Monday, November 30, 2015

ARC Review - Soul Stealer by Lashell Collins!


What do you get when you cross a smoking-hot rock star with a sexy wolf shifter, then throw in a heaping dose of gothic fairytale enchantment? Aleigha Daniels is about to find out! 

In a world where human-shifter relations are often volatile and riddled with unfair presumptions on both sides, Aleigha finds it difficult to trust. Fairytales are for little girls because in real life, men cheat. Something Aleigha knows all too well. There are no enchanted castles and no Prince Charmings who will sweep you off your feet. So when she's forced into interviewing the sexy, enigmatic, and eccentric shifter rock star, Morpheus Wolfe, at his creepy mansion out in the middle of nowhere, all Aleigha can see is the fear inside her own heart. And when circumstances trap her there, Aleigha begins a journey she never expected to take. What she doesn't know is that Morpheus has an agenda, and sometimes fairytales do come true.


Looking for a sexy, slightly dark and sizzling romance that will have you growling into the night? Then Soul Stealer by Lashell Collins is the right book for you! Sexy rock stars who also happens to be shifters? OH HELL YEA! The characters are delicious and intriguing, while the plot is wickedly sensual and delicious! The romance is hot and the book is a real page turner. Its fast-paced and sexy and everything you hope for in a paranormal romance. 

I loved Morpheus! A rock god and a sexy shifter, he had me sighing dreamily and panting has he seduced Aleigha. I loved that the interview Aleigha had to conduct was in a spooky castle that was incredibly interesting with some dark undertones...yea, I definitely enjoyed the darkness in the story, because it was the kind of darkness that had me wanting to read further. It is the kind of darkness that is erotic and thrilling and all-consuming...YUM!

Soul Stealer received a FOUR SHOOTING STARS! The plot was perfectly balanced with sexiness and just the right amount of action. A total kick-ass story.

ARC Review - Taken By Storm by LJ Vickery


Anshar is god of the sky...but he's also something much more dangerous. Terrified for the safety of the woman he would call his own, he denies his attraction to keep her safe and the monster inside of him at bay. A battle is coming between the gods of the Blue Hills and the puritans who would destroy his kind before the gods can find their Chosen—mortals who are not just mates, but who can make the gods corporeal once more.

Lenore Crest is drawn to the taciturn god against her better judgment and in spite of the hateful lessons she's always been taught about his kind by the leader of a secret puritan society. Opening her heart to Anshar would be a betrayal to her people, and loving him could put everyone in danger.

Can their relationship survive in spite of his secrets and her misplaced allegiances?


Taken By Storm took me...well, by storm! The first book blew me away, but this book picked me up and threw me down and then lifted me up again! Holy cow, it was spectacular! Full of action, sizzling sex, and some wild and sexy characters. I was intrigued with Anshar since Rock Hard. He seems so laid back and fun, but he has some secrets that both shocked me (in a VERY good way) and had me biting my lip. Now, to say Lenore was a kick-ass heroine would be putting it mildly. She was a total bad ass and I LOVED her for that! At first she was on the wrong side of things, fighting WITH the bad guys, until after some sexy seduction from Anshar, she starts seeing things in a whole new light.

I LOVE how LJ Vickery writes her stories! They are incredibly interesting with phenomenal characters and great storylines. The romance is intense and the paranormal elements will enchant you as well as keep you on the edge.  Taken By Storm may be my favorite one as of yet in this incredible series!  The sex is super hot and the action is edgy and intense. A perfect book to get the readers hearts pumping and blood flowing hotly through the veins.

A SUPER CHARGED FIVE SHOOTING STARS for Taken By Storm by LJ Vickery! From start to finish, this book had me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, and squirming in my seat. MORE PLEASE!

The Guardians of the Realms Blog Hop and giveaway!!



 The Guardians Of The Realms 

By Setta Jay

Erotic Paranormal Romance 

   Hidden Ecstasy prequel (free)

   Ecstasy Unbound book 1(On Sale NOW for just $.99 till Nov 30th) 


 Ecstasy Claimed book 2

   Denying Ecstasy book 3

   Tempting Ecstasy book 4


Piercing Ecstasy book 5


Binding Ecstasy book 6


Searing Ecstasy book 7 (NEW RELEASE)

   Bundle Pack books 1-3 (On Sale NOW for just $2.99 till Nov 30th)

Bundle Pack books 4-6

Want to get to know Setta?

Setta Jay is the author of the popular Guardians of the Realms Series. She's garnered attention and rave reviews in the paranormal romance world for writing smart, slightly innocent heroines and intense alpha males. She loves writing stories that incorporate a strong plot with a heavy dose of heat. Her influences include Judith McNaught who she feels writes a smart heroine to perfection, Gena Showalter, Maya Banks and Lora Leigh. You can often find her writing compared to JR Ward, but if you are a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood be warned that Setta Jay's novels are more erotic in nature.

Born a California girl, she currently resides in Idaho with her husband of ten plus years who she describes as incredibly sexy and supportive. 

She loves to hear from readers so feel free to ask her questions on social media or send her an email, she will happily reply. 

Subscribe to her newsletter for giveaways, exclusive excerpts and release information: 








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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ARC Review - Burn Baby Burn by Catherine Vale!

When the curvy dragon shifter suddenly loses her ability to fly, and finds herself hurtling to the ground, Adalyn must admit, she's one hot mess. Unable to escape the city without wings, she goes on the war path to find out exactly who is responsible for her inability to shift. 

A few hours later, she finds herself drowning her sorrows at the local watering hole. What's a girl to do when she has nowhere to go, and no one to call for help? She falls into bed with the sexiest man in town, of course. Except the guy isn't exactly able to help considering his reckless behavior is the reason why she can’t leave. 

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… 

All hell is about to break lose when Adalyn finds herself stuck in a rather unusual predicament. If she wants her shifting ability restored, she must help her new partner pick up a package and deliver it to the Order Of Protection. 

Sounds pretty easy, right? Except the package is a baby, and her partner, well… he’s a whole other problem. 

What happens when two stubborn, wildly passion dragon shifters are forced to work together? For Adalyn it’s simple; complete the mission, and get the hell out of town. But you know what they say about the best laid plans... 


Need a steamy paranormal romance featuring sexy dragon shifters? Then feast your eyes on Burn Baby Burn by Catherine Vale! Its full of spice, sex so hot it will leave you a melted pile of goo, and seriously fun and sexy banter.

For a short story, this was a surprising satisfying read. I haven't read a lot of books featuring dragon shifters, but thanks to Miss Vale, I will now be looking for more of them, that's for sure! I really like Adalyn. Fun, spunky, and downright sassy, she has got to be one of the most entertaining characters I have read about in a while. I never imagined that I would enjoy a romance with dragon shifters before, but this one was more then I anticipated, and I LOVED that.

Burn Baby Burn by Catherine Vale receives a SMOKING FOUR AND A HALF STARS! Written beautifully with fun and super sexy characters and a plot that captures the attention, it is one of those short stories that us readers wish could last forever. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Netgalley ARC Review - Safe In His Arms by Melody Anne!


Can a California transplant survive Montana’s deep snows? New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melody Anne breaks the ice between a sexy fireman and a brand-new teacher in this steamy holiday tale—originally published in the sizzling anthology Baby, It’s Cold Outside—which launched her popular Unexpected Heroes series.

Natalie Duncan is thrilled to get her first teaching job, but southern California didn’t prepare her for winter in Montana—or for gorgeous fire chief Hawk Winchester. For a man dedicated to putting out fires, Hawk really knows how to add heat to Natalie’s life, especially when he’s rescuing her from compromising situations. A man this strong and capable should know exactly what to do when a lady is trapped under the mistletoe. Suddenly Natalie’s blue Christmas is glowing red-hot...


This book was so remarkably good! It sizzled, it sparked, it will bring the BEST holiday cheer to everyone who loves a good holiday romance. Safe In His Arms by Melody Anne was beautifully written with some fun and sweet characters and a few older women who have no problem meddling in their kids's lives so they can find love. Its both fun and sweet. 

Hawk was such a sexy sweetheart! I loved how even though he knew what his mother and her friends were doing, (setting him up with his sexy and sassy new tenant and teacher), he couldn't seem to stay away from Natalie. And Natalie sure did need ALL the attention everyone, especially Hawk, gave her. She didn't plan on falling in love so fast, but Hawk was just to irresistible to resist. And since she kept falling into his arms, literally, it was no wonder sparks kept flying between these two! The more she sassed, the more he fell for her. And the more he pursued her, the more she melted. 

This book was so good! I am entirely gone for this book and author! I will DEFINITELY be seeking more books by Melody Anne out IMMEDIATELY. Safe In His Arms got a SPLENDID FIVE SHOOTING STARS! A perfect holiday treat. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Netgalley ARC Review - The Dirt On Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson 9) by Darynda Jones!


In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.


The Dirt On Ninth Grave was everything I hoped for...AND MORE! The end of Eighth Grave left me CRAVING Ninth Grave. It was fantastic with almost all our favorite characters and a few more added into the mix. With poor Charley's amnesia, her friends and family come to support her and watch out for her while she has no idea who she is or what she is. During this time we get to see the sparks fly anew between Charley and Reyes as she finds her way back to the person she was. With more twists, turns, and more nail-biting moments, as well as some moments that left me teary-eyed and moments that were just so...Charley, that I found myself laughing and shaking my head while muttering, "yep, that is DEFINITELY a Charley thing!".

The moment I started reading I was transported to the BEST place on earth...wherever Charley and Reyes was, which in this book, was Sleepy Hollow, NY, working as a waitress in a little cafe. Even though Charley can't remember her name and is currently going by the name Jane Doe, her attraction the sexy new chef, Reyes Farrow, isn't any less sizzling then when she was Charley. Reyes, along with Garrett, Cookie, Charley's Uncle, Osh, and Gemma, are trying to let Charley remember on her own, everything she forgot. Even as Jane, she seems to go willingly into trouble as she tries to help people. She still manages to get herself into sticky situations that had me doubled over laughing! And when she finally gives into the temptation that is the sexy Reyes Farrow, the sparks are still as hot, steamy, and irresistible as ever!

If your looking for the one read that is a GUARANTEE to please you over and over again, then The Dirt On Ninth Grave is IT. Miss Jones is an absolute STAR. This book gets an OUTSTANDING FIVE SHOOTING STARS! Its writing at its finest with The Dirt On Ninth Grave. A MUST HAVE BOOK!  I will be rereading this book again and again, until the next one...that is a promise!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Netgalley ARC Review - Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy!


From the hellhole of a Taliban prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES Security.

Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he's eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can't just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…

There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried.


A stunning, edgy, and sexy new book by Alexandra Ivy! Kill Without Mercy is a BRAND SPANKING NEW BOOK in a BRAND NEW SPANKING series, and it is gloriously good. I was on the edge of my seat THE WHOLE FREAKING TIME I read this. I was amazed with each new mystery, each new twist and turn this book had. The characters are stunning, the writing perfectly balanced and the story is addicting! I freaking LOVED every single character. From Annie and her amazing talent, to Rafe, and to every single member of his ARES Security team.

Every single character we got to meet in Kill Without Mercy were not only interesting, but had me completely eager to start the next book, and that was before I even finished this book! This series will no doubt rise to the Best-Sellers List...FAST! I loved every thing about it. Its not only wonderfully written, but the story has non-stop action, crackling chemistry, sizzling romance, and great sex. Literally, this book has it ALL. 

I give Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy a FIERY FIVE SHOOTING STARS! Action-packed, with plenty of twists, turns, and surprises, along with fantastic chemistry and great characters, its no wonder I am already HIGHLY anticipating the next book.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Netgalley ARC Review - How To Wrangle A Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy!


Lindsey Ward is shocked when her grandfather leaves his ranch to her, complete with a ranch foreman who's difficult and annoyingly attractive. Lindsey thinks she has no choice but to sell the ranch, but Shane Lockhart is determined to change her mind…

Shane is determined that working and living at the Ward ranch is the only way to raise his young son properly. In order to stay at the ranch he calls home, Shane will have to warm the heart of the most stubborn, appealing woman he's ever met - opening up his own heart in the process.


How To Wrangle A Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy was one of those books that had me smiling, scowling at the characters every now and then, and had me sighing in contentment. It was sweet, sexy, frisky, and downright fun! 

Shane and Lindsey were some seriously wonderful characters. Both had issues they needed to work out, and when they were in the same vicinity of one another sparks flew and tempers soared and soon, so did their passion! I really enjoyed this story. The characters are feisty and amazing while story took my breath away. It was SUCH an enjoyable romance. I will be watching for more book by Miss Kennedy, that;s for sure.

How To Wrangle A Cowboy gets a SHINNING FOUR SHOOTING STARS! Fun, inspirational, full of charm, smoking chemistry and steamy sex. A VERY GOOD READ.

Netgalley ARC Review - Drakon by Reveca Beauregard!


Scarlett Kingfin was forced to run when her life went up in flames, literally. Her home was scorched, and her sister was missing. She was armed with nothing more than a set of coordinates and a fierce temper. 
Her twisted path led Scarlett right into the lair of Draxton Drakon, the ruling alpha dragon shifter of the Drakon Clan. His kind owned the seas. Sailing through mystic barriers, they often returned home with their spoils—to the home Scarlett had forgotten. Much like she had forgotten she was his mate, the missing half to his fiery soul. 
Strife, tension, and undeniable magnetism stand between the lovers when they’re face to face again. Her presence not only represents a broken royal vow, but also spurs a wicked prophecy of a lethal war between the immortals. Explosions, kidnappings, unveiled truths, and twisted rivalry shroud Draxton and Scarlett's every step. Their dragons deep within are invincible. Will the hearts of the man and woman be strong enough to survive the hell their rise will inflame?


I was honestly prepared to like this story. The blurb drew me in and had me completely interested. Unfortunately, as I was reading Drakon, I actually found it a bit odd and confusing for the first part of the story. After that, things became a bit clearer and I was able to enjoy it a lot more. The characters are unique as is the storyline. I loved the action and the suspense and the romance. It was sweet yet sexy, and confusing and interesting at the same time. 

To me, this wasn't a bad story but wasn't great either. Since this is only my first book I have read by the author of  Reveca Beauregard and it left me feeling like it was at least a decent story, I feel that Drakon deserved at least a TWO AND A HALF STARS! Its unique characters and storyline is what really made this book decent and I will have no issues reading another book by Miss Beauregard. I can honestly say this book at least deserves an honorable mention.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Drakon by Reveca Beauregard Release Day Blitz!



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Scarlett Kingfin was forced to run when her life went up in flames, literally. Her home was scorched, and her sister was missing. She was armed with nothing more than a set of coordinates and a fierce temper.
Her twisted path led Scarlett right into the lair of Draxton Drakon, the ruling alpha dragon shifter of the Drakon Clan. His kind owned the seas. Sailing through mystic barriers, they often returned home with their spoils—to the home Scarlett had forgotten. Much like she had forgotten she was his mate, the missing half to his fiery soul.
Strife, tension, and undeniable magnetism stand between the lovers when they’re face to face again. Her presence not only represents a broken royal vow, but also spurs a wicked prophecy of a lethal war between the immortals. Explosions, kidnappings, unveiled truths, and twisted rivalry shroud Draxton and Scarlett's every step. Their dragons deep within are invincible. Will the hearts of the man and woman be strong enough to survive the hell their rise will inflame?

Go to Jamie's Blog for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE:

About the Author

Reveca Beauregard, AKA Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business.
Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she’d never been, introduce her to people she’s never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.

Where to Find Reveca Beauregard Goodreads | Website | Blog | Facebook | Newsletter | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Tumblr

Revived By Malm Release Blitz with Review!

Release Blitz 

Revived By Malm

(Olodian Alien Warrior Romance Book 2)


Mychal Daniels 

Sci-fi Fantasy Romance 


Who has time to miss coffee and chocolate when there’s an Alien Warrior superhero stealing hearts?
Clever with a bright future ahead of her, Dr. Phoebe Brown has it all— intelligence, an enviable career as a highly respected doctor, beauty and brains. That is until her life is endangered on a failing maintenance Space Station.
 A heroic rescue by a fleet of honorable, if not unbelievably sexy Warrior Aliens, places a now comatose Phoebe in a new alien world.
She wakes to find her entire life as she knew it is gone and she must start over—alone.
Malm is the ultimate warrior, committed to fulfilling his duty as second-in-command to his cousin and friend, Tordin. So, when he experiences an undeniable pull and extraordinary attraction for the sleeping human female, he wants nothing more than to get her safely to his planet. There she can find a male worthy of her and… away from him. 
Will Phoebe be able to create a new life after Earth—alone—when her heart longs for the attention and touch of the one man who is the least interested—the one with the emerald eyes called Malm.


Another deliciously written sci-fi romance with sexy aliens and sassy human women. The cover is gorgeous and the characters are explosive on the pages! Its wonderfully written with great sex and the right amount of edginess that will leave readers satisfied. Malm is a bit thickheaded while Phoebe is spirited and never seems to give up. When these two finally let their passion take over, the pages just sizzle so much, I am surprised it didn't catch my ereader on fire.

If you love sexy aliens and sassy heroines with steamy dialogue and a well written plot, then your in luck! This book HAS IT ALL! I am SO glad I found this series and am looking forward to the next story.

I liked the tension and the suspense and incredible romance. I am completely in love with this series. Revived By Malm got a STUNNING FIVE SHOOTING STARS! Its better, sexier, and more fun then the first one. A MUST BUY BOOK!

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About the Author:

Mychal Daniels grew up fantasizing about the wonderment of what ifs. This love spilled over into her ability to weave stories that arrested the attention of her siblings and friends. After going the way of the office drone for far too many seasons, she decided to follow her love of romance, fantasy and storytelling to create and share her highly imaginative take on the great what ifs. The result is these books that allow you to step into the world of her fanciful imagination. Enjoy and don't forget to leave a review while Mychal is off lassoing in your next book boyfriend!

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Paige Tyler IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES Excerpt Tour!


Title: In the Company of Wolves                              
Series: SWAT, #3
Author: Paige Tyler
Pubdate: December 1st, 2015
ISBN: 9781492608530

He opened his mouth to order her to drop the MP5 she had aimed at him, but nothing would come out. It was like she’d robbed him of the ability to speak. Shooting her wasn’t an option, though. And the idea of arresting her didn’t make him feel any better.

There's a new gang of criminals in town who are organized and ruthless in the extreme. When Eric Becker, along with the rest of the Dallas SWAT team, ends up in the middle of a shootout, he immediately senses werewolves-a lot of them. Turns out, the new bad guys are a pack of wolf shifters.

In a spray of gunfire, Becker comes face-to-face with the most gorgeous woman he's ever seen. Becker does the logical thing. He hides her and leaves the scene with the rest of his team.

Jayna Winston has no idea why that SWAT guy helped her, but she's glad he did. Ever since she and her pack mates got mixed up with those Eastern European mobsters, everything had pretty much fallen apart.

So what's a street-savvy thief like Jayna going to do with a hot alpha-male wolf who's a police officer?

Barnes and Noble:

This December, Paige Tyler releases the third in her action-packed SWAT series, IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. To celebrate, we have the first 5 chapters of IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES to share with youJust click here to download the first 5 chapters for FREE!

To get you started, we’ve included the first few pages below. Can’t get enough of SWAT? Sign up for Paige Tyler’s newsletter to receive an exclusive bonus scene on November 23rd.

Happy Reading!

East Side Detroit, September, 2010
Jayna Winston flinched at the sound of the door slamming against the cheap plaster wall of the apartment’s tiny entryway. Crap. Her stepdad was drunk again. No surprise there. These days, Darren came home drunk almost every night. He was supposed to be looking for work, but unless there was a job hiding under a bar stool down at Hoolie’s, he wasn’t likely to find one anytime soon.
She glanced at her partially opened bedroom window that exited out onto the fire escape. Maybe she should bail and see if she could crash at a friend’s for the night. She didn’t like the idea of walking the streets of Detroit’s East Side this late, but she really wasn’t in the mood to listen to Darren and her mom get in another fight over money and his drinking habits. Darren was a mean drunk, and when her mom started screaming at him about wasting what little money they had, things usually got ugly fast.
Not that her mom was any kind of saint when it came to saving money. The reason she got so pissed about Darren blowing through all the cash was because it hardly left her any to spend on her own vices—lottery tickets with a little crystal meth on the side.
Jayna scrambled off the bed and started for the window but then hesitated. Darren got pissed when she used the fire escape to leave their third-floor apartment. He said it made her look like a dirty hoodlum, sliding down the ladder like that. Not that she cared what people around here thought, but the last time he’d caught her slipping out the window, he’d thrashed her with his belt right out on the street while the neighbors watched.
She was still weighing the odds when she heard Darren swear, immediately followed by her mom’s voice, roughened by a lifetime of smoking unfiltered cigarettes, cussing right back at him.
“Don’t turn your face away from me, you stupid bitch!” Darren’s deep voice was so heavily slurred, it would have been impossible to understand if she didn’t have so much experience at interpreting his drunken rants. “You think you’re too good for me or something? You’re nothing but a meth whore. Get over here!”
“Double crap,” Jayna muttered as she headed for the window.
She was getting the hell out of there. Darren wasn’t only violent when he was drunk; sometimes he was horny too, and now seemed like one of those times. Her stepdad never had a problem smacking her around whenever he felt she deserved it—which was frequently—but he’d never tried anything else. Since she’d turned seventeen a couple weeks ago, he’d started looking at her in a way that made her feel really queasy. Jayna knew that sooner or later, he was going to come sniffing around her. She wasn’t going to hang around and give him a chance to do it tonight.
She was yanking on the window, which got stuck more often than not, when a loud thud resonated from the living room, immediately followed by a sharp cry of pain. She hesitated, but not for long. She’d tried to come to her mom’s defense a few months ago, putting herself in front of Darren and rocking his head back with a slap across his face, only to end up getting hit on the head with a heavy glass ashtray by her mom, who then shouted at Jayna for touching “her man.”
Jayna didn’t think of herself as all that smart—she was barely making it in school—but there were some lessons she only had to learn once. That night had been the last time she ever tried to get between her mom and Darren. Her mom wanted him; she could keep him.
Ignoring the sobbing outside her bedroom door, Jayna tugged on the window again. It broke loose without a sound, and she already had one leg halfway over the sill before she remembered her cell phone.
She pulled her leg back in and darted for her dresser, where her old, battered Nokia was charging. She hated wasting time getting the thing. It had crappy service most of the time anyway. But if she was going to find a place to crash tonight, she’d need her cell. It wasn’t like she’d find a working pay phone around this part of town.
Jayna was shoving the phone in her jeans back pocket when her bedroom door flew open so violently the knob smashed a hole in the wall and sent a cloud of white dust flying. She took one look at Darren’s pissed-off expression and ran for the window as fast as she could. Angry might have been his default expression, but this was different. This time, he looked…hungry.
She didn’t make it far before a heavy hand caught her shoulder. Darren spun her around and gave her a shove, bouncing her off the cheap mirror attached to the wall beside the window. Her right elbow and forearm absorbed most of the impact, hitting the mirror hard enough to shatter it. Something shattered in her arm too, and the stab of pain that shot through it was enough to make tears spring to her eyes.
But she didn’t cry. She’d found out a while ago that crying only made it worse. Darren liked to hear women cry.
Gritting her teeth against the pain, Jayna glared at the piece of crap her mom had brought into their lives. “What do you want?”
Darren eyed her from under heavy lids. “I want you to start pulling your weight around here, girl, that’s what I want.”
Her heart pounded as he moved closer, and she knew this had nothing to do with her cleaning the toilet or taking out the trash. Darren had wanted something else from her for a while, and tonight, he was apparently drunk enough to try to take it. That was never going to happen. She’d die first.
She edged closer to the window. “Stay the hell away from me, you pig!”
If she could get a lead on him, she could get out the window and onto the fire escape. He’d never catch her once she got outside. She was too fast, and he was too clumsy.
But he closed the distance between them faster than she’d ever seen him move, making her wonder just how drunk he really was. Before she could even take a breath to scream, he had his big hand around her throat and was shoving her against the wall. The back of her head bounced off the edge of the mirror frame, and she felt shards of loose glass dig into her back at the same time stars exploded in her vision.
Jayna was still fighting off a creeping wave of blackness when his lips came down on hers and he forced his tongue into her mouth. He tasted of cheap beer and cigarettes, and she bit down hard, jerking away. He bellowed like an angry bear and backhanded her. She fell over the broken remains of her mirror in a heap, pieces of the razor-sharp glass stabbing into her in a dozen different places.
She cried out, kicking at him with her tennis shoes as Darren roughly flipped her over on her back. He ignored her feeble kicks the same way he ignored her wild punches. She screamed then, as loud as she could—not because she thought someone might come to help, but simply because she wasn’t going to let this happen without a fight.
Jayna fought with everything she had, but he was so much stronger than she was. On top of that, her right arm throbbed like hell. It was all she could do to lift it. Worse, the more weight Darren piled on top of her, the deeper the shards of glass from the broken mirror dug into her back.
Crap. Why hadn’t she thought of it before?
Ignoring the pain in her injured arm, she searched blindly on the floor for a piece of mirror she could use as a weapon. Her fingers closed around one, and she cried out as the sharp glass sliced into her hand. But the feel of her belt coming undone drove the sting away, and she swung her hand up, stabbing at anything she could reach.
Darren was so drunk and enraged, he didn’t realize what was happening until she’d slashed his face so hard, the glass crunched under her hand. Blood poured down his face and he bellowed like a wounded animal. But instead of throwing himself off her like she’d hoped, he brought back his fist to punch her.
Knowing a blow like that would end her fight, Jayna tightened her fingers around the piece of mirror and swung at the most vulnerable area she could reach—his neck. The long, jagged piece of glass only stopped when the part she’d been holding broke off in her grasp. The rest was buried in the right side of Darren’s fat neck four inches deep.
He let her go and reached for his neck. Jayna twisted sideways, kicking him in the chest, then crawled out from under him and scrambled to her feet. She staggered toward the window, stumbling when she heard Darren behind her. Oh God, he was still coming!
She grabbed the porcelain Wonder Woman lamp that had been sitting on her nightstand since her real dad had given it to her fifth birthday, spun around, and smashed Darren over the head. The lamp shattered, and Darren slumped to the floor with the pieces.
Jayna looked around. There was a lot of blood on the floor, both hers and Darren’s. But she was still standing, and he wasn’t.
A sound from the doorway startled her out of her daze, and she lifted her head to see her mom standing staring at her in horror.
“What did you do?” her mother demanded, running to Darren’s side and kneeling down beside him.
Jayna didn’t try to explain. Her mom wouldn’t listen or care. Darren was still breathing, but Jayna had no idea if he was going to stay that way. The cops might believe she’d been defending herself, or they might not. She’d never had much faith in cops. They weren’t interested in helping people like her.
This wasn’t something she could get out of by spending the night at a friend’s house either. She had to get away from there.
Jayna stepped around her mom, who was still blubbering and fussing over the unconscious Darren, and grabbed the charger for her phone. Then she scooped up the small amount of money she had in her sock drawer and headed for the window. Her mom didn’t even say anything to her as she climbed out.
Jayna stood on the fire escape, afraid she’d take a header down the steps if she didn’t. But she felt surprisingly steady considering what had just happened. Her hand was barely bleeding and her arm didn’t hurt nearly as bad as before.
Maybe it was shock, she mused as she climbed down the fire escape. Or maybe she was simply a whole hell of lot tougher than she ever thought she could be.
“Damn right you’re tough,” she muttered, almost believing it as the pain in her arm and hand receded a little more with each step. “You don’t need anyone to make it on your own.”