WITHOUT RESERVATION by Lynn Burke @AuthorLynnBurke

Without Reservation

 

Sandy Ridge 1

By Lynn Burke

Heat Level: 4

Release Date: September 19, 2019

 

*Be warned: Multiple partners (MMF), anal sex, double penetration

 

Art studio vandalized and her mother in a fresh grave, Meg Winters heads off on vacation with her two best friends. She hopes for peace from her grief and the return of her muse. She doesn’t expect to run into the two men she idolizes, Trevor and Jack, the secretive wonders of the art world whose work she’s long admired. She certainly doesn’t expect them to be sex-on-legs gorgeous and determined to fulfill her number one sexual fantasy. They not only awaken her slumbering body, but also her creativity and the life she used to wield with her brushes.However, Meg carries a secret of her own which holds her back from surrendering herself fully to their desires. Will Trevor and Jack be able to overcome her reservations, or will the truth of her past ruin their chance for love? 

 
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EXCERPT:
Meg’s gaze dropped to Jack’s full lips. “Maybe just one kiss,” she heard herself say.
He captured her lips without hesitation, sending a rush of heat and goosebumps skittering across her skin. His soft lips swept across hers as his hand slipped up her back and grabbed hold of her hair, angling her head toward him.
The brush of his tongue along her lips sent a spasm through her pussy, and a moan rose to her throat.
Trevor leaned into her, his open-mouth kisses dampening her neck as Jack continued his languid assault on her mouth. Tasting. Licking.
One man’s hand in her hair, the other’s on her waist, one on each thigh, rubbing, slowing inching upward.
Meg tore her lips from Jacks, heaving for breath, eyelids clenched shut.
One kiss, she’d said. She hadn’t expected a long, drawn-out kiss that would make her body quake with need.
“Come over to our cabin with us,” Trevor said, his low voice rumbling in her ear, his thumb drawing circles mid-thigh on her bare skin. “Check off your number one bucket list item.”
Jack nibbled along her jaw to her other ear. A shiver slid down to her toes as he squeezed her other thigh. “I…I c-can’t.”
“Does the thought of Trevor and I together turn you off?” Jack asked, nibbling her earlobe.
A huff of laughter flew past Meg’s lips as the two men continued their assault on her senses. “I saw you kissing on your back patio the other night.” The words escaped her parted lips, unintended.
Trevor nipped her skin in the hollow beneath her ear. “How did that make you feel?”
“Aroused,” she whispered, eyes still shut tight. They pulled answers from her easier than…
“I was thinking about you while fucking Jack.”
A rush of moisture soaked her panties at Trevor’s low, rumbled confession against the hollow beneath her ear. “I-I heard you.”
“Did you touch yourself?” Jack asked against the corner of her mouth, his sweet breath fanning her lips.
Meg swallowed. “Yes.”
“Did you come?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
Both men groaned.
“Come to our cabin with us,” Jack said. “Please.”
Meg thought she’d known what temptation was, but the war raging between her body and mind put a whole new meaning to the word.
© Lynn Burke 2018
 ABOUT LYNN BURKE:
Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.
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DIGGER by Lynn Burke @evernightpub @AuthorLynnBurke

Digger

Fallen Gliders #3
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Artwork: Jay Aheer, Simply Defined Art
Heat Level: 4
Keywords: MC Romance, Contemporary, Erotic

Be Warned: menage sex (MFM), anal sex, double penetration, bondage

Digger is one badass bastard hell-bent on protecting his Fallen brothers–no matter the cost. He’s also ugly as shit, scarred for life by one of the men who gang-raped his mother. Born of violence and only wanted by women for his massive cock, he lives an unfulfilled life while secretly yearning for more.

Maci Irving is his opposite, a kind-hearted soul who wants to care for everyone she meets. She’s also one of his brother’s flavors of the month. Fuck the world, and fuck the dark sedan tailing him everywhere he goes—once he claims a taste of her he’ll do everything he can to keep her.

With his heart in her hands, can he convince Maci to stay with him and become his old lady, or will his violent lifestyle and its consequences end up to be more than she can bear?

BUY IT ON SALE NOW FOR ONLY $2.99 AT EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING!

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EXCERPT:
“Capone said you could make me forget my own name,” she whispered while running her hands up over my chest.
My pecs flexed on their own beneath her firm touch. “Is that what you want?”
Lower lip sucking between her teeth, she nodded. Wetness coated her eyes, and fuck the goddamn ache that knifed through my chest. “You’re sure?”
“Yes,” she whispered, pressing closer so her pussy rested against my straining cock.
Fuck, did she tempt me like no other woman I’d gotten my hands on. What she needed was rest, strong arms to hold her close as she slept.
I slipped my hand up over the back of her tight t-shirt, beneath her silken hair to hold her nape. “If you want to stop, just say so, and you have my word that we will.”
She leaned in and kissed me.
Mind fucking blown.
Soft and pliant, sweet yet minty … goddamn did I fall under the beautiful witch’s spell. Rather than take control and plunder the ever-loving shit out of her mouth, I held back, tracing my tongue along her lips rather than fucking her mouth. She opened to me with a sigh, and I gently threaded my fingers through her hair, angling her head.
My arm banded around her back, tugging her closer until her pert tits pressed against me. Slow rolls of my hips against her pussy tightened my balls and made her whimper against my lips.
Two pairs of fucking jeans in our way … and my brother I’d forgotten about.
I tore my mouth from Maci’s. Eyes hazed over, she stared at me, swollen lips parted.
Capone sat back in my chair, legs spread, hand sliding over his bulge, a smirk on his face. Fucker loved to watch almost as much as he loved to get his dick wet.
I massaged the back of Maci’s head and wiped the moisture off her lower lip with my thumb, torn over doing the right thing by taking a rain check until she was in a better frame of mind.
She flicked her tongue out, and I slid my thumb into her mouth without thought.
Goddamn. I groaned as she swirled her tongue and sucked. My cock jerked, and she ground her pussy against me. “Christ, woman.” Swallowing back another groan, I grabbed her ass in my palms and stood. Fuck it. I’d give her exactly what she wanted and then some. I just had to trust she’d stop us if it was too much.
Maci wrapped her legs around me as though they belonged there.
I nodded toward the hallway, and Capone hopped out of his chair to lead the way. He dimmed the lights as I knelt on the bed, sliding Maci to the center. She clung to me, but I pulled back onto my haunches.
Pale hair spread over my pillows, pulse in her neck fluttering, eyes wide and filled with need. The desire to see her like that every day of my fucking life welled over me like a nine-foot wave.
Should have freaked me the fuck out. Shouldn’t have enjoyed the satisfaction sizzling through my blood. Mentally, I pulled back, telling myself to keep my suspicions in place. Keep myself safe from rejection.
“You’re fucking perfect,” I said, running my fingers up her thighs, over her hip bones, under her shirt. Her nipples pressed against the thin fabric, tight buds calling out for attention. I palmed her tits beneath her shirt, and she arched into my touch, lower lip once more between her teeth.
“You like my hands on you.”
“God, yes.” She gasped as I rolled both nipples between my fingers.
“Capone?” I scooted back and flicked the button on her jeans as my brother climbed onto the bed and took over where I’d left off with her tits.
Maci gasped as he closed his mouth over her nipple, t-shirt and all, grasping the back of his head to hold him close.
 A muscle in my jaw flinched to see his mouth on her, but our time together was for her pleasure, fulfilling one of her fantasies—not getting my balls twisted with jealousy.
She doesn’t belong to you, I told myself while sliding down her zipper.
Yet, another voice whispered in my head, clenching my jaw.
© Lynn Burke 2018
 
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ABOUT LYNN BURKE:

Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.

 

PARIS PRELUDE by Miranda Jameson

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PARIS PRELUDE

by Miranda Jameson

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Doctor Bruno Steiner, half-blood vampire spy, has his life mapped out – brilliant career, service to his race and marriage to a pure-blood aristocrat. But when he saves a patient’s life, everything changes.

The slender tornado of a woman always has an opinion and is never slow to air it. She’s intolerable. And challenging.

Fleur Chastain, outcast half-blood, has waged her own war against Paris’s occupying forces. Arrested and tortured, she’s rescued by a man she suspects is a Nazi spy. But when she discovers who Bruno really spies for, she wishes her first guess was true.

The gorgeous doctor is out of her league, and engaged to be married. It’s strictly business. Period.

But sometimes, despite our best plans, fate delivers a message.

Is Paris merely a detour or the prelude to something wonderful?

BUY LINKS

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Interview with author Miranda Jameson

  1. What inspired you to start writing?

A bet! Bet you can’t write a book. Really? Let’s see now…

I must admit, stories have always been in my head. I just didn’t dare write them.

  1. Plotter or pantser?

A bit of both – I think I’m a plotser! I tend to follow Dean Wesley Smith’s ‘Write into the Dark’ model.

  1. What do you like most about writing paranormal?

I can do anything – as long as I can justify it/make it logical and real.

  1. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Write every day – even 200 words/day will add up. Don’t sit waiting for your muse you visit you. It doesn’t work like that. To finish a book, your butt must be in the seat and your fingers must be tapping (or scribing).

  1. Tell us a little about the characters in your book

My characters are based in the real world and their stories intertwine round real, human history. My books follow a brigade of Vampire warriors and their ancient enemies – the Empath race. Both races spring from a land of fire and ice within the Arctic Circle and speak a language close to Old Norse. My vamps are neither un-dead nor sparkly. They are real flesh and blood and, though they live for centuries, they are mortal – as are the Empaths. They can die – and do. My vamp soldiers are based in the south of France and my Empaths are based in Venice. In my world, the Empaths are the ‘villains’ – or used to be. They are trying to reform.

  1. Which one of your characters would you like to spend time with?

Lord LaSalle – Supreme Commander of the Warriors’ Council. Strangely, up to now, he’s a side character in my novels. His book will come last and will be set in 1915 – on the Western Front during WW1. LaSalle is the ultimate soldier and leader – think the power of Thor combined with a sharp, political mind! He’s hot!

  1. Do you have a must-read book you’d like to share with readers?

Mine? If mine – I particularly love my books ‘RAFE’ and ‘ALEXIS’. If someone else’s – Anne Rice – Interview with a Vampire.

  1. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?

I’ve started my 7th book – ZEPHYR. It is the 2nd in my Empaths of Venice trilogy but is linked to all the others. My readers like seeing ‘old friends’. My main character – Zephyr – is an Empath. He is also the head of a mysterious consortium who control world finance. Think Illuminati – but more powerful. As all my books have romance at their core – this is the story of Zephyr’s attempt to re-connect with a woman he gave up two centuries ago…he had good reasons but she never knew. His ex-lover Jocasta is now a powerful woman herself (I write strong, intelligent heroines – no whiny wimps in need of saving in my books!) And, inevitably, there’s a strong suspense story rumbling through everything! I like a fast pace and twists and turns.

  1. Do you write using your computer or notepad? Both? Something else?

My trusty laptop. And a small notebook in my bag in case I think of something and don’t want to forget (though I have been known to write notes on a restaurant napkin.)

  1. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched for your book?

Much weirdness! But – for my book BERLIN NOCTURNE – which is set in Berlin in 1941, I researched the Nazi Ahnenerbe organization. Fact IS stranger than fiction. They’re in the book. The Nazis were obsessed with the paranormal and the occult. (Remember Indiana Jones? All true.)

  1. Ebook or print? And why?

Currently Ebook but, with Createspace shutting down, I’ll print via KDP. I’ve had requests for paperbacks.

  1. What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

I speak a couple of Indian languages.

  1. If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Matter transfer – my vamps shift through the dark matter between dimensions to travel the world. One minute you’re in London, the next, you’re in Paris…or anywhere in the world. I’d love that.


Where to find Miranda

WebsiteFacebook Page

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SNOW by Erzabet Bishop @erzabetbishop

 
Grab this hot new release in paperback or e-book!


Fairytales can bite…
To look to the future, sometimes you have to unearth the secrets of the past.
Snow longs to find a true love of her own, but when her father returns from war with a new bride, her carefully planned out life slips through her fingers. Her new stepmother, the Queen, harbors a dangerous secret. One malicious kiss sends Snow tumbling into a sinister landscape of dark desires and a new manifestation that can save her or destroy everything she’s ever held dear.
Darkness can hide the most sultry of nights.
Gideon and his men guard the king, but even they can’t protect him from his murderous new bride. When the castle falls prey to the Queen’s ire, they find themselves under the spell of the moon. Can they harness their new reality to protect the newest target of the Queen’s wrath, or will they once again be victims of her unholy power play?
#paperback #book #reverseharem #whychoose #paranormalromance #fairytale #snow #wolves #shifters #pre-order #kindle #bookishlove #bookgasm #eroticfairytale #romance #bookishdelights #booklife #reading #readinglife #booktopia #snowwhite #darkforest #magic #witches #wickedread 

 

 
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Excerpt:

The new Queen stood in front of the fireplace, her hand on the ties of her gown. She flicked her hair over her shoulder and smiled, knowing the King’s gaze followed her every move. It had taken her years to reach this place, to claim the blood-right her sister had stolen from her so many years ago. The King watched her with lust in his eyes, no different than any other man. All it had taken was some small manipulations and a lost battle for her to come to be in just the right place for him to save her.
He was a fool, but then she expected that. A pair of breasts and the opening between her legs would give her everything, but first she would take her time. Her body lush with the essence of her victims, she tempted him, and he had succumbed. Now all that was left was to share herself with the man who would be her future. For a few mere hours.
“Do you find me attractive, husband?” She loosed a tie and the dress fell further down, revealing more of her pale flesh, until it slipped from her lithe form, pooling into a heap of discarded fabric on the chamber floor. She edged closer to him, letting the glow of the fire outline her body in the dimly lit room.
“Come here.” He jerked her forward so she landed hard against his chest. Crushing her lips against his own, he fumbled with the opening of his breeches, taking out his cock. A chill blast of air slid through the room, and he shuddered against her.
“Is that your wedding gift to me then?” She pressed her lips to his and wrapped her hand around his shaft. “This hard pike?” She manipulated him back against the bed, knowing full well the power she held in the palm of her hand. She squeezed his shaft and brutally released him, shoving him back.
The surprised expression flitting across his features quickly changed to anger. He laid there, his member exposed. “You dare.”
She climbed on the bed, rubbing her breasts and body up over his legs until she reached his cock once more. Wrapping her fingers around it, she smiled as he moaned, all but moldable clay in her hands.
“I dare much, highness.” She mounted him and impaled herself on his cock, taking great joy in the gasp that sprang from her husband’s lips. “This night is only the beginning.” Her nipples tightened against the chill of the room, but with each thrust of her hips, she grew warmer, and her magic stronger.
“You…” He tried to rise, but she slammed him back down, grinding herself into the root of his cock. “Ugh!” The King groaned, his eyes fluttering as his body toiled, twisted in the confines of the spell she’d wrapped around him.
“Yes. I am all that you desire, in this life or the next. Spill for me, my King. I have need of your soul.” She ground into him, rubbing her breasts against his chest and kissed him, her teeth catching on his lip, drawing blood.
“No…”
“Oh yes. Fuck me harder.” She rode him. Deeper and deeper, her tendrils of power sank into his body until the slack look on his face betrayed his vanquished spirit.
“Foul bitch. I’ll kill you.” But the words rang hollow as his strength poured into her.
She laughed, her pussy tightening around his cock as she pounded him into the bedding. 
“Everything you have. Everything you desire, my King. It shall be mine.” She leaned down and gave his lip another vicious bite at the same time she lifted her body from his, only to slam down hard on his length once more. “I’ll take what should have been mine long ago.”
He came with a shout, his hot seed jetting inside of her, then slumped down against the bed sheets never to rise again, jaw slack, his head lolling to one side.
The Queen rose from his body, letting it fall where it may. She sauntered to the trunks that held her belongings, running her hands over the tops of several. “There you are.” Pressing a hidden lever, she opened it to reveal an overlarge mirror set in a gilt frame. She stood in front of it, the mirror revealing her lush curves and now even tighter skin. The cool chill of frost crept across the chamber wall and her lips curved up in a diabolical smile.
Beautiful. There was no one to compare with her. No one at all. Her red hair fell to her thighs and she ran her hands along her concave stomach and shapely breasts.

 

“Now, let’s see who is the fairest in the land.” The mirror panned to a young woman with long dark hair and plentiful curves. She saw her sister in the girl and her rage knew no bounds. “I should have ended your life on that night in the wood, the same as I ended your mother’s.”
 
 
 
 
About the author:
 
Erzabet Bishop is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of paranormal and erotic romance. She lives in Houston, Texas and when she isn’t writing about sexy shifters or voluptuous heroines she enjoys playing in local bookstores and watching movies with her husband and furry kids.
Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop

ALPHA’S SECOND CHANCE by Jessica Coulter Smith @kitcatjms

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Alpha wolf Torren lost his mate a year ago. They weren’t fated mates, but he’d tried to give her a good life and thought she was happy. The day he found her mangled body, everything changed. Now he lives for his pack, keeping busy to forget the nightmares that plague him. When Torren wakes to discover a human has been brought onto pack lands, he doesn’t know what the hell his Omega was thinking, but the last thing they need is trouble.

Olivia Grant has never been accepted by the townspeople where she lives. Her parents are sorry excuses for human beings. The day she’s attacked and left for dead, her friend, Omega wolf Jaxon, takes her back to his home. She’s one breath away from dying, and only the Alpha’s bite can save her, but at what price?

Bonded together, Olivia and Torren discover a passion neither has experienced before. They’d thought they had found their happily-ever-after, but someone from the past is lurking in the shadows, and they aren’t happy the Alpha has a new mate.

Note: No Cliffhanger. No Cheating. Guaranteed HEA. Bondage. Spanking.

Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo / Changeling Press

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ADULT EXCERPT:

“Torren,” she said softly.

His hand cracked against her ass, making her yelp in surprise.

“When I want to pleasure my mate, you won’t try to push me away,” he said. “I know you liked what I was doing. You were soaking wet.”

His hand came down on her ass again, making her gasp from the sting that quickly turned into a burn. His fingers trailed along her ass cheek, then stroked her pussy, before delivering another blow to her aching backside. He spanked her three more times before his body came down over hers, the weight pressing her against the pillows and mattress.

“Are you going to keep me from pleasuring you in the future?” he asked, his voice dark and delicious.

“No, Alpha,” she said softly.

His fangs scraped her shoulder, then he quickly moved off her. She heard the rustle of fabric before the bed dipped.

Torren’s hands cupped her ass and spread her open. “I love seeing you like this. Tied down. Open. So fucking wet. Your ass is nice and pink from me spanking you.”

“Torren, please,” she begged.

His hands squeezed her ass cheeks. “One of these days, I’m going to fuck this tight, virgin ass. I’ll claim you in every way possible.”

Goosebumps erupted along her skin and her cheeks warmed, but not in embarrassment. No, what he’d said made her burn in a good way.

Torren nipped her ass, then his body covered hers again. She felt his long, hard cock pressing against her pussy. Torren thrust deep, and Olivia gave a muffled scream as she buried her face in the bedding. He took her hard and deep, his thrusts unrelenting. She felt his hand caress her ribs, then slip between her and the bed. He gave her breast a squeeze before pinching her nipple.

“Mine,” he said in a garbled voice that was a mix of beast and human.

Check out the Book Trailer on YouTube!

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About the Author:

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and she firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world.

Find Jessica on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / jessicacoultersmith.com.

MY LIFE TO TAKE by Magali A. Frechette @evernightpub @stormowl17

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MY LIFE TO TAKE

by Magali A. Fréchette

A Demon’s Love Book #2

 

Everything Celina thought she knew was a lie.

Her husband’s murder, her family’s religion…nothing was what it seemed. The avenging blood on her hands is barely dry, but she’ll do whatever it takes to save this unshakable proof of their love. Even swallow her terror to fulfill the bargain that was sealed on a bed of lies.

But there’s little time for tender reconciliation. Demons are being murdered, their mutilated bodies marked with cryptic threats only Celina can decipher. When visions of the massacres plague her at every turn, Kai sends her back to the human world in the care of the demon she fears most.

Secured in Shiriki’s high rise, she must uncover her own shrouded history. The key to saving the dark realm lies in her past, but an angel with a diabolical mind may lead to their destruction.

BUY LINK

(more will be added shortly!)

Evernight Publishing


When his mere presence bends iron, does her broken soul stand a chance?

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Excerpt

She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. “I’m fine.”

“And how are you feeling about us?” he asked quietly.

She took a deep breath. “We have a lot to work on for the next while, but we’ll do it together.”

“We will certainly do many things together,” he said with a lewd grin.

In less than a second, he stood naked, his muscles rippling in the low lighting of the room. She ran her hands against his hard chest, her pulse racing as she stared at his pale skin.

Mine.

The word resonated inside her mind as she felt him invade her thoughts. He growled as he pressed her body against his, kissing along her neck as she closed her eyes. He felt so good, and he was hers as much as she belonged to him.

“Your body, soul, and life are mine.” His tone darkened. “And although I never had a soul of my own, though my life is endless, you have all of me.”

Before she could respond, he took her mouth, thrusting his tongue inside. She moaned as he cupped her breasts, her nipples hardening under his touch. When he tugged at the hard peaks, their lips parted, and she let out a harsh breath.

“I want you.” The words left her in a whisper, a plea from the need pulsing through her.

He lifted her in his arms and carried her to their bed, sitting her on its edge. Despite his gentleness, an animalistic expression flashed across his face as he stared. He crouched in front of her and glided his hand along her thigh.

Heat filled her, burning so hot she was sure she’d combust. Licking her lips, she parted her legs. Her throbbing increased when his gaze traveled to her sex. He stared with such carnal desire, she was sure she’d orgasm.

“You are so beautiful … and no one else will ever touch you.” He kissed her inner thigh and trailed his tongue across her skin, nipping along the way as she gasped.

Letting herself fall onto the bed, her chest heaved as her stomach fluttered. He licked her swollen lips, and she trembled under the pleasure of his touch. He flicked her clit, and she whimpered. “Please.”

His muffled groans against her wetness had her trembling, and she writhed as he sucked hard on her pink flesh. She grabbed hold of his hands holding her hips, digging her fingernails into his flesh, crying out.

“Your screams are as delicious as you are, dove.”

Running her fingers through his hair, she tugged, so he’d look at her. He growled at being denied, his gaze darting to her sex as he licked his lips.

She panted. “I want you.”

He stood. Feathers flew around him, black as night. Within seconds, the feathers falling around him dissipated into smoke, leaving Kai in his true form. Her demon.

The horns on his head held the same red arcane symbols, glowing brightly. He folded his black wings as he took a step closer, the darkness behind his red irises sending a shiver down her spine. Her chest heaved as she crawled farther onto the bed and reached her hand out to him. She wished she had the words to tell him how much she loved him, but showing him would be better.

He chuckled as he got onto the bed, even kneeling he towered over her like a looming shadow waiting to pounce. “You do not need to use words. I can feel it radiating off you as easily as I smell your lust.”


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Where to find Magali

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THE THIRD WISH by Jewel Quinlan @evernightpub @JewelQuinlan

 

Blurb:

Owen only has one wish left. And this time, he wants to ensure it doesn’t come with nightmare side effects like his first two did. Unfortunately, Cleo, the scornful genie granting his desires, isn’t willing help. With the wish deadline fast approaching, Owen must find a way to gain Cleo’s assistance, or he’ll be stuck forever in a tangle of his own making.

 

Where You Can Buy It

Evernight Publishing | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Or add it to your shelf on Goodreads

 

Excerpt:

“…Maybe if you’d executed my first two wishes better I wouldn’t be so strung out.” Wrong thing to say. If I could have punched myself, I would have.

Cleo stiffened, eyes wide. And then they narrowed, and I could almost see the millions of ways she was killing me in her mind right now. I braced myself for a barrage of scorn mixed with profanity. If there was one thing I’d learned about Cleo in the past couple of months, it was that she had an extensive vocabulary of swear words. Not only was her range impressive, it was also interestingly exotic. I was well acquainted with it because it’d been directed at me on the frequent occasions I managed to get her to come out of the pill box. I’d thought I’d heard it all at this point in my life, but she proved me wrong. And somehow, whenever she directed her skill at me, I couldn’t help but feel that every term she used was eminently fitting.

“I’m so sorry you’re dissatisfied with your first two wishes, Master,” she drawled in an uncharacteristically chilly tone that made me shiver. “I shall return to my vessel and spend my time reflecting on how to do better with your third wish.” She turned and moved away from the door.

Fuck. The lack of profanity made me panic. I leapt up the stairs in one bound and grabbed her arm in desperation. If she evaporated back into the box, I’d have a hell of a time getting her to come out again. “Cleo, I’m sorry. Don’t go. I’m an asshole, okay? A dick. I’m—I’m every foul word you’ve called me since we met.”

The skin of her arm was soft beneath my fingers, but the biceps was firm. Did she work out? Would a genie even need to, being able to shapeshift and all? There was a small strange golden tattoo on her arm. I watched, fascinated, as it shifted from a crescent moon, to some intricate round design that reminded me of snowflakes, and then into a symbol of some kind. This close, her scent was warm in my nostrils. It was a mix of jasmine, incense, and something spicy that I had yet to identify. The intoxicating medley had visited me in my dreams more than once.

“Take … your hand … off me.”

The words were spoken slowly and in a deadly acid that had me snatching my hand back as though I’d touched a hot exhaust pipe. She glared up at me and twitched her arm as if to dislodge any germs I’d left on her creamy skin.

“Sorry. So sorry,” I said, my words coming out light and breathy as though I might set off a bomb. I took a half step back from her, lifting my hands in front of me in that universal I’m-not-armed gesture. “Please don’t go,” I pleaded. “I really need your help. Please.”

There were less than three days left for me to make my third wish, and I was desperate not to fuck it up. I’d made the first two rather quickly, and they hadn’t turned out exactly as I’d hoped. Well, no, I can’t say that. I’d gotten exactly what I’d wished for. I was now ridiculously wealthy and famous. The problem was that both of those things had come with a lot of problems, like fleeing from people who were trying to kill me for reasons I had yet to determine. And I really didn’t want to spend the rest of my life using my new, magically-granted resources running, hiding, and generally having to look over my shoulder for the rest of my days. Of course, I could always wish to undo the first two wishes. But who in their right mind would do that? I ran a hand through my hair, and pleaded with her with my eyes.

Cleo made a scoffing noise and raked a critical gaze from my black biker boots, over my favorite well-worn jeans and grey t-shirt, and finally to my face, which no doubt looked more haggard than ever from worry and an overgrown five o’clock shadow. “And why should I help you? Out of the goodness of my heart?”

I scrambled to think of something to say, but my mind was blank. I was a mere human. And before she’d come into my life, I was only doing a passable job at being that. There was nothing I could give her that she couldn’t give herself, not even freedom.

“I can’t think of anything,” I said, feeling deflated. “But maybe you can.” It was a shot in the dark, but worth it. There was a faint glimmer in her caramel-colored eyes that signaled I was on the right track. Inspired, I pushed forward, desperate. “Is there something?”

She relaxed her stance, making hope soar within me. Then she dropped her gaze to the floor as if—No. Could it be?—as if she was reluctant to say it. I closed the gap between us again, feeling bolder, but I didn’t touch her. “Tell me,” I urged in a low voice, fascinated. “I want to know. No, I have to know. What I could possibly give you that you would want?”

 

About the Author:

Jewel Quinlan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. Since her debut in late 2013, she has published fifteen stories and has many more to come. Restless by nature, she is an avid traveler and has visited sixteen countries so far. Lover of ice cream, dark beer, and red wine, she tries to stay fit when she’s not typing madly on her computer drafting another romance novel. In her spare time, she likes to do yoga, hike, learn German, and play with her spoiled Chihuahua, Penny.

 

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