Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

BIRTHDAY GIRL
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 17, 2018

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

 

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

 

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and now Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming later this year, and the standalone, Motel, coming in 2019.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

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Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Intrepid by @KeriLake

I am BEYOND excited to share this DELICIOUS cover for Keri Lake’s INTREPID. If you’re not going to be left a drooling mess after laying your peepers on this, I’ll be shocked!

Title: Intrepid
Genre: Contemporary, Dark Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: April 10, 2018

In the corner house of an empty street, there is a boy inside a box. In that boy, there lives a secret, one so dark, it’s sealed with locks.

Nearly ten years have passed since the night I was captured. Tricked and betrayed, I suffered the hours of brutal torment with death’s cold whisper across my skin. And when the nameless faces that haunted my nightmares took everything and everyone I loved, I feared I’d never be free of the darkness.

But that’s the thing about fear. Over time, it breeds anger, and when anger fills the box, vengeance bleeds out.

It’s been almost a decade since I escaped their hell, staying in the shadows, hiding my demons, and God help them now that I’ve tasted retribution and crave more of it.

Blood is the price for pain, and I vow to take everything and everyone they love. I’m no longer a frightened boy, but the intrepid vigilante, a ruthless executioner, who will stop at nothing to punish the depraved few that stole my life and walked free.

The plan is perfect, except for her. The one woman I’m forbidden to have, whose soothing touch settles my fractured mind. My angel of mercy sent to silence the voices. Yet, not even she can save me from the black void wherein my skeletons lie buried beneath the truth. Because in order to feed my thirst for revenge, I have to destroy the very thing that gives me purpose.

Tooth for a tooth, heart for a heart.

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The stranger stepped into my view, his hand outstretched. “So you did it.”In spite of the ache in my back, I allowed him to pull me up to a stand.

The echo of pain lingered in my ankle, knocking me back a step, but he yanked tight, and wrapped his hand around my waist to steady me.

“You need me to carry you?”

“No. This is humiliating enough. I’ll suffer the walk, thanks.”

We rounded the building—ungracefully hobbled, in my case—to find a fire truck, police cars, and a crowd of people corralled together.

Though, that didn’t shock me quite as much as seeing the long, sturdy-looking fire escape snaking down the side of the building.

“You said there wasn’t a fire escape! Why did you lie?”

He shot a glance over his shoulder, but kept on down the side street. “You said you couldn’t climb down the chimney. You lied, too.”

“I had no choice! I could’ve died up there!”

“Everyone has a choice. So, how does it feel?”

“How does what feel?” I hissed, and at a sharp throb along my shin, I winced.

“To conquer your fear.”

I paused, dumbfounded, and looked back to the building and the chimney I’d just climbed down. Ninety feet high inside a cramped space. Something I wouldn’t have willingly done, had someone paid me.

“Offer’s still there, if you want a ride home.” Twisting around to face me, he walked backwards, sliding a pair of gloves onto his hands. “Or you can wait for your Uber. Your choice.”

“I don’t even know your name.”

“Ty.”

“I’m Sera. As in Serafina.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Rearing back, I frowned, folding my arms as I followed after him. “Um. How?”

“Bea! Simone! It’s Sera! Wait for me!” His hands waved dramatically in the air, mocking me.

Biting the inside of my cheek stifled the urge to laugh. “Right.”

“So, Serafina. Named after the angels.” He came to a stop in front of a sleek black motorcycle hidden in the brush, and handed me a helmet he pulled from somewhere on the other side of it.

“What are you, a religion major?”

He smirked and looked past me for a moment, as if checking to make sure no one had followed us.

Paranoid, I checked, too, before shifting my attention back to the impressive machinery standing before me. “I’ve never been on a bike before.”

Lips screwed to a wry smile, he mounted the bike and jerked his head for me to get on behind him. “Well, this night just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it, Sera?”


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Keri Lake is a dark romance writer who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists. Her stories are gritty, with antiheroes that walk the line of good and bad, and feisty heroines who bring them to their knees. When not penning books, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters, and their rebellious Labrador (who doesn’t retrieve a damn thing). She runs on strong coffee and alternative music, loves a good red wine, and has a slight addiction to dark chocolate.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Lyric by Molly McAdams

LYRIC
A stand-alone romance novel in the Rebel series – a Redemption series spin-off
Release Date: April 30, 2018
Photo: Regina Wamba
Cover: RBA Designs
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams delivers the first captivating, stand-alone novel in her REDEMPTION series spin-off—the REBEL series . . . 
I’m not the kind of girl you forget.
I wish I was.
I wish I was normal.
That I could blend into a crowd. Have a future with the man I’ve loved my entire life…
Maxon James understands me in a way others can’t.
For as long as I can remember, he’s vowed that one day he would claim my wild, rebel heart. God knows I wanted him to try. I wanted the life he promised me in his lyrics.
But his assurances couldn’t change the past, and the infamous mafia blood in my veins guarantees my heart can’t be claimed.
Somewhere along the way, I slipped. I let myself believe we could have it all. Now a dark, menacing shadow hovers between us, mocking us for daring to hope for a normal future.
And it’s come to collect on a blood oath.
My name’s Elizabeth Borello—Libby for short. Don’t worry about forgetting it… He hasn’t.
 

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Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Cover Reveal: The Real by Kate Stewart

THE REAL 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: March 27, 2018

They say it happens when you least expect it.

 

It did for me.

 

It started the moment I saw the simple message pop up on my computer screen:

 

Cameron’s Mac: Hi.

 

And when I met the eyes of the gorgeous man messaging me from across the coffee shop, I never thought my reply would lead to the most intense, sexual, and passionate relationship of my life.

 

We both agreed to check our bags at the door and put our future hopes and aspirations on the table.

 

It worked.

 

I fell in love with his no holds barred attitude, sexy smirk, and undeniably good heart . . . and for a while we forgot about our baggage. We happily tripped over it to get to the other, neither of us willing to show the contents of our pasts in the off chance it could ruin us.

 

We built our love on a foundation of gray.

 

It was life in black and white that threatened to tear us apart.

 


Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Thief by A. Zavarelli

THIEF
Series: Boston Underworld #5
Author: A. Zavarelli
Genre: Dark Romance
Cover Design: Lara, Coverlüv
Release Date: February 23, 2018

I’m a good girl.

I live by a code that can’t be bent or broken. It is my duty to my family to stay innocent and pure. To marry an Italian man. The stars are already aligned.

But Nikolai Kozlov re-writes my destiny with five simple words.

You belong to me now.

He’s Russian mafiya. A thief. A skilled liar with no moral boundaries. He is everything I have been taught to hate. A man who stands for nothing. A man who takes what he wants without a second thought.

And what he wanted was me.

He thinks he controls my fate, but what he doesn’t know is, sometimes it’s the good girls you have to watch out for.

I’m a dangerous man.

I live by a code. The Vory code. It is my duty to my family to protect the brotherhood. To destroy anyone who threatens what we stand for, including her.

She’s a dancer. A beautiful little doll. My prisoner, and my new favorite puppet. This mafia princess thinks she has me under her spell, but in the end, she is simply collateral.

It’s a shame to destroy precious things.

But this is what bad men do.


PLAYLIST


 

The first thing I always notice about a person is their posture. I was raised to believe that good posture conveys good manners, as well as respect for those around you. Nikolai carries his posture like a casual ‘f#ck you’ to everyone around him. There is no decorum in his leather jacket, jeans, or his haphazardly laced motorcycle boots. Everything he wears is black, but the small glimpse of skin beneath is a riot of colors. Tattoos cover every inch of his exposed skin, including his throat.

I’m not sure which is more offensive- the ink or the faux hawk atop his head. This is not the way you attend a ballet, nor is he the type of man I expect my father to keep company with.
“Tanaka.” He reaches for my hand and kisses it in a way that few men would ever dare to do in my father’s presence. “You dance beautifully.”

The words are unmistakably accented. Russian. And I’m struggling to maintain my composure while making sense of this situation. My father has always been protective of me. His own men know better than to speak to me or look at me, but for this stranger, somehow, it’s okay.

My manners, at least, are still intact, so I reply as I should. “You’ve seen me dance?”

Nikolai flashes a boyish smile in contrast to the deepness of his blue-green eyes. “I like to invest my time in the arts.”


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A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author.

She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Follow You Back by A.L. Jackson

FOLLOW ME BACK
Series: Fight For Me #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Roni Loren
Release Date: January 2, 2018

The next seductive, unforgettable stand-alone romance in the FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .

Kale Bryant. Arrogant. Gorgeous. Commanding.

This ER doctor is married to his job. His only vice is one-night stands and short-lived flings. He learned a long time ago loving someone isn’t worth the risk.

Harley Hope Masterson. Beautiful. Brave. Sweet.

The owner of a small coffee shop knows what it’s like to struggle. Embroiled in a bitter divorce, she’s threatened with losing everything.

When Kale accepts a new position down the street from Hope’s shop, he begins to question every wall he’s built around his heart.

He wants her in a way he hasn’t wanted anyone.

One touch is fire.

One kiss, and he’s spinning out of control.

But taking her won’t come without consequences.

Hope is in for the fight of her life. One neither of them saw coming.

Now Kale must decide if loving her is worth risking it all.

She will fight with everything she has.

But sometimes even hope needs a hero . . .


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A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for A.L. Jackson’s upcoming novel, FOLLOW ME BACK, the second stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

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Cover Reveal: Devastate by Pam Godwin

DEVASTATE 
Series: Deliver #4
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: February 6, 2018

“What is the price you’re willing to pay?”
“Money isn’t an issue.”
“I’m not talking about money.”

Tate is on the hunt to find his best friend’s sister.
Eleven years ago, Lucia Dias was abducted. Presumed dead. He never met her, so why does he care?
Some might call his efforts noble, but his motivation is more perverse, bordering on obsession.

When he follows a chilling lead to Venezuela’s Kidnap Alley, what he finds is neither a corpse nor a captive.

Amid poisonous lies and crippling depravity, the price of love is devastation.
And he pays.
With his body, his blood, and her life.

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Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER | VANQUISH | DISCLAIM


DELIVER, Book #1

Deliver2500x1563

His name was Joshua Carter. Now it’s whatever she wants it to be.

She is a Deliverer.

She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.

As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.

Delivering is all she knows.

The one thing she can’t deliver is a captive from slavery.

Until him.

And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her…from herself.


Vanquish, Book #2

Her life is like a prison cell.
A self-made, to-hell-with-the-free-world existence that locks from the inside.
Stop judging. Her agoraphobia doesn’t define her. It simply keeps her safe.

He belongs in a prison cell.

The 6×8, make-me-your-bitch variety that locks from the outside.

But he’s free. To hunt. To take. To break.

And he just found a sexy new toy.

Capturing her is the easy part. Her fucked-up mind, however, makes him question everything he does next.

But he’s a determined bastard. If all goes his way, this will hurt like hell.


Disclaim, Book #3

Camila was seventeen when Van Quiso kidnapped her. Ten years after her escape, the shackles refuse to release her. Not while there are still slave traders preying on her city.
She will stop at nothing to end them.
Even if that means becoming a slave again.

Returning to chains is her worst fear—and only option. They won’t know who she is or what she intends to do. She’s prepared for every complication.
Except him.
The one who decimated her sixteen-year-old heart.

Matias is charming, gorgeous, and dangerously seductive. He’s also untrustworthy and enshrouded in secrets. After years of no contact, he finds her—on her knees, wrists bound, in the clutches of her enemy.
Will he sabotage her mission by needlessly saving her?
Or will he keep her in chains and never let her go?


Pam Godwin Books GrayScale

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.
.
Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Books by Pam Godwin

Tangled Lies Series

ONE IS A PROMISE (#1) – FREE
TWO IS A LIE (#2)
THREE IS A WAR (#3)

Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER | VANQUISH | DISCLAIM

Trilogy of Eve Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/trilogyofeve/

DEAD OF EVE (#1) | HEART OF EVE (#1.5) | BLOOD OF EVE (#2) | DAWN OF EVE (#3)

Stand-alones:

DARK NOTES

DIRTY TIES

BENEATH THE BURN

INCENTIVE

Cover Reveal & Exclusive Excerpt: Make Me Forget by Monica Corwin

MAKE ME FORGET
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Monica Corwin
Release Date: February 1, 2018

He makes me burn. He makes me ache. He makes me forget.

Since grade school Murphy Wilcox and I fought incessantly. But one drunk night before my last military deployment changed everything. At least that is what he tells me. Along with the hundreds of scorching hot emails we shared.

Fast forward four years and Murphy is the only connection I have to my past. The only connection I have to the woman I used to be. Amnesia is a bitch but apparently so was I.

Make Me Forget is a dark romance, with a HEA, that touches on PTSD, mental health, and suicide. Follow Mara as she tries to learn who she really is.

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I brushed her still wet hair away from her cheeks and bent down to taste her again. The first time had been to shut her up, this time was all for me. I parted her lips with my tongue, anchored one hand in her hair and the other at her chin. Her moan almost broke me. The slight little brush of breath and sound melted every bone in my body and shot my cock to attention. Each charge and retreat spun tight the web of my feelings for her. I’d pushed them down deep so long ago. Now, with her nails marking me and our lips battling for dominance, they overflowed. In a hundred years, I’d never get enough of her. Mara Williams was my addiction. Not the vice I wanted, but the one I needed as much as oxygen or water.She severed the kiss with an arch of her neck, releasing her head back and crushing my fingers against the wall. I didn’t dare move, though, not with such lovely access to her long elegant neck. I dropped my mouth to the curve of her throat and kissed a breathy trail from clavicle to chin. Her hips shifted forward as if she were unwittingly trying to get closer, eliminate any distance between our bodies. The lingering scent of the hotel soap wafted from her clean skin.

I jerked her head back up by the hair, and her eyes snapped open. No fight there, almost a submission. An unexpected turn I could definitely play with. “On the bed, now.”

She blinked once, twice, but to my surprise, said nothing, simply stepped around me and perched on the edge of the bed. It squeaked with her minimal movements. In another life, we might play a game and try to make as much noise as possible. Or maybe I wanted the world to know this woman belonged to me, even if only for tonight. I’d waited long enough for the chance.

I stepped up, and her face sat inches from my cotton-covered hard on. If she were a woman I’d fucked before, I’d have taken myself out and invited her lips for a taste. But this was Mara, and I didn’t want to scare her too soon. “Do you want to see it?”

She swallowed heavily enough I could hear it, see it, and then she nodded almost desperately. I bent, pulled my boxer briefs off, and tossed them on top of my clothes. My dick was so hard, it ached. I palmed it, trying to slow down my reaction to her, my body’s response to every beautiful inch of her skin I still needed to see more of. Her eyes burned into me as she watched me stroke myself.

I released my cock, not wanting this to end sooner than I planned, and stepped closer. “Take off your clothes. This is happening.”

She let out a soft snort of laughter, and then she stripped her t-shirt off and shimmied out of her gray panties all while still sitting on the edge of the bed. I took my time looking her over. Her skin was bronzed to her mid-bicep and around her neck, but pale and creamy everywhere else. A farmer’s tan she’d gotten on deployment. It didn’t matter, I’d worship every part of her the same.

She licked her lips and scooted up the bed to lay on the pillow. It broke my heart the way she folded he hands across her smooth flat belly as if prepping for a medical exam. What the fuck kind of men had she been with before me? Ones who fucked on clean sheets, in the missionary position, on Tuesday’s? Anger shimmered through me. She deserved so much better than ordinary.

“Get your ass back down here. This will not be clean. This will not be civilized. And this will not be something you can lie back and take.”

 

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Juniper Unraveling by Keri Lake

Juniper Unraveling Mailerlite ImageJuniper Unraveling
Genre: Dark Dystopian Romance
Author:
Keri Late
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Release Date: October 31, 2017

Papa says everyone has a story that deserves to be told.

Most begin years ago, after the second bomb hit, unearthing a deadly contagion that divided the population into the pure, the infected, and the Ragers.

Many recount the moment we rose up from the ashes and started anew.

Others tell of the day we built a wall to keep them out.
For some, they’re nothing more than the vestiges left behind—a simple name carved into the knotty bark of a Juniper tree.

My story begins with a boy. A mute, from the other side of the wall, known only as Six, who touched my heart in ways that words never could, and gave me the courage to face my darkest truth.

To be notified when the book goes live and for a chance to win an advance copy, sign up here: http://www.subscribepage.com/JuniperUnravelingAlert

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Author pic
Keri Lake is a dark romance writer who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists. Her stories are gritty, with antiheroes that walk the line of good and bad, and feisty heroines who bring them to their knees. When not penning books, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters, and their rebellious Labrador (who doesn’t retrieve a damn thing). She runs on strong coffee and alternative music, loves a good red wine, and has a slight addiction to dark chocolate.

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Cover Reveal: Fault Lines by Rebecca Shea

From USA Today bestselling author, Rebecca Shea, comes a new, heartbreakingly beautiful standalone romance, FAULT LINES. Don’t miss the amazing cover below, and pre-order your copy today!


FAULT LINES
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author: Rebecca Shea
Release Date: October 30, 2017
Cover designed by Letitia Hasser of RBA Designs

At eleven he was my first crush. At sixteen he became mine. At nineteen he broke my heart and destroyed me. That was ten years ago and the last time I saw Cole Ryan.

They say you never get over your first love…I beg to differ. I left my shattered heart buried in a town I never expected to return to. I erased every thought of him and buried the memories never to be found.

I moved on…now ten years later I have the perfect life, the perfect fiancé, the perfect career. Everything I ever wanted until I’m forced to go back and face my past and the man that destroyed me.

He won’t stop until I know the truth no matter how hard I fight it. In the end, lies will be uncovered, hearts will be broken, and my life as I’ve come to know it destroyed.

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Pushing through the doors to Manny’s, I see everyone assembled near the bar. Friends and colleagues that I have worked with throughout the years have been waiting on me to arrive to celebrate today’s verdict.

“Congratulations!” Everyone cheers as Ted and I approach the bar. I toss my purse on a bar stool and reach for the glass of white wine that Eduardo, my co-counsel, is holding out for me.

Pressing the cool glass to my lips, I let the smooth wine settle on my tongue before swallowing.

“I’m so damn proud of you.” He leans in and whispers, wrapping one arm around my shoulders.

“I couldn’t have done it without you. I mean that.” I smile at him and squeeze his arm in a gesture of gratitude. Eduardo took me under his wing when I joined the county attorney’s office a little over four years ago. I was an experienced trial lawyer, having learned the ins and outs of trial law with Ted’s firm, but this is new. I’m on the prosecuting end now. This is where I always dreamed to be. Ted’s firm helped me get here and Eduardo has been my mentor and basically my best friend since I arrived.

“I’d be surprised if they even try to appeal,” he says, taking a sip of his vodka tonic. “You were that good. There were no holes in your closing arguments. You presented solid evidence and left nothing for them to come back at us with.”

“She learned from the best,” Ted says, leaning over my shoulder.

Eduardo’s eyes glance away from mine and up to Ted’s. “Mr. Winters,” Eduardo says, reaching out to shake Ted’s. “Nice to see you again.” It’s hard to miss Eduardo’s visible disdain for Ted. His jaw ticks and he swallows hard, but as always, he is the epitome of professional and is always gracious.

“I’ve learned a great deal from both of you.” I smile and wish for the pissing contest to end. “Let’s enjoy our victory.” I hold up my glass of wine to toast, raising my eyebrows, a silent plea to Ted to be nice and he obliges.

“To guilty verdicts,” Eduardo cheers, raising his glass.

Ted gives his head a little shake but reiterates Eduardo’s sentiments.

“To guilty verdicts,” we all repeat and take a drink.

I notice Ted step away to take a phone call and I turn my attention back to Eduardo.

“First and only time I think I’ll ever hear him say that,” Eduardo jokes.

“I think that’s the first and only time I’ll ever hear him say that, too.” I laugh.

My fiancé, Ted Winters, is partner in Winters and Seldon, one of the smallest yet most prestigious law firms in Los Angeles County. Ted is known for representing some of the most high profile, and even dangerous, criminals in California. What cases he doesn’t win, he prides himself on reduced charges, jail time, and fines.

Not guilty—those two words drive him to be the greatest. He’s the best of the best, and he hired me right out of law school. He taught me the way around a courtroom, the best oral arguments, and the tricks to dissect evidence and to look for what everyone else is missing. I took what I learned from Ted and am finally putting it to use as a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. I always wanted to be on this end of the law, finding justice and doing right by the law.

To avoid any conflict of interest, I avoid all cases where Winters and Seldon is concerned. There are plenty of other prosecutors to try those, and it’s best, both professionally and personally, if I avoid any cases Ted or his firm are involved in.

As I look around the bar at my friends and colleagues, I can’t help but smile proudly at how far I’ve come—and for the people who’ve been with me on this journey.

As my smile fades, I feel the exhaustion hit me like a freight train and, with a few glasses of wine on top of that, I find the need for fresh air. I weave through a sea of bodies in the bar area and push through the large glass door, which leads out onto the rooftop patio. Los Angeles has far from quality air, but pulling the mild summer breeze into my lungs feels good. A sense of calm falls over me as the adrenaline from the day wears off. Carrying the stress of this trial on my shoulders for weeks has wreaked havoc on my sleep, my diet, and exercise, and I can feel the toll it’s taken on my body.

I watch the cars below, crawling along the busy Los Angeles streets, and the hustle and bustle of the city just fifty stories below me. It’s windy up here on the patio, and the soft afternoon breeze whips my hair around. I tilt my face to the sky and let the setting sun cast its warm rays on me when my phone buzzes in my hand. I hesitate, wanting to indulge in a few more moments of silence, but I think better of it.

Glancing down, I see my mom’s home number flashing on the sleek screen of my oversized mobile phone.

“Hi, Mama.” I take a deep breath, excited to hear her voice.

“Frankie?”

My heart sinks when I hear a man’s voice. A voice I could never forget. A voice so familiar that it still haunts me to this day.

Cole. The only person to ever call me Frankie. My heart stills as I wait for him to say more.

“You need to come home,” he says gruffly.

My stomach drops as his voice takes my breath away. The pull it still has on me shakes me to my core. Before he says anything else, I close my eyes and find myself lost in time, back to when I was eleven years old, spending my afternoons down at the fault line, soaking up the last of the days sunlight with Cole by my side.

Crescent Ridge, Nevada resides right on top of a fault line, a town with less than eight hundred people, and sits on the California/Nevada border. A town I left ten years ago and haven’t returned to—because of Cole.


Rebecca Shea
is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

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