Category Archives: Excerpt

CHAPTER REVEAL :: SO GOOD (An Alpha Dogs Novel) by NICOLA RENDELL


SNEAK PEEK CHAPTER ONE REVEAL – SO GOOD by NICOLA RENDELL


If friends to lovers stories, with a sexy alpha male who has an adorable soft spot for his best friend Rosie and his adopted dog, Cupcake, is what you’re in the mood for, then SO GOOD is the book for you! Steamy, sweet, funny and soooo swoony! You’ll see what we mean when you check out the first chapter we have for you!
Oh and releasing 7th August and available to pre order below!

‘This man. How had I not seen this underside of him? This filthy gorgeous talk that made me so crazy?’

 

SYNOPSIS

On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.
SO GOOD is available to pre order below
           

 
CHAPTER ONE – SO GOOD by NICOLA RENDELL


1
Max


I wasn’t planning to see her naked—I swear to God, I wasn’t. The day was a scorcher, one of those godforsaken New England summer days that makes a guy wonder how he ever said fuck you to winter. I stood on the roof her house, three stories above the Maine woods, with a far-off view of the ocean. It was pretty, yeah, like the kind of shit real estate companies put on complimentary calendars. But in that heat, it was like standing on top of a goddamned toaster, turned all the way to burnt. I could feel that shit in my socks, straight through my work boots. At my feet was a stack of shake shingles, old school, to replace the ones that were missing. Her house had a few slow leaks, and one over her bathroom that made the ceiling look like a huge Rorschach test. She said it definitely looked like a rose in bloom, I said it definitely looked like Batman. But I told her hidden meanings wouldn’t make shit for difference when the ceiling collapsed into the tub, so there I was. Fucking miserable work, but I was glad to do it. Glad to do anything for her—anything she needed at all.
In the forest on every side around the cottage, the cicadas screeched. It sounded like a needle squeaking off a record player. I knelt down by the stack of shingles, using my utility knife to score a line through one to fit a nearby gap. I snapped it with my hands and tossed the scrap end off the edge of the roof. A trickle of sweat ran down my forehead, and I wiped my face with my forearm. One droplet got away, sparkling in the sun. It caught my eye, and I watched it fall, as it landed on the skylight window with a splat.

​And that was when it happened. Boom.

​There she was, right under me. She couldn’t have been more than six feet away, but she felt even closer. I had a direct line of sight down into her gorgeous, soft cleavage, bright and pure in the sunshine. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the surprise of seeing her, but at first I didn’t really process that it was Rosie at all. My dude brain said, I want that woman.

​Then my regular brain said, Don’t be an asshole, man. It’s Rosie. Have some respect.

Respect I definitely had, but of course I’d thought about seeing her naked before. She was so fucking beautiful that any man would have thought about it. Sometimes, like right then looking down into her dress, I couldn’t fucking help it. Sometimes we’d be out doing something ordinary, like eating dinner, or I’d be changing her oil, or she’d be teaching me to do shit I should have learned at some point in the last 34 years, like iron a dress shirt without screwing up the collar, and I’d catch myself watching her cleavage rise and fall as she breathed, or thinking how nice her legs were, and I’d think, Holy hell.

Now she was directly underneath the skylight. The angle of the sun cast my shadow down the roofline, away from the skylight, so I didn’t give myself away. Like that, I watched her. I gave in to my dude brain and just took her in. Her light brown hair glinted, and a beam of light caught the curve of her shoulder.
That was when the goddamned striptease started, beginning with the left strap of her sundress.

Her movements were graceful, sexy, sassy—the sway of her hips, the shake of her shoulders. I realized I might be in real fucking trouble, because I loved that sexy sass. It wasn’t normal Rosie-cute. It was naughty, like nothing I’d ever seen her do before. I liked it so much, I couldn’t look away. She shimmied out of her sundress, and it fell to the floor in a pool at her feet. No big deal, I tried to tell myself. I’d seen her in her bikini a thousand times. This was no different from that.
Except it was, because then she reached around to undo her bra. Before I could tell myself Don’t look, dude. It’s Rosie, don’t look, it was too fucking late. The straps slid down off her shoulders, and for one perfect second got caught on her nipples, swinging in the air before falling to the floor.

Holy…

I pressed my clenched fist to my mouth and groaned into my hand. All my blood was leaving my head. The roofline was getting wobbly.
It wasn’t like I didn’t know her curves; we’d spent whole summers on the beach—I knew her shape and her softness, I knew her lines and her freckles. Every curve of Rosie Madden was sacred in my book. Fucking douchebags on the beach giving her eyes had to answer to me and my eyes, right behind her. She did that to me—I was one punch away from defending her honor, always. But this? This was different. Seeing your best friend in a bikini at a clam bake is one thing. Protecting your best friend from assholes with wandering eyes is part of the guy-girl best friend creed. But seeing your best friend, absolutely naked in her bedroom, without knowing she can see you? That was a different deal.

…Shit.

Part of me knew I should keep my eyes off of her. She thought she was in private, I had no business spying. Anyway, I didn’t want to be that guy. I hated that guy. But the other part of me, fuck. The other part of me was nothing but want.

Then she bent at the hips, and time slowed down, like some kind of stop-motion Jackie Chan kung fu sequence. All the cicadas went silent, at least in my head they did. The wind stopped blowing through the trees. It was just her, and her perfection, in the sunshine underneath me. I felt like I was on one of those glass-bottomed boats, looking at a world I never knew existed.

She tossed her bra aside, and it landed on her neatly made bed. She shimmied out of her panties, shaking her ass as she did. I growled into my fist, and that’s when I went down into a crouch.

Because as she shimmied I saw it in a V above her ass. My kryptonite. A skimpy thong.

All these years, all these decades, I’d had her pegged for cute cotton panties—pastel polka dots, thin stripes, shit that was sweet and sensible. But I was so fucking wrong. Black. Strappy. Tiny. Not sensible at all. Now it was in a rolled-up ball at her ankles. Using her toes, she plucked her panties from the floor, and caught them on one finger.

Fucking A.

She was completely naked, not a thread on her. Every thought I’d ever had got sucked out of my brain, like dishwater down the sink drain. What was left was only one true thing, and it wasn’t about her ass, or her skin, or her breasts. It was the one thing I think I’d always known but never let myself feel. Until that moment.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world.

Part of the reason I thought that was, yeah, obviously, she was fucking stunning, every inch of her straight out of a dream. Not just my dream, either. Guys would slow down on Main Street to give her the elevator stare, and I’d quietly crack my knuckles and give them don’t-you-fucking-dare stares. But the other part, the part that wasn’t in my gut but that was in my heart, was that I fucking adored her. Adored her so hard it hurt.

She crouched down to pick up her dress, lifting the delicate straps with her small, sweet fingers. She pivoted, so I had a view of her other side of her body for the first time. There it was.

The tattoo.

I groaned again. I wasn’t prepared for this shit; three stories up, that body was dangerous. It was a rose tattoo, snaking around her hip, on the milk-white skin that was always under her bikini bottoms. The part of her I’d never seen. It was serious ink, real art, not some namby-pamby temporary tattoo or some amateur shit she might’ve gotten in an hour at a tattoo parlor on a dare on a cruise to Puerto Rico. It was complicated, detailed, and artful. Multiple visits to some tattoo artist, touching that creamy skin—goddamn.

It took every fucking ounce of strength I had, but I did manage to look away. I felt as disoriented as if I’d been sucker punched. Not cotton—lace. Not cute—hot. Not my friend—my fucking fantasy.

She was so important to me, such an integral part of my world, that I’d never let myself think of her as more than what she was. She was like running water, or electricity, or the sunshine itself. She was one of those things that was perfect exactly as it was, and one of those things only an idiot would want to change. I never looked at her and thought, I wish I could have more of her than I do already. That would be like thinking, I wish I could turn that cold glass of water into a swimming pool. Or, I wish electricity came through the air. Fuck that noise. Perfect things are perfect things, and Rosie Madden was a perfect goddamned thing, from the tips of her toes to the freckles on her nose. And that rose, holy fuck, that rose.

I was strong, but not that strong, and I let my eyes move down again. She’d disappeared from view, mostly, except for the edge of her ass. I watched her rifle through her closet, and a few dresses fluttered onto her bed. On her bedside table, I caught a glimpse of the picture she always kept there, of the two of us together. The memories flew back at me like a runaway train. The first time I’d ever seen her was the day my parents and I moved to Truelove, at the start of middle school. The first time I ever saw her, she was volunteering at the community gardens. She had a smudge of dirt on her cheek, and I thought she’d looked super badass. I’d helped her dig up carrots and had been too fucking tongue-tied to say a goddamned word.

That’s how I felt, all over again times a thousand.

I’d never made a move. She’d cried on my shoulder through a line of guys who were never good enough for her. Jocks and pricks and a brief and seriously unfortunate stint with a guy who was a drummer for a reggae band who I hated so much it made me grind my teeth. But I never said shit about it. She was perfect even when she made mistakes. Tips of her toes. Freckles on her nose.

Never mind that rose. Like Banksy took on a temple.

One more time, I glanced down. Now she was sitting on her bed, and I saw that dark V shadow between her thighs. Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. I watched her put on a pair of red panties. Equally skimpy, equally not-sensible, equally ball-busting. They were only tragic because they hid the parts of her I’d never seen before.
Christ. All. Mighty.

As the world started to spin, I realized fixing the shingles could wait. I’d been working on old houses long enough to know that if you found yourself on a dangerously sloping roof and felt like you might be less than 100% on the ball, you needed to reconsider your game plan. I needed to get my shit together—that body had me totally fucking derailed. So I made my way down the roof, basically bouldering down backward. I focused on my grip, and my steps, like a climber coming down from Everest without enough oxygen. When I got to the gutter, I worked my way around the corner, standing on the eave, and hooked my leg over my ladder, making sure to put one foot after another and keep a tight grip on every rung.

When I stepped off the ladder, I grabbed a bottle of water that she’d left for me and filled up my palm and then splashed my face. My sweat stung my eyes through the droplets of water, and I rubbed away the tears. I heard the hinges on the screen door creak. “All done?” she asked.
I opened my eyes. They stung like hell, but I didn’t give a fuck. There she was, in a dress I’d seen before. Striped and sweet. But now I knew the secret. There were red panties under there. Red. Cherry red. My eyes fell on that part of her hip that I knew was inked.
“Max?”
I managed somehow to snap out of it. “Sorry. Getting there. Spotted something weird with the skylight.”
Rosie cocked her head. “Were you up there? Above my room?”
Awesome, dude. Smooth. “Just noticed it out of the corner of my eye.”
“I don’t like you being on the roof.” She pursed her lips. “Too steep. Promise you’ll get some ropes up there or something? Promise?” She reached out and put her hand to my arm, her fingers with their short pink nails pressing into my tanned skin. I had a quick but totally unavoidable image of her gripping my forearm in a very different situation. I want that. So fucking…
Oh, for fuck’s sake.

When I didn’t answer—I knew that if I opened my mouth the first words out would be You. Me. Right Now.—she looked up at the roof and squinted into the sun. She peered suspiciously up at me and shifted her nose, kind of like a bunny. Adorable. She wasn’t very tall, so whenever she looked at me she had to lift her chin, which used to be cute. But now looked…like everything I’d ever wanted. “Have you had too much sun?”
​I was vaguely aware that she’d said some words, but I wasn’t hearing them because I realized that I couldn’t see her bra straps, so that had to mean she was she was wearing a strapless…

Knock. That. Shit. Off. “I’m good.”

“Mmm.” She nodded and furrowed her delicate eyebrows, which had never looked so pretty as they did at that moment. I didn’t even know eyebrows could be pretty. They’re eyebrows, for fuck’s sake. But suddenly I felt like for the last ten years, I’d been looking at her through a standard definition television, with a shitty cable connection. Now someone had handed me an HDMI cable, and she was in 1080 dots per inch. Christ.
“Lemme make you a sandwich. You’re acting strange.”

Rather than answer her, I dumped the remaining half a bottle of water over my head, like Andre Agassi used to do between break points at the French Open.
“Ham? Or turkey? I’ve got both. Or chicken salad!” She clapped her hands together, compressing her cleavage. “Do you want a pickle?”
She means an actual pickle, you fuckwit. “Surprise me,” I told her, and dragged my eyes off the curve of her cleavage. I grabbed the bottom of my T-shirt and pressed it to my eyes. I had to get out of there. I needed a cold shower, or a call from my tax guy, or an unexpectedly urgent trip to the DMV—anything to stop myself seeing her stark naked every goddamned time I looked at her. Anything to get my mind off that ink.
As I wiped my face, she cleared her throat, and I dropped my shirt. “What?”
She pressed her lips together and rocked back on her sandals. “Nothing!”
I followed her eyes and glanced down at my fly, but the stallion was still in the barn. “Come on,” I said, finding myself smiling right along with her. “What are you looking at?”
“Just…” She swallowed hard. “Looking good there, champ.” She glanced at my stomach, where I’d shown her my bare abs. She made a fist and gave me a mock punch, soft and sweet. “That P90X is working great for you.”

Here we go again with the fitness videos. For everything else she was—beautiful, smart, funny—she was also a fucking ball-buster sometimes. She’d worked up this whole narrative that I spent my nights with Tony Horton on my houseboat, getting cut and doing reps while I drank protein shakes with a straw straight from the blender. It was her only explanation for why I didn’t have a girlfriend. P90X it had to be, she’d said. Or maybe, she’d whispered like a co-conspirator, “Jazzercise.” Now, though, I had a better idea than ever about why I was so picky: not a single woman held a candle to her. I’d been fucking blind to it, but now the mist had burned right off. “I’ve never even seen the opening sequence. Never have. Never will.”

“They’re streaming now!”

​“Christ.”

Rosie snorted and made a long wheeeeee. “Sure. Surrrrrrre,” she said, stifling her giggle. “One ham-and-turkey, coming right up.” She spun on her sandals and disappeared into the house. Hips swinging. Red panties invisible, but not to me.

Not anymore.

TBB STANDALONE RECOMMENDED READS by NICOLA
(Click on cover for our reviews and purchase links)


About the Author

Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.

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EXCLUSIVE FIRST CHAPTER REVEAL :: MERCY by DEBRA ANASTASIA


FIRST CHAPTER REVEAL – MERCY by DEBRA ANASTASIA


Debra Anastasia is back with a brand new standalone, MERCY releases on 21st August and we’re beyond excited to be able to bring you the first chapter reveal! Sit back and enjoy the sneak peek at this gripping upcoming novel! 

“27 days until I change how you perceive love.”
              

SYNOPSIS 

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

Pre Order MERCY on iBooks below


CHAPTER ONE

Chapter 1 of MERCY by Debra Anastasia

Superhero

Fenix

“Hold these eggs.”

My father handed me the white carton in the grocery store. The aisle was cold. I was cold. My hands were shaking.

“Don’t you drop those eggs, son.” His voice was menacing. But everything about him was menacing.

He’d finally done it. He’d killed my mother. Last night. This morning.

We were in the grocery store because we needed food. My sister was at my aunt’s house, which was good.

Because Mom was dead.

My hands shook more. I stared at them and willed them to stop shaking. I begged them to stop shaking.

Mom was shaking before she died. Seeing her like that was all there was. In this grocery store. In my head. My hands were clean now, but Dad had scrubbed them before he’d put me in the truck.

To come here. To get groceries.

I felt sick to my stomach.

Mom had been trying to make dinner. In the end all the food from the fridge had been tossed around the kitchen.

The squeaky Styrofoam container the eggs were in was giving me away. He was watching. He was getting even angrier.

Mom wasn’t here anymore. To step in. To stop him when he got this way.

“Stop shaking, Fenix Churchkey.”

It was a whisper from the scariest man on the planet. I tensed my muscles. There was no difference. Maybe it was making it worse.

“You’re the best boy, Nix. I love you so much. Just remember that.”

Mom. She was gone.

I watched in horror as the carton tumbled from my hands and hit the floor. The eggs made a sickening noise inside.

Mom was shaking before she died.

Before he murdered her.

I looked at his face, knowing he would kill me too. Not here. Most likely not here.

He liked private. He liked closed doors.

I knew not to make a sound when his hand grasped my arm so hard. He would squeeze right through the bones maybe someday.

I started to count my matchbox cars in my head. It was how I kept quiet. In a box under my bed there was three cars. The red car. The blue van. And the Hummer, my favorite. It was purple and…

“What did I tell you?”

His mouth was next to my ear. His breath smelled bad. His sweat smelled bad.

Mom was gone now.

At least my sister was at my aunt’s house. She was just a baby.

Dad grabbed my other arm, a little lower than the edge of my T-shirt sleeve. I watched as my skin came up between his fingers.

I felt the tears.

Crying always made it worse.

He was going to break my arms. Both my arms.

“Hey! Mister! Leave that boy alone.”

I felt chills up my spine. We were private. We liked closed doors. No one was allowed to know.

“I said let go! You’re bigger than he is. And let him go. He’s good.”

She was a kid. Like me. She put her hands on his forearm and pushed. I was stunned quiet. I was stunned stupid.

She wasn’t wearing matching socks and her hair was a giant halo of curls. She had a shiny purse with a stuffed dog sticking out of it and a fistful of coupons. There was a spiral pad with a cat doodled on it popping out of a pocket.

Dad took one hand off of me and lifted it. He was going to backhand this little girl. I put my hand up to block him.

I saw my death in his eyes then. You don’t stand up to him.

Ever.

Mom was gone.

The little girl didn’t flinch.

It would occur to me years later that she’d never been hit a day in her life. But not now. Now she was a superhero.

“You don’t hurt kids. That’s wrong.” She looked from his face to his hand that was still squeezing me.

“Go on, girl. ’Fore I change your mind.” Dad wiped his mouth with the back of his threatening hand.

Restraint.

He had it for her. For this little girl.

She frowned at my father and then put her lips to the side like she was fed up with him.

I felt my mouth drop open.

Then she was looking at me. Her clear blue eyes saw me. Saw through me. “Are you okay?”

To see this wild disrespect of what my father could do, what he demanded from Mom, from me was like getting hit with a wave in the center of my chest.

I felt my father’s warning hiss to me. This girl was the sun on the darkest horizon. She made dark turn to light.

I nodded. I was fine. We were always fine.

Mom was gone.

“Mister, you need to let go of his arm.”

The girl pointed at me. I knew what she saw. His fingers biting into me like teeth on a tiger. I had so many bruises all over my body that were in the outline of my father’s hand. This new one on my arm would only be unique because it didn’t feel entirely in the safe zone of how my shirts lay. I would wear a long sleeve if I could find it tomorrow. If I made it to tomorrow.

“I said for you to get. And mind your own damn business.”

The girl’s eyes went wide at his use of the word “damn”. If she only knew.

I wanted her to know.

She narrowed her eyes at my father. “You’re a bad man.”

The veins in my father’s neck were starting to pop out.

She was in danger now. And I knew I should protect her from him, but to not be alone for a moment. It was making me breathe, and I needed that so much.

“You’re about to learn how bad I can be.”

It was a low growl. It was his home voice. It was his closed-door voice. It was the voice I was never going to get away from. It was the last voice my mom heard.

Mom was gone.

“You’re trying to scare me, and I don’t scare easy. I sleep in my own bed with the lights off and no nightlight anymore.”

She lifted her chin at my father like a boxer just before the first punch.

“Dad, let’s go.” I spoke for her. Normally I never spoke. Not when my father’s voice had cracked its way into my soul. But I didn’t want to see the light in the girl’s eyes fade.

I didn’t know what a soul was until I watched my mother’s leave last night—or this morning. It was that eye light.

“Rebecca Dixie Stiles!”

The girl snapped her head around. Rebecca had to be her name.

“Over here, Dad! I need your help!” She crossed her arms in front of her.

I watched as my father shifted his weight and a muscle twitched in his jaw.

My father didn’t say anything else. He abandoned our groceries on the floor by the egg carton and pulled me with him.

I looked over my shoulder at her. She was waving down her father, who I didn’t get to see. “Dad! This guy! Wait!”

She reached past her stuffed animal into the sparkly bag and jogged after us. She held a lollipop out to me. I looked at it. The words “Hug Me” were printed on it. I stuck it inside my pocket.

Rebecca locked eyes with me then. “Be okay. Okay? Be okay.”

I nodded.

It just didn’t happen that day.

Or the next.

Or the next.


TBB RECOMMENDATIONS from DEBRA 


POUGHKEEPSIE is a standalone beautiful romance that will steal your heart.

 What a difference a smile and giving a damn about someone down on their luck can make. Livia and Blake will steal your heart.  Theirs is a love story that you will cheer from the beginning.  You want these two to succeed.  You want the best for them. You will love them. You will cherish them.

“You make the rest of the beautiful things in the world cry for even trying at all. You make it hard for me to breathe.” 

 


FOR ALL THE EVERS is a standalone emotional and beautiful otherworldly romance.

Written from the heart, this is a journey where past meets present, depicting bravery, addiction, sacrifice, determination, perseverance and redemption. Ultimately it captured the very essence of love and what we’d do in the name of love.  We cried tears of joy and devastation.

“If true love hurts more than this does, I don’t want any part of it.

All the Evers


About the Author

There are a lot of eyes in Debra Anastasia’s house in Maryland. First, her own creepy peepers are there, staring at her computer screen. She’s made two more sets of eyes with her body, and the kids they belong to are amazing. The poor husband is still looking at her after 17 years of marriage. At least he likes to laugh. Then the freaking dogs are looking at her—six eyeballs altogether, though the old dog is blind. And the cat watches her too, mostly while knocking stuff off the counter and doing that internal kitty laugh when Deb can’t catch the items fast enough.

In between taking care of everything those eyes involve, Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. What an amazing job that is. The stories hit her hard while driving the minivan or shaving her legs, especially when there’s no paper and pen around. Within all of the lies she writes hides her heart, so thank you for letting it play in your mind.

Connect with Debra
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TBB EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from I DO, BABE by TILLIE COLE :: PLUS A SIGNED FULL SERIES PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY!!


TBB EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT and
FULL SERIES SIGNED GIVEAWAY


To celebrate the release of Damnable Grace, and the fabulous surprise news of a Hades Hangmen Novella next week, we are beyond excited to bring you this excerpt from the upcoming I Do, Babe : A Novella by Tillie Cole releasing on 23rd April.
We’re not gonna lie, this excerpt made us tear up and we know the book is going to leave us in a blubbering mess! After all, Styx was our first Hades love and we’ve shared every minute of his journey!

If you’re looking for a read that will consume your every thought, invade your heart and have you thinking about it time and again,you need to pick up the Hades Hangmen series. You won’t be disappointed and you will be addicted! See our reading list below!


I DO , BABE (Hades Hangmen Book #5.5)
To be read after Damnable Grace
SYNOPSIS
WHEN DARKNESS AND LIGHT COMBINE, DESTINED SOULS WILL IGNITE . . .

Connected since childhood.
Two souls: one dark and one pure.
Bracing to take the greatest step of all.

River ‘Styx’ Nash loves his woman. Ever since he met Mae at the fence of the cult that had kept her captive as a child, he has never loved anyone else. He loves her black hair, her pale skin and of course, her ice-blue ‘wolf eyes’.

Since Mae came crashing back into his life, his only wish has been to marry her; finally to make her his wife. But now the wedding is booked, and only weeks from forever having Mae by his side, a lifelong problem is plaguing him.
He wants to marry her; he has never wanted anything more . . .
. . . if only he could speak the words and declare it to the world.

Salome ‘Mae’ Nash’s life had been filled with heartache and pain . . . until, at age eight, she met a strange dark-haired boy from the outside world. Years later, and reunited with her great love, Mae is ready to solder her heart to his. Finally, Mae is getting ready to marry her man. But her fiancé has become withdrawn. Something is deeply troubling him.
But Mae has no idea what.
Or what to do to help.

Can Styx open up and conquer his deepest pain? Or will the infamous Hangmen Mute allow his fears to overcome his love for Mae and watch their much-anticipated wedding crumble to dust?

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.

I DO, BABE is available to purchase for ONLY 99c/99p

          


TOTALLYBOOKEDBLOG EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT ::
I DO, BABE : A NOVELLA by TILLIE COLE


–0o0–

I threw my cut down on the kitchen table and rolled my neck. My shoulders were stiff from all the fucking weights I’d been hitting in the gym, and I was dog tired from the runs we’d had to do of late.

Gun contracts were back, courtesy of the cult being fucking gone. Every fucker that had left us had come crawling back with their tails between their legs, practically offering to suck our cocks. So I had done what any good prez would do. I’d charged the traitorous cunts double and spat in their ugly faces.

Money was rolling in.

Club shit was calming down.

Prospects were doing good.

Life was back to normal.

And I still couldn’t fucking speak.

I kicked off my boots, tossed my tank over my head, and dropped it to the floor. I grabbed a beer from the fridge and made my way through the kitchen to the living room. Lying on the couch, fast asleep, was Mae. I slung back my beer and stepped toward her. Her jet-black hair was splayed out over one of the ridiculous pillows she’d put all around the cabin to make it more “homey” or some shit.

She wore a long sleeveless black dress with my cut, my fucking name, on her back. Her mouth was slightly open, her pouting pink lips just waiting for my mouth to take them.

But I didn’t. I let her sleep, my fucking black heart cracking some when I saw her hand cupping her pregnant stomach. Cradling our fucking kid. Unable to stay the fuck away from this bitch for a damn second, I sat down on the edge of the couch and stroked the hair back from her face.

She shifted, a damn small smile pulling on her mouth. This time I did kiss her. But she didn’t wake. Ever since she’d gotten pregnant, all she did was sleep. Out like a light, practically unable to wake during a damn storm. Even I, the miserable bastard that I was, couldn’t help but smile when she didn’t even blink.

Fucking loved this bitch. Best thing that’d ever happened to me.

Sipping on my Bud, I caught sight of a notepad on the side table. I picked it up and, as I scanned her perfect cursive writing, my fucking heart dropped.

I did not know what life was until I found you. The boy who came into my life as a child. The boy with no voice who miraculously found words in my presence. The boy who kissed me on my lips, blessing me with the foreign, unreachable concept of hope.

The boy I was always destined to love.

The boy who held the sweetest music in his heart, who saved me, and showed me what it was to be home . . .

I set down the notepad and ran my hand down my face.

They were her vows. Her motherfucking wedding vows.

Needing a smoke more than I needed my next breath, I walked through the kitchen and out the door. I slumped into a chair on the porch and lit up a smoke. I took a long drag and opened my mouth. Breathing deeply, I let the nicotine calm my boiling blood.

“I . . . I . . . R-R-Riv . . . Riv . . . argh!” I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes, trying to calm the fuck down. I’d tried this every day for damn weeks. And every time I thought about standing up in front of my brothers and my old lady and actually speaking, my retarded throat closed, and the stutter that had never fucked off outta my life came back to cut me off.

I took drag after drag of my smoke and waited for my throat to relax. It didn’t. Instead Mae’s notepad came to mind, and her words taunted me like a sick joke.

The boy with no voice who miraculously found words in my presence. The boy who kissed me on my lips, blessing me with the foreign concept of hope . . .

There was no miracle this time. Mae was finally becoming mine. Standing up in front of Hades, my club, and maybe even God, I wouldn’t be able to tell her what I wanted. That I fucking loved her, and the bitch had changed my worthless fucking life. That I was the luckiest motherfucker to ever walk the Earth. Because I had her. Because I fucking had her.

She’d look at me, in her white dress, with those ice-blue eyes smiling, and I’d be a fucking mute. And Mae being Mae, she’d already told me she wanted me to sign our vows. That it was okay. That she understood I couldn’t speak in front of all those people.

Shit, I could almost hear my old man laughing at me from the fires of Tartarus. “Fucking retard,” he’d be hissing, laughing at his pathetic mute son, who could kill a man with one lethal punch but couldn’t man the fuck up and utter a few fucking words out loud.

–0o0–


SIGNED PAPER BACK GIVEAWAY :: THE FULL HADES HANGMEN SERIES


Head on over to our TotallyBookedBlog Facebook Page to enter this amazing giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win the FULL SET of SIGNED PAPERBACK
for the HADES HANGMEN SERIES – and it’s Open Internationally!


THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES
Contemporary Dark romance – Must be read in order

It Ain’t Me Babe Book One
                    

Heart Recaptured Book Two
                    

Souls Unfractured Book Three
                    

Deep Redemption Book Four
                    

Damnable Grace Book Five
                    

I Do, Babe Book #5.5 Novella
          


About the Author

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Author Links
 Web  Facebook  Twitter   Instagram  Amazon  Goodreads

TBB RECOMMENDED TILLIE COLE READS


STANDALONE RECOMMENDATIONS
A THOUSAND BOY KISSES / VEIL OF VINES / ETERNALLY NORTH

SERIES RECOMMENDATIONS:

SWEET HOME/CARILLO BOYS SERIES

THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES

SCARRED SOULS SERIES

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MISTS OF THE SERENGETI by LEYLAH ATTAR :: REVIEW & EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

See why we declared this incredible story “one of the best books we’ve ever read.”


TBB Top ‘All Time Fave’ Read
5++ STAR SPOILER FREE REVIEW :: MISTS OF THE SERENGETI

Standalone epic, breathtakingly beautiful romance. 

mists on the serengeti

SYNOPSIS

Once in Africa, I kissed a king…

“And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newly born butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”

When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.

Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.

Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.

But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?

“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”

A blend of romance and women’s fiction, Mists of The Serengeti is inspired by true events and contains emotional triggers, including the death of a child. Not recommended for sensitive readers. Standalone, contemporary fiction.

MISTS OF THE SERENGETI is available to purchase below

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  * * * *

Mists of the Serengeti

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“Will I miss you? Like a dream that starves and curls up beneath my bones.”

Sometimes a book comes along that grabs your imagination by the very scruff and demands you to vividly experience, feel, see, scent and taste every single word conveyed by its Author. A story that burrows so deep into your heart that it finds a home. A story that makes you feel as if you are an integral part of events unfolding, whilst it takes you on an unforgettable journey, forever seared into your very being. A story that sings hymns of truth in an exquisite, powerful, harrowing and passionate manner.

‘It was the kind of magic that comes after a lifetime of searching, when you stumble upon something so perfect, you stop looking, and you say: Yes. This. I know this. I feel this. I’ve heard its footsteps echo down the hallways of my soul.’

A reader lives a thousand lives and the life we led in the Mists of the Serengeti was quite simply spectacular. A masterpiece. A rich and fragrant life filled with beauty, heartbreak, tragedy, hope, suspense and ultimately a love story of grand proportion. A love story that convinced and compelled us to the point where we saw nothing else but two souls merging through fate and ultimate consequence. Love in picturesque multicolour where darkness seeps in to scar and destroy. A love that rose out of rubble and dust. Despair and injustice walking hand in hand with hope, spirit and inspiration.

‘This is what it looks like when you wander somewhere between the sand and stardust, and meet a piece of yourself in someone else.’

Sometimes a book comes along where you feel a heart beating amidst the pages. A story where the very life, breath and soul of its Author lives – where words are penned by the heart – the hand a mere conveyor of the magic that resides within. A fluid transfer of an epic love story set amongst passionate, sumptuous and colourful beauty. We felt the magic deep in our bones, our tears flowing in time to the beat of the rhythm of this story’s magnificent heart.

‘My greatest loss had led to my greatest love. Hearts were broken, and hearts were healed. Lives were lost, and lives were saved.’

We know without a doubt that what we just experienced will never leave us. Its impact and poignancy so grand and its searing splendour so vibrant it left a lasting imprint which whispers and echoes; out of the most heart-breaking tragedy an inspirational love can rise and emerge stronger than that which tries to tear it down. Leylah Attar has left us speechless and awestruck; she has left a piece of herself in our hearts forever.

‘Sometimes you come across a rainbow story – one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.’


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Laylah Attar

I woke up early the next morning. For a few long, languid moments, I lay in bed enjoying the warmth of the woman sleeping beside me. My eyes roved over her brow, the small hairs that blended into her hairline, the pink, soft cushion of her lips. I placed the tip of my little finger in the groove between her nose and upper lip. The philtrum. I had looked it up. It was mine. It fit me perfectly. Just like the rest of her. Every part of me was made to fit every part of her.

My desire stirred, hot and heavy, under the covers. I wanted her with a craving that knew no depth. She was beautiful and devastating. Just like love should be. I could spend forever in the corners of her mind and never get bored. I could kiss her lips every morning and still not learn all the flavors of her soul. I was gone for this girl—so far gone that it terrified me.

I pulled the comforter over her and slipped out of bed, smiling as she snuggled deeper. We had woken up and gone at it again. And then again. I had exhausted her. In the best possible way.

Take that, I said to the naughty paperback lying on the floor. Then I paused and flipped through it. Hmm. Maybe we can do this tonight. No. This. This is even hotter. Holy fuck.

When Rodel came downstairs, I was on the couch, feet propped up, eyeballs deep in a romance novel.

“Really?” She crawled on top of me and kissed me. “I don’t know which I find sexier. You reading this book or the morning stubble on your face.” Her fingers traced my jawline. “I’m still not used to seeing you without the beard.”

“Does it feel different when I do this?” I pulled her in and reclaimed her lips.

“Wait!” She rescued the book getting crushed between us. “Oh. My. God. Did you bend the corners of my book?” She sat back on her heels and flipped through it.

“Just the parts I think we should re-enact.”

“Jack.” She shook her head in woe. “You never, ever fold a corner over in a book.”

“You’re so hot when you go all book-nerd on me.” Her nightshirt was riding high on her thighs, her lips were pouty, and she was cradling the book as if it were a hurt child. “Do you know—” I flipped her over so she was on all fours, her nose lodged in the folds of the novel “—I have sex with you a lot. In my head. Just like this.” I squeezed her sweet, round ass and rubbed my throbbing shaft over her panties. “Read to me, Rodel. Read to me while I ride you.” I pushed the fabric of her panties aside and slipped my finger inside of her. She let out a muffled groan.

“Are you burying your face in that book? Rodel.” I tsked. “You never, ever manhandle a book like that. This sexy ass, yes.” I slapped her full, round cheek. “But the book…” I grabbed her hair and tugged so she was looking down at the pages before her. “Read it, Rodel. Unless you want me to stop?” I slid another finger inside her and nipped the back of her neck.

Her voice quivered as she started reading the passages aloud. She kept losing track. I kept reminding her. A little yank, a little spank, to keep her head in the game. Her body squirmed against mine, engulfing my senses, engorging my passion, until the air was thick with hot, heated need.

She opened her mouth to say something, but as I thrust into her, the book fell away and the only word that escaped her was: “Unghhh.” It was a throaty, unintelligible whisper that was mind-blowingly hotter than all the erotic words I’d made her read.


TBB Also recommends this wonderful Standalone by Leylah

THE PAPER SWAN can be purchased below

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the paper swan cover

SYNOPSIS

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
They lie.
For 21 days she held on.
But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.
Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.

A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense.

Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.

A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers. 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Excerpt, Leylah Attar, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE PAWN (EndGame #1) by SKYE WARREN :: REVIEW plus EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT!


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & REVIEW :: THE PAWN by SKYE WARREN

‘I’m the pawn, and he’s my triumphant captor.’

THE END GAME SERIES 

The Pawn Book One

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The Knight Book Two

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The Game Book Three 

          


the-pawn

SYNOPSIS
The price of survival…
Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.
There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.
My virginity.
A forbidden auction…
Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.
Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.
THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.

Purchase THE PAWN below

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT
THE PAWN BY SKYE WARREN

“You said you’re a virgin, but exactly how inexperienced are we talking?”

The most embarrassing part is that I don’t know how to answer that question. Girls in my school whispered about what they did with their boyfriends. Lord knows Harper has told me some dirty things, but they almost felt like a made-up story to me. People don’t really do those things to each other, do they?

I would find out soon enough. I’d experience them firsthand.

“I’ve done things,” I say even though it feels like a lie.

“What kind of things?” he says, and I wonder whether it’s prurient interest or concern that compels him to ask. “Making out on the couch when Daddy isn’t home? Letting a boy feel under your shirt?”

“No,” I whisper.

“Have you ever been kissed?”

I manage to nod. That was as far as I let Justin go. He pushed me for more in the darkened back hallways at parties, in the empty storage rooms outside hotel ballrooms.

And I always told him no.

“What are you afraid of?” he murmurs.

The way he asks, I know he doesn’t mean the auction. He’s asking why I never let a boy go further with me. He’s asking why I’m still a virgin.

Our position makes it feel more intimate, as if there isn’t a stranger only a few feet behind us, as if I’m not being forced to do this. The wavy lighting adds to the effect, as if this is only in a dream. I can tell the truth because this isn’t even real.

“Daddy caught me once,” I say as if in a trance. “I was sleeping in on the weekend, or he thought I was. But I was actually touching myself.”

“What did he say?”

“He told me it was wrong. He said that it wasn’t ladylike, that that kind of behavior would disgrace our family name.” The intense shame I felt then hits me like a blow to the stomach, almost doubling me over. It’s only Gabriel’s steady presence behind me that holds me up. He hardly touches me, only the lightest brush of his hands on my arms, but they might as well be made of iron.

“And then he was the one who disgraced your family name.”

“He put chili juice on my fingers every night for a month.”

The irony is enough to make me throw up. For years I resisted what the other girls were doing, refused what the boys wanted from me. The only boy willing to wait until marriage was Justin, and it turned out that was only because he viewed our relationship as a political stepping stone.

“Stay here, little virgin.”

He moves away from me, and I feel his loss like a wintry wind. I’m alone, bereft.

The camera clicks behind me, invading my privacy, reminding me of just how public this will be. I can’t even touch my body without feeling guilt, but some stranger will soon have the right.

“Look at me.” Gabriel’s voice comes to me from near the camera.

I turn to look at him over my shoulder. Most of my face is still hidden by my hair, but he can see more of me. Is my turmoil visible in my posture? Can they read the pain in my eyes? Everything that I believed was a lie, but the truth hurts enough that I want it back.

“Touch yourself,” he says.

My heart stops, because if he wants me to do this for the camera, I’ll falter. I’ll fail.

“Tonight. When you’re in bed, alone. In the dark. Lock the door if you need to. No one will walk in on you. Touch yourself and make yourself feel good. You remember how to do that, don’t you?”

The memory comes like a tangible caress, a stroke on my private place. My lips part on a soft sigh. Heat suffuses my cheeks. I squeeze my legs together, seeking more.

The click of the camera captures my illicit pleasure.

“That’s it,” the photographer says.

Gabriel studies whatever is on the view screen, his expression enigmatic. “Yes. That’s the one.”


the-pawn

 Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“You’re innocent. And I’m going to ruin you.”

We love that excitement we experience when a much loved Author has a new series coming out. So when The Pawn landed on our kindles -which is book one in a series- we jumped right in. When you meet the anti-hero – Gabriel Miller– you’ll know what we mean when we say; consider knickers melting off at first ‘sight’ because woah!!! Once again Skye Warren showed us why we love her writing as much as we do, it has real depth and such fabulous characterisation.

“There’s only one thing I’m going to call you. Mine.” The possession in his voice made me shiver. “Never.”

We love our dark romance reads- falling in love with the anti-hero and the strong but wronged, beautiful heroine who loses a part of her heart unwillingly. There’s something about these stories, you just know that despite hating the fact that you fall in love with a wicked man, there’s something vulnerable and passionate hiding within him, it just takes a hell of a lot of work to find it but you know it’s there. The passion calls to you and you can’t help yourself. So yeah, we were there every step of the way with Avery as she sold a beautiful part of herself, encountering an enigmatic man who stands for everything she rejects, and whose role in her father’s demise may have been pivotal.

‘Everything he says is designed to scare me. Everything he does is designed to knock me down.’
“Be careful. I’m more dangerous than you know.”

The Pawn was sexy, enticing, dark, mysterious and passionate and we were hooked from page one. We felt the connection and whilst Avery was an ‘open book’ if you will – Gabriel stayed a bit of a hard nut to crack. What we saw, felt and experienced though made us fall in love with this man. The glimpses we got of what was hiding beneath convinced us of that. It felt as if a captor may somehow become a saviour?

‘I’m the pawn, and he’s my triumphant captor.’

Poor innocent Avery, everything changes from one day to the next. Her life, what she believes to be real turns out to be not so. She’s had such tragedy and emotional upheaval in her life, ruled and nurtured by a beloved hand of lies. The sacrifice she’s willing to make is huge, almost unbelievable, yet we understood her intentions and desperation.

‘I have to believe I’m doing this for a reason. Have to believe that it will be enough. There’s no one left to save us except me.’

Gabriel Miller; he saw, he wanted, so he took.  Yes please! This man has that whole over protective, dark and dangerous, insanely sexy vibe going on which we love so much. But….we don’t believe we’ve seen his complete true nature yet.

‘He is eccentric, but he’s also methodical, intelligent. Strategic. Everything he does had a purpose.’

Pasts are revealed, people exposed and hearts unveiled yet mystery and secrets remain. We have a feeling there’ll be more twists to come on the road of recovery, redemption, love and revenge. We were gutted when we turned that last page as we could’ve kept reading, desperate for more. We inhaled it! At least we don’t have too long to wait before we find out just where their story goes in The Knight. LOVED it and highly recommend for lovers of dark romance and their anti-heroes.

“You hurt me, you know….Whenever I think about you, I hurt.”
He puts a hand to his chest. “Here.”

4.5 ‘we need more’ stars!


TBB SKYE WARREN RECOMMENDED READS

THE STRIPPED SERIES
Gritty and addictive Mafia romance
purchase“I’m someone else now, someone darker. Someone you don’t want to know.”

Available to purchase below:
Love the Way You Lie
:
amazon us | amazon uk 
Tough Love – A Mafia Romance  (Free Novella)amazon us | amazon uk
Hold You Against Me :  amazon us | amazon uk



wanderlustWANDERLUST
Standalone gritty dark erotice romance.

“Up close, I realized he was one of the most handsome men I’d ever met….I never would have expected him to look twice at me…”

SYNOPSIS
Can love come from pain?
Evie always dreamed of seeing the world, but her first night at a motel turns into a nightmare. Hunter is a rugged trucker willing to do anything to keep her—including kidnapping. As they cross the country in his rig, Evie plots her escape, but she may find what she’s been looking for right beside her.
Author note: Wanderlust is a dark erotic novel which explores dubious consent, captivity, and power play.
Please do not read this if you’re uncomfortable with the subject matter or under 18 years of age

 

Wanderlust is available to purchase below

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prisoner

PRISONER by ANNIKA MARTIN & SKYE WARREN
A gripping anti hero story we couldn’t put down!

‘He takes my air and breathes it back into me. He takes control of me, and I can finally give in.’

SYNOPSIS
He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.

But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.

And you might crave him more than your next breath.

Prisoner is available to purchase below

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Meet the Author

skye

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

Connect with Skye
Twitter || Facebook || Instagram || Pinterest || Web



pawn

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Filed under Excerpt, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Skye Warren