Life is never simple.
Even perfect couples face storms.
The question is whether our love is strong enough to survive.
I believe it is.
She told me to leave.
If I leave, I take her with me.
Mariska: When I open my eyes again the next morning, and I’m alone in bed, I’m pissed. Sitting up, I know what I have to do. I pull my hair around, over my shoulder and weave it into a thick braid then I throw back the covers and stomp over to the window. Still raining.
Going to the closet, I jerk it open, pulling out a bright red floral dress and pulling it over my head not bothering with a bra. It buttons up the front, but I only fasten the middle ones. I’ve had enough of this behavior.
Amy is sitting at the kitchen table when I emerge from the hall. “Hey, Mare! I want you to read my coffee grounds!”
“In a minute,” I grumble, going straight to the door and outside. Light rain gathers in little beads on my hair, making it look like I’m wearing a veil.
Into the barn, I scan the open space looking for Bill. As far as I can tell, the only person in the area with the horses is Stuart, just the man I’m looking for.
He’s in Ranger’s stall, and I go straight to the door, pull the latch, and go inside. He stands up slowly, a confused smile on his face, and it hits me so hard. He’s gorgeous in those loose jeans and that damn grey Henley I stole last year.
“Hey, babe—” but I don’t let him finish. I go straight to him and grab the front of my favorite shirt.
“I’m sick of it!” From the corner of my eye, I see Ranger’s ears lay back, but I don’t care.
Stuart’s brow lowers. “Sick of what?”
“Stop treating me like a fucking China doll!”
“No!” I push him, but he doesn’t move. The man is a wall of granite. “Before you knew, before I told you, when I was already twelve weeks pregnant, if I left you in the bed alone one morning… One! You were pissed!”
He’s fighting the urge to grin, but I won’t have it. I push against his arms and grab the front of his shirt, shoving it up his lined torso.
“What are you doing?” He tries to catch my hands, but I push his away.
“You’re going to fuck me right here and now in this stall.”
“What the…” He steps forward, past me to the door of the stall and looks out into the barn. “Where’s Amy?”
“She’s in the house having breakfast with your mom. I don’t know where Bill is.”
“He went into town,” Stuart says quietly before turning to face me.
“Then we’re alone.” My hands are on his waist, but I only get the top button of his jeans open before he catches them.
“Take it easy. We’re not doing this here.”
The tightness in my chest almost makes me scream. I’m breathing fast, and my whole body is on fire with fury and hormones and lust. “Stuart William! You’re the only man I’ve ever slept with!”
“I’m glad to hear it,” he says, that sexy smile returning.
“You taught me how to make love—fierce and rough and demanding. I want you to love me like that now.”
I unfasten the buttons on my dress, allowing the front to fall apart, revealing my bare breasts heaving beneath. His expression darkens, and I see a glimmer of the old Stuart in his eyes.
He reaches out and catches my waist, pulling me hard against his chest. A flash of need spikes in my veins. “Yes,” I whisper. “Like that.”
The muscle in his jaw moves, and he looks away. “I can’t get off thinking I might hurt you.”
“You’ve never hurt me before.” Sliding my hands up his arms, I grip his biceps. “You’re hurting me by holding back.”
Reaching for his hand, I guide it down, pulling my skirt up so he can feel I’m not wearing panties, so he can feel how wet I am. “I want you. The real you.”
“Mariska,” he growls as his fingers curl against my sex.
Putting both hands on his face, I pull him to me and kiss him hard, parting his lips and pushing my tongue inside. At the same time, his fingers plunge into me, and a low moan scrapes from my throat.
I rise on my toes, chasing his lips, and he’s kissing me back with just as much passion, plundering my mouth. When I pull back, I nip his bottom lip with my teeth, and our eyes meet, burning with the fire I’ve been missing so long.
He takes my arm and turns me around, pushing me against the wooden side of the corral.
“Yes,” I gasp, clutching the wooden slats, arching my back as I brace against the wall. Cool air sweeps along my thighs and ass as he sweeps the flowing skirt away.
He studies my body as I hear his zipper lower. One large hand grips my hip, kneading my skin. “So beautiful.” His voice is rough and hungry.
“Please,” I whisper. I’m on fire, and I ache deeply for his rough touch.
At once I feel a stinging SLAP! against the soft skin of my behind followed by another kneading grip. The biting pain only spikes my desire.
“Oh god, yes,” I sigh. My legs tremble. Sparks of pleasure fizz in my veins, and waiting for him is almost painful. I moan as he slides his erection up and down my slick folds until finally, in one hard thrust, we both groan as he plunges inside.
Tia Louise is the Amazon and International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series. From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to picking up USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning a 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories. A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations…
Instagram & Twitter: @AuthorTLouise
While Zavier Sullivan may be the calm, reserved brother, his dragon is not. Especially since the beautiful, unorganized demi-goddess, Danielle Roberts—a.k.a Elle—moved into the mansion and into his life. She disturbs his OCD and makes him yearn for things he shouldn’t, but he can’t stay away from her. Nor can he deny her anything. Including his blood.
Ever since arriving at the home of the Sons of War, Elle has been plagued with dreams of the past and future. The visions are taking a toll, causing her debilitating headaches and ruining her sleep, but she doesn’t know what it all means. Her mother, Nyx, the Goddess of Night, has never bothered to show up and explain things to her. Until she arrives and unlocks Elle’s powers, promptly transforming her into a half-daimon, half-goddess. Now, Zavier may be her only hope of holding onto her humanity, but can she bond with him after everything she’s seen? Especially in the midst of everything the Sons and their mates are going through.
You’re fucking weak.
Elle painted while her mind reeled with thoughts of Zavier holding her as she slept. Usually, his touch muted the invasion of the visions, but not this time. Images that she didn’t recognize, which had grown more and more fuzzy the longer she was awake, had disturbed what would’ve been a peaceful sleep.
She shouldn’t be surprised, though. The dreams had been getting worse. And so was the increase of power running through her veins. It was as if something inside her was waking up. What, she didn’t know. She sensed something dark, which pushed her to do more research on Nyx, her mother and the goddess of night.
Nyx had mothered a number of gods and daimons, including the two spirits of death; the keres were female daimons of cruel death, and Thanatos was the god of non-violent death. Although some scriptures considered Thanatos a daimon. But it was the blood-hungry keres Elle fixed on. The she-daimons were vicious and violent.
Elle’s blood ran cold with fear. What if she turned into a creature like her sisters?
Then there was the threat on Zavier’s life. She gripped the brush tighter. Garrick would die before she let him harm anyone she cared about, including her dragon. Although she wasn’t sure she wanted to mate him just yet, she knew it would come to that one day.
“You should get more sleep.”
Elle shook her head at Gwen’s soft command. “I can’t.”
“Did your nap help?”
Casting her friend a narrow-eyed glare over her shoulder, Elle pursed her lips. After a moment, she relaxed and set her brush and palette on the worktable then sat on the leather loveseat in her half of the room. “It’s been too long since I’ve had a peaceful sleep. I’m not sure I’ll ever have one. Zavier stirs up too much emotion.”
The dragon frustrated her, turned her on, and made her want things that were impossible—like a normal, vision-free life.
Gwen sat beside her and took her hands. “You let fear drive you. I can feel it surrounding you. Fear fuels the darkness. You must learn to use it in a positive way.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re not half daimon.”
“True, but not all daimons are bad. Sure, because they’re Nyx’s children, they’re more powerful than daemons and many have god-like strengths, but…” Gwen hugged her and leaned her head against Elle’s. “Search inside yourself. Find your light and let it shine.”
Elle let a soft chuckle escape. There was a time when Gwen would have boldly spoken her mind. However, since her powers had been unlocked, she’d had to learn to be less bold and more vague. She was, after all, a goddess of fate, so her words could alter one’s future if she weren’t careful. Sometimes things slipped out and Aphrodite had to come in to do damage control.
“It’s hard when my dreams are filled with so much death and gloom.” Elle pulled out of Gwen’s embrace, stood, and then paced the floor. “Part of me wants to open the floodgates and unlock my powers. I mean, I can feel them getting stronger, but the headaches are worse. What if unlocking them makes me insane or kills me?”
Gwen jumped to her feet and gripped Elle’s shoulders. Elle stared into her eyes, shocked at the speed her friend had moved. Power whirled around the room a moment before Gwen spoke. “You will not die.”
Silence filled the air for several long moments. Then Gwen frowned and released her. When she stepped away, Elle reached for her, but Gwen held up a hand.
Crap. Gwen had used her powers to… to what? Make Elle immortal? When Elle opened her mouth to ask what it all meant, a zing of power drifted into the room, changing the pressure of the air slightly. Turning around, Elle expected Aphrodite, but the goddess who materialized wasn’t her.
Black mist shifted into a tall, beautiful goddess with hair the color of night and eyes that mirrored Elle’s. Nyx wore a long, black gown that covered her feet and spilled out onto the floor. Her black hair cascaded over her shoulders and hung down to her hips.
Elle stood, staring at her mother. She had called to the goddess so many times in the last few months. And Nyx picked this moment to show. Elle didn’t know whether to be mad or happy to see her. There were so many lies and unanswered questions.
In 2008, Lia Davis ventured into the world of writing and publishing and never looked back. She has published more than twenty books, including the bestselling A Tiger’s Claim, book one in her fan favorite Ashwood Falls series. Her novels feature compassionate yet strong alpha heroes who know how to please their women and her leading ladies are each strong in their own way. No matter what obstacle she throws at them, they come out better in the end.
While writing was initially a way escape from real world drama, Lia now makes her living creating worlds filled with magic, mystery, romance, and adventure so that others can leave real life behind for a few hours at a time.
Lia’s favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties. . She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers, but it’s her home and she loves it! Sign up for her newsletter, become a member of her fan club, and follow her on Twitter @NovelsByLia.
Former Green Beret, Zackary “Sin” Sinclair has a secret nipping at his heels. And he’ll do anything—go anywhere—to keep that info locked down tight. Including playing along with the news that he’s the father of his best friend’s little sister’s baby. But there’s no way in hell that’s possible since he hasn’t touched a woman in years. That, and his best friend has no idea Sin’s been hiding the fact he’s gay since they were teenagers.
KinKaid Wolf Pack Enforcer, Aydin Michaels is his cousin’s new pet project. If he doesn’t sober up and fall in line, he’ll be kissing his new career goodbye, and more than likely, packing up to head back east. The last thing he needs is a smokin’ hot human male with eyes that turn him inside out trying to play his hero.
When a bar fight goes wrong and Sin ends up bitten, Aydin is charged with tracking him down—before he shifts—and educating him about those in the world who aren’t quite human. Rule number one: in order to survive, shifters stick together. But convincing the hardheaded soldier on the run to stay put, preferably with him, is easier said than done. For Sin, putting down roots means paying a price. He either betrays a friend and risks losing the only family he’s ever known, or walk away from the man who’s claimed a piece of his soul.
Jessica Lee’s KinKaid Wolf Pack Trilogy follows the journey of the KinKaid twins, Evin and Rosa on their path to find their mates. Except the road for both siblings is littered with deception and danger at every turn, as the hunger for power and revenge escalates not only between packs, but among their own ranks.
Jessica Lee is an EPIC eBook Award winner and international bestselling author of paranormal romance. She lives in the southeastern United States with her husband and son. In her former life, Jessica was a science geek and spent over twenty-five years as a nurse. But after the birth of her son, she left her medical career behind. During that transition, she discovered her passion for writing romance and has never looked back. Jessica Lee is currently published with Entangled Publishing and Resplendence Publishing. Plus she has several self published titles available.
One fateful night, by the grace of beer and peanuts, Morgan Kirkbride–the self-professed super fangirl of Silver Soul– falls for the sexy rock god, Nick D.
Lands on her ass right in front of him.
Morgan is sure the lead singer of Silver Soul thought she was a graceless flake, but instead asks her to a midnight diner and winds up back at her place. She’s captivated, but sure it’s just a crazy one-night fling…
Imagine her shock when the very next Monday at Allegheny County Courthouse, the highly respected, well-credentialed chemist Dr. Nicholas Dovadsky is called as a witness — and Morgan recognizes him as the rock god who rocked her bed. Nick doesn’t intend for anything or anyone to stop him from getting to know the spunky, curvaceous, if clumsy, woman.
Sparks fly between them, but things get complicated – fast. When an ex-boyfriend returns to haunt Morgan and her roommate, no one takes him seriously. But when the simple threats become violent, perverse and horrifying, she realizes someone is out to get her and they aren’t going to quit until they do.
I took the offered hand and nearly swooned. Swooned. Who the hell swoons? I stood up and followed him through the mostly empty club as the staff was sweeping and pushing tables around. He didn’t let go of my hand as we wound through the tables to the door stage right.
This time, the little bitch in my head slapped me. I was being led backstage by the man I had a severe fangirl crush on, and we were going out for food and a chat. I almost dropped my cider at the realization. I was walking backstage with Nick D. I realized I had an obligation to women everywhere at that moment–and I fulfilled it.
I dropped my eyes and I gazed upon the most gorgeous denim-clad backside I had ever seen. He walked just enough to press those firm globes into the denim and release them a moment later with the next stride. The cloth hugged him, and it was one of the most delicious sights I’d ever seen in my life. Squeezable Tush. I wondered if I could bottle it.
“Enjoying the view?” he asked.
My eyes shot up to his, where he was peeking over his shoulder at me about to push the door open. Fire rushed into my cheeks. Let’s see, I had proved I was graceless, easily flustered, worked at a BDSM club, and had absolutely no stealth to even grab a glimpse of the World’s Most Fantastic Backside. I’d probably dump the soup down the front of my shirt.
His eyes sparkled mischievously, though, as he looked at me. I took a chance. “Hmm. It could be a little better. Could you just turn to the right a little?” He laughed, and obliged me.
Oh, it was a perfect ass.
Katherine Rhodes is a graduate of Montclair State University with Bachelor’s of English, Literature and will anything she can get her hands on. A lackadaisical laundry goddess, and an expert in the profundities of bad music and awful literature– thanks to her husband. She is an East Coast dweller, currently located in the Philadelphia Tristate area. The proud servants of three cats and a betta named Fishtian Grey.
Violence. I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more. And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus. I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic. Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive. It’s my drug. Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight. Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living. Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes. But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again. But I cannot stay away. And loving her might finally be what breaks me.
I want to know his name. I’ve decided that already. I should text Graham and ask him if he knows it. But that would clue Graham in that I was interested, and while I love Graham like a brother, he has far too much invested in my love life or lack thereof. He’d give the guy my number, home address, and blood type if he thought it would get me laid.
I might make jokes about it, but I’m not that open when it comes to sex. It’s not that I’m morally opposed to it. But it hasn’t been exactly…earth shattering for me. Robert was…more concerned with his own pleasure than mine.
And wow, do I need to think about something else. Something other than the man next to me with the haunted eyes and thick, blunt fingers that are currently toying with a pencil.
I’m better than this. I’m not boy crazy. I don’t let myself get distracted from why I’m here and guys definitely fall into the distraction category these days. I know who I am and what I want in life. And while the fantasy of having a guy stroke my neck and whisper things to make me laugh might be appealing, it’s nothing more than a fantasy for girls like me in a place like this.
Fantasies are safe.
Fantasies don’t ruin your life and crush your soul and try to change who you are. They don’t pretend to love you.
And in my fantasies is where he’ll stay. In the dark and the shadows, where I can take out the idea of him and play with it for a little while, then put it safely away where it can wait until next time.
Because fantasies can’t hurt you.
And as interested as I am in the man who did such a simple thing by sitting next to me, I am far too cynical to pretend that this is anything more than it is—a kind gesture.
Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her. She’s also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice. She’s pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012. Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.
While growing up in Harlem, Jaz Brooks never imagined that there would be a day where she’d have two smoking hot alien husbands, Mavet and Xentix. Or that she would be living on a Kadothian spaceship stationed on one of Saturn’s moons as an Earth Ambassador. And she certainly never imagined that her bondmates would be encouraging her to take a third husband, but that’s exactly what’s happening. Tandar Glycin has been fighting the Hive in the distant Bel’Tan galaxy for so long now he’d given up hope of ever finding his Matriarch. When word reaches him that his blood brother, Mavet, has bonded an Earth female Tandar is both elated and worried. Vicious rumors abound in the Bel’Tan galaxy about how horrible Earth women are and he worries that Mavet has taken a monster as his wife. When he first meets Jaz he quickly realizes that not all of the stories are true, and that the Lord of Life has blessed him with a kind, beautiful, and feisty alyah who is going to make him work to win her heart.
Warning– This story is set in the Bel’Tan galaxy where polyamorous relationships are the norm and love in all of its forms is accepted including M/M, M/M/F, M/M/M/F sexual situations.
With over forty published books, Ann is Queen of the Castle to her husband and three sons in the mountains of West Virginia. In her past lives she’s been an Import Broker, a Communications Specialist, a US Navy Civilian Contractor, a Bartender/Waitress, and an actor at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. She also spent a summer touring with the Grateful Dead-though she will deny to her children that it ever happened. From a young Ann has had a love affair with books would read everything she could get her hands on. As Ann grew older, and her hormones kicked in, she discovered bodice ripping Fabio-esque romance novels. They were great at first, but she soon grew tired of the endless stories with a big wonderful emotional buildup to really short and crappy sex. Never a big fan of purple prose, throbbing spears of fleshy pleasure and wet honey pots make her giggle, she sought out books that gave the sex scenes in the story just as much detail and plot as everything else-without using cringe worthy euphemisms. This led her to the wonderful world of Erotic Romance, and she’s never looked back. Now Ann spends her days trying to tune out cartoons playing in the background to get into her ‘sexy space’ and has accepted that her Muse has a severe case of ADD. Ann loves to talk with her fans, as long as they realize she’s weird, and that sarcasm doesn’t translate well via text.
My heart, my spirit, my body were broken…betrayed by my own blood.
Kylee Parker was no stranger to betrayal. After a tragic incident in her youth, she struggled against the darkness within, all the while fighting to appear normal to the outside world. Focusing most of her time on her teaching career, Kylee went about her everyday life pretending she was not broken, until one day everything changed. Coerced into taking a position out of the country, Kylee finds herself once again battling the terrors of her past. When a mysterious stranger appears in her life, she must decide if she is going to take a chance, or risk being damaged beyond repair.
Alexander Grant had sworn off relationships. While stationed overseas, he never expected to meet the one woman who could change everything…until Kylee. But will his past catch up to them both? Will he be able to save her from the torments of her past, or will they both end up betrayed and broken?
Victoria is a Georgia native, who now resides in sunny Florida with her husband, son, and two amazing boxers. When she isn’t writing you can find her sitting on the beach soaking up the sun or off hiking one of the many trails.