• Book Tour & Giveaway

    The Sexpert by JA Huss & Johnathan McClain

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    The Sexpert
    JA Huss & Johnathan McClain
    Publication date: July 24th 2018
    Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

    A new standalone romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author, JA Huss, and Actor/Screenwriter, Johnathan McClain.

    EDEN

    I’m just a simple girl who likes dessert. And sexy men. And social media. So starting an anonymous video channel called The Sexpert as a side hustle to make up for my low-paying marketing job at Le Man Magazine seemed like a perfectly sensible career decision. Until we went viral, my boss accused my anonymous personality of stealing his idea, and now my super sexy new boyfriend, Andrew, is out to get me.

    Her. Me. Whatever.

    ANDREW

    I don’t want it to be her. I do not want this… sweet, delicious, shy social media nerd working at my best friend’s magazine to be the face behind those perky cupcakes on the Sexpert channel. I don’t want it to be her… because I like her. A lot. She’s funny, and quirky, and smart, and creative… and… I really, really like her. It just can’t be her.

    But it is.

    And now I have to choose.

    My best friend?

    Or… The Sexpert?

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    Author Bio:

    Two accomplished writers come together to create unforgettable sexy romance. JA Huss is the New York Times bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today bestsellers list eighteen times. Johnathan McClain is a veteran actor and writer whose work, either performed or written, is probably airing on at least one of the channels on your television right now. You can contact them on their website www.hussmcclain.com or find them at their social links below.

    STALK JULIE

    FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

    STALK JOHNATHAN

    FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

     

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  • Book Tour & Giveaway

    Don’t Cheat Me (Nora Jacobs #2) by Jackie May

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    Don’t Cheat Me
    Jackie May
    (Nora Jacobs #2)
    Publication date: May 21st 2018
    Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

    One month after Nora’s violent induction to the dangerous supernatural side of Detroit, she’s finally settling into her new life as the underworld’s token human. All she wants to do is mind her own business, enjoy her new friends, and stay safe. But that’s easier said than done when she’s such an enigma to everyone around her.

    Thanks to her unique psychic abilities, she’s garnered a reputation for being mysterious and powerful. When the alpha of a local werewolf pack asks her to help him figure out who is stealing from him, she can’t say no, even though getting involved in pack business could have deadly repercussions.

    While tangled up in a heap of werewolf troubles, Nora can’t quite shake her old vampire problem, either. Henry is practically stalking her, Parker is breaking down the walls around her heart, and Nora’s blatant fear of the blood-sucking monsters is a delicious temptation for the natural predators.

    Nora’s succubus friend, Cecile, believes throwing her a “coming out” party into underworld society is the best way to solve all of her problems, but Nora disagrees. If the vampires and werewolves don’t kill her, Cecile’s party planning definitely will.

    This is book 2 in the Nora Jacobs series and should be read after book 1. It is a slow burn reverse harem series.

    Goodreads / Amazon

    EXCERPT:

    “Hey, sexy, how about you bring a shot of Angelfire and that pretty little ass over here.”

    I pour a shot of the fey alcohol and bring it to the tactless man with a forced smile. As I take the cash he lays out on the counter, he grabs my arm and pulls me close. “You know, I’ve never had a human before—they’re not usually worth my time—but I’d make an exception for you.”

    I yank my arm back. “Not interested, thanks.”

    I start to walk away, so he quickly downs his shot and asks for another. “What’s the matter? Think you’re too good to bed an underworlder?”

    I smirk as I fill his shot glass with another round of the light blue liquid. “Nope. Just too good for cocky assholes.”

    I don’t have time to regret running my mouth off before the man has me by the throat and is pulling me across the counter to his seething face. “I’ll show you manners, human. You’re nothing but an insect in my world. A plaything. And now you’ll be mine. I’ll have you begging for death for all eternity.”

    His thoughts are scarier than his words. He plans to follow through on his threat. He knows many fey in the winter court that keep human pets. He’s never seen the appeal, but now he wants nothing more than to humiliate me and make me suffer. And maybe he’ll eat me once he’s bored of the torture.

    His grip is so strong I can’t breathe, but before I start to see spots in my vision, Wulf and Nick rip me apart from the psychotic winter faerie. Wulf has me behind him, using his body to physically shield me, while Nick has the faerie laid out on the bar by his throat. The man is wailing in pain, and it takes me a moment to figure out it’s because Nick’s buried a dagger in the man’s shoulder, hilt deep. Judging from the screams of pain, the dagger is made of iron, which is poisonous to faeries. “What was that about begging for death for all eternity?” Nick asks. “Is that how you like to play?”

    “But she’s human,” the faerie cries, as if that justifies his actions.

    Wulf growls at this, and his whole body begins to shake. I place a hand on his shoulder in an attempt to calm him down. I’ve heard that werewolves like physical touch, and a gesture to tell him I’m all right should help with his protective instincts. I’ve never seen a werewolf shift, and I don’t really want to see one now while he’s pissed and I’m trapped behind a bar with him. I want to say something soothing, but honestly, I’m too scared to get any words out. That faerie has a dark, twisted mind.

    “She is an employee of this club and Terrance’s only clan,” Nick says.

    The fey’s eyes pop wide open. “She’s his clan?”

    “His first.” Nick nods. “And he’s especially fond of her. So I would advise you to leave her alone. In fact, I bet you’re a dead man walking once Terrance figures out you’re the asshole who put the bruises around her neck.”

    Nick’s eyes do that thing they do when he gets really pissed. The pupils turn into vertical slits. It’s freaky looking. He also emits some kind of power. I can’t really explain it. I don’t know what kind of underworlder Nick is. It’s rude to ask, and he’s never offered the information up. But it’s something totally badass that scares even the nastiest underworlders. Mr. Creepy Fey Man is squirming under his grip, looking like he’s about to piss himself. “I’m sorry,” he whines. “I didn’t know who she was. I’ll leave. Just let me up before Terrance comes.”

    “Maybe we should leave him pinned to the bar for a while,” Wulf says, making the fey’s eyes go wide again. “That’ll send the message that Nora is off limits, which might appease Terrance.”

    I can’t help the way my mouth falls open. “You’re not serious.”

    Wulf gives me a grim look. “This man disrespected Terrance’s staff. That won’t go unpunished—house rules.”

    “Terrance will kill him for touching you, unless we punish him first,” Nick adds, backing up Wulf’s claims.

    They’re not kidding. They plan to keep this guy staked to the counter the way he is. The underworld runs on a different set of rules. It’s brutal and dangerous. If I want to survive it, I need to learn to stomach the darker side of it and trust those who have my well-being at heart.

    “Okay,” I say, since both Wulf and Nick seem to be waiting for my approval. It’s not that hard to agree, considering how evil the man’s thoughts were. “Let’s leave him for a while.”

    “Put a sign on him so everyone knows,” Nick says.

    Wulf writes a note on a pad that says I touched the human girl. He puts it on the faerie’s chest. “Hold this, and don’t drop it.”

    The man grips the message and holds it against his chest where everyone who gets close can read it. But he’s squirming, swearing, sweating, and hollering about the pain. I have no doubt it hurts. Nick has no sympathy for him. “Shut your mouth,” he says, touching the dagger’s hilt and twisting it ever so slightly, causing the faerie to scream in real agony. “This is a tender mercy. Stop whining, or I’ll put this dagger through your heart to shut you up.”

    I’m not surprised when the faerie shuts his mouth and keeps his discomfort to mild whimpers from then on. If Nick had looked at me the same way he looked at that guy just now, I’d find a way to forget about the pain, too.

     

    Author Bio:

    Jackie May is a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)

    Website / Facebook / Twitter

     

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  • BLITZ,  Book Tour & Giveaway

    Black & Blue (Black Star Security, #1) ♦♦♦Book Blitz♦♦♦

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    Black and Blue
    Cynthia Rayne
    (Black Star Security, #1)
    Publication date: March 12th 2018
    Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

    Life can leave you bruised

    Former Navy SEAL, Jackson West, is starting over. After his son died, West chose between serving his country and being the parent his young daughter deserves. He’s missed too much already and isn’t wasting another second. West formed Black Star Security with his military buddies, and they’re gonna kick a little @ss. For a price.

    Sometimes you need a second chance

    Deputy U.S. Marshal Annie Foster accidentally got her partner killed during a routine prisoner transport. Now three dangerous felons are roaming the Kentucky countryside, and it’s all her fault. West is also hunting the fugitives and Annie’s assisting. She’s devastated but determined to make it right. Although, Annie didn’t count on West, a big, bad alpha male who’s an intoxicating mixture of ruthless and tender.

    Will they capture the escaped convicts? And will West and Annie take a chance on each other?

    Goodreads / Amazon

     

    Author Bio:

    Cynthia Rayne is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Black Star Security Series, the Lone Star Mobster Series and the Four Horsemen MC Series. While Cynthia was born and raised a damn Yankee in Ohio, her parents hail from Dixie, and she grew up on homemade buttermilk biscuits and southern wisdom. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, reading way too many romance novels, and drinking a truly obscene amount of coffee.

    Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Dixie Darlings Reader Group / Newsletter

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  • BLITZ,  Book Tour & Giveaway

    ♦♦♦Book Tour & Giveaway♦♦♦Combust (Hotter Than Hell #6)

    Combust
    Hotter Than Hell #6
    by Holly S. Roberts
    Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense
    Teaser 8
    Southern California is in the middle of a heatwave but that doesn’t
    hold a candle to Arizona in the middle of the summer.
    Austin Miller, the enforcer for Southern California’s crime boss, takes
    over after his boss and mentor dies. He’s set on revenge against
    the people responsible for Victor’s death and he’ll stop at
    nothing to get what he wants.
    Melina Fernandez has never wanted anything to do with her brother’s
    criminal organization and has nothing to do with the hit he ordered
    on Southern California’s leader. She’s caught in the middle of a
    deadly game and her brother plans to sell her to the highest bidder
    as soon as possible.
    When Melina is kidnapped by Austin, her worst nightmares are realized.
    It’s not her body he wants, it’s her flesh and her sanity.
    Trapped in a dark basement for days she decides to unravel her life
    story while Austin works on mutilating her skin with a tattoo machine.
    When Moon, the crime lord of Arizona steps into help, Melina might find
    her salvation. The clock is ticking and her brother now wants her
    dead. Austin isn’t a man for games but he does want Melina at any
    cost, even his life.
    Are you ready to COMBUST?
    **easily read as a standalone!**
    Teaser 3
    Holly S. Roberts is a retired homicide and sex crimes detective who loves
    long walks on the beach and sweet music. NOT… she hikes mountains
    with her Rottweiler and listens to hard rock with heavy bass and bad
    words. She’s the USA TODAY Best-Selling author of the Completion,
    Club El Diablo, and Hotter Than Hell series. If a book doesn’t have
    enticing romance, steamy sex, and hot alpha men she doesn’t read or
    write it. Oh and coffee. She must have coffee!
    Follow the tour HERE
    for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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  • Sheryl Nantus

    Hard Pursuit (Delta Force Brotherhood #3)

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    Title: Hard Pursuit
    Author: Sheryl Nantus
    Series: Delta Force Bortherhood
    Genre: Military Romance
    Publisher: Entangled
    Print Length: 270 Pages
    Release Date: February 26, 2018

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    Review

    Will their attraction to each other, withstand the secrets that must come to light?
    Published by Entangled Publishing and written by Sheryl Nantus. Were swept away again into the world of the Delta Force Brotherhood. Men who are willing to put anything on the line to help anyone who is unable to help themselves. In Sheryl Nantus 3rd book in this series. It is Trey Pierce turn to put all or nothing on the line.
    The only difference, this is personal. Trey spent years trying to find the person responsible for leaving him wounded and his best friend dead. Now, he might have found the person responsible. However, justice might not be sweet, when he becomes attracted and later involved with Alley Sheldon.

    Alley Sheldon is a woman on a mission. A mission to find her wayward brother to save the company that has been in her families for years. This was nothing new for Alley! Though her brother was the oldest, Alley, herself was the more responsible one. But focusing on finding Vincent has become difficult when Trey Pierce was assigned her case. Getting involved with him wasn’t planned, yet she can’t deny the attraction that she feels for him.

    Hard Pursuit was another exceptional story. This too like the other book that I read in this series, can be read as a stand-alone. The plot was well written, but the mystery behind the accident wasn’t a big mystery to solve.

    Sheryl Nantus did a wonderful job of writing characters that you can get connected to. Even those characters that you can’t help but dislike. Hard Pursuit an exceptional story leaving us readers to wonder if a casual meeting is ever an accident.

     

     

  • Rhenna Morgan

    Guardian’s Bond (Ancient Ink #1)

     

     

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    Title: Guardian’s Bond
    Author: Rhenna Morgan
    Series: Ancient Ink
    Page Length: 384 pages
    Publisher: Carina Press
    Publication Date: (March 12, 2018)
    Genre: Paranormal Romance

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    Review

    Holly cow PNR!!! Just by reading the 1st book in Rhenna Morgan new series. Ancient Ink. I am all in to read the outcome of this exceptional world Rhenna Morgan has created. In Guardian’s Bond, published under Harlequin Carina Press brand(March 1, 2018), we’re introduced to Priest Rhandras who has lived for years helping to protect his remaining people from the evil within. But when a visit from his past, come barging in. He finds that the stacks are higher. When he comes in proximity to a young female, and the animal that consumes him, claims her as the one.

    Guardian’s Bond a high-octane story with over the top chemistry between the two main characters. With fast-paced action and romance. This story without a doubt will hold your interest until the very last page.

    I would recommend Guardian’s Bond for any and all fans of PNR. This is a series that will have you asking “Why isn’t the second book published yet!”

     

    about

    Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

    Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

    Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions and with his body.

    Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic or risking her as the next victim.

    Author info

    Rhenna Morgan

     

     

    A native Oklahoman with two beautiful daughters, Rhenna Morgan is a certified romance junkie and has a resume that reflects her passion for new experiences. Since graduating with a Bachelors in Radio, Television, and Film at Oklahoma State, she’s racked up positions ranging from on-air radio talent, skip tracer, and promotions director, to real estate agent, project manager, and business analyst.

    Like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dawn to dusk. To combat the crush of reality, she’s turned to romance as her primary source of escape ever since she cracked the spine on her first Christine Feehan book years ago. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or fantasy you’re after, Rhenna’s stories pack new, exciting worlds, and strong, intuitive men who fight to keep the women they want.

    For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at http://RhennaMorgan.com. You can also find her social media links there, along with her smoking hot inspiration boards.

  • BLITZ,  Book Tour & Giveaway

    Book Blitz: Echo (Archer’s Creek Book 1)

    Echo
    Gemma Weir
    (Archer’s Creek #1)
    Publication date: November 24th 2017
    Genres: Erotica, Romance

    Echo

    I’m a Doomsday Sinner. A biker to my very soul. Women have always been the same—interchangeable. Until her. She loves my control and craves my touch. Now she’s mine. I’ve claimed her in every way possible and I won’t let anything, least of all her, tear us apart.

    Olivia

    I was on the holiday of a lifetime, until I ended up stranded in Archer’s Creek. Then I met a badass, Harley riding biker boy who laughed at me. He’s a bloody pain in the arse. Bossy and controlling, he’s the unexpectedly perfect guy at the worst moment—because even the strongest love can falter when a crazed psycho decides I need to die.

    Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

    EXCERPT:

    “Fuck, fuck, fuck! I fucking hate Texas.” I sling my backpack down, and it lands on my toe. Shooting pain bursts from my foot. “Bollocks.” Kicking the stupid thing, I mutter angrily, “Stupid fucking bag. Stupid fucking bus.”

    A raspy chuckle makes me freeze.

    I brush down my shirt, straighten, and spin. My eyes start at the tarmac under my feet and slowly track upwards, devouring the biker god in front of me. Jesus, he’s huge. His tight white T-shirt stretches taut over his bulging chest. Tattoos cover his arms down to his knuckles and peak tantalizingly out of the neck of his shirt. His strong, thick thighs are spread astride a badass Harley motorcycle, the polished chrome sparkling in the morning sunlight.

    His hair is dark, almost black. Short at the sides but longer, shaggy and tousled on the top. God, I’m tempted to run my fingers through it. I force my hands into my pockets to stop myself from reaching out.

    I finally focus on his face. Wow, he’s beautiful. Perfectly chiseled cheekbones and full lips showcase his amused grin.

    “Can I help you?” I ask.

    He pulls a long drag from his cigarette and lazily blows the smoke into the air. “No thanks, darlin’, I’m happy watching.” His gaze glides up and down my body, and my skin heats under his appraisal.

     

    Author Bio:

    Gemma Weir is a half crazed stay at home mom to three kids, one man child and a hell hound. She has lived in the midlands, in the UK her whole life and has wanted to write a book since she was a child. Gemma has a ridiculously dirty mind and loves her book boyfriends to be big, tattooed alpha males. She’s a reader first and foremost and she loves her romance to come with a happy ending and lots of sexy sex.

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  • Book Tour & Giveaway

    Heart on Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 3)

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    Readers of The Kingmaker Chronicles are already well-acquainted with Griffin, but never before have we had the chance to see the world of Thalyria—and Cat—through his eyes. In anticipation of the final installment of the series, Heart on Fire, Amanda Bouchet has written this companion piece from Griffin’s POV!

    So, get comfy and dig in!

    Follow the tour for excerpts, and fun. Plus enter to win an advance reader copy of Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet!
     

    Gods Save the Queen_ Heart on Fire

    Heart on Fire
    The riveting conclusion to The Kingmaker Chronicles coming January 2018!

    GODS. I’M AN IDIOT.
    Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.

    True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form._

    I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.
    The only thing ever stopping me has been me.

    CVR Heart on Fire

    Pre-order Heart on Fire now!

    Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

    USA Today bestselling author AMANDA BOUCHET grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France, in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French. Connect with her at www.amandabouchet.com.

    Experience The Kingmaker Chronicles from the start!

    A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) by [Bouchet, Amanda]

    A Promise of Fire
    Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

    Breath of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 2) by [Bouchet, Amanda]

    Breath of Fire
    Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound


     

    Heart on Fire_ Griffin POV quote


    Original Piece

    What Happened in Velos Stays in Velos…

    by Amanda Bouchet

    Griffin watched Cat figure out their location from only architectural clues and the fact that there was a nearby forest. The way she put things together using a knowledge base most people didn’t possess amazed him.

    “How do you know so much about Velos?” he asked, curious. “The circus travels a route farther to the west.”

    “I’ve met people, heard things,” she answered with a small shrug.

    Annoyance ground against his earlier admiration. Cat knew the truth—always—and yet she lied to him constantly. He could see it in her face, knew when she was hiding something. He wanted what was best for Sinta. Griffin was convinced that Cat did, too, but for them to start making changes happen, he had to break through her animosity first. Sometimes, he saw flashes of something else in her when she forgot to guard her expression, something that made his chest clench. Maybe there was still hope.

    “Help me, Cat,” he said, trying not to sound like he was begging. Weakness wouldn’t go over well with her. She responded negatively to force—that much was clear—but she respected strength. “Or at least tell me the truth. I know when you’re lying.”

    “Oh?” She looked like her last meal was abruptly curdling in her stomach.

    “Your eyes get twitchy.”

    “My eyes do not get twitchy!” she spat back, clearly horrified.

    Did she really not know? She had so many tells, but he almost felt like he was alone in seeing them. No one else seemed to notice every nuance of her breath and skin.

    “This one gets narrower.” Griffin lightly touched the tip of his finger to the corner of her right eye. Cat jolted at the contact. He wasn’t sure if that brought him satisfaction or regret. Maybe it was some of both. He couldn’t figure out a lot of things when it came to Cat, but he knew his own heart and body. They didn’t lie to him. He cared about her deeply; he wanted her madly.

    “It’s as if you’re expecting the lie to hurt, but it doesn’t because it’s your own,” he explained.

    Still looking like there was a sour grape in her mouth, she leaned away from him and started walking again. “Thank you for telling me. I’ll have to work on that,” she said through clenched teeth.

    “Cat…” he growled, stalking after her. “Everything would be so much easier if—”

    “—you let me go.”

    Griffin shook his head. “I can’t. You’re too valuable.”

    “Aren’t you the lucky despot? The one who caught the Kingmaker. Forgive me for not being overjoyed about becoming your slave.”

    “Not a slave.” Impulsively, he reached out and grabbed her arm, swinging her back to him. “One of us.”

    Cat wrenched out of his hold, looking more than incredulous. She looked furious, her mesmerizing green eyes practically on fire.

    Gods, he wanted to shake her. Kiss her. Make her believe him. It should have been obvious to her of all people that he was telling the truth.

    Once again, the fact that he’d dragged her unwillingly from her home punched Griffin in the stomach, making his gut twist. What in the bloody Underworld had he been thinking? His logic and reason had seemed to melt in the heat between them and then abandon him entirely when they’d really begun interacting. In the end, he’d just known she had to be with him. They had to be together.

    He inwardly grimaced. As far as choices went about how to make that happen, though, there were undoubtedly better ones. And now he was paying. Cat was making sure of it—as she should.

    “I’ll never be one of you,” she bit out with enough conviction to almost convince him.

    Almost.

    Griffin dragged a hand through his hair, tugging it back. “You’re too stubborn for your own good.”

    She glared at him. She was something fierce.

    Emotion tore through his chest. Would she ever forgive him?

    The five of them—Beta Team, Cat, and him—eventually reached the market rows, and Griffin pulled four silver coins from his money pouch.

    Flynn’s eyes brightened as he rubbed his hands together. “Payday!”

    Flynn, Carver, and Kato each took the coin Griffin owed them, leaving one in the palm of his hand.

    “Cat.” Griffin extended the coin to her, an uncomfortable hesitancy making his heart pound. “Your pay.”

    As he expected, Cat refused the money. He wouldn’t push her. He wasn’t out to prove she was part of their team with one gesture. It was a long-term effort, one that meant a great deal to him.

    He put the coin away. “I’ll hold it for you. I know what you want. You complain about it often enough.”

    She looked up sharply, and then her eyes narrowed. Did she like it when he teased her?

    Cat moved along next to him while he bought her some fruit he thought she would like as well as some bread and cheese. Not goat cheese. He knew better than that. Griffin tried to keep the rope from pulling taut, but it wasn’t always easy. He hated to remind her it was there. Not that she ever forgot. He just didn’t want to make things worse between them.

    He located a soap seller next and tried to find something nice-smelling to replace Cat’s shrinking bar. He’d been using hers, and there wasn’t much left.

    The turn of his thoughts reminded him of bathing so close to her, only a few feet apart. Gods, he wished he could see her. Just a glimpse. Just the slope of her bare shoulder while her hair was slicked back and water slid down the column of her throat…

    Taking a deep breath, Griffin tried to control the jagged, unsatisfied heat prowling through him like a caged beast.

    Cat rolled her eyes. “You’re worse than a woman. Just take the yellow one. It’s always the best.”

    He reached for a block of bright-yellow soap, picked it up, and sniffed. “Lemon.” He closed his eyes and inhaled again, imagining breathing against Cat’s smooth skin. “Smells like you.”

    “And you,” she shot back, her color rising. “My soap should have lasted another month.”

    Ignoring the bite in her tone and doing his best to redirect his blood to his brain, Griffin handed over payment to the vendor. “We’ll take two,” he said in a voice like gravel.

    “There is no we,” Cat muttered irritably as they continued down the row of market stalls. “Don’t act like I have a say in any of this.”

    Now that wasn’t true. Griffin turned, frustrated again. Yes, he’d willingly pay for his highhanded stupidity. He’d pay forever if it kept Cat with him, but short of letting her go just to watch her walk away from him, from Sinta, and from everything they could accomplish together, he’d give her anything she asked for. And she damn well knew it.

    “You could have a say,” he growled at her. “And you could bloody well choose your own soap!”

    “I did! I told you to take the yellow one.”

    “And I did!” Cursing under his breath, Griffin stalked toward the next vendor, somehow forgetting about the magic rope. The bloody thing pulled taut, and he accidentally jerked Cat right into someone who suddenly stumbled in from the side. The man looked innocuous enough, but off-balance and dazed. High from some spell, no doubt.

    Griffin was about to intervene when Cat gasped and reached out to the stranger with a visible shudder. Her face lit up as she grabbed the man’s shoulders and pulled him even closer.

    Griffin scowled. What in the Underworld was she up to now?

    ***

    “Cat?” Griffin stepped closer to her. “Cat! What are you doing?”

    Laughing, she finally released the stunned-looking man. She turned and stumbled straight into Griffin, sucking in a sharp breath when he caught her bare arms to steady her. Her eyes flared, then softened.

    “You’re pink!” She giggled, the sound seeming strange and unnatural coming from her.

    Griffin frowned, which apparently made her laugh harder. Her eyes unfocused, Cat splayed her hand over his chest. He thought it was for balance. She probably wouldn’t have touched him otherwise. He still reveled in the warm, light weight of her fingers. He’d longed to have her hands on him.

    Cat stared at his chest. She seemed fascinated. She slowed her breathing to match his.

    Poseidon’s balls! What in the Underworld did you do to me?” The man who’d stumbled into Cat didn’t look dazed anymore; he looked infuriated.

    Cat blinked. She blinked again, tilting her head to one side. She stayed right next to Griffin, her hand still on his chest.

    The man staggered, fighting tremors and hiccupping down a series of short, disjointed breaths. His overly lean, unhealthy frame spoke of dependence and bad choices. Griffin tensed in case the addict got any stupid ideas about accosting Cat—who had clearly done something to him with her magic.

    “That dose was supposed to last all day!” the man snarled. “I paid good silver for it. Give it back!” He lunged at Cat.

    Griffin wrapped his arm around Cat’s waist and swept her out of the man’s path. The addict howled, and she laughed, leaning into Griffin in a way that warmed his entire side. Enraged, the addict drew a knife and waved it in Cat’s direction, a crazed light sparking in his already frantic eyes.

    No one threatened Cat. Griffin shot out his hand and knocked the knife from the other man’s grip. It wasn’t hard; the addict already shook. He had no intention of stopping there. He leapt forward and wrapped his hand around the man’s throat. He held on to Cat as well. There was no way he was letting her go.

    Her gaze bright, almost rapt, Cat stared fixedly at Griffin’s arm until he tossed the man to the ground. Kato, Flynn, and Carver formed a perimeter, keeping everyone else away and the addict in. Cat clapped and smiled, wiggling in apparent delight.

    “Dose of what?” Griffin demanded in a hard voice. He needed to know what was wrong with her, and he needed to know now.

    Cat shivered, and he couldn’t help gripping her tighter. He was self-aware enough to know he didn’t pull her closer solely for her protection.

    Banking on sheer intimidation as the best way to handle the addict, Griffin drew a knife and threw it with precision, sticking it a mere inch from the man’s ear. “The next one lands somewhere that hurts,” he snarled.

    The addict paled, his mouth going slack as his eyes darted to the blade next to his face.

    “Brutal,” Cat commented. She didn’t sound averse.

    Griffin glanced at her. “No one touches you.”

    She bit her lower lip, looking adorably confused. “You’re touching me.”

    Griffin’s eyes fixed on her mouth. “I’m the exception.”

    She seemed to stop breathing, to maybe even like what she heard. Hope jerked in his chest. Smiling, Cat swayed toward him, and his fingers tightened on her hip. It took an almost herculean effort to resist hauling her up against him and kissing her like he’d wanted to since the moment he’d first laid eyes on her, weeks ago.

    Griffin briefly closed his eyes. Cat wasn’t herself, and he wouldn’t take advantage of her.

    Focusing on the addict again, he ground out, “I’m waiting.”

    Cat turned back to the man at their feet as well and pointed her finger. “Answer or die!”

    She did menace with absolute believability, and the man’s face went cloud-white. Cat burst out laughing.

    “Euphoria,” he finally answered, pushing himself up to sitting. “Paid five silvers for it, and the little leech stole it with one touch.”

    The addict spat at Cat, and a low growl rumbled in Griffin’s throat. He wasn’t in the habit of beating on people weaker than himself, but right then, he was sorely tempted.

    You bumped into me,” Cat announced, although she didn’t look entirely certain. She peeled Griffin’s arm off her waist and then stumbled away, unsteady on her feet.

    The rope snapped tight, and she swayed. Following her, Griffin put his hand on her lower back to steady her, and the slight, momentary hitch in Cat’s stride was the only indication that she’d felt him behind her. She ignored him otherwise.

    “What about the addict?” Carver asked, handing Griffin back his knife.

    “Leave him.” Griffin stayed close to Cat as he sheathed the blade. “Make sure he’s not following.”

    Cat hummed as she walked, almost dancing. Without her usual dark cloud of cynicism and understandable fury in place, there was a brightness to her that riveted him. Griffin wanted to enjoy it, enjoy her, but he was too worried about what she’d done to herself—and how it would end. Highs inevitably came with lows.

    She stumbled, dizzy and distracted, and he easily caught her around the waist. Gods, he loved the feel of this woman in his hands. He wanted her under him. Over him. Everywhere.

    “You’re high on euphoria.” He slid his hands up her ribcage to better balance her as she swayed. “A strong dose, calibrated to a man twice your size.” Their eyes met, and Griffin felt her soft, dreamy gaze straight down to his groin. “How did that happen?”

    Cat beckoned, and he lowered his head. Their faces brushed, and he wished he could turn and capture her lips with his. It was torture to hold back, especially when Cat pressed into him, seeming to enjoy the contact.

    “I can steal magic,” she told him in a conspiratorial whisper. “If you had any, I’d steal yours.”

    Griffin kept a steady expression, even though her words shocked him. He’d never heard of that. He’d known Cat was valuable, powerful, but good Gods, was there nothing she couldn’t do?

    Without his immunity to harmful magic, he could never hold on to a Magoi like Cat—magic rope or not. Although the rope certainly helped.

    Helped keep her, he thought grimly. It didn’t help their relationship.

    Her sudden smile nearly winded him.

    “I can give it away, too.” Cat laid her hands on his chest and then shuddered. She frowned, seeming baffled.

    “You don’t want any?” She pushed on his chest again before dropping her hands. “There’s something very strange about you.”

    The realization appeared to delight her. Laughter bubbled up straight from her belly. Griffin felt his own mouth twitch.

    Her amusement cut off abruptly, and she scooted out of his arms, reaching for Kato. Kato’s eyes glazed over the instant she touched him. He grinned like a fool.

    “Everything’s pink!” Kato turned, lost his balance, and knocked over an entire table of leather goods.

    “For the Gods’ sakes!” Griffin muttered. Now there were two of them.

    The irate vendor started grumbling curses, so Griffin handed over some money. Nothing was broken, and the silver coin would more than pay for the mess.

    He turned to someone who still had his wits intact. “Flynn! Take care of him. Take him back to the inn. Make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid or kill anyone by accident.”

    “Oh, no!” Cat sang out in a loud voice. “We mustn’t kill by accident. Only on purpose.”

    “My sentiment exactly.” Griffin gripped her hand and led her away from the growing crowd of staring people.

    Cat giggled. Carver kept pace behind them.

    “Where are we going?” Cat asked, starting to dance in circles around him. Griffin turned as well to keep the rope from tangling—not that he’d mind if it drew her right up against him.

    Her hands suddenly flew up, and she started almost frantically taking apart her braid.

    “We have one more thing to buy,” Griffin answered, wondering if he should help her with whatever she was doing.

    “I knew it!” She seemed to forget about her now-disheveled hair and clapped, beaming. “What?”

    “A drying cloth.”

    Her face fell. Griffin knew a drying cloth wasn’t very exciting, but she needed one, so there was that.

    Cat’s head swiveled around, and she walked off to the right, taking Griffin with her.

    Her expression brightened once more. “A sword! I want a sword. Can I have a sword?”

    The way her eyes glittered when she looked up at him punched a hole of happiness straight through his ribs. Right then, he knew he could deny her nothing—except the freedom she wanted most.

    “You can’t even lift a sword.” He followed her toward the table of blades anyway. Maybe the vendor had something small.

    “I can. Watch me.” She reached for a huge monstrosity of a weapon. It looked big, even to Griffin’s eyes.

    “That’s odd. Someone must have glued it.” She bent over the sword for a closer look and ended up hitting her face on it.

    Griffin’s heart spasmed. Was she hurt?

    “Ow!” Cat popped up, rubbing her nose and nearly falling over backward. His hand shot out to steady her, but this time, she didn’t need him.

    She frowned ferociously at the blood on her fingers, but Griffin breathed a sigh of relief. The cut was a small thing.

    Cat eventually shrugged and then wiped the red smudge from her hand, laughing again. The euphoria must still have been strong in her system.

    Brushing flyaway hair out of her face, Griffin leaned in for a closer look. The nick had already stopped bleeding.

    In a move that startled him, Cat’s hands shot up and gripped his face back. Griffin’s heart stopped dead in his chest. She held on, her grasp tight at first. Then it loosened, and she trailed her fingertips down his cheeks.

    Heat rushed through him. He wished he’d shaved for her. He didn’t dare breathe.

    “Hmmm.” Her eyelids seemed to grow heavy, her lashing dipping to shade her beautiful eyes. “Scratchy.”

    Griffin swallowed hard. Cat was touching him, and circumstances made it so that he couldn’t reciprocate.

    He captured her hands in his and slowly lowered them. He couldn’t help the light caress he gave her knuckles. He didn’t do it consciously.

    “The cut’s nothing.” Hardly recognizing his own voice, he released her. If he’d held on to her much longer, his skin would have caught fire.

    With what felt like an Olympian effort, Griffin turned away from Cat and nodded to a small blade at the end of the table. The merchant handed it over, and he tested it, only partially to distract himself. If it wasn’t a quality blade, it wasn’t for Cat.

    The sword turned out to be sturdy, well-crafted, and straight. “We’ll take it,” he announced. “And your smallest sword belt with dagger loops.”

    Cat looked thrilled, and Griffin felt his chest expand.

    “You’re buying me a sword? And a belt for my knives?” Grinning, she astonished him by leaping on him.

    Griffin caught her as her arms and legs clamped around him. His heart thudded hard, his lungs seized, and his whole body ignited. She felt painfully perfect in his arms.

    Unable to resist, he angled his head toward her and inhaled deeply. Cat smelled like frosted lemons—fresh and tangy, with a hint of acidity. He loved her bite. He was fairly certain he loved her.

    As he breathed her in, his chest pressed against hers. The contact was exhilarating. His long, slow exhale shuddered over her neck, and Cat shivered in his arms.

    Breathy laughter fluttered against his ear. “Ack! That tickles!”

    A strained chuckle was Griffin’s only response.

    He forced himself to unlock his greedy arms from around her and set her back on her feet. He knew Cat—an undrugged Cat—wouldn’t want to be in his embrace.

    Staying close to him of her own accord, she smiled up at him in a way she never had before, like she meant it, rather than like she wanted to chew him up, spit him out, and then stomp on him until he was good and bloody.

    Was this how things between them could be if she trusted him? If he’d convinced her that night at the circus fair instead of capturing her?

    The thought made his chest ache, and Griffin cleared his throat, chasing out regret and need with a gruff sound. He’d figure out a way to win her over. He had to.

    “The sword’s really for me?” Cat asked.

    He hadn’t fully let her go since she hadn’t stepped back, and his fingers pressed lightly into her sides. “You said you wanted one.”

    Cat’s smile grew brilliant. “In that case, I want two! One for each hip.”

    He chuckled in spite of everything, imagining it all too well. The problem was, Cat was dangerous enough already.

    “Let’s start with one,” he answered, drawing her a fraction closer.

    Her breath caught, and it was agony not to lower his head and kiss her.

    To avoid temptation, Griffin turned and paid for the sword.

    Cat hopped along next to him when he began walking again. “Can I have it? Can I? Can I, please?”

    “No.”

    “Why not?”

    “You can have it when I can trust you.”

    She nodded. “Okay.”

    Okay?” Griffin’s eyebrows flew up in surprise. “That’s it?”

    “What’s it?” She flapped her hands, swatting at something. “Did you see that?”

    He frowned. “See what?”

    “The bee. The Centaur bee. The pink one.”

    Glancing briefly toward Olympus for guidance—and to keep from laughing—Griffin took Cat’s hand and led her through the market. It would have been easier if she hadn’t been dancing—not that he would ever stop her.

    When she looked up at him again, the joy in her eyes almost blinded him. “Thank you.”

    Her simple words punched the air from his lungs. “You’re welcome,” he answered gruffly.

    “Not you,” she declared in an exasperated tone.

    Griffin was content to not comment and watch her dance some more. She stumbled over Carver’s feet. Quick, as always, his brother helped her back up before he could reach for her, and Griffin’s hands clenched with the need to steady her himself.

    In thanks for Carver’s aid, Cat dipped into a deep and graceful curtsy that looked like it could have been executed in any royal court. He was surprised she managed it so well, given her current state. The ease with which she moved smacked of years of practice and raised questions he knew she wouldn’t answer.

    Carver bowed back awkwardly enough to make Cat laugh until she could barely breathe. They weren’t used to such pomp in the south. Court etiquette was something he and his family still had to figure out—preferably fast.

    Feeling a rush of worry for his family right now trying to integrate into royal life in Sinta City without him, Griffin guided Cat toward a table covered in drying cloths. Cat jumped, trying to catch the hanging ones while he looked through the selection on the table, suddenly ready to be done with the market in Velos and get back on the road.

    “This one,” he said, selecting a yellow one about the same shade as Cat’s usual soap. She’d like that, wouldn’t she? It was almost like having a set.

    “Is that for me?” she asked.

    Griffin nodded, his stomach sinking at how disgusted she looked by his choice.

    “Not that one. It looks like Cerberus threw up on it.” She glanced from side to side. “I want that one!”

    She seemed ecstatic about a flashy red cloth big enough to cover four of her, so he put the yellow one back and bought the red.

    He couldn’t think of anything else she—or anyone—needed, so Griffin steered Cat back toward the inn. Without warning, she sat down in the street, yanking the rope tight between them and pulling him to a sudden stop. Griffin let out a grunt of surprise.

    Cat looked up at him, her nose scrunching. “Serves you right. You could just untie me. Or let me go.”

    There was the usual Cat. Her tongue was still sharp, even if her mind was fuzzy. “And miss all this fun?” he teased.

    Her laughter shook her all over. Griffin smiled back, wishing things could always be this easy and enjoyable between them. Maybe they would have been if he hadn’t been such a colossal arse the night they met.

    He opened his mouth to apologize for capturing her, to solemnly ask her forgiveness, for another chance, for a better them he was desperate to have, when Cat’s head snapped around, and she jumped up, already running.

    Bollocks! He’d missed his opportunity. He knew himself; there was a good chance he wouldn’t take it again. Cat’s barbed tongue could make even him hesitate, and she’d be back to her normal self soon. And in the end, he wasn’t sorry they were together. He’d never be sorry for that. Griffin ran after her.

    “Where are you going?” he asked. Carver jogged next to them on Cat’s other side.

    She didn’t answer but then veered off and ran up the steps of a bathhouse, crashing through the doors and nearly plowing into a couple. She reached for the woman but then pulled back before Griffin had to intervene. She kept going.

    Chortling with glee, Cat raced toward what Griffin suspected was the men’s pool from the artwork on the walls. She didn’t seem to notice the increasingly explicit mosaics lining the corridor.

    They arrived at a tall door that Cat tried unsuccessfully to open. She repeatedly groped for and missed the very prominent latch.

    Griffin reached around her to open the door, not sure he shouldn’t have been barring the way instead. “I get the feeling you’ve never been high before.”

    She glanced up at him. “Have you?”

    He shook his head. Never—and he didn’t plan on it.

    “Looks like fun,” Carver chimed in, rather idiotically in Griffin’s opinion. It looked like a dangerous loss of control to him.

    Cat teetered toward Carver. “Want some? It’s fabulous!”

    Carver grinned. “No thanks. Offering anything else?” he asked so smoothly that Griffin had to do a double-take before the urge to punch his brother hit him.

    Cat laughed, blushing prettily. Then she sighed. “Don’t flirt.”

    “Why not?” Carver asked, completely ignoring Griffin’s hard stare.

    “Don’t you know? Poseidon sent your incredibly annoying brother to me with an oracular dream. Once-in-a-lifetime thing. Except for most people. Most people never have one. Anyway”—she rolled her eyes—“he probably thinks it means something.” She snorted like that was beyond ridiculous when it was likely the most important thing that had ever happened to him. “I’d rather eat goat balls. Or goat shit.” She frowned, clearly confused. “Or goat cheese!” she abruptly shouted.

    “Oracular dream?” Griffin turned the term over in his mind and in his mouth. He hadn’t known what it was called, or that it occasionally happened to others, but he’d known it was life-changing. He’d known it meant he was supposed to be with Cat.

    “She’s a wealth of information,” Carver murmured.

    “What? Never heard of one?” Cat shrugged. “I’m hot.” She turned, tripped, and went down before Griffin could catch her.

    He helped her to her feet again and then followed as she ran straight into the men’s bathing chamber. Three naked men looked over, startled.

    Cat yanked her tunic over her head.

    Griffin’s eyes widened. “For the Gods’ sakes, Cat!” He wanted to look. He knew he shouldn’t.

    Everyone else needed to get out now.

    She kept stripping, and something roared inside him.

    “Out!” he shouted to the other men. What in the Underworld was he supposed to do? He couldn’t leave her alone in here. Not looking seemed impossible, especially when he needed to keep her safe. And because he desperately wanted to.

    The need to protect her, even from himself, battered his chest. At the savage look on his face, the three men scrambled out of the pool and ran. They averted their gazes from Cat, obviously knowing what was good for them.

    Cat turned back to him, completely bare. Heat built in his groin and crept through his abdomen. Griffin wanted to reach for her, to cover her. To cover her with himself. He nearly groaned.

    His brother moved in his peripheral vision. What in the Gods’ names was Carver still doing here? A growl ground deep in his throat.

    Before his narrowed eyes could snap to Carver, Cat reached up and swept her fingers through his hair. Her touch was light but sure. There was no hesitation, and even some gentleness. He wished she would never stop.

    She smiled and patted his head. “Good Beta.”

    The growl meant for Carver turned into a grunted laugh.

    “Woof!” she barked back.

    Gods, she was amazing. And fun. And strong. The knowledge made him grin and hit him square in the chest—which made his eyes automatically drop to hers.

    Griffin froze, balling his hands into fists to keep from reaching for her.

    She flushed. Her nipples hardened as he watched, and the tension inside him exploded into something nearly unbearable—hot and urgent. Griffin felt a muscle tick in his jaw as he clenched his teeth, fighting to tear his eyes away from her. He lost the battle, and his eyes dipped, sweeping over her. He swallowed hard. He wanted this woman more than his next breath. But he wanted her to like him first.

    “Untie me or get in.” Cat’s throaty whisper, her invitation, nearly brought him to his knees.

    Griffin stepped closer to hide her nakedness from Carver. He didn’t watch Carver leave the room, but he did watch Cat blow his brother a kiss, and Griffin practically saw red. He’d never felt so barbarically possessive in his life.

    Finally alone with her, Griffin lifted his eyes to Cat’s. “Give me your binding word you won’t leave without me.”

    “All right,” she agreed.

    Could it be that easy? “Say it,” he insisted.

    She rolled her eyes with extra exuberance and then bowed dramatically. “I won’t leave the bathing chamber without you, O Imperious One.”

    It was hard not to laugh. His ire deflated instantly. Cat was his only concern.

    Griffin untied the rope, trying to keep his hands to himself. He accidentally brushed Cat’s waist at one point, though, and his fingers almost caught fire. His whole body tightened with the need to claim Cat for his own.

    The instant she was free of the rope, Cat turned and dove into the pool. She stayed underwater for so long that Griffin started to get anxious. He realized he shouldn’t have worried when she popped up a moment later, whooping and laughing.

    She swam forever, and Griffin couldn’t do anything but watch and make sure she didn’t hurt herself. She played, frolicking in a way that made him long to join her. But she wouldn’t like that. She might like it now—she’d even splashed him and tried to coax him in—but she wouldn’t like it later. He wouldn’t make the inevitable end of her fun worse by joining her and giving her something more to regret from today.

    Besides, how would he keep from touching her? From showing her how hot he burned for her? If he got in, the whole damn pool might evaporate just from the fire inside him.

    Another long hour of torture later, Griffin pulled up short. He saw the exact moment Cat’s high burned itself out and fatigue and reality came crashing back to take its place.

    She gasped, paling to near-translucent. She started to sink.

    Griffin stepped forward, but then she seemed to recover enough to float. He hesitated. He wanted to help her, but she probably wouldn’t want him touching her.

    Cat’s face went from white to red so fast it was blinding. She bowed her head, looking defeated, and Griffin’s heart clenched hard.

    “That’s why addicts stay high,” he said softly. “It’s too awful when it ends.”

    She sniffed but didn’t look up.

    “Come.” Dropping his gaze to the marble floor, Griffin held out her new drying cloth. It was more than big enough to cover her up and warm her.

    He didn’t look directly at Cat, but he could still tell that she crawled up the steps, shaking, shivering, and almost too weak to make it to the cloth he held. Griffin was going to hand it to her, but then she just oozed into the material and waited. He wrapped it around her and began gently patting her dry.

    “Why did you take it?” he asked when she closed her eyes, looking mortified, weary, and utterly alone.

    Right then, Griffin wished more than ever that he’d earned the right to take her into his arms and comfort her. But he hadn’t, so he wrapped the cloth more firmly around her instead. She trembled.

    “The magic wanted to be inside me.” She spoke so softly he barely heard. “I couldn’t control it. I-I didn’t even try.”

    Was it just his imagination, or had Cat leaned into him?

    He cleared his throat.

    “It wasn’t his magic. It was a spell.” Griffin straightened, wanting a better look at her. Pale face. Grey lips. Blank eyes. The sight of her made his chest ache.

    “It doesn’t matter.” She slumped, hardly even upright. “It’s the same to me.”

    Not knowing what else to do, Griffin made sure the cloth was secure around her before trying to guide her toward her clothes. “Let’s go.”

    Instead of walking, Cat dropped to the floor and curled up in a ball.

    Watching her, Griffin’s gut sank. He’d put her in a position where she’d felt compelled to steal unknown magic, undoubtedly to help her escape. Now she was sick and miserable, and it was in good part his fault. No wonder she hated him.

    Griffin gathered their belongings and then carefully picked Cat up off the floor. She surprised him by not protesting. She even rested her wet head on his shoulder, her breath a sweet warmth against his neck. He cradled her against him. He’d build trust one heartbeat at a time if he had to.

    “You never smell bad,” she murmured, barely forming words around her fatigue.

    “Should I?” Griffin asked.

    “It would make you mortal, like the rest of us.”

    “I am mortal. That’s why I need—”

    “—your help,” she finished with a sigh.

    “This isn’t a game, Cat.”

    “Just leave me here,” she said despondently. “You can’t carry me all the way back.”

    Griffin grunted. That was absurd—in more ways than one. “And leave behind my most valued treasure?”

    She hesitated. Her breath seemed to catch. “I won’t be used.”

    Ah, the usual rhetoric. He smiled vaguely. Was she coming back to herself?

    “Egeria will win you over,” he said. And he would, too.

    She yawned, bringing the tip of her nose into contact with his neck. He wished she’d let herself come even closer, thought maybe a small part of her even wanted to, but suddenly she stiffened in his arms.

    “It won’t get that far.” Those five words were sharper than anything she’d said in hours.

    Griffin’s mouth flattened. And so it began again. “You’re wrong. You’re wrong about a lot of things.” And somehow, someday, he would prove it.

    “I bled on that sword and didn’t dilute it.” The panic in Cat’s voice shot tension through his body. “They’ll track my blood. It’s been hours. They’re already on their way.”

    “Who?” he demanded.

    Wilting again, she yawned, exhaustion seeming to drown her fear. “It’s your fault. You exposed me.”

    Griffin held her tighter, his heart hammering out adrenaline-laced beats. “I’ll protect you.”

    She closed her eyes, looking alarmingly weak. Almost unconscious. “You could try,” she whispered just before her head lolled, and her body went limp in his arms.

    Grim-faced, Griffin carried her toward the inn. He had to do better than try. The fate of Thalyria and both of their futures depended upon it.


    Amanda Bouchet
    Amanda Bouchet

    Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

    A French master’s graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaBouchetAuthor/
    Twitter: @AuthorABouchet
    http://www.amandabouchet.com/


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  • D. B. Reynolds

    Damian (Stone Warriors, #1)

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    Genre: Paranormal

    Publisher: ImaJinn Books

    Publication Date: June 15, 2016

    Series: Stone Warriors: Damian

    Print Length: 250 pages

    Characters: Damian, Cassandra

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    It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

    Damian Stephanos honed his skills in battles fought with magic as much as swords. Caught by a deadly spell that left him trapped for centuries in darkness and obscurity, he is finally freed, only to discover that his enemy still lives. Determined to find him—and to free his brothers in arms—he first must fulfill his blood debt to the woman who released him from his torment. Unfortunately, being so close to this enticing female is another type of torment altogether . . .

    Cassandra “Casey” Lewis is a hunter. Possessing the rare ability to sense magic, she spends most of her time shadowing arcane collectors, and more often than not, stealing the dangerous artifacts she pursues. Her job is risky, especially when she’s stealing from one of the most powerful sorcerers alive. But having a gorgeous warrior by her side is a definite bonus. He’s great in a fight . . . and in other places, too.

    Following a trail of dead bodies, the two of them must join forces to track down the sorcerer who cursed Damian, and who now plans to turn an ordinary magical device into a deadly weapon. Risking everything, including their hearts, they’re about to discover that trusting each other might be the hardest thing of all.

    Looking for action and a strong male and female character. Then you must read D.B. Reynolds first book in the Stone Warriors series: Damian.

    Damian was a fierce warrior that was betrayed by one of his own. Trapped for centuries in darkness and obscurity. He was finally set freed and out for revenge on the one who trapped him.

    Cassandra is a hunter with a special talent. That of sensing magic. She may need those talents for the assignment she was assigned was anything but ordinary.

    When she thought, her life was over out of the shadows came a gorgeous warrior carrying a sword and an attitude to match.

    Damian was hot and wild with a well-developed plot. It was well worth the time it took to read. I got immersed into the story rather quickly. By the end, I knew, I was going to follow the series to the end.

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