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Friday, February 28, 2014


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Title: Hero

Author: Leighton Del Mia

Release Date: February 27, 2014

Genre: Dark Erotic Romance Standalone

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Synopsis

 

Calvin Parish They call me Hero. I defend. I protect. I ask for nothing in return, and that makes me good. Doesn’t it?

That which makes me the ultimate predator also feeds dark impulses I’ve learned to control—until I bring her too close. For years I’ve watched her from afar, but what started out as duty has become obsession.

Cataline Ford I work hard. I play by the rules. I’m content. My scars are quiet and invisible, and that keeps me hidden. Doesn’t it?

One fateful walk home, I’m taken by someone I didn’t know I should fear. Captive and afraid, nobody will tell me why I’m confined to this hauntingly beautiful mansion. I’m given everything; I have nothing. He takes what he needs from me, and for that I hate him. But I might have loved him once.

And just because you’re reading this doesn’t mean I survive him.

 
 

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About the Author

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Leighton Del Mia lives behind large sunglasses and under massive headphones. She can usually be found behind and under these things at any Starbucks on the West Coast, which is where she writes twisty books between sips of black coffee.

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Keep Me (A Hero Novella)

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“I will disappoint you. I will hurt you. If I could be different, I would. But I don’t think I can.”

Declarations and sacrifices have been made. After three years, a better life is finally on the horizon. But when the past leaves marks that are both painful and permanent, is there ever such a thing as starting over? Can memories be replaced or forgotten—and should they be? Keep Me is a follow-up novella for Hero readers who want a glimpse of life after breakfast. It is only intended to be enjoyed after Hero and is not a standalone. It is entirely optional and not essential to the original plot.

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Title: The Prince of Punk Rock (Radical Rock Stars #1)

Author: Jenna Galicki

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 21, 2014

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Synopsis

I love her, but I also love him. She's everything to me. He sets my world on fire. It's our dirty little secret, and it’s about to blow our record deal sky high. I’m Tommy Blade, the Prince of Punk Rock, and this is our story. Tommy Blade is a man with a secret. It’s a secret he only shares with one person, Jessi Blade – and the men he surrenders to in the bedroom. Her only condition to their tumultuous sex life is that these men are one night stands. But when Angel Garcia enters his life, it’s like a match to gasoline. Mega-talented punk rock singer Angel Garcia, with his smoldering ebony eyes, tight leather pants and unstoppable stage presence, is a man who is use to getting what he wants. He has his eyes set on Tommy Blade as his new lead guitarist, and as his life partner. Jessi Blade, sympathetic to her husband's bisexual needs, loves him enough to share him, but she never counted on Angel Garcia to test the threshold of her marriage. He makes her life hell . . . and heaven. He’s her damnation and her salvation. She wants to hate him. She wants to despise him. But, his charm and raw sex appeal are impossible to resist. Without warning, she finds herself falling in love with her husband's gay lover. At the height of it all, their punk rock band catapults to stardom. Their lives are marred by secrecy, deception and sacrifice. Feelings of betrayal, backlash from the sensationalistic media and threats of blackmail send them down a hard road filled with tough decisions. They aren't your ordinary rock stars. They're radical rock stars. And they have a big story to tell.  

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About the Author

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Jenna Galicki, Author of Adult Contemporary Romance Jenna Galicki is a strong advocate for LGBT rights and marriage equality. She volunteers with God's Love We Deliver, delivering meals to people with HIV and AIDS and other life threatening illnesses. She actively raises money and participates in AIDS Walk New York and is a proud sponsor of Children International. She lives in Long Island, NY with her husband and three dogs. She's a Rottweiler enthusiast and an avid music buff. Elaborate stories and fictional characters are her constant companions. When she's not hunched over a computer breathing life to these strong souls through the written word, you can find her front row at a rock concert.  Follow Jenna Galicki, she would love to hear from you: www.jennagalicki.com  Facebookwww.facebook.com/jennagalicki.author1  Twitter: @jennagalicki  

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Synopsis

Char and Riley have encountered pain and heartache in the past. They were sure that they would never meet someone that would heal their hearts and allow them to love again. Then, on an ordinary Sunday, a newspaper in a minimart changes their lives forever.

Although they share a strong physical connection, they ultimately hunger for one another’s emotional touch.

No matter how hard they’ve tried to stay away from each other, the magnetic force between them has always remained strong.

Char and Riley have been through it all; love and loss, trust and deceit. They are the glue that holds their Boston family together and the ones that would be lost without the love and support of their family and friends.

Today is the day we’ve all waited for—the magical moment when two lives become one.

Riley Paul Kincaid & Charlotte Jayde Taylor

Request the pleasure of your company
to celebrate their wedding.

On Friday February 14, 2014
at
St. Elizabeth’s Church
Boston, Massachusetts


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Excerpt

When I first met the love of my life, things may have started off a bit rocky, but he’s shown me what true love is. I now know what it feels like to be cherished and what my life will look like having my happily ever after. Together we’ve had some struggles—what couple doesn’t go through highs and lows—but I wouldn’t want to have experienced any of it without him by my side.

He is the most amazing man. My best friend, my one true love, and my soul mate. I can’t wait to see him later today and wrap my arms around him. Last night was one of the few nights we’ve spent apart since the accident. At times he still treats me like I’m broken, but I know he does it because he wants to keep me safe. Riley is everything to me, and today we get to make it official in front of our friends and family.


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About the Author


t. h. snyder (1979) was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. For six years she worked in the field of higher education while earning her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Management from University of Phoenix. She's a single mother to two children. She became an avid reader in spring of 2012 and since has read over 250 books. Her genre of interest ranges from Romance to thrilling Paranormal. This is more than just a hobby for her, it's a passion to read the words of great authors and bring life to their stories with her reviews and character castings. She started writing her first novel in June of 2013 and is anxious to see where this journey takes her!!







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Title: Firestorm

Author: Rory Ni Coileain

Release Date: February 28, 2014

Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

Rian Sheridan is a foundling, a Northern Irish Catholic corner boy whose world was destroyed in fire, and reborn the same way, beside an Orangemen’s bonfire last July the Twelfth. A consuming, dimly-remembered pain in his past calls to him, taunting him, daring him to find it and lose himself to it in the S&M underground of Belfast. Cuinn an Dearmad is the last surviving Fae Loremaster, and he’s just seen the beginning of the death of the Realm, the haven of the Fae race. The only hope of stopping it starts with him finding the Prince Royal of Fire he stole from the cradle, and lost in the human world, many years ago. He has a few guesses about where that hope ends, and he doesn’t like any of them. Rian and Cuinn are an impossible pairing, two SoulShared Fae. Any two Fae will strike sparks, but these two Fae are a conflagration. Unable to stand one another, yet drawn into an escalating series of sexual collisions, their passion will either save a world or destroy it.

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Excerpt

Shite. Apparently thinking of the male was enough to make him appear. Although, to be honest, if that were the case, Cuinn would have been here several hours and a dozen small fires ago. “I don’t suppose you’d feck off if I asked.” The answering silence went on for so long that Rian finally hauled the pillow off and turned his head toward the voice. Oh, Jaysus. Never had he seen a man so beautiful; the sight stopped his heart. Beauty had never been a concern of his, only what a man was willing to do to him, to bring him closer to what he needed. But there was little of desire in the way the Fae looked at him. Nothing like what he’d grown accustomed to, through the use of his gift, making men want him whether they willed it or no. “I wouldn’t.” There was exhaustion in Cuinn’s voice, as if he’d spent the time since their coffeehouse tryst at some heavy labor. “Though I would, if I had any sense of self-preservation.” There was a sobering, and unsettling, sense of finality to the other Fae’s words. “I’m not after destroying you.” Not that he hadn’t wanted to, a time or two. But the taste of joy he’d had in the coffeehouse had changed all that. Cuinn shook his head. “It’s not your doing.” He seemed about to say something else, but stopped, and sniffed, brows arching as he glanced around the bedroom. “I realize everyone needs a hobby, but arson? Really?” Rian pushed himself up to sit against the headboard, with a sense of deja vu. Had it only been the middle of last night, when Cuinn appeared to him, determined to resist him but doomed to fail? “It helps. A little.”

About the Author

Rory Ni Coileain

I majored in creative writing, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so I designed it myself – being careful to ensure that I never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course. I was lucky enough to score the wonderful P.C. Hodgell as a major advisor, too, and to spend several years in a writer’s workshop with Eleanor Arnason. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off my first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author I idolized, got one of those rejection letters that you talk about with your therapist until you’re old and gray, and found other things to do, such as corporate law and nightclub singing, for the next thirty years or so, until I discovered, entirely by chance (except that I don’t believe in chance), the world of m/m erotic romance. Now I have a day job as a legal editor that I’m aching to quit, I’m the mother of a high school senior (when did THAT happen?) and a member of my church choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society, and I’m trying frantically to keep up with the adventures of a group of very randy Fae and tree spirits and the humans who can’t seem to help falling in love with them.

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Purchase the Other Books in the Series

Hard as Stone

Amazon ~ Paperback ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ ravenous ~ All Romance ~ Fictionwise

Gale Force

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon DE ~ Paperback ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ ravenous ~ All Romance

Deep Plunge

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ ravenous ~ All Romance

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Title: Spark (Spark Series #1)

Author: Jennifer Ryder

Release Date: February 28, 2014

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Synopsis

Not many people know that I, Eevie Lawson, have a problem. An addiction to romance novels. I eat them for breakfast. I hide it the best I can, but I need them to breathe. It’s how I cope. I’ve had a swag of book boyfriends, but now that I’m free from the responsibility of caring for my three younger brothers, it’s time to find one in the flesh.  In real life, no girl meets their hero on page one, or even at the end of chapter one. I should know.  My journey is real. It’s not perfect, and it sure as hell isn’t easy—but the fight for something worthwhile never is.  

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About the Author

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New Adult and erotic romance writer. My debut novel 'Spark', part of a four part romantic suspense series will be released on 28 February 2014! 

A sexy imagination, a life-long love of books and a sucker for romance, Jennifer Ryder couldn't stifle her creativity any longer. Writing steamy adult romance has become her new focus. Living on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, she enjoys the best of city and country. Her loving husband is ever willing to provide inspiration, and her two young cherubs, and sheep that don't see fences as barriers, keep life more than interesting. Jennifer placed third in the International Stringybark Erotic Short Fiction Award 2013.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014


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Title: Number Thirteen

Author: Bella Jewel

Expected Release Date: March 17, 2014

Genre: Dark Romance

**AUTHOR NOTE - This is NOT a BDSM Romance**

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Synopsis

We're thirteen girls, captive, slave to our master.  A master we've never seen. Obedience will become all we know in our shallow existence. It is the only emotion we're permitted to feel. When we're bad, we're punished. When we're good, we're rewarded.  Our scars run deep. Yet we survive, because we have to...  because HE teaches us to. All of us are special, we feel it with everything we are. He has us for a reason, but it's a reason we don't know. We've never seen his face, but we know that something deeply broken lies beneath the darkness. With every touch, with every punishment, we know it.  Then something changed.  He showed me who he truly is. Now I want him. I'll go against everything I know to be with him. 

A monster. 

My monster. 

Loving him is a sin, but a sinner I am. I won't stop until I see every part of him. Even the parts he keeps locked deep down inside. 

I am Number Thirteen, and this is my story.  No one said it was pretty, or right, but it's mine.

PROLOGUE

My boots crunch in the yellow autumn leaves as I walk towards the schoolyard. I didn’t want to come today, but Momma told me I had no choice. She said school is for smart kids, and if I don’t go, then how am I ever going to get smart? I could get smart, the man on the television tells me everything I need to know. But she claims that I can’t make friends with the man on the television, that the only way to make friends is to go to school. I could have told her that I don’t need friends to be successful, but she’d only tell me I’m being silly. So I came to school. I didn’t tell her that there are bullies here, or that every day they push me around and shove me into lockers. That would make me sound weak, and now that my dad is working, and my brother is away because he didn’t like the school here, I’ve had to become the man of the house. There’s no room for weakness. Momma tells me bullies pick on the kids who are victims. I think she’s wrong. I’m not a victim; I’m just a kid. They pick on me because I’m different. I don’t look at the girls like they do; I don’t try to sneak out to parties. I’m only thirteen. I’m just there to learn, then I go home and I take care of my family, because, I’m the man of the house. Like I said. The shrill sound of the school bell ringing, tells me I’m late. I pick up into a jog, rounding the corner and into the schoolyard. It’s a cool winter day, and I have to pinch my coat together to stop it from flapping in the icy breeze. I can see the students piling in the front doors, and I turn my jog into a run. I’m focusing so heavily on the doors, that I don’t see them. A strong hand lashes out, catching hold of my sleeve and tugging me into the alleyway that runs down beside my school. I always knew this alley was dangerous. My body is slammed against a hard wooden fence, and I set eyes on my bullies. Four of them. They’re all bigger than me, all of them on the football team. They’re from a few grades up, and they’ve just turned sixteen. The leader of the group, Marcel, steps forward first. He scrunches his nose in disgust, as if I’ve just dragged myself out of a gutter, as if I’m offending him. He leans in close, and I can smell cigarettes on his breath. Smoking is not cool. “You’ve been trying to avoid me, Will. Did you really think you could hide at home with Mommy, and never have to come out again?” I stare at him, wondering why he chose me to pick on. I didn’t even know his name until he flagged me down and shoved my head down a toilet six months ago. I was just a kid, keeping my head down, studying and learning like I should. Now here I am, pressed against a fence, wondering why they decided I was good enough to take extra special effort to attack. I don’t bother answering him; it’ll only make him worse. My answers won’t make a difference. If I answer, I’m wrong. If I don’t answer, I’m wrong. “Are you fucking mute, you little cunt?” My body jerks. I hate that word, it’s so…vulgar. I let my eyes move to the four other guys standing like protective pack animals around Marcel. I don’t know their names; they’re not significant enough. The tall boy with orange hair looks nervous, like he knows what’s about to happen could put him in a world of trouble - but he’s still here, still making the choice to stay. The other two guys are stony faced, and fully aware of their part in this attack. I still don’t answer him. If I just let them beat me, it’ll go away quicker. “You’re a freak, Will, do you know that?” Marcel hisses, leaning in closer. Of course I know that. I wouldn’t be pinned against a fence if I didn’t know that. Bullies are so dumb. Marcel raises his fist, and brings it down over my face, cracking my nose so hard blood spurts onto his shirt. I don’t cry out, because that’s what he wants, but the pain radiating through my head is nearly enough to make me beg. Nearly. Marcel takes hold of my shirt, and his grey eyes scan my face. He’s panting, as though I’ve shoved him into an alley and challenged him. Like this is my fault. The world is twisted like that, and it’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. “You know,” he growls, locking eyes with me. “I heard my girl saying how handsome you were the other day. Do you know how much it sucks to have my girl saying that a freak is handsome? Especially a freak that’s only what? Thirteen years old? Your dick would be no bigger than a tube of damned lipstick, yet she thinks you’re handsome!” I wouldn’t know how much it sucks to have a girl say that, because I don’t have a girl. Again, bullies are dumb. “Don’t answer me, you little twerp. It doesn’t matter. I will make sure by the time you leave this alley; you’re not handsome anymore. I won’t have my competition being some little weasel that can’t even speak.” I taste blood filling my mouth, and my nose is pounding so heavily I’m almost sure I can hear my own heart in my head. I don’t take my eyes from Marcel. They say look danger right in the eye; it gives you power and strength. I don’t feel powerful right now, in fact, I don’t really feel anything. Someone like me doesn’t fight, I’m the underdog, and underdogs are weak. Everyone knows it. Marcel reaches into his back pocket, and pulls out a pocket knife. The heart that feels like it’s in my head begins thumping even harder. I try not to show fear, I try to stand tall and take what he dishes out with strength, but that’s not so easy when your attacker is waving around a pocket knife. “She said it was your eyes,” he begins, lazily tracing circles on his palm with the blade. “She said they’re the most stunning eyes she’s ever seen. Like the ocean.” I didn’t know my eyes were like the ocean. He takes hold of my shirt, yanking me close. “No one is more appealing to my girl, than me.” They say bad things happen in slow motion, they’re right. I feel Marcel throw me down onto the floor. I feel every movement as my body slammed into the dirt. I feel his body weight coming over me, his knees pinning me down as I squirm. I feel his friend take my arms, pulling them above my head, while another puts a hand over my mouth. With my nose pouring with blood, that makes it difficult to breathe. I feel the knife ripping into my skin as I thrash my head from side to side, and I can feel the blood pouring down the sides of my face. Each time he attempts to stab me, I move and the knife only slices through the skin around my eye. My pained wails fill the alley, but no one comes to help me. No one is around in the one moment of my life that I need them. I know what I’ll remember most about that day, and that is the moment he finally manages to drive the knife into my eye. I don’t feel pain, not right away. Instead I hear the popping sound, as his blade pierces right through. Then I feel pressure as he twists. It’s only when he yanks it out of its socket, that I start to scream. Then the pain is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. Words cannot begin to explain the horror I feel as darkness begins to invade my body. I know my face is covered in blood, because it drips down to soak my hair. I know I bite his friends hand so hard I nearly take off his finger. I don’t know what they’re saying, or even acknowledge the moment when they run away. All I know was that I am bleeding to death in an alley, missing an eye. Red fills my vision as the blood begins to cover every part of my face. I know I’m still screaming, even though I can’t hear it. All I can hear is an excessive ringing in my ears. I can’t even move my hands to cover my eye, in an attempt to protect the empty socket. I can do nothing but lay and scream, witnessing a pain that I’ll never witness again in my life, and wondering what I did to deserve it. No one deserves to die. But I do die that day. And in my place, a monster is born.

About the Author

Bella Jewel

Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.  

Author Social Media Links

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Keep Me Banner

Title: Keep Me (A Hero Novella)

Author: Leighton Del Mia

Release Date: February 27, 2014

Cover Designer: Cover It! Designs

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Synopsis

“I will disappoint you. I will hurt you. If I could be different, I would. But I don’t think I can.”

Declarations and sacrifices have been made. After three years, a better life is finally on the horizon. But when the past leaves marks that are both painful and permanent, is there ever such a thing as starting over? Can memories be replaced or forgotten—and should they be? Keep Me is a follow-up novella for Hero readers who want a glimpse of life after breakfast. It is only intended to be enjoyed after Hero and is not a standalone. It is entirely optional and not essential to the original plot.  

About the Author

Author Pic LDM

Leighton Del Mia lives behind large sunglasses and under massive headphones. She can usually be found behind and under these things at any Starbucks on the West Coast, which is where she writes twisty books between sips of black coffee.

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Hero

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Calvin Parish They call me Hero. I defend. I protect. I ask for nothing in return, and that makes me good. Doesn’t it?

That which makes me the ultimate predator also feeds dark impulses I’ve learned to control—until I bring her too close. For years I’ve watched her from afar, but what started out as duty has become obsession.

Cataline Ford I work hard. I play by the rules. I’m content. My scars are quiet and invisible, and that keeps me hidden. Doesn’t it?

One fateful walk home, I’m taken by someone I didn’t know I should fear. Captive and afraid, nobody will tell me why I’m confined to this hauntingly beautiful mansion. I’m given everything; I have nothing. He takes what he needs from me, and for that I hate him. But I might have loved him once.

And just because you’re reading this doesn’t mean I survive him.

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Friday, February 21, 2014




eye of the storm



Eye Of he Storm Cover
Title: Eye of the Storm (Storm #2)
Author: M. Stratton
Release Date: February 18th
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover Designed by MGBookCovers
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Synopsis
Evie Taylor loves her life in Boston, running her bookstore and café, but an accident has made it so she needs to return home to take care of her grandmother. With extra time on her hands, she decides to start looking for the monster that haunts her best friend’s nightmares. A chain of events starts no one could see coming.
When the last person she ever expects shows up and rings her grandmother’s doorbell she finds herself in the middle of danger. Bound together in a common mission, they’ll search the world looking for answers. But can they find them in time or will they end up paying the ultimate price? As the storm rages around them, they find each other, and the calm in the Eye of the Storm.
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About The Author
M Stratton
M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her debut novel After the Storm. She is a self-proclaimed dork that loves to make people laugh and can trip over nothing. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd but is quiet and shy on the outside.
She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people. When not writing you can find M. watching football (Go Bears!), NASCAR, or classic movies, watching her husband and father restore classic cars, and seeing who can be sillier, her or her son, and of course reading. Things you don’t know about M. Stratton: 1. She loves the movie Twister… she can say all the lines along with the actors. She will also use those lines in real life as often as possible. 2. Halloween is her favorite holiday. She starts planning months in advance. She has more Halloween decorations than Christmas. 3. She once made up a monologue about her love of chocolate chip cookie dough for her high school drama class. 4. There are times she thinks she is so funny she has tears running down her face while laughing at herself. 5. M. can play the clarinet but is in awe of anyone who can play the guitar, piano or drums, pretty much anything where your hands have to do two different things at the same time. 6. Cary Grant is her favorite actor. When she was in high school after Cary Grant died one of the cable stations ran a marathon, she watched his movies from 6 in the morning all day and night until 4 AM the next day. 7. Reading has always been an escape for her. She can devour a book in hours. When she moved in with her husband she literally donated over 1,000 books and saved over 1,000 for herself. She can reread books over and over again if she loves them. There are some that she has reread about once a year for the past 20 years. 8. She eloped after knowing her husband for only two months in 2006. They are still married over seven years later.
eye teaser 1
PROLOGUE
Anthony Maldono sat back in his chair and looked out the window of his home in La Jolla California at the ocean. The turbulent waves crashed on the beach and he felt it fit his mood exactly. He looked at the computer screen and scowled at the e-mail which was still waiting for his reply, he stood and walked over to where he kept his files his private investigators compiled for him about everyone and everything involved with Alexia Hanson and Jeremy Ellison. Looking through them until he came to the one labeled “Evie Taylor,” he pulled it out and started to review it.
He didn’t understand why she would contact him. Thinking it might be good to surprise her, he started moving his plans up.
~*~
Jeremy lay back in the bed, staring up at the ceiling, listening to the gossip show coming from the other room about Alexia and Noah’s wedding. Right now, he hated his life. He knew it was temporary, but he couldn’t wait for a change to come. A change he was going to make.
He formulated his plan. He’d spent considerable time and money keeping track of everybody while staying hidden. He knew Anthony Maldono as well as he knew himself and he knew what Anthony would do next. He wasn’t done making Anthony’s life miserable. Time to step it up a level.
For the past nine months he’d watched the authorities run around trying to find him and Anthony made a free man, it was time to start moving. It made his blood pump that he was finally going to be able to do something. He looked into the other room where the woman he had to depend on was shoving fist after fist of popcorn in her mouth. He wanted to get up and stick a knife in her gut. He hated her. He wanted her dead. But he had to wait since he had a plan. A plan that would increase the stakes in the game he was playing.
eye tease 2
Chapter One
One month after Noah and Lexi’s wedding…
Evie Taylor sighed and flopped down in the chair. She tossed the dusting rag on the table, tilted her head back and closed her eyes. She was bored and longed to get back to Boston to run her bookstore and café. The past ten months she’d spent two extended stays back home. Once for Lexi and now for her grandmother. She’d heard from Jesse and everything was running fine, but she missed new shipments coming in and setting up the displays. Not to mention, getting to sample new desserts from the café. She loved helping a fellow booklover find a new author. In fact, she set up a whole section of the book store for indie authors. It opened a whole new world to her regular customers.
She looked around her grandmother’s living room. Knickknacks as far as the eye could see. But that was how bored she was; she’d resorted to dusting.
She’d come home to Ipswich, Massachusetts when her best friend, Lexi Hanson, now Matthews, had been attacked. She remembered the fear and anger that coursed through her veins when she got the phone call. The drive up was a blur, she couldn’t get there fast enough. In the weeks that followed, she never left Lexi. She completely amazed her with her strength.
Now she was back in Ipswich again, taking care of her grandmother who broke her arm partying with one of the male guests in a hotel room. She shivered thinking about what they were doing that could have gotten her grandmother’s arm broken. She knew it wasn’t pretty since her grandmother was naked when the paramedics arrived.
“Evie honey, do you want something for lunch?” Evelyne Stone called from the kitchen.
Evie hefted herself up out of the chair, walked into the kitchen, and put her hands on her hips. “Grandma, why am I here if you insist on doing everything yourself?”
Evelyne tsked, “Now honey, you know I need you, but there are some things I can do myself. Besides I need to get my wing back in working order, sooner rather than later, we’ve got a girl’s cruise coming up in a month and there are going to be men that need taming.” She tried to wave her arm around almost knocking over the pitcher of iced tea on the counter.
Evie rushed over and caught it, giving her grandmother a look. “Can you please take it down a notch? You aren’t fifty anymore.”
“Pah. Come on, honey, lighten up. I know you’ve got it in you. Maybe you should go with us. I know there will be some young hot guys there.”
“And how do you know this?”
“Because we signed up for a party cruise. Average age is twenty-four. I know that’s a bit young for you, but hey, you can still have fun.”
Evie closed her eyes and mentally prepared herself for the call from the cruise company to come pick up the Troublesome Trio from whichever port the ship was docked at. Although now that Lexi was married to Noah, he might have better connections and be able to get them home quicker than commercial flights. Something to bring up to them when they got back.
A knock sounded at the door. “Hold that thought.” Evie went to answer the door, absently pushing back the hair that had escaped her ponytail. They’d rented out the cottage on the back of her grandmother’s property and the tenant was due to show up sometime either today or tomorrow. They had no idea who was renting it since a corporation had completed the transaction.
She could see the shadow of a tall man through the frosted glass. Evie had hoped the renter would be a family to distract her grandmother so she might get some rest and not some man to chase around. She opened the door and looked up into the face that haunted Lexi’s nightmares. She stifled a scream and started to slam the door on him.
He slapped one strong hand on the door and stopped it from closing. “I’m not him.” His low voice with a hint of British accent washed over her. She hesitated for a moment and that was all it took for him to work his way into the house.
“Wait. Don’t come any closer. How do I know you aren’t him?” She needed to keep him talking to find out if it was Jeremy or Anthony. Her grandmother was just in the other room, hopefully paying attention to what was going on. If it was Jeremy, she could call the police without him knowing. She wasn’t sure why Jeremy would come here though, it was Lexi he wanted. If it was Anthony, why was he here?
She watched as he rolled the sleeves up on his arms. She let out a deep breath; there was no scar. She knew what Lexi had done to Jeremy with the cuticle scissors. Since Jeremy hadn’t been heard from, and they had been checking hospitals and doctor’s offices she knew there was no way a plastic surgeon could have repaired the damage so that nothing was there. She nodded her head trying to still her beating heart. “I suggest you wear short sleeves while you are here, otherwise you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.”
“I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. You knew that when you sent me that e-mail. If you don’t mind, I’d like the keys to the cottage so I can get settled. It’s been a long day.” He ran his hand through his black, wavy hair.
“Of course, they’re just in the living room.” Evie turned and walked to the curio cabinet. Thoughts whirled through her mind as she tried to calm her shaking hands. She shivered as he came up behind her.
“You don’t have to be scared of me. I’m not here to hurt anyone.”
She turned towards him. “That’s good, because Lexi has been hurt enough. I know it was no picnic what you went through, but I won’t have you hurting her.” She stood up to him, secretly liking the fact he was taller than her own six-foot height. Staring into his shocking blue eyes, she couldn’t deny how gorgeous he was. He carried himself like he was used to getting what he wanted. “You never replied to my e-mail. So I have no idea why you’re here.”
“Don’t think I haven’t done my research before arriving. I know who you are and what Lexi means to you.” He took a step closer to her. “But don’t think I’m going to let that get in the way of getting the answers I want.”
She took a step closer to him so that they were standing toe to toe. “Listen, buster, I’ll get in the way if I need to. I’ll be keeping an eye on you.” She turned back around to get the keys. The next thing she heard was a thunk and a moan. She quickly turned and tried to catch Anthony as he crumpled to the ground.
She landed on her back partially underneath him just catching his head before it hit the ground. Letting out a grunt as his weight pinned her down she looked up at her grandmother who still had the frying pan clutched in her one good hand. “Really?”
Evelyne didn’t move. “Really? Well, what the hell do you expect me to do when I see this monster standing in my living room hulking over my granddaughter?”
“Didn’t you pause to listen what we were talking about before you came out swinging? It’s not Jeremy, its Anthony looking for answers, and now he’s knocked out on top of me and squashing me.”
She lowered the frying pan. “Oh, well, I guess that’s not good.”
“You think? I could use a little help here.” Evie tried not to notice his hard body. Their faces were close to each other. She watched as his eyes started to flutter open. She held her breath wondering what he was going to be like when he woke up.
His words were slurred as he said, “You’ve got beautiful blue cat eyes. Here kitty-kitty, don’t scratch me.” His hand came out to brush her hair back. “I can make you purr.”
She watched as his eyes rolled back and he passed back out. Oh shitcrickets, I might be in trouble with this one. Why does he have to be so fucking hot? She looked up at her grandmother who had a shocked expression on her face and her hand covering her mouth.
“Oh honey, did he just say what I thought he said? We’re going to have to watch him. Come on; let’s get you up from under him. That is no place for a lady to be.”
“Since when did you ever care about acting like a lady?”
“I care about acting like a lady; it’s just more fun to say and do what’s on my mind at my age.” She tilted her head to the side. “You know, he does have a nice ass.”
“Not helping.” Evie started to wiggle out from under him. It took more effort than she would have thought. She tried not to show how good it felt having his rock hard body on top of hers as she slid out from under his. She needed distance and went into the kitchen to get some cold water thinking she just might need a cold shower. She came back out and dumped it over his head.
~*~
Anthony leapt off the floor looking around trying to remember where he was and what dangers could be around. His eyes settled on Evie.
“Anthony, it’s ok.”
He shook his head to clear it and brought his hands up, his head was throbbing. Once he knew where he was, his heart slowed down. He squinted his eyes at the old lady trying to hide the frying pan behind her back. “I don’t think you’ll be needing that. I’d appreciate it if you would put it away.” He turned to look at Evie. “And if I could have the keys to the cottage please. I’d like to lie down after I make sure the doors are locked.” He eyed Evelyne and the frying pan who had the grace to look ashamed.
Evie walked toward him and took his arm. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to take a look at your head and get you some aspirin before you leave. It might not be good for you to go to sleep right away.”
She led him to the kitchen. He thought it might be better if he could keep an eye on the old lady. “As long as you’re sure she’s not going to try to poison me, we should be fine.” He sat down in the chair and wondered what he had gotten himself into.
He saw Evie give her grandmother a look as she went to the cabinet and got a pill bottle and a glass. He looked at her, not quite trusting, as she filled the glass with water. She took two of the pills and drank them down then handed him the glass and shook out two additional pills. He took them without a word.
Watching as she crossed back over to put the glass in the sink he was startled when the back door burst open and two more old ladies burst in each of them holding a weapon. He quickly jumped up and went around to the other side of the room keeping the table between them all the while his head throbbed in protest of moving so quickly.
“Stop,” Evie yelled at them. “It’s not what you think.”
One of them waved her brass candlestick in the air inching her way into the room. “Let me at the yellow-livered-no-good-scum-sucking-scalawag! I’ll show him not to mess with women.”
Evie rushed over to stop in front of them. “No, you don’t understand, that’s not Jeremy.”
“You can’t be sure. Let us at him, we’ll beat the truth out of him.” The other one looked dangerous as she swung a baseball bat around.
“Stop it. Listen to me. He’s not Jeremy.” She turned to Anthony. “Can you please show them your arm? You all know what Lexi did to Jeremy’s arm. Anthony doesn’t have that scar. There’s no way there wouldn’t be any damage to his arm at this point. It would be a long, jagged scar, not to mention, we know she went deep enough to ruin the muscle. Chill out.” She didn’t move until they both lowered their weapons. “Now do you want to explain why you are here acting like a couple of Charlie’s Angels?” She crossed her arms across her chest.
Anthony was doing his best to keep up with everything that was happening, but he was a little lost. He tried to remember what he’d learned about Lexi and her friends; he thought these two were Evelyne’s friends. Taking a closer look he decided the one with candlestick must be Leigh while the other had to be Marie based on the descriptions he had of them. He just wanted to get out of here with his head still on his shoulders.
Evelyne cleared her throat. “Well, see honey, it’s like this. When I got a look at who was at the door, I called the girls to come over for backup.”
Evie shook her head. “Shouldn’t you have called, oh I don’t know, the police? You know, someone trained.”
The ladies had the decency to look ashamed. Marie sheepishly spoke up. “They don’t take our phone calls anymore.”
“What? How can that be? No, don’t answer, I know why, but they can’t do that. This is a perfect example as to why they can’t ignore your calls.” Evie looked at Anthony. “Sorry, nothing personal, but what if you had been Jeremy.”
She threw her arms out while talking to the ladies. “So basically you are telling me that you guys could be hurt or in danger and they are just going to leave you hanging? All because you have made a few false reports to get a look at the new young hot recruits? Seriously? I’m going to have a talk with them.” She started looking around the kitchen for something, stopping only when Anthony cleared his throat.
“Before you go, can I get the key so that I can get away from Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock and Miss Scarlett before they decide to play a live version of Clue? Mrs. White already tried to kill me in the living room with a frying pan.”
Leigh pumped her fist in the air. “Woo-hoo, I’m Miss Scarlett.”
Evelyne shook her head. “Why do you get to be Miss Scarlett? I want to be Miss Scarlett. Mrs. White is boring.” She looked at Leigh and they smiled. “I know. Marie can be Mrs. White. She’d like that better than being known as Mrs. Peacock. And we know I love the cock.”
Anthony shook his head not believing what he just heard. He felt like he was being tossed around in a storm. He watched Evie laughing and something stirred in his chest. She was drop-dead gorgeous, tall, and loyal. He was amazed at how quickly she jumped to the defense of people. Even him, after only knowing he was Anthony, and not Jeremy, for a short time. He watched the sway of her hips as she walked out of the room. When she came back a few minutes later, she never broke eye contact. He liked the fact that she didn’t seem to back down easy. He was getting lost in her, and the magic she wove with those cat eyes. He had to get out of this house.
“Here you go.” She dropped the keys in his hand and handed him some papers. “I printed out information on concussions. Make sure you follow what they tell you to do. If you have any symptoms that they list, come get me, and I’ll take you to the hospital. Lexi and Noah are still on their honeymoon. I’d appreciate it if you let me talk to her first before you go barging in there.”
“What makes you think I’d go barging in there?” When she didn’t say anything, just staring at him with a look of disbelief on her face, he continued. “Fine, I thought they were due back yesterday.”
“Do I want to know how you found out about that? It’s not exactly public knowledge.” She shook her head. “Never mind. They decided to stay a week or two longer. I’ll have a talk with Lexi when she gets back. This is something that has to be done in person and not over the phone. I’m not going to ruin her honeymoon because of Jeremy. He’s taken enough from her already. Now let me show you to the cottage so you can get settled and we can talk more, later.”
Very quickly she showed him to the cottage not saying much. Once he was inside she left quickly. The next thing Anthony knew he was left alone looking at the back of the closed door. He walked to the window and watched her walking back towards the main house. He wasn’t sure where this journey was going to take him but by the looks of it, it was going to be one hell of a ride.
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