tossed it into the yard, where it clinked against the other discarded bottles, before staggering back into the house, probably looking for another drink. With some luck, he’d pass out.

Tessa openly cried as she pulled Peaches into her arms, ignoring her own aches and pains. Loading the beagle into her rusted car, she snuck into the house to grab her purse, and drove to the vet clinic in town. Dr. Hilliard had treated Peaches before, and Tessa hoped he’d be able to help her now. She didn’t know if she had enough money for the visit, but maybe he would work with her on payments. She couldn’t let her dog suffer. Peaches had been her best friend for the last six years, and she deserved a better life than she had now. They both did.

Tears blurred her vision as she pulled to a stop in front of the clinic. It was nearing five, but the open sign was up. She pulled Peaches from the car and carried her into the clinic, ringing the bell on the front counter. She knew this late in the day, most of the staff would be gone, but she’d seen Dr. Hilliard leaving the clinic sometimes hours after closing time.

“Dr. Hilliard!” she called out.

A door opened and he stepped out of the back, his lab coat still on and his hair mussed, as if he’d been running his hands through it. The man was sexier than anyone had a right to be, with his dark hair and neatly trimmed beard, and when those hazel eyes looked at you, it almost felt like you were the most important person in the world. Or maybe it had something to do with the crush she’d had on him half her life.

“What’s wrong with Peaches?” he asked, coming closer.

“Dad kicked her off the porch. She wouldn’t get up and I’m worried something might be broken.”

The doctor looked at the dog, stroking her head and ears, before really taking a look at Tessa. When he did, his eyes narrowed and some not so very nice words spilled out of his mouth.

“It seems the dog isn’t the only one he abused today,” the doctor said.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Paige Warren spends her days weaving tales about alpha males and the women who love them. There’s nothing hotter than a man in tight Wranglers, dog tags (especially if he’s ONLY wearing dog tags!), or bad boys covered in ink. When Paige isn’t creating romantic tales, she enjoys reading and watching movies – romances, of course. If you see her out in the wild, you’ll most likely find her at Starbucks, sipping a white mocha with a distant look in her eyes as she figures out the right wording for the next scene in her latest book.

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