Tuesday, April 24, 2018

#Giveaway: Her Claim by Rebecca Grace Allen #EroticRomance #NewRelease


Her Claim
Rebecca Grace Allen
(Legally Bound, #2)
Publication date: April 23rd 2018
Genres: Erotica, Romance
She’s no princess. He’s no prince. Then again, they never wanted a fairy tale.
Legally Bound, Book 2
Cassie Allbright takes no prisoners. A half Cuban ball-busting attorney, she’s too tough to admit what she wants in bed. But tough is the only way to cut it in her high-powered firm, and Cassie doesn’t need a knight in shining armor. And she definitely doesn’t need Patrick Dunham—an arrogant, chauvinistic man-whore with a knack for pissing her off.
Bound to the helm of his family’s publishing house, Patrick is shackled to a life of power and wealth he never wanted. Seduction is his only distraction—his nights of pleasure always temporary, because happily-ever-afters are not for him. But while luring a woman into his bed has always come easy, the high-and-mighty Cassie has never succumbed to his charms.
Their verbal sparring turns to foreplay, but instead of scratching an itch, it only whets their appetites. Patrick gives Cassie a taste of what she’s secretly craved, and Cassie’s dark desires stir up things Patrick never knew he wanted. Enchanted, he offers to fulfill her most dangerous fantasies. She agrees, with an iron-clad escape clause: her heart is off-limits, and so is his.
Funny thing about hearts, though. They have a way of ignoring the fine print.
Warning: This book isn’t for the faint of heart. Disclosure includes angry, vying-for-control hate sex and one steamy weekend in Miami. Ready? Break the caution tape and proceed.
Excerpt:

“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you,” he said.
Was this still part of the game? It was hard to keep a healthy sense of mistrust in place with his body so close, his breath heated as he kissed her neck.
“Since last week?” she asked.
“Yes.” He kissed her again, grazing the back of her neck before moving to the other side. Cassie shuddered at the feel of his warm skin and beard. “No.”
“You want to clarify that?”
“Longer. Since the night we met. You had on a white blouse with a black jacket and a matching skirt, and I wanted to rip it all off you.”
“You remember what I was wearing?”
“Yes.”
It shouldn’t have made her so happy to hear that, but fuck it. If she were being honest with herself, she’d wanted him that long too.
She reached back to touch him, one hand on his cheek, the other gripping his pants, tugging him closer. “I don’t remember what you wore, but I do know you were off in a corner, flirting with some chick I thought was your girlfriend.”
“I was being Jack’s wingman. Trying to get him out there again.”
“You left with her.”
“Semantics.” He bit down on the tender skin of her neck. Cassie inhaled sharply.
“I didn’t like you,” she said.
“I know.” He went for the back of her dress, leisurely drawing the zipper down. “You were so mad. So obnoxious once you decided what kind of man I was.”
Cassie’s pulse raced as the dress slipped to the floor. “I think I made some kind of comment about you running out of options at your age.”
“You did. See? You piss me off.”
“And you enjoyed that?”
“Fuck yeah. It gave me a reason to piss you off right back.”
He helped her step out of the dress and urged her forward, fingers wrapped around her waist as he turned her around, then shoved her backward until her hips hit the wall. Cassie’s breath caught at the forbidden thrill.
He smiled. “You like that, don’t you.”
Cassie nodded. She did. More than she knew how to say.
She hoped he’d trap her there, that she’d get to feel that implacable grip even more tightly, but he moved in and kissed her roughly instead. When he bit down on her lower lip and sucked it into his mouth, Cassie hissed and gazed up at him. His eyes were open too, and he was smiling around his bite, mirth in his eyes as he let go and pulled back.
“I think you like that too.”
“What?”
“Biting.”
Roughness. Aggression. That was what she liked. “I might.”
“I picked that up last time.” There was meanness to his expression, a taunting, sinister flash in his eyes. “I wish you’d told me beforehand, but I guess that’s going to be part of the fun with us, isn’t it?”
“What is?”
“Finding the right button to push.” Shifting to her side, Patrick palmed her belly. His hand dipped down until his fingers teased the edge of her panties. “Then pushing it harder.”
  


Author Bio:
Rebecca Grace allen holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Literary Comparison as well as of Master of Science degree in Elementary Education, both of which seemed like good ideas at the time. After stumbling through careers in entertainment, publishing, law and teaching, she’s returned to her first love: writing. A self-admitted caffeine addict & gym rat, she currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, two parakeets, and a cat with a very unusual foot fetish.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

How to Steal the Pharaoh's Jewels by Cailin Briste - Release Day!



Celebrate the release of How to Steal the Pharaoh’s Jewels: A Thief in Love Suspense Romance, Book #2 with Cailin Briste.


A life of crime won’t stop best friends from becoming lovers, but their pasts are another thing.
Cade’s fantasy is to seduce his best friend if he isn’t murdered first.

His comfortable routine as a member of Sebastian St. Croix’s cat burglar team is shattered the day he’s pinned in a crushed car. In a moment of clarity, before everything goes dark, he realizes he’s in love with his best friend, a woman who has sworn off intimate relationships for life.

It’s taken Bassinae years to overcome a past filled with physical abuse and embrace the truth that she is a powerful, capable woman in her own right. Tamping down a case of nerves, she’s ready to take on a larger role as a thief in Sebastian’s next caper. If only Cade would stop acting like a lovelorn idiot. She needs her best friend’s support to help steal the Pharaoh’s jewels.

Set in the distant future, this sci-fi suspense romance has action and adventure as well as a sizzling romance.



Steamy Excerpt:

He didn’t want to have sex with her. No, he wanted to make love to her. And that was different. She wasn’t a slot B for his tab A. If he could, he would assure her life was filled with goodness and joy, protecting her, standing by her, and… Fuck! He clenched the hair on the top of his head with his fist. No way was he going to use the l-word. Not even think it. Whatever he was feeling, he had to keep it from Bassinae until he figured out how to induce the stubborn female to recognize that he wasn’t like her former boyfriend. That men weren’t naturally given to abusing their girlfriends. That a special forces commando trained to kill, maim, and destroy, would never ever harm the woman he loved.

“Buck up, lionceau. Things aren’t that bad.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him into his apartment, shoving him toward the bathroom. “Now go get clean. You’re getting aromatic.”
The twitch her ass made when she walked away from him brought his cock back to full attention. With a groan, he stepped inside, closed the door behind him, and leaned against it, knocking his head against the wood. How the hell was he going to be around Bassinae sporting a non-stop erection. He’d dropped weight, so his pants were roomier, but with a cock the size of his they might not be big enough to hide the true nature of his affection for her. If not, he’d have to invest in something baggy. Meanwhile there was one certain way of taming a hard-on.

He set the shower to hot, stripped, and climbed under the pelting water. The massage setting was his favorite, but he switched to soft rain. A hand planted on the cool tile above his head, he leaned into the spray, letting it soak his hair and drizzle heat down his back. He sighed, wanting Bassinae so bad he could almost taste her. But until he did he would never experience the flavor of sunshine. Or the sensation of her gliding around his cock while he whispered dirty words in her ear.

Fuck all. The dispenser plopped a generous dollop of soap in his hand. After smearing it over his erection, he fisted it, pulling in long strokes from root to tip. A manly pine-forest scent wafted up to his nose, nothing like the flowery aroma that trailed after Bassinae. His Bassinae. The woman he needed beyond anything, needed to strip, to explore with his mouth and teeth, and to discover all the shades of brown that colored her delectable skin. She would open to him, tender and responsive. The heat generated by their give and take would fuse them, make them one, and he would find the home he’d always longed for, hidden in the depths of her heart.

“Bassinae.” Her name slipped from his lips part worship part plea. Lightning speared through him, bursting through his balls and up his cock. A strangled cry ripped from his throat. His cum spattered the shower wall to drip in milky tears under the gentle fall of water. Physically he was sated. But that other ache, the longing, hadn’t subsided with his release. What the hell am I going to do?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

#Win a $50 #Amazon GC: Royal Attraction by Tiffany Truitt #ContemporaryRomance


Royal Attraction
Tiffany Truitt
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: September 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Alexandra Ryans’s life has been anything but normal. Some might even call it a fairy tale. As the daughter of the former U.S. ambassador to England, she grew up within the palace walls, best friends with the three young princes. Adored by the press and the British people. What more could a girl want?
If only the press knew the real story behind her relationships with the Dudley boys. Then, they’d really sell some papers.
Oliver Dudley, youngest son and third in line for the throne, loves everything about his life. The fame. The parties. The women. The utter lack of expectations and responsibilities that come with being last in the line of succession. But while the world thinks he has everything he wants, there’s one thing he was never able to call his own—the beautiful and spunky American Aly Ryans. But how can he convince her when she hates everything about his life? And what is he willing to give up to get her?
EXCERPT:
“I’ll only be here a little while longer, Ollie,” I manage in between breaths. “Then everything can go back to the way it was. Like I never returned.”
The lines in his forehead deepen. “You think that’s what I want? To go back? Tell me your life has been better since you left,” he challenges, raising an eyebrow.
I place my hand against his chest and attempt to push him out of my way, but he doesn’t budge. Not even an inch. Instead, he places a hand against my cheek. I inhale sharply, caught off guard by the sudden gentleness of the action. “You tell me right now that since leaving here your life has been better, that you’re happy, and I’ll walk out of this greenhouse. I’ll pretend that seeing you here doesn’t drive me wild. I’ll ignore all the things my body wants to do to yours. I’ll forget the fact that you leaving without a goodbye wrecked me.”
I open my mouth to argue, but he cuts me off. “You wrecked me, Ryans,” he reiterates, his voice desperate.
I prepare to tell him that I’m happier. That life has been easier without being caught between him and Aiden. That I enjoy not having to worry the press is lurking around every corner. That I prefer being a normal girl. That the day we shared together was just that—a day. It didn’t mean anything. It didn’t define me.
But the words refuse to come out of my mouth. Instead, a small gasp breaks free, and I know that if I don’t bolt soon, my resolve will shatter. Ollie’s hand slowly trails down my cheek and across the length of my neck, stopping on the delicate skin above my collarbone. My breathing picks up.
Tell him to stop, Alexandra.
He tugs at the collar of my jersey, bringing my face dangerously close to his. I bite down hard on my bottom lip. Ollie’s eyes travel down to my lips. My body gravitates toward his till it’s nearly pressing against the length of him.
When did it become this? This need? Because need is coursing through me like wildfire.
“You said it, Ryans. You won,” he reminds me, his voice all throaty and hoarse and incredibly sexy. “You want me to spend the rest of your time here ignoring all that’s left unanswered between us? Say it. If you desire to go back to that emptiness, that life that you seem so anxious to return to, I won’t stop you. Just say it’s what you want. ’Cause I can’t stand the indecision anymore, the what-ifs. I’ve lived three years of that. Wondering what could have happened if things had been different. ”


Author Bio:
Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of one McDonalds and Banana Rats (don't ask), she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).
Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman (5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered "low brow" or outside the "classics."
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom.

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Learn more about Sweet Thing by Isobel Starling #MM #GayRomance #LGBTQ #romance

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Book Title: Sweet Thing

Author: Isobel Starling

Publisher: Self Published

Book Release Date: September 8, 2017

Cover Artist: Isobel Starling

Length: 83k words/237 pages 

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Blurb

French male model Simeon Duchamp has a lot of explaining to do.

Two years after a breakdown Simeon is off drugs and booze and wants to stay that way.

On his road to reclaiming his life and modeling career, Sim first needs to apologize to the man he hurt the most -his ex-best friend and object of his unrequited affection Pieter Bayer. Pieter now has a long-term partner, artist Emily Raven, with whom he shares a baby son. Sim is amazed when Pieter accepts his apology, and invites him into his family.

Closeness to Pieter sees Simeon's longing for his friend is rekindled. But then, when Simeon meets an attractive older man, Bastian Roth at an Art Exhibition, he realizes that there is a soul more broken than his, and Simeon feels compelled to help. Simeon's connection with the troubled Bastian Roth turns his world upside down. He has to decide whether to allow himself to fall for the man who wants him or pine for the man he can never have.

***THIS BOOK CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE***

Please note: This story contains graphic descriptions of gay sex.


Buy Links - Available on KU




Excerpt
“Our final guest has arrived,” Emily announced triumphantly, her eyes mischievously meeting those of her partner-in-crime, Pieter, who’d come up with the master plan to challenge Simeon to a ‘cook-off.' Pieter returned her stare and smirked as Simeon’s jaw dropped in realization of what he was seeing.

Emily knew they had done the right thing when she saw the way Simeon and Bastian stared at one another, their eyes as large as saucers. The electricity between them was palpable. Simeon could be a bit of a motor mouth, but on seeing Bastian Roth standing in the open plan kitchen, Simeon Duchamp appeared to be lost for words.

“Good to meet you,” Pieter said, stepping in to break the awkward silence and offering a hand to Bastian. “You have great taste in art,” he joked.

“Ah, yes, the collection I purchased.” Bastian smiled warmly, shaking Pieter’s slender, elegant hand in both of his own. “How could I resist. Your partner is a very talented painter. She captures your beauty so well.” Pieter blushed. Bastian turned and strolled behind the kitchen island to greet Simeon.

Sim looked nervously up through his dark lashes, and the two men paused for a moment, just staring. “I, uh, didn’t know you were coming,” Simeon said, his breathy French accented voice surprised, and as light as a whisper on the wind. Simeon leaned in and gave Bast the traditional French greeting of "Fairela bise,” reserved for family, friends, and intimate acquaintances, kissing him on both cheeks. Bastian kissed him in return, and when the men drew back, both looked flushed from their closeness.

“Uh, Emily and Pieter invited me to dinner. I had no idea you would be here either”, Bastian said privately to Simeon’s ear. “It appears we’ve been set up.”

Simeon was outraged. He’d never needed to be set up in his whole life. Sim’s gaze darted to Pieter and Emily who both bit their bottom lips and glanced innocently at the ceiling and floor. He shook his head, pursed his lips, and then said. “A moment,” to Bastian, to excuse himself and stalked away. Simeon grabbed Pieter by his forearm and dragged him down the hallway.

****

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Simeon said, sounding outraged, his bony index fingers jabbing Pieter in the ribs. Pieter roared with laughter, Simeon knew his most ticklish places by heart.

“We just thought we’d help nudge things along, you know.”

“But I’m doing just fine. I told you. I met him for coffee last week, and we had a chat. We both said sorry. It’s all cool.”

“But it’s been a week. A week is a long time. Did you call him? Did he call you?”

“Well, no. It’s, uh, complicated.” Simeon gave a Gallic shrug.

“You told me you want to see him again. What’s complicated about it?”

“You know… feelings and shit. Baggage.”

“His or yours?”

“Both. Jesus Peety.” Simeon exhaled loudly and slumped to sit on the bed, raking his hands through his black hair. “He’s soooo fucking hot. But we’re both broken. I don’t know if I’m the man to… I’ve never had a proper boyfriend. I’ve never been a proper boyfriend. Does he even want a boyfriend? I mean. The man is still grieving, and he’s all kinds of messed up. I have all kinds of shit going on myself, and I just don’t think I can do this.” Simeon exclaimed, a hint of alarm in his French timbre as the words babbled out.

“Do you like him?”

“I don’t know him. I like what I see, but I haven’t spent enough time with him to know if I want more than hot monkey sex.”

“And that’s why this dinner party is such good timing, no?” Pieter smiled triumphantly.

“Look. We’re all grown up now, and this is what grown-ups do, Sim.” Pieter said, knowing all too well that the Simeon he knew before his breakdown was a Grindr addict as well as a substance abuser. “From an outsider view it’s clear you like him, he likes you. Yes, your first time together was …fucked up beyond belief, but you both talked about it like adults and apologized, yeah. That’s progress, no? If you felt unsafe with him, you would tell me, yeah?”

“You think he likes me?” Simeon sighed, the insecurity all too evident.

“Uh, yeah!”

“What happened was both of our faults. I don’t think he’s a violent man. I don’t feel unsafe with him… Me on the other hand…”

“Oh, Gahh’d, I know! Your temper is legendary. To be honest, I would actually be more worried for him.” That comment got Pieter another jab in the ribs. “So, we have a nice relaxed dinner and all get to know each other a little. If you both get on then, you know what to do next.”

“Fine” Simeon exhaled.




About the Author

Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland. She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

Isobel is currently working on her fifteenth book. The Shatterproof Bondseries is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller and is being translated into French with Juno Publications, German with Deadsoft Verlag, and Italian with Quixote Edizioni. The series is also available as audiobooks, narrated by Gary Furlong.

“Sweet Thing” will be translated into French by Rienes-Beaux Publishing, and Italian by Quixote Edizioni.



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Friday, April 20, 2018

#FirstChapterFriday: DARE TO SURRENDER (The Dare #Menage Series, bk 5) by USAT Bestselling #Author Jeanne St. James #MMF #EroticRomance


Dare to Surrender
The Dare Ménage Series, Book 5

By Jeanne St. James

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance, MMF Ménage, LGBTQ

Universal Buy Link:  www.books2read.com/Dare2Surrender

Add to your TBR pile on Goodreads:


Blurb:

One woman, two men, a fierce attraction and a danger that could destroy them all...

Olivia Holloway’s life has never been easy. On her own at sixteen, she’s fought to survive ever since. When she finds herself in a dangerous situation that even she can’t handle, she has to break down and ask for help. She reluctantly seeks it by showing up at her estranged brother’s law firm. However, it’s not her brother, Trey, who steps in, it’s the firm’s private investigator, Elliot Stone and his husband, Grant Lane. They agree to hide her at their home to keep her safe after she witnesses a powerful Senator commit murder.
Together for a decade, Eli and Grant’s marriage is solid and they’re still deeply in love. But when Olivia shows up at the firm they both work at, Eli feels a pull toward the woman he can’t deny. Only now he needs to convince his husband that bringing her into their relationship will not destroy what they have but only enhance it. However, will Grant agree?
And will the trouble that’s following Olivia put them all at risk?

Note: This book in the series can be read as stand-alone. It includes an HEA ending. It is intended for audiences over 18 years of age since it includes MMF scenes between all three characters.

Excerpt:
Chapter One

Olivia could hear nothing but the pounding of her heart in her ears. She stared at the large gold letters on the wall above the reception desk... Ward, Jordan, & Holloway.
The receptionist’s lips were moving but Liv had no idea what the woman said.
She needed to turn and hightail it out of there before she got caught. This was a bad idea. One of way too many she’d made in her life.
Her stomach churned, and her mouth felt like it was packed full of cotton.
She closed her eyes for a moment, as a wave of panic washed up and over her. She could fix this herself. She’d been surviving on her own most of her life.
She never needed anyone to save her, and she didn’t now.
Right.
She stiffened when she felt something, or someone, large and very warm at her back. She shook her head in an attempt to clear it and finally heard, “Are you okay?”
So, unless the receptionist had a deep, masculine voice, it wasn’t a woman. A shiver ran down her spine.
When a large dark hand landed on her arm, she could only stare at it. She blinked. Why was this person touching her?
Then fingers wrapped around her chin, lifting her face and her gaze. She stared into very, very dark eyes. Eyes full of concern and... something else.
She wasn’t used to the concern. That look seemed foreign to her. And the other? She had no clue why he would look at her like that.
“What?” she whispered, almost as if trapped in a fog.
“Are you okay?” The man snapped into motion, leading her over to a nearby chair and pushing her gently into it. “Cassie, grab a bottle of water.”
From the corner of her eye, she saw the receptionist move at a hurried pace.
“Are you okay?”
Why did he keep asking her that?
“Yes,” she murmured, her tongue thick.
“Are you here to see someone in particular?”
Liv watched his dark lips move. They were full and looked nice. And his teeth were really white. Nice people had nice lips, nice voices, and nice teeth.
Why did she care if he was nice?
“Yes.”
“Who? Who do you have an appointment with?”
Liv shook her head slowly. “I don’t.”
“Then who are you here to see?”
She sucked in a shaky breath. “Trey.”
“Trey,” he echoed softly.
“Yes, Trey Holloway.”
He tilted his head, his gaze searching her face. “Does he know you?”
What a weird question. “I hope so. He’s my brother.”
His dark eyes narrowed, and he only left her long enough to grab the bottle of water from Cassie, the receptionist. He cracked the seal on the lid and opened it, handing the bottle to her. “Drink.”
“I’m not thirsty,” she said, her tone flat, even though she felt parched.
“Drink anyway.”
Liv lifted the bottle to her lips and sipped at the cool water. She blinked again and glanced up at the man towering over her. “Who are you?”
“Eli.”
“Eli,” Liv repeated, frowning, still feeling as if in a daze.
“Elliott Stone.”
That was a nice name for someone with nice features. Some men didn’t look right being bald. He did. His head was perfectly smooth and nicely shaped. Bald fit him. “Elliott,” she repeated.
“Yes. Let me get Trey for you.” He stepped back and turned to leave.
“No!”
He stopped, his back straightening. He was tall. Dark. And oh-so handsome. But, right now, none of that mattered.
Nothing mattered but why she was here.
Though, she should really leave before her brother was dragged into her mess. Especially since she hadn’t seen him in sixteen years.
Because of that, he might not be happy with her. She had disappeared without a trace. No calls, no letters, no emails. She had gotten lost. Completely disappeared. And left him behind to deal with what was their nightmare of a childhood.
So, it was a bad idea for her to show up here in her moment of weakness.
“No. I’m just going to leave. I’ll catch up with him another time. I thank you for your kindness.” She pushed to her feet and beelined toward the lobby elevator.
He snagged her elbow as she passed and swung her around until they came face to face, his eyes dark and searching. “Whoa. No. You’re not going anywhere.”
She jerked her elbow, but his grip was tight enough that she couldn’t pull free. “You can’t tell me what to do.”
“The hell I can’t,” he mumbled close to her ear. “You know why? Because I’ve worked here for a while now and never knew Trey had a sister. And now I’m wondering why I never knew that. So, to satisfy my curiosity, I’ll escort you back to his office.”
“Get your hand off me,” she snapped, still tugging her arm.
“You didn’t say please.”
Right now, she didn’t think he was so nice. “Please,” she said with a forced nicety.
“That’s better. But no.”
She looked in panic toward the receptionist who just gave her a blank stare in return, like the woman was used to seeing large men dragging women through the lobby. Liv couldn’t imagine it happened on a regular basis. But she’d seen a lot of crazy shit in her life, so nothing would surprise her.
“Let’s go,” he said, a determined look on his face.
Liv tried to dig her heels into the nice carpeting, but he was too big and too strong to resist. She hardly got a glimpse of the various offices they passed until he abruptly stopped in front of another woman. A secretary maybe.
“Trey in?”
The woman’s eyes bounced to Liv before landing on this bossy Elliott, giving him a big, flirty smile.
Whatever.
“He’s not in his office. He’s in a meeting.”
“A real meeting or a meeting.”
Liv had no idea what he was getting at, but it made her glance up at him. He ignored her.
“Uh. I would hope just a regular meeting since Grant’s in with them. Because if it’s not a regular meeting, you may have to step in.” Then the secretary giggled.
Which was strange. Liv had no idea why what she said was funny.
Elliott frowned, and his already dark face got darker. “Then it’s a regular meeting.”
“If you say so,” she murmured, then gave him another bright smile. “Large conference room.”
Elliott, Eli, or whatever, gave the woman a sharp nod and dragged Liv down another hallway to a long room made up by a wall of windows. Several people sat around a long oval conference table and as he approached with his hand firmly on her elbow, all heads swung toward them.
He must have communicated something silently through the glass because a large black man got up and opened the door just as they hit the threshold.
“What’s going on?” the large man asked, frowning.
Ignoring him, Elliott dragged her into the room, asking Liv’s brother, “This belong to you?”
With wide eyes they stared at each other.
“I think so,” Trey murmured, studying her hard.
“You think, or you know?”
Trey Holloway stood and looked at her from head to toe. “Yeah. She’s my sister. Damn.”
“I found her skulking around the lobby in a state of panic,” her captor announced to the room of strangers.
Her gaze shot up to him. “What? I wasn’t skulk—”
“Quiet,” this Elliott said sharply, cutting her off.
“Eli, you want to let her go?” the fourth man at the end of the table asked, slowly rising to his feet.
“She might run.”
“What?” Trey asked, his eyebrows shooting to his hairline.
“She tried to take off.”
“Why?”
Eli shrugged his broad shoulders and glanced down at her for a moment before saying, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her.”
Liv frowned. “I’m right here. I can hear you and I’m quite capable of answering.”
Eli shrugged again and finally released her elbow. As she rubbed it, her gaze drifted over everyone in the room.
Her brother looked good. Mature. Important. But then, he’d been a star quarterback for the Boston Bulldogs and helped them win the Super Bowl Championship a couple of seasons ago.
A woman with long strawberry blonde hair watched her with curious eyes. When she stood, Liv couldn’t help but notice the sexy way she was dressed. Pencil skirt, stockings, and heels that were high, not as high as stripper heels, but they made her legs look endless. Liv’s gaze landed on her chest. She certainly had plenty there. The woman moved next to Trey and placed a hand on her brother’s back.
Liv found that curious.
And when the woman said something softly to her brother, he seemed to snap to attention like he’d just woken up. As he moved forward, Liv thought he was going to grab her into a bear hug, but then he froze and looked at her cautiously.
“Olivia, what are you doing here?”
Coming here was not a good idea. “What? I can’t stop in and say hello to my brother?” Her teasing fell flat.
“It’s been sixteen years.”
And there it was. The one sentence that brought all the guilt she’d been carrying around with her to the forefront. Heat rushed into her cheeks as all eyes pinned on her. “I… uh…”
“Baby, maybe we should clear out and let them have a moment.”
Liv spun to the man at her right. He was also tall, but not as tall as Eli. He had a nice tan, and very kind, warm hazel eyes behind glasses that made him look highly intelligent. But she wondered who he called baby, since the only other woman in the room had now clung to the only other black man in the room. The one who seemed to be in charge. Liv found it strange that the woman took liberties like that with both men.
“Grant, they may need me,” Eli answered him.
This Grant called Eli “baby?” Elliott Stone did not look like someone who would let another man call him that endearment, especially in a professional setting. Weird.
“I’m sure if they need you, they’ll let you know.” Grant looked at Trey, who only nodded in answer. “See? We can wait in my office until they’re done.”
“Yes, but—”
“Eli,” the man said firmly to her former captor with an undertone that clearly meant not to question him.
Eli nodded and then sighed. He leaned toward Liv. “We’re not done.”
Liv pulled all the bravado she could gather and said, “Oh, we’re done,” matter-of-factly.
His wide lips flattened, and he reluctantly followed the other man, who Liv assumed was another attorney since he wore a suit, out the door. They shut it behind him.
Then there were only four. Her, her brother, and the other two.
“Why now?” Trey asked.
She wondered why the other two didn’t excuse themselves. She purposely avoided looking at them when she asked, “Can we speak privately?”
His eyes flicked to the large black man, then the blonde woman before saying, “No. Anything you have to say can be said in front of Rayne and Gryff.”
Rayne and Gryff.
“They’re my partners,” he clarified, then added, “in all things.”
In all things? What did that mean?
The man who had to be Gryff said, “We can give you two a few moments alone, T.”
“No, stay. I want you to stay,” Trey answered. Without turning around, he reached his arm back and they touched hands briefly, then dropped them.
“So again, why and why now?” Trey asked.
“No hug for your baby sister?” Liv asked, which even sounded lame to her ears. She was stalling.
Something flashed behind his eyes. “Really? You disappear at sixteen, show up sixteen years later and I’m supposed to act like it was just yesterday that I saw you? You left me behind.”
Liv closed her eyes and inhaled a shaky breath. “I know.”
“Not even a peep. Not once. Not when I graduated high school. Not when I went off to college. Not when our lovely mother died. Not when I was drafted into the NFL. Not when I won the fucking Super Bowl.”
The last part sounded bitter and raw. Liv watched various emotions cross his features. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I was just trying to survive. I did what I had to do.”
“Yeah, so did I.”
Liv looked at him in surprise at his tone, wondering what he had to do to survive. Whatever he had to do, it seemed he had come out on the winning end.
Gryff moved forward, laying a hand on Trey’s shoulder. “Look, you both did what you had to do. It was your mother who was to blame. T, don’t lay that on your sister’s shoulders. She was an innocent like you in the whole thing.”
Maybe the man was an ally.
“Which one of you is Jordan and which one is Ward?”
The stunning woman came forward with a smile and held out her hand. “I’m Rayne Jordan. And that’s Gryffin Ward.”
Liv took her hand tentatively, but Rayne shook it firmly and with respect. She raised her gaze from their clasped hands to her face, blinked at how green the other woman’s eyes were and then gave her a small smile. “I’m Olivia Holloway.”
“I gathered that. Why don’t you have a seat?” Rayne swept a hand toward one of the many empty chairs that looked expensive but comfortable.
“I… uh...”
Gryff pulled out a nearby chair and also indicated that she should sit. She sat. Then her brother and his partners moved to the other side of the table and settled across from her.
Liv cleared her throat since she suddenly felt as though she was on trial. “I’m sorry for coming here unexpectedly.”
“You’re family. No need to apologize,” Gryff said, his expression blank.
Family? Yes, to Trey. But…
She slid her gaze to her brother. “Trey.”
“Yes?”
“I… uh. I need help.”
“Yeah, I didn’t think you showed up because you missed me.”
Once again, heat crawled up Liv’s throat to flood her cheeks. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have bothered you.”
She rolled back her chair and before she could stand, a loud, deep voice commanded, “Stay.”
“Boss,” Rayne murmured.
Gryff didn’t take his eyes off Liv. “No, she came here for a reason. We need to hear why.”
Boss? She thought they were partners.
“Olivia,” Gryff started.
“Liv. Please, call me Liv.”
“Fine. Liv, no matter what, we’re family.”
Her eyebrows furrowed. “I don’t understand how we’re family.”
The three across from her looked at each other and then back to her. Trey finally said, “These are my partners, Liv.”
“Okay, I get that. I saw your last names in big gold letters over the receptionist’s desk.”
Trey took a deep breath. “We’re committed life partners, too.”
Liv blinked, then stared at her brother. Committed life partners. What did that mean?
Oh shit.
“All three of you?”
He nodded.
“Oh.”
“So, as much as I’m enjoying this little family reunion, can you tell me why you’re coming to me now after all these years?”
“I… uh.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” the large man across from her muttered, his hands flexing on the table.
“Gryff,” Rayne said softly. “Give her a chance.”
Liv’s eyes slid to Rayne, to Gryff, then back to her brother. “I... I shouldn’t be here.”
Her brother was happy, settled, successful. She didn’t need to be dragging him into her mess.
She could do this on her own. She could.
Fuck. She couldn’t.
She had no one who she could trust. She had nowhere to go. This was it. She had no choice.
“I need help.”
“You said that,” Trey said, his eyebrows pulled low. “Legal help?”
“Yes... No...” She shook her head. It was all so freaking confusing. “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” Gryff asked, frowning.
“I’m in trouble.”
Gryff leaned back in his chair, his arms stretched out, his palms flat on the table in front of him. “No shit.”
It was not a good idea to come here. It wasn’t. She needed to leave. She had no right to ask her brother for help. She had no right to intrude in his life. He owed her nothing.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, meeting her brother’s eyes. He had the exact same eyes as her. The same color hair. They looked so much alike but were complete strangers.
“Don’t be sorry,” Rayne said softly. “Talk to us. We can help.”
“I’m not so sure about that.”
“Then why did you come here?” Trey asked.
“Because I have nowhere else to go.” The words spilled out of her in a rush. They were true, but she hated to admit it.
“You found a place to go sixteen years ago,” her brother said softly, the hurt evident in his voice.
Liv closed her eyes and sucked in a breath. “I had nowhere to go then, either.”
“Are you going to get to the point or are you going to continue to jerk our chains?” Gryff finally said.
“Boss,” Rayne murmured softly. Her hand slid over to cover one of his.
His eyes dropped to study them then lifted back to Liv. “We can’t help you if you don’t tell us what the problem is.”
She opened her mouth, closed it, then opened it again. Even if they couldn’t help, she needed to get this off her chest. She sucked in another breath. “I witnessed a murder.”
Deafening silence greeted her from around the table. She stared at her own clasped hands, afraid to see their expressions.
“Just go to the police and tell them what you witnessed,” Trey said like he heard that confession every day.
If it was only that simple. “I can’t do that.”
“Why?” Gryff asked, his deep voice now tinged with suspicion.
“Because of who was involved,” she told the table.
“Fuck,” Gryff grumbled.
“Who was involved?” Rayne asked softly.
She was afraid to even say his name. “Randall Dean,” she whispered, fear shooting through her. If anyone overheard her, found out what she knew, what she saw...
Rayne sucked in a sharp breath, and Gryff made a noise. Liv glanced up at Trey, who was shaking his head, looking confused. “Who?”
Gryff shot Trey a look. “Randall Dean,” he repeated, as if that would clear up her brother’s confusion.
“I have no fucking clue who that is,” Trey answered.
“He was involved?” Gryff asked, leaning forward, his body tense.
“Yes,” Liv answered.
“How?”
“He killed her.” God, he killed Peggy.
“Who?”
A woman who was making changes to her life, a life she was trying to improve. Liv knew exactly what that was like. She had been in her shoes once. “A woman I knew.”
“How do you know it was him?”
He freaking wrapped his hands around her throat until all the life was squeezed out of her. “I saw him do it.”
“Fuck!” Gryff barked to the ceiling. He grabbed the phone on the center of the conference table and jerked it toward him. He picked up the handset, jabbed some numbers and then growled, “Eli, in here, now,” then slammed down the phone.
“Holy shit,” Rayne murmured. She sent worried eyes Liv’s direction. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” Hell yes, she was sure. She’d never forget what she saw. Not ever. That was burned into her brain and would be for the rest of her life.
“So why can’t she go to the police?” Trey asked, still confused.
The conference room door was yanked open and her former captor stepped in, closing the door, eyes locked on her. Suddenly the room had so much less oxygen. She was finding it hard to breathe.
“Are you okay?” Rayne asked, concern lacing her voice.
No, no she wasn’t.
She had pushed what she saw from her mind, trying only to think about how she could escape, how she could save herself. Once again, how she could survive.
Suddenly, everything was coming crashing down on her all over again.
And having this big man standing next to her, dark, intense eyes pinning her in her chair didn’t help.
“Boss,” Eli grumbled.
“Sit down,” Gryff said.
“I’m fine...”
He needed to sit down. To give her space. “Please,” Liv croaked. “Please.”
Eli looked at her, his dark eyebrows furrowed. But he finally moved to the chair down from her, leaving an empty seat between them. For that, she was thankful.
Something about his presence overwhelmed her, and she wouldn’t be able to talk, to answer questions, with him looming over her.
“What’s going on?” Eli asked, his eyes flicking from her to Gryff back to her.
“She saw a Randall Dean kill someone,” Trey said from the other end of the table.
Eli’s gaze swung his direction. “What?”
“Do you know who he is?” her brother asked.
“Holy fuck,” Eli breathed.
“Right,” Gryff grunted.
“This is a mess,” Rayne added.
Eli held up a hand. “Hold up. We need to rewind, and I need to hear this from the beginning.”
“I think we all do,” Gryff agreed.

Then all eyes landed on her. Shit.



About the Author:

JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today bestselling erotic romance author who loves an alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing. Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages. Want to read a sample of her work? Download a sampler book here: BookHip.com/MTQQKK

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