From “Money Eyes” a story in the “Obedience Training” collection:
Bad boys never change... Do they?
Cassandra Levant:He was the best man at my best friend’s wedding and he had a hell of a reputation. Tall, handsome, full-of-himself, how could I resist? The cocky bad boy drew me in, and no amount of logic could convince me to let him go.
The first time we met, I didn’t exactly make a good first impression. Mistaking someone for a stripper doesn’t really land you in their good books, does it?
I mean, what are the chances that he arrives at the exact time the stripper is supposed to turn up? Give a girl a break!
Then again, what are the chances that three weeks later he’d end up being my hot new boss?
He thinks he has the edge over me. It’s about time this play boy was brought back down to Earth.
Aaron Maxfield:After an embarrassing first meeting with Cassandra, payback was the only thing on my mind. I wanted her, and I knew she wouldn’t dare resist me, but first, I was going to thoroughly enjoy pushing all her buttons.
Funnily enough, it turns out that this stunning blonde is in need of a new job, and I happen to be hiring. Am I the luckiest guy alive or what?
I think I’ll make her my very own personal assistant. Let’s have some fun, shall we?
Read an excerpt from Rosalie's story“Oh! I’m so sorry! I wasn’t looking!” She immediately apologized before she even got a chance to see who it was that she’d jolted. It was the boy with the blue eyes! At first, she didn’t recognize him because he had on jeans without rips, and a plain t-shirt instead of a leather jacket. His face was freshly shaven, and she could still smell the sweet shaving gel he’d used.
“It’s fine.” He kept staring at her, and she blushed. Turning back towards the front of the aisle that she’d come from, she decided that she was just going to grab a random box and get the hell out of there. “I think you might find this one to your liking.” He reached up and grabbed a box from the top shelf that she hadn’t even looked at yet, and held it out to her. Rosalie’s hand shot out of its own accord to take the box and put it in her little shopping basket.
“Thank you. And thank you for bringing back my book. I hadn’t even realized that I’d forgotten it.” Oh no! The word vomit had come out. She’d meant to say two words to him, then beat a hasty retreat, but her mouth had a mind of his own. He smiled at her, and she froze. His smile was utterly dazzling. It was like a moth being reeled in to the flame. She had to tell herself not to move any closer to him.
“It’s no problem. Enjoy your coffee.” He turned away from her, and it took her a second to realize that he was stocking the shelves. Did he work there? Something told her to just turn around and leave, but there went her mouth again.
“I’m Rosalie, by the way.” She blushed furiously.”
Here are great books I read in 2016 but that were not published during that year.
I am always looking for more wonderful books. Please share your favorite reads of the year with me!
In no particular order...
1. The Milch Bride: by J.R. BIERY
A good historical western is hard to find and this one is very compelling with all the best elements of the genre.
2. The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
This whole series was beyond great and I power read it.
3. Takes Two to Tackle by
4. Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper
Gah. 5 Stars. Rock Star Romance with grown people. This book. Yes.
5. Stealing Mercury by Charlee Allden
Great Science Fiction Romance World building Gladiator style.
6. Kulti by Mariana Zapata
5 Stars. I have already reread it 3 times. The best slow burn.
A perfect pair of Christmas Romances.
8. Saving the CEO by Jenny Holiday
Charming and sexy.
9. SATED: #3 in the Fit Trilogy by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Fun. Hot. I love this author.
10. Dukes Prefer Blondes by
5 Star. Historical Romance doesn't get any better than this.
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Available Now for 99 cents!
Mars is a rising star in the bear shifter Nomads MC. He has just two days to claim his Fated Mate before their bond disappears, and they have to survive a group of human traffickers who want to take them out. Mars Donner is tall, dangerous and brutally loyal. His golden eyes melt panties and make men get out of his way. He'd done his fair share of dirt, and even put a few people in the dirt, but he had lines he wouldn't cross. As long as he had his MC, his cut and his hog, he thought he could get through anything. Then he met his Fated Mate, and he knew there was no line he wouldn't cross for her. Annette Vogel is an investigative journalist and no stranger to chasing a story. Freshly back from Afghanistan, her therapist tells her that she needs to take it easy, that working through PTSD is a process. But Adrenaline junkies don't take it easy, and when she gets wind of a human trafficking circle she has to go after the story. But crossing those kinds of people can have deadly consequences, especially when the story starts chasing her.
DEAR AGONY: A NOVEL
You've been my shadow, following me through childhood—filling my days and nights with terror and uncertainty. You cleverly disguised yourself as some form of pain or suffering as I grew into a young woman. We were unwavering companions … until I severed our ties.
I traded homelessness on the streets of New Orleans for a luxurious bed covered by the finest linens.
I traded dumpster diving for dinner in the finest restaurants.
I traded myself to a stranger—Bastien Pascal.
I have a good life within my platonic and mutually beneficial companionship with Bash.
He’s my friend. My mentor. My roommate.
Until everything changes.
I’m not supposed to get goosebumps when his hand brushes my skin.
I’m not supposed to be eager for his soothing touch following one of my nightmares.
I’m not supposed to think about what might happen if I reached out to him in the darkness.
Falling in love with him? Preposterous . . . unavoidable.
Agony, why are you back with a vengeance to rob me of this life I’ve come to love so dearly?
I’m finally happy. Don’t ruin this for me.
In this epic love story, Dear Agony forges a connection between an unlikely pair—a beautiful rose entwined in barbed wire and a shipwreck sinking into the darkest depths of the ocean. This agonizing romantic novel poses some gut-wrenching questions: What does a woman do when the man she loves is planning his own demise? And how far will she go to give him something to live for?
Dear Agony: A Novel
Bastien wasn’t lying. The man snores. Loudly.
I was awake for hours after he came to my bed. I had far too many thoughts whirling around in my head to doze off.
I’m proprietor of a sadness I hold so tightly, it’s penetrated my very being. It has wrapped itself around my heart in the form of barbed vines, warning people away. I’m buried chest deep in filth—the filth of my vile past. I’m the captain and my pain is forever my first mate.
I wake to find myself held by his strong arms. Encased in his comforting touch. Strangely, even though I’m clinging tightly to the arm wrapped around my waist, I feel . . . safe in the arms of a man. This man. It’s a first for me.
Bastien is still sleeping, his snoring proof he is unaware of our entanglement. I’m glad. I want to savor this close encounter for a while longer before I pull away.
I steal this moment like a thief, permitting myself to study his face and body without his knowledge.
His chest under my head is hard, as is his stomach beneath my hand. There’s sparse hair between his pec muscles but he has a small patch on his abdomen trailing down into the front of his pants.
I gently lift my head so I can see his face. Long, thick, dark lashes rest against his lower lids. Strong, square jawline—covered in dark whiskers, and a few sparse silver here and there, a little thicker this morning than last night. A tiny dimple in the center of his chin. Full, pink lips with a deep cupid’s bow. Straight nose, slightly asymmetrical to the right side of his face. Hmm … I haven’t noticed that until now. I bet it’s been broken. Probably playing football.
Even in sleep, Bastien’s face doesn’t completely relax. His brow remains wrinkled, the shallow crowfeet around his eyes slightly crinkled.
Lines and all, he’s handsome. Extremely so.
I quickly pull away and roll onto my side, my back turned to him before he fully awakens. I don’t want that awkward moment of waking and coming to face to face, forced to discuss what led him to my bed last night.
Minutes later, there’s a brief dip in the mattress and then I hear the soft click of my bedroom door closing.
He’s gone without a word.
I roll to my back and run my hand along the spot where he was lying. Still warm. Scooting closer, I press my nose into his pillow. Mmm. Woodsy. Earthy spice. Masculine.
Savoring the warmth and smell that remains in my bed after Bastien’s departure is something I shouldn’t enjoy … but I do. Very much.
Liking these things isn’t part of our agreement.
Bastien has clearly stated he doesn’t want a romantic relationship. In fact, he’s very much against it, especially with someone my age. And I refuse to ruin what we have. I like him. I think we can be very good friends.
“Hello there, Bexley Way.”
“So formal, Seth Baxter. What can I do for you?”
He chuckled, the sound causing her nipples to tighten. “I have so many ideas for what you could do for me. However, I doubt you’d want to be on your knees for that long.”
She inhaled sharply, the guttural tone of his words stoking the embers of her lust. “Um, anyway…what did you want?”
“Noncommittal there, Bex.”
She wasn’t giving in to him. “Did you need me?”
“Again, yes, on your knees.”
She snorted when he groaned, and, thankfully, told her what he’d called for. “Got a cover-up tattoo for you. The girl had some scratcher ink vines down her right side. Mess. Total mess. She doesn’t like the idea of me or Skirt.”
“Don’t blame her.”
“Hilarious. Anyway, I showed her some of your work and she wants you. I know exactly how she feels.”
Warmth filled her chest. Would she ever get over this man? “Did she tell you what she wants over the scratcher’s work?”
“Told her you’d call to arrange an appointment. I’ve got her number here, if you want it.”
“I’ll be at the store in a couple of hours. I’ll get it then. Leave it on the desk.”
He chuckled again. “Is that your way of finding out if I’ll be here when you come in for your shift?”
“Maybe,” she said, not bothering to stop her smile from blooming across her face.
“I’ll be here, babe. You come and find me in my office, and we’ll chat about that scenario that has you on your knees.”
Bexley laughed, catching her reflection in the mirror. She looked happy. Carefree. And very much in love.
“You’re like a teenage boy,” she scoffed. “Always thinking with your dick.”
“It’s where all the blood flows, baby. Can’t help it.”
Bexley rolled her eyes, her smile still firmly in place. “Don’t you have work to do instead of bothering me?”
“You fucking love it when I bother you.” She heard Skirt’s muffled catcall. “Skirt agrees, though he said I do have a client to ink. I’m sorry to cut this scintillating conversation short.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry, too.”
He ended the call after whispering her name. Her insides fluttered. She lowered her palm to her stomach. They could have been the perfect parents. Their teasing and affection had always been so natural, and they were slipping into that relationship now. She could feel it, and even though she should stop it from going any further until Seth understood, she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Not for the first time, she wished everything would have worked out differently.
Her phone chirped, vibrating in her hand to announce another call. Seth’s face flashed onto the screen.
“Don’t you have skin to tattoo?”
“You could at least say hello,” Seth said with a chuckle.
“I said that before—the first time you called me. What do you want this time?” She feigned impatience, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. She enjoyed talking to him.
Do you have a certain place in your home for reading?
I read mostly in my bedroom and in the bath tub.
Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I use bookmarks .Love collecting them.
Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop read after a chapter / certain number of pages?
If I start on a book 99% of the time I finish it before putting it down unless its over 500 pages or more for one sitting.But if I have to I would finish out the chapter not leave it in the middle of it.
Multitasking: music or TV while reading?
I do read with the TV on sometimes but with light reads but with a major read and a complicated plot I need to turn it off.
One book at a time or several at once?
One book at a time if reading in hardback or kindle or paperback.If I am doing computer work then I listen to an audio book sometimes while working.
Reading at home or everywhere?
I bring something to read no matter where I go.
Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Silently in my head.
Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
Barking the spine or keeping it like new?
I collect books so I like to keep them new as possible.
Do you write in your books?
“I was wondering how I was scoring.”
“I can’t tell you.” She knew that. I was immediately on edge, wondering what she really wanted. “Out with it, Lee. Whatever it is.”
She had to tip her head back to look up at me. “I need you to score me low enough so I don’t make varsity, just JV.”
“No,” I snapped, narrowing my eyes, not needing to think about what she was saying.
“Listen,” she snapped back, “I’ll perform shitty on some of the stations and throw it myself if I have to, but I don’t want to be bad enough that I screw myself out of a spot on JV.”
“Then don’t. Bring your all to practice, kick ass, and see where you score.”
“You’re going to try to boost me to varsity.” She stated it as if she knew it was fact, as if she could read my mind.
“I’m going to average all of your scores just like I do everyone else.”
“Okay, whatever,” she sassed, doubt clear. “Figure out the teams however you like, but I need you to promise me you’ll put me on JV.”
I watched her closely for a minute. “Why? Is it the practice times? If rides are a problem I can pick you up.”
“I can walk.” She shot down the idea completely.
“Because I want to play JV.”
The hell she did. No one wanted to play JV, not when they were good enough to play at the next level. “Why?” I ground out.
She crossed her arms over her chest, pushing her breasts a little higher. “Because.”
I swore. I tried to keep my language clean while on school grounds, but she brought out the worst in me. “Lee,” I warned, “you may have forgotten how this works, but I’m a stubborn ass, and I’m not budging. You want something from me, you tell me why you want it.”
Fire filled her eyes. “I don’t want to be on your team.”
I tilted my head, waiting for the rest of the explanation because that was not good enough. She ran her tongue over her bottom lip. Unlike the girl from last fall, this one was not even remotely intimidated by me.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. You and I have,” she paused, dropping her eyes and struggling to find the right word, “history, and I don’t want that coming back to haunt me.”
“And how would our history haunt you exactly?”
“I don’t want anyone to think I get preferential treatment.”
I laughed loudly. “Preferential treatment? Because I’m your teacher? Or because I was your coach last fall? ’Cause that makes sense,” I sneered.
“You know what I’m talking about.”
“I don’t, actually. Because unless you told people we’re friends outside of school, no one knows.”
“Please, Craig.” I loved it when she said my name. It reminded me of a different time when it would be a gasp on her lips. I was a sadist like that. “Just put me on the JV team.”
I mulled over her words for a minute. “No.”
Done with the conversation, I turned, lifted my duffle over my shoulder and headed for my Chevy. It was all alone in the empty lot. Not even Lia’s wretched ride was there.
“What do you mean ‘no’?” she shrieked. “You can’t say no.”
I didn’t slow down. “I can. I did. No.”
I threw my bag in the bed of my truck and reached for my door, but she stepped in the way to keep me from opening it. “Don’t be difficult. Please?”
I stepped back slightly. “You think I’m being difficult?” I laughed humorlessly. “You’re throwing a temper tantrum like a damn toddler, asking me to break rules for you, but I’m difficult because I won’t?”
Her jaw set and her nostrils flared. “Yes, I’m asking you to break rules for me. For once. There is no reason you can’t do this for me. Except the fact you want to be a miserable prick.” She threw her bag onto the ground in anger.
“If you think me wanting you to play on a team that is actually worth your time and effort instead of being held back is me acting like a miserable prick, then you have another thing coming little girl. The world is filled with men a lot meaner than me. I can’t wait to see how you’re going to handle the guys who really are dicks.”
“This has nothing to do with how well I play!” She pushed both hands into my chest and shoved me back a few steps. “This has everything to do with you!”
“Me?” I hollered back.
“You! You and your pathetic little power trip!” She groaned in frustration, clenching her fists. “Oh, my God, you are so infuriating.”
“How in the hell does this have anything to do with me? There is no power trip. I’m doing my job. As your coach!” I shouted over her. “You’re the one who is irritating as shit!”
“Oh, don’t even!” Her face had turned the same shade as her hair. “Why can’t you just move me to JV? Why do you have to make every single thing so difficult?”
“Because there’s no reason for you to be there! Give me one good fucking reason!”
“Because if I play for you, we’ll be at each other’s throats constantly!”
“Bullshit,” I spat the word. “We’ll be at each other’s throats whether you’re on my team or not. Try again.”
“God, you are something else!” She put her hands on her head, completely frustrated. “Because, if we’re alone, and you know damn well we will be, we won’t pay attention to those stupid ground rules. We’ll end up right back where we were in October! I know it and you know it, whether you want to admit it or not!”
“You don’t know that!”
“I do!” She screeched. “I won’t be able to stop it any more than you can.”
Her eyes widened in shock, as if she couldn’t believe she had actually said the words. She was right. I couldn’t stop it.
The difference was I didn’t want to.
She was absolutely adorable when she was angry with me. I needed to kiss her. I clutched her cheeks, stepping into her, and leaned down, capturing her lips.
She resisted me for a split second. Then, she released the breath she was holding, sighing into my mouth. Her hands clutched my shoulders, pulling me closer, then she draped her arms around me like a vice, holding me there. She lifted her legs, wrapping them around my waist, and my hands went to her ass as I pulled her closer.
I took a step, pushing her back against the door, trapping her between my truck and me. I kissed her until we were both completely breathless and her hands were tugging at my shirt. I almost let her take it off, remembering the feeling of her nails on my skin.
The sound of a truck somewhere in town brought me back to reality. I pressed my forehead onto hers, trying to catch my breath. God, I’d missed her.
Let me start off by saying this is a new author for me and I have to say that I picked a good one.I throughly enjoyed this Holiday story.I happened to come across this author in a Holiday promo and thought it would great to read a few Holiday stories that were different from the norm so I picked several MC authors to try out and I have a say that all the stories I read I loved so I picked up the rest of the stories in their series.
Wow! I was hooked from the very first pages and devoured the story until it was finished.There was so much going on right from the very beginning intrigue,sexual tension,aura of danger ,sharp whit and tons of humor .The main story was about Tia and Big D known as Diesel also.I have to say I loved both character's they were interesting funny,playful,protective of each other,sexually attracted to one another and a whole lot of hotness in the air.
I normally pick one character that turned out to be a favorite of mine in a story and mine turned out to be Big D.Although I loved Tia Big D went through a lot of healing in this story even though he might not have recognized what was happening with Tia being present in his life.I loved the fact that although Big D was a newly patched he should have been enjoying the benefits of the club for those new members but, he did not get enjoy them making him so damn uptight and frustrated it was a funny site to see. Diesel's windfall of those benefits were deprived of him because of his new job of protecting Tia.It was funny to see him so sexually frustrated it made me laugh with his antics of refraining especially as Tia was off limits to him and all members to the club. I found Big D to take his job seriously even though he wanted Tia from the first moment he saw her.I also found Diesel to be protective funny had a sense of humor and big heart even though he doesn't let most people in or close.Diesel wrestled with a few demons of his own in this story and one of them was hating Christmas which Tia absolutely loved and it was her favorite time of year.I love the fact that although he hated Christmas he went out of his way to make Tia's Christmas something special even when they were on the run from killers.He opened his heart for Tia which totally made me fall in love with him as you saw it was extremely hard thing for him to do.
This was just a great story from the beginning to the end a page turner of intrigue.Tia and Big D 's sexual tension was off the charts.I had to laugh at his punishment stunt for Tia for making him rock hard constantly and frustrated.That was some punishment guys and girls ! (LOL)I loved Tia to she really had a vibrant personality and was protective loving, funny and real backbone.Tia is the type of gal every hard ass biker needs Tia's the perfect fit.
I was glad to be part of Tia's and big journey as the couple were falling in loving , both healing in their own way from their past hurts that they had in there life and cleaning house with their current ones.Big D grew the most throughout this story and also had the most to lose if he wanted to kept Tia in his life after all is said and done.Tia also had some really hard choices to make also if she was going to find a life with Diesel.I really loved these characters and connected with both of them from the very beginning which is important to me when reading a story to have a connection with them.The author also did a great job at bringing all the secrets to life which made the story even more intriguing as it went along.We loved it and are looking forward to reading the others in the MC series.We are giving this a 5 star read and putting it on our favorites shelf for new author's.
I am curious to hear from my fellow readers what books they are looking forward to reading this up and coming year?