“It’s About To Go Down!” #NaNoWriMo

nano_16_coming_soon_ht100px1The clock is ticking and time is winding down. It may already be November 1st where you are.

Are you a start-typing-at-midnight kind of person, or will you calmly begin in the morning with a hot beverage close at hand?

Is your outline fleshed out?

Are you ready to dive into the first chapter or the first scene?

Are you starting your novel by writing the ending first?

Do you have a killer opening sentence?

Have you picked out the perfect tagline, or will that come later?

Most importantly, do you have your snacks?

The next thirty days will be fun – Enjoy!

On the NaNo site, I’m “Feleeza” – add me as a buddy!

“Her Unexpected Life (Treasures of Briarton Book 1)” by Brickley Jules #Review


“Her Unexpected Life (Treasures of Briarton Book 1)”

by Brickley Jules

Women’s Fiction/Romance

Release Date: October 26, 2016

Amazon          Goodreads

4/5 Stars!

The trauma of divorce is never easy even when you can see it coming. To have it thrown at you from left field…by text message…is unthinkable. But this is what happens to Valerie Cooper. With her life suddenly thrown in upheaval, Valerie seeks to keep her head above water … and her sanity intact.

This well-developed read captures another side of the spitefulness of divorce, and the devastation it leaves in its wake. What Valerie first believes to be a joke, turns into a nightmare. Soon-to-be-ex-husband, Curtis, has not only left her, he’s moved in with another woman. The devoted stay-at-home mom beats herself up for not seeing the signs of trouble in her marriage. Or did she see them and convince herself otherwise? I lean towards the latter, because Valerie Cooper is simply too nice … and it’s a problem … for her and for me.

Without trying to, and without realizing that she has, Valerie has pushed everything out of her life except for her husband and kids, and extended family. She’s built a wonderful home life for her family, and loves nothing better than chauffeuring her girls around to their activities. The only thing Valerie has for herself is her love of writing and dreams of becoming a published author. But, now that Curtis has walked away, Valerie realizes just how ‘empty’ her life is. Pushing her dreams to the back burner, Valerie brainstorms on how to support her girls, Paige and Amelia, who are far more intuitive than Valerie gives them credit for. Still, Valerie, with the best of intentions…and for all the wrong reasons…chooses to keep the impending divorce from the girls until the end of the school year.

And this is when the fight breaks out between me and Valerie.

Slimy, arrogant, scum-sucking Curtis has waltzed on to his new life, told Valerie she, their girls and everything connected with them are no longer good enough for him and his new woman, and yet …she still allows him to control her life!!! She cannot tell anyone about his leaving or the eventual divorce until HE’S ready! And Valerie AGREES! WTH? I wanted to scream! I think I did scream…for women and the sisterhood everywhere! I have respect for Valerie, and I do not dislike her, but how many times must you be kicked in the face before you fight back?

Valerie would take two steps forward; slime ball Curtis would show up and send her four steps back. To be fair, and in her defense, I honestly don’t believe Valerie knew HOW to fight back. She had great running internal monologues, but the only ones that came to fruition were the “mom outfits” – dressing ‘down’ and plain to keep her sexy new friend, Luke, from becoming interested in her. Those scenes made me laugh out loud! Luke is a good as Curtis is bad, yet Luke has revealed his past transgressions to Valerie. Will he revert to his old ways if she allows him into her life?

Luke becomes a good friend to Valerie, partly because she doesn’t have any, and partly because of his own past. He does what he can to make her situation less stressful, but of course, good old Val is her own worst enemy, and exacerbates things every time. When slime ball Curtis is seen out and about town TWICE with his new woman (okay, okay – her name is WENDY) by family members, and Valerie begs them to not say anything to anyone else about it, I knew for a fact she didn’t live in Briarton, but in STEPFORD! *Shaking my head. *

Valerie Cooper chooses the high road on the way to her new life (which is good, since Curtis has a lock on the low road), and navigation is not easy. Most of the situations and predicaments Valerie hopes to avoid, she ends up smack dab in the middle of. But Valerie finds that even when she gets the worst-case scenario, it doesn’t break her and life goes on. Valerie has an “interesting” assortment of family that supports her…in their own way. I’m just a bit in awe at how accepting everyone was of Curtis’ behavior AND stipulations, and no one gave him a good smack upside the head.

Trying to reconcile her feelings for Luke, Valerie’s internal thoughts are a jumbled mess. She spends too much time trying to second-guess everyone else, especially Luke and his motives. It is only when she learns to trust herself, that her confidence grows and Valerie can trust others again.

Curtis gets off too easily for me. His mother was right, and he gets an excuse…a reason, after upending the lives of his wife and children. I would have loved to see the “new” Valerie give him a come-to-Jesus-talk! And what of his wom-, er, I mean, Wendy? Karma is waiting.

Definitely an enjoyable read that I quickly became invested in. Take the trip to Briarton, and tell Valerie Cooper I sent you!


“Sweet Like Candy: An Erotic Intentions Book” by Evie Harrison #ReleaseBlitz


Julia Kaye spends her days decorating cakes and daydreaming about finding Mr. Right.  She’s tried it all—fix ups, speed dating, online profiles and even a popular phone app, all with no success.  She’s sure her dream man is out there, but she’s done trying to find him herself.  She figure’s when it’s meant to be; fate will find a way.

Ryan Walters is a workaholic who’s not looking for Mrs. Right.  He’s not even looking for Mrs. Right Now.  Instead, he spends his days focused on what he cares about most— amassing a fortune.  Aside from his sister and her children, Ryan has no time for entanglements of any kind.

What happens when one confirmed bachelor meets the sweetest girl in the world?

Happily ever after, of course!
   The anxiety I’d felt being apart from Julia for almost twenty hours slowly melted away the closer I got to her work. By the time I pulled into an empty space in front of the store, I was able to take my first deep breaths of the day.
  Seeing her through the glass settled me—even as it made my cock harden. Barking out a laugh of disbelief, I adjust my cock in my jeans so that the head was tucked against my waistband. Since my blue t-shirt was not tucked in, I was in the clear. No one would be any the wiser to my perpetually hard situation.
   When Julia looked over and smiled the second I stood from the car, my heart skipped a dozen beats. I’d spent twenty hours thinking about her and her effect on me, but it was even more potent than I’d remembered.
   I kept my eyes on her as I strode across the sidewalk and walked into Sweet Like Candy. “You’re here,” she said shyly as she came around the counter. I grinned at her as I did what I’d wanted to do every second since I’d seen her the first time. Without hesitation I reached out and linked my fingers through hers.
   “Did you think I might not show up?” I asked. She hung her head shyly before nodding. “I started to think maybe it had all been a figment of my imagination,” she admitted. I squeezed her fingers. “This is all real,” I assured her.
Evie Harrison writes what she loves. Strong and sexy alpha men being brought to their knees in an instant when they meet the women they love. Each of her books will contain insta love, incredible passion, and sizzling sex.
Follow Evie on Goodreads

“Hellraiser (The Devil’s Own #2)” by Amo Jones #Review

hellraiser“Hellraiser (The Devil’s Own #2)”

by Amo Jones

Genre: MC Romance

Release Date: June 20, 2016

Amazon          Goodreads

2/5 Stars

(NOTE: Retailers have this read listed under ‘Erotica’, but I found very little erotic about it. The genre category for this review is my own.)

Missed the Connection

The prologue is excellent. The reader gets to witness the brutal circumstances that shaped the two damaged leads – Melissa Hart and Braxton ‘Hella’ Ward – of the story.  It’s already obvious that each will end up in a ‘dark’ place, and finding each other will perhaps help them find a little light…and love.

There are glimpses of that story, but it’s buried in far too many side stories and tertiary characters. It’s buried under a love/hate non-relationship between Melissa and Hella that is eventually exhausting. That story in buried in a plot that is never fully explained, and doesn’t seem logical to me in any genre.

I wanted to like Melissa and Hella. My heart broke for all Melissa went through. Being victimized twice (actually, three times with the loss she suffered) left her broken, although I don’t believe irreparably. Hella basically raised himself, and the first person he may have cared about even a little was the homeless Tippy when Hella was a teenager. But it never happened – they both annoyed me to no end. To be fair, again – they each have been through things the average person can’t even fathom. They’re supposed to be hardened and unfeeling, but to me, they came off as caricatures of who they were ‘supposed’ to be. For Melissa, men are just a quick stop to use and cast aside. Hella is even worse in his degrading treatment of women. But I never felt their contempt, disdain, or even indifference. Melissa is a woman in crisis – pure and simple. She has a drinking problem. Nearly every scene where she drinks – and there are many, Melissa ends up drinking from the bottle and passing out. This is all supposed to be “fun and games”, however, I just couldn’t see the humor. It wasn’t cool, kickass or fun. It was sad and pathetic. Seeing as how alcohol was key in Melissa’s earlier problem, one would think she would avoid it. The fact that she doesn’t supports the reasoning that even though she claims to have dealt with her past and moved on, she has not. She’s drinking to numb a pain that nothing can touch. Melissa’s internal thoughts are quite telling as to her motivations, and made it even more difficult to believe she lived a ‘normal’ life and was a successful business owner.

Hella is supposed to be a dark and menacing man who makes his own rules and breaks everyone else’s. He’s killed without thought of consequences and remorse. Hella flashes back to a murder he committed as a teenager and recounts the entire scene in detail. I should have been sickened and repulsed. I should have had to look away or take a break from the story. All I could muster was an intense eye-roll. I didn’t feel danger or malevolence or even a twisted, psychotic rage. The atmosphere also wasn’t there to even make me feel bad for the victim. When Hella goes after retribution for the brutalization of Melissa, the scene with Eddy and his wife should have made me re-think continuing with this story, but all I could do was roll my eyes…again.

Probably my biggest stumbling point in this read is The Army – a “government” undercover organization. This group recruits a teenage Hella off the street – and by recruit, I mean kidnap – and train him to kill. It’s not explained who they kill or why. It’s not explained exactly how long Hella was there, but we do know it’s where he meets Beast, who eventually becomes president of the Devil’s Own motorcycle club. We also know The Army drugs its members so they don’t recall their missions. Um, WHY? And it’s not explained how Hella and Beast got away or why The Army is out for revenge now. Just too much…and not enough.

There is a disclaimer at the beginning of this read that warns the word ‘f*uck’ is used a lot in this story. And it is. But, to be fair, it’s expected when dealing with a group of people like this one is supposed to be. However, to me, it was never realistic or felt like MC culture, but more like a group of tenth graders attempting to act like a crew. Early on, Hella calls Beast his “bromate” – HUH? What callous, hardened biker does that? I’ve read MC stories where just seeing a character’s name had me bracing for the ruthlessness that was about to go down, but that didn’t happen here. Even when the ‘ruthlessness’ and questionable shenanigans of this story DID happen with rival biker MCs, Russians, female bikers and yes…The Army, I was just ready for the book to end.

As I said earlier, for me, there are far too many supporting players here. Some are only mentioned once…maybe twice…with a couple of vague sentences to explain who they are, and then you never hear about them again. I’m not sure who the pivotal characters like Beast, Meadow, Jada and Phoebe were. They drink and swear and love to party, but they just weren’t developed enough. And poor Millie. Melissa’s younger sister shared the same screwed up childhood, and witnessed a shocking incident as a twenty-one-year-old nun, but I didn’t learn enough about WHO she was to care about her predicament.

There IS a great story here. When Melissa and Hella are together…and not trying to violently screw each other silly…It’s perfect. They let their guards down and lose all the smartass comments, and finally get around to admitting to hidden feelings and desires, only to have a jumbled-up side story take the focus off them. They deserved better.

These two cannot heal each other – but they do give each other a peace of mind and calm neither has known before. This is a new beginning they both need. I’m not sure if anything can help Hella, but Melissa is in serious need of psychological help. Her reaction and meltdown to Hella’s visit to Eddy’s is only a small glimpse at what she’s internalizing.

I truly wanted to love this story, but that is not the case, and ending it on a cliffhanger didn’t help. I didn’t read the earlier reviews, but I saw the ratings board and know that I am in the minority. It happens. Readers bring different perspectives to each book they read, but they all must at least have a level of acceptance for the story and trust in the author. The divide comes with the execution of the story line and actions of the H/h. For me, it just didn’t work.

“Mayhem: Twisted Hearts Love Story #2” by Autumn Sand #ReleaseBlitz

Release Blitz:
Twisted Hearts 
Love Story #2
Autumn Sand
Oct 28th

Before he became Tony Delaney’s right-hand man, Tick lost his dreams of being happy. After ten years, he is still haunted by the sudden loss of his fiancée and unborn son. Going through life thinking he doesn’t deserve happiness, his nights become filled with endless one-night stands. That is until he rescues Cyma. As quickly as he saves her, she walks out of his life, disappearing into the crowded Manhattan street. Days later, he accidentally runs into her at a party and his attraction grows stronger.
Cyma’s hard life has been nothing but pain and sorrow. She labels the charismatic stranger who saved her as a knight in shining armor. A chance meeting days later and Tick turns her world upside down. She’s scared to hold on to the fairy-tale dream of being with him, but she’s even more afraid to let him go.
Can these two somehow heal each other? Will their love survive all of the obstacles that are thrown their way?

Twisted Hearts from a Hopeful Soul: An Introduction:

Every author has a tale to tell about the stories they create. I am no different.
Mayhem was a fun but emotional ride of a story to write. Emotional because of the tear-jerking scenes (sorry, no spoilers) and fun because I based most of the characters off of the people closest to me.
Dante “Tick”, is based on a very close friend of mine. The only difference between these two men is Dante is a Marine, and my friend is in the Army. Dante is fiercely protective of those he loves; this stems from a loss he suffered years ago. When Cyma stumbles into his life, he knows he has found his reason to live again.
The character of Cyma is based on a few strong women I know, my mother included. Cyma’s life is centered around her daughter and trying to make her daughter’s upbringing as normal as possible. When Dante enters her life, he turns her world upside down.
Brenda is Cyma’s loyal best friend. Brenda is a spit-fire who calls things the way she sees them. She is based on my real life best friend, who I rely on to give me raw honesty above all else.
Manny—I loved writing his scenes. He is the comic relief in the group. And yes, there is an actual Manny. He is my real life assistant. Manny has a heart of gold and can quickly change into the man of steel if you get on his bad side. Look out for Manny’s story in 2017.
Magnum is a man of action instead of words. His imposing figure can make most men quake and women swoon. He is a complicated man, to say the least, but in a good way. Magnum’s story will be out in 2017, as well.
Almost every piece of fiction has a dash of fact woven into it. Mayhem, and the other Twisted Hearts Love Stories, are pieces of my own heart I’ve inked with blood and passion.
I hope you enjoy these characters as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Happy Reading,
Autumn works as an inventory manager for a major lingerie company by day and writes books at night. She loves laughing with her friends, and reading. Often found with her signature Jack and Coke in hand while doing the things she enjoys most.
future projects.

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“Tempted by the Gargoyle” by Lisa Carlisle #ReleaseBlitz

 Release Blitz:

Tempted by the Gargoyle


Lisa Carlisle

Oct 28th

A cop meets a #gargoyle #shifter in Boston the night of the supermoon…

Meet your perfect match this Saturday night—or your perfect match for the night.

The eclipse of the red Supermoon sends crowds into Boston for an evening hyped up for a night of passion, one not to be missed. Boston police officer Larissa Riley wants nothing to do with the media-driven event, but her friend convinces her they need a night out after all they’ve gone through. They visit a new gothic-themed club where Larissa is disturbed by the attractive stranger eying her.

Roman, a gargoyle shifter and commander of the Stone Sentries, patrols from the rooftop of a club on the night of the eclipse. The Supermoon bodes danger and he puts all his sentries on watch. When a blast of dark magic soars past him, he searches for its origin and fixes on a brunette. Something about her is different, demanding all senses be on high alert. Is she dangerous? Or is she in danger?

Deciding a night with a hot stranger would be good for her, Larissa invites Roman back to her hotel, unaware he is surveilling her. The night takes a dark turn as secrets are uncovered and danger moves in. Her beloved city is under attack. Larissa must decide who to trust before all is lost, including the fate of her closest friend.

While surveying the city from above, a dark-haired woman on the roof caught Roman’s attention. She stood ramrod-straight and she fidgeted with her glass. Something about her discomfort triggered his gargoyle instincts, making him observe her more closely.
When he scanned her from head to toe, he didn’t gain any insight other than how attractive she was. Her hair was rich and lush, flowing in loose waves over her shoulders. It had a burgundy tone from the various lighting fixtures around the deck. Her wide eyes searched her surroundings. What was she looking for? His gaze traveled down her body, studying how well it was encased in a form-fitting black dress. He lingered on her killer curves, fueling his imagination with sordid fantasies of what it would be like to touch them.
He snapped his eyes away. He was supposed to be gauging what had set off his senses.
Seconds later, his gaze returned to her, despite his admonition to himself. Her expression turned troubled. A strong reaction rose within him, one he couldn’t read. He rubbed the back of his neck. Something about her put all his senses on edge; he had to keep an eye on her, although he had no indication why.
She spoke to a blonde woman next to her, and he turned his head to focus on their conversation. With all the chatter in the room, he couldn’t catch it, despite his acute sense of hearing.
What troubled the brunette? An instinct to protect her kicked in. The pull toward her was compelling, a sensual onslaught that overpowered him.
Remember why you’re here.
He stepped back, both mentally and physically separating himself from the woman, and shielded himself behind the bar. That compulsion was one he’d never experienced, and not knowing what it meant bothered him all the more. All the uncertainty about tonight had him on edge.
Turning away, he gulped in the cool night air. It invigorated him for only a moment. What hit him next almost knocked him off his feet—a sudden whoosh of energy. It blasted past him with immense force and power, indicative of dark magic.
A gut feeling made him turn to locate the brunette, and he scrutinized her. He sensed something unusual about her than the other humans on the roof. Was she the source of that dark magic? He opened a mental link to communicate with Arto.
There’s a woman on the roof I’m going to keep an eye on.
Is she in danger? Or is she dangerous? Arto asked.
Good question. That’s what I plan on finding out. I sensed dark magic and will investigate further.
His triggers were now on full alert. Whoever she was, he wouldn’t let her out of his sight. Not until he figured out who—or what—she was.
And why she had that effect on him.

USA Today bestselling author Lisa Carlisle loves stories with dark, brooding heroes and independent heroines. She’s honored to be a multi-published author writing in different genres since she’s wanted to be a writer since the sixth grade. For much of her professional career, she’s written non-fiction — but she’s discovered writing romance is the most fun. Her romances have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Reviews and All Romance Ebooks.
When she was younger, she worked in a variety of jobs, moving to various countries. She was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, while in the military; backpacked alone through Europe; and lived in Paris before returning to the U.S. She owned a bookstore for a few years, as she loves to read. She’s now married to a fantastic man, and they have two kids, two kittens, and too many fish.

You can also find her at the Red Hot Authors Cafe and Sweet and Sexy Divas.
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“Dauntless (The Sons of Templar MC #5)” by Anne Malcom #ReleaseBlitz

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TITLE: Dauntless

SERIES: Sons of Templar #5

AUTHOR: Anne Malcom

RELEASE DATE: October 27th, 2016



99c for 3 days!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2dJTEzB

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2euSkVt

Amazon AU: : https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01M3UNPYL

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1168869293

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dauntless-sons-of-templar-mc



This isn’t a fairy tale. I’ll save you the trouble by telling you that now.

This is the tale of a girl who spent her life bouncing around foster homes, who had her innocence stolen in the darkness before she knew it was something that could be lost. Her demons followed her everywhere, after that night. They chased her to the medical school she dropped out of, to the strip club she sold herself in, and finally caught her in a river of sin where they tried to drown her.

My name is Bex and this is my story.

I’m paddling, barely keeping my head above water. And even though I’m submerged, I’ll never be clean. The layer of dirt that has clung to me since birth is a tattoo I’ll wear for life.

He can’t see it, though.

Even when I’m torn and tattered, and left in pieces, he wades into the filth to try to put those pieces back together.

He doesn’t seem to understand there’s nothing left to repair. To love. Just sullied fragments of a damned soul.

He’s willing to damn himself in order to exact revenge on those who sent me to the pit.

Problem is, my name is at the top of that list, since I not only damned my own soul, but his too.

Add it to your TBR lists on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32057141-dauntless?from_search=true

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You can read the first chapter on Anne’s website here: https://annemalcomauthor.com/

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Also in the Sons of Templar series

Making the Cut (Sons of Templar #1)


Firestorm (Sons of Templar #2)


Outside the Lines (Sons of Templar #2.5)


Out of the Ashes (Sons of Templar #3)


Beyond the Horizon (Sons of Templar #4) – 99C!!!!


Echoes of Silence (Unquiet Mind #1)


Skeletons of Us (Unquiet Mind #2)



About Anne

Anne Malcom has been an avid reader since before she can remember, her mother responsible for her book addiction. It started with magical journeys into the world of Hogwarts and Middle Earth, then as she grew up her reading tastes grew with her. Her obsession with books and romance novels in particular gave Anne the opportunity to find another passion, writing. Finding writing about alpha males and happily ever afters more fun than reading about them, Anne is not about to stop any time soon.

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

Website: https://annemalcomauthor.com/

“Hate to Love (Pole Dance, #3)” by S.G. Lovell #BlogTour


blog tour


Book Title: Hate to Love (Pole Dance. #3)
Author: SG Lovell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions


book blurb

After finishing her law-degree summa cum laude, Molly Rogers has earned a night on the town with her pole-dancing girlfriends. Their destination: New York’s most refined strip club, Jewel’s. Their intention: To support one friend through her stripping debut and celebrate another friend’s engagement. What could possibly go wrong?

The last person Michael Daniels expects to see in his regular strip club on a Friday night is sophisticated Molly Rogers. He knows she’s too good for him. He knows he should stay away from her. But when Molly is mistaken for an exotic dancer, there is nothing stopping Michael from setting the record straight…and claiming the blond beauty as his own.


Click Through to Read Chapters 1 – 3 (first time Chapter 3 has been shared)






meet the authorS.G. Lovell is the independent author of the contemporary romance Pole Dance series and the dark science fiction Hybrid series.

Prior to becoming an author, SG worked in the IT security field. She decided to pursue a full-time writing career when she left her job to move overseas with her husband in 2012.

SG currently lives in Queensland, Australia with her family and their two selectively deaf dogs. When not writing, you’ll find her singing nursery rhymes, chasing after the dogs, or dreaming of the next vacation that she desperately needs.

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“Heated Pursuit (Alpha Security #1)” by April Hunt #ReleaseBlitz


release day blitz


Book Title: Heated Pursuit (Alpha Security, #1)
Author: April Hunt
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Forever & Forever Yours | Grand Central Publishing
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

Penny Kline didn’t come to Honduras on a pleasure trip. She’s here to rescue her kidnapped niece, the only family she’s got left. What she didn’t plan on was walking into a covert ops mission—or being wrapped up in the hard-muscled arms of Rafe Ortega. The cool-as-ice operative’s touch may get her all hot and bothered, but no man can have a hold on her heart until her niece is home where she belongs.

Even in the tropics, Alpha Security operative Rafe can take down the bad guys without breaking a sweat. Hostage extractions. Clandestine missions. Those are the things he’s been trained to handle. Relationships? Not so much. But one look at this strong, sexy redhead and he’s seized by a fierce urge to protect her at all costs. Now Penny and Rafe will have to up their game because they’re about to go into a master criminal’s lair without backup, and the danger—and passion—is about to explode . . .


Allow him?” Penny’s gentle tone froze all five men to their spots. Instead of shrinking as she kicked off her heels, her stature grew. She glanced pointedly at each of them before landing on Trey, and never once raised her voice. “If Rafe had insisted on bringing any kind of security, it would’ve made it look like he had something to hide.”

“Yeah, but he didn’t need to agree to letting you tag along,” Trey argued.

She shrugged. “Fuentes likes women. Isn’t that why we thought sending me into the club with Rafe was a good idea to begin with? We got his attention. We got in. I’m not going to question why, and having been after this guy for months, neither should you.”

“We shouldn’t, but we are,” Stone interjected. “Too many innocents have been affected by Fuentes. We’re not eager to add to the tally.”

“My name was added to that list the moment the bastard took the only family I have left!”

As the rest of the team focused on Penny, Rafe’s gaze cut to his best friend. If he didn’t know Trey so well, he would’ve missed the minute twitch of his left eye. Faint, quick, and only happening once before Trey pulled himself back together, the brief flicker was his friend’s only physical show of weakness.

Rafe treaded carefully, clearing his throat. “I think what Stone means, Red, is that playing arm candy for a few hours is a hell of a lot different than having you under Fuentes’s roof—literally.”

“Then I won’t do it.”

“Thank fucking God,” Trey mumbled.

When Penny folded her arms across her chest, fluffing up the already impressive view, Rafe knew there was more. “If you can tell me right now there isn’t the slightest chance Diego will rescind his invite if I back out, then I’ll stay behind.” No one could make that claim, and the grim smile on her face indicated she knew it. “No? Then I’m going.”

Stone perched on the edge of the couch. His gaze was stern, but his voice surprisingly gentle. “You have to understand something, sweetheart. We have no idea where the Fuentes compound is. The entire international alphabet-fucking-soup has been trying to track the bastard down for years. We’re their last line of defense before they have to tuck tails and admit they’ve fucked up.”

She tossed her hands up in the air with a growl. “Which is why it doesn’t make sense that you’d be willing to risk the chance of Fuentes telling us to bug off! You’ve never gotten this close before.”

Trey intervened. “You’d be going into this op dark, Penn—no backup if things go to shit. No support. We can’t send you in with wires or run-of-the-mill tracking chips, because the paranoid bastard has the capability of finding them. It’ll just be you and Rafe. And if things go to hell, it’ll be the two of you and the Honduran rain forest.”

“Good thing I was a Girl Scout, then, huh? I wasn’t blowing smoke up your skirts when I said I’d do anything to get Rachel back. The question is are you going to let me?”

Fuck no. The red-blooded man in Rafe wanted her sweet ass on a plane. Out of sight. Out of mind. And out of danger. But the trained operative grudgingly admitted that she had a point. Her leaving at this juncture in the game would make their job more difficult than if she stayed.

Still, it wasn’t Rafe’s call to make—thank fucking God.

Stone, looking a hell of a lot like a gargoyle, went quiet. That alone wasn’t what alarmed Rafe, because the Alpha head often kept his thoughts under a tightly sealed wrap. What had Rafe holding his breath was the way Stone tapped his fingers against his thigh…as if he was in deep thought.

And then his boss’s gaze shifted to him. Fuckin’ A.

“The decision’s yours, Ortega.” Lips pressed into a thin line, Stone’s expression looked anything but thrilled. “You’re the one going on the inside with her. I know I don’t have to remind you that you’re going into this deaf and blind. Bail enforcement or not, Penny’s not Alpha trained. That means on top of everything else you’re responsible for, you need to add her to the list—and right at the damn top.”

“He doesn’t need to—”

“Yeah, he does. Though you can hit a target and inflict a fair amount of damage, you’re green. You’ve never been on this kind of an op. Hell, even Ortega hasn’t.”

But no fucking pressure. Dealing with Taliban leaders in the middle of the desert had nothing on the expectant stare Penny slid his way. On the exterior, she looked the poster girl for calm and cool. Direct gaze. Back straight. But the subtle bite to her lower lip identified it as a carefully controlled ruse.

He wanted to say what his team expected him to—no fucking way. But the words wouldn’t come.

Though he didn’t have family in the true sense of the word, everyone associated with Alpha was his family—even their ball-buster analyst, Charlie. If he were in Penny’s shoes, he’d turn over every rock in the Afghan desert, search every damn block of ice in the Arctic, and make a deal with the devil if it meant the safe return of his family. That same brand of loyalty was etched on every feminine curve of Penny’s face.

Lives counted on their success, and not just their own, but Rachel’s and the countless others being subjected to Freedom and God only knew what other nasty drugs Fuentes pedaled around the globe.

Meeting Penny’s gaze, Rafe mentally relived the last week—Penny sparring in the training room, the too-close-for-comfort scuffle in the alley, and the professional ease with which she handled the meeting with Fuentes. Hell, she’d been the one who remained casually aloof while he nearly reached across the table and throttled the sick fuck with his bare hands.

He couldn’t believe he was going to fucking say it. “Don’t make me regret agreeing to this, Red.”

meet the author


April blames her incurable chocolate addiction on growing up in rural Pennsylvania, way too close to America’s chocolate capital, Hershey. She now lives in Virginia with her college sweetheart husband, two young children, and a cat who thinks she’s a human-dog hybrid. On those rare occasions she’s not donning the cape of her children’s personal chauffer, April’s either planning, plotting, or writing about her next alpha hero and the woman he never knew he needed, but now can’t live without.

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