Excerpts, Author Bios, and More!
Just in time for Halloween! Cozy up with sexy bad boys and tortured alpha heroes in 12 steamy full-length paranormal romance novels and novellas from NY Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors!
New York Times bestselling author Erin Quinn writes dark paranormal romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the Booksellers Best, WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Readers Crown, Golden Quill, Best Books, and Award of Excellence. Go to www.erinquinnbooks.com for more information or follow Erin on Facebook or Twitter.
Excerpt from Diablo Springs, by Erin Quinn
Gracie Beck vowed that she would never to return to Diablo Springs, but the haunted town lures her back—along with the man who betrayed her years ago. Reilly broke her heart with his lies. Now, he wants a second chance to win her, but can they survive the ghosts of Diablo Springs? As if reading her mind, Reilly whispered. “What the fuck do you want from me, Gracie? I’m only going to disappoint you.”“Maybe.”
Surprise darkened his eyes. Uncertainty shadowed them. Gracie didn’t give him the chance to make a decision—wrong or right. She took his face between her hands and kissed him. Earlier, in the kitchen, too much of their past had been churned to the surface. She’d needed a moment to let it settle, to let the doubts sift to the bottom so she could see what was important.Reilly had done what he’d thought best. So had she. They’d made the decisions of teenagers—the same age as the two children who slept across the hall. Using those choices as a measuring rod now would be as foolish as the choices themselves.Besides, through it all, in spite of it all, there was still this—the fire, the passion that led them to her pregnancy in the first place.And she missed it, that consuming need no other man had every inspired. Even the relationships that had seemed to have a future hadn’t come with the kind of passion that she felt in that moment, with Reilly.Tomorrow the storm might be over and the harsh face of reality would be waiting. Reilly would probably still leave. It’s what he did, and the hard truths they’d shared didn’t really change that. But this moment wouldn’t be one of their many regrets.His kiss tasted of surprise and expectation, and she suspected that the whole list of rationalizations that she’d just completed also played in his head. He caught her bottom lip with his teeth, teased her mouth with his tongue. He stole her breath and replaced it with his own.His stomach muscles tightened when she lifted his shirt, and he muttered something darkly carnal against her lips after she’d stripped it off him. She didn’t know what he’d said, but her body did. She arched against him, and shedding clothes became a dance they did together, their bodies in harmony, their hearts beating out a driving rhythm.He cleared the bed and then lowered her onto the mattress, the heavy weight of him following her down into the softness. She groaned at the feel of him as she wrapped her arms around him and held on. He rested his forehead against hers, their breaths pooling between them as their bodies aligned.He kissed her mouth so slowly and deeply that she lost herself in the sensation, the taste of him, the scent of his skin. It was familiar and new at the same time, so exciting she could barely breath. His lips moved to her throat and down to her breasts, and her body arched into his touch. He kissed her everywhere, his tongue a soft friction against the underside of her breasts, on her nipples, at the vulnerable hollow below her belly. His fingers began some magical spell over the sensitive flesh between her legs, dipping, rubbing, pushing her to a place she hadn’t truly been since the last time he’d touched her so. When his mouth joined their efforts, she had to turn her face into the pillow to muffle her moans.“Jesus,” he murmured against her, tongue insistent, lips and voice catalysts.
She came so fast it stole her breath and made her cry out into the pillow. He held her through it, his touch gentle against the sensitized skin. Then he was kissing her again, the length of him hard against her thigh. She wanted him inside her so badly she almost begged.
NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Caridad Pineiro is a Jersey Girl who just wants to write, and travel. Caridad is the author of over 40 novels/novellas and loves romance novels, super heroes, TV and cooking.
Excerpt from Vampire Reborn by Caridad Pineiro
Would you be reborn for love? Ryder Latimer, sexy Southern vampire, will have to make one of the most difficult choices in his undead life: Become human again or protect his new wife and child. The sight of his lover never failed to stir him.Diana's head was downturned and her nearly seal-black hair fanned forward to hide most of her face, except the faint smile that graced her lips as she watched their daughter nurse.At his entry, Diana met his gaze and her smile broadened, but then her exotic gold-green eyes narrowed. Her cop’s eyes were way too perceptive. “Are you feeling okay?”“Never better,” he lied. He walked to her side and kneeled, still amazed by the miracle with which they’d both been blessed.
The baby’s soft full cheeks moved with each suck and at a strong pull, Diana jumped a bit.“Hungry little thing, isn’t she?” he said and gently skimmed his index finger along the baby’s face.“Like her dad,” Diana teased, cupped his jaw, and tenderly forced his head upward. “You’re not a very good liar, you know.”
Chagrined, he said, “Maybe you’re just more observant than the average person.”“You’re still hurting,” she said and frowned. “I don’t get how that’s possible.”
He didn’t either. He was a vampire for Christ's sake. In the past, he’d healed from a number of injuries virtually overnight. But then again, he’d never been beaten to within an inch of life.And he’d never fed from a slayer elder who was now also a vampire.“I can see myself,” he said and held his hand out in front of him, searching for other differences. Skimming his gaze down his naked body to examine himself before facing her again.
Diana’s forehead furrowed and she looked at him as if he was losing it. “Of course, you can see yourself.”He shook his head and even that simple movement caused a throb of pain at the back of his head where it had connected with a solid brick wall during his fight with the psycho. “No, Di. In the mirror. I can see myself in the mirror. Just faintly, but my image is there.”He waited for her disbelief, but instead there was only calm acceptance as she trailed her hand across his cheek and then skimmed it down to run across the bare skin at his shoulder. “You’re warmer, too. When you’re not in your vampire state that is. I noticed that you’re warmer the other night in bed.”He’d thought so also, but had been afraid that it was just his imagination or maybe the changes in Diana.Much like he’d had a taste of slayer blood, so had Diana in order to save her life during the birth of their daughter. Combined with his turning her, she was now a dhampir like their newborn child, and gifted with some vampire strength and healing, but also with mortal limitations.“Do you think it’s possible that . . . I’m different? That the slayer blood did something?” he asked.
Erin Kellison is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of dark fantasy romance, including the Shadow series and the Reveler series.
Excerpt from Shadow Fall by Erin Kellison
Just discovering her magic, ballerina Annabella Ames didn’t mean to summon a dark wolf from Twilight, nor the tempting fallen angel Custo Santovari, who has no place in Heaven. The cunning wolf stalks them relentlessly, and danger seduces as they fight for redemption and love. The bench at the bus stop was empty. Annabella sat, crossed her legs, and looked down the street again. No bus in sight. Her mind wandered back to rehearsal. Tense shoulders—that’s what Venroy had said. She’d try harder to relax. And he’d said to watch her arms. Maybe there was something off with her upper carriage altogether. Stop. You’re obsessing again. She stood to distract herself and leaned against a lamppost. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to watch old videos. She had Natalia Makarova’s Giselle. She’d seen the performance a million times, but never concentrating on shoulders and arms. Maybe— Across the street, a dense well of shadow drew her attention. Something was moving in there. Make that prowling. A big cat, maybe. Or a dog. Or…or… Her heartbeat accelerated. She deliberately looked away. This was not happening again. Between Giselle and the creepy wolf hallucination from rehearsal, she was going to give herself a nervous breakdown. She took a shuddering breath. There was no need to wait at the bench all night. She could pick up the bus at the next stop. And she needed a bigger distraction. She grabbed her bag, reaching inside for her mobile phone at the same time, and called her best friend, who answered. “Hi, Mom,” Annabella said. She shouldered her bag and lengthened her stride down the sidewalk, taking care to stay where the streetlights were brightest. Paranoid, but whatever. “Oh, good,” her mom answered. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you. I need an extra ticket for your brother’s girlfriend. Apparently he didn’t break up with her, so now she’s coming opening night.” Annabella’s footfalls echoed on the sidewalk. A chill slid down her spine, raising the hairs at her nape as her heart worked her up to a fast stride. She tried to outpace the niggling feeling that someone was stalking her, but glanced over her shoulder anyway. Nothing there but motley shadows, and a block away, a pedestrian.“Annabella?” Oh. Brother. Girlfriend. Ticket. Right. “You think he’s going to propose to her again instead?” “I really don’t know—” Her mom broke off. “Why are you out of breath?” “Walking home.” She glanced across the street and almost tripped to a stop. A patch of skulking shadow traveled the opposite sidewalk. The shadow kept to its own, black on black, and was easy to lose if she blinked. “Bell, it’s late.” Concern filled her mom’s voice. “Get a cab. My treat.” “I would, but I don’t see one.” She kept her gaze trained on the layered darkness, her body stone-still waiting for the next movement. Everything seemed to be shifting ever so slightly around her. The buildings, the street lamps, the metal garbage bins. She was totally cracking up. “Honey, what’s wrong?” “Nothing. It’s stupid. I had a rotten rehearsal.” But since she could tell her mom anything, she added, “And I think I’m being followed.” “What?” Her mom’s voice rose. “Where are you? Can you find someplace safe?” Damn it. Now her mom was worried. “It’s just a dog, Mom. A dog is following me.” “Get inside.” “Businesses are closed. I’m waiting for the bus.” Not a quarter of a block away was the next stop, an empty lit bench waiting. No shadows there. Annabella made for it. “Is there anyone to ask for help?” She glanced around. There was no one in sight anymore. Weird. It wasn’t that late.
“Not really.” “How can you be alone in the middle of New York City?” her mother demanded. “I’m fine, mom. Don’t worry. The…uh…dog is staying on the other side of the street.” Even as she spoke the shadows organized again into the unmistakable form of a black wolf, his eyes shining from the deep pitch of his rough, triangular face. This had to stop. She had to get a freaking grip. She dropped herself onto the bench and closed her eyes while her body quaked.
There’s nothing there. Just a figment of my imagination. A part of her screamed danger! while the rest of her remained resolute. She was not cracking up, not now. They could check her into an asylum…after the gala. “Annabella?” She opened her eyes as the wolf began a slow advance across the street. Head lowered, ears pinned back, he picked his way through the darkest fall of shadow toward her. His growl was low with menace. His eyes were wild yellow, and locked on her. “Mom, I’m scared.” She sounded three, instead of twenty-three, but she didn’t care. She crab-crawled upward to sit on the backrest of the bench. Her blood pounded in her ears as she clutched the phone like a lifeline. Her body loosened slightly, and she knew, tired as she was, that she could run if she had to. “I’m calling the police on the other line.” Annabella’s eyes teared at the urgency in her mom’s voice. She shouldn’t have called home in the first place, shouldn’t have put her mom through this. The wolf crossed the midline of the road and she started to shake. A roaring sound filled her ears. This isn’t happening. This can’t be happening.“Honey, it’s going to be okay.” Sure enough, her mom released a tirade of demands in the background. “Where is the dog now?” “It’s…uh…” Fear choked her answer. The wolf ambled closer, his paws silent on the pavement. As he drew near, she perceived that the blackness of his coat was instead a variable absence of color. The thing lacked substance, like a nightmare, and yet his intent was palpable enough. “Honey?” Her mom’s voice was high and harsh, frantic. A scream built up in Annabella’s throat, gathering into a tight kernel of fear. But the wolf stopped there, at the edge of a circular pool of streetlight. He snarled into a series of sharp barks, loud as cracking thunder, but did not cross into the halo of light. The barks hit her like blows, but she kept her seat. Didn’t run off into the dark.The wolf satisfied himself with a slow prowl around the perimeter of the glow, his gaze fixed on her. Waiting. If she could have wrapped the lamplight around her like a cloak, she would have. As it was, she fully intended to stay on this bench all night, until the sun rose and burned away the monster. “Honey!” “I’m here.” “The dog?” Wolf. “Mad, I think.” Her voice shook her words to pieces. “I’m not going to move. Or breathe. Maybe it will leave me alone.” “Oh, honey.” Now her mom was crying. “I’m sorry, Mom.” The tears in her voice matched her mother’s. The wolf finished its first threatening lap. “I should’ve taken a cab. I promise to take a cab from now on.”
Her gaze followed the animal as it started a second circuit, somewhat larger to take him farther from the street bench. The high-pitched squeal of a bus’s brakes told her why. The bus had arrived, hissing to a stop, its interior bright as day. Salvation. “What’s that?” her mom asked. The bus’s door folded open. Annabella laughed as tears spilled down her cheeks, and she stepped from streetlight to safety. “The bus. I’m on the bus.” “Oh, thank you, God,” her mom breathed into the phone. “You’ll be okay now?” With every light on in her apartment and a good night’s sleep. “Yeah, I think so.”
She glanced out the window onto the darkened street as she took her seat, searching for signs of movement. I hope so.
Lisa Kessler is an Amazon Best Selling author of dark, passionate, paranormal romance, including the Award-Winning Night Series and Moon Series.
Excerpt from Night Angel by Lisa Kessler
When Colin Flynn returns home to Ireland, the immortal Night Walker's flesh has healed, but the scars hide a broken spirit. Juliana Duffy plays piano in spite of her deafness, challenging him to redefine himself and find the strength to battle an ancient enemy.
A single glass remained on the table. Colin approached, careful not to touch it. If the police were going to be involved, he didn’t want his fingerprints on the glass. He leaned down, closing his eyes as he inhaled slowly. The rich scent of the stout assaulted his preternatural senses.
Patiently, he took one more breath. And caught the salty smell of the ocean and fainter still, blood. He straightened, his pulse racing. If he had dealt with the water horse already, none of this would’ve happened. This was his responsibility. He rotated his left shoulder. Doubt lingered at the edge of his consciousness, taunting him. Colin spun around, his eyes meeting Juliana’s. “Call the police. They can dust the glass for fingerprints and check the liquid for drugs.” She frowned. You think he drugged her and carried her out? The sick bastard wouldn’t need drugs. The hypnotic tone of his voice would be enough to lure Muriel out of her pub without locking up. But he couldn’t tell Juliana that. Colin shrugged. “It is worth checking.” He stepped close to Bartley, keeping his face turned away from Juliana. “Stay with her and keep her safe. I need to hunt.” Bartley leaned in closer. “Is it…?” Colin nodded and focused on Darby again. “I’m afraid we need to close the pub early tonight.” Darby grabbed his hat from the stool next to him and stood up. “Understood. If there’s anythin’ I can do to help…” “We’ll let you know. The police might want the guy’s description again.” Juliana approached, words already written on her notepad. Thanks for watching the till, Darby. When Muriel gets back, she owes you a drink. He chuckled and swiped the air with his hand. “No bother.” He gave Juliana a gentle hug. “They’ll find your cousin.” Colin waited for her eyes to meet his before he spoke again. “I am going to check the other pubs to find out if anyone has seen her. Bartley will stay with you and wait for the police.” He glanced at Claire. “Can I walk you to your car?” Claire gave him a knowing look. Her go-get-’em look. “Yes, thank ye.” He tipped his head. As she came around the bar, he turned his attention back to Juliana. Her determined stance reassured him. She was a fighter, heart and soul. He didn’t need to peer into her mind to see it. “I’ll meet up with you before sunrise.” He stepped closer to her, the floral scent of her skin enticing him. She tipped her chin up, staring into his eyes, as his finger tenderly traced her jawline. He had to touch her soft, warm skin. This woman had been through enough already. Losing her cousin would surely break her. He needed to protect his territory, but now it was personal. He had to protect Juliana. And right now, that meant finding Muriel. He could not fail. Leaning closer, he whispered, “Please be safe.” Her lips parted, tempting him to bridge the distance between them. Before he could act, she rose on her toes and her lips tenderly brushed his, setting fire to his ancient soul. She lowered, breaking the kiss, her lashes fluttering up as she stared at him. Her rose-colored lips mouthed the words Thank you. Finally she slid her notepad off the bar. See that you come back soon.
The corner of his mouth tugged into a lopsided smile, forgetting any previous hesitation about confronting Benedict. He lifted her hand to his lips, pressing a kiss to her fingers. “Be careful.”
Chris Marie Green
Chris Marie Green is a BookScan bestselling urban fantasy author who writes the Vampire Babylon and Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire, series.
Excerpt from Shadows 'Till Sunrise by Chris Marie Green
Two monster hunters fighting a star-crossed attraction and one bloodthirsty phantom leaving a trail of death… Can love survive till the sun rises? When I awakened in a bed in a rundown cabin lit by lanterns, I had no recollection of anything.Not even my name. But the odd woman sitting beside me did seem strikingly familiar as she touched my shoulder and comforted me with a hushed, “Shh…It’s fine, you’re safe.” I froze, scanning her. She wore a beige robe tied by a sash, had frizzy red hair, a dimple in her chin, and distinctive lips that were so red they seemed to have been stained by juice. Perhaps the most unsettling detail, though, was the white cloth that covered her eyes. It had two dark circles where eyes should have been. “Know your name or who you are, child?” she asked in a backwoods voice that told me she was young, although her appearance hardly confirmed that. She could have been twenty or seventy. I didn’t bloody well know. I sifted through my memories, and when I realized I didn’t have any, my nerves howled, compounding my confusion. She sighed as she squeezed my arm in reassurance. “Of course you haven’t a recollection. Now you just stay put and don’t be testin’ me, Lilly.” Lilly. My name? A teen girl with dark, braided hair stepped forward, her head down as she slid a computer onto my lap. A computer. I knew what that was. But nothing else? The girl backed away, watching me with a shy gaze. “Much obliged, Jean-Marie,” said the blind woman, gesturing for me to sit up. As I did so, I felt something clinging to my legs. One glance down at them startled me to a jump, nearly spilling the computer to the wood floor. “Easy now,” the woman said soothingly, resting her hand on my arm again. Indeed, her touch assuaged me, even as I marveled at the sight of vines wrapped round my calves, aping the appearance of boots. “What the devil?” I asked. The boots tightened on my skin, as if taking affront to my surprise. The woman motioned to the computer. “Go ahead, turn it on, Lilly. Sure ’nuff, you know how to do that.” Questions swarmed me as I focused on the black screen, where an arrow indicated I should press Play. How in the world I knew that much, I couldn’t say. I couldn’t explain anything—the reason I was dressed in a long T-shirt and tracksuit shorts, the whys and hows of being in a cabin with covered windows, bare-bones furnishings, and what appeared to be a sheet-veiled mirror near a nightstand. So I made the computer play for me, and almost immediately, a video of a twenty-some girl filled the screen: blondish hair sliced to the shoulders in a bob, green eyes, a slightly tilted nose, and an overbite. She was wearing a variation on the clothing I had on now. I touched my face. Same, same. “Yes,” said the woman next to me as she continued to wait by my bedside. She folded her hands in her lap. “It’s you, Lilly. Now listen up to what you have to say...”
USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo writes romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and mystery. Her books have been described as “a must-read,” “thought provoking,” “delicious,” and “delightful.” Please visit her at: www.maryleo.com
USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo writes romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and mystery. Her books have been described as “a must-read,” “thought provoking,” “delicious,” and “delightful.” Please visit her at: www.maryleo.com
Excerpt from A Shadow at Twilight by Mary Leo
Hilly Thompson must once again give up her much anticipated vacation in favor of Dillon Spencer’s needs, her overbearing, and sometimes downright rude, boss. Granted, he is now in a deep coma after a nasty car accident, but still… To make matters worse, his spirit keeps appearing to her, requesting information, all the while teasing her with his charm. Soon Hilly finds herself falling for this kinder version of Dillon. But this sexy spirit is nothing like the real man, and falling for him, would certainly break her heart.
Her grandson was late picking her up. Usually, he’d arrive much earlier in the day and hang around the café for a few hours, catching up with old friends. This time he had phoned to tell her he’d gotten delayed, and he’d have to postpone catching up with everyone until the back end of his trip.She didn’t really care as long as he was still willing to take her to their favorite place in the entire world, the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, for a long visit. Something the two of them had been doing for the past ten years.Still, as much as she cherished their time together, she longed for him to find his soul mate, his one true love, a woman who he deeply loved and who would love him in return. And that certainly wasn’t that Nanette girl. The fact that he hadn’t brought her to Colorado spoke volumes. He simply didn’t love her.Margarita could rest easy if only he would stop trying to live someone else’s life and focus on his own desires.She wondered if there was any way she could bring the young woman standing in front of the café and her grandson together. Arrange some kind of meeting, or better still, concoct an old fashioned love spell. Logic told her she was silly to think this way. The young woman might already be married or she might have a myriad of ugly traits.Instinct told her otherwise.And instinct had never failed her.Admittedly, Margarita had grown weary in her golden years and hadn’t thought of using her spiritual ability in quite some time.When she was a much younger woman, she never thought twice about casting spells. She wanted everyone to be in love and she would spread her magic around like pixie dust, then sit back and watch with delight as one happy couple after another would come into her café to announce their wedding plans.Love spells were the only magic she would ever consider. Anything else might bring evil into her life and there was enough evil in the world. She didn’t need it knocking on her door.She had stopped spreading love dust the day her precious daughter left this world. Margarita had turned bitter after that, especially because the man her daughter had married had turned out to be a tyrant. Try as she may, Margarita had had no power over her own sweet daughter’s love choice.She wondered if she had power over her grandson’s love choices or was he exempt just like his mom had been. She’d never thought about trying to cast a love spell on him before this very moment; perhaps because she’d never seen the right girl.This was the right girl; this was his soul mate, his partner for life. She knew it deep in her soul and knew she had to act quickly or the moment would pass.Fortunately, today she’d worn the sapphire ring her mother had given her, passed down through the generations for just this purpose. She would have passed it to her sweet daughter on her thirty-fifth birthday, but fate had stepped in and taken her well before that day.The ring now lay hidden under her white coat. It didn’t fit on her arthritic fingers anymore, so she’d slipped it on a long silver chain that very morning and hung it from her neck without giving it a second thought. She couldn’t remember how many years it had been since she’d worn it last, and yet, out of the blue . . . her blue heaven . . . she had managed to have the mystic ring ready when she needed it most.As she stepped outside and as the cold surrounded her, she reached under her coat and clutched the ring. Instantly, the familiar warm tingling sensation swept through her as she silently began mouthing her love chant: Just Dillon and she, and baby makes three. They’re happy in my blue heaven.Her fingers vibrated as she held the ring in the center of her chest, and a radiant blue light flashed outward between her fingers. It only lasted a few seconds, much less time than it used to, but she hoped it had been enough for the universe to hear her request.It was time, she thought, while still clutching the ring and watching as the two women crossed the street just as her grandson pulled a black SUV up to the curb in front of the café.Time her precious Dillon found his one true love.
USA Today bestselling author Maureen Child is the award winning author of more than 130 romance novels in several different genres.
Excerpt from More than Fiends by Maureen Child
At 32, Cassidy Burke discovers she’s a legendary Demon Duster. But she’s got bigger problems than some pesky demons. Like, Logan Miller--first love, baby daddy to her genius daughter is back. Then there’s Devlin Cole, a walking orgasm with too many secrets. Cassidy’s life is out of control and about to get way too interesting.
When I awakened in a bed in a rundown cabin lit by lanterns, I had no recollection of anything.Not even my name. But the odd woman sitting beside me did seem strikingly familiar as she touched my shoulder and comforted me with a hushed, “Shh…It’s fine, you’re safe.” I froze, scanning her. She wore a beige robe tied by a sash, had frizzy red hair, a dimple in her chin, and distinctive lips that were so red they seemed to have been stained by juice. Perhaps the most unsettling detail, though, was the white cloth that covered her eyes. It had two dark circles where eyes should have been. “Know your name or who you are, child?” she asked in a backwoods voice that told me she was young, although her appearance hardly confirmed that. She could have been twenty or seventy. I didn’t bloody well know. I sifted through my memories, and when I realized I didn’t have any, my nerves howled, compounding my confusion. She sighed as she squeezed my arm in reassurance. “Of course you haven’t a recollection. Now you just stay put and don’t be testin’ me, Lilly.” Lilly. My name? A teen girl with dark, braided hair stepped forward, her head down as she slid a computer onto my lap. A computer. I knew what that was. But nothing else? The girl backed away, watching me with a shy gaze. “Much obliged, Jean-Marie,” said the blind woman, gesturing for me to sit up. As I did so, I felt something clinging to my legs. One glance down at them startled me to a jump, nearly spilling the computer to the wood floor. “Easy now,” the woman said soothingly, resting her hand on my arm again. Indeed, her touch assuaged me, even as I marveled at the sight of vines wrapped round my calves, aping the appearance of boots. “What the devil?” I asked. The boots tightened on my skin, as if taking affront to my surprise. The woman motioned to the computer. “Go ahead, turn it on, Lilly. Sure ’nuff, you know how to do that.” Questions swarmed me as I focused on the black screen, where an arrow indicated I should press Play. How in the world I knew that much, I couldn’t say. I couldn’t explain anything—the reason I was dressed in a long T-shirt and tracksuit shorts, the whys and hows of being in a cabin with covered windows, bare-bones furnishings, and what appeared to be a sheet-veiled mirror near a nightstand. So I made the computer play for me, and almost immediately, a video of a twenty-some girl filled the screen: blondish hair sliced to the shoulders in a bob, green eyes, a slightly tilted nose, and an overbite. She was wearing a variation on the clothing I had on now. I touched my face. Same, same.
“Yes,” said the woman next to me as she continued to wait by my bedside. She folded her hands in her lap. “It’s you, Lilly. Now listen up to what you have to say...”
Excerpt from Immortal Possession by Cassi Carver
When Dr. Evelyn Vale is paired with Immortal Bounty’s sexy commander to go undercover and infiltrate a supernatural body-trafficking ring, she’s eager to get to work. Until she learns the catch… To crack this case, he’ll need to possess her body.
“So how is this going to work? If Lauren can’t stay put long enough, am I supposed to pretend I’m her?”He tapped his index finger across the computer panel on the refrigerator and adjusted the temperature. “No way. That’ll get us caught faster than anything. You’re going to pretend you’re in love with me and a willing participant in all of this. Lauren and I will spread the rumor that we’re bored with you and are quietly looking for another host. That way, you can just be you until Lauren gets the hang of sticking around longer.”She cocked a brow. “Wait. Hold on a second. ‘Just being me’ is acting like I’m in sick-in-love with you while you’re planning to leave me? Lovely, Commander.”“Come on, Doc.” He pressed save on the refrigerator settings and came a few steps closer to her, then he leaned back against the counter in a way that made his shirt flatten over his tight abs. “It shouldn’t be that hard to pretend you have the hots for me. The women around campus think I’m quite a catch.”
Indignant laughter burst from her chest. “What women? Darlene said you were horrible. A grump, and a recluse, even. I was totally warned away.”He rolled his eyes. “Oh, please. She thinks I’m horrible because I haven’t slept with her. Have you seen the way her wings move when she’s excited? Some guys may be into that, but it’s not my thing. Besides, I don’t date the women on campus. It might make me an anomaly, but a recluse—no. And grumpy? Sometimes my unit needs a good, firm boot in the ass, but otherwise, I’m a total sweetheart.”She gave him a dubious look. “So you’ve never dated anyone on campus?”That was hard to believe. Given the strange exchange between him and Lauren, Evelyn was pretty sure something had been going on between the two of them before Lauren had died.“One time…and it didn’t end well. I vowed never again. When I need company, I go into town.”“Company, huh? Do the locals know you’re a Sentinel?”“I don’t talk about work in town. If I was so casual with that information, I wouldn’t be worth shit going undercover.”“Yeah. Good point. But still, I bet they know.”“I say I’m in construction.”“Jesse. Look at you. You don’t get a body like that—” she gestured up and down his chiseled form, “—just from working construction.”
He met her eyes, his smile fading. “Careful, Doc. You keep eyeing me like that, and I’m going to think you don’t have the same workplace morals as me.”Her cheeks warmed. He was right. She probably needed to do a better job at hiding her admiration of his…attributes. “Sorry.”He shook his head and pushed up from the countertop. “No, that’s not gonna work. Look at your cheeks, turning all shades of red when I tease you. No one is going to believe we’ve ever slept together, much less so often that I’m bored with you. We need to work on desensitizing you.”“What—” she started to ask, already breathless from the smoldering look in his eyes.
She gasped when he picked her up around the waist and lifted her rump onto the cold granite. Her heart stuttered when he plunged one hand into the hair at her nape and cupped her cheek with the other.His lips hovered over hers, and his eyes filled her vision. “You are so beautiful.”When Jesse’s lips found her neck, sucking hard, and his teeth scraped her throat, her hands fisted in the cloth at his shoulders, and her head lolled to the side, giving him all the room he needed continue. After a minute of the sensual assault, her heart was racing and her limbs going weak. She felt like she might melt right off the countertop, but Jesse’s strong arms were keeping her anchored, holding her firm.He cupped her chin and stared into her eyes before pressing his lips to hers. His mouth was firm yet soft, and when his tongue darted out and licked the corner of her lips, her breath hitched and her mouth opened of its own volition, wanting more of him. She was starting to feel light-headed, her lungs barely remembering to expand and contract, and her energy whipping through her body in a frenzied current.Jesse pulled back suddenly and his gaze went distant. “Yes, ops control, Dr. Vale is fine. We’re just training. I need you to shut off her vitals scanner until further notice. Can you do that? Thank you.”She stared at Jesse, realizing her body was in such an uproar it had triggered a medical alert. She was somewhere between mortified and not giving a shit so long as Jesse kept kissing her.He wrapped a long strand of her hair around his finger and then tucked it behind her ear. “Just breathe, Evelyn. Control your heart rate. We can be finished for now if you want.”Her legs wrapped around his hips and shifted him closer, but still not close enough to give her what she wanted, not close enough to feel his thick length pressing into her where she needed him most.“I’m not sure about my heart rate,” she answered, “but I’m pretty sure I’m still breathing.” Just barely. “You’re not stopping on my account, are you? How are we going to convince people we’re lovers if we can’t even make out for two minutes in the kitchen? Come on, Commander. Bring your A game.”
Janet Wellington writes award-winning contemporary & paranormal romance. Publishers Weekly: she creates “characters readers root for from page one.”
Excerpt from Forever Rose by Janet Wellington
Tarot cards predict a dangerous journey for Taylor Rose, but she doesn’t expect to travel back to 1888 San Diego. What the cards didn’t predict was falling for a man bent on revenge, a helpful ghost, and spooky séances. Is she there to prevent a murder or to find love?
In the protected cove, it was as though she and Jackson were isolated from the rest of the world. Nothing else existed. Maybe time was an illusion. Here she lived only in the present—no future, no past. In this perfect new world, Jackson no longer considered the self-destructive path of murder. In this ideal now, there were no mysteries to solve, no truth to discover. All that mattered was to discover each other. Succumbing gratefully to the delicious awareness of awakening passion, she took a step forward in the water and right into the arms of Jackson Hoyt. He gathered her into his arms, holding her weightless body snugly. She gasped at the shock of pleasure as her soft curves molded to the contours of his lean body. Skin to skin in the warm water, they were instantly one. Liquid heat surrounding their bodies, and liquid heat within. Did he feel it too? Did he feel as out of control as she did? Burying her face against his throat, she felt his pulse quicken against her cheek, and her own defenses weakened with every beat of his heart. Acutely aware of his growing hardness pressing into the soft flesh of her belly, she felt the tide of passion rise within her, a tremor heating her depths, a quiver building between her legs. Timeless moments passed as her doubts and fears sweetly drained away.Gently she pulled her face away from him, just far enough to enable her to look up into his eyes as he gazed down at her. Her fingers were happily lost in the wet curls of his long black hair as she studied his expression carefully. The gaze he returned was soft, once again waiting for her to decide what came next. “Sweet, Rose,” he whispered, his mouth brushing against hers as he spoke her name, tasting the salt on her lips with the tip of his tongue. Parting her lips, she pulled him to her and kissed him with a wild hunger, a little shocked by her own eager response to the mere touch of his lips. Shivers of delight flamed within as blood pounded in her brain, leapt from her heart, and made her knees tremble as she gave herself freely to the passion of the kiss, to a kiss that was so much more than she’d imagined a kiss might ever be. Jackson’s hands seared a downward path to explore the soft lines of her back, her waist, her hips, and then his hands lowered further to gently cup her bottom, caressing the soft flesh like a cat kneading a pillow. Lifting her off the sandy floor, he encouraged her legs to encircle his waist as he then wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer still. Again, she pulled away from him, this time to reassure him that she was willing to follow this perilous leap of her heart. “Jackson,” she whispered hoarsely, “make love to me.” She wanted him to know she wanted him, and completely. His hardness now perfectly repositioned between her open legs, she knew her folds were slick with readiness and all she could think about was having him inside her. She inhaled sharply at the contact, then trembled with pleasure as the tip of him pressed between her legs, just nudging against her, so gently, still waiting. She watched his face, watched his blue eyes darken with desire as his hands moved to massage the small of her back…then his fingers shifted to encircle her waist as he repositioned her, finally pulling her down until she felt him buried deeply inside her. She gasped and looked at him through half-closed eyes, focusing on the hardness of him within her—almost more pleasure than she could stand—as she squeezed against him, wanting to feel every part of him. Her lips parted and she tried to breathe slowly, wanting to enjoy him, to watch his face as he too seemed to be tumbling out of control, lost in her fiery imprisonment of his body now deep within hers…then she began to move, her knees now pressed against his hips, struggling to find a way to slide up and down against him, wanting to feel the movement she knew would be as delicious as she’d imagined. Soon his hands helped her move in a natural, primal rhythm that fulfilled her cravings—passionate lovemaking just as she’d imagined it could be. Sliding up and down against him pressed against her clitoris, and she felt the unmistakable wave of an orgasm building. Her world existed of nothing but this amazing present—only this moment, this indescribably pleasure…so perfect, so right. Their movements were in synch, moving faster now, her hips rocking and finding new ways of feeling every inch of him inside her, stroking and squeezing him, him pulling out a little and then rubbing against her as though somehow he knew exactly how to move, all the while staring into her eyes. Then the crescendo began, waves of pleasure building even stronger inside as she gave in to the heat and the tremble deep inside just as she saw his expression change, his eyes closing almost in pain as the orgasmic waves crashed within her and they simultaneously soared to an awesome, shuddering ecstasy. Even in the water she felt his release—electricity seemed to arc through them as she was consumed by the most powerful orgasm she’d ever had, ever imagined. Wave after wave of pleasure continued and she wanted it to go on forever. A moan of rapture slipped through his lips as he opened his eyes and moved his mouth over hers, devouring its softness. She clung to him, wrapping her legs tightly around his waist, never intending to let go, holding the moment as long as she could, the orgasm finally subsiding as the waves of pleasure quieted. In a few moments their kisses became softer, more tender as she felt him soften inside her, her legs still wrapped tightly around his waist. A third time, she pulled away from him to gaze into his eyes. Would she see truth there? Jackson returned her gaze and she quickly became lost in his soulful blue eyes. His black hair, now damp, seemed even longer. It gleamed in the sunlight and flowed from his face like a crest. Soft, unruly tendrils caressed his forehead and the sides of his neck. He was simply gorgeous and he had no idea. As she stared at his handsome face it seemed as though he might be searching for words, but found none. Instead of speaking, he brushed a gentle kiss across her forehead, then touched his lips to each cheek. Taylor sighed deeply and drank in the tenderness of each kiss. A deep feeling of peace entered her being. This, this was the passion she’d searched for, longed for. This was the magic she’d imagined could be hers with the right man. Her eyes closed now, she cherished the afterglow, relishing the amazing sense of completeness within her. Was this the fulfillment she’d wished for on that night in the garden? Snuggling into Jackson’s strong arms, she nuzzled his neck and nibbled at his earlobe. This man was delicious enough to eat. “Jackson?” “Yes, sweet Rose...” “How do you feel?”
Award-winning author Theresa Meyers writes the Sons of Midnight, Shadow Sisters, Legend Chronicles, Vector Force and Enochian Brotherhoood series.
Excerpt from Welcome Home, Vampire by Theresa Meyers
For a moment Cole’s whole world coalesced into one perfect moment where her sweet lips melded with his. The kiss stripped away any sense of where he was, or why. All the world boiled down to just this woman intimately connected to him. Here. Now. And then his conscious hit him upside the head with a proverbial sledgehammer. Hey, asshole. You're kissing your buddy’s wife. Smooth. Bet he’d really appreciate it. Cole instantly broke off the kiss. Kayla’s creamy skin was flushed with just a hint of pink and the heat in her brown eyes could have scalded him like a fresh cup of coffee. Her lips, now a deeper pink and slightly parted as her breath came faster, begged him to taste her again. But Cole held himself in check with a level of discipline that would have made his drill sergeant proud. “I didn’t mean for that to happen,” he said, perhaps a tad too brusquely. The sparkle faded from her eyes and she pulled further away from him, crossing her arms over her chest. Great. He’d hurt her feelings. Not what he’d intended. But then none of this had been what he intended. She gave him a narrow-eyed look. “Then exactly what did you have in mind?” Yeah, like he had a prayer of explaining his vampire state or his powers to any civilian, let alone a woman who knew him better than anyone except his dead friend. Cole shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. Won’t happen. We had our time and it didn’t work out. I’m just here as a friend.”
Kayla’s hands dropped slowly and came to rest on her hips. “You are not seriously going to friend zone me, are you? We were sixteen. I hardly think that counts as a mature relationship, do you?” He tried to smile, he honestly did, but it just hurt too damn much to remember how they’d been together. She’d been his first time, and he’d been hers. And it had been a total, fumbling nightmare of adolescent horniness. It had gotten better, but that had been then. This was now. And now, was way, way different. “Your Jack’s wi—” Before he could finish the word she placed a smooth, warm finger over his mouth. “Was. I was his wife. And I’m glad I was. But that’s in the past too. What we do, right here, right now? That’s up to us. No one else.” Cole narrowed his eyes. Perhaps she had a point, but then her good point was totally blown out of the water by his twisted, freakish reality. Could vampires even mate with humans without hurting them? Of course he had the requisite parts, and God knew he had the desire, but would making love to Kayla have the potential to kill her? He didn’t know.
Sheri Whitefeather is an award-winning, bestselling romance author. Her books are generously spiced with love, passion and sinfully hot heroes.
Excerpt from Vampire Magic, by Sheri Whitefeather
VAMPIRE MAGIC by Sheri Whitefeather offers two tenderly romantic, wildly erotic novellas. Each story features one of the Dumont brothers, sinfully delicious heroes who are supernatural hybrids (vampires/genies) living inside antique jewelry and granting wishes for the exchange of blood.THE VAMPIRE PENDANT (Book One): As a teenager, Tessa Clarins was damaged by a fire, and now the scarred twenty-five-year-old virgin has been made beautiful by a wish. But Tessa’s wish is only temporary, and so is her affair with Anthony Dumont, the sexy gen-vamp feasting on her veins.THE VAMPIRE BRACELET (Book Two): Marie North has known about gen-vamps since she was a child and never expected to yearn for a wish. But now she has come face-to-face with Nicholas Dumont, a bondage-loving gen-vamp, tempting her to fall for his bad-boy ways. Anthony couldn’t wait to drink from Tessa, to sink his fangs deep into her vein. He was hungry, ravenous, in fact. It had been a while since he’d fed. But he did his damnedest to behave in a civilized manner. She was already frightened. He could feel her fear. They entered her room, and she closed the door. But that wasn’t good enough for him. He locked it, turning the deadbolt and flipping the security latches. Her breath went shaky. “Should I sit or stand or what?” He glanced around. “Why don’t we do it in front of the mirror so you can witness what’s happening.” “The mirror?” Her voice squeaked. “Is that a problem for you?”“I . . .” “You what?”“Nothing.”
Her tone of voice didn’t sound like nothing. “Tell me. What’s going on with the mirror?” “I did something in front of it.” “Something?” He gave her a confused look. She wasn’t making sense.“You know.” She made a sexual motion with her hand.
Scoundrel that he was, he smiled. “You pleasured yourself?” Her cheeks colored. “Yes.” “How delightfully bad of you.” He escorted her to the mirror. He was determined to follow through, now more than ever. He stood behind her, and she gazed uncomfortably at their reflections. “In the old Dracula-type movies, vampires couldn’t be seen in mirrors,” she said.“That wasn’t accurate.”
Her gaze drifted to the pendant. “What about crosses?” “What about them?”“Do they weaken vampires?” “That part of our legend is true. That’s why gen-vamps are placed inside of jewelry with crosses. Being connected to crosses is what keeps us from killing the people we feed on. Or from turning them into what we are.”“Is your touch going to be cold?” “Yes, but not as chilly as a regular vampire.” “Do you have a pulse?” “I can’t say that I do. But I have a heartbeat.” “That’s strange.”“Genies have rapid heartbeats. Becoming part genie made mine start beating again. It happens to all gen-vamps.” He moved her hair away from her neck. “Are you ready?”
She twitched. “No, but go ahead.” Eager, he lowered his head, inhaling the fragrance of her flesh. Below the surface of her skin, he could smell the heady bouquet of blood.His eyes flashed red. At the bar, he’d changed them as a parlor trick. But this was a reflex, the color that naturally occurred during a feeding. He exposed his fangs, and she flinched. She was watching his transformation in the mirror. “Relax,” he whispered. “I can’t.” She stepped out of her shoes. “I’m already swaying on my feet. If I pass out, will you catch me?” “Yes, but no one has ever passed out from my bite before.” “I might.”
Elisabeth Staab loves happy endings, coffee, and sob-inducing “restore your faith in humanity” stories. She lives in Washington DC with her family and her mug collection.
Excerpt from Wild Nights with a Lone Wolf, by Elizabeth Staab
A mandatory vacation lands Agent Sherri Walker in bed with a local werewolf. Asher Hughes walked away from his outlaw pack but couldn't ditch the bad blood. Together they’ll have to pull off one hell of an act to get out of treacherous territory alive. She looked him over. He smiled easily, seductively, as relaxed and confident now as when he’d clutched that other man’s shirt in his fingers. Eyes that appeared coal-dark outside now glowed like warm amber, glittering under the bar lights. Blunt nails and roughed-up hands suggested manual labor, but his fingers looked long and elegant. The kaleidoscope-color tattoos of a skeleton wearing a wolf pelt and the bold text that decorated his forearms suggested— “Oh, hell.”Pack emblems. She’d attended a seminar on them before leaving DC. “You’re a werewolf.” They’d made their existence known over the past couple of decades, small gangs of them living along the Mexico border. Further north, some still didn’t believe in their existence, but their penchant toward violent behavior had landed more than one on the government’s watch list.The words Los Lobos Muertos twisted around each tattoo. His pack name. Must be.
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