Friday, January 18, 2019

Book Beginnings on Friday #20


Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Introduction

Introductions, as I interpret them, should start at the beginning. The beginning of the story, the beginning of the journey, the beginning of the tall tale that explains how you came to be where you ended up.

- Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series


Summary-

The epic made simple. The miracle in the mundane.

One day, while browsing an antique store in Helena, Montana, photographer Tyler Knott Gregson stumbled upon a vintage Remington typewriter for sale. Standing up and using a page from a broken book he was buying for $2, he typed a poem without thinking, without planning, and without the ability to revise anything.

He fell in love.

Three years and almost one thousand poems later, Tyler is now known as the creator of the Typewriter Series: a striking collection of poems typed onto found scraps of paper or created via blackout method. Chasers of the Light features some of his most insightful and beautifully worded pieces of work—poems that illuminate grand gestures and small glimpses, poems that celebrate the beauty of a life spent chasing the light.
 


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed on Goodreads

 BOOK SUMMARY:

An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. 

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. 

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.


Release date: May 21st 2013
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing 
Page numbers: 416

REVIEW: 

I've been reading books for 10 odd years now, and what I've realised is that words make me happy. They're my happy place. They're not an escape from reality for me; they are my reality. I've learned to believe that words speak louder than actions. They've managed to bring a smile to my face. But this time around, with And the Mountains Echoed, somehow these same words that I thought made my day, brought tears to my eyes in a way no words ever have before.

I don't consider myself worthy of reviewing a masterpiece, a work of art that is And the Mountains Echoed. I honestly thought that The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns were the most incredible, raw, real and heart touching books I've ever read, but of course, trust Khaled Hosseini to prove me wrong. What he has done with this book, it's unreal, it's so incredibly magical and heartbreaking, devastating and tragic that I don't even know what to feel or how to feel. I just don't know.


All I know is that this is a book that's going to bring more tears to my eyes every time I remember it and seeing as I'm never going to forget it, I'm going to be needing many, many tissues. I swear no book has brought tears to my eyes the way And the Mountains Echoed did and no words moved me the way Khaled Hosseini's words did. A master storyteller, he blesses the word with literary gems every time he writes.


Buy the book: AMAZON


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday #259


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spines, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Tangled Like Us by Krista and Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: January 17th, 2019


Summary-

How to protect your heart:
Let your bodyguard have it.

Jane Cobalt is an American princess. The loyal and painfully curious twenty-three-year-old has inherited immense pressure to preserve the Cobalt legacy. But for Jane — sex, love, and life have been a series of royal failures. 

After a friends-with-benefits ended in disaster, she's sworn to a “no sex” hiatus for, well, eternity — and she has no intention of letting anyone in her bed and definitely not her heart. 

Twenty-eight-year-old Thatcher Moretti is painfully professional. As the stern 24/7 bodyguard to Jane, thinking about unbridled sex with his sweet client is a sin. One that he keeps committing. 

But the real act is a hard line he’d never cross. 

When a family member betrays Jane's trust, the media becomes obsessed with matchmaking the perpetually “single” Jane Cobalt and unwanted attention suddenly compromises her safety. 

Thatcher would do anything to protect her, and one solution may level the threats: 

Become the fake boyfriend to an American princess. 

Entwined together with boiling chemistry, new “professional” parameters, and an oath, unsaid feelings threaten to rise and change everything. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #77


Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: 

Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

 

 


Do share your list if you have posted as well! Happy reading! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Review- Kiss Of Snow by Nalini Singh

Summary-

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…



Release date: May 31st 2011
Published by: Gollancz
Page numbers: 432


Review-

I LOVE Hawke. I've loved him since we met him in the first book and I was waiting for his book since I finished reading the first book in the psy-changeling series by Nalini Singh. So, obviously my expectations of Kiss of Snow were super high. I am SO happy that Nalini Singh met and exceeded my expectations. I loved Kiss of Snow.

Let's start with Hawke. He is the lone alpha. Hawke has lost his mate when he was a child and he never expects to mate again. The only thing he did not see coming in his life was Sienna Lauren. I loved how possessive and protective Hawke was. He tries so hard to resist Sienna because of their age difference but there is something pulling them together.

Then there's Sienna. When we'd first met her in the previous books I wasn't completely sure about her. She was young, still is in this book and I couldn't picture Hawke and Sienna together. But they were amazing. Sienna blew me away with her feelings for Hawke and the pack. I came to love and respect her and she was perfect for Hawke.

The romance, the chemistry, every single thing in this book was hot. Hawke was HOT. Hawke and Sienna had a playfulness in their relationship which each had lost before. I loved seeing Sienna fight for more with Hawke and Hawke finally giving in. When that man falls, he falls hard.

We get a beautiful side story of Lara and Walker. With the SnowDancers we even get glimpses of what's happening with Luc and Sascha and the DarkRiver pack. Kiss of Snow has an amazing climax and things have just gotten better. This is easily one of my favorite books in the series. If there is any doubt in your mind about starting this series, ignore it because Nalini Singh is awesome!



Friday, January 11, 2019

Book Beginnings on Friday #19


Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

1st Chapter

Six Years Ago

I loved the woods behind my house, from the fresh scent of pine to the crunch of twigs underfoot and
especially those stray ribbons of sunlight that streamed through the tree limbs. But mostly, I cherished the
absolute absence of human intervention. God, did I adore the quiet scuttle of squirrels pillaging through
the foliage, birds chirping their daily chorus, and the flutter of the breeze through the hollows, like the
breath of nature, whispering her secrets to me.

-Worth It by Linda Kage


Summary-

I fell in love once.

It was amazing. She was amazing. Life was amazing.

I lived for each time I could see her, and nothing else mattered, not that our families were enemies, our time together was forbidden, or we had to meet in secret.

Our love could conquer all.

Until it didn't.

So I was ripped away from the love of my life and shoved into hell, forced to continue without her.

It shattered me, broke the best parts of me, left me permanently damaged.

Or so I thought.

Years later, I swear history’s trying to repeat itself because she’s back in my life, and I’m just as drawn to her as I was before. But I'm older and wiser now, and I know she should stay away from a worthless ex-con like me.

So, I will not let her in. I absolutely refuse to hurt her. I will keep her away.

Then again, sometimes risking your greatest fear to get to a smile makes everything worth it, and besides, I’m not sure I can resist her, anyway.

This is the story of how Felicity Bainbridge changed my life forever, starting one summer day long ago after I was forced to change a dirty diaper...

--Knox Parker

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Release Week Blitz- The Song of the Wild Geese by India Miller



THE FIRST INSTALLMENT IN THE GEISHA WHO RAN AWAY SERIES BY INDIA MILLAR.
Terue. The girl who was plucked from obscurity to become the most sought after geisha in Edo’s Floating World. The geisha who was so beautiful and talented that one of the richest nobles in Japan desired her as his wife.
But Terue wanted more from life, and was willing to risk everything to get it. Pregnant with her lover’s child and knowing that the disgrace would mean certain death for both her and her unborn child, Terue makes the devastating choice to flee Japan on the day her daughter – Kazhua, The Geisha with the Green Eyes – was born and changes both their destinies forever.


About the Book

The Song of the Wild Geese
by India Millar

Series
The Geisha Who Ran Away Book One

Genre
Adult
Historical Romance

Publisher
Red Empress Publishing

Publication Date
January 8, 2018

Purchase Your Copy Today!

Also Available On

Blitz Wide Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of THE SONG OF THE WILD GEESE by India Millar, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!


GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Red Empress Publishing.  Giveaway ends 1/11/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. 


About India Millar


INDIA MILLAR started her career in heavy industry at British Gas and ended it in the rarefied atmosphere of the British Library. She now lives on Spain’s glorious Costa Blanca North in an entirely male dominated household comprised of her husband, a dog, and a cat. In addition to historical romances, India also writes popular guides to living in Spain under a different name. Her Romance Noir series is highlighted on her website.
Website  |  Facebook  |  BookBub  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon





Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday #258


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spines, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Publication Date: January 29th, 2019


Summary-

Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

… If Darcy Barrett hadn’t met her dream man when she was eight years old, the rest of the male population wouldn’t be such a let-down. No one measures up to Tom Valeska, aka the best man on Earth, not in looks, brain or heart. Even worse is the knowledge that her twin brother Jamie saw him first, and claimed him forever as his best friend.

Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. One percent of Tom has had to be enough for Darcy, and her adoration has been sustained by his shy kindness. And if she’s honest, his tight t-shirts.

Now Darcy’s got three months left to get her life together before her twin insists on selling the tumble-down cottage they inherited from their grandmother. By night, she’s working in a seedy bar, shooting down lame pickups from bikers. By day, she’s sewing underwear for her best friend and wasting her award-winning photography skills on website shots of pens and novelty mugs. She’s enjoying living the messy life, and a glass of wine or ten… until that one night, when she finds a six-foot-six perfect package on her porch.

Tom’s here, he’s bearing power tools—and he’s single for the first time in a decade.

As a house flipper extraordinaire, Tom has been dispatched by Jamie to give the cottage a drastic facelift that will result in a ton of cash. Darcy doesn’t appreciate Tom’s unsentimental approach to knocking down walls, and he really, really doesn’t approve of her current burnout boyfriend. They can’t be in the same room together without sparks flying- and it’s not the faulty wiring. One bedroom wall separates them at night, and even that’s looking flimsy.

Will Tom ever see Darcy as anything other than a little-sister obstacle to get around? And can she stand up to her most formidable opponent—her twin? This time around, she’s determined to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers, and he’s never managed to say no to her yet…



Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #76


Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: 

Books that Deserve More Recognition

 

 


Do share your list if you have posted as well! Happy reading! 

Monday, January 07, 2019

Freebie Blitz- The Devil You Know by Jena Gregoire



SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE.

Following a drunken night together, the vampire Michael “Vegas” Tremayne takes off with no explanation, leaving Deziree Davanzati to wonder if they’d made a terrible mistake. Rather than obsess about it, Dez spends most of her time at Onyx, the rock club she owns and operates for the supernatural citizens of New York City. All are welcome-werewolves, witches, and anyone else willing to play nice while under her roof and pay their tab at the end of the night.
After two weeks of radio silence, Vegas returns with alarming news. For the first time in more than four centuries, there is reason to believe a pureblood demon is walking among them. They suspect someone from the the Council may be behind the creature’s return, but to what end?
With the Sentinel Stone missing, they’re down to the wire and don’t know who to trust. Will Dez and Vegas stop the demon in time? Or will Hell itself be unleashed upon the world? 




About the Book


The Devil You Know
by Jena Gregoire


Series
Hellfire Series Book One


Genre
Adult
Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Romance


Publisher
Independent


Publication Date
June 5, 2018


Download Your FREE Copy Today! <– January 7th – 11th ONLY!


Also Available On



Coming Soon!

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, the third full-length installment in the Hellfire series is coming soon! To celebrate the upcoming release, author Jena Gregoire is sharing the first chapter!

CHAPTER ONE
Dez
“Say it again,” Dez purred. She watched his lips as he uttered the words she so longed to hear.
“Hot, dark, Columbian, deep inside you.” His words came out in a sensual whisper causing her mouth to water with anticipation.
“Mmmm,” She closed her eyes and tipped her head back, imagining the level of satisfaction in her near future. “Let’s do it now,” she begged, “come on, it’s been almost four months. I swore I would never go this long without it again.” She leveled a deadly stare at him to make sure her urgency was understood. “I need this, Vegas. My body needs this.”
“You’re desperate, huh?” His reply was playful.
“You have no idea.”
“Alright, but we have to take care of business first.”
“I got this.” A wicked smile crept across her face.
Coffee will have to wait just a tiny bit longer.
Turning her attention back to the task at hand, she fired several shots in quick succession, taking out the three possessed men currently stalking toward them across the wide expanse of the run-down warehouse building. Once, the complex had been home to a series of crystal meth labs, and in a not-so-bright maneuver, a group of demons had set up shop inside a band of tweakers. The condition of their bodies showed the drugs had taken their toll long before the demons came along, their mobility limited to a slow limp. Dez had watched plenty of demons function absolutely fine in bodies with broken necks and signs of advanced decay. Meth, on the other hand, actually did enough damage to limit their motor skills.
“There are two more somewhere here,” she said as she stepped over one of the fallen bodies. She could feel the presence of the other two lurking in the shadows, but the demons weren’t making any moves toward them. They were in no danger. All it would take is one command and the demons would be forced to do as she wished, which included being able to bring them to a complete standstill. However, she and Vegas both enjoyed the hunt to a certain extent, so she didn’t often use that aspect of her demon powers.
They had bounced from one city to another since her little brush with death in the desert. Although spending lots of alone time with Vegas had been fun, she had reached her breaking point and ached for the extravagantly comfortable life she had built for herself in New York. The novelty of sleeping in shitty roadside motels had long worn away, even if she didn’t have to spend it alone anymore.
Her life had changed.
She had changed.
Everything she thought she knew about who she was and where she had come from had been nothing but a pack of lies specifically designed to bring her to that fateful moment in the desert.
After centuries of belief that she had perished at her own hand following Dez’s birth, Catalina, her biological mother, had turned up to complete the charge set forth by the Daughters of Eris. The long-hidden sect of the witch covens had taken it upon themselves to usher in the apocalypse by way of unleashing a demon hoard onto the human plane of existence, and then to play the hero of the day by wiping them all out in one fell swoop. Dez’s blood combined with a heavy dose of celestial magic was the key to the second part of their plan and had it not been for Vegas, they would have succeeded in their mission.
And she’d be dead.
After spending some much-needed downtime at Charlie’s house to recuperate, she and Vegas had both become rather antsy, desperate for some normalcy. The pair set out on the road, having already sent Kade back home, and had been hunting ever since. They had come to grips with the fact that hunting demons would have to be part of their daily lives, but it had become their entire life. This last stop━a shitty little New Hampshire town made most famous by its mass production of methamphetamine━had Dez craving the comforts of home and a cup of coffee from the best café the city that never sleeps had to offer.
“I won’t even make you go out and get it for me,” she informed him. “We can just stop on the way home. We’ll stock up on coffee and those little cranberry cake things.”
“Those are good,” he agreed.
“Yes, they really are. See? You’re getting excited. I knew it.”
“Dez,” he replied, “I never said I wasn’t excited about the prospect of going home, or that I can’t be swayed by promises of the smoothest coffee in existence. I’m excited.”
“You don’t sound excited.” Glass smashed in a room down the hall pulling their attention away from a conversation which was going nowhere fast. The small betrayal of their location was all Dez needed to finish the job. She swiftly moved toward a small row of rooms along the southern wall of the structure. The boarded-up windows enclosed what she assumed were small offices once upon a time. As she passed and cleared each one, she could see that as of late, the small rooms were being used as labs, each used to cook meth. All of the rooms contained glass bottles over burners, which were connected by clear, plastic tubing. She recognized the basic setup from news broadcasts about meth labs being raided by police in the city over the last few years. As she crept from room to room, she noticed that none of the labs were active. The overwhelming smell of rubbing alcohol slammed into her with every doorway she stepped to, each room taking her breath away and making her eyes water. She couldn’t imagine living with or anywhere near that odor. Not for the first time, she found herself questioning why anyone would choose this brand of drug production to make their money. The acrid odor aside, the chemicals required to cook meth are notoriously unstable, most meth lab raids either resulting in or a byproduct of the lab exploding.
As Dez neared the end of the row of offices, she pushed her senses out into the ether. She fully expected to find the hate-fueled presence of two demon minds just beyond one of the nearby doors. Instead, she found the same dull hum she had encountered previously. At close range, drug-addled or not, the demons’ psychic energy should have been unmistakable. She started to wonder if demons weren’t the only creatures she was going to bump into in the filthy warehouse building.
Dez signaled to Vegas, indicating she wanted him directly in front of the doorway when they opened the door. She would open the door from the side, and he would be there to cover her, just in case anything particularly nasty decided it was a good day to test its luck.
She reached for the door handle. Loud enough so she was sure the room’s inhabitants heard her, she yelled out.
“Don’t move!” Any demons inside would be forced to follow her command. Anyone else would probably just assume she was a cop. She turned the knob of the door as silently as she could and pushed it. The door hinges creaked as it swung into the office.
“It’s clear,” Vegas said.
“Definitely not empty, though,” Dez replied tapping her index finger to her temple reminding him that she had felt the presence of two minds in the room. She brought her gun up in front of her and crept into the room. She quickly spun around making sure there was nothing hiding behind the door. With the exception of the large wooden desk serving as a table for the cook operation, the room was empty. She was about to close her eyes and reach out into the ether again when a tiny movement pulled her attention downward. The small gap at the bottom edge of the desk revealed a delicate human foot, and whoever it was attached to was trying their best to pull it back in hopes of not being seen. Dez pointed her gun at the wooden panel covering the front of the desk.
“Since the particular people I’m looking for wouldn’t be able to move right now, I’m guessing you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Dez tried to keep her voice calm and pleasant, which sounded completely at odds with the words coming out of her mouth. “I have a loaded sidearm pointed directly at where I assume your head would be, and if I think for one second you’re about to do anything stupid, I’ll pull the trigger. Come on out of there, nice and slow.”
There was a rustling noise under the table and a small hand gripped the edge. The dirt-caked fingernails were chewed to the quick. The delicate pixie face peering back at her, framed by disheveled brown and honey-blonde streaked hair, was not what Dez had expected. The girl’s eyes were bright blue, not that different from her own, and clear of any demons, supernatural or otherwise. Aside from her clothes being covered in dust, she was clean. Whoever she was, she didn’t appear to be the type to frequent a meth lab. Not anymore, at least. The girl’s slender arms hung at her sides, tiny pale scars the only remaining evidence of long-since healed track marks betraying her past addiction.
“Heroin?” Dez asked. The girl self-consciously grabbed her arm, covering the scars, and nodded her head slightly, never taking her frightened eyes off of Dez’s gun.
“But you’re clean, right?” The girl nodded again, a nervous twitch to her movements. “Then what are you doing here?” The girl opened her mouth to speak, but before she could get a word out, Vegas interrupted her.
“You’re not alone.” The girl turned her attention to him, her eyes widened with alarm and recognition, and she nervously shook her head. She hesitantly glanced down and waved her hand to someone unseen. More rustling and another set of tiny hands led the arrival of another girl. The new girl’s hair was dyed black, her lighter brown roots grown out far enough for Dez to know it’d been a long time since she’d seen the inside of a salon. She was in far worse shape, her gaunt appearance assuring she wouldn’t be a poster child for walking the rocky road to sobriety any time soon. Her hands twitched and she started lightly scratching her neck, probably without even thinking about it. She was younger than the first girl, but not by much if Dez had to guess. She lowered her gun and nodded to Vegas for him to do the same. Both girls relaxed but only slightly.
“How long have you been clean?” She posed the question to the older girl, knowing the question was wasted on the younger one.
“I just got my one-year chip,” the girl replied, referring to a milestone for many in addiction recovery programs.
“What are you doing here? A meth lab isn’t exactly a good place for a recovering addict to be spending their time.”
“This is my little sister’s best friend. I came here looking for her. I knew this is where she comes to buy. When no one had seen her in a few days, I figured this is where she had ended up. We’ve been stuck here since yesterday morning.” She paused for a moment, then her tone completely changed, as if she were just waking up. “Were they zombies? I didn’t believe zombies were really possible, but those were zombies, right? Those things definitely looked like zombies. We hid in here when we saw them. Her mom would kill me if I got her turned into a zombie. Did you know zombies were a thing?” Her words came out in a rush, the tangle of thoughts spilling out of her.
“They’re gone,” Vegas answered.
“But that’s what they were, right? Zombies?”
“Not exactly,” Dez replied, “but arguably similar. How many of them did you see when you came in here?”
“Three, I think.” Dez turned toward Vegas and flipped the switch. She let her demon senses take over. She felt once more for any other presences in the building. She blinked her eyes, returning them to their normal icy blue, and an excited smile spread across her face.
“That’s all of them. You know what that means.”
“Time to go home,” Vegas responded, his own smile matching hers. Dez turned back to the girls.
“So, what’s the plan here? Are you taking her back to her parents?”
“Yes but I know someone who might be able to secure her a bed at a good rehab center up north. They helped me sober up and my counselor there might be able to help her. I’ll get her home and make some phone calls.” Dez pulled her cell phone out of her pocket, opened her address book, and selected the icon to add a new record.
“What are your names?”
“Tessa,” the older girl replied, her voice shaking, “and this is Kaitlyn.”
“Nice to meet you both. I’m Dez and this is Michael. Tessa, what’s your phone number?” Dez typed in the digits as the girl read them off and clicked the save button before tucking her phone back in her pocket. “I’m going to check in with you soon, just to make sure you’re okay. If you ever need anything, anything at all, look me up at Onyx in New York City. Can you remember that? Onyx?”
“Yes, Onyx. Got it.” Her reply was polite, but the look in her eyes said she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
“I’ll help you out in any way I can, you just have to promise to keep that shit out of your veins. It kills people. There are much better things you can be doing with your time than pumping your body full of that shit. If you find yourself in a rut, I can give you work. There is no situation you don’t have a way out of. Consider me your get-out-of-jail-free card. Use it if you need it. Are you okay to get home or do you need a ride?”
“Um, no, we’re okay. I can get us home, I mean. Can I, um, ask a question?”
“Of course.” The girl turned her attention toward Vegas before continuing.
“Are you a vampire?” She stumbled a bit on the last word.
“I am,” he answered, no point in attempting to hide his true nature. His golden eyes instantly gave him away, but the girl had to ask.
“He’s not what you pictured?” Des asked.
“I don’t know. I thought you’d be paler or something.” She stared at Vegas for a moment before speaking again. “And, if they weren’t zombies, what were those guys?”
Dez looked to Vegas for guidance. Without any words necessary, his eyes conveyed his feelings. He felt the same way she did. How much she knew was up to Tessa at this point. The girl had seen and been through enough. If it earned her anything, it was the truth.
“How much do you want to know?”
“Just the basics, I guess.”
“They were demons. Well, people possessed by demons.” The girl stared in thought for a moment before responding.
“Demons?” Dez nodded, surprised by the girl’s lack of panic. “Wow. Bummer. Alright, well, we’re going to go home now. I’m starving and I’ve had enough weird for one day.” She quickly looked to Vegas. “No offense.”
“None taken.”
“Before you leave, what’s the name of my bar?”
“Onyx, and it’s in New York.”
“Good. Okay, be safe.” Tessa took Kaitlyn by the arm and guided her out from behind the desk. The pair hurried out the door toward the exit of the building. Dez watched them go as she and Vegas strolled toward the same exit. She couldn’t imagine losing herself to an addiction, but over the centuries, she’d watched it happen to countless numbers. She watched it ruin lives and tear families apart. But there was something in Tessa’s eyes, a spark she didn’t want to see extinguished like so many before her. Tessa had hope. She’d recovered from an addiction that could have taken her life at any time, and now her path could lead anywhere.
“Are we taking in strays now?” Vegas cocked his eyebrow at her as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder.
“No strays, smartass.”
“I know, I’m just playing with you. I think what you offered is sweet. I just don’t know where it came from. You don’t like people.”
“I don’t know. There is just something about her. Call it a gut feeling.”
“Good enough,” he replied, pulling her closer briefly to place a light kiss on her forehead. “So, dark roast?”
“For starters, I am thinking a perfect cup of medium roast. Then, maybe a mocha latte or a classic cappuccino.”
“You’re going to be bouncing off the walls of the penthouse,” he said as they strolled toward the exit.
“I can think of a few ways to burn off the extra energy.”


About Jena Gregoire


Bestselling author JENA GREGOIRE was born and raised in New Hampshire, USA, and despite her abhorrence for any season which dares to drop to a temperature below seventy degrees, she still currently resides there with her two children and several furbabies. Always a passionate reader, her love of urban fantasy books inevitably morphed into a love of writing them. She is currently working on two series – the Hellfire series and the Executioner series.

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