Sunday, September 25, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Hostile Takeover by Cara Dee #GIVEAWAY

Hostile Takeover
Cara Dee
(The Game, #8)
Publication date: September 23rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

The Game Series • Book 8 • Standalone • Group Play • Submissive Daddy • Humiliation
Buckle in for a liquid hot romance where a young man with a plan takes on his aunt’s ex-husband through a wild week of kinky fun and dreams of a happily ever after.

I was on the right path, at long last. The divorce proceedings were going well, we managed to keep things somewhat civil for the sake of our daughter, and I could finally be the man I’d suppressed for decades.

I was gay. And evidently very much into BDSM.

So this was the perfect time to explore, have fun, meet new people, make friends who were actually friends and not the husbands of my wife’s uppity circle of gossip peddlers. I was happy. I was off to a great start, distancing myself from the family I’d once married into.

Then my ex-wife’s favorite nephew came to town on a business trip and wanted to have dinner with me. Obviously, I should have declined. The young man had always put me on edge with his charisma and assertiveness. But surely, I could survive one dinner with Jackson Dune.

The day after was another matter. When we ended up going to the gym together and he showed his true colors. His true, filthy, dominant, addictive, inappropriate colors.

“Do you like to watch, Uncle Franklin?”

The Game Series is a BDSM series where romance meets the reality of kink. Sometimes we fall for someone we don’t match with, sometimes vanilla business gets in the way of kinky pleasure, and sometimes we have to compromise and push ourselves to overcome trauma and insecurities. No matter what, one thing is certain. This is not a perfect world—and maybe that’s why the happily ever after feels so good.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Flip the camera—let me see in the mirror,” Tate said.

I eyed the corner of the screen and pressed the right button, flipping the camera. The display suddenly showed a full picture of what I was wearing.

“You make Hugo Boss look next-level hot.” His voice was warm with approval, which eased a pinch of my nerves. “You’ve got this, Franklin. You have nothing to be nervous about. It’s your nephew, not the devil.”

I swallowed uncomfortably and adjusted my tie. “They may very well be the same individual.”

He chuckled and threw himself onto the couch—next to Kingsley, I noticed. They were dressed for an evening at home. Apparently they’d been hungover earlier today.

Kingsley leaned closer and smiled faintly. “Hey, pet. Lookin’ sharp.”

Heat bled onto my cheeks. “Thank you, Handler.”

They absolutely loved that I was forty-seven years old and still blushed like a schoolboy. They certainly took advantage of the trait often enough. Kingsley said he got off on the contrasts of a man who looked like he owned the world but submitted like a cock-hungry whore.

I was that cock-hungry whore.

I wasn’t sure I agreed with his assessment of how I looked, but I understood the draw of contrasts. Kingsley and Tate were full of those too. Kingsley, the Master who could make me fall to my knees with a single look, who always wore jeans and tees and hoodies, who didn’t feel the need to assert himself to others; he just was. Then Tate, his Master’s property. The love of Kingsley’s life. My daughter’s teacher, who’d fooled me for months by wearing preppy cashmere sweaters, gingham button-downs, chinos, and glasses. Never a hair out of place. But when all that came off, he was a tattooed masochist and switch.

Tate had introduced me to BDSM not that long ago. They’d granted me the privilege of joining them for occasional playtime. And Tate was…pure filth. A sadistic little Dominant who called me Daddy before rubbing my face in my own come.

Kingsley cleared his throat as I flipped the screen again. “So explain something to me. You see this kid once or twice a year, but now you’re suddenly nervous?”

To be fair, I was always uncomfortable when seeing Jack.

And Tate had no issue telling his Master just that.

“To this degree?” Kingsley pressed.

“Well, no,” I admitted. After flicking off the lights in the bedroom, I aimed for the living room, where I had liquid courage on a cart next to the couch. “Things have changed. I’m supposed to be Uncle Franklin, the boring, straitlaced, predictable man who’s married to his aunt.”

While Tate smirked, Kingsley scraped his teeth across his bottom lip and took on a pensive expression.

“Screw who you’re supposed to be to him,” he murmured. “Who’s he supposed to be to you?”

I frowned. “You lost me. He’s my nephew, of course.”

Believe me. He’s my nephew.

Kingsley cocked a brow.

Tate was highly entertained, and he crawled up on Kingsley’s lap and rested his elbow on Kingsley’s shoulder. “I mean, you kinda indicated something else last week when you told me about his visit.”

I scowled at him, then poured myself a whiskey. I had twenty minutes before my car service was due.

“I did nothing of the sort,” I insisted. “I merely pointed out that since the last time I saw him, I’ve stopped being in denial about who I am—about what I am—and I’m worried I’ll see him in a different light.”

“As I said…” Tate drawled. “So are you bringing condoms?”

“For heaven’s sake!” I stared at him in disbelief. He was not helpful.

Kingsley’s eyes flashed with amusement. “I take it he ticks all the Dom boxes, then?”

God, I shouldn’t have accepted Tate’s call in the first place. They were making things worse. Much, much worse. Because they were saying out loud what I dreaded the most. I didn’t want Jack and BDSM in the same sentence.

But…yes. That was my fear.

I took a generous sip of my drink and relished the burn as it slid down my throat.

“Is he gay?” Tate wondered.

I winced and inclined my head.

Jack had always been out, so to speak. When he’d reached the age most boys declared their love for girls, he’d said he’d liked boys “way more.” By fourteen, he’d had at least two boyfriends.

“I think I’ve envied him on some level,” I admitted. “I never knew why, but now…”

I could put two and two together.

Homosexuality hadn’t existed in my world, not until I started college. My parents had come from nothing in Nowhere, Kentucky. Then my father had managed to get through school while working two jobs, and he’d made a life for us. They’d moved to DC right before I was born. He’d started his own practice. Mother had been a housewife. Not particularly religious, but traditional, nonetheless. Not to mention very strict and demanding. They’d wanted their idea of a bright future for me. Scholarships, private school, a fine degree. Wife, children, a nice house.

I’d had my first intimate dream about another man when I was in high school, but it’d been about a teacher I hadn’t liked, so I’d chalked it up to a horrendous nightmare. I’d been so incredibly angry and embarrassed by my physical reactions.

Not long after, I’d asked Samantha out on a date.

“I’ve done so many things wrong,” I said.

That softened something in Tate’s eyes. “It gave you Lily.”

That was true. I certainly had no regrets, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t feel bitter and ashamed at times.

“It’s time to look forward, pet,” Kingsley murmured. “You’re building something new.”

I nodded once and took another sip of my drink. He was right. I was finally on the right path.


Author Bio:

I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex.

There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly.

Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.

I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.

Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.

I'm a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter


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NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Pride and Pina Coladas by Melanie Summers #GIVEAWAY

Pride and Piña Coladas
Melanie Summers
(Paradise Bay, #5)
Publication date: September 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

From best-selling author Melanie Summers comes a enemies-to-lovers tale that’ll have you laughing, swooning, and blending up a pitcher of fruity girl drinks…

I’m Nora Cooper—single woman about to turn thirty, wildly unsuccessful plant fanatic, and event planner at Paradise Bay Resort. My shot at ‘the big time’ has finally arrived—the resort is hosting the World Bartender Championships and I’ve been asked to head up the hospitality team.

There’s only one big problem. And his name is Theo Rojas. You’ve heard of his family—they own Rojas Rum (and about 200 other premium liquors, some of which may be on your shelf right now). As the major sponsor of the event, Theo has decided to be onsite, micromanaging every second of the competition.

He’s stuck up, rude, and arrogant (and a bunch of other adjectives I had better not use). He also seems to have added ‘make Nora’s life absolute hell’ to the top of his to-do list.

Too bad for Mr. Grumpy Chinos because he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. I’ve taken on far worse foes than him. And if he thinks he’s going to get the best of me, he’s in for a wake-up call.

So when we find ourselves stranded on a private island overnight, I’m determined to put him in his place once and for all.

Only somehow, instead of continuing our constant sparring, we wind up kissing. And I did NOT expect him to kiss like that.

And now I have totally forgotten all the nasty things I was planning to say to him. Something about him being arrogant, right?

Gah! Someone please send help because I absolutely CANNOT fall for this guy…

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

She’s completely flustered, and I have to say I’m enjoying this more than I should. But hey, she’s accused me of some pretty rotten things, so I’d say it’s only fair.

“Nothing… I don’t know. But now that we’re stranded here, I’m off the clock, so for the next however many hours we’re stuck here together, I’m not an events coordinator, and you’re not a guest who…needs things. We’re just two people who happen to be stranded in the same villa. So, don’t think you can tell me to get out of my wet clothes, because I’ll decide if and when I’m going to take my clothes off!”

“Someone clearly thinks highly of herself if she’s suggesting I want to get her naked,” I say before pursing my lips.

Nora gasps. “She does not!”

I shrug. “If you say so, but it really did seem like it when you said that whole thing about not ‘giving it to me,’ when the only reason I suggested getting out of our wet clothes is because you’re shivering and I came across a couple of plush bathrobes in the closet when I went to find the towels.”

“Oh,” she says, dropping her shoulders a little.

“There’s also a washing machine and a dryer, so I’m planning to launder my things, but if you want to stay—” I point to her—“as you are, suit yourself. I am going to have a hot shower.”

Her teeth start to chatter, but she still has that stubborn look on her face. “I can see how that would be a reasonable idea.”

“Is that your way of apologizing?”

“I don’t owe you an apology,” she snaps.

“Don’t you? Where I come from, when we make false accusations, we apologize and then commit to not doing it again,” I tell her. And before I can stop myself, I add, “But perhaps that’s only common courtesy among the top one percent of the world.”

Her cheeks turn bright red and she sputters, “You know what? I am going to have a shower. A nice, long one, but not because you told me to. Because I want to.”

“Have fun, Captain Justice,” I murmur when she turns to leave the room.

That did it. She does a U-turn. “Captain Justice?” she hisses.

“I’d say that suits someone who thinks she’s the paragon of all things just in this world, listening to only one side of a story and casting judgment on who’s right and who’s the devil.” Okay, so now I’m just being a jerk, but at this point, I don’t care. “Or should I call you Captain Jumps to Conclusions, based on you accusing me of trying to get you into bed just now?”

“Captain Jumps to Conclusions? Do you even hear yourself? That’s quite possibly the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever said in the history of speaking!”

“Captain Accusations, then?” I ask calmly.

“You are the most rude, most arrogant, entitled man I’ve ever met!” she shouts, moving towards me until she’s so close she has to tilt her head back to look up at me. “You should be called Captain Thinks His Shit Doesn’t Stink!”

I scoff, leaning closer to her. “It’s not so easy, is it? Coming up with sarcastic super-hero names when you’re angry.”

“No, it’s not!” she yells.

“Exactly! So don’t make fun of my attempt,” I yell back, too angry to laugh at the level of insanity we’ve reached.

I stare down at her face, only inches from mine. She’s still shivering, and even though I’m furious, I want to wrap my arms around her and warm her up. Or kiss her hard on the mouth. Or both.


Author Bio:

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally - then she'll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for 'K' Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn't require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she's not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken 'from above'. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something--more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Saturday, September 24, 2022

MEW RELEASE BLITZ: Bratva Treasure by Savine Barclay #GIVEAWAY

Bratva Treasure
Sabine Barclay
(The Ivankov Brotherhood, #3)
Published by: Oliver Heber Books
Publication date: September 20th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mafia, Romance

She has no idea what she agreed to…

My printsessa thinks she’s taken a regular job for a regular lawyer.

She doesn’t know the devils that lurk below the surface now that she’s in my world. The bratva world.

Innocent, sweet, and trusting.

All the things I am not. All the things I never knew I wanted.

But I do now. And she’s mine.

Let someone try to take her. I’ll burn the world down around them to keep her. She’s my soulmate.

She doesn’t know her limits yet. I’ll take her there, then bring her back with my touch and my love.

Bratva Treasure is an interconnecting, standalone Dark Mafia Romance with a HEA and no cliffhanger. It contains extra-steamy scenes that will make your toes curl and your granny blush. This is book three in The Ivankov Brotherhood, a six-book series that’ll keep you warm at night.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I can’t stay away. I have no reason to go to Maks’s place every day. But I keep finding excuses. I’m so intrigued, and I keep making it worse by feeding my curiosity. Part of me is genuinely interested in getting to know Stasia, but the other part of me is suspicious as hell. I trust next to no one who isn’t family or bratva. My sisters-in-law are the rare exceptions, and I wasn’t sure at first. I was impressed and respected Laura from the get-go. She wrapped us around her little finger to the tune of forty billion when she out negotiated us for a merger with a company she represented.

Christina was an inspector for the city planner, and she showed up at one of our building sites for a rather untraditional and unforgettable meeting. Poor Bogdan. I will never forget the look on his face when he recognized her. He clearly wasn’t over how they parted the first time they met a few days earlier. But she was incredibly helpful and sorted out more than one mess for us. She’s so good that we made her the head of our construction branch.

But Stasia. I don’t know yet what to make of her. I want to fvck her into next week. That much I know. She’s beyond pretty. She’s not stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful until she smiles. Actually, I take that back. I think she’s beautiful and hot as fvck, but I know a lot of men wouldn’t see her that way. That’s more than fine by me. She’s almost too thin, but more in a leggy supermodel kind of way. Eastern Europe produces some of the most gorgeous women in the world. Her half-Russian side is strong.

But I still find it hard to trust her. She’s in my brother and sister-in-law’s house every day and around my niece and nephew. I know she passed a background check, but anyone new makes me uneasy.

“How do you like the job so far?”

I know that’s an unfair question, but I ask it anyway. I want to see her eyes, her gut reaction, not hear her profess she loves it.

“It’s great. I love working for Laura.”

Sincerity. Either she’s telling the truth, or she’s a sociopath with no compunction about lying. I think it’s the former.

“Better than what you did before?”

Half the time we speak Russian, and I don’t even notice. We have been today. It’s enough to lull me into thinking that she might be fully Russian and would understand our life. But she’ll stumble over a word or have to think about one for a moment. It all comes crashing back down that she isn’t. She’s only half. But all of her was raised in America. Then my suspicions start all over again. What happens if she finds out? What were Maks and Laura thinking bringing a stranger into their home?

Not just because we’re bratva, but because the twins are here. She doesn’t seem like the type, but I’ve seen “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.” I remember that Soul Asylum song I used to hear sometimes on the Classic Rock station. “Runaway Train.” That was one with the music video with the woman who grabs the baby out of the stroller. I watched it once, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

I have an overactive imagination. That’s what my dad would tell me when I was really little. It was usually when I made Bogdan pretend to be my dog. My parents wouldn’t get one. Our apartment in Moscow was barely big enough for the six of us. I would make Bogdan crawl around with me. I was five, and he was four. What was the point of having a little brother back then if I couldn’t get him to do things for me?

“Big plans for the weekend?”

“No. I’m just going to help my friend Beth move and then hang out at my place. My friend Gracie and her fiancé are going out of town.”

“I don’t miss the days of helping people move. I spent a summer working for one of those college guys moving companies. Good money, but never again.”

I pretend to shiver.

“Monday nights are actually our night to go out. There’s a place near campus that has great happy hour specials.”

Tucking that little nugget away.


Author Bio:

Sabine Barclay, a nom de plume also writing Historical Romance as Celeste Barclay, lives near the Southern California coast with her husband and sons. Growing up in the Midwest, Sabine enjoyed spending as much time in and on the water as she could. Now she lives near the beach. She's an avid swimmer, a hopeful future surfer, and a former rower. Before becoming a full-time author, Sabine was a Social Studies and English teacher. She holds degrees in International Affairs (BA), Secondary Social Science (MAT), and Political Management (MPS). She channels that knowledge into creating engrossing contemporary romances that will make your toes curl and your granny blush.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Instagram / Newsletter / Amazon


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BOOK BLITZ: Shadow of Fire by Kate Schumacher #GIVEAWAY

Shadow of Fire
Kate Schumacher
(The Fires of Aileryan, #1)
Publication date: May 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

A potent power is about to be unleashed.
Forbidden and forged in flame.

Control over the elements is a gift from the Gods, but since the creation of the Rift, fire magic has been outlawed in Merawuld. The Rift is a source of mystery, fear, and, for some, a tempting source of power.

Ash is a fire caster who has spent years hiding her magic, but when her explosive powers reveal themselves she is imprisoned by the Mage Council. Ash’s powers are coveted by the High Mage, who seeks to use her as a pawn against not only his enemies, but his allies as well.

With the Bone Mother’s winter fast approaching, the fae Princess vows to fight against the corrupting influence of power, forming an alliance whose success rests on a human man’s desire for peace; a man who must decide if he will play the game he’s inherited or begin one of his own.

But in Aileryan, the Gods have their own plans. As the Mother of All turns the wheel of the year, the land is brought to the edge of war. Loyalty and courage will be sorely tested as paths intertwine and Fate plays her hand.

If Ash can’t learn to control her magic, the scheming of gods and mortals could spell doom for them all.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Laeli jumped as the sound of steel striking steel cut through the night. She slipped into a crouch, buckling on her scabbard, sliding the twin swords against her back and crept to the opening of the cairn.

Bran shouted a single word. Run.

As wings of light fluttered across the dark pit of the sky, Laeli saw him, his lithe body ducking and weaving around a sword wielded by a tall man in a cloak of fur. Two dead men lay on the ground, Bran’s dagger protruding from a chest. As Laeli watched, Bran’s opponent crouched and swept his leg wide, catching Bran off guard. Her companion tumbled to the ground and, before he could get to his feet, a sword swung through the air in a precise arc.

Laeli stared in horror as Bran’s head was swiftly sliced from his body. Slowly, so slowly, it fell, toppling to the ground to bounce and roll away. Laeli’s dinner rose like a snake and she turned to the side and vomited.

The sky opened, and as veins of light cracked the black canvas of night, the man in furs looked up and saw her. His sword glinted as he approached, blood dripping hypnotically to the ground.

Bran’s blood; fae blood.

Without another thought, Laeli sprang from the cairn and sprinted for the safety of the forest. The trees reached for her, inviting her in; she bent her head and dove between their trunks, taking shelter in their branches, in the roots that snaked from the earth and the rocks and soft grass that spread across the forest floor. The sky ripped apart again, illuminating the trees, the forest bending and swaying in the fierce wind as the storm intensified.

She pushed on, running at a reckless pace that no human could match, until her lungs burned and she fell to her knees in a puddle of dirty water, her breath coming in pants that shook her to the bone. She was still a long way from the border, from safety.

Laeli took a deep breath, preparing to run again, but the point of a sword pressed into her spine.

‘Get up, Witch.’ The voice was low, husky, his breathing quick.

Author Bio:

KATE SCHUMACHER is a writer, mother and teacher. When she isn’t writing, she is reading her way through an ever-growing TBR pile. Kate has wanted to be an author since she was a child, when she used to write stories about her friends and ‘publish’ them with the help of a stapler. Kate completed a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Journalism, and an Honours degree in Screenwriting, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Education. She currently works as a High School English and History teacher.

She lives in Northern NSW, Australia, with her partner, two children, and three very spoiled cats. Shadow of Fire is her first published novel.

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Friday, September 23, 2022

B@@K REVEAL: Dance of Wings by Jamie A. Waters

Dance of Wings
Jamie A. Waters
(The Dragon Portal Series, #5)
Publication date: August 10th 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Death awaits those who fly too close to the sun…

Something’s wrong with Sabine’s magic.

The portal seals have begun to fracture, poisoning the magic of their world, and endangering those dependent upon it. Time is running out for Sabine and her companions to find the last artifact.

A cryptic clue found in the underworld is their only lead. But the magical race entrusted with the relic’s safekeeping was annihilated by the dragons centuries earlier.

Determined to find any trace of the mysterious artifact, Sabine agrees to face down the dragons in their own den.

Can love withstand dragonfire?

Sabine may have fallen for the charismatic dragon who captured her heart, but his people are harboring a deadly secret.

The dragons have no intention of allowing Sabine to imprison them ever again.

No matter the cost.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


Author Bio:

Jamie A. Waters is an award-winning fantasy romance author and dragon enthusiast. Weaving together magic, intrigue, and some delicious romance, she creates memorable and immersive worlds that provide the perfect escape. Her books feature strong, capable heroines and their swoon-worthy heroes who will stop at nothing to save the day.

Jamie currently resides in Florida with two neurotic dogs who enjoy stealing socks. When she's not pursuing her passion of writing, she's usually trying to learn new and interesting random things (like how to pick locks or use the self-cleaning feature of the oven without setting off the fire alarm). In her downtime, she enjoys reading, playing computer games, painting, or acting as a referee between the dragons and fairies currently at war inside her closet.

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NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Hell Bent by Mandy Lee #GIVEAWAY

Hell Bent
Mandy Lee
Publication date: September 27th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Paranormal, Romance

It’s the Devil’s little girl versus Daniel Webster…

Devlin’s keen legal mind had always kept her two steps ahead of opposing counsel. It didn’t hurt that she’d learned from the best dealmaker in the history of…well…existence. When your dad’s the Devil, expectations are high! She’d worked her tail off to become the best lawyer in town, and she wasn’t about to blow it all now.

When a business deal threw Daniel Webster in her path, Devlin had to wonder who she’d pissed off in another life! He was the most insufferable opposing counsel she’d ever had the misfortune of bargaining with. There was no way she was going to let Daniel the Douchenozzle derail her deal…no matter how annoyingly sharp or distractingly attractive he may be!

Can they find a way to see eye-to-eye in negotiations, or will they wind up eviscerating each other in the boardroom?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

WHEN LIFE GIVES you lemons, squirt them in your enemy’s eye. Devlin was fuming, this was not what she expected when she’d asked to see company records. Daniel had clearly put a lot of thought into today’s campaign of torture. How had she ever been so delusional as to think there was a less offensive side to him? Daniel had buried her in boxes of paperwork, and to top it off, the contents were all jumbled. Devlin had spent the last two hours trying in vain to match statements and invoices, vendor agreements and payment terms, and various banking and legal documents. Thank Lilith Adrian had stopped by with a massive cup of coffee. They had turned out to be Devlin’s secret savior!

It had been eerily quiet working in the broom closet, but that was what you got when you were stashed away under the stairs. Devlin had actually started to get into a rhythm as she shifted from box to box when her concentration was broken by the sound of a squeaking wheel. She poked her head out of her hidey-hole and saw someone she’d never met before, wheeling a dolly stacked with more boxes of files toward her. Devlin felt her irritation morph into a low-grade, simmering rage. She gave the unfortunate delivery person a tense smile as they slid the boxes off the dolly. Her aura must have been pretty dark. She’d never seen someone back away from her that quickly in her life. Drawing on very deep reserves of self-control, Devlin lifted the lid off of the top box in the new stack…

Mother F… She ground her teeth to keep the shriek of anger in. The overhead lights in her cramped office flickered madly for a moment as she jammed the top back on the box and took a seat on the tiny stool she’d been given. Devlin rested her elbows on her knees and dropped her head into her hands. Daniel has his whole life to be an asshole. Why couldn’t he have taken today off!?!

Devlin raised her head at the sound of a new email notification. She reached out and slid her laptop across the tiny desk to read it. The message was from Daniel. He apologized for not meeting her when she arrived (yeah right) and was looking forward to their meeting at eleven (about as much as a root canal). He wanted to put in a lunch order so it would arrive shortly after their meeting concluded (food was good), so could she please let him know what she’d like (ok, that was actually thoughtful…weird). Hoping for the best, Devlin fired back a simple reply.

Thank you for ordering lunch. I’m not too picky when it comes to food, so please go ahead with anything you know is good at whichever restaurant you order from. The only thing I don’t like is fish. Thank you!

As she hit Send, Devlin caught the time on the corner of her laptop screen. Sifting through mountains of bullshit had definitely killed most of the morning. It was already almost eleven o’clock, and she had to hustle upstairs for their meeting. Why Daniel had chosen to email her about their lunch order instead of just asking her during their meeting was a mystery, but, hey, if it wasn’t another box of files—or hidden coffee—she wasn’t about to question it. Devlin shut her laptop, adjusted her hair and outfit, put on her most calm, professional expression, and strode out into the lobby and up the stairs to the second floor.

Thankfully Adrian had pointed out Daniel’s temporary office on their Black Ops mission that morning, so Devlin knew exactly where she was headed. His door was closed when she arrived, and she could hear the muted sounds of a conversation. Devlin took a seat in a chair just outside the door to wait…and wait…and wait…

An hour. Devlin was back to simmering rage. She had emailed him, texted him, and knocked on the door. Daniel hadn’t so much as acknowledged her presence the entire time she’d waited. This day felt like one of her dad’s torture scenarios, and to make things worse, the screen on her phone had been glitching on and off. She was about to get up and bang on his door again when it flew open, and there he was…with his coat on.

“Oh, sorry! I totally forgot about our meeting!” Daniel exclaimed, leaning hard into a melodramatic performance of apology.

“Where are you…” Devlin tried to interject, to no avail.

“I have to step out. Put something in the books for another day and enjoy your lunch!” Daniel shouted as he barreled past her and down the stairs.

Devlin stood rooted to the spot in shock. What the actual fuck just happened? There was nothing left for her to do other than return to her storage closet. Devlin walked back down the stairs on auto-pilot.

“Ms. Laflamme?”

Devlin snapped out of her stupor at the sound of Max’s voice. “Max, yes, what’s up?”

“Mr. Webster wanted to make sure you got your lunch.” Max held out a plastic bag that clearly held containers of food.

“Thank you, Max.” Devlin reached out and took the bag. Eating her feelings seemed like a good plan.

Devlin collapsed onto her shitty, tiny stool and dropped the bag onto her desk. She attacked the knot tying the plastic handles together like a ravenous beast. When the bag opened, Devlin felt like crying. The smell of fish wafted from the takeout container, filling her tiny faux office and making her stomach turn. Devlin was done. She had no more fucks to give, and her reserves of cheek turning had run empty. She opened her laptop and fired off an email to Daniel.

Daniel, I have spent years dealing with difficult people in boardrooms and being underestimated as a legal professional. The treatment I have received at your hands makes every other experience pale in comparison. I have never felt so disrespected, targeted, and demeaned in a business or personal setting in my life. I will endeavor to conclude business between our companies posthaste in order to minimize and, if possible, eliminate any future interactions. I hope you’re proud of yourself. Sincerely, Devlin Laflamme

Devlin slid her laptop back into its bag, put on her coat, and walked out. Dealing with Daniel was like trying to play chess with a pigeon. He just flew around, shitting all over the board and acting like he’d won.

Author Bio:

Mandy Lee is a romance author based in Toronto. She has always enjoyed mythology/the supernatural, and her stories typically straddle paranormal and contemporary worlds. Snarky humour is guaranteed! Mandy is a caffeine addict, sci-fi lover, cat mama, travel enthusiast, and unapologetic weirdo!

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NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Stripped Bare by Aila Glass #GIVEAWAY

Stripped Bare
Aila Glass
Publication date: September 23rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A grumpy construction worker. An exotic dancer. And a night that leaves them wanting more.

Daphne
As a broke college student, I’m putting myself through school as an exotic dancer. Dozens of men come to watch me perform every night, and I’ve never been tempted by any of my clients…until him.
Mack with his smouldering gaze and sexy smirk. He knows exactly what to do with my body and how to ignite me with just a touch. Now this grumpy, possessive construction worker is telling me I’m his. But he’s so much older than me. Can we make it work despite the age gap?

Mack
I’m big, grumpy, and I don’t care much for the club scene. The only reason I’m here is to get my coworkers off my back. But the second I spot Daphne on stage, something feral is awakened within me.
She’s a younger woman but that won’t stop me from claiming her. I’m counting down the days until she’ll be tied to me forever. Soon, she’ll learn that possessive is my middle name and from now on, she’ll spend every night screaming it.

If you’re looking for an older man that quickly claims his younger woman, then you’ll love meeting Mack in Stripped Bare.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The lights on the outside of the White Onyx are white and pink. It doesn’t look like a strip club. It looks like a regular nightclub, which I guess has as much sex appeal as a strip club. I park in the back and head to the door.

I see Tyler, Jason, and Peter outside. Tyler waves his hand to get my attention. As I pass by, a group of women turn my way and I can feel their eyes eating me alive. They’re three young ladies, all with lust in their eyes. I can feel their stare as I walk away.

“You came,” Tyler says and hands the bouncer some money.

“You sound surprised,” I say as I hand the bouncer some money as well.

“Yeah, well…” Tyler says as we walk in. He turns to face me, “I thought you’d change your mind when you realized that you don’t want to come, but since you’re here…”

I shake my head, then look around the club when I walk in. It’s pink and blue but dark, with the smell of cheap alcohol and even cheaper perfume. Men and women are dancing on poles throughout the room as men and women watch them.

We head to the bar and order some drinks. I take a whiskey on the rocks, Jason orders the same, and Tyler and Peter order a beer.

“Well,” Tyler shouts over the booming music, “have fun!” He heads toward a table with a small dark-haired woman dancing on it and takes a seat. Then I see Jason and Peter go their separate ways. It’s then I realize that we may be close but not I’ll-stand-next-to-you-while-looking-at-a-stripper close.

I walk to the corner stage where a tall woman with dirty blonde or brown hair dances on the pole. There are a couple of men already there, but I sit down anyway.

The woman is mesmerizing. She dances to Sam Tinnesz’s Play With Fire and wears a small black bra that shows a lot of her breasts and an even smaller black panties with lace on the back. She swings her hips around and her hands play with her hair. Then she sinks down and crawls toward me. My cock grows fast in my pants.

It wants her. I want her.

She crawls around the table and when she faces the other way, her ass is on full display and I groan. She looks back at me and smiles, telling me she heard me. Turning around, she crawls back to me and is now a foot away from my face. She gracefully slides onto her back and stills, looking at me as she spreads her legs and moves them around like she’s riding an invisible bike.

It takes all my strength not to grab her from the stage, take her to a secluded corner and fuck the shit out of her. As she stands up and dances around the pole, I take a breath and think about what’s happening to me. No woman has ever induced such an intense need in me. The need to take. The need to fill this gorgeous blonde with my cum. To tie her to my bed and fuck her six ways to Sunday.

Holy fuck.

I take a big sip of my whiskey. When I put it down, she’s come back to me and the other men have left.

“You want a private dance, baby?” she asks.

Author Bio:

The Dirty Romantic

Aila Glass is a Canadian romance author and a hopeful romantic. She loves to write forbidden romances with some dirty talk and dirty alphas. When she's not writing she is reading romance books or listening to music. Preferably classic rock or country.

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

B@@K REVEAL: Miles and Miles of You by Jennifer Bonds

Miles and Miles of You
Jennifer Bonds
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: November 7th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Get on board with @SoSavvyTraveler!

Lucy Gonzalez might have once been a stressed personal assistant, but now she’s hitched up her grandma’s bitchin’ vintage Airstream and hitting the road with all the best places to find cheap eats and see the sights on a shoestring budget.

And she has company along for the ride. If those thirst-worthy abs seem familiar, it’s because they belong to billionaire Miles Hart. True story, he used to be Lucy’s boss until she quit on him. Something about not being appreciated? Anyway, you will appreciate Miles—and his groveling—plenty on this trip.

Now, you have front-row seats to the hottest trip of the year. Sparks! Fireworks! Unexpected smooching! And you won’t want to miss the jaw-dropping surprise that will make this destination totally worth the hilarious journey…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


Author Bio:

Jennifer Bonds is the USA Today bestselling author of sizzling contemporary romance with sassy heroines, sexy alphas, and a whole lot of mischief. She’s a sucker for enemies-to-lovers stories, laugh-out-loud banter, and over-the-top grand gestures. Jennifer lives in Pennsylvania, where her overactive imagination and weakness for reality TV keep life interesting. She's lucky enough to live with her own real-life hero, two adorable (and sometimes crazy) children, and one rambunctious K9. Loves Buffy, Mexican food, a solid Netflix binge, the Winchester brothers, cupcakes, and all things zombie. Sings off-key.

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NEW RELEASE BLITZ: A Lady Never Surrenders by Bronwen Evans #GIVEAWAY

A Lady Never Surrenders
Bronwen Evans
(Sisterhood of Scandal, #1)
Publication date: September 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance

From USA Today Bestselling Author, Bronwen Evans comes her new Sisterhood of Scandal series. A group of ladies whose friendship is based on ensuring they can take on the world dominated by their men folk. No male relative is going to choose their destinies.

Shhh. Blue Stocking Miss Tiffany Deveraux has a secret. The poor orphan is not so poor. But she does not want that information to become common knowledge. Being a plain Jane, any hint of money would just bring fortune hunters to her door. No. In society’s eyes she will remain the poor orphaned ward of the Earl of Marlowe. Only then will she ensure the man who eventually professes his love for her is genuine.

Lord Slade Ware, the Marquess of Wolfarth also has a secret. He’s a renowned investment guru with everything he touches turning to gold. Or is he? Society may think so, but mostly his investments have been blind luck, and he’s pretty sure his luck is about to run out. Help comes in the form of his best friend’s ward. He’s learned Miss Tiffany Deveraux’s secret. She’s an investment guru who has accumulated a considerable sum. Marriage would seem a sensible option with so many dependents relying on him. But what’s a man to do when the one thing a woman wants isn’t his looks, title or money—it’s his heart and Wolfarth’s heart is shattered beyond repair.

Goodreads / Amazon

PLUS! Grab your copy the FREE short story, A Lady Never Concedes, a prequel to A Lady Never Surrenders!

EXCERPT:

It was about time the men in their lives realized that the Sisterhood was a force to be reckoned with. Some ladies wanted more in life than to flutter their fans and bat their eyelashes to attract a man.

She already had a wager with Wolf. Could she out-earn him on one investment in a month? She’d wager her life on the fact that she could make more money in twelve months than he could. But could she make more than all of them combined? Even the brilliant Fane?

“They will be hard to beat. But even if we lose, won’t they be impressed at what we did achieve and that we fooled them?”

“Impressed? Maybe. Angry and humiliated, definitely,” Claire said.

“Well, that means I’m in,” said Ivy.

One by one the eight Sisterhood members agreed to the plan.

“I’m doing the investing,” Tiffany said, “so you ladies can think up the pranks. Remember, this is not only about the pranks. You have to learn what is going on in your brothers’ investments as well as anyone else’s. Most men don’t remember to hold their tongues around women. We are brainless idiots who cannot possibly understand what they are talking about.”

Before anyone could answer, a loud masculine voice came from the entrance hall. Tiffany looked across at Claire, who frowned and began to rise just as the door flew open.

A man stepped into the room, and Tiffany’s heart did that annoying little flip it always did whenever she clapped eyes on Wolf.

His deep burgundy jacket fitted him like a new glove and showed off his broad shoulders to perfection. He was dressed for riding and his Hessians somehow emphasized his powerful thighs.

She noted every inch of him, and her skin prickled with heat as she realized his gaze was taking in every inch of her.

“I see Lady Claire has rallied her troops once more. What on earth are you ladies discussing with such vigor? The latest French fashions perhaps?” His gaze swept across the group.. “A few new dresses might not go amiss.”

As usual in Wolf’s presence, Tiffany’s tongue would not function and she could not think of a scathing retort.

Valora did it for her. “We were discussing what we would wear to Mrs. Buchanan’s soiree. Perhaps a different wardrobe would make us blend in better.”

For one fleeting moment, the big bad wolf’s face showed fear. “Very funny, Lady Valora. Vale has forbidden you from attending. I’m sure once I reveal this ridiculous plan to Marlowe, he’ll do the same to you two,” he said, pointing at Tiffany and Claire.

“Then run along and tattle to Marlowe. Don’t let the door hit your conceited arse on the way out,” his sister Ashleigh said.

His face looked like thunder. “You and Ivy are forbidden to attend.” When they simply looked at him with angelic faces, Wolf added, “I’m warning you.”

At that ridiculous edict the eight women burst into giggles, and Wolf turned his angry gaze on Tiffany. “I’m sure Miss Tiffany won’t want to attend. She has more sense. In fact, I’ve come to request her company for a carriage ride tomorrow afternoon.”

The giggling stopped and all eyes swung her way. Tiffany’s blood boiled in her veins. The cheek of the man. She’d said a slow courtship. This wasn’t slow. How to answer?

“If the weather is fine, the outing would be acceptable. I’ll bring Milly, our lady’s maid.”

“Perfect. If you’ll excuse me, ladies, I shall find Marlowe and leave you to your, er…leave you.”

Author Bio:

Waving from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a three-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dogs Brandy and Duke.

 

You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website

www.bronwenevans.com

and get a FREE book by signing up to her newsletter

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/m2k3w3

You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website www.bronwenevans.com

Or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bronwenevansauthor

Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/bronwenevans_NZ


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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Bly by Kelsey Ketch #GIVEAWAY

Bly
Kelsey Ketch
Publication date: September 22nd 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, New Adult

I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.

Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.

These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.

A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella The Turn of the Screw.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

My dream from the past several nights continues to haunt my every waking moment. My mind recalling the few details I can remember of the strange, old mansion. The structure consists of unusual hallways that lead to lavish rooms and staircases that dead end at the ceilings or lay sideways along the walls and floors. It reminds me of the Winchester Mystery House in San José, California combined with a M. C. Escher print. In the dream, I wander aimlessly, searching for Nolyn. I never really see Nolyn in the dream, except a glimpse at the very end, where he looks like a ghost. Meanwhile, a presence hovers around my shoulders and neck, hindering my search until I finally reach a dead end. A dark room.

For most, this would just be a repeating nightmare. Many blowing it off as an indicator of stress or anxiety over a possible budding relationship—like my friend and business partner, Kenya. Not for me. Dreams like this tend to be prophesies, and eventually, manifest in the real world. I had a dream repeatedly back in the United States, while I was working at my old job. Three months after I met my office crush, I started having dreams about him. In the dreams, we were sitting at one of the break room tables, trying to get away from the office Christmas party. He was talking about his baby girl and how he was trying to talk his wife into having a second child. At some point, his words became nothing but noise. Yet the words “you’re a great friend” still echoed vividly in my mind. Six months later, in real life, he’d married another woman in our office. And just recently, he announced the birth of their first child on Facebook—a baby girl.

At least those were happy dreams of a happy future, even if it didn’t involve me. As for my current dreams involving Nolyn, I’m concerned. In them, Nolyn is lost, and some force is preventing me from finding him. I wish I had more details. Anything to pinpoint a time or place of the event. Yet, like a labyrinth, it’s all muddled. I can’t find a clear path or any clues that might reveal Nolyn’s location. I’ve tried my seeing bowl, tarot cards, and my psychic tea blends. Nothing has helped.

Only time holds the key.

Returning to reality, I check the clock on the barren, brown wall of the office suite. It’s been an hour since I sat down in one of the stiff, cherry-red upholstered chairs. Half an hour since Mr. Hellings’s administrative assistant, Ms. Poole, placed some tea on the solid oak coffee table. Twinings English Breakfast. Steeped for five minutes in a warm tea pot. No milk. Just a hint of sugar to mellow out the robust flavor. Nolyn would’ve given me that seductive snicker of his if he heard the thoughts in my head right now. He knows I have a passion for tea, which amuses him. But knowing tea is a part of my business. Only my tea blends are meant for the promotion of emotional and spiritual healing, as well as other aspects of life: love, success, psychic awareness. As a practicing witch, the tea pot is my cauldron and the herbs are my special ingredients. Yet Nolyn, as much as he humors me, doesn’t believe in magic. Nor ghosts. Nor spiritual energy. In fact, Nolyn would think this meeting a joke and a waste of time. Especially, if my potential client causes me to be late for my lunch date with him.


Author Bio:

Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

B@@K REVEAL: The Powers That Be Series Bundle by Ali Lucia Sky

The Powers That Be Series Bundle
Ali Lucia Sky
(The Powers That Be, #1-3)
Publication date: October 11th 2022
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

This World is just one of thousands of Worlds the Makers have created. The Universe and Makers are playing with those who live on it.

GABRIEL

No one who had met Michaela Beauchamp could come away from it unscathed. She was a shrew–argumentative, crass, and the focus of all my wet dreams. I loved to hate her. We were at war and I was determined to win. I didn’t want her to just go away, I wanted to watch her fine ass as she went in that direction.

MICHAELA

Whoever thought Gabriel Langdon was more than a pretty face never met the douchecanoe.

He had very few redeeming qualities. He was dumb, frustrating, and constantly featuring in all my sexiest dreams. I wasn’t difficult to please. I was reasonable. All I asked was that the Universe bless me with the absence of this jackhole!

THEA

What is one to do when you summon a hitchhiker and they take up residence inside your head? No fifteen-year-old girl has a good answer. With my brother and neighbor circling one another in a strange mating dance, I barely know how to ask for help.

I mean really, all I did was a little spell to Invoke Helpful Spirits and Positive Energy Beings.

Note: THE POWERS THAT BE series is a New Adult book series and for readers 18+ due to sexual content, substance abuse, reference to sexual assault, and profanity.


Author Bio:

Ali Lucia Sky is the author of The Powers That Be series. She lives in Southern California with her husband and a house full of kitty cats and a yard full of crows.

She loves laughing, drinking good coffee, vegan food, and supporting animal rescues.

When she isn’t writing or dreaming of new stories, she can be found planning her next vacation because traveling is life.

If you encounter her in the wild, don’t be offended if she should run away. She’s timid with strangers, but can be plied with shiny things and pictures of your cat or dog.

She’s a weirdo like that.

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Monday, September 19, 2022

BOOK BLITZ: The Unlikely Spy by Sophie Schiller #GIVEAWAY

The Unlikely Spy
Sophie Schiller
Publication date: August 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance, Thriller

Casablanca meets Notorious in a Hitchcock-style thriller of espionage, romance, adventure, and intrigue.

1917. Emma Christensen is a young widow who returns to the Danish West Indies to reclaim the life and the villa she left behind. When she discovers her husband has disinherited her in favor of his young heir—an illegitimate son—she turns to the one thing she knows, gambling, and soon finds herself deeply in debt.

Emma is approached by Cornelius Smith, a representative of an American shipping line, who offers an alternative: infiltrate the suspicious Hamburg-American Line and spy on its nefarious leader, Julius Luckner, to gain valuable business intelligence for his firm.

It doesn’t take long for Emma to realize that both Smith and Luckner are not as they seem. Close to the Allies but even closer to the enemy, Emma bravely engages in missions that could blow her cover at any moment. But with the Panama Canal at stake, how far will she go to help the Allies?

A gripping and suspenseful World War I spy thriller from an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Smith took her arm and led her outside. They walked in relative silence as they headed to the park beside the Grand Hotel where they settled on a bench beneath the rustling trees.

“Tell me about your husband,” he said. “Why did he cut you out of his will?”

She rubbed her arms, trying to comfort herself. Slowly she told him about her life, how Axel had started drinking, how their marriage had crumbled. She related her shock at discovering that Axel had had an affair with the housekeeper. And how he had an illegitimate son to whom he’d left his entire estate. She told him how she hoped to get her house, but it seemed as if the only way to achieve that goal was by gambling.

Smith listened all the time, never taking his eyes off her. When she had finished, he emitted a low whistle. “If you continue gambling, you’ll lose a lot more than your shirt. You could end up in serious debt. You’re a smart woman. You should know how risky it is.”

“But what are my options?” she said.

Smith lit a cigarette and took a few puffs. “You’re one of the most capable, determined people I’ve ever met. You’re a problem-solver by nature, a tactical thinker. I see it in your eyes. I see it in the way you play cards. You can do whatever you set your mind to it. But if you continue down this path of self-destruction, you’ll end up like your father.”

“That’s easy for you to say. I’ve got nothing to fall back on. Gambling is the only thing I know. I feel like I’m caught in a vicious trap.”

“Emma, listen to me,” he grabbed her by the shoulders. “You have to quit this gambling before it ruins your life.”

“What do you care so much?” she asked. “That’s the one thing I don’t understand.”

“Because I think you can help me.”

“What?”

“Yes, I think you can help me. I think you can be useful to me and I to you. I think we can help each other.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“I’ve been watching you these past few days. You’re smart, you think fast on your feet. You have a good memory, and you’re highly observant. But above all, you don’t quit. You go after what you want and let nothing get in your way. You have all the right qualities for a job I have in mind.”

“What kind of job? And even if you had a job, it couldn’t possibly pay me enough to buy my house back.”

He looked at her inquisitively. “How badly do you want your house back?”

“Very badly.”

“Then I have a proposition for you. If you’ll agree to work for me, I’ll buy your house back. I’ll pay you enough money to give you a second chance at life. You’ll never have to gamble again. You’ll have everything you want.”

She eyed him skeptically. “Why would you do that for me?”

“Because I need your help.”

She thought for a moment. “You still haven’t told me about this job of yours. I have to know what it entails. Of course, there are some things I will never do.”

His face turned serious. “It’s a job that requires discretion, trustworthiness, and first-rate observational skills, all the qualities I’ve seen in you. It also requires extreme caution. But the person I hire must also be courageous. You have to have nerves of steel.”

She got up to leave. “Something about your job sounds suspicious and I’m not sure I can trust you. Besides, I want my freedom. I don’t want to have to answer to anybody. Can you understand that?”

“What good has all your freedom gotten you?” he asked. “You’ve been free to make all the wrong choices in your life. You’ve been free to get into debt. You’ve been free to gamble everything away. I’m offering you the chance to break free of all that. I’m offering you a second chance, Emma. Not many people out there get a second chance. Think about it. Did your father get a second chance?”

“You think I’m just a hopeless gambler like him.”

“No, Emma. If I did, I wouldn’t be offering you this job.”

The look on his face startled her. She knew he was serious.

She backed away from him, shaking her head. “I’m sorry to have taken your time, Mr. Smith, but I’m not interested. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s getting late and I’ve had too much to drink.”

Emma hurried through the park, back to her villa on Norre Gade, far away from Mr. Smith and his intrusive meddling. She had no intention of working for him or anyone else. She would make it on her own. She didn’t need his job to get her house back.

She didn’t know how wrong she was.


Author Bio:

Sophie Schiller is an author of historical fiction and spy thrillers. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her "an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer." Publishers Weekly called her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE, "a memorable romantic thriller", her novel RACE TO TIBET, “a thrilling yarn,” and her TRANSFER DAY, “a page-turner with emotional resonance.” Kirkus Reviews called her latest novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, "an engaging coming-of-age story of heartbreak, bravery, honor, and triumph." Her latest novel is THE UNLIKELY SPY, a historical spy thriller set during WWI. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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