Monday, June 24, 2013

The Finer Edge Review and Giveaway


An innovative collection of 40 stitch and 12 garment patterns from best-selling author Kristin Omdahl, The Finer Edge demonstrates various techniques, construction methods, and versatile applications for crochet edgings.

While crochet edgings are customarily used to trim or finish blankets and garments, designer Kristin Omdahl treats you to both traditional and novel new ways to expand your use of edgings. You will learn how edging patterns can be used to create entire fabrics, reformatted to make individual decorative motifs, reverse-engineered from existing fabrics, and even used to create three-dimensional designs. Focusing on construction techniques for edgings, The Finer Edge is divided into separate sections based on top-down, sideways, and bottom-up methods to help guide the reader.

Though there are 12 project patterns that highlight the edgings, you'll be inspired to creatively mix and match within each edging’s section. Also included in this gorgeous book are charts, illustrations, and photographs of crochet swatches and a pattern collection that includes multiple sizes, including plus sizes.

Discover innovation at its finest with The Finer Edge.


Goodreads


Amazon

Barnes and Noble


Please welcome the wonderful and amazing Kristin Omdahl as she joins us today for a glimpse into her newest book, The Finer Edge. Filled with edgings that can be used as edgings or as projects in themselves. There are projects using the edgings given but I felt really drawn to the edgings themselves.  The combination of the written instruction and the charts were very helpful. 

The biggest thing that caught my eye was the possibility of using some of these patterns for a pretty headband, or perhaps an edging for a dishcloth gift- something small where you can learn a new stitch and not want to pass out from terror looking at unreadable instructions. I love that! (not passing out-readable instructions in both formats. lol)


The pictures in the book are colorful and really illustrate the wide variety of styles and functions.  The Birka Car Coat was a lovely piece, as was the Ephesus Cowl and the Pompeii Mobius.  


This book has a lot of great patterns that can be used in many ways. Many thanks to the publisher for sending a copy my way for review. My fingers are itching to pick up a hook and get a couple of headbands going.


4/5




1. Who was the main influence in your life that got you interested in crocheting/knitting?
It was my son, before he was born. When I was pregnant I was overwhelmed with the urge to learn how to knit and crochet to make things for him. 

2. What was the hardest project you have ever done and why?
The hardest project I ever worked on was a wool and mohair blanket I had to crochet in August outside at my son's football camp. It was over 90 degrees outside and I was almost finished, so I had a large wool blanket in my lap in the heat. That was difficult. But it was a job with a deadline, so I had to push through.

3. In your book, what pattern/project is your favorite and why?
I'm very excited about the 3-dimensional projects in the pattern collection because I wanted to know if it could be done: making 3-D fabric from edging. And it has allowed inspiration to explode ever since. Since writing the book, I keep thinking of other things I can make with this concept!

4. Favorite books to read when you are not knitting/crocheting?
I am an avid reader. I've been reading daily my whole life. Over the years, I have turned to non-fiction from fiction, but my all-time favorites are mostly fiction, still. These books I have read multiple times: Mayfair Witches Chronicles by Anne Rice, The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Stand by Stephen King, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, and The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

5. Chocolate cake or angel food?
I'm not much of a cake person! But one square of deep, dark chocolate with a nice cup of tea or coffee is wonderful.

6. Beach vacation or a trip to the mountains…
I live near the beach, and I always love going to the beach. I would never turn down a beach vacation, but I would like to try a mountain vacation. I'd REALLY like to go to Alaska and go salmon fishing.

7. What is one tip you would give to someone just learning how to knit/crochet? 
Breathe, relax and have fun! Tension is one of the hardest parts to achieve when you begin. And stressing about it will only make your tension tighter. 

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate or coconut. I don't like vanilla ice cream or even ice cream with a vanilla base. But it's because I despise artificial flavorings, especially artificial vanilla and almond flavorings.

9. What are some of the projects you are most proud of? (pictures and book links if possible)
I am proud of my career. I am a single mom, without child support or a safety net. I dreamed of being able to support my son with my designs since before he was born. I am grateful every single day that I can support us doing what I love. I am especially proud of my books because I enjoy the opportunity to teach a concept thoroughly through the large scale of books. 

10. Where are you going next on your needlework adventures?
I'd love to continue doing what I do, and add new mediums to my business. I want to be able to connect with my audience more closely online. I'm looking into different platforms for teaching and talking on the internet with video. Beefing up my YouTube channel, adding a video podcast. As soon as I launch it, I'll announce it on my blog: www.styledbykristin.com

Want to win a copy of The Finer Edge? Enter the Rafflecopter form below!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fatal Exposure Super Book Blast and Giveaway!



FATAL EXPOSURE
by Gail Barrett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Cold-case detective Parker McCall has spent fifteen years trying to solve his brother’s murder.  Now a chance photo of the killer in the newspaper sets him hard on the woman’s trail.  A former teenaged runaway, reclusive, award-winning photojournalist B.K. Elliot chronicles the harsh reality of life on the streets -- until a photo in the paper reveals her identity, blowing the lid off her secret past.  With a powerful murderer now dogging her heels, and her police officer step-father determined to silence her permanently, the last person she can afford to trust is a cop.  So why does sexy police detective Parker McCall tempt her to break her silence and resurrect ideals she’d lost years ago?  As danger closes in, and with more than her own life at stake, Brynn must decide if the duty-bound cop will betray her...or heal her battered heart.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~



EXCERPT:

“All right,” she said. “Undo my hands.”

“You promise to answer my questions?”

“I said I would.”

He tossed her backpack onto the pile of papers and pulled out the handcuff key. He reached for her wrists and unlocked the cuffs, trying to ignore the alluring fragrance of her skin and hair. Then he stepped back, his impatience mounting as he waited for her to do her part.

But she took her time, righting the chair, taking off her peacoat and draping it over her bag. At last she turned to face him, and for the first time, he got a close look at her in the light. She was even more attractive than he’d expected with her wary green eyes and delicately winged brows, that long tumble of auburn hair. Her mouth was evocative and full, her high, sculpted cheekbones tinged with pink. A smattering of freckles dusted her small nose.

He raked his gaze down the rest of her—over her small, high breasts and slender waist, slim hips clad in low-slung jeans—and his heart began to thud. She looked amazingly like the computerized image, but softer, far sexier. More vulnerable.

Vulnerable? He stifled a snort. He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

He returned his gaze to hers. And without warning, a sense of awareness arrowed between them, a deep tug of sexual attraction that caught him unprepared. His belly went taut, a rush of adrenaline accelerating his pulse.

He bit back hard on a curse. Wrong time. Wrong place. Definitely the wrong woman, considering she was a potential suspect in his brother’s death. And her reaction didn’t help—her eyes going wide and dark, her breath catching on a quiet gasp, impacting him even more.

“I need a drink,” she muttered, spinning around.

That made two of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A former RITA® and Daphne finalist, Gail Barrett has received the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Holt Medallion, the Booksellers Best, The National Readers’ Choice Award, and numerous other awards.  She lives with her husband in Western Maryland.  Readers can contact her through her website: www.gailbarrett.com.


Links to buy the book:

Barnes and Noble paperback and Nook:



Gail will be awarding a $25 Amazon / BN (or other bookstore of the winner's choice) GC to one randomly drawn commenter during both tour dates, so make sure you leave a comment with your email address. Follow the blog by GFC and email so you don't miss a post!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Death of a Waterfall Virtual Tour and Giveaway



Title: Death of a Waterfall: The Hayden Falls Saga
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Suspense Romance, New Adult Romance
Flame rating: Hot-

Released: 6/10/2013
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Word count: 70K

Blurb:
Teghan Jacobs didn’t think anything could be worse than learning she’s pregnant by a man she’s been dating less than six months. Boy was she wrong. Her mother, whose drowning in the river of denial, refuses to take a side on the issue. Her overbearing, manipulative father threatens to disown her and cut her off from her trust fund if she doesn’t have an abortion. And she's lying to all of her friends for fear of being ostracized.

Donnie Marks couldn’t be happier. The woman he loves, the woman he fought so hard to be with, is going to have his baby. Life has never been better. But when she shows up in his dorm, sobbing and heartbroken, he learns the horrible truth of what happened. He vows to get revenge on the man who's responsible: Teghan's father.



Purchase Link:





EXCERPT #2 –
Donnie watched as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. He smiled. "Do I make you nervous?"
"No."
He studied her for a moment before cocking his head to the side and asking, "So, why do you do that thing?"
"What thing?"
"That thing with your hair. You've done it every time I've seen you," he said.
Teghan felt the heat rising inside her as she looked at her feet and back at him. His eyes glimmered with desire that, she guessed, rivaled her own. She swallowed hard and reminded herself he was off limits. She'd just made things right with Alex, and there was no doubt that if she broke Alex's heart again, her brother, her father, and their friends would never forgive her. It was something she wasn't willing to risk.
But oh, how she wanted to feel him. To place her hands on his hard abs and feel his muscles tense beneath her touch. As he approached, she watched his body, seductively outlined by the light. Her breath caught in her throat when he reached out, took her hand, and gently pulled her to him. It was as if they were two halves of a mold that fit together perfectly. She sucked in a breath and held it. Was he going to kiss her? A small part of her wished he wouldn't, while the rest of her screamed for it.
Donnie cupped her face in his hand, caressing her cheek with his thumb. Teghan's eyes fluttered closed at the feel of his lips coming close to hers. It was like the time she'd stuck her finger in a light socket; a jolt of searing hot energy shot through her body, but then eased away, leaving her stunned and aroused. "We shouldn't do this," she whispered, her lips brushing against his as she spoke.
"Do you want me to stop?" he said.


Bio:
Born and raised in the small town of Mexico, New York, Kara was an only child who was forced to find ways to entertain herself. Playing make believe with her Barbie dolls and stuffed animals was her first real taste of storytelling before she became old enough to develop a love affair with the written word.

In early 2010, Kara picked up her very first erotic romance novel, and she was instantly hooked. She loves to write contemporary romance, erotica, and young adult romance. Currently she has several full-length novels in the works, a series of novellas, and a handful of short stories. Kara is an active member of the CNY Writers Haven, the Romance Writers of America, and the CNY Romance Writers.
Today, Kara resides in New Haven, New York with her husband, five kids, and three cats. When she's not reading or writing, she's thinking about reading and writing. And when she's not doing that, she's spending time with her family and friends.


Tour long Giveaway: 6 eBook copies of ‘Death of a Waterfall’ and 2 swag packs



Friday, June 14, 2013

Metropolitan Knits

Metropolitan Knits: Chic Designs for Urban Style

Big city. Big style. Discover knitting that's fashionable yet timeless.

Knit for uptown or downtown with a trend-setting New York City designer. With these 20 polished, sophisticated projects, knitwear designer Melissa Wehrle has created a collection that perfectly reflects the rhythm, flavor, and drama of city life.

From a chunky cabled sweater and hat to a beautiful tunic and gossamer cardigan, Melissa's designs are beautifully shaped, expertly finished, and ready to be shown off on the street. They feature a variety of construction and finishing techniques, including knit-in pockets, tabs, button details, slip-stitch edgings, and small slits and pleats.

Projects are divided along three themes: Heart of the City- Designed for those who enjoy sleek midtown in mind. Urban Bohemia- The downtown bohemian goddess will love these looks. City Gardens- Made to inspire a sense of tranquility. These three looks balance out a complete picture of the modern woman. What more could a city knitter need?

·         Amazon: amzn.to/13L29zD
·         Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/ZMDX0h
·         Interweave: bit.ly/14AToux


Review:

This book was lovely. The projects within are a wide array of stylish designs that would be flattering to a number of body sizes and styles. With clean lines and creative patterns, this book has a ton of ideas for finishing and some unique styles that really caught my eye.  It is easy to see that this designer really knows her stuff and has crafted each piece with loving care and attention to detail. The patterns are clearly marked, letting you know how many stitches you are shooting for at the end of the row (thank goodness!) and the color pictures are simply lovely. For those who need some knitting reminders, there is an excellent how to section at the back of the book.

The Secret Garden Tank is gorgeous. The light green yarn that was used on the front portion is very mellow and soothing. When you flip it around, the back portion splits toward the bottom, revealing an ecru lacy panel. Simply divine. 

The Museum Sweater is  done in a lovely olive green with an arched pattern that is truly lovely. The turtleneck cowl look is drape like and adds an elegance to the piece that is inspirational.

For those (like me) who are more comfortable with smaller projects, the Opera Mitts and Uptown Scarf are divine. The scarf is done in a grey yarn that goes with anything and the opera gloves have a finely tuned sense of detail befitting their name.

All in all, this book has some wonderful pieces that are both classic and modern at the same time. The polish and sophistication of these designs are very chic and urban and make me itch to pick up my needles and give them a try. Great pics, good directions (written) and totals at the end of the rows make for a great and informative set of projects.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

4/5

About the author:

Melissa Wehrle studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she majored in Fashion Design, and for nearly a decade worked as a knitwear designer for the fashion industry. Melissa's hand-knit designs have been featured in Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and Yarn Forward. She is also the Creative Director for One Planet Yarn and Fiber. You can find her online at neoknits.com.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Concrete Evidence Virtual Book Tour


CONCRETE EVIDENCE
By
Rachel Grant

BLURB:  

A year ago she lost everything.  Now she wants revenge…

Accused of stealing artifacts from a five-hundred-year-old shipwreck, underwater archaeologist Erica Kesling is determined to clear her name. She’s concealed her past and taken a job certain to give her access to the buyer of the missing antiquities. She's finally closing in on her goal when she's distracted by a sexy, charismatic intern who makes her want something other than revenge. 

But Lee Scott is no intern. He's looking for the lead conspirator in an international artifact smuggling scheme, and Erica is his prime suspect.  He’ll do whatever it takes to win her trust and get her to reveal her secrets, even seduce her. 

As Erica and Lee struggle to conceal their real agendas, the one thing they can’t hide is the attraction that burns hot between them.  When Erica’s quest puts her life in jeopardy, Lee must choose between old loyalties and a woman he never expected to fall for.



EXCERPT:  

Erica waited next to a display of Menanichoch artifacts. The wall-mounted signs gave a detailed history of the Menanichoch tribe and reservation. She stared long and hard at a photo of Senator Joseph Talon with Sam Riversong. Tommy was late. Where was he?

At last, she heard footsteps behind her but didn’t turn. She felt hands at her waist. Tommy’s hands. Close your eyes and think of England. Lips pressed against the nape of her neck. She closed her eyes but didn’t think of England. Instead she thought of Lee.

Self-loathing slid up her spine. Like she’d told Jake a year ago, she wasn’t a whore. “I can’t do this.”

“Do what, Shortcake?”

She whirled to face Lee. She couldn’t speak. Couldn’t think.

“Do what?” he asked again.

She had to say something, but confessing that her intern’s kiss was welcome in a way that Tommy Riversong’s was not was a bad idea. A very bad idea. She found her voice. “Get involved with you,” she said and slipped out of his arms.

You are here to find the artifacts. Lee Scott is a distraction you don’t need.





AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Rachel Grant worked for over a decade as a professional archaeologist and mines her experiences for storylines and settings, which are as diverse as excavating a cemetery underneath an historic art museum in San Francisco; surveying a coal mining town in Kentucky; and mapping a seventeenth century Spanish and Dutch fort on the island of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles. Rachel is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist and can be found on the web at Rachel-Grant.net.


Links:


Buy Links:




Rachel will be awarding a very special deck of cards issued by the Department of Defense to one randomly drawn commenter. Information on the cards is on her website: http://rachel-grant.net. Make sure you follow the blog and leave a comment with your email address to enter the contest.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Dark Flight Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway


Dark Flight
The Shadow Slayers, Book 3
Cassi Carver

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication: May 21,2013

ISBN: 978-1-61921-550-4
ASIN: B00B99RJPK

Number of pages: 263 pages
Word Count: 83,000

Cover Artist: Angela Waters

Amazon   BN   Samhain

Book Description:

In a world of shadows, a pure heart can be the most dangerous weapon of all.

Kara has been training for months to help take down Brakken—the merciless black-wing who is making life hell for the Demi├íre. But when Julian discovers a scout has been tracking Kara, he wants her out of the fight—even if it means breaking her heart in the process.

Gavin isn’t much better. He’s already lost so much to Brakken and has no intention of allowing the woman he loves to be the next sacrifice. He and Julian have their hands full trying to fight Brakken’s army and keep Kara safe, especially after her recent visit to the mythical white-wings. Since her return, she’s been acting decidedly…strange.

With a terrible battle looming, Kara doesn’t have time to think about her conflicted feelings for Gavin and Julian—or the fact that she’s developed an unnatural taste for Gavin’s blood. But if she thought it was complicated evading mysterious scouts and fending off vicious black-wings, she’s learning that’s nothing compared to loving two strong-willed men.

Product Warnings:

This book contains angels that aren’t what they seem, a heroine with mad midwifery skills, and a metamorphosis that will change life as we knew it.



Shadow Rising
The Shadow Slayers, Book 2
Cassi Carver

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication:
September 25, 2012-digital
August 6, 2013-print

ISBN-10: 1619213648
ISBN-13: 978-1619213647
ASIN: B00B99RJPK

Number of pages: 272 pages, print
Word Count: 82,000

Cover Artist: Angela Waters

Amazon    BN     Samhain   Sony

Book Description:

Her lover is back from the dead…but now there’s hell to pay.

When Kara Reed learns her bondmate, Julian, is truly dead, and that Gavin has seemingly skipped town, she figures things have hit rock bottom. But soon, a string of bizarre accidents has her doubting those closest to her. And to make matters worse, the demon-king’s brand carved into her best friend Abbey’s stomach is deteriorating by the day.

Then a powerful coven of witches issues Kara an ultimatum. Bring them the blood of a true fallen angel—the only thing that will heal Abbey—or die. Kara would do anything to help her friend. Problem is, the only fallen angel she’s seen lately is the disoriented black-wing who attacked her scouts. One who looks suspiciously like Julian. Getting his blood might be easier if he was more interested in kissing her than killing her.

Caught between a coven of vengeful witches and a murderous dead lover, Kara must deliver the blood, heal the slow poison of Abbey’s brand, and save Julian from being consumed by the Abyss. But to do this, she may need the help of the one man she swore never to trust again…Gavin.

Product Warnings:

This book contains an angry demon returning from the dead, a clan lord hiding a terrible secret, and a hunted heroine cracking open a can of whoop-ass. Watch out for creepy kitties, exploding bad guys, and some very sudsy shower sex.



Slayer's Kiss
The Shadow Slayers, Book 1
Cassi Carver

Genre: Erotic Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication: Feb 14, 2012-digital, Feb 5, 2013-print

ISBN-10: 1609288947
ISBN-13: 978-1609288945
ASIN: B0061SNX8G

Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 86,000

Cover Artist: Angela Waters

Amazon   BN   Sony     Samhain


Book Description: 

When the past flies in your face, clip its wings.

Slayer's Kiss , The Shadow Slayers, Book 1

Kara Reed is a supernatural failure. But where her magic falls short, her fists get the job done. The criminal element doesn’t stand a chance once she hits San Diego’s dark streets. 

When two smoking-hot tenants move in next door, she thinks her love life might finally be heating up. Just being near Gavin and Julian is enough to make her want to offer her body on a platter.

Gavin and Julian know it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. They’re fallen angels sent to watch over the king’s daughter, one of the last females of her kind. Trouble is, she doesn’t seem to think she needs watching—unless they’re watching her shimmy out of her clothes.

No matter how tempting her guardians, Kara’s not about to let anything stop her from tracking down a sadistic killer who carves into his victims and leaves them for dead. Even when she realizes her target may be the very scourge of heaven from which her angels swore to protect her…

Product Warnings:

Contains a kick-ass heroine with a foul mouth, a kind heart and a raging libido, and two fallen angel warriors who wouldn’t have her any other way. Watch out for sex in the clouds, a magical island of hedonism and a love triangle that gives new meaning to the term “hot-wings”. 







About the Author:
Cassi Carver lives in sunny Southern California with two dogs, four kids, five chickens, and one hubby who gives great massages. She gets to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter for research (okay, happy hour) as often as possible. She’s never saved the world, but she keeps sexy boots on hand just in case the opportunity arises.

When Cassi isn’t busy plotting or writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, caring for pets, getting outdoors, and watching sappy movies that deliver reliably happy endings.



Website: cassicarver.com



Dark Flight Excerpt
Copyright © 2012 Cassi Carver
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Kara dropped into a crouch behind the leaves of a giant bird of paradise as her claws silently pushed through the tips of her fingers. Her thigh muscles burned from the continued strain, but they could catch fire for all she cared. He wasn’t going to get her. Not this time.
When the sound of furtive footsteps approached, crunching softly through the thick, tropical undergrowth, Kara grabbed onto a low-lying branch and swung herself up, then quickly scaled the side of the tree. Her heart beat full-throttle, hammering so hard she hoped he couldn’t hear it. But if his hearing was that good, even the shallow breaths she took might give her away.
The buckskin-clad shape came closer. Head to toe, he wore a suit made of animal skin with a leaf pattern hand-drawn on the material. It was a hunting suit. But Kara didn’t feel like being hunted tonight.
She waited until he was directly under the tree where she hid. His chest and back were strapped with weapons that slowed him just enough to put him at a disadvantage. With a silent, decisive breath, Kara leapt.
Claws extended, she pounced on his back from above, flattening him to the ground under her, crushing a mass of fern fronds under his thick chest. She pulled a knife from his back strap and held it to his throat.
Smiling, she leaned down to whisper above his hooded ear, “Give up, big guy?” If it came out a little throaty and seductive, she couldn’t help it. Victory was a major turn-on. But then again, when it came to Gavin Cross, just breathing the same air was enough to get her hot and bothered.
He shifted under her, and his hulking body had no problem moving her with him. With her knees straddling his hips, she lifted up to allow him to roll onto his back.
“Lady Kara…” the man began, “you have need of me?”
Kara dropped the knife and jumped off, falling to one knee and clobbering a sprig of wild orchids in the clumsy maneuver. “Who the hell are you?”
“Patrick. You don’t remember me?” The warrior sat up and searched her eyes for a moment, but then his confusion cleared, as though he’d finally caught on to what was afoot. “Ah, you really don’t remember me, do you? You simply have need of a man. I don’t mind, my lady. I would be honored to service you.”
It still bothered Kara that his offer lit fuses all up and down her body. If she hadn’t grown up as a regular gal, she probably would have taken him up on his offer. Right here. Right now. Already, his substantial interest was growing.
She stood and brushed the debris from her black jeans. “I’m so sorry, Patrick. I really didn’t intend to…jump you. Lord Gavin and I are doing training exercises out here, and I thought you were him. You may want to hunt somewhere else until we’re finished.” When his brows rose, she added, “Finished training.”
Patrick stood, assessing her with a wry smile, then he retrieved his knife and returned it to its sheath. “Lord Gavin, you say? But he was the one who ordered the hunt.”
“He did what?” But just as she said it, something slammed into her from behind, carrying her blindingly fast through the maze of trees and vines until the blurred image of a clearing appeared.
In the next instant, she crashed into the tall grass face first and rolled onto her back—or was flipped, more like it. The hulking form above her blocked out the light of the moon with his massive silver wings. Her back pushed into the soggy soil, the moisture soaking through her shirt, and a root of some sort pressed against her ribs.
She glared up at Gavin, but with only an inch separating them, his hazel eyes were huge, eclipsing everything else in her vision, and his grin seemed to stretch as wide as his wings. “Gotcha.”
“What was that?” she demanded, but it was hard to yell at him with his lips so close to hers.
He brought a hand to her neck and ran his finger slowly across her throat. “If I had a knife, you’d be dead. I win again.”
Kara’s hands found his waist of their own volition. “No you don’t. You cheated. You sent a horny hunter into our training ground. I thought he was you!”
His breath was sweet and spicy, and the corners of his eyes crinkled with soft lines as he smiled. “Cheating is irrelevant when it comes to life and death, princess. Don’t expect integrity from those who want you dead.”
Her hands raked over the bare skin covering his ribs, until she curled her fingers into her palms to keep from touching him again. “Okay, that one doesn’t count.”
Gavin laughed and pulled her to her feet. “It counts. That’s three hundred sixteen for me and seven for you.”
“Shit,” she ground out. “Let’s try again.”
He reached out and adjusted her damp black T-shirt so that it lay smoothly against her chest. “You’re not ready, Kara.”
She batted his hand away. “So I can’t flash like a silver-wing. That doesn’t mean I’m defenseless.” She’d killed his brother, who was incredibly strong for a silver-winged fallen angel—but she didn’t think there would ever be a right moment to throw that in Gavin’s face. Besides, he’d just tell her that his brother hadn’t been an almost invincible black-wing like the beast they were planning to bring down now.
“We’ve done enough for one night. Let me take you home. It must be almost three pm in San Diego, and you said you had to work tonight.”
Now that Kara was officially part of the Mercury Clan—a band of more than three hundred fallen angel hybrids—Gavin had finally confided that Mercury Island was located in the Seychelles chain of islands. Albeit, with all the wards and defenses, there wasn’t a good chance of a fisherman or passing cruise ship catching on to that fact.
Being halfway around the world from San Diego, it was almost twelve hours off from where she called home. Three pm in San Diego meant she’d kept Gavin up all night here on Mercury Island.
“Yeah, I do have to work. And you need to get some rest.”
He wrapped his arms around her, preparing to flash. “Have you thought about my offer?” As he asked, they began to dissolve. He carried her through the inky tar, and a moment later, they were standing on the balcony off her living room overlooking downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
She let the nausea and the boneless feeling pass before she answered. “I can’t.”
He growled and released her. “No lady of the Mercury Clan needs to work. I have enough resources to keep you comfortable from now until the Armageddon. Did I ever mention that Teras’s daughter working at a bar for minimum wage and paltry tips is just plain absurd?”
“Only about a dozen times. Don’t you ever get tired of this subject, Daddy Warbucks? I know I do.”
“Your father was my king, Kara. How can I hold my head high when I’m not caring for his only daughter?”
Kara reached up—way up, given Gavin’s six-foot-seven-inch frame—and patted his cheek. The dark blond stubble along his jaw was just starting to poke through and it tickled her palm. “You’re so cute when you go all protect-and-provide on me, but I gotta get ready for work now. Bye.” When she wiggled her fingers in farewell and turned to enter the apartment, Gavin slapped her on the rump. She yelped and dashed into the living room.
“Brat!” he called after her, and then he flashed.
And with the sting his hand left on her ass, he was lucky he did.
She growled and swallowed down her body’s reaction to her golden-haired protector. Since her lover, Julian, had called things off three weeks ago, bringing Kara’s sex life to a screeching halt, her starving body couldn’t handle even grappling or sparring with Gavin without her wanting to unstrap his weapons belt to unsheathe his broadsword.
She sat hard on the edge of the sofa and ran a hand over the side of her throbbing backside. What if she did quit her job? What if she took her place on the island as a lady of the clan? What would it be like to trade her boots and jeans for island wear and an ever-present supply of men eager to do her bidding?
As it was, she wondered how long could she pine for Julian, hoping he’d reconsider—and not just for the sake of her broken, humiliated heart, but also for how effective his attention was at helping her control her raging libido.
Truth was, females of Kara’s kind didn’t do well with abstinence once they’d reached her age. Hell, they didn’t even attempt it. And now more than ever Kara could see why.
She began to pull off her boots, but her face was angled toward the balcony window, pointing towards Mercury Island however many thousands of miles away. “Celibacy sucks!” she shouted.

But unfortunately, rolling around with Gavin Cross in a totally different exercise couldn’t happen until they’d accomplished their primary objective—sending that black-wing bastard Brakken to the Abyss before he got hold of Gavin’s only child.



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