Tuesday, June 27, 2023

NEW RELEASE: The Broken Protector by Nicole Snow

The Broken Protector
Nicole Snow
Publication date: June 22nd 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Starting over isn’t easy when an unexpected hero crashes her plans in this steamy and gripping new small-town enemies-to-lovers romance by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow.

My fresh start turned into a dumpster fire.
Awesome new job. Small town heaven. Friendly faces galore.
Then I strolled into my new home and found the unspeakable.
Just when I’m sure it can’t get worse, I’m “rescued” by a man who makes me see red for miles.

Enter Lucas Graves.
A bossy grump with a badge who’s sworn to keep me safe.
He rocks the scary-hot vibe, he reads too much, and he never misses a chance to give me crap for being a nerdy little cactus who mouths back.
Not the type of man I’d go for in my right mind.
Definitely not the type I should keep trading bruising kisses with.

Redhaven, North Carolina has driven me insane.
Why else does my heart race when Lucas gets jealous and overprotective?
How could I think he’ll ever share more than another reckless night?
He guards his own battered heart as fiercely as he watches over me.

It can’t get more complicated.
Oh, but then it does.
There’s a razor-thin line between heartbreak and hope with a broken protector.
He’s so wrong for me I could scream.
But I’m not losing sleep over the very real danger I’m in.
I’m terrified that Lucas Graves might be the best thing that’s ever happened—if he’d let us happen at all.

This big slice of feel-good small-town romance brings enemies to lovers fire, hilarious sweetness, heart-thumping suspense, and all the butterflies. Smile yourself silly as one big bossy lunk tries to keep his heart and his secrets from the headstrong new girl destined to make him whole.

Goodreads / Amazon


I can’t stop scowling at his back, pathetically speechless.

Yeah, I’ve got to find a better way to say dick.

I’m not even sure why he riles me up so much.

Probably that juvenile Miss New York nickname and the way he always shows up without warning. Or it’s the laughably inappropriate way he got me to stop fixating on the dead girl by teasing me about sleeping on his sofa.

Or maybe it’s just that he’s so flipping tall.

I’ve been a short stack my whole life.

And I’ve had more than one person try to make me feel small, crowding me out of daring to take up space.

“…hello? Miss?”


Trisha’s talking to me.

My face goes hot and I whip my eyes back to her, clearing my throat. “Sorry. So, about those membership plans?”

It doesn’t take long before I’m set up with a monthly trial plan. I’m almost shocked at how cheap it is when I’m used to NYC markups on everything.

I could’ve saved even more if I’d committed to a quarterly plan. But maybe I’m thinking about dead bodies, quietly wondering just what my limit is for how many I’m cool with before I panic and hightail it out of town.

Or I’m just being dramatic, and what’s actually on my mind is tree-lined lanes and how nice it would be to jog down them at sunrise, no membership required.

Sighing, I do a quick five-minute set of stretches before I claim one of the treadmills with House Hunters on TV for company.

I’ve barely started a light jog when the men’s locker room door swings open and Lucas Graves stalks back out, sans gym bag.

He takes one glance at me—a glance that lingers too long, making me nearly trip on my own feet—before he looks at the television.

Somehow, he switches the channel over to Better Call Saul before climbing on the treadmill next to mine and gliding into a steady, pounding pace.

Holy hell.

The man goes from nothing to a strong, violent run in under five seconds. Almost like a racehorse bursting out of the gate.

He runs for two solid minutes without even huffing.

This. Is. So. Bad.

My mind goes terrible places, wondering what else his body can do with gym-freak stamina like that.

“I was watching that, you know,” I mutter when I can’t stand it any longer.

He doesn’t look at me, his mile-wide chest rising and falling in deep, steady breaths.

“So change it back. You’ve got thumbs, right?” His gaze stays on his digital readouts as he shrugs.

“Um, yes. I have thumbs. Very observant.” Glaring, I manage to hold up a thumb instead of another middle finger salute. I’m being nice today.

I shake my head, ready for more of his crap, but apparently he’s holding back too.

“So change it back,” I mouth, scowling, but then slow the treadmill and step off it.

I brace my burning feet on the floor for a second before I stomp over, grab the remote on a little console table under the TV, and flick the channel back to my show.

I don’t even make it back to my machine before the sound changes, and Bob Odenkirk starts yelling at a couple cartel guys who look like they eat kittens for breakfast.


Looks like I’m going to get arrested for assaulting a cop today.

I whip my head up, glaring at the TV, then at Lucas.

He’s got his phone out, not even missing a stride as he taps his screen. I catch a glimpse of the Roku logo.

Oh, that absolute jerk. He’s got an app synced to this TV, and he just—


A little growl slips up my throat. Still gripping the remote, I punch the button back to House Hunters, staring at him pointedly the entire time.

He’s still got his head bowed, his face unreadable as the TV changes again.

“Oops,” he whispers. “Butterfingers.”

“Butterfingers, my ass!” I hiss back, stabbing the button again. “Dude, do you mind?”

He spreads his hands.

With his long, easy stride, the motion makes the muscles in his waist pull dangerously tight against his A-shirt that’s finally starting to darken with sweat.

“Don’t know what’s wrong with this damn thing,” he lies. “It’s busted today. Just keeps switching back on its own.”

Right as he taps his phone again, watching me with a mock-innocent look.

Right on cue, the TV flicks back to his stupid suspense show despite me mashing the button down like my life depends on it.

“You don’t know what’s wrong with it, huh?” I can’t believe I’m this annoyed and yet somehow smirking helplessly.


I jab the button again—really fast this time, stabbing it with my fingertip—just as he hits the button on his screen. The TV starts flickering back and forth like a psychedelic kaleidoscope of noise and color.

“Maybe your thumb’s broken,” I say. “Mine are working, last I checked.”

He glances at his hand languidly then, lifting his thumb off his phone. “Must be. Would you look at that. It should stay now.”

I snort and hit my channel again, shaking my head as I try to pick up the pace and try to have a normal workout.

I point two fingers at my eyes and then at him.

I’m watching you.

Author Bio:

Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.

Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Bookbub / Twitter

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NEW RELEASE: The Springfest Sprint by Georgie Monroe

The Springfest Sprint
Georgie Monroe
(A Faetales Novelette, #1)
Publication date: June 23rd 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Tradition can really put a damper on wanderlust.

Ember has come of seelie age, however, the spirited heir of the Spring Fae Court hasn’t chosen a mate yet. Per the court’s ancient custom, it’s time for her to run the Springfest Sprint! The males are ready to claim their mates, and many have their sights on the elusive princess. But she’s got a plan…

Hide until this nonsense is over.

It’s not foolproof or typical of the feisty fae, but it’s better than getting bound to a terrible kisser, a pompous bragger, or really… anyone. When she runs into a male who ruins her hiding spot, she has to decide if he’s an enemy or ally.

If you’re looking for plot, setting, and action, with a touch of dark romance and steamy moments, all packaged in a two hour read, then welcome to the Springfest Sprint! Tropes you will find: forced proximity without decent clothes, spicy faerie fae, secret royalty, mate race, fight against tradition, enemies to lovers, misunderstood hero, fae/faerie lore, polyamory, fated mates, fun best friend, and lots of sneaking around.

Goodreads / Amazon


With my mother’s announcement, I start out at a slow pace past the attentive hunters. The other prey falls behind me like I’ve started a human jogging club. When we squish together to enter the rocky ravine, and females crunch together, arguing for more space, I’m even more appreciative that I shoved my way to the front. As soon as we pass through, I yell, “Good fortune to those who wish for it,” and dash left toward the river, listening to the others mumble and clop noisily in all directions. Twenty flutters into my sprint, silk tangles around my quick legs and I halt too late, tumbling to the forest floor with a screech as my wings try desperately to break free from the bindings. “We’re not meant for running,” I grumble, staggering to my feet. Especially not in too-long panels of silk.

My knees leak crimson, and I shake my head. Bleeding will not help me hide. I need to get to the water. Tying the silk panels together, I fashion something close to a silky diaper—maybe that will deter the hunters as well—and get back to my escape plan. Has it been forty flutters or forty-five? I finally find what I’m looking for, leaping from rock to rock as I close in on the river.

Some don’t pay attention to our territory, leaving it to the work of the gentry and army, but I studied these woods and this stream until it formed a detailed map in my mind. Now, I move closer to what I can only hope will hide me well enough for the others to be claimed first. It’s definitely been fifty flutters, and I waver between sticking to the trees and underbrush so I have coverage or dashing along the rocks so my steps are silent.

A distant scream stops me in my tracks, and then a jumble of yelling takes over. I run with renewed fervor, sticking to the coverage of trees, because whatever scuffle is unfolding won’t last long enough. A buzz of wings sounds and I throw myself against a tree, trying desperately to ease my heaving lungs. The sound halts, and a tree branch creaks to my right. This is where someone who was panicking would run, but I’d be caught four steps into a sprint. I dig my fingers into the bark and slowly blow out the air from my burning lungs. There’s another buzz, and for a moment, I hope they’ve flown away, but one speaks.

“Have you seen Quartz?” Stone has to be only a tree over. Too close.

“Nah. My eyes are set for one.” Jasper’s voice makes me grit my teeth. Go, please. Leave.

“That little tart is trouble, and you know it.” Stone’s voice is quietly conspiratorial.

Hey. I cut my eyes in his direction, but don’t dare to move.

Jasper chuckles. “It’s worth it.”

I roll my eyes. That says a lot. Not she’s worth it, but it—my title and status. That’s all Jasper has ever been interested in.

“Well, I doubt the little princess would have made it this far already, nor would she come here. Too close to mud and stream muck for her precious self.”

I can count myself fortunate that Stone isn’t interested, though it’s hard for me to stay still instead of turning around and giving him the what for, the peephole.

“You’re probably right. Maybe she’s in the fields.” Jasper gives a disgruntled hum, and two sets of wings flutter off.

I rescind the peephole insult. Stone can lure Jasper away anytime. Keeping still and calm for another long moment, I listen to the sounds of the forest: birds, distant buzzing, and there are definitely moans coming from the west. Two are out of the game, it seems.

Pushing off the tree, I step into a run, wincing at the slight crunch of last year’s plant remains between the clumps of fresh growth. The creek comes into sight and I grin. Then I screech as I’m tackled, landing hard amongst a bed of daffodils.

Author Bio:

Georgie Monroe is an author of sassy erotica romance. Born on the southern east coast, she's a firm believer that mac and cheese solves nearly any problem and that spring weather means the day's outfit will consist of seven layers. She's terribly optimistic and will douse anyone around her in "it's going to work out" sparkles. And she loves to write all the juicy parts of relationships between a variety of people so that her readers can enjoy stepping into the lives of fun, sexy, and sometimes highly flawed people who deserve a well-earned happily ever after.

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Monday, June 26, 2023

NEW RELEASE: No Cooldown for Love by Aliyah Burke

No Cooldown for Love
Aliyah Burke
(Entangled: Amara)
Publication date: June 26th 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

From USA Today bestselling author Aliyah Burke comes a playfully sexy romantic-comedy about one room, one bed, and a man who knows how to play…

When ex-pro basketball player Mitchell Anderson sees an overturned car on the edge of a cliff during a nasty snowstorm, he knows he has only minutes to rescue the woman trapped inside. What he’s not expecting is their instant attraction, or that she can deliver one hell of a pick-up line even under the most terrifying of circumstances.

Hope Roman’s entire life is on the edge. She’s already overwhelmed with grief and upset, and nearly dying is pretty much the icing on a terrible, soggy cake. So it’s just her luck that she’s suddenly snowbound at a charming little inn with the hottest, yet down right grumpiest, man she’s ever met. And naturally, there’s only one room left.

Now the pillow barrier between them keeps disappearing. And the walls are coming down. But Hope knows she doesn’t belong in Mitchell’s world any more than he belongs in hers. The question is whether either of them can trust the other long enough to play for keeps…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


She migrated in her sleep. Not that he had an issue with it—he’d enjoyed having her in his arms. Stretching, he yawned and burrowed back into the bed, pulling the blankets up to his neck. No rush in getting up, as they weren’t going anywhere. He snuggled up against the wall she’d made and inhaled, drawing in her scent with each slow breath he took.

The door cracked open and he held his breath as Hope poked her head in. Watching her through slitted eyes as she snuck into the room, he had this insane urge to smile like a fool. Even now, she was trying not to disturb him.


She squealed and jumped, hand slamming against her full chest.

He slowly sat against the headboard and stared at her, eyebrows up. “You sure are jumpy this morning.”

Hand flexing against her chest, she shook her head. “You scared me.”

“I scared you?” Mitchell didn’t take his eyes off her for a second, just stared, wishing the fire burned a bit higher so he could see more of her facial expression.

She propped her hands on her full hips, eyes narrowing ever so slightly. “That’s what I said. I don’t scare myself. I was minding my own business when you…” She waved a hand around.

He smirked. “Said ‘morning’?”

Hope gave him a sage nod. “Exactly.”

“I can see how that would’ve been scary,” he said drolly. “Opening my mouth to say one word to you.”

Hope narrowed her eyes at him. “I was trying not to interrupt you.” She cleared her throat. “Wake you.” A deep breath. “Whatever.”

He scratched his stomach through his shirt, not ignoring the way her gaze darted toward the movement. “Interrupt me? That’s intriguing. What exactly were you envisioning me doing in this bed, Hope?” He leaned forward, lips curling up in a full-fledged smile. “And if you were concerned, why not knock on the door? Did you want or hope to catch me doing something in this bed?”

“Sleeping.” Her voice was higher and he wasn’t positive but he felt like she was blushing.

“Oh,” he replied as he tossed the blankets back, sucking in a breath at the difference in temperature outside the bedding. “Sleeping, huh? You wanted to catch me doing what I was doing when you snuck out?” Disbelief smacked hard. And damn it, he enjoyed making her engage with him.

Her gaze drifted to his arms and he flexed one, loving how she nibbled on her lower lip without looking away from him. He’d heard Emma mention to Linc about how his arms were porn-worthy. Did Hope feel that way about his? Something definitely worth finding out, but he thought she did, considering how her eyes continued to drift to his forearms.

“Or whatever.” Heat filled her eyes and he loved that she didn’t drop her gaze.

“Hope,” he said, rising from the bed.

He watched and waited for her to stop staring at his arm.


“You didn’t have to put the wall back up. I already know you travel when you sleep.” In basketball, traveling was a foul, but in bed, he was all for her doing it again. Tonight.

Author Bio:

Aliyah Burke is an avid reader and is never far from pen and paper (or the computer). She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at http://aliyah-burke.com/blog/contact/

She is married to a career military man, they have three Borzoi. Her days are spent sharing her time between work, writing, and dog training/showing.


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NEW RELEASE: Denied by Evelyn Flood

Evelyn Flood
(The Bonding Trials, #1)
Publication date: June 13th 2023
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Sienna Michaels has been waiting for her invitation to the Bonding Trials forever.

It’s her opportunity to match with an alpha pack and show off her training as an omega. But when she’s matched with the Cohen pack, Sienna gets a lot more than she bargained for at their Bonding ceremony.

Tristan, Jax, Logan and Gray Cohen are Sienna’s Soul Bonded fated mates.

Destiny. Made for each other.

Except… they don’t seem that bothered.

In fact, they don’t want her at all. They want someone else.

Sienna has no choice but to work through the Bonding Trials and try to get to know her reluctant alphas.

She needs to pass her Trials to be able to stay with the Cohen pack, and if she doesn’t…

Well. She might be Denied.

Rejected mates
Soul Bonded fated
OW drama
Heat trauma
Buckets and buckets of tears
Emotional damage

Goodreads / Amazon


Leaning against the bar, I’m lost in my own world when there’s a bump from behind me, the last of my lemonade spilling out down my silver satin top and making me jump back, hitting a hard body.

“Oh, I’m sor—”

My words break off as textured hands gently grasp the top of my arms. A warm huff of breath lands on my head. A choked sound follows.

My feet root to the floor even as I lean into the heat of a total stranger. What is wrong with me tonight?

I can’t help but take deep, gulping breaths of his scent. Whoever this is, he’s clearly an alpha.

An alpha who smells freaking amazing, like the earth after rainfall. Petrichor.

I suck it down like oxygen, even as my breathing speeds up and I feel lightheaded. The hands resting on my arms rub up and down, gently soothing me, the alpha curving himself over me as whispered words brush my ear.

“Turn around, sweetheart. I need to see your face.”

There’s a familiar rasping undertone to his words, but I’m still lost in his scent. Spinning, I press myself into a broad chest, my nose seeking the touch of bare skin left open at the top of his dark shirt. My hands slide up, gripping the collar of his shirt as I breathe deeply, and his head drops to the crook of my neck as he breathes in.


His growl reverberates through my bones, settling deep in my chest with a harsh tug.

It’s want, it’s longing, it’s straight-up lust like I’ve never felt before in my life.

And as he moves back, for the first time in my life I let out a long, needy whine.

Holy shit.

Is this—no.

It can’t be.

But as my head clears and I yank myself back to stare into impossibly familiar, widened violet eyes, I know there’s no mistake.

Jax Cohen isn’t just my future alpha.

He’s my damn Soul Bonded.

Author Bio:

Evelyn Flood is addicted to books - specifically, reverse harem and omegaverse. She spends her time browsing book groups for recs and adding them to her never-ending TBR, where she promptly forgets about them and then goes back to the book groups for more recs. You'll never see her without a cup of tea and on weekends she likes to dance and drink espresso martinis.

If you like protective, growly alphas, vulnerable omegas who aren't afraid to stand up for themselves, and LOTS of knotting, nesting, and naughty scenes, then settle in.

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Sunday, June 25, 2023

NEW RELEASE: In the Moment During by C.G. Coppola

In The Moment During
C.G. Coppola
(The Coyote And The Claw Companion Series, #2)
Publication date: June 23rd 2023
Genres: Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

After an unexpected hookup, I end up dating Grayson Knight—my former mortal enemy. We still argue constantly, and I’m sure we’ll break up at some point, but after a family dinner goes well with Dad—the city’s Police Sergeant—I have hope.

Then I start noticing things. Like how Grayson gets called away at odd times, or how skilled he is with gymnastics. Then there was the fight at school—the one where he dominated his opponent. None of it seems important until we’re attacked by a monstrous creature—and Grayson springs into action. It’s almost like he knows what to do…like he’s done it before.

Knowing something is off, I confront him about his unusual behavior, but he dismisses it. Not satisfied, I decide to discover the truth for myself. Because Grayson has a secret—and I’m going to find out what.

Goodreads / Amazon


Grayson looks at me, gesturing for me to sit.

I pull out my chair and take my seat, and he does the same across from me. Scooting in, I glance around the restaurant, scanning the other diners. All are in their thirties and older, most in their forties and fifties. We’re definitely the youngest patrons here.

“Stop staring.” He pushes the menu in front of me. “Pick out something to eat. Get whatever you want.”

Encouraged, I look down, scanning the prices first like I’ve always done.


Everything is in the double digits, and most start with three. I feel weird.

“Stop looking at the prices and get whatever you want, okay? This is our one big date, so make it count.”

Our one big date? I thought he was joking about making this stretch, but was he? Maybe that wasn’t a joke at all. I’m sure this will work itself toward an argument, but I need to understand what he means. Setting the menu down, I look up. “You’re saying I don’t get any more after this?”

“Until prom?” He thinks about it, tilting his head. “Eh. Probably not.”

“That’s in like, six months.”

“Which is why you should make this one count.”



I narrow my eyes at him, but he only stares back. Oh, no. He’s not getting by with this one. “I didn’t ask you to roll all our dates into one big-ass crazy one.”

“Is that what I’m doing? I said big dates—not all dates. This is our first official one, hence it’s a big one.” He picks up his menu with both hands, his eyes already dipping back down the paper. “You really got to pay attention.”

I replay his words, trying to find what I missed. Oh. Tilting my head, I lock onto his eyes, holding him accountable. “So that means I get more dates then?”

“How many dates am I supposed to take you on?”

“I don’t know…twice a month?”

“Twice a month?” He thinks. “So, according to your math, you’re owed twelve dates over a six-month period?”

“Uh, sure—yeah.”

He nods to himself. “Think I can handle that. Just don’t expect each date to be up to this caliber, okay? Again, this one is a big deal. A special situation since it’s our first official date. After this, it’s fast food and streaming services. Completely downhill from here.”

I stare at him a long moment, wondering how his weird little brain works. “You know sometimes, I still think about strangling you.”

“Are we naked when you imagine it?”

“Hello.” A black lady stops at our table, her arms behind her back. She’s wearing the same thing as the other servers—a white blouse with black slacks and shoes. Her hair is pulled into a braid down her neck, and unlike some of the other servers, she’s wearing very little makeup. “And welcome to Donald’s. My name is Latoya. Have you dined with us previously?”

“No ma’am,” Grayson answers for us.

“Well, welcome. I’ll give you a moment to look over the menu, but first, let me tell you about today’s specials…” Latoya prattles off her rehearsed description, and it actually sounds delicious—grilled salmon in butter herb sauce with rice pilaf and cherry tomatoes.

So good.

Once she’s done, she leaves us with a smile and promises to return shortly with two waters and a basket of warmed bread.

Grayson is back to staring at his menu, his eyes pouring over each option. “What’re you thinking about getting? The salmon sounds good, but I haven’t had lobster in fucking ever.”

Author Bio:

C.G. Coppola is the author of the sci-fi adventure series, Arizal Wars, and the contemporary romance series, Better Than This. In addition to stories that explore magic and the paranormal, she writes realistic fiction set in fantastical universes, usually with a lot of kissing. Married with two fur-babies she spoils rotten, C.G. Coppola lives in Florida where she grew up and attended college. When not writing, she can be found decorating the house, bantering with her husband, or dancing to Meghan Trainor–sometimes all at once.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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NEW RELEASE: Beach Please by Melanie Summers

Beach Please
Melanie Summers
(Paradise Bay, #6)
Publication date: June 22nd 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

A hilarious and heartwarming story that’ll have you snort-laughing, swooning, and sighing with happiness…

Lola Gordon’s dreams of a thriving surf shop were shattered when her ex vanished with all the money in their business account, leaving her on the brink of losing everything. With the bank set to auction off her beloved shop and its contents in just six weeks, Lola is desperate to find a solution.

When news of an exciting treasure hunt sweeps through the island, Lola sees it as her last chance to reclaim her surf shop and rebuild her life. There’s just one obstacle standing in her way: she needs a boat.

Enter Aidan Clarke, a disillusioned Canadian expat seeking solace in the tranquil shores of Paradise Bay. Having recently discovered his fiancée’s infidelity with his brother, Aidan wants to be alone. So when his parents decide to visit and hunt for a house near his seaside cottage, Aidan realizes he must create an illusion of happiness.

He proposes a deal to Lola: he’ll provide the boat she needs if she agrees to pose as his live-in girlfriend.

As Lola and Aidan set sail on their adventure, the lines between fiction and reality blur, and their fake affection starts to feel all too genuine.

Join Lola and Aidan as their dreams are tested, their hearts are mended, and a sun-kissed romance awaits…

Beach Please is a closed-door rom-com with a bit of heat and a fair bit of cursing. It stands alone (although to get the full treasure hunt experience, it’s best to read Whisked Away first) and comes complete with maps, colourful graphics, and a whole lot of ice cream…

Goodreads / Amazon


“Aww, you two look so sweet,” his mom says. “I need to get a picture of you together.”

We both sit up and Aidan puts his arm around me, pulling me in. I rest my head on his shoulder and smile, my heart pounding and my stomach fluttering for some strange reason. I don’t want either of those things to happen. Yes, he’s hot, but he’s also a fussy neat freak and we have absolutely no future together.

“You two are going to have the most beautiful children,” she says, still holding the phone up.

My face flames at that thought and I can’t help but feel a tug of guilt for lying to them like this.

“Did you get the shot, mom?” Aidan asks.

“Nuts,” Ginnie says. “The camera was aimed at me the whole time. One second.”

“Sorry about this,” Aidan murmurs.

“It’s fine, really,” I say, even though it’s not fine because the longer our bodies are pressed together like this, the more I’m enjoying it. If I’m not careful, I’m going to wind up feeling very confused about what we’re actually doing here, and with us about to spend who knows how long alone together on his boat, I definitely can’t afford to be getting confused. I remind myself that he’s solidly anti-relationship. I remind myself we have nothing in common. I remind myself that the last thing I need right now is a man. And yet, the smell of his skin and the feeling of his arm around me is suggesting otherwise…

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.

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NEW RELEASE: Still Sky by Skylar Nightingale

Still Sky
Skylar Nightingale
Publication date: June 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sky Hartman is enduring another conversation with her mom about her nonexistent love life when she slams into sexy business mogul Mateo Jacobson with a hot cup of coffee in her hand.

Despite their messy meeting, Sky is quickly swept up in his charismatic charm. Her best friend warns her of his notorious playboy ways, but after a few warm and cozy nights by the fire, Sky realizes she’s falling for him.

Until his womanizing ways leave her heart shattered.

When Mateo’s best friend, Cade, swoops in to console her, Sky questions his intentions. Although it makes her uneasy to learn his true feelings for her, she wonders if his sweet, romantic nature is what she needs.

But when Mateo is attacked and left for dead, Sky volunteers to help nurse him back to health. Faced, once more, with the selfless and tender ways of the suave casanova, will Sky risk heartbreak again by choosing Mateo? Or will Cade’s kindness and laughter provide her with the happily ever after she hopes for?

Goodreads / Amazon


I was walking along a peaceful path in the woods when a branch snapped beneath my barefoot. Birds flew away, shrieking in the distance. For some strange reason, I was not wearing any shoes. I wiggled my toes and continued my peaceful journey. But I came to a screeching halt when I noticed splotches of blood on the ground. My heart raced, and I thought about turning back. But my feet continued to carry me forward. The splotches were getting larger and becoming more frequent as I walked. And then I saw it. I saw him lying there on the ground in a pool of blood. Mateo. He was lying motionless with his eyes closed. Squealing louder than I’ve ever squealed in my life, I sprinted over to him. “No. No. Teo,” I screamed, rocking his body back and forth with force. I lifted his shirt to see where the blood was coming from. But there was no indication of where it was escaping. His body was intact. I checked his neck for a pulse. Pulse, pulse, where the heck was his pulse? I checked his inner wrist. I couldn’t feel it. “Where is it?” I sobbed, clasping his shirt. “Teo. Please. Please. Come back to me.”

Author Bio:

Skylar Nightingale has always had a vast imagination, inventing characters that could either break your heart or have you standing in awe. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and listening to music. She grew up in Upstate New York. She now resides in a small town with her loving family, where her love of creating characters and stories envelope her thoughts, allowing her to continue in her writing journey.

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Saturday, June 24, 2023

NEW RELEASE: Broken Notes by Stacie Santoro

Broken Notes
Stacie Santoro
(The Bar Lies Series, #1)
Publication date: June 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I was the walking tragedy she couldn’t even remember.
It had been almost fifteen years since I’d seen Alessa Crawford. The last time seared into my memory with the strongest pain and hatred a person could possess.
Seeing her again was like a shot of adrenaline and made those previous feelings seem minor in comparison.
A plan took shape quickly when I saw her sitting at a table in my bar.
A plan that would finally give me peace.
Until I wasn’t so sure anymore.
I fought against her being different from the girl who had become the villain of my story.
I refused to let her win that fight.
I had resolve.
Surprisingly, I also had second thoughts.
Hindsight’s always 20/20.
And always too late.

I was sleeping with an enemy I didn’t even know I had.
After my marriage collapsed, I moved back in with my dad. Back to my childhood home, a place weighed down with sadness and loss.
I had work, my best friend, and my sister and her family.
And then Troy made me an offer I didn’t want to refuse.
It was good timing. I was ready to move on.
So, for once in my life, I took the good offered to me.
My body came alive under his touch, and I saw a glimpse of a life I hadn’t had the chance to live.
Troy was taking, too, and with sweet lies and a hard body, he took parts of me I never planned to give.
It’s true what they say about there being a thin line between love and hate.
I just didn’t know which one would save me.




“Not her,” I demanded through gritted teeth, slowly peeling my fingers away from my palm.

His exasperated breath was the only sign that he’d heard me before he said, “Alexa, make it louder. A little more.” Once the music volume in the room was louder, he walked back to me. “Why, man? What’s your issue?”

All my fingers finally opened, the last one painfully so. I used my left hand and scrubbed down my face. “Just trust me.” This whole situation suddenly exhausted me.

Theo crossed his arms. “You know I do, but you have to trust me too. You are the last person I expected to walk in here and start insulting fucking clients, so explain or get the hell out so I can go back there and do my damnedest to get her to see me again.”

A frustrated growl rose from deep in my chest, and I looked up to the ceiling, forcing myself to take a deep breath. He deserved to know. “Les is her.” I waited for a response. When none came, I forced myself to look back at him and clarified, “Les is . . . Alessa.”

A second of confusion lingered before realization sparked in his eyes. His frustration dropped away and his mouth pinched as he rocked back a step. “No fucking way. What are the odds?”

“Never thought there were any odds. Never thought she’d be back around here.”

“I wonder why she—”

“No.” My voice was sharp, my anger rising all over again. “Don’t wonder shit. Just ink her friend and get her the fuck outta here.”

I stormed out the door, needing space and air and a goddamn deep breath that wasn’t tainted with any part of her. My hands touched the leather of the seat of my bike, palms flush against it, and my chin craning up, opening my airway. I inhaled the light smell of tacos from the truck a block over and watched the streetlight go from yellow to red. My fingers traced the custom stitching in the leather a bit harder as I tried to even my breaths.

Even with all the time that had passed and life that had been lived—it didn’t matter. I would have known it was her if only one of my senses had been working.

She smelled the same as she had all those years ago. I laughed in the least humorous way possible because, as much as I loathed it, she was every bit as beautiful as she’d been in high school too. Just like back then, she sure as hell didn’t know it now either.

I leaned over and spit on the sidewalk. All I needed to do was ride away and pretend as if the last ten minutes never happened. My freedom was right in front of me, and I should climb on, gun the engine, and open the throttle.

I shouldn’t go back in.

With my jaw locked tight, I turned away from my bike and headed down the alley between the shop and another building. Then, as quietly as I could, I unlocked the emergency exit and let myself into the back of the shop.

In the small, narrow space of the hallway, I could smell her. I inhaled deeply because my brain still wasn’t working, and I let myself think it fueled my hate, that it was only disgust punching at my skull. I refused to acknowledge that there was anything but deeply rooted loathing making my skin tight or that I didn’t care at all about what she may say or do while here. I told myself it was not because of her that I parked myself in the chair in the office, which was right next to Theo’s station, and left the door wide open while I pretended to look at his books.

I had to make myself believe it all because I’d only ever been weak once before in my life.


For the woman named Les in room five.

The girl who I knew as Alessa.

Author Bio:

Stacie Santoro lives with her family in New York, in the town where she was born and raised. She is the mom to three amazing boys and wife to a great man (who swept her off her feet with his basketball skills).

When she’s not running with her family, you can find her enjoying a glass of wine or cup of tea, reading a book or daydreaming about a million things; like stories to write, putting her toes in the sand or owning every lip gloss created. Or maybe having one created just for her.

She’s also smiling big from the release of her debut novel, The Real Devil; Journal One, and a firm believer that it's never too late to make your dreams come true.

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NEW RELEASE: Whiskey by Sybil Bartel

Sybil Bartel
(The Alpha Elite, #7)
Publication date: June 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense


Navy SEAL.

Unconventional Operative.

I didn’t join the Teams. I was recruited. They called me the Specialist. They said I had a unique skill set. I knew who I was.

For eight years, the Navy tried to rein me in with their tactics, techniques and procedures—operations, missions, objectives—they told me to adapt and overcome. I didn’t adapt. I did my time.

Now I worked for Alpha Elite Security. If you called me Specialist, I’d eliminate you before you took your next breath. If you recognized me, it was already too late. I lived by my instincts, and used the resources around me. No target was out of my scope…until my boss unknowingly handed me the only assignment that was.

The one woman I couldn’t kill.

Code name: Whiskey.
Mission: Eliminate.

WHISKEY is a standalone book in the exciting Alpha Elite Series by USA Today Bestselling author, Sybil Bartel. Come meet Will “Whiskey” Damien and the dominant, alpha heroes who work for AES!

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Author Bio:

Sybil Bartel is a USA Today Bestselling author of unapologetic alpha heroes. Whether you're reading her deliciously dominant mercenaries, bodyguards or military heroes, all of her heart-stopping, page-turning romantic suspense novels have sexy-as-sin alpha heroes!

Sybil resides in South Florida and she is forever Oliver’s mom.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel or her books, please visit her at:

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NEW RELEASE: Healing Cassiopeia by Charlie Daye

Healing Cassiopeia
Charlie Daye
Publication date: June 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

What if you lost everything you ever loved?
Cassie lost everything in a single night… Her husband, her unborn child and any hope for a happy future.

Welcome to Elvy – Land of the Fae and endless magic.

In an attempt to pull Cassie from her downward spiral, her parents take her home, to Elvy… A world of unparalleled beauty, magic and endless possibilities. But Elvy is not all it appears to be… there is trickery, deceit, a social hierarchy Cassie doesn’t understand and rules she refuses to play by.

To Love again…

When love comes calling, will Cassie fall to the pressure of Elven society or follow her heart to the happiness she thought she lost forever?

Goodreads / Amazon


Cassie sat in her room staring out the window. It had been three months since her husband died and yet the melancholy that enveloped her would not let go. But it wasn’t just her husband’s death that haunted her. She was, unfortunately, hit with a double whammy that night.

She was three months into her pregnancy and she and her husband, Greg, had decided to go out and celebrate. It was the first successful pregnancy she’d had since they started trying to conceive. It had taken them nearly three years and after two miscarriages and more hormone injections than Cassie would ever want to think about, the pregnancy finally took.

“If it’s a boy, we’ll have to name him Greg Jr.,” Greg said, taking her hand.

“Oh, you think so, do you? And what if I want to name him something else?” she teased.

Bringing her hand to his lips, he kissed it, “I may be willing to negotiate… for the right price.” He winked at her.

She laughed, “Only you would use sex as a bargaining chip.”

“Hey! I never even mentioned the word sex, but if it’s on the table…” he shrugged, then grinned.

Author Bio:

Charlie Daye began writing at the tender age of thirteen. With an obsession for romance, happy endings, and the supernatural, she delves into your greatest fantasies and worst nightmares. She will have you laughing, crying, falling in love, and getting angry. She will always give you a HEA but getting there is the journey worth taking.

Charlie Daye was born in Lynwood, California. Her greatest passions are music and writing. Her first short story was written at the age of thirteen. At the time her entire class was asked to write a short story for Halloween as part of a homework assignment. Most of the kids in the class wrote one to two page stories... Charlie wrote eight. The short story titled The Haunted House went on to win her district wide awards and was published locally. From there she began writing poetry as means of expression.

Since her writing career began she has published several titles... The House, The Colonial, The Reservation, The Portrait, The Gypsy's Dance, Mistaken for a Call Girl, Her Last Request, and Breeders. Four of which have been nominated for the 2012 RONE Award.

For updates on her books or just to spend some time in her fun and crazy world check out her webpage at charliedaye.com or find her on Facebook!

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NEW RELEASE: Fighting Fate by Diana Munoz Stewart

Fighting Fate
Diana Muñoz Stewart
Publication date: June 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Risking herself to rescue others. No problem. Risking her heart on love? Problem.


As a Guild operative, I’ve seamlessly taken on dozens of false identities. Going undercover as a nun? No problem. But when my routine mission turns into a hunt for a vicious serial killer, I’m forced to join forces with Sion Bradford. Problem. The sexy, ex-soccer player doesn’t, for one minute, believe I’m a nun. Too many lives are at stake to tell him the truth. So, why am I struggling to keep the faith?


Learned a lot since leaving sports to go chase down degenerates. Mostly, how to spot a liar. Not that I need that skill when it comes to Dada. The woman’s every shade of hot, knows self-defense, and is a great kisser. Plainly, she’s rubbish at being a nun. Still, joining forces with her to take a killer off the streets is a no-brainer. I’d risk Hell itself to stop this lunatic and keep her safe.

As things heat up between Sean and Dada, their search for a serial killer turns into a deadly cat and mouse game. With time running out, they come face-to-face with the truth about each other and an unexpected and vicious murderer.

Goodreads / Amazon


Searching Sean’s apartment has given me a wealth of insights into the man. Not only is he doing his own undercover work, but he’s also helping people in need…and painting.

I stop by an etching of a nude figure and nearly swallow my tongue. How? He’s never seen me in anything other than this drab tunic. Still…Without touching, I run my fingers above the edges of a body he’s gotten exactly right. My body.

Swallowing my rising heart, I imagine his hand holding the pencil, imagine him tracing lines, mentally stroking my body.


“Ay!” Startled I swing around. To my horror, I find Sean squatting on the fire escape, staring at me through the window, his mouth set in a firm, disappointed line.

I bring a hand to my chest, mostly to buy time. “Dios. You scared the life out of me.”

“Sorry about that, Sister.” With alarming dexterity, he climbs in through the window. “Don’t usually have guests break into my flat. Not sure of the protocols.”

Hard to miss his sarcasm. “I didn’t break in. The apartment was unlocked…”

He’s shaking his head in outright disbelief. It’s not hard to figure out why. The apartment couldn’t have been left open if he’d gone out through the fire escape.

I turn back to the door and scan until I spot it. There’s a small, nearly invisible device at the foot of the door. It must’ve registered me entering. I missed it, not only because it is so very tiny, but because it’s very high-tech. I’ve underestimated this man.

I spin back around, smiling. “I need your help.”

Auburn hair a windy mess, brown eyes smoldering, he swallows the distance between us with his sexy swaggering gate. “You broke into my flat because you need my help?”

I’m scrambling. My brain is scrambling. My heart is scrambling. He stops feet from me. I have to crane my neck, which is rare and uncomfortable.

My height has always allowed me to look men in the eyes or look down on them. Not having that advantage is supremely disconcerting. Also, he’s a lot of muscle. The heat of him rolls forward like lava, enveloping my senses.

“Want to try the truth, luv?”

Luv? Not even Sister or Dee. I switch tactics. What man doesn’t like to have his ego stroked? Plus, I’d be a fool if I pretended I hadn’t noticed the way he looks at me. The way he’s looking at me right now.

“Help might be the wrong word.” I make a point of running my tongue along my lips. His eyes follow the movement. “I felt a strong need to be near you. With you.”

Feminists everywhere are cringing at me using my sexuality to get out of the fact that I was spying on him and, internally, so am I. Well, a little. He is so very hot.

“Really,” he smirks, both interested and not buying it even a little. He leans closer. “Is that how you intend to play this?”

He obviously requires proof of my sincerity. Not giving myself a chance to second guess, I fist his T-shirt, tiptoe, and place my lips on his soft, firm mouth.

For a breathless moment, he freezes. My tongues plays along the seam of his mouth.

With a moan, he relents.

Eager and hungry, I let go of all the tension of playing at being someone I’m not and let myself feel, really feel, the intense attraction I have to this man.

Heat and naked desire rake painfully through every cell in my body as we grab at each other, tongues intertwining, bodies screaming for more.

Author Bio:

#1 Amazon bestselling author.

Armed with a razor-sharp wit and a rolled-up MFA in Creative Writing, Diana Muñoz Stewart cartwheel-kicked her way into publishing with her fiery Black Ops Confidential series. Washington Independent Review of Books called the series’ award-winning debut, “original, impressive” a “rollicking good ride” and “high-octane.”

Of her writing Publishers Weekly declared, “Stewart plays adeptly with the reader’s emotions” and noted that in her series, “Stewart’s talent shines.”

Of her unflinching openness in taking on today’s relevant topics, Booklist said, “Munoz-Stewart discusses such sensitive topics as human trafficking, sexual violence, and sexism…while the diverse …Parish family and their mission to protect women everywhere give these topics…hope…”

Kirkus Book Reviews said her romantic suspense series, along with having, “Sizzling physical encounters” also “enables an emphasis on recovery and power.”

Munoz Stewart’s work has been a BookPage Top 15 Romance of 2018, a Night Owl Top Pick, A BookPage Top Pick, and an Amazon Book of the Month. A 2014 Pages From The Heart Winner, 2015 Golden Heart® Finalist, 2016 Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a 2016 Gateway to the Best Winner, Diana Munoz Stewart is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.

Diana lives in an often chaotic and always welcoming home that—depending on the day—can hold husband, kids, extended family, friends, and a canine or two. A believer in the power of words to heal, connect, and distract from chores, Diana blogs regularly on topics near and dear to her heart, including spotlight pieces on strong women from around the world. When not writing, Diana can be found kayaking, doing sprints up her long driveway—harder than it sounds–attempting yoga on her deck, or hiking with the man who’s had her heart since they were teens.

Diana is represented by the wonderful Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Agency.

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Friday, June 23, 2023

NEW RELEASE: Above the Fold by Corrina Lawson

Above the Fold
Corrina Lawson
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: June 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance

In 1980s New York City, a crime reporter with little to lose risks the only thing that matters to uncover the truth….

Trisha Connell’s journalism reflects her punk rock lifestyle: relentless, confrontational, and bitingly honest. It’s a style that scores front-page headlines but has her forever teetering on the verge of victory or disaster. Now one crime will forever change Trisha’s life.

As she charges into the story of a sensational theft at an art museum, she discovers a murdered guard is someone she knew, a former foster kid who was adopted and supposed to be living a good life. To make it worse, the guard is suspected to be one of the thieves.

Determined to uncover the truth, Trisha bulls her way into the story, risking her life and career on what could be the story of the decade, if her editor doesn’t fire her first. She finds an ally in Edmund Grayson, a security expert assigned to the museum, who’s driven by his own guilt in failing to stop the murder.

Chasing the story will take Trisha from the punk clubs to the high society to the inner workings of newspapers of New York in the 1980s. It will take all her street skills to survive.

Goodreads / Amazon


TRISHA STAGGERED to her motorcycle just as hangover dizziness hit full force. She dropped to one knee on the slimy blacktop of the narrow alley, clutching the soft leather of the bike’s seat for balance. A deep breath brought a whiff of urine and wet rats into her nostrils.

The rising sun peeked over the far corner of the four-story brick monstrosity that held the punk club where she’d spent the night.

Best time to see the sunrise, when I’m ready for bed.

But the beeper in her jacket pocket vibrated. Her fingers fumbled over a wad of tissues, breath mints, quarters, and subway tokens before she finally clutched the beeper.

Her editor’s number stared at her from the display.
Damn. Phone. Now. Back inside.
As she turned, the sunlight caught the tank of her restored Indian

Chief, making the bike’s Indian head logo seem like it was mocking her. Her sunglasses cut the morning glare enough for her to stumble past the dumpster to the back door of the club from which she’d come. She slapped her hand against the bricks for balance, inadvertently placing her palm right in the middle of the “beware” in the “Beware Out-of-Towners”

message spray-painted on the wall.
She pushed past through the creaky, crooked door into the club, where the smell of smoke washed over her. The darkness, such a contrast to the dawn, nearly blinded her. Oh, right. Sunglasses off.

“Dick!’ she called.

“Jesus, Red, you don’t have to shout,” Dick answered from his post behind the bar. “Thought you’d gone. I’m just about to clear out the refuse.”

Trisha’s eyes adjusted to the light, seeing several people passed out on stage. They’d be in for a rude awakening. Dick wasn’t gentle, she knew by experience.

She made the universal gesture for a phone. “Need to make a call. Now.” She held up her beeper.

“Aren’t we important this morning.” But Dick slammed the club’s phone on top of the bar.

“Hell, yeah, I’m important. The paper can’t run without me,” she shot back, sliding onto the stool. She could ask for water, but who knew what was swimming in it. “How about a Coke?”

Dick rolled up his shirtsleeves, dug into the ice, and tossed her the can he’d found. She caught it with one hand. Jolt. Perfect.

“Nice reflexes after all that tequila,” Dick said.

“Thanks.” She searched her back pants pocket and dropped a five on the bar. It stuck to something. Not her problem. Let Dick peel it off.

She cursed as it took forever to dial the old rotary phone.
“Connell,” she announced as someone picked up.
“Trisha, sorry for taking up your day off—”
City Desk Editor Joe Wilson sounded crisp and businesslike and not the

least bit sorry. An alcohol-induced migraine, centered just above her left eye, made it hard to focus on his words.

“—but I need you to get to City Hall in the next hour, to cover a press conference about the new zoning regulations.”

Zoning regulations?” It sounded worse when she repeated it. “Joe, I’m a crime reporter. Why am I covering zoning regulations? Put a stringer on it.”

“Cardoza wants it covered, which means a stringer won’t do, and Tony’s in court all day. We need someone who can write something catchy, not boring, about this.”

“Hell.” Cardoza, the publisher of the New York Herald. Joe’s boss.

Trisha cradled the phone in her ear and pulled out the little notebook and pencil she kept in the inside pocket of the black leather jacket. “Exact time. Which room at City Hall. Anything else you got.”

Joe rattled off the information, adding the names of the deputy mayor holding the press conference. Behind her, she heard Dick hauling the remnants of his customers to their feet.

“Got it,” she said. “Anything else?”

“Be aware of any undercurrents. Word is that this is just a money grab by developer friend of the deputy mayor. The rest of the reporters will ask polite questions. You won’t.”

A chance to harass a deputy mayor at City Hall? The assignment was looking up. Some water and aspirin, and she’d be able to focus.

“Oh, and be presentable, Trish. Cardoza is watching this story. He’ll hear if you roll up to the press conference looking like a punk.”

“He wants me to wear a dress, he can buy me a damn car. He wants me to get there on time, I need to use the Indian.”

“Look half-businesslike, at least. Don’t show up looking like one of the Ramones.”

“The Slits are the female punk band.” Trisha took inventory of her clothes. The blue jeans, faded T-shirt, leather jacket, and motorcycle boots weren’t even half-businesslike. Not to mention the smell from the whiskey someone had spilled on her.

Dammit, this was supposed to be her day off.
“Sure. No problem.”
“Every time you say that, there’s a problem. You’re not home, are you?”

A long pause followed, broken by one of Joe’s familiar long-suffering ‘what-the-hell-are-you-doing-with-your-life’ sighs. “Trisha, have you even been to bed?”

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
“You know I’ve got no choice on this.”
That was as close as Joe would get to an apology for putting her in a

tough spot, “I know,” she said. “I’ll be there and get what you need.”
She hung up, fished a couple aspirin out of her inside pocket, brushed off the lint, and washed them down with the Jolt. She pulled out the Celtic cross she wore around her neck and kissed it, wondering how the hell she’d get presentable in an hour. She’d never make it to Midtown, then crosstown to her place in Hell’s Kitchen, and back to City Hall in time for the press conference.

She chugged the rest of the Jolt and dialed another number.
“Hey! Time’s up,” Dick called.
“Just a sec,” she called, putting her back to him. Dick might have

grabbed the phone out of her hand, but the kid stumbling out the front door threw up, drawing his attention.

David, be home, she thought. She was only five blocks from David’s place near the Village.

He answered. Score.
“Hey, I need a favor. I—”
“Hey, Trish, not in position for favors today.”
He shouted in Spanish. A horn sounded. Not his apartment. The call

must have been forwarded to his car phone.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Ah, the damned museum exhibit. It’s been a pain in the ass since day

one. Now there’s some minor deal about the alarm and Grayson’s being fussy about it, so I got dragged out of bed to check it out.”

“You sure everything’s okay?”

Dick slopped a mop at the mess on the floor. She figured she had sixty seconds before he cut off her call.

“It’s fine. Like I said, it’s probably Grayson overreacting.” David shouted again at the other drivers, this time in English. “Look, Trish, what did you want, anyway?”

“I need to get a change of clothes from your place. Is the coast clear?” David’s fiancée wasn’t her biggest fan.

The sound of squealing tires echoed in the background. “Yep, Darlene’s at her mother’s place this week, studying. Take whatever you need,” he said.

“Thanks. Be careful out there, okay?”

“Always am, unlike you,” he said. “Wait, Trish, you’re not in trouble, are you?”

“Not yet. But it’s early.”
“You be careful then, too. Later.”
She hung up, yelled thanks to Dick, received a grumble in response,

and slipped out the back door again.

This could work. If her memory served, David had a blazer she could borrow that would be suitable over one of his T-shirts. Not strictly businesslike but, hey, Miami Vice style jackets with T-shirts were all the rage now. She might even have time for a shower there.


She hadn’t concentrated on what David said because she’d been worried about her own problems. But he’d said his boss rousted him out of bed to answer a possible alarm at the museum. David’s security firm had installed a sophisticated system to protect a high-profile art exhibit at the Museum of Historic Arts. Several anonymous threats had been made against that exhibit, which contained artwork once lost in World War II. (Presumably, the museum had bought the art from Nazis or their heirs.)

An alarm might mean a break-in and that would equal a big story, espe- cially given the Nazi connection. A story that would beat the hell out of some press conference about mind-numbing zoning regulations, even if the developers were paying off the deputy mayor.

Political corruption equaled business as usual.

Nazis and a museum art theft on the other hand? That was a juicy story. An above-the-fold headline story.

Option one: take the sure thing, file the required story, and get in good with Cardoza.

Option Two: Disobey a direct order on a hunch that, if it fizzled, would get her fired.

Her hand hovered over the scars carved into her midsection. Following the rules had never gained her a damn thing. She jerked the gloves out of her jacket and shoved her hands into them, using her boot heel to push the kickstand up.

A bald guy dressed in skinny black jeans and the remains of a T-shirt stumbled into the alley. His eyes widened.

“Well, hey, sweetheart,” he drawled. “You are a damn fine sight this morning.”

Skinhead. Thrash metal dude. The club had been full of them last night, even though the band had been pure three-cord punk. But hardcore fought to replace it. Gah. Another great scene lost.

“Buzz off,” she said.

He stumbled closer, aiming to cut her off. “Aw, c’mon, I saw you in there, redhead, fooling around. Give us a kiss to celebrate the morning.”

With a flick of her wrist, the switchblade appeared in her hand. Another flick, and the blade opened. “Get the fuck out of my way.”

“Shit.” He scrambled backwards. “Jesus, bitch,” he said as he vanished around the corner.

Bitch is right, she thought, as she closed the switchblade and dumped it back into a pocket.

The Indian roared to life, echoing in the alley. Trisha burned rubber as she turned and accelerated onto the street.

Author Bio:

Corrina is a writer, mom, geek, and occasional superhero. She's a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University, she works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist and as the Content Director of GeekMom.com.

Her novels include The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, a romantic steampunk mystery; the award-winning and USA Today-recognized superhero romance series, the Phoenix Institute, which includes: Phoenix Rising, Luminous, Phoenix Legacy, Ghost Phoenix, Ghosts of Christmas Past, and Phoenix Inheritance; and the erotic Freya's Gift, a tale of Vikings in North America and a fertility ritual.

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