Summoned to Thirteenth Grave Blog Tour

Official Blog Tour Stop


Welcome to Read What I Like’s stop on the blog tour for Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones!  I’m so excited to be participating in the buzz surrounding the release of the last book in the Charley Davidson series!  I have a long, but fun post planned for you all, it will be broken down into several sections starting with book and author info followed by a joint review of the first and last book in the series.  Up next is some fun facts about the series provided by Ms. Jones herself and last but certainly not least a link to a giveaway where you can win the complete series!!!


Book Info

Book Genre:  Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: #13 Charley Davidson Series

Released: 1/15/2019 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages:312   Price: $27.99 Hardcover

Links:  GoodreadsBuy the BookSMP Romance TwitterSMP Romance Website

 

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series! 
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plane for eternity—which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently, it is. Bummer.  She’s missed her daughter. She’s missed Reyes. She’s missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. Now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. A born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Darynda’s Social Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest


First Grave on the Right &

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave Joint Review

When they asked me to be a part of the blog tour the publishers asked that participants review their favorite book in the series along with the last book.  Many of my followers might know that I already reread the entire series this year in preparation for this release so I wasn’t sure which book I wanted to read again.  I settled on the first book which I actually read after finishing the thirteenth.  I wanted to absorb the end before going back to the beginning with fresh eyes to see if my opinion of it change or what clues I might have missed now knowing how everything plays out.  If you are looking for clues as to what happens in the last book I’m sorry but this review is going to be a disappointment for you.  I do not want to spoil one second of your enjoyment of the last book.  Believe me, this hurts me as much as you as I am dying to talk to someone about what all went down in the last book! I will probably post a spoiler review on the blog after the book releases in January so keep an eye out for that.

When I think about the two books that start and finish this amazing series I am delighted to see how much of what I loved about that first book carries through until the last book.  The humor and camaraderie between the characters that is the backbone to this series stick with it until the end.  As does the more somber moments that leave me in tears weeping over my nook and reaching for tissues.  This series would take us on a rollercoaster ride in each book and leave us clamoring for more.  Which makes me so sad to know that Summoned to Thirteenth Grave is the last ride we get to take with Charley and Reyes and it was just as thrilling as the first!

That doesn’t mean Charley hasn’t grown as a character over the years, because she has.  She is so much stronger than I think she could have ever believed herself to be in the last book, this last battle.  Charley has truly come into her own in this book and it was quite the sight to see!  Charley started out as almost a goofy character that was a bit awkward at times and struggling to live with this unique ability or role she was given. Simply trying to understand it all and live as normal a life that she could.  By the end though, she is a force to be reckoned with and I can’t wait until you can read all about it.

Then there is Reyes, oh sure he is what we all secretly long for in a book boyfriend but I feel his has probably transformed the most out of anyone in the entire series.  When I read how he started out and then to see where he finished.  I was simply amazed.  They truly are a perfect match and complete each other beautifully.

But what about the supporting characters? You might ask.  What happens to them?  Most everyone that started the book finishes the books, there were just a few that we lost along the way.  I promised that I wouldn’t spoil anything but you are in for a couple of surprises in the last book.  Nope, not going to say more than that I was just as sad to say goodbye to all of them as I was to Charley and Reyes.  I simply don’t want to give any of them up.

But we must, all good things must come to an end and this was a pretty awesome ending in my opinion.  I look forward to reading this series, this adventure many times over the years.  When I know I need to laugh, or cry, or simply some really good smut!  I know that Charley, Reyes, Cookie, Ubie, and all of them are there waiting for me.  I might know how the story ends now but I will never stop loving the ride!


Series Fun Facts!

  • First Grave on the Right: The concept for First Grave came about while Darynda was working as a sign language interpreter in her hometown. She stole many of the names from students at the schools where she worked, including Reyes, Garrett, and Amber. As far asDarynda knows, they have all forgiven her for her thievery.
  • Second Grave on the Left: Uncle Bob is a combination of two people: Darynda’s oldest brother, Luther, and the principal at the high school where she worked for several years.
  • Third Grave Dead Ahead: This was originally titled Third Grave Straight Ahead, but Darynda’s web designer, Liz Bemis, asked her to change the name to Dead Ahead. Firstly, it fit the content better, and secondly, Liz got tired of spelling the word Straight wrong while updating the website. Dead is much easier to type.
  • Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet: Quentin Rutherford makes his first appearance in this book. While his first name was stolen from Darynda’s little brother and his last name stolen from yet another Jr. High student, Quentin is physically sculpted from her oldest son, Jerrdan, a bona fide blond-haired, blue-eyed devil with a sparkling smile that melts even the staunchest of hearts. And, like Quentin Rutherford, he was born Deaf. Not that he let it stop him for a second.
  • Fifth Grave Past the Light: This book was fun to write! Darynda was trying to come up with something truly creepy to throw into the book, and she figured what would be creepier than having an apartment full of departed women crawling up the walls, skittering across the ceiling, and huddling in the corners? Also, it is one of the hotter books, so that was fun, too. Because, you know, Reyes.
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge: Darynda really wanted to open this one on a humorous note. She wanted to have Charley on a stakeout with a departed elderly man, who also happens to be naked, riding shotgun. Which begs the question: Are we really stuck in (or out of) whatever we are wearing when we die for all eternity? ‘Cause that would suck.
  • Seventh Grave and No Body: Osh’ekiel was originally supposed to be in one book only. And he was supposed to be a very bad guy. But Darynda fell in love with him while writing the book and decided to redeem him and give him a bigger role. Just how big his role would become didn’t come to Darynda until plotting Eighth Grave. He has been one of her favorite characters since she wrote that first scene with him.
  • Eighth Grave After Dark: Darynda wanted to really turn the tables on Charley and force her to have to stay in one place, thus the sacred ground of the convent came into play. It was fun and challenging to write a “locked room” mystery, so to speak, but that’s why she loves writing so much.
  • The Dirt on Ninth Grave: One of Darynda’s favorite books in the series, she looked forward to writing this book ever since she came up with the concept while plotting Sixth Grave. Part of what makes a romance so fun is the falling-in-love part, and she wanted Charley to fall in love with Reyes all over again. This book was doubly fun because the audience knows all the characters’ backstories, and they get to watch in anticipation as Charley slowly unravels the mysteries of her past while seeing her fall head-over-heels for the same guy all over again.
  • The Curse of Tenth Grave: This book had one of those too-close-for-comfort calls. Right before Tenth Grave went to print, after going through editors and copyeditors and readers of all shapes and sizes, a savvy proofreader let Darynda in on a little secret: A Sherpa is part of a culture, not an occupation. Thanks to this razor-sharp reader, Darynda narrowly escaped insulting an entire culture in one fell swoop. Aka, her worst nightmare. Her gratitude is unending.
  • Eleventh Grave in Moonlight: Darynda dreamed of going to Scotland for so long, she finally decided to just put it in one of her books. She had Charley accidentally materialize in the magical country, only to find out weeks after finishing the book that she would finally get to go there herself. In person. For realsies. It was even more magical than she’d imagined it would be, and she can’t wait to go back.
  • The Trouble with Twelfth Grave: This book has one of Darynda’s favorite epiphanies EVER!!! She thought, what if someone out there in the universe, a child perhaps, knows everything about Reyes and Charley? Everything starting from their supernatural heritage to their human identities? And what if that person wrote a book about them? Or a series of books? Say, perhaps, a set of children’s books and Garrett just happens to stumble upon them while doing research? How fun would that be? And the international bestselling children’s book (fictionally speaking) The First Star was born.
  • Summoned to Thirteenth Grave: By far the hardest story in the series to write, penning the last Charley book was a bittersweet experience. But Darynda knew she had to go big or go home, so what better way to go out with a bang than to end the world as we know it by starting the zombie apocalypse? Because that’s what writers do. We start apocalypses.

Giveaway Info!

Enter for a chance to win the entire Charley Davidson series by Darynda
Jones, an ARC of the epic finale, Summoned to Thirteenth Grave, plus
fun swag!

Giveaway Link


Closing thoughts

Thanks for visiting I hope you had a great visit and learned all kinds of fun stuff about the series and the upcoming final release.  If this is your first time here I hope you will be back!  I post honest reviews of everything I read and every so often I have fun posts like this one to share with everyone. Be sure to check out the all the blogs on the tour as I’m sure there are loads more interesting posts to check out!

~Happy Reading!

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Blog Tour: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Week One

Monday, April 17 – There’s This Book
Tuesday, April 18 – Vicarious Bookworm
Wednesday, April 19 – Bad Bird Reads | Francesca’s World
Thursday, April 20 – Read What I Like
Friday, April 21 – Snoopy Doo’s Book Reviews | The Book Nympho

Week Two

Monday, April 24 – The Consummate Reader | Rantings of a Reading Addict
Tuesday, April 25 (Release Day) – Vampire Book Club | Literary Escapism | Saucy Wenches
Wednesday, April 26 – Cocktails & Books | Goldilocks & The Three Weres
Thursday, April 27 – Rabid Reads
Friday, April 28 – Tru Bookie’s Review


I am so excited to be a tour stop for the release of Blade Bound!  To help launch the last release in this epic series, Chicagoland Vampires!  I’m not one to sign up for many blog tours but when I saw Ms. Neill’s call for blogs to sign up I knew I had to take a shot.  I entered, crossed my fingers and here we are!  An official stop right there besides some truly amazing blogs, I am not missing a single stop on this tour and I hope you don’t either.

As to my turn to host the celebration of the release of Blade Bound I have altered my typical review post to include lots of fun stuff.  We have links to all the official tour stops above.  Next is my Spoiler Free review and links to where you can get your hands on a copy of Blade Bound.  After my review, there is a totally cool mini-interview with Merit where I got the opportunity to ask her four questions. Last but not least at the very end you will find not one but two different giveaways!  So be sure to check everything out.


Book Review

 

Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires, #13)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires # 13

Released: 4/25/17 by Berkley Publishing Group

Pages: 384  Price: $15.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy The Book Links: 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Books-A-Million | Indiebound

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees a sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it may usher in the fall of Cadogan House… 

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House.  She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House in infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined.  As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension.  It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

My Review:

I am sitting here wondering what to say… How to start this review… I mean just where does one begin?  Do I start by saying unabashedly how much I loved this book, this series?  Do I tease you with insight into the final chapter to this action-packed series?  Do I plead with the author and publishers to please, please don’t let it end? Or do I sigh, shed a tear, and smile at all the joy this world has brought into my life and wish these two characters all the best as they finally move into their H.E.A.?  I think that is where I will begin…

I did not start off loving Merit and Ethan, it took me about four books to actually warm up to these two.  It was a rocky start after all with Merit not liking who she became and Ethan having an ego the size of the State of Illinois.  I pushed on and eventually, the magic caught me.  Ironically it took losing Ethan to make me see just how special this series was.  There was so much to love; action, steam, quick-wit, drama, a fun supporting cast, and an amazing city for all their adventures to unfold in.  This has become one of my favorite worlds to explore and now it is over.  Merit and Ethan have earned their H.E.A and I wish them an eternity of joy together.  I will think of them every time I visit Chicago.

I have to say as far as series finales go this is one of the best ones I’ve ever read.  It had everything that made this series great and didn’t shove a forced farewell to all the characters that were no longer relevant to the current plot down our throats.  Most of the plot threads were wrapped up nicely, only one that I can think of that felt unresolved but such is life.  This book started off with a celebration which was an amazing way to honor this power couple that is leaving our lives.  Of course, being Merit and Ethan chaos quickly broke things up and the vampires were tasked with saving the city once again.

I loved how this series brought everything full circle and ended with a set of characters now a fully functional team working to defend their home.  We also get another tour of iconic locations in Chicago as the city is literally a central character to this story.  I  couldn’t think of a more fitting way to send off the Chicagoland Vampires series than this book.  It was perfect.

I have heard that we will revisit this city again in a spin-off series and I for one am thrilled.  Of course, it won’t be the same but knowing this author it should be one helluva ride!  I can’t wait.

My Rating:5 Stars


Mini-Interview with Merit

When I found out I would get the opportunity to ask one of the characters of the series four questions I about had a fit.  I rushed into my husband’s office to gush about this unique opportunity to interact with someone from a series I adore.  It is almost like I get to truly become a part of their world for a brief moment.  I was so excited.  My husband, less so, but he humored my enthusiasm and listened to me babble for about 10 minutes before returning to YouTube.   I left him in peace to work on my questions I hope you enjoy what I came up with.

Amy:  Greetings Merit, I’m so excited to get this chance to ask you a few questions. I live in Iowa and visit Chicago about once a year, I always think of you, Ethan and the rest of Cadogan House during my visits.  My first question is this.  What are your favorite hidden corners of Chicago that the typical tourist might miss?

Merit: Interesting question! I think a visit to Washington library is a must for any reader. The Winter Garden is spectacular! I love the cake shakes at Portillo’s, the shopping in Wicker Park, and Hash House A-Go-Go on the Gold Coast.

Amy:  Continuing with the tourist theme and knowing your love of Chicago’s cuisine what is one food or dish that every visitor to Chicago must try during their visit?

Merit: Most people would say Chicago-style pizza, but I’d recommend an Italian Hot Beef sandwich. Go to Al’s, and learn how to
lean in!

Amy: Changing topics, Excluding anything connected to Ethan what is your favorite moment or aspect of your life after becoming a vampire?

Merit: Considering my answer above, probably the fact that I can eat whatever I want! On a more serious note, probably the fact that I can now handle a katana with some skill. I like being able to take care of myself and those I love.

Amy: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today.  Lastly, as a librarian, I have always admired your love of books so my final question is what are you currently reading or what was your last great read?

Merit: You’re very welcome! Right now, I’m loving Deanna Raybourn’s novels!


But wait, don’t leave yet!  There’s more…

How about a giveaway!!!  Ms. Neill sent me some awesome swag to share with my awesome followers. Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to all who entered. Winners will be posted on my giveaway page once I receive confirmation from them.

The fun doesn’t stop here. 

Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Blade Bound Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs April 17 through April 28 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

  • Engraved Cadogan House medal pendant
  • Signed 11×16 Merit poster
  • $50 Amazon gift card
  • $50 Garrett Popcorn Gift Card (Chicago’s hometown favorite!)
  • Tote bag containing Chicagoland Vampires and Devil’s Isle Swag

Thank you so much for joining me here at Read What I Like an official stop on the Blade Bound Blog Tour.  It was my pleasure to have you all here and to review this book and the series (you can find my other reviews on the Review Index page).  This is a spectacular series and if you have not tried it yet I envy you for I would love the chance to read it again for the first time!  For those entering the giveaway, good luck!

Blog Tour: Damian by D.B. Reynolds

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I am so excited that Read What I Like was asked to be a part of the Damian Blog Tour and  that I get to bring you a guest blog post from none other than Ms. D.B. Reynolds herself!!!  Also, be sure not to miss my review post about this hot new release in the new spin-off series to read what I thought about Damian.  Spoiler alert: I loved it! Anyway, scroll on for some serious eye-candy and the message from Ms. Reynolds about the new book and new series.  Enjoy!


 

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The Stone Warriors: Damian is Officially Released!

From D.B. Reynolds:

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to be here today, and excited to introduce DAMIAN, the first of my Stone Warriors. I’ve had this series on the back burner for a long time, ever since I wrote the character of Nick Katsaros into Raphael, the first of my first Vampires in America books. I always knew there was more to Nick than simply being Cyn’s f#ck buddy traveling salesman. On that first morning, when Cyn and Nick are saying good-bye, Cyn thinks about him “taking all that energy with him and leaving an empty feeling behind.” She doesn’t know it yet, but that’s magic she’s feeling, and she’s not the only one who can sense it.

Along with my Stone Warriors, DAMIAN introduces the idea of magic sensitive humans. These are regular people who have an in-born ability to detect magic, sometimes in unique ways, like our heroine, Cassandra “Casey” Lewis. Like all of my heroines, Casey kicks ass and takes names. Damian may be big and strong and, let’s face it, gorgeous, but he’s not the only one in this story who knows how to face down the bad guys and get things done. Together, Damian and Casey will take on the same ruthless sorcerer who cursed Damian into stone, and who now plots to kill thousands of people, just because he can.

DAMIAN is a fast-paced story, full of action and hot sex, because killing bad guys isn’t the only thing that Damian and Casey are getting up to together.

Thanks for listening and happy reading!


Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Suspence, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Book One in Stone Warriors Series

Released: June 15, 2016 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 250  Price:$7.99

Goodreads ~ Author’s Site

Barnes and Noble ~ Amazon ~Kobo ~ Google ~ Apple


Synopsis:

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

Damian Stephanos honed his skills in battles fought with magic as much as swords. Caught by a deadly spell that left him trapped for centuries in darkness and obscurity, he is finally freed, only to discover that his enemy still lives. Determined to find him—and to free his brothers in arms—he first must fulfill his blood debt to the woman who released him from his torment. Unfortunately, being so close to this enticing female is another type of torment altogether . . .

Cassandra “Casey” Lewis is a hunter. Possessing the rare ability to sense magic, she spends most of her time shadowing arcane collectors, and more often than not, stealing the dangerous artifacts she pursues. Her job is risky, especially when she’s stealing from one of the most powerful sorcerers alive. But having a gorgeous warrior by her side is a definite bonus. He’s great in a fight . . . and in other places, too.

Following a trail of dead bodies, the two of them must join forces to track down the sorcerer who cursed Damian, and who now plans to turn an ordinary magical device into a deadly weapon. Risking everything, including their hearts, they’re about to discover that trusting each other might be the hardest thing of all.


About the Author: D.B. Reynolds

D. B. Reynolds is the RT Award-winning author of the Vampires in America series of paranormal romance, and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She lives with her husband of many years in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at www.dbreynolds.com for details on all of her books, for free stories and more.

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun

 

Under-the-Surface-Blog-Tour

 

Welcome everyone!  I’m super excited to be participating in the blog tour for Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun.  As you will or might have read in my review of this book that I was invited to review this book through Net Galley, the publishers also mentioned that I could join in on the blog tour as well.  Not wanting to say yes without sampling the book first I quickly downloaded the title and dove in.  I quickly knew that my answer was going to be ‘yes, please’ and emailed the publisher back telling them to sign me up.  And here we are, my turn to host this fun book and share with you all an excerpt and my review.  So shall we begin!


Under the Surface

Synopsis:

Welcome to Eye Candy, the East Side’s hottest nightclub where the bartenders are hot, the cocktails are fancy, and danger lurks just under the surface…

Eve Webber, the gorgeous and savvy owner of Eye Candy, knows better than anyone that growing up on the wrong side of the tracks comes with certain complications. Determined to run a clean business and fix up the East Side, Eve’s plans get temporarily stalled when a potential new hire walks into her bar. The sexual chemistry crackling between them is a potent distraction…even if she refuses to mix business with the promise of pleasure. Detective Matt Dorchester lives by strict rules that have kept him alive in impossible situations.When his latest undercover assignment has him playing a bartender, his desire for the passionate

When his latest undercover assignment has him playing a bartender, his desire for the passionate owner has him breaking every single one. Eve is in danger and her life depends on his secrecy. But once their attraction reaches a climactic conclusion, Matt must make a desperate choice: Tell her the truth about who he really is—or risk a once-in-a-lifetime love to save her life?


Book Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Urban, Suspense.

Book Series: Book One in Alpha Ops (Spin-Off ?) Series

Released: May 31,2016 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 350  Price:$7.99

Goodreads ~ Author’s Site ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Amazon ~Kobo


Excerpt:

One of the most basic components of police work was learning to control a situation. A good undercover cop adjusted his personality and attitude to manage the situation according to his objectives. Matt was as good as they came, and that bluff should have worked.

     Except Eve Webber raised the stakes without blinking an eye, and suddenly white-hot, explicit images of exactly how they’d finish what she’d started flashed in his brain . . . the skirt that barely covered her upper thighs, her desk, and that sleek mass of black hair she kept tugging free from the glossy color on her mouth. Heat flashed through him, the sensation shockingly intense.

     Your job is to keep her alive, not get her into bed.

     Eve emerged from her office around seven, iPhone in hand, and once she started working the room the vibe punched up several notches. Watching her smile and talk to the customers triggered something he couldn’t put his finger on.

     During a brief lull, he turned to Tom, the steroid-buffed player working the station next to his. “She looks familiar.”

     Tom hit the button on the blender to mix a raspberry daiquiri. “She won the newspaper’s sexiest female bartender contest two years running before she switched over to events management at the Met.” “Fucking moron” was implied at the end of that sentence.

     A niggling memory surfaced of the newspaper’s Arts and Culture section getting passed around before the shift briefing a couple of years ago, right before he made the leap to detective and started working long-term undercover assignments. The article’s text meandered alongside a full-length picture of Eve, hair tumbled into her face, hands braced on the bar behind her, wearing a white blouse unbuttoned deep in her cleavage, a tight, short black skirt, black stockings, and heels. Her slim legs were crossed at the ankle, and the angle of the shot made them seemed endless. He should have been focused on the briefing, but he’d given the photo a good thorough look before handing it to his partner, who’d looked even longer.

     The provocative shot actually masked what won Eve the contest. In person she radiated vitality, a sheer visceral force that drew light, glances, attention. Even more surprising was the way she didn’t hoard the energy but rather turned it back on whomever she was talking to. Like that person was the only person in the room. Like she heard what they were saying, and maybe even what they weren’t saying.

     Life flowed into this woman. She amplified it and sent it back out into the world, and he couldn’t stop watching her.

     She checked in with her bouncer, the size of the Hulk, with gang ink disappearing into the sleeves of his T-shirt.

     “That’s not an off-duty cop,” he said.

     “Friend of the family,” Tom replied over the music. “Someone her dad knew.”

     “Bars this busy usually hire the pros,” Matt said as he pulled out a fresh rack of glasses.

     “You know what those assholes charge? They’re fucking expensive,” Tom said as he handed the drink across the bar. “And they’re nosy. Hot Stuff doesn’t like strangers in her business.”

     Matt would bet his Jeep that Eve wouldn’t like being called Hot Stuff, but if Tom hadn’t figured that out, Matt wasn’t about to enlighten him. He watched as she cleared a couple of abandoned glasses off the bar in front of him and handed them to a passing busboy, then came around the corner of the bar, trailing her fingers along the polished wood. He handed the drink to a customer and gave her his full attention.

     “How are you doing?” she asked, scanning his station.

     “You tell me,” he replied, and if he got a little closer than necessary to hear what she was saying over the thumping dance music, well, he was just doing his job. Given the heat in the bar, he expected perfume, something musky and sexy. Instead the faintest scent of mint and rosemary drifted into the air between them when she tucked her hair behind her ears.

     “I’m satisfied,” she said, not backing away. “The job’s yours if you want it.”

     She was less than a breath away from him. A shift of his weight and a deep inhale, and they’d be breathing together like they were naked and horizontal. The heat sizzled and popped between them and it didn’t take training in body language to read the signals. Eve Webber wanted him.

     Chad Henderson. His undercover identity, the man he was pretending to be. Not him.

     No matter who he was today, neither he nor Chad could have her. He was supposed to keep her safe, make sure she didn’t change her mind about working with the department, monitor any appearances Murphy made in Eye Candy.

     He wanted her.

     “I want the job,” he said, not bothering to hide what he really meant.

     She looked at him through the layered, sweeping fall of hair he wanted to brush back so he could see her eyes, her mouth. “Hang around after close. I’ll give you the paperwork to fill out and bring back with you tomorrow.”

     He leaned in, as if he needed to speak with her, employee to employer, but didn’t want to shout over the music. “See you later, boss,” he rasped.


About the Author: Anne Calhoun

Anne Calhoun

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Her first book, LIBERATING LACEY won the EPIC Award for Best Contemporary Erotic Romance. Her story WHAT SHE NEEDS was chosen for Smart Bitch Sarah’s Sizzling Book Club. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, and yoga. She lives in the Midwest with her family and singlehandedly supports her local Starbucks.