Title: Lies We Keep
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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One and Done
Publication date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance
“If you kiss enough frogs, eventually you’re going to get a fungus…”
When Autumn’s best friend Summer surprises her with a girls’ getaway in Cyprus for her 30th birthday, she makes up her mind that now is her time to shine. This is exactly the fresh start she needs to put the past and a messy divorce behind her. She might have bought into the ideology of Mr. Right once, but that myth was long busted—been there, done that—and she has the broken heart to prove it.
When a family emergency causes her bestie to bail on her minutes before their flight takes off, Autumn finds herself alone and bound for the “Island of Love.” Summer had an itinerary chock-full of girlfriend goodies planned—massages, salsa lessons, parasailing… Okay, maybe not parasailing, but this was going to be a week of fun, and now suddenly it’s a week for one. Armed with her Best Friends Guide Book for Having Fun—and no best friend—Autumn plans to check into her beachside villa with her new BFF, Captain Morgan.
Being ranked one of the top surfers in the world does have its perks, but discovering your sex-tape was released on social media?—definitely not one of them. On the heels of a scandal that has sponsors threatening to cancel his contracts, Balen Kroft has strict instructions from his publicist to lie low for the next week while this whole fiasco blows over. Seven days of incognito before hitting the surf again at the Titan’s of Maverick Invitational might not be such a bad thing—rest, relaxation, and fun in the sun… Until he comes face-to-face with his own personal riptide. If he’s not careful, Autumn Harris may just pull him under.
The fiery ginger has no idea who Balen really is and he’s determined to keep it that way. After the last eight months and a series of self-destructive behaviors, he’s content to let her believe he’s a homeless, beach-bumming surfer, living a carefree life one day at a time.
Autumn’s sexy vagabond is just charming enough to convince her to let him crash in the spare room of her villa. In exchange, he offers to be her new bestie for the week, taking her on all the excursions her friend had planned. It’s a tempting offer…her own personal tour guide and the possibility of some hot, no-strings, surfer-guy sex? What woman in her right mind would turn that down? She’s a big girl who knows the score. What can possibly go wrong?
***One and Done is a fun, sexy, island romance intended for readers 18+
“Balen, are you homeless?”
His brow arched. Autumn wasn’t sure why he looked so surprised she asked. It wasn’t a very far leap. The writing was on the wall—his friend making that crack about him being a jobless beach bum, him volunteering to spend the week with her…and now here he was, needing a place to say. She wasn’t an idiot. One plus one usually equaled two.
Balen studied her until the tension in the room grew stifling. “Is my socioeconomic status an issue for you? You’ve got the spare room and I happen to be in need of one for the next week. I thought… Look, if staying with you is going to be a problem, I can leave.”
“I didn’t say I wanted you to go. It’s just…” The furrow of skin between his brows grew tighter and Autumn’s explanation died on her lips. But Balen wasn’t going to let it go. Great…she’d offended him.
“It’s just what, Autumn?”
Damn, this was getting awkward. “It’s just, now it makes sense. That’s all.”
“What makes sense?”
“Why you’d want to give up a week to spend it with someone you don’t even know. It makes more sense if you were down on your luck or something.”
The corner of his mouth twitched, not quite making it into a smile. “So, the lure of spending the week with a beautiful woman isn’t reason enough for you? Would it make you feel better if I told you I wanted to fuck you? Is that honest enough for you? Does it somehow make this scenario more believable?”
If he was trying to shock her with frankness, it worked. She was waiting for him to crack a smile and tell her he was joking, but he just stood there…staring at her. Holy shit, he was serious.
Maybe he was retaliating because she’d offended him? Autumn’s heart hammered inside her chest, heat bloomed in her cheeks, flushing down her neck and traveling lower. Refusing to let him rattle her with all his sexy, she notched her chin, met him dead in the eye and said, “I don’t think that’s it. You haven’t even tried to kiss me since we—”
He laughed, cutting her off. “So then I must be homeless? That’s your only other supposition here?”
His amber-flecked gaze dropped to her mouth, and Autumn instinctively moistened her lips. The air charged between them, becoming electric and lighting up her nerve endings. Undeniably, she had never been more attracted to a man than the one standing before her. She wasn’t sure why she’d made that snarky remark about him kissing her. It’d just sorta slipped out. Maybe she was subconsciously goading him.
When he spoke, his voice was lower—a husky rumble she felt all the way to her core. “Do you want me to kiss you, Autumn? Is it driving you crazy that I know what you taste like, what your mouth feels like against mine, and you can’t remember a single second of it?”
“Yes…” The confession was out of her mouth before she could call it back. She wasn’t sure if she was saying yes to the kiss, or yes that her alcohol-induced amnesia that was annoying the hell out of her—probably both.
Balen stepped closer and she caught a hint of his spicy scent mixed with the briny freshness of sea air. The heat deep inside her bloomed to a full-blown ache. He was so close his breath kissed her lips as she parted them in anticipation, waiting for him to close the scant distance separating them. Her breath stalled in her lungs, her lids fluttered closed. But his lips didn’t touch hers. Instead, they brushed the outer shell of her ear as he whispered, “Good…”
Her eyes flew open and she took a surprised step back.
“Learn from your mistakes, lest you repeat them.”
Really? This jerk is going to stand here and lecture me on propriety? Now Autumn was pissed. She didn’t need him judging her. She wasn’t judging Balen because he didn’t have a job or a place to live. Who the hell did he think he was?
“Fuck you, Dr. Phil.” She turned to walk away, but before she could put any distance between her and this morally arrogant, beach bumming surfer, Balen grabbed her arm and yanked her against him. His arm wrapped around her waist and a hand cradled the back of her head as his mouth came down on hers.
His lips were soft, yet frim as they crushed hers… Autumn’s startled gasp was all the invitation he needed to take the kiss deeper. Balen’s tongue delved inside, tangling with hers. Wow… Just wow…
The consuming way his mouth claimed hers, stole the air from her lungs. She felt his kiss all the way to her toes, lighting up every erogenous zone on the way down. Autumn melted against him, a soft, throaty moan of long-denied need escaping her on exhale.
How could she not remember this? It was amazing. Thankfully, Balen seemed more than willing to give her a reminder. His hand slipped into her hair, the tugging pull angled her head a little to the left. The kiss was hot, intense, and over as fast as it started.
Balen broke away and Autumn’s squeak of protest was drowned out by his own self-damning curse. Her heart was racing so fast she felt dizzy.
Reaching out, she grasped the island to steady herself, panting to catch her breath. Holy shit… She’d never been kissed like that in her entire life. The passion he sparked inside her was like an all-consuming fire. If just a kiss could do this to her, what would it be like to surrender herself to him? What had it been like?
“All right,” she said, still a little breathless. “You can stay…”
Melynda Price is a bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Against the Cage series has finaled in many awards such as the RONE, USA Today BBA, Golden Quill, National Readers’ Choice, and New England Readers’ Choice.
What Price enjoys most about writing is the chance to make her readers fall in love, over and over again. She cites the greatest challenge of writing is making the unbelievable believable, while taking her characters to the limit with stories full of passion and unique twists and turns. Salting stories with undertones of history whenever possible, Price adds immeasurable depth to her well-crafted books. She currently lives in Northern Minnesota with her husband and two children where she has plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua and a hot cup of coffee to write.
Randi Cooley Wilson
(The Royal Protector Academy #3)
Publication date: January 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Love has revived an ancient war
Jealousy has risen and torn lives apart
And one prophecy demands the ultimate sacrifice
What if rewriting your destiny means that you must sacrifice the one you love? Serena St. Michael has forsaken her future—for him. Tristan Gallagher has renounced the throne—for her. The Vergina Sun prophecy has been fulfilled, but at what cost? Their love has renewed an ancient war. With Serena gone, will Tristan save her in time? Or will the dark army of Diablo Fairies descend upon the Royal Protector Academy, destroying the London clan’s legacy and ending the existence of the gargoyle race forever?
Nox is the final novel in the Royal Protector Academy series. This dangerously exciting and darkly romantic conclusion will take your breath away. It can be read as a stand-alone trilogy or after the bestselling Revelation series. Intended for mature readers (18+) due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.
The Royal Protector Academy novels are a serial trilogy meant to be read in order:
Vernal (Book #1)
Aequus (Book #2)
Nox (Book #3)
Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and “Covetousness” a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.
(Night Series, #1)
Publication date: January 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
One night was all I asked for. For him to show me how good it can be. — Gabe
One night was all I promised. To give him the best time of his life. — Cam
Gabe Anderson wants nothing more than to overcome the scars of his past. Moving to a new city halfway across the world is one thing. Walking into the most exclusive gay bar in town to hook up with a perfect stranger is a whole new ball game.
Cam Sorvino doesn’t do relationships. Period. Having buried his dark childhood behind him, he lives life to the fullest and likes his sex hot, dirty, and for one night only. Though Cam’s instincts tell him that Gabe isn’t the one-night kind of guy, he can’t stop himself from approaching him. When Cam discovers the true extent of Gabe’s harrowing secrets, he makes him an offer he cannot refuse: one night of mindless pleasure to help him overcome his phobia of intimacy.
But when morning comes, will Cam be able to let go of the one man who is able to stir new feelings inside his cold, dead heart?
If you like sweet, sexy men with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to win their hearts, then you’ll love this first novella in the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger.
This is a MM romance with a HFN. Cam and Gabe’s HEA is coming mid 2018!
Sign-up to A.M. Salinger’s Reader Group for a special preview of One Night!
Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling thriller author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2017, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.
Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here: https://www.amsalinger.com/subscribe/
Book 5 in The McKenzie Ridge Series
By Stephanie St. Klaire
Release Date: December 15th, 2017
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Jessie Clarke has worked hard for nearly a decade to overcome the trauma of her past, becoming a firefighter in McKenzie Ridge has helped her rise above the ashes and become a strong, independent woman. But, underneath her foul mouth and tough exterior, Jessie is hiding something… A secret that could not only endanger her but destroy all those she loves in the small mountain town she calls home.
Blake Cooper, sexy police chief of McKenzie Ridge, is the perfect combination of rugged and good looks but he has secrets of his own. Secrets that could bring the strongest man to his knees. As a man of honor, he is dedicated to protect and serve the people in his town, even when he’s forced to overstep boundaries that could come back to haunt him.
Jessie and Blake’s love-hate relationship comes to a screeching halt and sparks fly when they’re forced to work together to keep McKenzie Ridge safe. When the past catches up with her, will he be able to keep her safe? Can Jessie learn to trust Blake or will his secrets fuel the fire that’s closing in, igniting a blaze that could consume not only them, but burn McKenzie Ridge to the ground.
“You’re really good at that. I don’t get why the kids like you so much,” she said, nodding her head at the toddler snuggled into his neck.
“It’s because they know I won’t let them climb in a drier.”
“How was I supposed…forget it. You play manny, and I’ll clean-up.”
Jessie did her best to ignore Blake while she went to work, cleaning up after the fun the kids had earlier. Every time she walked by, however, she couldn’t help but swoon, even just a little, over the sight of Blake snuggling a tiny tot and pup. It made her a little more than crazy that he could stir butterfly like flutters, low in her belly with just a look.
He was the epitome of an alpha man’s man, who screamed testosterone driven machismo with his every move and every word. Built was an understatement – his muscles had muscles that were clearly defined through his standard black t-shirt and ass hugging jeans. Though nobody really knew his entire story, they did know that he had an extensive military background full of covert ops, undercover, badass, American hero activity.
She would be lying if she denied his dark secret past wasn’t a turn on. He was hands down hot – he was also a pain in the ass. Sure, Jessie was known to give him shit – a lot of shit – but that didn’t mean she didn’t appreciate his chiseled features and crave-worthy physique. Add a baby and tiny dog to the mix, and you have a whole lot of sexy. She’d never tell him, though; she’d take that to the grave.
Stephanie St. Klaire debuted in 2016, launching her writing career with Rescued, the first book in the widely popular, five book series known as McKenzie Ridge. Stephanie is a Pacific Northwest native currently living in Oregon with her husband, five children, and two ferocious lap dogs.
As a writer, Stephanie brings realistic circumstances to the pages, and fills them with real emotion, reactions, and outcomes. Her characters are passionate, have bold personalities, and full of life. She writes happily ever after’s, with plenty of twists, turns, drama, and of course, steamy romance.
Stephanie has always been a story teller, with the gift of “gab”, and a life-long goal to be a writer. Unfortunate circumstances with her health, finally afforded her the time to do so. Irony at its best, she began writing her first novel at an adverse time, to escape her circumstance and explore the stories in her imagination for relief. She is happy to share those stories with her readers, and bring a little fun, entertainment, and of course smexy characters to the pages.
Follow Stephanie St. Klaire on Social media to learn more about her, and to keep up with her work.
Facebook page: http://facebook.com/stephstklaire
BookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/2kuPnV5
Kryssie is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and 3 ebooks of Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier to lucky winners during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter every day, so please follow us along on the tour. You may find the tour locations here.
About the Boxed Set:
Kryssie Fortune’s holiday series, Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge, is now available in a convenient e-boxed set!
Marriage, Mobsters, and the Marine:
Abigail Montgomery, a small town schoolteacher with zero self-confidence, dreams of the Dickensian Christmas her family never enjoyed. Each month she attends a masked BDSM club, but her next visit will be her last. If she doesn’t marry within the next year, her brother won’t inherit Montgomery Hall. Desperate, she advertises for a husband.
Jared Armstrong, a former Marine sharpshooter and occasional Dom needs $125,000 to get his family out of a hole. His solution–to marry Abigail Montgomery for her money. His only regret is his wife won’t accept his spanking lifestyle.
Gradually, Abigail comes to dream of making their marriage real, but she promised Jared a divorce two years after their wedding. Can they share some Christmas magic as their relationship faces extortion threats, a kidnapping, and an attempted murder? Or will Jared break her heart when he walks away?
Sex, Scandal, and the Sheriff:
Jasmine Stewart (Jazz to her friends) falls for the blond stranger when he spanks and seduces her at a Washington soiree. Later, when she discovers her flatmate is trying to draw her into a spy ring, she goes to the authorities. The ensuing publicity costs her her job, her security, and her future. Starting over in Westhorpe Ridge is her only option.
Sean Mathews, former SEAL and Westhorpe Ridge’s sheriff, can’t forget the woman he spanked when he visited Washington, but he thinks she’s a spy. When she turns up in Westhorpe Ridge, he tries everything to make her leave town. Despite their misunderstandings, though, they can’t keep their hands off each other.
As Year’s Eve looms, the spy ring resurfaces. Jazz will need all of Sean’s SEAL prowess to survive. But because his wounded leg cost him his speed in the water, will it be enough?
Desire, Deceit, and the Doctor:
Twelve years ago, Mandy Devlin moved away from her friends and family–under threat. If she returned in the next ten years or told anyone who fathered her baby, her boyfriend’s great-aunt would bankrupt her family. She’s a single mom who dreams of her lost love and a good spanking. When she’s finally free to return to Westhorpe Ridge, the last person she expects to see is Adam–the man she loved and lost so long ago.
Dr. Adam Montgomery doesn’t know he has a son. Thanks to his great-aunt’s will, he has nine months to find a bride or he loses Montgomery Hall and the fifteen million dollars she left him. Although he seduces Mandy on his first night home, he still believes she betrayed him twelve years ago. No way would he marry a woman like her.
As Valentine’s Day looms, someone tries to kill Mandy. Is Adam trying to get rid of her? Or can Mandy trust him to protect them?
Note: All of the books in this set were previously released as single titles.
Kryssie’s pet hates are unhappy endings, and a series that end on a cliff hanger.
Beauty and Beastly: Steampunk Beauty and the Beast
(Steampunk Fairy Tales)
Publication date: December 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Steampunk
In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.
When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. And it doesn’t hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escape from her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.
But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.
Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.
See how NY Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.
“Hello, Miss Hawking,” a sultry voice whispered in my ear. A red rose suddenly appeared over my shoulder. “For you.”
I exhaled heavily. “Hello, Gerard,” I said, stepping away. The smell of cologne nearly overwhelmed me. I tried to plaster on a fake smile, but failed. I turned to find Gerard LeBoeuf standing far too close to me.
He pressed the rose toward me again. “Please, ma cherie. For the most beautiful girl in London.”
I bit the inside of my cheek and debated. It was far easier to accept the gift rather than put up with the display he’d put on if I didn’t. Besides, it was just a rose. What harm could a single rose cause? And while I had no interest in Gerard LeBoeuf, I wouldn’t be cruel. He was an enthusiastic suitor. And, given he was also the most gifted cartographer in the realm, he was a man of some quality. Unfortunately, his merits weren’t what I was looking for in a man. I wanted someone reserved: quiet, considerate, even a bit shy. I wanted someone the complete opposite of Gerard LeBoeuf. “Thank you, Gerard,” I said politely. “That’s very kind of you.”
He smiled happily, a glimmer of hope in his eyes. He turned to look at the velocipede. “Fascinating, isn’t it?” he said, nodding with his chin toward the device. He set his hand on my shoulder and moved close to me once more. “See there,” he added, pointing. “The friction from the velocipede moves through the conductor and—”
“Yes, Gerard. I understood. It is very fascinating. Now, if you will excuse me, I should find Papa,” I said then turned away, heading back into the hall.
To my horror, he followed me. “So, I understand you and Master Hawking are going on a trip. Scotland, is it? Or was it Ireland? How could you leave without telling me? What will I do without seeing your beautiful face every Wednesday?”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m sure you will find something else to keep you distracted.” Namely, the next pretty woman who walked through the hall.
“But Isabelle, there is no better distraction than you. I tell all my friends, ‘Wednesday is my favorite day of the week.’ And they ask me ‘Why?’ I tell them ‘Because Isabelle Hawking comes to Tinker’s Hall. She is the most beautiful girl in London. She has a cute little walk, hair brown as a chestnut, and big curious eyes. She is the perfect woman.’ They call me a man in love. Maybe I am. I don’t know. But I do know that sometimes Isabelle Hawking comes to Tinker’s Hall, and sometimes she even smiles at me,” he said, setting his hand on the small of my back. Well, not quite the small of my back somewhere a bit lower.
Stopping, I frowned at him.
“Alas. Not today.”
“Kindly remove your hand,” I said, helping him move his paw from my backside. “No, not today. Not next week. Not next year. Now, if you please,” I said then turned and walked away.
To my surprise, however, Gerard reached out for my hand. “Miss Hawking, please. I would die for you, don’t you see?”
Gasping, surprised by the strength of his grasp and the firmness of grip, I twitched my fingers, activating a lever that caused a spring inside my ring, which was shaped like a hedgehog, to pop up. Needle-sharp spines pierced Gerard’s hand, fending off his unwanted touch.
“Ouch!” Gerard said, pulling his hand back.
I gave him a hard look.
He laughed. “Oh, Miss Hawking, you are so clever,” he said as he sucked the blood from the wound between his thumb and forefinger. “You will put up a fight, eh? Not so easily won? Good! I need a woman with a spine of steel and skin like silk. You are perfect in every way, Isabelle Hawking. You must marry me, Isabelle. Say yes.”
Gasping, I stared at him. “You must be joking.”
Gerard laughed again. “Please, Isabelle. I love you!”
At this point, I realized that several of the shoppers and vendors had stopped to watch the exchange. I exhaled deeply, feeling a flash of angry red burn in my cheeks then turned away from him. An elderly woman who was watching the exchange chuckled then winked at me. Glaring at Gerard, I handed the rose to her then stalked off.
“Isabelle,” Gerard called.
I didn’t look back.
“Isabelle, marry me. Please?”
I rolled my eyes and kept walking.
“Give up, LeBoeuf,” one of the tinkers called with a laugh.
“Not today, LeBeouf,” another added.
“Never,” a third called.
“Marry me! I’ll marry you,” the old woman called then cackled loudly.
I glanced over my shoulder.
The old woman was waving the rose toward Gerard.
Annoyed, Gerard turned on his heel and headed back to his own stall.
Sometimes it didn’t pay to be nice. Gerard was perfect on the outside, but inside he was a slimy rat. I was growing tired of his romantic jokes and pawing hands. It was one thing if he wanted to court me properly, but such outlandish exchanges were just vulgar. I felt embarrassed.
Shaking my head, I moved toward the back of the hall where my father usually lingered. Of all the men in London, why did Gerard LeBoeuf have to set his cap toward me? I mean, it would be nice to have a suitor, but not him. I’d thought I’d found a match with the brooding, but kind Doctor Murray. The doctor had frequented my home and was a friend of my father’s. He was the perfect man: intelligent, handsome, and reserved. But I should have known Doctor Murray was in love with his childhood friend, Elyse McKenna. My affection for Doctor Murray had been entirely one-sided. My hopes had come to nothing. I couldn’t begrudge Doctor Murray and Miss McKenna—well, she was Missus Murray now. I had never seen a happier couple. I only hoped that I could find a love like that one day.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Burnt Earth Series, The Celtic Blood Series and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
(Spelldrift: Coven of Fire, #4)
Publication date: December 13th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
The demon is still out there.
Tenebris—the monster who killed my parents, violated my mind, and destroyed my coven sister Callie—has gone into deep hiding. I won’t rest until I find him and personally take him down.
Luckily the vampires have a bead on him, and they want me along for the demon-hunting ride. But with his brand new skinsuit and the magic amulet he stole from a witch, Tenebris is more powerful than ever. I’m not dumb enough to go up against my mortal enemy without the Coven of Fire at my side. The vampires, however, flat-out refuse to let my “non-traditional” coven in on the job. It seems that no one in the magicborn community respects us, no matter how many lives we save or how many sacrifices we make.
Callie was one sacrifice too many.
So screw the vampires. Forget working within a system that won’t accept us. Matt, Asher, Liv, and I may be misfits, but we’re a coven. And our coven is not complete without Callie. Somehow, we’ve got to track her down and find a way to save her. Then, we’re going to avenge our loved ones and take down Tenebris once and for all…but we’ll do it as a coven. As a family. One witch for all and all for one, no magicborn left behind.
Every day of the blitz, Enigmatic Books is giving away FIVE free e-copies of the Spelldrift Coven of Fire Books 1-3 bundle on their Facebook page. Enter HERE!
For a limited time you can grab RISE, the first book in the Coven of Fire series, for just 99 cents!
“I’m sorry, Director,” I said. “Something’s come up. I’m afraid I can’t get on that plane.”
Bonaventura spun and sucked in a breath in that almost soundless way only a vampire could. He’d already thought I was a flaky amateur, now he probably thought I was a nutcase. Even Matt and Asher were looking at me like I’d lost my mind. I could really see how it might look that way.
Didn’t matter. Callie was my coven sister, and she needed us to save her. Family first.
“So am I to understand,” Bonaventura’s voice dripped with condescension, “that after begging me to help with the amulet, insisting you be present when Tenebris is killed, you’re now refusing to accompany me?”
“Believe me, if it weren’t absolutely necessary, I wouldn’t do this.” My magic was begging to come to my fingertips. But starting a brawl with a vampire seemed like one of those “poor life choices” they’d warned me about in middle school.
Bonaventura composed himself with a smooth exhalation, then turned to Liv. “I suppose you’ll have to do.” Another finger-snap. “Let’s go.”
“It’s a coven matter that has come up,” Liv said. “None of us can go.”
“We’ll send you the deactivation spell,” I said, not caring in the least that I was giving up the only leverage we had with the Director.
If Bonaventura could’ve killed me with a look, I’d be bleeding out right now. I’d seen what he’d done to Wes, his own son. I got the feeling he was picturing doing worse to me. “Not an option, Ms. Hill.” The terminal dropped ten degrees in an instant. “One of you two witches will board the plane. Or I will release you from your pitiful existence.”
Strange what a difference a little blood could make. More than scaring me, those words hurt. I’d disappointed him. I took a deep breath and shrugged off his compulsion. Vampire mind tricks aside, I owed no loyalty to Bonaventura. And as badly as I wanted to take Tenebris down, I needed to do this more. “If you want to try,” I said, “have at it.”
Matt, Liv, and Asher had already flanked me, ready to fight at my side even if they didn’t fully understand. Bonaventura’s crew did the same for him. The Director narrowed his eyes, looking at each of us in turn. I couldn’t decipher the calculations he was making behind those ice blue eyes. “Know this, witch—and this goes for your whole coven—when our paths cross again it will not be a friendly encounter.”
My heart was racing. Did I really want to make the director of the Council Suprema my enemy? But what choice did I have? We had to follow up on that phone call. We had to find my coven sister. “If that’s how you want to play it.” I hoped there’d be a way to make things right with Bonaventura later.
The Director turned on his heel and all the other vampires followed suit. I watched as they disappeared through the gate door.
“Alix, luv.” Asher turned to me, his voice sweet as saccharine. “Be so kind as to tell me why I just voluntarily incurred the wrath of the one of most powerful vampires in the northern hemisphere?”
Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.
The Rising Series Box Set
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
A magical underwater realm awaits! Own books 1-3 of the Best-Selling Rising series by acclaimed author Holly Kelly.
This value-priced boxed set includes the first three novels in the best-selling Rising series: Rising (with an exclusive bonus scene), Descending, and Avenging. Beautifully packaged with brilliant new cover art, this set is perfect for any fan of Greek Mythology and Mermaid Romance stories. Order the Rising series today and submerge yourself in an underwater world full of passion, romance, intrigue and adventure.
Rising: Contains a newly released scene! In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. There’s just one thing standing in his way: the life of a beautiful young woman…
Descending: When Xanthus cashes in a long-standing favor, Kyros is faced with doing two things he thought he’d never do—protect a mermaid and live on land.
Avenging: Two thousand years ago, King Triton witnessed the slaughter and total annihilation of his merchildren. Devastated by the loss, he vowed to never again father a child. Powerful, handsome, and eternally youthful, Triton was no stranger to seduction—yet his resolve was unwavering…until he met Nicole.
Xanthus stepped into her bedroom. Light from the kitchen spilled onto her bed, draping across her sleeping form. Her chest rose with every breath. She slept, unaware of the predator stalking her. Xanthus’s heart pounded and sweat broke out across his forehead as he looked down at her angelic face.
Now was the time. He had to do it.
Breaking her neck would be the best option. Her death would be quick, painless, and not a drop of blood would spill.
He moved to her side. The swells of her breasts rose and fell in her peaceful sleep. His looked her over and struggled to keep his mind off the fact that she was a helpless woman. Her face, her body, everything about her looked delicate, breakable. Out of all the criminals he’d killed in his lifetime, he’d killed very few females. Especially not lush, beautiful…
Hades, he couldn’t kill her… not with her looking like this.
He moved closer and leaned forward. His fingers fumbled with her buttons. He just needed to close her shirt, and then he’d kill her.
He’d just fastened the last one, when her eyes fluttered and then flew open wide as she gasped. She frantically searched the room and then his face. Her tiny hands clasped around his forearms. “Help me! Please don’t let him hurt me. He drugged me. He’s going to…” Her words turned into a heart-wrenching sob as she threw her arms around his chest. Xanthus jerked back, startled at her sudden embrace. He sat frozen for just a moment before his arms pulled her trembling body against his. Her quiet whimpers cut through to his heart. “Shh. It’s okay,” he found himself saying.
“He’s going to hurt me,” she quietly wailed.
“No, Sara. I won’t let him hurt you. It’s okay. You’re safe.” He held her tight, stroking her hair and mumbling words of comfort as she wept against his chest.
Sara’s cries soon quieted as drug-laden sleep overtook her again. Still, Xanthus continued to hold her, continued to caress her. He shouldn’t have let the filthy human go. He should have broken his neck after he stuffed his beating heart down it.
Xanthus lowered Sara’s limp, slumbering body onto her bed and pulled a blanket over her. Raking his fingers through his hair, he stood. Tears sparkled on her cheeks. Without a thought, he brushed them away with his thumb.
Several minutes later, Xanthus returned to his motorcycle. “Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned,” he said. Now he’d never have the heart to kill her. Perhaps he never had.
He sighed in defeat.
Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation–she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She’s now back in Utah–“happy valley”. She’s married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.