Tuesday, May 10, 2016
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TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subjects of surviving rape, trauma suffered during combat, child abuse, and possible sterility. If you have issues with these elements, this book might not be for you.
Raped. Tortured. Beaten. Essie Santiago’s life fell apart when she was sixteen, and it’s taken eight years to put it back together. There are some pieces that can never be mended; it would take a miracle for her to get pregnant, and physical closeness is something that makes her shudder. Only her love of creating beauty in the form of fashion gets her through the worst of the darkness.
When a mortar attack destroyed half his face and all of his life as he knew it, something vital died inside of former Marine, Ezekiel Steele. For years he’s felt nothing… until he sees Essie trying her best to be invisible. But the feisty spark inside the lovely fashion designer is too bright to be concealed, and like a moth to a flame, he’s helpless to resist her.
Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is taking the world of fashion by storm, holding a contest to find the best designer the city has to offer. Competition is fierce, but all Essie can concentrate on are Steele’s dirty-talking lessons in sex. But when the student surpasses the master when it comes to love, Steele’s inner demons get the better of him. If he can't face them down, he’ll lose Essie forever.
***This standalone, mildly erotic contemporary romance contains a dirty-talking Alpha with a penchant for having sex in public places. No cheating, no love triangles and no cliffhangers. Fairy tale HEA guaranteed. Due to adult language and sexual content, this book is not intended for people under the age of 18***
A low, sexy laugh escaped Steele as he brought his hand back to the juncture of her thighs. “This? You mean my cock?”
It was amazing, how she could still blush. “Mm-hm.”
“Say it.” When she didn’t immediately respond, the slow encroachment of his hand stilled. “Essie, I want you to feel free to say anything when you’re with me. Any thought. Any word. Nothing’s forbidden between us. You can say it.”
“Okay.” She huffed out an irritated breath and tried not to imagine what her mother would think of her for having such a dirty mouth. “Your, um… your c-cock.”
His hand instantly slid into her cleft, homed in like a champ on her clit and gave it one hard circle. She gasped, her head flinging back, but just as suddenly as he started, he stilled again.
“You stumbled a bit on that, sweetness. Say it again. It sounds so pretty, coming from your sweet lips.”
“Your cock.” It was quiet, hushed, but she managed to say it this time without stuttering. She was immediately rewarded with a few more spectacular swirls of his finger, but just as she was dissolving into a pool of pleasure, he stopped again.
“Say it again.”
Goddamn it. “Your cock.”
“Your cock, your cock, your huge, fucking cock.”
She thanked heaven and whatever deity that might be involved in dirty talk when his fingers began to move, but they worked her so slowly she couldn’t stand it.
“Do you like my huge, fucking cock, Essie?”
“Yeah. Oh, yeah.”
“How much do you like my huge, fucking cock?”
Feverishly she pumped her hips, trying to get him going, and her hands loosened the front of his jeans despite his claim that it wasn’t necessary. “I love your huge, fucking cock.”
“What do you love about my huge, fucking cock?”
A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.
Title: HIS TO LOVE (Fireside, #1)
Author: Stacey Lynn
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
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BlurbIn the explosive debut of Stacey Lynn’s irresistible Fireside series, a pair of estranged lovers are reunited by dangerous loyalties—and intoxicating desire. Tyson Blackwell never saw it coming when his Mafia princess girlfriend dumped him and disappeared at the age of eighteen. He never forgot her, either, even after what happened next: the killing of his father, a Detroit PD officer, at the hands of one of her father’s men. Tyson swore revenge, and now, ten years later, the kid who dreamed of a pro football career is a hard-nosed FBI agent, back in town to take down the Galecki crime family once and for all. But Tyson’s mission gets complicated fast—because going undercover means seducing the only woman he’s ever loved. Gabriella “Blue” Galecki has been in hiding for a decade. She finally comes home to spend time with her terminally ill mother, only to receive a blast from the past when she runs into Tyson. His brooding eyes and electrifying touch still send chills down her spine. But as heir to the family empire, Blue has been promised to another. Caught in a web of deception, she is tempted to pull the trigger on the boldest risk she’s ever taken: trusting Tyson with her life, her body, and her heart. HIS TO PROTECT (Fireside, #2) - Coming July 12, 2016! Pre Order from Amazon A warm home for broken hearts, the Fireside Grill serves up hope and healing in equal measure. Stacey Lynn’s sensual, deeply emotional series heats up as a jaded restaurateur falls hard for a woman who’s hiding from a damaged past. Declan James lost his last ounce of trust the day his wife walked out the door, leaving him to save the restaurant they built together. Throwing himself into his work, Declan swears off women—or at least, women who expect him to stick around in the morning. But when he discovers a skittish beauty scrounging through the Fireside’s trash to feed her dog, Declan offers her a job and a place to rest her head. There’s just something about her that awakens his protective side. And soon, not even that mangy mutt can stop Declan from caring for her. After one too many trips to the ER, Trina Wilson finally gathered the courage to leave her husband, taking only her car and hyperactive boxer. Unfortunately, life on the run proves harder than she anticipated—until Declan takes a leap of faith on her. But even as Trina starts to see beyond his gruff exterior, she can’t relax, even for a moment. Not with her husband still tracking her down. What Trina doesn’t know is that in Declan, she has a powerful ally—and, if she would only follow her heart, a devoted lover.
About the Author
Stacey Lynn is a simple girl, raised most of her life in the MidWest. Perhaps it was the long, frigid winters that left her so bored she had nothing to do but spend time reading every book she could get her hands on from John Grisham and Danielle Steel to Ann M. Martin and CS Lewis. As an avid reader, she began penning poems and short stories long before she reached high school and her love of the written word has never diminished.
Now, as a wife and mother to four children, she finds solace from the craziness of her life by creating steamy, sexy stories that generally tug at your emotions. What began as a hobby and a way to survive a Minnesota winter three years ago and the dream of publishing her first book, has now turned into an unending passion.
Conflicted by Ruby Black Publication Date: April 27, 2016 Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
About Ruby BlackRuby Black is the pseudonym for a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She likes angsty romance, alpha males, and full bookshelves. Her novel Conflicted will be available April 27, 2016.
Slater Everything I believed was a lie. Everything except for her, the one person I blamed for it all. MacKayla Simone was beautiful. She was sexy as hell. She was also the setup. One night. Sex that rocked my world. Rocked it to its very foundations because the next thing I knew, she and I made the headlines of every paper, every news channel across the country, and it cost me everything. But that wasn’t the worst of it. That came when I learned who was behind the setup. That was when I understood what it meant to be destroyed absolutely. I don’t know why I went after MacKayla. She’d been a pawn just like me. But it was all I could do, all I had left. Hell, it was the one thing keeping me from tumbling into the abyss and never coming back into the light. Find her. Find the girl who’d f*cked me. Find her, and make her pay. MacKayla I didn’t know who Slater Vaughn was, but if I had, it wouldn’t have mattered. Not when my sister was in trouble. I would have done what I did anyway. You can judge me. You can call me a whore. But I would have done it anyway. One night, they’d said. Make him want you, let him have you. Easiest money in the world for just one night of my life. Only it wasn’t one night because that night obliterated Slater Vaughn, and he came after me. He told me I owed him, and truthfully, I did. Hell, maybe those years in hiding, I’d been waiting for him to find me. To punish me. To make me pay. Maybe I sought his forgiveness all along. But now that he had me, how far would he take this game? Slater Vaughn was a broken man. He had nothing left to lose. What was to keep him from taking me with him into his darkness?
About Natasha KnightUSA Today Bestselling author Natasha Knight writes dark romance as well as spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, science-fiction and fantasy. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller in multiple categories forever searching in every story for that single most important element of love. All of her stories contain at least one kinky Alpha male, lots of dirty talk and a well deserved happily ever after.
A Criminal Magic
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new crossover fantasy novel.
Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.
It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.
Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.
Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.
A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.
GUEST POST by LEE KELLY:
Real-Life Gangsters that Inspired the Tough Guys in A CRIMINAL MAGIC
The pitch for my latest book, A CRIMINAL MAGIC, is THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS, and for anyone who’s seen that twisty, violent BBC drama, you’ll know this means there’s some pretty hardened criminals in this one. My story takes place during an alternative Prohibition-era America, but instead of alcohol, magic has been prohibited. And just like during real Prohibition, gangsters have created an extensive, lucrative underworld to make sure people still get what they want, despite the letter of the law.
Because the magic in this novel is tricky and dangerous by nature, I knew I needed gangsters that weren’t just ruthless – these wise guys had to be clever, driven, and one step ahead of the sorcerers they employ in all aspects of their illegal trade. For inspiration and ideas, I naturally turned to history. Here are some of the notorious, hardnosed gangsters that most inspired me while writing A CRIMINAL MAGIC:
Owen “Owney” Madden was a New York gangster nicknamed “the Killer,” and aptly so as he was known for his very public executions. Madden more than once gunned down his rival gang members in the streets, and he allegedly shot a man on a trolley for flirting with his date. Despite being a hothead, he was also a shrewd businessman, and ran The Cotton Club (as well as some other swanky speakeasies) in New York City. In my novel, Erwin McEvoy, the boss of the Irish Shaw Gang, is loosely based on Madden (with a little Boo Boo Hoff thrown in there too. Boo Boo’s up next).
I have to admit, I was first attracted to Max “Boo Boo” Hoff because of his name, but the more I read about this Philly-based crime boss, the more fascinated I became. Hoff was a boxer turned gangster, and his bootlegging operation was so successful during Prohibition, it’s claimed he had an office of operations with 175 phones and a weekly payroll of $30,000 (in the 1920s)! Also known for his partying and extravagant lifestyle, Hoff frequently rubbed shoulders with celebrity types at his lavish affairs.
Also intriguing was Guiseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria, the head of the New York Italian-American mafia – the city’s powerful crime alliance known as the Five Families – during the later years of Prohibition. But Masseria was a bit of an underworld dictator: he even required monetary tributes from other Families as testaments of their loyalty. His reign naturally didn’t last: several families declared war on Masseria, which broke up the crime dynasty and led to his execution. I loosely based my novel’s Italian-American gang, the D Street Outfit, on Masseria’s New York operation.
And of course, no list of Prohibition-era gangsters would be complete without Al Capone. Though my novel’s young gangster-on-the-rise, Harrison Gunn, is actually nothing like media-hungry Capone was, I couldn’t believe that Capone was at the height of his power and became a Chicago crime boss in his mid-twenties. So I made Gunn younger (originally he was going to be middle-aged), to help rev up the tension between him and my female protagonist, Joan.
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and children in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker. She is the author of A Criminal Magic and City of Savages. Visit her at www.NewWriteCity.com.
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About FALLING UNDER YOU:
Norma Anders has always prided herself on her intelligence and determination. She climbed out of poverty, put herself through school and is now a chief financial advisor at Pierce Industries. She’s certainly a woman who won’t be topped. Not in business anyway.But she’s pretty sure she’d like to be topped in the bedroom. Unfortunately most men see independence and ambition in a woman and they run. Even her dominant boss, Hudson Pierce has turned down her advances, leaving her to fear that she will never find the lover she’s longing for. Then the most unlikely candidate steps up. Boyd, her much-too-young and oh-so-hot assistant surprises her one night with bold suggestions and an authoritative demeanor he’s never shown her in the office. It’s a bad idea…such a deliciously bad idea…but when Boyd takes the reins and leads her to sensual bliss she’s never known, the headstrong Norma can’t help but fall under his command.
After that, Boyd and I maintained the perception that Hudson desired, but everything was different. Though we still went through the routine we’d gone through for the past two years and still lived the roles we’d defined for ourselves, we’d reached a new understanding between us. We talked about our future a lot. It was our priority, and things began to change. Gwen got a place of her own, and Boyd officially gave up his apartment and moved in with me. He accompanied me to family dinners—even when Hudson was present. And little by little, I started tidying up projects at work so that I could hand them off to someone else if necessary.
Still, time went by. Thanksgiving came and went. The Monday after the four-day holiday, the annual executive Christmas party invitation arrived via intra-office mail.
“You can toss that,” I said to Boyd as he laid it on my desk.
“You aren’t planning to go? It’s at American Cut. Hudson’s rented out the entire restaurant. You love that place.”
I looked up from my computer screen. “I know. But it’s not as fun when I can’t take whom I want to take.” The year before I’d gone to the event and barely lasted an hour before I’d rushed home to Boyd and had a very different kind of party.
The corners of his mouth bent into a frown. Quietly, so no one passing by might hear, he said, “I hate that I’m the one standing in the way of you enjoying all the perks of your hard work.”
“It’s not really a perk. It’s one night. I’ll live.” But, the truth was, it was more than one night. My job required me to attend several events throughout the year. Time and time again I’d gone alone. I could ignore the looks and office gossip about my perpetually single status, but I despised not being able to share those occasions with Boyd. Sometimes I’d take him with me as my assistant, which was almost worse. At least at the office, I had work to distract me from pining for his glance or his touch. In social settings, it had gotten harder and harder not to brush my arm against his too closely, not to reach for his hand, not to behave too familiarly with him.
“Okay, then. If that’s what you want.” Boyd reached for the invitation, but I placed my hand on his wrist to stop him.
“You know what? It’s not what I want. And I’m tired of living like this.” I pushed my chair back from my desk and stood up.About Laurelin Paige: USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She's also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn't do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.
The Midnight Sea
(Fourth Element #1)
Publication date: May 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons….
Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.
Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.
As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…
My eyes flew open at the crack of dawn. I groaned and rubbed my forehead. My scalp tingled, an icy, unpleasant sensation. I knew right away where Darius was and what he was doing. It was another side effect of the bond, I’d discovered. I could feel his heart beating. I knew that one of his boots was too tight. I could shut my eyes and tell you exactly where he was, even if he was hundreds of leagues away.
Why had no one told me what it would be like? I supposed Tijah did, but this was much worse than I’d expected. Much, much worse.
I threw on my new scarlet tunic and marched down to the river. Tendrils of mist swirled through the dead reeds at the edge. It was late autumn and the air had a dank chill that promised snow.
My daēva stood there, stripped to the waist, pouring water over his head with his right hand. He wore a gold faravahar on a chain around his neck, its eagle wings spread wide. His left arm lay at his side, grey and dead. I stared at his shoulder, at the juncture where smooth skin met rough. His Druj curse.
It slowed me for a moment, seeing that pathetic arm, but I wasn’t yet ready to forgive him for waking me. That was my excuse, anyway. Of course, what really angered me was the terrible realization that I was burdened with a sorrow not my own, but that bled me nonetheless. What really angered me was him—everything about him.
He was calmer this morning, but I wasn’t. I stopped about twenty feet away. He didn’t turn around although he knew I was there.
“It’s nice that you’re so pious,” I said. “But don’t you think it’s a little early to be down here performing the morning rites?”
He paused, then dumped the last of the water from the bowl. I felt the cold trickle down my spine and my lips tightened.
“I was taught by the magi to come at first light,” Darius said. “Did you expect to sleep in? I’m afraid that’s not the way it works for Water Dogs.” He smiled, and we both knew it was fake. “I’m sorry if I’ve offended you in some way.”
I stared at him, at the dark hair plastered across his forehead, his stubborn mouth. He looked so human. And yet there was something in the way Darius held himself, perfectly at ease in his own skin. Still but coiled, like the wolves I’d seen in the mountains.
“You haven’t offended me in the least,” I said. “I suppose you need the blessing more than I do.”
I spun on my heel and walked away, knowing I had wounded him. A small stab to my own heart. And I felt slightly ashamed. But that wasn’t the end of it. Then I felt his satisfaction at my shame. And my own anger that he knew and was glad.
And then his amusement at my anger!
I stalked off, determined to think nothing, to feel nothing, ever again.
If only it were that easy.
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.
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