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Friday, February 27, 2015

Aly Martinez's Fighting Silence ✜Review & Giveaway✜


  
Meet Till & Eliza in Aly Martinez’s newest fighter series!


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 Excerpt 
FIGHTING SILENCE
"That wasn't yours to take away," he exploded into the otherwise silent night. His words echoed off the surrounding buildings, each wave slicing me to the quick all over again. "That was our place. Not yours." His voice cracked right alongside my heart.
"Yeah, well, there was a lot of stuff that wasn't yours to take either." I held his gaze, desperately trying to be strong, but as his eyes grew wide, I whimpered.
His long legs strode forward, stopping only inches away from me. He was crowding me, but he still leaned in closer to my face. "There is nothing in this world that was ever more mine than you," he stated. Though it was the absolute truth, I wished with all my heart that it were a lie.
"Till," I cried, swiping the tears from my eyes.
"Why!" he shouted, causing his muscles to tense under the force. "Goddamn it! I needed that place."
Porch lights flashed on from the surrounding apartments, illuminating not only the dark but also my rage.
I shoved my hands into his chest. "What about what I needed? You left! I waited in that fucking apartment for weeks."
He didn't budge, but my bare feet slipped, sending me toward the ground. Impossibly fast, Till's hand snaked out and caught my arm. I didn't let his chivalrous gesture douse my fire. I had six months’ worth of words to say to the man I was irrevocably in love with.
"You took what you wanted. Then you left me."
"Doodle," he whispered.
I had been perilously close to the edge of insanity, and with one single word, he’d pushed me over.
I lost it completely.
Pounding my fists against his chest, I screamed at the top of my lungs, "It's Eliza! My name is fucking Eliza! Not Doodle!" I spun to march away, but Till's arms folded around me, lifting me off my feet to restrain me.
I was miniscule compared to him. There was no use in fighting, but I still kicked my legs, irrationally desperate to get away from him—but only because I knew I couldn't keep him for forever.
"Stop it!" he growled into my ear. "I know your Goddamn name—probably better than I know my own."


Till: He is her reality
Eliza - Doodle: She is his fantasy

We walk the path of Till and Eliza as they find each other, grow up, love each other and make themselves into a family. This is such a beautiful story. It has a young couple that have literally nothing but each other and Till's brothers, who fight to love each other against a world that is determined to keep throwing them curve balls. It is such a wonderfully written book that made me love these two hard as well as Till's 2 brothers. Then i'm fighting for breath at how hot they get with each other. These two practically scorch the pages. It was a fast read because I couldn't put it down. I was engrossed in it. I needed more. If you could keep a dry eye throughout the book you were better at sucking it up than I was! The love between these two and that was shared between the brothers was an amazing thing and I loved reading it. Just the brother's story was a true love story because he wouldn't give up on them. It was just nice to read a book where love came first. It was also funny in a few places so not all drama and emotion, but be ready to have your socks blown off by this book. It is simply amazing. 







Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?
 I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine.  I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.
 You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.
 They both happened anyway.
 Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.
 Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.
 I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.

About the Author
Aly Martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.





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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Caitlyn O'Leary's Revealed ♡Review & Giveaway♥

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Synopsis
Tortured beyond Endurance… Kelly Wachowski has no memory of her life before she was five. Despite being one of the ‘found’ children and her uncanny ability to assimilate languages, she’s managed to live a normal life for twenty years until the day she was kidnapped. Tortured beyond endurance she prayed for death while she dreamed of a boy long forgotten—Noah.
A Hero with a Secret… Samson Noah Kukailimoku is another ‘found’ child. His existence was kept secret by the Polynesian family who adopted him. Now he’s a highly decorated naval officer, and part of an elite unit whose mission is to rescue children like Kelly. The closer he gets to finding her the more he connects to her and shares the pain of her torture and the dreams of their shared past. A Love That Is More than a Dream… After her rescue, Kelly is convinced she’s losing her mind as she experiences Noah’s life in a waking dream. Knowing she’s in danger, Noah must save Kelly from herself and those tracking her, moving Heaven and Earth to protect her. Linked by their past, danger and deception follow them everywhere. Together they discover a love and passion surpassing all of their dreams, but before they can have a future together they have to solve the mystery of their past. 

 AMAZON US ☉ AMAZON UK ☉ KOBO ☉ GOOGLE 


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I was riveted from the first paragraph. This was a new kind of paranormal, a new fresh look at the paranormal worlds we have come to love reading. Caitlyn O'Leary pulls you into the story so fast you don't want to leave. This is a fantastic beginning of a series and I am so hooked. I admit you meet so many important characters in this book it is almost an over load but I didn't care I sucked them all in and wanted to know even more. The story and plot for this series is so well done. I enjoyed each new tidbit given at just the right times. The plot unfolding was executed so well I didn't know for sure exactly 'Who done it" and why until it was revealed. I loved trying to figure it out with Kelly and Noah whose story is amazing. I am a sucker for romance and these two had it in spades.  Just great writing and imagination. I will be looking for the next book in the Found series! 



Author Bio
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I was born in Seattle Washington, but soon moved to a small town North of there, which is where I grew up. I’m the oldest of five children, so it was a lively household, and reading became my way to block out the noise. I am an avid reader. I love every genre, but romance and happily ever afters have always been my favorite books. I remember in middle school my biology teacher taking a Rosemary Rogers book away from me; I didn’t understand why—she was certainly teaching me aspects of biology! As I grew up, I would write stories to entertain myself and my younger siblings. I often wrote their book reports for them. My brothers were only one year apart in age. I wrote a report for the oldest his senior year, he turned it in and got a B+. The next year John turned in the same report to the same teacher and got an A-, the year after that the youngest turned it in to the same teacher and got an A. The teacher liked it better each time he read it! I’ve worked in corporate America for most of my life, where a lot of creative writing takes place (and if you don’t believe me, you really don’t know corporate America). I blogged to all my employees when I spent six weeks in India—they considered me quite the smartass. My corporate life has allowed me to live in Washington, Texas, Belgium and California. I have been with the same man for seventeen years. He was born and raised in Texas, and twelve years ago I whisked him, kicking and screaming, to Southern California. Luckily he loves me and wants to be where I am, but he’s still a Texan at heart (although he doesn’t miss Texas summers). I’m a very lucky woman who enjoys swimming, traveling, babysitting her nieces and nephews and doing lots of “research” with her husband for upcoming books. After being such a fan of romance all my life, I was reading Sophie Oak’s Bliss and Siren in the City series last year, and they weren’t coming out fast enough. I started thinking about a place up in the Northwest, and characters started spinning in my head. Then came Chance. Once he was there, he demanded to be put down on paper. I don’t really write the stories. For real, the stories just come out of my fingers onto the computer screen. Half the time I’m surprised by what ends up being typed!


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Chapter One
“Tell me where you came from.” It always started this way. First the question, then the excruciating pain as the electric paddles were held against her temples. The smell of her burning flesh. Then they would take the rubber bit from her mouth and ask another question. Another question she couldn’t answer. “How many of you are there?” She prayed to all the saints her mother taught her that this time she would pass out. It was the only thing to ever stop the questions. Stop the pain. “I don’t know!” she wailed, as the bit was shoved into her mouth. She squeezed her eyes so tight she saw stars before the shocking red flames took over her very being. “Where did you come from? Where are the rest of you now?” They yanked the bit from her mouth, making her lip bleed. “Just tell me what you want me to say…” her voice didn’t sound like her own. For hours or months, she wasn’t sure how long she begged them to tell her what they wanted her to answer. The paddles were again placed on her temples. Fire exploded behind her eyes and her teeth actually tore into the rubber bit.
****
She wasn’t strapped down. She stretched and it felt wonderful, until the pins and needles started. Where was she? She wanted to see if they noticed they forgot to buckle the straps. She tried to look around. She couldn’t. She was blind. They’d blinded her, the shock therapy had blinded her. Oh God. She trembled in horror for long moments before realizing it was her eyelids, they were swollen shut. She tried to touch them to make sure it was the only thing wrong but pain seared her arm. Moving slowly to restore some circulation to her limbs, she realized she was lying on something soft. Rolling just a little so she wasn’t lying on her arm, she fell on to a hard cement floor. It hurt, it was cold, but at least she could move. Trying to stand up, she used the cot as leverage, but her legs wouldn’t support her. She crawled and bumped her head against a wall. Using it as a guide she followed it around the small room with cement walls, basically a cell. Mostly empty except for the cot and the toilet, there was a tray with something that felt and smelled like bread and cheese. She wolfed down some of the food, but there wasn’t anything to drink. Crawling over to the toilet she flushed it, then greedily drank handfuls of water. “Good to see you’re back with us Kelly.” She hadn’t heard any door open or anything else to indicate she wasn’t alone. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” Cringing at the desperate edge in her voice, she clamped her lips tight. God, how she wanted to beg for water that didn’t come from a toilet, for food, or a blanket, or to go home. “Who are we? You don’t get to ask the questions, we do. We want to know who all of you are. We know about you and the four others. You all showed up twenty years ago. Why did you come here? Where did you come from?” The woman’s voice was calm and soothing. It was like they were having a polite conversation, but Kelly knew the horror awaiting her at the woman’s command. “I told you, I don’t remember anything before waking up in Dad’s police car.” Kelly’s voice was raspy from all the screams, but at least it was even. “But Kelly, Mike Wachowski isn’t really your father now is he?” Again the woman’s speech was calm and soothing. “You appeared out of thin air twenty years ago and were adopted into his family, isn’t that right?” It wasn’t a question, and Kelly didn’t reply, but suddenly realized what was coming next. She’d forgotten. This wasn’t the first time she’d woken up in this room and drank from the toilet bowl. Doubted it was even the tenth time. It had to be the shock treatments. They were messing with her memory. She didn’t remember when she’d been kidnapped, but it had to have been well over a month, oh God, could it have been a year? She sat there, turning her head away from the direction of the voice. She waited, and then heard more people entering the cell, knowing what came next. Holding up her arms she didn’t have long to wait, they were there, grabbing and dragging her out.
****
“Noooooo-aaaahhhhh!” “Shove the bit in again. I don’t want her biting through her tongue. Hopefully this new dosage will break down the damn barrier.” Whatever chemicals they gave her burned as they made their way into her system. She moaned around the rubber bit and struggled with the restraints as the paddles were placed against her temples. Maybe they’d finally kill her and her suffering would end. First black, then white, and then the red of fire and pain. Coursing through her like molten fire, through every molecule, forcing her to lose control of her bodily functions. The colors burst in front of her, yellows, purples, pinks and blues. Ripping the head off one wildflower she pushed it against her nose and inhaled the fragrance, and then threw back her head and laughed. The sun was up and warm against her bare shoulders. Charging forward, she giggled as the flowers brushed legs, the soft grass squishy between her toes. She soared over the log in her path, and then she saw him. Noah was her best friend. She knew he wanted to be alone, but he needed her. Tiptoeing behind him, she jumped up to surprise him as he turned around. He gave her a dark look but she smiled at him and flung her arms wide, watching as his face suffused with laughter. He scooped her up and twirled her around. He was nine and she was five, but their age difference didn’t matter, they were best friends. Grabbing his silky black hair as he twirled her, she hugged his neck, and Kali was content. Nothing was better in her world than loving Noah, he belonged to her. “Don’t be sad anymore, Noah.” “I’m not sad, Kali.” “Don’t lie.” “I’m leaving with the others.” She’d known. But she didn’t want him to leave. “Kalani, you need to understand, let me show you.” He touched their foreheads together. “No, I don’t want to see.” “Open up Kali, you need to see. Let me show you.” Kali relaxed and let him share the other universe needing their help. He revealed everything. So many things didn’t make sense, but the pain and suffering was easy to comprehend, and more, she could see what it was Noah and the others were supposed to do. It was simple, they were to be themselves and just help a little. He was right, he had to go, it was important. Kali started to cry. She knew it meant she would have to leave everything she loved, her Nana, the meadow, and everything else, because there was no way Noah was leaving without her.


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Shelly Jones' Right kind of Wrong


The Right Kind of Wrong
Author: Shelly Jones
Cover Models: Lance Jones and Alexandra Hardesty
Photo Credit: Shauna Kruse of  Kruse Images and Photography: Models and Boudoir
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We get to what I hope is the last bar of the night. This bar is smaller, kind of like the ones back home. Out front there’s couple of guys on motorcycles talking and smoking. We get out of the truck, I look up to see where we’re going and I make eye contact with one of the guys for a couple of seconds. The grin he gives me is sexy, yet cocky. Of course my fucking face warms and turns red, he must have noticed because I heard a chuckle come from him.

“Come on, let’s get you something to drink!” Mel wraps her arm around me and leads me inside. There’s not very many people in this bar, which makes me happy. There’s music coming from the jukebox, it’s not country music, but I know this song, it’s “When I Come Around” By Green Day, this song was played a lot at parties back home. We find a table in the back and the guys go get us drinks. Mel grabs the darts, puts quarters in the dart board and we play darts.
A few songs have played, mostly rock, but when the jukebox starts to play “Porn Star Dancing” by My Darkest Days and Zakk Wylde, My skin starts to crawl, “Ugh, I hate this song!!” I say out loud.
“Let’s go put money in that bitch and pay back the bastard back!” Mel says and we start laughing. We walk over to the jukebox and put money in choose our song, “Kiss You” by One Direction. “That’ll teach the fucker!” Mel says.

Mel, Lucy and I start dancing by the table, singing along with the song. I start scanning the bar and notice it’s more of an older crowd in here, but I keep scanning when my eyes connect with the same eyes that met me when we got here. He gives me that same cocky ass smile. My stomach does flips and I’m ready to throw up. Him and his buddies start to walk towards us. His eyes never leave mine. When he walks past me, he winks at me and walks over by the pool table.
  
Fuck, this guy is hot, he’s tall, 6’0” at least, and he’s wearing a white t-shirt, baggy blue jeans and converse shoes. His t-shirt hugs his body showing off his muscular build. He has tattoos going up both arms.  He’s wearing a black baseball cap turned backwards, but I can tell his hair is dark brown, but fuck his eyes though, I could get lost in those dark brown eyes. There’s mystery in his eyes, but yet you can tell he knows he could have any girl he wanted.  He’s not my type but he’s hot as fuck, there’s no denying that.
“Damn it Emily, snap out of it! Ain’t gonna happen!” I say to myself.




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Harper Sloan's Unexpected Fate ⌘Review & Giveaway⌘




 Excerpt
 “Dani-girl.”  His voice, that rich rumble of masculine excellence, washes over me and I shiver again before cursing under my breath.  The rumble of his low laughter tells me that he definitely didn’t miss that little move.
Kill me now.
“Hey, Coh,” I say with a smile.  “What brings you in?  Last minute, I might add.”  I pat the chair before walking around and holding the back while he sits down.
When his scent hits my nose, I almost come on the spot.  Lord, he smells good.  I wonder what he would smell like while his body covered mine, all sweaty from hours of good lovemaking.  I run my fingers through the longer lengths on the top and feel my cheeks heat slightly, thinking about doing the same when his face is buried between my legs.
“…needed a trim.”
Shit.  I missed what he said because, naturally, I was thinking about him naked.  Naked and thrusting into my body.  Naked and feasting between my spread thighs.
“You feeling okay?  I thought Nate said you were better?”
“Uh, I’m fine.  Just—is it hot in here?”  I fan my face and avoid his eyes.
He’s silent, so I take that as a sign that it’s safe to bring my attention back to him.
Big mistake there.  His knowing eyes are boring right into mine.  The chocolate depths sparkling in a way that makes it clear he has a good idea about where my mind was going.
“Did you hear what I said, Dani-girl?”
“Of course I did, Cohen.  What, did you think I was standing here daydreaming?” I joke.
“Well, yeah, that’s exactly what I think.”  His eyes darken and he smirks a devilish grin.  “Did you know you talk in your sleep, Dani?” he asks, and I drop my comb.
Oh, God.  Shut up, shut up, shut up.  This is not happening.  No way.
“No, I don’t,” I childishly snap.
“Dani, you do.  So, yeah, I do think you were standing there daydreaming.  Want to know why?”  He uses his booted foot to move his chair so that he’s facing me, and then he leans in so that his face is dangerously close to mine.  Even when he’s seated, his head is almost level with my own.  Curse my horizontally challenged self.  “While you were zoning off into space with your fingers running through my hair, you had this smile on your lips.  The same smile you had the other day when you were dreaming.  About me, Dani.  And don’t deny it, because you don’t moan my name if you’re dreaming about another man.  Yes, Dani, you very much do talk in your sleep.”  He smiles again before leaning back and looking down to his phone.  “Clean up my neck please, cut the length off the top, and give me a buzz on the sides.  Other than that, you’re clear to continue with your thoughts.”
I must have been standing there like an idiot because he looks up from his phone, laughs to himself, and, with one tan hand, reaches out and pushes my mouth closed.
“You’re going to catch flies that way, Dani-girl.  One day, maybe you can clue me in on what those dreams are about.”
Drives me insane, the control he has over me.  There isn’t a single person in the world, other than Cohen, who can turn me into a ridiculously stupid, sputtering fool.  My normal confidence disappears.  And clearly, he isn’t as oblivious to my feelings as I originally thought.
How in the hell am I supposed to handle this?
Wait a minute.  Cohen or not, I’m not going to let him pull my strings when I know he is just doing this to make me feel uncomfortable.
So, time to call his bluff.
“Why?  You planning on doing something about it?”
He looks up sharply, clearly not having expected me to actually say something in return since he was going for shock value.
“Try me,” he demands, his voice thick and even deeper than normal.
I throw my head back and reach out to run my fingers thought his hair again, just barely suppressing the shivers.  Curling my fingers slightly so that I can grab a good hold, I lean in and pull his head back at the same time.  With my nose just a hair away from his and our breaths mingling together, I say, “Cohen, you couldn’t handle the truth of my thoughts when it comes to you and we both know it.  So how about you let me know when you’re ready for me to clue you in.”  I give his hair a light tug and smile when he swallows loudly and shifts in his seat.  “Ready for that trim?” I ask with a wink, and I’m rewarded with his groan.
I have no idea how I do it, but I manage to get through his cut without coming unglued.  I can see Lyn trying to get my attention from across the room.  Stella had to leave after she overheard my words to Cohen because her giggles were getting the best of her.  Cohen has remained silent the whole time.  His eyes though…  They’re speaking louder than his words ever could.
They haven’t left my reflection in the mirror since I started.  I can feel them every time I shift.  When I stopped to go grab another comb after I dropped my fourth one, I felt his gaze follow me across the room to Stella’s station.  The few times I stopped cutting to meet his eyes, the heated promise written all over his face almost did me in.  I almost just said ‘fuck it’ and climbed on his lap to have a go regardless of the people watching our every move.
I finish the last buzz of my clippers around his right ear and move to brush all the stray hair off.  “All done,” I say softly and unclip his cape.
He stands, shoving his phone in the back pocket of his jeans, and walks over to stand in front of me.  I continue to pretend I’m busy with the cape I just removed, brushing stray hairs off here and there, when his hand comes up, his finger and thumb hitting my chin, and my face is lifted until I have no choice but to look in his eyes.
“Do not tease me, Dani.  It’s not a game you want to play if you don’t intend to follow through.”
“I-I wasn’t… I wouldn’t,” I stammer.
“You did, and I have no doubt you’ll have the brilliant idea to do it again.  The next time you allude to those dirty thoughts I know you have about me, don’t think for a second that I won’t drag you to the closest bed to show you just how fucking dirty they’ll get.”  He leans close, his scent hitting my nostrils, and I involuntarily inhale deeply, earning me a rumbled chuckle.  “What you don’t know, Dani—because contrary to what you think, you don’t know me well enough to assume what having me would really be like.  But I promise you this: every little thought that you have had that causes you to moan my name while scissoring those perfect legs back and forth, praying for completion—it would be so much hotter than you could ever imagine.”  He gives me a soft, sweet kiss against my temple that has fire racing from that spot all over my body until it ends in the awareness that I’m pretty sure I just came in my pants.

Unexpected Fate 
by Harper Sloan
Prologue
“Axel Reid, don’t you dare!”  my mom exclaims. Then she yelps when my daddy charges through the front door.
“Don’t I dare what, Princess?  No way that boy is going near my girl.  Look at him!  He looks like he can’t wait to creep on my daughter!”
“Well, there is no need to scare him to death!” she mocks.
My cheeks heat instantly when I see Dane start backing away from the porch.  My hopes of being able to actually go to my senior prom are starting to go up in flames.
Poof.
Just like that.
Not that I should be surprised about it.  Mom did her best to calm Daddy down, but we should have known better.  He took one look at me and stormed over, only to return ten minutes later looking like he does now.
So embarrassing.
“You need to stop this nonsense right now, you big lug, or you’ll be sleeping on the couch,” Mom fumes.
“Like hell I will, woman!” Daddy roars at my mom.
I watch her face get sharp.  He stops long enough to sling one of—that’s right, ONE of—the rifles he’s carrying over his shoulder, where it lands next to the other one he already has over his other shoulder.
Only my mom would be brave enough to deal with him when he’s in “Protect Dani from everything with a penis” mode.  He looks absolutely ridiculous.  He has two hunting rifles now hanging by their leather straps over each shoulder.  He has two handguns strapped to each thick thigh, two on each side of his belt, and various knives along the way.  His shirt, which he thinks is hilarious to wear when I attempt to go out on a date, says I kill things…and eat them.  I know it’s a hunting shirt—for animals, not teenage boys—but Dane doesn’t.
Mom moves in front of him, standing in the front doorway and blocking his path, where Dane is still slowly retreating.  She’s been dealing with this way before they even had me.  He’s…protective.  I guess that’s the nicest way to put it.  Well, she calls him protective.  However, I call it possessive, overbearing, controlling, demanding, and jerky.
“This is her senior prom, Ax.  You wouldn’t let her go last year.” She pauses when he grunts. “And I’m sorry, but you won’t be stopping her this year.  She has a right to experience this.  And Dane is a nice boy.  Right, Dane?” she yells over her shoulder.
“Uhh…” he stammers, causing my daddy to grunt some more.
“The boy doesn’t even know how to talk, Izzy.  I bet he will be nothing but handsy and think with his little pecker.  Nope.  No way.  Not near my baby girl.”
Oh.  My.  God.  I wish I could just fall into a hole right now.  I try to see over my parents to find out if Dane heard that, but with Daddy basically being a giant, that’s not happening.
“You did not just say that!” I yell at his back.
Daddy turns around, his movements awkward with how many weapons he has strapped to his body.  His green eyes, so like my own, slant and harden.  He looks down at my dress for the thousandth time since I came downstairs and doesn’t even bother hiding his displeasure that it’s showing too much of my body.  Even if it is about as tasteful as it gets.
My strapless, red dress has a sweetheart neckline, and everything he calls my “girly bits” is covered.   There isn’t really any cleavage.  Well, okay, there is some, but surely with my lack of being busty, you couldn’t even call what is showing “cleavage.”  His first problem was with how much of my legs was showing.  Then I made the mistake of turning around without my wrap on.  That’s when he saw that the dress was completely backless to my bra line.  Well, what it would be if I had been wearing one.  Which is clearly when he lost his mind.
“You look just like your mother did that night twenty years ago when we finally came back to each other.  Right down to those strappy shoe things. And I guarantee you, Danielle Reid, any teenage boy who doesn’t bat for the other team will be thinking thoughts I’ll cut his dick off for.  No.  You aren’t going with that boy, and that’s final.”
I harden my eyes, and his narrow even further.
I put my hands on my hips, and he squares his shoulders, his rifles clinking together.
I raise one brow, and he mirrors the action.
“Daddy.”
“Dani.”
“I’ll cry.”
“No, you won’t.  You have more balls than that.”
“Want to bet?”  I attempt to muster up some tears, knowing that he won’t be able to handle them, but before I can force the first one out, my brother jumps into my line of sight and blocks our standoff.
“Yo, Dane!  You just run along now.  Dani is unfortunately feeling a little under the weather.  Ebola. Or the flu. I don’t know.  It’s really ugly and you probably don’t want to be around this.  The boils—they could pop at any moment.”
“You did not just do that,” I heatedly whisper, fuming at his nerve.
Nate turns and smirks at me. “Oh I just did.”
“I can’t believe you two!”  I spin to look at the one person who can help me.   “Mom, seriously?”
Her expression softens, and she just shakes her head.  “I’m sorry, Dani.  I tried.”
“You two,” I start, pointing between my older brother and father.  “You just can’t leave it alone?  I’ll be eighteen in a few months.  What are you jerks going to do then?”
“You’re not dating, Danielle.  Not ever.”
“Oh yeah, Daddy?  And how realistic is that crap?”
“Watch your mouth, little princess.”
“Mom?”
“I’m so sorry, Dani.”  She walks over and wraps me in her small arms.
I could probably really cry now a lot easier than when I was trying to fake it, but I’ve never been one of those girls who weep constantly.  It would be easier to just go upstairs, take off the dress mom and I spent hours looking for, scrub off the light makeup she helped me apply, and pretend this night didn’t happen.

***

An hour later, I’m sitting in my bedroom, still wearing my perfect dress.  My makeup is still done and my hair is still flowing in long waves.  And I’m no less mad at the men in my life than I was earlier.  I’ve considered climbing out my window.  I’ve considered asking my best friends, Lyn and Lila, to come help me escape.  But what would be the point?  Rambo-Dad already scared away my date, the only boy left in school who had been willing to ask me even though his friends had warned him about my father.
I lie down on my bed and stare up at the ceiling.  Maybe I should go away for college.  I planned on living at home while I attended Georgia Tech, but there is no way I can deal with this stuff any longer.  If my father had things his way, I would be shipped off to become a nun.  Or he would buy an island and make it an all-girls cult.
“Uhggggg!” I yell to the empty room.
“Seriously, Dani-girl, things can’t be that bad.”
I jump up when I hear the deep, gravelly, insanely sexy voice coming from my bedroom door.  That voice.  My lord.  The things it alone does to me should be classified as illegal.
My hair slaps me in the face, a good handful landing in my open mouth, and I hastily pull it out before I turn to where he is standing.
My lord, he’s beautiful.  He’s always been.  My heart speeds up when I take in his smirking face and the mischief dancing in his brown eyes.
“Cat got your tongue?”
I shake my head.
“Speechless?”
I shake it again.
“Do you really have some flesh-eating, boil-slash-Ebola-like sickness?” he laughs.
I narrow my eyes at him, and his rich laughter booms through the room.
“I’m just kidding, Dani-girl.  Come on. Get yourself ready and let’s go rock this prom.”
My jaw drops again.  “What?” 
For the first time, I notice that he’s dressed in a perfectly tailored tux.  My eyes travel down his tall form to his shining, black dress shoes.  On the way back up, my eyes hit the corsage spinning around his finger before I look back up into those gorgeous eyes.
“Let’s go, beautiful.”
“Does Daddy know you’re here?” I ask, not moving from my spot.
He sighs, steps into my room, and walks over.  His cologne, Gucci Black, wraps around me.  He’s worn the same scent for years.  I perversely sniff it every time I hit the mall with Lyn and Lila.  That scent—it’s my undoing.
He grabs one of my hands and gives my knuckles a kiss before placing the corsage around my wrist.  He gives my hand a squeeze before letting go.  Placing his strong hands on my shoulders, he presses down until I’m seated on my bed.  Kneeling before me, he takes my feet one by one and fastens the straps of my black heels before standing and grabbing my hands, again, to pull me to my feet.
The whole time, I act like a freak and just gape at him.
What in the hell is going on?
“Ready?” he asks.
“Uhhh…”
“Right. You’re ready,” he laughs, grabs my hand, and pulls me through the house, down the stairs, and into the entryway of the house, where my parents are waiting.
Mom has her camera ready, forcing us to take some pictures, for all of which I’m sure I’m just standing there in a daze.  I think I smiled in them, but I was too busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  Daddy smiles big and triumphantly the whole time, like he’s won some battle here.
“Oh, good.  You got here,” Nate mumbles through a sandwich he’s stuffing down his throat.
I shake out of my stunned stupor and look over at him.  “You did this?”  I ask with disbelief.
“Well, duh.  Can’t have my little sister miss her prom because of some boils.  Plus, I knew this guy,” he says, pointing at our father, “wouldn’t mind him.”  He takes another bite before he looks over my shoulder.  “And I know he isn’t going to try to pet the cat.”
“Nathaniel Gregory!” Mom gasps.
“What?  Why do you think Dad acts like he does?  Just because I’m willing to say the words doesn’t mean you have to freak out.”
I look over at my mom, who has turned bright red.
Daddy laughs at her embarrassment and pulls her into his arms.  “Are you sure we didn’t drop that one a few times as a baby?”
She slaps his hard stomach and shakes her head. “You look beautiful, honey.  Have fun, okay?”
I smile at her and move my eyes to Daddy to judge his mood.
He just smiles at me. “I trust him.  He won’t let any of those pimple-faced, prepubescent boys touch a beautiful hair on your head.  Have fun, sweetheart.”
I walk over and give them both a hug, standing up on my toes as far as a can to whisper my gratitude in his ear.  He’s annoying, overprotective, and possessive of his girls, but I love him and I know he comes from a good place.
“Uh, excuse me?  Do I not get any little-sister love here?  I’m the one running this show, you know?”
“You’re such a dork, Nate,” I laugh and give him a hug before turning back to my date.
He’s standing by the door, talking in low tones to my daddy.  I can’t hear him, but he’s still smiling, so I’m guessing there isn’t any talk about dismemberment going on.  He looks over, his smile deepening and the lines around his eyes crinkling.  Something moves behind his eyes that darkens them slightly, but he looks back over at Daddy, finishing up their conversation.
“Ready, Dani-girl?” he asks a few minutes later, making my heart speed up again.
Holy.  Crap.
“Yeah. I’m ready.”  Or at least as ready as I’ll ever be.

**

That night, while dancing to Brett Young’s “Kiss by Kiss,” I knew I would never be the same.  I could feel the jealous waves coming off every female in the room as he held me in his arms.  Of course, I had a man and not a boy as my date.  Five years older than I am and very obviously not a teenager.
Being held in his arms was a dream come true.  His scent invaded my lungs with every inhale.  His eyes twinkled as his smile held me hostage.  I knew I would never love a man as much as I love him.
Yeah.  That was the night I confirmed what I had always known.  What I had always felt.
Cohen Cage owned my heart and I never wanted it back.


Meet Cohen & Danielle in the newest stand alone
in the Hope Town Series by Harper Sloan!
Nook 





Unexpected Fate
(Stand alone)
Have you ever felt like you were living your life for a future that was predetermined? Like there was some bigger picture you just prayed you would someday see clearly? That picture has been crystal clear to me since I was old enough to recognize it for just what it was.
Or I should say recognize him for who he was.
I’ve loved Cohen Cage since I was a small child. He’s been my everything for the last twenty-two years. I’ve loved him through every girlfriend he’s ever brought home. Through his college years and then mine. I’ve loved him through two deployments. And ever since the day I told him how I felt, he’s acted like I’m a stranger.
My name is Danielle Reid, and it’s time for me to get my man.
Our future is an unexpected fate, and no matter what our parents, siblings, and friends say…it’s going to be worth every second of the fight to make it happen.


If you read Corps Security series you fell in love with Axel and all the other guys in the series along with their strong women. Well now meet the kids all grown up!! If you hadn't read the series, well it's not OK because you are seriously missing out, but this book is a stand alone so you wont be lost at all. You will just wish you had read them first because you will fall in love in the wrong order now! I was so excited when Cohen and Dani's book came out. Seeing them all grown up and then seeing my favorite characters from the previous books years later still being the toughs they were before was fantastic. It was no surprise to see that the kids took after the parents right?! My favorite thing ever?! Sway is in this book also! I love that man and his flamboyant ways and boy does he go wild in this one. Cohen and Dani are the perfect pair. The fact that their dads work together and are best friends, Cohen is best friends with her brother and their mothers are best friends help them out...right? 
Great story line, another new awesome set of characters as well as bringing in the favorites from the past. The flow of the story never wavered and It was a gut clincher a few times. I was excited to read it and now I want more! Always more! Cohen was a great character that any person could fall for. Dani was a bit spoiled being daddy's little princess, but she grows up fast. Together these two make serious fires burn. 


About the Author

Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero--the super alpha kind!


Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.









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