Sunday, October 22, 2017

Book Spotlight~ NJ Walters' Eternal Brothers

Eternal Brothers
Dalakis Passion, Book 4
Paranormal Romance (vampire)
Beyond the Page Publishing

BLURB:

When an anonymous late-night tip sends reporter Sophia Daring to the cemetery, she isn’t prepared for what she finds there—a grisly murder scene and the body of a woman completely drained of blood. Sophia’s never been scared off a story before, but this time all the clues point to one disturbing conclusion: this was the work of the mysterious and dangerous Dalakis brothers. And just as unsettling for the fiercely independent Sophia is the irresistible pull of the stranger also working the case, the sensually compelling Zane York.

A ex-cop, Zane has made it his personal mission to prove that the secretive Dalakis family are powerful vampires and ruthless killers. But when his investigation takes him to New Orleans and their latest victim, he begins to suspect that the Dalakis are being framed by an enemy as dark and mysterious as they are. And even as he struggles with his doubts about the family, there’s no doubt about his hungry response to the hauntingly beautiful Sophia. He knows he must make her his own, whatever the cost.

As the smoldering chemistry between Sophia and Zane ignites in a delirious haze of passion, they will find themselves immersed in the Dalakis family secrets and the trail of murder that leads to their door. And as their fears and suspicions war with an unquenchable desire, she and Zane will discover that a secret from the past may pose the deadliest threat yet . . .


EXCERPT:

“My name is Zane York. I’m a cop.”

So she was right. Sophia leaned her head against the hard surface of the door and cursed softly. She so did not need this right now. Glancing down at her less-than-professional attire, she sighed. “This isn’t a good time.” Maybe he’d go away.

“I won’t stay long. I just have a few questions.”

Nope, he definitely wasn’t going to go away. Knowing that she really had no choice, she undid all the locks and dragged the door open. “I didn’t think you guys had any questions left that you hadn’t . . .” The word “asked” was lost as her mouth dropped open and she stared at the man standing outside her door.

Gorgeous was just too weak a word. Primal, maybe. Dangerous, definitely. Her gaze roved upward. He had to be almost a foot taller than her. Okay, maybe that was a stretch, but not by much. He was just so darn big that he appeared huge. The man was definitely a couple of inches over six feet. His shoulders seemed to fill the entire doorway and stretched the seams of his tight black T-shirt.

His face was a work of art. His cheekbones were high, his jaw was strong, but not quite square. He had full lips that were set in a serious line. His hair was as black as a raven’s wing and looked just as soft. It was cut short, but she wanted to run her fingers through it. His eyes were a surprise. A muddy brown in color, they didn’t seem to suit the rest of his face, but his lashes were black and thick.

There was an animal magnetism that seemed to roll off the man, a barely suppressed need for action that pulsed just below the surface. He sighed, waiting not quite patiently as she perused him. Too bad. He’d have to wait. Speaking was beyond her at this moment.

She caught a whiff of him and almost moaned with pleasure. Damn, he smelled fantastic. She wanted to bury her face in the curve of his neck and just inhale. She’d never had this kind of immediate reaction to any man in her entire life.

At least not to any living, breathing man. The phantom lover in her dreams was a whole other story. He was the only other man she’d ever had this kind of reaction to and he wasn’t real. Pheromones, yeah, that was it. It had to be pure chemistry. If she could bottle whatever this man exuded, she could make a fortune. The urge to tear off her clothes, throw herself onto the floor, and offer herself to this man was almost overwhelming.



 About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
               
Visit me at:


Friday, October 20, 2017

Blog Post- Venturing Into the Great Unknown

Venturing Into the Great Unknown by Linda Mooney

Sometimes an author wants to stretch her writing wings and try conjuring up a story in a genre she’s never tried before. It’s usually a hit-or-miss proposition, depending upon whether she likes going down that particular rabbit hole, and if the story sells. It’s also a somewhat tricky proposition because she may have to resort to a pseudonym if the new genre is radically different from her current genre of choice.

In most cases, she may have read a few books in that different genre, which is why she considers trying her own hand at a story. But what if the genre she wants to try doesn’t exist? What if it’s a genre that, as far as she knows, no one has tried before? Or, if there are some stories of a similar ilk, they’re so far and few, that it’s difficult to find them?

Then it becomes an experiment. An experiment to see if there are readers out there who’ll embrace her new venture. An experiment to see if her story is well-received or soundly trashed. An experiment that could either end with her never writing that kind of story again, or where she expounds upon it with more books.

This is why my newest release is a paranormal horror romance. Something brand new for me, and one I hope others will enjoy.



BLOOD TENDERLY
Paranormal Horror Romance
Word Count:  11K
$1.99 e / $6.99 p


With the cold weather quickly setting in, Lark is trying to ensure she has what she needs to make it through another bone-chilling winter in the cabin in the woods, but something has decided to pay her a visit. The question is, who? Or better yet, what?
There is a human invading his sanctuary, and he is determined to get rid of her. Humans in the past have left of their own accord, but not without a threat from him. However, this one is proving difficult. But she’ll go. One way or another, he will make her.
The thing is demanding that Lark leave, but she has nowhere to go. No one who cares.  So she's determined to stand her ground.

After all, what does she have to lose, besides her life? 


About the Author

Gail Smith is the pseudonym of Linda Mooney. Although Linda uses her real name for her sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal romances, she keeps her excursions into terror separate. And she wants her readers to know that when the book says Gail Smith, they're going to get flat-out, unapologetic horror.

Visit her blog at: http://gailsgorydetails.blogspot.com      

Linda Mooney, aka Gail Smith, loves to write sweet and sensuously erotic romance with a fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction flair. Her technique is often described as being as visual as a motion picture or graphic novel. A wife, mother, and retired Kindergarten teacher, she lives in a small south Texas town near the Gulf coast where she delves into alternate worlds filled with daring exploits, adventure, and intense love.
She has numerous best sellers, including 10 consecutive certified #1s. In 2009, she was named Whiskey Creek Press Torrid's Author of the Year, and her book My Strength, My Power, My Love was named the 2009 WCPT Book of the Year. In 2011, her book Lord of Thunder was named the Epic Ebook "Eppie" Award Winner for Best Erotic Sci-Fi Romance.
For more information about Linda Mooney and other Gail Smith books and titles, and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website.


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Character Spotlight with Author Elizabeth Lister

Please give a warm welcome to Tate Mackenzie from The Loft-Book Two by Elizabeth Lister today as we sit down and see what makes him tick.

Q: So tell us about yourself. What got you in the crosshairs for your author? Huh, well, she heard about my first weekend with my boyfriend, James, and was, well, intrigued. So I told her the rest of the story. She wrote three books about us and my other boyfriend, Sebastian, called The James Lucas Trilogy. Then she realized she missed some really good stuff between the third and last books, so she wrote The Loft Trilogy. This is Book Two, and Book Three will be out in November. Let’s just say I give her lots to work with.

Q: What was it that drew you to your boyfriends? Ah, well, see, James was, is, this really well known Dom in Ottawa, where we live. If you think Ottawa, Canada is a boring old Government town, you haven’t met us or any of our friends. So he had these weekends where he would do the Dom thing, and if you wanted to do the sub thing, well, he put you on his waiting list and you had to wait. He likes to make guys wait. Trust me on this. So, finally I got my weekend and, surprise, surprise, he had invited this sex-on-a-stick twenty-three year-old blond God, Sebastian, to join us. Threw me off at first but it ended up being fucking fantastic. And, uh, I kind of fell for him. I mean, who wouldn’t fall for a blond-haired angel with a dirty mind who’d sing in the church choir on Sundays and come back to help your Dom edge you within an inch of your life? I mean, really? I was done for.

Q: A little naughty fun, where was the wildest place you seduced your partner(s)? Seduced? You mean fucked? We don’t do much seducing. I mean, the easiest way for me to seduce James is to be a bit of a brat, honestly. Challenge his authority, that sort of thing. He likes it. And I like the trouble I get into. In terms of Sebastian, well, it doesn’t take much. A wink, a little spank on the ass and he’s game. And, well, wildest place has to be James’ converted attic loft - hence the title of this series. He’s got it set up for every kind of kink you can imagine. And I can imagine a lot.

Q: Boxers, briefs or Commando on a man? Sebastian looks amazing in a pair of lacy pink panties but you’ll have to read The Loft-Book Three to really appreciate that *smiles nostalgically*.

Q: If your partner wants to seduce you, what's one sure fire trick they can do to seduce you?  Again, seduction is a little twisted where we live. Best way for James to seduce me is to tell me I’m in big trouble and I need a spanking. Gets me every time. Sebastian just needs to look at me with his big blue eyes and say something dirty.

Q: What is the one place on your partner's body that you know will drive them wild-in and out of bed?  Hmmm. Honestly the biggest erogenous zone on both my guys is the brain. You get one little word or phrase just right and it’s game on.

Q: What was one of the most embarrassing things your author did to you in The Loft-Book Two?  Uh, *clears throat*, well, James took me and Sebastian to a fetish party at La Petite Mort in Gatineau. Gatineau is across the river from Ottawa and those French Canadians are into some kinky shit. Anyway, me and Sebastian were kind of a Live Art Display, if you will, for part of the party. James had us roped naked together for people to look at and…touch. It was horrible and wonderful at the same time. *Looks down and back up, blushing* I’d do it again.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?  Sure. Even though we’re all three kinky as hell and get up to all kinds of weird stuff, we love each other too, right? I mean, I couldn’t imagine being with two more caring and wonderful men, honestly.


Thank you Tate Mackenzie for joining us on 'Meet the Character' day here at Dawn’s Reading Nook Blog. You can find all of Elizabeth Lister’s books at https://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php and all major online retailers.


Genre: MMM Contemporary Erotic BDSM Romance, Book 2 in The Loft Trilogy (Book 3 coming November 2017)
Publisher: MLR Press


The Loft-Book Two Blurb: Tate and Sebastian spend more and more time at their boyfriend/Dom James' home but when they receive a notice of eviction from their apartment they hesitate to examine the obvious solution - moving in with James. In the meantime, James and his longtime friend Catherine plan an elaborate fetish party at Catherine's club in Gatineau - La Petite Mort. Tate is apprehensive and James does what he can to allay his fears, including taking both young men to the club on an ordinary night. But an ordinary night with James proves anything but as he indulges his love of sexual game-playing.

Buy:  

Excerpt:  

James was considering. I could see the gears shifting. When he spoke, it was with a quiet intention. “Is it because you’ve thought of, and rejected, the obvious solution?”
“And what would that be?”
“Tate,” Sebastian warned. “Don’t be disingenuous.”
“Moving in with me,” James said.
I stared at him. It wasn’t that simple. It couldn’t be.
“We’re just not sure we want to give up our independence,” I said.
Sebastian snorted. “Speak for yourself.” He turned to James. “He’s terrified that you’re just offering because you’re trying to be nice. He doesn’t want you to feel forced into inviting us to live with you.”
James looked at me and suddenly laughed.
“That’s not very nice. It’s a legitimate concern,” I said, taking offence.
He stood up and walked over to me, stopping a few inches away. “Do I ever do anything just to be nice, Tate?”
I raised my chin. He acted tough but he was the most gentlemanly and caring person I’d ever met. “Yes, James, you do. Don’t fucking deny it.”
He looked surprised. I didn’t care.
“Do you and Sebastian want to come and live with me? That is what I’m asking. Not just to be nice but because I would have asked you weeks ago if I hadn’t been wary of scaring you off.”
I felt both relieved and suddenly angry. “Jesus, James, of all the things that could scare us off! That’s what you worry about?”
He began to look annoyed as well. “Yes, well, I admit it seems peculiar. But there it is.” He moved to a stool by the kitchen counter and sat down, staring at us. “Look, I am well aware that what we do together can be intense. What the three of us have together is very…powerful and life-changing. I’m scared to fuck it up by being overly possessive. I have the same fears, Tate, you know. I want you boys to be with me—to live with me—because it’s what you both want, not because it’s convenient or because I want you to.”
“Fuck, James,” I said, blinking back the traitorous tears. “Red.” If he said anything else at this point I’d start bawling like a girl.


Author Bio:  

In between making school lunches, driving her children to activities and snuggling in front of the TV with her handsome husband, Elizabeth writes very graphic erotica about gay men in love.
Her three full-length novels comprising The James Lucas Trilogy – Beyond the Edge, The Cross and the Trinity, and A Numinous Light – are available to purchase in print and ebook. This series follows the lives of three men drawn together by a mutual enjoyment of BDSM play and an undeniable attraction to each other. Beyond the Edge received an Honorable Mention in the Pauline Réage Novel Award category of the NLA-International Awards, which recognize excellence in writing and publishing about Leather, SM, bondage and fetishes.



WRITERS WRITE... WRITING PARTNERS FEUD ~ MAY-DECEMBER RELATIONSHIPS



There has been a phenomenon that has existed whereas unattractive men hook up with attractive women, often older men, with an age difference wide enough that it risks social disapproval. It dates back to the movies of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Perpetuated by the recent movies that depict May-December relationships, such as An American Haunting, Get Smart, Bulworth, Lost in Translation, Me Without You, Sin City, or Whatever Works.

A: What was the May-December relationship in Get Smart?
Z: Great question. My research gave me these movies. And I also thought about Get Smart. The only moment that might have fit the description was the baker clerk and Agent 86. They might have missed it by thiiisss much. (Shows thumb and pointer gesture describing the distance not the size of anything else)
A: Do you like the premise of those movies? (Hikes up her chin in a lofty manner)
Z: Was that implying I'm old? (He pulls downward his hiked up pants, showing boxer top to look hip)
A: Ouch! Maybe I was. Mia culpa. (She curtseys respectfully... rises and juts tongue)
Z: Bronson Alcott once wrote, "As we grow old, the beauty steals inward." I think I believe that relationships are what they are. Pigeon-holing love into age groups fails the logic test for me. (Looks in the mirror, moistens pinkie, smoothes eyebrows... Strikes a bon vivant expression)
A: To quote Bernard Baruch, "To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am." (The two fist-bump in agreement... a gesture they both would not admit was stupid because that hurt)
Z: One older male friend who sadly was a widower for twelve years began dating and as the premise of this piece would indicate a much younger woman. (He adds three items to his Christmas list to be e-mailed as an amendment to previous Christmas lists)
A: Cradle robber?
Z: Not quite. When I asked him why, even though we were in the common room of church he replied, "The little head kept whining and whining that I have not taken him out in awhile."
A: Typical male behavior, but rephrasing Bob Dylan's lyrics, 'Everybody must get boned!'
Z: Angelica! Shame-shame. (He does the index finger over index finger tsk-tsk gesture) And the man used convoluted reasoning, he agreeing with the little head and realizing it only recognized younger women. That's all it knew.
A: What goes up and never comes down? (Offers a broad toothy grin)
Z: (Red faced thinking, something with Viagra in it) Ok, tell me.
A: Your age. (She laughs...he didn't) The Butler said it, "There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle." Maybe he needs music lessons, the classics are oft the greatest works. (Now she looks in the mirror and gives herself a thumbs up with a wink)
Z: You and Canetti get it. Elias wrote, "One part of him is old and another is still unborn." I think many men need emotional maturation.
A: Serrriousss overdoes!
Z: Sorry. The peanut went to the police station stating he was assaulted. Better?
A: Not much! Knowing men who have so engaged in this extension of a mid-life crisis, not being able to afford that Porsche, when asked, "Do you deserve such a trophy on your arm?" One fifty-five year old softball player I know replied, "Well... but I have arthritis, an enlarged prostate, and a receding hairline, and I don't deserve those."
Z: So I believe that relationships are hard to achieve. Life is far too short. My buddy Stanislaw Lec said, ""Oh to be old again," said a young corpse."
A: And this means what to me?
Z: I believe we should love who we love.
A: Proponents of the old man young woman dynamic argue that the man is bright and the women enhances his milieu. Rumor has it this was propaganda presented by old men and young women. And many have said that they will begat the perfect children. Having his profound mind and her stunning body.
Z: But what if, the child has his saggy body and her less than mature mind?
A: So I ask you, should people over fifty engage in physical relationships? (She thinks about the bald man who got a comb for his birthday and him telling his Granddaughter, "I will never part with it.")
Z: Whereas, for some fifty is the ultimate F word, I contend that a fifty-year-old is in fact an eighteen-year-old with thirty-two years of experience. To answer your question, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
A: Should their partner be younger?
Z: Yes, no, maybe so. To quote one of my favorite authors Ogden Nash...
A: (Interrupts) "Candy's dandy but liquor's quicker."
Z: Same guy but this was more profound then profane. "How confusing beams from memories lamp are; One day a bachelor, the next a grandpa. What is the secret of the trick? How did I get so old so quick?"
A: We believing every boat has a right to float, and have chosen to be supporters of all relationship dynamics.

When writing this, we recalled a story told us at a party by some friends when we asked about role-playing for the purpose of spicing up their romance, and when we say romance we mean... well, you know what we mean. A husband related that one evening he asked his wife if she'd like to play boss and secretary. This was after the most noted movie with the title, Secretary, and if you haven't seen it, well, see it. James Spader was, well... you gotta see it. Back to the couple, she as he described found a huge smile on her face and responded with an enthusiastic, "Yes!" This husband related at that instant he knew role-playing would amp up what was becoming a little same ole same ole. But as we all know, life provides a twist or two and as the wife began to play out the script, she grabbed a prop and extended a hand to him and stated, "Here's your steno pad, dear."

A: In a recent manuscript, LOVE LETTERS, three of the relationships are in fact ones where the females are older. They were the most fun to create and provided much fodder for sensuality, motivation and some amusement.
Z: So the older woman gets the young hunky... wait a second... (Zi thought... MILF... shook his head cleansing offensive references... old woman-young guy, that was Angelica's idea... was I manipulated? I've some research to do. Be right back. Ah-ha, I have returned. She told me it was my idea, though Angelica really liked it. Thought so. I adore women and want them to be happy. Oops... far too much information.)
A: Old is a state of mind. Weaver wrote, "I'm not as old as I used to be."
Z: And Mark Twain gave us, "Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been."
A: Last year my birthday cake looked like a field fire.
Z: I remember it set off the smoke detector.
A: Stereotyping gender age?
Z: Yes, I am.


***
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.



Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
www.champagnebooks.com - www.carnalpassions.com - angelicahartandzi.com










Book Spotlight~ Most of All You and a Giveaway


MOST OF ALL YOU by Mia Sheridan
On sale: October 17, 2017 | Forever | Trade Paperback: $14.99 | eBook: $4.99



SUMMARY

"Heartbreaking...inspiring, uplifting and raw..." ― RT Book Reviews, A 5-star Gold Pick

A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there's an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.

BUY THE BOOK HERE
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2uN4spa
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2uNn5JB
Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/2yJ7kps




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 10 paperbacks.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Discover Duke of Desire and Enter the Giveaway


DUKE OF DESIRE by Elizabeth Hoyt (October 17, 2017; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; The Maiden Lane Series #12)


A LADY OF LIGHT
Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping.  Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos.  When one of the masked-and-nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him…only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them.  Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans.  But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER…AND DESIRE
Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involes herself in his life—and bed.  Soon he’s drawn to both to her quick wit and her fiery passion.  But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters.  Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?

Buy the Book!
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2uw1hpD

DUKE OF DESIRE- Short Excerpt
Desperately she flung herself at the opposite seat and tugged it up. Thrust her hand in.
A pistol.
She cocked it, desperately praying that it was loaded.
She turned and aimed it at the door to the carriage just as the door swung open.
The Wolf loomed in the doorway—still nude—a lantern in one hand. She saw the eyes behind the mask flick to the pistol she held between her bound hands. He turned his head and said something in an incomprehensible language to someone outside.
Iris felt her breath sawing in and out of her chest.
He climbed into the carriage and closed the door, completely ignoring her and the pistol pointed at him. The Wolf hung the lantern on a hook and sat on the seat across from her.
Finally he glanced at her. “Put that down.”
His voice was calm. Quiet.
With just a hint of menace.
She backed into the opposite corner, as far away from him as possible, holding the pistol up. Level with his chest. Her heart was pounding so hard it nearly deafened her. “No.”
The carriage jolted into motion, making her stumble before she caught herself.
“T-tell them to stop the carriage,” she said, stuttering with terror despite her resolve. “Let me go now.”
“So that they can rape you to death out there?” He tilted his head to indicate the Lords. “No.”
“At the next village, then.”
“I think not.”
He reached for her and she knew she had no choice.
She shot him.
The blast blew him into the seat and threw her hands up and back, the pistol narrowly missing her nose.
Iris scrambled to her feet. The bullet was gone, but she could still use the pistol as a bludgeon.
The Wolf was sprawled across the seat, blood streaming from a gaping hole in his right shoulder. His mask had been knocked askew on his face.
She reached forward and snatched it off.
And then gasped.
The face that was revealed had once been as beautiful as an angel’s but was now horribly mutilated. A livid red scar ran from just below his hairline on the right side of his face, bisecting the eyebrow, somehow missing the eye itself but gouging a furrow into the lean cheek and catching the edge of his upper lip, making it twist. The scar ended in a missing divot of flesh in the line of the man’s severe jaw. He had inky black hair and, though they were closed now, Iris knew he had emotionless crystal-gray eyes.
She knew because she recognized him.
He was Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, and when she’d danced with him—once—three months ago at a ball, she’d thought he’d looked like Hades.
God of the underworld.
God of the dead.
She had no reason to change her opinion now.
Then he gasped, those frozen crystal eyes opened, and he glared at her. “You idiot woman. I’m trying to save you.”
 DUKE OF DESIRE- Short Excerpt
Desperately she flung herself at the opposite seat and tugged it up. Thrust her hand in.
A pistol.
She cocked it, desperately praying that it was loaded.
She turned and aimed it at the door to the carriage just as the door swung open.
The Wolf loomed in the doorway—still nude—a lantern in one hand. She saw the eyes behind the mask flick to the pistol she held between her bound hands. He turned his head and said something in an incomprehensible language to someone outside.
Iris felt her breath sawing in and out of her chest.
He climbed into the carriage and closed the door, completely ignoring her and the pistol pointed at him. The Wolf hung the lantern on a hook and sat on the seat across from her.
Finally he glanced at her. “Put that down.”
His voice was calm. Quiet.
With just a hint of menace.
She backed into the opposite corner, as far away from him as possible, holding the pistol up. Level with his chest. Her heart was pounding so hard it nearly deafened her. “No.”
The carriage jolted into motion, making her stumble before she caught herself.
“T-tell them to stop the carriage,” she said, stuttering with terror despite her resolve. “Let me go now.”
“So that they can rape you to death out there?” He tilted his head to indicate the Lords. “No.”
“At the next village, then.”
“I think not.”
He reached for her and she knew she had no choice.
She shot him.
The blast blew him into the seat and threw her hands up and back, the pistol narrowly missing her nose.
Iris scrambled to her feet. The bullet was gone, but she could still use the pistol as a bludgeon.
The Wolf was sprawled across the seat, blood streaming from a gaping hole in his right shoulder. His mask had been knocked askew on his face.
She reached forward and snatched it off.
And then gasped.
The face that was revealed had once been as beautiful as an angel’s but was now horribly mutilated. A livid red scar ran from just below his hairline on the right side of his face, bisecting the eyebrow, somehow missing the eye itself but gouging a furrow into the lean cheek and catching the edge of his upper lip, making it twist. The scar ended in a missing divot of flesh in the line of the man’s severe jaw. He had inky black hair and, though they were closed now, Iris knew he had emotionless crystal-gray eyes.
She knew because she recognized him.
He was Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, and when she’d danced with him—once—three months ago at a ball, she’d thought he’d looked like Hades.
God of the underworld.
God of the dead.
She had no reason to change her opinion now.
Then he gasped, those frozen crystal eyes opened, and he glared at her. “You idiot woman. I’m trying to save you.”



About the Author:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Social Media Links:
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