When the only option left means losing someone you love, you have no options. How could you, how could you save one person you care about, when doing so would harm another? What if they weren’t even letting you choose but choosing for you? You’d have to intervene without letting them know, right?
To be an Altered Helix and put others in danger is the new reality for Austria. Luckily someone’s there to catch her when she falls, Josh, and fall she does, in love that is. While witnessing her family being put in danger, Austria’s haunted house family grows. Now that Austria has found a way to defeat Mutant Altered Helixes after her, a dangerous stream of events occur to those around her. Just when the family has finally come together, could they be ruined?
The amazing conclusion to the Altered Helix series, Paralleled Bond displays the results when polar opposites come together for the greater good.
“Please let them be okay.” If I had known I would be chanting this phrase over and over again, I don’t believe I would have ever set out on this mission. If I had known that my entire world would change in just a matter of months, would I have taken the job at the haunted house? If I had been given a heads up about my DNA being different, would I have lived a different life?
I don’t know; those are not options for me now. We’re too far in. We are inches away from saving many lives. We can do this. I know we can. I just don’t know what it will cost us. I have no clue how I’m going to find the dough to pay. The odds seem stacked up against us. Is that because it is impossible to accomplish what we want to, or is it because we’ve gotten too close?
$30 Amazon GC (International) Giveaway will run from August 4th to the 7th.
I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?
The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria’s life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.
Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater good.
For Austria, travelling to the Stranded Coil means she gets to see someone she believed was lost. She’s able to do this because she’s an Altered Helix. But doing so takes her away from her first true love, Josh. Josh is working hard to keep their Haunted House family safe on Earth, but seems to fall in love with Austria more with every second they spend together.
Austria and Josh face a devastating challenge, the mysterious appearance of Mutant Altered Helixes, and an enticingly dangerous answer to their questions.
Impulsive, caring, and full of surprises, this teenage love against the odds is well on its way to breaking even…maybe.
Stephanie Hansen’s short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind’s Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She’s part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers’ conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Belinda was an up and coming A1 student that thrived on creativity and love. With a burning passion for the Culinary Arts & Music, she was definitely on the verge to living an exciting fulfilling life, until the tables begin to turn. Living in a home doesn’t make it “Home Sweet Home”, a lesson Belinda learned too early in life. She didn’t have to go to jail but she did for a charge wrongfully entered by one who should have protected her. Once free, her life became a whirlwind of events filled with deep sexual relationships and beautiful packages of well-deserved happiness. Can you remember the last time you were allowed to just be free?
Her body rocking with pain, Belinda shuddered as she pleaded on her knees for Kevin not to kill her. Everything about this moment was surreal. Would he shoot her? Would she die? Would he take her daughter and run?
Her mind raced back and forth as she thought of words to say to calm the unpredictable monster she had married.
The gun’s barrel was nudged so hard in the base of her back; Belinda thought to herself, I’m not going to make it. She silently prayed and in the blink of an eye he was gone…. She sat there for what seemed like hours, too afraid to speak and even more afraid to move.
Not knowing if he was around the corner, waiting on her to emerge from the third bedroom. All she saw in her mind was dead ends. What would she do?
Nubi (Nubia Soul Goddess) is an Internationally Amazon Bestselling Author under GNectar Publishing, LLC.
She has published 3 books with more coming. She is also a book coach and speaker on being an entrepreneur – artist- domestic violence survivor and book writing and publishing. Her first poem was published (Nationally) in high school.
Music is her first love, but writing probably surpasses even that. She has always been an avid reader with a great drive for creativity. So with the encouragement of close friends and loved ones, she began to do more than just share her life stories, she began to write them down and create more for others to enjoy and learn from.
When tarot card reader Gillian Howe hosts a supernatural speed dating event, she ponders the stakes of falling in love. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. After a chance encounter with a wealthy vampire, she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. But when Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene, the vampire detective is the last person she wants…even if he is scorching hot.
Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. Now the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed. Dark forces from his past threaten to resurface…even her love might not be enough to save him from the Brotherhood.
Suddenly, all the hairs on the back of Gillian’s neck stood on end. Her whole body tensed. The chatter and music became muffled. Her eyes flickered across the lobby in search of who, or what, had caught her attention.
Then she saw him.
Six-feet-three inches of tall, dark, and brooding stood at the front desk. Detective Garrett Mulroney? What the hell was he doing here? Seeing him again after all these months sent a jolt of shock rippling through her.
His gaze locked with hers, and for a moment, she forgot to breathe. They both stood there, staring at each other. It was as though he could see beneath her armor, the kind she wore under the little black dress.
The word handsome didn’t even begin to describe him. Mythological titans like Adonis and Poseidon came to mind, males so stunning, they couldn’t possibly be real. But then she thought of other words too, like arrogant, brash…controlling…she could go on.
Mulroney crossed the lobby with a confidant gait, his long legs eating up the distance between them in a few easy strides. Her heart hammered in her chest with every step.
Every female head turned to catch a glimpse of the vampire. The closer he got, the more her body became hyperaware of his presence. He kept his thick head of dark hair short on the sides and longer in the front. The cut showed off the angles and hard lines of his face. Sexy stubble darkened a square jaw, and he looked every bit as dangerous as she remembered. Long, and lean, Gillian could make out the ripple of sinewy muscle beneath the jacket of his grey suit. In the past, she’d always been attracted to the artistic types. So, there was no good reason why she was drawn to this rough-hewn alpha.
But Goddess help her, he was magnificent.
Laughter drifted from the bar, and that’s when she realized she was still standing on a chair, gawking at him like some lovesick schoolgirl. She went to step down and her foot slipped out from one of her strappy sandals. Before she could fall sideways onto the marble, two strong arms wrapped around her waist and caught her in midair.
When she looked up and into Mulroney’s ice-blue eyes, her heart gave a little flutter. Apparently, the legends about vampires having preternatural speed and strength were real. But then, as his gaze filled with a kind of raw, primal desire, she had no doubt the steamy ones about them possessing a certain sexual allure also rang true.
“You’re lucky you didn’t break your neck,” Mulroney whispered close to her ear and set her on her feet. “What are you doing here tonight, Miss Howe?” The deep rumble of his voice did funny things to her insides.
“I could ask you the same question.” Gillian grabbed the scissors and scotch tape off the table, then shoved them in her black beaded bag. “If you must know, I’m working,” Gillian snapped. Ever since the prickly detective had been assigned to investigate the robbery of one of her clients, a local antique dealer, their paths had collided on more than one occasion.
Mulroney’s eyes did a slow sweep of her from the tips of her three-inch heels to the top of her head. Goosebumps instantly spread across her flesh. Gillian wanted to squirm from the flagrant perusal, but remained still, refusing to give him the satisfaction. Why would she? After all, he had tried to ruin her life. “Interesting work attire,” he murmured.
Her hands clenched at her sides, fighting the urge to tug on her dress again. “I’m sure you didn’t walk over here to comment on my choice of clothing. To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure?” she asked with a healthy dose of sarcasm.
“Trust me, this wasn’t planned,” he said in a gruff voice, refusing to look her in the eye.
Gillian couldn’t help remembering the day he and his partner had showed up at the coven. Peppering her with questions and unwarranted accusations, they’d invaded her safe space, conjuring that too familiar lash of shame, and reminding her of the days when the neighbors used to call the cops to keep her parents from an all-out war.
He kept his hands stuffed in his pockets, his stance casual, but he wasn’t fooling anyone. There was no mistaking the predatory way he kept checking out the people strolling by as only a cop would. She followed his gaze as it took in every detail, restless with intensity, before finally landing on their banner. “Is this a private fundraiser?”
She nodded, not in the mood to elaborate. “Are you here in an official capacity? What’s the matter, no real criminals on the streets tonight?” Or maybe this was personal and he was meeting someone. He’d worked with Alex on several cases, and according to Willow, he was a confirmed bachelor, not that she had inquired or anything.
“A quick word, please, Miss Howe. We need to talk.” The object of her unhealthy obsession ignored her questions and reached for her elbow, pulling her off to the side. His touch seared through the thin material of her dress, leaving a hot flush along her skin. At five-foot-seven, she wasn’t exactly short, but even in her heels, he towered over her.
“Hold on. I’m kind of busy right now. What’s this about?” Gillian demanded, catching a whiff of his masculine scent, a blend of sandalwood and clean laundry. She fought the urge to sigh and glared at him instead.
“You shouldn’t be here.” Mulroney glanced over at the couple’s tables scattered with rose petals, floating candles, bowls of heart-shaped chocolates, and the Lawrence Charity placards. He turned back to face her and scowled. “I want you to leave. Now.”
“Excuse me?” His words knocked Gillian off-center and before she could process them, an attractive female vampire with dark hair pulled in a tight ponytail walked up to Mulroney and placed a hand on his arm.
“It’s time. We need to go.” A surge of irrational jealousy coursed through Gillian’s veins like battery acid.
For a split second he hesitated, his gaze still fixed on Gillian, and she sensed some kind of inner battle raging inside him. Then he gave her a curt nod and walked away. Her heart sank.
Brooke approached and crossed her arms over her chest. “What was that all about?”
Not sure what to make of their twisted interaction, or of Mulroney’s ominous words for that matter, Gillian sucked in a quivering breath and let it out. “No idea.”
Giveaway: $25 Amazon gift card – Giveaway will run from July 1st to the 4th.
Shari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common place, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends.
Shari’s a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers. Shari’s new series, Ravens’ Hollow Coven, is an urban fantasy with City Owl Press.
Awards: Beverley Award, Golden Leaf Finalist, Best Book Finalist by a New Jersey Author, HOLT Medallion Finalist, Literary Titan Silver Medal Winner
At the turn of the twenty-ninth century, the Milky Way is on the verge of a galactic war. The Combined Systems Alliance continues to expand their territory—much to the displeasure of the Free Planetary Union who, until now, lacked the resources to halt the encroachment. In a bid to wrest control from the Alliance and retake their former colonies, Union agents throughout the Alliance Fleet organize a mass insurgency seizing countless assets. During the ensuing chaos, numerous ships are decimated and millions of lives are lost.
Retired Alliance Commander Tanic Sandorn finds himself stranded on a border station after the Union launches an all-out assault. Fighting against anxieties from the incident that pushed him into early retirement, Sandorn accepts being recalled to active duty and propelled to the front lines. This time, he will protect his crew and the inhabitants of the Exeter star system from any approaching threat—never again will he leave anyone behind.
But outnumbered, outgunned, and outflanked, Exeter Station is left running at a fraction of its operating capacity. Sandorn and the Alliance officers on board must strategize quickly and carefully to hold their ground, or they will be forced to surrender the station, the system, and their lives.
For fans of epic space operas, like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series.
Every crew member aboard the Veloz ran from stem to stern working tirelessly to patch every hole in the ship. The damage was critical to the point that nearly half the ship had been evacuated. With so little power available, compartmental force fields were inoperable, leaving only a single fire door between repair crews and the vacuum of space in many areas.
Not a single deck was spared at least some devastation, for as the ship’s superstructure twisted and contorted under heavy firepower, panels came loose and circuits overloaded throughout resulting in debris littering every room and corridor. The floors weren’t only littered with discarded paneling and blown circuitry, but also injured, dying, and dead crew members. The initial unexpected surprise attack caused the most death and destruction, taking over a hundred lives. Then as the battle wore on, further loss of life was inevitable.
The victory was Pyrrhic, but it was a victory, nonetheless.
Thom grew up in suburban Cheshire, England with his parents and brother. During school he had a propensity for creativity, either writing, building models, painting, or programming. Every subject choice was motivated by creating and building, whether it be design technology, graphic design, programming, or creative writing.
After studying Computer Science at The University of Manchester, he started working as a Software Developer. Following in his father’s footsteps, he worked as a Technical Consultant in London for several years, then in Data Warehousing back in Manchester.
In his spare time, Thom still writes, build models, paints, and programs, but nowadays also listens to a lot of music, watches a lot of films, and enjoys playing computer games.
His love for science fiction comes from blockbuster films like Starship Troopers, Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as B-movies like Wing Commander, Pitch Black, and Iron Sky. Computer games like Homeworld, EVE-Online, and Stellaris, and books like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. In other words, sci-fi—particularly space opera—in any media.
Thom currently lives in Cheshire, England, with his wife, Helen, and their two cats.
Deception and Desire Aubrey Wynne Publication date: June 16th 2020 Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
Two rebellious souls… An innocent deception… One scorching catastrophe…
Welcome to book 1 in the MacNaughton Castle Romance by Aubrey Wynne. Read for Free in Kindle Unlimited!
Fenella Franklin is too tall, too intelligent, and has no title. Her talents lie in numbers and a keen business mind, not in the art of flirtation. When she becomes the object of a cruel wager during her come-out in London, she vows to put off the penniless noblemen vying for her sizeable dowry. But her season is cut short after her mother discovers the subterfuge, and Fenella retreats to Scotland.
Lachlan MacNaughton has neither the temperament nor the patience to be the next MacNaughton chief, preferring to knock heads together rather than placate bickering clansmen. He readily accepts a reprieve to help with the family’s textile mill in Glasgow. A sizzling chance encounter in the rain introduces him to the new female bookkeeper. His grandfather may want him back in the Highlands, but his heart has been lost in the Lowlands.
The attraction between Fenella and Lachlan sparks a passion not even two rebellious souls can deny.
But an innocent deception tests their newfound love and threatens the freedom they both crave.
A MacNaughton Castle Romance
Book 1 – Deception and Desire
Book 2 – An Allusive Love
Book 3 – A Bonny Pretender
Reaching the street, he squinted through the drizzle in time to see a dark form dashing toward him, head down against the light rain.
Smack! The woman collided with Lachlan. He spread his feet to maintain his balance as the slate-colored gown and pelisse crumpled before him. Without thought, he swept her up before she hit the wet ground.
Her straw bonnet was askew, tiny droplets of rain sparkled in her pale blonde hair, and long lashes spiked like jagged crescents against her smooth cheeks. Her alabaster skin gave her the appearance of a fine Greek sculpture, except for the pink spreading across her cheeks. When her lids fluttered open, clear gray eyes blinked owlishly at him. Mesmerizing was the first word that came to his mind. He was unable to tear his gaze from the exquisite face.
A wet angel, he thought.
“Oh,” was all the angel said, a sheen of moisture covering her skin. A hand went to her neck – a long and graceful neck.
“Aye,” said Lachlan, though it sounded more like a growl to his ears. Her warmth seeped into his upper body, and he squelched the urge to toss her up and resettle her closer to his chest.
She trembled slightly; her full, pink lips slowly turned up in a half-smile. A single drop of moisture clung to the corner of her mouth. It beckoned to him, dared him… Lachlan dipped his head and brushed his lips against her velvet ones, his breath catching at his own audacity. The rain swathed them, their damp clothes sticking to slick skin, diminishing the barrier of her cotton dress. Her chest rose and fell, pushing against his own.
Those liquid silver orbs blinked again as he raised his head and went wide with surprise, accentuating their dark outer ring of black. Then her feet kicked against his tight hold. His gaze traveled down her legs, long shapely limbs molded by her damp skirt, then back up to the bonniest face he’d seen in years. Carefully, Lachlan set her down, gripping her elbows to give her some support. She was slender but tall for a female, the crown of her head just at his eye level. He wouldn’t get a crick in his neck looking down at her. Aye, he’d like to spend more time… exploring that face.
Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. Obsessions include wine, history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her Chicago Christmas series has received the Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and twice nominated as a Rone finalist by InD’tale Magazine.
Aubrey’s first love is medieval romance but after dipping her toe in the Regency period in 2018 with the Wicked Earls’ Club, she was smitten. This inspired her spin-off series Once Upon a Widow and the Scottish Regency series A MacNaughton Castle Romance with Dragonblade Novels.
Lancelot’s true love dies in a battle against an enemy aided by magic. With his kingdom and his love gone, he resigns himself to serving King Arthur, someone who is truly noble. After an innocent infatuation with Queen Guinevere goes wrong, the mysterious Merlin tells him his fate will be found thousands of years in a future where the new Camelot faces destruction from a ruthless king. Only Lancelot possesses the power that can stop him. But is his fate to die there? Is the new Camelot going to face the same destruction as the old Camelot? And how will Lancelot defeat the same magic that killed his one true love, a magic which he has never believed to be real.
Some of King Ban’s foot soldiers lumbered toward the enemy, but then the iron beasts came back to life. They flew over Ban’s foot soldiers. Noises, like the banging of hundreds of rocks on metal all at once rang out. Something, yellow bursts of fire, came from the beasts. Lancelot watched as the foot soldiers fell where they stood. He saw dozens of holes in their armor and blood seeping out of them.
The beasts then moved over the archers and hovered over them. Lancelot’s heart lurched. Most of their archers were women who wanted to serve in Ban’s army, but whom his father did not want to be foot soldiers. These women warriors possessed another kind of finesse. Many of them fired their arrows at the beasts, but they did nothing but bounce away or break.
Then a blue swath of light appeared from the beast and bathed about half the remaining archers in an ethereal glow. The light beamed almost blindingly bright and then disappeared completely – the archers gone with it.
The enemy at the walls shrieked with ear-splitting force. When Lancelot turned toward their noise, he saw the charge. In another few seconds, they were on top of them. Ban’s men met them. Blade clanged against blade.
One attacker struck at Lancelot, who blocked the blow with his shield and drove his blade into the man’s chest. When the enemy’s blood poured out, Lancelot’s stomach heaved, but he had no time to vomit—another opponent was already on top of him. He moved so fast and was so strong that Lancelot could not avoid him. The enemy knocked him to the ground and had his sword raised ready to deal the killing blow. Lancelot tried to cover himself with his shield, but he didn’t think he would – the soldier’s hand went to his neck where an arrow pierced it. Blood spurted and then he fell. Lancelot felt his weight crashing down on him, knocking the air out of him. He looked to one side and saw one of Ban’s archers, a woman with long, flowing blonde hair – Eve – one of Anna’s friends with her bow.
He started to yell out her name, but then the blue light swallowed her, and she disappeared.
Lancelot pushed her victim off, staggered to his feet in time to raise his sword just as the second attacker lunged at him. It pierced his enemy’s throat.
He froze at the sound of the high-pitched scream and looked left and right to see the invaders overwhelming King Ban’s army. Lancelot ducked as someone swung at his head, and he thrust his shield up, its edge catching the attacker’s neck. The attacker gagged as he clutched at his throat and crumpled.
Lancelot recognized the voice. He looked down and saw his beloved Anna lying on the ground near him. An invader towered over her.
Lancelot launched his sword through the air like a spear and hit the man just as he was bringing down his own sword. Lancelot ran to Anna. Her eyes fluttered and she smiled at him. “I knew you’d come.” The armor she wore was now red and blood pooled under her. “You can change things, Lancelot.” Her body relaxed and lay still.
He grabbed her wrist and searched for a pulse. He leaned over her and tried to feel the faintest breath that would show him that she was just hurt. Even as tears poured from him, his anger built.
“Why didn’t you listen? Why do you always have to be where you don’t need to be—”
Suddenly, someone grabbed him by his hair and jerked him backwards.
Robert Collier, an American self-help author, once said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” For over 30 years of teaching and over 40 years of writing, this adage describes Steve Cross.
He is a semi-retired educator who teaches writing part-time at Three Rivers Community College. While in college, he began writing, and once he started, he didn’t quit. In his younger days, he had some writing successes: several plays published by Brooklyn Publishers, articles in various magazines and websites, and some educational materials. However, these weren’t enough to convince him that writing was something he needed to pursue anymore. When he turned 60 and had almost given writing up altogether, he gave it one more chance.
Every October, the Ozark Creative Writers sponsor a writing conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. As a test of his talent, Cross entered several of the contests that made up part of the conference. If he did okay, he would continue writing. If not, well, it had been a fun ride, but it was time to get off. When he placed in three of the contests, he decided that maybe his idea of quitting was premature. From there, things clicked. He had one young adult contemporary novel accepted for publication and two fantasy novels accepted. He also saw another dream which had eluded him for years come to life. He sold one screenplay outright and optioned another. Then he became a freelance editor for a publisher.
Cross finds himself busier than ever with his writing. But writing is not his only passion. He and his wife Jean work very hard in spoiling their two grandchildren, much to the dismay of their daughter Megan and son-in-law Sean. Cross also follows the St. Louis Cardinals and enjoys reading, listening to music, and writing. Still, he finds time to relax by sitting out on his deck with his loyal dog Bella on his lap and listening to the birds singing.
Masters of Camelot resulted from a lifelong love of all things Arthurian, which was reinforced by a trip to the UK, and a simple question, “What if?” He believes the principles of Camelot can still flourish in today’s world.
The Honest Liar by Leslie Georgeson
(The Pact #2) Genre: Adult, Romance Publication: May 18, 2020
Two friends. One pact. A dangerous plan with an elaborate deception. In a world where they must rely on each other to survive, how far will each of them go to honor the pact?
Nobody likes a liar.
Yet sometimes lies are essential.
In my world, the truth can kill.
For years I tried to escape the cartel.
But will I ever be free of its pull?
I have a Big Plan, and no one is getting in my way.
Not even a stubborn, sexy cop who won’t keep her nose out of my business.
Jamie Sanderson is determined to end me.
But she doesn’t know how powerful I am.
Even so, some things are beyond my control.
Now she’s in danger.
I will do whatever is necessary to keep her safe.
I don’t want to hurt Jamie, but I’m already buried so deep in the lies that neither one of us will emerge unscathed.
Is losing her really worth seeing my plan to fruition?
The front door of the business opened and people spilled out of the building. All men. All toting the “thug” look. Shifty eyes. Mean expressions. Most under thirty and dressed in low-slung jeans and Tees. They strode to their cars, and the parking lot emptied out.
There was no sign of Rafael Ortiz.
Keith cleared his throat. “Are you sure he’s here?”
“Well, this is his car…” I trailed off as the door opened again, and Rafael emerged from the building.
“Shit,” Keith whispered, his mouth gaping open.
Yeah, shit was right.
Rafael moved slowly, limping as he headed toward us. His face sported numerous cuts and rapidly forming bruises, his left eye was puffy and swollen shut, and bloody tissues plugged his nostrils. He looked hideous. Like he’d taken one hell of a serious beating. I flinched in sympathy. Oh, what a shame to see that beautiful face marred like that.
His open right eye focused on me as he halted before us.
“What the hell happened to you?” I blurted.
His cut lip twitched in a smirk. “Thank you for asking, Detective. Here I thought you didn’t care about me, except to find reasons to arrest me.”
“That’s not true.” My face heated. Was I really that rude to him?
He glanced at Keith. “How did you get dragged into her persecution of me? I thought you were my friend.”
Keith reddened. “I simply offered to be her backup since her partner is out sick today. That’s all.”
“I’m not persecuting you,” I denied. “I was just following a lead. I know you’re up to something. All those men who just left here are associated with a cartel.”
Rafael grunted, his right eye centering on me again. “So, once again, I’m guilty by association? This is a gym, Detective. People come here to work out all the time. To fight. To smooth out their issues.”
I huffed. “Well, you obviously just got your ass kicked. Did you get your issues worked out? You look like shit.”
He chuckled softly, wincing in pain. “Oh, you got it all wrong, Detective. I didn’t get my ass kicked. I won.”
Leslie Georgeson writes romance and suspense, sometimes with a dash of sci-fi or paranormal tossed in to make things more interesting. She is the author of the popular military romantic suspense series, THE DREGS, which was nominated for the 2018 TopShelf Indie Book Awards. Her other titles include the UNLIKELY HEROES series, the UNDERNEATH series, the standalone romantic mystery, NO SON OF MINE, and the newly released romantic suspense duet, THE PACT. Book one, The Mocking Man, is now available on Amazon and book two, The Honest Liar, is scheduled for an early June 2020 release. Leslie lives with her husband and daughter on a quiet country acreage in Idaho.