Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bedded Bliss Review...


A hot night in Vegas is just what the rockstar ordered... 
until someone ends up married.

BEDDED BLISS
Found in Oblivion #1
Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott
Releasing Aug 22nd, 2016
Rainbow Rage Publishing



Michael Shawcross is living the dream, opening up for his idols, Oblivion, on his band Warning Sign’s first tour. Until an overzealous fan goes too far and his hard-partying ways catch up to him in the form of an ultimatum from his manager, Lila Crandall.


Clean up your image—or else.



Single mom Chloe Adams is in Vegas for a rare girls’ night out. She wasn’t ever supposed to be attracted to another rockstar. In fact, she’s in rockstar rehab, and the cure for her addiction definitely isn't a sexy, smart-assed guitarist with wicked fingers.


She never expects to accidentally end up his wife. Or to have her new husband suddenly decide that she’s the solution to all his problems. And surprise…he’s happy to show his appreciation in a number of interesting, inventive ways.

Pretending their marriage is real might just be the hottest proposition she’s ever been given.

But what happens when a lie becomes the truth? 


BEYOND OBLIVION - A Rockstar Romance full of sexy fun set within the

world of our Lost in Oblivion series! You never know who you'll see show up in
the books. 



Excerpt

Hours seemed to pass while she was on that bar. Lost to him and the fire he’d stoked inside of her.
Now it was raging.
The watery tones of the song seemed to infiltrate her skin. Her hips followed the silky rhythm as she lifted her arms. She closed her eyes just enough so the twirling lights became streaky trails dragging her away from reality. Her fingers brushed over crystals dripping off the overhead lighting fixtures of the bar.
She had enough vodka in her veins to ignore the fact that Michael Shawcross was at her feet. When his fingers skimmed over her calves and around to the backs of her knees, she opened her eyes and met his hooded gaze.
Silver winked from his eyebrow, and the shadow of a beard emphasized the angular lines of his face. He was absurdly handsome. Too attractive, to be honest. No man should be that delicious and be even remotely attainable.
Yet there she was. On the bar, with the calloused tips of his fingers dragging up the backs of her thighs.
She slid her fingers into his hair. The super short hairs sifted around her trimmed nails until she got to the denser wavy strands on top. Just enough to twist, so she did. She tugged his head back, pressing her knee to his shoulder.
He reached up for her, gripping her waist with his huge hands. His long fingers made her feel tiny. Wanted.
His eyes screamed hunger.
No. Not for her. He wasn’t for her.
Rockstar.
Wrong type.
So much the wrong type.
Too bad the crackling arc of attraction between them wasn’t freaking listening.
Her breath shuddered out as she slid down his body, her breasts rubbing against his firm chest. Muscles everywhere. The breadth of his shoulders wouldn’t allow her to encircle all of him. She held onto what she could, her toes dangling off the floor.
His lips were right there.
So close that she could taste the tequila shooter he’d just sipped off her flesh on his breath. The bite of lime would still be on his tongue. Her nails dug into his shoulders.
She wanted that lime.
Wanted his afterburn one more time.
She couldn’t remember the last time her skin had felt so tight and responsive. She didn’t want to question it. Didn’t want to play it safe.
Safe made no sense tonight.
She covered his mouth. There was no teasing between them. Foreplay had been the air between them, the lights and the music that followed him around like its own forcefield.
Power and haunting charisma drenched in charm.
She felt the hint of his smile before their tongues tangled.
Slick and dominant, he brought every want into the foreground. She’d believed the lies she told herself. That she didn’t need to be touched. She could live without passion.
Now she’d learned otherwise. The starvation diet never worked. As soon as she’d sampled off the forbidden tray, the craving had become all-encompassing.


REVIEW:

While I enjoyed the story and plot line of this book I had a few issues with it as well.  First of all I got really confused with all the different characters and how they worked together.  There were a lot of characters and the pace seemed to move too fast so you were just figuring out what was going when it moved onto something else.  The writing styles meshed well together which was a great thing and I would definitely read something else by both of these authors.

3.5 blissful stars




USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn likes music and men, so she figured why not write about both? When she's not writing, she's screaming at men's college basketball games on TV, playing her music too loud or causing trouble. Sometimes simultaneously.


USA Today bestselling author Taryn Elliott is obsessed with rock stars, men, and her unending playlists--maximizing these things seemed like a very good idea. When she's not writing, she's losing hours to hot men on TV, and/or a graphic design project. Multitasking is her middle name.

They decided to combine forces and found that hey...this writing deal is even more awesome when you collaborate with your best friend. 

And so Lost in Oblivion was born.



Exposed Cover Reveal...

ExposedCRbanner2

Today we are celebrating the cover reveal of EXPOSED by L.L. Collins. This is a contemporary romance, standalone novel that is the 4th book in the Jaded Regret series. It will be released on October 27th. Check out the links for previous books in the series below.


6x9Template

EXPOSED by L.L. Collins

Coming October 27, 2016 (Jaded Regret, #4)

Cover by: Marisa Rose Shor with Cover Me, Darling

12829316_704006079906_9154319614751612919_o

Blurb:

What do you do when all your secrets-- and your heart-- are exposed?

Natalie Anderson has spent her life being strong for everyone else, always putting herself last. But that has come with a price because the stress and secrets are affecting every part of her life. Looking and acting the part is one thing, but feeling it is another. She knows she’s at a crossroads and she needs to make a change, starting with loosening up and living a little.

Kai Pierson is done being a grunt. He’s finally worked his way up the ladder and he now finds himself a rep at the hottest label, representing the hottest band in all of rock music. He’s living the life…alone, but he’s okay with that. It’s the way it needs to be.

Though they’ve never met in person, they become friends and spend hours talking about life. When the chance to meet arrives, neither of them are ready how they feel when they see each other for the first time.

But when Natalie’s secrets are exposed, will she be able to put it all behind her and find her own happiness, or will the lies destroy her once and for all?

14060355_1855570481329976_254535158_o

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

Purchase Books in the Series

25884523

Sentenced (Jaded Regret #1)
FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA


6x9Template

Snared (Jaded Regret #2)

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA



Hartstrings-ebook

Hartstrings (Jaded Regret #3)
FREE on Kindle Unlimited


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA


13844152_1844511635769194_1150628329_o

Exposed (Jaded Regret #4)
Coming October 27th! Pre-order will be available in October.





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

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Edit 6 soft

L.L. Collins loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and two boys. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out made her lifelong dream of becoming an author come true in the self-publishing world. She's the author of the Living Again Series and the Twisted Series, plus standalones, Back to the Drawing Board, SENTENCED, and Snared: A Jaded Regret Novel. Visit LL on her website, www.llcollinsauthor.com and on all social media. Look for more of her emotionally charged novels soon!






AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Wattpad | Amazon | Instagram | Goodreads



InkSlinger Blogger Final

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Wait...

 Wait Release Banner

ALJackson-WaitBookCover5x8_BW_HIGH
From NYT & USA Today bestselling author comes a new Bleeding Stars stand-alone novel…

She is his strength and he is her weakness. And this time he won’t let her go.

Edie Evans is gorgeous.

Sexy.

Kind.

She’s also the definition of off-limits.

But that didn't stop me from sneaking into her room to comfort her at night.

But guys like me? We destroy everything, so it should have been no surprise when I destroyed us, too.

The night I sent her running, I thought I’d never see her again.

Until I saw her standing like a vision in the crowd.

Austin Stone is dangerous.

Alluring.

Tempting.

He broke my heart and I refused to give him the chance to do it again.

It’s been years since I’ve seen him, and now I can’t do anything but stare at the gorgeous, tattooed man playing onstage. I should run. I know I should. But like a fool, I run straight back to him.

Our desire is overpowering.
Our need unrelenting.

She is my hope.
He is my weakness.

We should have known a passion this intense would burn us right into the ground.

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google Play


"Meaningful. Mesmerizing. Magnificent...5 but should be 10 beautiful, broken, brilliant, and imperfectly perfect stars .” Karen, Bookalicious Babes Blog

"A beautifully written story about broken hearts and unshakable longing, about second chances and third chances and a whispered hope for a happily ever after. Intensely felt on every level, Edie and Austin’s story will own you." Vilma, Vilma’s Book Blog

“Beautiful. Sexy. Dripping with tenderness. I felt the emotion in this story all the way to my toes.” Mia Sheridan, NYT Bestselling Author

“6 Stars - ‪Wait is equally devastating and beautiful! A.L. Jackson has a way of pouring words onto a page that makes you crave every piece of a story.” Molly McAdams, NYT Bestselling Author



“Shit,” I hissed, bracing myself against the spray of the icy shards pelting from the shower head.

I sucked in a breath, released it between clenched teeth, and forced myself fully under it.

Head dropped and chest heaving as rivers of ice-cold water slicked down my shoulders and back.

But it did nothing to lessen the need. Gave me no sanity or pacification.

Because all I could think about was the girl on the other side of the door.

My girl.

In my bed.

Wearing just her panties and my shirt.

An angel I wanted to dirty.

I always had.

Love was messy like that.

All of my restraint scattered. I gripped my cock. Squeezed the base. My mouth dropped open at the pressure of my hand against my rigid length.

A fool thinking it might be enough.

Shit.

God, I was a bastard, but there was nothing I could do before I was giving in, leaning forward and bracketing my forearm above my head to hold my weight.

Water pounded down on my head and back while I pounded my fist against my dick.

Trying to keep silent when all I wanted was to moan, teeth digging into my bottom lip as I pictured the girl spread out for me.

My breaths were coming short.

Panted and hard.

I gave into imagining the sounds she would make when I finally got to bury myself in her body.

A soft, soft gasp.

I slowed, trying to convince myself that throaty sound was all in my mind.

Just another part of this fantasy.

Until I heard the small thump against the wall.

Shit.

I mashed my eyes closed, like it might hide me.

Conceal the depravity of my actions after I’d just been comforting her hours before.

Heart thrashing, I turned and moved far enough to peek out the small section where the fabric shower curtain hadn’t been drawn fully closed.

It was just a little sliver that left me exposed.

But it was enough. When I peered out, I was looking right at my girl pressed up against the wall.

She stared right back at me.

And I wanted to be horrified, my mind scrambling to conjure every weak apology I could summon. Ready to fucking grovel to keep her from turning and running once again.

Because that’s exactly what I expected her to do.

But her expression…her expression clutched me in the center of the chest and sent what little brain function I had left stampeding south.

Red, lush lips were parted, her hand pressed to her hollow of her throat, pupils dilated so big that her hooded, cerulean eyes appeared black. Needy breaths were coming at me from that sweet mouth like a goddamned freight train.

Desire swelled in the confines of the too-tight room.

Alive.

She pressed deeper into the wall as if it might support her weakened knees. Head rocked back. Thighs squeezing together.

Motherfuck.

My hand shot to the shower wall to steady myself. “Warning you, Edie, you need to get out of here. Right now.”

Wait_20


aljacksonphoto
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.


Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installments, WAIT and STAY, coming in 2016.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson - Sign up to receive her newsletter http://bit.ly/NewsFromALJackson or text “jackson” to 96000 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L. Jackson online:www.aljacksonauthor.com

Snapchat: aljacksonauthor

Monday, August 22, 2016

Disengaged...


Today we have the release day launch for Jamie Magee’s Disengaged. Check out this new dark contemporary romance and grab your copy today.

Disengaged  RDL Ban

About Disengaged:

Dis5
Dark Romance Novel, sensitive topics with religious undertones (hope in the face of hell).

Finding herself stranded in a new city, eighteen-year-old Ember Bloom thought she’d reached her all time low. She was wrong. A mindless walk to a dead-end job landed her in the path of her gambling fathers’ enemies. Her only defense was a stranger, Slayton Winslow, a known enforcer and fighter—rumored to be Odin’s prince, underground royalty.

On sight, Slayton stole her breath and rushed her heart. His enigmatic attraction to her and how stoically he shielded her only churned Ember’s attraction to the bad boy who had given her safe haven in a real life hell. The draw to him gave her a reason to fight, to awaken. She knew every second could be their last in the city seeded with treacherous deceit and life threatening power plays.


Get Your Copy Today:


Exclusive Excerpt:

The devil is as mouthwatering as the sin he spins. An infatuating man drenched in charm and unthinkable charisma. Those were the famous words my grandmother spoke every time a pretty boy with all the right words and charm would knock on my door.

She wanted me to keep my guard in place. To always see the good and evil in people. “Look under the mask we all put out for the world to see...”

I assumed I did. I could read a boy’s gaze without even trying. Sometimes I would choose the wild ride, other times I flashed a bashful smile and left them in my wake. It just depended if I was in the mood to ‘fake it until I made it’ or not. The truth was, no boy had ever caused a burning explosion of emotions inside of me.

The morning my story began, my dilemma was that my grandmother never once told me how to resist the undeniable pull of such a dangerous boy. One who not only had magnetism dripping from every alluring feature of his movie screen visage; but, who also caused more than an explosion of emotions inside of me. I felt downright nuclear at first glance, that much is true.

About Jamie Magee:

51jMQB3ruXL._UX250_
Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business. Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she'd never been, introduce her to people she's never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.



Connect with Jamie:



Twitter: @TheJamieMagee

Insta: authorjamiemagee

Site: authorjamiemagee.com

Enter Jamie’s Giveaway:




Blog Tour Schedule
August 23rd

August 24th

August 25th

August 26th

August 27th

August 28th

August 29th

August 30th

Bedded Bliss...


A hot night in Vegas is just what the rockstar ordered... 
until someone ends up married.

BEDDED BLISS
Found in Oblivion #1
Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott
Releasing Aug 22nd, 2016
Rainbow Rage Publishing



Michael Shawcross is living the dream, opening up for his idols, Oblivion, on his band Warning Sign’s first tour. Until an overzealous fan goes too far and his hard-partying ways catch up to him in the form of an ultimatum from his manager, Lila Crandall.


Clean up your image—or else.

Single mom Chloe Adams is in Vegas for a rare girls’ night out. She wasn’t ever supposed to be attracted to another rockstar. In fact, she’s in rockstar rehab,
and the cure for her addiction definitely isn't a sexy, smart-assed guitarist with wicked fingers.

She never expects to accidentally end up his wife. Or to have her new husband suddenly decide that she’s the solution to all his problems. And surprise…he’s happy to show his appreciation in a number of interesting, inventive ways.



Pretending their marriage is real might just be the hottest proposition she’s ever been given.


But what happens when a lie becomes the truth? 

BEYOND OBLIVION - A Rockstar Romance full of sexy fun set within the world of our Lost in Oblivion series! You never know who you'll see show up in the books. 



Excerpt

Michael swapped Jimi for his battered Gibson, letting Elle do her thing as he set it up to enter the song after her. She bent low, her blond hair streaming down her back as she made the strings sing. When he joined her, she flashed him a smile at a wattage he only ever saw from her on stage. High on it, and on the fact that his brother was playing behind him, and that somehow, somehow they were getting through the show, he let his gaze wander the crowd.
The redhead caught his eye immediately.
She was close to the front, dancing back to back with one of her girlfriends while the other gyrated against her side. They were definitely feeling the lyrics that Molly was rasping through as if she was fifteen seconds away from an orgasm. Ryan and West were doing the joint thing on the keyboards again, crossing hands and all kinds of tricks that only emphasized the erotic nature of the song. They pounded on the keys like he and Elle and Juliet were shredding their guitars. Like Mal was steadily drumming the kit, slow, sinuous. Building, building, building, until the final explosion.
Redhead turned and looked up on stage, playing with the strap of her halter top. For a second he thought she’d flashed him some damn nipple. On purpose or accidentally, he didn’t frigging care. All he knew was her big eyes were on him while she nearly fondled her own breast, and her lips were wet and parted, and he couldn’t stop strumming his guitar the way he wished he could play with her. He’d sit her on his lap and slip under her skirt, then push aside her panties and slide one finger between the lips he knew would be soaked for him. While she watched, open-mouthed and silently begging, he’d suck on the finger that tasted of her until she was squirming against his rock hard erection. Bouncing back and forth while he swelled against his zipper.
Christ, like he was doing right now.
Juliet came up behind him, sliding one hand in his front jeans pocket as Mal’s drums and West and Ryan’s keyboard faded. She jerked back and quickly shot over to the other side of the stage to set up for the next song, making him smother a laugh.
Guess she thought her onstage seduction routine with him had worked a little too well.
“What’s her problem?” Elle whispered, trading her Gibson for an Epiphone.
“Think she thinks I like her butt too much.”
“Oh. It is a cute butt, though.” Elle winked at him, and he laughed.
“Hers or mine?” he asked, unable to resist. Hell, he had a freaking hard-on onstage from some sexy as hell redhead in the second row, who he was trying not to look at until the next song started so he didn’t tear through his jeans.



USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn likes music and men, so she figured why not write about both? When she's not writing, she's screaming at men's college basketball games on TV, playing her music too loud or causing trouble. Sometimes simultaneously.


USA Today bestselling author Taryn Elliott is obsessed with rock stars, men, and her unending playlists--maximizing these things seemed like a very good idea. When she's not writing, she's losing hours to hot men on TV, and/or a graphic design project. Multitasking is her middle name.

They decided to combine forces and found that hey...this writing deal is even more awesome when you collaborate with your best friend.

And so Lost in Oblivion was born.



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Perfect Ten Review...


THIS BOOK IS FOR ADULTS 18 YEARS AND OLDER. THIS IS AN EROTIC ROMANCE STORY! 

Joseph Starling Jr. was in the right place at the right time. It didn’t take him long to discover his particular talent. He knew how to make a woman feel good. If she wasn’t screaming out his name, purring like a kitten or clawing at him like a lioness, he had failed. Mediocre was not a word in his vocabulary. Her enjoyment was so important to him that his own pleasure was a secondary concern. 

Faith Graham was nothing like the women he was required to date as an escort—it was what he liked about her from the first time he saw her. She was imperfect and insecure. Her hair was a bit on the wild side, and her clothes were slightly rumpled. But her curves! They were alluring. She had curves where most of the elite clientele he mingled with had straight lines, and not an ounce of softness to be found. Shocking him to his core, she didn’t want anything to do with him. 

Joe had always thought that working as an escort for Perfect Ten was a dream come true, but he was beginning to wonder if there was more to life than raking in the cash and having his pick of women on any given night. Could he start over with a new direction in life, or was he already at the age of twenty-six too jaded? Was there more out there for Joe Starling or was he destined to be a boy toy at the whim of any woman rich enough to afford him? 


Kindle CA: bit.ly/PerfectTenCA
Kindle UK: bit.ly/PerfectTenUK
Kindle AU: bit.ly/PerfectTenAU


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~********************~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
REVIEW!!!

To make ends meet Joe becomes an escort for Perfect Ten.  When Faith's friends hire him to escort her to her sisters wedding.  At first she refuses but finally gives in.  Joe falls for her almost immediately and when she refuses to date him because of his job he makes the ultimate move and decides to quit his job.  Faith's family has always made her feel chubby and not beautiful, but Joe makes her feel beautiful all the time.  But can this work between them?  Can Joe make a clean break from Perfect Ten?  Will Faith start seeing herself the way that Joe does?

I absolutely love the characters of this book.  I have often times felt like Faith, the odd one out, so I could relate well with her character.  I liked watching the relationship form between these characters and how differently Joe treated different people.  The plot was fun and exciting.  I felt that parts of the book were a little slow but it didn't phase the book at all.  It flowed well and I enjoyed the authors writing style.

I look forward to reading more by this author.  I enjoyed every bit of this book.  It was sweet, funny and full of crazy characters.

5 stars

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Harvest Saga...


Title: The Harvest Saga Box Set
Author: Casey L Bond
Genre: YA Dystopian
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb: 


Reap (Book 1): The remnants of the United States of America have been divided.

From five enormous, technologically-advanced cities, the Greaters rule over the Lessers. In the Lesser village of Orchard, things are not as perfect as Abby Kelley thinks they are. When the apple harvest draws near and the Greater’s engineered fruits become too much for one village to handle alone, reinforcements from neighboring villages are called upon.

Having to choose between her best friend, whom she has no romantic feelings for, and mysterious newcomer Crew, Abby finds herself in the middle of a harvest that she had no intention of becoming a part of. She becomes involved in a situation that threatens the strict rule of the Greaters, and just might give the Lessers hope for a better tomorrow. But, can she help the Lessers without losing Crew? And if she chooses Crew, will she lose her best friend?

Resist (Book 2): Abby Kelley returns home from the Greater city of Olympus to find that things in Orchard Village are bad, very bad. The Olympian Guard has taken over village affairs. The Lessers are being worked to the bone in the coldest winter Orchard has seen. Villagers are being dragged away for the slightest indication of what they call “resistance.” She needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. But, it’s so hard to do when everything within you screams rebellion.

Kyan is coming on strong, trying to convince her to take a chance on him. Shocking news of Crew’s activities in Olympus sweeps through the Villages. When Abby is taken away by the Olympian guard, Kyan sends word to Vesuvius for help. But, no one could have predicted their idea of help or what they might expect in return.

Who will be left to pick up the pieces of Abby’s heart?

Reclaim (Book 3): The Greaters have ruled over the Lessers since The Fall. They’ve taken Abby’s family. They’ve taken her friends. They’ve taken her hostage and threatened the villages.

Enough is enough. Freedom is worth fighting for. Love is worth dying for.

And the Lessers are done taking orders from the Greaters.

Reclaim…the epic conclusion of the award-winning Harvest Saga.




Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.

You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 


Buy Link: 

If you love The Harvest Saga, you can vote for the series to be made into a television show or film! You can nominate actors and choose your dream cast! http://www.iflist.com/stories/reaptheharvestsaga



A SLAM JOLTED ME OUT of my slumber. Another bang echoed in the front of the cabin, and footsteps hurried to my door. I didn’t know how long I’d slept, or if it was still daylight, but I was still tired and wanted to retreat back into the sweet abyss again. My door opened, and I turned my head to see my aunt standing in the doorway.
“What happened, Abby?” She rushed over.
I tried to push myself up, but my back was so stiff. The skin even felt stiff. How was that possible? I winced.
“Stay down. Let me see.” She gingerly lifted the back of Ky’s shirt and peeked underneath. The fabric slowly peeled away from my skin where the bandages Evelyn had applied didn’t quite reach, or had shifted, and it felt like part of the wounds tore open again. A hiss escaped from between my teeth at the same time a curse flew from her lips. 
“Evelyn sent more salve. She said that your body would absorb part of it and that more would have to be packed in.” Lulu helped me sit up and, one by one, I unbuttoned the shirt and again pried it away from my back. The only portion not torn to shreds from the fifteen lashes was the part my bra had covered; although, by the last lash, it only hung on by a thread.
“Evelyn came to the depot. She said you’d been injured and gave me the medicine and salve. I had no idea. Did Norris do this?”
All I could do was nod.
Lulu took my shirt as I laid back down on my stomach and tried to remain as still as possible while she packed my wounds. Having left the room, I could hear her banging around in the kitchen before she returned with a steaming mug containing more of the special tea. I gulped it down, hoping it would help numb the pain like it had before. When my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep almost immediately.
Something was touching my face, caressing my cheek. The skin that brushed mine was rough, hardened by the work we all shared. Am I dreaming? I waited, trying to see if it was real or part of a dream. Whichever it was, it was nice, comforting.
Rough fingertips moved over the parts of my back that weren’t split open and packed with gunk. I sucked in a breath and held it. It was real. I moved my head and saw his silhouette against the candlelight flickering in from the kitchen and living room. “Ky?” My voice was raspy and barely sounded like my own. Sleep and exhaustion filled every chord.
“Shh. I’m here.” Suddenly, I was very aware I was lying shirtless on my bed. Even though I was on my stomach, that didn’t help me feel any less naked in front of my best friend—who happened to be a member of the male species—a very fine specimen according to my girlfriends.
I knew he was handsome. I wasn’t blind. But I didn’t see him like that. He’d dated many of my friends and was getting ready to marry Paige Winters after the harvest was complete and the orchards picked bare. His fingertips traced the intact skin between my shoulder blades, and I tensed under his touch.
He’d kissed my head and temple and hugged me more times than I could count, but that was different; it was more intimate. His touch was delicate, gentle compared to his normal strength, and anything but playful. “Ky?”
He didn’t answer. His fingers explored my back, careful not to stray too close to the wounds streaking across my skin. “Kyan?”
“Shut up, Abby. Just let me... Just shut up.” He’d never talked to me like that. His voice was raspy, and he’d never, ever told me to shut up before. So I did. I wasn’t sure why. He shouldn’t have been touching my skin. Shouldn’t have been caressing the good parts left; but, sitting with me in the dark, he was doing exactly that, and I was allowing it.

Copyrighted 2014 Casey L. Bond