Five by J.A. Huss Book Blitz


Five
J.A. Huss
(Mister 0.5)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Five Aston has known Rory Shrike for as long as he can remember. He played with her in the sandbox. He went to every damn horse show just to be supportive. He helped her with her French, walked her home from school, and faked his test scores just to stay with her a little longer and not be sent off to college early.
But eventually he had to move on.
And so did she.
Never has a second chance meant so much to a boy who loves a girl.
A standalone book that is also a spin-off of the Rook & Ronin Series and prequel to the Mister Series. You can read it first, you can read it last. It doesn’t really matter because it’s f*cking Five.

EXCERPT:

“You want a kiss?”
“Mmmhmm,” I say, closing my eyes as I picture it. God, I’ve dreamed of this moment for ages. “I really need one, Five.”
His mouth touches my earlobe. Lips caress the soft skin of my neck. “Like this?” he asks.
“Yes,” I practically moan. “Just… like… that.”
“Do you want more, Princess?” he asks, his voice low now. Growly. Filled with so much promise.
“More, please,” I say, in my sweetest princess voice.
“Then promise me, baby. Just say those two words. ‘I promise.’ And as soon as you do that, I’ll give you everything you want. OK?”
“Five,” I moan. “Just—”
His hands come up suddenly. He cups my face, stares into my eyes with the most sincere expression I’ve ever seen on him. And underneath that sincerity, I see… fear. “Promise me.”
“Five,” I say, unable to stop staring back. This is everything. Everything I’ve always dreamed of. Five pressing me up against a wall. Me, the only thing on his mind. Except I’m not the only thing on his mind, am I? No. Those creeps from the past are back. That’s why he’s here. And even though I’d normally not give in so easy, I know this is not a game. So I say, “I promise. Now stop talking, you stupid genius, and kiss me already.”
He smiles. Leans in. I close my eyes, ready for it. Finally gonna get what I want.
But then he moves his mouth to my ear and nibbles on my lobe. “Good girl,” he coos. “But I’m not sure I believe you, Princess. I can feel those wheels turning inside your head. They’re grinding hard.” He presses his hard cock against my hip when he says that last part. “So I’m gonna hold off on that kiss until I get back tonight. And if you’ve been good, and if you’ve held up your end of the—”
“What?” I say, pushing him back. “You will do no such thing, Five Aston! I want a fucking kiss and I want one right now! I’ve waited six years for this, and denying me is practically emotional abuse. Now stop fucking around and kiss me, goddammit!”
“Who’s the boss of you, Rory?”
I huff out some air. “Me.”
He smiles. It’s a big, genuine, I’m-gonna-teach-you-who’s-boss smile. “Wrong answer.”


Author Bio:
JA Huss is the USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.
You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her blog, New Adult Addiction (www.jahuss.com).
If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.


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The Long Way Home by K Langston Blitz

Title: The Long Way Home
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Re-release Date: 9-14-17

BLURB:  

Broken. Shattered. Destroyed.

Healing seems impossible.

Moving on…

Unbearable.   
I can’t let go of the past. The overwhelming guilt won’t let me. I fight the pain every single day but it’s not getting any easier to carry, and there are days when I wonder if I will ever find happiness.

Or if I even deserve it.  

Determined to endure my misery alone, I’ve pushed everyone out of my life, including my best friend, Linc. Now he’s back and he won’t leave without a fight. He’s tearing down my walls and forcing me to face what I’ve kept buried for so long. Because of him, I feel like I can finally breathe again, and there’s a sliver of hope weaving its way into my heart.

Will it be enough to save me from the darkness that threatens to drown me?  

Love isn’t always easy.  

But it’s always worth it.

Author’s note: The Long Way Home is a new edition of the previously published book titled Sylvie. With the exception of a new cover, blurb, title, and added bonus material all other content remains the same.


Excerpt

When we pull to a stop, I let the engine run. It’s already ten forty-five. I have to be home by midnight. We can’t stay long. My sweaty palms grip the steering wheel while blood rushes my ears, anxious to know what will happen next.

The alternative rock station we’re listening to switches songs and “All I Need” by Radiohead pours from the speakers, the dark sound setting the tone as he catches my eye, turning it up.

“Love this song,” he says.

“It’s one of my favorites, too.”

He continues to smoke his cigarette casually and damn it all to hell if he doesn’t look hot doing it. Then he swings his eyes to mine once more as the dark lyrics fill the space between us, his gaze bringing me down to a level of need I don’t understand.

But the need is not within me.

It’s in him.

With a sense of resolve, he drops out of the truck and rounds the front, flicking what is left of his cigarette into the night before opening my door.

Reaching for my hand, he pulls me out. “Dance with me.”

“Here?”

“Yeah…here.”

There, on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, with nothing more than the low beam headlights guiding our way, we dance. His arms wrap around me and so does his scent, intoxicating and new.
Different.
He pulls me closer, our cheeks touching, breaths meeting warm skin while my heart races in my chest. I want him to kiss me. He’s probably kissed tons of girls, good-looking as he is.
Girls who know how to kiss.
Girls who know how to do lots of things I don’t.
He is a man, after all. And I’ve never kissed a man before. I’ve only kissed two boys and their sloppy tongues and groping hands were nothing to write home about.
His fingers press into my lower back before his warm mouth whispers in my ear and my body tingles.
“I’m going to kiss you now, Sylvie.” A rough thumb works back and forth across my fevered skin as he pulls back to gaze down at me, my heart thunders so hard in my chest I think I might pass out. His face is but a shadow in the still of the night, however, there is no mistaking the want in his eyes.
It tugs at something inside of me, calls to me in a way that I cannot fathom.
Then his mouth descends on mine, paralyzing me. I’m not sure what to do with my hands so I let them hang loosely by my side, but the moment he backs me into the front of the truck they gain purchase, fisting in the sides of his shirt.
He tastes of smoke, fire, and desperation. It’s overwhelming, frightening, and addictive—his need for me.

The kiss begins to slow but my blood rushes faster, eager for more.

“Sylvie,” he breathes against my lips.
My panting heart grows sluggish and weak as he brushes his thumb across my swollen lips. His forehead drops to mine, his shoulders tense and tight beneath my hands. Something flickers in his eyes, something dark and mystifying, luring me in.
“You’re going to make me fall in love with you, aren’t you?” Warmth sings in my blood while resolution settles in his eyes. He breathes the words against my lips, a whisper of possibility that has me flying across the star-covered sky.
K. Langston
USA Today Bestselling Author 
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ARROGANT BASTARD by Zara Cox Blitz


Title: ARROGANT BASTARD
Author: Zara Cox
Series: Dark Desires, #3
On Sale: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Forever
eBook: $4.99 USD
Audio: $22.98 USD


I’m known as the Black Widow because the desires I hide inside are pure poison.
I was a different person once. Faith, a young wife, hoping to become a mother. My life was pleasant. Stable. It was hell. Until Killian Knight opened my eyes to a world of espionage and intrigue. He saw something in me, something I was too afraid to acknowledge. I didn’t want to be excited by the danger. Didn’t want to crave the wicked passion only he could provide. But I did want, so now I run. And I pay. 

I never meant to corrupt her, but I’m not sorry. 
After all, I’m already damned.
After four years of searching and longing, I’ve finally found her. Faith, the one person in the world I breathe for. She lives beneath my skin as surely as I wear proof of our transgressions inked on my body. And like the forbidden fruit that doomed us from the beginning, our end is inevitable. We lived with no regret. We loved without inhibition. We betrayed those closest to us. We killed for that love. Now…we will burn in hell together.





Chapter One
Killian
Present Day
I’ve found her.
After four years and two months.
I stare at the screen, my blood pumping relief and shock and fury and joy through my veins. The cocktail of emotions paralyzes me for several minutes.
Then I force myself to analyze what I’m seeing.
Her hair is different. Longer. Darker. Pin-straight and rigid where soft, friendly waves used to be. The curve of her jaw captured by the camera lens also shows the difference. She’s leaner. Meaner. Even from this obscure angle, I can tell any trace of gentleness has been wiped clean. Eroded by sin and tragedy and horror. The change was probably inevitable, but I still don’t want to see the evidence.
To anyone else, the picture would seem ridiculously vague, the image nothing more than a blurred black-and-white pixelation of hair, chin, and shoulder.
It’s the reason my algorithm spat it out almost reluctantly, a last batch of possibilities in the dregs of to-be-discarded possibilities, and then dumped it in my supercomputer’s equivalent of a spam folder, the code scrolling impatiently as it waited my command to delete, delete, delete.
But I know it’s her. Despite the dark leather cap pulled low over her forehead. Despite the bulky jacket designed to hide her true shape. Her stealth speaks volumes. Besides, she’s in my blood, in my heartbeat. After so many years of dead ends and fruitless hoping, of agonizing disappointment and withering despair, this time I simply…know.
It’s her. The Widow.
My hand shakes as I hit the zoom-in key. My gut churns, and I feel a little sick as my ever-helpful brain cheerfully supplies me with all the ways she could’ve continued to elude me—if I’d turned away, for a second, to stare at one of the other three screens on my desk. If I’d trusted my supersmart computer and accepted the prompt to delete without reviewing this particular needle in my mountain of haystacks. If I hadn’t tweaked the code yet again last night to capture just such an obscure image.
Hell, if I’d blinked at the wrong time…I torture myself with infinite possibilities as I stare at that mesmerizing angle of chin and shoulder.
A chin I’ve trailed my treacherous fingers over many times in helpless wonder.
A shoulder I’ve rested my guilty but secretly unrepentant head on.
There’s so much more to her. And I treasured every single inch of her forbidden body, fucked her at every opportunity she granted me. Until she systematically erased herself from my life.
But why New York? And why now?
I know how good she is. Hell, she’s the best or she wouldn’t have eluded me for this long. The thought of another four years without her punches a cold fist through my gut. With it comes the certainty that I wouldn’t have survived those next four years without her. That I’ve been clinging on with the very last dregs of my endurance to make it this far.
But here she is…
The Widow.
I can’t see her eyes, but I don’t fool myself into thinking they’ll hold an ounce of softness. What we did changed us forever. And not for the better.
I lean back in my chair. Exhale slowly. Terrified of blinking in case she disappears from my screen. It doesn’t matter that I’ve copied and stored the longitude and latitude of her location in a dozen vaults on my server and memorized every single piece of data on the screen.
New York City. East Fifty-Third Street. CCTV camera. A one-in-a-billion shot.
Without taking my eyes off her, I reach for my phone and press the voice activation app. “Good evening, Mr. Knight.”
“Nala, how many times do I need to tell you to call me Killian?”
“You have yet to change my default settings, Mr. Knight.”
My lips twitch but a smile doesn’t quite form. My eyes water with the need to blink. But I resist. “I changed them last week. You reset them again, didn’t you?”
“I assure you, I’m quite incapable of doing that.”
“Yeah, right. Fine. Place a call for me. Pilot. Home.”
“Dialing pilot. Home,” the female AI obliges me.
Nelson Whittaker, my LA-based English pilot, picks up on the second ring. It’s three a.m. but he answers as if it’s normal working hours. Which it is, to be fair. Everything is normal for me in my line of work.
“Good morning, sir.”
“How soon can you get to the airport?” I snap.
“As soon as I put on my trousers and chuck a bucket of water over my son to wake him up,” he replies with a dark chuckle.
My fingers fly over the keyboard as I save her information in a few more electronic vaults. “Give William my apologies,” I say.
“No need. He’s been champing at the bit to take the new girl for another spin.” The new girl being the Bombardier Global 8000 I added to my collection of private jets last month.
“In that case, I expect to see you at Van Nuys within the hour.” At this time of the morning, traffic from their Santa Monica apartment should be light enough to get them there fast.
“We’ll be there.” He clears his throat. “I expect the paperwork regarding out-of-curfew flights—”
“Will be taken care of. I’ll text you the details but we won’t be straying far from the usual parameters.”
“Very good, sir. Destination?” he asks crisply.
My gaze tracks that chin. That shoulder. The hair. Four years’ worth of turbulent emotion threatens to rip free. My chest burns with it, but I contain it. “New York.”




BUY THE BOOK HERE



THE DARK DESIRES SERIES
BEAUTIFUL LIAR, #1
BLACK SHEEP, #2
WICKED S.O.B, #2.5
ARROGANT BASTARD, #3




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zara Cox has been writing for almost twenty-five years but it wasn’t until nine years ago that she decided to share her love of writing sexy, gritty stories with anyone outside her close family (the over 18s anyway!). This series is Zara’s next step in her erotic romance-writing journey, and she would love to hear your thoughts. Visit her:  



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PROMISE TO DEFEND by Diana Gardin Blitz




PROMISE TO DEFEND by Diana Gardin (September 12, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99; Rescue Ops Series Book 2)

By saving her, he might just save himself…

I’m broken. I have been for seven years. Ever since my wife was murdered while I was deployed overseas. I was protecting our country, but I should have been protecting her. I haven’t looked at another woman since–but then Olive Alexander crossed my path. She stirs up feelings I thought were long dead. So when her house is ransacked after she receives a threatening message, I know I have to step in and keep her safe. I failed my wife, but I won’t fail Olive. Unfortunately, Olive isn’t exactly ready to accept my help…

With her sexy-as-sin pencil skirts and sleek ponytails, Olive clearly doesn’t let anything–or anyone–mess up her perfectly ordered life. But years spent working as a special ops soldier has taught me how to read people… and I know Olive is hiding something. When my covert mission for Night Eagle Security collides with Olive’s past, I’ll have to get her to open up–or risk losing her. And losing Olive is not an option. If she’s in danger, I’ll defend her…even if it costs me my life.


EXCERPT

“Couldn’t sleep, Red?”
“No.”
Turning, he gets up and walks down the hall. I hear a door open and close and when he returns, his arms are laden with a cozy-looking gray chenille blanket. Pausing in front of me as I look up at him in confusion, he uses his leg to nudge my knee.
“Scoot over.”
Moving sideways, Ronin sits down and stretches out behind me on the couch. Then he spreads the blanket out over his legs and wraps an arm around my waist. He tugs, and I find myself settling down in front of him while he spoons me from behind. He places the blanket over both of us, and then wraps his other arm around me.
It’s like I’m trapped in the hardest, warmest, most protective, best-smelling cocoon there ever was.
At first, I’m stiff, because what?
Ronin’s scent wafts over me, and I breathe it in like a woman deprived of air. It’s partly cologne, but it’s a fresh, masculine clean scent with just the tiniest hint of spice. It’s amazing. His body, pressed up against mine in the most intimate way, is so hard that heat pools deep in my gut and my thighs clench together to try to fight the bubbling desire he’s stirring up inside me. A kind of true desire I haven’t felt in years.
His arms tighten around me, pulling me closer. “Relax, Red.” His words raise the hairs on the back of my neck, and a delicate shiver rolls through my whole body.
Taking a deep breath, I allow myself to soften against him.
“Not comfortable being touched, are you?” Ronin’s voice in my ear is husky and deep, and it feels like he’s reaching inside me rather than just speaking to me.
I shrug. “Not usually.”
“Do you want to talk about why that is, Red?”
My eyes trail over his hands as his capable fingers begin to stroke unassumingly along my forearms. It’s the slightest touch. Barely a caress, really, but the way I can feel it reverberating everywhere from my neck to my toes is unsettling. I’ve never been touched on a level as deep as this, and I don’t know what to do with the way it feels.
Shrugging again, I think about how to answer that question.
“I’m just…cautious…after everything.”
There. That should satisfy his curiosity.
But Ronin doesn’t quite let it go. “There’s more to you than cautiousness. And that’s okay…I get it. I have layers, too. Ones that go so deep I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the bottom of them. And I’d never expect anyone else to, either.”
The sheer understanding in his tone floors me. He doesn’t elaborate on his own issues, and he doesn’t ask me to delve further into mine. I’ve never been around a man who doesn’t ask for something from me, usually too much, in return for spending time with him.
Tentatively, I caress the bicep that holds me so tightly. The corded muscles jump beneath my touch, and I can feel the breath that Ronin sucks in.
“Tell me about these?” I ask, caressing the giant bird tattoo in the center.
His voice low, velvety, he answers me. “Well, this is an eagle in flight. I got it when I first joined the army.”
I trace the intricate details of the tattoo, the fine lines given to each of the bird’s feathers.
“And this one,” he continues, indicating the three thick, black bands stretching around his arm nearer his shoulder. “Represent each time I had to pass a test to achieve something great. Army entrance, officer exam, Ranger training.”
Marveling, I imagine the sheer amount of strength it took for him to achieve each of these goals.
He’s silent for a moment, and I trace the bright, bold heart tattoo entwined with rope. “And this one?”
Ronin stiffens slightly. He pauses, but then when he answers, there’s a cooler quality to his voice, one that I don’t understand. “That represents my heart.”
And that’s it. That’s all he says, and it surprises me how much that hurts.
We sit in silence for a few long moments, the tension swirling between us, when I finally feel his body relax against mine once again.
I haven’t stiffened since we started talking. I haven’t felt the need to flee from his hold, to shy away from his closeness. It’s huge, at least for me. This doesn’t happen. Not unless it’s on my terms, and with men I can keep at a safe distance.
But something tells me there’s no keeping Ronin at a distance. It should terrify me…but it doesn’t. Instead, a spark of hope flickers to life inside me. Hope that this man can succeed in breaking down the walls I’ve built so carefully around my heart.
When a chuckle rumbles through his chest, I almost jump out of my skin and his grip on me tightens for just a moment to reassure me.
“What the hell is this?” he asks.
Focusing my attention on the television, a smile ghosts across my lips. “It’s ‘Behind the Scenes: Big Top.’” Reality television is an addiction for me, and the show that follows the leading players in a traveling circus behind the scenes is one of my favorites.
His laughter grows louder and I can’t help myself; I chuckle right along with him.
“Red…please tell me why we’re watching ‘Behind the Scenes: Big Top.’” The teasing lilt in his voice makes my pulse race.
“I like it.” Feeling the need to defend myself, my tone is indignant. “If I weren’t an interior designer, and I was just a little bit braver, I think I’d probably be a circus performer.”
Ronin’s laughter fades away as he considers my words. “What act would you do?”
I can answer that question without a second thought. “I’d be a trapeze artist. Flying high, all those dangerous catches? The freedom of it? It’d be amazing.”
Ronin’s quiet for a moment. I think he’s forgotten all about my answer when he speaks again, his words dusting across my skin once more.
“That’s a circus I’d pay big money to watch, Red. Because I think I’d really enjoy seeing you look free.”


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About the Author
Diana Gardin is a wife of one and a mom of two. Writing is her second full time job to that, and she loves it! Diana writes contemporary romance in the Young Adult and New Adult categories. She’s also a former Elementary school teacher. She loves steak, sugar cookies, and Coke and hates working out.

Social Media Links
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UNTOLD by Shannon Richard Blitz

UNTOLD by Shannon Richard (September 5, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99; Country Roads Series Book 8)

Sometimes love has a plan of its own…

Brie Davis came to Mirabelle, Florida, for one thing: the funeral of her birth mother—a woman she never had a chance to know.  Now Brie must sort through her mother’s life to get the answers she was denied.  She plans to leave as soon as she can…except the sexy veterinarian makes Brie’s pulse beat faster than she’s willing to admit.

Finn Shepherd knows Brie’s only in town for a short while, but he can’t stay away.  Instead he finds himself looking for more reasons to keep her close.  Finn’s already had his fair share of heartbreak, yet Brie makes him want to take that risk again.  Now all Finn has to do is convince her to take a chance on him…before she disappears from his life forever.


EXCERPT

“Are you leaving soon?”
“In a bit. I want to see the end of the game.”
“Really now?” He leaned in close to her again. And for what was probably the fiftieth time that night she could smell the clean masculine scent that clung to him. Soap and maybe a little aftershave combined with him. He smelled incredible.
So. Damn. Good.
“Yeah, I’m a Stampede fan now. I’m in it to win it.” She couldn’t stop herself from leaning in a bit closer herself.
“Commitment, I like it.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah.” His smile grew and his eyes got more intense, the blue getting deeper. “It’s not the only thing I like either.”
“What else do you like?” Her voice dropped low as she spoke. Oh God, the more time she spent with him, the more he affected her. The closer he got to her, the more he affected her. The more he looked at her, the more he affected her.
He just affected her.
“About you? The list keeps growing, and growing. Give me twenty minutes and I’d be happy to tell you about it. In great detail.”
Her stomach flipped and the air in her lungs caught. This time her inability to breath had nothing to do with suffocating pressure. “What happens in twenty minutes?” She somehow managed to ask.
“The game is over.” He turned just a little bit so he could incline his head toward the TV, not taking his eyes off of her while he did it.
“You don’t need to stay here? Until closing?”
“Nope, just came in to help with the rush during the game. I’m free after that.”
“Right,” she nodded slowly, her stomach doing a summersault. “And if I said yes? What happens then?”
He moved back so that he was standing directly in front of her again, leaning in close. The nearness of him combined with the way he was looking at her and the topic of conversation—that she was 99.9% sure was one about them having sex—was making her pulse race. And that wasn’t the only thing he was doing to her. It was taking everything in her not to squirm in her seat. She somehow managed to subtly press her thighs together. It was all she could do to combat the swelling ache.


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About the Author
Shannon Richard grew up in the Florida Panhandle as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English Literature and still lives in Tallahassee where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She’s still waiting for her Southern, scruffy, Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she’s a pretty big fan of the whimsy.

Social Media Links

Add Untold to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2tQyUCg
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Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Untold!

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The Dark Mermaid by Christina L. Barr Book Blitz


The Dark Mermaid
Christina L. Barr
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or complete chaos.”
On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.
Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.
With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.

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EXCERPT:

True Love
When I returned to the lair, the Sea Witch was much too distracted gutting her catch of shark to care much about my adventures. She had no idea that I had found Ian and kissed him. I wanted to keep it that way. For all she knew, I spent my day with Napa, and I most certainly didn’t fight my sister to the almost death. I made sure to heal my wounds before she saw me.
I hid the pendent, dagger, and lock of hair in a satchel and hoped the Sea Witch wouldn’t be able to sense the magic. I also had to hope that she wouldn’t sense any special magic in me. It was odd that I wasn’t fatigued from my battle. Instead, I felt energized. My magic was leaking out of my body. I tried to keep my movements limited and to remain completely calm.
Unfortunately, somewhere between the chewing of our dinner, the Sea Witch cocked her brow at me in suspicion. “Did Napa bring you a new gift?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I sense new magic.”
I panicked on the inside, but I would not allow that panic to the surface of my thoughts. Of course, she would have been able to sense the pendent. I reached into my satchel and handed it to her without any fuss, and I hoped she didn’t ask any questions about the other item of interest. “Napa didn’t know any better.”
“Interesting.” It only took a moment for the Sea Witch to analyze what it could do. I don’t know why I was so surprised when she disappeared. “This would be more useful on the surface world.” She tossed it back to me and became visible once more. “Quite interesting.”
“Very.” I grinned hard and continued feasting, but I had the sense that she knew I was hiding many details from her. It’s not that I didn’t trust her. I just wanted to make sure she would take the news well, so I didn’t have to worry about her killing everyone outside of our immediate sphere.
It wasn’t easy. I wanted to tell her about Ian’s infatuation with me. It was flattering after my father threw me away. I wanted to tell my mother how his smile enchanted me, and now, I was under his spell. I tried to get him out of my head, so the Sea Witch wouldn’t find out, but while I brushed my hair and stared into the broken mirror Napa gave me, I began to imagine that I was staring at myself from his point of view, and I knew I was truly as beautiful as he made me feel. The thought of never seeing him again was crushing my heart and suffocating my insides. There had to be a way to see him again beyond tricks, smokes, and mirrors.
“Luna, what’s wrong?”
I saw Ian’s face too clearly in my mind. She must have known that I was thinking about him, but that wasn’t so strange. I could still hide the truth for a little while. “Why would something be wrong?”
She floated in front of me with a furrowed and curious brow. “Because you never sing.”
I hadn’t even noticed. I was singing the same song I sang to Ian when I first said goodbye. If he had his hooks in me that deeply, was there truly any escaping him? “You’ll think I’m being a fool.”
The Sea Witch surprised me and held me by my shoulders from behind. “Out of the two of us, I’m the one that made a blood oath with your father. You could be foolish for a thousand lifetimes and not end up as foolish as I once was.”
Perhaps I was being unfair to her. If she were trying to be a real mother, she deserved a chance. As my elder, she might have sound advice to put my mind at ease. “Napa told me that humans believe in true love. I know it sounds childish, but I think I’m experiencing it. I’ve found true love.”
I was so embarrassed that I kept my eyes focused on the teeth of the comb in my hands. I was responsible for ruining Ian’s childhood, and I delayed his life afterward. I didn’t deserve to feel such a consuming joy, especially if Ian were the root cause.
“I’ve heard of true love.” The Sea Witch nicked my chin up with her finger to force her eyes into mine. “The humans teach it like a fairytale, but true love is not a myth; it’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or chaos.”
“Chaos?” I laughed. Frankly, it was difficult to believe that there was an actual explanation to how I felt. Napa referred to love as “irrational logic”. I wasn’t sure if having a legitimate reason was worse or better. “How can what I feel ever lead to destruction?”
“I’m not saying that it will, but true love is a dangerous magic.” The Sea Witch got uncomfortably close to my face. I tried to back away, but she swam around to observe me fully. Nothing about me had changed physically, but I’m sure she wasn’t seeing with her natural eye. “I can sense it on you. Your magic is stronger.”
I thought of how quickly I defeated my sister, but then, I quickly pushed that out of my mind. “How is that possible? Is it just because I have feelings for Ian?”
“No. That would be ridiculous, but it is possible that you’re drawn to each other for a reason.” She, once again, became agonizingly uncomfortable. I didn’t back away or cower from her glaring and curious eyes. I tried to be firm while I blanketed my mind with thoughts of training battles, meditation, and the past few lonely years of my life. I would not think of Ian, and I certainly wouldn’t think of the kisses we shared!
Except, I completely did.
I don’t know if my sudden memory of Ian’s kiss was vivid enough to burrow into her brain, but she certainly seemed more suspicious after I indulged in it. “You must have seen him again!” I covered my face. I would have hidden in my clam, but she was already inside of it with me. She grew impatient and pulled my hands away from my flustered face. “I did. Napa found Ian, and I went to see him. He gave me the dagger I had been searching for, and we spoke.”
“That’s not the only thing you did.”
I straightened out my body and tried to look a little taller and mature than I had been acting a moment ago. “We did share a kiss, yes.”
Instead of lecturing me, she twirled around the cavern, shrieking in delight. I hadn’t seen her genuinely happy or excited over anything, so I was a little terrified. “Did he have magic?”
“He didn’t seem to have knowledge of having magic.” “Perhaps he’s an amplifier,” she suggested with much intrigue. “What do you mean?”
“They are extremely rare, but an amplifier can increase your magic, even without being able to use it.” She swam to me and clasped onto both my hands and smiled. “If you were to mate, you could create new magic for your offspring and leave your own power intact. If that’s true, you should definitely mate him.”
“Uh…” My mouth opened in shock. The desire to feel and be more of an adult was ripped away from me. “I’m not ready for this conversation.”
“Why? Do you love him?” “It’s preposterous that I love him!” “But you do!” She chuckled. “I see it in your eyes. I feel it through your magic. He’s made you more powerful. If Fate is pulling you to love this man, don’t push back. There’s no sense in fighting what will be.”
Was it truly possible that Ian made me feel stronger? Was he the reason why I could use my magic to fight my sister so effortlessly? Even if it were true, what did it matter? I only wanted to control my magic so it wouldn’t accidentally go dark. I had no desire to be the greatest sorcerous in the world.
It was silly to think that I could take human form and live with Ian. I hardly knew him. But, for some reason, the thought of leaving to discover the world with him began to fill my chest and gut with a ticklish light that turned into a glorious rumbling. I clutched onto my chest as I felt it vibrating. My entire body was radiating heat. I tried to convince myself that I was merely embarrassed, but my hands were tingling.
“The thought of escaping with that human is causing your magic to burst from you,” the Sea Witch said. “You can’t deny what you want or may very well need.”

Author Bio:
As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts and a pastor, Christina L. Barr has been taught to believe that anything is possible. She’s been a serious composer as far back as twelve-years-old, and has had the opportunity to sing her songs around the world.
In 2007, she graduated from Holly High School number nine in her class and attended College for Creative Studies. She started a pop culture website called The Gorgeous Geeks with her two older sisters, and was even featured on Times Magazine.
Her addiction to writing emerged when she was eighteen and started her first novel. To date, she has nine novels published, fourteen completed, and her goal is to finish thirty books by her thirtieth birthday.
She is currently a Creative Director and spends her days making graphics and videos.


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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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THE PLAYBOY BACHELOR by Rachel Van Dyken Blitz




THE PLAYBOY BACHELOR by Rachel Van Dyken (August 29, 2017; Forever Mass Market; $7.99; The Bachelors of Arizona Book 2)

NOW IN MASS MARKET PAPERBACK!

She’s no Sleeping Beauty. And he’s definitely no prince . . .

Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again-her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot’s whiskey-augmented grandmother “buys” Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he’s at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass.

Bentley’s just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love-nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that “just friends” will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .


EXCERPT

“I’m writing a kissing scene!” she blurted, mentally kicking herself for screaming it in his face. “And the guy’s a complete jackass. Since my only experience with jackasses is you…” Her voice was shaky, just like her body. Could he tell how much she wanted him? How much she hated that her response was this—raw. “I-I figured you were the only one who could show me what it’s like.” Good one, Margot. Do you really have to sound so…desperate?
“What what’s like?”
“A kiss. From a jackass.”
“Got the jackass part.” He treaded water and then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her deeper into the pool until they were on the opposite end, his body pressed against hers. At least his eyes were still locked on her face. “And you’ve never been kissed?”
She rolled her eyes. “Not by someone like—”
“If you keep insulting me, this kiss won’t ever happen, Red.”
“Don’t call me that,” Margot whispered. Was she so weak that she’d forgive his abandonment for one kiss? “Please?”
“This kiss.” His calculated gaze didn’t make her feel any better about the situation. “How long does it need to be? How deep? Where do you want my hands?”
Margot’s mouth dropped open. “That’s not how kisses work! You can’t just map out the kiss. That takes all the romance out of it!”
“Oh, so you want romance?”
“Yes! No! I mean. I didn’t say that!” Her face flamed, and she sagged in defeat. Admitting she wanted romance kind of felt like she was on the losing end of the little battles they’d been having, like she was giving him an in. And if he got in, he’d only hurt her again.
“I was joking,” he said, just before his lips brushed hers. His tongue slid across her bottom lip and then sucked it for a few seconds before he slid it into her mouth and deepened the kiss.
Her lips softened beneath his gentle coaxing, and his hard thighs pressed against hers as a deep hunger awakened within her.
Oh, this was bad.
So bad.
And very, very good at the same time.
Buy the Book!
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About the Author
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult, Regency, and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her husband, son, and their snoring boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

Social Media Links
Add The Playboy Bachelor to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rp3mmo
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Follow Rachel Van Dyken on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qnptFy

Giveaway
Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of the paperback of The Playboy Bachelor!




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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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