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Friday, June 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: SINFULLY MINE by Kendall Ryan

Have you ever had your heart broken? Reece Jackson has, and he uses a peculiar kink to avoid intimacy. When the girl he’s always loved walks back into his life, will he be able to let his walls down? 

RELEASING JULY 14











She was forbidden.
I didn’t care.

As my best friend’s little sister, Macey Hale was off-limits, but the girl was tempting as sin and forbidden as fuck. I wish I could say that stopped me. I wish I could tell you I behaved like a gentleman.

I didn’t.

When she waltzes back into my life with that same spark I fell for, looking every bit the beautiful woman I knew she’d grow into, I have to force myself to remember I’m different from the man she once knew. I’m colder. Harder. And for good reason.

With my heart on lockdown and my hands aching to touch her, I set out to prove that I can keep myself in check this time.



No strings. No attachments.

And definitely no falling for her again.

If you love steamy romance, you won't want to miss this older brother's best friend romance.

This is book two in the Lessons with the Dom series, following The Gentleman Mentor. Both are complete standalone novels featuring sexy Dominant men you're sure to fall in love with. Enjoy!




AMAZON US  AMAZON UK   iBooks  Barnes & Noble


EXCERPT

"What do you think you’re doing?” I find her in my closet, down on her knees and rummaging through a black duffel bag that just happens to hold all my sex toys. Apparently she did see this when she cleaned up.
“Ah, here we go.” Her fingers close around a generously sized flesh-colored vibrating dildo. “You won’t do the job? Well, I have a feeling this baby will.” She waves it in the air like she’s found the damn golden ticket. Then she rises to her feet and smiles sweetly at me.
For the love of God, this woman does not fight fair. She never has. “Where do you think you’re going with that?”
“Probably my bed, then the shower.” A line creases her forehead. “Do you have spare batteries for this thing? It might be a long night.”
“No way. Not happening. Give me the toy, Macey.” I reach out a hand, my voice as stern as the set of my jaw, my fingers barely avoiding crushing the crystal tumbler in my other hand.
A slow smile uncurls on her mouth. “Why, Reece Jackson, are you jealous?” She eyes the toy in her hand and then lets her gaze slip seductively down to the crotch of my pants.
If she really thinks that toy’s size has me feeling insecure, she’s insane. Certifiably. “You really don’t remember, do you?” Now I’m the one smiling. She’ll be in for a pleasant surprise later.
“I remember everything. I remember how you always made me keep my underwear on, and that I never actually saw you”—her gaze flicks downward—”down there. I only felt you with my hand, and since I had nothing to base it on, I assumed all guys were like that.”
“Well, in that case, you’ll be sorely disappointed with this toy.” I snatch the dildo from her hand and toss it back in the open bag.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she asks, planting a hand on her hip. “You left me hanging at the restaurant.”

“And you will stay like that until I say so.”





He calls himself the Gentleman Mentor.
Just reading his ad makes me feel more alive than I have in years. 
He promises to teach me the art of seduction … and show me the most sinfully erotic pleasures. He’s going to help me become the kind of confident, sexy woman men can’t ignore.
Six lessons … with the most gorgeous man … who happens to be a Dom.
The only problem … now that I’ve experienced his brand of delectable domination will anyone else ever compare?

She’s a client. That’s all.
Or it should be.
But with every lesson, she’s becoming more.
The secrets I’m hiding behind the image of the Gentleman Mentor make telling her the truth—and having anything real—impossible. 
I’m training her for another man, and that fact guts me every time I think of it.
I know she’s not mine … but part of me won’t accept that.
Am I willing to risk it all to keep her?


THE GENTLEMAN MENTOR is a full-length standalone novel.


AMAZON  AMAZON UK   iBooks   B&N   KOBO








Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break.

She's a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.
Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com  for the latest book news, and fun extras















Blog Tour; REVIEW: "On My Knees" by J. Kenner!

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Release Date: June 23rd, 2015

Type: Contemporary Romance, Series, Book Two, Yummy, Controlling men, Erotic, Oh My...

About the Book: Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks continue to thrill in the second novel of a scintillating, emotionally charged new trilogy that returns to the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge. 

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone. 

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release. 

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back. 

On My Knees is intended for mature audiences. [Synopsis from Goodreads.com]

My Review: In a lot of ways, I liked this book better than the first one. While it was great seeing the characters get together in book one, I liked it even better watching them weather the storms life was throwing at them. And boy were there a lot of storms. Sylvia got mad at Jackson at least three times throughout the story, and would just blow things far out of proportion. And even if she was legitimately upset about something (yes, a few of the instances I would have been very mad too!), she forgave way too easily. Not only did she forgive, it seemed like she quickly forgot about it and moved on, which just felt realistic. Of course, I am a huge drama fan, so I wanted the arguments to blow up a little more. Or maybe have one big epic fight instead of several small-but-still-the-end-of-my-world fights.

Now on to what I liked about the book. It's mostly Jackson. Long time readers of this blog know how much I like my men on the controlling side - and Jackson is juuuust right. He knows how to apologize when he does something wrong. Yes, he has his secrets, but he makes sure to tell Sylvia that there are some secrets that will be revealed as time goes on. Which makes sense, and felt real - even when you fall in love with someone, you don't tell them absolutely everything right away.

This series is very compelling, and definitely good one-sitting reads. It was hard putting my kindle down to go to work, and all I could think about was what was going to happen next! And I think once I finish the Stark International Trilogy, I will have to go back and read the books that started it all, The Stark Trilogy, featuring Damien.

Cover Lovin': Oh goodness, this cover. Definitely something that caught my eye! And fits well with the first book in the series, Say My Name (see my review HERE).

Recommendation: Read this if you like your men hot! And controlling. But definitely read the first book in the series, as this is a direct continuation.

Final Rating: THREE POINT FIVE out of FIVE stars. I like this better than the first one - because I am all about the drama. But it started to feel like one fight after another, drama for drama's sake, rather than plot. But I need the next book NOW!


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


onmykneesAbout ON MY KNEES

Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks continue to thrill in the second novel of a scintillating, emotionally charged new trilogy that returns to the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels:Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge.

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone.

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release.

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back.

On My Knees is intended for mature audiences.
Read the first chapter of ON MY KNEES here!
Find out more about the first book, SAY MY NAME: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

About J. Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries. J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

REVIEW: BACK IN BLACK by Lori Foster

Disclaimer: This book was purchased for my as a gift. I was not given anything in exchange for this review - I'm reviewing it for fun!

Type: MMA, Contemporary Romance, Athletes (yum!), Sexy cover, Series, Book five

About the Book: Drew Black, president of the SBC fighting organization, is as controversial as they come. But this hotheaded entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. Maybe too extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew's been causing a lot of friction. That's why someone's been called in to clean up his image - before he does any permenant damage. The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who has smoothed out the rough edges on many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she's ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian's starting to like him raw. Now opposites aren't simply attracting - they're igniting. But in the rising heat, who will end up on top? [Description from the back cover]

My Review: Well, as a whole, I really liked this book. But I did have a few issues - the biggest of which is that the back of this book? Totally doesn't do it justice. There's actually two couples highlighted in this book, Drew and Gillian of course, but also Brett and Audrey. And in fact, I think they're story is just as important, or maybe I just like them better. Alright, I'll admit it, I wanted Brett. But I really liked Drew and Gillian too. 

Actually, that brings me to the second thing I didn't like - I think Gillian and Drew moved a little too fast. It was their second or third meeting, and they had sex. It just seemed a little too.. whirlwind for me. This, however, could be a personal taste sort of thing. 

Those really are the only things I didn't like about this book. I loved the characterization, and I really loved the antagonist. I think the ultimate baddie of the situation was amazingly done, and such a complex character. I thought all the characters were passionate about their chosen profession, and they just felt genuine. I'm actually rather interested in MMA fighting after reading this. I always thought that was one of the signs of a good book, when it makes you interested in not only the book, but anything connected to it. 

 So using "Back in Black" as my main example, I'd have to say I'm definitely a fan. I hope to be able to check out other books soon - and actually, I think I have an anthology ( "Tails of Love" ) featuring Lori Foster and a few other familiar authors in my To Be Read pile. 

Cover Lovin: Whoah boy! Definitely eye catching. It made me catch it up!

Final Rating: I am going to give "Back in Black" by Lori Foster a FOUR POINT FIVE out of FIVE (4.5/5). I really, really enjoyed it, and I can't wait to find and read more by this author in the future, especially more of this grouping of books.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Sale!! WHEN WE COLLIDE by AL Jackson is 99 cents! Limited time only!





From the bestselling author of Pulled and Take This Regret comes a gripping new tale of loss and love.

William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.

Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.

When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.

In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.

Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.
But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.


A.L. Jackson gives you an intimate look into the lives of a family bound by an unseen connection in this new contemporary romance.















A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary and new adult romance.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.

Connect with A.L.  Jackson online: www.aljacksonauthor.com


To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe! 






Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Release Day Blast! ON MY KNEES by J. Kenner!

onmyknees-rd

The next part in Jackson and Sylvia's story is available now - grab ON MY KNEES by J. Kenner today to get your hands on more of Jackson Steele!

 

onmykneesAbout ON MY KNEES

Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks continue to thrill in the second novel of a scintillating, emotionally charged new trilogy that returns to the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels:Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge.

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone.

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release.

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back.

On My Knees is intended for mature audiences.
Read the first chapter of ON MY KNEES here!
Find out more about the first book, SAY MY NAME: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

EXCERPT

“I need you to tell me, baby. How should I touch you to get you there? Tell me what you want. Tell me what turns you on.” My cheeks burn, which is ridiculous considering how open I am to him at this moment. But I can’t help it. “Tell me,” he says, stepping closer. “Or have none of it.” My eyes cut to him. “Cruel, Mr. Steele?” “I can be. Or I can be very, very kind.” As he speaks, he moves his fingertip over my body. Literally over it, by about two inches. So that while I can imagine his touch, I do not get to experience it. Even so, it seems to me like he is leaving a trail of heat in his wake. All that does, though, is drive home how much I will be missing if he doesn’t touch me for real.

About J. Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries. J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Monday, June 22, 2015

DARK AND DAMAGED BLOG BARRAGE!

Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance Boxed Set is now available worldwide for a special introductory price of only $0.99!

This ebook boxed set features all-new, never-before-published hot paranormal romances by eight New York Times and USA Today best-selling romance authors. Tortured alpha-male bad boys will ignite your darkest, most secret desires in these stories about vampires, shifters, dragons, fallen angels, werewolves, demons, psychic warriors and ghosts.

Here’s more about this fantastic eight book boxed set, including an excerpt from one of the stories.

Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/dark-and-damaged/

Dark and Dangerous
GoodReads
Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance By Jennifer Ashley, Caris Roane, Erin Kellison, Felicity Heaton, Erin Quinn, Laurie London, Bonnie Vanak and Colleen Gleason

LION EYES by Jennifer Ashley
Bree has just decided to give up trying to be a Shifter groupie when a lion Shifter slams into her truck and tells her to drive. Seamus is on the run from hunters, other Shifters, and who knows who else. All Bree knows is that he’s compelling, needs her help, and most intriguing of all, wears no Collar...

BLOOD FLAME by Caris Roane
Vampire Officer Connor of the Crescent Border Patrol tries to suppress his desire for the powerful witch, Iris Meldeere. Because the woman possesses the ability to kill him with the tips of her fingers, how can he possibly fall in love with her? When a double homicide throws them together, he soon finds his deepest fantasies fulfilled as Iris succumbs to his seductions. But as they battle together to stay alive, and love begins to consume them both, will the witch be able to forgive the dark secrets of his past …

HER SINFUL ANGEL by Felicity Heaton
Cast out of Heaven and now the king of Hell, Lucifer is a powerful fallen angel warrior with a heart as cold as ice and soul as black as the bottomless pit. For millennia, he has ruled his realm with an iron fist as he plots the demise of his ancient enemies. When one of those enemies dumps an unconscious mortal female in the courtyard of his fortress and leaves her there, Lucifer finds himself entranced by the beguiling beauty and tempted beyond all reason. But is the enchanting Nina an innocent pawn in the eternal game or part of a plot against him?

TEMPTED BY FIRE by Erin Kellison
A powerful dragon shifter has waited six hundred years to avenge the loss of his family, but the beautiful mediator sent to prevent violence among the Bloodkin doesn’t want to be his key to discovering the murderer—in fact, she wants nothing to do with dragons at all...

REBEL’S DESIRE by Laurie London
A jaded Iron Guild warrior cares about nothing except battling a ruthless enemy, but when a beautiful woman literally runs into his arms, he realizes she holds the key to his success. As passion ignites, he must decide whether to sacrifice the woman he’s falling for or dare to trust his heart again.

THE RESURRECTION OF SAM SLOAN by Erin Quinn
Trapped in the body of a human, the Reaper is about to fall in love with a woman he was never meant to have… When a reaper is trapped in Maggie’s estranged husband’s body, she knows only that the man with her husband’s eyes feels like a stranger… a compelling, seductive stranger who touches her in ways her treacherous husband never could. She wants to trust him, but what about the ghost who haunts their home, implicating him in a gruesome murder…

REDEMPTION by Bonnie Vanak
A cursed alpha wolf promises to free an enslaved Mage if she mates with him so he can sire an heir, not realizing she can destroy the dark secret keeping his pack alive.

RAGING DAWN by Colleen Gleason
After the vampires Max Denton hunts brutally murder his wife, he is nearly destroyed himself and spends the next ten years living a life of violence and revenge. But when sensitive information about his young daughter falls into the hands of the vampires, Max is forced to team up with the woman whose father ultimately caused the death of his wife. Savina Eleaisa has secrets of her own, and she’s determined to do whatever it takes to clear her father’s name: even if it involves seducing the most dangerous of vampires--with or without the help of the arrogant, brooding Max Denton.

Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/dark-and-damaged/

EXCERPT FROM LION EYES BY JENNIFER ASHLEY

Something hit Bree’s pickup full force.
Bree whipped her head around as a man landed in the pickup’s bed and swarmed up to the cab. She watched in numb astonishment as he swung his long body feet-first into the cab through the open passenger window.
“Bree? Are you still there?” came the strident tones of her mother. “If you’ve hung up on me …”
The man landed on the seat, closed a huge hand around Bree’s cell phone, and threw the phone out the open window.
Bree’s frozen moment of amazement broke. She clung to the steering wheel, opened her mouth, and screamed as loudly as she could.
The man was across the seat in a heartbeat, clapping a strong and dirt-streaked hand over her mouth. “Drive,” he said, his voice so guttural she could barely understand the word. “Now!”
No way in hell was Bree going anywhere with this guy. She’d fight him off, run back inside the bar, yell for help. Who cared that the groupies were unfriendly? She’d hide out in the bathroom and let the bouncers deal with him.
Two more men materialized out of the dark. They had shotguns, and they pointed them at the man and at Bree.
“Go!” the man roared.
The shotguns boomed. Bree’s truck wasn’t there to receive the blast, though, because she’d stomped on the gas.
The pickup jumped forward and hit the ground, wheels spinning. A thick cloud of dust boiled up behind them as Bree shot out of the parking lot to the road.
The road itself was dirt, washboard rough, slippery with dust that weeks without rain had made bone dry. Another shot rang out behind them, and Bree’s right mirror shattered.
She screamed again and pushed harder on the gas. The truck shimmied and danced, but Bree had helped Remy rebuild this baby, and she knew it inside and out. She expertly maneuvered up and down the washes and out to a paved road.
Bree raced down this empty stretch of back highway for a minute or so, until multiple glances behind them told her no one was following. Not yet, anyway.
She swung to the grass at the side and slammed the truck to a halt. “Get out,” she said firmly.
The man who looked back at her in the dark didn’t move. He was a Shifter—she’d guessed that the moment he’d leapt with the grace of an acrobat into the cab. His large body took up most of the passenger seat, dark T-shirt stretching over a tight chest and arms that could lift this pickup if he wanted to. His hair was cut short but a mess, black, she thought, though it was hard to tell in this light.
His eyes … They were golden, intense, pinning her as Bree stared at him in shock. Lion eyes, whispered through her head.
The Shifter wildcats—Fae cats, they called themselves—had been bred to mix the best qualities of big cats, but individual Feline clans tended to favor one species or other. Leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and mountain lions were most common. Tigers were very, very rare—so rare Bree knew about only one of them.
And then there were the lions. The Morrissey family, who ran the Austin Shiftertown, were black-maned lions. She’d seen photos of the men of that pride on the Internet, but she’d never seen this Shifter.
He cranked around in his seat to look behind them. “It’s not safe to stop here,” he said in an accent that sounded faintly ... Scottish? Irish? Bree was no expert on accents other than those around her hometown. “Keep going.”
Bree didn’t answer. She was staring at his neck, more of it revealed when he’d turned his head.
He wasn’t wearing a Collar.
All Shifters wore Collars. It was the law. Collars had some kind of chip in them that triggered a series of nasty shocks when the Shifter who wore it became violent. There were those who claimed that the Collars also contained Fae magic, meant to control the Shifters, though Bree was a little skeptical about the magic part. But then, shape-shifters had turned out to be real, so who knew?
This Shifter had no chain of silver-and-black links around his neck, no Celtic knot at his throat. No red line around his neck to show that he’d pulled his off either—the Collars were embedded into the skin for life.
Bree was terrified at the same time her insatiable curiosity rose and demanded to be satisfied. It would get her killed one day, that curiosity, her mother always said. Well, maybe today was the day.
“Are you feral?” she asked cautiously.
Feral Shifters were those who had left any civilized behavior behind and were becoming wild animals, nothing more, no matter what their shape. Bree had heard they usually stopped bathing and wearing clothes, and this guy was definitely dressed—jeans, T-shirt, and motorcycle boots. Though she saw black smears on his skin, he didn’t look like he’d missed many showers.
He stared at her with those golden, lion eyes, and said, “Maybe. Not yet. Now, go.”
“Or, I can go, and you can get the hell out of my truck.”
“Damn you,” he said, his voice quietly desperate. “I’m dead the minute I hit the ground.”
Bree’s heart pounded sickeningly, but she remained in place. “You weren’t at the bar. Are you from one of the Shiftertowns around here?”
He was over the seat and right next to Bree before she could blink. His foot slid alongside hers and pushed the gas.
The truck leapt. Bree grabbed the steering wheel, cranking it around before they slid into the ditch. The pickup hit the pavement, shimmying until Bree righted it and sent them down the road in the correct lane.
At least the Shifter had moved his foot once she’d got the truck going.
“I don’t care where you take me,” he said. “Just get me away from the hunters.”
Bree peered down the dark road, a straight stretch, empty this late. They were a long way from Austin, a long way from anywhere, really.
Lights appeared behind her. The hunters? Hard to tell, but the lights were coming up too fast. The Shifter next to her twisted in the seat to look back at them. “Hell—go!”
The headlights got larger, far quicker than they should have. Bree’s breath came too fast, her blood pumping. She’d been chased before. She hadn’t liked it then, and she didn’t like it now.
“All right, all right.” Bree shoved her foot down on the gas, the truck rushing forward. The speedometer crept past sixty, seventy, eighty.
“Who are you?” she repeated over the engine’s noise. “What Shifter clan are you with, and why aren’t you wearing a Collar?”
The man said nothing. Bree risked turning her head to find herself pinned by his golden stare.
“Why do you know so much about Shifters?” he demanded.
Bree waved her hand at her made-up face as she focused on the road again. Her eyeliner had started to run, forming black tears. “Hello? I’m a Shifter groupie. We know everything about Shifters. The clans, the prides and packs, the family trees. What you can do and can’t do, where you live, who your mates are, what the Collars do. I’m not as into it as some of my friends back home—they would know exactly who you were and where you came from. Kind of creepy, right?”
He kept scrutinizing her, like a big cat trying to decide whether or not to pounce on a gazelle. “My name’s Seamus.”
“Nice Irish name. You Irish?”
“No.”
He snarled it. Bree let out her breath. “All right. No need to bite my head off.”
More scrutinizing. Maybe she shouldn’t have mentioned biting—he was the most predatory Shifter she’d ever met. Probably because he didn’t have a Collar. Why didn’t he? What …
The black truck in her rearview put on a sudden burst of speed. The crazy driver shoved the truck between Bree and the right-hand side of the road, on the very narrow shoulder. One wrong bump, and they’d both flip.
Apparently, the driver didn’t care. Three guys in the bed of the other truck had shotguns, and they lifted them and pointed them at Bree and Seamus.
“Shit!” Bree yelled. Her instinct was to slam on the brakes and let the other truck shoot forward, but the truck might hit her, and they’d all be whirling across the road to likely death.
“Pull over and give us the Shifter!” the driver called through his open window.
“No way in hell!” Bree shouted back. Only one thing to do. “Hold on,” she told Seamus.
Seamus must have seen something in her expression, because he stopped snarling and closed his hands around the seat.
What the hunters didn’t know was that this truck had belonged to Remy Fayette, Bree’s brother, before his military stint in the Middle East had ended his life. A missile had taken out the helicopter he and his team had been in, while carrying out a rescue mission. The army had given Remy a hero’s burial, and their mom a flag and a little money in the bank every month. Bree kept the truck in his memory.
Before Remy had given up his wild life for the discipline of the army, he’d spent his time modifying cars and trucks and racing them—legally and not so legally. Bree sent him a silent blessing as she flipped a switch to deploy the nitrous oxide boost.
The pickup shot forward, jerking Bree and the Shifter. The truck following them dropped instantly behind. Ninety miles an hour, a hundred. Bree hung on to the steering wheel for dear life.
The headlights behind them swiftly grew smaller. Seamus was clutching the seat so hard his fingers tore the upholstery.
“Whoo—hoo!!” Bree yelled. “Eat that, dirtbags! Thank you, Remy Fayette. I love you!”
As usual, when Bree thought of her brother, her eyes filled with instant tears. Not now. She had to drive, to see the road.
She also had to get them to ground somewhere. Bree couldn’t keep this speed without attracting every highway patrol in the county, but if she slowed down, the guys chasing Seamus might find them.
Nothing for it.
“I’ll take you to a Shiftertown,” she said. “Which one are you from?”
Seamus’s gaze was on her again, unrelenting. “No. No Shiftertowns. Just put enough distance between us and them.” He had a hand on the door handle, as though contemplating when it would be safe to jump out. What the hell?
Something bad was going on here. At the same time, Seamus was a Shifter, and those guys chasing him were ready to shoot him. He’d be safe in a Shiftertown, where hunters didn’t dare go—they weren’t allowed to bother Collared Shifters. But if Seamus refused to go to a Shiftertown, then where?
“I have an idea,” Bree said. “I know a place you can lie low. Not the best choice, but no one will think of looking for you there.”
Seamus didn’t answer. He glanced behind them again, and his body finally relaxed. The headlights were gone.
Bree turned off the extra juice. The truck slowed abruptly, rattling and bumping. Remy had taught her how to drive a rod though, and Bree maneuvered the truck to handle the sudden change in speed. She took the next corner, heading off into the darkness of the back roads.
“Where?” Seamus asked, his voice harsh.
“You’ll see,” Bree answered. “I’m just telling you now, though—you get to explain why you threw away my cell phone while I was talking to my mom.”

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Dark and Damaged: Eight Tortured Heroes of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/dark-and-damaged/