AN ARTFUL SEDUCTION by Tina Gabrielle

His lust for revenge will be his downfall…
AN ARTFUL SEDUCTION
Infamous Somertons #1
Tina Gabrielle
Releasing June 20th, 2016
Entangled Scandalous
His lust
for revenge will be his downfall…
 
London, 1815. Eliza Somerton has a dangerous
secret. As the daughter of the infamous art forger who duped half the ton,
she’s rebuilt her life under a new name. But when an old forgery goes up for
auction, her father’s enemy, Grayson Montgomery, outbids her and presents her
with an unimaginable choice: help him find her father or he’ll ruin her.
For years, Grayson, the Earl of
Huntingdon and one of London’s top art critics, has sought justice. His
well-laid plans finally come to fruition when he learns of his enemy’s
beautiful daughter. But Eliza possesses a sensuality and independent spirit
that weakens his resolve, and as the heat between them sizzles, what started as
revenge soon blossoms into something sinful…
 
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Tina Gabrielle, an award-winning author, is an
attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure
helped her get through years of academia. She’s the author of adventurous
Regency romances In The Barrister’s Bed, In The Barrister’s Chambers, Lady Of
Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Kensington Books. “A Spy
Unmasked” is the first book in her new Regency romance series, “In
The Crown’s Secret Service,” and will be released from Entangled
Publishing on November 10, 2014. “At The Spy’s Pleasure” will be
available in April 2015. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks,
and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical by
Romantic Times Book Reviews.

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Blood Rose by KL Bone

 Title: Blood Rose
Series: Black Rose Guard Series #3
By: KL Bone
Publication Date: April 7, 206
Genre: Dark Fantasy

..”.a story of strength and determination, actions and consequences, deep love and dark desires.”- Greg Wilkey, Author of Growing Up Dead 


“May the Black Rose protect you in life and avenge you in death.” – Vow of the Black Rose

A woman with no memory of her past. Another unable to forget. Both haunted by a sinister creature of roses and shadow with an unquenchable thirst for royal blood. Return to the world of the Black Rose Guard. Mara, Captain of the Black Rose for over eight hundred years, thought she had taken her last immortal life. But now, with her sub-captain dead at the hands of the Arum Court, she again must don the blade she vowed to never raise again. However, the task will prove ever more dangerous as the shadow of Mara’s past returns to awaken the long-dormant roses. Reunited with her lost love, Mara must also come to terms with her past in order to embrace her future. Can she forgive the man she loves for betraying her heart? And can she redeem herself for the death of the princess she failed to save? Across the sea, Sandra is haunted by the same presence, leading her deeper into the pieces of her mysterious past. Echoes of memory. Glimpses of fate. And a secret that will change everything for both herself and the captains who seek to rescue her from the hands of Mathew, King of the Arum Court, who has a dark agenda of his own.

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1Uhe2XA
Amazon UK – https://goo.gl/eYils1
Amazon CA – https://goo.gl/XjekN4
Barnes & Noble – http://goo.gl/nQd6Im
Black Rose – Black Rose Guard #1
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1Xrle6a
Amazon UK – http://goo.gl/TSPxqz
Amazon CA – https://goo.gl/qLO8A0
Barnes & Noble – http://goo.gl/QI27GE
Heart of the Rose – Black Rose Guard #2
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1Nl1qLU
Amazon UK – http://goo.gl/5zBwfP
Amazon CA – https://goo.gl/QABYDa
Barnes & Noble – http://goo.gl/16YqUd

K.L. Bone is the author of the Black Rose Guard dark fantasy series. The Rise of the Temple Gods fantasy series. And a stand-alone science fiction novel, The Indoctrination.

Bone has a master’s degree in modern literary cultures and is working toward her PhD in literature. She wrote her first short story at the age of fifteen and grew up with an equally great love of both classical literature and speculative fiction. Bone has spent the last few years as a bit of a world traveler, living in California, London, and most recently, Dublin. When not immersed in words, of her own creation or studies, you’ll find her traveling to mythical sites and Game of Thrones filming locations.

Social Media Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/klboneauthor
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7793751.K_L_Bone
Twitter – @kl_bone
Website – http://klbone.com

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Out of Time by Michelle Garren Flye

outoftimetrailer

Book Trailer

About the Book

30046269Title: Out of Time

Author: Michelle Garren Flye

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina, the people of the strange little town of Sanctuary have enjoyed their status as a tourist attraction and Renaissance faire destination for decades. But on her twenty-sixth birthday, Kaelyn Anderson discovers a dark secret about her hometown.

The only reality she’s ever known has proven false. Now, her last hope lies in an unusual alliance with the son of the enemy she didn’t even know she had. Under the protection of Jack, an Elf prince, Kaelyn plunges into Cherokee lore to find the answer that will protect her people from invaders from another world.

Can Kaelyn and Jack form an alliance between three factions to fight their common enemy, or are they out of time?

Author Bio

Flye bio pic 2Michelle Garren Flye is an award-winning author of romance and women’s fiction. Reviewers have described her work as: “an engaging novel with charming and likable characters”, a story that “will make you believe in love and second chances”, and a “well-written and thought-provoking novel.”

Michelle placed third in the Hyperink Romance Writing Contest for her short story “Life After”. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs, Opium.com, SmokelongQuarterly.com and Flashquake.com. She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library, Butcher Shop Quartet and Tattered Souls.

Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina with her husband and their rapidly growing collection of pets.

Links

Blog: http://michellegflye.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michellegflye
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellegarrenflye/
Amazon Author Central: amazon.com/author/michellegflye
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-flye-0ab9235

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Spell Breaker by Joni Parker

Spell Breaker 1About the Book

Title: Spell Breaker

Author: Joni Parker

Genre: Fantasy

After Lady Alexin (Alex) breaks the spell around Seaward Isle, the inhabitants can leave the island for the first time in a thousand years.  At long last, the Elves and Dwarves can return home to Eledon, while the mortals are given the opportunity to stay or leave through a portal to the mortal world.  Alex chooses to stay with her Elf family only to be involved in a mission to rid the Elf World of its most notorious criminal, Sawgrass.  Alex must eliminate him before he implements his plan to kill her Water Elf family and take over Eledon.

Book Excerpt 

The next morning, Alex retrieved her sword from the armory and hiked to the top of the fortress.  The sun peeked over the horizon—its golden hue brightened the dark sky still filled with millions of stars.  She took several deep breaths and drew her sword Challenger to admire its shiny blade with stars dancing across it.

After saluting an invisible opponent, Alex began her favorite sword routine called Path-in-the-Forest against imaginary enemies, standing behind unseen trees.  Her sword whipped and whooshed through the air as her opponents fell.  She paused, panting, taking a reprieve from a particularly good swordsman and leaned against an imaginary tree, holding her sword ready for the next opponent.  Silently, she slid her Elfin Blade from its holster on her right thigh and moved it to her left hand.  She turned and leapt out from behind the tree with a loud cry, raising her sword above her head, her Elfin Blade poised to block a predicted counterattack.

The Elf servant Eskin shrieked and squeezed her eyes shut.  Her hands were clenched in tight fists beside her head, and her body shook.

Alex backed off and inhaled sharply.  “Eskin, don’t sneak up on me like that.”

Eskin opened her eyes and placed her hand on her chest, drawing several deep breaths.  “I’m sorry, Lady Alexin, but Prince Darin asks that you greet the visitor in the parlor.  He’ll be there shortly.”

“What for?”

“He’s indisposed.”

“What about Lord Odin?”

“He’s gone to see King Pallis.”

“My grandmother?”

“She hasn’t finished dressing.”

“Who’s here?”

“Olivia Richards, the reporter from the King’s Weekly Journal.”

Alex leaned her head back and dropped her arms, groaning.  “Not her.”

“Prince Darin said to be very polite and watch what you say.”  Eskin clasped her hands in front of her.

“Yeah, right.”  Alex slid her sword into its scabbard and flipped the Elfin Blade around, returning it to its holster on her right thigh.  Without another word, she strode past Eskin and ran down the five flights of stairs.

Author Bio

orig_27374_020 (738x1024) (461x640) (288x400)Born in Chicago, Illinois, Joni left with her family when she was eight and lived for four years in Japan.  Upon return to the States, she and her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona.   She graduated from Camelback High School and attended Arizona State University until she dropped out and joined the Navy.  After three years as a Photographer’s Mate, she got out of the Navy, married a career sailor, and returned to college completing a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.  She returned to the Navy as a commissioned officer and retired with over twenty-two years of service.  While active duty, she was selected to attend the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and attained a Master of Military Arts and Sciences degree.  After her retirement, she traveled the country with her husband in a motorhome until he passed away.  Joni returned to the workforce for another seven years and retired again to devote time to her writing.  She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.

 

Links

Website/blog:  http://www.theblackelf.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoniParker

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ParkerJoni

Google Plus:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoniParker/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191836.Joni_Parker

Trailer for the Seaward Isle Saga:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teYsqOs0yjI&feature=autoplay&list=HL1343068571&playnext=3

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Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy Reid

AccidentallyCompromisingtheDuke_500X750Title: Accidentally Compromising the Duke

Author: Stacy Reid

Genre: Historical Romance

England, 1817. Miss Adeline Hays is out of options. Determined to escape marriage to a repugnant earl, Adeline plans to deliberately allow herself to be caught in a compromising position at a house party with the much kinder man she’d hoped to marry. Instead, Adeline accidentally enters the wrong chamber and tumbles into the bed of the mad duke.

Edmond Rochester, the duke of Wolverton, is seeking a wife to care for his two daughters. A young lady of sensibilities, accomplishment, and most importantly, one who he is not attracted to—a complete opposite of the bewitching beauty who traps him into marriage. But despite the lust he feels for his new duchess, Edmond is resolved to never allow them intimacy, refusing to ever again suffer the tormenting loss of a loved one.

Author Bio

Stacy Reid Profile PictureI am an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. From an early age, I started writing short stories for pleasure. I knew the dozens of romance novels I devoured were onto something when I met my husband at fifteen and fell in love after a week!

Life got in the way and I stopped writing for years. Then at the age of twenty-six with a degree in Human Resource Management I decided to focus on my passion—writing. I especially love romance and adore writing sensually hot paranormal fantasy, historical and contemporary stories.

I live a lot in the worlds I create and I actively speak to my characters (out loud). I have a warrior way “never give up on my dream.” When I am not writing, I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese Anime and playing video games with my love—Dusean Nelson.

Some Random Things About Me

  1. I cannot swim, but I can float thanks to Melissa “Misa” Bourbon Ramirezand Gwen Hayes
  2. As a child I was so skinny my nickname was “Bag of bones”
  3. I love ice cream and I adore chocolate, but I hate chocolate ice cream
  4. I skipped many classes during high school to devour novels at the local library
  5. I love dogs and don’t trust cats . I’m told I was mauled by a cat when I was one year old, go figure
  6. I hate washing the dishes. If you were to torture me nail pulling would not work, but washing dishes will
  7. I have worn my hair boy-cut short seven times in my life
  8. I love when it rains
  9. I lived in a house for six years without doors and windows
  10. My absolute favourite TV series is AMC’s The Walking Dead

Links

Amazon.com

B&N

iTunes

Kobo

Amazon.co.uk

Entangled Publishing

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To Love a Libertine by Liana LeFey

9781633756526Title: To Love a Libertine

Author: Liana LeFey

Genre: Historical Romance

Both have secrets. Both have reputations. Both fear falling in love.

London, 1727. When Miss Eden Lowther catches the eye of Lord Percival Falloure, Marquess of Tavistoke, she’s delighted, for his wicked lordship is anything but boring. The canny coquette who declined five suitors the season prior sets out to capture the infamous “Terror of the Ton” for keeps, but the man she finds behind the façade isn’t at all what she expects.

Having suffered heartbreak and humiliation two years ago, Lord Tavistoke is wary of love. But once on the market, always on the market until wed or dead. Desperate to throw London’s single ladies off the scent, Percy looks to reestablish his rotten reputation with a rousing scandal. His mark: Miss Eden Lowther, a tearing beauty reported to have left devastation in her wake last Season. If anyone has asked for ruination, it is the heartless “Hellion of Holker Hall”…

Eden and Percy soon find themselves falling dangerously in love, despite their fears and her family’s objections. But love alone save them when a ruthless rival forces her hand.

Author Bio

Liana LeFey Profile Picture 1Liana loves to weave incendiary tales that capture the heart and the imagination, taking the reader out of the now and into another world. The glory and splendor of the 18th Century provides a lush, glittering backdrop for her fairy tale romances. It’s a time of sensuous lovers, passionate music, lavish royal courts and deadly intrigues.

Liana lives in Texas with her own dashing hero of nearly twenty years, their delightful progeny, one spoiled-rotten feline overlord, and several tanks of tropical fish. She’s been devouring historical romances since her early teens and is now delighted to be writing them for fellow enthusiasts.

Links

Amazon.com

B&N

iTunes

Kobo

Amazon.co.uk

Entangled Publishing

Goodreads

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Crimson Tides by Eliza Tilton

Title: Crimson Tides
Author: Eliza Tilton 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Blurb:
Back in Lakewood Avikar finally learns the truth about his father—and the lies he’s been told since birth. Since King Corban doesn’t believe his tale about the shapeshifters, it falls to Avikar to find a way to route out the beasts from the lands and stop them once and for all.
Lucino has left Jeslyn in Mirth to go fight the Kuuni.  When he arrives on the black shores, ready to slaughter them all, he finds that killing is no longer as easy as before. His human side is becoming stronger, and the repercussions of his love for Jeslyn will put his race and every plan he’s ever made at risk.
In Book Three of the Daath Chronicles, two very different boys will discover who they thought they were is nowhere close to the truth, and sacrificing themselves is the only way to save the world they love.

Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BA in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. Her YA Fantasy series, The Daath Chronicles, is published by Curiosity Quills Press.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Broken Forest: http://amzn.to/1Tzv6ar
Crimson Tides: http://amzn.to/1rSWmd9
Wind rattled the wooden shutter on the open window, banging it against the home. An annoying sound, and no one came to close it. Why? The bang echoed through the silent forest. Where were the owls, or even a wolf? Uneasiness filled each of my steps as we slowly walked to the door. I expected an arrow to come flying my way. Two strangers knocking on the door of a secluded cabin in the middle of the night … how could we not get an arrow in the face?
Raven stayed behind me, her hands resting on the hilts of her daggers. My palms sweat and my mouth went dry. I wanted my sword in my hands, but if I approached while holding a weapon, they might attack. Holding my breath, I knocked on the door, and it swayed open beneath my touch. A stringent odor wafted out from the cabin and I covered my nose.





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The Dream Protocol by Adara Flynn Quick

The Dream Protocol: Descent
Adara Flynn Quick
Publication date: May 18th 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD. In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Deirdre was falling from a great height. The air was cold and her hair blew up around her like a golden veil. Ice crystals collected in her curls and they turned rigid as she fell. And then she crashed headlong into a body of ice-cold water. The freezing temperature bit into her skin like a thousand pinpricks, and her eyes flew wide open. Above her was the light of the surface, but a powerful current was sucking her down, down, down into the dark. She flailed against the downward pull, kicking with her legs and reaching with her arms. She knew that the single breath of air in her lungs wouldn’t last much longer. At the last moment, just as she felt that she might open her mouth and drink down the dark water, the riptide from below released her. She kicked for the light, but soon the true horror of the ‘Mare became clear. The surface was sealed away with a thick layer of ice and frost. There would be no air for her lungs in this underwater prison. She beat her fists against the ice to no avail; the dark water wouldn’t let go. She was drowning with the surface just out of reach.

She tried to scream a curse at the Minister, but in this ‘Mare there was only silence. No sounds at all. She sucked down the freezing water and choked, over and over. Mercifully, she passed out. In that brief moment of unconsciousness, a hundred images flickered through her mind, each one like a photograph taken with a magnesium flash bulb. Images of Roenin, Flynn, and the red oak tree kept appearing. In the back of her mind her own voice formed a question: how does Roenin know about the Dream Protocol?

On the surface of the frost, something new came into the dream, something that the ‘Mare Makers would never have sequenced. The ice started to hiss and steam. A pattern wrote itself into the ice block; the five-circle symbol of the Makers. It burst into flame, melting the ice and cold all around the Maker’s daughter. Deirdre felt her body rising out of the water. In dream, she came Awake.

 

Author Bio:

Irish-American author, Adara Flynn Quick, is the writer of The Dream Protocol series. Early in her career, Adara was fascinated by dreams, the unconscious, and the healing stories of many cultures. As a contemporary author, she writes young adult literature that brings ancient myths and legends into futuristic worlds. She is an accomplished visual artist and uses her background as a psychotherapist to inspire the finest and darkest moments of her characters.

Driven to distraction by her computer, Adara writes all of her stories longhand. Pen and paper are two of her favorite things. The author tortures her husband with a passion for downtempo electronica and too many pillows. She is a firm beleiver that there are never enough pillows.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Eun Na and the Phantom by Erica Laurie

 photo Eun-Na-and-the-Phantom.png
Title:  Eun Na and the Phantom
Author:   Erica Laurie
Published:   February 2nd, 2016
Genre:   Fantasy
Synopsis:
One man’s immortal curse.
The precious gift of a dragon’s soul.
And a woman who can set him free.
A logger is in debt to his landlord, and he must pay up or hand over his daughter, Eun Na as payment.
Hardworking and kind, Eun Na attracts the attention of a mysterious man from the mountains. When an accident renders her father unable to work, the handsome young man steps in and offers his assistance. Yet he is not what he seems.
Eun Na and the Phantom is a magical story set in a fictional world based on historic Korea. It is sure to please both readers of fantasy and viewers of K-dramas a like.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads

Excerpt from Eun Na and the Phantom by Erica Laurie:

“Are you a ghost?” Eun Na asked as she looked and saw Tae Kyung standing there. He was leaning up against a tree. His eyes went wide briefly, as a bit of color left his face. Was he surprised to see her? No, it wasn’t that Eun Na reminded herself. It was something else. He had called to her first.
“Something like that,” Tae Kyung replied.
“Well that would explain it” Eun Na walked to the side of the road where Tae Kyung was standing and sat down next to him. Eun Na removed her worn shoe. One of the pieces of twine was broken. She would need to mend it.
“What would explain what?” Tae Kyung asked as he joined her.
“Ghosts would explain my wound,” Eun Na said as she pulled off her sock and revealed the angry looking red streak on her leg. Its dark color became lighter. “It’s even healing right now, before my eyes.” If she hadn’t seen it fade, she’d not have believed it.
“Mmm,” Tae Kyung murmured as he reached over and put a hand on her head. She felt a tingling sensation on her scalp from his touch. “You must have hit your head when you fell into that hole.”
“Is that your polite way of saying I’m going crazy?” Eun Na said, turning her head to look at him as she spoke. The smile he gave her made her heart rate speed up. She moved to cover her feet when Tae Kyung spoke.
“There’s nothing wrong with your leg.”
“Huh?” Eun Na looked at her leg. Tae Kyung was right; the angry red wound was gone. “Maybe I am going crazy.” Eun Na gave Tae Kyung a pondering look, and then leaned over and pinched his arm hard.
“Hey! What did you do that for?” Tae Kyung shouted, leaning away from her.
“Sorry. I was just checking to see if you were real.”
“Shouldn’t you have pinched yourself to see if you were awake?” Tae Kyung grumbled, rubbing his arm and watching Eun Na warily.
“I am awake. That’s the problem,” Eun Na replied. “My life is turning into a huge mess it seems.”
“I think you need new shoes,” Tae Kyung informed her.
“What?” His sudden change of topic confused her.
“I bet that’s why you were limping. So, put your sock and shoe back on, and let’s go see what we can find.”
“That’s all right. I’ll make do with these. My family can’t afford shoes just now,” Eun Na explained as she finished putting her shoe back on and stood up. “Well, I must be going.”
“To buy shoes,” Tae Kyung said as he moved swiftly. He took one of Eun Na’s arms at the wrist, and in a fluid motion, lifted her onto his back, her legs to either side.
She had no choice but to wrap her arms around his neck and shoulder. “Hey! Put me down.”
“Only after we buy you a pair of shoes that are not worn out to strings.”
“They are made of twine,” Eun Na laughed.
“As I said, they are nothing more than strings,” Tae Kyung said, winning the argument.
Eun Na decided to rest her head on his strong shoulders and just enjoy the moment.

About the Author:Erica-Laurie

Bookworm. Shutterbug. Story writer. LDS. Wife. Mother. Loves dragons and Korean dramas.


Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • 2 winners will each receive a bookmark
Giveaway is International.  Ends May 22nd at 11:59 PM EDT.

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Dark Attraction by Alexandrea Weis

Title: Dark Attraction
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Blurb:
Sam Woods has a secret.
She keeps it hidden from the world … the world of the living, that is. 

When Doug Morgan moves into her apartment building, Sam is intrigued by her sexy new neighbor. She struggles to keep her ghostly ability from him, but Doug isn’t interested in her spiritual sense. He’s after something much more … sensual.

A Dominant with dark tastes, Doug offers Sam a glimpse into his world. He invites her to take part in an experiment to explore the extremes of pleasure. Seduced by his lifestyle, Sam agrees. There’s just one little catch … Doug also has a secret.

Someone Sam never saw coming. 

Sometimes, the dark side of pleasure can turn deadly. 

From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.


Sebastian hated this part; walking into the ICU from the waiting room. The beeps, bells, and whirring of the machinery, which kept the occupants of the ICU alive, upset him. They were alien noises that grated against his nerves.

He did his best to not let the sounds get to him, but as he went to his mother’s room, he felt his skin prickle with that well-ingrained fear of hospitals. The result of a precocious childhood.

When he reached his mother’s doorway, he spotted the pretty nurse, the one who insisted on being called Sam and not Samantha. His eyes drifted from the nurse to his mother in the bed. Her color was better, but she was still hooked up to the ventilator. Shit!
Falling at her home, she had hit her head and been knocked unconscious. The surgery to relieve the bleeding in her skull had been successful—or so the doctor insisted—but she was still not awake.

“She’s doing better today, Mr. Reinhardt,” the attractive brunette nurse with the long ponytail said to him.

How many times had he told her that his last name was Dane, not Reinhardt? Still, she called him by his stepfather’s name. His palms itched to correct her, but he refrained. 
“Has she woken up at all?”

“Yes, she opens her eyes now and then, which is a very good sign. We should have her off that breathing tube in a day or two.”

He followed the nurse’s perfect profile. Sebastian thought her almost doll-like. Even down to her porcelain skin and petite, almost little girl figure, everything about her reminded him of a doll.

“Thank you, Sam. You’ve been so encouraging these past few days. I thought for a while she wouldn’t make it.”

“I told you she would make it.” Sam stretched her pouty lips into an attractive smile. “I have a sense about these things.” As if hearing something in the outer hallway, she raised her uncanny eyes to the door. “I’ll be back.”

She was gone before he could ask any more questions. Sam always did that.

It was as if she looked through him, and not at him, whenever he came to visit his mother. What he wouldn’t give to have her see him, to have the little nurse with those amazing eyes see him for what he really was. Ah, but that was for another time and place. 

He walked closer to the bed and held his mother’s hand. Still warm and soft the way he remembered it as a child. With the ugly purple bruise on the right side of her face and the thick white bandage on her head, she didn’t resemble the mother he had known. Gone were her fancy rings, diamond bracelets, and designer clothes. The blue hospital gown made her look paler than usual, and without her always fastidiously applied makeup, she appeared older, much older than her sixty-five years.   

 “I’m here, Mother. You’re doing better. Much better.”

He felt the slightest pressure on his hand, as if she had heard him.

“That’s it, squeeze my hand. Let me know you can hear me.”

This time, her grasp was stronger and more deliberate.

His heart soared with relief. It was a small step, but it was progress. 

“Looks like she’s coming out of it,” Sam surmised, entering the room. She pulled a penlight from her white jacket pocket and flashed the light in his mother’s eyes.

His mother frowned.

“Did you see that?” he demanded. “She frowned when you shined the light in her eyes.” 
Sam shrugged her shoulders, not seeming very impressed. “Like I said, Mr. Reinhardt, she’s waking up.”

Her dismissive tone made that certain itch come alive in Sebastian. The one he always got when he discovered a new … project.

Sam went back to her table outside the room door and made some notes on his mother’s chart.

Giving his mother a kiss on the cheek, Sebastian whispered, “I’ll be back tomorrow.” Exiting the room, he stopped by Sam’s table. “Thank you for taking such good care of her.”

Sam never looked up from her notes. “I’m glad she’s doing better.”

“Will you be here tomorrow?”

Sam shook her head and became distracted by a patient in the room next door to his mother’s. “I’m off for a few days, Mr. Reinhardt. I’m sure your mother will be gone by the time I get back.”

He never got to ask her anything else. She ducked into the other patient’s room and went to the monitor above the bed.           

Sebastian grinned. He would see the pretty little Sam Woods again. He wasn’t going to let this one get away. 


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