Thursday, October 13, 2016

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Hard to Fall (Take the Fall #4) by Marquita Valentine
Release Date: October 18, 2016
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Excerpt:
“You distract me, too. Ever since Tijuana, I can’t get your off my mind.”
The tape flies out of my hand. “You mean you...”
He glances around the room, then brings his sexy gaze back to me. “What I mean is that I want something different and you’re it.”
Nose scrunching, I sit back a little. “You want different, as in weird?”
“I like the beat of your drum.” He smiles at me, then his face grows all serious. “I’ve gone out of my way to see you, to have lunch with you, and to come to this class just so I can sit near you. Be near you. I want to know why you appeal to me so much.”
I snort. “Because I have a great boobs and awesome hair.”
His gaze dips to my chest, lingering there for so long that my nipples tighten. “Not going to argue with that.”
“Hayden, I’m really flattered, but my track record with guys isn’t exactly the best and you’re one in a long line of dudes who couldn’t handle the beat of my drum.”
He searches my face, like he’s trying to figure out if I’m teasing him, or simply playing hard to get. “Did you ever consider that it was the guys whose track records sucked and that maybe your drum beat doesn’t need to be handled?”
Synopsis:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, is releasing the fourth book in her Take the Fall Series.
As a hardworking, hard-partying firefighter, Hayden Walker values his career and his freedom. But as the eldest son of a U.S. senator, he agreed long ago to follow in his father’s footsteps and run for office, and that means settling down and marrying the picture-perfect wife. Hayden just isn’t ready for that sort of commitment . . . not with women like beautiful, curvy Saylor Dean—the naughty bridesmaid he recognizes the morning after his buddy’s wedding—tempting Hayden to stay single forever.
The unwanted love child of a well-known politician, Saylor has always felt isolated and alone, her only solace the animal shelter she runs in Forrestville. Then she meets Hayden at her best friend’s wedding. During their impulsive and unforgettable night together, Saylor feels desired like never before—only to wake up and find that Hayden doesn’t remember his drunken proposal, or their hasty marriage, or her. But when the truth comes out, Saylor finds it’s a lot harder to fall out of love than in love.
Preorder your copy of Hard to Fall:
About Marquita Valentine:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She's the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.
Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man--and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.
Connect with the Author:
 
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We’re having a blog tour for RACE THE DARKNESS by Abbie Roads. We are so excited to share this fantastic new paranormal romance with you! Check it out and grab your copy today!!

race-the-darkness About Race the Darkness: Cursed with a terrible gift... Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn't have to question you-he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night-the voice of a woman begging him to save her. A gift that threatens to engulf them Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except...there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.  

Buy Links: Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/RtDeAmazon51316
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Indie Bound: http://hyperurl.co/RtDInB  

Check out the trailer for Race the Darkness:
https://youtu.be/8jC21CGolSQ

EXCERPT:


Her gaze locked with his—locked so hard the entire world vanished and all that existed were her and him and his hand feeling the steady beat of her heart. Whatever the fuck she was about to say, he was gonna believe her. She could tell him he was a two-headed, purple squirrel, and he’d go out, find a nut, and climb a tree.

“Xander. I vow to protect you from pain. I vow never to leave you unless you want me to leave. I vow never to hurt you the way Gran hurt your father. Because hurting you would be hurting myself. Your pain is my pain. And my pain is yours. But together we are strong and invincible. Don’t you feel it when we touch? It’s all I can feel. All I want to feel. You and me. Us. Together.”

Her words did more than enter his ears; they melded into him as bone-deep truth. He’d never do anything to hurt her and—damn—he trusted that she wouldn’t hurt him. As sick as it sounded, maybe his faith in her was born from the suffering she’d endured. She understood pain. Understood the depth and damage pain caused in a way few others ever would. That kind of knowledge made her incapable of wounding anyone else.

“Say something. You’re looking at me funny.” Her voice trembled just a bit. He could practically hear her doubting whether she should’ve spoken the words of her heart.

“What you said… Those words…” Christ. He didn’t have experience talking about his feelings. “Everything.”

She cocked her head to the side, questions wrinkling her forehead.

He was screwing this up. “Your words mean everything to me.” He could show her easier than he could tell her. He slid his hands up her neck, framing her face, staring at her, absorbing every detail. “You’re my…” Fearless. He caught himself before he said the word. To base how he felt on a story wasn’t real. She was real. And the emotions warming him were real. “Everything.”

He lowered his mouth to hers. She tasted sweet, of cinnamon and sugar, and for some reason, his heart ached with a fullness of feeling it had never experienced before.

He scooped her up in his arms, cradling her to his chest, his mind flashing back to the day he found her—and to holding her this same way. God, she had weighed so little, had seemed so fragile, but she was strong. Stronger than he’d ever be. Knowing what she’s gone through, what she’d survived—yeah. Strong was too weak a word to describe her.

He carried her up the stairs to his bedroom, his mouth never leaving hers. With a gentleness born of reverence, he settled her on the bed. He broke the kiss to stare at her once more. Her eyes were closed, her face relaxed, her lips deliciously puffy and pink from a good kissing. He fucking loved pink.



About Abbie Roads:
abbie-roads Seven Things about Abbie Roads:
  1. She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?
  2. She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.
  3. By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.
  4. She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?
  5. She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.
  6. She’s represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.
  7. Her first book will be out October 2016 through Sourcebooks.
You can find Abbie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…and Pinterest.   Connect with Abbie: Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Dangerously Dark Darlings Group | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest Enter Abbie's Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway        



Boondocks by Casey Peeler releases on October 25th.



"One twist of the lid changed everything…"



PRE-ORDER TODAY!




Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2asel2f (add this to your TBR)



#PreOrder #ComingSoon #OneClick #99cents



Blurb
One twist of the lid changed everything…

The devil sat on my shoulder from my first breath, he watched my every move, and with the first strike of lightnin' I was pulled under.

Walking into Boondocks the voice of an angel called to me and I vowed to live a better life.  She kept me on the righteous path until Satan called one last time.

It was time to take him down or lose my angel forever.


Excerpt

From the first beat of the song, I begin to sing every dang word to her, and she begins to laugh as I put on the bad boy front that everyone already believes. As verse two starts, I move in closer to her, and when he references the bad toy in the parking lot, I point to where my bike’s parked. She takes a step toward me, and I hope and pray that her dad is not looking because it’s about to get hot in here… quick. Chauna begins to sway her hips in rhythm with me and sing right along with me. As the final chorus plays, she looks over her shoulder and smiles as she turns to whisper into my ear.

“Walker, I wanna bad boy,” she says with a slight laugh. When the song ends, we wait for the next, and as I look toward the tables, I see Logan. It’s obvious he’s pissed, which isn’t what I need because I really wanted to be his friend.


As Jackson’s Wheel takes the stage again, we get a drink, and around eleven when the adults begin to show, we decide to head out to our spot. Once we get there, we don’t waste any time getting as close to each other as possible.

My hands find her skin, and she begins to laugh. “What’s so funny?” I ask.

“Nothing, bad boy,” she says.

“Oh, you want a bad boy, huh?” I say roughly.

“Damn right, I do.”



About the Author


Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.



Growing up Casey wasn't an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks' novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.



When Casey isn't writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.



Connect with Casey




Instagram: @AuthorCasey

Snapchat: @authorcpeeler





THANK YOU!
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She thought her story was over.

Little did she realize, it had just begun.

From Young Adult author Kallie Ross, comes the first full-length novel in The Cupid Chronicles

UNBREAKABLE!

Filled with action, romance, and an adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seat…What will the fate of the world be as it balances on the tip of one girl’s arrow? Get ready to fly and fall in love with UNBREAKABLE on November 14th!

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Cover Designed by Drew Rodgers with Living Stone Design

About UNBREAKABLE (The Cupids Chronicles #1):

Dying for the love of your life...

Evelyn Bowden thought her story was over. Little did she realize, it had just begun.

The heavens made her a Cupid-- a supernatural with the rarest ability. One that allows her to pierce both mortals and immortals with arrows possessing everlasting love. But Evelyn soon discovers Cupids fight a battle in a long fought war.

A duty to protect the purest form of love…

As Evelyn embarks on her first mission, helping a Gargoyle find his true love, she is exposed to the blurred battle lines between light and darkness. While an unknown threat proves it’s willing to do anything to get their hands on Evelyn and her arrows, the heavens send AndelLambros to help protect her. She finds herself at risk of being distracted by her former mentor, Andel, a stunning Cupid with dimples hard to ignore.

Missing her mark could lead to a supernatural war…

Having no idea how powerful she is, Evelyn is forced to put everything on the line as she balances the fate of the world on the tip of her arrow. But will love conquer all once she hits her mark, or will all be lost in the end?

Pre-order your copy today! Amazon

Add it to Goodreads!

kallie-ross-headshotABOUT KALLIE ROSS: Writing unique adventures with heart. Kallie Ross has a passion for writing that has become an adventure in itself. She desires to create unique young adult fiction that incorporates legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction. In addition to loving her life as a writer, Kallie adores being a wife, mother, friend, and teacher. She began her creative journey with books, a blog, podcast, and lots of caffeine. Ross never imagined her own adventure would be filled with so many wonderful people or words!    

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

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Alexander’s Blood Bride

by Lorelei Moone Vampires of London, #1 Publication Date: October 13, 2016 Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Novella, Romance Alexander's Blood Bride Cover

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Amazon (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/2dYsy9u
Synopsis: Cat has never been a social butterfly. The only reason she even agreed to go to the stupid Halloween party was because her friend and room mate Shelly wanted to attend. When she gets spooked upon almost falling into bed with the host, she’s convinced it was all a big mistake. And what’s worse, now people are stalking her wherever she goes! Alexander Broderick has been hosting his annual Halloween parties for over a century. While his contemporaries use them as an excuse to engage in all kinds of debauchery, his own motives are more benign. He wants to converse, to get a feel for the times they live in through its people. But when Cat walks into his house, he forgets himself and is compelled to seduce her. There’s only one problem: she’s a so-called Blood Bride – a mortal woman whose blood smells so delicious that every vampire in town wants to drain her.
He knows he’s the only one wanting to keep her safe, but can’t act as long as she wants nothing to do with him. And then there’s his own growing hunger to contend with. Can he protect her from the rest of the vampire community, as well as his own lethal cravings?
It’s the ultimate forbidden romance; the love between a mortal and a vampire. What is it that makes flirting with death so utterly tempting? Read on and find out.
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EXCERPT

Alexander Broderick stood at the top of the curving stairwell in the center of his Kensington residence, surveying his domain. The party had started at eight sharp, with more guests arriving every few minutes. His Halloween parties were an age old tradition, even if their grandeur and scale had evolved significantly since the early days. A hundred years ago, he'd been content inviting a few friends and acquaintances, all of them vampire like he was. Now, every year, the event had grown bigger and better, featuring new faces from all walks of life. Eternity was a very long time to spend in isolation. He craved the change in routine, no matter how hard his maker had tried to discourage him from going overboard in the past. Of course, ever since Julius had taken over the Council leadership, he had other things on his mind than to monitor Alexander's social life. Alexander thrived on the attention these parties afforded him. On a night such as tonight, he could step out of the shadows and into normality. Even if some guests noticed strange things around the house, they'd accept it as part of the magic of Halloween. It also helped that he kept the alcohol flowing generously throughout the night. Tonight was the one night per year that the weird and wonderful became acceptable. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. So many people. So many aromas. His parties weren't an excuse to feed as such; no, he could do that any time. But the sheer variety of humankind at his feet was difficult to ignore. Every vampire in attendance tonight would feel the same way. Alexander smiled as he imagined the depravity that would occur within these walls. Sex, blood, and rock 'n' roll. Alexander couldn't suppress a chuckle. They'd keep things clean enough, of course. Everyone here was keen to stretch the rules but not break them. They wouldn't take things so far as to attract suspicion. They wouldn't kill. Alexander himself would join in the festivities as well. But first and foremost, he enjoyed playing host. He was especially fond of striking up conversations with first-time guests. First he'd figure out how they'd come by an invitation, then he'd guide the conversation toward other topics that interested him. He was a connoisseur of sorts; like some immersed themselves in fine wines, politics, or even sports, Alexander collected knowledge on the human psyche. Zeitgeist, as some people called it; he loved to learn about that special set of thoughts and ideas that made society tick. In gathering information about how people lived their fleeting lives, he sought to find meaning for his own. As he slowly started to walk down the stairs, he focused on acting normal; that meant being a lot more clunky and obvious in his movements than his instincts dictated. He was socializing, not stalking prey! That was one of the first lessons he'd learned once he started inviting humans to his get- togethers. If you approached them in too stealthy a fashion, they easily got spooked. Halfway down, his friend Michael nodded a greeting as he passed him by. The much younger vampire wasn't one to waste time; he'd already found himself two willing females to spend what he liked to call 'quality time.' Everyone had certain talents; seduction was his. Alexander was about to continue down the steps when a presence caught him off guard. He wasn't sure what it was exactly. A quick scan around the room revealed that all the guests were quite busy entertaining themselves; nobody was looking in his direction. He sprinted back up the stairs, faster than a human eye could see, and gazed back down to figure out what had affected him so. The front door swung open and two women entered. One was quite ordinary, and he could hardly tell her apart from the two Michael had just led upstairs. The other, though... A radiant sight of womanhood. Her floor length gown was very different from the skimpy outfits everyone else had chosen to wear. Blood red—which in itself would have been enough to entice even the most reclusive vampire among his company. Raven hair halfway down her shoulder, which swayed with every step she took. A face flawless, like that of a porcelain doll. And curves. Her body exuded a richness that made every fiber in his body ache for her. As different as they were, the two new guests couldn't have been a day older than 25, much younger than his usual choice of conversation partner. He held on to the banister with both hands, then had to force himself to let go when the wood groaned under his tight grip. A lot could be forgiven on All Hallows' Eve, but destroying the furnishing with his super-human strength would raise a few eyebrows. Alexander focused his hearing on the two women who still stood indecisively in the hall. One of his staff immediately approached them with a welcome drink. "Thank you," the dark haired beauty said. The voice of an angel. The blond didn't speak; instead, she just chugged the champagne and placed her empty glass back onto the waiter's tray. Alexander recognized her type. She gave the impression of a hunter among humans; she knew what she was after, and was scouting the place for the right mark. Alexander stood frozen in place, waiting for the woman in the red gown to make a move. The blonde had taken a few steps forward and spotted the dance floor in the reception room. She waved at her companion to join her, who refused. "You go ahead. I'll hang back and get a feel for the place first," the medieval angel said, then took a small sip of champagne to make her point. Alexander smiled and closed his eyes. Perhaps his senses were deceiving him tonight, but he could swear that he could catch her scent all the way up here. A hungry vampire could smell his prey from nearly a mile away. But Alexander wasn't hungry. At least not for nourishment. From the moment she'd entered, the quality of the air seemed to have changed. He knew he had to have her before anyone else. He would get to know this young woman, learn all he could about her. Take her to his chambers and bed her. He would taste her very essence. He had to. His instincts gave him no choice. Before he opened his eyes, he knew she still stood in the same place; he could sense it. When he looked down at her, he noticed that it wasn't just him who had noticed her. A half dozen sets of eyes had shifted in her direction. Could they smell her too? Alexander rushed down the stairs again, almost forgetting to follow the usual tricks to appear more human. So far so good: the other vampires had spotted her, but stayed back for now. He would reach her first. If her arrival had made this much of an impact, he would have to take it upon himself to ensure her safety here. This was his house after all. His party. He'd never been one to lose his tongue in company, but the closer he got to the woman, the more uncertain he grew. She wasn't just any other human to him; she was a whole lot more special than that. "I hope you're enjoying yourself?" he said as he reached her side. She looked up at him, her eyebrows pulled together in surprise. "Who, me?" "Yes, Miss..." "Uh... my name's Cat." "Short for Catherine?" Alexander asked, mesmerized by her pale green eyes as she continued to look up at him. She looked so vulnerable. He could hear her heartbeat, and the rush of her blood as it was pumped through her body. Being so near to her tested his patience like nothing ever had. If he'd been starving and faced with a first meal in weeks, he would have found it easier to walk away than he did now. There was something very different about this woman, though he had no idea what it was. "I suppose, yes. Short for Catherine," she stammered. He wasn't trying to hypnotize her, at least not on purpose. Was she under his control already? How was that even possible? "I said I hope you're enjoying yourself," he said, repeating his first question. "Oh, yes." Catherine raised her glass and smiled briefly. "And what a beautiful house this is. I've never seen anything like it." That gave Alexander his opening, a chance to get her away from all the hungry stares from every vampire in the room. "Perhaps you'd like to see more of it?" he asked, smiling subtly to avoid exposing his sharp canines. Catherine didn't answer straight away, instead continuing to stare at him. Hopefully, she wasn't actually hypnotized. Alexander was looking forward to having a natural conversation with this woman. Not a forced interrogation while she was under his influence. "Don't tell me this is your place?" she asked at last. Was she just nervous? Could that be? Alexander winked at her in an attempt to break the tension and gain her trust. "Okay, I won't tell you that it is." "Holy shit." Catherine immediately covered her mouth with her hand as she looked around the entrance hall again. "I'm sorry." "You have nothing to be sorry about. My offer still stands by the way. If you want a tour..." Alexander said. She looked into his eyes and there it was again, that strange feeling that had overcome him from the moment she'd entered his home. He had to have her, discover all there was to learn about her. Intellectually, physically, even spiritually, if that even made sense. "I'm sorry, I just didn't expect to end up here chatting with the host of the party straightaway. Yes. I'd love a tour," Cat said while straightening her shoulders. So she had just been nervous. He wasn't sure why, but that pleased him. Probably because he'd been a little nervous at first too. It was silly. He'd walked this earth for centuries and seduced plenty of beautiful ladies in his day. As delicious as this woman smelled, what did he have to be nervous about? He offered her his arm, which she reluctantly accepted. Her touch seemed to burn through his tuxedo right into his skin, almost painfully. "We'll start with the downstairs," he said. As Alexander led her past some of his immortal guests into the reception room, he felt their eyes on the two of them. There was no emotion as powerful to the senses as jealousy. Perhaps his nerves had been trying to tell him something. This party wasn't like every previous one. This time, he was playing with fire. goodreads-badge-add-38px

ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone
Lorelei Moone is an up-and-coming author of paranormal romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Series: Almost Bad Boys Series
Novels: Almost Matched, Almost Broken Up, and Almost Too Far
Author: A.O. Peart
Genre: Dark Romantic Comedy
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Would you take another shot at love? Or just settle on a friend with benefits?
Their heartbreaking past will move you. Their passion will make you blush. Their antics will make you laugh out loud.
Twenty-five-year-old Natalie Davenport lugs substantial baggage. One boyfriend after the next has been a total disaster, leaving Natalie distrustful toward the male population in general. So when Colin Hampton crosses her path, she’s cautious. Her heart (and some other body parts!) nudges her to go for it, while her head wants her to run for the hills.
Colin is one of those gorgeous guys who attract women, no matter the age or marital status. With a successful career at a popular Seattle radio station, hard body, and charming personality, he is the complete package. But something dark lurks in the corners of his soul; some murky experience that has changed him—maybe for the better, but maybe for the worse.
Will he steal her heart and stomp over it like other guys did?
Will she let him into her heavily fortified world despite herself?
Or will they settle somewhere in the middle—establishing the emotional boundaries to protect them from falling in love? 
"The perfect fun and sexy weekend read!" ~ New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author J.A. Huss
"A.O.Peart delivers passion, single lady laughs and romance all in one with Almost Matched. If you are looking for a fun, laugh out loud contemporary read then this is the book for you!" ~ Bestselling author Cambria Hebert
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How far would you go to protect the one you love?
The terrors of Colin’s past are revealed and accepted by Natalie. Her doubts about letting him into her life are finally disbanded and replaced by a sense of security and commitment. But Natalie doesn’t know that Colin’s past hides more dark secrets unknown even to him.
When a delusional psychopath threatens Colin’s life, things quickly become complicated. Natalie’s stubborn character and desire to kick ass won’t let her step aside and allow the authorities to handle the danger. She gets herself tangled up with street hoodlums, befriends a Russian mobster’s high-maintenance girlfriend, and becomes expert at picking locks and hiding evidence.
"I almost died laughing. These girlfriends really tie the story together and Colin is a dream boyfriend. Another awesome story in this series. A definite read, especially when you love romantic entanglements, meddling best friends who always have your back, crazy guys in leather, and the Russian Mafia."~ Pixxie Styxx
"This book contains some really hot sex scenes!!!(Fans Face!!!). (...) I read this in one sitting and I could not put it down!! I just love these characters and can't wait for the next book to find out where life has taken them. Another 5 star read for me!! Way to go A.O.Peart."~ Britt23
She answers on the first ring, “Natalie?”
“Yes. Listen, are you okay?”
Svetlana takes a moment to comment, “Yes. Why? Something wrong?”
I fill her in about the weird phone calls. When I finish, she says, “I don’t think this has anything to do with Catherine or Amelie. They don’t know you, and they wouldn’t call you or Ali. How would they even have your phone number or know your name? Besides, as crazy as she is, Amelie’s not the kind of person who would get someone to call you like that. I’m sure of it.”
“I’m freaked out. This wasn’t a random phone call. He knew my name. He knows how I look!”
“You’ve never received such phone calls before?” Svetlana asks.
“Hell no.”
“Okay, so was there anything weird that maybe happened in the last few days?”
Weird? Of course not. Unless we count as weird befriending a Russian mobster’s girlfriend, breaking into an eclectic art collector’s home who stole a jewelry-eating kitten, witnessing cougar-escort sex, and a debt payoff with designer shoes at gun point. I feel like my life took the insane train to Demented Town.
And then it hits me… the creep from the Doors to Hades nightclub!
“Wait. There was that weirdo in the dance club,” I tell her the short version of the story.
“What exactly did he say to you there? I mean, the first time he talked to you—outside the Doors to Hades?” she asks.
“He said to tell Colin… that’s my boyfriend, that Razor is back. And something that this is just the beginning, and that Colin will pay for what he did to her. I have no idea who or what he was referring to. Colin didn’t know either. We thought the creep mistook me for someone else.”
“Okay,” she says slowly. “Plug the phone back in and wait for the next call—”
“Are you insane?” I jump up to my feet.
“Wait. I have a plan.” How can she sound so calm? “Just let me explain and do as I tell you.”
Okay, boss lady. I roll my eyes at another one of Svetlana’s plans. Do I really want to know what she’s going to propose this time?
“If he calls, you let him talk. Even if it’s just crap that you have no desire to hear. We need to know if he’s close by. He called as soon as you turned the lights on, right? That means he knows where you live and he’s watching your windows—”
“What? Fuck no!” My hands start to shake uncontrollably, and I feel my knees go weak, so I sit on my bed before I could fall onto the floor beneath me.
“Natalie, listen. I will bring two of my guys with me. They are good at what they do, trust me. We’ll get him, but we must know where he is.”
I’m about to start hyperventilating, but I try to pull myself together. “Okay, okay.” As I stand up from my bed and take a step toward the window, Svetlana says in her measured, no-nonsense voice, “And do not go look out the windows now or he will know you’re trying to see if he’s close by.”
Geez, is she a mind reader or something? I stop myself and, instead, turn around to plug my phone back in. If I could only take a little peek between those closed curtains.
“What the hell am I supposed to say to that creep when he calls? Do I really have to pick up?”
“Just lead him on to see if he’s outside and if so, where. Let’s say, you stand by the window and brush your hair. If he comments on that, you will know right away he’s seeing you. Then ask him something to figure out where exactly he is, but be careful not to give him any clues about what you’re doing. Makes sense?”
“You’ve done this before?” I squeak.
She sighs. “Let’s just say, you don’t want to know what I’ve had to do before.”
Gulp.
I know, I know. This is insane. Normally, I would call Dad right away, but he and Mom are on their cruise, and I don’t want to spoil their fun. Maybe I should call Dad’s friends from the precinct or his PI buddy, instead of relying on the freakin’ Russian mafia? But last time I did, when he and Mom were traveling, things didn’t turn out well for me. Someone broke into my storage unit downstairs and stole a few boxes of some old, useless crap, including the hideous vase Mom brought from Greece for my birthday. Of course the vase was on the list of stolen items. Mom had a fit about me putting her precious gift in storage instead of properly displaying it in my apartment. Let’s just say, this has been one of many small disagreements Mom and me have had in the past year. You can see why I don’t want to involve my parents in anything that could possibly get solved without their knowledge. Svetlana’s thugs seem like a better option with every passing moment.
The phone rings, and I yelp. Svetlana immediately says, “Keep the cell phone to your ear and pick up the other phone. This way you can hear me, and I can clearly hear what you say to him too. We’re on our way. I just texted the guys.
Geez, who is this girl? I take a deep breath and pick up the receiver. “Hello.” I manage to keep my voice steady.
“Ah, Natalie,” the creep says slowly, his voice dripping with a syrupy sweetness. I’m about to gag.
“What the fuck do you want?” I snap.
Svetlana hisses in my other ear. “Play along.”
Right. I catch a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. I walk there to see the idiotic scene better: holding a phone to each ear, elbows out, I look like a complete moron. I see the scarf, hanging limply around my neck and immediately remember the earlier lunacy of the day—breaking into Catherine’s house with the scarf wrapped around my face. I start suspecting I’m cursed by the Wicked Witch Of Madness.
The creep continues in my left ear, “Such a pretty girl, and such a dirty mouth.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t place your voice. Do we know each other?” I try. Nothing better comes to mind and I hope this will do. What I really want to tell him is to ‘suck my dick’. Yeah, okay, never mind the anatomical improbabilities.
He chuckles quietly, just like the phone stalkers do in the movies. Maybe that’s where this nut job gets his ideas. Okay, I can play that game. Or so I hope, because my whole body is now in full freakout mode, quivering uncontrollably, while my heart is beating a crazy staccato rhythm against my ribs.
The psycho whispers, “Maybe we do. Maybe we don’t. Or maybe… I know you, but you don’t know me.”
I refuse to give in to panic. I’m my father’s daughter after all, and there is no way in hell some ass-wipe is going to ruin my evening.
“So what’s your name?” I try to sound upbeat and flirtatious even, which makes me want to throw up. Besides, my acting abilities do not extend past the role of the Glow-Worm in the James and the Giant Peach production when I was in second grade. Needless to say the Glow-Worm didn’t have many lines.
“What do you want it to be?”
I want it to be Hang-Up-And-Disappear. Instead, I say, “How about your real name?”
Svetlana whispers in my right ear, “You are doing great. We’re getting in the car. Will be there soon. If you decide to stand in the window, don’t let him see that you’re holding the cell phone to your other ear.”
Ah, that. I totally forgot. I press my right elbow to my side and shake my hair down so it hides the cell phone in my hand. I pull my scarf with my teeth to cover my arm. There—nobody can even tell that my arm is up.
I live in the corner unit with most windows facing the street. But the window in my spare bedroom is on the perpendicular side of the building. There is a small patch, where in summer some of the neighbors, including old Mrs. Yeng, plant flowers and tend to the tiny vegetable garden. Right now the fenced garden contains only upturned dirt ready for the spring planting. If the stalker is hiding on this side of the building and not on the street side, the only place would be around the old house that sits directly between the apartment building and the garden.
I know the elderly couple that lives in that house. They keep an undisclosed amount of cats and two huge dogs that look totally mean, but in reality are suckers for behind-the-ears scratches and back rubs. So where the hell is he?
“You want to know my real name?” The creep chuckles. Nobody uses it anymore. Just call me Razor.”
I gulp. Razor? That confirms he is the asshole from Doors to Hades! His words from that night are as vivid as ever: Tell that fucking boyfriend of yours that Razor is back. This is just the beginning. He will pay for what he did to her.
To her… to whom? Hell on wheels.
“Natalie,” Svetlana whispers in my ear. “Is he talking? You need to lead him on. Remember?”
Shit, but what do I say now? I clear my throat and say, “Razor, huh? That’s your nickname?”
“Something like that,” he says. “Do you want to know how I got it?”
Not really. “Sure.”
“I carved a smile on someone’s face. He was an uptight son of a bitch and beat his girlfriend all the time. And then I carved a heart on someone else’s chest, because the asshole didn’t love his wife and cheated on her. Another one got a cross on his back for stealing from homeless women. Do you want to hear more?”
Who is this psycho? An angel of freakin’ justice? I imagine a tall, winged figure wielding a huge blazing sword. Okay, Natalie, focus.
“So you punish the wrongdoers?” I ask, getting even more disturbed by his confession.
“Exactly. One by one. Each of them gets the prize he deserves,” he whispers.
“And now you’re calling me. Did I do something to—”
“Not you!” he roars, and I jump, dropping my cell phone to the floor. I quickly pick it up.
Svetlana is asking what’s going on, but I can’t talk to her without letting the creep know that someone else is listening. She knows that, so I just keep quiet.
“It was him. The man you are with. He killed her!”
I’m stunned. Colin? What? “What do you mean? Killed whom? When?”
“Faith. My Faith,” his voice breaks. He’s sobbing. Okay, this is getting even more bizarre.
“Faith?” I ask. “She died in the car crash.”
“He killed her. He is responsible,” the creep says, and his voice drips with hatred.
“She was driving, and she was drunk. It was an accident.”
“Is that what he told you?”
I’m speechless. Colin wouldn’t lie to me. He wouldn’t. I can’t afford having stupid doubts about the man I trust over some psychopath’s revelations.
“This is what happened. And you need to get your story straight instead of getting all worked up about some imaginary facts,” I hiss.
He’s quiet. Too quiet. Oh, shit, I pissed him off. But then he says slowly, “I will find him, and when I do, he will pay.”
“We are here,” Svetlana’s whisper comes from my cell phone. “Lead him on, come on, Natalie. We need to know where to look for him.”
An ambulance drives by, siren blaring. I hear it coming from both phones. Okay, so the creep definitely is close by. I quickly say, “Listen, let’s talk about this. How about if I meet you somewhere?” I sound crazy even to my own ears.
For a moment I think he’s gone, but then he says, “I would like that.” And this simple declaration scares the living crap out of me. What did I just do? Svetlana better be there with her thugs and their big, illegal guns.
“Making yourself bait is not a good idea.” I hear Svetlana’s disapproving voice.
I ignore her and say into both phones, “There is a bar close to my apartment. They are open really late. It’s called Roy’s Brothers.”
“I will see you walk from your apartment, so don’t try anything stupid.” Razor chuckles, but his laughter doesn’t sound like a laughter should. It sounds like a menacing warning.
I gulp. “Of course not. I will be there in a few minutes. It’s just around the corner from my place, Broadway and Olive—”
“I know where it is,” he snarls. “You have five minutes.” He hangs up.
I figured he knew the place when he didn’t ask right away where it was. But I wanted to make sure Svetlana and her goons knew it too. As if reading my mind Svetlana whispers, “We are parked across from your building. Now we’ll be driving there. Keep the cell phone on. And stick with the street crowd. Don’t walk into any buildings or alleys on your own. Go straight to Roy’s Brothers, okay?”
“He hung up,” I tell her. “Gave me five minutes to get there.”
“You will see me with two guys by Roy’s Brothers. I will pretend to make out with one of them. The other one will be talking on the phone next to us.”
“Okay,” I say in a shaky voice. “Listen. I have the photo of Razor I took outside the Club. I’m texting it to you so you know who to look for.”
“Great idea.”
I put my jacket and running shoes on. Maybe I should bring something to use as a weapon, but I quickly dismiss that idea. Better leave the fighting to Svetlana’s hooligans.
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A martini glass of sizzling romance, a jigger of suspense and crime, perfectly shaken with a twist of wacky humor. 
Where would you draw the line between love and trust?
When Colin’s feisty great grandma Helga mysteriously disappears, Natalie and the gun-toting Svetlana rush to the rescue. With the help of Russian mafia goons and Natalie’s girlfriends, they get more than they bargained for. Natalie invites trouble into her life all over again. She could find herself questioned by the police, or worse, her relationship with Colin could become rickety once more.
And so the race begins: with grandma Helga on the loose, Colin turns to the police for help, and Natalie is a stiletto heel tip outside of the law. But being in the wrong has never felt so vindicated.
“OMG this book has it all! Twist, turns, ups, downs and all arounds.” ~ Jackie’s Book Reviews
“Almost Too Far was a great ending to the Almost Bad Boys series. If you're a reader who enjoy a lot of friendly mischief and sexy moments, I would definitely recommend this romance series.”~ A Novel Glimpse
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A.O. Peart left beautiful but rainy Seattle for sunny but hot Arizona in summer 2015. She writes in several genres including romantic comedy, romantic suspense, dark contemporary, and paranormal.
Angela lives with her family and a chronically curious cat Cinnamon who behaves like a dog. 
You can often spot her in one of the Starbucks locations, feverishly typing on her computer and sipping coffee with cream--or rather, cream with some coffee in it. Don't be surprised when a paperback you ordered from her arrives "decorated" with coffee and chocolate stains (kidding!)
Series Disclaimer
**Warning: contains explicit sex scenes, profanity, and high dose of both sarcasm and wacky behavior of the female characters. This is a tongue-in-cheek comedy with dark twist.
If you're a prude or a killjoy with no sense of humor, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK, or do so at your own risk. May not be appropriate for readers under 18 years old. **You have been warned**
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