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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Promo & Giveaway: Thunder


Title: Thunder
Series: Sleepy Hollow #2 | 1Night Stand
Author: Taryn Kincaid
Genre: Paranormal, erotic romance, urban fantasy
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Format: Ebook
Pages: 36

Purchase: Decadent Publishing | Amazon


Book Description:

Lonely young witch, Veronica Hardwicke, has struggled to get on with her life after the death of the elderly husband who’d left her a fortune and a sprawling estate in mystical Sleepy Hollow. When frightening things go bump in the night on a stormy Fourth of July, who better to call than the sexy developer and contractor, Sean Jones, who's been renovating her mansion for months?

Sean may grace the tabloid pages with a different supermodel on his arm every night, but it's Veronica who drives him nuts. Ignoring his instinct to stay away, he answers her summons.

Will the thundering passion of their 1Night Stand tear down the barriers between them?

Excerpt:


    Veronica paced back and forth in the grand entry foyer of the Belmont mansion, the kitten heels of her Prada mules clacking on the marble floors.
    The rest of the place might not be finished, but she’d insisted on having a few rooms completed, so at least she felt like she was living in a home, rather than a massive, never-ending construction project. Well, her contractor had insisted, even though working around the main entrance and central hallway created more work for him and his crew. But she was forced to admit he was right.
    Her cell phone chimed on top of the antique credenza shoved flush against one wall. She leaped for it. Probably Geneviève, to regale her with all the fun she was having inParis. Or Sean, to advise her he couldn’t make it after all. She sighed and read the text message on the small screen.
    Congratulations, Veronica. 1Night Stand has found your date. Have a good time.
    With both anxiety and mounting excitement, she stared at the screen and waited. No other info. Outside in the night, thunder boomed. She jumped then laughed at herself.
    Ghosts are one thing, but freaking out at the weather now? Cripes, you really do need this date!
    She let her imagination run wild, then texted back for more details:
    When? Where? Who?
    An insistent pounding at the front door jarred her out of her fantasy. She swung the door open on another explosive crack of thunder.
    Sean stood on her doorstep, his soaked T-shirt molding sculpted pecs and abs, his drenched hair flattened over his brow. Rain poured down as he fiddled with his iPhone, a bemused expression on his face. Behind him, jagged arrows of lightning tore the dark sky. He glared at the screen, glanced at her in confusion, then back at the screen.
    Veronica’s own phone pinged again. Thunder roared. She read the message in disbelief.
You’re looking at him.


About the Author:

TARYN KINCAID is a multi-published author of sensual romance. Her 1Night Stand series stories, LIGHTNING and THUNDER are available from Decadent Publishing and wherever eBooks are sold. Her Regency romance, HEALING HEARTS, for Carina Press; her  erotic paranormal, SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS, for The Wild Rose Press, are also available wherever eBooks are sold.




Giveaway:
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Promo & Giveaway: Reckoning


Title: Reckoning
Author: Molly M Hall
Series: Dark Prophecy, Book 1
Genre: YA Paranormal


ISBN: 978-1479342112
ASIN: B0095JKKFC
Number of pages: 276
Word Count: 77,782
Cover Artist: Claudia McKinney -PhatPuppy Art

Amazon Print, Amazon Kindle

BN Paperback, Nook, Smashwords

Book Description:

"They say the truth can set you free. I found out it can kill you."

Seventeen-year-old Kat Matheson has never revealed the dark secret that sets her apart from everyone else: She can see and hear the dead. Until now, she has been able to ignore the strange apparitions and whispering voices. But it may not be that simple anymore. Haunted by eerie visions and increasingly frightening nightmares, Kat begins to fear she may be the target of a dark and ominous force from beyond the grave. Complicating matters is the arrival of her new neighbor, a young man she instinctively distrusts but is inexplicably drawn to. Gorgeous and mysterious, he seems to hold a disturbing knowledge of her long-held secrets.

As she desperately tries to maintain control, events take an unexpected and violent turn. Discovering that nothing is what it seems and that her psychic abilities may involve far more than just communing with the dead, Kat may be forced to confront her worst fears and the powerful curse that controls her destiny.

Add it to your Goodreads list


About the Author:
 
Molly M Hall is the author of Reckoning, the first novel in the Dark Prophecy series. She has spent most of her life in Colorado and currently lives just outside of Denver. She pursued a degree in English Literature at Columbia College, and worked in the corporate world for several years before turning to writing full time.

When not reading or writing, she can be found shopping for awesome boots, listening to music, exercising, working on her very inadequate French, playing piano, or looking for inspiring landscapes to photograph. More at: mollymhall.com

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Book's Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Releases 01/29/13

Haunted Moon - Yasmine Galenorn
We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Delilah is a two-faced werecat and a Death Maiden. My sister Menolly is a vampire married to a werepuma. And me? I’m Camille, a wicked-good witch with three sexy husbands. I’m a priestess of the Moon Mother, and I’m training under the Queen of Darkness. Unfortunately, playing in the dark means that sometimes you stumble over secrets better left buried…

There’s a new Fae sorcerer in town—Bran, the son of Raven Mother and the Black Unicorn—and I’m the unwilling liaison between him and our new Earthside OIA. With cemeteries being ransacked and spirits being harvested by a sinister, otherworldly force, Aeval sends us to rescue the missing wife of a prominent member of the Fae nobility. Our search leads us to the mysterious Aleksais Psychic Network and, ultimately, to face the Lord of Ghosts where Morio and I must undergo a ritual that will plunge us directly into the world of the dead.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover - Sarah MacLean
The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean. Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa's done her research and Cross's reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion - the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it's more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts - and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

The Eldritch Conspiracy - Cat Adams
Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren.

Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia's cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she's a Siren princess, and she's marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She's getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out—including Celia herself, who is half Siren.

Luckily, Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. When Adriana returns to the Siren homeland to try to prevent a coup, Celia is free to hunt for the terrorists and the vile mage who is helping them (while keeping her eyes open for the perfect maid-of-honor dress).

Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.

The Temptation of Your Touch - Thresa Medeiros
Maximillian Burke has always prided himself on being the man every mother would want her daughter to marry. But after his scoundrel of a brother makes off with Max’s bride, Max discovers it’s more satisfying to be a rogue than the perfect gentleman. Forced to flee London after a duel gone wrong, he seeks refuge at Cadgwyck Manor on the lonely coast of Cornwall, a place as wild and savage as his current temper. The tumbledown manor comes complete with its own ghost, but oddly enough, it’s not the White Lady of Cadgwyck who haunts Max’s heated dreams—but his no-nonsense housekeeper.

The last thing housekeeper Anne Spencer needs is a new master, especially one as brooding and gorgeous as the Earl of Dravenwood. Even as she schemes to be rid of her new employer, she finds herself irresistibly drawn into his strong, muscular arms. When Max vows to solve the mystery of Cadgwyck’s ghost, he doesn’t realize it will put both of their hearts at risk and tempt them to surrender to a pleasure as delicious as it is dangerous.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Currently Reading [43]

Title: The Guardian and the Dream Crawler
Author: S.L. Lewis

In the magical realm known as Eden, witches and wizards were protected from the demon realms by a powerful wizard known as the Guardian. Like clockwork, Guardians were replaced in every generation until the death of Logan triggered a prophecy the Wizarding Council always feared.

Daniel Smith and his family were then ripped from Eden and sent to live in the human world for their own protection until he came of age. Daniel had grown used to his non-magical life until a new History teacher arrived at Greenfield High revealing his true identity as the next Guardian.

As Daniel’s world begins to unravel around him, he has to deal with hiding his secret from his friends, a school bully wanting to make his life hell and the small matter of a demonic Dream Crawler feasting on his hometown. Welcome to the world of Daniel Smith, the Wizarding Guardian.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thrifty Thursday [11]


Thrifty Thursday is a post all about cheap or free ebooks.

Free
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Hell Hounds Are For Suckers - Jessica McBrayer

$1.99
Wanted: Undead or Alive - Kerrelyn Sparks

$2.51
The Darkest Fire - Gena Showalter
The Darkest Prison - Gena Showalter

$3.99
A Beautiful Lie - Tara Sivec

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WoW 45 - Haunted Moon

Title: Haunted Moon
Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Series: Otherworld #13
Release Date: January 29th 2013

We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Delilah is a two-faced werecat and a Death Maiden. My sister Menolly is a vampire married to a werepuma. And me? I’m Camille, a wicked-good witch with three sexy husbands. I’m a priestess of the Moon Mother, and I’m training under the Queen of Darkness. Unfortunately, playing in the dark means that sometimes you stumble over secrets better left buried…

There’s a new Fae sorcerer in town—Bran, the son of Raven Mother and the Black Unicorn—and I’m the unwilling liaison between him and our new Earthside OIA. With cemeteries being ransacked and spirits being harvested by a sinister, otherworldly force, Aeval sends us to rescue the missing wife of a prominent member of the Fae nobility. Our search leads us to the mysterious Aleksais Psychic Network and, ultimately, to face the Lord of Ghosts where Morio and I must undergo a ritual that will plunge us directly into the world of the dead.

Why I am waiting:
I'm in love with the Otherworld series. Yasmine always knows how to mix in the kick butt fighting with the emotional drama.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Releases 01/22/13

Blood of the Sorceress - Maggie Shayne

Their Love was destiny. Was a curse to be their undoing?

As an ancient king’s favorite harem slave, Lilia committed the worst of all possible crimes: loving another man. When the king discovered her treason, her lover was sentenced to lose his soul and linger in eternal imprisonment, and Lilia herself was executed alongside her sisters. While they reincarnated through countless lifetimes, she lingered alone between worlds for thousands of years, waiting for the moment to rescue her beloved Demetrius.

Now that moment has come. Demetrius has broken free, but without his soul and in the thrall of the same high priest who betrayed them so long ago; he has become an icy, uncaring cad, devoting himself solely to pleasure and power. Somehow Lilia must convince him to reclaim his humanity, to abandon the enemy tempting him to give in to his selfish desires–or her life will be lost alongside his, both of them condemned to eternal damnation, eternal isolation, their love lost one final and irrevocable time.

Boundless - Cynthia Hand

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

Ever After - Kim Harrison

The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It's up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing... for the worse.

While saving the world is important, it isn't Rachel's only motivation. There's also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It's also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He's already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn't give herself up soon, they'll die.

But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn't going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She's also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she's going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones... and prevent an apocalypse before it's too late. Or, at least that's the plan...

Everbound - Brodi Ashton

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Currently Reading [42]

Title: Dire Needs
Author: Stephanie Tyler
Series: Eternal Wolf Clan #1

Feared by humans and envied by werewolves, the Dire Wolves are immortal shifters, obeying no laws but their own bestial natures.

Rifter leads the pack, and his primal instincts have led him to claim Gwen, a woman seeking solace from the chronic pain that has wracked her body her entire life.

But whatever future Rifter and Gwen have is threatened by an enemy of both humanity and the Dire Wolves...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bought, Borrowed and Bagged [9]


BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where you can share the books that you have bought, borrowed or bagged (won) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and any news you want to share with your followers.

I was really disappointed when I went to Jamie McGuire's book signing today. I got there about 30 minutes to an hour early and they had already run out of copies of Beautiful Disaster. What disappointed me was that several people bought 5-7 copies of the book ready to be signed.

I did find a few other goodies while there though that kind of made up for it.


Bought
 Blue-Blooded Vamp - Jaye Wells
The Taken - Vicki Pettersson

Here is my "haul" that I got at A Real Bookstore besides the above autographed books.
Octopus bookmark
2 washi tape
2 animal sticky notes
1 TRex wind up
Autographed Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells
Autographed The Taken by Vicki Pettersson (one is for Ana @ Beach Bum Reads <333)

Upcoming Reviews:
The Cowboy and the Princess - Lori Wilde

Last Week's Reviews:
Alpha Exposed - Anya Breton


Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Alpha Exposed

Title: Alpha Exposed
Author: Anya Breton
Release Date: October 5th 2012
Format: Ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, B&N
Connect: Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Website
 photo 4star.png

Samantha, a half blood Air witch is in a panic. Her little sister is missing and there are signs of a struggle in her living room. Not knowing who to turn to, she seeks help from a weretiger thug named Dion. Surprised to see Samantha in his restaurant after the embarrassing scene she caused by publicly turning him down; Dion knows there will be some way to get a little bit of revenge. He makes a deal with Samantha that if he finds her sister, Samantha will have to do naughty things with him in public.

The book quickly escalates to sexy times in semi-public places which will leave you hot and bothered. As the book progressed I could see the feelings building between Samantha and Dion. This is one thing I really appreciate in books because I dislike when the main characters fall in love at one flip of the page. I prefer more of a gradual change that you notice as you read. That being said, I love Anya's writing style, she creates a world that sucks you in and won't let you go until you finish the book. All in all, Alpha Exposed is a naughty read that will leave you begging for a sexy weretiger for yourself.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thrifty Thursday [10]


Thrifty Thursday is a post all about cheap or free ebooks.

Freebies

Red - Kate Serine
Blood Skies - Steven Montano

$0.99
Ember - Kristen Callihan
Tarnished - Karina Cooper
At Grave's End - Jeaniene Frost

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WoW 44 - Ever After

Title: Ever After
Author: Kim Harrison
Release Date: January 22nd 2013

The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It's up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing... for the worse.

While saving the world is important, it isn't Rachel's only motivation. There's also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It's also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He's already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn't give herself up soon, they'll die.

But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn't going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She's also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she's going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones... and prevent an apocalypse before it's too late. Or, at least that's the plan...

Why I am waiting:
I'm a huge fan of Kim Harrison. I've read all of the books in this series so far and can't wait to get my hands on this one. I found out recently that she is doing a book signing in my area at the end of January so I'm going! I'll make sure to post pictures.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Haunted Laird - First Chapter

Title: Haunted Laird
Author: Tara Nina
Series: Cursed MacKinnons #4
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Release Date: November 30, 2012
Heat Level: Sizzling
Word Count: 55,000
Buy Links:
ARe, Amazon, B&N, Ellora's Publishing

*USA Buyers of DOUBLE DILEMMA, PORTAL TO PASSION and NIGHT PRAY, will be mailed both a signed cover flat and a signed book plate for their book. All other USA buyers of Tara Nina books will get a signed book plate. Please email a copy of your purchase receipt to Vickie@InnovativeOnlineBookTours.com along with your mailing address.*

Description:
Lynn’s ghost-hunting trip in Scotland takes an unpleasant turn when she’s kidnapped from her camp by a group of men rambling about curses and a brotherhood. In a daring escape, Lynn falls over a cliff and awakens in a cave being guarded by a ghost, who insists she’s the key to freeing a man who has been cast in stone by an evil curse. And what a man he is…

Padon has been imprisoned for over two centuries, frozen in stone. He is awoken when a sexy siren recites the anti-curse, but he is only partially free. Stone by day, man by night. Passion ignites between him and his savior immediately, which makes falling to the curse each morning that much harder. He and Lynn seek a resolution by making the trek to Padon’s family castle. But the kidnappers have other plans and will do whatever they must to make sure this couple never makes it to their destination.


Excerpt:
She looked through the thinnest area of the waterfall and focused on the statue. Light from the menagerie of lanterns Jasper had provided shone on the stone surface, giving it an oddly beautiful appeal. Lynn felt compelled to speak the verse as she stood in the mist of the falling water.

“Ceum saor de clach

Be Ye Biast air duine

’Tis Gaol dara slighe

Ge Ye be mèinne

Dh’oidche mur dh’là”

Seeing nothing happen, a slight bit of disappointment filled her. She took a breath and leaned her head into the more rapid pulse of the waterfall and rinsed the suds from her hair and body. Lynn stepped back from the stream, brushing the hair and water from her eyes. The moment she regained her focus, she froze. The gasp lodged in her throat.

Was she dreaming?


~~@~~

When he woke, the realization he was no longer at Castle MacKinnon hit him in the chest with an invisible solid blow. What happened? Where was he? And most importantly, where was his family?

Padon stumbled forward with his sword held tightly, ready to strike. MacGillivray was behind this. He felt most certain that dark-eyed devil lingered near. He swung around, trying to gain his bearings. Shock shook him to the core as he recognized his surroundings.

He was in the hunting cave. But how? Last he remembered he was aiming to kill MacGillivray for attacking his brathairs. Padon surveyed the area for any signs of life, knowing only he and Jasper knew of this cave’s location. Jasper had to be behind his being here.

He shook his head. Had it been a dream? Try as he might he couldn’t remember clearly what had happened. Had he been on a hunting trip with Jasper, drunk too much and dreamed the whole brathairs-turned-to-stone-by-MacGillivray scenario? The tension in his chest eased a tad but not entirely. He lowered his sword and knelt by the stream, cupping some water for a drink, hoping to wash away the severely dusty sensation from his mouth.

He had barely swallowed when he saw her. A vision most beautiful stood washing her hair in the waterfall. ’Twas it a dream? He splashed the water on his face and blinked but she still remained. How had she gotten here? No woman had ever ventured into their hunting cave.

“Go to her. She is your salvation.”

The words whispered to his ears in the sound of his friend Jasper’s voice. He jumped to his feet and spun around but didn’t see him. Anger, confusion and fear mixed within him. What the hell was going on? What sort of sorcery was this? Hearing voices but seeing no one… He slowly turned to the vixen who now stood staring at him from the other side of the waterfall. No one was here but her.

Maybe she had the answers he sought, since Jasper seemed to be playing games with him.

Taking deliberate steps, he shortened the distance. Before entering the water, he set his sword on a large rock and dropped his kilt to the ground. No need getting his only clothing wet while he interrogated the woman. He smiled inwardly, knowing he was no small man and being naked only added to his intimidation strategy. At least that’s what he hoped when it came to the weaker sex. Determined to get answers, he forged through the water and onto the ledge.

Coming face-to-face with her rattled his fierce demeanor. She was not simply a woman, but a gorgeous specimen of female flesh. Though she tried to cover herself with her hands, she failed miserably. He doubted even his oversized hands would hide those scrumptiously large breasts. Taut pink nipples peeked from beneath the arm and hand that attempted to shield them. Instant hunger pitted in his stomach for a sample of their flavor.

Her other arm and hand did their best to cover the treasure between her thighs. It disappointed him to not get even a glimpse of her mound. Would she balk if he removed her hand so he could see? Padon shook off the idea. He needed answers, not sex. But his body pleaded otherwise as his shaft stirred to life. The awakening of his senses kept him perusing her attributes and muddled his thoughts with desire.

Though she was short in stature, she made up for it with her incredibly voluptuous figure as far as he was concerned. If her bottom was round and filled his hands, she’d be perfect. Absently he flexed his palms, curling his fingers in and out as if he could somehow feel her there without actually touching her. It didn’t help ease the growing tension in his bawls for this woman. Being in her presence made him remember he was a man as his cock twitched and stiffened even more.

Padon forced his gaze to lift from her assets and look upon her face. Its shape was that of a cherubic angel. Auburn curls carelessly framed her features. Her lips trembled and it pained him to read fear in her bright-blue eyes. In an attempt to calm her, he reached to cup her cheek but she leaned away from his touch. He dug deep to find his voice and hoped it came across soothing.

“I will nay hurt thee, mi wee one. I only ask thee for answers.”

First Chapter
By the time they finally took a break, Lynn had heard enough. The three men bickered worse than a group of old women sitting around with nothing to do but complain about what ailed them. She still couldn’t believe one of them was Fin, Travis’ partner at MacShain’s Guided Tours. The tour company she’d employed to explore the greatest haunted locations in Scotland. If she’d known one of them was a kidnapper, she never would have joined their group.

Travis! Where was Travis? He’d completely slipped her mind. What had they done with him? It made her stomach churn not knowing if her friend were dead or alive. Though she’d listened closely to every word they’d said, they never mentioned what happened to him. And she had been so intent on fighting them when they took her captive, she hadn’t noticed if he lay unconscious or in a pool of blood at their campsite.

She fidgeted but couldn’t move much being they’d tied her hands and feet, then secured her to a makeshift litter with the sleeping bag from her tent that they wrapped thick tape around until she was wedged tight. All she could think when she looked at the contraption they had her in was one word. Papoose. She was being hauled up a mountain in a giant papoose. They’d covered her mouth with a piece of the same tape so she couldn’t scream. Though she tired, she couldn’t push it off with her tongue or wiggle her lips enough to loosen it.

So she resolved herself to lie there, listen, and reserve her strength. They were bound to make a mistake and when they did, she planned to use it to her advantage and escape.

Fin had hidden his face at the campsite she shared with Travis, by keeping his hood tucked low over his head so she didn’t get a good look at him then. Now he didn’t even try to hide from her as she glared at him while he carried the foot end of her prison. The other two, named Lonnie and Timothy, she couldn’t see well from her position. One of them was at the head end of the litter while the other apparently led the way. From what she’d overheard, she was beginning to piece together some of what they were up to, but still didn’t understand why it involved kidnapping her.

What did they want with an American from Texas?

If they planned to ransom her off, the joke was on them. Her family wasn’t rich. The only surviving blood-related member was her sister, who was married to a small town pharmacist and they had a set of triplets. Definitely no money left there. Absently she shook her head. As to her, when Eddie died, he left her comfortable but not extremely wealthy by any means. If she lived frugally, which she did, the money would last for years. So as far as exchanging her for money, they were out of luck, but she didn’t think they had taken her for money. There was this one thing they spoke of several times.

Who or what was this brotherhood they mentioned?

Lynn inhaled deeply through her nose. Apparently this brotherhood wanted something they were willing to pay steeply to obtain and didn’t care what methods were taken to get it. But these guys were out of their minds if they thought she had anything of worth for this brotherhood. She doubted it was her they wanted. It sounded like something was hidden somewhere on this mountain. If they thought she knew where it was, they were crazy.

Unless… She scrolled through everything she’d learned so far. What if they were after something in the cave Travis was taking her to visit? Had they captured her as a trade-off for the cave’s location? Did they think that particular cave held whatever it was they were looking for? Did they think Travis shared the coordinates with her and she’d be able to lead them there? Questions tumbled through her head as she swallowed the lump of growing fear in her throat. She didn’t know anything. She closed her eyes, wishing she’d never taken Travis’ offer to introduce her to a ghost.

She lay there reliving the conversation she’d had with Travis several nights earlier. She must have looked like the biggest sucker going sitting across the table from Travis at a pub after their tour of the underground vaults. Lynn inwardly reprimanded herself for hanging on to his every word as he’d shared his tale of a night he’d spent in a cave with an ancient Scotsman’s specter. Travis claimed he would take her there and she’d be able to communicate with a ghost. The one thing she had yet to achieve in all her years of seeing apparitions was actually speaking with the dead and somehow he’d figured that out and used it against her.

Had he noticed her reactions to the lingering souls wandering the vaults? There had been so many, she felt certain she hadn’t been able to suppress her excitement from her facial expressions. Had he read her desires and played her for a fool? Throughout the tour, she’d noticed Travis seemed to watch her more intently than any of the others. At the pub, he’d explained he’d been waiting for the right person with which to share his spiritual find. She’d fallen for it completely and even did her best to assure him she was the one he needed, a true believer in everything paranormal.

Was he somehow a part of this whole kidnapping ploy? Lynn shivered inwardly. She hadn’t thought of that before. Was Travis not really her friend but an instigator in this ruse to capture an American? She couldn’t think straight as ideas of subterfuge and dastardly deeds tormented her thoughts. No! She refused to believe ill of Travis. He was innocent in this whole scenario.

Damn! The predicament she’d managed to get herself into all in the name of ghost chasing. This addiction of hers was finally going to get her killed.

“Lonnie,” Timothy griped, loudly. Lynn stirred from her musings and concentrated on their conversation, hoping for a thread of information she could use in her favor. “We need a break. Carrying this chick up the mountain isn’t easy.”

“Yeah,” Fin chimed in, “when’s your turn ta help carry her?”

“Quit your grousing,” Lonnie snapped. “We don’t have much farther and we’ll be at the campsite.”

“This better be worth it,” Fin stated heatedly. “The society offered a tidy sum. How do we know this brotherhood will keep their promise? The society will pay, there’s no question there. But this brotherhood seems a bit shady ta me.”

“You’ve pointed that out before, Fin. How many times I got ta tell you?” Lonnie’s growing frustration was evident in his tone. “Me and Tim helped save Brother Leod from a fire at a club in London. He promised ta make us rich if we joined his group.”

Lynn felt the foot of the litter lower as Fin set her down. He moved to stand face to face with Lonnie, who now stood near her shoulder. It was apparent he was the one in charge of this operation. She could sense the tension between them. This was something she could use to her advantage. Fin didn’t speak much during the week of her guided tour through the haunts of Edinburgh. He’d let his partner Travis do all the tour guide stuff while he drove the bus. Now he didn’t seem to hold his tongue.

“I just find it mighty strange this Brother Leod knows so much about the clan we swore ta protect.”

“We,” Lonnie screeched, leaning to within millimeters of Fin’s face. “I don’t know about you, but I took no oath. It was a fairy tale, a myth handed down from our forefathers that suckered us into believing in a curse on a clan that no longer exists.”

“It must be some truth behind it or why would so many before us stand together united?” Lynn saw Fin’s stance change as if making ready to fight. “And best o’ all, why would this newfound friend o’ yours be so interested in what the society protects? Think maybe he’s up ta no good?”

Lonnie shook as he waved his hands in the air in frustration. “I think you be backing out on us, Fin. You be in too tight with the society.” He poked Fin in the chest with his forefinger as he bellowed, “Are you with us or are you not? You might want ta be thinking about it afore you answer.” He nodded toward the side of the path that was a steep drop-off into a ravine. “Looks ta be a mighty long fall.”

Fin’s shoulders tightened and it appeared as if he reined in his anger, taking a step back. She heard his heavy exhale as he replied, “I’m in.”

“Good,” Lonnie spat back at him. “Now pick up your end and let’s get going.”

Lynn couldn’t help but wonder about Fin’s connection with these two.

Silence fell between them, which gave her time to sort through the limited details. Apparently they all belonged to some sort of society sworn to protect some nonexistent clan. Lonnie had a new friend with lots of money and a desire to own something the society protected. But what? None of them had let that slip.

Fin wouldn’t look at her. Instead his gaze seemed to glance occasionally behind him as if expecting to see someone there at any moment. Travis maybe? Momentarily a spark of hope for his safety gave her an instant of relief that Travis might be tracking them or gone for help. When Fin wasn’t looking behind, his eyes stayed straightforward and she could only imagine the hole his glare would bore through Lonnie’s back if he had such a power.

And from what she’d figured out, Timothy did whatever Lonnie told him to do. So even if Fin had changed his mind about being a part of this team, he was out-numbered. She focused on Fin. He was the weak link. Something didn’t seem right with him and this little adventure. Something she hoped she could twist in her favor when the time was right.

It was after dark when they reached the designated campsite on the ridge. Tents were already erected. It appeared as if they had set up camp before they invaded her campsite and took her captive. They set her down. Timothy stacked wood in the pit to build a fire. Fin disappeared into one of the two tents. Lonnie plopped onto a large rock beside the pit.

When Fin came out of his tent carrying a lit lantern, she tried to talk against the tape to get his attention. Though it was nothing more than a mumbled noise, he squatted beside her and sat the lantern on the ground near her head. In a low tone, he spoke to her, “I’m going ta remove the tape. If you scream, I’ll have ta put it back. You no going ta scream are you?”

Lynn shook her head and he slowly removed the tape from her mouth. She wiggled her jaw and wet her lips. It felt good to have that off her face. Now if she could just get him to unwrap the tape that bound her to the stretcher and release her arms from behind her back her shoulders would be forever grateful.

“Can you untie me please?” she asked softly, “I need to go to the bathroom.”

Fin glanced at his partners then pulled out a pocketknife and started cutting the tape. He hadn’t gotten far when Lonnie jumped up and ran over to him.

“What the hell are you doing?”

Fin didn’t stop. He continued cutting without looking up from his task. “The lass is in need o’ a bathroom break.”

Lonnie commanded, “Then she’s your responsibility. Make sure she doesn’t get away.” He turned on his heels and stomped over to the other tent and went inside.

“Real friendly guy,” Lynn stated coolly. Fin smiled at her wisecrack and the tension in the back of her neck eased. Once he freed the tape from across the sleeping bag, he lifted it off her and helped her sit upright. After cutting the tape binding her ankles, he untied the rope from around her wrists.

“You okay ta stand?”

“I think so. I’m a little stiff.”

“Here, I’ll help you,” Fin offered as he took her hands and guided her to her feet.

Lynn’s legs were fine. She wiggled her toes in her boots trying to loosen the tightness in her ankles. Rolling her shoulders and moving her fingers helped relieve the dead sensation and numbness in her arms and hands. The small of her back ached from lying on her hands balled beneath her. The only good thing from being carried up the mountain, she’d laid there listening, learning their motives and reserving her energy. As soon as the tingling quit in her arms and feet, she knew she’d be ready to make a break for it.

She took a step toward the trees when Fin cut her off. “Nay, lassie. I’ve got ta keep you from running.” He held a longer rope, which he secured around her waist.

“Really,” Lynn said with her eyebrow cocked and a hand on the rope.

“It’s either this or I hold your hand while you pee,” Fin stated point-blank. Lynn opened her mouth to protest then shut it. He was serious. He grabbed the lantern and held it out so she could see where she was going.

They walked several feet away from the tents. Fin stopped her and turned her to face him. He hung the lantern on a branch so it bathed the area in a low glow. He took hold of her hands as he spoke in a whispered tone so only she could hear.

“Listen, Lynn. Things are not as they seem. Please abide by Lonnie’s rules for now and I’ll see ta it you make it home safe.”

Lynn swallowed her excitement. She was right about Fin. He really wasn’t part of this, but somehow had gotten roped into it. Keeping her voice low and her tone even she asked, “Why are you helping them?”

“That be a question I cannot answer now.” He nodded toward the campsite. “You best be doing your business quickly or Lonnie just might come looking for us. He may not be the brightest but he does have a mean streak.”

She nodded and scooted behind the trees out of his view. Indecision warred with her insides as she relieved herself while at the same time loosening the rope. She wasn’t a liar, she really had to go but she had no intentions of missing the opportunity to escape. When she stood and secured her jeans, she turned and walked face first into a hand over her mouth and an arm around her waist.

“Don’t scream, Lynn. It’s me, Travis,” he whispered in her ear.

Fear filled her. In her panic, his words didn’t register. She bit his hand and kneed him in the family jewels. Adrenaline rushed making her run faster than she’d ever run in her life. Limbs slapped her face and left behind stinging scratches. Darkness surrounded her, only the occasional light from the stars and moon filtered through the canopy of trees. Limited line-of-sight didn’t stop her. She kept on running. Several times she tripped and miraculously she managed to stay on her feet, blindly grabbing hold of branches or trees to break her fall.

Voices echoed behind her making her push onward even though she gasped for air. Her lungs hurt. There wasn’t an uncovered patch of skin that didn’t burn from being attacked by objects in the dark. She knew if she didn’t slow down she was going to get severely injured. When she couldn’t hear the voices behind her anymore, she slowed to a stop and bent over with her hands on her knees trying to clear her head and breathe.

Wheezing in and out, she thought she was going to be sick even though her stomach was empty. Her capturers hadn’t fed her. Dizziness made her head spin, causing her to crumble to her knees. Uncontrollable tears gushed and for the first time since the whole thing started, she felt completely helpless. Sob after sob croaked from deep inside her before she finally curled into a ball on the soft forest floor.

She lay there for several minutes more, trying to calm her frazzled nerves. The sensation of warmth cocooned her, soothing her, clearing her thoughts as the faint sound of her dead husband’s voice flowed inside her head. Think, Lynn. Think. There’s got to be a way out of this. Lying on the ground won’t save you.

Lynn sat upright, dried her eyes and gathered her wits. Eddie reached out to her in her time of need just as he’d done whenever she was down or distraught over the past three years. This she knew in her heart. Whether she imagined it or not, it was his whispered words of encouragement that sparked her drive to survive and pulled her back together. He was the reason she’d come on this trip to Scotland, to fulfill their ghost hunting dreams. She’d be damned if she’d let some two-bit kidnappers ruin her life. She struggled to her feet and straightened her clothes as best as possible.

Up ahead through the trees, she thought she saw a break in the woods. Maybe there was a meadow and quite possibly a house with people who could help her. Slowly she worked her way in that direction. The sound of male voices from somewhere behind her scared her. They were still coming after her and getting closer. She dug deep for any energy she had left and ran.

The moment she cleared the tree line, the ground went out from under her. She landed on her backside and began a torturous slide, bouncing off saplings, rocks and underbrush as her speed increased. Afraid she’d break her neck if she didn’t stop, Lynn kept grabbing onto anything that would slow her descent. Several times the thin saplings she managed to grasp pulled out of the soft ground, slowing her some but not much. Digging in her heels helped, but the moist soil gave away until she hit a solid mass, a well-embedded rock that stopped her downward spiral.

Lynn came to a bone-jarring halt, leaning into the side of the mountain and praying the rock beneath her feet didn’t pull out of place. Once the dirt around her stopped shifting, she evaluated her condition. It didn’t seem as if anything was broken but it was hard to tell through the total body numbness. Breathing deep, she calmed her overwrought nerves and forced her trembling hands to search from side to side for anything that would help support her. Peering down the length of her body, she realized she’d slipped into a ravine and from her position, it looked bottomless. It wasn’t an open meadow she’d seen, it was simply an optical illusion caused by the way the moonlight played upon the countryside.

Damn! She closed her eyes and it hit her. She was living the dream she had the first night of this ghost hunting adventure. Dead tired from hiking into the Grampian Mountains, cozy and warm in her sleeping bag, her imagination ran wild in her sleep and she had awoken all hot and bothered by the images fired to life in her brain. Thinking back, it replayed as if she were asleep and the dream reoccurred.

Don’t look down, whispered through her head as she gasped for a full breath. She clung on for life in her dream just like she did now. Dirt slipped from the mountain, crumbling around her with any movement. Lynn kept her eyes closed tight, listening to the echo of a rock as it rolled into the deep crevice beneath her. It sounded so far away. She tried desperately not to think on the ‘what if she fell’ scenario and let the memory of the dream temporary control her thoughts.

She’d had help then whereas now there was none. As she’d reached upward, a hand had grabbed hers. If she remembered correctly, warmth had shot down her arm as a strong hand wrapped around hers. Lynn leaned back into the mountain, letting the vision of hope live in her mind in a valiant effort to relieve the tension of her reality.

One hand held hers, while the other reached and grabbed her backpack, tugging her into the mouth of a cave without so much as a grunt from the effort. Once certain of her safety, she’d lifted onto her knees, turned on a flashlight she couldn’t remember from where she’d gotten it, after all it was a dream. Several seconds passed before she could actually focus. But when she did, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

A gorgeous hunk of a man dressed in full-scale, ancient Scottish regalia stood staring down at her. The way the light played across the plains of his face gave him a dangerously rugged appeal. She couldn’t decide if his eyes were green, blue or a mixture of both. A firm jaw held a set of perfect male lips. Waves of dark hair thick with amber highlights hung loose about his broad shoulders.

He was bare-chested except for the leather strap that crossed from left shoulder to right hip, which held the sheath for the sword she saw the handle of above his shoulder. The man’s abdominal muscles were unlike any she’d ever seen. Ripped was the only word that came to mind, but even that didn’t do him justice. A red and green plaid kilt slung low across his hips lay perfectly to his knees. Laced boots covered from his calves to his toes, but from the snug fit hid nothing about their musculature. His legs befit the rest of him, muscles on top of muscles.

For a split second, wonder if he’s true to his kilt flashed inside her brain and she’d had to fold her hands together to resist the temptation to lift the plaid and take a peek. She swallowed hard, then forced her brain to work and made her mouth form a sentence.

“Thank you for saving me.” She remembered speaking as she held her hand out to him.

He’d stared for what seemed like an eternity before he reached for it and helped her to her feet. She stumbled on weakened legs and fell against the solid wall of male flesh. His arm wrapped around her waist, holding her closer along the warmth of his form. His other hand’s fingers gently touched her chin and guided her face upward. He seemed to study her before his eyes met hers.

The low sultry baritone of his words washed over her as he spoke. “Nay, milady. 'Tis ye who hath saved mi.”

In the dream, his arm tightened around her waist as he lifted her without any effort. One of her hands held his thick, bulging biceps while her other hand landed on his waist for support. Never had anyone lifted her to kiss her. Nerves fired to life that she’d thought were dead. The closer his lips got, the more she wanted his kiss. This slow motion event was killing her. The heat of his breath caressed her lips just millimeters apart. The warmth of his body set her on fire with desire.

Lynn caught herself craning her neck trying to reach his lips. Opening her eyes reality set in. She truly clung to the side of a mountain for life. She tilted her chin upward, but saw nothing much in the darkness. Was there a handsome man waiting to rescue her? Nervously she laughed at the ludicrous thought. There wasn’t anyone who knew where she was or would risk their life to save her.

This wasn’t a dream. This was her reality.

No, it was up to her to save herself. She dug deep, brushing away the perfect hero-saves-the-day dream from her thoughts and struggled for survival.

Cautious in her movements, she inched along the rock, turning until she was face first against the dirt. Should she try to climb down or was it easier to go up? Lynn moved her hands palm flat along the ground searching for any point of support, anything she could grasp. The fingertips of her right hand brushed something rough and solid. Lynn rotated her head in that direction. It appeared to be a ledge. God, she hoped it would hold her.

With slow, careful movements, she worked her way toward the lip in the rock, hugging her body to the mountain for dear life. She used the plants for leverage, holding on but not pulling so their roots wouldn’t break and jerk free from the ground. It seemed like an eternity had past before she reached the ledge. Every muscle ached and trembled but she refused to give in to the exhaustion that threatened to tear her from the mountainside. Nope. She didn’t plan to fail. That ledge was her salvation, her place to rest and recuperate until sunrise.

She gripped the rocky edge. When it didn’t break off and slide away, relief made her smile. Now all she had to do was pull herself up onto it. Toeing her boots into the dirt, she tried to push upward using her legs. The ground slid out from beneath her right foot and she slipped, leaving her dangling by her hands. Her shoulders screamed in pain and her arms shook, but she tightened her grip refusing to lose this battle.

Sheer will helped her find a sturdier foundation. Her left foot located a rock and her right she planted between the base of a bush and the dirt. Spread-eagled wasn’t the best position but it kept her from falling any farther. The rock didn’t feel as sturdy as the bush so she pushed up on her right leg and glided her left leg closer to the right until it found a secure spot stuck in a hole a wee bit higher than the bush. She struggled inch by inch until she was able to hoist herself onto the ledge.

Lynn rolled several feet away from the edge and onto her back. Breathing heavily, she lay still trying to evaluate her condition. Nothing felt broken. Her legs and arms trembled from the excessive exertion she’d placed on them. This definitely was more exercise than she’d ever gotten. Seconds turned into minutes as she simply lay there. The pounding of her heart resumed its normal pace and the tension in her body relaxed, giving her a chance to reflect on the events that led up to her precarious predicament.

Don’t scream, Lynn. It’s me, Travis.

The words rolled around inside her head and the sudden realization of what she’d done surfaced. Ohmygod! Travis! She’d attacked Travis, the one person who she thought was on her side. Or maybe he wasn’t. She truly didn’t know for sure anymore. Hysterical laughter rose from her chest.

What had she done?

She rolled onto her side and curled into a ball. The laughter slowed and exhaustion took over. Everything hurt. Both arms and legs trembled uncontrollably. A deep-seated ache bloomed from her core and spread outward until every ounce of her was thoroughly sated, causing her muscles to spasm at will. Her body gave her no other choice but to sleep. If she saw the morning light, it would be a miracle.

Invisible, strong, gentle hands caressed her, lulling her to sleep. Warmth surrounded her. The handsome man reappeared in her dreams, giving her comfort in her time of need. She snuggled closer into the imaginary heat of his body. He surrounded her, coddling her against him as if he alone would protect her from the elements. Sensing he stood watch, Lynn relaxed further into the depths of sleep, letting his sexy image renew her desire for life and for him.

He appeared to be tall with wide shoulders and thick arms that would hold her for as long as she needed to be held. Long, dark hair with rich shades of red was pulled away from his face, making her wish to untie what bound it and set it free to landscape his rugged features. Deep, blue-green eyes stared at her filled with wonder and wisdom beyond his years.

In this dream, he said nothing nor did she. He simply held her while she slept, keeping her close and away from the edge of the ledge. His imaginary heat warmed her and warded off the cool night air. A sensual dream not sexual guided her into a peaceful place where the hazards of her day no longer existed. It was just her and her hot, dream-walking man.


Author Bio:
Hot Romance~Sexy Attitude best describes Tara Nina’s writing style. She creates for Ellora’s Cave in sensuality ranges from steamy hot to simmering sweet, which includes paranormals, contemporaries and romantic suspense. She is a Southerner living in the northern wilds of New Jersey complete with grown children, three dogs, and a mountain man for a husband.

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New Releases 01/15/13

Are you buying any new books this week? Here are a few that sound interesting.

Gates of Paradise - Melissa de la Cruz
Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.

Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?

Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.

Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?

The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love.


The Revelation - Opal Carew
From author Opal Carew comes the third sizzling segment in the erotic serial novel  His to Command that explores one woman's surrender to desire at the hands of a dominant man.

After acknowledging her role in their breakup, Kate knows that Matt would have never intentionally harmed her. Frustrated by her own weakness and self-deception, she takes steps to begin exploring her submissive side with him. As they test the boundaries of their passion, Matt and Kate realize how perfectly they come together and the depths of their feelings for each other. But in the harsh light of day, uncertainties and secrets once more plague the couple, and for Matt, one secret in particular could destroy his entire future with the woman he loves.


Unforgivable - Joanna Chambers
A notorious rake is about to make the ultimate faux pas—fall in love with his own wife.

Gil Truman has eyes only for the beautiful Tilly—until he is forced to marry plain, sickly Rose Davenport to reclaim the lands his father foolishly gambled away. After a disastrous wedding night tainted with his bitterness, he deposits Rose at his remote Northumbrian estate, soothing his guilt with the thought that she need never lay eyes on him again.

Five years after the mortifying wedding night that destroyed all her romantic fantasies, Rose is fed up with hearing second- and third-hand reports of Gil’s philandering ways. She is no longer the shy, homely girl he left behind, but a strong, confident woman who knows how to run an estate. And knows what she wants—her husband, back in their marriage bed.

Gil doesn’t recognize the bold, flirtatious woman he meets at a ball, with or without her mask. Yet he is bewitched and besotted, and their night together is the most passionate he has ever known.

But when he confesses his sins to the beautiful stranger, the truth rips open the old wounds of their blighted history. Threatening any hope of a future together.