Give Me Books Release Day Blitz & #Giveaway: Bad Boys of Romance; A Biker Anthology

 

 

BAD BOYS OF ROMANCE

A Biker Anthology

Kasey Millstead, Nina Levine, Abigail Lee,

Vicki Green, Shantel Tessier, Casey Peeler,

Morgan Jane Mitchell, Dee Avila & Rebecca Brooke

 Release Date: September 1, 2014

 

LINKS TO BUY

Fighting For Switch

(Switch & Jenn’s Novella)

By Kasey Millstead

Everyone knows that Switch and I are a couple, but no one knows the circumstances surrounding when we first got together.

It’s not because we don’t want them to know.  Or, because we’re ashamed.  We’re not.  It’s just that we’d rather concentrate on the present, rather than the past.  But, it’s haunting me, and I need to get it off my chest.  So, here it is. Our story. The story of a woman and a man who fell in love when they had no right in doing so.

Connect with Kasey Millstead

Destined Havoc by Nina Levine

A man who walked away from it all.
A woman who craves it all.
A destiny they never saw coming.


Havoc Caldwell lost everything two years ago and left town a bitter and hard man. Now he lives life as a nomad with no ties or commitments to anyone but himself and his club, Storm MC.

Carla Walker is searching for more out of life. She grew up with no father, and her family struggled to make ends meet. Now she wants it all – a man who will make her his number one priority, a successful career, and a family of her own.

A chance encounter leads to a one night stand, and neither expect it to go any further. Havoc has no desire for a relationship and Carla could never see herself settling down with a biker. Sometimes though, a destiny you could never imagine exists and as much as you fight it, there’s no way you can escape it.

 

Connect with Nina Levine

Shifting Lines by Abigail Lee

 Luke Green is content with the business he owns, the women that pass through it, and the nights he spends alone. When Riley Scott storms into his life, all lines he had drawn are shifted around, leaving him with a choice. Will he allow her to enter the place no one is allowed or will he send her on her way like the others before her?

Connect with Abigail Lee

Steele by Vicki Green

Steele:  Fighting to stay alone.

The need to be loved

Alone. He wants no one, needs no one, but himself. In need of money, Steele Ryker finds a bar in a desolate area in the desert and secures a job as a bartender/bouncer. The biker bar fills him with the fights he craves and the women to fill his lonely nights until…. She walks in.

Kallie Pearson is out for one thing, a good time. She’s bored of all the normal guys, the normal hot spots and finds a bar that holds just wants she’s been longing for…. Danger.  What she doesn’t know is just how much danger it holds.

Connect with Vicki Green

Dash by Shantel Tessier

 Tabitha Knight has spent the last year of her life in a relationship that made her lose herself. Now that it’s over all she wants is a night out and to have some fun.  What she gets is much more.
Erik Dashling always finds himself in trouble.  One day he finds himself behind bars where he gets offered an opportunity he can’t turn down. But what happens when the woman he decides he wants has the power to take it away?

Connect with Shantel Tessier

Waiting on Walker by Casey Peeler

In the small town of Barber, country music, motorcycles, and reckless teenagers are the norm. Chauna Jackson and Walker Brantley are no exception. The summer nights keep them hot, but they keep each other hotter. That is, until Walker disappears from Chauna’s life when she needs him the most.  After losing everything important in her life, Chauna replaces her love for Walker with hatred. Fifteen years later, Chauna has quit waiting on Walker.  She is ready to focus on her life, career, and friends at Boondocks until the unthinkable happens. Walker rides back into town, and he quickly realizes Chauna wants nothing to do with him, but will he take no for an answer?  Will Walker be able to win over Chauna, or will the memories of their past be too much for their future to handle?

Connect with Casey Peeler

Scar (Asphalt Gods MC #1)

by Morgan Jane Mitchell

“They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that’s bullshit. What doesn’t kill you leaves a scar. More than the eyesore down my torso, I was a scar, the jagged, fucked up remains of a tragedy.”

Scar’s Nomad status gives him a chance to fulfill his one wish, but his lonely mission is interrupted when a possible one-night stand goes horribly wrong.

“They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but what if I can’t live with myself anymore?”

Finding the blonde face down in a puddle of her own blood jeopardizes everything. Saving her and keeping her quiet could get Scar killed, but when Emery wakes up, her shocking proposal for him to kill her starts the ride of his life.

 

Connect with Morgan Jane Mitchell

Against All Odds by Dee Avila

Cole West leaves his life in California behind and heads east to race street bikes professionally. Cutting all ties from his former life, he forms a wall around his heart. As he races, he finds drinking and screwing his way through each city is the only option to move on. He is still in love with his high school sweetheart. Rylan Goff the girl his dad made him choose racing over. The girl his father made him leave behind.

Now she’s here, on the race track of the first race of the season, Daytona Beach Bike Week. As soon as Cole sees her, he knows it’s Rylan. At first, she has no clue who he is. Once the truth comes out and all past secrets are revealed can they reconnect?

Connect with Dee Avila

Ryder by Rebecca Brooke

All you want

is to be invisible…

 Ryder Harris has spent most of his adult life moving from one place to another. He learned a long time ago that people always let you down and the only person you can rely on is yourself. When Ryder’s bike breaks down outside a small town, he’s left with no choice but to hang around. Running from his past, hiding who he is usually easy. That’s what he does. At least until the tough talking Ryann walks into his life and some of the secrets he thought he’d never reveal push him into the one thing he never wanted.

To be seen.

Connect with Rebecca Brooke

 

GIVEAWAY

Enchanted Book Promotions Presents: Someone Like You by Karen Rock

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Someone Like You

 

 

Title: Someone Like You

Author: Karen Rock

Genre: Contemporary, Sweet Romance

You can’t program love…or can you? 

Kayleigh Renshaw has come up with the idea for a brilliant “compatibility app,” a new kind of matchmaking software. All she needs is a programmer to help her bring the idea to market…and she knows exactly who she wants. But Niall Walsh—a code whiz and her former best friend—has been avoiding her since he returned from Afghanistan. In spite of their history, and some sparks that go beyond friendship, he’s proving reluctant…. Is it her, or is something darker holding him back?

 

Purchase Links:

Print Book : http://bit.ly/1oN6puy

Amazon Kindle : http://amzn.to/1o9Bz0S

B&N Nook : http://bit.ly/1gmWXxg

Kobo : http://bit.ly/1qRegXE

Someone Like You Excerpt: FIRST KISS

“I don’t need to be around other people,” he said drily, his gaze never leaving hers. “Except you.”

Heated blood rushed through her. That was treacherous thinking—for both of them.

“But if you used the app, you’d find the right girlfriend. Want to be with her. You can’t waste your time on someone like me. I’ll never be more than a friend.”

He closed the distance between them in one stride and eyed her. “Sure about that?”

And suddenly, he pulled her into his arms, his strong body enfolding her. His lips lowered then paused, his heated eyes questioning. Was he waiting for her to refuse him?

Her bones melted against him, and her resolve to keep things professional crumbled.

She wanted this kiss as badly as she’d ever wanted anything. She stretched up on her tiptoes and heard him groan as his lips swept down and captured hers, the caress as feather soft as the dragonfly’s wings.

He pulled the band around her bun loose, and her hair tumbled down her back, his hands burying themselves in it. When he deepened their kiss, his mouth slanting firmly against hers, her skin heated. Their hearts pounded together, and she breathed in his minty breath, tasting the strawberries they’d eaten earlier. Wanting him closer, she traced his bunching back muscles, loving their hardness and strength.

When his lips left hers and traveled along her jaw, she fitted herself against him closer still, needing to feel all of him. As his lips slid along her earlobe then down her neck, the world tilted and spun madly in the wrong direction.

She cupped his face and brought it back to hers, wanting his mouth again, the caress deepening into a demanding kiss that left her breathless and clutching on to his shoulders when her knees weakened.

At last he stopped, and they stared at each other, chests heaving, breath coming in fits and starts.

“Still sure?” he murmured, his eyes searching hers. Struck dumb, she nodded automatically, her gesture making him scowl, disappointment in his eyes. When he strode out of the pavilion, her fingers traced her swollen lips

How had she let that happen?

Someone Like You Excerpt:  Pool Scene

The cool air on her wet shoulders made her shiver, and Niall wrapped his towel around her.

“Here. I don’t need it.”

She handed it back. “No, Niall. You don’t get it. I don’t want you to come to my rescue. I’m not looking for a knight in shining armor. If I were a princess, I’d save myself.”

Niall’s leg circled in the water, making a mini whirlpool. “So tell me what a non-princess needs,” he said at last.

“Someone who brings out the best in me, supports me, values my opinion and, most of all, is honest with me.”

“I’ll do that, Kay.” He looked sincere, and his insistent tone undid the wall she’d placed between them. “As much as I can. Let’s set up our base of operations in my apartment, and we’ll meet there tomorrow. I’ve got some things for us to go over, and nothing’s final until we both approve.” He pulled off her swim goggles, then trailed the backs of his fingers down the side of her face until they fell away.

Her breath hitched. That didn’t feel like a “friendly” touch. And it definitely crossed pro- fessional boundaries. So why did she want him to do it again? To let his hand linger so she could press her cheek into his palm.

“We’ll disagree at times. But I won’t let anyone, like Major Carlton, act like you don’t exist again.”

She shook her head, trying to get her thoughts back on track. “I didn’t think you’d noticed.” He studied his wrinkled fingertips, then lifted his eyes to hers, their tortured depths doing

something funny to her heart.

“I notice you, Kayleigh,” he said quietly, almost to himself. “More than I should.”

 

Karen Rock Head ShotAuthor Bio:

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the CAMP BOYFRIEND series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises. Her wholesome romance, Heartwarming novels have won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the 2014 Golden Quill Contest. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. To find out about her upcoming releases, appearance and latest news, visit http://www.karenrock.com or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 She’d love to connect with you!

Links

Social Media Sites:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites

Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/karenrockauthor

Website : http://www.karenrock.com

Quarterly Newsletter : http://bit.ly/1rcOVJK

Giveaway

Giveaway: Autographed copies of WISH ME TOMORROW, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, and SOMEONE LIKE YOU as well as a $100 Amazon Gift Card.
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Sizzling PR Presents: Love Match by Reggie Thomas

Book Title: Love Match
Author: Reggie Thomas
 Release Date: May 16,2014
 Genre: New Adult Romance

Book Synopsis

Harper Reed loves balls. Tennis balls, that is. A tennis ace, Harper earned a full scholarship to a prestigious Philadelphia universi-ty. There, the demure virgin meets her first lover, the gorgeous, rich, connected, football star Wes Wood. Harper thinks Wes is the man of her dreams, but is he? Or will some other lover capture the beauty’s heart, like the exotic surgeon Dr. Raj Sharma or the irresistible actor Cam Carpenter?  Or maybe Harper’s sexy tennis pro, Gabriel Garcia, is Harper’s true love. Read Harper’s account of her wildly enter-taining adventures and find out. The fascinating young woman will instantly captivate you with her re-markable life, straight out of Sex and the City, and leave you yearning for more.

Book Links:Goodreads * Amazon

 
Author Bio:
Reggie Thomas is a native of the Philadelphia area with a wealth of different life experiences. A spouse and hands-on parent of two teenagers, Reggie has worked as an Atlantic City casino cocktail server, a substitute teacher, and a labor and employment lawyer. Her debut novel, Love Match, is the culmination of a lifelong dream.
Author Links:
Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads

Sexy Books Promotions Presents: The Husband Hazard by Vivien Paige

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TEASER 1

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Blurb:

Olivia Adams has her life plan all figured out. One, answer a call-out for a bride from a billionaire. Two, dazzle the billionaire into proposing to her. Three, put the smile back on her mother’s face when she takes her place as the gold-tipped social butterfly she once was eight years ago.

Cakewalk.

Except for one infuriating, delectable, six-foot-three glitch.

For as long as he can remember, Matthew Kane has planned to take down his father. If he annoys his half-brother in the process by amusing himself with the girl he wants to marry—bonus. However, the madder the sweet little gold-digger gets at him for interfering with her scheme to snatch the billionaire, the more he wants her.

Teaser:

“Well, well, well,” Matthew Kane murmured to himself. So, this was the lucky Olivia Kelly Adams in the flesh, the soon-to-be bride of Victor Meyer, prodigy son of none other than software giant Horace Meyer himself.

Since Matthew had taken a personal interest—although to an outsider it probably looked more like an obsession—in the Meyers’ lives the last fifteen years or so, Victor’s attempt at marriage hadn’t fazed Matthew much. He smirked at the numerous reports about Victor Meyer, landing on his desk. The dreamy bachelor—some starry-eyed daytime talk-show host’s words, not his—had put out an international call for a bride. The handsome twenty-seven-year-old—again, not his words—thought he’d reached the point in his life where he wanted to settle down. Produce heirs to one day take over MeyerTech, the mammoth computer company he ran alongside his father.

So, the crème-de-la-crème with their daughters had attended a fancy lunch hosted by Victor’s mother where he had his choice of beautiful women. Matthew had remained unconcerned throughout it all until he glimpsed a photograph of what could be Victor’s future wife. Then he couldn’t help himself, he needed to see her for himself. That she’d be catching a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg suited him fine because, suddenly, so would he. Sitting next to her had cost him nothing but a small bribe—his phone number.

The scent of her skin, a mingling of baby powder blended with rose-scented soap, lingered on his hands. He couldn’t stop from messing around with the gorgeous gold digger hoping to plant her nails into the good old fortune of the Meyers, no less. She intrigued him.

Tilting his head to the side, he peered at her sitting rock-rigid beside him, still amused at how she’d flown out of his lap back into her seat. Her dark hair, a wild river of fragrant tresses, covered her face from his view. She hugged the voluptuous dress to her chest. He remembered what seemed to have been paw prints on her white shirt.

He grinned when he thought how stunned she’d been to find herself in his lap.

Publication Date:  July 08, 2014
Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Husband-Hazard-Vivien-Paige-ebook/dp/B00LNMMYE4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404988703&sr=8-1&keywords=vivien+paige

 

TEASER 7

 

Vivien-Twitter-PicBio:

Vivien Paige has been eagerly consuming romance novels since her early teens. Strong, dark alpha heroes. Cute, feisty heroines. Combustible, emotional roller-coaster rides to a splendid happy ever after. Perfect! That’s what makes her such an awesome wife…well depending on who you ask :) Now she writes her own romance novels too.

In five words please describe your writing style:

Passionate, crazy, enthusiastic, dillydallyish, fun.

Top three favorite titles (books or movies):

So hard to choose! But Pride and Prejudice is definitely top of my list, the book and the movie. I love The Hobbit, Jane Eyre, anything by Dostoevsky. Gillian Flynn gives me a good scare, love her. Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels – a book I keep reading.

Do your leading characters come from any place in particular?

Yes – my head! :)

What do you do in your down time?

Downtime? Even when I’m not writing I’m still thinking about writing all the time! But I do love being with my family. Read – I have a TBR pile as high as a mountain. I watch movies, or have series marathons.

Top five snacks while writing:

Nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Strawberries
Air-popped popcorn
I should add all the above comes with chocolate!

What’s your writing process?

I pantster my way furiously to chapter four or five, realize it isn’t working, plot desperately, right myself, carry on pantstering, plot, rinse, repeat :)

Talk to us about your book, what is your favorite part or character?

Matthew is my favorite character. I enjoyed writing about his first meeting with Olivia. She was so flustered by him.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Umm…I’m not allowed to say? ;)

authorslidevivien

Links:

Website: www.vivienpaige.com

Twitter:  @VivienPaige

Facebook:  facebook.com/vivienpaige

 

Author’s Taproom Presents: Kade’s Turn by Tiffany Snow; #Giveaway

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TOAD-KT BTB (New Cover)

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Title: Turn On A Dime – Kade’s Turn

Author: Tiffany Snow

Release Date: August 25, 2014

Genre: Romantic Suspense Continue reading

Book Review: Texas Tornado by Lani Lynn Vale

Texas Tornado cover

About the Book:
Freebirds Series, #5
ISBN:  9781500480059 (paperback)
Expected publication: August 1st 2014
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22093989-untitled

Buy Links:

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book for review from Authors Taproom and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.

Please make sure to read the Dedication.

Told in the first person.

Shiloh has a unique family dynamic and yet she’s alone. She shows the reader that there’s always someone who may be worse off than you. James Allen works for her brother and appears to be a very caring man. It’s refreshing to see a man that’s sensitive to those around him. There’s a scene where she’s talking to James daughter and you can’t help but want to laugh.

This book will test what you think about people that live for motorcycles. And don’t expect this to be a simple story – there are real life problems and situations that just add that little bit extra that makes it a very interesting read.  If you are one that rides a motorcycle – I envy you. Personally I’m a chicken but that doesn’t stop the envy. Sometimes I’ll recommend a type of music, or artist, to listen to. In this case why not listen to a motorcycle as they go by (somehow I don’t think you’ll find a CD).

Don’t expect that this is a book that you can rush through. You’ll want to make sure to sit back and get comfortable because this is one enjoyable ride. This author shows the reader the prejudice and willingness to think badly about someone just because they belong to a MC. She also shows that not all clubs are the same – one seems to live for revenge. If you’re someone that doesn’t like graphic language – be forewarned. This just helps to create the characters.

Once I ended this story, I found that I wanted to know more about the Free family. In order to accomplish this all I have to do is go back and read the other books that came before. If this is the first book that you have read by this author, I hope you will go back and do the same. I was an MC virgin and now that my cherry has popped, I’m ready to take on more.

Freebirds Series:

BOOMTOWN, Book #1 – http://amzn.to/1nZ8RvX

HIGHWAY DON’T CARE, Book #2 – http://amzn.to/1sRF1At

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST, Book #3 – http://amzn.to/1r6uyPR

LAST DAY OF MY LIFE, Book #4 – http://amzn.to/1pEug32

Sizzling PR Presents: Gifted An Anthology by Sandra Ely; Spotlight & #Giveaway

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gifted coverTitle: Gifted: An Anthology
Author: Sandra Ely
Release Date:  April 26, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance

In these four installments we follow four young women as they discover love and their own strength.

My Traitorous Heart: When Miriah Anderson finds a rose on her door, it can only mean one thing- her former lover and once savior has returned; together they must put her demons to rest to ensure not only their lives, but their future together. Nearly two years have passed since Miriah was abducted and tortured at the hands of a demon-beast. Now, after leaving her to face her recovery alone, James is back, begging for her help. Miriah must put her fear aside in order to end her nightmare once and for all now that the hunters have been lead to her door step. Through her eyes we watch as she works with James and realizes the spark of their love is still present. Can she trust him not to leave her in her moment of weakness again?

Whispers on the Wind: The darkness is coming and it’s up to Rebecka to stop it before it takes over, destroying the whole town and everyone in it. Tyler knows her secret and is determined to help, whether she wants it or not. With time growing short, he must take aggressive action and inform her of a fate beyond their control. Will Rebecka crumble under the pressure? Or can they find a way to work together to banish the coming of an endless night?

Heart of the Hurricane: After a tragic accident takes the lives of Alyssa’s mom and sister, she is left alone to piece her life back together. With the aid of her life coach-Ryan, she has to overcome her fears, if she wants to obtain her heart’s desire. Is she strong enough to overcome her past and become the woman she was meant to be?

When the Earth Shakes: Between planning her best friend’s wedding, working full time, and dealing with family issues, Lyla needs a vacation. When she’s gifted a week long trip to get to know her last remaining grandparent, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Through Lyla’s perspective, we are taken on a journey of self discovery as she falls in love and learns the power of forgiveness.

Buy Links:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Authors Bio:


A stay-at-home wife and mother of two incredible boys, Sandra enjoys writing fiction dealing with supernatural aspects. She lives in Missouri, although she has lived in several other states including: Arizona (where she was born), Colorado, Florida, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Iowa, California, Ohio and Michigan.

Author’s Links:
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSandraEly
http://www.amazon.com/author/sandraely


Excerpt:

From My Traitorous Heart (Book One in the Anthology):

A scarlet rose was taped to my door. This could only mean one thing- he was back. I felt my heart skip a beat as I reached out to take the red rose. I caught my thumb on one of the protruding thorns and immediately put it to my lips. Of course his return would be marked in blood, I thought.

I opened the door with my free hand. Locking the door had never become a habit of mine. I lived in a relatively safe neighborhood (if any could be considered such anymore) and had my own special set of defenses. Perhaps, though, I would start, if for no other reason than the annoyance it would cause.

I took the rose straight to the kitchen and got down the smallest vase I had. At 5’2”, it was a reach for me to get to the top shelf , which should show the frequency I have use to display fresh flowers. They’d been gifts from someone I had come to think of as just short of forgotten, which is why I failed to get rid of them.

I filled the vase with luke-warm water, humming as I went about the unplanned chore. I slid the flower’s stem gently into the glass vase. I had no desire to remove the thorns; they would do well to remind me: even the most beautiful creations can be dangerous.


From Whispers on the Wind (Book Two in the Anthology):

Thinking on her feet had never been one of her strong suits.  As a rule, she didn’t give into impulses.  Today she had, and more and more she had come to regret the decision.  “So, you intend to keep secrets, then?”

He knew she was stalling for time.  A slow smile spread across his face.  “I suppose you have a right to know, but given the circumstances, I think I’ll keep my secret for now.  You, though,” he stood now, slowly moving towards the woman who was just shy of cowering in his living room, “Have no secrets.”

“Don’t come any closer,” she warned, some internal alarm tickling her solar plexus.

“This is my house and I’ll go where I please.”  He took a step forward, then another.

Rebecka’s heart was beating furiously in her chest.  She took a deep breath.  “Stay away from me.”
“Is that what you really want, my little wind sorceress?”

Focus, she told herself, And breathe.  That was all she’d been taught.  She had no sense of control, but usually her will was accomplished.  Then again, prior attempts had always occurred when her nerves weren’t stretched so thin and her mind was relaxed and open.  “Last warning.”  Her cerulean eyes frosted over with a glaze of power.  He continued his pursuit.

She waved her hand.  The handful of books on the shelf flew off and landed with a loud thud against the wooden floor.  Concentrate, she thought and waved her hand again.  His chestnut hair fluttered in the unnatural breeze, but still he continued his advance.

“You’re going to have to do better than that, sweetheart.” He was upon her now.  “I don’t back down easily.”  In one swift movement, he grabbed her hands in his and pinned them above her head.

He bent his head closing the few inches that separated their faces.  “What motivates you?”

She felt paralyzed as his breath whispered over her skin.  The pressure continued on her wrists as she tried to pull them free and push him away.  And then his lips met hers and she felt something inside herself break.  The flood gates fractured, her power rushed out from her very core and sent the man flying across the room.  She wasn’t entirely sure what she was doing, but she let her instincts guide her.

From Heart of the Hurricane (Book Three in the Anthology)

Sorrow filled Alyssa’s deep aqua eyes as she stared at the shallow pool before her. She couldn’t give into the memories that always waited just beneath the surface, threatening to consume her.
“It’s all about control,” she let Ryan’s velvet voice wash over her, grounding her in the present. “Focus on your breathing.” He took hold of her hand, “We’ll do this together.”

Alyssa didn’t speak as they took their first step together into the luke warm pool. The water climbed over her ankle and a tremor of fear ran through her body.

“Relax, Aly. Clear your mind. Now, let’s take another step.”

She grit her teeth and tightened her grip on his hand. For three weeks she had been meeting with Ryan as they worked together to banish her fear. She had to admit, it was helping. When she first started coming, just the sight of a puddle had sent her into an almost paralyzing fear…. Now, she was standing in water that rose half way up her slender calves.

“Okay. Now, look down,” he instructed; his voice acting as a shield against the darkness in her mind.

She did as she was told. After all, this is what she paid him for. For the price he charged, she expected no less than miraculous results. She saw the clear water stretching out in front of her, too deep to classify as a kiddie pool, but Ryan assured her it was the perfect depth for an aquaphobic like her to start in.

Panic raced through her system; she felt the adrenaline build in her body’s natural fight or flight instinct. She had an overwhelming urge to get away, but Ryan’s hand in hers kept her in place. Her body trembled and she could swear she saw waves forming in what should have been still water.

From When the Earth Shakes (Book Four in the Anthology)

“Maybe that’s because nobody ever looked at you like I do.” Where’d that come from? “But I think you’re wrong. I think my grandmother saw your potential. I didn’t know her well, but she never struck me as the type of person to tolerate weakness on any scale.”

He chuckled, “You’d be right. I always just thought it was because everyone always spent all their time fawning over my sister.”

“I think you have as much to learn as I do.” I hadn’t moved my hand away from his face. Lightly I stroked my fingers over his firm jaw line. The light stubble he had growing was prickly on my fingertips, but the skin beneath was smoother than I anticipated. I thought with all the hours he spent in the sun, his skin would have taken on a more leathery consistency.

He didn’t seem to mind my casual exploration of his features. “Let’s do something tomorrow,” he suggested.

I dropped my hand. What was I getting myself into here? I was definitely attracted, but I’d been attracted to other guys before. Never like this, though, I reminded myself. The intensity I felt when I was with him wasn’t just for him, but more like he made all my senses come alive. The sun was brighter, the air sweeter, the world itself was more vibrant. “I don’t know,” I hoped my voice wasn’t shaking as much as my insides were.

“Tomorrow,” he spoke as if there was no chance I would say no. How could he know he was the sun and I was but a measly planet trapped in orbit of this insane gravitational pull? Could he be feeling it, too?

“I’m leaving in a couple days, Rob.”

The light in his eyes dimmed as if my reminder caught him off guard. “Then,” he continued, a firm resolve in the velvety smooth voice of his, “Give me a chance to show you a night you won’t forget.”
Everything about him seemed cool, calm, confident… Everything except those eyes that seemed to be pleading with me on some base level. Something was telling me he needed me as badly as I needed him. “But Grand-dad,” I started.

“Will be busy,” he finished for me. “He’s got a standing monthly date with a couple of his buddies. They’ve been getting together like this for years.”

“Oh.” And just like that, I was all out of his excuses.