As you know (Bob), I spent Thursday and Friday writing a 13,500 word novella for an antho call. Luckily I was pretty solid on the story idea so I was able to nail my butt to the chair and crank it out in record time. Polished it and sent it in to Evernight, and all is well.
The antho call was for stories about the ultimate bad boys — criminals, killers, what have you — who completely disregard the law but are utterly loyal to their women (or men, depending on their orientation). So I wrote a story about a Southern hitman named Colton Jackson who is hired to kill a Dallas lawyer. Problem is, the lawyer’s secretary Ria Guzman walks in at the wrong moment and catches Colton red-handed. Ria and Colton had an immediate, powerful attraction to each other when he first came into the office posing as a client and he doesn’t really want to kill her, so he essentially kidnaps her, takes her to her apartment, and everything boils over. There’s passionate sex, trains going into tunnels, fireworks, etc. Colton then learns that he was set up to kill Ria (which would have seriously pissed off her powerful gang leader brother and put a price on his own head) and has to dispatch the threat, although there are loose ends that could lead to more stories about these two, I dunno. At the end of the story she has to disappear, so he takes her back to Louisiana with him.
This, however, is where it gets weird. I don’t know if it’s because I was completely immersed in the story for two days, to the point where I could very clearly see the law office, her apartment, and both Colton and Ria in my mind, but right now I have the oddest feeling that Colton and Ria are actually in Colton’s apartment in Shreveport right now making dinner and talking about what they need to get her new identity set up, and whether she really wants to go back to work as a secretary (he wants her to stay home but she’s independent and wants a job). It’s like I put so much mental energy and effort into them, I somehow made them real.
And yes, I know they’re not really real. At least, I hope not. But man, the brain is a weird, weird organ.
Welcome to another edition of Wicked Wednesday Reads, petals! Today I’m here with April Zyon and her smouldering new romance Lost Faith, available from online purveyors of fine romance. Take it away, ma’am!
Gabriella Moreno was just a job, in and out to gain the objective, the death of her father. She turned out to be far more than that to Tobias Casey, however, from the moment he laid his hands on her too hot for words body.
Gabriella had just come home from a two-year stint abroad. The first night home she snuck out, never dreaming for even a moment anyone would be stupid enough to take her. Boy, was she wrong.
Faced with brutal truths, Gabbie followed her gut, and her heart, which, it seemed, all led to one place, Tobias. The heat of her homeland was nothing compared to the touch of this man. In his arms, she found something she had craved all her life, the other half of her soul.
Yet, how can she ignore the fact that the man who owns her heart is also the man who wants to take the last of her family?
Another day, another dollar. Only these days, Tobias and his team were getting paid a hell of a lot more than they had been in the military. Now they could set their own fees for doing the jobs that no one else wanted to do, or maybe couldn’t do, since they did on rare occasion work for their government’s shadier sectors. But there was no oversight, no backseat driving, and they paid big to get shit done.
Their current operation was one they’d been working on for nearly three weeks now with no success. The first week had been recon, getting oriented, and making sure they had their exits memorized for when they achieved their strike.
The only thing was, as they’d discovered during week two, the target they were after didn’t ever leave his super secure compound. Not that Tobias could blame the guy. Their target was a dictator, an arms dealer, a drug dealer, and a mass murderer. There were people worldwide hoping that Tobias’ team finally managed to do what no one else had to date.
Now it was week three and they were still watching the compound to figure out their way in. Or as Tobias was beginning to believe would be easier, how to get the asshole to come out. They’d tried forty different ways to infiltrate the compound. None had worked. Which actually made sense, given the target, Juan Moreno, or Senor X as they referred to him over com, had hired himself an ex-Special Forces soldier to be the head of his security. Tran Quan was American born but had ties to the Yakuza. Extra weight to be brought to bear should it be requested.
Taking a small drink from his canteen, Tobias ignored the sweat trickling down his spine. His attention was locked on a small group of vehicles approaching the compound. Binoculars up, he brought the lead car into focus and easily recognized one of Moreno’s drivers. His attention moving to the second car, he was surprised to see Quan in the front passenger seat. The man was normally glued to Moreno’s side so to see him out without Moreno… this was big.
“Ripper, we have four cars approaching the compound. I need to know who exits the second car once they stop inside. Get pictures.”
“Roger that, Rogue.”
Ripper and Cherry were up on the mountain using some seriously high-powered tools to stare down into the compound. Their position was treacherous since they were, literally, dangling off the face of that mountain. One wrong move and they’d be headed straight down toward death.
“They’re turning toward the gate now. Not stopping either, they’ve been waved right through,” Tobias reported. The gates slid shut but not before he spotted a slender leg wearing a dainty shoe at the end slipping out of the door being opened by a guard. Instantly, he felt his gut clench in need to see the body went with that limb.
A soft whistle came through the com. “Damn, she’s fucking hot. Think she’s banging senor X?” Herc asked.
“Too young for him, you oaf,” Cherry said.
“Like that would stop the old fucker. We all know he doesn’t care about age. One of the reasons why we’re here to see him shot,” Herc told her. “Personally, it’s my only reason to see his head explode under the impact of my bullet.”
“Cut the chatter. Tell me you have photos for everyone that came in those vehicles.”
“Confirmed,” Ripper said.
“Good, get your asses down from there. Scout will be here to relieve me soon, then we need to get back and review everything.” Tobias was hopeful that somewhere in those photos he might find a way to pull Moreno away from his security blanket.
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About the Author
Having been a lover of the written word all her life April has always wanted to expand her horizons and write something that could be shared with the world. Only one thing held April back, the fact that the letters and numbers mixed and jumbled more often than not. Diagnosed with Dyslexia when she was eight years old April had to work her butt off just to be able to keep up with the other kids in reading and writing, so her love for fictional writing was tossed to the wayside for the moment.
Time marched on, as it always does, and she forgot her childhood dream of becoming an author and instead focused on what she had to – creating a career for herself. As the endless waves of time passed the shores became less rocky and more sandy, a place where she could find an even foot. That and Microsoft invented Word. Hallelujah. This is where April began her journey into the written world, the world that her imagination had been ceaselessly creating for her entire adult life.
Now she has been given a chance to let her literary wings unfold and fly, thanks to the amazing publishers with Evernight Publishing and Secret Cravings Publishing. Now its time to let the dream take flight and watch it soar.
Welcome to another edition of Wicked Wednesday Reads, petals! Today I’m here with Valerie J. Clarizio and her lovely new romance Missing the Crown Jewels (A Chandler County Novel), available from online purveyors of fine romance. Take it away, ma’am!
Storm’s intent is simple: hide in the quiet confines of his best friend’s family horse ranch in Kentucky. The perfect place to sort out his life after walking away from the Army, and fight his internal demons. His solitude is interrupted by his buddy’s little sister. The chemistry between them is off the charts, and he willing surrenders the battle.
The Crown family begins receiving threats, just weeks before the Kentucky Derby. The overprotective men in Peyton’s life vow to keep 24/7 tabs on her and the family’s prize horse—Prince Bourbonville—a hopeful for the next Triple Crown. Circumstances arise that threaten to keep Peyton and Prince away from the derby, but Storm and her brother Coach are determined they’ll attend, no matter the sacrifice.
Peyton reached up and placed her hand on his cheek. “You’re a good man, Mason Starr. You’re kind, caring, and loyal. There’s not enough time in the world for me to describe all the good qualities you possess.”
His heart hammered in his chest. The conviction in her eyes and her tone gave him no doubt she really believed he had the qualities she mentioned, but the sound of his real name rolling off her tongue is what did him in.
His arms flew around her, and his lips crushed down on hers. The passion she met him with was equally as strong, wicked, unbelievable. He pulled her body tight to his. The curves of her soft breasts pressed against him. She parted her lips, inviting him in. Her flavor seeped into him, amplifying the whirlwind of sensations already ripping through every cell in his body.
Their tongues tangled. Her hands slid over his bare arms, leaving a burning path in their wake. She gripped his shoulders and pulled him closer. His fingers found the hem of her short nightgown and slid up underneath it until both hands filled with the soft curves of her ass. He lifted her, and her feet left the floor. Her legs wrapped around his waist. Good God, why had he waited so long to kiss her—hold her? Every nerve ending in his body was on fire, and it felt phenomenal.
He stepped over to the bed and sat with her on his lap. Her sex pressed to his erection. When she lifted her arms, he pulled her nightgown over her head. The plump, round breasts in front of him called out to his mouth. His mouth clamped onto her breast, and when his tongue flicked over her beaded, raspberry nipple, she groaned and wound her fingers through his hair, pulling his head tightly to her breast. As he suckled on that delicacy, he filled his hand with her other breast and kneaded. She ground herself against him.
He pulled his mouth from her breast and fastened it to the other, then he wrapped an arm around her waist and lowered his other hand, slipping it under the band of her silky panties to cup her wet mound. Her scent filled the room, tantalizing his nostrils, heightening his desire—need. When he slipped a finger into her moist channel, her breath hitched. The insertion of his second finger caused her to moan delightfully into the thick air. He wanted to hear that sexy, erotic sound again; and he would, several times before this night was over.
Peyton’s hands dug into his shoulders as he moved his fingers inside her and circled her swollen clit with his thumb. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back as she ground against his hand. Her breaths came quicker with each flick of her nub of nerves. Then a little louder. Her lids fluttered open. The dark gaze staring at him was filled with desire.
He circled that little peak once more then pressed on it, and she exploded. The walls of her channel clamped down on his fingers, and her alluring cries of pleasure echoed in the air.
She floated forward, wrapping her arms around him. Her tiny, limp body relaxed into him. Her warm breath blew across the side of his neck. He pulled his fingers from her and enveloped her in his arms. The beating of her heart thudded against him. He wondered if she could feel his as well.
“Hmm?” she responded as she burrowed in tighter. “I just need a minute.”
He’d give her a minute to recover, but he was by no means done with her yet. He kissed the top of her head. After a moment, she edged back. The dreamy dark gaze that connected with his looked completely satisfied. Though her swollen red lips looked thoroughly kissed, he needed his lips back on hers. Leaning in, he took her mouth, working to keep it slow, seductive, meaningful.
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About the Author
Valerie Clarizio lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.
Whee, it’s Wednesday! Which means it’s time to feature the muy talented Lea Bronsen and her smouldering (and I use that word deliberately) new romance Fiery 10-16, now available from Amazon and other online retailers of fine erotic romance. Enjoy!
Hi, and thank you for hosting my new dark romantic suspense!
Fiery 10-16 is a scorching firefighter story of desire, abuse, and bravery.
Runo Wiggins is a scarred man, the wounds etched into his psyche deeper than those on his skin. But he loves his job: fighting fires helps reenact his survival of a house fire as a teen, one that killed his mother and brutal stepfather.
Dawn Caravello is married to a psychotic drunk. She can take his beatings as long as he doesn’t touch their children, and she’ll do anything to put food on the table, even if it means stealing from the town hero.
When Runo meets the fiery Dawn, sparks fly. But he suspects she is victim of the same abuse as his mother was. As day turns to night, the past and the present blend in an exhausting, nerve-wrecking chase to prevent another death.
Dawn’s eyes shimmered with a mix of stubborn pride and extreme sadness. They seemed to be made of molten brown stone. Runo had never seen eyes like these. So vibrant, saying so many things. They revealed her life, her endurance, her dreams, her combats, her despair. And she was still so young.
While he stared, she leaned forward and kissed him, an act a whole lot more intimate than he was comfortable with. A short, hard peck, a statement. Not the tender gesture a kiss was supposed to be, but one telling him her gratitude as well as her dignity. She thanked him, but was going to go back to her life and continue fighting.
He stood shocked, his whole body rigid, didn’t know what to do. She, such a small woman thing a whole head shorter, shook him, a giant of muscle and stupid testosterones inside a hard shell.
He would definitely take care of Dawn and her kids. Any way possible. Alert the authorities and make sure they got the protection they desperately needed.
She stepped backward, her features softening, and turned on her heel.
Not so fast.
He cleared his throat and called, lifting a weak hand. “Hey, wait!” His heart hammered in his chest, blood pulsed in his ears.
She turned. “What?”
“Promise to be good. Promise it’s the last time you do it.”
“Do what?” Her eyes gleamed with humor. “Kiss you?” In the midst of this emotional turmoil, she found the strength to tease.
She pursed her lips, looking like a disappointed little girl. Maybe she still was a child inside. A child taking care of children. A child beaten savagely.
He swallowed. “Promise.”
After several long seconds, she nodded. But her gaze told a different truth.
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About the Author
I like my reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strive to give my own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with my debut novel Wild Hearted, I divide my writing time between psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and erotic dark/contemporary romance.
I love to hear from my readers! Write to email@example.com or meet me on:
Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to Kacey Hammell and her smouldering new book Guarding His Anchor (Canadian Muscle 2), is now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, Kacey!
Thank you so much for sharing my latest release, Guarding His Anchor, with your readers! Frank and Charlie haven’t had an easy road, but their journey is romantic and adventurous.
Charlotte Weber is no stranger to heartbreak. FBI agent Frank Shaw has swept in and out of her life as though she’s a revolving door, stomping on her heart in the process. Now that she’s finally had enough, he’s back again and seems determined to spin her life out of control.
Frank knows Charlie is the anchor for his lost soul, even though he can’t risk settling down. The demons of his past are too great, and he won’t run the risk of hurting her. This time, his only objective should be locating Charlie’s brother, Sean. But Charlie’s a complication, and not just because she refuses to believe Sean is guilty.
As Frank and Charlie fight for what they believe in, they also try to resist their powerful connection. The future is unclear, but when danger surrounds them, they are each other’s only anchor.
Frank watched Charlie intently.
That name was for a young girl, not for a woman like her.
To him, she was all Charlotte. Confident, virile, elegant, intoxicating. A vixen who turned a man on with one sultry glance and then brought him to his knees with one heady taste of her. He hated calling her by such the tomboy-ish name everyone else called her.
Others didn’t see what he did. Which was a good thing, too; he didn’t want her sharing that part of herself with anyone else. Especially not with this Numbnuts Neal that Jonas had told him about last night. Another guy was sniffing around his lady, and he didn’t like it. Not one fucking little sliver.
“So.” Charlotte interrupted his thoughts. He’d deal with Numbnuts later. “Tell me”—she shoved the file aside—“in your own words, everything my brother has allegedly done. And sugarcoat nothing on my behalf. I’ll read the report later.”
There was the woman he cared for. The brook-no-argument heat in her eyes. Her deep, sea-blue gaze sliced deep and offered no mercy.
“Your brother actually went undercover five years ago. You knew he was changing jobs and would be out of the country for a long time. You told me that yourself, remember?” Charlotte nodded but said nothing. “Through my contacts and the agent in charge of the case, it’s been almost eighteen months since his handler’s spoken to him.”
Her eyes widened and she shifted, but remained silent.
“I tracked him down in the most desolate area of Tel Aviv and to a branch in a drug cartel he’d started investigating years ago. The minute details are in the file, but to make a long story short, I got too close. Breached a compound to look for evidence of your brother being there and anything else I could use in the case.” He ran a hand down his face, the skin itchy from not having shaved in days. “Only sparse personnel were to be on the grounds, less eyes watching, but the Intel I got had been wrong. Before I knew what was happening, I was getting shot at from every direction.”
“So Sean might not be the one who shot you.” Her eyes were eager, hopeful. Of course she’d latch on to the fact multiple bullets were aimed at him.
He shook his head, wishing he could answer her pleas. “I managed through the worst of it and found my way to an empty garage where I ran into your brother. And before you ask, yes, I am certain it was him. He appeared confused at first, then said, ‘Charlie’s Frank?’ So he knew who I was. Then voices and more gunfire rang out and coming toward us. Before I could react to anything, he suddenly raised his gun and shot me.” Frank rubbed his wound, still surprised he’d survived. The doctors had said a couple inches left or right, depending on travel of the bullet and bone fragment concerns, and surgery wouldn’t have been an option either.
“How’d you get out of there?” He hoped the concern in her eyes was true and for him, not just her brother.
“One of the other agents with me pulled up in a jeep. I ran out as fast as possible, and he hauled our asses out of there.”
Charlotte scoffed. “Okay Rambo-slash-John McClane, you still watch too many action films. Unless I hear it from Sean, I won’t believe he’d shoot you for no reason.”
She’d always been pigheaded, but Frank couldn’t believe she’d question it. “What reason would I have to lie to you? Hell, Charlo—ie, I latched on to the case to prove his innocence.”
“Why? Why did you want to get involved? You left Vikki and high-tailed it on the first plane out with barely any notice. You didn’t tell me much before you left. And you were on your way to partnering up with Gavin and Marc with the security stuff. But you dropped everything and left. Why was Sean’s case that important to you?”
“For you!” he bellowed, confused why she didn’t see that. “He is your brother, Gavin’s best friend, and I’d have access to the whole case to help him.”
“Don’t pretend that you were doing me any favors. I never asked you to get involved, Frank.”
“Well, of course not,” he growled low. “You’d never have found out any of it if I had my way. I was hoping to get Sean out of trouble and bring him home to you. But you overheard Gavin and I talking before I left. And as far as leaving Vikki, she and I discussed it. She needed space and was only too eager to see me go. She didn’t need my hovering at that point and wanted to stand on her own, or try to. Gavin watched over her for me.” He smiled. “You all did, and I appreciate it very much.”
“We’ve become great friends.” He loved the way Charlotte’s eyes softened as she talked about his cousin. “It is an honest friendship. And it has nothing to do with you.”
Months had turned her hard, distant. He only had himself to blame. They hadn’t left things on a positive note, but he’d hoped she’d understand one day.
Hell, he’d foolishly hoped that she would come to appreciate having him on Sean’s case rather than a stranger. Their personal relationship aside, he assumed she’d trust the agent he was, and how long and hard he’d continued searching for Vikki. What other proof did she need to trust him?
How wrong he’d been.
“I don’t want to think about Sean doing this.” The worry on her face tore at his heart. “Was he undercover too long? Is that a reason people believe he’s capable of such violence?”
“There are many cops and agents that have gone so far undercover they get caught up in the lifestyle and it’s impossible to find their way back.” Sadness crept across her face. “Sorry, Charlie, that’s as honest as it gets.”
“None of this makes sense.” She stood and piled paperwork on the file cabinet. “It goes against who Sean is, and not who Norris raised. I can’t wrap my head around it. My brother isn’t a monster.”
Her voice broke, breaking his heart in the process. Frank stood and crossed the room, then rested his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry, hon. I know you’re scared, and I’m sorry you have to go through this.”
Charlotte turned, surprising him, and burrowed her face in his chest. Sobs tore from her, shaking her strong yet delicate frame. He wrapped her in his arms, resting his cheek on her head, and let her cry.
It had been so long—too long—since he’d inhaled her sweet scent of fruity shampoo and the coconut butter body wash she used every day. He’d barely made it through any meal that served any of the combinations, the memories of her too fervent to let him eat in peace. Soft, warm, and the tranquility that came to him whenever he held her close were all potently his Charlotte.
Home. Being this close to her again was like coming home. But he wasn’t a man looking for one place to settle down. And it puzzled him why he returned time and time again.
You know exactly why. You have an addiction, buddy. And she’s in your arms right now.
Yes, he supposed his conscience was trying to tell him something, but it was wrong. He kept returning here because of his friends, the security business. But Charlotte pulled him back in like a reel catching a fish every single time.
“No. Fuck no.” Her high-pitched squeal surprised him. He fell back on his feet, shocked at her strength to shove him so hard.
“Shut up. No. Damn it.” She glared at him, fists tight. “Get out. Don’t coddle me. Don’t console me. You won’t use me. Get. Out.”
“Use you? Coddle you?” He huffed. “You turned to me,” he yelled, frustration gnawing at him.
“Guess I’m an idiot, but I won’t fall for it. I won’t let you close enough to betray my brother. If I even hear from him again.” Her chest heaved and sweat dotted her forehead and cheeks. Frank had never seen her so out of control, seething and yet so stunning. How ferocious she was in battle.
Frank’s head whipped around to the intruding voice in the doorway.
“Charlie, are you all right?”
“We’re having a private conversation. Get lost, buddy.”
“Shut up, Frank. Come on in, Neal. He and I are finished.”
So this was Numbnuts Neal. Dark hair, squinty eyes, tanned skin. Dressed to the nines in a suit and tie, with a cute little handkerchief in his breast pocket, and a pair of round glasses in his right hand. Jesus, what a nerd. Frank wanted to pick him up and chuck him back out into the hallway.
“I, um, just came to see if you wanted to catch up. Maybe dinner?” Numbnuts eyed Frank with caution. Good. Frank wanted the guy scared shitless of him.
But the little prick stepped forward and extended his hand to shake.
Frank eyed the small limb with the urge to break it but wanting to be an adult.
“Oh, for cripes sake,” Charlotte groused. “Neal Simmons, Frank Shaw. And vice versa. Whatever.” She pushed a pile of folders into a shoulder bag then her phone and grabbed another smaller bag she slid under her arm. “I’ll call you later, Neal. I need a time out.”
“Hey, wait a second,” Frank called out, following her into the hall.
“No, I’m done here. I can’t do this right now.” She turned and rushed away.
Frank watched, jaw clenched. Anger and frustration filled him as Charlotte and Numbnuts disappeared. He strode back into her office for his cell phone he’d set on her desk earlier. Frank eyed the landline phone sitting there.
After extracting a small case from the front pocket of his pants, he opened it and pulled out the tiny device and lifted the dial-phone. He placed the electronic bug underneath it and set it back down.
If Sean contacted his sister, this would be one number he might call. As much as Frank disliked going behind her back like this, he had a job to do. No matter how much he cared about her, he’d do whatever it took to bring bad guys in. He wasn’t bred any other way.
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About Kacey Hammell
Avid Reader. Romance Author. Redhead…
Canadian-born author Kacey Hammell is definitely a book-a-holic. A romance reader from a young age, she fell in love with happily ever afters. These days, as a multi- published erotic romance author, she enjoys adding a lot of heat, sass, and emotion to the many genres she writes.
Mom of three, Kacey lives her own happily ever after with her perfect hero in Ontario, Canada.
Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to N.J. Young and her new entry in her Love With a Price series Explosive Desire, now available online from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, N.J.!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m very excited to share Explosive Desire with your readers. Although it is book four in my Love With a Price series, all of my books are written so they can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, so even if you haven’t read the previous books, don’t let that deter you. Luke Price is my hottest hero yet, and this is the first book in my Love With a Price series that is a suspense!
Finding love is the last thing on Luke Price’s mind as he leads his construction crew to complete the new wing of Oakville Hospital. But he can’t deny his feelings when Dr. Harper Love walks into his life. Lacking the sociability of his younger siblings, Luke doesn’t think a woman like Harper would ever want an introvert like him. But he puts his skepticism on hold when he discovers that Harper has become the victim of a stalker. Above all else, Luke vows to protect the woman he cares about.
When Dr. Harper Love moves to Oakville, she doesn’t expect to find a network of new friends, a man who captures her heart, and certainly not a stalker who watches her every move. When she begins receiving menacing notes at the hospital where she works, it soon becomes clear that the threats are no prank. Harper finds herself turning to Luke Price, and his protective instincts go on high alert. Will his heart be able to stand losing Harper? Or can he figure out who the stalker is and keep the woman he loves safe?
“Look at me.” When she didn’t respond, he deepened his voice. “Harper, look at me. Now.”
She turned her head to look at him with weary blue eyes. Fuck, he hated that she looked so broken. He wanted to fix her. Or at least make her forget all the pain and potential danger right outside the door.
He opened his mouth to speak, but she stopped him with a shake of her head. “Please don’t. Don’t say it’s going to be okay. Don’t tell me there’s nothing to worry about, and they’re going to catch this guy.” She took a shaky breath. “I know everyone at your mom’s was just trying to help, trying to make me feel better.” Her fingers absently played along his. “I just don’t want you to lie to me.” She looked down at their hands.
Her words nearly broke him. He raised a hand to her cheek and brushed aside her blonde curls to cup her face and tilt it up to him. “I’ll never lie to you, Harper. Not ever. I can’t even imagine how violated you must be feeling right now. What this psycho is doing to you makes me sick to my stomach. But I can make you one promise. I will not let anything happen to you, do you understand me? I’ll die before I ever let anyone hurt you.”
Her eyes filled, and she tried to look away, but he held her face steady. “No. Look at me.” She raised her eyes again, and a tear spilled over. Luke gently wiped it away with his thumb then leaned in to press his lips against her forehead. He pulled back to look into her face. “You don’t have to be afraid, Pretty, not of me.” He brushed away another tear and stroked the back of his knuckles along her jaw. “I’m the man you can trust. I’m the man you can depend on. And I’m not going anywhere.”
“Luke…” She said his name on a whisper as the pad of his thumb stroked gently over her bottom lip. Tentatively, her tongue snaked out to lick his thumb. He stilled as her soft wetness played over the tip of his thumb. Harper searched his face as if she were waiting to see if he would pull away. When he didn’t, she sucked his thumb into her mouth.
Heat flared through Luke, and his arousal ratcheted up to eleven.
Get it together, Price. She’s vulnerable. You can’t take advantage of her.
“Harper…” He should tell her this wasn’t a good idea. When he made love to her, he wanted it to be because she needed him as much as he needed her, not because she was using him as a distraction. But when she raised her face to his and leaned in, he couldn’t deny her, couldn’t deny himself.
The second their lips met, all semblance of reasoning slipped away. The only thing in his head was her.
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About N.J. Young
I’m a Midwestern girl and a lover of coffee, live music, and horror movies, not necessarily in that order.
I’ve been writing all my life, and I honestly can’t remember a time when I wanted to do anything but write. After many years spent suffering the trials of corporate America and writing about everything from financial risk management to software user manuals to website copy about radiators (sadly, I’m not kidding), I decided take the plunge and start writing books.
I love a good love story with super hot alpha males, strong heroines, a little humor, and a lot of suspense. Sprinkle in some sexual fantasies and a few BDSM aspects, and Boom! These are only a few of the themes you’ll find in my books.
When I’m not writing, I’m probably at Starbucks, or fighting evil with the help of my husband, two children, and our houseful of animals.
Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to S.J. Maylee and her new entry in her Assassins and Sweethearts series Unexpected Destiny, now available online from purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, S.J.!
Thank you for having me today. I’m thrilled that Unexpected Destiny has released!
These assassins have really gotten a hold on me. I can’t wait till they all have their happily ever after. How did I get here, giving happy endings to assassins?
Initially I was looking to find love for a bad boy. Assassins aren’t usually the hero. They’re the villain. But I wanted to change all that. These four men came to me almost instantly. In no time, I had bits of each of their stories. I knew I had to write it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly on these men who want to save the lives of those who can’t get the help they so desperately need, whose lives are in immediate danger.
Now that I’ve pulled that string, I see a whole mess of stories. Once I tell the stories of these four men, more will come. Great things are in store. I can’t wait to experience it all.
Elizabeth Martin thought she had her happily ever after, until her husband mysteriously disappeared. Aidan Clery is a skilled assassin-for-hire who wants nothing more than to find the love of his life. Fate throws Liz in his path and everything is perfect, except Aidan just won the contract on her life.
The truth surrounding Liz’s estranged husband takes the pair on a dangerous journey. Nothing in their lives will ever be the same. Destiny may be unexpected but it will be up to Aidan and Liz to discover the truth and claim their real happily ever after.
Aidan turned off the faucet and caught the reflection of those gorgeous brown eyes in the mirror.
“Oops. Wrong door,” said his girl as she turned around.
“I can share.” He could handle the surveillance later. This woman deserved his attention.
She stopped and turned around. “Okay then.” She took a step toward him. “You know what? I should have asked for confirmation earlier.” Her gaze was full of mischief.
“You’re right. You should have asked.” He took a hold of her hand and pulled her close. “I sure would like to see that tiny scrap of lace.” And just like that his night got infinitely better.
She stopped her forward movement when their chests were a mere inch apart. A nice rosy blush heated her cheeks. He kept hold of her hand while her other played with the lapel of his dark leather jacket. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”
“You need to get back to your friends?”
“Yes, but…” She licked her bottom lip. “Maybe I could stay here for a few minutes.”
“At least a few.” He tapped the bottom of her chin. “How about you start by telling me your name?”
“Liz.” Her gaze met his and he wanted time to stop. Something about the lonely look in her eyes called to him to not let her get away. She shifted closer. “Who are you?”
He pushed his finger over her waistband, rubbing her hipbone. “I’m Aidan.” He squeezed the hand he still held. Her soft body relaxed against his.
“I should probably go. I need to get my friends home.”
“I don’t think you should go anywhere.” He brushed his nose against hers.
A delicious moan slipped from her lips. “I don’t want to leave but I need to make sure they get home safely.”
“It’s nice of you to look out for them.” Damn, she smelled good. It was lilacs or roses or something.
“I’d rather stay here with you.” She leaned in and their lips almost met. “My friends are always right. I should have gone out with them months ago.”
“Stay a few more minutes.” He caressed over her hips to her round ass. Hot tension filled his thoughts. Forget a few more minutes, he’d take all night and then some to explore this beautiful woman.
“More.” She scraped her teeth over her bottom lip.
A second later, the door opened. “Lizzy, we got to go. Emily isn’t feeling well.”
She dropped her head to his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around her.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Lizzy.” The woman held the door open. “You’re right. He is cute. Bring him with you. Emily won’t mind.”
“She’ll be right out,” he said. Once the friend left the bathroom, he brushed her hair behind her shoulders and stroked her back.
“I feel like I’m cursed.”
“You and me both, sweetheart.” He didn’t let her go.
“Well.” She looked up at him from under her long, dark lashes. “It’s not what I had in mind but would you help me with my friends?” The soft tone of her voice had him imagining how she’d purr if he made her come. “I think I might be the only one sober and they can be a bit much to wrangle into a cab. They live north in Edgewater and then we could do something, maybe go back to my place.” She worried her poor bottom lip once more.
“I’d like that.” He squeezed her ass. “Sure. I’ll help, Lizzy.” He tugged on her hair. Then he’d help himself to more of her.
Where To Buy
Praise for the first book in the Assassins and Sweethearts Series
5 stars from Cocktails and Books: “Their love for each other was very fierce, and when they began to have sex, it goes completely off the charts. Their love scenes were intense and oh, so hot! They had feeling of a kind of desperation to them. They’ve found what they were looking for in each other, and they’re clinging to it with everything they had.”
4 Hearts from Sizzling Hot Reads: “It had the hot steamy sex scenes but also the mystery behind the group Ethan belonged too. I look forward to more from the Assassins and Sweethearts series.”
4 stars from Redz World Reviews: “over all this is a great start to what promises to be a good series
Praise for the second book in the Assassins and Sweethearts Series
5 stars from Liz’s Reading Life: Desire Protected is a quick, sensual, heart pounding read that will have you desiring more.
5 stars from a reader, Tracy W: Another well done story from an author I come back to again and again.
5 stars from a reader, Doris O: Suspense, heat, and above all love. Read it, you won’t be disappointed.
About S.J. Maylee
S.J. Maylee fell in love with storytelling at a young age and with it came a deep-seated desire for everyone to find their happily ever after. She’s finding the happy endings for her characters one steamy story at a time.
When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her caring for her garden, laughing with her two young sons, or dancing to her husband’s music. She’s a PMP (Project Management Professional), Nia instructor, and coffee addict.
As a writer she has a tendency to break hearts, but she always glues them back together.