Daily Archives: 21/07/2016

ON THE ROPES Release Blitz!

 

on the ropes now live

⭐️⭐️⭐️SURPRISE RELEASE⭐️⭐️⭐️

Now you can get the complete On The Ropes Series for only $3.99 for a very limited time! Price will go up to $6.99 in a few days! Grab this #fighter #romanceseries today!

Now Available!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/29MYgcq

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29Myf6N

iBooks: http://apple.co/29RcQOH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/OTRSKobo

Barnes & Noble: coming soon.

**Each book in the series can be read as a standalone**

on the ropes series

Blurb

The complete series. Three full-length novels.

For the Page brothers, fighting was a way of life. Both inside and outside of the ring.

Follow them through hardship, disability, and overwhelming adversity as they fight for the women they love.

Fighting Silence:

Meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting for my career.

Fighting the impending silence.

Fighting for her.

fighting silence teaser

Fighting Shadows:

I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting the shadows of our past.

Fighting to reclaim my future.

Fighting for her.

fighting shadows teaser

Fighting Solitude:

Liv was everything to me, but she was never truly mine.

That was going to change.

I lost my first love, but I refused to lose my soulmate.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting to be the man she deserves.

Fighting the solitude of our pasts.

Fighting for her.

fighting solitude teaser

Excerpt

Fighting Silence

Prologue

He didn’t budge, but my bare feet slipped, sending me toward the ground. Impossibly fast, Till’s hand snaked out and caught my arm. But I didn’t let his chivalrous gesture douse my fire. I had six months’ worth of words to say to the man I was irrevocably in love with.

“You took what you wanted. Then you left me.”

“Doodle,” he whispered.

I had been perilously close to the edge of insanity, and with one single word, he’d pushed me over.

I lost it completely.

Pounding my fists against his chest, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “It’s Eliza! My name is fucking Eliza! Not Doodle!” I spun to march away, but Till’s arms folded around me, lifting me off my feet to restrain me.

I was miniscule compared to him. There was no use in fighting, but I still kicked my legs, irrationally desperate to get away from him—but only because I knew I couldn’t keep him for forever.

“Stop it!” he growled into my ear. “I know your goddamned name—probably better than I know my own.”

While I was wrapped in Till’s strong arms, six months’ worth of tears fell from my eyes. He carried me to my apartment and guided me back through the window before following me inside. Then he stripped out of his blood-soaked shirt before dragging the blankets down and climbing into the bed behind me. I cried for a while in his arms, even turning to face him, only to cry against his chest. I had missed him so much.

I knew I’d loved Till years ago, but this was more. I needed him in order to function on a very basic level. Together, the world didn’t feel so big and overwhelming. He was my escape—the dream personified.

Till Page was comfortable.

His hands trailed up and down my back as he lulled me until the words fought their way out.

“I couldn’t stop going back,” I announced in a broken whisper. “I didn’t know where you had gone. And for the first time since I was thirteen, I was alone inside my own head. God. It was a scary place.” I tried to joke, but the tears streaming down my face told the truth.

“I’m sorry,” he responded on a sigh. “I couldn’t stay.”

“Why?” I whined, but I curled in closer against his chest, needing to feel him more than anything else.

“I don’t know, Doodle,” he lied.

God! It was such a fucking lie. He knew as well as I did. He just didn’t want to tell me.

“Where did you go?” I pressed further.

There was no way I ever could have expected his answer, but that wasn’t because it was a novel thought. No. His answer was surprising because it was the source of my anguish too.

“The real world.” He kissed my forehead.

Couple having sexual intercourse, woman face expressing satisfaction- shoot with lensbaby

About the Author

ali martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

REAPER’S FIRE by Joanna Wylde Excerpt reveal

reaper's fire excerpt reveal

Excerpt

Tinker

It was almost seven that evening when I felt the AC kick back on. I’d been lying on my back on the (relatively) cool tile floor behind the counter, staring up at the pressed-tin ceiling and trying to remember why I hadn’t already moved back to Seattle.

In Seattle it rained.

Cool breezes blew off the bay and the lush greenery covered everything with its shaded canopy. People didn’t really need air-conditioning, but if they happened to have it and it broke, there were lots of repair men available.

Of course, Seattle also had Brandon. Not only that, my dad didn’t want to move, and I’d come to realize I couldn’t leave him here alone. It wasn’t safe for him, not since Mom died.

Ugh.

At least the AC was working again, blowing down from the ceiling vent across my sweaty body, reminding me that while the world might not be crawling with perfect men, at least there were still a few useful ones running around. Cooper Romero was a keeper, and it had nothing to do with how sexy he was . . . although the fact that he was sex on a stick—make that sex with a stick—didn’t exactly diminish his appeal.

When I’d dragged him up to the black tar roof to show him the ancient AC, I’d expected him to make a run for it. Any sensible man would. Instead, he’d spent the whole afternoon busting his ass to save my chocolates—Oh God, I wish that were code for something more exciting—officially qualifying him as a superhero in my book.

As for me, there wasn’t much I could do once I got all the sweets safely downstairs into the basement. There weren’t any customers walking in off the street, and seeing as I couldn’t make or ship candy in a 102-degree shop, I’d alternated between attempting to read a book, looking over orders I couldn’t fulfill on my laptop, and bringing Cooper glasses of iced tea. I’d been nervous around him at first, but you can only stay nervous for so long when you’re sweating like a pig—there’s a certain freedom in knowing you look like hell and there’s no saving your hair. I’d thrown my arm across my eyes in a pathetic attempt to block out reality toward the end.

When cold air started flowing into the room, I could’ve cried with relief. He’d never had a chance to fill out the application form, and I’d long since decided it didn’t matter. Unless he was an ax murderer, I’d give him the apartment and the job.

Might give it to him even if he was, to be honest.

“It’s working again,” Cooper announced, and I jerked, startled. Shit, had I fallen asleep? Opening my eyes, I looked up to find him standing over me. Dear God in heaven—that was one hell of a bare chest.

Holy. Shit.

I’d taken note of his build when he first walked in the shop, but everything under his shirt had been theoretical. Now there was six-foot-plus of raw sex appeal right there, all sweaty and sculpted and . . . well, let’s just say I’d be stopping off on the way home to pick up some fresh batteries.

That’s when the situation hit me—Cooper Romero was the hottest man I’d met in forever, and he’d just found me lying on the floor in my own sweat and filth like a dog. Typical luck. I scrambled to my feet, pretending I wasn’t totally embarrassed (I was) and not in the least bit freaked out by how unspeakably attractive this guy was. Okay, “attractive” wasn’t quite the right word, because it implied a certain level of polish and class that just didn’t fit Cooper at all.

Brandon was attractive.

Cooper?

I’d lick him all over and massage his butt if he asked. He stared down at me, his eyes carefully blank, making it very clear he wasn’t asking. Story of my fucking life. Sitting up, I pushed myself to my feet without bothering to dust off. Lost cause at this point.

“Not sure how much life the AC has left,” he said slowly. “I managed to get it going, but fixing it right would cost more than it’s worth and then some.”

Of course it would.

“I just need to get through the summer,” I told him, wiping a finger under my eye. My perfectly applied, vintage-style makeup had melted, leaving me with a clown face. Fortunately I’d (mostly) given up on caring three hours ago, right around the time I’d discovered the floor tiles were cooler than the rest of the room. “After that, I’ll worry about the furnace and by next summer I might not even be here anymore.”

“Really?” he asked, cocking a brow. “You selling out?”

“Not sure,” I told him. “I’m not thinking that far ahead right now. Things are very iffy with my dad . . . I think he’s got some—”

No. I couldn’t say it. Saying it out loud made it too real, plus the last thing I needed were a bunch of rumors flying around town. So far we’d kept dad’s situation mostly to family and friends.

“Tinker?”

Shaking myself, I smiled at him. “Thank you so much for fixing that. I’m not even sure what I would’ve done—I can’t afford to miss a week’s worth of orders. Not only would it put me behind, it would burn my customers.”

He nodded, studying me thoughtfully. God, he really was beautiful . . . Nothing like Brandon’s polished sophistication. No, Cooper gave off more of a warrior-tossing-you-over-his-fearless-steed kind of vibe. Yeah, like that would end well, because my track record with men was so fucking perfect, right?

Pull your head out of the gutter. He probably has a girlfriend.

At least I could finally lock up this hellhole of a shop and get a shower.

“Thank you so much—you have no idea how much I appreciate it.”

“No, but the whole throwing yourself at my feet thing was a subtle hint,” he said, and I realized he was teasing me. Was he flirting? I couldn’t decide if that kicked ass or scared the shit out of me.

“Anyway, it’s getting late,” I told him, feeling suddenly awkward. “I’m going to grab some dinner down the street, and then I could take you over and show you the apartment.”

A small, knowing smile crossed his face, and I realized he thought I was hitting on him.

“No,” I said quickly, mortified. “I wasn’t asking you out. Omigod, this is weird.”

“What, you aren’t turned on by a man who smells like old socks?” he asked lightly, raising his arm and giving a sniff. He was joking, but the sweat wasn’t a turnoff. Nope. Not even a little bit. “If that’s not enough for you, the roof tar on my ass should be a big attraction.”

Closing my eyes, I bit back a groan. He started laughing. Not in a cruel way, but companionably, which I guess made sense because both of us were disgusting as hell. Of course, now I wanted to check out his ass, but I managed to keep my eyes on target (mostly) when I answered him.

“Well, it’s sexy but I’ll manage to control myself somehow. I do want to grab dinner, though, and we need to figure out the apartment details.”

“I’ll take the place, doesn’t matter what it is,” he replied. “I’m in a hotel and it’s getting old. I’d love to move in on Sunday, but I can’t go look at it right now—gotta get my ass cleaned up. Meeting up with someone later.”

Of course he was, because men who looked like Cooper didn’t spend Friday nights alone.

“Sounds great,” I told him, refusing to show any disappointment. “Just text me when you’re ready, and I’ll get you the key.”

He opened his mouth to say something, but a sudden pounding against the locked shop door caught us both off guard. I spun around to find Talia Jackson glaring at me through the glass. Talia and three of her skankier friends, including Sadie Baxter, a girl I used to babysit when I was in college.

A girl who was now twenty.

Damn.

“Cooper!” Talia shouted. “What the fuck are you doing?”

I glanced at my new handyman, startled. Talia Jackson and her brother, Marsh, were two of the nastiest people I’d ever met. Marsh was president of the local motorcycle gang, a group called the Nighthawk Raiders motorcycle club. The club had been around most of my life, but it was only in recent years that they’d turned really bad. I mean, they were never the kinder, gentler sort of bikers, but I’d never been actively afraid when I’d heard a motorcycle, either.

Now? Let’s just say we’d all gotten a little edgy.

“That’s my girl,” Cooper said, and something deep down inside of me died a little. Of course he’d go for someone like Talia. She might have the heart of a deranged circus clown—you know, the kind that survives by eating the souls of innocent children—but she was hot.

Really hot.

Not only that, she was slutty, and while I wasn’t into the whole slut-shaming thing (like I had room to judge after the bachelorette party debacle . . . ugh), I wasn’t naive enough to think he was attracted to her personality. Cooper Romero might have a sweet smile, and he’d fixed my AC, but now I had proof positive that he’d never be into a girl like me.

Specifically, a grown-up with curves.

All righty, then. Probably for the best anyway.

“Just a sec!” I called to her, determined to take the high road, then I grabbed my keys so I could open the door. She pushed inside with her posse, and I do mean pushed. Little bitch shoved me so hard I nearly knocked over the display of antique Russian teacups my mother had lovingly collected. (So far as I knew, she’d never sold a single one of them, but it’d made her happy.)

“Careful,” I warned, and Talia turned on me.

“What did you just say to me?”

“Babe, let’s talk,” Cooper said, catching her arm and pulling her into his body. She squealed, going from aggressive to flirty in an instant.

“You’re all sweaty. It’s sooo disgusting.”

I noted she wasn’t trying to get away. Cooper smiled down at her, a hint of something feral in his eyes. Yeah, okay—whatever smile he’d been giving me, it hadn’t held any of that kind of intensity.

Yours truly was officially chopped liver.

“I was just about to head out and grab a shower,” he told her. “Wanna come with me?”

She pouted. “I can’t. The girls and I need to get fixed up. I’ll see you at the bar, though, right?”

He looked down at her, offering a sexy, indulgent smile. “Can’t wait.”

“Perfect,” she said, reaching around to grab his ass for a quick squeeze. Then she turned and strutted back out without a word to me, her gaggle of girls following like well-trained geese. Sadie gave a little finger wave on the way. The door closed behind them with a cheerful little jingle, and I wondered why the hell I even bothered with Hallies Falls.

I missed Seattle.

So what if it had Brandon? I could drown him in Lake Washington. Problem solved.

“Sorry about that—Talia is a little high-strung,” Cooper said.

“Oh, I know all about her,” I replied, hoping I didn’t sound as catty as I felt. Cooper didn’t seem to notice.

“I’m new to town, but she’s been showing me around,” Cooper continued, stepping over to stand in front of me, hands shoved deep in his front pockets. “I should get going.”

“Of course—don’t let me keep you. What time do you think you’ll be in touch tomorrow?”

“Afternoon work?”

“No problem. Looking forward to hearing from you.”

He nodded and pushed through the door, walking down the street without a second look back. I locked up behind him, wondering why all the hottest guys were douchebags. Not that Cooper had acted like a douche, but he had to be my age or older—late thirties—and Talia was the same age as Sadie. She was also a raging bitch. There was only one reason a man like him would date a girl like that, and it had nothing to do with personality or character.

Cooper Romero might be beautiful, but obviously he was shallow. Suppose it was too much to hope for a man who could fix an air conditioner and have a soul at the same time.

Pity

reaper's fire coming soon

Are you ready for Gage and Tinker’s story?

Reaper’s Fire releases on August 9th!

Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/1mD6Sma

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1IOuRJI

iBooks: http://apple.co/1JUbzxl

Nook: http://bit.ly/1mzrJaD

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Uu6bXu

Google Play:  http://bit.ly/1SxRDaQ

reaper's fire

Blurb

New York Times bestselling author Joanna Wylde returns to the “wild and raw”* world of the Reapers MC with the story of Gage and Tinker…

The club comes first.

I’ve lived by those words my whole life—assumed I’d die by them, too, and I never had a problem with that. My Reaper brothers took my back and I took theirs and it was enough. Then I met her. Tinker Garrett. She’s beautiful, she’s loyal, and she works so damned hard it scares me sometimes . . . She deserves a good man—one better than me. I can’t take her yet because the club still needs me. There’s another woman, another job, another fight just ahead.

Now she’ll learn I’ve been lying to her all along. None of it’s real. Not my name, not my job, not even the clothes I wear. She thinks I’m nice. She pretends we’re just friends, that I’ve still got a soul . . . Mine’s been dead for years. Now I’m on fire for this woman, and a man can only burn for so long before he destroys everything around him.

I’m coming for you, Tinker.

Soon.

reaper's fire teaser

Have you heard?

Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde has a NEW COVER!

reaper's property new cover

Meet Horse & Marie for ONLY $3.99 (normally $7.99)

Author’s Note: This book was originally released through a small publisher in 2013. This independent edition has been lightly edited, and contains a bonus short, “Sticky Sweet” (originally published on the author’s website) and a Q&A with the author.

Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/29FeMde

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2a8RfSt

iBooks:http://apple.co/2a26FZ2

Nook: http://bit.ly/2a26zRw

Kobo:http://bit.ly/29NmSxQ

About the Author

joanna wylde

Joanna Wylde is a New York Times bestselling author and creator of the Reapers Motorcycle Club series. She currently lives in Idaho.

Stalk Her: Website | Facebook | Twitter |  Goodreads

 

An Act of Obsession by KC LYNN Release Day Blitz

 

Title: An Act of Obsession (Acts of Honor Series – Book 3)
Author: KC Lynn
Release Date: July 20, 2016
TBR Link: Goodreads

 

Synopsis


She’s beautiful yet scarred beyond repair. 


 

 

He’s powerful and lethal, in and out of the ring. 
One act of kindness brought Sophie Parish far more danger than she could have ever imagined. Now she’s on the run, leaving behind her family and the only dream she’s ever had. 
Retired EFC fighter Kolan Slade’s life has been one endless battle after another. He has a dark past with an even darker desire—the only one he’s ever known. 
Until he meets Sophie. 
Intrigued by her raw beauty and the secrets she’s trying to hide, Kolan craves to know who she is and what she’s running from. 
Protecting her becomes his obsession and he’ll sacrifice it all to save her. But in the end her love will have him questioning himself and everything he thought he knew.

 


 

 

Excerpt

Reaching my SUV, I place her feet on the ground and cage her against the passenger door, bracing both my hands on either side of her head. “And what about you, Lia?” I ask, dipping my head in close to hers. “Hmm? You know my secrets. What about yours?”

She might not know all of mine but she knows enough.

“What is it you want to know?” she asks, a slight tremble in her voice.

“I want to know who you are and where you came from. But more than anything, I want to know what you’re hiding under that scarf.”

The stark pain that enters her eyes strikes me to my fucking core. “Trust me, you don’t want to see what’s under there. I can’t even bear to look at it myself.”

“Nothing scares me.”

It’s a complete lie. She scares the hell out of me.

A heavy silence descends upon us, her pretty eyes wide and fearful.

“What are you so afraid of?” I ask.

Her breath hitches, emotion shining bright in her gaze. “Everything.”

There’s so much despair in that one word that I want to fucking kill whoever put it there. Unable to resist, I gently drop my forehead on hers, my jaw locking as I restrain myself from doing what I really want to do.

“I’m going to respect your privacy…for now. But one day, you’re going to tell me who made you so afraid. And if they’re still breathing—they won’t be for much longer.”

Her eyes fall closed, lip trembling as she tries to shield her pain from me. “Some secrets, Kolan, are best left unknown.”

“Not between us. The day will come when there will be no more secrets between us.”

Her eyes open, locking with mine, but she remains silent. I press my lips to her forehead then reach for the door handle. “Come on. Let’s go home.”

 

*****

BLP REVIEW ~ REBECCA 

From the very first KC Lynn I read (Fighting Temptation – Men of Honour#1) I loved her style and her characters. When I read Sweet Temptation #2, and discovered Sexy Sawyer, KC became an auto one click for me and this book and series remain a firm favourite; that man is just the Bomb! Sexy, sweet and a smartass!

Resisting Temptation #3 stepped it up again and was the most emotional read –  my heart broke so many times in those pages and I don’t think one single feeling was left untouched. An Act of Obsession (Acts of Honour #3) is a combination of the absolute best of both these books and as highly anticipated as this one has been to all KC fans she has not disappointed.

In this crazy world we live in everyday we do little things, smile, interact, stop for a brief encounter, help a fellow human who is being treated unfairly because it’s the right thing to do and just normality for us. But what if that inconsequential little thing that we do automatically, without thought, is a huge deal for the other person, what if their focus is so screwed up and off the charts batshit crazy that it starts a nightmare you are unable to wake up from it, the physical and psychological damage done dictating the horror of a life you now have? This is the story of Sophie and Kolan, two broken souls whose connection and chemistry make for addictive reading, the writing is flawless, sensitive, emotional, thoughtful while also hot as fuck! I always had a soft spot for Kolan from his first appearance, was feeling a little possessive over him (don’t tell me it’s fiction, he’s in my headspace!) and wondered who would be right for him… the surprising and delightful Sophie is perfection and together they make a whole.

The secondary cast from the other books in both series all make appearances and the banter, love and affection of this family of choice and blood is heart warming, real and brings a smile to my face every time.

A more than welcome addition to the series and makes me almost tempted to share my affections between Sawyer and Kolan………………………….

 


About the Author

K.C. Lynn is a small town girl living in Western Canada. She married her high school sweetheart and they have four amazing children: two lovely girls and a set of handsome twin boys. It was her love for romance books that gave K.C. the courage to sit down and write her own novel. When she is not in her writing cave, pounding out new characters and stories, she can be found living between the pages of a book, meeting new tattooed, hot alpha males with very big…Hearts.

 
Follow KC
Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Giveaway

3 – $25 Amazon Giftcards
Facebook/Social Media Share Code:

 

Official Teaser Tour #3 ~ Banking the Billionaire by Max Monroe

BtbTeaserTour3

LINKS:
exclusive iBooks preorder 
add it to your Goodreads TBR
Author splash page for more on the rest of the series

✦ Other Series Links:

Tapping the Billionaire (#1)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SIItun
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1SuIHjq
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1T9prYs
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1Qx801Y
Nook: http://goo.gl/84lRuS
iBooks: http://apple.co/1SNU6jL
Kobo: https://goo.gl/a2dY1m

 Tapping Her (#1.5)

iBooks: goo.gl/9StR9N
Amazon US: amzn.com/B01HC1LPGC
Amazon UK: amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HC1LPGC
Amazon CA: amazon.ca/dp/B01HC1LPGC
Amazon AU: amazon.com.au/dp/B01HC1LPGC
Nook: http://goo.gl/2y5e0M
Kobo: https://goo.gl/GvwTr9

EXCERPT TEVEAL ~ Ultimate Courage by Piper J Drake-

UltimateCourage_bannerexcerpt


ULTIMATE COURAGE
The True Heroes series
by Piper J. Drake

Hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the devoted dogs that always have their backs. ULTIMATE COURAGE is the second book in a high adrenaline contemporary suspense series from Piper J. Drake published by Forever Romance. Fans of D.D. Ayres K-9 Rescue series and Cindy Gerard’s One Eyed Jacks, will love this action packed romantic suspense series.

Book_2_UltimateCourage


Title: Ultimate Courage

Series: True Heroes #2

Author: Piper J. Drake

 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing- Forever

 

Synopsis:

Elisa Hall is good at starting from scratch. Leaving an abusive relationship in her rearview, she packs everything she owns into the trunk of her car and heads for refuge with her friend in Hope’s Crossing, North Carolina.

Alex Rojas returned from his second deployment as a Navy SEAL to find his condo empty and divorce papers on the breakfast table. Now he’s building a life for himself and his daughter at Hope’s Crossing kennels training younger dogs and handlers to search and rescue, struggling to adjust to life back in the States and as a single father.

When Elisa shows up at the kennels, it’s obvious she’s running from something. Luckily, the dogs and trainers at Hope’s Crossing are more than capable of warding off trouble. And with every minute he spends with Elisa, Alex becomes even more and more determined to protect the woman he’s certain he won’t be able to live without…

Get More information at:

Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes


15


Also in this series:

Extreme Honor:

Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

12


EXCERPT:

Beautiful blue-gray eyes met his briefly before the woman dropped her own gaze to focus on someplace lower on his face, like his nose or mouth. Subtle. Most people would probably not even notice the way she avoided direct eye contact.

But then again, not many people made eye contact a challenge the way he and his colleagues did. It wasn’t on purpose, really; more of a common quirk in their personalities.

Funny, he hadn’t expected to see her again. Okay, maybe he’d been hoping to find her at Revolution MMA for those self-defense classes he’d recommended. But here she was. A weird tingle jolted through his chest.

This woman was about as non-aggressive as possible without cowering outright. Despite her upright posture, her hands hung at her sides in a loose, non-defensive position. Her left wrist was covered in a brace and it was easy to see she held something in her right hand. She was far enough back on the landing to easily drop down a step or two without having to back up more than a few inches.

But the mannerisms didn’t fit her energy, the straightness of her shoulders, or the set of her jaw. Whoever this woman was, she’d developed habits. She wasn’t a mouse by nature. He wouldn’t be as irritated to see these behaviors if these things came naturally to her.

Who had forced her to assume those mannerisms to survive?

“Mr. Rojas.” Her voice was steady.

Another sign of her being more than what she seemed, as far as he was concerned. The timbre was almost soothing, and he realized he’d balled his hands into fists. Well, shit. He let his hands loosen.

She presented the object she held in her right hand. “I think your daughter left this behind at the ER last night. I hope you don’t mind, but the logo for the kennels was on the inside label, so I googled the address.”

Slowly—because he didn’t want her to snatch her hand back—he took the glove from her. “Thanks.”

“The hospital lost and found was overflowing, and I wanted to make sure Boom got her glove back,” the woman continued, then bit her lip. “And I wanted to be sure to thank you.” Her cheeks took on a fascinating pale pink blush.

Caught by surprise, Rojas raised his eyebrows. “Me?”

Maybe his tone had been the right encouragement, because she looked up again, her gaze meeting his, and the chemistry shocked him right down to his toes, hitting every vital organ—including his balls—along the way.

Blue-gray, cool as a calm day out on the water, her gaze held his. “You were very kind last night, and I didn’t thank you then. I try to thank the kind people I meet. So thank you.”

Rojas cleared his throat. “You’re welcome.”

He didn’t know what else to say. He’d only given her some ice, a cup of coffee, and a card about the martial arts center. Boom had a good sense for people, and when she’d said the woman needed the referral for the self-defense classes, he’d been inclined to agree.

She broke their eye contact, and he felt the loss as if someone had broken the circuit on an electrical current. “I should be going now.”

“Wait.” He didn’t know what made him ask her to. But she paused, balanced on the balls of her feet at the edge of the landing. He was sure if he didn’t catch her now she’d be gone for good. “I didn’t get your name.”

“Oh.” She turned to face him. Another sign that she’d learned caution but she wasn’t afraid by nature. She was open. A people person. Or at least more of one than he was. “Elisa Hall.”


13 

  14


About the Author:

Piper_Drake_author

Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk. She has recently received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.

Now, PJ is exploring the complexity of romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.


Connect with Piper at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | GoodReads| Youtube


 

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