Sunday, February 5, 2023

#Sexy #Nerd #Review...Yellow Wife...#Slavery #BlackHistoryMonth #Bravery #Courage #Strength #Bookworms #BookNerds








Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Brown was promised her freedom on her eighteenth birthday. But when her birthday finally comes around, instead of the idyllic life she was hoping for with her true love, she finds herself thrust into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil’s Half-Acre, a jail where slaves are broken, tortured, and sold every day. Forced to become the mistress of the brutal man who owns the jail, Pheby faces the ultimate sacrifice to protect her heart in this powerful, thrilling story of one slave’s fight for freedom.








The Sexy Nerd's Review. . .

What a way to kick off my Black History Month reading. OMG!!! Where do I even begin with this incredible story?

Pheby Delores Brown was the daughter of Master Jacob and Ruth Brown, a slave. Although Pheby was born of light skin, she wasn’t light enough to pass for white. Even though she couldn’t pass, her light skin afforded her a life that was vastly different than the other slaves on the plantation. Miss Sally, Jacob’s sister, taught Pheby the finer things in life. She learned to read, write and play the piano, of which, Pheby had to keep her education well hid because it was against the law in the 1800s to educate any slave.

One thing Ruby always taught her daughter is that she may have been born into slavery, but by no means was she a slave in the mind. With the education taught to her by her father’s side of the family and her mother’s confidence, Pheby was definitely ready to set the world on fire. For her eighteenth birthday, she was promised her freedom papers and proper education in Boston, Massachusetts. But a series of very unfortunate circumstances happened causing Pheby’s dreams of freedom to wither away into despair. The Mistress of the plantation, behind Master’s back, sold Pheby off the plantation because she hated that she was a product of her husband. Why she wasn’t upset with Ruth, is a whole other ball of wax, but it was Pheby she detested.

Pheby was turned over to the infamous Devil’s Half-Acre run by Master Henry who ran the jail in Richmond, Virginia. As Pheby was placed upon the auction block demanded to strip of all her clothing for the potential slave owners to bid on her, Pheby refused to do so. It was unheard of for a slave to talk back, let alone not follow a direct order. Just as she was about to be beaten beyond belief, a voice rang out in the background advising that he wanted to buy her and Pheby’s journey descends into further hell from this point on.

When I tell you I could have read this book in one day, I’m dead serious. This book was so damn good I could not get enough of it. Pheby’s life was a hardship, of course, but her courage and bravery were just mind blowing. She had to endure a lot for her children’s sake which helped to keep her going. I was sitting on pins and needles every time she did something against her captor. She became the mistress of the slavery prison and known as the ‘yellow wife.’ Wow, this story was just amazing. I couldn’t get enough of it. This was one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time!

The Sexy Nerd gives Yellow Wife five extra hand maids to assist her with her everyday duties. I must say that I wasn’t a fan of how the story ended, but given all the factors in the story line, I get why it ended the way it did. Pheby was one strong woman that always put her children first and for that she certainly deserved the mother of the year award! If you’re looking for books written by black authors to celebrate Black History Month or just for the fun of reading a really good book, I highly recommend you read this. You will not be disappointed. Until next time, Nerds, you know what to do.

Open a Book and Get Mind Blown!



Friday, February 3, 2023

#BookTour #Giveaway...A Night Vigil #Novel #Book 2... #Dark #UF #Adventure

C.H.A.R.O.N.

A Night Vigil Novel Book 2

by Gail Z. Martin

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy Adventure

Your best hope to make it through the hour of the wolf.

Ex-priest Travis Dominick and former FBI agent Brent Lawson hunt demons, monsters, and supernatural troublemakers. When Brent gets a call for help from an old army buddy, he and Travis head to a small central Pennsylvania town beset by a series of unexplainable deaths and escalating paranormal activity. The murders mimic crimes from decades past, down to the smallest detail, and as Travis and Brent battle vengeful entities, rumors surface that shady government experiments helped make a bad situation even worse.

Torrential rain and rising rivers mean there's no escaping the creatures hunting the shadows, beings that take shape from people's deepest fears and feed on their terror. With the lives of everyone in South Fork at stake, Brent and Travis face their toughest case yet. They'll have to confront the town's dark secrets, the legacy of a covert supernatural psi-ops program, and their own painful memories to battle a bloodthirsty ancient creature and fight the deadly spirits that roam the night.

C.H.A.R.O.N. is a dark urban fantasy thrill ride filled with Old World spirits, legends and lore, vengeful ghosts, magic, secret government agencies, Vatican ninja-priests, found family, small-town secrets, badass bartenders, psychics, mediums, witches, small-town heroes, and an unshakable bond of friendship.

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Sons of Darkness

A Night Vigil Novel Book 1

We are the Night Vigil.

The run-down convenience store, the all-night diner, the last-ditch shelter, or seedy motel, the redneck bar and the emergency room, and all the other places open on the graveyard shift—they’re Hell’s hunting grounds, full of easy marks and desperate souls, prey for evil things out there in the dark.

We keep the Vigil, looking for the ones who can still be saved, the ones who aren’t too far gone. We’re the misfits and the muck-ups, unwanted by Heaven or Hell, given one last chance to atone for all the mistakes and missed chances, the pain we’ve caused others and ourselves, the good things we were afraid to do, and the bad things we embraced with open arms. We work the night shift because that’s when evil walks. We’re the clerk in the all-night liquor store, the server in the 24-hour diner, the long-haul trucker who only drives at night, the counter person in the convenience store, the dog shift nurse. We recognize the evil when we see it, and we use the skills we honed with blood and fire to stop it, whatever it takes.

Unfinished business ties us to the mortal world, to make atonement, find absolution, satisfy retribution, get things right. You won’t find a sorrier group of halfway house heroes. No illusions left—about ourselves, humanity, or what’s really out there in the darkness. Just a purpose, to go down fighting the good fight. Because this is our last chance.

One final chance to make it right, the thin red line of humanity against the evil that goes bump in the night, your best hope to make it through the hour of the wolf

When a series of disappearances, suicides, and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, demon-hunting ex-priest Travis Dominick teams up with former special ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice.

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy, steampunk and more for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria.

Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series, the Roaring Twenties monster hunter Joe Mack Shadow Council series, and the Wasteland Marshals near-future post-apocalyptic series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with the Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow series. Gail is also a con-runner for ConTinual, the online, ongoing multi-genre convention that never ends.

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#BookBlitz...The Atropos Maker...@RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #TheAtroposMaker #NJLujan #PolitcalThriller

Political Thriller

Date Published: June 17, 2022

Publisher: Mindstir Media


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"Over my dead body would I ever leave him and return to the agency." Norma remembers those words that now prove to be untrue as she rejoins Atropos-a covert government organization-after so many bloodless years. She has just carried out her first mission back, suspiciously without her team. Something tells her things are not what they seem and betrayal is imminent.

It turns out a devastating weapon created by the agency may soon be decommissioned, and things need to change. Norma is beginning to speculate that it isn't her skill set that the agency wants, Instead, accepting her back was their way of gaining access to a more lethal successor.

Is her gut feeling right? Will the agency soon turn on her? Norma must escape the clandestine smoky mirrors of Washington DC and see clearly before it's too late.

Reviews

‘The Atropos Maker’ is a fast-paced and expertly plotted two-fisted political thriller focusing on corrupt international and domestic organizations, secret weapons, and conspiracies," wrote IndieReader in their 4.8-star review.

"Stylishly written," wrote Joe Kilgore - The US Review of Books. "This is an engaging read that pushes the envelope of the thriller genre. Author Lujan has chosen to steep her tale in an intensely introspective tone. Burrowing deeply within the psyche and soul of her protagonist, she paints a harrowing picture of how one individual musters up the fortitude to go from victim to survivor to ruler of her own fate—but not without the toll the harshest of life’s injuries often inflict.

"The suspense in the book is irresistible," wrote Pacific Book Review in their Starred Review. “The author knows how to entice readers by introducing subplots which increase one’s focus to finish the book . . . ‘The Atropos Maker’ is a great read for those who fancy thrillers, drama, conspiracy stories, military fiction and a great plot.”

Other Books in the Series

 

 The Atropos Maker II: A New Order

Atropos, an American black-ops agency, is on the hunt for a missing boy named Charlie. He has been kidnapped, disappearing deep into a child trafficking ring. Norma, the director of Atropos, quickly learns that someone they know is tied to the terrorist that are in the center of this ghastly ring of missing, innocent children. So begins the hunt as Norma takes the lead of Atropos once again to trot the globe, from Iraqi Kurdistan to the mean streets of urban America to search harrowing tunnels and bunkers in order to find Charlie before it's too late? In the end, who will pay the ultimate price in order to complete their mission, and will the cost be too much?

 The Atropos Maker III: The Awakening

"Since I am an actress, I absolutely love to find books that I can see visually in my mind... Step on this ride with me... The Atropos team is exciting and fun and you are sure to enjoy the journey as much as I did."

- Mariel Hemingway, Oscar-nominated actress and author, and granddaughter of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway

What is more terrifying than a covert mission to North Korea? Try raising a 12-year-old girl.

Elina struggles with the countless rules in her life, especially when they keep her from a mysterious new boy who arrives at her school.

What is Alexander Veurr to do?

As the leader of Atropos-one of the government's most elite tactical teams-Alexander assigns retired agent Xavier to guard his budding daughter. With Xavier's skills and agency resources, what could possibly go wrong?

A lot, it turns out. Elina goes missing and Alexander is exiled from the agency. Two things become clear.

One- Someone in the agency is as crooked as a dog's hind legs.

Two- Elina may be someone's unwitting secret weapon.

The fate of Atropos is in the hands of a father and daughter in this epic novel of parental fear and adolescent wonderment.

About the Author. . .

N. J. Lujan was born in Washington, DC then raised in a small town of West Virginia. Her first experience with journalism and writing complex, thrilling stories was as a teenager when she was the R.O.T.C. (Reserved Officers’ Training Corps) public affairs officer for her high school. It was then she discovered her love for writing. After graduation she entered the Army then later went on to enjoy a successful corporate career while still fueling a passion for creating complex fictional stories. Today she continues to use parts of her backdrop to vividly take you on a journey that will leave you wanting for more.

N. J. Lujan, a accomplished ghostwriter, now lives in North Carolina and splits her time between writing, work, family, and three very spirited pups. To learn more, visit njlujanoffical.com.

 

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

#BookTour #Giveaway...The Allison Lee Chronicles #Book 2...#YA #UF

The Blood of Faeries

The Allison Lee Chronicles Book 2

by Dan Rice

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Allison Lee wilts under the bright light of celebrity after being exposed as a shape-shifting monster. She'd rather be behind the camera than in front of it. Being under the tooth and claw of her monstrous mother is even less enjoyable. All she desires is for everything to go back to the way things were before she discovered her true nature. But, after she accidentally kills a mysterious man sent to kidnap her, she realizes piecing her old life back together is one gnarly jigsaw puzzle.

When Allison's sometimes boyfriend Haji goes missing, Allison and her squad suspect his unhealthy interest in magic led to his disappearance. Their quest to find Haji brings them face-to-face with beings thought long ago extinct whose agenda remains an enigma.

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Dragons Walk Among Us

The Allison Lee Chronicles Book 1

Shutterbug Allison Lee is trying to survive high school while suffering the popular girl's abuse. Her life is often abysmal, but at least her green hair is savage. Her talent for photography is recognized by the school paper and the judges of a photo contest. While visiting her friend Joe, a homeless vet, Allison's life irrevocably changes after an attack leaves her blind. All her dreams as a photojournalist are dashed as she realizes she'll never see again. Despair sets in until she is offered an experimental procedure to restore her vision. But there are side effects, or are they hallucinations? She now sees dragons accompanying some of the people she meets. Can she trust her eyes, or has the procedure affected her more than she can see?

**Only .99 cents!!**

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Dan Rice pens the young adult urban fantasy series The Allison Lee Chronicles in the wee hours of the morning. The series kicks off with his award-winning debut, Dragons Walk Among Us, which Kirkus Reviews calls, “An inspirational and socially relevant fantasy.”

While not pulling down the 9 to 5 or chauffeuring his soccer fanatic sons to practices and games, Dan enjoys photography and hiking through the wilderness.

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Brought to You By:

#NewReleaseBlitz...Unbounded...#ActionAndAdventure #Billionaire #Contemporary #Mafia #Thriller

Sometimes, a little pain can lead to the greatest pleasure.

Unbounded by C. Tyler

Word Count: 69,991
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 287

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
BILLIONAIRE
BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MAFIA/GANGS
THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

Bay Hurst had given up on relationships, content to ‘play’ instead. So when she found the perfect partner at a BDSM club, she knew what to expect—here for a moment, gone the next.

Six years later, that philosophy doesn’t hold as true.

When handsome stranger Michele Sacchi boards the yacht she works on, Bay is suddenly thrust head first into an unexpected situation. They’ve met before and, more than that, he was her perfect playmate.

Now the two must struggle with their desires as well as maintain a professional appearance, but there’s much more bubbling beneath the surface than even she realizes—and once they reach land, her world may erupt into chaos.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and attempted murder.

Excerpt

Whenever I found myself in London, one place called to me, chanted my name over and over, enticing me to its belly.

Labyrinth was an establishment where membership was exclusive, and patrons had to fully trust one another. It catered to a specific clientele, to the people who enjoyed another side to eroticism, many of whom chose to remain anonymous.

Dress code consisted of whatever cocktail attire one owned and a mask. Whether made of lace, metal, cloth, or resin, a mask had remained mandatory since the beginning of Labyrinth’s reign.

I was not a member in the official sense. I couldn’t afford the fees, but the owner allowed me a free visit whenever I was in town, so long as I sang for my supper. And sing I would.

Music had been a passion of mine since childhood. The genre changed often, but my love for it never would. Music had the power to alter people’s moods, be it uplifting or heartbreaking. It could trigger memories or help create new ones. It meant the world to me, and singing in Labyrinth was the closest I’d ever get to being a part of that world.

When I’d finished my short set to a room filled with mysterious men and women, I left the small stage, met an instant later by a man in a suit with a black resin mask. Intense eyes stared at me, so dark that they blended effortlessly with the rest of his attire.

He offered me his hand, which I accepted and used to descend the rest of the stairs. My leather dress, fitted enough to have been painted on, creaked and groaned with each step. It clung so tightly to my legs that I welcomed his help.

The stranger brought me to him, our chests together. We each remained silent, even as he hooked his index finger beneath the lime-green bracelet I wore. Raising it high enough for us both to see, there’d been a hint of green peeking out from beneath the cuff of his suit jacket as well. We were a match, something that made my heart race.

Labyrinth had a system in which members could wear a paper bracelet, not unlike those at concerts, of varying colors. Different colors meant the wearer was into different things and cut out needless chit-chat.

“Interested?” he asked.

Hmm-mm, European, but not English. What is that?

His deep, alluring accent tickled something within me, a desire I hadn’t realized I’d had. I liked it and wanted more.

“Lead the way.”

He smiled at me, his full lips curling at the corner and begging to be nibbled on.

The stranger took my hand and together we retreated down a long hall of doors. Some were open, revealing their scintillating secrets to the world.

In one room stood a man with a hand braced against a piece of furniture, the other entwined in a woman’s hair while she bobbed up and down the length of his cock. The joy on his face told me all I needed to know.

In another room, a large, burly and hirsute gentleman donning a pair of impressive heels stood over a young man much thinner in frame, who placed multiple happy kisses to the toes of the stilettos.

Other doors had been shut, closing everyone out so that those inside could have the privacy they desired.

After a few moments, we came to an unoccupied room. He stood aside and motioned for me to enter before him, which I did.

Deep-colored walls surrounded me, lit by dim sconces. Each wall had been lined with racks of toys tastefully displayed and illuminated by beams of light as though they were modern pieces of art.

To the left rested a bed with cuffs in each corner to hold the player down, and not far from that sat a chaise lounge, a prime place for someone to sit while another individual groveled. But the suspension rack near the center of the room held my attention.

Cuffs and chains hung from each corner, but I had become more interested in the pair that dangled from the center beam, the wrist restraints that would bind one’s hands together above the head.

When I was situated far enough from the wall that nothing would impede whatever hung from it, I stood within the frame and turned to the stranger. He remained near the door, hands in his pockets while he sported a wicked grin. With my gaze locked to his, I gripped the restraints and lifted myself off the ground. They were very sturdy.

His smile broadened and, with the unspoken understanding that I’d found what I wanted, he closed the door to give us much-needed privacy. Hearing the latch engage caused my skin to prickle with excitement.

The stranger removed his jacket and laid it across the chaise. His cufflinks were next, which allowed him to roll the sleeves of his white button-up shirt, revealing thick, strong forearms beneath. Tattoos dotted his caramel-colored skin, though I didn’t bother identifying what they were.

As he prepared himself, I turned my attention to the walls of toys. One rack held whips, some with tips so thin they would break skin. Another held floggers like cat-o’-nine-tails. One held paddles, another slappers and from the last hung multiple riding crops.

Labyrinth catered to many preferences and, had I known the stranger better, I might have gone for something more adventurous. Seeing as I didn’t, I went with a selection that would be fun, but safer.

I returned to the stranger with a riding crop in one hand and a three-strip slapper in the other. One would offer a more concentrated snap while the second created a slightly duller thud. His eyes sparkled as he looked them over.

“Hmm.”

After a moment of consideration, he chose the slapper. My eagerness intensified. I quite liked slappers.

My stranger set the instrument aside and stepped behind me. Slowly but surely, he tugged the dress’s zipper down, loosening it around my body. When it reached the end, he slid his hands beneath the garment and proceeded to peel it away.

He dug his fingers into my body, along the curve of my waist and the slope of my hips while he pushed the dress down.

Within seconds, it rested in a pool of fabric at my feet, leaving me in nothing more than my lacy lingerie and four-inch heels.

He took my hand and guided me to the rack where he promptly secured my wrists, staring deep into my eyes as he did. My heart raced, lodging itself in my throat. The anticipation coursed through every inch of me, priming my nerves for what was to come.

In spite of how it appeared, I didn’t feel in danger. There was plenty of slack in the chains that would’ve allowed me to uncuff my wrists myself, and Labyrinth had a rigorous vetting process for their clientele. Regardless of how it may have appeared to someone on the outside, I was safe with the stranger.

Bellisima,” he said.

Oh. So this sexy bastard is Italian. Even better.

My core ached.

Smirking, he draped my dress over the chaise with his jacket, took hold of the slapper and stepped behind me.

The first moment it touched my skin, I flinched. The cool leather and shock of it caused me to gasp. He chuckled.

He teased me for a while, running the slapper over the curve of my ass, along my spine and even down the backs of my thighs. He’d been tender, delicate, allowing each passing second to heighten the tension, and just before I could speak, before I had the chance to urge the stranger along, it happened.

A loud crack echoed through the room, shortly followed by my lustful gasp. He left the slapper in place for a breath, as though allowing the welt beneath it to form on my ass. The pain radiated through the whole of my body, infecting the smallest atom and causing me to vibrate.

It was just the beginning.

For what had to be nearly an hour, the stranger played with me. He would lull me into a sense of calm before bringing the slapper hard against my ass or the backs of my thighs. He knew what to do, how to tease every iota of pleasure out of me.

At one point, he stepped in front of me, looming tall. His eyes had turned black, any hint of brown choked out of existence with growing lust. I dared a glance down. His erection strained against his slacks. Their dark color helped hide it, but I wasn’t blind, more than able to see the line of his cock struggle to break free of the fabric. He was impressively sized, and images of me on my knees taking him into my mouth or him bending me over something and thrusting coursed through my head on an endless loop.

Sweeping my tongue across my upper lip, I stared at him through my lashes. He arched a thick brow. I doubted my intent had been unclear.

By that time in our play, my nipples had become painfully hard, rubbing against my bra and more wanting than before, while my clit throbbed and ached. I had no doubt that, if he chose to remove my panties, my excitement would’ve been visible. I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had turned me on like that from nothing more than some paddling.

My stranger stared down at me. His jaw tightened, the muscles rolling beneath his olive skin. His chest heaved with each breath, and I knew I looked the same. Fire burned in my cheeks and between my legs. I wanted so badly for him to take me.

The image of him wrapping my legs around his waist and fucking me while I hung from the beam filled my mind. There was no hiding the shiver or the gasp that parted my lips. Sex wasn’t part of the deal with a green bracelet, but God save me, I wanted it.

He looked me over, and while I was desperate to come through my skin, he reached forward. My stranger ran the back of his curled index finger over my nipple. Pleasure tore through me, intensified when he pinched the sensitive bud. He groaned, running his full bottom lip through his teeth while he massaged my breast.

“If only we had more time.” He turned his attention to my other breast and gave it the same adoration. “I am certain we could have a lot of fun.”

I have no doubt.

He shifted his grip, running his hands up my arms and massaging my biceps. He met my gaze, his eyes burning black.

“This would be perfect for it, yes?” His hands trailed back down, over my breasts, along the curve of my waist and my hips.

“Yes.” The word had been little more than a whisper.

He bent forward, encompassing my ass with his hands. The softness of them did nothing to soothe the pain of his whipping.

My stranger lifted me with ease, guiding my legs around his hips and holding me close. I’d gasped at the suddenness of it, gripping my cuffs as best I could for better support.

He ground against my clit, keeping me at the perfect angle to feel the bulge of his cock millimeters from where I wanted it most. I chewed on my bottom lip, struggling to steady my breathing while my heart raced. He was giving me my fantasy, giving me what I’d begun to long for without me having to ask.

Jesus, was he made just for me?

“If given the chance,” he said, breath gliding across my lips while the spicy scent of his cologne filled my nose, “I could spend the night inside you.”

My pussy clenched on reflex, seemingly desperate to be given the opportunity, but I kept my exterior as calm as possible.

“You shouldn’t tease. It’s not very nice.”

A dark, wicked smirk curled his lips. In it, I sensed he’d made a promise, not an empty offer. Delightful thought, to be sure.

Digging his fingers into my ass harder than before, he began the slow, deliberate action of guiding me up the length of his shaft. I held my chains, desperate for the aid of them while he continued.

“I could spend the night making you shake.” His voice had grown as dark as the color of his eyes, a fathomless void that caressed me, called to me.

What’d begun slow and deliberate, as a teasing gesture meant to heighten the sex-filled atmosphere of our private room, had quickly devolved into something more. Within seconds, he worked harder, faster, eliciting sparks of joy each time my clit scraped along his shaft. It pushed me toward an end I hadn’t expected that night, an end that I had become desperate for.

“Yes,” I said on a breath.

My stranger leaned in, our bodies tight. The muscles in my arms burned. I’d been struggling to reach out for him, to wrap them around his thick shoulders, but the cuffs kept me in place. It remained my favorite part of being bound, the inability to touch my partner when I wanted to most.

He continued to bounce me in place, relentlessly rolling my hips into his unyielding cock. Dipping into the crook of my neck allowed his sweltering growls to glide across my exposed flesh, adding yet another layer to the moment.

The coil in my gut twisted more and more with each passing second. It wouldn’t be long.

“I would worship you,” he rasped, “just to hear your screams.”

His words were fading, drowned out by the thundering pulse in my ears.

“Don’t stop.” The mewling words had somehow managed to escape me.

My stranger drew back. I struggled to keep his gaze, to stare into his beautiful face, but he’d become determined in his action, fucking me like a wild man without penetration, and it was more than enough.

A string of Italian words left his lips, their encouraging tone the only thing that I could discern.

His gaze never left mine, tempting me further into the abyss. In spite of the mask that concealed so much of his face, he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

“Come for me, bella,” he said in a deep, rough voice. “I want to hear it.”

I nodded and his efforts increased. I was swallowed up a second later.

When the coil sprang, I didn’t hold back. I cried out, filling our chamber with the sounds of my elation, allowing it to wash over me and release all the glorious tension he’d spent an hour building.

From somewhere in the back of my mind, I might have heard a similar sound leave him, though I was too lost to notice.

My stranger held my ass in one hand while his free arm encircled me. I quivered and shook against him, struggling to draw air into my lungs. He kept me secured to him, engulfing me with little effort and helping to pull my shattered body back together.

I had finally given out, my muscles jellied from the orgasm.

Letting out a stiff breath, my stranger loosened his grip and allowed my legs to slide from his hips until I could stand on my own once more. It’d been difficult to manage, but the cuffs weren’t suspended so high that they took me off my feet. Instead, they allowed me a bit of support.

His eyelids were heavy while a flash of pink swathed his cheeks. His full lips, perfect for biting, were parted with each huffing breath.

“I’m afraid this is the end of our play, my dear.” Genuine disappointment saturated his voice. He reached up to unlatch my wrists, standing so close that the heat of him infected me further. “Truly regrettable.”

I found his accent delicious, the way it affected each syllable and curled the consonants. He had the sort of rich voice that I could listen to for hours.

“Pity,” I said. Regardless of what’d transpired, how exhausted I’d become, I wanted more.

He smiled.

When my wrists had been freed, he retrieved my dress and offered it to me. I put it on while he righted himself, and soon it appeared as though nothing had happened.

My welts brought me back to reality, however. Each scrape of my dress across the raw skin helped remind me that it’d been real, which only served to breathe new life into those smoldering embers.

Out of curiosity, I peered at his groin. A slick sheen had overtaken the dark fabric and I knew not all the dampness had been mine.

“Will there be another performance tomorrow?” he asked.

“I’m afraid not,” I replied, stomach fluttering at the prospect of spending more time with him. “I actually have to leave Lon—”

My gaze drifted to the clock hanging near the door and my heart dropped. I’d been so invested in our play that I hadn’t been paying attention to the time. At nearly one in the morning, I’d stayed much longer than I’d intended.

“Oh, shit,” I said in shock. “I-I have to go.” I raced for the door and threw it open. “I had fun!” I shouted over my shoulder while I ran down the hall as best as my tight dress and shoes would allow.

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About the Author. . .

C. Tyler

A fan of any genre, C. Tyler enjoys writing a wide array of stories, from fantasy and paranormal, to contemporary. Whether it’s a bad boy biker, or a burly shifter, there’s a little something for almost everyone.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

#NewReleaseBlitz...Our Valentine's (Once Upon a Holiday Series)...#Celebrities #Contemporary #Erotic #Romance

Our Valentine's by S.J. Coles

Book 2 in the Once Upon a Holiday series

Word Count: 13,249
Book Length: SHORT STORY
Pages: 61

Genres:

CELEBRITIES
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FAKE RELATIONSHIPS
GAY
GLBTQI
HOLIDAYS

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Book Description

We’ll make it our Valentine’s—and the best show on Earth.

Everyone believes movie star Charlie Kearney lives a charmed life, not least because he recently returned to his hometown of Littleton with enigmatic fashion designer Jacques Clement on his arm. Their whirlwind romance and high-profile engagement have kept Charlie trending on the socials for weeks, and his management company couldn’t be happier.

But there’s just one problem. Charlie and Jacques aren’t engaged. They aren’t even in a relationship. Charlie needed someone to bring home for Christmas and had also hoped the news of their ‘engagement’ might tempt an old flame.

Things haven’t quite gone according to plan. Now Charlie feels he has no choice but to ask Jacques to continue with the charade, even though his fake fiancé has a Valentine’s Day fashion show in Paris to prepare for. Jacques agrees to stay, but Charlie is now beginning to wonder if saving face is the only reason he’s so desperate to keep Jacques in Littleton.

Excerpt

Radio Littleton had reported it as the coldest Christmas the region had seen in years. The snow had reached record levels by Christmas morning, and it was still falling. The wind blew the fat flakes in and out of the puddles of streetlight like confetti.

But Charlie Kearney couldn’t feel the cold. He didn’t see his breath fogging in the air. All he could see was Nick Bostock, the former love of his life, kissing their mutual friend Seph Rose in the circle of light cast by one of the park lanterns. When they broke apart and smiled at each other, Charlie’s chest tightened like a vise.

They turned and vanished together into the shadows.

“Charles? Are you okay?”

Charlie started. A small figure swathed in several overcoats stood just behind him. Black eyes twinkled up at him from under a home-knitted bobble hat.

“Auntie Mia? What are you doing here?”

“Oh, just walking off some of that Christmas pud,” she said, patting her belly. Her brow creased with concern. “What’s wrong, love? You look like you’ve had a shock.”

“Nothing. Just…” He almost spilled everything. I was right. Nick didn’t really want me. He just thought he did. And now I don’t know what to do. He forced a smile. “Nothing.”

The old woman seemed to look right through him. She smiled softly and put a mittened hand on his elbow. “Remember when you fell off your bike outside my house, Charlie Kearney? You were, what? Seven?” Charlie nodded. “Well… That hurt, too, didn’t it? But it got better.” Her smile widened. “So will this. I promise.”

Charlie couldn’t find an answer, so he just nodded, swallowing the pain he hoped wasn’t showing on his face.

“Now,” she continued, patting his arm, “why don’t you head home? Get the kettle on. There isn’t much that isn’t eased by a cup of hot tea.”

Charlie smiled despite himself. “You should get home, too, Auntie Mia. It’s cold out here.”

“I will, love. Don’t you worry. Oh, where are you going?” she added when Charlie turned to follow the path past the church.

“I’m going home,” he said. “It’s quicker to walk through the park.”

“Oh, but you don’t have to walk, love. That nice young man of yours is waiting to give you a lift.”

“What? Who?”

“Your glamorous French friend.” Mia’s rosy cheeks dimpled as she smiled. “Jack, was it?”

Charlie blinked. “Jacques is here?”

“Just down there, love,” Mia said, pointing toward the road. “Now run along. He’ll be getting cold, too.”

Charlie peered through the falling snow, frowning. When he turned to ask her again, he found he was alone in the park. There weren’t even any footprints.

He shook his head and hurried toward the road.

Jacques’ hire car was pulled up at the curb. He leaned against the driver’s door with his hands tucked into his armpits. He was wrapped in a silk scarf the same ice blue as his eyes and a black wool overcoat that made his almond skin glow. The cold had brought pinkness to his pale cheeks. Snowflakes caught in his white-blond hair like jewels. When he spotted Charlie, a flash of warmth sparked in his cold, cold eyes. It sent a rush of confusing pleasure through Charlie’s chest. He told himself he was just grateful not to have to head back to his home at Arnold House alone.

“Jacques? I thought you were on your way to Heathrow.”

“Roads are blocked,” he said with an expressive shrug, his accent rolling over Charlie like liqueur coffee. “My flight tomorrow is canceled. Such is winter in this country. But the lady, uh”—he gestured toward the park—“I did not know her name. I think, a friend? She said you would be here. That you would need a lift?”

“Uh…” Charlie glanced back toward the park with a frown, but Mia was nowhere in sight. “Yeah, please, Jacques. If you don’t mind.”

“Of course, mon ami,” Jacques replied, opening the driver’s door.

“Are you well?” Jacques said after a few moments of driving in silence.

“Fine.”

Jacques didn’t speak again on the journey back to Charlie’s parents’ house. Charlie could smell his light, lavender cologne and the drying wool of his coat but didn’t turn to look at him—didn’t dare in case Jacques saw everything in his expression. In the short time they’d known each other, Jacques seemed to have acquired the knack of reading him all too well. It was a talent rendered even more frustrating since Charlie could never guess what the Frenchman was thinking.

Jacques parked in the driveway of Arnold House, but Charlie made no move to get out. He stared at the Georgian mansion that was his childhood home, trying not to think about how he’d taken for granted he’d be returning to it with Nick, ready to reintroduce him to his parents—ready to finally tell them the truth.

He could feel Jacques watching him, but he still couldn’t move.

“What are you going to do?” Charlie eventually asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

“I will get a room in an ’otel,” Jacques said. “Then a new flight Monday.”

“You haven’t Tweeted anything yet, have you?”

Jacques shook his head. “Non. I was waiting for your message…as agreed.”

Charlie bit the inside of his cheek then finally met Jacques’ ice-blue gaze. “Could you come in for a moment?”

Jacques blinked. “Why?”

“Please. Just for a minute.”

Jacques lifted an eyebrow but shut off the engine and climbed out into the falling snow. He followed Charlie around the side of the house to the kitchen entrance. The large room was deliciously warm. The air was heavy with the smells of roast turkey, Christmas pudding and brandy. The sound of the TV drifted through the open door to the snug, along with the low tones of his parents in conversation. Charlie moved over to the door, quietly closed it then turned to face Jacques. He was eyeing the remains of the Christmas feast piled on the table and the general chaos of cooking heaping on the counters.

“Where is everybody?”

“The staff are all home with their families,” Charlie said, reaching for an open bottle of red wine and pouring himself a large glass. “Dad always insists on cooking Christmas dinner himself. Look, Jacques…” Charlie swallowed a large mouthful, taking a breath and willing his face to be blank. “Could you stay? For a little longer?”

Jacques raised his other eyebrow. “But the plan was—”

“New plan,” Charlie said, dredging up his best and what he hoped was his most winning Hollywood smile. “Can we keep this up a bit longer? Just a few weeks.”

Jacques stared at him a long moment. “So your Nick said no? After that performance in the library?”

Charlie winced, downed the wine and put the empty glass aside. “Apparently my test to make sure he really wanted me and not Curtis Bane worked a little too well.”

Jacques frowned delicately. “And Curtis Bane was…?”

Charlie gave him a look. “The role that launched my career. The action movie.”

Jacques’ thin lips twitched. “I always hated that one.”

“I know. You said.” Charlie felt a more genuine smile curve his mouth. “Most women aged twenty-five to forty-five would disagree. Plus, plenty of men they haven’t polled yet, too, I’m sure.”

“That is only because your shirt rips open when you are rescuing that annoying child from the explosion.” Jacques waved his hand dismissively. “And, yes, you have a very nice chest, mon ami. But you are better at the drama, non?”

“Drama doesn’t pay…or not enough,” Charlie said, heaving a sigh and staring at the floor. “Look… I know we had an agreement. But yeah…Nick…” He swallowed. “He’s not in the picture. And I don’t start shooting that superhero movie until March… What?”

The corner of Jacques’ mouth had turned up in a half-smile. It lit the ice of his eyes like sunlight, and Charlie blinked, startled.

Pardon. I’m just trying to imagine the… Oh, what is English word? Tights.”

Power Knight is a very prestigious role, actually,” Charlie replied, trying to sound arch but smiling. “But seriously, my management are monitoring every Tweet, every post, every bloody TikTok video. It’s vital my profile stays trending, Jacques. I thought us”—he motioned air-quotes in the air with his fingers—“‘breaking up’ would play well if I was then able to announce my engagement to Nick…”

“Engagement? Oh, mon cher.” His face was serious again. “I did not realize you felt so much for this man you hardly know.”

Hurt spiked through Charlie’s chest. He looked away. “The world is watching, is all. I’ve got that premiere in London, then I’m opening the village fête here in February. The press will be everywhere. They’ll want to see who I’m with.” He raised his eyes, looking imploringly at Jacques. “So, what do you say? Could you, you know, stick around? Be my fiancé a bit longer?”

“We agreed until Christmas only—a few weeks to encourage your profile, maybe entice this Nick person. And I wanted…” He paused, lowering his gaze. “I needed Art to move on. He wasn’t going to do that unless I proved I had done so first. So, that was the plan.” He shrugged. “Two out of three?”

“Has Art got the message?”

“I have had no contact.”

“Since?” Jacques’ face was blank. “Jacques?”

Jacques looked away. “Yesterday.”

“Well then. We’ve still got some work to do, right?” Jacques narrowed his eyes. “Please,” Charlie said, stepping closer. “Could you stay? Just until I figure out what I’m doing?”

Jacques’ face softened a fraction. “I have the Cupid Collection launch to prepare for. I need to find a new studio and, ah”—he threw up his hands—“there is so much to do in Paris. And we can’t very well carry on this charade in two different countries.”

“Could you not do it here?”

Comment?” Jacques frowned.

“Yeah,” Charlie said, excitement and desperation building together. “Get all your stuff sent over and prepare the collection here. Bring over the models and everything. There’s enough room.”

Jacques’ eyes lit up for a moment but then cooled again. He shook his head. “I could not possibly intrude on your parents’ hospitality.”

“Are you kidding? My mum would love it.”

“And your father?”

Charlie winced. “Leave him to me. Please, Jacques,” he said, surprising himself and Jacques by grasping his hand. “I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important.”

“But we are lying to them,” he said in a voice barely above a whisper.

“It’s making them happy,” Charlie whispered in reply, glancing toward the door. “All they’ve ever wanted is for me to get married. Me bringing you home has pleased them in a way none of my films ever has.”

“But I do need to work. You understand that?” His face was serious. “I cannot be gazing at you all the time…as nice as that would be.” He squeezed Charlie’s arm through his coat. A flicker went through Charlie’s body, which he staunchly ignored.

“You do what you need to do,” Charlie said. “Just please, come to the premiere? And the fête?”

Charlie held his breath as Jacques visibly pondered his proposal. Finally, he nodded. “Very well,” he said, “we can continue a little longer.”

“Thank you,” Charlie started emphatically but Jacques brought up a finger to quiet him.

“But just until Valentine’s Day, d’accord?” he said, his eyes hard. “I have to be back in Paris for the show by then.”

Charlie examined his face for a long moment, wondering at the discomfort behind his ribs. But he made himself nod. “Until Valentine’s. Deal.”

Jacques gestured to the snug. “Shall we?”

Charlie nodded eagerly, took Jacques’ arm and drew him to the door.

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About the Author. . .

S. J. Coles

S. J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.

She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.

Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.

Find S. J. Coles at her website and follow her on Instagram.

Giveaway

Enter for the chance to win a $50.00 First for Romance Gift Card! Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.