New at Changeling Press Today #NewRelease #RomanceBooks #scifi #bdsm #PNR @Michelle_Hasker @AliceGaines @AuthorLynnBurke @changelingpress

Anya searches an alien planet for a missing crewmember, only to find herself caught in a fairytale.

Anya (Leisure Planet 6)

When Unit Commander Anya Baker visits an alien planet in search of a missing crewmember, she finds herself caught in a dream she thought only existed in her favorite childhood fairytales. Colin, king of the wee folk, hardly belongs in children’s stories, though. He’s a true ruler in bed.

Colin teaches Anya to love herself. He also helps her connect with her long lost sister. When the time comes to return to her ship, Anya knows she can’t take Colin with her, but how cam she leave him behind? Then again, maybe Troy has a bit of Colin’s magic in him. Somehow this world has a way of giving people exactly what they need — even if it’s not that they thought they wanted.

Get it Today!

 

Will Stacey’s desire for a safe life keep her from the one thing she longs for?

Don't Give In (Darkest Desires 2)

Nothing like being thrown into a stranger’s arms on the subway to make a woman realize what she’s been missing. The dominance in the hunk’s eyes reminds Stacey Lauren of her secret, dark desire to be bound. Used. The lifestyle she dreamed of before finding a safe existence. One she refuses to give in to.

Stacey’s submissive nature and large, doe-like eyes makes Devon Smith hunger to tie her up. Have her at his mercy, begging for release. She’s everything he’s ever wanted, and even though she’s all but engaged, nothing will stop him from taking her.

Will Stacey have the courage to surrender herself to Devon, or will her need for a safe life keep them from the one thing they both long for?

Get it Today!

 

A dragon-shifter cowboy? Oh my!

Raen (DragonKin Multi Author 7)

Using her Internet friend to fulfill sexual fantasies isn’t a problem — until Raen meets him in person. Her desires deepen the feelings she’s always had for Dru, and now nothing will do except capturing him and making him hers.

Get it Today!

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New Romances this week #NewRelease #Kindle #ebooks #romancebooks

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This is by no means a complete list of the romance releases for August 21st, but I tried to post some from different romance genres for a bit of variety. Check back next week for another new release post!

 

Paranormal Romance

Snowed Undercover by Lia Davis and Kerry Adrienne – https://amzn.to/2MrMCpC

The Scary Godmother by Vivienne Savage – https://amzn.to/2LeYpSK

Destiny in Flames by Vella Day – https://amzn.to/2w1kr6o

 

Science Fiction Romance

Kraving Khiva by Zoey Dravn – https://amzn.to/2wfVp2J

 

Western Romance

Good Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates – https://amzn.to/2OVmwb1

Big Sky River by Linda Lael Miller – https://amzn.to/2PoSkGm

The Cowboy Meets His Match by Sarah Mayberry – https://amzn.to/2MtQBSo

 

Romantic Suspense

Imposter’s Lure by Carla Neggers – https://amzn.to/2wf9PAs

Hard Rustler by B.J. Daniels – https://amzn.to/2w2r1tD

CHECK by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff – https://amzn.to/2MoLGSK

Montana SEAL Friendly Fire by Elle James – https://amzn.to/2N2FImO


Contemporary Romance

The Summer Hideaway by Susan Wiggs – https://amzn.to/2OUZAsK

Hold You Close by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow – https://amzn.to/2wk3xiG

Big Deck by Remy Rose – https://amzn.to/2MEEDof

All the Way: A Romancing Manhattan Novel by Kristen Proby – https://amzn.to/2w4eshj

International Guy: Milan, San Francisco, Montreal by Audrey Carlan – https://amzn.to/2whmhj4

 

Historical Romance

A Gentleman’s Gamble by Maggie Dallen – https://amzn.to/2N4Vm13

When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath – https://amzn.to/2BysZHk

All Dressed in White by Charis Michaels – https://amzn.to/2Ps6lTK

Deadly Flirtation by Kate Allenton #cozy #mystery #psychic #NewRelease @KateAllenton

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Cree Blue has found her dream job, but solving cold cases has landed her in the hot seat…again.

Teaching FBI recruits to work unsolvable crimes using unorthodox methods should be easy for an experienced psychic like her. But when a cold case of brutal serial murders lands on her desk, it puts her in the killer’s crosshairs and pins a target to her back.

This deadly game of Catch-A-Killer just got real.

The killer’s first mistake is turning his fixation on Cree. He shoots to the top of her personal Most Wanted list. Taunting the suspect with her quick wit and sharp tongue is as big a gift as seeing ghosts, and nothing stands between a southern girl and her will to survive.

With time running out, Cree must identify and stop the killer before he strikes again, adding her name to his victim list.

Cool Text - Available in Kindle Unlimited 293291203005615

Get it Today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate is a USA Today Bestselling Author who has lived in Florida for most of her entire life. She enjoys a quiet life with her husband, Michael and two kids.

Kate has pulled all-nighters finishing her favorite books and also writing them. She says she’ll sleep when she’s dead or when her muse stops singing off key.

She loves creating worlds full of suspense, secrets, hunky men, kick ass heroines, steamy sex and oh yeah the love of a lifetime. Not to mention an occasional ghost and other supernatural talents thrown into the mix.

Visit Kate at kateallenton.com!

#TBR What are you reading this summer? #summerreading #romancebooks

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What are some of the things you love most about summer? Vacations? Time to read? Not having to get the kids off to school early in the morning?  As a writer, I work year-round and don’t really take vacations. I know, I should… but every time I go somewhere, my laptop goes with me, and I end up writing in the hotel at the end of the day.

But this summer, I haven’t gone anywhere overnight, and I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading. I thought I’d share some books that I’ve enjoyed so far this summer and some that I haven’t had a chance to read yet, even though they’re ready and waiting on my Kindle.

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These are in no particular order… and in no way include every book I’ve read this summer (that would be a REALLY long list).

Fire in His Spirit by Ruby Dixon (love me some dragons!)

Rockaway Bride by Pippa Grant

Feeling Hot by Elle Kennedy

Playing House by Amy Andrews

Assassin Next Door by Eve Langlais

The Bad Girl and the Baby by Nina Croft

Staking His Claim by Tessa Bailey

Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey

Protecting What’s His by Tessa Bailey

Creed (VLG series) by Laurann Dohner

Aveoth (VLG series) by Laurann Dohner

Beauty and the Geek by Sidney Bristol

Rescuing Emily by Susan Stoker

 

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Playing Dirty by Amy Andrews

Werebear’s Baby Girl by TS Ryder

Taken by the Beast by Conner Kressley & Rebecca Hamilton

A Demon Stole My Kitty by Eve Langlais

Werebear’s Nanny by TS Ryder

Mustang by S. Cook

And whatever else catches my attention between now and when school starts in August… Have you read something this summer that you just couldn’t put down? Maybe a sizzling romance, or an achingly sweet story? I’d love to hear about your favorite summer read!

 

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I also have a book that is available today at online retailers, written as Harley Wylde. Ryker is part of the multi-author Roosters series at Changeling Press. The Roosters books are all contemporary erotic romances, with arrogant alpha male heroes. My contribution, Ryker, is also an MC romance. While some of my Dixie Reapers characters make an appearance, this is not a Dixie Reapers book.

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Get It Today!

Ryker — After 20 years in the military, I find myself doing my dad’s dirty work. But as the “prince” of the Hades Abyss MC, it’s expected of me. Doing a little recon in a small Alabama town should have been boring as shit, until the hot little minx I met at a bar turned my life upside down. Women always fall at my feet, but this one was different. If I’d known she was a virgin, I might have backed away, but now that I’ve had a taste I just want to keep coming back for more. Little did I realize that I’d just fucked the sister of a Dixie Reaper, and my life was about to become all kinds of complicated. I had to wonder… had she fucked me because she wanted me? Or was it all some kind of setup?

Laken — My big brother Flicker is always ruining my fun, keeping the guys away from me, so when I finally get a chance for a hot guy to get rid of my V-card, I’m all for it. Ryker’s hot and has that alpha vibe, and the fact he’s ex-military just made me wetter. It never occurred to me that he was a biker, or that I might have just screwed up a big deal for the Dixie Reapers. It seems my sexy Ryker isn’t just some hot military guy. No, he’s the son of the President of the Hades Abyss MC. So I hide like big brother asks me to. Just one problem… Ryker doesn’t leave, and now I’m late. How am I supposed to tell Ryker that I’m carrying his child? When life fucks me over, it does it royally.

harleywylde.com

jessicacoultersmith.com

 

 

 

#NewRelease – Divulging Secrets by Lynn Burke #RomanceBooks #Suspense @AuthorLynnBurke @evernightpub

 

Divulging Secrets
by Lynn Burke
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Art Work: Jay Aheer, Simply Defined Art
Keywords: Romance, Contemporary, Suspense

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Candace Lake’s testimony against her father landed her in the Witness Protection program. With a new identity comes a new beginning, one based on lies and loneliness. How can she find someone to share her future with when a relationship without trust at its foundation won’t stand the storms of life?

Tom Berkley didn’t expect his new tenant to make him question his solitary lifestyle in the backwoods of Maine. He also didn’t expect to be caught up in the secrets of her past that bring his own tragic ones to the forefront of his mind.

The sizzling chemistry between them can’t be ignored, but when the threats from Candace’s turbulent past catch up with her, can she trust Tom enough to protect her from the price on her head?

 

BUY IT ON SALE NOW FOR ONLY $2.99 AT EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING!

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/divulging-secrets-by-lynn-burke/

OTHER RETAILERS:

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B07B4HHWM6
Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07B4HHWM6
Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/books/view/797332
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1128078387
Kobo: www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/divulging-secrets

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PG-rated EXCERPT

I followed the two marshals carrying the four suitcases I’d been allowed to pack. Nothing personal, no documents. No electronics. I had been forced to leave behind Butter, my old tabby that I had gotten for my tenth birthday. The locket my late mother had inscribed with my name and gifted to me on my sweet sixteenth birthday still lay inside its velvet box, left with one final longing, loving gaze, same as I’d done with her in a satin-lined coffin five years earlier.

Boston’s spring air chilled me through as we stepped outside, and I gladly climbed into the dark-windowed sedan, wrapped my sweater tight around me, and allowed myself one last look at the condo Papa had bought for me.

Papa.

My throat thickened, and welling tears blurred my vision. I had unknowingly helped him smuggle millions of dollars’ worth of stolen gems and jewelry to and from overseas.

I had knowingly helped put him behind bars in return for leniency in my own sentencing. But freedom had cost me my life.

Everyone and everything I had known for twenty-five years lay in my past, and a new beginning loomed before me. Where, I had no clue—and I couldn’t bring myself to care. My luxurious condo … gone. My group of friends … gone. The gym I’d been going to for yoga classes since moving to Boston for college … gone. The diploma I had received from Harvard Law School with Lila Scorzoni written on it would never hang on my wall.

I followed the marshals aboard a small, private jet inside a hangar at Boston’s Logan. Settling onto one of the seats, I tipped my head back and shut my eyes.

The knot in my stomach had twisted months earlier when my lawyer suggested testifying against Papa to save my own ass. The nauseating twist had yet to relent, but at least I’d lost those damn freshman twenty I’d picked up over the years spent in college.

The only good thing to come from the fucked-up situation that was my life.

I heaved a sigh and turned my head, opening my eyes as the plane sped down the runway. We lifted into the air, leaving my home behind. Forever.

Drawing easy breaths had proven difficult since finding out Papa wasn’t the successful business man—honest one—I’d always thought. His communications business at the office building downtown worked as a front for his shady dealings. The board of six who had helped to oversee said company, nothing more than a band of thieves.

Witness protection.

My mind chewed on the two words, but I wondered how protected I would be. Four of Papa’s associates were in the slammer, thanks to me, and two who had last been seen overseas—one in Rome, the other in Paris—still wandered free. Two men with the connections and motive to do away with me. Money at their disposal and without doubt, thugs or hitmen on their payroll.

Where could the WITSEC plant me that would be safe from such men?

Nowhere, I feared.

ABOUT LYNN BURKE

Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.

Website: https://www.authorlynnburke.com/

Blog: http://authorlynnburke.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Lynn-Burke-555282497937461/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorLynnBurke

 

#NewRelease – Offered to the Cyborg by Jessica Coulter Smith #scifi #Aliens

 

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Offered to the Cyborg

Series: Cy-Con #2
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Genres: Science Fiction Romance, Alien Encounters, Cyber Punk

One look in her eyes and he wanted her. One taste and he knew he was never letting her go.

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When the Zelranian cyborg’s ship The Sphinx is attacked by a reptilian race called the Meori, Wrylack is the only cyborg left standing. Forced onto the Meori vessel, his skills as a medic are demanded in exchange for his life. But any plans Wrylack may have had to escape died the moment he laid eyes on Shaylee, the human female slave in the Meori med bay. Even injured, she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. And when the Meori realize they can use her to control Wrylack, they are only too pleased to give her to him.

Shaylee has only known pain and suffering all her life. First on Earth, passed around the foster care system, and later as a slave to one alien after another. No one has ever touched her with kindness, has ever cared what happened to her. When the sexy purple cyborg with the strange eyes and gentle touch says she’s his, Shaylee is almost scared to hope that her life is changing. But the big male isn’t interested in owning her as a slave. He wants a mate!

Releasing March 2nd at Changeling Press

Releasing March 9th at:
Amazon / BN / iTunes / Kobo

Excerpt

The ship grew quiet and Wrylack tried to communicate with his fellow cyborgs, but no one was responding. He feared they’d all been killed, which meant the Meori would come for him next, once they realized he was on board. He could hear the clang of boots coming down the corridor and braced himself. When the doors to the med bay slid open, he stared at the green and gold aliens, with their serpent-like eyes and tongues.

They looked him over, laughing when they saw the scalpel clutched in his hand. Two held ion blasters pointed at him, and he knew there was no way he was taking them out. Not on his own and only armed with the scalpel.

The three Meori in front hardly had a scratch on them, but the ones in back were pooling blood on the floor. Wrylack tried not to smile at the sight. It seemed his brothers had fought hard, even if they hadn’t been victorious. Would they kill him now too?

“The healer thinks to fight us,” the larger one up front said.

Little did they know he could kick their asses, if it weren’t for the unfair advantage of the blasters in their hands. He might be enhanced, but he wasn’t indestructible. Going into a blaster fight with nothing more than a scalpel would get him killed.

“Where’s my crew?” Wrylack asked.

The alien shrugged. “Alive, but incapacitated.”

Why hadn’t they killed everyone? What was it they wanted?

“And your plan for us?” Wrylack asked.

The alien smiled, his pointed teeth showing. “The others will be dropped at Alpha9, for a fee of course, and we’re commandeering this ship. You, however…” The alien looked him over again. “We need a medic. Ours died and since your cyborg brothers did some damage, my crew will need to be tended. Serve us well and you will be rewarded.”

Wrylack could read between the lines. Service would be required regardless, if he wanted to live. He would imagine the reward would be his freedom. What they didn’t know was that the moment he’d laid eyes on them, he’d hacked into the telecommunications system and had the computer send a message to the commanders on Xpashta, with their present location and who had taken command of the ship. It wouldn’t be long before the cyborgs’ other ships were on their way to lend aid. He only hoped it wouldn’t be too late.

One of the Meori gripped his arm tight, making the nerves in his arm go numb and the scalpel fell from his hand, clattering to the floor. Wrylack allowed himself to be dragged through the ship and taken aboard the Meori vessel. He wasn’t stupid enough to think he could take on two ships himself, which meant he had to follow orders and stay alive until backup arrived. The ship was much larger than The Sphinx and had probably once been a luxury liner, judging by the artwork on the walls and the dense carpet under his feet. Slave females of all races shuffled down the hallways and gathered in open rooms. Some were dressed in transparent tunics and he knew they were breeding stock. The thought made him ill.

When they reached medical, Wrylack was shoved inside and he froze at the sight before him. Two human females lay dead, the sheets covering them stained with blood, with a third huddled in the corner, her eyes wide in fright. Blood dripped down her arm and her clothes were torn. Anger welled inside of him and he turned to snarl at the Meori who had dragged him on board.

“You attacked innocent females?”

The Meori shrugged. “When we purchased them, we didn’t realize they wouldn’t be sexually compatible. Their master was raving about how good it felt to fuck them. We stopped a male from mounting the third when the first two died.”

Wrylack was horrified and sickened. Moving slowly, he approached the female in the corner. He knelt in front of her and used his cybernetic eyes to scan her. Aside from some bruising and the bite mark on her shoulder, she seemed to be healthy. All of her organs were in good working order, and he was thankful to note she wasn’t pregnant. Judging by the scarring in her womb, even if the Meori hadn’t been able to breed with her, someone had been successful at some point. The haunted look in her eyes spoke of someone who had lived this life for a while. His heart ached for her, imagining the horrors she’d probably faced as a slave.

Wrylack pulled aside her slave tunic and studied the bite. It was deep and the tissue around it was badly bruised. The Meori who had tried to mount her had likely bitten her to hold her in place. Wrylack hoped she’d fought like hell. No one deserved the fate of being a breeder, especially to the Meori. He stood quickly and rummaged through the cabinets until he found what he needed. With a tube of livron gel in his hand, he sank to his haunches in front of her again. Wrylack squeezed the gel onto his fingers and spread it over her wound. She flinched at his touch, but didn’t lash out at him. He knew the gel would cool the angry wound first, then numb it within minutes. If applied regularly, the wound would seal in a few days.

“My name’s Wrylack and I’m a medic,” he told her. “I’m going to help you.”

“She’s useless,” the Meori said. “No sense in treating her. We’re just going to toss her out an airlock. I can’t take the chance that she would sell right away when we reach Alpha9 and I don’t intend to stay there long. She’s a waste of space.”

Wrylack growled and glared at the Meori. “You’re not tossing her out an airlock.”

The Meori rocked back on his heels. “You seem rather fond of her.”

“She’s a helpless female.” Wrylack wasn’t about to admit that he thought she was the most beautiful female he’d ever seen. Looking into her eyes, he wanted to be her hero. But he was just as much a captive right as she was. But then, if they’d met under other circumstances, how likely was it that she’d have let a cyborg get anywhere near her? Especially him with his strange-looking eyes.

“And females are precious to your people, aren’t they?” the Meori asked slyly. Wrylack wasn’t certain he liked the look on the Meori’s face. “Do what we say, and you can keep her. Consider her your reward for good behavior.”

Keep her? Wrylack hesitated and glanced down at the female. Her hair was black as pitch and hung in long curls down to her ass. The elfin face that peered up at him had eyes a beautiful lavender, a color he’d never seen on a human before. The female’s skin was pale as ivory and had felt soft when he’d administered the gel to her wound. He lowered himself in front of her again, bracing his fist on the floor, and leaning in close. She didn’t shrink away or seem scared of him.

Her gaze met his, steady. When he reached for her, smoothing her hair back from her face, she didn’t so much as flinch.

“Do you know what I am?” he asked.

“No,” she said softly.

“I’m a Zelranian cyborg.”

“Is that why your eyes are so different?” she asked. “They’re beautiful when they glow. Why do they only glow sometimes?”

Her voice was soft and mesmerizing, much like her.

“My eyes are cybernetic, along with my lungs and heart. My eyes glow when I’m doing a scan to check for injuries. I’m different, even from my people. Does that frighten you?” he asked.

Her gaze strayed to the Meori in the doorway before returning to him. There was a question in her eyes that she didn’t seem to want to voice. The Meori had mentioned her previous owner had used for her sex, and the Meori had intended the same. It stood to reason she would wonder if he would hurt her if they were intimate.

“I won’t harm you,” Wrylack assured her. “Unlike the Meori, Zelranians are compatible with humans.”

Her cheeks flushed but she held his gaze.

“If they throw you out of the airlock, you’ll die,” Wrylack said. “Space is cold and your organs will begin to freeze, assuming you don’t die from asphyxiation first. I won’t force you to be mine, but it’s the only way I can save you.”

It hadn’t occurred to him until that moment that maybe she would prefer death. It saddened him to think she might feel that way, but there was something in her eyes that said she was a fighter.

“I’m Shaylee.” She smiled softly, seeming to accept that she was his now.

“Shaylee.” Wrylack reached for her again, smoothing his fingers down her cheek. “I will treat you well, this I promise.”

If you missed book one, Rescued by the Cyborg, you can get it here!

About the Author

Jess Feb 2018

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words /Marry me!’ pop out of his mouth – and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.

Jessica firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world. She’s often gazed at the stars and wondered what, or who, else might be out there. Who’s to say that hunky model on the hottest romance bestseller isn’t really from some far off galaxy? Maybe that blue Martian you saw at Halloween wasn’t really in costume. After all, there’s an awful lot of space out there for us to be the only ones living in it.

Jessica loves to hear from her readers! You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter or visit her website at jessicacoultersmith.com.

Want to be notified of new releases or special discounts? Sign up for her newsletter!

 

#NewRelease – Tessa’s Hero by @AuthorPaigeW #interracialromance #RomanceBooks #newadult

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres: Interracial, New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Tessa Milner never had much, but when she lost her mom, she lost everything. Her dad became a mean drunk and lost his job. What little the high school dropout makes bussing tables helps keep the lights on and food in the fridge, but she has little hope of ever escaping. When her dad takes things too far, and Tessa ends up in the hospital, she finds a hero in an unlikely place. A man she’s had a crush on since she was a kid, someone she’s always idolized. And now he’s here, by her side, and doesn’t seem ready to leave anytime soon.

Dr. Morgan Hilliard has felt drawn to Tessa ever since he first noticed the woman she was becoming, with curves that begged to be touched. He’s wanted to ask her out more times than he can count, but because of their age difference, he’s tried to keep his distance. The small town of Blossom Creek might be accepting of an interracial couple, but their nearly twenty year age gap is sure to set tongues wagging. Now things are different. Tessa needs him, whether she’ll admit it or not, and Morgan will do anything to keep her safe — even something as crazy as marrying her.

BUY LINKS

Available Today at Changeling Press

Pre-Order for February 23rd at:
Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

 

EXCERPT

Tessa Milner slowly backed away from her dad as he swayed on his feet, a nearly empty bottle of whiskey clutched in his hand. Ben Milner was a mean ass drunk, and ever since Tessa’s mom had died a few years ago, the drinking had gotten worse. He’d once been a handsome man, his red hair thick and curly, his eyes bright and kind. Now his hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in weeks and his eyes were lifeless. When Nicole Milner died, her husband’s heart had died too. Her mom had been beautiful. A mocha goddess who’d smiled and laughed all the time, bringing out the best in everyone. But when her mom died, so did the laughter in the house, and the love. Tessa didn’t recognize the man in front of her anymore. The guy who’d carried her on his shoulders or played tag with her was long gone. A monster now resided in his body.

Her dad let the rusted screen door slam behind him as he staggered across the sagging front porch. His boots kicked up paint chips from the peeling boards under his feet. Peaches, their beagle, was resting on the top step.  A twisted smile crossed her dad’s face before he pulled back his booted foot and kicked Peaches off the top step, the dog yelping as she went airborne and tumbled to the ground below. Peaches whimpered and couldn’t seem to get up.

Tessa’s heart pounded as tears fell down her cheeks, and she wanted to rush to Peaches, but she knew better. Her dad nearly fell down the stairs as he came after her, and not for the first time, Tessa wished he’d fall and break his damn neck. Anything to end the torment. She couldn’t run because that would only make it worse when he did catch her, and he always caught her. For an uncoordinated drunk, he could move damn fast, and he was downright vicious on the best of days.

“Pretty girl like you could get us out of this mess,” her dad slurred.

She knew exactly what he was asking, and she wasn’t about to do it. Tessa shook her head and took a step back.

“Stan would treat you right,” her dad said.

Stan Trotter was nearly sixty, and he’d been eyeing Tessa since she’d turned fifteen. Sick perv. The man had always made her skin crawl, with his inappropriate touches and innuendo, and now her dad wanted to sell her to the man. They’d hatched some plan over drinks, twenty thousand dollars for Tessa to crawl into Trotter’s bed and obey his every command, but Tessa refused to go along with it. She wasn’t whoring herself out just so her dad could live a better life while she suffered at Stan’s hands.

“No, Daddy,” she said.

“You little bitch.” Her dad lurched forward, his hand a blur as he lashed out toward her.

Pain exploded across her cheek, but she remained upright. Her dad came at her again and caught her on the side of the head with his closed fist and she saw stars. Tessa swayed, but refused to go down. If he got her on the ground, the real torment would begin. A few more blows to her face and ribs, and he seemed to lose interest in her, the fight draining out of him. He tipped up his nearly empty bottle, draining it dry, then tossed it into the yard, where it clinked against the other discarded bottles, before staggering back into the house, probably looking for another drink. With some luck, he’d pass out.

Tessa openly cried as she pulled Peaches into her arms, ignoring her own aches and pains. Loading the beagle into her rusted car, she snuck into the house to grab her purse, and drove to the vet clinic in town. Dr. Hilliard had treated Peaches before, and Tessa hoped he’d be able to help her now. She didn’t know if she had enough money for the visit, but maybe he would work with her on payments. She couldn’t let her dog suffer. Peaches had been her best friend for the last six years, and she deserved a better life than she had now. They both did.

Tears blurred her vision as she pulled to a stop in front of the clinic. It was nearing five, but the open sign was up. She pulled Peaches from the car and carried her into the clinic, ringing the bell on the front counter. She knew this late in the day, most of the staff would be gone, but she’d seen Dr. Hilliard leaving the clinic sometimes hours after closing time.

“Dr. Hilliard!” she called out.

A door opened and he stepped out of the back, his lab coat still on and his hair mussed, as if he’d been running his hands through it. The man was sexier than anyone had a right to be, with his dark hair and neatly trimmed beard, and when those hazel eyes looked at you, it almost felt like you were the most important person in the world. Or maybe it had something to do with the crush she’d had on him half her life.

“What’s wrong with Peaches?” he asked, coming closer.

“Dad kicked her off the porch. She wouldn’t get up and I’m worried something might be broken.”

The doctor looked at the dog, stroking her head and ears, before really taking a look at Tessa. When he did, his eyes narrowed and some not so very nice words spilled out of his mouth.

“It seems the dog isn’t the only one he abused today,” the doctor said.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Paige Warren spends her days weaving tales about alpha males and the women who love them. There’s nothing hotter than a man in tight Wranglers, dog tags (especially if he’s ONLY wearing dog tags!), or bad boys covered in ink. When Paige isn’t creating romantic tales, she enjoys reading and watching movies – romances, of course. If you see her out in the wild, you’ll most likely find her at Starbucks, sipping a white mocha with a distant look in her eyes as she figures out the right wording for the next scene in her latest book.

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