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

Must Love Cats by Angela Addams

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

Genres:

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

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Book Description

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best decision ever!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Don’t be daft, woman.” Andy tsked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Blessed be,” she said with a sigh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Meow.”

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

“Kitty?”

“Meeeeeow.”

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

“Meow!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, not a dog.

A wolf!

“H-h-holy shit,” Lucki stammered.

The wolf crouched, ready to pounce.

I’m going to die.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The cat launched itself, jumping toward the wolf.

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

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

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

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

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

What the…? Her scream died on her tongue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her legs quivered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His wink to follow undid her completely.

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About the Author

Angela Addams

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

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

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

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

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

Hex and the Single Girl by Alexis Fleming

Book 3 in the Lucifer Inc! series

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

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FAKE RELATIONSHIPS
PARANORMAL
SECOND CHANCE

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Book Description


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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the hungry hold out their hands asking for more,

When the greedy profit to improve their lot in life,

Unconcerned that their everlasting legacy is strife,

When pandemonium erupts and floods the world above,

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

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

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

Brel-ez nodded.

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

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

“Is it important?”

“Definitely, your Lordship.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someone who pushes my buttons?

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Well, in that case—”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About the Author

Alexis Fleming

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

Nothing like keeping it in the family.

You can find Alexis at her website.

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Release Blitz & Review: Challenge Accepted by Jaqueline Snowe #sportsromance #friendstolovers @firstforromance @totally_bound

Challenge Accepted by Jaqueline Snowe

Book 1 in the Cleat Chasers series

Word Count: 85,147
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 329

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FRIENDS TO LOVERS
SPORTS

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Book Description


College is all about learning, right?

Most college girls ‘swipe right’ to meet the right guy—Callie meets All-Star pitcher Zade while he’s buying tampons. College is all about learning, right?

How often do you meet your dream guy buying tampons at Target? Never, right? For Callie, a baseball-loving, hardworking college student, it happened just once. The magic was too real, too fast and too much, so she left the store without exchanging names.

But fate works in wonderful ways, right?

Zade Willows, the All-Star pitcher rumored to be drafted his senior year, gets what he wants. He has a fan club who follow his every move, but when he meets Callie, the game changes. She knows all his plays and that the game always ends—in heartbreak. But Zade doesn’t back down and is willing to try anything.

He’ll eventually get the girl, right?

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

Excerpt

“Get your gorgeous ass in here and give me a hug.” Greta slammed the door open with her foot and jumped into my arms. She smelled the same as she had done in high school—floral and sweet. God, I had missed the hell out of my girl. She’d always been a violent hugger and the tradition continued. My lungs were gasping for air by the time she let go.

“Sorry I’m late.” I lugged the suitcase into the apartment and grinned at her motherly expression.

“Unless the reason is some hot guy or some awesome story, then I’ll remained pissed at you for another two minutes. I got afraid—”

“That I backed out? Me?” I held up my hands in surrender. “I wouldn’t back out of our pact from ten years ago. I wouldn’t dare.”

“Glad you learned something from your year off,” she mumbled loud enough for me to hear. We both had a mutual hatred of the deal my parents had forced me to accept and I understood her anger disguised the worry about this not happening. We’d dreamed about living together since we’d become best friends in fifth grade—when two kids get caught cheating on a math test, it forms a bond that’s hard to break.

“I learned, like, two things,” I replied to her comment and she skipped to my bedroom for the next year. “This is my room?”

“Yes!” she cheered. I’d expected the room to be small and I gasped when I saw a dresser, a built-in desk and a twin bed. “Wait here, I have a present for you.”

I obeyed her command and set my cases on the floor. I could fit every piece of clothing I owned in the closet, and maybe a little more. It could even serve as an extra bedroom if needed. I’d lived in my childhood home my entire life. The last year…it had been hell taking a year off to prove to my dad I could make it on my own. Pure hell. But I’d made it and it pleased me to be on my own for the first time.

“Here. I bought it for you.” She waltzed back into the bedroom with a package wrapped in sparkly paper. Greta would buy sparkly paper. “It’s nothing big, just a welcome present.”

“You didn’t have to get me anything, Greta. Come on.” I frowned at the gift, damn well knowing her kindness knew no bounds. She shoved it into my hands, despite my reluctance. “Fine.”

I opened it up to find the very first picture of the two of us, taken when we’d been in our band in high school. I met her eyes and we shared a smile. “Good lord. Why did we name ourselves the Crazy Gals again?”

“Because our names start with C and G. Obviously that made sense when we were fourteen.”

“I regret the name choice, but still dig the outfits.” Closing my eyes in shame, I swallowed down the memory of gaucho pants, clogs and popped-collared shirts.

She shuddered. “Oh, lord. Not me. I regret the outfit, not the name.” Greta’s legs had more style than I had in my entire body. She’d won best dressed in high school. Even now, she wore a trendy sundress with a hat while I was wearing ripped jean shorts and a vintage band tank top. “I have another gift for you, but you cannot get mad.”

“That’s a great opener. No promises, G.”

“It’s kind of small.” She bit her lip and pulled out something from her pocket. What the hell? Sundresses have pockets? A shadow of apprehension crossed her face and I worried what the fuck she’d gotten me.

I took the sticker from her hand, already planning where to put it. “I freaking love it.”

“I know you really don’t play in bands anymore, but you still have the same case.” She motioned her head to the guitar case I’d set down earlier.

“Of course I do.” I collected stickers from everywhere I went or from any large moment in my life. I peeled back the paper and placed the new college sticker on the front of the case, right in the center. Big. Freaking. Deal. “Thanks, Greta.”

“Phew. I’m super happy you love it. I’d been nervous, like, what if you hated it and used your guitar to beat me senseless? Or, what if you assumed we were getting back in business?”

“Greta. Am I crazy?”

“I’ve seen you punch two girls in the face. At the same time, I might add.” She bit back a grin and pointed down the narrow hallway. “Kitchen is down the hall to the right. I already know your first question.”

“Obviously.” I eyed the tile and large counters, sighing in pleasure. They were perfect. “Those girls deserved it, though. Sure, we were in a mosh pit, but they pushed a girl in a cast.” I smiled at the memory.

“Your smile alone is why you’re crazy.”

I flipped her off and she closed the distance between us with open arms. “I’m damn glad you’re going to be my roomie. I’m proud of you. You beat your dad at his own game and I love you more because of that.”

“Love you, too. Now, that’s enough affection. I need to paint my room black or something.” I blinked away the emotions that bubbled up. Those words, coming from her, meant much more than she might ever realize.

“This is going to be hella fun!” she squealed and squished me for another hug.

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Book Review – 5 stars

Callie and Zade … a perfect match!
I loved that Callie not only enjoyed baseball, but was extremely knowledgeable of the sport. There aren’t enough Tom boys in romances. She was feisty, determined, and best of all, she didn’t give in to Zade. She made him fight to be with her, to prove he was worth her time.
Zade didn’t mind his playboy reputation until it nearly cost him the only girl who’s ever fascinated him. He’s driven, focused, but he’s never let himself fall in love… until now.
Both characters were complex and completely real. They had doubts, insecurities, hopes, dreams… just like anyone else.
I enjoyed the slow burn romance between Callie and Zade, but I especially loved their banter. Challenge Accepted is a true gem. Ms. Snowe knocked this one out of the park.

About the Author

Jaqueline Snowe

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

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

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

Serving the Wicked by Wendi Zwaduk

Book 3 in the The Refuge series

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

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FANTASY
PARANORMAL
VAMPIRES

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Book Description


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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I could.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Raine.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her eyes widened.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She stared at him. “Anything?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No.” He’d bet had, though.

“Two days ago.”

“You’re serious?”

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

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

“Rushing.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Please?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Even a flat iron?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About the Author

Wendi Zwaduk

Wendi Zwaduk is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to BDSM and LGBTQ themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and the former AllRomance Ebooks. She also writes under the name of Megan Slayer.

When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

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

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Release Blitz: Two Different Sides by L.A. Tavares #chicklit #contemporaryromance @totally_bound @firstforromance

Two Different Sides by L.A. Tavares

Word Count: 79,684
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 306

GENRES:

CELEBRITIES
CHICK LIT
CONTEMPORARY
ROMANCE

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Book Description

All bets are off.

Blake Mathews is out of luck.

The music, the fame, the love of his life… They’re not enough for him. His tendency to make large bets at expensive tables could cost him everything—the band, the money and the girl.

Blake thought things couldn’t get any worse, but he lost that bet too. Someone from his past shows up after a decade of silence with new information about who Blake is, where he came from and the fact that he has family who is closer than he thinks.

Told on two different timelines—now and then—the story recounts the upbringing of the bass guitarist and his friend, lead singer Xander Varro, dating back to the two meeting, starting the band and the trouble and triumphs that unfold as the two grow to the present-day versions of themselves.

For Blake, history tends to repeat itself, but with the help of his band, the girl he’s been chasing since his teen years and the family he didn’t know he had, the chance to break the dark cycles is in the cards for him, if he chooses to play the game.

Reader advisory: This book deals with a gambling addiction and parental abandonment. This book is best read in order as part of the Consistenty Inconsistent series.

Excerpt

It was about damn time I took things into my own hands.

I’ve loved her for too long and have nothing to show for it. For years I’ve admired her from afar and she’s given me none of her time and even less of her heart, yet she holds mine in her hands. She always has.

Touring and being on the road is exactly what I always wanted, but I wouldn’t have any of it without her—in more ways than she even knows.

Now, I stand outside the doors of The Rock Room, ready to give the performance of a lifetime without ever stepping on the stage at all.

The doors creak as I push them open and strut across the venue floor. My steps echo and my heart rate quickens. She’s on the stage walking back and forth in heeled knee-high boots. Her blonde hair falls in curls down her back.

“Kelly!” My voice echoes as it leaves my throat and bounces off the walls of the empty venue. She looks at me and her mouth parts, but I don’t give her time to speak. I have to get this out. If I don’t say the words now, I never will. “I have loved you since the first time I saw you. I’ve never been able to give my heart to anyone else because it has always only been yours. I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to get your attention and the truth is, I’ll keeping wasting it if you ask me to. I will wait for you, but I’m hoping you won’t make me.”

There is a long pause. She’s completely still—unmoving and holding her breath. I swallow, hoping she speaks because…I’ve got nothing else.

“Blake,” she says, my name echoing through the venue. “Can we…can we do this later? We’re auditioning musicians for the house band…” She lifts her hand and points to the seats where bodies fill the spaces that I’d assumed were vacant. I rub my hand at the back of my neck while my cheeks flush something fierce. With no other option, I turn on my heel, leaving without the girl but with my fill of embarrassment for the next few years.

I slam the doors open and stomp through a two-day-old puddle in the alley behind The Rock Room, but the doors reopen and she runs out behind me, her boots hitting the water as she heads toward me.

“Blake.”

“No, it’s fine. I don’t know what I was thinking—”

“Do you ever stop talking?” She grabs the collar of my leather jacket, pushes my body against the cold brick wall, then pulls me toward her—against her—and places her mouth on mine in a kiss that was more than worth the wait.

“I’ll come by tonight,” she says through the kiss. “I have to go back to work.”

“Mmm, you should quit.” I keep her close to me.

“Not a chance.” She steps away, adjusting her clothes and hair before giving me a smile over her shoulder and heading back inside. I slide down the brick wall and sit in the alleyway. Though the ground is wet and cold, this all feels too good to be true—a dream.

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About the Author

L. A. Tavares

When it comes to romance, L A doesn’t have a type. Sometimes it’s dark and devastating, sometimes it’s soft and simple – truly, it just depends what her imaginary friends are doing at the time she starts writing about them.

L A has moved to various parts of the country over the last ten years but her heart has never left Boston.

And no, the “A” does not stand for Anne.

Follow LA on Facebook and Twitter.

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Release Blitz: Hawk (Perfect Stats) by Amber Malloy #bookreview #eroticromance #multicultural @totally_bound @firstforromance

Hawk by Amber Malloy

Book 3 in the Perfect Stats series

Word Count: 59,896
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 255

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MULTICULTURAL

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Book Description

Hawk thought he had everything he wanted until Lexington Waters showed up. That’s when he discovered he needed so much more.

Tech Guru Lexi Waters needs to snatch her company out of the grasp of her greedy ex-husband. The only problem is the restraining order that keeps her away from the business she built from the ground up. With no money left to her name, Lexi is forced to go back to Chicago and face the first man to ever let her down—blues legend Sugarfoot Moe Waters, her father. While she’s stuck fixing up his crappy bar, the last thing she needs to deal with is a pushy, arrogant professional hockey player—Hawthorne Maze, aka Hawk. Hopefully the gorgeous distraction won’t derail everything she has worked so hard for.

From the outside looking in, Hawk’s life seems perfect. Professionally, he’s at the top of his field, and personally, he has his pick of any groupie. Orphaned by teenage parents, he only knows is that his mom is white and his dad black. Other than that, there are only two people he considers family—his childhood friend Gavin Knox and geriatric bar owner Moe. He thinks he knows everything about the famous blues artist, but the sudden appearance of his hot-ass daughter is not only unexpected but also unwanted. Contemplating retirement, Hawk needs to figure out what to do next, but fate keeps throwing the sexy egghead Lexi in his path.

Reader advisory: This book contains incidents of revenge porn, racial slurs by minor characters, and scenes of blackmail and emotional abuse.

Excerpt

As Lexi Waters’ advanced coding class put the finishing touches on their latest assignment, she flew her fingers across the screen of her phone a million miles per hour. Drowning out the click clack sound from more than a dozen girls pounding away on their keyboards, she polished off her last text.

“Okay, girls!” she hollered over the noise while pushing away from her desk. “We’ve got fifteen minutes left, but I wanted to say…uh—” Flashing lights drew her attention toward the window. A police cruiser turned into the community center’s parking lot. Shit! Standing up, she slid her phone into the back pocket of her jeans before she stepped in front of her students.

“Girls, code has been one of the biggest joys in my life, and you guys will never know how much you truly mean to me…” Lexi took in each one of the girls’ faces, wanting to commit every detail to memory. “I’ll be taking a little time away, which means I won’t be able to teach the class.” Groans filled the room at her announcement. Lexi had been with some of these girls since their tween years.

Do not cry. Do not cry. Swallowing the emerging lump in her throat, she encouraged herself to keep it together for a smidge longer.

“Miss Tracy will be taking over for the foreseeable future.” Lexi steadily ignored her phone buzzing in her back pocket. “She will help you tie up the loose ends on your video game concepts, starting with the plot all the way down to character development.”

“But we wanted to do it with you,” the best coder in the group whined.

“Uh, don’t worry,” Lexi’s assistant Tracy groused. “I’m not standing here or anything.”

Limited on time, Lexi refused to acknowledge the little feud that had been brewing between them for weeks.

“Trust me. You guys are in good hands. You’re all set for the Fire Code submissions, and… Well”—she took a deep breath because goodbyes were always hard—“every single one of you is intelligent, awesome and there’s nothing you can’t and won’t do. Now make me proud!” She pounded her fist in the air with more enthusiasm than she actually felt.

Chairs scraped against the tile floor, the sounds bouncing off the concrete walls as the girls unexpectedly rushed her. Lexi stumbled back from the weight of their enormous group hug. For a moment, she allowed herself to open up, and lowering her head on top of her students, she soaked up all the good feels.

“Ms. Lexi.” The smallest in the class reached up and pulled something out of the messy bun piled on top of her head. “You have glass in your hair.”

“Oh?” She took the chunk out of the girl’s hand. “Mirror broke.” With assistance from her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s golf club—she had smashed it into a million pieces. She was snatched out of the warm comfort of her hugs when the community center secretary waved from the small window in the door. “Okay, time to go. Take care, girls.”

Determined to not get emotional, Lexi slipped away from the girls’ surprisingly strong grips. Grabbing the doorknob to open the door, she turned back to wave goodbye, leaving her home away from home.

“Ms. Stewart—”

“Waters,” Lexi corrected the nervous woman. She needed to distance herself from her ex-husband’s name ASAP.

“The community center’s director doesn’t understand…”

Flinging the piece of mirror into the janitor’s cart on her way past, Lexi tuned the woman out. Josh had always loved her hair long, but the weight of her curls had grown into a burden. Lexi couldn’t wait to change it. She had narrowed down the haircut she wanted to either a symmetrical chic or a perfect Toni Braxton à la Betty Boop pixie cut.

“Ms. Stewart!” a couple of boys on the basketball court yelled.

She waved at the teens, fighting off the mist in her eyes. The kids were about the only thing she wished she could take with her.

“I’m sorry. What did you say?”

“The officers wouldn’t tell me what they wanted to talk to you about,” she nervously babbled, “but I put them near the back door like you suggested.”

“Did you get the numbers that I sent you?”

As they walked through the corridors of the enormous Inglewood Center, the secretary fumbled with her phone. It took every ounce of Lexi’s patience not to snatch it from her hands. “Moe’s Blues and Jazz, Sugarfoot Moe Waters and or Simone, the manager of the club, correct?”

“Yes, perfect,” Lexi told her.

“And forgive me for being obtuse, but why did you send me these numbers?”

“Bail money.” She walked into the administrator’s front office. Thankfully, there was an exit away from the classroom, where none of the kids could witness their mentor’s arrest. #superembarrassing. “If you would be so kind as to call them and let them know that I will need to be bailed out, that would be awesome.”

“Excuse me?”

“The asshole I will soon be divorced from froze all my assets.” She shrugged. “So, yeah, there’s that.”

“Lexington Stewart?” Two officers waited for her.

“Waters,” she corrected the cop. All she’d done was smash every breakable item in Josh’s secret hideaway. Considering it was her hard work that had paid for that crap, it technically shouldn’t have been a jail-able offense.

“Lexington Waters, you have the right to remain silent.” The stocky officer who demonstrated a severe case of Napoleon complex grabbed her arm a little too harshly and handcuffed her.

For a minute, it crossed her mind to feign innocence, but she was super guilty, because…

Fuck Josh. That’s why!

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Do you want comedy? Romance? Intrigue? Friendships that never die? Because Hawk has all that and more. It’s a beautiful mix of laugh-out-loud moments, swoonworthy yet cheesy romantic bits, a group of friends who would do anything for each other, and an ex-husband who needs to be taught a lesson.

As a fan of 80s movies, I thought Hawk’s love of movies like Flashdance to be adorable. For a big, tough hockey player, inside he was a marshmallow (in a really awesome way). I can’t think of anyone more perfect for Lexi.

Lexi has brains, beauty, and a snarky personality I adored. As the creator of the SugarTech apps and founder of the company, she learned the hard way to take no prisoners and fight for her dreams. But with Hawk, there was a carefree side to her.

If you want to laugh, cry, scream, and sigh with utter contentment, you can’t go wrong with Hawk by Amber Malloy. Five stars, two thumbs up, and zero rotten tomatoes. A fabulous read that will you with a smile on your face (and possibly the desire to go watch a hockey game).

About the Author

Amber Malloy

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

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Release Blitz: Sarah’s Secret by Katherine E. Hunt #eroticromance #BDSM @totally_bound @firstforromance

Sarah’s Secret by Katherine E. Hunt

Book 3 in the Mended Hearts series

Word Count: 12,166
Book Length: SHORT STORY
Pages: 55

Genres:

BONDAGE AND BDSM
COMEDY AND HUMOUR
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS

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Book Description

Sarah has a secret. She’s on the run from some very nasty men. Can she find love—and herself—before her past catches up with her?

Sarah has recently bought a home in Winchester Drive. As is customary for the widows on the street, she has been invited to join The Winchester Widows Sex Club. Beautiful and seductive, she is a popular new addition.

But Sarah has a secret. Her name’s actually Beth, she’s in hiding—with some not-very-nice people on her tail—and she’s not even a widow.

Her estranged husband Marco is an undercover FBI agent, and when he turns up on her doorstep, that can only mean one thing…danger.

Beth is tired of running. She longs to make friends and find love again, which she does when she makes Paul’s acquaintance and finds herself smitten with him. Bonding over romantic TV shows and jigsaw puzzles, they fall deeply for each other.

But the hitman is still out there, and Paul, a law student of a nervous disposition, is not exactly ready for a life on the run.

Beth has to work out what she really wants from the men in her life, move on from her past and allow herself to finally be true to who she is.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence. It is best read in order as part of the Mended Hearts series.

Excerpt

At the scent of his skin, I released the hilt of the knife that was under my pillow.

He’d snuck into my bedroom first thing in the morning, stripped off and gotten under the sheets with me. The man had a death wish.

Marco was a passionate man. Our marriage—short though it had been—had been a never-ending festival of love. When he hadn’t been in bed with me, he’d been by my side, never far away. In retrospect, he’d feared the worst. My background and his were such that eventually, something was going to have to give.

Thus I knew his scent, intimately. It triggered a sensation of tranquility, something I didn’t experience very often while alone in my bed. Just for a second, we were home again, before it had all happened—the calm before the storm.

“Beth.”

“Marco.”

His breath hitched as he snuggled in closer to me. “I don’t have much time.”

Can’t we pretend, just for five minutes, that we are simply husband and wife? A little hot and heavy lovemaking before popping to the shops then spending the afternoon in front of the TV or gardening—or anything that doesn’t involve murderous gangs and guns? That everything was as it had been before I’d come here. “It’s seven a.m. No bad guys are going to drag us screaming from my home during the peak morning rush hour, with school buses and people leaving for work.”

“I have twenty minutes tops.”

Pushing my butt up against his rock-hard dick, I shimmied a little. “Twenty minutes should be enough.” The tiny moan that emanated from his lips was all I needed to know that he agreed.

Despite his brutish appearance, Marco was a sensual lover—Italian. There was nothing like that fiery Latin blood to get me hot, even at this time in the morning.

“Your body haunts my dreams. The thought of holding you once again is the only thing that keeps me going in this stupid life.” He explored every inch of my skin with his warm hands, entering and caressing me with his fingers. It took little action on his part to get me wet for him. Just his presence in my bed was enough to make me need him inside me.

He brushed the back of my neck with his lips, his rough, unshaven skin sending a frisson down my spine.

Parting my legs, he entered me, filling me entirely and reminding me of why I’d married this man. I arched against his body with my head tilted back onto his shoulder. He moved his hand to my chest, holding me tenderly as he fucked me from behind—every stroke, every movement more exciting than the last.

“Il mio amore.” The accent was more Long Island than Lake Garda, but he knew what those words did to me.

“More,” I whispered.

He circled my hardened clit with his fingers, clasping my body to his as the rhythm of his thrusts increased. “Mia cara, ti desidero,” he growled.

I gasped as the orgasm rocked me, and Marco still held me to him. Can he feel every beat of my heart, every flicker of my body?

His thrusts were ferocious, animalistic, and he pounded into me as he came, obviously releasing a need that he’d had for so long.

While I had moved on from our marriage, Marco had never let go of the idea that one day we would be together again. He respected the vows that I had long since chosen to ignore. There was only one woman in his life, and he intended to keep it that way.

But I had had enough.

“I’m not going with you.”

“What?” He pulled out of me then rolled onto his back.

“I have a life here, just like everywhere else. You take me somewhere, leave me to pick up the pieces, make new friends, then just when I get comfortable, you swoop back in and make me leave again.”

“They will kill you.”

“They were your problem, not mine.”

He rolled me around to face him. “Beth, we both know that they will find you. I can’t let that happen.”

Marco. Sweet Marco. A teddy bear wrapped in the body of a heavyweight boxer—big, tough and strong, filled with cotton candy.

“I can handle myself. You know that. In fact, I was doing pretty well before you came along. Why are you here? What have you heard?”

“Enough to know that you’re in danger.” He scratched his ear. The man had a tell. He could convince the entire criminal underworld that he was part of their gang, but I knew when he was lying at twenty paces.

“You’re working for them again.” He fidgeted, looking away. “Fucking hell, Marco, why? After everything that happened.”

“They sent someone here to kill you, Beth. I don’t know who. Someone here is not who they seem.”

I’d met an awful lot of people recently. None of them had struck me as the contract-killer type. Then again, when I’d met Marco, he’d turned out to not be everything he’d purported to be, either. I would have noticed a cold-hearted killer, though. Won’t I?

“This is just another ploy.” I got up from the bed and turned away from him. I didn’t need to look to know that he was checking out my body, probably memorizing every dimple and curve. “We made a choice, Marco. You said you would honor my decision to stop running. You were the one who wanted to give us up. You were the one who left.”

“Beth, I can’t live without you. I thought I could move on, but it’s impossible.”

“Then stay.”

“You know that I can’t do that. It kills me, but I have to bring these guys down.”

“You can’t live without me, but you can’t stay. If it’s so difficult for you to make up your mind, Marco, then you know where the door is.” I left the room. My heart broke a little bit more every time he did this. I’d conceded too many times, agreed to let go of another life and another name—sometimes even a chance at love.

This time it was different. This time I was finally settling in somewhere, making friends. I wasn’t giving up any of this because of another of Marco’s stupid whims.

Fight for me, Marco. Show me I mean more to you than the life you lead, the job you have to do. I went into the bathroom, shut the door and clicked the lock—then I waited for him. Kick the door down. Show me how much you love me. Tell me you’re staying.

I held my hand up to the door, lowered my forehead onto the cold white wood and waited for signs of life. It juddered as he slumped against the other side. Sinking to the floor, I sat in silence…waiting.

I unclicked the lock. There, now it’s even easier for you to come charging in on your white horse. Nothing.

He wasn’t even going to say goodbye. We’d said it a million times before, but this time was definitive. After a while, I could no longer hear him on the other side.

His heart would always beat for me, but for now, it would beat elsewhere.

I lifted my hand instinctively to my mouth as I started to cry, as if to silence myself. I traced my lips. Not even a kiss. My husband had come to me for the very last time, and he hadn’t even kissed me goodbye.

I lifted a loose tile and removed a large box. Marco might be gone, but I had another fight to contend with. The battle was over, but the war was not won, not by a long shot.

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About the Author

Katherine E Hunt

Katherine E Hunt ran off with a Frenchman twenty years ago. She now lives on a French mountain with three children and two dogs. When she isn’t writing contemporary romance she can be found huddled up in front of a roaring fire, with a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and a book in the other.

You can find out more about Katherine on her website.

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New Release Blitz: Wicked Secrets by Angela Addams #BDSM #eroticromance @totally_bound @firstforromance

Wicked Secrets by Angela Addams

Word Count: 53,150
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 202

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY
CRIME
CRIME AND MYSTERY
EROTIC ROMANCE

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Book Description

Lexi had always hidden her dark desires…until she found him.

Lexi Monroe, one of Sabine Cowan’s most valued Kitty Cats, is set to retire from Cowan Enterprises, but just as she leaves her own farewell Kitty Cat party, she stumbles on a secret that could change Sabine’s world forever. But what she discovers is not a secret she can tell Sabine—not until she finds out the whole story. So instead, she enlists the help of hard-hitting, investigative reporter Sam Henderson to get to the bottom of things.

Sam’s always on the hunt for dirty deeds, so he agrees to work with Lexi. It’s not a hardship for him, however, since he’s got a thing for redheads and he finds Lexi simply irresistible. Even though Lexi doesn’t completely trust Sam to have Sabine’s best interests at heart—especially when a juicy story is in play—she believes that ultimately, he’ll always do the right thing. At least, that’s her hope.

Their chemistry is explosive, and in the process of uncovering the whole story, Sam and Lexi delve into their own dark secrets, revealing parts of themselves that they’ve never shared with anyone before. As terrifying as it is to be so vulnerable, both Sam and Lexi understand that the only way to get what they each want is to open themselves up to being hurt. But that’s hard to do when they are both hiding behind layers of defenses.

They must set aside their different approaches to life and love in order to save not only Sabine herself but also everything she’s built in Cowan Enterprises.

Reader advisory: This book contains mentions of violence, catastrophic injury, depression, therapy, murder, and pain management.

Excerpt

If Sam Henderson died this very moment, it would be the death of a sexually frustrated man.

Sitting across from him was the object of his lust—the object of lust for thousands of men—and she was completely out of his league.

“Should we go with an easy question this time or a hard one?” Despite his cool exterior, Sam’s heart was pummeling his chest wall. His body was tight, and not just because his cock was already straining against his zipper. He was taut like elastic that was primed and ready for release.

Lexi Monroe, one of Sabine Cowan’s most popular Kitty Cats, sat in front of him appearing more gorgeous up close than she had in her promo videos—and that was saying a lot. A natural redhead, she was stunning to look at with her pale skin and freckles. She had pink, pouty lips that begged to be kissed and intense blue eyes that could cut a guy in half if he were the kind of guy who got flustered around beautiful women—which, apparently right now, Sam was.

“I like it hard, Sam.” Lexi twitched her lips into a wry grin, like a cat about to pounce on prey. “You’ve been teasing me all morning. Hit me with the hard stuff.”

I like it hard, Sam.

He groaned silently. He’d love to give it to her hard, right here, right now. He’d throw her over the back of that chair and pound her until she moaned.

Buying himself some time, he reached up and stroked his beard then glanced at his phone and his list of questions. “Why don’t you tell us what led to your decision to leave the Kitty Cats?”

When he looked up at her, she was staring intently at him, her focus shifting from him stroking his beard to his eyes. She bit her bottom lip and his whole body coiled tighter.

“She won’t be answering any questions about her decision to leave the Cats, Sam.” Adam, the security guard from hell, didn’t even look up from his phone when Sam snapped an angry look his way. “Or about the accident. I know Sabine set out her expectations with you.”

Fuck!

Sam prided himself on getting all the dirt, and so far in their long friendship, Sabine had blocked him from almost all the secrets she held, which extended right now to Lexi’s secrets as well.

He was no fool. He knew both Sabine and Lexi possessed some doozies. Sabine had built her empire on them, he was sure. But that was speculation on his part, because Sam wasn’t allowed to ask Lexi anything that could, even in some obscure way, uncover anything Sabine didn’t want to be leaked.

Which was why he’d been so damn surprised to receive a summons from the Queen of Sex herself to do an interview with one of her most beloved Kitty Cats.

Lexi was an athlete, a gymnast, a talented one too—or had been up until a year and half ago, when she’d somehow fallen wrong and had broken things that had required multiple surgeries and a lot of physiotherapy. It was another Lexi secret Sam had planned to dig into, but apparently that was not going to happen either.

“All right.” Sam shook his head as he scrolled through the list of questions Sabine had approved. “What would an aspiring Kitty Cat need to do to reach the level of success you have?” He looked up from his phone to find her staring at him again. This time, her gaze was roving over his chest and down one of his arms. She was obviously checking out his ink, and he had to admit that he liked the trail of heat her eyes left as she gave him a good once-over.

“Well, I guess…” Lexi’s voice was wispy, like she was distracted by something she found intriguing. She slowly shifted her gaze back up his body until she met his eyes, sending a jolt straight to his groin. “I suppose you should be open to all possibilities—and you need to be a people person. An aspiring Kitty Cat has to be loyal and really, really good at listening.”

“I’ve heard that you’re one of the best.” Sam clicked his phone off. This was not going the way he’d thought it would. “Which is why it’s so surprising that you’re leaving.”

Adam grumbled. Sam lifted his hand to wave him off.

“Sometimes you just have to move on.” Lexi shrugged, a gesture that looked practiced and full of shit. “It’s time to pursue other things.”

Sam leaned closer, intrigued by the look in Lexi’s eyes. She was lying—that was obvious—but was she lying more to herself or to him? She shifted her eyes to her lap and Sam felt it like a wall coming down between them.

When Sabine had asked Sam to interview Lexi as a farewell expose because the successful Kitty was hanging up her cat ears and calling it quits, he’d had a dozen ideas of how to make the piece explosive. So far, Sam’s questions had mostly been thwarted either by Lexi side-stepping and giving a less-than-intriguing response or Adam outright forbidding an answer. Sabine had wanted Sam to put together a fitting tribute as a farewell for her precious Kitty Cat, but that was looking more and more impossible, thanks to how secretive everyone was being. Sam had already lined up a trendy magazine to take this story, but right now he was honestly thinking that he’d have to back out of that contract, because he was getting nothing juicy to work with.

Sam sat back in his seat and draped his arm along the top of the couch.

Lexi had her hands in her lap, busy plucking with her fingers at invisible lint or something. Am I making her nervous? Or is she uncomfortable being interviewed? Sam had watched Lexi’s promo videos many, many times. He’d researched all the interviews she’d given over the years—which hadn’t been many, but still, in all that footage Lexi had been vivacious, outgoing and always smiling. The woman who sat with him now was a very subdued version of her former self.

“Tell me your most scandalous story, Lexi.” Sam leaned in closer, like they were old friends sharing secrets. He had to pull something tantalizing from this interview.

She flattened her hands on her lap then looked at him with her startling eyes and, once again, he felt like she’d harpooned him and was reeling him closer.

She smelled like apples and cinnamon, and that made his mouth water.

“Give me a secret no one knows. I promise I won’t tell anyone.” He winked.

She laughed, tilting her head back, her hair brushing over her shoulders. Her skin was so soft-looking, and he had the most impulsive urge to reach out and stroke along her arm.

When she looked at him again, her eyes sparkled with mischief, but only for a moment. Adam cleared his throat and she shuttered herself from Sam once again.

“If I told you that, I’d have to kill you.” Her gaze drifted to the windows. “You know I can’t tell you that kind of thing.”

Fuck, Sabine did know how to pick the loyal ones.

Lexi snapped her eyes back to meet his and she had a quirk of a smile on her lips, making him feel like she was playing him in some way he couldn’t figure out. Her eyes were alight with a wickedness that made his cock harden like cement. She leaned forward, almost beckoning him to move even closer to her…like she was about to tell him a secret after all.

Twenty seconds of intensity passed where neither one of them said a word, yet Sam’s senses were piqued and his body revved like he was hitting the gas, even though he had nowhere to go. He wanted to touch her, taste her. He wanted to hear her moan.

She leaned back first, putting distance between them, and Sam swayed toward her. This woman is pure magic.

He cleared his throat. “All right, then tell me what you look for in a man. What kind of bachelor might have some luck with a beauty like you?” He ran his fingers over his beard again, partly to disguise his embarrassment at asking such an amateur question and partly because he could tell that she liked it when he stroked his beard.

“Oh, I don’t know…funny, intelligent, hard-working.”

“Oh, come on, Lexi. That’s not even an answer.” Sam kept his tone light, like he was joking, when in reality he was dying to know the kind of guy who would attract a girl like her. “You might as well describe half the guys in the world.”

She snapped her eyes up and grinned that wicked grin. “Only half?”

He barked a laughed. He liked her sass. He wanted more.

The interview carried on like that for another twenty minutes, and Sam learned about her younger years as a gymnast, the time predating her Kitty Cat life. It was clear to him that she was an athlete at heart and that whatever had happened to her with the accident, and after, had destroyed a part of her in a devastating way.

Sam badly wanted to dig into that, to find out the details surrounding the mystery of her incident, but he knew he wouldn’t be getting that information from Lexi.

“Time’s up.” Adam walked closer, tapping at his phone without looking up. “Lexi has an appointment.”

“I think I’ve got everything I need,” Sam lied. He didn’t want to upset Lexi by saying he had no idea what the point of this interview even was. She’d given him nothing, and it was Sabine’s fault. She’d trained her Kitty Cats to be expert secret keepers.

Adam nodded once then turned and headed to the door. Lexi picked up her small purse then stood. Sam stood as well, not sure if he should shake Lexi’s hand or what. Suddenly everything seemed very awkward.

“Thank you, Sam.” She closed the distance between them.

Lexi was tall, which was unusual for a gymnast and something that she’d talked about in other interviews he’d watched. Her height had been held against her at times in competitions. Of course, she was a decorated gymnast, so she’d proven them wrong in the end, but still, she was supermodel tall, which was something Sam liked a lot. She was lithe and, of course, moved with grace. Sam could stare at her body for hours, mesmerized by how she seemed to float.

She sidled up close to him and invaded all his senses at once. Her body radiated heat, her pupils dilated, her breath, which was as fresh as mint, was hot against his neck. He froze, not wanting to scare her away, but inside he was a volcano of lust, his blood bubbling with desire. The chemistry between them was combustible.

Lexi put her hand on his forearm and leaned in so that her body was practically pressed against his. He could swear he felt her nipples bud against his forearm. Her luscious smell went straight up his nose to short-circuit his brain. She brushed her lips against his ear and whispered, “I’ve always had a thing for beards and tattoos. Maybe I’ll see you around.”

His cock pulsed, a reminder of his aching erection, and it took everything in his power not to chase after her as she walked away. He listened to her heels click on the foyer tiles.

“You’ve got the suite for the rest of the night, Sam. Checkout is eleven tomorrow,” Adam said just before the door whooshed shut.

Sam blew out a breath then ran his hand through his hair. He tugged it free from the tie that bound it at his neck.

Lexi had secrets…big ones. What Sam wouldn’t give to peel back the layers of that fine creature. He had to figure out a way to get close to her again.

Right now, he needed a cold shower—or maybe he needed to indulge himself and rub one off in a hot one instead.

He had his clothes off in record time and was under the hot spray, lathering himself up, his thoughts cycling around Lexi’s sexy voice. “I’ve always had a thing for beards and tattoos.” He groaned as he took his cock in hand and began to stroke himself. “Maybe I’ll see you around.” Fuck, yes, he’d be seeing her again. He wanted to rub his beard all over her body. He’d die to have her trace his tattoos with her tongue.

He’d love to take Lexi from behind, gather her hair in one of his hands and pound her sweet pussy until she screamed. He’d give anything for the chance to lick along every cut and angle of muscle her gorgeous body had until she moaned his name.

His balls tightened and he increased his stroking, applying pressure and letting his mind wander to how good it would feel to have Lexi’s mouth wrapped around his dick. He’d stretch her lips out and he could practically feel the barrier of her throat holding him back until, slowly and steadily, she took him all the way down.

His cum exploded like a fire hose, and he painted the wall of the shower with it. The release felt great—better than great—but it did nothing to abate his desire for Lexi or the ever-cycling thoughts about stripping her down and getting her naked—physically, but also mentally. He wanted to know what made a woman like that tick and he would love a second chance, without an audience, so that he could get to know her more intimately.

But women like Lexi were unavailable to guys like Sam. He was damaged goods, running away from his past—if only because he hated what his family stood for and wanted to put as much distance between his life and theirs as he could. Lexi wasn’t the only one with secrets.

He got himself rinsed off and cleaned up, then got out of the shower and toweled off. His tattoos looked darker when his skin was wet, more vibrant too. He took a minute to appraise his ink. Lexi liked tattoos, and that gave him a surprising jolt of pride. He didn’t have any room left on his arms, shoulders or upper chest, but he’d been planning to add some script to his stomach as soon as he had time to spare. Maybe he’d get that going while he was in Miami.

Lexi’s farewell Kitty Cat party was happening the next night and he could swing for another couple of days in Florida if it gave him the opportunity to do some recon. Obviously, he didn’t have an invite, but that had never stopped him before.

He continued drying off, noting that he still had a semi and could probably go a few more rounds with his hand to fully satiate himself. Now that he’d decided he’d be seeing Lexi again, he kind of wanted to hold off, to deny himself until he figured out how to get close to her.

He left the bathroom butt-naked and found his personal, non-work cell phone. There was one guy he knew would absolutely be at Lexi’s farewell party, and luckily he was an old friend who owed him one. He searched his contacts. He only used this phone on the rare occasion that he needed or desired to touch base with his past life. It had come in handy a time or two to set aside his reporter identity in favor of his actual one. He found the name he was looking for and hit Call.

“Samuel Dove, holy shit, man! How are you?” Devon Caldone was filthy rich—maybe not quite as filthy rich as the Dove family, but up there in terms of having a ridiculous amount of money, more now because of his celebrity status. Devon was a couple of years younger, but they’d gone to school together and he and Sam had been friends of sorts. They’d gone to the same parties, played the same sports, even ended up at the same university and pledged the same fraternity.

“I’m good, man. How are things with you?”

“Never been better! I’m in Miami right now, soaking up the sun, hanging with my girls. Where are you?”

“Miami too, actually.”

“No fucking way! We need to catch up.”

“Yeah, we do. Hey, listen… I heard you’re into those Kitty Cat parties. Do you know if there’s one coming up? I’d like to check it out if they’re as good as I’ve heard.”

“Oh, do I know of one? Hell yes! Tomorrow night, dude! I’ll get you in with my crew! It’ll be like old times. I’ll send a limo. Where are you staying?”

“The Grand.”

Devon whistled. “Of course you are. Only the best for my man, right?” He laughed to himself. “Okay, dude, we’ll swing by to get you around ten. Sound good?”

“Great. Thanks. I’ll catch you later.” Sam hung up, feeling only slightly guilty at the manipulation. It was sinful really, but Devon was desperate for acceptance and had always looked up to Sam. But it was a means to an end.

All he’d have to do was avoid Sabine somehow so she didn’t find out he was there, because if she did, she’d sure as shit have him thrown out immediately. No press was allowed. Luckily, Sabine only knew him as Sam Henderson and had no idea that he was actually Samuel Dove, sole heir to a multi-billion-dollar fortune, a fortune that he wanted very little to do with as long as his father expected him to take over the family business one day.

Sam was no stranger to going undercover. It wasn’t like he’d never played up the rich-guy angle before to get intel he needed, and he’d definitely tapped into his endless resources and connections thanks to his family name, but tomorrow night he’d step into the role of suave, wealthy bachelor, not to get a story, but to get a few minutes alone with the sexy Lexi Monroe.

Okay…maybe also to get a story.

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About the Author

Angela Addams

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

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

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

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

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Release Blitz: Held for the Stud by Vonna Harper #eroticromance #BDSM @totally_bound @firstforromance

Held for the Stud by Vonna Harper

Word Count: 42,592
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 180

GENRES:

BONDAGE AND BDSM
EROTIC ROMANCE
FUTURISTIC

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Book Description

 

A man determined to have his way. A woman in need of taming. The battle begins.

One look at the big, half-wild stallion and Asha vows to ride him. One look at the beautiful stranger sneaking toward his newly acquired stud and Banner vows to teach her that he’s in control.

Banner is a soldier, a man who has experienced little beyond weapons and war, but he and the men he’s responsible for need more than conflict. Otherwise they’ll lose what’s left of their humanity. He turns abandoned ranch land into an escape and offers it to battle-weary fighters.

Nothing will stand in his way, especially not the slight, determined woman who insists that only she can handle Koko. He won’t allow her to risk her life. When she disobeys, he disciplines her. Repeatedly.

Asha loathes the man who brought her, naked, to her knees, but her body isn’t listening.

Reader advisory: This book includes references to sexual harrassment, PTSD and war injury. There are elements of corporal punishment and dubious/ambiguous consent.

Excerpt

What I wouldn’t give to ride him.

His energy and power everywhere, me becoming part of him. Heat, endless heat. Wild all the way to his core. His body in absolute control. No fear or doubt. Potent.

Even with her heart’s jagged pace warning she might be having a stroke, Asha continued to stare at the prime example of maleness. She’d seen unwavering confidence before. Hell, she was pretty damn confident herself. But this…

Not wanting to miss a moment of this rare experience, she willed herself not to blink. The object of her admiration was far enough away that she doubted the stallion was aware of her, but even if he locked his dark eyes on her, she’d go on staring open-mouthed at him. She had no choice.

You don’t have to chase after them, she silently told the stud. Females will always do whatever they think it takes to convince you to breed with them. You can be selective. You assess and most times reject because you know there’ll always be another. Only the best will do.

Sweat pooled at the base of her throat while another kind of moisture soaked her panties’ crotch. From first glance she’d known she couldn’t be objective about him, but she hadn’t realized her reaction would be so primal.

She’d caress that sleek dark flesh, run her fingers through long, coarse hair, climb onto his back and ride him until there was nothing left of both of them.

As if reading her thoughts, the stallion stared at her, a front hoof furiously attacking the ground. He wasn’t quite coal black, but close, with a tail that swept the ground and a rich, thick mane. Do it, he seemed to say. Take the chance.

“You’re tempting me.”

He whinnied, the sound sharp. His muscles repeatedly knotted as he continued his attack.

“There’s a mare in heat somewhere, isn’t there? You sense her. Maybe you smell her.”

Barely aware of what she was doing, Asha jammed her hands in her jeans’ back pockets. The gesture tightened the fabric against her crotch and brought her attention back to herself. “Is that it? You’re primed for breeding? You can’t think of anything else. Hot blood runs through you all the time, keeping you keyed-up. You’d service an entire herd if they let you.”

Head high and thick neck arched, the stallion pranced closer. There was a wooden fence between them, but even if it hadn’t been there, she wouldn’t have shied away.

“You don’t intimidate me. That’s because it’s possible I know more about how you’ll behave than you do. I respect you, but you need to do the same.”

The animal stopped and again beat at the ground. He shook his head, eyes showing more white now.

“You want to run, don’t you? Gallop without this corral hemming you in. Work off some of that energy. Believe me, I get it.”

Head now cocked to the side, the stallion seemed to be considering her proclamation. She took him to be a little over sixteen hands high and probably thirteen hundred pounds, the majority of it muscle. The way his coat shone, people who didn’t know horses would assume he got a lot of grooming, but his hooves were ragged, his mane and tail tangled.

“I’m guessing your coloring has a lot to do with why you were picked for stud service. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on. That’s why you aren’t out with the herd.”

Frowning, she fingered the lock on the corral door. She’d been looking for him since she’d ventured onto the mysterious place known as Escape, her attention initially drawn to whistles and thuds. Thanks to her career, she’d concluded she was listening to an agitated or aroused horse. The sounds and air of energy had drawn her magnet-like to this remote section of the acreage.

“It probably doesn’t matter to you, but I’ve been listening to you for a while, feeling you in my muscles and bones, letting you command me.”

Command. Yes, that was what it had been. Like a starving woman with the scent of something on a barbeque filling her senses, she’d made the decision to let instinct have its way with her. She had no business being here, but who would run her off? At what she understood was over a hundred acres, chances were she was the only human on most of them. It hadn’t been called Escape for long. A lot of mystery surrounded who owned it. She figured farmers or ranchers acquired the land which was dotted with a couple of barns and a sprawling older house.

Not that she should give a damn.

Command.

Pushing her hair out of her eyes—someday, maybe, she’d figure out how to contain the auburn mass that reached the middle of her back—she gripped the top board and gave the stud her full attention. She wanted him, to own and ride him, to love him and earn his respect. She’d slip a rope around his muscled neck and guide him to a tree stump or boulder. Using his mane for leverage, she’d half haul and half boost herself onto him. She’d settle her crotch on his broad back and tighten her thighs against testosterone-filled muscles. She’d weave fingers made strong from a lifetime of physical labor into his mane, lean forward and whisper in his alert ears.

“Run for me. Race the wind. Gather your legs under you and take us over the fence. Free both of us. Gallop until your lungs heave and I’m hoarse from screaming my delight.”

Her breath snagged, her cheeks burned and her muscles bunched in reaction to what she was certain the stallion was capable of. Her already charged pussy got into the act, muscles clamping down. Her nipples hardened and she gave up trying to close her mouth.

As if reading her thoughts, the stallion pranced even closer. He was all sexual energy, every inch of him leaving no doubt that he’d been created to excel at one task. She’d seen more stallions than most people, but there was something outstanding about this creature.

“You’re making me crazy.”

She should ask herself if she really wanted to confide in the stallion, but right now it was too much effort. She started to drop to her knees in preparation for wriggling under the fence when a shiver of sensation along her spine stopped her. Was someone watching? Assessing and judging her? She looked left, right, behind her and as far into the distance as she could. She didn’t see anything worthy of alarm but she’d been in enough precarious situations that she knew better than to dismiss what her nerves were trying to tell her.

To hell with it! Touching the stallion was more important.

Breathing quickly, she wriggled under the fence. As she straightened, the stallion pranced back.

“You can’t be afraid of me. I know it isn’t that. You just have trouble containing all that energy. God, but you’re magnificent. Devil and angel in one package.”

Talking took too much effort so she concentrated on wiping dirt off her jeans. Thinking she probably wouldn’t see anyone today, she hadn’t bothered with a bra, but then she rarely wore one. She was a C-cup, which meant people would notice, but bras weren’t worth the expense when being true to herself meant so much. Her untethered breasts and hard-as-hell nipples were clearly visible under the wear-softened cotton T-shirt.

If she were one for introspection this would be when she’d question why she’d decided to spend her day off exploring Escape. However, between being more than a little worn down from the long hike and her reaction to the stallion, she wasn’t sure she knew what she was thinking.

“Do you know what the phrase sex appeal means?” she asked the stallion. “What a woman is trying to get a man to understand when she tells him she’s turned on? Going by my less-than-extensive experience, I’m not an expert when it comes to putting out the right vibes.”

She clamped down on a chuckle. Her suspicion that some man might have his eye on her right now had twisted her thinking a bit. So she wasn’t as experienced regarding the opposite sex as she’d like people to believe. That was her business and had nothing to do with the moment. If a man was watching, he could come to his own conclusion. It wasn’t as if she had to have anything to do with him.

She again slid her hands into her back pockets. Fabric tightened.

“I don’t know if I’m going to sleep tonight. I’m also not sure I care. Damn, but you’re beautiful. One of a kind.” She paused as a surge of something hot ran through her. “Right now, I’d give anything to be a mare.”

As if agreeing with her, the big, black, glistening creature stretched out a densely muscled neck. Holding her breath, she dragged her right hand out of her pocket and extended it toward him. Warm, moist air caressed her fingers and sent a fresh frisson of excitement into her.

“Will you let me ride you? I didn’t bring a bridle or saddle, but I’ve ridden bareback more times than otherwise. As for a bridle…”

The thought of pushing a metal bar between those white teeth made her shudder. She didn’t want to command him in any way. As long as she was astride him, he’d be in control. She’d trust him not to throw her, to know she preferred a canter over a trot and a gallop over everything else. Together they’d run like the proverbial wind and win every race.

The stud drew her fingers into his mouth. She embraced the moment.

“I know you. I think in some regard I always have.”

Tears she didn’t know she had in her burned. Blinking repeatedly, she struggled not to let them loose. When they continued to threaten, she withdrew her damp hand and stroked his neck where muscles and veins pulsed. Maybe she could go from standing flat-footed to being astride him on will alone. She tightened a hand around the rough mane and crouched in preparation for springing. Nothing else mattered. In one or two seconds she’d—

“Don’t even think it!”

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About the Author

Vonna Harper

What prompts a mild-mannered mostly law abiding woman to write erotica and erotic romance, a lot revolving around BDSM and capture/bondage? Is it the complex issue of taking or giving up control?

Vonna Harper doesn’t know and she has given up trying to find the answer. It’s enough that many readers are drawn to what some call the dark side. All she asks is that readers understand she writes fiction–a brand of fiction she finds fascinating.

Vonna has lost count of the number of books, novellas, and short stories she’s written. What she has no doubt of, it’s a hell of a ride.

You can follow Vonna on Facebook.

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Release Blitz: In a Devil Bind by Makayla Roberts #eroticromance #suspense @totally_bound @firstforromance

In a Devil Bind by Makayla Roberts

Word Count: 66,127
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 242

GENRES:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
ANGELS AND DEMONS
CONTEMPORARY
CRIME AND MYSTERY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MYSTERY
THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

 

It has been one hell of a week.

With a serial killer on the loose and her carnal needs spiraling out of control, the last thing Detective Cheyenne Wilcox needs is to be deterred. As her cursed fate would have it, she gets the biggest hindrance of all when she winds up drugged with a spell that prevents her from moving more than six feet away from none other than Thorne Lucifer—an egotistical playboy whom she hates more than anything. Perhaps it was a good thing he didn’t remember her from the past, because the moment they manage to find a way to break the spell, she’s going to go above and beyond to erase all traces of him from her life…again.

Chey is one hot succubus, but her detached attitude is nothing but a nuisance to Thorne. Plus, having her following him everywhere presents a threat to his hard-earned reputation as Elysium’s most eligible bachelor. However, he can’t deny the sizzling attraction between them, or the fact that her feistiness only makes him eager to have her submit to him.

There’s a fine line between lust and love, and though Chey seems determined to keep things casual until the spell is broken, for the first time in his life, Thorne is leaning more toward the latter.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, stalking and murder. It is best read as book two in The Lucifer Brothers series.

Excerpt

Waking up in a stranger’s bed was nothing new to Thorne Lucifer. At age eighty and some change, sex was one of the few things he had to keep from dying of boredom most days. If someone asked him to count how many lovers he’d taken in the past year alone—hell, the past month—he couldn’t even give two names. They all came and went—pun intended.

On this occasion, however, he couldn’t recall a day in his life when he’d awakened chained to a stranger’s bed with a splitting headache and a bad case of nausea, having been stripped down to nothing more than his socks. With a grunt, he squinted his eyes open, sighing with relief when the only lights he could make out were from a handful of dim candles that had been placed on top of a wooden dresser. He didn’t think his hangover would be very kind to him if he’d been encased in full illumination. A faint orange glow shone from the open door across from him—a bathroom, most likely.

He soon became aware of his other senses. Something smelled like mildew, piss and the very ass of hell. There was the sound of shuffling and scraping, though it was very light. It was distant, perhaps coming from another room.

Something cold and wet soaked one side of his head, so he turned a bit to spot a clear zipped bag filled with water, though the outside was coated in condensation.

Aw, his lover had been considerate enough to give him an ice pack for his hangover. How sweet.

With a snort, he waited until his vision cleared further before taking in his surroundings—moldy walls with chipped paint that had lost color long ago, a busted bubble-back TV, a crooked painting of a bland flower and furniture covered in stains that came from only-the-gods-knew what. Even the bed he was on was lumpy and uncomfortable, resulting in a deep ache in his lower back. A pile of sharp rocks would have been preferable.

He crinkled his nose in disgust. While he wasn’t as particular about his sex partners as his uptight brothers were, he was damn sure not down with doing business in raggedy motel rooms. He was a classier dude than that. He’d screw his partner in a dark alley and send her on her way before bedding down in one of these shitholes.

What gives?

He frowned, images of the previous night coming back in bits and pieces. He’d gone to one of his favorite bars on the east side of town after leaving work. It had been a slow Saturday, so he’d wanted to go out for some drinks to pass the time. He was a big drinker, so throwing back shot after shot hadn’t even given him a buzz. Instead, it’d put him in a horny mood, and he’d been scanning the crowd for the hottest woman to take home for a night of fun. If he were lucky, he would have found two of them.

It hadn’t taken long before he’d spotted a petite blonde sashaying toward him. She hadn’t been the only one interested, of course. Despite being a Lucifer, his devilishly handsome looks and easy smile always aided him in attracting the opposite sex. But that woman had been a nymph—his favorite. He’d sensed that right off the bat and wasted no time ordering a drink for her while they made small talk.

Everything went blurry from there. He vaguely recalled her leading him to the dance floor, grinding against his dick in tune with the music. Then they were outside and…everything went blank.

Frown deepening, he realized the wench must have slipped something into one of his drinks. He glanced down at his naked body, checking for any damage. Nothing. Not even a little nick from a needle drawing blood. He grunted, pushing himself up the musty pillows.

Well, damn. If she hadn’t cut him open in his sleep, what the hell had she drugged him for? He’d already planned on screwing her brains out, so if she’d thought to use him for sex, it was pointless.

“Yo, nympho. You there?” he called, his voice rough from waking up. “You can unchain me now.”

Of course, he didn’t receive an answer. However, there was another collection of shuffling and thumping from the other room. He tugged on the chains binding his wrists in a way that made him look like he was being fucking crucified. A quick glance around showed a key on the nightstand next to him, and he sighed.

An ice pack and the key to free himself. How freaking considerate of her.

As he unlocked his chains, he grumbled a series of expletives under his breath, all directed at the vixen who’d caused this. While he didn’t mind being used for sex, he’d be damned if he’d let it slide that someone had drugged him and left him in such a dank room. He didn’t even know where he was. The blondie better pray he didn’t find out her identity. He might be known as a pretty laid-back man, but he damn sure wasn’t one to be crossed.

Freed, he stood and bent his body this way and that to inspect his backside for any blemishes. It wouldn’t surprise him to find his back and ass ate up by bed bugs. He didn’t see any, but he wouldn’t hold his breath on that one. The longer he stood in the room, the grosser his skin felt.

He spotted his pants and shirt thrown over the back of an armchair and swiftly donned them, sneezing as a chill washed over him. Great. Not only were his surroundings filthy beyond repair, but there was also a draft. The top of his head felt cold as ice, despite the rest of the room feeling like a damn furnace. He pulled on his shoes and spotted his leather jacket tossed on top of the half-broken dining table. Next to it sat his cell phone and wallet, and a quick check showed that his battery had a little juice—and nothing was missing from his wallet, not even a single torq.

Before he could reach for his jacket, he paused at the sound of someone knocking—not at the front door but the one that connected his room to another.

Tensing in preparation to kick someone’s ass, he strolled over and unlocked the latch, then threw the off-white panel open. “You have two seconds to explain what—”

Thorne stumbled backward as someone crashed into him. “Fuck,” a female growled against his chest before shoving him away. Dressed only in a black bra and panties, she clutched the side of her head, her hand coming away with blood. “Fuck! I’m going to kill them. Ohhh, someone is going to fucking die tonight.”

He stiffened when she looked at him, her dark eyes mere slits of coal. She bared her teeth like a wild animal. “Did you have something to do with this?” She flashed him her palm.

He cocked one eyebrow and jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “I just woke up tied to the bed, lady. Not sure what the hell’s going on.” He narrowed his eyes, taking her in. She wasn’t the nymph, that was for sure. That woman had been blonde with sparkling green eyes and alabaster skin. The one before him was the total opposite. “Did you have something to do with this?”

She grumbled a curse and rushed over to his bathroom, dismissing his presence. Despite the strangeness of the circumstances and the amount of blood and dirt covering her, Thorne couldn’t help the way his gaze dropped to her rear. Hey, he was a man, after all, and he’d always loved his women with bigger assets—special emphasis on the ‘ass’ portion.

The thong she wore was shaped against her like a custom fit, the lush globes jiggling with each step she took. Her lower back had two dimples, another thing he’d always liked on women. What bits of almond-colored skin he could see looked smooth to the touch, everything tight with lean muscles that spoke of a regular exercise routine. Her raven hair was parted down the middle and pulled into two thick braids that fell nearly to her waist.

His dick grew a bit hard while he followed from a safe distance as she entered the bathroom.

Snatching up a half-empty water bottle from the sink, she grabbed a washcloth and wet it, then began to dab at her wound with light touches. “Those motherfuckers,” she jeered, wincing in pain when she applied pressure.

Thorne leaned against the doorjamb of the bathroom. “Do you have even the slightest clue what’s going on here? I can’t remember shit from last night.”

She scoffed. “That’s because somebody drugged you.”

“No shit. I’m asking who did it—and why.”

She tossed the bloodied towel aside before turning to face him. He tried to keep from gaping at her full breasts, which were barely contained by her lacy bra. She pouted, then planted one fist on her hip with no shame whatsoever at her lack of clothing. “Do you see this?” She pointed to her bleeding temple.

Forcing his gaze away from the breasts, Thorne grimaced at the deep gash struggling to knit itself closed. It was a wonder she was even conscious, given how much blood soaked her. A wave of nausea rolled through him. “Yeah, that’s gross.”

She twisted her lips into a grim line. “Those bastards are dead when I get my hands on them. Do you hear me? D-E-A-D.” Before he could ask what she meant, she eyed him with caution. “You’d better get yourself checked. From what I know about devils, you guys can regenerate, but you can still catch an infection.”

He frowned, doing everything he could to keep himself from throwing up. The bleeding had slowed to a stop, but the raw pink tissue lying beneath was what sickened him. “What are you talking about? I’m fine.”

She lifted a brow, peering at the top of his head. “Sure, you are, Thorne.”

With that, she slid past him and made her way back to her room. Thorne frowned after her. “How do you know my name?” He didn’t bother trying to hide the suspicion in his voice. He’d be lying if he said she looked familiar. He’d come across so many women in his life that there was no telling who she was. Then again, there were few people who didn’t know him. He was a Lucifer, after all. Their name was known far and wide as they sat atop the pillar of the Big Four families in Sheol. “Have we met before?”

She snorted in derision. “If you have to ask that, then no.” She didn’t even hesitate as she stepped over the threshold.

Thorne meant to follow her to get more information, but he paused at the sight of himself in the broken mirror. All the color drained from his face as he blinked at his reflection.

There, on the top of his head, was the worst monstrosity he’d seen since…since…hell if he knew. He couldn’t even think of the proper words to compare it to, but it was disastrous.

His horns. His beautiful, six-inch, curved horns that held engraved patterns that were a proud sign of maturity and virility…

One was missing. Gone. Cut from his head, leaving him looking like a lopsided freak of nature. Like a fucking unicorn or something.

At the top of his lungs, he bellowed, “What the fuck!

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About the Author

Makayla Roberts

Makayla’s love for reading began at the age of twelve when her mother introduced her to the world of mystical creatures. From then on, she discovered a talent for turning her own imagination into words. From fanfictions to short stories to full-length novels and novellas, if she wasn’t focused on school activities, she was either reading or writing.

Raised on the coast of Mississippi, Makayla juggles her everyday life between work and being a mom. In her free time, she enjoys binge watching criminal suspense shows, shopping, painting, wood burning, and of course, working on her books.

Makayla enjoys writing stories with strong elements of romance, adventure, and paranormal. Vampires, shifters, fairies, dragons—she loves them all!

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