Friday, June 23, 2017

SPOTLIGHT w/GUEST POST - Ruin by L.M. Pruitt

Ruin
by L.M. Pruitt
Release Date: May 31st 2017
I can resist everything except temptation—Oscar Wilde



BLURB
But what happens when temptation is everywhere?

Cam is tempting to me toward the darkness.

Barry is tempting me toward the light.

And I want them both. I want it all.

Temptation will be my salvation. Or my ruin.


“Is it done?” Cam strapped the saddle bags he’d somehow managed to stuff all my clothes in to the little bike—not quite a motorcycle but bigger and less dorky than a scooter. When I didn’t answer right away, he stepped over to me, grabbing my face in his hands and squeezing. “Coniglietto. Is it done? Did you take care of her?”
“Yes.” Even to my own ears my voice sounded dull and lifeless. Considering the fact I felt high as fucking kite, I could only assume it was shock. “I took care of her.”
Not in the way he meant, not exactly, but I’d taken care of her the best way I knew how.
I’d done a lot of horrible things, on purpose and accident, and I had no doubt I would do more horrible things still. But I’d be damned even more than I already was before I actually killed my sister.
“Good girl.” Cam pressed a quick, hard kiss to my forehead before steering me toward the bike. “I have little doubt the archangels will be here soon—so we shouldn’t be.”
“Where are we going?” It didn’t matter. I had, for all intents and purposes, hooked my wagon to his. If anyone threw doubt on my commitment to the so-called cause, all Cam would have to do was point out what I’d done to Joanne. Sure, there might be trouble when it came out she wasn’t actually dead but it could all be explained away as yet another newbie mistake.
After all, they taught us how to not kill people. Not the opposite.
“I’m thinking Prague.” He settled himself on the bike, gesturing for me to do the same. He handed me a helmet, his lips curving upward when I stared at it blankly. “Safety, little rabbit. And a disguise. It’s safer for us to blend in at the moment.”
“Right.” My hands felt thick and clumsy as I struggled to strap on the protective headgear and I cursed under my breath when Cam finally took pity on me and did it himself. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“Change is hard, little rabbit.” He brushed his lips over mine before flicking the tip of my nose. “Now, let’s go take over the world, hmm?”

 

Finding Your Happy Place

Let’s get real for a moment—sometimes, the world sucks.
Shocking, I know.
Sometimes the world sucks and things are definitely not pretty and you’re just tired of… well, everything. And it’s totally okay to wallow in those moments. It gets exhausting always being “on”, even more so if you’re introverted or have social anxiety or just don’t like people. Still, there comes a point when you need to go back out and face the world. It’s always easier when you have a few things to keep you happy.
For me, those things are red lipstick, Chinese food, and romantic comedies.
Actually, looking at that list it seems as if I’m setting myself up to star as the heroine in a romantic comedy. I’m really more of the quirky sidekick but that’s a nice segue in to my first point. There’s something about watching romantic comedies which helps lift me out of a funk. It’s not foolproof and it has to be the right kind of comedy but it’s hard to stay completely sad when you’re watching Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey banter back and forth for ninety odd minutes.
Next on the list is Chinese food. I have no shame in saying one of my favorite places to eat is local buffet which serves what most people would consider Americanized Chinese food. I don’t care. They always have green beans and spring rolls and cookies and cream ice cream. It’s simple and simplistic and makes me happy after a long shift at the day job.
Finally, red lipstick. To be fair, I’m one of those people who tend to be in a better mood simply by putting makeup on, even if it’s only mascara and powder. But there’s something about red lipstick specifically which makes me feel as if I can take on the world and win. Maybe it’s the fact that red is associated with power or maybe it’s the fact I look good in red lipstick. Whatever the reason, it gives me that extra boost of oomph to get out there and conquer everything and everyone.
Happy place things are important, even if it’s something as simple as red lipstick. We can all use a bit more happy in the world these days.


Author Info
L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she's killed bamboo. Twice.  She is the author of the Winged series, the Plaisir Coupable series, Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and Taken: A Frankie Post Novel.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Audiobook Tour - Wired (The Solomon Brothers, #1) by Leslie North

Wired
The Solomon Brothers, #1
by Leslie North
Narrator: Rebecca Roberts
Length: 3 hours 36 minutes
SeriesRelease date: April 19, 2017
Publisher: Relay Publishing2017
Genre: Romance

The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . WIRED (the Solomon Brothers, #1) . . . I just have one question who are the Solomon’s. I went through the whole book wondering who the Solomon Brothers were and here I am still wanting to know. That in no why hindered the enjoyment of this book. I loved getting to know the meaning behind wired. I loved the opening scene with Marcus stating his case and making that spectacular scene in the boardroom. This was something different for me and I liked it. Clare had a lot to prove and even more to overcome. She was a grieving woman with a brain. Her brain his brawn strength and determination helped her get her dream. This was a quick read that had depth and that little something different.

The narration of . . . WIRED (The Solomon Brothers, #1) . . . Rebecca Roberts did a good job with this one. The experience of Clare and Marcus in their own way. I was a bit thrown off by the Joe character and the slight contradiction on what I was hearing and sound. The sound quality was clean and clear of hiccups. Rebecca brought this book to life and allowed for a true almost real time feel of the action as it unfold. The quality of the recording allowed for the increase in speed without detracting from the basics of the narration.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Leslie North. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

BLURB
Star quarterback Marcus Kingston lives and breathes football. He’s trusted his abilities and instincts to get him this far, but an injury last season nearly ended his career. When his coaches want him to wear biofeedback technology to analyze his game, Marcus thinks the idea is ridiculous. Plus, the mousy scientist behind the project knows nothing about sports, and she quickly gets under his skin. But with another QB waiting on the sidelines, Marcus can either agree to participate, or be benched—permanently.

Scientist Clare Wynifred values intellect above most things. With her brain constantly working, she has little interest in her appearance and zero interest in sports. She never imagined her wearable tech being used to improve someone’s game, but its success with the team could get her a military contract. Clare may be too late to save her brother, but her technology could save the lives of countless soldiers. She just has to make it work with the stubborn quarterback, and she’ll be one step closer to her goal.

Marcus and Clare butt heads at first, but their mutual attraction quickly grows. And yet, with everything to lose, it’s easy to ignore that together they might be able to go the distance.

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Author Info

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.
Author Links:
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Narrator Info

After a career in finance, Rebecca Roberts became inspired to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an actress. Her ingenuity and ardent desire brought her to voice-acting which has rapidly grown into her thriving audiobook narration and production company, Atlantis Audio Productions. She has narrated and produced over seventy audiobooks for indie authors and major publishing houses. Rebecca delivers her stories with a mature and intelligent style characterized by a believable tone, and versatility in creating memorable and individual characters with her various accents and vocal qualities. In short, she narrates with her whole heart. Rebecca is a native Floridian, proud mother to three sparkling children, and wife to the man of her dreams.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

SPOTLIGHT w/INTERVIEW - Ancient Heat (The Followers, #1) by Kira Shayde

Ancient Heat
The Followers, #1
by Kira Shayde
Date of Publication: June 10th 2017
Publisher: Kira Shayde
Cover Artist: Kira Shayde
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Tagline: When evil follows, the brave can no longer run and hide.

BLURB
Her mind is in another woman’s body…and the other woman is a werelion.

Nicole Abramson gains more than razor-sharp claws and a taste for raw meat. With a latent telekinetic talent, she’s a weapon to be used in a millennia-long war, but will she serve or resist? Fighting for her life, Nicole rails against the thief who stole her ordinary and safe life, even as she seeks comfort from the woman’s intended mate, the gorgeous Sander Evans.

Although drawn to her outspokenness, Sander keeps Nicole at bay while he defends his clan. Werelions and humans don’t mix, yet he can’t deny the passion igniting between them, particularly with her body in heat. But as the danger around them amplifies, they’ll need more than courage and strength to fight for their newfound attraction—and their lives.
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Sander eyed the irate woman standing before him. From the moment she arrived, she’d baffled and frustrated him. Gone was his reserved and polished intended. In her place stood a creature who screamed, pouted, grimaced, slapped his sister, and nearly destroyed his brother-in-law’s procreativity. She was brash and out of control. An evolutionary step backward.
And yet…fascinating.
He’d never been close to a human. His kind blended in with their kind, worked alongside them, but remained insular. Safe. Hidden. Occasionally studying them from afar. Never interacting beyond a polite nod or greeting.
Why would Marseille switch with a human? To punish him? Humiliate him?
He’d find out why and promise to be more attentive. He had no intention of meeting new potentials. He’d chosen her. Marseille Renaud.
She was strong and graceful. And useful.
He clenched his jaw. Damn it, his intended wasn’t a mere tool. She deserved more respect than that. More than a vision of beauty, Marsi saved their hides during the last Follower attack. His clan needed her. Although her talent wasn’t the reason he chose Marseille, he’d be a fool to let her go now.
Was his sister right? Was the switch a mere ploy, a demand for more control?
“Let’s go, everyone,” he said, forcing the what-ifs from his mind. “I want to get to Nicole’s home by this afternoon.”
The woman in question stared at him. “Exactly where are we?”
“Minnesota. Outside Minneapolis.”
That seemed to relax her somewhat. He guided her to the foyer where they nearly collided with his brother, who’d raced down the stairs with a backpack slung over his shoulder.
“Gotta bring my books along so I can study on the ride.” Tyran tore into the hallway ahead of them.
“He’s a college student?”
“Medical student.” Sander ushered Nicole into the utility room and opened the door to the garage. “Makes sense since he’s one of the healers for our clan.”
“Uh-huh.” She jerked to the side as Calia sashayed past on her way out of the house. “Is a clan like a pride?”
“No, a related group of families. Because our numbers are few, matings are arranged between clans. Once I met Marseille, I didn’t bother with meeting any remaining potentials.”
And now Marseille was gone. Except she wasn’t. She watched him with big dark eyes, her luscious mouth slightly puckered in contemplation. Devastating even in the shapeless sweater the human woman had selected to wear, something obviously dragged from the back of the closet. He’d never seen it before.
She tilted her head, and her long black hair draped over her shoulder. Hair he loved to twist in his hands as she lay beneath him.
“So what’s your talent?” she asked.
“What?” He shook off the sensual vision. “Um, my physical strength and power.”
“I’m the most feline of us,” Calia boasted, her hand on the door of a dark sedan. “Exceptional jumper and climber, and I always land on my feet.”
Sander leaned in close to Nicole. “Within reason. I wouldn’t throw her out a ten-story window, although sometimes I’d like to.”
His sister glared. “I heard that.”
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Author Info
As a paranormal romance writer, Kira Shayde explores somewhat atypical pairings and settings and can’t help adding a twinge of societal awareness to her works, but the focus is always on the developing romance, passion, and happy endings.

Kira enjoys studying love, sex, and relationships, and has a thing for shapeshifters, demons, mythological gods, and the fae. On a personal level, she is devoted to animal and ecological conservation…and devil's food cake.

MY INTERVIEW WITH KIRA SHAYDE
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work? The two basic themes in my writing are (1) not-so-human people with human emotions and (2) strong, independent heroines.

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year? Write faster! I have focus issues. LOL. I’m working on the follow-up book to Ancient Heat and the third novella in my Primal Shifter series. I would love to have both available for release next summer.

Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you? Oh, I wish writing flowed more naturally for me. I can see scenes in my head, but getting those images translated into grammatically-correct sentences with impact takes a lot of work. I am in awe of writers who can write multiple books a year.

Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story? I actually began working on Ancient Heat back in 2008. It took me a long time to feel this story was ready, but I’ve always loved the heroine—she just really stuck with me. Maybe because I based her sassy, smart, spunky personality on my daughter. And I’m very excited to be working on the third novella in my Primal Shifters series. The leads in book three are damaged, caustic individuals who definitely weren’t the good guys in books one and two. Redeeming these characters is very important to me.

If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional character, who would they be? Any of the superheroes as long as during that week I had a superpower. Wouldn’t be much fun to hang out with them otherwise.

Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details? My next project involves a young woman who is yanked into an alternative universe where she’d never been born. Known as a “crosser”, she is pursued by the government, a high-tech company, a group of religious zealots, and a hero on the run. But what she really wants is acceptance from a family that in her world was cruel and harsh yet that family in this world doesn’t even know her.

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SPOTLIGHT w/INTERVIEW - Hot, Deadly Desire by Judy H

Hot, Deadly Desire
by Judy H
Releasing May 26th 2017
Self-Published

BlurbCinnamon Monroe is a Dallas Police Detective who is relentlessly hunting the sadistic murderer whose latest victim was her best friend, Katie. As she relentlessly tracks the maniac intent upon turning Dallas streets red with innocent blood, the devil continues to be one step ahead of her…maddeningly just out of reach. She’s a cop teetering on the brink with a monumental score to settle, and she won’t be stopped until she brings Katie’s killer to justice—one way or the other.

Dane Nicholson is a successful man with an enviable job, social position and a bright future. However, few know of the horrors his past holds—a past threatening to intrude upon and destroy his carefully crafted existence. The last thing he’s looking for, or can afford right now, is a serious relationship. However, when a chance meeting leads him to Cinnamon, he can’t quell the crippling attraction between them, and it seems neither can she. Danger lurks around every corner, but even that won’t keep him from the beautiful, mysterious woman who might be the best thing that’s ever happened to him—if only he dare take the chance and let her into his dangerous world.

Cinnamon has terrible secrets of her own. She’s a woman with a devastating past that has haunted her for thirteen years. For good reasons, she doesn’t trust men; however, upon meeting Dane, unexpected passion sparks, ignites and threatens to burn her alive, causing her to remarkably contemplate lowering her guard and letting Dane into her battered heart. Once she’s bared her soul to him, the unthinkable happens when irrefutable evidence is uncovered which points to Dane being the killer she’s hunting!

Has fate pulled the cruelest joke of all by making her fall for the one man she can never have—a sadistic serial killer who butchered her best friend? Can she and Dane survive their hot, deadly desire, or will it incinerate them, leaving nothing but tattered ashes in its wake?
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“Come here often?” she asked, picking up her drink and taking a sip.
“Sometimes.”  Serious eyes studied her carefully guarded ones and he inquired, “You?  I haven’t seen you here before.”
“I’ve been here once or twice,” she noncommittally replied.
“I’m glad I saw you tonight.”
“Why’s that?” she questioned.
Leaning an elbow on the bar top behind her, she unwittingly enticed the man’s intense eyes to dart to the low V of her sleeveless white blouse.  She was acutely aware of the tantalizing glimpse of cleavage her movement exposed when his burning eyes lingered on her skin for breath-robbing seconds, before slowly raising to pin her with another intense stare. 
Jesus.  She felt…singed from the heat emanating from his expressive blue eyes.  Sitting up straighter, she tried to ignore the blinding blast of lust his proprietary perusal ignited in her. 
His fingers drummed lightly on the bar top and he answered, “For the same reason you’re glad I’m here.”
 “Would you care to explain that rather conceited statement?” A perfectly arched eyebrow rose slightly, but the airy quality to her voice ruined the chastising effect she was striving for.
“It’s unnecessary.”  He nonchalantly shrugged before insisting, “You know what I meant.”
“Oh, I do?”  He was arrogant, perceptive and sure of himself.  He intrigued her, and more importantly made her feel something other than pain or blinding fury.  Bingo.  With a smirk she challenged, “Really?”
“Yes, really.”  He took another gulp of his drink and crunched noisily on a piece of ice.  
Green eyes zeroed in on his slightly smirking mouth, and she insanely wanted to know what it—he—tasted like.  She envisioned the decadent pleasure it could give her, sliding, biting and sampling every inch of her too-long deprived body.  His expression was wicked when their eyes met again informing her he was somehow aware of her salacious thoughts.
“What’s your name?”  She sipped her drink to cool herself down, and then amusedly tagged on, “Or is that taboo?”
“I’m Dane,” he quickly supplied, treating her to a full-on gorgeous smile that revealed straight white teeth. “And you are?”
“Cin.”
“As in original sin?”
His smile turned absolutely criminal and caused the unfamiliar burning in the pit of her stomach to flame almost out of control. She felt stripped naked before him. He made her smoldering flesh want to combust—made her want to merge with him in every clandestine way possible.  Damn.  What was it about this man that completely obliterated her sense of decorum?
 “No, as in short for Cinnamon,” she finally answered his question.
“Cinnamon?” He paused before slowly repeating, “Cinnamon.”
 She grew hotter watching his mouth deliberately form the syllables.  She had detested her name since she was old enough to comprehend it. However, the way his deep baritone voice articulated it, the way he caressed every syllable, was enough to make her change her mind. 
He smiled and approved, “It suits you.”
“I never thought so.”
“Sure it does.”  Dane picked up a piece of ice from his drink and unexpectedly placed it between her full burgundy lips. “Spicy.  Hot.”  His voice dipped seductively low as he whispered, “Desirable.”
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Tasty Book Interview with Judy H.
1.  Describe yourself in five words or less.    
Tenacious, fun, grounded, creative and resilient.

2.  Favorite writing place. 
 My back porch.

3.  What are 5 things you must have with you when you write? 
My laptop, a little background noise, something to drink (not the hard stuff, lol; just something to wet my whistle), my cellphone nearby, and a digital recorder (because sometimes my mind thinks faster than I can type).

4.  Can you tell us a little about your book? 
Hot, Deadly Desire is what I like to call an erotic romantic suspense.  It’s about a tough, haunted police detective, Cinnamon, tracking a sadistic serial killer who’s just killed her best friend, and the too-good-to-be-true man (Dane), she picks up in a bar.  They both agreed to a one-night stand; however, they quickly become entangled in hot steamy desire and heart-pounding danger.

5.  Name one thing you won’t leave home without.  
My phone.

6.  Name three things on your desk right now.  
My laptop, my desktop and my phone.

7.  A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.  
Cinnamon (a homicide Detective tracking a serial killer) meets Dane (a man who unleashes her hidden desires) but is he the killer she seeks?

8.  Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?  
Thank you for giving me and Hot, Deadly Desire a chance.  I appreciate your support more than I can ever say.


Author Info
Judy H. is a romantic at heart, but she likes a little mystery and even a bit of danger in her books.  She wants her stories filled with hot, heavy passion, blistering sex and flawed characters you like to root for and sometimes hit upside the head! 

Her heroines are smart, savvy, and self-sufficient.  Her heroes have to be strong, somewhat mysterious, and maybe even a tad dangerous.  When her hero and heroine meet, spontaneous combustion occurs.

She's a southern girl who enjoys cooking and eating, reading, and of course writing. She keeps a digital recorder by her bedside and in her purse because she never knows when an idea will strike, and she has to be ready to answer the call whenever it comes.

Author Links
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Friday, June 16, 2017

RELEASE BLAST - Mr. Rook (Rook's Island, #1) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Mr. Rook
Rook's Island, #1
by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Releasing June 13th 2017
Self-Published
From NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, Comes Part One of Mr. Rook’s Island, a Sexy, Dark, Romantic Suspense.
~~~~~
Blurb
He’s Enigmatic, Dangerously Handsome, and COMPLETELY OFF-LIMITS…

The women who vacation on Mr. Rook’s exclusive island are looking for one thing and one thing only: to have their wildest romantic fantasies come to life. Pirates, cowboys, billionaires—there’s nothing Rook’s staff can’t deliver.

But when Stephanie Fitzgerald’s sister doesn’t return after her week in paradise, Stephanie will have to pose as a guest in order to dig for answers. Unfortunately, this means she’ll need to get close to the one thing on the island that’s not on the menu: the devastatingly handsome and intimidating Mr. Rook. And he’s not about to give the island’s secrets away.




CHAPTER ONE
Like its mysterious owner, Rook’s Island was practically an urban legend. No brochures. No real website. They advertised strictly by whisper of mouth. In other words, you had to know someone willing to tell you about it. Confidentially.
But from the bits and pieces I’d gathered off the Internet, I deduced it was an uncharted island somewhere west of the Bermuda Triangle in Bahaman waters, likely northwest of Highborne Cay among a cluster of unnamed isles. That said, no one could tell you exactly where it was, and if they knew, they’d never admit it. Even the employees of the Bahaman government had simply stared at me like I was a madwoman.
“There is nothing in those waters, ma’am, except fish,” one of the clerks from the Bahaman embassy in DC had said several months ago.
“Then why the hell did my sister have a goddamned plane ticket to the island?”
The man had simply shrugged. “I cannot say, ma’am. I have never heard of such a place, so perhaps your sister simply lied. People disappear on purpose all the time.”
What the fuck? Cici, my sister, was a goddamned saint, a kindergarten teacher who loved her life. She lived for those kids and was the kind of person who made everyone smile.
Unlike me. I used to be outgoing and optimistic, but now I’m just broken. I’m broken because I loved my big sister more than anything. She was my best friend, my blood, and my hero. She was there for me when my widowed father was too busy working and I was trying to grow up without a mother. Cici made us a family, and now she was gone. Just like that. A fact the police had little to say about since they had a video of her clearing out her safe deposit box.
“She did not abandon us, you piece of shit!” I had screamed at the embassy guy. “Now help me fucking find her!”
The rest of that moment—a blur, really—consisted of multiple expletives, resulting in my being arrested and banned from their embassy. Indefinitely. My father, an award-winning war correspondent, had to pull a few strings to get me out of jail that day.
“Stephanie, please don’t do this to me,” he’d said, his thinning gray hair its usual mess, his strong hands wrapped tightly around the steering wheel of his Volvo—an old beige thing he’d purchased for my mother right before she died. God rest her beautiful soul. She had been a journalist like my dad when they met in Afghanistan, but they moved around a lot for work, eventually landing in New York right after I came along. Then one morning, she was out for a jog and dropped dead of a heart attack. Poof. Gone forever from our lives.
My poor father was never right in the head again, and until this day, he refused to let go of my mom or that Volvo. So while I never really knew her, I felt the painful void she’d left behind, which was why I couldn’t give up searching for Cici or accept that there was no island.
And look. There it is… I glanced out the tiny window of the plane, knowing I was one step closer to getting answers.
My heart hammered against my rib cage as the private jet’s outer door popped open. Okay, really, my heart hadn’t stopped hammering since I’d boarded. What kind of place doesn’t require a visa or passport? A shady place, that’s what.
“Ladies,” said the stewardess with dark brown hair matching my own, “the staff here at Mr. Rook’s island would like to welcome you to your dream vacation. As you exit the plane, please be careful descending the staircase. Of course,” she giggled, “if you do decide to fall, there will be a strong, handsome gentleman waiting to catch you.”
The female passengers, who’d been sipping fancy cocktails since we boarded at a private airfield south of Newark, started clapping and hooting.
“I’m definitely taking a dive, then!” barked out a redhead in her mid-forties, wearing an animal print blouse, white jeggings, and a heavy amount of gold jewelry around her neck. Her accent screamed Southerner, while her outfit screamed new money and that she liked borrowing clothes from her daughter—the one she’d been talking about nonstop to the other passenger directly behind me. Apparently, the redhead had just got divorced from her wealthy cheating husband and the daughter recently graduated from college. This vacation was her big indulgence after years of marital ugliness. The woman to her side, a timid little blonde thing, didn’t say much other than her sister had come to Rook’s Island over a decade ago and hadn’t stop talking about it since.
“I can’t wait to meet Mr. Rook,” said the redhead. “I hear he’s the most delicious thing on the island.”
“My sister only saw him once because he didn’t mingle much with the guests,” said the blonde lady.
“Well,” said the redhead with a sassy voice, “if he’s as good looking as my friends say, I’m changing my fantasy to a night with him.”
In the back of my mind, I tried to understand how these women could actually pay money to come all the way here and sleep with strange men in a weeklong, role-playing, fantasy vacation. It felt so strange to me.
“What’s your fantasy this week, sweetheart?” the redhead asked, staring at me with her mascara-caked eyes.
“Who, me?” I pointed to my chest.
“Yeah. You gonna do some pirate fantasy? Oh wait. I know. You look like the superhero kind.” She snapped her fingers. “Thor. You went for the Thor fantasy, didn’t ya? I heard he has the biggest hammer in the world.” She winked.
Nice. Real nice. And why had she made that assessment about me? My look didn’t scream cosplay-lover. It didn’t scream anything, really. Most men—my exes—would describe me as having classic beauty. I would describe myself as average. Average-length brown hair with average waves. Average brown eyes. Average five foot four height. Average ten pounds overweight. Average intelligence.
My special feature was my tenacity. Once I set out to do something, I achieved my goal no matter how difficult. For example, when I was eight and Cici was fourteen, I decided that our yard needed a treehouse. My father said he was too busy, so I put up a lemonade stand every weekend for five months until I raised enough money to hire a handyman. I got my damned treehouse.
I smiled politely at the redhead and mousy blonde who waited for my reply. “I, uh, really just want flowers, a candlelit dinner on a yacht, and cuddling by the fire—your basic romance,” I lied.
They looked at me like I was out of my soft skull for choosing something so tame. But I wasn’t here for wild. I was here to find Cici.
“Well, that’s cute,” said the redhead.
“I’m doing Tarzan,” said the blonde, staring at the floor.
I tried to keep a straight face. I couldn’t picture this shy little thing swinging through the trees in a suede bikini.
“Sounds…” I swallowed, “dangerous.”
“I knooow.” Her brown eyes lit with joy.
The line began to clear out of the cabin, so I grabbed my backpack and purse and faced forward.
“Well, enjoy your romantic candles…?” Redhead wanted to know my name.
I glanced over my shoulder. “Stephanie.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Meg,” she said and then jerked her head toward the blonde, “and she’s Emily.”
“Nice meeting you, too,” I replied politely.
“We’ll see you at the welcome dinner tonight!” Meg said. “I hear the dancers are amazing—ripped from head to toe and almost naked in those Hawaiian grass skirt things.”
“Mmmm. Can’t wait.” I didn’t give a crap about dancers or dinners. I wanted to find this Mr. Rook and start asking about Cici. I was ready to put a goddamned knife to his throat if that was what it took.
“Right this way, ladies!” said the overly peppy air stewardess.
One by one, we filed down the rollaway staircase. I immediately noticed the tropical summer heat, the never-ending stretch of lush green jungle, and the musty smell of moist dirt mixed with salty air.
My mind immediately jumped to my sister—her bright smile and big brown eyes. She had been right here on this island, on this very fucking staircase. What did they do to her?
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Book Trailer #2: https://youtu.be/zi6gYir0xPE


Author Info
MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dream. Mimi lives with her Latin Lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and the rat terrier duo, Snowflake and Mini Me, in Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.

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