Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Misadventures with a Professor by Sierra Simone

Book: Misadventures with a Professor

Author: Sierra Simone

Part of the Misadventures Series by Waterhouse Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance 


Add to your TBR – Goodreads
Zandy Lynch never planned on going to grad school a virgin. So when her professor father finds her a job abroad as a research assistant the summer before she starts her master’s program, she sees her chance. She’s got one night in London to lose her V-card to a Mr. Darcy lookalike before she has to join some ancient professor in the country…
Misadventures is a romantic series of spicy standalone novels, each written or co-written by some of the best names in romance. The stories are scandalous, refreshing, and, of course, incredibly sexy. They’re the perfect bedside read, a ‘quick blush’ for the reader who loves a page-turning romance.
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Meet the Author

Sierra is a voracious reader of all things including the smuttiest smut, young adult, piles of non-fiction for research, and everything Bill Bryson (especially on audio).
She loves writing the dirtiest things that she can think of, King Arthur, sparkling water, Tarot, coffee, leggings, and learning new words daily.

Her previous jobs have included firing ceramics, teaching living history lessons in one-room school house in full, 1908-approved school marm attire, and working as a librarian for several years—not in that order

She lives in the Kansas City area with her hot cop husband, two children, and two giant dogs. (And two cats, but they’re so naughty we don’t talk about them.)

The social media she cares about the most are Spotify and (her very very NSFW) Tumblr. Following her in those places is a true love language, indeed.

Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Finding Forever by Rebecca Barber

Title: Finding Forever
Series: Meet the McIntyres Book 5
Author: Rebecca Barber
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: November 4, 2018

Well look who’s blown back into town. 
The woman who has consumed my thoughts for the past ten months. 
The one who turned me into a celibate monk. 
She’s frustrating as hell, stubborn as a mule and I don’t know how I’ve survived without her.
Why does she still invade my every thought and leave me wanting? 
My days are spent covered in sweat and mud and manure.
But could Zoe be what’s missing in my miserable life? 
I’ve survived some of the worst things a woman can endure. 
I’ve mourned my parents, survived a brutal attack and lost the love of my life. 
But there’s a new man who just fills a gaping hole in my heart. 
Returning to this town means dealing with unfinished business with a certain McIntyre and sorting out a whole lot of plans. 
Can I put down my roots here and make this my forever home with my man?

“I ended this book the way I started it… tears. I am both happy and sad that this is the last of this series.” – Goodreads Reader

“I wish this series didn’t have to end.” – Tracey

“Rebecca Barber has taken us through a family saga with devotion, love and complete abandon, delivering an incredible series but more importantly a final conclusion to Zoe’s epic journey.” – Clik Book Blog

“Laughter, tears, frustration, and swooning.. the characters seem so real!” – Goodreads reviewer

Connor: Bill who?
Connor: And why am I sending him your way? 😛
Feeling odd having this conversation naked, I grabbed a clean pair of boxers before climbing back into bed. Tomorrow was going to be hell, but right now I was smiling so hard I already knew it was going to be worth it.
And Zoe didn’t disappoint.
Zoe: Ha ha ha.
Zoe: I bet you think you’re funny, don’t you?
Connor: I am funny.
Connor: Bet you smiled.
Zoe: If by smiling you mean rolling my eyes so hard I think I saw my brain,
Zoe: then yeah.
Zoe: I smiled.
Connor: Wait! What?
Connor: You have a brain?
Connor: Huh. Who knew?
Zoe: Asshole!
Connor: Yes sweetheart?
Zoe: Don’t sweetheart me. Connor Adrian McIntyre.
Connor: Oooh, pulling out the big guns. Full name.
Connor: I’m scared.
Connor: Wait! How’d you know my middle name anyway
Zoe: I have my ways
Connor: Stalker much?
Zoe: You wish
Connor: Bloody Ryan has a big mouth
Zoe: Who said it was Ryan?
Connor: Had to be him or Holly. Damn gossip queens
Zoe: Are you always this frustrating?
Connor: If you mean frustrating as in sexy, then sorry to break it to you. pumpkin…
Connor: I’m dead sexy.
Connor: But you already knew that.
Connor: Didn’t you?

Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

I’m just me. A clumsy, introverted, bubble bath loving, chocoholic who would rather read a book than go shopping. And god forbid if you try and make me shoe shop!

I’m one of four kids to school teacher parents. A wife to a football obsessed husband. Mother to a fur-baby who isn’t aware of how big he is. Aunt to the most crazy/adorable little girls. And sister to two very determined sisters and one easy going brother.

I live in Canberra Australia and work too many hours a day at my day job.

I’m a book whore who can easily (and happily) read a book from start to finish in a day and when I do have spare time, you’ll find me in the writing cave.

New Release, Uncategorized

Little Meditations by Avinash Jalani



Little Meditations by Avinash Jalani

Little Meditations are poems dedicated to those moments when feelings are clustered, those moments when the breathe is slow and deep, those moments when thoughts just pass by, those moments when waiting is the only option, those moments when let go comes with a tear and a smile, those moments when the feelings take over and do not make sense. These poems are from the journey between those moments and hoping you may drift away into few moments of transcendence without an artificial pressure to find meaning or purpose. You are here to heal yourself.

#bookphoto #bookish #bookblogger #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #poetry #newrelease  #buynow #bookbuzz #rabtbooktours 
Release Blitz, Uncategorized

Ari McKay – Seeking Solace


Length: 55,188 words
Cover Design: Alexandria Corza
Walker Boys Series
Book #1 – Striking Sparks – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Breaking Bonds – Amazon US | Amazon UK

All hands on deck for a shipboard romance—with a secret.

Like his cousins, Devin Walker aspires to be a chef, but he wants to indulge his wanderlust while feeding his customers, and working a cruise ship seems like the solution. Since he can’t find an opening in the kitchen, he’s happy to start out in a position behind the bar.

While onboard Poseidon’s Pearl, Devin is assigned to shepherd a visiting executive. Paul Bailey is quiet and unassuming, and a car accident that cost him his leg also shattered his confidence. He doesn’t think he’s attractive to other men anymore, and Devin is eager to show him just how wrong he is. Paul has a surprising secret that might sink their passionate affair before it even leaves port.

PAUL MERCER stood in front of the full-length mirror mounted on the closet door and checked his tailor-made navy suit for lint or wrinkles before he left his cabin, which was more like a small hotel room than he’d expected. But Triton Cruises prided itself on being one of the more upscale cruise lines, and Poseidon’s Pearl was one of their top ships.

The suite was luxurious enough that Paul could have spent the entire trip inside, maybe reading on the private deck, which was big enough for two lounge chairs with a small table between them. But Paul wasn’t on vacation.

He’d been sent by his father, who was the CEO of Triton Cruises, to assess the ship and its crew and to report on whether the crew was adhering to company standards. To do so, he was posing as Paul Bailey, a new executive with the company who needed to learn about the cruise line. He was using his mother’s maiden name to help avoid anyone making a connection between him and the company’s founding family.

He glanced down at his pants, which were loose enough to hide the fact that he wore a prosthetic on his left leg below the knee. He’d covered the prosthetic foot with a shoe, and looking down at his dress shoes made him feel almost normal again. He had a slight limp, especially at the end of the day when he was tired, but most people were tactful enough not to ask about it, if they even noticed.

The other reason Paul had been sent was because he’d never been on a Triton cruise before. Hell, he’d never been on any cruise before. The cruise line was strictly eighteen-plus so Paul was never allowed to go with his parents when they took their annual trip while he was growing up. Then he’d gone away to college, and after graduation he went straight into grad school for his MBA. After that, he’d started working his way up the ladder at Triton and hadn’t taken much time off except for a few long weekends here and there. Then the accident happened. So the trip was a way for him to experience a Triton cruise from their guests’ perspective. It was also the last trip Paul would take anywhere in a while. Andrew Mercer was ready to retire, and he had put Paul on a fast track to taking over after Paul finished rehab and was cleared to return to work.

Focusing on his reflection, Paul smoothed his hand over his dark brown hair, which was cut short and neatly styled, its natural wave tamed with product. It was too early to go to the dining room, so Paul decided to visit the bar for a while instead.

While most cruise lines these days seemed intent on going the megaship route—huge vessels that could accommodate almost seven thousand passengers—Triton catered to a different clientele. Ships like Poseidon’s Pearl and her sisters carried a maximum of nine hundred passengers, with a crew of nearly six hundred, and every stateroom on the ship boasted a private balcony. The decor in the common areas was just as posh as it was in Paul’s cabin. As he left his cabin on Deck 7, it was only a short walk to the Seafarer’s Lounge.

He heard soft piano music—live, not recorded—as he entered the two-story lounge, which was set in the fore of the ship. It had glass windows from floor to ceiling on three sides that offered a magnificent, panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico and the serenely blue sky above. The room was large, with stairways on the port and starboard sides giving access to the second level. Small clusters of loveseats and chairs were set around low tables, allowing for intimate groups to engage in conversation, while the rear of the room was lined in bookcases housing the ship’s library, which was large enough to cater to almost any taste. The plush carpet underfoot was patterned in tones of deep blue and gold, which set off the cream of the upholstery.

In the center of the room was a semicircular bar topped with polished mahogany, surrounded by comfortable high seats. As with everywhere else on the ship, the trademark of the line—a three-pronged triton—was subtly worked into the decor, such as the patterns of tile fronting the bar and the fabric covering the seats. There were no more than twenty or so people in the bar, broken into groupings around the room. Everyone was well-dressed, and conversations were muted, giving the room a relaxed and welcoming feeling.

As Paul approached the bar, he caught sight of the bartender, who was tall with broad shoulders tapering to a narrow waist emphasized by his tailored uniform vest. He had high cheekbones, a square jawline that looked sharp enough to cut paper, and skin with a rich copper glow that seemed to result from a combination of genetics and sunshine. His dark, thickly lashed eyes were crinkled at the corners as he flashed a dazzlingly white smile and handed an olive-garnished martini to his customer. His midnight-black hair was pulled back from his face and hung in a thick braid that reached all the way to his waist.

As soon as the bartender had scanned the customer’s cruise card and returned it, he turned to Paul, who had claimed a seat at the end of the bar, and Paul got the full effect of his smile. “Good afternoon, sir. I’m Devin. How can I make your day even better?”

The intense charisma behind that smile made Paul almost believe Devin meant the greeting for him alone, but he sternly reminded himself that the ship employees were supposed to say such things to all the customers.

“I’d like a glass of Malbec, please,” he said.

“Excellent choice,” Devin replied. He retrieved a bottle from the wine rack, and after uncorking the wine, he placed a crystal wineglass on the bar, then held an aerator over it as he poured a stream of the rich, dark wine from the bottle through it, making a bit of a show of the process. Then he set the bottle and aerator aside, placed a gilt-edged paper napkin in front of Paul, and served the glass of wine.

“Thanks.” Paul picked up the glass and took a sip, and he was pleased by the quality of the wine.

After cleaning up and recorking the bottle, Devin returned to Paul, favoring him with another smile. “How do you like it? Triton prides itself on the quality of the wines it serves, even the ones they use in the kitchen.”

Good to know, Paul thought, making a mental note for his report. “It’s good, thanks.”

Devin glanced around the nearly empty lounge, but he must not have seen anything that needed his attention, since his gaze returned to Paul. He tilted his head to one side, looking at Paul with a slightly puzzled expression. “If I may ask, sir, have you cruised with us before? You look familiar.”

Paul smiled as blandly as possible and shook his head. Full-sized portraits of Andrew Mercer and Abraham Mercer—Paul’s grandfather and the founder of Triton Cruises—hung in the atrium, so Paul wasn’t surprised one of the employees had picked up on the family resemblance.

“No, this is my first cruise,” he said, assuaging the slight pang he felt over deceiving the crew with the fact he was telling Devin the truth.

“All right, then. I’m very good with faces, and I’m sure I would have remembered you.” Devin grinned. “Especially since you’re almost as tall as I am.”

“Almost?” Paul raised one eyebrow. “I’d say we’re about even.”

“I’m six-foot-five,” Devin said. “In the lower areas of the ship, I have to be careful not to smack my head on the conduits.”

“Then we are in fact even,” Paul said. “I was in high demand for basketball teams all through school.”

Devin chuckled. “If that Charleston accent hadn’t already told me you weren’t from Texas, the basketball comment would have. I was in demand too, but as a wide receiver.”

“I’ve heard rumors that football is the state religion of Texas, but I’ve never played it myself,” Paul said, taking a sip of his wine. “I was on the varsity basketball team in high school, and I played intramural in college.”

“Nice,” Devin said. “I played in high school, then was offered a scholarship to Texas A&M, but football was never more than a hobby. I wanted to go to culinary school, and they don’t have football teams.” He lowered his voice. “Although we often played badminton with food that didn’t turn out very well. It’s amazing how much overdone chicken Kiev resembles a hockey puck.”

Paul chuckled. “How did you go from culinary school to tending bar on a cruise ship? Have you worked here long?”

“Six months, and it was a matter of opportunity,” Devin said. “My best friend and I took a cruise after… well, after I went through a bad breakup, and it was just what I needed. I fell in love with the ship, and the sea, and the travel. I’d never even been out of Texas before, and the travel bug bit me hard. I did some research, and Triton is far and away the best cruise line to work for. They have people lining up for jobs, and it took me almost two years to get my foot in the door, and then it was because I’d also trained in bartending. Of course I hope to work in the kitchen someday, but when they offered me a position I jumped on it, and I haven’t regretted it for a second.” Devin’s smile was rueful. “I hope I haven’t bored you to death.”

“Not at all.” Paul thought it was helpful for the staff to be friendly, especially on longer cruises like this one. It would promote the family atmosphere that Triton Cruises wanted to cultivate. “I don’t want to monopolize your time, though.”

Devin glanced around the nearly empty lounge. “It’ll be slow in here until after dinner,” he said. “The action right now is up by the pool. But once the sun goes down, everyone will come into the Seafarer to socialize and listen to the cruise director’s talk about our ports of call.”

“I should probably come back for that,” Paul said. “I don’t know much about the ports we’re visiting, and I don’t want to wander off without a plan.”

“There are some great shore excursions,” Devin said, his brown eyes shining with interest. “They have some for people who like to be physically active, like diving trips and hiking tours, and some for people who prefer to relax on the beach and play in the waves. They also have activities for people who want to experience the culture of the various islands. And if you’d prefer to be on your own, they’ll have maps to help you out.”

“Sounds like I shouldn’t have any problem finding something fun to do.”

“I’m sure you’ll have a great time,” Devin said. “If I may make a suggestion, there’s something you can do tonight. Just before midnight, go up on Deck 9. They have an open area to do outdoor yoga. The captain always turns off all the extra lights on the ship for several minutes, and we’ll be well away from land by then. You’ll be able to see more stars than you ever thought the sky could hold. It’s beautiful and humbling at the same time.”

“If I’m still awake, I’ll check it out.” Paul glanced at his watch, then slid off the bar stool, taking his wineglass with him. “I should probably head to the dining room.”

“Be prepared for a real treat,” Devin said. “I recommend the beef Wellington, and the triple chocolate torte with Chambord for dessert. Although you won’t go wrong with any of the selections. The food on the Pearl is fantastic.”

“You had me at triple chocolate,” Paul said, lifting his glass to Devin. Then he headed out of the lounge. He wanted to get there in time to take a few notes about what he had observed so far before dinner, but if the rest of the ship had the same kind of staff and atmosphere as the lounge, his assessment would be a glowing one.

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.




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Release Blitz, Uncategorized

Jigsaw by Lilly Atlas

Title: Jigsaw
Series: Hell’s Handlers MC
Author: Lilly Atlas
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: November 6, 2018

After being disappointed by her family one too many times, Izzy’s convinced the only person she needs is herself. Seeking a life with fewer relationships, she leaves the bustle of the city and moves to small-town Tennessee. Her plans for quiet and solitude don’t last long after she’s adopted by both the men and women of the Hell’s Handlers Motorcycle Club.

Once upon a time, Lincoln had a picture-perfect life. Sweet, loving wife, beautiful daughter, enviable career. But one fated night, it’s all wiped out, leaving him scarred both mentally and physically. Now known as Jigsaw, he’s a force to be reckoned with, and a valuable asset to the Hell’s Handlers MC. He’s also done. Done with love, done with dreams, done with women…unless it’s to work off some tension.

Despite their resolve to avoid entanglements, chemistry blazes between Jig and Izzy and becomes harder to resist with each encounter. When the club’s enemies set their sights on Izzy, the Handlers pull her even further into the fold. Everything Izzy believes about families is challenged as Jig and his club prove they can be counted on again and again.

Fighting side by side with a fearless woman, even one as smokin’ as Izzy, isn’t something Jig wants, but it might be exactly what he needs. If club business doesn’t destroy them, do Jig and Izzy stand a chance of letting their pasts go and finding happiness?

Island Girl Romance Reads – “Lilly Atlas is quickly becoming one of my favorite MC author! Her books are amazing.”

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews – “Another highly enjoyable read from Lilly Atlas and I give Jigsaw 5 stars.”

Beyond the Covers Blog – “This author has such an amazing gift at making you feel like you were there in that book and I can’t wait to see where she take Copper’s book.”

A full five minutes early for his appointment, Jigsaw shouldered through the door into Inked, the one and only tattoo shop in Townsend, Tennessee. But even if it wasn’t the lone ink provider, even if there was a tattoo shop on every corner, it’d be the only one to receive his business. Inked was the best, by far. Rip was a master with a tattoo machine and could bring anyone’s vision to life.

Maverick and Rocket filed in after him, immediately taking seats on the ratty couch butted up against the display window. His brothers had tagged along despite knowing how much Jig hated an audience for this.

Every year on his wife and child’s birthdays, which just happened to be only three days apart, Jig added to a tattoo on his thigh. Without fail, it put him in a shitty mood, and his brothers damn well knew it. But they couldn’t just leave him the fuck alone. They had to stick their fucking noses in his shit and follow him, so he didn’t “do something stupid.”

Every damn year.


“Hey, Jig,” Rip called out. “Lemme talk to you for a second.” He stepped from behind the privacy curtain pulled around his customer. To say the shop was simple would be a ridiculous understatement. Inked was about as no-frills as it came, with two tattoo stations, a reception desk, a second-hand couch, and a few sketches on the wall. Rip didn’t give a shit about the décor or ambiance. He gave damn good ink and had the reputation to prove it.

“What’s up, Rip?” Jig asked after Rip waddled his large frame cross the shop.

“Hey, I’m running about forty-five minutes behind, man. I’m sorry.” Rip gave Jig a sheepish half smile.

From the couch, Maverick laughed and rubbed his hands together. “Woohoo, does this mean Jig gets to have his face inked on you?”

Not one to find much shit funny, Jig snorted. Rip was a bit of a psycho when it came to lateness. Threatened to tattoo his face on a client if they were late to their appointment. He’d done it before, too, the bastard. That was the reason Jig never let himself be later than five minutes early. Last thing he needed was Rip’s ugly mug on his ass cheek.

“I really am sorry, man,” Rip said. He ran a hand through his receding gray hair and shifted uncomfortably, seemingly flustered, which wasn’t him.

“Everything good?” Jig asked.

Rip lowered his voice. “Yeah, just had this broad come in crying a few minutes ago. Breast cancer survivor who recently had some reconstructive surgery. Wanted me to ink nipples on her. Someone recommended me specifically, and she’s unwilling to go to anyone else.”

“Well, fuck me, Rip,” Mav said. “Why didn’t you start with that? Now I feel like an ass for ragging on you.”

With a shrug, Rip swiped the back of his hand across his forehead. “Shit, I’m sweating, guys. This is a lot of pressure.”

This time, Jig let out a small laugh. “You did all our Hell’s Handlers back pieces without blinking an eye, and you’re afraid of some nipples?”

“It’s a big deal,” Rip grumbled.

Jig slapped him on the back. “Hey, man, no worries. I can reschedule.” In reality, the change to his schedule pissed him off, but what the fuck could he do? He wasn’t about to be the asshole who pulled Rip away from a cancer survivor. Jig might be an unfeeling bastard, but he wasn’t a robot.

“Nah, not necessary,” Rip said as he walked toward the desk. “I got someone else who can do it.”

Jig froze and scanned the shop. It was then he realized there was a curtain pulled around the second chair as well. Muffled voices could be heard from behind the fabric wall but not well enough to make out what was being said. “You telling me you actually hired some help?”

For the past two years, Rip had been saying he needed to hire a second artist. Ever the control freak, no one actually thought he’d let another professional into his shop. He found fault with every other artist out there.

“Yeah, I did. They’re just finishing up the aftercare convo. Then you can meet ’em.”

“I don’t know.” Jig frowned. No one but Rip had gone near his skin with ink and needle.

“They’re good, Jig. Wouldn’ta hired ’em otherwise. Trained ’em myself actually. About ten years ago, right before I moved to the area and opened up shop. Take a look at some of their work.” He dug around behind his desk and pulled out a beat-up binder, laying it out on the counter.

Like a bunch of teenage chicks who didn’t want to miss out on the gossip, Mav and Rocket hopped up to join him at the reception desk.

Mav, who had more inked skin than not, whistled. “Shit, Rip. These are fucking amazing. This guy might do better work than you.”

It was meant as a joke, but Rip snorted and nodded. There was definite truth to Maverick’s words. The lines were so precise, the images so vivid and perfect, it was hard to believe they were done by a human hand. One of the photos was a butterfly that looked like it was literally lifting off some chick’s shoulder. Amazing.

“Give ’em a shot,” Rip said. “Promise they’ll do you right.”

Jig sighed and rubbed a hand across his jaw. Time to trim his beard. He’d gotten lazy the past few weeks and had let the growth get a little out of control. He always kept some amount of facial hair because it covered the bottom third of his scar, but he tried to keep it neat. Most of the time. “All right, man. Let’s do it.”

Seemed like Rip was really trying to push the new guy. Probably wanted to build up his clientele. If the work in his portfolio was an accurate reflection of the guy’s skill, he’d be a fool to turn down this artist. He could help a friend out and get some quality ink in the process.

“Great.” Rip’s yellow-toothed smile beamed. “Oh, here she comes now.”

“Wait, what?”


Maverick coughed in a weak attempt to cover his laughter, but it quickly turned to a gasp. 

Oh, yeah,” he said under his breath. “That one’ll do you right, Jig.”

“Holy fuck,” Rocket whispered.

Rip wore a shit-eating grin, the fuckstick. He’d purposefully misled them into thinking it was a dude. Jig didn’t want some bitch getting anywhere near him with a needle. He flipped his brothers off and spun to check out this lady tattoo artist for himself.

Ho-ly shiit.

About five-feet-eight inches—and that was without the four-inch stilettos—of pure sex and sin strutted her way straight toward him. Somehow, this woman had poured herself into the tightest black leather pants he’d ever seen. They molded around her long, shapely legs and, damn, if he didn’t wish for her to turn around. He just bet she had a stellar ass that would only be enhanced by the grip of soft leather.

With each step, the side to side sway of her hips drew his eye like he was watching the pendulum of a clock swing back and forth. Forcing his gaze from her hips, he trailed it upward, not oblivious to the tight black tank top that cupped her breasts as snugly as the leather cupped her thighs.

“Hey, boys,” she said, her voice on the lower side. Husky, he’d call it.

Mav whistled. “Damn, woman. And I say this in a totally non-creepy, non-flirting way because I have a woman that would shoot off my junk if I so much as hit on another chick, but you are some kinda fucking gorgeous.”

Jig ground his teeth together as the new lady tattoo artist threw her head back and let out a throaty laugh. Fucking Maverick. Flirting and charming women was just part of his DNA. He truly meant it when he said he wasn’t hitting on her. The man just couldn’t let a beautiful woman walk away without her knowing she was gorgeous.

“Aren’t you the charmer,” she said, placing her hands on those fantastic hips.

Damn, her body was out of this world. Not skinny, not even too curvy, it was more…athletic. Sleek lines with swells of muscle in her arms and a flat stomach. The girl must spend some serious hours in the gym.

“Guys, this here is Isabella. I taught her everything she knew about ten years ago. She finally agreed to move here and work with me.” Rip beamed with pride as he introduced his protégé.

“Please,” she said, “call me Izzy. One of you boys looking for some ink?”

Fuck no.

Wasn’t happening.

Rocket cleared his throat like he had a whole steak lodged in there. If the asshole wasn’t careful, he’d have Jig’s fist lodged down there instead.

A hand slapped down on his shoulder. “My man Jig here needs some ink.”

Fuckin’ Maverick.

“Don’t want to mess up your schedule,” Jig said. “I’ll come back when Rip can fit me in.”

Rip’s face fell, making Jig feel like scum. Wasn’t the shop owner’s fault that Jig wanted nothing to do with most women. Unless he was fucking them. That was pretty much the only time he associated with them. Of course, his brothers’ ol’ ladies couldn’t seem to leave his ass alone. Always trying to bring him food, fix him up, and acting like freaking mother hens around him.

Especially Mav’s woman, Stephanie. He’d helped rescue her from a fucking psycho not long ago, so now he’d become her special project.

“Oh, I’ll, uh, check my book.” Rip waddled behind his desk and flipped through his old-school appointment book.

Izzy’s dark, almost black eyes just stared at him, hands on her hips, earning her Jig’s scowl. Who the hell did this bitch think she was?

Instead of caving under his murderous glare, one of her perfect black eyebrows arched high into her forehead. “You afraid your dick will invert if a woman puts some ink on you?”

She had a set of balls, he’d give her that much. “Nah, I—”

“I’ve inked hundreds, actually thousands of dudes.” She gasped and covered her mouth with her unpolished fingertips. “Shit, I’ve even tatted some bikers.”

Behind him, Mav and Rocket chuckled. Fuckers were enjoying this way too much.

Izzy leaned closer and dropped her volume. “Promise you, bubba, not one of those guys grew a pussy because I was the one holding the needle.”

A strangled sound came from Rocket, and Maverick flat-out laughed. Rip joined in, and soon the three of them were cackling like a bunch of fucking hyenas.

Goddamnit. Not only had she interrupted him, sassed him, and tossed attitude at him, she’d thrown down a challenge. His damned male pride left him no choice.

“Show me to your chair,” he grumbled.

A massive grin of victory broke out across her gorgeous face. “Follow me, bubba,” she said as she spun on one of those pencil-thin heels then sashayed to her station.

And fuck if he didn’t feel a twitch of his dick and a twitch of his lips. Where his cock’s interest came from, he had no idea. Miss Izzy couldn’t be further from his usual type.

He liked ’em blonde, blue-eyed, small, sweet, and docile. Not tall, dark-haired, and mouthy. She’d even shaved the sides of her head, adding to her badass-bitch look.

But as he watched the very long tail of a tight braid swinging back and forth across the top of what was, without a doubt, a stellar ass, he couldn’t deny his animal attraction to her.

Fuck. This was gonna be a shitty few hours.

Lilly Atlas is a contemporary romance author, proud Navy wife, and mother of two spunky girls. By day she works as a physical therapist for a hospital in Virginia. Lilly is an avid romance reader, and expects her Kindle to beg for mercy every time she downloads a new eBook. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet, and she can often be found absorbed in a good book.


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Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne

The chemistry between Mikaela and Eric is undeniable…
Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne is out on November 27!!



On paper, Mikaela has the life every girl dreams of. She is young, beautiful, intelligent, and filthy rich. It all means nothing to her since she pines for the man who will never love her back. But that isn’t the only source of pain. Dark secrets are tangled in the forgotten memories haunting her. Five years is a lot of time to lose…

Eric Hardwick fits the description of tall, dark, and handsome to a T. A successful attorney and loyal best friend to Mika Kingsley, he’s hopelessly devoted to the one woman who has broken his heart. She’s strictly off limits to him…but that doesn’t mean he won’t do anything and everything to protect her from harm.

The unstable Kingsley patriarch, Mason Kingsley, is back, bringing danger and mayhem along with him.

Her lost memories might be the key to their salvation…or their destruction.

Will Mikaela be Reclaiming Tomorrow?

About Haylee Thorne

When Haylee Thorne isn’t writing her stories, she works proudly as a registered nurse in Kentucky. Haylee loves to read and watch TV (she may or may not be slightly obsessed with anime), and there aren’t many movies she has not seen. She’s known to enjoy a good glass of champagne, and can eat an unlimited amount of French fries (seriously, it’s a problem). When she has some free time (as in time not spend working or writing), Haylee loves spending time with her family and friends.

Follow Haylee online!

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Coming Soon, Uncategorized

Lines by Anna B. Doe

thumbnail_Lines teaser 11.png

#TeaserTuesday: Lines by Anna B. Doe is coming November 23rd!

Coming from the author of the New York Knights series a story of friendship, rivalry, and second chances. Welcome to Greyford High, the school where one year can change it all. The countdown begins.

Book Info
❄Genre: YA sports romance
❄  Cover reveal: November 9th
❄  TBR:
❄  Vote for November 2018 Most Anticipated Romances:
❄  Graphic design: Little Miss Tease

Multiple authors. Variety of prizes. One winner. Open internationally!
Release Blitz, Uncategorized

Sir’s Rise by Red Phoenix

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Title: Sir’s Rise
Series: Rise of the Dominants #1
Author: Red Phoenix
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Explosive and hot! 
I know her unspoken
desire when she gives me that coy look before disappearing into the row of
library books…
I’ve always had the
natural ability to unlock a woman’s hidden desires, but my life takes a
complete 180 when I’m introduced to my true calling.
In my journey to
become a Master, I make it my mission to indulge my submissives, as well as
challenge them.
But I’ve discovered
something equally valuable in the process. Family.
When everything
I’ve worked for is threatened, I am ready to fight—and I am a man who will do
whatever it takes to protect what’s mine.

Purchase Links
From the 1st Chapter: Surprise
Library Scene)
I watch
with interest as she gives me a flirtatious grin, adjusting her glasses before
getting up and heading to the reference section of the library. She’s wearing a
midline skirt that is conservative but still sways enticingly as she walks away
from me.
Taking her
cue, I set down my pen and leave my calculations on the table a few minutes
later. I survey the other students here, noting that they all seem preoccupied
and are not interested in what I am doing.
librarian, however, stares me intently as I walk past her. I give her a slight
nod, acknowledging her station, and watch with a sense of satisfaction as she
deep into the reference section, I find my chestnut beauty hidden in the back.
A smile spreads across her face as I approach.
As she
opens her mouth to speak, I put my finger on those red lips and shake my head.
There will be no words between us.
I replace
my finger with my lips, pressing my mouth against hers.
Kissing her
gently at first, I feel her body respond to mine, and I slip my tongue into her
She moans
softly, so I pull away shaking my head. The only way this continues is if she
stays totally silent.
Looking at
me with those sultry eyes, she tilts her chin up, begging for another kiss.
I claim
those sensual lips again while my hand begins exploring her curves. As my hand
moves downward, I grasp her waist, pulling her against me so she can feel my
growing excitement.
It has been
a while since I’ve felt the thrill of penetration, and my cock aches in
anticipation of it.
Hiking up
her skirt, I push her back against the shelves, the scent of old books
surrounding us as I feel between her legs. Her panties are already wet, letting
me know she’d been fantasizing about this encounter ever since she sat down
next to me.
Naughty girl…
I slip my
hand under the thin material and struggle not to groan when I feel the slick
warmth of her pussy. My body burns with desire.
time is of the essence, I slip her panties down to her knees and unzip my
jeans.  I pull a condom from my wallet
and watch her eyes widen as I roll it down over my hard shaft.
Sliding the
head of my cock against her tight opening, I take a few moments to build up the
sexual tension. The sound of a low cough echoing from somewhere in the library
only adds to the excitement of what we are about to do.
deep into her eyes, I lift her leg to open her pussy to me and slowly push my
cock into her.
She makes
the barest of sounds and I immediately pull out, raising my eyebrow. Looking at
me desperately, she bites her lip to show she’s serious about keeping silent.
I kiss
those red lips again as I slide my shaft back into her, pushing even deeper.
She trembles with need when I begin thrusting. The excitement of having sex in
the college library has both our hearts racing.
The small
beads of perspiration on her skin cause those sexy glasses to slip down the
bridge of her nose. I take them off and carefully set them on a shelf before
gripping her buttocks tight. I begin stroking her deeper while keeping eye
contact as I climb toward climax.
I want her
to join me and pull out slightly so I can reach down between her legs and play
with her swollen clit while I continue to thrust into her with my hard cock.
the cougher seems to be on the move and, by the sound of it, he’s headed
straight toward us.
It seems
the idea of being caught turns my chestnut beauty on, because her pupils grow
wider just before I feel her pussy squeeze my shaft with her orgasm. My body
instinctually responds, thrusting deeper as I follow with my own climax.
I quickly
pull out, slipping my cock back into my pants, condom and all. She barely has
time to pull up her panties and fix her skirt before he walks by our section.
I lean into
her, kissing her passionately to hide the reason for her panting breath, then
turn to give the guy a hard stare, letting him know he’s interrupted us.
He shrugs,
giving me an apologetic grin before covering his mouth and wandering off amid
another bout of coughing.
I look down
at her and smile as I gently place the glasses back on her face. Giving her one
last kiss, I signal that she should leave first. She glances back at me with
that coy grin just before disappearing around the corner.

Author Bio
Over Two Million readers have enjoyed Red’s stories.

USA Today Bestselling Author Red Phoenix is an award-winning romance author who
gained popularity with her series, Brie’s Submission.
She also happens to be a submissive in real life and began
writing Brie’s story so people everywhere could find out just how fun BDSM can

Author Links
Release Blitz, Uncategorized

Ravished River by Lindsay Cross

Title: Ravished River
A Mercy & Mayhem Series Novel
Author: Lindsay Cross
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 6, 2018


As a Special Forces
operative, Aaron Spears treated relationships like Tangos. He’d seen the
wreckage of his Task Force brothers’ attempts and had no desire to put any
woman through the hardship. He had one purpose – serve his country and protect
his teammates. Then Celine Latimer walked into his life and turned his world
upside down.
Celine Latimer
thought she’d hit the jackpot when hunky SF operative Aaron Spears asked her to
accompany him to the high-profile wedding of Senator Cotter’s daughter. They’d
get to spend two weeks together while Aaron pulled guard duty for Caroline
Cotter and Celine intended to use every spare minute, seducing the man she’d
had a crush on for over a year. 
The time and place
proved to be more of a barrier than either of them realized. With his commander
watching his every move, Aaron couldn’t afford to show any weakness. That meant
ignoring Celine.

Rejected and hurt,
Celine packed to leave only to be caught in a kidnapping plot against the
Senator. Here she sat, in a hut in the Middle East, waiting on a rescue that
may never come.
He’d sworn to
protect and he’d failed. Now Aaron lived for one purpose- to rescue the woman
he lost before she’s sold into slavery and spend the rest of his life making
her see how much he loves her.

Purchase Links
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Camp Eagle Claw,
classified location Afghanistan…

Afghanistan desert would have made the devil himself sweat, not that the devil
was brave enough to set up headquarters in this godforsaken land. Only the
United States Special Forces would be sick enough to pick the meanest valley in
the Middle East as its home away from home.
the insects were AWOL. The only creatures crawling across the sand were the
death dealers – scorpions, snakes and Special Forces.
Aaron Speirs, assistant medical sergeant and weapons expert, bent over and
gripped the metal bar in front of him, working on his fourth set of dead lifts
in the spotted shade provided by the camo net over Task Force Scorpions, TF-S,
down. Three hundred ninety-five pounds, nearly twice his bodyweight an extreme
amount guaranteed to give him arthritis by retirement but he wasn’t worried
about that since most men in the Teams didn’t live to see their fiftieth
birthday. Sweat ran in rivulets down his shirtless chest, dropped to the
scorched earth with a sizzle and evaporated instantly.
down. One more round of lifts and he might fall out from weariness, which was
exactly what he intended. He couldn’t stop thinking about Celine Latimer with
her perfect platinum hair and soulful eyes. He couldn’t forget the taste of her
strawberry flavored lip gloss or the fact that it was his fault she’d been
down. Another lift. Aaron’s exhausted muscles screamed in protest, but he kept
moving, ignoring the pain. 
had he turned her away?
Because he knew what
would happen if he let himself care about her – he’d lose her just like he’d
lost his mother.
yanked the weight up hard. How many people had to die before he learned his
buried his mom ten years ago, someone else had dug the grave but he’d put her
there. The memories crashed into him. Her blank stare when he’d found her on
the bathroom floor, blood flooding from her wrists. Dammit, how could have been
so blind? If only he’d been paying closer attention…
ground his teeth together and held the ungodly weight high, fighting the cold
seeping into his chest. But no matter how hard he tried to resist another image
flashed. Shane falling to his death in that ambush, his scream cut off when he
hit the ground.
hurt in her eyes when he’d cold shouldered her…all because he couldn’t face the
fact he’d been unable to hold his vow to never do to a woman what his father
did to his mother.
they were all gone. Guilt bread and multiplied in him, taking over everything
 “Dammit, Speirs, drop the weight before you
crush your spine.”  Ethan Slade,
communications sergeant and Aaron’s best friend, strained under the weight of
his bench press five feet away.
blinked the blinding brightness of the desert into focus, shoved the memories
down and turned to Ethan with a blank expression.
racked his weight and shot upright. “Don’t give me that fucking look. I know
exactly what you’re thinking.”
let the weight crash to the ground, ignored the sweat stinging his eyes and
reached for the barbell again. “Giving up already?”
had no intention of letting Ethan go at another one of his amateur counseling
ignored the barb and mopped the moisture from his face with a nearby towel.
“You need to ease up, give yourself a break.”
not getting a break. Caroline’s not getting a break.” That dammed thought crept into his nightmares every single night.
drowning in guilt won’t save them either.” Ethan tossed the towel on the bench
and stood.
stood, pulling the bar up with him. “Who said anything about guilt? I’m out for
revenge. Cold and simple. Guilt hasn’t got anything to do with it.”
strode to Aaron’s gym back and yanked out Aaron’s BDU jacket. “Really?” He
ripped open the front pocket and pulled out two photos. “Then why do you carry
their pictures over your heart?”
held the pictures up right in Aaron’s line of vision. His mom’s sad smile
mocked him. The one screen shot he’d taken with Celine taunted him.
 “Fuck you.”
pictures were the ghosts that haunted him daily for his fuck up.
didn’t relent, instead he shoved their faces closer. “You couldn’t have done
anything to stop it, bro. She wanted to go after you dad left.”
dad didn’t leave. He died. He took his thousandth fucking mission, ground his
mother’s heart into their gravel driveway and never came home.
growl built in his throat. “Drop it.”
blaming yourself.” Ethan’s voice dropped and he let the photo’s fall into
Aaron’s bag. “Your mother wasn’t your fault back then and Celine’s not your
fault now.”
slowly lowered the weight this time, allowing his comment to pass without
reaction. His teammate was wrong on both counts. He’d seen the clues in his
mom. She’d started with the drinking first and then the anti-depressants. And
then he’d gone and done exactly what his dad had done before he was killed in
action, he’d left.
like he would always do.
devoted his life to the Teams. His country. His brothers in arms.
life in the special forces was not life for a relationship. His firsthand
experience with the disaster of his parents failed attempt was enough to keep
him forever away from giving his heart to any woman other than the Statue of
was man enough to admit that he’d been week with Celine. She’d been the first
woman who’d ever tempted him from his duties. He’d actually thought about more
than a one night stand with her – he’d envisioned a future together. And
because he’d given into that weakness, she’d been taken by the one man who
could do the most damage.
would never understand, he had his woman. Kate was safe and sound, waiting on
him to return home. At least until she wasn’t. “Let it go.”
until you do.” Ethan faced off with him, hands balled into fists at his side.
straightened, for one second letting the pain show in his expression. “When
Kate dies because of you, come talk to me about letting go.”
threw his hands up in the air and stomped over the weight bench. “Your mom’s
gone, man. Celine’s not. You’ve still got a chance.”
if I don’t find her.” Not even then. He hadn’t learned before but he had now.
Fate had given him one chance – she wouldn’t allow another one. He’d find
Celine, deliver her safely home and walk the hell away before he did more
damage than he’d already done.
shot him a look of quiet anger. “We.”
We will find them. You’re not the only
one on this team. We were all there when Celine and Caroline were kidnapped, in
case you’ve forgotten.” Ethan fell back on the bench and lifted the barbell
straight over his chest with a grunt. “If you aren’t willing to let go of the
guilt, at least realize you don’t have the corner market on it.”
stared at him, testing his friend’s words, allowing them to roll around in his
mind. Maybe with Shane, their teammate, he wasn’t alone in the feeling. They’d
all fell for the ambush – set up by their very own CIA liaison. TF-S had moved
in without question to motivation and still hadn’t realized they’d snuck right
into a trap until they were right in the middle of a shit storm of combatants.
about Celine? Could he share the blame of her kidnapping with them?
no he couldn’t. He hadn’t told Ethan about sleeping with her or about the fact
he’d left his post because he couldn’t stay away from her. Only their
commander, Colonel Grey, knew that he’d given in to the insurmountable
temptation of Celine Latimer. He’d broken his vow to his mother that he’d never
put a woman through her hell in one scorching night of passion that had
permanently seared his soul.
snorted. “You’re skull’s as thick as that metal bar.”
grunted gratefully at Ethan’s change in conversation. His limit for talking
about his failures had been reached a week ago. “Can’t argue that.”
can’t believe it.”
agreed with me. What’s that – like the second time since we’ve been over here?”
Ethan said.
with the chick talk and start talking about how we are going to gut J and I’ll talk all day.” Aaron emphasized the
we just for Ethan’s benefit.
could feel Ethan rolling his eyes. “I get it. No more talking about anything
but the mission.”
killing Mr. J.,” Aaron finished for him.
find them. We’ve already narrowed their location down to this area of the
mean this hundred-square mile radius of ISA loyalists protecting our old
liaison? Mr. J wants nothing more than to make us pay.”
Islamic State of Afghanistan, the lead terrorist organization in the world,
along with the help of Mr. J, was responsible for kidnapping Caroline Cotter
during her high-profile wedding to General Rainer. A relationship crafted in
the hallways of JSOC themselves and a bargain struck between the senator in
command of JSOC and his four-star General. It was a match made in Department of
Defense, DOD, heaven.
Cotter would take complete control of JSOC with the General at his side,
carrying out his tasks. “You get the feeling the whole wedding was orchestrated
by Mr. J?”
Force Scorpion’s former CIA liaison turned traitor. Caroline Cotter had been
the bait to seal the deal and Celine Latimer had been collateral damage.
 Ethan said, “Or it was a deal Mr. J couldn’t
afford to allow to go down.”
paused mid-air. “You think he wanted to stop it?”
shrugged and racked his bar. “Makes sense, why else kidnap her before the
wedding could take place?”
talk to the commander about this?”
He said he’d starting kinda thinking the same thing. But without proof, the
girls or J, we won’t know anything for sure.”
grabbed his towel and wiped his face. He’d been so focused on his failure he’s
never stopped to consider that J wasn’t pulling the strings, but trying to cut
them. “It should never have gone down like that.”
The senator vetted his own security. He pulled us in for extra detail, that’s
it,” Ethan said.
was a cake mission. How hard could it be to pull security at Caroline’s
wedding?” He’d gotten complacent. He should never have taken Senator Cotter’s
word that he’d fully vetted his own staff. Aaron grabbed the bar, needing the
physical exertion to tame the internal battle.
he’d approached the mission with the same intensity he did all others Celine
might still be here.
down. The barbell bowed under the heavyweights stacked onto the ends every time
he lifted. He was going to make Celine’s kidnapper bend like that, right before
he snapped the bastard in half.
right, we knew better, but we both trusted the Senator. It was his fuck up,
too, and his daughter that was kidnapped because of it,” Ethan said.
just Caroline. Celine was kidnapped, too. Don’t forget her,” Aaron ground out,
jaw clenched under the pressure of holding up the extreme weight and guilt.
case I need to remind you, my girlfriend, Kate, was almost taken. Don’t talk
like I don’t understand, man. We nearly lost all of them.”
not, I just- I was the reason Celine was there in the first place,” Aaron said,
careful to keep his emotions on the back burner.
so what? You invited her because you you’d vetted her and we needed a makeup
artist and stylist we could trust. Someone who could be close to Caroline that
we wouldn’t have to worry about. You were just doing your job.”
he did his job alright. He’d fully vetted Celine Latimer, but not as a stylist
for the bride. “If you say so.”
wanted her. He’d wanted her for nearly a year. He’d wanted her so bad he’d
forgotten the cardinal rule – no relationships in the special forces. Not that
he enjoyed one-night stands, but he wasn’t about to put a girl through the shit
of being in a relationship with a man who was never there, or one who may never
come home from a mission.
seen the toll it took on his mother. Each and every time his dad left on a
mission, Aaron would watch another batch of light in his mother’s eyes dim.
Then the painful forced reunions with a man none of them knew anymore. Hell,
his father didn’t know his wife and kids either and how could Aaron blame him
for just doing his duty. He couldn’t fault his father for signing his life over
to the military, but he could sure as hell make sure he never put a woman
through that kind of pain. His dad didn’t come back from his last assignment.
His mother lost it, broke apart into a million pieces. The one woman Aaron had
loved above all others slipped right through his hands and took her own life.
thought about blaming the military – but how could he? He blamed his father for
falling in love and committing to a relationship he could never hold. No matter
what, Aaron had vowed to never do that to a woman. Either they understood that
they came to his bed for one night only or they didn’t come at all. 
that life creed had held him rock steady for his entire career – until Celine
Latimer made him want more.
wasn’t in the mood to talk about it anymore. Aaron dropped the heavy metal bar
with a satisfying clank onto the concrete at his feet.
wiped the sweat from his face and dropped the soaked hand towel on a nearby
metal chair. Their workout facility had the necessities. Water enough so they
wouldn’t pass out from dehydration. Weights heavy enough to work off the steam.
All the outdoor circulation the desert could provide.
on earth.
been stationed there for two weeks, searching and pulling recon non-stop.
They’d tapped all their contacts in the area, searched satellite photographs
and even done some door-to-door searches only to come up with nothing. Not even
a blip. It was as if the two women had vanished.
             “I saw Hoyt and Jared pull in a few seconds
ago. Let’s head back out. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a lead,” Ethan said.
            Aaron left the barbell on the
concrete pad for the next guy who needed to bend some metal. “Five minutes.”
       After a quick shower and uniform
change, the two checked in with the commander and then headed out on their
knock and talk mission, which was a complete waste of time, but it was also
their only hope for a lead right now.
 “Just got a call from the rest of the team,
they’ll be here in the next hour. Top has some new intel he wants to show us.”
Ethan pulled the Humvee to a stop at the end of Mississippi Street, in
Shorawak, a medium sized town near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Square
built white stone buildings lined the dirt road, some with metal doors and
other with burlap covering the opening. Kids kicked soccer balls down the end,
but stopped the second they got out of their Humvee.
like we weren’t expected.”
snorted. “We were expected, not welcomed.”. Mississippi was one of the safer
streets to patrol, and one that they hadn’t covered yet in their door-to-door
search for Caroline and Celine.
Aaron got out of the Humvee, heading to the first door on the street. He banged
hard, waited a sec and knocked again. A man answered, his gaunt face haggard
with deprivation and dirt. Aaron held up the headshots of the girls. “You see
The man slammed the door in his face and Aaron forced himself to back up a step
and move down the street.
had been the standard response from those who had any English vocabulary. Most
of the time, they just got angry retorts in Farsi, followed by a door slam.
trailed behind, guarding Aaron’s back as he stopped at every single door on the
street. They questioned twenty households on Mississippi and then moved on to
Arkansas Street. When they reached the end of that, about fifty doors of no new
news of the girls later, Aaron reached the end of his patience. “I hate not
too, brother. Maybe the new intel will be something we can actually use,” Ethan
scanned the now deserted street behind them, keeping his rifle at the ready.
letting you take the next one.” Aaron knocked on the beaten up green metal
door. “I swear, if another asshole slams the door in my face, I’m gonna kick it
down.” A man in a white tunic and pants answered, his gaze raking over Aaron a
second before the man spit on Aaron’s boot.
gritted his teeth and held up the worn photos of the girls. His boots had been
through worse shit than this. “Have you seen them?”
man cursed and made to shut the door. Rage rode through Aaron on wings. He
slammed a hand to the door and yanked the man out, pinning him to the wall.
“You hear me? I asked you a question. Where are the girls?!”
man threw his hands up, waving in front of his face and shouting back in Farsi,
“Man nemefahmam. Man nemefahmam.”
grabbed Aaron’s shoulder, pulling him off the local. “He doesn’t know. What the
hell are you doing?”
man ran inside and locked the door. Ethan grabbed Aaron and threw him against
the wall where the villager had been. “What’s going on, man? I know you, and
this isn’t like you. And don’t give me another line of shit about how you feel
guilty for screwing up the mission, because we all screwed that one up and you
know it. We’ve all failed missions before and moved on. What’s eating you alive
over this one?”
            What was so different?
it was the fact that he’d cornered Celine in her bedroom and tried to devour
her whole. Or maybe that she’d returned the favor full force in an explosion of
passion neither of them had been prepared for. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the
fact that Aaron had thrown out his training and experience on pure instinct and
lust. He’d known the digs of getting involved with Celine, or at least he’d
thought he had. But once he’d had her, the moment he buried himself between her
sweet, honey drenched thighs, he’d realized his mistake.
Celine Latimer was his one. The One. He
wouldn’t be able to quit her after a one nighter. She was like a drug. Her
kisses. Her moans. Her need for him.
And fuck all if he’d ended up killing her
like his father killed his mother.
Colonel Grey walking in on them going at
it like two teenagers in the back of his father’s car when Aaron should have
been on patrol, was just the steel shovel to bury the relationship coffin.
    Aaron had tucked tail and turned away from
Celine, pointedly ignoring her for the rest of the week despite the wounded
expression she shot him whenever they were in each other’s vicinity. “I should
have paid better attention. It was my job to protect them.”
mine. And the Team. And the Secret Service.”
buts.” Ethan kept him pinned. “You’ve been on edge since we got here and I’ve
tried to stay out of it, but I’m not gonna sit back and watch you lose it.
You’ve been taking chances lately; chances you never used to take.”
was at the mercy of a murderer and in a den of monsters who treated women worse
than dogs. They wouldn’t hesitate to hurt her. Bile clawed its way up his
throat at the thought of another man’s hands on her body.
let it out, brother. Get whatever is eating you alive off your chest so we can
get to work.” Ethan crossed his arms.
he’d pushed harder, tried to pick him apart, Aaron might have clamped down, but
the obvious concern in Ethan’s voice broke through Aaron’s wall of anger;
straight through to his fear.
Aaron shoved a hand through his thick sweaty hair. “I’m trying, you know. I
can’t get her out of my mind long enough to concentrate. Every time I think
about someone hurting her…” He wanted to punch something. To break something.
To kill someone.
get it. You know I get it. But you got to find a way back to zero, brother.
This edge you’re riding puts us all at risk.”
know you understand, but that doesn’t stop the fact that Mr. J has them. We
know that. He’s already tried to murder our team twice. If he can find a way to
use the girls against us, you know he will. We have to find them before it
comes to that.”
put a hand on Aaron’s shoulder. “We both know what Mr. J is capable of. Just
like we both know that if you don’t get your center back, Mr. J will win.
Again. Your greatest weapon is your training. Take that rage filling up your
insides right now and compress it into cold hard hate. You figure out a way to
get it under control and we will find Mr. J and Celine. But you keep letting
the anger rule your decisions instead of logic and you’ll get us all killed.”
blew out a long sigh, knowing Ethan was right, but at a complete loss as to how
to tame the raging beast inside him. “I know that’s what I need to do. I just
don’t know if I can.”
you can, brother. Trust me. Just think about how good it’s going to feel to put
a bullet in Mr. J’s skull. If it hadn’t been for Mr. J, Shane might still be
alive, and ISA sure as shit wouldn’t have had the resources to attack us on our
own soil.”
made the Taliban look like amateurs. They had ambushed Task Force Scorpion’s
headquarters, nearly killing the entire team and their families. They’d turned
Shane Carter, TF-S’s first sniper, against his own team, resulting in Merc
having to put a bullet in his teammate.
that, and now Senator Cotter’s daughter. “This is going to sound corny, but my
instincts are telling me he’s up to something else, something so twisted, we
can’t even imagine it, but, dammit, I don’t know if that’s really my instincts
or the fact that I’m scared to death he’s going to hurt Celine.”
went silent. Finally, he took a step back and gave Aaron a look of dawning
horror. “That’s it. This was not a random kidnapping – Caroline Cotter’s father
is head of Joint Special Operations Command, JSOC. The general she was supposed
to marry was in charge of the Special Forces. If Mr. J can get control of those
men, he’ll be able to manipulate United States SF to do his bidding and the
forces would think they were just following orders.”
froze, the truth of Ethan’s words way too possible. “If Senator Cotter puts in
orders to deploy an attack and the general signs off, it will look totally
nodded, “He could order the takeover of a small country and make it look like
it happened with the blessing of the United States.”
words sunk deep and heavy in Aaron’s gut, pulling the plug on his fury as a
heavy dread settled over him. “If Cotter really worships his daughter above all
else, he’ll do whatever Mr. J demands to ensure her safety.”
on the other hand, was the only one who worshipped Celine Latimer.
Unfortunately for her, the desires of an expendable Special Forces agent didn’t
bear a whole lotta weight when it came to striking a deal with the devil.
Author Bio

Lindsay Cross is the USA Today bestselling author of the Men of
Mercy series. She is the fun loving mom of two beautiful daughters and one
precocious Great Dane. Lindsay is happily married to the man of her dreams – a
soldier and veteran. During one of her husband’s deployments from home, writing
became her escape and motivation.

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