Title: Power Play
Series: Power Play #1
Author: Kennedy L. Mitchell
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 20, 2020
Thereâs no turning back. I canât go home a failureâagain. Everyone wants to use me, make me their pawn, but I have other plans. I will win this election or die trying.
It started with a shady business proposal I shouldâve turned down. Now here I am pretending to be someone Iâm not, and bonus, Iâm at the mercy of a man whose joy comes from my failures. The deeper I sink into DCâs seedy political scene the more I realize I canât trust anyone if Iâm going to make it out alive. Until him. Secret Service agent Trey Benson is bitter, jaded, and oh so hot with his mischievous smirk and cocky attitude. He hates me, just like everyone else, but he might just be who I need to survive this mess Iâve landed myself in.
Forced onto her protection detail, Iâm certain sheâs just another Political Barbie in this city. I should knowâIâve dated most of them. Except sheâs not. Funny, foulmouthed and crazy as hell, not to mention drop-dead gorgeous, Randi Sawyer just might be the one person who can make a difference in DCâand in me. Too bad the boss says sheâs off-limits, that itâs too risky for her career and mine. Good thing Iâve never been great at sticking to orders.
Power Play is the first book in the five book Power Play series. These cannot be read as standalones. All five books follow one main coupleâs relationship as it grows through a five year time period. Itâs suspenseful, steamy, and oh so unputdownable. If youâre a fan of Tiffany Snow, Brittany Sahin, and Skye Warren then this series is for YOU!
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Releasing February 18
Kennedy lives in Dallas with her husband, son, and 80lb Goldendoodle who still believes he's a lap dog. A bookworm at heart Kennedy loves to snuggle up in bed or by the campfire with an unputdownable book. She began writing two years ago with Falling for the Chance and has no plans of stopping. Her novels are witty, action-packed, and offer enough steam for a great facial. If you like strong heroines and sexy, tattooed men who can't keep their hands off them then this author is the one for you.
Lock and Key
A warm breath of humid Florida night air breathed through the hallway like the exhalation from a giant mouth. On it, I caught the scent of orange trees mixed with the flat, wet scent of the lake that surrounded the castle.
And running through it all was Griffin’s own scent—a cold, clean, somehow completely masculine aroma that flooded my senses and made the key around my neck throb even harder.
Stop him! it seemed to be crying—I swore I could almost hear its voice in my mind. Stop him—he’s getting away!
Maybe that was what made me speak—what made me call out to him, though every instinct I had told me I should stay silent and let him pass. Griffin was a predator—seeing him in the darkness like this, I knew it to my bones. He was a killer and his kind preyed on mine. I had the feeling of a rabbit calling back a hawk that had wheeled by overhead or an antelope calling out to a lion.
But still I spoke.
“You’re wrong, you know,” I called to his back, when he was already halfway out the door.
Griffin turned, his eyes gleaming silver in the dim moonlight spilling in through the half open door. He seemed to deliberate for a moment—almost to struggle with himself—and then he let the door close and came striding back to stand in front of me, even closer than before.
“Wrong about what, little witch?” he murmured in that cool, silky voice of his. The voice a snake might use before it struck.
“I…I’m not a witch,” I told him, lifting my chin and meeting his eyes, though he radiated danger the way another male might radiate body heat.
“Oh no? Then what are you, Megan Latimer?” he drawled, putting emphasis on my last name.
“I’m just a Null,” I went on doggedly. “I can’t even light a candle with magic. I don’t have any magic—I don’t belong here.”
“Yet, here you are. Putting yourself in harm’s way. Why?”
He reached out and gently—oh so gently—stroked one long, cool finger down my hot cheek. The key jumped at his touch and so did my heart. I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t get a deep enough breath.
“I…I don’t know,” I whispered. And then—either daringly or stupidly added—“Are you the harm you’re talking about?”
Re - Release Date: January 16, 2020
Derek Bryer loves his life. His job as an assistant director at Joy Universe, the second-largest theme park complex on the planet, makes him indirectly responsible for bringing joy (pun intended) to millions of people. So what if none of his relationships are that close? Everyone he meets loves him.
Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/8H5BqS8
$25 Amazon Gift Card
About the Author
Louisa Masters started reading romance much earlier than her mother thought she should. While other teenagers were sneaking out of the house, Louisa was working out how to read romance novels without being discovered. As an adult, she feeds her addiction in every spare second, only occasionally tearing herself away to do things like answer the phone and pay bills. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she whines about the weather for most of the year while secretly admitting she'll probably never move.
Connect with Louisa
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Date Published: 12/31/19
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Introverted teacher versus unstoppable violinist. She wants to be alone. He wants her heart. Let the games begin…
After the unexpected death of her musician brother, third-grade teacher Adara buries her grief, avoids all music and vows to exist without attachments. Social solitude works perfectly…until she’s forced to share her classroom with the new music mentor, a man who rattles her carefully constructed cage and sparks emotions she prefers to keep chained.
Always up for a challenge, violinist Garret is a master of patience and persistence, and the minute he meets Adara, he knows what he wants. Her sharp humor and haunted eyes inspire him in a way he’s never felt before. He makes it his mission to chip through her shields and breathe her back to life—no matter how hard she resists.
Even as Adara struggles to keep Garret at a distance with each clash of wills, each smile he coaxes, each kiss he steals, her resistance crumbles. But when the past catches up with them both, they will discover that some promises are meant to be broken…and others are worth risking everything for.
Read an Excerpt
Garret made things so easy, so simple, as if it were completely natural for a girl to break down at a community college music concert. As if it were completely normal to be disconnected. As if it were completely rational to surround herself in silence. She lifted onto tiptoes and pressed her lips to his, light as rain, a thank you for accepting her as is, for not asking for more than she could give.
About the Author
C.J Burright is a native Oregonian and refuses to leave. A member of Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal special interest chapter, while she has worked for years in a law office, she chooses to avoid writing legal thrillers (for now) and instead invades the world of paranormal romance, fantasy, and contemporary romance. C.J. also has her 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and believes a story isn’t complete without at least one fight scene. Her meager spare time is spent working out, refueling with mochas, gardening, gorging on Assassin’s Creed, and rooting on the Seattle Mariners…always with music. She shares life with her husband, daughter, and a devoted cat herd.
About The Fight for Forever:
New York Times bestselling author Meghan March concludes the Legend Trilogy.
You can only keep what you can protect.
That’s all I’ve ever known. It’s the way I’ve lived my life.
Now, everything I never knew I needed is at risk, and I’m not letting anyone take it from me.
I won’t let anyone take her from me.
They say love is a battlefield, so I’m ready for war.
This time, it’s the fight for forever.
The Fight for Forever is the third book in the Legend Trilogy and should be read after The Fall of Legend and House of Scarlett
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Apple Books: http://bit.ly/AppleTheFightforForever
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4.5 Heart Review by Ashley
I have been itching for the conclusion to this trilogy since Meghan March left me with a lump in my throat and dread in my stomach after book 2. And let me tell you, she did not disappoint me at. All. From page one, The Fight for Forever was high octane, sexy, dangerous and yes, romantic.
But it was really all about Gabriel's fight. For all that mattered to him. Scarlett. The club. His own life. Freedom. I loved seeing how his family rallied around him. And there were a few surprise allies that popped up and stood in his corner with him.
The Fight for Forever was everything I wanted for Scarlett and Gabriel (and Bump). Their love and acceptance of each other exactly who they were and who they weren't made me swoon through every page. But holy crap! If my heart wasn't racing enough during the cage match with Black, those final few reveals threw me. I'm not sure how Meghan March does it but at this point I don't really care. She can twist me up and unravel me one page at a time whenever she wants.
About the author:
Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.
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The Escape Artist
Claire pushed the memories away, gripping the leather arm rests, willing her heartbeat and breathing to calm. That was him. She had him in a cell. That was the guy. He had a scar where she’d cut him. How could he lie to her with such a straight face when they both knew he had that scar and how he’d gotten it?
Because he’s a sociopath, Claire. He isn’t like normal people.
She couldn’t let herself forget that—what he was. She couldn’t let herself be tricked by the beautiful monster into setting him free and losing her own life. She got up and went to the kitchen, taking another bottle of beer from the fridge. This one she drank all the way down until a light pleasant buzz of calm skated across her skin. She took a long, steadying breath and grabbed the broom and dustbin.
When she returned to the cell, at least the arrogance had left his face. Maybe he was starting to understand his situation, that the tables had turned and he was now at her mercy. Let him lie about things, as long as she could wipe the smug smile off his face.
She silently swept up the shards of the beer bottle. The last thing she needed was for him to have a weapon. That had been his mistake with her after all.
“You can still let me go,” he said. His voice was so gentle and soothing. Calm and reasonable.
He’d never spoken to her like that in the basement. Of course not, he’d had the power then. He has to placate you now.
Claire just laughed. “Right. I’m going to let you go so you can hurt me again. Am I supposed to believe you’re reformed? After me, you stopped torturing and killing women? You realized the error of your ways?”
“What’s your name?” he asked, changing tactics. “My name…”
“Shut UP! If you speak your name I’ll kill you. I swear to fuck I will. I NEVER want to hear your fucking name. EVER. Don’t you try to humanize yourself. You’re a fucking monster, and you know it!”
“I’m sorry,” he said quickly, holding his hands up in surrender.
No he wasn’t, he was placating her.
“What’s your name, then?” he said, trying again.
“You know my fucking name. You used to hiss it in my ear while you were…” she trailed off, unable to say the words. She turned away from him and took a deep breath, quickly wiping the tears that threatened to spill over. She was not going to cry in front of him anymore. She’d cried all the tears for him she would cry.
She had the power now. Not him. NOT him. But she was shaking. She could feel the light tremors in her arms. He must be able to see them. He was the one chained up, and he was going to break her again.
“It’s okay if you don’t have it in you to hurt me. I don’t think you’re that kind of person,” he said gently.
“Just shut the fuck up!” she screamed. “I should starve you, just like you starved me for the tiniest act of defiance.” She turned back to finish sweeping the stray shards into the dustpan.
“Look at me,” he said.
It was a fucking command. He thought he could order her around when he was the prisoner? But she turned and looked at him.
“I would never starve you. Ever,” he said, holding her gaze in his.
He’d already starved her, and they both knew it. These head games… she had to regroup her strategy or he was going to get inside her head and mess with it. If she lost her nerve… if he got free again, he’d kill her this time. She was already in too deep. She had to get her shit together and finish this. It was the only choice.
What Are Friends For?
There were times between us that felt totally normal—like, almost the entire time we’d been cutting out snowflakes, things had felt normal. I hadn’t been staring at his mouth or imagining his body heat enveloping me into a hug. We joked like normal, laughed like normal. But the quiet moments between us had my heart aching, wanting.
“See you tomorrow,” Elijah said, and I saw from the corner of my eye the shadow of him rising to his feet. He pressed his hand once against the spot between my shoulder blades before walking off, his socks silent on the wooden floors. I counted each of my breaths as I waited for the sound of the door to open.
It took seven slow inhales and exhales and then Elijah was gone, leaving me with a torrent of thoughts and a hurting heart.
Hung Up on You
Todd frees himself from the jumble in the hall and comes forward to kiss Dee’s cheek, then mine. Kai follows suit, giving Dee a peck on the lips before stopping in front of me. He grips my shoulders lightly, the way he always does when we see each other, and bends to kiss both my cheeks. “I’m happy to see you, Jules,” he says in his deep, measured voice. “I’m glad you could come for the weekend.” He leans forward and whispers, “Don’t be too mad at her. You know her heart is always in the right place, even if she tends to overstep.”
I don’t get a chance to ask what he’s talking about before he steps to the side, giving me my first look at the mystery stranger in the hall. His glasses have fogged up after coming in from the cold, but as the mist clears, I get a better look at his dark-blue eyes. The uncertainty on his face likely matches my own as he looks between the two couples. His eyes land on me next, and the crease in his forehead eases slightly, his frown morphing into a tiny, shy smile. He takes off his hat, revealing thick brown hair that stands in every direction, even after he attempts to smooth it down.
My stomach does a little flip. I get it now: this is a setup. I should probably be irritated, and that’s clearly what Dee expects, but this guy is cute. Really cute. He has a bit of a nerdy vibe, which isn’t my usual type, but there’s something about his shy, almost boyish smile that piques my curiosity. I usually resist Dee’s attempts to fix me up, but maybe I’ll cut her some slack this time. I’m single, I’m young, and there’s nothing wrong with a weekend hookup every now and then, right?
Dee steps forward and gives the guy a quick hug. “I’m so glad you decided to take Kai up on his offer to come. We’re going to have so much fun!” I’m vaguely aware of butterflies taking flight in my stomach as Dee turns to me. “This is Julia Coleman, my best friend. Jules, this is Zack Clayton. He and Kai work at the same insurance company.”
Zack steps forward, pulling off his right glove to shake my hand. Warm skin, good grip. His smile gives me a girl-in-a-romance-novel reaction: weak knees, heart fluttering, skin buzzing with awareness. Up close, I can see the crinkles around his eyes and the shallow dimple in his right cheek. I’ve always been a sucker for a cute smile.
“Nice to meet you, Julia.”
Oh god, and his deep, sexy voice. It’s the perfect complement to those beautiful eyes and adorable smile. I’m a goner.
The Thief’s Gambit
Vibrations on the nightstand shattered the last few moments of my sleep. The dark night peered from the curtains. I cursed under my breath. There was little point in fighting to reunite with sleep’s warm embrace. London didn’t sleep, and neither did those who required my services.
I picked up my mobile phone and cleared my throat before answering, despite the fact it would do little to hide my grogginess from the caller. An unknown number popped up on the screen, but only a handful of people would ring me at this ungodly hour. A grimace spread across my lips as I answered the call.
“Good evening, Timothy. We have another assignment for you, one that requires your immediate attention. If you take this, we might be willing to overlook your lack of payment last week.” The man’s dry, lackluster voice had a crisp accent. He’d never given me his name, never shared many details about my assignments either. He merely brought them to my attention and made sure I paid my debt.
Hallmarks of the city’s darker elements were all too obvious, but what could I do? I owed the local mob boss more than I cared to admit. My old gambling habit had my back pressed tight against the wall, and I still paid for my wild and reckless youth.
“I’ll do it,” I replied, and the unnamed man on the other end of the line hung up.
Now I’d log into various websites and search for public postings in the adult and other less savory sections. Missed connections were very popular with my clients, but risky assignments were something my clientele didn’t want to be associated with. Probably had something to do with recent notices about various three-letter agencies cracking down on this type of communication, driving everyone back to using older, tried and true methods.
I grabbed a cup of coffee before firing up my laptop. When the computer finished loading, I opened the browser and set off to find details on my newest job. It didn’t take long to locate the assignment.
An old lady wanted the company of a young man who had previously helped her in a museum. Apparently, she had been quite taken by the gentleman’s knowledge of the exhibit, especially the old Italian necklace that had been on display.
I chuckled to myself, still shaking the last vestiges of sleep from my mind. So, this ‘old lady’ wanted ‘help’ with the necklace, huh? Not very subtle, but if it made my clients feel more at ease that I’d understand the job… However, I hoped the person who created the listing would be less cheesy next time.
I flagged the posting as fraud and logged out.
My client would get an email notice about being flagged, the sign I had taken the job. No one would be the wiser. No face-to-face meetings to discuss things beforehand, strict anonymity, and, most importantly, full deniability.
A generalized search on the museums in the area revealed only one matching entry based on the item’s description, the Royal Museum of Art. Good. At least there would be no confusion about what the client wanted. Nothing frustrated me more than stealing the wrong item. A mistake I tried my hardest not to make ever again.
On second thought, I rang my brother Sam. It nearly went to voicemail when he answered with his typical gruff tone. “What is it?”
A slight sting of jealousy tightened my chest. He’d been up enjoying his Saturday night, but I no longer had that luxury.
“Hey, Sam. I just wanted to let you know I got another job. My client wants an Italian artifact appraised as soon as possible. Seems he can’t wait until tomorrow. It looks like I won’t be making it to breakfast. Can I catch up with you another time?” I hoped he’d buy into my bullshit about the job. He respected what he thought I did. If he only knew…
Missing our weekly get-together bothered me. Our time to catch up on one another’s lives started when I’d moved out on my own. Meeting with him meant a lot to me.
“Seriously, mate? You’re always hunting for one piece of art or another. Some things are better left buried.” He sighed in my ear. “But you’ve got a job to do. Just be careful. That major explosion wasn’t long ago, and I’m afraid for our country. The MI6 agent still hasn’t been found. He’s most likely dead, or maybe terrorists abducted him. If it can happen to someone like that…” Sam cleared his throat. “Anyway, you can pick up the check next week.” His dry humor almost managed to hide his disappointment, but I knew him too well.
“Fair, I’ll pay for breakfast next time.” I ran a hand through my sleep-tousled hair. “Don’t worry about me. I might not be MI6, but I know how to take care of myself.” My skills had kept me alive while dealing with the mob, but my brother didn’t need to know that. “As for my job, I’ll slow down when I can. I promise.”
“Right. Text me if things change.” He let out a loud yawn.
Unfortunately, I doubted they would. “Get some sleep.” I ended the call and set my mobile on the desk.
Sam didn’t know about my nightly excursions. The less he knew about the darker side of the world, the better. Our parents had died when we were young. Night terrors and mental issues plagued Sam ever since. If he knew I was working on the other side of the law, he’d lose it.
The explosion that took place a few weeks ago returned to my mind.
While driving home after lunch, a building ahead of us had exploded into flames. I barely had a chance to slam on the brakes. Debris plastered the windshield, putting several cracks in it. Sam went white with shock, shaking uncontrollably and refusing to speak with anyone for the rest of the day. It had broken me to see him like that.
I couldn’t let him suffer again, but if I didn’t do my job, the mob might come after him. They knew he was my one weakness. I shelved the uncomfortable thoughts and packed a few supplies into my backpack.
My old, reliable Toyota sputtered as the engine came to life. Most of my neighbors were used to my odd hours, so this departure would be ignored as another student partying late into the night. Sometimes I was glad to live near a university.
The motorway was empty at this time of night, but a dense fog rolling through the area forced me to slow down. An annoyance maybe, but I embraced its presence. It reminded me just how much we didn’t see of the real world.
I pulled into an unlit corner of the museum’s parking lot. The street lamps did nothing to penetrate the fog, which would help me make a clean escape. The museum grounds had a few exhibits tied to the Italian Renaissance, including a collection of marble statues. They were obviously replicas, but their finely sculpted silhouettes managed to portray an air of authenticity.
Stalking through the mists was invigorating, and I relished the moment. The fog would help conceal my shape from any cameras and guards on the property, but it was better to be safe. I slid into my gear and donned a gray and white leather mask. It was old school, but at least I didn’t need to worry about it falling off if I had to sprint through the trees to my car.
Sweeping trails of light shone across the yard from me. Instead of illuminating anything, the cone of light likely made it impossible for the guards to see anything in the fog.
Typical. Guess that’s why I’m the thief.