Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Blood Always (The Five Families Series) by Jill Ramsower

It was supposed to be business.
Two families, one wedding, zero emotion.
My father’s mafia outfit had saved my life.
I owed them everything.
An arranged marriage was hardly a sacrifice when I would have already been long dead had it not been for them.
I would give up my independence for the Lucciano Family.
I would bind myself to the man whose family tore my life to pieces.
Matteo De Luca was vicious claws sheathed in refinement and class.
He saw my untamed independence as a challenge.
I saw his alluring authority as a threat.
There was a ruthless storm that raged in his oceanic gaze. A majestic tidal wave of temper and domination looking to break on my rocky shores.
He would annihilate me.
Rip open my layers until all my pretty secrets were scattered at his feet.
The worst part? I wanted to experience whatever it was Matteo had to offer, and I hated myself for it.
I wanted to launch myself at him.
To kiss him. To kill him.
To end the debilitating torture of the unknown.
The moment our paths collided, our lives were altered irrevocably.
Taking us from enemies allied by a strategic marriage to something dark and consuming.
Something that tasted like obsession.

Excerpt from Blood Always (The Five Families Series):

I wiggled from his grasp, sliding down off the counter. “I actually have somewhere I need to be tonight, so I need to finish what I was doing.” Somewhere, as in, not here with you. I picked up my gun, assessing my progress.

Matteo’s stare was an incessant wasp buzzing in my face, refusing to allow me escape.

“What?” I bit out, glaring up at him. “Do you need me to show you the door?”

His gaze sparked—icy flames scorching every inch of me. “What plans?” He’d teased and prodded, coerced and demanded, but now his words were the deadly strike of a viper.

I could respond in one of two ways: play my flute and soothe the beast or hiss back with my own venomous attack. I knew which one was wiser. I also knew I felt exposed and vulnerable. There was nothing more vicious than a cornered animal, wounded and afraid—not that I would ever admit my fears to him. 

It didn’t take any debate or consideration to know which option I would choose. I went with my instinct, and that instinct screamed to protect. I’d been a flight type of girl before and spent years reprogramming my brain. 

Now, my brand of defense was to fight.

“Until I walk down that aisle, my affairs are none of your concern.” The innuendo had been strategic. My voice, a whip snapped in warning.

Matteo wasn’t one to back down easily. If anything, my response only poked the angry bear.

He slowly, menacingly positioned himself so close I could feel the sultry heat emanating from his broad chest. “You go near another fucking man, aisle or no aisle, and I’ll kill him.”

Matteo didn’t do idle threats. He was making that crystal clear.

“What happened to just business?”

“That was before. Before I you sucked the air from my lungs like your life depended on it. Before I’d felt your claws retract and saw a glimpse of what’s hiding beneath the armor. Before you made my cock so hard it hurt to breathe. I don’t know what this is between us, but it is certainly not just business.”

Within a year of self-publishing her first book, Jill Ramsower quit her job as an attorney and dedicated her days to churning out romantic adventures. She likes to think of her books as contemporary romance with a touch of fantasy—at its core, her writing is about the connection between two people. Sometimes that connection involves a little magic…
With Jill’s books, you can count on confident heroines, plenty of steamy tension, and deliciously assertive leading men. There are no guarantees in life, but with her books, you know everything will work out in the end. However, a perfect ending would not be nearly as satisfying without a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Jill loves to add plenty of adversity in her stories, creating unforgettably dynamic characters and sneaky plot twists you will never see coming.

Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she’s a travel junkie and loves to read when she is not lost in her own stories.
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