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Surrendered by Sarah Mäkelä – Steamy Excerpt

Surrendered by Sarah MäkeläSurrendered by Sarah Mäkelä

A mercenary who skirts light and dark must protect a reclusive Seelie noblewoman, but when they discover a common link, they must surrender…

Niamh McNamara has always been a little different from the rest of the Seelie Court. Their natural mirth and playfulness is something she has to force, so she won’t stand out much during the midsummer’s festivities. That becomes nearly impossible when an attempt is made on her life by a violent masked fae. Content with seclusion, she’s unhappy when the queen requests her back at court to meet her new bodyguard.

Doyle Kearney is mercenary who skirts the light and dark courts. Some think he’s Unseelie, while others are sure he’s Seelie. When Queen Titania brings him to protect a sullen noble, he almost refuses—he’s a warrior, not a bodyguard—until he sees Niamh. His body reacts to the golden goddess, but he can’t forget how his noble parents had easily tossed him aside to protect their titles. He questions if she’ll do the same if he surrenders his heart.

Publisher: Total-e-Bound Publishing

Genre: Erotic Fantasy Romance

Length: Novella

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Steamy Excerpt:

A while later, he sighed and looked up to the afternoon sky. “There will be rain soon. Best not stay out here when that happens. You don’t want to become ill. Let’s head inside,” he said, presenting his gloved hand to help her up.

Niamh considered his hand for a moment, then finally accepted it. He’d proved himself trustworthy, and while she wasn’t ready to admit it, she was attracted to him.
He pulled her to her feet, but his strength surprised her. She fell into his chest, which made him stumble back. He gripped her hips to steady her, and a spark of magic ignited between them. He looked at her as if startled. Maybe he’d felt it too.

She started to move away, but he spun them around so her wings were carefully pinned against the tree. Gasping, she brought her hands up to his chest, not sure whether she should push him away or pull him closer. Her arms wrapped around his neck of their own accord, question answered.

He held her close to him, pressing their bodies together. She stared into his eyes transfixed. He lowered his lips to hers, sweeping his tongue over her lower lip before prodding it inside her mouth. His kiss gained fervour, twirling their tongues together and exploring her mouth.

The warmth and magic of the tree soothed away any of her worries. He pulled back, apparently affected by it too. His skin was ruddy with heat, his eyes wide. “Did you feel that…?”

“It’s nature’s magic, heady as a potent drug.” She smiled at him. This connection between them felt as natural and as right as the tree trunk against her spine. The fact that she’d been holding off allowing herself to connect to anyone before now simply didn’t matter, because none of those people had been Doyle, her handsome mercenary.

Echoing thoughts played in Doyle’s eyes. He lifted her up, and dipped his head back to take her lips again as she wrapped her legs around his waist.

She placed her hands on his strong, muscular shoulders and luxuriated in the feeling of him. Never before had a man touched her like this. She’d never allowed them to.

He leaned in, his hips nudging hers. His hard cock strained against her thigh, and even with all the layers of cloth between them, she nearly moaned at the sensation. He slid his hand lower to her small breasts, cupping one and rubbing his thumb over her nipple hidden beneath her dress.

Niamh gasped and closed her eyes. Even though she’d never desired closeness with anyone, she wanted more than simple caresses. The thought surprised her.
Without warning, he set her to the ground, and she snapped her eyes open. Maybe he knew her want of him and that’s why he’d pulled away?

However, just by looking at him, she knew that wasn’t the case. His shoulders were bunched up and he looked ravenous. He took her by the arms and she was on the ground before she knew what he was doing. He gripped the hem of her skirt and watched as he pushed it ever so slowly up her legs. When they had cleared her hips, baring her nakedness, his attention locked on the juncture of her legs.

Buy Now

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / All Romance eBooksTotal-e-Bound Publishing

Enter the TRS giveaway for your chance to win an e-copy of Surrendered!

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

Surrendered by Sarah Mäkelä

Surrendered by Sarah MäkeläSurrendered by Sarah Mäkelä

A mercenary who skirts light and dark must protect a reclusive Seelie noblewoman, but when they discover a common link, they must surrender…

Niamh McNamara has always been a little different from the rest of the Seelie Court. Their natural mirth and playfulness is something she has to force, so she won’t stand out much during the midsummer’s festivities. That becomes nearly impossible when an attempt is made on her life by a violent masked fae. Content with seclusion, she’s unhappy when the queen requests her back at court to meet her new bodyguard.

Doyle Kearney is mercenary who skirts the light and dark courts. Some think he’s Unseelie, while others are sure he’s Seelie. When Queen Titania brings him to protect a sullen noble, he almost refuses—he’s a warrior, not a bodyguard—until he sees Niamh. His body reacts to the golden goddess, but he can’t forget how his noble parents had easily tossed him aside to protect their titles. He questions if she’ll do the same if he surrenders his heart.

Publisher: Total-e-Bound Publishing

Genre: Erotic Fantasy Romance

Length: Novella

Buy Now

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PG Excerpt:

Summer’s warm magic glittered in the night air. Nature drank deep of it and flourished with life and growth. The delightful party playing out around Niamh McNamara didn’t interest her one bit. As a member of the light court, she should’ve enjoyed the merry festivities that Midsummer’s Eve brought on, but her sour mood wouldn’t let go of her. Then again, she’d never been like the rest of her people.

Darkness constantly ached within her chest beneath her golden appearance. Before she’d been able to ignore it, but now it wasn’t so easy, especially after overhearing whispers about her from the other members of court. Hiding away had helped, but she couldn’t always stay hidden.

Queen Titania had requested her presence back at court for a while, and when the queen asked, one didn’t say no. The queen held a special interest in seeing Niamh, as a female noble, commit to a worthy relationship. At Niamh’s age, she should’ve at least had one potential suitor, yet she did her best to avoid them and had been fairly successful.

Niamh took another sip from her goblet. The faeries around her sang, laughed and danced, yet she could barely gather the enthusiasm to smile. How cruel life was that she had to watch their happiness while she didn’t share their feelings.

There were men who seemed determined to court her. The more she dissuaded them, the more eagerly they flocked to her. A familiar male elf took her elbow to sweep her off to dance, but she brushed off his hand. “Sorry, I’m not interested in dancing at the moment.”

Another reason why she preferred to stay away from court these days. She hated presumptuousness and what tended to happen next.

His face fell, and confusion creased his brow. The lady next to Niamh gawked at her like she was crazy before grabbing the male’s hand and waltzing away with him. The lady leaned close to him and whispered something, causing them to both break out into laughter.

Niamh bristled. She didn’t want to feel like an outsider amongst her own people.

A happy, albeit drunken, pixie flew by her, nearly colliding with her shoulder. The tiny being apologised in a high-pitched tinkling voice, then it was gone, darting away to join a group of pixies near the mead.

Most of the pixies there had already drunk their share. Their amorous personalities, combined with the summer’s fertility magic, heated the group until their moans of pleasure chimed through the warm breeze. Others nearby reacted to the intimacy, their clothes slipping off in their fervour.

Yet another sign of how nature’s power innately affected the Seelie.

The group she stood with were still chatting merrily amongst themselves, though their attention was beginning to drift to the playful fledgling orgy.

Niamh slipped away into the forest, making sure no one saw her. She needed a break from the laughter and shallow niceties. Her face ached from the plastic smile she wore for the party. Once safely out of view, she leaned against a tree and let out a ragged breath. Her fake smile fell, and she stared into the sky between the leaves. If only she were home, away from the misery of joy she had to force. Warmth and happiness permeated the air around her, but a part buried within her retracted from those emotions, shying away from the silky caress. Most of the time, she wondered if she had something wrong with her. Darkness held solace for her while light made her aware of what she lacked.

The snap of a branch startled her, and she peeked around the tree. No one was there. Thoughts about her inner darkness dissipated. Her shoulders tensed, and she strained her ears to hear more signs of movement. Another twig snapped behind her, and she nearly jumped out of her skin.

Before her stood a man in an elaborately decorated mask, which covered most of his face. A dark hood and cape cloaked the rest of him, making it impossible to distinguish any of his features. He was most definitely fae like her—he had that kind of aura. He must’ve hidden his wings beneath his grand cape.

She looked him over with a frown. Why was he here, away from the party? Especially dressed as he was? I left the party behind to rest, not to give someone the opportunity to make my acquaintance in private. She sighed but forced herself to smile.

A scream caught her attention from the party, turning her towards the sound, but the laughter that followed reassured her that everything was still safe.

The foreboding man spun her to face him. He clasped his hands around her throat, and slammed her folded wings back against the tree. Her head bounced against the hard oak. She clawed at his glove-covered hands, trying to get him off her, trying to draw air into her lungs.

He smashed her against the tree again, but his grip slipped slightly.

“What do you want?” she squeaked, gulping in air.

“You. That’s what I wanted.”

She’d never heard this man’s voice before. How could he want her while she couldn’t figure out who he was? He must’ve used glamour so she wouldn’t recognise him.

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Enter the TRS giveaway for your chance to win an e-copy of Surrendered!

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

Dragon Knights: The Ice Dragon by Bianca D’Arc

And here’s a little bit about the third novel in my Dragon Knights series, THE ICE DRAGON.

The Ice DragonShe is the kingdom’s only hope… and the king’s one chance at love.

Dragon Knights, Book 3

When a royal black dragon falls under enemy fire, only the wild Northern Ice Dragon and his unlikely female rider can save him. Half wild, like the baby Ice Dragon she calls friend, Lana is a rare and powerful dragon healer. She saves the life of the royal black, only to learn this most sacred of dragons is half-man, able to shift from one form to the other at will.

Roland is king of all dragons and humans in his land, but he’s far from home, mortally wounded, and his only refuge is the incredible woman who has saved his life and her young wild dragon friend. Lana is the purest form of magic to him, heaven to his senses in both dragon and human form. He knows almost from the first moment that he wants her for his very own.

But a warlord plots in the north, seeking to kill the dragons, who protect the northern border, and overrun Roland’s peaceful kingdom. Lana and her incredibly skilled Ice Dragon friend are the only ray of hope for the knights and fighting dragons of the Northern Lair. Just as Lana is the only love Roland will ever know. He can reunite her with her lost family, but can he win her heart and make her his queen?

Warning: This book may feature an Ice Dragon, but the hero is smoking hot in either of his forms. We recommend keeping a fan handy in case you experience a sudden need to cool down.

Buy now in ebook from: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Captivated by Sarah Mäkelä – Steamy Excerpt

Captivated by Sarah MäkeläCaptivated by Sarah Mäkelä

When a mercenary, whose purpose is to dispose of wicked Unseelie fae, meets a dark elf, she’ll question her mission and become captivated…

After her family was killed by a dark elf, mercenary Honora Butler’s purpose is the disposal of wicked faeries, elves, and other Unseelie beings, but she’ll find herself questioning her mission when she meets Brennan, a dark elf who doesn’t conform to what she believed his kind were like.

Brennan O’Niall doesn’t know what it is about Honora that makes him crave her, but he wants to find out. However, when she’s charged with the murder of a friend, he’ll have to discover the truth and decide just how much she means to him.

Publisher: Total-e-Bound Publishing

Genre: Erotic Fantasy Romance

Length: Novella

Buy Now

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Excerpt:

A sleeping mat lay before the fire. She tossed down her pack then slid back her hood, deciding to take advantage of what little good fortune she’d found. A small sound sent her spinning around.

But she’d been too slow. Before she had a chance to see the cause, Honora was crushed against a hard body, facing away from her captor. The hand on her knife was held in place near her belt. She struggled to free herself, but it was like being held by a wall of muscle. The person behind her didn’t give way.

Warm breath tickled her ear. “What are you doing in my home?” The deep voice promised dark things, and she couldn’t help but squirm a little at the onslaught of images rushing through her head—her standing naked as her faceless captor thrust into her, harder and faster, taking all she had and giving much more.

Her chest rose and fell with her panting. This wasn’t the time or place, yet the dull ache between her legs begged to differ.

She remembered the last time she’d felt this vulnerable. Memories of her family’s deaths and the horrible pain she’d felt stopped her desire cold.

“I knocked, but no one answered. I took shelter from…” How I am supposed to answer? Humans knew a little of what lurked in the shadows, especially those who resided around here, but she wouldn’t tell this man more than she had to.

“From?” he prompted, his slight Irish accent catching her attention.

“From the dark.”

“Ah, I see.” He chuckled. “Much good that will do you here.” The easy humour of his voice relaxed her, but something about what he’d said triggered warning bells. The world spun. No, wait, it was her.

She raised her eyes to stare into his—they were nearly black. The man’s pale skin reminded her of the moon’s glow. His raven-black hair trailed to below his shoulders and pale, pointed ears peeked from the dark mane. Cursing, she recognised what this man…creature…was. A dark elf.

Her hand lifted the throwing knife, but he squeezed her wrist in a sharp gesture. Pain shot through her arm and the knife fell from her grip, landing with a metallic thud on the floor beside them. Magic churned within his touch. Magic that shivered along her skin, tugging at things low in her stomach.

No bloody way!

She raised her free hand to throw a fireball at him, but he grabbed her wrists, twisting her arms behind her back. The dark elf shifted his steely grip to hold her wrists with one strong hand. Twisting and bucking only brushed her soft breasts against his hard chest. Moisture pooled between her legs.

“Release me,” she said.

He dropped his gaze to her chest where her cloak had fallen away, showing her pert nipples through her linen shirt. “I don’t think you want me to.” A fierce grin formed on his lips.

Buy Now

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Enter the TRS giveaway for your chance to win an e-copy of Captivated!

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

Captivated by Sarah Mäkelä

Captivated by Sarah MäkeläCaptivated by Sarah Mäkelä

When a mercenary, whose purpose is to dispose of wicked Unseelie fae, meets a dark elf, she’ll question her mission and become captivated…

After her family was killed by a dark elf, mercenary Honora Butler’s purpose is the disposal of wicked faeries, elves, and other Unseelie beings, but she’ll find herself questioning her mission when she meets Brennan, a dark elf who doesn’t conform to what she believed his kind were like.

Brennan O’Niall doesn’t know what it is about Honora that makes him crave her, but he wants to find out. However, when she’s charged with the murder of a friend, he’ll have to discover the truth and decide just how much she means to him.

Publisher: Total-e-Bound Publishing

Genre: Erotic Fantasy Romance

Length: Novella

Buy Now

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / All Romance eBooksTotal-e-Bound Publishing

PG Excerpt:

Gritting her teeth, Honora Butler sneaked farther into the dark, snowy forest. Danger lurked within the shadows, and she would kill or be killed. Death didn’t intimidate her anymore. She knew it too well.

Everyone she’d loved had been taken from her.

Snow crunched beneath the soles of her knee-high leather boots. When she was young, the Mercenary Guild had taken her in. They’d seen her abilities and her determination. They’d trained her, given her a chance when she’d wanted only to die, and now she did what she bloody well could to make sure the dark beings of the Unseelie Court hurt no one else.

A horrified scream erupted ahead, beckoning her deeper into the forest. It had to have been caused by her prey. Picking up her pace, she pulled a throwing knife from its sheath. Her magic surged into the blade, filling it with power and making the metal white—hot.

The trees broke into a clearing. The cause of the cries stood in the dirt road. A woman cowered on the ground while a short, stocky man dressed in blood red with a matching hat sneered at her. He looked to be having far too good a time.

“I have a husband and kids. Please, don’t hurt me,” the woman whimpered. “My master…he’ll—”

The Fear Dearg snorted and crossed his arms in front of him. He stared down his crooked nose at the terrified woman as if pondering what to do first.

Honora doubted the woman was in immediate danger. The Red Man mostly engaged in cruel pranks on those he sought, but that wouldn’t stop her from killing him. Her mission in life was to rid the world of malevolence.

She slid from the trees, taking one quiet step after another. “Na dean maggadh fum,” she said. Those words, ‘do not mock me’, were the best chance she had to take him down without a problem.

The Fear Dearg jerked his gaze to Honora. His lips curled back into a snarl at the interruption. “So be it. Now go on. Get out of here. Can’t you see I’m busy?” He stared at her blankly, waiting. “What? You want my favour and prosperity? Wait for your turn.”

Just like that, he returned his focus to the woman. He grabbed at her dress.

With a snap of her wrist, Honora sent the throwing knife sailing through the air. A wash of blood arced in a thick spray as the Fear Dearg collapsed, the knife lodged in his head.

Shrieking, the woman scurried backwards from the corpse. Her eyes were wide and horrified at the sight of the dead faerie. “What have you done?” she asked, glancing Honora’s way. Shaking her head, she picked up her large basket with foodstuffs that lay on its side. Most of the food had fallen out, but the woman didn’t bother gathering it. She took the basket, then ran off down the dirt road.

What had that been about?

Honora watched the woman until she disappeared around the curve of the path. She walked over to the dead Red Man then tugged her blade out of his skull. It came away easily, blood dripping off it in great crimson drops. She wiped it clean on his jacket before tucking the knife back in its sheath.

Her stomach rumbled. On the ground was an unsoiled loaf of bread from the woman’s fallen food. She stripped off her bloody gloves and crouched. She brushed off a few leaves then tore a piece from it and lifted it to her lips.

In the distance, she heard a faint noise like that of a large flock of birds beating their wings. That couldn’t be right. Birds weren’t typically active at night there. Yet the sound grew louder.

The sudden realisation of what it was punched her in the gut. She dropped the bread and raced after the woman. Honora needed to find the safety of shelter. She couldn’t be out here when the Sluagh—restless spirits of the dead—flew over. What they did was worse than death. They captured their victims’ souls.

Behind her, the cries became impossibly louder. She didn’t have much time at all. She had yet to spot any homes or places to hide and knew if she were spotted she would be connected with the murder of the Fear Dearg, and hunted. She wouldn’t be safe unless she found somewhere soon.

Chancing a look over her shoulder, she saw a horrible black mass darken the sky. Screams of their victims filled her ears then. They were close. She caught sight of an elegant manor off to the left.

Buy Now

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / All Romance eBooksTotal-e-Bound Publishing

Enter the TRS giveaway for your chance to win an e-copy of Captivated!

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark, Magical Encounters of Passion…
http://www.sarahmakela.com

Merry Xmas from Kay Berrisford – plus a giveaway!

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So excited to be at the TRS Xmas party! I’m going to be sharing tons of excerpts over the next few days — plus if you enter the draw here at TRS or comment on any of my posts, there’s a chance to win your choice of my back catalogue including my seasonal m/m release from Loose Id, Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone, my m/m historical fantasies Bound to the Beast or Bound for the Forest, or contemporary paranormal, Catching Kit.

Find about my books at my website, All Romance, Amazon, and Loose Id.

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Thank You! (Excerpt)

A huge thanks to everyone for taking the time to join the fun here at TRS’s Thanksgiving party!  I had a blast and hope you all did too!

Thank you TRS for hosting this amazing event.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, with new memories and traditions made, new pie recipes being fought over, and new ovens begin added to the “Must Have” lists because we set fire to the ones we have ;) 

On that note, I’ll be leaving you with one final excerpt from Temptation Unleashed. 

xo

Kara

He was so close. The heat of his body caressed her. The scent of him caused her womb to tighten and her clit to ache. The airy brush of his breath made her lips itch for his. She didn’t care if he took her last breath.

Locks of blond hair cascaded down around her face, coming to rest against her bare arms.

Hate, my dear, is a strong word to use when someone protects you from danger you stand no chance of overcoming,” Thaddeus said, his voice low, guttural, limb-quivering, seductive. Nothing presented a greater danger to her than this man. For that, she hated him. “A show of appreciation is held in high regard when one stands up to a threat on another’s behalf. I do believe ’tis common among humans as well?”

She lifted her hands to push him away. When her palms flattened against his thick shoulders, the cool, silken strand of hair entangling between her fingers, she moaned. Her face flushed. A new wetness dampened her panties. She fought to keep her eyes open. Against the heels of her hands, she detected the sudden acceleration in his heartbeat and felt the broken breaths as they licked at her ear.

She hated him because he turned her on. He made her hot, despite her fear of intimacy.

She needed to get out of the corner of the sofa and get distance between them. Shifting best she could beneath him, linking her leg around his for leverage, she gripped his shoulders and tried to push him away.

His breath continued to seduce her, filling her ear and sending delightful chills coasting all over her. She turned her head and froze the instant her lips brushed his. Her world came to a screeching halt, as did her lungs. A moment turned into eternity, lips barely touching, but a ravenous hunger bursting to life. Invisible cords rooted into her, tugging her closer to him, urging her to complete a circuit that crossed a dark void in her soul. A void that had never been there before.

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

Conscience chanted its warning, but she couldn’t listen. She hung on a ledge between desire and danger. Her body quivered beneath the high-charged anticipation.

Kiss me before I explode.

Thaddeus pulled back enough to look down at her. Stormy tendrils of gray curled around the Arctic blue of his eyes, darkening them to a beautiful sea blue. The hard, cruel features of his face softened.

She slackened, sinking into the cushions, and drew in a deep breath.

Never had she expected to be brazen enough to pull Thaddeus down to her until his lips pressed to hers, gently easing them open.

Thoughts eluded her the moment his tongue swept through her parted lips and slid over hers. She met his slow kiss, disbelief and delight warring in her mind.

He tasted like the richest dessert, the hottest spice, the most forbidden ambrosia. She wanted more, craved more, needed more, because if she were sober, the nightmare that came with this very man unraveling her with his fulfilling kiss would darken this glorious moment.

His fingers trailed down her neck and drew a tingling path between her breasts, coming to rest over her stomach.

“No more alcohol,” he murmured against her mouth.

He plundered her with his kiss, the carefully contained hunger unleashed. She arched into him, seeking his touch, pulling him closer. Her body temperature rose, heat encompassing her until she feared she’d pass out.

The pressure against her belly lifted, taking with it the fever and leaving her mind, and her body, in a state of sobriety. Gone without residue were the foul effects of her indulgence.

Gone was the euphoria that soaked her to the bones.

Rori had no trouble focusing her mind, nor did she have trouble realizing what was happening, and with whom.

Available at: www.bookstrand.com/temptation-unleashed

 

Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone – brand new out today :D

Cover by Shovanna Appavu. Published this morning, by Loose Id.

On the solstice, their lovemaking must shake the fabric of time…

Simon’s holiday season is looking grim. His boyfriend’s dumped him, and his self-esteem is rock bottom. Stuck in the UK where nobody celebrates Thanksgiving, the shy, geeky student drowns his sorrows at an ancient stone circle. When a gorgeous stranger, Aubrey, shows up and attempts to seduce him, Simon is flattered but also freaked—especially when Aubrey claims to be from an historic sex cult who’d uncovered the true powers of the circle. It’s a time machine. Aubrey intended to travel back three hundred and sixty-five days, but an error propelled him forward three hundred and sixty-five years into a world alien to him.

Simon reluctantly takes the lost time traveler under his wing, and Aubrey teaches Simon the ways of sex, love, and magic. Simon’s never felt so alive, but as their bond grows, Aubrey remains determined to perform a dangerous ritual and return home at the winter solstice. Fearing he’s no more to Aubrey than a sexual sacrifice, Simon must discover the dark secrets of Aubrey’s pagan past. Only then can Simon choose between risking all for the man he loves or a lonely Christmas without him.

Excerpt:

They crumpled to the shower floor, Simon boneless in Aubrey’s arms. They panted as one. “Sweet heavens,” murmured Aubrey at length. “I have never known such fire. I don’t quite know what possessed me.” He planted a kiss on the top of Simon’s head. “Apart from you.”

“Mmmmm.” His afterglow fading, Simon clung to the pleasant feel of Aubrey holding him. For a few minutes it satisfied.

But then all that blood rushed back from his cock to his brain, and he tensed.

“Are you well?” asked Aubrey. Gently he touched Simon’s chin, urging him to look up. “Was I too rough?”

“No, I’m fine.” Simon’s headache came thundering back, though he couldn’t bring himself to be angry with Aubrey. The man had given him nothing he hadn’t wanted, but now a certain question begged harder than ever. He forced it out.

“Aubrey, I need to know. Were you trying to travel back in time to save a lover?”

“No.” Simon sagged into him with guilty relief. “A little before the last harvest, some soldiers came to our farm. I was away, fighting for the very same side, but they accused our people, who’d never harmed a soul, of witchcraft. Of devil worship.”

Simon’s jealousy felt suddenly wrong. He extracted himself and rose, wrapping himself tightly in a towel. “I’m so sorry.”

“So am I. They took away many of my friends. I must warn them. You see why I have to go home?”

Aubrey’s words ripped into him, raw and real, leaving him bewildered. He could only start to imagine what awful fate Aubrey’s companions had met. Torture, a stripping to search for the mark of Satan, or maybe a lashing. Possibly they were bound, then plunged into a cold, icy river, and the end result had probably been a slow, lingering death by hanging. Simon might not want to live as the Gildskipe had, but he doubted they deserved such a fate.

No wonder Aubrey had taken the risk of going back. So much for the frightened puppy Simon had rescued this morning. The man was a bloody hero.

A horrible feeling of inadequacy rose within. “I better get the food. Come down when you’re ready. We need to talk about the winter solstice, right?”

After drying himself and dressing in his room, Simon rushed downstairs. He located a bottle of decent Bordeaux, two old-fashioned pewter goblets, which he reckoned would make Aubrey feel at home, and some tall red candles in white pottery candlesticks. His actions did nothing to stop the bedlam restarting in his brain. What on earth had he just allowed to happen? He’d learned only one thing for certain. Aubrey had plenty of other people he cared about, including numerous lovers, and would never be for keeps.

Fuck it. What does that matter? I enjoyed it. He seemed to enjoy it too. Maybe I’m not quite as useless a lover as Pete made out.

But it didn’t make things any easier. What might he not be able to refuse this man next?

All the same he found himself keener than ever to please. He divided the turkey meal onto two plates, with the additional vegetables and some quick-cook Yorkshire puddings, only slightly charred, and arranged all of it neatly on a large tray. He carried the dinner to the coffee table in the lounge. Aubrey had dressed and sat waiting on the sofa, his long legs stretched out beneath the table.

Well, it wasn’t the Thanksgiving Simon had anticipated, but hey, he wasn’t alone. He just hoped Gran would forgive him his choice of predinner entertainment.

Buy it now

Add it on Goodreads.

Visit kayberrisford.com

Till Surrender (18+ excerpt) m/m Para by Avril Ashton

Till Surrender (m/m romance)

by 

Avril Ashton

Para/Fantasy (PSC #2)

 

The key to his salvation is the one person he’s destined to love…and betray, so how long can Saint keep his distance and his secrets? How long Till Surrender?

 

Tattooed half-breed, Takayo ‘Saint’ St. John, kills for the PSC with single-minded efficiency. He’s never questioned or failed his assignments…until he stares into the cornflower blue eyes of Ryken Valte, the man whose life he’s infiltrated under false pretenses. Harsh words and a cold shoulder isn’t enough to keep the distance between them, but Saint’s mission hangs over his head. His job is to kill the brother of the man he loves and he sees no way out of his predicament.

Ryken melts under the intense attraction between him and Saint, but the man keeps pushing him away, denying their connection. Ryken would give up everything, do anything to have Saint at his side and in his bed, but secrets bigger than them make it impossible. Ryken yearns for Saint’s surrender, but he’ll get more than he bargained for when dark forces neither comprehends return with a vengeance.

 

 

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EXCERPT

 

“What the fuck do you want?”

Ryken’s eyes flew to his, the need and confusion in their blue depths blinding. Saint gritted his teeth. He wanted to haul the younger man into his arms, bite on those plump lips, but he couldn’t. He wouldn’t. The cool air chilled the sweat on his skin, reminding Saint of his tattoos, exposed for Ryken to see. Underneath Ryken’s arousal and confused need, Saint caught the scent of another. Another man had held Ryken in his arms tonight.

Anger clouded his vision. That someone would dare touch what belonged to him—but he hadn’t staked any claims. Ryken was free.

Saint blinked and turned away from the door. He needed some distance to clear his mind, to breathe without thinking of finding this David shmuck and slitting his throat.

The door slammed shut behind him and he turned around. Ryken stood in the middle of the room, his eyes roaming over Saint’s skin. Damn, he had to get covered up.

“I asked what you wanted. Are you deaf or something?”

Ryken met his gaze slowly, tongue sliding out to wet his bottom lip. A nervous gesture. “I want…”

Those soft-spoken words hardened Saint to painful proportions. He took a step forward.

Ryken backed up and spoke again. “I want you to quit. Now. Today.”

Saint couldn’t help it—he burst out laughing. Sure wasn’t expecting that. “So soon? I’ve only just arrived.”

Ryken frowned, the arousal in his eyes all but replaced by anger. “I don’t care what you tell my brother, but I want you to leave tonight.” Desperation flared on his face for a second, but he recovered smoothly, settling on a commanding sneer instead.

Lips curved, Saint slid his gaze down the tight length of Ryken’s body. Past the red T-shirt and tan leather jacket, to the dark jeans riding low on his hips. He licked his lips at the thick bulge growing bigger by the moment. “Scares you, doesn’t it?” Bringing his attention back to Ryken’s face, he saw that confused arousal was back.

Deep splashes of red coloured Ryken’s cheeks. “What scares me?”

Saint closed the distance between them with a grin, his cock swaying within the loose confines of his sweats with each step. “The pull you feel between us scares you. The fact that I get your cock hard scares you.”

Ryken’s jaw dropped and his eyes bulged.

Saint kept going. “The fact that you see my face when you’re with David scares you.”

Ryken jerked as if struck. Guess that one hit home.

 

 

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Temptation Unleashed Excerpt

Temptation Unleashed

www.bookstrand.com/temptation-unleashed

Curled in the center of the bed, his fiery mortal nuisance looked at peace for the first time since she crossed his path.

Thaddeus stared, unable to look away. Innocence conquered temper in sleep. The gentle spray of freckles dotting her nose appeared almost…cute. Her brows, the color of burning wood, sloped prettily over her closed, slanted eyes. No anger furrowed her smooth forehead. No rage wrinkled the small patch of skin above the bridge of her classically shaped nose. Her lips parted slightly, exposing the teeth marks he had healed slightly the night before. Small welts marred her rather plump, kissable lips.

Something about her in this state of relaxation tugged deep at his soul. A tingling began in his fingers. Before he could stop himself, he reached down and traced one of her red curls. Pure-bloods had thick masses of straight hair. Daeanna’s hair had been cool to the touch, like liquid gold pouring through his fingers.

Rori’s…

He hooked his finger and allowed himself the pleasure of wrapping a curl around his appendage. Cool to the touch. Soft. Silky. Delightful. How could this mortal possess a luxurious attribute in the form of dark red curls?

Thaddeus willed himself to pull away from the inferior creature on the bed, but his fight against the unseen ties binding him to this moment was futile. He leaned over her, bringing his nose to her hair. Her curls smelled sweet, like exotic flowers and fruit. Brushing a rebellious curl away from her ear, he closed his eyes and inhaled the clean scent of her skin. Goddess, this woman made his cock hard. Achingly so. His entire body tensed with raw, untamed desires.

Thaddeus straightened up, not wanting to wake her. In these few precious moments when arguments, wicked tongues, and extreme differences didn’t exist, something soothing and right filled a new void within him. A long-lost peace he thought unobtainable. A brandishing need to forget everything he’d come to believe in and return to a life of simplicity.

Nay. Naught would arise between them. Naught could happen. He was fae. She was mortal. He had a cause to stand behind, to fight for. Otherwise, the past two centuries of his life were meaningless and wasted.

Rori sighed and rolled onto her back. The mass of curls framed her head over the pillow. Light pink marks marred the cheek she had laid on, an imperfection that he found almost endearing.

But ’twas the shape of her body that made him halt as he backed away from the bed. Her baggy clothing did little to hide the frame of her figure. Thin and narrow, he couldn’t imagine this little spitfire having any ability to fend for herself. She had few curves, something he would normally not find attractive, but on Rori, her frame fit her perfectly.

For one insane moment, he wanted to touch her. He wanted to trace her body from head to toe and breast to hip. Goddess, he wanted to fit her against him and see how perfect, or imperfect, they were together. Body to body, skin to skin.

Thaddeus blinked. The pain in his groin intensified. Bloody hell, his entire body screamed for attention.

’Twas a terrible idea coming here, thinking he could sway Rori with his power, his bitter tongue, and his authority. Rather, she swayed him, unbeknownst to her. She seduced his senses while in sleep, making him desire a mortal.

Be sure to check out the first two books in the series, Forbidden Heart and Destined Desires! (www.bookstrand.com/kara-wills)

 

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