Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Diverse Reader: Want to Push Back? Calling All #LGBTQ Authors: Many of you have read Kate Aaron and AJ Rose's blog posts in regards to this rather spectacular event coming up on April 18th. The...
Title: Fractured & Formidable
Author: AJ Downey
Series: Sacred Hearts MC #5
Genre: MC Romance
Expected Release Date: July 1, 2015Summary:
Mandy Price is best friends with Everett, the Ol’ Lady to the Sacred Heart’s VP, and roommates with them both… No one would guess that the preacher’s daughter could have such a dark secret, but Mandy had a big one. The product of a broken childhood, Mandy lives a fractured existence. She maintains the outward appearance of normalcy, that everything is just fine, when nothing could be further from the truth. Ever the dutiful daughter, she returns to her father’s church and his table every Sunday. Trouble is, things are growing worse not better as Mandy grows into her own. It’s becoming harder and harder to maintain appearances on a daily and Mandy is definitely feeling the strain.
Revelator has had his eye on the innocent redhead from the moment he first saw her. Too much has been getting in the way of him pursuing the angel, prospecting for the club taking up just too damned much of his time. He was fully patched now, still, just when he was getting ready to make a move that’s when his shop came down around his ears. Faced with rebuilding from the ground up, he’s decided that if he has to start from the beginning, he might as well go all in. If starting over is what has to happen then the life he plans on building from here on out definitely has his Red by his side and no one else’s.
It doesn't take Rev long to find out what his girl is hiding, and when he does, someone is going to find out just how formidable he can be, not just in body, but in mind and with his brother’s backing…
**Mature Audiences Only (18+)**
**Language, Sexual Content, Graphic Violence, and Strong themes such as abuse.**
“Autumn Amanda Price!” my father shouted and I froze. I turned just in time for him to
grab me, shaking me by the shoulders.
“Get your hands off me!” I shouted at the same time he was screaming something about me being ungrateful and disrespectful I shouted back, giving no quarter.
“Me disrespectful! How about you!? Up there preaching God’s word every Sunday but do you actually practice anything that you…” his hand flashed out of nowhere in a wicked open handed backhand that caught me right in the mouth. I let my head snap to the side with the blow. You went with it and it typically left just a red hand-print it’s when you braced against it you got bruised.
“Jim!” my mother cried, dismayed and jumped back, her eyes fixed over my shoulder. My dad looked up and he turned several shades darker red than he’d already been and I turned too, to see Zander striding up the sidewalk and across our grass the devil’s own fire in his eyes, his car parked down the block driver’s door swinging wide.
“Zander no!” I cried dropping my binders to the walk, abandoning them to the grass, I put both hands to his chest and pushed but it was like trying to stop a juggernaut. Once it was in motion… he stopped though, chest heaving and stared my dad down for a minute over my shoulder before turning his eyes on me. My expression must have been frozen into one of sheer desperation because his look softened.
“Red, you okay Baby?” He cradled my face in his hands, his thumb gently grazing my lip, I jolted at the raw sting of it and his expression darkened. He pointed at my dad.
“You touch her again I will fucking break you!” Zander snarled. My dad drew himself up to his full height which was taller than Zander, of course, but then again I was taller than Zander. I blinked. Zander was here. On my parent’s front lawn.
It dawned on me just then and I found myself blurting “Zander! What are you doing here!?”
He returned those warm brown eyes to mine and his mouth compressed into a thin line. He pulled me into the shelter of his arms, my hands still pressed flat to the slick leather of his motorcycle vest, the name patch that read ‘Revelator’ rough beneath my fingers. “I told you, Red, not disappearing on you again.” He gave me a watery version of that devilish grin, the chip in his tooth both endearing and menacing at the same time but he’d lost some of the tightly coiled rage when he’d taken me into his arms.
“Just who are you!?” my father demanded, Zander turned a rough look in his direction. “I’m the guy who’s gonna fuck up your entire world if you ever lay a hand on your kid or your wife again,” he said.
Text Copyright © 2015 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. All Rights Reserved
A.J. Downey here, with a very special announcement concerning Fractured & Formidable,
the fifth installment of my Sacred Hearts MC series.
In my travels and research as an MC romance author I’ve come across some interesting
stories and even more interesting groups and organizations. One such group, B.A.C.A or
Bikers Against Child Abuse partially inspired the story for Fractured & Formidable with
their good works. That being said, I will be donating half of all pre-order and first month’s
sales of Fractured & Formidable to my local B.A.C.A. Lake Washington Chapter which
serves the greater Seattle Area.
I am not raising the price of Fractured & Formidable in any way, if you are buying my
series for the love of my series, all you have to do to support this wonderful cause is one
click the title as soon as it goes on pre-order or in the first month of its release. That’s it.
Thank each and every one of you for reading, and thank you even more for your support in
this wonderful cause.
Much Love, XOXO ~ A.J.
A.J. Downey is a born and raised Seattle, WA Native. She finds inspiration from her surroundings, through the people she meets and likely as a byproduct of way too much caffeine.
She has lived many places and done many things though mostly through her own imagination... An avid reader all of her life it's now her turn to try and give back a little, entertaining as she has been entertained. She lives in a small house in a small neighborhood with a larger than life fiancé and one cat.
Fractured & Formidable #5
Shattered & Scarred #1
Broken & Burned #2
Cracked & Crushed #3
Masked & Miserable #3.5
Tattered & Torn #4
Title: Lady of the Flames
Author: Barbara Monajem
Series: A Most Peculiar Season #3
Genre: Regency Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015Summary:
Magic is fraught with peril—but so is love.
Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for knives and other sharp blades led to knife fights, duels, and murderous brawls. Five years ago, he faced a choice: marry Andromeda Gibbons, the woman he loved, or find a safe, peaceful use for his blades by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. The choice made itself when Andromeda turned to another man. The furniture shop prospered, but now Fen’s partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may face another unpalatable choice—to resort to the violent use of his blades once again.
Once upon a time, Andromeda Gibbons believed in magic. That belief faded after her mother’s death and vanished completely when Lord Fenimore, the man she loved, spurned her. Five years later, Andromeda has molded herself into a perfect—and perfectly unhappy—lady. When she overhears her haughty betrothed, the Earl of Slough, plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with Fen proves to mean far more than getting help—it means learning to believe in love, magic, and the real Andromeda once again.
Years ago, Andromeda had felt no need to talk when with Fen, but now it was uncomfortable, like conversing with a stranger. She took a sip of coffee and ate a sausage roll. She sipped some more coffee. She gazed around the room and finally found something to say.
“Did you carve the figures on your looking-glass frame?” she said. As a boy, he had whittled constantly. “They seem so…familiar somehow.”
“They should,” he said with a sudden smile. “I carved it from my memories of the fairies and hobgoblins back home.”
“Fairies and hobgoblins?”
“At your father’s estate,” he said. “Surely you remember Cuff the bedchamber hob, and Heck the buttery spirit, and all the rest.”
“My mother told stories about them,” Andromeda said, nostalgia filling her again. “I must say, I like the way you've imagined them.”
Fen frowned at her, his smile fading, his eyes perplexed. “I didn't imagine them,” he said. “I saw them.”
Andromeda rolled her eyes. “That sounds like something my mother would have said.”
“Because she saw them, too.”
Andromeda began to be annoyed. “Don’t be ridiculous, Fen. She made up stories based on tales she was told as a child.”
Fen shook his head. “You saw them when you were small. You saw Cuff and Heck and the others. We both did.”
“No,” Andromeda said. “We saw movement out of the corners of our eyes and said they were fairies, but we were just playing games.”
Fen’s expression was pained. “You really don’t remember, do you?”
“There’s nothing to remember,” she insisted, wolfing down another cream puff. “As a matter of fact, that happened to me this morning. I had the impression that one of the creatures on the looking-glass winked at me, but of course it didn't really do so.”
“What a pity,” Fen said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That you've forgotten. That wink was Cuff’s way of saying good-day to you. He’s somewhere hereabouts. He’s the only one I didn't have to carve from memory, because he came with me when I left home.” He glanced toward the tin cup and plate by the wall. “He ate the bread and milk I put out, and I gave him the rest of your brandy, too.”
She couldn't stand any more of this. “Fen, stop this nonsense! We’re in danger from traitors and spies who murder people, and all you can talk about is hobgoblins.”
He went on as if she hadn't spoken. “I wondered why he came with me when I left, but it’s because he enjoys human company.” He grimaced. “Your father and aunt aren't his sort of humans. I thought you were, and so did your mother, but evidently you’re not.”
That struck her like a blow. “What do you mean, my mother thought I was. Was what?”
“She had a sizeable amount of fairy blood, so she thought you must have some, too—but perhaps she was wrong.” He paused. “I know I have some. It’s not uncommon for children to see fairies, but I didn't lose that when I grew up. Not only that, it’s their magic that guides my knives and tools, and inspires me when it comes to furniture design.”
She couldn't bear it. “Stop it! You’re as—as mad as my mother was.”
“She wasn't mad, Andromeda.” He sighed. “And whether or not you see the fairies, they’re still here.”
She put her hands to her ears and shut her eyes. After all the chaos of yesterday, this was too much. When he said and did nothing, she opened her eyes again. “Why did she discuss me with you?”
“Who else was there to speak to? Your father and aunt, although worthy people, wouldn't have understood. They already found her far too strange.”
This was true—but it was because Mama’s mind was unbalanced.
“She knew I cared for you,” Fen said.
His eyes were kind but dispassionate; his use of the past tense meant that he didn't care anymore, except perhaps as an old friend. Why couldn't she become accustomed? Every single reminder hurt.
“You believed in them at the time your mother died,” he said. “She gave you that heart-shaped locket, didn't she?” It still hung at her breast, but she resisted the urge to clasp it in her hand.
“I was nine years old. I believed in many foolish things then,” she retorted. Such as magic, but a household run by her aunt was no longer vibrant with promise or belief in anything much at all. And then, when she was seventeen, Fen had destroyed what little belief remained. She didn't try to keep the bitterness from her voice. “I learned soon enough what utter nonsense it all was.”
He watched her, head cocked to one side, as if she were some strange, incomprehensible creature. “As a matter of interest, when did you stop believing?”
How dare he ask such a personal question? “What business is that of yours?”
“None, I suppose.” He shrugged and stood. “Stay away from the windows. I’ll see if my valet has found you something to wear.” He took the last of the beignets, set it on a saucer, and left it on the floor by the wall.
As if prying into her business wasn't enough, now he was mocking her. Did he seriously expect her to believe that a hobgoblin would eat the beignet? Anger stirred and grew within her. “If you must know, it was at the same time I gave up other foolishness, such as believing in love!”
Fen stared at her, his expression incredulous. He left the room, slamming the door behind him. By what right was he upset? Not content with playing stupid games with her, did he really not remember what he’d done to her five years ago?
Don't Be Someone You're Not
Writing to a theme?
That sounds a lot like school, doesn't it? I don’t purposely choose a theme when I’m writing a story, but the more I write, the more I realize that over and over again, the heroines I write are trying to find themselves. They’re trying to redefine themselves apart from the restrictions and expectations society puts upon them.
This sort of theme works particularly well in historical romance, because two hundred years ago in England, woman had very few rights. Men had complete authority over their wives and could even beat them. Gently-bred women in particular had very few choices open to them in life. Their best option was usually marriage—hopefully to a kind-hearted, understanding sort of man. Many marriages were arranged by parents for reasons to do with money or status—and love wasn't part of the picture.
That is what happens to Andromeda, the heroine of Lady of the Flames. When the story opens, she is engaged to one of England’s most eligible earls. She agrees to marry him because she has spent years preparing herself for just such a role—wife and hostess for a high-ranking man—but the closer she gets to the wedding day, the more she realizes she dislikes not only her fiancé, but the person she becomes when she’s with him.
Luckily, he turns out to be a traitor, so she has another chance at finding both the right man and her real (magical!) self. But most women didn't have that sort of luck, alas—particularly not the part about magic.
What restrictions and expectations do you find hard to bear? If you could have a magical ability, what would you choose?
Barbara Monajem grew up in western Canada. She wrote her first story, a fantasy about apple tree gnomes, when she was eight years old, and dabbled in neighborhood musicals at the age of ten. At twelve, she spent a year in Oxford, England, soaking up culture and history, grubbing around at an archaeological dig, playing twosy-ball against the school wall, and spending her pocket money on adventure novels. Thanks to her mother, she became addicted to Regency romances as well. She is the award-winning author of several Regency novellas, many of which include elements of magic, and the Bayou Gavotte series of paranormal mysteries. Apart from writing, she loves to cook (especially soups), and the only item on her bucket list is to be successful at knitting socks (which she doesn't expect to achieve). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.
Title: Piercing the Darkness
Author: Angela Dennis
Series: Shadow Born #2.5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 7, 2015Summary:
Love knows no bounds.
Cursed by the dark mage who killed her, Hilda Janssen has wandered the Earthly plane as a ghost for fifty years, finally finding her place as an IRT hunter, policing supernatural misfits trapped on Earth after a brutal war.
When a demon attacks, putting her team in mortal danger, Hilda sacrifices herself to save her friends. She’s already died once; what difference will doing it again make? But instead of meeting a final death, Hilda is cast into the Void, a magical prison from which there is no escape.
Her only hope is Cade Kerrigan, the lover she left behind after her first death. Their bond and his magic are the only things strong enough to pull her through the Veil. But Cade has no idea his soulmate came back as a ghost, and he isn't too happy to have been left in the dark.
They must put aside the baggage of the past to save Hilda from a fate worse than death.
Warning: Contains star-crossed lovers destined for a second chance, a whirlwind of powerful magic, and a love so strong it defies even death.
Everything hurt, even her teeth. Hilda eased to her hands and knees, spitting dirt from her mouth. She had no idea how much time had passed, and she didn't really care. All she wanted to know was where the hell she was.
She tried to stand, but pain brought her back to her knees on the damp ground. Rubbing at her burning eyes, she shook her head. Her vision was blurry at best, and all she could see for miles was dirt and darkness. The air was thick with humidity and stank of wood smoke, burning her lungs each time she inhaled.
Wait. She was breathing. Ghosts didn't breathe. And they didn't hurt.
Her legs gave out and she collapsed onto the ground. She ran her fingers through the soggy earth at her side, realizing she could feel it. Fighting back her growing alarm, she brushed her fingertips across her face. She could feel that too, and it felt solid. Holy shit, she still had a body. She had no idea how that was possible, but she was going with it. This time when she stood, she was prepared for the instant pain and weakness, so she managed to stay on her feet. She spun around, searching for something, anything, other
than the endless darkness.
She definitely was not still on the Earthly plane. This place felt different. The air was gritty, felt dirty against her skin. And something about it seemed…wrong.
As her eyes adjusted, she realized there were globe-like fixtures scattered beneath the ground. They shimmered with pale blue light that barely penetrated the dense atmosphere. But it was bright enough she could make out the outline of a hillside in the distance. Maybe if she climbed to the top she could get a better look around.
She wrapped her arms around her chest to try and get warm, realizing she was naked. How she had missed that was anyone’s guess, but it was irrelevant. It wasn't as if she could pull a pair of pants and a sweater out of thin air. She’d figure it out later, once she got her bearings.
Bare feet dancing across the rough, pebbled landscape, she kept her eyes focused on the hill in front of her, confident her salvation lay on the other side. The farther she walked, the more confused she became. This plane didn't fit the description of any plane she’d heard of, and the education Brenna had given her had been fairly extensive. There was a tingle of
doubt in the back of her mind, a part of her that was convinced she was finally completely dead and this was her afterlife. But she refused to believe that.
So she moved forward, step by painful step, against the wind’s resistance, through the thick layers of fog, until she was only a few yards from the hillside. Now that she was close, she realized the hill was made of a series of jagged stones, jutting out at various dangerous looking angles. It would take a miracle for her to reach the top, but she was known for
beating the odds. She’d never know if she didn't try.
Her hand was clutching the first notch in the rock when she heard it. A mix between a growl and a hiss echoed through the night. It was so loud, she unconsciously released the rock, pressing both palms over her ears to block it out. The ground shook with the force of whatever was coming and the wind stopped abruptly as if it too was running away.
Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.
You can visit Angela at her blog. She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t forget to find her on Twitter to chat.
Piercing the Darkness #2.5
Shadows of Fate #1
Fading Light #2
Author: River Savage
Series: Knights Rebels MC #1-3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Dates: Incandescent: August 11, 2014
Affliction: November 30, 2014
Reclaimed: February 27, 2015
Cover Design: LM Creations
Phoenix ‘Nix’ Knight thought pulling his club out of the illegal shit his Pops got them into was difficult.
Until he meets Kadence.
Kadence Turner has no business lusting over a student’s father, especially the president of the Knights Rebels MC. Nix is crass, obnoxious and dangerously sexy and for some reason, Kadence can’t seem to hate him for it. The bossy biker breaks down her defenses, but unlike the old Kadence, the woman she is today won’t give in without a fight.
The tension is undeniable, the attraction fierce. A man that wants what he wants and a woman that will fight him every step of the way.
Three little words are all it takes to rip his world apart. Lost in his own affliction, Sy has been living in a darkness that he doesn't ever want to let go of.
Until she arrives and shines her light so bright that nothing else mattered.
She was only in it for the chase, for the thrill of capturing the unattainable.
But what happens when her world shatters around her, spiraling her into the darkness beside him?
Can his affliction be her resurrection?
Or will two lost souls living in the depths of deception let it destroy them?
When the woman you love is lost, how hard will you fight to get her back?
Following the birth of her daughter, Kadence Knight finds herself in a battle she never prepared for. With desperation and unhappiness threatening to overwhelm her, a sense of hopelessness pulls her away from the one thing she has always longed for: a family.
As Nix watches his wife struggle with something he doesn't understand, he can't help but feel disconnected to his woman. The Kadence he once knew has drifted into the darkness. In her place is a shadow of the woman she once was, one who is fearful of the impossible...failing their daughter.
This Valentine’s Day, Nix has one goal — to reclaim the woman who gave him everything.
***Please note this is a novella and features the characters from the previous storyline.
The events of Reclaimed take place after Incandescent and Affliction. Book one and two in the Knights Rebels MC.
To get the full advantage of the story, and character development, I strongly suggest you read in order.***
Resting the cold beer between my legs to soothe the ache, the boys give me shit for striking out. I feel the same way: the woman is a tough nut to crack.
“You ready for round two, Prez?” Beau smirks behind his beer. Turning my head, I watch as Kadence storms over. I groan as my broken dick comes to life, apparently not caught up with the news that she doesn’t like him. She stands at the end of the table, arms crossed over her chest, unaware that her position puts her sexy tits up on display.
Fuck, this woman is a tease.
“Hey, sweetheart,” I say before taking a sip of my beer.
“Don’t sweetheart me. What did you say to my date?” she snaps, anger clear on her face, and I’ve never seen a more beautiful look on her. Her eyes blaze with fire and the need to push her more fills me. I can’t wait to have her under me.
“Oh, the stiff?” I ask nonchalantly. “Just told him to run along; he didn't have what it takes to play with the big boys,” I say as some of the brothers laugh into their drinks.
I’ve never pushed a woman this far before; chasing her and teasing her feels so damn good. Something about her pushes my buttons and leaves me wanting more. Most women fall at my feet begging to get in, but Kadence? No, this woman makes me want to do the begging. I’ve never wanted to fuck a woman so hard while spanking her ass at the same time. The way she reacts to me makes my dick hard and God help me, getting her riled up is a sight to see. I can see it in her eyes; she’s fighting it. She wants me and I intend to give the lady what she wants.
“What do you want, Phoenix?” she demands, uncrossing her arms and assuming a relaxed position, but I’m not stupid. The woman is crazy mad and I’ve got a throbbing dick to prove it.
“What do I want?” I repeat her question, pausing to take another pull on my beer. “Well, after your little stunt in the bathroom, I wanna pull you down on this table and spank your ass,” I tell her calmly. Even though my balls are aching, my cock is pulsing.
“You disgust me,” she hisses and turns to walk away. I grab onto her hand, turning her my way. She tries to pull out of my grasp, but my hold on her is strong.
“You don’t mean that. I’ve seen the way your eyes flash. You would love for me to spank that sexy ass right here for everyone to see. Wouldn’t you?” Embarrassment floods her cheeks, and for a beat, I think I might have pushed her too far.
“What the fuck are you doing in my club?” he asks again, moving his body closer.
“Your club?” I ask, raising my brow. “Last time I checked, I came here with my best friend, not to see you, so if you’ll excuse me,” I say, trying to push off the wall, but he steps right in, his knee coming between my legs.
“You gonna fuck him?” he growls, his eyes growing angrier by the second.
“Maybe,” I tell him, knowing he’s talking about Jesse. “I wonder if he will leave me standing naked after a quick fuck up against the wall,” I continue. His hold on me gets tighter. I know I shouldn’t tease him with my words, but he’s seriously delusional if he thinks he has any claim over me.
“I knew you were a tease, but I didn’t know you wanted to be a club whore,” he replies, and I try not to let his words sting.
“Are you done?”
“Are you?” he counters.
“You left me standing there. I didn’t fucking do anything. What are you so angry about?”
“You coming into my club, throwing yourself at one of my brothers.”
“Jeez, get over yourself, Sy. Jesse was just showing me around the place. And if I decide I want to have sex with him, or anyone else for that matter, I’ll do what I want. You don’t fucking own me. You had me, fine, but it was mediocre at best, so keep your hands off me,” I snap, trying to get out of his hold.
“Mediocre?” he repeats back to me. I’m so pissed at his attitude I don’t falter in repeating it.
“Didn’t feel like that when your cunt was gripping my cock like a vice,” he throws back, his words causing my pussy to throb.
“That’s called pelvic floor muscle exercises,” I say, ignoring my body’s response to having him so close.
“Right,” he whispers, leaning further into me, “and what about when I dragged my tongue through that sweet pussy of yours, and lapped up your juices dripping from you?” he questions. It takes everything in me not to respond. “Now that I think about it, when you walked into my shop, all pissed off, you were walking like you had been fucked so hard. Did you feel me for days, sweetheart?” he continues, pushing into me further. “I bet your pussy is aching for me now, isn’t it, Holly?” he asks, his lips so dangerously close to my neck.
Fuck me. Two seconds ago I hated the man, and now I’m trying to squeeze my thighs together to stop the ache coming from my lady parts.
“Too bad you won't find out,” I counter, staying strong. I might want him more than anything, but he is still an ass.
“I don’t even need to touch you to find out. It’s written all over your face, Holly.”
“Whatever, Sy. Let me go.”
“You know I’m right. You’re so fucking turned on right now and so frustrated you’re not going to get any relief,” he teases, telling me what I already know.
“There’s always Jesse,” I threaten, trying to get a reaction from him.
“Like fuck,” he spits out, pushing his hard cock against me. “You’re not gonna let that fucker touch you. Do you understand me? None of my brothers will taste your pussy. Do you hear me?” His hand runs up my leg, running along my short denim skirt and finding the outside of my panties. A small gasp leaves my lips at his feather-light touch. “This sweet pussy belongs to me. I fucking had it first. Now, it’s mine.”
“No, it’s not,” I fight back, but my mind is too busy memorizing each lazy stroke of his finger over my lace panties.
“It will be again,” he warns before taking my mouth hard, suppressing me with his tongue. His fingers pull my panties aside, slipping in and dancing over my aching heat.
“Shit,” I breathe against his lips, forgetting where I am for a moment. Forgetting we can’t stand each other.
“You want relief, Holly?” he asks as my hips start to ride the rhythm of his talented fingers.
“Yes, give it to me, Sy,” I plead, feeling myself build with each flick of his finger.
“Say please,” he demands, slipping his thick finger inside of me.
“Please, Sy,” I cry out as he pumps me harder.
“That’s it, girl. Fuck my finger,” he growls. The heat of his voice causes goose bumps to break out on my skin. A wave of impending bliss washes over me, and then my orgasm hits, hard and fast.
“Sy,” I hiss, but don’t get anything else out as his tongue is dancing with mine again, muffling my shouts of ecstasy. His taste reminds me of beer, mint, and all things Sy. He latches onto my tongue, sucking it hard into his mouth, sending pleasure and pain rolling through my body.
Fuck, this man is dangerous with his bad-boy attitude, his sexy as hell dirty mouth and his ability to take me on the highest of highs in less than a minute. He slows the kiss, lingering for a moment before resting his forehead on mine. This right here is why this man is dangerous: bringing me apart in the middle of the club, and making me forget I hate him. Removing his fingers, he brings them to his mouth and sucks them clean.
“I don’t know what you want from me,” I whisper. Communication was never this hard. The distance growing further between us as each day passes makes me afraid that this is what we’ve become.
“I just want to bring you happiness, baby,” he sighs, but before I can tell him I don’t think he can, Harlow’s cries come through the monitor. I move off the bed to go to her, knowing she will need to be fed.
“You walk out of this room, Kadence, you walk out on me.” His cold tone stops me from moving any further. It’s the same tone he used in the bathroom. “Leave her,” he commands, but the thought of continuing this conversation, where we tear each other down, has me fighting him.
“Nix, I have to check on her.” I continue to the door.
“Don’t you dare leave this fuckin’ room. I’m important too. I’m your fuckin’ husband. Do you hear me? We are important.” His hand sweeps across his nightstand, causing one big crash that sends everything tumbling to the floor. I’m frozen in place, my hand resting on the door handle. The room is silent. The shock of what has gone on tonight so raw I don’t think either of us knows how to process it.
“I don’t know what you want from me,” I repeat, closing my eyes when Harlow’s cries grow louder, sending my anxiety rising. Doesn’t he know he’s only making it worse?
“Jesus, I don’t know. Give me a look, smile at me…fuckin’ touch me. Give me a connection that says we’re on the same fuckin’ side. I can’t continue to stay in this place we are in. I’m drowning here, Kadence. We both are, and I just don’t know if I can keep treading water for both of us. You have to help me, baby. You have to want us to survive.” He falls to the bed, his head dropping to his hands. Seeing him like this, in this state makes me realize that our situation is bigger than me, than him. It’s bigger than either one of us realize.
“That’s not fair.” I release the handle and turn, collapsing against the wall. The wind knocks out of me as his words resonate within me. We are drowning and I have to stop fighting. At this realization, my knees become weak. Standing becomes too hard. I slide down the wall, dropping my ass to the carpet.
“Life isn’t fair, Kadence. I wish it was, but it just isn’t. Look where we both have come from; look where life has taken us. We won’t survive if you won’t talk to me, Kadence. Talk to someone.” He stands to come to me, but having him in my space only makes things worse.
“Please don’t.” I draw in a breath, defeated. His frustration and concerns only prove what a bad mother I’ve been, what a bad wife I’ve become.
“Don’t what, Kadence? Don’t make me walk away. I want my wife back. I don’t know what’s happened, but I don’t like who you’ve become.” His voice is pained, as broken as my soul feels. His confession doesn’t surprise me, but it still burns. I know I don’t like who I’ve become. How do I expect Nix to like me?
“You don’t think I ask myself that question every day? That I don’t look at myself and ask what is wrong with me? I don’t know who I’ve become, Nix. All I know is I should. I should know who I am.” My head thuds against the wall in defeat. I can’t keep going on like this. I can hear Harlow’s cries quietening, as she resettles herself, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting out of this room.
“I know who you are, Kadence. You’re the woman I love. The most amazin’ mother to our daughter, our son.” Saying Z is my son pulls at me harder. The fact that he, too, is affected by what is happening hurts even more. Nix walks over and squats to my level, careful not to get into my space, but close enough for me to reach out and touch him if I wanted to.
“Why don’t I know that? I should know that Nix.”
“You don’t have to know. I know, the kids know and that’s enough.”
“It’s not enough for me.” My hand itches to touch him, to feel his hardness under my fingers, but sitting broken on the floor of our bedroom, I know I can’t. I can’t touch the man who means everything to me and I hate myself for it.
“When did you stop trustin’ yourself?”
“I don’t know. When did I stop being myself?” I counter, and my admission halts him for a moment. He crawls forward, coming closer into my space. His warmth, his calming presence wraps itself all over me.
“The first step is askin’ for help, baby. Let me help you. You don’t have to be alone. Let me learn to breathe the ugliness you see. Let me share the darkness, Kadence. Just don’t push me away.” His pleading pulls at me, pulls at the hatred that has settled inside.
“I’m not doing good, Nix,” I say, looking up and giving him what he needs. What I need.
“Somewhere along the way, I woke completely lost and overwhelmed. And every day, it gets harder and harder to deal.” A sob tears from deep within me, and walls I’ve been hiding behind crumble down.
“I know, baby.” He pulls me into the hardness of his chest. “We’re gonna be okay,” he promises, and everything in me wants to believe him. Everything in me wants to trust he has me. That he has us. But the truth is, I’ve drowned in so much self-doubt and uneasiness, that trust seems so far away.
USA Today Best Selling Author River Savage is the author of the Knights Rebels MC Series.
An avid reader of romance and erotic novels, her love for books and reading fueled her passion for writing. Reading no longer sated her addiction, so she started writing in secret. She never imagined that her dream of publishing a novel would ever be achievable.
With a soft spot for an alpha male and a snarky sassy woman, Kadence and Nix were born.
Title: For All to See
Author: Megan Mitcham
Series: Bureau #1
Genre: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Release Date: April 1, 2015Summary:
Pristine waters and purified evil.
Two by two, dark-haired beauties vanish only to reappear as hanging, plundered corpses. The Virgin Islands boast diamond-white beaches, lush green mountains, a rich cultural heritage—and a brutal killer.
Three years on the “Field-Dresser” case and Special Agent Nathan Brewer is days away from catching the bastard—if he can convince a certain brunette to trust him. Only the woman is more likely to take a casual stroll on the surface of the sun.
After fleeing her troubles in the United States for the quiet life of a school teacher on the island of Tortola, Madelyn Garrett never imagined she’d be fixated upon by pure evil.
In a fight for her life—with a dwindling number of friends—she must rely on her cunning and Nathan’s skills for survival.
The tough-as-titanium woman placed her hand in his as though she were as fragile as fine China. A primal need to shield her from harm thrashed its way to life, annihilating every reserve he’d clung to over the past few days. Some things weren’t worth fighting. Fighting the need to possess Madelyn was like wrestling a hurricane. He battened down and dug in the best he could. When that didn’t work he ran like hell. But one gust knocked him flat on his ass. One wave swept away the world he’d known. And he was done fighting the one woman who could rearrange his priorities.
Hand on the grip of his gun and the other wrapped around something far more dangerous, Nathan led the way to her Jeep. They rode in silence for a while. The echoes of their argument rang in his ears. He’d pushed her, but no further than she could handle. But now her head sagged against the leather rest. “I’m—”
“Don’t you dare say you’re sorry,” she interrupted.
“I was going to say, I’m thinking steak for dinner.”
“I guess it’s a good thing you’re a terrible liar.”
“It’s no lie that having a whole cow spit roasted and served on a platter has crossed my mind a time or fifty in the last few days.”
“You can eat whatever you want, in my house or out. I want a shower and bed.”
“Good luck getting rid of me.”
“The craving will get you sooner or later.”
“A different craving takes precedence.” Nathan caught her gaze for the first time since he’d released her hand and closed the car door.
“You’re on the job. Isn’t there a policy against that?”
“There’s a whole handbook against it. Not to mention my own policies, which have held firm all the way up until you bullied your way into my life.” He gave her a sideways grin and turned back to the road.
“Yep. You refused to leave. You refused a protection detail and a free vacation in Miami. You got me.”
“Can I renegotiate my terms? Miami sounds nice.”
“If you really want to, yes. I’ll have you on a plane tonight.” He didn’t want her to go, but he wanted her safe more.
“What was it you said? Good luck getting rid of me?” She looped her tote over her shoulder and prepared to exit the Jeep.
“How about you wait and let me go in first this time?”
“If you insist.”
“I do.” He killed the engine and waited for her to join him. “Stay behind me.”
“I thought your people were watching this place 24/7.”
“But you don’t trust them?”
“People make mistakes.”
“Some bigger than others,” she said wistfully.
He grabbed her hand and pulled her into the house. Shock of shocks, she didn’t jerk away. Deacon greeted him with a muzzle to the crotch.
“Should I leave you two alone?” Madelyn whispered.
Nathan poked her gently in the ribs and addressed the dog. “Buddy, we’re going to need to set up some personal boundaries. But if a bad guy shows up, that’s the perfect spot to bite. Now come on, let’s go find a bad guy.” They walked room to room, clearing the space. Deacon gave up in the living room and flounced onto his bed.
“It’s just you and me.” Madelyn’s quiet voice bounced off the tiles and smacked him in the nuts.
Yes, it was just the two of them in the bathroom with nothing but time to pass until they caught the serial killer. His hand slid from the gun and he turned. Her hand hid her sweet mouth from view.
“I didn’t mean…it’s just you and me. I meant…there’s no boogie man lying in wait.” Her cheeks flushed that unmistakable shade of pink that set off the lightly toasted tan of her skin.
“Mmm-hmm.” He took the hand from her mouth and glided his up her naked arm.
Her breath hitched. Long, dark lashes veiled her gaze, which followed the trail of his fingers. He’d happily chance a shot to the balls to kiss her, but she wasn’t ready yet. He lifted the bag from her shoulder.
“You have a nice bath.” Mounting every bit of strength he possessed, he turned and walked out the door.
Can you keep a secret? I can. The first novel I wrote, For All to See, I kept secret from everyone—except my husband, mom, and grandmother—until I typed THE END. So, maybe I can’t keep a secret. Darn it.
And here I am again, sharing my secret. You see, I never though this book would see the light of day. Not because the story wasn’t great, but because—even though I’d written one—I knew zilch about writing a novel.
I discovered I had to share my secrets to learn and grow as a writer and person. You know the old adage, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained?” We still use it for a reason. It’s true.
Five years, two writing groups, five classes, hours of research, six novels, eight short stories, one novella, and two re-writes later Madelyn’s story of tribulation and triumph is ready for readers.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” You don’t have to tell me your secrets, but tell someone who can help you on the path to your dreams!
Megan was born and raised among the live oaks and shrimp boats of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where her enormous family still calls home. She attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a bachelor’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and special education. For several years Megan worked as a teacher in Mississippi. She married and moved to South Carolina and worked for an international non-profit organization as an instructor and co-director.
In 2009 Megan fell in love with books. Until then, books had been a source for research or the topic of tests. But one day she read Mercy by Julie Garwood. And Oh Mercy, she was hooked!
Megan lives in Southern Arkansas where she pens sizzling suspense novels.