King of Shadows by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

Title: King of Shadows
Series: The Masks of Under #2
Author: Kathryn Ann Kingsley
Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy Romance
Release Date: March 26, 2019 Publisher: Limitless Publishing
I tried to run. I tried to escape. I failed.
When I was dragged from Earth to Under, my life as I knew it ended. Everyone else who was brought here with me has found their place in this world of myths and monsters. They are all now a part of the fabric of a strange universe. Everyone, except me.
The ceremony that turned everyone else into supernatural creatures left me as a human. More importantly, it left me mortal. This has never happened before. Because of that, they think I’m a threat. Edu, the King of Flames, threatened to kill me. So, I did the only logical thing—I tried to run.
But a second king has woken from his slumber. Aon, the King of Shadows, the demon amongst monsters, has risen. And he’s come for me. They call him a warlock and a madman. And now I’m a “guest” in his home, and I am afraid to learn if they’re right. I don’t know what his plans for me are…but I think I’m about to find out.
Edu still wants me dead. Aon is a dangerous mystery. I must try and survive, but this world called Under seems to have other plans.
Chapter One
“Hello, my dear.”
Aon.
“How wonderful to finally meet you, Lydia.”
Aon looked like a nightmare come to life. His suit made him look all at once as though he didn’t belong against the twisted and warped woods, and yet like there was nowhere he should rather be.
Lydia tried not to cry. Tried not to scream or turn and run the other direction. She wanted to do all those things. Her bleeding knee felt like it was on fire, and the rest of her wasn’t in much better condition. Running would be pointless.
Aon stood before her, twenty feet away, the moonlight reflecting off his featureless black metal mask. He had not moved and seemed content to let her decide what she wanted to do.
Lydia could try to turn and run. She could cry or scream. She could fall to her knees and beg. None of them felt right, so everything locked up. There was nothing she could do to stop whatever Aon wanted to do to her. She had nothing. No hope, no power, no knowledge she could bargain with. There was one thing she could cling to in desperation.
Defiance was all she had left.
So Lydia raised her head, straightened her shoulders, and did her best to look brave. Not because she felt brave, but because there wasn’t anything else left to do.
Aon chuckled, a sound that carried easily in the silence of the forest. He began to walk toward her, and although she wavered, she didn’t back away. He closed the distance in slow, long, easy strides, seemingly in no hurry. One of his hands moved to tuck across his lower back, adding to his dramatism as he approached. He was giving her the chance to balk and run from him. He was seeing her bet and raising it, pointedly challenging her resolve.
Good god, he was terrifying. Far more so now that he was real and not a ghost in Lydia’s dreams. Lydia knew her imagination was probably falling short of what that man was likely about to do to her.
When Aon finally got within arm’s reach, he extended his gauntleted hand to touch her face, the sharp claws glinting in the moonlight. Lydia flinched away from his touch, but by some miracle, she managed to stand her ground. Aon let out a small hmm in his throat. He curled his fingers in toward his palm and brushed the backs of the metal fingers down her cheek.
In the absence of adrenaline, she was shaking in the cold truth of her failure and the chill night air. The touch of metal on her cheek didn’t help matters. Aon was pushing her, calling her bluff once more.
Lydia ran through her options again. Sink to her knees and cry. Turn and run. Plead for mercy. Bargain with him for her freedom. Try to fight him. Faint was now solidly high up on that list.
Each one, Lydia scratched off in order again. Not her style, wouldn’t make it ten feet, pointless, pointless, hilariously pointless, and maybe, in that order. With no other option but accepting her fate, she resigned herself to whatever Aon was going to do and let him run his metal-clad fingers down her cheek without any further fuss from her.
“Tell me, what was it I have just witnessed play out upon these lovely features of yours?” Aon said, his voice low and soft but no less dangerous than before. When Lydia sought him with a questioning, confused glance, he tilted his head back. When he spoke again, his voice was a rumble that made her stomach twist. “Indulge me…”
Lydia stammered twice before getting a word out edgewise, but Aon seemed content to wait. She stopped, took a breath, and tried again. “Crying won’t help. Begging won’t work. I can’t run, and struggling will do more harm than good. I…I’ve lost. The only thing left to do is die with pride,” she admitted, and only fear kept her from just shutting her eyes and accepting her fate.
“Mmh, beautiful.” Aon stepped in closer, and Lydia went rigid. The talons of his gauntleted hand stroked through her hair slowly, brushing her blonde waves away from her face and tucking the strands behind her ear. She pulled in a breath and held it. Even if he wasn’t hurting her now, she had already seen firsthand how abrupt his moods could be. “Then you are no fool, my clever child, to see the truth so easily. Good. That will make this far more interesting.”
“If you’re going to kill me, please do it already,” Lydia said quietly, her voice shaking. That was all she could ask of him. Just please, don’t let it linger.
Metal fingers curled under her chin and broke her gaze from where she had fixated on his black-on-black striped tie. “Oh, my dear. Kill you? Why ever would I do that?” He sounded legitimately surprised.
Was he kidding? “I mean, last time…you…”
“Ah. Yes.” He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, his masked face turning away for a moment as if in thought. “I think perhaps I have given you the wrong impression. What I did was merely to teach you a lesson. Hopefully, I will not have cause to demonstrate another.”
Aon turned his face back toward her as he pressed the point of the thumb of his clawed hand against the line of her lower lip. He stepped in closer, just a few inches away. “No, beautiful darling, you are the first unusual thing to happen in this forsaken world in a long, long time. I have no desire to kill you. Far from it.”
Lydia’s world suddenly felt unsteady. The ground tipped and swerved. Her hands grasped Aon’s arms in a desperate attempt to hold herself upright. He let out a curious hmm at her movement, and then realizing she was about to fall, wrapped his arm around her waist, pressing her to him. “Well, now, all you had to do was ask,” he teased.
“I…uh. I don’t feel so good.” Lydia’s world was spinning. She must have hit her head when she fell from the horse, and her fear and adrenaline had only lasted so long. Fainting was now solidly at the top of her options.
“My poor little thing,” he murmured. “It is quite all right. You are injured. Do not fight it. I will take care of you.”
“Edu’s going to kill me,” she mumbled, barely able to get the words out. Her head was reeling, and she felt the soft fabric of his suit against her as he pulled her closer.
“Oh?” The smell of books was there again, like an old library.
“To keep me away,” the world spun dangerously, “from you, Edu…” Lydia couldn’t hold on to consciousness anymore. Her grip on it was slipping, just as her hands were falling from clinging onto his coat to stay standing.
His metal-clad face was close to her ear, and she heard his words—quiet, dangerous, and a threat even as it was meant to be comforting. “He will not harm you. With me, you will be safe. I promise.”
***
Edu’s drake landed with a hard thud on the dirt road. The bolt of lightning had been not a terribly subtle way to announce where he might find the girl. He arrived in time to watch her head roll to the side as she collapsed against a figure in black that he knew quite well.
Aon leaned down and scooped up her legs with one arm and held her behind the shoulders in the other, carrying her like he might a bride. The thought that the man would seek to instantly claim such possession of his prisoner was beyond infuriating. Instantly, Edu wished nothing more than to pound Aon’s face into the packed ground.
“Ah. Hello, Edu. I was wondering when you might arrive,” Aon said idly, as if what had transpired was no matter at all. “Wonderful evening, don’t you think?” He was clearly goading Edu, taunting him by belittling what was happening.
Edu dismounted his drake and stormed toward the other man, his fists clenched.
“Oh, pull the reins, you great buffoon. You are king no longer. I see you have forgotten!” Aon’s voice raised from casual and idle annoyance to sharp anger with no warning.
Edu shook his head, pointed at the girl, then crooked his finger back at himself.
“Give her to you? Are you mad? You would murder this poor thing to spite me, no less. When have you become so callous? The years have been cold to you. Weren’t you always the sympathetic, forgiving one? To cradle a butterfly in your hands, for fear it might die without your care? She must terrify you greatly to end her life without due cause.” Aon shook his head and tsked. “For shame.”
Edu growled angrily, but the warlock paid him no heed.
Aon cast a glance down at the girl whose head was tucked into his chest, resting against the black fabric of his suit. Blonde hair trailed around her face in stark contrast to the tones of the man’s clothing. “I must see to it that Lydia is attended. She is injured, and as she has been cast away from the ancients,” Aon said, obviously enjoying digging the seriousness of her rejection from the pool into Edu like a knife to the ribs, “she is fragile.”
With that, the warlock disappeared. Merely blinked out of existence as if he had never been there at all. He took Lydia with him without even a swirl of power or a crack of thunder left in his wake.
Edu let out a wordless howl of anger and slammed his fist deep into a tree next to him in his impotent rage, splintering the bark. In the hollow emptiness left behind by his temper, he lowered his head and admitted his folly to himself in the silence of the woods. He should have killed the girl when he had his chance.
Now, it may be too late for them all.
Kat has always been a storyteller. With ten years in script-writing for performances on both the stage and for tourism, she has always been writing in one form or another. When she isn’t penning down fiction, she works as Creative Director for a company that designs and builds large-scale interactive adventure games. There, she is the lead concept designer, handling everything from game and set design, to audio and lighting, to illustration and script writing. Also on her list of skills are artistic direction, scenic painting and props, special effects, and electronics. A graduate of Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Design, she has a passion for unique, creative, and unconventional experiences. In her spare time, she builds animatronics and takes trapeze classes.
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Don’t Let Me by Marie Skye




Title: Don’t Let Me
Series: The Simplicit Duet #1
Author: Marie Skye
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 26, 2019



Blurb

Temptation is a sneaky bitch that brought two men in my life and I wanted them both. One left without saying a word. The other asked me to be his and I said yes. I moved on…so I thought.
Life isn’t a fairytale. Everyone has a secret. Everyone has a flaw. And mine? Well, sometimes vows aren’t for everyone.
They say there’s two sides to every story, but the truth makes three. In case you didn’t hear me the first time, let me repeat it.
Life isn’t a fucking fairytale.







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Author Bio


Marie Skye is your average career driven woman by day, and a hidden lover of all things dirty by night. Or, as she likes to say, professional by day; author whore by night.

Army brat, and now just a brat. She currently resides in Austin, TX where there really is a difference between breakfast burritos, and breakfast tacos, but she really doesn’t know what the difference is.

If it’s dark, and full of inappropriate material. She’s attracted to it. She prefers making her character’s work for their happy ever after, if they get one, and she has no problem making sure they endure every obstacle to try to get there. She’s known as not having a filter, and if she’s asked for an opinion, be prepared to get a response that’s most likely a mixture of sarcasm and bluntness.

She also has a soft side, and volunteers her time to support Elephants, as well as not attending any events that has elephants in their acts. She also loves sloths, and cute kittens, and prides herself on being able to quote the entire series of Friends.

Marie is the type of person that can be friends with anyone, but if you have cake, you’re pretty much her best friend.  


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Always Be Mine by Melody Grace




Title: Always Be Mine
Series: Sweetbriar Cove #9
Author: Melody Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 26, 2019



Blurb

Watch love bloom in the new Sweetbriar Cove romance from New York Times bestselling author, Melody Grace!

Actress Lila Moore is starting over. Escaping Hollywood scandal, she’s hiding out in Sweetbriar Cove to plan the next chapter in her life. The last thing she wants is an annoyingly handsome man snooping in her business, even if It turns out that he’s not the paparazzi… but her new gardener.

Landscape designer Griffin Forrester doesn’t care about gossip, and he definitely doesn’t have time for a high-strung client like Lila. He prefers getting dirty planting spring bulbs, not walking the red carpet at a fancy premiere. As far as he’s concerned, their relationship is strictly business. But it turns out, Lila isn’t anything like the diva he expected. And when sparks fly, he can’t stay away…

Soon, the gardens aren’t the only thing blossoming at Rose Cottage. But can Lila trust enough to open her heart again? And when the past catches up with them, will this unlikely couple find a way to keep love in season all year long?

Find out in the new feel-good romance from Melody Grace!

The Sweetbriar Cove Series:
#1 Meant to Be
#2 All for You
#3 The Only One
#4 I’m Yours
#5 Holiday Kisses
#6 No Ordinary Love
#7 Wildest Dreams
#8 This Kiss
#9 Always Be Mine
#10 Two Hearts (July)







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A small-town girl, Melody grew up in the English countryside before moving to Los Angeles. She is now a New York Times bestselling author of feel-good contemporary romance novels, and is also currently writing for the upcoming BRIDGERTONS television adaptation from Netflix. She has two cats. 


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When We Fall by Olivia Rose




Title: When We Fall
Series: Rocky Falls #1
Author: Olivia Rose
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: March 26, 2019



Blurb

Erin Michaels wants nothing more than to just survive high school. With a life long crush on the boy next door, and his mean girl girlfriend who seems to want to make her life miserable, it’s no wonder those short years feel like a lifetime.
That is, until Mason Knight.
When Mason Knight rocks up at Rocky Falls High, Erin’s world turns upside down, and her eyes are opened to a world worth living for.
Exploring love and life for the first time, Erin’s world is set ablaze in ways she never imagined possible.

** Previously released under Sloane Murphy, this edition has new content and further editing **







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Olivia Rose is a writer of contemporary romance ranging from YA to Adult.

She lives in Peterborough, England, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for cheesy YA Films, cupcakes and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much hot chocolate, and watches an ungodly amount of Netflix. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the world with her husband and chocolate Labrador.


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MISADVENTURES WITH MY EX by Shayla Black

Can the ex who once broke her heart seduce her into happily ever after? Once, Eryn Hope fell fast and incurably for Weston Quaid. And he seemed to adore her too—until she learned their love was built on lies when he walked out on their wedding day. Three years later, West has finally won control of his family empire and fortune, but it cost him Eryn—something he regrets every day. When business forces him to return to her life and temporarily shut down her livelihood, of course she’s furious. But their chemistry is still beyond combustible. So he makes her a proposition: he’ll take care of her until her bistro reopens…if she becomes his mistress. Her mind screams no, but her body whimpers yes, yes, yes. As soon as West has her back in his bed, their passion burns hotter than ever. So do his feelings. But can he and Eryn really recapture the love they shared? And when their bargain ends, will he be the one shattered this time or will they finally come together forever?

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Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages. Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years. Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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Hard Loving Cowboy by A.J. Pine




Title: Hard Loving Cowboy
Series: Crossroads Ranch #4
Author: A.J. Pine
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Cowboy Romance
Release Date: March 26, 2019



Blurb

This cowboy’s handsome, sexy, and definitely off limits . . .  

Walker Everett spends his days at the Crossroads Ranch wrangling cattle-and steering clear of anything that would complicate his already too-complicated life. Until Violet Chastain, the ranch’s newest employee, asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for her parents’ anniversary party. She’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever met and needs his help. How can he refuse?

Violet isn’t about to fall for a brooding bad-boy cowboy, no matter how sizzling their chemistry. But she also never expected Walker to go along with the charade. Before long, he’s charming her parents at their weekly dinners and kissing her way more than necessary. Spending so much time together tests the limits of their “just friends” relationship, but what happens when their game of pretend becomes all too real?

Hard Loving Cowboy is the final book in the Crossroads Ranch series of standalones.







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Excerpt

Intro: My heroine, Violet, speaks French. Here is where she teaches Walker how to say To kiss in French…

“To kiss is embrasser.”

“Em-brah-say,” he parroted.

Violet usually hated the way French sounded when a non-native speaker tried it. Walker didn’t pronounce the words perfectly, but he didn’t butcher them, either. And somehow he made each one sexier in his own rugged way.

“How would you—embrasser me?” he added.

She laughed. “First I’d give you more warning than I did this morning. I’d say, Je veux t’embrasser, which means I want to kiss you.” And did she ever. Nothing was more of a tease than being close enough to kiss him, wanting to kiss him, and not kissing him. How did he exercise such restraint?

Or maybe he didn’t want her as much as she wanted him.

“Je veux t’embrasser,” he repeated, his accent a little better this time.

“That’s good. You’re getting the hang of it.”

“No,” Walker said. He let his bottom lip brush hers, and she sucked in a breath. “Je. Veux. T’embrasser.”

Her throat went bone dry, and she struggled to swallow.

“Then kiss me already.”



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Author Bio


A teen librarian by day and a romance writer by night, A.J. Pine can’t seem to escape the world of fiction, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s the author of the If Only series (Entangled Embrace), the Only You series (Berkley/Intermix), the Kingston Ale House series (Entangled Select), and the Crossroads Ranch series (Forever Romance). When she finds that 25th hour in the day, she might indulge in a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. She hails from the far off galaxy of the Chicago suburbs.



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Tainted by N. Isabelle Blanco & Dee Garcia




Title: Tainted
Series: Saint Cecilia Slayings #1
Authors: N. Isabelle Blanco & Dee Garcia
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance/Crime Thriller
Release Date: March 26, 2019



Blurb

And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. – Mark 7:20-23

The streets of Boston are running red with blood.
It isn’t the first time, either.
Forget the history of this city; it’s what happened nearly nine-years-ago that continues to haunt us all.
Especially me.
They say obsessions can destroy you.
Well, I’m here to tell you that’s a fact.
A serial killer played games with us once, leaving our heads spinning.
I chased them down, threw my whole life into chaos. From the very first kill, I was there.
Watching.
Analyzing.
Losing myself.
My career nearly ended before it ever began.
Then, suddenly, the killer vanished. Gone into the shadows. Never to be heard from again.
Until now.
They’re back, fiercer and bolder than ever. An obsession reawakened that threatens my sanity and leads me towards a collision with a new fixation.
One more dangerous.
One much more vile.
She’s everything my religion warns man to stay away from—the quintessential temptress sent to ruin our lives.
I thought the case would be what ended me.
Turns out, I’d sell my soul for just another taste of her.  




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N. Isabelle Blanco


N. Isabelle Blanco is the Amazon Bestselling Author of the Allure Series, the Need Series with K.I. Lynn, and many others. At the age of three, due to an odd fascination with studying her mother’s handwriting, she began to read and write. By the time she’d reached kindergarten, she had an extensive vocabulary and her obsession with words began to bleed into every aspect of her life.

That is, until coffee came a long and took over everything else.

Nowadays, N. spends most of her days surviving the crazy New York rush and arguing with her characters every ten minutes or so, all in the hopes of one day getting them under control.


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Dee Garcia


Self-published author Dee Garcia was born in Miami, Florida. A voracious fan of romance novels and a long time lover of the written word, her mission is to craft unique, compelling stories that will give her readers a place to briefly escape the monotony of everyday reality. With fierce, headstrong heroine’s and swoon-worthy, possessive Alpha males weaved into her thrilling tales, Dee hopes to leave her mark on the Indie world, one decadent plot twist at a time.