Monday, November 16, 2015

Phillip By Kathi S Barton Release Blitz & Winner Announced 11/16/15

Phillip Lanning is beyond tired. The jobs they’ve been doing with their search and rescue company are just draining him. He needs a break and isn’t sure how to tell his brothers that he’s burnt out. When Nic appears in his apartment to tell him of another mission, this one happens to be his mate, and she’s sick to boot, Nic tells him that the only way she’ll live is if he converts her into a leopard. She doesn’t have much time left. Phillip doesn’t know what to think.
Charleston Grant, better known as Charlie, knows her days are numbered. The tumor’s pressing on her optic nerve and the doctors aren’t giving her long. And when she fell into possession of a coded book, she and her mom became a target. Charlie just wants to get her mom to safety before she dies. Nic tells her he can help her with that, to go with the Lannings and everything will work out.
When Charlie wakes, she knows something is off. She was supposed to die, but instead she can see. And the story she gets about shifters and immortality has her head spinning. Not to mention finding out that her mother isn’t really her mother and her life to this point has been one big lie. And the woman she’s been protecting has sold her out…Charlie is at her wits end. Now a surprise visitor, a fate, shows up and says that Charlie and Phillip were never supposed to meet…she had gone to great lengths to make sure of it…now both Charlie and Phillip are pissed. Who does this woman thinks she is?

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Chapter 1
 Phillip moved through the apartment without seeing anything. He was exhausted and he hurt. Going up the stairs to his bed seemed like too much effort, so he just stripped down to his boxers and sat on the couch. He felt the man in the room before he closed his eyes. “You should take better care when you are home alone, young Phillip.” Phillip didn’t even bother answering Nic. “I could have killed you and been gone before you even sat down.” “I’m too tired to fuck around right now, Nic. Go away.” The room brightened with light from the fireplace and he glared at the man. “Are you really going to make me pay attention to you? Have you any idea how tired I am right now?” “I do, and yes. You must pay attention to me. It is very important.” Phillip got up and moved to the kitchen, snagging a pair of pants from the laundry basket as he moved by it. He had no idea if the stuff was clean or not, but he didn’t want to talk to Nic half-naked. “Trouble is brewing. And I fear that you are going to be hurt most of anyone.” “What else is new? I’m so tired right now all I want to do is sleep. I’m beginning to hate this job, if you want to know the truth.” He opened his refrigerator and closed it quickly. “I think I forgot to dump stuff before we left this time.” “It is fine now.” Nic sat at Phillip’s table and a glass of something appeared in front of him. Phillip opened his refrigerator again and wasn’t surprised to find it not just fully stocked, but cleaned of all the old stuff as well. He took out the tray of luncheon meats and went to find a loaf of bread. “We have been searching for Grant for you. There is something that you should know. Plenty…but for now, this will be very important to you and your family.” “I’m sure, but right now unless it’s a matter of life or death, just give me the highlights.” Nic nodded and watched him as he put together four thick sandwiches. It was really too much for him, but he knew that Nic would help him out. After getting a large glass of water, he sat down and handed one of the sandwiches to Nic. “Tell me while I eat.” “Charleston Grant is not dead as we have assumed. Hiding, but not dead. There are others still searching for…Mr. Murphy was not the only one that has been looking. Charlie is human, and as far as I can tell, never had any encounters with non-humans.” “What do you mean, as far as you can tell? Have you seen him?” Nic smiled and shook his head. “What does that mean? You don’t smile like that unless you know something very creepy. Not that much of what you do isn’t sort of on the creepy side, but right now I’m too tired to figure it out.” “I do not know what you mean about being this creepy person. As for what I know about Charlie, as she tells people to call her, it is very little. Not by that name anyway.” Phillip nodded and had taken a large bite of his sandwich when what Nic had said occurred to him. Choking on the bread and meat, he had to take several deep breaths before he was able to dislodge it from his throat before he looked at Nic again. “She?” Nic nodded and smiled again. “Charleston Grant is a female? You’re sure about that?” “I do know the difference between a female and male, young Phillip.” Phillip nodded, not sure he wanted to know anything else about this woman. “She will need to come here, and soon. It is…it will be important to all that she is here and safe.” He wasn’t going to ask. Phillip didn’t want to know. Not really. She was someone’s mate, he just knew it. When Nic got up and poured him more water from the sink, Phillip wanted to ask him for something stronger but didn’t. He wanted a clear head. “Daniel let it be known that she had his book. And those men are after her. Her business was quite successful. She has a great deal of money on hand, all of it cash, and she can hide for as long as she wishes. However, she’s not very good at it and someone has let them know where she is. They are closing in on her now and she will be out of options soon. Not just from the men who are hunting her, but other things as well.” Phillip asked him what they had to do with it and regretted the question as soon as it left his mouth. “She cannot die. You need her.” “She’s my mate then.” It wasn’t a question, but Nic confirmed it anyway. “I didn’t think you’d be able to tell me that. I mean, I guess I just thought you’d let me find out on my own. Fumble around a little until we fall into the bed and then in love.” “It will not work that way with you.” Phillip got up to put his dinner on the sink and turned to stare at his friend as he continued. “Charlie will need special care from you. A great deal of it from everyone. She does not see.” “You mean she’s blind.” Nic shook his head no, then yes. “I don’t understand. How can she not see?” “I’m not sure how to explain it. I’ve never run into this kind of problem before.” Phillip didn’t know either, and if Nic didn’t, then it was going to be something he wasn’t sure he was going to understand. “She is ill. Very much so. Not from the running, but an illness. I have helped her a little, but she will need you to convert her so that she might live. Her mother is with her now.” “You think that will save her? And make her see?” Again, he said he didn’t know. “This is not the least bit helpful, you know that, right?” Nic stood up and stretched. “I did not want you not to have the opportunity to fumble around some. But I must go to her now. She is in danger as we speak. You and Misha, you will need to go and get them. Bring them here as soon as possible.” When he disappeared, Phillip cleaned up his kitchen. He was currently house hunting, having decided that after seeing how much fun his brothers were having in their homes. Living in an apartment wasn’t really something that he was enjoying. His neighbors could be heard at all times, and that was driving him nutty. Phillip wondered if he should wait until his mate came to…. “Well, fuck.” Sitting down, he stared off into the living room, which was darkened now that the gas fireplace was off, and thought about what Nic had told him. His mate was the elusive Charleston Grant, and she was sick. He knew nothing more about her other than…well, even that was an unknown to him. How she was ill. His cell phone ringing in the living room had him go to where he’d dropped his pants and answer it on the third ring. Misha didn’t sound all that happy either. “Nic was just here. Motherfucker scared the shit out of me showing up like he did.” Phillip told him he’d been there as well. “Did he tell you about this Charleston person and the mom? That they were in trouble? And that we’re going to have to help them?” Phillip wondered if he’d told his brother about her being his mate and decided to wait and see. “He said that Grant would have to come to the compound to be safe. You suppose that he might be wrong?” He was hoping but knew that Nic was right. “No. He told me that you and I would have to go and get them. That they’re in some deep shit. I don’t mind telling you that I want something to go normal for a change. Normal would be good.” “I agree.” Phillip knew then that Misha didn’t know anything but what the rest of them knew. “When does he think we should go?” “In the morning. He’ll be here at nine to pick us up. I guess that Thomas is going to go too, to help with bringing him here. I guess he’s sick or something. Did he tell you what from?” Phillip told him that he’d not said. “I guess you should stay here then, for a little while anyway. Just to help keep this guy safe.” Phillip didn’t think that once he saw the woman that he’d be able to go anywhere, but said nothing like that to Misha. After a little more conversation about what time he was going to be there, they hung up. Phillip turned on all the lights in his small apartment and looked around. This place was much like his other brothers’ homes. Not the married ones, but the single ones. Andrew prided himself on the fact that he only had a bed in his place, and nothing more than a stool that he ate at the counter with. There was a fridge, but he was pretty sure that he’d never even plugged it in since it had been delivered a few weeks ago. Phillip knew that if he went out on the deck at Andrew’s place, he would see that the only thing that was out there was a big box with his grill inside, and nothing else. He’d not even bothered putting that together. Rider might have had a little more stuff fixed up, as he actually lived in a house and not an apartment. It was being built now and as rooms were finished, Rider was living in them. Phillip thought it was crazy, but then it was Rider. Rider would have hated living in boxes because it was something that he could control by emptying them, but he’d be no more set up in anything other than a bachelor pad than Phillip or Andrew. There would be nothing on the back of the couch, no throw blanket like those that were forever on the backs of Misha’s and the other two married brother’s couches. And he’d bet anything that even though Rider had a house, there wouldn’t have been any kind of decorations left over from Christmas. He would have put that crap away the day after. Much like Phillip had done. Phillip decided to go online while he was already awake and make a better effort toward getting him a house. Or a mate a house. He wondered if he should get one on a single level or…Christ, he didn’t have any idea, but looked anyway. Just as the sun was coming up, he’d marked four of them. Two he really liked, one he was so-so about, but the fourth one was the one he really wanted. It wasn’t too far from his family’s homes, and he thought the acreage was perfect for him and the rest of them should they come over to run. There was even a lovely lake on the property that had a boat house as well as a boat should he want to purchase it. Leaving a note for the realtor, he made his way to the bedroom to shower and change. Wondering what one should wear to meet their mate for the first time, he pulled out a pair of jeans, his usual mode of dress, as well as a Lanning tee-shirt. Going back to his closet, he changed it out for a nice button down and turned on the water in his bathroom. While the water heated up, he looked in the mirror. He’d been beaten around this time, more than the rest, when he’d gone into the water to catch the body that had been floating down the fast moving water. The cuts and burses on his body would heal as his broken rib had already. He was alive, and thanks to a little extra magic from his brother and his wife, Phillip would live for a very long time. But Phillip was, like he was pretty sure Carter was, sick of the depressing assed job all together. The accident up the river had dumped several bodies into it, and there had still been three missing when he pulled the older man out. It was better than the twenty-six that had been missing before they’d gotten there. But Misha had told the people they were done in and had to leave. It wasn’t like them to leave before all were accounted for and Phillip, like the rest, had been surprised by the move. Until they got on the plane. “I talked to Linyah and she said it was done. There would be no finding the bodies simply because they weren’t there. It was a scam.” Rider had asked him what he meant. “Two men are claiming their spouses were on the bridge when it collapsed. They’re hoping to get in on the money that is going to be flowing when the attorneys get started on this.” Phillip had been shocked. Not as much as Murph had been, but then she was new to this kind of search and rescue. And being a former cop, she’d wanted to go and find the men and have them brought to justice. Thomas assured her that it was being taken care of, and Phillip was sure that it was. Phillip was nearly to his brother’s house an hour later when he heard from his realtor on the house that he wanted. He could afford it, no problems. But he would not pay the asking price if he didn’t have to. The realtor agreed with him, pointing out that rarely did anyone ask what they really wanted for a house. “Let me do some talking and I’ll get back to you sometime today. I have some insider information on the house and it’s been on the market for some time. I will tell you that the owners are very motivated to sell, and perhaps we can get a much better price.” He told her to do what she could. Pulling in the drive, he assured her that he’d be available if she needed him. Before he left Misha’s with Nic and Thomas, he asked Hannah to look into the address of the house he was interested in. He wanted some first-hand knowledge on the place, and even some reassurances that the place wasn’t a total mess. She assured him that she would, and Max said that he would as well. The little guy was going to hang out with them today, as Murph and Carter had some things to look into about her dad’s estate. Phillip wasn’t looking forward to this. ~~~ Charlie felt the air around her move gently and tilted her head back to feel the sun on her face. It wasn’t like her to be idle, but she knew that she was being watched right now and let herself relax. Her mom would never do anything to hurt her. Nor would she let anyone hurt her. But they’d been on the run for a while now, and she just knew when they were being observed now. “You should know that men…four of them…are coming toward us.” Sitting up, she tilted her head. “To your left, love. Just beyond us about twenty feet or so. I have my gun out, so you know.” “Don’t shoot them yet, all right?” Her mother would shoot them, too, if they made a false move. “It might be that guy I was telling you about. He’s really tall and his hair is fairly long.” “I think it’s him. He’s with three other men. One of them is big, like strong big. The other two are as well, but younger. Those three are related. They look too much alike not to be.” Charlie knew that the two of them were safe. For now. But in a few days, less more than likely, they’d have to move again. Nic had assured her that they were being cared for and that no one would bother them. She didn’t have any idea why she trusted him, but he’d helped her with a few things and she had it in her head and heart that he was one of the good guys. And he’d promised her that he’d watch over her mom when things were settled in a couple of days too. Charlie had had enough of the pain in her head and wanted it to end now. Charlie knew that she only had weeks to live, more than likely less than that if the way she was feeling was any indication. It had been coming on for a while now and she knew, as did her mom, that it wasn’t going to be long. Mom just had no idea how soon it was going to be. The tumor in her head had gone too long without anyone knowing it was there for much to be done about it. And now it was too late. It had taken over the part of her brain that would eventually shut down all her body, and she’d die. Nic had promised her, after the second time he’d come to see her, that he’d make sure that she did not suffer when the time came. Nor would her mom have to see her in that condition. It was the only reason she was willing to meet with these people today. They were going to take her mom to someplace safe. “Mrs. Grant? We’re here to help your son.” The voice was very cultured, and Charlie waited for her mom to correct the speaker. When she didn’t, Charlie started to speak when the man did again. “We’re here to see Charleston Grant. We’ve been told that he’s in some serious trouble that we can help him with.” “It’s a her, Misha.” The other voice, the other brother she assumed, sounded pissed. She wasn’t sure why, but Charlie thought that she didn’t care for the man. “It’s Charlie Grant, and she’s the younger woman, aren’t you?” “I am.” She’d answered him before she could think that she shouldn’t. “And you would be Mr. Lanning? The one that is going to take care of my mom?” “I’m here to see you, yes, and if this is your mom, then she’s welcome to come with us too.” Charlie stood up and felt the shadow of the man tower over her. She was tall, almost six foot, but he felt bigger than her. “I’m Phillip. This is my brother Misha and my other brother Thomas. And I’m to understand that you know Nic.” Nic touched her shoulder, and she heard a soft growl. Charlie felt the hair on her arm dance at the sound and wondered what the hell that was. Before she could ask, Nic was laughing and letting her go. “Charlie? What do you mean, he’s to take care of me? I do not need taking care of, young lady. I’m very capable of taking care of myself.” Charlie felt her eyes, useless now that the tumor was pressing against her optic nerves, fill with tears. She was going to miss her mom so much when she died. “Charlie?” “They’re going to keep you safe from Mr. Murphy and his goons. They can do it better than I can now.” Her mother touched her, warm and comforting. “Mom, you know that they’re coming. And when they do—” “He’s dead. Daniel Murphy is long gone, but you’re right that more than just him are after you both.” Charlie hadn’t heard that the bastard had died, but was too busy trying to think how to convince her mom she’d be safer with these men to think about it. When the man spoke again, she knew that he was closer to her, and she felt her body wanting to sway to touch him. “I’m going to…we’re going to take you back to our house and keep you safe.” “I’m not going anywhere but back to the apartment and hide out.” She had more plans, but her mom didn’t have to know that. “So if you’ll take her now, she’ll be fine and safe for me. Nic and I have an—” “I can no longer keep you safe.” She turned to the sound of Nic’s voice. “You will need to go with these men now. Both of you. He will…Phillip will need to care for you both now.” The other man—Misha, Charlie thought the man’s name was—laughed. It wasn’t like he was making fun of her or the situation, but that he’d found something incredibly funny. And for some reason she was pissed about that too. “I will not be going anywhere without you, young lady. I have spoken to you this….” The sound, very distant yet sharp, had Charlie turning her head toward it. She knew the sound…a gunfire report, and something that had been hit. “Mom, where are you?” “Here.” Taking her mom’s hand after fumbling for a precious second, she backed away from the men. “Where is he, Charlie? Can you hear him?” Close was all she knew. The sound—a gun being readied to fire again—made her skin crawl up around her ears. Backing up, she hit something solid behind her and cried out. The arms at her elbows had her pausing. The whispered voice at her ear made her shiver. “Where did you hear it from?” She told Phillip to the north. “All right. I’m going to wrap my arms around your waist and we’re going to move. As one. Your mom is with Misha, and Nic and Thomas have gone to see to whatever it is you heard.” “I can’t go with you. Nic said he’d help me.” The arm at her waist was firm, and she put her hand over it. “Don’t let anything happen to her. She is all I have in the world.” “Not anymore.” She had no more idea what that meant than she did a great many things lately. But before she could ask him what he meant, she felt movement, fast and very dizzying. Holding tighter to the man that held her, she closed her eyes. It didn’t make much difference, but she did feel better for it. When the movement stopped, she held onto the man just a little longer simply because it felt good. He moved his mouth near her ear, and she could have sworn he nibbled on her. Then the heat of his body was gone from hers. The smells were different. She knew that the dump that they were hiding in, her mom and her, was in horrible shape. The smells alone made her think of old abandoned buildings, and even if her mom had not described it to her, she would have known it wasn’t in the best of neighborhoods. But this place did not smell anything like that. Pine, like a Christmas tree, was strong in the air. She could smell vanilla and sugar too, and wood burning in a fireplace. Charlie reached out her fingers to move and touched the man again, and had no idea why she knew it was him. When he curled his fingers into hers, it felt as right as anything she’d ever done before. She pulled her hand from his, and he didn’t fight. “Where is my mom?” He laughed a little, and Charlie felt embarrassed. She’d been sharp and harsh and that wasn’t like her. “Can you please tell me where my mom is? And for that matter, where I am?” “You’re in my brother’s home…Misha’s house. Your mom is here, too, but in a different part of the house. I think she’s with my sister-in-law, Hannah. That would be Misha’s wife.” Reaching out again, she took his elbow when he offered it to her. “We’re in the living room. Right in front of you is a sofa. It’s about three inches to your left.” The warmth of the fire had her moving toward it a little, and he told her to be careful, it was huge. As her toes touched the hearth, she knew he was right…the fire blazing from the area was enormous, and she put out her hands to get warm. It seemed that lately she was never warm enough…or for that matter, rested enough. “Why am I here and not with her?” Phillip said that he wanted to talk to her. “About what? I want to go and see her to make sure that she’s all right before I go.” “And where do you think you’ll be able to go? You can’t see to drive, not that I think your blindness would stop you. I bet given enough time, you’d do just about anything. And since I’m pretty sure that you have no idea where you are, you’re not going to be safe out there once you go. How am I doing so far?” She wanted to hit him, and she was pretty sure he knew it. “Also, as I said, I wanted to talk to you. About what you are to me and what sort of things you might know about my kind.” “Your kind? You mean men?” He told her no, he was more than that. “How did I get here without you driving me here? And I want to see my mom.” Charlie felt weak all of a sudden. It was coming on her more and more often of late, and she reached blindly for something to sit on. The man put his arms around her again and she had no choice but to lean heavily on him. Blood—she knew what it was without being told—poured from her nose. He picked her up suddenly. Charlie might have protested, but she knew she wasn’t getting over it this time. That was another thing, it was taking her too long to recover. Letting her body go, having no choice on that either, she felt herself being swallowed up. She heard the man saying her name, shouting it really, but there was little to nothing that she could do about it as darkness took her away.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jedidiah by Kathi S Barton release day 11/2/15

Lindsey Decker is hiding in the woods when the dragon shifter, Casdon, finds her on their property. She's tired, hungry, in a lot of pain, and absolutely determined not to ask for any help. She just needs to stay hidden before that idiot Cox finds her and probably kills her this time. The cave she found will provide some protection if she doesn't freeze to death first.

Jedidiah Benson and his dragon shifter Zak are at odds. When Casdon tells the family of the injured woman hiding in the caves, Zak knows immediately upon finding her that the girl is his and Jedidiah's mate, but Jedidiah refuses to even look at the girl proclaiming he wouldn't know what to do with a mate. Zak has no reservations and knows if they don't do something fast she'll die.

Lindsey wakes between two gorgeous men and isn't sure if she's dreaming or still in a fevered state. The things she wants to do with these men, both of them, should feel wrong, but instead feels it's her destiny.

Lindsey is destined for more than two mates. Lindsey is a beacon for the lost dragons. It's time for their return, but it's still dangerous for them to do so. They're being hunted, and no one is safe....

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Eve moved back and forth between the small room and the larger one where her children lay nestled in their protective shells. The kingdom was being ripped apart; her mate, father to her children, was being murdered even as she made preparations for the children she’d never see born. Making one more trip, the one that would give them the key to get to what she had worked so hard to make sure they had, Eve lay down and spoke to her sons. “You will each, someday, come to be in love. It is the most wondrous feeling of all you will ever feel. If only I could see you then…the grown men that you will be, with the loves of your lives with you carrying on our names and the dragon line. And sons of my good friend Sally…she will help you in ways that I could never do. If only….” Shifting into a more comfortable position, her heart nearly as dead as her body, she touched her fingers to each of them, then picked up her second born. He was meant for things that would bring much to others…happiness mostly, but some sadness too. But he would be great in his life, bringing magic to those that he loved. Touching her fingers over the crown of his shell, Eve smiled. “Zak, you will love like none other. Your mate will come to you terrified and full of hate. Not of you but of another, one you will see die by the hand of another, but she will need you no less for it. You and your other half will bring her to love you back.” Setting him down, Eve spoke to the others before laying her head down on the warmed stone. “When I was born, so many centuries ago that I have long since forgotten the year, there were so many of us. Dragons were plentiful, mates and families grew, and more came yearly. Then one year in my youth, a woman—a witch—came to us, warning us all that things were going to change. That soon, all of us would be killed by men, humans. Caroline was not just correct in her telling, but she even went with us when we traveled.” She put her hand around Kiaran and held him to her as she spoke. “No one believed her but my father. He packed us up that night, and we left as the skies were turning pink for the new day. As we flew away, another family, this one of greater magic than ours, came with us. That was the family of your grandparents, the sire of your father and his mate.” Her body was dying, slowly but without pain now. As she lay there thinking of them still, her family and how much they had endured to keep her safe, she thought of the couple who would care for her children, Sally and Jacob. “I knew her family long ago. And that of Jacob. His family was a part of the humans that we had lived with, as was hers. Sally you will come to love as a mother, for which I should be jealous of her but am not. Her grandmother, like her granddaughter, was one of the kindest women I ever met, human or otherwise. She would bring me sweets when she had any to spare, and I would, in kind, take her meat when I was out hunting. It was fair trade for what we gave to each other. Her granddaughter is no different in her love and understanding of us dragons.” Closing her eyes, Eve felt Anthony’s pain and his urgency to have the young couple understand what he needed 

from them. “He is a good and wonderful man, your father. So much like his own sire that it takes my breath away to know that he is all mine.” She looked at her children, and then at Zak. Smiling, she touched him again, giving him a little more than she had the rest. “You will survive more than most. Love harder than anyone, and be hurt for it in a way that no one will ever be able to see. Zak, my second born, child of my heart, I will give you a gift. A gift that only a woman of your heart will understand and be able to touch. You will have a child like none other. A child born of magic from all dragons.” Touching him now, she knew that she had only moments to live. Tears burned her cheeks as she thought of all that she would miss. Holding Kiaran to her heart, her body slipped away into death, and she knew. Her last thoughts were that her children would be safe.  Just before her last breath left her body, her heart burned in pain. Not because of the arrow that had pierced it, but because her one and only love was dead as well. Anthony had protected them with all that he had, and she was more in love with him then than she’d thought possible. “Anthony, my love. I will miss you. Until we are together again.” Eve let her body go. Her heart stopped beating, and she did not move again. It was done. Everything was set, and she was done. 

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Riordan: Harrison Ambush Release Day & Winner Announced 10/19/15

Riordan Harrison can't believe it. Everyone is pissed at him and he doesn't see what the fuss is all about. All he did was tell the woman that she was his mate. He couldn't help it that his tiger caused him to pin the woman to the counter and she proceeded to throw him to the ground and cover him with sticky pastries. Now, no one will talk to him, including his secretary. He hasn't claimed the woman yet, and it is all seeming like it's more trouble than it's worth.

Storm Browning, Stormy to her friends, is a wounded war hero. She's done her duty and just wants to live a quiet life?run her little bakery without any hitches. The majority of the men she commanded in the war had been shifters so she wasn't surprised when the big oaf sniffed her out claiming that she was his mate. But that doesn't mean she has to agree with it. What else could she do? He had to go. He'd hightail it and run anyway when he saw her scars?they all did. She couldn't emotionally handle that, not again at any rate.

But if Riordan is going to get back on everyone's good side, he'll have to make peace with the woman. Even though he thinks he's innocent, he'll go for a visit and maybe apologize, but after he gets there things go from bad to worse. Stormy is targeted for assassination and he's in the line of fire....

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Chapter 1  
He’d wanted to get to his office and change into a clean shirt, but his mom had been waiting for him. And when she’d ordered—yes, she’d ordered—him to sit, he did. This day could not get any worse. He was sure now, however, that it was about to. “Your dad told me that you got into a fight with the local baker. And when you tried to molest her, she fought back. Would you mind telling me why you thought it was a good idea in the first place to have a public and very…well, colorful, fight in my favorite place to get bread?” “It’s nothing. Just a misunderstanding on her part. Her temper was out of control for no reason and she started throwing a fit. I’ll take care of it tomorrow. Can I go now?” She told him to sit again. “I needed something from her, and she got mad at me. It’s nothing, I assure you.” “Yet here you sit covered in jelly and custard, and all you have to say for yourself is it wasn’t your fault.”  Riordan wanted to point out again that he hadn’t done that much to her that warranted her having a temper tantrum, but his mom did not look like she was going to listen. It was women, he decided, that had the foul moods all the time. Men were not prone to acting like the world was coming to an—  “Riordan, if you don’t answer me, I’m going to use my favorite rolling pin on your thick head, and then I’m going to be even madder at you. Because I’m sure rather than knocking sense into your head, all it’s going to do is crack this wood.” “She’s my mate.” Her foot started tapping, and he tried to think. But his dad came in then and sat down and started laughing. “Ask him. He was right there when she got it into her head to start hurling Danishes at me.” “I was there, love. And she did. But I’m thinking it might have been due to what he said to her and the way that he was pressing her against the wall with his big body. That’s not what she called him…let me see, what was it? Ah yes. I believe she called him a hulking monster that had no more brains than…well, love, you get the idea. I will say that her mouth and language are a little on the rough side, and she made her point quite…loudly. But she did toss him around like he was nothing more than the child he was acting like. I would have kicked his butt, too, but her friends, two elderly women who would have made me think…well, they had it under control, sadly.” His mother huffed at him, and her foot took on a speed that had him thinking he was as good as dead. His dad cleared his throat, and he looked at him. “Son, you have a bit of jelly hanging off your ear that looks like one of them dangling earrings your mother likes to wear.” “She won’t let me clean up.” He knew that he’d spoken loudly when his dad cocked a brow at him. “I’m a grown man. Not some teenager that has gotten caught with a girl in the back seat.” “No, you’re a grown man, or so you keep telling me, that has made your own mate so angry with you that she’s thrown her hard-earned product at you and has threatened to have you arrested if you come near her again.” Riordan looked at his mother as his dad continued. “And if you want us to treat you like you’re all grown up, I would suggest that you begin to act like it. This is no behavior for a man who is in charge of a large corporation, as well as one that hits the papers more often than not because he’s such a humanitarian and a calm and level-headed man. You were not very level-headed, nor calm, today. What do you think they’d put there now if they were to see you like this?” He knew just what they’d say. He’d fallen off his rocker. But as his parents continued to talk, he thought about the woman. She’d been…she’d been perfect, except for her temper. And if 
she was going to be his mate, that thing was going to have to be simmered down a bit. There was no way he could have her flying off the handle like a harpy when she got her panties all in a bunch. He’d only gone in with his dad because he’d heard him go on about the place. All he’d talked about for the last month was the way this bakery made cheese Danish, and how they were flaky enough to make you beg for more. He’d even gone on to say that he wanted to invest in the place. And that was another reason Riordan had gone with him. No one was going to take his family for a ride. As far as space was concerned, the shop had it. The wraparound counter seemed to scream at you to come and look what delights were there. It was well lit, the glass sparkling clean, and the baskets were overflowing with an array of pastries and breads that made his mouth water. Even from the doorway he could smell the yeast and jellies, blackberry and strawberry. A coffee station sat on one side to the room with a carafe of water for tea, it said, and baskets of tea flavors that had him wanting to check them out. The two women behind the counter seemed to be working to their own music. They moved and slid around each other as if they’d been doing it for years, and not just the month that the shop had been open. They laughed with their customers, handed out samples big enough to look like a serving, and gave small ones cookies hand over fist. Whoever their marketing manager was had it right. The only way to make money was to spend a little.  A woman had come from the back with a tray of the most beautiful loaves of bread he’d ever seen. Then he’d gotten her scent. And Christ, it had been all he could do not to— “Riordan.” Riordan looked at his mother. She had been talking to him, and he had missed it all. “I asked you three times now what are you going to do to repair this. Because you will, or so help me, I’ll make you wish that you had.” “Repair what?” She bounced the rolling pin—her favorite—in her left hand like she was thinking it was his head. He had to think what he had to do to make her soften her glare. A glance at his dad was no help, as he was laughing again. “I don’t know what I did wrong that you think I need to fix. You should talk to her about what she’s going to do about telling me she’s sorry.” Riordan thought he heard his dad say, oh brother, but he wasn’t sure, because at that moment his mother slammed the pin down on the table so near to his arm he thought that she had cut that pretty close. But then…maybe she’d been trying to hit him. When she went to the door and opened it, he sat there, not sure what to do. It was Sunday after all. “Get out.” He looked at his dad, who was not only no longer laughing, but looked a little scared himself. “Get out of my house right now and don’t return until…until…get out of here right now.” “Mom?” She pointed out, and he had no choice but to move out or something was going to befall him that was going to be talked about in this family for the next couple of generations, if not forever.  Riordan moved out the door and turned to ask her what he’d done. But the door slamming in his face made him feel stupid…and a little pissed off. He was thirty-five years old, not some kid.  As he made his way to the truck, his brother, Mac, pulled in the drive. Riordan didn’t even bother stopping to warn him, but got in his own truck and left. “They’re all nuts.” Riordan turned the radio up as loud as he could to drown out his thoughts, then turned it down. He was pissed, but blaring his music wasn’t going to make it go 
away. Instead, he lightened his foot on the accelerator and tried not to drive angry. That was all he needed to do, have an accident that would make his mom really mad at him. Riordan liked to think of himself as a cool and very rational man. He thought things through before speaking, his plans were flawless when he put them out for people to see, and he never did anything on the spur of the moment. He liked order, planning, and a calendar. Doing things off the cuff or sly, as his brother, Ennis, called it, was not his way of working, not in business or his personal life. The calendar on his phone was as filled as the one on his secretary’s. The ones on his computer in his office as well as his house were updated daily. And if there was something that had to be canceled or moved, he’d go over the entire month to make sure that it didn’t conflict with something else. Riordan was a man who did not like surprises. And finding out that the woman in the shop was his mate had messed up his entire schedule for the day. “What did she think she was doing throwing me out?” Riordan wasn’t sure if he meant his mom or the woman, but they both had done it. “It’s Sunday, after all, and we have dinner as a family. Was this worth Mom getting all upset and telling me to leave? No, it was not. This is her fault, too. The bakery woman’s.”  As he drove to his apartment downtown, he thought about the way she’d felt pressed against his body, and wondered not for the first time what she would feel like wrapped around him naked. He had to adjust his cock for the third time since getting in his truck. She’d been coming from the back room, her arms loaded with loaves of bread, when she’d taken a short stumble. His only thought was to keep her from falling when he caught her scent. Then she’d told him to let her go, and he’d had to taste her. And just like that, her temper flared, and he could only stare at her. Who knew that being pissed off could be so sexy? As he reached for her again, having put the bread on the counter, she’d backed up quickly. Putting up her hands to warn him off, he thought, did nothing to slake his need, and he backed her up more until she was pressed against the wall. Burying his nose into her neck had made him hard as stone, and he could think of nothing else but taking her to the floor and coming deep inside of her. Except that she’d unmanned him with her knee, and that had him dropping like a stone. Then the projectiles had started flying. He’d been hit in the head with several of them before he could stand up. When he reached for her again, this time her hand was filled with more Danish, and he felt rather than saw her move. He was on his back and looking up at her before he could catch his breath. Then one of the older women was standing over him with a large knife in her hands. “I think you have overstayed your welcome, young man.” He nodded but was afraid to move. “You can crawl out on your belly or get up and walk out. Either way, she wants you gone. And I’m thinking that she might be right. I don’t want to have to stab you to get you going. Unless you want me to.” “I need to talk to her.” The woman told him he’d be better off talking to the door, which he’d better be going through rather than talking to her right now. “Can I at least have her name? I can call her later so she can tell me what she thought she was doing by this mess. Don’t you think she overreacted, even just a little?” “No, I don’t think so.” She pointed to the door again, and he got the idea that he was going to get nowhere with her. As he made his way to the door, his dad was paying for his purchases as if nothing at all had happened. He was going to have a talk to him as well. The man would surely have his side on this. 
Only he hadn’t. Not only had he laughed at him the entire way home, but he’d not agreed with him at all. Not about the woman being nuts, or about her blowing things out of proportion, nor did he think that she’d done a thing wrong. Riordan was going to go down there first thing Monday, which would mess up his entire morning, just so she could apologize to him. This was no way to start a relationship. ~~~ Storm washed down the wall where blueberry jam had stained it. She’d have to find the paint can in the basement to touch this up. The strawberry had washed off a good deal easier, but it was fresher. She thought that she’d grabbed that tray last when he’d— “You scrub much harder and the wall will fall over. You thinking about that man?” Storm nodded at her aunt. “Yeah, he was a big guy. Pushy as hell, but a big one all the same. Can’t seem to understand why you’re all pissy with him. You’re hurting now, aren’t you, child?” “Just a little, nothing I can’t handle. He mentioned that I was his mate.” She looked at Aunt Lynn when she huffed. Storm wasn’t sure if it was because she knew she was lying about the pain or about the man. Either way, it was a moot point. “I don’t have…he can’t be my mate. I don’t want him. And he won’t want me once he sees what is under my clothing.” “No one is more concerned with that than you are.” Storm knew that her aunt had never seen her body since she’d come home, so said nothing. “You still seeing that doctor? The one that says you need to have those drugs to help you sleep? You gotta see someone about that pain, too. We both know you’re hurting.” “You know that I’m not seeing him.” Aunt Lynn nodded. “I know that the VA pays for it, but it’s stupid to take them when all they do is make me weirded out. I was sleeping no better with them than I was without. But I do go and talk to that lady shrink. She’s not too bad.” The doc had been all right until about a week ago, right after Storm had told her that she wasn’t going to be able to see her again due to her having a job now. It was as if she’d taken it personally. Storm knew that she had to see someone or be back in the hospital again, but she was trying to stand on her own two feet instead of depending so much on her family. It wasn’t like she had to work for the money, but she needed to work to keep her body from tightening up. “That man, do you suppose he’ll come back here?” Storm didn’t turn around as she spoke to look at her aunt, but heard her huff again. “The man that he came here with is a nice man. I like him. But as far as I’m concerned, I really could care less if that fucking bastard darkened my doorstep again.” “Sally and I will keep him in line now that we know about him. I’m thinking he will be back. He didn’t strike me as a man that would give up too easily.”  Storm had thought the same thing. But before either of them could say anything else, the bell over the front door sounded and Aunt Lynn went to answer it. Storm Browning was a woman that few people knew well. She preferred it that way, more now than before she’d joined the army. She supposed her upbringing had had a lot to do with that…at least the first ten years of her life. Now her memories were nearly too much for her to deal with, and she had a shitload of them. Few of them nice ones. Her men, nine of them when she’d gone in country—overseas—had been her friends, but they were all dead now. All but her. As she made her way to the oven again when the timer went off, she tried her best not to think of that day and what had happened. Instead, she thought about how many cookies she had left to bake. The board that Aunt Lynn had put up for her was filled. It felt good to see so many orders there, but it made her a little nervous too. If she was in too much pain, she knew that either of her 
aunts could bake for her, but she wanted to keep them from having to lift so much. They were in their late seventies, both of them, and they were actually her great aunts. All the family that she had in the world. The cookies were put onto the cooling rack, then she put more on the parchment paper to bake as the first batch cooled. She had a system. It wasn’t a great one, but it worked for her. Stretching her arm above her head to hear it pop, she had to hold onto the table when the pain took her breath away. Storm made her way to the cabinet where she kept her medications. It was time for the next round of drugs anyway, and she thought that having a pain pill was in order this time. Moving slower now that it was getting later in the day, she sat down on the seat she used when she decorated if anything needed her attention. Since the man had left her, her back had been throbbing and her legs felt like rubber. Her body hurt now, and not just a little. There was more baking to do, and then there were the dishes to wash, but Storm wasn’t sure she could do either without lying down for a bit.  Going to the front of the shop, she saw that her aunts were busy and went to talk to the man at the counter. He grinned at her when she welcomed him to The Bakery. “Nice name. Simple and right to the point.” Nodding, she waited for him to order or tell her what he wanted. He was dressed well, expensively, and he had a face that made her think she’d seen him before. “I need to get three loaves of rye and two of sourdough. And I’m supposed to ask you if there are any…let me see what Mom called them before I make a fool of myself.” She got his bread for him and put them into the long loaf bags she’d just gotten in. They were generic, but they served the purpose. He was still talking on his phone when the next man came to the counter. Storm wanted to ask him to wait for her aunts, but he looked like he needed more than what was on display. “You Sergeant Major Browning?” Storm nodded, but looked around to see if anyone else had heard him. “I was told to come on down here and see if you could use some help. The lady at the VA, she said you were looking for someone to help wash up.” Taking him to the back room, she sat him on the chair she’d been in and asked him when he’d last eaten. He told her that it had been a couple of days, because the shelter wasn’t open on the weekends. And he hadn’t cared for the meal they had on Fridays either. “It’s Monday. What’s your name, soldier, and don’t lie to me again.”  He straightened up in the chair and nodded to her. “I’m PFC Daniel Gunning, but I go by Danny. I don’t have no problems with drugs or nothing. Just nightmares and so on. I get to where I can’t leave my place. And when that happens, I lose my place in line at the food pantry. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve…leaving the apartment kind of gives me the willies.” She knew that feeling. “I heard from Nurse Mason that you were looking to find someone to come in some days and help out by washing up. You mean dishes, I’m suspecting.” “Yes.” He looked around the room, then stood up…much easier than she could have today. She sort of envied his ease. “You can start today, but I’m feeding you first. And if you object then you can think of it as an order.” He nodded and moved to the table in the back of the kitchen. Storm went to the front to get a loaf of bread, and the man from earlier was still standing there. When she told him she was sorry, he winked at her. “I saw you were busy. You going to hire him, Sarge?” Nodding, she told him not to call her that. “All right. But what were you, if you don’t mind my asking? Air force? Army?” 
“Special Forces. Did you ever find out what your mom wanted?” He told her that he needed a dozen filled donuts, he didn’t care what flavors. As she filled his order, all she could think about was the man in the back.  He’d be a great help should he be able to show up to work daily. She knew how hard it was for her just to get out of the bed some days, the pain was so bad. When she had the thirteen donuts for the man, she let Lynn ring him out. But he stopped her before she could go to the back again. “Are you sure it’s a good idea for you to hire him? You don’t seem to know anything about him other than someone sent him to you.” She pulled away from his touch on her arm. “I’m sorry. I just—” “I can take care of myself. I have been for a very long time. While I appreciate your concern, trust me when I tell you that he should be more afraid of me than I am of him.” He nodded and then looked over her shoulder. She didn’t have to look to know who stood there. He might have just been hired, but Danny was a soldier first and foremost. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve had a bang-up day so far, and I’d really like to be left to my own council.” “I’m sorry.” Storm nodded and moved to the back room. The man left a few minutes later, and Storm made Danny a sandwich. She also cautioned him about helping her out when he thought she was in trouble.  “I’m hurting, like you, but I can handle myself. There is no reason for us both to get into trouble with some over protective shit that thinks because I don’t have a dick between my legs that I’m one of them fainting hearts.” Danny grinned at her. “Next time, you just let me handle it. But if someone fucks with my aunts, you have my full permission to kick some ass, all right? And don’t call me by my rank here. It’s Storm, or Stormy if you wish. I left that all behind a while back.” “Yes, sir.” He bit into his sandwich and finished chewing before he spoke again. “You’re that CO that got all those guys out, aren’t you? I heard about it when it happened. I’m really sorry.” “I don’t talk about it. And if you want to continue working here, you won’t either.” He nodded again. “I’m not trying to be a bitch—well, I am, but I don’t want to think about it anymore. The nightmares plague me as well.” “Yes, sir, I’m betting that they do. If you, you know, need to talk, I can listen to you. Won’t say a word, just be here for you.” He took another healthy bite, then continued. “I might need you, too. I won’t mean to, but I might just need to…I get them willies I was telling you about, and you might have to talk to me. About nothing if you want, but I get myself scared to death sometimes. I won’t hurt you, but I do get scared.” “I’m here.” He nodded, and she walked to the board. She had no idea what it said at that moment; her eyes were filled with tears. Storm wasn’t the whiney kind of woman. She wasn’t even one to lean on people, even if she was falling over on her face with the need to. But there were times that hot tears could make her feel more alive than anything. After a bit, she heard the water at the sinks turn on and Danny start to hum to the music that was playing in the front of the shop…soft country music that her aunts both loved to hear, and sometimes even sang to. Storm pulled the first of the orders down just as Aunt Lynn came into the back room. She had the nightly list of things that they were running low on up front.  “We’re taking what is left to the shelter.” Nodding, Storm made a mental note to save some food for Danny to take home with him when he left. But her aunt handed her a sack that she could smell the bread in. “How’s your back, sweetie? Want me to stay and help?” 
“I’m going to go up in a bit and take a little nap.” Storm was pretty sure her aunt knew it was a lie. “Then I’ll work on some of this and the front stuff.” “Don’t work too much, honey. We’ll make do with what we have, and tomorrow is a half day too, so we might be able to make it.” Storm nodded and locked up after her aunts left. Going to the back room, she started measuring things into the big mixer. It was going to be a very long night. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Royce The Hunter Series Chapter 23 last chapter to read

Chapter 23  
The jury came back the next afternoon. Royce had wanted Kasey to stay home, but she said she needed to be there. He didn’t want to be there so he thought her being beside him would be a tad easier. He held her hand and had his son in his arms. He was sure that White was going to be convicted, but on what charges he had no idea.  When everyone sat back down they looked over at the jury when the judge asked them if they’d reached a verdict. The foreman stood as asked and she started reading the charges.  Guilty. On all nine charges, he was guilty. Before the judge could say more, White stood up. “You can’t convict me, you stupid bitch. I didn’t do a damned thing to those women that they didn’t want.” He turned to the judge. “You have to tell them to try again. You make them go back in that room until they come out with a better verdict. I’m not going to jail. There is no way I’m going to jail.” “Then what do you propose we do with you? Let you go? I don’t think so. You have to pay for the crimes you’ve committed. And to do that you will serve—” Royce would remember the next few seconds for the rest of his life. He would never…no, that’s not right, he could not believe that someone could do so much damage so quickly and then take her own life. Gertrude Best had been in the court room daily with them. She’d been quiet and reserved for the most part, only getting upset once or twice, but had delivered her story with as much dignity as anyone could under the circumstances. And every day she’d come in with her wand at her throat. Royce knew that she’d never been questioned about it after she’d been on the stand. The little gun had gone off before the judge had had a chance to make a date for sentencing. Gurt had pointed the little wand at White on several occasions throughout the trial, that when she’d done it this time no one had thought a thing about it. At least Royce hadn’t. The pop-pop-pop had sounded long seconds before anyone moved and the last pop had gone off before Gurt could be reached. The final bullet had torn through her chin and up through her brain in seconds. While everyone rushed to the dead woman, no one moved to the man who lay bleeding to death on the floor. Gurt had been an excellent shot. She’d gotten White twice in the throat and once in the cheek. There was no saving him after they realized that he wasn’t killed like they had assumed. Royce wondered after if anyone had really tried.  It had taken them four hours to get everyone’s statements. Royce had tried several times to get Kasey to take Lee home and wait for him, but she’d stood next to him, at his side when the reports had come, and then again when they were all questioned. She was eerily quiet on the drive home. “She had this planned for a long time, didn’t she?” Kasey finally asked when they were in bed together. “She knew what she was doing the moment she’d come to the courthouse.” “Yes. I think she had a plan to kill White even before we’d approached her to tell her side of what had happened.” Royce didn’t tell anyone that he thought that Gurt had done 
them all a favor by killing White. He thought it, but didn’t voice it. “She had had her little gun made when she’d still been in the recuperating stages after he’d shot her.” “I wish we could have talked more. I wish she could have… I was going to ask her to help me with the program. I thought she’d be an inspiration to everyone knowing that good things could come to you if you didn’t think of yourself as a victim. I guess I was wrong.” He pulled her tight in his arms and kissed her shoulder. “You weren’t wrong, love. You couldn’t see how badly she’d been affected by what he’d done to her. I’m not sure anyone had.” She lay there for several minutes before she spoke again. “Royce, do you think the others will be all right? Do you think any of them are thinking about killing themselves?” She turned to him then. “Is there anything we can do for them?” He nodded before he said anything. “We’ll give them anything they need, baby. Anything. You work your magic on them and see what we can do to help them and we will. I swear if it is in my power to do it, they can have it.”  He held her long after she’d gone to sleep and when Lee woke a few hours later, he went to the nursery to get him. He changed his diaper and took him to the big rocker just to hold him. Lee seemed to be all right with waiting on his food so Royce told him about his mom. “You should see her went she gets all fired up about something. I’m telling you, son, it’s a sight to behold. And boy, when she’s…well, that’s between mom and me. But she can light me up pretty good too.” Lee watched him as he spoke to him, never breaking eye contact. “You’re going to be such a ladies man, kid. You just wait and see. But you won’t be knocking any of them up before you say ‘I do.’ I did that and it turned out wonderful for me, but you can’t expect to be so lucky. Here are words my brothers say all the time, ‘don’t tap it if you don’t wrap it.’ Words to live by.” “What a thing to say to a baby.”  Royce looked up at Kasey standing in the doorway when she spoke.  “Are you seriously giving our ten day old son sexual advice?” “You’re never too young to be taught to respect the lady. Besides, you know you’ll be giving any daughters that we have the same advice.” She walked to him and started to kneel on the floor in front of the rocker. “Sit in my lap. I want to hold the two most important people in my life.” She slid into the chair and Royce handed her Lee. He cradled them both in his arms. He doubted there was a better feeling in the world than this. “I have a news conference tomorrow with your mom. Your brother, I think, set it up a long time ago. Then we have a meeting with a reporter from the Daily Broadcast. Some guy by the name of Kyle Washington.” “Kylie Washington. It’s a girl, woman. She and Jesse went to school together. She’s a real ball buster. She was the one that got the last mayor impeached. She uncovered a ring of prostitution that he’d been running with campaign money.” Royce stood when Kasey did. Lee had decided that he’d waited long enough. He watched her nurse him. He was such a greedy little thing and he made noises that made Royce smile. Lee held his mother’s finger while he ate his dinner. 
“Annamarie said that he…Kylie has been on the story for some time and that she is the one who’d found two of the women for the trial. Do you think she knew about Gurt?” Royce told her that he didn’t know. “I hope she didn’t. I think that would be hard for her to live with if she did.” Royce hadn’t had anything more to do with Gurt than to see her in the court room, and he was having a hard time with it. He could still see her blood on the wall behind her when she’d killed herself. “I guess we’ll find out soon enough. She and Daniel meet on Monday morning. And from what I remember about her as a kid, she and Daniel didn’t get along all that well. Seems she’d take exception to everything that he said. ~~~ Kylie Washington put down her phone and looked at her notes. She was really going to go to the Hunter building to see Daniel Hunter. She closed her eyes, trying to wipe out the hurt and pain that was there every time she’d thought about him. The pisser had made her mad every time she’d seen him when she’d been a teenager. It had started in middle school, moved up through high school, and then into adulthood. Every time they saw one another, he would make her mad enough to make her want to kick him. But she’d remained the adult. And not only had she not put his nuts up around his eyes, she’d written a glowing article about him when he’d taken over the personal side of his brother’s firm. Cushy job that it was. She flushed then. She had walked into the same kind of job. Her daddy had owned the newspaper she worked for since before she was born. At least Royce had made himself into what he was; her dad had inherited it from his dad. She walked to her closet for the tenth time in the past three hours.  She didn’t have a thing to wear to this. She wanted to look professional yet hardnosed. She wanted him to see that she could be feminine, yet still be a pro. She threw the last dress in her closet on the floor. Damn it, she wanted him to see that she’d turned into this drop dead gorgeous woman who had a few more brain cells then the normal women he dated. Fat chance.  By the time she cleaned up her bedroom and put the first thing she touched with her eyes closed into the bathroom to put on in the morning, she went to bed. Tomorrow, she was going to see the only man who had made her feel things she’d never felt before.  Kylie Washington had been in love with Daniel Hunter since she’d been ten years old

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Dawn Whitfield is on the run, and if her uncle catches her this time she knows he won’t just beat her…he’ll kill her. Her best bet is to keep moving, and at all cost keep hidden. 

Addie Parker finds the shackled young woman and sets her up in an old house hidden from everything. And that’s where Dawn stays for eight lonely years. 

Ellis Emerson is in a rut. He can’t seem to do anything right. He thinks he’s found his mate, but can’t get close enough to her to be sure… And that’s a huge distraction that’s turned their construction job from a week ahead of schedule with a huge bonus, to barely three days ahead. And when Addie asks him to assemble a small crew to fix one of her houses, his foreman, Dan, is all for Ellis getting away for a while. 

Ellis finds his skittish mate hiding away in Addie’s home, but will she let her guard down long enough for him to convince her that their destiny is each other? Or will her Uncle Basil step in and finally take her prisoner again? Find out in the next installment of Emerson Wolves―Ellis. 

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KOBO  Coming Soon 

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Fated Destiny: Trapped
And just like that, it all come flooding back to her. Everything. The crash, the sex. Even the way he’d made her feel when he came inside of her. Andrea could hear him screaming at her now, his voice in her head telling her to calm down….
Trevor was a wolf on a mission. They had his mate and he wanted her back―now.…

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Dare to Fall in Love Boxed Set: Erotic Romance Boxed Set

Recommended for 18+ Check out the first books in 6 separate series by Kathi S. Barton. Each of these full length novels can stand alone. 

Rembrandt – Blood Brotherhood Series 
Sapphire – Rare Gems Series 
Force of Nature – Force of Nature Series 
Nickolas – The Grant Brothers Series 
Cain – The Waite Family Series 
Royce – The Hunter Series 

Skylar Manning was just trying to be nice. The mysterious man dressed in black was hanging around after closing…again. It was the third time this week. Only this time he grabbed her arm. Her world changed forever. 
Suddenly she found herself hunted by shadowy figures with razor sharp teeth, and into the arms of a warrior who craved her as much as she did him… 
Blair tries to convince himself that he’s chasing after Sapphire because he feels an overwhelming need to protect her and she just won’t follow orders. When he comes across as a complete jerk, Sapphire really wants no part of him. Of course, leaving him isn't going to work…she's his mate. Now, if only he can get his head out of his ass, learn to treat Sapphire the way she should be treated, maybe, just maybe, there is a chance for them…that is unless Jeffery Benetton finds her first… 
Force of Nature 

Austin didn’t want to be impressed by her. He didn’t want to like her. He wanted her to obey him, whelp a few pups so she wouldn’t be bored and run his house for him. CJ wanted to do as she please which included maybe murdering the Alpha in his sleep. The two of them coming together is wonderfully steamy and sarcastic wit. Austin and CJ will make great alpha’s…or will they? 

Nickolas Grant doesn’t know what to do when he finally realizes that he needs Morgan Becky for more than just his secretary. He doesn’t trust her… not with his love not even his friendship. 
Morgan has not had an easy life and finds it difficult to trust others. She needs to get her life in order, not fall for her handsome boss with a stiff spine and foul temper. 
When they come together in fiery passion and biting words, no one is safe, not even them. 

The girl went by many names. Julie was the one the nurse called her, Shade and also Miss Rocky was just a few more. But it was her real name that she held to her. No one must know who she was or they’d try and kill her. And the good doctor was someone she decided that 

Royce and Kasey have a love that extends over time and could make them very happy…if they don’t kill each other first. 

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