Altered & Touched

ALTERED & TOUCHED

2 Independent Books

by Amy Stearman

 

ALTERED

Paranormal Romance

Unassuming law student Sadie Pratt leads a quiet life immersing herself in her books; outside of school, her only real form of excitement is researching the local flour mill and her link to its terrible history. That all changes one fateful night when her employer requests she meet with a mysterious client who will change her life in an unthinkable way.

Vincent Strickland has toured the country attempting to regain his holdings after serving a punishing sentence for his violent past. He is out for revenge when his path unexpectedly crosses Sadie’s, who he believes is his former lover reborn. He will stop at nothing to possess her.

Fallen deity Thayer Aubade has dedicated his life to The Creed, a secret sect charged with protecting the innocent from monsters like Strickland. When his team is dispatched to rescue Strickland’s latest victim, the scene he discovers feels all too familiar and he vows he won’t play by the rules this time.

Desire, possession, and treachery lead Sadie down a crooked path to redemption. She must rely on her intellect and inner strength for her survival… and for that of the man she loves.

Gathering all her courage, Sadie grabbed the railing and was about to swing her leg over when she heard very quietly in her ear, “Where do you think you’re going?”

She let out a cry of surprise and almost toppled over the railing. She hadn’t even heard him move. How?

“I didn’t give you permission to leave.” He was so close his breath tingled along her ear. Enough of this.

“I didn’t ask for it!” Sadie moved to push past him but his next comment stopped her in her tracks.

“We’ve not even broached the subject of you yet.” Cold tendrils of fear snaked around Sadie’s spine. “Look at me, Sadie.”

Slowly, reluctantly, she turned and craned her neck up to meet his eyes. And screamed.

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TOUCHED

Romantic Paranormal Suspense

Carrie Walters has a special gift – she can read the history of any item she touches. Though not everything she comes in contact with has led a happy life, she’s built a successful business selling the ones that have. After a painful divorce, she’s anxious to begin rebuilding her life in the small mountain town she grew up in. But a chance encounter with a pocket watch – unremarkable to anyone without Carrie’s ability – teaches her that not only can everyday items hold bad memories, they can become infused with evil and malicious intent.

Soon, Carrie’s life becomes embroiled in vicious attacks, vandalism, even a murder. With the help of Lucas Anderson, town sheriff, and her first love, Carrie must find whoever has possession of the terrible entity within the watch, and stop them before anyone else is hurt, all while learning how to trust and love again.

The moment she had it in her palm, she froze, and all the blood drained from her face.

“Carrie?” Luke reached out to touch her elbow. “You all right?”

She released the watch like her fingers were made of springs. It clattered to the floor and she stood staring down at it in horror, her hands trembling.

Luke increased the pressure on her elbow. “Carrie?”

She looked up at him as if she’d forgotten he was there, then seemed to shake herself. “I… I’m ne.” She gave him a weak smile. “Little tired, I guess. Long day.” But her eyes moved back to the watch on the ground.

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Amy Stearman is an avid reader and writer of stories, hailing from the Midwest. She lives in the liberal mecca of Kansas with her husband, young son, and ornery Sheltie.

Amy holds her bachelors degrees in Human Services and Victim Studies, and a Masters degree in Social Work. That might sound pretty cool, but she accidentally ended up in marketing.

When she’s not chasing her six year old or attempting DIY home improvement, she’s jotting down story ideas and dreaming big.

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Beyond the Mist

BEYOND THE MIST

Lake Lanier Mysteries, book 2

by Casi McLean

Genre: Time Travel Romantic Suspense

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.

The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.

Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?

A soft mist hovered over the moonlit lake, beckoning, luring him forward with the seductive enticement of a mermaid’s song. Rhythmic clatter of a distant train moaned in harmony with a symphony of cricket chirps and croaking frogs. Spellbound, Nick Cramer took a long breath and waded deeper into the murky cove. Dank air, laden with a scent of soggy earth and pine, crawled across his bare arms. The hairs on the back of his neck bristled, shooting a prickle down his spine that slithered into an icy pool coiled in the pit of his stomach. He clenched his fingers into a tight fist, determined to fight through the emotion consuming him. Fear sliced through his belly like icy shards until he finally heaved, forcing rancid bile to choke into his throat.

I have to do this––he inched forward––only a few more steps and––

A sudden surge swirled around him, yanking him into a whirling vortex, where a violent blue streak dragged him deeper, deeper beneath the lake into the shadowy depths. Heart pounding, he battled against the force, twisting, thrusting toward the surface with all of his strength but, despite his muscular build, he spun like a feather in wind into oblivion. When the mist dissolved, Nick Cramer had vanished.

****

Darkness consumed him, a cyclone spinning, twisting Nick as he ripped through an endless void. His lungs burned for oxygen. He could hold his breath no longer, and relinquished his resolve, but he felt no pain. Instead, a sense of serenity encircled him as if he were floating, weightless, breathless, helpless on a cloud of warm air…then the abyss abruptly imploded. Pierced by a brilliant violet-blue light that shattered into a kaleidoscope of color, the tempest hurtled him, whirling, snaking boundlessly until he finally burst through the surface, gasping for air.

He filled his lungs to capacity, breathed in and out several times before opening his eyes to assimilate the greenish blur surrounding him. Instinctively dog-paddling to stay afloat, he stared at a rustic old wooden bench situated atop a ridge above until his head stopped swimming. He had survived the tumult that ripped his body through Lord knows what and challenged him physically and emotionally to the limits few men could endure. And for what, to end up exactly where he started?

“Noooooo.” His blood-curdling moan cut through the silence.

He slapped his hand across the water, scooping a splash that flew around him. There was nothing more he could do. He tried. He risked his life to set things right, to offset the tragic event that had haunted him for eleven years, but he always knew the chance equated to that of a snowball in hell.

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BENEATH THE LAKE

Reeling from her boyfriend’s indiscretions at a party, Lacey Montgomery escapes into the throes of a torrential storm. Her car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of an icy, black lake. She awakens in the arms of a handsome stranger, in a place she’s never heard of—thirty-four years before she was born.

Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes. Learning the truth about her origin does nothing to stop the passion taking root in his heart and leaves him torn between finding a way to return Lacey to her time and convincing her stay with him.

Will the couple be able to discover the key to a mysterious portal before time rips them apart? Or will their spirits wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake?

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

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Hard Time

Title: Hard Time
Author: Kristen Luciani
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Blurb:
A man’s need for revenge. A woman’s career ambition. Will their love change everything?
Ex-con Jeff Torres trusted the wrong guy, and now he wants revenge. After five years in prison, he knows he can’t pull off his scheme alone. But who can he trust?
L.A. publicist Ariana Carlson is an ambitious career woman. Working seven days a week has led to cold sheets at night. When she meets the strong, confident, and secretive Jeff, she wonders if her evening luck might be changing…
Jeff enlists her help in his quest for revenge, but Ariana can tell that something is off. Of course, she’s got a few secrets of her own that could make romance impossible. As Jeff begins to crave Ariana more than his payback, will the publicist’s true motives take their love to the next level or send the ex-con back to jail?
Hard Time is a standalone romantic suspense novel. If you like sizzling chemistry, fast-paced thrills, and tales of revenge, then you’ll love bestselling author Kristen Luciani’s passionate story.
Kristen Luciani is a self-proclaimed momtrepreneur, beauty product junkie, and bestselling romance author with a penchant for stilettos, Silicon Valley, plunging necklines and grapefruit martinis.  As a deep-rooted romantic who prefers juicy drama to fill the lives of anyone other than her, she tried her hand at creating a world of enchantment, sensuality, and intrigue, finally uncovering her true passion. No pun intended…
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He swipes his key and in we go. I follow him into the massive space, deeply entranced by the heady scent surrounding him. I inhale his musky cologne, and the clouds in my mind separate for a brief moment. He shrugs out of his jacket and tosses it onto a chair as he walks over to the phone. I wait for him to move out of the way so I can call, but he turns suddenly, his eyes fixed on mine. I swallow hard past the lump lodged in my throat. His gaze heats every inch of my body from the inside out. A tiny spark in my belly ignites and I lunge for him, pressing my lips to his scotch-tinged ones.
He pulls me close, wrapping his strong arms around me. His fingertips press into the small of my back, and my legs weaken as his cock hardens against me. Good God, I need this. I drink him in, our tongues coiling with need – hot, hungry, and desperate.
Wait! This is crazy!
My body melts into him, hands tangling in his hair as his tongue plunders my needy mouth.
No. Stop thinking, just kiss him. Mm, let him make you feel like you’ve never ever felt before…
Those hands, oh God, they’re so devilish, roaming over my ass and down to my thighs.
He’s going to be family in a few weeks. He’s as old as Dad.
Oh shit. Guess I’m going to hell.
I pull away, gasping for air. “Stop, I can’t…we shouldn’t…
But Jeff says nothing. It seems like my mind is the one doing all the talking.
His eyes are dark with lust, but there’s an amused twinkle in the depths. He starts unbuttoning his shirt, never breaking his gaze. My breath hitches as he slides it off. Those abs. Jesus, they’re amazing. I want to touch. I need to feel. My fingers twitch for a chance to trace the outline. His fingers move to his belt buckle, the muscles in his biceps flexing as he unfastens the belt and pulls it off.
Breathing is just about impossible at this point. This man, that body, fuck the consequences. I need this. Isn’t alcohol supposed to silence the stupid voices? Make me do things that I know I shouldn’t, but that will feel so good I don’t care?
Nothing. No response. My brain has finally turned to mush. Everything is muted. Finally.
 “Do you want to make that call now?” The corners of his lips turn upward as he unhooks his pants, so slowly and deliberately. He’s making me crazy right now. And I’m pretty sure he loves watching me watching him. Sick fuck.
Screw it. “No!” I launch myself against him once again, attacking his mouth while his fingers work the zipper of my dress. He slides the straps off my shoulders, never breaking the spell that has me so captivated, and pushes it to the floor, where it pools at my feet. I step out of the dress, but I leave on the heels. Every guy wants to fuck a woman in heels and nothing else. His warm hands massage the places that have been neglected for far too long, and my legs turn to Jell-O. He unhooks my strapless bra with the flick of his fingers, letting it fall to the floor. I gasp when the cool air hits my bare breasts. Then the moaning starts, and dammit if I can help it.
“You’re so fucking beautiful, Ariana,” he growls, flicking one of my nipples, the motion firing every single nerve. I all but lose it from his hands alone. Holy crap. Then those delicious lips move away from mine, leaving me desperate for air from a kiss so deep, so long, so needy, that it ruins me for any other. Yes, it was that intense, and no, I’m not exaggerating. Buzzed as I am, I will remember every dirty, salacious detail, and will replay them all over and over and over.
He dips his head, taking my breast into his mouth, his tongue and teeth working the taut pink bud. It’s gentle at first, but then it gets more harsh. And it makes me wet, so damned wet. Nipple play is definitely a hot button for me. My knees buckle as he kneads my flesh with those strong hands, and then his mouth is on a determined path to something definitively more naughty. My stomach clenches. He lowers himself to his knees, looping his fingers into the elastic G-string and pulls it away from my body. His tongue scorches a path to my abdomen and then beyond.
I rake my fingers through his hair, gripping tightly as his tongue teases my slit, probing the soft folds. My chest heaves as breaths come fast and furious. He nips my clit with his teeth then follows with long strokes that have me ready to collapse on the carpet, writhing with shockwaves coursing through my body. All from the sensations that his masterful tongue has stirred up inside of me.
My heart flutters. Holy fuck, this can only get better.
I press his head against me, my hands urging him to probe deeper. And he takes direction well, very well.
This is wrong. So wrong.
His tongue flicks my now-swollen clit, hands gripping my ass cheeks for leverage. He digs his fingertips into my flesh, making me yelp. Stroking and suckling, the alternating motions making my toes curl inside my heels. I grab his shoulders to steady myself, my body shuddering from the tingles that have since morphed into full-on shock waves crashing over me.
“Oh my God, Jeff,” I whimper.
He wraps his arms around my waist, trailing his fingers up my torso. He rises slowly, still holding me close. “I want you, Ariana.” One hand creeps back down to my quivering pussy and he plunges into me with two thick fingers, eliciting a loud gasp from me. “I want this. Now.” A seductive smirk lifts his lips. “And don’t take off those shoes.”
I nod, breathless, scared, and excited all at the same time. I push his pants and boxers to his ankles and he kicks them away. His cock is hard as an iron fucking rod and so thick, I’m afraid he might split me like a log. Not that I’m complaining. I swallow hard and lick the palm of my hand before gripping him, working his dick with long, hard strokes. Jesus, it turns out he wasn’t even fully hard before. I bite my lip to keep from crying out with glee.
Oh, the anticipation.
“You’re so fucking bad,” he murmurs against my ear, still finger fucking me. “I’m gonna fuck you like the bad girl you are. And I know you want me to. You’re so wet. I think you like being a bad girl. Yeah, you do. I can feel it every time I press into you. I want to feel you all over my dick.”
I’ve never been so turned on. I don’t usually handle the dirty talk too well. Maybe because the tools I’ve been with have never done it right. They sure as shit never made me come this hard from the promise of what’s to come…namely, me.
But Jeff is a fucking pro, and he can feel the impact he’s having on my body. He knows just how to press my buttons; buttons I didn’t even know I had.
I drop to my knees because my legs are just about to give out. I squeeze his dick and stroke it once more before taking it into my mouth. He lets out a low growl, his fingers tangled in my hair, thrusting into my mouth. He’s so big, he hits the back of my throat without too much movement. My gag reflex kicks in, but I squeeze my eyes shut. I need to taste him, need to feel his cock throb as I suck it…just for a minute, before he plunges inside of me and destroys the chances that any poor suckers in the future have with me.
I drag my tongue up and down the shaft, cupping his balls with one hand, gripping his ass with the other. But Jeff doesn’t want my mouth anymore.
His fingers move from the back of my head and tighten around my shoulders, urging me upward. His cock slips from my swollen lips and I rise to meet his gaze; the one that incinerates my insides. My heart hammers against my ribcage, and my pussy throbs. I can’t wait another second, or I might spontaneously combust right here. And that would be a travesty because I wouldn’t get to experience what’s sure to be the most amazing lay of my entire life, past and future.
He reaches over for his overnight bag and fumbles around, pulling out a condom. Tearing off a corner with his teeth, he takes it out and rolls it onto his dick. I bite my lower lip. I know this whole show has taken about five seconds, but it feels like hours are creeping by before his body is plastered against mine again.
I want to sing with joy when he eases me back onto the plush mattress, his lips so soft and sensual. His hand reaches around my torso, caressing the small of my back as he pushes into me, inch by glorious inch. Oh.My.God. His perfect cock fills my pussy, stretching me, forcing me to take him all in. I clamp my muscles, pulling him deeper, and he lets out a low groan against my hair.
Each thrust comes miraculously closer and closer to my spot. His lips are back on my neck, teasing the area behind my ear that drives me insane. My chest heaves against him, and I squeeze with all my might. I never want this to end, but I am desperate, so desperate for release. Our bodies rock against each other in perfect rhythm, both of us close to the edge. His fingers press into my hips as the movements intensify. And that’s when the magic happens…the point where I can’t remember my own name or what planet I live on, when my mind becomes a blank canvas splashed with vibrant colors, and blinding streams of white light flash across my eyes. My body shakes as the tingling that began in the pit of my belly erupts into an unparalleled explosion, firing into every single nerve ending. I’ve never felt more alive in my life.
Nor have I ever been so fucked, figuratively and literally.

Sun Storm

SUN STORM

The Gathering Storm, book 1

by Marlow Kelly

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Dr. Marie Wilson is a scientist on the verge of a breakthrough. She has come to Montana on the eve of a blizzard to prove her small, portable solar panel can generate electricity even in the harshest environment. But when four men invade her remote cabin with plans to kill her, she knows she’s in trouble.

Ex-Special Forces soldier, David Quinn, has had enough of danger and death. All he wants is to be left alone on his Montana acreage to pursue his dream of being a beekeeper. But when his old mentor convinces him to help retrieve a stolen solar panel, he thinks it will be a simple job. But the moment he sets eyes on Marie, he knows their assignment is all kinds of wrong.

Together, they escape. Chased by a businessman with unlimited resources, a gunman and a corrupt police force, they are thrust into the frozen Montana landscape. Can a cynical soldier and a naive scientist learn about love and trust in order to survive?

A crack of splintering wood and the door crashed open. Marie jumped to her feet, her heart pounding. A scream lodged in her throat as four men burst in, filling the tiny space. She raced to the fireplace and grabbed the poker.

A handsome blond-haired man led the way. He was so good looking he could be an actor. He had a square jaw and wore a well-tailored leather jacket. Even his fair hair was perfectly trimmed. Two burly men followed, both with dark, short-cropped hair. They could be twins. Their thick bodies and the way they swung their arms reminded her of a pair of gorillas. They also had the same flattened nose and malicious, small, dark eyes. They moved to the back of the room near the sink. The last man had unkempt, long, sandy-colored hair. He wore a crumpled, hooded camouflage jacket and baggy gray pants. A long scar ran across one side of his face, starting at his ear and running through his beard, parting it with a jagged white line. He didn’t say a word. He simply nodded at the poker in her hand and shook his head, silently telling her to drop her weapon.

Sensing that any attempt to fight him would be futile, she let it fall to the ground. “You can take the money. I don’t have—”

“Shut up,” the handsome blond barked. A vein on his forehead bulged as he scowled.

Her heart hammered against her ribs. She prayed they would take what they wanted and leave.

Handsome stepped in front of her and placed the barrel of his handgun between her eyes. “Tell us where it is.”

“What are you doing?” The man with the scar strolled over and stood next to her. In her peripheral vision, she could make out his intense, pale, lifeless eyes.

He leaned close to her face so his warm breath touched her cheek. “This is all wrong.”

A small squeal emanated from her throat. He was too close. Too scary. Killer. The word rang through her mind. The scar, those dead eyes, and his demeanor gave the impression of a lethal, terrifying man.

“What do you mean? Our intel is good.” The vein on Handsome’s forehead throbbed to life.

With one finger, Killer nudged the pistol away from her head. “First, how can she tell us where it is when she’s too frightened to talk?”

Handsome shrugged, revealing a smile with perfect white teeth.

Marie released a huge breath. She needed to do something, but couldn’t focus, couldn’t form a coherent thought.

“Second,” Killer continued, “what do we really know about this situation?”

Handsome sneered. “You were in the army. You know how it is. We don’t make the decisions. We follow orders.”

“And what exactly are our orders?” Killer asked, his voice low and calm.

“We’re to retrieve what was stolen and eliminate the girl.”

There had to be a misunderstanding. She was a scientist, not someone who needed to be eliminated.

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After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories.

She is an award-winning author, and a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Fatal Threat

Title: Fatal Threat
Author: New York Times Bestseller, Marie Force
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Editor: Margo Lipschultz
Publisher: HQN Publishing
Blurb:
Don’t miss the next chapter in the New York Times bestselling series from Marie Force! Read the electrifying romantic suspense novel that everyone is talking about!
It’s just another day at the office for Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland when a body surfaces off the shores of the Anacostia River. But before Sam can sink her teeth into the new case, Secret Service agents seize her from the crime scene.
A threat has been made against her family, but nobody will tell her anything—including the whereabouts of her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. This isn’t the first time the couple’s lives have been at risk, but when a bombshell from Sam’s past returns to haunt her, she can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection.
With a ruthless killer out for vengeance, and Nick struggling to maintain his reputation after secrets from his own past are revealed, Sam works to tie the threat to a murder that can’t possibly be a coincidence. And she has to get it done before her husband’s career is irrevocably damaged…
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of 60 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold 6 million copies worldwide!
Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.
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Beguiling Indeed

BLURB

He’s a Navajo sworn to bring her to America;

She’s a sexy genius in a race with him across France

At last! Beguiling Delila (Romancing the Guardians, Book 6) is here. This one took longer than usual to write because of all the settings I had to research. Most of the book is set in France. Delilah Moreau, the glamorous French Guardian, possesses a miraculous mathematical talent that provides her a privileged life, but it can’t give her what she truly wants: lasting love.

Leon Tseda, a Navajo whose homeland serves as a hidden gathering place for the Guardians, vows to bring Delilah to safety, thwarting thugs sent to capture her and the valuable scroll she guards. Opening in Paris, the story whisks the pair in a life-and-death chase across France to Nice and Monte Carlo on the breathtaking Côte d’Azur.

Both Delilah and Leon have lost loved ones, and they’re no longer youngsters, but they are not too old for a second chance at love. Their journey is fraught with danger, excitement and steamy, mature romance. Will it lead to love – if they live long enough?

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OVERVIEW OF THE SERIES SO FAR

There are seven Guardians, each possessing a psychic gift and a precious scroll containing a secret prophecy handed down from ancient Irish seers. Not to be revealed until mankind is ready to listen, the prophesies are in danger of being seized by vicious “Hellhounds” who want to use them for their own evil ends.

 

 

Rescuing Lara (Book 1), winner in the 2015 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Awards, is set in Ireland and Texas. It stars Lara Spenser, the injured niece of the murdered high Guardian, and Connor O’Shea, a hunky ex-Special Forces soldier Lara hires as her bodyguard. Lethal villains, hot romance and a few surprises make this a wild ride.

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Decoding Michaela (Book 2) features a heroine who can read minds. Stunned by news that her revered leader, the High Guardian, has been murdered, Michaela Peterson is attracted to Dev Medina, the handsome messenger, but fears he may be out to steal the scroll she guards. Can Dev win her trust and unlock her heart before the Hellhounds capture her?

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Capturing Gabriel (Book 3) is set in Colombia. Gabriel Valdez refuses to believe the feisty
Navajo beauty who tracks him down with a message to meet the other Guardians in the United States. Instead, he takes her prisoner. Josie doesn’t count on falling for him. Gabriel doesn’t intend to trust her with his secrets or his love, but the heart has a mind of its own.

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Touching Charlotte (Book 4) Introduces Charlotte Dixon, an empathic Guardian, and Tristan Jameson, an ex-NYC cop burdened by grief. He needs healing and love, but how can a man romance a woman who can’t stand to be touched? Breaking through Charlotte’s barriers while protecting her from Hellhounds proves his ultimate challenge.

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Profiling Nathan (Book 5) is a chilling murder mystery/sexy romance. Guardian and ex-con Nathan Maguire just wants to make a living inking tattoos in Tampa, Florida, but when FBI profiler Talia Werner walks into his shop, she turns his life upside down. To save her pretty neck, he must help catch a serial killer. His deadly psychic gift may come in handy.

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BEGUILING DELILAH Excerpt

Leon thrust open the door to Delilah’s outer office and charged in. He tossed Esme a quick greeting as he strode to the inner door. She replied but didn’t try to stop him when he once again entered Delilah’s private office unannounced. He found her standing at a small open closet tucked in beside the wet bar in the corner.

“We must leave. Now,” he said the moment she turned to look at him. “The Hellhounds have come. They were at your condo asking for you.”

Her eyes widened. “How do you know it was them?”

“I know because at least one had a gun. Come, we must go. They might be on their way here right now.”

She made a choked sound, grabbed her coat from the closet and stuffed her arms into the sleeves. Snatching her handbag off her desk, she rushed over to him, breathing fast. Leon gripped her elbow and turned toward the door he’d left partway open. At that moment, a man’s voice sounded from the outer office. He spoke in French. Leon didn’t understand the words but caught his threatening tone.

Esme screamed and Delilah cried out, clutching Leon’s arm. Then her inner door was shoved open, banging against the wall. Three men barged in. Determined to protect Delilah, Leon circled his arm around her, slipping his other hand into his jacket pocket at the same time.

The shortest of the three, who had asked for Delilah at her condo, was apparently the leader. An ugly lantern-jawed tough, he reached under his coat and pulled out an automatic. Pointing it at Leon, he growled something in French.

“I do not understand your words,” Leon said mildly, “but I have no gun if that is what worries you.”

“Oh yes? Then show what you do have,” the man ordered in thickly accented English, indicating the hand Leon had stuffed in his pocket.

He nodded and obeyed. Extending his fisted hand, he uncurled his fingers to reveal a small pile of fine, dark powder lying on his palm. “This is only a calming medicine I sometimes use.”

Laughing, the Frenchman sneered, “You need calming now, eh, old man?” He waved his weapon at Delilah, causing her to gasp. “Release the woman. She is to come with us.”

Delilah trembled in fear. Would Leon meekly hand her over to the vile trio? Intending to resist, she tried to draw away from him, but his arm tightened like an iron band around her waist, holding her close. Seeing him bend his head, she thought he meant to inhale the calming powder but, instead, he blew it into the men’s faces.

The three inhaled sharply, choked, coughed and screwed their eyes shut. “What the hell?” The leader demanded in a strangled voice. Trying to blink the dust from his eyes, obviously unable to see, he waved his gun back and forth.

Delilah shrieked, certain he was about to shoot both Leon and her. But he didn’t get the chance. Clutching her arm, Leon hurried her past the blinded men and out the open door. She spotted Esme crouched on the floor behind her desk. Resisting Leon’s tug on her arm, she shouted, “Don’t cower there like a frightened rabbit, Esme. Come! We must escape!”

White with fear, the trembling girl rose and followed them. As the elevator doors opened, Delilah heard the three villains stumbling from her office, shouting furiously. Heart hammering, she dashed into the elevator with her companions and sagged in relief against the wall when the doors closed. Esme huddled in the corner, crying and shaking.

Leon laid his hand on the girl’s shoulder. “Calm down and look at me,” he said, drawing her tearful gaze. “When we reach ground floor, Delilah and I must run. But you should go to the security desk and ask the guard to call the police. Will you do that?”

“Oui, M-Monsieur,” the girl stammered, swiping tears from her cheeks. “But what if those terrible men follow you?” Esme glanced anxiously at Delilah. “Can you protect Madame Moreau?”

“We must leave the city for a while, but do not worry. I will keep her safe.”

MY REVIEW

5* BEGUILING STORY

I haven’t read the others in this series but I can guarantee you, I will be after reading Beguiling Delilah.

Leon is a Navajo Indian sent from the US to Paris on a mission – to bring Delilah to the states where she can be kept safe from the Hellhounds who have other plans for her and the precious secret she holds.

Ms. Horner takes the reader on a chase through Paris, then France, before the couple eventually make it into the US, BUT, it’s not over.

Will Leon be able to keep his charge safe and deliver her to where she can be protected?

As I stated, I haven’t read the other books in this series, but this is a stand-alone and the story can be clearly understood. The tale is fast-paced, descriptive and keeps the reader enthralled from beginning to end.

I highly recommend this book.

BIO

Lyn Horner is a multi-published, award-winning author of western historical romance and romantic suspense novels, all spiced with paranormal elements. She is a former fashion illustrator and art instructor who resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” – with her husband and a gaggle of very spoiled cats. As well as crafting passionate love stories, Lyn enjoys reading, gardening, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged children.

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