The Billionaire Cowboys trilogy by best-selling author Kristina Knight kicks off with a seductive story of long-simmering feelings and hot Vegas nights.
When Vegas Nightly names local property developer Gage Reeves as its sexiest bachelor, he’s barraged with a stream of showgirls, local socialites, and entertainers who all expect something from him. But all Gage wants is to make a success of his new luxury shopping development.
Enter Callie Holliday. Callie dreams of having the hottest day spa in Vegas, but she’s saddled with a bad location and an account balance full of zeroes. When she walks into a last-chance meeting with an angel investor and finds herself face to face with Gage, the childhood friend on whom she had a huge crush, she’s not sure his reputation is the right match for her business. But then he offers her a storefront in his new high-end retail complex, and she has to admit it’s a thoroughly tempting proposition. But feelings she thought were long buried threaten to turn their deal from strictly professional to decidedly personal.
It’s risky business gambling on love . . .
“Kristina Knight gets me hooked- What a great start to a sexy new series!”
“It’s impossible not to fall in love with a story by Kristina Knight. I felt right at home with these characters. Gage and Callie kept me on my toes!” ~USA Today Bestselling Author, Nikki Lynn Barrett
Standing still in an elevator really shouldn’t be this hard. The mirrored doors had swooshed closed about five seconds before. Callie stood beside him, leather attaché slung over her shoulder and hands clasped before her, watching the numbers count down, down, down.
Gage resisted the urge to pull at his tie. But counting down the numbers on the elevator screen wasn’t nearly as interesting as watching Callie.
He’d been watching her, goading her a little, since he’d realized it was her across the table from him and not a stranger. Not that he could call Callie a friend when he hadn’t spoken to her in ten years. She was an acquaintance. That was a good word.
The fact did nothing to temper his response to her. She’d heated up the office. Now she was turning the elevator into a veritable inferno. From the top of her oh-so-blonde head—had her hair always been this shimmery?—to the tips of her oh-so-red toenails, she made him want things.
Drinks on the beach. A quiet dinner by candlelight.
He’d never thought of her this way in the past. She was just Callie. The girl who helped him master calculus, cheered at his football games, and rode her favorite horse beside his lake on hot summer days. The gorgeous woman standing beside him was so different from the buddy he remembered.
The old Callie was smart and tenacious, which made the new Callie a good investment. The old Callie was dedicated to her work—another mark in New Callie’s favor. The biggest mark in her favor, though, was the empty space in his new development. A space that would be perfect for Callie’s business, while also filling a hole in his.
Plus, under the polish of her suit, he could still see his friend. The mistiness of her gaze when she talked about her parents leaving town, the fierce grip when she squeezed her hands together as she made her pitch.
“Have you been to a Rebels game since you got back?” he asked.
Small talk. He hated small talk.
“I’m not much for basketball.”
“It’s actually still football season, but the first preseason basketball games start in a couple weeks. We should catch a game sometime.”
Shut up, Gage. Just shut up. He didn’t ask business associates out. What the hell was wrong with him?
“You love football.”
A smile spread across her face. “Mostly I loved the space that cheerleading took up in the ‘extracurricular’ column of my college applications.”
“Oh.” How had he never caught that she wasn’t into sports?
Better question: how had his radar missed Callie, in general, all those years ago?
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after. Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!
Abigail “Abby” Stephens grew up knowing her role. She would always be the ugly duckling or someone’s dirty little secret. She hides behind her computer screen playing her game. No one knew what she looked like just how
she played. Abby felt safe, secure and content on living this life, until him.
Cash Hawthorne was given the family business when his
parents were killed in a car accident. With the help of his sister, they run a successful hotel which is the premiere spot for weddings. Cash knew that marriage was not in the cards so he had the mentality of “Those who can, do and
those who can’t, teach,” that was until he met the one girl who broke through his walls.
Can Cash be the one to show her how beautiful and sexy she
Can Abby be the one to show him what happens when love finds you?
Will they be able to overcome her abusive father and his
Come along on this adventure with Abby, Cash and their band of misfits!
“Why don’t we do something tomorrow night? Saturday night is a good night to party and since we are in our 30s, we will all be home by 11.”
I said that last part laughing and Rob joined in with me.
“So true so true baby girl. Now spill why you had a smile on
your face walking into your classroom and I get here, the smile is faded and you had this look of panic on your face.”
“You saw that did you?” He just nodded and waited for me to
continue. “I met this guy online in the gaming community. We have known each other for a year but more on a personal level the last few months. We have been emailing, Skyping, and text messaging each other a lot.”
“I see a but coming on or more to the story.”
“There is a but and a huge one at that! We started calling
on the phone when we are on breaks from work and at night. We just told one another that we like each other.”
“Has Abby decided to start dating? Oh, this is cause for
celebration.” Rob clapped his hands in excitement. He knows the hell I went through with all of the boys that I have been with and knows the toll it took on me.
“He lives in Florida and he doesn’t know what I look like.
What if he doesn’t like what he sees? What if he wants to make me his dirtylittle secret? What if I like him a lot and he breaks my heart?” I had tears coming down my face.
“I felt that same way when I met Aaron. We met online in the
same gaming community that you met Cash. I was terrified that he wouldn’t love me, break my heart, or even not feel the same way. I got over that in a hurry
because we all need to take a leap of faith in the love department.”Aaron stood about 5’11 and wasn’t as muscular as Rob but he was well built. He had brown hair, hazel eyes, and a beard. I wasn’t a fan of beards but my God he made it look sexy. He was a doctor, an OB
GYN. He had funny stories about how his female patients would flirt with and ask him out on dates but when they saw Rob coming around and he told them that he was in a relationship with him, they were heartbroken. They were not upset about his lifestyle but the fact that he wouldn’t date them. Rob was doing well for himself.
“I am just an overweight girl who doesn’t deserve love and
is always going to be someone’s dirty little secret.”
Rob slammed his hand onto the table making me jump. “Why isit that you listen to all the people who are not worthy of you and ignore those who love you the most?”
“It is easier to listen to the negative than the positive.
The people who love me most will always say what I want to hear not what is true. Do you think I like being this way? Do you think I like doubting every man who comes into my life? Do you think I don’t want the husband, children,
and know the feeling of what true love is? Until you have been subjected to this way of thinking all your life, don’t get mad at me for feeling like this, Rob.”
“Honey, I am not mad at you but just disappointed. You are
so beautiful and sexy that any man,” I went to open my mouth to say something and he held up his hand, “who is deserving of you. I wish you could see it.
When you meet the man who is worthy of you, he will show you and you will believe it. I think you should keep getting to know Cash and see where things go. Keep an open mind. If all else fails, think “What would Rob say?” I am very
wise, just so you know. I laughed, “Wise huh, maybe a wise-ass.” He feigned shock by my words.
Jaime Russell loves to read and be sucked into a world that
she can only imagine. When Jaime isn’t reading she can be found playing World of Warcraft with her friends or working on a school assignment. Jaime is working on getting a degree in English so she can become an editor for otherIndie Authors. Jaime’s love for her family and their support has helped herachieve her dream of becoming an author.
Ryann despised the thought, but it was the only one she could draw when she woke up in an empty bed. Tired of being let down by everyone she cared about–aside from her brother–Ryann begins taking her life back, pushing back at all the bad and ugly life tosses at her.
Ryder knew the moment he left Ryann alone in bed he’d made a mistake. Running and hiding from his family for years, Ryder didn’t want to pull her into that life. She deserved more than constantly moving from place to place.
Ryann just can’t push again. Life is winning and she just wants to lay down and give up. Now, she must make a decision: to run from the truth, or step up and admit what she’s known all along. And Ryder… nine months later and he can’t get Ryann out of his head. He wants her more than he wants to run.
But there’s a terrible truth he has to face: it might be too late for Ryann to give Ryder his second chance.
Jared barely has time to process the revelation that his mother is a witch before his life is once again turned upside down. He wakes up in a time and place he thought he had left behind with no clue how to get out. When Vera shows up the stakes are even higher.
Racing to find a way back to reality and to fix mistakes, both must face new truths about their identities, and what they are made of.
I received this book from the author for an honest review.
I get so excited when I get receive a book form Alyssa. Unfortunately I was super busy with work, holidays and then sick kiddos so when I finally got the chance to sit down and read Jared, I devoured him in one sitting!! This book I was really excited to read because of all the new information we got abut Jared and his heritage in the last book…….HELLO A Warlock!!
So this book was not really what I was expecting. Jared and Vera get stuck in a Veil AKA Witch Alternative Universe kinda thing. Jared has no clue how or why he is stuck and how to get out. We soon learn that Levi and Allie’s meeting maybe at stake if they don’t get out and get out quick. The book had a different look at how Levi and Allie meet plus we get to see Good Old Evil Witch Tiffany doing what she does best….ruining lives.
What I liked about the book best was seeing Jared and Vera working as a team totally. They finally admit their love for each other which is a good thing since they are mated according to her family. I also loved seeing a grown up Jared. He now realizes how important every little detail in his life is and how one little thing can change it all.
Alyssa Rose Ivy is the bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels with over half a million books sold worldwide. She loves to weave stories with romance and humor, and she is best known for writing about college boys with wings and skinny dipping. After surviving law school and earning her masters in library science, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Jax Wheeler has been fighting his own demons for as long as he can remember. One of those demons is from his past, a brother who wants nothing more to see Jax suffer. Working closely with the Cincinnati Branch of the VC Warriors Jax never thought he would find someone who could help him ease his pain, but he was wrong.
Having a past of her own, Caroline Fitzpatrick has survived being put into a trance by a madman who wanted to control her sister, a abusive relationship, communicating with the dead, but nothing has prepared her for Jax Wheeler. From the moment she saw him the attraction was immediate, but the attraction was not mutual or was it?
The more Jax tries to stay away from Caroline, the more he finds himself at her door, in her life. All he knows is that every minute he spends with the beautiful school teacher, the more danger he puts her in. His brother’s vengeance of wanting him to suffer has put Caroline in the line of fire and only Jax can protect her.
I received a copy of the book from the author for an honest review.
I’ve been patiently waiting for Jax’s book to be released and could not download it fast enough. I have to say Jax Wheeler has intrigued me since he first made an appearance.
Jax keeps to himself but is drawn to Caroline. Like everyone in his life he knows he cannot get close to them. His brother is out there somewhere and he never knows when he is going to show up or who he is going to be. Jax has to protect Caroline and keep her at a safe distance but close enough to keep an eye on her.
Caroline is a school teacher who can communicate with the dead. She has overcome more in a lifetime than most could handle. She is strong and independent but finds the VC Warriors are always on her door step to help out even when she doesn’t ask. The one she is most drawn to is Jax.
My favorite scenes in this book were when Caroline’s ex decides to reappear and Jax finally did what he should have from the beginning regarding Caroline. Although I was right there with Sid and wished Sloan would have showed up 2 minutes later. Another was the whole interview for Sloan’s secretary. I was cracking up at these big bad alpha Warriors being in there breaking up cat fights. Steve what can I say he is the best. However, my favorite of all was when Sloan gave Jax a “pep talk” regarding Caroline and where he stands.
After reading Jax’s story I can now say he is my favorite worrier but there is something that intrigues me about Blaze that I need to know more about. I will have to wait on that story because it looks like Sloan has found his match with his new secretary. Becky seems full of sass and spunk just the perfect mix for Sloan.
Teresa Gabelman is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the ‘Protectors Series’. When not writing about sexy alpha vampires and the women who drive them crazy she can be found on a lake with a fishing pole/Kindle, at a MMA event or spending a fun evening with family.
Being a full-time writer has allowed Teresa to connect more with readers which is what she loves most about writing. If you find the time she would love to hear from you!
Ok., well, I’m a wife, married to my high school sweetheart, Ned. I have two wonderful kids – Katie, married to Kyle, and Ross, girlfriend is Valerie. Physically, I’m short and curvy with red hair and hazel green eyes. I used reading as an escape from a not so great childhood, and writing was a natural extension of that to me. I wrote down what I wanted my life to be like.
When and Why did you start to write?
I think I started writing when I was about 8. I couldn’t always stop by the school library, so I would reread books in my head and further the adventures or try a different ending. I just started writing them all down. It was a great way to escape.
What authors do you always read or suggest to others?
Renee Kennedy is a great friend and a fantastic author- contemporary New adult
Kris Hack – fabulous fantasy writer – Angels, Demons, romance
A. D. Ellis – she takes on contemporary life topics with humor, flair and honesty
Lexi Blake – She’s my one-click addiction. erotic romance at it’s best
Chelle Bliss – grabs the M/C crowd by the balls and takes you for a ride
Melanie James – her Accidental Leigh series is a high flying witchy hoot of a romance
What is the most surprising thing you have found out with the writing process?
I THINK I know where my story is going, but the characters and the dialogue twist and turn so much by the middle of the story, I’m just along for the ride!
What are you working on now?
Plus, I’ve been itching to get to a paranormal and I’m collaborating on a series with some of my favorite authors about Women of a Certain Age – an erotic adventure
When writing are you a pantser or plotter?
I’m a bit of both. Like I stated earlier, I think I know where the story is going, then Boom! I’m off in another direction entirely!
Twinsie Favorite Author Jade Jamison stopped by the write a quick Guest Spotlight on Why We Read Romance……so with out further ado…….Take it away Hottie!
Why We Read Romance
Last fall, I informally surveyed my readers. I’d been told for ages that I needed to know my demographic and, for purposes of marketing, I decided to ask readers to voluntarily answer some questions anonymously. I knew, long before reading the answers, that my main readers were female and most likely between the ages of twenty and fifty.
Well, I might have been a little off on the ages (my main readers are over 25 and don’t stop till their sixties), but I was right about the gender—not a single male completed the survey. I know I do have one or two male readers; I know they exist because I chat with them online on occasion, just like I do my female readers. But it’s no secret that the main demographic for romance novels is women.
One of the questions on my survey, an optional question, asked why my readers read. I received responses that were no surprise: people read to escape everyday life or to try to figure out something about their own situations by reading how a character solved his or her own issues. What I should have asked was why my readers chose specifically to read romance, but between their answers and my own know-how, I can tell you the main reasons why we read romance. Which reasons are yours?
Oh, very quickly, one aside—while I think we all might like the occasional romance with a dark ending, by its very definition, romance novels don’t necessarily have to have a happily ever after (HEA), but they should have an ending that is hopeful (whether that’s an ending with a HEA, HFN—happy for now, or just hopeful in general). And now, without further ado, a few reasons why we read romance:
We read romance to escape. No, this doesn’t mean we’re unhappy with our relationships, but maybe we have stuff going on in our lives that we need a little time away from. Perhaps we have a job we dislike or our kids are struggling in school. We know we need to solve these problems and we want to, but it’s neither productive nor healthy to think and stress about our problems 24/7. In fact, it’s sometimes easier to solve problems when we’ve had a break from worrying about them. Think about it—how good are you going to be at solving that problem at work tomorrow morning if you can’t sleep because that’s all you’ve thought about? But, if you pick up that romance novel that has you instead fretting over a fictional character’s relationship, you can go to sleep with lighter thoughts and maybe get a good night’s sleep, allowing you to tackle that work problem fresh as a daisy in the AM…unless, of course, you stayed up all night reading. (Be sure to set healthy limits!)
We read for hope. Sometimes our own lives will get us down. There’s no getting around it. We all have a few dark moments in our existence. We might have a time when we don’t have any hope for our future and just can’t find it within ourselves to try…but then, we pick up a book, and it gives us hope. After all, if Brad and Valerie can make it through their tough times, maybe there’s hope for us, right? Even when your future seems bleakest, reading a romance novel will help you see a little beacon of hope on the horizon.
On top of that, think of it this way: my life might suck right now, but compared to everything the protagonist is experiencing in the romance novel I’m reading? I’ve got it easy…and I’m not thinking about all the crap in my life when I’m reading about what’s going on in her life.
We read to find solutions for our own problems. Yes, we can find solutions in other types of fiction as well, but what makes romance unique is its focus on relationships, and very often, romance is written for women, with women in mind, and by women, so even though reading John Grisham’s Rogue Lawyer kept me on the edge of my seat, intrigued me, and had me wondering what happened next, nothing that occurred in between the front and back covers helped me solve my own real-life problems.
But a story about a woman balancing being a mom and finding the love of her life, or a couple struggling to seeing eye to eye, or a gal trying to find peace at work—those are things I can relate to, and sometimes reading how a character resolves her problems will give me an idea of how to take care of some of my own issues.
We read for ideas about how to handle our own intimate relationships. Most everyone will have problems with their partner once in a while. Part of being human is learning to deal with those kinds of difficulties and grow or learn from them. Sometimes, we’ll seek advice from a trusted friend about how to deal with a situation involving our partner, but those people we trust are not always the best at giving advice, because they’re on our side! And let’s face it—they are usually only hearing one side of the story. And, once in a while, one of our problems might be too embarrassing to share—even with a trusted confidante! Reading a romance novel will sometimes help you see your situation and give you ideas about how to handle it, and it does so without judging you or your situation.
It spices up our lives! I can’t tell you how many of my readers have told me that devouring romance novels (especially steamy ones) has helped revamp their sex lives. You love your husband and always will, but after being together a while and dealing with bills, kids, and other stressors together, finding romance again or feeling aroused with each other becomes a little harder. “Not tonight, dear” goes on for more and more nights as time goes on. We get in a rut as things grow familiar.
Women aren’t typically visual creatures when it comes to our imaginations. Unlike most men who find porn or sexy pictures arousing, women usually tend to need to find stimulation in their minds—and reading can do that. Whereas a man can look at a few sexy pics and be raring to go, the same thing happens to a lot of women reading a steamy love story. That hot couple getting it on in her most recent romance read translates into the need to jump her husband’s bones that night at bedtime. Reading sexy books can help reignite that spark, creating a win-win for a loving couple who hasn’t experienced passion in a while.
So…the next time someone looks down their nose at you for reading romance, you can tell them that it helps with your outlook on life (saving you from hours and hours of therapy, not to mention the cost), not to mention the strength of your marriage. There aren’t many other hobbies that’ll do that, but I think it’s safe to say that reading is a healthy pastime, especially when considering so many alternatives. That said, pick up your next hot read and start flipping those pages!
When Jade C. Jamison’s not reading, she’s been known to write a romance novel or two herself. You can visit her at www.jadecjamison.com.
She pulls out of her parking space, and my heart constricts as I watch her drive away from me again. I should duck down so she doesn’t see me, but my eyes won’t veer from her. The beat-up Jetta passes and my stomach clenches. My hand itches to yank the car handle open. My feet beg to disobey and run to her. I don’t have to, because she slams on the breaks and her eyes are locked on mine. Hope pours from mine while hers fume with anger.
She throws the car into park, thrusts the door open, and stomps directly to my door.
She bangs on the window and I jump. “Why are you here?” she screams through the pane.
As I lower the window, the smell of jasmine breezes in. Her perfume still has the capacity to calm me.
“Don’t ‘Hey’ me. Why are you here?” Her voice is sharp and cold, and nothing like I remember. Not sure why I wouldn’t expect less though.
“I thought we could talk.” My fingers move to the knob of my stereo to turn down the music.
“There’s nothing to talk about. Leave.”
She turns and walks back to her car.
I exit my truck and wrap my fingers around her wrist to stop her. She yanks it out of my grip.
“Don’t ever touch me,” she seethes, and I hold my hands up in the air.
“Taylor,” I whisper, and she twists around. The look of fury heavy in her eyes.
She ignores the fact that I’m talking and climbs back into her car. I try to slide through the sliver of the open door, but she squeezes me out and the door rattles shut.
I knock on the window, but she shifts the car into drive. Her hesitation as she sits and studies the steering wheel, tells me my cause isn’t lost. Maybe I have a chance. I knock again, softer this time. Her tear-filled eyes look up at me through the dirty glass, and my heart breaks for what I’ve done. If I affect her this much two years later, how bad did I destroy her then?
“Please,” I beg, and she closes her eyes. I watch her shallow breathing falter.
As though she had a lapse of judgment, she shakes her head and the pain in her eyes disappears, returning to resentment once more. “Go back to your fiancée, Brad.”
Her tires squeal before the rubber catches pavement. Within a minute, she’s left me—again.
“Fuck!” I lift my leg in the air as my toes ignite with heat. She fucking rolled over my foot.
The pain in my foot is nothing compared to the pain in my heart as I watch her taillights disappear around the corner.
Love Surfaced (Love Surfaced Series, Book 1)
The equations are simple.
Piper Ashby + Brad Ashby = Twin Siblings
Brad Ashby + Tanner McCain = Best Friends
Piper Ashby + Tanner McCain = Off limits
Tanner and I abided by the rules. We stayed on our
designated sides of the relationship circle.
Ignoring swarming butterflies.
Brushing off skipped heartbeats.
Settling on lingering stares.
Here’s the secret … a hand extended over that invisible line once, exponentially changing the equation. I was convinced we could make our relationship work until Tanner broke the trust he embedded in me from the age of seven.
One deceit of mega proportions and the relationship we built for that short month vanished. I swore never to speak to him again and it’s worked. Until now—two years later, when my brother’s wedding places me face-to-face with the best man—Tanner McCain.
Leaving one equation to be solved. Can love surface twice?
USA Today Bestselling author, Michelle Lynn moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring
from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten
years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family
and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.
This series is a spinoff of the Broken Bonds serial which must be read prior to beginning this first book. Contains spoilers to the Broken Bonds serial.
Detective Ethan Quinn has questions. The Arlington Slasher case is closed, the UNSUB no longer a threat—but Quinn can’t quiet the suspicion he harbors toward his partner and the young, attractive M.E. Not only does he loathe his uncertainty, he’s torn between doing his job and protecting his team.But burying himself in cases no longer works. He’s restless. On edge. And tired of fighting his compulsions. Quinn has always viewed the law in black and white. Only now his world is swirling with a murky gray that threatens to devour him.
When lead medical examiner Avery Johnson careens toward a dangerous path, she pulls the unwitting detective into a dark web of deception and lust, triggered by a spree of recent killings.
Is this new player linked to the Bathory murders, or is it another copycat?
Time almost took Avery from him once before. As the clock ticks, Quinn will stop at nothing to protect her, refusing to let Avery become a victim again. Against his uncompromising logic, Quinn can’t deny his feelings. Avery forces him to acknowledge his darker desires, tempting his control—which weakens with every second he spends with the feisty M.E. as they hunt down the perpetrator threatening to tear them apart.
Catch Up with the first Broken Bonds serial: With Visions of Red – the first book is FREE
The windowless room is freezing. Florescent lights hum, echoing off the cinderblock walls and tingeing the too bright, barren room in a sickly green hue. As soon as I was ushered inside, the bag was removed from my head and my lab coat was taken.
The thin blouse I’m left with does nothing to shield me from the frigid air.
I rub my arms to generate heat, giving myself something to concentrate on besides counting the seconds. I’ve only been locked inside for minutes, but panic threatens to pull me under when I imagine it turning into days.
So very different than before, but somehow just as frightening. I’m not shackled. I’m not drugged. I don’t, logically, think these people have the same intentions as my abductor did when he took me…but I can’t say that for certain.
As soon as I think I’m going to lose it and start banging on the steel door, I hear a click, and the door grinds open against the floor.
The man entering is tall and thickly built. He wears a mask. A Jason mask like on the horror movie. And he’s carrying a semiautomatic gun. My stomach plunges, free-fall. I want the bag back over my head.
He jerks his head. “Move. It’s ready.”
What’s ready? But I can’t work up the courage to ask. This man is not manhandling me, and somehow my feet move me in that direction. I’ve just simply lost my mind. So many days spent fearing the world after I was released from the hospital, and what I dreaded could happen—that which I told myself over and over would never happen again—has, in fact, happened.
What else is there left to fear?
I’m almost relieved. Like I’m ready to welcome it. Like I can stop dreading it now.
The masked man stands in the doorway as I cross through. My eyes go wide when I see what’s on the other side of the room.
But unlike any lab I’ve ever worked in. It’s dirty, and smells of death. Not like the death in the morgue, where I’m accustomed to being surrounded by bodies. But a grotesque, sour stench that soaks my pores.
Tables are full of beakers and test tubes. A giant syringe station is setup with thin blue hoses curling down into a large tub. My gaze follows the tubes’ path along the back wall to a large containment unit.
“Welcome, Dr. Johnson.”
I whirl around, trying to locate the source of the deep, gravely voice. Feedback pierces the air, and I look up to find a speaker in the corner.
The voice booms through the room again. “Go ahead. Get comfortable. There’s a coat on the hanger to your left, and goggles on the table.”
I shake my head. “What do you want from me?” I say to the room, hoping this unsettling PA system is two-way.
“It’s what we both want,” the voice responds. “I believe neither of us want any more dead girls littering up our beautiful streets. So you should get to work.”
I turn around and see the man with the gun standing watch at the only exit.
I face forward, lick my lips. “And if I can’t?”
The silence stretches out, endlessly taunting. I’m sure the decision to end my life has already been made. Then: “I really don’t think that’s an option for you, Miss Johnson.” A beat. “Best focus on the task at hand. You have one hour.”
Passion and lust ignite. Dark and light battle. This explosive first installment of the Broken Bonds series sets the exhilarating pace for a cat and mouse game where no one knows who’s really pulling the strings.
Criminal profiler Sadie Bonds knows blood. Her affair with the gruesome, dark world of killers began long before she started applying her analytical skills to investigate gory crime scenes. She gets inside the killers’ heads, breaks them down, relates to them on an arcane level. She prefers it this way—because it’s safer to ally herself with the villain than the victim. At least, that’s how she’s coped ever since she was abducted and tortured as a teen.
She will never be a victim again.
Now, she’s honed her skills in order to bring justice to these ritualistic offenders. Working alongside her colleagues, armed with sharp wit and a SIG, Sadie always catches her sadist. Until one ruthless serial killer gets inside Sadie’s head, turning the tables. He knows her secrets. Her obsessions. The darkest, most deviant part of her soul.
When she meets Colton Reed, dangerous stakes are raised as he threatens to unravel her control and reveal her darkest fantasies. The sexy-as-sin bondage rigger at an exclusive BDSM club pushes her boundaries, forcing her to acknowledge that side of herself she fears. Plunged into a realm of torture and suffering, pain and pleasure, Sadie balances on the razor-sharp edge of two intersecting worlds threatening to swallow her.
After a rapid string of grisly murders shakes the usually peaceful city of Arlington, Virginia, the sadistic killings of young women lull into a deceptive calm. Agent Sadie Bonds knows the terror isn’t over; serial killers don’t stop until caught.
And this sadist has targeted the profiler, revealing pieces of her dark past and weaving her secrets into each gruesome crime scene. Is the killer someone from Sadie’s past, her present? Or is he part of a fated future she brought on herself? The answer lies within the riddle of the copycat killings, ones mimicked after the infamous Blood Countess.
As tension brews in the department awaiting the UNSUB’s next move, Sadie’s more than on edge—her deviant cravings for the possible perpetrator have ratcheted out of control. She needs the feel of Colton’s ropes binding her, sheltering her from stark reality.
Only Colton Reed has his own twisted secrets that threaten to unravel not only Sadie as they come to light, but the UNSUB’s carefully constructed web now entangling both the profiler and her sexy bondage rigger.
For Agent Sadie Bonds, finding the answer to that question means the difference between life and death for someone close to her. The UNSUB’s latest abduction reaches right into the heart of the ACPD, forcing every member of the department to search within their ranks for the sadistic perpetrator.
Suspicion not only clouds the task force; it slithers into Sadie and Colton’s bond, challenging their love. Discovering the truth means facing their past together. Sadie’s connection to Colton has quieted her inner demons—but is she strong enough to confront the real monster?
All players take their places as the stage is set for the final scene. With the UNSUB manipulating the game, even Sadie and Colton fall victim, spiraling deep into the darkness that threatens not only their lives, but their trust. As Sadie navigates a tortuous maze, Colton will do whatever is takes to protect her.
The truth will set you free. Only for Sadie, her truth will test the very fabric of her reality. She must silence the threat, or risk losing everything and everyone she loves.
From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up fantasy worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her fantasy worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.
For more information on Trisha Wolfe and her works, please visit: www.TrishaWolfe.com
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Army Strong has a mission….to protect Southern Sassy at all costs.
The directive had been clear: Deeply embed himself in the fair town of Paradise, Tennessee, and keep one Melody Song Reardon from forgiving her fornicating ex-fiancé and keep her safe by any means necessary. Fortunately, Retired First Sergeant Callum Valentine had always been a man that got the job done. Unfortunately, nobody told him that while his ‘job’ might be as pretty as a picture, she could be ornery as a wet cat and had a stubborn streak a mile long. Now, he was battling baristas and dodging would-be assassins in an effort to keep one sultry southern minx safe.
He’d thought the Taliban would be the most dangerous force he ever face. Imagine his surprise when he realized that the radical extremists had nothing on one curvy little woman with a wicked edge to her tongue…. a woman that had somehow tangled herself around his cold heart.
Melody Song Reardon was done with men. After learning that the man she’d been going to marry was no better than a corporate Casanova in and out of the boardroom and bedroom, she’d decided that love just wasn’t in the cards for her. Which was fine. She was young, smart, and capable… and better yet, she had a dream and a plan: Opening her very own book/yarn store – Hooks & Books. She had the brains. She had the building. And now, she had a freaking bodyguard compliments of her interfering older brother?
She didn’t care how mouthwateringly handsome her so-called savior was; she didn’t need another controlling man in her life telling her what to do. At least, she hadn’t needed one…. until those nerve wracking hang-ups and strange notes took an ominous turn. Now, somebody wants her dead and the only thing standing between her and the Grim Reaper is one seriously gorgeous man named Callum Valentine. Falling in love again in the middle of her own personal apocalypse hadn’t been the plans…then again, the great thing about a plan is that it can change on a dime!
Cal watched her another minute. “You’re a stubborn little ball of fury, aren’t you?” he asked as he watched her try to attach the tool to the lug nut, wincing as the metal slipped for the second time in a row.
Melody took a deep breath before she slowly turned to face her tormenter. “I was brought up believing that a girl should be able to take care of herself. I forgot that lesson for a little while and almost made a mistake I could never undo with a man I’d rather forget. I’m not ever going to repeat that experience again. So, to answer your question, yes, I’m a stubborn little ball of fury. Now, will you please go on your merry way?”
Cal finally gave into the urge and laughed, earning himself a cold look from the woman currently on her knees. “Careful, Princess. I’m gonna get a complex here because it’s beginning to feel like you don’t like me very much,” he taunted her with a wink. Seeing her press her lips together tightly, he knew she was fighting the urge to scream bloody murder at him. Squatting beside her, he met her fiery gaze. “Cat got your tongue, Pretty Girl?”
“No,” she declared with a shake of her head as she looked from him to his jacked up truck. “Do you mind if I ask you a question?”
“Ask away, darlin’,” he invited silkily with a ready nod. “I’m an open book,” he declared, holding his muscular arms out to his sides. And it was true. The book on him was open; it just happened to be written in code, he thought to himself as he gave himself a mental pat on the back for his own wittiness.
Melody offered him a deceptively sweet smile. “Is it true that men use big trucks to compensate for smaller endowments in, well,… other more intimate areas?” she asked, dropping her voice to a conversational whisper as she gave his crotch a rather pointed look.
Cal guffawed. “Are you asking me if I’ve got a tiny dick, Princess? Because I can tell you with a hundred percent honesty that the size of my cock and the size of my truck are very directly related. They’re both big and bad, but if you don’t believe me, I’d be pleased to give you a private showing.”
Melody’s jaw dropped at his audacity. “You… you just can’t say things like that!” she blustered, blushing furiously as he laughed in her face.
“I just did. Besides, you started it,” he accused, propping his hands on his narrow hips as he leaned forward and stared her down. “Don’t dish it out if you can’t handle having it spoon-fed back to you, Princess.” Damn, Cal privately mused, he hadn’t had this much fun with a woman with her clothes on in years. He couldn’t help wondering how exciting she’d be with her clothes off. He definitely be making it a point to find that out as soon as humanly possible.
“I revert to my earlier statement. You are a pig,” she reiterated with a disgusted shake of her head, her ponytail flying over one shoulder to smack him in the face as she moved.
“Maybe, but you’re just mad that you can’t seem to get one-up on me. Not used to a man that will stand his ground and fight with you?” he asked, fishing for a response from her. He wanted to know just how much she’d reveal about her ex-fiancé in casual conversation. Her brother didn’t think there’d been any kind of physical abuse and based on her reactions to him, he tended to think RJ was right, but he wanted to be sure. Because if he was wrong, she wouldn’t need his protection because he’d simply kill the motherfucker and be done with it.
“My former fiancé didn’t fight. It was too low-class a thing for him to do. He used to call our arguments spirited debates. My ass, they were debates. Freaking moron. A fight is a fight, right?” she asked as she grunted with exertion while she tried to pry one of the lug nuts loose.
“Right,” he agreed with a nod, sighing as her tool slipped again. “Politicians have….what did you call ‘em? Spirited debates? Real men and women fight.”
“See, that’s what I thought, too. But maybe that was the problem,” Melody muttered as she twisted the tire iron sharply, silently cursing the tight bolt. “I always did think Bradley had political ambitions. God knows that it’s what his dear old mommy and daddy wanted for him,” she continued to growl through gritted teeth as she twisted the tire iron violently. “Eureka!” she shouted when the bolt moved a few millimeters. “Did you see that? It moved,” she yelped, as her body made a tiny celebratory shimmy.
Cal chuckled softly at her little dance. “Sounds like this Bradley fella was kinda a douche,” he surmised, carefully watching Melody’s face.
“That is the understatement of the frickin’ year. Heck, maybe the decade, too,” Melody muttered, lifting one hand to take a swipe at her sweaty forehead.
Edging toward her, Cal tried to make a grab for the tool in her hand. “Seriously, babe. Let me do that for you,” he demanded gruffly, afraid she was going to either damage the wheel well or herself with her rough use of the tool.
“I’m about done warnin’ you, Stranger, so I’ll try and be real clear one last time. You try to touch my tire iron again and I’m gonna introduce it to the side of that hard head of yours. Repeatedly,” she informed him grimly while she desperately tried to loosen the second lug nut. “And, for the record, let me just state that I am most certainly NOT your babe,” she huffed, panting with exertion.
He could see her energy waning and shook his head. “You’re completely right, you aren’t my babe,” he agreed, covering Melody’s icy hands with his as she growled fiercely at the tire. “Right now, you’re more of my pain in the ass, woman,” he continued, his hands tightening on hers as he helped her turn the lug nut. “This’d be so much easier if you’d just let me do it,” he stated again, afraid he was going to hurt her hand by squeezing it too hard. “Honest to God, sassy, sweet and stubborn is not the sexy combination I thought it would be on you.”
Sarah O’Rourke is actually two besties who live three states apart and write at all hours of the day and night! Born and raised in the Southern United States, they are overly attached to their one-click accounts, can’t make it through the day without copious doses of caffeine, and spend way too much time on the phone with each other.
Between them, they have four children and eighteen years of marriage…one to a super soldier and the other to egomaniac engineer. They hate empty chocolate wrappers and writer’s block, love to talk to readers…and oh, by the way, they write about strong, kick-ass women and hot alpha heroes!