Daily Archives: 05/07/2016

UPCOMING EVENT ~ Manchester Author Event & Gig 2016

Manchester Author
Event & Gig
2016

#MAE2016
 
 
The signing and gig will take place in a large marquee measuring 21 x 15 metres, with a smaller marquee accommodating the beer tent & refreshments.
 
Afternoon tea of sandwiches and cakes will be available to purchase, through the day.
An ice-cream van is also going to be onsite.
All day tickets and the evening gig tickets include a burger, hot dog, and side dishes at the evening event. Additional food may be bought
The signing will take place on Saturday the 13th of August 2016, at the Red Rose Steam Society Ltd. Mining Museum in Astley Green, Manchester, M29 7JB.
Through the day an author book signing will take place, with morning and afternoon sessions available.
 
Join our group on Facebook to keep up to date with this years event and plans for 2017
 
 
Morning session will run 11 am – 1.30 pm, afternoon 2.30 pm – 5 pm, or an option for an all-day ticket.
There will be a break between 1.30 – 2.30 pm for dinner, to enable attendees, helpers and authors alike to have a break.
LUNCH BREAK  1.30 – 2.30 pm (All readers will be requested to leave the signing marquee and return after)
 
ALL TICKETS WILL BE SCANNED FOR ENTRY AND YOU WILL BE GIVEN A COLOUR CODES WRIST BAND. DUPLICATES/PHOTOCOPIES OF TICKETS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AND ANYONE TRYING TO ENTER WITH A PHOTOCOPIED TICKET WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE EVENT.
 
 
The Saturday evening event is in the form of a gig, which will begin at 7 pm and run through to 11.30 pm. Alongside the music we will have a spoken word artist reading to the audience.



On site there will be food and drink available.
More details on the Facebook page & website.
We are also going to be hosting a raffle on the day of the signing, and all winners will be announced on the evening. Raffle prizes will include signed paperbacks, a specially commissioned painting, scrapbook signed by authors that attended the Leeds signing in 2016, a kindle cover signed by authors at the Liverpool pop-up signing event, Kindle HD, eBooks, Amazon vouchers, superstore vouchers, t-shirts, vouchers for meals at local venue, and more prizes will be announced closer to the event.
All monies raised from the raffle will be donated to the local Scout & Guide Troop.
Two charities will benefit from a percentage of the profits for this event. Part to the Mining Museum itself, and the other to MIND.
 
Morning admission £12.50
 
Afternoon Admission £12.50
 
Standard all day ticket £22,00
 
All day, Gig, Goody bag, BBQ (Hot dog, burger and side dishes) £35.00
 
Evening ticket BBQ (burger, hotdog and side dishes) £15.00
 
This exciting event is going to be taking place at The Red Rose Steam Society Ltd. mining museum, on the outskirts of Manchester, just off the A580/East Lancs Road. This is the main trunk road between Manchester and Liverpool.
 
Tickets are available to purchase now via Eventbrite.

 

We have seven models booked already to add to the fun.
 

Models attending are:

 

Matt Stobbs
Alex Jordan
Erin Urban
Jay Woolaway
Stefan Northfield
Martin Nelson
 
 
 
 
 

 
Authors confirmed for the event are:
 
 
Alice Raine
Bella Settarra
C.L. Bentham
Christoph Fischer
Claire C. Riley
D.A Lascelles
D.M. Midgley
D.M. Wolfenden
Dawn A Keane
Elena Matthews
Elisabeth Marrion
Gary Edward Gedall
Glenn Haigh
Hayley Oakes
Helen Bright
H J Daly
Holly J Gill
Iain Parke
Ian Jackson
Isobelle Cate
J F Holland
J.L. Ostle
John Lynch
Julia Ibbotson
K A Hobbs
K L Shandwick
Karen Frances
Kitty Mulholland 
Laura Morgan / L.C Morgan
Lavinia Urban
Lisa J Hobman
Lynn Gerrard / The Grumbling Gargoyle
Martin Tracey
Mina Carter
Miriam Khan
Morton Morelli
Neil Winnington
Olga Núñez Miret
Samantha Harrington
S.E.Marley-Walton
Scarlett Flame
Simon Parker
Stevie Turner
T L Wainwright 
Victoria Blisse
Victoria Howard
Victoria L. James
Zak Jane Keir
 
 
 

An eclectic mix of genre will be at this event.


 
Artists confirmed to play are:


 Joe Symes And The Loving Kind
 

 

The Reveurs
 
 

Mog Stanley




 Officer




Vicki Wood
 
 
 
 
 
will be with us all day on the day
 

 


Love to see you there

Love N Stuff


Scarlett


xXx



 

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Holding His Forever by Alexa Riley

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Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA  Amazon AU

 

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Derek aka Phoenix is a New York City firefighter and has dedicated his life to saving people. When he loses two of his men in the line of duty, he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to see the light again.

 

However, when an angel in the form of a woman named Fia appears before him, his world as he knows it is turned upside down.

 

Fia has been working hard to make money so she can finish her last semester of school. A fire in her building sets her back to square one, but the fireman who saves her turns out to be more than she ever expected.

 

Once he gets his arms around her, there’s no letting go. Because when you’ve got your forever in your arms, nothing else matters.

 

Warning: This is hot and fast insta-love that ignites the pages. It’s burning heat that combusts into an inferno of lava.
Okay, that’s all the fire words I could come up with.
Now insert a pun about a big hose. It’s quick, dirty, and ridiculously over the top.


 


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Chapter 1 *Fia*

“You finish your shit, Fia?”

Sam’s gravelly voice from years of smoking barks from behind me as I hang up the phone in his back office. A mixture of annoyance and relief fills me. I really didn’t want to have to cover Kim’s shift at the women’s shelter tonight and was thankful she was able to make it in. I would have done it if they needed me; I’d do anything for that place. But I’m dead on my feet as it is. I’ve been on my feet for the past twelve hours and haven’t slept in over twenty-four, and it would be my luck that if I went back to the shelter, it would be a busy night.

“Already clocked out.” I turn to look at Sam, whose eyes are trained on my ass. He slowly pulls them up to my face as a smirk plays at his lips, showing off his yellow-tinted teeth, not a care that he’s openly running his eyes over my body. Sadly, I’ve become used to it. It still creeps me out, but he’s never tried anything.

Or maybe my luck is about to change, I think, as he shuts the door to his office, trapping me in. The door is always open. The waitresses here at Moe’s always keep our stuff stored back here, where we clock in and out for our shifts.

“You think about my offer?” He cocks his head to the side like he’s giving me the world, not a management position at the diner. I’d stay later after waiting tables and help with paperwork and orders and get a raise, but I think Sam has a few more strings he wants to add to the position, things I want no part of. I’ve turned down the offer twice now, but he keeps telling me to think on it.

Normally I just mumble a, “no, thanks,” on my way out the door, but now it’s closed and I’m trapped. Trapped with a man twice my age, maybe even pushing three times my age. It’s hard to tell with his shaved head. He’s double my size, and I don’t mean in muscle or height. No, there’s a lot of gut on old Sam.

“I really don’t have the time.” I tell him the same thing I’ve said every time it’s been brought up. At least, not without giving up my shifts at the shelter, and that’s not something I’m willing to do, even if the pay is way worse over there. I love that shelter. I owe them so much after what they did for my mother and me. I’m just thankful they pay me at all, because I would do it for free. I hope that one day I can do it for free, but at the moment that just isn’t possible if I want to keep a roof over my head and food on my plate.

“We’ll cut your serving time,” he suggests, taking a step towards me. I try to match his in retreat but only hit the desk. I don’t want to cut my serving hours only to spend more time with him in his cramped little office alone. Hell, I’ve been in here for two minutes and I feel like I’m having a panic attack. I can feel my heartbeat pick up speed. My anxiety grows with each pull of my breath. I know all too well how men act when they don’t get the responses they want. I’ve seen it for years with my own father and how he treated my mother.

I just shake my head again, trying to push the words past my lips. “I really” My words are cut short when Tracy throws open the door.

“Who in the hell put the” She stops abruptly when she sees us both standing in the tiny office. Her eyes narrow, going back and forth between us. Tracy has been working at the diner for years. She trained me a few months back, and many might even think she owns the place by how she pushes everyone around. And I’m pretty sure she and Sam have a thing. I stay out of her way. I want my tables and tips and nothing more from this place. It’s a means to an end. A slow means, but I’m getting there, dollar by dollar, and this place has the best tips I’ve come across so far, so I put up with it.

“I’m having a meeting.” Sam turns to look at her. Tracy purses her lips at him, clearly not liking what he’s saying.

“No, it’s fine. I really should be going. I’ll miss the bus,” I lie. I always walk home. I grab my purse and coat and don’t even bother to put them on. I just hold them close to my body over my cheap polyester uniform that fits a little too snuggly on me. “Maybe Tracy would like the manager position,” I throw out.

“What!” Tracy half-screams, her face scrunching up. I steal the moment to slip past them both as fast as I can and out the side door of the diner, into the chilled night. The street is empty now that it’s almost midnight on a Tuesday.

I slip my coat on and make the half-mile walk to my apartment, which sits over an old laundromat. Locking the door behind me, I waste no time pulling my uniform from my body and tossing my tips from tonight on the table before jumping into the shower. I have to get the smell of grease off my hair and body. I let the warm water run over me, relaxing my muscles as I wash away the day’s work.

When I’m done I grab a shirt and a pair of panties and pull them on. I sit at the small fold-out table in my half kitchen, if you can call it that. It doesn’t even have a full refrigerator, just one of those tiny ones you find in a hotel, which is probably where it came from. There’s a small sink and microwave, and that’s about it. My exhaustion outweighs my hunger as I count my tips. A hundred dollars on a double shift for a Tuesday isn’t too bad. Every dollar counts at this point. I’m so close to being able to pay for my last semester of college. Twelve more credits and I’m done, I remind myself. I can do this.

I grab the money and place it carefully, along with yesterday’s money, between the pages of a book I keep on the table. I still need to go to the bank and deposit it. After that, I walk the few feet to my bed in the corner of the room and fall face first into the cushioned surface.

“I miss you, Mom,” I whisper into the pillow before sleep takes me.



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Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.

They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!

 

Author Links


Twitter
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RELEASE DAY BLITZ ~ Southern Spice by Jeannette Winters


Blurb
 

Derrick Nash knows the pain of loss. But is he seeking justice or revenge over his loss? He doesn’t care as long as someone pays the price. 
 
It is Casey Collin’s duty at FEMA to help those in need when a natural disaster strikes.  After a tornado hits Honeywell, she finds there are more problems than just storm damage. Will she follow company procedures or her heart?
Can Derrick move forward without the answers he’s been searching for? Can Casey teach him how to trust again? Or will she need to face the fact that not every story has a happy ending?



Purchase Links

Amazon

Amazon UK


 

About The Author 
Jeannette was born into a big family in northern Rhode Island, where she still makes her home.  Deciding against following her mother’s footsteps, she raised a single – and wonderful! – son. By day she works in marketing, and by night she writes steamy romances.
 
She loves visiting historical monuments with good friends and family, and comes home to the best dogs in the world.
 

 

RELEASE BLITZ – Alaskan Den Men (Series 2)

 
 
 
Series: Alaskan Den Men #2

Authors: Various

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
 Release Date: July 5, 2016
 
Series Blurb

Six Alaskan Werebear Dens, Eighteen Shifter Happily Ever Afters…
The Alaskan Den Men are some of the hottest werebears you’ve ever encountered. These gruff and growling shifters live and hunt in six different dens throughout the backwoods of Alaska.

And the Alaskan outback has never been so wild! Because these rugged alpha males are about to meet their mates—some seriously sexy and sassy heroines who live to bring out the beast in their men.Get ready for six best selling, award winning, and rising star authors bringing you eighteen brand-new, sizzling paranormal romances that are sure to keep you up all night!

 
 
 
 

 

Series Links
 
 

 

 
 

 

Title: Bear to Need
Series: Kodiak Den #2
Author: Amy Lamont

Blurb

Tattoo artist Juliet Bellamy found the perfect way to get over being dumped—spending one hot night with a sexy Special Forces soldier on leave from deployment, no strings attached, no numbers exchanged. And it worked. Right up until she realized the rugged werebear left her with a little surprise. One that arrived nine months after the night they shared. And now Juliet’s been on the hunt for the handsome shifter ever since the stick turned blue.

Security expert Mason Hunter never forgot his wild night with the curvy beauty he met when he was trying to deal with a mission gone bad. When he returns to his hometown of Kodiak, Alaska after his discharge, all his werebear instincts are telling him to find her. Turns out to be easier than he imagined when Juliet shows up in Kodiak, ready to hire Mason’s new security firm to help locate her son’s father.

Is it coincidence that brought them together twice now or is fate stepping in to make sure these two see they’re destined for each other and the love of a lifetime?

 
 

Purchase Links

AMAZON: US / UK

Author Bio

Amy Lamont writes contemporary romance about quirky heroines and hunky heroes. Over the years she’s had some jobs she loved (working as a program coordinator for a non-profit animal rescue), some jobs she liked (freelance writing), and some jobs she hated (her experience as a waitress has turned her into the excellent tipper she is today). But nothing gives her greater joy than writing romances that pack an emotional punch and come with a guaranteed happily ever after. Amy lives in New York with her husband, twin daughters, and two rescue mutts. She loves chatting with readers.

Author Links
 

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER
MAILING LIST / FACEBOOK GROUP

 


 

 

Title: Mine To Bear
Series: Icy Cap Den #2

Author: Jennifer Hilt

 

Blurb

As CEO of a tech company, ice bear shifter Dane Barlow deals in numbers and cold, hard facts. But that’s before he’s appointed acting sheriff of Icy Cap, Alaska and tasked with stopping the murderous succubus who shares his darkest secret. Throw in a scorching fling with the foxy shifter he’s always regretted giving up and suddenly the facts just don’t add up.

Arctic fox shifter Trudy has her own reasons for wanting to catch the succubus. Not the least of which is getting to work side-by-side with her sexy ex. But just when she thinks she might get a second chance at love with her possessive shifter with benefits, Dane’s past catches up with them.

Will Dane be able to gain back Trudy’s trust before the succubus takes away everything he’s ever wanted?

ADD TO GOODREADS

Purchase Links

AMAZON: US / UK

Author Bio

Ever since reading “Jane Eyre” as a teenager, Jennifer Hilt has loved romances with spunky heroines and brooding heroes. Armed with MA in English Literature, she accumulated a half dozen unpublished novels before writing a gay romance series under a pen name. Her paranormal shifter novellas, part of the “Alaskan Den Men” multi author series, will be published in June 2016.

 

Author Links
 

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER
GOODREADS / PINTEREST


 
 
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PRE-ORDER BLITZ ~ Hard Rules (A Dirty Money novel) by Lisa Renee Jones

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Hard Rules

Dirty Money #1
by Lisa Renee Jones

Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 

Hard Rules

How bad do you want it?

The only man within the Brandon Empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family’s business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek, wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.

Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret could destroy them both.

 

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There’s no such thing as good money or bad money.
There’s just money.

— Lucky Luciano

 

CHAPTER ONE

Shane

I park the silver Bentley convertible, which my father gifted me last year for saving his ass, into my reserved spot in the garage of the downtown Denver high-rise building owned by our family conglomerate, Brandon Enterprises. It’s a car he and I both know was far more about his attempt to drag me to the dark side, and aligning me with his way of doing business, than the thank-you for keeping his ass out of jail. I’d have refused the damn thing if my mother hadn’t begged me to take it, insisting I’d bruise him when he’s already fragile and cancer-ridden. Like my father ever fucking bruises and he damn sure isn’t fragile. And if he knew I’d coddled him, he’d most likely spit in my face, and tell me I’m a disappointment.

Killing the engine, I exit the vehicle and stare at my older brother’s white 911 Porsche, also a gift from my father, ironically and most likely for getting us into the very mess I’d returned to Denver to clean up. Jaw clenched, I shove my keys into the pocket of the gray two-thousand-dollar suit I’d bought back in New York, a reward to myself for winning a high-profile case for one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. I wore it today to remind myself that I’m a few well-played cards from conquering the challenge I took when I returned home: Becoming the head of the family empire when my father retires and replacing all the dirty money running through six of the seven asset companies with good, clean, cash. Namely, the revenue produced by Brandon Pharmaceuticals, or BP, the newest asset I’d forced into acquisition only three months ago.

I head toward the elevators, when my cell phone buzzes with a text. Fishing it from my jacket pocket, I glance down to read a message from my secretary, Jessica: Seth just called. Needs to speak to you urgently. I told him you had a meeting at the BP division this morning and he hung up on me. Knowing Seth, he’ll show up at your meeting. Seth was the one person I brought to the company with me, and the only person other than Jessica who I trust now that I’m here.

I punch the call button for the elevator, and dial Seth. “I’m pulling into the BP parking lot now to see you,” he says by way of greeting.

“I just pulled into the garage downtown.”

“Son of a bitch. I’m pulling a U-turn at the security gates. I have something you need to see now, not later, and I can’t talk about it on the phone. Is your brother in the building?”

I glance at the Porsche. “His car’s here so I assume he is as well. What the hell has Derek done now?”

“Let’s just say I’m not sure it’s a good idea that he’s in close range when you find out. Let’s meet outside the office.”

“Fuck me,” I growl.

“No,” he amends. “More like fuck us all.”

“I don’t even want to know what that means,” I say, catching the elevator door that’s opened and already trying to close. “Meet me at the coffee shop.”

 “That still puts you in the same building as him. I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Just hurry the hell up and get here,” I order testily, ending the call and stepping into the otherwise empty car where I punch the L button on the panel to my left. In the short trip to the lobby level, I manage to come up with at least five ways my brother could fuck over the plays I have in action, and I’m still counting.

Exiting into the gray marble corridor, I walk toward the huge oval foyer of the building and then to the right, where a coffee shop is nestled between a restaurant and a postal facility, both of which rent from Brandon Enterprises. I head to the counter when Karen, the owner of the coffee shop—a robust forty-something woman with red hair and a big attitude—appears, leaving me no escape from her habitual chitchat.

“Well, well, well,” she says, leaning on the counter. “Now I know what I’m missing on the morning shift and I do declare that seeing Shane Brandon himself, instead of his secretary, is a better ‘wake-me-up’ than any java shot I sell. But then, you Brandon boys came by those looks honestly. That father of yours is a looker.”

And therein lies the reason she irritates the shit out of my mother and I happily treat Jessica to afternoon coffee to have her bring me mine. Karen’s not only a chatterbox and a flirt, she has it bad for my father.

“All right now,” Karen says, grabbing a cup and pen, and preparing to write. “Large latte with a triple shot?”

“Just what the doctor ordered,” I confirm, though I have a feeling once Seth arrives I’ll be wishing for a bottle of whiskey.

“Will do, honey,” she says, giving me a wink before moving toward the espresso machine. “I’ll add it to your tab.”

I retreat to the end of the counter where the orders are delivered, resting my elbow on the ledge, retreating into my mind and chasing problems made worse by the division between Derek and I. He’s thirty-seven, five years my senior, and the rightful successor to our father. I’d happily stepped aside and started my own life, but damn it to hell, I know things now and I can’t walk away.

My order appears and I straighten, intending to claim my coffee and find a seat, when a pretty twenty-something brunette races forward in a puff of sweet, floral-scented perfume, and grabs it.

“Miss,” I begin, “that’s—”

She takes a sip and grimaces. “What is this?” She turns to the counter. “Excuse me,” she calls out. “My drink is wrong.”

“Because it’s not your drink,” Karen reprimands her, setting a new cup on the counter. “This is your drink.” She reaches for my cup and turns it around, pointing to the name scribbled on the side. “This one’s for Shane.” She glances at me. “I’ll be right back to fix this. I have another customer.”

I wave my acknowledgment and she hurries away, while my floral-scented coffee thief faces me, her porcelain cheeks flushed, her full, really damn distracting mouth, painted pink. “I’m so sorry,” she offers quickly. “I thought I was the only one without my coffee and I was in a hurry.” She starts to hand me my coffee and then quickly sets it on the counter. “You can’t have that. I drank out of it.”

“I saw that,” I say, picking it up. “You grimaced with disgust after trying it.”

Her eyes, a pale blue that matches the short-sleeved silk blouse, go wide. “Oh. I mean no. Or I did, but not because it’s a bad cup of coffee. It’s just very strong.”

“It’s a triple-shot latte.”

“A triple,” she says, looking quite serious. “Did you know that in some third-world countries they bottle that stuff and sell it as a way to grow hair on your chest.” She lowers her voice and whispers, “That’s not a good look for me.”

“Fortunately,” I say in the midst of a chuckle I would have claimed wasn’t possible five minutes ago, “I don’t share that dilemma.” I lift my cup and add, “Cheers,” before taking a drink, the heavy, rich flavor sliding over my tongue.

She pales, looking exceedingly uncomfortable, before repeating, “I drank from that cup.”

“I know,” I say, offering it back to her. “Try another drink.”

She takes the cup and sets it on the counter. “I can’t drink that. And you can’t either.” She points to the hole on top, now smudged pink. “My lipstick is all over it and I really hate to tell you this but it’s all over you too and . . .” She laughs, a soft, sexy sound, her hands settling on her slender, but curvy hips, accented by a fitted black skirt. “Sorry. I don’t mean to laugh, but it’s not a good shade for you.”

I laugh now too, officially and impossibly charmed by this woman in spite of being in the middle of what feels like World War III. “Seems you know how to make a lasting impression.”

“Thankfully it’s not lasting,” she says. “It’ll wipe right off. And thank you for being such a good sport. I really am sorry again for all of this.”

“Apologize by getting it off me.”

Confusion puckers her brow. “What?”

“You put it on me.” I grab a napkin from the counter and offer it to her. “You get it off.”

“I put it on the cup,” she says, clearly recovering her quick wit. “You put it on you.”

“I assure you, that had I put it on me, we both would have enjoyed it much more than we are now.” I glance at the napkin. “Are you going to help me?”

Her cheeks flush and she hugs herself, her sudden shyness an intriguing contrast to her confident banter. “I’ll let you know if you don’t get it all.”

My apparently lipstick-stained lips curve at her quick wit but I take the napkin and wipe my mouth, arching a questioning brow when I’m done. She points to the corner of my mouth. “A little more on the left.”

I hand her the napkin. “You do it.”

She inhales, as if for courage, but takes it. “Fine,” she says, stepping closer, that wicked sweet scent of hers teasing my nostrils. Wasting no time, she reaches for my mouth, her body swaying in my direction while my hand itches to settle at her waist. I want this woman and I’m not letting her get away.

“There,” she says, her arm lowering, and not about to let her escape, I capture her hand, holding it and the napkin between us.

Those gorgeous pale blue eyes of hers dart to mine, wide with surprise, the connection sparking an unmistakable charge between us, which I feel with an unexpected, but not unwelcome, jolt. “Thank you,” I say, softening the hard demand in my tone that long ago became natural.

“I owed you,” she says, her voice steady, but there’s a hint of panic in her eyes that isn’t what I expect from this clearly confident, smart woman.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

“Emily,” she replies, sounding just a hint breathless. I decide right then that I like her breathless but I’d like her a whole lot more if she were naked and breathless. “And you’re Shane.”

“That’s right,” I say, already thinking of all the ways I could make her say my name again. “I’ve never seen you here before.”

“I’ve never been here before,” she counters and I have this sense that we are sparring, when we’re not. Or are we?

My cell phone rings and I silently curse the timing, some sixth sense telling me that the minute I let go of this woman, she’s gone, but I also have to think about whatever explosion Seth is trying to contain. “Don’t move,” I order, before releasing her to dig my phone from my pocket. I glance down at the caller ID to find my mother’s number, and just that fast, Emily darts around me.

I curse and turn, fully intending to pursue her, only to have Seth step in front of me. Considering the man equals my six feet two inches, and is broader than I am wide, he stops me in my tracks. I grimace and he arches a blond brow that matches the thick waves of hair on his head. “Looking for me?”

“You’ll do,” I say, reaching for my coffee and bypassing it to pick up Emily’s instead, or rather holding it captive for the return I doubt she’ll make.

“Good to see you too,” he says, the words dripping with his trademark sarcasm, which five years of knowing him has taught me to expect.

“Bring me good news for once,” I say, motioning us forward, leading the way through several display racks of chocolates and coffees, as well as a trio of empty tables, to claim a seat at a corner table facing the entryway.

Seth sits next to me rather than across from me, keeping an eye on the door, the ex-CIA agent in him ever present, his skills and loyalty paired with his no-nonsense attitude only a few of the reasons I recruited him from my firm in New York. He opens a large white envelope and pulls out a picture, setting it in front of me. “The private security company we contracted to do surveillance on your brother delivered this to me about an hour ago.”

I stare down at the image of my brother handing a large envelope to a man I’ve never seen before. I eye Seth. “Who is he?”

“He works for the FDA.”

Any remnant of pleasure I’d taken from the exchange with Emily disappears. “Obviously it’s related to the pharmaceutical division and I don’t even want to think about how many laws we broke in that exchange.”

“That’s why I wanted you to see it right away.”

“Do we know what was in the envelope? Do we know anything?”

“The FDA employee’s name and tenure. That’s about it, but I authorized the security team to follow him as of today.”

I glance at the picture, wrestling with anger that will get me nowhere but the hell to which my brother is trying to drag me. “This is the aftermath of last week’s stockholder meeting. I walked in there singing the praises of BP profit margins, with the promise that once the FDA approves our new asthma drug, it would allow us to let go of all the dirty money.”

“And all they heard was the chance to double their money,” Seth supplies. “Enter Derek, who promises to make it happen in a ploy to claim the table. You knew this could happen. We talked about it. Dishonest people don’t suddenly become honest.”

“No,” I say tightly. “They don’t. And I haven’t been operating with the same killer instincts as I did in the firm or this wouldn’t have happened.”

“Because you still haven’t let go of the firm.”

“It’s not the firm I haven’t let go of. It’s my brother. Because despite my denial, I knew staying meant my brother became my enemy.”

Seth leans closer. “Listen to me, Shane. I’m thirty-five years old. I did seven years in the CIA and five years of contract work all over the world before I happened to take a job that threw us together. I’ve seen monsters. I’ve seen criminals. I’ve seen your family and I say this not just as the person you hired to have your back, but the friend who would have it anyway.” He taps the image of my brother in the photo. “This man is your enemy. And I’m not going to let you forget it.”

“He’s also my brother, and this is my family, who I want to save.”

“You may not be able to.”

“I’m aware of that and if I don’t take this company as my life, the way I did my law career, I won’t succeed. And believe me, I’ve navigated enough family-driven litigation to know that blood divides as easily as it unites, especially when money and power are involved. I have to get ahead of this before we all end up bloody or in jail.”

“So we agree. This is war.”

“It’s always been war.”

 



About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series, which is now in development for a television show to be produced by Suzanne Todd of Team Todd (Alice in Wonderland). Suzanne Todd on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with. I’m thrilled to develop a television show that will tell Sara’s whole story – her life, her work, her friends, and her sexuality.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

 

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