Saturday, March 25, 2017

Echo Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Echo
Nana Malone
(The Player #3)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Money, power, prestige…freedom. Echo Coulter is—The Player.
You are a Coulter. You will be perfect. That’s what Echo has been told every day of her life. As the only girl in the Coulter clan, she knows it’s her job to be the glue of the family. But with the Olympics looming, the last thing she wants is to follow the rules. She wants to break free, and she knows just the guy to help her.
Cole Atkins has no interest in spoiled little rich girls. Besides, he’s got the job of a lifetime and just met the girl of his dreams…That is, until she ditches him under the cover of darkness. He can put her out of his head and deal with a spoiled princess for a couple of months right?



EXCERPT:

He knew where his mind should be. But that didn’t matter because right now it was filled with her, and how the scent of her clung to his skin. Someone that was supposed to be a one-night stand had somehow burrowed her way into his mind. Fine, whatever. He’d figure it out. He could find her again. How hard could it be?
Pulling on a pair of boxers, he looked around his apartment for any trace of her, but found nothing. No excuse to look her up to return something she forgot. If he wanted to see her again, he’d have to find her. And he was surprised by how strong that impulse was.
He’d hooked up a lot, but he’d never had a one-night stand that had gone quite like that. But then, he rarely woke during the night, and so he’d never taken the time to talk, like he had with Cece. Or maybe they’d overshared. He wondered if that was what had run her off so easily. He shook his head to force the thought aside. Not with what had happened between them after their little talk. He wouldn’t believe that they’d been able to connect so strongly physically, if the personal things they shared were what had made her run.
He’d never felt a connection like that before. Maybe her friend had dropped digits. If he couldn’t find her, that was it, he’d let it go. But he at least had to try.


Author Bio:
USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she "borrowed" from her cousin.
It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.
Want to know when the next book is coming? Hit up her Newsletter here. You'll only get updated when there is a new release or a special promotion for her Sexy, Sassy Readers. http://eepurl.com/2PeXb

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Building Celebration House Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Building Celebration House
The Celebration House Trilogy
Volume 1
Annette Drake

Genre: Women’s fiction/paranormal romance

Publisher: Baskethound Books

Date of Publication:  3/1/17

ISBN: 978-0-9916118-9-8
ASIN: B01NBIK7KJ

Number of pages: 234
Word Count:  52K

Cover Artist: Elizabeth Mackey

Tagline: How can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?

Book Description:

Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself.

After recovering from her own heart surgery, she learns she has a special talent: the ability to see and talk with the dead.

Now, with her health failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.

Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s ghostly occupants, especially Major Tom Gentry, the handsome Civil War soldier who died 100 years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.

Will Carrie finish restoring the celebration house or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?


Amazon    Nook    Kobo    Smashwords

Excerpt:

When Carrie opened the door and stepped inside, sunlight streamed in through the dirty windows. Even though the barn had been vacant for years, the air smelled of hay and horses.
Looking to her left, she saw a man shaving. He’d glanced up when Carrie opened the doors, but returned his gaze to the small mirror tacked to the wooden beam. He was bare from the waist up. His chest was lean and muscular, with dark brown hair from mid-chest to his waistline. His arms were powerfully built, and his right hand was steady as he scraped the white soap from his angular jaw with a razor. His dark blue uniform pants with gold braid down the side were tucked into knee-high black leather boots. He stood at least six feet tall, and though Carrie hadn’t made her living in the carnival, she guessed he was probably younger than her, likely in his mid to late twenties. He peered at the small mirror, tilting his chin to swipe away the shaving soap. Carrie waited to speak until after he’d finished with the ivory-handled straight blade and dipped it into the basin of soapy water.
“Good morning,” she said.
His expression was an equal mix of surprise and annoyance. He dropped the razor and grabbed his shirt off a nearby nail. He turned his back to Carrie and pulled it on.
“You can see me, madam?” he asked, buttoning his shirt and stuffing it into his pants.
“Yes. Can you see me?”
“I can, but I believe I have the advantage. I’m dead. You are not.” He turned and glared at her. His eyebrows furrowed as though he wasn’t quite sure how they’d arrived at the point of introductions.
“I’m sorry to intrude. I’m Carrie. Carrie Hansen.” She extended her hand.
He reached to shake her hand, but his fingers passed through hers. They both jerked back.
“I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to intrude,” she said.
“You surprised me. That’s all. We seldom receive visitors, especially living ones who can see us.” He put on his blue uniform coat and fastened the long row of brass buttons. “I’m Major Thomas Gentry, at your service.” He bowed.
“I’m sorry I startled you. I sometimes forget ghosts aren’t accustomed to being seen.”
His eyes narrowed and he frowned. “How may I be of service to you, Miss Hansen?”
“Where can I find Colonel Stratton? I need to speak with him.”
His dark blue eyes showed his increasing puzzlement. “The living do not go looking for Colonel Stratton. What business have you with him?”
“I bought this house, and I intend to live here.”
“You bought Stratton House?”
“And I need to speak with the colonel.”
Major Gentry shook his head as though to sort through the details. “Please forgive me. You bought Stratton House, you intend to live here, and you wish to speak with the home’s proprietor, Colonel Stratton?”
“I thought we’d covered that,” she said. “You don’t get many visitors, do you?”



About the Author:

Annette Drake is a multi-genre author whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences.

She makes her home in Washington state. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she loves ferry rides, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.







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Sugar We're Going Down Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Sugar, We’re Going Down
M.H. Soars
(Love Me, I’m Famous #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

EMOTIONAL. CAPTIVATING. SEXY.
The long-awaited story of the incorrigible bad boy rockstar and the feisty woman who brought him down to his knees.
They say nothing compares to the first kiss. That sentence needs to be amended. Nothing compares to the first kiss from Oliver Best. I knew in the moment our lips touched that the cocky rockstar would be forever imprinted in my mind. I also knew that loving him would be my destruction. And yet, love him I did.
Oliver Best, former rockstar, heir to one of the largest fortunes in Great Britain, and the country’s most infamous bad boy.
Saylor Blue Carter, college drop-out, lead singer of a struggling band, not a penny to her name.
When they met, it was hate at first sight. Oliver was an arrogant ass. Saylor was a cold hearted bitch. These were the thoughts they had for each other. Until that kiss. That life altering, earth shattering, nuclear kiss. They knew what that kiss meant. They knew anything between them would be explosive and without hope for a happily ever after. So they vowed to forget, they tried to stay away. But now with their best friends’ wedding approaching, all bets are off.
*This is Part One of a 3-Part story.


EXCERPT

I brace myself for the impact, but as soon as Oliver turns around and my gaze collides with his electric blue eyes, I know I’ll have to bring my A-game if I’m to survive being near him. I haven’t seen the man in six months, but just being under his scorching gaze is enough to make me relive our fiery kiss and crave for more. I’ve never felt this crazy fixation for anyone before. It’s like an ice cold fever that won’t quit, a yearning that makes by body tingle all over in anticipation.
Oliver’s gaze skates over my body deliberately slowly, and a satisfied grin is plastered on his smug face when he focuses on my eyes again.
“Hello, there,” he says.
“What are you doing here?” I snap and my rude reply earns me a frown from Sebastian. Shit, I really need to work on tempering my bitchiness when I’m nervous.
Oliver chuckles. “I see you’re still mad at me. I’m kind of honored.”
I cross my arms in front of my chest and bite my tongue to keep from saying anything else that will give away how much Oliver is affecting me.
Someone touches my arm and with a side glance I see it’s Liv. “Be nice, Blue. I can’t have my maid of honor bickering with the best man.”
My shoulders sag as I let out a heavy sigh. I’ve never been part of a wedding party before so I have no idea how much interaction there is between the maid of honor and the best man. I hope it’s minimal. Oliver keeps staring at me like he can read my mind. It’s unnerving.
“I gotta make a call.” I turn on my heel and walk away, trying to keep my steps slow and relaxed. But all I want to do is sprint back to the house. That’s how badly Oliver’s presence is turning my head around. I hate this.
Once inside, I veer to the powder room. The make-a-call excuse is terrible, but I need a moment to recover. Inside the small room, I stare at my reflection in the mirror and count to ten in my head. I tell my heart to calm the fuck down and to stop galloping at full speed. I feel like a teenager suffering from her first crush and that’s not an emotional state I want to revisit.
I splash cold water on my flushed face and redo my loose braid. After taking a couple of deep breaths and squaring my shoulders, I can almost pretend I’m ready to go back out. I refuse to let Oliver’s presence keep me from spending quality time with my best friend.
I place one foot out of the door when his voice startles me. “How was that call?”
I jump on the spot, placing a hand over my chest. “Jesus. Did you follow me?”
Oliver is leaning nonchalantly against the wall with his arms crossed. I notice for the first time what he’s wearing, a black T-shirt that highlights his muscled chest and arms. He is also blonder than I remember. But it’s his devious mouth that makes me lose the ability to form coherent thoughts. God, I want to kiss him again.
He pushes himself off of the wall and moves closer. I hold my ground, feigning a pissed off stance. He can’t know how much I crave his nearness.
“What if I did?” he whispers in my ear, making my skin break out in goose bumps.
“I’d say I don’t appreciate stalkers.”
Oliver takes a step back and stares at me. I wish I knew what he is thinking.
“You’ve changed your hair. I kind of liked the mermaid colors.”
I touch my white blonde locks before narrowing my eyes at Oliver. “Did you just follow me to comment on my hair?”
“I want to clear the air around us. I know that we started on the wrong foot—”
“You don’t say,” I cut him off and Oliver flattens his lips.
“But we’ve ended on a very interesting note,” he finishes his sentence with a smirk.
I cross my arms and keep on glaring at the infuriating man. “Don’t get any fancy ideas. That kiss meant nothing and there won’t be a repeat.”
He steps into my personal space again. “Are you sure? I thought that was a wicked kiss. It’s definitely worth an encore.”
I push him away. “It’s been months. Get over yourself. Don’t you have a line of ravenous groupies dying for your attention?”
“Ravenous groupies?” He chuckles. “The images you paint in my head, Saylor. Then you blame me for getting fancy ideas.”
“Listen, Oliver. I don’t know how long you’re in town for, but I would like for us to try to act amicable whenever we’re forced together thanks to our friends’ wedding. So you’d better quit with the sexual innuendo.”
Oliver sighs loudly like what I just asked him is a huge, inconvenient favor. “You’re killing me here, Saylor. Do you know how hard it will be for me to look at you and not want you?”
I suck in a breath as my heart lurches in my chest. It takes me a moment to find my ground again and answer him.
“Try your best,” I say, my voice thin and without substance.
Oliver reaches out and takes a strand of my hair, letting it slide through his fingers. I remain frozen on the spot.
“Maddening, but I will.” He drops my hair and takes a couple of steps back. “And since I’m being completely honest here, I’m seriously considering making California home.”
Oliver goes back to the party outside, leaving me alone to digest the news. Why does it bother me so much that he wants to move to the same state as me? It’s not like we’ll ever see each other besides when we’re doing wedding stuff. What annoys me the most is how my heart hasn’t gotten the memo yet that Oliver is a bad idea. It celebrates furiously in my chest, like it has just discovered how to beat.


Author Bio:
M. H. Soars always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would become an author. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first novel, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.
M. H. Soars resides in Florida with her husband and baby daughter. She is currently working on the Arcadian Wars series, and the Love Me, I’m Famous series.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chaos Unbound Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Chaos Unbound
The Metis Files
Book Two
Brian S. Leon

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Date of Publication: 2/28/17

ISBN: 978-1-940215-83-9
ASIN: B06VSX4BKP

Number of pages: 356
Word Count: 122000

Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Tagline: On the Run. On the Hunt.

Book Description:

The hunter becomes the hunted.

Framed for the murder of a high ranking member of the Unseelie Court of Fae, Steve Dore–also known as Diomedes, Guardian and protector of mankind–goes on the run. He’s determined to uncover the real culprit and clear his name.

But the assassination may be the beginning of a more sinister plot that involves not just the Fae and Humankind, but all the races of the world. And what if the real assassin is a boogeyman even the Fae don't believe is real?



Excerpt

Chapter 1
San Diego, September 2011
Selkies. Thirty-five miles offshore in the Pacific Ocean, and I’m dodging freakin’ selkies in my fishing boat. It’s like they’re seagulls, and I’m dropping French fries at the beach. Man do they screw up the fishing. Worse, when they appear, bad things tend to follow. And it’s just my luck. Of all fae to show up randomly, it had to be these shapeshifters—the kind that could transform into seals and even into sea lions, which scare the crap out of the fish. Every pile of floating kelp we’d fished around so far had one of these fairies under it. Every kelp except the paddy right in front of the boat.
“Captain Dore, look! Another seal,” the woman said, reaching for her camera.
And that selkie made it a perfect five for five.
I couldn’t help but hang my head. My clients—a simple Midwestern family of Mom, Dad, and Teenage Son—considered it endearing to see a seal poke its head up from inside the kelp, but I could see their true bulbous heads, seaweed-like hair, and pudgy gray-green humanoid forms. Their giant, shiny-black eyes fixed on me as if they knew exactly who I was.
The creepy shapeshifters were part of the Unseelie Court—fairies that are decidedly unfriendly to humans—and the fact that we kept encountering them was starting to unnerve me. Encountering one in the Pacific was rare. In fact, I couldn’t recall one off Southern California since an entire tribe of them showed up around Catalina Island in the 1980s. That appearance had led to a spate of unidentified submerged object and alien sightings, not to mention a few mysterious plane crashes around the island and a heap of sunken boats.
“Hey what’s that big fin?” the father asked, pointing at the rapidly approaching triangular object sticking out of the water and heading straight at the paddy from the opposite side.
“Shark,” I said with a sudden smile. “Damn big one, too. Great white, from the looks of it. Rare for us down here in San Diego.”
“Oh, swim, seal! Swim!” the mom said as all hell broke loose around the paddy.
“Wow, really,” the kid said. “It’s like a real National Geographic moment.” He whipped out his phone to video the event.
I was the only one on the boat rooting for the shark. If they’d known what that shark was really chasing, they probably would have thought it was more like a National Enquirer moment.
Knowing the selkie-shark conflict would ruin the fishing within a mile of that paddy, I pushed farther out, always on the lookout for signs of life other than selkies. As long as we could avoid them, we found lots of small football-sized yellowfin tuna while we trolled, and I’d even managed to convince the anglers to release the little guys, in hopes of finding bigger ones. The small fish kept me blissfully busy until we made it back to the dock at around four in the afternoon—so busy, in fact, that I forgot about how screwy the presence of selkies was until I realized my buddy Ned was storming down the dock toward my boat as I pulled in.
As usual, Ned was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt with colors usually reserved for Las Vegas neon. The fact that he resembled a derelict version of Santa Claus usually drew people’s attention. It was either that or the fact that he always smelled like beer-soaked seaweed washed up on a beach. It could be worse given that Ned was in fact the Titan God of the Sea, Nereus, in self-imposed exile.
As I secured the boat to the dock, my cellphone, stashed inside my captain’s bag within the console, chirped the unique ring my buddy Geek had helped me assign to Sarah Wright. I felt guilty for avoiding her over the past two weeks. Despite scrambling to reach the annoying device before the call went to voice mail, I wasn’t quick enough. I tossed the phone on the console, thoroughly disgusted with my wishy-washy-ness regarding our relationship—or whatever we had. I was pretty sure we both wanted to take things to the next level, but I was conflicted about what that would mean for both of us since my situation wasn’t exactly normal.
I’ll call her back as soon as I can. I sighed, watching my three clients stumble off the boat, trying to adjust to sea legs on land after a full day on the water. They chatted excitedly about sharks and sea lions as they went. Ned stood down the dock, waiting, staring intently at me with his hands on his hips and one flip-flop-clad foot tapping away. The trio barely managed to get past him before he charged the boat.
“Diomedes, dude, glad to see you made it back okay.” Ned’s shoulders dropped a bit as he exhaled heavily. “Now get yer ass off the damn boat and back onto land.” He dipped his head slightly and glared over his sunglasses at me, his brow deeply furrowed.
I stopped taking rods out of the rod racks under the gunwales and stared back at him. Something had him on edge, and that was saying something. Normally, he made people on Prozac appear edgy. In over a thousand years, I’d never seen him like this before.
“Now, dude. Now!” he said, raising his voice and gesticulating wildly.
The myriad of seagulls and pelicans gathered around the boat awaiting leftover bait and fish carcasses took off in a sudden deafening and chaotic commotion.
“Whoa. Relax, Ned. What’s got your panties in a bunch?” I said, getting back to my after-charter chores. “Sheesh. Besides, I think the dad left a few beers if you want them.”
Normally, Ned’s first question to me would have involved the possible presence of abandoned beer. Instead, he fixed me with a withering stare. His hands were back on his hips, and his foot again tapped on the dock. When we’d first met a few thousand years before, he’d naturally emanated an aura of power. Though he’d since willingly given up most of his other-dimensional essence, the preternatural blue glow was now visible.
“Dude, which part of ‘now’ ain’t you understandin’?” He spoke through a clenched jaw and pointed at the dock forcefully, like a parent demanding a child’s immediate presence. Over his sunglasses, his eyes darted everywhere, keeping watch around us.
“Okay, okay,” I said, eyeing my fish-slimed gear and all the sardine scales and scuff marks marring the deck. “Who’sgonna clean all this up? You know if I let it sit, it’ll be even harder to clean later.”
“I’ll take care of it,” Ned replied. “Just get yer ass off the water. Right.Now.”
“Fine.” I kicked at my rods like a petulant child. “Let me get my damn gear bag, and I’ll leave.”
I grabbed my captain’s bag and stormed down the dock in a huff, glaring at Ned. I didn’t even bother to take off my grungy gray rubber fishing bibs. He avoided making eye contact as I passed him, which only pissed me off more. Instead, his eyes continued to dart around the marina. Whatever.
I got to my truck, threw my gear bag in the bed, then stripped off the rubber bibs. While hopping around on one leg like an idiot, trying to get the bibs off over my deck boots, I worked myself up from a huff to a tizzy. Who the hell did he think he was ordering me around like that? Athena? Throwing my bibs into the bed with the rest, I glanced over my shoulder, toward the dock.
Just as I was about to get into my truck, a more pressing question hit me: Why? Ned actually yelled at me. In over two millennia, I had never even witnessed him raise his voice. What’d I do to him?
I instantly felt like I owed him an apology, without even knowing what I’d done. I headed back down to the dock.
As I approached the top of the gangway, Ned was in a heated discussion with something in the water on the other side of the dock from my boat. I couldn’t get a clear view of who or what Ned was talking with, or hear what was being said. The only things evident were the loud and freakish sea lion-like barks and Ned’s wild and very uncharacteristic gesticulations. Instinctively, I searched for something to use as a weapon—a boat hook was leaning against the fence next to the gate down to the dock.
Then a putty-colored round female head covered in thick yellow-green hair popped up just above the dock and peered directly at me. Ned noticed me, as well, and all at once, the creature disappeared below the water’s surface creating a wake that tossed the floating dock and rocked the boats tied up nearby. She was definitely one of the selkies I had encountered earlier offshore.
I stopped dead in my tracks. Ned shook his head and stomped toward me, which couldn’t have been easy in flip-flops. His eyes were ablaze—literally. His awakened aura pulsed from white to blue like a lightning storm.
I shrugged and raised my eyebrows as his gaze fell on me. The temperature began to drop, and the water around the dock changed from a drab green to black and turned rough, as if it were about to boil. The disturbance bounced the moored boats against their bumpers and the dock, and the rigging on the sailboats began to clang. Even the remaining birds evacuated—only noiselessly.
“Boy, who did you piss off this time?” he said at me more than to me in a voice that reverberated through my skull. It wasn’t loud, but it was insistent in its tone.
“I… um… I, ah… what?” I asked, vapor trailing from my mouth in the cool air.
I couldn’t recall having done anything to anybody since chasing down that witch, Medea, a few months back, and as far as I knew, everyone I could have pissed off doing that was dead.
Ned continued up the ramp from the dock toward me, somehow appearing larger than normal. His face, especially his eyes, darkened. “Don’t play games with me. You got selkies chasin’ yer ass all over the Pacific, and they had to travel around the world to get here to do it. Nytrocyon herself is here to find you.” He pointed back down toward my boat. “She says Mab wants you. Says you killed Lord Indronivay.”
“Nytrocyon, ruler of the selkies? Seriously?” My teeth started to chatter, and my jaw muscles clenched in the frigid air. “Wait… she said I killed who? Lord Indronivay, Mab’s warmaster? Are you kidding me? Why the hell would I have killed that uptight belligerent asshole?”
I’d never even met him, but his reputation as a jerk was legendary. Even as a Guardian and protector of humanity, I knew him only through stories that suggested he was a giant at nearly eight feet tall and was about as friendly as a shark with a toothache. All I really knew about him was that he personally ran every major war and military campaign Queen Mab of the Unseelie Court had waged for tens of thousands of years. Hell, the guy might have charged into battle against Queen Titania of the Seelie Court on the back of a triceratops.
“You’re sayin’ Nytrocyon is lying?” Ned’s voice boomed through my head, shaking me back to attention.
I shrugged again. “Now why the hell would I do something like that? Honestly?”

Ned’s shoulders dropped slightly, and his pulsing aura faded. Though his face brightened and his bushy beard and mustache split, revealing his white teeth in a broad smile, the rest of him remained rigid. “Good. I didn’t think you were dumb enough to attack a member of one of the fairy royal courts. That’d be grounds for war. Only problem is then, dude”—he slowly slipped back into his normal relaxed and carefree persona—“you gotta ask yerself one question: why does she think you did?”


About the Author:

Brian S. Leon is truly a jack of all trades and a master of none. He writes just to do something with all the useless degrees and skills he’s accumulated over the years. Most of them have no practical application in civilized society, anyway. His interests include mythology and fishing, in pursuit of which he has explored jungles and museums, oceans and seas all over the world.

His credentials include an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and a master’s degree from San Diego State University, plus extensive postgraduate work in evolutionary biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied animals most people aren’t even aware exist and theories no one really cares about anyway.

Over his varied career, Brian’s articles have been published in academic journals and popular magazines that most normal people would never read. They can be found in The American Society of Primatologists, the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Proceedings of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the like.

His more mainstream work came as an editor for Marlin and FlyFishing in Salt Waters magazines, where he published articles about fishing and fishing techniques around the world. He won a Charlie Award in 2004 from the Florida Magazine Association for Best Editorial, and several of his photographs have appeared on a number of magazine covers—almost an achievement of note, if they weren’t all fishing magazines.

Always a picky reader, Mr. Leon enjoys stories by classical masters like Homer and Jules Verne as well as modern writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, David Morrell and Jim Butcher. These books, in combination with an inordinate amount of free time, inspired him to come up with tales of his own.

Brian currently resides in San Diego, California.



Twitter: @bslauthor


Newsletter Sign Up: http://briansleon.com/newsletter/

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A Star to Steer Her By Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


A Star to Steer Her By
Beth Anne Miller
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance



I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.

Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.

I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.

Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.

When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.




EXCERPT

I was standing alone at the helm, under full sails and a glittering sky, guiding the ship unerringly across the endless black sea with only the stars to guide me, like the sailors of old. It was amazing. This was why I was here, why I’d gone ahead with this semester at sea, even after everything that had happened. Because I loved the sea, and wanted it to be a part of my life.
I returned my gaze upward, focusing on my guide star.
“‘And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’”
The low voice came out of nowhere. I spun to the right, where I could just make out the vague outline of someone leaning against the stanchion that held Speedy the motorboat suspended at the stern.
“Tristan?” As soon as the question left my mouth, I rolled my eyes in the darkness. Of course it was him.
“Aye, it’s me.”
“How long have you been standing there?” I hissed. “And where the hell did you come from?” I’d been at the helm for at least half an hour, and I knew he hadn’t been there the whole time.
There was a flash of white in the darkness as he grinned. “I’ve been here for about five minutes. You were so focused on staring up at the stars that you didn’t see me. I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“So instead, you just lurked in the dark until you could scare the hell out of me. Makes sense,” I muttered, trying not to be too thrilled that he’d chosen to hang out up here with me. “What was it that you said, anyway?”
“It’s from a poem. The full verse is:
“‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.’”
His lilting accent gave the lines a musical quality, and a shiver ran down my spine. “It’s beautiful,” I said, “and perfectly describes the way I feel. You didn’t write that, did you?” Because it would be supremely unfair for him to be kind, gorgeous, athletic, musically brilliant, and a poet, too.


Author Bio:
My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at www.bethannemiller.com 


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beautiful Dark Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Beautiful Dark
J.L. White
(Beautiful Rivers, #3)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Who is Mason Reeves?
Corrine Rivers and her cousins desperately need to find out. Evidence suggests he’s the illegitimate child of her beloved Uncle Grant. The truth is just as hard to bear.
What’s also hard is Mason himself. All over. From his broad, muscular chest and massive biceps to his “screw you” attitude. Because Mason Reeves wants nothing to do with his inheritance or the wealthy Rivers clan, and isn’t afraid to say so.
As Mason’s tragic connections to Corrine’s family emerge, the facts are reason enough for her to stay away. But she can’t seem to resist him, and what’s worse, he feels the same way about her. To everyone’s surprise, Corrine and Mason get in deep, in more ways than one. But it turns out the biggest obstacle to their happiness isn’t Mason’s past.
It’s hers.


EXCERPT

Standing behind me, he says, “Corrine…” with that damned heated desire for me practically dripping from his voice. I ignore him.
I tug the ribbon at the back of my head, removing the mask and slapping it on the table.
I’m only just standing here, but I’m breathing hard and shallow. His breaths are coming hard too, but still he doesn’t move. He crossed half the country to get to me, but he won’t close the final one-foot gap.
I want to say that I wish he’d never come, but it’d be a big, fat lie. Even though it would’ve been so much easier, even though I’m hurt and angry about the situation we’re in now—which I know isn’t even his fault—my heart still clings to every second I’ve had with him, wishing so hard for more.
I hear his mask drop on the table next to me.
“Why did you even bother coming?” I spin to face him. And there he is. All him. No mask. No hiding. Only Mason. Just looking at him consumes me.
He doesn’t answer. His eyes grip me and his breath comes out in hard, little puffs. The intensity of his stare halts my own breath. God, he looks like he’s going to attack.
Then he does. He rushes me, cupping my face and backing me against the wall. I let out a gasp.
“I know this is a bad fucking idea,” he says heatedly, “but I’m so tired of fighting it. The whole flight over, I kept asking myself what the fuck I’m doing, but I have no idea. I only know I can’t take this any longer.”
Having this much testosterone aimed in my direction is making my ovaries pop. He’s so fucking male. I’m pinned, the wall behind me and nothing but Mason in front. He dominates everything I see. All I know is his hard body against mine, his hot breath on my lips, his gaze seizing me. I can’t look away. I can hardly breathe.
“I can’t resist you. I have to have you.” His eyes lock on my mouth. “I have to taste you.”
Stripped of the ability to speak, I can only part my lips in invitation. Begging him to give in at last.


Author Bio:
J.L. White writes sassy, steamy contemporary and new adult romances featuring smart heroines and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. If you’re tired of heroes who are jerks, heroines who are too stupid to live, and relationships that scream “train wreck” instead of “true love”, she’s your girl.
Her first series, the Firework Girls, centers around four amazing, hilarious girlfriends. Her newest series, Beautiful Rivers, follows the young heirs of the luxurious Rivers Paradise Resort as they find love.
Each book can be read as a STANDALONE, comes complete with a HEA, and is guaranteed to make you squirm. 


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Storm Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


The Storm
R.J. Prescott
(The Hurricane #3)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports


Marie Kelly is a survivor who doesn’t know when to quit. Against all odds, she’s living a life she never dreamed she could have. It was enough… until a stubborn boxer makes her want more.

Irish charmer Kieran Doherty has been a fighter at Driscoll’s Gym for most of his life. He’s been content to let his best friend take the spotlight, now it’s his turn to make a name for himself in the world of heavy weight champions. Falling in love is the one thing he vowed never to do, but meeting Marie changed everything.

It’s easy to imagine a happy-ever-after when the sun is shining. But when the storm comes, and all hope seems lost, they both learn that if you want something badly enough, you have to be willing to fight for it.




EXCERPT

When I finally plucked up a bit of courage, I peeped out of the curtains to see Kieran throwing stones at the window.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,” he mock shouted, when he caught my eye. I opened the window to whisper loudly back at him.
“Are you high?” I asked. “Why didn’t you just ring the doorbell or call me?”
“I thought this would be more romantic,” he said.
“If I ignore the fact that my nipples probably have frostbite, I am feeling romanced,” I replied. He looked pained. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You said ‘nipples’ and now I can’t think of anything else,” he replied, making me smile.
“Now I’m down here, what’s the chances of seeing an accidental nip slip?” he asked.
“Depends,” I replied.
“On what?” he asked.
“What’s in the bag?” I said.
“Hot chocolate and warm doughnuts,” he said, holding up the bag as if to barter.
“Well, I would have said slim to none, but fresh doughnuts might have just tipped the odds in your favour,” I replied.
“Yesss!” he said, fist bumping the air in victory.
I closed the window and ran to buzz him in. He bounded up the stairwell, his heavy footsteps echoing loudly in the hallway. When he got to my door, he looked me up and down, taking in my short royal blue, silk pyjamas. Dropping the sack, he speared his hands into my hair and pulled me into a kiss that had me melting. Kier didn’t kiss with just his lips; he did it with his whole body. Without shoes on, I was tiny in comparison, but inside of the cage of his huge arms, I felt protected and safe. Despite his size, his lips were so gentle. He didn’t treat me like I was fragile, but like I was precious, as though every touch was one that he was experiencing for the first time and memorizing for later.
Feeling bold, I traced the seam of his mouth with my tongue, and when he parted his lips and touched his tongue against mine, I groaned. Every sensation was too much, and not enough. Breathless, he pulled away from me to nuzzle his face in the crook of my neck. I reached up and gently stroked the short hair at the back of his neck, making him sigh.



Author Bio:
USA Today bestselling author R.J. Prescott was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and studied law at the University of Bristol, England. Four weeks before graduation she fell in love, and stayed. Ten years later, she convinced her crazy, wonderful firefighter husband to move back to Cardiff where they now live with their two equally crazy sons. Her debut novel The Hurricane was an international bestseller and finalist in the Goodreads Awards in the category of debut author. 




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Monday, March 20, 2017

Rough Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Rough
Sybil Bartel
(Thrust, #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Jared
I’m not your boyfriend. I’m not the guy next door. I don’t even play nice.
My hands twisting in your hair, my whispered demand in your ear—I’m the fantasy you’ll wish you never had.
When I’m through with you, every inch of your body will know where I’ve been. You won’t crave more, you’ll beg for it. Because I’m not just the cocky smile with military hardened muscles you paid five grand for—I’m the experience you’ll never forget.
One night with me and you’ll know exactly why women pay me to be rough.



EXCERPT

Desire hit me in the chest like a blast wave, then shot south. “You shouldn’t be here.” She didn’t look like she’d sounded on the phone.
“I’m sorry.” Breathy, her voice wavered. “I thought you said—”
“I know what I said.” I’d replayed every second of our conversation earlier. I’d fixated on it because this woman wasn’t like any other client I’d ever spoken to. She didn’t flirt or make one suggestive remark. She was exactly how she was now. But a hundred times more innocent.
She drew in a breath through her sexy full lips, then straightened. “Okay, well, you said we should meet. We did. Thank you for your time.” Slim fingers reached behind her and she fumbled with the handle of the front door.
I stared at her sweet mouth. “You know what I think?”
“I’m sure you have many thoughts, Mr. Brandt.”
My name on her lips sounded too damn polite. “Only two right now that matter.” I stepped closer, wondering why the hell I’d told her my last name.
She pulled the handle, the door opened a few inches and she stumbled.
“Careful.” I caught her arm and her hand landed on my stomach.
She sucked in a surprised breath. “I’m so sorry.” She bit her bottom lip and pressed her legs together as she stared at her hand. “It was, um, the door.” She flexed her fingers over my abs.
I leaned closer. “Do you know what separates fear from desire?”
Her chest rapidly rose and fell, but she didn’t take her hand off me. “I believe those are two terms that should be mutually exclusive.”
Hard and fast, I slapped my palm loudly against the door, slamming it shut. Perversely getting off on her startled reaction, I bit out two words, “That’s fear.” Calculated, slow, I dragged a finger a few inches up her bare thigh, then I cupped her face. She shivered and I dropped my voice. “But this?” I stroked her bottom lip as I stared at the thousand shades of fuck-my-life-up green in her eyes. “Biting your lip, pressing your thighs together—that’s desire.”
Her hand fisted, gripping a handful of my shirt, but she didn’t say a word.
Still holding on to her, wishing like hell I wasn’t about to let her go, I calmly shifted her to the side. Opening the door, I removed all threat from my tone. “Fear is triggered. Desire is provoked. Leave.” I told myself not to say the next line. “Or stay and get what you came for.”



Author Bio:
Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
But Seriously?
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.
She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.
To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Outlaw Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!












Outlaw: Part 1
(The Harrison Street Crew Series, Bk #2)
By Katana Collins

Blurb: 
Worse than bad. Hotter than hot. These are the bad boys of the Harrison Street Crew, and they answer to no one. They take what they want. And what they want is you.

Volume One of a three-part volume by Katana Collins.


Patrick Flanagan lives outside the law. The cops don’t like him. The law doesn’t trust him. He may come at you with a charm and a handsome smile, but make no mistake—he’s as reckless and bad as they come. But when a total bombshell with stilettos and a power suit comes blazing into his life, this bad boy is about to be so, so good…



Release Date:  
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Available for purchase at 

Kindle  Nook iBooks   Kobo



Outlaw: Part 2
(The Harrison Street Crew Series, Bk #2)
By Katana Collins

Blurb: 
Worse than bad. Hotter than hot. These are the bad boys of the Harrison Street Crew, and they answer to no one. They take what they want. And what they want is you.

Volume Two of a three-part volume by Katana Collins.

Ambitious lawyer Michelle Chiccarini vowed like hell she is going to do her best to prosecute as many criminals as she could. Even if that means trying to put away Patrick Flanagan, a man who can make her pulse quicken and fill her head with dirty, wicked thoughts just by looking at him. She’s got to put him behind bars. But how can she do that, when she can’t even resist his touch?



Release Date:  
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Available for purchase at 

Kindle  Nook iBooks  Kobo




Outlaw: Part 3
(The Harrison Street Crew Series, Bk #2)
By Katana Collins

Blurb: 
Worse than bad. Hotter than hot. These are the bad boys of the Harrison Street Crew, and they answer to no one. They take what they want. And what they want is you.

Volume Three of a three-part volume by Katana Collins.

Patrick Flanagan won’t go to jail. Not when he’s got a woman as gorgeous as Michelle aching for his every touch and pushing his lust for her past the boiling point. Even though she’s a lawyer tasked with putting him in prison, he can’t stay away from her. Michelle is falling fast and hard for Patrick, but is he guilty? Or is he innocent? She wants to trust her bad boy from the streets, but is he telling the truth?




Release Date:  
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Available for purchase at 

Kindle  Nook iBooks   Kobo


Excerpt


Prologue
                Tears streaked down Michelle Chiccarini's face as she rushed through the emergency room's automatic glass doors. A gush of warm air blasted out of the ventilation system and even though it was April, there was still a biting chill to the weather outside. The warmth slammed into her wind-burned cheeks, warming her immediately.
                She shouldn't have let her best friend go to that street race alone. She had felt it deep in her gut when Charlie left that evening for the race with Harrison Street Club—Southie's infamous car club—that something bad was going to happen. In that same instinctual way that Michelle knew she was going to lose a case or receive bad news. Bad things always happen when you break the rules. She'd felt it in the pit of her stomach as Charlie had pulled away in her latest prize, an AMC Hornet, with her bright red hair blowing in the cool April breeze.
                And now, look. Michelle hadn't even been there to help when the accident happened. She hadn't been there to call the ambulance or ride with Charlie or hold her hand or—
                Michelle squeezed her eyes closed, tears pressing against the tight line of her lashes.
                “Ma'am? Can I help you?”
                A quiet older woman behind the front counter looked at her with concerned eyes.
                Michelle inhaled a shaky breath. “There was a car accident victim brought in not too long ago. Charlie Wakeman.”
                “Let me see,” the woman said, tapping into her computer. “Charlie Wakeman. Do you know what time he arrived—”
                “She,” Michelle corrected her. “Charlize Wakeman.”
                “Ah,” the woman nodded, “Yes. She was brought in about an hour ago and she's still in surgery. Are you family?”
                Yes, Michelle wanted to scream. Other than Charlie's parents, she was the closest thing to family Charlie had. Michelle sniffed, feeling the muscles in her throat clamp down on the emotion as if that could stifle what she was feeling. “She's my best friend,” she managed to say through a raspy whisper. “Since we were five.”
                The woman gave her an apologetic look. “I'm afraid it's family only beyond those doors unless a family member brings you back themselves. You're welcome to wait in the room to your left.”
                “Any idea how long it will be?”
                She shook her head. “These things can take a while. And even after surgery, she likely won't be allowed visitors until the morning.”
                As she said that, Michelle's brother Remy came out from the back room of the ER. For most people, seeing their brother at such an emotional time would have been comforting. But the Chiccarini's weren't most people. And Michelle had only just found out hours earlier that Remy had been abusing Charlie when they dated—both physically and emotionally. The sight of him caused every muscle in her legs to cramp. Her shoulders knotted, tightening and pulling toward her ears. The palms of her hands grew clammy and damp as she clenched them into fists. What in the hell is he doing here?
                Arm stiff, she pointed at Remy. “He's not family. What was he doing back there?”
                The woman blinked, taken off guard and glanced over her shoulder. “He arrived with your friend; he was there on the scene along with one other gentleman who's waiting back there with her family.”
                If the Wakeman's had seen Michelle, they would have let her back there as well. They didn't know what Michelle knew—what Charlie had just told her hours earlier about Remy hitting her; shoving her. Breaking her wrist. Michelle's throat suddenly dried, just at the thought. 
                Totally unaware, Remy came up to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. It was as though all the anger and frustration of the day had been in a pot simmering with the heat slowly being turned up until she was spewing emotion out over top. It was too much. He was too much. She had never before felt such hatred for someone she loved. Was that even possible? To hate someone and love them? To want to hold them and protect them while also wanting to condemn them for their actions?
                With all her strength, she shoved Remy away from her. Taken completely off guard, he stumbled backward, his back slamming into a magazine shelf.
                “What the hell, Michelle?”
                “What did you do?” she asked and when he came toward her, eyes lowered in question, she shoved him again. Harder. Only this time, he was ready for it and her brother was able to balance himself despite the muscle she put into it.
                “It's terrible,” Remy said, trying to grasp Michelle's shoulders and pull her into a hug. “She has a collapsed lung and her leg was mangled in the wreck. But Shell, we've got to stick together—”
                A bitter laugh cackled from the back of Michelle's throat. “Don't act like you care about her.” She pointed in her brother's face. “Don't you dare act like you give a shit what happens to her. Not after  what you did.”
                Guilt lit Remy's brown eyes. The same guilt Michelle had seen in his face when she had caught him sneaking into the house hours after curfew in high school. It vanished faster this time than it ever did when they were teenagers. He'd managed to refine his innocent face.
                “Michelle,” he said quietly. “I have no idea what you're talking about—”
                She lunged at him again, this time, whipping her fist around toward his face. Before her hand connected to his cheek, she felt two strong arms around her waist and then she was in the air, legs kicking, arms flailing.
                “Let me go!” she screamed. “Put me down, let me hit him. I've got to hit him.” She had to hit something. There was too much pent up energy, anger, sadness—she was a volcano of emotion, ready to explode and take out anyone around her
                Then, she was outside. The dark, cool air once again enveloping her, a vast difference to the heated, muscled arms clasped around her torso.
                Her feet touched the pavement and still she thrashed in those arms. She wanted to hurt someone. Cause the same pain she felt on the inside.
                “If I let you go, do you promise to behave?”
                Patrick. The vice president of the Harrison Street Crew, Southie's notorious car club. Club, ha. That was a laugh. They were a gang, known for their chop shop and illegal street racing. She knew it, Remy knew it... hell, all of Boston knew it. And up until the other night, she'd only known Patrick Flanagan from his photograph in her file—Operation Green Light as she and her colleagues had come to know the case. The DA's office had been working on Operation Green Light for a few months, building information about the various car gangs in Boston, including HSC. Up until last night, Patrick Flanagan had only been a personality-less face she had to take down. A thug who deserved to be behind bars. The sort of case she was happy to stand beside her brother and help with while he ran for city council. Until now. Now, her world was flipped upside down.
                But since last night when she met Patrick Flanagan? She couldn't quite describe the shift. It was small, but notable. Patrick wasn't a big, bad, scary car guy dude. He was relatable. Friendly. Funny, even. Sexy. Everything that she once was back when she was in high school—the fun girl who broke the rules and let loose now and then.
                And now his arms were wrapped tightly around her and hell if she wanted him to let go.
                Michelle managed to turn in his arms, facing him. Facing those bright blue eyes and dark corkscrew curls that flopped across his tanned forehead. How the hell did he manage to be so tan in Boston in April?
                “Let me go,” she demanded, shoving against his broad chest.
                He didn't budge. “Not until you prove to me that you've calmed down.”
                “I'm fine, let me go!” Squeezing her fists, she beat them into his chest more. Yeah, probably not doing much for her case. But she couldn't help it, she had to hit something. And hitting Patrick was better than fucking Patrick which was what she really wanted to do.
                A tear slipped out of the corner of her eye and slid its way down the bridge of her nose.
                “Babe,” he said quietly. With his head tilted, the tiniest smile curved along his mouth. “I've got a club brother with his old lady in the hospital and a sexy woman in my arms. I'm not letting go until I'm sure it's what you truly want.” He leaned down, his full lips too painfully close to her ear. “But if you don't stop screaming and punching me, the hospital's going to call the cops. And I've got a feeling that'll be bad for both of us.”
                Would they do that? She looked around Patrick's massive shoulders in through the floor to ceiling windows where the entire waiting room of the hospital was staring out at them. The sweet older woman at reception stood with a phone clenched in her hand.
                Gradually his hands slid down her torso, fingers spreading out until she could feel each painfully sharp breath against his palm. What was it about a man holding you in his strong arms? What was it about those firm arms that made her feel so safe? Like everything was going to be okay?
                “Breathe, babe.”
                Whatever the reason, when he whispered in her ear and held her tight against him, her muscles relaxed. Her breath grew deeper and longer. And for a half second, she trusted this man to take care of her. Trusted him to keep her safe—even if that meant keeping her safe from herself.
                And that was the irony.
                She forgot in that split second that she should never trust Patrick.
                “Shit,” Michelle whispered, wiping at the tear even though it had long finished its descent down her face.
                “Come on,” Patrick said, still holding her, but ushering her away from the windows around the other side of the building where some 70s looking muscle car was parked.
                Why was she following him? A virtual stranger; the vice president of the very club she was in charge of taking down. But he's not a stranger, she reminded herself. Charlie knows him. Call it gut instinct, but she knew Patrick wouldn't hurt her. Not tonight. Not with her best friend and his club brother's girlfriend in the hospital. Maybe not ever.
                Unlocking the door, he ushered her inside to the passenger's seat of his car, then fell into the driver's side himself.
                “I'm not leaving this hospital,” Michelle said, giving him a wary look.
                Patrick sighed, but nodded. “I'm not expecting you to. Just wanted to get out of the cold before those tears of yours turned into icicles.”
                “Tear,” she corrected him. “Singular.”
                “You sure about that?”
                Reaching over, he brushed his finger across her cheek where it was stained with dampness. Shit... had she been crying more? She brushed her own hand, wiping the wetness gathered at her jawline.
                She sniffed against her full sinuses and the burning sensation behind her nose.
                “Last I heard, they thought she was going to be okay,” Patrick said quietly, turning the heat in the car on.
                Michelle didn't say anything. Just sat in his car, thinking of how she attacked—flat out attacked her own brother. She probably looked like a crazy person in there.
                Most people would feel embarrassed or scared or—or anything. But inside? She felt numb to anything other than Charlie's health and well-being. And she wouldn't believe her best friend was okay until she saw Charlie with her own eyes.
                She stole a glance to her left and found Patrick staring at her carefully. “I hate hospitals, myself. Something about the smell,” Patrick said. “Like rubbing alcohol and that weird smell of wood—like tongue depressors. You know what I mean? I didn't even know tongue depressors could have a smell.” He shrugged and sucked at his teeth, his eyes still fastened onto her. He paused and Michelle said nothing. What was there to say? Of course he hated hospitals. Didn't everyone? When she didn't answer him, he kept on talking. “She's in good hands though. I don't personally know the surgeon working on her, but this is the best hospital in Southie.”
                Patrick chuckled to himself and ran a hand along the steering wheel. “This one time when my brother and I were kids, we stole fistfuls of my dad's tongue depressors and a carton of orange juice to make our own popsicles. Sold them on the weekends down at the docks to the workers.” Patrick chuckled to himself, shaking his head. “Man was my dad pissed. Apparently those things are expensive whereas we could have gotten a bag of popsicle sticks for cheap from the craft store or some shit like that.” His eyes crinkled with the smile. It was a beautiful smile. A beautiful, distracting smile.
                Distracting.
                That's just what she needed.
                “Why are you being so nice to me?” she blurted out. “Less than 24-hours ago, I was threatening you with prison time.”
                Patrick shrugged, turning to look her dead on. “In a hospital, it doesn't matter that you're a prosecuting attorney and I'm a big bad car club guy. In there, we're all just people afraid to lose someone we love.”
                “Yeah, but—”
                “And you looked like you were about a second away from totally losing it on your brother.”
                “I was, but—”
                “And as much as I'd love to see that little weasel of a politician's face bashed in, it didn't feel right to let you go down for that.” That smirk was back. An easy smile that he managed to wear no matter what the circumstance. “Make you a deal,” he said. “You let me be the one who bashes faces in.”
                She shook her head, looking out the front windshield. “I wouldn't have gone to jail for that. Remy wouldn't have pressed charges. Not against me.”
                “Damn. Guess I should have let you go to town on his ass, then.”
                Michelle felt the smirk tilt the corner of her mouth, Patrick's smile already lighting his face. “Guess so.”
                “You wanna tell me what that was about? I mean, like I said, I hate that Remy bastard. Anything that results in getting his ass kicked is a good day in my book. Just surprised to see you as the one doing the kicking.”
                She couldn't talk about it—about the scars Charlie showed her. The video feed of him shoving her best friend. Not to Patrick. Not to anyone—yet. It wasn't her story to tell. She shook her head. “Shane can ask Charlie when she's feeling better.” If she ever feels better. Shit. There was another set of hot tears, dancing at the edges of her eyes.
                Patrick's eyes narrowed, his smile dropping as he studied Michelle's face. “There something I should know about?”
                “No,” she answered quickly.
                The same narrowed suspicion clouded his face, darkening it. “Maybe I should go back in there and see for myself.”
                “No,” Michelle darted a hand out, landing on Patrick's muscled thigh. It was tensed, bunched up into a tight ball of muscle above his knee. Wow, were those some muscles. Her throat went dry as she circled her thumb up the inside of his thigh, tracing the muscled line to the inside of his leg.
                Sexy as hell.
                A sharp breath hissed from beside her and an embarrassed flush heated her cheeks. What in the serious hell was she doing? This was a criminal for Christ's sake. It was bad enough she was seated inside his car, but to be caressing his leg? Pushing a heavy exhalation through her mouth, she gave herself a mental head shake.
                She moved to pull her hand back but before she could, his palm came down heavily on top of hers, holding her hand in place only inches away from his crotch.
                “Whatever this is,” he grunted, “I'm pretty sure we both want it.”
                With his free hand, he leaned over, brushing his thumb across her bottom lip intentionally smearing her red lipstick down her chin.
                Michelle swallowed hard. “Whatever this is,” she repeated, her voice a hoarse whisper, “I'm pretty sure we shouldn't act on it.”
                “Luckily, I've never been one to follow the rules.”
                But I am. Rules were her life. And when she followed them, things fit into a pretty little ribbon wrapped box.
                And when she didn't? The world was dark and blurry, an acidic taste of bile and vomit clinging to the back of her throat. Each breath was painful, sharp and like knives were being shoved into her throat. Michelle shuddered, pushing the memories of her destructive years from her mind.
                “God I hope that shudder was for me,” Patrick said, leaning over the center console until his lips were so close that she could feel the heat of his breath.
                She expected him to kiss her—only he didn't. He hovered, a breath away from her lips and his smile curved wider showing beautiful, white teeth.
                She blinked, breathing heavily, feeling how tight and needy the tips of her breasts were. Her eyes landed first on that smile, then drifted down to where she could see a thick erection pushing through his jeans. Then finally, she met his eyes. Crystal blue eyes that were bright against the dark night.
                She went to talk, but her throat was dry. “What—why didn't you...?” Why didn't he what? Kiss her? Grope her? Rip off her shirt? What the hell is the matter with me?
                His grin widened even more. “You aren't a rule breaker, huh?”
                At that challenge, her thoughts cleared. “I'm not,” she declared.
                As she moved to pull back from him, he curled his fingers around the back of her neck. “Let's see about that,” he whispered, pulling her mouth to his.
                God, that was good. Her belly jumped into her chest leaving a hollow cavity in her torso as he kissed her long and deep with his tongue sweeping into her mouth.
                Michelle broke the kiss, shoving her face into his neck. The only thing she could smell was him.  A crisp, woodsy scent. And all she could feel was his hard muscled arms around her, his firm chest pressed against her body. What was she doing? This wasn't her? But God she wanted it. Her hips pumped, almost a reflexed reaction to his mouth as he kissed his way down her neck. Gently, one of his hands fisted around her hair where he had buried his fingers during the kiss while the other worked up her skirt.
                His finger found the garters keeping her stockings up and he paused, muscles seizing, pausing and he hissed. “Fuck me,” he grunted, snapping the garter against the soft flesh of her thigh.
                Her stomach clenched and the dampness between her legs increased at the sharp bite of pain. She wanted more. His fingers edged up her leg until he dipped into her soft, wet folds. Her arms clenched around his shoulders as did her pussy, clamping his finger inside of her. God it was good. “So good,” she moaned in his ear and he chuckled into her neck.
                “Yeah, babe,” he said, pulling back and pulsing that finger in and out of her in steady, rhythmic movements. “You going to come for me like a good girl?”
                He pressed his lips to hers before she could answer. Then, two fingers were inside of her, curving against the spongey bundle of nerves deep inside of her and Michelle cried out, her moan breaking their kiss. She twisted, falling back in ecstasy against the chilly window.
                Her hand darted out, grasping his denim clad erection in her palm and she squeezed, enjoying the approving grunt she heard from him. There was a satisfying sound of a zipper and then his cock fell heavily into her palm.
                Shoving her skirt up to her waist, he pulled her over him until she was straddling him, her black lace thong pushed to the side. From the glove box, Patrick grabbed a condom and ripped it open with his teeth, sheathing his erection in latex.
                 Wordlessly, Michelle wrapped her hand around his dick, guiding him inside of her. Her body stretched around him and she threw her head back, relishing in the feel of him filling every inch of her. He knifed his hips up, thrusting harder into her and she moaned as his thumb found her swollen nub, circling it in wet strokes. Bullseye. Michelle jerked and dove her fingers into his hair, cupping the back of his head. He glanced up, those eyes riveted on hers and he smiled. A quirky little half grin that was cocky as fuck.
                She knew it was wrong. So wrong. Breaking every rule out there both ethically and legally. But it felt too damn good. And she needed to feel good right now.
                Each movement was more intense than the next and as he circled his hips and fluttered his touch over her clit—the man knew what he was doing. And he did it was ease. Like he could read her thoughts and body language, anticipate just what she wanted. Pierce her desires with a single glance of those ice blue eyes.
                Fuck.
                Fuck.
                With his free hand grasping her waist, he guided her up and down over his dick and her body slid over his as she rode him in slow, deep thrusts at first. Then, throwing caution to the wind, she abandoned her quiet, prim side. Ignored the quiet, studious lawyer who spent her college years locked up in her dorm studying and embraced the girl who tattooed tweety bird on her ass when she was seventeen with her fake ID.
                She moved faster and faster. Harder, rotating her hips in circles against his thumb. Patrick groaned, his head falling back against the seat until the whole car was shaking with her movement. But his eyes never left hers. And that smirk stayed right in place as he watched her every move.
                Who cared about rules? Who cared about Operation Green Light and the fact that she was supposed to be prosecuting this man in less than a year if all went to plan. Right then? All she wanted was an orgasm. The release. An explosion rippling around his cock and fingers and lips.
                Yep, rules be damned. Tonight? She wasn't an ADA. She was simply a woman escaping life with the company of a sexy man.
                                                                                                                ***
                 They finished and laid together in silence in Patrick's car. Her skirt, still up around her waist, her black lace thong pushed to the side, swollen and satiated. She lay over top of him, still sitting in his lap.
                Her phone rang from within her purse on the floor of the passenger side. Michelle stiffened as Patrick's hands circled her back in reassuring strokes.
                “If it was about Charlie, I would have gotten a call from Shane or Rig, too,” Patrick said.
                That eased her thoughts a little. But still not enough. What was she doing? Literally sleeping with the enemy.
                Leveraging her weight off of his hips, she leaned over grabbing her purse and adjusting her clothes back into place.
                With a glance at the phone in her hand, she saw she missed two calls from her boss, Duncan—the district attorney of Boston.
                Guilt slammed into her, cramping her gut and replacing whatever relaxed enjoyable post-orgasm bliss she had with anxiety. She held up her phone to Patrick. “I have to take this outside,” she said, pushing out of the car.
                With a tug, he pulled her back into the car. His blue eyes bright and assessing and tilted down at the corners. He looked almost... concerned. As quickly as the expression flashed on his face, it disappeared, replaced with that same light-hearted grin. “You're not leaving me, are you?”
                She shook her head. “I'll be right back. I just need to make a call.”
                They stayed there, locked in eye contact for another moment before he nodded. “Look,” he said, “Charlie's not going to be taking visitors until the morning. And I've got something to take care of.” He cupped the back of her head, pulling her into another kiss. She let him, though far more tentative than their first this time. “Meet me in an hour?” he whispered. As if Rig or Duncan or someone else could sense that they were planning to meet up.
                Michelle shook her head, pulling out of his arms. “That's not a good idea, Patrick.” What they'd just done was already a terrible idea.
                “What's the alternative? Sleep here in the waiting room? Or in your car? Or go all the way home to Newton? Then when she does wake up, it'll take you forty minutes to get back here. I'm only a few blocks away down at 136 Jay Street. You'll be close. You can get a good night's sleep.” His grin spread wider. “And I promise no funny business.” His thumb stroked at her jaw, trailing across her smeared lipstick. “Unless you want more funny business. But something tells me you need rest.”
                Her stupid heart jolted. Why was he being so nice to her? They'd only just met and he was taking care of her like she was... like she was family or something. Even her own mother wasn't this nurturing. God, it felt nice to have someone looking out for her. “Okay,” she spoke even though her throat was tighter than spandex.
                “Okay,” Patrick repeated. “The sexiest word a man will ever hear.”
                Michelle laughed. And wow, did it feel good to laugh.
                “No, seriously,” Patrick continued. “You should really tone down your enthusiasm. We can't have my ego inflating that much.”
                “Don't push your luck, Abercrombie,” Michelle said grinning. Once more, she stepped out of the car. Patrick gave her a wave and started his engine, pulling out of the hospital parking lot as she  redialed her boss. As the phone rang, a damp sweat collected on her scalp and she held her breath. Did Duncan know? No, that was ridiculous. How would Duncan even know that she had fucked one of the men she should be convicting?
                Of course he didn't know. Yet.
                Duncan answered on the second ring. “Michelle,” he said. “Your brother called me with the news about your friend. I wanted to make sure you were okay and see if you needed anything.”
                Of course, Michelle knew that her brother and Duncan knew each other. Attorneys in Boston were incestuous. They all knew each other, especially at Duncan's level.
                She cleared her throat, looking back at Patrick's car as she walked away. “Thanks. I'm... okay. Just waiting to hear any news. We probably won't know anything until tomorrow morning.”
                “If there's anything I can do—”
                “Thanks, Duncan. I'm okay, though.”
                There was another pause. “Well, I know my timing here is bad, but, well, hell... maybe some good news is just what you need tonight. I want to offer you the Chief ADA position. I've been looking over your work on Project Green Light … and this is really good work. I want you to take the lead on it. The promotion will mean that the car club cases are entirely in your hands.”
                She was getting a promotion? Here? Tonight? Guilt burrowed deeper and she closed her eyes ignoring the memories of what she'd just done. And that promotion essentially meant her career was now reliant on a case where she had just slept with one of the potential men she would be soon issuing an arrest warrant for. That was some heavy shit.“Me? Are you sure?”
                Duncan laughed. “Hell, not if you don't want it—”
                “No! No, I want it.” God did she want it. More than she wanted or needed a man or an orgasm.
                Her eyes fell to the tail lights of Patrick's Pantera as it turned right out of the parking lot and she swallowed.
                “Good,” he laughed again. “Spend time with your friend. I'll see you at the office Monday.”

                “I won't let you down.” She hung up, walking slowly to where her car was parked. And as she started her engine and pulled out of the parking lot, she didn't turn right toward Jay Street. Instead, she took a left and turned into the motel on the corner. Turned away from Patrick. Without explanation... for good.



The Harrison Street Crew Series 





EX-CON
Bk #1 in THE HARRISON STREET CREW Series





EX-CON: Part 1

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EX-CON: Part 2

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EX-CON: Part 3

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About The Author

Katana Collins is lucky enough to love her day job almost as much as she loves writing. She splits her time evenly between photographing boudoir and newborn portraits and writing steamy romances in a variety of genres -- paranormal, contemporary, new adult and suspense.

She lives in Portland, Maine, with an ever-growing brood of rescue animals: a kind of mean cat, a very mellow chihuahua, and a very not mellow lab puppy... oh yeah, there's a husband somewhere in that mix, too. She can usually be found hunched over her laptop in a cafe, guzzling gallons of coffee, and wearing fabulous (albeit sometimes impractical) shoes.


You can find Katana at

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