Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Books to curl up with: good Tuesday everyone

Books to curl up with: good Tuesday everyone: Good Tuesday morning everyone , I hope your week is going well and you are all reading something good . Today we are going to review PERFECT...

good Tuesday everyone

Good Tuesday morning everyone , I hope your week is going well and you are all reading something good . Today we are going to review PERFECT LITTLE ANGELS by Andrew Neiderman


                         BOOK BLURB
From the bestselling author of THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE.

"A master of psychological thrillers!"—VC Andrews

A picture perfect town holds a chilling secret.

Justine Freeman and her parents move to Elysian Fields to start anew, and the picturesque town seems the perfect place to do so. In fact, their new neighborhood seems too good to be true. Their neighbors are all polite and helpful, and the streets are eerily clean. Even the teenagers of Elysian Field are perfect. They don’t drink, they don’t smoke, and they are polite to their elders to a fault.

But Justine is a more typical teenager, and while the new girl in town hasn’t yet learned how to behave like the teenagers of Elysian Fields, she will. Because in Elysian Fields, there are so many ways—horribly effective ways—to turn disobedient children into Perfect Little Angels

                     MY REVIEW
     Welcome to Elysian Field , the quaint little town where everything and everyone is perfect. The teenagers are non drinking , non smoking and perfect in every way. Justine and her parents are invited to move from New York. At first glance the town is idle and are so happy to be there. But as time goes on things aren't what they seem . How one man and his ideals of how the children should be. He had terrible and very effective ways to turn the teenagers into perfect little angels
   The author tells this story from two points of view . The first is from Eugene , the son of Dr. Lawerence. He has been long suffering test subject for his father. He is a little crazy and shows it through out . He has been molested by a sick nurse and is a lab rat for his father . At first you are a little scared of him and want to know what the heck is wrong with him. But as you read you start to really feel for him an the torture he has gone through and the pain and agony.
 The second point of view is Justine's the new girl in town. Her parents and her have moved from New York and she just doesn't know what is going on. The kids are acting like stepford children . They don't do anything for fun and she can't understand why. Until she meets the doctor and start taking the vitamins . She starts to feel different and forgetting everything she likes , like her music. As she figures out what is happening she just goes along with it. She fricken drove me crazy . She was like oh if I tell my mom and dad , they will understand and fix it . Well guess what kind of hard to fix something when they are under the influence . I kind of just wanted to slap some sense into her. I mean lets not do something ourselves lets just tell our parents who in turn are going to the well basically cult leader. So what is a girl to do.
     The book was a good read for me , I especially loved Eugene's story the most . I don't think I would of enjoyed as much as I did without Eugene's part. Justine and the stepford children were ok. They got a little boring after awhile.  The way they acted was getting a little tiring and just a bit annoying . The grimace on the face of the character when he touched a boob was actually so funny. Then he was punished by burning his hand on the hot car engine. Was like wth ok then . The Eugene parts are really messed up and I just want you to be prepared . Trust me you will never look at
vitamins the same way again, or the color blue .
  Over all I really did like reading this book, it was a good read that could be read in an afternoon by the pool. So if you want a good read about a crazy doctor , the Stepford children and one girls struggle to figure out whats going on . Check it .

Monday, July 27, 2015

Books to curl up with: good Monday every one

Books to curl up with: good Monday every one: Good Monday morning all , hope you all had a great weekend. Today we are reviewing STAY  by Emily Goodwin                             BOOK...

good Monday every one

Good Monday morning all , hope you all had a great weekend. Today we are reviewing STAY  by Emily Goodwin
 
                          BOOK BLURB
**Trigger Warning: This book is dark. It contains rape, abuse, sexual assault, violence, and strong language. This book is not suitable for readers easily offended by realistic tellings of human trafficking, those that do not wish to read about hard topics, or readers under the age of 18. If you want a feel-good, sexy read, this is NOT the book for you. Stay does not fit neatly into one genre. It’s part erotica, part dark romance, and part suspense thriller. It is a dark, gritty, and harrowing tale about finding love in the darkest of places. Read at your own risk. **

"I felt like I was walking to the end of a plank precariously hanging over shark-infested water. When I jumped, sharp teeth would rip into me and the cold water would steal my breath away. The monsters would take everything from me, leaving me shivering and naked in the water. The only difference was that tonight I would be pulled from the icy darkness and forced to do it again. There would be no release from death, only pain.”

Home after her first year of college, Adeline Miller is looking forward to a stress free summer filled with reading, working on her blog, and spending time with friends. But all that changes in an instant when she is witness to something terrible, something she wasn't supposed to see.

Beaten, drugged, kidnapped.

Adeline Miller is ripped from her innocent and carefree life and thrust into darkness, into a world full of pain and horror. As a sex slave, she is forced to do horrible things, and have horrible things done to her. One of her captors has a past as dark as the world she is now living in. Will getting close to him mean freedom? Or will he pull her deeper into the shadows?

*STAY is a full length novel at 100,000+ words
*It does NOT end with a cliffhanger
*There are 4766 locations on your kindle. Stay ends at location 4541 and a 5,000 word sample of ALL I NEED, a companion novel to STAY begins

                         MY REVIEW
  I have be mulling over this review for awhile . I bought this book and was so excited to read it . It was suppose to be up there with the likes of Pepper Winters and Pam Godwin. So the fan girl in me went woooohooooo.
   The author takes into the world of human trafficking and the sex slave underworld . Where an innocent woman . Addie is kidnapped for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is taken and beaten . Then is put to work as a sex slave , used in so many different ways . She becomes close to Jackson, another captive . But will there closeness be the end of the or will they escape .
   The characters in this book are vast and range from Addie , the girl who wants to fight back and wants to get out . She doesn't stop trying to escape . To the other girls that have come to realize that they are stuck and not going anywhere. Jackson is the soft but strong guy that becomes the rock that Addie needed and wanted . Zane was one of the bad guys but to me he just wasn't evil enough, there were times where I felt he just wasn't in to it . I honestly thought that Zane would turn around and end up doing the right thing and rescue everyone . Over all the characters were written well and complex .
    This is the first book I have read from this author. Over it was a good raw story. The characters were all broken and you wanted to help them out. You wanted to scream and save everyone. The author started out well as I read the story . It started to fall away , I felt that I read this story somewhere before. The characters started to sound to similar to others that I have read . They almost just felt like they were there to fill the story and some of them really didn't do anything . I honestly tried to really like this story, but I just couldn't really get into it . The story line was good and the first part kept me turning pages . About half way through the book it just well fell away . There were still some good creepy scenes but the rest seemed like filler .  I was happy that it wasn't a cliff hanger and the main characters did get their HEA.
  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Books to curl up with: Good Thursday everyone

Books to curl up with: Good Thursday everyone: Wohoooo welcome to Thursday Today we are going to review SPARE CHANGE the memory house collection by Betty Lee Crosby                      ...

Good Thursday everyone

Wohoooo welcome to Thursday Today we are going to review SPARE CHANGE the memory house collection by Betty Lee Crosby
                        
                       BOOK BLURB
FROM A USA TODAY AUTHOR OF WOMEN’S FICTION BEST SELLERS comes an Award-Winning 20th Century Historical Mystery!

In a family saga now available on Kindle, Spare Change has been compared to John Grisham’s The Client. Eleven year-old Ethan Allen Doyle has witnessed a brutal murder and now the boy is running for his life. In the time-tested tradition of Southern Fiction novels, Crosby unveils the darkest side of human nature and then rewards her readers with this beautiful tale of love, loss and unexpected gifts.

Olivia Westerly is the only person Ethan Allen can trust, and he’s not too sure he can trust her. She’s got no love of children and a truckload of superstitions—one of them is the belief that eleven is the unluckiest number on earth.

Psychological fiction that will keep you turning the pages.

A Memory House Collection Novel and five-time literary award winner. Awards include the Reviewer's Choice Award, The Royal Palm Literary Award, The FPA President's Book Award Silver Medal.

                                MY REVIEW
 Welcome to the story of Olivia Westerly and Ethan Allen , Two people connected but yet so far apart . They have only each other that they can trust and count on but can they really . The y have to figure out who is trying to kill the young lad and she needs to protect him at all costs .

     The author tells the tale from both Ethan and Olivia's points of view . Ethan is a young boy that has been through hell and back. He watched his father kill his mof heother and then his mother's boyfriend kill his father . He is only eleven years old and on the run, The only person that he hopes can help him. Is his grandfather , who is married to Olivia Westerly . Who up until this moment has dodged marriage and children . She thinks that a child would just weight you down . She also thinks that the number eleven is cursed. She met the love of her life in Charlie Doyle and then on their honeymoon tragedy strikes leaving Olivia a widow. That's when Ethan finds her and needs her protection . I actually really liked these characters and all the quirks and foibles that each of them have . Olivia's detest of children at first and Ethan wanting to be loved and safe. They start to bond and trust each other as you read through the book . Its not easy for either of them but there is a cast of supporting characters that help them along the way. The bad guy chasing them is actually really evil he wants Ethan to die cause he is scared that Ethan will turn him in. But he does get his in the end . Which honestly I did kind of cheer . Trust me as you start reading and find out about Ethan, you will want to hug him and take care of him. Basically treat him like your own little boy. Olivia on the hand you will giggle at some of her foibles and her aversion to children. Then you want to hug her .

    When I started reading this book , I did find it a bit confusing until I realized that the author was writing in two different points of view. Then I realize what was going on . I really got into the book.
She took us on a ride full of twists and turns . There is a underlying Christian message of goodness and mercy for each other. I found it to be very entertaining and a great read for the summer . You will laugh cry and cheer as you read this book . You will wonder where the time went and fall in love . So if you want a non typical read . Take a look at Spare change

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Books to curl up with: Good Tuesday all

Books to curl up with: Good Tuesday all: Good Tuesday morning all . I hope you are having a great week today we are going to review WHEN SMILES FADE by Paige Dearth               ...

Good Tuesday all

Good Tuesday morning all . I hope you are having a great week today we are going to review WHEN SMILES FADE by Paige Dearth

                        BOOK BLURB
Emma was unloved from the moment she was born. Her earliest memory is being severely beaten by her father, Pepper Murphy, when she was just eight-years-old. Seething with resentment over the sacrifice of his dreams for a woman he cares little about and children he never wanted, Pepper chooses to blame his older daughter. Her mother, Valerie, makes matters worse with her verbal abuse, leaving Emma isolated with a man that had no boundaries in punishing his daughter, taking his abuse to unimaginable levels.

Emma’s father’s coldblooded beatings and the ultimate abuse to which he subjects her, lays the foundation of the person she becomes. As she matures into a resourceful teenager, she is unwilling and unable to stifle her desire for revenge. Reaching her breaking point she can no longer control the impulse to fight back and finally takes matters into her own hands.

Having learned the art of hatred from her father and the mastery of manipulation from her mother, young Emma now sets out to make a better life for herself, leaving the memory of the abused child she had once been behind her. Hardened by the heartless brutality she encounters and the dangerous situations she must overcome in the course of her journey, she faces every challenge that comes her way in her quest for a normal life for herself and for those she loves.

Finally a person emerges from within that guides her toward a better life until she learns of a secret that sets her on the path of ultimate redemption.

                           MY REVIEW
    This is the third book I have read by this fabulous author. Meet Emma a young girl who is unloved and unwanted by her father and mother. She is beaten on a daily basis by her father. She protects her sister until the day that they can't take it any more and takes off. They are onto to a better life but with lots of twists and turns , she faces all her challenges head on and creates a life for her and her sister. She is trapped again by a cruel boyfriend that does the unthinkable and when she thinks life is at it worse . A saviour steps in and saves her and her niece and shows Emma that there is a better life out there and sets her on the path of redemption.
  This book will break your heart . I have never cried so much in all of my reading . Paige is such a gritty realistic writer . Her stories will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Her characters as so broken on the inside but they also have such a resilient heart and courage . Their stories so horrific but you know you will want to cheer for them and love them. The ugly truth comes to rear its ugly head in this book.
     Emma and Grace are the epitome of what child abuse is. Emma takes all the punishment that her father can dish to protect her sister. She will do anything to make sure that her sister is left alone. You see her change as the story continues , she changes from a victim to a fighter and boy does she fight .
The you see her fall in love and get a better life that she is entitled to. Along the way she meets and falls in love with Salvatoire the son of a mafia crime boss . He shows her that everyone isn't as bad as she thinks they are . He gives her a better life and shows her what love is  He is a type of man that no one can say no to . He has an air of confidence around him . But he also a man in love that also has a terrible secret that he is hiding. But together they are like any other couple and family. These characters actually make and appearance in the other books. There is a great cast of supporting characters that all come to help Emma.
    When I sat down to start this book , I wasn't ready for all the emotion that it would bring out in me .  The grittiness of the way the story is told , will tear at your heart strings . We all know that there is evil out in the world and that abuse goes on every day . We are transported to the place where we just don't want to go. The author holds no punches and will take us deeper into the darkness .  The story is so well written and flows so well. Her characters are so believable and also so broken, you will fall in love with them all as you read. You will also want to do a little murder of your own on the bad guys, Be prepared to have a box of tissues on hand when you read this book. I strongly suggest you find a nice spot to curl up, grab a cup of tea and a soft blanket . Make sure you are comfy cause when you start reading you will not stop until you are done . So if you want a tear jerker  that will also make you think. Pick up WHEN A SMILE FADES  or any other of Paige's books . You will not be disappointed

   

Friday, July 17, 2015

Books to curl up with: GOOD FRIDAY MORNING ALL

Books to curl up with: GOOD FRIDAY MORNING ALL: Good Friday morning everyone . After 2 days off for a migraine and hotter then hot temperatures . I am back and today we are going to review...

GOOD FRIDAY MORNING ALL

Good Friday morning everyone . After 2 days off for a migraine and hotter then hot temperatures . I am back and today we are going to review PRETTY WITCHES ALL IN A ROW a NICK GIBSON NOVEL. By Lisa Olsen

                           BOOK BLURB
 
 
Someone is picking off a coven of witches one by one. Can Sgt. Nick Gibson and his team of detectives catch the killer before he loses the pretty witch who's got him under her spell?

Nick must cast aside his disbelief and delve into the world of the supernatural to solve the case. On hand to help is Annaliese, a member of the coven who claims to have had a prophetic dream at the exact time of each victim's death, offering clues to the identity of the killer. Can he accept the 'proof' offered by unconventional means or is she deliberately leading him astray to hide her own secrets? To cloud the issue, a local evangelist is telling anyone who asks that the victims had it coming. Is religious mania the motive for murder, or is it something more personal?
 
 
MY REVIEW
This is the first novel I have read by Lisa Olsen ,  Let me introduce you to Sergeant Nick Gibson. He and his team of detectives are hard on the case . They have to unravel the serial murders of a coven of
witches .  There is just one little problem , he doesn't really believe in witches .  Then along comes Annalese the pretty little witch , that could be next on the hit list . As they work together he finds himself falling for the pretty little witch. Even though he doesn't believe in magic. They are thrown together and falling for each other , but will they survive the murderer and the publicity .
 
Lisa Olsen is a great new author that I just recently found . I have had this book on my tbr list
for awhile.  I have been hearing such good things about it . I decided to find it on my list and start reading.  Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. it was such a good read . The author took us on roller coaster ride. The way she introduced us to the Wiccan way in such a great ease. The story flowed with such ease . You will get lost in the story. It is a great mix of murder and romance .
 
Her characters are well developed and you can't help but fall a little for Nick,  He is your hot sexy cop. He is a family man that has been through some hardships after his wife up and left him and his daughter. They have a good life now . But something is lacking like a true love .  He is the type of guy that you just want to well basically want to climb like a spider monkey . Trust me you will fall a little for him and he easy charm and charisma. Annalese is the young lady/witch that captures Nicks eye as he start the case . She is a straightforward sassy lady that has her own secrets to hide, But they seem to be good for each other . The supporting cast is so well written they compliment the main characters very well. From the coven members and the crazy pastor saying they deserved it .
 
I am so glad that I read this book , I read it in a day and a half . I fell in love with the characters and the story . The author weaves such a great story that will have you turning the pages well into the night. Trust me you will fall for Nick just a little and will cheer for them and you will want to strangle the pastor and you will scream at a few scenes and you will cry and laugh. This should be added to your summer to be read list . Great for a day by the pool . If you want a great paranormal story full of intrigue and some romance, this is the book for you . So check it out ,You won't be disappointed in the least .
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015





Meet Killian in Pepper Winter’s new MC Romance!

NOW AVAILABLE
 
 
Blurb
 
"We met in a nightmare. The in-between world where time had no power over reason. We fell in love. We fell hard. But then we woke up. And it was over . . ."

RUIN & RULE
She is a woman divided. Her past, present, and future are as twisted as the lies she's lived for the past eight years. Desperate to get the truth, she must turn to the one man who may also be her greatest enemy . . .


He is the president of Pure Corruption MC. A heartless biker and retribution-deliverer. He accepts no rules, obeys no one, and lives only to reap revenge on those who wronged him. And now he has stolen her, body and soul.


Can a woman plagued by mystery fall in love with the man who refuses to face the truth? And can a man drenched in darkness forgo his quest for vengeance-and finally find redemption?

"Ruin & Rule is a full-length book at 436 pages and ends on a cliffhanger. Cleo and Kill's story continues in SIN & SUFFER."
 
 
Prologue

We met in a nightmare.

The in-between world where time had no power over rhyme, reason, or connection. We met. We stared. We knew.

There was no distortion from the outside world. No right or wrong. No confusion or battles from hearts and minds.

Just us. In our silent dream world.

That nightmare became our home. Planting ghosts, raising fantasies. Entwined together in our happily skewed reality.

We fell in love. We fell hard.

In those fleeting seconds of our nightmare, we lived an eternity.

But then we woke up. And it was over
 
CHAPTER ONE
I always believed life would grant rewards to those most worthy. I was fucking na├»ve. Life doesn’t reward—it ruins. It ruins those most deserving and takes everything. It takes everything all while watching any remaining goodness rot to hate.
 
 
Kill

Darkness.

That was my world now. Literally and physically.

The back of my skull hurt from being knocked unconscious. My wrists and shoulders ached from lying on my back with my hands tied behind me.

Nothing was broken—at least it didn’t feel that way—but everything was bruised. The fuzziness receded wisp by wisp, parting the clouds of sleep, trying to shed light on what’d happened. But there was no light. My eyes blinked at the endless darkness from the mask tied around my head. Anxiety twisted my stomach at having such a fundamental gift taken away.

I didn’t move, but mentally catalogued my body from the tips of my toes to the last strand of hair on my head. My jaw and tongue ached from the foul rag stuffed in my mouth and my nose permitted a shallow stream of oxygen to enter—just enough to keep me alive.

Fear tried to claw its way through my mind, but I shoved it away. I deliberately suppressed panic in order to assess my predicament rather than lose myself to terror.

Fear never helps, only hinders.

My senses came back, creeping tentatively, as if afraid whoever had stolen me would notice their return.

Sound: the squeak of brakes, the creak of a vehicle settling from motion to stopping.

Touch: the skin on my right forearm stung, throbbing with a mixture of soreness and sharpness. A burn perhaps?

Smell: dank rotting vegetables and the astringent, pungent scent of fear—but it wasn’t mine. It was theirs.

It wasn’t just me being kidnapped.

My heart flurried, drinking in their terror. It made my breath quicken and legs itch to run. Forcing myself to ignore the outside world, I focused inward. Clutching my inner strength where calmness was a need rather than a luxury.

I refused to lose myself in a fog of tears. Desperation was a curse and I wouldn’t succumb, because I had every intention of being prepared for what might happen next.

I hated the sniffles and stifled sobs of others around me. Their bleak sadness tugged at my heartstrings, making me fight with my own preservation, replacing it with concern for theirs.

Get through this, then worry about them.

I didn’t think this was a simple opportunistic snatch. Whoever had stolen me planned it. The hunch grew stronger as I searched inside for any liquor remnants or the smell of cigarettes.

Had I been at a party? Nightclub?

Nothing.

I hadn’t been stupid or reckless. I think…

I wriggled, trying to move away from the stench. My bound wrists protested, stinging as the rope around them gnawed into my flesh like twine-beasts. My ribs bellowed, along with my head. There was no give in my restraints. I stopped trying to move, preserving my energy.

No saliva.

I tried to speak.

No voice.

I tried to remember what happened.
 
I tried to remember…
Panic.

Nothing.

I can’t remember.

“Get up, bitch,” a man said. Something jabbed me in the ribs. “Won’t tell you again. Get.”

I froze as my mind hurtled me from present to past.

I’ll miss you so much,” she wailed, hugging me tighter.

“I’m not dying, you know.” I tried to untangle myself, looking over my shoulder at the final call flashing for my flight. I hated being late for anything. Let alone my one chance at escaping and finding out the truth once and for all.

“Call me the moment you get there.”

“Promise.” I drew a cross over my heart—

The memory shattered as my horizontal body suddenly went vertical in one swoop

Who was that girl? Why did I have no memory of it ever happening?
“I said get up, bitch.” The man breathed hard in my ear, sending a waft of reeking breath over me. The blindfold stole my sight, but it left my nose woefully unprotected.
 
 
Unfortunately

My captor shoved me forward. The ground was steady beneath my feet. The sickness plaiting with my confusion faded, leaving me cold.

My legs stumbled in the direction he wanted me to go. I hated shuffling in the darkness, not knowing where I came from or where I was being herded. There were no sounds of comfort or smothered snickers. This wasn’t a masquerade.

This was real.

This was real.

My heart thudded harder, fear slipping through my defenses. But full-blown terror remained elusive. Slippery like a silver fish, darting on the outskirts of my mind. It was there but fleeting, keeping me clear-headed and strong.

I was grateful for that. Grateful that I maintained what dignity I had left—remaining strong even in the face of the unknown terrors lurking on the other side of my blindfold.

Moans and whimpers of other women grew in decibels as men ordered them to follow the same path I walked. Either death row or salvation, I had no choice but to inch my way forward, leaving my forgotten past behind.

I willed snippets to come back. I begged the puzzlement of my past to slot into place, so I could make sense of this horrible world I’d awoken in.

But my mind was locked to me. A fortress withholding everything I wished to know.

The pushing stopped. So did I.

Big mistake.

“Move.” A cuff to the back of my head sent me wheeling forward. I didn’t stop again. My bare feet traversed…wood?

Bare feet?

Where are my shoes?

The missing knowledge twisted my stomach.

Where did I come from?

How did I end up here?

What’s my name?

It wasn’t the terror of the unknown future that stole my false calmness. It was the fear of losing my very self. They’d stolen everything. My triumphs, my trespasses, my accomplishments and failures.

How could I deal with this new world if I didn’t know what skills I had to stay alive? How could I hope to defeat my enemy when my mind revolted and locked me out?

Who am I?

To have who I was deleted…It was unthinkable.

“Faster, bitch.” Something cold wedged against my spine, pushing me onward. With my hands behind my back, I shuffled faster, negotiating the ground as best I could for dips or trips.

“Step down.” The man grabbed my bound wrists, giving me something to lean against as my toes navigated the small steps before me.

“Again.”

I obeyed.

“Last one.”

I managed the small staircase without falling flat on my face.

My face.

What do I look like?

A loud scraping noise sounded before me. I shied back, bumping against a feminine form. The woman behind me cried out—the first verbal sound of another.

“Move.” The pressure on my lower back came again, and I obeyed. Inching forward until the stuffy air of old vegetables and must was replaced by…copper and metallic…blood?

Why…why is that so familiar?

I gasped as my mind free-fell into another memory.

“I don’t think I can do this.” I darted away, throwing up in the rubbish bin in the classroom. The unique stench of blood curdled my stomach.

“Don’t overthink it. It’s not what you’re doing to the animal to make it bleed. It’s what you’re doing to make it live.” My professor shook his head, waiting for me to swill out my mouth and return white-faced and queasy to the operation in progress.

My heart splintered like a broken piece of glass, reflecting the compassion and responsibility I felt for such an innocent creature. This little puppy that’d been dumped in a plastic bag to die after being shot with BB gun pellets. He’d survive only if I mastered the skills to stem his internal bleeding and embrace the vocation I was called to do.

Inhaling the scent of blood, I let it invade my nostrils, scald my throat, and impregnate my soul. I drank its coppery essence. I drenched myself in the smell of the creature’s life force until it no longer affected me.

Picking up a scalpel, I said, “I’m ready—”

“Holy fuck!” The man guiding me forward suddenly whacked the base of my spine. The hard pain shoved me forward and I tripped.

“Wire—get me fucking reinforcements. He’s started a motherfucking war!”

Wind and body motion swarmed me as men charged from behind. The darkness I lived in suddenly came alive with sound.

Bullets flew, impaling themselves into the metal sides of the vehicle I’d just stepped from. Pings and ricochets echoed in my ear. Curses bellowed; moans of pain threaded like a breeze.

Someone grabbed my arm, swinging me to the side. “Get down!” The inertia of his throw knocked me off balance. With my wrists bound together, I had nothing to grab with, no way to protect myself from falling.

I fell.

My stomach swooped as tumbled off a small platform and smashed against the ground.

Dirt, damp grass, and moldy leaves replaced the stench of blood, cutting through the cloying sharpness of spilled metallic. My mouth opened, gasping in pain. Blades of grass tickled my lips as my cheek stuck to wet mud.

My shoulder screamed with agony, but I ignored the new injury. My mind clung to the unlocked memory. The fleeting recollection of my profession.

I’m a vet.

The sense of homecoming and security that one little snippet brought was priceless. My soul snarled for more, suddenly ravenous for missing information.

I skipped straight from fumbling uncertainty into starvation for more.

Tell me! Show me. Who am I?

I searched inside for more clues. But it was like trying to grab on to an elusive dream, fading faster and faster the harder I chased.

I couldn’t remember anything about medicine or how to heal. All I knew was I’d been trained to embrace the scent of blood. I wasn’t afraid of it. I didn’t faint or suffer sickness at the sight of it pouring from an open wound.

That tiniest knowledge was enough to settle my prickling nerves and focus on the outside world again.

Battle cries. Men screaming. Men growling. The dense thuds of fists on flesh and the horrible deflection of gunshots.

I couldn’t understand. Had I fallen through time and entered an alternate dimension?

Another body landed on top of mine.

I cried out, winded from a sharp poke of an elbow to my ribs.

The figure rolled away, crying softly. Feminine.

Why aren’t I crying?

I once again searched for fear. It wasn’t natural not to be afraid. I’d woken up alone, stolen, and thrown into the middle of a war, yet I wasn’t hyperventilating or panicked.

My calmness was like a drug, oozing over me, muting the sharp starkness of my situation. It was bearable if I embraced courage and the knowledge that I was strong.

My hands balled, grateful for the thought. I didn’t know who I was, but it didn’t matter, because the person who I was in this moment mattered the most.

I had to remain segmented, so I could get through whatever was about to happen. All I had was gut instinct, quiet strength, and rationality. Everything else had been taken.

“Stop fighting, you fucking idiots!”

The loud growl rumbled like an earthquake, hushing the battle in one fell swoop. Whoever had spoken had power.

Immense power. Colossal power.

A shiver darted over my skin.

“What the fuck happened? Have you lost your goddamn lovin’ mind?” a man yelled.

A sound of a short scuffle, then the fresh whiff of tilled dirt graced my nose.

“It’s done. Throw down your weapons and bend a fucking knee.” The same earthquake rumbled. The weight of his command pushed me harder against the damp ground.

“It’s done. Throw down your weapons and bend a fucking knee.” The same earthquake rumbled. The weight of his command pushed me harder against the damp ground.

“I’m not bending nothing, you asshole. You aren’t my Prez!”

“I am. Have been for the past four years.”

“You’re not. You’re his bitch. Don’t think his power is yours.”

Another fight—muffled fists and kicks. It ended swiftly with a painful groan.

The earthquake voice came again. “Open your eyes and follow the red fucking river. Your chosen—the one you hand-picked to slaughter me and take over the Club—he’s dead. Did you ever stop to think Wallstreet made me Prez for a fucking reason?”

Another moan.

“I’m the chosen one. I’m the one who knows the family secrets, absorbed the legacy, and earned his way into power. You don’t know shit. Nobody does. So bend a fucking knee and respect.”

Another tremor ran down my back.

Silence for a time, apart from the squelch of boots and heavy breathing. Then a barely muttered curse. “You’ll die. One way or another, we won’t put up with a Dagger as a Prez. We’re the Corrupts, goddammit. Having a traitor rule us is a fucking joke.”

“I’m the traitor? The man who obeys your leader? Who guides in his stead? I’m the traitor when you try and rally my brothers in a war?” A heavy thud of a fist connected with flesh. “No…I’m not. You are.”

My mind raced, sucking up noises and forming wild conclusions of what happened before me. Was this World War Three? Was this the apocalypse of the life I couldn’t remember? No matter how I pieced it together, I couldn’t make sense of anything.

The air was thick with anticipation. I didn’t know how many men stood before me. I didn’t know how many corpses littered the ground, or how such violence could be permitted in the world I used to know. But I did know the cease-fire was fragile and any moment it would explode.

A single threat slithered through the grass like a snake. “I’ll kill you, motherfucker. Mark my words. The true Corrupts are just waiting to take you out.”

The gentle foot-thuds of someone large vibrated through the ground. “The Corrupts haven’t existed for four fucking years. The moment I took the seat, it’s been Pure Corruption all the way. And you’re not fucking pure enough for this Club. You’re done.”

I flinched as the sulfuric boom of a gun ripped through the stagnant air.

A crash as a body fell lifeless to the grass. A soft puff of a soul escaping.

Murder.

Murder was committed right before me.

The inherent need to nurture and heal—the part of me that was as steadfast as the beat of my heart—wept with regret.

Death was something I’d fought against on a daily basis, but now I was weaponless.

I hated that a life had been stolen right before me. That I hadn’t been able to stop it.

I’m a witness.

And yet, I’d witnessed nothing.

I’d been privy to a battle but seen nothing. Knew no one. I would never be able to tell who shot whom, or who was right and who was wrong.

My hands shook, even though I managed to stay eerily calm. Am I in shock? And if I was, how did I cure myself?

The woman beside me curled into a ball, her knees digging into my side. My first reaction was to repel away from the touch. I didn’t know who was friend or foe. But a second reaction came quickly; the urge to share my calmness—to let her know that no matter what happened, she wasn’t alone. We faced the same future—no matter how grim.

Voices cascaded over us, whispers mainly, quickly spoken orders. Every sound was heightened. Being robbed of sight made my body seek other ways in which to find clues.

“Get rid of the bodies before daybreak.”
 
“We’ll go back and make sure we’re still covered.”

“Send out the word. It’s over. The Prez won—no anarchy today.”

Each voice was distinct but my ears twitched only for one: the earthquake rumble that set my skin quivering like quicksand.

He hadn’t spoken since he’d condemned someone to death and pulled the trigger. Every second of not hearing him made my heart trip faster. I wasn’t afraid. I should be. I should be immobile with fear. But he invoked something in me—something primal. Just like I knew I was female and a vet, I knew his voice meant something. Every inch of me tensed, waiting for him to speak. It was wrong to crave the voice of a killer, but it was the only thing I wanted.

Needed.

I need to know who he is.

Wet mud sucked loudly against boots as they came closer.

The woman whimpered, but I angled my chin toward the sound, wishing my eyes were uncovered.

I wanted to see. I wanted to witness the carnage before me. Because it was carnage. The stench of death confirmed it. It was morbid to want to see such destruction, but without my sight all of this seemed like a terrible nightmare. Nothing was grounded—completely nonsensical and far too strange.

I needed proof that this was real.

I needed concrete evidence that I wasn’t mad. That my body was intact, even if my mind was not.

I sucked in a breath as warm fingers touched my cheek, angling my face upward and out of the mud. Strong hands caressed the back of my skull, fumbling with my blindfold.

The anticipation of finally getting my wish to see made me stay still and cooperative in his hold.

I didn’t say a word or move. I just waited. And breathed. And listened.

The man’s breath was heavy and low, interspersed with a quick catch of pain. His fingers were swift and sure, but unable to hide the small fumble of agony.

He’s hurt.

The pressure of the blindfold suddenly released, trading opaque darkness for a new kind of gloom.

Night sky. Moonshine. Stars above.

Anchors of a world I knew, but no recognition of the dark-shrouded industrial estate where blood gleamed silver-black and corpses dotted the field.

I’m alive.

I can see.

The joy at having my eyes freed came and went as blazing as a comet.

Then my life ended as our gazes connected.

Green to green.

I have green eyes.

Down and down I spiraled, deeper and deeper into his clutches.

My life—past, present, and future—lost all purpose the second I stared into his soul.

The fear I’d been missing slammed into my heart.

I quivered. I quaked.

Something howled deep inside with age-old knowledge.
Every part of me arched toward him, then shied away in terror.
 
 
 
Him
 
A nightmare come to life.

A nightmare I wanted to live.

If life was a tapestry, already threaded and steadfast, then he was the scissors that cut me free. He tore me out, stole me away, changed the whole prophecy of who I was meant to be.

Jaw-length dark hair, tangled and sweaty, framed a square jaw, straight nose, and full lips. His five-o’clock stubble held remnants of war, streaked with dirt and blood. But it was his eyes that shot a quivering arrow into my heart, spreading his emerald anger.

He froze, his body curving toward mine. Blistering hope flickered across his features. His mouth fell open and love so achingly deep glowed in his gaze. “What—” A leg gave out, making him kneel beside me. His hands shook as he cupped my face, his fingers digging painfully into my cheekbones. “It’s not—”

My heart raced. Yes.

“You know me,” I breathed.

The moment my voice webbed around us, storm clouds rolled over the sunshine in his face, blackening the hope and replacing it with pure hatred.

He changed from watching me like I was his angel to glowering as if I were a despicable devil.

I shivered at the change—at the iciness and hardness. He breathed hard, his chest rising and falling. His lips parted, a rumbling command falling from his mouth to my ears. “Stand up. You’re mine now.”

When I didn’t move, his hand landed on my side. His touch was blocked by clothing but I felt it everywhere. He stroked my soul, tickled my heart, and caressed every cell with fingers that despised me.

I couldn’t suck in a proper breath.

With a vicious push, he rolled me over, and with a sharp blade sliced my bindings. With effortless power, so thrilling and terrifying, he hauled me to my feet.

I didn’t sway. I didn’t cry. Only pulled the disgusting gag from my mouth and stared in silence.

I stared up, up, up into his bright green eyes, understanding something I shouldn’t understand.

This was him.
My nightmare.















 
 
 





























 





































































































 
 

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