COVER REVEAL – Jackal (Devil’s Boneyard MC) by Harley Wylde #MCromance #coverreveal #bikerromance #newadult #singlemom @changelingpress @HarleyW_Writer

The wait is nearly over! Harley Wylde fans might be familiar with the Devil’s Boneyard, as several characters have made appearances in her best-selling Dixie Reapers series. Book one in the Devil’s Boneyard series will be arriving at online retailers on October 12th, 2018, or you can get it direct from the publisher on October 5th! And if you’re new to Harley Wylde’s MC world, you can jump right in! Jackal’s story will give you a good mix of Dixie Reapers and Devil’s Boneyard so it’s an excellent place to start.
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Coming October 2018 with Changeling Press

Josie – I spent an amazing three days with Jackal before he disappeared, back to his club, the Devil’s Boneyard. He’d made it clear that what we had was a temporary thing, and that he never wanted the picket fence and kids. I was fine with that. Then I faced the scariest thing ever. Telling my big brother, Tank, a Dixie Reaper, that I was pregnant and alone at the age of nineteen. He wanted to go after Jackal, but I wouldn’t let him. I wanted this baby, and I knew Jackal wouldn’t. I never expected to see him again. Funny how fate has a way of surprising you.

Jackal – I’ve thought about Josie often since I walked away from her over two years ago. When I’m finally back in Dixie Reapers territory, I knew I’d look her up, see if we could have some more fun. I never counted on the little girl glued to her hip, or the fact the kid was mine. So I did what I do best. I ran. But now I want something I’ve never wanted before. My family, because Josie and our daughter Allegra were exactly what’s been missing in my life. I just have to do some groveling and hope she’ll forgive me. Easy, right? I’ve never had a woman tell me no. Figures the one I want more than anything might be the first to send me packing. But when she gets an unexpected visitor who threatens her and our child, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Now that I’m ready to keep my woman and kid, I’m not letting anyone take them away.

WARNING: Lots of over the top hot sex, an alpha biker who just can’t seem to get it right, and an adorable little girl who will steal your heart.  Guaranteed HEA. No cliffhanger.

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#NewRelease – Tex (Dixie Reapers MC) by @HarleyW_Writer #MCromance #BikerRomance #EroticRimance #DarkRomance @changelingpress

 

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Book Six in the Dixie Reapers MC series is releasing today! If you haven’t read the Dixie Reapers yet, you can jump right in. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but you may enjoy the series more if you read all of them. Each book focuses on a different character. The men of the Dixie Reapers have a thing for younger women, so each book is an older hero/younger heroine pairing.

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Genres/Themes: Contemporary, BBW, Interracial, MC Romance, Men and Women in Uniform, New Adult, Silver Fox

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Release Date: August 17th

Tex — I made a mistake fifteen years ago, one that could have landed my ass in jail. Instead, I made a deal. I signed away the rights to a child I’d never see, and then I joined the Army, putting the Dixie Reapers and my life in Alabama firmly in my rearview. But now I’m back, and I can’t help but wonder what happened to my son or daughter. What I discover makes my blood run cold, and I vow to do anything in my power to save the daughter I’ve never met. I just didn’t count on rescuing two damsels, or that the second one would look at me with haunted eyes that would make me do something stupid. I’d vowed to never let another woman fuck me over. I just hope I don’t regret letting Kalani into my home and into my life. She has trouble written all over her.

Kalani — I’ve been locked away my entire life. Hillview Asylum looks presentable enough on the outside, but I know firsthand about the horrors inside those walls. I’d always expected I’d die there, until he came. Not that he was coming for me. I’ve sheltered his daughter, Janessa, as much as possible, and in return I gained her trust and loyalty. I’d have never guessed those two things would save me. Or maybe they didn’t, because now I’m faced with a man who makes me want things I shouldn’t. His club suggested a marriage of convenience, to keep me out of Hillview, but I want more than just his name. I have no doubt this is going to end with my heart shattered at my feet, but he keeps the nightmares away. For the first time in my entire life, I feel safe. Protected. But now I want more… I want to be loved.

WARNING: Contains strong language, abuse, and other dark elements, as well as explicit sexual content. There is no cheating, no cliffhanger, and a guaranteed HEA.

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Purchase from Changeling Press or Online Retailers

SNEAK PEEK…

The truck came to a stop just outside a metal gate. It slid open, and the truck pulled through. I didn’t know where we were, and I didn’t care, as long as it wasn’t the asylum. Anything was better than being there. They drove down a winding road and stopped in front of a green house. Flicker got out and opened the back door. Tex held me tight as he stepped out of the truck and began carrying me toward the house. Janessa walked at his side.

“Call the doc,” Tex said. “I think they both need to be checked out.”

My body tensed, and I struggled against him. No, no more doctors. Doctors caused pain. I could feel the panic rising inside me, my heart racing and my lungs feeling like they’d seize at any moment.

“Hey, easy,” Tex crooned at me. “No one’s going to hurt you.”

“Doctors do bad things,” Janessa said softly. “Especially to Kalani.”

Tex looked down at me and gave a slight nod. “All right. No doctors. Not for tonight anyway.”

“Where are you going to put them?” Flicker asked. “Only two of the bedrooms are furnished.”

“Kalani and I can share,” Janessa said.

Tex carried me down a short hall and stepped into a blue bedroom. He eased me down onto the bed, and I winced as pain shot through me again. Janessa moved around to the other side of the bed and crawled in next to me. She stayed close, but not near enough that she’d hurt me.

“You’re safe here,” Tex said. “No one can get into the compound without our permission.”

“Who are you?” I asked.

He smiled a little. “We’re Dixie Reapers, and we take care of our own.”

“But I’m not one of you. I don’t belong to anyone.”

He glanced at his daughter. “She thinks you belong to her, and since she’s mine, I guess that makes you mine too.”

A strange warmth worked its way through me at his words. I’d never been anyone’s before, but as his gaze settled on me again, I decided I didn’t mind being called his. With the bedroom lights on, I could see more details of the men who had rescued us. They were each handsome in their own way, but Tex took my breath away. I’d never considered a man attractive before, not when I knew what they were capable of, but these men had risked their lives to save us. And that made them different.

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Where to find Harley:

Website: http://harleywylde.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HarleyWylde/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/harleywylde/

Short. Erotic. Sweet. Harley’s other half would probably say those words describe her, but they also describe her books. When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.

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#NewRelease – HAWK (Fallen Gliders MC) by Lynn Burke #MCromance #BikerRomance #olderman #eroticromance @evernightpub @AuthorLynnBurke

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Hawk
Fallen Gliders #2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Artwork: Jay Aheer, Simply Defined Art
Projected Release Date: July 26, 2018

ASIN: B07FW6FVYQ
Keywords: MC Romance, Contemporary, Erotic, May/December

*Be warned: Spanking, anal sex

As a member of the Fallen Gliders, bad boy biker Hawk Richards tends to use his fists first and has fucked his way through the club whores. Life has been a never ending supply of bikes, women, and beer. When his brother hands in his colors, Hawk is sworn in as the new Sergeant at Arms and struggles to find meaning in the club and his existence. Until her.

Janie is curvy as fuck and the sweetest thing Hawk has ever seen. The young woman with the joy of life in her eyes is everything he’s been missing, everything he’s ever wanted. When the little butterfly falls into his arms, he wonders if someone might finally look beyond his ink and reputation to see the man hiding underneath.

Janie’s life has always been a roller coaster, and even though she’s flying high with Hawk, she knows a crash is inevitable. The last thing she wants is for him to be burdened with picking up the pieces. But how can she resist him? His touch makes her burn, and every minute in his bed intensifies her craving for more.

Can Hawk convince Janie he wants her for the long haul, or will the secret she keeps tear him from her side forever?

 

 

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

Evernight Publishing: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/hawk-by-lynn-burke/

 

OTHER RETAILERS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FW6FVYQ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FW6FVYQ

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/882484

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hawk-24

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129166052

 

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EXCERPT:

We’d been in Sturgis for almost a week, and I hadn’t fucked a single woman. My outlook on life sucked the previous couple of months, to the point the thought of having my cock shoved down a willing throat or burying myself balls-deep in some random cunt didn’t even twitch my dick. I felt like a wind-blown leaf with no sense of purpose, no desire for sex or companionship. I’d taken to drinking harder stuff than my usual beer but knew the slump I floundered in wouldn’t end well unless I decided to pick my ass up and figure out my life.

Perhaps today’s the day, I told myself, picking up the shot of whiskey our waitress sat in front of me.

A flash of red-brown hair drew my gaze to the far left before I could pop out the toothpick and down my drink. A little butterfly with gray-green eyes flashing along with her wide smile. Dimple, full lips, high cheekbones—a fucking model in a tight tank and Daisy Dukes.

My cock thickened inside my leather pants, and my head turned as she slowly passed by the picture window, her face animated and lips moving as she chatted with her friends, the joyful gleam in her eyes snaring me tight. She radiated life, an exuberant, light step while I wallowed in my shit life.

Jealousy and yearning for what she experienced clenched my chest, and I found myself rubbing a hand over tattooed pecs I spent hours sculpting on a daily basis.

The little butterfly passed beyond the window, and I sat back, not realizing I’d leaned forward to keep her in sight.

“Finally see something worth fucking?” Jonny asked with an elbow to my ribs.

“Fuck, yeah. Reddish hair—not the dyed kind—and tits out to here,” I said around my toothpick, holding my hand out a few inches away from my chest. “Young and full of life.”

One of Jonny’s eyebrows rose. “What the fuck you sitting here for?”

I hesitated to glance around the group of men—fellow Fallen Gliders from across the States, discussing the lighter aspect of business. A large meeting had taken place the night before, the heads of the chapters sitting down to discuss the future of our club. Just more depressing shit to pile on life.

“Go on,” Jonny encouraged, elbowing me again.

 I hopped off my stool and pushed my way through the crowd for the front door. At six-foot-five, I had no trouble seeing over most of the heads bobbing to my right as I stepped out onto the sidewalk.

The roar of mufflers and cranking music from Christ knew where filled my ears as I breathed in the scents of exhaust, sweat, and cheap perfume in the night air. I took a half-dozen steps to the right, scanning the crowd of people on the sidewalk in front of me before pulling up short. No fucking way I was going to find her unless I acted like an asshole and shoved people out of my way while hurrying the way she’d gone.

Curses flew from my lips while I turned back toward the bar. A voice in my head sang a country hit, reminding me that if we were meant to be, it’d be.

“No fucking luck?” Jonny asked as I slumped back onto the stool.

My scowl sufficed for an answer.

Tipping back my head for the whiskey burn didn’t help my shit mood. Neither did the bloody burger and pile of fries fifteen minutes later. Thoughts of the little butterfly warred with depression in my mind, and I called it an early night, leaving my brothers behind. The quietness of the hotel didn’t offer anything but a hot shower where I could blow the load that had been building in my balls for weeks.

At least I had a semi-purpose … find the vivacious little butterfly and steal some of her joy in life for myself.

© Lynn Burke 2018

Sign up for Lynn’s Newsletter, and read the ENTIRE first chapter of Hawk AND enter to win an ecopy of Nicky, FG #1!

 Other books in this series: Nicky, Fallen Gliders #1

 

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/

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#NewRelease PREACHER (Dixie Reapers MC) by @HarleyW_Writer #bikerromance #mcromance #newadult #olderhero #eroticromance

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Kayla:

My twin brother, Johnny, practically disappeared when he started prospecting for the Dixie Reapers, and if I wanted to see him, then it meant going to the compound. I’d never been inside the clubhouse, wasn’t supposed to go there, but sometimes the devil on my shoulder prods me into doing things I shouldn’t.  Johnny made it sound like there were drugs being snorted left and right and orgies, but that wasn’t what I found that night.

I never expected to fall for a heartbroken man I could never have, a man much older than me. But that night, Preacher took me in his arms, claimed my virginity with a passion that left me seeing stars, and I knew that I’d made the right decision. Even if it did come back to bite me in the ass two months later. When I’d walked through the door that night, I’d never counted on being fucked by a super hot biker, and I definitely didn’t expect to end up pregnant!

Preacher:

When I lost my family, before even prospecting for the Dixie Reapers, I’d closed off my heart and vowed to never let another woman in. A quick fuck here and there with the club pussy kept me sane, but no one would ever mean anything to me. Then the most tempting woman I’ve ever met gave me a night I knew I’d always remember, right before she disappeared.

When she turns up two months later, I find her in the arms of one of the prospects. Fury hits me first, then she knocks me on my ass when she tells me she’s pregnant. With my kid. I turned away from god all those years ago, gave up being a minister and signed my life over to the Dixie Reapers. I don’t know that I believe in a higher power anymore, but maybe it’s time I start praying again. Because giving this woman everything she needs, being the man she deserves, is going to take one hell of a miracle.

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Read an Excerpt before buying…

Kayla

I wasn’t supposed to be here. Johnny had warned me away, telling me that the compound was no place for a girl like me. I nearly snapped his head off and reminded him I was a grown-ass woman and not some child. He was all of two minutes older than me, but acted like he was thirty and not nineteen. My twin brother was a pain in the damn ass, but I missed him. We’d done everything together, until he’d decided to prospect for the Dixie Reapers, then overnight, he was gone. All of his time was tied up with club business, and he no longer came home to visit. He’d walked away from me, and it hurt like hell, especially since he damn well knew what life was like at home.

I didn’t have a car, and walking all the way to the compound hadn’t been fun, but as I approached the gates, I felt my stomach twist and turn. I’d met a few of the prospects from the times I’d shown up to see Johnny, but I’d never met the patched members, and Johnny wanted to keep it that way. He’d told me that what went on in the clubhouse wasn’t something I ever wanted to be a part of, and I’d avoided the place all this time, but as I heard the music blasting from inside I wondered if the temptation would be too great.

The hem of my denim skirt rode up and I tugged it back down as I neared the gate. The prospect on the other side was one I’d met once or twice. He always leered at me and gave me the creeps, but so far he’d kept his hands to himself. His gaze caressed me in a way that suggested he’d like to do far more than look, and I tried to hold back my shiver of revulsion at the mere thought of his hands on me. It wasn’t that he was bad looking, but he definitely gave off a creeper vibe.

“You here to see Johnny?” he asked.

“Yeah. Thought I’d surprise him.”

“Oh, he’ll be surprised all right. He’s inside,” the prospect said, tipping his head toward the clubhouse. “But then, you aren’t allowed in there are you? Too pristine for a place like that.”

“I’m not pristine,” I snapped.

I might be a virgin in the strictest sense, but I was far from angelic. I’d never technically had sex, even though I’d given a few blow jobs and fooled around, but I’d used my trusty vibrator to take care of my virginity. I’d heard it would hurt, and no way was I trusting a guy with something like that. Especially not since the guys I knew were selfish and fumbling. No finesse whatsoever.

“Just remember that you were warned.” The gate slid open and he motioned toward the clubhouse. “Enter at your own risk.”

That sounded like something the creepy guy in horror movies says right before the heroine does something incredibly stupid, like enter a house full of mass murderers, or choose the darkened pathway filled with deformed, dying trees instead of the brightly lit path. This was just a clubhouse full of bikers, one of which was my brother. How bad could it be?

I stepped through the gate and made my way across the lot to the building with Dixie Reapers across the top in neon, and slowly climbed the steps. The noise from inside was even louder now, and I pushed open the doors, not sure what to expect. The way my brother talked, I half-expected naked women and orgies going on out in the open. My gaze scanned the room, but I didn’t see my brother — or any orgies. The place was packed wall to wall with men and women in leather cuts with Dixie Reapers stitched across the back. Other than some smoking and drinking, I didn’t see anything wild going on. Not that those things were wild, but to hear Johnny tell it, all kinds of shit went down in here. They just looked like your average group of adults having a nice time.

No one paid me any attention as I moved further into the room, but the fact I was the only one not sporting one of those leather cuts made me feel a little out of place. At least I’d worn my black top and not the red one I’d picked up first. Still, I didn’t exactly blend, even if some of the women present looked to be my age or close to it. I’d learned enough from Johnny to guess those were the old ladies. He seemed rather fond of the President’s woman, and I wondered if I’d ever get a chance to meet her. To hear Johnny tell it, the woman was up for sainthood. I didn’t think anyone could ever be that perfect.

At the end of the bar, a man sat alone, a line of shot glasses in front of him, and an old worn Bible nearby. I hadn’t taken the club for being religious, but then this man didn’t seem quite like the others. He wore the same cut as everyone else, but as I studied him, I realized he was more somber. There was almost a haunted look to him, as if he were trying to drown his demons in whiskey, or whatever he was drinking. I felt this pull, as if I were supposed to get closer to him.

Slowly, I made my way across the room and slid onto the stool next to his. He didn’t even so much as glance my way, but I could tell from the way his mouth tensed that he was more than aware of my presence, and didn’t seem to care for it. I didn’t know what he was trying to run from, and it was honestly none of my business, but I’d found that sometimes people just needed to be reminded they weren’t as alone as they thought. Despite the fact the room was full of people, not a single one had come to sit by him. Maybe he’d chased them off, or maybe they left him alone because of the vibe he was putting out. Neither was going to deter me. Someone as sexy as him shouldn’t be drowning their sorrows. Not alone anyway.

The guy behind the bar came over, a swagger to his step and a cocky smile on his face. His cut said Prospect, but thankfully he wasn’t someone I knew. The minute my brother found out I was here, he’d likely escort me back to the gate and send me home, which was the last place I wanted to be. The guy leaned on the bar, his arms folded so that his biceps bulged. I assumed I was supposed to be impressed, but he looked just like every other asshole in my neighborhood who wanted in my pants. Not happening, buddy.

“What can I get for you, beautiful?” he asked, his lips tipping up on one side that I supposed most would find sexy. It wasn’t making me drop my panties, that was for sure. I was completely immune to guys like this one.

“Rum and coke,” I said.

The guy next to me snorted.

“What?” I asked, turning my attention his way.

When his gaze clashed with mine, the breath in my lungs froze. Dark hair and a close-cropped beard were sexy enough, but damn… the man’s eyes were truly a thing of beauty. I saw blues, greens, golds. Maybe even a hint of gray. Those were the kind of eyes a woman could lost in, the kind of eyes that would make her do something really stupid.

“You ever actually had a rum and coke?” he asked, his voice deep and smooth.

“Maybe.”

He smiled a little. Not a full out smile, and not even a smirk. It was almost like his lips had turned up without his permission because it was gone almost as fast as it happened.

“Why don’t you give her a sex on the beach?” the guy next to me said.

The Prospect leered at me. “Oh, I’d be delighted.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “Just the drink, thanks.”

I could tell he wanted to say something, but he refrained, walking off to fix my drink. I focused on the guy sitting next to me again, and noticed his cut said Preacher. Since he had a Bible nearby, I wondered if that’s how he’d gotten the name. I didn’t think an actual preacher would be sitting here drinking alcohol. But then, I didn’t really know any religious types.

“I’m Kayla,” I said.

“Preacher.”

He went back to looking at his shot glasses, which were empty now. Now that he’d spoken to me, no way was I letting him go back to his brooding silence. He was probably older than I’d first thought, but that only made me curious. I was used to guys my age, who didn’t know what the hell they were doing. But a guy like him? I was willing to bet that he knew exactly how to treat a woman, both in and out of the bedroom.

“Why aren’t you partying with everyone else?” I asked.

“Weddings aren’t really something I like to celebrate,” he said.

“Don’t believe in marriage?”

He held up his left hand, a gold band on his ring finger. “Already met my one and only. And someday I’ll get to see her again.”

See her again?

“Did she move?” I asked.

“Yeah.” He glanced my way. “To heaven.”

Way to put your foot in your mouth, Kayla.

☆☆Cover Reveal☆☆ Preacher (Dixie Reapers MC) by Harley Wylde @HarleyW_Writer @changelingpress #bikerromance #MCromance #CoverReveal

I lost the love of my life and vowed to never love again. Until temptation walked through the door …

 

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Kayla:

My twin brother, Johnny, practically disappeared when he started prospecting for the Dixie Reapers, and if I wanted to see him, then it meant going to the compound. I’d never been inside the clubhouse, wasn’t supposed to go there, but sometimes the devil on my shoulder prods me into doing things I shouldn’t.  Johnny made it sound like there were drugs being snorted left and right and orgies, but that wasn’t what I found that night. I never expected to fall for a heartbroken man I could never have, a man much older than me. But that night, Preacher took me in his arms, claimed my virginity with a passion that left me seeing stars, and I knew that I’d made the right decision. Even if it did come back to bite me in the ass two months later. When I’d walked through the door that night, I’d never counted on being fucked by a super hot biker, and I definitely didn’t expect to end up pregnant!

Preacher:

When I lost my family, before even prospecting for the Dixie Reapers, I’d closed off my heart and vowed to never let another woman in. A quick fuck here and there with the club pussy kept me sane, but no one would ever mean anything to me. Then the most tempting woman I’ve ever met gave me a night I knew I’d always remember, right before she disappeared. When she turns up two months later, I find her in the arms of one of the prospects. Fury hits me first, then she knocks me on my ass when she tells me she’s pregnant. With my kid. I turned away from god all those years ago, gave up being a minister and signed my life over to the Dixie Reapers. I don’t know that I believe in a higher power anymore, but maybe it’s time I start praying again. Because giving this woman everything she needs, being the man she deserves, is going to take one hell of a miracle.

 

Coming  June 2018

 

 

#NewRelease – Jennifer and the Alien Badass #scifi #aliens #romancebooks

Jennifer and the Alien Badass (Intergalactic Brides #15)
By Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox

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Jennifer Montgomery has never needed anyone in her life except her daughter. A single mom of a now eighteen year old, her entire life has revolved around Lila. But when Lila goes missing, Jennifer is devastated and determines to do whatever it takes to find her. She just never expected her search to lead her to the Terran Station and their bride program. Or to learn that her daughter isn’t who Jennifer thought she was.

Siril, Captain of the Herack, is revered on his world for his tireless pursuit of the space pirates infesting the galaxy. The best of the best, as they say. If killing people were an art, he’d be da Vinci. But all the blood is starting to wear on him. There are only so many heads you can lop off before it grows old. At fifty, he’s ready for a break, but when he agreed to a vacation on Earth, he never expected to meet his perfect match, someone he’d decided didn’t exist. Who would ever want a battered and broken old warrior like him? But Jennifer is fierce, sexy as hell, and he wants to make her his.

As the two come together, and sparks become a blazing inferno, Jennifer realizes that maybe it’s okay to live her life and do something completely selfish — like fall in love.

Available January 12th at:

Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

Purchase January 5th at Changeling Press

Excerpt

“Should we set a course for home?” Haptir asked.

“Yes. Once you’ve finished disposing of the pirates. I don’t want their remains anywhere near Zelthrane-3.” Siril left them to their work and went to his quarters. The door had barely closed before he started removing his boots and pants. He turned on the cleansing unit and stepped under the spray. Scrubbing his body and hair twice, he leaned his head against the wall and wondered what life would be like without constant bloodshed. Not that a good battle wasn’t fun — preferably on someone else’s ship so they had to deal with the cleanup.

Such things didn’t used to bother him, but the older he got, the less he liked the messy side of his work. Why couldn’t they die neatly? Was it really necessary for a decapitation to douse everything in blood? But what else was he to do? If he wasn’t beheading people, was he supposed to sit at home and die of boredom? He’d been asked to train their warriors full time, and it was an honorable position, but Siril wasn’t certain he was ready to hang up his blades just yet. There were many good fights left in him.

He shut off the unit and dried himself. He looked at his bed longingly, but there would be plenty of time to sleep once they reached home. They’d been after the pirates for days and he’d slept little. In his youth, he could have stayed awake for days on end without feeling the least bit tired. But now, as the oldest active warrior for their world, he was feeling every one of his fifty years. Donning clean clothes, he checked his boots before putting them back on, and went to the galley. He grabbed a Melranian star fruit and leaned against the counter. His crew could handle the cleanup and navigation necessary to get them back home. There was little for him to do.

Except think.

The council had often offered Siril time off over the last few years, encouraging him to take a trip to Earth and get off world without having to engage in battle. He’d always waved them off and gone right back to work, but maybe it was time to take a break. Even a week off might be nice. While Zelthrane-3 was more advanced than the humans’ Earth in many ways, the blue planet had a lot of marvels that interested him. Like music and movies. And while he’d heard there would be a place to dance opening soon in Terran Prime, it might be entertaining to see all of those things on Earth and explore the human world a bit. Providing he didn’t scare the puny humans.

When the bride program had first opened, they’d welcomed all humans to their world, including males who took temporary jobs on their planet to make the human females feel more at ease. But over time, only brides were allowed on Zelthrane-3, and the screening process had gotten stricter. The first few months of the program, there had been too many fights, as well as human females falling for the human males. Things were streamlined now, and from what he could tell the program was a huge success. He’d often thought of checking out the brides to find a mate of his own, but they all seemed so young. He wondered if the council only approved the young ones to guarantee children for the mated pairs. He didn’t know much about humans and wondered if the older females either couldn’t have children or if it would be too hard on their bodies. More than likely, he would spend his years alone.

“Captain,” Velic said over the system. “We’re about to enter warp drive and will be home shortly. It might get a little bumpy.”

Siril braced his feet and continued to eat his fruit as the ship vibrated around him. He wondered what sort of female would ever settle for someone like him. He’d been handsome once, but wars had ravaged his face and body. There were females out there who thrilled over being with a warrior such as he, but they were few and far between. And once the thrill was over, they left and he was alone once more. No one wanted to wake up next to him every day for the rest of their lives.

If he ever did claim a mate, he had a wonderful home for her. The council had provided him one of the best houses on his world. It was large, easily big enough for many children, and had a lush garden out back. He seldom saw it, spending most of his time on this ship trying to keep the galaxy safe. If he did take a mate, he supposed he’d have to spend more time at home. Was he ready to give up this way of life if it meant having a warm female to bed every night?

He wanted to say yes, but he wondered if he’d miss wreaking havoc and striking fear into the hearts of those around him. Just his name was enough to send most running in fear. He’d earned his reputation and was proud of it. Human females seemed fragile, though, and he doubted they would thrill over his many kills. He wanted a female every bit as fierce as he was, but he had yet to meet one. Someone who could take care of themselves if he had to leave on a mission. Worrying about a helpless, fragile mate would only get him killed. No, he needed a warrior. But in all his travels, he’d never met a female warrior. There were stories of some on far off worlds, but it was doubtful he’d ever meet one.

Who was he kidding? No one would ever want a mate like him. He was too damaged for someone to ever love him. But if he did have a mate, if a female ever took a chance on him, he’d shower her with love and affection and make sure she never wanted to leave.

When he was home, he watched the mated couples. Their females smiled at them with such affection, and grew round with their children. Not that he had the slightest idea of what to do with a child. He’d never held one for fear he might hurt them. They seemed so small and breakable. Part of him wanted children to experience the pleasure of having a family, but the thought of bringing a tiny baby into the world was frightening. And at his age, by the time he had grandchildren he might be too old to enjoy them. Gods! Grandchildren?

He shook his head at his folly. He wasn’t getting a mate and wasn’t having children, so it was a moot point. He’d do better to hone his battle strategies and mold the young warriors who needed a guiding hand. Leave populating the planet to the younger males. The greatest gift he could give his people was keeping them safe, either by his own hand or those he trained. With some luck, he’d die in battle and never have to live a lonely life once the council retired him.

The ship shuddered under his feet and groaned, telling him they’d touched down. Siril tossed the core of the star fruit and made his way through the ship to the docking port. His crew was already exiting as he made his way down to the ground below. There was no one to greet them, but there never was. All of his crew were single, and while some of them still had parents, they were very much on their own.

The suns shone brightly overhead, their warmth caressing his face. It was good to be home, another crisis averted. His people were safe and were none the wiser to the threat that had been hanging over their heads. If the pirates had managed to land, many lives would have been lost. He walked the streets, smiling at the children playing he passed along the way. This was why he spent so much time in space. So families could stay together, could live in peace, and those precious children would have a chance to grow up and maybe become warriors themselves one day.

The clinic loomed ahead and he hoped no one was waiting. He didn’t mind the wait, but the fewer people he had contact with the better, until he knew he hadn’t been contaminated. He stepped into the cool interior and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the waiting room was empty. Easing down onto a chair, he extended his bad leg to give his knee a break. Sometimes the metal of his prosthetic made the joints in his knee ache. Getting old was a bitch.

He looked around the interior of the clinic, noting the changes since he’d last been in. Some blocks were stacked in a corner for the children who had to visit. A few books with human females on the cover graced a few tables. What were those called? Magazines? He picked one up, curious as to the contents. As part of his extensive training, he’d learned to speak and read all of the languages of Earth and all of the surrounding planets in his galaxy. The magazine in his hand was in Earth English and had articles on losing weight, the best summer diets, and “the top ten reasons he doesn’t love you”.

Siril smiled and shook his head, amused by the things human females found entertaining. He’d much rather read a book on the latest weaponry. He flipped through a few more of the books, wondering why all of the females in them were so skinny. The females in the bride program came in all shapes and sizes. Why didn’t their magazines have fuller-figured women in them as well?

He tossed the book aside and stood, moving across to the door that led to the offices and exam rooms. He cracked it open and peered down the long hall. Light shone under one of the office doors and Siril decided to make his presence known. His boots were loud against the polished floor and must have alerted the doctor someone was in the building.

The office door opened and Vyrex stepped out.

“Siril, it’s good to see you. Another successful mission?” Vyrex asked.

“The mission went well, but my ship was covered in the blood of pirates. Some got on me as well. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t contracted anything.”

Vyrex motioned for him to follow and led Siril to an exam room. He scanned Siril head to toe, ran some blood tests, and gave him a few injections. As the doctor studied the results of the tests, Siril waited to find out if it was bad news or if he’d managed to come out unscathed once more. He figured that eventually his luck would run out. Yes, he’d lost some body parts along the way in his missions, but otherwise he was still very healthy.

“Everything looks fine,” Vyrex said. “The injections I gave you will help boost your immune system and should fight off any viruses if any present over the next few days. I wouldn’t worry unless you start feeling ill, then come back and see me. We’ll run more tests then.”

“I think I may go off world for a bit.”

“Earth?” Vyrex asked.

Siril nodded. “The council has offered to send me many times for a vacation. I think it’s time I took them up on their offer.”