Monday, 24 March 2014

Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Dutton Adult
Published: 4 June 2013
Series: Age of X #1
Genre: Dystopia
Format: ebook
Source: Own Copy
Rating: 2 out of 5
Book Buy Links: AmazonUK / Amazon US

Blurb
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of Xseries, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

Review
First of all let me say that I didn’t finish this book, I only made it to 39%, so my review and rating is on the part that I read.

I had a problem with this book for the get go and that problem was the world building. GotG is set in the future but we are not told anything about this new world. Now I hate it when an author dumps a load of info on you but some background knowledge wouldn’t go a miss, but we aren’t told anything. Now up to the point where I read you get a vague idea of what is going on but not enough and this is a shame because it looks to be an interesting future.

The next thing that didn’t grab me were the characters. Justin, I didn’t particularly like and Mae was just nothing, I didn’t like her but I didn’t dislike her also. Maybe this is to do with where they geographically grew up because one of the other characters in the story, Tessa, grew up in a different region was very likeable. The story is also told from the third person POV which I don’t think helped at all.

The last thing was the actual murder plot. This felt like a back story and was so insignificant that I forgot all about it until it was mentioned again. Then I would be all ‘oh yes they are meant to be solving a murder’.

Whilst reading I felt rather mechanical in turning the pages rather than wanting to know what is going to happen next. I found that my attention drifted and finally I decided life was too short to read books that don’t hook me when there are so many other books out there that will. Maybe this is just a case of it’s me not you because I one of my friends has read GotG and loved it. With that I am giving this book 2 stars.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Review: Adam's Apple by Liv Morris

Published: 30 July 2013
Series: Touch of Tantra #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook
Source: Own Copy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Book Buy Links: AmazonUK / Amazon US

Blurb
Uniquely told in Adam's point of view. Warning: Contains adult situations intended for readers eighteen and over.

"I take cocky, rich boys like you and teach them how to make love to women until they're barely able to mutter a word. Completely and utterly blissed. That's really what separates the men from the boys, Mr. Kingsley. Sex as an art form versus f**king for a release." - Kathryn.

Adam Kingsley reigns as the young prince of Manhattan. Everything he touches turns to gold, making him the envy of Wall Street. Women swoon at his feet, money is no object, and his killer good looks are as wicked as sin. A dangerous trifecta that allows him to possess anything or anyone he desires.

What more could a thirty-two-year-old man wish for? Maybe that his life never changes and his murky past stays far away... Sounds reasonable, yet life seldom is.

Kathryn Delcour is an alluring socialite with unique erotic tastes who helps others find true sexual fulfillment. When she suddenly appears on the New York City social scene, Adam finds this complex woman too tempting to resist. He will stop at nothing to have her, yet she is warned to stay away from him and his player ways. Kathryn tries to keep him at arm's length, but her arms may not be strong enough to hold the charismatic Adam Kingsley at bay.

The passionate lure of ancient sexual practices, a past that isn't content to remain buried and a present filled with intrigue, danger and revenge. An erotic story sweetened with secrets, seduction, and suspense.

Review
Adam’s Apple is about the billionaire Adam Kingsley but it isn’t your usual tale of a billionaire. He isn’t your BDSM control freak for a start. This book is also told from Adam’s POV which I found refreshing and it also helped the story not to be another billionaire book. Adam has everything he wants a successful company, fantastic lifestyle and beautiful girls on tap to fulfil his one night stands. That is until he meets Kathryn Delcour and Adam comes undone. With Kathryns’s help he faces his past and realises that he has actually been missing out on life and his lifestyle isn’t that great at all. Finally Adam has met a woman who he wants to see more than for just one night.

I enjoyed Adam’s Apple, I really enjoyed reading it from Adam’s POV but it didn’t grab me. The characters are well written and likeable but the plot wasn’t exciting/engaging enough for me. There are a few steamy scenes but not enough for me to class this as Erotica but they are enjoyable. There is a cliffhanger but the next book is out so there is no waiting but I’m not sure if I will read the next one. Even as I am writing this I want to go and purchase it immediately but then I think about all the other books that I’ve got and I think nah. What I do what to mention is the cover as I think it is gorgeous. I am giving Adam’s Apple 3.5 stars.
 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Deliver by Pam Godwin

Thank you for joining me and Pam Godwin today on the blog tour for her latest Dark Romance book Deliver.  Thanks to Amber's Reading Room for organizing the tour.  Today I have a review for you along with an excerpt from the book Deliver and a chance to enter the tour wide giveaway.

Published: 24 February 2014
Genre: Dark Romance
Format: eARC
Source: From the author for an honest review
Rating: 4 out of 5
Book Buy Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US / B&N

Blurb
His name was Joshua Carter. Now it's whatever she wants it to be.

She is a Deliverer.

She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.

As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.

Delivering is all she knows.

The one thing she can't deliver is a captive from slavery.

Until him.

And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her...from herself.

Romantic Thriller
Stand Alone (no cliff-hanger). The sequel is coming Summer 2014.
Content warning: Graphic sex, violence, and psychological abuse. Age 18+ only.

Review
Liv is the Deliverer, she chooses men who she then kidnaps and breaks, ready for them to start a life as a slave.  She does this because she has too, because she has no choice other than doing this. Her latest victim is different than her normal choice though.  Josh Carter has friends and family who will miss him when he is stolen but Josh fits the bill of what the client wants so Liv has no choice but to take Josh.

Josh is a virgin ready to give his life to the Church and God, then one day he is lured into captivity by the beautiful Liv.  Josh can see through Liv though and he is determined to break down her walls in the hope that she will free him.

I love Dark Romance, captive/captor stories but I haven't read one yet where the captor was female and the captive was male.  To be honest I found it a bit uncomfortable to read such a big strong male reduced to slave like status by a female.  I also found the beginning of the book very dark indeed.  Nothing is left to the imagination of how Liv deals with Josh's initial captivity and I lived through every terrible moment he endures.

At one point I wasn't sure whether I could carry on with the book as I did find some of the scenes difficult to read.  At one point it got to me so much that I desperately craved a happy ending something that I've never ever bothered about before.  The story does change direction towards the end of the book and I found this a little disappointing which is why I am not giving Deliver full marks.  I would have preferred Ms Godwin to have stuck to the original feel of the book.  Some things like Josh's, erm shall we say 'needs' were just a little contrived for me.

I recommend Deliver and if you like Dark Romance then definitely pick this one up.  I am giving Deliver 4 out of 5.

Excerpt
On his back, muscles bared, bound, and stretched the full length of the box, he was an erotic picture. She was a criminal, and as ashamed as she was by that, the disgusting, fucked-up part of her anticipated spending the next ten weeks touching every inch of this man.

She dragged her gaze from his body to his face, and guilt slammed into her.

He stared up at her with so much pain in his eyes. “Don’t hurt my parents.”

Her gut twisted. She knew that pain, lived it every day. She leaned in, lips hovering a breath away, and repeated what Mr. E had said to her. “That’s up to you.”

Resolve hardened his face. She knew that emotion, too. Her time in the box was permanently carved in memory, which had made Van’s threats of returning her there an effective form of control in her training.

Tendrils of resentment coiled around her throat. To dwell on her or the boy’s predicament would only bring irresponsible hesitation. So she did what she always did to distract her thoughts.

She reached into the cold place inside her, searching for something yearning she could sing with dispassion. The beginning verses of “What It Is” by Kodaline fell past her lips and shivered through the room. She sang with an icy pitch as she removed a blindfold from the trunk by the box and tied it over his wide, glaring eyes.

To deprive smell, a swimmer’s nose plug went on next. He could breathe through his mouth, and the cracks in the box allowed airflow, but it wouldn’t feel that way to him once she shut the lid.

The skin on his face was hot and damp, the muscles beneath jerking against her fingers. She continued to sing as she cuffed headphones over his ears, plugged them into the tablet outside of the box, and activated the timer. Twenty minutes of heart-hammering silence.

The music in her voice strangled, stopped. Twenty minutes alone with his thoughts. Then the misery would begin.

“It’s just the way it is,” she murmured with an ache in her throat.

His body was motionless, but she didn’t miss the goosebumps creeping across his skin or the slight tremor in his cheeks. The sudden desire to comfort him drew her closer, bending her at the waist, until her mouth brushed his, softly, unjustly. His lips pulled away in a quiver that she felt throughout her body.

She straightened and rubbed her breastbone, unable to soothe the ache beneath it. “I’m so sorry.” A whisper, too low to pass through the earphones.

Then she closed the lid.

Book Trailer


Author Bio
Pam Godwin lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.

Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.


Author Links

Giveaway
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Monday, 17 March 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Uncovering You by Scarlet Edwards

Thank you for joining me and Scarlett Edwards today courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours for the Blog Tour for Uncovering You, the first in a new Dark Romance series.  Please don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end.

Published: 27 March 2014
Series: Uncovering You #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Bewtiching Book Tours
Rating: 5 out of 5

Blurb
When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what's waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.

Reality is much worse:

A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.

I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:

J.S.

Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:

Resist and die.

Or submit, and sign my life away.

Review
Wow! I devoured and loved this one. 

Lilly Ryder is a 23 year old Yale University student who is taking out a year long sabbatical.  She wakes up confused in a large room and a marble column.  With a spotlight upon her and shadows at the edge of the room Lilly has no idea where she is or why she is there.  She finds an envelope written by her captor which asks her for 5 years of her life and a contract which she must sign in order to get any privileges.  The letter is signed JS, something that rings a bell in Lilly's memory.  With nothing to do but think and remember, Lilly uses the time to tell us her story through a series of flashbacks that bring us to present day and who her kidnapper is.

I was a bit confused with the flashbacks at first but they tell the story beautifully with each memory revealing more about Lilly's situation.  Uncovering You wasn't that dark but as it is a novella of about 125 pages there wasn't really time for the dark stuff to happen.  Don't get me wrong though, it isn't filled with bunnies and rainbows either.

This series is going to be released with a novella every three weeks and I cannot wait for book 2. If you love Dark Romance I highly recommend Uncovering You and I am giving it the full 5 stars.


Excerpt
“Lilly.”

Oh God. It’s him. There’s no mistaking that rich, masculine treble.

What’s he doing down here?

“M-Mr. Stonehart,” I stutter, turning. I curse my inability to hide my surprise. He totally caught me off-guard. I have to look up to meet his eyes. Then up some more.

The face that I find is so striking it should belong to a Greek god.

He’s younger than I expected. Late thirties, maybe early forties.

That means he started his company when he was younger than me!

Dark scruff lines his angular cheeks. His jet-black hair is styled in long, natural waves. My fingers itch to run through it.

Totally inappropriate.

He has a prominent nose that might be too big on a less imposing man, but on him, it’s perfect.

In short, he’s a package of the purest masculinity I’ve ever seen.

And then there are his eyes. Oh my God. His eyes. They pierce into me like honing missiles. They are the deepest black I have ever seen. They would be frightening if they weren’t so beautiful. When the light reflects a certain way, you catch a glimpse of the purple underneath.

They are like midnight sapphires. His eyes reveal a cunning intellect. Those eyes do not miss a thing.

Add all that to his towering height, his wide shoulders, his confident-yet-at-ease posture… and Stonehart cuts an intimidating figure.

My gaze darts to his left hand before I can stop it. No ring. He’s unmarried.

He looks down at me, expectantly. His eyes narrow ever so slightly, and I feel like I’m being dissected, measured up, and tucked away in some small corner of his brain. I imagine this is what a gemstone feels like under the magnifying class of the most critical appraiser.

Stonehart clears his throat. I come to with a start, realizing I haven’t said anything in ages. I open my mouth, but the capacity for speech seems like a foreign concept to my brain. “I—”

Somebody bumps into me from behind. I stagger forward. I’m not used to these shoes, so my heel steps the wrong way. My ankle twists under me, and I start to fall.

I don’t fall far. The hand still on my elbow tightens, and Stonehart pulls me into him.

I plaster myself onto the solid steel wall the man has for a body. I catch a scent of his cologne. It’s a deep, musky smell with a hint of charred spruce that is all male. It scrambles my thoughts even more.

“Sorry!” a rushed voice calls out. From the corner of my eye, I see the postman giving a hurried, apologetic wave.

Although the sequence lasts less than a second, it feels like an eternity. Pressed up against him like that, I don’t want to move. I know that I couldn’t have made a worse first impression.

Stonehart eases me off him with a firm yet gentle grip. Our eyes meet. I flush the most vibrant red. His fingers graze my forehead as he brushes a lock of hair out of my face.

Any tenderness I may have imagined vanishes when Stonehart takes out his cell. He long dials a key and growls an order. “Steven. See the delivery boy leaving right now? Have his building pass revoked.”

I gape. Stonehart keeps speaking. “Wait. I thought of one better. Bar his company from accessing the building.” There’s a pause. “For how long? Indefinitely. FedEx can talk to me when they have an improved employee selection program in place.”

The phone call gives me just enough time to compose myself. My heart’s still beating out of my chest. But nobody has to know that.

I speak without thinking. “You’re going to restrict the entire company from serving this building because of that?”

Stonehart humors me with an answer. “A company’s employees are its most important asset. Their behavior reflects the organization as a whole. If FedEx decided that clown is good enough for them, it tells me they’re sloppy. I do not do business with sloppy organizations.”

“What about the other tenants in the building?” I ask. “Won’t that piss them off?”

When I hear myself and realize how improper my question is, my cheeks flame red again.

Stonehart’s eyes darken, as if he cannot believe I asked that question. I open my mouth to apologize for my imprudence, hating the way my professional skills have evaporated into thin air. I’m cut off by a short, barked laugh.

“Miss Ryder.” He sounds amused. “I believe that is the most direct and honest question anybody has dared ask me in weeks.” He takes my elbow again and leads me to the elevators. I have to take two quick steps to match one of his long strides.

“Yes,” he continues. “They will be ‘pissed off.’ But the perk of owning a building—” he hits the elevator call button, “—is that you get to make executive decisions.” He gives me an unreadable glance as the doors open. “That is, at the risk of being questioned by inexperienced interns.”

If that isn’t a loaded remark, I don’t know what is. I flush scarlet red for the third time since I’ve met him. I’ve never had a man throw me so off balance.

The elevator is packed, for which I’m infinitely thankful. The trip up will give me some time to properlycompose myself.

Gratitude turns to panic when the crowd files out, meek as mice, when Stonehart steps in. None of the people waiting in the lobby follow us.

The doors close. I’m alone in here with him. My heart’s beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wings.

He catches me staring. “Impressed?” he asks.

“They know you,” I manage.

His dark eyes flash with amusement. “Astute.”

About the Author
I live near beautiful Seattle, Washington. I grew up reading all types of fantasy books before discovering the wonderful world of romances in high school. Now, I spend most of my time writing about sexy men and the women who love them.

Author Links



Giveaway
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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Songs of Submisson by C D Reiss


I have had a reading binge of the Songs of Submission series by C D Reiss.  In total I have read books 1-7 not including the spin off books.  As these are novellas it is quite difficult for me to review them one by one.  Maybe it would have been easier if I had reviewed after reading one book but I was so eager to get onto the next installment that I didn't even think about reviewing them until now.

The Songs of Submission tell the story of Monica, a young woman who is trying to make it in LA as a singer. To make ends meet she works as a waitress in a fancy hotel and it is here that she meets the owner and her boss Jonathan.  They soon begin a 'thing' a relationship is too strong a word to use.  Jonathan admits he is still in love with his ex-wife Jessica and Monica had sworn off men so she could concentrate on her singing career.  But they begin a sexual 'thing' where Monica discovers she likes Jonathan's Dominant side.

The 7 books Beg, Tease, Submit, Control, Resist, Burn and Sing follow their lives and the ups and downs they come across.  The sex is super hot but there is also a story there too which had me in tears in two of the books.  I really enjoyed this series and gave each book 4 stars with the exception of Sing which I gave 3.

Beg is free at the time of writing this so why not try it for yourself.  Here are the links for you Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review: Hero by Leighton Del Mia

Published: 27 February 2014
Series: Stand alone book
Genre: Dark Romance
Format: eARC
Source: From Love Between The Sheets
Rating: 4 out of 5
Book Buy Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Blurb
Calvin Parish
They call me Hero.
I defend.
I protect.
I ask for nothing in return, and that makes me good.
Doesn’t it?

That which makes me the ultimate predator also feeds dark impulses I’ve learned to control—until I bring her too close. For years I’ve watched her from afar, but what started out as duty has become obsession.

Cataline Ford
I work hard.
I play by the rules.
I’m content.
My scars are quiet and invisible, and that keeps me hidden.
Doesn’t it?

One fateful walk home, I’m taken by someone I didn’t know I should fear. Captive and afraid, nobody will tell me why I’m confined to this hauntingly beautiful mansion. I’m given everything; I have nothing. He takes what he needs from me, and for that I hate him. But I might have loved him once.

And just because you’re reading this doesn’t mean I survive him.

"Escape is now her singular obsession, the need for it all but physiological. But freedom is the only thing I can't give her, because I have an obsession of my own: her safety. Or, maybe now, just her."

HERO is a dual POV, standalone erotic novel.

WARNING: meant for a mature audience due to dark themes including non- or dubious-consent.

Review
Oh gosh, I don’t know where to start with this one.  It was good, it was weird, it was dark, it was bad, it was hot – really hot!

I don’t want to go into details of the story because I love that blurb.  That blurb is one of the best I’ve read in some time, it drew me in completely and to try and re-write it for you would lessen the impact of the book for you.

This is a Dark Romance, Calvin is a bad man but he is also good, but when he is with Cataline he is bad, so be warned if this is not your thing then maybe think twice before one clicking.

As I said Hero is good - the story is a real page turner everyone please stop talking to me can’t you see I’m reading.  Hero is weird - I so want to tell you about this but I just can’t as it will be a massive spoiler.  Hero is bad - to be honest I didn’t like the ending.  It is a stand-alone book but the ending wasn’t satisfying, the author mentions a novella follow on which makes Hero not a stand-alone.  Hero is hot, really hot – all I will say is dining table, butter, candle.


So if you like Dark Romance and you don’t mind reading something where the story is a little different, then this is your book.  I am giving Hero 4 stars.     

Monday, 17 February 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Twist Me by Anna Zaires

Thank you for stopping by on the Twist Me Blog Tour courtesy of Love Between The Sheets.  I have a review for you today and a chance to enter the tour wide giveaway.

Publisher: Mozaika Publications
Published: 10 February 2014
Series: Twist Me #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Format: eARC
Source: From Love Between The Sheets
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Book Buy Links: AmazonUK / Amazon US / B&N

Blurb
Kidnapped. Taken to a private island.
I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely.
Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful – a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.
My captor is an enigma. I don’t know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him – a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in.
My name is Nora Leston, and this is my story.
WARNING: This is NOT a traditional romance. It contains disturbing subject matter, including themes of questionable consent and Stockholm Syndrome, as well as graphic sexual content. This is a work of fiction intended for a mature, 18+ audience only. The author neither endorses nor condones this type of behavior.
Review
Nora is a normal girl who is just about to turn 18.  To celebrate she goes out clubbing with her friend where she meets an unusual guy.  They stare and briefly talk and Nora feels unnerved by the encounter.

Nora carries on with life, trying to get the cutest guy in school to take her out on a date and attending graduation where again the creepy guy from the club is watching her.  Nora puts this out of her mind, convincing herself he must be there to see his brother or sister graduate.  Nora scores the date she has been after but things take a turn for the worse when her date is beaten up and Nora is drugged.  She wakes up on a beautiful desert Island to a beautiful cruel man.

I really liked this book but then again I really like reading Dark Romance.  In my opinion Twist Me isn’t that dark, so if you have read other Dark Romance that were a bit much for you then this may be your answer.

I did have a few niggles with the book where I was questioning the plot but then Ms Zaires would do a good job of explaining Nora’s decisions, at least to pacify my concerns anyway.  One of those niggles was how easily Nora accepted Julian into her bed.  As I said before this is why I thought this book wasn’t as dark as some.  However Julian leads Nora down a dark painful sexual path which she in turn embraces, it does make for some steamy reading that’s for sure.

Twist Me did remind me of a few other Dark Romances out there but it kept me engrossed in the story all the way through and I desperately want the next book now.  I recommend Twist Me and I am giving it 4.5 stars. 

Excerpt
It’s evening now. With every minute that passes, I’m starting to get more and more anxious at the thought of seeing my captor again.

The novel that I’ve been reading can no longer hold my interest. I put it down and walk in circles around the room.

I am dressed in the clothes Beth had given me earlier. It’s not what I would’ve chosen to wear, but it’s better than a bathrobe. A sexy pair of white lacy panties and a matching bra for underwear. A pretty blue sundress that buttons in the front. Everything fits me suspiciously well. Has he been stalking me for a while? Learning everything about me, including my clothing size?

The thought makes me sick.

I am trying not to think about what’s to come, but it’s impossible. I don’t know why I’m so sure he’ll come to me tonight. It’s possible he has an entire harem of women stashed away on this island, and he visits each one only once a week, like sultans used to do.

Yet somehow I know he’ll be here soon. Last night had simply whetted his appetite. I know he’s not done with me, not by a long shot.

Finally, the door opens.

He walks in like he owns the place. Which, of course, he does.

I am again struck by his masculine beauty. He could’ve been a model or a movie star, with a face like his. If there was any fairness in the world, he would’ve been short or had some other imperfection to offset that face.

But he doesn’t. His body is tall and muscular, perfectly proportioned. I remember what it feels like to have him inside me, and I feel an unwelcome jolt of arousal.

He’s again wearing jeans and a T-shirt. A grey one this time. He seems to favor simple clothing, and he’s smart to do so. His looks don’t need any enhancement.

He smiles at me. It’s his fallen angel smile—dark and seductive at the same time. “Hello, Nora.”

I don’t know what to say to him, so I blurt out the first thing that pops into my head. “How long are you going to keep me here?”

He cocks his head slightly to the side. “Here in the room? Or on the island?”

“Both.”

“Beth will show you around tomorrow, take you swimming, if you’d like,” he says, approaching me. “You won’t be locked in, unless you do something foolish.”

“Such as?” I ask, my heart pounding in my chest as he stops next to me and lifts his hand to stroke my hair.

“Trying to harm Beth or yourself.” His voice is soft, his gaze hypnotic as he looks down on me. The way he’s touching my hair is oddly relaxing.

I blink, trying to break his spell. “And what about on the island? How long will you keep me here?”

His hand caresses my face now, curves around my cheek. I catch myself leaning into his touch, like a cat getting petted, and I immediately stiffen.

His lips curve into a knowing smile. The bastard knows the effect he has on me. “A long time, I hope,” he says.

For some reason, I’m not surprised. He wouldn’t have bothered bringing me all the way here if he just wanted to fuck me a few times. I’m terrified, but I’m not surprised.

I gather my courage and ask the next logical question. “Why did you kidnap me?”

The smile leaves his face. He doesn’t answer, just looks at me with an inscrutable blue gaze.

I begin to shake. “Are you going to kill me?”

“No, Nora, I won’t kill you.”

His denial reassures me, although he could obviously be lying. “Are you going to sell me?” I can barely get the words out. “Like to be a prostitute or something?”

“No,” he says softly. “Never. You’re mine and mine alone.”

I feel a tiny bit calmer, but there is one more thing I have to know. “Are you going to hurt me?”

For a moment, he doesn’t answer again. Something dark briefly flashes in his eyes. “Probably,” he says quietly.

And then he leans down and kisses me, his warm lips soft and gentle on mine.

For a second, I stand there frozen, unresponsive. I believe him. I know he’s telling the truth when he says he’ll hurt me. There’s something in him that scares me—that has scared me from the very beginning.

He’s nothing like the boys I’ve gone on dates with. He’s capable of anything.

And I’m completely at his mercy.

I think about trying to fight him again. That would be the normal thing to do in my situation. The brave thing to do.

And yet I don’t do it.

I can feel the darkness inside him. There’s something wrong with him. His outer beauty hides something monstrous underneath.

I don’t want to unleash that darkness. I don’t know what will happen if I do.

So I stand still in his embrace and let him kiss me. And when he picks me up again and takes me to bed, I don’t try to resist in any way.

Instead, I close my eyes and give in to the sensations.

About the Author
Anna Zaires fell in love with books at the age of five, when her grandmother taught her to read. She wrote her first story shortly thereafter. Since then, she has always lived partially in a fantasy world where the only limits were those of her imagination. Currently residing in Florida, Anna is happily married to Dima Zales (a science fiction and fantasy author) and closely collaborates with him on all their works. 

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics, Anna spent eight years on Wall Street analyzing stocks and writing research reports. In 2013, she became a full-time author, pursuing her lifelong dream of writing romance novels.

Dima Zales is the love of her life and a huge inspiration in all aspects of her writing. Every book Anna writes is a product of their unique collaborative process.

In addition to reading and writing, Anna enjoys drinking tea (coconut oolong, anyone?), watching addictive TV shows, and discussing book ideas during long walks with her amazing husband. She loves hearing from her readers, so please don't hesitate to contact her through her website or connect with her on Facebook, where she hangs out way too often. Also, please visit her husband and collaborator, Dima Zales, at www.dimazales.com and check out their fantasy & science fiction books.

Giveaway
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