Category: Books In The Wind ‘N Air, Sneak Peaks and More



Author: Rachel Lacey

Series: Risking It All, #2


On Sale: March 28, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $6.99 USD

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The second book in Rachel Lacey’s irresistible contemporary romance series about three foster brothers who return to their hometown to open an extreme sports business, perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins, Rachel Gibson, and Jill Shalvis!


Emma Rush can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a thing for Ryan Blake. Haven’s resident bad boy is just so freakin’ hot-with tattoos, a motorcycle, and enough rough-around-the-edges sexiness to melt all her self-control. Now that Emma’s over being a “good girl,” she needs a little help being naughty . . . and she knows just where to start.

Before Emma’s brother enlisted in the military, he made Ryan promise that he would protect her from everything–including himself. When her brother doesn’t come home, Ryan needs to turn his screwed-up life around to honor his pledge. But he knows he’s still not the right kind of guy for someone as sweet as Emma. Only he can’t stop wanting to be with her. Wanting her. Falling in love with a good girl may be the craziest risk this bad boy can take . . . 



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Rachel Lacey

Rachel Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She’s been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.















Ryan Blake held a bottle of Maker’s 46 in his right hand, a tumbler in his left. With a flick of his wrist, he tossed the bottle. It flipped once before landing back in his grip, top down, ready to pour. He filled the tumbler, set a napkin on

the bar, and placed it in front of the brunette on the other side. “Bourbon, neat.”

“You’re good.” She picked up the glass and tipped it in his direction. “Not what I was expecting in this little bar in the middle of nowhere.”

“I try,” he said with the friendly, semi-flirtatious smile he always used on single ladies seated at his bar. She wasn’t wrong. The usual clientele at The Drunken Bear had little use for fancy liquor or bartending tricks, but the trio in front of him were tourists looking for a good time, and he’d see that they had one.

“You were just about to tell me about this tattoo.” She placed her hand on his biceps, fingering the eagle he’d had inked there after he flew this coop ten years ago.

“That’s right.” He shifted backward so that her hand slipped to the countertop. He encouraged flirting—it led to better tips and made the night more interesting—but this chick was getting a bit too friendly, considering the diamond band on her left ring finger. “This one was for spreading my wings. Thought I’d fly far away, and yet, here I am back in Haven.”

“You’re from here then?” one of the other women asked, shamelessly ogling the tattoos on his arms while giving him an eyeful of cleavage.

“Born and raised. Moved around a lot, but I can’t seem to shake this place. It’s in my blood.” Once upon a time, he’d been hell bent on getting as far away from this sleepy North Carolina mountain town as possible. Spent the better part of a decade drifting from place to place, taking with him only what he could carry on his bike. Funny how things came full circle. He picked up an empty pilsner glass another patron had left behind.


He turned at the familiar voice to find Emma Rush stand- ing there, one hip propped against the bar, and he damn near dropped the glass. Emma’s trademark ponytail and jog- ging pants were nowhere in sight. Tonight, her blond hair cascaded over her shoulders in shiny waves, her blue eyes sparkled at him from behind a tasteful—yet sexy—amount of makeup, and her red top was tucked into a pair of jeans that fit her like a glove. He swallowed past the sudden dry- ness in his throat. “Hey, Em. What brings you out tonight?” “Girls’ night,” she said with a smile, gesturing to her friend Mandy, who stood by the door talking on her cell phone. Emma slid onto an empty barstool. “I wasn’t expect-

ing to see you.”

“I’m still here a few nights a week.” His new business

venture—Off-the-Grid Adventures, an extreme outdoor sporting facility he’d opened with his good buddies Ethan Hunter and Mark Dalton six months ago—was finally bring- ing in enough income that he soon wouldn’t need to bartend to pay his rent. “What can I get you?”

“Untapped amber ale, please.” She watched while he filled a frosted mug. “Thanks.”

“My pleasure.”

She lifted the mug to her lips and took a long drink. “Damn, that’s good,” she said with a happy sigh, setting it on the bar.

“Always been more of a pilsner guy myself.” He tried not to stare as she licked froth from her upper lip.

“Hi, Ryan.” Mandy stepped up to the bar beside Emma. He leaned back, tearing his gaze from Emma’s lips. “Hi.”

Emma turned to her friend with a smile. “Ready to get a table?”

“Yep,” Mandy said. “Have fun, ladies.”

“We will.” With a wave, Emma walked off after her friend, and damn, those jeans cupped her ass like perfection. No doubt about it, Emma looked hot tonight. And his thoughts were way out of line. He’d promised Derek he’d look out for his little sister, not drool all over her.

“Your girlfriend?” the brunette at the bar asked, eyebrows raised as she sipped her bourbon.

Ryan cleared his throat and dragged his eyes away from Emma. “Just a friend.”

“Mm-hmm.” The brunette gave him a look that said she didn’t believe him.

He turned to check on his patrons at the other end of the bar, but his attention was once again diverted by Emma— or rather, the preppy-looking businessman she was talking to now. Ryan couldn’t make out their conversation, but the guy wore an irritatingly smug smile, and Emma didn’t look at all happy to have bumped into him.

Ryan moved down the bar, chatting and pouring drinks as he went, all the while keeping an eye on Emma. She was deep in conversation with the businessman, although the guy seemed to be doing most of the talking. Emma smiled and nodded. She glanced up and met Ryan’s gaze, rolling her eyes at him with a smile while her companion kept on talk- ing.

Next thing Ryan knew, the guy had slung an arm around her shoulders, gesturing wildly with his free hand while Emma subtly edged away from him.

Ryan was around the bar and across the room before he’d even realized what he was doing. “Everything okay over here?”

Emma shrugged out from under the guy’s arm, but her smile wasn’t nearly as warm or genuine as the one she’d given Ryan a few moments ago. “Yep.”

“We’re fine,” Obnoxious Dude answered. “Who are you?”

“Ryan Blake. And you are?” “Tristan Farrell.”

“Tristan and I are . . . old friends,” Emma said.

By old friends, Ryan assumed she meant former flames. And since she clearly wasn’t enjoying his company, it was time for Tristan to leave. Ryan crossed his arms over his chest and stared him down, waiting for the loser to get the message. It didn’t take long.

Tristan backed up, his eyes darting toward the front door. “Well, it was great seeing you, Emma. Take care.”

“You, too.” She watched as Tristan left the bar then turned to Ryan. “Forgot how much I dislike that guy.”

“He hassling you?”

Her eyes rounded. “No! Just talking my ear off, really.

Sorry to distract you from your duties at the bar.”

“No problem.” Keeping an eye on his patrons was part of the job, although he was probably feeling more protective of Emma right now than the situation called for.

“Right, well . . . looks like my table is ready.” She waved over her shoulder as she walked away.

Ryan headed back behind the bar, turning his attention to the trio of tourists and their mostly empty cocktails. “Any of you ladies ready for a fresh drink?”

As it turned out, they all were. While he mixed their cock- tails, he allowed his gaze to roam over to Emma’s table. She was deep in conversation with her friends Gabby, Carly, and Mandy, all of whom he knew, none of whom made his gut tighten the way it did every time he looked at Emma tonight.

He had no idea where this had come from, but he had to get over it, pronto. Emma wasn’t interested in a player like him, and even if she were, she was off limits. He’d made a promise to her brother when Derek went off to war, and Ryan had no intention of breaking it.

Book Blurb:


Dimitri lives to protect the secret of the Dragon Kings from the human race. Bound by a bond stronger than blood to the Kings, Dimitri uses his strength and prowess to defend a thousand-year-old secret. But when an oh-so-sexy, slightly absent-minded archaeologist wanders into his midst, Dimitri will have to give up his rules, and give in to desire…

Firestorm (Dark Kings Series, #10)

When Dr. Faith Reynolds stumbles upon an ancient skeleton that appears it comes from a dragon, she’s completely taken aback. A woman of science, there’s no way in her mind that this mythological creature can exist. But when a devilishly handsome man named Dimitri intercepts her path to uncovering the truth, Faith’s curiosity turns into all-consuming passion. She’s never felt this way about any man before. But when Dimitri reveals his biggest secret, can she learn to love the man—as well as the dragon within?

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About The Author: 

donna_grant_newNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

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After ducking inside, Dmitri set his bag on the cot. Then he walked back outside and stood looking at all the people around the site.

Tied to a boulder were several ropes that disappeared over the side of the cliff. As he stared, a man climbed up the rope and set a bucket on the ground. A woman retrieved said bucket, and the man scrambled back down the rope.

“You aren’t much of a talker, are you?” Tamir asked.

He glanced at the young man. “No’ really.”

“You’ll get along great with Dr. Reynolds then.”

“Tell me about Reynolds.”

Tamir shrugged and waved a hand at the dig site. “This tells you everything there is to know about her.”

Her. Dmitri should’ve known Ronnie’s friend was most likely female. He’d hoped for a male. At least then he might be able to talk some sense into him. With a female . . . well, they tended to be more pigheaded.

“Why don’t I bring you down to the cave?” Tamir offered.

It was on the tip of Dmitri’s tongue to refuse. He didn’t want to go into the caves he’d explored as a youngling. Nor did he want to see the skeleton. But he was there for exactly that. There was no walking away from this.

Every Dragon King was counting on him.

And Dmitri wouldn’t let them down.

“Follow me,” Tamir said enthusiastically.

He trailed after Tamir to the boulder where they got into harnesses. Dmitri could climb down it without any such aid, but he was trying to appear mortal.

When Tamir handed him the helmet, he immediately bristled. But he took it anyway. All he could be thankful for was that no other King was around to see as he snapped it beneath his chin.

He could only imagine what jokes Rhys and Kiril would make up. Thankfully, Dimitri was saved from being the butt of such jests.

With Tamir beside him, they made their way down the sheer cliff. Halfway to the cave, Dmitri stopped, his gaze locked on a set of claw marks.

They were faded, barely visible to the human eye. But a dragon would recognize them. His heart hurt as he touched the marks with his fingers.

“Did you find something?” Tamir asked.

He gave a shake of his head and proceeded down the cliff. All around him were signs that dragons used to inhabit the isle. For whatever reason, the mortals didn’t—or couldn’t—see them.

How then did Dr. Reynolds know where to look for the skeleton?

And how in the world had he missed destroying it?

It hadn’t been enough to send the dragons away. After, every King had the duty of finding their dead and removing any trace of their existence.

Dmitri dropped onto a ledge and unhooked the harness from the rope. Then he removed his helmet. After, he simply stood, looking into the large opening of the cave.

The team had set up generators to power lights that flooded the darkness. He didn’t need the light. But it wasn’t because his dragon eyes allowed him to see in the dark, even in human form.

No, Dmitri could walk this cave blind. Because he knew every inch of it—and every other cave on the isle.

“Exciting, isn’t it?” Tamir said with a wide smile showing even, white teeth.

All Dmitri could do was nod. Words would be too difficult with the swell of emotion flooding him—excitement to be home, hatred for having to leave to begin with, and guilt for all that he’d lost.

He looked down at his feet. Two steps would put him inside the cave.

Once inside, who would he find when he saw the bones of his kindred? In the chaos of battle and getting all the dragons across the dragon bridge, he’d barely had time to say farewell to his family.

Tamir was talking, but he didn’t hear him. Somehow, his feet had moved of their own accord, and he entered the cave. With every step, he saw evidence of dragons.

Claw marks and tail marks.

He knew where the skeleton would be, though he allowed Tamir to lead him all the way to the very back of the cave. At least the humans believed it ended there. In fact, there was a hidden opening to the right a hundred yards closer to the entrance.

Dmitri stopped at the sight of the bones. He didn’t care about the people around him. His attention was focused on the remains of the dragon that had been exposed.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement and heard Tamir speak. It was by sheer will alone that he pulled his gaze from the dragon and looked down at the figure kneeling by the skeleton.

A woman turned, her sherry colored eyes locking with his. “Who are you?” she asked in a drawl he immediately recognized as Texan.

“The man who is going to keep you safe,” he replied.


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He’s the man of her dreams
A long time ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she’s the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who—and what—she really is?

She’s the end to his nightmare
Rena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a “human divining rod” and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition…

Available March 7th 

Mine. The deep, gravelly voice of the beast reverberated through the air and ripped through Rena’s mind, with terrifying force. Mine. Mine. Mine.

The ferocious, ear-splitting roars of the winged monsters rumbled through the forest and the earth trembled as the vicious battle raged on. The nightmare had persisted for months, and even though she was all too familiar with how it would play out, it continued to horrify her.

Frightened and exhausted, Rena McHale crouched behind the trunk of the towering pine tree and prayed they wouldn’t see her this time. Her heart thundered in her chest, and she pressed her hands against her ears, attempting to drown out the stomach-churning bellows of the monsters. Sweat trickled down her back, and she kept her eyes squeezed shut, trying to slow her breathing. She had been here countless times before, and though the nightmare was always the same, Rena prayed this time would be different.

It wouldn’t be. They would find her and they would kill her. She would wake up, terrified and drowning in pain, seconds after being swallowed by a sea of agonizing flames.

Wicked heat flashed behind her and seared her shoulder. She bit her lip and swallowed the scream, but she didn’t move from her hiding spot. The snarls and sharp sounds of gnashing teeth had gotten closer. Dirt, leaves, and bits of rock rained over her as an enormous clawed foot skidded past as one beast slammed into the other. Shrieks of fury filled the forest and the sound was more than she could bear because Rena knew what would come next. There would be nothing except excruciating pain while she burned alive.

“Not again,” she whimpered. “Shit, not again.”

The monster scrambled to its feet, and Rena opened her eyes in time to see its long spiked tail whip past. She yelped as the weapon-like appendage slammed into the tree above her head, and bits of bark showered down, stinging her skin.

“No more! Stop it!” The words ripped from her lungs in scream after scream, and she shut her eyes, not wanting to see the fire this time. “Go away and leave me alone! I want to wake up. Help! Someone, please help me! I can’t take it anymore.”

Rena didn’t know how long she sat there, screaming the words over and over again. She fully expected the fire to claim her as it had every time before. But this time, the flames didn’t come.

Exquisite silence filled the air, and other than the sound of her own breathing, Rena heard nothing. The earth no longer trembled, there was no more snarling or growling, and instead of fire, a cool mist drifted over her bare arms like a soothing blanket. Though her heart still beat wildly against her rib cage, Rena finally found the courage to open her eyes. The woods were now bathed in golden rays of sunlight, and a white fog rolled low along the ground, covering any evidence of the destructive battle that had been raging only moments ago.

With trembling hands, Rena pushed her stiff body off the ground and stood on shaky legs. She brushed leaves and dirt off the back of her pajama pants and her tank top, the outfit she had gone to sleep in that night. She gripped the tree trunk, the bark rough beneath her palms, and looked around warily, half expecting the beasts to spring out at her from between the trees, but she was alone.

“That’s it?” Her voice shook and sounded odd as it broke the silence. “All I had to do was have a crybaby fit to make those two assholes vanish?”

The words were barely out of her mouth when the earth shook with the familiar thunderous footsteps of the monsters.

“Oh great,” Rena whispered. She pressed her back against the tree before peering around the trunk in search of the threat. Another tremor rattled the ground and the tree branches wavered above as her heartbeat picked up. “Wake up, girl. Come on. Wake the hell up.”

Run. The man’s voice, a deep, gritty baritone, whispered around Rena out of nowhere, making her go completely still. This was new. Right now. You can’t let him find you. Not like this. He won’t understand.

Her eyes flicked open, and she scanned the dark, misty woods for the source of the voice. “Who won’t understand what?”

As far as she could see, there was no one there but her. Rena gasped as another tremor rocked the earth so hard she almost lost her footing. It was getting closer.

Now! His voice, filled with urgency and a hint of impatience, seemed to come from nowhere and yet he was everywhere. Run, woman. Move!

Another tremor. Stronger now. Dangerously close.

“Where the hell am I supposed to run?” Rena asked in a shaky whisper. “This is a nightmare, and there’s no place to run to, unless I wake up. Which I would love to do, by the way.”

A brilliant crimson light flashed past the trees to her left, like a mirror glinting in the sun, and that’s when she felt it.

The spirit stream.

The warm, soothing strand pulsed and wiggled through the air before sliding beneath her skin like ribbons of silk. Rena sighed at the pleasurable sensation as it seeped into her chest.

Moments later, she detected the source. It was coming from the red light flashing in the distance, calling her to safety like a siren.

Spirit streams, a term she had come up with years ago to describe the unusual phenomenon, were like an invisible trail of bread crumbs only Rena could see and feel. She had no idea why or how she was able to sense them, but she had never been more grateful for the gift than right that second.

Ever since Rena could remember, she had been able to detect the invisible trail left behind by all living creatures. She could find any person on the planet by simply connecting with their spirit streams. She had never found one in a dream before because she had to touch an object the other person had held in order to connect.

But then again, this was no regular dream. More like a recurring nightmare.

Move your ass! The man’s voice was louder this time and rife with impatience. Unless you enjoy getting fried like a chicken?

“Bossy and sarcastic?” Rena glanced over her shoulder as another tremor hit. “What a charming combination.”

Rena ran as fast as she could toward the otherworldly red light, her arms pumping with the effort. She ducked beneath a low-hanging branch but stumbled when the ground shuddered again beneath her feet. She regained her footing and an earsplitting roar filled the air but Rena didn’t look back. Fear gripped her by the throat and her heart threatened to beat right out of her chest, but she kept running toward the light.

If she followed the spirit stream, it would lead her to safety. She didn’t know how she knew that; she simply did. Deep in her gut, she was confident whoever was talking to her was inherently good. Spirit streams didn’t lie because they possessed the essence of the person they belonged to.

Good or evil, the truth was revealed every time.

A wave of heat flashed over her back as the deafening sound of the beast’s footsteps grew nearer still. Leaves crunched and branches cracked loudly as the monster tore through the woods, giving chase. With one final push, Rena broke through the tangle of branches and found what looked like a dead end. A rocky wall blocked her path, but the spirit stream drifted to the right and Rena followed it, even though it seemed to be going nowhere.

When she rounded the side of the mountain, she discovered a small opening in the rocks, and the crimson light flashed from within. With the beast bearing down, there was no time to ask questions. She dropped to her knees and crawled into the narrow space, inching along on her belly. Rocks and dirt scraped at her, but she kept moving toward the light, which glowed brighter and larger.

With sweat dripping into her eyes and panic creeping in, Rena finally came to the other end of the narrow tunnel, and what she found left her speechless. It emptied into an enormous cave with a glittering pool of bright-blue water lit from beneath. She climbed down the sloped, rocky wall carefully, and when she finally reached the bottom, she looked around in awe. The sheer size of the underground chamber and the serenity of the space was enough to leave her humbled, but it was what was buried inside the wall that left her speechless.

Curled up in a fetal position, behind layers of translucent quartz and stone, was one of the beasts that had been haunting her nightmares. Rena let out a shuddering breath and moved closer to the crystalline surface. The creature was as beautiful as it was terrifying. A prism of crimson and gold glinted behind the frosted wall in a breathtaking kaleidoscope pattern.

“Whoa. That is so cool. I’ve never seen one when it wasn’t trying to kill me. What is it? It looks kind of like a—”

She reached out to touch it.

Don’t! The man’s voice echoed through the cavernous space. Not in the dreamrealm.

Rena dropped her arm to her side and spun around, scanning the mammoth cave for any sign of her new friend.

You must go to him and find the others like yourself. The Amoveo can help you…and him. He must be awakened in the earthly plane by his mate. It’s the only way to break the curse, and we are almost out of time. If you don’t reach him by All Hallows’ Eve, he will be trapped here forever.

“Okay, first of all, what curse and who are the Amoveo?” Rena said slowly. “Second, there are no others like me. Trust me. I’m a total freak. Just ask any of the foster families I lived with and they’ll confirm it.”


“Hello?” Rena settled her hands on her hips and looked around. “Yo! Mister? You still here? And what’s this business about a mate?”

You don’t know about the Amoveo? His voice was thick with surprise and a fair amount of confusion. How is that possible?

“Please,” Rena scoffed and swept her arms in big circle. “This fits right in with the rest of my weird-ass life. Listen, I appreciate you saving my ass back there and everything, even though this is only a dream. albeit a really weird dream, but what’s with the monster in the rocks? Why have those two assholes been killing me night after night and who must I go to?” She settled her hands on her hips again and arched one eyebrow. “And while we’re at it, who the hell are you?”

Silence, heavy and thick, filled the cave once again and Rena practically choked on it.

I’ve never encountered one like you before.

His voice and spirit stream bounced off the nooks and crannies of the rocks, effectively masking his location. Another first.

“Yeah? Well, I’ve never been interrogated in my own dream before. I call us even.”

What’s your name?

She answered the ludicrous question. “Rena McHale.” This dream was her subconscious. Why would she ask herself her own name? “Why? What’s yours?”

Pick up the stone.

“That’s a weird name,” she deadpanned.

Pick it up! We don’t have time to waste. Not anymore.

His voice boomed louder, from behind her this time. Rena spun around and spotted a jagged piece of red quartz perched precariously on a rocky outcropping along the wall. About the size of a large egg, it glowed from within, like the water in the pool. Rena let out a slow breath and ran both hands through her short brown hair before lacing her fingers behind her head.

“Does this have to do with that curse you mentioned?” she shouted to the empty cave. “I’m not buying what you’re selling, dude. I have enough problems without getting involved with some weird curse.”

Pick it up. Now! It’s the only way.

“It’s a good thing you’re a disembodied voice and not a real live guy.” Rena dropped her hands to her side and cautiously approached the stone. “I’d have to deck you for being so damn bossy.”

Please. He dragged out the word as though it was painful for him to ask her nicely. Pick up the stone.

“Jeez.” Rena rolled her eyes before scooping it up. “Fine.”

The instant the quartz touched her fingers, the cave erupted in an explosion of light. Another spirit stream that was almost identical to the other but far weaker in strength whispered beneath her flesh. Rena sucked in a shuddering breath and wanted to open her eyes but couldn’t. They were heavy with sleep.

As darkness closed in, the man whispered, You are his only hope.


Zander Lorens rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he reached around blindly for the cell phone that was somewhere next to his sleeping bag. Early morning sunlight streamed in through the vents of his tent, and he squinted against it while swearing under his breath. The dream was still fresh and the woman’s face securely imprinted on his mind, to say nothing of her energy signature.

For the first time in five centuries, Zander had hope that the curse could be broken.

When his fingers curled around the smooth, familiar device, he snatched it and sat up. Bleary-eyed, he scrolled through the screen, looking for the old witch’s phone number. It was one of the only non-business-related contacts he had in there. Referring to Isadora as a friend was probably a stretch, especially since it was one of her sisters who had cursed him and his brother all those years ago.

Over the years, in spite of the history between their families, she had become a trusted acquaintance. Hell, she was a powerful old broad, and if she wanted to hurt Zander, she could have done it a hundred times over. Complicated past aside, Isadora was his only surviving connection to the supernatural world.

Zander had no other options.

The early morning chill of the surrounding mountains crept in, but Zander barely felt it. Excitement and a healthy dose of nerves had his blood humming. He pressed the phone to his ear and unzipped his tent. Sucking in a deep breath of crisp morning air, he stepped out, uncaring of his nakedness. There was nobody there to see it other than the forest creatures, and since he wasn’t exactly Snow White, they wouldn’t be paying him any mind.

After six or seven rings, Isadora finally picked up.

“You better have a damned good reason for calling an old woman at this hour,” she croaked. “The sun is barely up.”

“I found her.” Zander tried to keep his voice even and his eagerness at bay, but it was no use. “Last night. In the dreamrealm. Arianna was gone, and a woman I have never seen before had taken her place. She was—”

“Hold on a damn minute,” she rasped. “Slow down.”

“Zed spoke, Isadora. He actually spoke.” He let out a short laugh of disbelief and pushed his shaggy, dark hair off his face while staring at the rising sun. “The voice was more beast than man, but he uttered the same word over and over again as soon as he saw her: mine. Don’t you see? The woman in the dreamrealm, whoever she is, has to be Zed’s mate.”

When the old witch didn’t respond, Zander thought the connection had been lost. He pulled the phone away and checked, but he had plenty of bars. He growled with frustration and put it back to his ear, but two seconds later, a crackling sound erupted behind him.

Zander spun around to see the old woman standing there, a cloud of purple smoke disappearing around her in the early morning light. Her long, straight, salt-and-pepper hair hung to her waist, and her tanned, wrinkled face was covered with a mischievous smile. Those dark eyes of her twinkled wickedly as they flicked over his naked body, lingering longer than he’d like on his dick.

“I thought we should talk in person,” she said with a wink. Isadora pointed one crooked finger at his crotch before leaning both hands on her tall walking stick. “You better cover up, or I’m going to get the wrong idea.”

“I’m too old to go diving behind a tree.”

Zander hit End on the phone and strode toward the tent as her cackling laughter filled the air. Nudity wasn’t a big deal for the members of his race. Shit. After five hundred years on earth, trapped in his human form, nothing was a big deal anymore.

“And I’m too old to take advantage of the situation,” she snickered. “In this body, anyhow. Now, if I had used my younger-self potion before my travelin’ potion, we wouldn’t be doing very much talking, if you know what I’m gettin’ at.”

“I have an idea.” Zander threw his cell phone in the tent and grabbed his jeans, trying not to imagine what the old woman looked like under her long robe-like dress. “You know, we could have continued this conversation on the phone.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” She leaned on her cane and gave him a sly smile as he pulled his pants up. “’Sides, given everythin’ you were goin’ on about, we need to be real clear about what comes next. Best to have this talk in person.”

Zander nodded his agreement and settled both hands on his hips as he studied the ancient witch woman closely. Her energy signature, like most supernatural creatures, was far stronger than a human’s. It was the spiritual fingerprint each individual possessed. After Zander had been cursed, being able to detect those powerful streams of energy was the only gift he had left.

Well, that and being immortal. But as far as he was concerned, immortality wasn’t any damn gift he’d ever wanted. At least, not like this.

“Now, let’s get back to business.” Isadora thumped her walking stick into the ground with her gnarled hands. “You think you may have found a way to break my sister’s curse? I thought the only way to get rid of it was for one of you boys to commit an act of pure, unselfish love?”

“Since Zed has been trapped in hibernation in his dragon form for the past five centuries, it cut our odds in half.”

“Fair point.” She let out a groan as she settled her round backside on a tree stump next to Zander’s makeshift fire pit. “But you’re still here. Why ain’t you been able to get rid of the curse? Ain’t you done any good deeds in the last half a millennium?”

“What a load of crap that turned out to be,” Zander scoffed under his breath. “I’ve spent the last five centuries doing good deeds and random acts of kindness all over the globe and not a damn one worked. Do you have any idea how many cats and drowning kids I’ve saved?”


“Well, it’s a lot. Shit,” he huffed. “I’ve lost count. I’ve fought in wars for the greater good, built homes for the downtrodden, and bought groceries for strangers. I’ve tossed countless coins into paper cups that were clutched in the hands of homeless men, women, and children. Nothing has made a difference. The curse has remained in place. Zed is stuck in the dreamrealm and I’m…here.”

“Yeah,” she sighed. “You and your twin brother got screwed.”

“He got it worse than me,” Zander said quietly. “Zed has been languishing in the dreamrealm. Night after night, we relive that fight—the one that changed everything. I’ve tried to reason with him, but he stopped hearing me long ago. He’s…tortured.”

“Grief and regret will do that.”

“He’s been reduced to his most savage state. The man is gone and only the beast remains.”

“Right, I know all that,” she said with waning patience. “So what makes you think this woman is the key to breaking the curse?”

“He saw her, Isadora,” Zander said with a smile. “And he spoke. I can’t tell you the last time he did that. It was only one word, but it was a damn good one.”

“Mine,” Isadora said quietly. Worry edged the wrinkles around her eyes. “So you’re tellin’ me that you think this woman in the dreamrealm is Zed’s mate?”

“Zed sure as hell thought she was. Besides, why else would some random woman land in there with us?”

“Why do you think—”

“She’s Amoveo,” Zander said quietly.

Isadora’s eyes widened, and she nodded slowly as an expression of understanding washed over her. The Amoveo, an ancient race of shapeshifters similar to the Dragon Clan in many ways, found their mates in the dreamrealm. Once they connected there, they could find each other in the physical plane.

“She’s a shifter. Like you were.”

“No.” Zander’s jaw clenched. “The dragons were cousins of the Amoveo. We aren’t the same.”

“Pfft.” She rolled her eyes. “That’s what you call semantics. The Dragon Clan was considered the eleventh clan of the Amoveo by most everyone—except the dragons. Which of the ten Amoveo clans is she descended from?”

“From the Fox Clan, I think.”

“Like someone else we knew.” Isadora sniffed. “Seems a little too coincidental for me.”

Zander pretended to ignore that last comment.

“Her name is Rena McHale, but I don’t think she’s a pureblood. If she was, she would know what she is because she would have gone through her first shapeshifting episode during puberty, like all of the Amoveo do. There’s no way she knows there’s Amoveo blood in her veins, which is going to make this a hell of a lot more difficult. I had no idea the Amoveo could even breed with humans.”

“Most of ’em don’t know what they are,” Isadora said flatly. “Comes as quite a shock to ’em.”

Zander stilled.

“You mean there are more like her? Part human and part Amoveo?”

“Yes, sir. Prince Richard has had his men out looking for ’em and bringin’ ’em back to his ranch, over in Montana.”

An image of Zed in his hibernation cocoon flashed into his mind. His twin brother was deep beneath the earth, where no one would find him. Humans rarely ventured that far under the ground, and other than Zander and Isadora, nobody even knew Zed was there.

“They still occupy that land? I thought for sure they would have sold it off over the years.”

“You didn’t sell yours,” she said, referring to his property in West Yellowstone.

“It’s all I have left of my clan.”

“Maybe they feel the same. You aren’t so different after all.” She shrugged her narrow shoulders and waved one hand. “Richard and Salinda’s place is more of a compound, really. They had themselves some trouble over the past few years. Purist Amoveo caused a ruckus. Guess they were none too pleased about these hybrids popping up. The Council has been dissolved and—”

“You’re not serious.”

The Council was the Amoveo’s governing body and was comprised of two members from each of the ten clans. Eons ago, long before Zander and Zed were born, the Dragons had even been a part of it. He couldn’t imagine the kind of chaos that must have ensued with the dissolution of the Council.

“Deadly so, I’m afraid. There were assassination attempts. Nasty business. I ain’t seen the ten Amoveo clans fight among themselves like that since…well…since that business with you and your brother and that Fox Clan girl.”

“That was a long time ago, and this woman, whoever she is, isn’t Arianna but she is Zed’s mate.”

“Or yours,” Isadora whispered.

“No,” he said adamantly. “I’m not letting that happen again. She’s meant for Zed.”

“Who she’s meant for ain’t up to you, now is it?”

“This woman is his only hope.”

Zander grabbed two large, thick branches and snapped them in half, using his pent-up frustration to do it. Silence settled between them as Zander squatted down and arranged some sticks in the fire pit. He stuffed some newspaper underneath before lighting it up.

“’Bout time,” she groused. “It’s colder than a witch’s tit out here.”

Zander let out a huff of laughter at her silly comment and shook his head before sitting beside the fire. Isadora always did have a way of diffusing tense situations. He pulled his knees up and settled his arms over them as the heat washed over the bare flesh of his chest. The crackle of the wood as it was consumed by the flames filled the air, instantly putting him at ease.

For most people, the power of fire was frightening, but it made Zander feel at home.

“You miss it, don’t you?” she asked, her voice pulling him from his memories. “The dragon.”

“Embracing my dragon again is all I’ve wanted, and ironically, it’s the very thing that’s tormenting Zed.” He tossed another branch on the fire, sending sparks into the air. “If I can get this woman to the cave where Zed is hibernating and give her a spirit stone from our tribal land, she might be able to use it to wake him up.”

“That’s a big might,” Isadora said firmly. “Boy, you got nothin’ but maybes and could bes.”

“Yeah. That’s about all I’ve got and we’re running out of time. This Saturday is—”

“Oh hell.” She tapped her cane on the ground and pursed her lips. “It’s All Hallows’ Eve, ain’t it?”


“Damn,” she said with a sigh. “Those five hundred years surely did fly right on by.”

Zed let out a bitter laugh.

The past several centuries had felt more like millennia as far as he was concerned. However, he clamped down on his moment of self-pity and reminded himself that nothing he went through could compare to Zed’s painful existence.

“That’s why I need your help. If we don’t break the curse before sunset on Saturday, then it will never be over, and Zed will be trapped there. Forever. Tormented. Alone. I can’t live with that, and thanks to your sister’s curse, I can’t even put myself out of my own misery.” He sighed wearily. “Living forever sucks…at least living like this.”

He turned his gaze to hers and threw a prayer to the universe that she would take pity on him. The old woman, her long white-and-brown robe draped over her thin form, stared into the fire but said nothing. He sensed she was weighing her options.

“Please, Isadora. Put me in touch with the prince or one of his people. I’ve got to get on that property. You and I both know that I can’t just walk up to the gates. And I can’t try and sneak on because they’ll sense my presence. You know I’m right.”

“Can’t say you’re wrong.” A look of understanding flickered over her weathered face, and she nodded. “But if you had an Amoveo hybrid with you…one looking for sanctuary…”

“We kill two birds with one stone: Rena can connect with her people, and I have a chance to free my brother.”

“Seems more complicated than you’re makin’ it.”

Zander let out a beleaguered sigh.

“Can you help me or not?”


She pushed herself to her feet, using her cane for support. Zander hopped up before going around the fire and scooping the tiny old witch up in a big hug. Her frail, five-foot-tall frame was easily engulfed by his far larger one.

“My sister was a troublemaker and always sellin’ her magic to the highest bidder. It ain’t right, and if she weren’t already dead, I’d have a mind to kill her myself. It’s witches like her that gave all of us a bad rap. I swear. The fairies are a bunch of troublemakers and we’re the ones who look bad in the human stories. Ain’t right, I tell ya.”

“Thank you, Isadora.”

He set her down and planted a kiss on her soft cheek as his gratitude swelled.

“All right, now.” Her wrinkled cheeks pinkened, and she patted him on the arm. “Better be careful with all that kissin’ on me. We may be about the same age, but my body ain’t weathered the years as well as yours.”

Her brow furrowed and her smile faltered as her gaze skittered over his bare chest. She tapped one of several scars on his torso with a gnarled fingertip and made a tsking sound.

“I guess you aren’t exactly unscathed, are you?”

“No, ma’am.” Zander pressed both hands to his chest and stepped back before extending his arms wide. “But thanks to your sister, I am indestructible.”

“And handsome as ever.” She pulled a small glass bottle from one of the folds in her robe and flipped the cork out with her thumb. “Better stand back, boy.”

Zander did as she said and put a healthy distance between them.

“I’ll get a message to the Amoveo. If I had to venture a guess, you’ll be gettin’ a call from a Dante Coltari. He’s the one been wranglin’ the hybrids to the ranch, but that’s all I can do for you. After that, you’re on your own. I don’t like to meddle where I don’t have to.”

Zander arched one dark eyebrow at her and she shrugged.

“Yeah, that ain’t true. I love messin’ with people. Keeps my mind and magic sharp.”

She was about to swallow her potion, but Zander held up one hand, stopping her.

“Don’t give them my real name. Tell them—”

“Won’t matter. Trust me.”

“Isadora,” he began, “I hardly think they’ll welcome a dragon to their property. Even before my people were extinct, we were the outcasts. Some of the Amoveo even helped the human dragon slayers hunt us into oblivion, Arianna’s father for one.”

Anger surged at the painful memories, but he stuffed it back down. Better to save it for another day. If he was going to have to deal with a ranch full of Amoveo, he would need all of his strength. In his experience, rage was one hell of a weapon.

“Yeah,” she snorted. “But you ain’t a dragon no more. The dragons are all gone and only exist in human fairy tales and folklore…for the most part.”

Before he could protest further, Isadora swallowed her potion and vanished in a cloud of purple smoke. As the haze of her departure dissipated, Zander’s thoughts went to the woman from the dreamrealm.

If she didn’t know who and what she really was, how the hell was Zander going to tell her about him and his brother? Or that she was Zed’s intended mate?

What a shit show.

Yep. He was fucked. Again.

All he knew was her name and where she was located. Though the curse had stripped him of virtually all of his Dragon Clan abilities, he was still able to identify her unique energy pattern—and it showed him exactly where she was.

He wasted no time. Zander packed up his tent and backpack, and pointed his Harley in the right direction.



The first book in a brand new contemporary romance series from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas about three geeky girls and the hunky guys who fall for them.

Kiera Connelly leads a quiet life, and that’s just how she likes it. She’s built a name as a graphic designer and meets up with her friends online, all from the comfort of her living room couch. But when a rare outing turns disastrous, Kiera finds herself up close and way too personal with an unbelievably hot real-life hero.


Zach Ashley doesn’t see himself as a hero. He’s just a regular guy who gets to help people every day as an EMT. But when he’s called to a scene and has to treat his most gorgeous patient ever, he finds himself mixing work with pleasure. He never hesitates to put his life on the line…but will he ever risk his heart?



Author: Erin Nicholas

Series: Opposites Attract, #1

On Sale: December 20, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $5.99 USD

eBook: $3.99 USD

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Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She loves to write about reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines and happily ever afters. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).



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She was still watching the ambulance, and she nodded absently. “Okay.”

He moved in front of her and crouched to get on eye level. “You can go right over and see them at the hospital. Mass General. If you’re not family, they might not be able to tell you much, but if you can get in touch with their families, they can come and sit with you, right?”

She nodded again but Zach wasn’t sure she’d heard him. He really wanted to know that someone was going to be there with her. Shock in survivors wasn’t uncommon. The that-could’ve-been-me thing could kick in at any moment if it hadn’t already. But there was nothing like seeing someone you cared about hurt.

He put his hands on her arms again, this time rubbing up and down and just ignoring how good her skin felt against his rough palms. Mostly. He needed to comfort her more than he needed to worry about how she made him feel.

“Do you know where Mass General is?” He didn’t love the idea of her driving herself over there. She was clearly overwhelmed.

Kiera nodded. “Yes.”

“You can get there?” he asked.

She nodded again.

Okay. So…

“Zach! Let’s go!”

Zach glanced over at Reed. His co-workers needed help so he was going to be here for a while. He couldn’t be messing around, obsessing about a woman who liked to play dress-up. “Kiera, I need to go but…”

“Yeah, of course.” She shook her head and looked around. “You go.”

“But…” But nothing. She was fine, and he was needed by people who weren’t fine. “Okay.”

He had the fleeting thought that he wanted to kiss her goodbye. But that was crazy. They’d just met. In the middle of an emergency. No way should he kiss her.

Finally, he let go of her and stepped back. But not touching her didn’t do a thing to make him not want to touch her. He forced himself to turn away and head toward Reed, trying to clear his mind of green and gold sweet-smelling flowers as he went. But when he got about twenty feet from her, he glanced back.

And she was still standing there. Hugging herself. Looking lost.


“I’ll be right there,” he told Reed.

Reed glanced back. “Dude…”

“I know.” And he did. He needed to not be distracted. But the only way that was going to happen was if he knew for sure that Kiera was taken care of.

He jogged back to her side. “Hey princess, what’s up?”

She looked at him, and her look of confusion cleared. That made him feel stupidly good.

“I don’t have a way…”

She trailed off, and Zach frowned. “You don’t feel up to driving?”

“We brought Sophie’s car, and her fob thingy is with her.”

Ah. A little issue. “You have someone you can call?”

“I didn’t bring my phone.”

“You can use mine.”

“No one’s home. I live with Maya and Sophie,” she said. “Obviously, they’re not… there.”

Her voice wobbled, and Zach worked on not grabbing her and hugging her.

They’d just fucking met. Hugging and kissing wasn’t appropriate. Dammit.

“How about a cab?”

“I don’t have any money.”

He looked her over again, revisiting the curves he realized he’d already memorized. He could give her money for a cab of course. He could get her home. But she’d be home alone. He could get her to the hospital, but they wouldn’t talk to her and she’d be stuck in the waiting room for God knew how long. Alone.

And leaving her alone was simply something he could not do.

“You need to come with me.” He reached out and snagged her hand before he could tell himself that holding her hand was a bad idea.

Because it was. Her hand felt good in his, and the way she curled her fingers around his tightly and followed him without question felt good. And the idea that he was going to get to spend more time with her felt good. And all of that was bad. And yet, he pulled her along with him through the convention hall and into the heart of the chaos.

“What are we doing?” she asked.

“I need to go help with some more injured. And I need you to stick with me.”

“Me? Why?”

He looked over at her. Her cape floated behind her, and for the first time, he noticed the golden sword swinging at her left hip. Damn. That was kind of hot. “Because you’re a gorgeous kick-ass warrior princess, and the people in here are gonna need some gorgeous kick-ass stuff.”

She looked at him with surprise, but as he held her gaze, he saw something that turned him on even more than her smelling like candy—a spark of determination. She pulled up straighter as she walked, and he felt her hand tighten on his.

“Kick ass. Right. I can do that.”

He smiled. “And I could use some help from an interpreter.”

“An interpreter? I speak some Spanish but that’s about it.”

“You don’t speak geek?” He hoped he wasn’t committing a faux pau in calling her, and all of this, geeky.

But she actually gave him a half smile. “Oh, geek. Yes, I’m fluent.”


A new series, new heroes and a special brand of romance from the amazing Donna Grant!!!

Check below for the series details, special incentives being offered by Donna Grant/St. Martins Press, Facebook and Twitter chats, and of course an excerpt from “The Hero” 


Book Blurb:


Owen Loughman is a highly-decorated Navy SEAL who has a thirst for action. But there’s one thing he hasn’t been able to forget – his high school sweetheart, Natalie. After over a decade away, Owen is returned home to the ranch in Texas for a dangerous new mission that puts him face-to-face with Natalie and an outside menace that threatens everything he holds dear. He’ll risk it all to keep Natalie safe – and win her heart. . . .

Natalie Dixon has had a lifetime of heartache since Owen was deployed. Fourteen years and one bad marriage later, she finds herself mixed up with the Loughman’s again. With her life on the line against an enemy she can’t fight alone, it’s Owen’s strong shoulders, smoldering eyes, and sensuous smile that she turns to. When danger closes in, she holds close to the only man she’s ever loved…

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There are TWO pre-order incentives going on now for Donna’s new military romance series!!

If you pre-order THE HERO you will be entered for some seriously cool prizes including the **entire** Dragon King series (Dark Heat – Smoke and Fire – including novellas) signed to you, winner’s choice of a bundle of books, Darkest Flame (signed) and some swag, and swag and a coveted DK t-shirt!

But to be entered, you MUST FILL OUT THE FORM. All pre-orders are acceptable as long as you have an order number from the retailer you purchased from.

Pre-order form to THE HERO:

If you pre-order THE PROTECTOR you will receive a bonus scene that features Owen and Natalie from THE HERO. The scene will NOT be shared anywhere else. It will be exclusive to those who pre-order THE PROTECTOR and fill out this form:

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And the author herself – Donna Grant
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.



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Excitement or dread? She wasn’t sure she knew.

This wasn’t the first time she’d been on the ranch since her breakup with Owen. In fact, she’d been there several times since discovering Ragnarok, but this time was different.

This time, Owen could be there.

“I’m close,” Callie said.

The line disconnected. Natalie didn’t see the black fence that lined either side of the drive, or the cows and horses that grazed peacefully.

Her gaze was locked on the white house that drew closer with each second. By the time she parked in front of the two- story ranch home with its wide, wrap- around porch, all she could think about was the dinner she’d had the week before with Callie, Virgil, and Charlotte.

She put the car in park and glanced around. There was no sign that anyone else was there. Since she expected someone to come out at the sound of her car, she assumed Owen and his brothers hadn’t yet made it to the house.

Or perhaps, luck was on her side, and those choppers hadn’t been bringing the brothers.

She got out of her car, but it was more difficult than she imagined making herself go up the steps to the porch. She might be involved in all of this, but she’d never witnessed a murder scene firsthand.

Frankly, she didn’t want to.

But Orrin’s life was on the line. Everything she and Callie could discover only helped their chances of learning who took Orrin and where Ragnarok was.

She reached the front door. At least she wouldn’t have to see Virgil’s and Charlotte’s bodies. They had already been taken away.

That was her last thought as she walked through the doorway and found herself flat on her back. Natalie knew the instant the large hands grabbed her that it was Owen.

Her heart skipped a beat, even as she instinctively reacted and used her momentum to pull Owen over her head. She got up, but in the next heartbeat, he had her pinned to the wall.

The heat of him was the first thing she felt. Then it was his hard body trapping her. She felt herself softening, needing to feel him after all these years.

She thought he would threaten her. Instead, he knocked off her cap. His dark brown eyes widened in shock.

How she wished her heart didn’t feel like it was about to explode out of her chest. He was . . . breathtaking. She drank in the very sight of him. Sharp, chiseled features that looked as if they had been fashioned from granite stared back at her. Gone was any hint of the teenager she’d known. Before her stood a man in all his masculine glory.

He’d always been tall, his muscles honed at an early age from working on the ranch. Now, however, Owen filled out his wide shoulders. His light tan tee stretched tightly across his chest, molding to every ripple of muscle in his arms and shoulders. The shirt was tucked into camo pants she imagined were for the desert by their sand and khaki color. His hair was longer, the dark strands shoved away from his face in long waves.

Her surprise at having Owen against her was quickly hidden. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted two more figures. How she wished she would’ve waited for Callie.

“Hi, boys,” Natalie said. It was the only thing she could think of. Owen frowned, the irritation clear in his sensual chocolate gaze. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“She’s looking for me.”

At the sound of Callie’s voice, most of the apprehension left Natalie. Now she wouldn’t have to face the Loughman men on her own.

She barely paid attention to anything going on around her. She was too intent on staring into Owen’s eyes. It was obvious that he was irritated to find her there, but he had yet to release her.

And she didn’t remind him of that fact.

Her allowing him to keep her pinned was an indication of how long it had taken her to get over him. And how she hated herself for it. After all she’d suffered, she should be shoving him away.

Her body had other ideas, however. With her blood burning through her and her nipples hard, she ached for his touch.

Yearned for it.

His eyes dropped to her mouth. Her breath hitched, caught in her throat. Yes! She wanted his kiss. It didn’t matter where they were or who was around.

Dimly, she heard Callie and Wyatt talking. Much to her annoyance, Owen released her. She was more hurt than she wanted to admit.

Perhaps it was for the best. She’d sworn off all men. Especially Owen. She quickly moved to stand beside Callie.

“Someone please tell us what’s going on?” Owen demanded. Callie shrugged. “I work here.”

Natalie looked at Owen and said, “I came to help.”

Owen’s breath locked in his lungs as he stared at Natalie’s long, brown hair streaked with strands of copper.

He wanted those deep green eyes of hers to land on him again, to fill with desire . . . again.

She was even more beautiful than he remembered.

The years had transformed her into a seductress who left him breathless and needy.

The girl had become a woman, and what a woman she was. He knew the weight of her breast in his hand, knew how it felt to sink into her body and hear her scream in pleasure.

And yet, the woman before him now held a hint of wariness that hadn’t been there before. What happened to her to take away that lighthearted girl he once knew?

Copyright © 2016 by Donna Grant and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


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