Daily Archives: 10/02/2018

SPOTLIGHT TOUR ~ That Killer Smile (Bite Nights, #3) by Juliet Lyons

   

Title: That Killer Smile
Series: Bite Nights, #3

Author: Juliet Lyons

 

That Killer Smile (Bite Nights) by [Lyons, Juliet]

Pub Date: February 6, 2018

 

THERE WILL BE HEAT…

Vampire Catherine Adair gave up trying to find her perfect match ages ago. But that didn’t stop her from founding London’s super successful vampire dating site. When a smoldering vampire overlord from her past launches an interspecies speed-dating service, Catherine vows to crush the competition…. 

WHEN THESE TWO COMPETE

Ronin’s new venture is purely about getting Catherine’s attention. He hasn’t stopped thinking about her ever since the night she gave him the cold shoulder. Nobody gets away from Ronin McDermott that easily…

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Praise for the Bite Nights series…

“Combines the familiar with the new to bring a fresh spin on the vampire romance.” – Kirkus

-A madcap adventure of biting humor, steamy chemistry, eclectic characters and some over-the-top antics. A strong and personable heroine delights as she navigates her way through the treacherous waters of online dating.- RT Book Reviews

-Charming and racy romance meets rousing mystery . . . relatable characters and a well-crafted setting make this a promising start to an intriguing series. – Publishers Weekly
 

“Lyons delivers with hot and heavy scenes that take the sexy vampire trope to an all new level.” – Booklist

“If you’re looking for a story both light and sexy, this may just be the one for you.” – Heroes and Heartbreakers

“Guaranteed to keep you reading well into the night.” – BookPage


 

Excerpts

#1

Cat

My first thought when I see the smashed lock is, How on earth did a burglar make it past Mrs. Colangelo?

I shove the door open and step inside. There, sitting—no lounging—in my Laura Ashley recliner and stroking Wentworth, is Ronin fuck weasel McDermott.

My eyes bulge as I absorb the preposterous scene of him sitting with my pet in his lap. He looks like an infuriatingly hot James Bond villain.

“Evening, Catherine,” he says with a nod of his head.

I glare into his intense blue eyes, fists clenching. “What the actual fuck are you doing in my apartment?”

He cocks a brow before rising from the chair, taking Wentworth with him. The latter stays snuggled under his arm, as docile as a newborn lamb.

Pointing at Wentworth, I hiss, “Did you glamour my cat?”

A cloud of confusion passes across his handsome features. “Why on God’s earth would I glamour a cat?”

Without missing a beat, I snap, “That’s what you do to get people to like you.”

He feigns an injured look before setting Wentworth down on the carpet. Then he reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a tiny object. It twinkles beneath the light. “You dropped this earring in my office. It must have fallen out when you kissed me.”

I snort in derision. “Ha! Yeah, I kissed you. Good one. And you came all the way here, broke in to my apartment just to return it to me?”

“I’ll get the lock fixed,” he says, placing the earring on the coffee table. “And I didn’t break in as such. One of your neighbors let me up.”

I shake my head. “Let me guess, an Italian lady in a robe?”

He smiles and I try not to notice how it softens the hard lines of his strong features, how his cool-blue eyes are suffused with warmth.

“There’s a chance she believes lover boy next door is bisexual.”

“What the hell did you tell her?” I ask, folding arms across my chest. The mention of Peter comes as a shock. Being in the same room as Ronin McDermott, I’ve already forgotten he exists.

“Nothing she didn’t secretly long to hear. So who is this guy anyway? Should I be jealous?”

My stomach flips, my mind skipping back to that moment in his office when I left him with a hard-on in the presence of Playboy bunnies. “Jealous?” I try to inject venom into my voice, but my heart isn’t in it. “Tell me, did you enjoy yourself with those girls the other afternoon?”

His brows knit. He looks genuinely flummoxed. “What girls?”

I toss my bag onto the sofa. “Meant that much to you, did they?”

He stays frozen to the spot, brows drawn. “Do you really think I care about other girls?”

His voice is low, as cracked as splintered glass. Suddenly, it seems as if all the oxygen has been sucked from the room. As I meet his burning gaze, it’s like the last couple of days—work, my date with Peter—never happened. I’m back in his office right before his lips landed on mine.

Except this time neither of us budge.

“You’re a sickness,” he says at last in that same fractured tone. “Don’t you see? A sickness in my veins.”

My brain sifts through responses at a hundred miles per hour, but my vocal chords remain frozen in my throat. I watch him like he’s a tiger, waiting for him to strike.

But he doesn’t pounce. He sighs instead, his jaw tightly clenched. “I’ve never wanted to upset you, Catherine. I’m sorry for what I did that night—biting you and giving you my venom. I shouldn’t have lost control like that.”

“No, you shouldn’t have,” I snap.

“I’ll be honest,” he continues. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start the speed-dating nights to get your attention. But I had no intention of ruining your business. In a way, it’s a compliment.”

My jaw drops in disbelief. “A compliment? Are you completely unhinged? Do you really have your head shoved so far up your ass that you don’t get why I can’t stand you?”

He shakes his head, holding out his hands, palms up. There’s desperation in his voice I’ve never heard from him before. “I’ve never once tried to play the ancient card with you. I never will, no matter how badly you piss me off.”

I stare at him, half believing he doesn’t have a clue, half-angry this is just another of his manipulative games.

“This isn’t about details. It’s about the bigger picture. One you’ve never bothered to try and get your arrogant head around. Who am I, Ronin?” The happiness the evening brought is leaking out of me faster than air from a burst balloon. To my horror, a sob escapes my throat. “What am I?”

“Is this one of those bizarre feminist questions?”

“For fucks sake, what am I? Answer me.”

His eyes flash in anger, but he doesn’t flinch. “A woman. A vampire. A neurotic shrew half the time.”

“A vampire,” I repeat, ignoring the last bit.

He looks utterly and completely blank.

“You have no idea. Do you?”

When he doesn’t answer, I open the busted door as wide as it will go and wave an arm toward it. “Goodbye, Ronin.”

If he wasn’t such a misogynistic playboy, I might experience a pang of guilt as I watch him skulk past me, defeated.

Outside he pauses, spinning around to face me. “I rang you,” he says. “Every day for a month after we slept together.”

“I know,” I whisper, staring at my Dolce & Gabbana boots. “I changed my telephone number on day three.”

He emits a short, hollow laugh, and when I look up, the hallway is completely empty. I hear the slam of a door as he exits the building onto the street.

 

#2

For a few seconds, I’m lost for words. But as I stare between the bag on the floor and Ronin’s chiseled face, it all becomes clear.

“This is about you wanting me to owe you, isn’t it?” I hiss, fixing my gaze on his left ear. It’s a trick I learned from the last time we met. If I don’t look directly into his eyes, there’s less chance of being drawn into their swirling, blue depths.

He smiles, shaking his head. “You’re unbelievable, do you know that?”

“Pfffft,” I erupt. “I’m unbelievable? I’m not the one trying to tank my business by spreading rumors and launching a dating service. I’m not the one going out of his way to ensure our paths keep crossing in the worst possible ways.”

He frowns, displaying the first sign of irritation since I crashed into the room. “I’ve already told you, mo chridhe, it wasn’t me who started those rumors. And as for the speed dating, well, it was a free country last time I checked. I’m offering you the cash because the fella was injured in my club. Which means technically he’s my responsibility. If you don’t take the money now, I’ll have someone deliver it to his lawyer’s office later. I have their address now, after all.”

He waves the letter in the air like a victory flag.

“I’ll call them up,” I blurt out, voice quavering. “I’ll tell them you’re a madman and not to accept it. I’ll say it’s not your money at all, that you conned the life savings from some poor old man with dementia.”

Ronin arches a brow, tucking the letter into an inside pocket of his jacket. “That’s some novel you’re writing there, Catherine, but I doubt they would argue if I write them a Coutts check, do you?”

I’m all out of ammunition. “I loathe you.”

For a split second, his cocksureness wavers, the steely-blue eyes darkening. But only for a moment. “The problem isn’t me, Catherine,” he says, edging closer. “The problem is you.”

I straighten up. “That’s the most irritating thing about you, Ronin—you always think you know better than everybody else. I’m not sure whether it’s because you’ve been around longer than the rest of us or because you’re just a massive asshole. Either way, you don’t know the first thing about me.”

He flashes a cocky grin, raking his gaze over me as if he has X-ray vision. “You don’t loathe me, mo chridhe. You just can’t get over the fact you’re an uptight puritan who loved the kind of sex I gave you that night we spent together.”

I let out a high-pitched laugh. “That’s right, Ronin. Let’s not forget for one second that the world revolves around you and your penis. Actually, I’m surprised you’re even bothering to get dressed these days. I would have thought you’d have developed a penchant for silky, red pajamas and slippers by now.” I motion to the cigar on the carpet. “Looks like you’ve nailed the smoking part, and God knows the Playboy bunnies must be hiding around here somewhere.”

He scoffs. “Jealous?”

“Please, you’re not that good in bed.”

Except he is—or was. Better than good. But I can’t think about that right now. Or ever again, actually.

“Paulo was right about you,” he murmurs. “You are a mad bitch.”

I close the distance between us in a single stride and smack him across the cheek. It’s like hitting stone. He doesn’t so much as flinch. For some bizarre reason, this ignites a hot stab of lust in the pit of my stomach. His scent—a masculine blend of whiskey, leather, and woodsmoke—infiltrates my senses. I’m transported back to that night some years ago when we went at it like two wildcats in his bed.

I never wanted to come up for air.

I’m standing too close to use the ear trick. His eyes drag me in, two penetrating blue flames, dark with anger. I gulp, allowing my gaze to wander over his chiseled-from-rock cheekbones, rosy Celtic skin, copper hair slicked back from a noble forehead. He may be an asshole, but there is no denying his beauty.

For what feels like an eternity, neither of us move. We remain locked onto each other, energy—good and bad—swirling between us like thick fog.

Quite without thinking, I hiss, “Fucker.” After spending my human life afraid to speak, I never managed to rewire the connection between my brain and mouth.

His blue eyes flash. At once, his lips are on mine and his arms are around my waist. Instead of struggling, I mold myself into the hard contours of his body, my tongue sliding over his, my hands pulling him closer, and I hate myself—Lord, how I despise myself—for how good it feels. It’s as though he brings a magnifying glass up to all the base urges I long to forget, including this—an utterly ridiculous sexual attraction to a demon playboy who’s murdered God knows how many during his thousands of years on earth.

I don’t pull away. I can’t. He absorbs me like a drug. Before I can help myself, my fingers are tangled in his thick, red hair and I’m allowing his hands to cup my ass, grinding against the hard rope of an erection bulging beneath his trousers. We devour each other, eyes and mouths open, until I’m no longer sure where he begins and I end.

But then he takes his mouth from mine, trailing kisses from jawline to neck. Along with the rasp of stubble, I feel a scrape of fangs, sharp as knives, glide across my skin. I shove him away, panting slightly, averting my eyes to the lacquered walnut desk in the center of the room. If I don’t stop this now, I’ll end up sprawled across that table just like all the other women he’s had in here. The worst part is, I’d enjoy it.

“Consider the debt paid,” I say.



Other books in the series

 


Silver Harris is over clingy men-maybe men altogether. But when she shares a toe-curling kiss with a sexy Irish vampire on New Year’s Eve, she wonders if maybe it’s human men she’s done with. Silver turns to a popular vampire dating site, but soon she’s in over her head and her mysterious hottie is nowhere to be found…

Logan Byrne can’t get that sassy redhead out of his mind-or that kiss! When his boss assigns him to spy on the dating site’s members, he meets Silver again. As the snark and sparks fly, feelings between Silver and Logan grow deep and suddenly Logan isn’t so sure he can betray her, no matter how dangerous the consequences might be…

AMAZON.COM
AMAZON UK

Swipe right for Mr. Bite…

Mila Hart’s first experience with the hot new vampire dating site is a complete disaster. Turns out, her date is wanted for murder!
But things turn around when she’s rescued by dashing vampire cop Vincent Ferrer.
Dangerous and drop dead gorgeous, he’s just the vampire hottie Mila was hoping for.

Haunted by his past, Vincent can’t risk falling in love again, even if Mila charms him more than anyone he’s ever met.
But when the killer from Mila’s first date seeks her out, Vincent is the only one who can protect her.
Protecting his heart is a different story…

AMAZON.COM
AMAZON UK



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About the Author

JULIET LYONS is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter.
Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

 

Find Juliet Online:

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SPOTLIGHT TOUR ~ The Last Wolf (The Legend of All Wolves #1) by Maria Vale

 

Title: The Last Wolf
Series: The Legend of All Wolves #1
Author: Maria Vale

Pub Date: February 6, 2018
ISBN: 9781492661870

For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild.


If she returns to her Pack, the stranger will die.

But if she stays…

Silver Nilsdottir is at the bottom of her Pack’s social order, with little chance for a decent mate and a better life. Until the day a stranger stumbles into their territory, wounded and beaten, and Silver decides to risk everything on Tiberius Leveraux. But Tiberius isn’t all he seems, and in the fragile balance of the Pack and wild, he may tip the destiny of all wolves…

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound


LETTER TO THE READER

Dear (Potential) Reader,

There is so much vying for your attention, I’m grateful you’ve read even this far.

I know I’m asking a lot from you.

I’m asking you to take time with a new writer when there are so many great ones already out there.

I’m asking you to take a chance on a new direction in a well-loved genre, in which the wolf is not a vicious beast to be subjugated and feared, but rather the human form is a useful tool for protecting the wilder self.

In this reworking, werewolves fall into two categories: Pack, who must be wolves for three days out of every thirty—self-aware wolves, but not magic, any bullet can kill them. And Shifters, who don’t have to change and so remain human, the apex predator, rather than wolf, the maligned and despised outsider.

Still like any romance, its foundation is in the growing love between two characters: the worldly half-Shifter Tiberius who hates the wolf inside him as bestial and monstrous. And the unworldly Silver, who is fully Pack and believes her wild self to be sacred.

Silver is a runt with a displaced hip when she is a wolf and in a society that determines position by fighting wild, this means she is at the bottom of the hierarchy—the last wolf.  Tiberius, however, discovers real strength in her perseverance and fierceness. For her part, Silver recognizes something about him: that by denying his wild, Tiberius has sown the roots of despair.

But this is not only a love story between two people, it’s also a love story about the Great North Pack, because despite our fascination with lone wolves, it is the pack that really defines this most social of all animals.

I imagined the Great North as something beyond family or community, something tight-knit and loving and brave and frightened. And intensely vulnerable. I imagined, like most embattled societies, the pack would be very conservative, with a traditional culture, a history, a language that was part of its identity. I chose to base that culture loosely (very loosely) on the world of 9th century England, partly because I love the sound of the language of Beowulf. To me, it is gruff and beautiful and haunting, like a wolf’s howl. But also because 9th century England was a place of great insecurity. One never knew when Northmen might show up and destroy everything you loved.

It was the Great North’s first Alpha, Ælfrida, who forced her pack to change. With humans decimating the forests of England, she dragged her pack from the Old World to the vast forests of northern New York, she re-wrote laws in order to allow new wolves to join their bloodlines, she forced her wolves to leave their isolated territories, so that they could learn human ways and protect the Pack using human law.

What results is a society that is both human and decidedly not, both harsh and loving, severe and tender.  The way I imagined wolves fighting daily for their lives would be.

I have loved every minute of researching and writing these books. I can only hope that you will enjoy reading them.

Stay wild,

Maria



EXCERPT

The day of the first waxing crescent of fall is when all of the wolves who live on the Homelands traditionally run the perimeter and make sure that our land is properly marked before the ground freezes and damaged posts become hard to replace.

The entire Pack is wild. Barking and wagging tails, they lick each other and jump around each other, their ferocious jaws open and gentle. They chase mice through windrows, their hind legs scratching leaves into a brightly colored explosion high in the air, so that the pups can twist and turn and catch them in snapping teeth as they spiral down.

Not me. I have to pull on heavy muck boots over thick socks with jeans shoved inside. And I won’t mark our territory the way wolves are supposed to. I will mark it on an iPhone 6 Plus, crammed into the big pocket of a thick orange vest. All because Ti refuses to phase and John doesn’t like it.

“He tells himself he’s human,” John says. “But if he lies to himself, what makes you think he’s not going to lie to us?”

So because I am Ti’s schildere, I have to stay in skin too. Keep an eye on him.

“I mean, what were you thinking?” I ask as Ti fits the Outlast cap over his clipped skull. “When you came to a bunch of wolves asking for protection. That you’d just keep on being a human? Was that your grand plan?”

“I didn’t have a grand plan. What I had was a hole in my stomach, a vague set of directions to my mother’s pack, and a need to survive. I changed long enough to fight; I never thought you’d be asking me to give up my humanity.”

“No one’s asking you to give up your humanity, but if you refuse to admit what you are, it is going to rise up and bite you in the ass.”

“Well, how about you?”

Me? I love changing. I—”

“I know you love changing. You do it all the time. The second Sten doesn’t need your thumbs, you evaporate, and there’s nothing left but clothes hanging from a branch. I may be a crappy wolf. But you… You’re a crappy human.”

I cringe, because he’s right. I’ve never been happy in skin, but then those stupid fire fairies burrowed into my body all those days ago, and that spark has caught fire and burns so fierce that now when I walk beside him and hear his quiet, low voice or look into those gold-flecked black eyes, my tendons strain and my muscles coil and my lungs open up and my blood beats hot and fast. The only way I know how to deal with need is to run hard and far until I collapse, unable to feel anything at all.

A brindle pup barks worriedly at my feet. All of the other wolves have disappeared, fading like a whisper in the woods.

“I know, Leelee. We’re coming.”

“She’s going with us?” Ti asks.

“We’re supposed to take her along. Help her learn the farther reaches of the Homelands.” Leelee scampers on ahead, leaping awkwardly over a huge downed log and sliding down the other side, her fur covered in the sooty brown decay.

Ti clears it in one stride and stands close, not helping me exactly, but I know if I falter, his big shoulder is there for me to grab on to. I make it by myself, but I appreciate his silent gesture.

Leelee watches, her head cocked to the side, as I take a running jump over one of the numerous small, mucky streams that crisscross our land. I slip down the other side, my foot sinking into a soft bruise in the moss. She yips and worries, waiting for me to pull my boot out with a dull sucking sound.

I lift her up and give her an open-jawed kiss on her ear, but she sees a squirrel and won’t stop squirming until I set her down.

“No farther than the Stones, Leelee.”

When we finally catch up, she’s clambering over the variously sized rocks that form rough circles around the ancient central stones. Over the years, the circle has encroached farther and farther into the forest, surrounding the trees.

Leelee marks one of the stones.

“What is this?” Ti asks.

“It’s, um…the Gemyndstow? The memory place? But we just call it the Stones.”

“Like a graveyard?”

“Graveyards are for bodies, aren’t they?”

“Yes.”

“So, no. Coyotes eat our dead. That’s why we call them wulfbyrgenna. Wolf tombs. The stones are only for wolf names and the date of their last hunt so that we can remember.”

When Ti crouches down and looks at one near the front, Leelee runs up to him and looks too, trying to figure out why it is so interesting.

As soon as he stands, she marks that one too.

An ill-advised squirrel runs across the outer rim of the Stones, and Leelee turns quickly to run after it, the wind tickling her fur and the scent in her nose. I know that feeling of taking it all in—moldering pine needles, owl pellets, borer beetle, tree sap, two-year-old porcupine den, sassafras bush—until the scent of prey hits you right in the back of the throat and everything tenses and you chase, even if your tummy’s little and full and all you really want is for the thing, whatever it is, to escape so you don’t have to eat it, but still you can’t help but hunt.

She peels off after her squirrel, looking behind to make sure we’re watching.

The squirrel chitters at her from the safety of a maple. Ti stares, his hands fisted by his sides, as Leelee scampers and bounds and falls on her back and twists her little legs in the air, her belly dotted with leaf litter. A tiny furrow cuts through his usually impassive brow, and his mouth, while still tightly closed, turns down a little at the corners. His wild—that seductive scent of crushed bone and evergreen—radiates thicker now, and when I touch his arm, he jolts as if from a waking dream and blinks down at me, looking in this moment like a lost boy.


About the Author: 

Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world.

Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don’t really need it. She currently lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet.

Visit her website.


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