When the heroes have reputations like these…who needs a villain?
Barrett has lived almost his entire life cast as the monstrous villain, so imagine his surprise when the strangest Fairy God Mother out there calls on him to protect one of her charges. Not being able to control his other half used to be his biggest problem, but with Lynni in the picture, everything has turned upside down.
Lynni has always known that her destiny was grim because she was different than the rest of her people, but she’d decided long ago to try and make a difference in the world—then she meets Dori and is shocked to find out that nothing is as it appears.
Can these two outsiders navigate the draw they have to each other while trying to out run the roles the rest of the world has given them? Dori will do all she can to make sure they get a second chance, and there’s very little that can keep a goth fairy from getting what she wants.
Paranormal romance lovers will want to devour these thirteen novellas featuring alpha male shifters and the women they’re determined to claim. Our handpicked stories are full of heat, passion, and a romance to remember. Fourteen authors, including some of your favorite Evernight bestsellers, are proud to present Alpha Male.
Caroline needs to escape her life and what better way to do that than to visit her little sister in her new home? It’s time for her to come to grips with the fact that things don’t always turn out the way we hope, but at least she doesn’t have to go through it alone. She certainly couldn’t have imagined what would happen once she arrives in the idyllic town or that the reality she knows will be utterly shaken.
Craig took the role as Alpha in Hillard to make a home for himself and when he bumps into a stranger at the bar, his wolf decides that a mate is exactly what the Ranger needs. Unfortunately, things are more complicated with Caroline than he anticipated, but for a mate like her? He’s willing to do whatever it takes to win her over.
From bad boys to the lone rancher, it’s never a dull moment living the single life. That is until you find yourself suddenly married. From love at first sight, friends to lovers, or perfect strangers making a deal, they all end the same with two little words, “I Do.”
Never underestimate the power of love and passion as they explode off the pages and leave everyone longing for more. Join ten amazing authors as they take you on an adventure where just for now becomes suddenly forever.
Featuring stories from: Ava Campbell, Hazel Gower, Debra St James, E.H. Demeter, Gemma Arlington, Jenna Lynn, Katherine Moore, Kenna Shaw Reed, Marina Hanna and Taylor Green!
Fate’s Call brings you fourteen brand new short stories of paranormal romance and urban fantasy in this collection of spell-bounding books featuring Shifters, Vampires, Mermaids, Witches and magical objects.
Answer fate’s call and delve into this amazing collection of short stories featuring tormented heroes, badass heroines and troublesome clothing, written by some of your favorite bestselling authors.
FEATURING STORIES BY: Ava Campbell, April Zyon, Alyson Burr, Aria Peyton, Britt DeLaney, Chasity Nicole, Flora McGowan, Layla Piper, Maia Dylan, Rose Wulf, Sarah Marsh, Stephanie Barr, and Zelda Knight.
Fate’s Call brings you six brand new short stories of paranormal romance and urban fantasy in this collection of spell-bounding books featuring Shifters, Vampires, Demons and Witches.
Answer fate’s call and delve into this amazing collection of short stories featuring tormented heroes, badass mates and troublesome family members, written by some of your favorite bestselling authors.
FEATURING STORIES BY: Aja Foxx, Ciena Foxx, Dani Gray, Jess Buffett, Meg Bawden, and Misha Paige.
Ebook copy of New Hope Valley series by Jess Buffett
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AN INTERVIEW WITH AVA CAMPBELL
•The theme of the anthology is based on your inspirational love story. Can you tell us how you meet your husband? What was your meet-cute?
My husband was stationed at Quantico Virginia at the time (He was in the Marine Corp), and my dad was stationed at DC (Coast Guard), I was working at the bank during the day but volunteered at the fire department at night and weekends as an EMT while working on getting my paramedic certification. And he was only a Lance Corporal.
Anyway, I was beyond tired and didn’t feel like going home to cook, so I decided to just stop into Burger King and grab something. I hated eating in my car, so I went in with my book to eat and just enjoy my quiet time. It was only about ten minutes after I sat down, and he walked in. Sure, I noticed him… but didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until he got his food that he walked over and asked if he could sit down and eat with me. From there we talked, and something just clicked.
It was as if I had known him my whole life, that I didn’t feel awkward or weird around him. Plus, he made me laugh. We exchanged phone numbers and the rest is history. Oh, and we met and married in 11 days! Crazy as it sounds, we’ve been together almost 19 years now.
•Writing romance, how much is inspired by your own love story?
What’s funny is that I didn’t get into writing love stories from my story, but from a friend who dared me to write a better story than the one she and I had read. So, I did. And shockingly it was accepted by a publishing house and I grew to love it. I had found my passion and calling.
•Last Christmas, can you take us through those first days?
No one ever expects to get a phone call- but I did. I was home with the boys as I planned on just relaxing while the boys watched a movie. However, I got a call from an odd number who asked me if I was Jordan’s mom. He then informed me there was a car accident and my husband was being airlifted and they were trying to get my daughter out of the car. My heart stopped and I remember not being able to breathe. What does one do when that happens? They both went out to finish Christmas shopping… for me. My husband took our daughter so they could spend time together, but to make sure he didn’t, in his words, mess up.
The bystander stated that they were really bad, and I needed to get to the hospital immediately. However, it is an hour away. Doing my best, I told the older boys to watch the little ones and a small amount of what is going on. I wasn’t able to give any information because I just didn’t have any.
When I got to the hospital, my daughter was getting ready to be moved to another hospital as she was a pediatric trauma, and the hospital they were taken to only did adults. Meanwhile, the doctors came in to tell me, from what they could see, that she had several breaks and would need surgery; however, my husband had internal bleeding and broken bones as well.
When I finally got to see him, he wasn’t completely with it and kept asking about Jordan. I remember trying to explain quickly what was going on and asked what I should do. At this point he was bad, but so was she, and I felt pulled in two. Needing to be with him, but also needing to go to another hospital for her. When the time came, I recall kissing him and telling him to stay strong and make it through, though parts of me knew there was a big chance it would be the last time I would see him alive. It was always a packed we had… follow the kids, no matter what, they come first. So, I left him, my heartbreaking in a way I never knew it could, but staying strong for Jordan as she was already fading in and out.
We arrived at the hospital and things happen so fast, and an hour later I found myself running with the team of doctors and nurses to the OR so they could try and save her leg.
FIVE hours later they were done and we got the full extent of what she was dealing with. Broken Femur, compound fracture of the ankle (right leg). Dislocated toes (left leg). Broken ulna (left arm) broken pelvic ring with broken tail bone and a brain bleed in her frontal lobe. Not to mention the facial burns and cuts and bruises. There really wasn’t a place on her tiny body that want affected.
I received a call midway from my husband’s doctors stating he had made it through surgery. He had a lacerated spleen, broken tail bone, shattered hip joint socket, broken right knee, broken left side clavicle, cracked ribs, and his whole right arm was shattered and that they had to put more hardware in him to get it to look like an arm again. He had a small brain bleed, but more swelling due to impact.
With all those things, I am beyond blessed they are alive. The car was a mess, and I was fielding phone calls, prayers, and doctors telling me what was happening. To be honest, most of it is blurry. John had two massive surgeries before he went to rehab to learn to be able to stand and move to his wheelchair. Jordan had six surgeries herself before her time to rehab, before luck took a turn and they realized the compound fractured bone was dying. The foot had to be removed, so she became a below-the-knee amputee at the age of 15.
•And I understand you have other children? How did you all support each other?
It’s funny how many people say tragedy can either make or break a family. In my case, my kids have always been close, but I could never have expected them to stick together and become men.
I have four other boys- 17, 14, 9, and 5 years old. When the accident happened my eldest was kind of a mess, and the younger ones didn’t know what had happened. They didn’t understand why I was gone. Since it was only 3 days before Christmas Day, my parents took them to their house but found it just wasn’t something everyone could be comfortable with. So, my oldest called me and told me he was taking the boys home. So, for over two months, he cooked, cleaned, and made sure they got to school and had homework done- all the while doing his high school classes and boy scouts once a week.
The four of them stuck together and bonded, though they knew they were missing me, their dad, and their sister- they found the strength to stay together and make me proud of them. I cannot say how much I am blown away by how they grew up.
•It seems the romance author community has really banded together to support you. How did the anthology happen?
Two of my best friends- sisters really, knew what happened when I messaged them the night it all happened. I knew they felt as helpless as I felt. It wasn’t until a few days later when we finally had an outline of the damages of what happened to my family. It was not just a few weeks, but long-term recovery and possibly a lifetime (and at that time she still had her foot). They reached out with an idea on how the author world could help us. Just a post by two people and it blew up and soon over fifty authors, editors, cover artists, and PR’s were wanting to help in some way. It all happened so fast. Jess Buffett and April Zyon started with just an idea, and with the help of our dear friend Tracie Runge, it bloomed to be something so beyond that. Each author who took the time to write and work on this is truly inspiring, and it is the most amazing gift. One that I will be forever grateful for!
•There are a lot of anthologies out there. What makes this one special?
This is a hard one. All stories are special and should be admired by the work that went into them. From editing to formatting, and the exquisite covers, and the time authors take to write the story. However, to answer the question this is special to me as it was started by two women who are my heart sisters, my very best friends. We have known each other for years and love and cry together. When this accident happened, they were there with me, keeping me calm when I felt like I was falling apart. This is a work of heart and love, and I hope others feel that when they read it!
•What difference would raising $10,000 or even $100 do for you, your family and medical expenses?
Honestly, I can’t even begin to properly explain. Prosthetics are not always covered completely with insurance. Plus, my daughter can use this to make her life a little easier. My husband is also a 7th grade math teacher, and currently, he is unable to walk more than a few steps. His right arm has severe nerve damage and will need surgery again to repair it so he may be able to use it once more. Along with that, the expense of driving to physical theory an hour one way, twice a week for one person, and once a week in the opposite direction, then doctors’ checkups which are an hour and a half away. Gas money is always needed. It’s not just the huge initial medical costs that hit, it’s the little things.
Even something as simple as being able to spoil Jordan once in a while with her favorite Starbucks drink (Green tea peach lemonade with sweetener) would make an impact on her mental health. Something just as tenuous as the physical injuries.
From the bottom of my heart, I’d just like to thank everyone involved. Through my darkest time, I have been reminded of the goodness in the world. So thank you!
Dingo Harley Wylde (Devil’s Fury MC) Published by: Changeling Press Publication date: February 14th 2020 Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Meiling – All I’ve ever known was pain. My life has been far from a fairytale. No parents. No friends. Just an endless nightmare that I can’t wake from. Until the day a man offered me his hand and promised to keep me safe. I’ve never trusted anyone before, but there’s something about him. Maybe it’s insane, but I know he won’t hurt me, and when he puts his arms around me, for the first time in my life I feel loved.
Dingo – I’ve always had a soft spot for women and kids in trouble. One look at Meiling, and I knew I had to protect her at any cost. The beautiful girl with the wounded soul. After all she’s suffered, all I want is to make her smile, make her feel secure, and give her a chance to find happiness. But first, I need to take out the men and women responsible for hurting her. It might get ugly, and messy, but they don’t call me Dingo for nothing. I’m a crazy bastard and I won’t stop until she’s safe. I just didn’t count on falling for her along the way.
Warning: Meiling’s past isn’t pretty. Dingo and Meiling’s story deals with issues of human trafficking, bureaucratic corruption, and vigilante justice. This book contains darker themes that may trigger some readers.
“Sit right here, sugar. I’ll get Beau to make you something to eat.”
Once I made sure she would stay put, and the others would remain at their table, I went to the bar and spoke to Beau. He kept watching Mei, concern for her evident by the haunted look in his eyes and his jerky motions. It was like he wanted to go to her, but wasn’t sure how she’d take it. I’d never seen him like this before, and I wondered if there was something more between them. My stomach churned at the thought, which was ridiculous. I’d only laid eyes on her today. It wasn’t like she was mine.
“Is she… will she be all right?” Beau asked. “I didn’t know she was in that place.”
“She’s important to you,” I said, hoping he’d offer up more information. All I knew was that he’d known Mei when he was younger. He hadn’t given us much more when he’d asked the club for help getting her away from the Ruby Slipper.
“Mei’s a part of my past, but I never should have left her. Maybe if I’d found a way to go back for her, then she wouldn’t have ended up…” He clamped his mouth shut, but I heard the unspoken words just the same. She wouldn’t have become a prostitute.
“Beau, you can’t blame yourself. When you came here, you were just a kid. Hell, you’re still a kid. If you’d gone after her, who’s to say you wouldn’t be the one whoring yourself out?” I said what I thought he needed to hear, but it made me wonder if he was right. Had Mei ended up where she did because he’d left her behind? What exactly had he been running from?
He winced and looked away, but it made me wonder about his life before he found the club. Or rather, before Grizzly found him. The old man did have a habit of bringing home strays. It’s how he’d ended up with his daughters, and I had no doubt that when he ran across another kid who needed help, he’d bring them home too. It was just his way. It was part of what pissed me off so much about how they’d handled Mei when she’d arrived today, and why I’d intervened when I did. I still didn’t know what the fuck was going on. I’d have never thought Demon or Grizzly would be like that with a woman in need.
“She needs food and clothes,” I said. “You handle the food, and I’ll send someone after some clothing for her.”
“I don’t think she has money for that kind of thing.”
I narrowed my gaze at him. As if I’d expected her to pay? It was obvious she’d been struggling, and had taken a trip through hell along the way. I wasn’t a big enough asshole to make her pay for stuff she hadn’t even asked for, and the fact Beau thought that made me want to put my fist through his face, but I refrained — for Mei’s sake. I still didn’t know how close the two of them had been, and I didn’t want to upset her.
“Just make the fucking food, Prospect.”
He dropped his gaze and gave a nod before heading into the kitchen. I motioned over another Prospect and reached for a piece of paper and pen from behind the bar. I scribbled Mei’s sizes and made a few notes of specifically what I wanted him to purchase, then pulled out a wad of cash from my wallet.
“Henry, I want you to take this and buy what’s on the list. Not a damn thing that isn’t on there, understood?” I asked, handing him the money and paper.
“Got it, Dingo.” He shifted from foot to foot. “Where do I take it once I get back?”
I looked over at Mei and then the officers at the table. The way Demon watched her had me clenching my teeth. No fucking way I was letting her out of my sight. Well, not unless they ordered me to hand her over, and even then, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to. She was young and defenseless. Some caveman piece of me demanded that I beat my chest and warn the others off, let them know she was mine. Except she wasn’t.
“Bring it to my place,” I said.
“You got it.”
Harley is the international bestselling author of the Dixie Reapers and Devil’s Boneyard series.
When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.
Harley Wylde is the “wilder” side of award-winning science fiction/paranormal romance author Jessica Coulter Smith. For fans of Gay Erotic Fantasy Romance, Harley/Jessica also writes as Dulce Dennison.
Check out Harley’s other books, and read some random facts about the author, at harleywylde.com.
Follow Harley on Amazon to be notified of new releases, or sign up for her newsletter.
What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
An eccentric and eclectic writer, C.R. Moss pens stories for the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers a choice of sweet, savory or spicy reads, usually within a sub-genre or two — paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, time travel, or western flare. She also has a passion for penning dark fiction. Writing as Casey Moss, she delves into the darker aspects of life in her work, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the lighthearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…
Nestled within the hills of central Texas is a special ranch. A place that defies the laws of physics—that of time, space, and dimensions. It’s a place where normal morphs with the paranormal and supernatural. A place that seems to know what a person’s true desires and needs are, and then allows the right circumstances to occur to fulfill those wishes. Welcome to the Gateway Ranch. Your gateway to all things possible…
~ About the Book ~
Katrina Foster has survived a life no one dreams about and most don’t want to know about. Escaping to a ranch in Texas she used to visit during the summers of her childhood and rekindling an old relationship with Dakota Remington, she hopes to leave the nightmare of her past behind her. At first, all seems well, but when strange things begin to happen, she wonders if history’s about to repeat itself. Dakota Remington has devoted his life to working at Gateway Ranch. He’s excited when Kat, his former sweetheart, returns and looks forward to reuniting with her. He finds she’s changed, though, and he’s not sure if it’s for the better. But he’s up for the challenge of the puzzle that is Kat.
~ Excerpt ~
The hard composite of her firearm shifted against her lower back. Well, if push comes to shove, I can protect myself. I’ll shoot the bastard if he shows up and tries anything. Eventually, her nerves calmed enough so she could move without feeling ill. She rose and stripped out of her clothes, put her weapon on the counter, then stepped into the shower. The hard and hot spray beat on her, helping her to feel something other than worry about potential rumors or her ex finding her. Kat bowed her head, placed her hands above the faucets. The water sluiced down her hair, cascaded in wide streams over her back. More time passed. Relaxed and clear headed, she finished her shower and was about to open the door when a thud and click sounded on the other side. Gripping the towel wrapped around her body, she snatched her weapon, opened the door, and cautiously looked out into the room. Dakota lounged on the bed, one leg bent, his hat propped on that leg’s knee. His hair stuck up in clumpy spikes. He ran a dirty hand through his dark brown locks. Kat released a pent-up breath, lowered her weapon, and placed the Glock on a counter next to the bathroom door. “How’d you get in here?” Tired eyes gazed at her. “I’m manager on duty while the Taggerts are away, ’member? Got a bunch of master keys.” Dak held up the ring of them. “You okay? When you didn’t come back, I got worried.” “I’m fine. I think the humidity got to me. Along with the dirt.” “Sure. The humidity. You tell me that you’re afraid a man is going to come after you, or rather us. We hear about the vehicle. You turn white as one of our ghosts and run off. Who was in the car, Kat?” “Hell if I know. I’ve been with you all day. I didn’t see the fancy black car or who was in it.” “You don’t have a clue as to who was in the car? I’m not buying it.” “Buy it or don’t.” She crossed her arms over her stomach. “I really don’t know. It could have been Nero. It could have been his goons. It could have been a neighbor of yours or one of the party guests Kent mentioned. I. Wasn’t. There. I. Didn’t. See.” Dakota flung himself off the bed and slammed the hat on his head. “Get dressed. You’ll come with me while I get cleaned up then we’ll go hang out in the rec hall.” “You know what, Dak? I appreciate the Boy Scout approach, and how you’re trying to get a merit badge for babysitting, but all I want is to lie down and take a nap.” “Kat, please. I’m hot, dirty, and tired. I don’t want to argue.” He strode to the door. “Get dressed so we can get going.” His gaze flashed darkly, roamed over her with an appraising glance. A slow grin tipped up the corner of his lips.
James isn’t ready to lose his heart again. Will Ethan fight for his love?
As if life isn’t tough enough for James Coker, rejected and nearly killed by family, he is also a closeted gay man in a country where being gay is outlawed. So when the first man he’s ever loved gets engaged to a woman, James’s solution to heartbreak is to indulge in a holiday fling.
In contrast, Ethan Eze has had life relatively easy. Born in the ‘Land of the Free’ and nurtured within a family where he can be whoever he wants to be, he’s a military veteran who is not afraid of going for what he wants. When he meets James, Ethan wants him.
Desire burns between them and soon blurs into devotion. But James is not ready to lose his heart again. Will Ethan fight for his love?
Bound to Liberty is a story about breaking free from mental chains and living a life of boundless love.
*Content Warning: homophobia, threat of forced outing, depictions of anxiety
Ethan let the men out and locked the door. When he turned around, James wasn’t in the living room.
“James?” he called out as he strode across the space. Getting no response, he knocked on the closed door to the younger man’s room. “Can I come in?”
“It’s not locked,” James’s muffled voice came through.
Ethan pushed the door and stopped at the threshold.
His ward paced the room manically, muttering to himself. Although the AC was on, sweat beaded his hairline and his hands were clenched.
The sight of James’s distress undid Ethan. His job was to keep James physically safe and find his stalker. His professional remit didn’t extend to dealing with emotional baggage.
Nonetheless, he’d be damned if he just had to stand guard while the young man hurt. He stepped into the room withouta second thought. Nothing else mattered but taking away the suffering. Neither his misgivings about getting personally involved with his ward nor the risk of losing an influential client if he cocked this up stopped him.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” He halted in front of James, blocking his pacing path.
James shook his head and tried to swerve past him.
He reached out and settled his hand on the man’s shoulder. “Talk to me.”
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
“Highly recommended … Love this series.” ~ Ngozi
“Fantastic … it didn’t disappoint.” ~ Kemi
“Took the bar meters higher with this one.” ~ Paschal
“Keep breaking the barriers.” ~ Ngozi
As a lover of romance novels, Kiru wanted to read stories about Africans falling in love. When she couldn’t find those books, she decided to write the stories she wanted to read. She writes sensual African stories as Kiru Taye and writes queer romance as Kai Tyler.
Kace Karrington is a wealthy, self-made investor with no qualms about steamrolling others to achieve his goals. He’s attracted to men, but picks up beautiful women, giving the cold, unfeeling world of Finance the appearance he’s successful…powerful. That is until he meets a smoking hot street punk eager to show him there’s more to life than making money.
See photos that inspired me to write the book onPinterest
And then happens what happens to me once in a long while: he catches my attention. I mean really makes me stop and stare. I’m attracted to men, after all, and some can be surprisingly handsome. This specimen is a lot more so than one would imagine of a drug addict. Strong, symmetrical features and tanned skin make quite the tableau with full lips, an aquiline nose, and dark green, gold-flecked irises framed by thick eyelashes. Even unkempt blond hair and a three-day stubble look sexy on him.
This is the guy who calls himself my sister’s friend? He’s so easy on the eyes, he has to be more than a friend.
He scowls. “Do you always do that?”
“Do what?” I take in the rest of him. He’s my height, but much skinnier. Probably can’t afford to go to a gym and do weights three times a week like I do.
“Refuse to shake someone’s hand,” he replies, tone offended. His voice sounds light but mature. Warm, comfortable to the ear. “While your sister’s in there…fighting for her life.” Tears form in his eyes. So, their redness was due to him crying.
“Sorry, it’s the nerves.” I give him my hand.
“Yeah.” He accepts to shake it, but his wet glare tells me he’s not convinced.
Me? I’m so taken aback by his good looks and intense presence, I almost forget why I came out of the room.
Oh yeah. Coffee.
About the author
Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After a deep dive on the unforgiving world of gangsters with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between romantic suspenses, dark erotic romances, and crime thrillers.
Adrian Matsakis is a successful businessman with terrible luck in personal relationships. His ex-wife wrecked him, and when he tried again with Jessie Brandt, she too betrayed him.
He is shocked and outraged to learn he has a son with her and is determined to take custody. He’s never forgotten Jessie but can’t forgive her, especially now.
Forewarned of Adrian’s intent, Jessie preempts him by inviting him to co-parent, and he reins himself in. He can’t resist reminding her of her perfidy, however, just as she continues to maintain her innocence.
They struggle against the chemistry—and more—sparking between them, and when Adrian double checks the facts around Jessie’s supposed betrayal, he’s staggered to learn the evidence was planted.
He sets out to make amends, and Jessie must decide if she’ll allow him back into her heart, and give Adrian a place to finally call home.
We believe you know Jessie Brandt. Please see the attached picture. Come for dinner tonight. Mikhail
Adrian Matsakis shoved back from his desk with such strength the back of the chair hit the wall, and the resulting shudder made his teeth clack together. The distance from his computer monitor didn’t make it less true. The attachment he’d clicked on nearly filled the screen with a picture of a sturdy, little toddler, laughing up at a woman who crouched beside him, holding an enormous balloon.
It was like looking into a mirror of his youth, pictures of him as a child festooning most available surfaces, compliments of his doting mother. She’d been unable to have other children, and thus lavished every maternal ounce of her being upon him. His father created a balance, or Mama might have driven him crazy.
Maybe he was crazy, seeing something in that image that was wishful thinking. It couldn’t be. Rolling back to his desk, he clicked to reread the email from Mikhail. Nothing changed.
After opening up the image again, he soaked in the two faces featured there, noting how little Jessie had changed over the three years since he’d last seen her, the golden-blonde hair and laughing brown eyes, clear, ivory skin, long, slender hands, and a lithe body with all the requisite curves.
His son—for he had no doubt the child was his—was still exhibiting baby roundness, but his arms and legs were long like Adrian’s, and the riot of black curls that would be the bane of his existence unless fads changed, and maybe even then, waved wildly about the boy’s head. Olive skin set off the tiny white teeth visible in the wide smile. He thought his son’s eyes were gray like his own, but perhaps they were a velvety brown like Jessie’s.
Adrian finally allowed the cacophony of emotions churning in his gut to be labeled. He was furious, firstly. Furious to learn he had a child after all this time, and curious about the boy. Elated too. He wouldn’t deny it. He had badly wanted a child, children, and learning that his ex wife Sharon terminated not one, but two of his babies still sent shards of agony throughout his being.
But he now had a child, and it must be love, if not intense affection flooding his system as he stared at the little boy. He purposely narrowed his gaze, keeping it directly on the toddler, because he didn’t want his confused emotions toward Jessie to spill over, even within his own head, onto his son.
His son. Why hadn’t she told him? Contacted him as was his right? Especially when she knew how much he wanted children? Because I threw her out. He shook the vaguely remorseful thought away.
He’d thrown her out for good reason. She’d been lucky he hadn’t pressed charges, although she’d challenged him to do so even as she accepted his edict and marched away down the hall, her spine erect and her head held high.
Out of sight, out of mind. He’d made certain she left with nothing. Except she left with something.And if she’d really wanted my money, then why hadn’t she used the child? He decided to ignore that inconvenient niggle as well.
He shot an email to Mikhail, accepting the dinner invitation when what he really wanted to do was phone the man and demand an explanation. But he hadn’t climbed to where he was in his business by flying off the handle. He’d attend the dinner tonight armed with all possible information and pool it with what his friend knew. And plan.
He closed down his computer after carefully saving and printing several copies of the toddler and then obtained the number of an experienced investigative agency. He’d head out and pick up some wine and flowers for the hostess—and begin the plan of retrieving his child. Anything this important would take great care and strategy.
Allyson Young lives in cottage country in Manitoba, Canada with her husband and numerous pets. She worked in the human services all across Canada and has seen the best and worst of what people bring to the table. Allyson has written for years, mostly short stories and poetry, published in small newspapers and the like, although her work appeared in her high school yearbooks too! After reading an erotic romance, quite by accident, she decided to try her hand at penning erotica. Allyson will write until whatever she has inside her is satisfied- when all the heroes man up and all the heroines get what they deserve. Love isn’t always sweet, and Allyson favours the darker side of romance.
Hope is all Alpha Protector Killian has. Hope for more time with his mate. Hope for a better future in which they can be together freely. When they’re both assigned to the same undercover mission in Spain, Killian seizes the opportunity as a chance to spend more time with Prudence.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t share his point of view, but hope is the last thing he’ll lose.
It’s not greed if it’s for the greater good.
Prudence loves Killian above all else, but her mission in life is to serve the Virtues and keep the balance between good and evil. Being appointed leader of the Spell Casters in the dangerous mission to defeat the Sin Lords is her chance to prove to her superiors that she can be the next High Priestess.
The only problem is resisting Killian.
With years of pent up love and frustration tugging at them, will they be able to avoid succumbing to their forbidden mating? And what will happen when the evil which they were sent to destroy threatens to tear them apart forever?
Almost two years ago, I revisited the city of Barcelona, Spain.
I was getting ready for the release of Max’s Desire, which mainly takes place in Madrid, and was already busy working on Killian and Prudence’s story.
No sooner had I arrived at the city, I knew that’s where my characters would be headed. I could picture the couple walking through the Gothic Quarter, commenting on the street art, the wide spaces, even the elaborate steel lampposts
Then, we visited the Sagrada Familia and everything clicked. From the arches, to the stained glass windows, down to the never ending spires, it all fit perfectly into Killian’s story.
I hope when you read Killian’s Hope you can delight in stepping into their version of Barcelona, as much as I enjoyed writing about it.
The last rays of sunlight filtered through the stained-glass windows, creating a pattern of dancing colors on the floors and walls. It would have been a spectacle worth watching if she wasn’t so bent on seeing Killian. She was glad they weren’t allowed to be in the same room together, because otherwise, she didn’t know if she would be capable of not throwing herself into his arms. Prudence reached the appointed room. It was not much larger than the one on the other side of the wall. With an impatient flick of her wrist, she brought the ancient scripts on the walls alive with light. The protection spells glowed brightly for a few seconds then began to fade, remaining dim like the last licking flames of dying firewood. Sitting on the padded stool in front of the window, Pru inhaled deeply. She bit her lip to keep from gasping. Surely, she couldn’t smell him in here. Surely, it was only her mind playing tricks on her, recalling his scent from previous encounters. She dropped her gaze to her hands, staring at her quivering fingers which matched the erratic thumping of her heart. She had to control herself. Recall their true reason for being here.
Killian cleared his throat loudly, shattering her thoughts. There was no point in delaying this any longer. Her pain would not ease so she’d just have to bury it. As she reached for the window’s knob, she swore she heard Killian’s labored exhale, as if he too were releasing something pent-up inside him. Was it possible he also felt the same pain as her? Selfish thoughts tried to surface but she beat them back. It was time to focus. Bracing herself, she slid open the window dividing them and any pretense of focus was nearly lost. Eyes blue like the ocean on a clear morning with dark irises and long blond lashes locked with hers. Her heart danced in her chest and her cheeks heated. Every fiber in her body woke up, alert to the presence of the man she loved.
She dug her fingernails into her knees. Dear Gods, she wanted to touch him. Her gaze dropped to his lips which she could see through the fine mesh. Kiss him. Feel his warm mouth against her, breathing life into her. She looked up again and realized he did the same, taking her in like some kind of starved animal. Tears stung the back of her eyes and she averted her gaze. She had to end this quickly, before their emotions got out of hand. She glanced at the ring on her left hand. Silver with a white stone, it represented the order of Spell Casters. She had to keep her mission in mind.
“Why are you here, Killian?”
Silence stretched between them and she wondered if he had heard her.
“You can’t keep the sweetness out of my name even when you try.”
Her gaze flew to his and she saw the familiar spark in his eyes. The one which lit her up inside and out and made the corner of her lips twitch. Daredevil. She clasped her hands together, pressing the pad of her thumb against the ring. Remember.
“Why are you here?” she asked drily, proud that at least her voice didn’t tremble.
“You know why.”
“You requested me.”
“You have received the documents.”
“And your note.”
“You would have tried to see me and gotten yourself into trouble otherwise.”
“So you decided to make it easier for me by leaving a love-locked message.”
She could hear his grin. He was holding back a chuckle. Damn man. She pursed her lips. If she smiled, she’d be opening a window of opportunity, giving them both hope when there was none.
“Yes. And—” She paused. Here it went. “I just wanted to make it clear that this is strictly business.”
“Yet, you requested me for the mission.”
“What?” she squealed.
“Aslan told me.”
“That’s not how it happened. It has nothing to do with us. I would have requested another but—”
She didn’t reply. Her head pounded as she tried to find a way to get out of the mess she had created. She could almost taste the savory sweetness of hope, stretching between them like an invisible lasso binding them together.
“Killian, you know we can’t be together,” she whispered at length.
“I know, but that’s not what I’m asking. Not today.” His tone was gentle, their roles reversed. One moment, she’d had the upper hand, had been dealing the cards, the next, he’d plucked them out of her hand.
“I simply want to know: why did you request me? Why, Pru?”
About Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Elyzabeth M. VaLey is a writer of sizzling, sexy romance who firmly believes in happy ever after. From paranormal to contemporary, fantasy, or historical, she enjoys exploring her characters’ darker side and writing stories about tortured heroes, strong heroines, and all that comes between them and their love.
When she’s not writing, she can be found walking in the Spanish countryside with her black Lab and Golden Retriever mix, exploring castles, or enjoying some tapas with her friends.