Friday, July 31, 2015

Blog Tour: Before & After by Nazarea Andrews





Blurb:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.

They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. 

Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after. They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan. Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale. 

But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?



My Review




4.5 "Fish" & "Jokes" stars!!

This is my first book by Nazarea Andrews and it will not be my last! I loved this book and was pulled in right from the beginning.

 Peyton and Rike fell in love when she was in college. She has this vibe of a straightlaced good girl and he is the boy with the bad past that is a rocker. But that is all on the surface. Below that, these two are pieces of a puzzle that belong together.

 It is really hard to review this book without giving anything away. For that reason alone I have been struggling to write my review. I wrote one then erased it, only to start all over again.

 This book is told in Rike and Peyton's POV. Rike is the voice for the Before part and Peyton tells us the After story. This was really unique and allows us to learn so much about both characters and I feel like we get to fall in love with them this way. This was a beautiful book and I cannot wait to read more from this author! I do feel like I needed a little mor

e at the end but am still happy with things. I think I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to these characters. I really want to learn more about Scott and Lindsay, too. I really liked these two just as much as I liked the MCs!



BUY LINKS:
Kobo:  bit.ly/1D94gnL
Inktera: bit.ly/1MtT5Ii 


GIVEAWAY: 
Win a silver Ampersand necklace and a signed copy of BEFORE & AFTER. 



About the Author:

Nazarea AndrewsNazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.


Author Links:

Site - http://www.nazareaandrews.com/
Blog - http://www.nazarea-andrews.blogspot.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/NazareaAndrews
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nazarea-Andrews/43623123516
Street Team - https://www.facebook.com/groups/427502530700422/ 
Newsletter - http://eepurl.com/MtHwj  



Chapter Reveal: Screwed by Kendall Ryan

We are very excited for this brand new standalone from Kendall Ryan. 

Releasing on September 15 we get a peek at a sexy romantic comedy from the NYT Bestselling author. 






I have one rule: Don’t shit where you eat.

Several of the women in the condo complex I own would love some one-on-one playtime, and why wouldn’t they? I’m young, fit, attractive, and loaded. Not to mention I’m packing a sizable bulge below the belt. It’s a combination that drops panties on a regular basis. 

Yay, me, right?

But my cock, troublemaker that he is, has been confined to my trousers by my business partner. A concession I agreed to, and one that’s never been hard to enforce until Emery moves in across the hall. She’s smart, young, determined, and sexy as hell. I want a taste. I won’t stop until I’m buried deep inside the succulent new-in-town brunette.

After being warned about my past, she does her best to steer clear, but I’m about to show her that underneath it all, I’m a guy with a heart of gold and a cock of steel.

My name is Hayden Oliver, and this is my story.

SCREWED is standalone romantic comedy by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Kendall Ryan.









Chapter One
Hayden

Goddamn. This is going to be harder than I thought.
My eyes swing over to admire the most perfect pear-shaped ass I’ve ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on while my business partner Hudson continues lecturing me. I think it’s something important, but there’s nothing more urgent than my body’s reaction to this shapely brunette. Jesus. Those tits are definitely real.
“I mean it. Your cock is cut off this time,” Hudson says roughly, his tone biting.
Tearing my gaze away from the succulent new brunette moving into unit 4B, I face him. “Not literally cut off. I’m sort of attached to him. You realize that, right?”
“Well it’s on lock down then. No more of this bullshit. I had three calls this week alone from hysterical women – our tenants – who you, how do I put this delicately? You fucked and then left before their pussies were even dry.”
I smirk at him, but I can’t deny the accusation. We’re like the real life Melrose Place. Sexy young twenty-somethings all living in close proximity. There’s bound to be a little drama now and again. Together, Hudson and I own thirty buildings in the greater Los Angeles area. And some of our buildings have very fuckable tenants. Up until this point, I’d considered that a nice bonus, and a perk of the job. Hudson has apparently viewed it differently.
“Who’s that?” I ask, tipping my head toward the bombshell who’s responsible for all the blood rushing to my groin. Fuck. I should have a word with her about that, that’s not cool.
Hudson’s eyes swing to the left to see what, or rather, who has captured my attention. And who’s given me this semi-chub, which I hope he hasn’t noticed. We’re close, but we’re not that close.
“No, no, no. Don’t get any ideas. You’re not tagging that.”
She’s not close enough to overhear us, but I shoot him a scowl anyway. “Show some class, man. Tagging is such a juvenile word. I’d take my time, get her hot and ready first, until she was begging for me to fill her tight, little cunt.”
“I’m fucking serious. You’re not to even think about her tight cunt.”
“So you acknowledge she’s got a tight cunt?” I smile, proud of myself.
He wipes sweat from his brow, looking worried. “Hayden, I’m serious this time.” His voice has taken on a somber tone, and for once, I try to be serious and focus.
Watching the way the vein throbs in his neck, my smile fades. We’re standing outside of one of our nicest buildings just outside of downtown, and the mid-afternoon sun is beating down on us. Suddenly I want to get away from him, and away from this entire conversation and into the cool air conditioning inside. Shit has gotten a little too real for me.
“You know me,” I grin at him, trying to lighten the mood. “I just wanted to have some casual fun.” And if that meant sleeping my way through the LA singles scene, so be it. I’m not looking for something deeper. I have a luxury condo in the heart of the Hollywood Hills, drive a new model BMW and possess a nine-inch cock. Translation: Life is good. Or it was, until Hudson decided to get a bug up his ass and lay down the law today.
“Did you hear a word I just said? One of your latest conquests threatened to report our company to the Better Business Bureau for unethical business practices. This isn’t just about you. This affects me too. And I’ll be damned if I watch everything we’ve built go down in flames because you can’t keep your dick in your pants.”
“Point taken.” Hudson is pretty much the best friend, and best business partner you could ask for. He’s smart as hell, dedicated, works like a dog day and night. And not to mention when we began our real estate investment company five years ago, he single-handedly fronted all the start-up capital from his own savings and trust fund. It took me years to pay him back as the profits rolled in, and he never once made me feel lesser, or like I was in debt to him. Not to mention, he’s funny, well-off, and good looking. He’s an excellent wing-man. Plus he knows the best taco joints.
Unable to help myself, my eyes drift over to her again. 4B fills out a pair of yoga pants in ways that I doubt are even legal in most countries. I needed to know what was underneath those curve-hugging black athletic pants. Simple cotton panties, or a naughty g-string? Either way, I wanted to bury my fingers inside the waistband of those pants, peel them down her hips and find out. Perhaps it was because Hudson just made her forbidden fruit, but I wanted a taste. My damn mouth was practically watering.
She looked smart, and put together, despite her casual attire, including a tank top and tennis shoes. With a clipboard in one hand, and her trusty number two pencil in the other, she ticked items off of her list, and instructed the movers who were unloading and carrying boxes up to her new place – which just so happened to be directly underneath mine.
“You’re not going to last three minutes let alone three days.” Hudson grimaces, glancing over again at our newest resident.
“What do you know about her?”
He rolls his eyes, but humors me. “Emery Elaine Winters. She’s an attorney. Excellent references. Even better credit score, and she signed a one year lease. And she’s to remain in pristine condition, or so help me God …”
When I glance up at her again, I see Roxy, another of our residents has joined Emery on the sidewalk, and they appear to be making small talk. Shaking hands, exchanging words, and smiling at each other. There’s something I strongly dislike about these two women talking. Roxy is an exotic dancer, and she I have a bit of a rocky past. Which is a huge fucking understatement, but not something I care to dwell on now. Hudson mentions something about fourth quarter taxes, and I tune him out, sure I just heard my name on Roxy’s over-glossed lips.
“Excuse me, I’ve got business to attend to.” I step around him, heading straight toward my new prize. Roxy spots me, and takes off for the parking area.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Hudson calls after me.
“Just being neighborly. Someone’s got to properly welcome Miss Winters.”
“Dammit, Hayden,” I hear him shout.
“I’ve got this, buddy,” I shout back over my shoulder.
I can control myself around her. I have to, according to Hudson. I don’t like being told what to do, especially where my cock was concerned, and hell, it’ll probably only make me want her more, but as I close the distance between Emery and me, I make a plan.
Friends.
I would become friends with the so-hot-I-wanted-to-bend-her-over-and-fuck-her-in-broad-daylight new girl.  
This was either the best plan I’d ever had, or would end with me sporting a black eye, courtesy of my best friend.
It’s go time.











Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break.

She's a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.
Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com  for the latest book news, and fun extras














Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TEASER: Before & After by Nazarea Andrews

BA_TEASERBANNER
 

Today we are releasing teasers from BEFORE & AFTER by Nazarea Andrews. This book will be released tomorrow, July 30th, and it is a New Adult contemporary romance.

 

Click here to ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033]

BEFORE & AFTER BOOK BLURB:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant. They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after. They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan. Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale. But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?


                                       BA_Teaserday3



                                    BA_Teaserday3_2


  B&A_1DAY      

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

3486225

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.
AUTHOR LINKS:
InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Breaking All The Rules by Karen Erickson (Monica Murphy)

Breaking All the Rules
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb:
Stephanie Shaw is beyond desperate to gain her own column at San Francisco’s City magazine. Researching the hottest sexual fantasies of the young and single in the city sounds perfect. But she has one big problem: she has no one to put her extensive research to the test.

Sexy as sin former pro baseball superstar Justin “The Hawk” Hawkins values his privacy above all else. Recovering from a near fatal motorcycle accident that ended his career too soon, he’s laying low. He certainly didn’t expect to run into a gorgeous girl at a party—and proceed to have sex with her in a limo.

One taste and they can’t get enough. Soon they’re hooking up in all sorts of unusual places—and falling for each other. But Stephanie’s conflicted. Justin will hate her forever if he finds out she’s detailing their every sexual escapade in her anonymous column for all the city to read.

When the truth is revealed, will Justin be able to forgive Stephanie? Or will her deception tear them apart?


BUY LINK:



My Review

This book was super steamy(i.e SEXY) and I loved every minute of it! The sex was red hot and I really liked both main characters.

Stephanie is a writer for City magazine and is trying to get her own column at the magazine. Opportunity presents itself in the form of writing about the sexual exploits of a young, single, 20 something woman living in the city. This is out of Stephanie's comfort zone but she knows she can make it a hit if she can find the right man. And boy does she ever.

Of course, she doesn't find just any man, she finds Justin Hawkins, super private ex baseball player. Things sizzle between these two! And Stephanie's articles are a success. Even if no one knows they are hers. But I think we all know how this goes right? After all, isn't it hard to have amazing sex and not get attached? You can slowly see these two start to fall for each other and I admit I started to panic wondering what was going to happen when Justin found out about her articles.

The rest you will just have to find out for yourself. I do admit I think I would have liked a little more at the end but I really enjoyed this book and these characters!
4 stars!
***Complimentary Copy provided in exchange for an HONEST review. Thank you!***

View all my reviews


About the Author:
Monica  MurphyUSA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson lives in central California with her husband, three kids, one dog and too many cats. Being a romance writer and bringing her characters to life is her greatest dream come true.

She also writes new adult romance as NYT & USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy.

Karen's Facebook page:

http://facebook.com/karenericksonwrit...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Release Blitz: Truth & Temptation by Riley Edgewood





She's a liar. He knows the truth.
Teagan Walker gets around. Ask anyone—hell, ask her. She'll own it with a smile. But beneath that smile is a girl whose parents didn't want her. Whose grandparents raised her without affection. Whose struggle with a burning anger threatens to consume her, though she'd rather punch someone in the face than talk about it. With a new job looming, she's determined to work her way into a better life. When she meets the sexiest guy she's ever seen, she decides to kick it off with a bang. And she makes her move.

But he's got moves of his own, and before the night is out, he strips her of way more than she means to reveal—without removing a single piece of clothing. That comes, too, of course. He's gotten under her skin like nobody before him, and what's the harm in one night with a sexy stranger? Exposed or not, she never has to see him again.

Except she does.

On Monday morning, they come face-to-face. He's the son of her new CEO—and he threatens to bring her entire world crashing down, making her face every lie she's ever told.




AVAILABLE TODAY!
AMAZONBNKOBOiBOOKS





EXCERPT



"We should talk," he says, his tone serious enough to cancel out the pride I felt for my own a few seconds ago.
"About?" I keep my gaze on his for approximately half a second before I can't take it anymore and I study the mug in my hands instead. Tall and blue, ceramic. Probably not dishwasher safe.
"Last night."
My chest tightens. He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who'll be pissed we didn't bang… But I don't strike him as the type of girl who's named Teagan. We all have our secrets.
"Listen," I say. "About that… Sorry I passed out. I don't usually make promises I can't keep."
"You didn't make me any promises last night." His voice is sharp, and I can't help but look up. There's a muscle clenched in his jaw, his sexy, sexy shadowed jaw. "You don't owe me—or anyone else—anything."
"No shit." I don't get where he's going with this, or why.
I'm not sure he does either, because it takes him a few moments—and a few sips of coffee—to speak again.
"You told me—wait." He breaks off, shaking his head, and nervousness swirls into panic in the pit of my stomach. I told him what? A fake name? Does he know? When he looks at me again, his gaze is so direct it's startling. "You don't even know my real name. Let's start there."
Oh my God, he does want to discuss names. He knows I lied.
Should I tell him the truth? Laugh it off like I thought he knew I was joking?
He walks toward me and my stomach clenches for too many reasons to name.
I grip my coffee mug like it'll shield me from any awkwardness.
It's not working.
At all.
And then he's in front of me, watching me so studiously I slide a hand across my face in case there's something stuck there.
"I'm Alec," he says, sticking out his hand. I check for, but don't find, any scars on this one.
Don't tell me, is what I mean to say. But what slips out is, "I thought the girl last night called you Alex?"
"Probably to irritate me. We hold no particular fondness for one another." He says it casually, like it weighs nothing in his mind. Still, I wonder why—and am tempted to ask—but then he continues with, "Anyway. I'm Alec Chambers."
And his full name echoes through my brain, bouncing around and, instead of fading, growing louder with every iteration.
It's officially worse.
So. Much. Worse.
I know his name.
I know who he is.
"Cool." I take his hand, offering the limpest shake of my life and letting go as soon as possible. "Do you have any headache meds or anything?" I gulp my coffee so fast it scalds my throat. "Got a crucial hangover."
Got a crucial hangover? What am I? Some teenage surfer? Why don't I throw up a hang ten sign while I'm at it?
But he takes the bait. "Probably somewhere upstairs—I'll go check."
I don't even wait for the relief to hit. I get the hell out of his condo the second he's far enough away not to hear his door shut.
The glass elevator seems so much more appropriate this morning. Almost like the universe is handing me a dose of the snide sarcasm I use so spectacularly on my own. Everything I wanted to keep hidden is about to be made clear, whether I like it or not.
Fuck.
I went after a fairy tale, but I didn't get it—and the stupid fucking clock just struck twelve anyway. Here's my Cinderella moment, fleeing before I return to tatters before his eyes.
But this time, the prince won't need a glass slipper to find me.
Because Alec Chambers?
His father is the CEO of Chambers & Britt.
I know this for a fact because my starting position at the company is to be the second assistant to the CEO's son, while he's home for the summer, studying for his MBA from fucking Harvard. And that son's name? Yep. It's Alec Chambers.
I'll see him again on Monday.




EXTRA EXTRA

Anyone who enjoys TRUTH & TEMPTATION by Riley Edgewood, and shares their review on Amazon, B&N, etc. will receive two bonus scenes! All you have to do is email truthandtemptationbook@gmail.com!


You can also read the first six chapters ››› HERE 


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES...
Surf & Surrender: http://smarturl.it/aboutSS






ABOUT RILEY EDGEWOOD...




Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two.



FIND RILEY ON...
 Twitter † Instagram † Facebook author page † Facebook reader group † Website

Email: rileyedgewoodauthor@gmail.com









Enter, and you could win:

◆  a $25 Amazon gift card 
◆  an ALEX AND ANI Road to Romance charm bangle
◆  one of five signed paperbacks of Truth & Temptation








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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blog Tour: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle




Blurb:
On Sale July 28th!

From the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.


When I’m traveling, I feel like the secret to my life, to myself, to really becoming, is one step ahead. It’s in the next destination, the next town I get lost in, the next stranger I talk to. It’s always next but never here . . . 
After six months of backpacking and soul-searching across the world, Amber MacLean is flat broke. There are worse places for a twentysomething to be stuck than the Amalfi Coast, but the only way she can earn enough money for a plane ticket home to California is to teach English to two of the brattiest children she has ever met.
It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, the young master of the crumbling villa tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.
When her position turns into a full-time nanny gig, Amber grows dangerously closer to the enigmatic recluse. But can she give up the certainty of home for someone whose closely guarded heart feels a world apart from her own?

RACING THE SUN by Karina Halle

Atria Books | July 28, 2015 | Paperback ISBN 9781476796444, $15 | eBook ISBN 9781476796482, $7.99 | 384 pages

Get Your Copy!

Amazon's Kindle Store | Barnes & Noble| Blio | Books-a-Million | Google ebookstore | iBooks |Kobo


My Review
Karina Halle has done it again. Once again she has made me feel like I was in these beautiful places that I am sure I will never see and I have fallen in love with these places through her writing. 

One thing I have noticed with her past few books is how lyrical they all are and this one was no different. The writing sucked me into this world with Amber, Derio, Alfonso, and Anabella. A world I didn't want to leave. 

Amber is backpacking and ends up running short on funds so she sees and ad to teach English to these two children in Capri and ends up getting the job. I was very intrigued with this aspect espically seeing how difficult the children and Derio were. But I could see the walls coming down and loved every minute of it. 
I thought at first that I would not like Derio, but I was wrong. It was just little things at first and I started loving his character. The twins grew on me quickly too! 

But like all things in life, love can sometimes get messy, life can get messy. I really felt everything Amber was feeling during this part of the book and it broke my heart. I feel like I could say so much about this book. But I think going into it without anything but the blurb is enough. Just know that it is beautiful and real. 
This is why I love this side of Karina so much, it is so real and vivid. I cannot wait to read more in this genre by her. 

***ARC provided by the Publisher in exchange for an HONEST review. Thank you!!***

5 stars!!! 


Enter to Win!
Atria Indie Authors and Karina Halle are giving away: (1) grand prize of a $50 AMEX Gift Card + 1 signed copy of RACING THE SUN and 1 copy of WHERE SEA MEETS SKY….PLUS: (6) Runner Up Prizes of 1 signed copy of RACING THE SUN. Enter to win at http://gvwy.io/ok5i5nc

About the Author:

Karina Halle is the New York Times bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, The Pact, Love in English, and other wild and romantic reads. A former travel writer and music journalist, she lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails, and devours a lot of books.

Find Karina Online
Twitter: @MetalBlonde
Instagram: @AuthorHalle



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Release Blitz: Ruin & Rule by Pepper Winters






Meet Killian in Pepper Winter’s new MC Romance!
NOW AVAILABLE
Google Play:http://bit.ly/1LQNjRE





Blurb
"We met in a nightmare. The in-between world where time had no power over reason. We fell in love. We fell hard. But then we woke up. And it was over . . ."

RUIN & RULE

She is a woman divided. Her past, present, and future are as twisted as the lies she's lived for the past eight years. Desperate to get the truth, she must turn to the one man who may also be her greatest enemy . . .

He is the president of Pure Corruption MC. A heartless biker and retribution-deliverer. He accepts no rules, obeys no one, and lives only to reap revenge on those who wronged him. And now he has stolen her, body and soul.

Can a woman plagued by mystery fall in love with the man who refuses to face the truth? And can a man drenched in darkness forgo his quest for vengeance-and finally find redemption?

"Ruin & Rule is a full-length book at 436 pages and ends on a cliffhanger. Cleo and Kill's story continues in SIN & SUFFER."



Prologue
We met in a nightmare.
The in-between world where time had no power over rhyme, reason, or connection. We met. We stared. We knew.
There was no distortion from the outside world. No right or wrong. No confusion or battles from hearts and minds.
Just us. In our silent dreamworld.
That nightmare became our home. Planting ghosts, raising fantasies. Entwined together in our happily skewed reality.
We fell in love. We fell hard.
In those fleeting seconds of our nightmare, we lived an eternity.
But then we woke up.
And it was over.

Chapter One
I always believed life would grant rewards to those most worthy. I was fucking na├»ve. Life doesn’t reward—it ruins. It ruins those most deserving and takes everything. It takes everything all while watching any remaining goodness rot to hate.
—Kill
[ORN_SB]
Darkness.
That was my world now. Literally and physically.
The back of my skull hurt from being knocked unconscious. My wrists and shoulders ached from lying on my back with my hands tied behind me.
Nothing was broken—at least it didn’t feel that way—but everything was bruised. The fuzziness receded wisp by wisp, parting the clouds of sleep, trying to shed light on what’d happened. But there was no light. My eyes blinked at the endless darkness from the mask tied around my head. Anxiety twisted my stomach at having such a fundamental gift taken away.
I didn’t move, but mentally catalogued my body from the tips of my toes to the last strand of hair on my head. My jaw and tongue ached from the foul rag stuffed in my mouth and my nose permitted a shallow stream of oxygen to enter—just enough to keep me alive.
Fear tried to claw its way through my mind, but I shoved it away. I deliberately suppressed panic in order to assess my predicament rather than lose myself to terror.
Fear never helps, only hinders.
My senses came back, creeping tentatively, as if afraid whoever had stolen me would notice their return.
Sound: the squeak of brakes, the creak of a vehicle settling from motion to stopping.
Touch: the skin on my right forearm stung, throbbing with a mixture of soreness and sharpness. A burn perhaps?
Smell: dank rotting vegetables and the astringent, pungent scent of fear—but it wasn’t mine. It was theirs.
It wasn’t just me being kidnapped.
My heart flurried, drinking in their terror. It made my breath quicken and legs itch to run. Forcing myself to ignore the outside world, I focused inward. Clutching my inner strength where calmness was a need rather than a luxury.
I refused to lose myself in a fog of tears. Desperation was a curse and I wouldn’t succumb, because I had every intention of being prepared for what might happen next.
I hated the sniffles and stifled sobs of others around me. Their bleak sadness tugged at my heartstrings, making me fight with my own preservation, replacing it with concern for theirs.
Get through this, then worry about them.
I didn’t think this was a simple opportunistic snatch. Whoever had stolen me planned it. The hunch grew stronger as I searched inside for any liquor remnants or the smell of cigarettes.
Had I been at a party? Nightclub?
Nothing.
I hadn’t been stupid or reckless. I think…
No hint or clue as to where I’d been or what I’d been doing when they’d come for me.
I wriggled, trying to move away from the stench. My bound wrists protested, stinging as the rope around them gnawed into my flesh like twine-beasts. My ribs bellowed, along with my head. There was no give in my restraints. I stopped trying to move, preserving my energy.
I tried to swallow.
No saliva.
I tried to speak.
No voice.
I tried to remember what happened.
I tried to remember…
Panic.
Nothing.
I can’t remember.
“Get up, bitch,” a man said. Something jabbed me in the ribs. “Won’t tell you again. Get.”
I froze as my mind hurtled me from present to past.
I’ll miss you so much,” she wailed, hugging me tighter.
“I’m not dying, you know.” I tried to untangle myself, looking over my shoulder at the final call flashing for my flight. I hated being late for anything. Let alone my one chance at escaping and finding out the truth once and for all.
“Call me the moment you get there.”
“Promise.” I drew a cross over my heart—
The memory shattered as my horizontal body suddenly went vertical in one swoop.
Who was that girl? Why did I have no memory of it ever happening?
“I said get up, bitch.” The man breathed hard in my ear, sending a waft of reeking breath over me. The blindfold stole my sight, but it left my nose woefully unprotected.
Unfortunately.
My captor shoved me forward. The ground was steady beneath my feet. The sickness plaiting with my confusion faded, leaving me cold.
My legs stumbled in the direction he wanted me to go. I hated shuffling in the darkness, not knowing where I came from or where I was being herded. There were no sounds of comfort or smothered snickers. This wasn’t a masquerade.
This was real.
This is real.
My heart thudded harder, fear slipping through my defenses. But full-blown terror remained elusive. Slippery like a silver fish, darting on the outskirts of my mind. It was there but fleeting, keeping me clear-headed and strong.
I was grateful for that. Grateful that I maintained what dignity I had left—remaining strong even in the face of the unknown terrors lurking on the other side of my blindfold.
Moans and whimpers of other women grew in decibels as men ordered them to follow the same path I walked. Either death row or salvation, I had no choice but to inch my way forward, leaving my forgotten past behind.
I willed snippets to come back. I begged the puzzlement of my past to slot into place, so I could make sense of this horrible world I’d awoken in.
But my mind was locked to me. A fortress withholding everything I wished to know.
The pushing stopped. So did I.
Big mistake.
“Move.” A cuff to the back of my head sent me wheeling forward. I didn’t stop again. My bare feet traversed…wood?
Bare feet?
Where are my shoes?
The missing knowledge twisted my stomach.
Where did I come from?
How did I end up here?
What’s my name?
It wasn’t the terror of the unknown future that stole my false calmness. It was the fear of losing my very self. They’d stolen everything. My triumphs, my trespasses, my accomplishments and failures.
How could I deal with this new world if I didn’t know what skills I had to stay alive? How could I hope to defeat my enemy when my mind revolted and locked me out?
Who am I?
To have who I was deleted…It was unthinkable.
“Faster, bitch.” Something cold wedged against my spine, pushing me onward. With my hands behind my back, I shuffled faster, negotiating the ground as best I could for dips or trips.
“Step down.” The man grabbed my bound wrists, giving me something to lean against as my toes navigated the small steps before me.
“Again.”
I obeyed.
“Last one.”
I managed the small staircase without falling flat on my face.
My face.
What do I look like?
A loud scraping noise sounded before me. I shied back, bumping against a feminine form. The woman behind me cried out—the first verbal sound of another.
“Move.” The pressure on my lower back came again, and I obeyed. Inching forward until the stuffy air of old vegetables and must was replaced by…copper and metallic…blood?
Why…why is that so familiar?
I gasped as my mind free-fell into another memory.
“I don’t think I can do this.” I darted away, throwing up in the rubbish bin in the classroom. The unique stench of blood curdled my stomach.
“Don’t overthink it. It’s not what you’re doing to the animal to make it bleed. It’s what you’re doing to make it live.” My professor shook his head, waiting for me to swill out my mouth and return white-faced and queasy to the operation in progress.
My heart splintered like a broken piece of glass, reflecting the compassion and responsibility I felt for such an innocent creature. This little puppy that’d been dumped in a plastic bag to die after being shot with BB gun pellets. He’d survive only if I mastered the skills to stem his internal bleeding and embrace the vocation I was called to do.
Inhaling the scent of blood, I let it invade my nostrils, scald my throat, and impregnate my soul. I drank its coppery essence. I drenched myself in the smell of the creature’s life force until it no longer affected me.
Picking up a scalpel, I said, “I’m ready—”
“Holy fuck!” The man guiding me forward suddenly whacked the base of my spine. The hard pain shoved me forward and I tripped.
“Wire—get me fucking reinforcements. He’s started a motherfucking war!”
Wind and body motion swarmed me as men charged from behind. The darkness I lived in suddenly came alive with sound.
Bullets flew, impaling themselves into the metal sides of the vehicle I’d just stepped from. Pings and ricochets echoed in my ear. Curses bellowed; moans of pain threaded like a breeze.
Someone grabbed my arm, swinging me to the side. “Get down!” The inertia of his throw knocked me off balance. With my wrists bound together, I had nothing to grab with, no way to protect myself from falling.
I fell.
My stomach swooped as tumbled off a small platform and smashed against the ground.
Dirt, damp grass, and moldy leaves replaced the stench of blood, cutting through the cloying sharpness of spilled metallic. My mouth opened, gasping in pain. Blades of grass tickled my lips as my cheek stuck to wet mud.
My shoulder screamed with agony, but I ignored the new injury. My mind clung to the unlocked memory. The fleeting recollection of my profession.
I’m a vet.
The sense of homecoming and security that one little snippet brought was priceless. My soul snarled for more, suddenly ravenous for missing information.
I skipped straight from fumbling uncertainty into starvation for more.
Tell me! Show me. Who am I?
I searched inside for more clues. But it was like trying to grab on to an elusive dream, fading faster and faster the harder I chased.
I couldn’t remember anything about medicine or how to heal. All I knew was I’d been trained to embrace the scent of blood. I wasn’t afraid of it. I didn’t faint or suffer sickness at the sight of it pouring from an open wound.
That tiniest knowledge was enough to settle my prickling nerves and focus on the outside world again.
Battle cries. Men screaming. Men growling. The dense thuds of fists on flesh and the horrible deflection of gunshots.
I couldn’t understand. Had I fallen through time and entered an alternate dimension?
Another body landed on top of mine.
I cried out, winded from a sharp poke of an elbow to my ribs.
The figure rolled away, crying softly. Feminine.
Why aren’t I crying?
I once again searched for fear. It wasn’t natural not to be afraid. I’d woken up alone, stolen, and thrown into the middle of a war, yet I wasn’t hyperventilating or panicked.
My calmness was like a drug, oozing over me, muting the sharp starkness of my situation. It was bearable if I embraced courage and the knowledge that I was strong.
My hands balled, grateful for the thought. I didn’t know who I was, but it didn’t matter, because the person who I was in this moment mattered the most.
I had to remain segmented, so I could get through whatever was about to happen. All I had was gut instinct, quiet strength, and rationality. Everything else had been taken.
“Stop fighting, you fucking idiots!”
The loud growl rumbled like an earthquake, hushing the battle in one fell swoop. Whoever had spoken had power.
Immense power. Colossal power.
A shiver darted over my skin.
“What the fuck happened? Have you lost your goddamn lovin’ mind?” a man yelled.
A sound of a short scuffle, then the fresh whiff of tilled dirt graced my nose.
“It’s done. Throw down your weapons and bend a fucking knee.” The same earthquake rumbled. The weight of his command pushed me harder against the damp ground.
“I’m not bending nothing, you asshole. You aren’t my Prez!”
“I am. Have been for the past four years.”
“You’re not. You’re his bitch. Don’t think his power is yours.”
Another fight—muffled fists and kicks. It ended swiftly with a painful groan.
The earthquake voice came again. “Open your eyes and follow the red fucking river. Your chosen—the one you hand-picked to slaughter me and take over the Club—he’s dead. Did you ever stop to think Wallstreet made me Prez for a fucking reason?”
Another moan.
“I’m the chosen one. I’m the one who knows the family secrets, absorbed the legacy, and earned his way into power. You don’t know shit. Nobody does. So bend a fucking knee and respect.”
Another tremor ran down my back.
Silence for a time, apart from the squelch of boots and heavy breathing. Then a barely muttered curse. “You’ll die. One way or another, we won’t put up with a Dagger as a Prez. We’re the Corrupts, goddammit. Having a traitor rule us is a fucking joke.”
“I’m the traitor? The man who obeys your leader? Who guides in his stead? I’m the traitor when you try and rally my brothers in a war?” A heavy thud of a fist connected with flesh. “No…I’m not. You are.”
My mind raced, sucking up noises and forming wild conclusions of what happened before me. Was this World War Three? Was this the apocalypse of the life I couldn’t remember? No matter how I pieced it together, I couldn’t make sense of anything.
The air was thick with anticipation. I didn’t know how many men stood before me. I didn’t know how many corpses littered the ground, or how such violence could be permitted in the world I used to know. But I did know the cease-fire was fragile and any moment it would explode.
A single threat slithered through the grass like a snake. “I’ll kill you, motherfucker. Mark my words. The true Corrupts are just waiting to take you out.”
The gentle foot-thuds of someone large vibrated through the ground. “The Corrupts haven’t existed for four fucking years. The moment I took the seat, it’s been Pure Corruption all the way. And you’re not fucking pure enough for this Club. You’re done.”
I flinched as the sulfuric boom of a gun ripped through the stagnant air.
A crash as a body fell lifeless to the grass. A soft puff of a soul escaping.
Murder.
Murder was committed right before me.
The inherent need to nurture and heal—the part of me that was as steadfast as the beat of my heart—wept with regret.
Death was something I’d fought against on a daily basis, but now I was weaponless.
I hated that a life had been stolen right before me. That I hadn’t been able to stop it.
I’m a witness.
And yet, I’d witnessed nothing.
I’d been privy to a battle but seen nothing. Knew no one. I would never be able to tell who shot whom, or who was right and who was wrong.
My hands shook, even though I managed to stay eerily calm. Am I in shock? And if I was, how did I cure myself?
The woman beside me curled into a ball, her knees digging into my side. My first reaction was to repel away from the touch. I didn’t know who was friend or foe. But a second reaction came quickly; the urge to share my calmness—to let her know that no matter what happened, she wasn’t alone. We faced the same future—no matter how grim.
Voices cascaded over us, whispers mainly, quickly spoken orders. Every sound was heightened. Being robbed of sight made my body seek other ways in which to find clues.
“Get rid of the bodies before daybreak.”
“We’ll go back and make sure we’re still covered.”
“Send out the word. It’s over. The Prez won—no anarchy today.”
Each voice was distinct but my ears twitched only for one: the earthquake rumble that set my skin quivering like quicksand.
He hadn’t spoken since he’d condemned someone to death and pulled the trigger. Every second of not hearing him made my heart trip faster. I wasn’t afraid. I should be. I should be immobile with fear. But he invoked something in me—something primal. Just like I knew I was female and a vet, I knew his voice meant something. Every inch of me tensed, waiting for him to speak. It was wrong to crave the voice of a killer, but it was the only thing I wanted.
Needed.
I need to know who he is.
Wet mud sucked loudly against boots as they came closer.
The woman whimpered, but I angled my chin toward the sound, wishing my eyes were uncovered.
I wanted to see. I wanted to witness the carnage before me. Because it was carnage. The stench of death confirmed it. It was morbid to want to see such destruction, but without my sight all of this seemed like a terrible nightmare. Nothing was grounded—completely nonsensical and far too strange.
I needed proof that this was real.
I needed concrete evidence that I wasn’t mad. That my body was intact, even if my mind was not.
I sucked in a breath as warm fingers touched my cheek, angling my face upward and out of the mud. Strong hands caressed the back of my skull, fumbling with my blindfold.
The anticipation of finally getting my wish to see made me stay still and cooperative in his hold.
I didn’t say a word or move. I just waited. And breathed. And listened.
The man’s breath was heavy and low, interspersed with a quick catch of pain. His fingers were swift and sure, but unable to hide the small fumble of agony.
He’s hurt.
The pressure of the blindfold suddenly released, trading opaque darkness for a new kind of gloom.
Night sky. Moonshine. Stars above.
Anchors of a world I knew, but no recognition of the dark-shrouded industrial estate where blood gleamed silver-black and corpses dotted the field.
I’m alive.
I can see.
The joy at having my eyes freed came and went as blazing as a comet.
Then my life ended as our gazes connected.
Green to green.
I have green eyes.
Down and down I spiraled, deeper and deeper into his clutches.
My life—past, present, and future—lost all purpose the second I stared into his soul.
The fear I’d been missing slammed into my heart.
I quivered. I quaked.
Something howled deep inside with age-old knowledge.
Every part of me arched toward him, then shied away in terror.
Him.
A nightmare come to life.
A nightmare I wanted to live.
If life was a tapestry, already threaded and steadfast, then he was the scissors that cut me free. He tore me out, stole me away, changed the whole prophecy of who I was meant to be.
Jaw-length dark hair, tangled and sweaty, framed a square jaw, straight nose, and full lips. His five-o’clock stubble held remnants of war, streaked with dirt and blood. But it was his eyes that shot a quivering arrow into my heart, spreading his emerald anger.
He froze, his body curving toward mine. Blistering hope flickered across his features. His mouth fell open and love so achingly deep glowed in his gaze. “What—” A leg gave out, making him kneel beside me. His hands shook as he cupped my face, his fingers digging painfully into my cheekbones. “It’s not—”
My heart raced. Yes.
“You know me,” I breathed.
The moment my voice webbed around us, storm clouds rolled over the sunshine in his face, blackening the hope and replacing it with pure hatred.
He changed from watching me like I was his angel to glowering as if I were a despicable devil.
I shivered at the change—at the iciness and hardness. He breathed hard, his chest rising and falling. His lips parted, a rumbling command falling from his mouth to my ears. “Stand up. You’re mine now.”
When I didn’t move, his hand landed on my side. His touch was blocked by clothing but I felt it everywhere. He stroked my soul, tickled my heart, and caressed every cell with fingers that despised me.
I couldn’t suck in a proper breath.
With a vicious push, he rolled me over, and with a sharp blade sliced my bindings. With effortless power, so thrilling and terrifying, he hauled me to my feet.
I didn’t sway. I didn’t cry. Only pulled the disgusting gag from my mouth and stared in silence.
I stared up, up, up into his bright green eyes, understanding something I shouldn’t understand.
This was him.
My nightmare.


My Review

I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It was actually pretty different than I had expected but I liked how things turned out.

I really don't want to give anything away. It makes the story that much better and aggravating. 

After waking up and realizing she's been kidnapped, our heroine realizes she has no memory at all of who she is. Not even her name. This was really fascinating to me. Certain things she could remember but not much. Anyways our hero is the prez of Pure Corruption and he awakes this awareness in our heroine. Her soul recognizes him but that's all. 

Our hero, can we call him that, was better than I thought he would be. But he still pissed me off a lot and for awhile he had me thinking they were both nuts. 

Like I said, I don't want to spoil at all. There are still so many unanswered questions. I'm still trying to piece the information given together. This does end on a cliffhanger but not too bad of one. There are also flashbacks but they added to the story and I enjoyed reading those. 

I need book 2 soon though!!

***ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. Thank you!***


4 stars! 



About the Author:



Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex... her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

Her Dark Erotica books include:
Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)
Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)

Her Grey Romance books include:
Destroyed

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