Archive | June 2016

Smolder – The Wildwood Series

Smolder by Karen Erickson is LIVE!!!

Blurb:
Lane Gallagher wants Delilah Moore – bad.

He’s imagined the sexy brunette in his bed more times than he can count.

She’s everything he’s ever wanted, but the only problem is…

She’s his brother’s ex.

For years, the stoic sheriff’s deputy has fantasized about the sweet, bubbly dance teacher who stirs his deepest desires. But Lane’s too loyal to ever move in on forbidden territory and he knows that while he can look, he definitely can’t touch. Fighting his attraction to Delilah is nearly impossible, but the infuriating-and incredibly sexy-woman seems determined to drive him crazy.

And she’s bringing him to his knees. One smoldering kiss at a time.

Add to your TBR on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29214305-smolder

Purchase Links: 
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1N0zQt1
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NUw5jm

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson is a firm believer in romance and happily ever afters. The author of too many contemporary romance books to count, she lives in central California on 14 acres of property with her husband, three kids, one dog and too many cats. Being a romance writer and bringing her characters to life is her greatest dream come true.

IGNITE, her newest release, is the first in her new Wildwood series with Avon Impulse.

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Gem Apocalypse ~ Ruth Silver

Gem Apocalypse

by Ruth Silver

Released: June 15, 2016

Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing

Gem-Apocalypse-BIG

 

At seventeen, Aria Stone has broken the laws of her kingdom by refusing to come to court and offer herself as a courtesan. When guards storm Aria’s house and murder her mother, she is drugged and dragged from her home, taken to the royal palace. Aria must accept her fate: be chosen by a prince of Brayleigh or die.

Prince James is third in line for the throne and forced to follow and obey his father’s rule. King Gideon is known for running the country and his household with a strict hand. When the prince discovers the young woman brought in by the royal militia, she peaks his interest, and his desire to bring her to his harem.

Aria awakens at the palace and is forced to strip down and bare herself to the king and his four sons. Humiliation is just the beginning of her journey to survive.

In a tale of murder, heartbreak, lust, and betrayal, Aria must come to terms with the life forced upon her, just as a prince of Brayleigh must recognize his power to change a corrupt system and discover the world outside of their kingdom.

Recommended for readers 16+

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

Aria sneered at James. “Tell me you don’t believe it.” Emeralds, people with green eyes, were known to be power and money hungry. Did James think that about her? It was not true. No part of the belief system created to destroy the world in genocide was true. How could James think of her like that? She may not be easy or pleasant at times, but she wasn’t what the enemy said.

James shifted in his seat. “Of course not, but you are trouble. I can see it in you, the rebellious streak. My father will beat it out of you if you are not careful.”

She did not let his words hurt her. They were mere threats. King Gideon did not have to know of her struggle or her disloyalty to the crown. “So what? I’m supposed to pretend it doesn’t bother me that he ordered the execution of my mother and dragged me from my home, drugged me, stripped me naked, and stole my freedom? No part of what you and your father are doing is okay.” Did he not see the problem or was he too blinded by the gems and riches that he was given?

James grimaced. “I am sorry about your mother. I can’t change our world, but I can protect you here. If you will let me.”

Aria stood. The longer she spent time with James the faster he seemed to be growing on her nerves. “I don’t need your protection.” She thought August or Henry would have been a poor choice to be paired with as a courtesan, but James seemed to be the winner in pissing her off. She would have been happier not discussing her life, pretending to be another girl like Lucie or Adalyn.

“Where are you going?” James asked. He stood and followed after her as she headed inside.

“Back to my room. Which is where?” Aria asked, feeling turned around. Aria hadn’t learned the halls of the palace. It wasn’t as though she was freely allowed to explore the area.

James reached for her arm, pulling her closer, his hand grazing her hip as he leaned in to kiss her.

How dare he! The nerve of him. She elbowed him away, forcefully, before smacking him across the face. “Do not dare touch me ever, without my permission!”

 

About the Author

Ruth Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time.

She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, “Deuces are Wild”, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.

Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She runs her own book blog and also enjoys photography and traveling.

She currently also writes adult romance novels under the name Allison West.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog

 

 

A Cowboy’s True Colors

A Cowboy’s True Colors (The Mystical Traditions of Buckshaw Ranch Book 1)

perf5.000x8.000.inddEveryone’s last year in high school is always chaotic. This is especially true for Astrid at White Wood School. As if having a bully, an absentee father, and a best friend with a big problem weren’t enough – she also has to deal with having a secret power. Anytime she sees someone, Astrid also sees a kaleidoscope of colors surrounding them. Each individual’s emotions swirl in a changing pattern, allowing her to know what they’re feeling. This sixth sense complicates her life further, especially when she meets the one person who’s colors she can’t read – Victor Berenger, a tall handsome cowboy with smoldering eyes. Every time Astrid is around him, she thinks her heart will beat out of her chest. When she finds out he is equally drawn to her, she’s thrilled. The man certainly knows his way around the bedroom. Life seems just about perfect…until the day Astrid’s vision takes a new twist. A set of colors appear on the school grounds–only this time they aren’t attached to a human! A mystery unfolds that threatens Astrid and her friends. To her surprise, Victor holds a piece of the puzzle. Join these two as they learn one another’s secrets, as well as the hidden, magical history of White Wood School.

*Content Warning: Contains explicit scenes and language. Intended for 18+ Audience

Amazon: myBook.to/ACowboysTrueColors

Lana teaser 4
For the briefest moment he stopped his scan of the room and studied her. Or was she remembering that wrong? She was never sure. Either way, his expression didn’t change and he continued his inventory of his fellow classmates. After that, he hadn’t spoken to her until the last couple of days.

“Ah, yes. I’m sorry about that, I was a bit distracted. It wasn’t for lack of interest I assure you.” Victor pressed himself a little closer to her under the blanket.

“You don’t seem very distracted now.”

This made him laugh. “Honestly, I’ve been worried about my brother. Right now he seems a bit taken with your friend, so I feel a little less guilty about indulging in my own interests.”

“Is Reggie okay?” she asked.

When Victor didn’t answer right away, her mind raced through various possibilities. Maybe Reggie was sick, he hadn’t been to school, they’d only just met him tonight.

“I’m sorry, I really can’t share that with you right now.”

Astrid instantly regretted having asked. The lighthearted mood was gone. Dang it! She chided herself for having brought it up. Then she had an idea. Before she could talk herself out of it she leaned into him and with her open palm drew a long caress down the length of his thigh. She felt him freeze up. Afraid she might have offended him with her forwardness, she paused and tilted her head up a little bit in an attempt to read his face in the dim light.

How wrong she had been.

Victor met her upturned face with the full force of his lips on hers. His leather jacket whispered as he reached around and grabbed her by the back of the neck to pull her closer to him. Despite her heart beating so hard it seemed about to jump out of her chest, she turned into him draping her knee over his leg. She brushed against the bulge between his legs with her thigh. The warmth there and the image of what lay beneath those Levi’s made her melt entirely.

“I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long.” Victor practically growled the words when he finally pulled away from her long enough to speak.

“I want to do more than kiss you.”

The feel of her voice, hot and sultry against his neck, was enough to drive him wild. How had he held this in for so long?

“That can be arranged.” He told her thinking ahead of places he could get them some privacy. Maybe next time at her house, before her mom comes home, he plotted.

“Where can we go? I’m not kidding, I want you now.” The urgency inside her would not be ignored. This new demanding part of herself seemed to be taking over.

“Now?” His heart stuttered a beat as he realized she was completely serious. Again he grabbed her by the neck and kissed her long and hard, this time pushing his warm tongue past those sweet lips. Eagerly she responded, pressing her chest up against him and letting out a tiny moan.

That was it, he was completely undone. I will have her now, he said to himself. “This way,” his voice was thick with the ache of desire. Gathering up the blanket he draped it over his shoulder and grabbed her by the hand.

She followed silently, her body alive, vibrating to an age old rhythm. Watching him walk ahead of her, she suddenly felt a proprietary right to watch the roundness of his behind without restraint. It was beautiful and she couldn’t wait to see it in the flesh.
Lana teaser

Bio:
I’m Lana, a life long Texan, dog lover, and writer of sensual romance. When I say ‘sensual romance’ I mean I include real life in my stories, and real life includes sex.

I divide my time between Austin Texas and a small family ranch not far from Shiner. Shiner is the home of Shiner beer, I’ve been known to stop off at their tasting room before rolling up my sleeves to get to work on the ranch. Like many Texans I’ve got a bit of everything in me, German, Native American, and some Creole influence. Nothing like a little spice to liven things up.

Writing is much like reading, I need to feel the story in the same way a reader would. I adore leading men who are strong, but aren’t afraid to love. My goal is to fall in love as I write, it’s the only way my reader will as well.

Come with me and get to know a hot cowboy or two. It’ll be fun!

Website http://www.lanadempsey.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LanaKDempsey
Twitter https://twitter.com/lanadempsey1
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lanakdempsey
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Lana-K.-Dempsey/e

Lies in the Darkness ~ Amanda J. Clay

 

LITD Kindle CoverBook Blurb:

It’s senior year at Pacific State University and all-night parties, cheap hookups and regrets are the ruling pastimes.

Sophie DeLuca used to be a nice girl—but that was before Luke Lamanuzzi tore her heart to shreds. Now she’s a walking trail of vodka-soaked destruction, something her sexy, smooth-talking coworker Davis won’t let her forget. He might have a secret crush on her—but his playboy reputation would never let him admit it. His best friend Blake’s own love of all-nighters and debauchery comes crashing to a halt when a one-night stand backfires. Wise-cracking Cassie seems like she’s the one who has it all together, but she’s just better at hiding her skeletons.

Ungracefully pirouetting in and out of love triangles, drug addictions and unwanted pregnancies, four friends stumble their way through their last year of study and try to grasp the realities of the world on the other side.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt from Lies in the Darkness, Chapter 1:

Once upon a time, Sophie De Lucca was a nice girl.

She pressed her chapped lips to her Bud Light bottle and stared into Jay’s puppy dog eyes as he suppressed his tears with mustered masculinity. Didn’t he know she really did used to be a nice girl? That was before all of this of course — before Pacific State, before senior capstone, before the vodka, before Luke Lamanuzzi surgically removed her heart. Before she had become a deep crevice of black despair, sucking in anything that came near her. It seemed like years since she’d been a nice girl, but she really, really had been. She never meant to use Jay as a crutch. She just  …  needed something, someone, tangible right there, right then, to anesthetize her life.

The small bedroom was sweltering and stuffy, the scent of stale beer and sex still lingering in the air from the previous night.

How did I even get here? she mused, as she tried to avoid eye contact with Scarface, who stared down at her from the left wall with loathing eyes. She rolled over, kicked off the clichéd — so juvenile — plaid sheets and glanced at the cheap digital alarm clock on his oak desk.

12:58 p.m.

Damn it. Why do I always do this?

Scarface rarely showed her sympathy.

Gulping down the last of her lukewarm beer, she reached for her purple push-up bra hanging on his desk chair. She then scooped up her white denim skirt and black lace tank top that lay in a crumpled pile on top of Jay’s Biology 243 books, all of which reeked of the pale ale that he had clumsily dumped all over her last night.

“Don’t go yet,” Jay whispered as he swept his callused fingers across the soft skin of her lower back, tracing her dove tattoo.

“C’mon Jay, don’t do this,” she said, squirming her body away from his touch. “It’s getting late.”

“It’s not that late.” He skimmed her arm lightly, attempting to seduce her into dropping her guard for even a moment.

“We talked about this.” She pulled her arm away awkwardly as she fumbled with the overpriced Victoria’s Secret satin that gave her a false sense of confidence.

“So,” he muttered, sharply pulling away from her. He reached for another warm beer from the 12-pack box on his end table and wiped sweat from his forehead. “I think you’re wrong.”

“And who cares what you think?” Her mastered art of cruelty flowed from her mouth like breath.

“You don’t have to be heartless.”

“Like you said last night, I have a poor excuse for a heart.” She slipped on her tank top and buttoned her skirt.

“Soph, please. You know I didn’t —”

“I have to go to work.”

“Can I come in and see you tonight?” He sat up and stared at her with big brown eyes that looked like giant Hershey’s kisses—sad, melting chocolate eyes that pulled at her heartstrings. She shrugged her slender shoulders back nervously and darted her eyes from wall, to floor, to Scarface.

“I’d rather you didn’t,” she threw her tangled hair in a ponytail. “But hey, it’s not my bar so I can’t stop you.”

Jay reached across the bed and pulled on her arm until she tumbled back into the pile of sweaty sheets. He pulled her into his body, softly grazing his lips across her flushed cheek and running his fingers over her stomach.

“Sophie, stay,” he whispered.

“Stop it. I gotta go.” She twisted her body away from him. “Look, I’m sorry I texted you last night.”

“I’m not.” He shrugged and let her loose from his arms.

She pulled herself up and smoothed out her hair and clothing, the nauseating stench of his sweat, cheap vodka and pale ale washing over her. She collected her black clutch, found her Reef flips underneath his black Bacardi t-shirt and walked toward the bedroom door. Her fingers lingered on the brass doorknob as heavy guilt attempted to pull her back. She looked back at him. He sat in bed and raked his fingers through his disheveled and sweaty sandy hair. Beads of sweat formed on his tan, taut skin. He had the boyish comeliness of a hometown swimmer — tall and slim with wide shoulders and defined, lean muscles paired with gentle brown eyes and a genuine smile. It was what had attracted her to him in the first place and sometimes it was enough to convince her she still felt something for him.

“I just don’t feel that way about you Jay,” she said, fighting her instincts to stay but not turning around. “I’m sorry. I won’t text you again,” she lied the way she always did on Sunday mornings and turned the doorknob.

Bio:

Amanda J. Clay is a California native writing YA and New Adult from the charming community of Berkeley, CA. She had a fantastic time studying English and Journalism at Chico State University and then a very serious time slaving away for a Master’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she spends most of her spare time plotting world adventures.

amandajclay.wordpress.com

@amandajclay

IG: amandajclaybooks

facebook.com/amandajclaybooks

goodreads.com/amandajclay

Sale Sunday!

unnamed (30)A Love So Tragic by Stevie J. Cole is just 99₵for a limited time!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ZODhV1
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/237L6qT

Blurb:

Promises.
We all make them. Sometimes we break them. But what happens when the promise you break haunts your dreams, when that moment of betrayal echoes within every last beat of your heart?

Love.
Love is passionate, painful, and all consuming in the most brutal yet beautiful way. How many people have you said ‘I love you’ to? Five, ten, maybe no one? I’ve said that word to two men, but only one where I felt it.

Tragic.
This word sums up my relationship with Nicolas: devastating, painful, depressing.
A first love that should have lasted a lifetime, but I ruined with a stupid decision. Nicolas is my star crossed lover, and even though Shakespeare has taught me that stories such as ours always end in tragedy, I can’t not love him, even if I’m married to someone else.

The Quarterback’s Baby!

Back at 99 cents!
View this email in your browser
99 cents only.
US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G1TI58W
UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01G1TI58W

Available for 99 cents and with bonus book PERFECT for a limited time!

Amber Paulson plays by the rules: work hard, get good grades, and stay out of trouble. She’s not looking for a boyfriend; her top priority is passing chemistry so she doesn’t lose her scholarship.

Aidan Holt doesn’t care if people call him a manwhore. He’s the lead singer for the hottest band in town, and if women fall all over themselves to sleep with him, who is he to say no? He doesn’t do relationships, but he knows how to show his many willing fans a good time.

When Amber goes to the campus learning center for help, she’s shocked to see that her chemistry tutor is the impossibly sexy guy she’d just met that weekend. The one who got her hot and bothered within ten minutes of meeting him — right before he went onstage and seduced an adoring crowd with his voice.

A guy who takes home a different girl every night is the last person Amber wants to share her first time with. But the spark between them is hard to resist — and Aidan isn’t one to give up easily.

The last thing either of them expects to do is fall in love …

unnamed (32)The adventure awaits…
If you’ve been thinking about reading Dragon Isle, now’s your chance! BOTH Dragon Isle bundle packs are on sale this week for $2.99! These bundles retail for $6.99, so that’s a HUGE discount! Individually, the book prices range from $2.99-$3.99, so if you’ve been thinking about exploring a world of dragons and sexiness, today’s the day!

ON SALE on KOBO: Michelle Dare

All of Michelle Dare’s books on Kobo are 50% off! Just enter the promo code 50JUN when you checkout. Happy reading!
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Needing Him – http://bit.ly/1SuoCLX


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Dracones Revelations

D-R E-BookCover (1)Book 2 Dracones Revelations

At the young age of only seven, the Ilyium swept through Samarias’s village in a brutal massacre. Sami, his brother, his best friend, and her father fled their world for Earth, making a new home in Washington State. At nine, Sami’s father arrived and yanked his boys away from the security of their new home. At ten, they returned—broken, and silent.

Now at twenty-one, Sami continues to hide the secrets of the past, pretending everything is fine. But it’s all a lie. With his dragon powers awakening, Sami longs for freedom from the pain and guilt, along with a soul mate of his own.

When Sami recently infiltrated an enemy compound and witnessed the Ilyium send a woman to a fiery death, it hit him hard, but he can no longer pretend anymore. Everything is not as it seems. After learning the woman is alive, and somehow connected to Sami, his world is turned upside down. Confused, angry, and with his emotions unraveling, Sami loses control. When he is called on to fly to Calgary to rescue someone else in trouble, strange things happen, and now he comes face to face with the demons of his past. Sami has some brutal decisions to make, possibly sacrificing what he desires most in order to do the right thing.

Dracones Revelations is book two in the Dracones series for readers age 17+. If you are a fan of dark, steamy paranormal romance, get Sami’s story today and be swept into the world of Dragons, Phoenix shifters, Night and Day Walkers, Magic, sensual heat and the revelations of Sami’s past.

Who is Samarias?

Sami is a sexy gentle giant.  He’s sweet, kind, smart and hides a huge secret. A secret that has been tearing him apart and as the mysterious actions of the last few weeks start to reveal themselves, will Sami be able to survive all he learns?

Excerpt:

“What are you doing here, Sami?” she whispered the question, gazing up at him.

“Brimstone…uh, needed a ride and I’m trying to help find your sister.” Sami gazed down at her, noticing that her lips were just inches from his. Her scent surrounded him, making it hard to concentrate on anything except how close she was to him, and the wondrous feelings racing through him.

“No, that’s not it, is it?” Her eyes narrowed angrily on him.

“I don’t understand…why do you hate me?”

“Who says I hate you?” Her eyes widened in surprise and her voice grew husky as she spoke. Cocking her head to the side just a bit, Hellfire ran her smoky eyes up and down him, making his blood boil under her gaze. Sami fought to stay calm. It sure seemed like she hated him, although now…

“I know what you want…” Her eyes continued to look him over as her hands reached out to touch him again.

“What?” Sami shivered. Her hands slowly ran up the muscles of his chest to his pecs beneath his T-shirt, before moving on to squeeze the muscles in his upper arms. He didn’t dare take his eyes off her.

“Mmm…nice…” She bit her lip as she surveyed him, silver eyes glittering with mischief. Sami’s blood ran hot and his cock strained against his jeans. He held his breath as her gaze slid down to his waistband. Her tongue darted out and wet her lower lip before worrying it between her teeth. Then silver eyes met his, shocking him at the fire he saw in them. “This is what you want…isn’t it?” she asked, wrapping her fingers in his hair, she pulled his head down.

The second Sami’s lips touched Hellfire’s, his blood rushed furiously in his veins and his cock throbbed with a desire to be buried deep inside of her. She tasted better than he could have ever imagined.

“This! This is what you want, isn’t it?” She breathed and pulled away, making him groan. He was on fire, and all his pain and darkness had gone. He wanted her so badly, his pulse was racing, and his dragon was roaring like a gorilla beating its chest for more.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Dracones-Revelations-Sheri-Lynn-Marean-ebook/dp/B01ESK2X1Q

Sheri M-15 - Copy - Copy

Sheri-Lynn Marean, Author of Dracones awakening and Dracones revelations, the first two books in the Dracones series, resides in western Canada with her husband, three kids, one dog, one cat, and two fish. Sheri-Lynn did not grow up thinking she’d become an author. Instead, she grew up riding and working with racehorses, drawing and selling her animal artwork, and of course reading. Sheri-Lynn fell in love with reading at age twelve when she read The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. She has not stopped reading. With a wide variety of reading interests, Sheri’s passion presently is the paranormal romance genre. One day, after reading an unsatisfying book, she decided to write her own book, with her own characters, doing what she wanted them to do. She began to type and the characters came to life in her head. She has never looked back.

Follow me on FB: https://www.facebook.com/SheriLynnMareanAuthor/

My website is: http://www.sheri-lynnmarean.com/ I do have a newsletter, and please, feel free to sign up. I promise I won’t flood you with news. In fact, I haven’t figured out how to do the newsletters yet, that is on my ‘to learn and do’ list, but when I get it figured out, I will let you know when there is something exciting to tell you.

You can follow me on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sheri-Lynn-Marean/e/B01B89QHVM?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14926752.Sheri_Lynn_Marean

My email is sherilynnamrea@gmail.com

 

Be Mine ~ Isobelle Cate

Be Mine (Second Chances Series Book 1)

Be Mine CoverGracie Sinclair just wants life to return to normal.

Now a widow and picking up the pieces after the death of her husband, she delves into her work, seeking a new normal, until she bumps into a handsome stranger who derails her orderly life, completely.

Luke can’t wait for the week to be over. Having built an engineering company into a multi-million pound enterprise in record time, he feels…empty. Nothing satisfies him anymore, not even having weekenders in his bed. But when he bumps into a woman—literally—on his way out of a bar, realizing she is his last meeting before he goes on holiday, his plan of staying away from relationships takes a nose dive. He wants Gracie Sinclair.

Gracie learned a long time ago how insincere love can be, so when Luke decides to become part of her life, she tosses up every obstacle to dissuade him until he breaks down her walls and makes her realize that her life can only be complete with Luke by her side.

However, something sinister from Luke’s past threatens the happiness they have struggled to find. If he concedes, he will become criminally liable and lose everything.

If he refuses, he loses Gracie’s heart…

Amazon: http://mybook.to/BeMine_ICate
Nook: http://bit.ly/Be_Mine_Cate_Nook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/Be_Mine_Cate_Kobo
Page Foundry/Inktera: http://bit.ly/Be_Mine_ICate_Inktera
iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1084614110

Be Mine Teaser
EXCERPT

Minutes later sunshine replaced the grey clouds, a precursor for better things to come. Gracie and Noreen had just put the finishing touches to their table when cars started coming inside the manor’s grounds. Children waited inside the cars before parents and grandparents opened their doors to let them out. Colourful jackets, coats, and parkas made for a rainbow that decided to take a break from arcing over the skies. Smells of sausages and grilled hamburgers with a pinch of strong coffee soon wafted through the fare. People queued for food. Others perused the items on sale, from pottery and glass jewellery to different cheeses made in several parts of the country. Tasting trays of small breads and crackers with dollops of jam or cheese made their way on food stall tables for people to sample. Some crowded a few booths while other booths waited for people to gather around them. By noon, the swell of chatting groups and shouts of butchers selling fresh slabs of meat mixed with the shrieks, laughter, and whining of children.
“Thank you.” Gracie smiled at a buyer, while Noreen handed over the change for another purchase.
“Oh my God, Gracie, can you believe it?” Noreen’s face had a happy smile. “The fair isn’t closing for a few hours yet and we’re down to just one crate.”
“And I should say well done, you.” Gracie enveloped her friend in a warm hug.
“Girl, they didn’t just buy my stuff. They also bought yours.” The lilt in Noreen’s voice belied her serious face. “Well done, apprentice.”
Gracie laughed. “Thank you. I have a wonderful teacher.”
A dusky blush coloured Noreen’s caramel skin. She was the epitome of elegance no matter even if she was in dungarees. Her braided hair was tied with a piece of cloth at the nape of her neck, where several necklaces with tiny ceramic beads clicked against each other whenever she moved. Her softly kohl rimmed eyes sparkled with excitement and could be liberally laced with mischief, but not this time. Pure joy radiated through her in the way her mouth lifted in the biggest of smiles and the way she engaged potential buyers in conversation. Her enthusiasm, contagious.
Noreen waved her hand dismissively at Gracie’s compliment. “We will start trading compliments very soon.”
Gracie grinned, shaking her head. She bent down to get more ceramic bowls from the crate, gently taking them out from the bed of bubble wrap, unmindful of the quiet behind her. “We’ll need to take out this blue and grey set of salad bowls, Noreen.” She straightened up, turning towards her friend. “Where should I put…” Surprise slammed into her like a freight train. “these…”
“Hello, Gracie.” Whatever chill she felt abated in the banked fire in his blue eyes.
“What are you doing here?”
His eyes gleamed with amusement. “It is the weekend fair. People come to enjoy it.”
Colour flooded her cheeks. Dumb, Gracie. Just dumb. “Yes. Right. Well…enjoy the day then.” She turned to Noreen, who watched the exchange with curiosity. “I’m going to get coffee. Do you want anything?”
“I’ll get it,” Luke interjected. Noreen had just opened her mouth to speak and kept it open as she turned to Luke before she pursed her lips.
“It’s not necessary,” Gracie said.
“Gracie, please let me.”
“Why don’t you both go and get me coffee,” Noreen retorted wryly. “Better yet get me the huge cafetière because seriously I feel like I’m watching a table tennis match.”
Gracie scowled. Luke chuckled.
“Good idea,” he said. “Gracie?”
Not wanting to belabour the point, Gracie turned to get her small purse and slung it diagonally across her chest. She refused to acknowledge of the sudden loud thudding of her heart and the turmoil that seemed to be usurping the calm inside her belly. She could also feel Noreen’s gaze on her, but she refused to look at her friend, opting to make her way out of their stall to join Luke.
“Luke! Baby!”
The strong cloud of perfume arrived first before a woman flung herself at Luke, capturing his mouth in a kiss that had a few passers-by gawk, glance with surprise, and snicker. Gracie stopped mid-stride, sighing and shaking her head.
She gave Noreen a curt smile. “I’ll be back with the coffee.”
“Gracie!”
She continued walking, her wellies splashing over puddles that hadn’t been dried by the sun. The warmth she felt at the sight of Luke became colder than the fall weather. She ground her teeth at his girlfriend’s shrill laughter.
She was such a fool. She felt used. Degraded.
Betrayed.
She swallowed against the lump lodged in her throat. She wasn’t going back to the stall. Noreen would understand her need for silence. For solace. Knowing Luke’s penchant for following her, Gracie allowed herself to be lost in the crowd, choosing to weave her way through the thickest group of people. Not even the obnoxious dressed for the Ascot races man sputtering his importance at a group of rowdy teenagers made her stop. She stole a glance back. Luke was nowhere in sight. Relieved, she made her way to the stall from where the aroma of rich, strong coffee came from. She groaned in frustration. A lot of people seemed to have the same idea as the queue formed a straight line perpendicular to the stall. If she went to the end of the waiting line, Luke would no doubt see her and that was the last thing she wanted. She nearly stomped her foot in annoyance.
“Bloody nuisance,” she gritted before she abandoned her mission and opted to leave the fair for the quieter part of the manor grounds. Fishing out her mobile, she typed a quick text to Noreen.
Just needed to get away. Will be back in half an hour.
A few minutes later, her phone vibrated. Okay, but you owe me an explanation. And who the hell is the woman nearly clinging around your guy like a boa constrictor?
Gracie’s thumbs flew over the QWERTY board. He’s not my guy!
Noreen texted back. Uh huh.
Gracie huffed, not bothering to reply.

Sexcerpt:

Luke Bryce was leaning against her office door. He wore denims and a pastel blue Ralph Lauren button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to show his muscular forearms. The logo was discreet unlike the brand’s other shirts that seemed to scream that the horse and rider were just about to join the charge of the Light Brigade.
She resumed walking.
“Mr. Bryce, you should have waited for me to get you from reception,” she said, trying to inject displeasure in her tone when she was feeling the opposite.
“It’s Luke, Gracie. I want you to call me that.”
Her eyebrow lifted of its own volition.
“What is it you wanted?” she asked, not bothering to say his name. Irritation flashed in his eyes before it was gone. Slight apprehension uncoiled inside her. Gracie hacked it with a mental knife.
This man wasn’t Jonathan. This man was the opposite and her body knew it.
“Let’s talk inside your office.”
Gracie saw that the receptionist had left her post and was watching their exchange with interest.
“Very well,” she muttered, walking towards him to open the door. As she did, his cologne drifted to her nose, and she inhaled deeply. His body heat embraced her, ratcheting her awareness of this virile man who had no problem invading her personal space, making her very aware of his sex appeal. He was so near that when he exhaled she could feel his breath close to her temple. Her sex pulsed at the contact.
She twisted the doorknob, walked ahead, and waited for him to come in. When she turned around after closing the door, he was standing so close to her that she had to tilt her head up. Her breath hitched when she saw his eyes smoulder, the heat in them burning a trail down her sternum to spread across her breasts. Heart in her throat and excitement running through her bloodstream, she took in everything Luke Bryce was. From the shadow that covered his jaw, to his deep set eyes that seemed to look into her very soul, and his wide mouth that she desperately wanted to kiss. Oh God, she wanted what he was offering. Her mind battled against itself. She wanted to move away and yet wanted to stay. He used her moment of indecision to cage her in with his hands against the door by her shoulders. If lust had a scent, Gracie knew what it was. Freaking hot, delicious, and damn good. It swirled around her in a sensual blanket, and she could feel her pulse throbbing in her clit, causing her core to moisten in response. Her nipples also responded by budding inside her bra, the lace sensually abrasive against the points.
“You lied to me,” he said softly.
“Excuse me.” Her eyes snapped to his deep blues.
He was unperturbed at her consternation. “You said you were married.”
“I am Mrs. Sinclair.”
“Yes, you are. Widow of Jonathan Sinclair.”
She sucked in a sharp breath.
“It doesn’t matter how I know, Gracie,” he admonished gently, answering the unspoken question in her eyes. “Why did you make me believe you were still married?”
“What’s it to you?”
“Why didn’t you want to go out with me?”
She sighed, closing her eyes. Try as she might, she couldn’t open them again as excitement seeped through her pores and pleasure slowly built inside her, warming her thighs, circling inside her belly before going up slowly, languidly to tease her nipples and add to the rapid rate of her heart. Oh God, this man was wreaking havoc on her body. Her lips parted when she felt Luke’s breath brush her cheek, her face angling towards his involuntarily. She made a sound between a gasp and a moan when his tongue caressed her earlobe before tracing the shell of her ear. She felt like falling and raised her hands to push him away but as soon as her palms touched his chest, they heated, her fingers nearly curling against his pectorals. The flicker of desire inside her roared to life. Luke moved forward, pinning her to the door. She was not able to stop the soft and rapid pants coming out of her lips, and could feel her sex moisten further at the hardness of his arousal against her belly, igniting the fire that had been dormant for so long. She brushed her lips against his jaw. Luke didn’t need any further prodding and turned his head to capture her mouth.
Sweet joy stormed into her very soul. Luke’s tongue seared the seam of her lips, teasing, coaxing, exploring, before he parted the barrier her teeth put up to invade her mouth. He claimed her tongue, tasting it, flicking it, playing with it until Gracie growled softly and deepened the kiss. The kiss was rough and filled with unbridled need. Their tongues greedily explored, staked, and claimed. Their breaths became hot and heavy, each wanting to give and take as much as they could. Gracie moaned against Luke’s mouth as her arms encircled his neck. She slanted her mouth to give him more access and the more he swirled his tongue with hers, the more he nibbled on her lips, the more liquid heat flowed from her core. Her mouth parted against his lips, taking in his breath as Luke’s hands lifted her skirt to skim her stockings, teasing the lace band that held it up before drifting towards her mound. Gracie’s breath came short and fast, and she moaned when Luke’s finger teased her against the wet silken fabric.
“So wet, Mrs. Sinclair,” he rasped. “Did I do this? Let me see if I’ve done a good job.” He slipped his finger inside her panties and found her engorged bundle of nerves, spreading her wetness over it. “Yes, baby. It seems I did.” His mouth dipped to suck the skin against her erratically beating pulse. Slowly, he rubbed, but Gracie couldn’t get enough. He was toying with her. When she moved to direct his digit, Luke would move it away.
“Please.” She sighed. He raised his head, his gaze filled with lust made her melt to a quivering mass. Her hips moved of their own volition, urging him to take her. “Luke.”
That was all he needed to insert his finger inside her.

**Bio***

Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.

Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.

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