Category: Giveaways

Sunday Spotlight: Wild Fire by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 20, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂


Sunday Spotlight: Wild Fire by Kristen AshleyWild Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos #6.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new story in her Chaos series…
“You know you can’t keep a good brother down.”
The Chaos Motorcycle Club has won its war. But not every brother rode into the sunset with his woman on the back of his bike.
Chaos returns with the story of Dutch Black, a man whose father was the moral compass of the Club, until he was murdered. And the man who raised Dutch protected the Club at all costs. That combination is the man Dutch is intent on becoming.
It’s also the man that Dutch is going to go all out to give to his woman.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Excerpt

Invisible Man, this for you, or someone else?” Duke asked, taking Dutch’s attention, and Dutch realized he was so lost to his thoughts, he was working on autopilot and hadn’t noticed he’d approached the register and laid down his books.

“Someone else,” Dutch answered.

“You read it?” Duke asked.

“Yeah,” Dutch told him.

“Whole world should read it,” Duke muttered, jabbing a thick finger against the screen of the tablet that stood in for a till.

“Yeah,” Dutch agreed. “Listen, you wouldn’t have any copies of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas that haven’t been shelved yet, would you?”

Duke shook his head. “Not many givin’ up that book. We get one, you want me to call you?”

He could go to Barnes and Noble, easy.

With Tex as her barista, not to mention Indy and her crew all being the subject of those books that had been published, so folks came in all the time, Indy wasn’t hurting for customers, or cash.

Still, Dutch bought his books exclusively from Fortnum’s.

And he had a lot of books.

He had no idea why Fortnum’s was his go-to. It wasn’t about buying local or any of that other millennial shit.

Thinking on it, it was the fact he liked the vibe.

It was the fact that walking in there was like walking into someone’s house.

Like coming home.

To family.

Shaking off his thoughts, he agreed, “That’d be cool.”

“You wanna stay for a cup o’ joe and a talk?” Duke asked, and Dutch hid his surprise.

The man hadn’t approached. Not in word or deed.

There were the looks he gave Dutch, the ones he exchanged with Tex.

But he never said dick.

“No, got shit to do this afternoon,” he lied.

He had no shit to do that afternoon.

Or at all.

Ever.

“Boy—” Duke started.

“I’m not a boy,” Dutch bit.

His temper wasn’t usually short, but these days, it could be.

This was why Duke blinked.

He then said, “Son—”

“I’m not your son either,” Dutch returned.

“Right then.” Duke’s voice was no longer a friendly rumble. It was tight. “First, my age can’t have escaped you, considerin’ all this gray hair and wrinkles, so you are a boy to me, and you will be until you’re sixty and I’m dead. And second, any man’s a man at all, a man that’s younger than him and obviously struggling is his son. A son he looks after.”

Christ, was he not hiding it?

“I’m not struggling,” he lied again.

“Dutch—”

“Brother, just ring me up so I can get on with my day,” Dutch demanded.

Duke was silent a beat.

He then finished ringing him up, and Dutch paid.

“No bag,” he grunted.

Duke slid the books over the counter toward Dutch.

Dutch had turned, avoiding Tex’s eyes as he did, and started heading toward the door when Duke called, “You know that door is always open, but the one to my cabin in Evergreen is too, man.”

Chaos

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: September 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and now she resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She currently writes full-time.


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Sunday Spotlight: Lies and Lullabies by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 13, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Lies and Lullabies by Sarina BowenLies and Lullabies by Sarina Bowen
Series: Hush Note #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
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Summer nights and star-crossed lovers! From USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.
Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details.
I didn’t know he was a rock star.
I didn’t know his real name.
Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.
And I sure never expected to see him again.
Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine. My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.

Excerpt

The water lapped gently under the dock. If I turned around, he might not truly be standing there. I held my breath.
That’s when he began to whistle softly. The first four bars of “You Are My Sunshine.”
Goosebumps rose on my arms.
“You remember,” I gasped, whirling around. Five years later, and he still knew to warn me. He hadn’t forgotten that I used to startle if he—or anyone else—approached me from behind.
He walked towards me slowly, his hands spread wide, muscular arms on display. His hair was shorter now, but still the most beautiful shade of sandy blond. “Of course I remember, sweetness. Never sneak up on Kira.”
At that, my eyes filled with tears.
“Hey, now,” he said gently. He’d made it all the way out on the dock, so close I could almost touch him. His blue-green eyes regarded me warmly. “I’m sorry to take you by surprise. Don’t I get a hug?”
Lord, I needed to get a grip. I took a step towards him, and he folded me in. He smelled the same, like sunshine and soap.
It hurt so much to see him again. It was excruciating to be wrapped in his hug.
“God, I’ve missed you,” he said.
And I had absolutely no reply to that. My heart urged me to hold on tightly and never let go. To confess that I thought of him every single day.
But I didn’t do it. Because I was still so angry, too.
Drawing off that anger, I summoned a little willpower, stepping backward, freeing myself. “If I ask how you’ve been, which name should I use? Jonas or John?”
A look of dismay creased his handsome face, his eyes closing for a moment, before opening again to pin me with a turquoise gaze. “Kira, I’m so sorry about that. That summer I was just trying to get away from it all.”
I swallowed. “Really? But I told you all my secrets. You must have thought that was pretty funny.”
He blinked, his face as stunned as if I’d slapped him. “Jesus, Kira. Never.”
That wasn’t the reaction I’d been expecting. And it was suddenly very hard to hold his gaze. I’d spent the last few years shaping my idea of him to match the pictures I saw in Us Weekly. The problem was that the guy standing in front of me on the dock did not look like the frivolous celebrity in those articles. This was the same man I’d met all those years ago. His face was open and youthful, his voice rich and mellow. His gaze seemed to touch me everywhere at once, making me feel flushed and confused.
He stepped forward again and wrapped his arms around me. And I let him. I took a deep breath of him, and my heart began to gallop again. When I put my arms around his back, I felt his lips press against my hairline. It was a chaste kiss between old friends.
Or rather, it should have been. But the feel of his lips on my skin sent a charge through my body. Tipping my face to meet his wasn’t even a conscious act. It was more like the inevitable result of a five-year absence and Earth’s gravitational pull.
When I moved my chin, his lips slid softly down my cheekbone. Still, it might have ended there. He might have released me, but he didn’t. “Sweetness,” he whispered.
And then? His kiss slid to the corner of my mouth, pausing there, hovering. Torturing us both.
I couldn’t resist. I leaned forward an immeasurably small distance. At that, he made a low sound in the back of his throat. He melded his mouth onto mine, his hands curving around my lower back. With a sigh, he teased my lips apart until his warm tongue met mine.
The next moments were lost to me. I melted against his body, knowing nothing except the stroke of his tongue against my own and the feel of his breath against my face. His strong arms held me in their grasp. It was the sound of my own gasp that finally brought me back down to earth. And I became aware that someone was standing on the little beach nearby, watching us.
“Oh my God, your…” Horror stopped me from finishing the sentence.
He looked over his shoulder without releasing me from his grasp. “My drummer,” he said quickly. “We’re old friends.”
I pushed on his chest until he took a step backwards. I was hot and confused. I needed oxygen and time to think. “Look… we need to talk.” I couldn’t tell him my secret now. Not with an audience. And not without a little rehearsal. “Tomorrow,” I added.
“Okay,” he said, his voice low and even. “I’d like that.”
“Um, lunch?” I asked, my eyes on my shoes. I couldn’t quite catch my breath. There wasn’t enough oxygen in the atmosphere anymore. There might never be again.

Hush Note

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: September 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina's books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.


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Sunday Spotlight: A Winning Season by Rochelle Alers

Posted September 6, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

[Introduction to spotlight book]

Sunday Spotlight: A Winning Season by Rochelle AlersA Winning Season by Rochelle Alers
Series: Wickham Falls Weddings #10
Also in this series: A Winning Season
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Sliding home…for a lifetime

The girl next door…

Or a grand slam love?

Baseball ace Sutton Reed’s returned home triumphant after years in the majors. When he moves next door to a troubled young man, he’s determined to help—for the boy’s sake and for the boy’s gorgeous older sister, Zoey Allen. After sacrificing everything to keep her family together, Zoey has no time for romance…even with a hometown hero. But will this unlikely combo be the home run love story they all deserve?

Nationally Bestselling Author

Excerpt

Excerpt, A WINNING SEASON by Rochelle Alers

***

Sutton gave Zoey her mug, noticing her hand had trembled slightly when their fingers touched. “Are you all right?”

“I’m good,” she said.

He wanted to believe Zoey was all right but the rigidness in her body said otherwise. He stood and moved to a nearby chair. “I’m sorry if I invaded your personal space.”

She lowered her eyes, staring into the contents of her mug. “It’s okay.”

Sutton drank his coffee, staring at Zoey over the rim. He was perceptive enough to know she had been completely at ease with him the day before, but this morning her body language said otherwise, and he wondered what he’d said or done to make her uneasy.

Suddenly it occurred to Sutton that he may have made a faux pas when he had referred to Zoey as pretty lady, especially when he did not know whether she was involved with someone. “I’m sorry, Zoey.”

She halted putting the mug to her mouth. “For what?”

“For making you uncomfortable because I called you pretty lady. Hell, I don’t even know if you’re involved with someone.”

Zoey swallowed a mouthful of coffee. The corners of her eyes crinkled when she smiled. “I really have to give it to you, Sutton Reed.”

A slight frown marred his natural good looks. “What are you talking about?”

“You did not make me uncomfortable, and if you wanted to know if I’m involved with someone, then all you had to do was ask.”

A hint of a smile replaced his frown. “Are you?” The seconds ticked as she met his eyes. “No. And I can’t afford to because of a promise I made to Kyle and Harper when they were little boys. I told them it would be just the three of us until they were old enough to take care of themselves.”

Sutton set his mug on a side table. “I can under-stand you making that promise when they were boys, but I doubt if Harper would hold it against you if you decided to start dating.”

“Right now, Harper has no say in how I live my life.”

“Is he giving you a problem?”

Zoey went completely still. “Why would you ask me that?”

“I was sitting out on the porch when he came home last night. Someone had dropped him off and I noticed he was a little unsteady on his feet.”

If Sutton saw Harper coming home obviously under the influence, then Zoey wondered how many of her other neighbors had also witnessed it. Zoey did not want or need people gossiping about the Allen boy drinking or possibly drugging. She had managed to raise Kyle to adulthood without an incident, but life was testing her because Harper had decided he wasn’t going to make it that easy for her.

“I don’t know you and you don’t know me, Sut-ton, and there’s no way I’m going to dump on you about my problems.”

Sutton angled his head, giving her a long stare. “You’ve lived in the Falls all your life and you should know that folks here always look out for one another. Those who have more than they need always share with those who don’t have enough. And it’s not al-ways about money.”

Zoey knew he was right. The people in the town had been more than generous when tragedy struck her family. Even now some folks still asked if she needed anything. She nodded. “You’re right. I give thanks every day that I live here and not somewhere else, because without the help of Preston McAvoy, the chamber of commerce and the worshippers at the church, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you.”

The local law firm had handled her legal prob-lems; local contractors had volunteered their services to make certain the house was free of violations; a company selling and installing gas heaters set up an installment plan for her to pay off the cost of the unit over three years.

“So once Harper graduates you plan to stay here?” Sutton asked.

Zoey smiled. “Where would I go?”

He shrugged broad shoulders under his tee. “I don’t know. Maybe you’d prefer someplace that has a little more excitement.”

She took another sip of the delicious brew. Sutton had made the coffee exactly how she liked it. “The Falls has enough excitement for the four thousand-plus folks who live here. Someone had submitted a proposal to the town council to open a club and it was unanimously voted down. What we don’t need is a club with people getting drunk and acting like fools. The town council in Mineral Springs has closed two clubs in the past four years because of fights and rowdiness.”

“The Springs has almost twice our population, so there’s bound to be a few more incidents than we have here.”

“Speaking of excitement, why did you decide to move back here after spending half your life in Hot-lanta?” Zoey had asked the question that had plagued her since hearing word that Sutton Reed was moving back to Wickham Falls.

Sutton closed his eyes for several seconds. “I never really got used to living in a big city. The crowds and noise didn’t upset me whenever I was at the stadium, but once the game was over all I wanted was some-place quiet where I could decompress.”

“Whenever you were interviewed you seemed so confident, so in control of yourself.”

“That was all an act, Zoey. I’d learned early on to switch it on for the cameras and microphones. There was one Sutton for the sports reporters and another Sutton when he was home behind closed doors.”

***

Wickham Falls Weddings

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: September 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Rochelle Alers

Rochelle Alers Headshot

Hailed by readers and booksellers alike as one of today's most popular African-American authors of women's fiction, Ms. Alers is a regular on bestsellers list, and has been a recipient of numerous awards, including the Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing and a Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award.


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Monthly Reads: August 2020

Posted September 1, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

It’s a new month so we’re back with a list of our Monthly Reads to share with each of you. This is where you’ll see what each of us has read and what our favorite books and our least favorite books of the month are. Check it out.

Casee

I can’t believe summer is almost over. I know that’s not really book related, but I’ve been able to read a lot this summer. It’s been a nice change from reading only 2-3 books a month. I read thirteen (13!) books in August. It’s pretty funny how proud I am of myself.

Sebring (Unfinished Hero #5) by Kristen Ashley | 5 out of 5
The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1) by Kristen Ashley | 4.25 out of 5
Reaper’s Property (Reapers MC #1) by Joanna Wylde | 3.25 out of 5
Reaper’s Legacy (Reapers MC #2) by Joanna Wylde | 4 out of 5
Golden Trail (The ‘Burg #3) by Kristen Ashley | DNF
Devil’s Game (Reapers MC #3) by Joanna Wylde | 4.5 out of 5
Reaper’s Stand (Reapers MC #4) by Joanna Wylde | 4.5 out of 5
Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews | 3 out of 5
Guardian’s Grace (Dark Protectors #12) by Rebecca Zanetti | 3 out of 5
Hawk’s Property (Insurgents MC #1) by Chiah Wilder | 3 out of 5
Down & Dirty: Zak (Dirty Angels MC #1) by Jeanne St. James | 3 out of 5
King (King #1) by T.M. Frazier | 4 out of 5
Tyrant (King #2) by T.M. Frazier | 4.25 out of 5

My absolute favorite book of the month was Sebring by Kristen Ashley. I loved that book and I can’t wait to reread it. I’m not a huge on rereading, but I’m making an exception in this case. My least favorite book other than Golden Trail was Hawk’s Property by Chiah Wilder. I haven’t decided if I’m going to continue the series or not.

Holly

August was a strange reading month for me. It didn’t feel like I read a lot until the latter half of the month, but I read 22 books in total.

Fall Into Me (Hearts of the South #7) by Linda Winfree (reread) | 4.75 out of 5
Mr. Hotshot CEO (Kwan Sisters #2) by Jackie Lau | DNF
The Return of Eden McCall (Wide Open Spaces #3) by Judith Duncan (reread) | 4 out of 5
The Will (Magdalene #1) by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4 out of 5
The Time in Between (Magdalene #3) by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 3.5 out of 5
How to Save an Undead Life (A Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #1) by Hailey Edwards | 4.25 out of 5
How to Claim an Undead Soul (A Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #2) by Hailey Edwards | 4 out of 5
How to Break an Undead Heart (A Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #3) by Hailey Edwards | 4.25 out of 5
How to Dance an Undead Waltz (A Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #4) by Hailey Edwards | 4 out of 5
How to Live an Undead Lie (A Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #5) by Hailey Edwards | 3.75 out of 5
How to Wake an Undead City (A Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #6) by Hailey Edwards
How to Kiss an Undead Bride (A Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #7) by Hailey Edwards (novella) | 3.5 out of 5
Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha | 4 out of 5
A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons #1) by Milla Vane | 4 out of 5
Pathfinder’s Way (The Broken Lands #1) by T.A. White | 4.25 out of 5
Mist’s Edge (The Broken Lands #2) by T.A. White | 3.5 out of 5
The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1) by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 3.75 out of 5
Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain #2) by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Accidentally Compromising the Duke (Wedded by Scandal #1) by Stacy Reid | 3.75 out of 5
A Winning Season (Wickham Falls Weddings #10) by Rochelle Alers | 3.75 out of 5
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles #4) by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 4.25 out of 5

My favorite read of the month was The Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series by Hailey Edwards. I’m not choosing a favorite book, but the series as a whole. I also really liked Pathfinder’s Way by T.A. White. My least favorite read was Mr. Hotshot CEO by Jackie Lau. The pacing was slow and I didn’t love the writing. I may try again later to see if it picks up.

Rowena

I’ve been on a three-month hiatus because I haven’t read shit in that entire time. Things took a turn for the better for me in the month of August because I finally read two books. Sure, I’m going to finish my second book today but it still made the cut. Here are the books that broke my reading slump. Thank goodness for Ilona Andrews.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5
Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews | 4 out of 5

My favorite of these two has to go to Magic Binds. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going through Kate’s mind and wondering what the heck she was planning but I just really, really love her as a person and she’s really smart and I freaking loved this one.

I don’t have a least favorite. I liked Hugh’s book too much for it to be included in a least favorite anything so nope, not going to choose.

Giveaway Alert

Three lucky winners will choose their prize (one book) from any of the books we logged this month. If you want to be entered to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite – and least favorite – reads of the month were.

Monthly Reads: August 2020

So…what was your favorite read of the month? And your least favorite? Use the Gleam Widget to enter! Good luck!


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Sunday Spotlight: Dark Song by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)

Posted August 30, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Dark Song by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)Dark Song by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark #34
Also in this series: Dark Illusion
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Two Carpathians find hope in the bond that ties their souls in this passionate novel in Christine Feehan's #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Stolen from her home at a young age and tormented for centuries, Elisabeta Trigovise is scared to show herself to anyone. Even though she has been rescued and is now safe within the Carpathian compound, she has lived in fear for so long she has no idea how to survive without it. She wants to answer the siren call of her lifemate--but the very thought terrifies her.

Before he found Elisabeta, Ferro Arany was an ancient warrior without emotion. Now that his senses have come alive, he knows it will take more than kind words and soft touches to convince the fractured woman that they are partners, not master and prisoner. For now, he will give her his strength until she finds hers, allowing the steady rhythm of his heart to soothe Elisabeta's fragile soul.

But even as she learns to stand on her own, the vampire who kept her captive is desperate to claim her again, threatening the song Elisabeta and Ferro are writing together.

Excerpt

Elisabeta huddled into herself, retreating further and further into her mind. She seemed light, almost insubstantial in his arms. He knew immediately it had been a mistake to have her be present for the discussion on how Sergey might have accomplished reaching out to her while she was safeguarded in the healing grounds. There had been an attack on her once, using one of the children. Now, it seemed, there had to be a second breach in security.

Talk with Julija and pay no attention to those coming to discuss this security matter, Ferro advised his lifemate as gently as possible.

He didn’t want to draw any more attention than necessary to his very frightened woman. She had curled up so small in his lap that he doubted she was barely visible in the dim lighting of the room, although all Carpathians could easily see in the dark. If her trembling got any worse, he feared she might really shake apart.

He kept his hand curled around the nape of her neck and his gaze fixed on Tariq, as if he wasn’t in the least concerned with his lifemate huddling on his lap. His fingers gently massaged in an attempt to ease the tension out of her. He knew that Elisabeta hadn’t been exposed to so many people in centuries. It had to be a terrifying experience for her. This rising was proving to be far worse than he had expected for her.

Seven men had come with Tariq. Ferro knew they had come as guards because he was considered dangerous and he had never sworn his allegiance to the reigning prince. Tomas, Matias and Lojos, the triplets always together and had been for centuries, had been sent by the prince to help guard Tariq whether the man wanted it or not. They took their job very seriously. Ferro knew they were a force to be reckoned with.

The seventh man who had come to protect Tariq Asenguard was Afanasiv Balan. Most of the Carpathians simply called him Siv. Like the brethren, he was a true ancient and he was considered extremely dangerous. He had thick, long blond hair and strange eyes that by turns could be green or blue. More than once, Siv had sought respite in the monastery when demons had been too close, but he left to hunt vampires and eventually ended up in the United States, guarding Tariq. He had the creed of the ancients inked onto his back, just as the brethren did. If he turned on them, he would be forever branded a traitor among them. Ferro had no idea whether or not he had sworn allegiance to the prince.

“After what you’ve told us,” Tariq said, his voice soft but carrying, “there is very little choice but to have our healer examine Elisabeta for signs Sergey has left behind that would allow him access to her.”

Ferro had known the moment he revealed to the others that Sergey had tormented Elisabeta even while she was in the protected, sacred healing grounds until Ferro had woven his own safeguards for her, that Tariq would insist that she be subjected to their examination. He didn’t blame them. There were children to protect. All along, many had speculated that she could have been used as a spy by the master vampire. Even his own brethren had considered the possibility. He also knew Gary wanted to examine her. He just didn’t know why.

Elisabeta heard Tariq’s soft declaration and her instant rejection was immediate and visceral. She made no sound but he knew if she could have run, she would have. The thought of strangers violating her mind, seeing the cruelties Sergey had subjected her to over the centuries, was humiliating to her. She was Ferro’s lifemate. Already, she felt she was embarrassing him by not being a warrior woman, a fitting mate for a man like him. To have the others see what the master vampire had done to her, keeping her in a cage, forcing her to beg him for everything—it was too much for her to bear.

Dark Series

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: August 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Christine Feehan

I live on the beautiful Northern California coast and draw much inspiration from the beauty around me. I've always been a writer, for as long as I remember. My sisters were forced to read all of my books from the time I could write a story on paper.

I love family. I love my brothers and sisters, my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. My home was always full of kids and children give me so much joy.

I also love my "sisters of the heart", those friends who have supported me through my life, laughed with me, cried with me and loved me regardless of how crazy my life got. I am a strong supporter of women helping each other which is why I became a third degree black belt and taught self-defense to women who'd been abused.

I love people and dogs, good books and great coffee and I'm lucky to know just how blessed I am.


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