Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Affiliate by K.A. Linde 5 Star Review!!!

 
 
Synopsis
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm's lifelong plans come to fruition when she's chosen as an Affiliate to the Queen.
Or so she thinks. When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene's position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have...
King Edric himself.
Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.

Purchase

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Excerpt
 
“I see the way you look at her, Edric. Your eyes follow her, you dance the longest dances with her, and now, you’re sending her presents. I’ve known you too long not to know that this is unlike you. You’re not Kael. You don’t fraternize with the Affiliates who parade themselves in front of you, hoping for a scrap of your time. Yet here you are with this Cyrene. What is she to you?” Daufina asked.

At her question, Edric paced the long room. She watched him through the silence and wondered what he was thinking.

“You told me once that you would inform me if you wanted to take a mistress—”

“I do not want to take a mistress,” Edric snapped.

Daufina straightened in surprise. He never raised his voice with her.

“I apologize,” he said with a sigh. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Just talk to me.”

“Would you believe me if I said that I didn’t want anything to do with her?” His eyes were pleading.

“No,” Daufina admitted.

“No,” he agreed. “No, I wouldn’t either. I keep telling myself that I’m acting like a fool, Daufina, but then I see her again.” He stroked his chin as he tried to find the words. “She has this pull. When I’m with her, the throne slips away, and I’m just a man with a beautiful woman. It both intrigues and terrifies me.” He splayed his hands before him. “I can never be anything but the king…but when I’m with her, I want to be.”

My Thoughts....

I love to dabble in other genres from time to time and when I say other genres I mean the paranormal and fantasy world. I love when a novel can transport you to another time and place where the impossible becomes the possible and in The Affiliate by KA Linde we get just that! The author took me to another realm where Kings and Queens ruled the land and the best way to travel was by ship or horses. The Affiliate is a fascinating tale of a young girl’s journey from teenager to young adult. She expected her life to be a certain way and once she got there, it was nothing like what she expected.


Cyrene has been groomed and studied to be placed in the upper class when her 17th birthday came. She knew she was smart enough and was well trained to be there. She would be deviated if she was placed in a lower class as all of her family has been placed there prior to her. It’s no surprise on her Presenting Day where she is placed but with who her handler is. When presenting herself to King Edric, Queen Kaliana, the Consort, and Prince Kael, all were drawn into Cyrene’s inner beauty except the Queen. As they say keep your friends close and your enemies closer and being the Queen feeling threatened by Cyrene, it is announced that she is her handler and she would train her on her duties as an Affiliate. At her party, her sister gives her a book that she thought Cyrene would enjoy. It was just a journal with blank pages but to Cyrene, it’s so much more. When she opens the book, the pages sparkle and glisten with a beautiful font that is unreadable. This just leads to more questions and peeks her curiosity about the book and why she can see the words and her sister cannot.

Being an Affiliate under Queen Kaliana Cyrene thinks she is going to be able to show her vast knowledge but instead she is given the simpler and mundane tasks that she knows do know suit her abilities. Cyrene is frustrated but does what she knows must be done. The book is always at the back of her mind and this pushes her to seek answers that not many know about. She cannot find much about this book and she finds the person she sold her sister the book he is frightened by it and tells her to travel to a faraway place to find the answer. The journey will not be an easy one but one she knows she must take.

 And then don’t get me started on King Edric or Prince Kael!! I feel like The King has genuine feelings for Cyrene but he is married and she knows she could never be his queen. Prince Kael has also taken a likely to her but I feel like with him there is always a hidden agenda and he’s up to something. What?? I haven’t put my finger on it but I’m sure it’s no good!
This is one that I just devoured and I am very excited about the upcoming books in the series! I was able to escape reality live in a magical kingdom for a couple of hours and I never wanted to leave. This is one that everyone could enjoy and I would highly recommend! 5 huge stars!

 
  About the Author...
 
kalinde copy


USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.

When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.
Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sins of Sevin by Penelope Ward 5 Sar Review!

 
Blurb...

What happens when the one you want is the only one you can't have?

My name is Sevin.

Homeschooled and sheltered by my ultra-religious family, I was always taught that lust was a sin.

Elle was the girl who'd been carefully chosen for me.

After a long-distance courtship, I'd be moving into her family's guesthouse so that we could get to know each other in the months before the wedding.

Boundaries were set: no inappropriate touching, no kissing, no sex before marriage.

I'd accepted those rules and my fate.

Until I met the one I wanted to sin with.

That was when restraint became a problem...especially since THE ONE wasn't Elle.

It was her sister, Evangeline.

You know what they say about best laid plans.

My name is Sevin, and I have sinned.


Told in alternating points of view, Sins of Sevin is a full-length standalone novel. Contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. Only appropriate for adult readers age 18+.

Sign up for Penelope’s mailing list now and be the first one notified of releases HERE: http://eepurl.com/MnXoH
 
Purchase
Amazon

My Thoughts...
 
Penelope Ward has quickly moved up my list of favorite authors as with each release she just knocks my socks off!! She sucks me into her story and holds me there until the very end! While reading Sins of Sevin, this book was all I could think about. I would be at work and read on my lunch and break and after I would be thinking of ways to sneak read some more! For me, Sevin’s story was heartbreaking! I just wanted him to be happy and it seemed like at every turn life had other plans for him. The emotions that the author is able to convey just jumped off the pages at me and held me hostage the entire time! This is a phenomenal novel that I would highly recommend!

The book starts off with Sevin’s father passing away. He lived with his father and step mother and now with his father gone he was looking to move out on his own. When a friend of his Father’s gives him an opportunity to work for him and eventually take over his company he knew it was something he could not refuse. There was just one catch… he would need to marry his daughter, Elle. They came from a very traditional old fashioned up bringing where arrangement marriages and courtships were still something they believed in. After talking to Elle on the phone for months, they decide to take the next step and have Sevin move to their home and live in a small house on the property. Still, a courtship would be strictly enforced and they would need to have a chaperone when they were together.

On the way to their home, Sevin’s truck has a little trouble and while he is looking under the hood, a girl on a bike catches his eye. More surprisingly she knows a thing or two about cars and helps him fix it and get him back on the road. He is mesmerized by her. They are complete strangers but she is all he can think about it. Little does he know he’s met Elle’s sister Evangeline. Here he is supposed to be courting Elle and he can’t stop thinking about Evangeline. Where Elle is content on being a wife and mother to who her family sees fit, Evangeline is a free spirit and wants to experience life and not just go through the motions. Both Sevin and Evangline share the same feelings and the pair struggles to keep faithful to Elle as neither wants to betray her trust. They agree to be friends and fight the strong feelings they have towards each other.

How everything changes in a blink of an eye. An accident changes everything for all and things will never be the same after it. Sevin knows where his responsibilities are and all he can to be loyal and faithful. I don’t want to spoil the story so I won’t go into great detail but this is where for me the story is gut wrenching! It just makes me fall in love with Sevin so much more and had me hoping that he could be happy. The twist and turns the follow just had me so engrossed in the story I never wanted it to end! This is definitely one that is a MUST read! Huge 5 stars for me!!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Letting Go (Keaton #1.5) by B.A. Wolfe Relase Day Blitz & Giveaway!!!


Title: Letting Go (Keaton #1.5)
Author: B.A. Wolfe
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: September 28th, 2015
Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative Cover


Synopsis
Jason Bradley is a simple, country guy thrust into a life most wouldn't consider normal. He’s dealt with his share of heartbreak and pain, and now he keeps his secrets close to his heart to avoid getting hurt again. Living the only way he knows how.

Until Cassandra Pierce crashes into his world. After a life-changing moment he never anticipated, he realizes that loving her is only the beginning.

A whirlwind of days…

Beautiful moments…

Then it all comes tumbling down, and Jason learns that the hardest part of living…of loving…is letting go.
This is Jason's story.

**Letting Go is a Full Length Companion Novel to the Keaton Series and is told in Jason's (Jase) POV **
Purchase

Excerpt

She moaned loudly, her hands splaying across my shoulders. "You make me so happy. I hope you know that. Thank you for giving yourself to me."

"Thank you for letting me, for wanting me." No one had ever wanted me like she did.

She held my cheeks and searched my face. "I'll never not want you, Jase. That's impossible."

I knew exactly how she felt.

Without another word, she sat up and playfully pushed my chest, wanting me back on the pillow. So I went with it and fell back as she climbed over me, a leg on either side.

"So . . ." Her fingers coiled around the hem of my shirt, my heart thumping rapidly. "Do you remember when you said that I was yours?"

I grinned. "I remember."

A sexy smirk splashed across her face. "I might be yours, but do you know what else that means?"

I folded an arm behind my head, while my other hand caressed her bare leg. "No, sweetheart. What does it mean?"

Her body inched lower until our chests were touching and our heartbeats matched.

Placing her mouth directly over mine, she whispered, "Mine, Jase. You're all mine, cowboy."

I palmed the back of her head and growled, crashing my lips to hers, taking every ounce of Cassie I could. I was hers and she was mine and there was nothing that would ever change that. Even if tragedy ever struck down the road, I’d always still be a chapter in her life. One she’d never forget. No one could ever take that away from either of us.
 Playlist

Other books in the Series

Away (Book #1)- FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OyZbJp
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1hBy3ZM
iBooks- http://apple.co/1WbQbuU
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1PZhFQl
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1LhND70
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UEzbuT

Stay (Book #2)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OyZfc3
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1y8Qla3
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Fw8Qbd
About the Author
B.A. Wolfe is a girl with a passion for reading and writing, and lives in the good old state of Colorado with her husband (her biggest cheerleader), and her two crazy min pin fur babies. These days, her life is anything but calm, and there isn't one thing she'd want to change. B.A. spends all her free time either furiously typing stories on her laptop or happily reading through her endless TBR on her Kindle. Her list of favorites would be long enough to fill a book, but most would likely fall under the romance category. She is a sucker for a good love story that makes her cry, and an amazing book boyfriend who will melt her heart.

Author Links-
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbawolfe/
Website: http://www.authorbawolfe.com/
B.A.’s Wolfe Pack: https://www.facebook.com/groups/222618881245078/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BAWolfe3
Instagram: https://instagram.com/author.bawolfe/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7133885.B_A_Wolfe


Giveaway!!!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fade to Red by Willow Aster 4 Star Review!

 
 Synopsis

Dancing in pop superstar Beckham Woods’ entourage was the last thing Roxie wanted. Her life with little Leo was blissfully ordinary; she didn’t have time for the drama that stirring up old memories would surely cause. But when Roxie took a spot on an international tour with Woods and rock icon Ian Sterling, the lure of financial security and her passion for dance pulled her into an emotional storm that threatened to spin out of control and hurt the ones she loved most. Just as she began to adjust to her new life, it became apparent that danger was in the shadows, waiting for a chance to move...

***Fade to Red is a standalone novel featuring characters from True Love Story.***

Goodreads
Purchase
   
My Thoughts...
 

If you are looking for something suspenseful then look no further than Fade to Red. Not only is this a great romance story but the author has you second guessing at every with chapters of a crazy person looking for redemption and their own happily ever after. It’s had me guessing who the crazy person was and the author gives us just enough clues to think we have things figured out but then throws you for a loop and you have to start guessing again! Not only did we get more Ian and Sparrow from True Love Story but we also meet Beckham and Roxie! I love it when an author brings back characters we know and love and give us a whole new story with new characters. Even if you haven’t read True Love Story, you can still enjoy this novel as it can be read as a standalone.

Beckham is the new Hollywood it man. As the reigning Sexiest Man Alive, he is embarking on a new US tour when he joins forces with Ian to tour together. During the dancer auditions, one stands out above the rest. He is mesmerized by Roxie and wants to spotlight her in some solo acts. He is drawn to her in more ways than he cares to admit. Always the player there is just something about her he cannot seem to get enough of.

Roxie is a single mother raising a toddler who she adores more than anything. Working a 9-5 job wasn’t cutting it so she decided to follow her dream and audition for an upcoming rock tour. She never imagined in a million years she would actually get it and be a featured dancer. Forced to make a tough decision, she decides to follow her heart and leave her son to join the tour.

Roxie does all she can to stop the advances of Beckham. She wants to hate him. She wants to have nothing to do with him. But he is relentless. He will do whatever it takes to get Roxie to see the real him, not the Rock Star persona that everyone else sees.

The closer they get the more a mystery starts unfolding. Literally a crazy person is sprinkled throughout the book. I love these little snippets but again they have me thinking, oh man… something is going to happen and when it does it won’t be good!

I was so drawn into this one and loved the suspense behind it! I wanted to have Beckham and Roxie work but it seemed like something is always there to stop them. Can they find love and happiness or will something or someone keep them apart?? You’ll need to read to find out! 4 stars!

About the Author...
Willow Aster loves nothing more than writing the day away--anywhere will do. Her ideal place to write would be a remote treehouse somewhere, but not just any treehouse. It would need to be more like a fabulous cottage inside and free of bugs. Oh!--and a refrigerator full of Coca-cola, Orangina, and cheese. www.willowaster.com
Author of True L̶o̶v̶e̶ Story (USA Today Bestseller), In the Fields, Maybe Maby and the upcoming Fade to Red.
   
Newsletter Signup link: http://eepurl.com/bvmq9L

Saturday, September 26, 2015

BAD WICKED TWISTED: A Briarcrest Academy Box Set by Ilsa Madden-Mills Release Blitz

bad twisted release day graphic.jpg

FOUR red-hot stories about the bad, wicked and twisted characters of Briarcrest Academy, featuring a dirty-talking gym owner, a football player, a sexy rock star, and a British bad boy.

Bad Wicked Twisted: A Briarcrest Academy Box Set is
NOW AVAILABLE FOR ONLY 2.99!

bad wicked twisted live.png

bad wicked twisted teaser 3.jpg

EXCERPT

Nora

“I’d like to sleep for a hundred years, wake up and try again.” – Nora Blakely

“Drop the paint and turn around slowly with your hands in the air.” The loud command was said with a deep voice. “I’ve got a gun, asshole, so move nice and slow.”
I bent over and placed the can on the pavement. I started to turn when— “I said put your hands in the air!” he yelled.
I yanked my hands up and eased around to face the owner of the voice.
He was about ten feet away from me, standing six feet and then some. He was missing a shirt but wearing a pair of black athletic shorts and flip-flops. Judging by his disheveled dirty blond hair and bloodthirsty eyes, I’d have to guess this might be the owner of the Escalade.
And I’d just woken him up.
He came closer to me, and my eyes were immediately drawn to his green-and-blue dragon tattoo. Like a giant snake, the scaled body of the dragon wrapped around his forearm and bicep with the neck coming down from his shoulder and the head resting on his broad chest. Red flames poured from its mouth, between laser sharp teeth.
This guy looked medieval.
I pictured him as a rugged Viking, wearing a horned helmet and gripping a spear instead of a gun. Maybe holding a shield instead of his flashlight and definitely wearing some of those laced-up leather boots. The word berserker (from round two of the famous spelling bee) came to mind, and I rolled the syllables around my tongue . . . ber-serk-er. Yep, that was him alright: one pissed off Norse warrior.
I grinned at my amazing analogy because, well, I was trashed.
“You think this is funny, son?” he snapped.
I shook my head, suddenly aware that this was really happening, that I’d been caught, and an angry car owner was pointing a gun at me. And he thought I was a boy.
“That’s what I thought. Now, what the hell are you doing out here messing with my car?” he said, biting out the words through clenched teeth.
I said nothing.
“You’ve got twenty seconds before I call the cops,” he said, stepping closer.
And then it happened.
Everything clicked in my head, and I knew him. He was the one, the gorgeous guy from the open house whose gaze had been the glue that held me together in the parking lot. I forgot about the gun and got tangled up in my thoughts, remembering the countless times I’d played out the memory of our eyes clinging to each other, how I’d wanted to jump out of my car, get into his and just drive away. I flicked my eyes back at the Escalade, dimly remembering he’d driven a black car. I really hadn’t paid much attention to it that day because all I’d seen had been him.
“Ten seconds,” he yelled, blasting his light full in my face until bright spots were floating in front of my eyes.
“Get that off me,” I snapped, swaying a little.
He lowered the light a miniscule bit. “Drunk and disorderly plus vandalism are two misdemeanors. Looks like you’re going to jail.”
“S’kay with me. Put me in jail,” I said weakly. But even as I said the words, I knew I was lying. I wasn’t a minor anymore, and I could kiss Princeton goodbye if I got arrested.
Nausea reared its ugly head and my stomach began to roll.
“Five seconds,” he retorted.
I bent over and hurled, missing my shirt but not my adored cowboy boots. After that, I dry heaved, and the force made my legs buckle, making me take a header straight on the concrete, the side of my face slamming into the wet pavement. My ball cap fell off in the craziness, my long hair spilling out over the wet ground.
“Holy shit,” he muttered, easing the gun down, “you’re a fucking girl.”
“Last time I looked,” I whispered, running my tongue across my teeth to check for chips. I scooted myself away from the mess I’d made and reached up to touch my face to see if I was bleeding. There wasn’t any blood, but I could feel my temple swelling. I put a hand on the car and pulled myself up. My knees were on fire, and when I looked down, I saw the concrete had ripped through my jeans and blood was dripping down my legs.
He cursed, pulled a phone from his pocket and dialed a number. “Sebastian, it’s all good. No, no cops. Yeah, come on out here. I might need some help.”
A door slammed, and a younger version of the man, probably around my age, came around the corner, his long legs striding briskly. He stopped in front of the graffiti I’d drawn and whistled loudly. “Oh baby, those pretty hearts and flowers are rocking your ride, Leo.” He chuckled and then stopped when his eyes took me in. “Whoa, she’s bleeding. Did you beat her up?”
The guy called Leo rubbed his scruffy jaw. “I don’t hit girls. She fell.”
“She’s hurt,” the young guy stated, frowning. He stared at me with a puzzled expression and then grinned and slapped his leg. “Hot damn. It’s her,” he said in a loud whisper. “You know? Nora? From registration?”
“Yeah. I see that,” Leo said, his eyes searching my face.
“I see no official introductions are necessary. Everyone knows me now as the girl with the potty mouth,” I said, leaning completely against the car, smearing the yellow paint everywhere.
The younger one came to my side. “You okay?”
I focused on him and decided I liked him. He had an open face that made me think he laughed a lot, so when I felt myself swaying again, I reached out to him.
“Watch it,” he said gently and grabbed my shoulders to steady me.
Leo walked over and loomed beside me, a disapproving look on his face as he watched us. I shifted closer to the one he’d called Sebastian, but stumbled and lost my balance, falling down again on my knees. Shit. This night had gone downhill fast.
Sebastian kneeled down next to me and looked over at Leo. “Hey, how ’bout I carry her inside so she can get cleaned up?”
Leo let out an exasperated breath. “Ridiculous,” he muttered. “She ruins my car, and you want to invite her inside? You’d feel different if it had been your Beamer, Sebastian.”
Sebastian gave my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “She’s my classmate, bro, and I think she’d just drunk.”
Leo let out a grunt. “Whatever. Fine, I’ll get her, and you get the backpack. And don’t forget the spray paint.” He walked over and glared down at me. “If I call the police later, we’ll need the evidence.”
Then, without any effort at all, he swept me up, his hard arms slipping under my knees and around my back as he scooped me off the ground.
And just like that, the night caught up with me, and I nestled into his bare chest, feeling like I had come home. He smelled so good, like—
“Butterscotch,” I mumbled, turning my nose into him.
“What?” he grumbled, carrying me inside the glass doors.
I didn’t answer because I was too busy laying my cheek against his hot skin and staring into the crystalline eyes of his dragon.
He took me down a long hall with several doors on each side and past a large workout room with treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights. “Hold on,” he said and adjusted his grip on my legs and started up a wide staircase that opened to a spacious loft area. He carried me past a den area and a kitchen and into a large white-tiled bathroom. I suppose I was too wet for any other room. And I wasn’t exactly a welcome guest.
He sat me on the toilet seat, made sure I was steady, and eased away from me. Maybe he wanted me to sit, but I didn’t. I jumped up, went over to the sink and turned the water on. He stood there, his broad shoulders tense, watching me as I splashed cool water on my face and rinsed out my mouth. I grabbed a hand towel and dried off, wishing I wasn’t intoxicated.
“Tell me why you vandalized my car,” he stated, crossing his muscled arms and spreading his legs, his stance making it obvious he was pissed. The tension heightened in the small room as we stared at each other, and I tore my eyes from his to sit back down on the toilet seat, not knowing how to answer him. I would only sound crazy.
He tapped his fingers against his legs. “What’s your parent’s phone number? And don’t think of lying because I can always look it up online. I know who you are.”
“There’s no point in calling them. They aren’t home. They never are,” I said, grabbing a wad of toilet paper and cleaning off my boots. My throat tightened painfully at the thought of my parents, and I soothed myself by counting the tiles on the floor.
He didn’t speak and several seconds passed, and I tensed up more, fearing that like Mother, he excelled in using silence. But no one was better than Mother, who’d once refused to speak to me for an entire month when I’d come in second at a debate competition. During the first week of that horribly quiet time, I’d followed her around, begging her to talk to me. She’d ignore me and say to my dad, “Silence is golden.” As the weeks had progressed, I’d learned her silence was her speech, her way of saying I was worthless.
“Please don’t call my parents,” I added, hiding my shaking hands behind my back.
He tightened his mouth. “Fine, who can I call to come get you?”  
“Don’t hold it against Portia from the bakery across the street, but she’s my aunt. I’m staying with her.” I dug my phone out of my wet jeans, scrolled down to her number, and handed it to him.
Our fingers brushed when he took my phone, and I jerked, shocked at the unexpected sizzle of heat sweeping over my body. He pocketed my phone and then opened the medicine cabinet, gazing into it for a long time without moving, like he was considering what to do next. I watched him warily, wondering what he had planned for me. Finally, he sighed and pulled out hydrogen peroxide and a handful of gauze.  
“Sebastian has a change of clothes you can borrow, and you’ll need an ice pack for your face. It’s going to leave a bruise,” he told me as he bent down to touch my temple with his long fingers. He cleaned my face with cold water and then dabbed it with the hydrogen peroxide, his touch surprisingly gentle even though I could sense his anger just under the surface.
In the bright lights of the bathroom, I let my gaze run over him freely, taking him in, not missing how beautiful he was. He had an unyielding face, with a jaw line that looked like it could chisel granite, matching his well-built, defined body. Yet even with all the hotness in front of me, the one thing that made my heart fly was his icy pale-blue eyes. This close up I could see how the light, almost transparent color contrasted with his tan face, making his eyes glow like the precious opals I’d studied about in science. And right now they were focused entirely on me as he scrutinized my bruise.
“Is this your gym?” I asked, trying not to wince as he patted my temple.
“Yes,” he said, tossing the used gauze into the trash, his arm muscles rippling. He stood up and raked a hand through his wavy blond hair, holding it there as he studied me with those piercing eyes. I returned his look, my breath kicking up a notch at how sexy his naked chest was, how his dragon tattoo seemed to slither and slide over his chest as he moved. My eyes moved down to his taut abs and the way his shorts barely hung to his lean waist, hinting at what was underneath.
Of course, while I’m buzzing, I remembered my bad list and grew curious about having sex with him. Would he be gentle or demanding? Would he like me on top or would he get behind me? Would I enjoy it?
But it didn’t matter if I got off as long as he made me forget.
Forgetting was the important part.
It had been months since I’d had sex with someone. Not since that wild weekend in New York with Drew. Even though our relationship had ended badly, I still remembered the sex and how good it had felt to be held by someone. Like I wasn’t alone, like someone cared about me.
I needed a night like that again, to lose myself in sex. I wanted this Viking.
I gave him a fake smile. “Leo’s a great name. Guess you know it means lion. It also means bold one. Are you bold?” I said in a low tone, reaching out to stroke his arm.
He jerked away from me, like I’d scalded him, but it didn’t deter me. True, I was a little younger than him, but what guy would turn down a no-strings-attached night? Drew hadn’t.
I stood up and toed my boots off. “How old are you?” I asked.
“Too old for you,” he quickly retorted.
“I’m not a virgin, you know. I’ve been with other guys, some good at fucking, some not.” I let my eyes run over him slowly. “You’re older which means more experienced. I bet you’d blow them right out of the water,” I said, putting it all out there and letting bad Nora take over completely.
“I don’t care how many douchebags you’ve fucked,” he said with a hard face, his eyes gleaming with distaste.
I felt some of my false bravado slip away, but not enough to stop. He was what I needed tonight. I began unbuttoning my shirt, and his eyes followed my progress. “You tell me your age and I’ll tell you mine,” I said in the best teasing voice I could muster.
I undid the last button and shrugged out of my shirt, relieved I’d worn the black lace bra. “You like?”
He yanked a towel from the shelf near the door and tossed it in my face. “Cover up, Nora. I don’t do spoiled, rich girls.”
I caught the towel and held it against me, ignoring that remark. Those types of insults never affected me.
Not when you hear them every day.
“If you won’t tell me your age, I’ll just have to figure it out on my own. And I’m guessing you’re at least twenty-five, maybe twenty-six?” I said.
He shook his head and clenched his fists, not answering me.
I took a deep breath, dropped the towel to the floor and unclasped my bra, letting my size C breasts fall out. Even though I’d been a pudgy most of my life, I’d blossomed into a girl with generous curves. He seemed to like what he saw because he didn’t look away. I glanced down at my erect nipples and lightly touched one with my fingertip, surprised by the desire I felt. I brought my eyes back to his face, imagining his tongue on me.
A muscle jerked in his tight jaw.
I dropped my hand and steeled myself to keep on toward the goal. “Of course, it’s getting harder to tell someone’s age now because people take better care of themselves, like you with your tight abs. But, if you study someone long enough, you’ll find out their secrets.”
“I don’t have any,” he ground out, tearing his eyes from my body.
“We all do.”
He rubbed his hand across his mouth as his eyes swept over my breasts again. “You don’t know jack about me.”
I studied him, my brain picking through what I’d observed tonight. “Well, you own your own business, so you’re a responsible person. And, I bet you a new pair of boots you’re the guardian of the young man out there, who has to be your brother because he looks just like you. I think your parents are out of the picture.”
I unsnapped my jeans, shimmied them pass my skinned knees, and tossed them in the trash. “You’ve also shown self-control tonight that’s impressive. Someone less in control might have shot me on sight. In a nutshell,” I said, taking off my black panties, “you’re well-off, take care of a younger brother, and keep your emotions on a tight leash. Am I right?”
He glared at me, his entire body frozen up, like a tiger poised to pounce. Like he was going to jump on me and devour me. I wondered if he’d eat me the way I wanted.
I couldn’t stop talking. “I’m good at observing people: body language, mannerisms, how they talk, style of clothing, everything. It’s a puzzle I like to put together. It’s better than Facebook stalking,” I said with a forced shrug, trying to be casual when inside I was freaking the hell out. What was I doing?
Why was I trying to seduce this guy?
He didn’t want me.
No one did.
His eyes burned like blue flames. “What kind of girl strips for a guy she just met?”
A girl with no self-respect, I thought.
I shrugged. “I need a shower, which involves me taking my clothes off.”
He narrowed his eyes at me. “You could have waited until I left.”
I flicked my eyes at his crotch. “You’re hard for me. You’re bigger than a tree trunk in those shorts,” I said. “And you haven’t walked out of this bathroom. I think you’re a little fascinated with me. I think you like watching me take my—”
“Fuck!” he barked out and spun around to go.
“Wait, wait,” I called out, reaching out to make him stop, needing him. Please stay, I wanted to say.
He turned back with his fists held tight by his side and spat out his words. “You’re a naked girl, and I’m a grown-ass man. I’m walking out of this room while I still can.”
But he made no move to leave, and it gave me a tiny bit of hope.
“I . . . I just wanted to know how old you are.”
“Twenty-five. I’m twenty-five,” he muttered, “and you’re jailbait and not my type.”
“What type is that?” I asked.
“Girls who aren’t in high school. In other words—not you.”
And as we stood there, facing each other, I waited for him to make his move, to snatch me up and take me to his bed like I wanted.
But he didn’t, because I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or smart enough.
I was never enough.
I cleared my throat and powered on. “Eighteen isn’t jailbait.”
We stared at each other and the longer our eyes held, the more I knew my boundaries were gone. It seemed like there was nothing I wouldn’t say to him. Even though my insides were quaking with nerves, I went over to him until our bare chests were only inches apart. I was five feet ten inches, and he was at least six inches taller, making him the tallest guy I’d ever stood next to. Not only that, but his body was built like an NFL football player, with lethal yet lickable muscles. I liked being near him. I felt safe, like no one would ever hurt me again.
My eyes caressed the dragon on his chest, and I wanted to trace it with my tongue. I thought about how warm his skin would be, how it would feel to have his strong arms wrap around me as I kissed his sensuous lips. When his breathing accelerated along with mine, I knew I wasn’t completely alone in my feelings. I searched his eyes, surprised at the new sensations coursing through me.
I pressed myself against him completely, and he hissed at the contact. “Don’t you want to touch me?” I whispered, rubbing my breasts against his chest to get some friction.
He gripped my arms and shoved me away from him. “You’re playing with fire. You think you want this?” He laughed darkly. “Buttercup, you can’t handle me.”
And with those words, he pivoted around and stomped out of the room, slamming the door hard behind him.

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Blurb
Each book in the Briarcrest Academy series is written as a stand-alone love story following a new couple.

1: VERY BAD THINGS (Nora and Leo)
2: VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS (Dovey and Cuba--prequel novella)
3: VERY WICKED THINGS (Dovey and Cuba)
4. VERY TWISTED THINGS (Violet and Sebastian)

VERY BAD THINGS (Amazon Top 5 Book and #1 in New Adult and College Age Romance)

Leaving behind her mansion and Jimmy Choos, Nora Blakely becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex.

Then she meets her soulmate, but he doesn’t want her.

Sexy gym owner Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love…until Nora shows up with her list of bad things. He resists the pull of their sizzling connection, hung up on their age difference.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where the best things in life are VERY BAD THINGS.


VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS (Prequel Novella: Amazon Top 100 Book and #1 in Urban Fiction)

When wicked ballerina Dovey Beckham meets football star Cuba Hudson, she didn’t plan on having her heart shattered into a million pieces. He’s the bad boy with a dark past and when he falls for Dovey, he knows she can’t be part of his future.

Welcome to VERY WICKED BEGINNGINGS.



VERY WICKED THINGS (Amazon Top 100 Book and #1 in Urban Fiction)


Dovey Beckham is a ballerina from the wrong side of the tracks with a scholarship to prestigious Briarcrest Academy. She gives her body but never her heart. Cuba "Hollywood" Hudson is a wealthy football player with fast cars and even faster girlfriends.

Until the day he meets her, and she offers him something he's never tasted: true love.

Their passion is electric, their connection deep, but once in a lifetime kind of love doesn't come easy, especially when dirty money, past sins, and old flames come calling.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where the best things in life are Very Wicked Things.


VERY TWISTED THINGS (Amazon Top 100 and #1 Urban Fiction)

Violet St. Johns is a talented violinist hiding out in a Hollywood mansion, struggling to forget the devastation of her parent’s sudden death.

Vital Rejects front man Sebastian Tate never imagined his music video would go viral, skyrocketing him to instant fame. Okay, maybe he did. He’s a cocky dude, and he knew his name would be in lights someday.

When he sees the elusive girl in the mansion next door playing her violin nude, they begin an erotic game of spying.

When they finally come face-to-face, sparks fly and clothes comes off. But giving his heart to a girl isn’t Sebastian’s plan; falling for a guy who craves attention isn’t Violet’s.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy….Hollywood style….where the best things in life are VERY TWISTED THINGS.

Praise for the Briarcrest Series:

"Cuba is hot, delicious, and intoxicating...the perfect book boyfriend. Be prepared for an addictive read." ~Tijan, NYT Bestselling Author


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Meet Ilsa Madden-Mills!  
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New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She's addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding heroes in books. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she's a Gemini), Sephora make-up, and tattoos.

She has a degree in English and a Master's in Education.

When she's not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets, paints old furniture, and eats her weight in sushi.


SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

You can stalk her on her website as well as get signed books: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com






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