Before they were Pops and Mana…
They were George and Christine.
This is how the Christakos family began.
This is their love story.
It’s the summer of 1976,
He’s a rebel with an attitude.
She’s an innocent with a heart of gold.
Together, they find a way to make a first love last a lifetime.
Before becoming a romance writer, Danielle was a body double for Heidi Klum and a backup singer for Adele. Now, she spends her days trying to play keep away from Theo James, who won’t stop calling her or asking her out.
And all of this happens before she wakes up and faces reality where in fact she is a 50-something mom with grown kids. She’s been married longer than Theo’s been alive, and she now gets her kicks riding a Harley.
As far as her body, she can thank Ben & Jerry’s for that, as well as gravity and vodka. But she says that she could never be Adele’s backup since she never stops saying the F-word long enough to actually sing.
Danielle writes about kickass women with even better shoes and the men that try to tame them (silly, silly men).
USA Today Bestselling Author, NANA MALONE’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin on a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana at a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since.
With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters. Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana, meantime works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.
The books in her series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble best seller lists as well as the iTunes Breakout Books list and most notably the USA Today Bestseller list.
Until that ninja job comes through, you’ll find Nana working hard on additional books for her series as well as other fun, sassy romances for characters that won’t leave her alone. And if she’s not working or hiding in the closet reading, she’s acting out scenes for her husband, daughter and puppy in sunny San Diego.
Want to hit me up? Just email me: email@example.com
This dark tale of obsession, beauty, and lust is by Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Bestseller Vivian Wood. She writes dark romance as OLIVIA RYANN.
There is something blooming between my captor and I, hot and wet and fragile.
Lust. Obsession. Maybe it’s even love.
But there are still secrets that stand between us, looming large over whatever happiness we might find together.
Dangerous secrets. Things worth killing over.
If I reveal my secret to Dryas, he very well might die to protect me.
The last thing I want is to confront those that hurt me without him at my side.
But I might not get a choice, if Dryas has his way…
Olivia Ryann is the dark romance pen name of Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Top 20 Bestseller Vivian Wood. She loves poetic phrases and bits of melodic memories. She adores dominant, hard men and soft, fragile women with backbones made of steel. She wants to put them together as often as possible, in unconventional ways.
Rest, Liam told me.
He’s right about a lot of things. Maybe he’s right about this. I climb onto the cool pink sheets, hoping that a nap will suddenly make me content with this quiet little life.
Even though I know it won’t.
Besides, I’m too wired to actually sleep. The white lace coverlet is both delicate and comfy. It’s actually what I would have picked out for myself, except I didn’t pick it out. I’ve been incapable of picking anything, of choosing anything, of deciding anything as part of some deep-seated fear that I’ll be abandoned.
The coverlet, like everything else in my life, simply appeared.
And the person responsible for its appearance? Liam North.
I climb under the blanket and stare at the ceiling. My body feels overly warm, but it still feels good to be tucked into the blankets. The blankets he picked out for me.
It’s really so wrong to think of him in a sexual way. He’s my guardian, literally. Legally. And he has never done anything to make me think he sees me in a sexual way.
This is it. This is the answer.
I don’t need to go skinny dipping in the lake down the hill. Thinking about Liam North in a sexual way is my fast car. My parachute out of a plane.
My eyes squeeze shut.
That’s all it takes to see Liam’s stern expression, those fathomless green eyes and the glint of dark blond whiskers that are always there by late afternoon. And then there’s the way he touched me. My forehead, sure, but it’s more than he’s done before. That broad palm on my sensitive skin.
My thighs press together. They want something between them, and I give them a pillow. Even the way I masturbate is small and timid, never making a sound, barely moving at all, but I can’t change it now. I can’t moan or throw back my head even for the sake of rebellion.
But I can push my hips against the pillow, rocking my whole body as I imagine Liam doing more than touching my forehead. He would trail his hand down my cheek, my neck, my shoulder.
Repressed. I’m so repressed it’s hard to imagine more than that.
I make myself do it, make myself trail my hand down between my breasts, where it’s warm and velvety soft, where I imagine Liam would know exactly how to touch me.
You’re so beautiful, he would say. Your breasts are perfect.
Because Imaginary Liam wouldn’t care about big breasts. He would like them small and soft with pale nipples. That would be the absolute perfect pair of breasts for him.
And he would probably do something obscene and rude. Like lick them.
My hips press against the pillow, almost pushing it down to the mattress, rocking and rocking. There’s not anything sexy or graceful about what I’m doing. It’s pure instinct. Pure need.
The beginning of a climax wraps itself around me. Claws sink into my skin. There’s almost certain death, and I’m fighting, fighting, fighting for it with the pillow clenched hard.
The words come soft enough someone else might not hear them. They’re more exhalation of breath, the consonants a faint break in the sound. I have excellent hearing. Ridiculous, crazy good hearing that had me tuning instruments before I could ride a bike.
My eyes snap open, and there’s Liam, standing there, frozen. Those green eyes locked on mine. His body clenched tight only three feet away from me. He doesn’t come closer, but he doesn’t leave.
Orgasm breaks me apart, and I cry out in surprise and denial and relief. “Liam.”
It goes on and on, the terrible pleasure of it. The wrenching embarrassment of coming while looking into the eyes of the man who raised me for the past six years.
The memory of our last talk heats the air between us—about condoms and sex. And the way he walked in on me when I moaned his name. God. I’m not sure I can stand another talk like that. “I’m not naive, Liam. I know you took me in because I didn’t have anywhere else to go.”
A muscle in his jaw ticks. “That wasn’t exactly the reason. And even though I didn’t know you before I took custody, I’ve grown to care about you over the years. If I didn’t state it clearly enough, then the fault lies with me. I wasn’t raised to show… affection.”
I stare at him, incredulous. Affection? It’s a cold comfort to a girl who’s always wanted the surety of forever. And the word might as well be alien to a man like him. “I’m going to tour the country. The world. I’m leaving, Liam.”
He looks away. “Christ.”
Unease moves through me. “Did you really think I wouldn’t come back?”
“I don’t know why you would want to.”
“Because I care about you.” Liam is six feet of pure muscle and hard will. There’s no way someone like me could go up against him and win. Except that when I take a step closer, he tenses. Another step and he goes still as stone. It gives me a sense of power, enough that I take the final step. “I care about you even though you’re controlling.”
There’s only an inch between the ruffle of my blouse and the flat of his abs.
“You think I’m going to apologize for keeping you safe?” he mutters. “You think I give a damn that you’re mad at me as long as you’re in one piece? That’s the only thing that matters.”
“Because you think of me like a daughter?”
He shakes his head slowly, not breaking eye contact. “No.”
“No?” I whisper.
“When I walked in on you…” His voice is hoarse. “I didn’t think of you like a daughter.”
I should probably be horrified that he would think about me in any way other than family, except I’m the one who started it. I take a step closer, and there’s nowhere for him to go. He’s already backed up against the wall. This big, strong man who could probably make a whole army quake—or at least a battalion. And he’s cornered by me.
This close I can see the green of his eyes, so dark they’re almost emerald, flecked with gold. A scar bisects one dark eyebrow, probably a scar from something terrifying and deadly.
“How did you think of me?” I’m afraid to know the answer, but I’m even more terrified of never knowing. Of being a nameless, faceless body in that writhing crowd, hooking up with a stranger when the man I really want is standing right in front of me, inches away, his breath a feather-touch on my forehead.
A small shake of his head. “It’s not right.”
I’m not sure what right and wrong mean when it comes to us, but I know what it means for music. Someone can play a piece with perfect timing and notation. They can hit every single note, but it still won’t have passion. That part comes from inside. “Then be wrong with me. Don’t make me do it alone.”
I push up on my toes, pressing my lips against his in a blind, artless kiss. I’m off center of his mouth, kissing the corner. He stands still as a statue, letting me wobble on my heels, letting me fall against him, only my broken kiss to balance me.
Grief beats against my ribs. He’s going to make me do it alone. Of course he is. I’m always alone. A small sound escapes me. Loneliness. Pain. It vibrates against his mouth, sound made real.
He jolts as if I’ve shocked him. Something unspools inside him. I feel it in the inch of air between us. And then I feel it in my lips. He takes over the kiss with shocking possession, his hand behind my head, his body turning us so I’m against the wall. He looms in front of me, blocking out the view. There are no vinyl records on the wall, no bass thrumming through concrete and steel. There’s only him, only this. How is it possible that only a few minutes ago I felt powerful? I didn’t know what this would be. I couldn’t know the way I’d revel in surrender.
His tongue touches the seam of my lips, a pure electric sensation that makes me jump. I part my lips in surprise, pulling in the scent of him—man and earth, salt and sea. He tastes elemental. His tongue swipes the tender inside of my bottom lip. It’s more sensitive there than I could have imagined. I feel the slickness of the caress all the way in my core. My thighs clench together.
So careful. So wary. I touch my tongue against his. He’s the one who groans.
His hand fists in my hair, creating a delicious little ache. “Do you know what you’re doing to me?” he breathes, and I try to shake my head; it only makes him pull harder.
“Liam… I need…” It’s like the bedroom when he walked in on me, my hips rocking, mindless, hungry. Worse than that. My whole body is moving restlessly against him.
He tears himself away with a hard sound. Only an inch away. A rough tremor runs through him. It’s a small comfort, knowing that I’ve moved this man. Knowing how much control he has, knowing it’s eroded. But only a small comfort. He still leaves me panting against the door.
“I’m supposed to protect you,” he says, his voice taut with guilt.
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.
He says that together they twisted him.
Made him the monster he’s become.
But you can’t become something that wasn’t inside you all along.
A tear drops to the sketchbook on my lap, the blob smearing the lead. I wipe it away with the tip of my finger and watch the stain spread to the edge of the page.
I can’t seem to stop drawing that night.
The night when the Scafoni brothers stalked into our home and we were made to wear those rotting, disgusting sheaths and forced to stand on those ancient blocks as Sebastian Scafoni, first-born bastard, looked us over like we were cattle.
I can’t stop drawing the look on his face when he saw Helena.
Even if she wasn’t bound like she was, she’d have stood out.
She always thought herself the ugly duckling but she’s the most beautiful of all. She’s special. Always was. Different from us. And so much stronger.
I swipe the back of my hand across my nose and listen to the sound of tears drop fat and heavy onto the page and this time when I lay my hand on the sketch, it’s to smear the wet across like maybe I can wipe away that night. Rub it off the page. Erase it out of history like it never happened.
“Oh, now look what you’ve done,” he says. His voice is deep and low, and I swear I can feel it as much as hear it.
He takes my hand with his gloved one and pulls it away.
I look at him. I finally make myself look at him.
“I hate you.”
He grins. Shrugs a shoulder, his grip growing infinitesimally harder.
I glance at my palm—it’s black from the pencil—and look down at the page in front of me.
He’s right. It’s ruined.
But it doesn’t matter. I have dozens like it.
I can’t stop drawing that night.
Can’t stop it from happening.
Can’t stop the Scafoni bastards from walking into our lives, upending everything. Coming into our home like kings, like they owned the place.
Although, I guess they did.
They owned everything. Our house. Our land. Our parents.
I force myself to meet Gregory Scafoni’s dark eyes with their strange turquoise specks and wonder how I’d ever thought he was an angel.
When all he is, is the devil.
USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, Natasha Knight specializes in dark, tortured heroes. Happily-Ever-Afters are almost always guaranteed, but she likes to put her characters through hell to get them there. She’s evil like that.
Title: Beauty in the Broken
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Genre: Dark Romance
Cover Design: Jay Aheer, Simply Defined Art
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Six years ago, Harold Dalton framed me for theft and sent me to jail to steal my diamond discovery. He gave his daughter to Jack Clarke in exchange for the excavation rights. Today, I’m free, and I’m coming for him with a vengeance. Six years of cruelty make beasts out of men. I’m going to take back what he stole from me, and more. I’m not interested in his properties or shares. I don’t want his small change. I want his biggest asset. Beautiful, mentally unstable, Angelina Dalton-Clarke.
Worth billions, she’s the wealthiest widow in the country, and also the craziest. Her self-harming tendencies had Jack declare her incompetent before he put a gun to his head and blew out his brains. Lina isn’t allowed to touch a cent of her riches. Her father manages her finances. He has all the signing power. As her husband, that chore will fall to me. But if she thinks I only want her for her money, she’s sadly mistaken.
Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.
After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published nine novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles. Two of her shorts have been selected by the International Literary Society for an anthology from across the African continent.
When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in France with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.
Title: Falling For You
Series: Bragan University #3
Author: Gianna Gabriela
Genre: Sports Romance
Cover Design: Sly Fox Cover Designs
Zack Hayes was taught that hard work pays off. He lives by that adage, working a part-time job, playing football and taking a full load of courses in the hope that his parents can stop working themselves to the bone.
However, when things start to go wrong, Zack begins to believe that when you come from nothing, working hard doesn’t get you anywhere.
Emma Wilson has spent her whole life hiding in the shadows because she isn’t who her parents wanted her to be—who her father wanted her to be.
She loses herself in her studies and in the piles of romance books she devours. It isn’t until her roommate begins dating a football player that the worlds she’s worked so hard to separate inevitably collide.
Gianna Gabriela is a small-town girl living in the Big Ol’ City of New York. She’s been reading for years and calls it her addiction. Her favorite genre to read is anything in the YA, NA, and Contemporary Romance realm. She’s a writer of the sexy alphas you want and the strong heroines you need.