Sunday, 30 June 2019

May & June 2019 Recap


Books read in previous months but reviewed in May & June:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Sweep of the Blade - Ilona Andrews (Read in January, review coming soon)
  2. Snowed In - Navessa Allen (Read in March, review coming soon)
  3. To Free a Captured Heart - R.L. Naquin (Read in March, review coming soon)
  4. The Near Witch - V.E. Schwab (Read in March, review coming soon)
  5. The Ash-Born Boy - V.E. Schwab (Short Story) (Read in March, review coming soon)
  6. Their Second Chance - Katee Robert (Novella) (Read in March, review coming soon)
  7. The Undying King - Grace Draven (Novella) (Read in March, review coming soon)
  8. Fate's Danger - Amanda Carlson (Read in March, review coming soon)
  9. Wolf Rain - Nalini Singh (Read in March, reviewed in June)
  10. Sapphire Flames - Ilona Andrews (Read Twice) (Read in April, review coming soon)
  11. The Queen's Advantage - Jessie Mihalik (Read in April, review coming soon)
  12. Barbarian's Mate - Ruby Dixon (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  13. Having the Barbarian's Baby - Ruby Dixon (Short Story) (Read in April, review coming soon)
  14. Worth Fighting For - Laura Kaye (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  15. Grave Visions - Kalayna Price (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  16. The Winter of the Witch - Katherine Arden (Read in April, review coming soon)
  17. The Women's War - Jenna Glass (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  18. The Dom Who Loved Me - Lexi Blake (Read in April, reviewed in May)
Books read in May:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. King of Fools - Amanda Foody
  2. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire - Kerrelyn Sparks
  3. Middlegame - Seanan McGuire
  4. Hot Rocks - Nora Roberts
  5. Big Jack - J.D. Robb
  6. Remember When - Nora Roberts & J.D. Robb
  7. The Culling Trials book 2 - Shannon Mayer & K.F. Breene
  8. Incredibuilds: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Express (Deluxe Book and Model Set)
  9. Sleepless Vol. 1 - Sarah Vaughn & Leila del Duca (Graphic Novel) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  10. Sleepless Vol. 2 - Sarah Vaughn & Leila del Duca (Graphic Novel)
  11. Memorial - Kit Rocha (Short Story)
  12. The Men with the Golden Cuffs - Lexi Blake
  13. Grave Ransom - Kalayna Price
  14. Clean Sweep - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  15. Sweep in Peace - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  16. The Beyond - Chloe Neill
  17. Siren Unleashed - Lexi Blake
  18. One Fell Sweep - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  19. Three Weeks to Wed - Ella Quinn
  20. Vamps and the City - Kerrelyn Sparks
  21. Meet Cute - Helena Hunting
  22. Fierce Protector - Kit Rocha (Short Story)
  23. The Match of the Century - Cathy Maxwell
  24. Grave Destiny - Kalayna Price
  25. Divided in Death - J.D. Robb
  26. Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons - Dugald A. Steer
  27. A Questionable Client - Ilona Andrews (Short Story) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  28. Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
Books read in June:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Her Dark Legion - Pippa DaCosta
  2. Heart Mate - Robin D. Owens (Review coming soon)
  3. High Stakes - Erin McCarthy (Review coming soon)
  4. The Rowan - Anne McCaffrey (Review coming soon)
  5. The Culling Trials book 3 - Shannon Mayer & K.F. Breene
  6. Blood Engines - T.A. Pratt (Review coming soon)
  7. Visions in Death - J.D. Robb
  8. A Dom is Forever - Lexi Blake (Review coming soon)
  9. When a Marquis Chooses a Bride - Ella Quinn (Review coming soon)
  10. The Bride Test - Helen Hoang (Review coming soon)
  11. The Girl in Red - Christina Henry (Review coming soon)
  12. Enchanted - Lexi Blake
  13. Kingdom of Exiles - Maxym Martineau (Review coming soon)
  14. Magic Burns - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  15. Magic Strikes - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  16. Magic Mourns - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  17. Memento - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Novella)
  18. Magic Bleeds - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  19. Magic Dreams - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  20. In Moonlight and Memories Volume One - Julie Ann Walker (Review coming soon)
  21. Survivor in Death - J.D. Robb (Review coming soon)
      Other May Posts
      1. Cover Reveal: In Moonlight and Memories - Julie Ann Walker
      2. Book Trailer: Everless - Sara Holland
      3. Book Trailer: Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi
      4. Book Trailer: The Wizards of Once - Cressida Cowell
      5. Blog Tour: Kingsbane - Claire Legrand (UK Giveaway)
      6. Book Trailer: Great Library Series - Rachel Caine
      7. Winner: Kingsbane - Claire Legrand
      8. Book Trailer: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
      9. Cover Reveal: Break the Day - Lara Adrian
      May Books of the Month:
      (Choices are made from books reviewed this month and the links will take you to my reviews)

      My top YA read in May:


      King of Fools by Amanda Foody (read my review here)

      My top adult read in May:


      Middlegame by Seanan McGuire (read my review here)

      June Books of the Month:
      (Choices are made from books reviewed this month and the links will take you to my reviews)

      My top YA read in June:


      The Culling Trials book 3 by Shannon Mayer & K.F. Breene (read my review here)

      My top adult read in June:


      Her Dark Legion by Pippa DaCosta (read my review here)

      June Events:

      I haven't had the time to do a proper write up yet but at the beginning of June I had a fantastic time with a group of friends at the Love Letters Convention in Berlin. We got to meet some great authors and attend some fun panels but most of all I got to spend time with friends that I've not seen for a couple of years which was brilliant. Hopefully I'll have time to post more about it in the next couple of weeks but here are some pics of just a few of the authors we met in the meantime.

      Top Row: Cathy Maxwell, Gwen Overland, my friend Aly, Ella Quinn and me
      Bottom Row: Lara Adrian, Kerrelyn Sparks & Helena Hunting

      My Challenge Updates:

      Here are the 2019 challenges I've signed up for:
      2019 Read 100 Books in a Year Challenge - Read 107/200
      2019 British Books Challenge - Read 3/20
      2019 New Author Challenge - Read 13/20
      2019 Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Challenge - Read 56/100
      2019 Contemporary Romance Challenge - Read 15/20

      Saturday, 29 June 2019

      Review: Visions in Death - J.D. Robb

      She sat, her hands folded tightly together on her lap. She breathed in and out once. 'He took her eyes . . .'

      As Elisa Maplewood walks her dog in the still twilight of Central Park, she is oblivious to the man lurking behind her. Later that night Lieutenant Eve Dallas gets a call: a young woman's body has been found on the rocks, wearing nothing but a red ribbon. And, more horrifyingly, she is missing her eyes.

      Eve's investigation is thrown off course when an exotic and headstrong psychic, Celina Sanchez, insists she saw the murder in a vision. Eve dismisses her, but as the murders become more brutal, the visions more vivid, and Eve more desperate, Eve and Celina form an unstoppable team.

      In Death Series:
      Naked in Death
      Glory in Death
      Immortal in Death
      Rapture in Death
      Ceremony in Death
      Vengeance in Death
      Holiday in Death
      Midnight in Death (Novella)
      Conspiracy in Death
      Loyalty in Death
      Witness in Death
      Judgement in Death
      Betrayal in Death
      Interlude in Death (Novella)
      Seduction in Death
      Reunion in Death
      Purity in Death
      Portrait in Death
      Imitation in Death
      Big Jack (Available in the Remember When Anthology or separately)
      Divided in Death
      Visions in Death
      Survivor in Death
      Origin in Death
      Memory in Death
      Haunted in Death (Novella)
      Born in Death
      Innocent in Death
      Creation in Death
      Eternity in Death (Novella)
      Strangers in Death
      Salvation in Death
      Ritual in Death (Novella)
      Promises in Death
      Kindred in Death
      Missing in Death (Novella)
      Fantasy in Death
      Indulgence in Death
      Possession in Death (Novella)
      Treachery in Death
      New York to Dallas
      Chaos in Death (Novella)
      Celebrity in Death
      Delusion in Death
      Calculated in Death
      Thankless in Death
      Taken in Death (Novella)
      Concealed in Death
      Festive in Death
      Obsessed in Death
      Devoted in Death
      Wonderment in Death (Novella)
      Brotherhood in Death
      Apprentice in Death
      Echoes in Death
      Secrets in Death
      Dark in Death
      Leverage in Death
      Connections in Death (2019)

      Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

      Review:
      I feel like all of my reviews for this series have just turned into me raving about how good it is but seriously, how often do you get nineteen books into and STILL excitedly devour the books as fast a possible? I can't think of any apart from this one where I've already read so many books but am excited that I'm not even halfway through the currently published titles!

      Of course this wouldn't be an In Death book if Eve wasn't on the hunt for a psychotic murderer and this one is taking great pleasure in beating and raping his victims before cutting out their eyeballs for souvenir. Eve is always willing to do whatever it takes to stop a killer but this time she's forced to try something she's never considered before when a psychic comes to her claiming to be seeing visions of the deaths. She's extremely sceptical about the whole thing but the psychic has information that only the murderer should know so Eve is forced to at least consider using her as a resource.

      As much as I enjoy the murder investigations (and this one had a doozy of a twist at the end!) it's really the characters that keep me coming back for more. I've gushed many times about how much I love Eve and Roarke as a couple and nothing has changed that but I also enjoy seeing their friendship circle grow as they both learn to let others into their inner circle. Not such a big deal for Roarke but definitely something very new for Eve. It's been hilarious watching Eve deal with the fact that her bestie Mavis is pregnant, she's so totally out of her comfort zone whenever anything pregnancy related comes up and this book has some absolute laugh out loud conversations with Eve, Mavis and Roarke.

      I also really respect the friendship that has developed between Eve and Peabody, Eve tried so hard to keep her distance but it's been impossible. Eve's world is rocked to the core when Peabody becomes a target and there were some really emotional scenes because of that. This book was one of my favourites in the series so far (and yes I realise I seem to be saying that with pretty much each book I read!) and I definitely can't wait to dive into the next one. If you haven't started this series yet don't let the number of books put you off, it really is worth reading!

      Source: Purchased

      Other Reviews:
      If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

      Paperback / Kindle:

      Friday, 28 June 2019

      Review: Memento - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

      December, 2574. Forty-three days before the BeiTech attack on Kerenza IV.

      This is the story of my first friendship.

      This is the tale of my first murder?

      Some monsters are born.

      But I?

      < ERROR >

      I was made.

      Illuminae Files:
      Memento (Prequel Novella)
      Illuminae
      Gemina
      Obsidio

      Visit Amie Kaufman's website or Jay Kristoff's website for more information

      Review:
      Memento is a prequel to the Illuminae Files series that gives us a bit more insight into Aidan and quite how he ended up malfunctioning in the way he did. It's written in the same format as the rest of the books in the series so contains a mixture of emails, instant messages, reports alongside Aidan's internal code and much more. I love how much depth Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have been able to bring to this series with the creative layout and was impressed with how much they fitted into an 82 page novella too. This story had tension, drama and even romance but if you've already read Illuminae you'll know not to expect a happy ending!

      The novella was a freebie for fans who preordered Aurora Rising, which was a wonderful idea but I honestly hope that the publishers will see sense and make this available for purchase too. I was extremely lucky that one of my American friends let me use her address for the preorder promotion and then sent this booklet on to me in the UK but it is so sad to me that there isn't currently a way for fans who missed the promotion, or fans that didn't have a handy American address they could use, to get hold of a copy.

      Source: Received from Knopf Books as part of their Aurora Rising preorder giveaway

      Other Reviews:
      If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

      Thursday, 27 June 2019

      Review: Enchanted - Lexi Blake

      From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…

      A snarky submissive princess

      Sarah Stevens’s life is pretty sweet. By day, she’s a dedicated trauma nurse and by night, a fun-loving club sub. She adores her job, has a group of friends who have her back, and is a member of the hottest club in Dallas. So why does it all feel hollow? Could it be because she fell for her dream man and can’t forgive him for walking away from her? Nope. She’s not going there again. No matter how much she wants to.

      A prince of the silver screen

      Jared Johns might be one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, but he lost more than a fan when he walked away from Sarah. He lost the only woman he’s ever loved. He’s been trying to get her back, but she won’t return his calls. A trip to Dallas to visit his brother might be exactly what he needs to jump-start his quest to claim the woman who holds his heart.

      A masquerade to remember

      For Charlotte Taggart’s birthday, Sanctum becomes a fantasyland of kinky fun and games. Every unattached sub gets a new Dom for the festivities. The twist? The Doms must conceal their identities until the stroke of midnight at the end of the party. It’s exactly what Sarah needs to forget the fact that Jared is pursuing her. She can’t give in to him, and the mysterious Master D is making her rethink her position when it comes to signing a contract. Jared knows he was born to play this role, dashing suitor by day and dirty Dom at night.

      When the masks come off, will she be able to forgive the man who loves her, or will she leave him forever?

      **Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

      Masters and Mercenaries Series:
      The Dom Who Loved Me
      The Men with the Golden Cuffs
      A Dom is Forever
      On Her Master's Secret Service
      Sanctum (Novella)
      Love and Let Die
      Unconditional (Novella)
      Dungeon Royal
      Dungeon Games (Novella)
      A View to a Thrill
      Cherished (Novella)
      You Only Love Twice
      Sweet Child O' Mine (Short Story)
      Luscious (Novella) (Topped book 1)
      Adored (Novella)
      Master No
      Just One Taste (Novella) (Topped book 2)
      From Sanctum With Love
      Devoted (Novella)
      Dominance Never Dies
      Submission is Not Enough
      Master Bits & Mercenary Bites: The Secret Recipes of Topped (Short Story Collection & Recipe Book) (Topped book 2.5)
      Perfectly Paired (Novella) (Topped book 3)
      For His Eyes Only
      Arranged (Novella)
      Love Another Day
      Master Bits and Mercenary Bites: Girls Night (Short Story Collection & Recipe Book) (Topped book 3.5)
      At Your Service (Novella) (Topped book 4)
      Nobody Does it Better
      Close Cover (Part of the Masters and Mercenaries Crossover Collection)
      Protected (Novella)
      Lost Hearts (Memento Mori) (Originally published as Memento Mori) (Masters & Mercenaries: The Forgotten Series book 1)
      Lost and Found (Masters & Mercenaries: The Forgotten Series book 2)
      Enchanted (Novella)
      Lost in You (Masters & Mercenaries: The Forgotten Series book 3)

      Masters and Mercenaries Crossover Collection:
      Close Cover - Lexi Blake
      Justify Me - J. Kenner
      Say You Won't Let Go - Corinne Michaels
      His to Protect - Carly Phillips
      Rescuing Sadie - Susan Stoker
      Her Guardian Angel - Larissa Ione

      Visit Lexi Blake's website for more information

      Review:
      Jared and Sarah have a very complicated history, they fell in love but Jared walked away from her during a particularly terrible moment in both of their lives. He had good reasons for leaving but Sarah still finds it very hard to forgive him for abandoning her. Now, just as they started to reconnect for the first time in months, Sarah has been given some pretty devastating news and it's her turn to pull away from him. Jared isn't willing to let her leave without giving him some answers though, he knows she loves him and he wants them to build a future together so he's determined to figure out why she is holding back and prove that they can work through anything as a couple.

      I think Jared and Sarah are characters that have already made an appearance in previous books of the Masters and Mercenaries series but I'm not quite up to date with the series yet so they were new to me and it didn't lower my enjoyment of this story at all. I really enjoyed getting to know both of them and it was also great to spend time with so many other familiar faces at Sanctum. These two have a very messy history that I don't really want to go into too much detail about in my review. Suffice to say they've been through a lot and the fallout from a certain event has had a massive impact on Jared's life and his career. He needed time to get his head together before coming back for Sarah but even though he knows he loves her he is still worried about bringing his baggage back into her life.

      For her part Sarah is keeping a big secret, I'd actually guessed what it was pretty early on but again I don't want to give spoilers here. It was something that had a huge impact on her both mentally and physically though and I thought the whole situation was written incredibly well. It was so easy to put yourself into Sarah's position and understand exactly what she was going through.

      The story mainly centres around a party weekend thrown at Sanctum to celebrate Charlotte Taggart's birthday. Jared is determined to win Sarah back but she's refusing to take his calls so he decides to go in disguise. I'll admit I'm always a little worried when I see a story that involves hiding a main character's true identity from someone because it can skate along the lines of non-consensual if the other person wouldn't agree to the situation if they knew who they were really involved with but that wasn't an issue at all here. Sarah almost immediately figures out who Master J really is so although Jared thinks he's hiding from her in reality she's fully aware of the situation.

      The two have absolutely fantastic chemistry but the most important part of their story is the emotional connection. I also loved that it wasn't just about the two of them finding each other but also about them both finding unconditional support from other members of the club. They both come to realise that their family, by choice if not by blood, is much larger than they realised and that is something that pretty much carries through this entire series. These books may be kinky and there may be a lot of sex but there's also a lot of heart and strong bonds of friendship throughout and that's one of the reasons I love them so much.

      Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

      Other Reviews:
      If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

      Paperback / Kindle:

      Cover Reveal: Lost in You - Lexi Blake


      "A hot, sexy mix of angst, longing, suspense and drama you don’t want to miss!" -- Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author

      Lost in You, an all-new sexy instalment in The Masters and Mercenaries: The Forgotten Series from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake, is coming August 6th and we have the fabulous new cover!


      Robert McClellan was forced to serve as a soldier in a war he didn’t understand. Liberated by McKay-Taggart, he struggles every day to reclaim the life he lost and do right by the men he calls his brothers, The Lost Boys. Only one thing is more important – Ariel Adisa. The gorgeous psychologist has plagued his dreams since the day they met. Even as their mission pushes him to his limits, he can’t stop thinking about taking his shot at finding a life beyond all this with her.

      Ariel Adisa is a force to be reckoned with. Her performance in Toronto proved she’s more than just a brilliant mind, but Robert still acts as if she is a wilting flower who needs his protection. Joining him on the mission to Munich should be the perfect opportunity to test their skills and cement their relationship. She and Robert are an excellent match. But when a stunning secret from Robert’s past is revealed, their world is turned upside down and nothing will ever be the same again.

      While they chase dark secrets across Europe, Robert and Ariel realize that the only thing worse than not knowing who you are could be discovering who you used to be...


      Pre-order your copy today!
      Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/LostinYouLB
      Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WAykbn
      Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2XwVqfb
      Cover Designer: Frauke Spanuth

      Excerpt:

      There was a knock on her door. Ariel glanced to the clock. It was getting late. The pizza had likely arrived. She didn’t want pizza. She wanted to start the day again and not have any of this hanging over them. When she’d gotten on that plane, she’d been filled with anticipation, and all of it was gone now. She’d expected dinner to be a quiet affair with only her and Robert. Now she would have to referee between Owen and Dante. She needed to get the whole group together for a session to get at the underlying problem.

      “I’ve got to go, Damon.”

      “Be safe.”

      She hung up her mobile and slipped it into her pocket before answering the door. She’d expected Rebecca or Owen, but it was Robert who stood in her doorway.

      And he looked delicious. He’d changed out of his traveling clothes into a set of perfectly pressed black slacks, a snowy white dress shirt, and blue tie. It should have looked staid. It would have on most men, but on Robert it made her wonder what she would see when she peeled off all those clothes.

      She had a damn degree in psychology and it didn’t mean anything when her hormones got involved.

      “Hey, I know I acted like a massive asshole earlier today.” He had a grim look on his face that changed to charming when he brought his hand around from his back and showed her the perfect white rose he offered her. “Would you please let me make up for it?”

      There were a thousand reasons to say no. She could do it gently. She could remind him that the first chance they’d had to prove they could manage a relationship and still work together they’d blown. She could point out that there was still the hope of a cure out there.

      Or you could live in the moment, my love. You could stop being so in that head of yours and let yourself feel.

      Sometimes she could still hear her father’s wise voice in her head. He’d done so much, taken so many chances to bring his family to a better place.

      “Ariel, please. I’m sorry I treated you like that. I took out my bad day on you and it wasn’t fair. I wanted our night together. I planned it all out, but I forgot that the only really important part of the night wasn’t the restaurant or the hotel. It was that we got to be together. Be with me for a while.”

      She took the rose from his hand, all thoughts of why this was a bad idea flying out of her head. “Yes.”

      But she wasn’t nearly as dressed as he was. “Give me a minute to change.”

      He shook his head. “You look beautiful and we’re only going to the kitchen.”

      “You dressed for the occasion.”

      “I was also the asshole who challenged the authority of my commander in the field. Trust me, I like this far better than dropping to the floor and giving you a hundred like I…” He shook his head. “Not going there.”

      She stepped in, putting a hand on his face. “It’s okay. Let the visual piece go and tell me what you felt.”

      He pressed his cheek against her hand. “No therapist stuff tonight. I promise I’ll write it down later and talk to Kai about it, but I want you to stop thinking about me as a patient. This can’t work if you don’t. Please come to the kitchen with me. I managed to shove everyone else in the media room. They’re watching a football match. Well, Rebecca is reading on her e-reader and rolling her eyes when the guys yell at the screen, but the kitchen is on the opposite end of the floor. I promise it’s quiet there.”

      She was still in the slacks and blouse she’d worn this afternoon. They were casual and comfortable. Certainly not something she would wear on a date. Robert was far better dressed for the occasion.

      A vision of a private dinner where he was in a suit and she was wearing absolutely nothing floated across her brain. Sir wouldn’t want her in clothes. Sir would want to see nothing but her own skin so he could touch her everywhere, whenever he pleased. They could spend long hours like that. She wouldn’t worry about anything at all but pleasing her dominant partner.

      “Come on.” He used that deep voice on her she’d heard him use at The Garden. Like her, Robert spent at least one night each weekend playing. She’d seen him paired up with some of her friends, but never had he taken one to a privacy room or up to his flat.

      She hadn’t indulged herself in sex in a long time.

      She followed him down the hallway and sure enough, heard someone yelling from the far end about a ref’s call. Poor Rebecca.

      Robert led her away from it, his loafers making no sound over the carpet. This part of the club was comfortable, much more like a home than downstairs, and it made her wonder if Peter often had guests he put up here. She’d talked briefly to the man and he appeared to be very interested in teaching and training new D/s couples.

      Were she and Robert going to be a D/s couple?

      She stopped that line of thinking. This was nothing more than a pleasant way to spend an evening with a man she liked enormously.

      With a man she might be falling in love with.

      About Lexi Blake


      New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

      Connect with Lexi

      Stay up to date with Lexi by joining her mailing list:

      Blog Tour: Enchanted - Lexi Blake


      We are beyond excited to be sharing this release from Lexi Blake with you today! ENCHANTED is part of the Masters and Mercenaries series and it is releasing as part of 1001 Dark Nights. It just went live today! Check out an excerpt and book trailer from the title below. Click here to grab your copy now.

      Purchase your copy of ENCHANTED today!



      About ENCHANTED:

      From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…

      A snarky submissive princess

      Sarah Stevens’s life is pretty sweet. By day, she’s a dedicated trauma nurse and by night, a fun-loving club sub. She adores her job, has a group of friends who have her back, and is a member of the hottest club in Dallas. So why does it all feel hollow? Could it be because she fell for her dream man and can’t forgive him for walking away from her? Nope. She’s not going there again. No matter how much she wants to.

      A prince of the silver screen

      Jared Johns might be one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, but he lost more than a fan when he walked away from Sarah. He lost the only woman he’s ever loved. He’s been trying to get her back, but she won’t return his calls. A trip to Dallas to visit his brother might be exactly what he needs to jump-start his quest to claim the woman who holds his heart.

      A masquerade to remember

      For Charlotte Taggart’s birthday, Sanctum becomes a fantasyland of kinky fun and games. Every unattached sub gets a new Dom for the festivities. The twist? The Doms must conceal their identities until the stroke of midnight at the end of the party. It’s exactly what Sarah needs to forget the fact that Jared is pursuing her. She can’t give in to him, and the mysterious Master D is making her rethink her position when it comes to signing a contract. Jared knows he was born to play this role, dashing suitor by day and dirty Dom at night.

      When the masks come off, will she be able to forgive the man who loves her, or will she leave him forever?

      **Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**


      Add ENCHANTED to your Goodreads TBR here!

      Purchase your copy of ENCHANTED today!




      Excerpt:

      Charlotte Taggart felt the baby fluttering in her belly and a deep sense of peace filled her. She genuinely enjoyed being pregnant. It wasn’t for everyone. Her sister hated it, and Simon was going to have to be happy with the only kiddo he would ever share with Chelsea. Her friend Kori had vowed to never be pregnant, and it worked for her and Kai. They had a whole lot of dogs and it filled the need for them. The truth was there was no one way to have a family.

      But damn she loved hers—all of them. She loved the ones she shared blood with and the ones she’d chosen. She was blessed beyond measure.

      It made her feel the need to give back.

      Soft baby snuffles came from the monitor, letting her know her son was still sleeping. She’d given up keeping a monitor in the twins’ room since they’d gotten big enough to simply come and ask for what they needed. Too many times she overheard plans for world domination and it kept her up at night.

      The son in her stomach twisted again, but it wasn’t anywhere close to uncomfortable yet. That was still months away. For now, his kicks felt like waves across her belly.

      Soft light illuminated the kitchen and she couldn’t help but think about how far she’d come from the child she’d been. Moscow didn’t have many sunny days, but here in Dallas the light seemed to always be around her.

      Light and love and laughter.

      “He giving you hell, baby?” The question rumbled against the nape of her neck and she was pulled back against the hard planes of her husband’s body. He’d gone to bed wearing nothing at all, but she knew he would have slid his strong legs into pajama bottoms or sweat pants before he’d left the room. His chest, however, was still warm and bare. “You’re up early. Or were you trying to sneak in some quiet time before the monsters awaken?”

      Nothing ever felt as good as that moment when Ian took her in his arms. And he was right. She loved her three kiddos. Kenzie and Kala and Seth. Soon there would be four, and she wasn’t so foolish as to believe her baby girls wouldn’t immediately start training their youngest brother in how to take on the parents. But that wasn’t what had gotten her out of bed. “I was plotting.”

      She could feel him smile against her shoulder, where he was currently laying soft kisses and getting her hot and bothered. He pushed her hair to the side to give himself better access.

      “I love it when you plot. Is this a bloody, take-no-prisoners plot where I get to murder people? Because it’s been a long time.”



      Book Trailer:



      “I can always trust Lexi Blake's Dominants to leave me breathless...and in love. If you want sensual, exciting BDSM wrapped in an awesome love story, then look for a Lexi Blake book.”
      ~ Cherise Sinclair New York Times bestselling author

      “Lexi Blake's MASTERS AND MERCENARIES series is beautifully written and deliciously hot. She's got a real way with both action and sex. I also love the way Blake writes her gorgeous Dom heroes--they make me want to do bad, bad things. Her heroines are intelligent and gutsy ladies whose taste for submission definitely does not make them dish rags. Can't wait for the next book!”
      ~ Angela Knight, New York Times bestselling author

      “I can’t get enough of the Masters and Mercenaries Series! Love and Let Die is Lexi Blake at her best! She writes erotic romantic suspense like no other, and I am always extremely excited when she has something new for us! Intense, heart pounding, and erotically fulfilling, I could not put this book down.”
      ~ Shayna Renee, Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads

      “Certain authors and series are on my auto-buy list. Lexi Blake and her Masters & Mercenaries series is at the top of that list... this book offered everything I love about a Masters & Mercenaries book – alpha men, hot sex and sweet loving… As long as Ms. Blake continues to offer such high quality books, I’ll be right there, ready to read.”
      ~ Robin, Sizzling Hot Books

      “I have absolutely fallen in love with this series. Spies, espionage, and intrigue all packaged up in a hot dominant male package. All the men at McKay-Taggart are smoking hot and the women are amazingly strong sexy submissives.”
      ~ Kelley, Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews



      About LEXI BLAKE:

      New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. She began writing at a young age concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

      Connect With Her:

      Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter | Twitter | Bookbub

      Tuesday, 25 June 2019

      Book Trailer: Kingdom of Exiles - Maxym Martineau

      Today I wanted to spotlight Kingdom of Exiles, Maxym Martineau's debut novel. I've been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it (watch out for my review coming very soon!) and today it's finally out in the world for everyone to enjoy. Just have a look at this blurb and tell me it doesn't sound fantastic!!

      Assassin's Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in this gripping, epic fantasy romance trilogy.

      My heart wasn't part of the deal when I bargained for my life,
      But assassins so rarely keep their word.

      Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts-an offense punishable by death-and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

      Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena's terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin's oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena's continued survival...and his own.

      The Beast Charmer Series:
      Kingdom of Exiles
      The Frozen Prince (coming early 2020)
      The Shattered Crown (coming late 2020)

      Friday, 21 June 2019

      Chapter Reveal: Handle With Care - Helena Hunting

      Today I'm taking part in a fabulous chapter reveal for Helena Hunting's upcoming book, Handle With Care, which publishes in August. You can read the entire first chapter right here but first let me give you a little more information about the book:

      HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.

      Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman

      SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.

      Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.


      CHAPTER 1

      WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?


      WREN

      I slip onto the empty bar stool beside the lumberjack mountain man who looks like he tried to squeeze him- self into a suit two sizes too small. He’s intimidatingly broad and thick, with long dark hair that’s been pulled up into a haphazard man bun thing. His beard is a hip- ster’s wet dream. His scowl, however, makes him about as approachable as a rabid porcupine. And yet, here I am, sidling up next to him.

      He glances at me, eyes bleary and not really tracking. He quickly focuses on his half-empty glass again. Based on the slump of his shoulders and the uncoordinated way he picks up his glass and tips it toward his mouth, I’m guessing he’s pretty hammered. I order a sparkling water with a dash of cranberry juice and a lime.

      What I could really use is a cup of lavender-mint tea and my bed, but instead, I’m sitting next to a drunk man in his thirties. My life is extra glamorous, obviously. And no, I’m not an escort, but at the moment I feel like my morals are on the same kind of slippery slope.

      “Rough day?” I ask, nodding to the bottle that’s missing more than half its contents. It was full when he sat down at the bar an hour ago. Yes, I’ve been watching him the entire time, waiting for an opportunity to make my move. While he’s been sitting here, he’s turned down two women, one in a dress that could’ve doubled as a disco ball and the other in a top so low-cut, I could almost see her navel.

      “You could say that,” he slurs. He props his cheek on his fist, eyes almost slits. I can still make out the vibrant blue hue despite them almost being closed. They move over me, assessing. I’m wearing a conservative black dress with a high neckline and a hem that falls below my knees. Definitely not nearly as provocative as Disco Ball or Navel Lady.

      “That solving your problems?” I give him a wry grin and tip my chin in the direction of his bottle of Johnnie. His gaze swings slowly to the bottle. It gives me a chance to really look at him. Or what I can see of his face under his beard, anyway.

      “Nah, but it helps quiet down all the noise up here.”

      He taps his temple and blurts, “My dad died.”

      I put a hand on his forearm. It feels awkward, and creepy on my part since its half-genuine, half-contrived comfort. “I’m so sorry.”

      He glances at my hand, which I quickly remove, and refocuses on his drink. “I should be sorry too, but I think he was mostly an asshole, so the world might be better off without him.” He attempts to fill his glass again, but his aim is off, and he pours it on the bar instead. I rush to lift my purse and grab a handful of napkins to mop up the mess.

      “I’m drunk,” he mumbles.

      “Well, I’m thinking that might’ve been the plan, considering the way you’re sucking that bottle back. I’m actually surprised you didn’t ask for a straw in the first place. Might be a good idea to throw a spacer in there if you want tomorrow morning to suck less.” I push my drink toward him, hoping he doesn’t send me pack- ing like he did the other women who approached him earlier.

      He narrows his eyes at my glass, suspicious, maybe. “What is that?”

      “Cranberry and soda.”

      “No booze?”

      “No booze. Go ahead. You’ll thank me in the morning.”

      He picks up the glass and pauses when it’s an inch from his mouth. His eyes crinkle, telling me he’s smiling under that beard. “Does that mean Imma wake up with you beside me?”

      I cock a brow. “Are you propositioning me?”

      “Shit, sorry.” He chugs the contents of my glass. “I was joking. Besides, I’m so wasted, I can barely remem- ber my name. Pretty sure I’d be useless in bed tonight. I should stop talkin’.” He scrubs a hand over his face and then motions to me. “I wouldn’t proposition you.”

      I’m not sure how to respond. I go with semi-affronted, since it seems like somewhat of an insult. “Good to know.”

      “Dammit. I mean, I think you might be hot. You look hot. I mean attractive. I think you’re pretty.” He tips his head to the side and blinks a few times. “You have nice eyes, all four of them are lovely.”

      This time I laugh—for real—and point to the bottle. “I think you might want to tell your date you’re done for the night.”

      He blows out a breath and nods. “You might be right.”

      He makes an attempt to stand, but as soon as his feet hit the floor, he stumbles into me and grabs my shoulders to steady himself. “Whoa. Sorry. Yup, I’m definitely drunk.” His face is inches from mine, breath smelling strongly of alcohol. Beyond that, I get a whiff of fresh soap and a hint of aftershave. He lets go of my shoul- ders and takes an unsteady step back. “I don’t usually do this.” He motions sloppily to the bottle. “Mostly I’m a three drink max guy.”

      “I think losing your father makes this condonable.” I slide off my stool. Despite being tall for a woman, and wearing heels, he still manages to be close to a head taller than me.

      “Yeah, maybe, but I still think I might regret it tomor- row.” He’s incredibly unsteady, swaying while standing in place. I take the opportunity for what it is and thread my arm through his, leading him away from the bar. “Come on, let’s get you to the elevator before you pass out right here.”

      He nods, then wobbles a bit, like moving his head has set him off balance. “That’s probably a good idea.”

      He leans into me as we weave through the bar and stumbles on the two stairs leading to the foyer. There’s no way I’ll be able to stop him if he goes down, but I drape one of his huge arms over my shoulder anyway, and slip my own around his waist, guiding him in a mostly straight line to the elevators.

      “Which floor are you on?” I ask.

      “Penthouse.” He drops his arm from my shoulder and flings it out, pointing to the black doors at the end of the hall. “Jesus, I feel like I’m on a boat.”

      “It’s probably all the alcohol sloshing around in your brain.” I take his elbow again, helping him stagger the last twenty feet to the dedicated penthouse elevator.

      He stares at the keypad for a few seconds, brow pulling into a furrow. “I can’t remember the code. It’s thumbprint activated though too.” He stumbles forward and presses his forehead against the wall, then tries to line up his thumb with the sensor, but his aim is horrendous and he keeps missing.

      I settle a hand on his very firm forearm. This man is built like a tank. Or a superhero. For a moment, I recon- sider what I’m about to do, but he seems pretty harm- less and ridiculously hammered, so he shouldn’t pose a threat. I’m also trained in self-defense, which would fall under the by any means necessary umbrella. “Can I help?”

      He rolls his head, eyes slits as they bounce around my face. “Please.”

      I take his hand between mine. The first thing I notice is how clammy it is. But beyond that, his knuckles are rough, littered with tiny scars and a few scabs, and his nails are jagged.

      “Your hands are small,” he observes as I line his thumb up with the sensor pad and press down.

      “Maybe yours are abnormally big,” I reply. They are rather large. Like basketball player hands.

      “You know what they say about big hands.”

      I fight not to roll my eyes, but for a brief moment, I wonder if what’s in his pants actually matches the rest of him. And if he’s unkempt everywhere, not just on his face. I cut that visual quickly because it makes me want to gag. “And what do they say?”

      His eyes crinkle again, and he slaps his own chest. “Something about big hands, big heart.”

      I bite back my own smile. “Pretty sure you’re mixing that up with cold hands, warm heart.”

      His brow furrows. “There’s a good chance.”

      The elevator doors slide open. He pushes off the wall with some effort and practically tumbles inside. He catches himself on the rail and sags against the wall as I follow him in. I honestly can’t believe I’m doing this right now.

      He doesn’t have to press a button since the elevator only goes to the penthouse floor. As soon as we start moving, he groans and his shoulders curl in. “I don’t feel so good.”

      Please don’t let him be sick in here. If there’s one thing I can’t deal with, it’s vomit. “You should sit.”

      He slides down the wall, massive shoulders rolling forward as he rests his forehead on his knees.

      “Tomorrow is going to suck.”

      I stay on the other side of the elevator, in case he tosses his cookies. “Probably.”

      It’s the longest elevator ride in the history of the world. Or at least it feels that way, mostly because I’m terrified he’s going to yak. Thankfully, we make it to the penthouse floor incident-free. On the down side, now that he’s in a sitting position, getting him to stand again is a challenge. I have to press the open door button three times before I can finally coax him to his feet.

      In the time between leaving the bar and making it to the penthouse floor, the effects of the alcohol seems to have compounded. He’s beyond sloppy, using the wall and me for support as we make our way to his door. There are two penthouse apartments up here. One on either side of the foyer.

      He leans against the doorjamb, once again fighting to find the coordination to get his thumb to the sensor pad. I don’t ask if he needs my assistance this time since it’s quite clear he does. Once again I take his clammy hand in mine.

      “Your hands are really soft,” he mumbles.

      “Thanks.”

      The pad flashes green, and I turn the handle. “Okay, here we go. Home sweet home.”

      “This isn’t my home,” he slurs. “My cousin’s family owns this building. I’m crashing here until I can get the fuck out of New York.”

      I scan the penthouse. It an eclectic combination of odd art and modern furniture, like two different tastes crashed together and this is the result. Aside from that, it’s clean to the point of looking almost like a show home.

      The only sign that someone is staying here is the lone coffee cup on the table in the living room and the blanket lolling like a tongue over the edge of the couch. I’m still standing in the doorway while he sways unsteadily.

      He tries to shove his hand in his pants pocket, but all he succeeds in doing is setting himself off-balance. He nearly stumbles into the wall.

      “Thanks for your help,” he says.

      He’s back in his penthouse, which means my job is technically done. However, I’m worried he’s going to hurt himself, or worse, asphyxiate on his own vomit in the middle of the night, and I’ll be the one catching heat if that happens. I’ll also feel bad if something happens to him. I blow out a breath, annoyed that this is how my night is ending.

      I heave his arm over my shoulder and slip mine around his waist again, leading him through the living room toward what seems to be the kitchen. There’s a sheet of paper on the island, but otherwise it’s spotless.

      “What’re you doing?” he asks.

      We pause when we reach the threshold. “Which way is your bedroom?”

      He looks slowly from right to left. “Not that way.” He points to the kitchen. It’s very state of the art.
      I guide him in the opposite direction down the hall, until he stumbles through a doorway, into a large but simply furnished bedroom. Once we reach the edge of the bed, he drops his arm, spins around—it’s drunkenly graceful—and falls back on the bed, arms spread wide as if he’s planning on making snow angels. “The room is spinning.”

      “Would you like me to get you a glass of water and possibly a painkiller for the headache you’ll likely have in the morning?” I’m already heading for the bathroom.

      “Might be a good idea,” he mumbles.

      I find a glass on the edge of bathroom vanity—which is clean, apart from a brand new toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. I run the tap, wishing I had a plastic tumbler, because I’m not sure he’s in any state to deal with break- able objects. I check the medicine cabinet, find the pills I need, shake out two tablets, and return to the bedroom.

      He’s right where I left him; sprawled out faceup on a massive king-size bed, legs hanging off the end, one shoe on the floor beside him. I cross over and set the water and the pills on the nightstand.

      I make a quick trip back to the bathroom and grab the empty wastebasket from beside the toilet in case his night is a lot rougher than he expects.

      I tap his knee, crossing my fingers he’ll be easy to rouse. “Hey, I have painkillers for you.”

      He makes a noise, but doesn’t move otherwise.

      I tap his knee again. “Lincoln, you need to wake up long enough to take these.” I cringe. I called him by name, and he didn’t offer it to me while we were down at the bar. Here’s hoping he’s too drunk to notice or re- member. His name is Lincoln Moorehead, heir to the Moorehead Media fortune and all the crap that comes with it. And there’s a lot of it.

      One eye becomes a slit. “Every time I open my eyes, the room starts spinning again.”

      “If you drink this and take these, it might help.” I hold up the glass of water and the pills.

      “’Kay.” It takes three tries for him to sit up. He tries to pick the pills up out of my palm, but keeps missing my hand.

      “Just open your mouth.”

      He lifts his head. “How do I know you’re not trying to roofie me?”

      I hold up the tablet in front of his face. “They don’t say roofie, so you’re safe.”

      He tries to focus on the pill and then my face. I have my doubts he’s successful at either.
      His tongue peeks out to drag across his bottom lip. “The cameras in the hall will catch you if you steal my wallet.”

      I laugh at that. “I’m not going to steal your wallet, I’m going to put you to bed.”

      “Hmm.” He nods slowly and opens his mouth.

      I drop the pills on his tongue and hand him the glass, which he drains in three long swallows. “Would you like me to refill that?”

      “That’d be nice.” He holds out the glass, but when I try to pull away, he covers my hands with his. His shockingly blue eyes meet mine, and for a moment they’re clear and compelling. Despite how out of it he is, and how much he resembles a mountain man, or maybe because of it, I have a hard time looking away. “I really wish I wasn’t this messed up. You smell nice. I bet your hair is pretty when it’s not pulled up like that.” He flops a hand toward my bun. “Not that it’s not pretty like that, but I bet if you took it down, it would be wavy and soft. The kind of hair you want to bury your face in and run your fingers through.” He exhales a long breath. “I haven’t had sex in a really long time, but I feel like I would have zero finesse if I tried right now.”

      I smile and turn away. In the time it takes for me to refill his glass, he’s managed to get one arm out of his suit jacket. He’s made it most of the way onto the bed, feet still hanging off the end, but he’s on his back, which is not ideal.

      I set the glass on his nightstand, along with a second set of painkillers, which I’m assuming he’ll need in the morning, and give him another nudge. “Hey.”

      This time I get nothing in the way of a response. I poke him twice more, but still nothing. He can’t sleep on his back with how drunk he is. He needs to be on his side or his stomach with a wastebasket close by.

      I can’t in good conscience leave him like this. My options are limited. I shake my head as I kick off my shoes and climb up onto the bed with him. This is not at all what I expected to be doing when I brought him back up here.

      I stare down at his sleeping form. His lips are parted, they’re nice lips, full and plump, even though they’re mostly obscured by his overgrown beard. His hair has started to unravel from its man bun, wisps hanging in his face. He has long lashes, really long actually, and they’re thick and dark, the kind women pay a lot of money for. His nose is straight and his cheekbones— what I can see of them—are high. With a haircut, a beard trim or complete shave, and a new suit that actually fits, I can imagine how refined he’ll look. More like a Moorehead than a mountain man lumberjack. I shake my head. “I need you to roll onto your side, please,” I say loudly.

      Nothing. Not even a grunt.

      I pull on his shoulder, but he’s dead weight. Leaning over him, I make a fist and give him a light jab approximately where his kidney is. “Lincoln, roll over.”

      And roll he does, knocking me down and turn- ing over so he’s right on top of me. We’re face-to-face. Good God, he’s heavy. His bones must be made of lead. He shifts, one leg coming over both of mine. I push at his knee, but his arm swings out and he wraps himself around me on a low groan, pinning my arm to my side. He’s like a giant human blanket.

      “How did this become my life?” I say to the ceiling, because the man lying on top of me is apparently out cold.

      I try to wriggle free, I even yell his name a bunch of time before I give up and wait for him to roll off me. And while I wait for that to happen, I replay the conversation with his mother, Gwendolyn Moorehead, that took place forty-eight hours ago and put me in this awkward position underneath her drunk son.

      I’d been standing in Fredrick’s office, still digesting the fact that he was dead. It was shocking that a massive heart attack had taken him, since he was always so healthy and full of life.

      Gwendolyn, his wife—now a widow—stood stoic behind his desk, papers stacked neatly in the center.
      “I’m so very for your loss, Gwendolyn. If there’s anything I can do. Whatever you need.” The words poured out, typical condolences, but sincerely meant because I couldn’t imagine how my mother and I would feel if we lost my father.

      Gwendolyn’s fingers danced at her throat as she cleared it. “Thank you,” she whispered brokenly and dabbed at her eyes. “I appreciate your kindness, Wren.”

      “Let me know what you want me to handle, and I’ll take care of it.”

      She took a deep breath, composing herself before she lifted her gaze to mine. “I need your help.”

      “Of course, what can I do?”

      “My oldest son, Lincoln, will be returning to New York for the funeral, and he’ll be staying to help run the company.”

      A hot feeling crept up my spine. I’d heard very little about Lincoln. Everything from Armstrong’s mouth was scathing, Fredrick’s passing references had been with fondness, and my interactions with Gwendolyn had been minimal as it was Fredrick himself who hired me, so this was first I’ve heard of Lincoln through her. “I see. And how can I help with that?” I could only imag- ine how difficult Armstrong would be if he had to share the attention with someone else, particularly his brother.

      “Transitioning Lincoln.” Gwendolyn rounded her desk. “You’ve managed to turn around Armstrong’s reputation in the media during the time you’ve been here. I know it hasn’t been easy, and Armstrong can be difficult to manage.”

      Difficult to manage is the understatement of the entire century where Armstrong is concerned. He’s a cocksucker of epic proportions. He’s also a misogynistic, narcissistic bastard that I’ve had to deal with for the past eight months on a nearly daily basis—sometimes even on weekends.

      My job as his “handler” has been to reshape his horrendous reputation after his involvement in several scandalous events became very public. It wasn’t a job I necessarily wanted, and I was prepared to politely reject the offer, but my mother asked me to take the position as a favor to her since she’s a friend of Gwendolyn.

      Beyond that, my relationship with my mother has been strained for the past decade. When I was a teenager, I discovered information that changed our relationship forever. Taking the job at Moorehead was in part, my way of trying to help repair our fractured bond. The financial compensation, which was ridiculously high, also didn’t hurt. Besides, Gwendolyn is on nearly every single charitable foundation committee in the city, and since that’s where my interests lie, it seemed like a smart career move.

      “Since you’re already working with Armstrong and things seem to be settled there for the most part, I felt it would make sense to keep you on here at Moorehead to work with Lincoln. He’s been away from civilized society for several years. He’s nothing like his brother, very altruistic and focused on his job, rather than recre- ational pursuits, so he should be easier to manage.”

      I fought a scoff at the last bit, since “recreational pursuits” was a reference to the fact that Armstrong couldn’t seem to keep his pants zipped when it came to women.

      Gwendolyn pushed a set of papers toward me. “It would only be for another six months. And of course, your salary would reflect the double work load, since you’ll still have to maintain Armstrong in some capacity while you assist Lincoln in transitioning into his role here.”

      “I’m sorry, what—”

      Gwendolyn pulled me into an awkward hug, hold- ing onto my shoulders when she stepped back. Her eyes were glassy and red-rimmed. “You have no idea how much I appreciate your willingness to take this on. As soon as your contract is fulfilled, you have my word that I’ll give you a glowing recommendation to whichever organization you’d like. Your mother told me you’re interested in starting your own foundation. I’ll certainly help you in any way I’m able if you’ll stay on a little longer for me.” She dabbed at her corner of her eyes and sniffed, then tapped the papers on the desk. “I already have an agreement ready and an NDA, of course. Every- thing is tabbed for signing.”

      I’m pulled back into the present when Lincoln shifts and one of his huge hands slides up my side and lands on my breast. At the same time, he pushes his nose against my neck, beard tickling my collarbone. He mutters something unintelligible against my skin.

      I’m momentarily frozen in shock. Under any other circumstances, I would knee him in the balls. However, he’s not conscious or even semi-aware that he’s fondling me. Thankfully, now that he’s moved, I have some wiggle room.

      I elbow him in the ribs, which probably hurts me more than it does him. At least it gets him to move away enough that I can slip out from under him. I roll off the bed and pop back up, smoothing out my now-wrinkled dress. My stupid nipples are perky, thanks to the attention the right one just got. Probably because it’s the most action I’ve seen since I started working for the Moore- heads eight months ago.

      I hit the lights on the way out of the bedroom, pause in the kitchen to grab a glass of water and check out the sheet of paper on the counter. It’s a list of important details regarding the penthouse, including the entry code. I nab my purse, snap a pic, and head for the elevators.

      I have a feeling this is going to be a long six months.


      ABOUT THE AUTHOR

      Helena Hunting

      New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

      Social Media Links:
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