Author Archives: Book Loving Pixies

RELEASE TOUR ~ Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind by Jessie Lane & Abbie Zanders

 

Title: Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind
Author: Jessie Lane and Abbie Zanders

Genre: Sci/fi Romance
Release Date: April 17, 2018
 

 


Destiny’s not just for Earthlings…

Detective Ryan Winslet is a by-the-book kind of girl. The one and only time she allowed her personal feelings to cloud her judgement, the results were devastating. Now she’s getting a chance to make things right, but a certain sexy nightclub owner is muddying the waters.

Tiberius Maximus isn’t the first Aequorian prince to be exiled to Earth. Like his ancestors, he came, he saw, and he conquered. He’s vanquished his enemies, gained a fiercely loyal family, and runs an incredibly successful nightclub that might push a few legal human boundaries. The only thing he doesn’t have is the life mate he so desperately craves – until a salty blonde saunters into his club one night. 

When the no-nonsense detective meets the exiled prince, their chemistry is off the intergalactic charts. Tiberius is convinced she’s the one for him, but Ryan’s not taking the bait. Sure, he’s über hot and seems like a great catch, but he’s also involved in some fishy business and thinks he’s from another planet. 

Should she follow her head and throw him back?
Or follow her instincts… and her heart… and jump into the deep end?


 

 

 
 
 

 

 


Tiberius sat back and sipped his drink, content to observe. It was amusing to watch the females compete for Donny’s attention. They flirted openly, made lewd suggestions, and sometimes even managed to grope him when he got too close. None of them realized, apparently, that Donny was in a happy, committed relationship with Jay. Donny’s flirtatious behavior was nothing more than his natural, outgoing joie de vivre. The eager females would receive nothing more than a friendly smile and excellent service in exchange for their generous tips, for it was only Jay he sought out at the end of every shift.

 
Tiberius was in the process of raising the glass to his lips when a voice cut through the din and rang like a crystal bell in his head. “Thanks, but no thanks. And just so you know, I’m a cop and she’s my best friend. If you so much as hurt her feelings, I will be back here, and not for a social call, get me?”

 

The voice set his nerves and loins tingling. He scanned the crowd, searching for the source.

 

“Everyone should have such fierce friends. She is in good hands with me, I assure you.” That was from Quintus.
“She’d better be.”

Tiberius stood, his heart thundering in his chest, his mind whirring at tornadic speed. There!He spotted Quintus first, tall and dark, his head bobbing above the majority of shorter humans as he moved away. And there, where he had been, a golden-haired female swathed in blue.
As if drawn by an unseen force, he moved toward her. A fierce, possessive need washed over him. He needed to get her away from the lascivious interests of the worked-up crowd.
Never before had he had such an instant and all-consuming reaction to the mere sight of a woman, in this realm or any other. Dare he hope that his prayers had been answered?
The odds were astronomical, yet his soul cared not. Neither chance nor logic entered into the equation. If the gods had decided to bless him with a mate, then they would also ensure their paths crossed at a location and timing of their choosing. Why not here? Why not now?

He stopped only a short distance away. She was looking in the other direction.
He took a moment to rake his eyes over her. Loose waves of golden silk cascaded over curves that made his mouth water. She was smaller than he had originally thought, barely reaching his neck, even in heels.
As if sensing his presence, she turned. Big, blue-green eyes, the perfect color of an Aequorian sea, widened as her gaze rose upward. He couldn’t help feeling pleased when her skin flushed a lovely shade of pink and her lips parted slightly. With his superior senses, he could hear her heart speed up and feel the heat radiating from her body.

 

“Oh,” she said.

 

Oh, indeed.

 

They stared at each other for a long moment, until the spell was broken when an overexuberant patron plowed into her back, pushing her forward, right into Tiberius’s waiting arms.

 

Energy coursed through his body, firing every nerve and lighting him up from the inside out.
 
“I’m so sorry,” she said, righting herself.

 

He wasn’t. It took every ounce of discipline he possessed not to pull her right back into his embrace.
When another surge of the crowd threatened, he placed his hand on her lower back and firmly but gently guided her out of harm’s way. “May I purchase a beverage for you?”
She blinked then shook her head slightly as if to clear it. “Thank you, but no. I was just leaving.”

 

Leaving? No, he couldn’t allow that. Not until he knew more about her and this inexplicable pull she seemed to have on him.

 

“Unacceptable.”

 

“Why unacceptable?”

 

“Because I have only just found you.”
“Does that line usually work?”

 

“I do not know. You are the first woman to whom I have spoken those words.”

 

Her eyes softened, then she cleared her throat. “Oh, you’re good.”
He grinned. “Does that mean it is working?”
She laughed, the sound filling his chest with light. “Kind of, yeah. But I really was just leaving. This”—she waved her hand around her—“isn’t really for me.”
“Then perhaps you will allow me to suggest a quieter venue, one where we may talk and get to know each other. There is a small eatery just down the street. I have been told it is quite good.”

 

She considered him for a moment then nodded. “Yeah, okay. Why not?”
Copyright © 2017-2018 Abbie Zanders & Jessie Lane.

 

All rights reserved.

 

 







 

 

 




Jessie Lane is a best-selling author of Paranormal and Contemporary Romance, as well as, Upper YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy.

She lives in Kentucky with her two little Rock Chicks in-the-making and her over protective alpha husband that she’s pretty sure is a latent grizzly bear shifter. She has a passionate love for reading and writing naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them.

She’s also a proud member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA).


 
 
 





Abbie Zanders is a sucker for romance and promises her readers two things: happily ever afters, always, and no cliffhangers, ever. Alpha males and strong heroines are a given.

 

Abbie was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, USA. With degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, she worked for more than twenty-five years as a software engineer, designing and writing financial applications, though she has also held second jobs as a deli clerk, pub waitress, restaurant baker, and secretary. She has been crafting stories since elementary school. She is a very busy wife and mother of three (including a set of identical twins). Besides being an avid reader and writer, she also loves animals (especially big dogs), classic muscle cars, and 80’s hair bands.
 
 
 

 

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RELEASE BOOST ~ Regretfully Yours by Sunniva Dee

Do you like the forbidden?
Regretfully Yours by Sunniva Dee IS AVAILABLE NOW!

Amazon
FREE with #KindleUnlimited

“It’s official—Sunniva Dee is the queen of unconventional, forbidden romance. Sunniva has twisted me all up, in the best possible ways, and I can’t wait for more.” – Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author, Harloe Rae

“What a heart-wrenching tale Regretfully Yours turned out to be. I’m rubbing my chest even as I type this review. The author made me feel so many things. I smiled & frowned, giggled & glared, hoped & worried, melted & froze, and I loved & hated. My emotions are a hot mess and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” – iScream Books


 

ADD TO YOUR GR SHELF

Our relationship was a sin, they said, but how can it be a sin to love so deeply?
She shouldn’t have listened to them.
Shouldn’t have left us behind.
You can’t help whom you love, and without Silvina, I didn’t give a damn.
A mafia prince without a cause is a rebel with nothing to lose.
My brother owned an adult entertainment studio.
He wanted me nowhere near it. Thankfully, his competition did.
I auditioned. Landed a contract.
It’s how I took my sins to a new level, my up-yours to la famiglia.
Until Silvina was kidnapped, and my world was thrown upside down.



 
About the Author:
 
I’m a lover of everything beautifully written no matter the genre.
As an author, I pen flawed characters. I seek the flip side where the soul hides, and once there, I want to be pulled out of my comfort zone by stories that take on a life of their own.
I’ve committed paranormal and young adult books. I’ve done contemporary romance verging on erotica, and I’ve dabbled in supernatural mystery. But my heart is anchored in new adult of the true kind: unapologetic young adult that’s all grown up, with conflicts and passions familiar to college-aged readers and people who remember those days like they happened last night.
 
Connect with Sunniva:
 

 

PRE-ORDER BLAST ~ Total Bravery (True Heroes series) by Piper J Drake

 

True heroes will do anything to protect the women they love…

 

Out April 24th – Total Bravery, a True Heroes novel, by Piper J Drake. Pre-order your copy today!

Enter to win a Piper J Drake Gift Basket (print copies of Extreme Honor and Hidden Impact,
sports bag, fun Piper J Drake and Corbin swag)

Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Title: Total Bravery
Series: True Heroes
Author: Piper J. Drake

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – Forever

 

True heroes will do anything to protect the women they love…

As the newest recruit at Search and Protect, Raul has a lot to prove. Luckily, he’s got the best friend and partner a man could ask for: a highly trained, fiercely loyal German Shepherd Dog named Taz. Together, Raul and Taz make an unbeatable team. But their first mission in Hawaii really puts them to the test when an international kidnapping ring sets its sights on the bravest woman Raul’s ever met . . .

Mali knows her latest job has put one hell of a target on her back. And on this small island paradise, there’s nowhere to hide. With a service dog like Taz, Mali feels safe. Sharing close quarters with a smoldering muscle-for-hire like Raul, she feels something else – an unexpected wave of desire. Raul feels it too. But when the kidnappers make their move, he’s got to turn that slow-burning passion into hard-hitting action – and save the life of the woman he loves.

Get More information at:

Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | GooglePlay



Today Only!!

Pick up your copy of ABSOLUTE TRUST, a True Heroes novel, for just $1.99

Absolute Trust (True Heroes) by [Drake, Piper J.]


Amazon
| Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes


About Piper J. Drake

 

Piper J. Drake is a bestselling author of romantic suspense and edgy contemporary romance, a frequent flyer, and day job road warrior. She is often distracted by dogs, cupcakes, and random shenanigans.

 

Connect with Piper at:

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


 

RELEASE BLITZ ~ Fighting for Phoenix by Lynne Leslie

 
Title: Fighting for Phoenix
Author: Lynne Leslie

Genre: Second Chance Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Wicked Dream Designs
Publication Date: April 18th, 2018
 
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
 
Blurb:

Phoenix Miles was my future…
 
Until he left me shattered just like our engagement photo. I’m a survivor though. I have to be because it’s not just my life anymore. When he walks into my bar, I smell more than beer brewing and knew letting him in would be a mistake. I won’t let him break me again.
 
I will win this fight.
 
Jayden Carter was my world…
 
Until she tossed me away just like her engagement ring. I’m a survivor though. I have to be because revenge is all I have left. My path was set, then I walked into her bar. Now, I’m fighting for love and family.
 
As the saying goes, all’s fair in love and war.
 
Neither of us count on outside forces trying to tear us apart. Their endgame? Destruction. Our endgame? Love.
 
 
Buy Link: 

Amazon: 


 
Lynne is a momma bear to two beautiful little girls and one amazing stepson. When she’s not writing, she’s an avid reader. If you don’t catch her with her nose in a book or her fingers scribbling in a notebook, she’s usually right in front of the television with her  family. She lives in the quiet country, somewhere on the Panhandle of Florida. She loves music, dancing and beer. Preferably the beer first so she can at least pretend to know how to twerk when the music comes on. She loves anything that glitters and has a weird habit of collecting pens. Even though she’s in Florida, she hates the ocean and doesn’t eat seafood. I know. I know. She’s a strange human being.
 
Author Links:
Pinterest
Website
 
 

 

I relax back in the tub and close my eyes. If the man wants to take care of me then who am I to stop him. My mind is running ninety miles an hour trying to process everything that he told me anyhow. Four years I’ve thought he cheated on me with her and at most times I’ve hated him for it. After hearing the truth, I don’t know what to feel anymore. I can’t say I’m surprised about Eric and the guys having something to do with it. They never liked me. I honestly never thought they would take it as far as they did though. Never thought they really hated me that much. I don’t know why either. I never kept Phoenix from his friends. That’s not something I would have done. I also wasn’t looking to replace them in his eyes, so I could never figure it out. When they were over, and the tension became too much I would just make excuses and go home. I never let on to Phoenix how bad it was and as far as I know, to this day he still has no clue. Oh, he knows they don’t like me because of all this but I mean he has no clue to how bad it was. As far as her, nothing surprises me. I’ve never been able to understand her or any decisions she made.
Shutting the water off with my foot, I notice how quiet it is in the bedroom.
“Nix?” I call out softly. “Everything okay?”
I hear him gruffly clear his throat before he calls back. “Yeah, kitten. Just a sec.”
I let out a sigh. I’ll never tell him just how much I’ve missed that endearment of his. It’s been a lonely four years without him and whenever I think about all the shit they put us through my heart squeezes in my chest. My baby boy has gone four years without knowing his daddy because of them and the more I think about the more pissed off it makes me. That’s not how it should have been. But it’s something I must let go of if we’re going to try to make this work between us. If we’re going to try and be a family. And the more I think of it the more I realize this is exactly what I want. I want my little family. I’m running my hands through the bubbles, lost in thought when Phoenix walks back into the bathroom empty handed. I don’t know if I can even describe the look on his face, but his eyes are burning with flames and I feel the heat from them scorch me as his eyes roam my body. I don’t know what happened from the time he was in there to the time he walked in to here but it’s an interesting turn of events. His eyes are telling me that I’m desert and he’s fixing to devour me. Not that you’ll hear me complain at all.
           “Lean back.” He demands squatting down by the tub.
I do as he says and watch him through drooped eyelids. My body is burning from the inside out and I want him to ease it. He grabs the loofa and squeezes some soap on it all the while watching me with those burning eyes. Starting with my leg, he tenderly washes from the bottom of my feet to the top of my thigh, teasing the apex of them before moving to the other leg. He unhurriedly slides it up my stomach, running slow circles around and up until he reaches my breasts. I suck in a breath and hold it, waiting with anticipation. Slowly, he grabs one breast with his hand as he uses the other hand to wash it. He teases my nipple with his thumb and forefinger before moving to my other breast and repeating the process. By now my breathing is erratic, my body feels like it’s going to combust into flames and I’m so dizzy from wanting him to ease the ache he’s built inside of me, that I can’t take much more. He’s started an erotic game of foreplay that I seriously hope he plans on finishing. He must feel the same way because before I know it, my arms, back and hair are all washed and rinsed in record time, taking care of the stitches on my eye and scratches on my arms and legs, and he’s got me standing with a towel wrapped around me.
Still without speaking, he grabs my hand and slowly walks me into the bedroom, stopping me at the end of the bed. He unwraps me from the towel bit by bit, like he’s savoring every little piece of me he opens. Turning me around so I’m facing the bed, he dries my back. My body starts to quiver as I feel his lips press against the back of my neck. Sliding my hair out of the way, his lips trail a path from my neck, down my back as his arms wrap around me from behind and cup my breasts. My head falls forward and it’s taking all the energy I have to hold myself up. Instead of trying, I lean further over and brace my hands on the bed. Tweaking my nipples enough that it leaves a hint of pain behind, his hands drift down to my throbbing pussy. I feel my juices already dripping down my leg, I’m so turned on. He slides his fingers through my slit and gathers my cream to lube his fingers. Returning to my clit, he starts running in a circular motion as he lays his forehead against my back. His breathing is harsh and each puff of air that slithers across my back, amps me up more. Moving his fingers away, he places a feather light kiss to the middle of my back, picks me up and places me in the middle of the bed. I watch through lust hazed eyes as he quickly removes his shirt, jeans and briefs. No boxers for my man. Never once does he take his eyes from me. I roam my eyes down his heavily tatted body. One day I’ll explore all the delicious flesh he has exposed to me, including that tattoo wrapping towards his cock. Lifting the fingers of my right hand, I slide two of them into my mouth and glide them down my stomach. His eyes flash hotter as they reach my pussy and slide in. I let out a moan and close my eyes. Fuck, that feels good. Pumping my fingers in and out, I work my clit with my thumb. My hips are lifting in time with my rhythm. I feel him settle in between my thighs and his warm breath hits my clit, adding to the sensation I’m already creating. Knowing he’s watching me and enjoying every minute of it, amps me up even more. I open my eyes and look down my body at him. He’s got his hand wrapped around his cock and is stroking it slowly as his eyes devour everything that I’m doing. I feel the heat licking up and down my body as my orgasm draws near. He knows because he strikes as fast as a snake and yanks my hand away. I let out a whimper and writhe my body on my satin sheets.
“That’s mine, kitten.”
Motherfucker. Even in our sweet moments he’s got to pull his dominating shit. I should have remembered who I have between my legs.
“Then do something.” I growl at him.
“I’ve got you, baby. But we still have to be easy. You’ve been hurt.”
“Dammit, Nix. I’m not made of fucking glass. Just fuck me already.”
He crawls up my body and settles in between my legs. Finally. Grabbing his cock, he twirls it in circles on my clit, teasing me. He leans down and presses kisses to each eyelid, my nose and finally my lips.
“My kitten is hungry, huh.” He whispers lovingly. “I’m sorry baby, but I ain’t nowhere near finished with you. And when I’m finally done playing only then will I sink into that fucking pussy of yours that’s weeping my name and give my kitten what she wants.”
Oh god. He’s going to be the death of me. He feathers kisses down my body stopping to nibble on my nipples. Sucking one and then the other into his mouth, twirling his tongue around each pebbled nub and biting down. A thrill runs through me as he nibbles his way down to the heat of me. I spread my legs wide as he makes his way further south. I give a little shiver as his warm breath feathers against my clit. Placing soft kisses to the inside of my thigh, my breathing speeds up as he gets closer my core. Grabbing my thighs, he holds them apart, opens me up to him and gives me one leisure lick from my ass to my pussy. He taps my thigh to let me know I need to hold it in place as he uses his fingers to hold my pussy lips open. Running his tongue around my lips, he gently teases me with the tip of his tongue. He repeats this motion until I can no longer stand him having no contact with my clit. Slamming my hands to his head, I guide him where I want him. Letting out a wicked chuckle he places his mouth over my clit and starts flicking it slowly. I can’t stop the moan that works its way from my throat. His side to side motions send electricity rocketing through my body.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” I chant as my body goes rigid.
Knowing I’m now close he starts sucking on my clit adding a few nips with his teeth. I feel my body flush as he moans when my pussy starts to leak, causing a vibration that sends me soaring with my release. My body twitches as he feathers his tongue on my overly sensitive clit, making sure he doesn’t miss a drop. Placing a kiss to the top of my pubic bone he sits up, leans back on his knees and gazes at me with a smirk on his face. His eyes are filled with pride and he’s got his lower lip between his teeth.
“How are you feeling? Are you in any pain?”
I let out a dreamy sigh. “Oh no. I’m absolutely perfect. I forgot how well you eat pussy.”
Letting out a gravelly laugh, he climbs his way up my body. Planting soft kisses to my lips, he runs his tongue across them until I open and tangle my tongue with his. His tongue caresses mine with a single-minded focus. Tasting the tangy sweetness of my climax, I wrap my legs around his waist, moan into his mouth and rock my pussy against the cock resting against it.
He pulls back with a shudder and a gasp, unwrapping my legs and separating us. “Kitten, keep grounding that sweet pussy against me and I’m gonna take it. I’m trying to be a gentleman and do the right thing here, no matter what I said. But I’m a man, baby.”
His voice is raw with desire as his hand locks around his wide girth and starts a rough slide, hitting my clit with each upward stroke. Anchoring my legs around his waist once again, I dig my heels into his ass, yank him to me at the same time I raise up and bite his lip.
“I said I wasn’t made of fucking glass.”
I capture his lips with mine and ravish them with a savagery I didn’t know I possessed. He’s my oasis in a dry desert and I can’t get enough to quench my thirst. I feel his large rough hands grab my legs and pin them open right before he plunges into me. We both let out a hoarse cry at the feeling of once again being joined together. His ass flexes under my heels each time he pounds in to me. My head is thrown back in ecstasy, tits bouncing, fingers clenching and unclenching in the sheets. He switches his unrelenting pace to slow, scorching thrusts as he leans down and imprisons me between his arms. I take note of how careful he’s trying to be not to put too much pressure on me, no matter how rough we get. One hand tangles in my long hair, gently pulling my head back as his lips once again settle over mine, his mouth ravenous yet meaningful. Our bodies slick with sweat, our mouths letting 0ut guttural growls and broken cries, we immerse ourselves in each other, the only sounds in the otherwise quiet room. My breath hitches at the naked emotion I see in his eyes and I feel a tear leak from mine. One hand leaves my hair as he captures it with his thumb. I feel exposed, but I can’t stop the words from escaping my lips.
“I’ve missed you.”
It’s like my words awoke a beast within because the next thing I know, my legs are thrown over his arms, pussy spread wide open and I’m being rammed with savage strokes. His cock pummels my pussy as I succumb to his wild, feral fucking. He’s magnificent in all his glory. The tattoos on his neck stick out as he strains it back and lets out a rough groan.
“So fucking good.” He murmurs, his hips slamming against mine with no intention of stopping.
My back arches, hips lifting to meet his as pleasure courses through my body. Goosebumps break out and I flush, body coiling tight as my release approaches. Phoenix, knowing my body as well as I do, pinches my clit between his fingers and tugs.
“Come, now.”
I let out a husky scream as I shatter and fly apart. It’s not long before Phoenix follows, his body convulsing, cock twitching with his release as his strained roar echoes around the room. Still keeping his weight from my chest, he buries his face into my neck trying to recover. He holds his lips there for a short time before pulling back and cupping my face in his tattooed hands.
“I’ve missed you too, kitten. So damn much.”
His kisses my forehead, then my lips before giving a slow erotic glide from my body causing both of us to let out greedy moans. Rolling to the side, he falls to his back and throws his arm over his eyes. His chest is still rising and falling rapidly as he catches his breath. Hell, so is mine. We’ve not come together like that since the night he asked me to marry him.
“Not that I’m complaining but where the hell did that come from?”
Removing his arm, his head swivels in my direction. His eyes are full of something. Torment? But I’m not understanding why.




 


 

CHAPTER REVEAL ~ Knave by Jane Henry & Maisy Archer

 

 

 

 

 

Sabrina: Good guys save the day and criminals go to jail. It’s not rocket science, people.

But then my father’s killed, I’m rescued by a thief, and my worldview is shattered. He takes me to his penthouse. His bed. I don’t have to like it but I can’t help it. His touch is everything a good girl like me shouldn’t want.

Anson: Good and bad mean nothing to a master thief. I take what I want, and what I want is vengeance. No more, no less.

Maybe the girl can help, so I’ll hide her. Protect her. And if I have to manhandle her to keep her quiet, she’ll deal. Hell, she might even like it. But she’ll learn fast that I make the rules.

 


Manhattan
“3, 2, 1… And, security systems are down,” Walker said, his voice with its lilting accent magnified over the tiny communication device in my ear, so that it sounded like he was sitting right next to me. “Daly, you’re up.”
No shit. I rolled my eyes as I employed the tiny laser cutting tool to make a hole in the glass window just large enough for me to slip through. Dangling from a cable four stories above the ground in the middle of a bright, moonlit night was not the best time to start contemplating your life choices, but it seemed to happen every time I worked with these guys; which was to say, twenty-four-seven for the past six months.
“I’m in,” I whispered, pushing the suction holder I’d clamped to the freshly-cut glass disk and reaching my arm into the cooler, drier air of the office. With practiced ease, I levered myself headfirst through the hole, twisting to land lightly on my feet. I set the now useless glass gently on the floor, removed the rappelling cable that tethered me to the roof, and stood silently in the empty office, taking a second to get my bearings, to let my eyes adjust to the relative darkness, and to let my body, sweating from the humid night outside, cool for a second.
“Daly, report.” As always, Xavier’s cool, imperious voice drove me bonkers.
“Report,” I muttered. “Because I’m your freakin’ minion, X.” The comm device, created by Walker to detect the slightest sound, obviously caught my words, but other than Caelan’s reproachful sigh, nobody replied.
Six months, the five of us had been living and working together, and I couldn’t say it had made much difference in my attitude. I still preferred to work alone, and it still bugged the crap out of me that I had four other voices in my head while I was on a job, but I had no one to blame for the situation but myself. I’d answered the invitation that January night, after all, and I’d agreed to stay even after Eugenia Carmichael’s videotaped last will and testament had thrown my life into a tailspin.
“Office is empty,” I said, after a beat or two of silence where I glanced around the empty surfaces of the desk and bookcase behind me. “Doesn’t look like anyone’s been working here. I was able to cut the window in a low visibility location. No direct views from inside or outside, thanks to the Rosenberg building next door being under renovation. Ethan’s intel was good.”
This would buy us crucial time before the office staff of Stuart Fowler Real Estate, LLC, caught on to the fact that they’d been the victims of a break-in.
“Of course it’s good,” Ethan huffed. “I didn’t spend two whole days in that place as the world’s most overqualified temp just to provide you bad information.”
I had to smirk at his little snit, mostly because nobody could see me. Ethan was every bit as good at his job—a cross between reconnaissance and high-key scamming—as I was at mine, but where my role in our little gang involved dressing in black gear and a full-coverage face mask like the one I wore tonight, Ethan’s usually involved wearing an expensive suit and an overly-friendly smile.
“Still wish it didn’t have to happen when the moon was this high,” I grumbled to no one in particular, repeating an argument I’d already made earlier in the week. “Moonlit night in July makes people want to take a walk and look around.”
“And like I told you, the phases of the moon refuse to change no matter how much I try to persuade them to,” Ethan said with an affected sigh. “But if we don’t get the information from the safe tonight, it’s gonna be too late. Now that Fowler’s dead, his attorney’s going to be cleaning out his office and opening the safe to disburse his assets, likely as soon as tomorrow.”
I knew Ethan was right, but I’d be damned before I’d admit it.
“I’m heading to the outer office,” I said instead, moving toward the door. “We’re sure internal door alarms are off?” I was already betting my life on Walker knowing his shit, a pretty safe bet considering he was probably the best hacker on the planet, but old habits died hard, and I really didn’t like relying on anyone but myself.
“I already told you I own the system. You doubting my prowess with the keyboard?” Walker grumbled, his accent thickening when he was put out. “It hurts, man. Just for that, I’m disabling the WiFi in your room and cutting your free premium cable channels.”
“Jesus,” I muttered, placing my hand on the door handle and turning it. Like I gave the first shit about getting free premium cable and WiFi. Thanks to Eugenia Carmichael and her billions, all five of us were now the joint owners of Manhattan’s swankiest penthouse and financially set for life… just as long as we managed to complete the task she’d left us. A task which seemed more and more like the labors of Hercules as the months passed.
I silently eased the door open a crack and stood still again, taking the measure of the room. I didn’t just listen for sounds or heavy breathing, despite the wisecracks Ethan and Walker liked to make, but tried to sense disturbances, picking up on the vibrations that people (and even unforeseen security measures) sometimes gave off. It was a crucial task for any thief who planned to spend his golden years anywhere but a six-by-eight cell.
The room smelled like strawberry candies, and cheap cologne so strong I almost sneezed.
“Daly, you’re on a clock here,” Xavier reminded me needlessly, and my nostrils instinctively flared as I fought the urge to tell him exactly where he could shove his clock. Walker’s jokes were annoying, Ethan’s overly-perceptive friendliness grated, and Caelan’s silent watchfulness made me uncomfortable, but all of them had earned my loyalty over the past six months. The only person in our quintet that I hadn’t warmed to even a fraction was Xavier Malone, heir apparent of the Madison Avenue Malones and douchebag extraordinaire. Walker, Ethan, and Caelan—a former MMA fighter and personal security guard—had all proved their usefulness to our team, as had I, but somehow Xavier’s useless ass had appointed himself our leader.
I wasn’t sure why nobody else minded this as much as I did.
“Shut the fuck up and let me do my job, X,” I retorted.
“X-av-ier. Three syllables, Daly,” he corrected in the fake-bored voice he used when he was all pissed off, and I smiled in satisfaction before I stopped myself.
Legit, was this my life, where calling a high-profile venture capitalist by a hated nickname was how I got my kicks in the middle of a job that could land me in prison?
Jesus.
But even so, I couldn’t resist adding in a whisper, “Did I hurt your feels, honey?”
“I’m gonna hurt both of you if you don’t shut the fuck up and get this done,” Caelan interjected, silencing both of us immediately. Caelan, despite all his bulk and some formidable fighting skills I’d seen in action, had the longest fuse of anyone I’d ever met. When he was finally pushed to the breaking point, it was as effective as an ice bath.
“Reception area is clear,” I said, stepping forward. “I’m going down the hall to Fowler’s office.”
“Remember, code for the office door is 0-0-7-0-1. The safe is on the wall behind the God-awful nude,” Ethan said. “You’re gonna have to use the digital code device…”
“Walker prepped me on the device,” I interrupted, my voice a bare breath of sound as I tread noiselessly down the hall. And I hadn’t needed much of a tutorial to begin with. My memory was nearly photographic, and I’d used similar devices a number of times in the past, for God’s –
Thunk.
“What’s that?” I asked, though I wasn’t sure the sound was audible to anyone else. For a split second, my pulse pounded, and I froze in place, worried there was someone moving in Fowler’s office at the end of the corridor, but then the HVAC system hummed to life, blanketing the room with recycled air. I took a deep breath.
“Daly, report,” Xavier demanded, and for once I wasn’t pissed off about it.
“False alarm, just the A/C kicking in,” I whispered, pressing a hand to my chest.
“Caelan, you’ve got the van in place?” Xavier asked. His voice sounded strained, and for just one second, I let myself wonder what it must be like to feel like you were in charge of a job and know that there was almost nothing you could do to control the outcome, once the game was in play. Huh. For a control freak like Xavier, that had to be a bitch.
“Yep. Got the van parked in the loading zone with a cold lemonade once Daly’s got the documents,” Caelan replied. “Gotta get this beast in for service,” he said fondly, and I could almost hear him petting the steering wheel as he spoke.
The surveillance van was Caelan’s baby, one of the first things he’d purchased on behalf of Masters’ Security Systems, Inc., the security company Xavier had ‘founded’ as a handy cover for our after-hours jobs, and he refused to let any of us even sit behind the wheel.
In some ways, that van and the company it represented were like the sixth member of our band—the one that gave us the respectable façade necessary to hack systems, break and enter locked buildings, and indulge in a little espionage. People actually paid us to test their security systems—both physical and technological—for weaknesses. We were officially known as white-hat thieves and hackers, and our company had quickly earned a reputation for providing the best personal and corporate security money could buy.
No one seemed to suspect that we spent our free time in similar, unsanctioned pursuits.
I crept down the hallway, listening outside each office as I passed, but all was silent. I took a second to curse the air conditioner, which blew strong enough to rustle papers on desks, and was totally throwing me off my game.
Not that any of this was a game—not since Eugenia Carmichael, widow of Federal Judge Trevor Carmichael, stared down at us from that television screen and calmly discussed her own impending murder.
“I’m about to die, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it, gentlemen. The people who’ll kill me don’t care that I’m old or rich. They don’t care that I haven’t long to live in any case, or that the only reason I’ve hung on this long is to get justice for my sweet husband. They’ll make my death seem like the simplest accident or the most natural death imaginable, just like they did for my Trevor. Just like they did for your mother, Anson Daly. Your brother, Ethan Warner. Your fiancée, Caelan Jamison. Your best friend, Walker Smith. And your sister, Xavier Malone.
“They’re soulless bastards, and their greedy tentacles reach into every branch of law enforcement, every institution meant to protect the population from evil men. But when the good folks can’t be trusted, what’s a woman like me to do? I’ll tell you, gents. You gather together a team of criminals. A cat burglar, a computer expert, a bodyguard who’s not afraid to fight, a con-artist… and the greatest criminal of all, a Wall Street investor to lead them.”
I shook my head as I checked the last office on the right and wished I could have known Eugenia Carmichael. Rich as fuck, batty as hell, and the kind of person I’d have liked to have on my team.
“All the other offices are empty,” I whispered. “Entering Fowler’s office.”
I stared down at the keypad and blinked. “Uh, Ethan, what’s it mean if the door is open?” I demanded.
“Impossible. Security system won’t set unless his door is closed,” Ethan said confidently. “Had to stick my tongue down Becca the receptionist’s throat and practically propose marriage to learn that little tidbit, but you know me. Anything for the Masters.”
“Didn’t ask if it was possible,” I retorted, backing away from the door. “Asked what it meant if the impossible was already happening.”
“What? No,” Ethan said, sounding truly concerned. “I don’t know how… Walker, the systems were booted before you shut them down?”
“Definitely,” Walker said. I could hear keys clacking frantically in the background as he no doubt pored over information on the many screens he had set up all over the office we’d created on the second floor of what used to be the Carmichaels’ penthouse. “External system was shut down by me, and the internal system was… Oh.”
“Oh?” I demanded. “What, oh?”
“Well, Jesus, it looks like the internal security wasn’t reset the last time the external security was engaged.”
“In English, geek. My ass is in the wind here!” I fumed, pressing my back into an alcove in the hall.
“Means that someone shut off the security after the building manager closed up. Probably somebody forgot something and had to come back. When they left, they only set the external security, none of the motion sensors inside.”
His voice was apologetic, and honestly, it was something even I wouldn’t have thought to check for, but it was still my ass on the line. “Probably? What’s probably mean, Walker? Like I’ll probably get twenty to life?”
“I’m pulling up the camera feeds now,” he said, the clicking of his fingers on the keyboard sounding like buzzing wasps in my ear.
“Daly, it’s your call,” X said. “If you haven’t seen anyone, Walker’s probably right. System confirms that the external security was restarted an hour ago and wasn’t shut down again until Walker shut it down. Either someone’s been sitting there silently for an hour, or the person who reset the system did a shit job. You know we need those papers, you know the stakes, but it’s your call,” he repeated.
Shit shit shit. I smoothed my hand down the mask that covered my face. My call, but not really.
Last week, the program Walker had set up to cross reference the names of our dead loved ones against the parties involved in cases Eugenia’s dead husband, Judge Trevor Carmichael, had presided over had finally found a match. A year or so ago, Judge Carmichael had ruled on a racketeering case against mid-level real estate owner Stuart Fowler. It just so happened that Stuart Fowler handled the business dealings for Silver, a seedy bar in Vinegar Hill, and the last place my mom had worked before the overdose that killed her. We needed to find out more about who Fowler was working with, who he was working for, and who was behind the dummy corporation Fowler had set up as the owner of Silver, if we wanted to figure out how and why my mother had died.
But clearly we weren’t the only ones who’d cottoned on to this idea, since Fowler, who’d been offered a plea deal in exchange for a reduced sentence, had been killed in prison before he could decide to start naming names.
Chalk another body up to the bad guys.
“Fine. I’m going in,” I told Xavier, pushing the door open with my heart in my throat.
The scent of cologne I’d smelled in the reception area was even more powerful here, and I froze again, listening for any sound, but the room seemed to be holding its breath.
I threw the door wide, making sure no one was hiding behind it, before cautiously creeping forward. Nothing seemed out of place, and the humming of the HVAC was the only sound.
“Clear,” I breathed, stepping forward to finish my mission.
Any thief who claimed he wasn’t superstitious was a liar. Every thief had a tell—a lucky pair of socks, a nervous tic—and I was no different. I cracked the knuckles of my right hand, and then my left, clenching and unclenching my hands exactly twelve times as I walked over to the desk, my eyes fixed on the ugliest nude I’d ever seen. Jesus, her breasts looked like purple apples. I shook my head in disgust as I opened the painting, handily attached to the wall by a hinge, and put my hand in my pocket to extract the digital code device.
“Christ on a cracker,” I breathed, letting the device fall back into my pocket. I wouldn’t need it now. “Someone got here before us. Safe is empty.”
A chorus of curses echoed through my ear.
“What do we do now?” I demanded, taking a step back and pulling the mask up off my face. “This shit show can’t get much worse.”
My heel hit something on the floor with a dull thud, something I couldn’t see from the thin shafts of moonlight coming through the tinted windows. I crouched down to examine it more closely.
“Oh, my God,” I breathed. “I lied. It’s worse. Dead body. Mother fucker, there’s a dead body in here.” I stood up abruptly.
“Who is it?” Xavier demanded, ever practical.
“He’s not exactly introducing himself, X!” I said. I could hear the panic in my own voice, but dead bodies and I did not get along. “I’m outta here.”
“Check his wallet,” Caelan argued.
“No way! You come do it!”
“You said yourself, it can’t get worse. Just keep your head and check the wallet. We need to know who we’re dealing with here!” Caelan soothed.
And that’s how I found myself, against my better judgment, touching the corpse on the floor of Stuart Fowler’s office, and rolling him over to pick his pocket. Yes, this was really my life.
“Got the wallet,” I said, pocketing the thing and letting the body fall back down.
“You sure he’s dead?” Ethan wanted to know.
“Oh, for God’s sake.” Before Caelan could get all reasonable or X could get all imperious, I held my breath, stripped my glove, and put my fingers to the guy’s throat. He was still warm, but there was no pulse. I leaned closer in case I could hear a breath.
“Achoo!”
I jumped three feet. My instincts had saved my life more times than I could count, and for just one second, I swear I thought the man on the floor, the body on the floor, had sneezed, but then I realized where the sound had come from.
“What the hell is that?” Xavier demanded.
“A sneeze,” I said, standing up and getting my wits about me once more. I crept along the floor towards a small coat closet next to the office door, and threw the door open wide.
“Guys?” I said, as I looked down at the small, wide-eyed redhead huddled there. “Things got worse again.”

 


 

 





Jane Henry

 Jane has been writing since her early teens, dabbling in short stories and poetry. When she married and began having children, her pen was laid to rest for several years, until the National Novel Writing Challenge (NaNoWriMo) in 2010 awakened in her the desire to write again. That year, she wrote her first novel, and has been writing ever since. With a houseful of children, she finds time to write in the early hours of the morning, squirreled away with a laptop, blanket, and cup of hot coffee. Years ago, she heard the wise advice, “Write the book you want to read,” and has taken it to heart. She sincerely hopes you also enjoy the books she likes to read.

 

 

Maisy Archer

 

Maisy is an unabashed book nerd who has been in love with romance since reading her first Julie Garwood novel at the tender age of 12. After a decade as a technical writer, she finally made the leap into writing fiction several years ago and has never looked back. Like her other great loves – coffee, caramel, beach vacations, yoga pants, and her amazing family – her love of words has only continued to grow… in a manner inversely proportional to her love of exercise, house cleaning, and large social gatherings. She loves to hear from fellow romance lovers, and is always on the hunt for her next great read.

 

 

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CHAPTER REVEAL ~ His To Claim by Shelly Bell

 

 

 

 

 

“I had to constantly remind myself to breathe. Shelly Bell packs a powerful punch with her flawless writing and suspenseful, passionate love story.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Ellen Malpas on At His Mercy

 

 

Fate brought them together. Family could tear them apart.

Ryder McKay may be a playboy, but he’s never been a fool. Not until he met the woman he simply knew as Jane. For one night, he dropped his guard, but in the morning she disappeared—along with a copy of his top secret technology.

When it ends up in the hands of his biggest enemy—his father—Ryder knows without a doubt he’s been betrayed. And when he finds Jane again, a year later, he can’t decide what’s worse—that her mother is marrying his brother, or that he still finds Jane irresistible, despite the fact that she’s a liar, a thief, and his father’s latest protégé.

Jane Cooper does have a secret, but it’s not the one Ryder thinks. As their rekindled passion changes into something deeper, they’ll have to work together to untangle a web of lies and corruption that will shatter everything they thought they knew about their pasts. Because Jane’s not the only one with a secret—and this secret is getting people killed.

 


 

Ryder McKay knocked back a shot of Jameson, slammed the glass down on the bar, and grabbed the next one, relishing the smooth burn sliding down his throat. It wasn’t every day your brother was about to marry the daughter of the country’s most powerful man.
The press was calling the union a “marriage made in heaven.”
More like a deal with the devil.
Only in this case, it had been a deal between two devils. Two criminals posing as legitimate business men who were likely using their offspring to solidify some kind of pact between the two families. If Keane McKay and Ian Sinclair joined forces instead of working against each other, they’d have the potential to be largest crime syndicate in North America.
It had been years since Ryder had turned his back on Keane and that life. After he’d graduated high school, he’d made good on his lifelong promise to himself. He’d moved out and never returned.
Any conversation with Keane over the past decade had been limited to Ryder’s insistence that his father not contact him again. It had taken several years, but he had eventually gotten the hint and stopped calling.
To maintain his distance from Keane, Ryder hadn’t planned on attending his brother Finn’s wedding.
Then last week, he’d come across a photograph that had changed his mind.
A photo of Jane.
Recalling the vixen he’d spent one wild night with almost a year ago, he licked remnants of the whiskey from his lips and swirled his finger along the rim of the glass. Before falling asleep that night, he’d realized one time inside of Jane hadn’t been enough for him.
He’d wanted more.
Not just sex, but the chance to get to know her.
Crazy thoughts for a man who’d spent his adult life never having sex with the same woman twice.
But she’d pulled a Cinderella on him, fleeing his hotel room in the middle of the night. Other than her first name, he’d known nothing about her.
Obsessed with finding the woman he couldn’t forget, he’d wasted months searching for her. He’d checked with the organization that had sponsored the conference where they’d met. Called other attendees. Combed through photos of the conference. Hell, at one point, he’d been so desperate, he’d hired a private detective.
And what had he found?
Nothing.
It was as if she’d never existed.
His fingers tightened around his glass.
He’d been a fool.
Because now he knew the truth.
Shortly after their night together, he’d realized someone had copied design and software files from his computer. He hadn’t wanted to believe that Jane had been the one to do it—the time stamp didn’t match—but last week, Ryder stumbled upon a recent article online about his father’s foray into the automated commercial kitchen business, the same business as Ryder’s company Novateur.
Then the photo accompanying the article caught his attention.
It was a photo of the company’s vice -president of innovation standing beside Keane.
Jane.
A muscle popped in his jaw as he acknowledged once again what an idiot he’d been that night.
He’d played right into her hands, lowering his guard when he brought her to his hotel room, not suspecting she would stab him in the back while he slept.
Novateur was one of the first in the world to bring “smart kitchen” technology to restaurants and bakeries. Already in business together providing productivity consultations to restaurants, Ryder and his best friend Tristan had formed the company shortly after their discussion that automation was an effective way to cut costs and increase efficiency in restaurant kitchens. Voice-activated appliances, robotic arms, and conveyor belts for restaurants and bakeries—even the smaller, family-owned ones—were now an affordable reality.
Novateur was the only restaurant automation company to custom design and install the technology per the customer’s specific needs—until McKay Industries.
The evidence was indisputable. Jane had been the one to steal the designs for his father.
Had she thought Ryder wouldn’t find out? Or had she thought that changing the time stamp would save her?
In the end, the joke was on her. Because anything she copied was worthless without key pieces of code. That alone should have given him the satisfaction to move on.
And yet he couldn’t. Something about her didn’t add up. He couldn’t equate the woman he’d met that night with the woman he now knew her to be. She’d acted so innocent in his bed, her eyes widening in something that looked like awe as he’d removed his clothes and given her the first glimpse of his cock.
Not that it wasn’t awe worthy. He didn’t bother with false modesty.
But Jane’s response had seemed…honest. She’d actually flinched when he’d first entered her. Even now, he could hear her husky voice in his head and the way she whispered his name as he brought her to climax. He remembered the sensation of her silky thighs against his cheeks and how tight her pussy had clamped around him when she came.
He rubbed the stubble on his chin with his knuckles.
Since that night, every time it came down to sealing the deal with a woman, thoughts of Jane popped into his head.
And while he could admit he was bit of an asshole when it came to the opposite sex, he wouldn’t fuck one woman while thinking of another.
She hadn’t only stolen his technology.
She’d stolen his fucking mojo.
He should hate her, and yet there were nights he’d roll over in bed and reach for her, only to find the sheets cold.
According to Finn, all of McKay’s essential employees had been invited to the wedding.
Which was why Ryder was here.
Tonight, he was on a mission.
Find Jane.
Confront her.
And get her out of his system, once and for all.
Whatever it took.
Even if whatever it took meant him having to dress in a monkey suit, smile at people he detested, and kiss up to his father. If he’d shown up at McKay Industries, no doubt Keane would have had security toss Ryder out of the building.
But he couldn’t keep Ryder from the wedding.
And Jane wouldn’t be expecting him.
Ryder gulped down his next shot, not even bothering to enjoy it, and returned it bottom side up to the white-satin-covered bar top. Thank fuck his brother and his fiancée had chosen to get married in the city’s only five-star hotel instead of having the traditional church wedding. He’d never make it through the next couple of hours if he had to do it sober.
“Make the next one a double and keep ’em coming,” he told the bartender.
A hard slap on his tuxedoed-clad back had his teeth rattling. He didn’t need to turn around to know who had smacked the shit out of him. Finn may be ten years older but he’d never gone easy on him.
“Save some of the good shit for the other guests,” his brother said.
Ryder turned around, relieved that Finn was alone. He definitely needed more whiskey before dealing with the rest of the family. “Thought you’d be getting ready with Keane and all the other groomsmen.”
Although they shared a father, they looked nothing alike. The only thing they had in common were their gray eyes, a trait shared by all the McKay men. Otherwise, Ryder took after his Mexican mother with his dark brown hair and tanned skin while Finn was a younger version of their Irish father with reddish-blond hair. Not to mention, Ryder towered over Finn by a good five inches, something he never let his older brother forget.
Smooth shaven and with his hair cut short, Ryder barely recognized his brother. Where was the beard? His trademark long hair? This guy was a carbon copy of their father. Of course, it had been a couple years since Ryder had last seen Finn. It had killed Ryder to do it, but once his brother had chosen to take a position at McKay Industries, Ryder had been forced to put some space between them.
Finn gave him a wink. “Wanted to make sure my best man hadn’t taken off with some random chick to get his pre-wedding ceremony blow job.”
More like Finn was worried Ryder had again changed his mind about attending the wedding and wouldn’t show. Understandable, since Ryder had questioned his brother more than once as to why Finn was marrying Ciara.
Bad enough Finn had left the attorney general’s office to work at McKay Industries, but to marry into a family possibly even more corrupt than theirs? Finn must have lost his damned mind.
Ryder scratched his head. He had to try one last time to convince Finn he was making the wrong decision. “Listen, I’m sure you don’t want to hear this, but—”
“I’m marrying Ciara.” Finn held up his hand, effectively stopping Ryder from continuing. “I appreciate that you’re concerned for me, but I assure you, I know what I’m doing.”
Folding his arms across his chest, Ryder snorted and leaned his back against the bar. “Yeah, because after all, your first marriage went so well.”
His brother shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “Marriage is complicated.”
Complicated was something Ryder didn’t need in his life. That’s why he was never getting married. “Especially when your wife tries to kill you.”
“She wasn’t trying to kill me,” Finn mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck. “Greta was an expert marksman. Got me exactly where she wanted to.”
Ryder would never forget the night he’d gotten the phone call that his brother had been shot. Nearly ran off the road trying to get to the hospital, only to arrive and find his brother resting comfortably on his stomach as he watched the Tigers’ game on his iPhone.
Asshole.
“What does your new woman think of the scar on your ass?” Ryder asked Finn.
Finn grinned. “She thinks it’s sexy.”
“Only the daughter of a criminal would find a bullet to the ass sexy.”
His brother shushed him and stepped closer, looking around the empty room in a move that hinted at paranoia. “Keep your voice down, would you?”
Ryder tamped down his urge to chuckle. Fucking with his brother rated high on his list of favorite things to do. “What are you worried about? Someone finding out that your future father-in-law is a criminal or that your ex shot you in the ass when you asked for a divorce?” he asked loud enough for anyone close by to overhear, including the bartender, who stopped his cleaning at Ryder’s words and let out a snort.
Finn only shook his head. “You’re an asshole. Do you know that?” He clamped a hand on Ryder’s shoulder and squeezed. Hard. “But you’re also the best brother any guy could ask for. I’m thankful every day that Dad boinked the maid and fathered you. Which is why I’m going to tell you that when it comes to Ciara and her family, I know what I’m getting into.”
“I thought we agreed we were both getting out of the family business. Me with Novateur and you by becoming some hotshot lawyer. We don’t need Dad’s money and we certainly don’t need his connections.”
His brother clenched his jaw and looked away, almost guiltily. “As long as Dad is still in charge of McKay Industries, we’ll never be free of him. Don’t you get it by now?”
“So you just gave up and figured you’d make him even more powerful by marrying a rival’s daughter?”
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Finn sighed. “I told you. I love—”
“You love Ciara.” He rolled his eyes. Childish, but appropriate. “I heard you the first twenty times. But I still don’t believe you.”
Ryder wasn’t completely dead inside. He had the ability to love. He loved his brother, Tristan, and an ice-cold beer at a ball game, but as for the so-called everlasting romantic kind of love?
Not in his genetic makeup.
His father was on marriage number four—no, five—and his brother’s first marriage had ended in gun play.
The odds were definitely not in Ryder’s favor…or his brother’s.
Long ago, Ryder had made the decision never to get married or have children. Both a wife and a kid would be a vulnerability he couldn’t afford. Look at what Keane had done by stealing Ryder’s designs and competing against him. No, Ryder could never give Keane that kind of power over him.
Finn shot him a look of disappointment. “I know you don’t, but I wish you had at least a little faith that I know what I’m doing.” He puffed out his chest and straightened his bow tie, cutting the awkward tension with his smirk. “After all, I’m the big brother. You’re supposed to look up to me.”
“And I would if you weren’t such a midget,” Ryder deadpanned.
His brother grabbed his crotch. “Yeah, well, unlike you, I’m large where it counts.”
Ryder was about to challenge that comment when his brother’s smirk slid off his face and all the joy was sucked out of the room. He didn’t have to turn around to know the source of the sucking.
“Pop,” Ryder said in greeting.
A firm hand clasped his shoulder and a raspy voice, created by a two-pack- a- day cigarette habit, came from behind him. “Ryder. Good to see you, son.”
Too bad he couldn’t say the same.
He waited for the scent of cigarettes to assault his nose and was surprised when it didn’t happen. Had the old man finally quit?
His father moved to his side, giving Ryder a glimpse of the man he hadn’t seen in years.
Always robust and thick around the waist, his father had shrunk to half his old size. Still not skinny, but to Ryder, the difference was jarring. His white hair had thinned on top, showing off the reddened scalp underneath it, and his wrinkled skin seemed especially pronounced because of his weight loss.
He looked…tired. Old. Too old for seventy-one.
For a moment, Ryder experienced a rush of compassion for his father, until he remembered that his father had never once had any compassion for anyone else.
He expected a lecture. A snide remark. Something.
But his father simply gave him a nod of regard and focused his attention on Finn. “There’s been a slight delay with the wedding ceremony. Apparently, Jane has had an incident with her bridesmaid dress and had to run to the bridal shop to have it repaired. She’s on her way now.”
Ryder froze mid-breath. Although he tried to keep his voice disinterested, he was anything but. “Jane?”
His father’s eyes twinkled with something resembling pride. “My step-granddaughter. Or soon-to-be step-granddaughter.”
No.
It had to be a different Jane.
“Ciara has a child?” he asked his brother, surprised that fact hadn’t come up before.
“Jane’s an adult now. Ciara had her at fifteen,” Finn said quietly. “Jane was raised by Ciara’s aunt and uncle down in Florida. Even now, not a lot of people in our circle know Ciara has a daughter, so I’d appreciate it if you kept the information to yourself.”
Whoever this Jane was, anger flared hot in his gut on her behalf.
They wanted to keep the girl a secret as if she had a reason to be ashamed. Why even bother inviting her to the wedding?
Mumbled curses and frantic footsteps echoed from down the hall, growing louder as someone approached.
Ryder’s mouth went dry.
Even mumbled, he’d recognize that silken voice anywhere.
Like a tornado, she whirled into the room, every part of her in disarray, from her long dark brown curls to the thick black-framed glasses tilted on her nose.
She was as beautiful as he’d remembered.
It made it difficult to remember she was the enemy.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, gripping the sides of her dress in her hands to keep it off the floor and looking down at her feet as if worried she’d trip. “As I was leaving my apartment, the hem of my dress got caught in the…”—she looked up and her eyes widened as she caught sight of Ryder—“…door.”
This wasn’t the plan. He’d wanted to surprise her.
But he hadn’t expected to be just as shocked.
If Ciara was Jane’s mother, that made Jane his…
He couldn’t even finish the thought.
Finn kissed her warmly on the cheek. “Jane. This is my brother, Ryder. Ryder, this is—”
“Jane,” she said, smiling tightly while her swan-like throat worked over a swallow. “Your soon-to-be step-niece.”


 


 Shelly Bell is the author of the popular Benediction and Forbidden Lovers series. Her book, Blue Blooded, received a Top Pick from Romantic Times Book Reviews and was nominated for an RT Award. At His Mercy, the first in her Forbidden Lovers series, has been nominated for an RT Award in Erotic Romance and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

When she’s not working her day job, taking care of her family, or writing, you’ll find her reading the latest romance or thriller. Shelly is a member of Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

 

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COVER REVEAL ~ REBEL HEART (Rush Series Duet book 2) by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

We are thrilled to bring you the cover for REBEL HEART the second book in the
Rush Series Duet by New York Times bestsellers Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland,
releasing on May 22nd!

 

Model: Micah Truitt
Photographer: Leonardo Corredor
Cover designer: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative

 

Rush and Gia’s story continues in the gripping conclusion to Rebel Heir…

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Sleep with your boss. Check.

Blow all your money on a rental you can’t afford. Check.

How to walk away from a man you fall in love with at the end of a summer:

…I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Rebel Heir is the second book in the Rush Series Duet. Book One, Rebel Heir, is available for sale now.

 

 

REBEL HEART

Amazon ➜ Rebel Heart (Book Two) | iBooks ➜ Rebel Heart (Book Two) 
B&N ➜ Rebel Heart (Book Two) | Kobo ➜ Rebel Heart (Book Two) 
Google Play ➜ Rebel Heart (Book Two)

 

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How to kick off a great summer in the Hamptons:

Snag a gorgeous rental on the beach. Check.

Get a job at a trendy summer haunt. Check.

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Fall for the one guy with a dark leather jacket, scruff on his face, and intense eyes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the tony looking crowd. A guy you can’t have when you’ll be leaving at the end of the season.

Check. Check. Check.

I should add—especially when the guy is your sexy, tattooed God of a boss.

Especially when he not only owns your place of employment but inherited half of the town.

Especially when he’s mean to you.

Or so I thought.

Until one night when he demanded I get in his car so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me walking in the dark.

That was sort of how it all started with Rush.

And then little by little, some of the walls of this hardass man started to come down.

I never expected that the two of us, seemingly opposites from the outside, would grow so close.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the rebel heir, especially when he made it clear he didn’t want to cross the line with me.

As the temperature turned cooler, the nights became hotter. My summer became a lot more interesting—and complicated.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

 

Amazon| iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon Paperback


 About the Authors

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over a million books sold, she is a seventeen-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over fifteen novels, including RoomHate which hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and #1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Other New York Times bestsellers include Stepbrother Dearest, Neighbor Dearest, Drunk Dial, Cocky Bastard, Stuck-Up Suit, Playboy Pilot and Mister Moneybags (the latter four co-written with Vi Keeland).

Connect with Penelope Ward

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram

 

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over ninety Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

 

 


 

RELEASE BLITZ ~ Regretfully Yours by Sunniva Dee

Do you like the forbidden?
Regretfully Yours by Sunniva Dee IS AVAILABLE NOW!
Only 99c for a limited time!

Amazon
FREE with #KindleUnlimited

“It’s official—Sunniva Dee is the queen of unconventional, forbidden romance.
Sunniva has twisted me all up, in the best possible ways, and I can’t wait for more.”
Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author, Harloe Rae

 

 

ADD TO YOUR GR SHELF

Our relationship was a sin, they said, but how can it be a sin to love so deeply?
She shouldn’t have listened to them.
Shouldn’t have left us behind.
You can’t help whom you love, and without Silvina, I didn’t give a damn.
A mafia prince without a cause is a rebel with nothing to lose.
My brother owned an adult entertainment studio.
He wanted me nowhere near it. Thankfully, his competition did.
I auditioned. Landed a contract.
It’s how I took my sins to a new level, my up-yours to la famiglia.
Until Silvina was kidnapped, and my world was thrown upside down.



About the Author:
 
I’m a lover of everything beautifully written no matter the genre.
As an author, I pen flawed characters. I seek the flip side where the soul hides, and once there, I want to be pulled out of my comfort zone by stories that take on a life of their own.
I’ve committed paranormal and young adult books. I’ve done contemporary romance verging on erotica, and I’ve dabbled in supernatural mystery. But my heart is anchored in new adult of the true kind: unapologetic young adult that’s all grown up, with conflicts and passions familiar to college-aged readers and people who remember those days like they happened last night.
 
Connect with Sunniva:
 

 

RELEASE BLITZ ~ Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

 

Title: Birthday Girl

Author: Penelope Douglas


Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 17, 2018

 

Amazon US
Amazon CA
Amazon UK
Amazon AUS

Synopsis: 

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.


*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.



BLP REVIEW ~ Tracy

I started reading this book at 0200 this morning, had to catch a few hours sleep and then read devoured the rest of Pike & Jordan’s story at every opportunity while at work…….

My overwhelming feeling is still FUUUUCK!!!! I ADORED this book…. going in I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but hells bells, it was everything you’d want from a Penelope Douglas book and so much more! 

I wanted this pair together from their first meeting, then when Jordan and Cole moved into his dad’s home I desperately wanted him to mess up so much that Pike and Jordan would have a chance, because together they were fanbloodytastic! 

This books pulled at all of my emotions. It made me smile, laugh, twisted my heart, had my stomach in damned knots – I wanted things to work in their favour soooo much it hurt at points – and I’m not afraid to admit that it made me cry (thankfully not big ugly snot tears – ‘cos as I said I read a lot at work – but the waterworks did start!). This book was hot as Hades, the connection and attraction between Jordan & Pike was palpable and even though there was a 19 year age gap, at no time did their interactions or relationship make me feel uncomfortable!

Well written as ever, with a great supporting cast – I loved Cam and Shel while I could have happily obliterated Pike’s ex (Cole’s mom).  Birthday Girl was so very different from what we’re used to from Penelope but it’s a fantastic read and one I definitely recommend you give a go and it gets 5 big scented candle stars from me!! 


 

Buy a Copy Here

Amazon


About The Author:

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and now Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming later this year, and the standalone, Motel, coming in 2019.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

Subscribe to her blog: Click Here

Be alerted of her next release: Click Here

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RELEASE BLITZ ~ The Storm (Irin Chronicles #6) by Elizabeth Hunter

 

The Storm, an all new Standalone Urban Fantasy Romance by USA TODAY
Bestselling Author Elizabeth Hunter is Available NOW!

 

 

On the darkest night of winter, can he bring light to her wounded heart?

Scarred by loss, Irina warrior Renata has held the world at a distance. Fighting the Grigori and protecting humanity are her goals, but her heart remains frozen to the bonds of family and love. Only one scribe, Maxim of Riga, has managed to see through Renata’s armor.

On the darkest night of winter, in the halls of her ancestral home, Renata is forced to face her past. Can a fierce storm and a stubborn scribe coax her back to life, or will she retreat into duty forever?

with bonus novella SONG FOR THE DYING

When a letter arrives from a remote scribe house in Latvia, Leo and Max must return to their childhood home to face the father and grandfather who raised them.

The past is inescapable, but can it be overcome? Is it possible to build a future of happiness from a foundation of pain?

The Storm and Song for the Dying are novellas in the Irin Chronicles, a romantic fantasy series by Elizabeth Hunter.


 

Grab Your copy Today!

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US
Amazon Universal

Add to Goodreads



 

Follow THIS LINK to Enter:


About Elizabeth Hunter

ELIZABETH HUNTER is a USA Today and international bestselling author of romance, contemporary fantasy, and paranormal mystery. Based in Central California, she travels extensively to write fantasy fiction exploring world mythologies, history, and the universal bonds of love, friendship, and family.

She has published over thirty works of fiction and sold over a million books world-wide. She is the author of Love Stories on 7th and Main, the Elemental Legacy series, the Irin Chronicles, the Cambio Springs Mysteries, and other works of fiction.

Sign up for her newsletter to receive exclusive bonus content, advance previews, and alerts about new releases and sales.

 

Follow Elizabeth Hunter

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