Tag Archives: paranormal romance

Coming In Hot – Release Day Blitz

 

More than a boxed set, it’s an adventure!
20 New Steamy Paranormal & Contemporary Medical Romance
Tales of Shifters, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Demons, Doctors, EMTs, Nurses
and More.
 
Now Available for pre-order at #99cents for a limited time!
 
Get a dose of romance, STAT!

Featuring NYT, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors,
we’re Coming In Hot with paranormal to contemporary, and sizzling to seductive
bedside manners by the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and more in this **BRAND
NEW & EXCLUSIVE ** boxed set.
 
 

 

Don’t forget to add to your *want to read* list on Goodreads:
https://goo.gl/kDTJ5L
 
What the reviewers are saying…
 
 
 
Oh My Gosh !!! Chill your stethoscopes ladies and gents, because this bundle is Smoking !!! Hot, sexy doctors, nurses and other medical professional really know their stuff but some of them need a little push every now and then. Great set of books by some great authors! Plenty of romance and sex as well as a challenging and fulfilling career set a fast pace for love for the characters in these stories. I LOVED this boxed set!!
5 stars
 
Danna Lee
 Goodreads
 
Wow! I absolutely loved this entire boxed set! A great mix of hot and sexy shifters, vampires, doctors, nurses and more in these paranormal and contemporary romance books by some very talented authors! There were a few authors I already follow, gained some new favorites and some I will definitely be following for the future!
For the price of this boxed set you simply can’t go wrong.
5 stars
Abby Hayes
Goodreads
 
 
Coming in Hot Gif
 
 
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Enter to #‎WIN
July 15th – September 30th

Angelica Dawson's Ethereal Protector – A Wicked Halloween Blog Tour

 

Feed your paranormal cravings!
 
Halloween can’t get here soon enough! Especially when we have this tantalizing boxed set to look forward to.
A Wicked Halloween ~ 13 **BRAND NEW & EXCLUSIVE** paranormal romance tales that will thrill and chill you just in time for All Hallow’s Eve.
Preorder for only #99cent today!
 
Visit the page: A Wicked Halloween
 
 
#Nook #Kindle #iBooks #ARe #Kobo

 

#paranormal #witches #salem #pnr #romance #preorder #giveaway #limitedtime






Five Favorite Things: 

1. Being Lazy – Having no pressing appointment, no rush jobs, just sitting back and having a coffee
2. My medication – Not the happiest thing, but without it, I really wouldn’t be here.
3. My husband – When the medication doesn’t work, he does.
4. My home – It’s not as clean as it could be, and the garden and lawn are overgrown, and it needs a few renos, but really, I love my house and my neighbourhood.
5. My daughter – She drives me insane, but I would do anything for her.
 
 
 

Summer Parker has moved to Salem, into her great-grandmother’s house. Once there, she is plagued by the sensation of someone watching her. Added to that, she is having strange dreams about her ancestor, Mark Parker, who was one of Salem’s witches. Her human roommates remove most of the eeriness of her predicament, but the intangible roomie is making himself at home too. After a close call, the identity of her resident ghost is revealed. But if Geoffrey is the ghost, does that make her Mary Parker? One thing is certain, Geoffrey is as determined to protect her. WARNING: Suicide Trigger.


Although classic, the house had been
maintained and renovated over the years, so it looked quaint, but had central
heating, hot water on demand, and proper outlets in all the walls. There was
even an Ethernet outlet in the sitting room under an old writing desk that had
been converted for a keyboard tray and monitor.
“Sweet.” Summer ran her hand over the
warm brown wood, polished to shine. She had opted not to keep the cleaners,
saving a few pennies by keeping house herself. It wasn’t an option to normal
renters. The cleaning crew could alert the management company of problem
tenants before much damage could be done.
Summer shivered with a chill that was
likely the result of rain water. Her hair, where it had escaped her hood, dripped.
She shrugged off the slicker and left it with the boots, then took her tote and
suitcase up the stairs. Creaks accompanied her climbing, and that sound echoed
as well. She would have to set up a portable stereo or something. The place was
too creepy with no one in it. There were four bedrooms in total—two tiny, one
fairly large and a master suite, which she claimed.
She snorted at the thought. It had a
sink attached. Not even a toilet. Not really a suite. It was the largest
bedroom, though, and would give her somewhere to brush her teeth and fix her
hair once her roommates arrived.
Flopping on the bed, she looked up at
the plaster ceiling and saw a myriad of tiny cracks. Was that a bad thing?
Would pieces of it start falling on her? Standing on the duvet in damp socks,
she stretched to see it better.
“Ew.” They weren’t cracks but strings of
cobwebs, tons of them. She couldn’t reach, but she would be back with a broom
before sleeping. And she might not be able to sleep even then.
She would head out for food—eat out
tonight or get groceries for tomorrow—but there was one more thing to do before
that. Her tablet rested in her tote bag, and she sent a message to Mom, Aunt
Marge, and Della, her best friend from Montreal. They would all want to know
that she arrived safely, that the house was in great shape—she didn’t mention
the cobwebs, the cleaners hadn’t been in since the last renter left—and she was
excited to start class in a couple of days.
Formalities done, she looked out the
window into the grey September evening and considered ordering in pizza. It
made more sense to get groceries, though. After all, she would need breakfast
as well. Judging the rain, she wondered if it was worth waiting for it to pass.
She spun around, the overwhelming sense
of someone watching her coming from the closet. That made no sense. She opened
the doors wide, revealing a bare bar with several hangers that rattled as air
swept out.
Leaning in, Summer looked left and
right, examining the corners. Maybe it was a mouse. Nope.
She hopped down the stairs and put on
her jacket. Suddenly groceries and rain seemed better than staying where she
was. Had Aunt Marge said anything about high turnover, or infestations, or
anything? She set a quick pace and tried to recall, but nothing came to mind.
The turnover was high, but that was just because students only stayed for a few
years. Still, she would email Marge tonight.
When she returned with the groceries,
her arms aching slightly from the weight of them, the eerie feeling was gone.
Relieved, she took her time putting away milk, bread, cereal, and everything
else. The deli sandwich came last and she took her time eating it.
Climbing the stairs, she yawned. It had
been a long trip and she hoped for a less grey day tomorrow.
When she was curling up in bed, the
sensation of being watched returned. “Who’s there?” she asked, feeling stupid.
Who was going to answer her?
There was no reply, but her bedroom door
squeaked on its hinge, swinging in slightly. She closed her eyes and told
herself it was her imagination. One thing was certain, she would be thrilled
when her roommates arrived. This place was too empty, just like the large bed,
filled with only herself.

 

 

Angelica Dawson, bestselling Naughty Nights Press author, has been writing for several years and having sex a lot longer than that. Angelica is a wife, mother and environmental consultant. Her love of plants and the outdoors is not diminished by the bloodsucking hoards — mosquitoes and black flies, not vampires.

 
*´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•
Enter to #‎WIN
 
 
Come to the party!
 

Angelica Dawson’s Ethereal Protector – A Wicked Halloween Blog Tour

 

Feed your paranormal cravings!
 
Halloween can’t get here soon enough! Especially when we have this tantalizing boxed set to look forward to.
A Wicked Halloween ~ 13 **BRAND NEW & EXCLUSIVE** paranormal romance tales that will thrill and chill you just in time for All Hallow’s Eve.
Preorder for only #99cent today!
 
Visit the page: A Wicked Halloween
 
 
#Nook #Kindle #iBooks #ARe #Kobo

 

#paranormal #witches #salem #pnr #romance #preorder #giveaway #limitedtime






Five Favorite Things: 

1. Being Lazy – Having no pressing appointment, no rush jobs, just sitting back and having a coffee
2. My medication – Not the happiest thing, but without it, I really wouldn’t be here.
3. My husband – When the medication doesn’t work, he does.
4. My home – It’s not as clean as it could be, and the garden and lawn are overgrown, and it needs a few renos, but really, I love my house and my neighbourhood.
5. My daughter – She drives me insane, but I would do anything for her.
 
 
 

Summer Parker has moved to Salem, into her great-grandmother’s house. Once there, she is plagued by the sensation of someone watching her. Added to that, she is having strange dreams about her ancestor, Mark Parker, who was one of Salem’s witches. Her human roommates remove most of the eeriness of her predicament, but the intangible roomie is making himself at home too. After a close call, the identity of her resident ghost is revealed. But if Geoffrey is the ghost, does that make her Mary Parker? One thing is certain, Geoffrey is as determined to protect her. WARNING: Suicide Trigger.


Although classic, the house had been
maintained and renovated over the years, so it looked quaint, but had central
heating, hot water on demand, and proper outlets in all the walls. There was
even an Ethernet outlet in the sitting room under an old writing desk that had
been converted for a keyboard tray and monitor.
“Sweet.” Summer ran her hand over the
warm brown wood, polished to shine. She had opted not to keep the cleaners,
saving a few pennies by keeping house herself. It wasn’t an option to normal
renters. The cleaning crew could alert the management company of problem
tenants before much damage could be done.
Summer shivered with a chill that was
likely the result of rain water. Her hair, where it had escaped her hood, dripped.
She shrugged off the slicker and left it with the boots, then took her tote and
suitcase up the stairs. Creaks accompanied her climbing, and that sound echoed
as well. She would have to set up a portable stereo or something. The place was
too creepy with no one in it. There were four bedrooms in total—two tiny, one
fairly large and a master suite, which she claimed.
She snorted at the thought. It had a
sink attached. Not even a toilet. Not really a suite. It was the largest
bedroom, though, and would give her somewhere to brush her teeth and fix her
hair once her roommates arrived.
Flopping on the bed, she looked up at
the plaster ceiling and saw a myriad of tiny cracks. Was that a bad thing?
Would pieces of it start falling on her? Standing on the duvet in damp socks,
she stretched to see it better.
“Ew.” They weren’t cracks but strings of
cobwebs, tons of them. She couldn’t reach, but she would be back with a broom
before sleeping. And she might not be able to sleep even then.
She would head out for food—eat out
tonight or get groceries for tomorrow—but there was one more thing to do before
that. Her tablet rested in her tote bag, and she sent a message to Mom, Aunt
Marge, and Della, her best friend from Montreal. They would all want to know
that she arrived safely, that the house was in great shape—she didn’t mention
the cobwebs, the cleaners hadn’t been in since the last renter left—and she was
excited to start class in a couple of days.
Formalities done, she looked out the
window into the grey September evening and considered ordering in pizza. It
made more sense to get groceries, though. After all, she would need breakfast
as well. Judging the rain, she wondered if it was worth waiting for it to pass.
She spun around, the overwhelming sense
of someone watching her coming from the closet. That made no sense. She opened
the doors wide, revealing a bare bar with several hangers that rattled as air
swept out.
Leaning in, Summer looked left and
right, examining the corners. Maybe it was a mouse. Nope.
She hopped down the stairs and put on
her jacket. Suddenly groceries and rain seemed better than staying where she
was. Had Aunt Marge said anything about high turnover, or infestations, or
anything? She set a quick pace and tried to recall, but nothing came to mind.
The turnover was high, but that was just because students only stayed for a few
years. Still, she would email Marge tonight.
When she returned with the groceries,
her arms aching slightly from the weight of them, the eerie feeling was gone.
Relieved, she took her time putting away milk, bread, cereal, and everything
else. The deli sandwich came last and she took her time eating it.
Climbing the stairs, she yawned. It had
been a long trip and she hoped for a less grey day tomorrow.
When she was curling up in bed, the
sensation of being watched returned. “Who’s there?” she asked, feeling stupid.
Who was going to answer her?
There was no reply, but her bedroom door
squeaked on its hinge, swinging in slightly. She closed her eyes and told
herself it was her imagination. One thing was certain, she would be thrilled
when her roommates arrived. This place was too empty, just like the large bed,
filled with only herself.

 

 

Angelica Dawson, bestselling Naughty Nights Press author, has been writing for several years and having sex a lot longer than that. Angelica is a wife, mother and environmental consultant. Her love of plants and the outdoors is not diminished by the bloodsucking hoards — mosquitoes and black flies, not vampires.

 
*´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•
Enter to #‎WIN
 
 
Come to the party!
 

Debbie Herbert on Autism – Interview Question

AUTHOR INTERVIEW(1)

Chelsea Clemmons Moye, Interviewer: As you know, I’m an avid reader of your books, both through Harlequin and your independently published works. Many of them feature characters who have Autism, as well as their caregivers. Your books are ambassadors for Autism Awareness, in and of themselves. Can you share with me and my readers why Autism is such a near and dear subject to you?

Debbie Herbert, Author: My oldest son is on the severe end of the autism spectrum. Even though I never plan on it in my book outlines, characters with this challenge will just walk into the scene and demand to be heard. I suspect because this is a cause that is so near to my heart and a presence in my life. To me, writing is a magical process. You can never predict what the subconscious will bring forth through your characters.

Check out Debbie’s website and her books HERE.


Gwen Knight’s A Touch of Soul – A Wicked Halloween Blog Tour

 

Feed your paranormal cravings!
 
Halloween can’t get here soon enough! Especially when we
have this tantalizing boxed set to look forward to.
A Wicked Halloween ~ 13 **BRAND NEW & EXCLUSIVE**
paranormal romance tales that will thrill and chill you just in time for All
Hallow’s Eve.
Preorder for only #99cent today!
 
Visit the page: A Wicked Halloween
 
 
#Nook #Kindle #iBooks #ARe #Kobo

 

#paranormal #witches #salem #pnr #romance #preorder
#giveaway #limitedtime






Gwen Knight’s top 5 favorite things, in no specific order lol!:
1. Candy
2. Crocheting
3. Reading
4. Her Puppy
5. Her Husband
 
 
 
She speaks with the dead.
He was cursed by them.

Four hundred years ago, a coven of dead witches stripped Caleb Jensen of his soul. Now, his only hope is to convince local necromancer, Autumn Kane, to track down and restore it before his eternal hunger consumes him. Beautiful, powerful, and confident, Autumn is more than Caleb bargained for.Except, Autumn has problems of her own. The dead are crying for help. A serial killer has begun targeting the young brides of Salem, and she is the only one who can save them. She has no time to break the curse on this rakish man who steals her breath. Everything about him unsettles her, from his dark nature to his wicked allure. He’s no knight in shining armor.

But maybe it’s time for a little evil in her life.

 


Just breathe.
Autumn stood outside the Hawthorne Hotel and shivered when a brisk, fall wind chased up her bare back. This certainly wasn’t how she’d imagined the beginning of her night. She’d barely stepped foot out of her car and people were already staring. For a moment, she debated her decision to attend stag. After she’d hung up the phone, she’d dressed and left for the party, too angry to wait for Riley and Lexi. Unfortunately, that meant there was no buffer between her and the gawkers.
A delicate chime came from the clutch she held under her arm. The third message her sister had sent her in the past fifteen minutes, not that she cared. If she intended to work tonight, she needed a clear mind, sans Riley. With a deep breath, Autumn smoothed down the front of her dress, ignoring that her fingers brushed flesh where a plunging neckline artfully draped down to her navel. Certainly not the impression she’d intended to make. At least now she knew never to trust her sister with her wardrobe again.
Now or never, she assured herself.
The doors opened, and from within came the heavy beat of music. Seemed as though the party was already well under way.
Autumn slipped into the ballroom and paused to take it in. Every year the Festival of the Dead put on a ball. This year’s theme was a masquerade, and they’d decorated accordingly. The center of the room had been cleared for the dance floor, and the tables were adorned with black fabric and grotesque centerpieces, all in the name of Halloween. Ochre lights hung from the ceiling and glimmered against the painted walls. They always outdid themselves.
She perused the crowd, watching as they moved in sync to the music, their faces hidden by a series of beautiful masks. Wonderment filled her stomach when she realized she didn’t recognize anyone. The knowledge filled her with courage. They’d know her eventually when they sought her out to summon the dead. But for now, it seemed she could enjoy the anonymity.
A few turned to watch as she entered, but she brushed their attentiveness aside and instead started toward the hors d’œuvres. She couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of the Halloween-themed snacks from pumpkin cheese balls to monster cookies.
“Quite the selection,” a voice murmured next to her.
Autumn glanced up with a polite smile. Her gaze tracked up a lean length, taking note of the pristine suit that boasted a muscular physique, but it wasn’t until she caught sight of his startling green gaze shining out from behind a golden mask that she gasped.
Him.
Hell, she’d dreamed of those eyes all night, watching her from amidst the shadows. She took a closer look, her heart sputtering against her chest when she recognized Sadie’s soul. Her hip slammed into the table when she staggered backward.
“Shh, easy now,” he murmured, his hand gripping her elbow and steadying her.
Autumn flicked a glance around the room, noting Dawson and her ex-husband patrolling the far side of the room.
His fingers tensed around her elbow. “Don’t be frightened.”
“You.”
“Me,” he said, nodding.
“I thought you were detained.”
“Funny how the law works. Turns out they can’t detain you when you’re innocent.”
She blinked up at him, startled by the handsome sight. Who the hell was this man? Then his words clicked. “What?”
“I said, I’m innocent. They can’t detain me if I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“You ate Sadie!” she exclaimed, wincing when her voice rose above the music.
His face twisted into a grimace. “Wow. That sounded…”
“Sorry,” she mumbled. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“For the record, I am not a serial killer.”
“No, just a soul-eater.”
He paused, shock widening his eyes as though he hadn’t expected her to put two and two together.
“Necromancer, remember? Did you think I wouldn’t know what you are?”
“I hadn’t given it much thought, truthfully.” He regarded her, his gaze unflinching. “I assure you, though, I’m not here to cause any trouble.”
Autumn’s attention dropped to his mouth, mesmerized by the enticing curve of his lips and his strong jawline. He shot her a smile, as though he knew the direction her thoughts had taken. Clearing her throat, she returned to the conversation. “I doubt that. I have a feeling you cause trouble wherever you go.”
“Ah, guilty,” he teased. “Life is too short to play by the rules.” He canted his head with a wide grin. “Well, too short for most.”
“But not you,” she said.
Autumn knew a little about his kind. Her father had come across one many years ago. She’d been thirteen at the time, so he hadn’t been willing to offer many details. The man had massacred multiple families before her father had managed to contain and destroy him. A soul-eater, her father had said, a creature so evil it fed off the souls of the living as a means of living an eternal life.
Her brow furrowed as she studied the man in front of him. Was he the same as the other? “Did you not notice all the police here tonight?”
That sinful mouth crooked. “Of course I did. Did you not notice my mask?”
Oh, she had. How could she have missed it? As though he wasn’t enigmatic enough, the ebony threads woven up into a beautiful leaf added a mysterious appeal. He’d darkened his skin beneath the mask, highlighting his emerald gaze.
He braved a step closer, and Autumn’s heart skipped a beat. She wanted to believe it was the primal rush of fear that had her pulse going, but if it were, she would have made for the nearest police officer. Instead, she tipped her head back and watched as he closed the distance between them.
“Dance with me.” Not a question, but a demand.
Autumn blinked. “What? You’re insane.”
“Possibly. But insane would be not asking you to dance.” He leaned in toward her. “You look so beautiful tonight.”
His words warmed her stomach, but still, she narrowed her eyes. “As opposed to every other night?”
Most men might have balked at such a response, but this one merely tilted his head as the corners of his mouth pulled up in amusement. “I don’t know, yet. Ask me again tomorrow.”
Autumn couldn’t help but chuckle. “A smooth talker, I see.”
“The original smooth talker,” he assured her. “Now, about that dance?”
Before she could protest, his hand ghosted up the length of her back, and he led her out onto the dance floor. Autumn’s breath caught as they moved, the rich scent of his cologne teasing her nose. She should have been afraid, especially after last night, but for some reason, she was more nervous than anything else. She was safe here with half the city’s police force on patrol. Not that she was looking at them. She could barely tear her eyes away from her dance partner.
“Shall we?” He turned toward her and offered his other hand, brow arched as though daring her to resist.
“On one condition.”
His other brow rose.
“Your name.”
A smooth chuckle rose to her ears. “Ah. Forgive me. Here I thought your police friend would have told you everything about me.”
She shook her head.
“Caleb Jensen,” he said after inclining his head in an old gesture she’d only seen in the movies. He stepped up flush against her and wound an arm around her waist. “And you, my dear, are Autumn Kane, necromancer extraordinaire.”
Her breath caught the moment his fingers grazed the small of her back, as though his touch awakened her entire body. She cast a demure smile, then slid her hand in his and gazed up at him from under her lashes. “Am I supposed to be impressed that you know about me?”
“Hardly.” On the next beat, they started to dance.
He moved with singular purpose, and their bodies harmonized as he led them around the room.
“How did you know I’d be here?”
He eased her out into a gentle spin before guiding her back into his chest. His head bent low, his breath brushing against the shell of her ear. “Amazing the things one can learn from the Internet.”
Autumn’s eyes fluttered shut, her heart hammering in her chest as she inhaled his scent. “You realize you’re stalking me, right?”
“I like to think of it more as studying an investment.” He leaned back and draped her body against his side, bracing her weight without breaking stride. “As I tried to tell you last night, I require your help.”
“With what?”
He tsked her, then spun her once more before leading her through the room. “Can’t we finish our dance before discussing business?”
Yes, please. The man certainly knew his way around the dance floor, and though surprising, she was enjoying herself. The feel of his body shifting against her, of his hand warm against her skin as he led her in circles. The logical part of her brain scolded her, told her she shouldn’t be enjoying this. The man had practically abducted her the night before. But the darker half of her soul yearned for this, to come alive beneath someone’s touch again.
A frightening notion that almost had her running home.
This was not the one to come alive for. He’d snatched her off the streets and dragged her into an empty house. He’d devoured Sadie’s soul. He’s the villain, her head screamed at her.
He brushed a hand through her hair and down her jaw. “Keep dancing with me, Autumn.”
Holding his gaze, she nodded.
She’d done the whole white knight in shining armor thing. Hell, once upon a time, she’d married a police officer, and it had been disastrous. Maybe it was time for a little evil in her life.
 
 
Gwen Knight is a Canadian girl currently living in Edmonton, AB. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a degree in Archaeology and Geography. Her interests consist of playing in the dirt, designing elaborate snow forts, boating, and archery.
Links:

 

 

 
*´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•
Enter to #‎WIN
 
 
Come to the party!

Gwen Knight's A Touch of Soul – A Wicked Halloween Blog Tour

 

Feed your paranormal cravings!
 
Halloween can’t get here soon enough! Especially when we
have this tantalizing boxed set to look forward to.
A Wicked Halloween ~ 13 **BRAND NEW & EXCLUSIVE**
paranormal romance tales that will thrill and chill you just in time for All
Hallow’s Eve.
Preorder for only #99cent today!
 
Visit the page: A Wicked Halloween
 
 
#Nook #Kindle #iBooks #ARe #Kobo

 

#paranormal #witches #salem #pnr #romance #preorder
#giveaway #limitedtime






Gwen Knight’s top 5 favorite things, in no specific order lol!:
1. Candy
2. Crocheting
3. Reading
4. Her Puppy
5. Her Husband
 
 
 
She speaks with the dead.
He was cursed by them.

Four hundred years ago, a coven of dead witches stripped Caleb Jensen of his soul. Now, his only hope is to convince local necromancer, Autumn Kane, to track down and restore it before his eternal hunger consumes him. Beautiful, powerful, and confident, Autumn is more than Caleb bargained for.Except, Autumn has problems of her own. The dead are crying for help. A serial killer has begun targeting the young brides of Salem, and she is the only one who can save them. She has no time to break the curse on this rakish man who steals her breath. Everything about him unsettles her, from his dark nature to his wicked allure. He’s no knight in shining armor.

But maybe it’s time for a little evil in her life.

 


Just breathe.
Autumn stood outside the Hawthorne Hotel and shivered when a brisk, fall wind chased up her bare back. This certainly wasn’t how she’d imagined the beginning of her night. She’d barely stepped foot out of her car and people were already staring. For a moment, she debated her decision to attend stag. After she’d hung up the phone, she’d dressed and left for the party, too angry to wait for Riley and Lexi. Unfortunately, that meant there was no buffer between her and the gawkers.
A delicate chime came from the clutch she held under her arm. The third message her sister had sent her in the past fifteen minutes, not that she cared. If she intended to work tonight, she needed a clear mind, sans Riley. With a deep breath, Autumn smoothed down the front of her dress, ignoring that her fingers brushed flesh where a plunging neckline artfully draped down to her navel. Certainly not the impression she’d intended to make. At least now she knew never to trust her sister with her wardrobe again.
Now or never, she assured herself.
The doors opened, and from within came the heavy beat of music. Seemed as though the party was already well under way.
Autumn slipped into the ballroom and paused to take it in. Every year the Festival of the Dead put on a ball. This year’s theme was a masquerade, and they’d decorated accordingly. The center of the room had been cleared for the dance floor, and the tables were adorned with black fabric and grotesque centerpieces, all in the name of Halloween. Ochre lights hung from the ceiling and glimmered against the painted walls. They always outdid themselves.
She perused the crowd, watching as they moved in sync to the music, their faces hidden by a series of beautiful masks. Wonderment filled her stomach when she realized she didn’t recognize anyone. The knowledge filled her with courage. They’d know her eventually when they sought her out to summon the dead. But for now, it seemed she could enjoy the anonymity.
A few turned to watch as she entered, but she brushed their attentiveness aside and instead started toward the hors d’œuvres. She couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of the Halloween-themed snacks from pumpkin cheese balls to monster cookies.
“Quite the selection,” a voice murmured next to her.
Autumn glanced up with a polite smile. Her gaze tracked up a lean length, taking note of the pristine suit that boasted a muscular physique, but it wasn’t until she caught sight of his startling green gaze shining out from behind a golden mask that she gasped.
Him.
Hell, she’d dreamed of those eyes all night, watching her from amidst the shadows. She took a closer look, her heart sputtering against her chest when she recognized Sadie’s soul. Her hip slammed into the table when she staggered backward.
“Shh, easy now,” he murmured, his hand gripping her elbow and steadying her.
Autumn flicked a glance around the room, noting Dawson and her ex-husband patrolling the far side of the room.
His fingers tensed around her elbow. “Don’t be frightened.”
“You.”
“Me,” he said, nodding.
“I thought you were detained.”
“Funny how the law works. Turns out they can’t detain you when you’re innocent.”
She blinked up at him, startled by the handsome sight. Who the hell was this man? Then his words clicked. “What?”
“I said, I’m innocent. They can’t detain me if I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“You ate Sadie!” she exclaimed, wincing when her voice rose above the music.
His face twisted into a grimace. “Wow. That sounded…”
“Sorry,” she mumbled. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“For the record, I am not a serial killer.”
“No, just a soul-eater.”
He paused, shock widening his eyes as though he hadn’t expected her to put two and two together.
“Necromancer, remember? Did you think I wouldn’t know what you are?”
“I hadn’t given it much thought, truthfully.” He regarded her, his gaze unflinching. “I assure you, though, I’m not here to cause any trouble.”
Autumn’s attention dropped to his mouth, mesmerized by the enticing curve of his lips and his strong jawline. He shot her a smile, as though he knew the direction her thoughts had taken. Clearing her throat, she returned to the conversation. “I doubt that. I have a feeling you cause trouble wherever you go.”
“Ah, guilty,” he teased. “Life is too short to play by the rules.” He canted his head with a wide grin. “Well, too short for most.”
“But not you,” she said.
Autumn knew a little about his kind. Her father had come across one many years ago. She’d been thirteen at the time, so he hadn’t been willing to offer many details. The man had massacred multiple families before her father had managed to contain and destroy him. A soul-eater, her father had said, a creature so evil it fed off the souls of the living as a means of living an eternal life.
Her brow furrowed as she studied the man in front of him. Was he the same as the other? “Did you not notice all the police here tonight?”
That sinful mouth crooked. “Of course I did. Did you not notice my mask?”
Oh, she had. How could she have missed it? As though he wasn’t enigmatic enough, the ebony threads woven up into a beautiful leaf added a mysterious appeal. He’d darkened his skin beneath the mask, highlighting his emerald gaze.
He braved a step closer, and Autumn’s heart skipped a beat. She wanted to believe it was the primal rush of fear that had her pulse going, but if it were, she would have made for the nearest police officer. Instead, she tipped her head back and watched as he closed the distance between them.
“Dance with me.” Not a question, but a demand.
Autumn blinked. “What? You’re insane.”
“Possibly. But insane would be not asking you to dance.” He leaned in toward her. “You look so beautiful tonight.”
His words warmed her stomach, but still, she narrowed her eyes. “As opposed to every other night?”
Most men might have balked at such a response, but this one merely tilted his head as the corners of his mouth pulled up in amusement. “I don’t know, yet. Ask me again tomorrow.”
Autumn couldn’t help but chuckle. “A smooth talker, I see.”
“The original smooth talker,” he assured her. “Now, about that dance?”
Before she could protest, his hand ghosted up the length of her back, and he led her out onto the dance floor. Autumn’s breath caught as they moved, the rich scent of his cologne teasing her nose. She should have been afraid, especially after last night, but for some reason, she was more nervous than anything else. She was safe here with half the city’s police force on patrol. Not that she was looking at them. She could barely tear her eyes away from her dance partner.
“Shall we?” He turned toward her and offered his other hand, brow arched as though daring her to resist.
“On one condition.”
His other brow rose.
“Your name.”
A smooth chuckle rose to her ears. “Ah. Forgive me. Here I thought your police friend would have told you everything about me.”
She shook her head.
“Caleb Jensen,” he said after inclining his head in an old gesture she’d only seen in the movies. He stepped up flush against her and wound an arm around her waist. “And you, my dear, are Autumn Kane, necromancer extraordinaire.”
Her breath caught the moment his fingers grazed the small of her back, as though his touch awakened her entire body. She cast a demure smile, then slid her hand in his and gazed up at him from under her lashes. “Am I supposed to be impressed that you know about me?”
“Hardly.” On the next beat, they started to dance.
He moved with singular purpose, and their bodies harmonized as he led them around the room.
“How did you know I’d be here?”
He eased her out into a gentle spin before guiding her back into his chest. His head bent low, his breath brushing against the shell of her ear. “Amazing the things one can learn from the Internet.”
Autumn’s eyes fluttered shut, her heart hammering in her chest as she inhaled his scent. “You realize you’re stalking me, right?”
“I like to think of it more as studying an investment.” He leaned back and draped her body against his side, bracing her weight without breaking stride. “As I tried to tell you last night, I require your help.”
“With what?”
He tsked her, then spun her once more before leading her through the room. “Can’t we finish our dance before discussing business?”
Yes, please. The man certainly knew his way around the dance floor, and though surprising, she was enjoying herself. The feel of his body shifting against her, of his hand warm against her skin as he led her in circles. The logical part of her brain scolded her, told her she shouldn’t be enjoying this. The man had practically abducted her the night before. But the darker half of her soul yearned for this, to come alive beneath someone’s touch again.
A frightening notion that almost had her running home.
This was not the one to come alive for. He’d snatched her off the streets and dragged her into an empty house. He’d devoured Sadie’s soul. He’s the villain, her head screamed at her.
He brushed a hand through her hair and down her jaw. “Keep dancing with me, Autumn.”
Holding his gaze, she nodded.
She’d done the whole white knight in shining armor thing. Hell, once upon a time, she’d married a police officer, and it had been disastrous. Maybe it was time for a little evil in her life.
 
 
Gwen Knight is a Canadian girl currently living in Edmonton, AB. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a degree in Archaeology and Geography. Her interests consist of playing in the dirt, designing elaborate snow forts, boating, and archery.
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