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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Aiding the Dragon

 

Aiding the Dragon
(Stonefire Dragons #9)

by Jessie Donovan
Publication date: May 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Teagan O’Shea is a rare female dragon-shifter leader. While her Irish clan has a tradition of female leaders, they have always had to hide behind a male face publicly to prevent the other clans from viewing them as weaker and then attacking. When the truth leaks, Teagan is faced with a choice—hand over the leadership to a male or invite the challengers to a leadership trial and earn her place. Out to prove having a penis isn’t required to be a leader, she picks the latter.

Aaron Caruso is sent to Ireland under the guise of repairing relations between two clans on the isle of Ireland. However, upon arrival he learns the truth. Determined to secure Teagan’s place so he can escape her alluring eyes and addicting personality, he busies himself with helping her any way he can. A female used him once and he’s not about to go through that again, no matter how much the Irish female tempts him.

As the pair work together on preparations for the leadership trial, both Aaron and Teagan start to see each other in a new light. Both have their own self-imposed loneliness and yearn for something they can’t have. Can Aaron and Teagan not only change tradition but also open their hearts? Or will they each be doomed to live alone to fight their inner battles?

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EXCERPT:

Twisting the knob, Teagan entered the small room. Aaron’s back was to her. While she appreciated his broad shoulders and his thick, dark hair, she

smiled at how he was tapping his fingers. He always did that when it came to meeting with her, either in person or via a video conference. “Just make sure not to wear down my table with your nails.”

Aaron’s movements stopped. He turned and Teagan hid her surprise. The male had grown a close-cut beard since the last time she’d seen him. The dark whiskers made him look wiser.

And maybe a wee bit sexier. Not that she’d ever tell him that.

Then he frowned and she banished that thought. Grumpy wasn’t what she needed, among many other things.

Aaron growled, “I wouldn’t have to tap my fingers in the first place if you were on time.”

Killian took a step toward Aaron, but Teagan put up a hand. “I’ll deal with him. Eliza is waiting for you. Go with her and search Sadie’s things. Update me on any developments.”

Her brother nodded and exited the room. Like most males in her clan, he obeyed her orders without question.

Aaron, on the other hand, leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on the table. “Should I get comfortable whilst you use a power play to assert your dominance? Or are you actually going to tell me why I’m here?”

She walked up to his feet and pushed them off the table. “Keep your dirty bloody boots on the floor. Do that again, and I’ll make sure you always have a bucket and rag to clean up after yourself.”

His pupils flashed to slits and back, signaling he was talking to his dragon. “I’m not here to clean.”

She shrugged. “The way I understand it, you’re here to help me for the next few weeks. Bram didn’t say cleaning was off-limits.”

Aaron stood. His dark brown eyes met her green. They were exactly the same height, which was a nice change. Teagan was tall, even by female dragon-shifter standards.

She barely had time to note the flecks in his eyes when he spat out, “Cleaning is off-limits. As is babysitting or being assigned entry-level guard duty. I’m a trained Protector. If it’s not related to my job, then I’ll refuse to do it.”

She raised an eyebrow. “And what? Disappoint your clan leader and destroy his hard work at trying to strengthen our alliance?”

“Bram would see it my way. Besides, you need this alliance more than we do. We already have Lochguard at our back. Who do you have?”

His words stung and her dragon stood at attention.

He was correct that she needed the alliance, but she wasn’t about to put up with bullshit to achieve it. That was the wrong message to send to Stonefire.

She had dealt with many a male acting like Aaron Caruso. She knew what to do.

Fisting his shirt, she pulled him close. For a split second, her dragon reveled in his scent and the heat of his body so close to theirs, but Teagan quickly pushed her beast to the back of her mind. As Aaron’s eyes flashed, she swept his legs with her own. Aaron lost his balance and Teagan guided him to the floor, face down. With his hands behind him and her knee in his lower back, she leaned down to his ear and whispered,

“Just because I’m female doesn’t mean you will treat me as any less of a clan leader, understood?”

He turned his head to meet her eyes. “I’m not doing it because you’re female. I’m doing it because you’re irritating.”

Resisting the urge to press a talon against his throat, she replied, “That just earned you guard duty. Maybe twenty-four hours without sleep will teach you a lesson in etiquette.”

She withdrew a key from her pocket and released Aaron. Before he could do more than rise to his hands and knees, she dashed out the sole door and locked it.

His voice was muffled through the door. “Let me out, bloody woman. This isn’t how you treat a guest.”

“Aye, you’re right. It’s how I treat a pest.”

 

Author Bio:

Sign up for Jessie’s newsletter and never miss a release or special: http://jessiedonovan.com/newsletter

Jessie Donovan wrote her first story at age five, and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey in junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap into her over-active imagination and write a book someday.

After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets. In late 2014, she became a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Jessie loves to interact with readers. When not reading a book or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, can often be found on Facebook.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Donovan

 

Donovan
(Face-Off Series, #3)

by Jillian Quinn
Publication date: May 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

As the starting goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers, Carter Donovan has the toughest position on the team. He’s hot as puck, a caveman in bed, and a beast on the ice. But after another season of missing the playoffs, Carter is taking the off-season harder than normal.

Just when Carter needs a change of luck, his teammate sets him up with Sydney Carroway, a famous romance author who likes to play games of her own. And after a blind date gone wrong, the dark-haired beauty has him wrapped around her finger. Sydney tortures Carter with her dirty words and pictures, thrives off the steamy conversations that give him a never-ending case of blue balls. Carter knows it. But he can’t get enough.

It might be Carter’s job to protect the net when he’s on the ice, but when it comes to Sydney, he needs more than a killer glove save to defend his heart.

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EXCERPT:

Carter Donovan has no idea I am messing with him. I bet he thinks I’m an evil witch, toying with his dick along with his emotions. Maybe I am, or at least to some extent, but damn him for shaving his beard. I’m still pissed about that. When I walked into Tyler Kane’s house last weekend, he was dressed in gym clothes and had only a tiny bit of facial hair. I was disappointed, to say the least.

I was hoping to kick things off with his face shoved between my legs and that stubble rubbing against my skin. Over the past two days, Carter has called non-stop. He even sent flowers and gifts to my apartment. To be honest, I was shocked to receive such lavish presents from him. The Chanel sunglasses were a bit overboard, but at least I know he has good taste. And that’s an important quality in a man who I am considering dating.

Flipping through a magazine on my couch, I wait for Carter to knock on the door. He’s twenty minutes early again, same as last time. I didn’t even have a chance to hop in the shower before he said he was almost here.

Part of me wants to take him into my bedroom and have my way with him. The other part of me, the side that likes experimenting with the opposite sex for research purposes, tells me I should make him wait a little while longer. After all, our relationship could make for good writing material for my next book.

As the author of all things smutty and over-the-top, I draw a lot of my inspiration from experiences. Carter just doesn’t know that yet. Poor guy. Kennedy and I did the same thing with Tyler Kane when they had first met. He fell for that shit hook, line, and sinker. Now, the two of them are living together and practically married. There’s a method to my madness.

I fix my dark curls in the mirror on the wall next to the door and double check my makeup before opening it. Drool just about runs down my chin as I take in the sight of Carter. He’s one sexy hunk of man candy. With those big, strong arms that are more suited for boxing than hockey, I want him to grip me up in them and do bad things to me.

Carter smiles so wide it reaches up to his soulful brown eyes. “Hey, baby.”

“Don’t hey, baby, me,” I shoot back, feigning interest. But this is all part of the game.

He leans in to kiss my cheek, because I promised him one kiss, his fingers grazing my bare shoulder as he touches me, fiddling with the strap of my tank top. “You look beautiful, as always, Sydney.”

My willpower almost crumbles with his lips sending shockwaves down my spine. His big hand is dangerously close to my breast as he slides it the rest of the way down my arm. If he were a character in one of my books, I would say the hell with self-control and throw myself at him, allow myself to become consumed in his manly scent and intoxicating sex appeal.

“Thanks, big guy.” I tug on his forearm in an attempt to pull him into the apartment. He’s so big I can hardly move him an inch.

After Carter shuts the door, he surprises me by shoving me up against the wall. I do my best to get away from him, but he makes it difficult with his size. Carter is used to defending the net when he’s on the ice. He sure as hell proves that right now as he blocks my entire view of the living room with his body.

Bending down to my height, he breathes against my neck and ignites a fire beneath my skin. Heat rushes from my cheeks to my toes as he presses his lips to my neck. I move my head to the side to give him better access, my inhibitions lowering along with my guard. The walls I have built up to protect myself come crumbling down in an instant.

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Author Bio:

Jillian loves Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a book blog in her free time. When she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: The Tempest

 

The Tempest
by Brit Constantine
Publication date: May 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

They call him “The Tempest.”

England’s most feared heavyweight-boxing champion.

He despises the fame and glory, but it’s nothing compared to the hate he inflicts on himself. All he wants is to be left alone to live on his boat in misery.

When I line up for his autograph, it’s instant fireworks. But not the beautiful stars-shine-bright kind. He’s rude. Heartless. A ticking time bomb of rage.

Luckily, I’m not afraid to put a lit match to his fuse.

I upload a private video of him to my one-million-subscribers channel. The video goes viral.

The ex-Royal Marine nearly breaks down my studio door to flag me inappropriate…

…while I’m in the middle of a live streaming event.

I don’t tell him. I don’t switch off the camera. I keep recording, secretly playing to my audience. He should have checked if the camera was rolling, right?

It should be a shipwreck from the moment the storm hits.

It is.

And then … it isn’t.

Our attraction is painful, undeniable, and it’s like I am Eve and his lips are the apple, and damn if his tongue isn’t the snake.

I am the only girl who can put this broken man back together again.

But he knows the secret he is keeping will tear us apart. He knows it’ll force my hand to break ties with the only family I have left in the world.

But once The Tempest, the man with the iron heart, falls in love … he’ll crush anyone who dares to take me away from him.

I have no choice but to go down with his ship.

Hook, line, and goddamned sinker.

The Tempest is a contemporary romance story of love, comedy and treachery.

No cheating. No OW/OM. Standalone. HEA. 18+

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EXCERPT:

I’m like a shooting bullet from a gun. Fast. Powerful. Deadly. She’ll get her shot. But right now, I want her to know just who is bigger, who is stronger.

“Now, is there anything you want to say to me?”

The room is pin-drop silent. I’ve always preferred silence, it’s easier that way to block out the dark in my head, detach from the world. But the sound of her incomprehensible response to the slightest touch of my body drowns out everything else. The sound of her submission is the only thing I want to hear. I could easily give up my life for it; spend every waking hour making her cum, just so I could hear those sounds for eternity.

“I…” she says weakly, finally speaking up. It’s a blunt contrast from her usual smug mouth. “I—”

She gasps suddenly, covering her mouth in shock, then snaps around to face the computer behind her. I hear the mouse click. I hear her swear.

Well, that’s a little strange… What the hell’s going on?

I watch her turn back around. Slowly. She looks like she’s seen a ghost. Grabbing my jeans, I put them on. I leave my chest exposed, riding high. “Now you know who’s in control, so don’t think you can humiliate me and get away—” I start to say, but she damn well cuts me off.

“I was live streaming.”

What the hell’s she going on about?

I grunt, meet her eyes defiantly. “What do you mean ‘live streaming’?”

“I mean … this whole love affair … was recorded live.” She hauls her thumb in the direction of a camera. “I was doing a live streaming event when you broke through my door … and … I thought it would be … entertaining …. to record us…”

What.

The.

Hell?

I pause, let the words sink in. “Is this some sick joke?” She shakes her head, and looks ready to provide some sympathy, some remorse, like a normal goddamn person. But then she laughs, like it’s the most hilarious thing to her. Like I am…

“Fresh meat to the slaughter?”

“Isn’t it always… between us? she replies, almost sinfully.

I feel my blood start to simmer with…

Bitterness. I hate that feeling of bitterness that wormed its way into my heart and festered away like so many maggots, consuming the dead flesh, leaving the tiny bit of good raw and painful. I tried to fight it, but nothing ever worked.

One girl and … boom.

Trying to take Felicity down is like being in the ring, except she makes me more breathless. It was an unfair match from the start. Boxing is the sport of kings or something. But this — her — is the damn opposite — she is the sport for the poor and the desperate, men willing to break their minds, hearts and souls. And she just stands

there, laughing, raising the anticipation levels, probably hoping for a longer fight and baying for more blood — my blood.

Looking at her, I feel my heart pound harder against my ribcage, but it isn’t anger fuelling it. I didn’t think I’d care about anything ever again. Stuff people care about, like babies and kittens and rainbows and shit. But all that shit could make me smile — genuinely smile knowing she’s in the universe.

Twenty-nine’s not that old, but joining the Army at sixteen, spending my teenage years learning to blow shit up … and after what happened … all those years ago … after what I … the reasons I’ve been living a bitter, twisted life … it’s made me feel older than my actual years. But since meeting her, I feel young, dumb and full of … yeah … I feel alive.

I’m known to rip heads off for the slightest error, so what I do next surprises the hell out of me. My eyes meet the warm brown eyes of the girl who is my Achilles’ heel.

Felicity Saint James.

Ah, hell.

I’m all hers.

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Author Bio:

Filthy British contemporary-romance author. I live only for big ships, packed to the brim with hot seamen. 😉

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Kindling Flames Boxed Sets

 

Kindling Flames Boxed Sets
(Kindling Flames #1-3 & #4-5)

 by Julie Wetzel
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

KINDLING FLAMES BOXED SET (Books 1-3)

From the best-selling author of Kindling Flames, comes a boxed set of the first 3 full-length Kindling Flames books. This boxed set includes exclusive bonus content and offers the reader a discount over purchasing each novel individually.

*** Bonus Short Story Included ***

The Ancient Fire Series (Also known as the Kindling Flames Novels) is a paranormal romance saga with over 2,300 five-star reviews on Goodreads. Dive into a series filled with sexy vampires, werewolves, shifters, Fae folk, and more. Science fiction and urban fantasy romance lovers unite because this series has seven exciting books that readers have compared to other popular vampire romance novels such as: A Shade of Vampire Series by Bella Forest, the Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole, The Sookie Steakhouse Novels (True Blood) by Charlaine Harris, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward.

BOOK ONE-

Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder

After landing a job as assistant to a handsome CEO, Victoria Westernly feels like her life is finally on the right track. But when she discovers her new boss is the city’s most powerful vampire, she’ll have to decide whether her attraction to him is worth the risk…

BOOK TWO-

Kindling Flames: Flying Sparks

When Vicky becomes the target of a serial arsonist plaguing the city, Darien calls on the supernatural community to help. Pulling the creatures of the night together to cooperate on any project is troublesome at the best of times. The fact that the one responsible for the city’s woes is a being of fire and magic leads the reluctant groups to a truce that makes Vicky start to think that her job might be a bit more than one normal human can handle.

BOOK THREE-

Kindling Flames: Smoke Rising

Is there such a thing as a normal life when you live with an ancient vampire and a temperamental hellhound? Victoria Westernly was just starting to think so. With Samhain just around the corner and the promise of a Halloween Ball, her life was looking good. Even the addition of a new master vampire couldn’t bring her down. When Victoria and Darien become the victims of a series of unfortunate accidents, they know something’s up. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But, the question is… who is burning what?

BONUS CONTENT-

Kindling Flames Short Story- First Kiss

KINDLING FLAMES BOXED SET (Books 4-5 and Granting Wishes)

From the best-selling author of Kindling Flames, comes a boxed set with the 3rd & 4th full-length Kindling Flames books, the Kindling Flames: Granting Wishes Novella, and three exclusive short stories. This boxed set includes exclusive bonus content and offers the reader a discount over purchasing each novel individually.

*** 3 Bonus Short Stories Included ***

The Ancient Fire Series (Also known as the Kindling Flames Novels) is a paranormal romance saga with over 2,300 five-star reviews on Goodreads. Dive into a series filled with sexy vampires, werewolves, shifters, Fae folk, and more. Science fiction and urban fantasy romance lovers unite because this series has seven exciting books that readers have compared to other popular vampire romance novels such as: A Shade of Vampire Series by Bella Forest, the Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole, The Sookie Steakhouse Novels (True Blood) by Charlaine Harris, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward.

THIS BOXED SET INCLUDES:

Kindling Flames: Stolen Fire

Night. A time of quiet, of peace, of rest, and now, a time of terror.

With an uncontrolled vampire plaguing the city, the Vampire Council of Brenton once again calls on Darien Ritter for help.

Overwhelmed with the issues of a new menagerie and plans for his wedding, Darien still manages to step up and answer the call. The only problem is, he suddenly finds himself a little too… human.

Kindling Flames: Burning Nights

After a wedding filled with werewolves, fay, and vampires, Vicky is looking forward to a nice, quiet honeymoon away from the chaos of Darien’s daily life. But nothing is ever simple with an Ancient Vampire around. When the Vampire Council of Hawaii finds out Darien and his new bride are coming, they are determined to see that Darien is honored properly. But vampire etiquette isn’t for the faint of heart. The nights could burn when lines are drawn… and Darien finds himself in a turf war he never intended to start.

Kindling Flames: Granting Wishes

Leprechauns don’t exist. Or that’s what Cathren has always believed, but a chance encounter changes everything. When she saves a handsome stranger from a nasty

electrical shock, not only does he claim to be one, but he also insists on granting her wishes. Now she must decide— is he insane, or a magical creature of lore? Unsure which is true, she grabs at the first three wishes she can think of: true love, happiness, and waffles. A tall order for most men, but not for Patrick Brogan. With a little persistence and just a touch of magic, anything is possible.

BONUS CONTENT-

Elliot’s Bad Day (A Kindling Flames Exclusive Short Story)

Christmas Morning (A Kindling Flames Exclusive Short Story)

Telling the Girls (A Kindling Flames Exclusive Short Story)

KINDLING FLAMES BOXED SET (Books 1-3)
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KINDLING FLAMES BOXED SET (Books 4-5)
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EXCERPT:

“Where is she?” Dakine asked the group.

They scattered, giggling, away from him. A path opened up that led them into another chamber. The two men stopped as soon as they walked through the door, and Darien let out a deep sigh. The lesser fay had done what they were told, but they had also found a hitch in her protection.

Darien walked over and looked down at his assistant sleeping upon the bed of flowers. Vicky was wrapped in a white, corseted gown. The sleeves attached at a point on the shoulders and split open to reveal the pale skin beneath. Bands held the material together at the wrists and elbows. The skirt of the silken dress was made of white scarves, attached by one corner to her waist. The fay had arranged them so they split up her leg to show off a long line of creamy thigh beneath. One of the fairies had attached a ring of silver flowers around her ankle.

But, it was not the clothing that had Darien sighing. Vicky had been fair before, but her skin was now kissed with moonlight, and her hair hung in golden curls to her waist.

Dakine stepped up next to Darien and looked down on the girl surrounded by giggling fairies. “I told you the magics didn’t mesh well.” He sighed regrettably, looking down at the medallion still resting on Vicky’s chest.

Darien reached down and petted the curls at her temple.

The fay giggled at him. A choral went up with instructions on how he should wake her up. “Kisses! Kisses! Kian Dubhlainn has to give cailín kisses!” The fay giggled.

Darien leaned over Vicky, and the fay urged him on with cries and laughter. “Miss Westernly, if you don’t wake up this instant, I will fire you.” His voice was soft with the threat.

Vicky’s eyes popped open as she pulled free of the fragile spell.

He stood up to the boos of the lesser fay.

Dakine laughed at the foiled attempts to humiliate the great vampire.

Unsure of what was going on, Vicky went to sit up and clutched her head as pain shot through it.

Darien dropped to sit on the bed next to her. “Careful there.” He pulled her over to lean against him. “Fighting off fay magic can be taxing.” Taking her hand from her head, he caressed her back lightly.

The fay squealed in delight.

Vicky curled her legs under her and sat in his arms until the pain and fog in her head cleared. “What happened?” she asked, when she became more aware of her surroundings.

“The little ones found you a delightful distraction,” Dakine answered from where he was watching.

Vicky looked down at the dress she was wearing, confused. “This isn’t what they gave me.” She lifted one of the scarves and looked at it.

Amusement slipped across Darien’s face. “Where’s her clothing?” he asked, and the fay giggled again.

A rain of scraps fell from the swarm of winged creatures. Vicky picked up a piece with a button on it. She gasped in horror as she recognized the button from her shirt.

Chuckling at the fay’s joke, Darien looked down as the soft gown Vicky was wearing. “I’m going to be very mad if this doesn’t survive outside the mound.” He glared up at the swirl of giggling beings.

 

Author Bio:

Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2007, she moved to Mississippi to be with her significant other.

Now a mother of a hyperactive red headed boy, what time she’s not chasing down dirty socks and unsticking toys from the ceiling is spent crafting worlds readers can get lost it. Julie is a self-proclaimed bibliophile and lover of big words. She likes hiking, frogs, interesting earrings, and a plethora of other fun things.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Rook

 

Rook
(Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1)

by J.C. Andrijeski
Publication date: April 22nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction

From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.

“You are the Bridge…”

Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.

When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

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EXCERPT:

I CHOKE… CHOKED… am choking… caught inside a fisted clutch of light, an egg-shaped pocket that holds me unflinchingly in place.

Inside that heated glow, I birth.

Stars swim past me in a pale swath, sky broken by sharp eyes and lightning flashes, snaking charges of gold and orange and crimson, the late side of the setting sun.

I am with him again.

I have never left him.

Now we lie together on a bed, wrapped into and around one another, alone in a single room in a building full of seers. I know I am supposed to be like them. I know I’m supposed to be the same as those women I met when we came in off the street––yet he is the only one here who feels at all like me. His breath warms my skin, his fingers wrap around me, stroking my face and neck and hair, stroking my arms and fingers and lips.

The pain between us worsens, a spike that arcs, starting as a gentle pull before it keens steeply up, inexorable, becoming gradually more unbearable, until I am sure my insides will be ripped out, torn into so many pieces there is nothing left.

Beyond where I lay, a golden ocean beckons. It is familiar.

Even more familiar than the mountains we share, the grief over our pasts.

He is there, too.

I’m sorry, he says. I did this. I did this to you. I’m sorry––

Shhh. My voice is steady, somehow apart from the lights clashing, the ghosts winging over both of our heads. Revik, it’s all right.

Don’t leave me, Allie. Don’t leave me alone with this.

I feel confusion on him, confusion in his own words, what he means by them. The feeling intensifies though; his hands tighten on my skin.

The pain worsens, too, making it hard to see.

Still, my own words come easily, without thought or regret.

I won’t, I tell him. I never will.

There is a question in this. The question shocks his heart.

I am asking him for something. My light is, anyway. I can’t say it’s a conscious question, not fully, but the intensity behind it is real, and it feels entirely like me.

I am asking him for something.

I want a promise from him. A vow.

I want him to give himself to me.

It is nonsense, what I am asking of him, but I don’t withdraw the question, nor try to qualify it in any way with words. I only wait, seeing what he will say. Before I’ve fully understood either the question or the possible answers he might give, he’s agreed.

A surrender lives in that agreement.

I feel shame there, too, like he knows he should say no, but he cannot––will not. He clasps my fingers, and I see tears in his eyes. They bewilder me, touch me sharply through the pain and he pulls me closer until…

He kisses me. It is a brief kiss. Clumsy. Awkward. Yet it is tender, too. Meaning lives there, more meaning than I can comprehend. I feel him agree again, and it feels final that time. It is absolute. He is certain now.

The vow is set. It is more than a promise.

It feels like an ending and a beginning, all at once.

Even as I think it, the night sky disappears. Above us, light weaves into complicated patterns, in and out like a shuttlecock between silk threads. I have a fleeting impression of time removed. The weaving of the threads grows more and more complicated, more subtle, more beautiful and intimate and more connected to my heart.

I watch a painting form in that vastness of sky, a painting of fiery, diamond light, in a pattern too breathtaking for words. My struggle stops, even as the pain I felt before melts into warm breath, a feeling of ending, of beginning.

I know, somehow. This is familiar to me.

I feel it in him, too, that surge of familiar.

The feeling is so heart-wrenching, so intense, I cannot see anything else.

He belongs to me. He belonged to me before I asked the question.

We know one another here, and a timelessness lives in that knowing, something that lives so far from my conscious mind it feels almost alien. That deep sense of familiar is something I can’t explain to myself, something I understand without words, without really understanding it at all.

Something is… different.

I don’t know it yet, but it will never be the same again.

 

Author Bio:

JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.

To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.

If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter

JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK!

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Gage

 

Gage
(The Player, #6)

by Nana Malone
Publication date: May 16th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Money, power, prestige…Legacy. Gage Coulter is —The Player.

His whole life, all, basketball player, Gage Coulter, has heard is how he was meant to play basketball. Meant to be on the court. Meant to be elite. So what happens if he can’t even play on the damn team? With his father in and out of the hospital and more practice time than he’s used to, he’s struggling to hold up the ship and his grades are showing it. With his starting position in jeopardy, he needs help from the one girl on campus who can’t stand him. Too bad, she’s also the one girl he can’t get out of his head.

Becker Johnson has a plan for her life. And it doesn’t include doing some jock’s homework so he can toss a ball in the net or whatever. She’s getting the Collins Scholarship and moving to New York. See, all planned out. Until her adviser drops a bombshell. While her grades are excellent, she’ll need some work experience to be eligible for the scholarship. And lucky Becker, he’s got just the right student for her.

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EXCERPT:

“Now comes the part of the night where I warn you I’m going to touch you.”

She swallowed hard. “Uh, okay. Just where are you going to touch me?”

He leaned close and whispered. “This is the part where you’ll just have to trust me.”

She couldn’t help but hold her breath. “You’re telling me you know how to dance?” she inquired.

“Well…my mother was a dancer before she married my father,” he told her. “All of us at least have a sense of rhythm. It can come in handy where coordination and learning intricate plays is concerned.”

He was right about having a sense of rhythm. Considering his height, he moved well to the music. He might not have had very fancy moves, but he was able to sway and keep time well for someone with such a tall frame. She might have expected him to look like some sort of disjointed marionette, but he was smooth as he pulled her in against his chest, curling around her so that his head hovered above hers and she could feel his warm breath near her ear.

She was hyperaware of his hands, his breath, his scent. She wanted him to touch her. Wanted his hands on her. Because you are a glutton for punishment. She turned in his arms, her ass gently brushing his thighs, his arm reaching around her and pressing her backwards so his chest would brush against her back, his arm inadvertently rubbing against her breasts.

The music switched from quick, pounding beats to something a little slower, but still so deep that it throbbed in her blood as she swayed and reached up behind her to get a hold of Gage, her hand sliding along his shoulder until she found his neck, gently tugging him to her.

He trailed his fingers up her side until he reached her elbow, then he curled his hand so his palm skimmed the flesh of her arms, leaving goose bumps behind.

Gage leaned down. “Becks?”

“Hmm?”

“I think we have an audience. Daniel’s got his eyes trained on you like a hawk right now. And we probably need to establish that we’re for sure a thing.”

Oh boy, he was talking about the kiss. Not the teasing ones he’d been giving her all night, the ones they’d been putting on for show. But the big one. “Uh, okay.”

Gage took her hand and led her through the crowd to the quieter hallway near the bathroom. At the end of the hallway, there was an alcove with a huge bay window that looked over the canyons of the backyard. It was the perfect spot. Just enough traffic so that everyone would report that they’d been all over each other, and private enough that it wasn’t just an outright show.

Gage studied her, paying close attention to her lips. “Hey, Becks,”

“Yeah?” she whispered.

“I’m going to kiss you now.”

Becker acted before her brain could think her out of doing the one thing she’d been dying to do. Tipping her head up, ever so slightly.

His chest rumbled with a low growl. For a second, he held her tighter, bringing her closer against his lean, hard frame.

A shiver stole up her back. “Uh, maybe we could go slow. I don’t think—”

“We’ll go as slow as you like.”

He was going to kiss her. Even as she braced herself, Becker knew she was in trouble. She’d been able to keep him at arm’s length for so long.

He dipped his head, and his lips hovered over hers for a moment. “Relax, this is supposed to be fun.” The first brush of his lips over hers was soft.

As soon as Becker relaxed into him, he wrapped his hand around her in an embrace so tight it could keep the world at bay. He shifted the angle of his head and deepened the kiss. She couldn’t help but respond to his insistent tongue as it probed and slid over hers. Teasing, tasting, testing to see if he could intensify the heat. The moment his hands went to her hips and pulled them against his, Becker was lost.

The heat that pooled in the center of her chest spread throughout her body, scorching the fine hairs on her skin from the inside out. His hands stayed at her waist, but his thumbs drew slow circles on her hip bones that promised hotter things to come.

For once, Becker didn’t overthink. For once, she didn’t overanalyze. For once, she didn’t let fear rule and she just felt. Hot. Tight. Itchy. Gage was her balm. She needed more. She wanted more. Becker moaned, and the sound bounced off the walls.

Gage kissed like an expert, demanding that she respond to him. This guy could give kissing lessons. And she’d be the first one in line. Every. Single. Time. Her nipples hardened to points with every movement of his chest against hers. He backed her against the wall of the deserted hallway and pressed his body into hers.

The cautious part of her brain tried to send up a flare. Tried to send out a warning. Tried to send out fear signals, but every instinct told her to feel, to enjoy, that she had nothing to fear here. All she had to do was feel.

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Author Bio:

USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she “borrowed” from her cousin.

It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.

While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Want to know when the next book is coming? Hit up her Newsletter here. You’ll only get updated when there is a new release or a special promotion for her Sexy, Sassy Readers. http://eepurl.com/2PeXb

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Lady of Sherwood

 

Lady of Sherwood
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)

by Molly Bilinski
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.

After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.

As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.

Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.

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EXCERPT:

Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.

“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.

“We are the only ones.”

Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”

“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”

“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.

“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”

“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”

“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.

“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”

“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”

“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.

“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.

“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.

It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.

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Author Bio:

Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend…and any five minutes she can find). When she’s not writing or working, she’s

scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Crescendo

 

Crescendo
(Beautiful Monsters, #1)

by Lana Sky
Publication date: May 13th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

You don’t become the fiancé of one of the most powerful crime lords in the city without understanding exactly how gritty and depraved the world truly is… and how to thrive in the inferno.

After five years spent under his controlling thumb, Daniela knows her position with a man like Vincent Stacatto is precarious, but as long as she plays by the rules of his “game”, she’s safe…

Until she’s taken by the devil.

Kidnapped by a rival boss, Daniela becomes a pawn between two powerful forces, and just another casualty in a bloody game of chess. But to get to the top, and stay at the top, you have to fight dirty and hold nothing back, because the most dangerous piece on the board isn’t the King.

Contains Mature subject matter not suitable for those under 18.

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EXCERPT:

Daniela

I think I hate him the most of all. The bastard with the blue eyes—he’s watching me even now.

The other men are mere dogs like Vinny. They don’t understand anything but violence and bloodshed. But he…this man is different. He’s colder. He’s calculating. He is a snake circling the carnage and swallowing down his chosen prey before the poor soul even knows what’s happening.

Though, maybe it’s the alcohol that makes me so angry. My head drifts. My thoughts are harder to grasp, and sanity is like a rudder, struggling to propel me through the darkness. The bottle is gone; I don’t know what he’s done with it, or if it was really there in the first place.

Delirium likes to play tricks on an already exhausted mind. My head is on a cloud. My right ear is miles away, and everything else feels like distant pulses. I can see my other limbs when I crane my neck down, but controlling them seems about as easy as telling smoke in which direction to float.

I can’t help feeling like this is his own selfish pittance; make the poor girl so drunk she won’t be able to feel her own rape. Hell, maybe she’ll pass out during it. Whatever helps him sleep at night.

Silly, silly bastard. Didn’t he know how impossible it was to sleep with the souls of others weighing you down? They whispered in your ear at night, right before you drifted off, and they haunted your dreams, turning them into nightmares. I haven’t slept in five years. I cease to exist at night. I go numb right until the exact moment that slumber takes me. Then, I open my eyes again, wide awake, and it’s torment.

On second thought, he doesn’t seem as tired as I am. He drank more than me, and yet his posture is stoically erect. He watches me unashamedly. He’s counting down the hours.

“Vinny.” I don’t know why I speak. My voice is a hollow whisper that slithers to the farthest reaches of the room—he can’t pretend like he doesn’t hear me. “Vinny. You want to know what would really make him angry?”

My tormentor doesn’t answer, but I know I’ve piqued his interest.

“If I willingly f-fucked another man…that would make him anggrrrryy.” My tongue fumbles with the words and then end on a sudden hiccup. “That would make him want me back.”

If only so he could kill me himself.

The man doesn’t seem impressed by what I’ve said. He’s un-amused by the unfiltered Daniela, but she suddenly feels desperate to have an audience.

“I would do it, too,” I tell him. Virginal Lynn’s deep, dark secret. I would take anyone over Vinny. The red-haired man. Any one of his thugs. The man with blue eyes.

Anyone. I’d deny him the one thing of value I had left. No matter how tonight ended, Vincent Stacatto wouldn’t claim all of me.

“I’d do it,” I say out loud, just to make it sink in. My confirmation to the universe if not to the man himself. Vinny would never have me fully. The thought makes me snicker, and the blue-eyed man pulls away from the wall, bored of me already.

I watch him head to the doorway that leads to the stairs. There he pauses, and it’s only then that I realize someone else is already in the process of descending them.

“It’s show time,” the red-haired man declares in a guttural rumble. His eyes burn with a sickening mixture of rage and excitement.

Slowly, my gaze drifts over to focus on the wall. I’m not here anymore. I see a stage…a cello. I’m playing Bach. My mind spins the invisible notes. I focus hard on crafting the melody, its soothing cadence. But I’m too dizzy. Words break through the song.

“What the fuck is wrong with her? Is she drunk?” The words dissolve into countless syllables that bounce across the room. My head throbs. A million thoughts and fears leak through the cracks these men have beaten and cut into—I can’t hide them anymore.

A hand grazes my shoulder, and I flinch. Then the entire chair is wrenched out from under me, and I land hard on the floor. My knee smarts. More pain joins the symphony of it that fights with the rising stream of voices for my attention.

“Set up the camera—”

“Where?”

“Any-fucking-where!”

I bite my lip to silence a scream and squeeze my eyes shut, blocking out the room and the men who crowd it. I’m not here. I’m floating…flying…playing. Bach’s melody fills my ears again. My bow is in my hand. I can feel the tension in the strings.

“All right…get her clothes off.”

A hand seizes the collar of my borrowed shirt and tugs. I hear ripping. There’s cool air on my back and the laughter and jeers of countless men battle with my attempts to ignore them. My cello is too heavy to lift. The bow breaks. The music dies off.

All at once, I’m lying on an ice-cold floor, clothed only in a pair of underwear, which someone attempts to drag down my legs while they croon what a “sweet ass” I’ve got into my ear.

“Wait.”

The hands stop tugging, but the calloused fingertips still graze my skin. Whoever speaks…he has a voice that makes the entire room go silent. The roar of a lion is heeded by all predators. A part of me flinches in recognition. I know that voice, but my mind is too busy spinning to place it.

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Author Bio:

Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and legless cats. She writes mostly paranormal romance, in between watching reruns of Ab Fab and drinking iced tea. Only iced tea.

Drain Me is her debut novel and the first novel in the upcoming “Ellie Gray Chronicles.”

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Hard Liquor

 

Hard Liquor
(Runaway Billionaires: Arthur Duet, #2)

by Blair Babylon
Publication date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

London trial lawyer Gen has managed to corral that randy colt His Lordship Arthur Finch-Hatten, the Earl of Severn, at least as far as anyone knows. In public, he seems to be behaving himself, but she’s kind of gotten involved with her client in a way that the Bar’s Ethics Committee would totally not approve of. With Arthur’s impending trial in the House of Lords and the constant backstabbing in her law office, the last thing Gen needs is for Arthur to whisk her off to Paris for the social wedding of the century to schmooze the people who will decide his fate.

Gen has broken all the rules, and she could very well end up with a broken heart.

She needs a stiff drink, and it had better be hard liquor.

Hard Liquor is the exciting conclusion to the Arthur Duet that begins with Stiff Drink.

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EXCERPT:

Arthur stood in the opening of the front doors, framed by the light behind him and the imposing edifice of Spencer House, waving as the last guest’s car skidded on the tiled driveway around the fountain and drove off into the night. Exhaust from the cars fouled the spring breeze, but it blew out over the formal gardens and into the deer park within minutes, leaving only the stars, his estate, and his arm around the softness that was Gen.

“Come inside,” Arthur said. “You don’t want to catch a chill, pet.”

“Oh, is it ‘pet’ now?” Gen turned, brushing against his side, and walked ahead of him into the foyer.

When she turned back, the chandelier above was shining on her lustrous hair, her dark eyes were flirting with him, and that emerald silk dress had been poured over her curves.

Arthur lost his breath. “Gen.”

“Yes, sugar?” She was still smiling at him.

He slammed the door and was across the floor before he knew it and grabbed her.

“Arthur! There are people—”

“No, there aren’t.” The guests had all departed, and the staff would be cleaning up the dining room in the far wing of the house.

He lifted her in his arms, tossing her a little to show that he could indeed carry her wherever he wanted to, and strode up the stairs.

“Arthur, where are we—” She was giggling so hard that she couldn’t talk.

“Upstairs,” he said. He tried to make it light, amusing, but it came out like a growl. His voice felt deeper in his throat.

“What did that man say to you at dinner?”

“No matter.” He didn’t want to talk about Lord Asshole. “Tell me no if you don’t want this. Tell me no or amber or red.”

And it would rip him apart, but he would stop himself.

He whispered, “Tell me amber or red or put yourself in my hands.”

Gen wrapped her sweet arms around his neck, and she buried her face in his neck, kissing his skin above his collar.

Fire and testosterone raced through his veins.

She whispered, “I’m in your hands.”

Arthur walked faster, taking the stairs quickly.

 

Author Bio:

Blair Babylon often releases ebooks at a special release-day price of 99c.

To never miss a sale, CLICK HERE: http://smarturl.it/Babylon-Email

Blair Babylon is the nom de plume of an award-winning, USA Today-bestselling author who used to publish literary fiction. Because professional reviews of her other fiction usually included the caveat that there was too much deviant sex and too much interesting plot, she decided to abandon all literary pretensions, let her freak flag fly, and write hot, sexy, erotic romance, plus wild, suspenseful thrillers, science fiction, and urban fantasy using the super-secret pen name Blair C. Babylon.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Book Trailer, Teasers, and Giveaway: The Future of Sex

 

The Future of Sex
(The Future of Sex, #1)

Aubrey Parker
Publication date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Love doesn’t matter. Romance doesn’t exist.

In the year 2060, sex is a game of extremes. No desire is unexplored and even the unimaginable is possible.

Alexa Mathis, head of the monolithic O Corporation, has found a prodigy she believes will drive her sex empire to rapturous new limits: Chloe Shaw, a common girl with uncanny gifts that make her a powerful escort.

Chloe doesn’t believe in love. She believes in ecstasy, and her employer’s newest tool to usher “the future of sex”: an intelligent network known as The Beam.

And so it is until she meets Andrew … and the whole world changes.

The Future of Sex is a 12-part romance/sci-fi series exploring the line between today’s conception of love and the sensations that await us in the future.

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EXCERPT:

“Close your eyes.”

Andrew was startled. He’d been listening to music when Chloe entered, and hadn’t heard her approach. His door was unlatched, without a digital lock. He hadn’t been kidding about being poor. His connection was isolated to the terminal playing the music. He lived like a bohemian, and his apartment was little more than masonry and glass. She felt guilty about using her Beam connection to ferret out Andrew’s address, but

once her hands were on his hips, her chest pressing into his back, Chloe no longer cared.

“You surprised me.”

She reached toward the terminal — a simple, no-frills model — and touched his screen to change the music, choosing something soft and lyrical to replace it. Something sappy and lovelorn that her mother would mock.

“Close your eyes,” she repeated.

He hesitated. She couldn’t see his eyes because she was behind him, but Andrew’s body language betrayed a man at attention. His moment of reluctance gave her pause until she realized his doubt was about himself rather than her.

“Chloe …”

“Just do it.”

She sensed his eyes closing. Then she rested her hands on his chest, palm flat. The movement was sensual, but not sexual. Her default would have been to go below the belt, so she kept her hands high.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Feeling.”

“I wish I worked out more.”

“Not feeling you. I meant that I’m attempting to feel. To emote.”

“How is it going?”

“I don’t know.”

And she didn’t. Chloe was feeling just fine, but it was like an ingrained response to Andrew’s presence. If he were feeling doubtful or down, her chameleon nature would want her to adapt, to touch him in just the right ways and say just the right things. She wasn’t sure if her genuine reaction — if she’d ever felt such a thing — was the same.

“You don’t know?”

“What do you want me to say, Andrew?”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“What do you want from me? How would you have me feel?”

Andrew hesitated. “Is this a test?”

He sounded concerned, or even more doubtful than before — the opposite of his usual carefree, playful self. Something had been wrong at the park, and it had occupied Chloe’s mind, heavy like an anchor, ever since. That same thing was still wrong, but had matured into something else.

“No,” she said. “It’s not a test.”

“I don’t want you to feel anything. You feel what you feel.”

It was such a simple thing to say, yet Chloe didn’t know if her body and mind understood.

“How do you feel?” he asked.

“Nervous.” It was the truth, but she wasn’t sure if it was her base or something more meta. Was she nervous for her own reasons, or because she wasn’t sure how she truly felt?

“Me too,” he said.

With her flat palms, Chloe could feel his heart. “I can tell.”

“I don’t know what to make of you, Chloe.” His words were rushed as if he’d been dying to say them.

“Nobody seems to.”

“I don’t know if I like you for you, or if I like the person you’re becoming so that I will like you.”

Chloe turned Andrew around. She didn’t have to tell him to open his eyes. He did so automatically, those usually-playful orbs suddenly so serious.

“So,” she said, “you can tell.”

“I don’t know what I can tell.”

“You’re conflicted. There’s something wrong.”

“Conflicted,” he echoed. “But nothing’s wrong.” Then: “At least, I hope not.”

“But you don’t know.”

“Honestly? I don’t.”

“My whole life is about feeling, but it’s always as a response.” Chloe swallowed, hesitant to voice what was coming. “But I know how I feel about that — about your hesitation.”

“I think I love you, Chloe.”

“But you don’t know.”

He shook his head.

A tear tickled the corner of her eye.

“And I know how I feel about that, too.” He moved to kiss her.

“Don’t.”

“I want to.”

“Because I want you to?” Chloe asked. “And I want you to because you want to?”

Andrew tipped his head a little; he didn’t have to say that Chloe’s double-talk was confusing them both. He pressed his lips to hers, felt her lack of response, then pulled back. “Does it matter?”

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Author Bio:

I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life’s largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.

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