Tuesday, July 31, 2012

SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE by Wendi Zwaduk

It’s 1970. The world is in upheaval. Can two people really make a difference and find love at the same time?
Noel Flynt signed up for the Army to carry out his family duty. He never expected the travesties of Vietnam to take their toll on him. He’s coming back to the world he thought he knew. With everything changing around him, he’s going to have to learn he can’t live in the past.

Cindy Stephens couldn’t wait for Noel to return. She sees the man within the uniform and has loved him for as long as she can remember. But times have changed. She’s not the timid school girl any longer. Can she accept his changes, too?

The only constants are time and love.

Reader Advisory – Contains one war hero, the woman who loves him, lots of hot sex, with a little spanking mixed in for good measure.
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Copyright © Wendi Zwaduk, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.

Excerpt From: Sunshine of Your Love

"Mr Tony Rowe, please report to the service desk. Mr Tony Rowe. Report to the service desk. This is your third page. Thank you."

Noel scrubbed the back of his hand across his eyes. The noise in the terminal grated on his nerves. Intercoms blared over shouts of hello and homecoming. Somewhere behind him a woman wept. Children shrieked and laughed. He didn’t know the Mr Rowe being paged, but, damn it, couldn’t the guy answer already?

Noel sighed and made his way down the steps to the baggage area. In less than three hours’ time, he’d be home—not sitting waist deep in foetid water, not being shot at by unseen individuals brandishing AK—47s, or having rocks thrown at him in California by protesters who only saw the war on television, but home in his bed with a woman in his arms.

If she still cared.

Staying the course for three tours of duty had been his decision, but, every time he’d come home between tours and asked her what she thought, Sophie had brushed him off. Did she even love him at all?

Noel grabbed his duffle and glanced around the cavernous room. According to Sophie’s letters, she’d be coming to greet him when he landed in Cleveland. Then again, he hadn’t received a letter from her in more than nine months. Maybe she was upstairs in the main lounges. Maybe she’d brought Mario with her. God knew Noel hadn’t exchanged more than a couple of words with his brother in almost four years. Maybe it was time to bury the hatchet.

On the way through the terminal, he’d noticed signs directing travellers where to go, but, wherever he looked, nothing mentioned the baggage area. Where was a sign or map when he needed one? He groaned. He’d been so confident before his deployment. The confidence was still there, just buried down deep in his gut. He’d seen things in Vietnam very few people would understand.

Taking one step at a time, Noel forced himself to go back on to the main floor of the airport. If Sophie was up there, he’d find her.

Shouts erupted from the far end of the room. "Make love, not war!" Signs bounced and footsteps thumped on the floor.

"Power to the people."

"Nixon’s a liar!"

"Get us out of there!"

"Peace is the answer."

Noel ground his teeth together and turned his back on the protesters. If they only knew what had really happened. He’d heard about the reports on the television and seen them first—hand when he’d been laid over in California. The news only told the bloody part of the story. He’d been there. The horrors shown on the television barely scratched the surface of what went on in Vietnam. So many men dead and too many lives destroyed. He tamped down his anger and scanned the room once more. Where the hell was Sophie or Mario? One of them should surely be here to greet him.

"Noel?"

He paused. That voice wasn’t Sophie. Too smooth and sweet. Noel glanced over his shoulder, turning slowly. The blonde grinned and twiddled with the bracelet decorating her thin wrist. Her green eyes sparkled in the harsh lighting.

"Welcome home, Noel." She nibbled on her bottom lip then smiled.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

MILES'S REDEMPTION by Marisa Chenery

MILES'S REDEMPTION by Marisa Chenery

Roxie's Protectors

Miles knew using Dirk’s online dating service wouldn’t be the best way to find his mate and is proven right when his date stands him up. But his bad luck turns to good when his would-be mate walks through the restaurant’s doors.

Kareena has been on a dating dry streak since her fiancé of seven years dumped her the year before. She wants the hottie who sits close to her and her friends’ table to be the one to end it, but she doesn’t have enough nerve to go up and talk to him. But after meeting Miles, her life ends up going in a direction she never thought would exist. And she soon learns she is the only thing that can secure Miles’s redemption.


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Chapter One

Shutting off the engine on his black Audi, Miles let out a loud breath. He looked at the building in front of him. He had no idea why he’d allowed Jaden to talk him into this. It wasn’t going to work, no matter how accurate Dirk thought his online dating service was. There was no way in hell Miles would find his mate this way.

He got out of the car then pushed the button on the remote on his keychain to lock it. To make Jaden happy, and to make her stop bugging the crap out of him, Miles had finally caved in and set up a date with the mortal woman who was supposedly his closest match. From her picture on the dating service’s website, this Gail looked attractive enough, but he really had his doubts she’d end up being his mate. For one thing, she was mortal. Her lifespan was so much shorter than his. He was almost a thousand years old and was guaranteed to see another two thousand birthdays. And Miles knew, along with the rest of the werewolf population, there was no way to turn a mortal into one of their kind. He’d prefer his mate to be a werewolf so he wouldn’t have to suffer through losing her too early.

Miles headed for the entrance to the restaurant slash bar he’d chosen to meet up with his date. He snorted. He’d never thought he’d “date” anyone again. Ever since his relationship with Jaden’s mother—who hadn’t been his mate—had ended, he’d only sought out women who would be happy with a quick tumble in the sack and then move on. He hadn’t wanted anything else until Jaden had brought up the subject of him finding his mate. Deep down inside, he’d wanted what his daughter had with her mate, Leif.

He stepped inside the restaurant and went over to the hostess who smiled as he approached. “I have a reservation for two,” Miles said then gave her his name.

She took him to a table in the center of the room and placed two menus on its surface before she left. As Miles snagged one and pulled it in front of him, he hoped his date wouldn’t keep him waiting long. A quick look at his watch told him he was a few minutes early.

A waiter appeared and asked if Miles would like to order a drink. Miles decided he might as well and asked for a beer. A minute or so later, the waiter came back with his drink before leaving Miles alone once again.

More people came into the restaurant, but none of them was his date. Having an excellent view of the entrance from where he sat, Miles looked in that direction each time the door opened. And each time he didn’t see the mortal who was to meet up with him.

Fifteen minutes went by and then a half hour. Miles was already on his second beer when he reached the conclusion that he’d more than likely been stood up. Just to make sure, he took out his smart phone and checked the email account he’d set up just for communicating with his would-be “dates.” Sure enough, there was an email from Gail sent forty-five minutes earlier, saying she had to cancel and asking if they could arrange to meet another time.

Miles mentally crossed her off the list, not that there were any others on it besides Gail. This also gave him another reason why the online dating service wasn’t for him. He didn’t like being stood up by a woman he hadn’t even met and had only communicated with through the Internet.

With a sigh full of disgust, Miles lifted his bottle of beer to his lips and took a swallow. He’d finish this then go home. There was no point hanging around. Maybe he’d even order something from the restaurant for take-out.

He’d just looked down at the menu in front of him to see what he’d like when a new scent barreled into him like a speeding train. His head snapped up, and his gaze focused on the entrance. His grip on the bottle he held tightened as his cock went instantly rock hard, his mating urge slamming into him and riding his ass hard. Miles had to hold back a growl that threatened to punch out of him as he spotted a group of four women who’d just come into the restaurant. One of them was his would-be mate. He separated her scent from all the others in the large open space and dragged it deep, memorizing it.

As the hostess led the small group farther into the room, Miles kept his gaze glued to them. They came closer to his table. It was then he was able to zero in on which woman was meant to be his. He focused solely on her. The urge to go to her and drag her into his arms was hard to resist.

Instead, he settled for taking in everything about her. Shoulder-length light brown hair shined in the overhead lighting. Miles guessed her to be around five-foot-seven, tall for a mortal woman. Her dark brown eyes flashed as she laughed at something one of the other females said. He ran his gaze down her body from her beautiful face to a slim, curvy body and long, toned legs showcased in a pair of snug-fitting black jeans.

Miles’s cock jerked as he drew in another lungful of her scent as she walked past his table. He continued to follow her with his gaze, pleased to see the group snaked around tables and ended up sitting at a booth straight across from where he sat. He had an excellent view of his would-be mate as she slipped onto the bench seating.

He drained the last bit of his beer then set the bottle on the table. A short while later, his waiter approached him. This time Miles ordered something off the menu, not for take-out, and another beer. He’d be staying right where he was until the woman who was meant for him showed signs of leaving the restaurant. Drawn to the female who was meant to be his, the mating urge making it hard to focus on anything but her, he wouldn’t be going home until he’d taken steps to have them on the road to becoming mates.

*

“Here’s to the birthday girl,” Kareena said as she lifted her glass of wine toward her friend, Alice. “And to Lacy, who finally woke up, realized how much of an asshole her boyfriend was, and dumped his ass.” Kareena, Alice, Lacy, and their other friend, Natalie, took sips of their drinks.

“I guess that is something to celebrate besides me being one year older,” Alice said. She looked at Lacy. “Kareena is right, though. Evan was an asshole, and you can do so much better.”

Lacy sighed. “I know, I know. All I can say is the sex had been pretty damn good, and I stupidly turned a blind eye to Evan’s bad points because of it.”

“At least you came to your senses before you wasted years with him,” Natalie said. “He was the type of guy who would keep you around until he’d found something better.”

Kareena nodded. “Yeah, count yourself lucky. From firsthand experience, it’s not fun having to go through that.”

Up until last year, Kareena had been engaged for seven damn long years. Her ex had asked her to marry him when she’d been twenty-four. They’d been together for a year at that point. She’d been so happy and had agreed when Victor suggested a long engagement. Kareena had figured it would give her plenty of time to plan the wedding of her dreams. She’d never expected it to be quite so long. After a while she’d wondered if Victor actually really wanted to get married. She’d put some pressure on him to settle on a date. That had blown up in her face when he’d suddenly decided he didn’t want to be with her anymore. Now at thirty-two, Kareena figured Victor had taken some of the best years of her life. Ones she’d never get back.

Lacy, who sat next to Kareena, patted Kareena’s hand. “Your ex was an asshole too. And he has no idea what he gave up, but it’s his loss.”

“Thanks, Lacy,” Kareena said. “Now no more negative thoughts. Let’s get this celebration going.”

With their food and second round of drinks served, Kareena relaxed and set out to enjoy herself. She and her girlfriends didn’t get together like this as often as they used to. With all of them busy in their jobs, it was hard to find time when they all could meet up without someone’s schedule coming into conflict. Being an ER nurse, Kareena’s was the hardest one to work around.

On her fourth glass of wine and feeling a bit on the drunk side, Kareena figured one more drink would be her limit. She’d take a cab home, so it wasn’t as if she had to drive. After a week of twelve-hour shifts at the hospital, she needed to let her hair down and unwind.

Natalie, who sat on the opposite bench and on the outside like Kareena, cleared her throat. “Ah, Kareena, I think you’ve caught the notice of the hottie sitting alone a couple of tables away.”

“What?” she asked as she went to turn her head to look. Natalie stopped her before she could even get a glimpse.

“Don’t look,” her friend said. “At least don’t be blatant about it. Don’t make it appear as if you’ve noticed him. Make him work for it.”

Kareena rolled her eyes. Natalie was the type of woman who liked to make a man practically jump through hoops before she agreed to go out with him. Kareena wasn’t like that, but to make her friend happy, she did a slow sweep of the room, her gaze lingering for a few seconds longer on the table Natalie had indicated before finishing up with the rest.

She met her friend’s gaze. “Holy shit. You weren’t kidding when you called him a hottie. He’s freaking gorgeous.”

Natalie smiled. “I told you. And he’s stared at you since we sat down.”

Her other friends made sounds of appreciation when they too looked at the man. He wasn’t hard to miss with his blond hair so light it almost appeared white and his cover model face. And from what Kareena had seen of his upper body, the guy was really muscular, his wide shoulders and chest filling out the dark blue button-down shirt he wore to perfection.

“Who is to say he’s looking at me?” Kareena asked. “He could be watching any of you as well.”

Alice shook her head. “Nope, his gaze is right on you.” She moaned. “Oh god, he just smiled, which makes him even better looking.”

Kareena had to look again to see if Alice was right or not about him only focused on her. She turned her head in his direction then had to bite back a groan. He did indeed seem to stare at only her. Their gazes met, and her body responded with arousal. Her pussy clenched, and her nipples grew taut when she thought she saw hunger flash in his eyes even from the distance between him. Her blood heated, and she felt her face grow flush. She had a hard time tearing her gaze off him.

“I think you should go pick him up,” Lacy said.

Kareena stared at her friend as if she’d lost her mind. Kareena was drunk but not that drunk. “No,” she said firmly. “I’d have to have a hell of a lot more than this to drink to even consider it.”

Natalie pushed her drink over to Kareena. “Here, have mine. Pound it back, then go over to his table.”

“Go on,” Alice added.

“You can’t let him get away,” Lacy said, making it so all her friends had ganged up on Kareena.

She couldn’t believe she even considered doing it. Kareena reached for the drink Natalie had given her and drank it down in a few swallows. She then grimaced at the taste. Her friend’s drink had been vodka mixed with cranberry juice. Kareena hated cranberries, but the vodka would hit her harder than the wine.

“All right, here I go,” she said as she slid off the bench and stood.

Kareena found she wasn’t very steady on her feet as she slowly headed in the hunk’s direction. She was thankful she hadn’t worn high heels. She would have already ended up on her ass if she had. And wouldn’t that made a great first impression?

Her heart beat faster as she neared his table. You can do this, she told herself as a pep talk. But as his gaze latched on to her and didn’t waver, Kareena lost her nerve. She quickly changed direction and walked as fast as she could in her drunken state to the women’s washroom.

Once she was closed inside, she groaned as she silently called herself all kinds of vile names. While she was there, she used the toilet. Kareena was sure her friends were all shaking their heads at her. She hadn’t always been like this. Before her ex, she’d been more outgoing with the opposite sex. But since her breakup, she’d found she couldn’t get back into her old groove. Even though it’d been a year, Kareena hadn’t been out on a single date. With her busy work schedule, and trying to get over being dumped by her fiancé, she hadn’t made a point of getting back into the dating world. And being over thirty, she didn’t think that would be an easy task, anyway.

She washed her hands and took some deep, calming breaths. She’d march back out and walk straight to the guy’s table. She’d introduce herself then ask him to take her back to his place and screw her brains out. No. Kareena wouldn’t say that. Maybe he’d be more interested in sneaking her into the men’s room and taking her against the washroom stall door. She shook her head, which only made the room spin a bit. Where the hell had that idea come from? The men’s room? Ah, gross. She had to be drunker than she thought. Or horny enough to do the hunk anywhere. It had been a year since she’d last done the horizontal mambo, after all.

Kareena left the washroom and headed once more in the direction of the table where, thank god, the hottie still sat. His gaze latched on to her, and it felt as if he physically touched her breasts when it lingered there. She forgot to breathe as her pussy grew wet, an ache building deep inside it.

In her inattention, she stumbled into a chair, which made a screech as the legs dragged across the hardwood floor. Embarrassed by her klutziness, Kareena lost her nerve again and made a beeline for the table where her friends sat. She couldn’t even look over at the hunk to see what his reaction was.

Sliding onto the bench seat, she was grateful to see a full glass of wine on the table in her spot. Kareena picked it up and took a big sip. She looked at all her friends and found them giving her disappointed looks.

Kareena shrugged. “All right, I’m chicken shit and couldn’t do it.”

“You need to get out of the slump you’re in,” Alice said.

“I will. It just won’t be with him unless he comes over to talk to me.”

“And if he doesn’t?”

“Then it wasn’t meant to be.”

There was still disapproval on her friends’ faces, but they didn’t say anything else. Kareena finished her wine, knowing full well she’d gone over her limit and would probably come to regret it in the morning. Right now, she just felt way too good to care.

Once they’d taken care of the bill, all four of them slipped off the seats then headed for the restaurant’s entrance. Kareena was definitely not very steady on her feet, but she managed to keep in a straight line.

It didn’t remain that way when she reached the doors. She stepped back so Lacy could open them, and Kareena felt her sense of balance go all out of whack. She would have fallen, but a set of strong arms wrapped around her waist from behind and pulled her against a hard, male body. She turned her head to look up at who held her and saw it was the hunk. Her mouth suddenly went dry, especially when she felt the unmistakable ridge of his erection pressing into the small of her back. Arousal tore through her, making her knees feel even weaker.

He smiled. “I’ve got you.”

“Hi,” she said, the one word coming out a bit slurred.

“Let me help you outside.”

Kareena didn’t say a word as he shifted her to his side and tucked her under his arm. He was tall, had to be at least six-foot-three. She liked tall men since she was no munchkin. The heat from his body seemed to envelope her as she put her arm around his waist to anchor herself. The scent of his cologne hit her nose, and she dragged in a lungful of it, liking the smell.

Outside, her friends gave her encouraging smiles and said their good-byes, leaving Kareena alone with the hottie. She was sure she’d get phone calls from all of them tomorrow.

She looked at the hunk and found him intently watching her. Her pussy clenching with need, Kareena said the first thing that came to her mind. “I’m Kareena. Why don’t you take me back to your place?” Of course all her words kind of slurred together, but the smile he flashed her said he didn’t seem to mind.

“I’m Miles,” he said in his deep voice. “Are you sure you’re in any condition for that?”

“I’ll admit I’m a bit drunk, but I’m good.”

“How about I drive you home instead?”

“Okay. You can spend the night with me.”

He chuckled and walked her over to the parking lot and a fancy black Audi. With a push of a button, he had the car unlocked. Once he had the passenger door open, he helped her onto the leather seat and waited until she’d buckled her seat belt before he closed her inside. In a matter of seconds, he was behind the wheel and starting the engine.

Kareena settled deeper into the seat as Miles backed up then drove out of the parking lot. Her eyes grew heavy when he merged with the traffic. Unable to keep them open any longer, she fell into a deep sleep.


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Friday, July 27, 2012

THE MILKMAN COMETH by Kate Richards

THE MILKMAN COMETH by Kate Richards

The Edge Series from Decadent Publishing

Roberto’s reputation extends far beyond his efficiency as a milkman. He also provides intimate services to the many lonely ladies along his route. But he’s had his eye on a lovely divorcee for quite some time. One who has ignored all his flirting, so far.

Alice is ready to make a fresh start. Treated as the tract harlot, just because she’s on her own, she’s ready to make that name a reality. And she’s going to begin with the handsome milkman who has let her know on several occasions that he’s ready to deliver.

Roberto is playing with fire—a fiery redhead whose surprising innocence may steal his heart and leave the ladies of his route unsatisfied once again!


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~Excerpt~

She twisted back and forth in front of the frustratingly inadequate mirror with the annoying ripple in the middle that made her nose look bent. Her hair in place, only a little eyeliner, rouge, a quick flick of the mascara brush on her lashes and to groom her brows. And a bit of lipstick. Her longline girdle did what it promised and gave her an hourglass shape; the new black bra held her breasts high and proud. Determination straightened her back.

Panic weakened her knees. Her fluffy pink marabou mules with the three-inch heels did nothing to help her balance. She dropped into her vanity seat and groaned. Why was she even trying? Glenn found his secretary more attractive, and who could blame him? At nearly thirty, her best days were behind her. She should just thank her lucky stars that her ex was even willing to support her and stop making a fool of herself.

But still….

With every one of her so-called friends avoiding her, she had to do something.

And if that milkman, if Roberto was still interested, she would take him up on his offer.

Today.

A whistle and the clumping footsteps of her morning visitor drifted up from the direction of the kitchen door. Jumping up from the bench, she steadied herself on the edge of the dresser and wobbled toward the door, grabbing a sheer new robe and slipping it over her lingerie as she went.

If they were going to treat her as the neighborhood loose woman, she’d better make sure she had some fun along the way. And that tall, dark, and handsome Latin man, in his crisp, pressed white uniform was her first target. After him…who knew! Maybe the dry cleaner, he was kind of cute. And single, as well.

Because despite what those happy housewives whispered over their coffee and Danish, she did not covet their hubbies—or any married man. She’d never put anyone through the experience she’d barely survived. Never. Anger heated her cheeks in memory and she stopped to take a deep breath and let it out.

Wait! The whistling was moving away. She tripped into the kitchen as fast as her fashionable, movie star slippers allowed, clicking on the light and sashaying—carefully—to the door.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

JUST FOR FUN by Erin Nicholas

JUST FOR FUN by Erin Nicholas

There’s having fun… And then there’s falling in love.

The Bradfords, Book 4

It was a chance meeting, a spontaneous, hot moment, a never-to-be-repeated encounter. So when the gorgeous redhead he knows only as Sugar walks into the bar and heads straight for him, Doug “Dooley” Miller knows he’s in trouble. But he’s sure not going to mind.

She needs a date to some swanky something-or-other. He’s a fish-sticks-and-denim guy, but for a woman who’s not afraid to get naughty in an elevator, he can stand a couple days of smoked salmon and Armani.

Morgan James admits she doesn’t really know Doug, but she needs him to keep her mind—and hands—off her ex. A man who, despite the fact he stole her ideas, she’s afraid could charm her into repeating her mistakes. Only Doug can make her forget the weasel exists. Besides, it’s just this one time.

What started as not even a one-night stand has Dooley feeling things that he’s never felt before. And that’s outside of the bedroom. Don’t even get him started on what’s happening between the sheets. Why does he have a feeling that, as far as flings go, they’re doing something wrong? Then again, if they’re falling in love, they might just be getting that right.

Warning: Contains a woman who knows what she wants, a man who knows what he doesn’t want, and a proposition that shows them both that they’ve never really wanted anything like this before.

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Copyright © 2012 Erin Nicholas
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

The sexy redhead who’d just stepped into the bar had been wearing far fewer clothes the last time he’d seen her.

But there was no doubt that she was the woman responsible for the hottest night of his life. Dooley Miller turned back to the bar and picked up his beer.

Well, shit.

This couldn’t be good.

“Hi, I’m looking for Douglas Miller. Do you know him?”

Just as he would have expected, his friends and co-workers parted like the Red Sea. It wasn’t that Dooley didn’t ever have women looking for him or wanting to find him. But he’d never had a woman who carried herself with such smooth confidence and obvious sophistication looking for him. None of the guys in the bar had, for that matter.

She was a whole different league.

He dated nice women, beautiful women, sexy women.

This woman was all of that times about ten thousand. Even the nice part. Though he doubted he was going to be seeing any of that in the near future.

He took a final fortifying swig, sighed and swiveled on his stool. He’d known, from minute one with her, that she wasn’t actually a stripper.

“Hi, Sugar.”

“You’re already calling her Sugar?” Mac, one of his best friends, asked.

Calling a woman Sugar did imply a relationship, after all.

Though having hot sex in public and spending an hour in jail together probably didn’t constitute a relationship.

“Sugar’s her name.”

“Actually it’s not. It’s Morgan.” She put her hand on one hip and regarded him with a mixture of amusement and irritation. An interesting combination to pull off.

Morgan. Something about knowing her real first name made him take a deep breath. “Sugar fits.” He took a drink of his beer as he watched her.

God he could still remember the taste of her skin against his tongue. And the way she moved. And the way she sounded.

All very, very sweet.

“I’m not sure that’s a compliment, considering you don’t know me.”

“I know some stuff.”

Her cheeks got pink and her eyes narrowed. “I suppose you’re going to try to convince me you played baseball for the Arkansas Travelers.”

He grinned. He’d known there was no way she’d recognize the name of his father’s favorite minor league baseball player, but he’d been sure she’d known it wasn’t his name.

“You Googled me?”

“I Googled, curious about the name you gave me. It didn’t sound totally made up.”

They’d agreed to use fake names. He’d pulled his out of his head right away. When she’d paused, probably trying to think creatively through all the Kahlua, he’d suggested Sugar. He’d also mentioned it sounded like a stripper name. She’d grinned and said, “Perfect.”

Even thirty minutes into knowing her, he’d been aware that the woman was far too high class to have ever set foot in a strip club.

“So how’d you find me?”

“You told me you were the CEO of St. Anthony’s Medical Center.”

“Did I?” Crap, that had been dumb.

“Lucky for me the actual CEO’s assistant immediately knew who I was talking about when I described you.”

“You went to his office?”

“He wants to talk to you on Monday.”

Dooley lifted his beer. He was sure he did.

“So—” she slid up onto the stool next to him, “—remember when you told me if I ever needed anything all I had to do was ask?”

He looked over at her, truly taking in the details now. She was wearing a pantsuit. A nice one that even showed a little cleavage, but a pantsuit nonetheless.

He preferred the cherry-red dress she’d worn to the fundraiser. The tight cherry-red dress that left her shoulders bare and clung to her curves.

That really didn’t sound like him. “I said that?”

“No, but it’s what you should have said.” She scowled at him. “Especially after you got me arrested and left me in jail while you paid your bail and walked out.”

Dooley didn’t have to look at his friends to know their expressions ranged from shocked to downright entertained.

In fact, he stoically avoided looking at them. “You had to pay bail?”

She frowned harder. “Fine, they finally let me out without bail. You still left me there.”

He’d paid her bail. That’s why they hadn’t asked her for it. But he didn’t want her to know it.

The whole night with this woman had been out of control from the beginning, and getting arrested had been the sobering moment when he realized he was headed for nothing but trouble with her. He’d been in a cell before. Having a mark on his record didn’t bother him. But it bothered him that he’d let things get so out of control it had affected someone else. Usually the other people with him in the cell were there because they deserved it.

In the jail cell it had become impossible to ignore that this woman was the complete opposite of the sexy-girl-just-looking-for-a-good-time she’d portrayed. He didn’t get involved with classy women.
They naturally needed things he couldn’t give. Like money, for example.

That wasn’t his type. He wasn’t interested. It had been time to go.

Now she was here, had found him, in his regular hang-out. And the scene was all unfolding in front of an audience of his friends. Awesome.

“I need your help. And you owe me.”

“You need my help?” He faced her fully for the first time. He’d been avoiding it because he knew the moment he looked into her eyes, he’d feel like he’d been punched in the stomach.

He was right.

She was stunning. Her auburn hair fell to her mid-back when it was down. She had a killer body with generous breasts and curvy hips, enough for a man to have something to hold onto. But her legs were long and toned and her butt was tight.

She should have been a stripper. It wasn’t fair to humankind to not share every glorious inch.

She had a redhead’s pale, creamy skin, but there hadn’t been a freckle in sight. At least as far as he could tell. The lighting in the elevator had been good, but he hadn’t gotten her completely undressed. Just enough.

Her startlingly bright green eyes could have easily been mistaken for contact lenses, but they were real. They’d looked at him as if he could give her the world. Which had been exactly what he’d wanted her to think that first night. It was supposed to have been their last night as well.

She wasn’t looking at him like she thought he was a big shot hero right now.

He was dressed, as usual, in a pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt. His tennis shoes had seen better days, which made them his favorite shoes. They’d just come off a twelve-hour shift and he had some stubble going and knew his eyes were bloodshot from the lack of sleep he’d had last night.

He looked nothing like the man she’d met five weeks ago.

He did look great in a tux.

“Believe me, I’m not thrilled about it either,” she said, referring to needing his help. “But, as unbelievable as this may sound, I need your sophistication and—” she looked him up and down in obvious doubt, “—charm.”

There was a moment of shocked silence and Dooley braced himself.

Then his friends let loose with three equally delighted and loud whoops of laughter.

Sophistication and charm were not adjectives most people would assign him.

But Sugar—well, she’d seen his best side for sure. The side he’d almost forgotten he had.

Dammit, it had been fun.

Suddenly Kevin Campbell, another of his friends, bumped into her. Sam and Mac had shoved him forward.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, with the goofy grin that always had girls making goo-goo eyes at him.

“This is the best we can offer in the sophistication and charm department,” Mac said, slapping Kevin on the shoulder. “There are no promises here either, but he goes to church and eats with utensils.”

Dooley rolled his eyes. He deserved all of this. Had any of his friends been on the receiving end of the gorgeous redhead’s attention he would have been doing the same exact thing.

He had to get her out of here.

But before he could tell her that, she turned and looked Kevin up and down. “The next time I need to pray or have dinner I’ll keep him in mind. What I need right now, though, I need from him.” She pointed at Dooley.

Mac, Sam and Kevin raised their eyebrows in unison.

“You sure?” Sam asked.

“Oh, yeah.” She said it in a husky, seductive voice that had Dooley’s blood pumping harder.

There were only three things she knew he was good at: dressing up, playing Blackjack and giving her orgasms.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

COWBOY OUTCASTS by Stacey Espino


COWBOY OUTCASTS by Stacey Espino


Callum O'Shea has segregated himself from a world that rejected him since childhood. His older brother, Arden, protected him from life...but even he can only take so much of the isolation.


When a young university student offers to help with Callum's hog problem in exchange for room and board, he's not in a financial position to refuse. He's surprised when she doesn't judge him for his Tourette's Syndrome. But he's learned that good things rarely last.


Hailey Watson tried to prove her parents wrong by being the best scientist she could be. When her research funding is cut off, her world spirals out of control. With the help of Callum and Arden, the reclusive Irish cowboys, she learns there is more to life than success at her job. But are the two hardcore cowboys capable of real love?

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The decision appeared to be made, an unspoken confirmation passing between the two men. They were like a team, moving and acting as if they’d rehearsed every touch. The more they dared to advance, the more forceful they became. They reminded her of sharks getting a taste of blood. She welcomed their animalistic behavior. Arden slid her panties down, leaving her completely naked and vulnerable.


Part of her was thrilled that Callum allowed Arden to participate, bringing her fantasy to realization. But did it mean his commitment to her was weak? Was she a sexual object rather than relationship material in his eyes? She pushed her worries aside and savored the feel of their hands worshiping her body. They felt warm and strong, knowing where to touch and not to touch. So far her pussy had been avoided, allowing her time to liquefy, molten heat slipping down her inner thigh.


“Callum…” She ran her hand through his short, dark hair as he trailed kissed down the center of her breast bone. Only last week she’d been a virgin. Now her entire world had opened up, exposing her to the wickedest erotic experiences.


“I thought the townsfolk would have warned you about coming here. We’re to be avoided at all costs, or didn’t you hear?” asked Arden, tugging her head back by a handful of her hair. He stared into her eyes as his brother travelled lower down her body, his lips grazing her sensitive flesh.


“I’m not afraid. I want you both.” Her words felt foreign after she’d spoken. She hoped she hadn’t offended Callum or said the wrong thing aloud. Maybe this was another test and she’d failed by desiring both brothers. She couldn’t help her human nature, or ignore the little voice inside her head that screamed both men were meant to be hers.


“I’ve never shared a woman,” said Callum.


“It’ll be a first for all of us.” Arden descended on her lips, crushing his mouth to hers. He tasted masculine, addicting. She kissed him back, not even concerned with breathing at this point. His stubble scraped her cheeks and his fingers combed through her hair, holding her head in place.
How had this happened? Hailey felt as if she were having an out of body experience—floating, soaring, being carried along on the waves of lust. The O’Shea men may be cowboy outcasts, but she wanted nothing more. She just hoped their ménage would stand the test of time. At this point she wasn’t sure it would last the night.


“Are you still cold?” asked Arden.


“I’m hot.” She felt like an inferno was building in her cunt, growing and spreading out to her extremities. Hailey ran her hands over Arden’s shoulders and chest, savoring the firmness of his muscles. He was larger than life, visibly perfect and beyond tempting. Wicked thoughts flitted in her head. She wanted the cowboy duo to take control of her body, make her theirs. Any inhibitions she may have had fled the moment they both agreed to share.


Callum’s tongue swiped up her folds, startling her. The intensity was all consuming, making her knees weak. She couldn’t believe he’d just licked her pussy. And she wanted more. He secured her hips with his big hands, suckling her clit and exploring with his lively tongue. The sensations were electric. Each time Callum would clear his throat, the brief respite only added to her growing bliss.


Arden grabbed her wrist and brought it to the front of his black jeans. His cock was ramrod hard, making her gasp. He smirked, a devilish tilt of the lips. “You have no idea what you’re in store for, sweetheart.”


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Saturday, July 21, 2012

DEAD AWAKE by Lizzie T. Leaf

Dead Series Book One

Waking up to discover you're dead isn't a gal's idea of fun.

Deb Stein loved to party until she took the hunk dressed as a vampire to her bed. Now she’s one of the living dead and pissed about it. Plus, she has to find a new identity and WORK!
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Deb eyed the man with distrust. Was he some sick pervert who lurked around funeral homes waiting for an opportunity to sneak in and do who knows what to a dead body? Gross. The scandal rags were probably filled with headlines about her reported death, and this weirdo thought it would be cool to get it on with someone famous. 
Too damned bad I spoiled his plans by walking out alive. Screw you, Freako.

“Guess again.” Daniel’s dark eyes bore into her. “My dear, if I wanted to be with someone famous I wouldn’t have to wait for them to die…nor, would it be you.”

Well, he doesn’t have to be so persnickety and openly sneer at the thought of doing me! He might be good looking, but it isn’t like he’s God’s gift to women. And he’s old. He must be at least forty-five. “So what are you doing here?” Wait a minute, it’s like he read my mind.

He sighed and shook his head. “I promised a friend I’d help you understand what has happened to you. And yes, I can read your thoughts.”

Freaky. A mind reader, but he knows what’s going on with my situation. Excitement suppressed her doubts. Finally, she was going to find out what happened. Perhaps she had some rare strange disease that only a few people knew about.

He studied her for a long moment with his intense black eyes and she had to resist the urge to squirm. Maybe she didn’t want to know what he was going to tell her.

“Your condition is the result of…an accident. My friend didn’t mean to get carried away and turn you into one of the living dead.”

“The what?” How did she manage to get hooked up with these weirdoes? “Are you frigging nuts?” His dark glare stopped her from saying more.

“For your information, I’m saner than you’re going to feel shortly.” He held up a hand to stop her question. “Let me finish before you start with your questions.” His voice teetered on boredom as he went on to explain what happened to her Halloween night.

The story may have bored him, but by the time he completed his tale, she was boiling mad. “You’re telling me I’m a vampire.”

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

PANIC BUTTON: LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND by Gilbert M. Stack

PANIC BUTTON: LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND by Gilbert M.Stack
When Angie Specter won a slot on the Reality TV show, Panic Button: Lighthouse Island, she promised herself she wasn't going to be involved in a showmance. She's a serious contestant and wants that $250,000 prize. Showmance contestants are weak and foolish, and Angie has no intention of being used by some handsome guy. That is, until she meets Hank. Not only is Hank Cross very handsome, he's as strong and capable as Angie.

When the show's crazy host begins using terror to drive contestants off the island, Angie and Hank quickly figure out that if they don't help each other, they may not live long enough to push their Panic Button.
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~Excerpt~
At the bottom of the stairs he turned to look at them and grinned. “Are you coming?” he asked.
Hank was the first to step forward and follow him down the stairs.
“It’s funny, but he’s actually got me nervous about going down there,” Ronnie confided in a hushed whisper.
“It’s just a cellar, right?” Angie said.
“Sure,” Ronnie whispered back. “It’s just a dark and lonely cellar, probably covered with critters—rats and bugs and—”
“Shut up!” Heather snapped before hugging herself.“I hate spiders!”
“I’m waiting!” the Keeper told them.
Angie stepped forward after Hank thinking that—sexist stereotyping or not—it would have been nice if Rook, the other big strong man, had volunteered to take the lead with Hank.
The cellar smelled dank and moldy and it was definitely far too dark with only the one lantern eliminating its very weak light. She moved closer to the Keeper so she could see better. “Can you make the light in that lantern brighter?” she asked. “I can hardly see anything down here.”
The Keeper smiled and Angie immediately wished she’d kept her mouth shut. Of course, not being able to see was part of the atmosphere he was trying to create.
Hank put a reassuring hand on her shoulder and Angie instinctively moved closer to him. His hand slid around her back and pulled her slightly closer yet. It felt good to have that little extra assurance that she wasn’t alone down here.
The Keeper waited, apparently patiently, while the other contestants filed down the stairs. When they finished congregating, he started to speak again. “This is John Lamb’s cellar. When he was alive and in control of this Residence, I’m quite certain that it was packed with supplies and perhaps some of the items he’d scavenged from the wrecks of ships. Unfortunately, the British took everything he had after they murdered the man.”
He angrily shook his head from side to side, then looked up and smiled most unpleasantly. “Well, almost everything I should say.”
He stepped away from Angie and Hank to stand in front of Rook, staring closely at him for several seconds before moving on to Ginny. “Can you imagine what they left behind, Miss Freeze?”
Ginny looked far more frightened than any of the rest of them, and all she could do by way of a response was to jerk her head from side to side.
The Keeper moved on, stopping in front of Ronnie.“In 1752, four years after John Lamb first took up residence on this island, the slave ship, Madrigal, was breached on those evil shoals out there. Somehow—and I really don’t know how it happened since all of the slaves should have been chained in the hold of the vessel—two of those savages actually survived the wreck to wash up on the shores of this island. Lamb captured them, of course, and sold them to a friend in Charleston for a very tidy profit.”
He stopped talking and tried to stare Ronnie down, but she glared back at him so ferociously that he decided to move on to the professor. “But the incident made the first Keeper think about the future. He was alone on the island with only his servants, his wife and his young daughters.
“What if there had been six savages instead of two? What if they were more physically recovered when he had discovered them? What if they hadn’t been broken by their journey in the dark holds of the slave ship? What if they had tried to harm him or his little girls? Lamb decided that it would be prudent to use some of his profit on the savages to make preparations in case he should be blessed with a similar bounty in the future.”
Tobias’s face clearly showed his revulsion at the story, which made the Keeper almost cackle with glee. He stepped away from the professor and went to the nearest wall where Angie could now see a pair of two foot chains had been affixed to the stone floor about two and a half feet apart. At the end of each chain was an ugly iron manacle.
“Oh no,” Ronnie whispered. In the deathly silence of the cellar she might as well have shouted the words.
The Keeper looked in her direction. The lamp wasn’t bright enough to illuminate her clearly, but he could obviously make out her shadowy shape. “Unfortunately, the sea can be a most stingy lover and she didn’t gift Keeper Lamb with any more slaves.” He sighed and shook his head as if this were truly a terrible thing. Then he knelt down beside the chains and picked up one of the manacles. It was a large, ugly, barbaric piece of steel.
“They were quite expensive, you know. They have locks actually built into them. They were made in London and shipped here to help the king’s governor with his constabulary duties, but then items always have a way of going missing from government inventories, don’t they?
“But they remained down here with the rats and mice and no new savages came to require their services. But Keeper Lamb was an enterprising sort of man—gifted in finding uses for all of his resources. And it occurred to him one day when he was beating one of his daughters that this was a much better way to discipline the girl than sending her to her bedroom.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DOCTOR ME UP by Sandy Sullivan

DOCTOR ME UP by Sandy Sullivan

Montana Cowboys 5

Betrayed by the one heart she thought she could call her own, all because he cheated. Elizabeth Weston didn't know who to believe anymore. The masked stranger she met at the ball several months ago, disappeared from her life like a thief in the night. Her "fiancé" tossed her love away like yesterdays news. Now she's back home to lick her wounds and start over.

Marcus Melton is the county veterinarian, not Elizabeth's dashing, debonair man of mystery. Could he be the tuxedo wearing masked stranger of her fantasies? He wants to find out.

Cattle are dying and bullets are flying. Who's trying to ruin the Weston's ranch while leaving dead bodies in their wake? You're about to find out when you delve into the lives of Red Rock's up and coming physicians in Doctor Me Up.

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~Excerpt~

An explosion of shattering glass silenced the noisy terminal of Los Angeles International airport. Elizabeth Weston dropped the champagne bottle and fluted glasses she'd brought to celebrate her engagement to Armand Listolini into the large metal trashcan sitting near one of the pillars. Anger, disgust and frustration rolled down her back in a nauseating wave of sensation as she watch him step away from a tall, slender blonde. Never in a million years did she suspect he'd been cheating on her. Apparently he had. For how long? Right now, she didn't care. It was enough to know he cheated once.

"You sorry son of a bitch!" she screamed, grabbing her perfect stiletto heel and throwing it at his head. Unfortunately, he quickly ducked as the heel careened on past him to lodge itself against the wall. How many women has he been with while he'd been with her? "Did you take your fuck buddy with you to New York, Ari?"

"Elizabeth, calm down." With his hands stretched out in front of him, he almost looked sorry, whether for being caught or because he'd cheated, she wasn't sure.

The pleading look didn't calm her, only fanned the flames of her anger. "Calm down my ass!"
"Sweetheart, let me explain."

"Explain what? You came down the escalator with your tongue down her throat. What's there to explain?" She laughed hysterically as she hobbled on one heel back and forth in front of the baggage claim. The plan to surprise him was tossed in the trashcan along with the expensive champagne she'd bought to celebrate. "Or maybe you want to explain the receipt to Coleman's on your desk? The one I thought might be for an engagement ring since we've been fucking for over a year." The other heel sailed toward his head. Her aim missed. The shoe bounced off his chest, leaving the imprint of her heel on his expensive suit. "Instead you gave a bauble to her."

His expression screamed boredom at her antics and it did nothing but fuel her fury to raging. "Really, Elizabeth. Hysteria doesn't become you." He absently swiped at the dirt on his jacket.

She flicked a glance to the woman at his side wearing a matching expression. A gorgeous emerald and diamond necklace at her slim throat. The bitch. Blonde, stunning and tall, the designer dress hugging her curves to show off each dip and valley to perfection, made Elizabeth hate her all the more.

"Hysteria? You want to see hysteria. I'm just getting started, buddy." With both hands firmly planted on her hips, she pulled her lip back in a snarl. "I'm a redneck girl from Montana, remember? The one apparently not good enough for the likes of you, well guess what? You can have your painted up, botoxed until she explodes, fake boobs and liposuctioned bimbo. I'm done with your ass. Take your pencil dick and shove it up her ass from now on. I do hope he's better in bed with you than with me, honey, because he sure lacked for any imagination."

Not aware of the crowd gathering, she flushed when a round of applause rippled through the group. At this point, she didn't give a shit about the scene she made especially looking back at Ari again. His complexion had turned a ruddy color instead of the even tan he usually sported. Hopefully he'd burn in hell for his cheating ways. Or maybe his dick would fall off. One could always hope for the best.
"You'll be sorry you made such a scene, Elizabeth."

"Sorry? Seriously?" She shook her head as she laughed. "Shall I call a few of my friends from redneckville Montana and have them come out here to kick your ass for you? I'm sure my brother and his friend Kale would love to use you as a punching bag for a few rounds." A sobering thought crossed her mind. "I should have known." Pressing her lips together, she looked up at the ceiling for a moment as tears gathered in her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. Never in a million years would she let him know how much this hurt. "All the time we've been together was a game for you. See how long you can tie up the backwoods girl in a knot while you're fucking your newest investor on the side."

"Did you think I would be interested in something long term with you?" He snorted, making her want to punch him. "You're a nobody from a small ranching community in Montana, Elizabeth. I, on the other hand, own a large international shipping company. I need someone on my arm who can keep up with me in style, poise and mannerisms. You, although you are hot between the sheets, are a country girl to the bone. You wear T-shirts to bed. You insist on doing yard work. You want to own a horse!"

She moved so she stood within arm's reach of him. "I may be a country girl, but don't fuck with me."
Despite the skimpy black dress, primping all day with hair done just so, makeup perfectly applied, mani and pedi at the salon, she'd stood ready to receive the surprise she knew was coming when Ari returned from New York, not the shock of a lifetime. With her hand clenched in a fist, she pulled back her arm and let the punch fly hoping she connected with something—maybe knock a tooth out.
Pain screamed up her arm as she watched Ari stumble back to land on his butt. "Shit, that hurt." She shook her hand, grimacing. After she spun on her bare feet, she headed for the front door of the airport to retrieve her car. Let him suck eggs through a straw for the next couple of days. Fucking bastard. "How dare he use me like this."

Tears streamed down her cheeks, dripping off the end of her chin. She really thought he loved her and she loved him, didn't she? Real passion didn't exist except in fairytales. Men didn't illicit those types of feelings in her. She just figured she couldn't get sexually aroused like most woman. The scrape of a man's hand over her skin, the brush of his kiss on her lips, his tongue lightly flicking against her mouth before taking the kiss he wanted, those things might turn her on if she ever felt them, but so far she just tolerated sex.

Only one man ever got her blood pumping and her skin tingling.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

DIVINE KNIGHT by Michelle L. Levigne

DIVINE KNIGHT by Michelle Levigne

A Neighborlee, Ohio Story

Enemies converge on Divine's Emporium. The question of whether they succeed rests in the secrets of Angela's forgotten past.

Equinox: Maurice has a day of full-size freedom to spend with his true love, Holly. Their day of fun ends in panic, when Angela is attacked and the defenses of Divine's Emporium are breached. In the search to find out who hired thieves to steal books full of inimical magic from the shop and provided them with magic charms to do it, Angela's memories are stirred. Strange dreams disturb her sleep and she asks questions she hasn't thought of in decades.

Ethan Jarrod, a particularly gifted P.I. with some mysteries of his own, joins forces with local P.I. John Stanzer to identify Angela's enemies. Is Jarrod the knight from her dreams, or the final weapon of her enemies, to destroy all the magic of Divine's Emporium and Angela herself?
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~Excerpt~

The winkies circled a painting that sat on a crate near the doorway. They kept trying to light on the frame and then flittering off again almost immediately. No wonder, Maurice decided a moment later, when he narrowed his eyes and separated the agitated red light of the winkies from the agitated red haze of magic coating the frame.

Then he saw the two hands gripping the bottom of the frame, the knuckles white and the tips of the fingers turning purple from trapped blood. He lunged forward, going to his knees on the crates, and grabbed hold of Angela's wrists. A hot sheet of irritated, strained magic wrapped around him, yanking the breath out of his lungs for a moment.

Angela looked up at him, pale and sweating, her lips bitten through and bloody, her eyes wide. Maurice nearly roared from the sudden stab of fear that cut through him. Angela's customary serenity was entirely missing--she was afraid and in pain.

"Hold on, Angie-baby," he growled, and threw himself backwards, using all his weight to yank her up and out of the painting.

Holly shouted. Behind him, he was vaguely aware of running feet, thudding on the landing and then down the stairs.

Maurice gritted his teeth and leaned backwards when the painting's magic got stubborn and resisted him. For a precious couple of heartbeats, Angela hung in mid-air, stretched between Maurice's grip and the painting's, still caught in it from the knees down.

At last something snapped, and there was a smell like ozone and hairs caught in a blow dryer. The two of them went tumbling toward the door of the painting room. Angela landed on him, her elbow in his gut, and Maurice saw stars when the back of his head hit the edge of a crate.

"You…okay?" he gasped, trying to convince his diaphragm to resume working and let him breathe.

"Maurice." Angela nodded. Sweat coated her face and darkened her hair. She closed her eyes and took a couple deep breaths. "Thank you."

"Hey, what are pals for?" Then he realized something was wrong. Missing. "Holly?"

"They took her." She staggered to her feet and past him.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

HERE WITHOUT YOU by Megan Slayer

HERE WITHOUT YOU by Megan Slayer

Some guys have all the luck and some guys love the pain. Slash Gunderson knows that feeling well. His place behind the drums for Glow is a dream come true. Can he accept his need for kink and the man who makes his heart beat?

Hiram Moline loves his job as the head of security for Glow. He's also in love with Slash. There's one major glitch -- someone has been sending Slash threatening letters. Hiram's not about to let anything happen to Slash. Can he convince Slash they've got something strong or will the stalker get the upper hand?

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Here Without You
Megan Slayer
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Megan Slayer

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

"There is nothing like the feeling of walking in the door after a long tour and knowing you don't have to go anywhere for at least a week." Slash Gunderson tossed his duffle bag onto the floor and took a deep breath. The pine scent of his rustic home swirled around him, embracing him like an old friend. He loved the sound of silence. He'd thought about getting a bulldog or a couple of cats, but touring made having a pet damned near impossible. The silence also reminded him he didn't have the one thing he really wanted -- someone to share the house with. Not a roommate or a housemate, but a lover. Someone he trusted and wanted to be around. Sure, he loved the guys from Glow like brothers, but being that two were married and one was in a permanent relationship, he wasn't likely to score a hook-up.

Hook-ups. Slash toed off his running shoes, then flipped through the mail he'd picked up from the floor. No one really knew his address, so getting mail was like getting gold. "Bill, bill, bill," he muttered and flipped through the thin stack of envelopes.

One envelope bore smears and a scrawled address line. The return address had suffered more smearing, but the handwriting... he knew that writing. Knew it eerily well. V -- the crazy behind the mutilation letters -- was back.

He gulped and fought back the bile on his tongue.

The author of the letter made a point in large script to let Slash know who he or she was -- sort of. Another letter couldn't be good, and this one had something heavy in it.

The more Slash touched the envelope, the more he realized there wasn't just a piece of paper inside. Slash looked around the foyer and tossed the letter on the floor. Damn. If someone wanted to poison him, especially V, then Slash's need to read the mail had helped start the process.

He dropped the remaining letters onto the side table and took out his cell. He pressed the buttons to call the one person he trusted. Save for the police and the other guys in the band, there weren't too many people Slash counted on. Hiram ranked in the top slot.

"Moline."

The tingle shooting up Slash's spine shifted from fear to excitement. Every time he heard Hiram's bass voice, his body reacted. Hiram Moline's ensemble screamed, "I can kick your ass with a smile and not break a sweat." All muscle and brood with the right amount of snarl to make him sexy. Just being around Hiram scrambled Slash's brains. "Hey, man. I've got an envelope here. Can't read the damn thing."

"Okay. Is it like before?"

"I think so."

Besides being the best security guard Slash knew, Hiram cared. They'd gone out more than a couple times and ended the night together. They had a bond, unconventional, with handcuffs and a serious need to be spanked, but a bond nonetheless. When Hiram held him, Slash felt at ease and adored. Was that nuts?

"I'll be there in a moment."

The reassurance in Hiram's voice lifted Slash's spirits for a heartbeat. "How?" Where was Hiram if he could be there in a little bit? Slash turned to the sound of gravel crunching and peeked through the glass panels on either side of the front door. The fear subsided a bit.

Hiram climbed out of his truck and marched up the walkway. Good timing. Slash disconnected the call and placed the phone next to the discarded mail. "I was on my way here anyway. I wanted to talk to you, but I'd like to get this sorted out first. Let me see what you have."

Normally when Hiram walked through the door, all Slash could think of was jumping on him. Not with a strange letter lying at his feet. The fear came back and lumped in his belly.

"Fuck." Slash tapped his foot. "I should've called the cops first." God, he hated when his confidence tanked.

"Probably." Hiram's brows knotted and the muscles in his jaw tensed. "Doesn't look suspicious, but hell, who knows with this shit?" He groaned. "I'm not sure what the hell to do. If we open it and it's got something wicked in it, we're fucked. If it's on the level, we're not." He shook his head. "Fuck it. I don't feel right about letting it go."

Slash's skin crawled. He listened to Hiram make the phone call, but his thoughts went every which way. The life of a rock star quite frankly rocked. He loved every moment in the studio, the concerts for the fans, the meetings with the Glow Kids. Touring left a bit to be desired, but most of that was the time sitting idle in the bus. Whoever said the miles were endless wasn't kidding. He blew out a long breath and swallowed past the lump of fear in his throat. He held one of the scariest parts of being famous -- people who wanted to harm anyone in the media spotlight. His palms sweated and his foot bounced like it did when he got nervous. Having Hiram there helped, but as Hiram said, who knew what was in the letter?

Hiram nodded again and slipped his phone into the holster on his jeans pocket. "Called Mitchell Green with the Olmstead Police Department. He said they'd bag it and test your hand for chemicals. Shouldn't be ten minutes. No sweat."

No sweat. Slash closed his eyes. The only thing he feared more than the damned envelope was an attack from a fan. For all he knew the letter was the attack. He'd always imagined someone would try to hurt him while he was on stage.

"You're over-thinking." Hiram stepped in close enough his breath warmed Slash's cheeks. "Hey. I'm not about to let anyone hurt you."

Without looking at Hiram, Slash opened his eyes. The honesty in Hiram's voice got to him. His heart raced. Fuck buddies weren't supposed to have feelings for each other, and that was what he and Hiram were, right? He had to say something. "You say that to all the band members. Half the band is your family."

There, that put the emotions on ice and got his blossoming feelings back behind the wall surrounding his heart.

"That's not fair." Hiram tipped Slash's chin up, forcing him to look into Hiram's eyes. Instead of ridicule, something else shone in the icy blue depths...

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

WHEN KAT'S AWAY by Missy Martine

WHEN KAT'S AWAY by Missy Martine

Sequel to ANNA DOUBLES DOWN

Kat Evans is on vacation with her best friend when they visit the ghost town of Hamilton, Nevada. When Anna disappears, Kat begins a frantic search.

Something draws her to the old saloon, and when she investigates, she’s pulled through a time portal back to 1899.

David Bennington-Martinson and Win Warrior own the Silver Rush Saloon, and have been secret lovers for years. They both yearn to find a woman they can share, someone that would round out their family.

When they discover Kat in their cellar, they know she’s the woman they’ve been waiting for. Unfortunately, someone else has figured out her secret, and they’ll do anything to travel back to the future.

Kat’s going to have to make a choice. Will she go back to her own time, or stay in the past with David and Win?
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~Excerpt~

“Oh, my God, it is you. Kat!”
Before she could respond, a woman rushed across the room and pulled her into a hard embrace. She pressed her arms against the woman’s chest, her mouth growing dry, and the sound of her heartbeat roaring in her ears. “Stop. What are you doing?”
“What’s the matter? Don’t you recognize me?”
Kat looked closer, and her hand flew to her own chest. A heavy feeling settled in her stomach, her hands suddenly shaking uncontrollably. “Anna? What the hell have you done to yourself?”
Anna’s hair was longer than she’d ever seen it, hanging in a slender braid over one shoulder. Although still red, it had some silver streaks mixed throughout the stands. There were lines in her face Kat didn’t remember and a glow of happiness she’d never seen before.
“What are you wearing?” Anna had on some kind of long robe that looked like it came from the antique shop she and Anna liked to browse through on rainy weekends.
“Oh, Kat, it’s so good to see you again.”
Kat rubbed her forehead. “What do you mean, again? It’s only been a couple of hours since I left you in front of the saloon. Where the hell have you been?” She glanced around the room. “And where the hell are we?”
“Uh-oh! Looks like she doesn’t know any more than you did when you arrived.”
Kat looked toward the door and saw three men standing in front of the window. One was David, and the other two were strangers. Well over six feet tall and lanky, the man who’d spoken had brown hair with flecks of gray and dark eyes. The other man was short and stocky, with blond hair and blue eyes.
Anna put her hand on Kat’s arm. “We’re in the Silver Rush Saloon in Hamilton, Nevada.”
Kat studied the room and then turned back to Anna. “Okay, joke’s over. Did I pass out or something when I fell down the stairs? Did you cart me off somewhere so you could play some elaborate joke on me?” She laughed. “I have to admit, as far as jokes go, this one’s a beaut.”
“The truth is always best, Anna. It’s also easier in the long run for everyone.” Win smiled at Kat as he walked over to stand next to David.
Kat jumped at the sound of Win’s voice behind her. She looked at Anna. “Yeah, the truth would be nice.”
Anna took a deep breath. “Okay, but I’d like to ask you a couple of questions.”
Kat nodded. “Okay.”
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
She thought for a moment. “I was searching for you. I’d gone through the entire town and then remembered you wanted a closer look at the saloon, so I came inside.” She shrugged. “I looked around and spotted the door to the cellar.” Wrinkling her forehead, she paused. “There was something that wasn’t right.” She tried to recall what she’d seen. “The basement was a mess, but there was a…” Kat frowned, biting her lip. She walked a couple of steps away, her glance darting around, and then came back to stand in front of Anna. “There was…”
“A big, red glowy circle.” Anna raised her arm and put it around Kat’s shoulders. “It sucked you in and sent you here.”
Kat looked around and frowned. “It sucked me in and sent me here.” When Anna nodded she laughed. “And just where is here?”
Anna looked toward the ceiling and cleared her throat. “It’s not so much of a where, as when.” She nodded toward the men standing by the door. “You wanted to know who they are. Well, let me introduce you.”
Anna crooked her finger, motioning the men closer. Her hand rose to the brunet’s shoulder. “This is Beauregard Martinson, otherwise known as Beau.” Her hand moved to the other man’s shoulder. “And this is Ezekiel Moses Bennington, otherwise known as Zeke.” Anna swallowed and rubbed Kat’s arm in a soothing gesture. “They’re my husbands, and you’re in Hamilton, Nevada. It’s September the seventeenth, 1899.”
Kat tensed, her temper flaring. She took a step back, her nails biting into her palms. “It’s not nice to try and pull the wool over your best friend’s eyes. What do you take me for?” She paused to catch her breath. “Oh, I know, this is payback for nagging you into making this trip.”
She turned and walked toward the door. “I’m getting out of here. I’m not gonna be the butt of anybody’s jokes no matter how good of friends we are.” She pulled open the door and froze. The rotting buildings were gone and in their place were solid, weathered structures. The dirt road looked well-traveled, and there were horses tied up in front of several of the buildings.
Holding her breath, she whirled around to stare at Anna. “You said it’s 1899?”
Anna nodded and wrapped her arms around her waist. “Yes, Kat. For me, it’s been twenty-eight years since you walked down the road toward the mill, leaving me to look through the town. You’ve traveled one hundred and thirteen years into the past.”
Kat heard a roaring sound in her ears while white spots danced in front of her eyes. Then, blessed blackness settled around her.

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