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Friday, February 27, 2015

#BookBlitz: Stud Unleashed: Barry @KylieGilmoreToo #giveaway @IndieSagePR

Title: Stud Unleashed: Barry
Author: Kylie Gilmore
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Pages: 200

Blurb:
Successful, not-so-great-with-the-ladies, and all around nice guy Barry Furnukle can’t believe his luck when Amber Lewis agrees to date him. But when his attempt to woo her with the world’s most “awesome” date (birding and fro-yo) lands him in the friend zone, he wonders if a guy like him ever had a chance.

On advice from his ladies’ man brother, Barry returns to his acting roots for a little confidence rehab. Suddenly he’s got more female attention than he knows what to do with. But will his new found popularity make him happy? Or will he finally release his inner stud to win the woman he can’t forget?

Buy links:



Excerpt:

“You want a list of reasons why I want to be with you?” Bare asked.
That was ridiculous. Insane. She was not that needy.
“Sure,” she said.
“Do you have a list of reasons why you want to be with me?” he asked.
“No, not right now, but I could make one.”
“Okay, I’ll make a list and you make a list, and then we’ll compare.”
“That sounds like the rational, brainy thing to do,” she said, biting back a smile.
“Mine will have a few equations.”
“Mine will be illustrated.”
“I look forward to it.”
“As do I.”
They took one look at each other and cracked up.
Amber changed the subject, embarrassed she’d ever brought up such a ridiculous topic. She wasn’t in competition with her sister. She didn’t need Bare to tell her why she was special. She asked him about working with Delilah, the older actress who played Ruth. Lately Delilah had spent a lot of time bitching and moaning to Amber backstage about some of the younger actresses.
Bare, being Bare, had no complaints. He seemed to always see the good in people. Seeing her stepmother again, hearing the three of them talk, had put her back in that awful place where she was the outsider. That stuff shouldn’t matter now. She lived on her own, supported herself. She was living the life she was meant to be living.
Bare parked the car at the high school and turned to her. “Look, I could write down equations for you. Compose a few equivalencies to prove the sum of us together is greater than the sum of our parts, but you and I both know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”
She did. But what did that mean exactly?
He cradled her face with one hand, and she waited for the kiss, the physical expression of why he wanted to be with her. It was why all men wanted her—her looks, her body. She closed her eyes.
His voice came out in a husky growl. “The short answer is I’m falling for you, not Kate.”
Her eyes flew open. She met his warm brown eyes and saw love shining back at her. She blinked away stinging hot tears, couldn’t even speak past the lump in her throat. She nodded.
“Now you know,” he said softly. His thumb brushed her cheek where a tear had leaked out. “I’d ask what you’d put in an illustration, but I’m afraid to know.”
She found her voice again. “Your big heart.”
He smiled. “My mother always says I’m a gem.”
“You are.”
His thumb stroked down her cheek. “I can’t wait to make you mine.”
“You already have,” she choked out.
He kissed her then, a tender kiss that she fell into slowly, inevitably, where she belonged.
  
Author bio:
Kylie Gilmore was lucky enough to discover romance novels at a young age as they were strewn all over the house (thanks, Mom!). She writes quirky, tender romance with a solid dose of humor. Her Clover Park series features the O’Hare brothers, three guys you’d definitely have a drink with and maybe a little more. The Clover Park STUDS series unleashes three adorable studs into the world—Barry, Dave, and Will. Look out, ladies!

Kylie lives in New York with her family, two cats, and a nutso dog. When she’s not writing, wrangling kids, or dutifully taking notes at writing conferences, you can find her flexing her muscles all the way to the high cabinet for her secret chocolate stash.

Author Social links
http://www.kyliegilmore.com
https://twitter.com/KylieGilmoreToo
https://www.facebook.com/KylieGilmoreToo
https://www.goodreads.com/KylieGilmore
http://google.com/+KylieGilmoreToo
http://www.pinterest.com/kyliegilmoretoo
http://www.amazon.com/author/kyliegilmore



Books in the Clover Park STUDS series:

Stud Unleashed: The Prequel FREE (Barry & Amber meet)*
Stud Unleashed: Barry (Barry & Amber in love)
Stud Unleashed: Dave (Dave & Steph)
Stud Unleashed: Will (Will & Jasmine)

*The Prequel is available separately as a FREE download and also included in the ebook of Stud Unleashed: Barry.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 26, 2015

#Review & #Giveaway: Snow and Her Huntsman @Sydneystclaire #BDSM #eroticromance

Title: Snow & Her Huntsman
Series Name: Once Upon A Dom

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press       
Editor: Diana Carlile
Cover Artist: Diana Carlile

Page Count: 117
Word Count:  
Digital Price: 3.99
Digital ISBN  978-1-62830-817-4
COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Susan Edwards


Blurb
Rylee Kincaid’s business is about to go under. Lucky for her, she’s found an investor. Ready to sign papers, she learns her knight in shining armor is Hunter Finnegan, the man who once gave her multiple orgasms then crushed her young, tender heart. Her world comes crashing down as it becomes clear the rich businessman intends a hostile takeover and to cast her out. Then he agrees to discuss a new deal, but only if Rylee will play Snow to his Huntsman at a BDSM fairy tale event.

Hunter has never forgotten the weekend of kinky sex he shared with Rylee in college. Unfortunately, he had to let her go to keep peace in his family. Now he’s back to claim the only woman he’s ever loved. He’ll stop at nothing to make the black-haired, fair-skinned beauty hear the truth of what happened so long ago, even if he has to tie her up. And that’s exactly what he does. But as the Huntsman reawakens the submissive in Snow, Hunter isn’t so sure he can do the same to Rylee’s heart.

Excerpt 
Rylee couldn’t believe what she’d done. She’d totally lost control, something she’d never done with another man but Hunter. Sex between her and her husband had never come close to the heat level between her and Hunter. Her hands dropped from his shoulders to his chest. Palms flat, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to push him away or bunch her fingers in his shirt and draw him even closer. God, what must he think of her? One kiss, and she’d gone up in flames, like a desperate and hungry woman.
Which was true. But to show it and behave in such a manner horrified her. “I…” She didn’t know what to say.
Hunter stepped away, she assumed to give her time to adjust her clothing. He picked up the invitation from the gray carpet. “My limo will pick you up at two on Thursday.”
“Thursday?” Damn, her mind and body felt as though she were swimming through a thick gel.
Handing her the invite, along with a large envelope he snagged off his desk, he held her gaze. “I’ll see you at Pleasure Manor. Your costumes will be delivered to your office this afternoon.”
He tapped the envelope. “Instructions and rules. I suggest you go get your bloodwork done this afternoon. You’ll need to bring the results with you.” Hunter handed her the briefcase and her purse and hustled her to the door.
Rylee blinked in confusion. Damn the man for being in complete control while she was a quivering mass of need. Her orgasm hadn’t eased her ache for this man. But she hated being manipulated, and he was a master. He’d lured her in with hopes and dreams of saving her business and probably used Glorie to make her mad enough that she’d confront him. Now, he’d had the nerve to use her own body against her. “Dammit, Hunter, I never said—”
Hunter halted her with the single lift of his brow. “Your body spoke for you.” He lowered his head and kissed her hard, swallowing her protests. “Thursday. And don’t bother wearing panties.”

    ***Nona’s review of Snow and Her Huntsman***

    Rylee Kincaid is looking forward to signing a contract for a loan to assist her company, but is shocked when she’s presented with a buyout offer instead. Though the sum is mind-boggling, she feels betrayed by the bait and switch tactics, especially when she learns who’s behind it: Hunter Finnegan. He’s the man with whom she spent one insanely hot weekend back in college. The man who broke her heart.

    Rylee’s outraged by Hunter’s shenanigans, and worried about the fate her loyal employees might face. When she confronts her former lover, he offers her an option: spend the weekend with him as his submissive and the deal will be amended. Rylee agrees, not only for the sake of her employees, but because she’s never really gotten over Hunter.

    At the special BDSM getaway where Hunter takes Rylee, all the couples dress as fairy tale characters, and Rylee takes the part of Snow White while Hunter is the huntsman. But this ain’t your mama’s fairy tale, baby! Hunter has some very intense plans for his “Snow” and it doesn’t take long for them to rekindle the passionate and carnal relationship they once had.

    Snow and Her Huntsman was a very fun, sexy read. Hunter’s seemingly underhanded tactics are only a plot to get back into Rylee’s life. He’s just as hooked on her as she was on him--in fact, he never forgot her. When he reveals the reason why he walked out on her all those years ago, Rylee’s shocked. But she’s faced with a dilemma. Can she forgive him or is the betrayal too deep?

    The hero and heroine were both likeable characters and Hunter certainly made for a masterful and delicious Dom. Though I wished Rylee hadn’t caved to him quite so early in the story, I did like how she stood up to him later on. Hey, after what Hunter put her through, it was only fair he be put through the wringer himself. But never fear, author Sydney St. Claire offers a satisfying and sexy HEA.   

    
    This book is part of the Once Upon a Dom series, and several of the characters who appeared in the other books show up briefly in this one. I was especially interested in Glorie the Domme, who may not be as tough as she seems. I hope the author plans a story for her. If you enjoy BDSM erotic romance with a touch of fairy tale magic, you’re sure to enjoy Snow and Her Huntsman.

BIO
Sydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular “White” Series.
Sydney loves writing and sharing stories of love, happiness and dreams come true with her readers. She credits her mother for her writing success.  Encouraged to read as a child, she always preferred happy endings which meant romances were her favorite genre.  Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life’s problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced.
Sydney’s office is quite crowded with three dogs at her feet and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising…
When not writing, she enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch and knitting. She and her husband of 30 + years are avid gardeners. He takes care of the veggies, and Susan is in charge of the ‘pretties’. Her medicine wheel garden is in a contact state of war: flowers vs. weeds. Sadly, right now the weeds are wining…
While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music. Her current favorites are Blackmore’s Night and David Lanz.

Contact Links           
Email:             Sydney@sydneystclaire.com
Trailer:           http://youtu.be/ap0UHxLoFCA
Website:         http://sydneystclaire.com
                        http://susanedwards.com
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/Sydneystclaire
Blog:               http://sydneystclaire.wordpress.com

Buy Links

Wild Rose      KINDLE           Nook         KOBO             IBOOKS


Contest
CELEBRATING THE RELEASE OF SNOW WITH A NEW CONTEST


Tote Bag  --  Fairytales Your Mother Never Read You
Nice large roomy bag
Also included: 4 GB Flash Drive, Key Ring Light, Notepad & Pen, Mug
And assorted other goodies





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fantasy Date Night with the Nice Girls Writing Naughty! #FBParty @ngwngroup


Hi friends! I'd like to invite you to join me and my friends in the Nice Girls Writing Naughty on Facebook this evening (February 21) from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. for Fantasy Date Night! We will be sharing our fantasies about the perfect date with the perfect man--including rock stars, military men, Vikings, male models and blue collar hunks! The Grand Prize is a $100 Visa Card to help pay for the winner's real life date and smaller prizes will be awarded as well, including:

The Viking Warriors Collection       From Jianne Carlo

Valentines giftie + ebook                From Dani Wade

Signed paperback of INTO HIS DARK + $10 Amazon GC     From Angel Payne

One pound box of See's chocolates and The Man Series   From Nona Raines

All Romance Ebook –$ 15 ebooks bucks      From Taige Crenshaw

Surprise gifts from Tina Christopher and Ella Sheridan

ARC of Bared to the Viscount, gift certificate for See's chocolates   
*AND*  a $100 VISA Card From Lara Archer

So please join us for fun, fantasy, prizes and more at the February Fantasy Date Night!


Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic
www.nonaraines.com



Now available: Christmas Candie, part of the Nicely Naughty 2 menage anthology!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Aloha Man, Danica St. Como's #Newrelease! #gay #romance #LGBT


Hurray! I'm thrilled to announce that my pal and fellow Diva Danica St. Como's long awaited romance Aloha Man (from the Men of Sanctuary series) has finally released! Danica's fans have been chomping at the bit for this one, and they won't be disappointed by this sexy and moving story. More good news--the rest of Danica's Sanctuary tales have been contracted by Loose Id, and will be made available in the future. But for now, enjoy a snippet from the book!


Blurb:

Hawaiian demolitions expert Kamaka decides to take charge of his life, and spends a long winter at Sanctuary paramilitary training camp revamping himself from soft and mellow to hard bodied and focused. When Kamaka is introduced to exquisite Navajo silversmith Zachariah Black Crow, his heart damn near stops and his libido kicks into overdrive. Kamaka is convinced the Island gods have bestowed upon him the greatest gift the earth has to offer—all Kamaka needs to do is convince the younger, over-the-top handsome man to come to his bed. Freely. Willingly. Naked.

Zach, shy and withdrawn, avoids entanglements with people he doesn't know. After a brutal rape and beating in his college days, he focuses on his art to help deal with the nightmares. He's never had a relationship, male or female, so his newly awakened sexual interest in Kamaka confuses him. Should a man want to submit to another man, the way he wants to submit to Kamaka? Can he be the responsive, giving lover Kamaka needs, the man Kamaka desires?



Excerpt:


NEVER HAS THERE been such a magnificent man. Zachariah did his best to breathe evenly. The Hawaiian had to be well over six feet tall, looking very much like the WWE wrestler-cum-actor who played the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns , but with long warrior braids, perfect teeth showing in a wide, beautiful smile, and the thing his right eyebrow did. His print shirt, fully unbuttoned, exposed a heavy chest with abs like slabs of granite. Low-slung jeans barely hung on sculpted hips. His bronzed skin appeared smooth and hairless. A tattoo covered each breast. 

Unnerved, Zach felt warm blood suffuse his face as the sight of the huge man’s inked skin heated up his blood, kicked up his pulse. The unfamiliar attraction made his palms sweat as his breathing quickened. He stepped back. He needed to put some space between the newcomer and his own uncomfortable responses to the man’s larger-than-life presence.What’s this all about? Hot and bothered over a man? Can’t be right. 

It took a moment before he noticed the wide, flat necklace around Kamaka’s heavy neck, the necklace’s finger-length danglers resting against his broad chest. 

Zach found his voice. “Ivory?” 

“No, man, ivory has bad juju. These are puka shells. Puka shells, cowrie shells, Island woods.” Kamaka unfastened the necklace, offered it without hesitation. 

Zach brought the necklace to his worktable, sat, examined the piece under a powerful magnifier for several minutes. He turned to Kamaka. “Every wooden bead is incised with the image of a tiny sea creature. This is magnificent. Who did the work?” 

Kamaka shrugged. “Aolina. She’s an artist in Maui.” 

Zach fumbled, almost dropped the necklace. He leaned back in his folding chair. “Aolina Hualami? You can’t be serious.” 

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Keko shifting her posture. It appeared she wanted to say something but changed her mind. 

Feeling as if he held an offering to the gods, Zach presented the necklace to Kamaka. 

“Yep, the one and only. I know how I know her—how do you know her?” 

Zach shook his head, not believing his luck. “This is unreal. I majored in art history through archaeology, primarily prehistoric art and primitive cultures. Hualami is at the top of the short list of contemporary artists in those genres. I actually met her once, after a seminar at which she spoke. She really knows her stuff. I didn’t know she dabbled in jewelry.” 

Keko jumped in. “She’s doing a bit more than dabbling. The breakout showing of her new jewelry line happened just last week. In Maui.” 

Zach felt as overwhelmed as a total neophyte in the presence of greatness, one level removed—in the company of the art, not even the artist. “The woman is like a force of nature.” 

Keko snorted, but Kamaka chuckled. “Yeah, that’s one way to describe her.” 

Lorelei ran her fingertips over the owl. “Zach, this is the best piece you’ve done so far. The bursts of color in the opals are spectacular, and the etching on the silver looks like tiny, perfect feathers.” 

In a sudden rush of impulsiveness, Zachariah carefully lifted the owl necklace from its nest, then handed it to Kamaka, who still held the shell collar. 

“Try it. The chain is extralong, should fit around your neck.” Your hot, sexy neck, with the thick, corded tendons. Usually a very private person, Zach fought the urge to touch the other man. Touch him? What’s wrong with me? This is crazy. Maybe too much sun. 

Lorelei took the necklace so Kamaka could collect his hair in his free hand and lift the mass. She fastened the clasp at the back of his neck, patted his shoulder. “There ya go, big guy.” 

Both women spoke at the same time. “Perfect.” 

Zach held up a hand mirror so Kamaka could check out his reflection. Perfect, indeed, as if Zach had fashioned it with Kamaka in mind. The hammered silver conchas lay flat against his dark, golden skin. The silver-and-opal owl rested between the big man’s tattooed pecs, highlighting the sepia-inked owl and frangipani flowers, picking up the blues and greens and golds of the other tattoo. 

“Outstanding! That’s it. Gotta have it.” Kamaka reached into the back pocket of his jeans, made a face, tried the other pocket. “Damn, you gals rushed me. I left my wallet and everything back at the cabin.” 

Zach cleared his throat. “You didn’t ask about the price.” 

“Doesn’t matter. Whatever the price, the owl is worth the cost. This is way too cool to let escape.” 

Lorelei spoke up, dug into her shoulder bag. “Look, Kamaka, let me pay for the necklace. You can settle with me later.” 

Kamaka laid a hand on Lorelei’s arm to stop her. “Thanks, but I’ll take care of this. If someone has a card or something, I’ll write down my number for Mr. Black Crow.” 

“Call me Zachariah, please.” Zack’s cheeks heated up again as he handed Kamaka two business cards—one to keep, one to write down his number. 

“Okay, Zachariah. If you’ll put the necklace aside for me, I’ll be back for it in the morning. Just promise you won’t let the thing leave with anyone else.” 

With his second impulsive reaction of the day, Zachariah found the words leaving his mouth without his brain gears meshing. “Take the piece with you. Come back in the morning to settle the bill.” 

Kamaka and both women stared at him. “That’s really generous, dude, but no way do I want to be responsible for that. You don’t even know me.” 

Zach knew his hasty offer had been reckless. Definitely not very businesslike. He felt the need to justify his decision. “If you belong to Sanctuary, you’re trustworthy. However, if you’re not comfortable with that, I’ll lock the necklace safely away. Pick it up tomorrow. It’s yours, I promise.” 

They shook on it. Zach couldn’t prevent his hand from trembling as their skin touched again. Energy traveled over his flesh with no way to disconnect. What’s with the voltage running through my body? 

“Thanks, man, that works for me.” Kamaka turned toward Lorelei and Keko. “Now that I’ve probably spent my next six months’ wage allotment, I’ll allow you ladies to buy me lunch at the Hungry Bear CafĂ©.” He collected his companions with a giant hand on each woman’s shoulder, then marshaled them into the flow of foot traffic. He called over his shoulder. “See you in the morning, Z-man.” 

In a matter of seconds, they vanished into the throng of tourists. 

Weak-kneed, Zach took a step backward, collapsed into the folding chair. What the hell just happened?



Aloha Man is available at:


Loose Id (at a sale price!)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Blitz: Trust Me by Ella Sheridan #romanticsuspense #giveaway #IndieSagePR

TrustMeBlitz

Trust Me by Ella Sheridan 
Southern Nights #2 
Publication Date: 1 February 2015 
Genres: Romance, Suspense

Blitz: Trust Me by Ella Sheridan


A woman on a mission…
Maddie Baker spent four years seeking vengeance against the man whose abuse destroyed her life. That search has led her to a small town outside Atlanta and a missing teenage girl. Nothing will stand in the way of her mission, including a jackass of an ex-soldier who reawakens emotions best left to die. 

 A man on the hunt… 

Jack Quinn learned to recognize trouble in the marines, and he sees it in Maddie the minute he lays eyes on her tending bar. Her secrets are hidden deep, but secrets are his specialty, and peeling away her barriers only makes him want her more. He’ll do whatever it takes to get her to trust him with her body and her heart. An old threat whose time has come… Staying hidden kept Maddie safe, but the search for justice will bring her into the open and face-to-face with her treacherous past. Risking her life is one thing, but risking her heart is another. In love and in danger, she must trust Jack to lead her—and pray they both come out alive.
Add to Goodreads

Excerpt:
They played Mexican standoff until she finished in the sink. When she turned off the water and reached for a towel to dry her hands, Jack was right there.
She stared at the towel in his hands, water dripping from her fingers onto the floor. Without waiting for her to decide, he reached out and grasped one hand between his. Maddie startled, stepped back, but though she pulled, he refused to release her hand. As he rubbed the towel over each finger, her palm, the back of her hand, he watched her eyes dilate, her breathing quicken until he wondered if—and kind of hoped—she might pop the single shiny button holding her vest closed. Her surprise kept her compliant as he switched hands, drying the other one and enjoying the look of hunger barely shimmering across her face.
The moment didn’t last, though. As if finally realizing what was happening, Maddie snatched her hand back. “Don’t.”
“Why not?”
She didn’t answer. The stubborn press of her lips holding back the words made him want to kiss her, to break through that ironclad control until all the reasons for her withdrawal, all the secrets she held, spilled out. Maddie was a woman with a lot of secrets, secrets that kept her apart from life. He’d simply have to peel them away one by one until nothing was left between them but skin and sweat and sex. And God, he couldn’t wait for the sex.
He leaned forward, deliberately invading her space, warming her skin with his breath. “Maddie—”
Swiping her hands on her jeans as if Jack had somehow contaminated her with his touch, Maddie turned away from him. “I’m headed out, Tommy Ray.”
The older man grunted a reply as he lifted the tray of food for the poker gang. “Drive safe.”
“I’ll walk you to your car,” Jack told her.
“No.” She kept walking. A leather backpack, worn with use, waited near the back door. Maddie slung it onto her shoulder without a backward glance.
Jack followed her out the door. “It’s not optional, so stop arguing—if you ever stop arguing.”
“I don’t.”
“Is that supposed to scare me off?” he asked. The hot Georgia night immediately beaded sweat on his brow. He swiped at it, ignoring her ignoring him. “I’m the kind of guy who loves a challenge, you know.”

Also in the Series
ella sheridan, author, writer, romance author, romantic suspense, erotic romance, contemporary romance, Teach Me, Southern Nights
Amazon -- All Romance Ebooks -- Kobo -- Barnes & Noble

About Ella Sheridan

 
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Ella Sheridan grew up in the middle of nowhere, otherwise known as the Deep South. Books provided her with adventures, friends, and her first forays into romance. To this day she explores the world through the words of her favorite authors, whether that’s the worlds across space and time or the worlds of love and passion. When she’s not writing or working or reading, she is corralling her two active teenagers, snuggling on the couch with her husband, working out her stress in a martial arts class, or sleeping. But no matter what she’s doing, the voices in her head just won’t let her go.



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Blast: Take Me: Twelve Tales of Dark Possession #erotic #giveaway #GoddessFish




This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Surrender to desire with 12 books by the hottest names in dark romance, including bestselling authors Pepper Winters, Anna Zaires, and Lynda Chance.

CD Reiss - Spin
Jenika Snow – A Beautiful Prison
Pepper Winters – Destroyed
Skye Warren – Trust in Me
Kendall Ryan – Unravel Me
Anna Zaires & Dima Zales – Twist Me
Shay Savage – Otherwise Alone & Otherwise Occupied
Amber Lin & Shari Slade – Three Nights with a Rock Star
Pam Godwin – Deliver
Lynda Chance – Marco’s Redemption
Gemma James – Torrent

These e-books would cost over $40 if purchased separately. This set will only be available for a limited time.

Enjoy an excerpt from Trust in Me by Skye Warren:

    Tyler sighed, resigned. “Okay. Come on.”

    And really, isn’t that just what every girl wants to hear from a guy agreeing to fuck her? But I wasn’t like every girl. This was a job, that was all.

    He led me to the bed and pulled me down with him. But I didn’t want him, not like this. I didn’t want him to have sex with me, not if he didn’t want me. I only remained here to protect those girls from forced sex, from rape. I couldn’t do the same thing to Tyler, not even to spare myself pain.

    “Wait,” I said. “You don’t have to do this. Please don’t.”

    “I have to,” he said, his teeth gritted.

    This was all wrong. “You don’t want this,” I whispered.

    He pulled my hand to his jeans where I felt his hardness pushing against the zipper. “Does this feel like I don’t want it?”

    I already knew the body had nothing to do with the mind. “No,” I said. “I can tell you don’t. It doesn’t matter about me.” 

    He pushed me onto my back and loomed over me. “This is happening. Are you going to fight me?”

    I shook my head. No, I wouldn’t—couldn’t—fight Tyler, not ever. No matter how I pledged my allegiance to Carlos, I couldn’t help but fight and resist every time he hurt me. With Tyler, it hurt just to be near him, but I’d endure it, if only to pretend a few minutes more.

    He kissed me again, and it was almost real. Like a real kiss between two people having sex, as if I knew what that felt like. Both of us were doing this for business or to avoid pain or whatever reason, but none having to do with passion or pleasure. Still, I felt a long-buried stirring of passion. And, too, I felt pleasure as his lips molded over mine and his body lowered.

    The weight of him, the heat of him, was delicious. Somehow I felt safe with him, which was a stupid error to make after working so hard and so long to be careful. He was working with Carlos—I couldn’t forget that. If Carlos ever found out I was double-crossing him, he wouldn’t kill me. He would keep me alive and make me wish I were dead.

    Tyler’s hands found my breasts and easily slipped under the small halter top. He looked down at my breast in his hand. I knew I had beautiful breasts. Not because they looked beautiful to me—I hated the sight of them—but because I’d been told so. From very young, I’d been told how pretty they were—large, despite my lanky body, and pale with dark, hardened tips.

    He groaned, just staring. “So beautiful.”

    I hated that he said that, that he noticed what all the other men had noticed, that he was like them after all. At the same time, I almost preened. At least I had pleased him in some way. One of these days my contradictions would tear me apart.

    His fingertip, blunt and rough, traced from the top of the slope to the tip.
“Why are you doing this?” he muttered, and it didn’t sound like he was talking to me but to himself.

    Why was he doing this? Why did he need to get mixed up with Carlos? It would only end badly for Tyler. I had seen enough of Carlos’s business partners disappear to know that. God, but I didn’t want to think that Tyler would even want to be involved. Carlos had lots of different businesses, but they were all bad—drugs, guns. And my personal crusade, my curse, human trafficking. Which was Tyler involved in?

    “You shouldn’t be here,” slipped out on a moan.

    “I know,” he said, still mesmerized by my hated breasts.

    “It isn’t right.” Why couldn’t he see? I wanted him to be good, but if he couldn’t do that, then at least I wanted him to be safe.

     "I can’t stop,” he said.


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