RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: December 2014

SUPER SALE and REVIEW ~ Work of Art- The Inspiration by Ruth Clampett

Posted on

WOA Sale Blitz

work-of-art-full-cover-669x1024

Synopsis 3

In a life driven by passion, famed artist Maxfield Caswell lives in a world of brilliant color and drama, pushing his art and affairs to his emotional edge. He’s stunning, charismatic and celebrated in the art world, but are the trappings of fame also destroying him?

For years intelligent and bright-eyed Ava Jacobs has worked diligently toward a career in the art world. Ava is swept off her feet when she meets the passionate artist. She soon realizes, however, that he’s on a destructive path—one she doesn’t intend to join him on.

In the decadent world of patrons, art groupies, and predators, feisty and beautiful Ava knocks Max off his pedestal. A stunned Max sees something special in Ava and offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse. As their lives and passions collide, will he realize that she alone has the power to heal him? Can their hearts come together to create their own work of art?

1962769_760915797298032_4125045147083423513_n

Book Trailer

Review

5 Pennies

Work of Art is a fantastic book! Ruth Clampett takes her readers into the world of fine art and shows both the alluring and seedy sides of an industry that is based on aesthetic pleasure.

Ava is a young woman on a mission. She is learning everything she can about the art world so she can take those experiences and turn them into her dream career. What she didn’t bargain for is Maxwell Caswell.
Max is a hot commodity on the art scene. He is extremely talented, in demand by both collectors and art groupies. Everyone wants a piece of him and hope to latch on to his rising star. He, however, is his own worst enemy.

Ruth opens up the art world and gives her readers a glimpse from a perspective they normally might not have. She shows the glitz and glamour as well as the business side of things. How artists find their inspiration and work through the creative process. I learned so much in reading this book.
I loved how Ava was both conflicted in her feelings, but aware enough to assess them.

Doesn’t every young woman at one point have a handsome teacher or boss she fantasizes about. And if they show her special attention, the allure can be hard to resist.

She is forced to look at her belief system when she experiences attentions on multiple fronts.

There’s nothing more seductive than a man who makes it clear that he wants you. As much as the feminist in me hates to admit it, his admiration is confidence boosting.

Ava also reflects on how her behaviors might be based on trying to fill a void, rather than admitting her true feelings.

I know it’s wrong…a wrong that may become another regret in the morning. But none of the wrongs are compelling enough to make me stop when I’ve felt so undesirable all day.

Work of Art is the first in a trilogy with each subsequent installments scheduled to release 8 weeks apart. I am very much looking forward to reading The Unveiling in January and The Masterpiece in March

B0wHCLJIAAAPJWC

Excerpt

“Okay,” I say to Max unsteadily as we lean into the printing press. “We start with the ink.” I take his right hand and place it over mine, take the stick and gently stir the paint in the can. The violet swirls, and I lift the wet stick and drip it across the

screen.

I try to focus but his touch and the heat from his body permeate

my senses.

Next, I pick up the squeegee, and we complete the motion of dragging the paint across the printing screen. But it’s awkward with his hand on only one side of the squeegee. As I lift the screen, he steps around and removes the print and reloads silently.

When he returns, he steps directly behind me, and since he’s taller

and larger than me, he curls around me and reaches everything easily.

He slides both of his hands on top of mine.

I can hardly breathe I’m so electrified. Swirl, lift, stroke…His breath

is hot against my neck.

We grip the squeegee, slide, pause, drag back with more force, lift.

I close my eyes so I can focus on his scent and the feeling of his arms

wrapped around me.

He pauses before he steps away to switch the paper.

When he returns, he steps even closer so that when we extend ourselves

across the print, he presses against me.

I gasp. All I can focus on is his arousal pressing against me. I’ve

never wanted anyone this much.

By the third pass on the printing press, I’m trembling, and when he presses against me, I press my ass back into him, imagining him inside of me.

“Ava,” he moans.

As much as I want to turn around and face him, I don’t want to

stop. I don’t want this moment to end.

“Again,” he groans.

This time, as I slide the squeegee up, he lets go, slides his hands up

my arms and trails them down my sides. All the while, his lower body

is firmly pressed against me. I could cry it feels so good to have him

touch me in ways I never thought he would. I slowly grind my ass

against him. His hands move down to my hips, and his fingers grasp

my curves, pulling me closer.

I’m surprised he has the focus to change the paper, but he doesn’t

reach around to help me with the screen this time. Instead, his hands

return to my hips as our bodies press together, and he run his hands

down the sides of my thighs and back up. He slips his hands under my

tank, moving up my sides, across my ribs, and just skimming the edge

of my bra. My nipples harden, aching for his touch, and my breaths

are quick and short.

I drop my head and moan, “Max.”

“I know, baby, I know,” he whispers, pressing his lips in my hair

at the nape of my neck. He steps away again and replaces the paper

quickly.

“Again, Ava, for me.” He brushes his cheek softly above my ear and

presses into me a little harder.

I try to concentrate on the trail of violet left from my stroke, but as

I push up, his hands part. One slides down over my jeans, between my

legs, and presses firmly against my sex. I drop the squeegee and grab

the edge of the table, just as his other hand snakes under my shirt and

pulls my bra down to cup my naked breast.

My breath catches in my throat as I revel in every sensation.

His fingers gently tease my nipple, and he kisses the side of my neck

up to my ear.

I moan as the room spins, and I try to make sense of what’s happening

as I come undone. The room is hazy with the softest highlights and

shadows. I wonder if this is a dream.

WOA sale

 

Buy Links

Amazon US   Amazon UK    Goodreads

10620548_759481187441493_7177830130764549995_n

Also AvailableWOA 2 Cover

Book 2, The Unveiling is up for pre-order now.

Amazon US

Author Bioruth-clampett

 

Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director, Bob Clampett, has spent a lifetime surrounded by art and animation. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, her careers have included graphic design, photography, VP of Design for WB Stores and teaching photography at UCLA. She now runs her own studio as the fine art publisher for Warner Bros. where she’s had the opportunity to know and work with many of the greatest artists in the world of animation and comics.

The Work of Art Trilogy is Ruth’s third publishing endeavor, following Animate Me and Mr. 365. She lives in Los Angeles and is heavily supervised by her teenage daughter, lovingly referred to as Snarky, who loves art and visiting museums as much as her mom.

Author Links

Website ~ FaceBook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Add Work of Art to Goodreads

NEW RELEASE CARNAL PERSUASION, SEVERED MC #4 BY KT FISHER & AVA MANELLO

Posted on

CP-COVER

Book: Carnal Persuasion
Series: Severed MC #4
Author: KT Fisher & Ava Manello
Genre: MC
Cover Design:MargreetAsselbergs
Cover Model: Asher Collins
Cover Photographer: Richard Hunter of RIHUPHOTO
Hosted by:Francessca’s Romance Reviews

Synopsis 3

Carnal Persuasion (2)

The fourth instalment in the Severed MC series finds Cowboy wrestling with his demons. Can he go on, or is he too broken after everything he’s endured?

Meanwhile the citizens of Severed are caught up in a war, and it’s down to Severed MC to try and save them.

This book is going to blow your mind.

Add to Goodreads

Teaser

CP Teaser

CP Teaser 2

CP TEASER 3

CP TEASER 1

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
iTunes
KOBO
Barnes & Noble

Other books in this series:

Severed Angel (Severed MC#1)

20884636

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
iTunes
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

Carnal Desire (Severed MC#2)

21805808

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
iTunes
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

Severed Justice (Severed MC#3)

22018111

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
iTunes
KOBO
Barnes & Noble

About the AuthorsAuthor Bio

KT_zpsa621f27e

 

KT Fisher

I love reading, it’s my favourite hobby. I’ve always had ideas for my own books packed into my head so I thought I would write them out for people to enjoy.

Author Links

Stalk KT Fisher:

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Author Bio

Author Pic (1)

Ava Manello

Passionate reader, blogger, publisher, and author. I love nothing more than helping other Indie authors publish their books be that reviewing, beta reading, formatting or proofreading,

I love erotic suspense that’s well written and engages the reader, and I love promoting the heck out of it over on my book blog.

I’m a mother, but most of all I’m me!

Author Links

Stalk Ava Manello:

Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

SPOTLIGHT ON AUTHOR ALLIE K. ADAMS

Posted on
Synopsis 3
 
When opportunity knocks…
TREX Special Agent Spencer Allen has been waiting to take the lead since he first started with the covert agency. He’s earned his place as his team’s CO and is given a mission that could make or break his career. The night before he deploys, he decides a little R&R is in order. He meets the CEO of the search and rescue group TREX contracts with, takes her home, and they have an unforgettable one-night stand, despite TREX’s strict policy not allowing agents to get involved with members of competing agencies.
The response is everything…
Kat Davis didn’t expect to be swept off her feet by a member of the egotistical men-in-black agency that orders her agency around on searches. He says all the right things, touches her in all the right ways, and makes it impossible to resist him. It’s only one-night, she reasons. She’s not ready to commit to more than what they’ve already had together and quickly retreats, leaving Spencer confused and angry.
Spencer completes his mission and has a decision to make–one that could give him an ounce of happiness, the other the right thing to do. Will he do the right thing? Or do what’s right?
“If you are looking for nonstop, heart-racing action and sizzling romance, look no further. Allie K. Adams will take you there—and more!” —Lucy Monroe, USA Today bestselling author

Buy Links

AMAZON . B&N . KOBO . SMASHWORDS

Author Bio
Allie K. Adams Author pic
Allie K. Adams is the USA Today and Amazon #1 bestselling author of several award-winning stories. An active member of the search and rescue, as well as previously served as a reserve deputy, Allie has firsthand experience in most of the dangers she writes about. Known for her highly blazing, deeply intense suspense romances, she can be found most days in front of her computer, saving the world one sizzling story at a time. She grew up in Seattle and now currently lives in southwest Montana with the hubs and various other wildlife.
She loves to hear from readers and encourages them to reach out to her through her website at www.alliekadams.com.
THE TREX ADVENTURES — Romantic Suspense
First Response (#1 TREX Brief)
Rescue Me (#2)
At Any Cost (#3)
TREX Boxed Set One (#1 – #3)
No Way Out (#4 TREX Brief – Special Edition)  
Seek and Destroy (#5)
Under the Covers (#6)
THE BRACE SERIESRomantic Suspense  
Brace For Impact
THE CAMPUS PLAYERSSassy New Adult  
Grooming the Player (#1)
Hiring the Player (#2)
Author Links
Please sign up for Allie’s newsletter to receive FREE reads and sneak peeks at upcoming projects: http://alliekadams.com/mailing-list/  
Website: http://alliekadams.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alliekadams
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAllieKAdams
Twitter: http://twitter.com/alliekadams
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1642433.Allie_K_Adams
 

NEW RELEASE ~ BROKEN LIGHT BY DIANNA HARDY

Posted on
 
Title: Broken Lights
Series: None. Standalone
Author: Dianna Hardy
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction
Synopsis 3
Norman Smithson is at the end of the line. His wife left him, women don’t look at him, he was made redundant, and at forty, he could be just that little bit slimmer. He would be a has-been if he’d ever been a ‘was’ in the first place. He’s not the Alpha male of the 21st century – or of any century. He was the chubby oddball who used to sit silently at the back of the class so he wouldn’t get picked on.
Rosa is a dreadlocked, tattooed and pierced twenty-something, who uses her image as armour to keep everyone away from every broken thing about her. But her past is about to catch up with her … at the exact moment Norman finds himself in completely the wrong place, at the worst possible time.
One gunshot, one scramble for life, one unlikely couple, one very long night … can one damaged woman and one ordinary man, find the extraordinary in the very last second they’re given?
Broken Lights is a standalone story of what’s really worth fighting for, when one second is all you have left.

 

Read the rest of this entry

New Release and Review – Covert (A Chicago Angels Novel) by GK Moore (Penny Lisa)

Posted on

91Wj7Z9AbOL._SL1500_

 COVER IS ON SALE FROM 12/21/14 TO 12/26/14

 

Synopsis 3

Alessandro is the unwilling heir of a Chicago crime family. Intent on leaving the life set out for him, he decides to run as fast and as far away as possible. His plans crumble when one girl crash lands in his life. He should hate the daughter of his father’s mistress, but it’s near impossible when he finds that they are alike in more ways than one.

Olivia grew up watching men walk in and out of her mother’s life. When one man finally decides to stay, she learns that crime lords don’t leave until someone’s dead. Olivia’s salvation comes from the person she least expects: his son.

Six years later, Olivia and Alessandro are reunited when her life is threatened. If time has proven one thing, it’s that repeating their parents’ mistakes seems inevitable.

In a world where friendship is a luxury and love a death sentence, two unlikely lovers find each other only to be separated by their cruel reality.

1009987_1491308934488413_3064494203283907101_n

Book Trailer

 

Review

5 Pennies

Modern day Cosa Nostra tale

GK Moore’s take on a modern day mafia story is quite possibly the best one I have read in recent memory.  She had the forethought to place the characters in a setting that was appropriate to their situation and introduced current types of criminal activities into the plot to make the book feel very relevant to today.

The dual POV between Olivia (aka Livi, Lulu and Lou) and Alessandro (aka Alex) was critical to moving the story along.  As the main characters spent years apart from one another, having alternating chapters made it possible to understand where they were coming from when they finally did come together.

Alex and Olivia are thrown together in the most unfortunate of situations as kids.  There truly was no reason for Alex to care about Olivia considering his recent misfortune and how she came to be a part of his life.  It was his complete compassion for Olivia in her equally miserable situation that brought them together and placed him in a role of protector.

My heart broke for Olivia on more than one occasion.  The way Alex’s father Silvio used Olivia as a way to control his son pulled Alex into the very life he wanted to leave behind.  Olivia was his Achilles heel and Silvio exploited that fact at every turn.  And the shocking ways Silvio was willing to use Olivia to keep Alex under his control were escalating.

While I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, I enjoyed this book so much that when I found myself some downtime to read on my phone (where the ARC was not downloaded to) I purchased a copy as I really wanted to know what happened next.  This book did not disappoint and I look forward to the rest of the books in this series.

GK has put together a great base for her Chicago Angels novels in Covert.

1891533_1491299167822723_3314694134661874804_o

Buy Links

 AMAZON US . AMAZON UK

10699872_1491296877822952_7702538744380069568_o

Author Bio

10494837_1442336916052282_528638672890354399_n

G.K. Moore loves cake, romances with alpha males and happily ever afters. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, watching bad reality TV, traveling, torturing her hubby with ideas for new stories or doing all of the above at the same time. Her debut novel, Covert, is a NA Romantic Suspense. It released December 2nd and the backdrop is one of her all time favorite cities, Chicago.

Author Links

FACEBOOK . TWITTER . AMAZON

10700123_1491308924488414_6078202345439587010_o

UPCOMING NEW RELEASE COVER REVEAL FOR HUNTER & PREY BY KIRA BARKER

Posted on
Hunter & Prey
Hunter & Prey Series
by Kira Barker
Publication Date: December 20, 2014
Genre: Horror/Thriller, Erotica
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations

Synopsis 3

Penelope Thompson loves her life. She has everything she wants. With her beauty, charm, and intelligence, she is at the top of her game and is one of the most sought after escorts at her company. She chooses her clients carefully and provides them with much more than just a great time between the sheets. Yet now at the age of 33, she is questioning just how much longer she has in the business. Life might be great, but sometimes it gets lonely to only ever be what others want to see in her, without true intimacy.

Darren Hunter has made a killing by being one of the best lawyers in Chicago. Renowned for winning any case, he has built up quite the reputation. He has a new beautiful woman attached to his arm every few months and is what every guy desires to be: wealthy, intelligent, successful, and has the looks that kill. 

It is now time for Darren to choose his new “flavor of the season” and it seems as if Penelope has caught his eye. As things heat up between them, Penelope starts to feel as if life is turning into a fairy tale—if not for the fact that one by one, evidence is mounting up that the elusive Mr. Hunter has his own skeletons in the closet. Will his past come to catch up with her? And why do all the women in his life suddenly disappear?

***This is a dark thriller, rated M and recommended for 18+***

Author Bio

Kira Barker has always enjoyed telling stories. It has kept her sane through high school and college, and has become a true passion since. A geek gamer girl herself, she feels at home reading sci-fi and fantasy as much as writing romance. She likes her plots gritty, her smut realistic, and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty when it comes to research. When she’s not writing, she loves annoying her cats or cruising country roads on her motorcycle.
Author Links
Goodreads Author Page Link:
Website URL:
Facebook Page URL:
Twitter Handle (@):
@KiraEBarker

Cinnamon and Spice (A Phoenix Christmas story) by Elise Faber ~ PFMTBB Exclusive

Posted on

Untitled

We hope you enjoy this special holiday treat from our friend Elise Faber, author of Phoenix Rising

Blog Exclusive

It was really hard to keep a secret from someone who could read her mind.

Daughtry walked down the halls of the Colony, taking in the bright — almost three-dimensional — murals decorating the walls.

They came in a full spectrum of colors. Crashing blue and green waves and gorgeous orangey-red sunsets combined with a violet swathe that was her own magic’s contribution. The purple lines would disappear into the murals, be absorbed into the infrastructure and help to the power of the Colony as a whole.

Together the entire visual experience should have been an ugly cacophony. Instead, it was familiar and warm and… home.

“I miss you,” came Cody’s mental voice.

“You’re supposed to be leaving me alone,” she responded tersely.

Cody was too in tune with her emotions — being that their minds were permanently linked together — to be hurt by her snapped-out response. Instead, he laughed, the mental chuckle and his blip of amusement making her lips quirk despite herself.

“Pick my present yet?” he thought.

Her mouth pulled down into a scowl at the reminder. “You’re not going to get one at this rate.”

“I’m wounded.”

“Not hardly,” she countered and turned the corner into the next hall. Cody was supposed to be on patrol that evening, leaving her free to figure out the perfect Christmas gift.

The task was difficult. What did she get someone who’d been around nearly ten decades?

“Why haven’t you left yet?” she asked instead of focusing on the fact that she had absolutely zero good ideas for his present.

A flood of warmth and love and affection inundated her mind along the bond, leaving her feeling as though she was clad in a comfortable old sweatshirt. “Trying to get rid of me?” Cody thought.

A smile curled her lips as she turned down the hall that led to the infirmary and her present-choosing-backup, Suz.

She loved the man. The protective, green-eyed, possessive-as-heck man who was ingrained into her very soul.

“Yes, actually,” she thought with false annoyance. “Your patrol, remember? My shopping, yes?”

“I remember.” Cody paused, his mind against hers going suddenly serious. “You know I don’t care about the present, right? I spent too long alone. The best gift I could ever hope for was finding you.”

Daughtry’s inner girl went “aww” at the statement, but she shook off the heart-melting words and straightened her spine.

This was her chance to have an actual Christmas. One where she didn’t feel ostracized and alone, one where she could exchange something more than meaningless sentiments and impersonal presents.

But first she needed a gift for Cody. The perfect expression of how deeply she’d come to care for him. He was sewn into her very being, her soul, her magic—

“I know all of that,” he thought, his mental voice gentle. “And I don’t need the perfect gift. I just need you.”

For a second Daughtry almost let go of her fantasy — it wasn’t like she was naïve enough to expect everything to be without fault.

She just wanted it to.

“I love you,” Cody thought with a sigh, having no doubt heard the conclusion she’d reached. “And there. I just emailed you my wish list.”

It only took a second for her to pull it up on her phone, to scan the four items on the online retailer’s site.

“Electric socks?” she thought. “Bullets? Dumb bells? A comb? You have got to be kidding me.”

His mental shrug traversed the bond. “I need those things.” A pause. “And the electric socks will keep my feet warm while I’m patrolling.”

Men. For real. At times they were just ridiculous.

“I love you,” she thought. “But now it’s time for you to go.”

Daughtry sensed that Cody wanted to say something else but whatever it was, he tucked the thought into the back of his brain. She didn’t search for it­ — just let it stay hidden.

Sharing a mental bond wasn’t the easiest thing. In fact, holding tight to a modicum of privacy was as necessary as breathing. It balanced their relationship, made it full instead of overwhelming.

So rather than push — even though she was curious — she let the glimmer of Cody’s thoughts go.

“I love you too, cowgirl,” he thought to her. “If you need me, I’ll always be there.”

With the familiar parting words, she felt Cody retreat back into his own consciousness and focus on preparing for the ten-hour patrol he was about to undertake.

Letting the bond fall into her subconscious, Daughtry focused ahead of her, halting before the door to the infirmary and doing a quick calculation in her mind.

Her salary as Suz’s — the resident healer’s — assistant hadn’t made her rich, but the money was Daughtry’s and she’d put in the sweat and tears to earn it.

Not that she didn’t have money at her disposal.

In fact, Cody had put her on all of his accounts, including credit cards and checking and savings. But Daughtry didn’t feel right about buying something for him with his own money.

Maybe it was stupid, but it meant more to her to give him something that she’d worked hard for.

Even if it was electric socks.

With a sigh, she swiped her finger over the ‘Buy All’ button and then set up the purchase so that it would be mailed to one of the random P.O. Boxes the Rengalla had set up across the country. With teleports in their ranks, it was nothing to pop over to Seattle or New York, or even Calgary to pick up a package.

And that way they didn’t have random humans stumbling upon the Colony. It was safer to retrieve items than to risk allowing strangers in or near their home. Anyone who showed up without permission was treated as the enemy.

And they had enemies. Treacherous ones.

The Dalshie wouldn’t fail to exploit any avenue of attack — black magic or not — and their strength, instant healing, and a complete lack of morality made for a devastating foe.

Hence the patrols and the shield that surrounded the Colony.

Daughtry opened the door to the infirmary and walked down the hallway within to Suz’s office, wondering what Morgan would say when he found out that he’d be teleporting to Dallas for electric socks.

Cody’s fellow LexTal and elite warrior would no doubt have a plethora of complaints and/or snarky comments about the task.

“What’s so funny?” Suz asked, surprising Daughtry.

She hadn’t realized she’d reached the doctor’s office. “Nothing,” Daughtry said. “Just thinking about Morgan’s reaction when I ask him to pick up Cody’s present.”

Suz was smiling until Daughtry mentioned the word ‘present’, then the doctor frowned. “You’re not still on that, are you?”

Daughtry sighed. “All I need to do is find the perfect thing.”

“There is no ‘perfect’ thing.”

“This is real life, Suz. And normal people want things. Why can’t Cody have a video game obsession or love board games or something?” she asked, pulling out her phone and opening the list, then showing the screen to Suz. “You know what he wants? Electric socks and bullets!”

Suz snorted.

“It’s not funny!” Daughtry snapped. Pausing, she blew out a breath. “Okay, it’s a little funny. I just—“ she stopped for a second then ended up blurting out the truth anyway. “What if I screw up our first Christmas together?”

“Then you’ll only have a thousand more chances to get it right,” Suz said dryly.

That was what she got for expecting sympathy. “Suz,” Daughtry began.

The doctor put up her hand. “Dee, you know I love you. But you need to chill about this holiday thing.”

“What ‘holiday thing?’ ” came Tyler’s question from behind Daughtry’s shoulder. She whirled and saw the tall blue-eyed, mocha-skinned man leaning against the doorframe, his arms crossed over his chest.

“Present-Gate,” Suz said.

Tyler rolled his eyes and addressed Suz instead of Daughtry. “She’s still on that?”

“Guys!” Daughtry said, pushed to her feet. “It’s important.”

“Really,” Tyler said. “It’s not.”

A wave of heat made Daughtry’s cheeks flush and, embarrassingly, her eyes filled with tears.

Stupid pointless emotions, she thought, clenching her jaw and trying to force back the ridiculous wetness.

Tyler’s face sobered. “Aw, Dee, I’m sorry.” His voice soft and near her ear as he wrapped her in his arms. “I shouldn’t have made fun of you.”

“You’re right,” she said with a sniff. “It’s not important.”

Tyler released her then turned her to face him. “It’s important to you,” he said. “Which means that it’s important to me.”

“Here,” Suz said and tugged Daughtry over to one of the chairs in front of her desk. “I’m sorry, too. I took it too far.”

“It’s—“

“Don’t say ‘fine,’ ” the doctor said firmly. “It’s not fine. We’re your friends and I don’t want you hurt. Feelings, physically, or otherwise.”

It’s—“

“You should know better than to argue with the doc,” Tyler interrupted as he took the seat next to Daughtry. He clapped his hands together and grinned at what was no doubt a perturbed expression on her face. “Now let’s get to work.”

“Doing what?” she asked.

“Figuring out the perfect present for your stubborn-as-hell bondmate.”

Two hours later, Daughtry, Suz, Tyler, and a called-in-John sat around a pile of phones, tablets, and discarded plates. They were no closer to finding the right gift for Cody but they’d spent the last hours laughing until Daughtry’s abs and cheeks cramped with exhaustion.

“Seriously, who would have thought Cody would be so difficult?” Suz asked, polishing off the last slice of pizza.

“I knew,” Tyler muttered. Everyone burst out laughing. Daughtry joined in, unable to deny her contentment.

This was what she thought the holidays should be about. Laughter and love. Togetherness and teasing. Daughtry might not have a family, but she had her friends and she had Cody.

And that was when she knew.

The perfect gift for Cody had been right in front of her the entire time.

Throwing her arms around each one of her friends in turn, she rushed from the infirmary and out into the halls.

Because Daughtry had a plan to execute.

****

By Christmas Eve, everything was set.

The smell of popcorn filled the air. It was a rich, buttery scent that made Daughtry’s stomach growl.

Glancing around the softly lit room, she couldn’t help but sigh in happiness. Their quarters — very nice normally, though a little austere — had been transformed. It was cozy, the candles scattered on top of the desk and dressers, the shelves and side tables giving the space a pretty glow.

John and Tyler had helped her push the bed against the wall and the open floor was covered with blankets and pillows. In the middle of the mass of cushiness was a small basket filled with Cody’s favorite snacks.

He loved any type of sour candy and though Daughtry had snuck in a few pieces of chocolate — it was sacrilege to go without the delicious substance — the bulk of the basket was about her bondmate.

“Cowgirl?” Cody asked across the bond. “Are you home?”

Daughtry’s heart did a strong pitter-pat and she had a moment of panic. Cody would like this. But would he love it?

Shaking off the worry, she straightened the bow across her chest and responded. “I’m home,” she thought. “I missed you.”

“Me too.” His mind took on a sinful edge that made her thighs clench. “I’ll hurry.”

About ten minutes later, Daughtry heard the lock at the front of their quarters click. The door slid open, a triangle of light appearing on the hardwood floor.

“Cowgirl?” Cody called.

“Here,” she answered.

“What’s—?” Footsteps echoed down the narrow corridor that led from the entryway to their bedroom.

Her eyes were locked on the doorway, so she witnessed the exact moment that Cody saw the room’s transformation.

Emotions slid down the bond. Tenderness and love, affection and longing and — when his gaze took in what she was wearing — heat.

“What’s this?” he asked, his voice huskier than normal.

Gesturing for him to sit down beside her, Daughtry waited for Cody to take off his boots and sink to the floor next to her. His hair was slightly darkened — still damp from a shower he must have taken in the LexTals’ locker room.

When he’d gotten comfortable next her, Cody brought his hand up to cup her cheek. She leaned into the warmth; into the touch that made her soul sing with pleasure

“This is your present,” she murmured.

Cody studied the shiny green ribbon on her chest, his eyes darkening in pleasure and his lips — sinful and lush — quirking. “Now that is the best present I could have asked for.” He reached for her, his mind rubbing against hers in a way that made it hard for her to concentrate.

Daughtry could sense his desire and it ramped her own until her heart pounded and the place between her legs throbbed.

His fingers pushed down the narrow strap of the lacy black negligée she wore, threatening to make the garment fall from her shoulders. She soaked in the touch, loving the feel of his work-roughened fingers tracing random circular patterns on her skin. It wasn’t until his fingers had dipped lower — almost to her breasts — that she remembered there was more to his gift than just herself.

“Wait,” she murmured, breathless, her hands shaking, her body aching with need.

“Mmm,” Cody said, his lips pressing against her body. His tongue joined the party, the hot tip darting out to moisten her heated skin.

It was hard to concentrate, but Daughtry managed to extricate herself long enough to grab the thin, wrapped package.

She shoved it into Cody’s hands, almost laughing at the disgruntled expression on his face. But he dutifully opened the package.

A laugh burst out of him when he saw what was inside.

Mama Mia?” he asked.

Her shoulders lifted in a casual shrug. “It was the only Meryl Streep movie you didn’t have.”

His eyes narrowed. “Did you tell the guys?”

“You mean about your not-so-secret addiction to chick flicks?” Daughtry bit her lip to hold back her smile.

Cody growled and she stretched over to kiss him.

“No,” she murmured, a minute later. “I didn’t tell anyone.”

His arms banded around her. “I love you,” he said, then his lips descended to take her mouth in a kiss that was as scorching as it was sweet.

They were both gasping when he pulled back, reached into the pocket of his jacket, and set a small package in Daughtry’s fingers.

His hands rested on her waist as she fumbled with the red and green plaid wrapping paper. Finally, she managed to get it open.

“Oh Cody,” she murmured.

Intertwined strands of glowing metal were woven together, forming a bracelet. They were emerald and violet like hers and Cody’s magic, a visual representation of the way the bond appeared in their minds.

Plaited together, the intricate braid was beautiful, the illuminated threads at once delicate and strong.

Cody slid it from the box and gently clasped it around her wrist. “Do you like it?” he asked.

Tilting her head in, she pressed a kiss to his cheek, his jaw, his lips. “I love it.”

“Good.” His hands slid into her hair and he slanted his mouth across hers, stealing a hot, soul-melting, kiss. And not a moment later, she was flat on her back, the negligée discarded, her naked skin chilled.

“You won’t be cold for long,” he said, rolling atop of her.

Afterward, when they lay spent and satisfied in each other’s arms, Daughtry couldn’t hold back her smile.

“Merry Christmas,” she murmured, the words as lazy as her lax body.

Cody chuckled and repeated the sentiment. A minute later, his mind took on a mischievous edge. “You know you’ve created a new tradition, right?”

She frowned as he sat up then laughed when he plunked the DVD into the player and gathered her in his arms.

“Chick Flick Christmas?” she asked.

“Exactly.”

And as the night turned to morning, as dawn broke and the sun began to rise, Daughtry knew for the first time in her life that she wouldn’t be lonely on Christmas.

Author Bio

61UQzBJdSsL__UX250_

Despite moonlighting as a zookeeper and then a dog trainer, Elise decided that the only mammals she wanted to work with were her dark and sexy heroes and heroines. She inherited her love of reading from her mother and grandmother who dutifully kept stacks of romances where her teenaged fingers could easily pilfer them. She lives in Northern California with her three dogs, two energetic (read crazy) boys, and her awesome (see prior comment) husband.

Author Links

WEBSITE . FACEBOOK . TWITTER . AMAZON

Also Available

81YKixTP0+L__SL1500_

AMAZON