BOOK BLITZ: Born in Blood by Emma R. Dean #ReverseHarem #MafiaRomance @XpressoTours @emmadeanromance

Born in Blood
Emma R. Dean
(Syndicate of Blood and Chaos, #1)
Publication date: June 3rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Mafia, Reverse Harem, Romance

All they had to do was accept her deal and Shadow would give them everything they could ever want.

Despite being born a mafia prince, Damien Chaos lacked the one thing he desperately wanted.

Absolute power and control.

If he wanted that, Shadow was the answer.

The only problem was the Shadow Empire is a kingdom of the intangible and they owe their allegiance to no one.

Kidnapping their lead scientist was the only answer.

If Damien could possess her, if he could resist his desire – if he could just ignore how badly he wanted to carve a symphony of obsession into her skin – he’d finally get the answers he’s been searching for.

They may call him cruel and psychotic.
Manipulative and ruthless.
But they have no idea exactly how far he’ll go to win his kingdom, because Damien Chaos can play this game better than anyone else.

That is, until he met her.

All power comes with a cost.

And that price is their pain and sacrifice.
The pretty mafia prince and his boys may think they have what it takes, but they could never break her.

Desdemona is a ghost – a shadow, and the mafia could never get their hands on her.

But Damien, Aeron, and Kaito were too beautiful to deny. All she had to do was let them think they’re in control. Then they’d fall right into her trap.

They would become hers.

All three of them.

She would use their desire to dig her claws deeper into their minds until they began to relish in the pain – until they finally submit.

For the first time in their lives Damien, Aeron and Kaito are forced to learn what true chaos really is.

This is a reverse harem mafia romance where the villain gets the girl. It has some dark themes including manipulation, stalking, kidnapping, and violence. This story also has MM.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“If I thought I could steal you from him, I would,” she whispered, and somehow Kaito knew she was talking about Aeron, not Damien. “I’d be willing to share you with him though. He’s almost as pretty as you are. I want him to break me, but I want you…I want you to eat me alive.”

Kaito shuddered, knowing he was well and truly fucked now. This girl understood him, and he hadn’t said a single word. She wanted what he wanted, and his obsession with Aeron didn’t seem like a dirty little secret when she talked about it.

She was focused on his scar like it held the secrets of the universe. Then she looked up at him and licked her lips.

For the first time since it happened, someone else had touched that mark on his neck and he hadn’t wanted to destroy her for it. No, Kaito wanted this crazy woman to sink her teeth into it, even though he knew it would hurt like a bitch.

A strangled sound left him and Kaito couldn’t even be bothered to feel embarrassed, not when she started riding him again. Even through their clothes the sensation made him mindless until he was driving his hips up into her, desperately trying to create more pressure and friction.

Her breaths started to come in pants and Kaito leaned forward, rubbing his nose along hers just to feel those breaths—the evidence of her desire on his face as well as his dick.

All he wanted to do was taste her – the poison would be worth it.

Because he knew that sharp sting was exactly what she really tasted like, and he was the only one who hadn’t gotten to devour her. Kaito sank his teeth into her jaw, holding the bone with enough force her hips stuttered, and a little cry left her lips.

This was his though, this pleasure he’d let her take, the sharp sweetness of her skin.

His teeth ached to draw blood, but Kaito held very still, resisting the urge to make another mark on her face.

“Do it,” she whispered, reaching down to unbuckle his pants.

Kira took him out and started stroking so hard and fast there was nothing he could do but fall apart underneath her, teeth digging into her jaw but never breaking the skin.

“Such a good boy,” she murmured, using his shirt to wipe the cum from her hand. “But next time you’ll taste me.”

The praise and the orgasm made him fucking stupid. Kaito licked the mark on her jaw and breathed her in, wanting to hear what else she was willing to tell him. Would she let him know how good he felt when he was fucking the shit out of her?

Would those blue eyes tell him everything he wanted to hear?

Fuck, she’d gotten into his head so deep Kaito didn’t think he’d ever be rid of her

Author Bio:

Emma Dean is the autistic author of Draga Court and the Council of Paranormals. Juggling work, life, higher education, and a rambunctious toddler leaves little room for much else, but when she gets the chance she dives into a good book and likes to re-read the Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop every year during Christmas.

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BOOK BLITZ: Death Warden by Debbie Cassidy #PNR #reverseharem @XpressoTours @authordcassidy

Death Warden: Grave Spirits MC
Debbie Cassidy
Publication date: May 27th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance

Death waits for no one, unless you’re a necromancer, in which case he might stop for a cup of tea and a chat.

I didn’t ask to be a necromancer, and I certainly didn’t ask to be saddled with a magical amulet holding an ancient big bad at bay.

I got both.

All I want to do is steer clear of trouble, write horror novels, and hang with my talking cat.

But the spell on my amulet is weakening, and the only way to sustain it is to pick up and go to Frostgate—a city built on a powerful convergence of ley lines.

The plan is to lay low and wait for a revelation that’ll lead me to my conduit, my perfect match, to help me to sustain the spell on the lock.

But there is no laying low at Grave Spirits MC. No avoiding the burning stares of the hellhound Vice President, the icy cool assessment of the undead Sergeant at Arms, or the warm amber gaze of the hellhound Club Secretary.

I can’t get involved with any of them. I have a perfect mate to find.

But for the first time in my life steering clear of trouble is the last thing I want to do.

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Author Bio:

Debbie Cassidy lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuits are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Obsessed with building new worlds and reading about them, she spends her spare time daydreaming and conversing with the characters in her head – in a totally non psychotic way of course. She writes Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Reverse Harem Fantasy. All her books contain plenty of action, romance and twisty plots.

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BOOK REVIEW: Of Boys and Beasts by Mona Black #reverseharem #paranormalromance #bookreview

One is a werewolf with an ax to grind

Two is a vampire with a heart of coal

Three is a demon with a taste for pain

Four is a fae with a past of woe

Five is a girl who will take them down all

In revenge for all the pain they’ve sown

So what if they’re gorgeous? They must atone…

My name is Mia Solace. You know, the girl who will take them down all? That’s me.

When my cousin is returned to us by Pandemonium Academy in a glass coffin, in an enchanted sleep she isn’t expected to wake up from, I grab her diary and head to the Academy myself.

Because her diary, you see, tells of four cruel boys who bullied her and broke her heart until she sought oblivion through a spell.

Four magical boys, because that’s the world we live in now; heirs of powerful families attending this elite Academy where the privileged scions of the human and magical races are brought together in the noble pursuit of education.

As for me, I cheat to get on the student roster, and once I’m in, well… it’s war, baby. I’ll get those four sons of guns, steal their secrets, make them hurt. I’ll transform into an avenging angel for my cousin, for all the girls they’ve wronged, and I bet there are plenty of those.

While growing up, my cousin was my only friend. Now I’ll be her champion.

Only these boys aren’t exactly as I pictured them. Devastatingly handsome, deliciously brooding, strangely haunted, they’re getting under my skin and through my defenses.

Kissing them surely wasn’t part of my plan.

Getting into bed with them even less…

*OF BOYS AND BEASTS is a full-length paranormal reverse harem romance, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book one of four, and it ends on a slight cliffhanger. There is a happily ever at the end of the series. All four books have already been written.

This novel contains enemies-to-lovers/love-hate adult themes, foul language and humor as well as explicit content with darker elementsMay contain possibly triggering themes.By book 3 there will be mm scenes. For 18+ only.

COMING SOON!

✧˖✧˖✧˖✧˖✧ ✧˖✧˖✧˖✧˖✧ ✧˖✧˖✧˖✧˖

BOOK REVIEW – 5 stars

Seriously amazing! Bad boys who may not be as awful as they seem, a girl who’s more than she realized, and a few really big mysteries… I couldn’t put it down and am now craving book two!

I love Mia’s character! Despite the book being a fantasy, her reactions and doubts are very real. She’s a delightfully well-rounded character and I can’t wait to find out more about her.

The boys are a huge mystery. Clearly there’s something going on… I both like and hate each of them. Mostly I want to punch them in the face for being idiots.

Be warned… don’t start this book unless you have time to binge read… because it’s impossible to stop turning the pages!

PREORDER: Monsters Freed (Her Five Monsters) by Alexa Piper #reverseharem #darkfantasy @prowlingpiper @changelingpress

After freeing five monsters from a video game prison, Emilia finds herself in the center of a conflict she can hardly begin to understand. She is still busy wrapping her head around the fact that magic is real, and that she is now bonded to a vampire prince, because apparently, fated mates are real as well.

The five monsters Emilia freed unapologetically lay claim to her, especially since she is bonded to one of them already. All five have been lovers since before Emilia came along, and now she has to decide if she wants to give her heart to them. All five are certainly eager to win hers.

While getting used to the new freedom Emilia gave them, Emilia’s five know they must put distance between themselves and the warlock Rook, who imprisoned them in the first place. They know Rook wants them back and will take vengeance on Emilia for freeing them.

New alliances shed light on Rook’s dark machinations and his twisted predilections. Emilia and her five can choose to run from the warlock or to put a chink in his magical armor, weaken the source of his strength. But Rook loves his illusions, and those illusions are real enough to cost our lovers everything.

Available TODAY at Changeling Press

Preorder for April 8th at your favorite retailers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Alexa Piper

The pitter-patter of rain against the window started sometime during the night, and it inevitably pulled Emilia from her uneasy sleep. She kept going back to the dream while she was warm in her soft, soft bed. House-sitting. A mysterious video game. The five men who’d been trapped in there, who had given her fantastic sexual encounters one after the other until…

Lightning struck, and Emilia’s eyes fluttered open once more, catching a room full of unfamiliar shapes and shadows that the lightning drew in sharpened detail. She jerked under the heavy bedding, the disorientation forcing her heart into a race. What the hell?

“Ssh, all is well,” he said. Before Emilia could recognize the voice, something in her very core reacted to the sound of it, relaxed. Home, safety. Porcelain flowers blooming under the midnight sky. That was what the voice was.

It was also the voice of Radovan, the vampire prince she’d freed from the tower inside a palace inside a video game, which apparently had not been a dream. “Oh, shit,” she said, pushing the bedding back and sitting up.

Lightning struck again, and she saw Radovan sit down on the bed next to her. The darkness that fell after the flash ebbed was less scary now that the vampire prince was there, which a rational part of Emilia’s mind knew to be odd.

“You should sleep more. It’s barely even been two days,” he said. He put a hand on her shoulder and gently pushed her back against the pillows. Her heart screamed for her to relax, do as he said, allow him to care for her.

But her head had a different idea. “Two days!” Emilia said, brushing his hand aside with her own. “I’ve been out for two days? What the fuck happened?”

He hissed something under his breath Emilia couldn’t make out. “You freed all of us from Rook’s prison. You remember that?”

“Yes,” Emilia said. Although all that was surreal and should have been a fever dream. “Uhm, any chance you can turn on a light? Where are we anyway?”

Radovan moved, and with a click, a reading lamp somewhere near the head of the bed came to life, blinding Emilia. She blinked, her eyes adjusted to the brightness, then she looked around. The light came from a Tiffany lamp, colorful and heavy-looking, and it cast tinted shadows across the large bed she was lying in, huddled under a duvet and a blanket. To her right, she spotted the handle of her own bag, and to her left, a large window let in the incandescent illumination of a city at night, doused in rain and the bright echoes of a thunderstorm.

“Sorry,” Radovan said. His hand brushed over Emilia’s shoulder again, and she could sense he wanted to take her into his arms, and she could also tell he resisted the urge. How Emilia knew this, she had no idea. “We are at a hotel. We… It seemed safest for now.”

Emilia blinked as she looked at Radovan as if that would help her get used to seeing him there. She remembered him, from the cut scene in the video game, from finding him in that tower. He’d been a Victorian prince then, but now he was anything but. He wore a black Henley that fit snugly and emphasized his shoulders and slim waist. She saw neatly fitted charcoal pants before she was drawn to his dark amethyst eyes and the velvet hair that flowed like a new moon black aura around his head and down to his waist. If he’d looked like a Renaissance romantic back in the tower, he looked like a sexy lit and philosophy student now.

Emilia cleared her throat, and Radovan sprang into action at that, poured her a glass of water from a carafe that stood on the bedside table. “Thank you,” she said and took the glass from him.

“You are most welcome.”

Emilia finished her water and stared at the vampire prince, who just stared right back at her. Instead of feeling awkward about it, this felt like… it felt nice.

But nice was not what this was supposed to feel like, and Emilia still had enough sense about her to know it. “Explain to me what is going on,” she said and put the glass back down. “Why am I in a hotel bed? And what were you doing in the room with me? Please don’t tell me you were being all sorts of creepy and watched me while I was out?” She swallowed, her throat dry again. “Are you really still a vampire?”

Radovan’s eyebrows flew up, and he gave her a critical look. “You should rest more,” he said.

Which was not what Emilia had needed to hear. “You are not telling me when I need to rest as if I’m some damsel,” she said and climbed out of the bed on the opposite side while Radovan just watched, looking like the dictionary definition of befuddled. “You were totally watching me sleep, weren’t you?” she asked as she got out from under the covers. Her feet stung slightly as she stood, and looking down, she found gauze bandages covered them. Emilia remembered her soles had been cut up in the video game, but for now, she ignored that the injury was just as real in the real world as it had been in the virtual one.

She was only wearing a T-shirt and some soft cotton shorts. The clothing was hers at least, and she dully remembered that one of the others — Pheus, she thought — had mentioned they’d dressed her. Dressed her after they’d torn her ruined clothes off, the ridiculous outfit she’d worn in the video game.

“I… had to watch over you,” Radovan said, his eyes wandering from her face to her legs now in a way that made warmth bubble up inside Emilia. Not that he was leering. He just looked as if he’d never seen anything like a girl sleeping in shorts and at the same time, he looked like he could never see enough of it. “I had to make sure you were safe, and I wanted to be here in case you woke. In case you needed anything.” He stood, the bed now between them. “I apologize if I overstepped, but as I told you before, you are quite safe with me. And with the others.”

“The others. Right.” She took a deep breath and crossed her arms in front of her. “So you are a vampire? Really?”

He smiled. It changed his face drastically, made him look less like a tragic hero and more like the sweet wizard who could win hearts with half a spell. Which just reminded Emilia that magic seemed to be a thing that existed now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

COVER REVEAL: Sinners Reign (Watch Me Burn) by R.E. Bond #reverseharem #darkromance @REBond79904193 

Title: Sinners Reign

Series: Watch Me Burn
Author: R.E. Bond
Genre: Dark Romance, Reverse Harem, MM Scenes
Release Date: March 10, 2022
Cover Design: TalkNerdy2Me
The wars have ended, and we are finally at peace.
I never thought I’d be glad to not have to shoot at someone.
I guess I’m not that crazy after all.
The Psychos and Devils have expanded business, and things are running smoothly.
Between the crews and my guys, I have the family I’d always wished for.
Nothing can shake us, we reign over this town.
We are both feared and respected, nothing will stop us.
Other crews have become allies, and the cops turn a blind eye.
We built our own kingdom.
My guys don’t understand why I’m so out of control, but they’re trying hard to help me.
I guess after years of being let down by my father, I’m scarred for life.
But then it happens, I didn’t want this, and I’ve never been more terrified.
I didn’t want things to change, but fate has a way of surprising us.
I can’t cope with the curve balls being thrown my way.
I never expected this, and I’m slowly suffocating.
My name’s Rory Donovan, and I’m about to face my biggest fear of all.
I’m going to be a mom.

R.E. Bond is a dark romance author from Tasmania, Australia. She is obsessed with reverse harem books, especially if they have m/m! She collects paperbacks as a hobby, has read or written every day since she started high school, and constantly needs music in her daily life. She loves camping and rodeos in the summer, and not getting out of bed in the winter. Coffee and books are life, and curse words are just sentence enhancers.
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Release Blitz: We Three Kings by Emma Penny & Elizabeth Coldwell #eroticromance #Christmas #reverseharem @firstforromance @totally_bound

Need for Three by Emma Penny
Temporary Angel by Elizabeth Coldwell

Genres:

CHRISTMAS
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FANTASY (Need for Three)
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS
REVERSE HAREM

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Need for Three
Temporary Angel

Book Description

Need for Three

Haunted by her past, present, and future, Jericho only has one decision to make—all or none.

Jericho is in the prime of her life, but she can’t shake the feeling something is missing. She loves her current boyfriend with all her heart, but often dreams of her ex-boyfriend and a future guy she’s never met. She wants a family, one of her own choosing, one who loves her with everything they have.

Given the order to haunt, Linwood, Milo and Dominic take their case seriously. Haunting Jericho throughout the week before Christmas, they set out to convince her to focus on her present and give up her dreams. When the haunting goes wrong, the three ghosts sent by The Order and Jericho must decide—stick to tradition or follow their hearts.

Temporary Angel

Taking on her best friend’s identity brings three men into her life—but can she keep them for longer than Christmas?

Jess Morgan dreams of having the self-confidence and adventurous sex life her best friend, burlesque dancer Angel Golightly, enjoys.

When a freak accident lays Angel low over Christmas, Jess steps into her shoes and accepts an engagement to perform at an intimate gathering at the home of wealthy hotelier Daniel McAndrew. What she doesn’t know is that the only guests are Daniel’s closest friends, Ray Stockhill and Etienne Barbeau. The three men long to find the perfect woman who they can share in bed and out, but no one has come close to fulfilling their fantasy until they meet Jess.

Over the course of an unforgettable Christmas, Jess has sex with Daniel, Ray and Etienne, singly and together, and grows increasingly close to all three of them, but she’s aware that she’s playing a dangerous game. What will happen if her real identity is exposed, and can she really have the harem of lovers she craves?

Purchase one or both at First For Romance

About the Authors

Emma Penny

Emma Penny is a millennial living in the US. She often moves and loves experiencing new adventures and letting her mind wander to new possibilities. She currently lives north of Denver, CO and has fallen in love with writing steamier romance. Emma started writing when she was a teenager and has never looked back from the creative side of her life. She particularly loves to explore worlds beyond the believable, worlds that stretch her imagination but still root her in the very real personalities of her characters and their relationships.

Follow Emma on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and find her at her website.

Elizabeth Coldwell

Elizabeth Coldwell is a multi-published author and editor whose stories have appeared in a number of best-selling anthologies. She has written novels in a variety of different genres, from paranormal to BDSM and contemporary romance. She is the former editor of the UK edition of Forum magazine and the proud winner of an International Leather Award. When she is not busy writing, she is an avid supporter of Rotherham United Football Club and can be regularly found on the terraces at weekends, cheering her boys to victory (hopefully!).

Find her online at The (Really) Naughty Corner, http://elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com

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BOOK REVIEW: Runaway Mate by Romy Lockhart #paranormal #reverseharem #newadult #bookreview @LockhartRomy

Jillian is ecstatic when she finds out she’s become more than a wolf shifter. The instinct she’s always had that she was meant for something different is validated when a gator-bite turns her into a hybrid shifter with two distinct animal forms.

Her parents are the opposite of thrilled, and plot to have her gator exorcised before it can fully emerge. She’s been promised to the Alpha’s son, and he won’t accept a hybrid.

She does the only thing she can. She runs. But someone’s following her, and his intent isn’t clear. Her awakening desire to find a true mate skews her senses and makes every shifter she comes across look like an appealing option.

Will she find the mates and the home she’s truly meant for, or will she be fooled by the trickster who only wants to destroy her?

Runaway Mate is a standalone new adult fated mates reverse harem romance with college-aged characters, serious steam and an HEA.

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Grab a fan or some ice because this book is HOT!

Jillian knows she’s meant for more than being mated to the future alpha. She just didn’t realize the path she took would make her a hybrid. When she meets wolf/gator hybrids Mace and Nix, she feels like she’s going up in flames. Too bad those two keep screwing things up.

Jillian is young, and it shows in a lot of her actions and words, but it doesn’t make her any less determined. She knows what she wants and goes after it. I loved her character! There were times I wanted to smack Mace, and later Danny, upside their heads for being clueless idiots. Nix was adorable and sweet.

The characters worked well together and balanced each other. The story line had drama, suspense, and of course romance. Runaway Mate was a delicious read I couldn’t put down.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. The review above is only my opinion.

New at Changeling Press: Rook’s Palace by Alexa Piper #reverseharem #fantasy @prowlingpiper @changelingpress

Emilia is excited to start a house-sitting job, even if the house is creepy and more than a little on the odd side — as odd as the owner’s requests. When she finds an unusual gaming console, she is drawn into a lusty video game in which she crosses paths with five inhuman creatures. She is drawn to them all, but when the five men keep telling her that the game is very much not what it seems, Emilia realizes she can no longer play along.

As the path she follows offers not just desire and intense experiences but also sadness, cruelty, and hurt around every bend, Emilia’s resolve firms: she will free the five men, who tell her they are already a family, already lovers. Whatever she has grown to feel for them, she cannot let them suffer if saving them is within her power.

With the rules of a game she doesn’t understand forcing her to play along, Emilia must find a way to get to the end of the game and get everyone out — whatever the cost. The freedom of her five monsters depends on her.

Save 15% at Changeling Press

Preorder at retailers for November 12th

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Alexa Piper

Another flash of silver washed over Emilia just as she was about to follow a hallway that curved to the left. The lightning dyed the way straight ahead in gray, and at the end of it, she saw a door. The door was closed, unlike all the other doors on the first floor, so Emilia decided to try it. After all, if Blakely wants the shutters of his game room closed, it makes sense he’d keep the door closed as well, she thought.

A few steps in and with her arms out in front of her, Emilia touched the door and felt for the knob. She turned. The door opened, its hinges soundless. The room she saw beyond was the game room indeed. Emilia searched for a light switch instinctively, even though light fell in through the windows, some of which had their shutters shifted open by the wind. Emilia could make out a billiard table, a card table, shelves with games, and a large television set. She stopped looking for a light switch when she saw that, because the TV gleamed faintly.

“What the…” Emilia walked toward the large screen. She was pretty sure that no one else was here besides her. “Mr. Blakely?” she said. Maybe he’d cancelled her services after all, although she would have expected him to send her an email at least. “Hello?” she said, louder.

Emilia looked around, and finally spotted the light panel, higher up than she’d tried. She hit the switch, and the light that filled the room left no shadows for anyone to hide within them. The TV, though, was definitely on.

“Maybe the thunderstorm got you to work?” Emilia said and walked toward it. As she did, she noticed blinking lights from the shelf underneath it. There were several gaming consoles there, new ones she was familiar with. But those weren’t the ones that blinked at her, no.

The console that had caught Emilia’s attention was an oval design, smooth silver. She touched the casing, and found that it was warm, polished metal rather than plastic, with a smaller oval display set in the middle. As soon as her fingers brushed against the console, the display lit up with words.

Play me? Huh,” Emilia said. “You’re strange. How do I play you?” she asked. There was no controller anywhere that she could see. The other wireless ones were neatly lined up beneath their respective console, but this oddity…

The screen brightened, and the words play me blinked at Emilia.

“Right. I want to.” She turned to look around. On the table behind her, on the chairs, there was no controller in sight either, nor did her search reveal one behind the cushions. Shrugging, Emilia hit the screen on the console. She felt the slight give of a button. “Ah.”

The television set flickered to life, and a suitably eerie voice echoed to Emilia from hidden speakers.

Welcome to the Rook’s Palace,” said a male narrator. On the screen, the camera was following a path through a thicket of trees. It wound toward a castle that rose like a waking dragon in the distance.

“Wow, this looks super HD,” Emilia said. She pulled one of the floor cushions stacked to the right of the TV toward her and sat down cross-legged.

“Brave traveler, you have chosen to walk the paths to the palace, but beware,” said the narrator. “These paths are full of the pleasures of the flesh, and none that walk them may escape the lust and desire of those who call the palace their home.

“Traveler, should you choose to continue, there is a mission you must carry out.” The screen washed out, the scene shifting from the outdoors to a room. It could have been a room right here in Blakely’s castle. As the camera did a slow turn, Emilia gasped a little as a tall, dark-haired figure came into view. At that exact moment, the man turned and looked at the camera, almost as if he’d heard Emilia’s gasp. His dark hair ran down his back, and he wore what was probably supposed to be some sort of stylized Victorian garb. The pants were tight enough to show off muscular legs, and the pressed white shirt with the silver buttons — half of which were undone — showed a broad chest and a narrow waist. The man, whose hair trailed down to the small of his back and half hid his face, looked straight at the camera. His eyes were the color of amethyst, and a wild emotion stirred in their depth for a second before the man shut it down.

“Lord Radovan, the vampire prince, has been hidden away in the palace’s highest tower. Traveler, if you dare, it is your mission to free Lord Radovan from his captivity.”

Emilia wanted to look at this strange vampire prince more. The video quality was good, uncannily so, everything looked real. It was almost like all she had to do was reach out her hand, and she’d be able to touch the amethyst-eyed vampire prince.

Emilia lifted her right hand, but before she could actually try reaching for the vampire, the camera moved. It went for a window and flew straight out, down toward a hedge maze.

“The palace grounds are full of riddles and challenges. Those who guard the path and the palace will not be assuaged by anything less than taking pleasure in your body, Traveler,” the narrator said. “They will demand you give yourself to them, and if they have no mouth or know not how to use it, they will take pleasure on you regardless, split you open and fill you with their need.”

Emilia felt like she should be taking notes for her chat room work. This was good enough to make warmth run down her spine, to make her shift a little on her floor cushion.

“Traveler, if you wish to proceed to the Rook’s Palace, you must consent now to have your body used. On the path to the Palace, your body will be your token. If you dare not, you may turn back, though you will never know what pleasures hide behind these walls. If you consent, your pleasure will end only once Lord Radovan is set free from his tower.”

The maze opened up to the path again, and the camera rushed back to the spot it had first been in, the one with trees to either side of it. Words wrote themselves across the screen.

“Traveler, do you consent?” it read. “Say yes, and proceed. Say no, and never return.”

Once more, Emilia looked for a controller. The button she’d pushed on the console had gone dark now. She looked back up at the screen…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

Find her Online: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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: 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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