Publisher: Self-Published

Review: Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted March 18, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Knight Awakening by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Scorpius Syndrome #6
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Storm Gathering, Winter Igniting
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

“Sexy, tough, and deftly sprinkled with dark humor.” -- New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
The Line Between Obsession and Love has Disappeared
The world has changed. Any rules that might’ve been in place before the Scorpius bacterium ripped through civilization and decreased its population are no longer in place. Obsession and survival are the new reality. So, Marcus Knight, after a hellish time in captivity that stole most of his memory and all of his soul, has one focus, and that’s keeping Dr. Penelope Kim safe in the aftermath. She’d risked her life to save him once, and she’s all that matters. For months, he’s kept his distance, protecting her from afar, because he knows that one touch—one sigh—one kiss—from her will never be enough.
Passion is a Dangerous and Deadly Temptation
Penny Kim is one of the few doctors still living, and she alone holds the key to ensuring the human race continues. Several of her friends are pregnant, and the clock is ticking down on their survival. Her days are filled with experiments and hope, while her nights are consumed with visions and dreams of the hard-bodied and powerful soldier who’s made her safety his one and only mission. She should be wary of him; she should be terrified of him. Yet all she feels is an unreal craving for his touch that gets stronger every day. Life is short, and she’s unwilling to wait, unaware of the danger already hunting them both. Some risks are worth it, even in this new and dangerous world.
“Thrilling, post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best!” --New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

RZ brings us back to the world of Scorpius. Scorpius has been a global killer with only a small majority of the population surviving having the virus. It was actually a little eerie reading this book considering our current circumstances (i.e. COVID-19). Creepy.

This series is set in a post-apocalypse Los Angeles. Jax Mercury is the leader of Vanguard-Merc, a ragtag group of 600 survivors of the life as they knew it. While trying to live their lives they have to deal with a crazy President, a street gang, rationing food, and a lack of water. Which is only the tip of the iceberg.

Penelope Kim was fresh out of medical school when the virus hit. Forget an internship or a residency. She was thrown from the frying pan into the fire. She took it like a champ, wanting to help as many people as she could. When she first lays eyes on Marcus Knight, she has no idea who he is. She only knows that he’s being held captive against his will and experimented on. Penelope vows to help Marcus escape before she leaves the bunker. She has no idea the shit that is about to go down.

So when Vanguard-Merc shows up at the bunker where Marcus is being held, Penelope panics. In the midst of the chaos, Penelope is infected. She survives (obviously), but Marcus still blames himself. See, Marcus had the virus and one of the side effects of surviving it is that you may become a little obsessive. Obsessed with Penny’s safety. He won’t let anything or anyone get between himself and Penny. Not even his brother. Yes, his brother is none other than Jax Mercury, the leader of Vanguard-Merc. Only problem is that Marcus doesn’t remember anything. He barely remembers his time at the bunker and his torture. Penny is in the forefront of his mind; her safety is all that matters to him.

Penelope is aware that she has her very own guard dog. But she doesn’t want a guard dog. She wants to be a partner with Marcus. Any feelings of waiting for things to happen flew out the window with Scorpius. Penelope isn’t waiting for Marcus to come to her. She goes to him. Marcus wants to take what Penny is offering badly, but he is terrified of hurting her. His obsession about protecting her hasn’t gone away. When they start their relationship it actually becomes worse.

Last night when I finished this book, I gave it a strong 4.5/5. This morning, after thinking about the book, I can’t give it that high of a grade. Based on the ending, it seems as if that is the last book of the series. I always admire an author that can bring a series to a close. Anyway, the ending was so rushed that I really felt let down. After the buildup of what was going on with the President, it was just wrapped up too neatly. That’s my only complaint about the book. I really loved it other than that.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Scorpius Syndrome

three-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Love Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted March 15, 2020 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 5 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. 🙂

I have been waiting for this book for ages now. I’m so stoked to finally be getting a Samoan romance. A sexy Samoan rugby player? Yes, please! Jake and Juliet sound like all kinds of fun so I’m all in. We’re pretty stoked to be sharing an excerpt from Love Hard so check it out!

Sunday Spotlight: Love Hard by Nalini SinghLove Hard by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #3
Also in this series: Cherish Hard, Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Rebel Hard (Hard Play, #2), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you the next sizzling story in her Hard Play contemporary romance series…

Jacob Esera, star rugby player and young single father, has worked hard to create a joyous life for his six-year-old daughter. After the death of his childhood sweetheart soon after their daughter’s birth, all Jake wants is safety and stability. No risks. No wild chances. And especially no Juliet Nelisi, former classmate, scandal magnet, and a woman who is a thorn in his side.

As a lonely teenager, Juliet embraced her bad-girl reputation as a shield against loneliness and rejection. Years later, having kicked a cheating sports-star ex to the curb, she has a prestigious job and loyal friends—and wants nothing to do with sportsmen. The last thing she expects is the fire that ignites between her and the stuffed-shirt golden boy who once loved her best friend.

Straitlaced Jacob Esera versus wild-at-heart Juliet Nelisi? Place your bets.

Excerpt

Jake checked on Esme—who was having a grand old time running wild with the other children—then went hunting Jules.

He was starting to think she’d ditched the reception when he finally saw her seated in a hidden alcove with a giant slice of wedding cake on a saucer. She cut into it with a fork as he watched, slipped the tines into her mouth. Her lashes drifted shut, her lips pursed; he could almost hear her moan of pleasure.

His cock twitched.

No, no, no. He couldn’t twitch for Juliet.

Yet he haphazardly grabbed a slice of cake for himself before going over to join her in the alcove.

She glared at him. “This is my spot. Go. Away.”

“I don’t see your name on it,” he said and took a seat. The alcove wasn’t that big, and his shoulder brushed hers, his hip pressing into a lush feminine curve. He was crowding her on purpose. Because the thing was… he wanted to fight with Juliet. Dangerous as it was, he hadn’t felt this alive in a long, long time.

Her eyes flashed. Then she elbowed him under the guise of getting comfortable.

“Oof.” He rubbed his ribs.

“Oh, did that hurt?” She pointed her fork in his direction. “So, so sorry.”

Jake was grinning when his father appeared nearby.

“Son,” he said. “Sorry to interrupt, but Uncle Tama wants to get home and his car isn’t starting.”

“I’ll have a look.” Jake took the keys his father held out… before he turned to Juliet and said, “It’s dark out. Mind coming and holding the torch for me?”

Joseph Esera broke in. “Oh, I can do that.”

“No, Mr. Esera.” Juliet’s smile was warm and generous. “It’s your son’s wedding. Stay, enjoy. I’m sure it won’t take Jake long to fix things.” She kept up that smile as Joseph patted her on the shoulder and told her she was a good girl before he walked away to tug Alison into a dance.

At which point Jake got the death glare magnified.

Driven to antagonize her by a madness he couldn’t shake, he took a bite of cake before rising to put his plate down on the alcove seat. “Cake’s gonna have to wait, Jules.”

“Where’s the damn torch?” She put down her own cake and stood.

“In my car,” Jake said automatically before realizing they’d come here in a limo. “On second thought—we’ll have to use our phones.”

Juliet took his phone when he handed it to her, then swung by the head table to pick up hers too. They’d just stepped outside when his phone flashed with light, a message popping onto the front screen.

Shuddering, Juliet handed it over. “I think it’s one of your groupies. Take it before I gag.”

The text was from a Trixi Kitten. “For your information,” he muttered after quickly scanning it, “that’s the name of my great-aunt’s cat.”

Juliet stared at him. “Do I look like I was born yesterday?”

“Read the message.” He held it out.

Folding her arms, she tilted her head to the side, just daring him to continue.

He held it up right in front of her face so she couldn’t miss the message: Jake, dear, are you checking your uncle’s car? Can you come look at Great-auntie’s in the next week? It’s making a strange noise and it scares me. Meow – Trixi Pussy

A kind of strangled sound erupting in her throat, Juliet nudged aside his phone. “Does she always…”

“Write messages as if it’s her cat?” He nodded. “She’s a perfectly sane human otherwise. Last week she beat everyone in her local pub quiz so she could win a nodding-cat thing.”

“The whole… er… pussy thing?”

“She’s eighty-nine. As far as she’s concerned, it means cat.” Jake rubbed his face. “She stood next to me while I was inputting her number and kept asking me why I didn’t list her as Trixi Pussy.”

Juliet’s laughter sounded like it was torn out of her. And the cock twitching got worse.

That didn’t make sense. Why was her laughter turning him on? Or maybe it was the way she looked when she laughed, so open and warm and… as if she’d make him that way. Not this staid, solid stranger he sometimes felt he’d become.

Shaking off the thought because his solid and staid nature was what made him a good dad, he pointed to a pale blue VW Bug. “That’s it.”

The two of them walked across the parking lot, which was empty of all other signs of life. Just rows of cars—some bedecked with flowers and streamers in honor of the wedding—and a few standing lamps that cast just enough light so people could find their vehicles.

Useless, however, for looking at an engine.

The land sloped down on the other side of the car, the old theater surrounded by manicured grounds that often hosted outdoor plays. Maybe he’d bring Esme to one of those, he thought absently as he unlocked his uncle’s car, then tried to start it to see what sounds it made, if any.

Juliet stood outside, tapping her toe on the tarmac and looking like a fantasy straight out of the midnight hours, times when Jake’s brain went its own merry way. Sex dreams weren’t exactly a surprise for a single male who had a sex drive he hadn’t been feeding, but the dreams had always been amorphous and erotic. No faces, nothing but sensations that led to frustrated arousal.

He had a feeling that was about to change.

When the hell had Juliet grown those curves?

Wishing he hadn’t left his jacket in the event space, he popped the hood before getting out of the driver’s seat; hopefully the dim lighting would conceal the interest in his pants.

“Here.” He handed her his phone. “I think I know the problem,” he said, propping the hood open.

The scent of Juliet washed over him as she stepped close enough to shine the torchlight from both phones into the engine.

“Tell me where you want it,” she said, and his brain decided to put those words in a totally different—and dirty —context.

Gritting his teeth, Jake said, “Where you have it is good.”

*

Not responding to Jake’s comment because she’d become fascinated by the way his muscles moved under the fine white fabric of his formal shirt as he bent over the engine, Juliet told herself to breathe. She also reminded herself that she’d already had this conversation with herself and decided the physical attraction was pure nonsense.

But jeez, did the universe have to make him so gorgeous?

There, fine, she’d admitted it. The gearhead jock had grown up into a panty-melting adult who adored his daughter, loved his family, and was kind to his elders. Even a great-aunt who liked to text using her cat alter ego. He might have a stick up his butt, but Juliet would still like to see that butt.

Juliet Nelisi, you stop checking out Jake’s butt. STOP.

But the man was muscled everywhere. It was hard not to eat up the eye candy when it was right in front of her. Also, since a visual was all it would ever be, she might as well enjoy… except, this wasn’t just a random hot guy.

This was Jake.

Hard Play

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: March 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 Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.


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Review: Husband by Penelope Sky

Posted March 11, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Husband by Penelope SkyReviewer: Casee
Husband by Penelope Sky
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo, Lia Langola
Series: Betrothed #2
Also in this series: Betrothed (Betrothed #1), Wife
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 10, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 314
Length: 7 hours and 27 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Two years of bitter loneliness have passed. The woman I love is now the woman I hate. I lose myself in beautiful women every night and tell myself that fortune reading was nothing but a scam. But then her mother asks me to marry her. I say yes. Now this woman will be mine forever. Maybe the prophecy really is true. I'm committing to a woman that will never love me in return. But it was better to be her husband than allow someone else to take my place. It was better to conquer her body every night than be lonely with someone else. Much better.

Husband picks up right where Wife left off. At the end of Wife, Sophia finds out that her mother has arranged a marriage to none other than Hades Lombardi. It has been four years since they split in a very non amicable way. It was clear that Hades hates her so she can’t imagine why he would want to marry her of all people.

When it becomes clear that Sophia needs a protector, Hades steps in. His hatred for how she treated him doesn’t surpass his need to have her. Plus, he’s not going to let anyone else have her. It’s clear that she’s against the marriage, but eventually she caves. While Hades knows that Sophia doesn’t love him, they develop a partnership that they both start to count on. Hades decides that he can accept nothing less than Sophia’s love. So he goes back to the fortune teller that told him his fortune all those years ago.

Unfortunately he doesn’t hear what he wants to hear. The old woman tells him that he can break his curse by righting the most wrong thing he has done. Hades knows the sky may as well be purple. That’s what would have to happen for Hades to get his brother to forgive him for murdering their father. Alas, he has to try.

I really liked seeing Hades and Sophia’s relationship evolve. It’s clear Sophia loves him, but she doesn’t know it. Then the unthinkable happens. Sophia is kidnapped by Hades enemy. Hades goes berserk trying to find her to no avail. Which ends this book and leads into the next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Betrothed


four-stars


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Review: Wife by Penelope Sky

Posted March 10, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wife by Penelope SkyReviewer: Casee
Wife by Penelope Sky
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo, Lia Langola
Series: Betrothed #1
Also in this series: Betrothed (Betrothed #1), Husband
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 23, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 312
Length: 7 hours and 23 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2020 New to Me Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I was 21 when the gypsy read my future:

As punishment for your crimes, you will only love one woman...but she'll never love you back.

I didn't believe a word of it.

Until I met Sofia Romano almost 10 years later.

I fell hard for this woman. Would die for this woman.

But she left me.

Now, years have passed, and Sofia needs a husband. Her father is gone, and her mother is trying to marry her off to a man that can protect their family, protect their company.

She's looking for someone powerful.

Check.

Someone rich.

Check.

Someone handsome.

Double check.

Now, it's my chance to have the only woman I've ever loved...and I'll make sure she feels the same way.

I have a lifetime to make that happen.

Wife is my first book by Penelope Sky. The summary sounded very interesting to me, so I decided to give it a try. I listened to it on audio. The narrators were pretty decent. No complaints on that from me.

Sophia has planned to run her family’s hotels since she was a small girl. When her father died, her stepfather took over. Her mother wants nothing more that for Sophia to marry; and stay out of the hotel business. She tells Sophia that it’s a man’s world and that is no place she should be. Of course Sophia doesn’t listen. She starts working at the hotel under her stepfather. That’s when she learns what the hotel really does.

It’s at the hotel that she meets Hades Lombardi. Hades had his fortune told by an old woman telling him that the woman he loves will never love him back. Hades puts this out of his mind. Until he meets Sophia. He immediately falls for her, but it’s clear that she is not interested in anything other than sex.

I liked Sophia and didn’t like Sophia. Instead of coming across as a strong-willed, capable woman, she seemed more like a bitchy shrew to me. She always fought Hades, she made sure that everyone in her life knew that she didn’t need a man in her life. Until she starts needing Hades. Needing doesn’t equal love and when she shoots Hades down after he suggests a real relationship, he’s had it. Love turns to hate. It left me wondering how the two reconcile. I had to wait for the next book. You do too!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Betrothed


three-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted February 16, 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. 🙂

Knight Awakening is the sixth book in Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series. I am a big lover of dystopian/post-apocalypse stories. This series has never disappointed me. I love each and every character. I’m really looking forward to reading this book. Marcus and Penny are sure to be remarkable characters. I highly recommend this series to you dystopian readers. It’s amazing. We have an amazing excerpt for you!

Sunday Spotlight: Knight Awakening by Rebecca ZanettiKnight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Scorpius Syndrome #6
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Storm Gathering, Winter Igniting, Knight Awakening
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

“Sexy, tough, and deftly sprinkled with dark humor.” -- New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
The Line Between Obsession and Love has Disappeared
The world has changed. Any rules that might’ve been in place before the Scorpius bacterium ripped through civilization and decreased its population are no longer in place. Obsession and survival are the new reality. So, Marcus Knight, after a hellish time in captivity that stole most of his memory and all of his soul, has one focus, and that’s keeping Dr. Penelope Kim safe in the aftermath. She’d risked her life to save him once, and she’s all that matters. For months, he’s kept his distance, protecting her from afar, because he knows that one touch—one sigh—one kiss—from her will never be enough.
Passion is a Dangerous and Deadly Temptation
Penny Kim is one of the few doctors still living, and she alone holds the key to ensuring the human race continues. Several of her friends are pregnant, and the clock is ticking down on their survival. Her days are filled with experiments and hope, while her nights are consumed with visions and dreams of the hard-bodied and powerful soldier who’s made her safety his one and only mission. She should be wary of him; she should be terrified of him. Yet all she feels is an unreal craving for his touch that gets stronger every day. Life is short, and she’s unwilling to wait, unaware of the danger already hunting them both. Some risks are worth it, even in this new and dangerous world.
“Thrilling, post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best!” --New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

Excerpt

Penelope rushed into the infirmary with the room tilting wildly around her.

“How bad?” she asked Jax, who’d fetched her from a nice sleep on her sofa, where she’d crashed after several hours with her friends. The bottle of bourbon was now, sadly, empty.

“Not too bad,” Jax said, brushing glass off his shoulder.

She turned into the second examination room, stopping at seeing Marcus sitting on the taller table, his legs extending to the door and his shirt already off. He was okay. Well, bleeding from the upper arm, but looking directly at her and breathing evenly. Okay. Her knees stopped shaking. He was alive. She pushed hair away from her face. “Bullet wound?”

“Just a cut.” Jax patted her arm and turned away. “See you two tomorrow.”

“Wait,” Penelope said. “I’m intoxicated.” In fact, her feet were numb. “I can’t stitch him up.”

Jax turned and looked at her, his eyes bloodshot and a purple bump above his right eye. “You’re the best we’ve got right now. I can barely see.”

Marcus wiped blood off his arm with his other hand. “I only need a couple of stitches. I can do it.”

Jax nodded. “You two figure it out. I want to see Lynne.” He took a step and then paused. “Let’s meet in the morning and come up with a plan, Slam.”

“Okay,” Marcus said, and Jax took off at a fast clip.

Penny pressed a hand to her throat as her heart continued to pound.

Marcus looked around the room. “Could you get me a needle?”

A needle? He’d been in a gunfight, and he was acting like everything was normal? “Are you sure you weren’t shot?” She stumbled for the drawer to take out supplies.
“Yep. Just glass from when the bus flipped over from the bomb.”

Her head jerked, and she whirled around. Heat climbed down her throat so fast, her lungs burned. “There was a bomb?” Her voice rose.

He turned away from examining his arm. “Yeah. What’s the matter?”

Oh, wrong question. Way wrong question, and the bourbon flowing through her veins prevented her from finding any sort of filter for her words. “I can’t believe you just asked me that,” she muttered, setting the needle, thread, and bandages next to him on the table. “From the first second we arrived here, it has been you and me. All the time. But it’s one way, isn’t it?” Even though anger now focused her, she was gentle with wiping more blood from his wound. “You need about ten stitches, and my hands aren’t steady.” Not even close.

“That’s okay. You’re still better than I am with one hand. What do you mean, one way?” He twisted his arm so she could get a better angle.

This broke every rule she’d ever been taught in medical school, but the pandemic had pretty much broken the world, so what the hell. She took a deep breath and expertly threaded the already clean needle, wiping blood again. She forced her eyes open and then stitched him back up, rather surprised the stitches were even. It was a sad state of the world that she could stitch up a wound while mildly drunk. She’d been stitching up way too many wounds. She pressed a bandage into place and stepped back. “Yes. One way.”

He sat there, bare to the waist, his chest an intriguing mix of raw muscle and healed scars. The fact that he’d survived such torture only made those ripped muscles even more intriguing.

“I’m not following.”

That just figured. It really figured. She put her hands on her hips. “You don’t tell me anything.”

“I tell you everything.”

Maybe she hadn’t asked enough. “What is wrong with you? You were just blown up in a bus, and you’re sitting there like you’ve had a day at the beach.”

He frowned and rubbed dried blood off his hand. “A beach? I’m sunburned?”

Oh, for hell’s sake. “Do you have to be so damn literal all the time?” And alluring? Marcus Knight without a shirt on should be illegal.

“Yes.”

The simple response nearly made her head spin around and blow steam. “Marcus? You must be frightened sometimes. It’s okay to share that.” It should scare her how badly she wanted in. How much she wanted him to really share with her.

His face cleared. “Oh. That. I don’t feel anything, Penny.” At her silence, he shrugged. “Sorry. I’d love to tell you that I do feel a lot of things, but I just don’t. Not anymore.”

Oh. That was certainly a defense mechanism against what they’d done to him in the labs, as well as a result of surviving Scorpius. The bourbon swirled around in her blood, and her head fuzzed, but her body flashed wide awake along with her instincts. She stepped toward him, standing between his legs. “Yes, you do.”

He frowned, the sight more bewildered than upset. “No. I don’t.”

She placed both hands on the sides of his rugged face, and his shadow of whiskers scratched her palms. “Do you feel this?”

“Yes.” His voice deepened and his expression smoothed out.

Caressing down one side of his face, she traced his sharp jawline. “Do you feel this?”

“Yes.” His eyes darkened, going to the green instead of the brown. He held perfectly still, tension around him, his muscles tightened as if ready to spring.

She blinked. This was a mistake, and it wasn’t fair to him. He was still sitting on her examination table after she’d stitched him up. Her hands started to drop.

“No.” He snatched her wrist. “Don’t stop. Finish what you started.”

Her gaze lowered to his firm mouth. “I can’t.”

“Because you don’t want to?” His hold was light but his tone a low growl.

“Because I’m your doctor.” She took a deep breath and filled her lungs, trying to clear her mind.

He released her wrist, and she started to back up, shocked when he slid his hand through her hair to cup her nape. “I’m not your doctor.”

What was happening? His hand was warm and so strong, flexing against her skin. She swallowed. The energy ticked between them, enhanced by the silence throughout Vanguard headquarters at the midnight hour. Her gaze flew up to his eyes, and he was studying her like nobody ever had. Completely and with a focus that uncoiled live wires in her abdomen.

The next moment was inevitable.

He drew her near, and his mouth touched hers. Gentle and seeking.

Heat flowed through her faster than the bourbon had, and she leaned closer, putting her hands on his chest and sighing softly.

Then he ignited. He grabbed her hip, yanked her hard into him, and kissed her so hard he bent her back. Intense and deep, he took over, taking everything. She closed her eyes, overcome, her nails curling into his bare skin as he plundered. All of her.

Scorpius Syndrome

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: February 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 Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.


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