Thursday 29 November 2018

Cover Reveal for Queen to Ashes by Mallory McCartney

Today Mallory McCartney and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive content for QUEEN TO ASHES, her new Adult Fantasy Romance which releases January 8, 2019! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!

On to the reveal! 

Title: QUEEN TO ASHES (Black Dawn #2)
Author: Mallory McCartney
Pub. Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Formats: eBook
Pages: ?
Find it: Goodreads

“You lived your entire life feeling like half of you was missing. Fight for the missing part. Fight for this.” 
Emory Fae has abandoned everything she thought she knew about her previous life on Earth. Stepping up to her role as Queen of Kiero she makes a startling sacrifice- feigning her allegiances to Adair Stratton, the man who murdered her parents and casted Kiero into ruin. Emory’s memories slowly piece together, and she soon realizes the Mad King may not be all he seems— and the man who was once best friend, may be fighting beneath the surface. 
With the King’s attention on her, can she buy Black Dawn Rebellion enough time to recuperate their forces? And when the times comes, will she be able to kill Adair, ending his tyranny and rising herself as the rightful Queen? Fighting to hide her secret, Emory navigates the brutal trials of the Mad King, trying not to lose herself in the process. 
Sequel to Black Dawn, now a bestselling series, the sparks are ignited, as Emory learns the cost of freedom, and her title. Will the rebels unite in time? A sinister force has spread across the land, stripping everyone bare- their betrayals, their secrets, their intentions. But above all, what will their decisions cost? By refusing to give in to the darkness, will Emory rise as Queen?

Renegade and Black Dawn will be available in the following #Vancouver area locations : Chapters Burnaby, Indigo Surrey, Chapters Coquitlam, Indigo West Vancouver, Indigo Granville (2505 Granville St) and Indigo Robson (1033 Robson St) in December!

Title: RENEGADE (Black Dawn 0.5)
Author: Mallory McCartney
Pub. Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 274
Find it: Amazon, B&N, TBD, Goodreads

“The time for Kiero’s reign in prosperity is over.”
Six years before the Black Dawn Rebellion, Adair Stratton and Emory Fae are following in their parent’s footsteps and living at The Academy, a home for those who are gifted. The pressure to uphold the future of their parent’s dream falls on them. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. Even if Emory tries to make him see differently. An unexpected group of friends keep him there, but as whispers of unexplained disappearances start reaching from the capital, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.
An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath- for the first time in years, they demand the Fae’s listen to their proposition for a new treaty, holding the news of Nei’s father’s abrupt death over them. Caught in the middle of politics- Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis search for the one thing that matters most- finding out the truth.
In this gripping prequel to Black Dawn, their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made. War ravages through Kiero and is torn apart by acclaimed Kings. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision- to fight or to bow to the darkness within him.

Title: BLACK DAWN (Black Dawn #1)
Author: Mallory McCartney
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Pages: 352
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, TBD, Goodreads

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and bringing Emory back she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.
With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.
Some things are better left in the shadows.

About Mallory:

Mallory McCartney is the author of the bestselling Black Dawn series. She currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Giveaway Details:
One lucky winner will receive an eBook of QUEEN TO ASHES, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Your Mid-Week Update for 11/28/18

Am I a bad person?

I don’t mean in the way I senselessly murder anyone that crosses my path if the whim takes me, leaving their families and loves one alone and unprepared to face the harsh reality of a life without the one person they care most about in the world. I mean in the way I treat people I actually care about like my husband and son and one friend from work that I’ve grown attached to.

Heather has been doing really well lately, she’s coming in to work on time, getting her work done with only a playful amount of sassing. She and I still go for lunch every once in a while and talk about how things are going. How she’s adjusting to life on her own, how my family is doing, the constant uncertainty of existing as a woman in this century. At least back in the day, you knew who hated you because they would be the one lighting your pyre as you were burned as a witch. Nowadays? Who knows? There are only two men in my life whom I trust and I still believe Jason cold go either way with the amount of time he spends on the internet and not interacting with other humans.

This is what I was talking about with the “am I a bad person” stuff. I genuinely wonder if my son is going to turn out to be some sort of woman-hating conspiracy theorist – partially because my only context for young 20-somethings who live at home is the media’s portrayal of serial killers. I know he is adamantly against what I do and would never take up the family business but what if it’s something worse? I kill indiscriminately. He could be a racist, or sexist, or homophobe. I don’t know what I would do with myself if my child turned out morally worse than me. Even Sandra didn’t really care who she killed so long as her bloodlust was sated. I never worried that she was a bad person – just that she would get caught.

With Jason, I see a young man with lower than average social skills and a love of computers more than nature and I wonder what dark thoughts he might have and act on one day. But that makes me a bad person, doesn’t it? Believing my own son to be less than perfect with no real evidence other than my own fears. That can’t be right. I know it isn’t. But when you don’t connect with someone and all you see is the outside, your mind wanders.

Thank god he doesn’t read these. He would never forgive me. I know that for sure.

I can’t think about things that just aren’t true. I can’t let my imagination take over my common sense. I know my son. I know him to be loyal and intelligent and of independent thought. He will be fine. Besides, he’s made his intentions known to move out next year, he’s doing well in school, and has a job that might not be what he wants to be doing but he enjoys it and is paid well for his work. He’s on the right path. I have to trust that I haven’t fucked him up too much and he will, in fact be alright.

Maybe I am a bad person, on top of the morally decrepit murder I commit on a daily basis, but at least my child will be okay. He’ll be better than me, even.

I hope.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Release Day for Winter Dream by Chantal Gadoury

I am so excited that WINTERDREAM by Chantal Gadoury is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Chantal Gadoury, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book, US Only, courtesy of Chantal, Parliament House Publishing, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About the Book:

Author: Chantal Gadoury
Pub. Date: November 27, 2018
Publisher: Parliament House Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 290
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N

This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…
Except, maybe, a mouse. 
At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse? 
For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount. 
But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one...special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker's curse? 
Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring? 
Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic. 


Large, white puffs floated all around me. Sinking into my flesh with their cold, yet light kisses. Every snowflake was different, specially crafted before it fell from the sky. They were beautiful, even as they melted. I tipped my head back to catch the snow as it fell. I felt as though I was floating through air, caught in a haze of ice flakes as sugary and sweet as the icing on the gingerbread house my governess and I had made together.

I stretched my arms out to my sides, spinning in place.

The green forest turned with me, a wood full of large spruces perfect for Christmas trees. They were decorated as such, lighted with white candles and draped in silver tinsel. On some, icicles hung on the tips of the limbs. It was a world in which the snow was like sugar and the air smelled delicious, like freshly baked cookies. It was perfect—a world of my own making, if I was capable of crafting something so… wonderful.


The sound of my name trilled from a distance, carried on the cool, winter wind.

Turning slowly, I peered over my shoulder, catching a glimpse of a young boy my age. He was dressed in a bright red suit, adorned with golden epaulettes. His blond hair was brushed away from his face, revealing two bright blue eyes. His lips, pink as his cheeks, curved into a smile.


“Yes?” I asked curiously, turning to face him. As I slid my hands over my cream and ivory lace nightgown, I suddenly felt quite foolish. My mama had always insisted I never wear my bedclothes in front of guests or visitors. And yet, here, in this strange and beautiful world, such things hardly seemed to matter. He took my hand and flashed another warm smile as he led me to a large, white carriage.

“Where are we going?” I asked softly, pausing before the door. The panels were solid ivory, adorned with a golden handle and step.

“Winter Dream,” the boy said with a relieved expression. “Home. Home to Winter Dream.”

“Winter Dream?”

“I’ve come to take you back, Clara. To where I am—to where all the people who love you live.”

“But I don’t know where this Winter Dream is. I’ve never been there…”

“Come with me,” he beckoned, squeezing my hand gently. “Come. . .”

The snow fell all around us; small flakes clung to the tips of our hair and eyelashes. As much as I longed to go . . . there was something holding me back. Something. . .

As I peered behind me, a small, dark shadow began to form. It started out small, like the size of a mouse, and it grew—or was I shrinking? The boy beside me held my hand, and his eyes grew wide with fear.

“No!” I screamed, tucking myself into his shoulder. Whatever it was, I didn’t want to see. I didn’t want to know.

“Clara, wait!” I heard him beg, his urgent tone tugging at my heartstrings. “Come with me, please.”

“No! I want to go home!”

As soon as the words poured from my lips, I woke with a start.

Here, there was only me and the four walls of my bedroom. A sheer sliver of light crept through the space of an open curtain, sparkling with the bright white of the snow outside. It was quiet, as if the world had not yet woken. As if I was the only one no longer dreaming sweet things. Instead, while everyone else slept, I contained the chill of my own strange dream.

I buried myself beneath the duvet and hugged my knees to my chest. I was alone, completely and utterly alone.

I closed my eyes tight, not wishing to face that Christmas morning. I wished only for the chance to slip back into my dream. To return back to that magical world, where a boy with bright blue eyes was waiting for me. Back to the place where an enchanting land called ‘Winter Dream’ existed.

About Chantal:
Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing.

Since graduation, she has published "The Songs in Our Hearts" with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today.

Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.

Subscribe to Chantal’s Newsletter!

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a signed finished copy of WINTERDREAM, US Only.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Excerpts of Qilin Series by Laurel Chase

About the Book:
Title: PIECE OF SHIFTER A Fantasy Romance (Haret Chronicles: Qilin Book 2)
Author: Laurel Chase
Pub. Date: November 19, 2018
Publisher: Laurel Chase
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 203
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

I’m coming for Underbelly Circus… to burn it to the ground.

My whole life, I’ve wished for family but found foes instead. All this changed in a matter of days when I met the guys from Haret - my dragon, shifter, mage, fae, merman, and vampire.

Each man has his own unique magic, and as a Qilin, I have the power to channel it.

There’s one huge problem, though.

I got my piece of dragon, but if the Ringmaster finds out, he’ll use Jack to get to us. With Underbelly controlling Jack, we don’t know who trust.

It’s time to fight the Ringmaster for everything he has.

The guys’ magic is mine for the taking, as long as I can wrap my head around the way Qilin do harems. With these gorgeous guys, that shouldn’t be hard.

I’m Carlyle Licorne, and I’m here to take back what’s mine. 

Ready for more? Scroll up now and take this sexy book to bed tonight!

This is a steamy reverse harem story, suitable for ages eighteen and up.


“I’ve just always been such a nobody. It’s hard to adjust to all this savior-goddess shit,” I said, forcing a laugh.
Kana nodded, her eyes sympathetic. “But the benefits have to be making it better, right? I mean, just think of all the sex and sugar you’re getting.” Her grin grew sly again, and she jabbed my arm with a long fingernail. “I mean, they totally should have warned you about the mating thing. But just because you and Jack are a thing now, that doesn’t mean you have to stop fucking anyone else. You’re a Qilin, bitch. And Qilin get what Qilin want.”
I felt my cheeks flush as her words sank in, mirroring the same sentiments Dair and Killian had told me before.
I’d actually been worried about how serious the mating bond might be - if I’d need to stop flirting with Dair and Jai now, or stop letting Sol sneak into my thoughts and between my sheets.
“How many mates do Qilin usually have?” I made myself ask instead, confronting the fact that I wanted more than Jack.
“Oh, you greedy girl! I fucking love it,” Kana said, tilting her head back in a raucous laugh. “I don’t guess there’s a limit, but most of the ones I remember meeting or studying about had three or so.”
I chewed my lip. Three? I wasn’t sure I could pick three. Ah, I was so screwed.
Just because I’d been given the world’s biggest candy bowl didn’t mean I had to eat so much I got sick. I couldn’t hoard all these yummy men to myself. Could I?
There probably wasn’t even enough of me to go around. How could I possibly keep more than one man happy?
“I know what you’re thinking,” Kana warned. “And I think it’s bullshit. You take want you want, Car. You’re probably the last fucking Qilin. Haret is just as dark a place as Underbelly - you’re gonna need all the shields and weapons you can get. There’s none better than those men in that house. Take them all if you want them, and make them into your goddamn army.”
My eyes connected with hers, and my heart began to pound as I took in the ferocity of her gaze.
“There’s a war coming, Car. We don’t even know the half of it yet, but I know I’m on your side, and I want you to be as strong as you possibly can be. If those guys are offering their power, you fucking need to take it.”
“How much power can I even hold?” My voice had dropped to barely a whisper as our conversation took a threatening turn.
Kana shrugged and gazed out over the sparkling ocean. “I don’t know, but it’ll be fun to find out, right?”
I fetched a soft washcloth and a bottle of cupcake-scented body wash I’d bought for her earlier. Leaning over the edge of the tub, I gently scrubbed away the blood and any remaining shreds of mattress from her body. The water turned a light shade of pink, which would have been pretty if I hadn’t known what was causing it.
She was fully awake by the time I was done, and she reached over to pull the plug. Silently, we watched the pink water drain away. I scraped up the matted bits of thread and tossed them in the trash.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered when I turned back to her. “I was being selfish, even though I told myself it was for Killian.”
“I’m actually kind of fucking impressed,” I admitted, thankful Jai wasn’t around to hear it.
“I am kind of a badass,” she said, grinning up at me cheekily. “So, are you going to join me in this tub, or am I going to have to use my fingers to get off?”
“Oh, fuck yes, I’m joining you,” I said, happy surprise making laughter rumble through my chest. My sugar fix didn’t have to ask twice to get hers.
Actually, maybe I should let her use her fingers. I liked to watch sometimes, too. My cock was already at attention, though, and I didn’t think I could wait. I stripped out of my clothes faster than I could shift and climbed in the tub with her.
She reached over and started the water again before leaning back and resting her arms across the edge like a queen.
I knelt between her knees like the supplicant I was and spread her legs wide. She propped her ankles on the edge of the tub, and I cursed under my breath at the fucking beautiful spread before me.
“Get it,” she said, raising an eyebrow in challenge.
The Ringmaster surveyed me with a cold stare. “I see you’ve kept the same body and bright, soulful blue eyes for another cycle. Interesting,” he mocked.
I fought to keep the mage out of my mind, but it was no use. The man giggled like a third grader.
“The girl thought you handsome? How charming. My pet dragon desires a mate.” The Ringmaster reached out a hand and yanked me viciously up the trailer steps and inside, slamming the door behind me. “The only mate a dragon has is death,” he hissed into my ear, then shoved me to the floor.
I kept my eyes down, breathing heavily and pressing down hard on the creeping joy I felt. He’d done a quick scan of my form, but it looked like he couldn’t tell I’d attempted a bond with Carlyle. This was so much more than I’d hoped for.
Then doubt began to slide in, squeezing out the joy. If the bond wasn’t noticeable to the Ringmaster, maybe it didn’t actually exist.
Maybe our bond wasn’t complete.
“Come,” he said, walking to the edge of his trailer and out the back door. He strode for a smaller side tent, and my stomach bottomed out. This was the experimental tent - the one where new acts were tested and trialed.
The one that broke Haretians into pieces for the Ringmaster to use to build his empire.
He held open the zippered flap with a flourish, and I stepped in, my heart pounding in anticipation of pain. I could take it - I’d taken it before. It would fucking suck, but I had even more to live for now.
The sound of the heavy fabric door slapping shut behind me triggered my anxiety even more, and a cool sweat broke out across my brow.
“Wings only,” the Ringmaster commanded as he circled to face me. The gleam in his eyes made me nervous as fuck. What did he want with my wings?
“Wings,” he repeated, shooting a lance of pain straight through my temples. It was enough to buckle my knees, and sure enough, my wings snapped into existence.
He gripped my mind with his magic, keeping me just at the edge of a full shift. I could have ended him in my dragon form, but he’d never once let me show myself in full shift inside camp.
He seemed to have a sixth sense about when people were going to use their powers against him. He was always at least one step ahead, like he’d been with Arcadia and countless others. I’d often wondered if he was part vampire, since he seemed to have some of Jai’s special techniques to go along with his own brand of mind control.
“Enter,” the Ringmaster barked to someone behind me, and I twisted my head enough to see two of his favorite goons entering the tent with looks of cruel anticipation splashed on their ugly-ass faces. Well, that was just great. “Tie him.”
Before I had a chance to fight his intentions, the two men had wrenched my wings backward at a painful angle and tied them together with some sort of enchanted chain, wrapping the bones and leather in awkward bundles of magic. I wouldn’t be able to break free - all that was left to do now was wait and bear it.
“Now, you shall have a visitor,” the Ringmaster said, a devious smile creeping across his face. He wasn’t exactly a handsome man, but there was something charming about him, in the way a serial killer must be charming to lure his victims near.
“Fucking dragon,” a silky female voice said from behind me, and I bit back a groan.
“Fucking harpy,” I taunted back, my pride rallying one last time.

About Book 1:
Title: PIECE OF DRAGON A Fantasy Romance (Haret Chronicles: Qilin Book 1)
Author: Laurel Chase
Pub. Date: October 8, 2018
Publisher: Laurel Chase
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 203
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

The Ringmaster is coming… to steal me away.
For years, my odd ability to manipulate others kept me one step ahead of the Underbelly Circus - a place nobody like me lives through.
Everything goes to hell when a gorgeous stranger dies right in front of me, resurrects himself as a dragon, and begs me to follow him straight into the Underbelly beast.
He claims I’m the lost Qilin Queen - a magical freaking unicorn.
I can smell the truth in his words, and he’s desperate. How can I help him, if he works for my greatest enemy?
The answer comes barreling into my world when his brothers-in-arms find me, too - lion shifter, mage, fae, merman, and vampire.
They’re all from a magical world beyond mine, and they need me to help them find the way home.
Only a pure Qilin can find the Path, and these six men think I’m the last one alive.
I’m Carlyle Licorne, and I’m no innocent unicorn.
Ready to find your next group of book boyfriends? Scroll up now to start this sexy new series today!
Piece of Dragon is the first in a medium-burn reverse harem fantasy series, suitable for ages eighteen and up.
“So… Jack, is it, this time?” the Ringmaster asked, digging his thick fingers into my temples as I held myself still and silent. My arms were tense and pale as I fisted my hands at my sides.
He didn’t need to touch people to read their thoughts. The asshole just enjoyed how concrete pain enhanced the nausea that came with him digging through my memories.
“Interesting choice of names for this cycle. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Something about a candlestick, I think. Will you get burned, Jack, when you jump? You do love to jump.”
I clenched my teeth against the growing ache in my skull, but I didn’t flinch. I never flinched, and this was why the Ringmaster hated me the most. He respected me for it, too, though respect got you nowhere in the Underbelly Circus.
The Ringmaster removed his grip from my face and slowly pulled back his invisible mental probes. Slouching back in the ridiculous medieval throne we carried from city to city, the Ringmaster eyed me, pinning my blue eyes with his black ones. He ran his palms down the slick silk of his tie, straightening it. “I have another job for you. This one is different. I need her.
The psychotic fervor in the man’s eyes wasn’t helping a damn bit with my nausea.
“What’s in it for me?” I said after managing to catch enough breath to speak evenly. My last big job had earned me a new mattress. I scrubbed at my coarse brown hair, standing it up even more than usual in my efforts to rub away his touch. “Unless you’re ready to set me free,” I cracked, not bothering to hide the bitter edge of my tone.
I’d been in the Circus long enough to forget where I was before. I’d picked a new name so many times I couldn’t even remember my first one. None of my new identities had made a difference, though. The Ringmaster’s tricks and powers were legendary: I’d never escape the Underbelly Circus, and neither would any of the recruits I’d ever been sent to retrieve.
With my unique powers, I couldn’t even escape the Ringmaster in death. I’d simply start another cycle, right where the last one had ended.
Immortality wasn’t that cool if it was indentured.
The Ringmaster leaned forward and smiled at me, cruel and slow. “If you find her and bring her back unharmed, you can have the thing you’ll want most.”
“And what is that?” I asked, lifting an eyebrow at his use of future tense. I scratched at my two-day stubble, wishing we were done with this meeting already. Out of habit, I twisted the gold ring on my thumb, its weight and purity giving me a certain comfort that a mattress never could. “I’m resigned to this life.”
I totally fucking wasn’t, but it was all part of the act.
“Not your fate.” The Ringmaster grinned wider, showing his double row of perfect white teeth. “The girl’s.”
Festival life wasn’t easy, but it was the life I’d carved for myself after running away from foster care five years before. I was a hell of a lot better off now than I’d ever been - no bills or commitments tying me down, my business partner LuAnn for easy company, and enough money for gas, food, and coffee. I could even get cotton candy whenever I wanted.
The biggest reason I kept moving, though, was that I needed to stay one step ahead of the Ringmaster and his recruiters. He ran the infamous Underbelly Circus, and he wanted me enough that I’d already dodged his people twice.
My attention was drawn to a pack of guys bouncing past my tree. They were shouting and laughing about their coming drunken night, and I shrunk further into the shadows.
I was only here to observe the crowd - to see, not to be seen.
Only one glanced my way, and I startled as his golden eyes flashed and locked on mine
instantly. Damn, he was a beautiful one - all power and grace, whispers and dynamite. A small hum of appreciation escaped my lips, and I clamped my mouth shut around it.
He couldn’t possibly have heard me, but he held my gaze captive for several steps. I almost ducked and slid behind the rough trunk to break the connection. A stare like that was one humanity lived or died by - an instinctual challenge to either fight or fuck.
It had been a long time since I’d had to do one or allowed myself to do the other.
The group passed on quickly, their bravado and excitement stinking up the air with a musk like fresh blood. To me, people’s emotions had scents as different as fingerprints. Interpreting and manipulating them at LuAnn’s festival booth put cash in my pocket, but these personal scents were also a fascination - a whole different dimension of the people-watching I loved so much.
The flame-haired guy turned his golden eyes forward again, and I was relieved as I took one final glance at his broad shoulders and cocky swagger. I didn’t need that temptation tonight. I had work to do.
Dair leaned back in his chair, one palm resting casually on the table, fingers tapping in a slow back-and-forth pattern. His suit jacket was unbuttoned, and I studied the textured vest beneath.
He was dressed for Wall Street, and I was in a shapeless t-shirt and plain cotton underwear. I picked at my cupcake, my appetite not very strong anymore.
“So where’s the last guy?” I asked. I’d met Killian, Sol, and Jai. Now Dair. Jack was hopefully not invited. That left the sixth man unaccounted for.
“I’m supposed to tell Jai first,” Dair began, but I cut him off with a huff. Shoving my chair back, I stood and dumped my half-eaten food in the trash. I was so done with the secrets.
I filled a glass of water from the tap to clear the sweetness from my mouth, suddenly not wanting any of these stories to be true. As I stood in front of the sink, staring out the window into the misty treeline, I heard Dair’s boots come to rest just behind me. His body covered mine and slowly pressed into me from behind, lean and rock hard. He bent his head down to my ear and inhaled, and we were so close I could feel every inch of his cock hardening between us, pressing into my ass.
I knew I should stop him - and somehow I knew he would stop, but instead I was white-knuckling the counter just to keep from reaching back to grab his body.
“Toro is compromised, like Jack. He’s not with the Circus, but he’s gone rogue.”
Those simple words - the act of sharing his valuable information - heated me straight through, and I felt my core clench with need. Again.
I gritted my teeth. What I needed was to get a motherfucking grip. I’d ogled Killian and Jai, then I’d kissed Sol last night. I couldn’t very well turn around and make a move on Dair, no matter how much I wanted to.
“Jai told me you don’t know much about yourself,” he murmured against my ear. “None of us really have that problem, and I apologize that my brothers have made this difficult for you. But Carlyle, you could be like a savior to us and our world. A goddess. We can’t afford to compromise the natural development of your power with faulty information based on rumor. We need you to discover your magic as the natural laws of Haret intended.”
I opened my mouth to demand an explanation, but the words died in my throat as his fingers slid down my bare arms. Every bit of skin he touched flamed to life, and I breathed in the truth of his words.
Dair’s scent was as dark and gorgeous as he was, all sweet tobacco and sparkling, crystal goblets of dry champagne. His fingers slipped between mine, loosening my grip on the counter, and I rested my head back on his chest. His hips pressed mine even harder into the edge of the counter, pinning me just at the edge of pain, and heat flared between my legs.
A soft moan slipped from my lips as he drew our joined hands over my hips, dipping in at my waist, then bumping up over my ribs. I was feeling my body through his fingers, and it was intoxicating. I was about to whisper that he wasn’t an asshole after all when his fingers pulled mine over my breasts and pinched my nipples so hard I cried out at the unexpected touch.
Dair untangled our fingers, then pressed my palms over the tight, tender buds, encouraging me to massage the pain away. One of his hands gripped the side of my throat while the other cupped hard between my legs, nearly lifting me off the floor. He yanked my head to the side and crashed his lips onto the exposed, sensitive skin of my neck. He sucked almost violently, and an arrow of sweet pain shot straight down to where his fingers clenched around my sex.
I was thrumming with energy again, but my body was confused by his mastery of sweet and sharp. One of my hands pressed harder into my breast, chafing and pinching at my nipple again, while the other scratched at his grip on me. His fingers curled, pressing the fabric of my underwear tight against my aching pussy, and I bucked against him, wishing there was nothing between us. Dair chuckled, the sound sultry and commanding all at once.

“Naughty and demanding, aren’t you. I’ll give you everything you want, but we have to build up to that sort of trust, Carlyle. Cariño,” he murmured, releasing me and stepping back in one fluid motion.

About Laurel:
Laurel Chase lives in the state that boasts of fast horses, fast cars, and fast women.

She writes steamy romance and lives in her head more and more each day - hey, the scenery is great in there.

She never sleeps enough, and she drinks too much coffee, but she'd never replace any of that with sensible stuff.

Find her hanging out on social media, usually in the Lovers of Haret readers' Facebook group!

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
11/19/2018- Books,Dreams,LifeSpotlight
11/19/2018- My Books-My WorldExcerpt

11/20/2018- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview
11/20/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt

11/21/2018- Smada's Book SmackSpotlight
11/21/2018- The Bewitched ReaderExcerpt

11/22/2018- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
11/22/2018- Writer of WrongsExcerpt

11/23/2018- BookHoundsInterview
11/23/2018- Jaime's WorldExcerpt

Week Two:
11/26/2018- Oh Hey! Books.- Interview
11/27/2018- ParajunkeeExcerpt
11/28/2018- JB's Bookworms with Brandy MulderExcerpt
11/29/2018- Good Choice ReadingExcerpt
11/30/2018- Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview