Marissa Farrar’s Dirty Shots Now Available!

 It’s my pleasure to welcome Brit Babe extraordinaire, Marissa Farrar, to A Hopeful Romantic today to share a little hot snippet from her novel, Dirty Shots. 

 

dirty_shots_finalDirty Shots Blurb:

Eric Rutherford is a photographer at the top of his game. Young, handsome, and rich, he burst onto the art scene like a rock star. His black and white portraits sell for massive sums, but Eric wants to take a new direction in his work. He longs to create erotic art. He wants to photograph the imprints of rope across a woman’s skin, and the red stripes left by a flogger on a pale bottom. And so his search for the perfect model begins, and when blonde Anya walks into his apartment, his only fear is she’ll say no.

Art student Anya Rhinne knows all about Eric Rutherford. She knows how he’d had every spotlight turned on him, only to fall from grace spectacularly with some kind of breakdown he only described in interviews as his ‘dark days.’ When he offers her the job as his model, and their sessions together grow more intimate, she struggles to divide what is professional from personal. As his work takes a turn toward obsession, a desire to create perfection at all costs, she has to wonder if she’ll ever mean more to him than just a beautiful image on a photograph. Will she sacrifice everything for his art?

 
*Please note, this book was originally released as the serial ‘Model Wanted’ and has been rewritten and relaunched as the novel, ‘Dirty Shots’.

 

Buy Dirty Shots Here:

Amazon: viewBook.at/Dirtyshots

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dirty-shots-marissa-farrar/1124567347

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1151472567

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dirty-shots

  

Dirty Shots Excerpt:

She stood before him, completely naked, her breasts jutting forward, the small powder puff of blonde hair nestled at the juncture of her thighs. “Because I’ve opened myself up to you in a way I’ve done to no other man and you haven’t so much as laid a finger on me.”

 

He remembered what he’d done in the shower the previous morning and glanced away guiltily. To hide the emotions he
felt sure would be clear in his eyes, he busied himself by reaching into the box where he kept all the accessories he’d gathered for the photo shoot. With a clinking of metal, he pulled out a set of handcuffs and placed them on the floor, followed by a spreader bar. Her eyes widened at the spreader.

 

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“Is that what I think it is?” she asked.

 

“It’s designed to hold either the arms, or more often, the feet apart at the ankles. These cuffs,” he lifted one in his palm, “are designed to go around your wrists or ankles, and then the bar can be adjusted, depending on how wide you need to be spread.”

 

A smile played on her lips. “Sounds kinky.”

 

He held her gaze, one corner of his lips quirking up. “I thought you wanted kinky.”

 

Without another word, she held out her wrists to him, but Eric shook his head, dropping the spreader and picking the handcuffs back up. “Turn around.”

 

She did as she was told and he reached down to grasp her hand from her side, pulling it behind her body and clicking on the cool circle of metal. He took her other hand and repeated the motion.

 

“Are you trying to punish me, Eric?” she said, a teasing tone to her voice.

 

“Why? Do you need to be punished?”

 

“I guess you’ll find that out at some point.”

 

Not knowing what to make of her words, he busied himself with the spreader bar. “I want you to get down on your knees.”

 

Carefully, her hands cuffed behind her back, she did as he asked.

 

“Put your face, shoulders and breasts on the floor, but keep your bottom lifted high, your legs spread.”

 

“If I try to lean forward like this, I’ll smack my face on the floor.”

 

She was right; he’d clearly not thought the practicalities through. He should have done the cuffs last.

 

“Here, let me help you.” Careful not to allow his hand to brush her breasts, he reached around her body and supported her upper chest, so she was able to lean forward into the position he wanted without fear of hurting herself.

 

In this position, he attached one cuff of the bar to her ankle and then spread her legs farther to attach the other one. A small chain connected each cuff to the bar, allowing some movement but not enough for her to close her legs to him. He’d never been this close to her before, not naked with her pussy spread open just inches from his face.

 

Eric cleared his throat and forced himself to his feet. His job was to photograph her, not imagine how she would taste as he pushed his tongue inside her.

 

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He adjusted the lighting hanging from the rail on the ceiling and then picked up his camera. He started with shots of her face, one cheek crushed against the white paper-covered floor, her eyes wide and innocent, portraying her vulnerability. Such contrast to the pose she was in. He moved to her back and hands, taking shots of the metal bound around her slender wrists.

 

Finally, he moved the camera to aim between her thighs, at the way her spread position exposed her pussy and ass to him in all their perfection.

 

“Are you going to fuck me like this?” she asked out of the blue.

 

He lowered the camera in shock. “That isn’t what this is about.”

 

She twisted her neck as best she could and locked eyes with him. “What if that’s what I want this to be about?”

 

“Anya …”

 

But he didn’t know what he was going to say. Surely he didn’t intend on telling her no? The position she was in, with her cheek pressed against the floor, her ankles forced apart, her perfect heart-shaped bottom pushed into the air, was just ripe for fucking hard. Between her slender thighs, the swollen lips of her vulva peeped out. He didn’t think he imagined the sheen on her pussy or the inside of her thighs.

 

His balls ached and his cock lengthened in his pants. Her gaze shifted, resting on the increasingly obvious bulge in his crotch.

 

“Anya,” he tried again. “It’s crossing a line. I don’t want to be that kind of man …”

 

“But I want to be that kind of girl,” she said. She spread her ankles wider, pulling the small chains between the spreader bar taut. The metal clinked in response. The position widened her stance, her thighs even more spread than before, exposing the star of her asshole and the delicate inner folds of her pussy.

 

“Oh, God,” he moaned.

 

Fuck it. He might want to be a professional when it came to his photography, but he was still a man.

 

About Marissa Farrar:

Marissa Farrar has always been in love with being in love. But since she’s been married for numerous years and has three young daughters, she’s conducted her love affairs with multiple gorgeous men of the fictional persuasion.

 

The author of more than twenty novels, she has been a full time author for the last six years. She predominantly writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but has branched into contemporary fiction as well.

 

If you want to know more about Marissa, then please visit her website at www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com. You can also find her at her facebook page, www.facebook.com/marissa.farrar.author or follow her on twitter @marissafarrar.

 

She loves to hear from readers and can be emailed at marissafarrar@hotmail.co.uk and to stay updated on all new releases and sales, just sign up to her newsletter! http://forms.aweber.com/form/61/19822861.htm

 

The Lakeland Witches Box Set Preorder Blitz and Giveaway Now Under Way

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It’s official! The Preorder Blitz and Giveaway for THE LAKELAND WITCHES BOX SET is now under way! You can preorder your copy now and have it your hot little eReader on the 29th of October just in time for Halloween! A seriously sweet, seriously hot Halloween Treat.

Four witchy, sexy novels, one giant chilling, sizzling, dark and lusty binge read available now for preorder.

But wait! I did mention giveaway, didn’t I? Oh yes! Beginning today, every blog doing the Lakeland Blitz will be sharing a sexy excerpt from one of the Lakeland Witches novels and all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter for the chance to win a $30/£20 Amazon gift voucher to help me celebrate.  So keep your eyeballs peeled. It’s time for the Lakeland Blitz. 

 

When the mist descends on the high fells of the English Lake District, danger lurks. Demons, witches, ghosts and more gravitate to the powerful Elemental Coven – some as friends and allies, some as deadly enemies. The battle in the mist is a battle for power and love and lust, but most of all, for Tara Stone and the Lakeland Witches, it’s a battle for survival.

 

Sex is magic for the Elemental Coven — powerful magic. But will it be enough to defeat the hate-driven demon determined to destroy them with the very magic of their own lust?

Excerpt from Body Temperature and Rising:

 She was half way up the porch steps when she changed her mind, squared her shoulders and headed for the stables.

When he saw her, he surprised her by scooping her into his arms, holding her tight, so tight she could barely catch her breath. A sense of relief rushed over her, a feeling that she wasn’t in this alone, and she held him tight right back.

‘I was so scared,’ he spoke against her ear, his voice thick with emotions. ‘I didn’t know what they’d do to you, if they’d follow you, and I didn’t know where you’d gone or where to look for you. I couldn’t bear the thought of it happening to you. What happened to Fiori.’

She said nothing; she wasn’t sure she could speak without blubbering.

‘I’m sorry,’ he whispered against her hair. ‘This is not how I wanted it to be. This is not what I wanted you to know about me.’

‘What?’ She pulled away enough to look up into his eyes, ‘Tim I don’t blame you for any of this. I still don’t know what to think about it all. I don’t know …’ Her voice drifted off. ‘Do you think we should go to the police?’

‘And tell them what?’ he said stepping back. ‘We’re the only ones who know. We’re the only ones who can tell they’re dead. To anyone else Fiori and Sky look as real and alive as you and I do, as real as that Anderson bloke you let plough you. He must have been impressed, the way he fought me.’

This time the clench in her stomach was anger. ‘You son of a bitch!’ She shoved him with the flat of her hand and he yielded, perhaps too shocked to do anything else. She shoved him again. ‘What the hell business is it of yours who I let plough me anyway, and for your information, yeah, he liked it just fine. Like you care.’ She shoved him again, and the mare looked up from munching her breakfast. ‘Lest we forget that you ploughed Fiori. Oh that’s right, I forgot that was different. She wasn’t dead when you fucked her, so that makes it all right.’

She saw his face darken, and in her own mind’s eye, she saw the woman’s tragic death, and for a split second she lakelandwitches1btrwished she hadn’t said anything, but damn it, he was such a bastard. ‘First you treat me like I don’t exist, then you go all big brother on me like I’m too delicate and soft-brained to take care of myself. Well I have news for you, Tim Meriwether, I was taking care of myself for a long time before you decided I needed looking after.’ She shoved again, and this time he grabbed her with such force that she felt the bones in her neck pop.

With her forward momentum, he stumbled over an uneven paving stone, lost his footing and went over backward into a manger full of fresh hay, pulling her on top of him.

Before she could shove and claw her way to her feet, He grabbed her around the waist and rolled, pinning her beneath the weight of his body. He gave her no time to think about it, but pulled her into a bruising kiss, forcing her lips apart, probing her hard pallet with his dexterous tongue, biting her lower lip before he came up fighting for the breath to speak. ‘I think about you a lot, Marie,’ His chest rose and fell in hungry gasps. ‘But I promise you, none of those thoughts were even remotely brotherly.’

She bucked underneath him and clawed at his shirt. ‘Then do something about it, damn it, and stop toying with me.’ Several buttons popped and flew across the stable floor. He forced her legs apart with his knee, moving it up to rub against the crotch of her jeans. She shoved his shirt open and arched up to him as he pushed her T-shirt up and manoeuvred and tugged, forcing her breasts free from her bra into his splayed hands and hungry lips.

She fumbled with the fly of his jeans, sliding an anxious hand into his boxers. He huffed a breathless grunt, and the muscles low in his stomach tensed as she closed her fingers around his engorged penis and began to stroke.

He had just began the anxious efforts with her own fly when suddenly the stable door slammed shut, and the light bulb overhead exploded in a shower of fine glass plunging the two into total darkness.

Marie yelped, and Tim cursed. As they fought their way to their feet, the mare screamed, and they could hear her struggling.

Tim vaulted over the manger’s edge seconds before Marie, calling back to her. ‘Get the door. Get it open.’

Struggling to secure her jeans with one hand, Marie felt her way along the perimeter of the stable toward the door. The relief was short-lived when her fingers closed around the handle, and it wouldn’t budge.

‘It’s locked,’ she shouted above the desperate cries of the mare.

‘What do you mean, it’s locked,’ Tim shouted back. ‘It doesn’t have a lock. It can’t be locked.’

‘I’m telling you it won’t open,’ she yelled back, feeling an icy chill blasting her from behind. With one final tug, the door gave and she tumbled backward on her arse. The sharp knife-edge of light that shot through the darkness was blinding, like a flashbulb going off, leaving a deep bruised after image dancing in front of her face, an after image of Deacon.

She cried out and crab walked backwards, as he stepped toward her, unfurling his bullwhip, in what seemed like endless slow motion.

Then from somewhere beyond the blinding light, Tim grabbed her beneath the arm pits and hauled her to her feet, pulling her protectively to him, manhandling her until his back took the brunt of the whip’s lash, as it cracked like thunder even above the horse’s terrified screams.

Marie felt his body tense, jerk and go rigid, felt his heavy pull of oxygen.

 

Preorder the Lakeland Witches Box Set Here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

*****

“I am a huge fan of K.D. Grace’s explicit, well-crafted writing (I’ve selected and published her work in multi-author “Best” collections), and this novel did not disappoint me. It’s the first of a hardcore paranormal trilogy, and many readers think it is her best work to date.” Violet Blue

 

*****

“This is powerful, sexy writing from the extremely competent K D Grace. The story contains a compelling narrative. And all of it is set in the most beautiful scenery in the natural world. You really will love this book.” Erotica Readers & Writers Association

 

 

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The Lakeland Witches Series:

Body Temperature and Rising Book: 1 of the Lakeland Witches Series

 American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON, and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.

 

Riding the Ether: Book 2 of the Lakeland Witches Series

 Cassandra Larkin keeps her ravenous and dangerous sexual appetite secret until she seduces Anderson in the mysterious void of the Ether.  Anderson is the sexy, insatiable ghost who can give her exactly what she needs. But sex is dangerous in a place like the Ether…

When the treacherous demon, Deacon, discovers the truth about the origin of Cassandra’s powerful lust, he plots to use her sex magic for revenge on Tara Stone and the Elemental Coven, who practice their own brand of sex magic. Cassandra must embrace the lust and sexuality she fears and learn to use its power. Will she stand with Anderson, Tara, and the Elemental Coven against Deacon’s wrath or suffer the loss of friendship, magic and love?

 

Elemental Fire: Book 3 of the Lakeland Witches Series

 Obsessed with revenge, KENNET LUCIAN makes a deal with a demon, a deal he comes to regret when he meets TARA STONE, head of the Elemental Coven, and a powerful witch with a desire for revenge at least as great as his. Even though the attraction between the two is magnetic and the lust combustive, Kennet must betray her to accomplish his goal, which is ultimately her goal as well; to put a final end to the demon, Deacon’s, reign of terror. But can Tara trust the man who has wormed his way into her heart and the heart of the Elemental Coven? Can she trust LUCIA, the demon with whom Kennet is allied, a demon with her own agenda. The path to Deacon’s destruction is far from clear, and the price that must be paid to be free of him forever may be too high, even for Tara Stone.

 

Demon Interrupted: Book 4 of the Lakeland Witches Series

What secrets does a man have that would cause him to chooses to live under a spell that magically erased his past? When that spell is broken Ferris Ryder must choose to remember all that he was, all that he has done and all that drove him to willingly forget. If he chooses not to remember, the consequences will be dire for himself and the Elemental Coven, who are now his family.

Is the mysterious Elaine, who both fears and desires Ferris, a ghost with a past all her own, or merely a figment of his fevered dreams as he struggles against time to remember the past he fears or destroy the very people for whom he chose to forget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Shopping for an Heir (Book 10 in the Shopping series) by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor)

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Blurb:

Gerald Wright works for billionaires. He never imagined he’d become one.

The former Navy Seal is a chauffeur by day, artist by night, so when hotter-than-ever ex-fiancée Suzanne Dayton interrupts his nude model sculpting class to serve him with inheritance paperwork from a man he’s never heard of, he assumes it’s a joke.

Turns out the joke’s on him. There’s just one catch. A big one.

And it might be Suzanne — in more ways than he ever dreamed.

Shopping for an Heir is the 10th book in the New York Times bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series by Julia Kent.

Buy links:

BN/Nook: http://bit.ly/29DaZZv

iBooks: http://apple.co/29ssiMd

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/29ZkKTg

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2a3mXRh

Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/29IQds1

Amazon Australia: http://amzn.to/29JqH84

Google Play: http://bit.ly/29MNgdk

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2afregI

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2atJMcM

*****

shopping-for-an-heir-finalExcerpt:

He smelled like home. Like love. Like promise and comfort, like passion and disbelief.

“What’s wrong?” he snapped, his face alternating between joy and anger. “Why are you here?”

Coming to her senses, she extracted the thick envelope from her brief bag, looking him square in the eye. “Legal matter. I’ve been instructed to deliver this to you.” She used remarkable restraint in not peering around Gerald to get more of an eyeful of Declan McCormick’s stately form.

Then again, Gerald was an impenetrable wall of muscle himself, not easily subverted. She’d need taller heels to peer around him. He did not move his palm from her arm, and his touch infused her, a deeply satisfying sense of connection slowly creeping along her skin, her breath quickening, his touch ringing bells inside her that had been dormant for a decade.

“What is it?”

“Read it. You’ll understand.” She turned on her heel and started to leave, shaking inside so hard she might trigger the New Madrid fault.

He glared at her. “What? That’s it? Ten years and that’s it?” He pulled back, breaking contact.

All her anxiety faded, like an antidote injected straight into the heart, his words kicking in, providing such clarity.

“Ten years you chose, Gerald,” she hissed, mouth curling, throat seizing. “You do not get to put this on me.” Grief flared in her, a burst like a fireball, and then it turned to the ash of anger, a light coat settling over every spare surface of her heart.

His eyebrows shot up, eyes gliding away, his nose twitching and mouth tightening as if holding back.

Squaring her shoulders, Suzanne decided to make this easy for him. God only knew why. “My law firm is handling the estate of deceased billionaire Harold Hopewell. You’ve been named in his will.” She tapped the thick envelope in his hand. “These papers explain everything.”

“Explain what?”

“You’re his heir. One of them, at least.”

*****

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://jkentauthor.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jkentauthor

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Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.

 

A Shameless Selfie In The Flesh!

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Yup! It’s a BIG selfie this time, and it is SO shameless. I’m pleased to death to offer up the entire first chapter of my latest release, In The Flesh! Just now available in print and eBook. In the Flesh is book one of the Medusa’s Consortium Series, and I’m very excited to say the series is keeping me extremely occupied. Since a good deal of the action, is set in the Lakeland fells, and since both Alonso and Magda Gardener — AKA Medusa, live there, it seemed like the perfect selfie for this weekend. Enjoy the first chapter of In The Flesh, and it’s absolutely fine with me if you get addicted and need to read more.

In The Flesh Blurb:

When Susan Innes comes to visit her friend, Annie Rivers, in Chapel House, the deconsecrated church that Annie is renovating into a home, she discovers her outgoing friend changed, reclusive, secretive, and completely enthralled by a mysterious lover, whose presence is always felt, but never seen, a lover whom she claims is god. As her holiday turns into a nightmare, Susan must come to grips with the fact that her friend’s lover is neither imaginary nor is he human, and even worse, he’s turned his wandering eye on Susan, and he won’t be denied his prize. If Susan is to fight an inhuman stalker intent on having her as his own, she’ll need a little inhuman help.

In The Flesh  Chapter One

kdgrace-itf-final200“Susan, this is going to sound completely barking, but I think he might be God.”

What the hell do you say to that? ‘My boyfriend might be God’? I mean it’s not exactly common convo for a girls’ night out. Okay, so neither of us was famous for our successful love lives. Mine was basically non-existent, but Annie Rivers was notorious for her bad choices—usually married men or narcissistic twats with a wide range of addictions. But as far as bad choices went, this was a doozy. Aside from the fact that it was totally mad to think Lover Boy was God, even I had to admit it was right up Annie’s alley. Let’s face it, God—any of the gods for that matter—is not known for being faithful or particularly nice.

Annie hadn’t mentioned that she was seeing anyone, but I knew she had a lot on her mind with her heavy load at the estate agency and the renovation of what she was now affectionately calling Chapel House. Under the circumstances, I was surprised when she invited me up to Manchester for a long weekend, but she said she needed some girl-time, and we were long overdue for a good catch-up. Since I had no deadlines pressing and found myself with a bit of free time, I jumped at the chance to escape my claustrophobic flat in Brixton and spend some quality time with my friend. The last time we’d been together, she had just made an offer on the deconsecrated church.

“It happens all the time,” Annie told me when I went with her to view the place. “No one’s religious any more, so small churches are deconsecrated when they’re no longer in use, and they’re sold as boutiques, office buildings, houses and even pubs. But this one is about to become my home.”

She had chatted away enthusiastically about the lounge that would be where the altar was, how the whole nave would be open-plan living at its best, kitchen with an Aga, study in what had been the small choir loft, and the perfect master suite that she’d always dreamed of. What good was money if you couldn’t spend it?

This time, however, when I arrived, she was otherwise occupied.

“You’re early.” Breathing heavily, Annie peeked from behind the door she had opened only a crack.

I wasn’t early, but I wasn’t stupid either. Her hair was mussed, and the flush in her cheeks was a testament to my bad timing.

“Shall I come back in an hour? Two?”

She threw a quick glance over her shoulder, and from inside I caught the strong scent of jasmine, Annie’s favorite flower. “Thanks, Susan. You’re a dear.”

“Okay, you lucky cow, but when I come back, I’ll expect details.” I barely managed a kiss on her cheek before the door slammed in my face.

After what I felt was an appropriate amount of time at a nearby Starbucks, I returned with a nice bottle of chardonnay and my best ‘tell me all about him’ smile. I knocked; then I knocked again.

I was just beginning to think she was having such an orgy that she’d forgotten about me when the door opened and she squinted out into the fading evening light.

“Susan?”

She was wearing her robe, but the glow was gone, and there were dark circles under her eyes. She forced a smile. “I must have fallen asleep.” Her anemic embrace alerted me to sharp angles and jutting bones that had been cushioned by shapely curves when I saw her three months ago.

“Honey, you’re thin. Must be too much shagging and not enough chocolate. I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the—”

She flipped on the switch behind her, and it was evident in the harsh light of a bare bulb that, for all practical purposes, she had done nothing with the place.

She looked around and color rose to her cheeks. “I’ve been busy.”
“Things wild at work?”
“I’ve taken some time off,” came the curt reply.
In spite of all her big plans, Chapel House was still a church, complete with dusty

pews and an altar covered in plastic drop cloths.
“I see the previous owner hasn’t moved out yet.”
She ignored my comment. “I’ll show you around.”
“No need. You showed me around last time. Just find some glasses and fill me in on

all your news.” I followed her down a narrow hallway into a more recent addition to the building, added on to a small lady chapel no longer in use. It had become a kitchen and a couple of rooms for classes and meetings, now all divided off by hanging drop cloths, just as they had been when she’d shown me the place three months ago.

“You can sleep there.” On the floor behind one partition was a mattress with a duvet thrown over it. There was a dusty wardrobe in one corner and a backless chair for a makeshift night table. “Bathroom’s down the hall.” She gave a listless nod in that direction.

“Annie?” I took her in my arms. “What’s going on? What did you and Shag Boy get up to anyway that left you this exhausted?”

“Don’t call him that.” She pushed me away with an effort that seemed uncharacteristically fragile for the woman who had been her company’s best agent three years running. “I’m just tired, that’s all.”

I took her hand and led her into the kitchen. “A glass of wine and a nice Chinese will set you right. You should have told me he’d be here. I could have come some other time, or he can stay. I mean I have earplugs, you know. And anyway, when do I get to meet him?”

She offered a shrug and shoved limp blond hair behind her ear. “It’s complicated.”

Isn’t it always?

I ended up drinking most of the bottle of chardonnay, and a lovely takeaway was wasted as Annie picked at her Mongolian beef and practically fell asleep at the table. “Come on.” I took the glass from her hand and pulled her to her feet. “You’re

exhausted, and I’m not sympathetic, but you can’t tell me juicy gossip when you’re falling asleep in your rice. Now which of these lovely rooms is the master suite?”

“I sleep there.” She shot a glance back down the hall toward the nave. “I like the way the moonlight comes through the big windows in the apse above the altar,” she added quickly.

“Are you the sacrifice?” I took her arm, surprised at her strength as she jerked away.

“I told you, I just like the light.” In spite of her protests, I walked her up through the nave, trying to ignore the disquiet clawing at my stomach as she shuffled up the aisle between the pews, past the transept and the chancel, to a pallet of blankets and pillows on the floor at the foot of the altar. The air was redolent with the scent of jasmine, but there were no flowers that I could see. A chill fingered its way up my spine.

“Annie, I’ve always known you were a little weird, but this is just creepy.”

“No really, look.” With a feline stretch, she lay back in a pool of moonlight and I caught my breath at the effect. It was as though she were lying under a luminous waterfall. In the monochrome tones of growing night, she appeared startlingly transparent. As the robe that she wore fell open, her nipples peaked, and the woman who had always been a little bit shy about her body tugged and shoved aside the robe until she lay naked atop the blankets, her pale hair spread across the pillow like a reaching halo. The moonlight exaggerated the arch and curve of rib bones way too visible for the woman I knew.

Goose flesh rippled over her rice paper skin, and for a moment, in her writhing and stretching, in the soft moan that filled her throat, if I hadn’t been standing there watching, I’d have thought her to be making love with someone. In spite of what my eyes told me, I gave a quick glance around the room to be certain we were alone, and even then, I wasn’t sure.

Annie was usually the take-charge chick, but action seemed better than letting myself be freaked out by what was probably, what was hopefully, nothing.

I sat down next to her and pulled the mound of tangled blankets up around her chilled body, tucking her in. Before she could protest, I laid a hand against her forehead. “Annie, tell me what’s wrong. Have you seen a doctor? Are you ill?” My insides knotted at all the horrible things loss of weight and constant tiredness might herald.

“No! No, Susan, nothing like that, I promise you.” She sat up and threw her arms around me in the most enthusiastic show of affection I’d had since my arrival. “Oh, Susan, I want so much to tell you everything. I can hardly contain myself, but I just get so tired. You’d understand better if you knew him.”

“Does he at least have a name?”
She squeezed my hand and lay back on the pile of pillows.
Outside, somewhere close by, someone was burning garden trash. I looked around to

close the window, but none of the arched windows in the nave were open. Judging from the way my eyes burned, it must have been quite a bonfire.

Annie coughed and cleared her throat. “Please, Susan, if you’re my best friend, don’t ask any questions. Just let me tell you in my own time, in my own way.”

“All right. I’m listening.” A flutter of a breeze curled around the altar and rustled the plastic ever so slightly.

For a long time she didn’t speak. Her lips were the only things about her that were still full and shapely, but even they seemed pale and colorless in the moonlight. She smoothed the blanket carefully over her thighs. “I knew he was watching me even while Todd and I were still together.”

“Todd? You mean the married bloke?”

She nodded. “So many times I felt like someone was near me, looking out for me. I really didn’t realize who was pursuing me until after I broke up with Todd, about the time I moved in here.”

She lay silently for a few seconds, still smoothing the blanket unnecessarily. “I realized I no longer wanted to live without him. That was the first time our relationship became… physical.”

“Became physical,” I chuckled. “Right.”

She ignored my sarcasm. The bow of her mouth, the way she curled a lock of hair around her finger, made her seem childlike, innocent. “Oh, Susan, you’d understand if you knew him.”

I’d call the police if I knew him, I thought, all the while wishing the neighbors would stop with the damned burning already.

“I know you must be thinking I’m crazy.”

“Hon.” I squeezed her hand. “I’ve always thought you were crazy, so what else is new?”

She forced a jagged little laugh and continued, “He was so angry when I invited you.”

The disquiet I felt escalated into something a little more tetchy. “Jesus, Annie, he controls who your friends are? That’s really sick.”

“No, it’s not that. He’s been wanting to meet you for ages. He was angry that I waited so long to do it. He finally forced the issue. He felt I didn’t want you to know about us, that I was ashamed of him. I wasn’t,” she added quickly, “I could never be. And anyway, it doesn’t matter. In the end, he convinced me that you were someone who would understand.”

That I had somehow gotten this bloke’s attention made me feel slightly queasy. “What else does he know about me?”

“He knows everything, Susan. He knows what we’re saying now, what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling.”

“What the fuck is he, a mind reader?”

In the growing gloom, she seemed as insubstantial as the plastic on the altar. She pulled the blanket close around her with tightly fisted hands, knuckles chalk pale. “Susan.” Her voice was a thin whisper that I might not have heard in a place less silent. “This is going to sound completely barking, but I think he might be God.”

 

Beck (Hollywood Hitmen, Book 1) by Maggie Marr (@maggiemarr)

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Blurb:

Hot Hollywood Nights… Box office breaker, Natalie Warner might be the Princess of Tinseltown, but she’s a starlet with a bad attitude, a frightening past, and a stalker. Former SEAL Beck Tatum has a mission and no patience for Hollywood bad girls. He must protect Natalie and stay out of her bed–both missions seem nearly impossible.

Natalie Warner can’t ignore the risk any longer. A star on the rise, her latest film is on track to be the biggest box office breaker of the summer but Natalie isn’t safe. Someone is after her. Could it be her angry addict father or her mother who always wanted to be a star herself? What about her ex-boyfriend who just did time? The Studio refuses to ignore the threat and forces Natalie to take on a bodyguard, but that bodyguard comes in the shape of rugged, irresistible Beck Tatum, because whoever is after Natalie isn’t going to stop until someone makes them.

A question, wrapped in a riddle, Beck Tatum doesn’t know what part of the government he worked for before he lost his memory or what exactly his mission was. He can remember that he loved and that he lost that woman as well as his memories on that final mission. Now with a second chance, he’s assigned to protect a high-value asset. Rich and entitled but yet kind and vulnerable, Natalie Warner isn’t the spoiled rich woman Beck expected. But falling for her would put her life on the line and Beck isn’t about to lose anything else.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2czmNko

iBooks: http://apple.co/2cEjhnx

Nook: http://bit.ly/2cUBjnK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2caDAcO

*****

beck_1400Excerpt:

Beck welcomed darkness. The night was a cloak of anonymity that provided him with a freedom the daylight never did. When he chose to be, Beck was soundless in his movements. Swift and stealthy under the cover of night, he could move before anyone knew of his presence. You didn’t get nineteen confirmed kills without embracing silence.

He entered Natalie’s bedroom. Moonlight glanced through the window and shone on her face. Her dark hair lay like liquid night on a pillow. Those perfect lips barely parted. Her sleep was peaceful. Restful. A thought . . . a memory . . . a moment from before, with Marisol, flashed through Beck’s mind like lightning in a summer sky, then was gone.

Natalie was tough. She might appear like a sexy girly-girl, but with all the treachery she’d endured from her family and friends, she’d developed a thick hide to survive and thrive.

Beck circled the room. Tested the locks on the French doors that led to the balcony. Her room was on the second floor, but if a person was determined they’d find a way to get inside. He scanned the bathroom. Pretty damn swank. Next was the walk-in closet, which was bigger than his last apartment and filled with more shit than one of those fancy-ass high-end department stores.

He circled back to the bedroom and stopped beside Natalie’s bed. She had no reason to trust Beck. All the people in her life had failed her when she’d trusted them. Why would she expect anything different from him?

Because Beck wouldn’t fail. Not again. Not this time.

“What are you doing in my room?”

“My job.”

*****

Author Bio:

Maggie Marr is the author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She writes smart, sexy, women and the men they love. She got her start in Hollywood pushing the mail cart at ICM, but quickly rose through the ranks to become a motion picture literary agent. As well as writing, she maintains a boutique legal practice dedicated to the needs of creatives & entrepreneurs. She is the current President of Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) and legal adviser to the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA). Maggie loves all things pop culture and when she isn’t taking care of her clients or writing she can be found reading, chasing kids, or exercising her rescue pup

Social Media:

Website:  http://www.maggiemarr.net/

Newsletter:  http://www.maggiemarr.net/about/newsletter

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/maggiemarrbooks

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/maggiemarr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30741954-a-forbidden-love

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