January 31, 2015

Blog Tour Promo Post: Art-Crossed Love by Libby Rice

at 1/31/2015 01:00:00 AM 0 comments
We're having a release day launch for Libby Rice's Art Crossed Love!! Check out the amazing giveaway and the excerpt Libby is sharing with us!!! :)


Can love be more than a four-letter word?

Lissa Blanc is a painter on a mission. She filters the world through a lens of color, line, and form and hides her ambition behind a delicate smirk that lets her critics believe life comes easy. To her, art isn’t what she sees. It’s what she feels. Few know that behind the glitz of a prodigious upbringing, she’s driven to emerge from the shadow of painful memories that insist she’ll never be a renowned talent in her own right.

Cole Rathlen is a photographer on the mend. A crippling grief has stifled his once-rising career and compromised his creative instincts. Knowing he can’t stagnate forever, he seeks a twisted absolution in the form of a woman whose paintings give life to the emotions he won’t let himself imagine, let alone feel.

When the two partner for a prestigious project that will pull them from the mountains of Colorado to the palaces of India, Lissa quickly realizes that more than diverging ideals hinder their search for success and salvation. Was Cole’s life upended by a tragic but unavoidable choice or something more sinister? While Lissa can’t delve into the mystery but not the man, Cole can’t resist a tenacious soul that refuses to leave him chained. As the truth closes in on a project finally sprouting wings, will Lissa sacrifice her chance at success to set Cole free? Or will Cole shrug the chains of lingering regrets to prove that those who love the most, love again.


Someone made a mistake in teaching you life is easy. Cole’s words had hit like well-aimed arrows, and not of the Cupid variety. At least Lissa knew which camp he fell into. The naysayers tended toward one of two options—push Lissa away or pull Lissa close. The pushers openly mocked her “illegitimate” success. The pullers beguiled her in an effort to see how much of that “luck”—or connections or money or opportunity—could rub off on them.

Cole was a clear pusher, and frankly, she liked those better. At least they were honest.

A hank of hair chose that moment to abandon the clip that couldn’t quite contain her pony tail. Ruler straight despite a healthy dedication to volumizing shampoo, her hair liked to slip from its confines and lay flat against her head in an antagonizing refusal to hold body. She imagined her looks mattered about as much to Cole as couponing did to Donald Trump, but hell, she had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After the disaster in the driveway, she could at least try to make herself presentable.

Her trek to the spare bathroom two rooms down took her past Cole’s bedroom door across the hall. His rumpled bed sat in silence. Nothing personal hinted at the room’s inhabitant. A dresser and two night stands held a clock and a box of tissues between them. No pictures or knickknacks, not even a stray piece of clothing or a random shoe littered Cole’s studied order, dimmed by heavy shades that blocked the rising sun from cheering the space.

Earthy scents of pine and sandalwood filled her nostrils. Despite his obvious efforts to disappear within the emptiness, the room bore his mark. The hard edges and sanded planks had absorbed his essence without permission.

Dream Cast

Cole Rathlen: Bradley Cooper

Lissa Blanc: Jennifer Lawrence

Trevor Rathlen: Chris Helmworth

Rhea Rathlen: Amy Adams

Kent Rathlen: Bill Murray

Brian Wentworth: Benedict Cumberbatch

Scarlet Leore: Rosamund Pike

Check out book one, Love Me Later.

Libby Rice Bio


Before becoming a writer, Libby was first a mechanical engineer in the data acquisition industry (voltmeter anyone?). Preferring writing to technical design, Libby headed to law school and eventually practiced patent law for several enterprising years (patent application covering a voltmeter anyone?). Finally realizing that technology just wasn’t her bag, she traded the voltmeters for alpha heroes and the women who love them.

Today, Libby writes contemporary romances from the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where she lives with her husband, a bona fide rocket scientist (he stuck with the voltmeters!). When not writing, Libby loves good food, even better wine, and traveling the world in search of the next great story.

Libby loves hearing from readers! Join the fun at www.libbyrice.com, where you can sign up for Libby’s new-release e-newsletter, or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.

Enter Libby's giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: The Commitment Test by Amanda Aksel

at 1/31/2015 12:17:00 AM 1 comments
The Commitment Test
(The Marin Test Series: Book Two)
By: Amanda Aksel
Release Date: February 4th, 2015
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction

When a Valentine’s Day proposal doesn’t come with an engagement ring, Marin Johns begins to wonder if she and James will ever get married. As her closest friends begin to move forward with their lives, she refuses to be left behind.

Hope is restored as she devises a plan to get James down on one knee by becoming the ideal mate. Everything seems to fall into place until her college boyfriend resurfaces after a decade with his own ideas about their future. Will Marin be forced to choose between the man of her dreams and the diamond ring she’s always dreamed of?

Check out the first book of The Marin Test series.....

In this romantic comedy, Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancé is having an affair. After nursing her broken heart with Kleenex and break-up songs, she adopts a new brand of thinking when she uncovers a tell-all book that proves all men are liars and cheaters who will do and say anything so they’re not found out. No exceptions. 

In an attempt to convince her friends of her newfound truth, she begins a fictitious relationship with James, a do-gooder from Montana. Marin seeks any means necessary to catch him cheating from hiring a PI to enlisting the help of a fidelity tester. Will her new "boyfriend" beat the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right? 

Amanda Aksel Bio

Amanda Aksel is an author with an affinity for love. Becoming a couples therapist was her “backup” career, and after completing her BA in Psychology she was on her way to solving love’s most complicated quandaries one couple at a time. Now she plans to solve love’s most complicated quandaries one novel at a time. 

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Cover Reveal: Scorch by Clarissa Wild

at 1/31/2015 12:04:00 AM 0 comments

Title: SCORCH (Delirious, #3)
Author: Clarissa Wild
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: March 2015
Pre Order SCORCH on GooglePlay


Sweet revenge keeps her alive … and drives her to kill.

I am the forgotten one, the girl who was left for dead.
In this mental hospital I call prison I plot my revenge.
I remember everything.
Their faces. Their touch. Even their smell.
What they did to me was beyond cruel. I’m going to return the favor.
In here I survive by using someone just as they used me. One of them wants to claim me as his own. A man without mercy, without a conscience, craving the wickedness inside me. But I won’t be a puppet for his desires. I will play his strings like a puppeteer and use him to escape.
And when I do … I will kill them all.

This is Ashley's story and the final book in the Delirious Series. This is a full-length novel. These books should be read in order.

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, strong language, dubious consent, and graphic violence.

Delirious Series

SEEK (Delirious, #0.5)

SNARE (Delirious, #1)

SEIZE (Delirious, #2)

About the Author


Clarissa Wild is the USA Today Bestselling author of FIERCE, a college romance series, but she's best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire's Bet series, the Doing It Series and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

Check out my sexy books: http://smarturl.it/clarissawildbooks

Connect with Clarissa


Click HERE to head over to Clarissa Wild's Facebook Page and enter the giveaway!

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January 30, 2015

Blog Tour Promo Post: When Fates Collide by Isabelle Richards

at 1/30/2015 02:30:00 PM 0 comments

Life can change in the blink of an eye. One moment, Lily is trapped in a loveless marriage. In a split second she is free, but at what cost?  Her mundane life is set into a freefall of tragedy and terror. Her husband may be out of her life, but he left a storm of collateral damage behind and the burden is on Lily to sort it out.
Fate connects Lily with Gavin, a charmingly handsome British gentleman that has been drawn into her tangled circumstance. Gavin is everything Lily’s husband wasn’t and gives her hope that love really does exist. Gavin wants nothing more than to sweep Lily up and carry her off into the sunset, far away from the devastation left behind by her husband. Gavin has been the first breath of fresh air in her life, but she isn’t looking to be saved. She needs to clean up her husband’s mess and find a way to save herself in the process.
Does she throw caution to the wind and open her heart? Or listen to her head that tells her and go it alone until she’s found herself again?


This vacation to the state of denial has made it easy to forget we’re two people with lives that have just been devastated by loss. Instead, we can pretend we’re just two people spending time together. Because this arrangement is temporary, I’m comfortable exposing parts of myself to him that I wouldn’t typically. We’ve quickly developed a strong bond, but I’m sure it will dissolve once the investigation finishes. He’ll go back to his life, and I’ll go back to mine.

Spending all this time together in confined quarters, chemistry is inevitable, but under the circumstances, it’s both awkward and inescapable at the same time. Sometimes, when we’re sitting and talking, Gavin looks at me as if I’m the only thing left on Earth. I have his complete attention. At other times, he looks ravenous, as though he simply wants to grab me and fuck me against the wall. It’s tempting. After all the loss, fear, and confusion, I crave the connection.  It’s not about sex exactly, although a little action wouldn’t hurt, but I covet the intimacy. To feel something real, alive. Something that wouldn’t make me feel completely alone in the world. We couldn’t… could we? I know I’m going to hell for even thinking it.

Buy Links

Pre -order links for When Fate Isn't Enough

Isabelle Richards Bio

Isabelle Richards spent years as a speech writer before tackling fiction. An avid reader of all genres, Isabelle is drawn to romance novels as they provide an escape from daily life.  Through her complex cast of characters, Isabelle creates a sanctuary for readers to dive into for a break from reality.
When she is not writing, Isabelle works as an advocate for persons with disabilities in Washington, DC. Her two yellow labs are her writing partners, although they frequently sleep on the job. 

Cover Reveal: Maybe Me by Amber Hart

at 1/30/2015 01:30:00 AM 0 comments

We're so excited to reveal the cover for MAYBE ME by Amber Hart! Maybe Me releases this fall from Kensington Teen!

maybe me-2

A sliver of a second is all it takes.

Maria Reyes knows what it means to come from nothing. Escaping Cuba, the States have given Maria new dreams. Like graduating high school. Going to college. Making something of herself. Forgetting a past that always seems to creep up on her family. But mostly, staying out of trouble. Which is why falling for Hale is out of the question.

An unguarded moment, a simple mistake.

Hale Watson is a flash of a second away from being locked up for good. With a rap sheet longer than the list of homes he comes from, Hale has one more shot at making things right. Graduate senior year. Don’t mess up. Don’t get caught. That’s the plan. Until he meets Maria.

And everything changes.

Add MAYBE ME to Goodreads here! You can also preorder it below (more retailers coming soon)!

MAYBE ME is the third book in the Before & After series, but it can be read as a standalone! You can find out more about BEFORE YOU and AFTER US here!

About Amber Hart

Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She's the author of the Before & After series (BEFORE YOU; AFTER US; MAYBE ME), and the Until You Find Me series (UNTIL YOU FIND ME; CAPTURED BY YOU). Rep'd by Beth Miller of Writers House.

January 29, 2015

Promo Post: The Beauty Series by Georgia Cates

at 1/29/2015 01:00:00 AM 0 comments

The New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-selling Beauty Series is now available in a single volume.

BEAUTY FROM PAIN: Aussie winemaker Jack McLachlan and American musician Laurelyn Prescott agree to a three month relationship while keeping their true identities secret.

BEAUTY FROM SURRENDER: A heartbroken Laurelyn Prescott returns to Nashville to pursue her music career and finds the success she’s always dreamed of. Jack Henry McLachlan spends three months searching for his beloved but their reunion doesn’t come easy. Will she be able to see beyond the glitz glamour and visualize a life that includes him?

BEAUTY FROM LOVE: Life for Jack Henry and Laurelyn is beautiful until their post-wedded bliss is cut short when his dark past springs into their present happiness. He wants to shelter Laurelyn but keeping her untainted by his previous life proves impossible when yesterday’s sins insist on returning to haunt him. Will it be possible for them to find happiness in their forever with a past like his?

Beauty from Pain Excerpt

Jack McLachlan’s POV

I sit in the dark corner and scan the room like a starved predator searching for prey. I haven’t chosen her yet, but the woman who will share my bed for the next few months is in this room right now.
I watch a lovely blond approach my table. “What can I bring you?” Hmm. A waitress—not at all my usual taste.
I have a type. Attractive. Mature. Refined. This barmaid meets the attractive requirement well enough, but she’s void of refinement or maturity as displayed by her choice of apparel—a white, barely there tank top and frazzled cutoff denim shorts. She doesn’t do it for me. Plus, my last two companions were blond. I want a different flavor this time, but no redheads. I want a brunette. A beautiful one.
I remind myself I’m not in Sydney where I have an endless variety of sophisticated women from which to choose. My choices are more limited in the small town of Wagga Wagga, but that doesn’t mean I have to settle for the first attractive woman I see.
“I’ll have a Shiraz.”
I’m prepared for a more prolonged relationship this time—three whole months instead of the usual three or four weeks. I’m looking forward to keeping this one around a little longer, and that’s all the more reason to be certain I make a wise choice.
I begin my search of the club with the first table toward the front of the room. A brunette beauty sits with a group of women. I watch her for a while, but decide she’s too friendly with the woman sitting next to her. Lesbians aren’t in my repertoire.
I spend the next hour scanning the club and come up empty-handed. I’m discouraged. No one stands out as the one and this club is by far my best bet for meeting single women in this town. Maybe I should consider coming back another time when it’s not open mic night. Tonight, the place is crawling with boozed college students.
Tonight’s search has been a failure, but at least the karaoke was entertaining.
I’m finishing off the last of my wine before I leave when an announcer from the club takes the stage and asks for the next singer to step forward. A small group of people across the room nominates one of its own. My view of the poor bastard is blocked by the crowd of intoxicated kids standing between us, but I’m certain this is going to be another delightful train wreck.
The club erupts into cheer and chants. “Do. It. Do. It. Do. It.” A young woman walks onto the stage and stands with her back to the crowd as she lifts a guitar from its stand. She lifts its strap over her head and then tosses her long brown hair over one shoulder. When she’s finished settling the guitar into place, she circles around and sits on the stool in the middle of the stage.
She’s beautiful. And somehow overlooked during my search.
She’s wearing a short ivory dress and a denim jacket with brown cowgirl boots. She bares her thighs as she lifts her feet to rest on the bottom rail, but she’s careful to push her dress between her legs so she doesn’t provide a peep show to the crowd.
She strums the borrowed guitar a few times and then leans into the microphone. “Is everyone having a good time tonight?”
She’s American. I think. Her accent sounds different—not like what I’ve heard in the past.
The crowd erupts into a drunken cheer and I hear a man’s voice yell over the crowd, “It’s better now, sweet thing!”
She smiles and adjusts the mic. “I’m not from around here. It’s my first night in Australia.”
“Leave with me and I’ll make you feel right at home!” a man shouts from the back of the room.
She ignores the fat, ugly bastard yelling at her. “I don’t know what kind of music Australians like, but this has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember.” She strums a few more chords. “This is ‘Crash Into Me’ by the Dave Matthews Band.”
She sings it slower than the original, putting her own twist on it. Her voice is raspy and sexy, her eyes closed. She oozes eroticism. She tilts her head and opens her eyes when she begins to sing the chorus. I swear it feels like she’s looking right in my direction, singing to me. “Oh, and you come craasshh … into me. And I come into … you … And I come into you … in a boy’s dream … in a boy’s dream.”
The stage lights shine in her face and common sense tells me she can’t see me sitting in the dark corner at the back of the club, but that doesn’t stop me from hoping.

She finishes the chorus and shuts her eyes again. Her long legs bounce against the rail of the stool to keep rhythm and I fall victim to her siren’s song. She has bewitched me. And I want her. She’s the one.


Amazon  |  iBooks


Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her iPod and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

Representation: All questions regarding subsidiary rights for any of my books, inquiries regarding foreign translation and film rights should be directed to Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich.

Release Day Blitz: Intoxicate by Tessa Teevan

at 1/29/2015 01:00:00 AM 0 comments

Intoxicate, Book # 4 in the Explosive Series
Can be read as a standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Day: January 29, 2015


Marry me.

Two words Kalli Montgomery never expected to say out loud to Xavier Cruz, even though she's been in love with the sexy, single father for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, she hasn't just been friend-zoned for the past ten years. No, even worse, he's treated her like a little sister, no matter how hard she tried to prove she could be so much more. When she agrees to spend the summer as the caregiver for his daughter, Lily, she knows it's her last chance to finally make him take notice.

As unexpected circumstances threaten to disrupt his home life, Xavier's desperate to keep his family together. He'll do whatever it takes, even if it means marrying a woman he doesn't love. For Xavier and Lily, Kalli will do just about anything, even at the risk of getting her heart broken in the process.

Little does she know, sometimes love isn't quite as unrequited as one may think. Xavier sees her-he always has. And the vow he made all those years ago never to go there with his best friend's little sister is wavering, and it's wavering fast. When they come up with a plan that leads to wedding bells, it's a no brainer.

This marriage of convenience has one rule: absolutely no falling in love.

Easier said than done. Throw together a girl who believes rules are meant to be broken, and a man whose whole career revolves around following orders and you get a recipe for disaster. What could possibly go wrong?

Purchase the Book!




Shooting a glare at him, I throw my hands up in exasperation. “Are you telling me that this whole anticipation thing is one-sided? Is it that easy for you to resist? I really need to step up my game.”

Xavier’s eyes fall to my lips for a quick moment before he looks back up at me. I see the desire in his expression, and without him even saying a word, I know he wants this, too. So why is he making me wait?

“You have no idea how much I want to kiss you right now. How many times I’ve thought of doing just that. Every time you were curled up against me on the couch, I wanted to kiss you. Every morning when you showed up, I wanted to kiss you. Every time you said goodnight to Lily and then slipped out my door? I wanted to kiss you before you left. It’s not a new development. The first time I ever saw you, Kalli, I wanted to kiss you. And I’ve wanted to ever since.”

His admission floors me. He’s told me before that he “saw” me, but I had no clue it was from the very beginning. I’m not really sure how to process it. In fact, he beats me to the punch.

“So now you know. This will be just as hard for me, but it will be so damn worth it. Because when you’ve wanted something for as long as I’ve wanted you? It’ll be the best feeling in the world when I finally get it.”

“Our first kiss will be that epic?”

“A first kiss to rival them all,” he quips, grinning at me. He holds his arms out wide. “Now, we’ll start with a hug and work our way up.”

“I feel like I’m sixteen again,” I tell him as I wrap my arms around his waist.

His hands come down to my back and he gives me a big squeeze, my head pressing against his firm chest. I love this feeling of being in his arms, him holding me close. There’s nowhere on the planet I’d rather be than right here with him. As much as I want him, I know he’s right. I don’t care when it comes. Because when it does, our first kiss will be unforgettable.

His chest rumbles as he chuckles. He squeezes me tight one last time before letting me go. “And it’s only just the beginning,” he tells me. “Have a good night, crazy girl.”

EXPLOSIVE - series

Author Bio

Tessa Teevan_Author Photo

I'm a twenty something book junkie who is also obsessed with sports. Bengals, Buckeyes, Reds are my teams! I work for the government during the day, hang out with Air National Guard on the weekends, and have been married to my own book boyfriend for over seven years. We currently live right outside of Dayton, OH with our two cats.

If I’m not writing or looking through tons of photos of hot men, all in the name of research, then you can probably find me curled up with my Kindle, ignoring the rest of the world. I love my sports almost as much as I love my books. My other obsessions include red wine, hot men, country music, and all things Grace Potter.

Connect with the Author


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January 28, 2015

Blog Tour Promo Post: Second Debt by Pepper Winters

at 1/28/2015 12:30:00 AM 0 comments

Second Debt by Pepper Winter  is LIVE!
Read the dark & sexy continuation to Jethro & Nila’s Story!

Second Debt (Book Three) Indebted Series
“I tried to play a game. I tried to wield deceit as perfectly as the Hawks. But when I thought I was winning, I wasn’t. Jethro isn’t what he seems—he’s the master of duplicity. However, I refuse to let him annihilate me further.”
Nila Weaver has grown from naïve seamstress to full-blown fighter. Every humdrum object is her arsenal, and sex…sex is her greatest weapon of all.
She’s paid the First Debt. She’ll probably pay more.
But she has no intention of letting the Hawks win.
Jethro Hawk has found more than a worthy adversary in Nila—he’s found the woman who could destroy him. There’s a fine line between hatred and love, and an even finer path between fear and respect.
The fate of his house rests on his shoulders, but no matter how much ice lives inside his heart, Nila flames too bright to be extinguished. 

Buy Links

Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |  iBooks  |  Nook  |  KOBO  |  Goodreads



I’D TAKEN HER, but ultimately, she’d taken me.
I’d tried to destroy her, but serendipitously, she’d destroyed me.
This was the beginning of the end.
Not the end of my feelings for her but the way of my life, my world.
Something would have to change.
Something would have to give…
Someone would have to die. 


I EXISTED WITH a brain full of betrayal, schemes, and plotting.
Living with the Hawks was utterly exhausting. Every day was a challenge to figure out the truths from the lies. But no matter how hard I worked, I could never seem to unravel reality from fiction.
He’d won.
And with a winner came a loser. One triumphant and one depressed. A trophy over misery.
Two days had passed since Kestrel had granted the truth to one huge mystery. Two days in which I hadn’t been able to think of anything else.
I wanted to hate Jethro for duping me—for stringing me along like an idiot.
But whenever my anger boiled over, needing desperately to confront him, I remembered one thing.
One important, vital thing.
He’d initiated contact before he was told.
He’d communicated with me almost as if it were a cry for help, rather than a plot to deceive.
If this were another trick, then so help him, I’d find a way to castrate him.
But, somehow, I didn’t think it was.
I had a horrible feeling this was the one way that he would let me in. An avenue of truths that he felt comfortable enough to continue, because a silent written word didn’t have as much weight as a loudly spoken one.
Which brought me back to my vitally important conclusion:
Jethro wants to be honest.
He wanted to stop playing charades and show me everything he kept hidden.
He wanted to talk to someone. Perhaps, for the first time in his life, he wasn’t satisfied with the hand life dealt him and…
Stop fabricating excuses.
All day, I’d been coming up with theories on why he was how he was and reading too far into things that he’d done.
It could be as simple as: he’d been told to get in touch. Told to initiate contact in a way that could potentially mould me into a more submissive captive, especially if I were to believe he was on my side.
I wanted to believe he’d acted against his father. But no matter how much I wished it, it didn’t make it was true.
How do you explain the knowing then?
I slouched against my pillows in bed. That was true. A part of me just seemed to know. Call it either sheer idiocy or feminine intuition. I believed he’d texted me because I was the first outsider permitted into his world—the only one not a Hawk.
My brain hurt.
When we were alone, when we weren’t arguing or fighting, there was an enchanting calmness. A connection.
Closing my eyes, I let my mind skip back to Kes’s unwilling promise. The way his eyes had darkened with secrets as I’d collapsed into his arms from the vertigo spell two days ago.
A crushing headache appeared from nowhere. It was the most I could do to stay present and not permit my mind to relive every text Jethro had sent to see the hidden agendas now that I knew it was him.
“I’m—I’m okay. You can let me go.” I struggled out of Kes’s embrace, my skin humming from his touch. I needed some space. I needed a world full of space to get over the treachery and lies.
“You didn’t know? You hadn’t guessed?” Kes crossed his arms, never taking his golden eyes from mine.
I glowered. “How could I know? I thought the messages were from you!”
He flinched. “Yes, that was the plan. To make you believe it was me, so he could continue on with whatever little mind games he was playing.” Leaning closer, he added, “I haven’t been privy to any of the messages he sent you or you sent him—so don’t feel like I’ve intruded on details that I shouldn’t.”
Anger infused my blood. “If you were both in on it—why didn’t he show you the messages? Why were you so nice to me? What does all of this mean?”
Kes moved away, reclining against a sapling. “I was nice because that’s just who I am. Yes, I come from a family with twisted up morals and I’m loyal to those twisted up morals, but I also did it out of loyalty to my brother. If you’re pissed, direct it all on him. Not me.”
“Oh, believe me. I’m pissed. Beyond pissed.” My hands balled as my mind filled with crazy ideas of retribution and revenge. I would make him pay.
“I’d cool down before you spring it on him. Best to keep it quiet. Cut doesn’t know. It was just me who knew Jet had been in touch with you before he was given the go-ahead to collect you in Milan.”
I froze. “Why did he initiate conversation with me almost five weeks before he could claim me?”
Kes shook his head. “The day I understand my brother is the day I’ll gamble my entire inheritance on the stock market. I can’t work him out. The only thing I can do is be there for him. And I only found out ‘cause he changed pretty much around the same time he started messaging you. Something was different—we’re close. So, I saw it before the others.”
My brain throbbed trying to figure out just what had changed in Jethro. He’d seemed the perfect Hawk when he’d come to collect me. Cold as ice and deadly as a sword.
Now that I knew his secret, I had power. And I had no intention of giving that power back. Jethro had been playing me for far too long. He’d successfully screwed with my head. It was time for payback. “Don’t tell him that I know.”
Kes’s eyes popped wide. “Pardon?”
“You heard me. Don’t tell Jethro about today. Let him continue to think I’m clueless.” My heart frothed with rage and unhappiness. I was so stupid to believe I’d gotten through to him on some level. The sex between us left both of us stripped bare. Something more than family feuds and hatred existed when he slid inside me and sent both of us shattering into dust.
I’d let him inside me. In so many ways. It was my turn to do the same.
“You know I can’t do that, Nila. As welcome as you are in our household, and as much as I like hanging out with you, I can’t betray Jet. Not after everything he’s been through.”
I pounced on the small thread of truth about my tormentor. “What has he been through, Kes? Tell me and I’ll march back to the Hall right now and tell him myself.”
Kes shifted uncomfortably, refusing to meet my eyes. “Slip of the tongue. Forget it.”
Crossing my arms, I hissed, “Fine. Seeing as you’re so capable of keeping secrets, keep this one for me.”
Kes scowled. “Keeping my own flesh and blood’s issues hidden isn’t the same thing as helping out a Weaver.”
My heart raced. If Jethro hadn’t taught me how to stand up for myself, I would’ve cowered at the thought of being so pushy with a full-grown man all alone in a forest. Now, I was raging and fully intended to get my own way. “Give me two weeks. Two weeks before you tell him that I know. Do that and I’ll be forever grateful.”
His shoulders slumped in defeat. “How can you be forever grateful when forever isn’t something anyone has.”
Especially me, seeing as my lifespan was destined to be significantly shorter than his.
“Just…please, Kestrel. One favour.”
It took him a while to give in. His allegiance to his brother was strong.
Finally, he huffed. “Fine. But it won’t save you from his temper when he finds out.”
However, I had no intention of suffering Jethro’s wrath. I had every right to deceive him after he did it to me. My revelations were safe—for now. I trusted that Kes wouldn’t say anything. I didn’t know why, but on some level I did trust Kes—just enough to use him in my plans. And I was fully committed to tripping Jethro up.
It was his turn to divulge things he might not have if he’d known the truth. Hiding behind the pretence that Kite was Kes had made him softer the past few weeks. I would use that chink to make the crevice I’d been trying to form since I gave him a blowjob after hunting me down.
I couldn’t think about anything else. I couldn’t focus on sketching, sewing, reading.
My brain was a whirly-gig of Jethro. Kite. Jethro. Kite.
And I’d had enough.
Throwing myself out of bed after another sleepless night, I wrenched back the curtains and glowered at the dismal weather.
The watery dawn did nothing to inspire either anger or contentment. The sky was grey. Fog looked like haunting ghosts, threading its ghoulish tentacles over the lower woodland of the estate. No birds chirped or sun shone.
Summer had truly abandoned us. The bite in the air shouted ‘go back to bed where it’s warm’ but my brain had no such intention.
I hadn’t relaxed for two days. I’d stared at my phone, determined to text Jethro and trip him into revealing everything he kept secret, only to stare blankly at an empty message.
Now that I knew it was him, my willingness to show so much had gone. Knowledge was power and he had too much of mine already. How could I dig deeper into his mystery while maintaining all of mine?
The answer—I couldn’t. And that made me incredibly nervous. To find out who he truly was, I had to show everything that made me real. And despite the emotional growth spurt I’d endured at the hands of the Hawks, I wasn’t ready to evolve again. I’d lost so much of myself already—how much was I prepared to leave behind before I became a perfect stranger?
“Ah!” I dug my fingers into my hair. I needed a reprieve from my racing thoughts, and I knew exactly how to do it.
Mother Nature’s sudden urge to switch seasons from summer to winter couldn’t stop my itch.
I needed fresh air, and I needed it now.
Racing around my room in the new Weaver quarters where Jethro had made me beg and come apart with his cock deep inside me, I found my black spandex shorts and highlighter pink sports bra. Pulling the clothing on, followed by my sneakers, I quickly smoothed my hair into a bun, and shot from the room.
I hadn’t worn my exercise gear since the morning of the Milan runway show. I’d sprinted until I’d collapsed off the treadmill at the hotel, hoping I could dispel my anxiety enough to hide my stupid nerves and prevent a vertigo spell in front of the press.
It had worked—mainly. Until Jethro arrived, of course.
The moment when I’d set eyes upon him, I’d been done for. He’d been so dashing with his suit, tie, and diamond pin. So perfectly refined with his elegant haircut, chiselled physique, and sculptured lips. Even though his soul was dark, his body had summoned me.
He’d called to me, and like the stupid Weaver I was, I’d followed him blindly.
Now, it’s his turn to follow my whims, my rules.
Jogging down the corridor, my racing mind and temper eased, already reacting to the stress relief I’d sought all my life.
I need him out.
It wasn’t fair. I was supposed to seduce him and make him care for me—not the other way around. I wasn’t supposed to fall for my own games.
Lust was as dangerous as love. Only it was worse because it had the power to make even the worst ideas seem plausible—and even recommended—when a sexual reward was given.
The moment Jethro gave in and kissed me, I’d betrayed more than just myself. I’d betrayed my entire family line and all the Weaver women who’d died before me.
I had feelings for him.
A dangerous softness toward my would-be-killer.
It has to end.
I had to find a way to seduce him…to make him love me, all while I kept my heart frigid and locked away in an ice fortress.
I laughed under my breath. You sound just like him. I wanted to turn into the female equivalent of his glacial shell.
Only, ice wasn’t impervious. Ice melted and succumbed to fire.
I’d proven that over the past month.
The house breathed around me with gentle heartbeats only ancient dwellings could have. Spirits of past generations lived in its walls, revenants danced in the drapery, and figments of long forgotten lovers floated through the tapestries.
A grandfather clock tick-tocked as I jogged past, showing the time at six thirty a.m.
After being privy to the business meetings with Kes and the Black Diamonds, I knew the men never got up this early. They worked late, dealing with shipments and the transportation of stones worth more than any dress I could sew. Darkness was their asset, the sun their foe.
At least I could run and be back before anyone tried to stop me.
I didn’t want them to draw the wrong conclusion that I was trying to escape again. I blinked as I ran head first into a horrendous conclusion.
Even if you found the boundary this morning, you wouldn’t leave.
My heart thumped harder at the tangled web I lived.
Freedom was something I wanted more than anything. But even if I escaped the Hawks, I would only run back into the trap of pity and vertigo. I wanted more than that. I deserved more than that.
If I found the estate edge, I wouldn’t disappear. I couldn’t.
My captivity wasn’t just about me anymore. It was about the future. It was about Jethro.
Admit it…
It was about living.
The passion, the intensity, the blazing ferocity of existing with enemies and plotting beneath their noses was a much worthier cause than sitting at home sewing for the masses.
This was about me. Me standing up for myself, and for a future I wanted, not a future already planned for me.
This was about so many twisted things.
I wrenched open the French doors at the end of the corridor and stumbled into the foggy dawn. Fresh air welcomed me and I found a reprieve from my scrambled thoughts.
I can’t forget my ultimate plan.
No matter how Jethro endeared himself to me—giving me glimpses of someone barely coping inside his wintry armor—I wasn’t going to forget my goal.
Not just for myself, but for the rest of my legacy. My children and their children and their children’s children would never have to go through this. I intended to be the last Weaver stolen.
It’s time for a new debt—one that owes us life, not death.
Sucking in lungfuls of crisp air, I steeled myself in what I had to do. In order to win, I had to guard my soul. I had to play along with Jethro’s mind games and hope to God I won first.
A cool breeze whistled through the trees, sounding like haunted laments. I shivered, wishing I’d brought a jacket.
You’ll be sweating in ten minutes. Ignore it.
Gritting my teeth against the cold, I bent over and stretched my quads. The tug and slow release of muscles was heaven after the stress of the past few days.
My body hummed with the knowledge it was about to run.
And run.
And run.
For fun this time, not for survival.
Bouncing on the spot, I rolled my shoulders, eyeing up the sweeping lawn before me. If I went right, I’d loop around the stables. If I went left, I’d cut through the sprawling rose garden and orchards.
Go straight.
Down the meandering path that disappeared over the horizon.
I switched from bouncing to jogging.
“And just where do you think you’re going?” a cool voice whispered through the silver fog.
I wrenched to a stop, peering behind me.
No one.
“I thought you’d realised running wasn’t a viable option, Ms. Weaver.”
His icy voice sent a strange mixture of hot and cold desire down my spine. Jethro morphed into being, seeming to solidify from the mist like a terrible poltergeist. He leaned against one of the pillars holding up the portico, crossing his arms.
My heart collapsed, unable to untangle the maze of hypocrisy between us. My skin begged for his touch. My lips tingled for his. Every inch of me craved what he could deliver.
Heat. Passion. An eruption that I felt in every cell.
But none of that was real.
And I refused to believe in trickery any longer.
Mirroring his body language, I crossed my arms. “I realise escaping isn’t a viable option. But I’m not escaping. I’m running. Running is my only option to escape the mess you’ve made.”
His jaw clenched. “The mess I’ve made?”
“Yes.” I took a step backward as he advanced. “You’re messing me up, and I’m done playing whatever it is that you’re doing.” I sucked in courage and embraced honesty. It seemed to work around him, and I needed him to see how serious I was. How hurt I was with his deception.
He’s Kite.
Baring my teeth, I said, “It seems I have a weakness for you, but I changed my mind. I don’t—”
A low growl escaped him. “A weakness? You call what happened between us a fucking weakness?”
My breathing ratcheted as if I’d already run two miles. “The worst kind of weakness.”
He smiled, but no mirth entered his gaze. If anything, his golden eyes were luminous with anger. “You’re the one who started it…Nila.”
I gasped at the delicious decadence of my name on his lips. The sound echoed in his mouth, shooting straight to my core.
Jethro advanced again, his body trembling with barely veiled lust. “You’re the one who created this problem.” His hand came up, fingers slinking through my tied-up hair, tightening around the back of my skull. “I can’t hear the name Weaver without getting fucking hard. I can’t even think of you without boiling with need.”
His nose brushed against mine, his lips so damn close to stealing all my scrambled plans and sending me headfirst into a life of debauchery.
“You should never have said those two words, Ms. Weaver. I told you. We’re both fucked now.”
My mind was blank, every synapse focusing on his fingers in my hair and his mouth only millimetres from mine. “What two words?”
He chuckled. The sound was self-deprecating and almost morbid with dark intensity. “Kiss me.”
I shivered in his hold. “You’re reminding me of what started this mess, or you’re asking me to kiss you?”
Ask me. And I will. God, how I will.
I’d kiss him until I’d stripped him of his arctic armor and destroyed it, I’d lick him until I tasted his truth, and I’d bite him until I’d eaten every morsel of his soul.
I’d do all that so he had nowhere left to hide.
We stood wrapped in foggy silence. The drawn out anticipation of a kiss turned my legs to jelly. If he pressed his mouth to mine, I wouldn’t be going for my run. I would climb his body and impale myself on his cock.
Fakery be damned.
Kite’s messages and deceit be damned.
I just wanted a raw connection—with this man, who made my soul whimper for wrongness.
Jethro’s tongue slipped between his lips, hypnotising me. Then…he let me go. “No, I’m not asking you to kiss me. I won’t ever ask anything from you.”
I flinched as if he’d slapped me. “Why not?”
“Because I own you. Everything I want will be given, not requested.”
Double shit.
I should hate him. I should smite him. So, why did his every word seduce me, even while I knew his morals were chauvinistic and heartless?
Forcing my body to obey, I shoved the weakness I had for him as far away as possible. My eyes trailed down his front. He wore tan jodhpurs, black riding boots, and a tweed jacket. The bulge between his legs looked heavy and far too dangerous to be legal.
“You’ve been riding.”
A gentle gust of early morning air blew his scent directly into my nose. I inhaled, soaking my lungs in hay, horse, and all things Jethro.
He nodded, crossing his arms once again. “You run. I ride. Seems we have something else in common.”
Something other than being forced into this debt and finding each other irresistible, you mean?
“Oh, what’s that?”
Jethro stepped closer, seeming to bring shadows into the smoky light of dawn. “We both need time alone to hide from the things that chase us.” He stiffened, his eyes churning with things he refused to voice. A five o’ clock shadow decorated his strong jaw, his lips parted while his gaze was pure brimstone.
Swiftly, he cupped my cheek.
Oh, God.
Electricity instantly sparked beneath his fingertips.
Would I always suffer the rhapsody of his touch?
My skin smouldered; pinpricks of light, of fire, of hell, all burnished beneath his hold. I swayed, pressing my face harder into his palm.
He sucked in a breath, his fingers digging harder against my cheekbone.
The chemistry and need to devour each other thickened with every heartbeat.
One beat.
Two beat.
We stood there, frozen on the stoop of Hawksridge Hall just waiting for the other to move. The moment we did, our clothes would disintegrate and I would willingly let him drag me into a bush and fuck me.
Lust and tension swirled.
I had so many questions and doubts; so many reasons to hate and fear him. But when he touched me…poof.
I no longer remembered, nor cared.
We swayed closer, drawn against our will to close the aching distance.
I couldn’t breathe.
Kiss me. Please, kiss me.
The moment stretched until it hummed with overwhelming possibilities.
Then, it snapped.
Shattering around our feet.
“You’re too fucking dangerous,” Jethro muttered, removing his touch and stepping away. Dragging his hand through his hair, he commanded, “Wait here. Don’t go anywhere.” His hands went to his jacket buttons, undoing them with nimble fingers.
I blinked, struggling to shed myself of heavy need and focus on the true reason why I stood barely dressed in the freezing morning. “I’m not escaping. I’ll be back in forty minutes or so.”
He shook his head, slipping out of his tweed and revealing a black long-sleeved jumper.
My mouth went dry. Even in clothing, I could make out every ridge of muscle in his stomach, every ripple of energy as he breathed in and out. He was designed straight from my fantasies, and I hated him for being so splendid.
My core clenched, sending flutters of wetness between my legs.
I hadn’t seen him in two days, yet I’d panted after him as if he’d been missing my entire life.
If he suspected I knew that he was Kite, he hadn’t let on. After Kes had told me the truth, I’d waited for Jethro to barge into my room and swear me to secrecy.
But he hadn’t.
He didn’t look at me any differently; he gave no outward sign that his lies had begun to unravel. As much as he confounded and frustrated me, I couldn’t help admiring his perfection at hiding.
I wanted to be like him. I wanted to protect my secrets so damn well that whatever I did next would come as a surprise.
I wanted to rule him.
“I’m coming with you. Don’t leave.” He disappeared into the house, leaving me abandoned and covered in chills from both the morning air and his departure.
Jogging on the spot, I deliberated ignoring him and leaving.
Just go.
What was the worst that could happen? He’d have to chase me again. My tummy coiled at the thought. I liked that idea way too much. I liked the thought of what would happen after he found me.
The power I’d felt giving him that blowjob. The awe and attraction that’d glowed in his eyes.
I want that again.
Screw waiting like a good little captive.
Make him hunt.
And then I would make him explode.
I bolted.

Debt Inheritance (Book One) Indebted Series

Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |  KOBO  |  iTunes

First Debt (Book Two) Indebted Series

Amazon  |  iBooks  |  Nook  |  KOBO  |  Goodreads 

Second Debt (Book Three) Indebted Series

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Author Information

Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. 

Oh, and sex... her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

Her Dark Erotica books include:
Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)
Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)

Her Grey Romance books include:

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