Saturday, May 30, 2015

Book Review: THE HANGED MAN(Her Majesty's Psychic Service,#1) by P.N. Elrod

Publisher:Tor Books
Publication: May 19, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, PNR, Fantasy
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4 Stars

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On a freezing Christmas Eve in 1879, a forensic psychic reader is summoned from her Baker Street lodgings to the scene of a questionable death. Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the current Queen of England) is adamant that the death in question is a magically compromised murder and not a suicide, as the police had assumed, after the shocking revelation contained by the body in question, Alex must put her personal loss aside to uncover the deeper issues at stake, before more bodies turn up.

Turning to some choice allies—the handsome, prescient Lieutenant Brooks, the brilliant, enigmatic Lord Desmond, and her rapscallion cousin James—Alex will have to marshal all of her magical and mental acumen to save Queen and Country from a shadowy threat. Our singular heroine is caught up in this rousing gaslamp adventure of cloaked assassins, meddlesome family, and dark magic.

"Murder, mayhem and tea—a well-bred Victorian urban fantasy thriller. Prepare, o reader, to be enthralled."—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author of the Mercy Thompson series on P.N. Elrod's The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man was such a fun filled mystery full of witty characters, romance, and a storyline that just begs to be read. Set in the Victoria Era, we meet Alexandrina, a psychic who is known as a Reader. The Reader's job is to read the emotions at crime scenes. By doing that, she's able to help solve whatever crime has happened at the time. I've seen other reviewers say that this is a little similar to Sherlock Holmes; which is pretty cool. 

The characters and plot are so well developed that I had a tough time putting the book down. I wanted to know what happened next; I had to know what happened next. Alex gets called upon to do a reading for man who has commuted suicide. It's then that she realizes that maybe not all things are what they seem. We are in thrown into a whirlwind of action and it feels like at times you really don't know who to trust. I thought the mystery aspect was spot on and I loved the urban fantasy vibes we got from the book. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the book seemed a little bit more fantasy than mystery. Which there's nothing wrong with that because I love fantasy!

Alex is a likable enough heroine. She's smart and well developed. I enjoyed watching her grow as a character and of course the romance was good. I think I could have used more of it, but for the most part it was decent. The book sets up for future installments which I'm excited about. The world building was phenomenal and I can't wait until I can find back into the world Elrod has created. 

Overall, I recommend this to any and all who enjoy a good historical mystery that has fantasy like elements and good plot line twists, with that wonderful dash of romance. Come get lost in this magical world!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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About this author
Patricia Nead Elrod is an American fantasy writer specializing in novels about vampires. Her work falls into areas of fantasy and (in some cases) mystery or historical fiction, but normally not horror, since her vampires are the heroes. -Wikipedia

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cover Reveal feat Giveaway:
Fusion by Tessa Teevan!!!

Title: Fusion (Explosive #5)
Book 1 in The Clandestine Affairs Trilogy
Author: Tessa Teevan
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense



Where do babies come from?

The question every parent dreads hearing has finally fallen from the lips of six year old Ava Banks, the curious, precocious little girl that you fell in love with in Ignite. Jeremy and Sierra, normally blunt as can be, struggle to find the right words to answer her. So instead, they rewind sixteen years to that one fateful day where a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven inevitably led to life-long romance filled with laughter, love, and many, many mishaps along the way.

Falling in love with your best friend? It's the most incredible thing in the world. But when a love comes so easily, will it truly be able to last? When the world comes crashing down around you, can even the strongest relationship withstand great tragedy?

Stay tuned for lots of laughs, teenage awkwardness, a few tears, and most of all, mullets. Because what good love story doesn't do business in the front, and party in the back?

**While Fusion is a standalone romance, it’s best read after Ignite.**



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“It’s fine, Jeremy. I promise. I have no problem being the Tod to your Copper. Or the Joey to your Dawson. That’s who I am.” She hesitated for a brief moment. “That’s who I’ll always be. You’re my best friend, Jeremy. It’s okay that you don’t see my boobs. Hell, it’s probably better that way.”

My stomach plummeted and if I was man enough to admit it, my eyes burned with an unexpected rush of tears. I stepped back, out of the streetlight so she couldn’t see me. It was a move she misinterpreted, but before I could find a single ounce of courage, she was waving goodbye and running into her house, leaving me there to watch her go.

Something I never wanted to do again.

It wasn’t until after Sierra left for Ohio and I had a chance to reflect on her words that I realized what she’d said. Dawson and Joey, as of right then, weren’t even speaking. Copper and Tod went their separate ways, and even though their friendship remained, they were still apart for the rest of their lives.

I didn’t want to be Copper anymore. I sure as hell didn’t want to be Dawson.

But it was too late. I’d lost my chance. I’d missed my window. Sierra was gone and there was nothing I could do about it.

Jenna was right.

I was an idiot.

About Tessa:

I'm a twenty something book junkie who is also obsessed with sports. Bengals, Buckeyes, Reds are my teams! I work for the government during the day, hang out with Air National Guard on the weekends, and have been married to my own book boyfriend for over seven years. We currently live right outside of Dayton, OH with our two cats.

If I’m not writing or looking through tons of photos of hot men, all in the name of research, then you can probably find me curled up with my Kindle, ignoring the rest of the world. I love my sports almost as much as I love my books. My other obsessions include red wine, hot men, country music, and all things Grace Potter.

Follow Her Here: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Review: ABSOLUTELY TRUE LIES by Rachel Stuhler

Publication: May 26, 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: E-ARC
Rating: 4 Stars

A fledgling entertainment writer stumbles into the gig of a lifetime writing a teenage pop star's memoir and soon realizes that the young celebrity's squeaky-clean image is purely a work of fiction.

Struggling writer Holly Gracin is on the verge of moving back home to upstate New York when she gets hired to write the memoirs of eighteen-year-old Daisy Mae Dixson, a former Nickelodeon child star who has moved seamlessly into both blockbuster movies and pop music.

Holly quickly realizes that Daisy's wholesome public image is purely a work of fiction, as Holly finds herself trailing the star as she travels around the world on yachts, gets stalked by paparazzi, and sneaks out of five-star hotels in the dead of night.

As Holly struggles to write a flattering portrait of a teenage millionaire who only eats "nightshades" and treats her employees like slaves, Daisy has a public meltdown - and suddenly, her book is the cornerstone of resurrecting her image. But working at all hours trailing a pop star has taken its toll, and Holly must decide if becoming the ultimate insider is worth losing a starring role in her own life.

Fun, juicy, and inspired by Rachel Stuhler's own stranger-than-fiction experiences as a celebrity ghost writer, Absolutely True Lies is an entertaining look at how the lifestyles of the rich and famous aren't always what they seem.

Wow, what a surprise. Absolutely True Lies isn't what I expected in the least. I thought I would be getting some light, fluffy chic-lit read, and while yes it was a bit like that, it was also full of wit and glamour. I feel like we've gotten a front row seat behind the scenes of what Hollywood truly is; it's messy and not at all as glamorous as they want us to believe. So why should you read this book? Well because it's about Hollywood for one! Plus no character is what they seem. For me as the reader, I couldn't tell who I was to trust and who not to trust. One moment you'd be like okay I can see myself liking this particular character and then bam! They do something to clout your judgment. It was like that throughout the novel. Just a fair warning. 

The story follows Holly, a writer down on her luck when the magazine she writes for shuts down. With barely any money to her name, Holly finally finds a lucky break when her uncle gives her name
to the agent of Americas sweetheart, Daisy Mae Dixson. Daisy Mae is the girl every girl wants to be, who every boy wants, and has her own hit TV show on Nickelodeon. She has the reputation of saving herself until marriage...she has the purity ring to prove it! Her family life is great, the girl has the world in the palm of her hand. Yes, her life is seemingly perfect. Except for one minor thing: IT'S NOT PERFECT ALL. Holly is about to find out first hand that nothing and no one is what they seem. Oh yeah, Holly is supposed to write Daisy's autobiography!

When I first started reading this, I thought okay, here's another Hollywood centered book. One that will probably be about a nobody girl who just so happens to "fall" into fame. There she'll meet the big wigs and possibly fall in love with an actor. Maybe her new best friend will be like the Taylor Swift of the novel. I could go on and on. I love Hollywood books, okay so I may be obsessed with them. But one thing I absolutely love, is that they're predictable. Absolutely True Lies isn't predictable at all! I'm so glad that I was able to see Hollywood in what I believe is pretty realistic. I'm sure as somebody famous, you can't trust anyone. You can't go anywhere with the paparazzi following your every move. It would be so tiring! I can't say I have dreamed about being rich and famous but at the end of the day, I like my anonymity. 

Holly thinks she doesn't like anonymity until the world finally sits up and takes notice. Of course the only reason they follow her is because they want something from her. Plus, she part of Daisy's entourage, so it would only make sense that they want the dirt! And believe me, Holly has a bunch! Juicy details that would ruin little miss perfect's career. I'm getting off track here, the book isn't really about getting information and selling it to the highest bidder. Holly is trying to tell the life story of Daisy, but Daisy and her camp have made it very difficult indeed. 

My anxiety was up a lot throughout the book. Especially anytime Holly and money came into the picture. Holly isn't exactly the richest person and she depends on the money she's making from writing the book. But there are dishonest and greedy people out there, so there are times that I have no idea how Holly is going to make it. The girl is tough though, and I immensely enjoyed reading her story.  

Overall, if you're up for some fun, I suggest this book. While there is romance, it was more on the back burner. I still think anyone will appreciate it though! I definitely look forward to more books from the author. And on a side note, the main character was a little too judgy for my liking but she makes up for it in the end which I liked. It's always nice to see character growth and in this case, it
was an A plus. 

*Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a review copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Link:

About the Author:
Rachel Stuhler grew up in Rochester, NY, so obsessed with movies and books that she spent as little time as possible in the real world. In her late teens, this obsession led her first to New York as a terrible production assistant and then to Los Angeles, where she spent four years working as a script supervisor (and pining after writing jobs) until one day an actor told her, “If you think you can do it better yourself, just do it.”

Within a year, Rachel had sold TV movies to Lifetime and Hallmark and because she doesn’t know when to quit, began dreaming of writing a novel. After forcing countless crew members, family, and friends to read manuscripts, Rachel came to write Absolutely True Lies. She continues to work on TV movies and plot her next move in world domination, or reading about world domination, which is more fun and a lot less work.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: MIA AND THE BAD BOY by Lisa Burstein

Title: Mia and the Bad Boy
Author: Lisa Burstein
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication: May 19th, 2015

This good girl’s about to meet her match…

Ryder Brooks is living the dream—he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new—and super cute—über-good-girl tutor.

Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…

But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.


My first initial thought when finishing Mia and the Bad Boy was, cute. This was very cute and very fun. I obviously love books like this. If you see all the books I review, you'll see a pattern of Hollywood/rocker/anything to do with bad boys, as my favorites. Don't as me why, that's just the way it goes! The storyline follows the classic good girl/bad boy trope. Let's face it, that can't ever get old. At least not in my books! The only difference is that I thought that since Mia came from such a sheltered background that maybe it would make her shy. She WAS shy for the most part, but I guess around Ryder, her snark came into play. I think I really loved that about her. 

Ryder needs to get his GED and he needs a tutor. Enter Mia. The manager for Seconds to Juliet is the one that find Ryder the tutor he needs through Mia's mom. She works for the manager. What teenage girl would turn down the opportunity to tutor one of the hottest guys in the hottest band? Just picture it: you tutoring Harry Styles! I guess it's kind of like that. He's the bad boy of the band right? Anyways, Mia takes the opportunity because it will help secure all her college funds. It's basically a win-win for her. Upon meeting Mr. Ryder, she realizes what a major ass he is. But there's also something about him that says maybe he isn't all as tough as he seems. The closer the two get, the more the walls come down. 

Ryder and Mia were such a fun couple to read about! Throughout the book I found my self grinning like a fool. What can I say? I'm forever going to be a romantic; I always look for the happily ever afters. While the romance was sweet, I still wished that maybe we could have had watched them slowly fall in love. I felt like they had instant love. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I like to feel the angst when characters don't get together right away. But eh, I guess I'm being too picky. 

Overall, I liked this a lot. Will I be reading the rest of the books with the other band members? You betcha! This is a book for those that love love and the bad boys who make us crazy for more. And believe me, you'll want all you can get! 

*Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a review copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About the Author

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

She wrote her first story when she was in second grade. It was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. It was scandalous.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter



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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Promo Spotlight: LEAD ME NOT by A. Meredith Walters

In this dangerously sexy novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Find You in the Dark, a straight-laced college student meets a handsome but enigmatic stranger who lures her into an underground club scene, where she finds it difficult to resist temptation 

Aubrey Duncan understands loss. She knows what rock bottom looks like, and she is determined to crawl back up to the top after the sudden death of her younger sister. She blames herself for her part in the tragedy, convinced that she could have done something, anything, to help her.

In her effort to gain redemption, Aubrey starts fresh at Longwood University and facilitates an addiction support group, hoping she can support someone else in the way she failed her sister. But what she doesn’t count on is an all-consuming fascination with group member Maxx Demelo, a gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed enigma who hides dark secrets behind a carefully constructed mask. He only reveals what he wants others to see. But Aubrey glimpses another Maxx hidden below the surface—a Maxx who is drowning in his own personal hell.

As Aubrey and Maxx develop an attraction too intense to ignore, he pulls her into the dark underbelly of the city club scene, where she is torn by her desire to save him and an inexplicable urge to join him in his downward spiral. Worst of all, she is beginning to love everything she should run away from—a man who threatens to ignite in her a fire that could burn her alive…



I stared harder at the picture, uncomfortable with the odd sense of familiarity I felt. Looking at the woman's graceful yet agonized form, I felt as though I should recognize her.

Bothered by my increasing disquiet, I stood up and walked closer. This was not your typical campus painting of daffodils and laughing students. I had seen this particular kind of art several times before. I leaned in to try to see the details in the poor lighting. And there it was- the tiny patterns on the woman's dress composed of dozens of Xs.

I didn't notice any numbers or words in this picture, though, so I didn't understand what its intent was. It was my understanding that X's paintings held the clues to the location of the club, Compulsion. But this picture seemed to have nothing to do with that.

This was a painting created for some other purpose.

"So what do you think?"

I looked over my shoulder to find Maxx standing behind me. I turned back to the picture, not bothering to answer him. The truth was, my outburst in the group had left me feeling raw and vulnerable, and seeing him so soon after making a gigantic ass of myself was embarrassing.

As he came up beside me, the sleeves of our jackets brushed against each other. Maxx inclined his head toward the painting and asked me again, "Well, what do you think of it?"

I shrugged, not really in the mood for small talk. My pounding head couldn't handle a go-around with the group Romeo. I started to walk away from him when he grabbed hold of my arm.

"Wait, Aubrey. Please." It was that word that did it. Please. It was uttered softly and sincerely. And it held me as fast and surely as if he had put his arms around me.

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Tour Promo feat Giveaway- PEPPED UP SERIES by Ali Dean

Pepped Up (Pepper Jones #1)
by Ali Dean 
Release Date: 08/25/13
238 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? That’s an entirely different challenge.

Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town -- and he has. Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).

That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.

When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.

Excerpts from Pepped Up (Pepper Jones #1)
I dig my feet into the mud and embrace the burning in my quads. The harder I push, the deeper the pain in my legs and my lungs. But I’m closing the gap with the two girls in front of me, and that makes it worth it. 

Just before reaching the top, the girl in the yellow uniform pitches forward and hits the ground. She’s back on her feet already when I pass her, but she’s lost her momentum. It’s not easy to regain on this terrain. 

I’m shoulder to shoulder with the girl in the red uniform when we hit the top of the climb. It’s a straight 100 meters to the finish. I can barely make out the finish line through my mud caked lashes, but it doesn’t matter. I’m not easing up.

I’ve got one shoe on, and I’m soaked in mud from head to toe. Literally. This is my kind of race. The discomfort from the elements is nothing compared to the throbbing in my muscles. I welcome it all as I force my legs into sprint mode.
Zoe offers me a ride home, but Ryan jumps in, saying I’m on his way. I watch him discreetly for a moment in the car. His forehead is damp with sweat from dancing, and his blue eyes look soft and sleepy from the long day. When he glances at me, and smiles, showing off those adorable dimples, he looks so happy. And it all seems so simple with him.

He likes me. I like him.

If it wasn’t for Jace, there would be no question at all what direction things should go with Ryan and me. And what’s stopping me now? 

All Pepped Up (Pepper Jones #2)
by Ali Dean 
Release Date: 07/10/14
290 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
(This is the second book in the Pepper Jones series. The following description contains spoilers for Pepped Up, which should be read first.)

Pepper Jones knew that being Jace Wilder’s girlfriend wouldn’t be simple. But she didn’t predict just how many complications would arise from his past. Jealous girls? That she expected. Family secrets? Not so much. At least Pepper can always hit the trails to clear her head… except when it comes to racing. The high expectations from her phenomenal cross country season haunt her, and she can’t seem to get psyched up for track season. Pepper’s junior year at Brockton Public is full of challenges on and off the track, but she’s not afraid to face them.

Excerpts from All Pepped Up (Pepper Jones #2)
 “What took us so long to be together, anyway?” I ask.
He smirks at me, and I wiggle in my seat. No one can smirk like Jace Wilder. It’s a huge turn-on.

“You weren’t ready for me, Pep.”

I tug my hand away and cross my arms. “What? I think you mean you weren’t ready for me. I didn’t have a single boyfriend until this year and you” – I wave my hand in his direction – “were with girls all the time. 

Then, as soon as I get my first boyfriend, you decide you’re ready for me. What’s up with that, huh?”

Jace tries to contain his laughter at my outburst but I see through it. My eyes narrow and I shove him in the chest.

“Okay, okay.” He raises his hand in defeat. “I didn’t want to mess things up with you. How many times do I have to tell you? You’re special, Pep. Too good for me, or anyone. I didn’t want to give something a try and fuck it all up and lose you.”

My head tilts to the side as I take this in. And then I smirk right back at him. “You” – I point at his chest – “big bad Jace Wilder. Were afraid of losing me” – I point to myself with a huge grin on my face – “little Pepper Jones, the girl next door?”

He grabs my finger and pulls me toward him so that I’m almost sitting on his lap. “I’m still scared,” he whispers gruffly. 

Jace’s head dips lower, nuzzling my neck. His warm breath sends goose bumps along my spine as his lips skim my jaw line. “Terrified, actually.”

Jace runs a hand over his face and looks away. His body is rigid, and I want to hug him until he relaxes in my arms. Instead, I keep my hand resting on his forearm, feeling the muscles tense underneath my fingertips. 

I can’t force him to trust me.

“This is one of so many reasons why I never wanted us to be more than friends.”

My heart drops to my stomach at his words. “What?” I choke out.

His green eyes dart back to my face and his features soften. “You, more than anyone, can hurt me.” He steps into me, closing the space between us.

“Try not to break my fucking heart, okay?” he says as he kisses my temple.

I smile with relief. “I’ll try not to break your fucking heart,” I promise.

 About the Author
Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband, twin babies, and golden retriever. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.

Author Links:

Book Tour Organized by:
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Release Day Launch feat Giveaway: SHATTERED DUTY by Katie Reus

Shattered Duty  Synopsis:
A new novel from the author of Bound to Danger who “has the amazing ability of pulling the reader onto the front lines of the action and drama.” (The Reading Café)
When his wife was murdered two years ago, Special Agent Levi Lazaro turned his back on everything he cared about. Ever since, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. Now he's finally uncovered the identities of those who killed his wife—and he's ready to destroy them at any cost. He won’t let anything stand in his way—not even a beautiful NSA agent on a mission of her own.

Special Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Her fearlessness and quick-thinking make her the perfect person to take down a deadly terrorist cell. But she needs Levi’s help, and the moment he shows up, Selene knows her objectivity—and her heart—are in trouble.

As the two strike an uneasy alliance, Levi finds himself tormented by his desire for Selene—a feeling he thought long dead. But when their mission takes an unexpected turn, he finds himself at a crossroads. Can he put aside his need for revenge to save the woman who’s reawakened his soul?

Katie Reus Bio:
Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom's stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn't always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

 Shattered Duty Excerpt
Copyright © 2015 Katie Reus

“Alexander’s there,” Allison said, a strange note in her voice.

He followed her line of sight and spotted Alexander striding outside with a woman on his arm. They were about fifteen feet away, in one of the open glass doorways.

But she wasn’t arm candy. This woman wasn’t some piece of fluff. Tall, sleek, strong, she was an operator. No doubt about it, just from the way she moved. She scanned the enormous pool area, looking at faces and taking mental notes. He could see it in every tight line of that hot body.

She was drop-dead gorgeous, though that description fell way too short of reality. She had to be at least five feet ten, but it was hard to tell with her heels. Her white blond hair had been pulled into a twist type of thing, falling over one of her breasts like a long rope. 

Her dark blue dress was long and fitted but not skintight and the asymmetrical one-shoulder look was sexy as hell. 

Since when had shoulders become sexy? The dress accentuated all her curves, making his mouth water. The reaction stunned him as much as it pissed him off. 

Unlike practically everyone here tonight wearing black her dress was blue. He wondered if it matched her eyes. Immediately he hated himself for his curiosity. He didn’t give a shit about some woman Alexander had arrived with.

Then she turned fully toward him and all the breath left his lungs in one whoosh as their gazes collided. Something flared in her pale blue eyes. Something he couldn’t read as she looked him over from head to toe, unabashed in her perusal. 

He couldn’t tell if she was checking him out with sexual interest or sizing him up. Did she know who he was? Truly was . . . He wasn’t sure why the thought crossed his mind. 

He didn’t know all of Wesley’s operators but this woman was looking at him as if she knew him. Or maybe she just wanted to get to know him.

 Hell if he knew. It’d been too long since he’d paid attention to a woman and he hated that he couldn’t tell if that was feminine interest in her gaze.

And now, after two years, his cock decided wake up.

Striding forward he practically dragged Allison with him, ignoring her little yelp of surprise as he barreled toward them. By the time he’d reached Alexander and the woman, Alexander had pulled two champagne glasses from one of the passing server’s trays.

The arms dealer’s eyes widened a fraction as he turned to find Levi and Allison standing there. He completely ignored Levi and his date and smiled at Allison. He held out a glass to her, a hell of a lot more polite than Levi had been tonight. 

“I didn’t know you’d be here,” Alexander said, clearly pleased to see her.
“Thank you,” she murmured, taking it. “I like the beard. It suits you.”

“I remember what you said and thought I’d try it,” Alexander said, staring at Allison as if mesmerized. The blonde was still watching Levi.

Gritting his teeth, Levi cleared his throat. “Allison, you already know Alexander.” He turned to the man’s date then. “But we haven’t met.”

The blonde continued to watch him curiously as Alexander handed her the other glass. “Of course. Selene, this is Isaiah Moore, an associate. And this is the lovely Allison.”

The blonde nodded politely at Allison, then turned that pale gaze on Levi. “Isaiah?” Her voice was throaty, sexy, and sent another pulse of need to his cock. She seemed almost amused by his name. As if she didn’t believe it. And fuck it, he wanted to hear his real name on those lips. 

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