Saturday, July 16, 2016

Flesh Series Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Flesh: The Complete Series
Sky Corgan
Publication date: July 15th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

All 17 installments ON SALE FOR ONE WEEK ONLY! Plus you’ll also get BEFORE FLESH, the sequel to The Flesh Series. There are over 500 five star reviews for this series!
Looking to explore the lifestyle for the first time? Want to experiment without having to commit to a Dominant? Then come to Flesh.
Flesh is the perfect entryway to all things kink related. Come find out what the lifestyle is all about in a safe, controlled environment.
We’ll tailor your scene to your needs. Whether you’re new to the lifestyle and just want to get your feet wet, or you’re into the hardcore stuff, we can create the perfect experience for you. Simply fill out a list of the things you want to try, and we’ll pair you with a Dominant who will fulfill your desires.
It’s all about you. Let us introduce you to the pleasures of the lifestyle without all the stresses and worries of having to attend munches constantly and search for that one perfect Dominant. At Flesh, everything is arranged for you. Safe, sane, and consensual.
Once this sale is over, the bonus book will be removed from this box set(never to be added again) and the price will increase to $9.99.
Sky Corgan is the USA Today bestselling author of Unmatchable and The Billionaires Club.


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EXCERPT

“You can relax. I’m not going to hurt you.” He stops right in front of me. Provocatively close. Our legs are almost touching. My eyes are resting on his crotch, but I’m staring more through it than at it. Shit, I’m starting to shut down. The intensity of the situation is too much for me, and we haven’t even started yet. “Unless you want me to.”
“No. That’s alright.” I shake my head, my mouth feeling like a desert. I’m pretty sure he sucked all the air and moisture out of the room when he stepped inside. Except for the moisture between my legs. There’s definitely something going on down there, which is why it’s imperative that I keep them closed. This stupid lingerie is so sheer that he’d probably be able to see it.
“What’s your name, beautiful?”
I feel his fingertips press beneath my chin, lifting my face up to look at him. His touch is soft yet demanding, and it sends electricity pulsing through me, perking my nipples. I don’t want him to see what he’s doing to me. But if that’s really the case, then why am I even here?
“Janice,” I lie. It’s not my name. It’s not even the fake name I had planned to use. I wanted to be Angel, but that went out the window the moment that he touched me. It was like my brain dripped into a puddle of mush on the floor, and all I could recall was my roommate’s name. Internally, I curse myself for saying it—wonder why that was the best I could come up with. Now I’m going to have to listen to him calling me her name throughout the entire session.


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Author Bio: 
Sky Corgan is a USA Today Best-Selling author. When she's not typing away at the next steamy romance series, she's busy planning for future vacations.
You can get a FREE Sky Corgan book and stay up to date on her latest releases by signing up for her newsletter here: 
http://eepurl.com/v0PwX




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Friday, July 15, 2016

Run For Freedom Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!



Run For Freedom
By Angela Kay Austin

Blurb:

The choice was to run for freedom or die never having been valued as a human -- as a woman. The penalty was the same -- death!

Freedom and her brother, Triumph, would fight for their lives and the lives of the ones whom they loved no matter the cost. Escaping bondage meant they must RUN! Run to Moses. Run to the Promised Land.

Watson Brown knew all too well the struggle to survive. The fight to live. He had been given a second chance to do what he had failed to do in life -- as a human. What he and his father could not do before the Harpers Ferry Raid.

The runaway slave and her brother were a distraction.

He could afford no interferences with his mission. He nor his family could risk exposure.



Available for purchase at 

      


Excerpt

They had been discovered. It did not matter how, but someone noticed the Negro servant and the white man. They did not know she was a woman dressed as a man, nor that the man with her was her brother. But, they knew something was wrong. Why would a white man walk into the woods with a Negro?

They should have planned better. Anger filled her as she scolded herself for her oversight. She and Triumph ran faster as more gunshots rang out. He was bigger and stronger, but slower. She demanded her legs run faster. “Faster, brother. Faster.” Her neck ached as she peered over her shoulder.

Men with dogs were quickly catching up to them.

A bullet whipped through the air, next to her ear, and buried itself deep into the trunk of a great old tree. She glanced toward the heavens, and then at the trees. The branches pointed to the path they must take, and the wind at her back pushed her. She knew that she and her brother were running in the right direction.

They ran faster.

Branches popped and snapped as they ripped at the sleeves of her jacket. As her brother tossed his jacket, she tossed hers and her hat. The dogs might be confused for a moment. Her brother touched her shoulder, and she knew what he was about to do. He ran ahead of her and cut through low bushes away from her. He veered his path away from hers, not because he was leaving her, but because it would split the pack of dogs chasing them.

She kept running.

Running to the hidden river.

The woods thickened, the sun began to disappear, and the sky above her darkened. They had not read the signs incorrectly. She stopped to take a long deep inhale. The scent was stronger. Moist earth.Water. She ran, harder. There had to be water somewhere, but as her legs tired, and her breaths shortened, she began to doubt her instincts.

Before her eyes saw the water, her nose told her it was there. Without thinking, she ran toward the smell of fresh wet earth. She stepped into the low water, and stopped. Glancing up and down the hidden creek, her eyes ached from the strain of searching through the trees for her brother.

Her chest tightened at the distant sound of dogs barking. Did their loud growls and snarls mean they had captured Triumph? Were they celebrating their kill? Instead of swimming to the other side, she turned to run back to the spot she had last seen her twin.


Her brother burst through the thicket…


About the Author

Angela Kay Austin has always loved expressing herself creatively.  An infatuation with music led to years playing several instruments, some better than others.   A love for acting put her in front of a camera or two for her thirty seconds of fame before giving way to a degree and career in communications.  After completing a second degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked in promotions and events for many years. 

Today, Angela lives in her hometown in Tennessee with her really reallyreally old dog, Midnight.








You can find Angela at 

            





Giveaway




Presented By


Seaside Lovers Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Seaside Lovers
Melissa Foster
(Love in Bloom: Seaside Summers #7)
Publication date: July 20th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance
Seaside Summers is a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series.
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“You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak
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“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely
In SEASIDE LOVERS…
After months of long-distance communication, actress Parker Collins and artist Grayson Lacroux finally plan to reconnect in the seaside town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. But Parker never shows, and weeks pass without a word, leaving Grayson to believe he’s misinterpreted their budding relationship.
Parker has been running on autopilot ever since she lost her friend, mentor, and the only family she’s ever known, Bert Stein. Armed with junk food, tequila, and her big, lovable dog, she’s prepared to hole up and mourn–and determined to mend a fence Bert had never been able to with his estranged and bitter brother. But Parker didn’t count on the sinfully hot artist she’s been fantasizing about for nearly a year walking in on her grief-induced drunken night.
When Grayson stumbles across Parker, he has no idea what to make of the gorgeous blonde who blew him off despite the heat sizzling between them. But that doesn’t stop him from feeling protective of the woman who’s consumed his thoughts for months, and when he learns of Parker’s plans to confront an angry old man, he refuses to leave her side. As Parker’s past unfolds, they’re led on an unexpected journey of discovery. Their connection deepens, and late-night fantasies become passionate realities, until good intentions spark painful secrets, threatening the love they’ve found.
***
Seaside Summers is part of Melissa Foster’s bestselling Love in Bloom series. All Love in Bloom books may be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, or as part of the series.
SEASIDE SUMMERS
Seaside Dreams (Bella)
Seaside Hearts (Jenna)
Seaside Sunsets (Jamie)
Seaside Secrets (Amy)
Seaside Nights (Sky)
Seaside Embrace (Hunter)
Seaside Lovers (Grayson)
Seaside Whispers (Matt)
***
Read the complete LOVE IN BLOOM series:
SNOW SISTERS
THE BRADENS (at Weston, CO)
THE REMINGTONS
THE BRADENS (at Trusty, CO)
THE BRADENS (at Peaceful Harbor)
SEASIDE SUMMERS
WILD BOYS AFTER DARK
For a complete reading guide, family tree, checklists, and more, visit Melissa’s website.

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EXCERPT

“Trust me?” Grayson asked.
“Trust a guy who hauled me over his shoulder and kidnapped me?” She looked toward the bar.
“Yeah, trust that guy.”
“I do trust you.” She poked him in his chest. “But if I end up on the front of some rag magazine, I’m hiding out in your basement. With Christmas, chocolate, and a boatload of horror movies that you have to watch with me.”
“Sweetheart, if you move into my house, you won’t be watching movies or hiding out in the basement. You’ll be lucky if you make it out of the bedroom. In fact”—he slid his hand to the nape of her neck, causing her eyes to glaze over with desire—“maybe I should take a few of those pictures and make that happen.” He’d taken a chance, saying something so brazen and holding her like this in the cab of his truck, but he couldn’t hold back.

Author Bio:
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary CafĂ© and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event. 


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Out of the Frying Pan Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Out of the Frying Pan
Fearless 7
Julia Talbot

Genre: Gay romance, action adventure

Publisher: All Romance

Date of Publication:  July 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-945193-22-4

Word Count: 20000

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron Hill

Book Description:

Trust comes at a price.

Jenson Parkinson can't believe it when Sloane Marlen shows up at his Colorado mountain fire station. They were lovers years ago, until Sloane broke Jenson's trust, and his heart.

Sloane knows he's not guilty of the misdeeds Jenson believes he committed, but he never figured out how to convince Jenson. Or how to get over him. Can Sloane grab this second chance with both hands and teach Jenson he's worthy of trust... and love?


Excerpt

“The training session will start tomorrow morning at nine AM.” Jenson looked at his guys, some of them volunteer, a few career, and gave them the stern eye. “I know we all have jobs to do, but they’re expecting a wildfire season like no other this year thanks to the drought, and the Forestry Service wants all able bodied personnel to be able to dig firelines, offer support to hot shots and smokejumpers, and know how not to die.”

They all murmured, but no one argued. Carroll, Colorado was big enough to have a permanent fire crew only because of the ski areas that surrounded it, the population transient but relatively wealthy. Their very existence in this Rocky Mountain paradise was predicated on the fact that people had expensive homes and vacation rentals which they’d never let burn down. Jenson frickin’ loved his life. He didn’t want to have to move back to Denver or Boulder or someplace.

“They’re sending several scientists who should help map possible fire routing and containment, as well as two of their lead trainers in hot shots and smokejumping. In addition to our regular duties, we’ll be giving full attention and support to the training team so that we can deploy and offer assistance during the wildfire season. Clear?”

His men and women all nodded, and Jenson gave them all a tight smile. “Good deal. Assignments have been posted for the new shifts. See Josh for all the deets.” Jenson left the meeting room, ready to get on with his day as best he could. He had to get the station ready for the influx of personnel he was about to have, not just the trainers but the firefighters from other small towns around the area. He knew it was a coup for the mayor that Carroll was chosen for this big get together of high mucky mucks, but really, all he knew was he was going to be handing out coffee and doughnuts to a bunch of assholes who did a lot of dick measuring and making a mess in his territory.

“You ready for this, Cap?” Carson Diets asked. Carson was a Forestry guy, and he worked closely with the Carroll department to keep their area clear and keep the campers educated.

“No.” He winked, though, trying for light and happy. “If I get through this without losing my shit we’ll all be grateful. It’s good for the guys, though, right? Trading ideas and shit.”

“Yep.” Carson stepped close and lowered his voice. “There are a couple of real big names in the biz coming, Jenson. Just be diplomatic, huh?”

“Don’t make you look bad, is that what you’re saying?” He grimaced. “Come on, man, I got your back. You know that.”

“I do know that.” Carson clapped him on the back. “I also know you have a reputation for ruling this place with an iron fist and being pissy when someone invades your territory.”

“Well, I’ll try to be all sweetness and light. I don’t suppose you have a roster of who’s coming so I can prepare myself?”


“I do.” Carson pulled out his phone. “I’ll email it to you.”

“Great. Thanks.” His head started to throb, his temples tight and his neck freezing up. Lord. He needed more coffee before he could deal with this shit. His phone chimed, an email popping up from Carson when he looked at his notifications. Jenson walked into his office and set up his K-Cup coffee maker for a hazelnut cream latte. That was his one luxury, because he was from Boulder, dammit. He loathed the Folgers sludge the other guys seemed to adore so much.

He sat at his desk and opened the email, a forward of an interdepartmental memo. When he read the list of presenters, Jenson’s eyes widened. Oh, Jesus fuck. No way. He tried to blink away the name he’d just read, but when he opened his eyes it was still there.

Sloane Marlen.

Jenson leaned back in his chair, letting his head thunk against the backrest. He hadn’t seen Sloane since they were probies, and he really never wanted to see the bastard again.

There wasn’t enough coffee on earth to make this shitty day better now. Jenson was never gonna make it through tomorrow.



About the Author:

Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Samhain Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, All Romance eBooks and Changeling Press. She believes in stories that leave a mark, and that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter.

For more information on other books by Julia, please visit her official website:





One More Time is Not Enough Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


One More Time Is Not Enough
Belle Ami
(The Only One, #3)
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 13th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense


Adelia Lindstrom Bremen seems to have it all: Wealth, beauty, perfect twin children, two men in love with her, and a career she loves. But, beneath the veneer of success and prosperity lies disappointment, tragedy, and unending lies. Her parents were murdered, her marriage ended in a custody battle, and she is swept up in a love triangle. Now she has discovered the existence of a half-sister who wants nothing to do with her.

The only thing that could make matters worse is if she were to become the target of a serial killer—that’s about to happen.


Previous books in the series:



EXCERPT

When they returned to the cliff house, it was late. Adelia suggested they take a Jacuzzi and have a nightcap. While David changed into his swimsuit, she ordered a bottle of champagne and fresh strawberries. By the time he finished in the bathroom, she was in the hot tub, immersed in a cloud of steam, sipping champagne and nibbling on fruit.
“Come on, slowpoke, the water feels like heaven.” She eyed David’s muscled body. “The FBI Academy seems to have agreed with you. You’re a treat for the eyes, Agent Weiss.”
David sighed. “What am I going to do with you?” He slipped into the water.
“I don’t know. What are you going to do with me?” she goaded, handing him a glass of champagne.
Enjoying their playful repartee, she placed her feet in his lap. “This is bliss.” The intimacy of the hot tub was having its desired effect, she could feel the sexual tension mounting.
“You know I’m not going to make love to you.”
“Really.” She furrowed her brows annoyed. “Why not?”
“Because, Adelia, even all of this”—he spread his arms wide—“ can’t make the reality of our lives go away. You have an ex-husband who wants you back, children who’d be better off with both their parents. I can’t compete with that.”
She could sense his goading her into a confrontation. “You’re not going to spoil this perfect evening. I won’t let you.”
“Do you know what it’s going to be like for me, when this is over? Poor David, too bad his girlfriend went back to her husband.”
“It’s not true, you could stop it if you wanted to.”
“We’re fighting destiny, Adelia.”
Doubt plagued her, but it wasn’t within her power to stop what she was feeling. She stood and placed her glass on the side table. With determination, she reached out and took the champagne glass from him. Then, grabbing a strawberry, she sat on his lap, facing him.
He started to protest. “Adelia, stop . . .”
Without a thought, she placed the strawberry seductively between her teeth and brought her lips close to his.
He stared into her eyes. “Please, don’t do this.”
“Why? Don’t you like strawberries?” She could feel his erection beneath her bikini bottom. “Or, is it just me you don’t care for?”
He growled, then bit half of the strawberry off, his lips brushing hers. He tried to pull away, but her arms encircled his neck, and she deepened the kiss.
“If you keep this up . . . you might get more than you bargained for.”
“Is that a threat or a promise?” she whispered, her lips inches from his.
“You’re killing me.”
“Funny, am I the only one here who knows what they want?”
“What I want isn’t in question.”
“Oh, but I think it is. If you were honest with yourself, you wouldn’t pull away. It’s been such a perfect evening. What’s wrong with two people who care for each other, exploring their feelings? I dare you to tell me you don’t want this. That you don’t want me.”
“I’m trying to protect you . . . me . . . both of us . . . from making a mistake.” He smiled. “But you’re not cooperating. I don’t know how much more I can take.”
“Then surrender and let me win. I’m a big girl. If this is a mistake, it’s my mistake.” She pressed her lips on his, her tongue darting against his.
He rose with her in his arms. “I won’t blame you for what’s about to happen. You know how much I want you. I just hope we don’t live to regret it.”
He kissed her with a lust that turned her blood to fire.
“No regrets. I want this. Let’s take a shower,” she teased, kicking her legs playfully in the air.

Author Bio: 
Belle Ami is an accomplished pianist, world traveler, skier and gourmet cook. She lives in Calabasas, CA and is currently finishing her sequel to The One entitled The One and More, the second novel in her (The Only One) series. She also has a self-published novel in another genre that was awarded Finalist for a major book reward. 


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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rubicon International Series Tour & Excerpts!

Garen
Rubicon International
Book One
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
55K words

Release Date: 6/14/16

Genre: Shifter Romantic Suspense

Undercover Shifter Bad Boys = Alphas With Serious Attitude

Tumble Across the Rubicon Into the Death-Riddled World of International Espionage

Book Description:

As an agent for an international espionage firm, Miranda has her hands more than full. Between secretly lusting after her boss, Garen, and making sure the dirty little secret about her double life as a wolf shifter remains hidden, she’s still a virgin at nearly thirty.

Sent to eliminate the head of a human trafficking organization in Amsterdam, she barely escapes with her life. Injured, frightened, and under attack the second her private jet lands in the U.S., she’s not certain where to turn.

Garen’s watched Miranda just as surreptitiously as she’s been eyeing him.

Unfortunately, the fact that she works for him is a showstopper. Plus, he has a few secrets of his own that have kept him single. When Miranda insists on heading up a covert operation, he can’t come up with a plausible reason to stop her. Watching her sprint headlong into danger damn near kills him. He wants to hold her, love her, protect her.

Miranda’s life is on the line. Will Garen risk exposure to save her?

Amazon    BN    Kobo    ARe

Google Play    iBooks    Or buy direct from Ann at this link.

Excerpt from Garen:

The Gulfstream G280 shuddered as it banked hard right. Miranda Miller pushed one of the window blinds out of the way. Damn. Black as pitch outside the aircraft. She felt like warmed-over crap. Her mouth tasted sour, and her eyes were hot and gritty. She rubbed them and tallied how long it had been since she’d slept. At least two days. She reached for a Styrofoam cup in its no-spill metal holder, sloshed cold coffee around her mouth, and swallowed.
Her headset hummed. “Wakey, wakey, fraulein,” a heavily accented German voice rumbled. “We land at JFK as soon as the tower clears us.”
“What?” Fear sliced through her fatigue. “I told you we needed a smaller airport.”
“Sorry, fraulein. This one was closest. We are below recommended minimums on fuel.”
She considered asking the pilot why he hadn’t planned better but decided not to antagonize him. It was bad enough they were flying without a copilot—probably against FAA regulations. She had a dummied-up commercial pilot’s license tucked in her wallet under one of her many assumed names. Hopefully it matched the one on her phony passport. She hadn’t had time to check. If it came down to it, she’d been instructed to tell the tower she copiloted the flight.
As if he’d read her thoughts, the pilot’s next words were, “I need you to move into the cockpit, fraulein.”
“Alrighty. Give me a minute.”
“You do not have much more than that. I do not wish further difficulties with the U.S. authorities.”
Miranda wondered just what other problems the pilot might be referring to. She almost asked him, and then decided she didn’t really care. Her international security company engaged professionals. Most of them came from either the military or law enforcement and had checkered pasts. She unbuckled her seat belt and stumbled to her feet. Her crumpled, black pantsuit stank, but maybe only to her lycan senses. She hoped humans wouldn’t be able to smell stale blood.
A muffled chortle made its way past her lips. Maybe once anyone got a whiff of days old sweat, they’d give her a wide berth. Her body ached, especially her ribs where her target had slammed a lead pipe into her. She fingered her side and wondered if anything was broken. Not much you could do for ribs. They had to mend on their own.
A few steps took her to the tiny head in the rear of the aircraft. She splashed cold water on her face and winced when she took a good look at her scraped knuckles. Her target in Amsterdam—head of a worldwide human trafficking organization—had been much harder to eliminate than she’d expected. She’d needed her supernatural speed and strength—and her wolf form. One more face-dunking in cold water and she grabbed a towel to dry herself.
“Now, fraulein.” The jet shuddered again as its landing gear clicked into place.
The pilot sounded so exasperated, she rushed down the aisle and hurtled through the already-open cockpit door. He grabbed her arm and threw her into the empty seat.
“Watch it!” she snapped. Her upper lip pulled into a snarl. Claws pressed against the ends of her fingertips. Miranda struggled for control. Her wolf wanted to kill the human who’d manhandled her.
“Sorry.” The pilot’s voice was mild. She recognized compulsion beneath his words and wondered what the hell he was. “I do not wish to draw anyone’s attention,” he went on smoothly. “The rules regarding business-class jets are in constant flux.” He glanced at her with gray eyes that didn’t miss much. “Are you hurt?”
She nodded. “My assignment ran into unexpected snags.”
“Will you require medical attention before you proceed to the West Coast?”
She snorted. What a subtle way of asking if she’d been shot or stabbed. Lars Kinsvogel—or whatever his name really was—had obviously dealt with people like her before. Something he said caught her attention. “Won’t you be my pilot?”
He shook his head. “Someone fresh will relieve me.”
“Will I be able to stay aboard?”
He shot her an odd look. “Of course not. You must go through customs.”
She rolled her eyes and pressed her lips into a thin line. “That’s why I wanted to land somewhere inland.”
His gray eyes narrowed to slits. “All flights from foreign destinations are subject to customs, no matter what the airport. Is this your first international assignment?”
Heat rose to her face. “No.” She was damned if she’d say anything else. She didn’t know him from Adam.
The radio crackled. The pilot responded in pilotese and banked the plane. “Flights from Europe are cleared to land at certain airports. With the fuel we have left, we could have landed in Philadelphia or Newark, but I have a feeling those two destinations would not meet your needs, either. What are you afraid of?”
Miranda wasn’t certain what she could tell him. Company policy was clear. Talk to no one. “Never mind.”
She thought about Garen, her boss and chairman for Rubicon International. She’d been half in love with his razor-sharp mind, lithe build, salt-and-pepper hair, and sky-blue eyes for years, but he didn’t see her as anything but a junior-grade agent. Rumor had it he scarcely acknowledged employees until they became full-fledged operatives. If her fellows were any indication, she had a way to go. At least a few more assignments. And then there was the problem of her being a lycan.
She sighed, and fantasies of Garen went up in smoke like they always did. It was nice to dream, but Miranda steered clear of men. Between her wolf side and her somewhat unorthodox career, intimate relationships carried too much risk of discovery. She relied on her fingers, a vibrator, and the occasional one-night stand to take the edge off her needs.
The jet banked yet again and dropped lower. Its wheels made contact, and the pilot hit the brakes. Because she wasn’t belted in, Miranda nearly plunged into the instrument cluster. Lars made an aggravated clucking sound, but he didn’t say anything. They taxied off the runway.
“Since I have to get off, I need to get my things together.”
“Wait until the aircraft comes to a complete stop, fraulein.”
He sounded so much like a bot, she stifled a laugh. The plane moved smoothly into an enclosed hangar. Once it rolled to a halt, she pushed out of her seat, returned to the passenger compartment, and unhooked her small duffel from the wall. Lars’ breath hissed against her ear. “Where are your weapons?”
“On me and in my bag.”
“Put everything in your bag. Clips separate.”
“I’m not that stupid.” She pulled a 9mm semiautomatic from its shoulder holster and punched the button to discharge its clip. She drew back the slide, extracted the chambered bullet, and stuffed it into the clip. Next came a snub-nosed .38 revolver and two knives. She spun the chamber to make certain all the bullets were out and then placed everything in locked gun cases in her carry-on.
Lars still stood practically on top of her. She met his gaze, noticing he was a few inches taller than her five feet eleven. “Yes?” She quirked a tired brow.
“Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?” He settled his hands on her shoulders. She smelled his arousal and knew he had a hard-on without even looking.
“Christ! Not now.” She spun from beneath his grip. “Let’s just get through customs and allow whoever’s knocking to search the plane.”
“We will have some downtime in the terminal. At least an hour.” He sounded hopeful.
Miranda looked at him. Really looked at him. Lars was attractive in a Teutonic sort of way, with ice-blond hair and gray eyes. His trim body suggested he worked out. Interest flickered but then died. She shook her head. “I haven’t slept for forty-eight hours. I’m dead on my feet.”
“Why did you not sleep during the flight? The air was smooth.”
Good question. She’d wondered the same thing. “I have no idea. Too keyed up, I guess.”
He shouted something in German to whoever was pounding on the side of the jet and took her arm. “I will watch over you until you are safely back in the plane.”
She opened her mouth to tell him it wasn’t necessary, but something in his face stopped her. In that moment, she understood he was a trained operative just like her. His role this time around happened to be pilot, but she was certain he’d stood in her shoes before. “Which branch of the military trained you?”
He shook his head and let go of her arm. “It does not matter. Follow me, fraulein.”
She shouldered her duffel and walked to the rear cabin door. Lars had just sprung the locks. He spoke soothingly in German to an obviously agitated customs officer standing at the top of the stairs. The agent’s beady, black eyes settled on her. “Do you speak English?”
“Yes. Is there a problem, sir? It’s been a long flight, and both of us are tired. It took me a while to get my bag together.”
Nostrils flared, the agent looked intently at her and then stepped into the aircraft, waving them down the jet’s steps. “Customs is the last door at the north end of the hangar,” he barked. “Don’t even think of running. This hangar is locked and fully alarmed.”
Lars placed a hand beneath her elbow and guided her across a concrete floor. “It is best if we do not deviate from a straight line,” he muttered.
“Holy crap,” she said. “Why are they so uptight?”
He shrugged. “As you Americans say, it goes with the territory.” He grinned, displaying very white, very even teeth. “Everything we do and say between here and the customs area is filmed and recorded.”





Lars
Rubicon International
Book Two
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
63K words

Release Date: 6/28/16

Genre: Shifter Romantic Suspense

Undercover Shifter Bad Boys = Alphas With Serious Attitude

Tumble Across the Rubicon Into the Death-Riddled World of International Espionage

Book Description:

Tamara MacBride has a much bigger problem than hiding her shifter side from the world. By the skin of her teeth, and with a smattering of Irish luck, she manages to kill her sister’s murderer. Escaping from the scene of the crime is much harder than she anticipated. Just when she thinks she might be safe, her cab driver shrieks and slumps over the wheel.

An unknown assailant terminates Lars Kinsvogel’s target. Pleased by the outcome—after all dead is dead—he exchanges the glitz of Monte Carlo for a nearby airport, intent on collecting the private plane he left there. He’s no sooner arrived when a cab jumps the curb, and he races over to investigate. There’s not much he can do for the cabbie, but his passenger is still very much alive.

Trying to hustle Tamara out of the cab is tough. She’s frozen by fear, but when Lars lays out the rest of his plan to move her out of danger’s path, her temper flares. He can’t leave her alone in Monte Carlo. Can he convince her to trust him in time to save her life?


Excerpt from Lars:

Lars Kinsvogel sucked in an annoyed breath. Anxiety and greed thickened the air in Monte Carlo’s Place de Casino, and he stifled a choking sound. Damn his hypersensitive shifter senses. If it weren’t for them, the desperation hovering around him wouldn’t be quite so palpable. Casinos were always like this, though, a haven for the rash and reckless. What had likely begun as a harmless pastime turned into hardcore addiction for an unfortunate few, forcing them to return again and again despite diminishing returns.
Hope springs eternal. All the poor sods need is one more spin of the wheel, another hand of cards… Lars glanced up, right into the croupier’s beady gaze.
“Would monsieur like to place a bet?” The croupier grinned with all the warmth of a hammerhead shark, displaying a mouthful of bad teeth. What was it with the French and their aversion to dentistry? Lars shook his head and made shooing motions with one hand. He’d have to either join the baccarat game soon or move on, but he could get away with loitering for a few more minutes without drawing undue attention to himself.
His target, a powerfully built man with features revealing Chinese ancestry, had an arm slung around a striking brunette. Maybe she was one of the hookers who worked the casino circuit, or maybe she was a steady thing for the man.
Lars considered it and decided she could be both. Around five feet eight, she had a lush, curvy body, dark hair cut into a stylish bob that fell a few inches past her shoulders, and memorable eyes the color of a restless ocean. A short, black sheath hugged her like a second skin. Open nearly to her waist, it displayed half her full breasts. Even though Lars’ appraisal was surreptitious, he forced his gaze elsewhere. The woman was sex incarnate, and he didn’t need anything diverting him from his objective.
Jaret Chen pressed chips into his companion’s hand and urged her to pick a number. He gave one of her breasts a familiar squeeze, which earned him a smile, perfectly rouged lips stretching over impossibly straight teeth—and a slight shake of her head. Color stained her tanned skin. Lars realized he was looking at the woman again, wondering how her breasts would feel beneath his fingers. She seemed uncomfortable with Jaret’s frank exploration of her body, so she probably wasn’t a pro. For some unexplained reason, Lars felt relieved. The woman was too elegant to earn her living lying on her back.
He snorted to himself and studied the flashing display above the baccarat table. Maybe the woman wasn’t French. That might explain her perfect teeth—and her discomfort with having her body mauled in public. At least she held Jaret’s attention. So far the drug dealer hadn’t spared him so much as a sidelong glance. Lars had never met the man, but knew a great deal about him from an extensive dossier provided by Rubicon International. Deeply involved in the heroin trade from the Middle East, across the Mediterranean, and into Europe, Jaret was one of the principals in a large operation—and Lars’ current target.
He sized the man up. Maybe six feet, he had a barrel chest. Strongly muscled arms strained against the fabric of his cream-colored, silk dress shirt. His art deco tie had been loosened. Dark eyes, pronounced cheekbones, and straight dark hair cut short blended with his business attire. For all intents and purposes, he was indistinguishable from the phalanx of wealthy—and wannabe wealthy—men circulating through the casino. Lars glanced at his own cream-colored silk shirt and black linen pants. With the exception that his tie was still firmly knotted, he and Jaret were dressed as twins.
Guess neither of us wanted to stick out in anyone’s memory.
Lars glanced at his Rolex. Close to midnight and time to move on. He’d seen enough. Now it was a matter of figuring out where and when to strike. These things always went more smoothly when he was close to invisible. He melted into the crowd and made his way outside. The casino fronted the French Riviera, and Lars stood looking out at the Mediterranean for long moments. The water was quiet tonight, waves barely slapping the white sand beach. His cell phone, set on silent, vibrated against his hip, and he tugged it from a pocket to look at the display.
Private. Damn! Could be anyone.
Lars punched the answer icon, held the phone to his ear, and waited. No need to say anything until he knew who was on the other end.
“Are you somewhere you can talk?”
Lars inhaled sharply as Garen LeRochefort’s voice came through the phone’s speaker.
Another shifter, Garen had founded Rubicon International with Lars hundreds of years before. The mechanics of the spy game had changed drastically between the late seventeen hundreds and modern times, but the basics—kill or be killed—hadn’t altered much. Everyone who worked for Rubicon International was some type of shifter. Lars’ animal form was a mountain lion, Garen’s a wolf.
Lars loped farther down the beach until he cleared several couples engaged in deep, hungry kisses before responding. “What has happened?” Something must have, or Garen wouldn’t have risked contact.
“You need to leave.”
“But I have not—”
“Doesn’t matter,” Garen cut in. “I’ll explain when you’re back in the office on a fully encrypted line.”
Lars thought about his twin engine Piper Seneca waiting at the Nice airport, twenty-four kilometers from Monte Carlo. It gave him freedom to come and go, and was much cheaper to operate than the business class jets he also owned. “Maybe I could still—”
“No!” The one word thundered so loud, Lars moved the phone away from his ear. “Don’t even go back to your room.” Garen hesitated. “Old friend. Trust me on this.” The line went dead.
Lars stared at the iPhone’s display and dropped the device back into his pocket. He’d been compromised. He wasn’t certain quite how, and a part of him was curious as hell. He kept walking, swinging in a wide circle to head back toward the Hotel de Paris. Garen had said not to return to his room, but if he was careful, maybe he could learn something critical that would help their side.
“Ja, forewarned is forearmed,” he muttered.
Keycard in hand, he let himself into a side door of the rambling old structure, got his bearings, and started cautiously up a stairwell. His suite was on the second floor, at the very end of the wing facing the Mediterranean. He’d always loved the old hotel with its thick, patterned carpets and antique lighting and furnishings. Staying next to the walls, he used a bit of shifter magic to cast a don’t look here spell. It wouldn’t keep someone determined from seeing him, but it didn’t require much magic, either.
He entered the second floor a few doors from his own and scanned the empty hallway, his senses on high alert. Midnight was early in Monte Carlo, a city where people frequently stayed up through dawn and slept the day away, so he fully expected to see other guests, but the hall was mercifully empty. He padded silently toward his door and examined it, wishing he’d set a trap. He inhaled, trying to sort scents, but there were too many to make sense of. He could leave, just walk away like Garen had almost ordered him to, but Lars had never been a coward, and he was more intrigued than frightened. He’d spent years worming his way out of dicey situations. This was just one more, and he was damned if he’d walk away from his things. Not unless he had to.
He took a deep breath, tugged his guaranteed-not-to-set-off-metal-detectors .32 caliber revolver from its ankle holster, and shoved the key card into the slot in the door. A tiny electric motor hummed before the deadbolt snicked out of the way. He turned the latch, kicked the door open, and pivoted from side to side, scanning the sitting room of his suite, gun at the ready. Lars waited in the doorway, barely breathing, and then he heard a muted click, followed by an unmistakable whirr, and knew.
A bomb.
He cursed in German, not knowing if he was more annoyed with the turn of events or with himself for not taking Garen’s advice and getting the hell out of there.
* * * *
Tamara MacBride pushed the betting chips back into Jaret’s hand. “Sure and I’m not feeling like wagering just now,” she murmured. “Why don’t you do it for me?”
He shot her an odd look. “But you like to gamble.”
You only think I do.
“Something we had for supper didn’t quite settle. Would you mind if I sat somewhere?” She swayed a bit on her feet to make her statement more realistic and sent a weak smile his way. In truth, she was a bit nauseated. Between sweat and greed, the air in the casino stank of humanity’s darker side. Expensive colognes added a queer edge, their rich scents intensifying as their owners’ anxiety rose. If she hadn’t been a shifter, she might not have noticed, at least not as much. So far, she’d done a decent job hiding what she was from Jaret. She aimed to keep things that way.
He ran a thick index finger down the bare skin between her breasts. “We could return to our rooms.”
She crinkled her face in what she hoped looked like an apology and did her best to ooze regret. “Better wait until my tummy settles.” He was arrogant enough, he had no idea how repulsive she found him. Thank all the bloody saints, she’d managed to keep any sexual activities between them tamped down to nothing because of his heroin habit. According to a bit of Internet research, she supposed he could probably get hard, but the drug suppressed orgasms. At least so far, he’d been much more interested in his next shot of dope and drifting into an opiate-induced dreamy void than in bothering her for sex.
Jaret returned his attention to the baccarat table. “I’ll just be over there.” She pointed to a row of padded Louis Fourteenth chairs with bowed legs. Jaret nodded absently. His pupils were very small, so he was still fully under the influence of his last shot. That meant she had at least a couple of hours before he’d need to leave the casino.
Tamara tottered to a chair on ridiculously high heels. They made her feet ache, but Jaret liked it when she dressed like a fancy woman and pleasing him was high on her list. She settled onto the plush seat and slipped her shoes off. A waiter stopped and arched an inquiring brow. Nodding pleasantly at him, she ordered club soda. Rubbing the bridge of her nose between two fingers, she made a grab for her courage. So far, her plan had gone off without a hitch. The only thing left was to finish things off.
The waiter handed her drink over, along with a bowl of salted nuts, and she set both on a nearby chair. The ebb and flow of noise in the crowded room eddied around her. A quick glance at Jaret reassured her that he was still deeply engrossed in gambling—his second favorite addiction, right after heroin. He didn’t care much for women, other than as window dressing and so the other men would see him as some sort of stud.

About the Author:
Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients, now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2016 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and wolf hybrids round out her family.

Find Ann At:





@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)