Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Release Blitz: Carnal Recovery by Victoria Bright

carnal recovery release release blitz
Carnal Recover by V
Book Title: Carnal Recovery Author: Victoria Bright Genre: Erotica Release Date: March 9, 2016 Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
book blurb
I thought no one could tame me until I met him… My life revolved around two things— sex and power. As a sex therapist, I helped couples with their intimacy issues while appearing to lead a typical single life. Although I lived a civilized life during the day, by nightfall I transformed into my sadistic, dominating persona. When a session with my submissive left him severely injured, I found myself sitting in Xavier Bennett’s office for court-ordered therapy. It was one thing to reveal the skeletons in my closet, but it was a different ball game to confess these demons to my colleague. Little did I know, he harbored dark secrets of his own. After receiving an invitation to assist Xavier with his marriage retreat, I soon learn his intentions weren't what they seemed. What I thought would be a relaxing work-related vacation turned into a mental bloodbath as we both fought for dominance. Walls will come tumbling down and someone’s bound to get hurt. There can only be one Master. Who will come out on top and who will surrender?
There’s a first time for everything “So…” I started, looking at the couple sitting in front of me. We’d been in my office for almost twenty minutes and they hadn’t said a word to me or each other. Although they sat next to each other, they were facing the opposite direction, as if in a standoff. Glancing down at their file, I tapped my pen against my chin and cleared my throat. “Mr. and Mrs. Patterson?” I called. They cut their eyes in my direction for a split moment before finally turning to face me. Silence. “Yeah, hi. I’m Gia Valencia, you know, a sex therapist. How can I help you?” Still nothing. I clicked my manicured nails against the polished surface of my desk, irritation filling me as I waited for them to speak. When it became apparent that they weren’t ready to say anything, I felt it was the right time to remind them of something that would make anyone talk. “Let me catch you two up to speed. We’ve already wasted nearly half an hour because the both of you are being immature. Please remember that whether or not you say a word in here today, it’s still going to cost you $175 an hour. Now I’ll ask you again; how can I help you?” The wife glared at her husband and folded her arms across her chest. “My husband is gay.” Well then. That escalated quickly. My gaze drifted over to her husband, who scowled without a word. “Mr…” I glanced at the clipboard. “Justin, is it?” “Yes.” “Do you know where these accusations stem from?” He gave a nonchalant shrug. “Because I watch porn instead of having sex with her.” “Gay porn?” I inquired, scribbling notes on my legal pad. “What the fuck?” “This is a judgement-free zone, so don’t worry. So do you?” He scoffed. “Fuck no! Do I look gay to you?” “Yeah, right,” Mrs. Patterson muttered, shifting in her chair as she crossed her legs. I blinked a few times without a word. Everyone who was gay didn’t have to “look” gay. I turned back to my notes and continued. “So you only view straight porn then?” “Well, yeah and maybe some girl-on-girl action occasionally.” “I see,” I noted, focusing on my notepad. Justin Patterson -Possibly addicted to porn -Detrimental to relationship -Wife is obviously dick deprived (off the record) I turned back to the couple with a nod. “How many times do you watch it, Justin?” I asked. He slouched down in his chair, his forehead crinkling in discomfort. “Once a week? Once a day?” “Hell if I know. I’m not counting—“ “See? He’s either gay or cheating!” Mrs. Patterson shrieked. “Maybe if you weren’t such a dead fish in bed, I wouldn’t have to resort to porn!” he bellowed, spittle flying from his mouth. The surprise on Mrs. Patterson’s face morphed into anger in an instant as she stared at her husband. “A dead fish? You’re not that exciting yourself, buddy!” “Enough,” I stated, tapping my pen on my desk. They both grunted in displeasure, going back to avoiding eye contact with each other. With a low whistle, I noted his outburst. -Root of problem is probably boredom in the bedroom “Justin, when you say ‘dead fish’, what are you referring to?” I drawled. I knew exactly what he meant and felt the question was just a roadblock to getting to the real issue. But since this was a couples session, everything had to be explained to prevent miscommunication between them if their significant other didn’t know what it meant. “She just lays there and does nothing. There’s nothing exciting about our sex life anymore. We used to be spontaneous and ready to go at the drop of a hat. Now she doesn’t want to try anything new and she never wants to have sex when I’m ready. I was tired of being rejected by her, so I stopped asking and found another outlet. Now she’s upset and has it in her head that I’m gay, which is fucking absurd,” he spat, turning his gaze to the window. -Rejection from wife pushes him to view porn instead of being with her “Mrs. Patterson—“ “Call me Donna, please. I don’t even want to be associated with his last name—“ “Then divorce me!” he snapped. “Whoa, tiger. We don’t discuss divorce in sex therapy, got it? Things are a bit heated right now, so let’s take a deep breath and regroup,” I suggested, inhaling deep and exhaling. They soon followed suit, breathing in and out a couple of times. “Everyone good?” I asked. They responded with a solemn nod, looking at the floor in shame. “Okay then. The reason you guys are here is because you want to work through whatever issues you’re having. In order to do that, the hostility has to be out of the equation. Understood?” I asked, focusing on Donna. She eyed her husband for a brief moment before responding with a timid nod. “Yes.” “Yes what?” I corrected her. She raised an eyebrow and glanced at my desk plate. “Yes, Dr. Valencia?” she answered. After a few moments of awkward silence, I realized my mistake. I was waiting for her to respond with, “Yes, Mistress,” completely forgetting that she wasn’t my slave. I was at work, not in my pleasure den. What in the hell was I thinking? Deciding to push the weird exchange behind me, I leaned back in my chair and assessed them. They appeared to be in their early thirties. Justin was athletically built with sandy blonde hair and eyes so blue they appeared to hold the sky. His strong jaw was lightly covered in facial hair, giving him a tired, overworked look. Donna’s auburn hair was pulled into a tight bun and decorated with flower pins. I was convinced it was a cheesy idea she pulled from Pinterest. Despite her childish up-do, she was strikingly beautiful with her dazzling, soft brown eyes and a baby doll face. Her porcelain, ivory skin was smooth and achieved tightness and youth that only Botox could offer. She appeared to be the dainty, petite type until she opened her mouth. Some people were just more attractive when they didn’t talk. “What do you guys do for a living? What’s your life like?” I asked as I leaned forward on my elbows. “I own a construction company, so I spend many days working on contracts for the city,” Justin said. “Nurse,” Donna answered. “Were you two working these jobs when you first met?” They nodded. “So if you both had the energy back then to be, as Justin puts it, ‘ready to go at the drop of a hat’, what changed?” I asked. They were silent for a few seconds as Donna fiddled with her hands. “Things haven’t been the same after I had a miscarriage last year,” she said in an octave above a whisper. Justin hung his head, trying to hide the sadness evident on his face. “I’m really sorry to hear that,” I stated. She pursed her lips together. “After it happened, it seemed like Justin threw himself into work, so much that I didn’t see him a lot. We wouldn’t say anything to each other for days unless it was a question about a bill that needed to be paid or when he wanted to have sex. It made me feel as if the only purpose he had for me was burying himself inside of me. I felt as if he blamed me for what happened,” she confessed, her voice cracking toward the end. Justin looked at her with wide eyes and shook his head. “Donna, I…I never thought it was your fault. I would never think that,” he said, taking her hand into his. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she looked at him. “I guess I was caught up in my own grief and didn’t take the time to just talk to you about how I felt.” He caressed her cheek with his thumb. I clasped my hands together. “It doesn’t seem like your problem is necessarily sex. You guys had a great miscommunication that eventually affected your whole life, not just your sex life,” I stated. He planted a soft kiss on her hand and turned back to me. “Losing our child was hard, but I felt that I had to be strong for us—“ “But how can you be strong for me when you weren’t there? You never talked about it. Sex doesn’t fix everything. I’m not a mind reader, Justin. Your actions spoke when your words didn’t,” she said. “And for that, I’m sorry. For the record, I do love you and I don’t blame you for what happened. Some things are out of our control and that was one of them. I want this to work with us, Donna. If I have to ditch the porn, I’ll do that if it’ll make you happy,” he bargained. She gave him a shy smile and wiped her eyes. “How about this? For your homework assignment until your next appointment, how about you watch something together? Involve her in something you enjoy. Porn isn’t a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be your only option when you have a beautiful wife,” I suggested with a smile. Justin looked at Donna with hopeful eyes, causing her to giggle. “That doesn’t sound so bad,” she admitted. “Great. Now if things lead to sex while watching this, I want you to write how it felt to reconnect,” I said. When they raised their eyebrows, I added, “Spare the physical details. I just want to know the emotional part.” They nodded, relief flashing in their eyes. I pulled out an appointment card and filled it out, handing it to Donna. “We’ll see where you two are in a week and go from there. Don’t forget your assignment,” I winked, sending them on their way. I breathed a sigh of relief once they were out of sight. Just as I closed my eyes to relax, my phone vibrated in my desk. “What does a girl have to do to get a moment of peace around here?” I muttered to myself as I retrieved my phone. An amused grin pulled at my lips as I viewed the text message from one of my slaves. Slave Martin: I hope this pleases you, Mistress. Attached was a photo of him in a full length mirror wearing nothing but a mask and a black g-string. Since my slaves didn’t live with me, they were required to only wear what they thought would be pleasing to me and send photos to me every three hours until we met later on in the evening. There were to never show their faces in their photos; they weren’t allowed to be humanized before their master. G: Although this pleases me, you’ve failed to report in two times today. You already know what that means. After a brief moment, he sent a response. Slave: I’m sorry, Mistress. I will take whatever punishment you give me. A solid knock sounded on my doorframe. Thinking it was Zoe, my secretary, I didn’t bother looking up from my phone. “Yeah?” “I was wondering if you had time for another session? I need some ideas to surprise my soon-to-be husband on our wedding night.” My head snapped up at the sound of her voice. “Arianna!” I squealed, jumping up from my chair and rushing over to her. We shared a tight embrace before I held her out in front of me. “You look like you’re getting plenty of sun and probably just as much sex,” I teased. She blushed. You’d think that being engaged to an unconfirmed nymphomaniac would cause her to ditch the prude act. “Things never change with you,” she giggled with a shake of her head. I motioned for her to sit and took a seat next to her. “When did you get here? You should’ve told me you were coming so I could’ve taken a day off or something!” I said. I hadn’t seen her in the flesh in a year due to our hectic schedules, but it was great to see her. Miami was definitely treating her well. Her skin was a shade or two darker and she glowed with happiness. They always say when you found your soulmate, it showed. That was definitely the case with Arianna. She also seemed a lot slimmer than I remembered in her white lace romper paired with sexy gold glitter Steve Madden pumps. If I didn’t know any better, I would think a new woman was sitting next me. “It was a last minute thing. Zane had to check on some things at the restaurant. I hope you’ve been behaving at least,” she smirked. I dismissed her comment with a wave of my hand. “Did your move to Miami cause you to forget who you’re talking to? What is this ‘behave’ nonsense you speak of?” I asked. She giggled and gave me a knowing look. “You’re definitely right. Giavanna Valencia—“ “You know I hate when you call me that,” I gritted. “Sorry, Gia, but I should’ve remembered anything dealing with behaving is unknown to you,” she smirked. I rolled my eyes Anyway, how long are you here?” “Just a couple of days. While I’m here, can you come with me to get measured for my dress?” “Of course! First things first, I need to see that ring of yours!” I squealed, reaching out for her hand. She giggled and placed her hand in mind, showing her diamond engagement ring in all its glory. “The picture you sent did this thing no justice at all. It’s gorgeous!” I gushed. She smiled and pulled back with a nod. “It still doesn’t feel real,” she murmured, admiring it. Seeing my best friend basking in genuine happiness was refreshing. She seemed to be doing so much better since she ditched that dickhole Julius and her annoying, controlling parents. Not only was she a successful author, she was now preparing to marry the man of her dreams. Despite all of the shit she had to go through to get to this point, it all appeared to pay off. Arianna looked at her watch. “Do you feel like meeting with the seamstress right now?” she asked. “Hell, I’m not doing anything else,” I said, standing and retrieving my purse from behind my desk. As we walked down the hall toward the elevator, my colleague, Xavier stepped out of his office, nearly running into us. “Whoa, sorry there, ladies,” he apologized before steadying his gaze on me. “Ms. Valencia,” he said, a small smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. I rolled my eyes. “Xavier,” I clipped, trying to move around him. After a brief, awkward stare down, I finally said, “Well, can we pass? This hallway is narrow and my hips won’t allow the both of us to pass.” He grinned and stepped aside, allowing Arianna and I to move around him. Arianna glanced over her shoulder as we walked away and shook her head at me. “I think he likes you,” she said. “Who, Xavier?” “Uh yeah.” “Why in the world would you think that? Actually, it doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t be interested anyhow.” “Whatever, G. You can’t block yourself from love forever. Someone is going to tame you one of these days,” she said. I laughed and gave her shoulder a playful shake. “You’ve obtained a sense a humor since you’ve moved away, my dear. It’ll be a cold day in hell before someone tames this beast.”
Gias tagline teaser 1
meet the author
Victoria Bright is from a small town in North Carolina and currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina. You can usually find her hoarding bottles of Cool Blue Gatorade, playing The Sims when not writing, or obsessing over Camaros.
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Carnal Recover by Victoria Bright

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Favorite Obsession by Nancy Corrigan. Forbidden is in the eye of the beholder.

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Forbidden is in the eye of the beholder.
As a human living among shifters, Josh Conway is expected to abide by Pride law. But he’s never been very good at following rules. He’d rather make his own. The habit has gotten him in trouble over the years, but it’s all about the endgame. And this time he knows exactly what he wants—the gorgeous feline shifter who’s off-limits.
Mira is his. He knew it the moment he looked into her eyes. Of course, convincing her of the truth involves overcoming a prophecy, her protective family, and the little issue of them being different species. No big deal. He’ll figure out a way to make it work. His mind is made up. He’s not letting his woman go. Ever.
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A true romantic at heart, Nancy Corrigan is convinced there’s a knight in shining armor for every woman (or man), but you won’t find damsels in distress in her stories. She adores pairing alpha heroes with women strong enough to match them and bring them to their knees. She also enjoys flipping the traditional roles in romances because her motto is—love and people should never be forced to conform to anyone’s norm.
She holds a degree in chemistry and has worked in research but now focuses on ensuring quality. She considers it the perfect outlet for her as she’s the first to admit she has some OCD tendencies. It carries over into her writing life too. While engrossed in a novel, she has a habit of forgetting to eat and sleep. Fortunately, she’s married to her own knight in shining armor who understands her oddities and loves her anyway. They reside in Pennsylvania with their three children, dog, snake and guinea pigs. Her other interests include tattoos, animals, classic cars and all things spooky and sexy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Today is the release of Fatal Games by Lee Ann Jones. Book 2 in The Rockford Security Series.

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Laura Rockford needs that big break that will move her journalism career from fluff pieces to serious news. When she stumbles across a bizarre murder scene in downtown Vegas, she finally gets her chance. Even more so when her older brother spills the beans that could implicate a video game programming genius. For once in her career Laura has a lead that the police don’t know about. She flings herself head-first into digging up everything she can to break the case, oblivious to any personal danger in confronting a possible killer. After all, how hard can it be to wheedle information out of a geeky reclusive computer nerd?
Mike McQuaid is anything but geeky–unless you consider a ruggedly handsome face and a sexy as hell male model body with a computer genius brain geeky. But he is reclusive – he has to be because he has a deep, dark secret and he can’t let anyone get close enough to discover it. Not even the hot little journalist that shows up at his penthouse begging for an interview.
With the body count rising and Laura and Mike’s attraction sizzling out of control, Laura does what any good journalist would do. She digs in even deeper. But she soon discovers that some secrets should stay buried and trusting the wrong person could have consequences much more deadly than just losing her heart.
Lee Anne Jones is the more romantic alter-ego of USA Today Bestselling Author Leighann Dobbs. As Jones, she writes heart thudding romantic suspense guaranteed to keep you up all night.
She lives in the lakes region of New Hampshire with her fishing obsessed husband, her feisty and loyal chihuahua and a cat that thinks she's the boss.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Read an excerpt from Save me by Margaret Watson, book 7 in the Donovan Family.

Save Me
Chapter 1

"Damn that bastard Bennett."
Livvy Marini slammed her office door closed, then tossed the file onto her desk with a little too much force.  The manila folder slid across the surface, bumped into the stack of files piled on one side and toppled off the edge.  The folder landed in her chair, the contents fluttering to the floor.
Livvy closed her eyes for a long moment and breathed deeply.  When she was certain she wouldn't scream with frustration, she gathered the papers and evened them up before replacing them in the folder.  Still fuming, she threw herself into her chair and shoved her fingers through her hair.  A few strands whispered over her face.  Damn it!  She'd spent a lot of time on the elaborate French braid that morning.
Sighing, she tucked the hair she'd pulled loose behind her ear, opened the folder and re-assembled it in the correct order.  Stared at the picture on the first page.
Anson Bates.  Former cop.  Arrested a month ago, sitting in jail, awaiting trial.  Bates had been charged with four counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, drug distribution, assaulting a police officer and a whole page of lesser offenses.
Everyone in the State's Attorney's office knew who he was.  Bates was a high profile case.  National-news high profile.
Bates had been denied bail right after his arrest.  But now he had a new lawyer.  And Henry Bennett had just petitioned for another bail hearing.
Bennett was the most well-known criminal defense attorney in the city.  The most successful.
The most expensive.
Bates' property and money had been impounded – the fruit of his drug crimes.  If he was acquitted, he'd get it back.  But he couldn't use it for his defense.
So who the hell was paying for Bennett?
More important, how could the SA's office stop Bates from making bail?
This case was a career-maker, and Livvy wanted to be part of it.  But since her sister Cilla had been the detective who'd arrested Bates, there was no way Livvy would be in the public eye on this one.
She'd begged to be allowed to do something.  Her boss had handed her this file, with instructions to get as much information as possible from this witness.
Ryan bleeping Ward.
Bates' partner.  A hothead.  An adrenaline junkie.
A cop her sister Cilla had arrested for roughing up a suspect.
Yeah, Livvy knew all about Ward, too.
She wondered if Gus knew about her connection to Ward.  She shook her head, flopping back in the chair.  Of course the Cook County State's Attorney knew about it.  Gus Swenson was the ultimate political animal.  He knew everything about his assistant SA's, and he'd use Livvy's distaste for Ward to make sure she dug hard into what Bates' partner knew.
And if Livvy didn't want to question Ward?  If she still harbored a grudge for the way Ward had treated her sister?  Gus wouldn't give a damn about her tender feelings.
Snorting to herself at the idea of Gus even knowing what tender feelings were, she straightened and picked up the file.  Ward had been interrogated by a DEA agent shortly after Bates' arrest.  The Chicago P.D. had taken a shot at him, too.
Both organizations had concluded that Ward hadn't known about Bates' criminal activities.  Which didn't say a lot about Ward's powers of observation.  How had the guy even made detective?
As she read through the file, familiarizing herself with the details of the case and Bates' interrogation, someone rapped on her door.  "Come in," she called, glancing up from the file.
The door opened hard, bouncing off the wall.  A tall, glowering man stood in the doorway.
He had light brown hair.  Gray eyes, and right now they were simmering with anger.  They turned stone cold as he studied her.  Even his thick, sooty eyelashes didn't soften that glare.
"Can I help you?" she said, setting the file on her desk and closing it, hiding the contents.
"I'm supposed to talk to you."  His arms at his sides, he clenched his fists and released.  Clenched and released.
Livvy narrowed her eyes and stood up, crossing her arms over her chest.  "And you would be…?"
"Ryan Ward.  Swenson told me you're investigating Anson.  I'm supposed to cooperate with you.  Spill my guts."  He clenched his fists again as he studied her.  "You're Cilla Marini's sister, aren't you?  He told me I'd be talking to Ms. Marini, but I figured, what are the odds?"
He stared at her, as if daring her to deny it.
Livvy stared back.  "Yes, Mr. Ward, I'm Olivia Marini.  Cilla's sister."  She watched as he processed the information.  His eyes hardened even more.  So did his mouth.
Livvy held out her hand, and after studying it for too long, he finally shook it.  His palm was warm, and the calluses on his palms and the pads of his fingers scraped over her skin.
"Have a seat," she said, her back ramrod straight as she curled her fingers into her palms and waited for him to lower himself into one of the chairs in front of her desk.
As he glowered at her, his expression was an open book.  He hated being here.  He wanted to leave.  His jaw worked.  His gaze slid toward the door.  His foot tapped out a nervous rhythm on the tile floor.
"Why am I talking to you?" Ward finally asked.
"Because I'm part of the investigative team for the Anson Bates case," she said, her voice steady.  She was in the power position – standing while he sat.  She didn't intend to lose her advantage.  "Gus Swenson gave me your file.  You and I will be working together."  She forced herself to uncurl her hand.  No way would she let this rude man know he'd rattled her.
"Is this Swenson's idea of a joke?"  Ward leaned forward, his gaze as hard as winter ice.  "I thought he wanted me to cooperate.  Tell you everything I know.  So why did he turn me over to you, knowing we have history?"
"We don't have history, Mr. Ward.  What happened between you and Cilla has no bearing on this case."  She slid into her chair, holding his gaze.
Ward gripped the arms of the uncomfortable chair.  A muscle jumped in his jaw.  "Right.  You think what happened between your sister and me isn't going to affect how you and I work together?"
Since he was laying it on the table, so would she.  "I won't let it.  The Anson Bates case has nothing to do with the disagreement between you and Cilla.  As long as you cooperate, I can work with you."
"The 'disagreement?'  Is that what you call it?"  He laughed.  The cold, hard sound matched his icy eyes.  "Your sister arrested me."
She had no intention of getting into an argument about what had happened between Ward and her sister.  "Cilla's a good cop.  She didn't arrest you for fun.  Or because it was 'that time of the month.'"  She punctuated her words with a vicious slash of air quotes.
"I never said that.  Never implied it, either."  His face was stone, his eyes hard as granite.
Livvy shrugged one shoulder.  "You created the atmosphere.  You didn't think one of your buddies would go a step farther?  Make a crack like that to Cilla?
He flinched.  Barely, but enough that she noticed.  Satisfaction hummed through Livvy.  She leaned toward him, her hands pushed flat against her desk.  "If someone had said that to me?  I would have kicked his ass.  Then yours for starting it.  And believe me, I'd have enjoyed the hell out of it."  Her nails dug into the old, soft wood of the desk.  She still got angry every time she thought about what Ward had done.  "Regardless, it's in the past, Mr. Ward.  Leave it there."
He narrowed his eyes.  "So you're just going to forget about what happened?"
"Not at all.  But I know how to separate my personal life from my professional life, Mr. Ward."  She straightened her back, realizing anger was painting her voice with sharp edges.  She had to work with this guy.  Get him to confide in her.  Obvious anger wasn't going to get her what she needed.  "Can you?"
He shrugged one shoulder.  "We'll see, won't we?"
"I guess we will."  Livvy swallowed the ball of temper lodged in her throat and pulled the file toward her.  "Have you read Mr. Bates's interrogation transcript?"
"I didn't have to read it.  I was there."
"I'm not talking about your own interrogation," she said.  "I'm talking about Bates'."
"I heard every word Anson said.  I was in the observation room during his interrogation."  His jaw worked again and he stared out the window behind her, as if fascinated by the vista of rooftops and air conditioning units."
Was Ward pissed off at Bates?  Or was he angry he had to cooperate with the SA's office?  "It's been a month," she said.  "You're a detective.  You know witnesses forget details after a few days, let alone four weeks."
He slanted her a glance, but didn't say anything.  Didn't have to.  The muscles clenching in his jaw told her everything she needed to know.
He needed to read the transcript.  Didn't want to admit it.
Savoring her tiny victory over Ryan Ward, she nodded once.  "I'll make you a copy so you can review it.  Look for anything the prosecutors might have missed.  An expression Bates used that has special meaning to him.  Some reference that only you would understand.  Anything we might not have caught."
Ward rolled his shoulders, drawing her attention to them.  His blue dress shirt emphasized how wide they were as it clung to the muscles in his upper arms.  "I can recite almost every word of that interrogation in my sleep," he said, shifting his eyes to hers again.
His bleak look told her he probably had, and a tiny breath of sympathy drifted through her.  Regardless of what she thought of Ward, it had to be hard to testify against a former partner.  Wrenching and painful.
"I don't need a transcript."
"I'll make one anyway.  Reading a document is different than listening to someone talk.  You might see something."  She reached for the folder, opened it and pulled out the transcript.  "It can't hurt."
"Fine.  I'll read it tonight.  Is that all you need from me?" He stood up, and once again filled her small office.
"I'm afraid not," she said, standing as well.  He towered over her.  "I'll have a lot of questions for you.  About where you and Bates went on your shifts, who he talked to, who he ran into more than once.  But for starters, read the transcript and mark anything that strikes you as…interesting."
"I want to get this over with," he said.
She raised one eyebrow.  "You know you'll have to testify at his trial."
"Anson's a smart guy.  He'll take a plea."
"You think so?"  Livvy shook her head.  "He's had a month to sit in his cell and think about doing serious time.  He hasn't budged.  Still says he's not taking a deal.  Now he's got a new attorney.  The best in the city.  Bennett is asking for bail again.  So why would Bates take a plea and lose his chance to get out of Cook County jail?"
Ward scowled.  "What the hell?  Henry Bennett's his lawyer now?"
"Yes.  And he's asking for a bail hearing.  Based on the charges against Bates, he shouldn't get it.  Bennett must have something up his sleeve."  Livvy clenched her teeth and glanced at the picture of the guy on the cover of the file.  Bates' smirk made her angry all over again.  "My job is to figure out what it is, and how to counter it."
Ward snorted.  "Anson knows he won't get bail.  He's a master at chess.  He has his next five moves planned out."
"Then I'll figure out a way to checkmate him," she said, standing up.  "It'll take a couple of minutes to copy the transcript.  I'll be right back."
As she edged past his chair, the heat from his body washed over her, carrying his scent.  Was he wearing aftershave, or did he always smell like cool fresh air and sunshine?
What the hell?  She was wondering about Ryan Ward's aftershave?
Clearly, anger at the thought of Bates getting bail had short-circuited her brain.  The only thing she should be wondering about was how quickly she could complete her work with Ward.
She absolutely didn't care what he smelled like.  Or looked like, for that matter.
He could be the most gorgeous hunk in the history of hunks.  He was off-limits.  On top of the ethics issue and the loyalty to her sister issue, what if he was working with Bates?
They were partners.  It was possible he'd run back to Bates with information on how the SA's case against him was shaping up. 
Her hands weren't quite steady as she set up the copy machine.  She braced herself on the machine as she watched the copy spew out.  She needed to focus on the case.  Keep her head and be careful about what she shared.
Her hands were rock steady as she removed the papers and tapped them on the lid of the copier.  Breathing deeply, she headed down the hall toward her office.
When she walked in the door, Ward was holding Bates' file.  Thumbing through the contents, he paused to read something.
Rage, accompanied by the bitter taste of déjà vu, roiled her stomach.  "What are you doing?" she asked, snatching the folder out of his hand.  She held it against her chest and stared at him,
"Doing what you told me to do," he said coolly.  "Looking through your notes."
Slamming the folder onto the desk, she stood over him, blood roaring in her ears.  "I asked you to look at the transcript.  Not the entire file."
"Why not?" he asked, leaning back in his chair and letting his gaze drift over her.  "You want my help, I need to know everything you know."
"No.  You don't."  She narrowed her eyes at him.  "There's sensitive information in that file.  Confidential.  Not for general distribution."
The memory of James Dugger, her 'boyfriend,' going through her briefcase a few months ago, looking for his friend's file, made her cringe with shame.  The betrayal was still raw.  Still fresh.
"I'm cooperating with you, aren't I?"  He pushed out of the chair and stood, towering over her.  Too close.  Staring down at her.  "I'm on your side."
She stared right back.  Angry witnesses didn't intimidate her.  They made her push harder.  "Are you?" she asked softly.  "When was the last time you saw Bates?"
A shadow flickered in his eyes.  "A couple of weeks ago."
"You visited him at Cook County jail."
"No, we had a beer together at the Pipe and Shamrock."  His jaw twitched, as if he was grinding his teeth.  "Of course I went to Cook County.  Only way I was gonna see him."
"What did the two of you talk about?"
His gaze slid to the side.  "This and that."
Livvy lifted her chin as she stared at Ward.  "Was it something you told him that made him think he could get bail?" 
When Ward sucked in a breath, LIvvy grabbed the file and slid it into a desk drawer.  Didn't look away from him.  "He's your partner.  Are you going back to the jail and tell him what you saw in his file?" she demanded.  Just like that asshat Dugger planned to do.
"How're you going to prevent it, Marini?  You going to take me into protective custody?"  His gaze drifted over her, lingering at her mouth, her breasts, her legs.
A flash of awareness sparked between them, and she sucked in a quick breath.  "I'm not interested in babysitting hostile witnesses," she said, although her skin tingled every place his gaze touched.  What the hell was wrong with her?  Why was she always drawn to the jerks?  The guys who wanted something from her?
She took an empty manila folder off the bookshelf, dropped the transcript into it and shoved at him.  "Here's the transcript.  I'll call you tomorrow."
His fingers curled around the file folder.  "My phone number is 773..."
She interrupted, crossing her arms over her chest.  "We already have it."
"Of course you do."  He lingered for a moment, studying her.  "You going to check the logs at the jail?  See if I visit Anson?"
"Will I need to?"  She raised one eyebrow and held his gaze.
"What do you think?" he asked, staring back.  After a few moments that felt like hours, he stepped into the hall, glancing over his shoulder.  "It's been fun, Ms. Marini.  I look forward to talking to you tomorrow."
He turned and headed down the hall.  Livvy stepped to the door to watch him walk away. To make sure he went right to the reception area.  She didn't want him snooping around the office.
It was hard not to appreciate the way he moved.  Smooth, flowing steps, no wasted motion.  Graceful.
His ass was worth a second look, too.
If she was thinking about Ryan Ward that way.
Which she most emphatically was not.
She stumbled back into her office and closed the door.  Where the hell had that come from?
Yeah, he was attractive, with those cool grey eyes, wavy brown hair and that sculpted body.  She had a weakness for big guys.  So sue her.
But this was Ryan Ward.  The guy who'd orchestrated her sister's shunning at her police station.  The guy who'd made Cilla's life so miserable she'd had to transfer to another district.
The guy she was investigating because his partner was a criminal.
She sat heavily in her chair and rubbed at her forehead.  As if James Dugger wasn't bad enough, now another loser was ringing her chimes.
Apparently, her string of being attracted to the wrong men continued.
She fumbled for the drawer where she'd stashed the Bates file and pulled it out.  Opening it, she tucked the original copy of the transcript where it belonged and began paging through the notes again.
After fifteen minutes, she closed the file.  She didn't remember a thing she'd read.
She glanced at her watch.  Six pm.
Time to leave.  She'd get some takeout Chinese and work on this at home.  She needed to concentrate on this case.  Go over all the information in the file and make notes about what to ask Ward tomorrow.
As she stuffed the folder in her briefcase, she glanced at the chair on the other side of the desk.  It was horribly uncomfortable, with a broken spring that poked you in the ass if you sat in it.  There was no money in the budget for new furniture.
Ward hadn't seemed to mind.  He hadn't shifted in his chair, hadn't squirmed.  Almost as if he hadn't noticed the broken spring.  It spoke to a single-mindedness, a focus, that could be dangerous.
Or seductive.  She shivered, remembering the way his gaze had swept over her.  Maybe he'd been focusing on…other things.
And maybe she was a complete idiot.
As she slipped on her jacket and headed down the hall, though, an image of Ward appeared in her mind again.  Standing at her door, asking if she was going to check the visitor log at Cook County Jail.
Great ass or not, she wasn't going to take anything on faith.
Livvy pulled her phone out of her pocket, Googled the number for the jail's visitor office and added it to her contacts.

She'd check with them tomorrow to see if Ward had visited Bates.

Blurb for Cover Me
Chicago cop Brendan Donovan loves the adrenaline rush of his role on a tactical team. So when he's assigned to an undercover job to ferret out the supplier of a new and deadly sex drug, he's thrilled. His partner is Cilla Marini, a detective he'd met recently during a traffic stop. He's intrigued by Cilla, but his sister told him that Cilla doesn't date cops. Which is exactly what they have to pretend to do. Brendan loves a challenge. 

Cilla is shocked to find out that Brendan is her mystery partner. After an incident that forced her to transfer from her district and isolated her from her fellow cops, Cilla knows relationships with cops are off the table. But she's spent far too much time thinking about Brendan since he pulled her over for speeding. Now, not only are they working together, they have to pose as a couple to find the source of the sex drug that's already killed several men. 

As the action heats up, Cilla and Brendan don't have to pretend they want each other. But when secrets put them both in danger, will they have each other's back? Or will their quarry divide and conquer them before they can find their way to happily ever after?

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Blurb for Protect Me
olice officer Mia Donovan is studying for the detective's exam when her captain offers her an assignment – be Finn O'Rourke's personal bodyguard for the next three weeks. He's in town to film a movie, he has a stalker, and the threats are escalating. 

Mia isn't interested – she's focused on the looming exam. But her captain convinces her that successfully protecting Finn will look very good on her record when promotion decisions are made. So, reluctantly, she takes the assignment. 

Finn isn't the arrogant, egotistical actor Mia expected. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to the 'most hated man in America', Finn's nickname since he cheated on his girlfriend, a beloved pop star. 

But his stalker is lurking and the threat is escalating. Although Mia's feelings for Finn are growing, her job is to protect Finn, not fall in love with him. 

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Blurb for Save Me
State's Attorney Livvy Marini and Detective Ryan Ward have many reasons to dislike each other. Starting with Livvy's sister once arresting Ryan. But when Livvy's boss assigns her to interview Ryan about a case, they have to put aside their animosity and work together to keep Ryan's former partner in prison. 

Anson Bates is desperate to get out of jail. Livvy and Ryan unearth information that will destroy his chances for bail, but the more they uncover, the more risky their job becomes. Working to keep a dangerous criminal off the streets, Livvy and Ryan go from adversaries to friends. Then lovers. But when Livvy's life is threatened, can Ryan reach her in time to save her? 

And once she's safe, can he save himself? 

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I love being a writer!  That moment when I get an idea and it begins to crystallize into a story is a burst of adrenaline like no other.  I've published thirty-seven books, and that lightning bolt at the beginning of each story never gets old.
After writing thirty books for Silhouette and Harlequin, I'm now writing a series about the Donovan family, siblings who are all in law enforcement in Chicago – four detectives and one FBI agent.  They're sexy romantic suspense, with a big helping of family.  I've finished all the siblings' books, but I can't bear to let the family go.  So I'm working on books featuring secondary characters from the first six books.
I've wanted to write since I was a child, but a love for animals and a fascination with medicine led me to become a veterinarian.  I love that career, as well, and my job has provided me with lots of inspiration for my books.
I live in a Chicago suburb with my husband and a variety of pets.  When I'm not working, we spend our time visiting our adult daughters, traveling and hanging out with our friends.

Betrayed by Blood by Victoria Renteria

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My heart, my spirit, my body were broken…betrayed by my own blood.
Kylee Parker was no stranger to betrayal. After a tragic incident in her youth, she struggled against the darkness within, all the while fighting to appear normal to the outside world. Focusing most of her time on her teaching career, Kylee went about her everyday life pretending she was not broken, until one day everything changed. Coerced into taking a position out of the country, Kylee finds herself once again battling the terrors of her past. When a mysterious stranger appears in her life, she must decide if she is going to take a chance, or risk being damaged beyond repair.
Alexander Grant had sworn off relationships. While stationed overseas, he never expected to meet the one woman who could change everything...until Kylee. But will his past catch up to them both? Will he be able to save her from the torments of her past, or will they both end up betrayed and broken?
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Victoria is a Georgia native, who now resides in sunny Florida with her husband, son, and two amazing boxers. When she isn’t writing you can find her sitting on the beach soaking up the sun or off hiking one of the many trails.