Empress laughs. It’s deep as her skin tone, rich and endless, like with me is the only place she wants to be. It’s the most accomplished feeling I’ve had in my adult life. To see a female happy to share the same space I’m in. Not just any female, one I don’t have to hide who I am. A woman who’s seen brutality, understands what I’m capable of, yet trusts that one touch from her can tame my savagery.Read More
“What are you thinking about?” he asks, rubbing his thumb over the top of my hand, my head lying over his shoulder.
“That I have ugly hair.”
“What?” He jerks his head back in an instant. “Who gave you that idea?” The way he stares, it’s not with anger at me, but for what I just said.
I shrug, avoiding his gaze by staring at my bare feet. After a few seconds, he snakes a hand under his pillow and retrieves something. In his palm is the notepad I once gave him.
But as I look at it, as he turns to open a page, I let out a small gasp, my stomach flipping all over again.
I can’t stop staring.
My breathing goes ragged.
I’m there on the page, in a long wispy dress, my hair caught in the wind, skipping among flowers, butterflies floating around me, like he knew that’s how he makes me feel. But that’s silly, of course, there’d be butterflies in a meadow. That’s what this is. He continues to turn, page after page, and I find more of me on every single one.
He’s been drawing me this whole time? Why?
He gazes straight at me, the crooked smile reaching the far corner of his mouth. “Your hair reminds me of the sun, and the sun is beautiful.”
My heart flutters in my chest, tears growing within my eyes. And his face, the one that barely ever smiles anymore, grins so wide for me now. “Did you just call me beautiful?” I whisper with a thread of shock, because there’s no way he said that.
He raises a shoulder with a smirk. “I may have.”
My mouth spreads into a smile of my own, those butterflies in my stomach flying higher. And my head, it falls right over his shoulder, his arm draping around my back. “I think you’re kinda beautiful too.”
With a deep sigh, his head slants over mine and we stay that way until it’s time for me to go, wishing I didn’t have to.
I can’t help but love people watching in a strip club. It’s New York City, so there’s usually something shady going on somewhere. Sometimes it’s more than just a lap dance. Sometimes it’s a guy getting thrown out for trying to make it more than just a lap dance. And sometimes you see the most unlikely people conducting business. I’m certain that’s one of the club owners. Pussycats. How utterly unoriginal. But damn, he can call this place whatever he wants. He’s hot.
“Bourbon on the rocks with a splash of water.”
“If you drank vodka, you wouldn’t need to dilute the taste.”
That voice. It’s sin waiting to happen. I look to my left, and the man who’d been in the corner talking to a rather large Italian-looking guy is now beside me. He was hot from a distance. He’s Lucifer in a suit up close. Are my panties on the floor? Those blue eyes might have just made them drop. They’re certainly wetter than they were a few minutes ago, watching Todd and the understudy stripper. God, I can be a b*tch. The girl is just doing her job.
“I had a bad experience with vodka in college. I steer clear.”
“Made yourself sick?”
“And if I’d like to continue to enjoy orange juice without being certain I taste vodka, I stay away.”
I offer him what I hope is a slightly sarcastic yet sexy smiley kind of smirk. From the way he’s grinning, it either worked, or he thinks I’m batsh*t. Oh! Maybe he did like it. He smells amazing, and now his chest is practically against the side of my shoulder. I can smell the hint of vodka on his breath, and for once, it doesn’t make me want to shiver and turn away.
“You didn’t look like you were having a good time earlier. Boyfriend not paying enough attention? Or perhaps too much attention?”
“He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Your date then.”
“Not a date. Those both imply romance. That’s not our arrangement. Partners in crime. Partners in fun. Definitely not partners in life.” I cock an eyebrow, waiting to see how he responds to me basically admitting that Todd is a f*ck buddy. We tried going on a couple dates. We enjoyed each other’s company, and we really enjoy having sex together, but no sparks ever flew for either of us.
When I picked up my latest foster daughter from the social services office, I found a young, woman who was little more than a shell veiled with defiance. It called to my protective urges, and I knew I had to take her. The report I was given when they told me they had another foster child for me detailed a troubled past, the reason she was thrown into the system, along with the history of previous foster parents she’d had.
It’s a game of chance when someone enters the system, whether they’ll end up in a loving, nurturing home, or with someone who does it for the paycheck. I won’t deny that the money isn’t a nice bonus, but it’s more than that.
Ten years ago my wife passed away suddenly from a heart attack, taking with her our unborn child and leaving me with my young son and a half-empty heart. I had a lot of love and care to give, so I applied to become a carer for the unwanted and lost children who needed a safe harbor to reside in.
What I didn’t expect was how deeply I would come to care for her, or how wrongly I would feel. There are boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed, and all I want is to hurtle straight over them to the other side.
I’m supposed to be the one offering her safety, comfort, and the love of a surrogate parent, but all I want to do is take her in ways I shouldn’t even consider, that I shouldn’t be dreaming about.
The quiet, reserved girl is calling out to the darker side of me, creating a storm in the harbor I’ve spent years creating, threatening to destroy it. The darkness of her eyes, contrasting with her honey-colored hair and fair skin made her far more appealing than I had any right to find her.
All my life I’ve given everything in me to those I’ve taken care of, have loved. But when Robyn Wymer walked through the door to my home, with her shaking hand clutching mine, I had no idea what kind of storm was about to be unleashed, and what the lasting effects of that would be.
What you thought you knew about Vampires and Werewolves is wrong…so very, very, wrong. And the images are a hint of what you might find in these 2 series about Bethany Anne and her family.
Seriously – 21 books! And another set of 11. Yes indeed – and I read them all in sequence! That’s a lot of books and pages – and yes, at times, I did forget who some of the more minor characters were, but luckily Michael usually threw in a short reminder even though he didn’t spend loads of words reminding you of characters as you moved onto the next story – or reminding you of the back story. Which could have got seriously long..
Michael Anderle is one of my top 5 authors in this genre. I have read a lot of his books, and in time, will have read all that appeal. One or two will be too blood thirsty and ‘battley’ so I shall skip them.
Overall, I thought this read well and despite the length had few regrets, but the second set -Endgame – I did wonder if it would ever end the story – and now I know, there is plenty of opportunity to have a new series – see the end of the final chapter!
I liked the way other authors or films etc were referenced – especially StarTrek of course – and in the second set we had lots of illustrations to help us ‘see’ what the aliens look liked. I was disappointed though when so much of what had happened on Irth/Earth had clearly been discussed/told in another set of books and there was an assumption we had read them to understand this story. I think that should have been mentioned as pre-reading.
So, if you like sci-fi/fantasy and are able to read long series, then do read these books. Well worth the effort!