Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sex on the Beach Series Release Day Blitz!

SOTB_Blitz

Today is the release day launch for the next books in the SEX ON THE BEACH series! This series includes the novellas FINDING YOU by Jenna Bennett, LOSING US by Jen McLaughlin, and CHASING ME by Jennifer Probst. All 3 titles were released today!

SOTB_RELEASE1
 
 

CHASING ME by Jennifer Probst


ChasingMe_Final


BOOK TRAILER:

 



BOOK SUMMARY:



Quinn and James' Story Continues in Chasing Me...

It was supposed to be a love story....



I knew she was out of my league but I didn’t care. Looking back, I wonder if I hadn’t pursued her, would things have turned out differently? Is it Fate that determines our choices in life? God? Free will? Or just plain old innate selfishness?

I got her, of course. There hadn’t been a girl I wasn’t able to seduce. Problem was she seduced me right back, body, mind, and soul. She possessed me, tormented me, and showed me a world that was so bright and pure I was almost blinded.

Didn’t she know after such a drug I could never settle for less? Didn’t she realize no matter how many times I screwed up, or broke her heart, or bent her to my will, I’d never be able to let her go?

If I hadn’t known such intensity existed, would it have been better for both of us?

True love, the real kind, isn’t nice and sweet and pure. No, it’s dirty, and sinful, and messy. It’s like ripping a chunk of flesh from your body and watching yourself bleed out in slow, helpless intervals until you thankfully pass out.



This isn’t a love story. But it’s the only story I got.



LOSING US by Jen McLaughlin

LosingUs Amazon


BOOK TRAILER:

 


BOOK SUMMARY:

When it all comes crashing down...



Everything I thought I had with Austin Murphy—safety, stability, the normalcy I crave but my celebrity lifestyle rarely allows—was ripped away in one night. I wanted to surprise him, but the joke was on me. Now I don't know if I ever really knew him at all.



Someone has to pick up the pieces...



Mackenzie Forbes was everything I ever wanted and the one person I didn't deserve. When a past mistake costs me the girl I love, I'll do everything I can to get her back. We both have demanding careers and family secrets darkening our pasts, but I need Mackenzie in my future.



Sometimes everything you have to give just isn't enough...



FINDING YOU by Jenna Bennett

FindingYou


 

BOOK SUMMARY:



Sex on the Beach, the do-over.

I had a simple plan for what to do in Key West the second time around.



Testify at the trial of the rapist I helped catch last year.

Make sure he gets locked away for the rest of his natural life, so he can never, ever hurt another girl.

Wait for my BFFs to get to town, so we can celebrate.

And stay far away from Ty Connor, because three months after breaking up with him, I still don’t know whether being with him is worse than being without him.



Spring Break, take two.

All of the above? Out the window.

Turns out testifying is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Not only is the rapist I helped catch last year not locked away for the rest of his life, he’s on the loose and looking for me.

Oh yeah, and it’s definitely harder being without Ty than being with him, especially when I have to watch him with someone else.

Welcome to my world.


-------------------------------------------

PURCHASE LINKS


LOSING US by Jen McLaughlin Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1wMqJyh

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1ufej5V

B&N: http://bit.ly/1DnGHoD

----------------

CHASING ME by Jennifer Probst Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/17LOSP9

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1uf6jlA

B&N: http://bit.ly/18gYQba

----------------

FINDING YOU by Jenna Bennett Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BQ6rLQ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Kjb01B

   

Add the Books to Goodreads

LOSING US - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24280033-losing-us

CHASING ME - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24748839-chasing-me

FINDING YOU - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24847244-finding-you


PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES

SOTB2_SALE

BUY LINKS:

BEYOND ME BY JENNIFER PROBST 

BETWEEN US BY JEN MCLAUGHLIN 

BEFORE YOU BY JENNA BENNETT 


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----------------------
FOLLOW THE AUTHORS

Website: www.jennabennett.com 

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Bennett-Jennie-Bentley/192400104127600 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bennett_Jenna 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1549070.Jenna_Bennett


JenM

Monday, March 2, 2015

'A Touch of Darkness' by Yelena Casale & Tina Moss


A Touch of Darkness
Key Series
Book One

by Yelena Casale and Tina Moss

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Publisher: City Owl Press
Date of Publication: 3/2/2015
ISBN: 978-0-9862516-0-3
ASIN: B00QJKUAUU
Number of pages: 295
Word Count: 75k
Cover Artist: Tina Moss

Book Description:

Cassie Durrett dreams of the darkness. And lives the nightmare. She's working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner, dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to hide her hands that glow purple whenever she ...well, whenever.

So, when mystery man, Gabe, walks out of her dreams and into her life to spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet, when his predictions start to come true, she'll need his help to beat back the darkness-spawned creatures invading her reality.

Pretty soon Gabe has her running half way across the country in search of answers. As a bond grows between them, Cassie worries not about losing her mind to the paranormal madness, nor her life to hellish monsters. Rather her deepest fear is surrendering her heart to a powerful man fallen from grace.

FIRST PLACE in 2014 Readers' Crown Award for urban fantasy.

FIRST PLACE in Central Florida RWA's Touch of Magic contest for paranormal romance.

Read an excerpt:

Cassie moaned as the remnants of the attack wore off. She opened her eyes to stare into her dream man’s gaze. Oh, just great. I need to dream about him again? Her body already tingled with pleasure at the familiar vision. A trench coat molded to his tall frame. Across his chest, droplets of water clung to a black shirt, then dripped down to run over his dark jeans and heavy boots. Gabe. The name came to her. How do I know his name’s Gabe? Reality flooded back with a vengeance, the whole encounter snapping into focus as if the picture emerged from a snowy TV. What she didn’t recall was what happened after and why this man was now here, in her apartment.
Her gaze darted around the room, looking for something to use as a weapon. Bookcases lined the far wall with plenty of thick books inside, but she’d never make it past him to reach the shelves. A tiny statue of a marble angel stood on top of the old TV just a foot out of her reach. Next to the TV sat an opaque yellow vase with a couple of long-stemmed white calla lilies. Neither the statue nor the vase, she decided, would be adequate for the job. When she couldn’t find a satisfactory weapon, she opened her mouth to yell.
Before she could utter a sound, Gabe moved so fast she saw him in nothing more than a blur. His hand covered her mouth and he breathed into her ear. “You fainted. I had to get you home, off the street. Please don’t scream. I mean you no harm. I promise.” As if to punctuate his last words, he took his hand away.
Cassie suppressed the rising terror as she considered the situation and chose anger instead. She narrowed her eyes and curled her hands into fists.
“How did you find out where I live if I was unconscious?” she said, her body tensing in the fight or flight response.
“Your wallet. I went through it.”
“Oh...” Her hands remained fisted.
“You’re a strong woman, but you shouldn’t direct your anger at me.” He went to touch her shoulder, but she flinched away. “Look,” he said. “There’s something we need to talk about. But first tell me, how long have you had these headaches, this pain?”
“How do you know about them?” Her voice raised an octave higher.
“I just know. I also know what they mean. Do you?” He seemed eager to hear the answer.
“I’ve had these episodes forever,” Cassie said, unsure why she answered him. “They’ve been getting worse lately.” Her head titled to the side. “Are you a doctor or something?”
“And have you ever felt any other feelings or sensations during or after the headaches?” Gabe went on, ignoring her last question.
“Yes...Maybe...But how on earth would you know?”
“Tell me more,” Gabe insisted, his voice flowing smooth like water.
She pressed her lips together and shook her head. “Enough. I’m not telling you anymore until you tell me what the hell is going on, who you are and what you want from me.”
Cassie heard him whisper under his breath, “Easy...” It seemed more instructions to himself than to her. She ignored it and waited for his answer.
“Cassie, I know everything I’m going to say will sound crazy to you, but you’ve got to listen to me. Haven’t you ever wondered at all the weird things happening to you over the years, at the feeling you get with the headaches, the energy?” She was about to interrupt but he raised his hand to silence her and continued, “This is not going to be easy for you to understand but...there’s more to you than you think.”
And I thought I was crazy. Cassie started to tremble. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well...you’re not exactly...technically...you’re not...” He struggled with whatever he was trying to get out.
“Just say it.”
Gabe locked his gaze with hers. She didn’t look away. She couldn’t.
“You’re not completely human.” 



Available at 
BN * Kobo * iBooks

About the authors:


Yelena Casale is an award-winning author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, she moved to New York at thirteen. Being very curious, she has been a devoted reader and writer since childhood. As a 2nd degree black belt and instructor in Shotokan karate, an avid traveler, and history and art enthusiast, she weaves universal themes with martial arts philosophies into her stories. She lives with her amazing, supportive husband and the best Siamese cats. In her spare time, she reads, paints, watches cool shows on TV and tries to get more sleep.

Website: www.yelenacasale.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Yelena_Casale
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yelena.casale.5
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5891772.Yelena_Casale

Tina Moss is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and New Adult novels. She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, traveling, and karate. As a 5'1" Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small packages.

Website: www.tinamoss.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Tina_Moss
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tina-Moss/126390774082870
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5894584.Tina_Moss


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'Texting All Hearts: An Anthology' by Various Authors



TEXTING ALL HEARTS

by Various Authors

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Texting All Hearts—Boxed Set
by Seven Multi-Published Authors

What do rodeos, otherworldly encounters, exotic dancers, bondage, hot sex, refound love, and time travel have in common? Besides romantic, edge of your seat fun and intrigue, they all evolve from a single text. Seven multi-genre novellas that promise to heat your nights and warm your hearts.

Her Cowboy Dom
by Bliss

Tate Hardy’s best friend leaves him all his cattle if he spends thirty days on a ranch with a woman he wants but can't have. Jess is a nice girl, and Tate doesn't do nice. Jessica Campbell needs her brother’s cattle as collateral for a loan. To get rid of the sexy bull rider, she suggests he teach her about D/s. When he agrees, Jess gets more than she bargained for from her cowboy Dom.

Midnight Road
by Lorelei Buckley

Drew Mathews cherishes her deceased husband’s lingering spirit. When his best friend, Dominic, reveals her late spouse’s dark secrets, Drew's crushed. She turns to Dominic and neighbors for support and stumbles into a passionate love affair and a slew of bizarre commonalities restricted to the residents of Midnight Road. As mysteries unfold, inalterable conditions threaten her romantic relationship, her life, and possibly, the world.

A Lethal Affair
by Debra Jupe

With a rumored serial killer targeting exotic dancers, Daisy Piper is more than a little worried when her co-worker goes missing. Her concern escalates when a guy she’s never met shows up claiming her friend stole his laptop. A mild-mannered computer whiz on the surface, Miles Garton is a total contrast from the streetwise Daisy. But he’s on a mission of his own, making the jaded stripper suspicious. Fighting each other, a mutual attraction, and the truth, they team up to find the missing woman.

Sexting Texas
by Darah Lace

Texas Tallulah Taylor never thought she’d be turned on by a dirty text from a stranger, one that leads to a delicious sexting session with her best friend. Will Sanderson never thought the love of his life would see him as anything but a friend. Maybe sexting Texas will show her this cowboy aims to give her the ride of her life…for the rest of her life.

The Dom Delivers
by Nese Lane

He’s a Dominant, and she’s as vanilla as they come…

Designer Jenna Jaynes enjoys the safe bubble of her creative world, until her delivery guy bursts through and steals her heart. CFO Aden Kelley’s regimented world is thrown into chaos when a spitfire dressmaker captures his soul. Will the Dom convince vanilla to swirl?

Wounded Hearts
by Linda LaRoque

Sarah Lawson's fiancé Logan Miller died in Afghanistan. She receives a text from Brandon Perdue, one of his war buddies, who wants to meet and deliver a message from Logan. Physically and emotionally scarred, Brandon values Sarah's friendship. Sarah wants their relationship to deepen, but he fears she's projecting her feelings for Logan on to him.

Pale With Color
by Susan JP Owens

Cheyenne Clark doubts Captain Joseph Westerly’s beliefs about reincarnation, but a twenty-first century gal stuck in1862, during the Battle of Gettysburg, creates a new perception about philosophies and physics. After Joseph’s death, Cheyenne returns to her time period and anticipates his rebirth. Will Joseph find her?

Read an excerpt from Midnight Road
Drew fixed the buckle of her overalls. “Roland’s disorderly. I think as far as spirits go he’s in ghost preschool. Maybe dumping food on the floor is equivalent to finger painting.”

Dominic’s rich brown skin paled. “This is a joke, right?”

Above the window seat, a curtain rod yanked off the hooks and struck Dominic on the head. Astonished, he tumbled backward and collapsed on the seat’s cushion.

“Plants, food, window treatments, he’s done in here. I’ll be back. I’m going to the study. He likes to fling books.” She rushed onward, thrilled Dominic witnessed the phenomenon. Now they could have a real heart-to-heart. Well, eventually, when the color returned to his face.


Buy links:
Amazon * All Romance * Kobo * BookStrand

**My thoughts**

Well, this anthology definitely covers a variety of genres within contemporary romance and erotica! For example, the first three stories are a ranch, a sci-fi/supernatural, and then a murder mystery. The advantage of such diversity is that just about everyone is going to find one story that they like within the lot.

The connective theme running through the stories is that each one starts with a text message that changes the course of two people's lives. Some are lost loves. Some are jilted loves. Each one seems to have an instant sexual attraction that very quickly turns into what they think is love, often within a day or two. In some instances, the sex scenes are great and fit in well with the story. Other times, it felt like a few of them were just dropped in to fulfill some kind of criteria.

Out of the bunch, I thought Midnight Road was the most unique. My favorite was probably A Lethal Affair. All in all, it's a collection for those who love super steamy scenes, regardless of genre.


About the authors:

Bio for Linda LaRoque

Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

Linda writes contemporary western romances, time travel romances and futuristic romances.


Visit Linda at these locations.

linda@lindalaroque.com
http://www.lindalaroqueauthor.blogspot.com
www.lindalaroque.com
https://www.facebook.com/linda.laroque
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/649259.Linda_LaRoque
https://www.pinterest.com/lindalaroque/

Links for other authors:

Bliss
email: Bliss@blissauthor.com
website: www.blissauthor.com
blog: http://www.blissauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bliss-Author/1390497911252444?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blissauthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/blissauthor

Lorelei Buckley
Website: www.loreleibuckley.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/loreleibuckley/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lorelei_Buckley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorelei.buckley.7?fref=nf

Debra Jupe
DebraJupe@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/authordebrajupe
twitter: @DebJupeAuthor
www.debrajupe.wordpress.com
debrajupe@facebook.com
www.pintrest.com/debjupe
https://www.goodreads.com/DebraJupe

Darah Lace
darah@darahlace.com
Blog: ‪www.darahlace.blogspot.com
Facebook: ‪www.facebook.com/darahlace
Twitter: @DarahLace
Pintrest: ‪pinterest.com/darahlace

Nese Lane
www.NeseLane.com
www.facebook.com/NeseLane
www.twitter.com/NeseLane
www.pinterest.com/neselane/
www.goodreads.com/author/show/7351128.Nese_Lane
http://instagram.com/neselane

Susan JP Owens
Web Site: www.SusanJPOwens.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-JP-Owens-Author/241228112562016?ref=hl
Twitter: @SusanJPOwens
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/susanjpowens/
www.goodreads.com/author/show/7423925.Susan_J_P_Owens


The authors are giving away a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card. Enter the Rafflecopter below and then follow the tour for more chances to win!


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Saturday, February 28, 2015

'Unlocking the Leprechaun (Part 1)' by Fae


Blurb:

Join the beautiful Black Ati, an entitled noblewoman and the secretly insanely sexy Cull ( a hopelessly in love Leprechaun) on an epic, raunchy, and romantic adventure of finding an ancient weapon that will get rid of her evil stepmother once and for all.

http://amzn.to/1C9TdJo

About the author:

A Southern Belle currently hailing from the Far East.

Friday, February 27, 2015

'Year of Living Blonde (Sweet Life in Seattle #1)' by Andrea Simonne


YEAR OF LIVING BLONDE

by Andrea Simonne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

A funny and sizzling romp about discovering your inner pin-up girl...

Plain-Jane bakery owner Natalie Anderson has always followed the recipe for a safe life. When her husband dumps her for a seductive older woman, it’s time to throw out that recipe and start from scratch. She cooks up a plan to transform herself from mousy brown to sexy blonde. Meanwhile, she’s trying to expand her Seattle bakery, La Dolce Vita, but runs into an obstacle in the form of her irritatingly handsome landlord.

Astronomer Anthony Novello’s good looks and charm usually guarantees him a free pass with women, though that’s not the case with his new tenant, Natalie. Plain, plump, and persnickety—he’s never met a woman more annoying. But when Anthony returns from a telescope observing run, he makes a discovery of the non-celestial kind. Natalie has changed. He’s amazed to find himself attracted to her. Sparks fly as he tries to convince her there’s more to him than meets the eye.

However, when Natalie’s ex-husband decides to win her back, she’s forced to choose. Is her year of living blonde over? Or is this the start of a new and much sweeter life….

Read an excerpt:
Natalie glances at the clock. It’s almost ten. Kind of late for visitors. Pausing the television, she goes over and peeks cautiously through the front window.

A bolt of lightning streaks through her.

Anthony is standing on her front porch. He’s wearing his motorcycle jacket and holding his black helmet at his side. The big bad wolf at her door.

What’s he doing here?

She glances at herself in the hall mirror. No makeup and her hair a mess. Great.

He rings the bell again and she marches over, ready to take the offensive. Ready to tell him to go away. But when Natalie yanks open the door and sees the expression on his face, she hesitates.

“What’s wrong?” she asks finally.

He takes his time with his reply. “I needed to see you tonight.”

“Did something happen?”

“It’s a long story.” He smiles, but there isn’t much humor in it.

She’s never seen Anthony like this before. He never looks anything less than perfect, but there’s strain on his face and around his eyes, and she suspects this is the real man

He takes a step toward her, lowering his voice. “Let me in, Natalie.”

Standing broad-shouldered and solemn in her doorway, he’s an imposing figure, but she isn’t afraid. Despite the fiasco with the bakery, she realizes she still trusts him.

Without a word, she steps out of the way to let him come inside.

The door closes and she walks back into the living room. There’s a sound and she sees that Anthony has dropped his motorcycle helmet on a chair.

“This is a bad idea,” Natalie tells him. “I don’t know why you came here. I shouldn’t even be talking to you.”

“I think you know exactly why I’m here.” His voice is low as it vibrates through the room.

There’s an erotic thrill at his words. “How can I be with you after what happened?”

“Because this isn’t about any of that.” For a moment, his eyes darken with regret, but then turn heated. “Whatever happens next is between you and me.”

Natalie shakes her head, but Anthony moves closer until he’s in right in front of her. She feels his hand on her cheek as the other cradles her head, gently holding her still. “Don’t,” he says, his tone imploring. “Don’t say no. Tell me to stay.”

http://amzn.to/1EsrbGb


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Andrea Simonne grew up as an army brat and discovered she had a talent for creating personas at each new school. The most memorable was a surfer chick named "Ace" who never touched a surf board in her life, but had an impressive collection of puka shell necklaces. Eventually she turned her imagination towards writing. Andrea still enjoys creating personas, though these days they occupy her books. She currently makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons.

You can find Andrea at:

Website: http://www.andreasimonne.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AndreaSimonne
FB: https://www.facebook.com/andrea.simonne.author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8557240.Andrea_Simonne

The author is giving away a $20 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card. Enter the Rafflecopter and then follow the tour for more chances to win!

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

'Vandal' by Carian Cole Release Day Launch

Vandal RDL Banner 

   vandal_teaser8a

Vandal Synopsis:

amazonShe takes my breath away; she is so beautifully damaged.

Yes I had broken her, ravished her life, destroyed her happiness. I brought her to ultimate despair. I was responsible for all the pain and suffering that now brought her to her knees in front of me.

Broken.

Hopeless.

Reckless in her agony.

She is a mirror of my own tortured soul.

But what I took away I can give back.

In ways she cannot even begin to imagine.

She is everything right in all my wrongs.

She loves me. She needs me.

She has no idea I’m the one who wrecked her life.


vandal_teaser4

Exclusive Excerpt:
I slowly walk down the dark hallway and stop at Katie’s doorway. Her pink nightlight is on, illuminating the room. I don’t want to go in, but I can’t stop myself. The mix of her presence and her void is completely overwhelming, and I fall to my knees in the middle of the room. The pain in my chest is like nothing I have ever felt before, as if my heart is being ripped from my body and sliced into tiny pieces. I want her back so bad. I want to just feel her tiny hand in mine and tuck her into bed.

Lifting my head, my eyes fall on Teddy, Katie’s coveted bear that she left here to ‘take care of me’. I crawl to the small bed and lie my head next to the little bear that, just a few days ago, we tucked into her blankets together until she’d be back. Pressing my face against the little bear, I can’t hold back my tears anymore.

Buy links:
Amazon * Barnes and Noble: Pending

(Storm, book 1 in ASHES AND EMBERS)


vandal_teaser14


Carian Cole Bio:

carianI have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives.

My first novel in the Ashes & Embers series, Storm, published on September of 2014. Vandal, the second novel in this series is publishing in February of 2015. I currently have approximately nine books slated for this series, as well as an MC series in the works, and a few stand-alones coming in 2015 onward.

Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.



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Cover Reveal! 'Smother' by Lindy Zart



Title: Smother

By: Lindy Zart - www.facebook.com/lindyzart
Cover by: Cover to Cover Designs - https://www.facebook.com/CoverToCoverDesigns
Expected release date: May 21, 2015
Genre: Dark NA, Romantic Suspense


Blurb:


You won't like me.
I am not the nice girl.
I am not your friend.
I don't care about you, but most of all, I don't care about me.
Go ahead, hate me.
We all have secrets.
I have them as well—dark, terrible secrets.
The only time I can breathe is when I forget.
I need to be numb. You don't want to know how.
But as long as I can breathe, the past cannot smother me.



Excerpt:
Her head was throbbing and her mouth tasted like sandpaper. As she walked, she looked up and saw the one person she’d rather not. Even so, her steps lightened, like she was relieved to see him, like he could make it all okay. Save her, redeem her. Wash away the bad. Make her good. Remove the last few hours from her soul.

He was leaving the apartment building as she was stumbling toward it, his stride determined. Her shoes scraped against the pavement and his head shot up, his slate-colored eyes locking on her and taking the air from her lungs. They both paused, lost in what they were looking at. She couldn’t breathe, struck by the sheer power of him, the way he held himself, the look on his face. He could be deadly if he wanted to be, she saw that. There was a dangerous element to him that could be ignored due to his quiet nature. It sent a thrill—part excitement, part fear—down her back.

Ryan honked the horn before peeling away. She flinched at the sound, looking away from Leo, but not before catching his unwavering stare on the sports car as it sped down the street. Her skin was crawling, her insides raped even though she’d never told them no. She wanted to cry, needed to hide.

She didn’t stay immobile long, swaying when a light, chilling breeze pushed at her. The bathing suit was dampening her shirt with cold wetness and she shivered. His eyes darkened as he looked her over, seeing all she’d rather he didn’t. Her crimes were not visible, but even so, he knew them. She wanted to hide from him at the same time she wanted his arms around her so that she could hide from herself, from those men, from every man but him. Nothing about her made sense.

His jaw went tight. “Who’s that?” he ground out.

“No one,” she answered, wanting it to be true. She never wanted Leo to know those men. She wanted to forget them as well.

His mouth pulled down as he studied her. She swore he could see each place they touched her—that he knew what they’d done to her even though she’d never tell a soul.

“Am I fired?” she asked slowly, wishing the drugs would clear completely from her brain, even if just for this conversation.

“Want to be?”

She swallowed, looking down without answering.

Yes.

No.


“Hurting yourself.”

Heat flooded her skin and she snapped her head up to glare at him. “No. I’m not.” I do this to stop hurting.

He moved toward her and she straightened, keeping her gaze on his. His mouth pulled down. “Do things to fly, but you always fall.”

“Shut up,” she whispered, her eyes stinging.

“We all fall, eventually.”