Cover Reveal

Review Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch

Synopsis: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
 
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
My thoughts:
Did I ever mention how much I love YA high fantasy? Because I do. Love it, I mean. I REALLY LOVE IT. But you know what I love even more than the genre itself? Finding a YA high fantasy book that I also enjoy, because those are so rare and precious. Well, fellow bookish people, I am happy to announce that I found another bejeweled novel that fits the bill perfectly -- Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. Let the fangirling commence. *jumps up and down excitedly*
First of all, I gotta say Snow Like Ashes not only has a glorious title, but that its cover is real awesomeness. Just look at that pretty thing! Don't you wanna pet it?
Second of all, this book resembled on some level the Throne of Glass series and I got serious The Winner's Crime vibes. But besides those deja-vu sensations, I have to say Snow Like Ashes had a bit of everything from the tales we've come to love: the burden of a young monarch that has to rebuild a crushed kingdom, too many vile kings to keep count, a touch of magic and a gloriously fierce heroine you cannot help than cheer for.
The story centers on eight Winterians, the last people of the Winter kingdom, one of the eight kingdoms ruling the world of Primoria. Sixteen years ago, Winter was shattered by an attack made by Spring, one that left in its wake only ruins, slaves and the feeble hope that those survivors will somehow manage to get back the kingdom's conduit -- the land's source of magic -- and rebuilt their long lost home. Among these eight survivors are two fateful figures: Mather, the future king of Winter, and Meira, a warrior girl through and through that also happens to be our heroine.
“Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”
Of course, that was the plot summarized in a few words but there are bits and pieces that proved to be a tad more complicated and will surely become a delight once you read them. The journey was full of imaginative turns, although I have to admit I was able to predict some of the bigger surprises. Regardless, the plot itself had a lot of ramifications that readers couldn't anticipate because the world presented to us was still yet unknown, so that was a source of constant eagerness and thrilling fascination.
I loved Meira. I'd describe her as a mix of Celaena and Kestrel, but with a big dose of childishness in her. Not necessarily an immature teenager, but definitely quite independent (a trait that has a tendency to turn into infuriating stubbornness) and impulsive. Thank gods she's clever. Couple that with the fact that she's fierce and stubbornly witty and you got yourself a new Elsa with a vengeance streak and protective behavior. I reveled in her character-development, because by the end of the book she became an incredibly brave young woman that finally realized the important matters at hand. Plus, I love a girl who knows how to humor her way into conflicts and what-nots.
You know what's next, don't you? The juicy part, the sigh-inducing element, the key aspect of a great read for fangirls everywhere -- the romance. And I'm telling you, start hyperventilating cause we have a serious case of drooling bound to begin upon reading Snow Like Ashes.
There's Mather, the one that Meira is basically smitten about since she knows herself. Then there's Theron, a new guy that had me at hello. Yeah, I wasn't really Mather's fan because I kept imagining Tommen from Game of Thrones as the incapable kings they both are, but I guess he does have some lovable qualities, such as having a gorgeous body and all. Plus, he's royalty -- that has to count up for something, doesn't it?
But it doesn't matter because Theron is crown prince, so potato potato. And this guy, lemme just tell you, practically waltzed straight into my heart and into Meira's with his bookish personality (Dorian alarm, srsly), warrior skills, snark-filled banter tendency and unconditional devotion. All that and a handsome face and an even more gorgeous body. IS HE FOR REAL? I LOVE HIM. *drools*
“I want to be someone worthy of my kingdom. I want to be someone worthy of you.”
No, Andreea, he actually isn't. <-- that was a sad afterthought.
Coming back to the romance aspect, I was afraid it would turn into an annoying and tiring love-triangle when obviously there was no need for it. BUT IT DIDN'T. *happy dance* I was so goddamn excited to see a mature choice unfolding for once (hear me, Leigh Bardugo?), to finally let the sappy, childhood romance dissolve so that the real love can take its course, even though it was unexpected. This created a sweet relationship between Theron and Meira that had me giggling and smiling with my whole face. The whole situation better stay like this (Team Theron all the way), because otherwise Sara Raasch will have a furious shipper here.
“He drops his grin into a pout, puckering his lips and pulling his eyebrows tight over his nose.
I glare.
He pouts harder.
“You’re impossible,” I growl, and rip open the book.
Theron laughs and scoots a little closer to me. “Impossible, endearing. Synonyms, really.”
Some secondary characters were more developed than others and, of course, I loved those more. Sir William Loren was hands-down the father-figure and everyone is sure to love his wise, brave and loyal self. There's even a chance to drop a few tears at some point, courtesy of Sir. I especially liked the relationship between him and Meira, the girl's unwavering respect for him. Then there's Hannah, which was honestly an equivalent for Elena from ToG, whom I tolerated even though she could've been more straight-forward for the sake of the rest of the characters. And I liked Nessa, Rose and Mona, so fingers crossed we'll be spending more time with them. Noam is an egotistical, vain douche-bag, Herod the sick monster (=Cain) and Angra the power-hungry lunatic. Ah, well, there should be some leeches, I guess.
The world-building was one of my favorite parts of the whole book. The idea of having four Rhythm kingdoms (ones that transcended the 4 seasons annually) and four Season kingdoms (ones that kept their defining season all year long) instantly grabbed my attention. I kept going back to the notion of Season Courts from Fae inspired books (ACoTaR reminiscence), but this time the concept was expanded on a bigger level. I loved the people, the traditions, the different ideologies and perhaps most of all the sense of patriotism that connected all characters. Hopefully, we'll get to see the rest of the kingdoms in the following installments, seeing that every one of them is equally entrancing and crazy in their own way. BRING ON THE AWESOMENESS (AND THE SHIRTLESS SOLDIERS) BECAUSE I AM READY.
Snow Like Ashes ended on a cheerful and (temporarily) peaceful note. All is not right in the world, but it's getting there one step at a time. The last image caught on my retina is a gorgeously winter wonderland that brought out all the heartwarming feelings my brain could muster that ensured that I'll close the book with a big idiotic grin, satisfied (no cliffy yay), yet demanding for the sequel at the same time (a girl wants to know what happens next).
My only complaint would be the somewhat fast pace. I am a fan of action-packed stories, but I felt that, if given more pages and maybe even split into half afterwards, the story up until this point could've been given so much more substance. In one second this happened and then this happened and then that and now this -- these events honestly could've spanned the plot of more books without it feeling a bit rushed. Maybe I just needed the respiro times between the big deals to be more developed or perhaps more details on key-elements, such as the Cordell kingdom. But the thing is that I still needed something. The story was a golden mine of potential and Sara Raasch delivered a captivating tale, but there was room for complexity, for grandness, for more.
Sara Raasch -- I'm officially a fan of hers. I knew I would like her and this book from the dedication in the beginning of the novel, because if that's not an example of determination and ambition, I don't know what is. Her writing style was quite curious since it seemed to blend a high fantasy atmosphere with daily language -- surprisingly, the combo worked.
So, book lovers everywhere. I've seen lots of so-and-so reviews for this title, but I honestly say that I'm with the bunch that tremendously enjoyed Snow Like Ashes and I urge you to give it a try. I read it cover-to-cover and I was kept at the edge of my seat, my toes curling at the sweet romance and my heart going all battlecry mode while cheering for the spunky heroine and her lot of fearless Winterians.
“Even the strongest blizzard starts with a single snowflake.”
Now, October, please come quicker so I can have more Theron in my life. I won't mind if you kill the rest of the characters as long as you keep him safe, but I guess he'd be a bit upset so whatever. Gimme Ice Like Fire (I'm not below begging, Edelweiss)!
ENJOY! <3

Cover Reveal


Today, we are extremely excited to reveal the cover of THE BRAILLE CLUB by J.A. Kerr!! It is absolutely STUNNING! Congrats, J.A. Kerr! Happy Cover Reveal Day!

✦✦✦ COVER REVEAL ✦✦✦



THE BRAILLE CLUB by J.A. Kerr
Publisher - LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
Genre - Contemporary Romance
✦ SYNOPSIS ✦ 
Welcome to the Braille Club, where blindfolds are mandatory and members play sensual games of pleasurable endurance. Three couples take part in this exclusive, secret club for very different reasons…with very different results.

Benedict Harrison was a master of detachment…

Benedict’s first experience with the Braille Club changed his life forever when a mysterious woman reawakened his emotions and his passion. He encounters the darkly erotic Siena Waters again, and they begin a tumultuous affair and a business partnership, but what will happen if the true nature of their relationship is discovered?

Gabriella Ballantyne’s marriage is in trouble… 

Her husband Max has grown cold, and Gabriella seeks out the Braille Club and its decadent delights in an effort to reawaken their hearts and strengthen their marriage. But when she presents him with his own membership card, she sees only revulsion in his eyes. Gabriella must use everything she’s learned from the club in a last-ditch effort to reconnect with Max and resurrect their love.

Abbey Marshall needs an escape from her cheating husband…

Abbey begins sensory lessons at the Braille Club, hoping it will help her regain control of Steve and prevent his straying. When the unthinkable happens, she is consumed with the need to learn the identity of Steve’s latest mistress. Left reeling and with her sanity in jeopardy, a chance visit from her husband’s former teammate might be her last chance to find the answers she needs.

At the Braille Club, the elite membership walks in the dark in order to find the light…they need to be blind before they can see. They’re ready—are you?

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✦ MEET THE AUTHOR ✦ 
J. A. Kerr



JA (Julie Ann) Kerr was born in the spring of 1967 at Paisley’s Ross Hospital in Scotland and grew up in Glasgow. She was an office administrator and latterly a recruitment consultant before marrying and relocating to The Netherlands with her husband. After two years, she moved to Cheshire where her first child was born and returned to work part-time. Her final relocation took her back to her home town of Glasgow where she welcomed the arrival of her second child. She raised her family whilst harbouring dreams of becoming a writer. In September 2013, she started her first book and she is currently working on a sequel.


Connect with J. A. Kerr:


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Book: Chasing Cassidy by D. Kelly Expected Release Date: July 28, 2015

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When Zachary Stafford first set eyes on Cassidy Pope she was being beaten by her father. After witnessing the traumatic event, he made it his mission to befriend her. As the years pass, their relationship evolves and Cassidy not only gives Zack her friendship but her love, as well. Cassidy spent her childhood being verbally and physically abused. The best part of her life is her friendship with the Stafford twins, Zack and Rylee. Although she tries to put on a brave front, the years of abuse have turned Cassidy into a woman filled with insecurities who doesn’t believe she deserves love. Especially not the kind of love Zack has given her for the last twelve years. On their wedding day, Cassidy’s insecurities get the best of her and she does the one thing she knows how to do well…she runs. Zack is devastated and when he discovers why Cassidy ran, his devastation becomes fury. Long ago, Zack made Cassidy a promise he fully intends to keep and sets off on a journey to bring her back into his arms where she belongs. Will Zack and Cassidy get their happily ever after, or will Cassidy’s inner demons keep her from getting the only thing she ever wanted in this world? To be loved. Chasing Cassidy is a standalone novel.

Add Chasing Cassidy to your TBR on Goodreads here.

Cover design by Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae.

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Excerpt:

Rylee bounces out the door and bounds down the stairs before our feet even hit the first step. I’m sure she’s trying to sneak in a kiss before we get there. “She was talking about what I think she was right?” “What sex?” I answer teasing him He shudders with just the thought “Yeah” “Of course she was” I answer with a laugh “So sick, I figured as much” he mutters “Don’t worry Zack, I’ll never tell your sister how well you wield your mighty sword.” He stops in his tracks halfway down the stairs cracking up. “Oh my God Cassidy that’s fucking classic! I almost wish you could, just so I could see her expression.” Then he whispers seductively in my ear “But if that’s how you’re going to describe my fucking magnificent cock, I really hope it’s in jest.” He nips the tip of my earlobe and sucks on my neck pulling me closer to him. His magnificent cock is pushing against my hip making sure I’m aware his description is indeed accurate. “Yes it’s just a joke. But you’d understand why if you could have heard her description of…” “Lalalalala” he cuts me off with his fingers in his ears and bounds down the stairs. “Oh gross! Seriously? Come on! Pete we’re about to eat. Damn Ry, you’re making me lose my appetite.” Oops guess he walked in on them anyway. “Paybacks a bitch big brother get used to it.” Rylee tosses back at him as I walk right past the kitchen and out to the patio. I’m starving and this will either end quickly or go on all night. Pete exits the house right behind me and takes a seat, followed by Ry and Zack. “There’s not enough bleach in the world for my eyes after that.” Zack complains as I begin dishing out food. “Stop whining Zack it was just tongue I’ve seen you with your ass in the air mid thrust so don’t talk to me about bleach.” Rylee pretends to stick her finger down her throat and gag. Zack does have the decency to look embarrassed, but it only lasts a second. “If you would have knocked first that wouldn’t have happened.” He taunts and she rolls her eyes at him. I love how Pete just stays quiet and sips on his beer. “New house rules starting now, no one gets to fuck in our house but us.” “Seriously Zack? We weren’t fucking, not even close to it.” Ry snaps back at him “I know” he says with a smile “I’m just making a pre-emptive strike in case you get too drunk to drive tonight.” “If I get too drunk to drive tonight I’ll call a cab because I’m definitely getting fucked.” Both Pete and I respectively choke, him on his beer and me on my salad. Zack gives Pete a long glare and Pete just shrugs. Damn I think I love him already. “You just said I couldn’t break her heart you didn’t say I couldn’t make her scream.” Pete points out hysterically. Hell, I’m laughing so hard I’m crying at this point.


In celebration of Chasing Cassidy, D. Kelly has made her first book, Breaking Kate, free for a limited time. Breaking Kate is book one of The Acceptance Series.

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DOWNLOAD TODAY! AMAZON NOOK (99c) iBOOKS KOBO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DKellyAuthorPic

I’m a wife, a mom and a dog lover. I’m also a taxi, problem fixer, extreme multi-tasker and my kids biggest fan in anything that they do. I love to write, so when my career suddenly derailed I turned back to my love of writing. I married my high school sweetheart… how cool is that? Margaritas and sarcasm make me happy. Chocolate makes that happiness grow exponentially. People who make me laugh are my favorite kind of people. I believe Karma is a bitch who slaps back hard and that mean people suck. I’m California born and raised, I love the beach but hate the sand. The Acceptance Series is my first series with more books to come soon. Follow D. Kelly: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON

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Beneath the Cape: The Superhero Anthology by Angela McPherson, Cheryl McIntyre, Christine Zolendz, D. Nichole King, Laura Thalassa, Lynn Vroman, Megan Vernon, and Sunniva Dee
Created with the sole purpose of benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.
Publication date: July 1st, 2015.
Only available through September 30th.
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Superheroes, Military, Anthologies



Synopsis:

Superheroes. Save the world and protect mankind.


But what’s beneath the cape? Behind the mask? Under the steel-plated façade?

Eight bestselling New Adult romance authors have come together to bring you seven stories about superheroes and what it takes to win their hearts. From the skies, to the cities, to the ocean, our superheroes face death, fight villains, conquer evil and—

Find love.


The world is full of heroes. Every-day men and women who risk their lives for the sake of others—for life, liberty, freedom, and justice. Often these men and women are wounded—physically or mentally—in the line of duty. Therefore, we have created this anthology with the sole purpose of benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.

Because heroes should never be forgotten.

The stories:

Reaping Angels by Laura Thalassa:
The Executioner’s touch can kill.
Angel’s can heal.
A villain and a hero. One who stood for death, and the other for life. Mortal enemies until the impossible happened. 
A touch. 
A kiss. 
And now, a manhunt.



Cat Love by Sunniva Dee:
A sexy thriller about the animal in all of us.
 
Aidan uses his superpower to stabilize minds at the Hollyreed Specialist Hospital. Ulani uses hers to chase rats on rooftops. Until she’s caught and deposited in Aidan’s care. 
At the hospital, Aidan finds Ulani's room empty—save for a cat, whose fur retracts in favor of silky skin and a vamp-gorgeous femme fatale. 
Aidan’s obsession with Ulani grows, while patients go missing.
Making the couple use their powers to bring criminals to justice.



Gypsy Love by Angela McPherson & Lynn Vroman:
For two hundred years, Adrian vowed to seek revenge against the Gypsy woman who bound his spirit for eternity. 
Until her.
The one man Mia wants only exists in dreams. 
Until he doesn’t. 
The curse may be broken, but not without a price. 
One love must end for another to begin.



The Only Difference by Magan Vernon:
The Only Difference between a hero and a villain is what they do with their power. 
Leonel "Short Stack" Garcia-Shapiro's life changed the night he decided to stop one of his fraternity brothers from taking advantage of a girl. Now he can't stop thinking of that girl and how he can save her.



Heroes by Christine Zolendz:
Kelly Black can’t believe she’ll be the new teaching assistant to Alexander Masters. The Alexander Masters—the head of the entire biology department. As soon as they begin to work together sparks fly and danger swirls around them.




Breaking Through by D. Nichole King:
Two years after her brother Nate died during a Navy operation, aquator Nautia Olson’s nightmares began, and her ability to manipulate water became erratic. Anger, fear, joy, desire—they all trigger disaster.
Now, the Navy wants her for a top-secret mission, but Captain Riley Barton has his reservations. He’s read her file. He knows the damage she’s capable of, and yet—
If he can harness her ability—break through her walls—
She’ll be unstoppable.




Villain by Cheryl McIntyre:
How can you tell a hero from a villain?
If you’re Ember Willis and the villain is Lanely Frost, you can’t.
How can you tell a superhero from a delusional young woman?
If you’re Lanely Frost and the woman is Ember Willis, you don’t care.
For both, finding the balance between right and wrong and love and lust are not the only battles they’ll face.



Purchase:


AUTHORS:
Angela McPherson: author of the new adult Distraction series and the paranormal Hope's Decree.
Cheryl McIntyre: author of the new adult Sometimes Never series, Dirty, Infinitely,  the paranormal Dark Calling, and the erotica Hard.
Christine Zolendz: author of the paranormal Mad World series, the new adult Beautiful series, and Triple X.  
D Nichole King: author of the paranormal Spirit trilogy, and the new adult Love Always series.
Laura Thalassa: author of the paranormal The Unearthly series, the sci-fi new adult The Vanishing Girl series, and the dystopian new adult The Queen of All that Dies series.
Lynn Vroman: author of the young adult fantasy The Energies series, the young adult lesbian Summer Confessions
Magan Vernon: author of the new adult short series Forever Wild, the young adult The Only series, the new adult My Paper Heart series, and the sci-fi My Alien Romance series, and the contemporary Life, Love, and Lemons.
Sunniva Dee: author of the paranormal Halos series and the new adult/erotica Deepsilver series.


Authors' contact info:


Angela McPherson:
Website  Facebook  Twitter: @abt3mcpherson  Goodreads  Amazon Author Page  Instagram  Pinterest  TSU

Cheryl McIntyre:


Christine Zolendz:


D Nichole King:


Laura Thalassa:

Lynn Vroman:


Sunniva Dee:


BENEATH THE CAPE: THE SUPERHERO ANTHOLOGY

—Excerpts—

Book 1: Reaping Angels by Laura Thalassa
The Executioner pulled off a glove with his teeth. I eyed the bare skin like it was a venomous snake and bucked against him.
“Last chance to do this the easy way,” he said, his voice deep. 
I thrashed under the weight of his body, but he was simply too big and me too small. 
My heart beat madly as his hand crept closer. He drew out the action, probably believing that fear would make me reevaluate his offer. 
I lifted my chin and squared my jaw. “Screw. You.”
Warm skin caressed the nape of my neck. The Executioner’s hands were surprisingly gentle for a seasoned torturer. My eyes moved to his face, cloaked in the shadow of his hood. A long moment went by. 
And then another. And another.
I blinked. The skin should’ve bubbled and blistered, my insides should’ve been lit on fire. Instead, only the soothing warmth of the Executioner’s body heat seeped into mine.
It wasn’t working. The fiercest villain in the entire world had come here to break me, and he couldn’t.
Harry Potter ain’t got nothing on me, bitches.
At some point, the Executioner also realized it wasn’t working. He removed his grip from my neck and stared at his hand. “It didn’t hurt you,” he said, stunned.
He reached out once more.
Oh come on.
For a second time his deadly hand touched the skin of my neck. There it rested. 
I’d seen photos of his victims. The bad ones were nothing more than charcoal, roasted from the inside out. Those that held on a little longer … they could cling to an agonizing existence for something like a week before they finally succumbed to the burns. 
The Executioner and I stared at each other. My heart beat steadily, and other than being crushed under a huge dude, my breathing was stable.
Still wasn’t working.
You would’ve thought someone had hit the man upside the head, he looked so stunned.
Rather than removing his hand, the Executioner began stroking the skin of my neck. His touch was cautious, almost … wondrous. His hand glided up my neck to my jaw and his thumb grazed my lower lip. I heard his breathing hitch and felt his body shudder.
I swallowed. Quiz me this: what would a man want to do with the first woman he couldn’t willfully burn? 
He lifted his hand long enough to pull back his hood.
I sucked in a breath of air as I got my first good look at the supervillain. 
The Executioner was hot. No, hot didn’t begin to cover it. He was come-in-my-pants beautiful. 
And of course, he had to be evil. Why do all the sexy guys have to have issues? Why? 
Strands of nearly black hair swept back from his face. Deep, dark eyes gazed back at me.
He leaned in, so close I could feel his cool breath against my skin. His hand went to my cheek, his fingers trailing over the skin there. His expression was full of wonder. Oh, and lust. A crapload of lust was there as well. He glanced down at my mouth.
“Don’t,” I warned him.
He smiled. And then his lips met mine.

Book 2: Cat Love by Sunniva Dee
A faint “yeeees?” muffles through when I knock on her door. I let myself in and find her standing by the window. With one arm extended, delicate fingertips support her against the top part of the frame. She leans her forehead to her elbow as she surveys the patio like it’s her kingdom.
At my entrance, Ulani turns slowly, a small smile twitching her lips. There’s no trace of the contempt I’d read from her only half an hour ago. Now she oozes sex and delight, the rarest of emotions around here.
“Hey,” is all I say at first because I’m rattled and it’s better if she doesn’t understand how she affects me.
“Hey, yourself.” She’s smug. Cat-smug. Jesus, as much as she’s not feline right now, she really still is. I can’t picture this woman without those supernaturally graceful moves… and the mood swings.
Ulani lifts her hand again, hooks her index finger to invite me closer. Besides being present, she’s done nothing to instigate the tightness I’m experiencing in the crotch area. This woman is dangerous.
I clear my throat. “You wanted a chat?”
“Get me out of here.” A flicker of shrewdness flavors the air at her words. “If Ms. Morgenstern could escape so easily, it shouldn’t be hard for you to get me out, right?”
“Right, and what would you do out there? Get caught streaking again?” I ask.
She huffs, anger skidding through her surface. If she didn’t have feline genes, I’d assume she had bipolar tendencies.
“Oh so you can fix my issues if I stay? That’s nice, Aidan—let’s get on that then.” She folds her arms, boobs pressing upward as she does. My attention draws to them automatically. I want to adjust myself, but I don’t because she’s the kind of woman who will abuse her power over a man.
Yes, Ulani could trick me if I weren’t so careful. Right now, she wants something I can’t give her without breaking hospital rules. She’s going to have to stay for observation until Dr. Reiss decides otherwise, and if I hadn’t spent most of my life exercising self-control, it’d be easy to lose my head and sneak her out for the promise of—
Either way, I won’t fall into her trap.

Book 3: Gypsy Love by Angela McPherson and Lynn Vroman
"First things first." I went to her dresser, pulled out a T-shirt and sweats, and tossed them to her. "You've got to cut me a damn break." 
Mia caught the clothes with a grin, that treacherous robe revealing more skin. "You're sure?"
"No, but...look, I'm trying to be a gentleman. Humor me."
She headed to the bathroom, mumbling, "My dream and he calls the shots."
As the door slammed, I laughed. The woman had strength, intelligence, and beauty. The perfect trifecta.
Miryah's face flashed through my mind, especially her anger as she plunged the dagger into my chest. From witnessing firsthand her ability to suck me into a dream, Mia had that kind of power, too, more than any other Kotorara I'd seen. Maybe even more than Miryah. 
A warning shot through me as she walked back into the room, a shy smile lighting her face. Hopefully Mia didn't have her ancestor's taste for revenge.
"So, here's the deal. If I have to change, so do you." Mia chucked a wad of clothes at me.
I barely caught them. "Excuse me?"
"Listen, I love the whole pirate thing you've got going on, but seriously, you look like you just stepped off the cover of a romance novel."
"Ah, what?" I looked down at my breeches and shirt then held up the sweats and T-shirt. "And where did you get men's clothes?"
"My dream, my rules, remember?" She raised her brow. "Unless you changed your mind? I have no problem getting naked."
She'd be the death of me. Again. "Not fair."
"No one said anything about fair. Go change, and then come on back so we can have our little meet-and-greet."
I grinned and headed to the bathroom. Gypsy magic.

Book 4: The Only Difference by Magan Vernon
She shook her head again. "No. It's fine. I can walk."
Without even thinking I slid off my Chucks and then pushed them toward her.
She looked down at the ground, then back at me, raising an eyebrow. "What are you doing?"
I nudged my shoes toward her. "If you won't let me drive you or get your shoes then take mine."
She shook her head. "I can't do that."
"Please. I insist." I rummaged through my pocket until I pulled out my cell phone and typed a few numbers into it before facing it toward her. "And here's my number. I'd put it in your phone myself, but I don't want to reach down your shirt. I doubt you'll let me walk you, so please just call me when you get there."
Her blue eyes were locked on me for what felt like forever before she pulled her phone out of her shirt and typed on it. She didn't speak. Not a single word. She just slowly slid my shoes on.
Reluctantly I let go of her arms and she walked around me, only briefly glancing back before she was swallowed by the night.
I sat down on one of the benches and let out a deep puff of air. My heart was beating so fast that I thought it was going to pound right through my chest.
I never did things like that. I never stood up to my brothers or invested that much time into girls. This was all new territory.
It could have been seconds. Minutes. Or even hours that I sat there. It wasn't until my phone buzzed in my hand that I was knocked out of my trance and looked down at it.
I'm home. Thanks for the shoes. See you around.
It may not have been much but there was something about that text that made my heart beat even faster. Maybe I wasn't a superhero, but whatever this adrenaline burst was, I didn't want it to stop.

Book 5: Heroes by Christine Zolendz
His gaze darts quickly back and forth between my eyes, then drops to my lips.
He's looking at my lips.
We are so close right now; I can feel his hands clench into fists and his muscles tense with restraint. The tips of my fingers bristle with pins and needles and the desire to reach out and touch his skin, to somehow slide it against mine, is maddening.
What the hell is happening right now? If I didn't know any better, I'd think there was some sort of chemical reaction in the space between us. Some sort of electromagnetic field of lust. I want to laugh at my own absurdity.
His eyes widen though, as if he senses something too.
"This is...," he whispers in a hoarse, strained voice.
"What?" I ask self-consciously.
"Nothing," he says, blinking. "Nothing. Would you…would you like a drink?" he asks, shaking whatever thoughts he had from his head.
"God, yes," I sigh. Instantly, I'm mortified with how breathy I sound.
He doesn't move though, he just focuses back on my lips and leans in closer.
I'm about to start panicking. There's something here between us, alive and heavy, some sensation, some presence of mind I've never felt before. Almost like the spark of electric in the air just before a thunderstorm.
"This isn't normal," he whispers, making me breathe in sharply. He points his finger between us, "Whatever this is–isn't supposed to be happening."
Our eyes lock and he holds my gaze for so long that I continuously have to remind myself to breathe. There's definitely something passing between us; it tingles over my lips, hums slowly up my spinal cord, and spreads out across my shoulders. 
The tip of his finger skims gently over my arm and a current of blue static sparks burst across my skin.

Book 6: Breaking Through by D. Nichole King
Kray doesn’t move because he knows I’m the cause of this spectacle. He cups my face until he has me in a stare-down, attempting to calm me. “You want to know what really happened to your brother? You want to find that classified information?” He squeezes my cheeks with his hands, and I nod. “Then you learn how to control your ability and get the Navy begging to have you join up.”
I bob my head and unclench my fists.
“Get it under control,” Kray repeats and steps away from me so I can do what he said.
With everyone scrambling for the front door and bumping into me, distracting me, I’m forced to concentrate harder than usual. I bow my head and close my eyes.
Calm down. Relax. Slow your heart rate. I repeat the words Cara taught me over and over until I feel them working.
“Come on, Nautia. You’ve got this,” Kray encourages from somewhere behind me.
I squeeze my eyelids tighter, focusing on the water and willing it back into the pipes. Drops roll down my forehead, and I lick the excess off my lips.
Heaviness creeps into my shoulders, flowing down, down into my fingertips. As it inches into my extremities, I spread my fingers and lift my arms like I have a hundred pounds in each palm—it feels like I actually do. My chin drops until it touches my chest. Breathing in fast gasps, I force all of my power into my hands like I was taught. 
Energy moves through my veins, the intensity threatening to rip my skin open. I feel it all over my body now, consuming me, shaking me, shattering me.
“Don’t let it control you,” Kray reminds me, his voice being drowned out by the power surging through me.
I’m about to break. I can’t hold on any longer. The weight, the burden is too heavy.
Tears flow down my cheeks, mixing with the water. In my mind, Nate’s face flashes in front of me. His black hair is soaked and falling into his eyes, but he doesn’t push it away. He can’t because he’s tied up. Water pours over him, and he can’t concentrate. He can’t control it.
He can’t breathe—
Energy flies from the tips of my fingers, and I throw my head back and scream. Above me, the pipes break, the noise ringing through the building.

Book 7: Villain by Cheryl McIntyre
Before Ember has a chance to say anything more, a single snowflake lands on the tip of her nose, melting on contact. She peers up at the sky, her mouth forming a wondrous smile as more and more snow flutters slowly down upon us.
“That’s beautiful,” she utters.
“Agreed,” I rasp.
Her smiles fades as she looks over at me, catching me staring. She pitches to her side, eyes falling on my mouth.
“I’m not going to kiss you,” I tell her, easily reading her thoughts, but it’s such a weak warning. I won’t make the first move, but if she asks, I’m pretty fucking sure I’ll comply. “You should be treated with respect and care. Always, Ember. I just want to make sure you understand I’m trying to do that.” I shake my head, dumbfounded with this unfamiliar side of me. No, it’s not unfamiliar, it’s just been laying dormant, frozen for so long. I thought this part of me was gone. Dead.
“I’m trying,” I repeat.
She leans in, her mouth hovering just above mine. “You’ve been nothing but respectful and caring with me, Lane, and I appreciate that. I do. But…”
“But?” I lead, my voice low and barely audible. I feel my head lifting in her direction on its own accord.
“But,” she whispers, lips brushing mine softly. “You’ve made your point. I believe you. Right now though, I don’t want to be handled with care. I want—”
I cut her off, gripping her waist and rolling us so that I’m the one above her. “What do you want, Ember?”
Her fingers sink into the hair at the nape of my neck, pulling me to her. She doesn’t answer. She doesn’t need to. Our mouths connect and she kisses me like she did on New Year’s Eve. She kisses me like she’s trying to end me.