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SURPRISE BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT ~ Provocative (White Lies Book One) by Lisa Renee Jones

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Provocative
(White Lies Book One)
by Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date: April 18th
Genre: Contemporary Romance

A Note from the author:

Hi everyone!

I am BEYOND excited to introduce my WHITE LIES DUET! This is a sexy, intense, psychological thriller, that is provocative in every way, thus why I named book one: PROVOCATIVE. And since this series takes me back to my indie roots, the pricing is lower than my New York titles, and the release dates are close together.

Here are the details on the series:

  • PROVOCATIVE, book one, will be out on April 18, 2017 and priced at $2.99 – includes the free novella REBECCA’S FORGOTTEN JOURNALS for those readers who purchase during release week or pre-order where pre-order is available.
  • SHAMELESS, book two, will be out on July 11, 2017 and priced at $3.99
  • BOTH books will be full-length!
  • I’m also giving away prizes on my blog every day in April to celebrate! Entry is super easy. Just comment! The link to my blog is HERE so be sure to subscribe!

And now, without further ado, the covers for the duet, blurb for book one, and CHAPTER ONE of PROVOCATIVE! I can’t wait for you to meet the dirty talking alpha, Nick “Tiger” Rogers. I hope you enjoy him as much as I enjoyed writing him!

Provocative Final Border

ABOUT THE BOOK

Book one in the sexy and intense new White Lies duet by Lisa Renee Jones!

There are those moments in life that are provocative in their very existences, that embed in our minds forever, and sometimes our very souls. They change us, mold us, maybe even save save us. But some are darker, dangerous. If we allow them to, they control us. Seduce us. Quite possibly even destroy us.

The moment I walked into Sonoma’s Reid Winter Winery and Vineyard and made eye contact with Faith Winter for the first time was one of those moments. Provocative because I know at least one of her secrets, of which, I suspect she has many. Provocative because she believes I was a stranger to her when we met, but I am not. Provocative because I sought her out, with no intention of touching her. But now I have. Now I want her. Now I have to have her. But that changes nothing. It doesn’t change why I came for her.

Pre-Order PROVOCATIVE Today!

Special $2.99 pre-order price – will increase after release!

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pro·voc·a·tive

adjective

  1. causing annoyance, anger, or another strong reaction, especially deliberately.
  2. arousing sexual desire or interest, especially deliberately.

Chapter One

There are those moments in life that are provocative in their very existences, that embed in our minds forever, and sometimes our very souls. They change us, mold us, maybe even save us. But some are darker, dangerous. If we allow them to, they control us. Seduce us. Quite possibly even destroy us.

The moment I stepped into the mansion that is the centerpiece of the Reid Winter Vineyards and Winery wasn’t one of those moments. Nor were any of the moments I spent weaving through a crowd of suits and dresses cluttering the circle that is the grand foyer of the 1800’s mansion, fancy tiles etched with vines beneath my feet. Nor the ones spent declining three different waiters offering me glasses of various wines from one of the most established vineyards in Sonoma, meant to entice me to buy their bottles and donate money to the charity hosting the gathering. Not even the instant that I spotted the stunning blonde in a snug black dress that hugged her many lush curves proved to be one of those moments, but I would call it a damn interesting one. The moment I decided the blonde silk of her long hair belonged in my hands and on my stomach was also a damn interesting one. And not because she’s fuckable. There are plenty of fuckable women in my life, a number of whom understand that I enjoy demands for pleasure, which I will definitely provide, and nothing more. This woman is too prim and proper to ever agree to such an arrangement, and yet, knowing this, as she and her heart-shaped backside disappear into the congestion of bodies, I find myself pursuing her, looking for more than an interesting moment. I want that provocative one.

I follow her path formed by huddles of two, three, or more people, left and right, to clear a portion of the crowd, scanning to find my beauty standing several feet away, her back to me, with two men in blue suits in front of her. And while they might appear to blend with the rest of the suits in the room, they hold themselves like the parasites I meet too often in the courtroom, those who most often call themselves my opposing counsel. My blonde beauty folds her arms in front of her chest, her spine stiff, and if I read her right–and I read most people right–I am certain that she’s found trouble. But lucky for her, trouble doesn’t like me near as much as I like it.

Closing the space between me and them, I near their little triangle just in time to hear her say, “Are we really doing this here and now?”

“Yes, Ms. Winter,” one of the men replies. “We are.”

“Actually,” I say, stepping to Ms. Winter’s side, her floral scent almost as sweet as the challenge of conquering her opponents that are now mine, “we are not doing this here or now.”

All attention shifts to me, Ms. Winter giving me a sharp stare that I feel rather than see, my focus remaining on the men I want to leave, not the woman I want to make come. “And you would be who?” the suit directly in front of me demands.

I size him up as barely out of his twenty-something diapers, without experience, the glint in his eye telling me he doesn’t realize that flaw, which makes him about as smooth as a six-dollar glass of wine everyone in this place would spit the fuck out. A point driven home by the fact that he’s wearing a three hundred-dollar Italian silk tie, and a hundred-dollar suit, no doubt hoping the tie makes the suit look expensive, and him important. He’s wrong.

“I said, who are you?” he repeats when I apparently haven’t replied quickly enough, his impatience becoming my virtue as my role as cat in this game of cat and mouse is too easily established.

Unwilling to waste words on a predictable, expected question that I’d never ask, I simply reach into the pocket of my three-thousand-dollar light gray suit, which I earned by beating opponents with ten times his experience and negotiation skills, and finger the unimportant prick my card.

He snaps it from my hand, gives it a look that confirms my name and the firm I started a decade ago now, after daring to leave behind a certain partnership in a high-powered firm. “Nick Rogers?” he asks. “Is there another name on the card?” I ask, because, I’m also a fearless smartass every chance I get.

He stares at me for several beats, seeming to calculate his words, before asking, “How many Mr. Rogers sweater jokes do you get?”

I arch a brow at the misguided joke that only serves to poke the Tiger. Suit Number Two, who I age closer to my thirty-six years, pales visibly, then snatches the card from the other man’s hand, giving it a quick inspection before his gaze then jerks to mine. “The Nick Rogers?”

“I don’t remember my mother putting the word ‘the’ in front of my name,” I reply dryly, but then again, I think, she didn’t ask my father, to change my last name either. She just hated him that much.

“Tiger,” he says, and it’s not a question, but rather a statement of “oh shit” fact.

“That’s right,” I say, enjoying the fruits of my labor that created the nickname, not one given to me by my friends.

“Who, or what, the fuck is Tiger all about?” Suit Number One asks.

“Shut up,” Suit Number Two grunts, refocusing on me to ask, “You’re representing Ms. Winter?”

“What I am,” I say, “is standing right here by her side, telling you that it’s in your best interests to leave.”

“Since when do you handle small-time foreclosures?” he demands, exposing the crux of Ms. Winter’s situation.

“I handle whatever the fuck I want to handle,” I say, my tone even, my lips curving as I add, “Including the process of having you both escorted off the property by security.”

“That,” Suit Number One dares to retort, “would garner Ms. Winter unwanted attention in the middle of a busy event. Not that Ms. Winter even has security to call.”

“Fortunately, I have a phone that dials 911 and the ability to call it without asking her.”

If she’s your client,” Suit Number One says, clearly inferring that she’s not, “you’re obligated to operate with her best interests in mind.”

“My decisions,” I reply, without missing a beat, and without claiming Ms. Winter as a client, “are always about winning. And I assure you that I can think of many ways to spin your story to the press that ensures I win, while also benefiting Ms. Winter.”

“This isn’t my story,” Suit Number One indicates.

“It will be when I’m finished with the press,” I assure him, amused at how easily I’ve led him down the path I want him to travel.

“This is a small community with little to talk about but her,” he says. “She doesn’t want her foreclosure to become the front page story.”

My lips quirk. “If you don’t know how easily I can get the wrong attention for you here, and the right attention for Ms. Winter, you’ll find out.”

“We’ll leave,” Suite Number Two interjects quickly, and just when I think that he’s smart enough to see the way trouble has turned from Ms. Winter to them, he looks at her and says, “We’ll be in touch,” with a not so subtle threat in his tone, before he elbows Suit Number One. “Let’s go.”

Suit Number One doesn’t move, visibly fuming, his face red, that white ring thickening around his lips. I arch a brow at Suit Number Two, who adds, “Now, Jordan.” Jordan, formerly known as Suit Number One, clenches his teeth and turns away, while Suit Two follows.

Ms. Winter faces me, and holy fuck, when her pale green eyes meet mine, any questions I have about this woman and the many I suspect she now has of me, are muted by an unexpected, potentially problematic, palpable electric charge between us. “Thank you,” she says, her voice soft, feminine, a rasp in its depths that hints at emotion not effortlessly contained. “Please enjoy anything you like tonight on the house,” she adds, the rasp gone now, her control returned. Until I take it, I think, but no sooner than I’ve had the thought, she is turning and walking away, the absence of further interaction coloring me both stunned and intrigued, two things that, for me, are ranked with about as much frequency as snow in Sonoma, which would be next to never.

Ms. Winter maneuvers into the crowd, out of my line of sight, and while I am not certain I’d label her a mouse at this point, or ever for that matter, considering what I know of her, I am most definitely on the prowl. I stride purposely forward, weaving through the crowd, seeking that next provocative moment, scanning for her left, right, in the clusters of mingling guests, until I clear the crowd.

Now standing in front of a wide, wooden stairwell, my gaze follows its path upward to a second level, but I still find no sign of Ms. Winter. A cool breeze whips through the air, and I turn to find the source is a high arched doorway, the recently opened glass doors to what I know to be the “Winter Gardens,” a focal point of the property, and a tourist draw for decades, settling back into place. Certain this represents her escape, I walk that direction, and press open the doors, stepping onto a patio that has a stone floor and concrete benches framed by rose bushes. No less than four winding paths greet me as destination choices, the hunt for this woman now a provocation of its own.

I’ve just decided to wait where I am for Ms. Winter’s return when the wind lifts, the floral scent of many varieties of flowers for which the garden is famous touching my nostrils, with one extra scent decidedly of the female variety.

Lips curving with the certainty that my prey will soon to be my prize, I follow the clue that guides my feet to the path on my right, a narrow, winding, lighted walkway, framed by neatly cut yellow flower bushes, which continues past a white wooden gazebo I have no intention of passing. Not when Ms. Winter stands inside it, her back to me, elbows resting on the wooden rail, her gaze casting across the silhouette of what would reveal itself to be a rolling mountainside in daybreak. The way I intend for her to reveal herself.

I close the distance between us, and the moment before I’m upon her, she faces me, hands on the railing behind her, her breasts thrust forward, every one of her lush curves tempting my eyes, my hands. My mouth. “Did those men know you?” she demands, clearly ready and waiting for this interaction. “Did you know them?”

“No and no.”

“And yet they knew the nickname Tiger.”

“My reputation precedes me.”

“I’ll take the bait,” she says. “What reputation?”

“They say I’ll rip my opponent’s throat out if given the chance.”

“Will you?” she asks, without so much as a blanch or blink.

“Yes,” I reply, a simple answer, for a simple question.

“Without any concern for who you hurt,” she states.

I arch a brow. “Is that a question?”

“Should it be?”

“Yes.”

“It’s not,” she says. “You didn’t get that nickname by being nice.”

“Nice guys don’t win.”

“Then I’m warned,” she says. “You aren’t a nice guy.”

“Is nice a quality you’re looking for in a man? Because as your evening counsel, Ms. Winter, I’ll advise you that nice is overrated.”

She stares at me for several beats before turning away to face the mountains again, elbows on the railing, in what I could see as a silent invitation to leave. I choose to see it as an invitation to join her. I claim the spot next to her, close, but not nearly as close as I will be soon. “You didn’t answer the question,” I point out.

“You wrongly assume I am looking for a man, which I’m not,” she says, glancing over at me. “But if I was, then no. Nice would be on my list but it would not top my list, however, nowhere on that list would be the ability, and willingness, to rip out someone’s throat.”

“I can assure you, Ms. Winter, that a man with a bite is as underrated as a nice guy is overrated. And I not only know how, and when, to use mine, but if I so choose to bite you, and I might, it’ll be all about pleasure, not pain.”

Her cheeks flush and she turns away. “My name is Faith.” She glances over at me again. “Should I call you Nick, Tiger, or just plain arrogant?”

“Anything but Mr. Rogers,” I say, enjoying our banter far more than I would have expected when I came here tonight looking for her.

She laughs now too, and it’s a delicate, sweet sound, but it’s awkward, as if it’s not only unexpected, but unwelcome, and an instant later she’s withdrawing, pushing off the railing, arms folding protectively in front of her body, before we’re rotating to face each other. “I need to go check on the visitors.” She attempts to move away.

I gently catch her arm, her gaze rocketing to mine, and in the process her hair flutters in a sudden breeze, a strand of blonde silk catching on the whiskers of my one-day stubble. She sucks in a breath, and when she would reach up to remedy the situation, I’m already there, catching the soft silk and stroking it behind her ear.

“Why are you touching me?” she asks, but she doesn’t pull away, that charge between us minutes ago now ten times more provocative with me touching her, thinking about all the places I might touch next.

“It’s considerably better than not touching you,” I say.

“My bad luck might bleed into you.”

“Bleed,” I repeat, that word reminding me once again of why I’m here, why I really want to fuck this woman. “That’s an extreme, and rather interesting choice of words.”

“Most bad luck is extreme, though not interesting to anyone but the Tigers of the world, creating it. You’re still touching me.”

“Everyone needs a Tiger in their corner. Maybe my good luck will bleed into you.”

“Does good luck bleed?” she asks.

“Many people will do anything for good luck, even bleed.”

“Yes,” she says, lowering her lashes, but not before I’ve seen the shadows in her eyes. “I suppose they would.”

“What would you do for good luck?”

Her lashes lift, her stare meeting mine again. “What have you done for good luck?”

“I came here tonight,” I say.

She narrows her eyes on me, as if some part of her senses, the far-reaching implications of my reply that she can’t possibly understand, and yet still, the inescapable heat between us radiates and burns. “You’re still touching me,” she points out, and this time there’s a hint of reprimand.

“Holding onto that luck,” I say.

“It feels like you’re holding onto mine.”

With that observation that hits too close to the truth, I have no interest in revealing just yet, I drag my hand slowly down hers, allowing my fingers to find hers before they fall away. Her lips, lush, tempting, impossibly perfect for someone I know to be imperfect, part with the loss of my touch, and yet there is a hint of relief in her eyes that tells me she both wants me and fears me.

A most provocative moment, indeed.

“Have a drink with me,” I say.

“No,” she replies, her tone absolute, and while I don’t like this decision, I appreciate a person who’s decisive.

“Why?”

“Good luck and bad luck don’t mix.”

“They might just create good luck.”

“Or bad,” she says. “I’m not in a place where I can take the risk for more bad luck.” She inclines her chin. “Enjoy the rest of your visit.” She pauses and adds, “Tiger.”

I don’t react, but for just a moment, I consider the way she used my nickname as an indicator that she knows who I am, and why I’m here. I quickly dismiss that idea. I’d have seen it in those pale green eyes, and I did not. But as she turns and walks away, and I watch her depart, tracking her steps as she disappears down the path, I wonder at her quick departure, and the fear I’d seen in her eyes. Was the root of that fear her guilt?

That idea should be enough to ice the fire in me that this woman has stirred, but it stokes it instead. Everything male in me wants to pursue her again, and not because I’m here for a reason that existed before I ever met her, when it should be that and nothing more. It is more. I’m aroused and I’m intrigued by this woman. She got to me when no one gets to me. Not a good place to be, considering I came here to prove she killed my father, and maybe even her own mother.


 

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Book two: SHAMELESS will be out on July 11th!

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About the Author:LRJAuthorPic

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series. Suzanne Todd (producer of Alice in Wonderland) on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with.

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

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

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.

 

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CHAPTER REVEAL ~ Twice As Hard by Amber Bardan

 

 

Coming March 20th

 

 

 

 

They caught me. Naked, shivering and dripping after a spontaneous swim in the forest.
Two rugged men whose hard gazes captivated and scared me all at once.


They warned me. Told me I was on private property and I needed to obey the law…or I would be punished.

The idea of them both punishing me, pleasuring me, kept tormenting me. I couldn’t want them. I shouldn’t. But I did.

I didn’t mean to trespass again. I thought I could retreat without notice. But they’re coming for me.

To show me the pleasure in pain. To show me just how right forbidden can feel. And to love me twice as hard as I ever fantasized.

 


 

I run up the track. My thighs scream—but I can’t stop yet. Pain blazes from my blistered heels. The ground levels out. My sneakers slide on dirt.
Fuck.
The world disappears, dropping out only yards from where I’m stopped.
I go to my knees, gasping. The urge to vomit rises hard in my throat, yet the sight ahead pierces me almost as sharply as the burning in my lungs. The view from the peak of Hunter Mountain is everything I’ve been led to believe. I press my palms to the earth. Oh god, the air is good.
So damned good.
Fragrant and so clean I’ve only experienced its pale imitation from a bottle. Forest scent. Almost makes this worth it. Almost. I fill my lungs, and my racing heart slows a fraction. I drop onto my heels. Green rolling hills and the kind of quiet I’ve only imagined stretch out before me.
I shut my eyes. In my thirty-one years I’ve never experienced a moment of quiet like this. Where the loudest thing competing for my attention is the sound of me—my breath.
My galloping pulse.
There’s always been a background noise so ever present I never noticed it until this absence. Traffic. Street. People. The whine of electronics a constant hum.
Pity there’s not a moment of peace to be found.
Not now. Not like this. Not on my own.
Why’d he send me here?
Flapping jerks me out of my thoughts. I look up. Broad, dark wings beat overhead.
Holy crap. Is that an actual eagle? The huge bird soars over the ledge to hover above the ravine.
Hunting.
On Hunter Mountain. I drag my backpack off my shoulders, and open it up, fingers slipping into the inside pocket where the letter waits.
I roll onto my backside, and then peel back the seal from one side of the envelope to the other, glue stretching like cheese for a moment before snapping. My thumb pauses in the fold of the paper. I unfold the note a fraction at a time.

Congratulations, Baby, you made it.
Aren’t you glad you did?
Enjoy the view for half an hour. Set your timer, you impatient little thing. Then take the path to left, there’s something there I want you to see.

I scrunch the paper into a ball, and it’s only the abomination of littering in a place like this, that stops me from hurling it in the direction of the eagle.
That’s it?
I’ve come all this way, suffered through so much, for a hike?
Why’d he even bother? I’m not sure if this is him trying to hang on—or refusing to completely let go.
Neither answer is one I’m prepared to dwell on. So I gather together the remnants of my hopefulness and obey my husband, setting my timer exactly as he’s instructed. Then drink from my water bottle and eat an apple to pass time, because he’s right—I’m a very impatient thing.
The beep pings from my phone. With the nonexistent reception here, an alarm is about all the phone’s good for.
I tuck the phone away, slip the backpack on and stand. My legs give a jellied wobble, leaving me with a feeling of walking on bendy stilts. I circle the top of the mountain, then find a track on the left, the one he must’ve meant.
Do Not Enter, the sign reads.
Of course it does. I sigh and take the path, adjusting the straps of the bag and wondering what fresh torture he has in store for me.

One small mercy, walking down is a damn sight easier than running up.
I descend into the trees and the silence bleeds into a more organic quiet, where birds rustle, things move, and then…water rushes.
I pick up pace. Tired or not, I jog down the path toward the sound, then burst into a clearing.
The scent of water hits me.
I stare at the stream plunging over a hanging ledge. My eyes widen as if I could somehow take it in more. A real waterfall.
A heady mix of awe and joy floods me.
Bounced from one L.A. foster home to the next, vacations and sightseeing hadn’t been any part of my upbringing. I’d worked my ass off to get into college, then worked it even harder in my good, safe, secure bank job to pay off student loans—until him.
Until Dean came along and every plan I ever had went up in flames.
But this? Waterfall. Had I mentioned on one of our lazy Sunday mornings after he’d fucked me into exhaustion, how I’d always longed to see one?
My chest squeezes. Maybe this means he forgives me…
I take off the backpack and toss it onto the ground. Then tear off my top, kick off my shoes and peel off my socks. The late spring air has my nipples puckering, but I unhook my bra and let it fall where I stand.
He hasn’t instructed this part, but I can just see him imagining it when he wrote the note. He’d picture me unable to resist skinny dipping in the wilderness.
Had it made him hard when he’d told me to come this way?
I undo the button at my waist and peel off my jeans. My underwear goes next. Then I walk buck naked toward the water.
Of course he’d been hard.
He’d have known I’d do just this. My thighs squeeze. Heat moves through me. I’m naked out in the open without Dean and he can’t do a thing to stop me.
I climb onto a rock.
A laugh springs from my lips. The sound echoes back at me, clear and crisp and startling. It’s been too long since I’ve heard that sound.
I leap into the water.
Freezing cold slams into me. I resurface with a gasp. Oh, shit. The water’s not just cold it’s so icy it has teeth. Still, I do the thing I’ve always, always wanted to do, and swim to the waterfall. Foam and bubbles, and the current seem to force me back. A tremor of danger moves through me. It could be risky to try to swim through the waterfall.
I take a breath and dive underwater. Pressure pounds my back then dissipates. I emerge on the other side, and look up. The water curtains me from the outside world.
Sadly, no cave, but I climb onto the bit of rock ledge and watch for the brief moment before cold and self-preservation force me down.
That’s the thing about fantasy, you never dream these parts—the threat of hypothermia or how a slimy rock feels on your bare ass.
I dive back through the waterfall, and swim toward where I’ve left my things. My skin goes numb. A blanket of goose bumps coats my limbs. I collect my carelessly scattered clothes. Dirt and mossy chunks of forest floor cling to my feet and work up my ankles. My teeth chatter. I bend to retrieve my underwear and jeans.
Sound crunches behind me.
I spin, clothes clutched in my hands. A man stands in front of me, maybe six feet away. My heart seizes.
He stares, gaze raking over me as though he’s never seen a woman. From the looks of him maybe he never has. His beard is rough, dark and speckled with silver, but it’s the jaw underneath—clenched tight as he takes me in, that has my own teeth biting together. He’s built like someone who spends his days felling trees or wrestling grizzlies.
Or both.
My pulse mimics the sound of the waterfall, growing louder in my ears, until I don’t know which roar is which. That whole big body seems poised.
Set to pounce.
“I didn’t know anyone was here.” My voice emerges strangled and rusty.
He says nothing, but his gaze makes its way from where I clutch my things to my chest, then lands on mine.
His features set hungrily, tension thrumming tight through his expression in a way that makes me feel like a buffet that’s being presented at the very brink of starvation.
I can almost feel my heart beat against my forearms through the clothes I hold. Air moves in icy prickles over my naked thighs and between my legs. His attention moves there. To my uncovered cunt, which my bundle of clothes doesn’t hide.
His chest moves quickly, like he’s an animal under the heat of too much sun.
His fingers twitch at his sides. Big fingers. He has big fingers and big hands. Hands that would hold roughly. Fingers that would grab brutally.
And I can’t move. Can’t cover myself. Can’t conceal my most private area.
He takes a step—just one.
I jerk backward and stumble. My clothes tumble to the ground.
He looks at my chest. At my breasts, nipples puckered and strained. There’s a sensation rushing through me that reminds me of the brief period in my teens when I’d get high. A light-headedness that suspends me almost out of body.
He hisses, and comes for me.
A jolt of numbness plunges me back into frozen atrophy.
A blast rings out. Birds spring from trees.
A gunshot.


 After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her time in a coffee-fuelled adrenaline haze, writing romance with a thriller edge.

She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.

Amber is an award winning writer, Amazon Bestselling Author, and member of Romance Writers of Australia, Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and Writers Victoria.

 

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CHAPTER REVEAL ~ Delayed Call by Toni Aleo

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Coming March 20th

 

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Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.


Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?

Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…

Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure.
When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers
.



   “He’s cute.”
   “She’s a sweetie, too.”
   “Oh, she’s a she?”
   “Yes.”
   “Girls don’t usually like me,” Vaughn Johansson said with his brows pulled together as he looked into the dark brown eyes gazing back at him.
They were full of such hope, wanting… And instantaneously, he fell in love.
   “Well, I think she loves you.”
   Looking up briefly at the adoption counselor, Vaughn gazed back at the little black French Bulldog and smiled. She was a cutie; her little nub tail was wiggling, and her eyes were so wide that Vaughn felt like he could fall into them. But just as quick as he fell in love, he noticed something was missing. “She only has three legs.”   
   The adoption rep smiled grimly. “Yes, she was brought in having been hit by a car, and we fixed her up. That’s what throws people off, her not being whole and all.”
   Making a face, Vaughn crouched down and took ahold of the fence as the little girl wiggled in excitement. She wanted to come through the fence. He could feel her eagerness, especially when she started to lick his hands, her eyes telling, or better yet, begging him to take her home. The thing was, she didn’t have to beg. The little three-legged dog was his from the moment he saw her. As he leaned into the fence, his nose went through the links before he whispered, “Don’t worry, girl, I’m not whole either.”
   She licked his nose before letting out the sweetest little bark, and Vaughn was hooked. Standing up, he clapped his hands together. “I scored three goals last night, a hat trick, so it only makes sense that my first dog be a three-legged one.”
   “Oh, cool.”
   She had no clue what he was talking about. “I play for the Nashville Assassins.”
   The lady, who obviously had never seen a game of hockey a day in her life, nodded happily.
   “Cool. That’s fun.”
   “You know what team that is, right?”  
   “Yeah, football. Right?”
   Vaughn blinked in dismay, but then, what did he expect? She was barely an adult and probably hadn’t been exposed to the great sport of hockey. “Hockey.”
   “Oh, I don’t like hockey,” she said, wrinkling her face up. “But the players are hot.”
   He couldn’t disagree, but then she looked him up and down with very sinful eye, and he froze. There was no way in hell he was going to prison for this jailbait, so that was his cue to get his dog and bounce. Yet, he asked, “Have you been to a game?”
   “Oh, no, I don’t have time.”
   Rolling his eyes once more, he looked back at his new girl and smiled. “Well, that’s too bad because I’m naming this girl Tricksie, and that won’t make sense to you.”
   “Oh, you want her?”
   “Yes, I do. You know what a hat trick is, right?”
   The fact that she had no clue what he was speaking of was all over her face as she only nodded. “Like tricks with hats?”
   Vaughn wanted to cry. The poor youth of the world. “It’s where you score three goals.”
   He might as well have told her the answer to the greatest unsolved math problem in the world, because she was more lost than the three blind mice. “Cool. That’s hard, huh?”
   Smiling, he shot her a wink. “For some. But for me, it’s easy peasy, lemon squeezy.”
   Her face scrunched up more. She thought he was an idiot. “That’s corny.”
   “Well, that’s because you’re ten.”
   She pressed her lips together in annoyance. “I’m twenty.”  
 “Same thing. Can I get my dog, please?”
    Rolling her eyes before popping her gum, she turned for the front. “Yeah, let’s go to the office, and Linda will get the paperwork done.”
   She started to walk away, but Vaughn didn’t move. “Can I have her?”
   Letting out a long breath, she nodded before reaching for her keys, which made Tricksie jump to the best of her ability and howl louder. A huge grin spread across Vaughn’s face as he bent down and the little girl came running for him, jumping into him and scrambling to climb up his body. Holding on to her overactive little body, Vaughn laughed as he stood, kissing her head. “I think she’s happy.”
   “That’s an understatement,” the girl said dryly as she started for the front of the adoption center, but Vaughn was in complete paradise.
   It had been a long month of looking for a companion, but holding Tricksie, Vaughn was pretty sure it had been totally worth the wait. His need for company came when he discovered he was the only single guy on the team. Everyone had girlfriends or wives and/or kids. Meanwhile, Vaughn was chilling with just an Xbox when he wasn’t working. Hockey kept him busy, but when he wasn’t at the rink, there was no one to hang with, no one to talk to, and he found himself a bit lonely. He wasn’t ashamed to say that; it was a natural occurrence when one didn’t want to put himself out there and find someone to love him. The thing about love was it was just so uncertain, and Vaughn didn’t have the time for it. But a dog, a dog loved you no matter what. Plus, he had always wanted a dog. Ever since he was a little kid, he had yearned for one, but since hockey was so expensive, his dad never got him and his brother one. Along with all the therapy and treatments his brother needed, a dog wasn’t doable. But now, now, a dog was doable.
   And Vaughn was convinced Tricksie was going to be the best dog ever.
   As Tricksie licked and barked happily, Vaughn couldn’t believe he had waited so long to do this. But then, if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have this beautiful gem of a girl. And boy, what a beauty she was. He couldn’t believe people would turn up their noses at her, all because she didn’t have four legs. She had killer dark-as-night fur, her big, brown eyes were two huge views into her heart, and she smiled. The damn dog was smiling, tongue hanging out as she wiggled in his arms. She smelled a little musky, but that was fixable. No, this girl was the jackpot, and Vaughn was glad he had pulled the lever.
   As he walked through the doors leading to the office area—or at least, he hoped this was the right way since the lady who was helping him had disappeared—his phone sounded with a notification from his Nashville Assassins’ team app. It was probably weird that he had the app to the team he played hockey for on his phone, but he liked to know what his team was posting. Plus, he sometimes heard information from the app before he did from Coach. When he pulled out his phone, sliding the tab over, he realized this instance was one of those times.
   Jensen Monroe signed to Nashville Assassins for a three-year, three-million-dollar deal.
   “Holy shit! Tricksie, look! Uncle Jenny is coming to our team,” he said to his girlie before he laughed out loud. “You don’t know Uncle Jensen, hell, you don’t know me, but you will. Don’t worry.”
   Tricksie licked him happily, and he was pretty sure she didn’t care what he said as long as he loved her and fed her, which was his plan. His phone started to ring, and he laughed when he saw it was the man of the hour. “Jensen Monroe, signed to the Nashville Assassins for some bookoo bucks! What’s up, brother?”
   Jensen laughed softly, his voice deep. It had been deep since they were, like, thirteen. “Who the hell says bookoo still?”
   “Fuck you, dude. Congratulations!”
   “Thanks, it’s a great deal, I’m excited. It will be like old times too,” he said with a low laugh, and Vaughn smiled.
   There wasn’t a teenage moment that didn’t have Jensen and their buddy Wells in it. The three had been inseparable. When Jensen came to live with Wells’s family to play for their high school team, the three guys just clicked. They played all through high school, went to the same college, and were all drafted the same year too. Even being apart, Wells on the Avalanche, Vaughn on the Assassins, and when Jensen was with the Wild, they all stayed in contact. They were brothers. Always would be too. The guys were there for Vaughn when no one else was, and he would be forever in debt to the two men who became his brothers.
   “Wait, what happened to Dylan?”
   “He got sent down. Mrs. Adler said she wants someone she knows will win games. He hasn’t won a game since last season. I can win the games.” He wasn’t lying. Jensen was a great goalie, and it surprised Vaughn that he had come to the Assassins as a backup when he had a starting position with the Wild.
   “Why did you leave?”
    “I wasn’t happy. Yeah, I was winning games, but my contract was up and I needed a change. So I took the deal from Mrs. Adler, and I think it’s a good one. Except now I’ll be fighting the best goalie in the league for playing time.”
   Vaughn sucked his teeth. “Yeah, Tate Odder is the best.”
   “Thank you.” Vaughn laughed. “Besides, you, duh,” he said, his voice high and playful. “I hate you, but are you still single?”
   Vaughn paused. “Shit, are you telling me you’re gay too? I always knew Wells was, but I never suspected it from you. And, dude, you know I don’t bat for that team. I’m a pussy-only kind of guy.”
   “No, you douche canoe. Fuck.” He could practically hear Jensen roll his eyes, which, of course, made Vaughn laugh. “I seriously hate you, and I can’t believe I’m about to beg for this, but can I please live with you?”
   Vaughn stopped laughing as he looked down to his new ladylove. “I don’t know, man, I just got a new roommate.”
   “What?”
   “Yeah, she’s sweet, cold nose, licks a lot, and has three legs, but she’s cute as all hell,” he said as Tricksie kissed him with excitement before barking out in agreement. “And she barks. I’m not sure if it’s a lot, though.”
   “You got a three-legged dog?”
   “Yes, I did.”
    “Of course you did. Who is going to watch said three-legged dog when we are on trips?”
   “Wren,” he said simply, and Jensen groaned loudly at the mention of Wells’s baby sister. Jensen had always had a thing for her, but Wren never took notice. She was too busy with her nose in a book. Which he guessed paid off because now she was a hotshot therapist for the Nashville Assassins. Plus, Vaughn was pretty sure she batted for the other team. He had never seen her with a dude, and he had tried to sleep with her plenty. He couldn’t imagine why she’d turn him down if she were straight. Obviously.
   “Does she know this?”
   “Yeah,” he lied, and Jensen let out a long breath of frustration.
   “You never think things through, I swear. But whatever, can you get me from the airport at 9:10?”
   Vaughn smiled since he had never said yes to Jensen living with him, for the simple fact that Jensen didn’t have to ask and he knew that. Jensen knew he had a home wherever Vaughn was. “Yup, me and Tricksie will be there.”
   “Tricksie?”
   “She’s a three-legged dog, and I scored a hat trick last night.”
    Jensen paused and then laughed. “You’re insane. See you in a bit, and make sure you call Wren.”
   “Will do.”
   They hung up, and Vaughn rolled his eyes. Jensen was always the do-right kind of guy. While Wells and Vaughn wanted to go out, get drunk, and break something, Jensen would talk them down and convince them that getting drunk and playing on the back pond was a better idea. He was the last one to lose his virginity because he wanted it to be with someone “special.” He never cheated on a girl, and when he broke up with one, he felt bad. When his young marriage broke up, he took all the blame on himself. Never said an unkind word about his ex. He called his mom every day, multiple times, and he hung out with the dorky kids growing up. He was voted Homecoming King of their class because he was so sugary sweet. Not to mention, he looked like a runway model, while Wells and Vaughn looked a little rough around the edges. Still, they were best friends, and nothing could ever change that.
   When his phone rang right as he reached the doors to go sign the papers for Tricksie, he looked down to see it was Wren.
   Shit.
   “Hey, Wren,” he said, answering the phone with a big smile. “How’s my favorite therapist who won’t sleep with me?”
   “Oh, I’m just fine. But funny thing, you didn’t show up for therapy, and then I got a text from Jensen saying you got a dog and I’m watching it. Oh, and it has three legs.”
  “Um… Her name is Tricksie and she is amazing, and I don’t need therapy.”
  “You do. Tricksie. Cute, but I never agreed to watch her.”
  “Yes, you did.”
   “When?”
   “When I got you drunk the other night and stole your virtue.”
   “Vaughn Johansson, I haven’t had my virtue in a long damn time.”
   “But did a guy take it?”
   “I will kill you dead, and that’s off the record, mister,” she growled into the phone, at which he laughed. “So you have no leg to stand on, and I don’t think Tricksie can lend you one.”
   Vaughn scoffed. “You said I needed a companion. I got one, and in return, you have to watch her when I leave.”
   “I meant a woman, but fine, a dog is fine. It’s a step in the right direction, I guess. But I never agreed to this, and I travel too, Vaughn.”
   “Not all the time, though. Maybe once a month, and I can board her then.”
   “So you have a plan?” she asked, and she didn’t sound convinced because, really, Vaughn never had a plan.
   “Yup, sure do.”
   “Okay, well, add me in at nine tomorrow before morning skate, and if you don’t show up, I’ll tell your coach.”
   Vaughn’s face scrunched up. “You’re mean.”
   “I love you too. Bye.”
   She hung up, and Vaughn tucked his phone into his pocket before looking down at Tricksie. “That was your aunt Wren and she’s mean to me, but she’ll be nice to you. Are you ready to go home?”
   Tricksie began to lick his skin off, and he took that as a yes. As a huge smile covered his face, Vaughn nodded his head. He had his baby girl, his best friend was coming to his team, Wren would watch Tricksie, and he was playing for the team of his dreams. Things were good. Really good.

   And loneliness would be a thing of the past; he just knew it.

***

   “Who talked me into this?”
   “No one. You did that to yourself.”
   “Why?”
   “I don’t know. You’re lonely?”
   “Oh. I am, aren’t I? Shit.”
   “Yup, so may the force be with you, my friend.”
   “But I don’t want to do this.”
   “Then leave?”
   “Can’t you come with me? There’s still time. It doesn’t start for another fifteen.”
   “I’m just sure my fiancé would love that.”
   Brie Soledad rolled her eyes as she leaned on the pillar of the ballroom, her eyes burning a hole in the sign that read: Speed Dating for Nashville Locals. It was embarrassing that this was what her life had resulted in, but as her best friend had said, she was lonely. Mekena Preston, though, was not lonely. Nope, she was all happy and in love with her fiancé, while having a great job and a wonderful life, blah, blah, blah. And if Brie was honest, she was jealous as hell and so desperately wanted to get laid, maybe even fall in love. Get the blah, blah, blah.
   God, she wanted the blah, blah, blah. So damn bad.
   Being a hockey reporter for one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Nashville Assassins, one would think she would be rolling in the men, but she wasn’t. Everyone treated her like a little sister or they ignored her or they treated her like shit. Well, only one did that, but that was beside the point. The point was, Brie needed more. She was happy in her career. It was awesome, she was amazing, and people loved her. She had even won an Emmy the year before; she was kicking ass. The only problem was she didn’t have anyone to share her success with.
   Yeah, she had her little brother, Rodney, but he really didn’t understand. Also, he needed to focus on his health and not on her. She was supposed to worry for him, not the other way around. Or at least, that was what she had promised her mom before she passed away from cancer a few years back. Sometimes, it was hard to remember, but she blamed that on the fact that she had no one to lean on. It was just her, with the weight of her job and her brother’s issues on her shoulders.
   And plus, she really wanted to get laid.
   It really didn’t make sense. She wasn’t an ugly girl. She was short, and maybe she could have skipped a few desserts, but then, what was life without ice cream and donuts? She had a pretty face, big blue eyes, and lips that screamed to be kissed, yet no one was kissing them. It was annoying, and pray God, this damn speed dating worked.
   “I’m gonna stay,” she said, coming off the pillar and fixing the skirt of her little blue dress that stopped right at the middle of her thighs. “I need to get laid.”
   Mekena stuttered. “Not tonight, though, right?”
   “Jesus, Mekena, I’m not a whore.”
   “Oh, you’re not?”
   And this was the problem with being best friends with a girl she met only a month ago. “I’m not. Asshole.”
   She giggled. “Fine, but please text me and let me know you weren’t killed.”
   “I’ve got my pepper spray.”
   “And your Taser?”
   “And my Taser,” she said, rolling her eyes. She wasn’t sure why Mekena was even asking; she was the one who had stuffed it in her purse the day before. If nothing else, Mekena Preston was practical and smart, very smart.
   “Good, text me when you leave.”
   “Will do.”
   “Have fun. Find your forever!”
    Brie’s face scrunched up. “That is dumb, don’t ever say that again.”
   “Hey, everyone says that when they fall in love.”
   “God, I hope I don’t.”
    “You will.”
    “I won’t.”
    “Stop stalling. Go find your forever.”
    “That’s disgusting. Bye,” Brie complained before hanging up and then tucking her phone into her pocket and taking in a deep breath. Looking around the room, she noticed there was a decent men-to-women ratio, which was good. She didn’t want to be the only chick in the middle of a sausage fest. While she wanted some sausage, she only needed one. A large one, thick, some girth, mmm… Great, now she was hungry. Pressing her hand to her belly, she rolled her eyes. She needed help.
   Or, again, to get laid.
   Maybe she should just go home with the first able-bodied man.
    When a large, round man stopped in front of her, her eyes widened. He was easily twenty years older than her thirty-two years and he was losing his hair, but he was trying to cover it with a toupee. People still wore those? Pointing at her, he smiled with bright yellow teeth. “Hey, sugar, make sure to stop at my table.”
   “Ugh, sure,” she blurted out before hightailing it to the left.
   She would not be going home with that guy. No matter how desperate she was.
   Standing in the back, she looked over the sea of people as the announcer explained what they were to do. The sad thing was, this wasn’t her first time, so she knew what to do. Last time, she hated it and met no one, but maybe this time would be different. Letting out a long groan, she shook her head. If she could be normal and meet someone in a coffee shop or at her job, that would be awesome. But she hadn’t had luck with guys her whole life.
   She wasn’t one of those serial daters or even a casual one. She dated for a reason, and because of that, she had only been in two serious relationships. Both were ended by the guy, which did nothing for her confidence. Both times she didn’t see it coming, and that alone was depressing as hell. Especially Matthew. She loved Matthew—a lot. But when her mom died, he said it was too much and left her high and dry. Not only did she have to pick up the pieces of her heart and Rod’s from her mother’s death, but then she had to pick up the extra pieces of her heart from Matthew’s departure. It was horrible, and because of that experience, she was a little scarred by relationships.
   Okay, a whole lot scarred. But she was coming up on a new year, and it was time to turn over a new leaf. She wanted the happiness that being with a guy could provide. It had taken her a long time to love herself again. After the grief was no longer overwhelming, after the pain of Matt was gone, she was ready to love once more. It was time, time for her to venture out and find that guy. The… There was no way she was saying the forever guy, but something along those lines.
   “So let’s get started!” the announcer said, and then she rang a really annoying cowbell. Taking the cue, Brie went to the first table and sat down as a guy with hair longer than hers did. He was decent-looking, but no spark whatsoever. Maybe it would come?
   “Hey, I’m Brian.” Brie smiled.
   “Hi, I’m Brie.”
   “Ha, like the cheese.”
    She blinked. “Excuse me?”
    “The cheese. I love Brie, it’s my favorite. I wonder if you taste like Brie? Wanna get out of here?”
    She blinked once more and then let out a hard laugh. “So let me get this straight,” she said, leaning on the table. “First, you compare me to cheese, and not even the most exclusive cheese, kind of midrange. And then you want me to go home with you?”
   He shrugged like that was a normal exchange.
   “Yeah.” “Yeah, no. And fuck-you-very-much,” she said, standing up just as the bell rang. Thankfully. Moving down the chair, she skipped the guy from earlier, the balding dude, and sat down as a very attractive, clean-cut guy sat down. And wowza, was he gorgeous. Big blue eyes, wonderful angles to his face, and thick, yummy shoulders. He reminded her of someone…but… Whoa, not now, Soledad.
   With a bright smile, she said, “Hey, I’m Brie.”
   “Tim, nice to meet you,” he said, matching her grin as he looked her up and down. “Let me guess, a doctor?” She laughed. “Reporter for the Nashville Assassins.” His eyes lit up. “Go Assassins!”
   She smiled as she nodded. “Greatest team in the league.”
   “Agreed, but I’m sad. I could have sworn you were a doctor. That would have worked for me since I’m a lawyer, and I need someone to deal with my crazy hours.”
   “Well, I need that too because I leave a lot.”
   “Oh, well then, hi,” he said, leaning on the table, and she did the same.
   “Hi.”
   “Family?” She nodded. “A little brother.”
   “What’s his name?”
   “Rodney.”
   “Is he in town?”
   “Yup, over at Riverdale.”
   His brows pulled together. “Riverdale? Isn’t that the old folks’ home?”
   “They also have a facility for people with Down syndrome.”
   “I didn’t know they kept retards too. That place stinks, I had an aunt die there.”
   Oh, look, there went all the attraction she even thought she had for this piece of junk. Swallowing hard, she stood slowly and then tucked her chair in. “Actually, not all people with Down syndrome have mental challenges. My brother is highly intelligent. You wouldn’t even know he had Down syndrome if he didn’t have the physical characteristics.”
   He shrugged, waving her off. “Same thing.”
   She could only blink. “You know what isn’t the same? A dick-fuck and a cuntasaurus.”
   “Um—”
   “But you know what? You’re both of those,” she yelled. “And we are done.”
   “Your loss, sweetheart.”
   “No, you piece of dog shit, it’s your loss because I am fucking amazing,” she announced before turning on her heel and walking straight out of the speed-dating event.
   Fuck guys.
   They sucked.

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?

 

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PRE-ORDER BLITZ ~ The Alpha’s Secret Family by Jessie Lane

The Alpha’s Secret Family
99 CENT PREORDER SPEICAL UNTIL RELEASE DAY!!!

Publishes March 28, 2017

 CH 1 Excerpt

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Blurb:

Dia has just moved to a new city to run her own hair salon. She doesn’t have time for the hot guy who won’t stop asking her out, yet she can’t seem to stop thinking about him.
Stone Blaylock is the Battletown Packs’ Alpha and his mate has just moved into town. Problem is, she’s human. Therefore, he has to win her over the old fashioned, human way—by dating her.
Things are looking up for Stone when he gets his mate to fall in love with and mate him. 
However, there’s someone out there who doesn’t like that the Alpha’s new mate is human. When their plan to kill her backfires and Dia survives, but she doesn’t remember anything, including Stone, or the circumstances that left her alone, hurt, and pregnant.


The Alpha’s Secret Family – Published – Mar 28th, 2017

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Book Blurb:

Dia has just moved to a new city to run her own hair salon. She doesn’t have time for the hot guy who won’t stop asking her out, yet she can’t seem to stop thinking about him.

Stone Blaylock is the Battletown Packs’ Alpha and his mate has just moved into town. Problem is, she’s human. Therefore, he has to win her over the old fashioned, human way—by dating her.
Things are looking up for Stone when he gets his mate to fall in love with and mate him. 

However, there’s someone out there who doesn’t like that the Alpha’s new mate is human. When their plan to kill her backfires and Dia survives, but she doesn’t remember anything, including Stone, or the circumstances that left her alone, hurt, and pregnant.


The Alpha’s Secret Family Excerpt

“Wait!” Dia shouted, scared at not knowing what was going on. “Before you go, please tell me what happened!”

Dr. Bennett looked back down at Dia with a stoic expression. “Miss Connor, you were involved in an accident. There was a gas explosion, and you just barely missed the worst part of it. You are lucky to have survived the blast.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Dia could see the nurse injecting something into her IV line.

Totally dumbfounded at what she had just been told, she squinted at the bright light around her while asking the doctor, “How long have I been here?”

Dr. Bennett bent back over so she could block the light from her eyes again, “You’ve been in a medically-induced coma for two months, Miss Connor. Now I know you must have lots of questions for me, but I need you to lie back and try to get some more rest, okay? I’ll be back to check on you in a couple of hours.”

She watched as Dr. Bennett walked away then stood just outside of the room’s doorway, writing on what was presumably Dia’s chart. The nurse walked out with her and stopped right next to her, quietly bringing the door to a close. Thing was, she didn’t close it all the way. There was a small crack, and as fogginess started to impair her thoughts, she could still hear the nurse talking to the doctor.

“It’s so tragic what happened to her and her family. And it looks like she doesn’t remember a thing. When are you going to tell her that her parents were killed in the explosion?”

Dia’s heart clenched so hard in her chest that, for a moment, she wondered if she was having a heart attack. Even though she couldn’t place a face to the thought of having a mother and father, it still broke her heart to know that they were now gone. Dia might never remember them again.

Her heart monitor went crazy as her chest started to tighten even more, and the nurse rushed back in to check on Dia. “Miss Connor, are you okay?”

Tears ran silently down her face as she watched the nurse check the machines that had her heart monitor and blood pressure on it. The nurse turned back to her and said, “You’re safe here, Miss Connor. I need you to try to calm down. It’s not good for the baby for you to be this upset.”

The edges of her vision became black, and the haziness she had felt earlier was now stronger than ever. Dia’s heart was still pounding away in her chest, but it wasn’t enough to keep her awake. Nor was the shock from the nurse’s words.

In all honesty, through the frantic thoughts racing through her mind, Dia realized she was probably more lightheaded because she was about to pass out than from the meds they had given her. All because of one little word.

Baby.

And as the black in her vision spread, her chest gasping for air, Dia had one last thought before she passed out. What baby?



 

About the Author:

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).

Social Websites:

Email: jessie_lane@jessielanebooks1.com

Website: http://jessielanebooks.com/

Newsletter: jessielane.news

Facebook: http://goo.gl/xAUEUA

Twitter: @JessieLaneBooks or http://goo.gl/VTkWMK

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Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/TO7jiH

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Make sure you check out the other books in the Howls Romance line!

Royal Dragon’s Baby by Anya Nowlan

Grab more info on the Author’s Facebook Page HERE.

The Werewolf Tycoon’s Baby by Celia Kyle

Grab more info on the Author’s Website HERE.

Pregnant with the Werelion King’s Cub by Claire Pike

The Billionaire Shifter’s Secret Baby by Diana Seere

Grab more info on the Author’s Facebook Page HERE.

The Werebear’s Unwanted Bride by Marina Maddix

Grab more info on the Author’s Website HERE.

Hunted by the Dragon Duke by Mina Carter

Grab more info on the Author’s Website HERE.


BOOK TOUR ~ Running Mate by Katie Ashley

  

“The race will be a fight to the death finish, and that’s not even the actual campaign.”

Meet Barrett Callahan in Running Mate by Katie Ashley!

NOW AVAILABLE & FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

Amazon US: 

Amazon UK:

 

Full Blurb

 

Barrett

The name’s Barrett Callahan. Yeah, that Barrett Callahan—the one the press dubbed “Bare” after those naked sexting pictures surfaced. At twenty-five, I was armed with an MBA from Harvard, an executive position at my father’s Fortune 500 company, a penthouse, and a different piece of delectable eye candy in my bed every weekend. I had a life most men dreamed of. But then my father decided to run for president, and my playboy lifestyle became a liability to his campaign that was built on family values. My “makeover” comes in the form of a fake fiancée who I don’t even get to choose–one who is an uptight, choirgirl acting priss but also sexy-as-hell.

Addison

My latest relationship had gone down in flames, and I was drowning in a sea of student loans when in true Godfather status, James Callahan made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Seven figures for seven months on the campaign trail pretending to be the adoring fiancée of his son, Barrett. As soon as he won the election, our engagement would be dissolved amicably for the press, I was free to ride off into the sunset a million dollars richer, and because of the NDA, no one would be the wiser. Sure, I’d never met the guy, but I’d been a theater nerd in high school. I could pull off any role from Lady Macbeth to Maria Von Trapp. But that was before I met my fake fiancé—the infuriating, self-absorbed, egotistical, drop-dead-sexy King of the Manwhores.

 

Read Chapter 1 & 2 on Wattpad HERE



About the Author

Katie Ashley is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her daughter, Olivia, and her two very spoiled dogs. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

With a BA in English, a BS in Secondary English Education, and a Masters in Adolescent English Education, she spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

 

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EXCERPT REVEAL ~ Affliction by Jenika Snow

 

 

Coming April 4th

 

 

 


It wasn’t until Cameron that I knew what real darkness was…or that I’d crave it so much.


I’ve let the world weigh down on me; pull me under until nothing makes sense anymore. Maybe that’s how I let myself get into the mess I’m currently in? Maybe that’s how I’m in my current situation with a man I knew could save me from a fate worse than death. Even if being with Cameron, giving him the very part of me, the only part that’s worth anything—my body—might very well ruin me, I have to survive.

Drug lord. Crime Boss. Murderer. I should fear him, be horrified by what he wants from me, by who he is. But instead, I find myself wanting to please him, wanting to give myself over completely.

Because I know that gives me control over him.

Cameron Ashton reins over the gritty underworld, the danger and violence of depravity, from his throne. A pistol is his sword, and apathy is his second-in-command. I know he’s dangerous, know he’ll break me and not think twice. But he’s my only chance, the only way I’ll survive.

        He’s possessive and controlling. And he does own me, every part of me. The darkness in him runs stronger, deeper than it ever had in me. Maybe we’re not so different? Maybe giving up my control to Cameron, giving him my very soul, makes me the powerful one?

Maybe, in the end, I’ll be the one who owns him.



Warning: This is a filthy, dark romance. There may be subject matter and triggers that are sensitive to some readers. In the end, this IS a romance, albeit a twisted one. If you’re looking for a story that gives you the warm and fuzzies, this is not the book for you.



Chapter One


The sweat running down the valley between my breasts was reminiscent of fingers moving along me. I was hot, my body flushed, my heart racing. Everything in me felt alive, ready to tear through my skin like another entity wanting to escape.

I was drunk, and I felt incredible.

The bodies pressed tightly against me, moving sexually, suggestively, made me feel even better. It made me feel alive. I moved with them, swaying to the music, inhaling the scent of sex and alcohol that seemed to surround me. I was sure a lot of people would be fucking tonight. No doubt it would be dirty, their inhibitions having been left at the club as they took home a random person. It would be the kind of sex that drunk people had, sloppy, carefree.

I wasn’t a good girl. I didn’t follow the rules. And my life was less than memorable. I lived like today was my last, because for all I knew it would be. It could be.

I came to this club when I couldn’t stand the box that was my life, the one that was sealed tight, no airholes, no light getting through the crack. I got wasted, danced until my body was covered with sweat, my muscles sore, and some poor, hard-up frat guy got off in his jeans by grinding against my leg. I was a wreck in many ways, and I had no doubt that people assumed I was slutty by the way I dressed, by the way I moved on the dance floor.

But how I dressed and acted didn’t make up who I was: a virgin who was lost, who had no one, nothing. I was an inexperienced woman who came here and danced because I wanted a little bit of release…the only kind I ever got. How I felt here was like being consumed by the water, of being helpless but weightless, of being sucked down to the very bottom where no light was permitted.

I wasn’t light. I was darkness wrapped up in a five-foot-five frame, with dark hair, a wild streak, and no one to stop me.

Maybe I was a contradiction to myself, a lost girl who didn’t know what she wanted in life. But it’s who I was, how I got through each day.

I embraced it, knowing that maybe my upbringing made me this way, that having an absentee mother, a drunk for a father, and a penchant for getting slapped on occasion by said parents had shaped the woman I now was.

I wasn’t broken, but I was damaged.

Or maybe it had nothing to do with my parents or what I didn’t have growing up: love. Maybe I was just born this way.

Either way I didn’t try and stop it. I didn’t try and change.

“You look good out here dancing, girl.” The feeling of a guy behind me, of his hands on my hips, his hard cock digging into my lower back, had dual sensations moving through me. “You feel good,” he said again, his voice thick, aroused, slurred from the no doubt many drinks he’d consumed. “What’s your name.”

I thought about lying, pretending I was someone else. Instead I said, “Sofia.”

The truth.

I wanted him to get off, because knowing I had that kind of control, that kind of power, fueled me. But on the other hand I felt disgust, mainly for myself. I felt and smelled his hot, liquor-laced breath along my neck. I shivered, and the way he groaned made me assume he thought it meant I was into this.

I wasn’t, but I didn’t stop from grinding on him.

I lifted my hands, closed my eyes, and just thought about something else. I wasn’t here, wasn’t trying to get this guy to come in his pants. I was far away, so distant that nothing could touch me. I was the one who had control, and that control made me feel free, alive.

“Come home with me. Hell, let’s go back to my car.”

I shook my head. He needed to shut up.

“Come on, girl.” He ground his dick against me again. He felt small, even though he was hard.

“No. Either shut up and dance with me, or go find someone willing to go home with you.” I didn’t even know if he heard me over the rush of the music, but if he said one more word, I’d just go get a drink.

He tightened his hold on my hips, digging his small dick into my back. “I bet you’re wet for me right now, aren’t you?” His breath was hot, humid. It was acidic and I gagged.

I was bone-dry, not even the teasing of arousal playing over me. I never felt anything when I danced with these guys. It was what made me feel free, made me feel powerful in an otherwise unstable world. I might not have any kind of control with my personal life, with my finances, with anything that could ground me, but at this club, where the drinks flowed, the sex was potent, and my power was immense…I was the one in charge.

I’d been called a dick tease, a bitch, whore, a cunt…any and all of the above. None of that mattered. They were verbal bullets, and in this club I wore my bulletproof vest.

I pushed away from the guy and made my way to the bar. He was either cursing me out or had hopefully moved on to someone more receptive to what he was actually after. But when I got to the bar, the people crammed together, shouting, lifting their hands to get one of the three bartenders to come their way. I decided tonight was done. I’d hit the bathroom, then call a cab.

Pushing my way through the throng of bodies, the air stale, humid, the heat suffocating, I said a silent prayer that the line to use the bathroom wasn’t up the ass. But there were still a few girls ahead of me. I leaned on the wall, resting my head back against it, and stared up. I noticed the video camera aimed right at me. There were several in this hallway, two in the back, one pointing at me, and another aimed at the dance floor.

I had no doubt there were a dozen more at other locations. Although this place was wild on most nights, it also had a reputation for being safe—well, as safe as a nightclub could be. It had just been renovated by the new owner over the last year, a man I’d heard rumors about, and one I never wanted to meet.

Dark and dangerous. Violent and psychotic. He’s not a person you want to meet in a dark alley. He’d just as soon slit your throat for looking at him the wrong way.

Rumors, of course, but it was those words, whispered by everyone and anyone, that told me there had to be a little bit of truth behind them.

I feel sorry for anyone who pisses off Cameron Ashton, because he’ll solve that problem with a shovel and a six-foot-deep hole.

Pushing off the wall when it was my turn inside, I used the facility, went over to the sink to wash my hands, and stared at myself in the mirror. The girl who stared back looked sad, and not in an emotional way. My reflection showed a hot mess. My eyeliner was starting to smear under my eyes, pieces of my dark hair stuck to my temples, and the lipstick I had on, once red and vibrant, now looked dead and colorless.

I finished in the restroom, pushed my way through the crowd, and finally opened the door that led outside. The cool night air washed over me, and I involuntarily closed my eyes, moaning softly. It felt good out here, the crush of bodies and heat a distant memory the longer I stood here.

The alcohol that had once numbed me, clouding my head with the nothingness, started to clear. Maybe I hadn’t been as drunk as I’d thought. Being behind those doors was like another world. The lights, music, the people trying to get off any way they could, brought you down low to a depraved, sticky and disgusting level. It’s what I loved.

I needed to get home now, had work in the morning, had to get back to my shitty life. I fished my cell out of the miniscule handbag I carried with me, dialed the cab service I had memorized, and told them the address. Coming here for the last year should have had them knowing me by name. As I waited for them to arrive, ten long fucking minutes, I moved away from the front doors and leaned against the wall off to the side.

I glanced up, the streetlight close by bright but not quite reaching me fully. Looking to my left, I noticed another security camera, this one pointed at the front doors. Never let it be said this place didn’t have their shit together.

The sound of a lighter going off to my right had me glancing over. I saw the flare of the flame, smelled the scent of the cigarette as its owner inhaled and then exhaled.

“Hey, girl.”

I exhaled. God, of course the guy from inside, the one with the small dick and the need for me to go home with him, would be out here. I didn’t bother replying, didn’t want to engage. Instead I turned my head in the other direction and glanced at a few people across the parking lot smoking. I felt the lightest touch on my arm.

The hell?

I glanced to my right, and before I knew what was happening, that light touch from the asshole turned into him pulling me farther into the shadowy side street.





Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.

Author Links


 


 

RELEASE BLITZ ~ Repossess by Jennifer Foor

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From the award winning contemporary romance writer
comes a new standalone romance,
Repossess!

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Grab your copy at the following retailers:

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Amazon US: 

Amazon UK: 

iBooks: 

Nook: 

Kobo: 

 

Full Blurb

Raised by my four brothers, I’m the poster girl of a hot-mess. A sucker for cheating assholes and shitty friends.

It’s the reason I’ve come home.

The only reason!

I arrive to find the family business in shambles. My brothers have managed to run it into the ground. With new competition, the stakes are high, especially when I realize whose stealing all of the business out from under us.

Seeing him again isn’t the hard part.

I’m over Crane Lord, his cocky, dangerous sex appeal, his criminal ways of getting by, and how he used to own every part of me.

He’s the enemy. I don’t want him.

I can’t.

Shit!

Read Chapter One here:  


About the Authorjennifer-foor-new

Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.

With over forty published titles, there is a story for every interest. Her books can be found on most platforms and in paperback.

She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, creating and writing stories straight from her heart.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |  Goodreads


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RELEASE DAY BLITZ ~ His Princess by Alexa Riley

 
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Alena is a princess, and with that comes responsibility. Like marrying the giant caveman King Roman, who looks more like a warrior than a ruler. Everything about him is intense. Especially the way he looks at her. But she’s been promised to him, and there’s no way out.

Roman took one look and made up his mind. Princess Alena will be his and no one will stop him from taking her.
Everything about her belongs to him now, and waiting one week for a wedding isn’t going to happen.


This beast of a man might just claim his princess before she has a chance to say “I do.”

Warning: Oh, this is good. It’s so, so good. Trust us.


Chapter 1

*Alena*
“Is that him?” Tabby asks as she comes up behind me to get a better look. Her long dark hair tumbles onto my shoulder as she peers at my laptop screen. It’s as if she’s never seen the man in question. Everyone knows who King Roman is. Well, if you’re royalty you do. Right now, there’s not a royal alive who doesn’t know who he is, because he’s decided to take a wife. A wife of his choosing, and I’ve been chosen.
It’s the fate of someone with my bloodline. I don’t get a choice on who I get to marry, so when my family was presented with the arrangement, it was decided behind closed doors, and papers were signed. I’m officially the promised bride to the King, and that’s that.
I look at my future husband, and there’s no missing that Roman is a born leader. It radiates off him in commanding waves. I can even feel it through my computer screen. Though I’m not sure if he should be sitting on a throne or leading an army of men into battle. From the look on his face, you would think he was a warrior.
He’s nothing but lines and fierce angles. The man is well over six feet tall and then some. In his pictures he even towers over some of his own security. His hair is dark as night and comes to his collar, but it does little to hide his eyes, which are just as black. He’s not lean either. He’s thick and broad like a rugby player, and I can see why the public has nicknamed him The Wall. He radiates strength and power, and my hand is shaky as I click the next image.
“Tabby. I can’t marry him,” I plead with my sister.
I don’t even know how I was chosen over her. Tabby is the one men flock to. Her beauty lights up a room. I look nothing like my family.
Somehow I ended up barely over five foot with blonde hair, blue eyes, and the fairest skin. My sister, on the other hand, like the rest of my family, is almost six foot and has long black hair, deep green eyes and skin that looks like the sun kisses it every day.
I stand out in a way I don’t like. I’ve felt like I don’t belong since birth, but Tabby would never make me feel that way.
She wraps her arms around me from behind, both of us still staring at the screen. “I tried,” she says, making me gasp. I turn around and look at her.
Tabby is dreading getting married, probably because my parents have been talking about her marriage since she could walk. The worst part is, she doesn’t even want to marry royalty. In fact, she despises the idea. If it was up to her she’d have a little cottage with twenty kids and a brute of a husband. Yes, a brute. One too many romance novels and now Tabby is in love with cavemen. “I knew you wouldn’t want this.” She shakes her head. “I’m sorry, Al.”
“I can’t believe you’d do that for me.”
“You know I’d do anything for you. I’m your big sister. It’s my job.” She pulls on a strand of my hair. “I was hoping that maybe if he had agreed to marry me instead, I could bring you with me. But to be honest, I don’t even think they asked him.” She walks over to my bed and plops down on it. “He wants you.”
“Maybe. Maybe I can ask to take you with me,” I try. If I get married to this man and have to leave home, it wouldn’t be so bad if I had Tabby with me. Because when I talk about home, I don’t mean the one my parents made for us. I mean Tabby is my home. The thought of us being apart is something I don’t want to face.
“Yeah, right.”
I knew that wouldn’t be possible before the words left my mouth. Tabby is my parents’ golden ticket. She’s had so many offers of marriage we’ve lost count. But my parents turned them all down. Never rich enough, never had enough status or power. Tabby is twenty-four and still unmarried. That isn’t normal. I’m barely marrying age. I thought I had more time and even thought maybe I would never be asked. I’d hoped that I could just go wherever Tabby went.
But to my—and my parents’—shock, I was chosen. And by someone with a lot of power and money.
I turn back to my laptop, forcing myself to look at my future. Not only is Roman intimidating, the word is he rules with an iron fist. I click through pictures of him and never once do I encounter one where he’s smiling. His face is always straight and stoic, even in the pictures of him as a little boy with his mother and father.
I don’t know how long I scroll though the pictures when Tabby interrupts me. “Who’s that?” she asks, and I jump. I didn’t even feel her come up behind me.
“Princess Kaul,” I say, glancing down at the print under the picture. “Looks like they are on a date at some ball. She’s pretty,” I mutter, feeling a pang of jealousy that my husband—future husband, I correct—was out with another woman not even a month ago.
“Meh,” my sister says dismissively. “Who knows if she’s really pretty once you wipe all that shit off her face.”
I giggle.
“Why didn’t he just marry her?”
“Maybe he got all that make-up off and ran for the hills. Maybe she’s annoying. Maybe she chews with her mouth open. Who knows.”
“But he’s going to marry me without even meeting me. What if I do all that stuff? I can do all that stuff.” I turn in my chair. “Layer my face up, stuff my mouth with food so he can see every chomp. And we both know my laugh is the worst.”
“It is pretty bad,” Tabby agrees, grinning.
It’s not that it sounds funny, it’s just kinda loud. Really loud. Maybe a little infectious, too, because a few times I’ve started laughing, then Tabby and I are laughing about my laugh, and this will go on for five minutes. It drives my parents nuts, which is an added bonus.
Tabby’s eyes light up at a thought. “He’s coming for dinner.”
My shoulders drop. I don’t know why she’s excited about that.
“Maybe you can make a fool of yourself. Make him realize that you aren’t the one he wants!” Tabby jumps up, and I can see this plan is already in motion.


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Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!
Author Links
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COVER REVEAL ~ Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

 

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Authors Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward have teamed up once again to bring you another chance meeting, another Cocky Bastard who will charm his way into your heart on April 10th, 2017.

 

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Photographer: Maurizio Montani

Model: Richeli Murari

Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, r.b.a. designs

 

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I met Bianca in an elevator.

She was on her way to interview me when we got stuck.

The beautiful, raven-haired reporter assumed I was a delivery guy because of the way I was dressed.

She had no clue I was really Dex Truitt, the wealthy, successful businessman she’d dubbed “Mister Moneybags”—her afternoon appointment.

Bianca told me how much she hated Dex’s type—snobby, over educated, silver- spooned men who didn’t appreciate the simple things in life.

So, after the elevator finally started moving again, I cancelled the interview and let her believe I was someone I wasn’t—a bike messenger named Jay. I loved the way she looked at the fake me and didn’t want it to end.

I began dating her as “Jay”—all the while letting her interview the real me over email.

I didn’t expect that our chemistry online would be just as hot.

I didn’t expect the mess I’d gotten myself into.

I didn’t expect that Jay and Dex would fall in love with her.

And she was falling for two men.

Only, both men were me.

And when she found out, we were both going to lose her.

Nothing could have prepared me for that day. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for what came after.

All good things must come to an end, right?

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

Add to Goodreads

 

Read the First Chapter here:


PRE-ORDER

iBooks exclusive ebook pre-order | Amazon paperback

**No Amazon ebook preorder. Will go live on Amazon on release day. **

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!


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About the Authors

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Vi Keeland
is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve 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.

Vi’s Social Media Links:

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.

Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

 

Connect with Penelope Ward

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram


Other books from Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward:

Cocky Bastard
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Stuck-Up Suit
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

Playboy Pilot
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

Other books from Vi Keeland:

Standalone novels

Egomaniac
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9

Bossman
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I

The Baller
Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)
http://www.amazon.com/Left-Behind-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00OJM92LI/

First Thing I See
http://www.amazon.com/First-Thing-See-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00AWXY3HG
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-thing-i-see-ms-vi-keeland/1114703332

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

Throb
http://www.amazon.com/Throb-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00SS2RYBU
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)

Worth the Fight
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Fight-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00FLG5B9S
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight

Worth the Chance
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Chance-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00I2UKQOK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

Worth Forgiving
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Forgiving-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00MWL78EG
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving

The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You
http://www.amazon.com/Belong-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BUTCXLE/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You
http://www.amazon.com/Made-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00DPWVKS6
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Other books from Penelope Ward:

Mack Daddy:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
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RoomHate
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Stepbrother Dearest
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ink-sling


CHAPTER REVEAL ~ Coal (Regulators MC #3) by Chelsea Camaron and Jessie Lane

 
 

Title: Coal
Series: Regulators MC #3
Author: Chelsea Camaron and Jessie Lane


Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Cover Model is Jacob Wilson 
Cover Photographer is Furious Fotog
Cover Design by Mina Carter
 
 


Coal (Regulators MC 3)
Chapter Excerpt

 

Written by:

 

Chelsea Camaron and Jessie Lane 

 

Copyright © Chelsea Camaron and Jessie Lane 2017

 


 

This book contains mature content not suitable for those under the age of 18. Content involves strong language and sexual situations. All parties portrayed in sexual situation are over the age of 18. All characters are a work of fiction.

 

This book is not meant to be an exact depiction of a motorcycle club but rather a work of fiction meant to entertain.
Please Note: The following excerpt is subject to change in final edits.

 

~Coal~

 

 
She is the everyday girl next-door.

 

 
He is shadowed by regret laced in broken memories.

 

 
Dark sins of the past have a way of taking hold of your heart and never letting go.

 

 
Paisley Asher is the average woman trying to get by in life. Happy and safe in her bubble of ease, she is not prepared to take on the black pit that is one man’s heart.

 

Trevor ‘Coal’ Blake has a past covered in black. Tainted. He is a dark soul.

 

In the moment, it is easy to lose sight of what is going on. Looking back, however, little cues were misread … or were they? He lives with more questions than answers.

 

 
Chance encounters bring these two together. Is she the angel to pull him from the depths of his personal hell, or is he destined to remain alone and as black as coal?

 

 
Prologue

 

 
The pounding in my head continues to assault my ears. Chad’s party last night was epic, and my head is making sure to remind me of the good time I had.

 

Bang.

 

Bang.

 

Thump.

 

Thump. Bang. Thump. Bang.

 

The rhythm is now unsteady.

 

 
“Trevor wake your ass us right the fuck now!” My dad yells in his Army Ranger voice that has me immediately up and at attention by my bed.

 

 
Shit, why is my dad yelling? This tone is reserved for the major fuck ups.

 

Making my way to the door, I don’t bother to put on clothes and exit in my boxers. Immediately, I’m met with the brick wall that is my dad. We’re about the same height and of similar build. Only my dad has seen war, has scars and quite honestly scares the shit out of me.

 

“Turn around and put some clothes on. Then you get downstairs and face the shit storm you’ve caused. Two minutes, or I drag you down and let them see you in your naked glory, I don’t give a damn.”

 

 
He gives me a slight shove back into my room while my vision blurs and the chalky taste in my mouth only makes me wish I had time to grab a glass of water. His instructions were clear and precise. I won’t press my luck with the Ranger. Quickly tossing on my sweats and a t-shirt I rush downstairs only to stop midway. There is no way I’m going to be any longer than necessary, not with the mood he is in this morning. No sir.

 

 
The sight in front of me is like a punch to my hungover already ready to puke gut.

 

 
My girlfriend, Amber, stands at the bottom of the stair case with tears in her eyes with her parents flanking her on either side. The girl I have spent every spare moment with for the last few months doesn’t look like the lively, beautiful young woman I’m used to seeing. No, she looks a mess, hurt, broken, and could it possibly be she’s ashamed. Her mother’s eyes are swollen from crying and her father …

 

 
His face is murderous. What the hell is going on?

 

I shake my head trying to sort out why they’re here. Why my girlfriend looks like the world has crumbled at her feet. More so, why she’s brought this to my doorstep.

 

 
“Trevor,” my father barks harshly making me jump while I complete my descent and hit the bottom step. “Ass – couch – now.” He commands me before looking to the other family. “Mr. and Mrs. Bridges, Amber, please head into the living room so we can address this matter.”

 

 
Matter? What could be wrong? I haven’t seen Amber in three days. She said she had the flu. We’ve been dating six months. Three weeks ago, she finally gave it up at a party at her best friend, Kiki’s house. Nothing has seemed out of the ordinary. We haven’t had much time together. I know I was drunk, she was drunk, so it wasn’t some romantic thing. In fact, once I got inside her tight pussy, I had to fight not to blow my load with the first thrust. I didn’t last long, but I told her next time would be better. I tried to make it good. I even held her afterward knowing it was her first time. 

 

 
I sit while my mind races.

 

 
“Trevor,” my mom says my name gently while I look up into her dark eyes and see pain. “Amber’s family tell us that something occurred a couple of weeks ago,” she starts only to be interrupted.

 

 
“You fucking piece of shit got my daughter drunk and raped her!” Mr. Bridges roars lunging at me only to be held back by my dad who easily towers a good six inches over the man.

 

My mother rushes to my side, her long black hair hitting me in the arm. She’s Native American and I get my dark hair, dark eyes, and tanned skin from her. My height of six feet seven inches comes from my beast of a father.

 

“We need to discuss this,” my mother says to the Bridges.

 

 
“Nothing to discuss,” Mrs. Bridges replies. “Graduation is in two weeks, we want to see Trevor gone. Amber will have enough of a reminder for the next nine months of what’s happened to her. After the kids graduate, Trevor gets out of town for school or the military, or we go to the police and press charges.”

 

 
“Press charges?” I scream and run my hands through my hair as sharp pains assault my head. “For what?”

 

 
“Rape!” Mr. Bridges yells back.

 

 
Tears hit me. I’m seventeen years old. One night at a party where I swear she said yes leaves me in this kind of mess.

 

 
“I didn’t,” I gasp and try to get out the words, only I make the mistake of looking into Amber’s eyes. The fear, the pain, the sadness, and the desolation are all writing in her features as she shakes her head at me. “I didn’t do that.” I can’t even say the word.

 

My mother grips my arm in support. “Let’s sit down and talk this through.”

 

 
We back up and sit on the couch where my father releases Mr. Bridges and paces behind us. The Bridges’ take their seats on the loveseat and chair. Amber refuses to make eye contact any further with me.

 

 
“Were you at a party two weekends ago with Amber?” Mr. Bridges starts his interrogation.

 

I nod.

 

 
“Were you drinking?”

 

 
I nod.

 

“Do you understand that the legal drinking age in the United States is twenty-one?” He continues to fire questions at me. “Do you understand that an underage girl being intoxicated is not of the right mind to give consent to sexual activities? Do you understand the pain you’ve caused our daughter? Do you understand the ramifications of your actions?”

 

 
“Sir,” I have to swallow the lump in my throat as I fight back emotions. “I understand the legal drinking age. I understand that while yes, I was intoxicated, your daughter was an equal participant. So no, sir, I do not understand the ramifications of my actions.” I fight back the urge to puke.

 

My father’s hand comes to the back of my head. “Since your mother and I failed to make a man out of you. The Army will.” He clips out. “Trevor will be signing enlistment papers today and be gone within thirty days time.”

 

 
Mr. Bridges rises to extend his hand to my father to shake. “We appreciate your attention to the matter and easing the burden for Amber. We’ll be in touch about the future.”

 

 
Amber stands with her mother never once looking at me as she exits, while I can’t help but fear what my future holds and my mind tries to grasp what they’re saying.

 

I didn’t do it. I didn’t take advantage of her.

 

 
**

 

Two years later, I finish selection to become a Green Beret. The badass of the badasses. One of the elite. I remember in the selection process, while trying to mentally survive one obstacle to the next, someone said, “Hell is a fictional place. When you’re done here it’ll seem like a fucking sanctuary.”

 

He was both right and wrong. Finishing selection was the most grueling thing I’ve ever done, but I had already seen hell. 

 

 
Hell was your girlfriend saying you raped her when she turned up pregnant. Hell was getting a letter she lost the baby before summer was over. Hell was knowing her life went on while I couldn’t figure out if my memories of that night were teenage fantasies or reality.

 

 
Hell was living day in and day out haunted by an event you aren’t sure really happened.

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 
Coal

 

 
“Ropa Vieja,” I order my shredded beef while Ice looks over his menu beside me. Without having to watch him I know what Ice is doing – scanning the restaurant. Taking in the colorfully painted booths and wood stained stables while checking to make sure there is no threat in here to us. To men like us, it’s second nature to make sure your area is free of danger.

 

 
“Arroz con pollo,” he gives the waitress his chicken order.

 

With a nod, she takes off to the back, weaving in and out of the tables, leaving me with one of the few people who I consider family sitting in front of me.

 


 

“It’s been three years, brother.” Ice meets my stare and doesn’t back down. “Madyson is good. She’s working through it.”

 

 
I pause and give it to him honest, “you really think someone works through something like that?”

 

 
“Watching her, I know they do.”

 

 
His statement does nothing to ease my fears.

 

 
“You got a thing for my wife’s sister, Coal?” He asks the question everyone seems to wonder. “Look me in the eye and tell me. If you do, I’m not gonna judge. Not sayin’ I’ll be happy either, but you need to buck up, Coal.”

 

 
“Fuck no, I’m old enough to be her damn dad.” I am angry he can even think this. “You know me better than that.”

 

 
“Then why since the day we got her back, you’ve made it your mission to make sure she moves beyond this. Hell, Coal, you’ve paid for her college like she’s your fucking kid.”

 

I glare at him. “No one is supposed to know that. As far as she goes, Morgan goes, or the damn Pope goes, you pay her way through school. Drop the subject.”

 

 
“Easier said then done, brother.” He raises an eyebrow at me.

 

 
“Got ghosts,” I reply as the waitress drops our plates in front of us. 

 

It’s all I’m going to give him. My personal life, my hell, is not his business. I have the means now to find Amber. I don’t. I made a vow to my father the day I signed my enlistment papers to let the Army make a man out of me. I promised I would let Amber go and live her life free of me. Since the moment I took my oath, I haven’t looked into her. I won’t. The baby is gone. There is nothing for me to talk to her about without bringing up what is one bad fucking memory. 

 

 
When Madyson was found, I promised her I would be by her side to make sure she could move on in life. I made a vow to leave Amber alone, good or bad. I had to keep my word. I wouldn’t let Madyson be alone, though, no I gave her my word to be her support. 

 

 
And I have.

 

 
Ice raises his hands in surrender knowing I’m done talking about Madyson. “For now, I don’t have to kick your ass.”

 

 
“Forever,” I clip back meaning it. I do care about the well being of Madyson, but not in the way he thinks.

 

Three years ago Madyson was kidnapped, drugged and raped by men who were operating a sex slavery ring out of the Miami area. The Regulators had already taken notice of the number of women who were going missing, but it became personal when Ice’s daughter, Brooke’s best friend, Madyson, became one of those missing women.

 

 
Our club went in undercover, starting a business relationship with the man we thought was running the ring. I had to do some despicable shit to prove the Regulators were genuinely interested, such as fuck two of their drugged-up whores, but in the end it had been worth it because we got Madyson back. 

 

Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to help other people. I have no problem doing that. I also have no problem with the black strokes each offense leaves on my soul after doing them. I am coming to realize there isn’t much of a soul left in me anyways. The way I prove to myself that I actually am some sort of decent human being is by doing things such as putting Madyson through school. Giving one girl the chance that I had inadvertently taken from another so many years ago.

 

It’s one of those things I don’t need to explain to a single soul. It’s between me and whatever higher power I choose to believe in today.

 

 
With our meals in front of us, we eat and spend the rest of our time in companionable silence. Brett ‘Ice’ Grady is one of my long time friends. He’s also not one to press me for words. Even if he did, he wouldn’t get them. My past is my own and it’s not something anyone needs to know.

 

I left Trevor Blake behind the day I enlisted in the United States Army. My black heart is dark as coal they say and earned me my name in the Green Beret’s where I met, Ice, Shooter, and Hammer. I kill without question. I sleep without dreams. And even all these years later, I still wonder if no was yes or somehow yes was no. It eats at me. It’s my penance to pay. I won’t bother her, I won’t dredge up the history for Amber. I let it be the gray area in life and determined that my future would be black and white forever. I no longer leave anything to chance or a misunderstanding.

 

Our phones ping at the same time, the text is from Screech, our tech man, and it’s a simple one-word statement.

 

 
Mission.

 

 
We have orders, time to finish up here and meet everyone at the club to see exactly what Uncle Sam has in store for our undercover group next.

 


 

Regulators Motorcycle Club, a brotherhood of military men with a job that is a special skillset. One that walks a line between right and wrong. We’re always one second away from going too far.

 

 
I have nothing to lose. I’m more than okay with it all. 

 

 
Some of the other men in our club, such as Ice and Hammer, have everything to lose. Ol’ ladies, families. That’s not me. I have nothing to tie me down and not one fucking thing to lose.

 

 
My father died ten years ago from a heart attack. Now my mom lives alone. I help her out when it comes to making sure her bills are paid, but I can’t make myself face her in person. I’m afraid all I’ll see is shame in her eyes from the things in my past.

 

 
As I walk out of the restaurant behind Ice I see a familiar face. She goes by the street name Precious and is one of the whores I use when I need to get off. I don’t do many repeats, but Precious is one of the few that I have gone to more than once because she’s always clean, pretty, and I know she has a kid she’s trying to support on her own.

 

Sauntering over to me she purrs, “Hey baby. Haven’t seen you in a while. Want to go get a room?”

 

 
I shake my head. “Got somewhere to be Precious. You hittin’ on me because you want my dick or because you need to pay a bill?”

 

Her eyes flash in humiliation and I know it’s the latter. Pulling out my wallet I take out a hundred dollar bill and put it in her hand. “Take this and I’ll see you when I can.”

 

I walk away, not wanting to hear her thanks. I’m not the sort of man anyone should thank for anything. Seeing her desperate like that makes me wonder about my mom. It makes me worry if she needs more money from me or not. She’s stubborn and doesn’t like to take the ‘handouts’ I give her. Instead she would rather earn it at the little garden shop she works at. I’ll have to have Screech hack into her bank account and check things out for me.

 

My parents might have believed that I was a disappointment of a son because of what happened. Since the day I left to join the Army I still remember all the lessons my father taught me. Taking care of your family was one of those lessons. Whether my mom likes it or not, I’m going to check in on her soon to make sure she’s got everything she needs. If that means paying her bills for her behind her back, then that’s what I’ll do.

 

Throwing my leg over my bike, I start her up and rev the engine. Ice is already moving so I head out after him. I have no idea what the mission is yet, but I’m ready for it.

 

 
I feel that familiar need to fight, get my hands bloody. Release some of the rage I hold inside of my body twenty-four hours a day. I’m just hoping this mission gives me the chance to make someone the mangled mess I am inside.

 

 

 

Paisley

“Girl, you’re on fire!” I tell the air around me as I dance around my loft apartment getting ready for my day. Self-talk, it’s working wonders. “Dance, Paisley, dance, no one is here to see.” I shake my bootie and swirl around the kitchen making my morning smoothie. The space is open and airy, so I can twirl and shimmy my ass anywhere I please to go from the living room to the kitchen. For now, I stay in the kitchen as I start to drink my smoothie and bounce my hips from side to side.

In the last few years, I’ve changed my routine to start my day with as much pep as I can conjure. When everything is taken from you in a blink, it’s hard to rebalance.

Within thirty minutes, I’m at the gym for yoga. Walking through the front doors, I have my earbuds in and my music up, jamming in my mind. Looking down, I am stopped abruptly when I feel two firm hands grip my shoulders stopping me just inches from his chest.

Scotty.

While the man has muscles on top of muscles he’s an ego-maniac. I’m sure most women do swoon over him, but ‘man grunts’ and flexing don’t do it for me.

“Paisley, baby, gotta be careful.”

“Sorry,” I mutter knowing I need to pay attention.

“Make it up to me, take me to dinner tonight.” He sort of commands in the way Scotty does.

I reach up and pat his pectoral muscle to which he makes it jump in what I assume to be a way to impress me. “Scotty, at least twice a week you tell me to take you to dinner.” I sigh. “It’s getting old, buddy. Women want to be whisked away, swept off their feet, ya know,” I look up into his green eyes, “romance, buddy, romance.”

He cups my chin with his first finger and thumb, “Paisley, this ain’t no fairytale. You can have a night or two with a man like me, gotta take the leap, baby.”

I raise an eyebrow at him, “you really think that works?”

“You have no idea,” he smirks and I’ve had enough. Jerking my head back, I step to the side and around the behemoth.

“Not happening, Scotty, go have another protein shake.” I say without looking back at him.

I make my way front the front entrance of the gym, passing a few isolated exercise rooms to the door that leads into the women’s locker room. Desirae, who is one of my closest friends is already putting her stuff in a metal locker when I walk in.

We met when she came to Miami after the death of her sister. She still visits North Carolina regularly but for the most part her life is in South Beach with her man, Ethan ‘Hammer’ McCoy. They’re cute together in that ‘get a room’ kind of face sucking way.

Des is easy-going and doesn’t judge a soul. It’s why we get along so well.

She takes one look at my face before automatically speaking, “Scotty, again?”

“Yup. Des, is it really bad to think romance is dead?”

She laughs. “Honey, I live with a biker. Depends on your definition of romance.”

I sit on the bench rather than tuck my stuff away. “I want to be knocked on my butt. When cupid nails me with his arrow, I’m gonna be swept away. It’s not something I’ll find on a date, it’s something that’s going to spark and then go BOOM.” I raise my hands dramatically.

“You do realize it doesn’t necessarily work that way, right?”

“You and your logic. Okay so for most people it may not, but for me that’s how it’ll be. The stars will align and something will happen sending me barreling into the man of my dreams life and instantly there will be fireworks. I know it.”

She closes her locker before picking up my phone and towel to toss them in the locker beside hers.

“Fireworks, those can happen for a lot of reasons, Paisley.” She smiles and takes me by the hand to pull me from my perch on the bench. “I love you to death, but you are the craziest woman I know. Maybe a little meat in you would take the edge off?” She jokes to which I just sigh loudly.

“Meat in me, huh? That’s gonna solve all my problems.” We both laugh and make our way to class. Exiting through the other side of the women’s locker room, we walk through the heart of the gym filled with various exercise machines until we reach the yoga classroom in the back.

An hour session later, love, fireworks, romance, and all thoughts of my morning are gone. No, the meditation, the focus, the calm is all back in place. I’m balanced. Rejuvenated.

My shift at the grocery store begins on a register. Beep, beep, slide the cans with a smile, its my job. I count items or sing songs in my head to entertain myself as I ring up my customer.

“Paisley,” the produce manager calls my name getting my attention.

“Yes, sir.”

“Flip your light. Finish that one then you gotta work organic today, Paul called in.”

I nod my head and do as I’m told.

Bin by bin, I go through the vegetables and fruits making sure to discard any that are going bad and refill low stock.

“Can you believe they want over a dollar more for this organic crap?” A lady says to her friend.

“Half of it still has dirt on it,” her friend chimes in. I should probably mind my own business, but they are missing out on some good foods by their assumptions.

“While I can understand one’s aversion to the dirt, please understand that once rinsed in tap water the metal and mineral components in all water speed the process therefore the food rots at a faster rate. Organic does cost some more because the rate in which a store loses the produce is higher since they aren’t packed full of preservatives which settle in your gut and make for a slow moving digestive system. And the dirt you visibly see is simple the covering provided in nature to slow oxidation and keep the air off the fruit or vegetable.” Immediately, I regret speaking. I switched majors in college and finished with a degree in Horticulture. Plant life, studying it, exploring it, well it’s the only thing I could make sense of after facing loss of real people’s lives.

“Thanks for the science lesson,” the woman cuts me off and I draw back at her tone. My intention wasn’t to offend but to explain.

Shrugging my shoulders, I go back to work deciding not to press my luck.

I made a decision five years ago to live a simplified life as much as I can and be conscious of my decisions for both my body and my environment. I lost everything by being careless and I won’t do that again. The regrets kept me up at night for far too long. I try to remain focused and centered in my every thought, word, and action.

I even considered going off the grid living, but soon realized my fear of bugs and my height leave me at a strong disadvantage to making a go at it. Plus, living in South Beach there isn’t really a whole lot of possibilities for that lifestyle.

Instead, I live in a one room loft style apartment, drive a Prius, and eat a mostly natural diet. Like the women beside me, the life isn’t for everyone. Modern day conveniences come at a price to our bodies and environment, but it’s my choice and I can’t push it on everyone.

They push their carts on by without buying anything organic and I go about straightening up.

My shift ends and I find my mood to be lacking. Sadness, an emotion I was once all too familiar with encompasses me.

Depression.

I remind myself I won’t go there again. I’ve cleaned up my life. No demons haunt me anymore. Today was not the best day, but it wasn’t the worst.

I have dealt with the worst. Now I have my crystals, my diet, and my lifestyle to keep my energies refocused to the positive and not into the darkness. I lost a lot, yes, but I haven’t lost it all.

Not everyone can understand me. I don’t take it personally. The choices I make are for me and me alone.

It’s hard to keep it in perspective. Living a clean life allows me to not lose sight of the blessings I have. For me, keeping my diet away from processed foods isn’t about being skinny, it’s about not clogging my heart, my pores, or my mind with junk. Yoga, balances both the mind and the body. It wasn’t until I immersed myself in this lifestyle that I found peace.

I gather my things from the break room and make my way to my car. Distractedly, I pull out into traffic trying to forget my past and stay in my current.

The alarm on my phone goes off reminding me it’s time for a snack. Reaching over to my passage seat cooler, I take out an apple. We eat for sustenance not for hunger. By maintaining a healthy glucose, I don’t feel the hunger pains and keep my body and my mind on a regimented schedule. My mind can’t become distracted and my emotions won’t run in a panic if I continually eat in small portions. Again, it’s about control for me.

The light ahead turns red and I take my foot off the gas and decompress the brake. Lifting the green fruit to my mouth, I bite, feeling the bitter of the granny smith apple hit my taste buds I close my eyes briefly in appreciation.

That’s when the bump happens.

Throwing the apple over my shoulder, I look up to see a huge man on a motorcycle look over his shoulder at me as my bumper has clearly pushed into his rear tire.

Oh heavens, what have I done?

He pushes the kick stand down as I throw the car in park, slap on my hazard lights and open my door.

“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry.” I say rushing to him. 

Before me stands a stunningly tall bald man whose aura screams sex. He has one of those seriously killer beards that you sort of want to pet because it’s so fabulous. It accentuates his strong face and tan skin. His long legs are covered in jeans that hug his tree trunk thighs, and his feet clad in some serious looking ass kicking boots. A black shirt covers his chest underneath his leather vest with patches all over it and the whole visual strikes me as an intimidating figure. His dark eyes stare right through me as I look at him. ‘Coal’ sits on the left side of his vest, over his heart. ‘Vice President’ lays opposite the name on his right side. The rest of his vest has a bunch of different patches with different cities and sayings. Is this a biker in the same club as Desirae’s man?

He shakes his head. “You okay?”

“Yes, I am, but are you?”

He nods. “I’m fine. Get in your car, pay attention and go home,” he dismisses me. “Don’t just stand there looking stupefied. Get in the car go home, it’s done.”

“I need to make this right,” I stammer as my mind spins and I feel like things are suddenly out of control.

“Nothing wrong so nothing to make right.” He studies me as cars rush past us. “Get in your car, can’t leave till I know you got back in the vehicle.”

“Don’t you need my information. I have insurance.”

“It was a bump.” He doesn’t hide his frustration. “Not a patient man, Pixie, so get in your pedal car and go on.”

Pixie? I want to ask, but I don’t. The man is clearly not wanting to do anything about our incident. So doing the only thing I can think of, I get back in my Prius, turning off the hazards and putting it in gear, I try to shake off my emotions. Anxiety, guilt, frustration, and sadness all toy with my carefully balanced core. I feel myself tipping, falling, and stumbling down into the darkness.

Next, I do what every respectable, twenty-six-year-old woman does when she is faced with a scarier than a horror movie biker, I follow him.
 
 


 

 

 
 



She is the everyday girl next-door.

He is shadowed by regret laced in broken memories.

Dark sins of the past have a way of taking hold of your heart and never letting go.

Paisley Asher is the average woman trying to get by in life. Happy and safe in her bubble of ease, she is not prepared to take on the black pit that is one man’s heart.

Trevor ‘Coal’ Blake has a past covered in black. Tainted. He is a dark soul.

In the moment, it is easy to lose sight of what is going on. Looking back, however, little cues were misread … or were they? He lives with more questions than answers.

Chance encounters bring these two together. Is she the angel to pull him from the depths of his personal hell, or is he destined to remain alone and as black as coal?



 
 

 
USA Today Bestselling author Chelsea Camaron is a small town Carolina girl with a big imagination. She is a wife and mom chasing her dreams. She writes contemporary romance, erotic suspense, and psychological thrillers. She loves to write blue-collar men who have real problems with a fictional twist. From mechanics to bikers to oil riggers to smokejumpers, bar owners, and beyond, she loves a strong hero who works hard and plays harder.









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.
 





 

 

 
 

 

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