Saturday, November 5, 2016

Liberation Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Liberation
Kate L. Mary
(Moonchild, #2)
Publication date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult



From two-time award-winning author, Kate L. Mary, comes the sequel to MOONCHILD, “a much needed breath of fresh air in the world of YA fantasy.” After surviving the auction and a near death experience at the hands of Asher’s father, Scarlett Moon is more than ready for life to settle down, and with each passing day she starts to feel more at home in Columbus. Even with Asher ready for more than Scarlett can give, she manages to fall into a routine that almost feels like a normal life.

But one distress call is all it takes to destroy the serenity the group has managed to build.

As far as anyone knew, Paget had moved on with her life after storming out months ago, but the fear in her voice when she calls the warehouse tells a different story. Even though Scarlett never liked Asher’s ex to begin with, she can’t help feeling a little bit responsible for Paget’s situation.

Searching in the seediest part of the city, the group picks up clues as they try to piece together what might have happened. The more Scarlett learns about what the other woman has been through over the last few months, the more concerned she becomes. Even worse: there’s no sign of Paget anywhere in Columbus.

With all the clues pointing in one direction, the group leaves the city and heads for Hocking Hills. Only it seems the danger may have followed them, leaving nothing but death and destruction in its wake and putting Paget in more danger than ever before. As Scarlett learns more about the woman who used to hold Asher’s heart, she suddenly finds herself unable to deny how she really feels about him. Only, with Paget in trouble, Scarlett can’t help wondering if Asher might still have feelings for his ex.

Sequel to:
1moonchildebook


EXCERPT

He runs his hand down the side of my head, trailing my dark hair through his fingers. It’s gotten longer since we arrived in Columbus, down to the middle of my back, and when his hand reaches the end of my hair, his fingers brush against my arm. My skin tingles, and I take a deep, calming breath. How does he always do this?
“Moonchild,” he whispers, leaning even closer. “What’s with that name, anyway? I’ve been asking you for months, and you never answer me.”
His eyes burn into mine, and I swallow. I don’t like to share. I hate being vulnerable. Especially with Asher. But my head is spinning and he’s so close, and before I have a chance to even think about it, I blurt out the words, “It’s a nickname my mom gave me.”
He freezes and his eyes hold mine, but his expression is unreadable. “Your mom?”
A tiny voice buried deep in my brain tells me to stop talking. This is what I’ve been trying to avoid for the past five months. Opening myself up to Asher. Making our relationship more real. Sharing. He’s given so much of himself to me. Shared his entire past. His mom’s murder, his time in the pits, the murder he committed that got him sent to the mines. His father. All the details and painful memories and how they’ve affected him. But I’ve told him nothing other than general facts. My parents were killed, I was sent to an orphan home, I ran away and spent time picking pockets before being caught and sent to the mines. I’ve intentionally kept out all the emotional details.
But for some reason, right now, I don’t want to listen to that voice. Not while Asher’s eyes are burning into mine, making everything hazy. I feel drunk. Drunk on Asher.
“I’ve never been a good sleeper, even as a baby. I got my mom up at least three times a night until I was four. My dad called me a night owl.” I smile despite the stinging that has started at the back of my throat. “But my mom corrected him. She said I was just a child of the moon. Her own little Moonchild. It stuck.”
Asher’s expression is still blank, and he seems to be holding his breath, almost like he’s afraid the littlest sound will break the spell and I’ll curl into myself. He doesn’t want me to pull away from him, and even though I know I should, I don’t want to either. No one has ever been as welcoming and warm as Asher is.
“How did it end up on the wanted posters?” he whispers. “How did they find out about something like that?”
I wince and want to look away from him. His expression is unguarded, and it’s like he’s looking at me through a microscope.
“I don’t know,” I say softly. “Probably a neighbor or friend. Someone who knew my parents. I never told anyone at the orphan home or in the mines… I don’t know how they found out. But it hurts when I see it on the posters. It twists the memories I have of my mom into something ugly and—” I slam my mouth shut.
No. I’ve gone too far. I need to keep some of myself tucked away, hidden from Asher and his disarming smile.
The expression in his eyes is different now. There’s hope swimming in them now when he brushes my hair back, away from my face, the tips of his fingers barely grazing my cheek. A tremble moves through me, and I suck in a deep breath. I should leave while I still can. Being this close to Asher is never a good idea.


liberation

Author Bio:
Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children's Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction. Fans of The Walking Dead won't want to miss out on her Amazon Bestselling Broken World series, and the soon to come Twisted follow-up series.

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Candy Houses Blitz


Candy Houses 
(Grimm's Circle #1)
by J.C. Daniels

Blurb: 

Think you know fairy tales? Guess again.

It’s been hundreds of years since Greta’s so-called story came to an end and it didn’t end with a happily ever after then. Why should she expect it to be any different now?

She’s a Grimm—a special kind of guardian angel and official ass-kicker in the paranormal world. Between trying to stay alive, training new Grimm and dealing with demons, romance is hard to come by. Then there’s the fact that there’s only been one man ever who really made her heart race.

And he’s been out of her life for a long, long time…

But now he’s back and just in time.

Greta needs Rip’s help.

There’s an unexpected threat to their world, a betrayal none of them saw coming.

Working together is the last thing they want, but it just might be their only chance.

A fairy tale best suited for grown-ups…don’t say you weren’t warned.



Available to purchase at 

         


About The Author


J.C. Daniels is the alter ego of author Shiloh Walker and was created basically because Shiloh writes like a hyperactive bunny and an intervention was necessary.  J.C. is the intervention.  The name… J.C. Daniels is a play off of the three people who pretty much run Shiloh’s life.

Professional Bio
J.C./Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more…ah…serious works of fiction. She loves reading and writing just about every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest.  She writes urban fantasy, romantic suspense and paranormal romance, among other things.


You can learn more and connect with JC at

Website
| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Friday, November 4, 2016

Spell Cat Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Spell Cat
by Tara Lain 

Blurb:
When Killian Barth, history professor, meets Blaine Genneau, quantum physicist, they ignite their own big bang. But Killian can’t pursue a physics professor—or a human. As the most powerful male witch in ten generations, Killian must bolster his dying race by reproducing—despite the fact that he’s gay.

Even a fling with Blaine is out of the question, because Killian has been told sex with humans drains his power. But if that’s true, why can young human Jimmy Janx dissolve spoons with the power of his mind? If Killian can sort through the lies he’s been fed, he’ll still face his biggest obstacle — convincing rational scientist Blaine to believe in magic.

With his ancient and powerful cat familiar, Aloysius, on his shoulder, Killian brings the lightning against deceit and greed to save Blaine from danger and prove love is the greatest power of them all.





Available for purchase at 

            


Also available in paperback





Excerpt

He looked around and spotted the City Hall building a block away. That’s right; there’s a park there. He walked toward it, moving past the tall buildings and late-afternoon pedestrians. Inside the park, he stopped. Blaine sat on a park bench. Killian just wanted to stare at him. So beautiful. Not that perfect kind of beautiful like Moran. Blaine looked… what? Smart as hell, yes. Free, self-actuating, brave. That was a kind of beauty no picture-perfection could match. Oh gods, I love the way the black-rimmed glasses sit on his high-bridged nose.

Blaine looked up as if he’d felt Killian staring at him. Goal achieved. He looked entranced without benefit of spells.

Killian paused. It wasn’t without benefit of spells. The man was righteously bespelled. He took a breath. But at least he had Blaine for now.

He walked toward Blaine, putting a little extra sway in his walk.

The green eyes shone. “You look beautiful.”

Killian smiled. “Thank you. I wanted to be fitting of your surprise, whatever it may be. You look pretty yummy yourself.” It was true. Blaine was usually very casual, but he’d made an extra effort today. Freshly washed jeans, a white shirt, and a dark sport coat. What was the occasion?

Blaine looked up at Killian’s shoulder. “Hi, Al. Good to see you, buddy.”

“Merwaor.”

Blaine glanced at his watch. Hmm. Was he taking Killian to a show? Maybe he had a restaurant reservation. He patted the bench. “Come sit down.”

Killian sat. Curiosity gnawed. He glanced around the park for a clue. “I hardly ever come here. I forget what a great building the City Hall is.” He looked at Blaine. “Are we going on a tour?”

“Not exactly, but there is another building I want to show you, I hope in a few minutes.” Blaine’s eyes crinkled. He looked like he wanted to laugh.

“What’s going on? What’s the surprise?” Why did he feel anxious? Aloysius began to purr.

Blaine giggled. Giggled? Really? “I’m so bad at secrets.” Al’s purr got louder. Blaine reached in his pocket. Oh, Killian had an odd feeling.

Blaine pulled a box out of his pocket. Oh gods. He couldn’t breathe. Blaine opened the box, revealing the most beautiful antique gold and sapphire ring. He looked up at Killian. “I love you. I know it seems fast, but I think you feel it too. I’d like to walk you over to the marriage license office this afternoon and apply. Will you marry me?”

Killian couldn’t breathe or speak—he just stared at the ring. His life passed before his eyes. Every dream and barely acknowledged wish. Every lonely moment’s ache of longing. It lay there in that box. Tears pushed behind his eyes. He had to say yes. In all his life, no matter how long he lived, there would never be another moment like this. There would never be another Blaine. He looked up. “I can’t.”

A crease pushed between Blaine’s eyebrows. “You told me you weren’t going to marry her.”

“I’m not. Though I haven’t told the family yet.”

“So tell them you’re marrying me instead.”

“I can’t. You’re the most wonderful thing I’ve ever known, and that’s the most beautiful ring on earth. But I can’t.” And that was it. If his heart had one tiny sliver still intact, it broke.
Blaine took Killian’s hand, wringing it tight. “Why? Tell me.”

Killian sighed. So his hope to have this magic in his life just a little longer was over. “Because you don’t love me, really.”

“What the hell?”

“It won’t last, and soon you’ll be glad you dodged this bullet.”

“Bullshit! I’m a grown man, and I know how I feel.” Blaine glanced around at the few passersby and lowered his voice. “How can you believe that idiocy?”

“Because it’s true.” Aloysius bit Killian’s ear. “Ow. Dammit, Al.” He pushed the cat onto the bench.

“At least Al’s on my side.” Blaine took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Sweetheart, I know you’ve been sheltered and never allowed to explore your feelings for a man. It makes sense that you’d be nervous. Maybe expect me to leave like your father did. But I love you, and I want to be with you for the rest of our lives.”

Killian stared at his hands. “It can’t happen. You won’t love me much longer. Maybe days are all we have left. It’s different for everyone.”

“What’s different? Killian, you’re not making sense.”
It seemed there was only one way to persuade him. He looked up into those confused and beloved green eyes. “The spell is different.”

“What do you mean ‘spell’?”

Killian sat up straight. “I mean the witch’s spell I cast on you to make you love me. And Aloysius helped.” The cat hissed. “Get over it, Al.” He looked back at his hands. The hands Blaine was no longer holding. “The witch’s spell that is right now running out. Though in my defense, I had no idea you would be the target of the spell. If I could have taken it back, had you love me in truth, I would have done it a thousand times. If I could stop being a witch so you could love me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. None of those things are possible, even for me.” He looked up. Blaine—the human—stared at him with wide eyes.

“You’re a witch?”










About the Author




Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!


You can find Tara at Lain

               



Giveaway

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Presented By


Dangerous Kiss Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!


Dangerous Kiss
Crystal Kaswell
Publication date: November 2nd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance


He was supposed to glue my broken heart back together. Instead he threw me away.

Now he’s just another rock star asshole.

He gets everything he wants.

But not me. Not again.

Ethan Strong was the first man I ever loved. He was the one person who understood me, the one person who made me feel whole, the one person who set my body on fire.

We were supposed to be together forever. Then things got hard and Ethan forced me to choose between him and everything I’ve worked for.

Now he’s back in my life. He says we’ll be friends. It’s been a long time. I can forgive, but I can’t seem to forget. The taste of his lips, the sound of his groans in my ears, those calloused fingers between my legs– I’m going out of my mind remembering all the pleasure he brought me.

Worse, I keep thinking how happy he made me.

I can’t fall back in love with Ethan. It doesn’t matter how badly I crave his gorgeous blue eyes, his tattooed arms, and his strong guitarists’ hands. It doesn’t matter that his smile still lights me up inside. It doesn’t matter that I need him like I need oxygen.

I’m not giving Ethan another chance to throw me away.



EXCERPT

His eyes meet mine with this look that begs me to spill my guts.
He waits to speak until his drink is melting ice. “I know you think Mal is pulling strings to get us back together.”
“Is there a reason why you don’t object to this?”
“Mal doesn’t listen to anybody but Mal. Besides, I’ve seen him stressing about numbers. He doesn’t have the expertise. And I’m not saying you do, but he’s right. You’re somebody we trust.” Ethan’s eyes find mine. “If you want the gig, you should take it.”
His voice is even, effortless. Usually, Ethan wears his intentions on his face. But not right now.
No. That was the old Ethan, the one I knew. This playboy rock star version of Ethan… who knows what he does or why.
I take a long sip of my now lukewarm drink. “Won’t that bother you?”
“No.” His voice is shaky for a moment. “Just, well… I’m not gonna be celibate just because you’re around.”
“Excuse me?”
“I get it. You think I’m a manwhore. I won’t argue.” He runs his hand through his wavy hair. “You’re right. I fuck a lot of women. That isn’t going to change if you join us on tour.”
“Thanks for the update on your sex life.”
“Don’t want you to get upset if you see me with someone else.” His voice is clipped, his expression is frustrated.
But why? I stare back at him. “I don’t give a fuck where you stick your dick.”
“Good.”
“Yeah, great. Is that it?”
“Pretty much.”
I stare back at Ethan. I’m getting in the last word here. “Goes for you, too. I didn’t swear off sex when we broke up.”
Okay, so I’ve only slept with one guy since Ethan and I broke up. Denny and I dated for a few months. He was crazy about me—he wanted to move in together—but I never felt the same. After we broke up, he nearly evaporated from my mind. It still goes back to Ethan every time I pull out my rabbit-style vibrator (he did buy it for me). Or every time I touch myself sans mechanical assistance.
I clear my throat and smile my most confident smile. “Don’t get upset if you see me with someone else.”
“You’re sleeping around?”
“That’s not a crime, is it?” I chew on my lower lip. It’s not the case either, but he doesn’t need to know that.
“No. Of course not. I’m glad. Anybody I know?”
“No.”
“You coming often, at least?”
“Excuse me?”
“We’re gonna be around each other. We should be friendly.”
“Pretty sure you coming often goes past most people’s idea of friendly.”
“Of course, Vi. Would never want to make you uncomfortable.” He smiles, the look in his eyes screaming I guess that’s a no.
I clear my throat. “Yeah, I’m coming a lot. Every night.” By my hand, but that’s a technicality. “Sometimes multiple times.”
His expression flares with frustration. “Great.”
“And you? Enjoy screwing strangers at bars?”
“Depends on the stranger.”
I laugh-scoff. “I guess it would.”
He smiles.
Even though we’re hate-flirting, I fucking melt.


dk-teaser1

Author Bio:
Crystal Kaswell writes scorching hot new adult romance. When she isn't writing, she is chain drinking tea, binge watching Law and Order, practicing yoga, or debating which fictional character would be the best in bed. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband.
Sign up for her mailing list to get exclusive bonuses like deleted and alternate POV scenes http://www.crystalkaswell.com/subscribe/ 

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

My Maker's Keeper Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

My Maker’s Keeper
Tiffany Current

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: November 1, 2016

Book Description:

Hannah Clark used to be an ordinary girl. She used to be a lot of things. Until she was bitten.

Five months ago, Hannah woke up in the middle of the woods as a vampire. She didn’t know how it happened or who turned her. She just knew she wasn’t safe in her hometown anymore.

Fort Wayne was supposed to be her fresh start. Her chance to finish high school without any other incidents. But then she met Jackson. Their attraction was instant and awakened something deep inside of her. Her thirst for blood.

Things only got worse when her maker, Lucas, came to town. He might have been sexy, but he was one dangerous vampire. And if Hannah wanted to keep Jackson safe, she had to protect him from Lucas’ ravenous ways. Even though she found herself excited by them.

But Lucas wasn’t there for her. Something sinister was happening in town. Vampires were going missing, and if Hannah didn’t want to be next, she had to work with Lucas to solve the mystery. But could she trust him? Or should she trust Jackson? She had to make a choice—and her life might just depend on it.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M72RUKX/

Excerpt

PROLOGUE

            I ran through the woods. My heart was beating so hard I thought it would explode out of my chest. I didn’t stop, though. I couldn’t. If I did, he’d catch me. And I wasn’t sure what he’d do to me this time. He’d already… I didn’t want to think about it. I had to keep moving.
            There was a fork in the road up ahead. Which way should I go? My gut screamed left, so I went in that direction. I prayed I’d made the right decision. That this trail would lead me back to my car. If it did, I could get out of here. I’d escape him.
But what if I couldn’t?
That one sliver of doubt crippled me. Fear took over. Tears sprang to my eyes. My lungs tightened, and suddenly, it was as if I couldn’t breathe. I clutched at my throat, gasping for air that wouldn’t come. I needed to focus on something, anything, to calm myself down.
Immediately, my eyes went back to the waterfall. I zeroed in on the sound of the water pouring into the pond below. “Relax, Hannah. You need to relax,” I said to myself. “Just for five minutes, until you get out of here. Do it for Mom’s sake.” I wiped the tears off my face and counted backward from ten. When I reached the number one, my heartbeat was almost back to normal.
I took in my surroundings. It was dark and quiet. Too quiet. Even the birds had called it a night. As if they knew something I didn’t. That was when I felt it. The chill that had crept up my spine.
He was near.
I took off running. All the while, I cursed at myself. I was so stupid. To come here after hours. To hike up to that waterfall. What was I trying to prove? Something moved above my head. On instinct, I looked up and tripped over the rock in front of me. I took a nosedive to the ground, my ankle snapping on impact.
A surge of pain ripped through me. At first, it was just in my ankle. Then it shot up to my knees and into my thighs. But it didn’t stop there. It kept moving upward as if it had some sort of purpose. This was more than a break. Something else was going on. It felt like motor oil was creeping through my veins. Moving from my stomach to my chest and filling every part of my brain. I howled in agony.
A dark shadow jumped down right beside me. It was him. I jerked away, my body tensing. “Please,” I begged.
He moved toward me, his eyes finally coming into view. They were dark, impossibly so. And his mouth was covered in…blood. Mine? As he reached for me, I flinched. He snarled in response, finally showing the thing I was truly afraid of.
His fangs.

I screamed in horror just as everything went black.


About the Author:

Tiffany Current earned her Bachelor's degree in dramatic writing from Drexel University. Her first book, the self-help relationship guide How to Move in with Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up with Him), was published by Turner Publishing. 

Tiffany writes paranormal, young adult, urban fantasy, and self-help books. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys reading books, watching trashy action movies, and pestering her cat.
  





Ink and Bone Cover Reveal!


Ink and Bone
Skyla Madi
(New York Crime Kings #5)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: November 16th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Amidst the chaos of my life, I’ve realized that not all wars can be won.

I see it now.

My stubbornness was peeled away, allowing me to see through my unrealistic desire to take down a powerful criminal empire.

I see it…and it’s too late.

I never could turn my back on family—even when I know I should.

It would have been okay. It should have been okay…but it wasn’t, and now the stain of betrayal is too prominent to ignore.

I blame my brother…

I blame my friend…

…I blame myself



Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]
*Designed by Deranged Doctor Design*

Author Bio: 
Skyla Madi is an Australian writer from Brisbane, Queensland.
She started her writing career fresh out of high school and at 21 she is a giver of both real and fictional life.
Madi is an Aquarian, lover of the written word and author of the #1 BESTSELLING Consumed trilogy. 


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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Impulse Tour & Excerpt!

Impulse
C.J. Lake

Genre: New Adult Romance

Date of Publication: 10/5/16

Number of pages: 360
Word Count: 86K

Book Description:

**Standalone novel, NO cliffhanger. Contains explicit/steamy content intended for mature readers.**

I couldn't believe my luck, seeing Cady Killoren at the bar and finding out she no longer had a boyfriend. Then ending up at her place later that night... She had her guard up, but there was no denying what was happening between us. I wasn't sure how to play this, I hadn't exactly been honest with her. I only knew I wanted more of her...and then things got complicated.

It was one impulsive night--totally unlike me! I can't even blame it on the drinks. That night with Mick was pure chemistry. I never would've guessed that the next time we met it would be in a crowded restaurant, being introduced by my dad! And I would find out that everything I thought I knew about Mick was a lie. There are a lot of reasons why I need to resist Mick Croft... Easier said than done.


Excerpt

“So where does that leave us?”
“Wh—us?” she repeated stupidly.
“You and me,” he said softly and inched even closer—which only reminded her how good he smelled.
“N-nowhere,” she managed to eke out. Remember your resolve, she told herself. Distance, not flirtation.
“C'mon, Cady,” Mick murmured, “that's it?” For a moment, she just looked up at him. “Don’t we deserve another night?” The husky strum of Mick’s voice nearly sent shivers through her. “We could even make it ‘no strings’ since that’s what you’re into?” he suggested playfully.
Please, that was so not what she was into; in fact, she’d tried it just once—with Mick—and look at her.  Still wanting him, still thinking about him. 
“No,” she said finally.
“No to no strings?” he questioned.
Inhaling sharply, Cady replied, “No to all of it.” Though his face was inscrutable, she sensed that Mick was as unconvinced as she felt, so she doubled-down. “We can't hook up again.”
“Why not?” he asked simply, still not moving away. “We barely got started the first time.” Her eyes widened for a second. Barely got started? God...
She fought a sudden carnal reaction that sent her pulse leaping and made her cheeks flush. For an insane, overheated second, she imagined what else they could have done that night—
Abruptly, she caught herself. What am I doing??
Was she that weak? That hot for this guy? Where was her resolve?
To regain a sense of control, Cady straightened her posture (always a pretty good precursor to prissiness).  “Mick, we’re forgetting that night, remember?”
He slanted her a look. “We are?  When did I agree to that?”
“You have no choice,” Cady replied crisply. “I’m still annoyed with you.”
With a roll of his eyes at that, Mick said, “Jesus, how long are you going to be mad about a couple of white lies?”
Obviously he was determined to brush off his insincerity at Donovan Shay's. Their very first meeting had started with a pointless lie and apparently Mick didn't see a problem with that. “A lie is a lie—no matter how you color-code it.” Before he could say or do something to change her mind, Cady pressed on, “Besides, can you really blame me for being turned off? Considering that you...”
“What?”
“...got me into bed under false pretenses,” she managed.
Then Mick had the nerve to laugh. “Got you into bed?  C'mon, you must be kidding.  Cady—we barely did anything!” His voice was gruff as he leaned his face a fraction closer to hers, adding, “And if you want to be accurate here, it was more like you got me into bed.”  When she didn't immediately protest, Mick continued, almost glibly, “What could I do?  You were pressing up close to me with those big blue eyes…that mouth…waiting for me to kiss you, practically challenging me to kiss you…”
“I was not,” Cady protested weakly, her voice soft and almost cracking.
Somehow their faces had drawn closer, and Mick's mouth was only a few inches from hers. She could almost feel his breath on her lips. “You were,” he murmured thickly, his deep voice making her burn.  She felt heat spreading through her body, as perspiration broke on the back of her neck. It suddenly felt like it was 110 degrees in that kitchen.  She was way too close to kissing him all over again. 
And she panicked. “Oh, my God, you're doing it again right now!” Cady whispered, hoping no onlookers had noticed how much Mick was affecting her.  A little flustered, she took an abrupt step back--then one more, just to break the spell.
Straightening up, Mick sighed. “All right, forget it. Like I said earlier: let's not argue. Obviously you just want to stay mad at me.”
“And obviously you're impossible to reason with.”
“And you're frustrating as hell.”
“I’ll come back.”
They both looked and saw Torie. “No, stay,” Cady insisted, feeling like she needed her friend there before she made an even bigger fool of herself. Obviously Cady didn't have to be a Psych major to realize that most of her fury with Mick at the moment was driven by suppressed desire. Sure, if life were simple, things might be different and Cady could do what she truly wanted—which was basically a repeat of everything they'd done last weekend, and then a bunch of other stuff that, according to Mick, they'd left out.
“Yeah, stay,” Mick agreed. “I was just going.”
Torie acknowledged Mick with a quick, friendly smile. “Hey—I remember you.”
Mick nodded. “Donovan Shay's, right?”
“Yep. So, how's the private security business?” she asked sarcastically.
At least Mick had the good shame to cast his eyes downward for a moment, as if to say he had no defense. Finally, a shred of humility!
Smiling sweetly, Torie added, “By the way, tell your friend, Quinn, that he's full of shit.”
With an effacing half-grin, Mick replied, “Believe me, he knows that.”
Turning her attention back to Cady, Torie said, “Well, I didn't mean to interrupt, but I was only coming over to warn you.”
Reflexively, Cady's forehead pinched with concern. “Warn me about what?”
“About the freakishly small world we live in,” Torie said, forcing a smile—which only worried Cady more. “Um, okay...Wes is here.”
~

About the Author:

C.J. Lake is a storyteller who is passionate about art, surfing, and skiing/snowboarding. She is the author of Constructing Us, A Hot Winter, Sky High, and Impulse.  Residing near the coast of Massachusetts, C.J. is currently working on a new book. 

Readers can get in touch via email writercjlake@gmail.com