Tag: Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: The Immortal by Gena Showalter

Posted January 16, 2022 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: The Immortal by Gena ShowalterThe Immortal by Gena Showalter
Narrator: Max Bellmore
Series: Rise of the Warlords #2
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
Length: 11 hours and 16 minutes
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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter delivers The Immortal, the second dark and sexy book in her Rise of the Warlords series, featuring a cold, merciless assassin and a stubborn harpy warrior... one fated to die by the other's hand.

Halo Phaninon, assassin of gods, is as cold and merciless as a machine. For victory, he crosses any line. When tasked to kill twelve of mythology’s fiercest monsters in twenty-four hours, Halo eagerly accepts. Except, each morning he awakens to the same day, forced to relive new horrors. Only one other person retains their memory—the beauty who threatens his iron control.

Ophelia the Flunk Out hates her disaster of a life. She’s the family disappointment, a harpy warrior without a kill and powerless—or is she? Nearly every night she’s doomed to repeat her own murder, but each morning she arises to spar with Halo, the ruthless warlord increasingly determined to save her…and lure her to his bed.

Halo’s insatiable desire for the stubborn Ophelia drives him wild…and he only craves more. If he remains in the time loop, they stay together. But if he escapes, they lose each other forever.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

A faraway realm Long ago

“Emotions are our greatest enemy.” With an unhurried stride, the headmaster paced before his charges. Students of the Order. The train of his voluminous black robe dragged behind him.

The most notable acolyte—Four—stood shoulder to shoulder with nine others in a perfectly straight line. Each boy wore a colorless tunic and loose pants; each kept his eyes focused ahead, chin up, hands locked behind his back and bare feet pressed to¬gether. None dared to take more than eight inhalations per min¬ute. The allotted amount.

Though a mere twelve years in age, Four already towered over the others. As the son of an eight-foot-tall war god, he might grow bigger than even the headmaster. If that happened…

Headmaster dies screaming.

The stern, merciless male possessed crimson skin and obsid¬ian eyes without any whites; the instructors were exact copies of him. Their only differences came from the symbols etched into their faces. Symbols that glowed when they contemplated any kind of punishment.

Headmaster never ceased glowing. “Say it,” he commanded now.

“Emotions are our greatest enemy,” the boys echoed in unison, monotone.

Four meant those words with every fiber of his being. What he wouldn’t give to rid himself of any softness. To no longer suffer the torment of grief and loss. Perhaps then he might fi¬nally forget his tenth birthday. The day invaders murdered his mother and carted him to the Order.

Here, orphaned children of “myth and legend” learned to assassinate kings and gods. The best executioners received rewards. Those who floundered were often used during target practice.

“Today, you will prove you mean what you say.” Headmaster continued his unhurried back-and-forth stride, drawing out the suspense. Testing his students, always testing. In the empty white room, his footfalls proved silent. “Shall I tell you how?”

“If you wish, Headmaster,” the boys responded, again in unison.

Four’s stomach churned, bile singeing his chest. He’d felt sick all morning. Even before he was summoned from his quarters—a small cubicle containing only a bed, nightstand, and handful of books he’d received for exemplary behavior. A sparse prison he’d come to appreciate. The less you owned, the less others could use against you. But not by word or deed did he reveal his physical discomfort. He knew better.

What would Headmaster force the students to endure today? Or worse, to do?

His skin glowed brighter as he passed Four. Five, the boy to his right, released an almost imperceptible whimper.

In a blink, the headmaster returned to the lad.

Four didn’t move. He willed his heart to maintain a slow, steady beat, lest a glaze of sweat dampen his skin, giving him away.

Headmaster purred, “Are you afraid, Five?”

Each student was known only by a number. A reminder of a terrible truth: we are easily replaced.

“No, sir,” Five said, but a slight tremor proved him a liar. “I fear nothing.”

“I’m not certain I believe you.” Headmaster lifted an arm and snapped his fingers. “But there’s a way to learn the truth.”

Instructors observed the proceedings from the back wall, lined up just like the students. A lone male eased into motion, closing the distance to stand beside his superior. Dread gave the sterile air a sharp bite.

“Whip him,” Headmaster ordered. “He’s to receive twenty lashes. If he makes a noise, cut out his tongue. If he sheds a tear, blind him.”

No one in the room revealed an outward reaction as the instructor padded behind Five. But inside, Four waged a fierce war. He liked the boy and protected him whenever possible. Of the ten students in their group, Five was the kindest. Unlike the others, he shared his rewards, no matter what they happened to be. Food. Soft blankets. Special weapons. But Five was also the weakest among them, and he was about to suffer untold agonies. Could he maintain his silence until the end of the whip-ping? Could anyone?

As the instructor unhooked a barbed rope from the belt of his robe, Four fought the urge to safeguard his friend. He knew better. He’d made this mistake once before, with another student. The moment he had intervened, he’d made everything worse. At least Five wasn’t being given an animal to raise and later kill.

The first strike landed with a whoosh. Relief sparked as silence stretched. The second and third strikes fell. Five did well, his face remaining a blank mask.

Headmaster leaned down, putting himself at eye level with his victim. “With every lash, you are being rid of your secret shame. Thank me for this opportunity.”

“Thank you, Headmaster.”

Whoosh. Crack.

Whoosh. Crack.

After the seventh strike, Headmaster slowly slid his attention to Four. He canted his head, staring hard. The symbols in his skin glowed brighter and brighter.

Four revealed nothing.

“Tell me what you think of Five’s situation,” the evil male cajoled.

“I cannot.” The calmness—the coldness—of Four’s tone chilled even him. “I think nothing of his situation.”

“Is that so?”

Whoosh. Crack. Whoosh. Crack.

Calm. Steady. Breathe in, out. “That is so.”

After searching Four’s face, Headmaster withdrew a dagger from a hidden pocket of his robe and offered the hilt. “Kill him.”

Four blinked twice. “Sir?”

“You will kill Five, or I will kill you. The decision is yours. You have one minute to decide.”

As Four held the male’s gaze, he knew two things with ab¬solute certainty. If he hesitated to do this, he would die today. If he revealed a single emotion, he would want to die.

With iron resolve, he accepted the weapon, his grip steady. He stepped backward and to the right, moving between the instructor with the whip and Five. Staring at his back—at the blood wetting his tunic.
I can do this. Four had delivered many deaths the past two years, his kill list more than double the length of anyone else’s. But then, he was born for this. And yet…

He felt as if a part of him died each time he stole another’s life.

Would he act anyway? Oh yes. Without hesitation.

Four stepped forward. Mere inches separated his chest and the ravaged back of his newest target. He reached around and gripped the boy’s chin, angling his head to the side. With his free hand, he pressed the tip of a blade into the upper dip of Five’s sternum.

A mewl of fear escaped his friend, and the churning in his stomach intensified.

“Your time runs out,” Headmaster stated.

Four blanked his mind, a grueling skill he’d worked hard to perfect. One by one, his thoughts faded to the background, his emotions dulling until he felt nothing. Only a cold, gnawing void. He calmed, and his breathing evened out. This? This was nothing. A single death among hundreds.

As the boy opened his mouth to protest or plead, Four met Headmaster’s obsidian gaze—and plunged the dagger deep. He twisted his wrist at the end. Bone cracked.

Five stiffened against him, choking sounds leaving him. In seconds—an endless eternity—he collapsed, crashing to the floor.

Blood spurted from the wound, splattering the motionless body, the floor. Four…didn’t care. He survived, whatever the cost.

One day, things would be different. Until then, Four could only bide his time…

Warm liquid pooled around his feet, and his inner cold thawed fast. The sickness returned to his belly.

“What is this I smell on you, hmm? Fear?” The headmaster swooped in and ran the tip of his nose across Four’s neck while inhaling. “No, not fear, but something.” He straightened and motioned to the instructor with the whip. “Give him twenty lashes.”

Reveal nothing. “Thank you, Headmaster.”

Already in position, the instructor struck without delay. Whoosh. Crack.

Pain splintered through Four, shooting across each of his limbs.

Whoosh. Crack. Whoosh. Crack.

He held Headmaster’s gaze until the end—and smiled. “Thank you again, Headmaster.”

Scowling, the male grazed two black claws across his cheek. “Whatever you’re feeling will boil over as soon as I turn up the heat.” Walking away, Headmaster spoke to the instructor. “Give him twenty more.”

Excerpted from The Immortal by Gena Showalter, Copyright © 2022 by Gena Showalter. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Rise of the Warlords

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Sunday Spotlight: January 2022

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 Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld, Otherworld Assassins, and Angels of the Dark series, as well as two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine. She was interviewed on Nightline and has been mentioned in Orange is the New Black. Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees.


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Sunday Spotlight: Annihilation Road by Christine Feehan

Posted January 2, 2022 by Casee 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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Annihilation Road by Christine FeehanAnnihilation Road by Christine Feehan
Narrator: Ryan West
Series: Torpedo Ink #6
Also in this series: Judgment Road , Judgment Road, Vengeance Road, Vendetta Road, Desolation Road, Reckless Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 476
Length: 17 hours and 47 minutes
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Series Rating: three-stars

All paths lead to destruction in the new Torpedo Ink novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
Savin “Savage” Pajari is convinced he’s not worth a damn thing. He’s not like his brothers. He’s a sadistic monster, a killer—a man no woman could truly love. So it completely throws him when a stranger risks her life for his, pushing him out of the way and taking the hit that would have sent him six feet under. If he had any kind of sense, he’d leave her alone, but Savage can’t get the woman with a smart mouth and no sense of self-preservation out of his head. With one kiss, he’s lost.
Seychelle Dubois has spent her entire life not feeling much of anything, until Savage comes along and sets her whole body on fire. Kissing him was a mistake. Letting him get close would be a catastrophe. He’s the most beautiful—and damaged—man she’s ever met. He has a way of getting under her skin, and what he’s offering is too tempting to resist.
Seychelle knows so little about Savage or the dangerous world of Torpedo Ink, but his darkness draws her like a moth to a flame. Loving him could mean losing herself completely to his needs—needs she doesn’t understand but is eager to learn. But what Savage teaches her could destroy her.

Excerpt

Savage stood there blocking her path, knowing it would be a mistake to kiss her again, but the craving was there. Seychelle just waited, not in the least concerned that she was seemingly alone with Savage, a Torpedo Ink sergeant at arms. He leaned in to her deliberately, wrapped his palm around the nape of her neck and put his lips against her ear.

“You aren’t nearly as safe as you think.”

Her blue eyes stared directly into his and there was a hint of laughter that sent his cock into a frenzy of urgent need. She wrapped her hand around his upper arm, or tried to, but her hand barely made it halfway around his biceps. That didn’t deter her. She put her lips against his ear, going on her toes to do it.

“You’re so full of shit.” She pulled back immediately. “I have work to do, my darling fake fiancé. Step aside.”

He’d never wanted to kiss a woman more. Okay, he’d never wanted to fuck a woman more. He stepped back from the temptation. She was pure sin and he needed her. He wasn’t comfortable needing anyone, let alone a woman. She had a smart mouth on her. He loved that about her. She also wasn’t afraid of him when everyone else was. He didn’t know how to take that. She even appeared to think he was amusing when he was seriously warning her. She didn’t believe he was attracted to her. That much was clear. He found himself wanting to smile again.

He let her go around him. She didn’t look back when she went inside. His brothers immediately came out of the shadows.

“What the hell was that, Savage?” Maestro demanded.

“I told you I know her,” he said.

“Yeah, you know her. You said she wasn’t one of your weird fucks. I want that woman singing in our band.”

Master nodded. “Shocked the hell out of me, but she’s damned good.”

“You can’t fuck this up for us because she’s got a nice ass,” Player said.

Keys just looked at Savage and then shook his head. “You might as well pack it in, brothers, he’s gone on this chick.”

Savage didn’t deny it. He just gave them the death stare. What was there to say? It was true, but he wasn’t sure what he was going to do about it. He wished she were one of his weird fucks. It would make life so much easier for both of them. She was far more than that. She’d never be just another one of his weird fucks.

“She’ll sing for you. Preacher needs another bartender. You said so yourself, Maestro. She can fill in when you’re not singing. She lives in Sea Haven, so that’s a plus.”

“It won’t be a plus when you kick her to the curb,” Maestro said. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a real singer? One like her? It’s nearly impossible.”

“She isn’t kick-to-the-curb material, is she, Savage?” Keys asked.

Savage didn’t answer him. He had no idea what he was going to do with Seychelle.

“If she joins the band,” Player said, “we have an obligation to her. She’d be under our protection.”

Savage turned cold eyes on him. Inside, all the unfamiliar amusement, all the fun he’d had sparring with Seychelle, faded away to be replaced by that ice-cold rage. “No one interferes with her. She’s under my protection. What happens between the two of us is ours alone. You’re my brothers, but she belongs to me and I expect you to respect that and have my back.”

There was absolute silence. It wasn’t as if he could blame them, and worse, deep inside, he had no idea what the hell he was doing. He had no business claiming a woman. He knew it. They knew it. Half the time he couldn’t be in anyone’s company. Violence rode hard on his shoulders when the devil was on him. The death in his eyes was real. He was barely civilized and most of the time he hung on to sanity by a thread.

It wasn’t as if Seychelle was a biker bitch who knew the rules of the game. She was no patch chaser, wanting the protection of the club and some man to take care of her. She didn’t even appear all that interested in him or the club. If anything, she was more amused by him than attracted to him. He pulled back, thinking about that kiss they’d shared. The one he still tasted in his mouth. Now he wasn’t going to get her out of his mind. Not that he’d been able to before.

“Savage,” Maestro said, caution in his voice. “This woman. I don’t know that much about her, just the little that Code gave me before we came here, but she seems to be someone we ordinarily would consider off-limits.”

Savage shook his head. “She’s going to say yes to singing with you, but you just remember what I said. Seychelle belongs to me. That’s the bottom line.” He turned on his heel and stalked back into the bar. Already she was interfering with their club. That was the kind of woman she was. Shit.

From ANNIHILATION ROAD published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Christine Feehan.

Torpedo Ink

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Sunday Spotlight: January 2022

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About Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan Author

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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Sunday Spotlight: Someone Perfect by Mary Balogh

Posted November 21, 2021 by Holly 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: Someone Perfect by Mary BaloghSomeone Perfect by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott #9
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: November 30, 2021
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
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Sometimes, just one person can pull a whole family apart. And sometimes, it just takes one person to pull it back together. For fans of Bridgerton, New York Times bestselling Regency Romance author Mary Balogh shows how love truly conquers all in this new Friends of the Westcotts novel.
As a young man, Justin Wiley was banished by his father for mysterious reasons, but now, his father is dead, and Justin has been Earl of Brandon for six years. A dark, dour man, he, nonetheless, takes it as his responsibility to care for his half-sister, Maria, when her mother dies. He travels to her home to fetch her back to the family seat at Everleigh Park.
Although she adored him, once, Maria now loathes Justin, and her friend, Lady Estelle Lamarr, can see, immediately, how his very name upsets her. When Justin arrives and invites Estelle and her brother to accompany Maria to Everleigh Park to help with her distress, she begrudgingly agrees, for Maria's sake.
As family secrets unravel in Maria's homecoming, Justin, too, uncovers his desire for a countess. And, while he may believe he's found an obvious candidate in the beautiful 25-year-old Lady Estelle, she is most certain that they could never make a match...

Excerpt

SOMEONE PERFECT – Excerpt

The grass had been newly scythed and looked neat and smelled heavenly. Then, however, the four large flower beds, which, long before Estelle was born, had been cut into the lawn with geometric precision to form four diamond shapes in a larger diamond formation, had ended up looking sadly ragged in contrast. She could have waited for the gardeners to get to them, as of course they would, but she liked doing a bit of gardening and was out here now pulling weeds and cutting deadheads from among the flowers and dropping them all into the basket she carried over her arm. And what a difference the pulling and cutting had made! The flowers in the three beds she had already done were looking considerably brighter and more fully alive again, and now this one did too. She stood back on the grass to admire her handiwork. But something caught the edge of her vision as she did so, and she looked across two large diamonds to the drive beyond.

A horse and rider were just coming into view, and for a moment she brightened with the expectation that Bertrand was returning from his visit to the vicarage in time for tea. The rider was not Bertrand, of course. He had walked into the village. It was the Earl of Brandon, and now Estelle could not even pretend to be away from home. He had seen her. So had his dog, which took a few menacing steps toward her across the lawn before stopping abruptly at something the man had said. She heard the low rumble of his voice but could not discern the actual words.

How very mortifying and unpleasant. Estelle was terribly aware of her ancient cotton dress, faded from innumerable washes and much despised by her maid, who always told her it was too old even for the ragbag. But it was cool and comfortable and was kept strictly for chores such as this one. Her straw hat must be almost as antique. Its brim was limp and shapeless and wonderfully effective in shading her face and neck from the sun. Her gloves were large and elbow length and bright green and ugly. But they kept her fingers and forearms from being pricked, and they kept the dirt from getting beneath her fingernails and the sap from staining her hands. Her shoes . . . Well, the less said about her shoes, the better.

She set down her basket, pulled off her gloves, and dropped them on top of the dead blooms and weeds. She could not do anything about the rest of her appearance. Let him think what he would. She did not much care about his good opinion anyway. She made her way toward him, skirting about the flower beds and eyeing the dog warily. It was panting, its tongue lolling out of its mouth. It was looking at her as though it would be happy to make her its afternoon tea if only its master would be obliging enough to ride out of sight for a few moments.

The man looked as morose as ever. Oh, it was wicked, perhaps, to have taken him in such thorough dislike. No, it was not. He had done nothing to make himself likable. Quite the opposite.

“Captain will not hurt you,” he told her.

“Not when you are here to call him off,” she agreed.

“Cap,” he said. “Shake.”

And the dog, still panting, still gazing intently and hungrily at her, sat on its haunches, lifted one of its giant paws, and dangled it toward her.

Oh dear God.

But he had done it deliberately to disconcert her— he man, that was. To make a cringing female out of her, as he had done by the river. How she wished now that she had left her legs dangling in the water and merely tossed her head— and her hair— in his direction. And raised one haughty eyebrow.

She took a few resolute steps forward, grasped the dog’s paw in a firm clasp, and shook it. It was gigantic. It could flatten her with one swat. And it had lethal-looking claws. Was that what one called them on a dog? Or were they nails?

“How do you do, Captain?” she said before looking up at the earl. Man and dog suited each other. He was gigantic too. And he had those huge hands, neatly gloved at the moment and holding the reins. “How do you do, Lord Brandon?”

He removed his hat. “I wondered, Lady Estelle,” he said, “if I might have a few words with you and Viscount Watley.”

From SOMEONE PERFECT published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Mary Balogh.

 

Wescott

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Sunday Spotlight: November 2021

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About Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh's Headshot

Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Love, Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic, and Simply Perfect, her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin's School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.


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Sunday Spotlight: Guild Boss by Jayne Castle

Posted November 14, 2021 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: Guild Boss by Jayne CastleGuild Boss by Jayne Castle
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Series: Ghost Hunters #14
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Length: 8 hours and 48 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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Welcome to Illusion Town on the colony world of Harmony—like Las Vegas on Earth, but way more weird.
Living in this new, alien world doesn’t stop the settlers from trying to re-create what they’ve left behind. Case in point—weddings are still the highlight of any social calendar. But it’s the after-party that turns disastrous for Lucy Bell. Kidnapped and drugged as she leaves the party, she manages to escape—only to find herself lost in the mysterious, alien underground maze of glowing green tunnels beneath Illusion Town. She’s been surviving on determination and cold pizza, scavenged for her by a special dust bunny, when help finally shows up.
Gabriel Jones is the Guild Hunter sent to rescue her, but escaping the underground ruins isn’t the end of her troubles—it’s only the beginning. With no rational reason for her abduction, and her sole witness gone on another assignment for the Guild, whispers start circulating that Lucy made it all up. Soon her life unravels until she has nothing left but her pride. The last thing she expects is for Gabriel Jones to come back to town for her.
The Lucy that Gabriel finds is not the same woman he rescued, the one who looked at him as if he were her hero. This Lucy is sharp, angry, and more than a little cynical—instead of awe, she treats him with extreme caution. But a killer is still hunting her, and there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to heroes. Despite her wariness, Gabriel is also the one person who believes Lucy—after all, he was there. He’s determined to help clear her reputation, no matter what it takes. And as the new Guild Boss, his word is law, even in the lawlessness of Illusion Town.

Excerpt

Gabriel Jones was standing so close she could feel his body heat and an aura of energy. That was reassuring. It was also disconcertingly intriguing. Her senses stirred.

He looked formidable and dangerous, but he had very nice shoulders. Everything about him radiated power and control. She liked his amber-brown eyes. Fierce but not in an intimidating way, at least not at the moment. More like the eyes of a man who has been looking for someone for a very long time and has just found her.

He studied her while she munched the pizza.

“I take it the after-party didn’t end well,” he said.
She glanced down at the crushed skirts of her long gown and sighed. She didn’t have a mirror, but she knew she probably looked as if she had spent a hard night in a dark alley. Possibly several nights. Time had become fluid. That happened when you got lost in the Underworld. There was no day or night in the tunnels. The maze of quartz corridors and chambers radiated an eerie acid-green light day in, day out. As far as the experts could tell, they had been doing so since the long-vanished Aliens had disappeared.

“The after-party was a disaster,” she said. “Long story.”

“When did the dust bunny show up?” Gabriel asked.

“I don’t know. I made it to this chamber and collapsed. The dust bunny appeared at some point. I’ve seen dust bunnies from time to time in the ruins but I’ve never had one approach me. I could tell he expected me to follow him but I . . . couldn’t. He vanished. I assumed I’d never see him again. He came back with a pizza. That’s when I named him Otis. I know he’s been trying to lead me back to the surface, but I can’t get through the psychic gate blocking the door.”

Gabriel glanced at the entrance. “I didn’t have a problem entering.”

“Neither did I, obviously.” She glared. “It’s getting out that’s the big issue here. Do you think I’d still be hanging around in this horrible chamber if I could break through the barrier?”

Gabriel glanced at the entrance again. When he switched his attention back to her, there was a thoughtful expression in his eyes.

“No,” he said.

“Let’s hope you can get out,” Lucy said.

She sounded pissed off, but she didn’t care. It was probably not a nice way to treat the man who said he had come to rescue her, but she didn’t care. She was irritated, because she was pretty sure she knew where the conversation was headed. Gabriel—assuming he was real—was concluding she was delusional because she had spent so much time in a strong paranormal environment without the steadying influence of nav amber.
What really annoyed her was that he was right. True, she wasn’t delusional all the time, but she was definitely suffering recurring bouts of nerve-jangling visions. Deep down she was terrified that she was in danger of getting lost in a world of paranormal nightmares. When she got scared, she got mad.

Otis finished the last of his pizza and chortled.

The dust bunny resembled a large wad of dryer lint. He looked adorable because only his innocent baby blue eyes and the tips of his ears were visible at the moment. His second set of eyes, the ones he used for hunting, were closed and hidden by his gray fur. Dust bunnies were cute and cuddly. Until they weren’t. As the saying went, by the time you saw the teeth, it was too late.

Lucy finished the last of the pizza slice, dusted crumbs off her hands, and looked at Gabriel. “How did you find me?”

“Finding people who get lost down here is one of the things I get paid to do,” Gabriel said. “Illusion Town doesn’t have its own Guild yet, so the local authorities coordinate with the Cadence organization. When they realized you had vanished into the tunnels, the police asked us for assistance. I pulled the assignment.”

She took another slice of pizza and narrowed her eyes. “I didn’t just vanish, you know. I was kidnapped.”

From GUILD BOSS published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Jayne Castle.

Ghost Hunters

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: November 2021

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 Jayne Castle

The author of a string of New York Times bestsellers, Jayne Ann Krentz uses three different pen names for each of her three “worlds.” As Jayne Ann Krentz (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic-suspense. She uses Amanda Quick for her novels of historical romantic-suspense. Jayne Castle (her birth name) is reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic-suspense.

“I am often asked why I use a variety of pen names,” she says. “The answer is that this way readers always know which of my three worlds they will be entering when they pick up one of my books.”

In addition to her fiction writing, she is the editor of, and a contributor to, a non-fiction essay collection, Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her commitment to her chosen genre has been strong from the very beginning of her career.

“The romance genre is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story,” Jayne says. “These are books that celebrate women’s heroic virtues and values: courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love.”

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

She is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.


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Sunday Spotlight: Dirty Deal by Mira Lyn Kelly

Posted November 7, 2021 by Holly 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. 🙂

Mira Lyn Kelly is a new-to-me author. I’m such a sucker for Single Dad romances, I had to add this to my list after reading the blurb.

Sunday Spotlight: Dirty Deal by Mira Lyn KellyDirty Deal by Mira Lyn Kelly
Series: Slayers Hockey #5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 19, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 190
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Fatherhood blindsided me.

There I am, working to get a rise out of my cranky little rule-following, fun-wrecking, soon-to-be ex-neighbor when my one-night stand from last season shows up… in labor.

Next thing, I’m a single-dad begging for a crash course in caring for this tiny miracle from the neighbor who loves to hate me.

Turns out, Nora raised half her siblings.

She knows things.

And I know my son needs her.

Unfortunately, she’s not impressed by my NHL career, my legendary charm, or the rumors surrounding the size of my stick (all true btw).

But I’m not trying to impress her. Not anymore. I can’t.

I’m asking her to help me out, because my son deserves better than some player who hasn’t even had a chance to read the manual yet.

Which means no matter how hot I find her spitfire mouth and those rules she doesn’t break… Nora is off-limits.

Excerpt

©Mira Lyn Kelly

Dirty Deal Excerpt

I know I should knock my shit off and hit the sack. With back-to-back games the last two days and not enough sleep before early skate this morning, I’m wiped.

But this is more than Nora’s said to me at one time since… Well, since she stopped talking to me except to tell me to turn the volume down— easier said than done when you’ve got five hockey players over watching a game. Or to wake me at the crack of dawn when I didn’t even get off a plane until two a.m. to let me know that my mailbox is overflowing, or tell me I parked in the wrong spot, or that I can’t hold the elevator with my gear when I need to run back to my apartment for three damn seconds because I left my keys in the door.

I’m a child. I know. But only with Nora. And only because those hot, red splotches on her cheekbones are so much better than that nothing look I get from her when I’m behaving. That bland, disinterested glance sucks. Especially after the way she used to look at me.

Yeah, it was only a week, nearly five months ago when she moved into Diane’s. But from the first time our paths crossed, that wide smile and quick laugh had me looking closer, lingering to chat with her when I’d normally keep moving. I found myself drawn into conversations with her I’d still be thinking about when I hit the ice or the weight room, or when I was supposed to be paying attention to a trainer, reporter, or my brother. And the way she looked at me? I’d be thinking about those shy glances and warm blushes when I crawled into bed at night. Wondering why I hadn’t made a move already.

But then it was too late. Everything changed in a blink, and Nora wasn’t interested in me at all. Not even as friends, and I’m friends with everybody.

I should have let it go and forgotten about her, given her a nod when we passed in the hall, and stopped looking for something in her eyes that said the connection was still there. But I didn’t. Instead, I started trying to get something else.

A reaction.

Damn, Nora gives good reaction. Hot and sharp. Whip quick with a sting you’re not likely to forget.

“I’ve got more important things to do than watch you standing around in a towel.”

“Nice as the scenery may be, though, right?” I ask, wondering if I can get a laugh out of her. A smile. Get her into bed. Nah, zero chance of that. But maybe another scowl, at the very least.

She looks me over from top to bottom and back up again. Jesus, the feel of her eyes on me is—

“Whatever.”

And that flat, bored tone? Color me impressed. Because I know for a fact, this body— in a suit, in running gear, in beat-up jeans and a T-shirt —trips her up. Five months ago, it made her blush and stammer. Three, I’d still catch her eyes where they weren’t supposed to be.

Now, in a towel? Yeah, she’s a little liar.

But I like it. Even if she can’t stand me.

 

Slayers Hockey

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: November 2021

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 Mira Lyn Kelly

Author Photo

Mira Lyn Kelly is a USA Today bestselling author who writes sizzling love stories with hot, possessive heroes and heroines who give as good as they get. A hardcore romantic, stress baker, and housekeeper non-extraordinaire, she met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome...only to find out he lived right around the corner from her back home. She now resides with her husband in Minnesota.


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