The SEXY cover for Found Underneath by KL Kreig is here!
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
It began as a ruse.
Take a girlfriend. Divert the press from the fucked up mess that’s my family until my father is re-elected. Stage a public breakup. Move on.
Only that brilliant plan went straight south the moment I set eyes on Willow Blackwell.
I found her.
My center. My future. A soulmate with the will of a mule and the mouth of a harpy.
I now want things I never wanted before. Permanent kinds of things.
Only Fate—and her ex—have other plans for us.
In some sort of cosmic impossibility, our lives unknowingly intersected years before when tragedy befell both our families. Once the devastating truth is finally revealed, the future I’d found in her will come crashing down around us and for the first time in my life I’m completely helpless.
I may very well lose the only woman I’ve ever loved to a past neither of us saw coming.
*warning: 18+ only. Contains foul language, explicit sex and a hot alpha (or two, or three). NOTE: This is NOT a standalone. It’s the conclusion to LOST IN BETWEEN, which MUST be read first.
As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.
Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).
JIMMY Over the past year, I’ve been called a lot of things. Slacker. Troublemaker. Party animal. I thought I was on top of the world. Turns out, I was pretty close to rock bottom. Now I have a new title: college dropout. Talk about a reality check. But I’ve got a chance to redeem myself. One summer to turn things around. Two months to prove I’m not a complete f*ck-up. It’s time to change. I want to get back to being one of the good guys. MACKENNA I have everything I need to live out my dream of being a reclusive songwriter—my guitar, my notebook, and blissful silence. At least, I did until Jimmy moved in next door. With tattoos, piercings, and mischievous green eyes, he’s got bad news written all over him. And last time I got with a bad boy, it ended horribly. Jimmy makes me feel things I shouldn’t feel. Want things I shouldn’t want. He’s a hazard to my carefully laid plans. But he’s only here for two months. I can resist him…right?
*Although DROPOUT is part of a series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone.
Jimmy Buffet’s ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ blared through the house, and I followed the music to the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but as long as it wasn’t my neighbor making out with her neighbor I was good. Turning the corner, I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight in front of me. It wasn’t Beverly. Or Ernie. And I most definitely wasn’t good. A guy wearing nothing but camo-print underwear and a peach-colored apron stood in front of the stove. He was facing away from me, and I caught sight of a large tattoo—angel wings—across the expanse of his muscular back. Surprised, I let out a high-pitched squeak. The sound got the stranger’s attention and he started to pivot in my direction. My eyes fell to his sculpted ass, the muscles flexing as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. He wore briefs. Not boxers or boxer-briefs—actual tighties. No guy should look good in those, but damn, he did. His black hair was shorter on the sides and longer on top. Some of the inky strands fell over his forehead, falling to just above his bright green eyes. His lips were parted in surprise, and something flipped in my stomach at the sight of his mouth. The bottom lip was twice the size of the top. Plump. Pouty. Dark tattoos painted his chest and he had colorful flowers down the length of his left arm. And… Is that a nipple piercing? Because of the apron, I couldn’t see his abs, but my guess was that he had a solid six-pack under there. I opened my mouth to say something—anything. I wanted to ask him what he was doing in Beverly’s house. Or apologize for walking in on him while he was naked. Instead, my social awkwardness presented itself full-force with the words that tumbled out of my mouth next. “If you tried to hide in the woods, at least no one would be able to see your ass.” His emerald eyes widened. “What?” Figuring he probably didn’t hear me the first time because of the loud music, I raised my voice. “Camouflage underwear. Your butt would totally blend in with the bushes.” Looking like he was caught between laughing and being outraged, he opened his mouth to respond. Then all hell broke loose.
Jamie Schlosser grew up on a farm in Illinois surrounded by cornfields. Although she no longer lives in the country, her dream is to return to rural living someday. As a stay-at-home mom, she spends most of her days running back and forth between her two wonderful kids and her laptop. She loves her family, iced coffee, and happily ever afters.
I wanted to hate her. For three years, Camilla withheld the fact that my brother had a son, Liam.
Then, Tony died without ever knowing his kid, and I was going to make sure Ms. Rose paid a price for her deceit. I also wanted Liam to be raised as a Burke. Our family’s legacy was one to carry on, so the terms were straightforward.
Live in my home.
Allow me to help raise Liam.
Oh, and agree to be my submissive.
In return, I agreed not to rip Camilla’s child away from her. I also offered them both financial security and a life of luxury. It seemed generous to me. It might’ve been simple, too, had she not reminded me of the lady in red. The one who haunted my dreams at night. Camilla’s hazel eyes were a mirror image, her sweetness more than an acquaintance to my subconscious.
I was a hacker by trade, and the internet was my best friend, sharing with me every secret I wished to unearth. I believed that until an unfathomable truth revealed itself in a different way.
Some secrets are never whispered, only sensed by the heart, and all along, my soul held the truth. It hid even from me the most important secret of them all.
The Terms ends in a cliffhanger. It contains explicit language and graphic sex, including aspects of BDSM. The second novel in the duet, The Terms: Part Two, will release June 1st.
Tears well up in my eyes, and my lower lip quivers. “Tony was right; you’re evil.”
His fingers grip my chin once again and press harder this time.
“I knew he’d cause me grief from the grave. You and Tony Jr. are interruptions I don’t need, but my parents deserve to know their only grandchild. For that reason, I’ll allow this situation to disrupt my world. Besides, it will be good to have another male to carry on the family name.”
“Please, leave us be. Let me raise Liam. I promise I’m a good mother. I struggle financially, but he’s always cared for and loved.” Desperation tips the scale, and my lukewarm tears tumble to my cool cheeks. Looking away, Ellis clears his throat and releases my chin.
“Money, right… I recommend you change the password to your bank account to something more challenging. It was quite easy to empty that miniscule nest egg of yours.”
From my dry throat, a sob emerges. He’s going to take Liam away and leave me homeless. I have no choice but to play by his rules, so I cough from my cry and suck in short breaths, attempting to collect my dignity. Sniffling, I pull a tissue from my purse and wipe my eyes.
“OK, I’ll do whatever you want. Please, please, don’t take my child from me.”
Snaking his fingers through my hair, his thumb skims along my cheekbone, wiping away the tears. He moves closer, his sultry breath inches from mine, and his eyes roam my face as if he’s admiring a gallery painting.
“There’s no need to cry. If you’re open to this, your life will be easier–better even. Do exactly as I say, and you won’t lose Liam.”
I should shove him away. Spit in his face. Anything other than what I’m doing, which is leaning into his hand at my cheek to savor his touch. I’m emotionally fucked in the head, always finding myself attracted to the villain instead of someone nice, like my friend Christopher, for instance.
As if Ellis feels something, too, he withdraws his hand. “First, you’re going to quit your job.”
The Terms: Part Two (The Terms Duet, #2)
If you are a Reader/Reviewer or Blogger that is interested in receiving an ARC and participating in the Cover Reveal & Release Blitz of The Terms: Part Two, please sign up!
I tried to keep my distance. I knew how much trouble Summer could cause me once she was, in her words, “legal.” She wouldn’t accept that being my best friend’s sister meant she was governed by another set of laws.
She was the forbidden fruit.
The “off-limits” trophy prize I couldn’t win.
The “don’t look and sure as hell don’t touch” female in my life.
But Summer pushed until I was backed into a corner. My hands and mouth had nowhere to go but on her. That was my story, and I was stickin’ to it.
I’d known Colton Graham all my life, and he was always a pest … until he wasn’t. That handsome face and masculine body he grew into became hard to look away from, and the more he matured and distanced himself from me, the more I wanted him close.
Since I’d grown up with a brother, I knew how college guys operated. Relationships were off the table, and fine by me; I only wanted two adventurous months with Colton. I knew he wouldn’t be my last, but I was hell-bent on making him my first. What was the harm in that? I could do casual … or so I thought.
Summer Trouble is a Ruby Romp Novella, meaning it contains insta-lust, along with an abundance of dirty talk and graphic sex. It can typically be enjoyed in one reading, so get ready for a fast-paced “get your panties wet” ride.
Q: “Where do you get the ideas for your books?” – Author Autumn Sand
A: I come up with the ideas for my books in several ways. Sometimes, I can’t explain why a character or storyline appears in my mind, and other times, an idea evolves from personalities or situations I have a desire to write about.
There are certain types of people and lifestyles I’ve never been exposed to, but I’m curious about them, so I often build stories around those personalities or situations. For example, after reading novels with wealthy, affluent alpha-male heroes, I wanted to try writing about one, so I created a story around that type of man.
Other times, there is a life lesson or topic I want to expose readers to. Like under my pen name Scarlet Wolfe, I wrote a story about self-harm to shed light on that subject.
I admit to living vicariously through my stories and characters. I mean, isn’t that a big reason why people read? We’re eavesdropping on a life we’ll likely never live.
Q: “How did you get started writing?” – Reader Amber Dover
A: Unlike a lot of authors who say they’ve been writing all their lives, I had never tried to write anything other than what was assigned to me in school. A few of my friends insisted I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and I actually laughed because I’d never read anything racy before.
Once I finished the series, I found myself creating characters in my mind at random moments. From there, I started thinking of a premise. A friend of mine at the time had written a couple of books, and once I shared with her that I had all of these thoughts crowding my head, she encouraged me to type them out.
That’s how my other pen name, Scarlet Wolfe, came about. Sometimes I wish I had known more about writing when I began, but on the other hand, naivety got me to take that first step. I don’t think I would’ve written a book had I known the challenges that would lie ahead.
Q: “What’s your favorite thing about each character?” – Reader Sarah Vadermillen
A: In The Terms, my favorite thing about my hero, Ellis, is how vulnerable and kind he truly is beneath his hardened exterior. As far as Camilla, she’s strong and protective, especially in regard to her family. I love that in a heroine. Greyson, Ellis’s cousin, is witty, and I look forward to showing more of that in part two of The Terms. I don’t like Christopher, and if my readers don’t either, then I’ve written his character well. We don’t know much about Sasha, but I look forward to showing her grow and strengthen in the next book, and Liam … well, he’s just happy and adorable.
Q: “What is your favorite part of the process of writing books?” – Author Autumn Sand
A: My favorite part of the writing process is character development. I strive for my characters to have a deeper level of emotional intelligence by the end of their journey. I want to evoke from my readers the same feelings I show in my characters. If my readers can connect emotionally with my characters when they’re nothing like them, then I’ve done something right
Ruby Rowe began writing in January of 2013 under the pen name Scarlet Wolfe,
releasing contemporary and young adult. She soon tried her hand at writing erotica
romance and fell in love with the genre.
The pen name Ruby Rowe came about in 2017 when she decided it best to keep her
racier books separate from her young adult romances. She’d like to branch out and
release straight erotica, however, she’s a romantic at heart, and believes it will be
difficult not to include romance in every story.
When not writing, Ruby reads naughty books about possessive, hot alpha males. She has
an addiction to Pinterest, pinning all the sensual photos she can find. She loves bacon,
coffee, and other flavors of ice cream besides vanilla. 😉 She hopes her writing will allow
her readers a reprieve from the real world, giving them an opportunity to live out their
Dire Wolf Phego has a history. One that haunts him and holds him back in ways even he doesn’t want to admit. A mission for one of his brothers bring changes, though, and he’s going to have to figure out how to deal with his past if he’s ever going to have a future.
Michaela likes to be needed. As the doctor of her pack, she’s used to being called out at all hours to assist on everything from accidents to baby deliveries. When an old friend is the one calling, she’ll do anything to help, including putting up with a cranky, standoffish oaf of a man who can’t seem to make up his mind on what he wants from her…if anything.
One soldier fighting demons from his past and his present, one woman doing all she can to save those she cares about, and a shadow that inches closer every day. In the world of the Dire Wolves, time off from missions should be calm and easy. But when ghosts come calling, Phego will have to decide if hanging on to his past is worth giving up his future.
I am a HUGE shifter fan and so the fact I devoured books 1-4 in January was no shock to my friends. When this book came out I had to let it sit which killed me so when I had the free read opportunity I jumped on my Dire Wolves Love.
Phego is kinda a grumpy and moody guy. He is kinda intense and a bit on the scary side no lie. When he lets Ariel and Thaus move next door he suddenly realizes that he is coveting his brother…not for Ariel but for the mate he has. He covets the love and trust Thaus has in Ariel. Phego believes he is unworthy of a mate and will not every take a mate. People can’t be fully trusted is in motto.
Michaela is an Omega and to be guarded and protected at all costs. She is best friends with Ariel and is called to help her deliver her and Thaus’s pup since he is on a mission. Michaela is blindsided when she sets her eyes on the brooding wolf protecting her friend ….and when she realizes the bonding gaze has taken hold, she is thrilled. However, Phego does not take it easy on her.
Between him fighting the mating bond and danger in the woods, the two discover they must rely on each other to save Ariel from a new but old enemy.
I am super excited at the new plot twist that was dropped by the author….could it mean a spin off or more books in this series?? A shifter loving girl can certainly hope so!
A storyteller from the time she could talk, USA Today bestselling author Ellis Leigh grew up among family legends of hauntings, psychics, and love spanning decades. Those stories didn’t always have the happiest of endings, so they inspired her to write about real life, real love, and the difficulties therein. From farmers to werewolves, store clerks to witches—if there’s love to be found, she’ll write about it. Ellis lives in the Chicago area with her husband, daughters, and two tiny fish that take up way too much of her time.
I received this book from the author for an honest review.
You know what they say? You find love when you aren’t looking. This book is precisely what the old adage is saying.
Charlotte was NOT looking for love. After coming home and finding her husband screwing his secretary, Charlotte said DONZO!! She ignored Grants MANY attempts at reconciliation because in her heart she knew they weren’t really in love but just a great working team who happened to marry. Luke was all about the pride of his work. He was working and not really looking for anything or one when Charlotte walks into his life by accident.
The couple end up spending some time together and soon the sparks are flying. As we are seeing the couple start to form attachments and figure out what is going on, there are some weird things happening and causing trouble for the new couple.
The story of the house the Charlotte buys….my heart….so sweet. I loved the description of the house and what we discover from Luke about the house.
The story is a sweet read and one readers who are looking for characters who are mature and not a 20 something.
Aly Grady is New England born but for more than ten years has enjoyed living and raising her children in the Indianapolis area. She has firsthand knowledge of the racing industry because she is a racing widow. Aly enjoys trying to keep up with her two children and their busy lives, reading books by her favorite authors, watching IndyCar racing to look for her husband and traveling. “If you can read all those romance books you should be able to write one.” Aly took that challenge by her husband and ran with it to create The Racer’s Widow.
**Can be read as a standalone werewolf billionaire shifter paranormal romance book**
The True Mates Series continues as billionaire CEO security expert Sebastian Creed battles his inner beast while trying to keep his desire for genius scientist Dr. Jade Cross from destroying them both.
Shy and nerdy Lycan scientist Dr. Jade Cross has lived a quiet life, surrounded by her work and her research. She prefers proven facts, figures, and hard science and doesn’t want complications in her life. But her resolve seems to go out the window every time she crosses paths with the handsome and dangerous Sebastian Creed.
Since rescuing Jade from her mysterious kidnappers, Sebastian has tried hard to stay away from her. But he’s irresistibly drawn to the innocent, delicate beauty and he wants nothing more than to give in to his hunger. When Jade’s life is put in danger once again, Sebastian is tasked with keeping her safe, and he risks everything to make sure no harm comes to her.
But, Sebastian has a secret. The former Marine turned billionaire CEO is hiding a beast inside him, an animal that wants to possess Jade. He must control his desires and wrestle his inner monster or risk destroying them both.
As the evil mages and their leader Stefan, continue their war against the shifters and witches, Jade must walk the fine line between opening herself to Sebastian and preventing him from finding out about the existence of Lycans. With so many secrets between them, can they survive or will they both be caught in the crossfire?
Taming the Beast is a full-length (79,000 words) werewolf paranormal romance with explicit love scenes, naughty language, and shifter suspense action with guaranteed HEA and no cliffhangers!
Although it works as a standalone romance story, this book takes place in the True Mates series. Though not necessary, I recommend you read the rest of the books to understand the world and the main plot.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book
Holy crap!!!! This may well be my favorite book of the series!! I know, I know, I say that a lot ha, ha, ha!!!
Sebastian and Jade are hot and sweet all rolled into one book.
Sebastian Creed is the owner of Creed Securities, ex-military, and a inked up sexy beast of a man!!!
Dr. Jade Cross is Fenrir’s lycan researcher of all things witch. Jade is a super smart, super sweet, and super repressed lycan. After hearing of how she grew up I understand why.
We start with a retailing of Jade’s rescue, that happened in book 4, but from Sebastian’s POV.
Sebastian is drawn to Jade from the start, but he doesn’t understand why. LOL, Jade has met him twice but has no memory of it being drugged the first time, when he rescued her, and drunk of her ass the second time.
Watching Jade interact with her BF Lara and Meredith is so funny, especially when she decides it’s time to get her V-card punched and Sebastian keeps showing up on her dates and as Montgomery says “clam jamming” her.
When they decide to stop fighting the inevitable Jade and Sebastian are wonderful together. I love how she just lets him and his mother lean on her when his dad dies, it’s what you do for the one you love.
OMG and Sebastian’s little secret that even he knows nothing about?!! So mind blowing!!!
I hope like heck, the mages finally get what’s coming to them in the next book so our Fated Mates will be safe.
Oh, and I’m sure that I will say after reading that one that it is my favorite of the series!!! LOL!!!
Alicia Montgomery has always dreamed of becoming a romance novel writer. She started writing down her stories in now long-forgotten diaries and notebooks, never thinking that her dream would come true. Now, after taking the well-worn path to a stable career, she is now plunging into the world of self-publishing. She thanks her wonderful friends, M, J, and L, who encouraged her to pursue this brand new adventure, and her husband JT who is getting his thanks in the form of “research.”
I received this book from the author for an honest review.
The cover and then the blurb total got my hooked. Then I remembered that I have read and loved another book by this author so I jumped on the chance to read this new release.
Wyatt is a hottie who keeps falling for the wrong woman. He falls for looks but never really finds substance. Bree falls for the wrong guys too. She is doing everything she can to make them happy when she realizes that she is not the one happy.
When these two meet, the chemistry is crazy thick. They are both VERY alpha and looking to control the situation. However, even an earthquake and chemistry can’t stop the pull and the fates from bringing them together.
When the end up working together they must deal with her past, his past and the constant sexual tension the two have. Man was it written well. I was going crazy waiting for ONE OF THEM to make a move!!! I was also laughing my butt off at the pair. They are a riot of miscommunication and dominance gone wrong at times.
I gotta tell you, if you like a flawed alpha in both your male and female characters but they have hearts of gold that have been chipped a time or two from misuse, then this book is a great read for you.
Amelia James started reading steamy romance novels in junior high, but her mom took them away from her, so she started daydreaming instead. After she got married, she wrote some of her naughtier daydreams down and sent them to Playgirl magazine. Two of them got published. She kept daydreaming and writing stories until her dirty stories turned into trashy books.
She lives in Colorado, but she’ll always be a loyal Wisconsin Cheesehead. When she’s not lusting after her next bad boy hero, she looks for inspiration in sci-fi and action movies, football players, bloodsucking lawyers, muscle cars, and kick-butt chicks.
According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.
Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.
She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.
She’s the bomb.
Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.
Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.
Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.
Now I want more. I want her.
All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.
If only it were that easy.
Hi, Everyone!!!! It’s me, Twinsie Brenda!! I’m back for the day!! Thanks to the other Twinsies for letting me pop on today! I am just too excited about this book that I wanted to let all of the Twinsie fans know about it.
So……Let’s get to it! I’ve been dying for the book to be released. I was asked to beta read this story by the fabulous Mika Jolie last fall. I’ve seen this story come to life and I love how it came together. Mika Jolie puts her heart and soul into writing her stories. I can attest to all of the blood, sweat, and tears she has invested. This is a romantic comedy. It’s all done in the male point of view. Dean Conrad Morello….sigh……. you will freaking LOVE him!!! He will have you lusting over him, screaming at him, crying for him…. All of the feels…. All. OF..THEM!!
Dean and Cori (short for Coriander) have been BFFs for over twenty years. They do everything together. All of a sudden, Dean looks at her differently, feels different feelings for her….he now wants her…. Like in a romantic way! Oh this book is so fun!!!
I always worry when I see a story told in just one point of view…especially a male point of view. But Dean keeps you investing in the story. He talks to you….the reader….and you really feel like he’s talking to you. While reading, I talked right back to him.
Are you ready to one-click yet? Oh please do!!! Go meet your next book Boy Friend!!
And thanks again, Twinsies, for letting me hang out with you again!!! I miss you all!! ❤
About Mika Jolie
Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.
She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.
They possess the power to make their dreams come true—but it won’t be easy.
Preston Knight—Elvis to his friends—loves being a vampire. The night he was turned was the first step to him becoming the kind of man he always hoped to be. Now, he’s a rock star. What could be better? But the one thing that would make his world complete is just out of reach. The woman he yearns for has some serious secrets, and despite him knowing that she wants him just as much as he wants her, she won’t let him in.
Lily Gray never asked to be a vampire. The choice was taken from her eons ago, and things never improved. Now, she finds herself peddling drugs on the streets of San Francisco and playing the part of doting wife to a possessive and sadistic vampire with delusions of grandeur. But family means everything to Lily, and she’s willing to sacrifice everything for it…even her one chance at happiness with the sexy-as-sin vampire who sets her heart ablaze.
When one night of passion opens the door for a century of secrets to be revealed, Lily and Preston must fight for not only what they believe in but also what they love.
Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She’s hooked on sexy romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.
She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence.
She lives in Northern California in wine country and one of her favorite weekend excursions is wine tasting with the love of her life. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.
“It’s up to you, Elvis.” Lincoln, the dealer, nodded in my direction and waited. I kept my eyes trained on the center of the table where chips sat in a small pile. I didn’t need to look at my cards again. I knew what I had: an eight and a queen of hearts.
There were six vampires at the table, counting both Gage and me. Gage had folded right after the deal, and so had one of the other players. I was the last to bet, and sometimes, I liked to spice things up a bit, so I matched the bet and sat back.
Heavy smoke hung in the air like delicate streams of fog, swirling in circled patterns under the light hanging from a long cord above the table. Four other lights hung on fixtures attached to the otherwise stark, tawny brown walls. Even with all the lights, the room seemed dark.
Maybe it was the darkness of the souls in the room. I wasn’t sure.
A droning sound buzzed from outside, a little annoying, but I managed to drown it out as I nonchalantly watched the faces around the table as the dealer revealed the flop.
The first card the dealer turned up was a jack of hearts, then a nine of hearts.
It was raining hearts for some reason, and I held two of them already. I held my breath, waiting for the third card in the flop. Crap, an eight of diamonds.
Not exactly what I was looking for, but a pair of eights with a queen high wasn’t completely a loss so I decided to hang in there and see if one more heart would show. There were still two cards to go, and a flush was possible.
I kept my eyes straight, my thoughts blank—or I tried—like I usually did as each card was revealed, always attempting to keep my composure, never deviating from the norm, not wanting to give away my emotions. I was an expert at reading people. Especially in a poker game. A blink of an eye, a slight twitch, a swallow, the slightest movement, anything…different could give someone’s hand away. I wanted to reach up and finger my shades that sat on top of my head. Just one little nudge and they’d be sitting comfortably on my face, shielding my eyes. But not only were dark glasses frowned upon in this high-stakes game of Texas Hold ’em, but any movement out of the ordinary might tip someone off about my cards.
This wasn’t our normal gathering with my brothers at the mansion. This was a high roller, unsanctioned but heavily guarded poker game with some seriously high-powered city officials that I’d bet my right nut were a drug cartel of some sort or another. The two thugs in the monkey suits positioned on either side of the door to the entrance had stood like statues most of the night; the bulge of a holster protruding from under their jackets an obvious clue. At least they were on the outside of the room, but they still remained at the ready if their services were required.
Gage and I didn’t normally seek out games with such high stakes, but he’d been bored lately, and when he ran into Lincoln—the game’s host—at Club Royal a couple of weeks ago, Lincoln had
invited Gage and me to join. Said they’d recently lost two of their regulars and needed a couple of fill-ins.
When Gage approached me, I’d shrugged him off at first, not wanting any part of something that sounded so sketchy, but after he’d pestered me for the entire week, I finally gave in, needing a distraction from the long hours—sometimes days apart—from Lily, the sexy and sweet vampire I’d been trying to get to know better. Except, she was either playing hard to get, or just wasn’t that interested in me. Though I had a difficult time believing the latter of those two options since she continued to meet me whenever she had the time or, in her words, “could get away.” Away from what, I hadn’t been able to find out. Yet.
Getting thoughts of Lily off my mind was nearly impossible Her fair, silky-smooth skin; her mesmerizing dark coffee eyes that could hold my gaze for hours on end; the tips of her long, thick locks kissing the cleavage of her breasts where my lips longed to skim. I managed to clear my head just in time, as it was my turn to bet again. I slid my bet forward, raising the pot three thousand for appearance’s sake. In truth, without another heart or a ten, I had squat. I didn’t think the pair of eights would cut it. I had an excellent chance for a straight or a flush if either of the next two cards went my way. Since Gage had already folded, he sat still as a statue beside me, his hands together on the edge of the table. I knew he was busting a gut wondering what I held in my hand.
There were only four of us left in this hand, and I didn’t want to go home with a loss. Not against these guys. Two of them sat puffing on brown cigarettes, looking rather tough. They were tough, the sort who would drain the blood from a homeless person and leave them to die in the gutter without so much as a “thank you, ma’am.” Particularly, the one at the end with the light brown wool Stetson on
his head. The word dangerous exuded from his pores. He wore that hat pulled low on his brow, shading his eyes just enough to where it was legal but not enough to reveal much about him. A neatly trimmed goatee graced his chin and his upper lip. A long ponytail made of cornrow braids hung down his back. He seemed on edge, or maybe it was just an act to throw me off.
Which he did when he raised another five thousand. That was steep, and the other two guys folded. Either the guy had something powerful, or he was bluffing his ass off and had nothing. Since I had the queen of hearts, I knew he couldn’t have a royal flush. But that didn’t rule out a straight or four of a kind. The bald-headed guy next to him folded, as did the next two. Now it was up to me, and six thousand was just about all I had left, so I shoved the entire stack I had into the middle of the table.
“I’m all in,” I said with feigned confidence.
After all the bets had been matched, the dealer flipped the fourth card.
A fucking nine of spades.
I watched out of the corner of my eye as cowboy hat’s mouth curved up on one side, the tip of his fang biting into his lower lip. Could mean he was nervous. Or cocky. Either way, my hand was dead unless a ten or another heart showed up.
My heart skipped a beat when the fifth card was flipped over. There it was, sparkling as if someone had lit it on fire. I managed to keep my composure as I chilled, though I could have sworn I heard fireworks go off outside.
The beautiful ten of hearts.
Stetson vamp chuckled and said, “Too bad. You played a nice hand.” Then he laid down his cards. A pair of nines, giving him four of a fucking kind, which would beat most hands. When he started to grab at the pile of chips, I cleared my throat.
“Hold on there, space cowboy,” I heard myself say, not sure if the cockiness in my voice would help or hinder, but that pile of chips in the center of the table belonged to me, and there was no fucking way I was letting this douche have them. I had a fucking straight flush, queen high. Beat that you fucking cocksucker. I wanted to gloat but managed to keep my cool and simply turned the two cards in my hand over and placed them face up on the table.
His face paled, if that were possible. His dark-stubbled jaw flexed. His eyes narrowed to slits. His left ear twitched, and he placed both his palms on the table as he stood, glaring at me. Everyone sitting around the table stiffened. The chips lay in a heap in the middle. He kept his large ebony eyes on mine, never faltering. I allowed myself to stare right back, not moving a centimeter. I was good at stare-out games. I’d had a cat, many in fact, and we constantly played this game. Stetson hat was no different in my mind. Though I was positive he thought differently. This guy was too fucking arrogant for my taste. I’d wondered from the moment I sat down if he was going to be trouble.
“Jace, you ready?” he barked.
The guy at the end of the table—Jace, I assumed—nodded. “Yep, I’m all tapped out. Ladies.”
Stetson hat shrugged into a light brown wool coat, generously embellished with dark brown fur at the lapel, all the while keeping his eyes glued to me. “Be sure to join us again. I look forward to the opportunity to win that back.” His eyes briefly averted to the large pile of chips in the middle of the table before returning to mine, and then he touched the rim of his hat and nodded like he was fucking Clint Eastwood. “Gentlemen.” He kept his lips tight as he turned and walked out. Stopping by another vampire on his way, he looked down at him, made some sort of gesture with his hand, and left the room. Jace, and two other large vampires went with him.
Gage cleared his throat. “Fuck, man. That was intense.” The three dudes left at the table all sighed heavily.
The vampire that Stetson hat had gestured to stood up. “Roach would like you to join him at his employer’s mansion.” Roach? What the fuck kind of person names their kid Roach? I almost laughed. The poor guy. No wonder he was so intense. “It is open to you any Friday evening. That is the night they
entertain small groups. Midnight. Here’s the address.” He slipped me a card. I glanced down at the etching on the flat piece of metal.
Whatever your pleasure, we’ve got it.
Sweet Towers, Sky Deck.
When the vampire had left, Gage grabbed the card from me. “Shit. Looks like he wants a rematch.”
“Well, he isn’t getting one,” I retorted and threw the fancy card down on the table. This was over right now. I didn’t want any part of whatever the fuck that guy was dealing.
“I wouldn’t be so quick to pass on that invite if I were you, Elvis,” Lincoln, the vampire who’d hosted the night’s game, said. “That vampire works for Sweet, one of this city’s most dominant and influential business owners. He has the support of the local labor board, as well as several other highfalutin bigwigs in the city. It’s quite the honor to be invited, even if it was by his right-hand man. Sweet doesn’t give out invitations to his private parties very often. And his parties don’t have anything to do with card games, if you get my drift. Roach must have liked you.” He winked.
I raised my eyebrows up at Lincoln in question.
“You know. Sex, drugs. Those kinds of parties. Group or single, whatever you desire, so I’ve heard.”
Whatever kind of parties, I wasn’t into group sex or drugs. I had a woman, or at least a woman I wanted, as the vision of Lily’s striking brown eyes set against her smooth, deep black hair floated through my mind. I got to my feet and shrugged into my coat. “Come on, Gage, let’s split.”
From the moment Marcus Foster saw Roxy Patel, he knew she was his mate. Remaining patient because of her troubled past, he was determined to build her trust. She was his and nothing would change that, not even time.
Leaving her past behind, Roxy refused to remain a broken shell of a woman. Determined to start afresh, moving to a new town was just what she needed. With the help of her new friends, and a wolf shifter wanting to make her his own, all Roxy needed was the chance to thrive again.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book
Yay!!! Marcus, the middle of the hot Foster Brothers, finally gets his book!!!
I have been waiting for Marcus to get his story since Garrett’s book, there was something about him that caught my attention.
Roxy Patel is a human that has been under the Alpha’s protection since he brought her home after getting her away from her abusive husband. For two years Roxy has not left town, ordering everything she needs online, for fear of her husband finding her. Being still legally married to that evil man kills her and keeps her from the man that truly attracts her.
Marcus knew as soon as he saw Roxy that she belonged to him, she was his heart, his mate. Knowing that she too scared to leave town and still married to that a**wipe, well let’s just say it’s taking everything he has to not taking it into his own hands.
Roxy, is a woman that is coming into her own and she is a firecracker!! I love how she handles the jealous be-atches when they spew nastiness because a Foster chose someone other than them.
I love how Marcus loves Roxy not only for the woman she is outwardly, but also for the woman he know she is on the inside too. To me that is even more attractive on a man than good looks, though that helps too!!
The way he listens to the things that she likes and wants even before they are together is swoon worthy.
Roxy’s BFF Clare is a hoot, looking up divorce laws on google, helping her pick the perfect going out outfit, and helping her kick butt. I hope we see more of her. It’s great when you find a friend that will have your back like that.
There is new wolves, weird pregnancy craving that make me crack up, danger when the past comes a calling, and lets not forget be-atches and abusive husbands.
Omg!!!! I almost forgot we also get a small glimpse of my favorite Protector Dr. Hottie McVampire or wise known as Slade.
I can’t wait to see where we go next with the Lee County Pack!!!
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!
Damon (The Protectors Series) Book #1
Jared (The Protectors Series) Book #2
Duncan (The Protectors Series) Book #3
Sid (The Protectors Series) Book #4
Adam (The Protectors Series) Book #5
Slade (The Protectors Series) Book #6
A Warrior Wedding (The Protectors Series) Book #7
Slade (The Protectors Series) Book #8
Jax (The Protectors Series) Book #9
Forbidden Hunger (Lee County Wolves) Book #1
Forbidden Seduction (Lee County Wolves) Book #2
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