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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

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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

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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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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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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Finding Strength – The Searchers Book 5 By Ripley Proserpina



Finding Strength
The Searchers Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Apollo left, and it was the hardest thing he’d ever done.

It was too much: sharing Nora with his friends. Not being her first.Her only.Apollo thought he had to be away to make sense of it all, but he was wrong.Nora loves him, and she needs him more than ever.

But now it’s up to him to finally accept in himself what Nora always saw.

My heart broke a little when Apollo left at the end of the last book. Nora in her way understood he needed time to decide if he could handle this unusual relationship. It didn’t hurt any less though.

The rest of them have traveled to Matisse’s family for Thanksgiving, a true feast and an acceptance of the relationship that involves at the moment five people. There are questions as to Apollo’s whereabouts, since he had spent many holidays there. Those questions weren’t easily answered.

With the acceptance there comes a sort of peace as Nora, Cai, Matisse, Seok and Ryan explore the area. Then the unthinkable happens. An accident, one that could make or break the relationship with Matisse and one that could solidify Apollo’s feelings toward all of it.

This is a favorite scene.

Apollo put his gloved hands on his hips and stared down at the mat. “Yeah,” he said around his mouth guard. It had taken him by surprise, that was all.

He spat the guard onto the mat and ripped the tape off his gloves. “Take a break,” he told the other man. He needed to hydrate and drink a shake or something. For having stayed up all night, he thought he was doing pretty well. But he knew it was nowhere near good enough. His cardio was shit and his muscles twitchy.

Hopefully, he’d have his act together when it was time to fight.

His phone started to ring as he pushed the ropes apart and ducked beneath them. He’d set the alarms this morning before leaving the house, and the first thing that came into his head was that the security company was calling.

But Ryan’s name was on the screen when he picked it up. “Hey.”

“There’s been an accident. We booked you a flight to Mississippi.”

The world shrunk, and his vision tunneled. Those were the four worst words in the world. They held the potential of ripping away everything he cared about and changing his life forever.

Somehow, he ended up sitting on the floor. “What happened?”

“Matisse and Nora. We don’t know yet, we’re on the way to the hospital.”

He didn’t understand. How could they not know? They were supposed to be all together. Taking care of each other. Taking care of Nora.

He couldn’t breathe. He got to his knees and dropped his head low. The phone ended up on the floor, and he stared at it, watching the seconds pass by as the line remained open. “I’m coming,” he said, and from far away, he heard Ryan answer. “There’s a ticket waiting for you.”

Forcing his body to move, he got his feet under him and grabbed his bag and phone. “What airline?” he asked. He sounded like he’d run a race.

Ryan told him. All Apollo could hope was that he remembered when he got to the airport. With his bag under his arm, and his phone still in his hand, he barreled through the gym, out the door, and to his car.

It had started snowing, but he was impervious to the cold. He may have stepped in a puddle or walked through a snowbank, who the hell knew. Forward momentum was what he needed.

The car started, engine revving as he threw it into drive and peeled out of the parking lot. The roads were slick, and if it hadn’t been absolutely imperative that he get to Nora, he’d have gone faster. But he didn’t have time for an accident.

Everyone was going slow. On another day, he’d have appreciated that people weren’t driving like assholes. Not today. Today he wanted everyone to stay off the roads, or if they had to be on them, stay the fuck out of his way.

Apollo dragged his hand down the back of his head before pounding on the steering wheel. “Shit! Shit! Shit!”

He deserved this. If he hadn’t been so selfish and demanding, he’d have been with her. And if he’d been with her, maybe he could have stopped whatever happened.

The airport wasn’t far from the gym, but it seemed to take an hour to get there. Finally, he pulled into the parking garage, shoved it into park, and jumped out.

Phone. Bag. Shit. Wallet. He hurried around to the passenger side of the card. No way could he handle a drive back to the gym and then back again. He’d go insane. Ripping into his bag, he found his wallet tucked beneath a sweatshirt and— where the fuck was his phone?

He searched the car before realizing he’d had it in his hand the entire time. Waste of fucking time.

Had he ever been so aware of the way time passed? Of how it could slow to a crawl or speed up faster than he could track?

The parking garage was freezing, and he shivered. Pulling the strap of the bag onto his shoulder, he realized he was still in his workout clothes. Not that it mattered, but rather than walk through the airport like some kind of douche in a tank, he took out a sweatshirt and got it on.

The airport was busy, which he should have expected since it was Thanksgiving break. The line to the counter was long, snaking between the straps fixed between metal stands. Apollo got in line and tried not to look like a maniac.

What he wanted to do was pace, or bounce, but if he acted weird, then he’d be a target of the cops patrolling the entrance. He needed to blend and get through the line as quickly as possible.

He removed his ID from his wallet and stuck it between his teeth before stowing the wallet in a pouch of his bag. Then he pulled his sweatshirt on and awkwardly stuck his arms and head through it.

“Next?”

He stepped forward, ready. “There’s a ticket for Apollo Morris,” he told the counter agent.

“ID?” the woman asked. He handed it to her, and in a matter of minutes, he had his ticket and was on his way.

Forward momentum. The phrase kept running through his head. He just had to keep moving, checking off boxes that would get him closer to Nora.
Ripley Proserpina. Finding Strength: The Searchers #5 (Kindle Locations 564-604).

I really thought Nora’s problems would be behind her by now, but it seems things just keep escalating in different directions.

Lots of emotion and tears as we learn the whole of Apollo’s secrets. Matisse has to deal with guilt and of course there’s more on Dr. Murray and yet another break-in.

There’s some fun and lots of love and understanding with Matisse’s family and the guys are bonding more with Nora as she recuperates.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I am hoping that Dr. Murray and his cohorts get everything they deserve.

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

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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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Finding Courage – The Searchers Book 4 By Ripley Proserpina



Finding Courage
The Searchers Book 4
By
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

There is no future until he faces his past…

Nora, Cai, Ryan, Matisse, Apollo, and Seok have decided to forge their own path. Yes, their relationship is unusual, but it’s what they want.

They won’t hide it. It isn’t a secret.
Or is it?

Cai loves her, Nora is certain of it. But when the woman he left behind suddenly appears, the Cai she knows changes, and Nora begins to wonder, will he be brave enough to choose her and step into the light?

Or will he hide her away with the rest of his ghosts?

While this book centers on Cai and his relationship with Nora, the others are very involved as well.

This book opens with Cai getting a concussion from an altercation with Dr. Murray and a couple of his cronies. He woke up not remembering being transported to jail with Matisse all because of his frustration at not having access to Tyler. Although others are working on the problem Cai is practically obsessed with being sure Tyler is being treated properly.

There is much going on with all of them, but Cai’s issues come to the fore when his ‘wife’ shows up. Sarah isn’t legally his wife and never was. That marriage was the product of how they were raised in the cult where his father was the leader.

Nora is totally blindsided by Sarah’s call and then her appearance at the house. More so by Cai’s description of their relationship, roommate not girlfriend. A painful denial.

This is a favorite scene.

Cai knew. His friends would do anything for him. All he had to do was ask.

He fled upstairs before anyone could push him. If Apollo had been there, he would have pushed. And Matisse! He must have missed some kind of hand signal between Seok and Matisse, because that man didn’t know the meaning of subtle.

Upstairs, Cai hesitated at Nora’s door. His dinner with Sarah reminded him of what Nora gave him. She eased him, made him calm. He rapped on the door lightly, waiting for her voice.

“Come in,” she called. She didn’t look surprised to see him. “Hi.”

“I need to talk to you.”

Her gaze didn’t leave him as he strode toward her. She shifted, pushing herself to sit against the headboard.

“Okay.”

He sat, met her gaze, and looked away. He’d have to be blind not to see the traces of her crying. Her nose was red, and her eyes were still bloodshot. “I’m sorry.”

She nodded, but she didn’t say anything for a moment. After taking a deep breath, she rubbed her eyes and asked, “What exactly are you sorry for?” Her voice trembled, but she pressed her lips together and went on. “For keeping me a secret? For not telling me you were married? For giving me snippets and then, on your anniversary, going out with your ex-wife? Who, I’ll add, refers to herself as your wife.” Instead of her voice lifting, she got quieter. The last two words she repeated so quietly, he barely made them out. “Your wife.”

“Nora,” he said. “There’s so much you don’t know, and so much I hate talking about. You don’t understand. And the only way to make you understand is to talk about it. Just beginning the story makes me want to punch the wall and vomit.”

“What are you afraid of?” she asked.

He laughed and shook his head, but nothing about the situation was funny. “Everything, Nora.”

“So talk to me!” She went to her knees and shuffled toward him. She gripped his arms, fingers digging into him. “Cai. I’m begging you. Tonight hurt.”

He heard what she didn’t say. He’d hurt her.

“I’m not there,” he said. He wanted to give her what she needed, but the idea of spilling his guts was too much. Reluctantly, he stood. The entire time, Nora watched him. Her brown eyes were big, and tears welled up in her eyes. Her entire face got splotchy, and she took in a shaky breath.

“Then you need to get there, Cai,” she said. Her shoulders went back as she stared at him. “Because I’m not okay with what happened tonight. And I’m not okay with it happening again.”

He wanted to promise her that. But how could he do that? He couldn’t see the future. Rather than speak aloud, and tell her something neither of them wanted to hear, he stayed silent and nodded. He wanted to take her in his arms. He wanted another moment with her like earlier when he’d held her and kissed her. Her breath had breezed across his naked chest and for the first time in years, he could take a deep breath.

But it felt wrong now. Holding her in his arms was a promise that she’d always be there, and in order for her to always be there, he knew he had to tell her everything. And he couldn’t.

Not now.

Not yet.
Proserpina, Ripley. Finding Courage (The Searchers Book 4). Kindle Locarions (1279-1305). Kindle Edition.

As Nora and Cai’s relationship does some struggling, Apollo also comes to the realization that he wants, perhaps more, than Nora can give.

Then there’s more interference from Dr. Murray, a revelation from another Doctor who takes over Tyler’s care, the Thanksgiving invitation that can’t be ignored from Matisse’s Mom and Seok having some of his own fears surface.

There’s so much more that what I’ve mentioned. There is lots of heat, love, and emotion in this book. I couldn’t put it down.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!


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Coming Soon!


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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Finding Truth – The Searchers Book 3 By Ripley Proserpina


Finding Truth
The Searchers Book 3
By
Ripley Proserpina

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Matisse learned the pain of lies from those he loved…
can he learn to trust again?

Matisse Boudreau is the first to admit he’s not great at understanding people. Yet, one thing he knows is true, Nora Leslie is worth whatever puzzle he needs to solve. As Matisse and his best friends settle into their relationship with Nora, things become clearer—forces are at work to tear them apart.

Nora’s been participating in a strange and mysterious psychological study, but she can no longer ignore the voice inside her screaming that Dr. Daniel Murray is more than he seems, and he does not have her best interests at heart. When Nora pieces together the tragedies that seem to be dogging her, she comes to Matisse with her fears, and he’ll use all his genius to prove her instincts are right.

With Matisse, Apollo, Cai, Seok, and Ryan all working together, they’ll discover how truly dark the intentions of the doctor are, and how committed he is to keeping Nora in his sights.

I love this series and the development of the relationships between Nora and the guys. Each is different as are the guys. Nora seems to understand the quirks of them and that is what makes this so perfect.

In this book, Nora figures out something about the study she’s involved with as Cai finally gets to come home after a bout with Scarlet fever and Strep.

There’s much more here though, Matisse has been doing some illegal motorcycle racing and Nora is pissed when she finds out. The guys also realize that Nora needs to know everything about them. This is made even clearer when Matisse’s mother calls demanding an appearance at Thanksgiving. His story is not so much heartbreaking as it is undeniably an example of selfishness on the part of his father.

This is a favorite scene.

Expecting a full-on intervention, he was surprised when only Apollo was in the kitchen. “Hey,” the larger man greeted when Matisse came through the door.

“Hi,” he replied warily. Any second, he expected to hear his friends’ feet pounding down the stairs so they could surround him and demand answers.

“Don’t look so nervous. No one else is here. Nora’s sleeping, but she wants me to wake her up when you get in. Seok’s reading, and Ryan, overachiever, is doing homework. It’s just you and me.”

“Emissary?” Matisse asked and flung his body into a chair, affecting nonchalance.

“Sort of,” Apollo answered. “I wanted to talk to you because we’re in the same boat.”

“How is that?” Impossible. Apollo—perfect, generous, kind Apollo—and him? The king of the illegal? The go-to guy for all things sneaky?

“Because there are things we do on the shady side of legal, and Nora needs to learn about them. Will, or has, in your case. Why didn’t you tell me, man?” Matisse studied Apollo’s features. His mouth turned down, and his eyebrows drew together—he’d hurt Apollo’s feelings.

“What would you have said?”

“Don’t do it,” Apollo answered quickly. “Be smart. And I’d have had no right to say it, either, considering I’m training to pound some guy into the ground of a warehouse on the outskirts of town.”

“You still would have said it.”

Apollo chuckled at Matisse’s words. “Yeah. I would have. It’s my job as your friend.”

Resting his elbows on the table, he linked his fingers around the back of his head and shook it from side to side. What a mess he’d gotten himself into. And for nothing. Literally nothing. Unless. “We’re talking about the bike races, right?”

Apollo leaned forward, his arms flexing as he folded his hands. “Should we be talking about something else?”

Matisse sprawled back in the chair and shook his head. “No.”

“Everyone wants to talk to you.”

“I’m sure they do, but it’s really none of their business.”

Apollo unfurled, standing and stretching. It wasn’t an attempt to intimidate him, but a sign of his agitation. “You’re our business, Matisse. You guys are the only family I fucking have. Don’t brush it off like it’s nothing.”

“I know.” Deflating under Apollo’s effective guilt trip, he grabbed handfuls of his hair and tugged. “I’ll wake Nora. You want to get the guys? We can play whack-a-Matisse-mole.”

Without waiting to hear his friend’s response, he trudged through the dining room back to the stairs. The closer he got to Nora’s door, the more nervous he became. He felt like a little boy about to be disciplined, and it wasn’t an emotion he enjoyed. All of today, his anxiety had been out of control. For a moment, he considered the near-empty prescription he hadn’t needed since meeting Nora.

Carefully, he opened the door to her bedroom. The light in her closet was on, muted but illuminating her sleeping form. She curled beneath the covers, arms wrapped around her pillow. Mouth open, she coughed suddenly, and sniffled.

Gently, he smoothed his hand down her back. “Cher.” She stirred, breath hitching before her armed waved him away. Despite his worry about how she’d respond to his story, he chuckled. “Nora.”

One eye opened. Then another. “Hey,” she whispered and pushed herself up. Coughing again, she lifted her elbow to her mouth to catch it.

“Sorry. What time is it?”

“No idea,” he answered. “You’re sick?”

Her eyes widened, and he could see her doing a frantic inventory of her body. She sniffed and sniffed again. “Crap. Seok jinxed me.”

“Do you want to come downstairs? Apollo told me you all wanted to talk to me.”

She scrubbed her hands across her face and took the ever-present elastic from around her wrist to tie her hair on top of her head. “Yes.” The covers flew back, and she reached for a sweatshirt at the end of her bed. “Ready.”

“I’m not,” he muttered, unable to help himself.

“Tisse.” The light pressure of her hand on his arm stopped him. “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. I mean—the other option is telling the same story five times. In which case, I call dibs.”

He laughed, anxiety melting away in the face of her clear attempt at disarming him. It worked. Once she was in his arms, he hugged her tightly. He laid a gentle kiss next to her mouth. “You’re definitely getting sick. You have sick breath.”

“Matisse!” Horrified, she covered her mouth and pushed him out of the way to run down the hall and into the bathroom.

“Smooth.” Ryan appeared at the door. Leaning against the casing, he yawned into his shoulder. “Real smooth.”

“What? I wasn’t being mean. I was just letting her know.”
Proserpina, Ripley. Finding Truth (The Searchers Book 3). Kindle Locations (784-828).Kindle Edition.

There is much going on here, many things to resolve and not all the answers will be easy ones.

There’s Tyler who Cai needs to help, there’s the infamous Dr. Murray, relationship breakthroughs and so much more!

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

5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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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