Showing posts with label Giveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giveaway. Show all posts

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Possessed by a Vampire


Title: Possessed by a Vampire
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb: They possess the power to make their dreams come true—but it won’t be easy.
Preston Knight—Elvis to his friends—loves being a vampire. The night he was turned was the first step to him becoming the kind of man he always hoped to be. Now, he’s a rock star. What could be better? But the one thing that would make his world complete is just out of reach. The woman he yearns for has some serious secrets, and despite him knowing that she wants him just as much as he wants her, she won’t let him in.
Lily Gray never asked to be a vampire. The choice was taken from her eons ago, and things never improved. Now, she finds herself peddling drugs on the streets of San Francisco and playing the part of doting wife to a possessive and sadistic vampire with delusions of grandeur. But family means everything to Lily, and she’s willing to sacrifice everything for it…even her one chance at happiness with the sexy-as-sin vampire who sets her heart ablaze.
When one night of passion opens the door for a century of secrets to be revealed, Lily and Preston must fight for not only what they believe in but also what they love.
Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She's hooked on sexy romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.
She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence.
She lives in Northern California in wine country and one of her favorite weekend excursions is wine tasting with the love of her life. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.
Author Links:
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/SMGriscom 
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2efYV8l
Facebook personal:  https://www.facebook.com/SMGriscom
Buy Links: Tempted by a Vampire (Free): http://amzn.to/2eBYh0S
Captivated by a Vampire: http://amzn.to/2oFioiU
Rocked by a Vampire: http://amzn.to/2pXTE6u
Possessed by a Vampire: http://amzn.to/2oFsb8p
CHAPTER ONE
ELVIS
“It’s up to you, Elvis.” Lincoln, the dealer, nodded in my direction and waited. I kept my gaze trained on the center of the table where chips sat in a small pile. I didn’t need to look at my cards again. I knew what I had: an eight and a queen of hearts.
   There were six vampires at the table, counting both Gage and me. Gage had folded right after the deal, and so had one of the other players. I was the last to bet, and sometimes I liked to spice things up a bit, so I matched the bet and sat back.
   Heavy smoke hung in the air like delicate streams of fog, swirling in circled patterns under the light hanging from a long cord above the table. Four other lamps hung on fixtures attached to the otherwise stark, tawny brown walls. Even with all the bulbs, the room seemed dark.
   Maybe it was the darkness of the souls in the room. I wasn’t sure.
   A droning sound buzzed from outside. It was a little annoying, but I managed to drown it out as I nonchalantly watched the faces around the table as the dealer placed the three cards of the flop face-up, revealing a nine of hearts. He slowly separated them, sliding the top card off the nine to reveal a jack of hearts.
   Holy fuck!
   It was raining hearts for some reason, and I held two of them already. I held my breath, waiting to see the third card in the flop. The dealer slid the jack over. Crap, an eight of diamonds.
   Not exactly what I was looking for, but a pair of eights with a queen high wasn’t completely a loss so I decided to hang in there and see if one more heart would show. There were still two cards to go, and a flush was possible.
   I kept my eyes straight, my thoughts blank—or I tried—like I usually did as each card was revealed, always attempting to keep my composure, never deviating from the norm, not wanting to give away my emotions. I was an expert at reading people. Especially in a poker game. A blink of an eye, a slight twitch, a swallow, the slightest movement, anything . . . different could give someone’s hand away. I wanted to reach up and finger my shades that sat on top of my head. Just one little nudge and they’d be sitting comfortably on my face, shielding my eyes. But not only were dark glasses frowned upon in this high-stakes game of Texas Hold ’em, but any movement out of the ordinary might tip someone off about my cards.
   This wasn’t our normal gathering with my brothers at the mansion. This was a high roller, unsanctioned but heavily guarded poker game with some seriously high-powered city officials that I’d bet my right nut were a drug cartel of some sort or another. The two thugs in the monkey suits positioned on either side of the door to the entrance had stood like statues most of the night; the bulge of a holster protruding from under their jackets an obvious clue. At least they were on the outside of the room, but they still remained at the ready if their services were required.
   Gage and I didn’t normally seek out games with such high stakes, but he’d been bored lately, and when he ran into Lincoln—the game’s host—at Club Royal a couple of weeks ago, Lincoln had invited Gage and me to join. Said they’d recently lost two of their regulars and needed a couple of fill-ins.
   When Gage had approached me, I shrugged him off at first, not wanting any part of something that sounded so sketchy. But after he’d pestered me for the entire week, I finally gave in, needing a distraction from the long hours—sometimes days—apart from Lily, the sexy and sweet vampire I’d been trying to get to know better. Except, for the past few months, she was either playing hard to get, or just wasn’t that interested in me. Though I had a difficult time believing the latter of those two options since she continued to meet me whenever she had the time or, in her words, “could get away.” Away from what, I hadn’t been able to find out. Yet.
   Getting thoughts of Lily off my mind was nearly impossible. Her fair, silky-smooth skin; her mesmerizing dark coffee eyes that could hold my gaze for hours on end; the tips of her long, thick locks kissing the cleavage of her breasts where my lips longed to skim. I managed to clear my head just in time, as it was my turn to bet again. I slid my bet forward, raising the pot three thousand for appearance’s sake. In truth, without another heart or a ten, I had squat. I didn’t think the pair of eights would cut it. I had an excellent chance for a straight or a flush if either of the next two cards went my way. Since Gage had already folded, he sat still as a statue beside me, his hands together on the edge of the table. I knew he was busting a gut wondering what I held in my hand.
   There were only four of us left in this hand, and I didn’t want to go home with a loss. Not against these guys. Two of them sat puffing on brown cigarettes, looking rather tough. They were tough, the sort who would drain the blood from a homeless person and leave them to die in the gutter without so much as a “thank you, ma’am.” Particularly, the one at the end with the light brown, wool Stetson on his head. The word dangerous exuded from his pores. He wore that hat pulled low on his brow, shading his eyes just enough to where it was legal but not enough to reveal much about him. A neatly trimmed goatee graced his chin and upper lip. A long ponytail made of cornrow braids hung down his back. He seemed on edge, or maybe it was just an act to throw me off.
   Which he did when he raised another five thousand. That was steep. Not that I didn’t have the money. These days, my bank account overflowed, but it wasn’t that way in the beginning. I hadn’t always been the man I was today, and money hadn’t been abundant back then. The circumstances surrounding my rebirth as a vampire weren’t something I would likely forget, though I’d never spoken about them, not even to Gage. The way I’d been turned hadn’t exactly been conventional vampire behavior and had left an ache in my soul I didn’t understand and an emptiness that I could never satisfy.
   I peeked at my cards and considered the raise. Either the guy had something powerful, or he was bluffing his ass off and had nothing. Since I had the queen of hearts, I knew he couldn’t have a royal flush. But that didn’t rule out a straight or four of a kind. The bald-headed guy next to him folded, as did the next two. Now it was up to me, and six thousand was just about all I had left in chips, so I shoved the entire stack I had into the middle of the table.
   “I’m all in,” I said with feigned confidence.
   After the bet had been matched, the dealer flipped the fourth card.
   A fucking nine of spades.
   Shit.
   I watched out of the corner of my eye as cowboy hat’s mouth curved up on one side, the tip of his fang biting into his lower lip. Could mean he was nervous. Or cocky. Either way, my hand was dead unless a ten or another heart showed up.
My heart skipped a beat when the fifth card was flipped over. There it was, sparkling as if someone had lit it on fire. I managed to keep my composure as I chilled, though I could have sworn I heard fireworks go off outside.
   The beautiful ten of hearts.
   Stetson vamp chuckled and said, “Too bad. You played a nice hand.” Then he laid down his cards. A pair of nines, giving him four of a fucking kind, which would beat most hands. When he started to grab at the pile of chips, I cleared my throat.
   “Hold on there, space cowboy,” I heard myself say, not sure if the cockiness in my voice would help or hinder, but that pile of chips in the center of the table belonged to me, and there was no fucking way I was letting this douche have them. I had a fucking straight flush, queen high. Beat that you fucking cocksucker. I wanted to gloat but managed to keep my cool and simply turned the two cards in my hand over and placed them face up on the table.
   His face paled, if that were possible. His dark-stubbled jaw flexed. His eyes narrowed to slits. His left ear twitched, and he placed both his palms on the table as he stood, glaring at me. Everyone sitting around the table stiffened. The chips lay in a heap in the middle. He kept his large, ebony eyes on mine, gaze never faltering. I allowed myself to stare right back, not moving a centimeter. I was good at stare-out games. I’d had a cat, many in fact, and we constantly used to play this game. Stetson hat was no different in my mind. Though I was positive he thought differently. This guy was too fucking arrogant for my taste. I’d wondered from the moment I sat down if he was going to be trouble.
   “Jace, you ready?” he barked.
   The guy at the end of the table—Jace, I assumed—nodded. “Yep, I’m all tapped out. Ladies.”
   Stetson hat shrugged into a light brown wool coat, generously embellished with dark brown fur at the lapel, all the while keeping his gaze glued to me. “Be sure to join us again. I look forward to the opportunity to win that back.” His eyes briefly averted to the large pile of chips in the middle of the table before returning to mine, and then he touched the rim of his hat and nodded like he was fucking Clint Eastwood. “Gentlemen.” He kept his lips tight as he turned and walked out. Stopping by another vampire on his way, he looked down at him, made some sort of gesture with his hand, and left the room. Jace, and two other large vampires went with him.
   Gage cleared his throat. “Fuck, man. That was intense.” The three dudes left at the table all sighed heavily.
   The vampire that Stetson hat had gestured to stood up. “Roach would like you to join him at his employer’s mansion.” Roach? What the fuck kind of person named their kid Roach? I almost laughed. The poor guy. No wonder he was so intense. “It is open to you any Friday evening. That is the night they entertain small groups. Midnight. Here’s the address.” He slipped me a card. I glanced down at the etching on the flat piece of metal.
   It read:
   Sweet’s Delicacies
   Whatever your pleasure, we’ve got it.
   Sweet Towers, Sky Deck.
   When the vampire left, Gage grabbed the card from me. “Shit. Looks like he wants a rematch.”
   “Well, he isn’t getting one,” I retorted and threw the fancy card down on the table. This was over right now. I didn’t want any part of whatever the fuck that guy was dealing.
   “I wouldn’t be so quick to pass on that invite if I were you, Elvis,” Lincoln, the vampire who’d hosted the night’s game, said. “That vampire works for Sweet, one of this city’s most dominant and influential business owners. He has the support of the local labor board, as well as several other highfalutin bigwigs in the city. It’s quite the honor to be invited, even if it was by his right-hand man. Sweet doesn’t give out invitations to his private parties very often. And his parties don’t have anything to do with card games, if you get my drift. Roach must have liked you.” He winked.
   I raised my eyebrows at Lincoln in question.
   “You know. Sex, drugs. Those kinds of parties. Group or single, whatever you desire. Or so I’ve heard.”
   Whatever kind of parties, I wasn’t into group sex or drugs. I had a woman, or at least a woman I wanted, as the vision of Lily’s striking brown eyes set against her smooth, deep black hair floated through my mind I got to my feet and shrugged into my jacket. “Come on, Gage, let’s split.”
   As Gage and I strolled down the sidewalk through the Tenderloin, we noticed a couple of ladies of the night hanging out on the adjacent corner.
   “That was a grueling hand. Made me a tad thirsty, what about you?” Gage asked.
   I shrugged. “Sure, I guess.”
   I was a bit dry since I hadn’t taken in any fresh blood for a day or so, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the time to quench my thirst right at that moment as visions of Lily’s lovely face floated into my head. It was difficult to shake them away because I was excited to get to the bar where we usually met, hoping she would be waiting there for me.

   But Gage’s suggestion sparked a need I hadn't considered, and I gave in. As we flashed across the street directly in front of the two women Gage quickly compelled both of them to not be alarmed by our sudden appearances. Then he sank his fangs into the neck of the one closest to him. The other stood still, staring blankly at me. My own fangs dropped at the thought of drinking her blood. As I sank my canines into her vein, I had to remind myself that I needed the energy this would provide me in order to fully enjoy my time with Lily without the annoying pang of hunger distracting me.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Blitz: Gemini


Title: Gemini
Author: Dylan Quinn
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: 
Twin Souls. One Sacrifice.

Northwestern University senior Zoe Adams has spent her fifth incarnation on the run. Abused and abandoned by those she once trusted, Zoe turns her back on a duty her soul accepted lifetimes ago to focus on a music career in this one. Until her Gemini's untimely arrival forces Zoe to choose between a love she can't remember and a life she's always dreamed of.

Cade Adams has waited twenty-one years to reclaim his beloved soul mate, but his elation is short lived. As Zoe struggles to let go of her human life, demons from Cade and Zoe's past threaten the Gemini, and they find themselves living on borrowed time.

The Tree of Souls is empty, and only the Eternal Sacrifice can refill it. Is forgotten love worth dying for, or is five incarnations more than one soul can take? With more than just the fate of their reunion at stake, love becomes an Eternal Sacrifice Zoe and Cade may not escape.



Since sneak reading her first big girl romance at the age of eleven, Dylan's been addicted to Happily Ever Afters. Playing pretend with swoon-worthy book boyfriends and their strong leading ladies often keeps Dylan sleep deprived, though she seldom complains about dreaming in dialogue.

With juxtaposed interests, Dylan writes it all ~ Character driven romance in NA, YA and adult, from sticky sweet to taboo heat ~ Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense. Nothing's off limits.

When she's not writing guilty pleasures, Dylan plays stage mom to her daydreamer offspring in the Midwest. This Music fangirl goes nowhere without her beats and playlists. She has an affinity for Moscato and chocolate-covered strawberries. 

Dreams of singing on the Voice with Adam and Christina, and fantasizes about getting trapped in Mystic Falls with Damon Salvatore.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Gemini Excerpt published with permission © 2016 Dylan Quinn
Cade
While I held Zoe, every nerve woke from its slumber. My heartbeat increased and a hum of energy surged through me. Just being near her was intoxicating.
I craved to kiss her lips, but I wouldn't. Not until she sought me to.
Until her body spoke to me.
"So what can you tell me?" She asked. "What's the plan?"
"The plan is you get to know me. The way all relationships develop." I released her just enough to look into her eyes. "We spend time together, and your heart will answer the rest. And when you so choose, I’m yours—heart and soul."
Although in time, she would understand that I already was.
"What's the catch? Other than giving up my life here? I need all the information if I'm going to make a decision this important."
"There’s a reason you can’t be privy to all the secrets of this life. This must be a decision based on your soul. No logic can go into choosing love."
Her eyes narrowed, and her irritation returned.
"Well in case you've missed the past millennium, people today don't just fall in love overnight. Life's not a Disney movie."
She pulled away, and I let her go.
Zoe was right. Unions in modern times were complicated. Raz said there were many variables humans took into account when choosing a mate, and Zoe, although the same soul, had different experiences during each incarnation. I couldn’t force her to love me or to choose our life together, as much as I wanted to.
Each of her lives was a lesson for me as well—in relinquishing control. All I could do was trust in her heart and our love. Trust her soul would return to me.
"Humanity is about choice. I would never force you to love me. And I would never choose my happiness over yours, but yes. I am hoping your heart will choose me."
Her breathing slowed, and her lips parted slightly, just enough to send my heart racing.
My Gemini mark began to pulsate. To burn.
I needed to kiss her.
She needed to kiss me.
After thousands of years loving Zoe, I could read her body as if it were my own.
Searching for what Raz called her tells, I first regarded her eyes. They were always the most expressive. They danced between mine and my mouth. Her breaths became shallow. A pink flush spread across her cheeks as she inched toward me, shifting nervously between her feet.
Should I try? Part of me was unsure, but my body betrayed my wits.
I’d waited twenty-one years for this moment.
I could wait no longer.
I moved toward her, inhaling her sweet scent, and rid the space between us.
Her eyes grew wider, and her lips parted. Waiting. I could hear her heart pulsing rapidly.
Her body gave her answer.
"My greatest desire is for you to find happiness." I stepped closer, picked up a long strand of her dark locks and tucked it behind her ear. Running my fingers along her jaw, I whispered across her cheek.
"You have no memory of a life before this."
I gently grasped her chin, stroked her bottom lip with my thumb, and edged toward her.
"But I've seen our life together."
I wrapped my arms around her waist, pulling her closer, our lips now fractions apart.
Her eyes never left mine, and her body trembled in my arms.
"And I will always. Choose us."
Her breath breezed across my cheek as I pressed my lips to hers. Soft. Gentle. Trembling beneath mine. The tingling sensation I’d missed so much returned, running rampant throughout my body.
I pulled back, not more than a centimeter, to gauge her response.
Her eyes remained closed, lips parted. Waiting for my return.
I brushed a kiss gently, then deeper into her.
She allowed me to explore her soft lips. They parted further still, and I edged my way in, exploring her sweet mouth.
An intense force rushed through my veins, to my chest and arms. Her life force burned within every muscle. My body that longed for her was now alive from her touch.
Zoe fell into my embrace, letting go of all the tension she'd been holding. She enfolded her arms around my neck, pressed her chest against mine, and gently tugged at my hair. Her hands ran down my cheeks, then to my shoulders and waist.
She pressed her kiss deeper into mine, soft at first, then fervently, as if this was our last.
One block at a time, her wall was crumbling—the pain replaced with a longing for our love. Soon, her memories would resurface, and I would have my Chayah back. Our souls Converged as one.
Zoe broke our kiss, pulled back and gulped a breath of air. She opened her eyes, her body still quaking in my arms. A minute passed. Her gaze drifted up, and a single tear slid down her cheek.
"It's you," she whispered.
I placed my hands on her face, held her cheeks gently, and gazed into her emerald eyes.
“It's me."

Goodreads Book Giveaway
Gemini by Dylan Quinn

Giveaway ends July 05, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cover ReVamp: Carnelian


Title: Carnelian (Book 1 of The Chalcedony Chronicles)
Author: B. Kristen McMichaels
Genre: Teen, Clean New Adult, College, Time Travel, Paranormal
Cover Designer: Jessica Allain
Blurb: 

Everyone has a past, but for most it isn’t so far in the past as Seth Sangre. His past is literally from thousands of years ago. Seth’s past led him to the present seeking something that might help him save his country from destruction. He has been in the present for over three years now, and he just found exactly what he has been looking for. Mari had dreams of college being a fresh start, one where she would start over and not fall for the good looking player like high school. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what ends up falling into her lap on the first day she moves into the dorms. Now she has to hold to her promise to herself not fall for the handsome Seth Sangre. But he doesn’t plan to make it easy for her. Seth has already marked her as his next conquest.

As the semester progresses, Mari learns that Seth might just have a past of his own that’s literally in the past. Suddenly, Mari finds her future along with her past put into question. She’s connected to Seth far more than she ever wanted to be, and maybe he isn’t the player who she thought he was. If Mari can trust her heart enough to follow him, Seth will lead Mari on an adventure of a lifetime-and reveal family secrets she never knew existed.


B. Kristin McMichael is the author of YA and clean NA paranormal fiction. Her
vampiric "Night Human World" includes the YA coming of age series "The Blue Eyes Trilogy" and the spin-off adventure series "The Day Human Trilogy". She's also the author of the NA time travel romance series "The Chalcedony Chronicles".
The Blue Eyes Trilogy: http://bkmc.me/LegendoftheBlueEyes
The Day Human Trilogy: http://bkmc.me/DayHumanPrince
The Chalcedony Chronicles: http://bkmc.me/Book1Carnelian
For more information on all of her books, visit http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com
Subscribe to her mailing list for new release notifications and deals: http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com/list
B. Kristin graduated with her PhD in biology at Ohio State where she worked as a scientist before taking her passion of writing full-time. Besides writing, she enjoys chasing her kids, playing outside, and baking cookies.
B. Kristin McMichael lives in Ohio with her husband and three children. If you don’t find her writing, then she probably has a book in her hand. Make sure to stop by and say hi on her social media.
Author Links:
I closed my book and looked up from under the maple canopy to the blue sky above. I had a normal life, but girls in books always went on adventures. I guess that was what going far off to college was to me, an adventure. My future was already planned, but I’d give anything to be one of those heroines. I wanted to live the life I found in these books. I was still lost in thought over the ending when there was a thump on my lap. College students were walking all around and a few tossing a football between them. I looked down expecting to see a football.

It wasn’t a football. The head of a perfectly cute guy was lying across my lap. He had tipped over from sleeping next to me and stayed fast asleep, even after his fall. I looked at him and waited for him to wake. I mean, his fall startled me out of my daydreaming. He didn’t wake. He kept sleeping peacefully.

He was gorgeous—-underwear model material. His dark hair had a glint of red in it and was splayed across his forehead. He had high cheekbones and perfectly-shaped lips. Stubble ran across his cheeks, and it seemed like it had been days since he had shaved. I looked at his fluttering, sleeping eyes and wondered what color they were. Mystery man just kept sleeping, like he had often found himself on unknown girls’ laps, and it didn’t bother him. I needed to move soon, but I was stuck, and I couldn’t help but admire him. He had his shirt off. It was draped partially over his shoulder now, but mostly on the ground beneath him. My eyes wandered down him to find he was very fit. All of the muscles around his shoulders and arms were perfectly defined, along with his washboard abs. His athletic shorts were low on his hips, showing off more than I had been close to in a long while since I’d attended an all-girls high school. I turned my head away before my eyes drifted any further. I had to stop checking out this guy. I mean, yes he literally fell into my lap, but I was beginning to feel like a creeper. How could he still be sleeping?

He murmured a few words in his sleep. “Maat mitra.” I didn’t know what that meant, and I was sure they were another language. Beautiful boy spoke another language, at least in his dreams. A language I had never heard. He continued to talk softly enough that only I could hear him, but none of it was in English, or any language I knew, for that matter. He was foreign, beautiful, and laying across my lap half naked. If I were a bit bolder in my ways, I’d say I hit the lottery. This was going to go down as the oddest start to my school year, but an embarrassing one once he woke up and found me drooling over him.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Release Day Blitz: Elixxir


Title: ELIXXIR
Author: Deena Remiel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Blurb:
Callie has secrets, too many to count. For twenty years she's been living a lie as Callie Worthington, hiding from the monsters who brutally murdered her parents for possession of the Elixxir of Life. Unsuccessful before, their killers have found her and will stop at nothing to acquire the Elixxir. And see her dead.


Nathanael has a couple of secrets, too. A nasty one in particular blurs the line separating Good from Evil. As an immortal Brethren Warrior, though, he must retrieve the Elixxir before it falls into the wrong hands. Just how he's going to get it out of Callie's is the big question.

Tempers flare as Callie and Nathanael reach out to each other with their own hidden agendas. She needs his protection. He needs the Elixxir. Will their fiery passion lead to lasting love, or will their web of intrigue ultimately destroy them both?

Secrets, lies, and love's loyalties tested. What price for immortality? What price for love?


Deena spends her time playing in the Garden of Good and Evil as she writes fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. She’s been known to have downed a few beers with her angels, and even put Satan in his place a time or two. She’s fascinated with the concept of immortality and all its implications. Gilbert, Arizona, near her beloved Superstition Mountains, is where she and her family call home.
Author Links:
“They don’t make baggy jeans anymore, Nate! Now come on—” Callie flew her hands up. “This is the tenth pair I’ve tried on. I’m picking one and taking it. Enough is enough. It’ll be midnight before we make it to the station at the rate we’re going.”

“Then I’ll get you a bigger size and a belt. That’ll make them baggy and saggy. Perfect for blending. What size are you?” She gave him a look of death. “What? Just tell me so I can get you a bigger size. I promise I won’t tell anyone.” She raised six fingers. He turned and went to the jeans rack to pick out the larger size.

“Here, try these on.”

She sighed and took the pair into the dressing room. When she came out she looked miserable. He smiled. “See, that’s what I’m talking about.”

“Great, glad you’re happy to see me looking so frumpy.”

She’d pouted so adorably, it took him by surprise. She trudged back into the dressing room. He couldn’t help himself, and took a quick look around. Seeing no attendants nearby at the moment, his adventurous side had to follow. He moved the dressing room curtain aside and stepped in, drawing it back around him for privacy.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” She swung around and whispered vehemently.

He towered over her, backing her up against the mirror and put one hand on either side of her head. Careful to leave only enough space so their bodies wouldn’t touch, he looked her straight in the eyes and whispered back. “For your information, you would look sexy as hell in a potato sack, and still do in those jeans.” He winked and left as her jaw dropped.

What the hell was that all about? Did he do what I think he did? Damn. The man just came on to me! Anger warred with arousal as she tore the tags off her new clothes and collected her things from the bench. She whipped the curtain open and stormed out toward the cashier’s counter where the insufferable oaf leaned nonchalantly.

She gave the tags to the salesgirl, smiled, and turned to him, speaking in a hushed but intense voice. “You and I are gonna have words when I’m done here.” She heard him snort as she turned back to the girl and smiled, paying for her clothes, but paying him no mind. Grabbing the plastic bag with her own shorts and top inside, she marched past Nathanael and out the door.

“Have a great night!” an oblivious saleswoman called out to her. She waved her off with a grunt and a “Whatever.”

She watched as the overly-confident Neanderthal sauntered out of the store and headed straight over to her. Even though they were outside, he seemed to take up all the usable space in the immediate vicinity.

“You got words for me, Red?”

“I got plenty for you, Nate.” She poked his chest, trying to push him back a bit. “Wanna hear some? How about, you’re a jerk for walking into my dressing room without permission? How about, what the hell was that back there, asking my dress size and calling me sexy as hell? How about—”

Her next words were gobbled up by a hot, urgent mouth pressed against her own. Strong hands held her shoulders, guiding her closer to his body as he deepened his assault on her lips. At first, she didn’t know what to do. He’d shocked the hell out of her with his aggression. She couldn’t help noticing some of her protective walls had been torn asunder, and well-guarded ramparts were crumbling. Eyes that at first had flown open wide were now fluttering closed as her mind claimed temporary insanity.

She gave in. Her hands crawled up his stomach to his chest and on up to his face, where she held him and retaliated with her own brand of attack. Their tongues, like swords, thrust and parried while she let her hands roam onward through his thicket of wavy black hair.

A horn blared, bringing her back to reality and the cracked sidewalk where she stood, with lips being molested by a beautifully dangerous man. Not again! I won’t fall for another employee of Brethren Security! She ripped herself away and stepped back. Breathing heavily, she shot him a look she hoped would convey death if he so much as moved an inch toward her. In case he wasn’t good at reading signals, she raised her hands to stop any forward advance. To his credit, he looked possibly even more stunned than she, and stood his ground.

“I…I’m sorry. First, you were looking all pouty, and then you were in my face all angry, and I don’t know what came over me.” He raked a hand through his hair.

“You don’t know? Well, I’d hate to see what you’d do when you do have your wits about you.” 
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