Monthly Archives: February 2016

Off Duty in Puerto Rico by Bo Noir

offdutypuertobanner

About the Book

Off_Duty_in_Puerto_RicoTitle: Off Duty in Puerto Rico

Author: Bo Noir

Genre: Erotic Fiction

By day, Secret Service Agent Will Bender protects the President of the United States from the forces of evil. But by night, his gun and badge come off and so do his pants in his pursuit of the hottest ladies the free world has to offer. On this trip, the port of call is San Juan, Puerto Rico. The night is going to get muy caliente as he makes it his mission to get acquainted with the local gals’ ways of sex and vice. Off Duty in Puerto Rico is the first stop in the Off Duty series where pulp master Bo Noir will take you to exotic locals with the craziest Secret Service agent ever!

Buy on Amazon

Author Bio

Bo Noir HeadshotBo Noir is an American Author of erotic, weird and pulp fiction.

www.bo-noir.com

Instagram: @bonoirbooks

The Dating Chronicles by A.V. Scott

Title: The Dating Chronicles 3
Author: A.V. Scott
Genre: Romance/Erotica – Short Stories

 

Blurb:
Cameron is the last person I expected to see at Julian’s mansion.
His eyes blaze through me, blowing away my plan. Nothing is what I thought. And, my heart doesn’t know who to choose anymore.

A.V. Scott is a native New Yorker, obsessed with red wine and high heels. When she’s not typing away at the next steamy romance novel, she’s busy eating copious amounts of Rocher and crossing items off of her bucket list.She began her writing career penning contemporary romance (with a dash of erotica, suspense and humor) for women who like a little something naughty with their fun.

You can find A.V. Scott on Facebook and Twitter, where she keeps readers up to date on her writing life.

You can follow A.V. SCOTT here…


Buy Links:

Fueled by Lust: Sotarios *Review

cp-sotarios3

Buy Links:
http://www.bookstrand.com/book/fueled-by-lust-sotarios | (Will be on other retail sites in a few weeks) 
 
You can find me at:

Website Twitter | Facebook | Instagram Pinterest YouTube | Google+  | Tumblr

Blurb:
With an ex from hell haunting his dreams, Sotarios Numida can’t catch a break. Thinking a trip to Earth to seek offspring of the Unfortunate One Hundred might clear his head—he thought wrong. Instead, destiny leads him right to the one woman that forces him to face his past and a secret he’s horrified to admit.
Raine Holter is tough, focused, and dealing with a secret of her own. The last thing she expected to find during her usual daily grind was her soulmate. Especially one that can’t seem to make his mind up on whether to grip her close or shove her away. Undaunted, this little spitfire plans to thaw Sotarios’s frozen heart even if hers has to take a few beatings before he sees the truth.
Book 8 in the Fueled By Lust Series yanks you right back into the lives of the sinfully sexy Insedi. One fast paced, jaw dropping, breath stealing, hell of a ride.
A Siren Erotic Romance
review
OMG!!! To say I’ve been impatiently waiting for this book is an understatement but it was definitely worth the wait.
Sotarios Numida is an Insedi warrior, mated before the death of all the Insedi women. There was a problem with his mate, she was insanely jealous and tried to kill him, because of that he’s decided to stay single. He along with his Insedi brother Geleon are on earth to see if they can find any more of the progeny of the Unfortunate Lost. Once he’s done that he plans on returning home and staying there.
Raine Holter, a beautiful spitfire has secrets of her own. She doesn’t think she’ll ever find her soul mate let alone find one who’s an alien and looks likes a Greek God. She keeps getting mixed signals from Sotarios, she needs him to decide if he wants her but she won’t force him. Can Sotarios be able to forget his past and accept the mating before he loses Raine ? Meanwhile the search for the progeny opens up a whole new can of worms.
I know I’ve said it before but I absolutely love, love, love  this series. What’s not to love about a series with hot sexy alpha males, romance, lots of adventure and sometimes pretty funny. My only complaint is these books are so good I devour them to fast and have to wait for the next in this sexy series.
Independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock. 5 racing hearts wish I could give it more because it definitely deserves way more.

Welcome to Lovely by Candace Clark

Welcome to Lovely
by Candace Clark 
Genre: Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Heat level: 3
 
 
Discover what evil lurks in the shadows as Samantha Roberts puts her life in danger, and their love on the line, helping Detective Daniel Drake unravel this mystery….. WELCOME TO LOVELY. 

Lovely is a charming place tucked deep in the Appalachian Mountains. One hot August morning the sleepy little town awakens to the horrific murder of the beautiful, yet troubled, Emily Teller. The killing doesn’t stop with her. 
Putting newly appointed Detective Daniel Drake to the test, the Lovely murders, call into question his promotion, and push his relationship with local television reporter Samantha Roberts to the limits. Nothing is more important to Daniel than catching the killer tormenting his town. At least, that’s what he thinks. 
For Samantha Roberts, the Lovely murders are the breaking news story she thought she wanted. An opportunity that could propel her career to the next level, but that would mean leaving Lovely and Daniel behind. Are the murders the wish that becomes a curse? 
While Samantha and Daniel struggle to deal with their professional demons, Lovely’s time as a safe, innocent, small town fades into the hills that protect it from the outside world. 



 

 

Kiss Chasey by Misti Murphey *Review

kissA hero to rival any book boyfriend. A game that turns fantasy into reality.

His name is Scorch, and he’s my fantasy come to life. I should have known finding a real life hero was too good to be true. But after he rescued me from my captor I couldn’t see him any other way.

Then he tells me he works for The Vice Agency, a company that simulates fantasy into reality. And that everything I know about the last twenty-four hours is a lie.

Except for the men chasing us.

Someone wants me dead, and Scorch is the only thing keeping me alive, but he doesn’t want to be anyone’s hero. He’s a damaged husk of a man.

I swear, if we survive this, I’m going to find a way to prove to him he’s not only a true hero, but he might be more than just the man of my fantasies.

XX Chase

review

I really enjoyed the premise of this story.  Hiring a hero to rescue you from a fake emergency is exactly something I would spend money on if I was independently wealthy!!  Then for that scenario to go awry and real bad guys start chasing us?  Now will he be a real hero, since she’s really a damsel in distress?  Will he step up or drop her when the bullets start to fly?

As an independent reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock, this would get four and a half hearts if I could figure out how to make it take a half!! The only thing its missing, in my opinion, at least,  is more.  More action, more time together, more steamy hot sex scenes, more close escapes.  More everything!!  Yes, I’m greedy!!!  When I like a couple I want to spend lots of time with them!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1558217455

 

The Asset by Anna Del Mar *review

The_Asset_High Res

The Asset

Wounded Warrior Series

Book One

Anna del Mar

 

Genre: Romantic suspense,

Contemporary romance,

Military romance, SEAL romance.

 

Publisher: Carina Press

 

Date of Publication: February 22, 2016

 

eISBN: 9781459293526

ASIN: B01765RJI2

 

Number of pages: 336 pages

 

Word Count: Approx. 95,000

 

Anna del Mar’s explosive, sexy debut novel in the Wounded Warrior series, perfect for fans of Lisa Marie Rice and Lora Leigh—the story of a woman desperate to escape her dangerous past and the navy SEAL who would lay down his life to save her.

 

Book Description:

 

Ash Hunter knows what it is to run. A SEAL gravely injured in Afghanistan, he’s gone AWOL from the military hospital. Physically and mentally scarred, he returns home to his grandmother’s isolated cottage—and finds a beautiful, haunted stranger inside.

 

Like recognizes like.

 

Lia Stewart’s in hiding from the cartel she barely escaped alive, holed up in this small Rocky Mountain town. Surviving, but only just. Helping the wounded warrior on her doorstep is the right thing to do…it’s loving him that might get them both killed.

 

Soon, Ash realizes he’s not the only one tormented by the past. Pushing the limits of his broken body, testing the boundaries of her shattered soul, he’ll protect Lia until his last breath.

 

Amazon     Carina Press    Barnes and Noble

 

Kobo Books    Google Play

 

 

Short Excerpt for The Asset by Anna del Mar (900 words)

Chapter One

 

My finger twitched on the trigger as I stared down the barrel of my shotgun. A stranger stood on my stoop. The mere sight of him shoved my heart into my throat and sent my brain into default. I widened my stance, tightened my grip on the gun and aimed at the stranger’s chest. No way. He wasn’t going to take me alive.

A sharp bark startled me. The largest, darkest, most handsome German shepherd I’d ever seen stood next to the stranger, head tilted, ears forward, nose quivering in the air. It uttered a quiet whimper and padded over to me without a trace of aggression, circling me once before it leaned against my legs.

I kept my shotgun leveled, but I spared another glance at the stunning dog. The plea in his eyes tempered the adrenaline jolting through my body, reined in my runaway heart and gave me pause to consider the stranger before me.

Framed by the Rocky Mountains and the lake, the man at the threshold blocked the morning’s gray light and cast a huge shadow over my little porch. Raindrops tapped on his leather jacket, dripped from the rim of his cap and ran like tears down the sides of his face. Despite the exhaustion etched on his features, his glacial blue eyes narrowed on my gun.

“That’s a pretty old Remington,” he rumbled. “With the damn safety off, no less. Who the hell are you expecting, Jack the Ripper?”

“Stay back.” I forced the words out. “I’ll shoot if you come any closer.”

“Damn it, girl,” he said. “If you want us to leave, just say so.”

The scowl on his face contributed to his dangerous appearance. So did the scruffy beard and the shaggy hair sticking out from under his baseball cap. If he hadn’t come all the way out here to get to me—and that was still a big “if”—what on earth was he doing here?

I couldn’t see any weapons on him. Was he a drifter? He didn’t look dirty, but a metallic scent wafted from him, an odd, ripe trace I couldn’t place.

He must have seen my nose wrinkle. His whole body stiffened. He drew taller than six feet by several inches, but it was the outrage I spotted in his eyes that reinforced my fears.

“Aren’t you a spitfire?” He pulled out a rumpled piece of paper from his pocket, balled it and dropped it at my feet. “Secluded, cheap and quiet, that’s what the ad said. But I don’t think you want to rent out a room, at least not to me. Come on, Neil,” he said to the dog. “Let’s leave this little hellcat to count her bullets.” He touched the rim of his baseball cap. “And a good day to you, ma’am.”

He braced on a pair of sturdy crutches and hopped down from the stoop. Crutches? I should’ve noticed those before. The sable shepherd looked up at me, then nuzzled my hip and trotted off after his owner. The rubber bottoms of the man’s crutches stabbed the ground as he shuffled to the black truck parked in my driveway, a supercharged Ram 3500 that matched its owner’s brawn.

I exhaled the breath I’d been holding. Bad guys didn’t knock at your door. They didn’t back down, attack while on crutches or hobble away after they came for you. They didn’t call you ma’am, either. I picked up the crumpled paper and flattened it against the stair’s wobbly baluster. It was indeed the one flyer I’d dared to post at Kailyn’s convenience store, printed on pink paper, complete with the ten tear-off rectangles that listed my cell phone number.

The ad. My brain came on line. He was here about the ad?

Crap. Terror had a sure way of wiping reason from my mind. The ad talked about a stone cottage but didn’t include the address. True, mine was the only stone cottage around. Still, my stomach churned.

I stared at the paper in my hands. He’d taken down the ad. Now I had exactly zero chance to rent out the room, which also meant that, since I’d have no money to make the rent, I was going to lose my little stone cottage. I was going to be homeless and I’d have to move on. Again.

But I liked it here. The place suited me well. People in this secluded valley were nice and I’d managed to build a semblance of a life hidden out here. And what about my little friends out back? Who’d take care of them if I wasn’t around?

The pound, that’s who.

I took a deep breath and looked down on my flannel pajama pants and my extra-large sweater. With my hair up in a messy tail, I was pretty sure I looked like a gun-toting, gray-eyed witch, brimming with hostility. I’d just scared away my first and only customer.

A top-notch German shepherd like that couldn’t belong to a crook. It was obvious that the owner took excellent care of his dog. If that wasn’t enough, the man got around on crutches. He couldn’t hurt me and, if he tried, I wouldn’t need a shotgun to defend myself. I’d just have to trip him.

God, the things I thought about. Was I going to live in fear forever?

Yes, I would, but living in fear was better than not living at all.

 

 

Long Excerpt for The Asset by Anna del Mar: Complete First Chapter, approximately 5,000 words. Alternatively, here’s the direct link to read the chapter directly from the website: http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/excerpt.html

 

Chapter One

 

My finger twitched on the trigger as I stared down the barrel of my shotgun. A stranger stood on my stoop. The mere sight of him shoved my heart into my throat and sent my brain into default. I widened my stance, tightened my grip on the gun and aimed at the stranger’s chest. No way. He wasn’t going to take me alive.

A sharp bark startled me. The largest, darkest, most handsome German shepherd I’d ever seen stood next to the stranger, head tilted, ears forward, nose quivering in the air. It uttered a quiet whimper and padded over to me without a trace of aggression, circling me once before it leaned against my legs.

I kept my shotgun leveled, but I spared another glance at the stunning dog. The plea in his eyes tempered the adrenaline jolting through my body, reined in my runaway heart and gave me pause to consider the stranger before me.

Framed by the Rocky Mountains and the lake, the man at the threshold blocked the morning’s gray light and cast a huge shadow over my little porch. Raindrops tapped on his leather jacket, dripped from the rim of his cap and ran like tears down the sides of his face. Despite the exhaustion etched on his features, his glacial blue eyes narrowed on my gun.

“That’s a pretty old Remington,” he rumbled. “With the damn safety off, no less. Who the hell are you expecting, Jack the Ripper?”

“Stay back.” I forced the words out. “I’ll shoot if you come any closer.”

“Damn it, girl,” he said. “If you want us to leave, just say so.”

The scowl on his face contributed to his dangerous appearance. So did the scruffy beard and the shaggy hair sticking out from under his baseball cap. If he hadn’t come all the way out here to get to me—and that was still a big “if”—what on earth was he doing here?

I couldn’t see any weapons on him. Was he a drifter? He didn’t look dirty, but a metallic scent wafted from him, an odd, ripe trace I couldn’t place.

He must have seen my nose wrinkle. His whole body stiffened. He drew taller than six feet by several inches, but it was the outrage I spotted in his eyes that reinforced my fears.

“Aren’t you a spitfire?” He pulled out a rumpled piece of paper from his pocket, balled it and dropped it at my feet. “Secluded, cheap and quiet, that’s what the ad said. But I don’t think you want to rent out a room, at least not to me. Come on, Neil,” he said to the dog. “Let’s leave this little hellcat to count her bullets.” He touched the rim of his baseball cap. “And a good day to you, ma’am.”

He braced on a pair of sturdy crutches and hopped down from the stoop. Crutches? I should’ve noticed those before. The sable shepherd looked up at me, then nuzzled my hip and trotted off after his owner. The rubber bottoms of the man’s crutches stabbed the ground as he shuffled to the black truck parked in my driveway, a supercharged Ram 3500 that matched its owner’s brawn.

I exhaled the breath I’d been holding. Bad guys didn’t knock at your door. They didn’t back down, attack while on crutches or hobble away after they came for you. They didn’t call you ma’am, either. I picked up the crumpled paper and flattened it against the stair’s wobbly baluster. It was indeed the one flyer I’d dared to post at Kailyn’s convenience store, printed on pink paper, complete with the ten tear-off rectangles that listed my cell phone number.

The ad. My brain came on line. He was here about the ad?

Crap. Terror had a sure way of wiping reason from my mind. The ad talked about a stone cottage but didn’t include the address. True, mine was the only stone cottage around. Still, my stomach churned.

I stared at the paper in my hands. He’d taken down the ad. Now I had exactly zero chance to rent out the room, which also meant that, since I’d have no money to make the rent, I was going to lose my little stone cottage. I was going to be homeless and I’d have to move on. Again.

But I liked it here. The place suited me well. People in this secluded valley were nice and I’d managed to build a semblance of a life hidden out here. And what about my little friends out back? Who’d take care of them if I wasn’t around?

The pound, that’s who.

I took a deep breath and looked down on my flannel pajama pants and my extra-large sweater. With my hair up in a messy tail, I was pretty sure I looked like a gun-toting, gray-eyed witch, brimming with hostility. I’d just scared away my first and only customer.

A top-notch German shepherd like that couldn’t belong to a crook. It was obvious that the owner took excellent care of his dog. If that wasn’t enough, the man got around on crutches. He couldn’t hurt me and, if he tried, I wouldn’t need a shotgun to defend myself. I’d just have to trip him.

God, the things I thought about. Was I going to live in fear forever?

Yes, I would, but living in fear was better than not living at all.

Right?

I considered the paper in my hand. My rent was due next week.

“Wait!” I jammed my feet into my weathered rubber boots, gripped the gun in one hand and the umbrella in the other, and rushed out into the rain. I caught up with him as he slammed the door of his truck shut.

“Hey!” I waved the flyer in the air. “I didn’t know that you came for this.” I tapped on the window. “Could you please, like, talk to me…please?”

He rolled his eyes, but the window whirled down. “What now? You want to sue me for stinking up your stoop?”

“Oh, no.” I blushed all the way down to my toes. “I just wanted to say—I’m sorry. I’m…um…skittish, you know? Living out here in the boonies all by myself…”

“I get it.” The man’s glare didn’t waver. “Lots of folks don’t like dogs. Or vets. Sorry I scared you.”

“You didn’t scare me,” I lied. “I love dogs. I was just…being careful, that’s all.”

“Careful?” His mouth twisted into that terrible scowl. “Is that why you’re still toting that thing around, cocked and loaded no less?”

My eyes shifted to the shotgun, still clutched in my hand, and then back to the stranger glaring at me. “Oh.”

“That’s what I thought.” He turned the key on the ignition.

“Wait!”

On impulse, I stuck my hand through the window and placed it over his on the wheel. He flinched. I cringed. He was hot, and I mean scalding hot, to my touch. The look he fired in my direction burned just as bad.

“I…I…” I swallowed the lump in my throat. “I think you should come back inside.”

“No way,” he said. “I hate the wrong end of the barrel.”

“It didn’t register,” I said. “I didn’t realize that you were a vet.”

He growled like a cranky bear. “I don’t want your damn pity.”

It was a good thing I recognized pride, fury and defiance when I saw it. Otherwise, I might have forgotten the whole thing and fled back to the cottage with my tail between my legs. Instead, I steeled my nerves and stuck out my chin.

“I’m not offering you any pity,” I said. “But I do need to rent out a room. So let’s start over. Okay? I’m Lia.”

“Lia?” He lifted his cap and scratched his head. His eyebrows drew close together in a frown that deepened the two little vertical lines above his nose. “Have we met before?”

“Not in this lifetime.”

He let out an exasperated sigh. “I don’t think I’m the kind of tenant you were looking for.”

“You might be right about that,” I said. “You’re grouchy and we didn’t exactly get off to a good start. But right now, I’m offering you a cup of coffee. So follow me. If your references check, if you’re not a serial killer or wanted by the FBI, then we’ll talk.”

The dog barked and, stepping over his owner, stuck his huge muzzle out the window and licked my face.

“Come on, boy.” I opened the door. The German shepherd bounced out of the truck, running around me in an explosion of energy. I petted him as he loped beside me on the way to the cottage.

“Neil!” the man shouted. “You traitor. Come back right this minute!”

Neil sat on his hind legs halfway between the house and the truck and woofed.

“See?” I said. “Even your dog wants you to come in.”

The man slapped the wheel and cursed some more. Oh, Lord. He was stubborn. All that anger stiffened my shoulders and churned up my belly. Did I really want a bundle of rage as a tenant?

But Neil wasn’t moving either. This was a war of wills if I’d ever seen one. The umbrella sprang a leak so I got out of the rain, set it on the porch to dry and wiped my feet on the mat. I brought the shotgun into the kitchen and settled it on the counter for easy access. Better safe than sorry. I prayed that my instincts were right on this one.

The German shepherd trotted into the foyer, ears forward, mouth agape and long tongue lolling. He pawed at me, licked my hand and yapped in a way that sounded a lot like commiseration.

“That’s a surly owner you’ve got there.” I scratched him behind the ears. “He’s lucky to have you, yes, he is. I would have shot him without batting an eyelash, but you? No way. You’re too gorgeous.”

I went into the kitchen, grabbed an old towel and laid it on the floor next to the stove. Neil shook his coat and settled on the towel. I set up the coffeepot as the man shuffled with his crutches into the foyer and hesitated at the threshold. I kept my face blank but my senses on alert.

“You look goddamn comfortable,” he said to the dog, before his gaze zeroed in on me again. “He’s never done this before. Go with a stranger? Never.”

“Don’t take it personally.” I set out a pair of mugs. “Animals like me. I like them too. They’re better than people any day.”

“Amen to that,” he muttered, his glare leaving no doubt that I belonged in his despicable human race category.

“Take a seat.” I gestured toward the kitchen table and placed the clipboard at one end. “Fill that out. Coffee will be ready in a moment.”

He set his jaw at a stubborn angle. Yikes. The guy was nothing if not ornery. Neil got up and pressed his body against his owner’s legs. Bluster aside, the man couldn’t resist the plea in the dog’s eyes. He scratched Neil’s head with unmistakable affection. I took that as a good sign, but even as I went about the kitchen, I kept my eye on the man and the shotgun within reach.

“You’re a pain in the ass, Neil,” the guy said as he took off his leather coat and hung it on the rack. “You’re trained a lot better than that. We’ll give this a try, but I’m telling you, this isn’t going to end well. That gun-toting madwoman is not right in the head.”

“I heard that.” I poured some cream into a dish and stuck it in the microwave, “I’m not right in the head? What about you, Mr. Sourpuss who talks to dogs?”

“Neil isn’t just any dog.” He set the crutches against the wall and winced as he lowered himself into the chair. “He’s got brains. He deserves to be talked to. As to the rest, I’m not the one going about in my pajamas aiming loaded shotguns at people.”

“Sorry,” I said, duly contrite. “I’ve only been up for a bit. I’m a waitress, so I work late. But a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do—”

“Jesus Christ.” He stared at the clipboard with open alarm. “How many applicants were you expecting? You do know that the nearest town is Copperhill, population two thousand? You’ve got like ten applications here and each one is five pages long.”

“Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, but I’m like the Boy Scouts, always prepared.”

“I can see that.” He glanced at the shotgun before returning his attention to the clipboard.

Hackles down, girl. I forced myself to breathe. He was only making a point. Still, the permanent knot of fear that churned at the center of my being tightened, an irrational impulse I couldn’t always control. It may have won out, if the ancient microwave hadn’t begun to clatter and rattle like my discombobulated, panic-prone brain.

“Come on.” I pounded on the thing. “Please, don’t break down now.”

“Wow.” The man shook his head. “You also talk to microwaves.”

“If it makes any difference, I only beat naughty appliances that want to quit on me.” I pounded some more until the microwave rattled back to life. “Yay.” I kissed the old clunker.

He rolled his eyes, leaving no doubt that he considered me foolish, eccentric, or both. I watched him from the corner of my eye as I finished fixing the coffee. He pulled out his driver’s license and began to write down his information with a shaky hand. After only a few pen strokes, he stopped midline and dug his fist into his thigh.

The lines on his face set with grim determination. He grumbled something under his breath and jotted down a few more lines. I poured a cup of coffee and parked it in front of him. He squinted, clutching the pen with a white-knuckled grip.

“Are you okay?” I said.

“Fine,” he muttered.

“Are you sure?” I said. “You don’t look fine to me.”

The pen snapped between his fingers.

“Christ.” He stared at the pieces in his hand. “This was a stupid idea.” He pushed away from the table. “I…I need to go.”

He faltered as he tried to get up. I moved quickly. I tucked my shoulder beneath his arm to steady him, but he was heavy and I stumbled under his weight.

“Easy, now.” I helped him to sit down again. Ooof. All that heat coming from his body. It enveloped me like a wave of steam. Neil whimpered. The man tried to stand up again, but he couldn’t.

“Give me a sec.” He slumped on the chair. “I’ll go in a moment.”

This man was sick and in a lot of pain, pain he concealed behind a mask of rage and gruff. He sat there, shivering like a penguin stranded on an iceberg, swaying dangerously in the chair. Who was he and why was he so ill?

I picked up the clipboard and read through the application. He’d only gotten far enough to fill out the top part, but the shaky script spelled a familiar name. I straightened. Holy cow. Could it be? I scanned the driver’s license on the table for confirmation.

“Ash?” I studied the man sweating all over my kitchen table. “Are you really Ashton Hunter?”

I’d never met Ashton Hunter, but I’d heard an awful lot about the town’s very own golden boy. I would have never recognized him from the pictures, but looking closely, seeing beyond the nearly healed scar that split his left eyebrow and all that facial hair…yes…I supposed it could be him. Wynona Hunter’s grandson in the flesh, right there before me, sick as a dog and, judging by his terrible pallor, about to throw up.

I got the pail just in time.

He vomited—such a violent explosion. I almost threw up myself. I did okay with animals, but people? I wasn’t so sure.

Man up, girl, this is Wynona Hunter’s grandson getting sick in your kitchen.

Wynona was the reason I had the cottage in the first place, the one person who’d gone all out for me and possibly the only reason why I’d survived on the lam this long. She was also the closest thing to a grandma—or a friend—I’d ever had.

Losing her had torn me to pieces. Her death had deprived me the opportunity to return her incomparable kindnesses. Which was why now, holding on to her beloved Ash as he puked out his liver, the universe was giving me a second chance to pay her back for everything she’d done for me.

To think I’d confused Ashton Hunter for a drifter. Well, at least he was a local, which explained how he knew where to find my cottage. What was he doing here? Why was he looking to rent a room from a stranger so far away from town? And why was he sick?

“Christ,” he mumbled. “This is embarrassing.”

“Don’t worry about it.” I got a paper towel and wiped his mouth. “Are you really Wynona’s grandson?”

“I am.” He shuddered like a wet dog. “Ash.”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m fine,” he said before he heaved again.

“Hold on.” I groped for my cell. “I’ll call the ambulance. It’ll take a little time to get out here, but they’ll come.”

“No ambulance.” He snatched my hand and tightened his fingers around my wrist.

I jumped back, but I couldn’t shake his hold. God, he was strong. Even as he shuddered with fever, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t free my arm.

“Let go.”

I choked on a wave of panic fueled by the perverse memories that ruled my subconscious. My heart rate sped into triple digits. My fight response kicked in and I threw my best punch. With the reflexes of a baseball player, he caught my fist in his other hand.

“Stop it,” I said. “Let me go!”

His stare was cold, unfocused and remote, his face blank. He snarled some harsh words I couldn’t understand. Nothing that I said registered in his expression, that is, until Neil barked, a set of sharp, loud yaps.

Neil’s barks returned Ash to his senses. As if waking up from a dream, his eyes focused first on the dog, then on his hands, gripping my wrists, and finally on my face, surely frozen in a grimace of terror.

“Christ.” He released his hold on me. “Did I hurt you? Jesus, I’m sorry.”

I thrust myself away from him, against the wall. My knees shook like babies’ rattles. My wrists throbbed with the memory of his grip. Steady. Breathe. Cope. I rubbed my wrists and stared at the man before me, trying to squelch the dread churning in my belly. He was really sick, I reminded myself. He couldn’t harm me, not if he was truly Wynona’s grandson, the boy she’d raised, the man she adored.

“I didn’t mean to lose my cool.” He braced his hands on the table and tried to get up but his legs wouldn’t hold him, so he sat down again. “I’m not like that, I swear. I just need my meds.”

It took all I had to rally my wits and reclaim my courage—that, and the tremendous pain I spotted in Ash’s eyes, plus the memory of Wynona Hunter opening her world to me.

“This medicine of yours,” I said, cautiously. “Where is it? Is it in the truck?”

“Duffel bag,” he muttered. “Front seat.”

“Sit tight,” I said. “I’ll be right back.”

“Don’t call the ambulance. Don’t call anybody. I’m not ready, not like this.”

“Okay,” I mumbled, but I wasn’t sure.

Part of me understood what he meant. Wynona had told me that he was super smart, an extraordinary athlete and an officer in the United States Marine Corps. His family had been prominent in the area for several generations. I sensed he didn’t want to be seen weakened and sick by the folks who’d watched him grow up. Still, the other part of me worried.

My best guess was that Ash had been wounded while serving in the military. It made sense. Other than a curt statement from his unit’s commanding officer notifying us that he’d been “out of reach and on assignment” at the time of Wynona’s death four months ago, no one had heard a word from him.

I’d resented him for missing the funeral. Ash had been Wynona’s last living relative. She’d raised him. He’d been the center of her existence. He should have been there. Instead, he was here, now, four months late, in my house, sick and refusing to go to the hospital where he obviously belonged.

What would Wynona do if she was in my shoes?

I put on my coat, slipped on my boots and ran out to the truck. I grabbed the blue bag sporting the Marine Corps seal from the front seat. Neil waited by his owner when I came back, resting his chin on Ash’s lap. Ash sat slumped over the table, forehead leaning on his crossed arms.

I plopped the bag down on the table and rushed to unzip it. My jaw dropped. A jumble of prescription medicines filled the duffel. There must have been twenty different bottles of pills, liquids and injectables in there, all labeled and marked with instructions.

I forced myself to get over the shock. “Which one do you need?”

He lifted his head painfully and groped through the bag, squinting at a bottle. “No, not this one. It liquefies my gut.” He chucked it aside and picked up another bottle. “This one makes me drowsy. This one makes me stupid. This one, I think.”

I twisted off the cap and handed him the two pills indicated on the label.

He washed down the pills with a gulp of coffee and then picked out a pack containing a loaded syringe. “I’m supposed to have this one too. At least that’s what I think they said.”

He fumbled with his belt. For a sick guy, he moved swiftly. Leaning to one side and then the other, he dropped his pants, ripped the syringe out of the sterile pack and without so much as a word, stabbed it into his thigh and pushed down on the plunger.

A hiss escaped between his clenched teeth. “Motherfucker burns.”

I stared in horror as the veins in his neck bulged. My eyes shifted between the wicked syringe, dispensing its load of liquid fire, his muscular thighs, thick as tree trunks, and the bandage wrapped around his left calf. The ripe smell I’d detected earlier came from that bandage. Mother of God. I was no doctor, but Wynona’s grandson was clearly sick with a full-fledged infection.

He dropped the empty syringe in the bag and pushed himself to his feet. “Let’s go, Neil.”

“You can’t leave.”

“Why not?” He wavered on his feet but managed to pull up his pants and buckle his belt.

“You can’t drive like this.”

“Sure I can,” he said. “And I did.”

He slung the bag over his shoulder, gripped his crutches and, with Neil at his heels, shuffled to the coat stand. How long had he been running around like this?

“But…” I didn’t know what to say. “What about the room?”

He grabbed his jacket and sneered. “You don’t want to rent me a room any more than you want me to puke all over your damn kitchen again.”

“Well…” I gulped. “I’d prefer it if you kept your breakfast to yourself, but…um…you did say you were looking for peace and quiet. So if you want the room, you can have it.”

His blue eyes lasered through my brain, his gaze dulled with pain but alert all the same. This guy wouldn’t accept help from me, from anybody. He would get in that truck, pass out from the fever and kill himself—and his dog—in the process.

He more or less growled. “Why the hell would you want to rent me a room when that upturned nose of yours finds my stink so offensive?”

I fingered my nose, a little self-conscious. “I knew your grandmother. Wynona.”

“You knew her?” He frowned, a familiar gesture now. “How?”

“She—um—she helped me when I first arrived in Copperhill.” I measured my words carefully. “She took me under her wing, found me this place to live and helped me get a job. She was the kindest, most loving person I’ve ever met.”

He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the wall. “That she was.”

I had a moment of hope that he would reason with me, but then the grim expression reclaimed his face and he clutched the crutches with new resolve.

“Nona is dead.” His eyes darkened to indigo. “I don’t need help from you or from anyone else. Neil and I, we can take care of ourselves. So get the hell out of my way.”

I had to make a conscious effort to overcome my fears and differentiate violence from desperation, pain from danger. Helping Ash was a bad idea, but could I really let him leave in this condition, knowing that he had no place to go to and no family to take care of him?

“Your grandma and I were good friends,” I said, against my best judgment. “She told me lots of stories about you. And she gave me this.”

I pulled out the chain buried beneath my sweater and showed him the pendant I wore around my neck. I flinched when he reached out, but I got hold of my fear before he noticed. His square-tipped fingers closed over the pendant, a highly polished obsidian crystal mounted on a silver frame. His eyes narrowed on the stylized frog skeleton carved in the center of the stone. It had the look of an ancient fossil, but it was actually one of Wynona’s edgiest designs.

“Damn.” His broken eyebrow rose in surprise. “She gave this to you?”

I nodded, all too aware of his proximity as he leaned in closer to examine the pendant. A wave of intense, metallic-scented heat radiated from him. His pain-sharpened breaths came out in blustery bursts.

“Courage,” I mumbled.

“What?” he said.

“Wynona told me that obsidian was the stone of courage.” I rallied. “She told me it would balance and restore, calm and soothe.”

“Lia.” His eyes narrowed. “Now I remember. Nona emailed me. About you. You took care of her when she broke her hip last year.”

“It was the least I could do.”

He took off his cap and raked his hair with his fingers. “Damn meds. They muddle my brain. But I know who you are now.”

“Will you stay?”

His brows clashed over his nose. “I don’t need you to feel sorry for me.”

“I don’t, but I think your grandmother would have liked it if you stayed, and I need to pay my rent.”

“Ah.”

That last bit was the type of rationale I could sell to the proud and the stubborn.

The meds were kicking in. Ash’s eyelids drooped and his legs wobbled. His gaunt complexion matched his nickname. He looked like one of those giant lodgepole pines infected with beetles, colorless and brittle, swaying in the wind and about to topple over.

His words came out slow and slurred. “The house burned down.”

I swallowed hard. “I remember.”

“She was in there.”

I shivered inside.

“I was in goddamn Afghanistan.”

I reached out and squeezed his shoulder. “There was nothing you could’ve done.”

He tensed beneath my touch like a feral cat, but he didn’t pull back. He stared at my hand with an odd expression on his face, as if he expected me to recoil in horror, as if he hadn’t been touched with kindness in a long time.

“I think Wynona would’ve really liked it if you stayed with me,” I said. “Let’s do this, for her, at least while you get your act together?”

He fingered the pendant once again. “I don’t know.”

“You must have had a really good reason to come back, even if you don’t feel so good.”

“The property,” he mumbled, thumbing the stone. “I have to deal with that. This place is close. It’s nice here. Not so many people around. Besides…” His stare drifted out the window. “I grew up on that lake. I like looking at it.”

“I do too,” I said. “It’s peaceful and beautiful. Wynona told me that the two of you loved to hike around it.”

“She did?”

I nodded and held my breath. Maybe he would go along with my suggestion. Or maybe I was out of my freaking mind. His presence spelled only trouble for me. My life didn’t have room for complications or mistakes. If he stayed, I’d have to worry about his safety on top of mine.

If all of that wasn’t enough, he came across as proud, stubborn and bitter. He scared me, especially when he got angry. It would be so much easier if he just moved along. If I was smart, I’d let him leave in his fancy truck and be done with it. But how could I let Wynona’s grandson walk out when he needed help?

It was a bad idea. It was a dangerous idea, and reckless. I opened my mouth to send him on his way, but what came out of my lips had nothing to do with my impeccable logic.

“What’s it going to be?”

Ash hesitated for moment, then he squinted down at me. “You still want me to fill out that application?”

“That won’t be necessary.”

“What the hell,” he said. “I do need a place to crash. No one wants dogs. Or screwed-up vets.”

Way to go. I’d just persuaded Ashton Hunter to barge into my carefully conceived, little farce of a life. To my astonishment, he pulled out his wallet from his pocket, and, after counting out a few crisp, hundred-dollar bills, pressed them into my hand.

“First, last and deposit,” he said.

It was already spent, but it was more money than I’d seen all month.

Was I doing the right thing? I hoped so. Damage aside, I was basically a decent human being. But kindness was at the heart of catastrophe and evil thrived on good intentions. The danger in my life was very real. If I was going to come through unscathed, I needed to heal him quickly and then send him on his way. But first I had to think of a way of getting him up the stairs.

“Would you like to check out the room?” I said.

“Damn it.” He looked at the steps. “It’s up that way, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I don’t know if you can make it.”

Even in his drug-induced stupor, he wasn’t one to pass up a challenge. He tucked the crutches under one arm and, gripping the balustrade, tackled the staircase.

Neil whimpered.

“I know,” I mumbled. “This isn’t going to be easy.”

Ash nearly fainted on the landing, then regained his senses long enough to get his arm over my shoulder and make it to the bathroom at the top of the stairs, where he did faint. I managed to get him gently to the floor. He came to as I filled up the bathtub.

“What the hell?”

“Two choices.” I knelt on the tiles next to him. “Either I take you to the hospital or we get your fever down the old-fashion way.”

He lifted his head from the floor and contemplated the old claw-foot bathtub with trepidation. “No hospital.”

“Okay, then.”

He groaned when I took off his boots. I bit down on my lips and suppressed the grimace that tried to overtake my face. Ouch. His left foot was riddled with scars and swollen like a rotten gourd. He unbuckled his belt and, between the two of us, we managed to lower his pants. The swelling in his foot connected with his lower leg, which was also flushed and inflamed. I helped him to take off his shirt. I tried to keep my eyes averted from the other scars on his body, but they were many and most of them were still raw and red. My God. He’d been seriously injured.

He hunched over his arms, hugging himself, shaking uncontrollably, glowering at me through lidded eyes. He snapped when I tried to loosen the bandage around his calf.

“Forget this.”

He heaved himself from the floor to the toilet and from the toilet to the tub and, perching his calf on the ledge, slid into the bath, groaning as he immersed the bulk of his body in the tub, shivering nonstop. A tide of displaced water swelled and spilled over the edges, splashing on the floor and drenching my feet. Within moments, his teeth began to chatter.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to call the ambulance?”

“Sure as shit.”

“I could drive you to the hospital or call the sheriff for help.”

He snarled. “No.”

A tiger trapped in my bathtub might have been a safer bet. A swipe of his paw could take my head off.

Perhaps this was about more than embarrassment. “Ash,” I said. “Why don’t you want me to take you to the hospital or call the sheriff? Are you in trouble?”

“Yeah,” he mumbled. “I’m in trouble all right.”

“With the law?” I said, fearing his enemies as much as mine.

“No, not with the law,” he muttered before he closed his eyes. “With someone a lot more dangerous than the law.”

review

I give this book 5 hearts
As a reviewer I am sent books without knowing what they are going to be about… I enjoy it that way so every book starts with a clean slate and no preconceived notions.
That said I loved this story, from Lia’s love of animals and dark past to her strength in not being a victim when it’s so much easier to give up then stand up.
Ashton (and his amazing dog Neil who you will fall In love with) comes into Lia’s life much the same way the animals she loves do, he’s injured on the run and without anybody else to care for him he won’t last long. Little does she know fate has thrown her a knight in shining armor ( in a sexy war vet package that has a bad temper and needs a little TLC) although not to rescue her but to lend her strength and show her how amazing she really is. I don’t want to say give away much because this is a story that is best read without knowing what’s going to happen.
However I will say that as a warning to those that dislike this type of scenario Lia’s past is hard to read it’s violent, sexually abusive, degrading and really just vile. Although the writing is superb it does make it that much more visual and real for the reader.
If you’re anything like me you’ll fall in love with these two wonderful people as they find strength, trust, passion and love in each other.
**** reviewer for romance authors that rock

 

About the Author:

 

Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. She is the author of The Asset (Carina Press), the first novel of her Wounded Warrior series and three other novels scheduled for release during 2016.

 

A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.

 

http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/home.html

 

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnadelMar/

 

https://twitter.com/anna_del_mar

 

Elysium Dreams by Hadena James

ELYSIUM_DREAMS_oversizedTitle: Elysium Dreams

Author: Hadena James

Genre: Horror

He skins his victims alive, taking pleasure from their pain.

In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. The team must overcome the hostile locals and harsh climate to catch a killer before he strikes again.

 review

US Marshals Gabriel Hendricks, Lucas McMichaels, Xavier Reese, Michael Gianni and Aislinn “Ace” Cain make up the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit hunting serial killers.
They get called to Alaska to capture a killer called The Flesh Hunter, he’s taken fourty-one victims in three months.
Each of the team has their own quirks and Ace is the quirkiest of the bunch. She a high functioning genius sociopath who forces herself to feel. She’s really good at catching killers and as she says “I’m a monster but a good monster”. I love how all the characters interact with each other and especially how Ace controls herself.
This story is fast paced and exciting and keeps you guessing who the killer is to the very end. I couldn’t stop reading this and can’t wait to get my hands on books one and three. I love a good serial killer thriller and this hits the mark perfectly. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars it definitely deserves at least a 10 it’s that good.
Independent reviewer for Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock. 5 fangs isn’t enough.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1504915169

https://www.amazon.com/review/RWUNCT0ZLH5G9/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

Author Bio

H JamesHadena James began writing at the age of eight. By the time she graduated high school, she had published a couple of short stories in literary magazines. She completed writing her first novel at seventeen. Hadena began college as an English major, but quickly changed to a history major. However, she continued to write and took several extra classes in creative writing.

College showed her that while she could write short stories, novel writing was truly where her heart lay. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in European History with minors in German and Russian Studies. During this time, she received a couple of contract offers from publishing houses, but ultimately turned them all down.

In August 2012, she self-published her first novel. In retrospect, she is appreciative of the contracts offers she received when she was younger, but believes she made the right decision with self-publishing.

When she isn’t busy writing, Hadena enjoys playing in a steel-tip dart league. She loves to travel throughout North America and Europe. Her favorite cities to visit are Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. She is an avid reader, with her favorites being classic literature; Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, Gaston LeRoux, and Jane Austen; modern favorites include Clive Barker, James Patterson, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Her favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. She writes all of her books while listening to music and the bands tend to get “honorable mentions” within the pages. Some of her favorite bands are Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Rammstein, U2, Marilyn Manson, Oomph!, and Rob Zombie.

http://www.facebook.com/hadenajames

hadenajames.wordpress.com

@hadenajames

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6618804.Hadena_James

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My Ghostly Valentine by Ani Gonzalez #Review

Light Paranormal / Romantic Comedy
Date Published: February 1, 2016
 
Town baker Patricia O’Dare wants to buy the famous, but sadly derelict, Rosemoor Bed & Breakfast, and turn it into a luxurious teashop. Only one thing stands in her way, bad boy  restaurateur Zach Franco who wants the building so he can expand his pizza empire. Add a  pesky ghost that seems to dislike the idea of having its home turned into a restaurant, and Banshee Creek’s first Valentine Day’s Ball and things get dicey pretty fast.
All’s fair in love and war, specially where the incorrigible Zach Franco is concerned, but as the fight over the Rosemoor heats up, Patricia fears that she may be winning the battle, but losing her chance at love.
 
 
review
Four light-hearted hearts..

Banshee Creek has an interesting history. Every house or building is haunted to a certain degree. But that draws the tourist community and makes running a business there easier. Even though some of the gimmicks are rather cheeky. Patricia operates her family’s bakery, but it’s not what she wanted when she set out to culinary school. She’s has her eyes on the Rosemoor for a while for a teashop and when the Historical Society finally decides to put it on the market she put all of her effort into a complete packet describing her ideas and keeping to the horrid tradition of the haunted theme that keeps the tourists coming. However she finds out that the town’s bad boy, Zach Franco, also has his eyes on it too. Passive Patricia has never shown her passionate side since her return from Manhattan but she cannot let the Rosemoor go without a fight. Zach is learning that he really knows nothing about Patricia, and he thinks it’s kinda hot. Not only does the ghost of the Rosemoor put her opinion in the mix, but the Historical Society starts changing the rules of the competition on the bids, forcing Patricia and Zach to work even closer together and explore their feelings further.

***Reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock.****

 

 

 
 
Ani Gonzalez loves sexy stories and quirky towns with spooky houses.  She currently lives in Minnesota with her family, and she’s still trying to adjust to the cold.
 
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Dark Perception by Alexandrea Weis

Title: Dark Perception
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance

Blurb:
Born with a gift, Melinda Harris can see visions of the future.
Nathan Cole is the man who wants to possess her and her power.
A member of the elite Corde Noire Society, Nathan introduces Melinda to his dark world of pleasure and pain. At first, Melinda likes what Nathan teaches her, but then her visions begin warning her to the terrible secret her handsome Dom is hiding.
Nathan has plans for her beyond his bedtime adventure. He wants her to make her his … completely.

From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.


Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexandreaweis/
Webpage: http://www.alexandreaweis.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexandreaweis
Amazon: http://amzn.to/21jfcqO
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1211671.Alexandrea_Weis

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TyXm1u
AmazonUK: 

  



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