The Count’s Castaway
Alexandre left the office and ambled back to the harbor. Merchants haggled over prices and the condition of shipments, boys called out the name of hotels and taverns hoping for a seaman’s newly paid wage. Doxies weaved among the throng, offering a smile to anyone ogling their wares. His eyes searched the crowded harbor and found the mast of his own schooner. Taking in a long, satisfied breath, he surveyed the busy dock as he dodged out of the path of a fast-moving cart.
Once past, a scuffle on the other side of the yard caught his attention.
“Let go of me!” cried a feminine voice.
Alexandre wiped the sweat from his brow and squinted against the morning sun. The voice sounded female. Most women roaming the docks were hoping for a man’s touch—and the coin in his pocket. Did the customer refuse the price or want something for free?
“You dirty, low-down, sniveling—” The voice pitched higher with each curse.
He spotted a petite woman, holding her ground like a soldier against the enemy. She wore a shapeless linen shirt with a wide collar over a pair of duck trousers. The outfit of a seaman. Deep ruby bounced off her shoulders and flashed with gold as her head bobbed, her palms patting down her loose clothing while she searched for something. The object of her tirade towered over her, giant hands on his hips, shaking his head. From the wide crooked nose and broad face, Alexandre assumed the rotund man wasn’t a stranger to the receiving end of a fist.
“You have no proof. It’s my word against yours. Who do you think the authorities will believe? An indentured servant or a citizen and business owner?” The stout man sniggered.
The redhead produced a piece of paper and waved it in the air. “I have the original document. I’ve kept it hidden away all these years, waiting for this day.” Her blue eyes glittered triumphantly. Even in the ill-fitting clothes, she was a beauty.
“I’ve never laid hands on you, Katie, but you’re trying my patience.” The man’s face hardened. “You’ve been fed, never beaten or… abused in any way. I’ve been a good master, and this is how you repay me?”
“I want my freedom. I’ve earned it. Rory is free, and you bought us on the same voyage.”
Alexandre admired her spunk. Katie wasn’t backing down. He settled against a tower of crates, interested in how this scene would play out. With unexpected speed, the man snatched the paper from the girl’s hand and held it high above her head as she reached on her toes to take it back. He ripped it into shreds, a gleeful grin showing two blackened teeth.
Alexandre’s jaw ticked. He wouldn’t mind wiping the sneer from those flat features. He hated to see the little spitfire taken advantage of.
“You were saying?” he jeered.
Her mouth fell open, large blue eyes sparkling with unshed tears. Alexandre had the oddest urge to scoop her up in his arms and take her on board L’Évasion. He’d probably get a black eye for his effort, he thought with a grin.
The oaf grabbed the girl’s wrist again, and her knee jerked up. “You’re coming with me, you little”—he doubled over, grabbing his crotch—“oomph!”
Katie turned on her heel and ran in Alexandre’s direction. He ducked between the rows of crates, and as she dashed by, he reached out and caught her waist. Pulling her close, he turned them to face the opposite direction, concealing her slight form with his own. His grip tightened as she fought like a hellcat.
When Cherri and I entered the kitchen, all eyes turned to us. Across from me, and much to my surprise, Nathan looked like he was on the brink of tears. Everyone’s glances bounced between us, and even as uncomfortable as it made me, I had to admit it was good to see him. He took a step forward and so did I. He shook his head with a little chuckle and held his arms out for a hug.
And then Sicily jumped in front of him and threw his arms around me.
“Deon!” he whined. “It’s really you! I’ve been dreaming of this day!” Even though there was damn near a foot between us, he squeezed me tightly. “I kept looking for you! Your best friend never gave up.”
“I heard,” I said, finally managing to wedge between us to push him back a few feet, but I set my hands on his shoulders. “Thank you. You took care of Cherri, you never gave up on me. You really are the best friend a guy could ask for.”
What I’d learned about Sicily in the limited time that we had to develop a friendship was that he didn’t do emotions very well. He was a natural jester, and when his feelings started to get the best of him, he did what any good jester did—he played it off with a joke. His feelings about being reunited with me must have gotten the best of him, because he started out kidding, but in the wake of my earnest statement, I watched all of his inner jokester fade away.
“Deon,” he said in his serious tone, an octave lower than his usual jubilant tone. “You’re like, the first real friend I ever had, and as much as I hated thinking you were out there in a ditch somewhere, if that hadn’t happened…” He looked past me to Cherri. “I wouldn’t have made the second real friend I ever had.”
Cherri stepped forward and slid between Sicily and me to pull him into a big hug. When she released him, I pulled her back so her back was against my stomach and put a hand on Sicily’s head. “You’re the first real friend I ever had too. When I went missing, you looked after the most important people in my life, my queen…” I looked across at Nathan. “And my brother.”
In an instant, Sicily turned back into the class clown, and his typical tone was back. “Oh! He called me his friend! Nathan did.” He looked back at him. “Tell him.”
Nathan nodded. “I did say that, and I’ve regretted it ever since.”
Everyone chuckled a little, then Cherri stepped aside and dragged Sicily with her. I finished crossing the kitchen, and doing something I honestly never thought I’d do, I pulled Nathan into a huge bear hug. I closed my eyes and breathed in the moment—actually bonding with a brother I hated. We had something that bonded us more than anything else ever could.
The manipulation of Connor Loche.
“So,” Nathan said, pulling away. “How about that dad of ours?”
I shrugged. “I don’t see him as my dad.”
Nathan nodded. “Oh good, I don’t either.”
Colette raised her hand. “Don’t you have to acknowledge that he’s your dad to some extent? Otherwise you wouldn’t be brothers.”
“No,” Nathan and I said in unison, and it brought that concept to an end in a flash.
“He’s done all he needed to do in making us brothers by spreading his seed,” Nathan said.
I nodded. “And now it’s time to stop him so he can’t bring that level of harm to anyone else.”
Title: The Mountain Man's Runaway Bride
Series: Matrimony Alaska #2
Author: L. Nicole
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Release Date: December 30, 2020
Running away from her wedding seemed like the perfect option, until the best man decides to chase her.
When Ash Grayson agreed to stand in as best man at his friend’s wedding, he was only doing it to get a glimpse at the single women in the crowd.
He never thought that the one catching his eye would be the bride to be.
Dixie Sutton was beautiful—long flowing black hair, huge doe eyes, with curves a man could drive for miles.
And those are just a few of the things that Ash likes.
Ash’s friend might be mad as hell when Dixie stops the wedding, but Ash?
He’s determined to chase down the runaway bride and make sure she stays in Alaska with a ring on her finger.
Welcome back to the town of Matrimony, Alaska. A town full of Mountain Men looking for the women of their dreams. I'm bringing you back in town just in time for the New Year. Ash has plans to ring out 2020 happily ever after style.
Please note this book is a standalone, safe, drama free, and tied up in a pretty bow.
99c for a limited time!
Free in Kindle Unlimited
L. Nicole likes to write quick romance stories that are safe, hot, and easy reads to take you away from reality.
Title: The Red Door ( A Love in Limestone Novella)
Author: Emery Jacobs
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Small Town
Release Date: December 30, 2020
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
There's a bar on the outskirts of Limestone, Louisiana that serves an unusual type of whiskey. Some call it magic. Others claim it’s a scam. Yet rumors of its mystical properties keep people coming in from far and wide.
Luck. Wealth. Happiness. Health.
These wonders can be found by those who believe... and take a shot. Ten o’clock in the morning, New Year’s Day. Two down-on-their-luck strangers enter The Red Door Bar. Both are searching for a miracle. What they find when they reach the bottom of that glass will eventually change their lives forever.
Emery grew up in Southern Arkansas and has lived most of her adult life in Northern Louisiana. She spends her days working as a Nurse Practitioner in rural health and her nights reading, writing, and occasionally sleeping.
She loves real life romance…lots of angst and heartbreak, but always a happy ending.
In Your Eyes
Title: Books 3-6 Fausti Family
Author: Bella Di Corte
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
Title: Royals of Italy Genre: Mafia Romance/Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
There was one secret that I kept from my wife.
The Fausti famiglia was one of the most infamous and powerful crime families in the world. Their rule spanned the thickness of history books—and I was one of them.
My dangerous lineage had been hidden until my wife, Scarlett, the curious
farfalle that she was, started fluttering around, awakening the monsters of my past. They would stop at nothing to claim what they felt belonged to them. Using my wife as a pawn in their game to lure me in? Wasn’t going to happen. Because I was a monster just like them, and I’d sacrifice it all to keep the woman I called mine safe—even if it meant my life.
Book III in the seven-part Fausti Family saga.
Title: Kingdom of Corruption Genre: Mafia Romance/Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
Kindle UnlimitedMy husband had been keeping a secret from me—a secret that would irrevocably change the course of our lives.
He was the son of one of the most ruthless men alive, and an heir to the infamous Fausti crime family. They were beautiful, powerful, ruthless—royalty in their beloved Italy and beyond. Though I was under their protection, the monster who craved me would stop at nothing to have me. He demanded blood as the price for revenge.
The clandestine life my husband led pulled us deeper into a dangerous world, and his vengeance came at my expense. I became the one with a secret to keep—a secret that might kill me in the end.
Book IV in the seven-part Fausti Family saga.
Title: War of Monsters Genre: Mafia Romance/Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
History books are written about why men go to war. Religion. Land. Oil. And the most dangerous reason of all—a woman, the kind worth risking your heart for. My wife, Scarlett Fausti, was that woman. She sparked a war amongst the world’s most dangerous men.
Enemies had attacked us from the inside, from the outside, thirsty for blood and ready to spill more for power. No one in our world could be trusted, except for a few. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
My adversaries were ready to see me on my knees. Only one person could bring me there, though--that woman, my wife. But as it’s been said, all’s fair in love and war, and to keep her alive, to keep her safe, I’d willingly fall at the feet of monsters.
Title: Ruler of Hearts Genre: Mafia Romance/Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
Kindle UnlimitedAfter the war that almost took my husband from me, life felt settled—as settled as it could be when you belonged to the infamous Fausti famiglia.
Enemies retreated, and the life we created in New York seemed to be moving us in the right direction. Until things took an unexpected turn. When my husband denied his father’s offer to rule the Fausti kingdom, the monsters came out of hiding, and unexpected circumstances led us home to the small town where it had all begun for us.
When we arrived, we found that everything we had left behind had waited for us to return, and new challenges showed up uninvited. Home might have been where the heart was, but life would never be the same.
Book VI in an eight-part Royal Organized Crime Romance saga.
Bella Di Corte has been writing romance for seven years, even longer if you count the stories in her head that were never written down, but she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed writing alphas until recently. Tough guys who walk the line between irredeemable and savable, and the strong women who force them to feel, inspire her to keep putting words to the page.
Apart from writing, Bella loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and family. She also loves to read, listen to music, cook meals that were passed down to her, and take photographs. She mostly takes pictures of her family (when they let her) and her three dogs.
Bella grew up in New Orleans, a place she considers a creative playground.
She loves to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to reach out.
Forsaken Trail by Devney Perry is now live!
Aria Saint-James has planned the perfect getaway: sweatpants, takeout and two weeks alone with her sister and nephew. Nowhere on that list is wearing a low-cut dress and uncomfortable heels to attend a wedding where she knows neither the bride nor the groom. Toss in her nemesis, Brody Carmichael, and her road trip to Arizona is officially a bust.
Apple Books: https://geni.us/aOopgz
Connect with Devney
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/324585607979213/
My Beautiful Poison, book one in the Wicked Poison series by USA Today bestselling author T.L. Smith is LIVE!!
MY BEAUTIFUL POISON BLURB
I forgave him for the lies he told.
And I forgave him for breaking my body with his touch.
But I couldn’t forgive myself for staying.
Until I met you… my antidote.
I knew I couldn’t keep forgiving him, when I could be safe in your arms.
With your touch, there were no tears.
With your kisses, I could finally breathe.
You might be the villain in everyone’s story...
4 Heart Review by Lorena
I love the fact that T.L. Smith doesn't put too much into a book, as in making it overly long, especially when it's a series. I think this book had the right amount of pages and even though there is a lot of stuff missing, I'm sure we'll get it in the next four installments, of what exactly is going on and what happened with August in the past that will give us more insight on his life.
August and Rylee are certainly two peas in a pod. She's the rich girl and he's the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Even though Rylee's destiny has already been decided by her one and only....mother, she refuses to believe that she will marry a man who has no respect for her and treats her bad. when Rylee finally makes the decision to leave him and move forward with her life, things start to happen and things are starting to get out of control.
August keeps pushing Rylee away because he knows nothing good will come out of them being together and he just wants to protect her and by doing so, he needs to stay away from her. Rylee refuses to accept that they don't fit together and will do whatever it takes to prove to him that they are meant for each other.
I am so intrigued by this story and can't wait to continue reading and having this story unravel all it's secrets.
PRE-ORDER MY WICKED HEART, releasing February 9th
Amazon US ➜ https://amzn.to/2GUczwe
Amazon AU ➜ https://amzn.to/36qZiUK
Amazon UK ➜https://amzn.to/3kqRc3t
Goodreads ➜https://bit.ly/2Uj0YdrABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA Today Best Selling Author T.L. Smith loves to write her characters with flaws so beautiful and dark you can't turn away. Her books have been translated into several languages. If you don't catch up with her in her home state of Queensland, Australia you can usually find her travelling the world, either sitting on a beach in Bali or exploring Alcatraz in San Francisco or walking the streets of New York.AUTHOR LINKS
Text Club: Text TLSmith to 312-728-8217 (US only for new releases of mine)
THE WRONG FAMILY by Tarryn Fisher is LIVE!
“The Wrong Family is your new obsession. It’s full of twists you’ll never see coming and you’ll be breathless until the end. Trust me: you’ve never read anything like this.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author, Colleen Hoover
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3oSfxT0
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3jQCGl9
From the author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Wives comes another twisted psychological thriller guaranteed to turn your world upside down.
Have you ever been wrong about someone?
Juno was wrong about Winnie Crouch.
Before moving in with the Crouch family, Juno thought Winnie and her husband, Nigel, had the perfect marriage, the perfect son—the perfect life. Only now that she’s living in their beautiful house, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade are too deep to ignore.
Still, she isn’t one to judge. After her grim diagnosis, the retired therapist simply wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace. But that peace is shattered the day Juno overhears a chilling conversation between Winnie and Nigel…
She shouldn’t get involved.
She really shouldn’t.
But this could be her chance to make a few things right.
Because if you thought Juno didn’t have a secret of her own, then you were wrong about her, too.
From the wickedly dark mind of bestselling author Tarryn Fisher, The Wrong Family is a taut new thriller that’s riddled with twists in all the right places.
Tarryn Fisher is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of nine novels. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, she immigrated to America with her parents at the age of thirteen. She spent the next eighteen years in South Florida, where she earned her degree in Psychology. A sun hater, she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington, with her children, husband and psychotic husky. Tarryn writers about villains and loves connecting with her readers on Instagram (@TarrynFisher, 61.9k followers). Visit her at TarrynFisher.com for more information, or check out her fashion blog at GuiseOfTheVillain.com. Tarryn is a Slytherin.
Just One Chance