Friday, October 20, 2017

Hard Wood by Lauren Blakely - Review




Author: Lauren Blakely
Publication Date:  23 October, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Series:  Stand-Alone within the Big Rock Series
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 17 and Up
Rating: 4 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 


Book Description:
Women often say a good man is hard to find. And a hard man is even better.

That’s why I’m quite a catch— good, hard, loaded, and wait for it…I’m ready to settle down too. But the woman I want to pitch my tent with lives clear across the country. Neither of us wants to get lost in those woods. All I have to do is resist her for the week she's in town.

I try. I swear I try. But yeah, that doesn't work out.

And after one fantastic night with my good friend Mia, I’m ready to give her years of nights under the stars. What's a few thousand miles when love's involved? But there’s a hitch in my plans — she just hired my adventure tour company. If there’s one thing I’m committed to, it’s running a squeaky clean business. Number one on my list of iron-clad rules?


Don’t screw your customers.

But what's a guy to do when she's so hard to resist? How hard can it be to keep our hands off each other for a quick group tour down the hills and over the trails? I’m about to find out, and I have a feeling I’m going to need a new badge of honor because things are about to get very hard in the woods.





My Review:

Just as I expected this was another great book from Lauren Blakley.  When I am looking for a Rom-Com she is my go to author, and she never fails me.  I will say this one felt a little more intense than her last several in this series, but maybe that is because it is the final couple in the Big Rock family and I am certainly not complaining about it just wanted to me it didn't feel as light harder as some of her past books.  

I loved this couple.  I loved more that Patrick knew exactly what he wanted, I love that the unknowing made them both nervous to speak their feelings but in the end they knew that to not be honest with each other would be the hardest choice but the best choice to make.  My absolute favorite part is talks with Zeus, (the cat) seeing the world through his eyes just gave me so much laughter and he plays a huge role in this couple's story.  I can't wait for you to meet him.  

Hard Wood is simply another great addition into the Big Rock family.  It is a quick read with out any emo-ish type drama, that drama that gives me anxiety and makes me want to throw books, not it this one and I love it even more for that.  Of course there are challenges for this couple, it wouldn't be much of a story if there weren't but the challenges are both realistic and worked through with a maturity that I completely appreciate.  This is a great book to bring you off the edge of a book hangover or just to make you happy when you need a break from the real world.  

I listened to Hard Wood through Audible and just want to mention that Sebastian York (as audio listeners have come to expect) does an amazing job.  As if the story itself doesn't let you lose yourself in their world Mr. York's voice will lull you right into feeling like you are there watching it all happen.  Sebastian York isn't just a narrator of a story he is truly a voice actor so if you've been wondering if you would like an audio book I can highly suggest any of the Big Rock series to you because of the narrator.

This is a great read that you will be able to finish in one sitting and feel truly at peace with the end of the story and the series.  I am going to miss the Big Rock family but have really enjoyed the journey, thank you Lauren Blakely for giving us such a wonderful and fun escape!  


~ HAPPY READING ~




A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 85 times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In October she’ll release HARD WOOD, a hot & hilarious romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter





Follow by Tessa Bailey - Cover Reveal and Excerpt


OH MY WORD, THIS COVER Y'ALL.  

I'd pick up a Tessa Bailey book just because it has her name on it but this cover gives me all the feels and now I can't wait to get this in my hands!  

Follow will be available on 30 October, check it out below!









Book Description:

He wants her soul. Too bad she already sold it.

Family is everything to gambling den darling, Teresa Valentini. Blood comes first, especially before men. So when her brother lands himself in hot water, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save him. And showing up topless in her unwitting savior’s motel room is turning out to be the furthest thing from a hardship…

Will Caruso is the bad boy of New York’s financial scene…and he just found out the very thing that drives his success is a damn lie. Now, he’s exchanged his high-stress life for the open road, no one but his Great Dane…and half a million Instagram followers to keep him company. When a mysterious beauty arrives, her secrecy prods his suspicions, even while she tempts his lust to the breaking point.

Teresa met Will under false pretenses, but the bond consuming them is real. They’re strong enough to overcome a little betrayal…aren’t they?





Excerpt:

Tits. There are tits in my room. Really fucking nice ones. 

I’m so distracted by their unexpected appearance—any red- blooded man with working testicles would be—that I don’t take in their owner right away. And all the other equally amazing shit that’s going on. The sexy brunette has one foot propped on my bed, her hands paused on her calf where she’s been applying lotion, before I so rudely interrupted her by walking into my own room. 

A gruff bark from Southpaw prompts me to double check the door. But I do it fast—we’re in the right place—because as I mentioned, there’s a really fucking nice pair of tits in my room. Sue me for wanting to memorize the shape and color of her tight, rosy nipples before she screams and covers herself. 

Which she doesn’t exactly seem inclined to do.
“Can we help you?”
Up until now, a big waterfall of dark hair has been hiding the woman’s face from me. But at my greeting, she tosses that thick mane back...and reveals features that accomplish the impossible. It nudges her tits into second place for most incredible body part in the room. 

Hearing male voices approach in the hallway, I kick the door shut, surprised by the fact that I already don’t want anyone else looking at her. “You going to tell me why you’re in my room, woman? Or just stand there looking hot?”









Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of ten years and six-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.






Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Man of the Month series (Books 1-4) by J. Kenner - Reveal

Who’s Your Man of the Month?

You can find out starting on January 16th, 2018 when New York Times, USA Today,Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author J. Kenner releases the sexy new series  

MAN OF THE MONTH, 

these books are guaranteed to be your next binge read!

     



Series Description:

Who’s Your Man of the Month?

When a group of fiercely determined friends realize their beloved hang-out is in danger of closing, they take matters into their own hands to bring back customers lost to a competing bar. Fighting fire with a heat of their own, they double down with the broad shoulders, six-pack abs, and bare chests of dozens of hot, local guys who they cajole, prod, and coerce into auditioning for a Man of the Month calendar.

But it’s not just the fate of the bar that’s at stake. Because as things heat up, each of the men meets his match in this sexy, flirty, and compelling binge-read romance series of twelve novels releasing every other week from New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner.

“With each novel featuring a favorite romance trope—beauty and the beast, billionaire bad boys, friends to lovers, second chance romance, secret baby, and more—this series hits the heart and soul of romance.” — New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips

FOR MORE DETAILS AND BUYING OPTIONS CLICK HERE


   
Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ Goodreads


Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ Goodreads


Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ GoodReads


Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ GoodReads



  

J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. Known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been praised by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her books have sold over three million  copies and are published in over twenty languages. In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas.  She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

  Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~

Ruthless King by Meghan March - Review

      

  Get ready for the darker and dirtier side of New Orleans with a brand new alpha romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.



Author:  Meghan March
Publication Date:  17 October, 2017
Publisher: Red Dress Press
Series:  The Anti-Heroes Collection, The Mount Trilogy, book 1
Genre:  Contemporary (a bit dark) Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and Up
Rating: 4 Stars


~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

New Orleans belongs to me. You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t. My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met. I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt. To have her in my debt. She doesn’t know she caught my attention. She should’ve been more careful. I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her. It’s time to collect what I’m owed. Keira Kilgore, you’re now the property of Lachlan Mount. 

 *Ruthless King is book one of the Mount Trilogy*   

      

My Review:

Lachlan, Lachlan, Lachlan....you are a bad bad man but I see your torment,  I see your despair, I see your longing, and soon Keira will see it too.  Lachlan Mount is the undisputed King of New Orleans, he is feared, he is revered, he is respected.  When Lachlan wants something done it gets done whether that's cleaning out his city of any one who threatens his reign or just getting the woman he wants.  When it comes to Lachlan the old adage "If there is a will there is a way." holds true.  

I knew going into Ruthless King that we were going to get an Anti-Hero out of Lachlan, I knew he was going to be a bit of an arse, he was going to be an Alpha character with a ton of things that were going to make me not like him and all that's true, except oddly even when he was an arse, even when he was going all broody grumpy alpha I still loved him.  There is just something about Lachlan that pulls you in, he's written in such a way that you can see he's (again as the saying goes) an 'onion' (lol) he has more layers than a 'mille feuilles'...this man is a man in pain and there is only one woman who is capable of both seeing through those layers straight down to the core of that pain and that can handle him, Kiera Kilgore.

As much as Kiera would in the beginning argue with me, she is as ruthless as Lachlan, she just uses her ruthlessness in a different way.  While his focus is on his empire, New Orleans, her's is on her Seven Sinners Distillery, which has been left in a shambles after her husbands death and the hand he played in almost ruining her comes to light.  The hand left Kiera when the dust begins to settle?  That hand belongs to the King of New Orleans and he's willing to offer it to pull her up but it will come at a high price.  I love how determined Kiera is.  I love that she isn't going to put up with his crap and will tell him exactly like it is.  I loved their chemistry and I loved her character development.  I don't fell like Lachlan had much development in this book but only because right now it was less his story and more Kiera's if that makes sense.  This is a book about Kiera realizing her situation and her growth while she discovers secrets, learns just who the 'Ruthless King' is, and as she figures out how she fits in this new world, because she has to fit, she has no other choice.

This is a pretty quick read, I got through it in one night, mainly because once you get in there you just can't set it aside.  It will keep you on your toes and wondering what could be around the corner.  I will say the beginning is a bit of a slow start but hang in there because it isn't long until the book will suddenly take off and information and action will come at you fast and fierce.  There is a cliffhanger, but luckily for us Meghan is putting this series out over the next three months, so if you are a huge hater of the cliff hanger you might want to hang on to start until December when Sinful Empire will release.  If you do go on and start the series now, just be ready...you will definitely be left gaping at your book and craving the next in the series.

This is a great read from Meghan March, as she has said it is probably one of her dirtiest and well as (and I can see why) her favorites.  These characters and story will have you coming back for more and more!

~ HAPPY READING ~


      




meghanmarchpic
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She's also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she's ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.



FACEBOOK ~ WEBSITE ~ INSTAGRAM ~ 

Inked Memories by Carrie Ann Ryan - Trailer Reveal

 

I've got the trailer for Carrie Ann Ryan's 

INKED MEMORIES  

check it out below and preorder your copy today! 

You don't want to miss meeting the dirtiest Montgomery yet.

 

GoodReadsAmazon ~ iBooks ~ 

INKED MEMORIES releases October 31st, 2017 - preorder your copy now!

Book Description:

The Montgomery Ink series by NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues when the final Denver Montgomery sibling refuses to fall for his brother’s former flame—the company’s new plumber

Wes Montgomery watched his entire family fall in love, and now finds himself ready to settle down. Except the one person he seems to find chemistry with is not only his twin’s ex, she also works for Montgomery Inc. But when the two find themselves in one compromising situation after another, Wes realizes he’s having second thoughts about the dynamic woman who’s burst her way into his life. Sure she sets off his temper, but she also makes him hot in every other way possible.
Jillian Reid never loved her best friend like everyone thought she should, so she pushed him away so he could have his future. Now, despite fighting it, she finds herself attracted to the one man she shouldn’t. When her father’s health takes a turn for the worse, and a danger no one saw coming show its face, she’s forced to turn to Wes for help. The two of them have fought off their attraction long enough, and each cave to the desire. But this enemies-to-lovers tale might have an ending no one ever dreamed of.
 


 

See the INKED MEMORIES trailer:

 
 

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.


Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dignity by Jay Crownover - Release Day Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway

   

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jay Crownover returns with the second title in her romantic suspense series, The Breaking Point, DIGNITY. 

Check out the excerpt below and grab your copy today! 

   

GoodReads ~ Amazon ~ 

Barnes&Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Audible


Author:  Jay Crownover
Publication Date:  17 October, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Series:  The Breaking Point, book 2
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and Up
Rating: 5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

Looks can be deceiving.

I knew that most people took one look at the ink and the impossibly big and strong body it covered and decided I was a brawler…a bruiser…a beast. However, I was hardwired to be a thinker, not a fighter.

I should have chosen to use my brain and talents to be one of the good guys, a hero, a man with dignity and worth.

I turned my back on dignity and sold my soul to the highest bidder, deciding to dance with the devil, instead.

I couldn’t figure out how to help myself, so there was zero chance I knew how to save someone else.

That someone else was Noe Lee. She was the unkempt, unruly thief who was just as smart as I was and twice as street savvy. She was annoyingly adorable beneath the dirt and grime, and she was in trouble. In way over her head, I told myself it wasn’t my job to keep her from drowning. In the Point, it was sink or swim, and I wasn’t the designated lifeguard on duty.

I shut the door in her face, but now she’s gone…vanished…disappeared without a trace. It took less than a second for me to realize that I wanted her back.

When a woman comes along that melts all the frozen, hard things you’re made of; you’ll do anything you have to, to bring her home.

What you see is not always what you get…and with a man like me, what you get is more than anyone ever bargained for.


  
         


My Review:

   What to say except I love this big brained bad boy, Snowden Stark and the equally amazing and big brained heroine, Noe Lee.  Stark is basically the perfect bad boy hero.  He's beyond intelligent, he's loyal, he's determined, he's handsome, a tad more than broken, broody, caring, sexy, and the perfect man for Noe Lee.  Everything I loved about Stark I loved about Noe Lee.  She was in essence the female version of Stark, (or he's the male version of her) I loved that she isn't a heroine that needs saving, she is as strong as Stark and as determined.  Her heart broken but still hoping to find a way to patch it back together.  Both of these characters have become favorites of mine because they could easily stand alone and take care of themselves but together they do amazing things, for each other and for The Point.  

The story line in this one was somehow more poignant for me.  I have loved all of The Breaking Point stories, but this one has stuck with me more than Honor or Avenged.  The underlying subject of this story is hard to forget and yet daily these children, these lost are forgotten.  We block out the dirty that is all around us to keep our own souls clean but in doing so we leave so many abandoned to societies worst.  There was something about Dignity that made The Point a real place for me.  When  I had read Honor and Avenged The Point was a very abstract idea of a broken dirty city full of bad men, both ones that try to do good even if they have to do bad to get there and those that just plain do bad, but in Dignity everything became real to me.  I could finally think of The Point as a place that isn't some fantastical version of a broken city like Detroit.  The fact is that when we are looking away things like what are taking place in Dignity are actually happening in our world.  It's not a fictional theory it is reality and it hit me like a battering ram while reading this book.  

I can safely say that this is one of my favorite of Jay Crownover's books.  The couple gave me everything I could want in character development, romance, angst, it was all there.  No jackass hero and no simpering heroine.  I loved the connection between Dignity, Honor and Avenged and the connection to our original Point family, through Titus King.  I loved seeing this group of people becoming a family, even when they don't completely like each other, but isn't that the way it is with family?  Nassar is always entertaining and frightening but the father figure he is becoming has me cheering for this group more and more, each book has gotten better for me and I can't wait for the next one.  

Dignity can be read as a standalone but I highly suggest reading the previous books, particularly Avenged first if you can.  You won't be completely lost if you are unable to but having the entire picture will help.  If you are a Jay Crownover fan make sure you don't miss this one, Stark and Noe are bound to make a place in your heart!  


~ HAPPY READING ~ 


And don’t miss the first standalone title in 

The Breaking Point series, HONOR! 

Grab your copy today!


Excerpt:


Protective and possessive instincts coiled around my gut and rage felt like it was going to choke me. I was so used to being cold and numb, I didn’t know what to do with the fire that was licking at my insides. 

“I saw him take her out of the trunk when they got to the docks. He moved like a cop. Not the kind who is there to actually protect and serve, but the kind who pulls you over for no reason and slaps cuffs on you to prove a point. I was locked up for a lot of years, boy genius. I know what a dirty cop looks like. He had a busted-up nose and stitches on the side of his face. Should be pretty easy for Titus to identify him.”

Titus King was Bax’s half-brother and the only law enforcement officer in the entire city any of us slightly trusted. He was one of the few men the Point hadn’t tainted. He was a good guy, trying to do right by the people in our city, and he wouldn’t hesitate to throw Goddard’s dirty cop under the bus. But I didn’t want anyone going after the Mayor. His sadistic ass was all mine. 

“Do you think they made it out of the container after you hit it with the truck?” That had been my idea. Nassir was only sending in Booker and Benny to get Noe out, but I didn’t think it was enough fire power. Since he refused to let me go, even siccing Chuck on me as a babysitter until the job was done, I made Benny go over the plan with me no less than a hundred times until I came up with a better one. Knocking the container sideways with one of the big semi-trucks that littered the area would give Benny the time he needed to get Noe out and distract the outside security detail enough that Booker could do his thing. It was a risk because the people inside the container—including Noe and Benny—might have ended up injured when the thing flipped, but the odds of them making it out were much higher than if Benny tried to take on everyone on his own. 

“If Benny made it out, we won’t hear from him again. That was the deal he made with Nassir. He would get your girl and then disappear, so he can go and live happily ever after with his. As for the rest of them,” he shrugged, “I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Your girl said someone had a gun, so if they were shooting at Benny, he would do whatever he could to make sure they stopped. He’s not about to catch a bullet for any of us. I know you want that asshole alive for your own reasons, but honestly, it’s better if Benny popped him.”

It was better, but it wasn’t what I wanted. A bullet between the eyes was way too easy for a guy like Goddard. People would bemoan how bad the Point had become, how Goddard had been a staunch supporter of crime prevention measures. He would die a martyr and a legend. I couldn’t stand the thought of that. I wanted who Goddard was, who he really was, out in the open. I wanted his mansion doors flung wide open and every skeleton inside the walls exposed and thrown out on the perfectly manicured lawn for the entire world to see. I hated people who hid behind the law. I hated when men in any position of power got off on using their elevated status to jerk the helpless and hopeless around. Death wasn’t the answer. Devastation was. 

I closed my eyes and squeezed the cold, still hand that was clasped in mine. Failure weighed heavy on my shoulders and fury lit up my blood like popping and sizzling firecrackers. 

“When do we ever end up with anything that’s better for us?” That wasn’t how the Point worked. That wasn’t how we worked. 

Booker grunted and I felt him move behind me. “It happens. It doesn’t seem like better should be able to find a foothold in this place, but despite all odds, it does.”


AmazonUS ~ Barnes&Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

AmazonUK ~ Amazon CA ~ AmazonAU


GiveAway:
(Signed set of BETTER WHEN HE’S BAD, BETTER WHEN HE’S BOLD, BETTER WHEN HE’S BRAVE, HONOR, and DIGNITY and 1 $25 Amazon Gift Card for 1 winner)
   



       



 Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.          

Website ~ Facebook ~ 

Twitter ~ Goodreads




 

Sleeper by Lexi Blake - Release Day

   

  

GoodReadsAmazon ~ iBooks ~ 


Book Description:

When Neil’s past catches up to him, Kelsey must choose between her new family and an old love… With tensions rising between the Council and demonkind, Kelsey finds herself investigating a series of murders that threaten the fragile truce between them. If she can’t stop these killings soon, they could ignite a fire sure to burn the supernatural world down. Unfortunately for her, Kelsey’s problems don’t stop with a pile of dead halflings. Her connection with Marcus is frayed at best, and Gray hasn’t been heard from in months. Her only semblance of peace comes from a new man in her life. When Gray storms back into the picture, her love life goes from incredibly complicated to apocalyptic. Just as Kelsey begins to unravel the mystery, the forces of Heaven decide to take an interest in her actions. Outclassed with these powers in play, Kelsey knows that one misstep could leave the human and supernatural worlds in ashes.    

    


Excerpt:

    “Your Highness, please back away. In fact, it would be best if you left the room altogether.” Felix put himself between me and Roberts. “Kelsey, I need you to push her down. Push her back down for a few moments. Marcus will be back soon and he’s going to take care of you. Being around those angels unsettled you. I don’t know if you noticed, but at the end of the meeting, your ward fell off. You didn’t have it on when Oliver shook your hand. He’s unbalanced and now you are, too. It’s like a contagion for someone like you. Oliver’s illness has called up your inner wolf and she’s angry.” “Perhaps if I touch her,” Henri began. “I’m an academic. I don’t have the same connection she has with Marcus, but I might be able to help.” “I’m not unbalanced.” It didn’t matter that my hands were shaking and they had been ever since I’d left the angels behind. “I’m going to talk to the wolf whether you like it or not. He’s been handling silver. It’s the only reason his hands wouldn’t have healed. Even then, a couple of hours would have done it. Unless the freaking silver he held came straight from Heaven. What about it, Roberts? How did you spend last night?” The wolf was shaking his head. “I don’t know.” That wasn’t an answer I was willing to accept. I was about to explain that to everyone when Chad stepped up and got in my face. “I’m taking him out of here now,” Chad explained. “You’ll let me or we’re going to have trouble.” I was ready for trouble. I was fairly sure I grinned, the idea of fighting a vamp lifting my spirits high. For the first time in what felt like hours, I went still. “You’re not going anywhere.” Chad turned, his shoulders squaring, and I felt the world begin to bend around me. Chad belongs to one of the rarest classes of vampire—the magicians. As far as I knew, he was the only one walking the night at this time. He could form illusions so real you could taste food, feel imaginary rain on your skin, utterly believe whatever he wanted you to believe. I’d come up against him before. I might be one of the only people in the world who could see through him. “It won’t work,” I said calmly as reality seemed to go dark and I heard the hissing of snakes all around me. “Do you not remember what happened the last time you pulled this shit on me? It took three tranqs to take me down. I don’t think you have those on you today.” “I won’t need them.” Chad lifted his hand and the world shifted. “Holy shit,” Casey said, climbing up on his desk. “What the fuck is happening?” Snakes were happening. They were crawling from the woodwork, twitching and hissing my way. The fibers of the carpet beneath my feet lengthened and formed more snakes until they were a menacing mass, threatening everyone in the room. Well, except for Chad, who had lifted his husband into his arms and prepared to take him away. I let my wolf loose a bit. She knew this was all an illusion. That primitive part of my brain that Chad was accessing, the lizard brain that merely wanted to survive, was taken over by the wolf inside me. The alpha wolf didn’t want mere survival. She wanted to dominate, and that meant seeing past fear, trusting her instincts over what her eyes perceived. The minute I opened the door, I felt her surge through me. “I’m not letting you go. I can’t. I’m conducting a murder investigation, and I believe your boy here just became my prime suspect.” My hands twitched, eager for a fight, and I realized how long it had been since Marcus and I had thrown down. Too long. Remember that whole thing about needing sex or violence to feed my inner wolf? Well, she was hungry and there was a whole lot of violence in Chad’s eyes. I welcomed it. I could feel the need rise like a wave threatening to engulf me. This was why I had a trainer in the first place. I gritted my teeth because Chad turned on his power. I could feel those fucking snakes climbing my legs and sinking their fangs into me. I refused to pay any attention to them despite the fact that I ached to rip the fuckers off me and toss them aside. To do that would have given the magician more power. If I bought into it, if I took my eyes off the only thing in the room that was real, I would end up like Casey, who was screaming like a girl. “Let me pass, Hunter,” Chad said. I stood my ground like the good Gandalf I was. Except I kind of wanted to shove my nonexistent staff right up old Chad’s ass, and then we would see if he sent snakes my way again. The anger rose, rapid and quick, a flash fire coursing through me. I didn’t even realize when I had reached for the fireplace poker. All I knew was it was suddenly in my hands and I was going to use it. I could see myself shoving that piece of wrought iron right through his heart. It wouldn’t kill him. I would need wood for that, but then again, I didn’t want the fight over so quickly. I raised the poker, ready to start. “Stop it, both of you.” Donovan stepped in between us, but I didn’t care at that moment. I hadn’t felt this way in forever, not since Marcus had taken me in. I hadn’t been so out of control that I didn’t care who I hurt as long as I got to hurt someone. I would fuck up Donovan, too. All that mattered was seeing blood, feeling bones crush. “You see, I told you she’s far gone and I can’t fix her anymore. I’ve called Gray and he has an idea of what to do,” Marcus was saying. I wasn’t listening. I started to bring the poker down Donovan’s way, but I was stopped in mid swing. A hand held my wrist, an arm going around my middle and hauling me back against muscled flesh. “Stop it,” Trent growled in my ear. “You stand down right this second.”  

       



 
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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