Excerpt Reveal – Only For Your Touch

Title: Only For Your Touch

Series: Lick #2

Author: Naima Simone

Release Date: Oct 10, 2016

 

 

 

The Boston press calls her the Mob Princess. I call her trouble.

Discretion is my business, and the reporters dogging her every step are bad news. She’s looking to rebel, to tarnish her naïve “good girl” image by getting dirty with me. I gave up a career as a thief, but Corrine Salvaggi’s wide eyes and sinful mouth damn near begs me to steal her innocence. To corrupt her.

Lucky for her, I deal in sex.

Whatever your fantasy, I deliver. Voyeurism. Threesomes. A little slap and tickle.…

If it’s your kink, I can fulfill it.

So yeah, life is good. Simple.

Until she enters my club.

Still…

It’s just sex. Our little secret.

For now…

 

 

  

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Sasha Merchant knew trouble.

 

In his very checkered lifetime, he’d been the cause of it, been balls-deep in it, and had escaped it. So yeah, he and trouble were intimate partners, a match made in hell. And even though it now walked through the doors of Lick in the form of a stunning redhead with curves that demanded a man take them hard and fast, he wasn’t fooled by the pretty wrapping.

 

Trouble.

 

Or as his mother used to say: Volk v ovech’yey shkurye. Wolf in sheep’s pelt.

 

Maybe he should say fox’s pelt. Because with her bright hair and petite frame, she reminded him of his Russian homeland’s small, red fox. Didn’t matter in the end though. Fox or sheep, the woman was an ill wind that needed to be monitored…and blown back out the door, if necessary.

 

“You see who just came in?” The deep, gravel-rough voice that belonged to his best friend, Killian Vincent, rumbled in his ear from the discreet piece notched there.

 

Sasha once more glanced toward the front of the club where more people streamed in through the steel doors. Though he, Killian, and Rion Ward, the third member of their unholy trio, owned Lick equally, Killian often oversaw security. All of them had control issues—as in, needing to have it—but Killian even more so. But when someone else decided what you wore and ate, and when you fucking took a shit, for two years, yeah, control became important. So they let him supervise that aspect of their club. Hell, having a huge, scowling hulk on the premises was often a better deterrent to troublemakers than their many cameras.

 

“Yeah, I got eyes on her,” Sasha said, tracking the slow progress of the redhead and her friend through the thick crowd. It might’ve been eleven o’clock on a Thursday, but that didn’t matter. If the night ended in “y” then they were packed. It’d been that way since they’d opened their doors a year earlier. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to drink, dance, and find their next hookup in Boston’s newest and most exclusive aphrodisiac club.

 

Including Corrine Salvaggi, aka The Mob Princess.

 

“What the hell do you think she’s doing here?” Killian asked as Rion approached the end of the bar where Sasha stood. “Considering the shitstorm that’s circling her, you’d think her family would have her on lockdown.”

 

“I don’t know,” Sasha rumbled. “But it seems her breaking out of the castle is now our problem, if anyone recognizes her. Goddamn.”

 

“Exactly.” Rion nodded his thanks at the bartender who slid a tumbler in front of him. Kentucky bourbon, his favorite. “The last thing we need is the Salvaggi family sniffing around here, searching for their wayward royalty. Or worse, having the press associate Lick with them. Even if it’s just in a byline.”

 

Sasha understood what Rion meant. Perfectly.

 

Lick was the public face of their business. With its two bustling bars and top-shelf alcohol, dancing, and VIP lounges, the nightclub had quickly become one of the hottest spots to party in Boston. And then there was the aura of sex they deliberately cultivated. From the sensual photographs on the walls to barely and sexily clad men and women dancing on raised platforms to the shadowed alcoves where people kissed and slipped hands under clothes, to the private VIP rooms…sex permeated the atmosphere.

 

But while the nightclub teased with sex, the private, upper level of Lick—The Loft—delivered on that promise. And catered to more…exotic tastes. Of the sexual variety. Whatever their members desired, they supplied. And in exchange for the admittedly excessive prices people paid for membership, The Loft’s clientele expected discretion and a safe, secure, and protected place to indulge in their sexual fantasies and preferences. So having reporters snooping around trying to catch pictures of Carmine Salvaggi’s daughter partying it up would understandably make them a bit antsy.

 

Lick was more than income to the men. The three of them had been to hell and back to reach where they were today. Free of the Irish mob. Escapees from the criminal world. Business owners with a modicum of respectability. Of legitimacy. This club represented their new life. Their freedom.

 

For Sasha, it was his promise to a dying woman.

 

His parents had left Moscow when Sasha was six, after the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union dissolved. They’d immigrated to America, specifically Boston, seeking a better life and more opportunity. An academic in Russia, his proud father had only been able to find work as a janitor at the local elementary school. But to Val Merchant, it’d still been honest work. And having a son who’d willingly chosen a life of crime—even if it’d been the impulsive decision of a youth who hadn’t felt he’d belonged anywhere else—had been unforgiveable. But two years ago, before dying from complications of COPD, Anna Merchant had come to him and extracted a vow from Sasha: to become the respectable man she’d raised him to be.

 

He’d sacrificed everything to honor that promise. And even though some days this new life itched like a too-tight, uncomfortable shirt, he wouldn’t allow a pampered, rebelling mob socialite to fuck it up.

 

“I’ll watch her,” he volunteered, voice grim.

 

Rion shot him a sharp glance, and Sasha clenched his jaw, easily interpreting the look. Worry. Indecision. Yeah, he got his friend’s doubt. It irritated the fuck out of him, but he got it. Because underneath the annoyance—and in spite of his resentment of Corrine Salvaggi’s presence in their club—a curl of anticipation whispered through him. And Rion probably knew it.

 

Of the three of them, Sasha still struggled with the life they left behind the most, walking that fine line between legitimacy and craving the thrill, the pure adrenaline rush, of breaking the law. While Rion had never wanted it, and Killian feared it with an animalistic, whites-of-their-eyes terror, Sasha had only walked away because of a promise and his love for his friends. So putting him on someone who had ties to an organized crime family was like waving a bottle of water in front of a man who’d just crawled in from the desert.

 

“I’ll be fine,” Sasha assured him. “I’m just keeping eyes on her. And considering who she is, Killian won’t do it.” Two years out of jail and still on probation, Killian couldn’t risk being associated with even the daughter of a criminal.

 

That left Sasha.

 

Rion’s mouth flattened into a grim line as he nodded then tossed back the rest of his whiskey.

 

“Maybe she’s just here to drink and dance like everyone else,” Sasha said. Rion didn’t reply, just arched a dark eyebrow.

 

Yeah, Sasha didn’t believe it either. Not with his gut tightening like a damn noose. That sixth sense had never failed him on a job, and right now it was affirming what he’d thought when he’d first laid eyes on the Mob Princess.

 

Trouble.

 

 

When Corrine Salvaggi decided to rebel, she rebelled.

 

Of course, her idea of rebellion had been turning off her cell phone and hiding out at her friend Tara’s house. Or sneaking past the relentless, greedy-ass reporters parked outside her parents’ home before speeding off to find an out-of-the-way bar to watch Big Papi and her beloved Sox.

 

But never had dressing up in her underwear—or rather, Tara’s underwear—and partying in a sex club entered her mind. Jesus, an honest-to-God sex club. And right here in Boston, not twenty minutes from her house. She’d thought they only existed in pay-per-view movies and books about paddle-wielding millionaires. Apparently, she was more naïve than the press reported. Although, she wasn’t rebelling as much as escaping from the crapfest her life had transformed into. Still, partying in a place that would have her mother clutching her rosary was pretty much perfect for escape and mutiny.

 

Damp with sweat, Corrine followed Tara off the crowded dance floor, tugging on the bottom of the borrowed green-and-black lace corset, trying to cover her belly without exposing her damn nipples to the entire place. When Tara had thrust the Frederick’s of Hollywood garment in her hands earlier, Corrine should’ve just said hell-to-the-no and found that sports bar. This get-up—the corset that nearly shoved her breasts up to her damn chin, the painted-on black jeans, and knee-high leather boots—wasn’t her. Hell, her bras and panties weren’t this damn revealing. Or…sexual. With every breath, she feared her breasts were going to make an unscheduled appearance. She skimmed her palms over her hips, not accustomed to them being so blatantly…displayed.

 

“Stop fidgeting.” Tara teasingly slapped her hand.

 

“I can’t help it,” Corrine grumbled. “I still feel naked.”

 

“Shit, if I had your tits and ass, I’d go around with no clothes on all the time,” Tara shouted over her shoulder as she weaved her way through the heavy throngs of people. “And then throw in all that red hair and the ‘I’m just a babe in the woods’ innocence? I’d have to duck and dodge all the dick that would come my way.”

 

“Uh… Thanks?”

 

Her friend laughed, and moments later maneuvered into a tight, open spot at the packed bar. “What you need is a drink. I don’t know what I was thinking. If we’d had one before heading to the dance floor, you wouldn’t have minded having that hottie’s hands on your ass.”

 

“Oh, I’m sure I would’ve still minded,” Corrine drawled. “And for the record, I don’t ever want to be that drunk. He didn’t even say hello first.”

 

Tara snickered before turning and flagging down the bartender. Propping her elbows on the chrome railing, Corrine surveyed Lick. Just the name was erotic and shiver-inducing. She still hadn’t managed to say it without whispering.

 

The huge converted warehouse pulsed with the heavy bass of the music, while people writhed and twisted with abandon on the dance floor and stage. More than a few kissed and groped each other as they ground their bodies together, providing a sexual show. Men and women in outfits straight out of the Bondage ’R’ Us catalogue danced on spotlighted platforms and paraded around in leather and latex. She blinked as a woman in a shiny, black catsuit and a head covering that revealed her face and a high, blond ponytail strolled past, a bare-chested man in blue jeans following behind her…on a leash.

 

Wow. Just…wow. She shook her head, her survey moving on to the evenly spaced halogen lights revealing more people partying in the glass-enclosed balconies, crowding around the wide, long bars that dominated each side of the building, and drinking on the chairs at the high tables dotting the area around the dance floor. And tucked in the shadowed corners…

 

Corrine swallowed, a ball of heat swirling low in her belly. She exhaled, trying to expel even a little of the tension pulling tight inside her. People occupied low couches and booths along the exposed brick walls. Even in the dim lighting, she could make out the couples kissing, the sensual sweep of hands over exposed skin. She couldn’t hear words or groans or sighs over the pounding of the music, but her imagination supplied them. Vividly. The heat inside her expanded and stretched until it congregated in the flesh between her legs. They didn’t care who saw them. Didn’t worry about decorum or reputation, or being proper and pure. Didn’t go behind the door marked “Private” and guarded by bodyguards, which, rumor had it, led to an area where they could do a lot more than kissing. No, they probably knew eyes were on them and welcomed it. Enjoyed it.

 

God. What did that kind of freedom feel like? Again, she had only her imagination to provide the answer because she’d never experienced it. Being the only daughter of Carmine Salvaggi had meant growing up in the most beautiful, luxurious, and loving of cages. Yes, she’d executed a prison break or two, but she’d never experienced the kind of utter liberation the people on the couches did… But she’d always wanted to.

 

In the last week, that cage had become more stifling and confusing, and frightening. Because up until seven days ago, she’d believed her father had been a successful businessman with a thriving and growing chain of dry-cleaning stores throughout Boston. Definitely not the boss of the Salvaggi family, one of the oldest, most vicious, and notorious mob organizations in the city.

 

Closing her eyes, she braced herself for the stab of pain that stole her breath. She should be used to it by now. But how could a person become accustomed to having her soul ripped out over and over like a really fucked-up version of Prometheus and his liver-eating eagle? How could she come to grips with comprehending that the same man who had tucked her in at night, had held and comforted her while she’d cried, had raised her to be honest and respectful, was the same who had run drugs throughout the city, extorted hardworking people…ordered hits. Her life was a lie, and she’d never guessed, never seen…

 

“Stop it.” Tara wagged a finger in Corrine’s face, and she reeled back, startled.

 

“Tara, damn. I know I have another eye, but I’d like to keep that one,” she grumbled.

 

“Don’t deflect,” her friend ordered, propping her hands on her slim hips. “Your thoughts are all over your face. We came here to forget and have a good time. And that’s what you’re going to do, damn it.”

 

“Um. Yes, sir.” She blinked. “Ma’am.”

 

Tara smirked, dropping her hand. “Smart ass.” Accepting the Fuzzy Navels she’d ordered from the bartender, who wouldn’t have been out of place lounging around Hefner’s mansion, she pressed one into Corrine’s hand. “Drink. Loosen up.”

 

“I’m in a sex club where people are…” Corrine nodded in the direction of the couches with the tangle of bodies. Fully clothed, but still… “I believe I’m loosened up.”

 

“Pfft. That’s nothing. This”—Tara swept out an arm, narrowly missing the woman standing next to her—“is the public section of the club. The nightclub. Rumor is there’s a whole ’nother part upstairs—the real sex club—that is downright kinky. We’re talking stuff that would make Christian Gray and his Red Room look like a kindergartener in a sandbox.”

 

Corrine had never read the book or seen the movie about the BDSM-loving millionaire, but she got the gist of Tara’s comment. Unbidden, she lifted her gaze to the ceiling and the supposed “upstairs.” Her active and rich imagination supplied images of what could be taking place at that very moment above their heads.

A woman, blindfolded and naked, spread-eagle and bound on a bed. Her head tipped back, lips parted on a silent scream, fingers jerking on the ties at her wrists as a man buried his head between her trembling thighs.

 

A woman, arms captured behind her back, kneeling on the floor before her man, mouth opened wide as he slowly fed her his cock.

 

A woman, breasts pressed to a leather-padded bench, her bared ass propped in the air, quivering in anticipation and lust from the caress of a paddle over reddened flesh…and from the eyes fixed on her, eagerly watching her submission and pleasure.

 

Corrine briefly closed her eyes. Oh yes, she had a very active and vivid imagination. One that sent hot swirls of arousal curling through her.

 

“I’ll be right back,” she said, setting her drink down behind her. “Bathroom break.” As if the hounds of hell snapped at her heels, she forged a path through the horde toward the rear of the club, where she remembered seeing the sign for the restrooms.

 

For twenty-four years, she’d hidden her desires, her dreams, her needs, behind this good-girl image that reflected who her parents, with their often rigid expectations, wanted her to be. Demanded she be. But since her father had been arrested and indicted, and the truth of who he was—who she was—had emerged, the cuffs of their standards had started to chafe. The urges, thoughts, and impulses she’d tried to ignore or deny had been rearing their heads more often. Why should she twist and contort to fit this ideal of perfection when all of them were far from it? Why was she still hiding a perfectly respectable career as a sports columnist from them when her job didn’t include extorting, cheating, or killing people?

 

And why did she sound like a pouting sixteen-year-old angry at her parents’ hypocrisy?

 

Maybe because she was a brooding twenty-four-year-old angry at her parents’ hypocrisy.

 

Sighing, she pushed into the dim hallway that housed the bathrooms.

 

And promptly slammed into someone exiting the corridor. The impact propelled the breath out of her, and a dull throbbing set up in the bridge of her nose. Damn. Awkward much?

 

“Oh God, I’m so sorry.” A firm grip circled her upper arm, preventing her from stumbling backward. “Are you hurt? This is my fault. I should’ve been watching where I was going.” The babbling accompanied a tad-too-hard pat on the shoulder. “I’m sorry,” the guy who’d nearly sent her falling on her ass apologized again.

 

“It’s okay, I’m fine,” she assured him, cautiously touching her nose. “Really.” She smiled, sidestepping his hand. Any more of his apologetic patting, and he still might send her tumbling backward.

 

“Wow, this is embarrassing,” he grumbled, mirroring her thoughts as he dragged his fingers through his dark hair. Her smile widened. Finally, someone who looked how she felt—out of place. In his khakis and polo shirt, he appeared more country club than nightclub. His gaze dropped and lingered for a long second on her chest, before—to his credit—he jerked his attention back to her face. “Listen, uh, can I buy you a drink?” he blurted, then winced. “Damn, that was smooth…”

 

She couldn’t help it; she chuckled. If he’d shown up on her family’s doorstep, he was the kind of man her mother would gladly have ushered into the living room and filled with dinner and news about how her daughter needed “a nice young man in her life.” He did seem nice, even if he didn’t set off any tingles below her belly button. But what the hell? It was a drink.

 

“Sure, I—”

 

“You have somewhere else to be.” The new, dark voice sent a cascade of shivers skipping over her skin. She shifted her gaze from her would-be suitor to the looming presence behind him. And though the statement had been directed toward the man in front of her, she shivered. But it wasn’t just the flat, ominous tone that had her trembling…

 

Holy shit.

 

Ragnar.

 

Instead of sporting a braided mohawk, this man had blond hair cropped close to his head. And a severe black suit and white shirt adorned his tall, wide frame in place of a leather tunic, leggings, and a broad sword, but still… It could’ve been the legendary warrior from the History Channel’s show Vikings who shifted forward and almost inserted himself in between her and her almost bar date. The other man’s jaw unhinged, and he gaped up…and up…at the blond giant.

 

Jesus. She blinked, part of her concerned over how pale the smaller man became when Ragnar pinned him with a hard stare. He didn’t utter a word. Just…stared. Whew. That kind of magnetism was…hot.

 

She couldn’t help studying the interloper. He demanded to be stared at. His profile could’ve been carved from a slab of marble. Sharp, almost harshly cut cheekbones, the slant of his nose, the slash of his mouth, and the rock-hard edge of his jaw—they combined to form a face that inspired fear. And lust. Both emotions twisted and tangled inside her, whirling and gaining strength with each rotation.

 

“Uh.” The other—smaller—man coughed. “Excuse me.”

 

“I need to speak with you,” the Viking rumbled to her while flicking a dismissive, steely glance to her would-be suitor.

 

He didn’t sound like a Viking. With that faint but melodic accent, maybe a tsar. Or a bogatyr, one of the famed warriors in old Russian legends. The slight lengthening of his vowels and softening of consonants brought to mind blinding-white, icy landscapes with a stark, primal beauty. Just like its speaker. Heat fluttered in her sex, flames licking at her flesh, her clit. Up until this moment, she hadn’t believed a voice could be foreplay. But the thought of his low, deep growl in her ear, murmuring explicit, dirty details of what he wanted to do to her and how he expected her to please him had her already creeping to the ledge of orgasmic abyss.

 

“Um, okay,” she murmured, surprise winging though her. “But I was just going to have a drink with…”

 

“N-no,” the other guy stammered, already edging past them. “That’s fine. I’m fine. It’s no problem…” Whatever else he said trailed off as he fled out of the corridor and into the crowd.

 

Leaving her alone with the Viking.

 

He turned toward her, and she met his stare for the first time.

 

Again, electricity crackled through her, and if she glanced down, she wouldn’t have been surprised if the hairs on her arms stood at attention. Bolts of lightning could’ve struck the floor in between them, and she still wouldn’t have been able to look away. His face was an artist’s delight of angles, planes, and curves, but the eyes…they were the masterpiece. Exotic and almond-shaped, the piercing blue and gray reminded her of a wolf’s predatory gaze.

 

Some of the men who’d come to visit her father had possessed that kind of stare. Then, she’d shuddered, hating their scrutiny on her, longing to escape it. And with good reason, she’d later found out, considering the killers she now knew were her father’s “associates.”

 

Unlike those men, though, if this blond giant had stood in their house, his focus pinned on her, something told her she wouldn’t have minded. Wouldn’t have avoided it but courted it. Done anything to keep it.

 

She shook her head as if she could dislodge the inane thought. Tara’s talk of kinky, secret dungeons had her mind skipping down a path marked “Not in This Lifetime.” Men like him didn’t notice women like her. He probably had women like the bartender—gorgeous, confident, and sexy, with a killer body—occupying his bed. The only thing the bartender and Corrine had in common was the size of their breasts, thanks to her mother and her busty Irish roots.

 

“Uh, you said you needed to speak with me,” she rasped, then cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m not sure—”

 

“You should go,” he warned, his voice softer but firm. Cold.

 

Again, surprise struck her, and she reran the last couple of minutes through her head, trying to figure out what she could’ve done that earned his displeasure.

 

“But I didn’t do anything…” She held her hands out, palms up.

 

“It’s not what you’ve done,” he murmured, shifting closer so only mere inches separated them.

 

The wide set of his shoulders blocked out her view of…everything. His scent—sweet and earthy like freshly cut wood—surrounded her, invading her nose and settling on her tongue, smothering the odors of incense, sweat, and perfume that permeated the hallway. And when that almost eerie gaze dipped from her face to stroke her neck, shoulders, and linger on the bared swell of her breasts, her nipples pinched tight beneath the cups of the corset. She squeezed her thighs against the throbbing, and almost as if he could decipher the action, his regard dropped even lower, studying her body. Unless the man sported a blue unitard with a crimson “S” emblazoned across the front beneath his suit, then he didn’t possess X-ray vision. So there was no way he could detect the softening and swelling of her sex or the damp evidence of her arousal on her panties. But God, when he returned his scrutiny to her face, the knowledge in those narrowed, bright eyes had her second-guessing. And shifting backward.

 

“It’s not what you’ve done,” he repeated, reclaiming the space she’d placed between them. “It’s who you are…princess.”

 

Shock and pain punched her in the chest. She hated, fucking detested, that nickname; the Mob Princess—the moniker the press had given her—humiliated her. It illuminated not only her ignorance but the lifestyle she’d grown up in—a lifestyle built and paid for by the grief, loss, and blood of others.

 

Shoving down her shame, she tilted her chin up, met that intimidating stare. “Are you telling me to leave or suggesting?”

 

Surprise flickered in his eyes. “I’m strongly suggesting,” he said after a long moment.

 

“Well, thank you for the advice, but unless you’re the owner of this place, I doubt you can suggest I do anything…” She smiled, and it felt brittle and fake on her lips. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” She circled his big frame and headed toward the mouth of the corridor. Forget the bathroom. She’d originally sought it out for a moment of peace, but all it’d brought was drama.

 

“I am the owner, princess. And you don’t belong here.”

 

The dark velvet of his voice halted her in her tracks just as much as the harsh words. Slowly, she pivoted. Calling on every ounce of deportment her mother had drummed into her, she faced her rescuer-turned-condemner and cocked her head. “Because of my father? Do you vet the family tree of everyone who enters this club, or am I just special?”

 

“You’re special given that most people can’t claim a mafia boss as their parent. But you’re something else, too, lisichka.” He stalked closer, and her impression of a marauding warrior focused on pillaging and conquering intensified. Once more, he didn’t stop until his body heat reached out to her, teased her. Until she was eye level with the steady pulse at the base of his strong throat. The urge to lean forward and lick it gripped her and shook her like a rag doll. “Innocent,” he said, lowering his head so close she could taste his breath on her lips. “Too damn innocent for whatever you came here looking for. This isn’t the place for your little rebellion.”

 

“I’m not—”

 

“Rebelling?” he interrupted, an eyebrow several shades darker than his pale blond hair arching. “Or innocent? The hell you aren’t here as some kind of ‘fuck you’ to whoever—your father, your family, the world. Otherwise why show up only days after your safe little world’s imploded? But the other? Yeah, I could be a little wrong about that. After all, innocents don’t tremble when they stare at two women kissing and rubbing their pussies together on a dance floor. Or men and women just a zipper pull or a shift of panties away from fucking. They run the other way, not slide the tip of their tongue over their bottom lip like they want a taste.”

 

She parted her lips, but nothing emerged. Images—the searing fantasies that had her twisting in her bed, had her sneaking a hand between her legs—tumbled in her head like clothes in a dryer. She longed to give him a nonchalant, this-ain’t-my-first-rodeo comeback, but couldn’t speak—lust trapped the words in her throat. How long had he been watching her? And how could he tell what her secret desires were with that short observation? She wasn’t a virgin—as much as it would probably kill her parents to know. While she might not be as, ah, free as Tara, she owned her sexuality, wasn’t ashamed of her body, and loved to be touched.

 

Though, to be honest, lately her vibrator had been doing more touching than a man.

 

So, tonight, everything she’d seen had struck a carnal chord in her. Had her hungry for something that had been unlocked but never opened.

 

And God, staring at this man with his wolf eyes and searing sexuality, she wanted to be cracked open.

 

He cocked his head, a corner of that full, sensual, almost cruel mouth lifted. That small half smile, the glint in his eyes—they called to her, seemed to invite her closer even though that same mouth had just told her to hit the bricks.

 

Slowly nodding, he leaned forward. “No, lisichka, maybe not so innocent. But definitely hungry. The question is, do you even know what you’re starving for?”

 

Hungry. The truth in his statement hit her like a freight train—knocking her on her ass, undeniable. She was hungry. For freedom. To be seen. To be acknowledged. For more.

 

“Show me,” she said…and waited. Unsure whether he would straighten and order her to get the hell out. Or… Damn, the thought of “or” had her trembling.

 

The skin across his sharp cheekbones tautened, his mouth appearing fuller, more carnal. His blue-gray scrutiny became hooded, and she swallowed a gasp at the heat that damn near singed her skin.

 

He lifted one arm, and then the other, flattening his palms on either side of her head and lowering his head until their mouths were only a breath apart. “Show you what? Ask me for it,” he ordered. “If you can’t say it, you can’t handle it.”

 

“I want…” She paused, gathered her courage. Started again. “I want you to…touch me.”

 

“Not enough,” he murmured against her mouth, pressing his forearms against the wall and eliminating another inch of space between them. She inhaled, dragging in the dark, sweet, caramel-like flavor of whatever he’d been drinking, and damn, she wanted to suck it off his tongue. Lick it off that sensual bottom lip. His chest brushed hers, and she clenched her teeth, jailing a moan. “Try it again,” he insisted. “What do you want from me? Just admit it, baby. I noticed how you watched those girls on the dance floor and especially the couples on the couches. I already know what you want…need. So, just. Say. It.”

 

She had—she so had watched them, envying them, wanting to be them. If she just opened her mouth, she could be them.

 

“I…” Again her voice broke off, but she pushed on. “I want you to make me come.”

 

He stilled, but then in an explosion of movement, he gripped her wrist and yanked her forward, the passion—not violence—in his movements nearly undoing her. She followed, trying not to trip over her feet as he pressed the handle on the door at the back of the hallway and pulled her behind him.

 

The brisk September air wrapped around them, but it didn’t do a thing to cool off her overheated skin. He halted under a fire escape and yanked the end of the ladder down, and it lowered with a loud, rusty whine. He unbuckled his belt and whipped it through the loops of his pants. Once, twice, he looped and tied the leather around her wrists, before securing the ends through the bottom rung, stretching her arms above her head.

 

“Now you’ve gone and done it, lisichka,” he murmured, the soft tone a direct contrast to the firm, almost grim line of his mouth and the hard glint in his hooded gaze.

 

Oh, yes. Boy, had she.

 

 

 

 

Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.

 

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

 

   

Excerpt Reveal – Savage Mafia Prince

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The savage arrives on October 11th! Preorder Savage Mafia Prince NOW!

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Synopsis:

Where is Kiro?

He’s the lost Dragusha brother, heir to a vast mafia empire—brilliant, violent, and utterly savage…and he’s been missing for years.

Ann

I’m supposed to be doing simple undercover research at the Fancher Institute for the Mentally Ill & Dangerous, but I can’t keep my mind off Patient 34. He’s startlingly young and gorgeous, but it’s not just that. He’s strapped way too tightly to that bed. And there’s no name or criminal history on his chart. What are these people hiding? My reporter’s instincts are screaming.

Here’s the other thing: the staffers here believe he’s so sedated that there’s not a thought in his head, but I catch him watching me when nobody’s looking. Our connection sizzles when I enter the room. When our eyes meet, I know he understands me in a way nobody else ever has.

I’m supposed to follow my editor’s orders—I have secrets, too—but everything about Patient 34 is suspicious. How can I not investigate?

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EXCERPT


My mouth just hangs open. 


“You’re my mate. I care for you,” he says, like that’s an explanation.

“Don’t you see how ridiculous this is?”

“You’re my mate. I care for you. You don’t like it now, but you will.”

“I very much doubt that.” 

He brings me closer. “Do you? Do you really doubt that?” 

“Really,” I say, belly melting. Fucking caveman, I tell myself. Not into cavemen. 

Softly, gently, he takes hold of my hair. He pulls down, as if he wants my throat fully exposed to him. I shiver a little as he presses rough lips to my tender neck. The entire surface of my body flames up with nerve endings.

Not…into…cavemen.

 I tell myself it’s the crisp outdoor air. The exercise. The fact I forgot about the kitten. 

He slides his lips over my pulse point and up, then whispers low and rumbly into my ear, “Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to catch a nice fat fish for us down there.”

“How?”

“With my hands.”

“What are you? A bear? You can’t catch a fish with your hands.”

“I can, Ann. Then I’ll make a fire.” 

“By rubbing sticks together?” I ask inanely. Because the rumble of his voice is doing something to my mind.

He lets my hair go. “I’ll use the lighter.” His tone is a dirty promise. “But if we didn’t have that, I’d rub sticks together. I’m home now. This place is mine. Everything here is mine.”

I swallow. 

“Then I’ll cook it. It’ll be delicious and juicy, and you’ll eat it.” 

“O-kay,” I say sarcastically. But he has that look. I’m paranoid, suddenly, that my body is getting aroused and leaving my mind behind. And that he’s smelling it. 

“I’m going to feed you.” My heart pounds as he slides his hands over my arms, looking down at me, beautiful and wild with those kissable lips. “Then I’m going to bend you over and fuck you.”

My belly drops through my shoes. “Um, excuse me?”

“You heard what I said. It’ll be best if you make yourself ready for me.” 

“What? That’s what you think will happen here?”

The savage way he looks at me is a shot through my belly. “It’s what I know will happen.” 

“And I’m going to make myself ready for you. That’s how you think this will work.” 

His voice lowers. “You’re aroused already. I feel it on your skin. See it in your eyes. And your scent…”

Shivers come over me. “You’re dreaming.” 

He puts a hand to the center of my chest and backs me up to the tree. He takes my hand and guides it toward my crotch. I pull, trying to reroute us, but he’s too strong. He grabs two of my fingers and moves them for me. I hiss out a breath as everything between my legs comes alive. 

A few strokes, and I could totally get off.  

“Don’t resist me.” 

“I get the idea. Make myself ready. I don’t need your demo.” 

He keeps on, guiding my fingers between my legs. 

I gasp.  “Higher.” He moves my fingers higher, and hits a spot that gets my mind melting.

“Shit,” I breathe, closing my eyes. 

“Open your eyes. Open them.” 

I keep my eyes closed. There’s not much he can do about it, being that he doesn’t have a third arm and hand. 

He growls and bites my cheek. My eyes fly open. “Better.” He continues on, getting me off. Slowly, surely, I’m about to come.

“Feel it,” he says. “This is how you’ll make yourself ready for me.”

“For somebody who’s so sensitive about being as a savage,” I gasp, “you’re acting like one.” 

“I think you like it.” He presses me more firmly to the tree. Bark gouges into my back as the pleasure rises between my legs. “This is how I want you. Ready for me to take you when and where I choose.” 

I’m moving my hand on my own now, angling into all the best parts, because fuck it feels good. My breath heats up. 

His breath tickles my ear. “This is how I want you getting ready for me, for when I bend you over.” 

I’m angling to hit a certain spot, panting, mad with the buildup of pleasure. This is not me, turned on by a caveman like this. Mind and body taken over by a possessive brute.

His breath is velvet on my cheek. “There’s nowhere you can hide from me. No part of you can hide from me.”


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Start the series now!

Dark Mafia Prince – now available!

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Synopsis:

They destroyed his family, stole his kingdom, hunted him to the ends of the earth.
Now the beautiful prince is back as a dark killer, ready to take everything.
And it starts with her.

Aleksio
Don’t look at me like that. So trusting.
Like you think I’m not a monster.
Like I won’t wrap your hair in my fist and bend you to my will.
Like I won’t sacrifice you, piece by bloody piece, to save my brother.

I’m the most dangerous enemy you’ll ever have.
Because every time you look at me, you see somebody good. That friend who died.

And when you look at me like that, I die again.

Mira
I spent years making myself invisible. A good girl, apart from the noise.
Then you returned, beautiful and deadly in your Armani suit.
Don’t look at me like you still know me, you say.
But I remember your smile. And I remember those sunny days.

Before they lowered your small casket into the ground.
Before they told us the prince was dead.

—————————————————

Wicked Mafia Prince – now available!

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Synopsis:

Who is the nun who never shows her face?
She’s trapped in twisted brothel, stuck behind a webcam…or is she? Viktor doesn’t need to see this mysterious nun’s face to know she’s the woman he once loved…the assassin he once killed.

Viktor
You were the love of my life, beautiful and deadly.
Then you betrayed our mafiya family—the only family either of us ever knew.
Heartbroken, I did the honor killing. I threw you off a cliff.
When I learned you were innocent, it ripped me apart.

Now, years later—somehow, impossibly—there you are, alive.
The nun who never shows her face, trapped on the other side of a computer screen.
How can it be? My brothers think I’m obsessed. Imagining ghosts. But I’ll always know you. And I’m coming for you.

Author Bio:

Annika Martin is a NYT bestselling author who enjoys writing dirty stories about dangerous criminals! She loves helping animals and kicking snow clumps off the bottom of cars around the streets of Minneapolis, and in her spare time she writes as the RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.

Author Links:

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Excerpt Reveal – A Fool For You

It’s just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

A FOOL FOR YOU

Foolproof Love #3

Katee Robert

Releasing Oct 3rd, 2016

Entangled: Brazen

It’s been
thirteen years since Hope Moore left Devil’s Falls, land of sexy cowboys and
bad memories. Back for the weekend, she has no intention of seeing the man she
never got over…or the two of them getting down and dirty. It’s just a belated
goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Until six weeks later, when her pregnancy test comes back positive…

Daniel Rodriguez hasn’t forgiven himself for how things went down with Hope all
those years ago. He knows she’s better off without him, but when she shows up
on his doorstep, panicking because she’s pregnant with his baby, he can’t help
seeing it as a chance to make up for the past.

Too bad Hope has no intention of going along with his plans.


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| Entangled


 Chapter One

Hope Moore held her breath as she passed the sign declaring Welcome to Devil’s Falls. She hadn’t
crossed the town boundary in thirteen years, not since she sat next to an open
grave as they lowered her brother into the ground. Not since she turned her
back on her entire life here, whisked away by her parents to the best medical
facilities Texas had to offer.

She touched her
knee. She’d never cheered again, never run track, never done any of the things
she’d had planned when she was eighteen and had graduated high school with
stars in her eyes.

Stars in her eyes,
and love in her heart.

Neither had lasted
past that car crash.

Oh, it had taken the
love a lot longer to die than it had her knee, but Daniel Rodriguez made sure
she knew where she stood with him.

She caught herself
taking her foot off the gas and picked up speed again. There was no telling if
she’d see him while she was here, but it couldn’t matter. She’d moved past what
happened that night, moved past the disappointment that she’d almost let sour
everything else about her life. It might not have happened like she planned,
but she’d made the best of her college experience, and she’d gone on to create
a successful little niche for herself, helping people and institutions with too
much money on their hands create trusts and scholarships for those in need.

And now Hope was back
in town to finally do that in her brother’s memory.

She pulled onto Main
Street, heading for the only lodgings someone out of town with no relatives to
stay with would consider—Sara Jane’s B&B. It was a nice little place, but
Sara Jane was nosy to a criminal degree and gossiped more than anyone Hope had
ever come across. The second she checked in and went up to her room, everyone
with a phone would be getting a call letting them know that she was back in
town.

It wasn’t that it
was a secret, but she couldn’t help but feel that she’d always be John Moore’s
little sister, the one who survived when her older brother—her better in a lot
of ways—didn’t. She knew that was her own insecurity. She’d had too many
years of therapy to believe anything else, except in her darkest heart of
hearts, the place she didn’t let see the light any more than strictly
necessary.

But it was hard to
ignore that little voice when driving through Devil’s Falls. No, not through.
To.
This was her destination.

Her parents hadn’t
been too thrilled about her coming back, even for a limited time, but even they
couldn’t deny that this scholarship she was here to set up was a good thing—the
right way to honor John. He’d been in the middle of a full ride at the
University of Texas when he was killed, and it made sense to set it up to allow
other kids the opportunity he’d never be able to realize.

She pressed a hand
to her chest and pulled into the nearest parking spot against the curb. God,
even after all this time, it still hurts.
Most days it didn’t. He’d been
gone long enough that she’d processed her grief as much as one person could
process grief, and she was able to focus on the good memories.

Most days.

Her eyes focused on
the sign she’d been staring blindly at, and she frowned. Cups and Kittens. That was new. In a
town as mired in the past as Devil’s Falls, change was something of a novelty.
Or maybe she was biased in a negative way, because the only thing this town
held for her was memories. Some bad, mostly good, all dust now.

Pathetically
grateful for something external to focus on, she climbed out of her car and
looked at the cheery window painting depicting kittens frolicking in between
flowers.

The B&B could
wait a little while longer. Her meeting with the town board wasn’t until tomorrow,
so there was no reason she couldn’t do a little poking around in the meantime.
Thirteen years was a long time. If anyone had asked her, she would have joked
that she hadn’t expected anything about Devil’s Falls to change while she was
gone.

Apparently she’d
been wrong.

She pushed through
the door and froze in the face of a pair of cats staring at her from their
perch on a table overlooking the big window in the front. The sight surprised a
laugh out of her. “Cups and Kittens, indeed.”

“In the most literal
sense.”

She glanced over at
the woman behind the counter, a third cat lounging near the register.
Familiarity rolled over Hope. “Jules Rodriguez.” Daniel’s little cousin. Not so
little anymore. Last time she’d seen Jules, the girl had been lanky to an
almost awkward degree and had braces with bright green bands. She’d grown up
pretty, and there was more of Daniel about her now than there had been when she
was a kid.

Or maybe I’m just
back in Devil’s Falls and seeing Daniel wherever I look.

Jules’s dark eyes
cleared. “Hope? What are you doing back in town?” She hesitated. “I don’t
suppose you’re here to sweep my brooding cousin off his feet and shove him back
into real life?”

Her mind tripped
over itself trying to keep up with the other woman’s verbal gymnastics. Jules
had always been like that, now that she thought about it—a bright and bubbly
steamroller. She tried to weed her way through what the woman had just said,
but there was only one thing she could focus on. Daniel. Always Daniel. “What
do you mean, back into real life?”

“Well, you know.”

No, she really
didn’t. She studied Jules’s face, the way she wouldn’t quite meet her eyes. “Is
he okay?” She hadn’t missed the way Quinn Baldwyn had frozen up when she’d
asked that same question a few weeks ago at his sister’s wedding, and worry had
been simmering in the back of her mind ever since, no matter how many times she
told herself it wasn’t any of her business. Daniel was a grown man, and he had
always been more than capable of taking care of himself—and everyone else
around him. Things changed, but she couldn’t see that changing.

Jules shifted, her
hand darting out to pet the calico on the counter and then darting away when
the cat swiped at her. “Define okay.”

It was none of her
business. It stopped being her business a very long time ago.

But that didn’t stop
her from clearing her throat and asking, “Is he…is he married?” Did he build
the house we always talked about and have those two wild boys and one sweet
girl? Does he bring his wife waffles for breakfast in bed on the weekends?

Oh my God, stop.

But Jules was
already shaking her head, her mouth turning down. “Nope. No wife, no kids, no
serious relationship in, well, thirteen years.”

Hope blinked.
“You’re joking.”

“I wish I was.” A
calculating look came into her eyes, but then she shook herself and it was all
guileless enthusiasm. “What are you doing for dinner?” She rushed on without
waiting for a response. “We’re having a little thing with Quinn and my friend
Aubry, and, well, I kind of went and married Adam Meyers.”

Some things really do change. She remembered Adam, the wild-eyed boy who’d
grown into a wild-eyed man, better than she remembered Jules. No one had
expected him to come back to Devil’s Falls after he blew out of town that last
time, let alone to settle here and…get married. “Wow. What’s Daniel have to say
about that?”

“He was best man at
our wedding.” Jules laughed. “Though he was pretty furious at the beginning.
Here, sit down. You look like you could use a coffee, and I’ll tell you the
story since we’re generally pretty dead Thursday nights. Then I’ll close up and
we can go to dinner. The boys will love to see you. Quinn was just talking
about you the other day.”

Hope wasn’t sure she
actually agreed to any of it, but the next thing she knew, she was drinking
coffee while a cat curled up in her lap and listening to Jules’s wild tale
about a fake relationship that turned into a real relationship. Somehow in the
middle of that, she was bundled up into Jules’s truck, and by then it was too
late to change her mind.

She settled into her
seat, consoling herself with the fact that Jules had very specifically not
mentioned Daniel’s name. There was no reason to think he’d be there, but it would
be nice to reconnect with some of her old friends. As much as it had hurt when
things went south with Daniel, knowing that she’d lost Quinn and Adam, too, had
just been salt in the wound. She’d chased them around since she could toddle
after her big brother and his friends, and they’d turned into true friends over
the years. She understood why they hadn’t reached out, but she wasn’t going to
turn down a chance to catch up with them.

It would probably be
the only nice thing about being back in Devil’s Falls.

“Not interested.”

“You haven’t even
heard what I’m asking.”

“Don’t need to.”
Daniel Rodriguez leaned down and unbuckled Rita’s saddle and hefted it off the
horse’s back. They’d had a good run today, the hot sun making it impossible to
think too hard about anything other than whether a human being could roast
alive in Texas in August. He hadn’t yet, so that put the odds ever so slightly
in his favor.

All he wanted was to
finish here and head back to his place for a cold shower and an even colder
beer.

It would just
fucking figure that the universe had other ideas. He glanced up, but Aubry
Kaiser hadn’t moved. In fact, with her arms crossed over her chest and her chin
up, all signs pointed to this adding up to an argument he couldn’t possibly
win.

Damn it.

“No.”

She frowned harder.
“It’s your birthday. You can’t just sit at home by yourself.”

“Since it’s my
birthday, this is the one day a year I should be able to do exactly that
with no one bitching at me.” He regretted the harsh words almost as soon as
they were out of his mouth, but Aubry wasn’t like his little cousin. She was
meaner than a rattler and twice as likely to bite.

She narrowed her
amber eyes at him. “Your cousin misses you.”

That explained why
she was out here when he knew for a fact she thought horses were akin to
goats—as in, the devil’s own creatures. Hell, she was giving poor Rita a
suspicious look even while guilt-tripping him using the one person in his life
he couldn’t say no to.

Which doesn’t
explain why Jules herself isn’t here.

“She sees me on a
regular basis.”

“This is your
birthday.” Aubry sighed and rolled her eyes, looking put-upon. “Look, it goes
like this—Jules has worked really hard to put together a surprise birthday
party for you, and if you don’t show up to be surprised, she’s going to be
crushed.”

He stared. “I don’t
want a surprise birthday party.” The fact that it was no longer a surprise said
a whole lot about Aubry’s priorities, and he couldn’t blame her for that.

“Look at my face.
This is the face of a woman who doesn’t give two fucks what you care about.
What I care about is Jules, and that means you’re going to go shower off
the smell of that animal and show up at their house in an hour, right on time.”
She paused, her brows slanting down in an expression that was downright
forbidding. “You helped me out not too long ago, so I’m going to do you a solid
and give you the lowdown. Ready?”

Fuck, no. “Sure.”

“Jules is worried
about you. Really worried. If you don’t show up tonight, she’s going to take
that as a sign to go forward with plan B.”

He knew he was going
to regret it, but he still asked, “What’s plan B?”

Aubry gave a tight
smile. “A full-scale intervention with everyone in your life, including your
parents. The kind where they sit you down in a circle and each speak their mind
in the most uncomfortable way possible until you’re ready to beg the ground to
swallow you whole.” Her smile dimmed. “She’s worried about you, Daniel.”

Everyone seemed
worried about him, though they usually did him the courtesy of at least trying
to hide the looks exchanged when they thought he wasn’t looking. The whispered
conversations with his various cousins and his parents. The never-ending work
that was only there because they were throwing him a goddamn bone. It didn’t
seem to matter that he hadn’t done anything requiring an intervention. He’d
just stopped enjoying the company of people, mostly because he was such shitty
company these days. But try telling that to the family, and they acted like he
had just confessed to being an ax murderer.

At least Jules had
mostly stayed out of it. Up until today.

He
grabbed the curry brush and went over Rita’s back. Aubry was right. Showing up
to a party he didn’t want on a day he sure as fuck didn’t feel like celebrating
was vastly preferable to the alternative. “Explain to me what the plan is.”

She gave a grin that
did nothing to reassure him. “Dinner and drinks. It’ll be nice. Adam and Quinn
miss you.”

“I see those
assholes every day.” Kind of hard not to when they worked the ranch alongside
him. It felt right to have Adam back, to have Quinn there, but at the same time
it was a constant reminder that they were a man short.

And it was his
fault.

“It’s different and
you know it,” Aubry continued, obviously enjoying how miserable he was. She’d
always been a mean one, which never failed to amuse him because Jules was her
polar opposite—as bright and happy as a spring day. Rita shifted in her stall,
and Aubry went even paler than she was normally. “Dinner starts at six. Don’t
be late.” Then she was gone, moving at a clip fast enough that a less cautious
man than Daniel would call it running.

He waited a good
five minutes before he followed, hauling the saddle into the tack room and
sorting out the bridle. He didn’t begrudge Quinn his happiness—or Adam, for
that matter—but sometimes it sure as fuck was hard to be around them and their
women. The fact that one of those women was his little cousin barely entered
into it.

He headed for his
truck and took the pitted dirt road leading around the edge of his parents’
property to the little house he’d built a few years ago. It wasn’t anything
fancy, but it got the job done, and it was far enough outside town that most
people thought twice before stopping by unannounced.

Most people not
including his family.

The shower did
nothing to ward off the feeling of pending doom. It wasn’t that he didn’t like
Jules or Adam or Quinn or whoever the fuck else was going to be at this damn
party, but he wasn’t in the partying sort of mood. Truth be told, he hadn’t
been in that mood for over a decade. It was almost enough to make him call the
whole thing off, but the knowledge that Jules would have no problem bringing
the party to him got him moving again. Not to mention the potential intervention
he needed like he needed a hole in the head.

At least if he went
there, he could hang out for the appropriate amount of time, make his excuses,
and slip out while everyone else was occupied. Two hours, tops.

Feeling
significantly better, he pulled on a pair of his favorite old jeans and a
T-shirt and grabbed his keys. It struck him as he walked out the door that he
was thirty-fucking-four years old. How the hell did that happen? He
shook his head. He knew damn well how that happened. One day turned into a
week, a month, a year, a decade. All while he kept on keeping, the world
changing around him, but never changing enough.

He glanced at his
watch. “Two hours starts when I get there.”

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Excerpt Reveal – Empire


Excerpt

“These people are ruthless, Calla. Are you sure you can handle it?” I told her as well as Alina and Anna the same thing I’m telling Roan. I’m extremely aware of how dangerous this situation is. I may not have had the displeasure of personally dealing with these wretched leaders who don’t play fair in our world; on the contrary, I will not tolerate any of them treating me any different because I have tits and a vagina. If it weren’t for women, they would be fucking each other over more than they do now. Welcome to the first episode of badassery and women power, you self-righteous dicks.
I’m a firm believer in women’s rights. I don’t care what men’s opinions are of us or what a woman is trying to accomplish. We are all equal. The only difference we have is, women use their brain the way we should, while most men use what hangs between their legs to do their bidding for them. And I can guarantee, these overbearing suckers have dicks that should be playing a role in Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Small dicks, small brains, and all that jazz.
I’ve been fighting round after round with Cain for weeks over this. The need to protect me I get. We have a daughter, is his argument. “Why do you feel the need to take on this role? You don’t have to, you know? One of us can.” It’s not that Cain wants this position. No. That’s not it at all. The man is scared of losing his wife. Of the things I will see, the things I may have to do. How I’ll react to being threatened. Will the same thing or worse happen to me like it did before? It’s not one bit funny, but the only way to shut that man up is to flash my tits and vagina in his face. Then fuck him until his cock—which isn’t small by any means—takes over his worried brain. Like I said, men. I love my man, though. These pissy, arrogant cock-suckers who will be calling a meeting at any time are the worthless pieces of shit. Except the Solokovs, who think in this century and treat everyone equally like we do, not like these fools who I’ve studied until my eyes were bleeding and could no longer make out their faces through my blurred vision. Most of them I haven’t met yet, and they already make me sick and make me want to hurl all over their expensive Armani suits. They could all learn a thing or two from a woman.
“Get to the point, Calla. You said we don’t have time to fuck around. Let me hear your theory.”
“You need to loosen up, Roan. You sound like Hitler, for god’s sake.” I salute him.
The tiny crack of a smile he had moments ago falls; in its place is the face of a man who’s suffered loss and hardship. This look on him is what I hate. I’ve been busting my ass to help him out here. Searching through tiny holes for any goddamn thing I could find.
What Cain and Roan don’t understand is the craving I have to protect them too. It’s my right. I may not have lived my entire life growing up in this environment of murder, drugs, stealing, and the latest, underground illegal fighting, but I’m no fool. I can play with fire, but I’m not allowing myself to get burned.
“I’m not afraid of those men, you know. I’m not afraid of you either. In fact, I just may be your biggest weapon. Remember that, Roan,” I seethe. Between him and Cain trying to scare the crap out of me, I’m ready to prove myself to them more than anyone else.
The sharp tongue, piss, and vinegar are all in my blood. Just like Roan, I will kill for my blood. I also know Roan. That man protects with his life, as do the rest of these men. He’s going to have someone on me at all times. Maybe even several men. What he fails to realize is, my dad will never allow anything to happen to me. He’s already volunteered to go where I go. People are scared to death of the unstoppable John Greer, and they should be. He’s killed and made more people disappear than I want to know about, but he’s my father, my protector, and even though I trust our friends and family, I trust him more. His eyes are everywhere, trained on point. I don’t want anything to happen to my dad. I do know he will refuse to let anyone take care of what’s his, especially after the hell I went through with Roan’s older brother, Royal; a man I didn’t know before he kidnapped me. Besides, both of them know my dad has trained me to shoot. I hope I remember how. I’m not invincible, none of us are. But I sure as hell will not lie down and let anyone trample all over me. Especially men who don’t respect me.
I’m sick and tired of this shit. Here we think everything is fine. Those people will stick with the rules. You stay in your territory, and I’ll stay in mine. Hell no, someone crossed over. Someone shot our loved one in cold blood.

.99 cent special pre-order price for EMPIRE by Kathy Coopmans.

Releasing October 5th.

This is the final book in The Syndicate Series.
Price increases to 2.99 on release day!

Pre-order links for EMPIRE.
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2bxKYR0
Amazon UK- http://amzn.to/2bKBX4D
iBooks – http://apple.co/2akiRm1
Nook – http://bit.ly/2aFX47F
Kobo – http://bit.ly/2ao2kOe

Haven’t read this series yet?
Download The Wrath of Cain for FREE here: http://bit.ly/2dfwxyp

Blurb

We’ve loved.
We’ve lost.
We’ve hated.
Our Empire is crumbling right before my eyes. No one can be trusted for reasons that are consuming me, controlling me and ripping me away from my family.
This new family who has taken over the streets of New York has taken someone away from us. We will not let them take anymore. The only way to stop them is to sacrifice one of us.
But who? They want to end me and my cousin, Calla.
I will never allow that to happen.
This is our EMPIRE. Our LIFE.
What it boils down to is… her life or mine.
The answer is MINE!
I’m perceived as weak, all because I’m a woman.
A woman on a mission now that they’ve stolen someone I love.
They have threatened my family, my child, my love.
I may be a woman but, I’m the daughter of a notorious killer.
They want to end me and my cousin, Roan.
I will never allow that to happen.
This is our EMPIRE. Our LIFE.
What it boils down to is… his life or mine.
The answer is MINE!
I’m loved.
I’m lost.
I hate.


Other books in the Series

The Wrath of Cain
(book 1 in the Syndicate Series)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LQp9pV
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1M2rREu

The Redemption of Roan
(book 2 in the Syndicate Series)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SVUsPe
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1qCCESh

The Absolution of Aidan
(book 3 in the Syndicate Series)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1OE8yn5
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1RRM20g

The Deliverance of Dilan
(book 4 in the Syndicate Series)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1RBbaCz
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1rfMPgG

About the Author:

Amazon Best Selling Author Kathy Coopmans, lives in Michigan with her husband Tony where they have two grown sons.
After raising her children she decided to publish her first book and retiring from being a hairstylist.
She now writes full time.
She’s a huge sports fan with her favorite being Football and Tennis.
She’s a giver and will do anything she can to help another person succeed!
Stalk Her: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads | Newsletter signup

THANK YOU!

Excerpt Reveal – Somewhere to Begin

Title: Somewhere to Begin

Series: Poison & Wine #1

Author: Mika Jolie

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 20, 2016

There are wounds that never show on the body.

For twenty-nine years, Colbie Bennington does as expected with an eternal smile stained on her lips. The biggest chances she’s ever taken can be counted on one hand, three fingers to be exact—her battered red chucks, painting her toenails a vibrant blue, and her wedding dress. Always the dutiful daughter and a Stepford fiancée, she has never acted on impulse, never been in love.

She’s never lived.

On her wedding day, Colbie ends a toxic relationship, drops the fake smile, and says, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Navy SEAL Zander Serrano returns home broken and burdened with a volcano of remorse. Too trapped in a mental war to be at peace and too damaged to be at war, he shuts the world out. The last thing he expects is to feel, especially for a runaway bride with her own baggage.

Two empty hearts marred in different spots find themselves drawn to one another. Each with their own scars. Some, the world can see. Others, unseen to the naked eye.

They say two broken people should not be together. But for Colbie and Zander, their attraction is undeniable, unexpected.

Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds?

Starting over is never easy, but sometimes in life, everyone needs somewhere to begin.

 

Somewhere to Begin by Mika Jolie


“Pity.” She scoffed. “You’re here out of pity.”


“I don’t do anything out of pity.” If he did, he would have never pulled a gun on a thirteen-year-old boy in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan, ready to squeeze the trigger when the kid had drawn a fully automatic in his face. That was the nature of war. Sorrow and compassion had long been stripped out of him. After twelve years serving his country, his empathy had shrunk to something that could be accurately described as a professional concern. During combat, apathy was a necessary evil. He did what needed to be done to save his ass and his band of brothers. The same way he had reacted after seeing Colbie’s frail body pinned between the steering column and the car seat.


In the adrenaline rush, he’d forgotten his pain. The strain of physical therapy vanished, and once again, he was a soldier running toward the conflict. The entire front end of her car had crumpled with the force of the head-on collision into the trees. Windshield shattered. Her body limp, caught in a steel prison, an oily taste spreading through the smoky air.


After banging on the window in a desperate attempt to get her attention, he’d popped the door open. Locating the clip of her seat belt biting into her chest, he undid it and dragged her out of the car, away from the smell of gas. A mechanical reflex, nothing heroic.


“You feel sorry for me. No one has come to visit me other than you, I bet.” There was a moment, just a fraction of a second, when her face mirrored her emotions, utter devastation. Then she angled her head to a more casual pose.


But the delicate curves of her lips revealed a significant pathos of their own. She was wearing a mask. He recognized it.


“I want to be here,” he said and meant every word. He’d been struck by her beauty since the accident, and for the last two days, he’d been drinking her in like he was dying of thirst. Instant attraction was the universe’s way of fucking with his head—one more shitpile to add to the list of mental fuck-ups. As she adjusted her weight and moved her left hand, his gaze fell on the bare finger where the engagement ring had been. “I’ll get a nurse.” He turned to the door just as it slid open.


“Coming in,” a high-pitched voice called as the door pushed open. Zander stepped back, making room for the doctor and nurse.


“How is it going Mr. Serrano?” Nurse Jenkins greeted him in her Jamaican born accent.


“Great,” he muttered.


Immediately, Nurse Jenkins surveyed the electronic machine buzzing and clicking in a symphony of sounds. She scribbled something on the patient’s chart, then passed it to the doctor. After a cursory glance, he placed it in a slot on the wall.


“Mr. Serrano, good to see you again. I’m going to check on our favorite patient.” The doctor shook Zander’s hand, and then turned his attention on Colbie. “Miss Bennington, I’m Dr. Richard Sydney, and this is Nurse Jenkins. You had a mild concussion from the whiplash along with a couple of bruised ribs. How do you feel?”


“Fine,” she whispered.


Nurse Jenkins pulled out two pair of gloves in the holder on the wall and handed one to the doctor. They buzzed around Colbie, checking the bandage on her forehead, her vital signs, the IV, and her heart rate before stepping back.


“Ready to go home?” Dr. Sydney asked in a casual tone.


For a beat, her face became rigid with tension but then quickly settled into careful neutrality. “Yes, I am,” she answered.


“Miss Bennington,” Dr. Sydney continued, “those marks on your arms—”


“They’re nothing,” she cut in. “I tripped. A clumsy accident on my part.”


Zander studied her clasped hands. He recognized the excuse to avoid the situation. An art he’d mastered since returning from Afghanistan.


“Miss Bennington, the marks on your arms are not from a fall, nor were they obtained in the course of any sporting activity.” Dr. Sydney glanced over at Zander and then scribbled something on his notepad. “If you are in danger—”


“I’m not in danger.” She met the doctor’s questionable stare. Her face was expressionless with no sign of feelings. The shutters were drawn shut.


Lucky for her, Zander was good at reading body language. He caught the subtle way her thumb pressed on the tip of her ring finger. She was most likely ashamed, and her brain was busy racing for ways out.


Silence lay in the room. Zander folded his arms tight across his chest, watching, trying to figure out her story. Someone’s favorite pastime had been to hit her. That was clear. If he were a betting man, he’d bet the culprit was her fiancé. Feeling sick to his stomach, he scrubbed a hand over his face.


“You can press charges,” Doctor Sydney advised.


“I’m fine, Doctor.” She lifted her chin in an attempt to look confident. “I’m ready to go home.”


But her dark, hollow eyes showed she was neither.


After a slight hesitation, Doctor Sydney nodded. “Nurse Jenkins will bring the release form for you to sign.”


“I bought you a change of clothes,” Zander said once they were alone. He picked up a cream shopping bag and handed it to her.


“You went shopping?” Her head shifted in his direction. When he didn’t answer, she smiled. “You’re a sweet man.”


“I’m not sweet.”


She unfolded the basic white cotton tee and examined the dropped V-neck. “This is pretty.”


He shrugged, making a mental note to send Paige a thank you text for helping him pick out the outfit. She had insisted on the shirt—something about it being simple and feminine.


Colbie checked the label attached to the waist of the jeans and then narrowed her eyes at him. “How did you figure my size?”


He hadn’t. When Paige asked for a guesstimate, his response had been about five foot seven inches tall, curvy, C-cup breasts. “I went with a friend.” And spent forty long minutes listening to the woman his sister had lovingly dubbed as the fourth musketeer as she scolded him for not returning her calls or text messages. “Where is home, Colbie?”


A shadow crossed her beautiful features, but she quickly recast her face into one of disinterest, erasing the crestfallen look. “Medham.”


“Your parents?”


She nodded.


“Are you going back there?” That question was met with stony silence. Once more, he studied her finger where the diamond had been. “Married?”


“No.”


“The night of the accident, you were in a wedding dress.”


“I’m not married.”


“What’s your story?”


“What does it matter?” she challenged, her eyes locked with his.


“Do you have somewhere to go?”


After another long pause, she let out a long breath, licking her lips in a nervous little gesture.


“Let’s try the truth,” he said, and waited.


“I lost control of my car and crashed.”


Malarkey detection was one of his strength, right now, his ears were buzzing. “Tell me you’re not going back to whoever left those marks on your arms.”


Her chin tilted up, ready for battle, but her eyes welled up with a sadness no one should possess. They showed her soul, broken and damaged. Zander fought the desire to scoop her up, take her home, and pour love into her until she felt safe enough to cry out whatever pain tormented her.


The thought almost made him laugh . . . or cry . . . or both. It was the biggest joke ever because he was dealing with his own crap and had absolutely nothing to give.


“Don’t worry about me.” She cleared her throat and tucked an unruly lock of hair behind her ear. “I’ll figure something out.”


Everything about her told his intuition she was a trap, yet he walked right in and let the door swing shut. “Get dressed. You’re coming with me.”

Mika Jolie is the bestselling author of the Martha’s Way series. She lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.


She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon. 

For latest news on her current works-in-progress, interviews with fellow authors, or just to see what she’s up to, check out her website: http://www.mikajolie.com or sign up for her newsletter http://mikajolie.us8.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=031e437e36c82d666bd5f3d46&id=af83626053 where you can hear her latest news and enjoy giveaways.

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Excerpt Reveal – Neighbors



Excerpt

“Not what I was expecting. You impress me,” he said to her, his voice low.
“I’m flattered. I get the feeling there isn’t much you’ve seen that impresses you,” she said.
“Katya,” he whispered, and she shivered. He so rarely said her first name. “I’ve never seen anything like you.”
Words like that, and he didn’t need to make any deals. He’d barely finished talking, and she was all over him. His assistant was somewhere in the building, Katya was positive the conference room door wasn’t locked, and she didn’t care at all. Not even one little bit.
She sat down in his lap with such force that his chair rolled backwards, threatening to tip over. She was able to kiss him once, but then his hands were in her hair, yanking her away.
“Ah, but this is supposed to be a punishment, remember? Who said you could kiss me?” he said, and she felt him nipping at the side of her neck.
“Please, I don’t want to – AH!” she ended in a shriek when he bit so hard, she wondered if he broke skin.
“Dissension. Tsk tsk, Ms. Tocci. You’re on a roll tonight. Get off me.”
She wasn’t given a chance to comply. He pulled harder on her hair, and she was forced to follow his hand. She slid off his lap and managed to get her feet under her, still moving with him as he stood up.
Katya was dragged across the room and pressed up against the floor-to-ceiling window. She gulped at the feeling of cold glass on her hot skin, then moaned when she felt his lips on the back of her neck. She wasn’t sure what had gotten into him – their last time together, he hadn’t been so aggressive. Maybe she was seeing a new side to him. Or the real him.
Very pleased to meet you, Mr. Stone.
“Please,” she said again, pushing her hips away from the window and rubbing her ass against his crotch. “Please, I need you.”
“Hmmm, that’s nice, but I don’t think that’s what you mean,” he whispered. As he kissed his way down her spine, his hand slowly slid out of her hair and crept over the back of her neck.
“Please, Wulf.”
“’Please, Wulf’. She begs so sweetly, yet still can’t get what she wants.”
His free hand was at her hip, yanking and pulling at her underwear. Shoving them down, letting them fall to her ankles. Leaving her in only her bra.
“Please.”
She could feel his suit against her bare skin as he stood upright, and his hand slid around her neck, gently wrapping around her throat. She gasped as she was pulled back, her spine forced to arch as her head was drawn into his shoulder. She planted her palms against the window and started panting while his other hand moved across her stomach.
“Please what?”
“I want …”
The hand on her throat squeezed tighter, the hand on her stomach moved lower, but neither pushed her over the edge she was so desperately seeking. She stood on the balls of her feet, almost crying from the tension running through her body.
“If you can’t even say what you fucking want,” he growled, his breath hot against her face. “I don’t know why I should bother giving it to you.”
“Please, I want you to fuck me,” she whispered. The chuckle she heard sounded more like a growl, and she moaned when she felt his tongue against her ear.
“What was that? I couldn’t quite hear you,” he hissed.
“Just fuck me,” she hissed right back.
“Just fuck you? That’s it? My, your demands are so very simple.”
Alright, Wulfric. You win.
“Please, Wulf,” she purred, placing one of her hands over his own and moving it down between her legs. “Fuck me right now. Right here. Against this window. Fuck me so hard, people down on the street will hear me screaming your name.”
She’d never spoken like that before, to anyone. She briefly wondered if it was too much. If she sounded ridiculous. But then he was slamming his dick into her, and she realized it wasn’t too much at all.
Jesus, I should’ve been talking like this years ago.
“I thought that was going to take you all fucking night,” he groaned as he bucked his hips against her. Slow and gentle certainly wasn’t on the menu that night – he just instantly started fucking her like it was his job. She couldn’t even respond. Could barely breathe. He was pounding the air from her lungs, and the hand on her throat was ensuring she couldn’t suck any of it back in.
“See what happens when you do as I ask? You get rewarded,” he panted, finally moving his hands. She gulped in air greedily and managed to nod.
“Yes. Yes, thank you. God, thank you so much,” she moaned. He gripped her hips and yanked them further away from the glass, forcing her to bend at almost a right angle. The new position enabled him to fuck her even harder, something she hadn’t thought was possible. She shrieked with every thrust, her hands beating against the window.
“So polite. So sweet. Katya Tocci, best fucking dessert I’ve ever had.”
She shrieked again as she was whirled around. She thought she was going to fall over, the position she was in wasn’t favorable when competing against gravity, but she didn’t have to worry. Wulf always had a plan. She was slammed down against the conference table top. She pressed her cheek to the hard wood and let out a long groan when his hips started banging against her, over and over.
“The best. God, you’re the best,” she was whispering. Babbling, unsure even of what exactly she was saying. She had her arms stretched out to the sides, gripping the edges of the table, but he roughly grabbed her right arm and jerked it back.
“Touch yourself,” he commanded, lifting her hips enough so she could work her hand between them and the table.
“Oh my god.”
One press of her fingertips, and she shot off like a starter pistol. Screamed as an orgasm rocked every single nerve ending. She went to pull her hand away so she could bathe in the sensations, but Wulf’s hand flattened over her own, his fingers working above hers. She whimpered and cried out as wave after wave of pleasure coursed through her. Became too much for her. Overwhelmed her. Yet still, he wrung more out of her, his fingers pressing even harder. It wasn’t until she was lifting her feet off the ground, her free hand pounding on the table top, begging him for mercy, that he let her go.
And immediately, she missed his touch.
Before she could beg him to start all over again, though, he had his own orgasm. He came with a shout, dragging his nails down her back before grabbing onto her hips. Digging his fingers into her flesh. While he throbbed inside of her, bruises throbbed on the outside of her, and every nerve ending throbbed within her.
“Holy shit, Tocci,” he panted, and she felt him lean forward. Felt his forehead against her back.
“You … you were … that was incredible,” she whispered, still finding it hard to breathe.
“I know.”
“Jesus, it was like you were angry at me.”
“I was – your little strip tease from earlier pissed me off. How dare you keep something so wonderfully inappropriate from me.”
She managed a laugh.
“Duly noted. Next time I learn a new trick, I’ll share it with you immediately.”


Are you ready to meet the neighbors?

Neighbors by Stylo Fantome releases on September 27th!

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/2bxk5rb


Blurb
Things a good neighbor can do for you:

1. Give you a cup of sugar

2. Let you borrow his lawnmower

3. Water your plants while you’re on vacation

4. Make your eyes roll back in your head with his tongue

Katya Tocci has never paid much attention to who lives next door – her career always kept her too busy. She’s a good girl, working her way to becoming the most sought after cake designer in all of San Francisco.

But even a good girl’s gotta cut loose once in a while, right? So one fake dating profile later, and she’s ready to tarnish her squeaky clean image. Little does she know, her fun time is closer to home than she ever imagined.

Throw in a neighbor who wants to corrupt her, and another who just wants to own her, and her entire world is flipped upside down.

Who knew neighbors could be so helpful?

About the Author:

Crazy woman from a remote location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since … forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I’m clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there’s your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can’t understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.

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Excerpt Reveal – Down Shift


Excerpt
I force myself to look away because . . . well, because he’s a stranger. In my house. Naked. And oh my God, something is wrong with me, because I’m not running and calling 911 like I should.
When his chuckle subsides, he brings his head back down, so I can see the tears in his eyes from laughter. “That thing is my cock, and since this is my bathroom and you seem to be attempting to seduce me in my house, I don’t think you have any right to tell me what to do.” And with that, he leans a hip against the counter and folds his arms across his chest, eyes locked on mine and one eyebrow lifted. Everything else is left hanging out there in the wind.
“Your house? Seduce you?” At that point I realize I’m sputtering and shaking my head. “This is my house. You’re in my house.”
Confusion drifts across his face and his jaw falls lax. “Hold up.” He lifts his hands in the hold on a minute position, drawing my eyes back to where they don’t want to be. If this whole situation weren’t so unbelievable, it would be comical, and yet as true as that is, I don’t seem to be laughing at all. “I think there seems to be some misunderstanding.”
“No shit.” Sarcasm is my fallback and it doesn’t disappoint me now. A lot of good it does me, though, as I’m still doing the naked dance while trying to react to this surreal situation.
The look of disdain he gives me at my comment earns him no points in my book. “While I’m digging the socks with your outfit,” he says with a smirk, eyes veering down and then back up to my strategically placed hands, “you should cover up.” I catch the towel he tosses me and immediately wrap it around myself. I’m certain my mismatching knee-high socks make a statement about me, but I’m beyond caring, because I’m still alone in my house with a strange man and have no answers as to how this has happened.
With one hand clutching onto the towel at my collarbone, I use the other to motion to him. “You too.”
A lightning flash of a grin glances across his lips. “Sorry, but you just took the only towel left.”

Meet Zander & Getty in DOWN SHIFT –
the newest stand alone in the Driven Series by K. Bromberg!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cgkF2W
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2cg6Ayp
iBooks:http://apple.co/2c0TqU3
Nook: http://bit.ly/2cMG67O
Kobo:http://bit.ly/2ctJho8

The New York Times bestselling Driven series continues with a story about finding love where you least expect it…
Behind the wheel, racing champion Zander Donavan is at the top of his game. But after too much excess in his personal life, he’s forced to step away. He needs to accomplish something all on his own—outside of his famous father, Colton Donavan’s, shadow.
Getty Caster is running away from the abuse that clouds her past. She thinks she’s found the perfect escape—until she discovers a stranger in the beachside cottage she’d been promised. He’s undeniably sexy, but she’s there to heal. Alone.
Before long though, fighting with each other turns into fighting their attraction. And giving into desire sets off a chain reaction that has their pasts colliding. With an unexpected love on the line, can they overcome the fallout to build a future?

About the Author:

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

She’s a mixture of most of her female characters: sassy, intelligent, stubborn, reserved, outgoing, driven, emotional, strong, and wears her heart on her sleeve. All of which she displays daily with her husband and three children where they live in Southern California.

On a whim, K. Bromberg decided to try her hand at this writing thing. Since then she has written The Driven Series (Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced, Aced), the standalone Driven Novels (Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, Hard Beat, and Down Shift (Releasing 10/4/16)), and a short story titled UnRaveled. She is currently finishing up Sweet Cheeks a standalone novel out at the end of 2016.

Her plans for 2017 include a sports romance duet (The Player (#1) and The Catch (#2)) and the Everyday Heroes series (Cuffed (#1), Combust (#2), and Cockpit (#3). She’s also writing a novella for the 1,001 Dark Night series that will be out in February 2017.
She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media.

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