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The Last Riders #7
Releasing July 29th, 2015
Young Ink Press
Life dealt him a dead manâs hand.
Lucky had always led a life of service, always putting his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider.
A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasnât a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim or take the devilâs highway.
Some girls had all the luck.
Willa wasnât one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.
Painfully shy and withdrawn, she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell.
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"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.â
Title: The Truth of Tristan Lyons
Series: Legendary Rock Stars #4
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Genre: Rock Star Romance
Release Date: July 27, 2015
I understand why I have the nickname. Hey, what can I say? I like women. All women. It doesn’t matter what shape, size, or color. I’m even into sharing. I’ve done it all, seen it all, but I’m at an all-time low. Who wouldn’t be? My best friend is missing. My uncle’s an asshole. I don’t know who I am without The Nights. We are a band of brothers, soldiering through the world with our music. Only, our faithful leader is gone, and everyone else in the band is falling for the oldest trap: love. Love is a lie. It is painful. It is hurtful.
I need a break. I want to be alone. I'm not prepared to share the exclusive home on the Island. I'm not prepared for her. I don’t know who she is or why she's here. She tells me to call her Ireland. I tell her my first name only. Originally, I don’t want to believe she doesn’t recognize me. Bass guitarist for The Nights, come on? After a while we both play the game. Secrets are another form of lies, aren't they?
Our fantasy will crash to reality too soon. Secrets catch up to you. The truth has to be told. It confirms what I already know: love is a lie.
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The Truth of Tristan Lyons excerpt © L.B. Dunbar
I wanted to know who she was. Scratch that, I didn’t care who she was. I wanted to know how she got in the house. Damn these fangirls, sometimes. They knew no shame.
“Hey,” I said grabbing her upper arm. “How did you get in here?”
She seemed caught unaware of my approach and screamed loudly, pushing at my chest hard enough, the sheer surprise forced me to let go of her.
With her hand on her chest and her breasts rising and falling in great agitation, I was able to see her big blue eyes and the sprinkle of freckles across her nose. Her chin length blonde hair fell forward as she bent to clasp her knees and catch her breath.
Standing up almost as quickly as she bent over, she spoke to me through delicious looking pink lips.
“Who the fuck are you?” she growled.
“Who the fuck, are you?” I returned.
“You know what, never mind. You need to go,” I said, cutting her off and reaching for her upper arm again. “I don’t know how you got in here, where you came from, or how you found me, but you need to go.”
I began to tug her toward the front entry, her feet sliding in her flip-flops across the tile flooring. She pulled back, and the force made her skid on an angle across the slippery surface as I dragged her. She continued to glare at me quizzically, leaning away from me.
“I don’t know what you are talking about?”
“Did you follow me, is that it? See me in the airport?”
“Okay, I love you too, now you need to go. Okay?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t pretend you don’t know who I am?”
I stopped, still holding firmly to her arm. Something in her voice sounded like she was being serious.
She blinked, confusion clearly on her face. I was thoughtful for a moment. It was the innocence in her blue eyes, and the fact she looked like she might cry. Something wasn’t right with this scenario.
“Trist – an,” I said slowly, as if she had some type of hearing impairment.
I narrowed my eyes at her.
“What kind of music do you listen to?”
“Country,” she answered so quickly, she didn’t even blink an eye or stop for thought. On top of that, she said it in such a way that showed she was thoroughly confused, and almost disgusted with me, for even asking such a ridiculous question. She wrinkled her nose.
“Look, I know the owner, and you shouldn’t be here.”
“I know the owner,” I repeated, “and you shouldn’t be here.”
“I’m not leaving,” she said, pulling at her own arm again and sticking out a hand to press against my chest as leverage. I had tugged my shirt off at some point while I was passed out, and her warm hand felt good on my air-conditioned cool skin. Her hand was tiny, I noticed. All of her was thin.
“I’m supposed to be here. Alone,” I emphasized again.
She didn’t respond, so I added, “I think I’ll just call the owner myself, to see where the mix up is.”
“No,” she blurted, stopping in her physical struggle against me. Her eyes opened even wider, if that was possible, and her face was suddenly full of something I couldn’t read. Her blue eyes brightened in a frightening sort of way. Was that fear? Good, she should be afraid.
“Please. I swear. I’m allowed to be here. You don’t need to call Isa.”
She had me. I didn’t really know who Isa was, and the girl sounded confident enough that I let her call my bluff.
“If there is a mistake, and you were scheduled to stay as well, I won’t complain. As a matter of fact, I won’t even be in your way. You won’t even know I’m here. I plan to keep to myself.” Her eyes were glassy, and again I worried she was about to cry.
I released her arm and she pulled it back quickly. She fisted the hand of that arm, holding it against her chest. She began rubbing her upper arm with the opposite hand. I noticed again that she was thin, as were her breasts. I didn’t care for small chested girls. I didn’t care for her.
“Well, I’m Tristan, whom you claim to not know, and you are?”
I shook my head.
“So this is how we’re going to play it? Fine, my Irish Isle. What are you doing in the Caymans?”
She looked at me for a moment, then leaned toward me and sniffed. She held the disgusted expression on her face and wrinkled her nose as she pulled back.
“Probably the same thing as you.”
“Drinking myself into oblivion?” I laughed, crossing my arms over my bare chest defensively.“Hiding,” she replied.
I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?
As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.
I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.
So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created.
I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.
Release Day BlitzJESSE (Damage Control 2)
by Jo Raven
SYNOPSISReturning to Madison hurts. I thought I’d left my past behind, but the past goes on living. I carry it inside of me, it’s a piece of me. People have marked me in indelible ways and I drag the shreds of my soul behind me, trying to put my pieces back together. I’m not the Amber I used to be. I fly under the radar, try to be invisible. It doesn't always work. Drawing attention scares me. It always spells trouble. Returning to my home town is a last ditch effort to lay my demons to rest and start anew, for good this time. Meeting Jesse Lee wasn’t in the plan. Yet here he is with his heart-stopping, sexy grin, handsome like a god, shining bright. He’s full of life, full of heat, packing the energy of a thousand suns in his gaze and muscular body. Jesse burns, and the pain of being near him is sweet. But he’s foiling my plans. It’s hard to remain a ghost when he’s around. Hard to avoid his attention, to remain invisible. He sees me, really sees me, and behind his bright radiance, I can see shadows from his own past crowding in. He’s swimming hard to stay afloat even as he reaches for me. What is he afraid of? And how can he save me from drowning when he can’t even save himself? Standalone novel. No cliffhanger. *Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and violence. Mature readers only. Not intended for young readers.*
Buy Links for JESSE – low release week price!AMAZON COM www.amazon.com/Jesse-Damage-Control-Book-2-ebook/dp/B011PN1KYU AMAZON UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jesse-Damage-Control-Book-2-ebook/dp/B011PN1KYU BARNES AND NOBLE http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jesse-jo-raven/1122300679 APPLE: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1019658325
Book 1 in the series is currently FREE!
Find MICAH here:
EXCERPT“Embers?” He lifts a dark brow, and I try to unstick my tongue from the roof of my mouth. Kind of hard with all that muscled, male, inked flesh in full display in front of me. He’s shirtless, and oh God, his nipples are pierced. Silver hoops pass through the small brown nubs, gleaming. His bare chest is sculpted and hard, from his pecs to the cut abs and the fine dark trail of hairs leading into the waistband of his gray jogging pants. Sweat glistens on his skin, on the colorful ink covering his arm, the swirls and lines dipping from his left shoulder down to a defined pec. A demon is tattooed there, stylized wings and a monstrous head, fading into the purple and blue of other, older-looking tats. And then of course there’s the cobra I noticed on his arm the other day. “Hey,” I say vaguely, my brain on shut-down. I swallow hard, try again. “What does the cobra stand for?” Both his brows arch now, eyes wide, their green-blue irises crystalline in the morning light. He glances down at his arm, then back at me. “What?” “What does the snake stand for?” I wave in his direction, wondering if I should cut my losses, turn about and run away right frigging now. Being antisocial is one thing – seeing it in action is another. As I’m about to turn and run, one corner of his mouth curls up. “You’re funny,” he says, and it stops me in my tracks. “No, I’m not.” “Yes, you are, trust me.” He grins. “How about we start again. Good morning, Embers.” If flames jump from my cheeks, it won’t surprise me. “Morning.” “Would you like to come inside?” he says, that sexy grin lingering on his full lips. “There might be coffee.” “No, thanks.” The need to flee is worse than ever, only I’m caught in his spell and can’t move. He’s staring at me, giving me a lazy, slow once-over, from the top of my head to my toes curling in my sandals. “What, no pet name for me today?” Oh God, what am I doing here? “Cut it out, Jesse. Don’t be an ass.” I expect a witty comeback, but instead something shutters behind his bright eyes, and strangely, I feel guilt wash over me. He rubs a hand over his face and slumps against the doorframe, muscles rolling in his arms. “This is who I am, Embers,” he drawls, closing his eyes. “What you see is what you get. I told you that you’d get tired of me soon.” But for the first time, I’m not so sure about that.
Author Bio and linksJo Raven writes New Adult contemporary romance. She loves sexy bad boys and strong-willed heroines, and divides her time between writing and reading. When not cooking up plots, she putters in her cluttered kitchen and dreams of travelling.
LinksFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjoraven Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorjoraven Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1rf8drw Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1huhvxy Blog: http://www.joraven.com/ Sign up to newsletter: http://bit.ly/1CTNTHM
Author: Adriana Locke
Release Date: July 13, 2015
My life changed forever the night my husband died.
I was left with a shattered heart, a heap of bills, and our daughter, EVERLEIGH. I don’t want to rely on anyone, least of all CREW GENTRY. He’s my first love and the man who almost destroyed me, the man who has let me down every time I’ve needed him.
But when tragedy strikes a second time, Crew just might be my only hope.
My life changed forever the night my brother died.
I was left with a guilty conscience, a pile of mistakes, and little else. I take care of JULIA GENTRY, my brother’s widow and the love of my life, and their daughter. I know she doesn’t want my help, but she gets it anyway. I owe her that. When another disaster hits, I’m given the opportunity to make things right. I’m taking it. I'm willing to sacrifice it all.
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AMAZON US / UK
“She’s been missing him a lot lately.”
Julia’s voice is barely a whisper and my chest constricts. Our conversations don’t normally make it to discussing Gage unless we’re already arguing. The fact that she just brought it up shocks me and I’m not comfortable with it. I don’t know how to take it. I feel my jaw pulse with frustration and scramble to change the subject again. “Why is it so chilly in here?”
Her smile disappears and she tugs her sweatshirt nervously. “I didn’t know it was.”
“How can you possibly not know?” I start to the thermostat across the room when she clears her throat.
“The heater isn’t working right. I asked Lane to come by and look at it earlier this week.”
“And he hasn’t been here yet?” I shoot her a look and she shakes her head. “He’ll be here tonight.” I dig my cell outta my pocket.
“Crew, don’t. Please. The last time you called my landlord he was a complete jerk to me for a couple of months. I just got on good terms with him again.”
I scroll through my contacts list, looking for his name.
“Crew ...” I know her doe-eyes are pleading with me. I also know if I look up at her, I’ll be somewhat inclined to give in. So I don’t.
Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
Adriana resides in the Midwest with her family. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. She loves to be outside in the sunshine and always has a piece of candy in her pocket.
Her first novel, The Exception, was released in 2014. The followup, The Perception, was released in March 2015. Both books follow the same characters, but can be read as standalone novels.
Sacrifice, a novel unrelated to the others, will go live on July 13, 2015.
Please contact Adriana at www.adrianalocke.com. She loves to hear from readers.
Series: Irrationally His #1
Author: Jessa Jacobs
Release Date: July 8, 2015
“You do know you’re trespassing, right?”
“I’m not trespassing.”
He quirked one eyebrow, the challenge clear. Then he looked pointedly at my chest again.
I crossed my arms. “My mother is married to the owner of this ranch.”
His eyes widened. “Is she? How nice for you.”
With a cocky grin, he tossed my shirt to me, but didn’t look away. “I’m crushed you don’t remember me, Sis.”
It was one of the most humiliating moments of my life. It was supposed to be private here, but I’d been caught sunbathing nude.
The hot cowboy got a much better look at me than I got at him, but it didn’t matter anyway. He was off-limits. I’d just met my stepbrother after ten years of avoiding the hateful brat. During which, I guess we both grew up.
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“You do know you’re trespassing, right?”
The voice startled me from a sound sleep and my eyes flew open to reveal what I at first thought was a vision straight out of my book. From my position, lying on my back, he looked too tall to be real, and the tight-fitting jeans, plaid Western shirt, and Stetson hat did nothing to dispel that thought. The expression on his face puzzled me at first. A wide grin revealed perfect teeth and belied the words he’d spoken.
I started to answer when I noticed his eyes flick from my face to my—oh, my God! My chest. My bare boobs. What the hell? I crossed my arms over myself and sat up in one motion. Looking around wildly for my shirt, I heard him speak.
“Looking for this?”
I hadn’t answered his accusation of trespassing, but I had plenty to say about him holding my shirt out of my reach. I wanted to cover way too much quivering flesh A-S-A-P. Thank God my lower half wasn’t naked. That would have been too much. Literally.
“Give me that, you bastard!” As I spoke, I lifted my face to glare at him. With a cocky grin, he tossed my shirt to me, but didn’t look away. “You could at least turn your back while I put this on.”
When he didn’t, I snarled, “You’re no gentleman.”
“Didn’t say I was,” was his laconic reply.
When he still didn’t turn away, I had no choice but to let one arm move to retrieve the shirt, and then to expose my boobs to his gaze again as I lifted my arms to pull the shirt over my head. Although I was covered, it wasn’t much better as the shirt was a bit too small, and in my haste to cover myself, I’d skipped the bra. A quick glance downward made me groan. In the now-chilly air under the shade of a tree, my traitorous nipples were in full evidence under the thin shirt. As was my belly. I sucked it in.
I was at a severe disadvantage in my sitting position on the ground, so I stood to look him in the eye. It wasn’t usually a problem for me to look a man in the eye, at my five-eleven height. Nevertheless, I had to look up several inches to meet his. “I’m not trespassing.”
He quirked one eyebrow, the challenge clear. Then he looked pointedly at my chest again.
I crossed my arms. “My mother is married to the owner of this ranch.”
His eyes widened. “Is she? How nice for you.”
“How long were you standing there getting an eyeful before you woke me?” I asked. I was about two seconds from punching this asshole in his pretty face.
“Oh, I don’t know,” he answered with a slow drawl. “Ten minutes? Fifteen?”
“You bastard!” I exclaimed again. “I assume you work for my step-dad. I’m going to have you fired.” “You assume wrong, Chelsea,” he said.
So, maybe it won't come as a surprise that in my books you'll find hot alpha male book-boyfriends, sassy heroines who are much more clever and beautiful than I am, and stories I hope will make you laugh and cry while reading them, as I did while writing them. Oh, and some scenes you may want to role-play with your lover.
Why not take a chance? All of my stories are perfect for a lunch-break escape, and priced less than a cup of coffee. In fact, if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, they won't cost you another dime, so take as many as you want! They're calorie-free, too!
If you'd like to know more about me, my books, or special offers for free reading, please check my website at www.jessajacobs.com. I’m also available on Facebook and Twitter.
Title: Four Play
Author: Amalie Silver
Release Date: July 13, 2015
From the author of the Internationally Bestselling Satire Word Play comes this collection of laugh-out-loud novellas, all guaranteed to curl your toes and challenge your morals.
Surrendering to Innocence
(Previously published in Forbidden Fruit, Volume II)
(Previously published in Nighttides)
Debating Number Ten
(Previously published in Hot for Teacher)
(The brand new prequel novella to Word Play)
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“No, no, no,” Jack cut in. “You need to get her engine fired up. Make her panties wet. You have to be forceful, take control. They eat up that shit.”
Martin shook his head. “No. I’m telling you, there are only two ways to get a girl in your bed at a place like this. Shakespeare or poetry.”
“Shakespeare?” I asked. “Don’t you think that’s a little cheesy?”
“Not at all,” Martin replied. “Just walk up to her and say ‘but soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!’”
“And then add,” Jack insisted, “the sun isn’t the only thing around here that rises.” He wiggled his eyebrows.
Why was I even considering listening to them? It seemed that the guy who was about to become a priest had the best advice.
“Shakespeare? Really?” I wasn’t comfortable with it, but with the alcohol and one glance at the blonde that had just walked in, I felt my inhibitions fade away. Maybe the guys knew more about this kind of thing than me. Although judging from their track record in school, I had my doubts. I didn’t remember the last time any of them had a girlfriend.
Why not? You only live once. Why shouldn’t I have tried to take advantage of the situation? Jack was right, as painful as it was for me to admit. By my calculations, ninety-three percent of the women at the bar were there for the convention. My chances of scoring one who knew something about Shakes were pretty good.
I slammed back the rest of my drink and pulled a wad of courage from my left nut.
I can do this.
None of the guys looked convinced. Duncan gave a lopsided smile, Martin shoved his earbud back in his ear, and Jack sat cross-legged, calmly folding his hands in his lap. I really hoped they wouldn’t watch me; it was going to be hard enough as it was, let alone while I had an audience.
I drew two deep breaths and stood. The blonde at the bar sat alone, sipping her drink, and I took several confident strides toward her as I tried to piece together what I was going to say.
“Hi,” I whispered.
But the music was too loud, and she couldn’t hear me.
So I tried again.
“Hi,” I shouted, causing her to flinch and dribble some of her drink down her chin.
“It’s loud in here!” I said, without as much force that time.
She smiled and tucked her hair behind her ear. I shoved my hands in my pockets and tried to remember the line I was supposed to use.
But it wasn’t coming. We remained smiling at each other until the moment became strange.
And then it verged on painful.
What was I going to say? Did we decide I was going to introduce myself? Or was it poetry?
“But soft, what…light through yonder window breaks,” I began, trying not to stutter.
Her eyes widened, and I knew I had her attention, but as my palms grew clammy and my chest hollowed, I realized that the Juliet line wouldn’t work.
Unless her name was Juliet. Which was unlikely.
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. That’s not going to work! Dammit! I need something else! It’s too late! I have to finish the damn quote!
I swallowed, and spat out the first thing my mind could make sense of.
“My dick rises in the east.”
Amalie Silver resides in Minnesota with her husband, two toddlers, and German Short-haired Pointer, Saba. She consumes approximately three pots of coffee a day, and credits this for her survival over the past decade.
When not completely consumed in her writing, she can be found taking road trips to northern Minnesota, engaging in fierce Scrabble games, or reading a good book. She’s a sucker for all romance genres, literary fiction, and psychological fiction.
Title: Protecting Her
Author: Alexis Noelle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 15, 2015
I don’t do love. Hearts, flowers, dates, girlfriends, it’s all pointless. Why tie yourself down to one person when you can have a different one every night? Sure there have been a few that have intrigued me but none ever made me think about hanging around. No one ever haunted my thoughts after I left.
I just wanted one night of freedom. A chance to live without prying, judging eyes. When I met him, the moment he first touched me, it’s like I was hypnotized. I got caught up in the moment and made a mistake, I never thought he would be so cold after it. No one has ever made me feel that way.
When you push love away will you be able to recognize it when it’s right in front of your face? Or will everything be ripped away before you get the chance to really live?
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Alexis Noelle lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband, and three kids. On top a writing career, she is a full-time student and a full-time mom. She loves spending time with her kids, although she has to hide the computer from them when she is writing! She love being active and being outdoors, especially if it involves any kind of shopping.
She has always been passionate about writing. She loves to read romance books and feels like being able to lose yourself in a book is one of the more exciting aspects. The books she loves to read and write will be ones that make you feel for the characters. Ashley believes that you should have an opinion on every character in a book whether you love them, hate them, or think they are up to something.
She also believes that the most important critic is your reader, so she loves to hear from the readers. She want her fans to be open & talk to her about what they want for the characters in the story, and what they would like to see happen.
Series: Oni Fighters #1
Author: Natalie Gayle
Release Date: July 10, 2015
Praise for Brave
"If I could give Brave more than five stars I would. It deserves so many more than that. It has become my number one book of 2015 and one that will stay with me for a very long time to come." Angela—Books and Friendz Blog
“This book has a lot of heart and so many emotional moments!! I totally fell for Xander, I mean how can you not?? Great great book, you’d be crazy not to one click this!!!” Melissa—Apha Book Club
“This book contains it all! There are swoon-worthy moments, witty moments, steamy moments, and tearful moments that all come together to make this one fabulous read." Paige Smith—Hooked on Books Blog
A moment in time, that’s all it took. Beauty, pain and tragedy.
Xander “Pretty Boy” Todd was a demon in the ring. A professional MMA fighter with a career that had the world a buzz—but now it’s gone. Or is it?
Eden Sommers had her dreams of an international modelling career within her grasp—and lost it. Gone within a few seconds, leaving nothing but pain.
How do you go on, when the one thing that defines you is suddenly ripped away—only to leave scars and a hollow shell in its place? Has the beauty gone forever? Or has it just retreated—to now be hidden, and dormant; guarded by the inner demons?
Can these two wounded souls find the inner strength to fight back the demons together and find the beauty in their lives once again?
To do this, they must first accept—The hardest demons to defeat are the ones inside. They’ll have to be BRAVE.
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Music by Remedy X
Fear struck through me. I hated the conversation directed to me, particularly when there were strangers involved. I could have cursed Tori. She knew better than to put me on the spot like this. I could just see her smirking face across the table from underneath my lashes as my throat started to constrict.
“You’re more than welcome to come along and watch. I encourage people to come along and see for themselves what it’s all about.” Oh, there was that voice again.
I was torn. I didn’t want to look up. I didn’t want to see the embarrassment and the man with the beautiful voice looking uncomfortable when he realised what my face looked like.
Surely there was a limit to the torture?
Manners, fear, self-consciousness all warred within me.
The silence around me was deafening. I could tell they were all waiting. I could feel three sets of eyes on me watching and wondering if I was actually going to respond. Finally I took a deep breath. What did it matter if he rejected me? It had happened before, and it would happen again. I could do this. It would hurt, but I was no stranger to pain, both physical and emotional.
Very slowly I raised my chin and turned just slightly towards him. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t because my throat was closed in fear and uncertainty.
The first thing I noticed was the dark jeans that hung on narrow hips, then a white T-shirt that emphasised his flat belly and defined pecs. Bravely, I raised my eyes a little higher and the pecs ran into a set of wide shoulders. There was a hint of a tattoo peeking out from under one of his short sleeves. It only made his bicep look more delicious and enticing.
I took one final harsh intake of air and allowed my eyes to complete their journey. They travelled up and up the column of his corded neck to his wide angular jaw.
His full lips were slightly turned up in what looked like a half smile or was it amusement? I could only image how it would look once the shock registered when he saw my face.
Above those lips, that looked far too sensual for any man, was a long straight nose with a hint of a flare to the nostrils. The knot in my stomach tightened even further as I finally tilted my head back far enough so my eyes could meet his.
Every muscle in my body was tensed waiting for the shock, horror and embarrassment I was about to see, once my scars registered with his brain. It was an involuntary reaction I realised. Nobody could hide it, no matter how hard they tried. It was just the shock and surprise. I don’t blame them for their reactions, it just hurt that was all.
I raised my eyelids that final few millimetres and forced my eyes to focus on his. Right then and there the world stopped spinning for me. Time halted. My sisters faded into the background and I looked into the eyes of one of the most compelling people I had ever seen. Oh, he was handsome, but he was so much more.
But that was not what had me struck dumb—nope that wasn’t it.
It was his eyes—those bottomless pools of black onyx. I did a mental double take. For eyes so dark they should have appeared cold and icy.
But they didn’t—they weren’t cold at all. They were warm and rich. Right then was the first time I could recall in the last five years, a stranger looking at me with warmth in their eyes. Not shock, not pity, not embarrassment. It was warmth.
The shock paralysed me. I didn’t know what to do or how to act. My brain was shorting out. Nothing made sense. Somewhere in the back of my mind I registered my leg being kicked under the table, but even that didn’t break through my connection with those eyes. I wanted to swim in them, wrap myself in their warmth and burrow down tight.
I have no idea how much time passed.
Finally, he thrust his hand forward to me and without conscious thought, I placed my hand in his to shake. What happened next shocked me even more.
He lent across the table and pulled me into a loose hug and brushed his lips against my left cheek.
My brain was fried and my nerves were all misfiring. Nothing made sense. I was so far out of my comfort zone.
He pulled back slowly and gave me a smile that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Then he spoke and his words seemed to swirl around me in a caress.
“Hi Eden. I’m Xander Todd.” Suddenly, I realised I had no box to categorise him into.
A confessed readaholic and romantic junkie, Natalie spends her time juggling a busy career as an IT professional and author. In between staring at a computer screen (she spends lot time doing that!) Natalie, enjoys living the Gold Coast life with her very tolerant husband and two school aged children.
She loves spending time with family and friends, hitting the beach, cooking, working out and curling up with a good book. Her pet hates are cleaning and anything else that can be considered “domestic dullness”. If she could have one wish it would be to be able to fit 48 hours into 24.
Natalie is the author of the Centre Games Series. A fast paced, romantic suspense series set on the Gold Coast, Australia. The series tells the stories of the Centre, a quasi government agency established to fight environmental, biological and agricultural threats. The Centre Games books are filled with hot alpha males and the feisty independent females strong enough to capture their hearts. Natalie’s books pack lots of action, hot romance and surprises.
Natalie is currently working on her fifth instalment for the Centre Games Series and a brand new series for 2015. Look out for her new release BRAVE, coming very soon and a couple of surprise projects.
Title: Cowboy Redemption
Series: Down Under Cowboy #6
Author: Kasey Millstead
Cover Design: Soxsational Cover Art
Release Date: 2015
'Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.' - Bruce Lee
If you learn from your mistakes, youâll be a better person.
Life is all about making mistakes. Iâve made a lot of them in life, and learned from none of them. Until now. My biggest mistake of all, was letting him go.
I had it all. Money. Fame. Success.
Then I lost it.
I thought I finally had my life back on track when I found her.
But one slip up and I lost everything. Again.
Kennedy Crawley spends her days helping others conquer their demons at Hope and Chance Retreat, in Australiaâs Northern Territory. After spending her life being someone even she didnât like, she finally sought the courage to overhaul her life, dreams and aspirations. Now, sheâs determined to stay on track and be a better person.
Kye Austin was living his dream life as a professional football player. Until the day his sins caught up with him. He was sent to Hope and Chance Retreat to get his life back on track. After winning his battle, he decides to stay in the area and try to win the affections of Kennedy. Thereâs just one problem: sheâs not interested.
Kasey Millstead lives a quiet life in country New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and their four young children. She enjoys baking, singing (ridiculously out of tune) & spending time with friends and family. Kasey has always harboured a deep love for reading and writing, and she is now lucky enough to be living her dream of being an Author.
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