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Climbing Fear

Blurb

A Coalcliff Stud novel—His beloved home is under threat, and with it the beautiful, haunted woman he’s never been able to forget …

X-Treme TV sports star Reid Stratton has everything—until his best friend falls to his death on a climb while shooting their show. In the fierce media fallout, Reid begins to question everything about himself. Crippled by a new fear of climbing, Reid returns to CoalCliff Stud, his family’s horse farm, to recover.

Single mother Natalia Robinson is determined to start afresh, away from the shadow of her past. A job at CoalCliff Stud where she lived as a child is the perfect opportunity to live the quiet life she always wanted. But she is unprepared to see Reid, and is even more unprepared for the passion that still burns between them.

But after a series of menacing events threaten the new home she is trying to build, Nat realises that Reid is the only person she can rely on to keep her and her daughter safe. Together, Reid and Nat must face the pasts that haunt them if they are to survive the present and forge a future of hope.

 

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Excerpt

‘Right. Here goes nothing.’ Or something. Reid really hoped it was something.

He dipped his hands into his chalk bag, wiping the chalk over them, shaking off the excess then stepped up to the rock face and took a deep breath. His lungs filled with the scent of dirt and lichen and the sharp scents of the eucalypts that gave the Blue Mountains their moniker. In the distance a bird cawed, the sound echoing and lonely. He couldn’t take any notice, must concentrate on the wall of rock before him.

Heart pounding, he rolled his shoulders and tried to ignore the perspiration trickling down his forehead, his back. His palms itched. This was the moment of truth. His moment of truth.

He should probably have got Steve and the production crew involved in this climb, to capture his big comeback for posterity—and the ratings it would undoubtedly bring—but he’d wanted to do this in private. It seemed right somehow that his first climb after the accident wasn’t in front of the cameras. The first time ever he hadn’t wanted to show off for the world. He could just imagine what Luke would have said about that.

But then, Luke couldn’t say anything. He was dead.

He shuddered, a cold sweat prickling his skin. Don’t think of that. Think of the climb. Only the climb.

Only the climb. It had been their mantra and had served him well through championships and their TV show, but now the words hung empty.

Race you to the top. The echo of Luke’s voice rang in his ears. He shook his head and looked up at the wall of rock in front of him. He’d done this climb at Echo Point many times before, the view from the top of the famous sandstone plateau one you could breathe into your soul and keep with you forever.

The line he’d chosen wasn’t a difficult climb—bloody easy compared to what he’d done before—but a good solid one to cut his teeth on. What he and Luke had become famous for. And if he was to get their TV show up and going again, do the charity climb in Luke’s name that he and Steve planned on the soaring pristine lines of the Gorge at Mt Buffalo—Luke’s favourite place to climb and the first place they’d ever filmed themselves climbing to post online—he needed to do this.

‘Right.’ He clapped his hands together, chalk blooming up, making his nose twitch. ‘One grip at a time.’ He stepped to the rock face, reached, took the first hold, fingers gripping over the small ridge of rock and pulled up. He settled his feet into grooves in the striations of the sandstone—only five reach holds, none of them difficult, before he would position the first cam to clip the lead rope to. He would normally free climb this section, but nerves had him needing to anchor the rope. It was a bit of a stupid thing to do without a partner, but given what happened the last time he climbed with one …

He swallowed hard. He’d checked his rope, the cams and carabiners a hundred times before getting here and again once here. They were safe. Nothing would break. He was good. He needed this. He reached for the next hold, gripped, found a foot hold, pushed up grabbed the next grip. Easy. There was no reason for his heart to be a thunder of hooves in his chest. For his breath to be coming in short-sharp gasps, razoring his throat, as if he’d just run the London Marathon. No reason for sweat to be dripping off him. Or for the ghost pain to be driving through his shoulder like an ice spike. His shoulder was healed and aside from the pull of the scar tissue, it shouldn’t be hurting. It was strong. He’d worked hard to make it strong again. Why else had he done that if not to get back to this?

Push through, Stratton. Eye on the prize. Think of the climb. We can do this.

He blinked the sweat out of his eyes, rubbing his face against his shoulder before he pushed up for the next grip. Two more and he’d reach the fissure he could push the cam into and create his anchor.

He settled his toes firmly in the thin ridge of rock, feeling the dig of the sharp stone through his thin, flexible rock climbing shoes, before reaching up again. His fingers found purchase on a little jut of weathered stone. He pulled up.

Rock crumbled through his fingers. He began to slip. He made a desperate grab for a nearby small ridge in the rock, but his foot slipped. For a moment, he hung, scrabbling at the rock, trying to find the holds he’d found before, but it was as if the rock face had become a sheet of marble, slippery and smooth. He could find nothing. Nothing. His shoulder was screaming, the pain spiking through him. His fingers were slipping. He couldn’t hold on. He was going to fall. Going to fall.

 

Author Bio

Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).

 

After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.

 

Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dogs, Buffy and Skye, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs. She sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski, can talk the hind leg off a donkey and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017.

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Other Books by this Author

My paranormal romance Pack Bound series – Pack Bound, Moon Bound, Shifter Bound and Wolf Bound are available to order on Amazon Here, iBooks Here, Google Play Here, Kobo Here and at all other good ebook sellers.

My romantic rural suspense, Dangerous Echoes, Book 1 in the Echo Springs Series is available as an ebook at: iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, Amazon AU. Or you can buy the four book series, Echo Springs in paperback at Big W, Kmart and online at Angus&Robertson, Booktopia, The Nile, Boomerang Books, Dymocks

 

 

 

Child of Prophecy

Title: Child of Prophecy
Series: Divide Series #1
Author: T.E. Bradford
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: August 31, 2018

 

 
In a world where magic still exists and power rules, a dire prophecy heralds a child born with all three factors of magic, foretold to bring about the destruction of every world unless life’s blood is spilled. When a hunter crosses the Divide to retrieve the child of prophecy, fifteen-year-old Nova Hawthorne is the target.
 
Armed only with a magic she doesn’t understand and the synesthesia no one else does, Nova must race to stop prophecy from unfolding, find a father she’s never met, and save everyone she loves before time runs out.
 
Add’l Info: The main character (Nova) is a teenage girl with Synesthesia – a condition that crosses the senses (so one might see sounds, or taste colors). The hero (Quentin) is in a wheelchair after suffering from Triple-E after being bitten by a mosquito. The book/series also deals with bullying and self-acceptance.

Nova had always seen sounds, represented in shapes and colors in the air. That’s what synesthesia was. The doctors had explained it as a type of cross-wiring somewhere in her brain, allowing different senses to overlap or change roles. They’d made it sound like no big deal, but she didn’t have to go to school with the doctors. She did have to go to school with kids who had no idea what she meant when she told them their voice looked sharp or purple. She’d made the mistake of thinking she was normal. That she belonged. She’d made the mistake of letting people know who and what she was.

 

The darkness shifted to reveal a man’s face inside a black hood. His eyes glittered. Menace radiated from them. The shadow shifted again, and a fold rose, a pale arm sheathed inside. The lamp light reflected along the surface of something gripped in a tight fist. Nova’s scream erupted from deep in her chest, sending shards of red, yellow, and white in every direction. They crashed against the walls like waves.

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Seeing Angels

Title: Seeing Angels
Author: Harmony Lawson
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Publication Date: April 19, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
Camille Harper sees angels all around. They watch her. She is not sure why she was born with this ability but believes the knowledge will present itself in due time.
When she witnesses a confrontation between a beautiful angel and a dark winged creature, the strange event signals the end of her world.
Then she meets Jason and they enter an exciting but forbidden relationship. Her strange ability complicates things and puts her loved ones in danger. Camille wants a normal life, but changes lead to some apocalyptic event. Can Camille continue Seeing Angels without her life going to Hell?
Harmony Lawson and her family live in Northern California in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She is a self-published author and self-taught in drawing, painting, and writing. She is fascinated by angels, Nephilim, and fallen angels. She incorporates her research into her fictional stories.
While she has endured many hardships in life, she believes she learns something new from her experiences. Life has its ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and Heaven and Hell. She believes the bad times are a test to prove a person’s worth. Her books reflect on that concept. Writing also helps her heal from past traumas. In the meantime, she cares for her family, loves her pugs, and remains silly through all that life throws at her. Her goal is to be an introverted hobbit.

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Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HDwBWS
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/harmony-lawson

I give him a quick peck on the cheek and open the car door. “See you tomorrow,” I say. He can relax and go home.
“I’ll pick you up.” His touch is soft and electrifying, making my core shiver and pulse race. I’m halfway out of the car when he reaches out to grasp my hand and I stop to gaze at him. His eyes are so full of emotion and he’s struggling with something internal. When our eyes connect, I move closer to him and touch the side of his face. He closes his eyes and I lean in to brush my lips against his.
His eyes flash open when I pull away. Illuminated passion flares in his eyes, making his hazel tone brighter. His hand rubs the side of my right shoulder as he turns to face me. My left arm goes around his neck as he pulls me in. His chest is hard against mine as our lips dance in a heated kiss that has the promise of forever etched within. I want my soul to melt with his. My breath mingles with his and my pulse is high. Then the kiss slows and we both know this needs to slow down.
“Have a good evening. Again, happy birthday. Thanks for inviting me.” He rests his forehead against mine as our breathing is fast like we ran a mile.
“You’re welcome and thank you.” Our hands gently pull apart as I climb out of the car and watch as he drives away.

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Tethered

Title: Tethered
Author: Carlyle Labuschagne
Genre: Supernatural Suspense
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
A girl tethered to a serial killer by heart leads FBI to the undiscovered bodies of The Devil’s breath victims.
Tethered follows two sisters, Willow and Raine Viviers alongside two rogue FBI brothers on what seems like an impossible task to solving a dead end case. With no leads, and a corrupt government cover up, their time is running out to stop the spread of a Serial Killer Cult before another victim is claimed.
But they have a secret weapon…
Willow is a young adult who has just undergone a heart transplant who’s trauma has changed her, she’s gained a strange supernatural gift – she can see into the heart of the Devil’s Breath Killer. She not only feels the serial killer’s urges, knows his thoughts, but somehow gets visions through the eyes of his victims too.
These visions are chaotic, menacing and evil, and Willow can hardly make sense of her own reality without going insane. How will she decipher and hone in her special abilities in time to save a missing agent and stop another Devil’s Breath Killing.
 
Carlyle is a USA Today bestselling author from South Africa, who has won an award for her SF fantasy series the Broken Trilogy. This series broke ground not only in her country but in many where the genre of SF is concerned. Mixing African tales into worlds most of her readers describe as highly imaginative and unique. Her Dystopian Romance book, Dead of Night is a multi-award nominated tale set in a world where love is outlawed, described by readers as breathing new life into the genre.
Her goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within each world she writes about. She loves creating villains you have a hate, love relationship with and always explores imperfection as a strength in her heroes and supporting characters.
“I love to swim, fight for the trees, and am a food lover who is driven by my passion for life. I dream that one day my stories will change the lives of countless teenagers and have them obsess over the world literacy can offer them instead of worrying about fitting in. Never sacrifice who you are, it’s in the dark times that the light comes to life.”
Author Links:
Chapter 8
Willow was told that at some time during the night, she had sleepwalked her way out of her room and down a series of corridors, managing to slip into the service elevator undetected and find her way into the vast basement area a floor below the morgue. She’d traveled so far down underground that she’d been discovered in the maintenance section; the area where medical waste was stored until pickup.
Back in her room and safely in her hospital bed, Willow fought the tendrils of sleep as she sat surrounded by her sketches. Her hands and fingers moved of their own accord. Lines, curves, and soft edges blurred together to form an outline of the face that haunted her. She grabbed another piece of paper and started another sketch; her soul bleeding out onto the paper in shades of gray and black, soft and hard edges, smudged, defined curves and lines forming a heart surrounded by flowers captured inside a birdcage made of rib bones.
Nurse Benson entered with a tray of hot soup. “Willow? I thought you should eat before you sleep,” she said in her ever calming voice.
Willow half smiled back at her and pulled the blankets over the sketches as if ashamed of the secret she didn’t quite understand.
“I’m okay, thank you, Bertha.”
Willow and Nurse Benson had become good companions in the last three weeks. Bertha was an older lady, who had no children of her own. Her husband had passed almost four years ago. Taking care of Willow was her latest purpose in life. Even after her shift ended Bertha came to spend time with Willow every lunchtime, bringing homemade cookies and sometimes bread with her. Willow hadn’t the heart to tell her that her baking was awful. And Bertha’s friendship was a welcome reprieve from the boredom of the endless days in hospital.
“Why are you really here, Bertha? Willow asked as the nurse stood with an expression of someone keeping a secret they were looking to relieve themselves of.
“I’m that obvious, huh?”
She placed the soup on the eating tray and wheeled it over to Willow.
Willow smiled, and adjusted her position on the bed as the delicious smelling soup got wheeled her way.
“I feel awful that I didn’t notice you were gone last night,” Bertha said, unpacking a spoon wrapped in a napkin from her purse.
“It’s not your fault,” Willow took a deep smell of the soup and her stomach growled.
“My child, in your condition you could have died! I feel terrible. Your immune system…”
Willow interrupted her. “Bertha, if heart failure couldn’t take me out, what makes you think anything else could?” She grinned sheepishly as she dipped into her soup.
Bertha gave a tight smile.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Willow said between spoonfuls. The soup was as almost as delicious as it had smelled.
Bertha sat down on the edge of her bed. “It’s not the first time you’ve left your room like that,” she began.
Willow’s eyes narrowed on Nurse Benson, the spoon suspended midair. “You never said anything before. I don’t have a record of sleepwalking…?”
Nurse Benson took a napkin from her Mary Poppins like bag and tucked it in the collar of Willow’s gown.
“You need to slow your words, child. You know that accent of yours can be hard to understand.” She sat back with her hands in her lap.
She looked at Willow, “Don’t worry yourself about the sleepwalking, it will blow over. A heart transplant is a serious trauma to the body and mind child.”
She tipped her head to the side. “Stranger things have happened to heart recipients before.”
Willow arched her eyebrow in question.
“How about I bring you some articles about it?” Bertha offered.
“Ja, Sure.”
She took another spoonful of soup. Her big green eyes searching out the nurse’s. It wasn’t the best soup she’d tasted, but it was made with love, and that in itself made each spoonful feel like it was calming from the inside. Nurse Benson took her chart from the foot of the bed, noticing the shift-nurse had given her a mild sedative. She looked up and smiled at Willow.
They fell quiet as the sounds of the slow beeping machines coming from other rooms filled the space. Nurse Benson shifted uncomfortably on the bed, not sure if she should tell Willow that she was concerned about her symptoms after all. Instead, she decided to give the girl the rest she needed. The sooner she got out of the hospital the better for everyone involved in Willow’s transplant. As sad as it was to see her go, it was a case of moving on and forgetting.
Standing from the bed, she sighed and said, “You should get some rest,”
Adjusting the strap of her purse. “You need your sleep.”
She returned to clasping her hands before her, reminding Willow of a sweet old church lady, which she knew she wasn’t. She’d seen bertha throw enough tantrums, often swearing at the staff.
Willow watched after Bertha as she made for the door.
“I don’t want to sleep. What if it happens again?” she asked Bertha.
Dropping her eyes as she felt the shame of sounding like a frightened child; the last thing she wanted when her recovery was about finally becoming an abled adult.
Bertha stopped at the threshold and smiled warmly.
“Do you need me to stay?” she asked, almost as if she’d been expecting it.
“I won’t let you wander off again, child.”
Willow felt pathetic, she shrugged and answered shyly, “Ja, you can’t guard me all the time…”
“Oh. Yes. I. Sure. Can.” Bertha chucked her purse across the room where it landed perfectly on the sofa-chair.
Willow gave a soft chuckle, almost choking on the soup.
Nurse Benson walked over to Willow, hitting her on her back, “Easy child, breathe.”
Willow gasped, taking in a breath before the laughter erupted again. Nurse Benson removed the soup from her tray.
“Okay, I think your meds have taken effect.”
“This is me, happy, funny me.”
Bertha wiped her bangs from her face and smiled down at Willow. “If I’d ever had a daughter, I’d have liked her to be just like you.”
Willow closed her eyes for a moment, feeling a swell in her throat.
“We’d make an odd combo, you and me.”
“Why’s that?” Bertha stared at her through her lashes.
Willow fell back into her pillows. “Well, I don’t really eat baked goods, and you seem to bake, like, a lot. And well I just keep eating them because…” she blushed at her confession.
The medication had taken hold and her thoughts were suddenly outspoken and as if coming from someone else.
Nurse Benson stifled a laugh. “I wondered when you would actually say something.”
“You sabotaged my cookies intentionally then?” Willow’s tongue was starting to drag.
She blinked, trying to push away the fog creeping over her.
“Stay with me please?” she pleaded, her eyes finally drooping.
Bertha took her hand.
“I will. You don’t have to be scared.”
“Okay.” Willow’s eyes shut as the drowsiness took over.
“Oh, and please check in on Tyler in room…” she said, lids still closed.
“I know. You do not have to worry about him. I’ll let him know you’ll visit him soon.”
Willow tried to put up one last fight against the sleep, having this overwhelming feeling, as if she might never wake up the same again. First she had to say one more thing to Bertha, just in case she didn’t make it back to reality.
“Bertha,” was all she got out.
What she had wanted to tell her was, how scared she had been about what she’d seen and felt in that basement. But she’d slipped into sleep too soon with the ominous feeling pursuing her. Singed behind her lids was the non-distinct face that stood out in the shadows of that basement. A face that only she had seen – with it the overly encroaching feeling, like one she’d never experienced before. The haunting face was somehow part of her now.

Secret Baby

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Selkie Prince’s Secret Baby

Series: The Royal Alphas, Book 5

Author: J.J. Masters

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Megan Parker of EmCat Designs

Genre/s: MM Contemporary Romance, paranormal, mpreg, menage

Length: 66 226 words / 264 pages

It is a standalone story within the series

Release Date: April 6, 2019

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Blurb

An alpha prince, required to find his fated mate, has already pledged his love to another. But there’s a problem…

Prince Caol of the North has enjoyed a very active, carefree life. Being the youngest of five alpha-born princes, he hasn’t had a lot of responsibilities. As he watched his brothers find their fated mates and produce sons, he knew the time would come when he’d be forced to do the same. However, he’s in no rush since he’s quite happy with his current lover. While Caol wants to take his beta servant as his mate, the king demands the law be upheld and he find an omega who can give him sons to continue the Selkie race.

Beck can’t bear the thought of losing his alpha—the prince he not only served for years but loved just as many—to an omega. A male fated to bear his alpha sons. However, Beck’s gender makes it impossible for the prince to take him as his mate since betas cannot produce heirs.

Galen has lost so much. Trying to mend his broken heart, the omega’s thrown into the path of his alpha when he becomes a wet-nurse to the prince’s son. A son Caol has no idea even existed. The only problem is his alpha already has a lover. One Caol’s been with for years, one he loves. Just when Galen thought he’d never find a mate due to his past circumstances, the omega unexpectedly finds two. Was this what the fates intended?

Note: A 66k-plus word m/m/m ménage shifter mpreg story, this is the fifth book in the Royal Alpha series. Due to the “knotty” times in this book, it is recommended for mature readers only. While it can be read as a standalone, it’s recommended to read the series in order. And, like all of my books, it has an HEA.

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

 

Excerpt

Caol’s eyes popped open, but all he could see was a thick head of hair. His face was buried in the dark blond mane as he spooned the male against his naked chest. He inhaled the familiar scent of his lover deeply as he nuzzled his nose farther into the wavy locks.

His lover who was also his beta servant.

His beta servant who was also, as it turns out, the unwanted son of a king.

His arm tightened across Beck’s chest and he shifted until his morning erection nestled between the crease of his beta’s muscular buttocks. A place he knew very well. A part of his beta that Caol had worshipped time and time again.

Was it wrong that the beta servant assigned to him so many years ago, when he came of age, had been his lover for almost as long?

Maybe, according to some. Like his late father, King Solomon. Or the current king, his eldest brother Kai.

But no matter how many times Caol, the fifth and youngest alpha-born son of the late King Solomon, promised he’d stop rutting with Beck, he couldn’t.

Truth was, Beck didn’t want him to, either. Even when Caol, with good intentions, sent Beck back to his own quarters in the beta servants’ section of the compound, Beck would sneak back into his bed in the middle of the night. There was rarely a morning that Caol didn’t wake up with the beta in his arms.

No matter what anyone said, the connection between the two, an alpha Selkie prince and his beta servant, just felt right.

They had a special relationship. A deep love and affection for each other.

While his brothers all had their own betas, who they loved and treated as part of their family, Beck had always been more to Caol.

No matter how many lovers Caol had, be it human, betas, and even forbidden omegas, he always came home to Beck.

His beta never said a word about it. He didn’t have to. After years—almost a decade and a half of being together—Caol could easily read Beck’s expressions and his moods.

Even when Caol would return reeking of another male, Beck would only give him a pointed look and then help him clean up.

He knew Beck wanted to be the only male in his life, but that wasn’t possible. Caol was obligated to find his fated mate, an appropriate omega to produce heirs. By law he was expected to produce pups. He couldn’t do that with Beck.

Quite simply because betas were infertile.

But also, because Caol wasn’t certain he could only be with one male for the rest of his days on this Earth and in the Great Sea. He wasn’t sure he’d ever be satisfied with just one. Even if it was the omega who was his fated mate.

Honestly, that scared him.

Not just due to the fact he should be loyal to his future omega, the future pater of his pups, but the fact he’d have to give up Beck. Not necessarily as his servant, but as his lover.

No, Beck looked forward to helping raise Caol’s sons, even if he didn’t whelp them himself. Caol knew Beck would treat any sons born to his prince as his very own. He would be fiercely protective and loyal to his alpha’s offspring.

That was another reason why Caol loved Beck so much.

 

About the Author

J.J. Masters is the alter-ego of a USA Today bestselling author who writes hot, gay romance filled with heart, humor and heat. J.J. became fascinated with mpreg romance as soon as she figured out what mpreg stood for. She loves to write about “knotty” men!

You can join JJ’s FB Group HERE or her newsletter HERE to keep up with exclusive content and news.

 

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Misadventures With My Ex

Can the ex who once broke her heart seduce her into happily ever after?

Once, Eryn Hope fell fast and incurably for Weston Quaid. And he seemed to adore her too—until she learned their love was built on lies when he walked out on their wedding day.

Three years later, West has finally won control of his family empire and fortune, but it cost him Eryn—something he regrets every day. When business forces him to return to her life and temporarily shut down her livelihood, of course she’s furious. But their chemistry is still beyond combustible. So he makes her a proposition: he’ll take care of her until her bistro reopens…if she becomes his mistress. Her mind screams no, but her body whimpers yes, yes, yes.

As soon as West has her back in his bed, their passion burns hotter than ever. So do his feelings. But can he and Eryn really recapture the love they shared? And when their bargain ends, will he be the one shattered this time or will they finally come together forever?

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“You’re supposed to groom the way I want you to. It’s in the contract.”

That raises my alarm. “It’s not!”

“Oh, it is. Paragraph three, subparagraph six, clause B. You’re to be presentable to my satisfaction.”

“When we go out.” I’m positive that’s what I read. Well, almost…

West shakes his head. “I wrote three-quarters of it myself. I know exactly what it says.”

“You wrote most of that?”

He nods. “After I went home, I managed to finish my last semester of college at Columbia, then attended law school. While working as Quaid’s CEO.”

I blink. “You went to law school?”

“There’s a lot you don’t know about the last three years.”

“Whose fault is that?”

His face shutters closed as he reaches into his jeans for his cell. “I’m done arguing about this.”

With a puzzled frown, I watch as he sends a quick text. Almost immediately, he receives a reply. Then he smiles and tosses the device onto the nearest nightstand. “In the spa downstairs, Leona will clear up that landing strip at ten a.m. tomorrow.”

On one level, it’s heady that he cares about the state of my flesh he intends to use. On the other hand, I don’t understand his insistence to have me bare. “Why are you trying so damn hard to control everything, even the state of my pubic hair?”

“Because I want back the sexual compatibility we once had. I want the naked dinners and the lazy Sunday afternoons. I want the long, hot nights of lovemaking. I want—” He lets out a rough breath and shakes his head. “I want your pussy bare.”

That’s not the whole truth. I know West’s expressions too well. Oh, he wants to recreate something about our past. The question is why? And how much? But I’m guessing it’s not just the sex. Holy cow, is he looking to make me his girlfriend? His “fiancée” again? Maybe…but now that I’m thinking about it, two and two aren’t adding up.

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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