Monday, June 25, 2018

Interview + Giveaway: Awaken the Darkness by Dianne Duvall ( @DianneDuvall @AuthorsTaproom )

UFI welcomes Author Dianne Duvall. Thanks for Joining us!!

Awaken the Darkness Character Interview

Hello!  Thank you for joining me.  I’m very happy to be here, celebrating the upcoming release of AWAKEN THE DARKNESS, the eighth book in my Immortal Guardians series. If you like powerful immortal heroes, kick-ass heroines, and a lot of action, passion, humor and romance, then I think you’ll enjoy this book. Don’t worry if you’re new to the series. Each Immortal Guardians book can be read as a stand-alone novel or novella. You’ll just be more familiar with the secondary characters if you read them in order.

Today I thought I would give you a glimpse of the hero and heroine of AWAKEN THE DARKNESS—Stanislav and Susan—through a character interview.  Sheldon, one of the mortals in my series (and a favorite of myself and many readers, thanks to the comic relief he provides) will be interviewing them.

Sheldon: First, let me say it’s really great to have you back, Stan.

Stanislav: Thank you. And you are…?

Sheldon: *stares* Dude, you don’t know who I am?

Stanislav: *shrugs* Are you a reporter?

Susan: *nods* I think he is. He’s here to interview us, right?

Sheldon: I’m not a reporter! I’m Richart’s Second.

Stanislav: *lips twitch* I know. I was just kidding.

Sheldon: Uncool, man.

Susan: *laughs* You ARE here to interview us though, right?

Sheldon: Yes.

Susan: Why? I thought the whole immortals, vampires, and gifted ones thing was supposed to stay hush-hush.

Sheldon: It is. But the humans who work for the Network, researching a cure for the virus that infects immortals, providing them with weapons, cleaning up their messes, etc., have been running into more immortals lately and it’s sparked their curiosity.

Stanislav: Their curiosity or their fear?

Sheldon: *hesitates* Both.

Susan: *frowns* Why would Network employees fear you? They know you and your immortal brethren are out there every night, hunting and slaying psychotic vampires who prey upon humans. They even help you do it.

Sheldon: Yes, but you’ve been around immortals long enough now, Susan, to know that some of the sh** they can do is...

Stanislav: *arches a brow* Shocking?

Sheldon: To say the least. And some people find the special gifts coupled with the incredible strength, speed and regenerative capabilities you possess…

Susan: A tad frightening?

Sheldon: Yes.

Susan: I suppose I can understand that. I was born with a special gift myself and was STILL a bit unnerved by some of the things Stanislav can do.

Sheldon: *grins* So I’ve heard. BUT we’ve done enough of these interviews in recent years to temper the fear and spark Network employees’ curiosity. *looks to Stanislav* And everyone wants to know where the hell you’ve been, man.

Stanislav: *grunts* Stuck in the ground, consumed by pain.

Sheldon: Yes, but how did you get there? Contrary to popular belief, neither vampires nor immortals are dead. Or undead. Or go to ground during the day. So how did you end up… *trails off as Stanislav’s eyes begin to glow*

Susan: *reaches over and rests a hand on Stan’s knee* We don’t really need to talk about that, do we? That wound is still pretty raw.

Sheldon: Oh. Sure. I mean, no. We don’t have to go into that. But can I ask… Susan, you found him, didn’t you?

Susan: *smiles* Yes, I did.

Sheldon: In your basement.

Susan: Yes.

Sheldon: I think I speak for everyone when I ask… Why the hell were you digging in your basement?

Susan: *smile turns wry* That’s what I kept asking myself.

Stanislav: *winks at her* I have a way of compelling her to do things she ordinarily wouldn’t.

Susan: *laughs and gives his shoulder a shove* Don’t say it like that. You make it sound like we do weird things in bed.

Stanislav: *grins* Don’t we? Last night, did you or did you not ask me to—

Susan: *claps a hand over his mouth and blushes* Don’t say it!

Sheldon: *wide-eyed* Dude.

Stanislav: *peels her hand from his mouth and presses a kiss to her palm* I wasn’t. I just love to see you blush.

Susan: *laughs* You’re so bad.

Sheldon: *mutters* In more ways than one. *clears his throat* So Stanislav, you were born with empathic abilities?

Stanislav: Yes. I not only can read other people’s emotions, I can manipulate them as well.

Sheldon: And for the newbie’s at the Network, you have these abilities because you were a gifted one before your transformation.

Stanislav: Yes. I was born with advanced DNA that bestowed that particular gift upon me.

Sheldon: Immortals are gifted ones who are infected with the vampiric virus and vampires are ordinary humans who are infected with the virus.

Stanislav: Correct. And, unfortunately, without our advanced DNA—which protects us from the more corrosive aspects of the virus—humans infected with it suffer progressive brain damage that rapidly drives them insane, so they all ultimately become violent predators.

Susan: That’s so sad. Do you think the doctors at the Network will find a cure?

Stanislav: I don’t know.

Sheldon: For Cliff’s sake, I hope they will. Susan, you were born a gifted one, too. What gift do you possess?

Susan: I’m telepathic.

Sheldon: So you can read other people’s minds?


Stanislav: *turns to Susan* That reminds me, you might want to avoid reading Sheldon’s mind, because—

Susan: Oh! *winces and squeezes her eyes shut* Ewwww. I wish I hadn’t seen that. I mean I REALLY wish I hadn’t seen that.

Stanislav: *grimaces* Too late.

Sheldon: What’s too late? Did she read my mind?

Stanislav: Yes.

Susan: *slaps Stanislav on the thigh* Why didn’t you warn me sooner?

Stanislav: *chokes back a laugh* I forgot.

Sheldon: Oh, come on. I know the other telepaths like to complain about the porn and weird crap they find in my head. But it’s not THAT bad.

Susan: *still wincing* Yes, it is. It really is.

Stanislav: *grins at Susan* I love it when you blush.

Susan: You’re not helping, honey.

Sheldon: Okay-okay. You’ve had a big laugh. Now let’s change the subject and get back to the… Ah hell. Now she’s doing that thing Dana does.

Stanislav: What thing?

Sheldon: Dana gets red in the face whenever I look her in the eye.

Stanislav: Why? Did she read your mind too? I thought she was psychic, not telepathic.

Sheldon: She IS psychic. But apparently when she touched my hand she saw something from my past.

Stanislav: The incident in Italy?

Sheldon: *eyebrows fly up* You know about that?

Stanislav: EVERYONE knows about that.

Susan: *jaw drops as she stares at Sheldon with wide eyes* You actually DID that? In PUBLIC?

Stanislav: *motions to Sheldon’s reddening face* Look. Now it’s HIS turn to blush.

Sheldon: *rises* Okay. I can see this interview is going to go nowhere now, so let’s just pick it up again another time.

Susan: *calls after him* I’m sorry. I’ll try not to blush next time I see you. *looks at Stanislav as the door closes behind Sheldon* Seriously, you need to do something to get those images out of my head.

Stanislav: *lifts her over onto his lap and captures her lips a long, deep, passionate kiss*

Susan: *smiles up at him* That’ll work. Now do it again.

Stanislav: *complies with a grin*


Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians series and The Gifted Ones series. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and"wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews). Her books have twice been nominated for RT Reviewers' Choice Awards and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews,and/or Night Owl Reviews.  

Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she creates in her books. 

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit You can also find Dianne online . . .

Find Dianne and her books

Awaken the Darkness
 Immortal Guardians #8
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Return to the "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly) world of New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall's Immortal Guardians.  

He awakens encapsulated in dirt with no knowledge of how he came to be there. Riddled with injuries, he can remember neither his past nor who he is. Nor can he remember what he is. But surely no mortal man could survive being buried deep beneath the earth. All he knows with certainty is that the soothing voice and presence of the woman moving around above enables him to endure the agony of his wounds. And he will do whatever it takes to be with her.

When Susan first sees the old two-story house for sale, such warmth and longing fill her that—against all reason—she makes an offer. It will take years of hard work and money she frankly doesn’t have to fix up the place. So she can’t explain why she bought it. She also can’t explain what compels her to spend hours one night, digging in the basement until she unearths a man. A man who still lives and breathes despite having been buried alive. A man whose intense brown eyes glow amber with pain, declaring him far more than ordinary. Susan knows she should keep her distance. He has no memory and possesses gifts that would make most fear him. But as the two work together to unravel the mystery of his past, she finds herself drawn in by his teasing nature and tender touch. So much so that she loses her heart to him even as they find themselves hunted by unknown enemies who are ruthless in their quest to capture them.

 Don't miss a heart-pounding moment of Dianne Duvall's "utterly addictive" Immortal Guardians series!

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Week in Review: 6/17-6/23

Books Received for Review

Being Alpha by Aileen Erin

Books I've Read

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga
Being Alpha by Aileen Erin
Twisted Fate by Tansey Morgan

Reviews Posted

Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy
Whisper by Lynette Noni
Stray Magic by Kelly Meding


* New Releases for the week. Was there anything you were looking forward to reading?

* Monday- Interview + Giveaway for When Darkness Follows by Athena Daniels


* Did you know you can follow UFI on these other sites?

You can also add me (as in Stacy) to your friends on these sites if you're on them.

 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Review: Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy

Prisoner of the Crown
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Rebel Base Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed . . .
In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully limited life . . .
Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen.

But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path indeed…

PRISONER OF THE CROWN surprised me. I wasn't 100% into it when I started reading, but it didn't take long to fall into the world and characters.

PRISONER OF THE CROWN is book one in the new The Chronicles of Dasnaria series, but book seven in The Twelve Kingdoms Complete Universe. I haven't read any of the books in this universe yet and I didn't feel lost one bit.

There is nothing romantic in PRISONER OF THE CROWN. In fact the relationship parts are very dark and emotionally hard to read. I was horrified at many points while reading, but there was no way I could have put the book down. I NEEDED to know what would happen after all was said and done.

The world was very strong. I felt like I was there seeing—and feeling— everything through Jenna's eyes. The pace in the beginning was very slow, but did pick up towards the middle of the book.

The ending gave me some hope that the next book might be so dark and horrifying. Jenna changed and grew a lot in PRISONER OF THE CROWN and I look forward to seeing what she does next. EXILE OF THE SEAS is set to release September 4, 2018.

I gave it 4/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Review: Whisper by Lynette Noni

Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Whisper Book #1
ISBN: 1525300415
ISBN13: 9781525300417
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

“Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,” they told me.

I believed them. That was my mistake.

There isn’t anyone else in the world like me.

I’m different. I’m an anomaly. I’m a monster.

For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four — ‘Jane Doe’ — has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word.

As Jane’s resolve begins to crack under the influence of her new — and unexpectedly kind — evaluator, she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious ‘program’, discovering that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot … and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.

I found myself not wanting to talk in solidarity with 'Jane Doe'. I thought I would be really frustrated by the wait to find out her story, but it was easy to be patient with everything else the author was throwing out at me. I found Jane to be extremely strong. She didn't let the pain and horror of her life override her morals. Jane wasn't the only characters I fell in love with. The secondary characters were just as exciting.

The emotions that WHISPER brought out were a bit crazy. There were a few points that I felt completely heartbroken right along with Jane. You know the writing is good when the author can make you feel what the characters are feeling.

The suspense was crazy high in WHISPER and the pace was nice and steady. I really don't want to give anything away so I'm going to stop there. I would recommend you stay away from spoilers as much as possible, because not knowing what was happening or why was one of the best parts of WHISPER.

I'm really excited to see what else will happen in the Whisper series, so book two will be on my wishlist as soon as it's listed on Goodreads.

I gave it 5/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Review: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Stray Magic
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Strays Book #1
ISBN:  0062847678
ISBN13: 9780062847676
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.

Shiloh was interesting. She's was both likable and easy to understand. I enjoyed learning about Shiloh's unit. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but worked well together.  I guess there is a prequel to STRAY MAGIC in the Carniepunk anthology titled FREAK HOUSE. It is set many years in the past and tells more of Shiloh's story, the world and the relationship between Shiloh and the other members of her team. If I would have known about it before picking this book up, I would have read it. I think some of the information would have made a few things in STRAY MAGIC make more sense.

I enjoyed the twists and turns of both the world and the storyline involved in STRAY MAGIC.  I didn't feel like anything was overly obvious in the story and I really enjoyed the mystery behind everything.

I wasn't crazy about the boyfriend portion of the story. Shiloh talks about being happy with and possibly wanting more with Vincent, but when he was in danger I didn't get that vibe from her. She cared, but it was kinda in the background. I really liked Tennyson though. They had great chemistry and I hope he is back and something blossoms between them in book two.

STRAY MAGIC ended with some things left unfinished. STRAY MOON will be here in November of 2018 and I plan to read it.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Interview + Giveaway: When Darkness Follows by Athena Daniels

UFI welcomes Author Athena Daniels. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?

That’s such a good question! I’m a country girl. I grew up in a very small town in South Australia, that even to this day, doesn’t have a single set of traffic lights. It’s on a long stretch of highway and is one of those ‘blink and you miss it’ towns you drive through on the way to somewhere else. I lived on a farm with lots of animals including sheep, and even had a pet Wedge-tailed eagle.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Now that I’m a writer, reading is a luxury I cherish. I love paperbacks, and where possible choose a real book over kindle as I enjoy the break from a screen. I enjoy spending time with my family and long walks along the beach, collecting shells with my boys.

What is your Favorite part of writing?

Writing is my ‘me time’. I love everything about it, the peace, the solitude. I love the feeling of creating something from nothing.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?

I don’t have any routines that I must follow, but I find myself writing my best work during the hours of 4 and 6 a.m. before my boys wake up. When I first started writing, this was the only time I could carve out for ‘me’, and now it has become my most treasured time of the day. I wake up, make myself a strong coffee, light my favorite candle, and write away! I find it’s the time where my mind is the clearest, most focused, as it is not cluttered with the million details of everyday life.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?

There are so many! I’m an avid reader, and always have several books on the go at any one time, both fiction and non-fiction. I love reading accounts of true paranormal experiences and enjoy anything mysterious and unexplained. I enjoyed the Karina Halle EIT series, and all of Sylvia Day’s paranormal books. I loved the True Blood series by Charlaine Harris, and of course, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.

How would you pitch Beyond the Grave series to someone who has not heard of it before?

In a tagline? Sexy, supernatural thrillers that will send chills down your spine.
The series is a combination of a steamy romance and an edge of your seat paranormal thriller.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that When Darkness Follows is set in?

When Darkness Follows is set in a fictional town north of Perth, Western Australia.

One night, a cancelled gig for her band, Trinity Beat, leaves Rachel and her band members at a loose end and they wind up exploring a haunted ghost ship. Rachel and her friends don’t believe anything will happen. Why would they? Ghosts don’t exist, right? But Rachel and her friends do disturb something that night. Something demonic. Something that lured Rachel to the ship. And now one of her friends is dead, the other is missing, and Rachel’s memory of the night is gone. There’s only one thing she knows for sure: whatever killed her friend has followed her home.

The ghost ship aspect of When Darkness Follows was inspired from a real haunted shipwreck located not far from where I live called, The Alkimos.

Do you have a favorite scene in When Darkness Follows?
I enjoy writing the spooky suspense thread throughout the series, but my favorite scenes are the romantic thread between the main couple of each story. I love the tension, the seeming impossibility of their relationship.

Here’s an excerpt from When Darkness Follows: (It’s not a steamy one!)

Daniel stood, brushed the sand off his jeans, and paced down to the water’s edge. She felt the loss of his presence at her side powerfully, like someone had put out a fire, the only source of heat on a blustery winter night. A chill seeped into her veins.
Oh no you don’t. You don’t get to start this conversation then simply walk away.
Leaving her strappy sandals behind, she walked to him. He had his back to her, his arms folded across his chest, and her body ached for him.
Rachel stood at his side, stared out at the ocean, breathed in a deep lungful of salty air. “You have no right to be angry.”
He whipped his head around, his eyes burning brightly. “Don’t I?”
Rachel’s face heated. “No,” she snapped. “It’s not as though we were in a relationship or anything.” He’d promised her casual; his reaction now screamed anything but.
His eyes continued to blaze. The intensity of his gaze made her feel naked, scorched her skin. Emotions she couldn’t read rolled off him in tumultuous waves. He reached out and she involuntarily flinched. His hand froze, then continued forward, taking a strand of her hair and tucking it behind her ear.
“You don’t trust me.” His eyes searched her face, a muscle along his jaw twitching. “What have I done to cause that?”
Rachel’s throat tightened painfully.
I don’t know how to be near you and not let you into my heart.
Even now, after seeing him again for such a short time, he had her questioning her resolve.
“Don’t do that,” he growled.
“Don’t do what?” Rachel asked, hugging her arms around her stomach.
“That!” Daniel untucked her arms, ran his hands down to her wrists. His grip was tight, his touch searing her skin. “You stopped returning my calls, refused to see me. You shut me down in the coffee shop earlier, left without an explanation, and you’re shutting me out again now.”
Rachel pulled out of his grip and began walking along the beach. Daniel watched her for a moment, his long stride making it easy for him to catch up. He kept pace beside her as Max ran off ahead, splashing in the waves.
They were silent for a long time before he spoke. “Tell me what you’re thinking.”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“By this, you mean us.”
“Yes.” She couldn’t meet his eyes.
“I haven’t been a detective for all these years without spotting bullshit when I see it. Your words tell me you don’t want me, but everything else about you tells me that’s a lie.”
Daniel stopped walking and gripped her shoulders, turning her to face him. He stared at her long and hard, then pulled her flush against him, his erection pressing into her stomach.
“Do you feel what you do to me? I want you, Rachel, like I’ve never wanted another woman. And I know you want me too.” His voice was deep, rough. It sent a tremor rippling through her. Wanting him wasn’t the problem.
He traced the back of his finger down the heated skin on her cheek as she looked up at him. “Your skin is so beautiful when it’s flushed, so pink.”
His finger trailed across her jaw, down her neck. He lowered his mouth and his teeth grazed the tender skin on the side of her neck. She cried out, desire pooling hot and demanding between her thighs.
It was cruel how much she wanted him. How much her body craved his touch. Her head fell back as his tongue worked its way up her neck, flicking at her skin. He stopped to suck on a particularly sensitive spot. A moan escaped her mouth, and he crushed his lips against hers. Ah hell.
She was going to regret this later, wasn’t she?

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?

I am just finishing my latest novel now, but it is not part of the Beyond the Grave series. It is something quite different. The details, including even the title is under wraps at the moment, but I’ll be making announcements very soon! It’s scheduled for release in November this year.

Thanks so much for having me! I have loved being here. :) I hope that if you get a chance to read When Darkness Follows, you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

Athena x


Athena Daniels is the #1 international bestselling author of the award-winning Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series and the romantic thriller Desperate.

In 2016, Athena was nominated for Author of the Year and Best New Author in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Her novel Girl Unseen won the Silver Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards and was awarded a Silver Medal in the 2017 Literary Titan Book Awards. Girl Unseen was an “Official Selection” in the New Apple Literary Awards, and was also nominated for 2017 Book of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

The Seer’s Daughter was the solo Medalist Winner in the Suspense/Thriller category of the 2016 New Apple Annual Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing.

The Seer’s Daughter was also a finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in Suspense and in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards. Additionally, The Seer’s Daughter was nominated for 2016 Book of the Year and 2016 Cover of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Girl Unseen and The Seer’s Daughter are both 5-star Top Picks at The Romance Reviews.
Athena has a natural curiosity about the “more” there is in life and holds several qualifications in metaphysics and natural therapies. She is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, life coach, and feng shui specialist.

Athena lives on the northern beaches of sunny Western Australia.

Find Athena and her books

 When Darkness Follows
Beyond the Grave #4
Amazon US Amazon AU Amazon UK
Amazon Canada BN iTunes
The only man who can save her, is the one she swore she’d never see again…

Rachel Sommers and her two best friends don’t believe anything will happen when they sneak onto a haunted shipwreck in the middle of the night. Why would they? Ghosts don’t actually exist… right?

But Rachel and her friends disturb something that night. Something demonic. Something that lured Rachel to the ship. And now one of her friends is dead, the other is missing, and Rachel’s memory of the night is gone. There’s only one thing she knows for sure: whatever killed her friend has followed her home.

Over a century ago, an act of bitter jealousy and revenge tainted a crystal ball with an unstoppable evil. And when the deadly object eerily turns up in her bedroom, Rachel’s nightmare really begins.

The only man who can help her, is the one she swore she’d never see again.

Ex-Special Forces detective Daniel Smith takes the case the moment Rachel’s name appears on his screen. Rachel is the only woman he’s ever loved, but despite their explosive chemistry, she’s determined to keep him at a distance.

With Rachel’s life on the line, the disturbing truth about her ancestry and the possessed object she has inherited must be uncovered. But is it already too late? Daniel will risk everything to save the woman he loves, but how can he win this lethal game of cat and mouse against a killer that is not flesh and blood?

Rachel wrapped her arms around Daniel’s neck and kissed him back with a ferocity that surprised her. All the emotion, the turmoil, of the last two weeks, the last year, moved through her. She couldn’t remember why keeping away from him was so important. Something about self-respect and needing to be more than just an occasional fuck to someone.
Daniel crushed her to his body, his tongue delving inside her mouth, tracing across her teeth. He took control of the kiss, like the man controlled everything else in his life. The heat of his mouth set her blood on fire, and her body submitted to his natural dominance.
He groaned, holding her to him so tightly she couldn’t breathe. But she didn’t need her own oxygen when she could breathe his.
Daniel walked her away from the water to where the sand was dry and still warm from the sun. He fell to the sand, pulling her down on top of him. She laughed in surprise.
His sunglasses fell off his head as he looked up at her. He cupped the back of her neck, guided her head down and kissed her hard. She couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but him.
Her soft, white denim skirt slid up her thighs as she spread her legs and sat on his hips. His erection, firmly encased in his jeans, pressed against her lacy white panties. She rubbed against him, needed to, and his eyes flickered closed. He groaned, the sound sending fire racing through her veins.
“I want you so bad.” Daniel’s grip tightened on her hips, the roughness in his tone thrilling her.
This was what was familiar between them. This rawness and this uncontrollable desire.
“Tell me you still want this.”
Rachel nodded.
“I said tell me.”
The bite of authority in the command made her blood race. Her mouth dried, and she swallowed twice before she could speak.
“I want this.”
Daniel squeezed his eyes shut, and when he opened them, emotion swirled heavily in his gaze.
“Tell me you still want me.” His body went rigid as he waited for her answer, and her heart stuttered to a stop.
“I want you,” she said, the truth and a lie all at once. God she wanted him! Right now, in this moment, she wanted him more than her next breath.
Daniel sat up, cradling her in his lap, her legs wrapped around his hips as he kissed her again, long and deep. She thrust her hands in his thick hair, holding him hard as his hands ran up her thighs, his thumbs tracing along the seams of her panties and making her core clench with anticipation.
He lifted the hem of her top, his palm scorching the soft skin on her stomach as he moved to cup her breast. His expression looked pained, his chest rising and falling as his breathing grew labored.
As much pleasure as he gave her, she loved watching how much simply touching her aroused him.
“A year,” Daniel growled. “A whole fucking year.”
She cried out as his fingers found a hardened nipple and squeezed. Pleasure, white-hot and overwhelming, filled her, stole her breath.
His other hand slid the thin fabric of her panties aside, his thumb gently tracing along her slick entrance. Her heart skittered in her chest, her pulse roaring past her ears.
“You need this too,” he said, his voice a low rasp. “Don’t tell me you don’t.”
Tears burned her eyes, and she squeezed her lids closed to hide her reaction to his words. She needed him? Dear God! She fucking craved him.
And then he’d leave…
And she’d be left empty, wanting him. Frustration caused her to cry out at the same time his thumb slipped inside her, and the sound was disguised as pleasure.
Frustration and pleasure: those two extremes described what she had with Daniel perfectly.
Max barked, and they both looked up to see him bounding through the thick sand toward them. He barked again, and Rachel followed his gaze and noticed two people at the top of the sand dunes, making their way to the water.
“Fuck,” Daniel growled.
How like Daniel to always make her feel as though they were the only two people in the world. She pressed her forehead against his, his ragged breath warm across her skin. Before the couple could see them clearly, she rolled off Daniel and tugged her skirt back into place, her body still tingling with the feel of his touch.

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