Sunday, July 31, 2016

Now available as an #audiobook! Holiday Hottie by @JewelQuinlan #contemporary romance





Holiday Hottie, The Cougar Journals book 3
Now available as an audiobook!

Available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes

Written by: Jewel Quinlan
Listening Time: 3 hrs 23 mn
Narrated by: Stephanie Wyles

Listen to a Sample on Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/jewel-quinlan/holiday-hottie



Blurb:
To get away from the pressures of work, Ava takes a last-minute cruise to the Greek islands by herself. But on the ship she runs into the coworker she despises the most, John Montgomery. Somehow he has a knack for driving her mad, and seeing him with his hot young date makes Ava feel even worse about herself. Meanwhile, sexy young steward Florian has been making passes at her, reminding her of how beautiful and alive she really is. Will Ava allow her loneliness to be chased away and desires fulfilled by a much younger man one more time?

About the Author:
Restless by nature, Jewel Quinlan is an avid traveler and has visited 16 countries so far. Lover of ice cream, beer and red wine she tries to stay fit when she’s not typing madly on her computer concocting another tale. In her spare time she likes to do yoga, hike, learn German and play with her spoiled Chihuahua; Penny. It is Penny’s mission in life to keep Jewel from the keyboard. But, with the help of dog-chew-making-companies, Jewel has been able to distract her canine companion and continues to get thousands of words on the page for your enjoyment.

For more information about Jewel Quinlan
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Tumblr  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest
Or subscribe to Jewel’s newsletter if you just want to get the most important updates

Saturday, July 30, 2016

R.I.L.Y. Forever by Norah Bennett





Julia and Ethan meet at the age of sixteen and are drawn to one another, first as friends then as lovers. When everything and everyone Julia holds dear is threatened, Julia is forced to do the unimaginable. Under a veil of secrets and lies, the young lovers are violently separated. The last time Julia sees Ethan, he gives her a heart-shaped silver locket with the inscription, R.I.L.Y. Forever.

Twenty-two years pass before Ethan and Julia’s lives intersect again in a small town in Northwest Jersey. Their reunion is unexpected and emotional. Their passion reignites and their relationship flourishes despite Julia’s abusive ex-husband and Ethan’s possessive ex-wife. But the past rears its ugly head and the lovers soon discover that a foundation built on secrets will always crumble. Can Ethan and Julia overcome their painful past and learn the lessons of honesty, trust, and forgiveness in time to save their love?

Buy Links
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/R-I-L-Y-Forever-Norah-Bennett-ebook/dp/B01IFH66CK/
Evernight http://www.evernightpublishing.com/r-i-l-y-forever-by-norah-bennett/
AllRomance.com https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-rilyforever-2074871-149.html



Excerpt

Julia stopped walking, thinking, breathing! Her world narrowed to him—his tousled, thick, brown hair, his mesmerizing gray-blue eyes that changed with his every mood, and his long, thick lashes that were the envy of every girl in high school. Julia devoured Ethan with her eyes. She couldn’t help herself. She was starved. He was taller and more built than she recalled, but his handsome face with its square chin, slightly crooked nose from years of playing football, and full, sensuous lips, was the same image that visited her dreams nightly.

Julia knew the instant he became aware of her. He stopped answering Aimee as his gaze shifted and centered on her. His pupils widened and his eyes darkened to a smoky gray. Aimee followed his gaze. Her brows furrowed and she took a step toward Julia. But Ethan grasped her elbow and shook his head.

Julia’s eyes never left Ethan’s tall, muscular frame as he walked toward her. The room and all its inhabitants fell away until there was only him. The soft caress of his eyes touched every inch of her. She studied his face, but his expression was neutral. He stood silently examining her and it was left to Julia to break the silence. The problem was she had no idea what to say. No words were adequate to express how she felt. But as her eyes locked with his, she hoped they voiced what her lips couldn’t. She missed him. Missed him every second, minute, and hour they were apart. When he was hers, he was her best friend, her lover, her confidant. He was her everything. When she lost him, the ground beneath her feet shook so violently, it brought her to her knees and it took years to learn how to stand on her own, without him.

Tears pooled in Julia’s eyes and spilled down her cheeks. She wrapped her arms around herself. Ethan’s assessing gaze tracked her every movement and then his eyes, followed by his mouth, softened. 

He remembered. 







About the Author


Norah is a contemporary romance writer living deep in the woods on a lake in NW Jersey. She has been married for thirty years to the love of her life. She has two adult children, a Great Dane, a Maltipoo, and a Cockatoo. There is never any peace in her house and she likes it that way.

By day she is a serious professor and administrator at a university in the Northeast. By night she lets her imagination flow as a romance writer. Although it is incredibly hard to balance both worlds, it’s a hell of a lot of fun walking around having this delicious secret, this alternate life that few people know about. Welcome to the world of Norah Bennett.

Social Media Links

Friday, July 29, 2016

Her Temporary Boss by Mackenzie Williams



Blurb:
Morgan White is in the middle of a rough patch in her life as she begins her new job. She has just broken things off with her fiancé after finding out about his unfaithful ways. As she starts her temporary job at Slade Incorporated, she feels unworthy of love.
Connor Slade is not your typical boss. He isn't just looking for someone with great secretarial skills. Can Morgan be what he wants her to be? Will this man destroy her or save her?

Excerpt:
At one-forty, she sat staring at the clock. Her smile faded as excitement and nervousness took over. She only had to wait one more minute and then she heard him.
“Ms. White, come here.”
Her smile returned as she left her office, but she did her best to hide it once she entered through his open office door. There Mr. Slade stood, with his hands on his hips, his sweaty shirt already off. His hair looked wild and damp, his face and chest were flush.
“Sir?” Morgan looked from him to his desk and then back up to meet his stare. “Oh, damn it! I forgot your after-run things. I’ll get them. Hang on.”
She quickly jogged into the small room and grabbed the items. When she rushed back to his desk, she set the items well off to the side. She wanted plenty of space in case he responded the way she wanted him to.
“Morgan, I’m quite tired from my run, but you leave me no choice. Get in the position.”
This time she couldn’t hide her grin as she hurried around the desk. She suspected that he knew exactly what her plan was, but in the moment, she didn’t care. Her body wanted to feel his hands on it. There will be plenty of time later for embarrassment and self-loathing.
As Mr. Slade came around behind her, Morgan’s clit was already tingling. She could feel his body heat as he stood there, waiting. She heard him take a deep breath before moving her skirt. A moan came off her lips at just this smallest move from him.
When her ass and pussy were exposed, her eyes closed slowly as her hands started to claw at his desk. He let out a masculine moan as his hands rubbed over her skin. This sound and his gentle hands made her instantly feel better. Morgan took these as signs that he was also enjoying this.
“So my disobedient little one needs another reminder?”
“Yes, Sir.” Her voice was breathy and even she could hear the neediness in it.
With no more pauses, Mr. Slade’s hand came down on her ass. She moaned and it quickly rolled into a purr.  She felt her nipples harden as another hard smack met her ass. A whimper left her throat and he slapped her again, harder. Morgan felt her skin start to burn which was mixing with the throbbing of her clit.
“Ask me, Morgan.”
“What?” Morgan spoke through harsh breaths.
“We both know what you want, but I want to hear you say it.”
Morgan blinked rapidly while still clawing at the desk. She was unsure what she should do here. Her pussy was wetting further as she heard his deep breathing increase.
“Ask!” His voice was harsh as his hand came down hard against her ass.
Morgan yelled out a loud moan and then her words flew from her mouth without her full permission. “Sir, please. Touch me.”
“Where, Morgan? Say it.”
“Touch my pussy, Sir.”
A low satisfied growl came from behind her. She then felt his body press up against her right thigh. His erection pressed hard against her soft leg and she whimpered, knowing he was enjoying this play.
Mr. Slade then finally gave her what she wanted. Morgan gasped as she felt his fingers graze her bare pussy lips. His hand felt even warmer than it had on her ass. He ran his fingers up and down her lips several times before venturing forward to find her clit.
Morgan whimpered again as he pressed hard circles against it. Her climax was close already and she had no doubt that Mr. Slade knew it.
“This is what you were looking for, wasn’t it?” Again, he moaned behind her.
“Yes.” Her voice was a whisper now.
Suddenly, his fingers left her clit but soon entered her pussy. Not slowly, he pressed one finger into her. She whined as he slid it in and out a few times before adding a second finger. She tried to quiet her moans, but it was no use. 

LINKS:


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Every Single Part of You is Up for Book of the Month!

It is always a great moment for a writer when one of our book babies is up for some type of honor or award. I'm super happy to say the first book in my Cinder Rocker Series, Every Single Part of You, is currently up for July's Book of the Month on the TBR Pile website. The voting is now open, and I would love if you would take a second to pop on over and cast your vote by clicking this link: http://thetbrpile.weebly.com/


http://thetbrpile.weebly.com/


XoXo
London

Bad Teddy Bear by Gale Stanley

Writers get ideas in so many different ways. The plot for BAD TEDDY BEAR came to me while watching a football game. Of course, I missed all the good plays because most of the action was going on inside my head. And now here it is in an ebook.

BAD TEDDY BEAR
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Blurb
Down and dirty sex. That’s the name of the game for Theodore West.  They still call him Bear, even though his days in pro ball are over. Plenty of men are still anxious to be topped by the Bear and he’s happy to oblige as long as his partner understands the rules. No strings and no repeats.
Bear could win an academy award for his alpha-player performance, but in reality, he’d love to give up control. He’s a big man who likes the idea of being topped by a twink. In college, he found the perfect lover, but he dumped him rather than risk tarnishing his image. When Finn shows up, he turns Bear’s world upside-down. But, can the Bad Teddy Bear finally accept his submissive side?

Teaser


The musky scent of sex filled Bear’s nostrils. Revved up, he pounded away at the man under him. Each forceful thrust brought a grunt from Bear and an answering groan from Jack… Whatshisname?



“Gotta come. Bear, please.”



Bear was close too. He reached around and fisted Jack’s dick. He started pumping—



“Fuck.” Jack’s balls drew up tight and he soaked the mattress with his cum.


Bear followed. A few seconds later, he pulled out and rose on his knees to remove the condom. Drained, he lay on his back panting, and ran a hand through the damp matted hair on his chest. Before Bear could protest, Jack leaned over and planted a sloppy kiss on his lips.



What the fuck!



Smooching might be fun for some guys but Bear considered it a sexual speed bump. Something to be tolerated in order to get to the good stuff. Well the good stuff was over and Bear wasn’t interested in lovey-dovey bullshit. Sure, he had feelings, but they were all below his waist. Sex was a biological urge like being thirsty or taking a piss. Once he satisfied an urge, he was done. End of story.



Jack snuggled against his body. “That was great, Bear. When I recognized you at the minimart, I never thought I’d end up getting fucked by the Big Bad Bear.”



“Guess this was your lucky day.”



“I’ll never forget that play you made right before you got injured. You could have been one of the greats.”



For crying out loud. Bear didn’t need the reminder. He could replay every second of that night in his head.



“But you’re still built like a brick house. Hot. As. Hell. Blah, blah, blah…”



Jack’s words were a low, insistent drone in Bear’s ear, like a bunch of honeybees buzzing around his head. He tuned them out, grunted and sat up. Pillow talk bored him. Careful of his aching knees, he swung his legs over the side of the bed.



“Hey. You don’t have to go. Stay. I’ll order a pizza.”



Bear stood up and finger combed his shaggy brown mane. He never spent the night. Just like he never brought a hookup back to his place. Even if he didn’t work nights, and have the old man to worry about, he wouldn’t do a sleepover. What was the point? He got what he came for. His sexual tension had been relieved and he felt good. Why spoil it with a cuddle. Cuddlers were space invaders and intimacy made a guy vulnerable.



Bear picked up his clothes. “Gotta go to work.”



“Where? Call me—”



Bear slammed the bedroom door behind him and struggled into his jeans. Jack didn’t follow. Guess he finally got the idea. Jack knew what he was getting. Or not getting. Bear always laid down the ground rules before hooking up. No long-term relationships. Some guys thought a good fuck would change everything. Ahh, sorry Jack. It wasn’t that good. Not for me, anyway.



Bear gripped his car keys and left Jack’s apartment. He had just enough time to stop home, shower, and put the old man to bed.

Happy Reading!
Available at
Author Bio and Links
Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.
Some things never change.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

His to Punish by Doris O'Connor


Thanks so much for having me on your blog today with my new release His to Punish, book two of my dark romance series The Cleaners. This is the story of Ren’s second in command Ty Mason. Ever since I wrote Book one in the series, His Prize, I’ve been itching to tell Ty’s story.


Ty seemed much softer than Ren, when we first get to know him, and to an extent that is certainly true. Ty though, like all of the cleaners to be fair, has many layers. He’s just as deadly as Ren; ruthlessly protective of those he cares about and deeply loyal.

I had great fun unravelling the truth behind who is Ty Mason, and there were a few surprises in store, I tell you. Subsequently this story is much longer than the first book in this series. It has many twists and turns as my too-feisty-for-her-own-good heroine goes looking for revenge… Which places Ty in somewhat of a dilemma.

Ren is like a brother to him, and he will do anything to protect his family, but what is he to do when the one woman who gets under his skin seems determined to threaten that family.
Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens, I’m afraid. :-)



Blurb:

Revenge or love...either choice will sacrifice her freedom. 

Dance teacher Jeanette MacArthur has one thing on her mind when she auditions for a job at La Masquerade—revenge. She couldn’t protect her sister from the criminals she now seeks employment with, but she can ensure that justice prevails. 

If only her body wouldn’t melt at the touch of one of them. Ty Mason, second-hand man of the Cleaners, oozes dominance, aggression, and danger. He stands for everything she ought to despise, yet this unwanted attraction threatens to ruin her. 

Ty can’t take his eyes off the new dancer, not least because he senses the threat she represents. Only one thing for it—claim her for his own, and torture the secrets out of her—if need be. 
Her unwilling submission, however, means he discovers more than her secrets. His heart and their future are on the line.

Be Warned: BDSM, forced seduction, rimming, spanking, sex toys


18 + Excerpt:

Ty’s hands went to his belt, and she jumped when he spoke again.

“I said strip, girl, now.”

Jeanette complied with shaking hands, and another one of these deep, dark growls rumbled from Ty’s chest, when she stood before him naked. Try as she might she couldn’t bring herself to look at him, had to fight the insane urge to sink to her knees, in fact. Lord only knew what was happening to her. She was losing the plot, because she could swear she could feel Ty’s intense gaze like a physical touch, as he ran it over her naked body.

She jumped again when he cracked the belt through the air like a whip, the resulting snap far too loud in the quiet room. He stepped around her, running one finger along her skin. From the tip of her nose, around her mouth, down her neck, and along her collarbone into the valley between her breasts, he continued the silent exploration, the contrast of his much paler flesh next to hers a heady aphrodisiac indeed. When he cupped one of her breasts in his hand and lifting it, bent his head to suck her hard nipple into his mouth, Jeanette couldn’t stop her whimper of need. Unbidden her hands tangled in his hair, to keep him there, as every hard suck made her pussy quiver in need. She could smell her own arousal in the air, as her juices slowly trickled down the inside of her thighs.

Ty bit down hard on the breast in his mouth, and the sharp pain of his bite made Jeanette cry out. Not in pain exactly, because she was far too turned on and already teetering on the edge of an orgasm.

“Please…”

Ty soothed the leftover ache from his bite by licking it, before he abruptly withdrew.

“I haven’t given you permission to touch me, girl.” He reached up to grasp her wrist, and Jeanette immediately let go of his hair. She caught a glimpse of his stern expression before he swung her around.

“Face the wall, and spread your legs, girl.”

It didn’t even occur to her to disobey, and when he joined her moments later his clean male musk enveloped her.  He crowded her against that wall, the coolness of it against her skin a direct contrast against the heated male body pressing against her from behind. The feel of his chest hair against her back made her hyperaware of his harsh breathing. She closed her eyes against her shame, when he reached around and between her legs. There was nowhere to hide now, as confirmed by his next words.

“So fucking wet for me. You’re mine now, girl.”

A bite to her shoulder followed that possessive claim, and Jeanette cried out in surprise when he shoved two fingers into her pussy at the same time. Wet as she was they slid right in, and her internal muscles clamped down on the invaders. Ty thrust those digits in and out of her channel and adding another one, finger-fucked her with merciless precision. His cock was a hard, solid ridge against her hip, and he groaned into her neck again, when she spread her legs wider for him.

“Yeah, that’s it, baby, your body knows who you belong to, doesn’t it?”

Jeanette tried to respond, but nothing but a keening sound came out, because Ty curled his fingers to massage her G-spot. Pleasure surged through her hard and fast, and her hips took on a life of their own as she rocked herself against his hand, desperate to gain the friction she needed to her clit to get over.

Before she could get there, however, Ty withdrew his fingers, and slapped her ass hard. Jeanette moaned her denial and shoved her ass back into him in a silent bid for him to continue, but she should have known that was a useless exercise.

“No, your orgasms belong to me now, and you will not come without my permission.

One hand fisted in her hair, he pulled her away from the wall and marched her across to the cross. Jeanette’s heart missed a few beats, and then turned into a jackhammer when she caught side of their reflection in the mirror on the wall.

She looked like she felt, a woman on the edge. Her eyes were too wide, her mouth, still swollen from his earlier kisses slightly open, her breasts swaying from side to side, and shaking with every harsh breath she managed to draw into her lungs, as he half dragged her along. Her skin already showed the marks of his possession, his bite marks clearly visible, and she groaned when his arm came round her waist, and he kicked her legs apart. It meant her swollen most intimate parts were clearly visible. 
Jeanette ought to be ashamed at how wet she was, at the needy sounds that immediately spilled from her lips, when Ty yanked her head back further, and rubbed his jaw along her neck. His breath singed her skin, and their gazes locked. His dark eyes flashed with dangerous intent, and Jeanette’s internal muscles clenched in response, sending more moisture to her swollen lips.  Ty smiled when he noticed, and his voice dropped even further, sending yet more shivers of dread, or was it anticipation, down her spine. Her clit quivered, the usually tiny bud clearly visible at the top of her hood.

“Take a good look, titch. Your body doesn’t lie. You want this, need it, even, and I’m just the man to give you what you need. All you have to do is ask.”




Buy it from:






*****



 About Doris:

Doris is a writer of sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get.  From contemporary to paranormal, Time Travel, Sci-fi, BDSM, F/F, M/M, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.

Happily married for the last twenty-five years, she lives with her husband and their brood of nine in a far too small house filled with love, laughter, and chaos.

Stalk her in these places  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Royal Mate by April Zyon



The Royal Mate
Space Wars, 6
by April Zyon
Published By Evernight Publishing
Amazing Cover created by the fabulous Jay Aheer




It all comes down to this. The truth about what started the war between the Imarian and Craegin is coming out, along with the fact that there is one true royal left. One man to rule them all.

Markus Rothschild wants to live a simple, quiet life but when faced with the truth of what’s happening in his world, he knows he has no choice but to take his rightful place.

Paisley Ralston is a woman who loves teaching small children. She’s never even held a weapon, let alone fired one. Playing bodyguard to the royal heir is the last thing she expected to do. But when Markus’s security team is sabotaged, she may be his only hope.

Paisley didn’t realize that meeting Markus meant finding her mate. Hidden in a special bunker, Paisley and Markus will test their limits and prepare for what’s coming. Together they will come out stronger, bonded, and ready to face both galaxies.

All Romance Ebooks      |     Amazon     |     Bookstrand     |     Evernight Publishing




She looked at her mother and frowned. She couldn’t have heard the woman correctly. Paisley wasn’t a militant; she wasn’t a protector. For the love of all the saints, she was a teacher for young children.

The marshal looked at Paisley with a frown, then sighed. “Because you are about the one and only person that I will trust to be around him right now, and since you know where the safe house is I will leave you to take him. It’s too dangerous right now for him to remain on his ship with Fintan.”

“Wait, you mean, The General?” There was awe in Paisley’s voice and she knew it but she had seen what the man had gone through for his mate. He was the only reason that Paisley believed in love once more. It was the reason why, with her mother’s help, she’d broken the arranged marriage and begun to live for herself and not for what she should do.

“He’ll be arriving soon with several guards. You are all going to the bunker. The guards will take the outer shelter, and you and Markus will take the inner sanctuary.”

The inner sanctuary was a place that none could enter if they weren’t of the Ralston family. It literally took living blood and a tie to the blood and heartbeat of a Ralston to keep the air actually on in that sanctuary. It would be either a haven or a tomb depending on if people knew it or not.

“And what about you, Mother? You’ve kept a low profile while they sorted out the issues that were evidently in your offices.”

“This is very true and it’s past time for me to get back to what it is that I do. Besides, this way I know that you will be safe as will Markus.”

“You could always go into the shelter with him instead of me,” Paisley pointed out.

“No, because they would use you to get to me. You are my one weakness, Paisley.”

Paisley moved and gave her mother a hug. “There are not many that know of me, Mother. You’d probably be safe, you know, and so would I.”

“No, there is too much to be done.”

“But—”

“No buts, Paisley. This is an order. You are to keep him safe.”

Paisley bowed her head and nodded. “As you say. Just remember I don’t know how to fight.”

“You don’t, but he does.” Her mother gave her another hug, then pushed her toward where the family bunker was. It was something that no one and nothing could get into. Even if the world exploded, the bunker would eject into space and hook up with a waiting ship that would become their own private spaceship. It had been designed with the ultimate of protections in mind. Her great-grandfather had designed it and it had kept her mother safe when this war began to truly heat up as it had in the last several months.

“I trust you,” Paisley told her mother. She took a deep breath and smiled. “I’ll go pack.”

“Your things are already in the bunker. I had my assistant go to your home and empty your closets and drawers, and I personally put everything into the bunker. It’s fully stocked with food for the two of you for as long as you might need to be in there as well as the machines to recreate foods if you wanted or needed it. I doubt that much time will be needed, but just in case.”

“A career military man,” Paisley mused. “And how does he feel about having to hide?” she asked with a knowing grin. She knew the type.

“About like what you think he’s feeling,” the marshal stated with a laugh. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Fin had to tranquilize him to bring him in. Now, go.”

And just like that Paisley was summarily assigned a duty that she had no business taking care of. She wasn’t a fighter and never had been. She was soft, short, and more than a little pudgy. Paisley was not anything that anyone really would ever look a second time at.




Chapter One


“No, not happening.”

His commanding officer gave him a look that would have made Markus squirm when he’d first stepped on board the cruiser. Now it only had him digging his heels in further. “You know that it is not even an option, Markus. For your safety, and for the future of both our races, we need to make sure you remain alive until the general public is made aware of everything.”

He hated when Fintan Daykin made complete sense. The man already thought too highly of his logic for his own good.

Yes, Markus was important, but to his thinking, he was no more important than any other Craegin. Or Imarian, if he wanted to get technical. He was, after all, a byproduct from both races, although the Imarian in his blood was definitely diluted.

Growling under his breath about his stubborn commander, Markus shoved a hand through his short, dark mahogany hair and paced around the office. Fintan held his tongue for once, a blessing and a curse all at the same time.

Markus wouldn’t be in this situation where he was being ordered by not only Fintan but by the marshal of the Craegin people to go into hiding for his safety if not for a wedding most Craegin and Imarian people did not know occurred.

If not for the fact the entire crew aboard the cruiser he was currently on would also be in danger, he wouldn’t even consider leaving. But he could not willingly and knowingly put others in danger because he was stubborn. Yes, he was stubborn, but he was not stupid. And while it grated severely on his nerves to admit it, Fintan and the marshal were correct. Not only were there factions on the Craegin home world who wanted him dead and buried where no one could dig him up, but there was the entire ruling body of Imara to take into account. They likely had spies in place on his home world and moon outposts, hoping to get a shot at him.

Markus stopped near the vid monitor in Fintan’s office, which showed the view from space of the outpost planet they were currently orbiting. Most folks down there didn’t have a clue about the ticking time bomb floating in space above their heads. The wars that were held in the ships in space sometimes pelted down upon the heads of those on the planets below, something they tried hard not to allow happen. Never had he hated knowing about his heritage more than he did right then.
“Fine, I’ll go. But I don’t need a watcher. I am more than capable of taking care of myself. You and I both know that. And it is much easier to deal with anyone that may get wind of my location if I am alone. Having someone either interfering or uselessly getting in the way will only get me killed.”

“It’s not my call, and it’s definitely not yours. You will have a watcher, but I’ve been assured by the marshal that this individual will follow your orders to the letter unless they are a direct threat to your own life. I cannot, nor would I, change that.” Fintan pushed up from his chair to come stand by his side. “I know that your heritage weighs heavily on you. I wish I could carry the burden with you, my friend. But I will do whatever is necessary to keep you alive. Once the general public of Craegin and Imara know about you, and your lineage, then you can step from the shadows and into the light.”

Snorting at his words, Markus shot a look over his shoulder to the other man. “That was rather poetic, Fin. Love has changed you more than even I realized. Although I don’t know if this new streak you are showing is for the better.”
“Shut up,” Fin muttered.

Amusement coursed through him for a moment. He knew Fintan was doing it on purpose, and that made Markus appreciate the man’s friendship all the more. But the knowledge that he, Markus Rothschild, was the only living heir to the crowns of both Craegin and Imara… The reason he was the only living heir was tragic, according to many. His parents had both been killed while on a tramp headed for a fundraiser event on a Craegin moon base. They and nine others including the pilots died instantly. Markus had not been with them like he normally would have, because he’d come down with a cold and had been too ill to travel.
The official report was a rogue micro-meteor shower had compromised the tramp’s hull. While it had been a cold comfort to him at only ten summers old at the time, he had at least known the reason why they would never be coming home again. There had been closure. Now that he knew about his lineage he had to wonder if perhaps someone had taken them out. But that didn’t really work, either, because he was still alive. Why kill his parents but leave him breathing?

It was only one of many questions that haunted him since he had been told he was descended from royalty. The royalty, if he wanted to get technical. Shaking his head mentally to get back on topic, he turned partially to look at Fintan without straining. “Basically, you are telling me I’m stuck with the marshal’s chosen watcher.”

Fin nodded. “Whoever it is will probably be nothing more than a large, silent shadow that lurks in the background while you try to keep from going insane with boredom.”

Right, there was that issue, too. “What exactly am I supposed to do during this unwanted hiatus from my career path? I don’t mind the idea of a couple days of downtime to relax and rest, but being stuck somewhere indefinitely is less appealing.”

“I’m sure we can find something for you to do. You might even be able to finish all those reports I know you have been ignoring.”

Markus plastered on his best innocent face and blinked at his commanding officer. “Reports? Whatever do you mean, General? I always do my reports promptly.”

Fintan’s eyebrows climbed up his forehead at that bold-faced lie. “Right. Do them all up. Wherever you are going will likely have the capability of secure transmissions, so you can send them all back here and I will sign off on them before submitting them. Sadie can make sure there are no electronic tags on any of those files that could potentially lead back to your location.”

Sadie, Colonel Bracken Kauller’s wife and family friend to the Daykins, was a genius with anything electronic. Her doctorate in AI and destroyer programming spoke for itself, but her skills were known across the quadrants even if people did not know her name. “I will make sure all the reports are completed. I make no promises on when I will get them done, though. It will depend on wherever you and the marshal are planning to stash me and this watcher you are saddling me with. My first priority will be security since that is why I am leaving the safety of a Craegin destroyer.”

“You cannot guilt me, Markus. I do this not only for your own good but for the good of two races. All of the Craegins and Imarians need you.”
“No, you’re right.” Damn but he felt like a kid being chastised right then. “I’m sorry. This situation is not our making, but it is our responsibility to see it righted. You and the marshal believe this is the best course to take, so I will bow to your wishes and let you handle it. But swear to me one thing, Fintan.”

“What is it?”

“Be expedient handling all this. Be careful, but do not dally. I am not now nor have I ever been one to sit idly by while my friends take the risks pointed toward me.” Markus had always preferred to face whatever came at him head-on, which made having to step aside and allow others to handle things grate on his nerves.

“I’ll do all I can to make sure we all come out of this alive and in a better position. Now go pack your bag and get your reports. The tramp will be here soon to take you to the cargo vessel that will shuttle you to your destination. I know it will not be the most comfortable ride, but no one would ever expect it.”

A few more words were exchanged before Markus left Fintan to his own duties. Heading to his quarters, he mulled everything he knew over in his head yet again. Before he ever got near the symbolic throne he was to take, he was going to drive himself crazy. And that did not even take into account whatever nightmare of a watcher he was being saddled with. He was definitely not looking forward to meeting whoever it might be.












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Paper Love by Aubrey Wynne #audiobook

Author: Aubrey Wynne Narrator: Sara Sheckells Length: 3 hours 21 minutes Publisher: Plato Publishing Released: Oct. 23, 2017 ...