Tag Archives: @RipleyProserpin

A Taste from The Wicked Souls Anthology – Her Masks by Rebecca Royce & Ripley Proserpina


Wicked Souls
40+ reverse harem romances to tempt your dark side.

Featuring

Rebecca Royce
Joely Sue Burkhart
Mila Young
May Dawson
Margo Bond Collins
C.R. Jane
Ophelia Bell
Khardine Gray
Katherine Bogle
Skyler Andra
Bee Murray
A.J. Mullican
Ripley Proserpina
Monica Corwin
M.M. Chabot
Rebekah R. Ganiere
Jennifer Grey
Serenity Ackles
Maggie Alabaster
Sidonia Rose

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Something Wicked this way comes.
Don’t miss it!

Dark delights. Wicked spells. Damned souls and spirits seeking revenge. On All Hallows’ Eve when the veil is thin, all manner of wicked souls come out to play.

Denizens of night dance in a frenzy. Stolen hearts beat like the pounding of a thousand drums. The rhythm of love vies with the rhyme of magic and the melody of mischief.

Do you want to join in?

Get your copy today and devour these reverse harem romance stories by today’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling and hot new authors. They’ll shake your soul, rattle your heart, and satisfy your darkest desires.

In the darkness lie all things tantalizing, enthralling, and even wicked. Come see what others sold their soul to gain. This collection will take you by the hand and hold you in its grip deep into the night. Every story will leave you breathless and wanting more.

But beware, once you turn the page, you’ll never want to stop.

Join demons, devils, shifters, witches, wayward souls and more in these amazing reverse harem romances, where no one gets left out.

Why choose when you can have it all?

40+ reverse harem romances to tempt your dark side.

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Her Masks

By
Rebecca Royce
&
Ripley Proserpina

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Chaney had been locked away as a danger to herself and others after insisting that the masks she saw were real people. She first met the men when she was sixteen, they only came to be on Halloween and this year she had to see them. She’s twenty now and for escaping this time she is sure she will be sent to another facility far away from New Orleans.

The masks were in an old abandoned theatre, that no one knew the ownership. The state wouldn’t tear it down fearing some kind of historical significance. When Chaney finds the masks where she had left them the last time, she lines them up in a specific order. This was the only way they could come to her, in fact that was the word she used to summon them, Come.

Thinking this is the last time she will ever see them, she tells them where she has been. She also tells them she will be pursued and sent away. Matthew, Scott and Robert weren’t going to let that happen to her, they take her to a safe house and explain who they are and where they are from. They give her the choice to return with them to their time.

Let’s just say that alone is a lot for her to take in, but things get even more complicated with every turn of the page.

The pull of the bond is such that Chaney and her men have no choice but to complete it in scenes that had my kindle smoking (kidding), but wow talk about sizzle!

Twists and turns, surprises and sizzle abound in this very different short story.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca & Ripley!

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Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers!!


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Amazon Author Page

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Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.

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Flame’s Embrace: An Australian Bushfire Charity Anthology


Flames Embrace

From urban fantasy with a dollop of romance,
to spicy paranormal love stories,
Flame’s Embrace has it all.

All profits will go toward
an Australian Bushfire Charity,
to help support communities and wildlife
that were severely impacted
by the Australian Bushfires
at the start of 2020.
Funding is still required,
and many animals and people
lost their lives to this devastating event.
Featuring
May Sage
Seanan McGuire
Meg Anne & Kel Carpenter
Bec McMaster
Amanda Pillar
Emigh Cannaday
Kim Faulks
Heather Long & Rebecca Royce
Grace McGinty
TJ Nichols
Ripley Proserpina
Vivienne Savage
Bam Shepherd
Mila Young

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Set it Ablaze
A Witch Queen Short Story

May Sage

Camille ‘Cee’ Danvers is preparing to leave Massachusetts for Australia. As she settles for the night, a couple of ghosts rouse her for help.

This is a favorite scene.

It was the wrong season for this. In November, the forest was too wet for a fire to propagate like this. It had rained just yesterday. Which meant that this was the work of a witch. Hopefully. Otherwise, it was something much worse.

Cee consciously stopped herself from chewing on her bottom lip—a nervous gesture she was trying not to resort to as it messed with her lipstick. She had a big thing for lipstick these days. After so many years of not being allowed to wear any makeup at all, she loved all types of cosmetics, but lipsticks more than the rest. She liked it bright or dark. It would have been positively shocking for her family.

When she reached the line of fire, she knelt to the ground and planted her feet deep in the cold earth. Spells came to her mouth without a second thought as to the best one to use. Magic had always been easy as breathing for her. She whispered to the wind and the sky, coaxed the earth into lending her some power. Her words weren’t in English. Nor were they in Latin, typically used in most of the spells her family had wanted to drill into her. She didn’t know the language at all. All she knew was that it worked.

Within seconds, the first drop of rain fell on her forehead. A moment after, she was drenched as the rain poured down with violence.

Yet the fire remained.

What the hell?

“Help.”

She didn’t need to turn to know the ghosts were right behind her.

“Yeah, well, I’m trying.” She blew a frustrated breath. If a crap ton of water wasn’t working, how was she supposed to stop the fire?

Then she stilled, thinking about a different approach. This fire wasn’t natural, and the consequence wasn’t what she needed to get rid of—she needed to find the root cause.
May Sage, Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 92-108). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

The cause of the fire is a surprise to her as is the new knowledge of what she is.

Now she’ll be hunted.

A quick satisfying read, with action and heat of the regular kind. I can’t wait to read more of Cee’s story!

5 Contented Purrs for May!


Love In The Last Days Of A Doomed World

Seanan McGuire

With a huge comet hurtling to earth, surviving isn’t something that will happen. This is an apocalyptic event coming. The woman telling us this story and her partner are living their lives the way they want.

There are glimpses of the past, of comic books and superheroes. There is more than one mention of Krypton.

This is a favorite glimpse of the past.

The woman in the library isn’t interesting enough to take my attention away from my book. Not many things are. Books are better than people. They’re easier and kinder and they move as fast as I want them to, letting me take my time, letting me leap ahead. Books are safe.

I’m sitting on a hard plastic chair in the adult section of the library. The chairs in the children’s section fit me better—my feet are dangling more than a foot above the floor—but the librarians don’t like it when I carry my weight in physics texts from one side of the library to the other. I’m not sure why. I don’t like to make the librarians unhappy, and so here I am, content in my nest of paper and plastic and physics. So it isn’t that unusual when the woman walks toward me, not the way it would have been if she’d been in the children’s library, where strangers aren’t supposed to be.

She drops a folded piece of paper on my book as she passes. I pick it up, intending to hand it back to her, but my eyes catch on the equations inside, and I’m lost. It’s poetry. It’s mathematics so impossibly advanced that they become a language all their own, and by the time I realize I’m looking at someone else’s work, it’s too late. When I manage to tear my eyes away from the equations, she’s gone. I didn’t really get a good look at her. I’m eleven; all adults look alike to me.

Her hair was the same color mine is. I remember that much.

“Finders keepers,” I whisper, and slide her note into my pocket. Tonight, I’ll dream of those equations.
Seanan McGuire, Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 372-385). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

What those equations the woman drops periodically mean is a puzzle. One to be solved before the event.

A strange yet intriguing tale.

5 Contented Purrs for Seanan!


Succubus Blues
A Grimm Brotherhood Short Story

Kel Carpenter & Meg Anne

Tamsin is interested in Dominick but he doesn’t seem interested. Now the Fae Queen has set up a team building retreat for a few of them. Let me just say it’s not your ordinary retreat.

The first thing we get to know is that Dominick really wants Tamsin, he’s just afraid it’s her succubus nature and not the real thing. The torture begins when they are sharing the ride to the venue. Dominick is tortured by Tamsin’s singing, it’s really making it hard not to touch her. The Alpha wolf in the back seat has me giggling when she’s woken and cranky over the window being open.

The best is when they get pulled over and Tamsin rescues him from the situation, one that could have been sticky in many ways.

To top it all off when they arrive they find that Natasha hasn’t booked enough rooms so someone has to share. Guess who that is?

This is a favorite scene.

Loading two suitcases on my shoulder and carrying another one in my hand, I was halfway up the sloped driveway when voices carried.

“You can’t be serious,” Tamsin was saying.

“Look. I know it’s not convenient, but there’s only so many beds—”

“Then why the hell am I being paired with him? None of you are sharing rooms.”

Silence. Mumbled things I couldn’t make out. I dropped the suitcases next to the front door on the giant wraparound porch before stepping inside.

“What’s this about sharing rooms?” I asked.

“Nocturna didn’t book a big enough cabin. Two people have to share a room.” Tamsin crossed her arms over her chest and narrowed her golden eyes on the fae leader.

Nocturna shrugged apathetically, clearly not giving a shit.

“You were the last one here,” she said. “It’s only fair.”

My eyes narrowed even as my heart slammed in protest. I needed distance from the succubus, not to share a damn room with her.

“Convenient excuse,” I said flatly.

The fae woman didn’t so much as blink. “It’s the truth. Like it or not.”

“Drawing straws would be just as fair,” Tamsin pointed out.

“Why can’t Tamsin and Serena share, then?” I asked.

“Oh, no you don’t. My sleep has already been impaired by the two of you enough this weekend. I’m not sharing a room with anyone. Besides, my foot crossed the threshold before yours,” Serena said, already sprawled out on a plaid armchair.

“Only because I carried your luggage,” I practically snarled, desperation sounding a lot like anger.

“Glad to see you’re as excited by the news as I am, reaper boy.”

I glared at Tamsin. As if things weren’t already complicated enough between us, now we had to share a room? The universe was seriously fucking with me.

“It’s that or the couch,” Nocturna said.

“Couch it is,” Tamsin said, clapping her hands. “I’ll go grab you a pillow.”

I looked toward the furniture and didn’t actually see a couch. I saw a two-seater love seat and a lot of armchairs. I grasped her elbow before she made it more than a step. “That’s not even a real couch. I can’t fit on that. Look, I’m not happy about it either, but if those are the only options, we’re just going to have to deal with it. I can be an adult about it if you can.”

Tamsin studied me for a second, one of her eyebrows raised in a way that made me uneasy.

“Fine,” she finally snapped. She stalked off down the hall to what I could only assume was our room. Sighing, I turned around and headed back to the car for the rest of our suitcases.

This day just kept getting better and better.
Meg Anne; Kel Carpenter. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 743-749). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Things get funnier and heat up as this story continues. So much fun!

5 Contented Purrs for Kel and Meg!


Wings of Fire and Fury

Bec McMaster

Alina was taken under Mircea’s tutalage after her parents died violently. She believes a Dreki killed her parents. After years of training and hunting she’s ready to find the creature who killed her parents and finally get her revenge.

Although Alina doesn’t know it, Mircea witnessed her parents death. He knows what creature did the deed and knows Alina has to discover the truth herself. There’s something else brewing as well, Alina has been attracted to Mircea for a while now, but while he always watches over her he hasn’t shown any interest other than protector and friend.

This is a favorite scene.

Setting the empty goblet down very precisely, she sauntered toward him. His gaze dropped to her hips as if he sensed the abrupt leonine shift to her stride, and her heart soared.

“You always watch over me while I sleep,” she whispered, “but I don’t want you watching over me anymore—”

“You don’t want me riding with—?”

“No.” Alina straddled his thighs, her hands coming to rest upon his chest. “I want you in my blankets with me.”

Every muscle in his body stiffened, though his left hand came to rest on her thigh. Heat darkened those eyes. “What are you doing?”

She reached out, brushing her thumb over his lower lip. “What does it look like?” His mouth was so soft. She leaned closer. “I am tired of this push and pull between us—”

“You’ve been drinking.”

Not enough to shield her bruised heart. “Ah. You’re going to tell me I’m too drunk to make this decision.”

His hand half-lifted, before he curled his fingers into a fist and laid it to rest gently upon her thigh. “Grief and wine make poor choices.”

“Too young. Too broken-hearted. Too drunk.” She pushed away from him. “If the answer is no, Mircea, then tell me no. Stop looking at me as if you want to strip me naked and eat me all up. Stop hunting with me. Tell me no and I’ll ride away, I swear I will. I will never bother you again.”

He pushed to his feet and captured her wrist, and there it was again, the hot flash of molten heat in his eyes.

“Stop it,” she said, slamming her palms against his chest. “Stop looking at me like that if you don’t want me.”

“I never said I didn’t want you.”

What? Alina gaped at him. “Then why the hell do you tell me no?”

“Because you’re still living in the past. All you can see is a vicious dreki killing your parents. All you want to do is kill it—”

“If they were your parents, would you not wish the same?”

The muscle in his jaw clenched. “Perhaps. But you don’t know what happened that day. You don’t know the truth of their deaths. You were knocked unconscious before you could reach them.”

“What am I supposed to do? Ask the dragon?”

“Dreki,” he growled.

Alina threw her hands in the air and pushed away from him. “Dreki. Dragon. Wyrm. They’re all the same.”

“They are not the same.”

“Then they’re just an excuse not to touch me,” she shouted.

Mircea stared at her.

She glared back, her chest quivering and her breath coming in harsh pants. Want ached within her. Not merely a desire to have his hands on her, but a heartfelt yearning that tore her in two. She wanted him. She wanted his touches. His kisses. But most of all, she wanted his heart.

“Perhaps I don’t want to be a poor choice made from a mix of loneliness and grief,” he finally said. “Have you ever thought of that? Perhaps I want to be more than a night’s mistake. Or a regret.”

Alina drew back sharply. “A mistake?”

“And perhaps one day you’ll forgive me,” he finally said.

“Forgive you? For what?”

“For this.”

Mircea captured the base of her skull with his palm and hauled her against him.

The bruising claim of his mouth stole a gasp from her, and then he was kissing her as if he wanted to claim her. Alina curled her fists into his shirt, wilting into the embrace.

In all her imaginings of this moment, she’d never come close to the truth.
Bec McMaster. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 1285-1293). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Alina is in for more than one surprise as she heads out to deal with the monster that not only killed her parents, but also a couple of boys from her village.

Mircea reveals a truth about himself and the consequences are both startling and hot in more ways than one.

5 Contented Purrs for Bec!


Burning Secrets
A Heaven’s Heart Short Story

Amanda Pillar

Godric is a Mortis Demon, his skin is poisonous and kills anything other than another Mortis. As a member of the Halcyon Guild he metes out punishment as required. He has a particular revulsion to rapists such as this Ignis demon. A rather gory scene as he photographs and sends the image to his boss.

Kara is a phoenix with a particular aversion to the Ignis line. They have the idea that she is part of a prophecy linking their lineage. She has been held captive by them, even forced to wed but there have been no offspring from her. There are only a couple Ignis demons of the royal line left and one of them was staying in a room where she works. This is where she meets Godric.

This is a favorite scene.

Time to bail. Taking one last look at the scene, he decided it was tidy enough—if you excused the blood and gore, which he did. Now he needed to make tracks.

He listened at the door before he opened it a crack.

He slammed it shut.

Fuck.

A huge golden eye had stared right back at him through the inch-wide gap.

“Room service?” The woman on the other side of the door called.

Why does that sound more like a question?

“Not interested,” he shouted back.

How the fuck was he going to get out of here?

Sure, there was nothing illegal about assassination in Hell—if you were unlucky or dumb enough to get killed, that was on you—but if the family or friends knew who the killer was, there was nothing that stopped them seeking revenge.

An eye for an eye, and all that.

A fist banged on the door. “Room service.”

Godric jerked it open, just wide enough to look out. “Not. Interested.”

Two of those large, golden eyes were staring at him now, in surprise, framed by thick, sooty lashes. They were arresting, as was the rest of the woman’s face—cheekbones sharp enough to cut glass, luscious, very kissable lips…all surrounded by long, bubblegum-pink hair. And her body—it was made for sex. Generous hips he could grip tight, and breasts that would overflow in his hands.

Her tongue darted out to lick her lower lip, and yeah, Godric was ashamed to admit his cock may have jumped a little at the sight.

It had been a while.

“This is room 205?” she asked, voice low and smoky. Her left hand waved to a trolley on which sat a stainless-steel cloche, bloodwine bottle and an empty glass. She wasn’t wearing a uniform, but most of the employees at the Casa de los Condenados didn’t bother with formalities. Black was the preferred color; it didn’t show blood as much.

“That’s what the numbers say on the door,” he replied.

What would she sound like moaning?

Better off not imagining that. She was no Mortus demon—her skin a warm caramel, glowing with health, no sign of the green tint that would mark her as one of his species—and sex with a non-Mortus was not something he was interested in.

Fucking corpses wasn’t his thing.

She frowned. “This room is checked out to a Mr. P. Jeremy.”

“Sure is.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Mr. Jeremy is an Ignis demon.”

Yeah, that was something he couldn’t pretend to be. Next time he’d have to bring an illusion spell with him.

She was sniffing the air. He had no idea what kind of demon she was—Hell, she looked human enough, if not for those eyes—and he realized she might be able to scent what was left in the room.

Godric gave her a cool smile and stepped through the door. He locked it, flicking a small spell at it as he did so. She wouldn’t be able to enter the room for a good twenty minutes. “I swapped rooms with Mr. Jeremy,” he lied. “Check the next one. I’m heading down for a drink; have a good night.”

Finally close enough, he raised his hand and blew a cloud of white dust at her.

She coughed in protest, and then looked at the trolley next to her, blinking in confusion.

The spell wouldn’t last long—it just affected short-term memory. But it would give him enough of a window to leave, his face and presence forgotten.

He tugged up the hood on his sweater and was whistling by the time he made it downstairs. The bar was a huge open space, filled with tables, and a counter running the length of one wall. He strode straight for the exit and was out the door before the patrons realized there had been a Mortus in the mix.

Outside, he whispered the incantation for a Devilsgate and threw a handful of powder in the air, watching as it spun to form a fiery circle. He stepped through the glittering portal, out of Sheol and back into Tartarus and the Halcyon Guild building.

Home.

He was home.
Amanda Pillar. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 1894-1902). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Kara made a mistake when the new Ignis King comes to collect his brother’s body, she’s seen and recognized. Immediately she’s blamed for the death, but she wasn’t the one who did the heinous deed.Godric’s next assignment comes from Hades Personal Assistant, Asha Himm. She wants the ashes of a Phoenix not the fake ones either. When he goes in search of her, aside from the roadblock her friends throw at him, she’s also not at the cafe. He also knows he’s not the only one who wants to kill her, the Ignis do as well. While he wants her to come back, they certainly do not.

When Godric finds Kara she is once again a prisoner of the Ignis. There’s also something about her that attracts him, and he is sure the feeling is mutual.

This book while a bit on the gory side, is a fun read with some heat in more than one way and an interesting outcome.

5 Contented Purrs for Amanda!


Fireproof

Emigh Cannaday

Lyss is a hunter who excels at tracking. Prince Herbert’s brother the Crown Prince has been killed by fire. As a result a team of hunters have been employed by the Prince who is also assisting in the search.

Their first night out and Lyss can’t sleep, she decides to try the thermal pond she saw on their way to their campsite for the night.

This is a favorite scene.

From a distance the surface of the water looked like an expansive sheet of steamy obsidian, dark and opulent, but as I approached its bank it was as if the veneer shifted. The moonlight shone down through the mist to reveal a beautiful, clear body of water, its depths scattered with smooth pebbles and stones. Taking note of the amount of steam rising from the surface, I crouched down and brought my fingers to the water, bracing myself for the stinging burn.

Instead, I was greeted by the velvety-soft texture of warm water.

It was delicious.

“Such a strange place,” I murmured as I kicked off my boots. I took one last glance around, then began to undress. The mist above cleared for a moment, sending a brilliant cascade of moonlight across the lake, and a shimmer of pale light danced around the clearing. Fully naked, I waded into the water until the surface came up to my chest. There was no possibility of carnivorous fish or flesh-eating amphibians living in such heat. My feet slid over the layer of pebbles lining the bottom of the lake. They were slick with algae, and I dug my toes between two large rocks to keep my balance. I took a deep breath and felt my body relax in the full embrace of the warmth.

A breeze rushed through the clearing, rippling the surface of the water in one swift, determined sweep. I noticed some leaves at the edge of the clearing shift more quickly than the underbrush around it. I watched as the branches moved the wrong way, and immediately froze.

I wasn’t alone.

I watched carefully, keeping my eyes trained on the barely perceptible movements through the haze of mist. It wasn’t long before I spotted it.

At first, it was just the shining wet glint of two yellow eyes peering at me from behind the cover of dark leaves. I felt my breath catch in my throat. It was a fire fiend, and I was a sitting duck, a helpless target begging to be torched and torn apart. I considered screaming out for my companions, but it was pointless. Even if they bothered to come after me—and I doubted any of them actually would—I’d ventured too far away from our camp. I could scream my lungs out and there was no chance they would ever hear me. And even if they did hear me…they’d never reach me in time. By the time they’d arrive, I’d be little more than a smoldering pile of ashes.

The creature’s slow movement shifted behind the eyes, and I realized I was looking at a wild boar, not a fire fiend. Still dangerous, but I was a hunter. This was familiar territory. This was what I did.

My gaze drifted over to the pile of clothes I’d left sitting at the edge of the water. My long blade sat perched on the large rock beside them…its sharp edge flashing white in the moonlight, beckoning to me…chiding me for not bringing her along on my moonlight swim. I dropped lower in the warm water until the surface came up to my chin, and slowly drifted at an even pace towards my weapon, hoping not to garner much attention. I began to turn my eyes back to the wild boar and spotted more movement over to my left.

Damn.

Another one. This one was bigger, with hulking shoulders and razor sharp, glistening tusks jutting out of her lower jaw.

Knowing they traveled in groups—sometimes as many as thirty—I swallowed hard and scanned the edge of the clearing. My thoughts raced as I tried to calculate the different ways this encounter might go. I was running through each of my options when a low grunt rose up from behind.

I turned slowly to see two more boars emerge from the treeline, their thick, muscular bodes moving over the stones and twigs without hardly a sound until they were almost at the edge of the lake. I focused my thoughts, keeping my eyes locked on my blade. I knew their way of thinking, their movements and patterns. I’d seen boars swim effortlessly across rivers to get at food. But would they charge into a thermal lake with water this hot just to attack me? Then again, these were Brimstones boars. Things were different here—maybe the wildlife was different as well? I didn’t know if they would risk the lake to get to me, although if I waited to find out, I wouldn’t have a chance in hell.

There was a distinct crunch in the distance and all four wild boars looked away from me and towards the sound, sensing an unexpected change in the air. I took advantage of the distraction and leapt out of the water, grabbing the handle of my blade as I rolled over the bank, pebbles and rocks imprinting themselves onto my bare skin. A chorus of low grunts rose from the boars as they began to circle me in a cautious, calculating dance.

I turned, slashing the blade in the air in wide arcs. The water ran off my skin as I spun, showering the boars in rogue droplets. I growled back at them, attempting to intimidate them. It didn’t work. They inched closer, saliva dripping from the jowls as their yellow eyes surveyed the softest parts of my body.

A roar erupted nearby and my vision was blinded by white light. Searing flames licked at the tail of the boar in front of me, and it squealed as it whirled in a circle, curling its tail around its rear. Another spiral of flames pierced through the stillness of the night, missing one of the beasts by a hair. Heat blazed across my face, burning my eyes so much that I had to turn away.

When I looked back again, I saw him.

The fire fiend.
Emigh Cannaday. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 2705-2751). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

An overheard conversation and an almost capture cause an interesting twist to this tale.

Action, Betrayal and Heat in more ways than one as this story unfolds.

5 Contented Purrs for Emigh!


Ashes and Smoke

Rebecca Royce & Heather Long

The Knights of Lazarus are composed of orphans, selected and trained to fight demons. They keep humans safe from that powerful evil.

James has just finished dispatching one such demon when the sky exploded with red. He had to go to her now, his Nika needs him.

There were others who would go to her if he were unable, but he would always run to her first. He would collect the ashes lovingly and bring her home.

This is a favorite scene.

With the ashes tucked by my heart, I found my car, parked in the middle of where she and I had been. With a little over twelve kilometers to go to get home in the Erzsébetváros, I had no time to spare. Traffic was low, thanks to the weather, but I pushed the speed as fast as I could manage.

Relief washed through me when I reached our destination. There wasn’t any time to waste. If I didn’t get there in time, what Nika had to go through would be so much worse.

I parked, locked the car, and rushed through the door. We’d bought the ground floor in a synagogue they’d turned into apartments three years earlier and we—and by that, what I really meant was she—slowly converted it into our homes. This was an old part of town, and the spiritual feeling of being in a building where so many had once come to pray wasn’t lost on us. We could both taste the goodness of this place when we’d stepped inside to look. Some found it too weird, but it was the otherness of it that appealed to us. We could really use all the help we could get from whoever watched what we did.

Our upstairs neighbors were musicians who minded their own business. I didn’t even know their names. Nika did. She was better with that kind of thing. My phone beeped as it did every night, reminding me we were minutes from sunset. I kept a constant running tab in our life. It was important I know.

My laptop was open where I’d left it as I’d hustled to get out the door with Nika earlier. There were hours of work to do ahead of me. My clients needed their books managed, and the remote nature of distantly taking care of people I never had to meet appealed to me. Nika was the people person. She spent her days decorating homes in the flourishing homes of the elite in Budapest. She knew how to make things beautiful. Rebirth was in her nature.

I took out the pouch, pouring the contents of it into a dish I’d found when I’d accompanied her to an antique store on a rare Saturday we’d taken off together. It was artisan copper with burnt umber, the design a selection of crisscrossing x and y marks. I didn’t know why it made me think of her, perhaps it was nothing more than the fact that I’d found it when I was with her, but it had seemed like it should be hers, for moments like this.

I checked the time. Less than a minute to go. Then she would sleep for hours, unawakenable until she’d healed.

Stepping back a safe distance, I watched. As I always did. Fear I never acknowledged lodged itself in my stomach, and I ignored the sensation. She would come back. Nika was young. There would come a time she couldn’t do this anymore, when she would stop returning to me. But not yet. Everything we’d read told us there were years before that was a worry.

Still, it did nothing to alleviate the anxiety about exactly when that would be.

Even braced and prepared, the moment the flames began to lick through the ashes and cascade upward in a shower of intense heat and near blind-brightness that I had to blink past tears to see still caught me off-guard. Sweat dotted my brow, but I refused to cede any further ground. I had to be close. I had to be…

The flames spouted up to the ceiling as they consumed every single ash, and as swiftly as they formed, they faded, drawing back until she stood there, poised, bare-skinned as the day of her first birth with the wild tumble of her radiant red hair clinging to her damp skin. For just a moment, her eyes were open and a smile touched her lips.

My heart settled, and I caught her as she fell. Cradling her to my chest, I ignored the heat rolling off her as I pressed my lips to her forehead.

Nika.

My miracle.

Born from the flames once more.
Heather Long & Rebecca Royce. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 3236-3238). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Nika’s love for James was as beautiful and intense as his for her. He would always be there for her, to catch her at her rebirth. She wouldn’t ever take his love for granted. Especially now with the sign, the 10 Demons who attacked her causing her to resort to the flames to be reborn. The number…the beginning of the end.

A conclave to discuss the fact they need more knights, lead to the assignment being given to Nika and James. The times, however, will make this very difficult for all involved.

This is a love story for the ages, with action, fear, love, and sizzling heat in more ways than one.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather and Rebecca!


Don’t Flirt with Demons

Grace McGinty

Elsie caught her boyfriend Cade with her boss. In response she quit her job and is drowning her sorrows in a bottle of vodka. In the process she is also burning up a few reminders of him, and setting off sprinklers and alarms. The most surprising though, is the demon she summons. How, she’s not quite sure, but he’s there, naked with swirling tattoos and horns. Then the super shows up.

This is a favorite scene.

He was fucking gorgeous and I was a dead woman walking. I just nodded and walked over to the door in a daze. I opened the door to Frank, the Super. He was a bit of a creeper, and he’d also been friends with Cade, so he was doubly bad in my book.

I realized I was still in my underwear and a tank that said ‘I Woke Up Like This’ when Frank’s eyes went straight to my boobs, then down to my exposed thighs. He didn’t seem impressed and I wanted to punch him in the face and then lick the remaining vodka out of the sink.

Frank lifted his eyes back to my face. “Do you have an open flame in there, Miss Watson?”

I rolled my eyes. “Call me Elsie, Frank. It’s not like I haven’t seen you puking your guts up and crying that Lucy in 6B rejected your petition for a date.”

Frank’s lip curled and I knew he was about to unleash some scathing comment, but then the demon appeared behind me, still only dressed in underpants.

Frank took in my lack of clothes and the demon only clad in underwear and drew the wrong conclusion. A conclusion I was one hundred percent on board with.

“That’s not Cade.”

“No, Frank. This is why they pay you the big bucks. Can’t get anything by you.” The demon’s chest warmed my back, and a shiver rippled over my skin. “As you can see, I didn’t light any fires tonight. Maybe try Mrs Chan next door. Maybe she left her wok on again.” I’d take Mrs Chan a box of those Belgian chocolates she liked to make up for throwing her under the bus.

Frank continued to look between us like he was trying to do the mental arithmetic where you added my thigh dimples to the demon’s well-defined abs and was beginning to realize that something didn’t add up.

But the demon, for whatever reason, ran his hand around my hip and across my stomach, pulling me tight against his chest. He put his lips next to my ear. “Can I decapitate this one?”

I honked out a rather unsexy laugh. Frank’s eyes were as wide as saucers. “I gotta go, Frank. Good luck finding…” The demon growled in my ear and I shivered again. “Whatever.” Then I slammed the door and backed up against it with a thud, putting a bit of space between me and the demon.

He was grinning widely. “Oh, that was fun.” He sighed and shook his hands, and his meat suit went up in flames.

“What the actual hell?” I screeched, as every inch of him was covered in flames. When the fire died down, the demon was back in his own form, naked and horny. I mean, with horns.

I was back to being awkward, and quite frankly, a little spark of fear still churned in my gut. He helped me out with Frank, but maybe it was because he wanted Frank to go away so he could stab me in the heart and eat me.

“Uh, so you’ll be going now?”

The demon laid on my couch. “I thought I might just have a look around. See what everyone is always gushing about when they talk about the mortal realm.” His nose twitched. “I can smell your fear, human. It is unnecessary. I do not intend on doing anything to your person.”

A wave of relief was chased by a small spark of disappointment. I didn’t want to examine that small emotion too closely, but I was self-aware enough to know it had something to do with the fact he was packing a small baseball bat down there. “Uh, oh. Okay, that’s good. Will you be leaving my apartment, then?”

He shrugged, tipping his head back so his shaggy black hair hung over the arm of my couch. “Where else would I go? Eventually, they will come and take me back. But first, I think I’d like to live a little, what do you say?”
Grace McGinty. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 3631-3638). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Since Ukobach wouldn’t be around long, Elsie decides she needs to live a little too. Uko is the demon of fireworks and fried food what could be better than a road trip to the Texas State Fair.

I laughed a lot in this book, and may have sniffled too. Keep some water handy, Uko and Elsie are definitely hot! I think I need some of the recipes for that fried stuff as well.

5 Contented Purrs for Grace!


Fire Dancer’s Familiar
A Familiar Mates Short Story

TJ Nichols

Prys is a dragon shifter, he is awake to find his mate, a fire witch. Usually this mating would cause him to become the familiar of the witch, but he only wants one thing. He needs the fire witch to wake his sister in her egg so she can hatch. He would then raise her until she finds her own mate to perpetuate their species.

Knowing his mate is near, Prys attends a show to figure out which of the fire dancers is the witch and makes a surprising discovery. He waits until the cast leaves the venue to approach.

This is a favorite scene.

Prys crossed his arms, trying to be indignant, but the glimmer in Aaron’s eyes made it hard. He didn’t want to start liking this witch. “It’s clear you have no idea about anything.”

“You came to me.” Aaron picked up his beer and took a long swallow.

Something he was seriously questioning. Why would the Fates put such a flippant, ignorant young man in his path?

“Who is the egg? Is it yours from a previous relationship?”

“My sister, I’ve been guarding her since I was sixteen.”

Both Aaron’s eyebrows shot up. “Shit. And will she hatch as a human or dragon?”

“What do you think?”

“That I have a fifty-fifty chance of being wrong.”

Prys’s nodded. Aaron wasn’t foolish, just naïve. “Human.”

“So you hatched?”

“Yes.” Dragon shifters laid eggs, but the baby was human, not learning to shift until puberty—the same as every other shifter.

“This is really confusing.”

“Not really.”

“I didn’t even know dragons were real until half an hour ago.”

“But you believed me.”

“I can see the dragon around you when I look closely. All shifters have that animal shape about them. That and that thing you did with your eyes.”

Prys did the slow blink again. Through the dragon eyes he could see magic. Aaron was surrounded in his own private firestorm. It licked over his skin and through his hair. Wild and terrifying and completely at odds with the way he was calmly sipping cold beer.

“Yeah, super weird.” Yet Aaron didn’t look away.

Prys did, he couldn’t hold it in his human form. Partial shifts weren’t easy to maintain.

“It might take me years to find another witch.” And he’d have no familiar bond to assist the search. But it would be better than sleeping and hiding. He needed to wake his sister, so she had a chance. “Will you at least try?”

“And if I fail?”

“You can keep the ring.” Prys nudged it over the table.

“And if I succeed?”

Prys entertained the hope that they could be mates and raise his sister and that he wouldn’t spend the rest of his days alone. But Aaron didn’t want a familiar. It stung to be rejected so quickly. He swallowed and found his voice. “I’ll take her back to Wales and raise her.” There’d be enough ocean between them that the longing to be with his mate would fade, eventually.

“So, I wouldn’t see you again?”

“No. No chance of becoming mates.”

Aaron concentrated on his beer.

It would be for the best. Maybe way back when magic had first appeared, the bond had been a useful thing. Witch and shifter working together, increasing the odds of survival for both kinds. But the bond had left him, and his sister, orphaned. He couldn’t risk his sister being left alone.

“Fine. I’ll look at the egg.” Aaron drained his beer and stood, scooping up the ring and shoving it in his pocket.

“Tonight?”

“Got other plans?”

Prys finished his beer in a gulp. “No.” If it worked, he wasn’t ready to look after a baby and he had no idea how long he’d have until she hatched. But he wasn’t going to refuse the offer when it was the only one he’d get.
TJ Nichols. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 4449-4486). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Aaron is the fire witch, he doesn’t want a mate or a familiar. However after meeting with Prys and seeing the egg he’s not sure he can walk away.

A story of devotion, family and new found ties.

5 Contented Purrs for TJ!


Flames and Flowers

Ripley Proserpina

It’s Korey’s birthday, she’s twenty seven today. To celebrate she puts her hair up and even does her makeup. The other waitresses give her a crown to wear in the spirit of fun. After being put down and laughed at by an old male aquaintance she gets quite the surprise. A tall handsome stranger wants a date, but before she could say more than she works late, the kitchen catches fire.

Hayden as he introduces himself, suggests ice cream since she apparently won’t be working anymore today. In spite of her driving herself he insists it’s a date. Even if he hasn’t quite told her the truth about who and what he is.

This is a favorite scene.

He smiled. “Isn’t that what a date is? Getting to know each other on neutral territory? Sweetening what could be awkward and uncomfortable with dessert? Or beer?”

“Well, yeah. But—it’s also trying each other one for size, and I’m no one’s size.”

His cheeks went pink and I realized how that sounded, but for once, I kept my mouth shut. I thought he was smart enough to get what I meant.

“Korey…” My name was a sigh. “You’re my size. I promise.” A shiver ran down my spine again as he watched me. “You’re the one who might change their mind.”

“Doubtful,” I replied. I slid away from my car and shut the door. Holding up one finger, I started to enumerate what I liked about him already. “One: you suggested ice cream for a date, not lunch, so you’re obviously a mind reader. Two: you have kind eyes. I have a feeling that as long as you have eyeballs, I’ll be able to figure out how you feel. Three: you’re taller than me. Four—”

“Taller than you is a point in my favor?” Shoving his hands into his pockets, he lifted his shoulders to his ears like he was embarrassed.

“I’m five feet, nine inches of farm girl. They grew me big and I want to wear heels one day. Actually,” I needed to qualify that, “I want a reason to wear heels one day. Like at my wedding or something.” Abort. Abort. “Uhh…” Eloquent.

The gorgeous man just laughed.

“Four,” I whispered, “you laugh at my jokes and don’t make me feel stupid.”

He stood up straighter, narrowing his eyes.

“This is a conversation that needs ice cream.” Grabbing my hand, he led me into the ice cream parlor and to a high table for two. He pulled out my chair—swoon! and kissed me right on the nose. “Do you trust me to order your ice cream?”

“That’s a make or break question,” I answered. “Are you ready to deal with the consequences?”

He leaned down, pressing his lips to mine and I forgot all about ice cream. This wasn’t like me. I didn’t kiss strange men I just met, but with Hayden, everything inside me said he was safe. I’d spent my life listening to my instincts, and I wasn’t going to stop now.

“If I get it wrong, it just means more ice cream,” he whispered when he pulled away.

“Five: bright side kind of guy.”

Straightening, he smiled. “No one calls me a bright-side guy. That’s all you.”

“I trust you,” I said, meeting his gaze. I meant more than when it came to ice cream, but he didn’t need to know that yet.

He took a couple steps backwards, watching me with this grin that made a squeal bubble from between my boobs to the back of my throat. This guy. This guy was going to wreck me for all other men.

I ran my fingers under my eyes again when he turned around to read the menu above the cash register. My phone vibrated in my back pocket and I pulled it out.

Mom: Where are you?

Uh-oh. She’d probably heard about the grease fire and was freaking out. It would be easier if I just called her to tell her I was okay. Hitting the button to connect the call, I waited for her to answer.

“Korey? Where are you? Are you okay?” She spoke a mile a minute.

“I’m fine,” I replied. “It was just a grease fire. Bill gave us all the day off. I’m in town.” I lowered my voice. “On a date.”

“With who?” she asked, which was a fair question. I hadn’t gone out on a date in over a year, and that one, like every single other date before it, just bored me out of my skull. Or felt wrong. A guy would pick me up and we’d only get two minutes down the road when I wanted the date to be over.

There was a good two or three years before that last date where I’d said no to everyone who asked me.

“His name is Hayden, and he came into the diner.”

“I don’t know any Haydens.” She was about to lay into me. I could tell. Mom used this tone when she was winding up to something. “He’s not a local guy.”

“No,” I answered. “I don’t think so. We haven’t gotten to that part yet. I’ll let you know though.” Hayden was paying and I wanted to get off the phone.

“What’s his last name?”

“What’s with the third degree?” Sometimes the woman was a pill. “Mom. I’m fine. He’s nice. He took me for ice cream and I drove myself. I’ll see you Friday night for dinner.”

There was a quick intake of breath on the other end before silence.

“I love you,” I said to her.

No answer.

“I’ll text you when I’m home.”

Nothing.

“Bye, Mom.”

Hayden turned around, two huge ice cream cones in his hands.

“He’s bringing back ice cream. Gotta go. Love you.” I kissed into the phone. “Don’t be mad!”

I slipped the phone into my pocket as he held out the cone for me. “You okay?” he asked.

“Just my mom,” I replied. “She’s not used to me going on dates. I think I threw her off.”

He opened his mouth as if he has more questions, but then shook his head. I took a lick of the ice cream and groaned. “Cherry chocolate jubilee.”

“It was that or black raspberry.”

He licked his ice cream.

“Either one would have worked. What did you get?”

He held it out to me, lifting his eyebrows questioningly. I wasn’t afraid of germs. Leaning forward, I swiped my tongue over it and groaned. “That’s good. What is it?”

“Vanilla and pomegranate.”

“Yum. I’ll try that next time.”

“So, did I get it right?” He gestured to my ice cream.

“Do you want to try?” I asked. He nodded and I held it out to him. Eyes on mine, he took a long slow lick around the outside of my cones, and now I needed new underwear.

“It’s good.” He had a little spot of chocolate on his lower lip. Without thinking, I reached to wipe it away, but he stopped me. He drew my thumb into his mouth, swirled his tongue over it, and then pulled it out, sucking gently. “But that was delicious.”
Ripley Proserpina. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 4841-4906). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

A sudden tornado changes things and the truth starts to come out. Her mother, father and Hayden have more than a little explaining to do.

I love this twist on Hades and Persephone.

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!


Fleeting Flowers
A Circle of Secrets Short Story

Vivienne Savage

Finally done with the conference he was attending Warren Westbrook stops in to visit his cousin Lana. While there he meets Bridget, a customer collecting a custom scent from Lana. Lana suggests he smell the scent but also warns him Bridget is way out of his league.

When Warren leaves the shop to venture through Central Park to his hotel, he’s attacked by Ghouls. At first there’s only a couple and he could have just transported away. His conscience wouldn’t let him leave them to attack unsuspecting humans, so he battled on.

This is a favorite scene.

It served Bridget right for underestimating a man and assuming right off the bat he’d be helpless. When she caught the whiff of magic in the shop, she’d foolishly assumed it to belong to the proprietors.

Initially, she considered flying away and leaving him to finish.

Her conscience wouldn’t allow it, however. Besides, she liked watching him in action. He moved with confidence and had tight control over his magic. The strange part was that he didn’t seem to be using any sort of focus. At least, none that she could see.

Obviously, he had the situation handled. There was absolutely no reason for her to involve herself. He took hold of the shadows and darkness as if they were his weapons, controlling them as tendrils and spikes with substance. They pierced undead flesh and burst through hearts. There was a beauty to the way he fought the hoard.

She prepared to take flight from the trees when another shifting shadow caught her attention crawling through the growth near the bridge. Damn, how many of them were there?

Putting aside all intentions to let him battle on his own, Bridget swooped from the trees and ignited. Her brilliant scarlet and purple plumage burst into golden flames, radiating heat and light over the ground below.

The man looked up, astonishment evident on his face. The moment was brief, all his focus once again turned on staying alive. She swooped past him and beat at the air with her powerful wings, filling the dark space beneath the bridge with a rolling wave of fire. She soared through the inferno and raked her claws through the nearest ghoul, rending it with the ease of shredding tissue. The foul creature shrieked. It twirled and desperately spun without hope of putting out the flames.

Screaming, Bridget swooped down again and landed amidst the cluster of them with flames trailing from her wings. Each feather lit with the bright intensity of a nuclear core. Built inside her body, reaching blast furnace levels of heat.

One glance at the mage indicated he had the wisdom to recognize her intent. He stepped back and stamped his staff into the soil. Sparks of magic ignited around him and sprang from the stone, erecting and erected a magical barrier. The moment it engulfed him from head to toe in a perfect sphere, she released the flames building inside her.

The closest of the three ghouls went up like tinder, shrieking.

Heat licked against the barrier and crackled. Flames lapped over undead flesh and filled the narrow space beneath the bridge with the pungent odor of cooking flesh.
Vivienne Savage. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 5325-5347). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

What Bridget is also has her being hunted. She knows her time in the big city is coming to an end. While Warren has now seen her he doesn’t actually know her identity.

This is quite the beginning for Warren and Bridget. I think I’ve just been hooked on a new series.

5 Contented Purrs for Vivienne!


Tide Together

Bam Shepherd

Princess Marin of Pacifica is painfully aware that something is wrong. The ocean temperature is rising and fish that would normally be near the coast are being seen further out. She needs to go see what’s happening and help correct the problem. First she has to escape her father. Her friends and guards Bay and Loire will be in on the diversions to help her get to the mainland.

Marin is appalled by what she sees and starts using the river to extinguish flames saving and healing the koala family she finds there. She works until she passes out from exhaustion.

Flint is a smoke jumper, his assignment is to create a fire break to hopefully prevent the spread to a campsite and the homes nearby. He’s more than a little startled to find someone unconscious and being protected by a koala family.

Marin wakens to see the human standing over her and instinctively attacks, she uses too much energy and once again loses consciousness. When she awakens again, Flint has made the discovery she’s a mermaid but is confused because she has legs.

When he sees the bottom of her feet, he turns all professional and treats them as Marin explains why she’s here.

This is a favorite scene.

My heart thunders in my chest. What the hell was that? Is she a mermaid? Or is she a siren? Something about her calls to me. I shake my head, doing my best to clear those unwanted thoughts from my mind, and focus back on my task.

“So, um, you said that Australia is burning. How bad is it?” she asks, her voice sounding breathier than it did before, and I let myself hope that maybe I’m not the only one affected by our touching.

I clear my throat. “Pretty fucking bad.” I wrap a bandage around her foot before motioning for her to give me her other one. “Fires rage in every state and territory, though the worst are here, along the eastern and southern coasts. Nearly a billion animals, like your little koala friends, have died, and thousands of people have lost their homes.”

A gasp escapes her, and I glance up to find tears falling from her aqua eyes. “Hey, don’t worry,” I tell her, brushing the tears from her cheeks. “It will take a hell of a lot more than these flames to extinguish the Australian spirit. They’ll rebuild and rehabilitate. All we need is a little luck…and maybe some fucking rain.”

“This is why I’m here,” she says, determination filling her voice.

I drop her bandaged foot and glance up at her with a confused stare. “Why? Do you control the rain?” I chuckle, a hint of bewilderment in my tone. My knowledge of mermaids isn’t much, but nothing about her statement makes sense to me.

She shakes her head, moving to stand, but I push her back down. “You really shouldn’t be walking on those bandages. You could get an infection if you don’t keep your wounds clean.” I’m not actually sure that’s true, but since my training is only in human medicine and not mythical creatures, I’ve decided to treat this patient the same.

She sighs, but settles back on the rock. “No. I can’t bring the rain,” she admits, returning to our conversation, and a small part of me deflates at her words. It would have been nice to know help was on the way for the people and animals who call this place home.

“But my father can.”

My shocked gaze snaps to her. “What?” She nods enthusiastically. “My father can bring the rain. If I can just make it home and tell him about all that I’ve seen, I’m sure he’ll help.”

“Seriously?” I ask skeptically.

She reaches out to grip my arm and nods again. I ignore the strange feeling that travels through me where her hand touches me and stare into her brilliant blue eyes that are begging me to believe her.

“Okay. So where is home? And how do we get you back?” I ask.

“Pacifica,” she says brightly, but her smile quickly dims. “And I’m not sure.” She bites her lip as she glances down to her bandaged feet. “I don’t think I can swim home, and—” her words cut off.

She straightens her spine, pinning me with a glare before continuing. “If you ever tell anyone I said this, I will deny it…but my feet do kinda hurt. I know that’s weak, but having legs is exhausting.”

“Princess, I don’t think anyone who knows you would ever call you weak.”

She smiles shyly at me. “Will ya help me get home?”

I push to my feet and rub a hand over the back of my neck. “I’m sorry, princess, but I can’t.”

Her eyes turn sad. “Maren,” she whispers.

“Huh?”

“You don’t have to call me princess. My name is Maren.”

I smile at her, reaching a hand out. She places her delicate palm in mine. The same tingle races up my arm at the contact, but I do my best to ignore it and place a kiss on the back of her hand. “Nice to officially meet you, Maren. I’m Flint. Flint Atwater. Not a prince,” I say with a wink.

Her cheeks heat, and I drop her hand before clearing my throat. “Listen, I’m sorry. I really wish I could help you more.”

Her eyes brighten at my words and she bounces a little. “Maybe you can,” she says with more enthusiasm. “Ya know, if you help a royal mermaid, you get a wish!”

My brow furrows. “I thought genies were the ones who granted wishes. Wait. Royal mermaid? So, you are a princess?”

She laughs a tinkling sound and points to the crown on her head. “Thought that was rather obvious.”

I grin sheepishly at her, then rub a hand over my face. “Okay. Let’s pretend like I believe in mermaid wishes. Shouldn’t you already owe me one? I mean, by my count, I’ve already helped you twice.”

A blush steals over her cheeks and she bites her lip before answering. “Technically, a deal with a mermaid must be sealed with a kiss.”
Bam Shepherd. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 5724-5775). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

An interesting drive leads to an even more interesting wish as this story continues.

A fun read with serious circumstances around it.

5 Contented Purrs for Bam!


Hades’ Goddess
A Gods and Monsters Short Story

Mila Young

This one starts off with some serious sizzle. Elyse and Hades are lovers and she frequently finds solace from her calling in his arms. However their interlude is interrupted by Hermes, with a message. She’s been invited to a dinner on Olympus. Elyse is a new goddess, the Goddess of Sanctuary is her title. She is a decendant of Zeus, hence the goddess part. She has powers and she’s also found that helping humans can sometimes be like raising a child, lots of repetition until they get it right.

Her friends and supporters include Ares, Poseidon and Heracles, and they along with Hades will escort her to the dinner. What she didn’t realize was Zeus and Hera had decided she should live on Olympus, not on earth. Going so far as to begin building her a palace.

This is a favorite scene.

Poseidon huffed loudly. “I just think it wouldn’t be bad for you to be here with us. After everything you’ve done, Zeus knows you deserve a break, to realize who you are now, to enjoy this heavenly location. And it’s not safe for you on Earth. We still don’t know if you’re immortal and if you die again, we’re all fucked.”

I shook my head, trying to process everything he’d so succinctly laid out, but this was huge and not a decision to be rushed. “So what about the people?”

“Yeah,” Apollo said. “How is she going to do what she does best if she’s removed from the humans she’s saving?”

“You dislike them,” Hades barked in response, staring at me.

I glared at him. Whose side was he on?

“What?” he asked. “You keep complaining how you need a break. Right?”

He wasn’t wrong. I did complain about that a lot. It was one of the reasons we fucked so often lately. I needed the distraction and I felt like of all the gods, Hades understood that side of me the best.

At least, so I had thought. It didn’t look like it now.

“I love the humans,” I said. “I am one of them. I’ve always been a part of that world. Just because I get tired sometimes… You know what that’s like, right? I’m sure you do.”

Hades clenched his jaw.

“I think it’s better if you stay on Earth,” Apollo declared, his voice strong and direct.

“You just want her there with you.” Poseidon’s eyebrows pulled together into a frown.

“Yeah?” said Apollo. “And you’re going to stay on Earth if she comes here? Or are you going to follow? Don’t make it sound like you’re so fucking selfless.”

“Guys, please,” I said, shaking my head. I glanced at Ares, who’d been quiet all this time. He watched us with an expression I couldn’t read, his feet wide apart, gripping his wrist like he was a sentry waiting to be called upon. “What about you,” I asked him. “What do you think?”

He shrugged, his breaths slow and calculated. “I don’t actually give a shit, truth be told.”

I didn’t know why, but that pissed me off so much more. I should have been happy that at least one of them wasn’t trying to tell me what to do. Or picking a fight about it. But that Ares didn’t actually care only made me feel like he wasn’t invested. I knew it was bullshit. Ares worried as much for me as the rest of them did. And our relationship had always been a very strange balance of give and take.

But it annoyed me he just didn’t seem to be bothered where I would be.

“So you don’t care where I end up?” I asked with a bit too much sass in my voice.

“I’m not going to tell you what to do,” he said, staring at me with sincerity in his eyes. That was what I loved about him. He was real and spoke his mind.

I bit my tongue. He’d often been called a coward by other gods and even in historical records because his life views were so different. I wasn’t going to follow suit. But it was looking a hell of a lot like he wasn’t interested in getting involved in conflict. It was fine if it wasn’t something serious, but this was my future we were talking about, and if I relocated, I wanted to ensure all four of the men in my life were okay with it.

I looked at Hades again. When he noticed, he reached for my hand and squeezed it. He was stirring shit with the other gods by saying things that riled them up, but at least he stood on my side with this. He was being a dick by telling me I didn’t like the humans, but he had my back. At the end of the day, he didn’t tell me where he wanted me, but that he longed to be with me.

That was something, and I accepted it.

“I think we need to get out of here.” Hades broke the silence, proving that he was my hero after all.

“That’s the best idea I’ve heard all night,” I replied.

Poseidon looked like he wanted to say something, the corners of his mouth twitching, but Hades pulled me against him.

I glanced back to the table with gods and goddesses. All eyes were on me, and as if sensing our intention, they all popped out of there. My gaze swept to Zeus who remained last, fire burning in his eyes. In a flash, an inferno of fire flared up all around the area, thunder growling in the sky.

Heat licked at my skin. He was so pissed off.

The next moment Hades held me tighter and we were back in my apartment, the others vanishing to somewhere from the burning room.

“Thank you,” I whispered, smiling too widely. Never would I have thought I’d hate being in a heavenly location. “Zeus is not happy, is he?”

He nodded. “He rarely is. And I hate that place, anyway.”

“I know.”

“It’s filled with self-righteous assholes,” he hissed from clenched teeth.

After I had seen them tonight, I started to understand why Hades loathed the place and other gods. I’d always thought his dislike was rooted in jealousy or bitterness over what had happened to him. But I’d never seen so many people in love with themselves in one room together.

I’d never felt more left out, more out of place, more judged. Which was ironic because for the first time, I should have felt like I was fitting in.
Mila Young. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 6301-6352). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Decisions need to be made but only by Elyse. She is the one who has to decide what is right for her and the humans she’s be tasked with helping. The only thing she is really worried about is losing one of her guys.

A fun read with a lot of twists and turns. I think I need the rest of this series too.

5 Contented Purrs for Mila!


Redemption
Prequel to Hell is a Harem

Kim Faulks

Redemption made a promise to a dying woman to protect her daughter. He has done just that. When he’s not watching, he’s driving entitled affluent humans around. As this book opens he’s decided he’s had enough and drives rather recklessly. Once arrived he offers the man’s date some advice and walks away. They end up sharing a cab. He checks on the girl he’s protecting then heads to his favorite bar. He’s just ordered a drink, well a bottle and started drinking when he gets a bit of a surprise.

This is a favorite scene.

I drained the glass and then poured another as the door to the bar opened and closed behind me.

I never lifted my head, never cared who or what came through those doors. I was done caring for tonight, done with every fucking thing—

“Gonna offer me one of those?”

I flinched, stilled, my hand wrapped around the cold glass. That slow, unfeeling heart of mine picked up pace as I turned my head and stared into her eyes.

Eyes I’d seen a thousand times inside my head.

“We don’t serve minors in here, so fuck off,” the Orc snapped and stared at the tiny red headed woman.

She opened her wallet and slid it toward him. “Not a minor anymore, so suck it. I want what he’s having.” She jerked her head my way. She was young, full of anger, fire, and goddamn spunk.

“I’ve seen you around, you know?” she muttered, without turning her head my way. “Seen you outside the restaurant. But you never stay long, I wonder why that is?”

One massive brow rose on the Orc before I gave him a nod. An ache flared across my chest, cover fucking blown. I gave the room a casual scan, searching…had she seen others like me?

The Unseelie Prince Absolon filled my mind. Panic filled me, tearing apart that heavy, thick pulse inside my head until all that was left was a scream.

“You think I’m a kid,” she muttered, reached over and grasping the bottle. “That’s okay, you can go fuck yourself like everyone else.”

“You always talk like that?” Stony words slipped free. “Weren’t you raised to speak like a lady?”

“Well, my grandmother says I’ve got too much of my dad in me. But seeing as though the loser ran out on me and my mom before I was born, I’m not one to argue the fucking point, now am I?”

The corners of my lips twitched. I smothered the smirk, biting the inside of my cheeks.

“Besides, being proper is for mortals.” She poured half a glass and then drank.

The wince was fast. Still, she went back for more, gulping this time. I’d never really seen her before, not up close—not like this.

She was the object. The protected…

The bait…

Red hair shone under the glaring overhead lights as she turned toward me. Her gaze never wavered, gold flecks glinting in brown irises as she held my gaze. “You’re cute.”

Cute?

Not a word that’d ever been used to describe what I was. I opened my mouth to say that exact thing as the squeal of tires rang out.

Gunning engines, and hoots and hollers.

“Goddamnit,” the Orc snarled.

Thunder echoed inside the bar. I grasped the bottle as the Orc lunged forward, slamming his feet into the floor. Glasses vibrated along the length of the counter, before they were caught by others at the bar. Rage spilled out of the beast of a man as he made for the door.

“Oh shit,” Lorn muttered, sliding from the seat and shoving her glass toward me. “Here, hold my drink. I’ll be right back.”

The woman was fucking crazy, lunging after the beast as he busted through the door.

The rest of the bar stopped and stared. No way in Hell were they getting in the middle of an Orc and his prey. I glanced at the glass in my hand. The damn woman was gonna get herself killed. “Goddamnit.”

I slammed the glasses on the counter and lunged from the seat. Screams cut though the bar before a second boom tore through the open air.

Lorn was already barreling toward the Orc as he grasped the back of the Explorer and lifted. Wheels spun as the young males leaned out, throwing bottles and cans at the bartender.

“Come to my goddamn bar!” he roared, veins bulging at the side of his neck with the effort. “Smash my window!”

“Fuck you, ugly ass mutherfucker!” one asshole screamed.

The four-wheel drive was thrown sideways, tires lifted on one side as it started to roll.

“I’m gonna fucking kill you!” the Orc bellowed, reaching through the open window as Lorn lunged.

She landed with a hard thud on his back. “No, you don’t. They’re not fucking worth it!”

He twisted and thrashed. “Get the Hell off me!”

But the damn spitfire was holding on, digging her knees in like this was a rodeo.

The car titled further, and then hit the side, rolling up onto the pavement in front of the bar.

Screams echoed from inside the car. I drove my boots into the pavement as Lorn was thrown. The young punks scrambled out of the overturned vehicle as the Orc strode toward them. “Come around here one more fucking time and it’ll be more than your car I’ll destroy!”

“Get the fuck out of here!” Lorn screamed as the four bolted down the street.

“Fucking bitch!” an asshole threw over his shoulder.

She lifted her hand, and flipped them the bird. “My middle finger salutes you!”

The Orc sucked in hard breaths and leaned over, bracing his hand on his knees.

I glanced at the mess as Lorn took a step closer. “Look, no hard feelings, okay?”

The bartender jerked his head up, dark eyes glinting with rage. Orcs were crazy big and strong as a damn ox, but once they got going, once they were filled with rage, there was no stopping them.

“The woman saved your life,” I growled. “Least you could do was thank her.”

The truth echoed in those dark eyes as he turned to me. There was a glint of fear, as reality dawned. He rose, taking a massive breath and stared down at her. “I’d like to say I wouldn’t have hurt them, but my temper gets the better of me, so thank you.”

She gave a nod, then the hint of a smile, and glanced to the car. “I’d say Mom and Dad will be coming by in the morning to wipe asses and clean up the mess. What’s say we hoist this baby out back and they can pay for the damages or they don’t get the damn car back?”

He took a second, glanced at the car and then the punks running down the street and answered, “Yeah, that’s a damn good idea. Imma call up my buddies and we can clear the street.”

He looked at the car, she looked at him.

And I couldn’t tear my gaze from her.

She turned then, as though she somehow sensed the connection. “Now, about that drink.”

The corners of my lips curled as she strode toward me, eyes alive with energy and excitement, and shoved out her hand. “My name’s Lorn.”

“Redemption,” I muttered without a thought. I was lost around her, utterly and helplessly lost. I couldn’t get my bearings, couldn’t find the words, not the right ones, at least.

She gripped my hand for a second and then made for the open door and stepped through.

“Man oh man,” the Orc stared after her, dumbstruck and smitten. “That one is gonna be trouble. I can see it now.”
Kim Faulks. Flame’s Embrace (Kindle Locations 7161-7234). Maatkare Books. Kindle Edition.

Lorn is more than just a little trouble and Redemption falls hard and fast. The threat to himself great as he lies to Queen Mab.

There’s plenty of sizzle that has nothing to do with flames and the consequences of this relationship has me wanting more.

5 Contented Purrs for Kim!

May Sage’s Bio and Links

May Sage is a USA Today Bestselling romance writer dabbling in different genres. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time with her German Shepherd and her two Savannahs. She loves reading, ballet, running, and cake. Mostly, cake. May Sage also writes fantasy romance as Alexi Blake.

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Seanan McGuire’s Bio and Links

Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn’t killed for using her typewriter at three o’clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite.

Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan’s anecdotes end with things like “and then we got the anti-venom” or “but it’s okay, because it turned out the water wasn’t that deep.” She has yet to be defeated in a game of “Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?,” and can be amused for hours by almost anything.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye urban fantasies, the InCryptid urban fantasies, and several other works both stand-alone and in trilogies or duologies. In case that wasn’t enough, she also writes under the pseudonym “Mira Grant.” For details on her work as Mira, check out MiraGrant.com.

Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed (as Mira Grant) was named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2010. In 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo Ballot.

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Kel Carpenter & Meg Anne’s
Bio and Links
Kel:
Kel Carpenter is a master of werdz. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s traveling the world, lovingly pestering her editor, and spending time with her husband and fur-babies. She is always on the search for good tacos and the best pizza. She resides in Bethesda, MD and desperately tries to avoid the traffic. To keep up with Kel and her books, join her Facebook Group, Kel’s Krew.
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Meg:
Meg Anne has always had stories running on a loop in her head. They started off as daydreams about how the evil queen (aka Mom) had her slaving away doing chores; and more recently shifted into creating backgrounds about the people stuck beside her during rush hour. The stories have been there, they were just waiting for her to tell them. Like any true SoCal native, Meg enjoys staying inside curled up with a good book and her furbabies… or maybe that’s just her (sunburns hurt!) You can convince Meg to buy just about anything if it’s covered in glitter or rhinestones, or make her laugh by sharing your favorite bad joke. She also accepts bribes in the form of baked goods and Mexican food.

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Bec McMaster’s Bio and Links
Kidnapped by a dread pirate when she was a child, Bec McMaster was raised on myth and legend, and offered her younger siblings to the goblin king many a time. Unfortunately, he did not accept. Now she writes fantasy romance with a dark and sexy twist, which is almost as much fun. She has a secret weakness for villainous heroes, wicked fae princes and dangerous vampires, though in all her daydreams, she’s the one rescuing them.

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Amanda Pillar’s Bio and Links

Amanda Pillar is an USA TODAY Bestselling Author and award-winning editor who lives in Victoria, Australia, with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

Amanda has had numerous short stories published and has co-edited the fiction anthologies Voices (2008), Grants Pass (2009), The Phantom Queen Awakes (2010), Scenes from the Second Storey (2010), Ishtar (2011) and Damnation and Dames (2012). Her first solo anthology, Bloodstones, was published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2012. The award-winning sequel, Bloodlines, was published in October 2015.

Amanda’s first novel, Graced, was published by Momentum in 2015. The stories Captive and Survivor were also released in 2016, followed by Bitten and Ashes in 2017, and Freedom in 2020. She has also launched the Heaven’s Heart series, which will total six books, with four already out: Deadly Passion, Benevolent Passion, Winged Passion and Ascending Passion available now.

In her day job, she works as an archaeologist.

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Emigh Cannaday’s Bio and Links
Emigh Cannaday lives in Wisconsin with her musician/winemaker husband and a pack of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. She grew up drawing and painting but now uses words to illustrate her elaborate daydreams. When she’s not hoarding houseplants or collecting corgis, she spends her free time testing out new recipes on her friends & family.

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Heather Long & Rebecca Royce’s
Bios and Links
Heather:
USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
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Rebecca:
As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town. I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books. In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

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Grace McGinty’s Bio and Links

Grace McGinty is eclectic. She has worked as a chocolatier, a librarian, a forensic accountant and finally a writer. Like her professional career, the genres she writes are also eclectic. She writes romance, reverse harem romance, fantasy, contemporary young adult and new adult books. She lives in rural Australia with her crazy family, an entire menagerie of pets, and will one day be crushed by her giant piles of books that litter every room.

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TJ Nichols’ Bio and Links

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily. Writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day. TJ is the author of the Studies in Demonology series and the Mytho urban fantasy series. Writing as Toby J Nichols, TJ also writes gay action/horror.

With one cat acting as a supervisor, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

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Ripley Proserpina
Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, three magnificent cats, and a dog she doesn’t deserve.

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Vivienne Savage’s and Links
Vivienne Savage is the pen name of two best friends who write together. One is a former nurse in Texas and the other is a U.S. Navy veteran. Both are mothers to two darling boys and two amazing girls. All of their work varies in steam level, so pop by the VS website for details on which series is right for you!

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Bam Shepherd’s Bio and Links
Bam Shepherd is a part time author, full time badass, who currently resides in Oklahoma. She’s a semi-pro lip sync battler. A little bit hippie. A lotta bit hood. When she’s not creating worlds she spends her time being bossed around by a tiny army that she created, gardening and canning (even though she thinks she’s too young for those to be legitimate hobbies), and listening to 90’s rap. If she’s not creating magical worlds of her own, she’s falling into someone else’s.

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Mila Young’s Bio and Links

Mila Young tackles everything with the zeal and bravado of the fairytale heroes she grew up reading about. She slays monsters, real and imaginary, like there’s no tomorrow. By day she rocks a keyboard as a marketing extraordinaire. At night she battles with her mighty pen-sword, creating fairytale retellings, and sexy ever after tales. In her spare time, she loves pretending she’s a mighty warrior, walks on the beach with her dogs, cuddling up with her cats, and devouring every fantasy tale she can get her pinkies on.

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Kim Faulks’ Bio and Links

USA TODAY & Amazon Bestselling Author of Dark Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Romance! Do you love dark stories, powerful characters, and a thrilling storyline? Then, I’m the author for you.  I’m a Aussie girl who loves stories about the underdogs and the things they’ve done to survive. Nothing is off limits in my books. I love writing bad guys just as much as the heroes and finding that point of no return. My books are usually hot, action-packed, and always… always dark.

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Finding Unity – The Searchers Book 6 by Ripley Proserpina


Finding Unity
The Searcher Book 6
By
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Nora Leslie has survived and thrived. She’s in love, and never have she, Seok, Matisse, Ryan, Cai, and Apollo been stronger. And good thing, too, because Dr. Daniel Murray, the doctor at the heart of an experiment that led to more suffering than anyone should bear, is finally facing the consequences of his actions.

But justice doesn’t come easily. With the upcoming trial bringing to light all the evil he’s done, Nora’s in the spotlight again.

And the sudden attention isn’t on Nora alone. It brings Seok face-to-face with his own past. He’ll have to make a choice. Freedom or blood. Love or loyalty. Stay or go.

But Nora has faith in him, and in all of them. Together, they are strong, and no matter what the future brings, they’ll be ready.

In this series conclusion, the press once again wants to put Nora in the spotlight. They want an interview since Dr. Murray is finally being investigated. Her lawyer Eric Bismarck pulled a fast one and all of them are blind-sided.

This is a favorite scene.

“You want me to what?”

Nora stared at Matisse, Seok, Ryan, Apollo, and Cai. They sat at their round kitchen table, gazes steady.

She’d been hoodwinked. Erik Bismarck, her lawyer and Ryan’s former professor, said he was stopping by to check in on her. He didn’t say that while he was here, he was going to lob a bomb.

Narrowing her eyes, she studied her boyfriends, none of whom seemed surprised.

Bamboozled. They’d bamboozled her.

Professor Bismarck folded his hands on the table. “I want you to do an interview with Lucy Merrill for the online paper The Digger. In the months you were gone, things with Dr. Murray escalated. Charges will more than likely be brought against him and the other doctors. His medical license has already been suspended, but he and his lawyers have been in the forefront of every paper and online journal there is.”

“Why me?” she asked. “There were other people in his study.”

“All of them were still enrolled in the study,” Ryan answered. His green eyes were kind and serious and held hers. “The court has ordered them not to speak with anyone. You, on the other hand, are sort of a free agent.”

“An easy target, you mean.” Nora rubbed her forehead and dropped her hand to the table. On the back of her hand, purple lines crisscrossed her skin. She stretched her fingers, watching how her pinky and ring finger didn’t really straighten. After her motorcycle accident over Thanksgiving, they probably never would, no matter how much occupational therapy she did.

“If you want to call it that.” Bismarck didn’t mince words. “He’s trying to deflect attention away from him and his study and put it back on you. It’s not fair. It’s not right.”

“All of this will come out in a trial,” she argued, gaze landing on each guy.

Matisse shrugged one shoulder. “One would hope.”

“Yes,” Bismarck agreed. “We hope. But there’s no guarantee. And not to sound crass, but shit rolls downhill. Ryan is about to start law school at CCSL—”

“Erik,” Ryan interrupted. “I don’t need her to do an interview for me. That wasn’t what we talked about.”

“Well, you should have thought about that, Valore. You have to think about perception now.”

Seok stood so fast his chair scraped against the floor. “I am the only one responsible for my actions. Nora owes us nothing. Relying on public favor is foolish. Their opinion changes from one second to the next, and nothing she does will change that. We stick to the facts. Nora is a hero. During a school shooting, she saved lives. After that, people with more power than her tried to take advantage of her position. The end.” He pushed his hands through his hair, leaving them linked behind him as he glared at the rest of them.

If she had been in Seok’s position— if he were the one being asked to talk to the public in order to salvage their reputations— she would say the same thing. She would say, “Don’t worry about me. I can handle it. All that matters is you.”

But that wasn’t her position. In her position, she actually appreciated Bismarck outmaneuvering her and the guys.

She’d do whatever it took to make sure the guys weren’t affected by the poor choice she’d made when she agreed to join Dr. Daniel Murray’s study.

“I’ll do it.” Forcing a smile she didn’t feel, she met all their stares. Ryan shook his head, Matisse leaned back in his chair, arms crossed, and glared. Apollo pulled his glasses off his face and flung them onto the table. Cai showed no emotion, but the muscle near his ear ticked, a sure sign of his discomfort.

And Seok. Seok watched her with the saddest expression she’d ever seen. “You’re not responsible for what people think, nae sereang.”

No. But she was responsible for them. They were a gift, and she’d do anything to make their lives easier— better. Just like they’d do for her.
Ripley Proserpina. Finding Unity: The Searchers Book 6 (Kindle Locations 54-85).

This book also centers around Seok and Nora. He has to deal with some issues he’d rather avoid. He is so very in love with Nora but his family would never approve of their relationship. He’s being very closed about everything and Nora wants the answers.

Nora starts back to work, there is public reaction to her interview, Seok finally talks to her, and so many revelations and surprises. There is plenty of sizzle, laughter, tears and so much more that had me turning the pages.

The perfect conclusion to this series. Thank you, Ripley for this journey.

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.


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Return to the Darkness – The Coveted Book 3 By Rebecca Royce and Ripley Proserpina


Return to the Darkness
The Coveted Book 3
By
Rebecca Royce
&
Ripley Proserpina

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And they say you can never go home again…

When the past tries to rewrite itself, Lacey has to return to the town where the darkness was born. Together with her guys, she’ll face the troubled present, and try to secure her future. But she never could have foreseen that the cost to her and the men she loves would be so impossibly high.

To save them all, Lacey will have to embrace who she is, and trust her guys—no matter how they might change.

After a decade, it’s time to come home. And this time, Lacey, Oliver, Colton, Thorn, and Aaron will destroy anything that threatens it.

If you haven’t read the other two books, stop, go read them first!

This book starts right where we left off in Alaska with Lacey and her guys, Oliver, Thorn, Colton and Aaron. They are preparing to return to New Mexico where it all began. Now settling in they need to decide where to go first. The town is very different now that the darkness is gone, more prosperous.

This is a favorite scene.

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d worn a bathing suit. I was lucky I even had one. Clad in my black bikini, I sat in the hot tub. The jets loosened my back as we all sat around like it was the most normal thing in the world.

“Do you guys do this a lot?” I looked at each of them as I asked the question.

Oliver sat with his eyes closed across from me. Thorn was next to him, a bottle of water in one hand. Aaron was next to me on my right. He stared off in the distance, maybe admiring the view. I didn’t let myself look. The last thing I wanted was to start to think things around here were pretty. I couldn’t start to like it. No matter how nice it had become.

Colton wrapped his foot around my own. He had a bead of sweat on his face that I watched, transfixed, as it ran down his cheek.

“First time. We don’t hang around in hot tubs. I swear.”

Oliver lifted his head. “I think we’re only doing this because you have that bikini on. I mean… please don’t wear that in public. I don’t mind sharing with all of them, but I will have to gouge out the eyes of anyone else who looks at you.”

Aaron laughed. “Oh no. I’m going to disagree with my brother. Wear it. Let everyone see what belongs to us.”

I supposed I should have said or thought something like ‘I wear what I want, and my choice of swimwear has nothing to do with your opinion about my body.’ But that wasn’t what I thought or said when heat hit my cheeks. I fucking loved that they were reacting to my appearance.

Colton leaned his head on mine. “I’d rather she be sitting in here naked. What do you say, Lacey? Willing to take it off and let us see you naked in the bubbles?”

I shook my head fast. “What if someone showed up? This is not a town I let my guard down in, ever. I won’t be caught naked outside. No matter the circumstances.”

Thorn nodded. “Maybe that’ll change in a couple of days. We’re fenced in back here. No one is getting in here that we don’t want here. Okay. So what do we do now, Chees? Your father is here somewhere, and he isn’t going to magically appear in front of us. Or maybe he will. Things like that happen around us.”

I thought back to the last time I saw Ray Chee. It had been a while since I’d had to lucid dream in order to kill Mara. “We closed all those doors.” What if I had locked him inside?

“I know where your mind has gone,” Aaron said, “but he physically left my mom after your dream. He’s alive and out there somewhere. The place to start would be in your old neighborhood.”

Despite the warm jets and being surrounded by the people I loved, a chill ran down my spine. “I don’t want to go back there.”

“You don’t have to,” Oliver assured me. He leaned forward and grasped my hand. With a gentle tug, he pulled me onto his lap and wrapped his arms around me.

“I should have done that,” Aaron grumbled. “Had you right next to me.”

I leaned my head on his brother’s chest, soaking in his warmth. When he spoke, his chest rumbled with the sound. “I think it’s best if Aaron and I go to check out the old riverbed and trailer park. We know how our father works, and if there’s evidence to be found, we’ll find it.”

Colton moved his foot from mine and edged forward. “I’m an archaeologist. I know how to examine a site. I could go for you.”

Oliver’s entire body tensed. I glanced up at him, taking in the set of his jaw and the way he pressed his lips together. It hit me. He didn’t want to go either. Like me, this trip home was stirring up all kinds of issues. For me, it was what this town had done to me. But for Oliver, it was what his dad had done to him.

“Is your mom here?” I asked.

At my question, he startled and squeezed me again. “Yeah. I couldn’t make her stay away. She’s just as stubborn as the old man. I half-expected Kel to show up, too, but she’s got a bunch of big events at her vineyard, and I promised after the last time, she wouldn’t have to leave her life to rescue our parents.”

Hmm. There seemed to be a story there. Peering at Aaron, I caught the slight shake of his head. I guessed that was a story for another time.

The guys’ bravery took me down a few pegs. Here they were, facing their issues, and all I wanted to do was hide my head under my pillow. “I’ll go with you.”

“Uh-uh.” Oliver was quick to respond. His denial was echoed by the others, but tempered a little by Aaron’s, “Not yet.”

“Why not?” I asked. I hated that I was a little relieved to be given an out. Not that I wouldn’t take it, but I should probably know why I got one when no one else did. A horrible thought occurred to me. “Do you think he’s awake?” I didn’t even want to say his name, afraid that here, so close to where he slept, his name on my lips would rouse him.

“Absolutely not,” Colton answered.

Shifting, I placed myself between Oliver’s legs so I could see all of them. Thorn was shaking his head. “No, Lace. You knocked him out. He’s not getting up any time soon.”

“It’s been a decade,” I reminded him. “We don’t know how long my darkness will keep him wherever he is.”

“Can we agree not to call it your darkness?” Aaron shook his head. “It’s something in you, Lacey, but it’s more like your abilities based on a genetic heritage. Maybe you and Thorn could use his considerable talents to find information on everything and figure out what those abilities are. That could be a very useful thing for us to know going forward. Once we leave here, we can set up lives. If we get called to do other paranormal-type things, you could have a real sense of what you can do.”

I wouldn’t mind some clarity, but I was pretty sure Aaron was still dismissing the fact that for whatever the reason, I was pretty dark inside. Whether that was my upbringing, some facet of the fae an ancestor had made a baby with, or just a Lacey thing, I didn’t know. I didn’t know if it mattered.
Ripley Proserpina; Rebecca Royce. Return to the Darkness: The Coveted Book 3 (Kindle Locations 239-287).

The worst part of all of this is that Ray Chee wanted to be the one who took care of Erdig, instead he was upstaged by a teenager. Now he’s changing the past which totally screws up everything as Lacey shows up in a time where she’s dead.

Plenty of suspense and intrigue with hold your breath moments, time travel and plenty of heat.

An awesome conclusion to this trilogy! I can’t wait to see what Rebecca and Ripley will concoct next!

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca and Ripley!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers!!


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Amazon Author Page

Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.

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Stolen Song by Autumn Reed and Ripley Proserpina


The Paranormal Prison Series is a Multi-Author experience within the same prison, Nightmare Penitentiary aka NP. The characters are different but the venue is the same. A wonderful way to discover new Authors.

Stolen Song
Paranormal Prison
By
Autumn Reed
&
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

My voice doesn’t charm forest animals…

It predicts death.

That’s right—I’m a banshee. And I’m locked up in Nightmare Penitentiary with no hope of escape. I don’t expect to be rescued by handsome Fae princes, either, since the last ones I had a crush on put me here.

Now, the princes are here to rattle my cage, and they’re just as handsome and judgmental as I remember. I’d tell them exactly what I think about them, but in addition to stealing my freedom, they’ve taken my voice.

**Stolen Song is a paranormal prison reverse harem romance.

Imogen is a Banshee, they sing laments for someone who is or is about to be dead. In Imogen’s case one such lament made her look guilty of a crime she didn’t commit, the death of the King.

As a resident of Nightmare Penitentiary, Imogen has a collar around her neck that prevents her from speaking. Well it doesn’t actually stop her she has to do that herself, should she even utter a word the collar subjects her to excruciating pain. Since she’s been imprisoned she hasn’t lamented, so it’s not known if she can stop a lament from happening or if the magic of the collar can.

Killian is the Crown Prince and he and his brother’s Flynn and Ronan have come to Nightmare Penitentiary to see her. They’ve being having some doubts about Imogen’s guilt caused by Killian developing the same symptoms as his father. Realizing she won’t speak because of the collar, the princes visit her in her cell after the librarian delivers a spelled book to her. With the book’s magic they can hear her thoughts as they ask their questions.

That doesn’t go very well either and they start watching her in her cell, what they see is her first lament since her imprisonment and the after effects.

This is a favorite scene the second time Imogen wakes in the infirmary.

The next time I woke up, I immediately knew something was different. A new scent lingered in the air; one I was as familiar with as my own shampoo. Well, the shampoo I’d used back home. Here, I was lucky to get hosed down once a week.

Still weaker than I would have liked, I pushed myself up, surprised to find that I was alone. I inhaled deeply, and no, I hadn’t imagined it. Fresh water, musty earth, and wild daisies filled my senses, practically taking me back to my favorite loch in Tuatha.

But, how?

A faint scratching sound reached me, and I glanced down to find a mouse sitting at my feet. I watched in amazement as he worked to release one and then the other of my ankle shackles. When he was done, he sat back and looked up at me.

“Thank you…” I didn’t know his name, but I was sorely tempted to call him Gus Gus. Not that he resembled the chubby mouse from Cinderella in any way. “My little hero,” I finally finished as I shook out my legs, trying to return feeling to them.

I glanced around, expecting Brina to show up at any moment. “You should probably get out of here, though. I’d hate for you to get caught.”

He scurried off the bed and toward the back corner of the room. But instead of disappearing behind a wall, he started running in a small circle, stopping a few times to look at me.

“What is it?” On shaky legs, I stood and slowly made my way toward him.

My gaze caught on a subtle purpleish shimmer near the mouse, and I paused, knowing it had to be the result of magic. Were the princes going to show up again?

As I approached, the shimmer grew, morphing and stretching into a distorted oval. Inside, I saw a familiar shoreline and blue water before a backdrop of green.

I gasped. It was a portal. And not just any portal— a portal to home.

Stretching my hand out, I walked forward, as though in a trance. Was this a trick?

It had to be. Portals didn’t just appear in Nightmare Penitentiary. In fact, I would have thought it was impossible to perform any magic inside the prison, but the princes had proved me wrong with their fairy tale book ploy. Still, only someone with godlike magic could pull something like this off.

I sensed movement at my feet and halted when I saw the mouse scurrying around, like he was trying to stop me. He was probably right. My gut told me this was a bad idea, especially when I got a whiff of that same bad magic that seemed to be following me.

But my heart yearned for home.

It was so close— a mere step or two away.

The scents of Tuatha Dé Danann were stronger now, and they drew me in like a siren calling a sailor into her snare. I could practically feel the sunlight on my face and the water lapping at my feet.

Home.

Right there was a place I’d never expected to see again. Behind me, a door slammed, and my decision was made. Before I had a chance to second guess myself, I took that step through the portal.

My bare feet sank into dew-covered grass, and I gulped in the sweet, fresh air. Turning back, I got only a glimpse of Brina’s enraged face before the portal shattered into thousands of glittery, magical pieces that fell harmlessly to the ground.

I stood there for a moment, taking in my surroundings. I was in the woods near the loch, and I could see the city spread out behind it. The amphitheater— one of the Fair Folks’ favorite spots to watch challenges and competitions— towered nearby. And the castle perched proudly on the top of a hill, separate but still a part of the beloved landscape.

If this was another dream, I didn’t want to wake up.

Suddenly weary, I sat under a hawthorn and leaned against its trunk. Other than the low murmur of nature around me, the woods were silent. There were no angry villagers with pitchforks and torches. No prison or castle guards creeping forward to take me back into custody. And no princes.

I didn’t understand what was going on. Someone had sprung me from NP, but instead of coming forward, he or she was remaining in the shadows.

It didn’t make sense. Who would want me free? More importantly, who had the power needed to make it happen?

A sinking feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. There was something very off about this entire situation. I’d known it as soon as I’d spotted the portal.

But I hadn’t been able to resist— not with the lure of home before me.
Autumn Reed; Ripley Proserpina. Stolen Song – ARC Version: A Paranormal Prison Novel (Kindle Locations 659-694)

Now that she’s home there really was no safe place for her, but with the Kings Tournament soon to begin, the Princes secret her into the castle.

There is so much emotion in this book, for each of the Princes still love her and she them. Someone was framing her, and they need to discover who before Killian is dead and someone other than one of the princes sits on the throne as king.

Plenty of suspense, some very scary moments, a few giggles and a slow building relationship between Imogen and all three of her princes.

I really have to read every book in this new series. I can’t wait to see what other authors come up with.

5 Contented Purrs for Autumn and Ripley!

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Autumn is a lifelong bookworm with a penchant for sarcasm. She loves cloudy days, fluffy dogs, and murdering succulents. When she isn’t bringing daydreams to life on the page, she can be found behind the lens of a digital camera or binge-watching Veronica Mars.

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Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.


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Echoes of Blood and Glory – Daylight’s Crown Book 3 By Ripley Proserpina


Echoes of Blood and Glory
Daylight’s Crown Book 2
By
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

She’s already cheated death once…

Rose’s hometown is a war zone. A madman holds Boston in his clutches, using an army of ravenous immortals to take what he wants.

Only Rose, Horus, Seti, and Ra stand between annihilation and survival. So, while the vampire brothers had sworn they wouldn’t fight again, they’ll do what they must to protect the woman they love.

But Rose has changed. She’s ready to charge head first into battle, and more than willing to lay waste to anyone who threatens her vampires.

The prologue of this book gives us much incite as it details Horus, Seti, and Ra’s past.

Then we continue on with the our tale of Rose and her vampires. Horus isn’t healing as fast as he should and that has everyone worried.

This is a favorite scene.

He wasn’t healing.

Horus touched the scabbed scrape across his lower torso, dragging his fingers over the raised purple wound. He knew the phases of healing. He’d watched his body fly through each one. Beads of blood solidified into a scab that sloughed off, leaving bruised skin that reddened, then pinked, and finally, disappeared completely.

From the moment he was born, that was how he healed.

This. This. A lingering wound still tender to the touch. This was wrong.

“What’s the matter?” His eldest brother, Ra, had sensed his disquiet.

“Nothing,” he was quick to answer. He wanted to work this out before he worried them.

“Liar, liar, butt’s on fire,” Seti, his twin, teased.

“Pants, idiot,” he couldn’t help but return.

“You’re sleeping with Rose,” Seti said. “Why are you wearing pants?”

True. He wished he wasn’t wearing pants, but his relationship with the strange and beautiful girl who slept by his side hadn’t progressed to that point. They were still learning each other. Still stealing kisses and holding hands.

He’d never done this with someone before. His experience was limited to quick, frantic couplings whose only purpose was to relieve tension.

With Rose, everything was drawn out. A touch of her fingers could get him hard faster than… well, than anything he could remember.

Next to him, Rose let out a breath and snuggled closer into his side. The curtains to the bedroom were open. There was a full moon, and it made the interior as bright as daylight.

Rose’s eyes danced beneath her lids. She was dreaming, and if Horus concentrated, he’d be able to see the scenes playing in her mind.

This was another thing he hadn’t told his brothers.

She was already picking up on their conversations, overhearing bits and pieces of the communication that always stayed between the three of them. Every so often, she’d answer a question one of them had asked the other.

In their minds.

Horus didn’t think she realized it yet.

But this connection was different. It was something Horus could see that the others couldn’t. It was an experience unique only to him and Rose. The bridge between dreams and memory wasn’t long.

Horus had almost died. He’d come closer than he ever had before to becoming nothing.

Because before he could disintegrate into ash, Rose had saved him.

He was bleeding out, dying, and she gave him her blood. If he thought hard about it, he could remember the pain that came with it. Her blood was poison, but also human. It helped him stay alive long enough for his brothers to arrive.

Now, though, things were different. Dreams and memories. Healing and pain. They were a part of Horus’s day to day.

“I’m not ready,” Rose said. Her body jerked, and he pulled her into his arms.

“Shh,” he soothed. Her curls were tangled, but he stroked them from the crown of her head to her neck, and she slowly began to calm. “What are you dreaming?”

The question pulled him from the reality of their bedroom in a town outside of Boston to someplace he didn’t recognize.
Ripley Proserpina. Echoes of Blood and Glory: Daylight’s Crown, Book 2 (Kindle Locations 78-105).

Dr. Stone still wants Rose and is doing much to draw her out. It’s not easy since her vampires are protecting her and her friends have gone into hiding.

Now there’s so much more going on and since Rose can’t analyze her own blood, she decides to investigate the properties of it that she exhibits. What she learns is quite the turning point.

This is a page-turning read, with plenty of hold your breath action, tears and laughter. I love the relationship between Rose, Horus, Seti, and Ra, it’s quite the love story with plenty of sizzle!

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.


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Voices in the Darkness – The Coveted Book 2 by Rebecca Royce & Ripley Proserpina


Voices in the Darkness
The Coveted Book 2
By
Rebecca Royce
&
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

There’s a darkness within her
and its voice taunts her…

It’s been ten years since Lacey Madison fled New Mexico and everyone she cared about to keep them safe. She’s built a new life with a new name in the frozen north, putting her investigative skills and intuitive senses to work. But when an accident lands her in the hospital, she admits all the things she’s kept buried down deep—like her real name, and wanting four boys who’d probably forgotten her…

And suddenly, everything changes. Thorn, Colton, Aaron, and Oliver come looking for her just as the voices in the darkness begin to cry out.

And it turns out—it doesn’t matter how far Lacey runs, evil will always find her.

It’s been ten years since Lacey fled New Mexico and landed in Alaska. She quite literally fell into a man who fast became a friend, father figure and her boss.

As a PI she knew things could get a bit dangerous but sliding off an ice covered road fleeing from an adulterer certainly wasn’t in her plans. Neither was telling the hospital where she landed her real name.

The biggest surprise comes when her past catches up with her present in the form of Oliver Chee. He’s alone for the moment, he’s confirming it’s really her. Now the others are on their way.

It’s shortly after Oliver arrives that a ghost show up IN Lacey’s home, that’s never happened before and she’s freaking out a bit. It’s while they’re setting a circle of protection with lavender and salt that Colton and Aaron arrive.

This is a favorite scene.

Shaking my head, I hurried through the snow back to the front of the house. If one circle of protection was good, a double layer would be better.

It was slippery on the driveway, so I kept my head down, watching where I placed my feet.

Oomph.” I bounced off of something and flew backward, but before I could hit the ground, two gloved hands caught me.

Bright blue met my gaze. “Holy fuck.”

Colton.

His face was clean-shaven, but it was him. Older, with the sort of frame that came from, I didn’t know, building fences and hammering railroad ties. He watched me.

“Hey,” Oliver said from behind me.

Colton blinked, like Oliver’s voice had shocked him back to life. One second, I was an arm’s length away, and the next I was pressed against his chest. “Jesus Christ, Lacey. I can’t believe it’s you.”

“Take a moment!” Oliver called out. “I’m going inside. I’m freezing my ass off.”

I blinked. We had to get the man proper winter gear if he was going to stay here. But the truth was, Colton didn’t have a coat either. Wow. I was really not thinking clearly. He was here, shivering in my arms.

His smile was huge. “Lacey, I have so many things to say to you. I…”

A car door opened and closed, catching my attention. Coming out of the passenger side was Aaron. His hair was still long, like it had been when we were younger, but tied back neatly to keep it away from his face.

With some part of my mind, I registered the suitcases in the snow and the car backing away. But I was transfixed by Aaron’s face. He didn’t smile when he saw me, but there wasn’t anger on his face either. More like disbelief. His dark gaze asked a million questions.

“Lacey.” His voice shook a little bit. “You aren’t a figment of our imagination, right?”

I shook my head. “Not unless we’re all having the same delusion where you guys are made up in my head.” A gust of wind reminded me of what was happening. A decade earlier, I’d been freezing in Anchorage without the right clothing. I knew what that cold felt like. “Come on inside. Grab whatever you brought with you. Nothing stays in the car in this kind of chill.”

“Right.” But Colton didn’t move. “If I let you go, are you going to vanish?” His voice was low. “Because I really like this moment. Even though it’s freezing. You’re here. Ten years older and beautiful. Alive. And in my arms. I don’t want to move an inch.”

He had always been able to make me blush, and none of that had changed apparently. “I’m only going to head in the house. Hopefully, you’ll come with me.”

He let go with one hand. “I will. Thank you for inviting us in.”

Aaron took my hand, pulling me from Colton. “Get your stuff, Colt. Lacey, how do you do this kind of freezing on a regular basis?”

“Alaska is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.”
Ripley Proserpina; Rebecca Royce. Voices in the Darkness: The Coveted Book 2 (Kindle Locations 648-672).

Now it’s not until Thorn arrives that they get a look at Lacey’s latest case. The wife of a patient who recently visited the new Sleep Clinic, is claiming he is raving about demons, possession and ghosts. Although he is getting some inpatient help elsewhere.

Lacey is very glad the guys are there as things heat up with her hearing voices in her head and the definite possibility of a demon. There’s also the relationship that although it’s been ten years, is still very much there and the love just oozes through the pages.

I love all the characters in these books and the story has me wanting more. Lacey and the guys deserve their happily ever after so very much!

I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca and Ripley!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers!!


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Blog | Amazon Author Page

Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.

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Amazon Author Page

Boys and Burlesque by Ripley Proserpina


Boys and Burlesque
By
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

They were my whole world—four boys who morphed from best friends to lovers. They were my biggest fans, and my quiet strength.

Until they left me.What I once gave freely became my weakness. Judged, shamed, alone, and with no one to count on, I found I’d do anything to survive. I never bared my soul, but my body was my ticket to success.

And fame.

Burlesque might not have been the type of dance I dreamed of, but it rocketed me to the top. My body was mine to own. If people wanted to see me, they had to pay for a ticket.

But all my carefully laid plans and rebuilt dreams crash when the spotlight lands on the boys who used to be mine.

Josh, Brant, Wes, and Landry are back, standing at the edge of the stage and holding the pieces of my heart.

They want forgiveness. A second chance.

But when I handed them my heart once, they shattered it. And I might not survive giving it to them again.

In this book Ripley takes us from high school to the present as the unconventional relationship between Betsy aka Betty and the four boys she loved navigate through the sometimes devastating curves life throws at them.

The first curve was when Josh, Brant, Wes, and Landry ghosted after graduation. They really thought they were doing the right thing, but never gave an explanation, they just vanished.

A successful Burlesque dancer with her own show, crew and employees she gets blind-sided at a USO show at Coronado, seeing two of them in the audience has her realizing she hasn’t stopped loving them but she just can’t let them in again.

However they weren’t going to give up and all four of them show up in Vegas. Where Betty finally agrees to meet with them.

This is a favorite scene.

Lucky for me, trees lined the viewing area, and I stood in their shade. It was noisy, with the traffic behind me and the water spraying in front of me. Gripping the stone rail, I leaned forward and stared into the water.

Waiting.

Where were they?

“Betsy.” Landry spoke, and the rest of the world melted away.

My breath caught in my throat, and I turned to face him.

He wasn’t alone. They were all there, just like they’d said they’d be.

“You look so different,” I said. I knew they did, I’d already seen them, but when they were all together like this, it was hard to remember them as they were.

Back when they were mine.

Their faces were harder, their gazes warier and less open.

Landry wore a V-neck t-shirt, a long-sleeve plaid button-down thrown over it. The sleeves were pushed up, revealing strong muscular forearms. I knew his arms were tattooed, but with the V-neck, I could make out writing below his collarbones and across his chest.

Josh had pulled his hair back into a ponytail, but it was a little too short and strands fell from the elastic. He tucked them behind his ears, watching me nervously. I wondered what his dad thought about his hair, it was a little hippy for Mr. Derry.

Westin. Westin had changed the most and the least. He wasn’t wearing a jacket, but had on a black tank top. On anyone else, it’d look like he was trying too hard, but on Westin, it was natural. He was covered from his shoulders all the way to his fingernails in tattoos. I studied him. They were all over his chest and neck as well. Was any of his body free of ink?

And Brant. His hazel-eyed gaze met mine, and he gave me a small smile. His beard covered so much of his face, like he was trying to hide. He was broader and more muscled than I’d ever seen him. He wore a tan shirt and jeans, and his biceps strained the material of the sleeves.

“Hi.” Yep. That was what came out of my mouth.

Each of them closed in around me, and suddenly I was a gazelle surrounded by lions. I glanced over at Al. He wasn’t too far, but he’d also stepped closer, a frown on his face. I shook my head slightly before turning back toward the boys.

Brant followed my gaze. His smile was gone. “Bodyguard?” His tone turned accusing, and I opened my mouth to defend myself then closed it.

I didn’t owe them an explanation. I was only here for theirs. “Yes. Al is my security.”

“We’d never hurt you.” Landry ran his hands over his hair and linked them behind his neck.

“I know,” I replied and sighed. “He’s not here because of you.”

Understanding passed over their faces, along with something else, an edge that made me think they were used to surveying their surroundings as well.

“Thanks for coming,” Westin said. He stepped closer, sidling next to me to lean against the railing. “I didn’t think you would.”

“Your arguments were very convincing.”

He smiled. Josh seemed to be studying our exchange, and his eyes widened when he caught Westin’s expression.

“Do you want to go somewhere?” Landry asked. “A diner or something?”

It did seem weird to have this conversation right out in the open, but going somewhere, sitting down across from them, was a level of intimacy I wasn’t ready for.

“No,” I said and then added, “thanks.”

The boys exchanged glances, and Landry sighed. “Okay,” he said. “I’ll start.” His words came out in a rush. “Everything that happened was my fault. It was my idea.”

“It was your idea.” I repeated what he’d said. “It was your idea to leave?”

“That’s not true,” Brant said. “We all agreed it was for the best.”

It was just like it used to be. They stood up for each other, clarified and elaborated for one another.

How nice for them. Things hadn’t changed between them as much as I thought they had. I stayed silent. If they were going to offer excuses for one another and soothe each other’s feelings, they didn’t need me.

Brant side-eyed me and then shook his head. “Fuck. I’m not excusing him, Betsy. I just mean that we’re all to blame. Landry might have told us the problem, but we all agreed to the solution.”

Their solution was to leave me all alone in the world.

And still I stayed silent.

“My dad— he had more power over me than I realized,” Landry said. “You know he owned half the town, and had connections throughout the state. When he found out about us— all of us— he gave me an ultimatum.”

Sounded like Landry’s dad.

“What ultimatum?” I asked when the quiet went on too long.

“Raise the rent on Brant’s parents so they had to give up their cafe. Push Josh’s dad off the farm. Make a call to Wes and Josh’s coaches.” Landry spoke like he was reciting a grocery list, but I was shocked dumb.

What?

My gaze bounced from one boy to the next. They held my gaze, but none of them spoke. Hurt made it hard to breathe. Hard to speak.

I’d been seventeen and I had absolutely no one in the world left who cared about me.

Landry’s dad threatened to take away everyone the boys loved— nobody would have understood their situation better than I would have.

And yet they didn’t tell me.

Tears burned the back of my eyes, and I had to shut them tight. Why? Why hadn’t they told me? Trusted me?

I imagined a world where we left each other on good terms. If we’d done that, when I really needed them, maybe they could have helped. Or at the very least responded.
Ripley Proserpina. Boys and Burlesque (Kindle Locations 2591-2637).

Their explanation hurt and confused her even as she delivered bombshells of her own.

This is really only the beginning as things in her world start changing yet again, this time with the men in the background instead of the forefront.

Very emotional, with suspense, drama, intrigue and some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.


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Eyes in the Darkness – The Coveted Book 1 By Rebecca Royce & Ripley Proserpina


Eyes in the Darkness
The Coveted Book 1
By
Rebecca Royce
&
Ripley Proserpina

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

There’s something in the darkness,
and it’s watching her…

Lacey Madison wants to be like every other teenager. She wants to wave to her best friend, and have him wave back. She wants to kiss a boy, and for him to stay in town.

She wants to go to school,
and not be accused of murder.

But bad things are always happening around her, and in this dusty little desert town, nothing is what it seems. Lacey’s entire life has been leading to something, and those eyes in the desert darkness hold all the answers.

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One thing is certain, when Rebecca and Ripley put their heads together you are in for an awesome journey.

Lacey has been trying her best to keep her head down, not so easy in this small town. Her goal is to finish school and get out, go as far north and the furthest she could get. One of the things she did was kick a can on her way to and from school. Little did she know that beat-up can would start to change everything when she kicked it into the road in front of a car she didn’t recognize.

Thorn Evans and Colton Ivy exited the car and almost immediately started exerting their alpha maleness. Which Lacey blatantly ignores and continues on her way.

She even felt like poking a bear, in a manner of speaking and starts up a conversation with Aaron Chee who lived in the trailer across from her. He was homeschooled she only saw him here. A dinner invitation there adds even more to the intrigue. Aaron, Oliver, Kelly and their parents, Jacinda and Ray, have an unusual occupation, and well there’s more than a little creepy in this quiet town.

This is a favorite scene when some horses get sick.

I’d never shoveled horseshit before, and I’d certainly never done it with barn lights blazing down on me. I wiped sweat off my brow and tried not to think about what I was getting on myself. Ugh. And the smell. The smell was not pleasant.

“Lacey?”

I winced at the sound of my name. I should have known that Thorn would show up here. His father owned most of the stables in town and the outskirts. People came to his ranches to have authentic cowboy experiences and didn’t know they’d walked right into another version of corporate America. There wasn’t a cowboy operation in the state of New Mexico that he didn’t have his hand in.

Thorn Evans.

He had a cowboy’s name, and if his hair was just a little longer, he’d look like one. I put my head down, like horseshit was the most interesting shit I’d ever seen, and hoped he’d leave.

See— here was the thing with Thorn— I didn’t want to have any sort of reaction to him. Yes, I’d kissed him. And yes, everyone knew about it, hated me for it, and treated me like I threw puppies into traffic.

So the last thing I wanted was to be stuck in a barn, looking like shit while I shoveled literal crap, with Thorn Evans and his kissable lips and sad eyes.

Of course he’d show up to watch me shovel crap. I surveyed the barn. Where was Oliver? He’d wandered off somewhere, and I hadn’t seen him in a while.

A horrible thought occurred to me. What if Oliver left me here on purpose? What if he was in on it with Thorn? What if he and Colton were somewhere, watching me shovel, laughing their asses off? I forced the thought from my head. That wouldn’t help anything right now.

“Lacey?” I had the strangest impression that Thorn was nervous but discounted it right away.

“Thorn.” He’d said my name, so I said his back.

“What are you doing here?” He put his hand on my shovel handle to stop me from using it.

I lifted my head. “My friend asked me to help him. I came. End of story.”

Thorn looked over his shoulder. “Are you friends with that new guy? The one everyone likes? What’s his name? Chee?”

“Oliver Chee.” I took the shovel back. “Yes, he’s my friend.” Or at least, I’d had a glimmer of hope he could become that. I’d technically met him just hours earlier, but there it was. “I guess I should ask what you’re doing here. Do you often get your hands dirty?”

I knew the answer to that was no. Thorn didn’t do the manual labor.

He smiled at me. “I came to help. If I’d known you were here, I’d have come earlier. I want to talk to you.”

The last thing I wanted was to have a one-on-one with Thorn. “Whatever happened, I’d rather leave it alone. It was a year ago, and people are still talking about it. We kissed. Your mom was suuuuuuper upset about it and told everyone I ruined your life. So you took off with Colton. Which meant I was also responsible for his downfall. Both of you destroyed by me. The temptress of boys.” I motioned to my disgusting outer appearance at the moment. “Sorry to have ruined your life.”

“Lacey?” It was Oliver. With the inky darkness behind him, his silhouette seemed to glow in the barn light. “What are you doing?”

At first, I thought he meant Thorn, but he was looking at me. I was at a loss. Hadn’t he said to haul out the stall? “I’m—”

He came inside, dusky cheeks flushed pink. “Lacey. I’m so sorry. I meant take out the hay. Not the manure.”

Nearby, there was a snort, and I whipped a glare in Thorn’s direction. He held up his hands as if to placate me. “You made a stable hand really happy, though.”

Pitching the shovel into the wheelbarrow, I wiped my arm across my sweaty forehead. “Great. That’s exactly what my goal was.” I probably stunk to high heaven, and I’d made a fool of myself in front of two people. At least—

“What are you doing here?”

The wall was too far away to bang my head against. “Colton. I was just leaving.” Of course he and Thorn would be joined at the fucking hip. Of course.

“I need some help,” Oliver said, his voice a little confused. He watched the other two guys with narrowed eyes and held out his hand.

Pulling my gloves off, I stomped by my arch-nemeses. I was going to head right past Oliver, too, but he stopped me with a hand on my arm. One long look was all it took for some of my anger to drain out of me. “At least I got the hay out with the shit,” I said and shrugged.

He gave me a slight smile before glancing over my shoulder toward Colton and Thorn. “Come see the horses.”

Immediately, I forgot all about the sweat and the smell. “Are they better?” I asked.

“I’ll find you later, Lace,” Thorn called after me, but I didn’t answer. And he didn’t follow.

“Come see,” Oliver replied a little cagily.
Ripley Proserpina; Rebecca Royce. Eyes in the Darkness: The Coveted, Book 1 (Kindle Locations 289-328).

Thorn and Colton do finally get to explain what happened that they left town so abruptly and seem to be quite friendly with the Chee’s as well.A truly freaky exorcism performed by the local pastor has Lacey moving in with the Chee’s and Thorn and Colton get involved as well.

Fast-paced and suspenseful as the attraction between Lacey and the four boys increases and so does the danger.

I couldn’t put this book down, every page just adds more twists. I do hope the next book isn’t far off. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca and Ripley!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

Rebecca Royce Rebecca Royce

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers!!


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Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.

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The Darkest Fall by Ripley Proserpina


The Darkest Fall
By
Ripley Proserpina

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Can a demon be redeemed?

Rational Lucia believes in what she can see and touch, preferring to leave the curses and fortune telling to her old-world relatives. Meeting Delia, a desperate half-human, half-demon child, who needs someone to keep her safe challenges Lucia’s logic.

Armaros spent his eternal life mired in guilt. Choosing to live according to his desires and whims, he forced his sister to fall from grace, damning them both. When she vanished, abandoning him and all they’d built together, he pursues. The last thing the Fallen expected to discover was the impossible existence of her child and the fragile human intent on her protection.

Thrust together, Armaros and Lucia must flee the forces of Heaven and Hell. Despite the insurmountable odds stacking against them, can they accept that fate put their paths on a collision course? Or are they doomed to fail, losing not only Delia, but also the only other person in the universe who understands them?

*The Darkest Fall was previously published
as Matched with a Demon*

 

 

When Lucia finds Dalia, she knows she has to take care of her. What she didn’t expect was for things to get so very complicated very quickly. Even as she debates with herself her Aunt Zia calls and tells her to stop and go home. Lucia has other ideas and takes the child home. Now this child isn’t human, Lucia’s not sure exactly what she is though.

When Armaros finds Dalia, he is expecting to find his sister and quite frankly all hell breaks loose as he tries to erase Lucia’s memory and take Dalia. Lucia is a fighter and she doesn’t give up easily, but this encounter isn’t my favorite, the second one is.

When Dalia has had enough of Armaros’ questions, she throws a tantrum of sorts, her powers destroying his apartment and then she poofs out of there. Then when Lucia arrives looking for her, Dalia brings Lucia to her.

This is a favorite scene.

“She really loved you.” The picture Delia painted was a happy one. Two parents who loved each other. A man who thought his red-eyed wife beautiful. Whatever had happened since then, Delia had sweet memories to draw upon.

Despite the girl’s slight weight, Lucia started to sweat through her wool coat. Catching the glances of other ice cream patrons, all clad in sandals and shorts or sundresses, she and Delia stood out in their winter clothes. “Can I ask you something else?”

Delia turned a tear-streaked face up to her and nodded.

“Where are we?” When she’d been teleported from the cemetery, she’d appeared here on this picnic bench outside a drive-up ice cream parlor. Her nose burned in the sun.

Giggling, Delia sniffed and wiped her face with the back of her hand. “Florida? I think.”

“You want more ice cream?”

The girl shook her head, but leaned against Lucia again. Being upset had exhausted her. Glancing down, she saw the girl let out a huge yawn.

“How about we find a place to rest?”

Delia nodded and swept her hand through the air. Colors rushed past her, faster than the blur of scenery when staring out a car window. Motion sickness threatened, and Lucia closed her eyes. She had nothing to focus on, no fixed point in space to help her get her bearings. Like riding the tilt-a-whirl at a carnival, she prayed for it to be over.

All at once, her body jarred to a stop. Her head whipped forward, and she tripped, eyes opening automatically.

Where were they? She didn’t recognize this place. It was a stark apartment, everything white and chrome. “Is this your house?” Walking to the window, she saw the frozen harbor in the distance, completing the monochromatic aesthetic.

Delia climbed onto the suede couch, and Lucia winced when a smudge of chocolate she missed smeared across the cushion. “No.”

It wasn’t the sort of place a kid would live. “Should we be here?”

Delia’s eyes closed, and her thumb went into her mouth. “I’m too tired to run anymore.”

Sighing, Lucia walked to her. The rug covering the floor beneath the couch and coffee table was white and furry. It would be comfortable enough. Seating herself next to Delia’s head, she brushed the girl’s hair back from her face. “Okay. Take a nap. I’ll be here. Anything I should know?”

“We’ll be fine.” Her words were broken by another huge yawn. “Night, Luce.”

“Night, piccola.”

Weak winter sunlight streamed through every window. Lucia watched Delia, smoothing her hair, waiting for her eyes to dance beneath her closed lids to signal she’d fallen into a deep sleep. It was a long time coming. Delia tossed and turned, and finally, with Lucia’s thumb stroking back and forth across her forehead, she stilled.

Cracking her neck, Lucia carefully withdrew her hand. Delia remained asleep. Good. The girl needed it. Stretching, she stood and decided to explore.

Keeping one eye on Delia, she walked to the window to stare out. Huh. They were back at Pauper’s Cemetery. Why didn’t these things freak her out more? In less than twenty-four hours, everything she thought she knew was turned on its head.

There was the church’s spire, and beyond the white expanse of the open graveyard, stones covered in snow. Maybe she should stop down later, see if the priest could make sense of what the universe had recently revealed to her. Ha! If she set foot in a church after not attending in so long, she’d probably burst into flames.

Ambling around the perimeter of the room, she tried to imagine what sort of person lived here. They had money to burn. Each exterior wall was a window; the entire city visible from wherever she happened to stand. It should have given her a sense of openness, but instead, she found herself wondering what was holding the ceiling above her head. Tipping her head back, she imagined steel and plaster crushing her.

A whimper brought her out of her dark thoughts, and she hurried to the couch. Delia thrashed back and forth, and cried out, “Daddy!”

Frowning, Lucia picked her up. “It’s okay.” She pulled her onto her lap, cradling her in her arms and stroking her back until she calmed. As Delia fell back to sleep, Lucia let her head drop onto the arm of the couch.

She’d gotten herself into a mess— a weird, inter-dimensional mess of biblical proportions. She’d walked home from the library, and bam! Insta-mom. Staring at Delia’s flushed face, Lucia grinned. She wasn’t sorry. This kid had a way about her, and Lucia was smitten.

But she wasn’t prepared for her. Lucia’s student loans supported her. She had no real job. Correcting papers and teaching bored undergrads for less than she could make at a fast-food joint didn’t count. If she had a child, she needed to be smart and self-sufficient.

What was the school system like in her area? She didn’t even know. Was Delia old enough for school? Argh! This was such a mess! No way was she responsible enough to take care of her.

“What are you doing in my home?”

Shit. She knew that voice. “Hey,” she singsonged in greeting at a loss for what else to do. “So, you just, you know, poof into places?”

Crossing his arms, the man glared at her, leather jacket crackling as he moved. Or maybe it was his knuckles cracking. Lucia got the feeling she was on shaky ground with this guy.

“I didn’t know this was your house.” She made a move to shake Delia awake, but the girl was so exhausted, she paused. “Do you mind if we hang for a bit? Delie is beat and needs a nap. When she wakes up, you can go back to squeezing my brain or whatever.” The nickname flowed from her, riding the rising wave of affection cresting in her soul.

His eyes flicked to the girl asleep in her lap and back before dropping his arms. Running his fingers through his perfectly styled hair, he sighed. “I— Fine.” Sitting carefully in a nearby chair, he kept his gaze on Lucia. “What are you doing here?”

“Delia brought us here.”

“Did she?” One eyebrow raised as he considered her sleeping form. What was it about this guy that made her want to douse him in holy water, and then, remove his wet shirt?

“Why are you after her?”

Part of her was amazed at her audacity, but for some reason, she knew he wouldn’t hurt her right now.

Shrugging, he continued to watch them silently.

“Do you know her?”

Icy blue eyes flicked to her, staring at her intently before he shook his head. “No. I don’t know her. But—”

When he didn’t finish, Lucia waved a hand. “But…”

He remained silent. Okay. So, he wasn’t going to answer unless he wanted to. Fine. “Do you know what happened to her parents?”

“Parents?” This threw him off guard. “She doesn’t have parents.”

“Of course, she does. Everyone has parents. She told me about her mother and father. And don’t scoff like it’s crazy, Mr. This is My House. Weirdo. What circle of hell is this, really?”

“Did she?” He ignored her comment about his house. Again— fine. He was only interested in discussing Delia. “What did she say?”

“Why are you after her?” Lucia countered wickedly. She could tit-for-tat, too.

“Have you forgotten what I can do?”

Raising an eyebrow, she shook her head. “I’m unlikely to forget the worst headache of the century or the Our Lady of the Bleeding Eyeballs impression. I can’t stop you. Do it. Go ahead.” Please don’t. Why did she speak without thinking?

“I’m not going to hurt her,” he said.

“But you’re after her?”

Rolling his eyes, he dropped his head to the back to the chair. “I’m not after her. She has something I need.”

“What could a child possible have that you need?”
Ripley Proserpina. The Darkest Fall (Kindle Locations 559-623).

This is only the beginning, and Armaros his more than a little intrigued by the the human who is so determined to care for his niece.

He fights this attraction, after all he is a fallen angel and nothing good could come of this attraction.

Plenty of twists and turns as the plot thickens, warrior angels, Lucifer and of course Lucia’s family all contribute to tale of good and evil.

I laughed, sniffled, held my breath a few times and fanned myself as Lucia and Armaros steam up the pages all while working on keeping Dalia safe.

I really hope there are more books with these three, it was thoroughly engaging.

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

 

Ripley Proserpina

Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.


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