Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sexy Stranger...




From New York Times Bestselling Author Kendall Ryan comes a sexy and sizzling, enemies-to-lovers romp with bite.

He's rude. Arrogant. And too hot to handle.

And she's stranded with him for an entire week.

He knows the sexy stranger doesn't belong in his small town, but he's determined to keep her there. The second she opens her smart mouth, he wants to swap a whole lot more than insults with her.

She’s got a secret. But he’s got his own agenda.

Buckle up.

"A steamy and red-hot enemies-to-lovers romance like I've never read before!" - Beneath the Covers Book Blog

"It was FREAKING FANTASTIC! Sexy, charming, and full of witty banter, I couldn't get enough of Luke and Charlotte!" - Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads


Amazon | iBooks | Nook |Kobo | Paperback 

Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU




Kendall Ryan author pic




A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras




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Monday, May 22, 2017

Another Postcard Review...



Brooklyn Hawk is an enigma. Highly sought after for her incredible voice, her talent shines


bright in the studio. But a dark past and a secret she holds close to her heart keep her from permanently stepping into the limelight.

Until her favorite band offers her the chance to chase her dreams.

As the lead singer for rock sensation Stone Butterfly, Levi Matthews is wary of bringing in new talent. But he has heard just how amazing Brooklyn is and when the need for another singer arises, he’s confident that she is the perfect addition.

However, he doesn’t count on laying his heart at her feet.

But the world of music can be as dangerous as it is thrilling. Joining Stone Butterfly on tour was hard enough for Brooklyn, but when she finally succumbs to Levi’s charms, the rock ‘n’ roll life turns deadly.

Will Levi and Brooklyn keep their voices and their hearts entwined? Or will the music prove too hard to survive?

GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

/ iBOOKS / B&N / KOBO


EXCERPT

Levi
Just inside the door, I put my hand on her arm to halt her exit.

“Dinner?”

“Nope.”

“Lunch tomorrow?”

Brooklynn sighed and turned to walk away, but there was a smile flirting around her mouth.

I grabbed her arm to stop her again, pulled her inside and shoved the door shut. Walking her backward, I crowded her up against a wall. Having caught her by surprise, she didn’t protest when I dove my fingers into her hair and angled her head. I didn’t give her any time for her mind to catch up, covering her mouth with my own. She gasped, and I took advantage of the moment, my tongue entering her mouth to lick and tangle with hers. I groaned at her taste, it was fucking incredible, and I knew I was instantly addicted. Her hands had been at her sides but they slowly crept up over my chest, to hold on to my shoulders as though they were the only thing holding her up.

I combed my fingers through her hair and then they traveled down to splay across her back, pressing her body forward and flush with mine. Fuck, she felt good. My erection was on the brink of exploding, so hard it was almost painful to breathe. I had to stop before I reached a point of no return. I knew I could seduce her right out of her clothes at that moment, but she’d never forgive me. No, we’d fuck when she wanted it with a clear mind. I backed off of the kiss and then slowly withdrew completely. She was dazed and mussed up, looking like she’d just been thoroughly kissed. It was a look I hoped to see on her more often.

I cupped her face and waited until the fog dissipated from her chocolate orbs. “How about I cook you breakfast?” I grinned roguishly and winked.

“Are you kidding me?” she scoffed at my cheesy line.
I just shrugged and grinned. It was worth a shot


REVIEW:

There was a lot that compelled me to grab this ARC for review and I was not let down.  First that cover was gorgeous.  Next, was the title…I kept thinking what could a postcard have to do with musicians.  Lastly, I went ahead and read the blurb (which I rarely do) and it caught my attention.
 
Now there was a lot going on in this book and I’m not going to lie I got confused a few times at the beginning because the pace was so fast and the plot seemed a bit wonky in the beginning.  However, things quickly got to a good pace and were easier to follow.  I fell in love with the characters and am glad to know that I will get to learn more about them.  I loved the twists and turns this book took because it kept me guessing the whole time.  The author wove an intricate tale and kept most of it straight.
 
I look forward to reading more about these characters soon.
 
4 stars



I’m a love of all things books, a hopeless romantic, and have always had a passion for writing. Between being a sappy romantic, my love of an HEA, my crazy imagination, and ok, let’s be real, my dirty mind, I fell easily into writing romance.

I’m a huge baseball fan and yet, a complete girly, girl. I’m an obsessive reader and have a slight (hahaha! Slight? Yeah, right) addiction to signed books.

I’m married to my very own book boyfriend, an alpha male with a sexy, sweet side. He is the best inspiration, my biggest supporter, and the love of my life. He is also incredibly patient and understanding about the fact that he has to fight the voices in my head for attention.

I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them!

CONNECT WITH ELLE!

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / TUMBLR / GOODREADS / INSTAGRAM / PINTEREST / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another Postcard...



Brooklyn Hawk is an enigma. Highly sought after for her incredible voice, her talent shines


bright in the studio. But a dark past and a secret she holds close to her heart keep her from permanently stepping into the limelight.

Until her favorite band offers her the chance to chase her dreams.

As the lead singer for rock sensation Stone Butterfly, Levi Matthews is wary of bringing in new talent. But he has heard just how amazing Brooklyn is and when the need for another singer arises, he’s confident that she is the perfect addition.

However, he doesn’t count on laying his heart at her feet.

But the world of music can be as dangerous as it is thrilling. Joining Stone Butterfly on tour was hard enough for Brooklyn, but when she finally succumbs to Levi’s charms, the rock ‘n’ roll life turns deadly.

Will Levi and Brooklyn keep their voices and their hearts entwined? Or will the music prove too hard to survive?

GET YOUR COPY TODAY!



EXCERPT

Levi
Just inside the door, I put my hand on her arm to halt her exit.

“Dinner?”

“Nope.”

“Lunch tomorrow?”

Brooklynn sighed and turned to walk away, but there was a smile flirting around her mouth.

I grabbed her arm to stop her again, pulled her inside and shoved the door shut. Walking her backward, I crowded her up against a wall. Having caught her by surprise, she didn’t protest when I dove my fingers into her hair and angled her head. I didn’t give her any time for her mind to catch up, covering her mouth with my own. She gasped, and I took advantage of the moment, my tongue entering her mouth to lick and tangle with hers. I groaned at her taste, it was fucking incredible, and I knew I was instantly addicted. Her hands had been at her sides but they slowly crept up over my chest, to hold on to my shoulders as though they were the only thing holding her up.

I combed my fingers through her hair and then they traveled down to splay across her back, pressing her body forward and flush with mine. Fuck, she felt good. My erection was on the brink of exploding, so hard it was almost painful to breathe. I had to stop before I reached a point of no return. I knew I could seduce her right out of her clothes at that moment, but she’d never forgive me. No, we’d fuck when she wanted it with a clear mind. I backed off of the kiss and then slowly withdrew completely. She was dazed and mussed up, looking like she’d just been thoroughly kissed. It was a look I hoped to see on her more often.

I cupped her face and waited until the fog dissipated from her chocolate orbs. “How about I cook you breakfast?” I grinned roguishly and winked.

“Are you kidding me?” she scoffed at my cheesy line.
I just shrugged and grinned. It was worth a shot



I’m a love of all things books, a hopeless romantic, and have always had a passion for writing. Between being a sappy romantic, my love of an HEA, my crazy imagination, and ok, let’s be real, my dirty mind, I fell easily into writing romance.


I’m a huge baseball fan and yet, a complete girly, girl. I’m an obsessive reader and have a slight (hahaha! Slight? Yeah, right) addiction to signed books.

I’m married to my very own book boyfriend, an alpha male with a sexy, sweet side. He is the best inspiration, my biggest supporter, and the love of my life. He is also incredibly patient and understanding about the fact that he has to fight the voices in my head for attention.

I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them!

CONNECT WITH ELLE!

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / TUMBLR / GOODREADS / INSTAGRAM / PINTEREST / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Loving You With Teeth and Claws...


Title: Loving You with Teeth and Claws
Author: Martina McAtee
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Blurb: 

Twenty-two-year-old alpha wolf, Isa McGowan, is busy. While most people her age are finishing college and starting their careers, Isa’s raising four pre-teens and running a restaurant. She doesn’t have time for dating, and she especially doesn’t have time for the lunatic standing on her porch, claiming to be her fiancĂ© . . . no matter how pretty he is.

Wren Davies has a dangerous problem, and Isa is his solution. When he arrives in Belle Haven to explain his plight, the last thing he expects is a punch to the face. Instead of finding a politically savvy alpha with a large wolf pack, he meets a barely five-foot spitfire with a mess of kids, a mean right hook, and a million excuses why she’ll never honor their betrothal.

Now Wren has two problems…


Release Party: 




Martina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughter, her best friend, two attack chihuahua's and two shady looking cats. When she isn't writing young adult books about worlds with reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures she's reading or watching shows that involve reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Her debut novel Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things released in August of 2015. Her second book in the Dead Things series, Dark Dreams and Dead Things, released July 15, 2016.

Author Links: Facebook: www.facebook.com/MartinaMcAtee1

Buy Links:
#Free with KindleUnlimited

Loving You with Teeth & Claws: http://amzn.to/2lHOXze
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things: http://amzn.to/1Z4L4NH
Dark Dreams and Dead Things: http://amzn.to/1Z4KVtH


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Love In Transit Cover Reveal...

Today we have the cover reveal for Love in Transit, a sexy new box set from a fantastic lineup of authors! Check it out and grab your copy June 1st!

 

Title: Love in Transit

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Day: June 1st

About Love In Transit:

You know those people that have a house full of motivational slogans? Embrace Every Moment, stamped on their coffee mugs. Always Kiss Me Goodnight painted above their perfectly made beds.

I’m not one of those people.

This morning I overslept, then slipped on a stray sock and banged my toe into the nightstand. The elevator in my building broke and I had to run down six flights of stairs. And then my local coffee shop was closed. For health code violations.

What’s that? Not the end of the world? You want me to suck it up?

Did I mention I’m wearing a wedding dress… on the subway?

It’s a Good Day for a Hot Mess. Someone embroider that on a pillow.


Add on Goodreads!

 

Connect with the Authors:

Jana Aston

Ainsley Booth

Kitty French

BJ Harvey

Raine Miller

Liv Morris


Enter the Fantastic Giveaway:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Handy Men Review...


Today is the blog tour for The Handy Men by Jamie L. Schmidt! Grab your copy of this sexy romance and follow the tour today!

 

About The Handy Men:


Jack and Dean love each other, but they’re missing the woman to complete their triangle. When newly divorced Paige Richards buys a Bed and Breakfast on Hamlet Island and employs them to help her fix the inn up, Jack and Dean are sure they’ve found the one they’ve been looking for. Despite the playful, sexy clues they drop, luscious Paige is reticent about getting involved, even when they set the stage so she can stumble on them in action. They can tell by her responses she wants to join them, but rumors travel fast on the small island, and tales of a threesome could get back to the conservative, family vacation crowd who won’t patronize those with an alternative lifestyle. And the last thing they want for Paige is the B&B’s rooms…and her bank account…to remain empty. But Jack and Dean will stop at nothing to prove to Paige that she can have it all…with them.





Get Your Copy:

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble


REVIEW:


While this is not my first MMF book it is among the top favorites.  I was introduced to this genre with Left to Chance by Lila Rose and it still remains my favorite (having read it three times at least since it was released) but this book has taken up the second place mantle.  A lot of the MMF books that I have read don’t really have a plot, focusing solely on the sex, but this book is one of the rare few I have read that is an actual plot filled book.
 
It was a great story and I sunk right into it.  I felt like I was a part of the book.  Now it had its issues for me but besides that it was a great book.  I felt that things got a little muddled during parts of the book and that slowed the flow a little bit.  It was extremely enticing and fun to read though.  I loved the characters.  The authors writing style was amazing as well.
 
I have to say that I hope there is a sequel to this book because I want to know more about Paige, Jack, and Dean.  Do they end up with a family of their own, kids and everything?  What happens with Dean and Stephanie’s kid?    Do Paige’s parents accept her relationship?  So many questions and no answers but there was a HEA and that’s all I can ask for.
 
4.5 stars



Authors Bio:

USA Today Bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt is a hybrid author who has over thirty short stories published in small press and ezines, and a variety of novellas and books online. Her Club Inferno series from Random House has been in Amazon's top 100 ebooks sold and Barnes and Noble's top 10. She has a dragon paranormal romance series at Entangled Publishing. Book one of the Emerging Queens series is The Queen's Wings.

Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in Secondary Education English, which is a fancy way of saying she went to college to teach high school English. When that didn't pan out, she worked as a call center manager, a Tupperware consultant, a paralegal, and finally a technical writer for a major conglomerate company. She is an active member in the Romance Writers of America (RWA). When not writing, Jamie relaxes with a mug of hot tea and knits or makes beaded jewelry. You can reach her at Twitter: @jamiekswriter or at her website www.jkschmidt.com


Connect with Jamie:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


Enter Jamie’s Giveaway:


Follow the Blog Tour:

May 1st
The Secret World of Book Lovers              Review
Booklove             Review
Rainy Thursdays                Review
Bitches N Books                Review
A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars                 Excerpt

May 2nd
Nose Stuck in a Book      Excerpt
Romance Reviews and More       Review
OMGReads          Review
Krista's Dust Jacket          Review
Reading Bliss      Review

May 3rd
Wicked Babes Blog Reviews         Review
She Hearts Books             Review
RhiReading                         Excerpt
The Bookery Review       Review

May 4th
Literary Gossip                  Review
After Dark Book Lovers                 Review
Sweet & spicy reads        Review
bad boys and bedtime stories book blog               Review

May 5th
Renee Entress's Blog       Review
Mama Likes to Read Book Blog                  Review
Ctrl, Alt, Books!                Excerpt
I'm A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore         Review
Words We Love By          Review
Oh My Growing TBR       Excerpt

May 6th
Mistress of Romance      Review
KatyaRath           Review
Little Miss Drama Queen               Excerpt
Evermore Books               Excerpt

May 7th
A small girl, her man and her books         Review
Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog                Excerpt
G & T's Indie CafĂ©            Excerpt
Jeri's Book Attic                Review
A small girl, her man and her books         Review
Books and Tequila           Review
Jax's Book Magic              Excerpt
NightWolf Book Blog      Review

Friday, April 28, 2017

In Pursuit of Charity Cover Reveal...


Title: In the Pursuit of Charity
Author: Alexandria Sure
Genre: Women’s Lit
Publisher: Beaumont Tower Press
Editor: Richelle McFate
Cover Designer: Jake Sager
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR


Blurb:

He expected her to recognize him.
He expected her to be seduced by his charms.
He expected her to fall for him.
Expectations are a funny thing …

When his parents named him Herbert Lincoln James, they already had expectations that Linc would attend an ivy league university and go into politics. Linc didn't. As captain of his swim team, he was expected to win the big relay to carry his swim team to the state championship for the first time in decades. Linc didn’t. Society expected him to walk past her. He couldn’t.
 
She expected him to see through her.
She expected him to make her into a joke.
She expected him to be cruel.
Expectations are a funny thing …





Alexandria Sure is an avid reader and has written her first novel as homage to fans of the genre she loves. She hopes others will appreciate her novel as much as she enjoyed writing it.

Sure follows the work of several authors and feels she has benefited from reading and commenting on their author pages on Facebook. This has given her the opportunity to get to know the people behind the characters she has grown to love. She hopes her readers will check out her Facebook page so she can get to know them and pay it forward.

Sure is from Michigan and adores her supportive family, her deaf rescue pup and her mighty Spartans. Her experiences in writing her first novel have revealed the true meaning in Jack Canfield's quote, "Everything you want is on the other side of fear."

Author Links:


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

13 Reasons Why Review!!!


You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. 
                
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

~~~~****~~~~****~~~~

REVIEW!!!!!

Jay Asher has written a book that touches on a very important subject and he made sure it resonated with everybody who read it.  That being said, when I tried to read it a few years ago I couldn’t get into it.  With the release of the show on Netflix I decided to give it a second shot but had to watch the first couple episodes before I could really get into the book.
 
This book is about teen suicide and it is a unique take on it.  In this book the main character is technically dead and she has left tapes with 13 reasons (people) who led to her suicide.  You are reading about one person listening to these tapes and their take on what he is being told.  What makes this book so unique is what happens to the characters after they listen to these tapes.
 
Now, while I truly enjoyed the book I liked the show so much better.  So let’s get into this topic.  I felt like the book was more rushed.  The listener fly’s through the tapes without truly showing any emotions in the book.  While you get a little bit of the characters feelings coming through in the book everything is larger in the show.  In the show the listener takes days to listen to all the tapes because he is so torn up over what he is listening too.  You actually see the other characters reacting to what they had heard and listened to.
 
Now that you have a slight comparison on the book vs the tv show let’s move on.  I loved the characters and the plot blew me away.  This is a book and show that I feel everybody should read.  It is a topic you don’t see a ton of books on and there should be more in my opinion.  While the flow of the book worked it did move a little slow for my liking.  Jay’s writing style was also interesting.
 
Needless to say that this is an extremely well written book.  It is on a very different and strong topic and you should pick it up and read it now.
 
4.5 stars

Possessed by a Vampire Cover Reveal...


Title: Possessed by a Vampire
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR


Blurb: 


They possess the power to make their dreams come true—but it won’t be easy.

Preston Knight—Elvis to his friends—loves being a vampire. The night he was turned was the first step to him becoming the kind of man he always hoped to be. Now, he’s a rock star. What could be better? But the one thing that would make his world complete is just out of reach. The woman he yearns for has some serious secrets, and despite him knowing that she wants him just as much as he wants her, she won’t let him in.

Lily Gray never asked to be a vampire. The choice was taken from her eons ago, and things never improved. Now, she finds herself peddling drugs on the streets of San Francisco and playing the part of doting wife to a possessive and sadistic vampire with delusions of grandeur. But family means everything to Lily, and she’s willing to sacrifice everything for it…even her one chance at happiness with the sexy-as-sin vampire who sets her heart ablaze.

When one night of passion opens the door for a century of secrets to be revealed, Lily and Preston must fight for not only what they believe in but also what they love.



Buy Links: 
Tempted by a Vampire (Free): http://amzn.to/2eBYh0S
Captivated by a Vampire: http://amzn.to/2oFioiU
Rocked by a Vampire: http://amzn.to/2pXTE6u
Possessed by a Vampire (Pre-Order): http://amzn.to/2oFsb8p



“It’s up to you, Elvis.” Lincoln, the dealer, nodded in my direction and waited. I kept my eyes trained on the center of the table where chips sat in a small pile. I didn’t need to look at my cards again. I knew what I had: an eight and a queen of hearts.

There were six vampires at the table, counting both Gage and me. Gage had folded right after the deal, and so had one of the other players. I was the last to bet, and sometimes, I liked to spice things up a bit, so I matched the bet and sat back.

Heavy smoke hung in the air like delicate streams of fog, swirling in circled patterns under the light hanging from a long cord above the table. Four other lights hung on fixtures attached to the otherwise stark, tawny brown walls. Even with all the lights, the room seemed dark.

Maybe it was the darkness of the souls in the room. I wasn’t sure.

A droning sound buzzed from outside, a little annoying, but I managed to drown it out as I nonchalantly watched the faces around the table as the dealer revealed the flop.

The first card the dealer turned up was a jack of hearts, then a nine of hearts.

Holy fuck.

It was raining hearts for some reason, and I held two of them already. I held my breath, waiting for the third card in the flop. Crap, an eight of diamonds.

Not exactly what I was looking for, but a pair of eights with a queen high wasn’t completely a loss so I decided to hang in there and see if one more heart would show. There were still two cards to go, and a flush was possible.

I kept my eyes straight, my thoughts blank—or I tried—like I usually did as each card was revealed, always attempting to keep my composure, never deviating from the norm, not wanting to give away my emotions. I was an expert at reading people. Especially in a poker game. A blink of an eye, a slight twitch, a swallow, the slightest movement, anything…different could give someone’s hand away. I wanted to reach up and finger my shades that sat on top of my head. Just one little nudge and they’d be sitting comfortably on my face, shielding my eyes. But not only were dark glasses frowned upon in this high-stakes game of Texas Hold ’em, but any movement out of the ordinary might tip someone off about my cards.

This wasn’t our normal gathering with my brothers at the mansion. This was a high roller, unsanctioned but heavily guarded poker game with some seriously high-powered city officials that I’d bet my right nut were a drug cartel of some sort or another. The two thugs in the monkey suits positioned on either side of the door to the entrance had stood like statues most of the night; the bulge of a holster protruding from under their jackets an obvious clue. At least they were on the outside of the room, but they still remained at the ready if their services were required.

Gage and I didn’t normally seek out games with such high stakes, but he’d been bored lately, and when he ran into Lincoln—the game’s host—at Club Royal a couple of weeks ago, Lincoln had invited Gage and me to join. Said they’d recently lost two of their regulars and needed a couple of fill-ins.

When Gage approached me, I’d shrugged him off at first, not wanting any part of something that sounded so sketchy, but after he’d pestered me for the entire week, I finally gave in, needing a distraction from the long hours—sometimes days apart—from Lily, the sexy and sweet vampire I’d been trying to get to know better. Except, she was either playing hard to get, or just wasn’t that interested in me. Though I had a difficult time believing the latter of those two options since she continued to meet me whenever she had the time or, in her words, “could get away.” Away from what, I hadn’t been able to find out. Yet.

Getting thoughts of Lily off my mind was nearly impossible Her fair, silky-smooth skin; her mesmerizing dark coffee eyes that could hold my gaze for hours on end; the tips of her long, thick locks kissing the cleavage of her breasts where my lips longed to skim. I managed to clear my head just in time, as it was my turn to bet again. I slid my bet forward, raising the pot three thousand for appearance’s sake. In truth, without another heart or a ten, I had squat. I didn’t think the pair of eights would cut it. I had an excellent chance for a straight or a flush if either of the next two cards went my way. Since Gage had already folded, he sat still as a statue beside me, his hands together on the edge of the table. I knew he was busting a gut wondering what I held in my hand.

There were only four of us left in this hand, and I didn’t want to go home with a loss. Not against these guys. Two of them sat puffing on brown cigarettes, looking rather tough. They were tough, the sort who would drain the blood from a homeless person and leave them to die in the gutter without so much as a “thank you, ma’am.” Particularly, the one at the end with the light brown wool Stetson on his head. The word dangerous exuded from his pores. He wore that hat pulled low on his brow, shading his eyes just enough to where it was legal but not enough to reveal much about him. A neatly trimmed goatee graced his chin and his upper lip. A long ponytail made of cornrow braids hung down his back. He seemed on edge, or maybe it was just an act to throw me off.

Which he did when he raised another five thousand. That was steep, and the other two guys folded. Either the guy had something powerful, or he was bluffing his ass off and had nothing. Since I had the queen of hearts, I knew he couldn’t have a royal flush. But that didn’t rule out a straight or four of a kind. The bald-headed guy next to him folded, as did the next two. Now it was up to me, and six thousand was just about all I had left, so I shoved the entire stack I had into the middle of the table.

“I’m all in,” I said with feigned confidence.

After all the bets had been matched, the dealer flipped the fourth card.

A fucking nine of spades.

Shit.

I watched out of the corner of my eye as cowboy hat’s mouth curved up on one side, the tip of his fang biting into his lower lip. Could mean he was nervous. Or cocky. Either way, my hand was dead unless a ten or another heart showed up.

My heart skipped a beat when the fifth card was flipped over. There it was, sparkling as if someone had lit it on fire. I managed to keep my composure as I chilled, though I could have sworn I heard fireworks go off outside.

The beautiful ten of hearts.

Stetson vamp chuckled and said, “Too bad. You played a nice hand.” Then he laid down his cards. A pair of nines, giving him four of a fucking kind, which would beat most hands. When he started to grab at the pile of chips, I cleared my throat.

“Hold on there, space cowboy,” I heard myself say, not sure if the cockiness in my voice would help or hinder, but that pile of chips in the center of the table belonged to me, and there was no fucking way I was letting this douche have them. I had a fucking straight flush, queen high. Beat that you fucking cocksucker. I wanted to gloat but managed to keep my cool and simply turned the two cards in my hand over and placed them face up on the table.

His face paled, if that were possible. His dark-stubbled jaw flexed. His eyes narrowed to slits. His left ear twitched, and he placed both his palms on the table as he stood, glaring at me. Everyone sitting around the table stiffened. The chips lay in a heap in the middle. He kept his large ebony eyes on mine, never faltering. I allowed myself to stare right back, not moving a centimeter. I was good at stare-out games. I’d had a cat, many in fact, and we constantly played this game. Stetson hat was no different in my mind. Though I was positive he thought differently. This guy was too fucking arrogant for my taste. I’d wondered from the moment I sat down if he was going to be trouble.

“Jace, you ready?” he barked.

The guy at the end of the table—Jace, I assumed—nodded. “Yep, I’m all tapped out. Ladies.”

Stetson hat shrugged into a light brown wool coat, generously embellished with dark brown fur at the lapel, all the while keeping his eyes glued to me. “Be sure to join us again. I look forward to the opportunity to win that back.” His eyes briefly averted to the large pile of chips in the middle of the table before returning to mine, and then he touched the rim of his hat and nodded like he was fucking Clint Eastwood. “Gentlemen.” He kept his lips tight as he turned and walked out. Stopping by another vampire on his way, he looked down at him, made some sort of gesture with his hand, and left the room. Jace, and two other large vampires went with him.

Gage cleared his throat. “Fuck, man. That was intense.” The three dudes left at the table all sighed heavily.

The vampire that Stetson hat had gestured to stood up. “Roach would like you to join him at his employer’s mansion.” Roach? What the fuck kind of person names their kid Roach? I almost laughed. The poor guy. No wonder he was so intense. “It is open to you any Friday evening. That is the night they entertain small groups. Midnight. Here’s the address.” He slipped me a card. I glanced down at the etching on the flat piece of metal.

It read:

Sweet’s Delicacies

Whatever your pleasure, we’ve got it.

Sweet Towers, Sky Deck.

When the vampire had left, Gage grabbed the card from me. “Shit. Looks like he wants a rematch.”

“Well, he isn’t getting one,” I retorted and threw the fancy card down on the table. This was over right now. I didn’t want any part of whatever the fuck that guy was dealing.

“I wouldn’t be so quick to pass on that invite if I were you, Elvis,” Lincoln, the vampire who’d hosted the night’s game, said. “That vampire works for Sweet, one of this city’s most dominant and influential business owners. He has the support of the local labor board, as well as several other highfalutin bigwigs in the city. It’s quite the honor to be invited, even if it was by his right-hand man. Sweet doesn’t give out invitations to his private parties very often. And his parties don’t have anything to do with card games, if you get my drift. Roach must have liked you.” He winked.

I raised my eyebrows up at Lincoln in question.

“You know. Sex, drugs. Those kinds of parties. Group or single, whatever you desire, so I’ve heard.”

Whatever kind of parties, I wasn’t into group sex or drugs. I had a woman, or at least a woman I wanted, as the vision of Lily’s striking brown eyes set against her smooth, deep black hair floated through my mind. I got to my feet and shrugged into my coat. “Come on, Gage, let’s split.”




Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She's hooked on sexy romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.

She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence.

She lives in Northern California in wine country and one of her favorite weekend excursions is wine tasting with the love of her life. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.

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