Thursday, 25 August 2016

Alpha Beta Omega Blitz



10 Sizzling Shifter Stories From Today’s Hottest, Bestselling Authors

On PreOrder Now – Alpha Beta Omega: A Shifter Box Set





"Follow the blitz and enter to #win a grand prize of $50.00 Amazon gift card!"
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Title: Alpha Beta Omega: A Shifter Box Set 

Anthology Authors: Lia Davis, K.N. Lee, Marissa Dobson, Beth Caudill, Misha Carver, Xandra James, Laxmi Hariharan, Bethany Shaw, Nicole Morgan, Lily Marie
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Format: Digital


From today’s hottest USA Today and Bestselling authors comes a collection of 10 novellas, featuring hot alpha, beta, and omega shifters. If you like tigers, bears, wolves, and more you’ll love this box set. Each story is either a first in a series or a stand-alone novella.

AND it’s only on sale for a limited time so be sure to grab while it’s available. #99cents

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks


WHAT'S INSIDE:

A Tiger's Claim by Lia Davis
As the Alpha’s only daughter Shayna Andrews has always been treated like a rare gem, protected like royalty, and she’s suffocating. Her longing to be independent has driven her to sneak out one evening after dinner. After relishing in being able to run free without an escort, she finds herself face-to- face with the enemy, miles from home, and nearly loses her life until a lone wolf comes to her aid. But when he discovers she wears the enemy’s brand, things will go from bad to worse.

The Scarlett Legacy by K.N. Lee
Wizards. Shifters. Sexy mobsters with magic.
The arrival of Avalon Prince brings a century-old feud to a dangerous climax. Scottish Old-World magic, mixed with a dangerous obsession with Evie and a sinister plot for revenge threatens to bring the Scarlett family to its demise.  

Tiger Time by Marissa Dobson
Tabitha Leigh has no idea her mundane life is about to change or that danger stalks her every step. Now as the Queen of the Tigers with a bounty on her head, she must embrace her future and her mate. If she doesn’t, it will mean the end of everything she’s come to know and never realized she needed.

Healer’s Fate by Beth Caudill
Corliss Rumdone’s the healer of her werewolf clan, destined to save lives and live in the shadows. He's the alpha's son, destined to mate to cement his status at the top of the pack. What happens when he chooses her instead?

Bearly Smitten (The Alpha’s Bride Book 1) by Misha Carver
When bear shifter Jed Barton’s keynote speaker engagement and his role as pack alpha require him to  have a wife, he does what any other tycoon would do – he hires one – the last thing he wanted to do was fall in love with her.  

Reluctant Revenge - Under the Demon’s Skin by Xandra James
Demon-hybrid Nash is hungry for revenge. Promising to protect the daughter of his sworn enemy, he's torn between his duty as an Alpha Enforcer and his desire to avenge his murdered fiancée. Can Nash forgive the past? Or will losing Sienna be the only way to heal his dark heart?

Feral - A Many Lives Story by Laxmi Hariharan
He was her destination. She just didn't know it. When Maya leaves Luke to go in search of her blood family, nothing prepares her for the secrets she uncovers about herself.  An intense, shifter romance, set in a Bombay of the future.

The Beta’s Mate by Bethany Shaw
Nina’s tired of the lies and disappearances. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, but fate has other ideas. Now if she could only get in touch with her soon-to- be ex. Logan hates that his wife filed for divorce, even though everyone tells him it’s for the best. He’s the beta of the pack—second in command—and she’s human. When he discovers he’s going to be a father, he’ll do anything to keep Nina and the baby safe. But will she let him back in when she finds out he’s been lying to her for years about turning into a giant wolf?  

Night Falls by Nicole Morgan
When Paul, the leader of the Racinitine Pack crosses paths with Kinzey, a tencacious reporter, he knows he’s in trouble. Not only can he see the fire in her, but he can feel it as well. When Kinzey gets too close to his secrets, it may change the only way of life his pack has ever known.

Wounds to Bear (Heart of The Bear Book One) by Lily Marie
A wounded shifter, and a beautiful, curvy woman. Two hearts, with one goal – to save the children taken by an old enemy. Roman Black’s past has finally caught up with him – and he isn’t the only one paying for his mistakes. Dr. Jenna Morgan is running from her own past – and hopes to find her place in the small town of Pine Heart. When a wounded bear shows up at her door, she discovers that the rumors about this small town are true, and that one of those shifters is bleeding all over her front porch. She treats him, and learns that he was shot protecting a group of shifter and human kids – who are now being held by an old enemy bent on revenge.


An Indecent Proposal by Katee Robert - Excerpt Reveal


Title: An Indecent Proposal
Author: Katee Robert
Series: The O’Malley Series #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing- Forever

When a no strings attached arrangement turns into something more, Cillian O’Malley and Olivia Rashidi must overcome the family ties that bind them. Fans of Jackie Ashenden’s Make You Mine and Kresley Cole’s The Master, will devour the super steamy and fast paced third book, An Indecent Proposal in the wildly popular O’ Malley series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Greed. Ambition. Violence. Those are the "values" Olivia Rashidi learned from her Russian mob family-and the values she must leave behind for the sake of her daughter. When she meets Cillian O' Malley, she recognizes the red flag of his family name . . . yet she still can't stop herself from seeing the smoldering, tortured man. To save her family, Olivia sets out to discover Cillian's own secrets, but the real revelation is how fast-and how hard-she's falling for him.

Plagued by a violent past, Cillian is more vulnerable than anyone realizes. Anyone except Olivia, whose beauty, compassion, and pride have him at "hello," even if she's more inclined to say good-bye to an O' Malley. While his proposal of sex with no strings seems simple, what he feels for her isn't, especially after he learns that she belongs to a rival crime family. Cillian knows that there is no escape from the life, but Olivia may be worth trying-and dying-for . . .


Get More information at: 




Excerpt:
“Thanks.” There it was again, that look that threatened to curl her toes. He reached out and took the washcloth from her and tossed it onto the nightstand. “I’m going to kiss you now.”

She should object, move away, do something other than rest her hands on the top of his thighs and tilt her head up. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Didn’t the last few years teach you anything? Apparently not, because she wanted Cillian to kiss her again, and she wanted him to kiss her now.

Truth be told, she wanted him to do a whole lot more than that.

Olivia licked her lips. “Okay.”

His lips quirked up at the edges. “I can see I’m blowing your socks off. Let’s see if I can do better.”  He cupped her face with one hand and then his mouth was on hers, soft and teasing, testing—nothing like the forceful kiss that started everything last night. She opened for him immediately, driven by the lightning dancing just beneath her skin. She wished she could blame it on being skin-starved, but the truth was that this man was doing more with a near-innocent kiss than Sergei had ever done with his entire body and hours at his disposal. I am in so much trouble.

Then Cillian’s tongue stroked hers and she was lost. She gripped his thighs as he explored her mouth, giving herself permission to do some exploring of her own. He was all lean muscle, as if he’d been melted down and stuck in a forge, only to come out new. She ran her hands up his legs, stopping just short of his hips.

He took it from there. He ran his fingers through her hair and down her back, inching her closer until there was nothing more than a breath of distance between them. It would have been so damn easy to lean forward and touch him, pressing her body against his, but the separation was almost unbearably erotic. She shivered again, tilting her head back to give him better access.

She’d never been kissed like this, like she was something to be savored…valued. Like he had all the time in the world and he’d still never get enough.

Common sense tried to rear up and remind her that it was a goddamn kiss, not a lifetime commitment, but then his thumb feathered across the underside of her breast, and all rational reasoning flew right out the window.


He rested his forehead against hers, and groaned. “You’re making it hard to be good, sweetheart.”




About Katee Robert:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Katee at: 
Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads |Instagram |

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Maegan Abel's Broken Series Boxset Release Week



Join Forever Red Publishing and Barclay Publicity in celebrating the release of Maegan Abel's THE BROKEN SERIES BOX SET today! This sizzling box set includes 3 full-length novels and one novella. Titles included are Perfectly Broken, Unforgivably Broken, Broken Holidays - A Broken Series Novella, and Silently Broken! Grab this wonderful set now for just $9,99!!



Rafflecopter for The Broken Series Box Set Giveaway:

Forever Red Publishing is offering one (1) lucky grand prize winner a Kindle loaded with selected Forever Red Publishing Titles! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:


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About The Broken Series Box Set: 
Title: The Broken Series Box Set
Author: Maegan Abel
Publisher: Forever Red Publishing
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781941853375






“Sometimes, when you take the broken pieces and combine them, you get something even more beautiful.” 

Life will never be the same.

People always say things like that and you never really believe them, but it’s the truth. One day, you think you have your life all figured out and then a single event starts a chain reaction you can’t seem to stop…

Zane Tishler and Lili Cortez fit in perfectly with the party crowd of Sin City locals. They’ve spent two years honing a finely tuned system to bag and tag tourists with no strings attached. Sex is just sex, after all. But when dangerous shadows from the past start to reappear, things get complicated. Best friends and roommates, they never expected to find what they’d both been searching for in each other, but sometimes those who know us best forgive our sins the easiest.

Through shootings, fires, and a multitude of secrets and lies, can they both survive? 
Even if they do, can their love?

Add to your TBR List: Goodreads

Pre-Order Your Copy Now for $0.99 Today!





Excerpt from Unforgivably Broken:

Prologue

Fire

I don’t know how that tiny part of me knew that something was wrong before the text came through.
But I did.
And as I round the corner, the harsh reality hits me with the heat of the flames. I’m running, but I don’t even remember stopping the car. There’s a crowd nearby, blocking my way. Probably the neighbors, but I don’t really see them. I don’t even slow as I rush toward the house.
There’s yelling, someone pulling me, grabbing at my arm, but I wrench free, feeling so much heat I can’t breathe. I cough, barely able to see through the thick, black smoke that surrounds me.
I’m so close.
“You can’t go in there!” a voice yells, sounding hollow through the mask he wears. His arms are across my body, yanking me backward, away from the front door, away from the house.
“No!” I struggle, putting everything I have into breaking free of his grip, but another set of hands helps him.
“The whole frame is unstable. You can’t go in. It’s coming down any second.” 
As if on cue, a loud creak sounds, followed by a shower of sparks and ash as the front section of the roof collapses. I cover my head automatically before staring, my eyes scanning the front windows wildly. Or, what were once the front windows. Now, there’s nothing more than gaping holes, every piece of the house burning red, orange, and yellow.
“No!” The word is strangled as I tear free from the numerous hands holding me, scrambling toward the flames.
They’re inside. I can feel it.
“Stop!” They tackle me, more of them this time, as they drag me back from the flames.
“My family is in there!” I thrash harder, running on full adrenaline as I watch the fire engulf my home.
“You need to calm down,” someone says as I realize the heat is getting less intense.
They’re pulling me away from the house. It’s then that I remember the crowd.
How did I not think of this before?
I turn, looking away from the fire, trying to see past the firefighters to the cluster of people. Maybe they got out.
But the weight in my stomach tells me I’m wrong.






About Maegan Abel:

Maegan despises writing about herself in the third person. She also hates touting
her accomplishments like she thinks she’s really done all this amazing stuff…

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll tell you what you need to know. I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I went to college in my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. I now work full-time in an alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theaters around the area. I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on my list of things to accomplish in my life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, I read eleven books in four weeks. It was during that time that the character of Lili was born and after the show left Tulsa, I sat down and began writing my first published book, Perfectly Broken.






Bad Judgement by Meghan March - ARC Review



He’s so arrogant. 


She’s so self-righteous.

I can’t stand him.

I want her.

He’s a distraction I don’t need.

She’ll say yes eventually because I’m not giving up.

Justine Porter is stuck between a rock and a stripper pole. She lost her law school scholarship, which means she has two choices to keep her life on track: strip for her tuition or tutor the most distractingly sexy guy in her class—the one she’s been turning down for two years straight. It should be an easy choice, but tutoring Ryker Grant could derail her plans to graduate with honors faster than two-for-one night at the Déjà Vu. Then again, topless has never really been her color.
She could take the easy road, just this once . . . but the deal has enough loopholes to trip anyone up.
Who knew they taught bad judgment in law school?








Review:
I hate, hate, giving books less than stellar reviews, but this book was a disappointment for me. I've never read anything by Meghan March so I didn't really know what to expect when it came to her writing style, but the writing was actually okay, it was the characters I just couldn't get past. 

I love NA College Romance books - that trope is one of my guilty pleasures when it comes to reading. No lie. But this just didn't appeal to me. I couldn't connect to the characters; and yes I know it's not college but law school, but still this book was just a big ol' flop for me.

The main heroine I just couldn't connect with; she seemed extremely shallow and stuck-up, and it annoyed me when she called Ryker by his full name every time he was mentioned... "Ryker Grant smirked..." "Ryker Grant looked...", etc. You get my drift. It annoyed me so much.

Lastly, I just didn't like that every other page there was a new chapter... It was like turn 3 pages new chapter, next 4 pages another new chapter. I didn't know it was something that would have bothered me till reading this book. It was like the author didn't know how to change character perspectives or p.o.v.'s within a chapter, she needed to create a new small chapter for the other main character's p.o.v.

Sorry Meghan March, I'm sure other readers would love this book, but for me I just didn't like it.







About Meghan March: 
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She's also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she's ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.






Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Debt by Karina Halle - Excerpt Reveal


Her life changed in an instant. 

And he's the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.

Jessica Charles shouldn't have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.

She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.

But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica's world changed forever.

Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.

That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.

Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you've got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.

Except Keir is anything but perfect. He's got a past he's running away from and a guilty conscience he can't seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.

And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.

He may have been a stranger to her.

But she’s never been a stranger to him.


Goodreads | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo | Nook




About Karina Halle: 

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins; Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.





Excerpt:

“You’re not going anywhere,” he says. “Sit. I’ll get you another drink.”


“It’s getting late,” I say feebly but I sit down anyway, my leg giving a protest of pain.

“You need something for that?” he says, noticing my wince.

“The scotch will do fine,” I tell him quickly, not wanting him to make a fuss. “But really, I should go.”

“Why?” he asks from the kitchen. I hear the top pop off the bottle, the slosh of liquid in the glass.

“Where do you have to be?”

I have to think about that for a moment. He comes over and holds out the glass. “I won’t keep you here if you don’t want to be here. But if you do want to be here, you don’t need to make any excuses.”

I take the glass from him, holding it delicately in my fingers. He stands over me, a massive wall, waiting for some kind of response.

“I just…” I begin. “I…” I take a sip for bravery. Swallow. “I’m not very good at this.”

“Good at what?”

“At…this. Being with a man.”

When he doesn’t say anything to that, I look up at him. He’s got a peculiar smile on his face, his brows raised. “You call this being with a man?”

I clear my throat, feeling my cheeks grow hot. “I mean. I’ve told you before –”

“Yes, how you don’t do relationships, how you don’t do sex.”

“I never said I don’t do sex,” I remind him quickly.

His eyes never stop searching my face. “Then what is it? What are you afraid to say?”

I have the sudden urge to flee and I know it must show because he suddenly points at me and says,

“Don’t you dare say you have to go again. I want you to go back to what you said, that you’re not good at this. What is this? Us? You and me? There’s nothing mystifying about you and me, Jessica. You know quite well how I feel.”

I stare at him in shock. I do? “How?”

He looks off with an air of impatience. “I invited you to dinner, you turned me down.”

“But then you said just as friends.”

“And I meant it. But there are different types of friends. It’s up to you to decide what kind we are.”

I put my drink down with a clunk. “Holy pressure.” And now it’s not just my face going hot but my entire body, flushed from head to toe.

“You’re on fire, little red,” he says, his gaze skirting over my limbs in such a hungry way I can almost feel them on my skin. “I have to say, I like this look on you. Hot and bothered.”

“Back with the innuendos again,” I comment but my voice is weak.

“No, no innuendos this time. You came looking for me tonight not because you wanted to confess but because you want something from me. What is it? What do you want from me? What do you think I can give you?”

Jesus. This is so utterly unnerving. His words slice right through me, his eyes still peeling under the layers, trying to get at something I’m not even sure of myself.

If I lie, he’ll know. I can only be honest with him.

“I want…” I take in a deep breath, my eyes breaking away. “I want…company.”

“Company?” He sounds surprised.

I nod. “That’s the truth. I’m lonely. And I’m afraid. And I’m tired of being both those things. I want to be with someone who makes me forget who I am. You make me feel fearless in a way I didn’t think possible.”

There. That’s the truth. Most of it. It hangs in the air, thickening the tension like flour to stock.

He sits down next to me, has a mouthful of Scotch. “Wow,” he says, running his hand over the beard on his jaw. “And here I was thinking you wanted my cock.”

I burst out laughing. So does he, a big wonderful bellow. The tension in the room eases up a notch.

“Sorry,” I tell him when I catch my breath. “I guess they can both mean the same thing.”

He sucks in his lip briefly, his eyes taking a lustful turn. “If you want it to.” We stare at each other for a few heavy beats. Then his focus trails back to my gaze and he says, “Why don’t you stay over?”

And there I have it. The chance to know what those full lips would feel like on mine, what his skin would taste like. I swallow hard.


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett - ARC Review



In the steamy and suspenseful sequel to Sugar Daddy (“A totally gripping take on romance and revenge!”—Lauren Blakely), a heartbreaking rift threatens to unravel a dangerous alliance . . . and a fragile new love.

After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She's closing in on the site's heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend's business partner and her lover, by her side. She'd thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing?

Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn't exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT's trust and pretend that they're still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her.

Note: Sugar Rush ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck's story concludes in Sugar Free!

I can't believe I was chosen to receive an ARC days after only reading the first book in this outstanding series. I was so stoked! Literally bouncing about and squealing in happiness ensued. 


So, this book picks straight up from where the last book left us (thank god!) It begins seconds after that horrible cliff-hanger in the first book. What I love about this book is that there's no long drawn-out unnecessary drama between Beck and Sela. The whole mess is resolved quite quickly, and then we're right back into the thick of things; this time with Beck helping Sela to bring JT down.

This is another book in this series with more unexpected twists. Half the stuff I didn't see coming and was left completely gobsmacked for a while (no joke). Like that familial twist. Or the door. And you know what door I'm talking about. I was so shocked and confused. I didn't any of the twists and because of how juicy this book/series is it wasn't long before I was flicking through pages to get it finished.

On a separate side note I'd like to address Sawyer Bennett's realistic take on the severity of rape and the long consequences and effects due to this. I'm not a radical feminist. Hell, I wouldn't even call myself a feminist. I believe in equality for all, but it has to be said that the way Sawyer Bennett addresses the issue of rape towards women, and the way the blame is left at the woman's feet, in this series is outstanding. I love how in this series Sawyer Bennett deals with the emotional repercussions of rape years down the line. In today's society, women are taught to expect to be raped if they act and look a certain way. For instance, being drunk and dressing provocatively is apparently a girl's way of "asking to be raped!" which is total crap! Women get drunk and dress provocatively to have fun, because it makes them feel good. They do it for themselves, not for people to take advantage of, then lay the blame at the victim's feet. Through Sela's self-blame and hatred of that, Sawyer Bennett deals with this very public issue. Sela was 16 at the time of her rape, and just because she flirted with a guy at a party and was slightly intoxicated does not mean she was asking to be brutally gang-raped. She lay the blame at her own feet because she decided to get high and flirt with a boy. That does not make it her, the victim's, fault. This is a very serious issue in our society today, and the way Sawyer Bennett addresses it is amazing. She deserves much commendation for it!

Lastly, I need to warn you guys that this book ends in another cliff-hanger. So, if you hate cliff-hangers like me you are sufficiently warned.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley - Release Day Launch


Kristen Ashley's MIDNIGHT SOUL is here! Just released today, on August 15th, this amazing fantasy takes place in our world and a parallel universe where fantasies are true... but perhaps not all you would expect!

MIDNIGHT SOUL Synopsis: 
Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.

And things aren’t going real great there.

Noc is recruited to help save that world.

What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.

Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.

When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.

When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her mask slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.

And then make her want to stay.

Order MIDNIGHT SOUL here!


And Don’t Miss the First Books in the Fantasyland Series!



Excerpt:
~Franka~
I remembered that look

relished that look.
              
Not only on my Antoine but any lover I’d had (but, obviously, getting it from Antione was far more rewarding).
             
It was a look I worked toward, putting great energy and imagination into it, losing myself in these endeavors, feeling free of my name, my history, my secrets, my responsibilities, and reveling in my success as if I’d scaled mountains.
              
It was my greatest talent outside, of course (as any good Drakkar would excel), honing in on any vulnerability and manipulating it for the greatest possible gain—coin, jewels, furs, favors, silence, information, or simply for amusement.
              
Seeing the look on Noctorno at that moment, I knew Circe too had performed well (admirably well, I might add, considering her dismal past).
              
I also recognized—focusing on it keenly—what Circe might have missed, or perhaps what Noctorno hid from her understanding, or simply just sensing, how she came to him.
              
He was not done.
             
Oh no.
              
If she had not given indication she wished him out of her bedchamber, he’d still be in it.
              
Indeed, he might be in it all night, and not to sleep.
              
He might have been in it, perhaps, for days.
             
As these thoughts flitted in my mind, I became aware he’d fully entered the room, was stopped not far from my chair, and was standing, chin tipped down, eyes regarding me with a scrutiny that I found so uncomfortable I actually shifted in my seat.
              
I ceased this reaction the instant I became aware of it, appalled at myself.
              
Giving something away so easily? Especially something like discomfiture?
              
You’ve ruined me, I snapped silently at Antoine.
              
My dead lover had no rejoinder.
              
“You okay?” Noctorno asked.
              
“Am I what?” I asked in return.
              
His head gave a slight twitch before he went on, “You okay? All right?” His voice lowered. “It’s been a tough day, babe, for all of us. Including you.”
              
I looked beyond him to the fire, lifting my wine to my lips but not sipping it until after I murmured, “I’m perfectly fine.”
              
“Yeah, right,” he stated, and the disbelief veritably dripping from his tone made my gaze flick immediately back to him.
              
This meant I watched as he sauntered right in front of me to the chair accompanying mine, threw his lengthy frame in it and reached for the wine at the table that separated our seats.
              
He also reached for the extra glass.
              
These were seats, I shall add, that were turned at corners to each other with a small, round table in between, so  my knee was nearly touching his.

He poured.

It was on the tip of my tongue to share that I had not invited him to attend me.

Alas, I became distracted by his long fingers, and the words died in my mouth.




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About Kristen Ashley: 

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing's changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

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Thank you again for taking part in the Release Day Launch of MIDNIGHT SOUL. Please let me know if you have any questions.