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Τετάρτη, 31 Μαΐου 2017

Release Day Blitz - Mine (A Real Man #13) by Jenika Snow

Mine Release Day.jpg

That one word has never meant so much.


Ballet was my life, but after getting injured that dream faded. I still needed fast money, so I sucked up my pride and decided to strip.

All clubs could use a virgin stripper, right?

But from the moment I saw Cole Savage, owner of the strip club I was trying to get into, all rational thought left me.

He was dark and dangerous, and his personality screamed arrogance.
I wanted him, and by the way he looked at me I knew he wanted me as well.

But I should keep it strictly business, right?


From the moment I first saw Jana I wanted her. She needed a job at my club, but the possessive side of me rose up demanding she was only mine. I might have just met her, but I was already so damn territorial of her.

If she wanted a job I’d give her one, but she’d be keeping her clothes on.
I’ve been celibate for years, but it’s time to change that with her.

Jana would soon realize what it meant to be mine.

*Warning: This is a short story featuring an over-the-top possessive hero who makes no secret that the heroine his. It’s got dirty dancing, raunchy scenes, but is safe and has a Happily Ever After that comes with reading a Real Man story.

My cock was harder than I ever remembered it being, and the images of pushing her panties aside and shoving my dick inside of her played through my mind on repeat.

“I need you,” I said harshly, my voice nothing more than this guttural sound.

She didn’t tell me to stop, didn’t try to get out of my arms. In fact, she had her hands in my shirt at my back, holding on to me, keeping me close.

Once I was off the stage and standing back where my chair was, I put her on the ground and immediately cupped her cheek. “I could watch you all fucking night, baby, but I’m so hard for you.”

And before I knew what the hell she was doing, she slipped her hand down the front of my pants and pressed her open palm over my cock.

The arousal in me was so intense I nearly came.

She was breathing hard, fast, and I knew she was right here with me, knew she was ready for me. But I wanted to hear her say it, wanted her to tell me the words.

I tipped her chin back, made her look in my eyes, and said, “Tell me what you want.”

My cock was harder than I ever remembered it being, and the images of pushing her panties aside and shoving my dick inside of her played through my mind on repeat.

“I need you,” I said harshly, my voice nothing more than this guttural sound.

She didn’t tell me to stop, didn’t try to get out of my arms. In fact, she had her hands in my shirt at my back, holding on to me, keeping me close.

Once I was off the stage and standing back where my chair was, I put her on the ground and immediately cupped her cheek. “I could watch you all fucking night, baby, but I’m so hard for you.”

And before I knew what the hell she was doing, she slipped her hand down the front of my pants and pressed her open palm over my cock.

The arousal in me was so intense I nearly came.

She was breathing hard, fast, and I knew she was right here with me, knew she was ready for me. But I wanted to hear her say it, wanted her to tell me the words.

I tipped her chin back, made her look in my eyes, and said, “Tell me what you want.”

She took long seconds to answer, but when she did, I saw her pupils dilate and smelled her desire saturate the air. “I want you to be my first. I want you to own my virginity, Cole.”

I groaned, not able to help it, not able to even try and stop myself.

“I need to fuck you.” I couldn’t help but stare at her chest, at the way her breasts rose and fell, her cleavage showing over the hem of her bra.

“Take off the bra, baby. Let me see you. Let me make you feel even better.”

Her throat worked as she swallowed, and before I had to tell her again, she was removing the bra, showing me how hard her nipples were and how flushed her skin was.

“The panties, Jana. Get rid of the fucking panties.” And like a good girl, she was pushing her panties down her thighs.




Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.

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Excerpt Reveal THE LAST GUY by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise


The Last Guy, an all-new steamy standalone from Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise is coming June 12th!

TLG PB wrap


By Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise

Publication Date: June 12th

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

The first rule of office romance is don’t do it—especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired.
But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things.
Sex in his office…
Sex in the on-set kitchen…
Sex in the supply closet…
She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets—except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge… ego.
He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with.
Cade Hill draws a thick professional line on office romance—until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives.
It’s just a hook-up, she says.
When can we do it again? he says.
With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her he’s the last guy she’ll ever want.
THE LAST GUY is the first white-hot CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC COMEDY from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise. It features Fireball-fueled hookups, Doritos Locos Tacos, attack monkeys, toddlers in tiaras, and one fabulous drag queen. Prepare for frantic clicking (or page flipping!) and smoking-hot sexytimes all the way to the out-of-this-world happily-ever-after.


~ Rebecca ~
He kicks the door shut and without even turning on the light, he tosses me on my back on the bed. I prop up on my elbows. My dress is up around my waist, my bra is wet from Cade’s mouth, and my nipples are pointing right at him. “Damn,” he rasps, and I watch, mesmerized as he reaches behind his neck to pull his shirt over his head, leaving his hair a sexy mess. The light of the full moon blasting through my window covers him in a silvery glow. My stomach clenches when I see the lines of his muscles deepened by the shadowy light. My God, he’s gorgeous. He looks otherworldly. “We really shouldn’t do this…” My voice is breathless. “Agreed.” He strides toward the bed, his eyes never leaving mine. He’s focused, determined, and I watch long fingers unfasten his belt, the top of his jeans, his zipper. “This is a terrible idea.” “Yes,” he murmurs as he cups my face. I sigh and lean into his palm, letting the sizzle between us electrify me. If I do this…if I go through with boning him…it’s going to be the best sex of my life, judging by the tiny raised hairs all over my body. I scoot to the foot of the bed so I’m right in front of him and my head is level with his waist. Looking up, I slide my palms to his sides, pushing his jeans lower. He’s standing in front of me in black boxer briefs. I slide my palms up and down against the hot planes of his pelvis, teasing him, tracing my fingers around the straining bulge of his erection. “We’re gonna regret this.” A long shudder comes from him, and his eyes are heavy-lidded as he watches me. “I don’t think so, Stone. Not in a million fucking years.” He leans down and his lips capture mine, his tongue sweeping inside my mouth, exploring, owning me.

★ Get an email alert when THE LAST GUY goes LIVE on Amazon:


Get a Text Alert as soon as it’s live! Text “TiaLouise” to 64600 Now.*

*U.S. only

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About the Authors:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and the “Queen of Hot Romance” Tia Louise are not a secret duo, but simply themselves. Great friends, former English teachers, and southern gals in real life, they’ve teamed up to bring you laugh-out-loud naughty romances with strong leading ladies and sexy alpha males who know how to please their women… and who sometimes you just want to slap. TL_Logo_NOBCK 9.19.08 AM

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Twitter: @AuthorTLouise
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Teaser THE CHASE by Vanessa Fewings

The Chase, an all-new sexy first story in the Icon Trilogy from Vanessa Fewings is coming June 6th!!!

A rising star in one of London's top art investigation firms, Zara Leighton's talent for seeing deep into paintings is in her blood. She's chosen to help track down Icon, an enigmatic international art thief whose heists are methodical, daring, baffling. To Zara the case is maddening—bordering on an obsession.

She finds distraction in the chiseled form of top-shelf client Tobias Wilder, a magnetic American billionaire who demands her expertise, her discretion—and her secrecy. Wilder doesn't ask questions. He gives orders. His gaze alone ignites her deepest fantasies. And his touch…

The sudden whirl of exclusive exhibitions and decadent parties that Wilder introduces her to is a potent aphrodisiac. But surrender soon becomes tinged with suspicion. Is Zara's tryst with Wilder the real thing…or just a convincing forgery?

Preorder Today!
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Release Blitz SEX ED by Z.B. Heller


Sex Ed, an all-new HOT and hilarious M/M comedy from Z.B. Heller is LIVE!!!


Sex Ed by Z.B. Heller Publication Date: May 31st, 2017 Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Jaxson Dane is harboring a secret.
Not the fact that he’s a geeky comic book lover, or that he secretly draws his own comic, Bunny Fu Ninja Warrior. It’s not even classified information that he’s out and proud!
His secret is the shame that he’s a twenty-three-year-old virgin.
Jaxson isn’t waiting for marriage or even afraid of taking that step, he just hasn’t found the one guy who will accept all of his adorkable qualities. Due to an unfortunate mishap with a self-pleasuring apparatus and his favorite appendage, Jaxson meets Tyler Mason. The emerald-green-eyed nurse is a witness to the mortifying incident, leaving Jaxon both grateful and disappointed in their one-time meeting.
And then Tyler somehow shows up at Jaxon’s family dinner.
The very dinner at which Jaxson’s hidden virginity is revealed to everyone, including the captivating nurse.
Even though he secretly found the ER situation hilarious, Tyler is also able to look past it to see Jaxson’s genuine nature and is drawn to the charming and hapless comic book artist. He’s tempted to pursue the inexperienced Jaxson, but a recent and life-altering decision puts a damper on his wants and desires. However, the more time they spent together, the more willing he is to take the risk of juggling his new commitments and winning Jaxon’s affections.
A large, insane, and meddlesome family, two prying co-workers, and a sexy nurse are all trying to give Jaxson a crash course in Sex Ed. Will he pass?

Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
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About the Author:

As a little girl it was always a dream for Z.B. Heller to become She-Ra Princess of Power. Since this dream was unattainable, she spent what was probably way too long in college trying to “find herself”. Becoming an artist scratched the creative itch until the stories in her head were getting to be to loud for her to get anything else accomplished. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, son and Flemish Giant rabbit Chloe. In her spare time she likes to read, stalk celebrities on Twitter and create the type of art people scratch their heads about. ZB Logo MM

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Twitter: @ZBHeller

EXCERPT REVEAL PACKET: The Debt by Molly O'Keefe

The Debt by Molly O'Keefe is NOW LIVE and TOTALLY FREE! Grab the prologue to The Debt Duet now & keep reading for an excerpt!
LOVE AND SECOND CHANCES ARE NEVER FREE For the five kids who live at St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles, life is a nightmare. Carissa, the youngest, has been there the longest. And barely speaks. Rosa is sixteen and pregnant. Simon keeps his head down and studies, hoping to get back the life he lost. Beth and Tommy, in the middle of the darkness, have found each other, and all they want is to be together. But when they get caught making out at school, it puts everyone in danger. Tommy is used to the beatings from their foster father, but when Beth is singled out for punishment, Tommy can’t sit back and let it happen. AND ALL DEBTS MUST BE PAID What happens that night rips apart the lives of the five teenagers forever. After the blood has been spilled, a bargain is made. A deal with the devil that should have solved things. It should have fixed everything. But nothing is free - not love, not innocence, and certainly not freedom. And sooner or later, all debts must be paid... LOST_TEASER2
“What do you want, Tommy?” she breathed. So close. So beautiful. With her free hand she took off her glasses and tossed them on the ground. Her eyes, lined in black liner raked over me. And mine raked over her. “You,” I said, so raw I was practically inside out. “Just once.” She laughed low in her throat. “You have a few questions you want answered, do you?” she asked. “Don’t you?” “God yes.” She stepped forward until she was nearly touching me. It took my inhale for my chest to brush hers. I exhaled and our bodies retreated. She inhaled and we touched. Exhaled and retreated. We each did it again. And then again. Breathing each other in, in turns. Finally it wasn’t enough and I stepped toward her, and my cock pressed against her stomach and she pushed against me. Her breasts and belly imprinted on my skin. “One time,” she said. “One time and we go back to our lives and get on with things. I’m going to forget you, Tommy. And you’re going to forget me.” I doubted it, but I wasn’t going to argue. Not with my dick pushed up against the tight muscles of her stomach. Not with her breath, sweet from the pop and the candy she’d eaten, making me crazy. “I’m serious, Tommy,” she said as if she could read my mind. “I don’t want to be hurt anymore, and I really, really don’t want to hurt you anymore. Promise you’ll forget me.” “I promise,” I said, because when threatened with the idea of hurting her, I’d agree to anything to stop that. “I’ll forget you, right after I fuck you.” LOST_TEASER3
LOST WITHOUT YOU - June 19th Amazon ➤ iBooks ➤
WHERE I BELONG - June 26th Amazon ➤ iBooks ➤
About the Author:
Molly O'Keefe is an award-winning author of over 30 romance novels. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her family and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America. Sign up for her newsletter to get release day news, exclusive excerpts, sale announcements and in-depth author interviews! Connect with Molly:

RERELEASE BLITZ PACKET: Born to be Bound by Addison Cain

Born to be Bound by Addison has a HOT NEW COVER!! Keep reading for a sexy excerpt!
Surrender is not survival. Claire is desperate. Her once thriving city lies in ruins. The strongest of the three human dynamics, Alphas, have grown feral. Common Betas circle like vultures. The lowest in the hierarchy, rare and weak Omegas like Claire, are being destroyed. Sheltering amidst a dwindling enclave of frightened Omega women, Claire cannot provide enough to feed them all; her friends are starving. All due to one escaped convict’s violent rise to power. Shepherd is every bit as ruthless as his reputation suggests. Despite taking every possible precaution, Claire is captured and her worst nightmare realized. Shepherd, discovering a rare Omega in his midst, claims her like a prize, forcing a pair-bond that ties her to him forever. She fights her instincts and his will, because no matter how manipulative the bond might be, she despises what he’s done to her people. If she cannot find a way to help her friends, if she cannot escape, everyone she loves will die. Publisher’s Note: The first book in Addison Cain's exciting, raw, and suspense-filled Omegaverse series is a dark tale with explicit sexual themes and complete power exchange. Though situations may by be interpreted as romantic, this is a story about the effect of extreme circumstances on the human psyche and the consequences of obsession—not a standard romance. If such material offends you, please do not purchase. BtBB_NOWAVAILABLE
Shepherd began to pace, naked, rolling his shoulders as he prowled, all the while watching her and sniffing the air over and over. “Eat more... drink the water.” Voice downright nasty, threatening, Claire hissed as if he should have known Omegas could not eat during estrous, “I don’t want food!” No, she wanted the thing that was supposed to happen. He was supposed to be fucking her. Why was he waiting? She came to her feet and he was there, the dominant male growling so loud her eyes rolled back in her skull. A rending of fabric preceded cool air over fevered skin. He was all around her, tugging away unnecessary things like clothing. The smell of him, the raw sweat, sent her cunt to seeping. Sucking in great panting breaths of the fertile Omega, Shepherd sought out to stroke uncovered flesh, a bit surprised all her body hair had been permanently removed—recognizing the precaution the Omega had taken to help mask her scent. She was so far gone, her little tongue already licking at his skin, completely high on the taste and smell, that when his finger swiped drops of his leaking pre-come to run over her lips, she moaned loudly and sucked it deep into her mouth. Claire was so small compared to his mass, easy to move where he wanted. Her back hit the bed, Shepherd standing between her slender spread legs, staring down with wide, hungry eyes at the river of slick that came forth. Little pink lips were spread, the swollen glans of his cock lined up where she seemed far too small to accept an organ so large. With one hand on her chest, petting the twisting thing, Shepherd pressed forward, breaching her slippery womb, and gave a full body shudder at the sound of her desperate cry. The woman had not lied... she was so tight it made his cock pulsate more fluid to aid her. He only got halfway before she began to whine and squirm. Alphas were big and Shepherd was huge, his girth massive, and there was only so much space inside her body. “Open for me, little one,” Shepherd growled, using his thumbs to stretch her lower lips further apart, thrusting forward, gaining hard earned inch by inch while the female watched a cock as thick as her forearm slowly disappear between her legs. When the expanding thrust bottomed out, when all her tightness enveloped that hard length... utter bliss. She needed it, was moaning and arching, grinding her sex against his pubic bone. The stretch was divine; the vibration from his purrs, the smell. When he began to pull out, she showed her teeth and snarled at a man many times her size. Shepherd seemed amused, and then snapped his hips, burying that massive cock to the hilt, knowing she would squeal. Claire learned quickly that he liked her little spurts of temper, but it was Shepherd who dominated the exchange. He rutted with the vigor she needed, hard and fast, building up that furious pulse in her core. When she began to roll her hips, eyes closed and lost in the insatiable need to mate, he took her by the scruff of the neck and barked at her to open, to look at the male fucking her, to recognize his prowess. Those harshly snarled words sent her over the edge. Perfect fulfillment exploded. Claire felt every single muscle in her pussy jump to life, saw his eyes grow vicious and feral, felt his knot expand as he ground in, hooking behind her pelvic bone, locking them as deep as he could go. Jerking under the intensity of the orgasm, she felt that first hot gush of semen, heard him roar like a beast while she screamed. Shepherd came again, more of that copious fluid, her body’s need finally met, and with his third liquid surge she blacked out. It could not have been long before she woke, as his knot was still binding their bodies together. He lay below her, her body sprawled on top, Claire’s ear to his heart. The serenity from the mating was fading and the impulse to fuck was back again. The urge, the only thing that defined her at that moment, grew beyond her when her tongue darted out to lick the salt of sweat from his chest, to entice the tattooed male to begin again. The instant the knot began to diminish she registered the loss of precious fluid, felt his seed leaking out of her, and whined. As if knowing her thoughts, Shepherd dragged his fingers in the little river and brought his ejaculate to her mouth. The smell alone drove her wild, the taste a thousand times more. “They would have broken an Omega so small.” Shepherd watched, fascinated, as she greedily sucked his fingers, explaining quietly as if educating a female who should have known better. “Not shown restraint at a scent so overpowering.” She didn’t want him to talk; she wanted him to fuck her again. A large hand came to her hair, rubbing at the scalp of the female, soothing her with pets and purrs while the knot slowly abated so he could thrust against her jerking hips. The second mating was much less frantic, far more fulfilling, and when he had filled her again, Claire began to lose the edge that was making her so ferocious. It was his hands, maybe, lifting and lowering her at the tempo that made her cunt sing, or the look in his eyes, the unabashed lustful pleasure. So that’s what it was like to mate an Alpha. He seemed to know her thoughts, and by the crinkles at the corner of Shepherd’s eyes, she could tell he was amused with her. He cupped her face, tender and gentle, and she didn’t feel overpowered or forced... She felt mistakenly safe in the delirium. It was not until a day later, when he took her from behind at the peak of estrous, his full weight on her back, that she sensed trouble. The high had not faded, the slow building fervor of her heat nowhere near breaking... but he roared, began to squeeze and bruise; to restrain her. Fighting the hold, writhing, Claire had a sobering fear the tyrant might bite her so savagely it would scar—that he intended to leave claiming marks. Worst of all, instinctively, she wanted him to. Her estrous-high mind wanted to bond to the monster that had destroyed Thólos and made her life hell, simply because he was the one who was fucking her. “And you will!” he growled in her ear. She told him no, panting it over the sound of his skin slapping against the fleshy mounds of her ass. Sharp teeth came to her shoulder, Shepherd’s knot growing bulbous until the Alpha could no longer thrust and she could not squirm away. She screamed in pain and pleasure, sobbing as his teeth ripped into her skin, Shepherd growling long and low with her flesh torn from his bite. She climaxed from the claiming, rhythmically squeezing, drawing the jets of fluid from his dick while he crooned at her and lapped up the blood. Claire cried even as he purred and petted, wept from the hazy recognition of the total loss of control she’d so carefully cultivated in her life. When ten minutes later her body sent out signals it was time for Shepherd to fuck her again, he pulled her beneath him and was gentle, caressing the woman he’d stolen even though her tears fell throughout the whole coupling. When it was over, when he had wrung out another explosion that chased away the urge of chemical madness, a calm descended on them both. Claire briefly slept against a man she did not know, pressing as close as she could, in the exact place the brute expected her to rest.
About the Author:
Addison L. Cain was born in sunny California, but found herself drawn to dwell in older, history-rich places. Japan, Ireland, Qatar, and now Washington DC, Addison is always on the move, always eager to immerse herself in new cultures and people. Her stories reflect the antiquities she loves: deep and sometimes very dark. Driven to push her characters beyond the pale, Addison’s books are not for the faint of heart. An alumni of California State University Fullerton, she earned a degree in Japanese and spent years in Asia studying indigenous Japanese religion. Primeval forests and worn pathways have led to her obsession with gardening. Her Great Dane approves, loping around the yard and getting into mischief. Unfortunately the cat has to watch from a window, and because Addison is a total sucker for his sad golden eyes, he gets hours of belly rubs and too many treats.
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Blitz Packet: Crescendo by Lana Sky


A Beautiful Monsters Novel by Lana Sky Publication Date: May 13, 2017 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Kobo | iBooks |Scribd
You don’t become the fiancé of one of the most powerful crime lords in the city without understanding exactly how gritty and depraved the world truly is… and how to thrive in the inferno. After five years spent under his controlling thumb, Daniela knows her position with a man like Vincent Stacatto is precarious, but as long as she plays by the rules of his “game”, she’s safe… Until she’s taken by the devil. Kidnapped by a rival boss, Daniela becomes a pawn between two powerful forces, and just another casualty in a bloody game of chess. But to get to the top, and stay at the top, you have to fight dirty and hold nothing back, because the most dangerous piece on the board isn’t the King. Contains Mature subject matter not suitable for those under 18.


I think I hate him the most of all. The bastard with the blue eyes—he’s watching me even now. 
The other men are mere dogs like Vinny. They don’t understand anything but violence and bloodshed. But he...this man is different. He’s colder. He’s calculating. He is a snake circling the carnage and swallowing down his chosen prey before the poor soul even knows what’s happening.
Though, maybe it’s the alcohol that makes me so angry. My head drifts. My thoughts are harder to grasp, and sanity is like a rudder, struggling to propel me through the darkness. The bottle is gone; I don’t know what he’s done with it, or if it was really there in the first place.
Delirium likes to play tricks on an already exhausted mind. My head is on a cloud. My right ear is miles away, and everything else feels like distant pulses. I can see my other limbs when I crane my neck down, but controlling them seems about as easy as telling smoke in which direction to float.
I can’t help feeling like this is his own selfish pittance; make the poor girl so drunk she won’t be able to feel her own rape. Hell, maybe she’ll pass out during it. Whatever helps him sleep at night.
Silly, silly bastard. Didn’t he know how impossible it was to sleep with the souls of others weighing you down? They whispered in your ear at night, right before you drifted off, and they haunted your dreams, turning them into nightmares. I haven’t slept in five years. I cease to exist at night. I go numb right until the exact moment that slumber takes me. Then, I open my eyes again, wide awake, and it’s torment.
On second thought, he doesn’t seem as tired as I am. He drank more than me, and yet his posture is stoically erect. He watches me unashamedly. He’s counting down the hours.
“Vinny.” I don’t know why I speak. My voice is a hollow whisper that slithers to the farthest reaches of the room—he can’t pretend like he doesn’t hear me. “Vinny. You want to know what would really make him angry?”
My tormentor doesn’t answer, but I know I’ve piqued his interest.
“If I willingly f-fucked another man...that would make him anggrrrryy.” My tongue fumbles with the words and then end on a sudden hiccup. “That would make him want me back.”
If only so he could kill me himself.
The man doesn’t seem impressed by what I’ve said. He’s un-amused by the unfiltered Daniela, but she suddenly feels desperate to have an audience.
“I would do it, too,” I tell him. Virginal Lynn’s deep, dark secret. I would take anyone over Vinny. The red-haired man. Any one of his thugs. The man with blue eyes.
Anyone. I’d deny him the one thing of value I had left. No matter how tonight ended, Vincent Stacatto wouldn’t claim all of me.
“I’d do it,” I say out loud, just to make it sink in. My confirmation to the universe if not to the man himself. Vinny would never have me fully. The thought makes me snicker, and the blue-eyed man pulls away from the wall, bored of me already.
I watch him head to the doorway that leads to the stairs. There he pauses, and it’s only then that I realize someone else is already in the process of descending them.
“It’s show time,” the red-haired man declares in a guttural rumble. His eyes burn with a sickening mixture of rage and excitement.
Slowly, my gaze drifts over to focus on the wall. I’m not here anymore. I see a stage...a cello. I’m playing Bach. My mind spins the invisible notes. I focus hard on crafting the melody, its soothing cadence. But I’m too dizzy. Words break through the song.
“What the fuck is wrong with her? Is she drunk?” The words dissolve into countless syllables that bounce across the room. My head throbs. A million thoughts and fears leak through the cracks these men have beaten and cut into—I can’t hide them anymore.
A hand grazes my shoulder, and I flinch. Then the entire chair is wrenched out from under me, and I land hard on the floor. My knee smarts. More pain joins the symphony of it that fights with the rising stream of voices for my attention.
“Set up the camera—”
I bite my lip to silence a scream and squeeze my eyes shut, blocking out the room and the men who crowd it. I’m not here. I’m floating...flying...playing. Bach’s melody fills my ears again. My bow is in my hand. I can feel the tension in the strings.
“All right...get her clothes off.”
A hand seizes the collar of my borrowed shirt and tugs. I hear ripping. There’s cool air on my back and the laughter and jeers of countless men battle with my attempts to ignore them. My cello is too heavy to lift. The bow breaks. The music dies off.
All at once, I’m lying on an ice-cold floor, clothed only in a pair of underwear, which someone attempts to drag down my legs while they croon what a “sweet ass” I’ve got into my ear.
The hands stop tugging, but the calloused fingertips still graze my skin. Whoever speaks...he has a voice that makes the entire room go silent. The roar of a lion is heeded by all predators. A part of me flinches in recognition. I know that voice, but my mind is too busy spinning to place it.


I wake up in the lair of a beast. His scent irritates my nostrils, though for some reason my lungs heave to breathe him in. I’m nauseated by his flavor, but my belly is a shriveled ball, devoid of anything left to force out through my mouth in protest.
I don’t know how long I lie there. How long before my eyes manage to peel open one by one and light stabs at them like jagged pieces of glass. I’m naked. Damp sheets create a shocking sensation that I can feel against nearly every part of my body. My head throbs, and it’s almost ironic—my fingers prefer the strings, but my brain apparently has taken up percussion. It hammers out an unsteady rhythm against the inside of my skull.
I can’t decide if I’m alive or if this is that eternal torment in hell that Bibles warn about. An agonizing few seconds pass, but I still don’t know which destination seems more appealing, Hell or Vinny? Then I see him. My vision is a colorless blur, reducing him to nothing more than a splash of shadow against an otherwise gray surface—but those eyes shine through, unsettlingly clear. Through the chaos of my thoughts, a single name comes tumbling out. Dante. A part of me scuttles away from it the way a roach escapes the light. It’s a terrible thing to learn the name of a monster. I’ll settle for choosing a made-up one to call him instead.
I blink until his dark features form into more solid lines. In the pale light that comes in through the window, he almost seems harmless. Lucifer. He used to be an angel, I remember. God’s favorite before he fell. I’ll call him that.
Lucifer doesn’t react when he sees that I’m awake. He eyes me coldly, and then he turns his gaze to the empty wall behind me instead. Broken women are such a poor way to start the morning off, who could blame him?
He sits a few feet away with his back braced against the wall. There’s something on the floor beside him. Two almost invisible cylinders...white caps...light blue labels. Before my mind can settle on an identity for them, he bats at one with the flat of his hand, and it rolls toward me.
Water! I lunge for it, bringing a million different agonies to life. I try to ignore them as I capture the bottle in a trembling hand and wrestle off the cap. I’m too exhausted to pull myself upright, so I tilt my head instead and allow the water to pour into my open mouth like a funnel. More of it winds up dribbling onto the sheets than going down my throat, but I manage to drain most of the bottle in seconds. Before I can even choke down the last drop, Lucifer nudges the second bottle toward me.
I reach down to trap it in a fist while easing my body upright this time. God. The world pitches and sways beneath me. It’s like I’m on the merry-go-round my brother and I used to frequent as children. My throbbing head even manages to tap out a lively beat.
Staring down at the blankets twisted around my legs, I inhale. Then I bring the bottle to my lips and greedily take in every last drop. The moment I do, Lucifer stands and inclines his head toward the doorway that leads out into the hall. The command may be silent, but it’s no less authoritative than one of Vinny’s shouts. Come. Now, Daniela!
I glance at my pathetic, bruised body. I’m naked, except for a pair of black underwear that survived my trip from Vinny’s town car. Other than that, pale skin and numerous imperfections paint a morbid picture. I hate the fact that he’s seen me like this. His eyes have traced Vinny’s brand without a shred of emotion. If only I could be as indifferent to it.
“Come on.”
He’s impatient, lingering on the threshold of the bedroom like an animal uncomfortable with being locked in a cage, even one of his own making.
I eye the gray carpet while my tongue shoots out to trace my bottom lip and returns with the flavor of blood. Standing has never felt like a more impossible task. A part of me just wants to ignore him and lie here until these men finally settle on a use for me. I’m so tired. At least Vinny rarely delayed his punishment. Retributions for breaking his rules came swiftly—he didn’t like to play around with his food. Unless, of course, he was in a mood.
Setting the empty bottle aside, I brace one of my hands against the floor and attempt to push off that way. I manage to clear the mattress about an inch before my arm gives out and I land on my side, croaking out a gasp of pain before I can smother it. Lucifer watches as I grit my teeth and try again. God...the pain...I can taste it. The left side of my face aches. The room’s still air assaults the tender flesh there like a repeated blow. My eyes water. Focus, Daniela. For a second, I imagine that Vinny’s here, sneering down at me from the man’s position.
Get a fucking hold of yourself, Lynn.
I hate myself for the fact that even the imaginary threat of him is enough to marshal my body into action. I crawl over to the wall and then use the surface of it for leverage to slowly climb upright. For a moment, I think I’ll lose my balance again, but my trembling knees hold up. I succeed in taking a step in the man’s direction, and he enters the hallway without a word.
It’s a slow, agonizing shuffle down the hall to enter what seems to be a small sitting room. I have to cling to the wall the entire way before choosing to crawl on my hands and knees to a couch, which I scramble onto.
“Here.” The man throws something at me while I settle on the uneven cushions. They’re upholstered in a faded material that seems to sport blue and white stripes. At some point, the colors must have been vibrant. Now they’re worn and gray in places. I picture the leather furniture that decorated the suite I’d called home for five years. Vinny certainly wouldn’t approve of this abode. The furniture is minimal. There’s an armchair matching the style of the couch a few feet away, resting against the wall. There’s a small television as well, and a plain coffee table sits in the center of the carefully assembled selection. Someone’s tried their best to make it homey, I think. But furniture and blue curtains can only go so far to displace the otherwise charged atmosphere. I feel like I’m in a pot, dangling above a pit of fire—while I may not be able to see the flames through the metal prison, I can still smell them. Their heat tickles my skin.
Lucifer’s eyes burn like that inferno. He nods to a wad of gray fabric that has appeared on the couch beside me. “Put it on,” he says. Each word is pronounced slowly and deliberately. It’s like he knows that my brain will take twice as long to process them.
Put it on? Oh, that’s right. I’m naked. My hand drifts out, and my fingers seize a handful of cotton. Another shirt, apparently. This one doesn’t smell like him, but I pull it onto my lap, fingering the hemmed edges. I glance up to find him watching, and then I set the shirt aside.
There’s no use in donning another garment that will wind up being torn off. I’m too exhausted. I’ll make it easy for these men. Lucifer frowns at the disobedience, but he says nothing. His eyes drift over me, lingering over the center of my torso, and I realize that he wants me covered for his own benefit. No man likes to be reminded of the power of another, but I’m too tired to humor his pride. His gaze can’t violate me any more than Vinny’s hands already have.
He blows out a harsh sound the way a penned bull does when it paws the earth, right before lunging for the bullfighter egging it on. Then he turns and approaches a refrigerator that is separated from the rest of the room by only a row of counters. He rummages through the cabinets and then turns to face me.
“What do you want?”
I stare blankly until he raises both of his hands, revealing what he holds in either one. The right contains a bag of bread. The left holds a colorful box sporting a grinning chipmunk in the process of shoving round bits of cereal into its mouth. Chunky Bites.
“What do you want to eat?” he demands again. His voice deepens when he’s losing his patience, I notice. It’s a chilling sound.
My mouth opens. Whatever you think is best. Those words are on the tip of my tongue...but I wrestle them back at the last moment. My hand rises from the couch and a trembling finger points toward the Chunky Bites.
He slams the box down onto the counter and then grabs a bowl from one of the cupboards. I watch his fingers move, almost studiously, as he tilts the box, allowing a pile of chunky bites to fall into it. Then he douses it all with milk from the fridge. My mouth waters. My greedy hands shake as he crosses the room and shoves the bowl toward me. I bring the rim of it to my mouth and sip at the strange concoction before I even notice the spoon he offers me next. It tastes like sugar, and my eyes drift shut as I swallow.
How long has it been since I’ve eaten cheap, commercial cereal? How long has it been since I’ve chosen for myself what to eat at all? Those two combined luxuries explode the moment I shove the first spoonful into my mouth and chew.
It’s good. I’m shoveling more into my mouth, quicker than I can get it down. It’s like I blink and the bowl is empty, and Lucifer is already snatching it away. Before disappointment can really descend, he returns. The bowl nearly overflows with more, and I take my time with the second helping—or at least I try to. I devour every last bit of chunky, sugary “bites” and then I down the milk so quickly that most of it winds up running down my chin. I’m greedy. My tongue shoots out, tasting the remains of sugar that coat the rim of the bowl.
I hold it out to Lucifer, licked clean, but he isn’t as gracious with the servings this time. “You’ll get sick if you eat any more,” he says while marching over to throw the bowl and spoon into the sink.
I think he’s right. Already my stomach is trying to adjust to painful emptiness, sudden fullness, and the poisonous effects of alcohol. I draw my knees up to my chin and bury my face between them, just in case, but it isn’t long before the nausea dissipates.
“Last night.” Lucifer uses the two words to draw my attention back to him. He stands behind the counter, bracing both of his hands on top of it. “You said that you had an idea to pay back Stacatto.”
He’s prompting me for something, but my memories are a tangled ball that hurts to unravel. I grimace. Last night...
Oh. I remember now. I’d claimed that I’d willingly sleep with a man, on camera no less, just to make Vinny seethe. God, I wish I’d been lying. Alcohol is a powerful truth serum, it seems.
“He won’t care,” I say haltingly, trying to justify the boast. “If...if I’m r-raped—” my teeth chatter over the words. “He’ll expect it. But if I was willing...”
Vinny’s perfect Lynn would never be so brazen. He’d be furious—more than that. For all my bravado, I can’t even imagine it. I rest my head on my knees instead and shut my eyes against that violent truth.
“He won’t negotiate otherwise.”
“Negotiate?” Lucifer’s voice is an almost amused drawl. “What makes you think that Ar...we want anything in return for you?”
I lift my shoulder in an artless shrug. So, it is true—these men only aim for revenge. How pathetic. It’s such...such a waste. Vinny will be able to make his Lynn a martyr, justifying more of his madness, and these men will just suffer a grisly end for their defiance.
It’s all enough to make me sigh, rustling the loose ends of my hair.
“You need a shower,” Lucifer declares, his tone wrought with disgust.
“Why?” My voice is a tired croak. My body prefers to wallow beneath a layer of misery and pain. It smells better on me than Vinny’s false perfume and cologne. I just want it over with. If these men want me, they’ll just have to contend with the blood.
Why?” Lucifer doesn’t like being questioned. He turns each one of mine into a verbal missile that lands with an impact that makes me wince. “Because when you plead for your life, you might want to look like less of a used-up coke whore.”
A part of me stings beneath the harsh assessment. Then I register the rest of his words with a frown. Plead? I groan with the effort it takes to lift my head and meet his gaze. I intend to contradict him—hell, he could kill me himself, here and now. It wouldn’t matter.
But he’s ready for me. “You want your revenge against Stacatto? Then do what the fuck I say.” He cuts his gaze toward the hallway. “Clean yourself up.”

About Lana Sky

Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and legless cats. She writes mostly paranormal romance, in between watching reruns of Ab Fab and drinking iced tea. Only iced tea.