Gallery owner Kristin Shepherd is resigned to living a life on her own in London, England after losing her husband to cancer. That was before she met handsome Scottish actor David McDougal.
David swears the relationship with his fiancé, Sophie Miller, is for public convenience only, but Kristin finds Sophie’s unwillingness to release her hold on David quite a complication to the chemistry that exists between them.
Within David’s dark eyes, will Kristin find the courage to trust enough to love again? And, are there such things as Second Chances?
Kristin smiled and shook Bernard’s hand, then turned to David. As she took his outstretched hand, a small electric current traveled through her body at his touch, making her insides tingle.
Startled at the sensation, she glanced into his face and found herself immersed in the darkest, most piercing eyes she had ever seenebony pools that she was sure she could get lost in. Not wanting to drown, she released his grip, probably a little too quickly.
"Pleased to meet you both." David smiled widely, but his gaze never broke the direct contact with Kristin’s. Small shivers traveled along her spine as his light brogue washed over her.
A small dimple deeply indented his right cheek when he smiled, a smile that brightened the room around her as well as his handsome face.
Kristin took a deep breath to try to regain some amount of internal control. She didn’t want Ingrid to catch on to whatever was happening between her and David. All she needed was for her friend to latch onto her attraction to him, as it would strengthen the age-old argument of Kristin entering the dating scene again.
When she glanced over at Ingrid, the devious glimmer in her friend’s blue eyes made her realize it was too late. "Bernie dear, I do have something pressing I need to discuss with you. Let’s go find some drinks, shall we?" Ingrid didn’t miss a beat as she grabbed Bernard’s arm and led him away.
Ingrid turned and winked at Kristin. "I’ll be back in a moment, love."
Kristin now had no choice but to deal with her attraction as she turned to David, and his gaze encompassed her once more. The intensity was mesmerizing, like he could see through her to those places she chose to keep safely hidden from the world. That kind of vulnerability came unexpectedly, and small spikes of fear danced around her already-racing heart. But then he blasted her with that smile again, and melted away a little of her apprehension.
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Maddelyn Sowers and her niece, Serra, struggle daily to survive. Their once beautiful home has been devastated by a race of alien warriors called the Raknorg, who have stripped the planet of its resources, and unleashed a deadly sickness that is slowly killing the population. Inexplicably immune from the disease, Maddelyn has witnessed her family members and friends die, young Serra next on the disease's list. Their world is shaken even further when a mysterious stranger literally falls from the sky one night. Though his presence puts them in danger, Maddelyn can't refuse the plea for help in his golden eyes. Draco Taralundar claims to be a Sun Whisperer, the last of an ancient race descended from the sun. Maddelyn has difficulty reconciling the handsome man with the fantastic tales of her youth, but his capacity for healing and wielding the powers of fire are hard to ignore, renewing her hope for the first time in years. But will the fire that burns deep within his soul save what's left of her heart, or consume them both?
Maddelyn inhaled deeply. Here goes. “What I mean, Draco Taralundar, is that I know what and who you must be, even if it is a complete impossibility for it to be true.”
“Is that so?” Draco’s words were ripe with skepticism.
Maddelyn nodded, her breath coming faster as she stayed mesmerized by his amber gaze.
“Then say it, Maddelyn Sowers. Say what you believe me to be—this paradox of impossibility that you are convinced I am.” He tilted his head to the side, his blond hair brushing his shoulder as he waited for her to accept his challenge.
Maddelyn felt her heart quicken with his dare, thumping wildly in her chest. Suddenly, she felt utterly foolish for thinking she knew this man’s story, being confronted with the reality of it. She shook her head from side to side, unwilling to follow through with her suspicions. “Never mind. I was mistaken.”
She moved to stand, but Draco caught her wrist and pulled her back to sit on the bed. His fingers were gentle, but firm, as they encircled her wrist. And the heat from his touch was even more intense than it had been last night. A ring of heat that made her hand tingle, the sensation spreading throughout her body, leaving her breathless and aroused.
“I want to hear you say it.” His voice had grown low and seductive, gliding along her skin like a caress. His eyes glowed even more brightly as Maddelyn searched frantically for her own voice, the sparks going off all along her skin quite the distraction.
“Sun Whisperer.” The words came out as a low rasp, so faint Maddelyn wasn’t even sure she had spoken aloud at all.
There’s no place like Hell House for the holidays…
At least that’s what Danielle Stewart hopes for as the director of Hellsner Halfway House for Troubled Paranormal Teens. But all her plans come to an abrupt halt with the help of bickering teens, unannounced zombies, and a portal to hell, among other things. When the arguing leads to things quite literally going up in smoke, will Danielle find that her true calling lies elsewhere, or will the help of an unexpected angel show her the family she has longed for is right before her eyes?
"You're doing it all wrong! Danielle, tell him he's screwing it up!"
I shot a long-suffering look in Sora's direction. Her scowl spoke volumes, made even more dramatic by the midnight black lipstick that always outlined her pouting lips.
"I'm hanging ornaments on a tree. How can I be screwing that up, your highness?" Derrick, the cause of Sora's irritation now and most days, pulled another red globe from the box he was holding and dangled it in front of his face.
I took a deep, calming breath. "Guys, can't you please call a cease fire long enough for us to decorate the Christmas tree? Is that too much to ask?" My gaze bounced back and forth between the two teens, a silent prayer for peace at the ready.
Sora toyed with the small silver lip ring she wore, her scowl deepening. "Then tell dog-boy to stop hanging all the red ornaments on the same side. It's making the color scheme unbalanced."
Derrick laughed and placed the ornament in his hand next to the one he'd just put on the tree. "Like you're one to talk about color schemes. All black. All the time. Even your own people got tired of it."
Sora tugged absently at the hem of her black leather miniskirt, then her hand fluttered to twist one of the spikes of her jet black hairdo.
"Derrick..." I managed to infuse my voice with just a hint of warning.
"What? It's true. All the other fairies kicked her out of fairy land because they were tired of her depressing butt. And her bossiness." He set the box of ornaments on the dining room table to his right.
Sora had been banished by her people ultimately because she refused to fit in. But that didn't mean he needed to point it out to everyone. Repeatedly.
Silence filled the room for a long moment that I feared would ruin the little holiday spirit I had managed to dredge up with a bit of tree decorating. I glanced over at Sora and found her black lipstick scowl replaced by a smirk.
"You're one to talk, disowned by your own pack." Her gaze flicked to me. "We'll have to keep a good eye on the Christmas tree, Danielle. The mongrel might decide to pee on it, given the manners he seems to lack." Her dark eyes glinted with scorn.
Derrick ran a hand through his dark blond hair, leaving it ruffled and messy. His amber eyes sparkled mischievously as he crossed his arms over his T-shirt clad chest. "Nah, I took care of that already in your closet."
Sora's expression froze for a moment, then her eyes widened. "You didn't!"
Derrick shrugged. "Guess you'll just have to see for yourself."
Snorting in disgust, Sora stalked away, her heavy black boots pounding the floor. She practically flew up the stairs, muttering who knows what curses under her breath.
I peeked over at Derrick, smugness oozing from him. "You really shouldn't goad her like that. It only makes things worse."
A small shriek sounded from the upper floor. Rolling my eyes, I frowned at Derrick's grinning face.
"She should just be glad I shifted into a dog first." He sauntered into the living room, leaving me to finish the tree.
Sighing, I picked up the box of forgotten red ornaments from the table. These kids were going to be the death of me. Six months as director of Hellsner Halfway House For Troubled Paranormal Teens and I was afraid I wouldn't make it through another six days.
With a groan of frustration, I bounded down the stairs, purely enmeshed in the thoughts in my head. But when I reached the bottom, I froze. Across the room, I caught a glimpse of the best thing to fill out a pair of skinny jeans in this realm or any other, for that matter, which made my heart come to a complete stop inside my chest.
Liam Crawford. Just thinking his name made me giddy. And in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not an exceptionally giddy person, so that’s saying a lot. I took a deep breath and willed my heart to start beating again as I straightened my new Paramore t-shirt and hurriedly yanked out the pigtails I’d put my currently jet black hair in, fluffing the strands into some form of messy organization that might pass for sexy in his eyes. It was a long shot, but at least I could say I tried.
Just in time, too, because it was at that exact moment that Liam turned around and saw me, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth, making my knees turn to rubber instantly. Regardless of that fact, I sauntered over to where he stood just outside of Danielle’s office.
His rich voice was like a velvet fingertip dancing up my spine, giving me the shivers. And it was anything but cold in the house.
“Hey, Liam.” I did my best to seem interested, yet unaffected and cool. No reason for me to visibly go all flirty on him. Just wasn’t my style. But when I looked up into his dark brown eyes, all I could think about was throwing myself at him. Repeatedly.
“What are you doing here?”
A lock of his spiky raven hair fell strategically over one eye, and I fought the urge to brush it aside. “My dad sent me to pick up a check from Miss Stewart.”
Liam’s dad owned Crawford’s Construction, which performed a lot of work around the place for Danielle. Like repainting the dining room after I sort of blew up the Christmas tree a few months ago. It’s a long story.
“Oh.” I stared down at my sneakers with the little skulls on them, silently praying that I’d think of something witty to say. But the little skulls just stared stoically back at me. Some help you guys are.
“But I also wanted to talk to you about something.”
My head snapped up so fast I might have given myself whiplash, but instead found those dark eyes regarding me intently. Whatever would you want to talk to me about, dark prince of my heart?
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Teenage fairy, Sora Starwind, is finally making her way in the mortal world. The guy of her dreams, Liam Crawford, has asked her to his school’s Spring dance, and she finally feels, well, normal. Trouble is, Liam has a secret of his own that brings with it a whole new set of complications. Not only does Sora have to worry about Liam’s friends liking her, she also has to guard his secret, and deal with the school harlot that wants Liam for her own. Add a pair of obsessed paranormals that intend to unleash more chaos than just ruining her evening and Sora finds her newfound control stretched to the brink. Can she find more answers than questions this time, so that this first dance won’t also be her last?
An endless white hallway loomed into view, opening up to reveal the rest of the school. Emergency lighting dotted the expanse in little bursts, casting the space in an eerie glow. Doorways led to other doorways in a maze that, not being a student, was entirely unfamiliar to me. But something told me that Liam was in trouble, so I squashed down my nervousness and cautiously stepped forward, my heart racing. The dull throb of the music in the gym followed me down the hall, but I could still pick out the echo of my footsteps as I walked.
With each doorway, I paused. If there was a window, I peered through the darkness. I jiggled each doorknob I found, but all the rooms appeared to be locked up tight.
“Liam.” I didn’t yell, but whispered hoarsely. It was probably a useless endeavor, but shouting would just bring too much attention. And until I knew what exactly was going on, I wanted to keep everything on the down low.
I rattled another door handle, disappointment pinging in me when I found it unyielding. Perhaps I was being foolish. Liam had said that nothing was wrong, that he would be waiting for me when I returned. Maybe I’m overreacting.
Just as I was about to give up and turn back, the next door handle turned and the door clicked open. I don’t know how many doors I’d tried, or how far I’d come, but I no longer heard the muffled music from the dance. This door had no window, so I opened it very slowly, the hairs on the back of my neck coming to full attention.
“Hello?” I swung the door wide, darkness swallowing up any hopes of seeing the interior. “Liam?”One more step and a hard shove at my back sent me stumbling wildly into the dark room. My hands shot out in front of me as I went down hard, dropping my purse. The cement floor met me with a loud crack of my hands and knees. Pain radiated through my body and I cried out. The sound of evil laughter registered in my ears as the door slammed shut, leaving me in total darkness.