Romeo

ROMEO by Ruby Rowe

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Synopsis:

Ava

I’m Hollywood’s leading lady, the daughter of a mafia boss, and my stalker’s sick obsession.

Griffin Scott is my new protector, my dominant, and my salvation.

I was taught that blood is thicker than water, but I’ll defy that belief for a future only Griffin can give me.

Griffin

I’m a man with dark secrets, the black sheep of my notorious family, and a bodyguard to the rich and famous.

Ava Lane is my client, a goddess, and a woman who consumes every ounce of my being.

I was taught that blood is thicker than water, but I’ll strike any deal necessary to keep her. I won’t give Ava up.

ROMEO contains explicit language and graphic sex, including aspects of BDSM.

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Ruby Rowe Branding

About the Author:

Ruby Rowe began writing in January of 2013 under the pen name Scarlet Wolfe, releasing contemporary and young adult. She soon tried her hand at writing erotica romance and fell in love with the genre.
The pen name Ruby Rowe came about this year when she decided it best to keep her racier books separate from her young adult romances. She also has plans to branch out and release straight erotica, however, she’s a romantic at heart, and believes it will be difficult not to include it in every story.
When not writing, Ruby reads naughty books about possessive, hot alpha males. She has an addiction to Pinterest, pinning all the sensual photos she can find. She loves bacon, coffee, and other flavors of ice cream besides vanilla. 😉 She hopes her writing will allow her readers a reprieve from the real world, giving them an opportunity to live out their fantasies.

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Website: http://www.rubyrowe.com/

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Playing It Cool

PLAYING IT COOL

A Men of Steele Novella

by Zoë Mullins

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance

Publication: January 9, 2018

When Spencer’s old college roommate offers him a job at Steele Construction, he doesn’t hesitate. Not only does he get to be closer to his sister and her family, he may finally have the chance to repair the rift between himself and his parents.

His parents live only three hours away but it may as well be on Mars as a blizzard moving up the coast has him seeking refuge at The Red Gate Inn. Spencer prides himself on playing it cool, but something about the raven-haired innkeeper has him overheated.

As a single working mom, Gina didn’t get much time to herself. With her mom and daughter off to Florida for a week, and the inn she owns closed for the holidays, she is looking forward to some me time. Then it started to snow. In good conscience she couldn’t turn away her brother’s newest employee when he needed shelter from the storm, but her guest has her feeling anything but professional.

It may be cold outside but things are heating up at the Inn.


He could still see the faint outline of tires tracks from a vehicle somewhere in front of him but the snow was getting deeper. Fast. The vehicle who made the tracks couldn’t be seen, but he didn’t think it was because it was so far ahead, it was just hidden by the all encompassing blanket of white. A blizzard had not been in the forecast when he headed out this morning.

There was no way he was getting to his parents in Maine this tonight. He’d be lucky if he got to The Red Gate Inn. When the snow began to fall and his tires had begun to slip and slide, he’d called his friend Ben who lived in this area, hoping for a recommendation should he have to get off the road. Ben had called him right back with an updated forecast and directions to the best B&B, his words, in St. George. If only I can find the place, he thought.

It was on the outskirts of town, but not far from the highway. He’d already passed by where he thought it should be once, had turned around and was now coming at it from the other direction. Through the snow, he saw a figure in a red parka, brushing off a sign near where he thought the street still was. He slowed down.

He could see the outline of the driveway and though it looked recently plowed, it was filling in fast. Peeking out over the snowbank he saw the tip of a gate. A red gate. That must be it.

He hit the window control, lowering the passenger window. A puff of cold air invaded the warmth of the car’s interior and the snowflakes instantly began to melt into little puddles on his front seat.

“Is this The Red Gate Inn?” he asked the figure which he could now tell was a woman. She was bundled up in the parka, a toque covering her hair, and a scarf hiding the lower half of her face. He could only see her dark, sparkling eyes. Little ice crystals had formed on the end of her lashes.

“You must be Spencer,” she said, pulling the scarf down to her chin. “I was getting worried. I couldn’t believe it when Ben said you were out in this weather. Drive on up – I will meet you there.” She gestured to the stately Victorian home at the end of the drive.

“Do you want me to drive you up?”

She gave his car a quick look, and he thought she was evaluating its pristine interior, then she smiled. “No it’s okay – I’ll meet you there.”

He frowned, and rolled up the window. He didn’t know why but her swift dismissal of the car displeased him. It was only a rental, and while he’d asked for snow tires, he should have been smart and also asked for four-wheel drive.

The car wasn’t cutting it and yeah, he laughed, he couldn’t blame her for turning down the ride. She was probably able to walk to the house faster than he was able to navigate the sedan to the top of the drive. Of course the house was up a hill, he shook his head.

Invitation to Play

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Deacon has never been the jealous type. Sharing his sub was an integral part of their relationship, especially before they were married. It’s been a year since they’ve invited another to play with them, but then Deacon and Sherri meet Kai, the intriguing ex-Air Force Captain turned tattoo artist.

Kai didn’t care if people thought he was gay, but having his father – the Colonel – shame him publicly for it was more than Kai could take. He moved across the country to start an honest life. He didn’t expect that life would include a new relationship.

Kai isn’t sure where he fits into Deacon and Sherri’s relationship – they didn’t need a bisexual Dom with a chip on his shoulder… or did they?

Reader Advisory: Grab a glass of wine, sit back and relax. This story has two hot Doms and their pampered sub -tonight no one is going to bed unsatisfied. Graphic sexual language and scenes are to be expected. (BDSM, MMF and MM scenes)

A prolific writer, even in elementary school, she was jotting down poems and stories whenever she had the chance – usually during math class.

After many years of working in corporate communications, Zoë decided in 2015 it was time to focus her energy on the kind of writing she loved – hot romances with strong, alpha heroes and quirky, independent heroines.

Zoë’s husband of nearly 20 years threw his full support behind that dream and loves to tell people his wife is a romance author. They live in Atlantic Canada with their two crazy collies. When not at her computer, you will find Zoë chasing after her muddy dogs, working in the garden or helping to renovate their money-pit of a house.

Always Him

NEW RELEASE

Always Him by Ann Grech

Genre: LGBT, Holiday Romance, MM Romance

Release Date: December 8th

BLURB

Forgetting them was near impossible, but choosing one was harder.

Declan had kept his secret for so long; its revelation could destroy his family. Being gay wasn’t it. The truth was far worse—he’d fallen for his stepbrother, Ollie.

Returning home for the holidays wasn’t something he did very often, but his mom insisted on it that year. His trip home didn’t turn out as he expected; Declan’s world was flipped on its head by a sexy stranger. On a night out, his hookup flipped Declan’s world on its head. Now he was torn, unable to get Batman out of his head and Ollie out of his heart.

Note: this story was originally published in the Tempting Scrooge anthology, but has been substantially revised, reedited and additional content added.

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What Reviewers Are Saying…

 

“I really enjoyed this touching and beautiful love story of two souls who are meant to be together.” ~ Novels in Heels

“Ann definitely knows how to tell a story and make the characters relatable. Definitely need to one click this one!” ~ Laurinda

“A beautiful story of love and how sometimes accepting the love we see can be the most beautiful thing of all.” ~ Katherine

AUTHOR BIO & LINKS

By day Ann Grech lives in the corporate world and can be found sitting behind a desk typing away at reports and papers or lecturing to a room full of students. With her quirky glasses and shiny leather briefcase, she has the librarian look nailed. All laced up tight in her pencil skirts and killer heels, her students can only fantasize about what she gets up to in her spare time. If only they could see those tattoos! Oh, and those notepads of story ideas tucked away in odd places that would be sure to have them fanning themselves!

By night she’s a wife and mum and a purveyor of saucy stories that are filled with lust, raunchy scenes and ultimately love. Ann’s an avid reader of anything sexy and firmly believes in the motto ‘leave mummy alone, she’s reading or writing.’ Because of that, she is pretty hopeless when it comes to getting dinner on the table on time or cleaning the house.

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Birthday Bash – Erotica

Nov 13-15

Magic of Books Promotions hosted its first tour during the month of November three years ago.

The company was created from the passion and desire of its owner, Tami Adams, because of her experiences as an author. From her struggles to have her books viewed and appreciated she knew there had to be another way.

Three years later Tami no longer writes but is determined to show the world the magic that lies within the pages of all books.

The following authors are helping Magic of Books to celebrate its birthday. Enjoy.

Message from Tami:

The last three years have been an incredible journey. I’ve made so many friends who began as bloggers, readers, and authors. I have been privileged to present and showcase new and old books from seasoned and new authors. I’ve learned so much I didn’t even realize I should know prior to getting into this business. And after three years I can honestly say I’m still learning, I’m still growing, and I’m still making friends. I love and appreciate all of you who have supported my little slice of heaven. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

✯ ✯ ✯ ✯

EROTICA

Erotica is a genre of literature that includes sexually explicit details as a primary feature. Though the distinction might be blurred in modern works, erotica traditionally contains more sexual details than romance novels.

Please enjoy these books that focus on erotica and all its sub-genres. The list is available in alphabetically order by title.

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win an Amazon Giftcard.

✯ ✯ ✯ ✯

Bound to Happen by Zoë Mullins

Erotic Romance

Jaymie knows better than to date her best friend’s brother, but there is no way she can keep the sexy Dom in the ‘friend-zone’.

You don’t date your best friend’s brother. At least not without prior permission from said friend.

Jaymie left Port Ellis for the big city, but she remained a townie at heart. After pinching pennies and clipping coupons, she and her best friend Melissa have enough cash to move home and open The Mudhouse Café. But where there is Mel, there is her sexy older brother Maxwell, who Jaymie has been crushing on since high school.

When Jaymie discovers Maxwell is Master M, the online Dom she’s been chatting with for months, her first thought is ‘yippee’. Then reality hits. She can’t risk her friendship with Mel just to date Maxwell. She should keep him in the friend-zone but she is destined to be in his bed and under his kinky control.

Maxwell’s divorce offers him a new beginning in his hometown and the freedom to explore what it means to be a Dom. He never guessed his online submissive, Jay, was his little sister’s best friend. She is almost like family and she should be off limits. But he’s done denying what he wants, and what he wants right now is Jaymie in his bed, preferably tied to each corner.

It may have taken them years to get to this point, but it was always bound to happen.

Craving Stassi (Fantasies Unmasked Book 2) by Erica Lynn

Erotic Romance

Stassi Sanderson knows what it’s like to be alone. Her father left when she was six-years-old; her mother did her best, but may as well have gone with him. Those hard times taught her a valuable lesson: people always disappoint.

For Stassi, the private parties are her safe haven. From loneliness. From expectations. A place where she can slip on a mask and be the woman she wants to be, instead of the part she plays. The tall, stunning blonde who isn’t afraid to relax and simply feel. Who pushes her erotic boundaries. The party’s anonymity allows her to explore her own brand of intimacy on her own terms…until she meets him.

Alec Taylor goes after what he wants. He wanted a successful restaurant, he made it happen. When he began running the private parties as a favor to a friend, he turned them into an intensely erotic environment where people could live out their fantasies free of judgement. And now? Now he wants Stassi. Needs her. Craves her with a force he hasn’t felt in a long, long time.

As much as Stassi would prefer he be nothing more than a party favor, Alec is determined to show her the kind of man he is. A man who will love her, protect her, and never, ever leave.

Desiring Lacey: Volume 1 (Fantasies Unmasked) by Erica Lynn

Erotic Romance

Lacey Wilson is a lot of things. She’s beautiful. Sweet. A little sassy. And about to be divorced. Now, on the verge of turning thirty, she’s on a mission to find herself, both emotionally and sexually. No attachments. No baggage. No problems. But when her best friend convinces her to attend a private party, where masked men and women go to have a little anonymous fun, she finds herself staring into the eyes of the most incredible man she’s ever seen, and caution gets thrown to the wind. After all, what’s just one night?

Cameron Jennings likes to keep things simple. He helps out at his father’s garage during the day, then goes home to a few beers and TV. No muss, no fuss. Until one night when he’s working as the doorman at a private party, and meets her… Once he slips the purple mask over Lacey’s eyes and gets a taste of what she has to offer, he’s done for.

With Lacey on a mission to rebuild her life, and Cameron completely infatuated, will she be able to convince him they could never have a real future after the way they met? Or will he prove her wrong?

Invitation to Play (A Men of Steele Novella Book 1) by Zoë Mullins

Erotic Romance

Deacon has never been the jealous type. Sharing his sub was an integral part of their relationship, especially before they were married. It’s been a year since they’ve invited another to play with them, but then Deacon and Sherri meet Kai, the intriguing ex-Air Force Captain turned tattoo artist.

Kai didn’t care if people thought he was gay, but having his father – the Colonel – shame him publicly for it was more than Kai could take. He moved across the country to start an honest life. He didn’t expect that life would include a new relationship.

Kai isn’t sure where he fits into Deacon and Sherri’s relationship – they didn’t need a bisexual Dom with a chip on his shoulder… or did they?

Reader Advisory: Grab a glass of wine, sit back and relax. This story has two hot Doms and their pampered sub -tonight no one is going to bed unsatisfied. Graphic sexual language and scenes are to be expected. (BDSM, MMF and MM scenes)

No Reservations by R.E. Hargrave

Erotica

Selena and Dakota Derringer have been trying to get pregnant for a year without much luck. When their latest test is once again negative, they accept an invitation from old friends for an adult weekend away instead of letting it get them down.

Selena’s old college roommate Trinity Marshall, and her husband Joey, are both thrill seekers. In and out of the bedroom. When the couple suggest more than just wine and talking, will the Derringers accept their friends’ special proposition? What will come of their actions if they do?

Sometimes in life you just need to throw caution to the wind.

Let go.

Be adventurous.

Have no reservations.

✯ ✯ ✯ ✯

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Fire Lust

FIRE LUST

by R.E. Hargrave

 

Genre: Erotica

Heather Marsden and Cody Stevens have been an item since their first year of high school. With their future planned and their college graduation within reach, Cody gets devastating news from his doctor. Heather must now cope with the knowledge that she might lose the man who was supposed to be her forever. While trying to come up with a grand final birthday surprise for him, Heather ends up befriending the new girl in town. Suzanne Cross lives a hippie life full of color and extravagance, seemingly without a care in the world. In truth, she’s all alone and hides a secret.

Heather’s new friend is something more than human, but how far will she be willing to go to save Cody? Just how much faith in “love” can she muster?

***Contains adult material, including sex and recreational drug use. Meant for readers 18+***

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Domestic engineer. Author. Burgeoning editor. And quite possibly certifiable. Believing every story can shine bright with a bit of tenacious tough love, R.E. Hargrave is thorough and to the point. An international bestselling author, she takes storytelling and manuscript polishing seriously, working with her authors and on her own creations to ensure they come to life, crawling from the pages and into the reader’s souls.

Hargrave lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX and is married to her high school sweetheart; together they are raising three children. A native ‘mutt,’ she has lived in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and California. She is fond of setting her stories—which range from the sweet to the paranormal, to the erotic and horrific—on location in South Carolina and Texas.

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New Release

Synopsis

I am Knox The Assassin Ambrose. I loved an angel, yet couldn’t keep her. These hands of mine, they make people bleed. They rain down pain upon sweet pain. Break a man’s bones with just one swift southpaw to the jaw. I’m an Assassin of men’s’ bodies and women’s hearts. I don’t do nice. I’m Raw, Rough and Unwavering in my quest to be the best.

I feed on my enemy’s hate, turning it into power and strength. I know how to fight with my fists but I also know how to destroy you without a single touch. I fucking clawed my way to the top and that is where I’ll stay.

No need to seek the warmth of a woman’s arms as I had them all falling at my feet, then like a southpaw to the jaw she was there. Stuck in my mind’s eyes, haunting my dreams and etching in under my skin. The more this new beauty holds my attention, the more I lose of my angel, the one who first saved me. To top it off, she has her eyes, so every time I look at her, I’m reminded of what I’ve lost. She’s taking over my senses and turning my brutal world upside down.

Gone is the Knox my angel loved, instead I’m fighting harder than ever before. Maybe just maybe I can find that love my soul craves. Miss Blue-James; can she accept the monster I’ve become? She has her own deep, dark secrets and evil is chasing her tail, seeking to bring her down.

But the evil hell-bent on destroying her hasn’t met me yet. I won’t fail her the way I failed my angel. Tick Tock goes the clock.

Buy Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076LD3YVB/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B076LD3YVB

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076LD3YVB

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B076LD3YVB/

Links

Facebook Release Event New Zealand October 26th 4:45p-11:00p NZ-

https://www.facebook.com/events/1601845639865768/

Facebook Release Event USA October 27th 4:00p-11:00p Eastern-

https://www.facebook.com/events/1465410740204469

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AUTHOR FAN PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAleishaMaree/

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Publisher– Wild Dreams Publishing

About The Author

I am Aleisha Maree and I write contemporary romance, with a dark erotic sexy side and a paranormal twist. Also, I write an MC Series. I am a wife to an amazing man who is the love of my life that is my soul mate in this crazy world & I am mother bear to 6 little hellhounds as otherwise known as my kids that mean more to me than breathing in this world. I am from a small village called Wakefield in the South Island of New Zealand it’s the most beautiful stunning place to live in this world. I have had a remarkable childhood with people who are still by my side who are part of my world of crazy.

Reading and getting lost in the world of words and peoples remarkable thoughts has always been the greatest form of escape and the most magical journey for me. I have installed my love for reading into my children with a home overflowing with books.

I have spent the last 15 years being a mother, wife and until now have put my writing and the amazing voices of these hot alphas and ladies in lace on the back burner but with life slowing down just a little and the kiddies just about all off too school, the voices got louder and wanted to come out and play so with that being said enjoy them and the ride it’s sure to be a fun one.

There will be happily ever after’s as well as intense dark loves devils and demons with angels thrown in here and there.

This is going to be an epic journey through my mind so I hope you enjoy the chaos.

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Freeing the Beast

FREEING THE BEAST

Taming the Beast, book 1

by Tina Donahue

Genre: Erotic Paranormal – Romantic Comedy

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

For Becca Salt being a witch isn’t all magic. Too curvy and lonely, she spends her nights running a makeover service for demons, vamps, weres and zombies who want to project a more human, normal side. Their goal? To get the babes without the authorities hunting them down like rabid dogs. Once Becca suppresses the worst of their beast, they’re on the hunt and gone.

Dating has been a definite bitch for Eric Diletto. Although he’s hot and hung, he’s also one of Cupid’s descendants—a god born to believe in courtship, courtesy and all that other junk. Tired of women dumping him for the bad boys, Eric hires Becca to release his inner beast. Grrrr.

Two potions later, they’re crawling all over each other. With Eric’s newfound dominance, he’s definitely the man. And the god, who intends to take Becca here, there and everywhere. Who said sorcery and love wasn’t fun?

Warning—a witchdoctor’s nightmare. Contains potions with weird side effects, a sorceress with limited magical skills and a yearning heart, plus a minor god who wants to get down and dirty. Bad, bad boy.

Ingredients for potions, along with books containing ancient and contemporary spells, littered Becca Salt’s desk at From Crud to Stud, her New Orleans makeover service for supernatural beings.

As a business owner, she had no equal. She’d worked feverishly these last years, putting in the hours and expending the proverbial blood, sweat and tears to grow her company. When it came to management, hiring, promotion or a vision for the future, she had no equal.

As far as magic and attracting guys went, she was a total freaking dud. Love, it seemed, would never come her way. Conjuring, neither.

“Dammit, you can do this.” She was a smart woman, able to rack up a perfect score on the SAT without cracking one textbook, which she’d hated, or cheating with sorcery. Witchcraft should have been a breeze.

If only she could concentrate on this stuff.

Designated Survivor played on her computer screen. Poor Kiefer Sutherland was in a hell of a mess trying to keep the country together while also dodging bullets, conspiracies and backstabbing lawmakers. Her addiction to this show, plus Superstore, The Blacklist, Blindspot and The Good Fight was her downfall. She also sensed being half witch and half mortal had something to do with her difficulty in mastering her craft. If her dad had been a warlock rather than a Democrat and a Teamster, she might have been into this stuff.

Her mom, Rowena, a crackerjack witch from an esteemed covern, hadn’t agreed. “Study more and you’ll do fine,” she’d told Becca the other day. “This stuff’s easier than what you had to do in high school.”

She begged to differ. Dodging the mean girls, being invisible to the guys, navigating each horribly long day without a clique to protect her and looking as she did had been brutal. She wasn’t a ghoul by any means, but she had boobs, hips and thighs like a normal person rather than a high-fashion model.

Countless diets later, here she was, nowhere close to a size zero and desperately wanting a Meat Lover’s pizza chased by a Dove Bar.

Her stomach growled. Frustrated but determined, she waited until the commercial break and tried a simple trick—jerking her finger to open the age-old spells book.

The volume spun, flew across the room and landed on her needlepoint sofa.

“Crap.” She paged through a witchcraft primer the old-fashioned way, like people had to do with print books before e-Readers had come around. Even though Google was supposed to contain all the information in the universe, including how to construct bombs, neither black nor white magic was included in its repertoire.

She rifled faster, her only option. The publication lacked an index and wasn’t organized in any logical manner that she could determine. Whoever put this thing together should be strangled. A page tore. If she’d been at the top of her game, she would have repaired it by wiggling her nose as Samantha Stephens had done in that old TV show Bewitched. More than once, Becca had wondered why even the best witch would bother invoking powers to get material stuff. Next-day Amazon service, delivery drones and credit cards had made these skills unnecessary.

The commercial break ended. Kiefer was back, looking freaked out by the latest disaster but still presidential. She’d reached a page with instructions on how to change channels on a TV or cable programs on a laptop without using a remote, keystrokes or a mouse. At last, something she could use. Before she read details, she checked the copyright date. This baby had been written in the early nineteen-fifties but had regular updates. The last one had happened in the mid nineteen-eighties.

Sorcerers had to get with the times or they’d become as obsolete as looking stuff up rather than asking Siri for data, like a civilized person should.

After scanning the details for changing a show on a computer, she waited until the Designated Survivor credits scrolled down the screen. “Here goes.” She held her breath, religiously repeated the words she needed and moved her finger in a tight circle as indicated in the graphic.

Her laptop shut off, powered back on and opened on a page for an advertisement selling potions at a discount. Even for a witch, there was no relief from pop-up ads.

Footfalls sounded in the hall and rushed toward her office.

Just what she didn’t need, a staff member seeing her struggle with this stuff. Already her screw-ups with magic were legendary. Thankfully, she could count on her mom’s assistance those few times someone needed conjuring that worked. Witchcraft was old-fashioned compared to moonlight therapy for weres, behavioral and aversion treatments for vamps, personality and charm courses for zombies. Nothing but the latest innovations for her clients.

With little time to hide these things the normal way, Becca muttered the words to make junk disappear and waved her hands for good measure.

Several books disintegrated, leaving paper dust in their wake. Others landed in her desk drawers. She could live with that. The potion ingredients settled behind her potted plants. From certain angles they were, indeed, invisible. She burst with pride. After some tweaking on the words and hand gestures, she’d have this spell down pat. Only a zillion others to go.

“Yo.” Zoe stormed inside. “He’s still not here.”

Becca pulled up Excel on her laptop. “Who isn’t?”

“Our client,” Zoe fumed, looking like a waif from Hell, which she basically was. As a former human turned demon who’d crossed back to the lighter, mortal side, she’d taken to dressing like a Catholic schoolgirl. She wore a green plaid skirt that landed mid-calf, anklet socks, saddle shoes and a long-sleeved white blouse with a Peter Pan collar—a sweet, wholesome image except for her facial piercings. Four studs decorated her lower lip, two graced the bridge across her nose, a ring hung through one nostril and several adorned her dark eyebrows. The metal on her face glinted in the glow from streetlights that streamed through the windows. “The photographer’s waited ten minutes already.”

Ah, now Becca understood. He was here to shoot a demon’s ‘after’ pictures to advertise the service for male shifters, genies, reapers, demons—and otherworldly beings. Every night, the staff whipped those poor slobs into shape so they could suppress their worst otherworldly natures, along with the problems that created, and present to mortal women as hotter-than-hell guys. For the most part.

Restraining all that evil and supernatural power wasn’t easy.

Not even for a trooper like poor Zoe, one of Becca’s BFFs and the best enforcer the service had ever had. If customers got too frisky or refused to do as the other staffers asked, Zoe got on their case and made them obey. Right now, irritation smoldered in her black eyes where sparks built from pinpoints to two wiggling flames. The red-orange color was seriously at odds with her pale skin and demure outfit.

Before Zoe had a literal meltdown, Becca talked fast. “Do we know where he lives?”

Once she had the client’s location, she could send another customer to haul him in. Preferably a zombie. Those guys could give an IRS agent a run for his money. No matter what obstacles zombies faced, they kept coming and coming and coming. Not unlike the Energizer Bunny.

“He gave us an address not too far from here.” Zoe cleared the gravel from her throat that made her sound like the centuries-old demon she was. She crossed her skinny arms over her chest, possibly to control her unruly emotions. Didn’t work. Smoke rose from her long raven hair and shoulders and gave off a nasty sulfur stench. “I’ve called his cell phone twelve times. It keeps going to voice mail.” She huffed. “He was our best freaking success.”

“And we’ll get him here.” In a cage, if nothing else worked. “Tell the photographer to chill. We’ll pay overtime. Then help the staffers with our other clients.”

They filled every treatment room tonight. Their hissing, growls and howls proved mild compared to the raucous outside sounds. Despite being ninety degrees with equally high humidity, this street in the French Quarter boomed with life. Tourists, musicians, locals and businesspeople partied hearty, each unaware of what went on in the salon.

“Okay.” Zoe slumped and eyed the dust pile on Becca’s desk. “Ah…sorry for losing my cool.”

“Not a prob. It’s a very human trait.”

Zoe showed her teeth. For her, that was a grateful smile. Batting smoke away from her face, she trudged to the door, stopped and stared at the ingredients peeking out from behind the potted plants.

She didn’t ask what they were doing there or comment about her boss’s lousy magic skills.

Becca buzzed the reception desk where Heather, another BFF, greeted, scheduled and rang out customers.

No answer.

“Heather!” Becca wanted her to work on getting the AWOL client here.

Still no response.

Nothing was going right tonight, which made it like the others in their business.

Swearing, Becca hurried down the hall and searched for Heather. She wasn’t in the break room. There, two vampires guzzled bottles of imported blood. Their pasty skin was almost rosy from the workout they’d been through.

The guy on the left resembled a young Brad Pitt. He gave her a thumbs-up. The other one, a dead ringer for Colin Farrell, gave her the finger.

Becca pushed out her lower lip. “Tough night, huh?”

He hung his head. “This shit is so hard.”

“But worth it, right? You said you wanted that mortal babe who lives down the street from you.”

A longing groan poured from him, followed by a gentle sigh. “Unfortunately.”

Vamps were so cute when they craved a woman for companionship rather than her plasma. “Who said love would be easy?”

“It could be.” Hope shone in his pale gray eyes. “All I have to do is turn her then she’d be mine. For, like, always.”

The other vamp nodded in encouragement.

Becca got tough. “Doing that wouldn’t be playing fair. That’s why you’re here.”

Although these sorry souls could force mortals to their side for whatever they wanted, including adoration, love like that wasn’t earned. It never satisfied for long. Doing things the human way by wooing the girl and winning her over with nothing except their innate charm was more intoxicating than every power the mortal and paranormal world offered.

Becca had witnessed it first-hand with her parents. Years ago, her mom could have cast a spell to snare Wade Salt, the only man she’d ever loved, but she’d let nature take its course. Next month, they’d celebrate their thirtieth anniversary.

A sweet and lasting romance Becca would have liked for herself with a one-in-a-million guy. Wasn’t in the cards. When it came to males, she always struck out whether they were paras or human. “I would hope you’re not thinking of turning a woman against her will.”

The vamps shot guilty looks at each other.

They needed additional workouts. Becca made a mental note to have Heather book them every night next week. She pointed at their bottles. “Don’t waste a drop of that stuff. It’s expensive.”

The one on the left read the label. “Little wonder. Comes from European aristocracy.”

If that were true, then Becca was Chaz Bono and Paris Hilton’s love child. “Only the best for you guys.”

She rushed down the hall. Emblazoned on the walls was the company name, From Crud to Stud. Beneath those words the advertising motto read ‘Suppressing the Beast’.

A creature snarled from behind a door on the left.

Heather moaned and made pained noises. “Oh, no. Really no. Please no. Try to relax.”

Snapping noises answered her. Skittering sounds followed.

If Becca had to guess, Heather had put distance between herself and the guy’s teeth.

Zoe’s distinctive growl sounded from inside the room. “Stay over there.” Something slammed into the wall. Possibly her fist. “I’ll handle him.”

A wise plan since Heather was a good fairy whose only power lay in healing. She knew to wait until Zoe had muzzled the guy before fixing whatever he’d hurt.

Wanting Heather out here, Becca raised her fist to knock.

The front door swung open.

Heat and humidity poured inside, along with racket from the street party. Drunken voices mingled with throaty laughter, pounding drums and trumpets. The instruments reached and held their highest notes.

A guy slipped inside. At least six-three, he had an athlete’s build—lean and muscular, his shoulders broad, hips narrow, thighs powerful.

Becca’s pulse thumped in her ears, drowning out the other sounds. She stepped closer.

Classically handsome, he wore his hair preppy-style, longer on the top, shorter on the sides. Those locks were a warm chestnut brown streaked by the sun and tousled, begging for a woman to smooth them back.

Becca lowered her hand. She hadn’t intended to lift it.

His golden complexion spoke of days spent outdoors, perhaps from skinny-dipping in a pool, water streaming over his firm pecs and abs, the dark curls between his legs trapping the moisture, his rock-hard cock jutting out, inflexible as iron, sleek as a spear.

She suppressed a delighted shiver.

He wore leather loafers, beige khakis and a white dress shirt opened at the collar, the sleeves folded back to mid-forearm.

Masculine yet civilized.

The staff had done an outstanding job on this guy’s makeover. No wonder Zoe had suggested him for the advertising pieces. A fat raise for everyone was in order. Maybe even part ownership in this place. They’d made this dude over to the nth degree from…

Becca wasn’t certain what kind of demon he was or his level in Hell. She’d never met him before. Maybe he’d taken so long to get there because he couldn’t pull himself away from the god he now saw in his mirror.

He regarded the reception area as one would when seeing it for a first time or through different eyes…a reformed demon’s eyes. Potted plants and feathery ferns abounded. The faux brick floor, coral walls and gas wall fixtures radiated warmth and an earthy, sensual feel in keeping with the area’s culture.

It was also romantic.

That was why most paras signed up for the ordeals they’d face here. They were having problems with babes and wanted a solution, even if it was painful.

Hissing noises flowed from a room on the right. On the left, muffled groans sounded faintly sexual.

Could be that was why this guy was late. He’d already seduced a new lover and had been reluctant to leave her.

The thick ridge behind his fly held enormous promise. Some women had all the luck. Becca, on the other hand, had a business to run.

Reining in her desire, she joined him in the reception area. “Do you have any idea how late it is?”

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Tina is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

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