Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yours Truly Taddy (Undergrad Years 2)

Jetting to Martinique for a modeling assignment with three of Europe’s hottest magazine photographers—Gustave, Fabian, and Leon—should’ve been easy, breezy beautiful. Never did I expect to look up and see a hole in the ceiling of our plane that was bigger in size than my Birkin bag.

Shit! We’re nose-diving toward Eden Island. I pictured how my New York Times obituary might read when I’m gone, “Taddy Brill, Manhattanite, dethroned descendant of the Austrian House of Brillford royalty, dies at age eighteen, penniless, unloved, and a virgin.” I swear this crap only happens to me. Suddenly, Leon pulls me with Fabian and Gustave. Adrenaline racing through me, our bodies clung as one. We prepared to…crash.
OMG! This book was a hilarious, fun, sexy YA romance. I ADORED Yours Truly, Taddy. I giggled, I sighed, I shook my head in wonder.  I really liked Taddy. I thought she was fun, smart, sassy, and just a brilliant character.
We also have some delicious eye candy for her. Gustave, Fabian, and Leon. *Sigh* What truly yummy names! I liked each of these men for different reasons and couldn't picture the book without these sexy photographers.
I felt like everything flowed nicely in Yours, Truly Taddy and I definitely think this was really well thought out and well written.
It was freaking HOT and AWESOME that Fabian and Leon are bisexual. I didn't see that coming and it just made the story that much more...YUMMY.
For these reasons, I give this book an astounding FOUR AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS! Its a truly irresistible book and just one of my favorites from Avery Aster. If you haven't picked this up, then your missing out!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Denying Ecstasy Cover Reveal and Giveaway!!


A headstrong sassy mortal, Rain is a Mageia living in Tetartos, the Realm of beasts and Immortals.  Her nights have been restless, filled with sensual dreams of a big blonde Guardian whose glares indicate he wants nothing to do with her.  She is determined to shake off the odd feelings until she finds out her dream lover is responsible for her rescue from a demented Demi-God.  In doing so, his touch ignites something rare and coveted.  Something that she’s never anticipated… Something he should have told her about.  Rain is set on making him explain and then feel the full force of her ire.
After a devastating betrayal resulting in the loss of a close friend a century ago, Dorian refuses to trust or engage with Immortals other than his Guardian family.  His years of brutal fighting in the underground Immortal rings are over.  He patrols the Realms and slakes his lust with the humans on Earth.  Existing, but not living as he used to.  He knows the moment he scents Rain that he has found his mate and after touching her he plans to avoid her as long as he can... Until he learns she is in danger.  Raging, his beast demands that he go to her, but taking her from their enemy has repercussions he fully plans to escape at all costs.
For Dorian, finding a way out of mating Rain means he could succumb to madness and harm those that mean so much to him… but giving in to his burning urge for her means losing control in a heated mating frenzy sure to ignite them both and link them forever.

Warning: brief instances of M/F/F and M/F/M menage, a hot headed, dirty talking alpha male, voyeurism and sexually explicit scenes.

Denying Ecstasy (Book #3 - The Guardian of the Realms Series)



The sad truth is that I’m not nearly as entertaining as fiction. *Wink* I am a thirty-seven year old stay at home writer, thanks to my incredibly supportive husband.  We’ve been together for thirteen years and I still love waking up next to that sexy man.  We lost our furry child recently, so we are childless at the moment.  Our whole world revolved around her.  Needless to say, I love animals, especially dogs.  Okay, maybe not all animals, I’m not a super big fan of monkeys.  Any animal that throws their feces kind of eeks me out.  I may, or may not, have a problem with candy.  I love any research that leads to Neiman Marcus’ online shoe department. Spreadsheets give me way more happiness than they should.  I love to read, the dirtier the better. It all started with the naughty historical romances by Judith McNaught that I devoured as a teenager.  I love reading about hot, sexy alpha males and heroines that are smart enough to live.

You can find me:



Twitter: @SETTAJAY_




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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ARC Review of Roark's Leading Lady by Dace Everan

Roark Hurt will do anything to have Harley Tobor. That includes accepting her the way she is. Cyborg or not.
Harley will fight Roark all the way. He is too young, one of her comrades, and it just wouldn’t work! She’s sure of it! That is until she realises she needs him.
Half robot, half human. How could he possibly want her, let alone proclaim love for her?

 Roark's Leading Lady is another short story by Dace Everan. This was a bit different but in a GOOD way. I liked the fact that Miss Everan made Harley the cyborg. Its nice to see a female as stronger (physically) then the male for a change.
This story had a lot of humor in it too which I definitely appreciated but it was still very sensual and erotic. The plot was good and easy and the characters fit perfectly with it. Sometimes when reading a erotic story, the characters don't quite feel like they belong with the plot of the story and sometimes can make me confused or a little irritated. I am happy to say Dace Everan provided me with a little of everything that kept me entertained and drawn with Roark's Leading Lady.
I liked how the characters had to learn as they went on what got them excited and what turned them on. It was a really nice change of pace to read something that was a tad different from the average BDSM romance.
Roark's Leading Lady deserves a FANTASTIC FOUR AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS. Its just plain GOOD, with some humor, fun flirty characters, a interesting and easy to follow plot, and its so fantastically erotic that I was left squirming. My only real complaint is, it was not long enough. *Grins* But that's just because when you have a story this yummy, I want to read MORE. Keep up the great work Dace Everan. You have a fan on your hands that wants much MUCH more!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Covered by Bubbles by Gracie Meadows


In book one of Heels for Hire, Inc.: Brandie "Bubbles" Anderson is always alert and ready to take any case head on. However, when a case she is involved in crosses over with the local PD's, Brandie finds herself working with two cops who threaten her independence. 
Chance and Dylan have been friends since the beginning days at the academy and now are partners at the Ridgeville Police department. After a series of thefts take place involving the elite citizens in the area, and with the mayor breathing down their Chief's back, he hires a private investigation service to help. What the men didn’t expect was for their new partner to be a kickass—take names later, bubbly blonde. 
Bubbles must work with the men to solve the case quickly before anything else comes up missing—including her heart. The case takes on a new meaning when a connection is found with one of the players. A simple case becomes Bubbles nightmare, leaving her holding another's fate in her hands. Will the men rescue her in time, or will they enter only to be covered by Bubbles? 

Covered by Bubbles is the first book by Gracie Meadows that I have read, but after reading this, it will NOT be my last. I really liked this book a whole lot.
The characters are fun, sexy, sassy, arrogant and the storyline is both easy and enjoyable to follow. I absolutely LOVED Bubbles! Well her real name is Brandie but her code name is Bubbles. Her personality matches that name too. She is a spirited female lead with a great sense of self and is attracted to both Chance and Dylan.
Chance and Dylan are the kind of men any real woman would want for themselves. They are hotter then the fire of hell and have just the right enough of arrogance and charm to make them even more sexy without making them seem selfish or having a huge ego.
I liked how everything came together with Bubbles and her men and thought this was a well thought out read. Covered by Bubbles is a good time book with interesting plot and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and some VERY passionate, melt - your - panties - off sex scenes.
I give this story a FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE! Its a truly sensational ménage romance that left me VERY satisfied and more then a little curious about Gracie Meadows other books. I am looking forward to checking them out and seeing what else Miss Meadows will come out with next.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

ARC Review, Interview, and Excerpt of Two For Tamara by Elle Boon

Rafe and Vin, had been best friends for thousands of years. They were part of an elite group called the Ravens of War, and were made up of twelve men created by Zeus. When they were no longer needed on Olympus, they’d been sent to Earth to find happiness, and hopefully their Fated.
For Tamara she’d given up finding that one man meant just for her, having the ability to see the future ran in her family. So when she saw her own death, she set out to enjoy what she had left. That didn’t include two larger than life men who claimed she was their one.
Cronus pulled Tamara to Hell, and planned to use her as leverage to get his granddaughter, Selena, whose Tamara’s best friend to bargain for her life.
Rafe, Vin and all the Ravens need the help of the gods and goddesses from Olympus to save not only Tamara, but Earth itself.
If this was how she was going to die, Tamara was okay with it. In fact, she was ready to sign the papers right then and there.
The feel of a hot, hard body covering her again, and something much larger than fingers or a tongue between her thighs, brought her eyes flying open to see Rafe poised above her. He had that monster he’d assured her would fit, in his right hand, but it was the anxiety in his eyes that gave her the courage to raise her arms and welcome him into her body.
“I’ll go slowly,” he promised.
She nodded. The head was flushed a deep purple, and as he slipped between her thighs she fell back and closed her eyes.
“Hey. Look at me.” Vin turned her face to him. His hand went between her and Rafe.
She was sure she couldn’t come again, that her clit was too sensitive to be touched, but Vin’s fingers proved her wrong.
Rafe entered her an inch at a time. So slowly, she swore it would take him forever before he was fully seated. With Vin playing with her clit, and sucking on her breasts, she didn’t feel any pain, only a slight burn that turned to complete bliss. She wanted to have him fill her completely. Her hips lifted and pressed forward to get his thick shaft deeper, until every inch of him was in her. Finally, when his groin was flush with hers, she stared up into his dark-as-night eyes and realized she wanted to spend forever with these two amazing men. She turned to see Vin was propped up on his elbow staring at them. She reached out to pull him into a deep kiss, wanting him to be connected to her too. She cursed the fates, for allowing her to come to the realization that she was completely and totally in love with not one, but two men, only to take it all away so soon.
With a groan, Rafe started thrusting, going deep and then pulling out. She loved the sound of their flesh slapping, loved the feel of his balls hitting her rear on every downward stroke. Gods, but she actually enjoyed having Vin’s finger there too.
Tamara was lost to everything, except the sensation of lips and tongue, and being filled and loved by two men. Time didn’t matter, her world narrowed down to being with Rafe and Vin, to how it felt to finally know what love was.
Each time Rafe withdrew she whimpered, and then gasped as he pushed back inside. His thrusts sped up. Her body became attuned to his, taking everything he offered and wanting more. She closed her eyes, feeling the tug of Vin’s mouth on her breasts, sending an echo to her clit. The orgasm she was sure she’d not reach again was close.
“Come for me, omorfia mou,” Rafe whispered. And just like that the tingle started in her toes, and worked its way up.
“Yes, god…yes,” she screamed.
Vin released her nipple with a pop.
Rafe continued to thrust his hips, his hands holding her thighs wide until he too groaned out his own satisfaction. He bent and kissed Tamara long and hard. “S’agapo,” he murmured.
As Rafe rolled to the side of the bed Vin wasted no time. She expected him to be a gentle lover, but wasn’t surprised to find he was every bit as large as Rafe, and a bit impatient.
“Good, god almighty. Seriously?” Tamara wasn’t sure how he or Rafe packed all that into their jeans.
“We are size appropriate, love.” Vin winked.
She raised her hands and held them apart. “That is size appropriate.”
Vin stuck his bottom lip out. “Can we discuss this later?”
Tamara laughed. He was just too darn cute.
He dropped down on top of her and rolled. She was still laughing when he sat her astride him. “Do you know how to ride, darling?”
“I think I can figure it out.” She placed her hands on his muscular chest. Neither he nor Rafe had any hair on their chests, but both had a happy trail leading to their groins.
She worried first one, then the other flat male nipple with her tongue, then nipped it with her teeth.
He gripped her hips with his large hands, and while she was rubbing back and forth, teasing them both, he plunged inside her in one swift push.
“Fuck, yes,” he groaned.
“Oh, Vin…” Tamara tossed her head back. He stretched her, gave her no respite. His hands lifted her and brought her back down. He set up a punishing rhythm. And she relished it, sliding down his cock as if he was big enough to split her in two. Only he and Rafe were right. They were made for her, and she was made for them.
Vin groaned, the sound so carnal she knew he was close. His head was tipped back, the cords of muscles in his neck stood out. She had an urge to lean forward and bite him. A hand at her back, pressing her forward, settled the internal debate.
A finger rubbed against her ass, but the pounding of Vin in her pussy and the constant friction against her clit, had her close to coming again.
Two For Tamara is a paranormal romance thrill ride that left me laughing, sighing, squirming, and entertained until the last page. Its the second book in Elle Boon's Ravens Of War Series and I have to say, the BEST one so far. I LOVED Tamara, Vin, and Rafe!
I thought everything flowed more smoothly and was evenly spaced out in this second book. Its a powerful story with a lot of character and some funny moments, and some extremely sensual ones too.
 I loved getting to know each of these Ravens and I think Vin and Rafe are so far, my favorites. They complimented each other so well. I liked also how you could feel the passion crackling between Vin, Tamara, and Rafe.
Miss Boon also brought on some new and interesting characters in here as well that I am looking forward to reading more about.
It was too easy giving Two for Tamara a full FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS. I liked everything about this second book and can't find one thing to make me think that this should of been anything less then a five star. I can NOT wait for the next book. I hope it gets here soon because I am already dying of anticipation. If you haven't picked Two for Tamara up yet, I suggest you high-tale it to Bookstrand for your copy today. You will no doubt LOVE this book!

Make sure to check out my interview with Miss Elle Boon down below! You won't want to miss out on that!


Today I have the pleasure of having the author of the Ravens of War Series, Miss Elle Boone with us! Thank you so much for taking the time to be here with me to answer a few questions.

Thank you so much for having me. I absolutely love talking lol. And, the Ravens are one of my favorite topics *WEG*

1. For those who are new to you and your series, can you give them a description of your Ravens of War books and where they can find them?
The Ravens are a group of warriors that were created by Zeus thousands of years ago to help him fight his father Cronus. When they were no longer needed they were sent to Earth with the hope they’d find their Fated. The first book is Selena’s Men, which are twins Max and Malcolm King the leaders of the Ravens and Selena Ramos. You can purchase this title on Siren, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other ebook sites. The second book is Two For Tamara. This is Selena’s best friend and Rafe and Vin’s story who are fellow Ravens. Their story takes off after the first book. It just released from Siren on May 21, 2014. Siren keeps all titles for up to 4 weeks and then releases to other vendors. I’m currently over 90% finished with book 3 tentatively titles Jaklyn’s Saviors and have a partial for book 4 tentatively titled Talia’s Heroes. All the books in my Ravens will be ménage, but there are a couple stories that may branch off that may be MMF and MF J

2.  How many more books can we expect with this Series?
There are twelve Ravens and so far they are all paired up, making it six books. However, there are other characters that have popped up such as Balky who I truly believe will need his own story. Once you read Jaklyn’s story I hope and pray my readers will fall in love with another set of characters that I already started partials for them too. So, who knows, but for the Ravens there is six maybe seven for sure

3. Can you tell us whose book in the Ravens of War is up next?
 Jaklyn and her men Coltrain Mercury and Grayson Phine are next followed by Talia Marx with Garrick Theon and Thantos Odysseus. You will love Jaklyn’s story, it’s completely different than the first two, a little darker and the bad guy is not the same. I have added some light hearted aspects that I hope the readers will find themselves laughing out loud to, but I wanted to make sure when you read each book you don’t think “Same story different names”. I’m 100% positive you will not think that will any of my stories J  

4.  Which  character of yours is your favorite and can you tell us why he/she is your favorite?
 I can honestly say Zeus is my favorite so far. For me I love mythology, but I wanted to take this larger than life god and make him likeable, so that’s what I did. He is still kick ass and gorgeous and all those attributes, but he’s funny and loveable. Hey, this is my story hehehe. 

5. Are you planning on writing other books that are not paranormal romance related?
 I actually have written a couple contemporary and I do plan to tweak them and make them better someday. I also have a series that is almost NA that is very close to me. It centers around a group of guys and follows them from senior year of high school and I’ve plotted all the way to their late twenties. It has some real issues, like suicide, drugs, and prison that they as a group have had to face. This is a series that I plan to tackle later this year, and work on because all these have happened to those close to me, I just to flesh it out more.

6. What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
EVERYTHING except promo. I love interacting with the readers, I love the writing. I absolutely love doing release party interactions, they are awesome. I love these question and answers. But I think I suck at promo lol. If I could chat with readers all day long I would totally do it. I love to hear what they think of the book they are reading even if it’s not mine. When a reader tells me they’ve had a bad day, I want to reach through the computer and give them a hug. I just truly enjoy chatting and meeting new people. So being a writer and having all the social media available is awesome for someone like me who LOVES  to talk, although I need to learn to stop and get to writing lol.

 Thank you again for being here with us. I hope to see you again at my blog in the future.
No, thank you for having me. I hope you have me again even though I am probably one of your longest winded visitors.  Elle

Friday, May 23, 2014

ARC Review of Forbidden Temptation (Texas Stallions 4) by Morgan Fox

Catherine Garrett has lived with the dark cloud of past mistakes looming over her head for too long. But after surviving a tragic accident, she finally has a chance to start her life over—alone. So when she comes face to face with a mouthwatering, blue-eyed Texas rancher, of course she's more than freaked out. She’s speechless.
For years, Cooper Boyd has longed for a relationship that lasted longer than the night. Watching both his brothers marry, he can’t shake the desire burning in his heart to find a love of his own. Leaving Temptation is his only option—until a mysterious brunette unexpectedly pulls him into her grasp.
Their instant attraction is explosive, sensual and irresistible.  But when Catherine’s terrifying past catches up to her, the love they crave suddenly comes crashing down around them.

I truly, sincerely LOVED this book! Even though this is my FIRST Texas Stallion book I read, I will most assuredly be going back and reading the first three books in this Series. I honestly can't believe I didn't read the others. This book was GREAT.
I loved the length of the book, and the characters, along with the storyline. I really felt a strong compassionate connection with Catherine. This poor woman was abused badly, mentally, emotionally, and physically and the fact that she survived and was so determined to pick up her life and live it fully was nothing short of awe inspiring.
Cooper was such a sweet, caring, charming gentleman. He is enraged over the abuse Catherine had suffered and wants desperately to protect and care for beautiful, shy, scared Catherine. I have to say, this book was so touching, suspenseful, and beautiful that I was just amazed with the whole story.
Forbidden Temptation is one of the best books I read this year and I hope to get a hold of the first three books in this series so I can be FULLY caught up. I really enjoyed the fact that there was no sex until well over halfway through the book, especially with all the trauma Catherine as been through with her abusive past. I thought Forbidden Temptation was well thought out and is a tempting, sensual, sweet, suspenseful read. I give this book a FOUR AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS. If you like your books with a wounded heroine who finds a sexy hero in a cowboy, then I suggest you run right to Bookstrand and purchase THE WHOLE Texas Stallions Series.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

ARC Review of eXposed by T.L. Reeve

Gavin Parish was in a rut. Lost, confused and feeling too comfortable staying home instead of going out. When Rick, his best friend invites him out for a night on the town, he's intrigued. What he wasn't expecting was a club called, eXposed.
Patrick, the new bartender and Dom for eXposed saw something in Gavin the minute he laid eyes on him. With the gauntlet thrown, he's willing to show his little sub for the night just how intense, and erotic giving over to a Dom can be.
Question is; will Gavin make a repeat visit?
Even though eXposed was a short story, it was still tantalizing, sexy, kinky, and so well written. I LOOOVED seeing a view from a male sub for a change and never thought in a million years, that it would be this hot.
It was different, well good different that is, to see a male sub's POV. I do enjoy reading M/M romance stories but to have one told in this unique way and have the male in question not be made into a girly or baby-ish way is really quite good. What I mean by this is, I have read one or two stories where the author created one male being...more girly then the other or sometimes acting like a child or baby. I prefer my M/M stories to contain strong, capable men, on both sides. And I can honestly say T.L. Reeve definitely did it!
I liked both Gavin and Patrick VERY much. Patrick is the big strong, sexy bartender and Dom and Gavin is the strong, capable, male sub. I thought both of these men were manly and the sex is both passionate and SOOOO HOT I practically melted! I loved the scenes in the club and thought it made a great beginning for Gavin.
I give eXposed an AMAZING FOUR AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS!! If your looking for a sensual, kinky, short M/M romance, then pick up eXposed by T.L. Reeve and be prepared to be awed!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ARC Review of Protecting Olivia by Caitlyn O'Leary

After almost being beaten to death, Olivia Prescott is recovering in Fate Harbor. There she meets firefighter Joshua Parker, who was everything she wants in a man, and she begins to fall in love. Later, his best friend and fellow firefighter, Ian Ransom, returns, and she recognizes a long lost piece of her soul.

Rather than coming between the two friends, she flees back to Boston. When Joshua and Ian find out that Olivia’s life is in danger, they realize that their friendship and Olivia mean more to them than any sense of betrayal. They recognize that to keep her they must learn to share her. Their background in law enforcement allows Joshua and Ian to protect Olivia while helping to discover who is behind the attempts on her life. While finding out who is behind the plot to kill Olivia, can they convince Olivia that the three of them are meant to be together and make a life in Fate Harbor?
The second book in Caitlyn O' Leary's Fate Harbor Series is a stunning masterpiece. Protecting Olivia offers a lot more then Trusting Chance (Book 1) did. It has suspense, danger, a bit of mystery, a strong storyline, compelling characters, and the passion we love with our erotic romance.
I really liked Olivia Prescott. She was such a strong female lead. She is strong-willed, feisty, fights for what she believes and has that independent streak that makes her such a fabulous character. Especially when all that toughness melts away with her incredible men, Joshua and Ian. Speaking of these two men, I thought they were incredibly patient, sexy men too. Ian is also a strong willed character that seems...more distant then Joshua. But when Olivia is in danger he has no problems forgetting about betrayals, and coming to her rescue with his best friend Joshua. Joshua has been hurt in the past but he is still determined to keep Olivia. I like his fun attitude and his patience and caring with Olivia.
What really intrigued me with this story was the fact that neither Joshua or Ian were brought up to enjoy a triad. When things get heated with Olivia and Ian, Joshua takes it as a betrayal and things get sticky. Olivia takes off, depressed and hurt, while a friend of Joshua's has a talk with him about both him and Ian possibly sharing Olivia so she is happy. I thought it was very different and interesting to create characters that had to sit down and think about their woman's happiness FIRST and to give something they never thought of a try so they can ALL be content and happy.
The fact that Miss O' Leary put some major thought into this book is really amazing. There is more in the second book then the first and I personally liked that there was some differences because it made things more interesting. You can tell that this was a well thought out, well written book. I give Protecting Olivia a  FANTASTIC FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE! It has EVERYTHING you could possibly want in a romance in Protecting Olivia: Suspense, passion, likeable and loveable characters, and a storyline that is both unique and compelling. I can't wait to see what Miss O' Leary will come up next with this Fate Harbor series.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sixth Grave On The Edge Blog Tour, Excerpt, and Giveaway






Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it's time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong?

Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn't come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear. 

Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she's used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.



Chapter Three

coffee doesn’t ask silly questions.

coffee understands.

—bumper sticker


We weren’t back in the office ten minutes before the door to the front entrance opened. I’d expected Mr. Joyce, the agitated man with the issues. Instead I got Denise. My evil stepmother. Thankfully, Mr. Joyce was right behind her. He afforded me the perfect excuse not to talk to her.
Her pallor had a grayish tint to it, and her eyes were lined with the bright red only the shedding of tears could evoke. I honestly didn’t know she had the ability to cry.
“Can I talk to you?” she asked
“I have a client.” I pointed to the man behind her to emphasize my point.
Giving her chin a determined upward thrust, she said, “You’ve had clients for two weeks now. I just need a minute.” When I started to argue again, she pleaded with me. “Please, Charlotte.”
Mr. Joyce was holding a baseball cap, wringing it in his hands. He seemed to be growing more agitated by the second. “I really need to talk to you, Ms. Davidson.”
“See?” I pinned Denise with a chastising scowl. “Client.”
She turned on the man, her face as cold and hard as marble. It was an expression I knew all too well. “We just need a minute,” she said to him, her tone razor sharp. “Then she’s all yours.”
He backed off, raising a hand in surrender as he stepped to a chair and took a seat.
My temper flared to life, and I had to force myself to stay calm. I was twenty-seven. I no longer had to put up with my stepmother’s insults. Her revulsion. Her petty snubs. And I damned sure didn’t have to put up with her invading my business and bullying my clients. “That was not necessary,” I said to her when she turned back to me.
“I apologize,” she said, doing a one-eighty. She turned back to Mr. Joyce. “I’m sorry. I’m in a very desperate situation.”
“Tell me about it,” he said, dismissing her with a wave. He clearly had problems of his own.
With all the enthusiasm of a prisoner walking up to the hangman’s noose, I led Denise into my office and closed the door. My temper flaring must have summoned Reyes. He was in my office, waiting, incorporeally.
Then I remembered. He didn’t like Denise any more than I did. Blamed her for most of my heartache as a child. Of course, she’d caused most of it, but Reyes could be . . . testy when it came to my happiness or lack thereof.
“Want me to sever her spine?” he asked as I sat behind my desk.
“Can I think about it and get back to you?” I asked, teasing. Kind of.
Denise looked toward the wall he was leaning against, the one I was looking at, and naturally saw nothing. But where her usual response would be to purse her lips in disapproval, she wiped at her lapel and sat down instead.
“What do you want?” I asked her, my tone as cold as her heart.
“I’m sure you know that your father has left me.”
“At last.”
She flinched like I’d slapped her. “Why would you say such a thing?”
“Are you really asking me that?”
“I love your father.” She almost came up out of her chair. “I’ve always loved your father.”
She had me there. She’d always been an attentive wife to him. Of course, attentive included her agenda, which was manipulative, conniving, and venomous. I couldn’t believe that I could dislike someone so much, but Denise had always been that splinter in my relationship with my father. She did everything in her power to keep us apart. Her jealousy was bizarre and childish. Who on earth was afraid of a father’s love for his child? It just made no sense to me. It never had.
And yet she was never that way toward my sister, Gemma. In fact, she and Gemma were fairly close. I had a feeling Dad’s leaving Denise affected Gemma much more than she was willing to admit. She knew how I felt about our stepmonster, and the fact that she couldn’t go to me when she needed support made me a very bad sibling. But the truth was, she couldn’t. I had no warm and fuzzies where Denise was concerned. She’d made sure of that from day one.
“I—I need you to talk to him. He’s been sick and, and he’s not thinking straight.”
“And what do you want me to say?”
She leveled an exasperated glare on me. “I want you to convince him to come back home where he belongs. He’s still weak. He still needs medical attention.”
“I’m sorry,” I said with a soft, humorless chuckle, “you want me to convince my father to stay with you? The bane of my existence? The woman who made my childhood a living hell? After everything you’ve put me through, you want my help? Are you insane?”
Too bad Gemma, a licensed psychiatrist, was at a conference in D.C. I’d call her and schedule an appointment for Denise ay-sap.
“What have I ever put you through?”
My temper flared again, and I bit my tongue, literally, to keep my emotions under control. When I lost control, the earth shifted beneath me. An earthquake in the middle of Albuquerque would do no one any good.
Reyes straightened as though worried I’d lose control as well. I closed my eyes and took several gulps of air. This wasn’t me. I didn’t hate people. I didn’t make them pay for their misdeeds. Too many departed had crossed through me. Too many times I’d seen what people went through, what they’d endured that made them become the people they were when they died. Until I’d walked a mile in her shoes, I could not judge Denise so completely. That would make me no better than she was. I opened my eyes to her stone face, the face that brought nothing but hurt feelings and knotted stomachaches. Maybe two miles.
“I just have one question,” I said, trying to hold the resentment from my tone lest I sound like her. “Why?”
“Yes, why? Why did you hate me from day one? Why did you treat me like a thorn in your side? What on God’s green earth did I ever do to you?”
She sighed in frustration and let her true colors show through. Her impatience with me, with anything I had to say. “I did no such thing, Charlotte. I don’t hate you. I never have.”
I leaned forward and gave her my best Sunday smile. “I’ll tell you what. When you can admit that you hate me with every fiber of your being, I’ll help you win back Dad. How does that sound?”
“I will never say such a horrible thing.”
I’d offended her. Sweet. “So you can feel it, you just can’t admit to it?”
She squeezed the pocketbook in her lap, her fingers flexing involuntarily. “Charlotte, can we talk sensibly?”
“Wait a minute,” I said as understanding dawned. “You’re here because Dad is fed up with the way you treat me, and you’re thinking that if we become besties, he’ll come back to you.”
“I’m here because I want us all to get into counseling together. Not just Leland and me, but all four of us, including your sister.” Reyes crossed his arms over his chest and went back to holding the wall up while I stood simmering in my astonishment.
She was a piece of work. “How about you go into counseling for you? Get over yourself. And when that happens, when you can be honest with me, we’ll talk again.” I was being so mean. I wanted to applaud myself. I wasn’t a mean person by nature, so it took a lot of energy to bring out the beast in me and stick with it for more than thirty seconds. Damned ADD. But I was so proud of myself. No more being a carpet for someone else to walk on. I was my own girl, and no one was walking on this carpet but me. 
“Charley,” Cookie said through the intercom.
I poked the button. “Yes, Cookie?”
“Um, are you almost done? I need coffee.”
“Oh, sorry! I’ll get it made and bring you a cup.”
“Thanks. And can you bring me the box of Nilla Wafers while you’re at it?”
“Can do.” I jumped up and headed for the Bunn. “Priorities,” I said to Denise. “That’s what life is all about.”


Author Bio:

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at


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Sneak Peak at

Seventh Grave and No Body




Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life.

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.

We’re doomed!

Coming October 2014