Grab Angelica Dawson’s new release for #99cents! #Harlot #BlueMoonSeries #PNR #LGBT @angelicadawson

Grab the seventh, penultimate prequel in the Blue Moon House series!

99 cents for a limited time.

Amazon  Nook  iBooks  Kobo  Goodreads

What happens when the sacrifice you make for another turns into a life you can’t abandon? Gwendolyn didn’t plan to become a whore. She didn’t expect to fall in love with another woman. She certainly wouldn’t guess that woman was a vampire. By the time she learns, it is too late, her heart belongs to Sophia and she will do anything to stay with the woman, the vampire, she loves.

Enjoy this steamy excerpt from Harlot:

As soon as the door closed behind him, James grabbed her by the arms, spun her around and slammed her back into the door.

“I don’t like being told what to do.” His voice was gravelly and low, menacing.

She swallowed and tried to calm herself. She was barely successful.

“On the bed, and remove that foolish shift.”

Gwendolyn obeyed silently, instinctively. The authority in his voice was unmistakable and unavoidable. She sat atop the bed, naked, watching him as he gathered a soft, silk rope that was coiled on a chest of drawers.

He rolled her onto her stomach, pulling her arms behind her. She had barely registered that her elbows were lashed together before he was flipping her again and tying her ankles to a thick staff, notched on either end to hold the rope and keep it from sliding along the shaft. Her legs weren’t spread uncomfortably, but it was pinching her tied arms, which pressed into the bed. That eased when he picked her up and set her on her feet.

Gwendolyn worried she would topple over, but the staff tucked into the hollow of her ankles and didn’t affect her ability to stand at all. She was overcome with a feeling of helplessness, though. She had feigned that with David, but this was real and it made her weep.

Her tears only fuelled James’ fire and he braced his hands on the wall behind her, one over each ear. He licked up her cheeks, tasting the tears.

“Are you afraid of me, girl?”

She opened her mouth but nothing came out. His mouth covered hers, and she couldn’t answer if she’d been able. His tongue savagely roamed her mouth and she gasped for air when he broke the kiss.

“Now, let’s see what you can handle.”

***

Angelica can be found at http://angelicadawson.com or Facebook or Twitter.


Advertisements

Out Now—Hot #lesfic Window Dressing by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #FF #1Click

 

windowdressing_lucyfelthouse_promosquare_outnow

Blurb:

Can Jessie work with a woman with the looks of a pixie and the personality of a dragon to complete the most important task of her career?

ClShop-fitter Jessie is sent to London’s Oxford Street to work on a flagship store’s front window overnight. It’s the first time she’s completed such an important task by herself, but the plans and organisation are solid—it’s just a case of getting it turned around before the store re-opens the following morning. What she’s not betting on, however, is the woman in charge of the project—Edith. She has the looks of a pixie but the personality of a dragon, and it soon becomes clear to Jessie that the job isn’t going to be plain sailing, not with Edith being awkward and putting Jessie down at every turn. As the hours drag on, Jessie somehow manages to peer beneath Edith’s frosty exterior, and much to her surprise, she kind of likes what she finds. But will she abandon her principles—and potentially risk her job—for a one-off thing?

Buy links:

Amazon (universal link): http://viewbook.at/windowdressing

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/2hMsUof

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2gTdtWK

iBooks: http://apple.co/2hLXgoi

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2hMBcfN

Pride Publishing: http://bit.ly/2h3xT4B

*****

Excerpt:

With a sigh of relief, I followed the satnav’s instructions and indicated right, swinging the van into the side road off of London’s Oxford Street.

“You have reached your destination,” remarked the posh voice coming from the machine.

“Thank fuck for that,” I shot back, removing the device from the windscreen and wiping at the tell-tale ring it left behind on the glass with my sleeve, hoping to remove any temptation for potential thieves. No doubt they swarmed around this area, tourist Mecca as it was. I didn’t want them to catch me out.

I stowed away the satnav, switched off the van’s ignition, and grabbed all my stuff. Hopping out onto the road, I locked the van and pocketed the keys. Then, wiping my damp palms on my black work trousers, I approached the rear door of the shop where I was to work.

Come on, get a grip, Jessie! You may be new at this, but you know what you’re doing. You’ve got this.

I wasn’t totally insane to be nervous. I’d been working for the shop-fitting company for just over a year now, and it was great. I really enjoyed the work, the variety. But this was the first time I’d been sent out on a job by myself. It hadn’t been intentional, either—the job was last minute, and the client had made it worth my employer’s while. Normally there’d been a team of two coming here, but there was another big job, one that needed the more experienced fitters on board. Therefore I’d been pulled off that task, in order to do this one. Alone.

Adding more worry was the warning one of my colleagues had given me on finding out where I was being sent. “You watch out for that Edith woman, Jessie. She may look like a pixie, but she’s actually more of a dragon. She frightens the bloody life out of me.”

The warning ringing in my ears, I took a deep breath and pressed the doorbell. I could do this. I could. I’d made it all the way from Leeds to London, navigating busy motorways and the complete insanity that was England’s capital city, venturing right into the heart—the craziest of the crazy. Fortunately, by the time I’d hit the West End, the traffic wasn’t too bad, given that the shops were closing and rush hour had been and gone. There were still morons galore, naturally—honking taxi drivers, swerving, lane-hopping cyclists, oblivious rickshaw drivers, suicidal pedestrians—but I’d kept my cool throughout, telling myself I was so close to the end of my journey that I could almost touch it. Taste it.

And here I was, at the back entrance of the flagship store of the world-famous fashion chain, ready to change over its window display in time for when the shop reopened in the morning. I glanced at my watch, relaxed a little. It was ten p.m. Eleven whole hours until opening time. No problem, not even for a relative newbie like me.

The door opened a crack and a sliver of a dark face peered out at me. “Yes?”

“Oh, hi. I’m Jessie—from the shop-fitters? Here to work on your window display?”

The woman—the voice had given it away, as she was still peering through the crack between the door and its frame—eyed me up. The black trousers, black T-shirt, black fleece—the latter two bearing the name of the company I worked for, clearly weren’t enough. Turning her attention to the van behind me—emblazoned with the company name in huge letters—she now seemed convinced.

“All right,” she said, opening the door wider and stepping back to let me through. “Come on in.”

“Thanks…”

“I’m Jacqueline. Edith’s already in the window. She’s the one in charge.”

I nodded. “Okay—lead the way.” I followed Jacqueline through the dimly lit storeroom. I’d known instantly she wasn’t Edith, because she looked nothing like a pixie. More like a goddess. She had a curly black afro, curves you could lose yourself in for days, and a wiggle that would have turned me instantly if I wasn’t already into women.

Blinking as we emerged into the blazing lights of the shop floor, I continued in Jacqueline’s wake, adjusting my ponytail and fixing a smile on my face as we grew closer to the window…and Edith. She was the big cheese—when it came to the window design and execution, anyway—so I needed to make a good impression. Hopefully she’d give good feedback to my boss, and I’d get more projects like this in future. Maybe even a raise—a girl could dream, right?

“Hi,” I said as we came within a couple of paces of my soon-to-be workspace. “I’m Jessie. Pleased to meet you.”

After a brief pause, the pixie took the hand I was holding out and shook it. Firm, confident, but brief. She was no-nonsense, this woman. But I’d known that already.

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller) and The Persecution of the Wolves. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 150 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

releaseblitzbutton_windowdressing

Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.


Spotlight ~ The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia #TeamHarry #Regency #Romance

 

Thank you so much for hosting #TeamHarry on your blog today.

#TeamHarry is the nickname of The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia. Because when I let the RavDor Chicks the FB group for Doris O’Connor and myself read some snippets they declared Harry a hunk and #TeamHarry are his cheerleaders.

 raven1

Seducing the wallflower…

Over the years, Lydia Field has perfected the art of being a wallflower. It’s the only way to avoid the attention of unwanted suitors – and the perils of a convenient, loveless marriage! Instead, she dreams of the day she can leave London’s high society behind her, trading the glamorous balls and afternoon teas for a quiet life in the country.

But in an unguarded moment, she finds herself catching the eye of notorious rake ‘Handsome Harry’, Lord Birnham. Now that he’s glimpsed the wildness and fire that lurks beneath Lydia’s demure exterior, Lord Birnham will not rest until he has unleashed the full extent of her passion!

For if there’s one skill that Lord Birnham is known for, it’s the art of persuasion…

raven2

~~~~~~~

And a wee tease…

On the spur of the moment, Lydia decided to slip out and purchase a novel to read on the long journey she intended to undertake. For once, she totally flouted convention and didn’t take a maid or a footman. Her mama would be horrified if she knew, and the ton would have no hesitation in labelling her flighty and worse.

She couldn’t have cared less.

As she wore an old and shabby-ish pelisse and a bonnet that shaded her face, no one gave her a second glance and she reached the bookshop unnoticed. Once inside the shop, with its unmistakable scent of leather and paper, Lydia’s tension slipped away from her like a discarded cloak. She slipped her bonnet down – the brim impeded her vision – and let her gaze feast on the delights in front of her. A happy half hour passed as she deliberated between the volumes on the shelves, and eventually picked one she thought should be light and entertaining, and another, which seemed darker. Between them and chatting with Millie, the journey should pass tolerably well.

Now all she had to do was return home, look as unhappy and unsettled as she had done recently, and wait until the appointed time to leave.

Sneak out like a thief. It was so annoying that she had to behave in such a way, but Lydia understood her parents well enough to know it was the only solution. She turned to go and have her books parcelled up but discovered her route was blocked. By a young man. Who, she realised with a jolt, she recognised.

She should have kept her bonnet on.

Lydia stared at the young man who barred her way. Surely he wasn’t going to cause a scene in Hatchards? Lydia nodded her head infinitesimally in the hope he would find some grace and good manners. He didn’t. He neither moved nor spoke, just glowered.

‘Excuse me,’ she said levelly. ‘I wish to pass.’

His eyes narrowed and he didn’t move. Her temper spiked. Even though he was dressed as any young man of the ton should be, something set him apart, and not in a good way. The wild look in his eyes, perhaps, or the fact that the petulant look she had noticed before was gone, to be replaced by something more adult and, not to put too fine a point on it, worrying.

Harry’s heir.

‘You look like a scullery maid.’

‘I thank you.’ she replied frostily. ‘Please move to one side.’

He stayed put. Those nasty spiders of worry began to make their presence known on her arms. It was one of the most unpleasant feelings ever. Why on earth was he behaving so abysmally?

‘I have heard you think you are going to marry Lord Birnham,’ he said in such a violent tone she jumped. ‘I think not. Not if you value your family.’

Lydia saw red. She was tired of being told what she was and was not to do. People needed to stop dictating to her and let her live her life. All the worry changed into annoyance.

‘What is all this about?’ she demanded. ‘I am so sick of your family trying to dictate to me and mine.’ She conveniently forgot her mama and her machinations. ‘I am marrying no one. Not you, not him, and not the man on the street corner. No one. Understand?’

He scowled. ‘Not him certainly, but me, definitely.’

‘You are mad.’ Lydia went to brush past him, and he barred her way by putting one hand on each stack of books. A very real, albeit tiny, frisson of fear skittered down her spine and she stiffened. He was not going to intimidate her. ‘Leave me alone or I will be forced to take action.’

‘I’ll get what I want,’ Jeremy said. ‘Wait and see.’

She didn’t bother to reply. After all, she wouldn’t be around much longer for him to cry out whatever threat he had intended to make. Lydia ducked under his outstretched arm, dropped her books on his feet, and swept past him, ignoring his howl of pain.

The Lord’s Persuasion of Lady Lydia is available at:

Amazon .com http://tinyurl.com/jx97dvc

Amazon .uk   http://tinyurl.com/jcnjwjv

Kobo               http://tinyurl.com/jhj8l7x

Are                  http://tinyurl.com/gl6wutl

Happy Reading,

Love Raven x

raven3


 

#ReleaseBlitz ~ Illicit Relations – #MM #Erotic #Romance by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)

 illicitrelations

Illicit Relations, a M/M erotic romance by Lucy Felthouse, with coming out and almost-taboo themes, has been re-released with a stunning new cover and a lower price! Please note, however, if you’ve read it before, that the content hasn’t changed.

*****

Blurb:

Terry’s had a crush on his second cousin Justin for what seems like forever. He’s hidden it as well as possible, knowing that the other man is out of bounds, forbidden fruit. Second cousins getting together isn’t actually illegal, but for Justin the relationship is too close—he just can’t contemplate them being together.

But when some new information comes to light about Terry’s birth and his place in the family, the whole game changes. Suddenly the relationship isn’t so impossible, and things soon begin to get hot and heavy.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/illicitrelations

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/29L2JMc

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/29At2jv

iBooks UK: http://apple.co/29Ear9K

iBooks US: http://apple.co/29L3dBX

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/29BbODJ

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18741652-illicit-relations

*****

Excerpt:

Terry deliberately averted his gaze as Justin tugged off his T-shirt and dove into the pool. The last thing he needed was to see him topless. His libido was already in overdrive and he was having trouble not jumping Justin’s bones. In fact, the only thing that held him back was the fact that Justin was his second cousin. They hadn’t been brought up particularly closely, so it wasn’t as if he were lusting after someone he considered to be a brother, but still. They were related and it was weird. Or it would be weird if anything happened between them, which it wouldn’t, of course. It would be wrong and they both knew it.

Terry assumed that was the reason Justin was avoiding him, anyway. They got on well and there was an obvious spark between them, but nothing inappropriate had ever taken place. For the most part, they acted as cousins should. Every now and again, though, he’d catch Justin looking at him. Equally, Terry would drink his fill of his cousin when no one else was looking. Apparently it was getting increasingly difficult for Justin, too.

Right now, at the annual summer get together at Terry’s grandparents’ massive house in rural Warwickshire, the tension between them had never been higher.

What made the whole thing ten times worse was that neither of them had come out. So ending up together would be a double whammy for their families. He could see it now. Hey, everyone! I’m gay—and so is he. We’re together. Now as you were.

He didn’t know whether the reaction would be favorable or not.

He also knew that part of his frustration about the situation was because he hadn’t yet seen any point in coming out. His feelings for Justin ran deeper than he cared to admit, and for that reason he hadn’t been in a relationship with anyone—ever. Not a homosexual relationship, anyway. He’d had girlfriends back in the days when he hadn’t realized what his urges meant, but since then he’d been by himself and remained a virgin. He was surprised, actually, that no one in his family had asked whether he was gay. He could only assume that because he was so private generally, they thought he would only introduce them to someone when he felt it was absolutely right. That was his plan, in fact. To come out and introduce his partner at the same time. But until he got over this damn infatuation with Justin, he was never going to be any farther forward.

His thoughts ran on for several minutes until he was interrupted—and startled—by droplets of cold water falling onto his bare shoulder. He turned. Justin stood there, shaking his blond head and sending the droplets flying around. Apparently he wasn’t avoiding Terry anymore.

It was hot and he was wearing casual clothes, so Terry wasn’t bothered about getting wet, but for some reason, he snapped at Justin. “For fuck’s sake, do you have to do that here?”

Immediately Justin stopped and stared at him. They’d never had a cross word between them, not even when they were children. “Sorry, mate. I was just messing around. I didn’t think it would piss you off.”

His blue eyes were wide and Terry felt his irritation dissipating rapidly. He continued to rake his gaze down Justin’s half-naked form. His broad shoulders and wide chest, which was sprinkled with a handful of pale hairs. His toned stomach, the six-pack nicely defined but not too body-builderish. His arms were thickly muscled but suited his athletic frame. Deep-blue swimming trunks hid the area he most wanted to see but he relied on the glimpses he’d had over the years and his overripe imagination.

Thick thighs and calves and, unbelievably, nice feet—he didn’t generally like feet—finished off the package of perfection and Terry was suddenly extremely glad he had a book in his lap, because his cock was beginning to swell and press against the inside of his swimming shorts. He realized that a dip in the pool would be a pretty good antidote—the chilly water should take the heat from his cock. And if not, at least no one would be able to see the bulge unless they swam underwater.

It was stupid, really, trying to hide his erection from Justin. They both knew there was something between them, and he wanted to bury his hard cock inside Justin’s mouth or arse, not hide it beneath a fucking book.

He began to wonder whether they should just get together, and to hell with the consequences. It wasn’t illegal.

Justin sat down on the sun bed next to Terry and flashed him a smile. “Am I forgiven, then? I haven’t got your book wet, have I?” He reached out to grab the book, presumably to try to dry it, but Terry slammed his hand down quickly, catching Justin’s fingers beneath his in the process, not to mention giving his cock a bit of a smack.

“No,” he ground out, wondering how he’d managed to get even a single word to fall from his lips. As soon as their fingers had touched he’d felt a spark that had run straight up his arm and multiplied throughout his entire body. His ebbing erection had immediately jumped back to attention, lifting the book slightly. He hoped against all hope that Justin hadn’t noticed but he had no such luck.

The blond’s gaze dropped to their still-touching fingers and, presumably, to the book and the thing beneath it that had caused the movement. He stared for a few seconds that felt like hours, then looked back up at Terry’s face. He opened his mouth then closed it again. For the first time ever, it seemed Justin was speechless.

A huge splash and a series of laughs from the pool broke the spell between them. Justin snatched his hand back and raked it through his hair. He opened and closed his mouth again, but for the second time nothing came out. He let out a heavy sigh and stood up looking dazed. He appeared to have trouble putting one foot in front of the other, as though he were drunk or had just woken from a very deep sleep. Of course, only the two of them knew the real reason for Justin’s behavior.

Finally Justin got his limbs to cooperate, and he made his way across to the table that held food and drinks, sheltered from the bright sunlight by a large, green gazebo.

Terry watched him go, a tumult of emotions running through his brain. Disappointment, confusion, anger, lust…they all assaulted him, though admittedly the last was screaming the loudest, a fact certainly not helped by Justin’s damp and topless state.

Now a feeling of despair took hold of him. What the fuck was he going to do?

 

*****

About Lucy Felthouse

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller) and Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

releaseblitzbutton_illicitrelations

Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.


#TakeaPeek at By Sea by Carly Fall #SupernaturalRenegades #Suspense @CarlyFall1

PrintCover-BySea-3 4.5 STARS FROM THE READING CAFE: BY SEA is an amazing and suspense filled storyline about betrayal, government secrets and finding love…Carly Fall has a gifted imagination where the supernatural blends with a contemporary storyline of romance and love; where fantasy and fiction equals seduction of the mind; and where the reader is pulled into a provocative and wondrous world-one page at a time.

While fighting the War on Drugs in Latin America, Marine Brody Teller was involved in an accident that left him with a supernatural power: a deep connection to the sea and the ability to control it.

When the mysterious Joe Smith approaches him with an incredible job offer, Brody thinks it’s too good to be true. His life-saving need as well as his desire to be near the ocean while earning a living are rolled into one perfect job: the captain of a yacht.

Rayna Lopez lives a quiet life as she tries to climb her way up the CIA ladder, always in fear the government will learn of her family lineage. When her father asks for help getting her famous and belligerent half-sister out of trouble, Rayna reluctantly agrees to travel with her and they board a yacht where they will be protected.

Brody and Rayna realize they’ve met before, and despite a significant lack of trust between them, they face an attraction neither can deny. As they fight to keep Rayna’s sister alive, lies are revealed and secrets are told. They must both learn to trust each other, and—if they live through their voyage—figure out what to do about their whirlwind romance.

 

Excerpt

©2014 by Carly Fall,  All Rights Reserved

“You’re up late, or early, depending on how you look at the clock,” a deep voice rumbled from behind her. She jumped, thankful she had almost finished all her wine and it hadn’t sloshed out of the glass.

Spinning around, she was surprised to see Brody standing in the Bridge doorway wearing nothing but a pair of white shorts, his arms crossed over his big chest, and his biceps rolled into tight knots as he leaned against the doorframe.

“You startled me,” she said, feeling exposed in her short t-shirt. She wanted to run, but something held her there as he stared at her.

Pushing himself off the doorframe, he strolled over to her. “Why aren’t you in bed?”

“Why aren’t you?” she asked.

Now he stood mere inches from her, looming over her. His breath had a slight tint of whiskey.

“I was. You woke me up.”

Confused, she continued to stare up at him. How did she wake him when he slept downstairs in the crew quarters?

“I sleep on the Bridge when we’re out at sea,” he murmured. “I heard you when you were downstairs in the Main Salon.”

She drained her glass, very much aware of how little space and clothing separated their bodies.

“Why are you up, Rayna?” he asked, his voice just above a whisper. “What’s keeping you awake? Is your bed uncomfortable?”

“No, it’s fine,” she said, finally breaking the stare and gazing out to the moonlight again. “I just have a lot on my mind.”

“Like what?”

You.

“Nothing,” she murmured. “Just . . . just my sister.”

He placed his hand on her shoulder, and she turned her head at his touch.

“And what if I thought something different was keeping you awake?”

“Like what?” she swallowed, her voice tight.

“Like you and me. Us. Together.”

She shut her eyes and turned her head back toward the window. Never would she admit it as she’d already been over all the reasons getting together with Brody was a bad idea.

“Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d thought I’d ask because that’s what’s been keeping me up tonight,” he said, his hand kneading her shoulder before it slipped away.

Rayna knew that if she said yes, things would go into a place anyone in their right mind would deem not advisable. However, the brief contact of his skin on hers brought out a deep, visceral ache that needed to be sated.

“You weren’t wrong,” she whispered, staring out into the night.

“Then look at me,” he growled.

She shut her eyes while gathering her nerve, reminding herself she wanted this as well. However, in her bones, she also felt this could be the biggest mistake of her life.

“Look at me, Rayna.”

She turned.

AVAILABLE NOW:

iTunes

Amazon

Smashwords

KOBO

BARNES AND NOBLE

photo

About the Author

Carly Fall is a wife, a mother and a slave to the dog, Nicky.

She is the author of the award-winning and Amazon best-selling series, The Six Saviors, and contemporary and paranormal romance.

Links:

CarlyFall.com

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

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

#TakeaPeek at All For You by Jessica Scott

ALL FOR YOU by Jessica Scott
(February 4, 2014; Forever E-Book; $2.99)  Scott_AllForYou_ebook

Can a battle-scarred warrior . . .

Stay sober. Get deployed. Lead his platoon. Those are the only things that matter to Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli. What he wants is for everyone to stay out of his way; what he gets is Captain Emily Lindberg telling him how to deal with his men. Fort Hood’s newest shrink is smart as a whip and sexy as hell. She’s also full of questions-about the army, its soldiers, and the agony etched on Reza’s body and soul.

. . . open his heart to love?

Emily has devoted her life to giving soldiers the care they need-and deserve. Little does she know that means facing down the fierce wall of muscle that is Sergeant Iaconelli like it’s just another day at the office. When Reza agrees to help her understand what makes a soldier tick, she’s thrilled. Too bad it doesn’t help her unravel the sexy warrior in front of her who stokes her desire and touches a part of her she thought long dead. He’s the man who thinks combat is the only escape from the demons that haunt him. The man who needs her most of all . . .


Excerpt:

It was fate. It had to be. A slow warmth unfurled inside him as the doctor he could not get out of his head looked up at him, her cheeks flushing pink.

She was all buttoned up at work. Tonight, she looked different. Looser. Unbound.

Compelling. That’s what she was. Her fire at work. Her refusal to let him bully her. He’d admired her backbone before.

Tonight, he admired her in an entirely new light. Her hair framed her face in careless curls. He hadn’t expected to see her outside of work. He damn sure hadn’t expected to see her here. An old familiar need rose inside him. A need for touch, human and warm. A need to lose himself for an interlude in sweat and sex and stunning pleasure. He’d given up drinking but women had apparently fallen into that category as well.

It had been months since he’d felt a woman’s hands on his body.

This woman was not someone he needed to be talking to at the bar tonight but he found himself walking toward her anyway.

After the week of confrontation they’d had, he’d be lucky if she didn’t slap him the minute he approached her.

He could do this. He could talk to a woman without drinking. Right?

Emily met his gaze as he approached. He almost smiled.

“Not your usual scene?” he asked, leaning against the bar.

She shifted, putting a little space between them. That slight reclamation of power. He made a noise of approval in his throat. “I’m surprised you’re talking to me.”

“I’m surprised you’re here. Shouldn’t you be home reading medical journals or something?” Her cheeks flushed deep pink and he wondered how far down her body that color went.

She tipped her chin then and looked at him. “Have you been drinking?”

He looked down at the bottle in his hand. “I don’t drink anymore,” he said quietly. No reason to delve into his abusive history with alcohol. “You?”

“Glass of wine,” she said.

Reza shrugged and leaned on the bar, taking another pull off his water and being careful not to lean too close. She looked like she’d bolt if he pushed her. “That would explain why you’re talking to me. We haven’t exactly been friendly.”

Her hair reflected the fading sunlight that filled the room from the wide-open patio doors. He wanted to fist it between his fingers, watch her neck arch for his mouth.

She motioned toward his bottle with her glass. “‘Anymore’?”

He simply took another pull off his water. He was going to be damn good and hydrated after tonight. He wondered what she’d do if he leaned a little closer. “Long story.”

“One you’re not keen on sharing?” she asked. She leaned her cheek on one palm. The sun glinted across her cheek.

“Let’s just say alcohol and I aren’t on speaking terms. Bad things happen when I drink.” It was nothing to be ashamed of but there it was. Shame wound up his spine and squeezed the air from his lungs. He was just like his dad after all.

“You say that like giving up alcohol is a bad thing,” Emily said quietly.

Reza snorted softly. He should have guessed she wouldn’t let it alone. She had stubbornness that could last for days. “It’s not something I’m proud of.”

Her hand on his forearm startled him. Soft and strong, her fingers pressed into his skin. “But stopping is something to be proud of.”

Reza stared down at her hand, pale against the dark shadows of his own skin. A long silence hung between them.

He lifted his gaze to hers.

“It takes a lot of strength to break with the past,” she said softly.

“What are you doing?” Her eyes glittered in the setting sun and he thought he caught the sight of the tiniest edge of her lip curling.

Her fingers slipped from his skin. “Offering my professional support?”

His lips quirked. “Was that a joke?”

“Maybe,” she said. “I’m working on developing a biting sense of humor. Defense mechanism against raging asshole commanders.”

Reza barked out a laugh. “You look different out of uniform,” he said lightly, pressing his advantage at this unexpected truce.

“So do you.”

He angled his body toward hers. “You like my makeup?” he asked.

Her lips parting as she tried to figure out if he was kidding or not. Finally, she cracked the barest hint of a smile.

Something powerful woke inside him and he moved before he thought about it. He reached for her, brushing a strand of hair from her cheek. The simple gesture was crushing in its intimacy. Her lips froze in a partial gasp, as though her breath had caught in her throat.

“Sergeant Iaconelli,” she said quietly, her voice husky. But she didn’t move away. Didn’t flinch from his touch.

“Reza.” He swallowed the sharp bite of arousal in his blood, more powerful without the haze of alcohol that usually clouded his reactions. “My name is Reza.”

“Reza.”

His breath was locked in his lungs, the sound of his name on her lips triggering something dark and powerful and overwhelming.

He wanted this woman. The woman who’d stood in opposition to him this week. The woman who lifted her chin and stood steadfast between him and his soldiers.

There was strength in this woman. Strength and courage.

“I’m Emily.” Her words a rushed breath.

He lowered his hand, unwilling to push any further than he’d already gone. This was new territory for him. Unfamiliar and strange and filled with potential and fear.

“It was nice talking to you tonight, Emily,” he said when he could speak.

He waited for her acknowledgment that she’d heard him. Some slight movement of her head or tip of her chin.

Instead her throat moved as she swallowed and she blinked quickly, shattering the spell between them.

He left her then because to push further would challenge the limits of his restraint. He wasn’t ready to fall into bed with someone. No matter how compelling Emily might be.

He waited and he watched for the rest of the evening. Watched her slip out with her friend, leaving an empty space at the bar.

Leaving him alone with the fear that included the empty loneliness as well as the cold silence of sobriety.

His thoughts raced as he made sure his troopers all got home that night, and Teague crashed on his couch.

He fell into bed later, need and desire twisted up, filling the cold dead space left inside him by the lack of alcohol. A dead space he usually filled with work while deployed. Tonight, though, unfamiliar pleasure hunted his thoughts, whispering that he could still love a woman, that he didn’t have to be drunk to climb into bed with someone.

But Emily wasn’t a random someone.

And she was so far out of his league, it wasn’t even funny. Even if there was some sexual attraction there, she wasn’t likely to go slumming with a burned-out infantryman like him.

He lay there in the darkness, waiting, clinging to the single, simple pleasure of her touch, hoping that maybe tonight he could sleep, avoiding the nightmares that reminded him of the monster he’d become.

A beast who had lost his compassion somewhere on the road to Baghdad.

About the author:
Jessica ScottUSA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.

She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Social Media Links:
Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon

B&N

iTunes

~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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