Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Stolen Art by Ruth Silver

stolenartbanner  

Stolen ArtTitle: Stolen Art
Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi Romance

~Synopsis~
   
Sixteen-year-old Madeline has been living on the streets, biding her time until she's eighteen. With little to no money, she takes on a heist in hopes of making ends meet.

What could possibly go wrong? Everything. Getting caught is just the beginning of Madeline's adventure as she meets Weston and discovers the secret of where she came from.

Fans of Orphan Black, The X-Files, and Fringe will fall head over heels for STOLEN ART. 

Recommended: 15+




~Book Links~

Add it to Goodreads

~Excerpt~

I rush back up the dark stairwell, shoving the key into the doorknob. It takes a minute for the lock to click and I push myself inside the apartment, securing every lock and deadbolt. I can’t stay here in Hutchinson, Kansas any longer. Pulling my phone from my purse, I text Weston. Tatiana is here. It’s not safe for me. I grab the few belongings that have any value to me, sentimental or otherwise, and shove it into my shoulder bag, including the stolen silver necklace. It has value and if I’m forced on the run, I’ll need money to survive. I know. What did Weston mean he knew Tatiana is at the bar? Had he seen her? Is he there? What do you mean, you know? I type into the phone. If he saw her, why didn’t he warn me? I can’t go down out the front door and it’s only a matter of time until she finds me just a few feet away. I grow restless waiting for an answer. The phone buzzes and displays an incoming call from Weston. "Wes, tell me you’re here." The only thing to do is hop in his car and drive into the night, far from Kansas. A female’s voice bubbles with laughter. "Oh he’s coming darling, but you should know he won’t get here in time. Amazing how easy it is to clone a phone number and steal his service. The advancements Stem Tech has made is encouraging."

teaser stolen art2    


~About the Author~


Ruth Silver Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing multiple series under her name as well as the pen name Ravyn Rayne. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. 

~Follow Ruth here~

Blog- http://writeawaybliss.com 
Facebook- http://facebook.com/writeawaybliss 
Twitter- http://twitter.com/writeawaybliss 

~Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here~

Blog- http://ravynrayne.com 
Facebook- http://facebook.com/ravynraynereads 

book series   

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cover Reveal: Look After Us by Elena Matthews




Book: Look After Us
Series: Look After You #2.5
Author: Elena Matthews
Expected Release: Late Summer
Cover Designed by: Okay Creations
Hosted by: Francessca's Romance Reviews

~Synopsis~

The road to true love isn’t always easy… but through all the heartache, Ava and Ashton have somehow made it through—coming out of the other end even stronger.

Madly in love and engaged to be married, Ava is finally getting her happy ever after.

But it seems Ashton’s brother, Tyler, will beat Ashton down the aisle. When he decides to tie the knot, he asks Ashton to be his best man. Not one to miss his baby brother get married, he and Ava drive to Texas to join in the festivities.

Everything is perfect.

Until Ashton’s past threatens to destroy everything.

Ava’s jealousy rears its ugly head as Ashton’s ex-girlfriend hangs on his every word. Even though she knows Ashton loves her, she can’t help but feel insecure, especially since she’s convinced that Ashton’s first love is karma in disguise, waiting to take her happiness away.

As tempers flare and tears fall, Ava knows she’s overreacting.
Or is she?

~Book Links~

Add to Goodreads




~About the Author~

Receptionist by day, author by night, Elena Matthews is from Manchester, United Kingdom, the home of Manchester United, Media city and of course, Coronation Street. When Elena isn’t writing, she can be found with her nose in a book or watching guilty pleasures such as Gossip Girl, developing a rather unusual liking to Chuck Bass. And when she isn’t doing any of those things, you can often find her on Facebook, obsessing over Kellan Kyle, book boyfriend extraordinaire


Elena spent three years of her life at Salford University studying media production, to decide she no longer wanted to pursue a career in the media. Instead, it took her another two and half years to realise her calling. Writing. Now she lives and breathes her writing. She even had to tell her colleagues at work whenever she is found daydreaming at her desk, it’s because she is conversing with her characters.

~Stalker Links~

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | TSU

~Other Books in the series~

Look After You 

Amazon UK | Amazon US | http://apple.co/1E3ODehiTunesB&NKobo

Look After Me

Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N | Kobo | iTunes


Monday, April 27, 2015

Reviews: Love & Ink Series by J.A. Howell



Marks On My Skin
Love & Ink # 1 
By- J.A. Howell 
Genre- Erotica
Publication Date- March 15th, 2014
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing

~Blurb~

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.** 

Kieran Donovan has always been a doormat to the women in his life. Begging his wife not to leave after finding her in bed with not one—but five men—only provides further proof of that. 

In need of an escape from an empty house and a broken heart, Kieran heads to Midtown to see his estranged brother, Liam. There he meets Shayne Wickham, Liam’s best friend. Shayne’s dark and sexy with a wild streak a mile long and a sexual appetite for things Kieran’s never even dreamed of doing. But after an intense, and all too brief encounter, he’s more than willing to learn. Despite the usual safeguards Shayne keeps around herself and her own wounded heart, she finds herself more than willing to show him the ropes…and the floggers…and the paddles. 

Kieran’s never seen himself as dominant in any aspect of his life. But when Shayne submits herself to him, it ignites an inner strength and hunger he never knew he had—and feelings Shayne didn’t know she could have. So used to keeping others at an arm’s length, the ease with which she finds herself trusting Kieran is both exciting and unsettling. Could Kieran be someone she could finally trust her heart to—or will he leave her scarred like everyone else? 

Just another mark on her skin.

~Book Links~

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

~My 4.5* Review~

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for nothing more than an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

This book was thoroughly enjoyable. I have read and enjoyed the Possess Saga; and I miss those characters, so it was great to see some of them cross into Marks On My Skin.

Marks On My Skin is Shayne and Kieran's story. And what a story it is. When we meet Kieran he's married and lives with his wife, he's an author and hoping to have one book turned into a film. After returning home early one lunchtime Kieran finds his wife in bed with not one but 5 men!! Kieran heads to Midtown to see his brothers Liam and Niall. This is where he meets Shayne.

Shayne co-owns the Knotted Needle with Liam, they're also best friends too. There's no denying that when Shayne and Kieran meet there's chemistry between them, but Shayne doesn't do relationships and Kieran is still married. Will that stop them???

Kieran witnesses a part of Shayne's life that she keeps from everyone, her mother. And he sees Shayne's true friendship with Darren too. Darren is a dom, and not just any dom. Darren is Shayne's dom. He runs a club for dom's and sub's, and he helps to teach them to be a dom safely. Darren has played a big part in Shayne's life. He's caught her at rock bottom and helped her to become the woman she is today. Between Shayne and Darren they introduce Kieran to a world he never thought he'd be a part of let alone want to be a part of.

But as things seem to be going well for them Kieran's wife makes an appearance. Completely unannounced and unwanted, but boy, when she does the shit really does hit the fan for everyone involved!!

Will Kieran find out the truth before its too late?

The characters are really good, they're down to earth, realistic and so easy to love and connect with. As I mentioned earlier there are a few faces from The Possess Saga that pop up as well as all the new faces too.

The conversations and dialect have been written as they would be said; with the Irish and Scottish this may be a little harder to read if your not used to it. But this also gives a stronger and more realistic impression of the characters actually being Irish or Scottish. I really like it.

The plot is really good, there's lots of twists and turns that kept me on my toes. They also kept me hooked from start to finish. I have again loved J.A. Howell's writing style. It flows and has emotion throughout. I was sucked into the lives of the characters and I felt as though they were real people and friends.

I've loved reading Marks On My Skin and I cannot wait to start reading Scratches Down My Back.

I'd recommend this to anyone over 18, that loves a spicy, erotic romance and who loves guys and gals with ink!

*******************************

Scratches Down My Back
Love & Ink # 2 
By- J.A. Howell
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing
Genre- Erotica

~Blurb~

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.**

Liam Donovan can’t connect with women. The only woman he thought he had something with was his best friend Shayne, but she chose his younger brother over him. Single, bitter, and with a non-existent sex life, he’s accepted the only good things he’s got going in his life are his tattoo shop and fighting in the cage.

When Lucy Stevens walks into his shop for a tattoo, he dismisses her like so many of the beautiful but vapid girls he’s met over and over. Unfortunately for him, this five foot blonde bombshell is more than capable of going a few rounds, easily putting Liam in his place. He finds her ability to keep him on his toes both intriguing and annoying. But he isn’t just afraid of being able to keep up with her verbal jests. Despite nothing being medically wrong with him, Liam hasn’t been able to “perform” on that front in years…

But Lucy isn’t one to back down from a challenge. When she gets this man in a compromising position and it seems once again his body won’t cooperate, Lucy takes control of the situation. A little tough love never hurt anybody, and it seems with Liam, that’s just what he needed. 

For someone that’s spent the last decade having to be in charge, Liam finds complete release in handing it over to her. But Lucy is keeping a few secrets from Liam. Secrets that have previously destroyed her life and her past relationships. As she falls for Liam, she knows she needs to tell him. But will he still want to submit to her once he finds out the truth? Or will this be the one fight he walks away from?

~Book Links~

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

~My 4.5* Review~

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for nothing more than an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Scratches Down My Back is Liam and Lucy's story. 

Liam is the co-owner of the Knotted Needle. He is the eldest of the 3 Donovan brothers. Liam was forced to grow up quicker than his brothers in order to look after them and keep them from the clutches of their abusive father. Liam hasn't had a relationship in a very long time, and he has issues that are preventing him from trying now. Liam is a fairly grouchy person and Lucy's arrival in town doesn't help!

Lucy is a friend of Niall and she's in Midtown doing a project with Niall and Grant. Lucy wants a tattoo so Niall suggests paying Liam a visit. When Lucy and Liam meet there are sparks of something between them. However Lucy is all she appears to be, she has a double life. Her hidden life is that of La Belle Dame the infamous Dominatrix! She keeps being La Belle Dame a secret because in the past when people of found out they don't want Lucy they want La Belle Dame. 

Can Lucy break free of La Belle Dame? Can she find someone who wants her; the real Lucy? Will that someone be Liam or is he like all the others??

The story overall is really good. It continues with the dominant/submissive theme, but this time it's the male who submitting. I really like how J.A. Howell has taken Liam; the big, grouchy, hunky Irishman and made him bow to Lucy.

Scratches Down My Back is full of romance, suspense, passion and fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. J.A. Howell has written the sex scenes well, they are sensual, smoking hot, sexy as hell and at times full of raw emotion. Shayne and Niall bring fun filled comical moments throughout the entire book too.

The only flaw for me with Scratches Down My Back is that it the plot and its layout are very similar to Marks On My Skin, but other than that it;s a great book. Scratches Down My Back hasn't failed to capture my attention and hold it until the very end. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Liam and Lucy's story.

Now that I've read book 1 and 2 I can't wait to read book 3 Exposing The Flesh and see what J.A. Howell has lined up for us next.

*******************************

Exposing The Flesh
Love & Ink #3
By- J.A. Howell
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing
Genre- Erotica

~Blurb~

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.**

Niall Donovan is a talented photographer. When it comes to women, he can have his pick and has. But beneath the flirtatious, joking smiles he's hiding long buried pain and traumatic memories. Memories that are breaking the surface once more. Memories that he’ll do anything to shut up. When suicide doesn’t work for him, he indulges in pills, drugs, and physical pain. They seem to help some, but they barely take the edge off.

London Black has been put through the wringer. Between a car accident that nearly killed her, months of physical therapy, and finding out the boyfriend she moved to Midtown for has been cheating all along, she’s done being the sweet wholesome girl everyone thinks she is. A one night stand with the sexy photographer she meets at a club is just the thing she needs to boost her ego. It does more than that when the explicit photos of them are the main exhibit at the local art gallery. Embarrassed, angry, and now without a prospective job, she confronts him on opening night. But when he offers her a generous deal with room and board in return for more photos, she accepts. Taking naked photos with him for a large sum of cash doesn’t seem like that horrible of an option, and besides they both intend to keep things completely professional.

When the shutter starts snapping, however, it’s hard for either to deny what's developing between them. Neither are in a good place and prefer those desires stay hidden in the dark, but the camera doesn’t lie. Baring it all may expose more than their bodies. But exposing their hearts may be more than Niall or London bargained for.

~Links~ 

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

~My 4.5* Review~

Disclaimer: I received a free ecopy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.**

Exposing The Flesh is Niall and London's story. Niall is the youngest of the Donovan brothers and the one with the most emotional issues. He feel guilty over his parents deaths, he feels responsible for everything bad that has happened to the people he loves. When the feelings of guilt become too much, Niall tries to take matters into his own hands. 

This is where we meet London, London is on her way to Midtown when she is involved in a car crash. After getting out of hospital London has to undergo physical therapy; when her boyfriend Jordan doesn't show one day she heads home. When she arrives at their place; London finds more than she bargained for.

London leaves and stays with her friend Kim. One night they go out to a club. In the club Niall is there to take photo's of the band that is playing. Niall notices London. One thing leads to another and that changes the course of London's future.

Will Niall open up and let London in? Can Niall overcome his demons? Is Niall what London really wants? Will London want to stick around once she learns the truth about Niall's demons? Can Niall stop the self-loathing?

This book is deals with a lot of serious issues and it is packed full of emotions too. It was clear to me that J.A. Howell has done a lot of research regarding these issues as they felt real, the way everything was described I could easily feel myself being in the shoes of each and every character.

Niall's life never seems easy. At the start of the book he's clearly on a big downward spiral, but then things begin to look up for him, and then something happens and he begins to retreat again; Niall's life is like a roller coaster of epic proportions and I was there with him.

It's clear from Niall and London's first encounter that they have chemistry, and its the sort of chemistry that as a reader you feel it emanating from withing the pages. I saw their relationship as so much more than another romance through; It's almost as if London could be the missing piece to Niall, the key ingredient for him to fully heal.

J.A. Howell offsets the amount of serious issues in this book by adding in some of her humour, which causes some very laugh out loud moments. Exposing The flesh has everything you could ever really want drama, passion, lust, love, violence, heartbreak and turmoil. The characters have grown into amazing people and I'm really sad to be saying goodbye to them.

I have loved this book and all of this series. I'm looking forward to seeing what J.A. Howell has in store for me next. :)

~About the Author~

J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.

~Places To Find The Author~

Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | YouTube | Amazon Author Page 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sale and Pre-Order: The Midnight Society Series by Logan Patricks

Starting today; April 16th, Logan Patricks author of The Midnight Society series will be putting books 1 & 2 on sale for just $0.99 each. This is in anticipation for the launch of book 3: Revenant, due out April 23rd, which is available for preorder.

Book 1: Semblance

~Book Description~

Whoever said money couldn’t buy happiness has never starved a day in their lives.

My name is Aria Valencia, a third year classical music student at the university, and I was down to my last dollar. Some nights, I seriously considered working at the rippers just to make ends meet, but the thought of my dad’s spirit–God rest his soul–scowling at me while I danced up on some drooling degenerate was enough to turn me off the idea completely.

And then one night, chance came knocking on my door under the guise of the Midnight Society, a secret cabal comprised of the most wealthy and influential souls this side of the Universe. Their leader was a man named Shadow, who was equally enigmatic as he was gorgeous and, for some mystifying reason, had his dark brooding eyes focused on me.

Seduced by the promises of fame and fortune in exchange for a seemingly innocent request, I soon found myself drawn into a provocative world filled with both vast riches and unending lies and it didn’t take long for me to realize what being a part of the Midnight Society actually entailed: shiny things, sensual romance, and dead bodies.

Falling in love with Shadow came with a terrible price, one that I wasn’t willing to pay. There’s a dark side to every love story, and this one was mine.

~Amazon Buy Link~

Amazon US | Amazon UK

On sale @ 80% off: From $4.99 to $0.99

Book 2: Penumbra

~Book Description~


In one night, I lost everything: my hopes and dreams, my best friend, and Shadow’s heart. He told me he loved me, but it was just a lie.

The Midnight Society has fallen, reduced to ashes by a monster; someone whom we all once trusted. The betrayal has shattered our lives forever and Shadow, Lord of the Midnight Society, finds himself at a crossroad.

One road leads him further down the path of vengeance, filled with unending violence and dead bodies. The other road leads to me. However, our path to happiness is paved with broken glass and razorblades, and at some point, one of us is going to fall.

Welcome to the world of the Midnight Society.

~Amazon Buy Link~

Amazon US | Amazon UK

On sale @ 80% off: From $4.99 to $0.99

~Book 3: Revenant~

~Book Description~

With power comes the promise of blood. With friendships comes the promise of betrayal. With love comes the promise of tragedy.

The Midnight Society keeps no promises.

Shadow, the Lord of the Midnight Society--a once powerful and world-ruling organization--is a man with many burdens. 

He’s losing a war with the Revenants, whose psychotic leader murdered his parents and was someone he once trusted. His best friend, Lincoln Richards--whose quick wit, charms, and loyalty are outweighed only by his sexual appetite--is a prisoner of the Revenants, and possibly dead. Meanwhile, the whispers of a traitor within his organization has Shadow constantly looking over his shoulder. 

Perhaps the only thing going right for him is his mended relationship with Aria Valencia, a beautiful pianist with humble beginnings. Little does he know, she’s hiding a dark secret from him, one that threatens to destroy everything they’ve built together. 

In Shadow’s heart, there’s one single thing that can make everything right again: revenge. However, the cost for revenge is high, one that’s paid for with the lives of both his enemies and loved ones. 

The war between the Midnight Society and the Revenants comes to a head in this penultimate chapter of the best selling Romance Mystery series, the Midnight Society. 

~Amazon Buy Link~

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cover Reveal: Stolen Art by Ruth Silver


~Book Details~

Stolen Art
By- Ruth Silver
Genre- YA Sci Fi Adventure
Expected Publication Date- May 4th, 2015
Published By- Lazy Day Publishing

~Synopsis~

Sixteen-year-old Madeline has been living on the streets, biding her time until she's eighteen. With little to no money, she takes on a heist in hopes of making ends meet. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything.

Getting caught is just the beginning of Madeline's adventure as she meets Weston and discovers the secret of where she came from.


~Author Bio~

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. She also writes The Federal Agent Chronicles, an adult romance series under the name Ravyn Rayne for Blushing Books. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.
~Follow Ruth here~
~Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here~
Twitter- http://twitter.com/blushingravyn

Review: Incarcerated by Inger Iversen - Audiobook


Incarcerated
Love and War Standalone # 1
Genre- Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date- September 29th, 2014

~Synopsis~

One of the few white kids in a rural Kentucky town, Logan Whyte always kept to his own kind out of self-preservation. He never considered himself racist, but that didn’t stop him from falling in with the wrong crowd that celebrated hate as much as he fought it - or from ending up in prison for eight years on an armed robbery charge.

A successful and educated black woman, Katie Andreassen is tired of being accused of betraying her own race. Her lonely isolation, coupled with her grief over losing her mother, inspire her to create a new pen pal program at Capshaw State Penitentiary, where her father is a warden.

The program brings together the unlikely pair, but Logan and Katie soon find themselves forced to overcome past fears and prejudices. Their friendship doesn’t come easily - threatened by a crooked lawyer with a grudge and a best friend who betrays her promise to help.

When faced with a world that forces them apart, Logan and Katie must show everyone else what they have discovered: that love is, in fact, colorblind.

   


~My 3.5* Review~

I have only listened to 3 audiobooks and reviewed two of them; this being my second. This is my first experience of Inger Iversen as an author and of Olivia Peppersmith as a narrator.

Now, I won't lie. I'm really struggling with this review. I wish I could pinpoint why but I can't. I have enjoyed the book, I think it maybe the whole audiobook thing that is causing me issues. I'm not used to having a story read for and hearing how someone else thinks that a character should sound.

But do NOT be put off by my uncertainty over this as an audiobook. I fully intend to read the ebook for myself so that I can experience this book in a way I know and enjoy immensely, especially when the book itself is really good. Inger Iversen touches on the subject of racism and she does so with care and tact. I found her writing style to be good and captivating. 

I felt that Olivia Peppersmith tried her best to distinguish and differentiate between the characters. She used accents for each characters; which certainly made it straightforward to actually follow who was talking and when. But I'm not sure if I liked the accent she gave Logan; I'm not sure what I was expecting for him. 

This experience of Inger Iversen's work has certainly piqued my curiosity about her other books, and I will be looking at reading them soon; but I do mean reading them not having them read to me. I'm looking forward to reading Incarcerated and hopefully changing my review to 4 or 5 stars instead of 3.5 stars.

As much as I have enjoyed this book the audiobook hasn't floated my boat as much as I had initially hoped. I'm looking forward to both reading Incarcerated and then reading more of Inger Iversen's work.



~About the Author~

Inger Iversen lives in Virginia Beach with her tree-hugging boyfriend, Joshua and her overweight lap cat, Max. When not reading or writing she spends her time watching reruns of True Blood, Walking Dead or killing zombies in Call Of Duty. Of course, if the world were to change into some World War Z type situation, she’d probably be the only chick running around searching for a Ray Gun!

~Social Media Links~

Stalk her…No, peeking through her window at night. (Unless you call first!)
Follow her on Twitter: @kris10inger
Peek at her pics on Instrgram: http://instagram.com/kris10inger


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Spotlight: Thrive (Twisted Series book 3) by Rebecca Sherwin

Photo banner for Thrive, a new romantic suspense novel by Rebecca Sherwin

Thrive cover
~Book Info~

Title: Thrive 
Series: Twisted Series, Book 3 
Author: Rebecca Sherwin 
Genre: Erotic Romance-Suspense 
Release Date: April 7, 2015 

*** For readers 18+ due to sexual content and mature themes.***

~Synopsis~

With everything at stake and nothing to lose, Skye Jones and 'Cut-throat' Curtis Mason are reunited in the fight of their lives - once and for all. It's time to face the demons of the past and the present; to reclaim the powerful, passionate connection that brought them together; and overcome the forces that would tear them apart. It's time to expose - and destroy - the web of lies, deceit and betrayal woven by those around them to hold them captive, to keep them silent, isolated and alone. The time has come. There is no time to fight for survival. There is no time to beg for revival. There is no other option. There is no choice. What happens now? It’s time to Thrive…  

Photo of a couple making love with a quote from Thrive, a newly released erotic suspense novel by author Rebecca Sherwin

~Excerpts~

“Spread your legs and hold on to the doorframe.” I did as he asked, pressing my heels back against the doorframe and gripping it tightly with my hands. “Don’t let go. Don’t touch me. Don’t move unless I tell you to. Understood?” “Yes.” He turned and walked back to the room he was in earlier, leaving me in silence and near complete darkness. He returned a few minutes later, his shirt unbuttoned and fanning out as he strode towards me with purpose. His muscles rippled as he walked and the bruises on his torso appeared like dark, ominous shadows in the dim light. He held a black tie tight between his hands and stopped just in front of me with it raised between us. “Head down,” he ordered, void of emotion. He hadn’t just gone to choose a prop; he’d taken time out to put his armour on – the mask I’d seen him wear too many times. “Why?” I asked, complying and dropping my head, my eyes catching sight of our bare feet. A purr settled at the back of my throat. “I can't look at your eyes,” he answered, blinding me with the tie and tying a knot behind my head. His fingers brushed my chin and he raised my head back against the door. “And I can't bear the thought of you looking at me.” “What are you going to do?” I was afraid. The anticipation fizzed in my blood, but I was scared of what he would do. Curtis was right – we couldn’t trust each other. I closed my eyes behind the tie and listened for signs from Curtis other than those I’d normally see. His breathing was calm, steady and relaxed. His voice was passive and gave nothing away, but his breath felt warm against my neck when he leaned closer and whispered against my hypersensitive flesh. “I’m going to give you what you want.”
**********
“It terrified me,” he confessed, diverting my response. “I came out of my office and you were gone. I have to keep you by my side.” “No, you don’t.” “I need you by my side.” “Then why-?” “Just watch.” I turned back to face the horizon as the sun began to rise behind it; the soft light of a new day pushed its way into the darkness of the night before. “I’m the darkness,” Curtis breathed, hesitating to think about his next words. “I’m the part of the day everyone is afraid of. The part everyone wants to end so they can move onto a better day.” “No, you’re not.” “You’re the light,” he continued, ignoring me, lost in his struggle of verbal expression. “You bring hope and promise. You’re the part everyone looks forward to because it’s exciting and full of energy.” “Where are you going with this?” Curtis curled one arm around my shoulder and his free hand pointed to the sky in front of us. I followed his direction, to where the light and dark met and battled for attention with shocks of bright orange and hues of fading purple. “We’re that part, right there, you and me. We’re bound to collide. It’s inevitable, unavoidable. Visually it’s beautiful, but in reality, it’s a bloody battle. The darkness will always eclipse the light. Even now, when the sun is rising, the dark is trying to squash it.” “Curtis, I know what you’re trying to say, but…” “No, you don’t. If you stay around me, you’ll lose your light. I can't let that happen.” “So what you’re saying is, you found me just to send me away again.” “No. I’m saying I made a mistake. I believed for years that if I found you, you would save me. I didn’t realise that I would drag you down with me.” “You know,” I smiled and lied back on the blanket, watching the sky change and swirl. “You would have made your point a lot better if you’d have done this at sunset.” He turned his head to look down at me, confused. I nodded for him to join me and when he did, I pointed upwards. “What do you see?” I asked. “The sky.” “What colour is it?” “Blue.” “Exactly. The dark and light will always collide, you’re right. But they’ll always balance each other, and the tables will always turn. The sun doesn’t have it easy. It has to work for its place in the sky, but it wins, Curtis. And then come sunset, it’s the dark’s time to fight.” “Skye-” “We’re always going to clash. We’re going to consume each other. We always have.” “I want to hurt you.” His confession was low and filled with regret. He dropped his head and looked away, deflating in shame. “Good. Because I want to hurt you, too.” “What?” His dark eyes shot to mine in shock. “I’m in, Curtis. Let me save you. Let me save us both.”

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Photo of a muscular young man representing the principal character in Thrive, with a quote from the novel.

~Meet Rebecca Sherwin~

Rebecca is a coffee drinking, music loving, working single mother and writing insomniac. When she’s not writing, she’s reading and when she’s not reading she’s squeezing her eyes shut and willing sleep to descend.
Rebecca-PhotoShe writes about serious issues, giving emotional turmoil a twist and adding a little humour and sarcasm. Her stories are real and relatable, yet unexpected and unpredictable. Every writer was a reader first and Rebecca owes her passion for creating and telling emotional tales to the stories she has read and the people, places and experiences that have, and continue to, inspire her. Rebecca wants her readers to escape to a world where fairy tales and true love exist, wrapping her stories up with angst, passion and curveballs you won't see coming. Her writing aims to bring problems and tragedies people face every day to light, make them relatable and leave her readers thinking long after they’ve read the last page. In 2015, you will find Rebecca signing her books at events in London, York, and Birmingham; and in 2016 she plans to sign at Leeds, Cardiff, Liverpool, Essex and Dublin. If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello.

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