ORDER A COPY: Predatory
Publisher: Zebra Books
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: See each story
Four of today’s most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire…
Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other…
Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .
In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Richart d’Alençon can’t forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .
High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay’s design contest rival is found dead, she’s the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He’s the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him–and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?
Out of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Angela Locke is just weeks away from finishing her PhD when visiting Professor Hottie…umm, Dr. Niko Bartrev comes to the college and for the first time ever, the only biology Angela can keep her mind on is the kind involving a naked Niko. Niko isn’t really a professor at the college to monitor Angela’s class. He’s actually a Sentinel on the trail of an escaped high-blood who wants the knowledge in Angela’s brain to change her advance DNA and make her a normal human. Niko fears that when Angela learns of his deception, even if it was for her own good, he might have lost his chance with her forever.
This short story is supposed to be the introduction to the new Sentinel series. Although there is a basic explanation of the Sentinels, who are guardians, and the high-bloods, who are mutants (some dangerous/some not), this story was really too short to build to any real understanding and interest in the new series. I would definitely have to hold off judgment of the Sentinels until after Book #1.
Rating: 3 stars – Being an Alexandra Ivy fan I will check out the next Sentinel book, but this short didn’t do anything to really draw me to the series.
Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie thought she was just going to help out her friend for a few hours answering phones while Felicity had an “emergency.” The problem is Cassie is at the wrong place/wrong time and some men show up to remove her from the job permanently. When she ends up killing one of them in self-defense, she releases the vampire they had captured and now he has taken Cassie under his wing for her own protection, but how can she be safer in the arms of a hot, sexy vampire?
Nina Bangs in one of those authors on my I want to read list, where I hope that someone offers me a review copy and give me an excuse to pop her on my TBR list. This story was just ok. There are some things that I don’t understand why she wrote them in, but again, I haven’t read anything of hers yet so I don’t know what’s part of her series and why she added them.
Rating: 3 stars – This story should have intrigued me enough to grab Book #1 of the series, but the characters just didn’t interest me.
In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Richart d’Alençon has been an Immortal Guardian for about 240 years now but the night he saves Jenna McBride from a group of vampires, is the night that truly changes his life. Guardians are not supposed to date humans, but he is so drawn to the lively Jenna that he can’t think about anything else but seeing her again. He wants to take the relationship further, but not until he can confess the truth to her. When Richart is wounded and drugged by an unknown enemy, he teleports directly to Jenna’s living room, carrying swords and covered in blood, just before passing out. Maybe she won’t notice anything weird about that? Uh, oh. If he survives the night, he’ll be in so much trouble.
I like the Immortal Guardians series, and we got to know Richart a little more in the last book, Phantom Shadows, where we see him sneaking phone calls to his human girlfriend. I definitely enjoyed Richart and Jenna’s story.
Rating: 5 stars – I like the Immortal Guardian series, and this had all the fun, excitement and great characters that I have come to expect from Dianne Duvall.
High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When fashionista Nina LaShay goes to New York City to compete in a fashion show, she bring her best designs, her scissors, but she forgets to pack an alibi. When her fellow competitors start turning up dead, of course, who is the first one they look at…the vampire. Like she would even need to snack on those “breathers” just to win. Nina had this competition in the bag. Now she has to figure out who’s killing the rest of the competitors before she ends up in jail or in a body bag.
Nina is a great character from the Urban Fantasy series, The Underworld Detection Agency. As roommate, co-worker and BFF of the main characters, Sophie Lawson, Nina is always around to add life and some fashion sense to the story. It was nice to see Nina shine in her own story, but something was missing without Sophie. Think Ethel without Lucy.
Rating: 4 stars – It was a good story, but if I didn’t follow the UDA series, I don’t know if this would have convinced me to try the series. Nina is playful and snarky, but without Sophie, you are missing the star of the series.
From In Still Darkness By Dianne Duvall:
“I was attacked by vampires?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” How could he keep something like that from her?
“I was attacked, Richart! You should have told me!”
“How?” he asked helplessly.
“Easy. You should have said, Jenna, I know this is going to sound strange, but you were attacked by vampires and I rescued–okay, I see your point. I would have thought you were off your rocker.” She rubbed a shaking hand over her face. “I can’t believe this. Did they…? What did they do to me?”
“Other than the bite, you were unharmed. They must have just taken you when I came upon you.”
“Am I infected?” If all Richart had said was true, she would turn into a psychotic vampire if she transformed. She didn’t have the special DNA need to make her immortal. She couldn’t read minds or teleport or see the future or whatever else they could do.
“No. A single brief bite won’t turn you. You would either have to be bitten fairly often over a stretch of time or have your blood drained until you were on the brink of death, then infused wholly with infected blood.”
And the vampire had only bitten her once. Briefly.
Richart covered the hand she had braced on the mattress with on of his. “Are you all right?”
She met his concerned gaze. “I’m freaked out over being attacked and having no memory of it. That’s really scary.”
“So you—what—killed them Blade-style?”
He smiled. “All but one, who got away, yes.”
“One got away?” Panic shrieked through her. “What if he came back? What if he bit me again and I just can’t remember it?”
“How do you know?”
“Have you experienced missing time again? Have there been any blank spots you couldn’t recall?”
She thought hard, trying to think of any other instances. “I don’t think so. But how can I be sure?”
“I’ve been guarding you,” he admitted, seeming almost ashamed.
“I used speed and stealth to obtain your work schedule and have been at the store every night when you arrived and departed in case he returned and tried to harm you.”
She stared at him. “Every night?”
“Is he likely to return?”
“No. He would have done so before now.”
“Yet you continued to watch over me.”
He shrugged. “At least you said watched. Sheldon kept accusing me of stalking you.”
I snuck this off my reading pile last night. This was a quick read (only 30 pages) but an interesting and well written story. Grab a copy.
Sophia Jones’s newest short short – The Pharaoh and the Curator: A Paranormal Erotic Tale goes on sale today and will be available for free until Tuesday, April 30th. I always loved ancient Egypt. Grab a copy while it’s free.
Unlucky in love museum curator Michelle Beaumont finds herself in Egypt where she contributes to god Amon Ra’s resurrection. His burning heat soon has her throwing caution to the desert winds, but a lurking danger threatens both of their souls.
Her first short story: The Phantom and the Psychic: A Paranormal Erotic Tale is also available for only $.99.
Psychic Alyssa DeAngelo travels to a castle-turned-resort in the Italian countryside to assist its owner with his ghostly problem. There, she encounters Dominicus Romano, a tormented soul who has dwelt within the castle walls for six centuries. Can she help him find peace?
Get more information about this new author:
ORDER A COPY: Wild Invitation: A Psy/Changeling Anthology (Psy-Changeling)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: March 5, 2013
Paperback: 339 pages
Rating: 4 stars
In Beat of Temptation , innocent Tamsyn has always had a place in her heart for Nathan, a blooded DarkRiver sentinel. But is she ready for the fierce demands of the mating bond?
In Stroke of Enticement , a wary young teacher, skeptical about love, arouses the man—and the animal—in an aggressive leopard changeling who must prove his affections are true.
Plus 2 NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED NOVELLAS
In Declaration of Courtship , Grace, a shy submissive wolf, finds herself pursued by the last man she ever would have imagined: a SnowDancer lieutenant said to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”
In Texture of Intimacy , SnowDancer healer Lara discovers the searing joys—and unexpected challenges—of being mated to quiet, powerful Walker, a man used to keeping his silence.
Beat of Temptation – Tamsyn and Nate are one of Dark River’s closest couples, but it was not always that way. When the mating bond engaged between Nate and Tamsyn, Tammy was only 15 to Nate’s 25. Nate had seen the damage that marrying too young had done to his mother, and he refused to trap Tamsyn into the lifelong bond until she was old enough and ready to commitment to him. So Nate has buried the bond deep within himself. Now 19, Tamsyn wants to begin her life with Nate but he is still uncertain. Has he buried the bond so deep that it will never return?
Stroke of Enticement – When Annie Kildaire was just a broken, lonely child, she wished for one thing: a friend to call her own. Now teaching at the school attended by most of the Dark River children, she appreciates the closeness of the pack and of the mated pairs. When Zach Quinn comes to pick up his misbehaving nephew, he is caught unaware by the instant bond between him and the shy Miss Kildaire. As a human, Annie doesn’t feel the bond like Zach does, so he will do anything to show Annie that he will be her’s forever.
Declaration of Courtship – Cooper is one of Snowdancer’s top lieutenants, strong, dominant and a powerful leader, and when shy, submissive Grace walked into his section, he knew she was meant to be his. But Cooper needs to go very slowly with such a submissive as Grace so there is no confusion whether she is submitting to him for love or in obligation. Cooper will find the patience he needs because he won’t accept anything less than Grace’s love.
Texture of Intimacy – Snowdancer’s healer Lara and Walker Lauren are now mated, but it will not be easy for a man who has spent his life hiding his emotions and woman who openly shares hers to learn to live together in harmony, but oh, it is so worth the extra effort.
If you read Nalini Singh’s psy-changeling series, there is no question that you will enjoy these mini-stories. If you don’t follow, there is no question that you will be picking up Book #1 and starting from the beginning after you have finished.
Although The last two books are indicated as never before published, I swear that I have read Grace and Cooper’s story before, but I also felt that way while I was reading Book #3 (Judd and Brenna’s story).
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
He forced himself to give Grace fifteen minutes to change and settle in, then stalked down to knock on her door.
This time, he attracted a few interested glances from passing packmates. It was late for a man to be going to a woman’s room, and as Grace’s boss had returned that afternoon, Cooper couldn’t excuse it on the grounds of a systems emergency. He knew they were close to busted. Good. He needed people to know she was his, that he should be told if she was ever in any trouble.
The lack of secrecy would also give him room to court her as outrageously as he liked.
When the door opened to reveal her clad in pajama pants of pale blue fleece featuring fluffy white sheep, along with a soft black T-shirt that caressed her with the finesse of a lover, her hair tumbling over her shoulders in a dark cloud, he had to take a deep, deep breath to settle his instinctive response to thrust his hands into the luxuriant mass, tilt back her neck and bite.
She’d scared him.
He hated the feeling, but he also knew his scars weren’t Grace’s fault. She’d acted as any female wolf would to a man who’d dared take her for granted, could have no idea of the violent response she’d incited in him. And if he had his way, she never would. Cooper didn’t want his nightmares to shadow the life he intended to build with her.
“Hello, Grace.” He leaned against the doorjamb, doing nothing to hide his appraisal of her beautiful body. When her nipples pushed against the well-washed fabric of her tee as her breath hitched, he realized she wasn’t wearing a bra, and self-control became one hell of a test. “I left my bag here the other day.”
“What?” Pulse thudding in her throat, she swallowed. “Oh, yes, I put it right here.” She went to get it, paused, turned back. “You did it on purpose.”
Smile deepening, he let his gaze linger on her lips. “Did I?”
Chest rising and falling in an increasingly rapid rhythm, she swallowed. “You’re being pushy.” It was a husky accusation.
He shrugged, his wolf prowling to the surface of his mind. “It’s who I am, you know that.” His gentleness with her hadn’t been feigned—he adored coaxing and petting Grace, but she needed to see and accept this side of him, too. He’d intended to ease her into it, but she’d changed his plans with her rebellion, aroused the primal core of his nature. “Your fault, you know.”
Her hand clenched on the edge of the door. “Mine?”
“You did challenge me tonight.” In her own way. “You know how wolf males react to a private challenge from a female.”
Her cheeks colored that pretty color he wanted to lick up from ever inch of her skin. “It wasn’t a challenge.”
“Don’t be liar now.” A slow tease. “I got the message.” He straightened from his leaning position to brace his hands on the top of the doorway, blocking her from the view of those in the corridor. This woman was his. He didn’t want to share. Not tonight. “Invite me in, bad girl.”
“If you got the message,” she murmured, standing firm, “You know I’m a little made at you.”
Strong, sexy, beautiful woman. “I think I can coax you out of a little mad.” Droping one hand, letting her see it so she wouldn’t startle, he ran a finger over her cheek. “All you need to do is open the door a fraction wider.”
Grace shivered…and stepped back.
ORDER A COPY: Fever (THE BREATHLESS TRILOGY)
Publishing Date: April 2, 2013
Paperback: 416 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise…
Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.
When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.
Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.
Jace Crestwell is still trying to get used to his baby sister, Mia, being engaged to one of his best friends and partner, Gabe Hamilton. At their engagement party, he can’t keep his eyes off of the intriguing woman working for the caterer. When Ash, sees the woman who Jace can’t keep his eyes off of, he steps in to see if she would be interested in sharing a bed with Jace and Ash tonight. Jace and Ash have been sharing women for several years now.
Bethany is as intrigued by Jace as he is with her, and if she has to sleep with both men to spend the night with him, so be it. It wouldn’t be a first for her. But the whole thing feels off to Jace from the beginning. He doesn’t like that his friend Ash is touching her. He wants Bethany all to himself.
When she disappears the next day, Jace is frantic to find her again. He doesn’t understand the driving need to find her, but he won’t stop until he does. Yet he has a greater shock when he tracks her down to women’s shelter near Hell’s Kitchen and finds out that Bethany doesn’t volunteer there, Bethany is homeless. He’s horrified when he realizes that anything could happen to her while she was unprotected and living on the street.
When he finally finds Bethany, there is no way he will let her get away from him, but he fears that if she can’t accept Jace’s controlling nature, she will disappear back onto the streets of New York, and he’ll never find her again. Worse is knowing that his friend has touched the one woman who has Jace in a possessive frenzy and it is putting a strain on their decades long friendship.
I like the way Maya Banks writes her characters. They are very passionate and well developed. Although I generally liked the story and it was a quick read, I was uncomfortable with the opening scene with Jace, Ash and Bethany because Jace was so uncomfortable with what was happening.
In this story, Jace has some great moments but just as many when he was an ass. Every time he was in a bad mood, he jumped all over her for something or other and then spends a good deal of time terrified she will leave and then trying to console her for treating her badly.
I understood that Bethany was relieved after all her life being ignored or abused and fighting to survive, that she would enjoy having someone like Jace taking care of her and making decision for her. I could also understand Bethany’s hesitation to believe that her good fortune in meeting a man like Jace who would take care of her would last and her self-consciousness that she wasn’t good enough for a man of Jace’s wealth and education. What I couldn’t understand is that for someone who has been taking care of herself for most of her life, she didn’t try to get a job once Jace set her up in an apartment. She kept saying it wouldn’t last and he will get bored with her very soon, but she didn’t try to get herself a decent job so that when he asked her to leave, she would have some money to get her own apartment. Instead of hanging around all day waiting for Jace to come home and jump her, it would have helped her self-esteem and her fear that she would be tossed back onto the street, if she had a job and earned her own money, or maybe was taking classes so she wouldn’t feel so inferior to Jace. She had what she believed was temporary good luck, but she didn’t do anything to improve her own situation so she wouldn’t end up right back on the street if he got bored with her. That annoyed me and if I thought too much about it, it left me feeling like Jace was just taking advantage of a homeless woman with no where else to go.
With the exception of my personal annoyance at Bethany, it was a good story and I am looking forward to see what Maya has planned for Ash.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
Kate said Bethany was injured and his mind was filled with images, none that were good. They hadn’t gotten into specifics. Jace had been too impatient to get to her. How the hell had she gotten hurt?
A woman alone on the streets…There were 1,001 ways for her to get hurt and every one of them made Jace’s gut clench.
When his car pulled up in front of the shelter, he directed his driver to wait. Hopefully he wouldn’t be long, but he was prepared for anything.
He strode toward the entrance, the wind biting through his coat. When he opened the door, his gaze immediately swept the room, searching out Bethany. Then, finally, he saw her. In the back. Off to one side. Away from the others. She was sitting in a chair, pale and looking lost. Still, he drank in the sight of her, relieved beyond words that she was here. He could see that her pants were torn at the knees and on one side. He could also see the bloodstains on her clothing and the raw scrapes on her elbows. What the ever-loving hell? Before he could start over, Kate stepped in front of him, her face creased with worry.
“Will you be taking her with you, Mr. Crestwell?”
“Oh yes,” he said quietly. “She’s coming with me. I’ll take care of her, I promise.”
Kate’s expression eased. “Good. I worry about her. About all of them.”
He started to step forward, eager to get to her and to see how badly she was hurt, but Kate stopped him once more.
“I want to thank you,” she said in a soft voice. “For everything. The heat. The food. The generous donation. Look around you, Mr. Crestwell. All these woman have a warm place to sleep and food to eat because of you.”
Jace grimaced, uncomfortable with her gratitude. He nodded briefly and then headed for Bethany. Her eyes were closed. She looked asleep sitting up. He took the opportunity to study her more closely and he swore at what he saw.
She looked even thinner if possible. There were shadows under the eyes. She was pale.
And she was hurting.
He knelt quietly in front of her. As soon as she sensed his presence, her eyes flew open and she flinched away, panic firing in her eyes.
“It’s all right, Bethany,” he murmured.
Her eyes widened and he was gratified to see that her fear disappeared, but it was quickly replaced by confusion.
His name came out a cautious whisper, almost as if she didn’t belief it was him kneeling in front of her. Then she straightened and she turned her hands inward, hiding the scrapes and the blood.
“What are you doing here?” she asked in a trembling voice.
His expression hardened and he stood. Her gaze followed him up and without saying anything, he simply reached down and plucked her slight weight from the chair. She landed softly against his chest and he cradled her possessively, determined that nothing else would hurt her. Then she stiffened and her mouth fell open with a gasp.
“What are you doing?” she hissed.
He strode toward the door, he grip tightening when she began to struggle.
“Taking you away from here,” he bit out.
She began to protest in earnest and Jace caught Kate’s worried stare. He nodded to reassure the older woman and then he tightened his hold on her further.
“Enough,” he ground out. “Don’t fight me. You’re worrying Kate. I’m not going to hurt you. I promised her I’d take care of you. Don’t make a scene. Do you want to frighten all the women?”
She bit her lip and went limp. Slowly she shook her head. “No,” she whispered. “But you can’t just carry me out of here, Jace.”
ORDER A COPY: True
Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
ebook: 238 pages
Rating: 5 stars
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost.
Rory Macintosh was like any college sophomore, going to class, making new friends and looking for love. Rory just happens to be premed and as socially shy and awkward as she is smart. Rory has never had a boyfriend. The boys in high school just didn’t get her and so far it hasn’t gotten any better in college. Although Rory doesn’t intend to do as much bed-hoping has her roommates, she wishes she could finally find someone special. When fellow student Tyler Mann saves her from a sexual assault from a drunk co-ed, Rory sees that there is more to Tyler than just his tattoos and bad boy image. He is thoughtful, generous and kind with the same odd sense of humor as Rory. But Rory refuses to fool herself into thinking that someone like hot, sexy Tyler could be the least interested in an awkward geek such as herself.
Rory needs help with her Lit class and Tyler needs help with his biology and they agree to tutor each other. The more Rory gets to know Tyler and understands his goal to graduate and get a good job so he can take his younger brothers away from his drug abusing mother, the harder Rory is falling for this soft-hearted, bad boy, and the more time they spend together, the harder it is for Rory to remember why she isn’t supposed to fall in love with him.
When she learns that her friends have paid Tyler to help her lose her virginity, she believes her humiliation is complete. What doesn’t make sense is that for someone who is supposed to be getting paid to sleep with her, Tyler seems more interested in spending time with Rory without getting naked. Could a boy like Tyler really be interested in an unsocial geek like Rory?
I really loved these characters and watching them bond. Tyler is a damaged hero, my favorite kind. He is the kid from the wrong neighborhood that you judge poorly when you first see him with his t-shirts and mass of tattoos. His drug abusing mother calls him a loser and after years of being subjected to that, living in the poorest neighborhood with little money after his mother buys her drugs, and struggling to keep is younger brothers safe, he doesn’t feel worthy of someone as smart as Rory. Tyler likes her odd sense of humor and to him she is absolutely beautiful. Tyler just wants to be near her, even if she only wants to be friends, and it is a miracle to him when she tells him that she loves him. Rory’s quiet nature is a calm haven in his stormy life.
This is an official New Adult book which “features characters who are at the stage of figuring out who they are.” Generally that is post-high school, and is either entering college or just entering the work force. Rory has dated she still has some leftover teenage angst, but it is tempered by her linear thinking. She is shy and socially awkward so her angst comes out by her being afraid that the interest Tyler is showing in her is just going to set her for heartbreak as she falls for him, what would he want with a girl like her. She is upset when she learns that her friends offered Tyler money to sleep with her so she could “get over the shy virgin thing,” and although she does cry about it, before she rails at him, she thinks things through and is confused that for someone who is supposed to be getting her in bed, he’d rather just spend time with her.
Once Rory and Tyler establish a relationship, it is Tyler’s drug abusing mother and Rory’s overprotective father who become the antagonists in this story, interfering with the lives of their children and doing their best to destroy everything.
I enjoyed the building of the relationship and the romance between these two slightly unusual characters.
My only complaint here is that I believe this story needed to have an epilogue. Rory’s father doesn’t want her involved with Tyler because of all his family problems. He is afraid of her being around the drug abusing mother and the issues that come up and that Tyler will be burdened with raising his younger siblings, and that is all drama that Rory doesn’t have to get involved with and that she should find a “normal” boyfriend. In the end, of course, they decide they want to be together, which is easy to say at that point in the story. I do believe that even their difficulties could have been worked out with a little determination to be together. In the end, I would have like to see, for example, by the time Rory graduated from med school (6 years later), how the dynamics of Tyler and his older brother would have worked out caring for the younger siblings; how Tyler and Rory’s relationship would have evolved around their more grown up responsibilities and her med school; would Rory’s father look past Tyler’s family issues and tattoos to see what a good man he was for his daughter; etc.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
“I’m going to the grocery story. Is there anything you want?”
“Pop Tarts,” Jayden said.
“Milk,” was Easton’s response.
“Jesus,” Tyler muttered under his breath, and I knew that he was thinking exactly what I was thinking—that a ten-year-old shouldn’t have to ask for milk. Louder, he said, “Okay, be back in an hour. Lock the door.”
He stubbed out his cigarette in an overflowing ashtray and pulled the nasty garbage bag out of the can and pulled it tight. Then he gestured for me to follow him out the back door.
I wasn’t sure what to say to him, but he had barely gone two feet when he said, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I should have never brought you here. But when Easton called, I wasn’t sure how bad she was, and I didn’t want to take the time to drive you back. But I should have. I’m sorry.” He was fast-walking down the back steps, and in the dark I couldn’t see his face.
“It’s okay,” I told him, because it was.
“No, it’s not!” Tyler took the bag of garbage and threw it at the rusting metal cans next to the garage. It hit with a loud bang, knocking the can over, the lid spinning and coming to a stop a few feet away. “God! What the fuck was I thinking?” He reached out and kicked the can, twice, his boot making an angry dent. “Here I’ve been trying to impress you and then I bring you here. I’m a fucking idiot. What about my life could possibly impress you?”
His face was agonized, his anger and frustration and humiliation all written there clearly for me to read. I was struggling not to cry, because I knew that he was struggling not to cry tears of anger. I had never seen anything like what had just happened. I knew in theory that mothers could be awful and drug addition was rampant and people lived in dirty houses, but I had never seen it. Never smelled it. Never heard those kinds of words designed to hurt outside of movies.
I went over to him by the garbage cans and I put my hands on his cheeks, drawing his face toward mine, going up on my tiptoes so I could see into his eyes with more clarity. “Actually, I’ve never been more impressed with you than I am right now.”
He stared down at me, jaw working. I kissed him. I closed my eyes and guided my mouth up to his, pouring all of my emotions into the touch. I wanted him to understand that I understood, that I thought he was amazing for the way he dealt with his life. That the fact that he still found reason to grin and laugh were testament to his true nature, that his desire to take care of his brothers spoke volumes about his character. There was no one in Streetcar like Tyler. He was trying to make the best of his life.
We’re talking with author Marc Rainer about his work as a former Assistant United States Attorney, as well as where he plans to take his fictional task force in future stories.
ORDER A COPY: Capital Kill
Publishing Date: March 31, 2013
Paperback: 333 pages
Rating: 5 stars
A few short blocks from the safety of the museums and monuments on the National Mall, a ruthless killer prowls the streets of Washington DC. Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask joins a team of FBI agents and police detectives as they try and solve the series of brutal murders. As the body count rises, the investigation leads to a chilling confrontation with the leader of an international drug smuggling ring, and no one is safe, not even the police.
Jeffrey Trask decided it was time to leave the Air Force Justice Department. The work was fulfilling, but the hours and the travel successfully killed his marriage. Moving to Washington D.C. and accepting a position as an Assistant United States Attorney, meant more than just a change of location. The court system in D.C. encompasses 68 square miles of madness, with the various levels of trial courts, as well as Metro Police, FBI, CIA, DEA and the like constantly trying not to step on each other toes. But Jeff thinks he is up for the task.
His boss certainly does. Robert Lassiter, Chief of the Criminal Bureau, needs more men with a trial record and the ethics of a man like Jeff Trask and he is staking is reputation pushing Trask up the ladder straight to Federal Court level.
Trask hits his first few days on the job running — straight to Court and meeting some of D.C.’s finest, Detectives Dixon “Dix” Carter and Juan Ramirez, better known about town as The Twins, bring in a 18 year old selling PCP who might know just what happened to their snitch, Junebug. Little do they know that this bust will become a case that will change their lives forever.
In this thrilling crime drama, we follow the police, the FBI, and the US Attorney’s Office as they work together through the complex D.C. legal system to bring down a dangerous drug lord who doesn’t fear getting his hands dirty and who believes that silencing snitches permanently is just an entertaining part of his job.
This is the best crime drama I have read in a long time. I loved the way we are introduced to the characters by just watching them go about their jobs. Just like in the real world the main storyline here is not the only case being worked on by any of these parties. By the end of the story, we don’t have to presume that Trask will win his case just because he’s a main character. We know he will because we have gotten to know that he is hard working and very knowledgeable. We have seen that Robert Lassiter has integrity and is more interested in doing right by the people of Washington D.C. than just furthering his career. We also learn that not everyone is a team player and that there are some more interested in getting ahead than getting dangerous criminals off the street.
This has a very Law and Order feel to it, but unlike L&O it isn’t split up into cops and lawyers. This story shows that to properly take down dangerous criminals you need a task force from the various agencies all working together for the same cause — keeping the people safe. It also shows that it’s not always about the star, it’s about the team, and sometimes even the new guy comes up with an important clue.
I was a big fan of the John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport and James Patterson’s Alex Cross, but I didn’t like that in both those stories the main character drifted away from their respective units and task forces, and were always working solo. They were following dangerous serial killers with no one backing them up, which would be insanity. Eventually I just lost interest.
I am looking forward to see where Book #2 takes us and if we will be meeting new characters as we investigate the next set of murders.
Here’s one I finally get to share with Dad. He’s going to love it.
Received a review copy from the author. Thank you.
“After the thing with Roderick Greene surfaced, I spoke with out best profiler at headquarters,” Dorez continued. “He said he’d never seen anything like this before. In his experience, most serial killers who leave calling cards are actually inviting a sordid game of Catch Me if You Can. They leave a real clue here or there, even if it’s some kind of misdirection. They try to show that they’re smarter than we are—dare us to catch them. That’s why we often see them writing us—or the media—letters, and they may even attempt to get some relationship established with one of us to personalize what they see as the game.
“This guy—our killer—is not doing any of those things. In our profiler’s opinion, he’s just spitting in our faces. He’s doing nothing at all to give us a clue—misdirection or otherwise—and believes we’re really helpless to stop him. It’s not that he wants a game. He believes he’s at war with us, and has nothing but hatred for us and his victims. That’s why he’s chosen to kill them in one of the most torturous ways possible, both mentally and physically, and that’s why he wants us to know he’s doing it—to intimidate us, his enemies.”
“Reminds me of some of the things I heard from the POWs after they came back from ‘Nam,” Lassiter said. “Some of the things the guards did at the Hanoi Hilton had nothing to do with getting information out of our guys. They just wanted them to suffer, and in some cases, die.”
“Exactly,” Doroz nodded. “What we have, guys, is a sociopathic sadist. Our profiler also said that I should warn everyone here to be extremely careful. This guy’s hatred for informants and cops means he may very well want to go down fighting and to take some of us with him.”
“Let’s not give him that opportunity,” Carter spoke in a somber tone. “He’s a problem, but he’s not worth anyone in his room going down. Let’s be smart, and as careful as our target has been.”
“If I might throw something out here,” Trask offered, “We also need to start planning to rebut an insanity defense, assuming that we’re able to take this guy alive and try him.”
“Agreed,” Lassiter said, “As well as a capital prosecution. We already have the required aggravation factors in evidence to justify a death-penalty case, even if we don’t have proof of the identify of the killer. And a capital prosecution would mean that the defense would automatically consider an insanity defense, even if we didn’t already have five murders so sadistic that a layman juror would already be thinking that the killer’s nuts.”
“So this asshole might skate because he just likes to kill. What a system.” Ramirez was walking around the room shaking his head.
ORDER A COPY: Wrecked
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: April 2, 2013
Paperback: 320 Pages
Rating: 4 stars
In the nineties, Abigale Applegate and Zach Barnes were the most beloved sitcom child stars in the world. Then they grew up and left Hollywood behind…
Whatever happened to Abigale Applegate?
She’s been wondering the same thing.
With her Hollywood dreams long gone, Abigale now has a nice, neat, uncomplicated life—until the day her perfect fiancé needs to talk. Dumped, a little more than shattered, and totally confused, Abigale turns to Zach, her best friend since forever, to help her pick up the pieces. He does it with a gift—a copy of Wreck This Journal. She can vent her frustrations, and sketch out a new plan. Zach just hopes he’s part of it. Because he’s been in love with Abigale his entire life.
When the journal falls into Zach’s hands, he discovers Abigale wants a new man. And fast. Nothing more than a hot distraction. Zach has a strategy, too. He’s going to be that man. It’s his last chance. Abigale might be out to shake up her life, but Zach’s out to reinvent it. Now, all he has to do is convince Abigale that life can go as planned.
When Abigail Applegate’s fiancé called off their wedding, she called the one person who has been there for her since they were kids, her best friend and former child co-star, Zach Barnes. Abby was surprised when Zach told her that Roger never loved her. He just wanted to be with “Kate.”
Zach believed that if Roger had loved her, “when you walked into a room, it would have shown on his face,…he’d have been so busy staring at you because he just had to see you…” What Abby never realized was that for all these years it was Zach who had been watching her every time she walked into the room.
Zach couldn’t believe his luck that Roger, that prick, walked away from Abigail before the wedding. It was one of the worst days of his life when Abby announced she was marrying that worthless bastard. Roger never loved her, but no one could ever love Abby as much as Zach does.
Abby makes a list of things she needs to do next, including having “a torrid affair.” When Zach finds out Abby’s plan, he knows he can’t keep quiet any longer and watch her with another man or worse, risk losing her to someone else. This is the chance he has been waiting for most of his life. He only needs to convince Abby that he would be the perfect man for this torrid affair, then maybe he can finally convince her to love him forever.
I’m a sucker for a good friends to lover story. You can tell that Abby and Zach had a solid friendship and you feel for Zach in his almost lifelong love for Abby and how painful it has been to support her in relationships with other men who have continually hurt the one woman he wants to worship.
Once Abby takes a good long look at her best friend, she realizes how gorgeous and sexy Zach is and how perfect he would be for her. After all their years together, they knew the best and worst of each other, but at first she feel creepy lusting after her best friend. That is until she gets up the nerve to kiss him and things quickly sizzle between them in new and exciting ways.
Poor Zach, as he finally gets the woman he has been desperate for, several “friends” who have watched him moon for Abby for years seem to try sabotage his relationship just as it is getting off the ground.
I enjoyed reading the story unfolding between them as their new romantic relationship deepens their friendship.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
Once she left the room, Zach dropped his head down on his desk and groaned. He had to do this. He knew he did. And he wasn’t going to deny a very huge part of him wanted to do this—wanted it so bad, his hands were shaking from it, but how in the hell was he supposed to handle this without losing his damn mind?
“By doing your damn job.” She came here because she wanted some ink. So that was what he was going to do.
As he pushed back from the desk, he kicked the chair she’d dragged over and knocked her purse over. The journal fell out as he scooped up the purse. He went to dump them both back on the chair, but found himself flipping through the journal. She hadn’t done much of anything.
But then he stopped.
One page held her neat writing.
She’d titled it. That was typical Abby, although it made him a little nervous. Wreck this life. What the hell…
But the first goals had him smiling. Tell off Roger. Cool. Flip off the photographers? He’d been telling her to do that for years. Stop worrying so much. Wonderful.
The tattoo…yes. She was serious.
But the last one had the blood draining out of his head.
Snapping it closed, he dumped the book on top of her purse and shot upright. Have a fucking affair? What the hell?
Thunder crashed inside his head. At least it felt that way, although more than likely, he was having a stroke or something. His feet seemed to get in the way as he turned around and started for the door. They needed to talk.
Abby had just broken things off with that prick she’d been engaged to. She was upset and feeling a little lost, needed to do something crazy. He could understand that, he thought. And while he was completely on board with her learning to live a little, the idea of her having a fucking affair with some guy who wouldn’t give a damn about her made him want to chew glass and break things. Lots of things.
Still, that journal was her personal property and he hadn’t had any right to go rooting through it. He hadn’t expected to find anything like that and how could he explain he’d read it? He couldn’t lie to her. But did he tell her that she needed to think this through?
Following the sound of her voice, he stopped in the doorway and made himself close his eyes while she finished placing the order.
Breathe, man. Gotta breathe. Gotta think. Gotta be calm.
First he had to explain just how he’d managed to see it in the journal. He hadn’t exactly been prying…well, he had, but he was her best friend and he was nosy, and she knew that, and…
Feeling the weight of her gaze, he lifted his lashes, not looking directly at her. Not yet.
But Abby wasn’t looking at his face.
She was eyeing his arms. Catching her lower lip between her teeth, she tugged on the soft curve and he almost went to his knees at the sight. A second later, she glanced away, but then she looked back.
The thunder that had been crashing inside his head grew louder and louder.
Have a torrid affair.
Damn it, if she was dead set on that idea, she could have an affair with him, he decided.
Even as the idea slammed into him, he tried to brush it aside. He’d kept what he felt wrapped up and buried deep for years. Spilling it now?
Just wondering if you’re ever going to do anything about it.
Hell. He was lecturing Abby about living life and letting go, and here he was, afraid to grab on.
The woman he wanted like he wanted his next breath was standing right there and he was afraid to even make a move.
ORDER A COPY: After Hours: (InterMix)
Publishing Date: April 16, 2013
Paperback: 284 pages
Rating: 5 stars
A dangerous infatuation with a rough and ready man…
Erin Coffey has been a nurse for years, but nothing’s prepared her for the physical and emotional demands of her new position. Needing to move closer to her dysfunctional family, she takes a dangerous job at Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital, where she quickly learns that she needs protection—and she meets the strong, over-confident coworker who’s more than willing to provide it.
Kelly Robak is the type of guy that Erin has sworn she’d never get involved with. She’s seen firsthand, via her mess of a sister, what chaos guys like him can bring into a woman’s life. But she finds herself drawn to him anyway, even when he shows up at her door, not eager to take no for an answer.
What Erin finds even more shocking than Kelly’s indecent proposal is how much she enjoys submitting to his every command. But he can’t play the tough guy indefinitely. If they want to have more than just an affair, both will have to open up and reveal what they truly need.
Erin Coffee is nervous about her new job. She has a shiny new nursing degree and the best job within a reasonable distance of her sister and nephew is at Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital. Of course, the position wasn’t on a regular floor. Erin always finds a way to jump right into the deep end. She’ll be working on the locked floor with those patients with violent tendencies.
The first person she sees on her tour of the facility is a wall of a man, but thankfully he’s not a patient. Kelly Robak is there to keep the patients calm, but all he does to Erin is get her worked up thinking about what he could do with those great big hands of his. If only Kelly didn’t look like the type of man her floosy mother would have dragged home, Erin might be very tempted to check out if he was large everywhere else.
She can’t deny the obvious attraction between them and as she gets to know Kelly better, she finds he is not the cold, womanizer she keeps trying to make him out as. After a lifetime of trying to be the level headed one in the family, can she risk her heart and her trust to a man like Kelly?
This is storytelling at its best. I truly enjoyed watching this story unfold. There was no chase scene, no explosions, no serial killer, and even though I can’t point to anything specific that makes this story exception, I would say that this was simply an enjoyable, well written story. It was a story of two people meeting at work, getting to know each other both inside and outside of work and due to both of their bad childhoods, how they struggled with letting someone else into their lives and admitting they wanted more. Although the description lead me to believe that Erin will be in danger from someone at the mental facility, that wasn’t the case. So don’t waste you time waiting for the boogyman to jump from the closet like I did.
Although I was frustrated that neither Kelly nor Erin would do something as simple as ask the other if they wanted more, they stayed true to their written characters. Erin was used to being the dependable, rock for her sister and had a hard time allowing herself to lean on or trust Kelly to be there. He reminded her too much of the endless line up of men that her mother and her sister gravitated toward for Erin to believe he would want more than just the sexual conquest.
Erin has a Lizzie Bennett complex. She judges people on sight which is her fatal flaw and why she works against her own happiness. She decides what Kelly will want from her and creates shortcomings in him without giving him a chance.
This was a first person narrative, which is unusual for a romance book, so we are as much in the dark as Erin as to Kelly’s underlying feelings, and although he understands her standoffishness, you can see he was enjoying his time with her and was confused by her cold shoulder toward him.
I have been turned off by the contemporary romance selections for so long, gravitating to the more interesting paranormals and some historicals to break that up, but I am definitely enjoying this new New Adult/Intermix selection even it if is geared towards a younger crowd. The storylines have so far proven to be much more interesting than the bondage-loving billionaire and the accidental baby plotlines.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
In this scene Erin is getting basic training in restraining patients.
“You and you,” he said, pointing to a nurse and an orderly. They both looked a bit wary, but surely they didn’t share the fear that had me to unnerved—the fear of enjoying touching this brute far too much.
I watched as they ran drills with Kelly, and tried very hard not the think about getting drilled by Kelly. Then it was my turn, me and another young LPN. “Legs,” she said. We’d been taught to “call” our intended target, much like shouting “I got it!” in a baseball game to avoid colliding with one’s teammate. It meant I was on arms. Big huge scarred-up Kelly Robak arms. When the moment came to grasp them, my hands were nowhere near big enough to get a decent purchase on his obscenely thick biceps. Lordy me.
He went down pretty easy the first time, and if I wasn’t mistaken, he smiled at me. With the side of his face pressed to the mat, it was tough to tell.
“Enjoying yourself?” He asked, like he’d come upon me reading on a park bench.
“I am. Maybe I’ll order you a white wine, while you’re down there,” I said too quiet for anyone else to hear.
Now he was definitely smirking. “With a straw, I hope.”
Audra shouted her approval of our technique and we let Kelly go. We switched legs and arms, then it was time to rotate again. I was tiring, my back achy from all the bending, shoulders grinding in their sockets. This was a hard-ass job. A decent workout, though if dampened by the possibility of bodily harm.
“Let’s try some headlocks,” Audra said after a water break, some time later. We’d just rotated back into Kelly’s tutelage and I eyed his arm yet again, imagining it clamped around my windpipe.
“Trainees, attack your trainers, and trainers, break free in slo-mo.”
I swallowed as Kelly turned to me first. With me at five-three and him at least a foot taller, it was easier said than done. I’d look less like an attacker than a scarf.
“You want a stepstool?”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m not that short,” I said as I circled around him. “You’re just way too tall.” I looped my arm around his neck, having to press my chest flush to his back to reach. Goddamn, he was warm. And hard. And huge.
I felt his hand on my forearm, demonstrating for the other trainees in my group. His fingertips seemed to dawdle at my wrist as he spoke, casual as a woman might caress a garment at a store, admiring the fabric. Surely I was imagining that.
ORDER A COPY: The Quizzing-Glass Bride
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: April 4, 2013
eBook: 74 pages
Rating: 3 stars
When Lady Fern Reynolds confided in a sympathetic houseguest that she was considering running away to London to escape betrothal to an unknown suitor, she did not expect him to offer her shelter. And she certainly did not imagine tumbling for him, the Viscount Sandford. But that was the least of her surprises, as she discovered the wedding was to go on as planned–and her groom was strangely familiar.
Lady Fern didn’t realize why a dinner with Lord Warwick was requiring her to wear a ridiculous dress of frills and beads and this hideous hairpiece and tiara, that is until she heard the servants twittering on about her upcoming engagement to him. It has been five years since last time Lady Fern saw his lordship after he caught her feeding sweets to his horses, and all she remembers is his stunning eyes and his beard. Now they were expecting her to marry him, without even discussing it with her. And how can she even determine if she likes him when her mother has forbidden her from wearing her glasses. They are unbecoming to a lady. Of course, so is falling on her face because she can’t see where she is walking. So it is no surprise to her, when the evening is a complete failure.
When the handsome Viscount Sandford (a/k/a Lord Warwick) comes the next day to speak to Fern’s father and finds his bespectacled betrothed crying in the library, he realizes that she wasn’t being rude to him. She couldn’t see him. He believes this is his chance to secretly find out what her objections are to the marriage. He quickly understands that he made a mistake in ignoring his impulse to speak with Fern first, and comes up with a plan to help Fern sneak away to London to avoid the marriage.
He now needs to go forward with care. Confess his duality her too soon and his plans might falter, but wait too long and he risks destroying the fragile feelings which are developing between them.
I chose a copy of this story because it seemed like an interesting concept but it turned out to be an unremarkable story. For a short story, the first 10 pages are a conversation between Fern and her maid, who was written with an odd and very annoying accent and made it annoying to read. As it was the beginning of the story, it would have read better without the accent and allowed us to get into the story sooner. The dinner party was also written very awkward. Fern’s parents are uninterested in their daughter and are written as typical aristocrats. Her mother keeps fainting under the smallest duress and her father just wants to disappear to his library. It is hard to believe a headstrong woman like Fern would (1) come from parents such as these, and (2) allow her mother to push her into the ridiculous outfit and allow herself to meet a man she was supposed to marry without her glasses on when she can’t see at all without them. I might have given up at this point, but since it was only 70 pages, I thought I would keep going.
It does pick up when Lord Warwick posses under another of his titles as Viscount Sandford and gets to know Fern and understand what are her objections to marrying Lord Warwick.
Unfortunately, then we are getting back to some far fetched storytelling since we have a reverse Clark Kent/Superman disguise since she can’t tell the difference from the man she met at dinner without her glasses (even though he kisses her) and the man in front of her when she is wearing her glasses. We also have the not very well thought out plot of disguising Fern as a page and bringing her to his London home, where he is planning on hiding her in his bedroom and his staff is to believe she is a boy.
There just wasn’t much to this short story to allow for these awkward plot points.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
She was dressed in a simple gown of rose sarcenet, with a tantalizing underslip of the purest white–silk, he thought, but he could not be sure. She was turned from him, a book open upon her lap. She had not read a word for ages. He could see, for the fifth page of Ivanhoe was stained with tears.
He made a small movement, then startled in surprise. It was not the bright, abundant gold locks that arrested him, for he had glimpsed them the night before, beneath the appalling headpiece. What captured his attention was the revealing satin ribbon dangling down the nape of her neck.
What a clodpoll he was! The lady wore spectacles! It would explain much, he thought, especially her cutting of him at the outset, when she had rudely brushed past his extended hand. Oh, there had been myriad clues…Now that he thought on them he was only astonished he had not perceived it before.
What a pother over nothing!
He peered at her closely. The spectacles were charming and distinctive. Common iron, with loops at the end of each temple for a securing ribbon. A bit dark, perhaps, for her piquant face, but that could be rectified. Good Lord, he could have gold ones wrought if she so wished! It was not that uncommon–Lady Asterley had famous silver spectacles; there was the new tortoiseshell…But he ran ahead of himself. He was not home and hosed yet, he was certain.
Ivanhoe was growing wetter. The lady was now weeping quite freely. He wondered whether it would be diplomatic to depart unseen, or have himself announced.
The decision was wrested from him by the lady herself, who looked up at the precise moment he was pondering this conundrum. The book slid from her lap with a large crash, and she jumped up guiltily, affording the gentleman an utterly guileless smile.
“I am sorry, sir. You have caught me trespassing on Sir Peter’s library! I am not usually such a watering pot, only…”
“Oh, I should not burden a stranger with my troubles! Step inside, and I shall call a servant. Sir Peter is hunting, I believe, but if it is urgent a footman can be sent…”
Warwick did not hear where the footman could be sent. He was too astonished to vouch-safe anything but the mildest reply as he regarded her with suddenly acute eyes. Good Lord, she behaved as though she did not recognize him! And her charming demeanor was at such odds with her behavior the previous night, it could hardly be credited!
“Miss Reynolds, do you not know who I am?”
Fern looked startled. “Should I? Your countenance is certainly familiar, but I cannot perfectly recall ever being introduced. But I am such a shatterbrain, you must forgive me! If we have met, it was probably in London, and my first season, you know, was an unmitigated disaster!”
“That I cannot believe!” Warwick was gallant more by habit than by choice. His mind was far too active wondering how the devil the girl did not recognize him. Either she was playing a very deep game, or he must tread carefully. Perhaps, if she did not recognize him, it would give him a fresh start, time to talk to her without her prejudices or angers or fears. Fern might slap Lord Warwick in the face the next time they met, but she would surely treat a stranger with more courtesy! Warwick decided rather whimsically that he would rather be the stranger.
Here are some free eBooks for you to try. I haven’t read them yet, but I got my copies. Don’t wait too long. Get your copy while they’re still free.
New York Times bestselling series!
It’s never a good day when an ancient demon shows up on your toilet bowl. For Lizzie Brown that’s just the beginning. Soon her hyperactive terrier starts talking and her long-lost biker witch Grandma is hurling Smuckers jars filled with magic. Just when she thinks she’s seen it all Lizzie learns she’s a demon slayer-and all hell is after her.
Of course that’s not the only thing after her. Dimitri Kallinikos a devastatingly handsome shape-shifting griffin needs Lizzie to slay a demon of his own. But how do you talk a girl you’ve never met into going straight to the underworld? Lie. And if that doesn’t work how dangerous could a little seduction be…?
Dancer Melanie Brooks had escaped small-town Oklahoma, giving up the country for Broadway’s bright lights. Yet after her mother’s funeral called her back, her own health issues forced her to stay. Now her tenant, too-hot-for-his-own-good Adam Benson, is giving her a reason to dance again. But has a killer set his sights on her, too?
Adam knows a little something about fresh starts. As for his beautiful neighbor, he doesn’t see a wheelchair—he sees a woman who understands. But as the heat grows between them, he can’t avoid the feeling that more than her big-city past haunts her—and that danger has been lurking, waiting to strike.
Deputy Sheriff Nick Rogers found out small-town life meant adjusting to two things–gossips and Laney Cavanaugh. And neither was much help in solving a bridal shower murder.
Some days it appeared like everyone in Whitehorse had a secret–including their new lawman. And falling for Laney wasn’t a good way to maintain a low profile. Nick might have been new to Whitehorse, but he wasn’t above getting his hands dirty. Even if everybody in Laney’s family had it in for the victim, and they were fixing for a fight. Wedding bells were always trouble, and, unfortunately, trouble always had a way of hunting Nick down.
The best thing between Oliver Barrett and Mackenzie Williams is a fence. Ever since Oliver’s new-neighbor gestures were met with unfriendly responses, he’s decided to keep his distance. After all, he’s in this seaside town to get his life on track again. That doesn’t include working hard to get on Mackenzie’s good side—no matter how intriguing she may be. His intentions are put to the test, however, when his dog becomes infatuated with hers. The two crafty canines do their best to break down the barriers between the properties. And where the dogs go , well, the humans must follow! It doesn’t take long for a powerful attraction to build between Oliver and Mackenzie. They soon discover that the worst of first impressions can lead to the best possible outcomes .
Subject: Navy SEAL Lieutenant Blake Landon
Current Status: Two weeks of enforced leave
Mission: Distract himself in any way possible
Obstacle: A woman who tempts him to break the rules…including his own!
Navy SEAL Blake Landon (aka “Boy Scout”) knows the rule book inside and out. Checked. Rechecked. But when a mission ends badly, his entire team is ordered on leave. And that’s when Blake sees the tall redhead whose dark eyes suggest that the rules-especially those in bed-are made to be broken.
Scientist Alexia Lane has sex on the brain-partly for work, but mostly because she needs a man who makes her girly parts do the happy dance. Her only no-no? No military dudes. But Blake’s rockin’ bod promises delicious pleasures, and Alexia is halfway to sexual Nirvana before she can find out he’s actually a Navy SEAL.