Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Psychic and The Sleuth by Summer Devon & Bonnie Dee

Trusting a psychic flash might solve a mystery…and lead to love.

Inspector Robert Court should have felt a sense of justice when a rag-and-bones man went to the gallows for murdering his cousin. Yet something has never felt right about the investigation. Robert’s relentless quest for the truth has annoyed his superintendent, landing him lowly assignments such as foiling a false medium who’s fleecing the wives of the elite.

Oliver Marsh plays the confidence game of spiritualism, though his flashes of insight often offer his clients some comfort. Despite the presence of an attractive, if sneering, non-believer at a séance, he carries on—and experiences a horrifying psychic episode in which he experiences a murder as the victim.

There’s only one way for Court to learn if the young, dangerously attractive Marsh is his cousin’s killer or a real psychic: spend as much time with him as possible. Despite his resolve to focus on his job, Marsh somehow manages to weave a seductive spell around the inspector’s straight-laced heart.

Gradually, undeniable attraction overcomes caution. The two men are on the case, and on each other, as they race to stop a murderer before he kills again.

Warning: Graphic language and hot male/male sex with light BDSM themes. Despite “Descriptions of Murderous Acts” perpetrated by an unhinged killer, resist the temptation to cover your eyes—you’ll miss the good parts!

Robert and Oliver are such a great pair.  I don't know that I would classify this as a "enemies to lovers" sub-genre but they most definitely have the equal parts fighting and attraction down pat.  The author's warning says it best "Despite “Descriptions of Murderous Acts” perpetrated by an unhinged killer, resist the temptation to cover your eyes—you’ll miss the good parts!"  There are so many good parts mixed throughout the story, and I'm not just talking about "yummy" times, there is humor, sparring, fear, and of course murder.  By fear, I'm not just referring to the mystery, I'm also referring to Oliver's realization that he actually does have some psychic ability and Robert's same realization and having to admit that being psychic isn't an automatic conman at work.  This is the first time I've read either author or one of their collaborations but it definitely won't be the last.


London, 1892
“I’m getting a name. I believe it starts with a W.” The young man in the checked jacket spoke in the sepulchral tone one expected from a Spiritualistic medium. Lush, dark lashes fluttered against his cheeks, and full lips parted as his eyebrows drew together in a frown.

He might sound the part, but his appearance was wrong, Court decided. His clothes, for one thing. Most mediums he’d observed wore dark, dignified clothing, as if to lend gravity to their incredible claims. Oliver Marsh’s scarlet waistcoat and checked jacket were too flashy by far for the role he was playing. Made him appear more like a fly-by-night salesman than a portal to the other world.

“Wilma? No. Winifred.” Marsh’s head cocked as though hearing an unseen voice whisper the name in his ear.

Court forced his eyes not to roll at the act. The young lady beside him gasped, and her limp, clammy hand gripped his tighter. “I have an aunt named Winifred. She died two years ago.”

The spiritualist inclined his head. “I’m getting the sense of her presence, a sense of great love and peace. She’s content on the other side, but she has a message she needs to deliver.”

Miss Abigail Fontaine leaned forward, eyes wide. “What does she want to tell me?”

Mr. Marsh’s frown deepened, and he moved his head slowly from side to side as though searching for a sound that came in intermittent bursts. “She says…” A long pause. “Don’t. There is something you are about to do, a big decision. She’s warning you against making the wrong choice.”

The redhead gasped again, and her grip on Court’s hand became almost painful. “Rodney? Aunt Winifred doesn’t approve of my fiancé, Mr. Pepperidge? But that’s impossible. Why not? Ask her why not?”

Court’s jaw tightened as he watched the medium play the young woman like an angler taking his time reeling in a fish. He didn’t know how Marsh had secured the details of the Fontaine woman’s engagement or why he would interfere. Perhaps her family or the Pepperidges didn’t approve the match and had paid Marsh to encourage Miss Fontaine to end it. Any scenario was feasible except for the possibility that Miss Fontaine’s aunt was actually transmitting a message from beyond the grave.

It was Court’s job to expose Marsh as a charlatan to stop him from taking money from gullible people. Posing as a believer, he’d observe the man until he was able to prove he’d fleeced a customer or coerced money from someone. Because he’d been too damned persistent on a case that hadn’t been assigned to him, Court no longer hunted murderers. It was some consolation to reflect that he would be stopping a predator. A man who gave false hope to the desperate was the lowest sort of scum.

He would maintain his cover so he could continue to interact with the spiritualist. Soon enough the false medium would be arrested, ending another shameful career.

Marsh paused and frowned some more, belaboring the effort it took to reach through the mists of time and space to reach the dead. “This spirit seems to feel your young man is not all he has represented himself to be. I’m getting two messages from her, a sense of deep love for you and a clear warning, but nothing more specific.”

Court had tracked another medium a few years earlier—that one had stolen works of art during weekend parties—and he’d been to enough séances now to know the routine. At this point, the medium usually snapped out of his or her trance, making a great show of weariness, and would leave the table. The excited guests would break for refreshments as they pondered his great spiritual gift and discussed the messages. In Court’s opinion, there was more thrill-seeking than actual spiritual resonance about these affairs.

But tonight the medium didn’t immediately open those long-lashed eyes. Instead, he held very still, and his face turned markedly pale. He caught his breath before he spoke again, and when he did, his voice was low and rasping, scraping up Court’s spine like a file. “There is another presence.”

Their hostess and fervent spiritualist, Lady Markham, was beside herself with excitement at the prospect of more messages from beyond. “Are you all right, Mr. Marsh?”

“Oh God.” Marsh grimaced as though in pain. “She is… She needs…” he stammered.

“Who? Do you have a name?” Lady Markham murmured, anxious not to break the medium’s concentration at this delicate moment.

“A flower. White. Not a daisy. She’s”—Marsh caught his breath and exhaled a name—“Lily.”

Court felt like someone had driven a fist into his stomach. Lily. The image of his cousin’s face came to him. God, he wished he could see a picture of Lily laughing, but no, he saw the moment of her death. Every detail from the blood oozing from the back of her head, to the anguish in her eyes just before they closed for the last time—he bit down on the inside of his cheek to stop himself seeing the rest. God damn Marsh.

“The man scared her. He said she’ll join the others.” Marsh’s voice was anguished and his expression contorted. It was quite a performance, and Court was having a hard time keeping his dyspeptic stomach from lurching. The medium must know he was a police inspector and his true purpose in attending the séance. But how had Marsh found out about Lily?

Marsh choked on a sob. “She’s looking at Robert.”

“Robert Littleton?” Lady Markham looked at the white-haired gentleman seated across the table from her.

“Not I, madam.” Littleton’s handlebar moustache twitched as he spoke. “There’s never been a woman named Lily in my life.”

Robert Court stirred uneasily. He hadn’t given his first name when he’d contacted Lady Markham about her interesting new protégé; he’d simply called himself Mr. Peeler, the name he often used for this sort of work.

What was Marsh’s goal? What did he hope to achieve by baiting him? Court wanted to let go of the sweaty palm of the man named Abernathy on his left and Miss Fontaine’s slender hand on his right to jump up and walk away from the table, but he mustn’t react to Marsh’s words. He couldn’t let any of them know who he truly was, and they would interrogate him if they thought the pronouncement from beyond held meaning for him.

“He said there were others,” the medium’s desolate voice continued. “Murder. Murder.”

“Oh my goodness.” The elderly woman beside Miss Fontaine broke the circle and reached for her handkerchief to dab at her forehead. “This is too much, Lady Markham. Entirely too much. I don’t wish to participate any longer.”

“Shh, Marjorie,” their hostess said. “A murderer’s identity may be revealed here tonight. What greater purpose could there be for these gatherings than to bring about truth and justice?” Diamonds flashed in Lady Markham’s ears, matching the sparkle in her eyes. Her ladyship was the type of woman who wore jewels even for an informal gathering with friends, overdressed and with too much time on her idle hands, but a caring person at heart, Court believed. She’d be appalled to learn she was the reason her good friend Mr. Marsh had come under the gaze of the authorities.

The relatively minor case of a spiritual medium had been handed to the serious-crimes officer because Marsh had begun to bilk the wealthy. Lord Markham disliked having his wife throw money at Marsh and had complained to Sir Bradford, the commissioner.

“Carry on, Mr. Marsh,” Lady Markham said. “What else does Lily say?”

Court studied the medium’s face, noting how his eyes darted back and forth beneath the lids. He was quite an actor, with a full arsenal of emotions in his quiver. Tears leaked from the corners of his closed eyes and rolled down his cheeks. Court watched in fascination as they dripped off that smooth-shaven jaw onto his crisp white shirt collar and felt a ridiculous urge to lean forward and wipe away the tears.

It’s all a sham, he reminded himself. Bits of facts stitched together with fancy. A swindler was adept at learning everything about the people he planned to cheat and then striking them at their Achilles’ heel. How Marsh had learned about the Lily Bailey case was all that mattered.

“He was stronger than I imagined. I didn’t listen to you about being careful, dear. I should have listened to you. Oh, Phillip,” Marsh whispered the words.

Court felt another blow to his gut, for only he had heard those words after he’d been summoned to the scene by the constable. She’d returned to consciousness for a few heartbeats, whispered the few garbled phrases, just as roughly as Marsh had, and no one else had been within hearing distance. Another thought came to him—there might be a simple explanation why Marsh might have been lurking so close. He could be the murderer.

Author Bios:
Bonnie Dee
I began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, I was the designated ghost tale teller. I still have a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

Writing childish stories for my own pleasure led to majoring in English at college. Like most English majors, I dreamed of writing a novel, but at that time in my life didn't have the necessary focus and follow through. Then life happened. A husband and children occupied the next twenty years and it was only in 2000 that I began writing again.

I enjoy dabbling in many genres. Each gives me a different way to express myself. I've developed a habit of writing every day that's almost an addiction. I don't think I could stop now if I tried.

Summer Devon
Summer Devon is the pen name writer Kate Rothwell often uses. Whether the characters are male or female, human or dragon, her books are always romance. 

You can visit her facebook page, where there's a sign up form for a newsletter (she'll only send out newsletters when there's a new Summer Devon or Kate Rothwell release and she will never ever sell your name to anyone).

Bonnie Dee

Summer Devon


Cover Reveal: Belong to Me by Laura Howard

Title: Belong to Me
Author: Laura Howard
Series: Moore Crossing #1
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Expected Release Date: March 31, 2015
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Kate and Noah thought they had the kind of love that could last through anything. Until their world crumbles out from beneath them.

After months of separation, the tragic death of Jack, Kate’s twin and Noah’s best friend, throws them back together. As they try to heal from the horrific loss, will they be able to overcome old wounds or are they destined to live separately forever?

Author Bio:
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.


Brought to you by:

Shh! by Stacey Nash

Title: Shh!
Author: Stacey Nash
Series: Oxley College #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Release Date: February 23, 2015
Nineteen-year-old Olivia Dean has the perfect reputation, the perfect boyfriend, and an increasingly perfect CV. She has it all, until Christian breaks up with her in public, calling her out as a self-gratifying sexoholic: the kind that plays solo. But Olivia doesn’t masturbate all night — the only thing she does is sleep … right?

Now all the boys on campus seem to want her attention for the absolutely wrong reason — including resident hottie, Logan Hays. He’s pulling out his best moves to gain her attention, so resisting his sexy charm is hard work. With rapidly slipping grades, a disturbingly lurid reputation and demanding parents, Olivia must discover the truth behind her rumoured sleeping problem. If she doesn’t, the perfect life she’s worked so hard for may slip away, including the one person who has Olivia breaking all her rules — Logan.

What do you do when you’re asleep?


Shh! is a story about acceptance, learning to trust and in turn love while facing life’s unexpected difficulties.

NB: This book is of a mild heat level, and contains no explicit sex scenes.

    At five p.m I was starving. After just the muesli bar for breakfast, I’d skipped lunch to avoid a potential repeat of this morning, which meant my stomach had jumped into full riot mode. Nervous about facing my fellow students, I pulled my big girl panties up and marched myself to the dining hall. It was early, so I wasn’t all that brave, if I were being totally honest with myself. The place should have been near empty.
     There were half a dozen people in the common room, watching some crappy reality television show. I scooted around the back of the seats and up into the dining hall. Dinner smelled delicious—burgers—if my senses served me right.
     Twirling my meal card around my fingers, I strolled right up to the servery and stood in line. The girl in front of me turned and I tossed a confident smile her way. She smiled back. The line wasn’t moving yet as dinner hadn’t officially started, but people began flowing in, increasing the number of voices in the room. I swiped my clammy hands on my jeans. This was the first time in more than a year that I’d come down to dinner alone. Generally I came with Christian and being alone was a little daunting. It was all cool, though. Savvy should turn up soon, then I wouldn’t look like a loner. She never responded to this morning’s text and I hadn’t seen her since Saturday night, but that wasn’t uncommon if she’d hooked up with a guy. Especially with how busy I’d be this year. She knew my Sundays were reserved for study, so she didn’t usually bother me then, and today we’d been at classes. Still, it was a little weird. She could have at least called to chat about Christian, surely she knew like everyone else.
     My tummy grumbled like a truck moving at high speed. I glanced at the clock; it read five-thirty p.m. The line started moving, thank the lord. I glanced over my shoulder, and surprisingly the line curled all the way around the edge of the hall. Everyone had to be famished tonight, not just me.
     I kept my eyes to the front and walked through the servery where I built my own burger: meat, egg, tomato, beetroot, no lettuce, and a slathering of tomato sauce—perfect. As I emerged out the other side, my gaze slid over the line, looking for someone who might join me, and the weirdest thing happened. Not a soul met my gaze. It was like they all deliberately looked the other way, or were engrossed in such deep conversation that they didn’t see me.
     I’d never had problems with friends. People just … well … they liked me. It had always been that way. I liked everyone, and they all liked me back.
     My tummy churned for reasons not associated with hunger. What the heck had I done wrong? I walked over to one of the many empty tables and set my tray down, then flicked my phone out of my pocket and pretended to check my texts. Savvy had replied and I’d missed it.
     Sorry I missed breakfast. Catch you at dinner.
     A string of girls who I knew—we’d all been freshers together last year—walked right past me, talking softly as if they thought I couldn’t hear, but when people are talking about you, it’s not hard to tell. And those girls were most definitely doing just that. The glances my way every few seconds were a dead giveaway when everyone else in the room was deliberately avoiding my gaze.
     I ducked my head, and studied my phone again. Whatever was going on, it was weird. I was the captain of Oxley’s hockey team, netball team, in the social committee, and even campaigning for the university’s student council. I had lots of friends.
     Savannah’s giggle sounded like it came from somewhere behind me. Thank gosh. I really needed to talk to her and figure out what was happening. The whispers and stares, the fresher at uni this morning, Dane on Saturday night, sexploits—Oh my gosh. Christian. I glanced over my shoulder, raising my hand to call Savvy over, but my heart dropped into my stomach.
     Savvy was attached to Dane’s hip. Her arm hung around his waist and his rested on her shoulders. Christian walked in step with them and the two guys wore massive grins. I hadn’t seen Christian that happy since … well, since I couldn’t remember. I suppose now that I thought about it, lately he’d been kind of cranky and tired. Always tired.
     I swung back around in my seat, hoping they hadn’t seen me, and there someone had sat in the chair opposite me: the tool from this morning. He stared like I was some porn star he’d just paid to watch. And he smelled like a brewery; not to mention his eyes looked a little glassy.
     Those same eyes locked on my mine and he placed his flattened palm on his chest like he was about to dive headfirst into a heartfelt apology. Which frankly, he owed me. His hand circled over his left pec, going for his heart, but then it moved to the other side and—ohmygod did he just tweak his nipple? My heart pounded a little faster and I glanced away. The entire dining hall looked at us. But he was like a train wreck. I couldn’t stop my gaze sliding back. His hand trailed down his chest and disappeared under the table in the general direction of his groin. He moaned, then his arm started moving slow at first and increasing in speed, all the while his dark eyes held my gaze. Then the crazy guy rolled his eyes back in his head and yelled, “Yes. Aaa—aa—ash. Yes!”
     Someone clapped.
     He arched his back. What in hell’s name was this freak doing? It was like that old nineties movie where the chick faked an orgasm in the middle of a café, except this was some dude in the centre of the Oxley College dining hall and I wasn’t entirely sure he was faking it.
     Spent, he flopped in the seat, his arms hanging beside it, then snapped his head forward again and his face split in a stupid grin as he pushed his chair back, placed an arm across his waist, and freaking bowed.
     Everyone laughed.
     The whole room full of people thought this idiot was funny.
     I couldn’t move. It was as if the air had frozen around me and I was a statue unable to even blink.
     “My impersonation of the one and only Olivia Dean,” he shouted, loud enough for the whole room to hear.
     Couldn’t the ground just open up and swallow me already? My cheeks burned so hot they should have caught fire. Blood rushed past my ears so loud that I couldn’t hear anything; my stomach lurched.
     I was going to throw up.
     I needed to get out of there, right now. Whatever held me in place snapped free. I shot to my feet and high-tailed it out of the dining hall, past a million staring faces. The common room was no more than fuzz at the edge of my periphery, Front Courtyard much the same. I cut across the back of block F and made a beeline for K, then darted up the stairs and into my room.
     Whatever was going down, it looked like I was the centre of a joke I didn’t find funny or nice.

Author Bio:
Writing for the young and new adult market, Stacey's books are all adventure filled stories with a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and plenty of KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area.

Author of the Collective Series; Forget Me Not and Remember Me. And Oxley College Saga; Shh! and Wait!


Brought to you by:

Acquiesce by Cory Cyr

Title: Acquiesce
Author: Cory Cyr
Genre: Adult, Erotic Romance
Release Date: December 30, 2014
****18+ due to adult language and explicit sexual content****

Caspian Vance~former child prodigy, now an accomplished professor of human sexuality at twenty-six has it all—an IQ that's off the charts, a stellar career at which he excels, and the drop-dead looks and body that make women spontaneously combust with lust.

He's been studying sex and women's behavior since he was sixteen. When it comes to the science of human lust and the rewards of sexual pursuits, he has all the answers.

There's one thing he knows for sure: "love" has nothing to do with it.
Sex is a basic, primal human need—love is an unstable, emotional complication. Both are present in a person, but completely unrelated. His own world of logic and fact accepts this truth and now. . .

He's going to prove it.

When Cass takes a sabbatical to research his theory in order to write his third book, he enlists the help of a former lover and now owner of the world's most exotic and secretive male brothel catering strictly to wealthy older women. On this remote Caribbean island, he uses his keen sense of observation and research to prove "love" is merely a series of chemical reactions in the human brain—nothing more.

Nicola Barrington~ had the perfect life, married to her soul mate.Ten years into her one and only relationship, her idyllic world is shattered by the death of her beloved husband. The loss of her "one true love" sends her into seclusion where she spends the next eleven years pining for the man she still loves.

The beautiful heiress, stays hidden away, her only connection to the outside world being being the hired help and her two close friends. Her friends know Nic has much to live for and are eager to see her find love again. . . and if not love, they would settle for her rediscovering the throes of lust.

As her 40th birthday approaches, her two friends succeed in coaxing her out of her emotionally safe haven to celebrate with a trip to an exclusive resort known for "restoring an older woman's brilliant, inner glow."

Caspian’s superiority and logic combined with Nic's innocence and melancholy are on an imminent collision course. Sometimes even a genius has a hard time figuring out a woman.


Bite & Release
Ryan Chase left Fairbanks, Alaska, when she was 21 years old to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Somewhere along the way her dreams of stardom crashed and burned, along with her life.

Thirteen years later she is forced to return to Fairbanks because her unforgiving and emotionally-distant father has suddenly died. Ryan seizes the opportunity to not only escape her abusive husband but to be able to attend her best friend's wedding. What could go wrong? It's only Fairbanks, Alaska...
While wishing she was anywhere but her father's funeral and wake, Ryan is struck senseless by a stunning, drop-dead gorgeous man. Her thoughts turn carnal and she desperately wants to know him in every way—and position—possible. There's only one problem...

He's the devil's spawn.
He's the one who marked her for life.
He's the kid she used to baby-sit.
And he's hotter than hell!

Shea Michaels has loved Ryan Chase for most of his life. After surviving an unspeakable childhood, he became a man of whom she could be proud of...if she ever came back.
Now that she's returned, Shea pursues her with a vengeance, undaunted by the thirteen year age difference that Ryan uses as the shield between them.

Confusion, guilt and lust bombard Ryan as she battles the memories of the little boy she used to know while still being drawn to the heart-stopping man he has become.

***18+ due to explicit sexual situations, graphic language and intense adult themes.***

Hottest Cover 2014
Favorite HEA 2014~IABB
2nd Place Favorite Contemporary Romance 2014~Sweet N Sassy
Top 10 books of 2014~White Hot reads
Best Erotica 2014~BYOB


Author Bio:


Bite & Release

Brought to you by:

Cover Reveal: Lady of the Flames by Barbara Monajem

Title: Lady of the Flames
Author: Barbara Monajem
Series: A Most Peculiar Season #3
Genre: Regency Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015
Magic is fraught with peril—but so is love.

Lord Fenimore Trent’s uncanny affinity for knives and other sharp blades led to knife fights, duels, and murderous brawls. Five years ago, he faced a choice: marry Andromeda Gibbons, the woman he loved, or find a safe, peaceful use for his blades by opening a furniture shop—an unacceptable occupation for a man of noble birth. The choice made itself when Andromeda turned to another man. The furniture shop prospered, but now Fen’s partner has been accused of treason. In order to root out the real traitor, he may face another unpalatable choice—to resort to the violent use of his blades once again.

Once upon a time, Andromeda Gibbons believed in magic. That belief faded after her mother’s death and vanished completely when Lord Fenimore, the man she loved, spurned her. Five years later, Andromeda has molded herself into a perfect—and perfectly unhappy—lady. When she overhears her haughty betrothed, the Earl of Slough, plotting treason, she flees into the London night—to Fen, the one man she knows she can trust. But taking refuge with Fen proves to mean far more than getting help—it means learning to believe in love, magic, and the real Andromeda once again.

Setup: After learning of a treasonous plot, Andromeda fled into the London night to find Lord Fenimore, a man she can trust.

There was a woman outside his window, and as Fen pushed it full open, he realized who she was. “What the devil are you doing here?” he said.

Andromeda burst into tears. Oh, hell. Fen climbed out onto the roof.

Diggs, the beggar who habitually slept in the yard, called from below. “You want I should fetch the Watch, my lord?”

“Unnecessary.” Fen pulled the sobbing Andromeda to her feet. She gasped as if in pain, and tears streamed down her face. Her hair lay in a tangle on her shoulders, and her slippers were torn to ribbons. Had she walked all the way here in footwear suited only for dancing at a ball? What in hell was going on?

His mind raced through the possibilities of what her arrival just before dawn, exhausted and distraught, might mean. She wasn't wearing the same gown as before--probably because she’d spilled her wine on it.

A knife on the roof beside her was making its presence known. Be still, he told it. Was that blood on the blade? “Damn.” Confound it, he’d cursed again, but he couldn't afford to have a woman on the premises. It just wouldn't do, and especially not this woman, and especially not now.

“Don’t usually see visitors of the female persuasion here, my lord.” Diggs sounded amused. Everyone knew about Fen’s past reputation, even though he’d been discreet for five years.

“That’s not about to change. She’s just a friend who’s gotten herself into a spot of trouble.”

Diggs snorted, and Andromeda gaped at Fen with wide, tear-drenched eyes. What if she really were with child? He hoped she wasn't such a fool, but he didn't intend to let it become his problem.

He pushed her gently toward the window. “Go inside and wait for me. I’ll take you straight home.”

“No!” squeaked Andromeda. “Please, you mustn't. It’s—it’s life or death, Fen.”

“Go inside,” Fen said through gritted teeth. “Now.”

Andromeda hiccupped on a sob and got a hold of herself. She hiked her skirts, hobbled to the window, and hitched one leg over the sill. Her gown rode up, revealing shapely legs. She sagged inward, raised the other leg, and would have toppled inside if Fen hadn't grabbed her by the arm and bum and let her down slowly.

He made a point of not noticing the soft plumpness of that bum.

He padded across the roof of the bump-out, got down on his haunches, and spoke quietly to Diggs. “Go back to sleep, and keep your mouth shut about this. There’ll be a shilling for you in the morning.”

“Right you are, my lord.”

Fen watched the beggar amble back to his pile of rags. What had happened to Andromeda between an hour ago and now? Why had she come to him? Why didn't she want to go home? And what the devil was he going to do with her?

He pulled himself together; he would get the story from her soon enough.

The knife came eagerly to his reaching hand. He climbed in the window, shut it, and closed the curtains. Andromeda was huddled on the hearthrug, eyes closed, her knees drawn up to her chest, racked by great, convulsive shudders.

He set the knife on the dressing table, examining in the candlelight the dark stains on the blade. He put one fingertip to the sticky blade, then sniffed it. Blood indeed.

Something terrible must have happened to drive Andromeda here, and she was clearly in a state of shock. He knew an urge to take her in his arms, to hold and comfort her, but dismissed that as insanity. He had almost ruined his life once for Andromeda; never again.

He lit the branch of candles on the dresser. “I’ll start a fire, shall I?” he said briskly. “Get you warmed up.”

She opened her eyes and stared at him, teeth chattering. “Y-y-you’re stark naked, Fen.”

Author Bio:
Barbara Monajem grew up in western Canada. She wrote her first story, a fantasy about apple tree gnomes, when she was eight years old, and dabbled in neighborhood musicals at the age of ten. At twelve, she spent a year in Oxford, England, soaking up culture and history, grubbing around at an archaeological dig, playing twosy-ball against the school wall, and spending her pocket money on adventure novels. Thanks to her mother, she became addicted to Regency romances as well. She is the award-winning author of several Regency novellas, many of which include elements of magic, and the Bayou Gavotte series of paranormal mysteries. Apart from writing, she loves to cook (especially soups), and the only item on her bucket list is to be successful at knitting socks (which she doesn't expect to achieve). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.


Brought to you by: